Foggy Bottom for Hillary?
by Jonathan Singer, Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 06:54:41 PM EST
Given that much, if not most, of the speculation we hear about staffing in the coming Obama administration isn't necessarily going to be reliable, I was reluctant to pass on the reporting (first from NBC News' Andrea Mitchell) that not only was Hillary Clinton under consideration for the position of Secretary of State -- she was in fact traveling to Chicago today. Yet given that the news is just about everywhere now -- The Washington Post, ABC News, CNN, Politico, Reuters... you name it -- it's probably worth a mention here at MyDD. Here's the Associated Press' take:
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is among the candidates that President-elect Barack Obama is considering for secretary of state, according to two Democratic officials in close contact with the Obama transition team.
Clinton, the former first lady who pushed Obama hard for the Democratic presidential nomination, was rumored to be a contender for the job last week, but the talk died down as party activists questioned whether she was best-suited to be the nation's top diplomat in an Obama administration.
The talk resumed in Washington and elsewhere Thursday, a day after Obama named several former aides to President Bill Clinton to help run his transition effort.
The two Democratic officials who spoke Thursday did so on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering Obama and his staff. Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines referred questions to the Obama transition team, which said it had no comment.
Just because Clinton's name is out there doesn't mean it's a foregone conclusion. But whenever there's this much chatter, there's clearly something going on. It might be real movement towards a pick. It might just be a trial baloon. It might merely be an attempt at a bait and switch (though probably not as misdirection isn't particularly well received by the press).
As for the substance of a Clinton pick, should that be the direction in which Obama goes, there's no question that such a move would underscore Obama's determination to put together the strongest possible team -- even if that team isn't exactly new blood (think Joe Biden, think Rahm Emanuel, think John Podesta, think Ron Klain, et al.). Clinton and Obama might not have looked exactly eye-to-eye on all matters foreign policy during the primaries, but their approach to the world is by and large similar. And I can certainly see Clinton being a strong surrogate for the Obama administration throughout the world.