Hillary Would Be A Great Secretary Of State But….
It was nice to see the real woman candidate of this past election cycle push the “pretender” from the headlines with the mere mention of her name.
It took little more than a few whispered leaks about the possibility of President-Elect Obama naming Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State to send the media into collective amnesia about Sarah Palin. Finally, the upstart from Wasilla is relegated to the unimportance she is trying to avoid by her media blitz. I guess the Governor who would be Vice President had bought into her own hyped up importance on the political stage. Perhaps she has been taking the kisses blown by the likes of Pat Buchanan a little too seriously, not seeing them as the last-gasp efforts by an old cultural warrior trying to bring his dying movement back into the political mainstream.
Then, just like that, Hillary Clinton became the story of the airwaves both last night and this morning, without even making one single appearance. Say what you will, she does have that old political magic. The flurry of activity surrounded the mere dropping of her name as possible Secretary of State in the Obama Administration. Not only did the mention of her name sweep Sarah Palin from the headlines, it also minimized recent talk of John Kerry for that position. But is it the best idea for the Democratic Party and President-Elect Obama?
Let me say right up front, if Senator Clinton wishes to be Secretary of State, then by all means her wish should be granted. No one could possibly be more qualified. She was our Hostess to the World just eight years ago. She has continued participating in furthering women’s rights around the world since leaving the White House, and is a recognized international leader in the field. She already knows “everybody who is anybody.” There would be no need to forge new relationships with the world’s leaders by someone they didn’t already know. And as far as being a team player in the Obama Administration, I don’t see any real danger of her being anything but. After all, except for a different stance way back at the beginning of the Iraq War, Senator Clinton and President-Elect Obama do not seem to have any differences on foreign policy issues.
So why the reluctance on my part? Pure selfishness as a Democrat. I am so convinced that Hillary Clinton is such a strong leader that she will be extremely instrumental to the Obama Administration’s ability to get its agenda through the Senate of the United States. No Senator, not even Ted Kennedy himself, would be a stronger advocate and supporter for a health care plan that so many in this country so desperately need. She is so intelligent and capable, and I would hate to lose that from the Senate. If she leaves, New York will send a yet unknown replacement to Washington who most likely could not possibly have the same impact. That’s the selfish reason.
Then there’s the other reason. While I have every confidence that President-Elect Obama will succeed beyond everyone’s wildest expectations, I cannot shake the thought that perhaps millions of other supporters and I are wrong. The problems facing our new President are staggering. Not since Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in 1933, has the United States faced such overwhelming obstacles to success. Barack Obama’s steady hand and great oratorical skills to motivate the nation portray a great President on the rise. But, what if – just what if – he falls short of expectations and we are faced with a Republican resurgence in four years? If Hillary Clinton is a part of the Obama Administration at such a time she will be hamstrung from making a run for the presidency in her own right.
I know this may sound like sedition to many of my fellow Democrats, but we must never let our guards down and be unprepared. I give you two horrifying words: President Palin. If needed, Hillary would be our best chance to hold onto the White House under such a scenario, but only if she’s a Senator, not Secretary of State. Why do I cling to such paranoia? Look at the Republican pundits. They are beyond generous with their praise and support for Senator Clinton to leave the Senate and move to State. It’s just been my experience that whenever Republicans are voicing such fawning approval for someone on the Democratic side, they are either laying a trap or burying an enemy. I will never forget the Republicans’ initial “warm embrace” of war hero John Kerry four years ago. Of course, they had been gathering their ammo on the Senator from Massachusetts and were ready to tarnish his record when it counted. Never take your eyes off the other side; no matter how much goodwill they may espouse, they are always looking for a road back to power.
All of my hopes and fears being laid bear, I will once again voice my support for Hillary Clinton to make this decision for herself, if she is called upon by President-Elect Obama to do so. She would bring honor and dignity to the world stage as she represents our viewpoint in the world. She is truly an outstanding choice, and it couldn’t happen to a better person. I hope that everyone is reminded by her easy re-emergence on the stage that she was the ground-breaking woman candidate this year. If it had not been for the hard-won success of Hillary Clinton, we would not even know about the obscure Governor of Alaska, Sarah Who.
KEEP FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT!