Well, Hillary Rodham Clinton has gone now and we are left with the analysis and debriefing apparent in both The Nation and Q&A today on television. Those who got interviews are crowing and those who shook her hand (like me) are revelling in the moment.
John Key, I presume, is right now reading his Cabinet papers for tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting. The Cabinet will, I presume, do its own stocktake of Secretary Clinton’s visit and Murray McCully will lead the discussion on the list of initiatives to pursue, in priority order. Is John Key reading his papers? Will the Cabinet have anything to discuss except who got their photo taken with her?
I despair of John Key’s leadership skills – he seemed overawed and intimidated by Clinton; I didn’t hear him make one utterance which sounded like it was informed by a briefing paper or was based on any recognisable principle for NZ’s relationship with the US; did he even learn any lines MFAT gave him? I worry that we have just witnessed this country’s biggest lost opportunity in recent times.
Fortunately, we have capable diplomats and officials who can turn it into a success for which Key can later take the credit.
I am keen to pursue a list of projects in order of priority, on which the US and NZ can work jointly to great effect. That can be done from Opposition, believe me. Oh, and here is my own pic for the scrapbook – I think she still had a hand after I had finished squishing it!