Monday, February 23, 2009

The Follies of Self-Negotiation...Again

Don't miss this nicely balanced, well-considered Washington Post article about Hillary Clinton's unusually blunt style of diplomacy, especially regarding her startling admission that she expects to make little progress on human rights in China.

Money quote:
"Within foreign policy circles, Clinton's remarks on human rights have stirred consternation that she is giving up possible leverage with China before any dialogue has begun."
This strongly recalls my quote of Paul Krugman in the Slog entry on Obama's negotiating tactics re: the stimulus package:
"[Republicans] probably would have demanded that $100 billion or so be cut from anything Mr. Obama proposed; by coming in with such a low initial bid, the president guaranteed that the final deal would be much too small. Such are the perils of negotiating with yourself."

I never thought I'd find myself quoting John Bolton, but he's quite right in saying:
"The issue with whatever she says, candid or not, is whether it has an objective in mind, or whether she is just running at the mouth."

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