Freak Show: Behind the Clinton for Secretary of State Rumors

By Al Giordano

The speculation over Senator Hillary Clinton as a possible Secretary of State in the Obama administration did not begin - as many are reporting - with Andrea Mitchell's report yesterday on NBC, based, she said, on "two Obama advisors."

(Obama has more than 700 titled advisors on foreign policy alone. There's good reason why they received a memo that instructed "do not under any circumstances speak to the press." You can't shoot a cannon ball up Pennsylvania Avenue these days without hitting two or three of them, but that doesn't put them in the loop, and the ones that are in the loop aren't talking to Andrea Mitchell or anybody in the press about inside information.)

No, it was not Mitchell that first floated this Hindenburg balloon. It was former Clinton White House aide (and reliable media spinner for all agendas Clinton) George Stephanopoulos on who first dropped HRC's name for Foggy Bottom last week. ABC's Jake Tapper reminds:

George Stephanopoulos reported Clinton's name being in the mix last week on Good Morning America

The whole thing is a media freak show being served up by members of the Clinton factions in the Democratic party and obliged by a national media (some of them also Clinton noisemakers) in search of a story. The speculation is not because Senator Clinton wants the job, but because her people so desperately want to muddy the waters and throw up a roadblock to either New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson or Massachusetts Senator John Kerry - two of the leading contenders - serving in the post, whom they consider turncoats for having endorsed Obama vs. Clinton earlier this year.

After Richardson backed Obama, Clinton advisor James Carville called him a "Judas."

Kerry's earlier endorsement of Obama likewise brought out the knives:

"And he was dead to us," said one prominent Clinton supporter who is, in his words, "not authorized to trash Kerry on the record."

"Aren't Two Cabinet Posts Enough?"

The backbiting last Spring was particularly vicious against Richardson:

"Look, I think that everyone has their endorsers," said senior Clinton strategist Mark Penn, adding - with a little huff - "I think New Mexico is a state that, actually, we won."

"The time that he could have been effective has long since passed," he continued. "I don't think it is a significant endorsement in this environment."

...The AP reported that President Clinton at one point angrily asked Richardson, "What, isn't two cabinet posts enough?" Richardson was energy secretary under Clinton and U.S. ambassador the to U.N.

Richardson appeared on CNN this afternoon and was asked to recall his conversation with Clinton over his decision to endorse Obama. "Well, let's say it was a difficult conversation. But, you know, I resent the fact that the Clinton people are now saying that my endorsement is too late because I only can help with Texans - with Texas and Hispanics, implying that that's my only value. You know, that's typical of some of his advisers that kind of turned me off."

And now you see the New York media-centric Clinton noise machine setting up the spin essentially to screw Obama whichever way he goes:

Analyst Paul Light of New York University's John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress said picking Clinton would mean Obama was serious about reaching across the party divide.

On the other hand, he said: "To put her in the competition with several others and pick somebody other than Hillary Clinton after you've floated her name is to have a repeat of the spring and summer division and raise questions about Obama's seriousness about healing the division within the party."

(ABC's Tapper quoted another member of the noise machine: "'Clinton is the gold standard around the world,' said Chris Lehane...")

The US Department of State's budget for FY 2009 is $11.4 billion dollars.

What makes anybody think that somebody that so mismanaged her presidential campaign and its finances - still millions in debt - is going to be tapped to manage an 11 billion dollar budget with Embassies across the globe?

President-elect Obama is going to meet, in Chicago, on Monday with Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham: the same courtesy he's reportedly given Senator Clinton. Shall we read into it that one of them will become Secretary of State? (No, we won't, because their people in the media won't be pushing such rumors.)

The conflicts of interest of former President Bill Clinton and his Clinton Global Initiative - a "charity" with a $208 million dollar surplus, undisclosed donors, many of them foreign - signify that before Senator Clinton could hold the post of Secretary of State, Bill Clinton and Terry McAuliffe would have to disband their own "shadow state department" that is the Clinton Global Initiative.

As Matthew Yglesias asked aloud in the LA Times last year:

What's more, presidential foundations -- unlike political campaigns -- can accept contributions from foreign citizens and even foreign governments. So, although Hillary Clinton is barred from cashing a $100 check from David Beckham, on the theory that he might be attempting to undermine U.S. sovereignty (or force decent Americans to play soccer), Bill is free to have his annual meeting co-sponsored by the country of Oman, whose interests surely don't overlap 100% with those of the U.S.

