STILL A FRIEND OF MINE. Although she suffered a defeat during the Democrat’s primary, Hillary Clinton shows her humbleness by pledging a loyalty to her former foe Barack Obama and working as his Secretary of the State.
Many writings have been dedicated to Barack Obama –his ability to inspire, his historic victory, or what will be his forthcoming policy during his terms of presidency–, but few have been written to Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of the State, who was in Indonesia last week to improve the US relation to the world's most populous Muslim country.
Out of scraps of Obama’s highlight, Hillary is humbly working in the background, delineating patriotism in her own depiction. Her modesty was especially shown in an exclusive interview, where she was asked what post she was up to after Obama trounced her in her way of becoming the first woman president of the United States.
The answer that she uttered was really inspiring
“I am going to be focused on what we’re going to get done. I’m not interested in just enhancing my visibility. I’m interested in standing on the South Lawn of the White House and seeing President Obama signing into law quality, affordable health care for everybody, and voting in a big majority for clean, renewable energy and smarter economic policies. That’s what I’m all about, and I’m going to use every tool at my disposal to bring about.” (TIME magazine, November 17 2008)
Read again. I am going to be focused on what we’re going to get done. The meaning of her words is actually straightforward; what matters is actually focusing herself to accomplish the country’s objective – and for her it doesn’t matter what place of duty she is in.
And yes, she carries out her words. She does serve her nation, but neither as a president –as she was running at the first place during this year election–, nor as a vice-president –the role that most of the people think that Hillary will perfectly fit for–, but just as the country’s secretary of the state.
Imagine someone as gifted as Hillary Clinton, who possesses nearly all the capabilities needed to lead the world’s most powerful nation, unpretentiously accepted her new role, a supporting role. Something we hardly see in Indonesia, where every person wants to be a president and politicians are caught in the fuss among themselves about who should be the frontrunner and who should be the patron.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that accepting her new post as the secretary of the state means she has to work under Barack Obama, who is actually her ex rival during the nail-biting campaign for Democrat’s presidential nominee.
Here’s one example we can learn from US politicians. As we recall the competition between Obama and Hillary in the past, it is true that they indefatigably criticized each other throughout the Democrat’s primary.
But soon after Obama had been endorsed officially as the democrat’s presidential nominee frontrunner, they amalgamated with no animosities towards each other. Hillary supported Obama wholeheartedly, persuading her supporters to give their votes to her former foe and even lending him a hand during the campaign by frequently attending his campaign alongside her husband.
Well, such notion may look difficult for Indonesian leaders to comprehend, instead, they prefer to heave their fierce rivalry into sight by criticizing each other rather than working in cooperation, do they?
And yet there’s still another lesson we can learn from her. Take a look once more on Hillary’s words above and these words may cause Indonesian politicians to shiver: I am not interested in just enhancing my visibility.
Today, many Indonesian politicians’ motive of becoming president is just a personal fame or fulfillment of self-ambition. As she pointed out, recognition and fulfilling your self-ambition as the nation’s number one man should be the last things you have in mind when you stride yourself ahead as a presidential candidate; lifting your country and its citizens to prosperity must be placed as your main agenda.
An election is never about the president; it is about the people. If you get elected as a president, people won’t pay heed whether you win by a landslide or a petite. Your recognition, of course, will be based on how you administer your country and its people during your terms of presidency.
And the victory itself comes not when you finally succeed of winning the election and stamping a history of yourself by becoming the nation’s number one man; victory comes when you have completed the tasks that are assigned to you the time you get elected as the commander-in-chief.
Dealing with different countries means dealing with different responsibilities. For the new US president Barack Obama, it means fixing its economic framework and restoring the citizen of the world’s faith in America’s foreign policy. For the forthcoming president of Indonesia, it means eliminating Indonesia’s poverty and keeping pace with Asia’s economic tigers like China, Taiwan, India, Malaysia, and Singapore –a realistic target considering a wealth of natural resources and an established democracy that Indonesia has.
Hillary Clinton suffered defeat in the election, but surely she won’t be feeling too downhearted at the moment. It is neither a self-ambition’s accomplishment nor a reputation that she sought when she was running for the president of the United States; it is her ambition of fulfilling the country’s objective that she set in the first place.
We hope you had a good time while you were in Indonesia, Mrs. Secretary. As we prepare to usher our own presidential election this year, your humility from the previous US election should really be an inspiration for every politicians here in Indonesia.