From The Washington Post:
Hillary Clinton’s first day at the office was nothing short of a triumph. Greeted by cheering throngs – many of them old hands at the State Department convinced that under her leadership at new day dawned for diplomacy – she did not let them down. Not only did she bring with her the polish and panache of seasoned celebrity, she delivered the message they wanted to hear.
First, she assured everyone that with her at the helm, diplomacy and also development would be front and center.
Second, at every turn she acknowledged the contributions of the subordinates who stood before her. Third, she told her audience that, far more than before, they would be part of the process. “This is a team,” she insisted, “and you are members of that team.”
But Hillary Clinton’s debut at the State Department was not all about her being a good leader – it was also about her being a good follower. To the delight of those present for the occasion, she produced for the occasion President Barack Obama (and Vice President Joseph Biden). For the assembled to witness, she testified to her fealty.
“I am honored,” Clinton said, to help the president fulfill his promise of “robust diplomacy.” She went on to tell him what a “high standard” he had set in his inaugural address, and she pledged to him that everyone at State “will give you our best efforts.”
Obviously, the new Secretary of State has her work cut out for her. She faces great challenges abroad. And she faces great challenges at home – not least of which is managing her outsized team, including men like Richard Holbrooke, who is himself outsized, and used to having wide latitude and direct access to the president himself. Still her presentation of self at State gave evidence yet again of Hillary’s Clinton’s strengths and smarts. Even the big boys would be foolish to underestimate her.