Hillary Clinton Brings Change to the State Department

A soothing voice after years of politicization

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By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Things aren't only changing at the White House. Harper's Magazine reports there's a whole new tone at the State Department:

There are great hopes for Hillary at State. I met last week with a number of career State Department employees and was surprised when one said she was looking forward to the "Glinda Party" next week. I asked her: If Hillary was Glinda, the Good Witch of the South from the Wizard of Oz, did that make Condoleezza Rice the Wicked Witch of the West?

"You're on to it," she said.

Another person pointed out to me that after Rice's arrival in 2005 the tone of official State Department publications changed; they began to praise and glorify Rice. "No prior secretary," said the 20-year veteran, "did anything like this."

Funny that Condoleezza Rice was as widely disliked by careerists at State as one might have guessed she was. Does the name "Imelda Marcos" ring a bell? Working for Rice as a career government worker must have been tantamount to serving the Philippine shoe queen.

When Hillary Clinton delivered her opening speech to State employees as the incoming secretary, she said, "This is a team." That must have been soothing to hear after years of divisive politicization at State.