Friday, November 14, 2008

Does the Rumour Mill Change SoS?

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Recently, we polled on Hillary Clinton's future, and more than half of you said she should stay in the Senate and become the Ted Kennedy of our time. In addition, more than half of you felt that Bill Richardson would be the best choice for Secretary of State.

Does putting Hillary's name in the mix change your mind?

Personally, I think that State is the worst possible location for Hillary Clinton. Of course, if that's the deal they cut at Dianne Feinstein's so be it. My thinking is similar, although not identical, to the logic in the LA Times op-ed. That piece is concerned with placing in the cabinet
[H]igh-profile individuals who have a national following and a constituency that extends beyond that of the president himself.
And then they ask:
But given how the distribution of power within the executive branch has changed over the years, would such individuals be well used in a Cabinet post? Would it be worth it to them to exchange their current roles in public life to assume a Cabinet post? Would the president be willing to sacrifice the level of accountability that is required of other Cabinet members to attract them to such a position?
That's the LA Times. I add to that the question of whether you put someone into State with policy positions very different, if not diametrically opposed, to those of the President. If they disagree, which will be the foreign policy of "the" administration?

Further, foreign policy has never been a major part of her issues set. Hillary Clinton is about law, and equal/human rights, health care, pay equality and other domestic issues. Placing her in this position could conceivably squander her talents which may be better spent in-country.

That doesn't even bring up the questions about Bill Clinton's relationships with certain governments and individuals around the world.

And finally, there is that form applicants have to fill out as part of the application to fill a high position in the administration. Even if potential Cabinet appointees don't have to fill out the form, it's likely those questions would come up at some point in the process. Especially this one:
Do you, your spouse, or any member of your immediate family, of business in which you, your spouse or immediate family have a substantial interest, have any relationship with any government, whether Federal, state, local or Indian or foreign through contracts, consulting services, grants, loans or guarantees? If yes, please provide details.