It’s a done deal:
President-elect Barack Obama plans to nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state after Thanksgiving, a new milestone for the former first lady and a convergence of two political forces who fought hard for the presidency.
One week after the former primary rivals met secretly to discuss the idea of Clinton becoming the nation’s top diplomat, an Obama adviser said Thursday that the two sides were moving quickly toward making it a reality, barring any unforeseen problems.
The nomination would be a remarkable union between the former first lady who was an early favorite to win the presidency and the first-term senator who upset her in the primary and cruised to a general election victory. Such a high-profile seat in the Cabinet for Clinton also would be another achievement for the most accomplished former first lady in U.S. history, who has been the first presidential spouse to serve in the Senate and run for the White House herself.
The media loves playing up Clinton-Obama drama, but I don’t think there’s going to be very much in the new administration; Clinton and Obama worked well together during the general election and I expect to see the same productive working relationship come January.
As I said before, I think Clinton will be a great Secretary of State and a valuable addition to the Obama administration; I welcome her aboard.
If Obama wants to change the strategic game on Iran, Israel-Palestine, Syria, Cuba, Russia and other challenges, he will need partners who are perceived as tough, smart, shrewd and even skeptical of the deals he wants to do. Clinton is all of these.
Clinton may be the bad cop to Obama’s good cop. Because she is trusted by Pentagon-hugging national security conservatives, she may legitimize his desire to respond to this pivot point in American history with bold strokes rather than incremental ones.