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Author Rating: 0 Topic: Response to "Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton" (Read 837 times)
Stonecipher

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« Reply #0: Mar 30, 2008, 8:13 AM »
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Yesterday my fellow blogger, jwilkes, posted a well written argument in favor of making Hillary Clinton the Secretary of State in a Barack Obama Administration.  I have a great deal of respect for jwilkes's writing ability and opinions.  In fact, jwilkes is one of the writers here at eyesonobama.com who I have tried to emulate. 

 

That being said, I completely disagree with yesterday's post titled "Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton." 

 

Clinton would be a terrible Secretary of State.

 

Jwilkes begins the article with a point I agree with, "If there's one thing every single American voter should have learned about Hillary Clinton in this election process, it's that she concedes nothing." 

 

This is specifically the reason we should not make Hillary Clinton the Secretary of State, particularly after eights years of the hard-headed lack of negotiating skills possessed by the Bush Administration.  The last thing this country needs is a Secretary of State perceived by the rest of the world as cold, rigid and unwilling to bend on anything.

 

Someone like Bill Richardson is far better suited to be Secretary of State.  I have stated in the past that I would like to see Richardson as Obama's VP, but there are many reasons this may not happen.  If it doesn't, he will be an instant front runner for the Sec. of State. 

 

In fact, he seems be boning up on his excellent diplomatic skills already.  Richardson returned from a trip to Columbia on Friday where he met with Columbia's President Alvaro Uribe to discuss the freeing of three Americans being held by the Columbian rebel forces of FARC.

 

Richardson has also worked to free American hostages in The Sudan, Iraq, North Korea and Cuba.  He is an excellent choice for Secretary of State.

 

Jwilkes goes on to say of Clinton's dream to make history as the first female President of the United States, "They [the Democratic Party] have got to make quitting and ceding that dream worth her while. That's a tall order."

 

Again, I agree with Jwilkes in that department, but disagree with where he goes from there when he argues that making Clinton the Senate Majority Leader is neither plausible or an incentive.  He goes on to say that Clinton's failure to become President is "not a political setback, [it's] failing at the true aim of your career." 

 

Not too many people would disagree that Hillary Clinton first ran for Senate in 2000 as a stepping stone to the Presidency.  That has been her goal for quite some time.  However, every day 100 U.S. Senators and 50 Governors wake up in the morning and look in the mirror at a man or woman they believe will someday become The President.  If we believe that every one of these people who didn't make it is a failure than our political system is in worse shape than we thought.

 

Was Howard Dean a failure?  Can we say that Ted Kennedy has been a failure?  How about Shirley Chisholm's run for President?

 

Failing to win the highest office in the nation was a political setback for all three of these candidates, but by no means have they all failed at the true aims of their careers. 

 

Clinton's ego is going to be damaged no matter what happens in this campaign.  She is either going to have to retire from politics after this election or figure out what the next step for her is.  Becoming Senate Majority Leader is hardly something to scoff at.

 

As for the feasibility of making Clinton the Majority Leader jwilkes offers only the argument that current Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D - Nevada), will not want to step down.  The post states that "Reid is renowned, respected, and revered for his knowledge of Senate Rules."  This may be true amongst his colleagues in The Senate, but the rest of the planet either doesn't know or care about his knowledge of Senate Rules. 

 

Just this week, as reported by the Reno Gazette-Journal, a well known Nevada physician named Robin Titus halted her effort to have Sen. Reid recalled when her campaign learned that federal impeachment is the only way to remove him from office.

 

Reid is up for re-election in 2010 and his current polls in Nevada give him a favorability rating similar to Bush's nationwide numbers.  Nationally his favorability rankings have been steadily dropping since he became Minority Leader in 2004.  They have been in and out of a toilet so deep that Nixon couldn't even find the bottom of it. 

 

Say what you want about uniformed voters or any unfair characterization of Reid's tenure as Majority Leader, but when he has the support of 1/5 of the country and less than 40% of his constituents, he is not going to remain the Majority Leader for long.

 

Furthermore, in the eyes of many in The Democratic Party, Reid has been largely ineffective.  If there was any indication that Clinton would accept such a position there would be an enormous amount of pressure from Party Insiders for Reid to step down.

