Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her predecessor Henry Kissinger sat down for a joint interview in the new issue of Newsweek to talk about the challenges faced by the nation's top diplomat. As one would probably expect, the job is truly demanding, but perhaps even more demanding than Hillary had expected.
Meacham: What has surprised you most since becoming secretary of state?
Clinton: Well, probably the intensity of the work. It's just a 24/7 job. It sounds almost banal to say, [but] it's a really big world out there, and the United States has responsibilities practically everywhere.
Making Hillary's job even more difficult is that other countries don't really appreciate the burden of her endless responsibilities.
Clinton: What I have found hardest to balance is the amount of travel that is expected today. One would think that in an era where communication is instantaneous, you would not have to get on an airplane and go sit in a meeting. But, in fact, it's almost as though people are more desirous of seeing someone in person.
Really, Turkey? You're actually going to make me come over there? Can't we just figure this out on Gchat? Fine. I'll drive all the way to the airport, board a plane, fly all the way over to you, get in another car, and then we'll meet face to face, if that's so freaking important to you. But just so you know, Turkey, I have a lot of other things going on, too, and I talked with Estonia on Skype last week and it was totally fine.
Meeting of the Diplomats [Newsweek]