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Photos: Hillary Clinton’s cosmopolitan turn has revolutionized her image

Reuters/Jacquelyn Martin
Moving on.
  • Caitlin Hu
By Caitlin Hu

Geopolitics Editor

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

It’s been seven years since Hillary Clinton’s last run at the Oval Office, and about three decades since she was first accused of angling for presidential power—way back in the early 1990s, when she campaigned for universal health care as First Lady.

Things have changed. Americans have finally come around to universal health care, for one, and perhaps even to the idea of a female president. “Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it,” Clinton told supporters at the close of her 2008 campaign, when she ceded the Democratic ticket to Barack Obama. “The path will be a little easier next time,” she concluded.

The “next time” has come. But what has changed since Clinton’s defeat in 2008? For one, she has gained significant foreign diplomacy experience, a former weakness that Obama once derided. As secretary of state for the Obama administration from 2009-2012, Clinton logged 401 days on the road and 87 days just on planes. Her image at home—long cemented in the American imagination as an awkward mix of ex-FLOTUS and eager senator—has evolved to embody a certain cosmopolitanism.

Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

In 2011, an image of Clinton on the phone, wearing sunglasses in a military plane, became a meme about her personal clout. In January 2013, dubbed her “the George Clooney of global affairs.”

On Saturday, Apr. 11, Obama said Clinton ”would be able to handle herself very well in any conversation or debates around foreign policy,” reports Reuters. He added, “I think she would be an excellent president.”

Below, a world tour of Clinton’s new global savvy.

Reuters/Mohammed Dabbous
In Jan. 2011, Clinton warned Arab leaders in Qatar to watch out for regional discontent.
Reuters/Paul J. Richards
In Mar. 2011, Clinton led a push for international intervention in the Libyan revolution.
Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
Victorious with Libyan soldiers on her departure from Tripoli in Oct. 2011.
Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun
Clinton’s landmark 2011 trip to Myanmar re-opened US relations with country.
Reuters/Cherie Cullen/US Defense Department
Clinton had less success in North Korea during her time as secretary of state, where nuclear disarmament talks have not advanced.
Reuters/Jason Reed
A 2012 bombing in Benghazi, Libya, killed several Americans during Clinton’s time as secretary of state, including ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, the first US ambassador to be killed in the field since 1979.
Reuters/Mikhail Metzel
Ever diplomatic, Clinton has both condemned Putin’s re-election to presidency, and congratulated him on the win, announcing in Mar. 2012, “The election had a clear winner.”
Reuters/Larry Downing
Winking on Capitol Hill in Feb. 2012.
Reuters/Eduardo Munoz
No longer secretary of state, but still hanging out with United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon in Mar. 2014.
Reuters/Jim Young
In Indianola, Iowa, on Sept. 14, 2014.

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