Madame Secretary

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clinton hrc twn.jpgHillary Clinton is going to add yet another chapter to her incredibly fascinating life — lawyer, feminist, first lady, healthcare diva, U.S. senator, and now secretary of state at a time when America’s foreign policy and national security positions are dramatically eroded.
I think the Clinton we saw during the campaign will give herself, her views and approach to complex national security challenges a “makeover.” She’s going to push women’s rights, democracy, human rights, poverty reduction and the like — but I think she is going to be party to a realist-tilting, crafty Obama-led, Bob Gates-designed, Clinton-out-front process to get a strategic shift in U.S. foreign policy. We applaud that.
James Glassman, her undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, has some ideas on how to move her agenda forward — and she should consider using a lot of the tools that Glassman and his team are developing.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

56 comments on “Madame Secretary

  1. Sweetness says:

    “Sweetness, if Obama is Moshiach, I’m changing religions.”
    If Moshiach comes, Wig, you won’t need a religion. That’s my
    reading of it, anyway. I’m sure davening would be allowed, if you
    want to. You’d have to cut your payes, though.

    Reply

  2. TonyForesta says:

    Outstanding commentary Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi. We all hold the “vigilant” hope that the Obama foreign relations team, and Hillary in particular will work to “…demonstrate that the values of international justice, peace and dignity of nations are not merely the subject of a speach discussion but are more certainly a matter of practical concern for the United States.”
    If the majority if Florida would vote for any bush, – then the entire nation should welcome their recession, and if fact force it. Any freak or predator that would vote for any bush obviously does not speak for or represent America.
    Get, and keep that incontravertable fact clear.

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  3. WigWag says:

    Linda, if either Jeb Bush or Charlie Crist runs for the Martinez seat they will win. No Democrat in Florida could beat either one of them. If neither runs, the Democrats have a serious shot to take the seat. And as much as George W. Bush has ruined the Bush brand, Floridians can distinguish Jeb Bush from George Bush. I can’t stand him, but even I admit that Jeb Bush is far smarter and more capable then his brother. My guess is that neither one of them will run for Senate. I know it’s a minority opinion, but I still think that Jeb Bush plans to run for President against Obama in 2012. And I don’t think that Charlie Crist wants to live in Washington, D.C.
    Sweetness, if Obama is Moshiach, I’m changing religions.

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  4. Linda says:

    I hope I’m not boring people with more reports from on-the-ground in Atlanta, but I think one advantage of www and blogs is being able to get information that is not being provided by MSM.
    First, I think it is important to understand that the city of Atlanta which is almost all in Fulton Co and a little in Dekalb County (that also includes Decatur) are and always have been as Democratic as any place with John Lewis representing mostly the Fulton County folks and Hank Johnson for DeKalb. People probably know that district mostly from previously being represented by Cynthia McKinney. In the Presidential election, Fulton County went 69% for Obama and DeKalb County was 79% for Obama. By comparison, LA County went 69.3% for Obama.
    I also want to remind people that Atlanta has many universities of high quality and up and coming like Emory—also UGA in Athens is only 60 miles away and has Democratic Congressman. Also we have Morehouse and Spelman that have produced African-American leaders for many decades.
    Unlike NYC, even DC, and LA, when one goes to the opera, symphony, rep theater, there is a much higher percent of upper middle class and higher African-Americans here in the audience and among the elite of the city. It is the home of Coretta and Martin, Rev. Lowery, Andrew Young, John Lewis, and Shirley Franklin. And I’ve read of that terrible reality show of super-wealthy Atlanta housewives too!
    It was clear early on that Democrats and Obama were not going to spend a lot of personal political capital on the Senate runoff. Not one Democratic Senator campaigned here for Martin during the runoff. And most of the major newspapers made it sound as if the few surrogates who showed up did a lot more than they did, i.e., had them barnstorming the state. The Republican surrogates were better timed in their appearances with larger crowds.
    I was in a position of talking with and being on e-mails that were coming from our neighborhood organizers for Martin campaign (long-time residents and political activists who know everybody) as well as the Obama organizers here with whom we were working. In fairness to all these wonderful people, they/we were working on get out the vote activities. The press and public events planning were done by others.
    Very early in the four week runoff campaign, both John McCain and Mike Huckabee made appearances for Chambliss that got their base involved early. The first Democratic surrogate didn’t come to Atlanta until 11/19, two weeks into the four weeks, Bill Clinton for one rally that was well publicized in advance to be held at Clark Atlanta University in a gym that holds 1200, but they had to move event outside as more than 3000 showed up.
    By then we were being told that Al Gore was coming soon, and Donna Brazile was coming to help organize and run the campaign. Her talents were very much needed. That was a couple weeks ago, and word was out that Gore would be here on Sunday, Nov. 22. Being kinda “inside” and getting all the e-mails from Obama and Martin GOTV folks, they knew nothing of Gore details as of Saturday. The Sunday morning AJC was the first I knew that Gore’s campaign visit would be to a fundraiser at a mansion in Buckhead (Atlanta’s Beverly Hills) that cost $125 to get in and $1000 to get into the private reception with Gore. He did have time, perhaps to tape earlier, for an interview on CNN with Fareed’s GPS. That was Al Gore’s campaign visit here.
    And some dumb people like me believed that Donna Brazile would be coming to help direct Martin’s campaign, but we heard nothing. We knew that Rudy Guilini would be doing a press conference or something with Chambliss on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. And my morning AJC on Wednesday told me that Donna Brazile had been here Tuesday night at Spelman College at a rally with 75 students and faculty. My guess is that she was on her way to Thanksgiving with relatives in Louisiana, and she turned up a lot as a talking head on various TV shows over the Thanksgiving weekend.
    By then we knew that Sarah Palin would barnstorm the state with Chambliss on Monday. Obama did a radio commercial for Martin and a robocall. I got mine Monday morning as did every registered Democrat whose phone number the campaign had, but every Republican in the state got a robocall from Sarah Palin.
    You all saw Sarah on Monday and Tuesday on TV. Martin did a bus tour of the state on Monday and ended up on the steps and plaza of the State Capitol here with John Lewis, Ludracris and a couple other rappers. The newspaper reported that several hundred attended that rally. That’s very sad.
    It so happens that I drive by the Capitol often as one way to get home. I was with my daughter and grandson coming home from somewhere on Saturday afternoon, November 15, the day of the nationwide Prop 8 demonstrations. The streets were blocked off with a big crowd extending beyond the steps and plaza into the street. The newspaper reported there were 1500 protesters.
    Thanks to everyone around the country who made calls and tried to help.
    One can play the blame game or start thinking about 2010 when John Isakson will be up for re-election to his second term in U.S. Senate—never heard of him, well, he’s very low in seniority. Who knows what will happen by then. WigWag, you might have Jeb Bush running for Mel Martinez seat.
    Sorry for the length, but what I saw and experienced.