The real issue here is that the conflict of interest created by the Clinton Global Initiative rules out Senator Clinton for Secretary of State. The Obama job application form is very specific about unearthing potential conflicts by spouses and "family members."

Does anybody really believe that Obama will say to all his job applicants that there's a double standard, one set of requirements for them and another for the Clintons?

The Obama administration-in-waiting has now pushed back a little bit against the freak show:

Senior officials with President-elect Barack Obama's transition team said late Thursday that Sen. Hillary Clinton would be an asset to the new administration, but declined to confirm reports she was under consideration for secretary of state.

All this grating and annoying noise is able to occur because the national media is thirsty for a story, any story, to make itself relevant to the transition.

The saddest of all the spin yesterday came in how Keith Olbermann on MSNBC "took one for the team" in order to bolster the credibility of his network's Andrea Mitchell and her vague report:


That’s a far cry from Keith’s greatest shining moment, last May, when he spoke of all the things Senator Clinton has said that can be forgiven “but this we cannot forgive.” View it and weep for the state of the media in 2008:


The freak show is not about putting a Clinton into the State Department.

It's an effort by the vindictive Clinton organization to stop Richardson or Kerry from serving in that post.

And it has the effect of underscoring why either of them would be so far superior to Senator Clinton to effectively turn the page on US foreign policy.


I am so with you, Al.

It's disappointing that Andrea Mitchell and KO did not state that this report has a big ole caveat: it's a freakin' rumor. Keith did talk about how the Obama campaign was leak-free and it's so strange that there are now leaks from the Transition Team.

This latest move makes it so very clear that this is exactly why that the Clintons and their allies cannot be trusted to collaborate, partner, and just plain ole work together with folks. They are in it to win it: for themselves. It's absolute arrogance and a begrudging mindset that is trumping the better interests of the country, the party, and the President-Elect.

Go figure.

Now crossposted... Daily Kos.

spot on

I think you hit it. Forgive me for reposting part of the last comment from the previous thread - it belongs more to this topic:

I also can't see HC as SoS. Her positions on key issues have been 180 degrees from Obama too often - starting with the AUMF. Also, as mentioned Bill Clinton has already been interfering with our foreign policy thanks to adventures like his deals in Kazakhstan. His dealing there has helped to strengthen Nazarbayev and the oppression of Kazakh people.

If it were not for the adage, "hold your friends close but your enemies closer", I would say confidently that HC will have no position in the Obama cabinet. She should enjoy a terrific career path to more seniority in the Senate where she could have a lot of good legislation named after her. (I'm not sure if HC and BC are friends or enemies at this point but I'm suspicious.)


But wait--wouldn't Obama want a Secretary of State who's good at dodging sniper fire on Bosnian landing strips?

The Clinton faction...

...of the Democratic Party looks pretty much like the new Obama Administration, I'd have to note. As we know, 31 of 47 people appointed thus far are Clintonites.

If this wasn't possible, the Obama camp would be stepping on it hard - and Clinton's people would be as well, to protect her from embarassment.

And Andrea Mitchell, I'd point out, hates the Clintons along with most of the Georgetown permanent national media crowd.

Who knows if this is the decision the President-elect will make, but it's pretty clear he's seriously considering it. After all, the centerpiece story of the Team of Rivals passion play was Lincoln and Seward, a pretty parallel indeed.


TomW - That a policy person for the next Democratic White House served in the last Democratic White House does not at all make him and her a "Clinton person."

Obama's foreign policy team when he was challenging the frontrunner Clinton included a wide roster of former Clinton officials from Tony Lake on down. Does that make them "Clinton people" now? Quite to the contrary, they are folks that rebelled and supported Clinton's rival in the primaries!

And since only three of those "41 appointed so far" that you cite were appointed to serve in the administration (Axelrod, Gibbs and Emanuel), the number is actually "one of three" not "37 of 41."

(Actually, considering that Rahm remained neutral in the primaries, it's "zero of three" that are Clinton partisans.)

