Friday, November 14, 2008

Hillary Clinton As Secretary of State? Will An Obama Administration = A Third Clinton Term?

Any thoughts on this?

Most readers probably know how I feel about Hillary Clinton by now. I can't stand Bill Clinton either.

I will be posting more over the weekend about what the Obama win means for me.... but for a glimpse of future blog entries on this - part of what has been bothering me, especially over the past week, is the idea that an Obama Presidency may = a third Clinton term. Is this the "change" he has in mind?

He has already chosen a Clintonite to lead his transition team...and another to run his Government (John Podesta and Raum Emanuel respectively). Then we find out that he may be considering yet another Clintonite, Lawrence Summers, for Secretary of the Treasury. Now Hillary Clintons name is floating around. (this is among other possible Clinton appointments.)

This is looking more and more like a third Clinton term to me. This is probably not what Obama supporters were hoping for when they stood in line, sometimes for 2 or 3 hours,...sometimes in the rain, to cast their votes on November 4th.

All of this is on top of the fact that Obama appears to be embracing much of the Bush Administrations foreign policy. It's been a week and a half since the election and I am seriously questioning why I bothered to register and vote for the first time. I feel a little duped.

Even if he doesn't choose Hillary... some of his decisions so far call into question his ability or willingness to bring "change".

This is always the danger of stepping out on faith and supporting an empty suit (as stylish as those Obama suits may be). When someone like Obama mentions change, we want to grab it because it sounds so attractive at a time when things are so bad. But in our haste, we forget to demand or even ask that he explain exactly what he means by "change".

My idea of "change" it relates to the future, means taking the Country in a fundamentally new and different direction. Choosing Clintonites for key Cabinet positions doesn't represent the change that I had in mind.

Perhaps Obama's idea of "change" is simply thinking that he can accomplish it because he's replacing the Bush Administration. For some voters, that may be good enough.... but not for me. He's going to have to do better than that.

As for the Secretary of State.... I don't want to see Clinton or Richard Holbrooke (another hardline Clinton expansionist... he helped to lay the groundwork for the attack on Yugoslavia...which almost sparked WWIII). Basically whoever will be chosen will be a Republicrat... Because he is choosing from a pool of hardline centrists. There are no real Progressives in the mix.

I'd rather have him pick someone with a background as a diplomat, like a Bill Richardson....(yes, someone from the Clinton Administration, but someone who has fallen out of favor with the Clinton's and who endorsed Obama early on) or someone who has at least a few Progressive credentials, like a John Kerry. A little known Progressive would also be great...someone fresh and new, but who has the background for the job.

Someone like an Adm. William Fallon would make a great Secretary of Defense...
Obama should consider the long list of Generals/Admirals who opposed the way the Iraq War was handled by the Bush administration... let these men run the Pentagon.

Patrick Fitzgerald for Attorney General. As much as I'd love to see the first Black AG, like an Eric Holder, he has too many skeletons in his closet...and he was also part of the Clinton Administration. I'd rather see a top Prosecutor run the Justice Department... a career person for a "change".

Director of National Intelligence....or Secretary of Homeland choice for either of those spots would be Ronald Noble - One of the best known Law Enforcement Officers in the World. Formerly one of the highest ranking Law Enforcement Officers in the U.S.- and he's a Black man. Not that I want to fill the job with a Black American.... It's just that Ron Noble happens to be one of the best people for the job...and it's just a coincidence that he happens to be Black.
And bring Clark Kent Ervin back as Inspector General.

For CIA.... choose a qualified career man. There are several division chiefs who quit during the Bush years... frustrated about Bush policy and meddling in CIA business.

FEMA... 3 words... James Lee Witt.... and fast... This is one Clinton guy who the Country actually needs... This would be a good pick.

Agriculture .... Tom Vilsack.

