Interviews conducted by the Washington publication Politico indicated Tuesday Clinton has played a surprisingly secondary role to President Barack Obama in the formulation and carrying out of U.S. foreign policy, despite expectations that Obama's former presidential rival would be the brightest star in his Cabinet.
The publication said the arrangement appears to suit Clinton and the Obama White House. But it has reportedly contributed to chatter in foreign policy circles that Clinton doesn't have much clout within the administration, with some close observers saying she hasn't done enough to preserve the State Department's influence.
But Politico said an array of senior officials lined up to say that wasn't the case.
"Her star power has been an enormously effective tool for us," said Tom Donilon, deputy U.S. national security adviser. "She's a pretty tough customer in private negotiations, as you would imagine, and expects partners to behave like partners and expects people to do what they say they're going to do."