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I can somewhat understand the appeal of putting Hillary Clinton in the Secretary of State position (though I continue to think that someone like Bill Richardson or maybe Chuck Hagel has better foreign policy experience and credentials, and hearing that they're both being interviewed for it is a comfort.) She's got enough name recognition and prior relationships around the world to do a decent job in the position, and it would be an olive branch to her and some of her more annoying supporters.

On the other hand, I think that a figure as prominent as her (let alone her husband - I hate to say this, but they're always going to be a package deal just because of how successful his term was and the reputation he maintains in the world) is ill-suited to any advisory position: the same "overshadowing" logic that held against her being given the Vice-Presidency, in my eyes, holds against putting her in Cabinet.

Not to mention that it's hard to see what she gains from this. Her name recognition and bipartisan relationships are much more useful for her in the Senate than they would be at Foggy Bottom (and again, I've always seen her as more of a domestic policy than foreign policy figure) - plus, assuming she'll still hold presidential ambitions in four or eight years (and why wouldn't she?), the Senate is a more useful springboard in that it doesn't necessarily tie one so closely to the previous administration. Look at Colin Powell or Condi Rice - questions of their competence (or sexual orientation, sigh) aside, they would have been remarkable Republican candidates this year had they not been so closely tied to Bush's sinking ship.

(It's worth noting that apparently, the last cabinet secretary to end up as President (Dick Cheney jokes aside) was Herbert Hoover in 1928 - even worse than the infamous "Senator's Curse" that people were talking about all through the primaries.)

Any of you Hillary fans can shed some light on how this move would make sense for her? I'm sure there's something I'm missing.


( Walk among 2 shadows — Cast a shadow )
Nov. 16th, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
I'm not exactly a Hillary fan, but as one of the talking heads on CNN pointed out, she is only a junior senator and certainly being Secretary of State would have more appeal than announcing yet more funding for some local initiative in up-state NY.

Personally, i would have thought offering to name her to the Supreme Court might have some appeal.
Nov. 16th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
The Senate's seniority rules do matter, of course, but anyone calling Hillary 'just a junior senator" is completely missing the point. She has outsized influence for any senator of her seniority, she has well-cultivated relationships with her colleagues, and she has that name, that reputation, and that history. The same qualities that would make her valuable at State would make her more valuable in the Senate, and more powerful in the Senate - even if she doesn't make Majority Leader (a possibility I'll never discount) or win the Presidency in 2016, she's well in line to be another Ted Kennedy: a ridiculously powerful, influential, and respected Senator. That's a decent endgame by anyone's reckoning.

I'm sure that naming her to the Supreme Court would appeal too, yes, but can you imagine that confirmation hearing? It would be a horror show.
( Walk among 2 shadows — Cast a shadow )