Czar or Secretary of Science and Technology (if Obama could help create this new position)... Former Astronaut Eileen Collins. This could be someone who could chair a national Science Committee to help us clean up the environment, mitigate global warming, help establish energy independence within 15 years, treat energy independence like a new Manhattan project, and could help oversee the establishment of a green economy...with green collar jobs, etc. They could help oversee Space Exploration and all the rest... Eileen Collins would be an awesome choice.

Tammy Duckworth for the open U.S. Senate seat (Illinois) or Secretary of Veterans Affairs. (but i'd really love for her to get that Senate seat...hopefully the Governor of Illinois will make it happen).

My list could go on and on... but unfortunately...none of the Obama people will ever read this blog.

And another problem seems to be that Obama is taking direction from the Clinton folks... instead of charting his own path. I understand reaching out.... but this is ridiculous.

And why would Hillary Clinton want to give up her Senate seat anyway? I doubt that she would want the reason is because there is no glass left for her to break in that arena... that's already been done more than once. So it would seem less than attractive to her. The only position that she might have chosen...and that would have given her satisfaction, is the VP slot...and that has obviously already been decided. She will actually have more clout if she remains in the Senate.

But we won't know for sure until she accepts it or rejects it... if it's being offered at all.

What are your thoughts on the possibility of Hillary getting such a key position in an Obama Administration (an Administration that already seems on track to be filled with a ton of Clintonites). Secretary of State and Chief of Staff are probably the two highest positions in an Administration..., not including the President and VP obviously....and for them to be filled with Clinton folks...or even by a Clinton... just seems strange for a man who ran on a promise to fundamentally change Washington D.C.

This is going to drive me nuts until someone retracts the Clinton report...or offers some sort of clarification. I'd like to hear that this is a mistake.

If Obama does this... I will have to really break ranks. During the campaign, I held back.... because I wanted the lesser evil to win the election. I was hoping that Obama would stand for some sort of Progressive principles. But now that the election is over... I won't hold back my opinions nearly as much.

Obama's Cabinet choices will tell me one of two things: #1) Whether he will pursue a Progressive agenda...and whether he believes in Peace and Progressive Principles, or #2) If he will have too much of a Centrist, pro-war, corporate, interventionist (I can imitate a Republican better than you can) type of Presidency. So far it looks as if - as a way to compensate for a way to gain as much acceptance as possible...and to prove he's "tough" - he may be going out of his way to choose folks who are tough on foreign policy and other issues. This kind of overcompensation is something that I was concerned about...hopefully it won't translate into the wrong decisions being made during some sort of crisis or international incident.


Anonymous said...

This aspect of Obama's campaign is starting to become suspect to me. For months now, "change" has been the mantra of the campaign. But I can't help but feel misled when I'm starting to see many of the same Clintonian faces reappearing in an Obama administration. One or two is fine. But it looks like at this rate, the entire Clinton cabinent will eventually be on staff.

Was the so-called "change" exclusive to the Bush administration or was is supposed to represent a clean break for Washington politics in general? If it was supposed to be the latter, it's not looking too good.

To steal the idea from Stephen Colbert, Obama got a "Wag of my Finger" the moment I found out Rahm Emanuel (complict in Clinton's inane Crime Bill, hugely influencial on the passage of NAFTA, and an unapologetic Zionist) was brought on board. To make matters worse, I was tempted to throw my TV out the window when I saw that Jennifer Granholm (arguably the worst Governor in Michigan history) was added to his economic advisory board. Decisions like this are prime examples of the bullsh*t for which we should hold Obama accountable.

I'm not looking forward to people I met while canvassing asking me about the "change" that was promised.

Truthiz said...


Regarding Barack’s decision to bring a number of Clintonistas on board_3 things seem apparent to me:

1. Barack is nothing if not “ruthlessly pragmatic”. Hence, he’s hiring the people he views as "the best" at what they do, essentially betting that they'll give him the best chance to “get the job done”_and more importantly, to get the job done right!

The truth is, I see little difference between “organized crime” and most of the folks charged with running our government.

