I am almost moved to pity. Almost. Via Hot Air Headlines, the first faint hints of objective reality harshing the mellow of our next President’s Totally Biggest Number One Fans supporters:
Barack Obama’s serious flirtation with his one-time rival, Hillary Clinton, over the post of secretary of State has been welcomed by everyone from Henry Kissinger to Bill Clinton as an effective, grand gesture by the president-elect.
It’s not playing quite as well, however, in some precincts of Obamaland. From his supporters on the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, to campaign aides of the soon-to-be commander-in-chief, there’s a sense of ambivalence about giving a top political plum to a woman they spent 18 months hammering as the compromised standard-bearer of an era that deserves to be forgotten.
“These are people who believe in this stuff more than Barack himself does,” said a Democrat close to Obama’s campaign. “These guys didn’t put together a campaign in order to turn the government over to the Clintons.”
And here you thought that you’d have to forgo evil laughter for at least two years. Go ahead, let it out.
Let it all out.In hindsight, this is actually a fairly obvious move. The Democratic Party’s primary was pretty divisive, and there was of course no way that its base was going to accept Senator Clinton as VP. On the other hand, it’s increasingly clear that Vice President-elect Biden is going to be more or less useless in his ostensible role as providing natsec experience for President-elect Obama; they were hiding Joe by the end of the campaign. And on the gripping hand, they need somebody who has actual foreign policy chops. So… Secretary of State. Good enough place from which to drive foreign policy, particularly if Gates stays on at SecDef for a while.
Notice that this completely contradicts Peter Beinart’s argument that SecState would be a sinecure for Senator Clinton. Then again, Beinart seems to think that either Biden or whoever-it-is who will end up being the NSA will somehow be able to win a turf fight with Hillary. Given the way that Obama’s staff is already top-heavy with people who have an existing relationship with the Clintons, this sounds somewhat… naive… of him.
Then again, so do some of the people in that Politico article. Mostly the ones going “Umm.”
PS: It would be remiss of me to not also note that there doesn’t seem to be much love for the antiwar movement in Obama’s foreign policy picks. Odd, that.