Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Secretary of State Hillary?

Last Winter and Spring Hillary Clinton emphasized her international experience. In return, the Obama campaign pointed out that heavily scripted publicity events do not really equate to foreign policy experience. It also turned out that Hillary exaggerated her experience. She claimed to have been under threats from snipers at one airport but a rock star who accompanied her at the time denied this. She claimed to have been part of the Irish peace process but an examination of her schedule showed that her presence at the talks was a fifteen minute meet and greet meeting. Her foreign policy experience became fodder for late night stand-up routines.

So why is she now qualified for Secretary of State? I'd like to hear someone from the Obama transition team to at least admit the paradox.

One of the big failings of the Clinton presidency was his secretaries of state. Warren Christopher was generally ineffective and Madeline Albright was easily manipulated by Arafat and others. The Bush administration spent its first term at odds with its own state department (including the Plame leak). Obama needs someone who is better prepared for this position.

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