Michael Hirsh, politico.eu
When she left Libya to Chris Stevens — without even a phone call — it was just another day in the Clinton State Department.
Image from, with caption: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton smiles during an arrival ceremony at Rarotonga International Airpoirt in Rarotonga, Cook Islands on August 30, 2012.
Clinton herself appeared to pay mostly drive-by attention to Libya. Although she was the most-traveled secretary of state ever overall and attended the regular meetings of the Libyan “contact group” (consisting of representatives from 32 countries, the United Nations, European Union, NATO, the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, and the Gulf Cooperation Council), her time in Libya was confined to one trip of several hours to meet with political opposition leaders in October 2011, nearly a year before Stevens’ death.
And while she occasionally involved herself in major, direct negotiations around the world—most notably perhaps in mediating, with then-Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, an end to the 2012 Hamas-Israel rocket war—much of her tenure was spent on so-called “soft” diplomacy: constant globe-trotting, giving much-touted speeches on issues like women’s rights and Internet freedom and doing nonstop public diplomacy, including what her staff came to call “town-terviews”—regular town-hall meetings abroad to which local citizens and media were invited. ...