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  5. Linda says:

    Well, I got too busy today to respond and will try to sort this out as WigWag has it mostly correct. As I’ve been writing here, I don’t think anyone will know how Obama will govern and where he is until he actually starts making some decisions. And while WigWag may have a thing about Obama. I was for him from the day he announced, but that is based entirely on his practicing what he preaches. And I won’t be surprised if he disappoints me as many Presidents before him have.
    But make no mistake that it was a calculated political decision made by not just Obama, but almost all Democrats to not spend any political capital on Georgia–which still remains red but the most likely Southern state to next go blue.
    While it’s not fun to be written off, remember that even with all the efforts made by locals here, McCain won GA.
    I haven’t even yet read the paper to see how the vote was in Fulton and DeKalb Counties. Just be reminded that it was GA that had all the stuff with picture ID for voting and that outside of metro Atlanta there was no Democratic party organization to speak of until a couple years ago.
    I am not surprised or particularly hostile that a lot of relatively uneducated African-Americans voted only for Obama and ignored the rest of the ballot. A big effort was made to get them registered and out to vote. There are just as many uneducated Caucasians who think tax is a four-letter word and that Social Secuirty and Medicare are socialism.
    Remember as well that the main talk radio celebrity in metro Atlanta is Neal Boortz probably spelled his name wrong who is the Fair Tax, Flat Tax libertarian guy. I’ve only heard him a few times, has an annoying voice, but he’s not stupid and makes some sense–just as Lou Dobbs does sometimes.
    As for the younger vote, the timing of the election was very poor, and I believe by GA law the runoff has to be four weeks after the election. With every statewide election that requires 50% + 1, they always announce the date for runoffs if any will be required.
    I again have no idea of the number of new voters here who were college students, but probably many of them were from other places and went home for Thanksgiving. I personally spoke with parents of a number of college students from Atlanta who didn’t get absentee ballots (not easy here)not nearly as much time to do that as for the general election. Early voting ended the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and by this past Tuesday they were back out of state at college at a time when they are focused on finals.
    The only time that Obama did any campaigning with rallies in GA was once before Super Tuesday. Between then and the general election, he may have been twice, but only once that I recal—and those were limited fundraisers.
    But none of the surrogates who came down here did much of anything, and I am writing about that in a file as it might be a page or two long and will post it on this thread for those interested. I got all my anger out by writing the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee early on about the lies they were telling–and probably by 11/15 just watched it all unfold and how badly things were reported in the media.
    I don’t see how any of the visits by high profile Democrats could be considered anything but the smallest tokens.
    But I surely can’t accept Sweetness’ explanation that Obama didn’t campaign (nor did Michelle or Hillary) because he thought it would HURT Martin. It would have helped. It was a very politically calculated decision, but that’s what politicians do.

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  6. Sweetness says:

    Oh, c’mon Wig!
    “I understand that he was unlikely to win, but Obama’s refusal to
    campaign for him even once was just a little too reminiscent of
    his refusal to comment assertively on proposition 8 in California.
    If there’s a progressive cause that doesn’t affect Obama directly,
    he’s missing in action.”
    It was pretty clear from the commentary that Obama didn’t
    campaign for Martin because it was thought he would HURT
    Martin’s chances. And how you can compare the Martin
    campaign to Prop 8 is beyond me. Could the two be any more
    different? I understand you have a “thing” about Obama that is
    unlikely to be erased–even if he does turn out to be Moshiach-
    -but isn’t this tiresome for YOU? Look, with all the Clintonites
    in the Administration, you should be feeling vindicated more
    than anything else. IOW, happy.

    Reply

  7. WigWag says:

    So here’s a good test for Obama. One hundred countries gathered in Oslo, Norway today to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions which essentially bans the manufacture and use of cluster bombs. All the cluster bombs in the arsenals of treaty signatories have to be destroyed within eight years.
    The Bush Administration, based on the recommendation of the man Obama plans to reappoint as Secretary of Defense, has decided not to sign the treaty.
    Thank goodness we have a new administration, with a new outlook coming into power. Gates has already come out against the treaty and we haven’t heard anything yet about what Secretary of State designate Hillary Clinton thinks.
    But as Obama supporters are so fond of reminding us, what Clinton and Gates think really doesn’t matter. We have a new “decider” and his name is Barack Obama.
    So does anyone think Obama will have the United States sign the treaty? Or will the great change agent continue the policy of George W. Bush?
    And come to think of it, the United States hasn’t signed on to the land mine treaty either. As of the beginning of 2008, 158 countries have ratified that treaty but not the United States. Does anyone think President-Elect Obama will ask the Senate to ratify the land mine treaty?
    If Obama asks the Senate to ratify both, or even one, of these treaties it will signal that he’s taking the United States in a new direction. If he doesn’t, it’s just more proof of how oblivious his most ardent supporters really were.
    But, even if Obama doesn’t endorse either of these treaties, count on his supporters to come up with one excuse after the next why the Bush policy was immoral but the Obama policy is well-considered.

