Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hillary redux (or maybe "still")

There seems to be a leak that the Obama team (i.e. Obama hisself) is considering Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State. She would be a good one, if she can bring herself to follow the Obama lead.
I wonder if that would be a good thing for her, and for the country.
I'm thinking about how much influence she could have as a long-standing senator. She has the personality and the grit and the clout.

You young whippersnappers (what in hell is a whippersnapper) won't remember Tip O'Neil. He was a senator from Massachusetts, liberal, large in personality, body and appetite, distinctive in appearance (political cartoonists cried like babies when he retired) and he was a force in the congress for a lot of good legislation. Hmm, remind you of someone else?
Ted Kennedy, whatever his personal failings has also been a source of good in the congress. He is also large in personality, body and appetite, and a boon to cartoonists. My point is that someone who knows what (s)he wants and has the knowledge to pull it off can be a real power in the government. Should Hillary pass up this opportunity to take a job which will end with the Obama presidency (if not sooner?) Even if it is a high profile job which has potential for historical significance? As in being remembered in history books.
Not that that is very much. How many of you former students who went thru freshman Western Civ classes know any previous Secretarys of State?
Some of them were very important.
Some leaders of the senate were very important.
But you'll have to dig for the knowledge of what they were important for.
Presidents get all the glory.
Back to Hillary. I think she could be an effective leader for a much longer time as a senator in the US Congress than as a Secretary of State. Of course she doesn't have the drinking capacity (who does) of a Tip O'Neil and an Edward Kennedy, nor could she ever aspire to their physical bulk (God, I hope not).
And she isn't from Massachusetts. That's a big deficit.
Still, she could really make a great name for herself as a guiding force in the Senate, over the long haul.
Or she could be a visible and hopefully effective Secretary of State in the short haul.
Would the shorter political career be worth it? Any one remember Dean Acheson?
Anyone remember Zbigniew Brzezinski? Madeline Albright? Not that long ago.
Going way back—How about Bainbridge Colby? Elihu Root?
Well, these folks probably get more recognition than any important Senator, however obscure they may be. But have they had as much influence as a Kennedy or O'Neil?

Your history question for the night. If you have an answer, I wanna know too.
Tha's all from here.

1 comment:

Scruffy said...

She would be awesome as Secretary of State, but I think in the long run, she'd be more effective as a senator. Agreed that she has the smarts and the grit and I'd want to see her around in the event the Dems can't keep the power after these next four years.