Differences between Obama and Clinton are par for the course

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Washington, July 21 (ANI): There are only two known instances of disagreement between President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

According to the Washington Times, the first was the administration's response to Iran's crackdown on protesters after the disputed June 12 presidential election. Clinton then urged Obama to toughen his until-then cautious language on Iran before he did so, administration officials said.

When he finally decided to accept her advice, he did not tell her, and she learned about it watching his June 23 press conference on television, the officials said.

The second was over a White House plan to increase the number of political appointments of ambassadors. The White House decided to uphold the historic ratio of 30 percent political appointees and 70 percent career diplomats after members of the Foreign Service protested to Clinton's chief of staff, Cheryl D. Mills, officials said.

Despite those two cases, Clinton said Monday that she and Obama "have worked very closely together."

"I could not be more satisfied with the amount of time I spend with the president," she said.

Both White House and State Department officials dismissed speculation that awkwardness remains between teams left over from campaign days.

"We all know that we work for the president," said one official, who added that former staffers or advisers to Clinton's campaign now work on the White House National Security Council (NSC) and former supporters of Obama have received appointments at the State Department.

As examples, he cited Thomas E. Donilon, the deputy national security adviser, and Philip Gordon, an assistant secretary of state for European affairs.

During the campaign, Donilon worked for Clinton, Gordon for Obama.

Another official said that former Clinton campaign staffers, such as Jacob J. Sullivan, later worked on Obama's campaign in the general election. Sullivan is now Clinton's deputy chief of staff and accompanies her on all foreign trips.

"In the end, everyone keys off the bosses," the second official said.

"I have heard [Mrs. Clinton] say that there is nothing she could have asked for from the president in terms of support and their relationship that she isn't getting. And if they can make it work, so can everyone else."

A third official said that any disagreements between Obama's and Clinton's aides have more to do with "turf than history and personalities."

Institutional rivalry between the NSC and Foggy Bottom goes back many years.

All three officials asked that their names not be used because they were discussing behind-the-scenes personnel dynamics. (ANI)

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