Rich Galen

We'll probably never know what the terms of the deal were between Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton which caused her to fold up like a cheap suitcase at the Democratic National Convention last year.

Obviously, she wanted - and got - the post of Secretary of State. But, it appears the Clintons weren't nearly the savvy negotiators they might have thought they were.

Inquiring minds would like to know whether the Clintonistas were smart enough to insist that along with the title "Secretary of State" would come the reality that she would be the senior foreign affairs personality in the Obama Administration.

President Obama has moved an extraordinary amount of power into the White House. There, assistants to the President can be hired without that pesky "advise and consent" business which allows the Senate vote on the suitability of nominees for many senior administration posts.

Second, because the Senate didn't judge them in the first place, under the highly developed concept of "executive privilege," it is nearly impossible for the Congress - House or Senate, Republican or Democrat - to demand, even under subpoena - that an assistant to the President come to the Hill and testify.

The most recent example of this concentration of power was the decision to move a senior advisor to Secretary Clinton on Iran, Dennis Ross, out of the State Department and onto the National Security Council which operates out of the White House complex.

According to the NY Times:

The White House has exercised a tight grip on critical foreign policy issues, particularly Iran.

A few weeks ago … Mr. Obama telephoned Mrs. Clinton to inform her he was moving the State Department's top Iran adviser, Dennis Ross, to a job in the White House.

Mrs. Clinton broke her elbow recently and was on the Disabled List for about a month. Now that she is back on the active roster, it is unclear whether the President wants to use her in the day-to-day lineup.

Back in May, Mrs. Clinton announced that "The Iranians are building a huge embassy in Managua, [Nicaragua] and you can only imagine what that's for." The presumption was the Iranians were planning a beachhead in the Americas by setting up shop in Managua.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at