Secretary of State Clinton? Much A Doo-Doo About Nothing
If it hasn’t been foreclosed on yet, don’t bet the family ranch that Hillary Clinton will be the next Secretary of State, nor even have a cabinet post in the Obama Administration.
With the long, slow political-junkie orgasm of the presidential campaign fading in the rearview mirror, the ‘Pundints’ now have little to talk about; certainly they don’t find the baffling Bush Boy’s latest incoherence on the economy “I continue to support the neocon free market policies that caused this horrible financial meltdown!” worth examining to do so might remind the audience of how much the Big Media Cognoscenti had to do with leading the lemmings off the cliff; the Palin Reality TV show “Who Wants to Be a President!” also has its limits how long before even avid dupes of Little Debbie Shortcake begin wondering why she hauls that baby around to every public appearance and detect that her political ideas are mostly an ungrammatical noun, an opportunistic verb, ‘Nothing’s my fault,’ ‘You betcha!’ and ‘God’s gonna show me the door’?
Even the three undetermined US Senate races don’t hold the BM Short Attention Span long the vituperation back and forth is good for a brief goose, but those complicated state voting laws! The crashing economy was respectable breathless stand-up fodder for a while “Melanie Blandstick, reporting from Wall Street, Ground Zero of our money crisis!” — but the pampered Lads and Lasses of the Golden Corporate Microphone are not employed for their intimate knowledge of the financial markets, nor much else, and there are only so many interviews you can do with ill-kempt and boring hustlers from the Heritage Foundation or the American Enterprise Institute, still pushing Milt Friedman’s Cap’n Capitalist Crunch cereal after the product has poisoned the country, and who’s Ayn Rand anyhow wasn’t she the wife in “Father Knows Best”? Iraq? Afghanistan? Iran? Whoa, dude, you’re bumming my trip!
So, of course, with little they consider ‘real news’ going on, they retreat into their favorite past time endless speculation based on sketchy evidence, as shouted through a megaphone in the Grand Canyon to insure every Big Media Mouthpiece is regurgitating the same dull incantations.
The latest prime example of this is NBC’s Andrea “Mrs. Greenspan” Mitchell floating an anonymously-sourced story last week that Obama would offer the position of Secretary of State to Hillary Clinton, when the only thing that has thus far been confirmed was that Hillary flew to Chicago for a meeting with the President-Elect. For days since, the Punditrocracy has been foaming at the mouth, leaving no entrails unturned in their white-hot desire to tiresomely discuss to death the possibility of Hillary as the top national diplomat.
Using the same superior detective skills that in the past led them to deduce that the 2008 election would be about national security; that Republicans just loved Rudy Giuliani, that McCain would inevitably pick either Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty as his running mate; that Obama had to choose Hillary Clinton as his Veep or lose the election; that American women would mindlessly flock to the GOP after Sarah Palin’s unveiling; that Obama would have a tough time attracting working class voters in Rust Belt states; and that the Dem presidential ticket would, maybe, possibly, eke out a tiny victory in the Electoral College in a very tight race because, after all, this was basically a conservative nation in spite of this dismal record of comic prognostication, they forge ahead, this time with the latest vapid gasper of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.
Lost in most of their circuitous gossip is any sort of common-sense analysis: Why would Hillary give up her powerful senate seat, and an excellent chance to be Senate Majority Leader, to serve as a peripatetic foreign service factotum in Obama’s government? The appointment would also proscribe her from criticizing him should things go sour, thereby tainting her bid for the 2012 nomination. Quick, name the last five Secretaries of State before Condi and look at what has happened to them. I think it’s fair to say the energetic Sen. Clinton doesn’t desire to live out her days lounging in academia, playing golf, or filling space on the board of some think tank or corporation, publishing occasional knotted-brow op-ed pieces in The New York Times.
From Obama’s standpoint, appointing Hillary Clinton to the State post is not exactly ‘reaching across the aisle,’ and he has nothing to gain if she should happen to ‘go rogue’ and start creating her own foreign policy. Sen. Clinton would do him more good where she is in the Senate, especially as an ardent advocate for health care, economic justice and children. Even though her senate replacement would be a Democrat, she or he might not be the dealmaker Hillary has shown herself to be, and certainly wouldnt have the media candlepower of New York’s junior senator. Obama achieves nothing from naming Hillary his Secretary of State except a few days of media coverage, which he’ll get anyway, and he isn’t campaigning for president anymore.
So what does this mean? Obama has demonstrated he’s about three moves ahead of everyone else in politics and, as the BM have continually pointed out, he ran a tight ship with few leaks to win the presidency. Unfortunately, our na Pundit Class doesn’t seem to perceive that sudden anonymous leaks from the Obama camp might be intentional, a gambit to funnel media coverage down a pre-selected path. Let’s say President-Elect Obama knew Hillary would refuse the State job, but set up this elaborate distraction to keep the Pundits off his back in other more sensitive areas. He offers the post to Hillary, she turns it down, everyone’s still friends, there is no formal announcement but lots of anonymous sources babbling to keep the BM busy, and meanwhile, in the background, Obama is engineering a successful transition without the Talking Heads tossing darts at his every nuance as they fill airtime obsessing on the ‘Hillary question.’
This is a very smart new president we have; let’s hope he stays that way.