    Reply

  8. WigWag says:

    Linda, I am hopeful that card check will be passed early in the new session of Congress and I don’t think either the split between the AFL-CIO or the Chambliss election will be a major impediment. It will pass by a very comfortable margin in the House and I don’t think a Republican filibuster in the Senate will work because there are still a few pro-union republicans left (Specter, Snowe and Collins). The Democrats have at least 58 seats (without Minnesota) and so if they hold everyone except (Ben Nelson who they might lose) they still get over the magic 60. There are a few other Republicans who are up for reelection in 2010 who might not vote for the bill but might vote to invoke cloture. These include: Judd Gregg, Lisa Murkowski and George Voinovich.
    Congratulations for your hard work on behalf of Jim Martin. I understand that he was unlikely to win, but Obama’s refusal to campaign for him even once was just a little too reminiscent of his refusal to comment assertively on proposition 8 in California. If there’s a progressive cause that doesn’t affect Obama directly, he’s missing in action.
    While Jim Martin’s loss is instructive about Senator Obama himself, it is even more instructive about his supporters. I have read that on November 4th, 80 thousand Democrats came out to vote for Obama but didn’t cast even one vote down ballot. Had these Obama voters voted for Martin, things would be looking very different right now. What a pathetic crew that particular group of Obama voters is. Any idea of who they might be?
    And the national press is reporting that African American turnout and the youth vote plunged yesterday. I guess that without the American Idol contestant on the ballot, they just couldn’t bother tuning in.
    Paul, you ask, “what exactly does it mean to claim, in the current extraordinary situation domestically and abroad, that someone’s Presidency “will resemble Bill Clinton’s”?”
    While I think you’re right that the current situation is extraordinary and calls for different solutions then were applied in the 1990s, I don’t think that what we are facing is totally without precedent. There were numerous financial collapses in the 1990s including Russia, Mexico, South America and Asia. I think we can look to see what the Clinton appointees did then to get some clue about what they will do in this crisis now that they are back in office. The point is that they will bring the same instincts and experiences with them when they make decisions today. And it is disingenuous for Obama supporters to claim that somehow, Obama disagrees with these people but they will follow his lead because he’s the boss.
    Of course he’s the boss. But he hired them for a reason. He agrees with them. The solutions they endorse are the solutions Obama endorses. And Obama obviously thought they did a great job the first time around or he wouldn’t have appointed them to work for him now.
    And while the terms “left”, “right” and “center” may not explain everything, forgive me for being suspicious that Obama’s election hasn’t overturned everything we’ve understood about politics since the creation the nation state.
    Obama’s appointments tell us exactly where he fits in on the political spectrum. It’s precisely the same place that Bill and Hillary Clinton fit in.
    Obama supporters can’t admit it to themselves, but their dreams are disintegrating before their eyes.

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  9. Daro says:

    MarkL,
    Ahh.. Thanks for invalidating yourself with your own words – saves me the trouble. I refer to your use of the Deductive Fallacy to further make an “Ad Hominem” Logical Fallacy attack .. Your abuse of logic is dissected below:
    Deductive Fallacy Attack
    I criticise Clinton.
    Clinton is a woman.
    Therefore I am sexist…
    allows for the Ad Hominem Attack
    I am sexist therefore my view is incorrect or
    biased..
    Brilliant Holmes, Brilliant!

    Reply

  10. Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi says:

    Many many copmliments are reserved for Mrs Clinton for becoming the next US Secretary of State.It would be fair to say and add that the international community keeps a vigilant eye on her (with cautious optimism) that she would try her best to combat the challenges the world community is gravely confronted with.
    And here, It would be also fair to mention the fact that while discharging her official assignments/ duties, Mrs Hillary would have to positively demonstrate that the values of international justice, peace and dignity of nations are not merely the subject of a speach discussion but are more certainly a matter of practical concern for the United States.

    Reply

  11. Linda says:

    Well, having been down here in Atlanta and actively working on both 11/4 and 12/2 campaigns, I’ll skip commmenting on much of the above, especially because debates about rankings of former Presidents never end. Perhaps some will be interested in the election from here.
    I do have a question for you, WigWag, as I vaguely recall that you had/have some close ties to organized labor. They may be the first group to really be upset with Obama,especially if the Employee Free Choice Act isn’t passed early in Obama Administration. I do know it had trouble in the Senate-and perhaps Chambliss really is the firewall for that issue.
    On the other hand, I think that organized labor will continue to have problems because of the split between AFL-CIO and Change to Win.
    Both the Presidential election and the Senate race probably were lost here when Obama campaign pulled most of its paid staff out in September–a good strategic move to win the Presidency. But there had been so little Democratic Party organization in GA that most counties didn’t even have a country organization. That building was only started by Howard Dean a couple years ago.
    I was working with the local Martin people cooperating with Obama folks, but the great Obama GOTV tactics don’t work unless they are applied with adequate numbers of people over at least a couple months, especially when the downloaded basic voter registration databases have not been called and cleaned up, i.e., wrong addresses and phone numbers that can be decades old. Even with all the work done, today there still were lots of disconnected phones, wrong numbers, etc.
    The 11/4 ballot was very long because both houses of our state legislature serve two year terms, and there must have been at least 30 judge races, some for state appeals but also local ones plus 6 initiatives (bonds). I believe that a significant number of African-American voters only voted for Obama on 11/4 and were very difficult to get back to the polls for the runoff.
    POA. it’s worth noting that it’s very different from CA in that GA doesn’t mail any sample ballots–nor do groups or parties send stuff like that, i.e., it’s not easy to learn about issues, judge candidates, or to vote absentee.
    Jim Martin is a wonderful human being and was a quiet and effective state legislator as well as health and human services secretary on the state level. But he lost in a runoff for lieutenant governor a few years ago; Democrats almost always lose statewide runoffs. He’s not a very charismatic personality or much of a campaigner. I think he was drafted to run as the Democrat with the most statewide name recognition.
    I’m kinda tired and don’t want to make this too long, but tomorrow I might write more about the out of state surrogates, mostly because I’ve read almost everything on the GA Senate campaign in all major newspapers around the country as well as the AJC. That was very disturbing as it was entirely different from what really was happening here. It was clear early on that Democratic Party and Obama were not going to waste their time and political capital coming down here.
    On the other hand, a lot of money was spent on endless TV ads–negative on both sides. Groups all around the country were calling–like MoveOn and NARAL, organized labor plus robocall from Obama.
    Also on runoff ballot statewide was a hotly contested seat on Public Utility Commission–plus locally two judgeship runoffs. And for one of those, the candidate for whom I voted had more different robocalls than even the Martin ones.
    It was very unpleasant living here and being a registered voter. I stopped calling around 3:30 p.m. and by then I mostly was getting people who had already voted for Martin, and just thanking them and saying that at least tomorrow life would be peaceful again.
    The last person with whom I actually spoke hung up on me after saying, “I don’t want to talk to no one about no candidate.!”
    So it went…

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  12. Paul Norheim says:

    “Given the fact that virtually all his cabinet positions will be
    filled by people that Bill Clinton appointed first, it looks like
    Barack Obama’s Presidency will resemble Bill Clinton’s almost as
    much as Hillary’s would have.”
    What exactly does it mean to claim, in the current extraordinary
    situation domestically and abroad, that someone`s Presidency
    “will resemble Bill Clinton`s”?
    Obviously, if Bill Clinton himself were reelected in 2008, and
    acted more or less like he did in 1993-2000, people would view
    him as a very different president and a very bad leader, because
    the circumstances now are completely different from then: the
    financial meltdown, recession, Iraq, Afghanistan etc. etc.
    I even doubt that words like “left”, “right” or “center” is much
    more than an empty play with words during the extraordinary
    times we are living through, and the challenges of a new US
    administration. Perhaps historians may say, post factum, that
    Obama chose a conservative or progressive approach to this or
    that issue – and then, perhaps not.
    Was Nixon`s unexpected visit to China conservative,
    progressive, or a typical centrist approach?
    Was the rebuilding of Germany, England and USSR after World
    War II a conservative or a progressive effort?
    These random and non-related examples are chosen just to
    show that certain familiar concepts do not fit certain actions or
    challenges. I doubt that they are very useful in the current
    situation. I also doubt that Obama tries to build a bridge to the
    nineties, because that would be a bridge to nowhere.