The rest are mainly on the transition team (many of whom are there precisely because A. they've - like John Podesta - ruled themselves out for an administration position (thus eliminating any conflict of interest as they vet others) and B. because they have previous administration experience.)

"Clinton people" are exclusively those that backed Clinton in the primaries. How many of those 41 people fit that description. Do any of them? Even one of them? Oh, right: Patty Solis Doyle, who was fired by Clinton, perhaps!

Thanks, Al

Great post. You've cleared the fog from my head. I've been trying to rap my mind around the rumor, wondering where the logic is, trusting that whatever the case, Obama has shown he almost always knows best, but WTF? Your analysis rings so true that I'm clear-headed and comfortable now, and can go on and have a productive day instead of sitting here in a confused funk.

Tech alert -

fixed so deleted :-)

Skeptical About State Department

Once again, folks have to be reminded that SOS is a position that has to be confirmed. Can anyone imagine the amount of vetting and sheer drama those confirmation hearings would be, especially when it comes to Clinton's foreign dealings?  It would probably take an entire month just to do the hearings and take up the oxygen better devoted to other things.

Emissaries for special projects don't have to be confirmed, and I guess that Obama would rather have her do that and keep her seat in the Senate at the same time.

Kerry would sail through confirmation hearings-he's already been vetted through his Presidential run, and a Al points out, has long-term experience in internatiol matters. Kerry also has the assets of a person who could combine experience and freshness-he's already known but hasn't served in a previous administration. He isn't tainted with previous foreign policy fiascos-he doesn't have to defend or explain. Kerry also has the asset of stature to help with getting respect from foreign leaders due to his long career in the Senate.






Let me point out

I'm not rooting for more Clinton, or less Clinton people, or any particular flavor. Sure, it's accurate to say Obama is going for previous administration experience in his own and they happen to be from the best administration of our lifetimes - that's a good thing. I'm not saying they're loyalists or that Hillary is somehow co-opting Barack's administration - that's silly.

I point it out to show that campaign rhetoric is one thing, putting together a government is another. Obama did what he had to do to win; Clinton did what she had to do to try and win. He won. Now it's pretty clear they're working together - it's confirmed they met secretly in Chicago yesterday - this is a good thing, not a negative.

Obama's goal was never to "drive out the Clintons." Not for a millisecond. It was never even a single molecule of his personal motivation. For some supporters? Sure, and I can understand it.

Beyond that, I'm not obsessed with Clinton at State - I think she's clearly a huge step up from Richardson-Kerry-Hagel (God forbid). But if it was someone new, that would cool too.

I'm actually in favor of as much new blood as possible, truth be told. And I'm very hopeful for a muscular Obama apparatus toward the Democratic majority in Congress - that's the clear and present danger to Obama's policy goals.

The media is the freakshow

I honestly think this is more an example of the media's Pavlovian reaction to any rumors involving the Clintons than it is a sign of Clinton perfidity. The media loves stories about the Clintons. They are their crack cocaine. So a rumor that Clinton might be part of the administration is almost guaranteed to get prominent coverage, regardless of its basis in reality.

follow the money

WRT "Clinton people", I would also say there is a difference between people who have been at one point part of the policy side and folks who have been or are now part of the "Clinton machine". For lack of a better phrase, what I mean is the PR, money raising, favor dispensing power brokers.

Obama will not have her as SoS. And the main reason would be concern for her hawkishness. Obama wants militarism out of the State Dept. So in addition to her tragic AUMF vote and Bill's Kazakhstan mess above I would point to:

Her close ties to defense lobbyists. Follow the money from a year ago:

So far, Mrs Clinton has received $52,600 in contributions from individual arms industry employees. That is more than half the sum given to all Democrats and 60 per cent of the total going to Republican candidates. Election fundraising laws ban individuals from donating more than $4,600 but contributions are often "bundled" to obtain influence over a candidate.

And more recently, check this out. I apologize for not have more recent figures.

Or how about how she among all candidates is the largest benefactor this campaign cycle from foreign lobbyists:

The review found that six Clinton "Hillraisers," designated donors who have raised at least $100,000 for the senator's presidential campaign, are registered with the Justice Department to lobby for foreign governments.

@ Chris

To be a little more precise, I think that it is the Clinton camp's maneuvering both the truth and the false narrative because they are aware of the Pavlovian press.


