I was in Israel last week when I overheard some people talking about rumors that Obama was offering Hillary Clinton the Secretary of State job, and I dismissed it as idle gossip, or perhaps another hyped media story with little basis in reality. But now I come home and read that she was offered the job and accepted it. If true, this is a stunning development on many levels.
Politically, it doesn’t make sense to me. Obama made the prudent decision to snub Clinton for the VP slot, and despite a small minority of disgruntled Hillary dead-enders, he was able to unify the party. She campaigned for him merely to save her own political hide. He won. The idea that he “owes” anything to Clinton supporters is absurd. It’s also much easier for Clinton to wreak havoc from Foggy Bottom than it would be from the Senate, undermining the administration, leaking information to the press, and seeing herself as in charge of the nation’s foreign policy rather than as somebody who is serving the president and representing his policies abroad. Then there are the conflicts of interest posed by Bill’s globetrotting and foreign speaking fees.
Based on what we now know about how the Clinton campaign functioned and how she led the charge for health care in her husband’s administration, Hillary Clinton is a terrible executive, so that doesn’t speak well for her ability to manage thousands of employees at State, nor does she have any record suggesting that she has skills as a diplomat, other than in her own imagination.
Above all, what happened to change? Implicit in Obama’s message during the primaries was that electing him would move us beyond the Bush-Clinton era, and yet, now he is staffing his administration with a collection of Clinton retreads as well as Hillary herself? Jim already noted their differences on the Iraq War, but their foreign policy disagreements were much more fundamental than that, at least as Obama told it. According to Obama, Hillary Clinton represented a continuation of “typical Washington thinking” on foreign policy, an attitude that prevails even as the administration changes from party to party. When Obama spoke of meeting unconditonally with the world’s worst dictators and later of taking military action within Pakistan, he was mocked as naive by Clinton, who eventually would talk in terms of “obliterating” Iran. Now he wins, and he appoints her to the top foreign policy post in his administration? Utterly puzzling.
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That’s right, the Grinch (Joe Biden) is coming for your pocketbooks this Christmas season with record inflation. Just to recap, here is a list of items that have gone up during his reign.
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