2. Barack’s #1 movie pick? “The “Godfather”. His # 2 pick? “The Godfather II”. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that he subscribes to that Sicilian school of thought that warns_ “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer”. Thank you Michael Coreleone.

3. My interpretation of Barack’s mantra of “Change” is that_ it’s always primarily been about the ability to implement fundamental "Changes" in U.S. policies and politics. It was much less about "the faces" of the people on his team and whether or not a person has served in a previous administration.

Simply put: Can he/she get the job done?

Regarding Hillary:

I’ve never liked “anonymous” leaks. And even though it appears that sumpin’s up, I’ll wait for the official announcement.

rikyrah said...

I was just coming to post on this.

Here's my answer.



The ever astute readers have pointed out that this would be a disaster, and all thing for us here lead BACK TO THE DONOR LISTS.


We still don't know who's on those Donor Lists - to the Clinton Foundation and to the Clinton Library.

Do we really want Bill Clinton around American Foreign Policy?


I'm still at the point why this is even being discussed. Why isn't Bill Richardston the slam dunk for this position?

And, if I hear one more commentator on that damn book about Lincoln and his rivals, I'll have to give a holla.

I don't believe Hillary Clinton can raise a ruckus in the Senate. It'd be much too obvious to see her being obstinate in the Senate. So, I don't buy the excuse that Obama would be trying to get her out of The Senate.

Anonymous said...

I’m not surprised that Hilary and Obama will most likely end up working on the same team in the white house, Obama as President and Hill-dawg as Secretary of State. Do you know what one major mutual thing they shared in common was? They both have shared a vision to lead American. Hilary didn’t win the presidential election but isn’t it ironic that she will probably end up in one of the most important leadership positions in the Government. Her vision to lead was so strong that she could taste it – and now a senior leadership position has attracted her to the white house – unbelievable.
Any goal or desired outcome starts with a vision. There’s a great video and download here that describes how to realize your dream by creating a Vision Board, a device that entrepreneurs, government officials, and highly successful people are all now doing.
Go to

redante said...

This is the paradox that I am struggling with myself. If I truly wanted a clean break from politics as usual I would have voted for a third party. But I opted for the pragmatic route of voting for the ticket with the chance of winning who promised change.

Now that the prospect of change is appearing to be not as extensive as many expected I find myself not surprised but not disappointed either. Obama ran as a Democrat under the Democratic Party's ticket and as the party's nominee. I was not expecting Obama to break too much with party orthodoxy on major issues.

However, my hopes are not hinged this time on what happens top down but what happens from the bottom up. Lots of engaged independents participated and volunteered for the elections. I'd like to see what happens to that network. My guess is it isn't gonna die down quietly. My hunch is they will find a way to hold the Obama administration accountable to its promises. At least that's my hope.

Brian said...

"One or two is fine. But it looks like at this rate, the entire Clinton cabinent will eventually be on staff."

Exactly Andre....

I have no problem necessarily with just a few here or there. There are always carryovers from previous Democratic or Republican administrations. That's to be expected...esp. under normal circumstances. But this isn't a "normal" situation. The nations economic & financial system, as well as its standing in the world are in shambles. AND you have a President-elect who made fundamental change....and criticism of Washington (over the last several years and several administrations....not just Bush) a centerpiece of his campaign. Yet now that he has won, he is going back to old status quo folks from the Clinton administration and seems to be choosing heavily from that tree. It's too big of a contradiction for me.

"I'm not looking forward to people I met while canvassing asking me about the "change" that was promised."

I didn't know that you actually got hooked on the koolaid... lol. I flirted with it myself... but didn't get hooked. I only did a taste test... didn't actually drink any.

Looks like Obama is writing a hope-ful check that you might not be able to cash Andre. lol Let's just "hope" that those folks don't run into you at the Grocery store.

You can always stay indoors like I do.