Quite frankly, it's more mayhem and it's so very very counter-productive.


Hillary Hillary sat on a wall.


That you have to point out to Tom W. that people WHO NEVER JOINED the Clinton campaign during the primaries are NOT Clinton people is a sad statement.  Hilarious and sad. 

I remember in 2006 the first time I saw the media blathering on about the inevitability of Queen Hillary and it made me so frustrated with the realization that I hated politics because we would of course "end up" with someone chosen by the Insiders.  

My preference would be that Hillary stays in the Senate and then we find a strong Democratic challenger for her seat in New York and she loses.  Tom W. talking on about how Hillary was a great surrogate. Please.  She did that for her own political survival and nothing else.  

Hillary Hillary had a great fall

All the King's Horses and all the King's Men

Couldn't put Hillary and power together again!



As long as we are playing the speculation game, Al, can you

tell us why McCain is meeting up Obama now during the transition phase? Is he angling for the SOS post ? (or he still wants to do those damn town-halls ?)


Two Meanings of "Clinton Faction"

In a sense I think both TomW and Al are speaking the truth about the "Clinton faction"....they just mean different things by the term.

Al means the Clintons themselves and their ever-shrinking inner circle.  And I think he's absolutely right about why this Clinton faction, writ small, will ultimately be excluded from the Obama White House, as it should be.

TomW, on the other hand, is absolutely correct that the Obama White House is featuring an awful lot of Clinton retreads. It looks as if the Obama White House will be ideologically dominated by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party (though of course we won't know for sure until we see who the cabinet-level appointees are and how Obama actually governs).  Though the Clintons have likely gotten themselves voted off the island for the moment, their ideological legacy will just as likely live on in a White House that, at least for the moment, looks awfully "New Democratic" and "Third Way" (i.e. Republican Lite), even if those terms get banished with the Clintons themselves.  And, unlike TomW, I would not be happy with this outcome.

As I've already said, at this point these are just preliminary signals; Obama deserves a lot more time before anyone passes judgment on the direction of his administration.  And I won't exactly be disappointed if the Obama administration ends up being Clinton Redux.  I voted for--and donated to and worked for--an Obama presidency because I knew that it would be, at the very least, a dramatically lesser evil than a McCain presidency. And though I'll be unhappy if that's all it is, I won't exactly be surprised.

this is why

I get my news and information from the internet and not TV. this is why I read Al. and as we all know the internet is the future.

as always Al, thanks.

as for Andrea I just can'tr get past her being Married to Greenspan. talk about sleeping with the enemy.

No Secret

It is no secret that George put out the speculation. Mitchell's report was independent and has some corroboration in the context of a team of rivals and HC's travels. Likewise McCain's visit. Barack is saddled with the weight of things we barely comprehend and we do better to sit back a bit and eschew the same guessing games we deplore in others.

Cheers, S

Justice Clinton?

I'm sure there are plenty of reasons to argue against it, but how about HRC for SCOTUS instead? It would be worth the price of admission just hear the wingnuts screeching into the night.

@ amk

lol re: McCain still pestering for town halls!


And let me just say, I'm so glad the crazies from the thread over at DKos don't come over here!  Yeesh!  [And I know that's thanks to you guys "guarding the gates" here.  Thank you!]

To clarify...

Unlike Barack and Hillary, I'm not a third way Democrat - that's not my bag. I'm well to the left of both of 'em. But I'm realistic about what's possible in terms of Washington as well.

To repeat - this does NOT appear to be coming from the Clinton inner circle, folks. Andrea Mitchell is not the reporter of choice for that...

Let me say this

No way.

Let me clear that up.

No way.


No way.

And for anyone who doesn't understand the word no.

We have an opportunity to repair the way the rest of the world engages with the USA for the first time in a very long time and Hillary as Secretary of State would be a giant leap into the past, right into the blind eye on Rawanda, the Stratospheric policy and the corporate raiding and pollution of the rest of America.

@ Ben Alpers

Perhaps you can explain where Obama would get people who have Administration experience who did not serve under Clinton. Should he go back to the Carter Administration? Obama is a pragmatist who wants people who know the system and how to work it. Otherwise, he will not be able to achieve the change he wants.

