Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hillary as SoS

I have no idea whether Hillary Clinton will make a good Secretary of State, but as a matter of politics, Obama giving her the spot is brilliant. In ascending order of Machiavellian-ness:
  1. It embodies the "team of rivals"  approach to governing that Obama has promised to follow. (As an aside, I note that Obama's modeling himself after Lincoln is not exactly modest, but also hardly a bad thing. For those on both the left and the right who either hope or worry that Obama is a secret radical, it's worth remembering what a profound moderate Lincoln was.)
  2. It neutralizes the biggest potential threat to Obama in 2012. Over the past 40 years, Presidents up for reelection who face serious rivals in the primaries always lose (Ford '76 -- from Ronald Reagan; Carter '80 -- from Teddy Kennedy; Bush '92 -- from Pat Buchanan) whereas those who don't, always win (Nixon '72, Reagan '84, Clinton '96, Bush '04). Hillary is Obama's only current serious threat for a mid-term rival, and this neutralizes her
  3. The vetting process gives the Obama camp a legitimate basis for doing oppo research for 2012, which is the subtext behind the "review" of Bill Clinton's "many dealings."

1 comment:

Brad said...

I think he should wait and give her a Supreme Court seat. Literally sit her on the bench.