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Comparsion Between Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of State

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Submitted By Kwheeler
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Condoleezza Rice was the 66th and first black female Secretary of State appointed by President George W. Bush in 2005. Her accomplishments created a national spotlight. She became a faculty member at Stanford University while in her twenties and continued to excel through academics as well as on a national scale. Dr. Rice reached her success by her own accord. She grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, during the civil rights era with a strong family influence. Both of her parents were teachers and emphasized the importance of education. She is an accomplished pianist and speaks several languages to include French and Russian. Prior to the appointment to Secretary of State, Dr. Rice became the Nation Security Advisor during President George W. Bush first term in the presidency (Rice 2008). Dr. Rice studied political science at Stanford University and served as Provost. Dr. Rice’s expertise is concentrated on areas of Soviet Union and European countries. During the 1980’s Dr. Rice closely worked with Security of State George P. Shultz under President Ronald Regan. She was part of a forum, which held frequent meetings on foreign affairs. Dr. Rice served as a Soviet expert on the United States National Security Council, (Rice 2011). Serving on the council came during the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Dr. Rice served as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. She helped develop Secretary of State James Baker’s policies in favor of the German reunification (Rice 2008).
While serving as the Secretary of State, Dr. Rice initiated diplomatic channels known as “Transformational Diplomacy” (Porter 2006). This includes a goal to work with as many partners around the world, to build, and sustain democratic well-governed states that respond to their peoples needs responsibly in the international system. Transformational Diplomacy requires relocating American diplomats through out the world in areas of the most need and focusing on terrorism, drug trafficking, and disease. Dr. Rice believes one of the aspects of Transformational Diplomacy is recognizing regional solutions and “localizing” more effort in foreign nations (Porter 2006). Dr. Rice’s credit comes from the withdrawal of Israel in the occupied Gaza area. Both Palestine and Israel met separately with Dr Rice where she successfully mediated a plan (Bumiller 2007). Through Dr Rice’s leadership, Israel relocated settlements in Gaza and West Bank area to allow commerce and open trade between the two territories. Associates who worked with Dr. Rice say her ability to negotiate and problem solve exemplify her dynamic leadership style. Dr. Rice has not been involved in any scandals or associated with any wrongful acts (MSNBC, AP 2005).
Dr. Rice’s road to the White House came as a highly regarded expert. During her leadership, America witnessed the process of German reunification and the eventual breakup of the Soviet Union. While serving on committees in the White House Dr. Rice’s reputation surged in areas of national security and Soviet Union expert. She served on several advisories including director of Soviet and East European affairs with the National Security Council and special assistant to George Bush, (Rice 2011).
Hillary Rodham Clinton is the current Secretary of State and the only First Lady to serve in the United States Cabinet. Secretary Clinton grew up in the middle-class Park Ridge, Illinois, considered suburban blue-collar area. Her success has paralleled with her husband, former President Bill Clinton. As Bill Clinton rose to the attorney general in Arkansas, Mrs. Clinton worked for the highly prestigious Rose Law Firm. As he became governor, the law firm appointed Hillary Clinton as their first woman partner. After Clinton’s presidency, the state of New York elected Mrs. Clinton as their senator. Her power was a reflection of Mr. Clinton’s success. During Clinton’s Presidency, Mrs. Clinton took on the health care challenge. Her status as the First Lady did not provide enough power or momentum to gain support and consequently the health care reform failed. During Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, fund raising and gaining constituency was a derivative of her husband’s success. Initially Clinton remained deeply "torn" between the possibilities of serving in Obama's cabinet and remaining in the Senate, (AP 2008). Mrs. Clinton stated during her confirmation hearing, she believed the process of reducing global threats and creating global opportunities would need to adapt to “smart power” using the full range of tools such as diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal, and cultural (CBS/AP 2011).
