Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Santo Domingo Oct 5




This is not the ambassador's house -- it's the Dominican Foreign Ministry, which used to be the residence of infamous dictator Trujillo. Its got a crazy, Miami-vibe...lime green hallways, lots of deco chandeliers, and inner courtyards all done up in sun-blazing yellow.

We are only here for a couple of hours. Clinton is attending yet another "Pathway to Prosperity" event, trying to push for greater U.S. engagement with Latin America while urging countries to open up opportunity to more of their people.

The event itself, I'm sad to say, is pretty news free -- she comes, meets a lot of people, they talk about prosperity, and then she leaves. But it is part of the "showing up" ethos of Clinton's vision for her office. She often says the most important thing she can do is show up, to show people that the United States takes them seriously. It can be pretty exhausting but I guess the hope is that she can personally win back some of the goodwill that the U.S. may have lost (or be losing) through its other actions.

Anyway we flew down from DC this morning, arriving at around 2. From there straight to the Foreign Ministry, where the Pathways event was held. After a couple of hours, we relocated to the U.S. ambassador's house where she met embassy staff and then held a press conference (weirdly, in a very dark room..I doubt the TV cameras were able to get much). She gave us some good quotes on the Russia/China veto of the Syrian resolution at the United Nations and about the UNESCO decision to vote on Palestinian membership..so we had two solid stories. We're writing those up now and then -- while she has dinner with the foreign minister -- we go back to the airport to wait for her. I'm hoping that there's a beer hall there..its hot and sticky here, and my suit feels unpleasantly like snakeskin.