Obama’s Bad Cop
April 29, 2010
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It was almost like one of those moments in a buddy-cop movie when the two partners who dislike each other at the beginning finally bond while taking on the bad guys. In mid-December Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were in Copenhagen, where the leaders of more than 100 countries had gathered to negotiate a new agreement to combat global warming, and the summit was on the verge of collapse. Clinton later described it as the most disorganized meeting she’d seen since her eighth-grade student council. It “was just disintegrating right before everybody’s eyes,” she recalled to NEWSWEEK in an interview last week. Clinton and her former political rival, now the president, found themselves up against most of the rest of the world. At the last minute Obama sought a one-on-one meeting with the Chinese leader to rescue some kind of agreement, only to be told that Premier Wen Jiabao and his team still weren’t ready to meet (after two years of prior procrastination). “No, we’re going in now,” Obama declared, looking at Clinton. “Absolutely,” she said. “Let’s go.”
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This was a really awesome piece about the Obama/Hillary relationship. There’s not much drama here, and not even much partisan policy discussion. It’s about how the two work together. It’s a really neat wonkish piece about how the President and Secretary of State work together. I found the idea that Hillary is Obama’s Bad Cop pretty cool, I also liked the admittal that the first year didn’t have many foreign policy successes. They basically admit the first year was an apology (or blame) tour.