Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hillary Clinton to accept Secretary of State post?

That's what the Guardian is reporting anyway.
Hillary Clinton plans to accept the job of secretary of state offered by Barack Obama, who is reaching out to former rivals to build a broad coalition administration, the Guardian has learned.

Obama's advisers have begun looking into Bill Clinton's foundation, which distributes millions of dollars to Africa to help with development, to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. But Democrats do not believe that the vetting is likely to be a problem.
I gotta say that I'm a little skeptical that the British press would get a scoop like this... I mean, why would anybody with that kind of insight into Hillary Clinton's mind leak it to a paper on the other side of the Atlantic? However, it may be that they're just saying that she's agreed to let them vet Bill Clinton's foundation... and if she's done that, why would she refuse, assuming the vetting goes well? I guess that's reasonable logic, but I think I'll wait until a few more news organizations pick this up.

I've become more and more of a fan of this move as I've thought about it, and am actually a bit befuddled by people who still don't get the rationale. It seems pretty straight forward to me for both parties... for Obama, it's that famous Lyndon Johnson quote and her obvious qualifications for the job... while from Hillary Clinton's perspective, if she's considering another run for Prez, it's highly improbable that she could beat Obama in 2012 and win the Presidency. I don't really see how she could tear down Obama over the next 4 years without tarnishing the Democratic brand as well as her own. The safest bet would be in 2016 after a prominent role in a successful and popular Obama presidency. She'll be 69, but that's younger than McCain was and she has the actuarial benefit of being a woman. The only caveat would be, as Nate Silver suggests, if Obama has a failed presidency and loses in 2012, she'll have tied herself pretty closely to Obama and hurt her own chances in 2016... but I'm not sure how good those chances would be regardless. As a Senator she'd be voting for his agenda, so I don't see how she escapes the "90% of the time" thing that killed McCain. That's assuming she even wants to run again... what if she "just" wants to help enact progressive policies to help the American people? Would staying in the Senate be the best way to accomplish that? While she's obviously a very famous politician, she has no seniority in the Senate nor any special leadership role... isn't being the "top diplomat" and #3 person in the Obama administration a significantly more prominent position in shaping policy? Personally, I just don't see how it can be argued otherwise. But, of course, all that matters is how Hillary Clinton sees the situation... and somehow I don't think she's reading my blog.