During her early days, Secretary Clinton contacted former secretaries of state to understand the expectation and culture. She continues to build strong alliances with former Secretary of State, Madeline Albright. Her celebrity status played a higher role compared to former Secretaries as she contacted several world leaders. She had met many of the world leaders over the years and made the initial transition into her Secretary of State role. During the early days in office Secretary Clinton maintained a low profile especially during a time when President Obama initiating a plan sending a message of her roles, support, and authority. She had no problems adapting to become a team player to President Obama. Her experience and background added value to understand global leaders and reservations concerning the U.S. involvement. “America cannot solve the most pressing problems on our own, and the world cannot solve them without America,” Clinton stated (Gamage 2009). One of the diplomatic visions Secretary Clinton initiated is “Leading through Civilian Power”(Huffington Post/AP 2010) is elevating civilian power as a cost effective way of responding to international challenges and defusing crises. The concept takes ambassadors, U.S. agencies, and programs designed to help empower civilians, particularly women, in developing countries.
The Obama administration took a different approach compared to the Bush Administration on foreign affairs. As soon as the Senate confirmed Clinton as the Secretary of State, she and President Obama named two highly experienced diplomats as liaisons between two volatile regions. The administration named Richard Holbrook, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, assigned to Afghanistan and other regions such as Pakistan.
Mr. Holbrooke known for his diplomatic expertise was successful accomplishing numerous missions. He spent close to fifty years serving his county in a number of positions and appointments, (Fox News 2010). Mr. Holbrooke was a strong supporter of the Clinton’s and the presidential bid in the 2008 campaign. Mr. Holbrooke’s expertise seemed to help jump start the administration in the right direction for the White House. Even his leadership and expert power did not produce short-term results. Mr. Holbrook’s recommendation for Afghanistan was to bring back the country’s agriculture economy and the once successful export revenue in agriculture. This would in turn create jobs and eventually add economic stability. However, Mr. Holbrooke experienced first hand, the roadblocks and fell into a stalemate up until his sudden death last year.
Another key diplomat George Mitchell served as the special emissary to Mid East focusing on Israel and Arab regions. Mr. Mitchell appointment to his diplomatic position came the same day as Senate confirmed Secretary Clinton, (Lander 2009). Mr. Mitchell continued working toward solidifying a ceasefire agreement the Bush administration pursued in the Gaza strip. After two years, Mr. Mitchell resigned. Mr. Mitchell “hit a brick wall, “bureaucratically handicapped” by the White House and especially Clinton, who he said either did not or was not allowed to be more hands –on bringing the parties together. “ I worked for six secretaries of state. Nobody subcontracted out this issue," he said. (Huffington Post/AP 2011). As Secretary Clinton continues building teams, she seems committed. Her efforts bringing in diplomatic experts such as Mr. Holbrooke and Mr. Mitchell fell short, however, the sudden death of Mr. Holbrook and the quick resignation of Mr. Mitchell, Clinton sees first hand that a successful process appears to be a long term investment.
One of Clinton’s first initiates as Secretary was to increase her budget. The proposal increase would expand diplomatic strategies on a global scale particularly in Iraq. The proposal passed in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on which other constituencies served on this committee. By 2010, the budget approved $117.8 billion budget, even though Clinton supported and voted for the war in Iraq while serving in the senate, (Bennett, J. 2011).
Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton appointment to the Secretary of State arrived on two different paths. Dr. Rice grew up in the Birmingham Alabama during the civil rights era. Her family values on education lead to Provost at Stanford University. Her leadership skills brought credibility and charisma through her background of academia and expertise on Soviet Union issues. The White House administration embraced Dr. Rice’s leadership style while she served on several national security and advisory panels. Presidents and national security leaders relied significantly on Dr. Rice’s expertise.
Secretary Clinton grew up in middle class Park Ridge Illinois, considered suburban blue-collar. As her husband succeeded, she succeeded. Her power was a reflection of Mr. Clinton’s success. One of Clinton’s first initiates is to build “smart power” in the area of diplomacy. As Secretary Clinton accepted the appointment, the Obama administration immediately named expert leaders in two unstable regions. Clinton has been careful to build her allegiance with the President and the public’s perception. Her two appointment failures seem to point in the direction that most initiatives involving complicated cultures and volatile regions may take longer than a four-year term. Perhaps this would be an incentive to seek another term.

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