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MVP of Obama's security team: Hillary 'the hammer' Rodham Clinton

Even the right wing applauds Secretary of State Clinton's performance.

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One of my friends is a classic Republican: He’s a businessman from a Southern “red state,” and a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam who earned a Silver Star for heroism at Hué. To put it mildly, he’s never been a fan of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Yet he recently called to acknowledge a conversion like Paul’s on the road to Damascus. He now kind of likes her.

“She’s out there doing things … she’s smarter than Bill. If she was [messing] up, the far right would be all over her and they’re not coming up with anything.”

He’s got a point. Hillary Clinton, the once-hated first lady, appears to have hit her stride as secretary of State. The right wing, even “talk radio,” deems her the “good” member of the Obama team.

The right-wing Republican mantra goes something like this: “If only the president were more like her. She’s pushing him on Iran, pushing for more troops in Afghanistan. He’s wobbly. She’s the iron fist in the velvet glove.”

The right is right that Clinton is tough on Iran, but it’s wrong to think that there’s much daylight between her and the president.

Clinton has been intolerant of Tehran’s dissimulation. As the administration “hammer,” her message is steely: First, Iran must live up to its nuclear nonproliferation treaty obligations or it will find itself globally isolated. Second, if Tehran builds nuclear weapons, it will ignite a nuclear arms race in the Sunni Arab world with more than a few of the Sunni nukes likely to be pointed at Shiite Iran, a historic rival.

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