After the bombastic attitude of the Bush-Cheney regime highlighted by insults at the leaders of France and Germany for advocating analysis and waiting rather than swiftly launching war in Iraq over swiftly refuted rationale, what was vitally needed for the Obama administration was selecting a Secretary of State with knowledge of the world and a flair for diplomacy.
Prior to the time that Hillary Clinton was elected to serve New York in the U.S. Senate she had been the nation's first lady. Those tandem experiences provided Clinton with significant opportunity to meet numerous world leaders and travel far and wide.
Hillary Clinton has embarked on a mission to reframe American objectives and present a positive image to the world, filled with diplomatic decorum with optimism while curtailing gunboat diplomacy and childishly insulting symbols as manifested by serving "Freedom Fries"- on Air Force One and other comparable mischievous behavior.
Clinton should be given high marks for her activities in Beijing beginning with the optimistic message she conveyed on behalf of joint cooperation. Clinton is well aware of the recent Chinese assistance rendered to the United States during its current economic calamities in securing bonds.
Symbolically the Clinton Secretary of State stewardship took a positive step while in China that extends far beyond the borders of the United States and the world's most populous nation. By visiting a gas-fired power plant which uses sophisticated turbines made by General Electric, Clinton was, in the spirit of the February 21 story in the New York Times headline "paint(ing) China policy with a green hue."-
Clinton declared that "we hope you won't make the same mistakes we made"- in inviting China to join the U.S. in an ambitious effort to curb greenhouse gases. "When we were industrializing and growing, we didn't know any better; neither did Europe,"- she was quoted in the Times article. "Now we're smart enough to figure out how to have the right kind of growth."-
The gas-fired plant Clinton visited is deemed to be nearly twice as efficient as the coal-fired plants that supply much of China's electricity and helped push China past the United States as the world's leading emitter of carbon dioxide.
The Obama administration hopes to make climate change a centerpiece of, as the Times put it, "more vigorous engagement with China."- The two day stop in Beijing at the close of a week long Asian tour represented an effort "to put her own stamp on a relationship that was dominated by the Treasury Department in the latter years of the Bush administration."-
The spirit demonstrated by Clinton in conveying a view of global cooperation is an encouraging sign harkening back to more productive periods of U.S. diplomatic history as embodied by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy.