--President-Elect Barack Obama
"There are some things more painful than the truth. But I can't think of any."
Listen up. The daddy wants to ask you a question you may not want to asnwer: Was President-Elect Barack Obama's selection of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for Secretary of State a good idea?
Here's what the daddy thinks:
1. No. In the daddy's opinion, this position should have gone to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson or Sen. John Kerry, two people with greater experience, two people who worked hard to get him elected. Both have great minds and great love for their country.
2. Obama says he wants people around him with competing ideas and with the ability to challenge him in vigorous debate. Fine. But surely Obama, could have found people with less hawkish and with less baggage than Sen. Clinton with whom to debate. They're everywhere in Washington and outside of Washington too. The daddy feels like bypassing Obama's security, shaking him and saying, "Get real, bro! The Secretary of State position is not about collegial debate over ideology or strategy. You're out of law school! It's about carrying out the U.S. strategic interests and the president's message on a world stage. Your appointment of a junior senator with a thin resume (First Lady, senator for a relative short period of time) does not add up, especially with so many other more qualified candidates, female and male, black, white and everything in between!"
3. Another reason is Sen. Clinton's husband. He has been spanning the globe in support of worth causes including his own (his income, his library) for years. But the way he has interlocked worldly causes with consulting on behalf of himself is troubling. Some of this consulting involves helping nasty dictatorial leaders of governments secure favorable trade agreements (for the the respective third world country) with questionable advantage to U.S. workers to the U.S. as a whole.
The notion of Secretary of State Clinton free-floating on her own and occasionally "hooking up" with globe-trotting, super-egoistic Bill Clinton should give everyone pause.
4. There are other cabinet-level positions where Sen. Clinton is more qualified and would probably do our country more good. First and foremost is head of Health, Education, and Welfare. This country needs universal healthcare like yesterday. But the healthcare industry is bloated, bureaucratic, and chaotic. Such a mess needs a tough-as-nails, hands-on administrator like Sen. Clinton. Let's be honest: her universal healthcare plan was better than Obama's; and the implementation of her plan would be a great service to all. The fact that she could use the success of such a program in her bid for president in 2012 is secondary. Okay, she may not be the most qualified to be Secretary of State, but there is no one better qualified to be Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. She possesses the knowledge, skill, and personality to get the job done.
As for the Secretary of State position, Craig Hickman at Fumbling Toward Divinity posted a quote from the Financial Times that more "diplomatically" conveys my feeling about Sen. Clinton's appointment:
"... the main question is whether Mrs Clinton can subordinate not just her opinions but also her political ambitions to making the Obama administration a success. That must be in doubt. Her husband's financial entanglements and irrepressible flair for scandal are further potential pitfalls. In weighing all this and choosing her regardless, Mr. Obama has taken quite a risk -- one that, in our view, is difficult to justify."
What say you? Do you think the selection of Hillary for Secretary of State was a good idea?