John Taylor below cites Dr. Kissinger’s remarks about the possibility of Senator Clinton following in his footsteps to Foggy Bottom.
Even the idea of such an appointment has fascinated —and is on the verge of obsessing— the pundit class. If I were just a tad more cynical I might even suspect that the possibility of this nomination is being trailed in front of the media like a pork chop in front of a rottweiler — in order to distract attention from all the other more troublesome subjects to which they might be paying attention.
Waiting for this announcement is not unlike the classic situation of watching someone gathering speed on a ski jump with the knowledge that there is no snow on the slope below. You’re have appalled and half fascinated and there’s no way you can look away.
In his latest “Spine” blog for The New Republic, Martin Peretz methodically lays waste to Mrs. Clinton’s career and character:
I confess: Hillary Clinton has never appealed to me. There have been so many Hillary Clintons that I suspect that none was authentic. In any case, the young Hillary was a fashionable leftie. No, she wasn’t Bill Ayers. But her Wellesley commencement address was especially trite when trite was the rule. She worked for a communist law firm. She was faddish when independent thinking was what the country needed.
Hillary then went to Little Rock, armed with a Yale Law School diploma, and worked for another law firm, this one positively sleazy. She was the haughty wife of the coy governor and got herself mired in small time corruptions. Not big-time, it is true, and thank God for that. From the state capitol to the White House, her ambitions grew along with Bill’s. No special fault here either. But her ambitions were not just careerism or even avarice but greater and greater pretension: “the politics of meaning,” “it takes a village.” Her husband bestowed on her the project to remake in its entirety the American health care system, a subject about which she knew virtually nothing and which, after its defeat in Congress, became a task that would linger unattended for the better part of two decades.
So the fact is that she is not a committed leftist at all. She is something worse: like Bill, a committed situanionalist. Hillary is not a person of principle. She is a person of shifting position. The best you can say of her, then, is that she is flexible, endlessly flexible.
Mr. Peretz surveys the field of available —and, for all their individual limitations, far more preferable— talent. Even John Kerry’s snobby pomposity in the service of the United Nations would be better than Hillary Clinton’s crafty maneuverings in the service of her 2016 presidential campaign. (But be warned that Bill Richardson is “very much a light-weight” compared to the rest of the Holbrooke-Ross-Lugar-Hagel talent pool.)
So the question stands: why would Barack Obama, who has run the perfect campaign and is in the midst of running the perfect transition, flirt with self-inflicting what could be a very grievous wound? The developing conventional wisdom is that it’s better to have Mrs. Clinton inside the administration and out of the Senate. If she is in fact named Secretary of State it’s a pretty fair assumption that control of the nation’s foreign affairs will revert to the NSC adviser’s office in the West Wing — a model with which Dr. Kissinger is well acquainted.
So the question is why would Obama choose -if, indeed, he has- someone who brings high drama, virtually hysterical drama to any scene she’s in. Her purpose has been self-evident: she wants to be president. Her husband’s? To be where the action is. His foundation is now widely viewed as a public relations sham. Since he is now washed up (in contrast to Al Gore who has made a brilliant new life for himself) he now has to rely on the missus.
If Obama designates Hillary she will be ready for another run at the White House in 2016, when she is 70 and almost the age of John McCain. Like John Nance Garner, FDR’s vice president, who ran against the sitting president in the Democratic primaries in 1940.
I believe Barack is playing with fire.