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Hillary Would Be A Great Secretary Of State But….

14 November 2008
Senator Clinton

Senator Clinton

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.

Gov. Sarah Palin

Gov. Sarah Palin

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?

clinton-hillary-pink-suitLet 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.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

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.

kerry-john-look 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.

clinton-hillary-obamaAll 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.


8 Comments leave one →
  1. 14 November 2008 5:28 pm

    Jack, once again you are in my head. I think that we may have been conjoined twins separated at birth. You have voiced all my fears and concerns about Hillary. New York is a tough nut to crack. If our Senators are not on their game they will be eaten alive. There is so much that she can do for the Democrats as the Senator from NY, but as you said, there is also a lot that she can do as Secretary of State. That being said, if I had my druthers I would rather see Bill Richardson in that seat. I have always liked him and he brings along his UN experience. One has to wonder if this intentional leak may have just been some sort of ploy to take our little Ms Sarah and stuff her into the trunk of a big old 86′ Caddy.

    Oh, and did anyone watch Jon Stewart and Billo the Clown last night on the Daily Show? I laughed till my sides hurt. Jon, in his very “Jewish Liberal NY Elitist” way chewed Billo up and spit him out, and all the big slob could do was laugh since he was there to promote his piece of garbage book. Pfffttt…like anyone watching the Daily Show would by that piece of crap anyway…

    Let’s keep up the fight.

  2. Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
    16 November 2008 10:00 am

    To: WillPen,

    Sorry I missed Billo the Clown on The Daily Show. Maybe they will re-run it on Monday night. If so, and I can keep my old eyes open that late, I will tune in.

    Of course, we were conjoined as twins. That explains why an old man from Oklahoma grew up to be such a liberal Texan. I knew there was some logical explanation all along. Thanks for sorting that out.

    I, too, like Bill Richardson, BUT, he lacks that little spark that makes for greatness. That came through clearly, to me, in his presidential campaign. But today, Sunday, there seems to be a great deal of feeling that Hillary may have, indeed, been floated out there without any real intention to name her Secretary of State. I guess we’ll find out the answer to that mystery soon.

    Thanks for stopping by, my dear twin.

  3. 16 November 2008 5:44 pm


    FYI, here is a link to the Jon Stewart, Billo the Clown Show…

  4. 19 November 2008 11:42 am

    I’m also a little concerned about Hillary as SoS. And it seems she’s torn as to which job she wants. She’d be giving up a chance to lead in the Senate on issues she really cares about, and that may be at the core of Teddy Kennedy’s statement. One must wonder just how much longer he’ll be able to be an effective voice, and they have similar passions about health care. And I’m not sure that she could be comfortable about supporting some of Obama’s positions where they differ.

    Like you I’m a Richardson fan. I wonder if maybe Larry Eagleburger’s comments about him were an act of reverse psychology… I get a similar reaction when I hear Republicans crowing about the possibility of Hillary as SoS. They’ve been so focused on “party first” that it’s hard not to be cynical about them these days.

    Sorry I’ve been silent the last few days. My computer is acting up. My other half is talking about things like “latent failure”… doesn’t sound good.

  5. Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
    19 November 2008 6:41 pm

    To: More Light Than Heat,

    Welcome back. I also find it hard to keep up every day; life keeps getting in the way.

    In the past couple of days the Clinton SoS bid seems to be more up in the air, but I have decided to put my trust in Barack Obama to do the right thing. I’ve been watching all the chatter about whether he’s been doing the right thing about this, that and the other. It comes equally from both sides of the aisle.

    I remember in late September and early October having some questions of my own about the way he was handling his campaign, but he proved decidedly that he knew what he was doing. WillPen referred me to an article called The Audacity of Patience. It can be linked from WillPen’s World. It’s a good read and really gave me a lot to think about this morning. I think I’ll “dance with the one who brung me,” Barack Obama. He proves over and over that he’s known what he’s been doing all along.



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