obama throws hillary a lifeline

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The jaw dropping news broke yesterday of the President-Elect’s “secret” meeting with Her Royal Highness, the Queen of Triangulation, Hillary Clinton, about the biggest plum he has to offer-appointment as Secretary of State.  He also reportedly met with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who dropped out early and endorsed Obama in a dramatic gesture long before Obama clenched the Democratic nomination.  The corporate media dutifully reported the “Team of Rivals” concept advanced by Doris Kearns Goodwin in her book about Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet.

I’m not buying it.

I have no choice but to take seriously this trial balloon on Hillary’s behalf by the Obama team.  Hopefully, something I say will deflate this travesty before a colossal misstep occurs.  I have no idea what “turning the page” on the past is supposed to mean if the Clinton’s are magnanimously appointed to a sinecure in the new Administration.  What happened to “No Drama Obama?”  If the Clinton’s are known for anything, it’s drama.  I thought this new regime had limits on carry on baggage. The Clintons will bring enough to crash Air Force One.  I don’t mean no harm, as we say, but I’m tired of these people.  The only time I want to hear from Hillary Clinton is from the Senate floor, not from Foggy Bottom.

Once she and Bubba dipped a toe and then submerged the primary battle into the well of racial resentment and xenophobia, that should have killed any talk of a cabinet appointment in its crib.   Hillary can kiss my hind part, no offense.  During the heat of the primary battle, Hillary Clinton sighted a USA Today poll in Indiana and North Carolina:

I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on…Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.

Her performance at the convention and campaign trail was admirable, but it doesn’t make up for appealing to the unjustified fears of white voters skittish about a brotha occupying the Oval Office.  There are some lines you don’t cross and a penalty must be paid.  After reading an assortment of PUMA slights on various blogs, my opinions have hardened on this score.

For all we know, the President-Elect coulda told her in June that he would consider her for Secretary of State and that bought her cooperation.  We won’t know for sometime.   Hillary lost and Barack won.  Its time he acted like it.  I’d appreciate it if he ripped out a page rather than just turning it.   John Kerry, Bill Richardson and  Susan Rice are far more deserving.

15 thoughts on “obama throws hillary a lifeline

  1. Agree with all you wrote, but I also have to wonder what would be her motivation for taking the job? The senate seat is hers forever, whereas the Sec. of State is typically for only a few years. Plus she would be directly tied to the fortunes of the Obama administration, and I can’t see her wanting to hitch her star to someone else’s legacy. One more thing, it might open up a possible conflict of interest with Bill’s “Global Initiatve” program.

  2. Chi

    Totally agree with you SB and Ernesto…
    Hillary hasn’t stopped auditioning since the primaries – Her half-hearted campaigning for Obama was really all about her still…
    But like I’ve said repeatedly…God is in complete control and we’ll just have to trust him to look out for Barack and give him the wisdom and guidance he needs to be the best possible president he can be – inspite of the Clintons and their ilk-

  3. SB,

    Do you ever read Al Giordano over at The Field, and his take on this?

    Like you, I believe the job should be Richardson’s- Period.

    If it was just Hillpatine, I’d be reluctantly ok with it.But, it’s never just Hillpatine. Bubba comes along with it, and until someone reports that Obama has SEEN the donor lists to the Library and Foundation, I don’t wanna hear about it.

    But, the truth of the matter is, she’s a middling Senator in The Senate. And who knows, Obama might have someone else in mind to be Senator from New York. After all, her replacement would have 4 years in which to build up their cred, and establish themselves. I am hesitant about Kerry being SOS, mainly because, and we don’t want to be morbid, but be realistic, that would mean that in probably the next 2 years, Massachusetts would replace both their Senators, thus plunging the Seniority of the state.

  4. I agree with Ernesto that the real question is whether or not she would even take the job. Where would it lead? She can be a senator until she retires, but she’ll probably last no longer than four years as Sec. of State. And then what is she going to do? Twiddle her thumbs for four years before making a run for Pres. in 2016 (when she’ll be 70)? Also, keep in mind that if she accepts the position, she will work at the pleasure of Pres. Obama. If she brings her drama to the State Dept. he’ll fire her, just as Lincoln fired many of the so called rivals on his team.

  5. Mark

    Agree with you on principle and while I still have some anger with Hillary over her conduct in the primary I think politicians live in a different world than the rest of us. The good ones move on from the nastiness of the campaign trail and get to work (note how Sarah Palin looks like a complete ass-hat for continuing to attack Obama over Ayers).

    I think Obama is looking at a number of challenges that he has facing him and deciding who he thinks can best help him meet those challenges. So while those of us in the states have had more than our fill of Hillary, the rest of the world still loves anything Clinton. So I think she will be very successful and the only question really is if he can trust her to act as *his* SoS and not as a free agent.

    I do agree with the notion that she could serve in the senate for as long as she wants. But I think she always saw the senate as a path to the White House. I think at most she would stay on the Hill until 2018.

