Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Government, Presidential Transition — Rick Moran @ 10:18 am

It’s not a done deal yet - apparently there are concerns about some of Billy’s more creative billing procedures connected to his globe trotting - but if Obama thinks her confirmation wouldn’t be too bruising an affair, there’s a good chance that Hillary Clinton will take the job of Secretary of State in the new Administratiion:

Hillary Clinton plans to accept the job of secretary of state offered by Barack Obama, who is reaching out to former rivals to build a broad coalition administration, the Guardian has learned.

Obama’s advisers have begun looking into Bill Clinton’s foundation, which distributes millions of dollars to Africa to help with development, to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. But Democrats do not believe that the vetting is likely to be a problem.

Clinton would be well placed to become the country’s dominant voice in foreign affairs, replacing Condoleezza Rice. Since being elected senator for New York, she has specialised in foreign affairs and defence. Although she supported the war in Iraq, she and Obama basically agree on a withdrawal of American troops.

I wrote a few days ago that Obama would be crazy to offer it to her and she would be nuts to take it. And there is still a chance she could turn it down or that Bill Clinton’s finances will turn out to be too problematic to pass muster with the Foreign Relations Committee.

But apparently, the offer is serious and she wants to take the job. Why? What do both principles have to gain?

Obama is in an extremely strong position - perhaps the strongest of any incoming president since Reagan. To say he has a blank check to do what he wants is perhaps an overstatement but ask yourself, who is going to stop him. The press? His own party? His supporters?

It certainly won’t be Republicans stopping him - not with their numbers and their attitude. So Obama doesn’t need anyone to make his administration. He can choose who he pleases and not have to expend the political capitol to get  them confirmed.

For Hillary, her place is secure in the Senate as would be her position as leader - if not in name than certainly as a result of her enormous visibility and influence. From the senate, she could wait to see if Obama falls on his face and mount a challenge in 2012 if the opportunity were to arise.

But she would also be just one of many senators who would take center stage over the next few years as Obama’s initiatives worked their way through Congress. She would be visible but she might consider an option that would not only give her TV face time whenever she wanted it but add to her resume some tangible accomplishments that would cement her status as frontrunner for either 2012 or 2016. Hence, the idea of Hillary for Secretary of State.

Obama will apparently be concentrating on domestic policies for the first several months - perhaps a year of his term. He needs someone who doesn’t need (and wouldn’t accept) much supervision. Setting broad goals in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East, Hillary would be tasked to achieve those goals - how would be pretty much up to her. She would be the most independent Secretary of State since Kissinger - and easily the most visible.

But this arrangement would almost certainly cause trouble for both principles. Obama may figure that having her in the cabinet will short circuit any plans she has to challenge him in 2012. If the economy really goes south and despite the efforts of the Obamamedia and the Democrats his policies are seen as the cause, it won’t matter where Hillary is, she will make a run. I can’t see her having the patience to wait until 2016 unless Obama is a smashing success. Unless we can believe that she has given up her desire to be president, 2012 looms large in both her and Obama’s plans.

For Obama then, he would get Hillary’s (and Bill’s) prestige and extensive contacts around the world - for maybe two years. That’s how long I give this marriage. Eventually, Obama will tire of the drama, the backbiting, the blame casting, the whispers that build the Clinton’s up at his expense, and either fire her or she will resign on her own. If the climate is right, she would pick up where she left off and make a run. If not, she can always run for the senate (or governor) and use that position as a power base for 2016.

Obama and the country could do worse than Hillary Clinton at State. I think she proved during the campaign that she has a much more realistic outlook on the world than the naive Obama and would probably be one of the only Obama foreign policy advisors who would advocate or support military action against Iran as a last resort. She is a steady friend of Israel, a more practical advocate for an Iraq drawdown, would support a surge of forces in Afghanistan, and generally has a more real politik outlook than the Obama crew. We could have done a lot worse if you consider the gaggle of far left liberals Obama tapped as his advisors during the campaign.

A bold move by Obama - one that I think he is going to come to regret.


  1. Good luck on the new computer Rick. We shall see of HRC is really asked, and if she really accepts. The move reveals more hypocrisy, because it was her foreign policy that BHO campaigned against. But the move is shrewd, it probably blocks any chance of her challenging him in 2012 and it lets him blame foreign policy failures on her. It also removes her from the Senate so she can’t tweak his initiatives there (and he doesn’t have to publicly object to hers). It’s probably good for the country, although the Clintons considered militant islam a criminal justice problem instead of a national security problem.

    Comment by mark30339 — 11/18/2008 @ 11:48 am

  2. Obama apparently believes he can keep the Clintons in check if she goes to State. As you point out he cannot. He also believes Clinton would carry so much bad water for him she wouldn’t be any more viable than he if this Administration proves as disastrous as I suspect. Wrong again. I bet her noisy withdrawal from the Obama Administration would be textbook for how to do it for future Fifth Columnists.