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  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I do agree with you about one thing though. I don’t think we have to worry about Obama getting a blow job in the Oval Office”
    Why settle for a blow job when you can screw every American that voted for you?

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    How would you like to be a Palestinian right now, with a coupla starving kids, and a settlement going in next door?
    Judging by Obama’s appointments, things are going to improve much for these folk, eh? I don’t understand why Israel just doesn’t start shovin’ ’em into ovens. I mean, after all, Bush and Cheney aren’t being punished for killing a million or so Muslims, so whats the hold up, why draw things out?
    Olmert: Clinton as Secretary of State will strengthen Israel-U.S. ties
    By Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz Correspondent, and The Associated Press
    Tags: Israel news, Obama, Gates
    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert congratulated U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton on Monday on her appointment to the important position of Secretary of State in the administration of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama.
    “Sen. Clinton is a friend of the State of Israel and the Jewish People and I am sure that in her new position she will continue to advance the special Israel-U.S. relationship,” the Prime Minister said.
    (In other words, don’t worry Israel, we might be broke, but we’ll still be sendin’ ya the billions you need to keep starving those sub-human Palestinian heathens into submission…POA)
    continues at…
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1042663.html

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  15. WigWag says:

    So NBC just called Georgia for Saxby Chambliss. How much time did Barack Obama spend in Georgia campaigning for Jim Martin? The answer, of course, is not one second. Martin asked Obama to come campaign for him but he was rebuffed. Great work, President-Elect Obama!
    I did hear that Obama spoke to the National Governors Conference today where he had a brief one on one meeting with Sarah Palin. Does anyone know if he offered her a cabinet position?
    Sweetness, you say, “sort of condescending to Obama (and Kervick is guilty of this as
    well) to assume it will be Hillary’s foreign policy agenda and not his.”
    You misunderstand me. I think Obama’s the boss not Clinton. It will be his foreign policy not hers. But there is a reason he picked her and there is a reason she accepted. The reason is simple; he agrees with her about foreign policy. While they might have some truly minor differences, they are essentially of one mind. President-Elect Obama does not agree with the foreign policy ideals of his most ardent admirers, he agrees with the foreign policy ideals of Hillary Clinton. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have selected her.
    Ironic don’t you think how Obama supporters could have been so wrong about his beliefs. In my opinion, the problem is that they just weren’t listening to him. Instead they were listening to voices inside their own heads.
    Linda, I am in awe of Walt Whitman and Mozart and Dorothy Day, not Bill or Hillary Clinton. They’re politicians and there is nothing awe-inspiring about what they do. I do think Bill Clinton was an unusually good President compared to almost any of the Presidents we’ve had since Roosevelt. And I think Senator Clinton was an effective Senator who fought for important issues even though she sometimes lost. I thought that if her Presidency resembled her husband’s, that she would do a good job. I didn’t always agree with where she stood on the issues, but I knew where she stood on the issues. Unfortunately, to their chagrin, Obama supporters are in the process of learning that they didn’t understand the views of the candidate that they supported at all.
    Given the fact that virtually all his cabinet positions will be filled by people that Bill Clinton appointed first, it looks like Barack Obama’s Presidency will resemble Bill Clinton’s almost as much as Hillary’s would have.
    I do agree with you about one thing though. I don’t think we have to worry about Obama getting a blow job in the Oval Office.
    It’s funny. Given a choice between two Presidents who look like they are incredibly close in their policy views, I would take the one who got a blow job over the one who thinks he’s the Messiah, every time.
    But that’s just me.
    ps: Please forgive the foul language.

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  16. Linda says:

    Lots of interesting speculation for political junkies in all this that really boils down only to Obama’s political skill in having people see what they want to see in him. It will take probably at least the first year of his administration to know who the real Obama is. That will be based on his decisions as President where he can’t vote “present.”
    Wigwag, I wish you wouldn’t continue to assume that everyone who was for Obama was/is in awe of him. From the start, I liked his message of change in the ways of politics inside the Beltway–and what he says about how things will work still sounds good. So have lots of other Presidents for whom I voted including Clinton.
    Actually, Wigwag, I have a few friends in CA who have the same awe of Bill Clinton that you seem to have. I think he was far from a great President, and many of the financial and other problems we have today started in his Presidency.
    Furthermore, he was no progressive at all, had a very slow and messy start to his first term, messed up health care reform, lost control of Congress, had Robert Reich leave after being “locked in the Cabinet,” had Peter Edelman and others resign over welfare reform (Give his appointees credit for at least having courage to resign in protest–that never happened in Bush Administration), and would have been fired as CEO of any corporation if a similar incident to Lewinsky happened with an intern. It wasn’t grounds for impeachment, etc., but it showed poor judgment because the President also is a symbol and role model.
    Ted, I am looking to see if Hillary Clinton and Obama really can put the campaign behind them and if Obama really means that he wants diverse opinions from many bright people, i.e., I think Samantha Power should be officially on the foreign policy team some place. She apologized immediately about her remarks.

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  17. Sweetness says:

    Not that this matters much…
    But everything you say here still doesn’t show that Obama was
    to the right of all his opponents, as you argued above.
    I think we need to see the decisions and actions that come out
    of the Obama Administration before we decide who’s the dog
    and who’s the tail.
    Sort of condescending to Obama (and Kervick is guilty of this as
    well) to assume it will be Hillary’s foreign policy agenda and not
    his.
    What real evidence for that is there?
    I do agree with Wig, though, that Obama was always a centrist. I
    still believe he’s center-left, but only time will tell.

