Kalb: State Secretary Clinton earns 'A-'

Feb. 1, 2013 at 1:42 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- While outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn't make any major foreign policy breakthroughs, a veteran news reporter gave her high marks.

Clinton's last day as secretary of state Friday. Her tenure was marked by one of the most severe global economic crises in modern history and sweeping democratic change through much of the Middle East.

Marvin Kalb, a veteran news correspondent and guest scholar at The Brookings Institute writes that Clinton "didn't succeed at anything big" but was nonetheless given "an A-" for her diplomatic skills.

"It was Clinton's job to keep the world in one piece while (President Barack) Obama spent most of his time trying to re-energize the shattered economy," he writes. "She did a good job."

Clinton was a polarizing political figure when she ran against Obama for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination but earned near-celebrity status during her tenure at the State Department. She struck a defiant tone against lawmakers critical of the department's response to deadly attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

During a town hall meeting this week, Clinton said her four-year tenure was marked by the defense of "advancing American interests, defending universal values, protecting our security (and) helping more people in more places live up to their God-given potential."

Longtime chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., takes over for Clinton after receiving overwhelming support from the Senate this week.

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