The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
THE FIRST INSIDE ACCOUNT TO BE PUBLISHED ABOUT HILLARY CLINTON'S TIME AS SECRETARY OF STATE, ANCHORED BY GHATTAS'S OWN PERSPECTIVE AND HER QUEST TO UNDERSTAND AMERICA'S PLACE IN THE WORLD.
In November 2008, Hillary Clinton agreed to work for her former rival. As President Barack Obama's secretary of state, she set out to repair America's image around the world―and her own. For the following four years, BBC foreign correspondent Kim Ghattas had unparalleled access to Clinton and her entourage, and she weaves a fast-paced, gripping account of life on the road with Clinton in The Secretary.
With the perspective of one who is both an insider and an outsider, Ghattas draws on extensive interviews with Clinton, administration officials, and players in Washington as well as overseas, to paint an intimate and candid portrait of one of the most powerful global politicians. Filled with fresh insights, The Secretary provides a captivating analysis of Clinton's brand of diplomacy and the Obama administration's efforts to redefine American power in the twenty-first century.
Populated with a cast of real-life characters, The Secretary tells the story of Clinton's transformation from popular but polarizing politician to America's envoy to the world in compelling detail and with all the tension of high stakes diplomacy. From her evolving relationship with President Obama to the drama of WikiLeaks and the turmoil of the Arab Spring, we see Clinton cheerfully boarding her plane at 3 a.m. after no sleep, reading the riot act to the Chinese, and going through her diplomatic checklist before signing on to war in Libya―all the while trying to restore American leadership in a rapidly changing world.
Viewed through Ghattas's vantage point as a half-Dutch, half-Lebanese citizen who grew up in the crossfire of the Lebanese civil war, The Secretary is also the author's own journey as she seeks to answer the questions that haunted her childhood. How powerful is America really? And, if it is in decline, who or what will replace it and what will it mean for America and the world?
It was true: the revolution had started. Her mind raced through the different scenarios. How would this unfold? Would Gaddafi use violence? Would millions take to the street? The only thing Yael was certain of was that it wouldn’t be quick like in Egypt. There were no checks and balances here, no institutions, just a dictator with a Green Book of rules and slogans. She had to start planning with the embassy staff. And she had to think of her baby; her first child was due in just a month. The
Their guarded statements left big blanks that we filled with our own conclusions. In this case, it made the Americans look reluctant to do anything for the Libyans beyond issue statements and wait for someone else to deal with Gaddafi. “Well, this sense of urgency you talk about doesn’t seem to exist,” said Matt. “No one is going to do anything about this, except talk more about it and stay in nine-hundred-euro hotel rooms in various world capitals.” It was almost one thirty in the
had been a house of cards and it was time to find out. The saga continued as Clinton arrived in Beijing on May 2. She had said nothing in public about Chen yet and she avoided the traveling press corps while intense negotiations continued with the Chinese. Kurt and Jake, along with the new U.S. ambassador to China, Gary Locke, met with Chen for hours inside the embassy and hammered out details of a deal with Chinese officials. Clinton intervened with State Councilor Dai to seal the agreement.
its share of crises. As a journalist, my stories were about our power plants being bombed by Israel, Hezbollah kidnapping Israeli soldiers, Syria imposing presidents on us, politicians and journalists getting blown up; and with each crisis, journalists, friends, and family waited to hear what Washington had to say or what it was planning to do about the situation. As ever, interpretation of any statement depended on your political leanings: you were either looking for a sign that help was on its
political campaign reflexes—she wanted the flexibility of switching gears or directions at the last minute. If she’d told Lew about stops in the Middle East, he would have reached out to local U.S. embassies to make preparations, and calls to hotels and the hiring of buses for the motorcade would have given away their arrival, when the meetings with Abbas and Netanyahu had not been scheduled yet. Expectations would have been built up unnecessarily, and if the schedules had not aligned, or if