George NOT the First to Float Hillary as SOS

I just found this blurb, dated October 24, 2008, from US News & World Reports:


Are Hillary Clinton's days in the Senate over? Some Democrats are pushing for her to take a top cabinet post in an Obama administration. Former Bill Clinton pollster Stan Greenberg even has a couple of ideas. "I think she'd be great in the cabinet," he says. Greenberg's choices: "secretary of defense, secretary of state."

It's no joke. Many Democrats want her to play a prominent role in an Obama administration and skip out on the Senate, where she won't have a major leadership role. And neither cabinet post is too high for Clinton. We hear that many generals and admirals in the Pentagon admire Clinton, especially for her pro-military actions after 9/11. And she's traveled the world, first as Bill Clinton's ambassador and then as a concerned senator.

Hilary Clinton and Gary Wills' 1970 book "Nixon Agonistes"

Rereading Gary Wills' old "Nixon Agonistes" last week, I was again struck by the similarities in personality and temperament (and tactics) between The Late Demagogue and our Mrs. Clinton.

Right on, Al...

As usual...I've been telling everyone all day that the Clintonistas put that out re: HRC as S of S...not gonna happen...

no wonder O has gray hair before he even starts!

I have turned off the TV...Morning Shmoe sounds just like he did during the primaries...and why Hillary HAD to be Veep...

Remember when Hil and O dodged the press corps and had their own meeting...she would not be VEEP...same thing with her now being SofS...they met 'cuz she will not be SofS!

I actually turned off Keith O and didn't watch Rachel past a couple of minutes...

watched Grey's Anatomy for the first time ever!

My remote almost didn't know how to choose another channel besides MSNBC or Law&Order...guess I'll have to re-train the remote...


waterprise2 AKA Pam

Liberal with a Capital L!


@ Walter

Interesting thought. My epiphany came this summer when I attended a summer stock production of "Evita." I leaned over to my husband and whispered "It's the Hillary Clinton story!"

Thank you, Al and Commenters, for reasonable posts...

It seems that the Hillaryites have returned to Daily Kos and are shouting anyone down who tries to reason out the reasons that she will not be SoS.  Never mind that she isn't credentialed and, just as with the VP slot, she could never be vetted. Of all the cabinet seats in the WH, why is it the very one in which she has the least experience?  Logically speaking, this wouldn't be the best place for her in an Obama Administration.

No one has been chosen for any cabinet position and Obama's trusted advisers - Jarrett, Plouffe, and Axelrod - have repeatedly announced that there will be no cabinet announcements until December.

After all this time, people still don't trust Obama's word and are still waiting for the other shoe to drop, for him to become a part of the 'politics of the past.' I still trust him, trust his judgment and, while HRC might do well in another cabinet post, SoS ain't it.

I like the Obama move this morning - having his people announce that he would be meeting with McCain on Monday.  Not that this will quash the rumors - not facts, rumors - of HRC in State.

BTW, last night I received and completed a full employment application for a non-career position in the Obama Administration; it wasn't nearly as in-depth as the senior level administration posts.

Freak Show is right

Suddenly it all makes sense.

Sadly, I mean.


Thanks, Field.

Sullivan blesses the move...

Not my fave pundit (because he's a conservative and obsessive on some stuff) but Andrew Sullivan is totally into the HRC SoS move:

"So here's hoping he offers and she accepts. It's an elegant and shrewd move; both public spirited and yet coldly calculating at the same time. Pure Obama."

I can't disagree....

@ Laura Poyneer

People, such as our President Elect, for example, can get experience in all kinds of places other than the White House. Obviously you need some White House experience on the team.  Much as I dislike Rahm Emanuel, he makes sense as a Chief of Staff for just this reason.

If the "change Barack Obama wants" is something other than returning to the status quo ante Bush, he will look for people who were not major players in the Clinton administration and who don't have their fingerprints all over that administration's various mistakes. There are plenty of such people in labor unions, business, think tanks, non-profit organizations, academia, and so forth. This country is full of talented people, most of whom never work in any White House.

But if Obama does just want to return us to the Clinton years, then appointing a bunch of Clinton retreads would be a fine idea.