That's why I made the point to mention that I voted more out of fear of the Megalomaniac John McSame...and his wacko sidekick Caribou Barbie.

Now that this threat is out of the picture (at least for now) i'm able to see the lesser evil in clearer terms.

Brian said...


I don't know if I buy the whole pragmatism argument. Certainly there are other qualified folks available than people who were so close to the Clinton's and their policies. These aren't the only people in the World who can get things done.

Your point about keeping enemies closer... that might be more plausible.

And regarding bringing "change" despite the faces... well, it would be easier for me to accept the idea that an Obama Administration would bring true fundamental change...if there weren't so many familiar faces. Why is he reaching back so far.... when it might make more sense to reach forward since he won on a change platform and he has somewhat of a mandate to make it happen.

It would also be easier for me to believe that he could bring change with these familiar folks... If he wasn't taking so much direction from them. It would be different if he was more dominant in providing the vision and direction for his future government. But it seems that he is taking his direction from the same Washington insiders that he railed against.

I'm sorry... it just doesn't work for me.

Also... having Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State just doesn't fit in terms of policy and vision. People suggest that these two are a natural fit... but they are actually fairly divergent figures.

Obama (the natural Obama) seems much more Progressive. Hillary Clinton represents an old Cold War Truman Doctrine type of foreign policy thinker. She supports a much more activist, militaristic, aggressive....and traditional U.S. foreign policy. A foreign policy heavily dependent on projecting U.S. power around the world through military means.

Americans, to some degree, just rejected that kind of approach when they elected Obama. They rejected that approach when they turned against the War in Iraq.

More specifically.... if you think back to the Primary Debates, it was Clinton who first challenged Obama on the question of negotiating with enemies without a long list of ridiculous preconditions. This is something that the U.S. is traditionally known for...and it's the policy of the Bush Administration. Clinton supports this kind of hardline foreign policy approach. Obama does not. I don't know how Obama reconciles this.

Clinton also doesn't have any real qualifications to be Secretary of State. She doesn't have a background in the State Department, as a trained negotiator, never was involved in tough negotiations, isn't a trained international mediator, has never successfully mediated a conflict or crisis, etc...although as First Lady, she had ceremonial duties as an ambassador (that doesn't prepare you for running the Dept. of State). The skills I mentioned are crucial.

She's described as tough... but we don't need another John Wayne representing the U.S. abroad. We need someone who is smart and knows how to properly use carrots and sticks... and who knows that it's better to put the sticks away in most cases...and use positive incentives and positive re-enforcement and mutual respect in this new global age. Hillary Clinton is a dinosaur in terms of her foreign policy thinking. Too much of a reach back. We need someone smart and forward looking... who knows how to negotiate.

We need to get back to "Walk softly, but carry a big stick"...with an emphasis on walking softly. We don't need someone out there who will be bellicose, beating their chest, and rattling sabers. It's time for something new.

Her appointment would be a mistake in my opinion...

I also don't like her position on Iraq....and the way that she tried to pretend to be clueless about what Bush intended. She was lying when she said (in attempting to explain her support for the Iraq invasion) that she didn't know what Bush was intending to do with the Congressional approval which opened the door for military action. EVERYBODY in the World knew what that vote was all about. I remember that time vividly. You can go back and look at the news reels from that time... all the major networks knew...and reported it accordingly. The Bush Admin. was already moving men and materials into place at that time... and in fact, had already amassed most of the forces for the invasion. Troop movements had been going on for months before the vote. Other members of Congress knew what was going did the American people. An invasion was a foregone conclusion. People were already passed that question. The question at the time had become... what would be the exit strategy.

For her to tell that bold faced lie (that she didn't know what Congressional approval for military action meant).... that she believed that Bush genuinely wanted more inspections (when everyone knew that the Bush Admin. was trying to derail Hans Blix and the UN inspection process) is just horribly disingenuous. The decision for regime change in Iraq had already been made long before... as the Downing Street memo and other reports have now confirmed...and something that most who had been paying attention already knew.

