11/18/08

Clinton?

Watching Obama fill Cabinet seats is like watching a picture being hung that you can't actually control: you can just root for its placement. "A little to the right. Center... cen-ter... no, no, a little to the left! A little to the left!"

The President-elect is considering Senator Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State. I was an early Obama supporter in part because I was an ardent Clinton opponent. Senator Clinton not only advocated for the war in Iraq but has been hawkish on Iran and as Secretary of State, her views on these matters would carry weight. While Clinton is certainly intelligent, experienced and capable, it is the style of her governing that I am weary of. As Guy Brookshire puts it:
there have long been behind-the-scenes murmurs that Clintonian team-building and leadership, on the organizational level, is based on creating an us-versus-them mentality which spreads to all areas of interaction with the "outside" world.
Clinton's own presidential campaign seems to have suffered from this mentality with disastrous consequences.

Could this simply be keeping one's enemies close? Presumably, Secretary of State is not a position that Clinton could run from in 2012, being too close to the president in the event of a first term catastrophe. Is it to solidify the Democratic base? Clinton does continue to have a tremendous amount of support, but State is not where her strongest supporters wanted to see her end up.

Although I know Obama is savvy, I don't have any reason to believe he would be quite that calculating in filling such an important position. Presumably, he intends to use Clinton's tremendous foreign policy experience where it will best serve him. Let's hope he knows what he's doing.

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