Hillary Clinton will be Secretary of State. I can hear the song now.
“Obama and Hillary sitting in a tree. K-I-S-…uh, nevermind.
The Barack and Hillary Variety Hour is back. Starring Barack Obama as President and Hilary Clinton as Madam Secretary. The Brody File has a clip from their new show. Watch it here.
You see folks. She’s a little bit country. He’s a little bit rock n’roll. (watch the clip, you’ll understand)
OK, so they have some differences but hey, what’s a Team of Rivals without some differences?
So what’s in it for Hillary? First of all, Secretary of State ain’t chopped liver. If she’s thinking about legacy, the encyclopedia snapshot becomes very impressive: First Lady, Senator from New York and now Secretary of State.
Also, Secretary of State is one of, if not the highest profile position in a White House Cabinet. It’s a big deal and she has the potential to leave a lasting mark on international relations at a time in history where the World is truly watching.
Let’s be frank: what was Hillary going to do in the United States Senate? Lead a healthcare subcommittee? Lead Obama’s healthcare charge in the Senate? First of all, there’s no guarantee that healthcare reform is coming up in the near future and even if it does, there’s no guarantee that it passes. Does Hillary want an 0-2 healthcare record? In addition, if healthcare does pass, Obama is going to get the credit, not Hillary as much.
Here’s another point to ponder. In the Senate, she’s 1 out of 100. Secretary of State is a whole different ballgame. It puts her on the World stage in the biggest moments. That has to be attractive.
But overall, my sense of this is the fact that Hillary Clinton has always wanted to make a difference, an impact. Obviously she believes she can have the most impact in this role at this time in history. It makes sense for her.
As for Obama, the move is risky in that Clinton could upstage him to a degree on the national stage and may freelance to a degree but Obama is a pretty pragmatic guy. He understands that Hillary Clinton’s name brings a huge amount of international credibility with it and the fact that she’s probably a little more hawkish than he is makes Obama look more centrist in his thinking. This “Team of Rivals” pick looks good on the legacy chart too.
In naming Clinton as Secretary of State, Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense and James Jones as National Security Advisor, nobody can accuse Obama of going off the liberal deep end or putting our national security at stake. There’s plenty of political upside for him here. Of course, the liberal blogosphere may have a coronary but we’ll see how that plays out.
Cue the band. The show starts in January.