Break one lousy elbow and those gossipy Washington types are ready to pronounce you politically dead. Hillary Clinton has been taking it easy for a month while she recovers, opening the door for scrutiny as to her importance in the Obama administration. There are just so many heavies chirping in the president’s ear, they say.

Who are “they”? Probably the same people who speculate about the vice president’s Botox or what secret meaning can be gleaned from the White House dress code.

Whatever his feelings about the secretary of state, the president participated in an event Wednesday designed to signal her importance, or so says the Associated Press, which worries that “[h]er limited presence recently, followed by her startling public criticism of the White House this week for delaying a key appointment, has led to much speculation about whether her influence is waning.”

It doesn’t help to have Joe Biden constantly hanging on the president’s arm like a blind date at a wedding. Everyone knows foreign policy is a hobby of Joe’s, whether or not he’s any good at it (remember King Biden’s plan to remake our colony in Iraq?).

Wherever she sits on Obama’s speed dial, Hillary Clinton has been pretty good at fielding those 3 a.m. calls since she became secretary of state (even if they came from her old rival, Barack). She’s flown around the world and back, bouncing from one flare-up to the next. Oh she may be a hawk, but she’s also a crackerjack diplomat. And we wouldn’t worry too much about her place in Obama’s menagerie of big shots.


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