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  18. WigWag says:

    This is what Ana Marie Cox had to say about the Clinton appointment in the Daily Beast:
    “Hillary Clinton has found some unlikely allies and supporters in her journey to becoming Secretary of State: neoconservatives, contributors to the National Review, even a former manager of her husband’s impeachment proceedings. You might call it a vast right-wing conspiracy.
    How to explain the generally positive take Republicans have on Clinton’s nomination? Her willingness to veer right in international policy. While she all but—all but—apologized for her pro-war vote in the Democratic primaries, Republicans are counting on her toughness in the days ahead. As one consultant put it: “We all know that secretly, she’s a hawk.” Writing in The Weekly Standard’s blog, Michael Goldfarb wrote hopefully about Clinton “even present[ing] the case for war with Iran to an insubordinate United Nations in the event that Obama’s personal diplomacy somehow fails to deter the mullahs from their present course.” His editor, Bill Kristol, responded to the news with a giddy email: “I look forward to working with her!”
    Reached this afternoon as word of an official offer was spreading, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)—he’s the former Clinton impeachment manager—had nothing but praise about the selection. “She’s got the right skill set for the job,” he said, “There’s no country in the world she can’t go to. I mean, she’s Hillary! Not many people in the world are known by their first name like that.” Graham said her confirmation in the Senate should be “no problem,” thanks to her knack for personal diplomacy. “She’s good at giving credit to others, which works well in the Senate.” As for diplomacy abroad, Graham emphasized her less warm and fuzzy side, “She’s gotta pretty good view of how the Russians are drifting in the wrong direction.” By “good,” Graham means a view NOT shared by all of her Democratic colleagues. Echoing Goldfarb, he added, “in the primaries, she had a tougher view on Iran than Obama.”
    Among former McCain advisers—Graham was one of the closest—Hillary’s selection probably satisfies their sense that she has better judgment than Obama on foreign policy matters. McCain was respectful, even deferential to Clinton as a colleage, and staffers made no secret about their preference for Hillary as a more worthy rival. Her elevation, however, might also come with a surprising bit of schadenfreude: Clinton as Secretary of State means that Obama supporter John Kerry—once counted as a friend of McCain’s—would not profit from his role as attack dog against the Republican nominee. News reports that Kerry ran after McCain to catch an escalator ride with him on his first day back on the Hill have been met with amusement by former campaign staffers, who pledge to hold a grudge even if McCain doesn’t.
    For her part, Clinton advisers explain her appeal to the right with an aphorism that would serve her just as well in her new role. Says a source close to the Senator, “Political pragmatism is where this starts and ends.”
    So Republicans like Hillary’s appointment and Rush Limbaugh likes Hillary’s appointment. But progressive Democrats can’t get Obama to appoint even one of their own; for anything. Not one member of his foreign policy or economic team has impressive progressive credentials. Not one!
    Dan Kervick says that “I certainly don’t think it helps much to get bogged down in overly simplified distinctions between “left” and “right”, or “progressive” and “conservative…”
    That’s probably what I would try to convince myself of too, if I was a progressive supporter of Obama who has watched his appointments over the past couple of weeks.
    It’s funny to watch Obama supporters all over the internet tying themselves in knots trying to figure out why Obama appointed Clinton and like minded foreign policy and financial experts.
    Of course, they can’t bring themselves to consider the simplist and most logical explanation; that he picked them because he agrees with them. They just can’t admit to themselves that President-Elect Obama’s views are as center-right as their’s are.
    Of course, they had plenty of warning. His FISA vote should have tipped them off.
    But they were to busy drinking the Kool-aid to notice.

    Reply

  19. WigWag says:

    This is what Ana Marie Cox had to say about the Clinton appointment in the Daily Beast:
    “Hillary Clinton has found some unlikely allies and supporters in her journey to becoming Secretary of State: neoconservatives, contributors to the National Review, even a former manager of her husband’s impeachment proceedings. You might call it a vast right-wing conspiracy.
    How to explain the generally positive take Republicans have on Clinton’s nomination? Her willingness to veer right in international policy. While she all but—all but—apologized for her pro-war vote in the Democratic primaries, Republicans are counting on her toughness in the days ahead. As one consultant put it: “We all know that secretly, she’s a hawk.” Writing in The Weekly Standard’s blog, Michael Goldfarb wrote hopefully about Clinton “even present[ing] the case for war with Iran to an insubordinate United Nations in the event that Obama’s personal diplomacy somehow fails to deter the mullahs from their present course.” His editor, Bill Kristol, responded to the news with a giddy email: “I look forward to working with her!”
    Reached this afternoon as word of an official offer was spreading, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)—he’s the former Clinton impeachment manager—had nothing but praise about the selection. “She’s got the right skill set for the job,” he said, “There’s no country in the world she can’t go to. I mean, she’s Hillary! Not many people in the world are known by their first name like that.” Graham said her confirmation in the Senate should be “no problem,” thanks to her knack for personal diplomacy. “She’s good at giving credit to others, which works well in the Senate.” As for diplomacy abroad, Graham emphasized her less warm and fuzzy side, “She’s gotta pretty good view of how the Russians are drifting in the wrong direction.” By “good,” Graham means a view NOT shared by all of her Democratic colleagues. Echoing Goldfarb, he added, “in the primaries, she had a tougher view on Iran than Obama.”
    Among former McCain advisers—Graham was one of the closest—Hillary’s selection probably satisfies their sense that she has better judgment than Obama on foreign policy matters. McCain was respectful, even deferential to Clinton as a colleage, and staffers made no secret about their preference for Hillary as a more worthy rival. Her elevation, however, might also come with a surprising bit of schadenfreude: Clinton as Secretary of State means that Obama supporter John Kerry—once counted as a friend of McCain’s—would not profit from his role as attack dog against the Republican nominee. News reports that Kerry ran after McCain to catch an escalator ride with him on his first day back on the Hill have been met with amusement by former campaign staffers, who pledge to hold a grudge even if McCain doesn’t.
    For her part, Clinton advisers explain her appeal to the right with an aphorism that would serve her just as well in her new role. Says a source close to the Senator, “Political pragmatism is where this starts and ends.”
    So Republicans like Hillary’s appointment and Rush Limbaugh likes Hillary’s appointment. But progressive Democrats can’t get Obama to appoint even one of their own; for anything. Not one member of his foreign policy or economic team has impressive progressive credentials. Not one!
    Dan Kervick says that “I certainly don’t think it helps much to get bogged down in overly simplified distinctions between “left” and “right”, or “progressive” and “conservative…”
    That’s probably what I would try to convince myself of too, if I was a progressive supporter of Obama who has watched his appointments over the past couple of weeks.
    It’s funny to watch Obama supporters all over the internet tying themselves in knots trying to figure out why Obama appointed Clinton and like minded foreign policy and financial experts.
    Of course, they can’t bring themselves to consider the simplist and most logical explanation; that he picked them because he agrees with them. They just can’t admit to themselves that President-Elect Obama’s views are as center-right as their’s are.
    Of course, they had plenty of warning. His FISA vote should have tipped them off.
    But they were to busy drinking the Kool-aid to notice.

