Clinton to Foggy Bottom, Says NYT


According to the New York Times, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., is going to be Barack Obama’s Secretary of State:

Hillary Rodham Clinton has decided to give up her Senate seat and accept the position of secretary of state, making her the public face around the world for the administration of the man who beat her for the Democratic presidential nomination, two confidants said Friday.

The apparent accord between perhaps the two leading figures in the Democratic Party climaxed a week-long drama that riveted the nation’s capital.

Mrs. Clinton came to her decision after additional discussion with President-elect Barack Obama about the nature of her role and his plans for foreign policy, said one of the confidants, who insisted on anonymity to discuss the situation.

Mr. Obama’s office told reporters on Thursday that the nomination is “on track” but this is the first word from the Clinton camp that she has decided.

“She’s ready,” the confidant said, adding that Mrs. Clinton was reassured after talking again with Mr. Obama because their first meeting in Chicago last week “was so general.” The purpose of the follow-up talk, he noted, was not to extract particular concessions but “just getting comfortable” with the idea of working together.

A second Clinton associate confirmed that her camp believes they have a done deal. Senior Obama advisers said Friday morning that the offer had not been formally accepted and no announcement would be made until after Thanksgiving. But they said they were convinced that the nascent alliance was ready to be sealed.

As I said before, I think Clinton’s a savvy pick by Obama; Clinton is certainly qualified for the job, and would be perhaps the highest-profile appointment to the position since Woodrow Wilson tapped William Jennings Bryan for the job.

The potential for “drama” has been far overplayed by the media, which desires nothing more than a return to the good ol’ days of the 1990s, when they could have fun attacking the Clintons and pretending that there were no actual issues worth worrying about. Clinton is a smart politician, and she knows that the quickest way out of the Obama administration is to start freelancing. Will Clinton challenge Obama when it comes to foreign policy? I certainly hope so. Obama needs to get differing perspectives from his foreign policy team. Joe Biden will have one position, Hillary Clinton another, and Gen. Jim Jones (ret.), who’s expected to become Obama’s National Security Advisor, will stake out still a different position. Good! We got in trouble over the past eight years because we had a president who surrounded himself with sycophants and yes-women who enabled a disastrous and dangerous war. The one obstacle to it left after the end of Bush’s first term.

Having a group of heterogeneous advisors is good for the country. And kudos to Obama for realizing that. I feel quite positive about the direction our country will be heading, precisely because Obama does not appear to be so insecure as to need people to support his ego.

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3 Responses to Clinton to Foggy Bottom, Says NYT

  1. 1
    Ampersand says:

    I’m not thrilled by this. It’s possible to have a diversity of views without giving the principal positions to people who, frankly, have been part of the problem for the last 20 years.

    Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton are both part of the foreign policy consensus that led us into the invasion of Iraq, not just because they were misled, but because their entire worldview is bellicose and wrongheaded. I don’t mind one or two of the old group being including in the foreign policy debate, but I’d like to see at least a few leaders who actually got something of importance right sometime in the last decade.

    (On the other hand, I’m honestly enthusiastic about the prospects for energy and health care.)

  2. 2
    Cerberus says:

    I like the pick actually. A lot of people will want to immediately talk to Obama about the hideous failures of foreign policy from Bush at a time that Obama will need to put most of his focus on the domestic scene. Clinton will be a good buffer for most of that and is smart enough and honorable enough to know when to allow Obama to lead on the stuff where she too radically differs in opinion. But she can make sure that the swarm of foreign nationals are well taken care of and potential problems identified so that Obama can devote more of his energy to domestic policy.

  3. 3
    Type12point says:

    Sadly, President Elect Obama’s weakness seems to be a penchant for all things Clintonite. All his choices so far, not stellar. (I’m hoping against hope that these appointments–all of them–are insulation, or defolade, for actual progressiveness, but come on…) As for Clinton herself, nobody who was that hawkish and toadying from the get go need be appointed to State. And then there’s the big target on her back for the Moron Media.

    Or maybe that’s the plan…