Taking a break from the Senate confirmation hearing for New York Senator Hillary Clinton to become the nation’s next Secretary of State, NBC News Washington Bureau Chief Mark Whitaker says “she’s doing well.” Whitaker went on to add that “the job of head of State is to go head to head with leaders of other nations” and that she’s doing just that with the Senators at the committee hearing and “doing quite well.” 

Michelle Bernard of Independent Women’s Forum agrees. She told MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews Clinton evokes the persona of “I’m in charge, don’t mess with me.”  

California Senator Barbara Boxer seemed to shake up the committee hearing by producing graphic photos of women being abused by husbands and men in Middle East countries: some with alarming scares from acid being thrown in their face. Clinton did not flinch. She told the committee, “What goes on in these countries is criminal, not custom or culture.” She reassured Boxer as Secretary of State, she would do something about it.  

Clinton prepared for a wide scope of questions from the Committee. MSNBC’s Nora O’Donnell noted that she “has been cramming” for the hearing. New York Times national affairs correspondent Elizabeth Bumiller noted that Clinton only accepted the Secretary of State position after she was told she would get direct access to President-elect Barack Obama.  

Bumiller further explained Clinton took a long time to decide if she wanted the position.  Clinton has the reputation as a “savvy student of Government,” but knew that her policy would have to be Obama’s policy. The two Presidential candidates had different views about several foreign policy topics during the 2008 campaign. Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter says Clinton “has to get along with the Obama administration or she’s done in politics.” It looks, at least for now, those differences have been put aside publically.  

Clinton is expected to go to Middle East after her confirmation as Secretary of State. She plans to give the area “far more attention than the current (Bush) administration.” One of her greatest concerns is weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists. As Secretary of State, Clinton plans to “shut down markets for selling nukes.”