U.S. Diplomats Doing Their Thing

In the case of the head diplomat-in-chief, Secretary Kerry tries a risky, ambitious, and energetic push for a Middle East Peace Deal that, for now, has some White House support. A Thursday story explores his background efforts–that quickly make headlines and are part of a complex strategy:

Mr. Kerry’s prodigious energy and desire to make a mark have made him a more activist secretary of state than his famous predecessor, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and so far at least, more willing to take risks than Mrs. Clinton, who may have another presidential campaign in her future. Aides say Mr. Obama has marveled at how Mr. Kerry spent seven hours with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, negotiating the fine points of a peace deal with the Palestinians.

via Active and Improvising, Kerry Is Taking On Tough Problems – NYTimes.com.

Another, outgoing U.S. Ambassador to China Gary F. Locke, plays it casual (raising eyebrows) and then leaves a little early (prompting speculation):

Appointed by President Obama, Mr. Locke held the job, one of the most important and difficult American diplomatic posts, for a little more than two years, a relatively short time for a top ambassador.

Mr. Locke’s early informal style drew attention even before he landed in Beijing, when he bought his own Starbucks coffee at the Seattle airport with his young daughter, creating a flurry of interest among the Chinese public.

That informality, including wearing a backpack on his inaugural trip to Beijing, may not have helped his standing among the protocol-conscious Chinese leadership, Chinese and American officials said.

via Gary Locke to Leve as U.S. Ambassador to China – NYTimes.com


2 thoughts on “U.S. Diplomats Doing Their Thing”

  1. John Kerry has definitely had a busy year of foreign negotiations, and honestly, when I read that he was determined to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian peace process I shook my head and thought “can we just leave it alone for a bit?” The reality is that he has shown more optimism and energy in each case of intense diplomatic negotiation than most people show just reading about these negotiations. Because of the difficult nature of these diplomatic meetings and the sensitivity of the topics they address, even if Kerry manages to only scratch the surface, or to take negotiations a tiny step further, I think that that step in itself can be counted as successful.

  2. Good read. We have certainly been hearing a lot about Kerry recently with all the negotiations that have been going on. It certainly seems to fit the Obama administration’s diplomacy-emphatic tack on foreign affairs. I think Kerry has certainly made some brilliant moves so far, not always getting the results the United States has wanted but certainly helping international and domestic impressions of the United States.

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