The SoS position

Hey, I am back. Don't you think Richardson would make a better SoS anyway?  He's been very results-oriented in his past ventures overseas on behalf of the US. I also think that John Kerry would be a great SoS. Clinton doesn't strike me as someone that's been as focused on international affairs as have those two. And regardless, it looks like it won't happen:
An adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said the former first lady is flattered by Obama's offer to make her secretary of State, but has reservations about leaving her Senate post (New York Times).


Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., has asked Clinton to shepherd health care reform through Congress (Los Angeles Times) and she is reportedly considering turning down Obama's offer in favor of taking on this role (Politico).

That said, Obama's 'team of rivals' mode is big thinking, and indicative of his intention (which he mentioned election night) of being a two term President. He knows its a two-fer with Bill Clinton aiding Hillary too, in the SoS position (does he want it more than she-- what drama); three birds with one stone might be too far a stretch.

Tags: clinton, Kerry, obama, Richardson (all tags)

Comments

47 Comments

Re: The SoS position

No offense Jerome, taking an advisor's opinion as gospel as to what is really going on is a leap of faith  tantamount to jumping the Grand Canyon.

by jsfox 2008-11-19 04:06AM | 0 recs
Re: The SoS position

Excuse me but that is a bit too far fetched.

There are conflicting reports...per the Huffington Post:
"Clinton has agreed to release the names of several major donors to his charitable foundation and will submit future foundation activities and paid speeches to a strict ethics review, said Democrats knowledgeable about the discussions.

They also said that Clinton would step away from day-to-day responsibility for his foundation while his wife serves and would alert the State Department to his speaking schedule and any new sources of income. The Democrats spoke only on grounds of anonymity because of the private nature of the Cabinet-selection process."

Also, Sam Donaldson per ABCNEWS says it is pretty much a done deal.

She would be a good choice and everyone agrees

by mtg44234 2008-11-19 04:07AM | 0 recs
Yes...

So why are so many around here still freaking out over it? It's not like Hillary's not qualified. And for all the talk of "Clinton Drama", what can the media really point to? President Clinton's foundation that helps people all over the world? Old Hillary quotes from 2007?

by atdleft 2008-11-19 04:51AM | 0 recs
Re: The SoS position

How do you remove the issue that everyone in the room knows that after HRC is done as SOS Bill Clinton or his representative will be asking the person across from HRC for money?

by Carl Nyberg 2008-11-19 07:05AM | 0 recs
Assuming Sen Kennedy

made such a request of HRC, there's still no reason to believe it would come to fruition.  With the way Kennedy worked HRC from 2004 to the present, she shouldn't trust him.  To put an offer like this on the table, watch her pass up the SoS position, and then hand the reins to someone else is nothing less than we've come to expect of Ted.

by SuperCameron 2008-11-19 04:13AM | 0 recs
at least he tried now moving on

by FLS 2008-11-19 04:19AM | 0 recs
Your news is a bit old

The reservations seem to be gone by now and they're just going through Bill's finances.

by elrod 2008-11-19 04:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Your news is a bit old

Yes. Yesterday, if we had heard nothing, I would have agreed with Jerome (and did). But the time to pull out or leak that you might pull out was last night or this morning. It's been almost a week now. It's hitting the point where a "no" would mean a LOT of wasted time and energy.

by vcalzone 2008-11-19 04:40AM | 0 recs
Re: The SoS position

It will be interesting.   COnflicting reports aside, this is a win-win for Obama.  He made a genuine offer to Clinton, which is a sign of respect (which helps keep the good will politically from her, her people, and those supporters of hers who reluctantly backed Obama in the GE)...   If she takes it cool... if not, there are other awesome choices.  Either way he wins.

by yitbos96bb 2008-11-19 04:32AM | 0 recs
There is one downside if she says no

Somebody will have to be the public "second choice" for the job.  Nobody wants that stigma, though I imagine Richardson could probably deal with it.  Besides, agreeing to be an acknowledged "second choice" might go some distance in getting the Clinton camp over their primary grievances with him.

I'm not sure Kerry would accept the jobs on those terms.  I'm not saying he wouldn't for sure, but I think it's less of a given than with Richardson.

by Reaper0Bot0 2008-11-19 04:47AM | 0 recs
Re: There is one downside if she says no

Only a petty person with a big ego would care about that.  No one will remember that in a year.

by yitbos96bb 2008-11-19 06:57AM | 0 recs
I dunno...