    Reply

  20. janinsanfran says:

    My concern about Clinton is that there no evidence that she can manage anything or anybody. If she could, she’d be President, not SOS.

    Reply

  21. Ted says:

    Guess this means Samantha Power will be frozen out of any job at State, at a minimum. She did have to resign from the Obama campaign after calling Hillary a “monster,” after all — kind of hard to see her overcoming that with the new Sec. of State!

    Reply

  22. PissedOffAmerican says:

    It still is a travesty. As is the fact that two years after the American people told our politicians to cease and desist, start representing us, and get us the hell out of Iraq, they have done NOTHING, except allow Bush to escalate our military involvement through the “surge”, which was essentially bribery aimed at paying off the very people these lying pieces of shit told us were the “enemy”. They went from being “Saddam loyalists”, “Sunni Insurgents”, “Evil Doers”, “former Batthists”, etc, to being expensive “allies”, or “Sons of Iraq”. And undoubtedly, as soon as we quit paying them, they’ll go right back to killing American soldiers and rival sects.
    “Travesty” doesn’t even begin to describe the horror. No one held accountable, over a million dead, obscene profits enjoyed by a select few who are coated head to foot in human blood, and an incoming Administration that is not only going to allow many of these people to avoid accountability, but is going to actually EMPLOY them.

    Reply

  23. Dan Kervick says:

    Tony,
    My only point is that the arguments and justifications for the war that were offered in the public sphere back in 2002 and 2003 were preventive war justifications, not preemptive war justifications. Kenneth Pollack, for example, agreed in his book that there was no urgent threat from Iraq, and no imminent attack to preempt. He argued instead that Iraq was a long-term threat, and that the US should strike it early to prevent it from developing, over several years’ time, the capabilities that would turn it into a threat down the road.
    It is important to adhere to this distinction, because while there is a reasonable basis in international law for preemptive war, international law offers no support for preventive war. People like Pollack were defending a radical and dangerous doctrine in international relations.
    I agree that the war was a travesty.

    Reply

  24. TonyForesta says:

    The war in Iraq is a war of wanton profiteering and nothing more Dan Kervik. Surely you jest. What was prevented? There are the horrific costs in blood, treasure, lost credibility, and the dismantliing of the Constitution, – but what exactly are dreaming was “prevented” by the unmitigated crime scene in Iraq? What are you talking about?

    Reply

  25. Dan Kervick says:

    WigWag wrote:
    “Is there any evidence for this whatsoever? My recollection is that it was Senator Obama who advocated for the same policy that President Bush adopted of launching preemptive attacks in the Pakistani tribal regions whether Pakistan approved or not.”
    I don’t see the conflict here. Obama advocated attacks on these tribal regions, under certain conditions, for the purpose of defending the United States, its people and its interests against demonstrable security threats. He did not advocate such attacks for the purpose of spreading democracy and human rights to Pakistan, nor for the purpose of effecting some other broad change in the region or in Pakistani society. The point is just to kill some bad guys who are threats to the United States, if Pakistan is unwilling or unable to do it themselves.
    The difference isn’t a left-right difference, or even a hawk-dove difference. It’s a difference in priorities.
    The statements of Clinton and Obama on the Kosovo declaration of independence were quite different. Obama simply recognized, without sentimental celebration, a geopolitical fact on the ground that emerged from unique circumstances flowing from the breakup of Yugoslavia. He emphasized that this interdependence declaration should not be seen as a model for anyone else. He then went on to offer something like an admonishment to Kosovo to fulfill its international obligations. Clinton pointedly used the term “Kosova” in her statement, and seemed to align herself with the cause of Kosovo nationalism and national aspirations. She offered no reservations about Kosovo serving as a model for other national independence movements.
    “It’s hard to see any evidence at all that Obama reflects the views of this “new” generation that Dan Kervick is referring to. If he did, why did all of his security/foreign affairs appointments come from what Dan calls the old school?”
    I do find the appointments disappointing. But I think Obama views himself as representing a new generation, and has consequently been overly cautious in reassuring older hands. Right now, I’m not expecting much that is from exciting from Obama on foreign policy – except perhaps in the area of nuclear non-proliferation. It looks to me that he is putting all the leftward progressive oomph into his domestic program, which is shaping up as even bolder than the one he ran on. The foreign policy agenda has been turned over to centrists representing the rotten old bipartisan consensus, and Obama will probably pursue a restorationist agenda at first, emphasizing competence and undoing Bush-era damage. Given the absence of a genuinely left-leaning internationalism clearly opposed to unilateral intervention abroad, I at least hope the pragmatism of Gates and Jones, and some economic constraints and limits, will help Obama resist the interventionist impulses of crusading liberals like Clinton, Rice and Powers.
    “Is there even one scintilla of evidence to suggest that this is true or is it a divine revelation?”
    Yes. One is the different approach to Iran, which I count as more forward looking. Others are his more circumspect statements on Kosovo, the Bhutto assassination and other international incidents, which I believe reflect a more cautious and realistic temperament, and better grasp of long-run strategic needs.
    By the way, the war in Iraq was not a preemptive war. It was a preventive war.

    Reply

  26. Sweetness says:

    Wig writes: “Is there any evidence for this whatsoever? My
    recollection is that it was Senator Obama who advocated for the
    same policy that President Bush adopted of launching
    preemptive attacks in the Pakistani tribal regions whether
    Pakistan approved or not.”
    I believe his point was that he reserved the right to launch a
    strike against OBL within Pakistan if the intelligence were
    reliable and the Pakistanis were unwilling or unable to do it. OBL
    killed 3,000+ Americans. Going after him wherever he may be
    does NOT strike me as “preemption” or “interventionism.”
    I’m certainly confused by your assertion that Obama was the
    most right wing of all the Democratic contenders. You’ve gone
    to great lengths to show, correctly, that many if not most of
    Obama’s appointments come from the Clinton administrations.
    How, then, is Obama to be construed as to the right of Hillary?
    Or Biden, his VP? In fact, you should be happy about it.
    Obama’s big political insight is that American electoral politics
    are “inflamed”–almost in a medical sense. Continuing to push
    harder on the left or harder on the right–regardless of the
    merits of the argument–will only inflame the body politic even
    more and scuttle whatever one’s agenda might be. Yes; you may
    be “right,” but you either won’t get elected or, if you do get
    elected, you won’t get anything done.
    His cabinet thus far shows a keen appreciation for smarts,
    experience and a desire to pacify our political inflammation by
    embracing his former opponent. Opponents because I’ve heard
    a number of Republicans expressing their admiration for his
    decisions thus far. This is not only important, it’s essential for
    moving forward in ANY direction.
    As to Dan’s worries that Hillary will go off on her own; yes, it’s
    possible, but it’s unlikely Obama will stand for it. He may bend,
    but he won’t break. He didn’t work his ass off for two years just
    to see her vision implemented and not his. Of course, there is
    always compromise and dialogue on these matters. You don’t
    hire cabinet members to be “order takers.” But anyone who joins
    Obama’s cabinet has to know that it’s his administration and his
    vision that will rule.
    Bottom line, Obama is center left with strongly pragmatic
    instincts.

