For those of us who are less than thrilled by the prospect that Hillary Clinton might get the nod as Obama’s Secretary of State (IMHO she represents the compromised politics of the ’90s… and the endorsement by Henry Kissinger certainly didn’t make her any more appealing), it appears that there might be more obstacles to the appointment than just the process of vetting Bill Clinton. The very public rumors about the appointment seem not just to be getting mixed reactions from the netroots but also rubbing Obama insiders the wrong way, as the New York Times reports today:
Both sides were engaged in a delicate public and private dance, maneuvering for position and reputation in case the deal falls through. Aides in each camp have grown increasingly sour toward the other in recent days as the matter played out publicly.
…Some in the Obama camp are bristling at what they see as strategic leaks by the Clintons aimed at boxing in the president-elect and forcing him to offer the post.
…The tension could foreshadow a complex relationship burdened by suspicion and enmity should Mrs. Clinton become secretary of state.
And Hillary, perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, is already positioning herself to be able to back off gracefully, putting word out that she’s
deeply “torn” between the possibility of serving in Obama’s cabinet and remaining in the Senate to “help pass health care and work on a broad range of domestic issues.”
Other appointments are playing out with less controversy and less opportunity for media-generated drama (Janet Napolitano for Homeland Security, for instance, or Peter Orszag for OMB). Let’s hope that when all is said and done, this one winds up that way as well, and Hillary stays in the Senate. There are plenty of more qualified candidates to be America’s diplomatic face to the world.Tags: cabinet, Hillary Clinton, Obama