It is hard to find a truly successful secretary of state who served a president weak in international affairs. Certainly in the modern era, two generally regarded as successful — Henry Kissinger and James Baker — served tough, experienced leaders.
Whatever you think of Richard Nixon or George H.W. Bush, both were skilled in foreign policy. Their pairings were built on loyalty and consensus, at least in public.
It's true these matches were also based on close personal relationships not apparent between Obama and Clinton. But then again, the closeness between current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and George W. Bush did not improve a State Department legacy that is likely to be rated by historians as below average.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
It Takes A President
Great secretaries of states work for strong Presidents, says the CBC's Henry Champ: