A TEAM PLAYER…. I haven’t had too much to say about the prospect of Hillary Clinton joining the Obama administration as Secretary of State, in part because I’m inclined to take a wait-and-see attitude. We know the president-elect has met with the New York senator, we’re pretty sure they discussed the job at Foggy Bottom, and we’re kinda sorta sure she has been or will be offered the job.
We don’t know, however, whether Clinton wants or will accept the gig, or whether she might run into confirmation trouble. (Yes, I know what the Guardian reported late yesterday, but I tend to be skeptical about British newspaper reporting on U.S. political developments.)
Working under the assumption that Clinton is at least on the short list to be the next Secretary of State, I’ve heard a few arguments why her selection would be problematic. Some are clearly more compelling than others. Yglesias noted, for example, the extensive money Bill Clinton has raised from foreign governments for his philanthropic work. “I don’t really see how you could have a Secretary of State whose husband was engaged in that kind of fundraising,” Matt said. That’s a fair point.
What seems far less fair to me is to think Hillary Clinton would be some kind of rogue player in an Obama administration, using her power to further her own goals. Greg Sargent noted:
My own sense from talking to foreign policy types in touch with Obama’s people is that Obamaland thinks Hillary has the requisite global stature for the gig and also is enough of a genuine team player to function well in Obama’s cabinet — a view that’s markedly at odds with the “Clintons will undermine Obama from within” type commentary we keep hearing.
Of course she’s a team player. Didn’t she prove that to the party over the last three months of the campaign, when she hit the trail in support of the Democratic ticket she wasn’t on?
Clinton wouldn’t accept the opportunity if she weren’t prepared to help execute Obama’s foreign policy and diplomatic goals. It’s as simple as that.
As Atrios concluded, “I don’t think I’m going to be able to worked up about Obama’s personnel decisions generally, but I agree that the idea that Hillary Clinton might go ‘rogue’ or need to be fired is just absurd. The Clintons just drive the media insane.”