I suspect something else is going on in this conversation. I most certainly don't want another "New Democrat" administration, nor do I think that there's any material reason that we need to settle for one. Tom W., on the other hand, doesn't like the "New Democrats" either, but thinks that's the best we can do. There are probably others among us who actually like the idea of a return to 1990s-style "Third Way"-ism.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that the question of what Obama is up to is separate from the question of whether whatever he is to is a good thing or not.

She doesn't have the right experience.

I wish her supporters (online and in the media) would acknowledge that she doesn't have the right experience or skill set to be SOS, Senate Majority Leader or lead Obama's health care fight in the Senate.  She is a horrible manager based on how her campaign was run and she has not managed to get one major piece of legislation passed in the Senate.  Most of her bills don't even have co-sponsors or are stuck in committee.

There are so many more qualified candiates for all of the positions that Clinton is being considered for that it is just absurd.


Ah, Chris Lehane! Architect

Ah, Chris Lehane! Architect of the term "conspiracy theorist" and author with Mark Fabiani of the 332-page "Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce." A screed that detailed the 24-hour news cycle, sneered at how the internet was used -- which Cokie Roberts in all her arch silliness ran with thinking she was the prescient one -- and explained to the Clintonistas how to milk the media to stay in office, or stay on top of issues. Of course, it was written in 1995. Larry King read it and put the term "conspiracy theorist" into massive use starting in 1997. The new smear.

Al...while I do understand your opposition to Hillary

You are acting like she will set the agenda some how if she is indeed the SoS. The agenda will be Obama's ..Hillary or not.Andrew Sullivan has a good point about taking Hillary out of the Senate and putting her in the cabinate, and it makes since.


I don't know...I just don't feel the outrage.

Sully is for it before he's against it

TomW - Not to burst your bubble but in the run-up to the vice presidential decision, Sullivan urged Obama to pick Senator Clinton... only to backpedal and withdraw his proposal a week or two later!

(And the "team of rivals" argument he used is the same today as it was then for VP.)

(Andrew was also for the war in Iraq before he was against it.)

So, the next time somebody doesn't like Andrew's opinion on something, wait a little bit. It might still change.

@ Palgirl

Palgirl2000 - As an American abroad, the choice for Secretary of State is the one that will most effect my life, safety and well-being, as well as that of the reporters I'm responsible to defend and protect.

It's not "outrage" (because as I say I don't think this is a reality-based speculation of HRC as SoS), but, rather, I'm pointing out that the same drama-filled manner in which the Clinton camp is using the media to try and bully Obama into appointing her, they will use again and again, if it should happen to succeed, to try to wag the dog of administration policy. It needs a periodic smackdown, like over the next three weeks! Otherwise, it only encourages them.

Sullivan yeah...

Heh-heh - yeah, I can't disagree with you on Sullivan, Al. I just know he's popular among some of the Field Hands....

If this isn't real, it's a hell of a head fake - and to what purpose?

I'll wait and see

You make a good case, Al, particularly concerning potential conflicts of interest. If she's not picked for a cabinet position, I'll give you a lot of credit for calling it right. If she's not picked for SoS, I'll confirm my belief in your good insticts.

On the other hand, I also understand some of those who make a good case for it happening (e.g., Sullivan), and I won't be surprised if it happens.

Personally, I give it 50-50 odds, maximum uncertainty. I'll wait and see who called it right.


An Attempt To Co-Opt Hillary

If Obama names Hillary to the Sec'y of State job, she becomes his employee. She leaves the Senate, where she's in a position to make a lot of trouble for him on health care and other issues. And she loses a long-term platform for political influence. I'd be surprised if she accepts the offer, if there in indeed an offer. She'd be foolish to do so.

Thanks Al

This wasn't sitting right with my husband and I.  Thanks for this perspective.  It seems to go along with how the Clintons operate.  I have no lingering beef with them but they do play hardball.  Obama plays harder ball though.  He won't be strong armed.  We've seen that already.

this makes no sense:

You said,


The freak show is not about putting a Clinton into the State Department.

It's an effort by the vindictive Clinton organization to stop Richardson or Kerry from serving in that post.

But if Hillary doesn't want the job, she won't accept the job, and therefor the job is open to either Richardson or Kerry.



Great soap opera stuff.