Perhaps Richardson has more "traditional qualifications", but he doesn't excite in any way. And right now, I think we need an exciting figure on the world stage to let the world know that we're back & ready to do business. And even better, Hillary already has most world leaders on her speed dial... She's ready to hit the ground running!

by atdleft 2008-11-19 04:47AM | 0 recs
Re: I dunno...

I think that for most of the world, the fact that the SoS won't be representing the Bush Administration will be exciting enough... ;-)

by mistersite 2008-11-19 05:02AM | 0 recs
Re: I dunno...

'||' '|' '||''''|   .|'''.|  
  || |    ||  .     ||..  '  
   ||     ||''|      ''|||.  
   ||     ||       .     '||
  .||.   .||.....| |'....|'  

HE CAN! BILL FTW

by Trey Rentz 2008-11-19 07:23AM | 0 recs
i think obama excites everyone enough
they may be looking for soemoen more sane and sober.
but who said we had to listen to them anyway?
by RisingTide 2008-11-19 08:14AM | 0 recs
IMHO Richardson is the best choice

We all are focusing on the Middle East, but I think that the US should focus on renewing its relationship with Latin America, starting with ending the embargo with Cuba and getting into a normal status with Venezuela.

There is no reason for the embargo nor for out overly aggressive stance with respect to Venezuela.  These two irrational positions, one a Cold War relic and the other a Bush fetish, have soured and poisoned our efforts in Latin America to do anything.

I would hope that we would take a stand for human rights and economic justice for Latin America.  Richardson seems, of the people floating, the only one with his head even partially out of his ass when it comes to Latina America, and specifically Venezuela and Cuba.

Thos two counties are the Palestine of Latina America.  Until we make good our errors there, the rest of the region will be difficult to deal with.

by teknofyl 2008-11-19 04:49AM | 0 recs
Re: The SoS position
 Had Obama picked Bill Richardson without first offering the SoS to Hillary, then there would have been howls from some (PUMAs) that he was once again 'slighting' her, slapping her in the face, insulting her, etc.
 If Richardson (my first choice) ends up with the position (after Hillary turns it down), then we will have seen another work of sheer political genius from our new President.
by QTG 2008-11-19 04:51AM | 0 recs
But I don't see...

Hillary turning this down. Why should she? So Ted Kennedy can offer her something on health care only to take it away again? While I have plenty of respect for Sen. Kennedy, I smell something fishy with this offer. Is he doing it just so Kerry or Richardson can get the SoS job instead?

by atdleft 2008-11-19 04:54AM | 0 recs
Re: But I don't see...

 I think she'd be a great SoS and would end up enhancing her place in History, perhaps moving on to the White House or the SCOTUS down the road. I just think the politics gives us yet even more assurance that "Obama's got this" (if we needed any more proof). The guy is one smart cookie, in case anyone had missed that.

by QTG 2008-11-19 04:59AM | 0 recs
She's a great choice politically...

...and a very good choice in a traditional sense as well. She may not have a long foreign policy resumé but she has tremendous clout. That may be even more important given the challenges she will face as SoS.

Richardson is eminently qualified and would be a great SoS, but I prefer HRC if she'll take it.

by Spiffarino 2008-11-19 05:06AM | 0 recs
Nope

I don't think anyone was thinking of Hillary for State -- except Obama.

Hillary supporters would not have thought she was being passed over this time.

Agree that you don't turn down State.

by carrieboberry 2008-11-19 05:02AM | 0 recs
I agree

I'm no PUMA, but was an avid Clinton supporter... and a luke-warm Obama supporter.

My feeling is that the vast majority of her supporters (even the avid ones) voted for Obama once he was the only option and are giving him the benefit of the doubt, hoping for the very best.

I live in NY and was totally satisfied with her staying in the Senate, "blooming where she's planted" etc.

Having her be SOS would be great, but I don't think Obama "needed" to do it to patch up old wounds... I think they were largely healing on their own.

by twinmom 2008-11-19 07:08AM | 0 recs
I think ny needs her more
than we need her at sec of state.
but it's a great opportunity for her, and i wish her the best with a tough decision
by RisingTide 2008-11-19 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: The SoS position

I think given that Bill has offered to open up his finances and to step aside from his day-to-day duties with his foundation, and that Hillary has three of her top attorneys assisting Obama's team with the vetting, makes the chances of her wanting the post 4-to-1 and the chances of her getting it probably the same or better.  That adviser comment is just a line to make Hillary seem less eager than she really is...her folks don't want it look like she's saying "how high?" to an Obama command to "jump".  You don't turn down State - especially at a time like this when there is so much work to do on the foreign policy front - to return to the Senate as a 60-year-old ranked 39th in seniority within the party to work on an issue that Ted Kennedy wants to own.

