The U.S. Congress opens confirmation hearings today for Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), whom President-elect Barack Obama has nominated to serve as secretary of state. Reuters says a smooth hearing is expected, though Clinton is likely to face questions about the foreign business dealings of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who recently revealed that some foreign governments have been major donors to his foundation.
ABC echoes the same tone, saying a few pointed questions are likely, but that the hearings are unlikely to produce major fireworks.
More broadly, however, Clinton’s likely accession as secretary of state marks a new phase of Washington foreign policy, and potentially opens some new power struggles. The Washington Post says a power triumvirate has emerged that includes Obama, Clinton, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair John Kerry, whom many had seen as the leading candidate for the secretary of state post. The article says it remains to be seen how potential disputes between these three officials will play out.
In an analysis, FOXNews says Clinton is likely to reiterate that if she is appointed, she will act as Obama’s subordinate, despite their differences on some foreign policy issues.
– Writing in Foreign Affairs during her presidential campaign, Clinton laid out her vision for American foreign policy.
– This CFR.org bio outlines Clinton’s statements on a wide range of pressing international issues.
– The New York Times asks ten experts for what they think are the most pressing questions the committee should ask Clinton during her hearings.
– A news analysis from Reuters looks at the foreign policy concerns that are likely to dominate as the Obama presidency gets underway.