Hillary Clinton Goes To State

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Hillary Clinton Goes To State

Postby Carol Johnson Duharat » Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:39 am

http://buffalo.bizjournals.com/buffalo/ ... aily2.html :D :D

While I was skeptical about Hillary as President, and am taking a wait-and see approach to her being Secretary of State, I feel good about this appointment. She'll be replaced by a good Democrat who will be able to hold the seat.

I have however, heard a suggestion that Bill Clinton be appointed to fill out her term. First of all, should he do it? Secondly,I would want someone who is committed to the seat long-term for the good of New York. Next, it makes for a high-profile race in 2010 (I take that back, except for the disgraced Guiliani, who's out there to oppose?)
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Re: Hillary Clinton Goes To State

Postby Ferguson Foont » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:55 am

I'm a little bit disappointed in Obama's choice of Hillary to be Secretary of State. I don't really need to wait to disapprove. I think this was a very bad pick. There were literally dozens of people, better qualified Democrats, and even a couple of Republicans, preferable to Hillary Clinton for this important post (not least among whom was her husband). Just to name a very few others among many:

Jimmy Carter
George Mitchell
Bill Richardson
Zbigniew Brzezinski
Andrew Young
Jesse Jackson
Fareed Zakaria
Dick Lugar
Colin Powell

Foreign diplomacy will be one of the most treacherous areas facing the new administration. Hillary's ego may not serve her well in this post. But there's another thing, a rather nasty thing that I'm reluctant to discuss, that makes Hillary an almost uniquely poor choice.

See, most of the most difficult issues we will face in the diplomatic world involve our relations with Islamic nations. We may not like it or approve of it, but most Islamic nations treat women deliberately and pointedly dismissively, and Hillary will have this TREMENDOUS impediment to overcome. Madeleine Albright could not overcome it. Condi Rice couldn't overcome it (well, she'd have sucked anyway even if she had male body parts, but...).

A second difficulty she will have when dealing with the Islamic world is the exaggerated devotion to Israel that she has had to exhibit to win her current job as a Senator from New York. She has had to be unusually strident on this point.

I had hoped that Obama would behave out of political motives (not to be confused with partisan motives, of which I DEEPLY approve) when pragmatism -- regarding the actual achievement of America's goals, not to follow the path of least resistance in petty intraparty affairs -- dictated that he do so. I believe that the choice of Hillary Clinton here is horribly counterproductive to America's long-term success on the world stage. In this case, it almost appears as if Obama was outmaneuvered by Hillary, who lusted after this post. Her people, not Obama's people, released the information that she would be the pick, and the press picked it up to such an extent that, had Obama named anyone else, it would have been reported so widely and provocatively as a snub -- of HIllary, of Bill, of women -- that this would have become the public's unassailable perception. We don't want to face the situation in 2012 that we faced in 1980, when Ted Kennedy's opposition to Carter significantly aided Reagan's efforts, possibly enough to get him elected. Hillary might have been tempted to play Teddy's role.

It's a shame, really. I don't view Hillary Clinton as much of a peacemaker or conciliator, which is what we need at State. Her foreign policy credentials are almost comically thin. She might have been better at HHS despite her failures in 1991-1992 with health care reform. She got it for only one reason -- she wanted it, and she made it clear that she would make trouble if she didn't get it.
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Re: Hillary Clinton Goes To State

Postby Phoenix Woman » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:17 pm

There are SoSes and then there are SoSes. Colin Powell was Bush's first SoS and he ultimately wasn't even a speed bump on the road to invading Iraq.

While I doubt that Hillary will be marginalized the way Powell was, I expect that she will be a) operating under the advice of FoPo experts brought back into State, b) made to understand that ultimately, she answers to -- and serves at the pleasure of -- the president. (Oh, yes: This also ends any shot she has at the presidency, just as Rahm Emanuel will find it harder than he thinks to reassume his IL-5 seat -- especially if any of his favored choices for seat-warmers are taken out in the Rezko and Blago probes.)
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Re: Hillary Clinton Goes To State

Postby Carol Johnson Duharat » Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:17 pm

I also think Hillary knows (or believes) that this is her best way to make a true mark on history. Being the junior Senator from New York, while it has its privileges and benefits, (Stability of income, a chance to introduce meaningful legistlation) isn't quite as large a stage as the whole world. Working for Obama, she could help settle many disputes, bring back the glamour of working for the State Department, and possibly bring in a more liberal orientation in American Diplomacy. In short, what she could do would be far more memorable than even Eleanor Roosevelt, who while active in the United Nations and social progress generally, was never in a position to hire and fire people who could follow in her footsteps.
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