Friday, November 21, 2008

Welcome to Hil House

So...have you heard the one about Barack Obama's pick for Secretary of State?

I think anyone who follows this blog knows pretty clearly how I feel about the way Hillary Clinton ran her primary campaign (despicable). But does that automatically rule her out from the State Department post? Depending on where you sit on the ideological divide, Obama's pick is either awfully brilliant or brilliantly awful.

Now, I'm not going to say this isn't a choice that's rife with its own potential pitfalls, but from where I sit it does make good political sense, at least. The Clinton selection falls right in line with Obama's stated preference for assembling a "Team of Rivals" style cabinet a la Abe Lincoln, and provides him with someone in a key policy position who can hardly be considered a yes-person (a far cry from the chorus of "yeah-huhs" that GW surrounded himself with).

More than that though, it effectively allows the prez-elect to harness Hillary's considerable domestic and international name recognition and draft it into service for his own political agenda. Smart politics. Now, all of that being said, while there wasn't much daylight between the two of them in terms of domestic policy, they were (and, I assume, are) miles apart in terms of several key tenets of Obama's stated foreign policy. The big question then is which agenda she's loyal to.

It remains an extremely risky move on Obama's part, no question about it, and clearly I'm not the only one with some concerns. Let's hope it doesn't become a move that he (and we) come to regret.

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