 

For Reid's part he would be handed an opportunity to save his legacy.  Instead of being remembered as a wildly unpopular Majority Leader who suffered an embarrassing electoral defeat in 2010 he would have the chance to be remembered as the man who brought the Democrats back together.  It might even boost his chances of re-election two years from now.

 

On top of all this it is going to be tough for Sen. Clinton to take any cabinet position in an Obama Administration, let alone a position of such high profile as the Secretary of State.  For starters Clinton will have to answer a lot of tough questions about the things she has said about Obama during this campaign. 

 

Clinton has also clearly expressed an extremely different approach to foreign policy than Barack Obama has.  The first real "fight" Clinton and Obama got into during this campaign began when Clinton claimed Obama was naive for wanting to engage in diplomacy with some of our enemies.  Having a President and a Secretary of State who completely disagree on foreign policy philosophy won't work, even if on some of the issues they're on the same page.

 

Clinton will not make a good Secretary of State, but as frustrated as I have been with her during this campaign I do believe she has the potential to make an excellent Majority Leader.  She would strengthen The Party and The Country in that position.  With Obama in The White House, Clinton as Senate Majority Leader and Rahm Emanuel as Speaker of the House when Nancy Pelosi joins the Obama Administration, America would be headed in a much better direction.

 

With all due respect to jwilkes, I am curious to know what the readers here at eyesonobama.com think.  And jwilkes, I look forward to your response as well.  I hope we've sparked a good debate here at eyesonobama.com.



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zenprise

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« Reply #1: Mar 30, 2008, 1:41 PM »
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I agree, Hillary doesn't really have a place in an Obama administration. But Nancy Pelosi? I don't think she'll leave her job either. She's got it pretty good where she, is, and the Dems need all the seats they can hold on to.
Stonecipher

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« Reply #2: Mar 30, 2008, 7:33 PM »
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Ok, so Pelosi most likely won't leave...just a little wishful thinking on my part. That being said there is ZERO chance of the Dems losing Pelosi's seat here in San Francisco.
ChasingAmerica

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« Reply #3: Mar 31, 2008, 11:49 AM »
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If possible, I think Bill Clinton would be the bigger problem for Obama if Hillary were given any position within his babinet.  I believe Hillary would be so busy butting heads with Obama, with the Washington pull and clout of Bill nudging her on,  She'd be trying to outshine him, making it more difficult for him to implement his policy ideas.  They would obsessively be trying to prove why Hilary should have been made president.
Guest-blackfrances

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« Reply #4: Nov 15, 2008, 3:11 AM »
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for the Iraq invasion.
Guest-treephant

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« Reply #5: Nov 15, 2008, 3:17 AM »
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And I don't even like her.
Guest-monkeyman114

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« Reply #6: Nov 15, 2008, 3:18 AM »
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the bar has been set so low that Clinton can only go up.
Guest-MediaWeasel

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« Reply #7: Nov 15, 2008, 3:20 AM »
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would love to see Hillary be part of Obama's administration I just don't think she's the right person. For one, he needs to be able to trust the Sec of State implicitly and have a good relationship with that person. They need to see eye to eye on Obama's willingness to talk to leaders of Iran, Syria, and any other country with whom there is a fragile relationship. And of course, there's Bill. That's the trouble - they do come as a pair.

Plus see this article from Michael Tomasky in The Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2008/nov/14/obama-white-house-hillaryclinton-stateMediaWeasel
Guest-ObamAmerican48

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« Reply #8: Nov 15, 2008, 3:21 AM »
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I'm leaning toward the "NO" column on this one.
Guest-Ralphdraw3

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« Reply #9: Nov 15, 2008, 3:22 AM »
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of merely restoring the entire Clinton regime. We already have Rahm and Madeline Albright and Podesta etc.. do we want Hillary in a top spot?

It also makes Obama look weak - Clinton would be trying to steal power and attention; it is a recipe for disaster. Clinton would not be loyal to Obama as C. Powell was to Bush.
Guest-SevenSheaves

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« Reply #10: Nov 15, 2008, 3:25 AM »
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approaching former adversaries makes Obama look stronger -- especially after an administration of yes men who gave lip service to uniting a country then did anything but.

He campaigned and won election with a consistent campaign message of unity. Should we be surprised that Obama means to to what he said he would?
Guest-yellowcakewalk

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« Reply #11: Nov 15, 2008, 3:26 AM »
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Would she be as bad as Madeline Albright?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2irN1G5HiRo

Probably worse.
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