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Stonecipher

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« Reply #0: Apr 02, 2008, 5:24 PM »
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The Stonecipher/jwilkes debate about what to do with Hillary continues...

 

Yesterday, jwilkes skillfully compared the civil war amongst the Democrats this year with the real Civil War.  He went on to propose a three step solution to end the Obama/Clinton battle with as little damage as possible.

 

You'll have to read the post to know what all three steps were, but I'll let you in on the last one:  Negotiate a surrender.

 

Jwilkes suggested that Obama offer Clinton the Secretary of State position.  He defends his position and argues that my suggested surrender, Hillary for Senate Majority Leader, is "disastrous and unrealistic."

 

Let's start with the supposed unrealistic part. 

 

The notion that Harry Reid would step down is realistic.  I have argued in the past that Reid's lousy poll numbers may be a catalyst for this, not that Reid necessarily deserves his poor poll numbers. 

 

The fact is Reid is in danger of losing his job in 2010.  A loss for him means the Democrats have to defend a competitive, open seat in Nevada.  Plus, it never looks good when your leader gets picked off. 

 

By contrast, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in no danger of losing her seat in San Francisco, and even if she did it wouldn't be to a Republican.

 

I'd be very curious to hear Reid's honest opinion on this deal, but I suspect it might sound attractive to him.  He would forever be remembered as the selfless Senator who saved the Democratic Party in 2008.  Not bad. 

 

It would also help his chances of getting re-elected.  It's a tough decision, but the choice is he can maintain 100% of his power for the next two years with a large chance of losing it all, or he can give up a portion of that power now in exchange for a better chance to hold on to some of it for the long term.

 

In regards to Hillary not having the experience in the Senate to become the Democrat's leader, Lyndon Johnson became the Leader of the Senate Democrats after just five years in the Senate.  His Senate career was much more successful than his Presidential career.

 

As for the supposed disastrous part, I'm unclear as to how Hillary as Majority Leader would be disastrous according to jwilkes, but he does offer that "more than half of Mrs. Clinton's colleagues have sided with her chief rival." 

 

She may have many of her Democratic colleagues supporting her opponent, but this deal is about healing.  Remember?  Certainly many Obama supporting Senators would come back around after the deal was brokered.

 

As for Hillary's ego being hurt, it's going to have to get hurt at some point.  But she's a big girl and can handle it, even if a few New Hampshire-style tears must be shed.

 

I understand that Hillary's sole reason for becoming a Senator was to create a springboard to the Presidency.  Things change though, and we all have to adjust, Hillary Clinton included.  If she's too proud to hunker-down with a new plan and new attitude then she can quit.  And maybe she will.

 

But if she wants to do what is right for the country and The Party after this loss she needs to take a new approach.  All the tough-guy (girl) qualities that jwilkes espouses as assets to a potential Secretary of State are exactly the qualities that would make her a successful Majority Leader. 

 

The Jwilkes argument in favor of a Sec. of State offer to Clinton is "John Kennedy did not craft one of the finest foreign policies by being a pushover: he used tough diplomacy and an unwavering commitment to peace to bring about tranquility and prosperity. It is my belief that Clinton would do the same."

 

Of course Kennedy was not a push over.  However, if we are to take Clinton at her word (which, granted, is becoming more and more difficult to do every day) she would not have even engaged in diplomacy with the Soviets if she had been in Kennedy's shoes.

 

Like the Bush Administration, Clinton has implied that she wouldn't open up diplomatic relations with our perceived enemies.  This is the same arrogant approach to foreign policy that has helped the Bush Administration create incredible amounts of ill-will towards our nation over the past seven years. 

 

Engaging in discussion with an enemy is not the equivalent of being a pushover.  Even Reagan understood this.

 

Barack Obama's stance on this issue is one of the primary reasons I am supporting him. 

 

It is time for change and Hillary is not offering any in regards to foreign policy.  The Secretary of State position requires a diplomat and I believe that during the first four years of Obama's Presidency the image we project to the rest of the world in this department is of the utmost importance. 

 

Although Bill Clinton was loved by many leaders around the world, Hillary is not Bill and now there are many world leaders who weren't even on the scene in the 90s anyway. 

 

My hope for the Obama Administration is that it will contain a larger piece of the ideological spectrum than we're used to seeing in this country.  Obama is likely to appoint a few cabinet members who will routinely challenge him, but a challenge doesn't mean a fundamentally different approach. 

 

Former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill wrote a book called "The Price of Loyalty" in which he describes the fundamental differences in philosophy between himself and the Bush Administration as his reason for leaving.  The relationship didn't work and O'Neill was gone after serving for only two years under George W. Bush.

 

Colin Powell, as Bush's Secretary of State had the same problem...and look where that got us.

 

Ultimately it simply doesn't make sense to have a President and a Secretary of State who are in stark disagreement when it comes to foreign policy. 

 

The Bill Clinton years were peaceful and prosperous, but once again, Hillary is not Bill.  And once again, the world is a different place than it was eight years ago.  Sorry jwilkes, Hillary Clinton would still make a lousy Sec. of State.



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