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Hillary again Hillary again
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-11-18 08:53:32
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The reason I avoided writing anything about the rumors that wanted Hillary Clinton to be the new State Secretary of the Barack Obama administration is because it was just rumors. But when you see it even in the most serious news agencies you start thinking that with all this smoke there must be a fire somewhere.

What I think with the possibility of Hillary Clinton representing the USA in the world as the foreign minister? I have to admit that I’ve got nothing against it and for a good reason, Bill’s legacy! Whether you like it or not, with or without his sex appeal, the man had his way with the world and you liked him or not you have to admit it. The man was the master of diplomacy and yes he had his dark moments with Yugoslavia but that doesn’t dismiss his skills as a diplomacy juggler often balancing in the most unbelievable situations like he did with Israelis and Palestinians. George W. Bush has tried hard but there is no doubt that the road to peace in the Middle East started with Bill Clinton and the wall around this road was built during Bush’s administration.

But I’m afraid I just put the first handicap for the former first lady, her husband Bill Clinton and his international reputation. Is Hillary what the American foreign policy needs or is Clinton’s wife what Obama needs? And how those two can be combined? Actually it is not only two, but many because we constantly forget that there is the real Hillary Clinton we have rarely seen and perhaps it is her time to put her stamp in history.

Amazingly what we saw during her campaign was a mixture of everything and I think that was one of the reasons of her defeat or the controversy she raised upon the voters. The dynamic woman that hit the hand on the table was replacing the sensitive woman with the tears and then the dark night that was after her opponent and all this mixed to the loyal wife and the former first lady, too many mixed signals.

By the way, Congress will definitely not like it and the Republicans will definitely use any favors they can most likely making the Democrats wasting a lot of theirs just to stop the appointment, you see there is something to the Clinton name that makes Republicans have shivers! And yes despite to all the reassurances I’m sure that nothing Obama will ask from Congress and it doesn’t matter if the country needs it or not will come easy from the Republican’s side.

But then again perhaps this is what the American policy needs, you see at the moment the first thing the new administrations has to do is damage control of the last disastrous administration and then try to regain trust, that’s a really tough issue because after all the screw ups of the Bush administration they have to prove that they are trustworthy and this will take time. So perhaps for this role that might demand the whole first term of the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton is the perfect choice for Secretary of State.

Hillary can balance in difficult situations, this is something she has often proved; and she can listen the other side, that’s another thing she’s good. Barack Obama needs time and Hilary can give him this time. Some of his decisions are going to influence dramatically foreign policy like the closing down of the Guantanamo bay prison camp. The withdraw from Iraq and the change of policy with Russia, most likely changing relationship with some overwhelming east European countries. The next Secretary of State has to balance with all those decisions and a series of others that the last US administration played under the table like in Georgia. 

  
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Emanuel Paparella2008-11-18 09:38:07
Indeed, Thanos, where there is smoke there is also fire but the intriguing question, for me at any rate, is this: who is responsible for showing the smoke? By some accounts it was Hillary herself to place Obama before a "fait accompli." Perhaps that is something invented by her detractors; but if it is not and I were Obama I would think twice before placing in a subordinate position somebody who would embarass me with "fait accompli" situations. This analysis may sound lifted from Machiavelli himself, but it is really common sense based on a previous track record and human nature. Moreover, one of the reasons for the delay in the announcement is that Bill has not completely forthcoming in declaring where he has been around the world to make speeches at the tune of tens of thousands of dollars a shot. Some of those places were not exactly bastions of democracy and transparencey. Were he to continue doing that with Hillary as Secretary of State, that would certainly be perceived as a conflict of interest even by those iclined to follow Machiavelli's advice on how to get and retain political power.


Saberi2008-11-18 18:10:43
I'm sure there is some fire somewhere and Hillary will make a great secretary of state. Bill's support is a great asset to Hillary no doubt, Bill is unusually intelligent but Hillary has a stronger diplomatic ability and Obama and Hillary actually understand each other's language and there is that political chemistry. Let's hope things will work out.


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