  6. I found this over in the comments section at Ta-Nehisi Coates:

    First, this is classic Obama strategy, pure and simple. This guy is RUTHLESS. Obama is offering this to box her in and neutralize her power if she accepts it, and/or knock her down a peg and expose her if she doesn’t. If she accepts, she is out of the Senate and her political power base is largely neutralized. It would be largely considered improper for her to politically engage as SoS. Right now, HRC is the *most* dangerous person to his administration. She poses the largest threat – forget Pelosi and Reid – it is HRC who would have the power to do the most damage if she were to decide to publicly criticize his administration and/or challenge him in 2012. If she’s in the administration, she can’t sh!t on it. AND, it gives her incentive to truly hope that the Obama administration is successful (and therefore not try to undermine it) whether or not she chooses to run in 2016 because her political future or legacy will largely depend on Obama’s success (or failure).

    If she chooses to turn him down, it just shows, once and for all that she’s all about self. How would it look if the President-Elect personally asked her to serve her nation at a time of great national turmoil and she turns him down to stay in the Senate as the Junior Senator from NY? Seriously, what REAL excuse could she give to turn him down that wouldn’t get her completely slayed in the media? That public lashing, if it were to happen would make her politically unviable for the forseeable future and if she did ever decide to criticize him after she declined a personal invitation to serve in the cabinet she would be laughed out of the room.

    All in all, politics is a chess game and Obama is not just looking at the board as it is, but is looking at the board as it might be and anticipating many moves away. This just might be checkmate on HRC.

    Posted by Adrienne | November 16, 2008 8:14 PM

    http://ta-nehisicoates.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/11/team_of_rivals_rant.php

  7. Chi

    Thanks for sharing this Rikyrah…
    Enjoyed the 60 minutes interview tonight with the Obama’s…Extremely reassuring and validates the sense that we as Americans (those of us that voted for him of course)did good! Really good..

    Shows that normal & exceptional all at once is truly possible…

  8. If she wants to turn it down she can simply say “there are others who I feel are much more qualified for the job than I” and mention Richardson or Kerry. Who would argue with that?

  9. RisingTide

    Richardson is notorious for zipper problems, just like Bill C.
    so no to him.

    I don’t think Obama is serious about giving Clinton Sec of State. NY needs her!

  10. fleurnyc

    hi! I wrote a long time ago here but got bashed for proposing a different viewpoint (not from the blogger but others) and frankly, wasn’t up to the unwarranted hate toward me personally. but have been lurking from time to time.

    i’ve been in Paris, France, since the day before the election and I can’t tell you how unbelievable it’s been! The first time in 25 years of living in, working in, and visiting France where they are totally in love with America and Americans because of Obama.

    I brought Obama buttons for my friend’s kids who are 1/2 american and the day they wore them they were approached numerous times with “Allez Obama!” “Oui, Obama!” The day after I was kissed and hugged (the French are not huggers to drive home the point!) by strangers once they knew I was American.

    Of course, a few white French people have told me how racist America and not at all sexist is while totally ignoring the fact that they ship off “les Arabes” to the suburbs where they don’t have to see or feel the pain of their poverty and total exclusion from society. I said, “Yes it’s true that some Americans are racist but 52% are not.”

    I have a friend whose Senagalese co-worker stood up in a team meeting at a French company to announce, “Today, I am only speaking English because yes I can.”

    Overall, everyone is also excited about the possibility of HRC as SOS. Regardless of how accurately or fairly (she worked her ass off for Obama and if you need a reality check – see how Ted Kennedy didn’t do shit for Carter -ushering 8 fucking years of Ronald Reagan who undid everything Kennedy said he was for – just because of his fucking ego) she is presented in the American press. Yes, she ran a shitty campaign because she let stupid white men run it instead of trusting her own intellect.

    Richardson is not quite the same as Bill. He’s a harrasser – of the worst kind – and he waited until it was totally safe to support Obama while he was kissing Bill’s ass at the same time. Gross. He’s an asshole and if he knew anything about diplomacy, you sure didn’t see it in this campaign.

    okay that’s all-but as always, enjoy the viewpoint,

    E.

  11. RisingTide

    If they can pass obama’s bg checks, well, I don’t know how, but somehow they’re clean. Figures. Clinton was squeaky clean in office.

    Mrs. Clinton’s new job: “Don’t screw anything up. Deal with it” — seriously, Obama has domestic front and center.

  12. blaze

    I really don’t see the value of “turning the page” on the most successful Presidency in my lifetime. I realize that there were many flaws in the Clinton years (to say the least), but remember this.

    The CBO said that, with Clinton’s surpluses, the DEBT would be eliminated by 2008. That is quite a bit different from a 10 trillion deficit. Al Gore intended to continue the surpluses, pay off the debt and put the rest of the revenues in a “lockbox” to stabilize Social Security and Medicare. Imagine the incredible sigh of relief if those two very important entitlements were stabilized forever.

    In Bosnia, we returned 1,000,000 Kosovar Albanians to their homeland, put sanctions on Sarajevo until they gave up Milosevic (which they did) and then tried Milosevic at the Hauge… all without the loss of a single American life. As far as war can be done right, that is about as right as you can get.

    I also believe that Hillary-care was scuttled by Bill Kristol with the admonition that “we can’t let the Clinton’s win anything”. I truly believe that even with such deep insurance involvement, we would be light-years better off today if Hillary-care had been passed.

    I understand NAFTA, Don’t ask – don’t tell, the change in financial and media ownership, etc. puts a major damper on those years, but Bill Clinton did much that Obama only hopes to do. I personally think that Barack can do it, but it is yet to be seen.

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