Madame Hillary


Have I been remiss in not taking the notion of Hillary seriously? I mean for Secretary of State? I said the idea was DOA – that Barack wouldn’t want her, and why would Hillary risk being fired in a couple of years and having nothing? But I have been in the minority.

Obama offering Clinton the position of secretary of state exemplifies the notion of keeping your friends close and your enemies — not just close — but under your thumb. The last thing Barack Obama wants is a supercharged Hillary Clinton potentially causing trouble in the Senate. (The last thing Hillary wants is to be under a man’s thumb, I thought). If she accepts the job, she’s shackled to his administration, which is smart if he wants to fend off attacks from the Clintons in 2012 — a win for Obama and Democratic Party unity.

As I see the arguments from those who take the idea seriously, I don’t see what’s in it for Hillary. The upside for Barack seems clear. After running as change, he wants to become the same as quickly as possible.

It’s all politics, shrewd politics. So is Obama’s upcoming meeting with John McCain. The President elect ran on bi-partisanship. Now the onus is on him to deliver. But most importantly, he wants shore up two terms early. And he can do that by mollifying his detractors and appeasing potential opponents.

If I’m Hillary, I’m thinking 1) A miserable couple of years is in store for Barack, 2) If I stay in the Senate I get to become a force over the next 8 years, so 3) let this guy sink or swim on his own.

I’m not sure why she would want the position. Sure it’s prestigious, but if she signs on Obama will own her. She will serve at his pleasure. In the Senate, nobody owns Hillary, especially now. She is poised to assume the role of lioness in the Senate in Ted Kennedy’s absence. And secretary of state may seem old hat for the former First Lady. She likely considered herself Madeline Albright’s boss when Bill was Commander in Chief.

I still say she’s diminished if she becomes part of Barack’s cabinet. Being in the news for being considered is okay, but I still don’t see her taking the gig.


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