Thursday, March 11, 2010

Clinton's Personnel Headache, Public Affairs -- part of the office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs

Hillary Rodham Clinton widens her circle at the State Department - Lois Romano, Washington Post: "... One personnel headache for Clinton has been the Bureau of Public Affairs, a sprawling operation of 200 staff members that was rife with low morale and organizational issues before she arrived, compounded by new demands brought on by her celebrity, her extensive travels and her longtime staff feeling the need to do the job themselves.

One area of concern, say State Department sources close to the situation, revolves around who ultimately speaks for the department at media briefings. 'It's been like open-mike night over there,' said one aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters. Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley, who worked in the Clinton White House but had no previous relationship with Hillary Clinton, said in an e-mail that he is responding to a recent critical inspector general's report on his bureau and 'making the personnel and structural changes needed.' An earlier draft of the report touched on friction between Crowley and Reines [Clinton's Senate spokesman, Philippe Reines], who is close to Clinton. Both acknowledged rough patches. 'There is far more collaboration than there was six months ago,' Crowley said. 'We definitely have more work to do.'

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