Care of the WaPo, "We Expected Hillary Rodham Clinton to Be a Wild Psycho-Bitch But It Turns Out She's Kinda Awesome" Story #1,694,382:
Hillary Rodham Clinton ran a presidential campaign notoriously insular and unhappy, managing a group of egos and backstabbers whose dysfunction may have cost her the White House. Understandably, people wondered what kind of management style she would bring to the State Department.

But a little over a year into her tenure as secretary of state, allies and detractors alike say Clinton has made a vigorous effort to widen her circle, wooing and pulling into her orbit the agency's Foreign Service and civil service officials, many of whom said in interviews that she has brought a new energy to the building.

"We have had other secretaries of state who have cared deeply for the institution," said Patrick F. Kennedy, undersecretary for management and a senior Foreign Service officer. "None who have done as much internal outreach."

...Stewart M. Patrick, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who worked at the State Department under Colin L. Powell, agreed that Clinton "seems to still be struggling with priorities" and questioned whether she has a "grand strategic vision."

But, he added, "there is no question from a public diplomacy standpoint, she has had a lot to offer in different parts of the world" because of her star power. And he noted that inside the agency, "people invested in the institution are quite happy with things. Here's a woman who everyone expected to be circling the wagons and running the place with a small coterie, and that hasn't happened."
ZOMG! This would be TOTALLY SHOCKING if only I hadn't read 1,694,381 stories with a similar ASTONISHING REVERSAL!!! It's like the media coverage of Hillary Clinton is being directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

(Love the notes about Clinton lacking a unifying vision, btw. Yeah, it's real hard to connect these dots: Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot...)
Those interviewed inside and outside the agency say Clinton has done a good job of heading off the historical tensions between career employees and quadrennial political newcomers by relying on the counsel of senior Foreign Service operatives and reaching out in general.

She has walked the halls and popped into offices unexpectedly, created an electronic "sounding board," and held seven internal town hall meetings to listen to gripes about everything from policy to cafeteria food to bullying in the workplace. She installed six new showers that joggers requested, is taking steps to remedy overseas pay inequities and instituted a policy that allows partners of gay diplomats to receive benefits. She became a heroine to the Foreign Service when she went to bat to get funding for 3,000 new Foreign Service positions for State operations and the U.S. Agency for International Development -- the first boost of this magnitude in two decades.

...Shamila Chaudary -- a self-described "backbencher" -- had toiled for years as a faceless expert on the Pakistan desk when one day she found herself invited to brief Clinton. Chaudary, 32, said the two sparred over whether it was prudent to engage non-governmental power centers in Pakistan, with Clinton expressing skepticism.

Chaudary held her ground, making the point that "we've been seen as not engaging with them, and it's hurt us a lot." She said that although she and Clinton "didn't necessarily agree ... she said that it's very important for us to debate like this. ... This is how she said she wants to do business."

Within 48 hours of their meeting, Chaudary was promoted to a front-line job in the office of policy planning.

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