I don't buy the argument that having staff in the White House who worked in the Clinton administration is the same thing as having another Clinton administration at all.  I don't think the WH is particularly grass-rootsy - it's a very top down organization.  I think it all comes down to who has the key positions, none of which have been chosen, other than VP and CoS.

I also find it so, so funny that people are biting on the HRC for SoS meme. It's like catnip!  People really can't get enough about speculating on how she might still ruin this administration.  I think someone actually threw in the idea here that she is somehow qualified for SoS because she has been outside of the country a few times! Too funny.

Also...HRC is not a diplomat by any stretch, and has never pursued that job.  SoS is the nation's top diplomat.  Saying that HRC should be SoS is like saying she's really important so she should have an important sounding job. SoS is an important job and she can't be Sec Def, so she should get SoS.  That is the most ridiculous argument imaginable.  I think people are also arguing that Kerry is too "boring", like it's a bad thing.  That is crazy talk.  Your top diplomat should be your most boring personality ever!  A diplomat is someone who convinces another party that their interests are the same, even if they aren't.  Bullying and showboating and other big personality strategies do not accomplish that, except by fluke.  Kerry would be excellent.


For a very disciplined campaign, there have been a lot of leaks from Obama this week.

Huffington story says Obama offered SOS to Clinton

"according to two senior Democratic officials."

I really hope this is wrong.  My delicious feelings about Obama's win would pretty much crash and burn.

Hillary, State, prez. ambitions

Hillary as Secretary of State endangers reporters in Latin America?  I'm not trying to be dismissive of something that  is surely important to you but I'm skeptical of such an effect.  Do you mean that she'd help pass a Colombian free trade deal without better guarantees of human and workers rights?  Penn lobbied for this and Bill supports it but this is a case where Hillary's 2016 ambitions would temper her enthusiasm for such a pact.  I assume she's eyeing '16 one way or another and keeping an eye on Schweitzer who would club her with any such pact if she's linked to it.

Let's be honest.  If it's not driving his selections, Obama is at least mindful of diversity.  I'm sure he'd love to have a Latino and a woman in high profile jobs to cement their loyalty to him for 2012.  He'd probably also like a Republican to underscore his connection to bipartisan government to continue attracting independents.  Napolitano as Atty General could relieve some gender pressure but it's unclear because her LtGov is Republican.  Treasury is looking like Summers, Geithner or Corzine and Summers has some issues with women.   Penises at State, Defense, AG, and Treasury may be a tough sell for Obama.  If Treasury's a boy and Gates stays on for a year and he goes Holder instead of Napolitano... see what I mean?  Unless he goes with the talented Susan Rice.

I will say that Sullivan's celebration of Hillary as a mutually beneficial selection mentioning that she might even be positioned to take Obama down for 2012 did her no favors.






who let the dogs out

My God this has gotten crazy. What I want to understand is what is fueling this outrage that somehow Hillary "should" be SoS or whatever. It's simply bizarre to me, as I'm not 100% sure she would even want it.

Did no quarter and / or Hillaryis44 crash or something? Where did the HRC trolls come from?

Could there possibly be that many people angling for ambassadorships coming out of Kos? This is just strange.

If true, this just blows.

I don't know how much validity to this but.


I just hope that this meeting was for a postion other than SoS

Here we go again

The best thing about the last month or so of the general election was that the second guessing of Obama's behavior and choices almost dried up.  He'd proved naysayers wrong time and again, and most of them seemed to have sat down and shut up.  It was wonderful to have backseat driving at a minimum.

But now, it seems to be open season for half-baked chatter again, and I'm realizing how much I was enjoying the quiet...

I saw Sullivan's oddly pro-Hillary-as-SoS post this morning, and quickly sent him the link to Al's post.  You have to take Andrew with a grain of salt anytime he mentions a Clinton, he goes all balmy...

@ James Haygood

The best thing about the last month or so of the general election was that the second guessing of Obama's behavior and choices almost dried up.

Sorry, JH, while not second guessing a candidate's moves makes sense because sticking with the program is how you get somebody elected, never second guessing an elected official is simply crazy.

We need to hold our elected officials' feet to the fire to make sure they do the right thing....even, perhaps especially, if we supported them as candidates.

The campaign is over. The governing begins. And we in the grassroots have to keep Obama and everyone else in DC accountable.

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About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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