Sigh, yawn... oh gosh, some people don't realize how much pressure there is on us bloggers. We have to have a passionate, edgy opinion on absolutely every subject and stick our noses into pretty much everyone's business. So instead of curling up with a good book on this rainy Boston Saturday, I guess I have to say something about the huge controversy over the reports that Obama has allegedly either already offered the Secretary of State position to Hillary Clinton or is seriously considering it.
Note that I say "allegedly," because the sourcing on this does not inspire confidence, ranging from "two Obama advisers" in the case of NBC's Andrea Mitchell to "advisers to the onetime rivals for the Democratic nomination" in today's New York Times. Journalism 101: Just because "sources" are saying something does not mean it is true, because some sources are in a better position to know (ie they are very close to the action) and other sources are just simply repeating what they think they have heard. This is one way that reporters sometimes get things wrong.
But let's say it is true. As a ferocious Hillary critic during the primary campaign, will I be happy about such a pick? No. Among the most discussed candidates, I would pick John Kerry. But do I think that Hillary Clinton would run away with U.S. foreign policy and run a "parallel government," as some commentators have suggested? Again, no. After all, she would be working for President Barack Obama, who would have the power to hire and fire her.
Is there some reason for people to think that Obama is going to be a weak president who will allow his foreign policy to be hijacked just for the sake of party unity or sending a message or some abstract notion of a "team of rivals"? Or even that he would hand his foreign policy over to Bill Clinton, which some have suggested a Hillary pick would really mean?
Or, as some have put it, is Obama crazy or crazy like a fox?
We've never had a president like Barack Obama before. You might think that some bloggers and commentators would have the intellectual curiosity to spend less time yakking about Obama's every move and more time watching what he does.
Now that he has actually been elected, that's my attitude, anyway.
Now back to that good book.
Afterthought: If someone other than Hillary Clinton ends up being Secretary of State, something tells me that the left blogosphere and the poobahs of progressive punditry (aka the nattering nabobs of negativism) are going to congratulate themselves for derailing this unfortunate choice. I think that would be a mistake, unless someone could come up with real evidence that it was so. Has there been any evidence that it is the style of Obama and his team to float "trial balloons" to see how everyone would react to a decision or a point of principle, before making it? Not much, as far as I can see. That's why so many of us supported him, and why it is so disheartening to see how quickly some "progressives" have leaped to brand Obama some sort of a sell-out. As I pointed out in an earlier post (the most heavily hit of any I have done since starting this blog), the left did not elect Obama, and it should not expect him to be at its beck and call.
Maureen Dowd doesn't think it would be so bad. I'm not a big Dowd fan, but she has an interesting column in Sunday's New York Times. She ends on this note: If Barry chooses Hillary as secretary of state, a woman who clearly intimidated him and taught him to be a better pol in the primaries, it doesn’t signal the return of the Clinton era. It says the opposite: If you have a president who’s willing to open up his universe to other smart, strong people, if you have a big dog who shares his food dish, the Bill Clinton era is truly over. Appointing a Clinton in the cabinet would be so un-Clintonian.