Hillary for State

Posted: Nov 17, 2008 10:28 AM
Hillary for State

We'll get to why I think Hillary will be the next Secretary of State in a second, but first I want to briefly revisit that questionnaire all applicants for jobs in the Obama Administration have to fill out.

Remember that pesky question 63 about whether a member of your family might "be a possible source of embarrassment" to the President-elect?

Seems that White House chief-of-staff designate, Rahm Emanuel may no longer qualify for that job.

According to the NY Times, the other day Emanuel's dad, Benjamin, did an interview with an Israeli newspaper "Ma'ariv" about whether his son might have some influence over U.S. - Israeli relations.

"Obviously he'll influence the president to be pro-Israel, Emanuel-the-Elder was quoted as saying. "Why wouldn't he? What is he, an Arab? He's not going to be mopping floors at the White House."

Emanuel-the-Younger apologized to former Congresswoman and current president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Mary Rose Oakar.

No word on whether the guy who does mop the floors at the White House is asking for an apology for being called an Arab.

Now, Hillary

I think Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State is a great idea. I cannot imagine she wants to spend more than 70 more days as the junior Senator from New York (behind Chuck "Say, is That a Television Camera or are You Just Happy to See Me?") Schumer.

In fact, ever since Barack Obama became the nominee, I have been saying that Hillary Clinton would probably go back to New York and run for Governor in 2010.

I know that Hillary would not be able to honestly answer those 63 questions we've been talking about because Bill Clinton makes Ben Emanuel look like Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof in terms of family embarrassments, but, to be honest about it, former Presidents generally (and properly) get a pass on that sort of thing.

More importantly, the entertainment value of having Bill Clinton as the spouse of the Secretary of State AND Joe Biden as Vice President is worth a lot to someone who has to write a column three times a week.

Sen. Clinton is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee so she knows about the global situation from a military point-of-view.

She certainly has the standing in the world community to be able to represent the interests of the United States and, I suspect, the difference between what Clinton believes and what President-elect Obama believes in the foreign policy arena can be measured in a single-digit percentage.

There are also some political considerations to appointing Hillary as Secretary of State. First it takes her out of politics for 2010, 2012 or ever. Michael Corleone once said his father had taught him to "keep my friends close and my enemies closer."

Good advice for Obama.

If Sen. Clinton becomes Sec. Clinton then a new Senator from New York will be appointed by Gov. David Paterson. I assume it will not be Eliot Spitzer, even if it saves the former Governor air fare traveling from New York to D.C. for his extra-curricular activities.

Whomever Paterson appoints, the GOP will have a better chance of winning that seat in 2012 than if Mrs. Clinton were running for a third term.