That said, I think Richardson or Kerry would be fine in the post.  But I think Clinton would command more attention and respect in her dealings with foreign nations/leader, even if she may have less experience on the diplomatic front than either Kerry or Richardson.  She is, after all, Hillary Clinton, wife of Bill.  And she's tough.

by OGLiberal 2008-11-19 04:56AM | 0 recs
Re: The SoS position

richardson -remember Wen Ho Lee

by rocky 2008-11-19 04:57AM | 0 recs
Re: The SoS position

He was innocent, and there was a big deal about the Times having basically designated him as having been a spy, ruining the guy's reputation, and then printing a tiny, tiny retraction once they learned their error.

What else is there to remember about him?

by Jess81 2008-11-19 05:00AM | 0 recs
Re: The SoS position

Richardson was the sec of energy when Lee was falsely accused

by rocky 2008-11-19 11:59AM | 0 recs
Ha! Jerome you naive child.

If she can take it, she takes it. No question. Anything else will just be cover for why she can't have the job. If she "turns it down" and goes off to help Teddy with health care it's because Bill has screwed her over and there's something in his finances that won't look good in the light of day. They can't ever come out and say she didn't pass vetting, so they'd do the polite thing and allow her to say its her idea.

by Travis Stark 2008-11-19 05:02AM | 0 recs
Re: The SoS position

Also both Kerry and Richardson speak one then one language.

by venician 2008-11-19 05:04AM | 0 recs
You meant "more than one" I think

Yes, they do. Kerry speaks five or six different languages if memory serves. I think Richardson speaks three, and maybe more.

Hillary speaks two languages: English and Power. The second one will take her far.

by Spiffarino 2008-11-19 05:09AM | 0 recs
Re: You meant "more than one" I think

I don't see a claim that Kerry speaks any foreign languages on his Wikipedia page. Based on his life history I could believe he's reasonably facile in French and can order a beer and a hooker in Vietnamese.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-11-19 07:02AM | 0 recs
with all due respect

How on earth can you read the article you linked to as "doesn't look like it's going to happen.?" All it mentions is a rumor that she has reservations, which any thinking person who had a senate seat would.

by Mayor McCheese 2008-11-19 05:07AM | 0 recs
Re: The SoS position

I'm not sure this "team of rivals" meme is all its cracked up to be.  When W. put his Cabinet together in 2000, it had voices like Colin Powell, Christine Todd Whitman, Andy Card pitted against voices like Cheney and Rumsfeld.  But it was all a show and Bush just silenced people who disagreed with him.  I don't think you can read too much into someone's leadership style just by (rumored) appointments to the Cabinet.

by the mollusk 2008-11-19 05:11AM | 0 recs
And Card turnedout to be a real neocon

as well.

by edparrot 2008-11-19 06:51AM | 0 recs
Re: The SoS position

One Difference... Obama has a reputation since College of listening to all view points... seeking out dissention.  That's w hy he was awarded Editor of the Law Review... The conversative students knew one of their own wouldn't be selected, so they backed him because he was willing to at least hear them out and listen, even if he didn't follow or agree with them.

by yitbos96bb 2008-11-19 07:29AM | 0 recs
Actually Richard Holbrooke or Strobe Talbot

are probably more qualified than most named here. I'm not sure about Bill Richardson's skillset as a conflict mediator after the way he bungled his own relationship with HRC/WJC with respect to Obama.

by louisprandtl 2008-11-19 05:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Actually Richard Holbrooke or Strobe Talbot

i agree. frankly, beyond Hillary the choices being floated are poor. Kerry is dumb, Richardson a lightweight, and Lugar and Hegel too Republican.

Holbrooke is the catch here, and Strobe T. would be very good, too. I see the appeal of Hillary, but beyond that would prefer that SoS go to a hard-minded pro, rather than a camera-focused prima donna.

by CalDem 2008-11-19 05:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Actually Richard Holbrooke or Strobe Talbot

Holbrooke is way too hawkish for my tastes and has been pretty shameless promoting himself for the job.  I doubt that appeals to Obama.  

