Good Year

Hillary Clinton

(Jewel Samad)
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By Chris Cillizza
Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Clintons are nothing if not survivors. And the secretary of state proved that again in 2010 - leveraging her global celebrity and substantial political skills to great effect as the nation's diplomat-in-chief.

Clinton was everywhere in the past year, traveling to 55 countries and receiving a rock-star reception in nearly every one. Her popularity extended beyond the diplomatic crowd and into the citizenry, the sort of U.S. outreach needed after eight years of the Bush administration.

Clinton's gaze - and travel schedule - turned more often than not to Asia, echoing President Obama's focus on the region's potential as collaborator and competitor. She also worked extensively in the Middle East, even though those efforts stalled when direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians broke off this fall.

Through it all, Clinton seemed to revel in the adulation - a welcome change from the grinding negativity of the 2008 presidential primary. Her tough image was also softened with her turn as mother of the bride when her daughter Chelsea was married in August.

The year ended on a down note as Clinton coped with the controversy created by WikiLeaks and weathered the loss of Richard Holbrooke, an envoy she brought into the administration one of the country's leading international trouble-shooters.

However, it's hard to see Clinton as anything other than a winner in 2010 - a victory that proves, yet again, there are second (and third and fourth) acts in politics.

And, remember, Clinton will only be 69 years old in 2016. Just sayin'.

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