She couldn't be trusted as a Secretary of State.

Brian said...

"You can't vote for the same cast of characters and expect a different result"

Do you all recall that mantra from Mr. President-elect himself? He repeated that line constantly. That was when he was campaigning AGAINST (*shocked face*) Hillary Clinton.

That was when he was railing against Washington insiders...and Washington practices and policies.

Now he's flipped flopped before even being sworn in?

Come on!

Annette said...

I don't see how you think 1 ONE nominee COS Rahm is a 3rd Clinton term. Give me a flippin break. He hasn't even started naming names yet. All he has done is talk to people. You are going by what the MSM is reporting on. Rumors, Rumors and more rumors. You have no clue what is really going to happen.David Axelrod - original Obama advisor, Robert Gibbs - expected to be named Press Secretary, Valerie Jarrett his friend from Chicago has just been named as a WH insider and they sure as heck aren't from the Clinton years so where do you base that from. Just because Podesta is from the Clinton years and is on the transition team doesn't mean that is what he is going to have in his Admin. At least he is using his head and using people and hitting the ground running and at least is using someone that is smart enough to know where they screwed up with Clinton and maybe will do it right this time.

So get off this crap, I am tired of hearing this 3rd term Clinton stuff.

rikyrah said...

About HRC as SOS, from the comments section at Ta-Nehisi Coates

First, this is classic Obama strategy, pure and simple. This guy is RUTHLESS. Obama is offering this to box her in and neutralize her power if she accepts it, and/or knock her down a peg and expose her if she doesn't. If she accepts, she is out of the Senate and her political power base is largely neutralized. It would be largely considered improper for her to politically engage as SoS. Right now, HRC is the *most* dangerous person to his administration. She poses the largest threat - forget Pelosi and Reid - it is HRC who would have the power to do the most damage if she were to decide to publicly criticize his administration and/or challenge him in 2012. If she's in the administration, she can't sh!t on it. AND, it gives her incentive to truly hope that the Obama administration is successful (and therefore not try to undermine it) whether or not she chooses to run in 2016 because her political future or legacy will largely depend on Obama's success (or failure).

If she chooses to turn him down, it just shows, once and for all that she's all about self. How would it look if the President-Elect personally asked her to serve her nation at a time of great national turmoil and she turns him down to stay in the Senate as the Junior Senator from NY? Seriously, what REAL excuse could she give to turn him down that wouldn't get her completely slayed in the media? That public lashing, if it were to happen would make her politically unviable for the forseeable future and if she did ever decide to criticize him after she declined a personal invitation to serve in the cabinet she would be laughed out of the room.

All in all, politics is a chess game and Obama is not just looking at the board as it is, but is looking at the board as it might be and anticipating many moves away. This just might be checkmate on HRC.

Posted by Adrienne

Truthiz said...

One of things I appreciate most about sites such as MOA is that diversity of thoughts and opinions are Welcomed_as opposed to sites whereby readers are literally expected to wear an ideological straitjacket Every day and an “echo-chamber/ group-think” mentality is considered ‘the norm”, rendering any notion of being able to engage in an “honest’ discussion about_well, anything, virtually impossible.

Back to this discussion:

I could blather on detailing what I believe Barack hopes to specifically achieve by the end of his Presidency (8 yrs?) _but I won’t_lol.

Instead I’ll simply say this....

I believe that “ruthless pragmatism” or “maxim of pragmatism” (if you will), will be the prevailing principle/ approach to how Obama shapes his administration, develops his policies and governs this country.

Of course, Barack knows that trying to satisfy 100% of the people who voted for him 100% of the time is totally UNrealistic.

But no doubt he's “hopeful” that by the end of his Presidency, most of his efforts will have begun to pay off in significant ways with positive outcomes_and he will have satisfied most Americans most of the time.

As for Hillary Clinton possibly becoming Secretary of State?

I honestly have no problem with it. IMO, she's qualified.

