When it was first announced that Obama had picked Hillary as his Secretary of State, many people assumed there would be some crazy power struggle and confirmation would be a bitch. They were all wrong.

By April's standards, Hillary Clinton breezed through her confirmation hearings, being as she had no outstanding tax issues, no nanny problems, no stances on anything that nobody hadn't already tried to call her out on. That's how you don't embarrass your new boss.

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And, even better, she got right the hell to work, no self-aggrandizement necessary.

Mrs. Clinton spent Wednesday accompanying Mr. Obama to meetings with Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain, President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia and President Hu Jintao of China. Six weeks ago, Mr. Hu received Mrs. Clinton in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The administration's hierarchy was also on vivid display last week, when Mrs. Clinton flew home from Mexico late Thursday, so she could stand wordlessly behind Mr. Obama at the White House as he presented his Afghanistan policy on Friday. She then flew right to Texas to pick up an award from Planned Parenthood.

Well, given that pretty much everyone stood there wordlessly, that's not exactly news, but it does show an immense amount of loyalty and willingness to do what she can to further the objectives of the first Democratic Administration since her husband's.

Mrs. Clinton will be at Mr. Obama's side for the next few days, as he travels to a NATO summit meeting in France and Germany, and a European Union gathering in Prague. Aides say it is entirely possible she will not utter a word in public during any of Mr. Obama's appearances. She has sent her own plane home, kept only a handful of staff members and now views herself as the No. 1 member of the president's staff, the aides said.

So much for all that crap people were talking about how much infighting she was going to bring and what a terrible relationship they were going to have as she attempted to assert her own authority. Do I hear retractions? Bueller?

White House officials said Mrs. Clinton's collegial, pragmatic approach has enhanced her influence with Mr. Obama.

So much for being an overly-ambitious backstabbing employee, eh? Still no retractions?

At home, Mrs. Clinton has no shortage of access to Mr. Obama. In addition to their regular weekly meeting on Thursday afternoons, aides say, she sees him several times a week at the White House.

Basically, all that smack people were talking about how they wouldn't get along, and campaign wounds would fester and Hillary wouldn't be able to subsume her own ego and work within the system (you know, the same crap they said about her when she was first elected to the Senate, which turned out not to be true then, too) was a load of crap. Big surprise.

Lower Profile for Clinton, but Her Influence Rises [NY Times]