By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
Even before Sen. Hillary Clinton takes over in Foggy Bottom, she's getting high marks. German Ambassador Klaus Scharioth, appearing at the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, Ark., called President-elect Barack Obama's pick to lead the State Department "a very good choice."
He noted that her appointment comes at a time when it appears that the Bush administration is re-engaging Europe. "I must say in all fairness that the Bush administration has stepped up cooperation with Europe, but we hope to tackle with the Obama team these that are very high on our list," said Scharioth in a lecture this week.
On that list: the worldwide financial crisis, climate change, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. If that doesn't take up all of the Obama administration's time, Scharioth also named terrorism, or as he prefers, "radical or extremist views because terrorism is a method," the Middle East, and failed states. "I'd give you a list of failed states, but I want to keep my job, and I don't want to make those people mad," he says.
Our reporter Suzi Parker said that his lecture was tempered with some humor. For example, he presented Bill Clinton's presidential library with a print of the Berlin airlift that included another image below it of Clinton with former Chancellor Helmut Kohl in 1998 at the 50th anniversary of the airlift. "This is my way to get into the Clinton library," he joked.