Change or Clinton?

I cannot quite fathom why Barack Obama has offered the post of Secretary of State to Hillary Clinton. After a campaign, and, until recently, a transition period that has been nearly pitch perfect, it seems an extraordinary aberration. That is, of course, if the rumours are true. The Obama machine is famously tightly controlled and doesn't leak - the leaks have all come from the media hungry Clinton machine.

Obama certainly doesn't need Clinton. Her supporters voted for him on election day, he has a first class team of intelligent foreign policy experts, and she brings little actual foreign policy experience to the job. What makes the appointment more inexplicable is that Hillary Clinton will clearly want considerable independence in the Sec. State job, at a time when the real change would come from Obama imposing his agenda and controlling foreign policy tightly from the White House. Clinton voted for the war, remember. She has not offered a single opinion, or ventured a single vote, which suggests she has anything other than a Bush-lite view of foreign affairs.

Obama's presidential hero is, of course, Abraham Lincoln, who famously included his party rival, William Seward - also a New York politician - in his cabinet as Secretary of State. One hopes, if Obama is to make Clinton his principal diplomat, that it is for better reasons than simply the desire to emulate his revered Illinois predecessor.


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