Peggy Noonan: Hillary Wants to Show She Was a ‘Significant Player’

by Tim Cavanaugh

Celebrated Ronald Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan said Sunday that Hillary Clinton is trying to prove she mattered in her tenure as President Obama’s first secretary of state.

“I think part of the purpose of this book,” Noonan said about Clinton’s upcoming Hard Choices, “is to refute the idea out there that as secretary of state she was not a significant player in the creation of U.S. foreign policy.”

Clinton’s book, which is due in June, will reportedly focus on her tenure running the State Department. Prior to that she served as first lady during President Bill Clinton’s administration and as a U.S. senator from New York State.

Noonan noted that Clinton must counter a popular impression that she was a placeholder secretary during a less-than-exemplary period for American statecraft.

“She was a person put on a plane and sent to Manila to be on Good Morning Manila,” said Noonan during a morning appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation. “Do you know what I mean? It was different than other secretaries of state in the past. And I think she’s going to try and say in this book, ‘No, no, no. I was very involved in the building up and creation of U.S. foreign policy.”

Noonan’s fellow panelists speculated that getting more credit for policy-making could be a monkey’s-paw achievement for Clinton, noting that her time at State saw the deadly conquest of the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya by Islamic militants and controversial secret negotiations with Iran, and that she has been criticized by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.