A MARINE CORPS
KIND OF GIRL
MORE THAN ANY other secretary of state in modern times, Madeleine Albright has worn her heart on her sleeve, diplomatically speaking. Unlike, say, Henry Kissinger, a student and practitioner of unemotional geostrategy, or Warren Christopher, a lawyer and conciliator, Albright has unabashedly set policy and made recommendations to the president based on her personal experiences as a woman, a refugee, and a teacher.
"My mindset is Munich, not Vietnam," she has often said, a shorthand statement of her belief that the consequences of inaction, as exemplified by the appeasement of Hitler before World War II, are a more valid lesson for international policymaking today than the consequences of misplaced action, as in the Vietnam War.
This conviction, coupled with a belief that she must work hard at all times because she has four years at most to achieve her aims, has produced a commitment to energetic involvement all over the globe. In sharp contrast to the caution of Christopher or the hardeyed detachment of Jim Baker, she wants to grasp every nettle.
"She is always conscious of her limited tenure," one of her senior aides said. "That's the basic difference between us political appointees and the career people. We'll be gone in a few years, and we don't want to look back and say, 'If only we had worked harder, if only we had made that extra phone call.' We'll have more vacation time than we want pretty soon." Another senior staff member told me: