Hillary Clinton plans to accept the job of secretary of state offered by Barack Obama, who is reaching out to former rivals to build a broad coalition administration, the Guardian has learned…
Clinton would be well placed to become the country’s dominant voice in foreign affairs, replacing Condoleezza Rice. Since being elected senator for New York, she has specialised in foreign affairs and defence. Although she supported the war in Iraq, she and Obama basically agree on a withdrawal of American troops.
Clinton, who still harbours hopes of a future presidential run, had to weigh up whether she would be better placed by staying in the Senate, which offers a platform for life, or making the more uncertain career move to the secretary of state job.
The main stumbling block, supposedly, is the risk of governments trying to buy influence by donating to Bill’s charity, but (a) the public’s already assumed that risk, albeit to a lesser extent, per her role in the Senate and (b) like Conason says, it’s hard to believe The One would have made her an offer unless he’d already been given comfort about any major conflicts of interest lurking in the financial disclosures. Plus, it’s not like Billy Jeff’s an unmitigated liability: The only reason there are potential conflicts in the first place is because the Clintons have a preexisting line of political credit with the sorts of people she’ll be leaning on in her new job.
I never thought I’d see the day when the Standard, Commentary, and yours truly were all (relatively) pleased with Hillary Clinton being given a cabinet post, but here we are. Goes to show how much she rehabilitated herself with the right during the campaign, and how far a little Iran hawkishness can go in winning conservative hearts. And the best part? We’ll never want for drama again. Exit question: Er, why would the Guardian know this when American news outlets don’t?
Update: Hitch? Slightly less pleased.
Update: If the Guardian’s right then the news is breaking late, because both WaPo and CNN claimed this afternoon that Clinton’s finances were still being vetted. Maybe she accepted conditionally, i.e. if they pass the vetting?
Update: Ace says he’ll be surprised if she takes the job, as will I for reasons stated here. The only logic to it that I can see is if she thinks she can broker some sort of Mideast peace or deal with Iran that’ll secure her legacy.
Update: Peter Beinart doesn’t get it either, and wonders how Hillary’s going to deal with oversight not just from The One but from his NSA. I think that part of it, at least, is overblown: There’s no sense that Stephen Hadley has Condi Rice on some sort of short leash, for instance, and I’m sure Her Majesty would demand on some sort of concession from Obama up front about how free a hand she’d have.