But it’s not a done deal yet_so as I previously stated, I'll simply wait for the official announcement

Brian said...


Adrienne's comment is interesting and plausible.

I had not quite thought of the situation that way.... I don't know if Obama is that calculating. With all that is going on, he probably doesn't have time to use that kind of strategy.... but it's possible.
He could be looking to placate her hardcore supporters to help gain their support as President. He did mention that he would reach out...and this is probably one of the first steps to take action on his promise.

Brian said...


Thank You - Yes... I definitely want an open forum here.

And I guess I can wait to see the outcomes. I like to think of myself as a pretty practical person. I believe in pragmatism and all...
So i'm willing to see how it plays out. It appears that he intends to offer the position to Clinton, if he hasn't already. I guess I can Excedrin my way through the whole ordeal. lol

It's not like she's a green monster from outer space with 4 arms, 4 legs and 3 eyes. Although she behaved like the antagonist in a horror movie at one time. But we know who she is. So that helps.
I guess my main sticking point is the ugly and inappropriate way she ran her campaign against him.

I could make a list of ugly tactics and comments from her. In the beginning, when that photo of Obama in Traditional African Muslim clothes came out (a photo taken on an official Senate visit to Africa) why didn't Hillary Clinton immediately come out and condemn the attempt to smear Obama....and to use Islam as the smear? Why didn't she reject it? Why didn't she aggressively defend Obama? (which would have been the right thing to do in that situation...friend or foe).

And as for her qualifications...

I still say she isn't the best choice for the position. She has no experience running a large organization, she isn't trained in the kind of diplomatic techniques necessary, she's not a trained diplomat or negotiator at all, she hasn't mediated one conflict or crisis to a peaceful conclusion, etc. In this age of "change" we should be getting away from the practice of putting untrained political appointees in these keys positions. That's what the Bush Administration did quite often, in some cases with disastrous results.

Hillary Clinton is narcissistic and wants to be the boss and the center of attention at all times. Would she listen to her chief diplomats....the trained career experts who actually help formulate policy and run day-to-day operations at the State Department? Or will she try to get camera time and try to do things her own way... even undermining the policy of the White House?

The idea that she could be trusted... has to be proven out for me... I can't just accept that idea. It's hard to accept that idea regarding most people in general terms.... so certainly it can't be accepted for someone who ran such a toxic, divisive, and negative campaign.

She's not the best qualified IMO. The best qualified would probably be someone like a Bill Richardson...or a Richard much as I don't like Holbrooke's bellicose, aggressive, almost pro-war style.

The appointment may be a hit...or it may end up being a mistake.

But it's Obama's choice. He'll have to live with the consequences and lay in the bed that she helps to make.

If Hillary Clinton causes international incidents and can't repair the damage from the Bush years...and even damage left from the Clinton years, and can't negotiate/mediate crisis, can't reach peace deals, comes off as too arrogant and bellicose (reminiscent of the John Wayne foreign policy of the last 8 years)....then Obama won't be able to effectively deal with the huge domestic problems that we face.
He will have to divert time and resources meant for domestic use, to deal with a renewed Cold War and Arms Race in Europe, to deal with putting out fires all over the globe, especially political and military fires that have the potential for regional and global conflict. That has the potential of ruining much of his Presidency.... because he'll have to pass on developing a green economy as quickly as we need it...he'll have to pass on making healthcare accessible to all (the funds will be needed for the arms races), he'll have to pass on stabilizing the economy and the housing markets and keeping people in their homes, etc etc etc.

Every sneaky thing she does... i'm going to call it as I see it.

But i'm willing to see how things play out. It will be interesting.

It will give us something to debate about. :)

Anonymous said...

it seems like, if Hillary becomes the Sec. State, then there will be some serious personality and agenda conflict between her and Obama

Anonymous said...

The third Clinton term, it appears, is in full throttle.

President-Elect, seriously, I have to ask: WTF?