Yesterday we poked fun at Hillary Clinton for positioning herself as Obama’s muscle, but according to today’s Times, we were on target. Not only in the sense that she’s willing to talk tougher than the president, but also in the sense that, well, as secretary of State she’s a high-functioning appendage to the Executive Office that has no visible separation. Clinton has been careful to not allow any strife between her office and the White House, even though Obama has stolen or blocked some of her key aides (like Dennis Ross and Sydney Blumenthal), ignored her picks for ambassadorships in favor of his friends, and tied up many appointments in complicated vetting processes. (Or, she’s been careful to not allow any leaks about said strife.) And, far from trying to fight against criticism that she’s Obama’s lapdog (she was reportedly “amused” and “baffled” when Tina Brown told her to take off her burka), she actually painstakingly uses the “we” pronoun in speeches.
Granted, this is a lot less fun to write about than it would be if the two were at each other’s throats. But we’re pleased, at least, that in this story the Times provided us with the image of Clinton, as part of her rehab for her recently fractured elbow, constantly having to squeeze an exercise ball in her fist, slowly but surely building up those arm muscles.