I have to jump into this argument because I keep reading that Hillary will undermine Obama & not be a team player. I have read this numerous places but most recently from Ken Silverstein over at Harper’s (via Hill Rat).
This just doesn’t make any sense to me for a few reasons. I want to address Silverstein’s points:
1. If Hillary wants the job, she wants it to be a large part of her legacy and/or she wants to use it as a jumping off point for another future white house run. Now where in either of those goals does it make sense for her to undermine Obama? She already has a bad reputation for being being underhanded & untrustworthy, why would she want to feed those kinds storylines? From such a high profile post, where you are expected to totally put your ego aside for the greater good, it would utterly destroy her reputation, legacy & future aspirations. Hillary has never shown that level of self-destruction. TPM is reporting that some Obama people think she will be a team player. This is a judgement call & right now I trust Obama to make it.
2. This is the most farcical of all. He couldn’t fire her under any circumstances because of political considerations? That’s ridiculous. Worse yet Silverstein doesn’t even give any reasons for why he thinks that. Memo to Ken: Obama won the election handily. This is in the same neighborhood of all the right-wingers who talk about Obama being controlled by Dems in congress. Despite all Obama has done there seem to be a lot of people out there who think he has no power. I just don’t get this.
3. Bill’s conflict of interests. That’s what vetting is for. This is another argument made by many people. I trust Obama as his team to make the right call on this stuff. This is exactly the kind of judgement call Obama & his team earned the right to make. If Hillary becomes SoS, I will believe that one way or another the situation with Bill’s dealing has been resolved enough for Barack to take her in. Again, right now that’s enough for me & I think should be enough for most people.
4. Hillary’s management style. I think this is pretty much a moot point. The buck doesn’t stop with her, it stop with Obama. She will not be the top dog. Also, her campaign obviously had serious issues but to say that her managing style is to pit one faction against the other seems pretty ridiculous. People in her camp fought, that doesn’t mean that that’s her management style. Obama ran a campaign that was free from infighting (publicly at least). There is no good reason to believe that he would allow any of that stuff in the white house.
5. Henry Kissinger’s endorsement is
a non sequitur irrelevant.
I wanted let be known that I am actually pretty neutral on Hillary becoming SoS. I don’t know enough about her or the other candidates’ foreign policy chops beyond their reps. I just think a lot of the arguments against her (specifically the ones above, a couple of which have been made by a lot of different people) just aren’t that convincing.
Krugman, as usual, makes a great point:
Everywhere you look, there’s stuff about Bill Clinton’s donors and all that, often with the implication that there must inherently be something dirty going on, because, well, just because.
But I guess that’s just the way things are. After all, do you remember all the grief President Bush got over his family’s questionable business ties?
Neither do I.