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.
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.