    Reply

  27. WigWag says:

    “My preference for Obama over Clinton was based on the idea that Clinton represented an aggressively interventionist and ideological school of liberal Democratic foreign policy thinking, and Obama a somewhat more realistic school oriented toward the promotion of peace, stability and broad-based cooperation.”
    Is there any evidence for this whatsoever? My recollection is that it was Senator Obama who advocated for the same policy that President Bush adopted of launching preemptive attacks in the Pakistani tribal regions whether Pakistan approved or not. Of course India is now likely to site Obama’s dictum to justify its own attacks on Pakistani Kashmir or even the tribal regions. Yes, Senator Clinton was somewhat more belligerent in her language when discussing Iran. But Obama more than made up for this with his position on Pakistan. And given what happened in Mumbai, President-Elect Obama is likely to see his words thrown back in his face in the very near future.
    Like Senator Clinton, President-Elect Obama endorsed recognition of Kosovo, Russia be damned. And one of several reasons that Obama mentions for wanting to reduce US troops in Iraq is so that he can increase US forces in Afghanistan. Rightly or wrongly, during the campaign Obama indicated a willingness to consider using military force in Darfur. The point is that all of this sounds pretty “aggressively interventionist” to me.
    “I see the difference between the two reflecting more of a generational change among different schools of Democratic thought, different assessments of the chief global challenges, and different sets of priorities…I see the newer generation as somewhat less concerned with global ideological reform, and more concerned with issues such as climate change and other environmental concerns, energy questions, population and public health questions, economic governance questions, and a host of global problems calling for global solutions.”
    It’s hard to see any evidence at all that Obama reflects the views of this “new” generation that Dan Kervick is referring to. If he did, why did all of his security/foreign affairs appointments come from what Dan calls the old school?
    We have Hillary Clinton herself who Dan Kervick already told us has a different generational view of foreign policy. We have Jim Jones, appointed Commandant of the Marine Corps by Bill Clinton (and who served in Kosovo) who is four years older than Hillary Clinton. We have the new UN Ambassador, Susan Rice who was not only a Bill Clinton nominee but also a protégé of Madelyn Albright. We have Eric Holder, the number two in Bill Clinton’s Justice Department (and who was apparently heavily involved with the Marc Rich pardon). We have baby boomer, Janet Napalatano who was presumably appointed because she has expertise in the immigration area. There’s no difference at all between Obama’s, Clinton’s and Napalatano’s views on immigration. And of course there’s Secretary Gates, who was originally appointed to his job by George W. Bush. What generation is he a part of? So I repeat my question, if Obama really represents generational change in foreign policy wouldn’t he have appointed even one member of his cabinet who represents that generational change? Or is the reality that when it comes to foreign policy, Obama supporters were simply wrong about who Barack Obama really is and what he believes in?
    “I continue to believe Obama looks further out in his assessment of the current situation. But I don’t see this as a necessarily more progressive stance, just a more thoughtful one.”
    Is there even one scintilla of evidence to suggest that this is true or is it a divine revelation?
    I know that Obama supporters are mostly well-intentioned and I am sure I would find most of them to be smart, engaging and kind people. But their willingness to form beliefs based on no evidence whatsoever is startling. They are like fundamentalists who believe in creationism even after they are presented with Darwin, carbon dating and molecular biology. They believe because they believe.
    During his campaign, Obama broke promise after promise. That’s okay, all politicians do. But then he voted for FISA. Almost everyone he has appointed so far was appointed by Bill Clinton first and shares a Clintonian philosophy.
    But you know what true believers are like. They just find a way to rationalize it all away. The rest of us are just satisfied that Obama doesn’t remind us of George W. Bush.
    Yet.

    Reply

  28. sarah says:

    Respectfully, Steve.. a “diva” on health care? She’s going to give herself and her views a “makeover”? Really? Foreign Policy, Glamour magazine: there is a difference. I just found that distracting from the serious points you made here.

