The Guardian is reporting that President-elect Obama has offered the job of Secretary of State to his recent political rival Hillary Clinton and she plan to accept. Michelle Malkin isn’t looking forward to it, but Clinton would not be nearly as bad as a Secretary of State Kerry (one of the leading names the P-E has been reportedly kicking around).
Michael Goldfarb notes that Clinton has been, save a brief venture into anti-war lefty-land, a foreign policy hawk. She was an outspoken advocate of toppling Saddam Hussein and essentially laughed at Barack Obama’s various foreign policies, which were so incoherent that they might as well have been put together by drunken chimps playing Risk in the dark while wearing blindfolds. Her Great Tuzla Thunder Run aside, if you had taken Clinton’s foreign policy proposals and put them in John McCain’s campaign, few would have noticed the difference.
Goldfarb doesn’t think that Clinton would rock Obama’s boat. I disagree. The State Department is the easiest place from which to snipe at the sitting President, as Colin Powell proved for several years and I’m not sure that she’s going to be able to resist the temptation. She’ll have the advantage of being far better-received than most the P-E could put in the post by the lifelong bureaucrats at Foggy Bottom, even though she will have them implementing many of the policies they flatly refused to pursue vigorously for the past eight years. Basically, even though Clinton would be far more hawkish than Powell, the malcontents at State who have practically defined insubordination under President Bush will be far more inclined to do what she says because of who she is. I think it’s far more likely that she’ll find more than a few allies there who’ll have no problem leaking like a badly-thatched roof to any reporters within earshot.
On the other hand, if he lets her run a bit, she’s likely to bring him a lot of undeserved credit. I’m not sure his pride would allow that, though. We’ll see.
All in all, I like the pick. I think that she could do a pretty fair job and I’ll enjoy egging her on should she decide to be a thorn in the President’s side.