Tuesday, Dec 23, 2008
Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to build a more muscular US State Department, with a bigger budget, high-profile special envoys dispatched to trouble spots and an expanded role in dealing with the global economic crisis, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
The Times cited an unnamed Hillary Clinton adviser as saying her push for a more vigorous economic team stems from her belief that the State Department needs to play a part in the recovery from the global financial crisis, while economic issues also are at the heart of key diplomatic relationships, notably with China.
The former first lady also is reportedly likely to name several high-powered envoys to world hotspots.
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The daily reported that Clinton and Obama have not yet settled on specific envoys or missions, although the name of veteran diplomat Dennis Ross has come up as a possible Middle East envoy, along with diplomatic trouble-shooter Richard Holbrooke and Martin Indyk, a former United States ambassador to Israel.
The Times wrote that the New York senator — President-elect Barack Obama’s pick for Secretary of State — is recruiting Jacob Lew, the budget director under her husband former president Bill Clinton — to be one of her two deputies. Lew would be tasked with handling economic matters, the report said.
Another Bill Clinton aide, former deputy national security adviser James Steinberg is to be Hillary Clinton’s other chief lieutenant, subject to Senate confirmation.