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5 secretaries of State advise Hillary Clinton

7 December, 2008
George Shultz, James Baker, Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell offer their views.


I skimmed the comments of these five former SOS until I found the following paragraph included in Madeleine Albright’s advice.  She was the first woman to serve as SOS and she served under President Bill Clinton.

I was surprised to see her “speak” as one woman to another and to acknowledge what many consider particular strengths of women.  It’s not that I think they aren’t true; it’s that I am delighted to hear these words from a woman who was internationally recognized as a successful person. 

We hear so much about hormones, and cleavage, and shoes, woman with children and their duties as mother, yet we rarely hear about the attributes that woman possess that make them uniquely qualified to succeed when listen and forming relationships is an advantage, as is empathy. 

I have no doubt that women possess other qualities  to bring to politics; it’s just that Albright chose to highlight these.


“I think there are advantages to being a woman secretary of State. A lot of diplomacy is being able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Frankly, I think women are better at that. We are better listeners, and there has to be a lot of listening in diplomacy. I was able to develop good personal relationships and to speak frankly. I had a standard line I used: “I have come a long way, so I must be frank.” People knew that we could have a good discussion but that ultimately my job was to represent the interests of the United States. ”



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