Your Lying Eyes

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03 December 2008

Secretary of State - an Easy Job

Is Secretary of State an easy job? I'm just asking because Hillary Clinton seems to be the most unqualified nominee for that position Ever. Wikipedia helpfully has a list of Secretaries of State. With the exception of Madeleine Albright and Condoleeza Rice, all of them have very long resumes either running various departments of State or Defense or running major institutions (like, say, the Armed Forces or a major corporation). Rice and Albright had experience in their administration - Rice as NSA and Albright as U.N. Ambassador - but prior to that had only positions in Academia. Is it coincidence that those same two would be on anyone's short list of the Worst Secretaries of State? So now, it appears, we will soon add a third. Is this Obama's strategy - embarrass HRC into oblivion? I'm afraid it won't work - a wooden stake and a silver bullet couldn't kill that one's political career.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer."

December 03, 2008 10:05 AM  
Blogger Figgy said...

Hey, it's a page right out of the Lincoln playbook - appoint your most formidable rival within your own party, one whom you edged out in the primary, to the Sec'y of State post. It just proves how Lincoln-like Obama truly is. Besides, how can one go wrong imitating Lincoln?

Oh wait, that was William Henry Seward that Honest Abe appointed. Okay, he MAY have been a little more qualified than Hillary.

December 03, 2008 1:06 PM  
Blogger gcochran said...

It's a mistake. Hillary has shown that she's no good at running an organization or pushing a big initiative. Worse than that, her judgment is known to be lousy on foreign policy: she didn't even make a serious effort on Iraq, didn't even bother to read that retarded NIE - like most people in Washington. I guess can't go around appointing demonstrably competent people to high office - that'd be undemocratic.

She's a proven fool. That's not gonna change, at her age. Of course, State doesn't have to be that important nowadays and often is not.

After the inaugurtion, we'll see just how incompetent the new Administration is. Perhaps they'll manage to avoid invading a country by mistake, or making some comparably egregious error. We can dream.

December 03, 2008 2:30 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Figgy - thanks for pointing out Seward. He was a real "whig" - ie., a mega-progressive for the 19th century. He was Governor of New York, but otherwise not all that much more experienced than Hillary. Interestingly, he stayed on throughout the Johnson administration. One would get the idea from popular history that such a whig would not have been Johnson's #1 choice for the job, but I suppose that he had little choice given the Congress he had to work with. It seems though Seward was fairly moderate as SoS, supporting Johnson's less-confrontational reconstruction approach. He was also a bit of an imperialist. Has anyone ever considered how less complicated American History in the 20th century would have been had we not possessed the Philippines, Hawaii, and Midway Island?

December 03, 2008 9:09 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Perhaps they'll manage to avoid invading a country by mistake, or making some comparably egregious error. We can dream.

I still think Obama is just too smart to do anything really stupid, but I'm worried about Darfur, etc. and the pressure he'll feel after we get out of Iraq to "do something" when of course doing anything constructive there is impossible. So I fear the influence of the new Dr. Rice and her special interest in Darfur.

December 03, 2008 9:26 PM  
Blogger Figgy said...

You were a little rough on ole Henry there, leaving out the fact that he was a US Senator. And he did do a fairly credible job as SoS during the Civil War ya know.

Also,let's keep in mind that without "Seward's Folly", you wouldn't have your little Alaskan honey - Sarah Palin. :-)

December 05, 2008 3:07 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

I agree he was an excellent SoS - and yes, I appreciate his foresight in picking up Alaska!

But his pre SoS qualifications weren't all that much better than Hillary's. They were better, and he was no doubt better informed, but his qualifications were being a governor and senator - better than Hillary, but surprisingly thin, given his reputation.

I don't think there's much chance Hillary will reach those heights.

December 05, 2008 6:18 PM  

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