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State and the Stateswoman

How Hillary Clinton Reshaped U.S. Foreign Policy — But Not the World

Secretary of State Clinton during an interview. (Gary Cameron / Courtesy Reuters)

As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepares to hand the reins of foreign policy over to Senator John Kerry, her legacy is a matter of hot debate. To be sure, with much of the Middle East in turmoil and U.S. relations with Russia and China shifting, broad assessments of her tenure, no matter how heated, are only provisional. Even so, some of the most important and enduring elements of the Clinton years -- steadiness and pragmatism coupled with a reinvigoration of ties with Europe and the so-called rebalancing with Asia -- are clear.

For style and for collegiality, Clinton gets high marks. She understood that she was a part of President Barack Obama's team, not a co-president, as some might have once worried she would try to be coming out of the bruising 2008 election season. When Obama had

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