The Campaign Spot

Hillary to Arabs: Our Policy of Outreach to Iran Probably Won’t Work

I mentioned during last night’s guest-hosting of Hugh’s show that I’m starting to read newspapers from back to front, because you more quickly come to stories like this one in today’s Washington Post:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday expressed doubts in a private meeting with an Arab counterpart that the Obama administration’s outreach to Iran would be successful.
Clinton “said she is doubtful that Iran will respond to any kind of engagement and opening the hand out and reaching out to them,” said a senior State Department official, who requested anonymity because he was describing a closed-door conversation.
Clinton made the remarks in a meeting with Sheik Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, during an international donors’ conference for Gaza at this Red Sea resort.

Wow. (That’s on page A8.) And to think, people wondered if Hillary would be loyal to Obama, and what a “masterstroke” it was for Obama to put her in his cabinet, straight out of Lincoln’s “Team of Rivals” . . . Recall Hillary was skeptical of Obama’s idea to meet with any dictator, including Ahmadinejad, without preconditions, and said so during the primary. Judging from this comment, she hasn’t bought into Obama’s agenda, and she’s expressing her doubts to our allies.

Firing Hillary would be a disaster for the Obama administration, but the President would have the right, and the justification. I happen to agree with Hillary’s take on this, but it’s rather disconcerting to see the Secretary of State undermining the diplomatic initiatives of her boss.