Both the Middle East negotiations and the policy review will provide a measure, these critics say, of Clinton's ability to think in new ways and to fashion a foreign policy for 21st-century America.
"I admire and appreciate the way she has really drilled down on some of these crises that have come up, from the Pakistan floods to the earthquake in Haiti, even her handling of the Kyrgyzstan turmoil – she's working herself ragged on these things and you can see it in her face," says Steven Clemons, publisher of the widely read Washington Note blog and a foreign-policy specialist. "But what we need is an innovator – not an incrementalist, but someone who envisions the strategic leaps that can get us out of these holes we're in, and I just haven't seen it in Hillary Clinton."
What Mr. Obama got when he insisted his former rival for the Democratic presidential nomination take on the job of applying his foreign policy and running US diplomacy was an indefatigable advocate for America with a work ethic that astounds admirers and critics alike. She has proved her loyalty to Obama, some say to a fault, matching her pragmatic vision of 21st-century American leadership to his. She has put her unmatched star power to good use, commanding the stage whether with a room of colleagues, with young leaders like those Africans assembled in Washington, or with the many television audiences she has engaged with, Oprah-style, while abroad.