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Friday, November 14, 2008

President Elect Obama: A Great Way to Destroy Your Presidency...

is to select Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State.

President-elect Barack Obama has met with his former rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and is considering her as a possible candidate for secretary of state, Democratic officials said.

Clinton was rumored to be a contender for the job last week, but the talk died down as party activists questioned whether she was best-suited to be the top U.S. diplomat in an Obama administration. The talk resumed Thursday, a day after Obama named several former aides to President Bill Clinton to help run his transition effort.

There were plenty of good reasons why then Senator Obama didn't even consider Hillary Clinton to be his Vice Presidential pick. All of those reasons are only slightly less relevant when considering her for Secretary of State.

First of all, Hillary Clinton, unfortunately, comes as a package deal with her husband and ex President, Bill Clinton. If the new President wants to assure a dysfunctional Presidency allow the ex President to have a seat at the table of advisors. More than that, the ex President has been an awfully naughty boy since leaving the White House. This is an entirely different sort of naughty than his exploits in the White House. He has befriended all sorts of wily characters throughout the Middle East and even in China since leaving the White House. We still have no idea who exactly donated to the Clinton Library.

If, after all the lurid details of Bill's post Presidential life come out, Hillary is actually confirmed, then we will be spending the next four years or so analyzing whether or not each and every move she makes as Secretary of State was a payback to some befriended Middle East Shiek. Does President Obama really want his foreign policy to be viewed as some sort of a lackey for the UAE? If that is his goal, a good way to accomplish that is to pick Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State.

Also, President Elect Obama, fooling the folks into thinking you are experienced doesn't actually mean you are. Hillary Clinton spent Bill's years having tea and cake with the wives of dignitaries. Her foreign policy experience is slightly more "impressive" than yours. During a campaign, you might be able to fool the folks, but once you govern, reality sets in. Hillary Clinton is no foreign policy heavyweight, she's a foreign policy lightweight in sheep's clothing. On top of this, she derided your entire foreign policy platform. She called your idea of meeting unconditionally with foreign dictators "naive". Are you really willing to cede your political opponents fodder with uncomfortable press conferences as your Secretary of State is forced to defend you against her own words?

Furthermore, it's vital your entire cabinet is one hundred percent committed to the success of your Presidency. Are you really confident President Elect Obama that Hillary Clinton would be committed to such an endeavor? I can't wait for the first leak from State and the rampant speculation over who exactly it was. President Elect Obama, make no mistake Hillary Clinton has her sights set a bit higher than Secretary of State...mainly the position you are about to take. If those goals happen to conflict with those of your own governance, make no mistakes her allegiances will be with the former not the latter.

Finally, President Elect Obama, your administration is already getting the perception that it's Clinton's third term.

Here's how you can tell the campaign is over and the transition has begun: Barack Obama's aides now wear suits and ties, their desks are in the Federal Building on 6th Street in Washington — and Clintonites are everywhere. Obama's victory in the general election produced what his primary campaign couldn't: A swift merger of the Clinton Wing of the Democratic Party with the Illinois Senator's self-styled insurgency.

The merger began, during the campaign, in the policy apparatus — which is now rapidly becoming the governing apparatus. The absorption of the Clinton government in waiting represents Obama's choice not to repeat what he and his advisors see as an early mistake made by the last two presidents: Attempting to wield power in Washington through an insular campaign apparatus new to town.

Obama's first major appointments have been Democrats who worked for President Clinton and did not endorse him in the primary: Transition chief John Podesta and Rep. Rahm Emanuel, who will be White House chief of staff, stayed neutral, and Ron Klain, who will be Joe Biden's chief of staff, backed Biden. Obama, advisers told Politico, may even be weighing offering Hillary Rodham Clinton herself the Cabinet plum of Secretary of State.

You spent the entire campaign talking about changing and moving forward and you are about to make your entire government veterans of the administration of eight years ago? President Elect Obama, your opponents will attack you pretty much no matter what you do. That, of course, doesn't actually mean that you make it easy for them. Hillary Clinton ran on experience. You ran on change. You won. She lost. If your entire government is former Clinton staffers, that's pretty much admitting your entire platform was nothing more than smoke and mirrors. I know the media is carrying your water for you, but there are limits to everything. Picking Clinton vets to fill just about every important job in your cabinet is the exact opposite of what you claimed to stand for. Leave the past in the past and make your own name.


Anonymous said...

This is a great choice by President-Elect Obama.

He is making good on his campaign promise for unity.

Great work! Keep it up.

mike volpe said...

First of all, no one has been chosen yet. Second of all, that would be unity within the Democratic Party not actually unity.

Finally, it would break all promises about "change". Of course, "change" was such a vague term that this was difficult to keep anyway.