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A key concern would be whether she still harbours Presidential ambitions of her own. (In my view that would disqualify her).  A Secretary of State is the nations top diplomat who must often take responsibility for the messy compromises that negotiated solutions almost always involve.  A SoS more concerned with grandstanding to a domestic political audience is not going to be able to negotiate such agreements.

A key consideration in appointments must also be whether they are sackable if things go wrong or if unpopular decisions have to be made.  If Obama finds himself stuck with an unpopular SoS whom he also can't sack because of the political fall-out to his own Presidency, then you have a lose-lose situation.

I would have been more comfortable with her as VP than as SoS, because a VP doesn't have to DO anything.  Cabinet members have to be sackable to prevent the Presidency being damaged when things go wrong - and not "too big to be sacked".  

I appreciate her stature would also provide Obama with political cover if unpopular or tricky decisions have to be made, but that presupposes that she would be prepared to make those decisions (however damaging to any further Presidential ambitions she might have).

Bill might be a complicating factor, but the real issue is Hillary.  Who will she be working for?  Obama or herself and her own Presidential ambitions?

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 19th, 2008 at 08:49:52 AM EST
I suppose, to stay away from domestic politics, since I've seen nothing but how this plays out in America. This diary is more about how it might play internationally.

That being said, you raise an excellent point. The popular foreign policy debate in America runs something like this: either you're ready to send troops anywhere at any time to kick ass on anyone or you're less than the perfect patriot, and unfit for the presidency.

What if, given that debate, as a future White House contender she offered nothing as SecState that might jeopardize her future chances? She'd serve the country - and the world - poorly indeed.

If she's hypothetically considering a future white house run, she should decline. It is almost certain that there will be situations ahead as SecState where she'll have to make the choice: serve well, or harbor your ambitions?

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Nov 19th, 2008 at 09:46:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Obama is smart he will have offered her the position on the basis that she has already decided not to run again - as a way of ending her career on a high - and rewarding her for her support with the highest position available to him.  She is probably better off staying in the Senate if she does want to run again - that way she will not be tarnished by the inevitable erosion of popularity even good Presidents endure.

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 19th, 2008 at 09:52:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know if that's a reasonable request to make of Senator Clinton, but it may well be a conclusion she came to on her own.

On the whole, I think she could eventually be a good, even great SecState, based just on her qualities of character. She does have some baggage coming out of the starting gates, though nothing that cannot be overcome.

As a matter of personal style, her stridency makes her the wrong face to put on US public diplomacy. That's absolutely the wrong way the US needs to go on public diplomacy in the near future.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Nov 19th, 2008 at 10:43:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the key thing is that they have mutual confidence in each other and aren't pulling in opposite directions -  see http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19friedman.html?ref=opinion

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 19th, 2008 at 03:25:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Secretary of State in the US is forgotten domestically about 20 minutes after being sworn in.  Remember that the current Secretary of State is CONDOLEEZA RICE.  If anyone took this job seriously this would of course not be the case.
by paving on Wed Nov 19th, 2008 at 02:24:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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