Friday, November 14, 2008

Hillary Close At Hand

A popular phrase during WWII was “Loose lips sink ships.” Today’s world is usually more likely to “Tell All.” Still, the highly disciplined Obama navy is preparing to pull into port, tight lipped as ever. Except for the current chatter that Hillary Clinton may be his choice for Secretary of State. Makes you wonder. Is this a trial balloon, testing public reaction? My bet is more that it is a strategy to convince her to accept the position. She has other options: a leadership role in the U.S. Senate, perhaps, later, the U.S. Supreme Court.

George Stephanopoulos, former Bill Clinton insider, reported on ABC’s Good Morning America last week that Hillary’s name was being mentioned as the chief foreign policy representative for the United States in the Obama administration. Meanwhile, New York Senator Clinton flew to Chicago on business. Although Clinton and Obama squared off in the Democratic Presidential Primaries, both Hillary and her husband, the ex-President, campaigned on behalf of Obama in the general election, notably in critical states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, all of which Obama won. Sen. Clinton needs no introduction to many of the world leaders the next Secretary of State will meet with to discuss the most serious matters of interest to the United States. She is ready on day one.

Thomas Jefferson was the first U.S. Secretary of State, followed by James Madison, James Monroe, and John Quincy Adams, suggesting early in American history that the post was the natural stepping-stone to the Presidency. Secretaries of State Martin Van Buren and James Buchanan also eventually became President. Famous Secretaries of State Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, William H. Seward, James G. Blaine, Elihu Root, William Jennings Bryan, Charles Evans Hughes, Edmund Muskie and Alexander Haig might have been but weren’t President, as each ran for the Oval Office but got no closer than the cabinet room.

President Lincoln recruited all his political opponents as members of his cabinet, Pulitzer Prize winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin points out in her book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Keep your friends close at hand and your enemies closer. The state of Illinois, which calls itself the Land of Lincoln, is also, of course, the home of President-elect Obama, who walks carefully and purposefully in the footsteps that preceded him.

Copyright 2008 by William C. Cotter


Tina said...

I would not mind seeing Hillary
C. as Sec. of State, or on the Supreme Court. It would be a good move for Obama to do so.

Paw Paw Bill said...

Oh, I think it is a brilliant move, and I hope it happens.

annette cotter said...

Ummmm...I don't know. Keep wishing Obama could clone and fill all his cabinet positions himself. He would be a better Sec. of State than H.C., tho, hey, i guess somebody's gotta be the president. I could not support H.C.'s candidacy way back there because I didn't like her. She is always unlikable to me. And I keep wondering if she will negotiate with people who will not like her either. I mean, she's no Sarah Palin (and we can ALL be happy for that). The job requires a knowledgeable person, which she is, and not Miss Congeniality...but maybe, sometimes,a little more congenial...? I'm thinking a Sec. of State could create much good will if they were truly likeable....maybe it's just me. I hope it is. I resolve: to try and like her.

Anonymous said...

Annette-- I know what you mean, but I have an idea that she'd be excellent in that role, and she really IS Miss Congeniality when she's not campaigning. The people in New York love her, and so did all those zillions of women supporters. Also with women still so oppresed in some parts of the world, it's good to have a woman on the global scene.
Obama, of course, is going to make the final calls. I imagine that he sees her as in fundamental agreement with him on foreign policy, and as compassionate regarding the third world, but also that he does NOT want to tangle with her on the health care plan, or have her decide to start running against him from the Senate floor in two years because she disagrees with him on some domestic issues.

Glenda said...

A true change, which is what is hoped for, is going to require much more than pulling in those who have ensconced themselves in the elite system both past and present. The folks Obama has chosen is very telling. Research the biographies and activities of all these individuals and see what you find. Research their loyalties.

Used to be I considered a leader to be competent if they did no harm to the country in general. Then I realized they have an obligation to do no harm internationally, also.

luther said...

Here's a thought. Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State. Bill Clinton for Ambassador to the United Nations. Bill keeps busy and stays out of Hillary's way. Now that's a two-fer! Obama would have them both at his side for cabinet meetings.

Tina said...

I would like to see someone with good sense, no matter who, chosen for Homeland Security.

annettecotter said...

Stop the presses! We had some bad appointments and bad government under George W. Bush! But clearly, the solution to bad government is not no government. Independents such as Lou Dobbs can carp and feel superior to whomever they like, but they will live with either a democrat or a republican in the Whitehouse (speaking of realism). The recent election was not six of one, half a dozen of another. Obama is smarter and cleaner and better than the opposition (I researched this). Sure, he'll screw up, make compromises and mistakes, but at least he is courageously diving into this global sewer (committed to making things better) and is not simply huddled up in Plato's cave wishing for a clean slate (whatever that is).

Tina said...

We are living in dangerous times, but we have the capacity to provide better protection to our citizens if efficient and sensible systems are in place. I think Homeland Security is necessary, maybe not under that particular name, but necessary nonetheless. If a major city gets hit, as happened on Bush's watch,
who is to handle it--the local police and fire departments?
In the case of a terrorist attack or another Katrina type disaster or major earthquake we need good systems in place, including adequate manpower and communication systems. Personally I don't like the idea of our national guard and reserves being sent overseas, sometimes for repeat duty. We need them here.


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