Hillary for State Department?

An interesting move if the rumour becomes confirmed.

Two Obama advisers have told NBC News that Hillary Clinton is under consideration to be secretary of state. Would she be interested? Those who know Clinton say possibly. But her office says that any decisions about the transition are up to the president-elect and his team.

Great Machiavellian politics – keep your friends close, but your enemies closer – but would she be the right choice? By having her on the top table, if Obama’s first administration fails she’s then largely neutralised as a challenger in 2012, but do I not recall her foreign policy pronouncements on the primaries trail as pretty hawkish, if not occasionally neoconservative (and she did vote for the war)? Would this show Obama displaying bipartisanship in foreign policy, or admitting he’s more hawkish than many would wish (and as hawkish as everyone else has already commented on)? An interesting perspective on the president-elect’s possible thinking came:

in a January interview he gave to Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News.” As part of her “Primary Questions” series, she asked him what books besides the Bible he would considers essential if he were elected president.

“Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book ‘Team of Rivals,’” Obama replied. “It was a biography of Lincoln. And she talks about Lincoln’s capacity to bring opponents of his and people who have run against him in his cabinet. And he was confident enough to be willing to have these dissenting voices and confident enough to listen to the American people and push them outside of their comfort zone. And I think that part of what I want to do as president is push Americans a little bit outside of their comfort zone. It’s a remarkable study in leadership.”

One of the comments from the first article seems like another salient point – with Obama and Biden already about to depart, doesn’t moving stars like Clinton, maybe Kerry, maybe Lugar (GOP I know but it’s the same point) out of the Senate sort of cause problems there ? Still though the election has proven he needs female appointments aplenty in his team, although I was anticipating Kathleen Sebelius to be the most senior.

I like the idea of him actually using his political capital, unlike former president Clinton and particularly people like Tony Blair, both of whom pandered to the right rather than acting in a genuinely bipartisan manner. It would be a wise move too to push the electorate fractionally past its comfort zone, it’s having just voted to repudiate an administration which was wedded to the most cynical politics and ‘business as usual’, which on pretty much all policy fronts has been shown to have comprehensively failed the country.


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