Fortunately, Hillary’s tenure at the state department indicates that she has indeed learned the painful mistakes of four years ago and consistently applied them on the job.
Perhaps most surprising and impressive to observers has been how harmoniously Hillary has blended with Team Obama. The president-elect may have been the only person in his campaign hierarchy who truly wanted Hillary to serve as secretary of state, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He overcame every objection and rejected every denial because he wanted a “team of rivals” like Lincoln. Some scoffed that what he would get from Hillary would be a rival team, but Hillary has been the very model of collegiality. That does not come with the territory. In the Reagan years Secretary of State George Schultz had a famously bad relationship with Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger. Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld had a mutual-contempt society. But Hillary has worked seamlessly with the Pentagon—first with Bob Gates and now Leon Panetta.
Same goes for Foggy Bottom’s relationship with 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. There has not been a single incidence of a public feud, which is not just the dog that didn’t bark; it’s the pack of wild hounds who didn’t howl at the moon. Unheard of. Hillary has managed to be strong, forceful, independent—and yet completely loyal. If she runs the state department so flawlessly, the thinking goes, surely she can run a campaign—and the country.