    Obama said he would meet with dictators,thugs and miscreants without preconditions. This is a good first start.

    Clinton will challenge Obama in 2012 for the nomination. I wouldn’t bet against her, either.

    Comment by jackson1234 — 11/18/2008 @ 12:06 pm

  3. This quote from the “Politico” story about Obama’s supporters (who don’t like the HRC for SecState idea) speaks volumes:

    “These are people who believe in this stuff more than Barack himself does,” said a Democrat close to Obama’s campaign.

    So, he’s just another politician, and all this “Hope” and “Change” talk was just clever campaigning to get into the White House? Say it ain’t so!

    Comment by laxbk — 11/18/2008 @ 1:48 pm

  4. I am hoping that Obama names a Secretary of State like Hillary because, quite frankly, she seemed to have more sense in foreign relations and national defense than he did during the primaries. But let’s take a step back and remember that nothing gets leaked to the press without an underlying motive. I would ask if Obama’s motive is to make a public show of vetting Hillary for this position (so he won’t be the evil sexist guy), or if Obama’s motive is to really have her serve as Secretary of State. but overall I am cautiously optimistic from this action. I hope this indicates a trend that he will NOT govern the country from the far left like we were thinking he would.

    Comment by Shelby — 11/18/2008 @ 2:34 pm

  5. I hate to suggest anything so crazy, but maybe Obama just thinks she’d be a good choice for the country. Maybe he’s so confident he isn’t worried about 2012, or about Hillary’s ambitions.

    That being said, she can’t afford a failure at State and she can’t succeed unless she has Obama’s confidence. Her ambition is his guarantee. If she gets out of control he moves FP into the White House and isolates her. She’ll look small and pitiable. If she earns his trust and has some successes both Obama and HC rise together.

    Don’t underestimate Obama. If there’s one thing he’s shown he can do it’s assemble a winning team.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/18/2008 @ 2:58 pm

  6. So who replaces her in the Senate?

    Comment by Sirius — 11/18/2008 @ 3:19 pm

  7. I’m just not sure where Obama is going with this Clinton redux.

    Comment by BiasedGirl — 11/18/2008 @ 4:26 pm

  8. I see this as the payoff for Hillary backing off her run for president and backing Obama. Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.

    Comment by Michael Gross — 11/18/2008 @ 10:06 pm

  9. Gimme a break. This is a reverse Julius Ceasar.

    As soon as the media spits out Obama’s cum, we will learn–shock, shock, shock–that Hillary is not the Godhead they once told us. Nosirreee. Yep, got to have some honest to God left-winger in that post to sell out America. Joe Biden, come on down..never mind…Eric Holder…never mind…Karl Marx…well, hell, he’s dead.

    Next. Please take off your nasty shoes at the door.

    Comment by obamathered — 11/18/2008 @ 11:56 pm

  10. Well…since Obama is well on the way towards alienating the nutroots perhaps his plan is to pick up Hillary supporters as a way to shore up his approval ratings…which are sure to tank a bit once the honeymoon is over.

    Comment by Kurt — 11/19/2008 @ 9:23 am

  11. “Obama and the country could do worse than Hillary Clinton at State. I think she proved during the campaign that she has a much more realistic outlook on the world than the naive Obama and would probably be one of the only Obama foreign policy advisors who would advocate or support military action against Iran as a last resort. She is a steady friend of Israel, a more practical advocate for an Iraq drawdown, would support a surge of forces in Afghanistan, and generally has a more real politik outlook than the Obama crew. We could have done a lot worse if you consider the gaggle of far left liberals Obama tapped as his advisors during the campaign.”

    Before this past election campaign I thought Hillary was about as far left as anyone can be and still be electable to high office. Obama proved me wrong on that one. During the campaign I (Horrors!) actually LIKED what Hillary had to say, and, even more shocking, HOW she said it.

    God help me, she often came across as … Reagan-esque.

    Eliminate all the conjecture and pre-conceived notions and you’re left with the paragraph quoted above: Hillary would be a dependable choice for Secretary of State.

    Comment by DoorHold — 11/19/2008 @ 1:15 pm

  12. My hought is that Obama is doing this to draw out some dirt during the confirmation process which the media will (finally) use real adhesive to stick the Clintons so well that it will damage her against ever running again for higher office.

    The media liked the Clintons but they really love their Big ‘O’.

    Comment by P. Aaron — 11/19/2008 @ 8:46 pm

  13. I wish Obama well but Hillary at State is a mistake. Hillary belongs on the Supreme Court filling the next vacancy. There is sure to be one soon. With Hillary on the Court for the next twenty years we will get much more benefit from her intelligence and humanity and legal expertise. The confirmation hearings will be a circus but the Democratic majority can carry the day and revel in the hatred of the “wingers”.

    Comment by Carlyle Perry — 11/20/2008 @ 5:49 pm

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