Hillary For State? Pelosi Better Get A Food Taster!
This weekend, I was talking to several of my liberal, pro-Barack Obama friends about the rumor that he might offer Hillary Clinton the job of Secretary of State. It would be fair to say that, to a person, they all wondered aloud whether President-elect Obama had lost his mind?
Keep in mind, these were all politically savvy Obama supporters - and they couldn't believe he would seriously consider Clinton.
One went as far as to say that with Hillary as fourth in line of Presidential succession, the President, Vice-President, Speaker of the House and President pro tempore of the Senate better get food tasters for some of those big State dinners that they all get invited to.
I'm sure she was joking. At least, I think she was joking. Still, although many are saying that this is a done deal, it's hard to believe that Obama would make his chief rival for the Democratic nomination the one responsible for implementing his foreign policy initiatives.
First, aren't there lots more qualified Democrats for the position than a second term Senator with absolutely no diplomatic experience? And no, I don't consider being the First Lady to be diplomatic experience.
Second, I think Hillary Clinton remains one of the most ambitious politicians in America - and I don't necessarily say that in a bad way. It's just odd to me that President Obama would put her in a position to operate a shadow Presidency from the State Department.
You'd think with all the challenges that he will undoubtedly be faced with, you'd want someone whose loyalty is absolutely beyond question. Can you really say that about Hillary Clinton?
Third, there is still the "Bill" problem.
Since leaving office, former President Clinton has made a fortune - in part through business dealings with foreign nationals. Many details of these arrangements have never been made public. I don't know for certain that there's anything disqualifing for Hillary in Bill's dealings but it strikes me that the potential for conflicts of interest are ripe. To this end, I'm sure that the absolute last thing that the Obama Administration wants is to get dragged into is an ethical quagmire over where Hillary and Bill have been getting their money over the last eight years!
For all these reasons, when all is said and done, I wouldn't be shocked if Obama looks elsewhere. By floating her name and presenting her as a serious candidate though, he flatters her and mends fences with anybody still upset over the results of the Primaries. However ultimately choosing someone else - especially someone of stature - causes neither of them to lose face.
Having said that, I believe that President-elect Obama has every right to fill out his Cabinet as he sees fit. If he seriously believes that Hillary Clinton is the best candidate for the crucial position of Secretary of State, so be it.
If this happens though, three months from now, President Obama might want to be careful about serving wild boar at the White House. I'm told that eating undercooked boar can lay you up for a few days - and if he and Joe BIden are out of commission for a while, it's Pelosi, Robert Byrd and the Secretary of State (in that order).