- Dec. 1: Nominated by President-elect Obama.
- May 5: Ties Madeleine Albright’s record for most countries visited with trip to Bangladesh, her 96th country.
A 'celebrity' as Secretary of State
On December 21, 2012, as Clinton gets ready to step down, CNN offered this verdict on her performance as Secretary of State.
"Anybody who follows Clinton would have some pretty big shoes to fill. Clinton was not just the most popular member of the president's Cabinet for the past four years, she had celebrity status and respect almost everywhere she went around the world."This is reminiscent of the celebrity of Henry Kissinger, who became Secretary of State in 1973, during the Mercury-Mercury period, and who is credited with inventing "Shuttle diplomacy" and, along with Richard Nixon, carrying out a policy of "detente" (thaw) with Russia and China.
Joseph S. Nye, foreign policy advisor to President Obama, has advanced his thesis that there are
" Two important power shifts [.] occurring in this century -- power transition and power diffusion. Power transition from one dominant state to another is a familiar historical event, but power diffusion is a more novel process. The problem for all states in today's global information age is that more things are happening outside the control of even the most powerful governments. In an information-based world, power diffusion is a more difficult problem to manage than power transition.Nye argues that smart power becomes a necessary strategy to cope with such changes in the world of realpolitik. However, the Republican candidates for President in the 2012 primary and presidential debates would have none of it. As one analyst phrased it:
"On foreign policy, the platform shared by Republican candidates for president can be encapsulated in one phrase: the war on smart power... The Republican candidates yearn for another American century."American Century
Indeed, the American Century was a key objective of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and other important luminaries in the administration of George W. Bush. This concept is characterized as the 20th century having been largely dominated by the USA in political, economic and cultural terms.
Clearly, the emphasis here is on the military might of the USA, the hard power aspect of foreign policy.
Evaluating Obama's foreign policy
As described by the State Department, the foreign policy agenda of the US is
"to create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community."This agenda is in alignment with the placement of a powerful Sun as 2nd lord of status on the MEP of the 7th house of foreign policy and the placement Mercury as 3rd lord of speech and action in the same house.
Some have considered Obama's foreign policy "from Libya to its approach to Syria...[to have] been a disappointment, while for others it has been effective.. In January 2012, the following assessment was made "Obama has made steady moves in support of democracy. After treating it like a dirty word in its first year and a half, the administration has returned to a pro-democracy posture not only in the Middle East, but also in Russia and Asia." The smart power foreign policy, which involves a rebalancing of efforts in a new fiscal environment, has received growing acclaim at home and abroad. Some authors argue that "the rebalancing is the most valuable investment in U.S. foreign policy today." The reelection of President Obama in November 2012 has also reinforced the growing anecdotal evidence that his foreign policy in the first term has been a great success in terms of its agenda of spreading freedom and democracy around the world - as well as maintaining peace - in view of the role of the USA as the "World's policeman".
Prediction for the USA in 2012
On December 30, 2011 the following prediction was made for the USA based on the SAMVA USA chart:
"In April 2012, a change in sub-periods takes place, from the Saturn sub-period (February 16, 2009 - April 19, 2012) to the Mercury sub-period, suggesting a shift in the collective emphasis...As Mercury is 3rd lord and sun-like planet in the 7th house of the chart, from April a shift in emphasis is expected towards advances in high tech activities driving economic developments and increased diplomatic activities of the US government." Earlier it has been pointed out that the importance of foreign policy has increased during Mercury periods, with an emphasis on securing the freedom of action and speech around the world.
It can now be seen that this salient prediction for a shift in 2012 to an empahsis on US foreign policy, notably in terms of a growing recognition of its success, has been demonstrated to have been realised.
 What will Hillary Clinton's diplomatic legacy be? Richard Wolf, USA TODAY – 17 May 2012.
 Hillary Clinton using ‘Smart power‘. CNN - October 27, 2011.
 eDiplomacy: Hillary Clinton's legacy beyond 140 characters. Andreas Sandre, Dec. 14, 2012, 1:24 PM.
 Obama nominates John Kerry to be secretary of state. CNN - December 21, 2012, 2316 GMT.
 Wikipedia entry on Smart Power.
 In an information age, soft power wins, Joseph S. Nye, CNN- February 14, 2011, 1917 GMT.
 Stokes: The GOP war on 'Smart Power'. Jacob Stokes, CNN - November 21st, 2011, 06:18 PM ET.
 Wikipedia entry on the American Century
 Mission and Values: United States Department of State and USAID. 2007.
 The Top 5 U.S. Foreign Policy Screw-Ups of 2012.Matthew Feeney - December 14, 2012.
 Top 8 Foreign Policy Achievements of the Obama Administration.Madame Noire - August 31, 2011.
 Grading Obama's Foreign Policy. Foreign Policy - JANUARY 23, 2012.
 Shawn Brimley and Ely Ratner (2013). Smart Shift: A Response to "The Problem With the Pivot"
 Predictions for the USA in 2012 - December 30, 2011 http://cosmologer.blogspot.com/2011/12/predictions-for-usa-in-2012.html