Also, it's sort of hard to argue Richardson isn't as well-qualified as anyone.  He was ambassador to the UN, headed energy policy, and brings both legislative and executive experience to the job.  That's pretty hard to beat.

by HSTruman 2008-11-19 06:40AM | 0 recs
Re: The SoS position

I'm going to paraphrase Josh Marshall here--

Does she want a senate seat for life or 4 years (the average) as Secretary of State?  I don't think it's a no-brainer that she takes it.  She stands to have a stronger legacy if she stays in the senate.

by Rooktoven 2008-11-19 05:49AM | 0 recs
Re: The SoS position

HRC sees herself an executive.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-11-19 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: The SoS position

Richardson has something of a resume but Hillary has that "it" factor and I think would be very compelling when speaking with world leaders.   I'm torn...I like the idea of Hillary becoming a lion of the Senate but she'd have more immediate impact as SecState and if the choices were narrowed to Hillary, Richrdson, Kerry, and Holbrooke, I'd take Hillary.

by InigoMontoya 2008-11-19 06:01AM | 0 recs
Re: The SoS position

My preferred choices:

1. Richardson

  1. Holbrooke
  2. Hillary Rodham Clinton (provided some appropriate protections can be put in place against conflict of interest between her official duties and Bill's fundraising)
  3. somebody else
  4. John Kerry

There's something about Kerry I find unimpressive. Kerry and I have very similar backgrounds in the Navy. We were both officers. We were both assigned to aircraft carriers. We both went from there to Southeast Asia. After the military we were both activists critical of DOD policies.

To me it was crystal clear the Iraq War was not justified under int'l law. Beyond that it was clear to me that labeling Iraq an imminent threat based on a limited nuclear weapons program was absurd. And doing it based on the existence of some bio or chem weapons was goofier still.

I have no respect for Kerry's judgment if he bought the hype on Iraq.

His background and my background are too similar for me to buy that he was fooled or was ignorant.

I think Richardson and Holbrooke have more management experience than HRC. They are both proven diplomats. But HRC brings gravitas that few others have.

I'm OK with HRC, Holbrooke or Richardson.

Kerry is a dog of a choice. The only plus to appointing Kerry is that it creates some upward mobility in Massachusetts.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-11-19 06:54AM | 0 recs
Richardson or Clinton?

I like Bill Richardson a lot and to have a Latino in the position would also be wonderful re out relations with other countries. I also strongly supported Barack over Hillary and have had questions about the way she has let ambition supersede integrity.

But some good Democratic people I know in New Mexico see Richardson as a relatively mediocre governor and that concerns me.
Hillary has the brains and toughness and will command immediate respect. Her biggest limitation is her husband and his ego.

Barack will make his choice based on his two primary criteria, competency and ability to work as part of a team.

I think it will be Hillary but, if she doesn't clear the vetting process because of Bill's worldwide business and philanthropy ties I think Barack will go back to the drawing board before picking anyone else. Richardson will probably be at the top of the list but others will also be considered.

MP

by markpsf 2008-11-19 07:14AM | 0 recs
Re: The SoS position

Can anyone recall a more confused or conflicting story develop over such a long period during this entire election cycle?  An interesting meta-narrative of the media coverage since Friday:


"It has unspooled in a confusing way," said Politico reporter Ben Smith.

John Koblin - Foggy Bottom, Top The NY Observer 18 Nov 08

I'll say.  There are two new mutually conflicting stories on Politico right now, Hillary might reject State offer and Bill may give up foreign income released a few hours apart which both cite unnamed Clinton 'insiders' spinning in apparently opposite directions:


A key Clinton source said the job is likely to be offered and accepted.


Press reports that portray Clinton as willing to accept the job - once the Obama transition team vets Bill Clinton's philanthropic and business ventures - are inaccurate, one Clinton insider told Politico.

I'm lost, frankly.  Is it possible, as occurred during the campaign, that Hillary insiders and Bill insiders aren't on the same page again?  Or two opposing camps on Hillary's behalf?  The appointment certainly has created divisions in the Obama camp as well.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-11-19 07:47AM | 0 recs
Re: The SoS position

Richardson: Can everyone say Warren Christofer?

by anoregonreader 2008-11-19 07:52AM | 0 recs
Obama Triangulation - Playing the China Card

Obama = US

HRC = China

Bill = Soviet Union

by mboehm 2008-11-19 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: The SoS position

Doesn't the SOS need the ability to think clearly about complex issues?

Wouldn't that pretty much rule out Kerry?

by Thaddeus 2008-11-19 10:16AM | 0 recs

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