    Reply

  29. Dan Kervick says:

    I certainly don’t think it helps much to get bogged down in overly simplified distinctions between “left” and “right”, or “progressive” and “conservative” in the area of strategic policy differences between Clinton and Obama. There were significant differences between Obama and Clinton on foreign policy, but they never appeared to have much to do with one of them being more progressive, liberal or leftist than the other.
    My preference for Obama over Clinton was based on the idea that Clinton represented an aggressively interventionist and ideological school of liberal Democratic foreign policy thinking, and Obama a somewhat more realistic school oriented toward the promotion of peace, stability and broad-based cooperation. Unless one gets confused about the difference between the right/left dichotomy and the hawk/dove distinction, one ought not to see this as a difference between a less progressive or less transformational Clinton, and a more progressive and transformational Obama.
    I see the difference between the two reflecting more of a generational change among different schools of Democratic thought, different assessments of the chief global challenges, and different sets of priorities. Clinton, Albright, Ikenberry and others like them represent the 90’s-era school of permanent democratic enlargement. Their outlook was formed in the heady, triumphalist days of the end of the Cold War, and looks to a sort of permanent global American revolution – mainly driven by soft power suasion, but with occasional hard power “nudges” – to spread democracy, liberal civil society and neoliberal capitalism around the world. They preach the expansion of NATO and have supported intervention in the domestic affairs of politically backward countries.
    I see the newer generation as somewhat less concerned with global ideological reform, and more concerned with issues such as climate change and other environmental concerns, energy questions, population and public health questions, economic governance questions, and a host of global problems calling for global solutions. I see them as more inclined to promote cooperative global approaches and to build truly global institutions, and to be somewhat more willing to forego pushing for liberal democratic expansion in order to promote a cooperative global environment in which we can work with politically imperfect countries. They also have less confidence than the previous generation in the extent, effectiveness and moral surefootedness of US military power. They are more inclined to see the current era as evincing a shift in the global power balance away from the US, and believe that calls for a more cooperative, less imperious US strategic approach.
    I personally think we should put less emphasis on our traditional relationships with Israel and Saudi Arabia, and pursue a more balanced approach to the Middle East that recognizes the emerging power of Iran, and seeks to develop a working relationship between the US and Iran, aiming at stability and a regional balance of power rather than political transformation. Now were a president to pursue this approach, it would be innovative. It might even be “transformational” in one sense of the term, in that it would represent a significant change form our current policy. But I don’t think anybody could say it represents a move to the left. Nor for that matter does it represent a move to the right. In my view, it would represent a move toward greater realism. It also represents a move toward promoting stability and a balance of power, and away from regime change and aggressive transformation. In acertain sense, it might be seen as less progressive, rather than more. On the other hand it can be conducive to progressive change, if the improvements in stability are coupled with global cooperative initiatives. I continue to believe that Obama has leanings in something like this direction. I believe Obama also has somewhat different instincts about Russia than Clinton, who continues to view US-Russian relations though a more ideological lens of an aggressive democratization agenda.
    I also believe Clinton had made herself into a dutiful servant of Israeli interests, and that was in effect the tactical path she had chosen to power in the US. Whether Obama will be able to pull us out of the orbit of our Israeli-centric Middle East policy, or has now been thoroughly captured in that orbit, is yet to be seen.
    The other main criticism I advanced of Clinton was that she lacked strategic imagination and vision. I think her approach to foreign policy tends to be relationship-based. I see her as a bit too inclined to approach problems in terms of our existing relationships and established trends and modes of operations, and saw no indications in her thinking of long-term strategic vision that recognized that existing trends and relationships might not be optimal. I continue to believe Obama looks further out in his assessment of the current situation. But I don’t see this as a necessarily more progressive stance, just a more thoughtful one.
    My main concern with the team so far is where the “vision” is coming from. It’s all well and good to say that the vision will come from Obama himself. But he needs a big picture man or woman in close proximity to bounce around ideas and develop creative long term approaches. Who will that person be? It doesn’t seem to me he has one yet. I want to see what close foreign policy advisors are added to the White House staff itself, beyond the team in the cabinet.

    Reply

  30. samuel burke says:

    winston churchill hilary clinton will lead us into war.
    the puppeteers have set the stage and the play is about to
    begin.
    the finance is the thing wherein we’ll catch the king.

    Reply

  31. Paul Norheim says:

    “But now that I see Obama’s nominees, it looks certain that I will
    get my wish anyway. Apparently, Obama aspires to be Hillary
    Clinton in trousers.”
    Apropos schadenfreude, WigWag: one could say that your recent
    daily attacks on Obama (quantitatively amounting to a handful
    of Dostojewskij novels during a time span of six months)
    somehow was…well… perhaps a waste of energy – or what
    would you say, looking back?
    Point is: some of the most enthusiastic progressive Obama
    supporters were not the only ones who got it wrong – the same
    goes for certain (ahem) Obama haters – or?
    “Bill Clinton wanted to “build a bridge to the 21st century” and
    Obama’s appointments indicate that he plans to work
    assiduously to build a bridge to the 1990s.”
    Well said!

    Reply

  32. Spunkmeyer says:

    WigWag, you continue to not understand what us Obama
    supporters really think. This is why you lost the primary and still
    convince yourself you still won. I strongly doubt Bill Clinton would
    be releasing his donor list if he still completely thought he was in
    the catbird seat.
    Again, the test of the Obama Presidency begins 1/21/09. Just as I
    can compare your primary season predictions/comments to what actually occurred in the real world, we can do the same in the near
    future against actual results.

    Reply

  33. WigWag says:

    Paul, as you know I am a big fan of Bill Clinton’s record in office. It wasn’t anywhere near perfect, but compared to every president since Roosevelt, he was extraordinarily successful. One of the reasons I supported Hillary Clinton’s candidacy is that I hoped that it would be a reprise of her husband’s presidency. But now that I see Obama’s nominees, it looks certain that I will get my wish anyway. Apparently, Obama aspires to be Hillary Clinton in trousers. Bill Clinton wanted to “build a bridge to the 21st century” and Obama’s appointments indicate that he plans to work assiduously to build a bridge to the 1990s.
    And Spunkmeyer, I am touched that you are embarrassed on my behalf. But I suggest that you save your sympathy for all those Obama supporters out there. They’re the ones who convinced themselves (and tried to convince everyone else) that Obama was a progressive candidate. Now that his most important nominees have been announced, it is clear how wrong they were. They must be feeling very foolish.
    I’m sure they could use your support.

    Reply

  34. JohnH says:

    How to tell when a bad pick is a REALLY bad pick: Limbaugh, Murdoch, and Richard Mellon Schaife all like her.
    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Rush_Limbaugh_endorses_Clinton_for_Secretary_1201.html
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/05/09/politics/main1600694.shtml
    http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/2008/03/hillary-and-scaife-dancing-wit.php
    Let’s hope she truly does a “makeover,” and not in a direction that further ingratiates herself with wingnuts. But who knows, Bill Clinton could get real, real cozy with the likes of Ken Lay, Phil Gramm, Robert Rubin, and Marc Rich, so Hillary can clearly morph into anything she wants–and invoke fuzzy, feel-good slogans, like enlightened realism in the process.

    Reply

  35. Spunkmeyer says:

    WigWag, I’m embarrassed for you on your behalf, since you seem to
    be oblivious to how ridiculous you sound.
    Anyone who looks objectively at what Obama has been saying since
    day one sees what he’s doing now is wholly consistent. Like a
    good sports coach is able to take strong personalities and meld
    them into a cohesive winning team, I don’t see why his choices
    thus far can’t succeed.
    Seriously, the guy who blew the doors off of the Clintons and all
    the other “conventional wisdom” types is suddenly going to go
    stupid. Get freaking real. Until 1/21/09 this is all a bunch of hot
    air.

    Reply

  36. Paul Norheim says:

    Why all this schadenfreude, WigWag.
    Not willing to admit that you are much more happy with Obama
    then you thought you would be just three months ago?

    Reply

  37. jon says:

    I hope that Hillary will be a stellar SoC. We need this to work
    out.
    I also have great admiration for Obama’s willingness to bring on
    strong and contradictory personalities to his team. They will
    strongly test his management abilities, as well as his own
    opinions and outlook. But I also believe that Obama is no less
    able to fire with speed and certitude than he has been in his
    hiring decisions.
    Many of his picks may not last all that long, and may be seen as
    a way to make a smooth transition and to accomplish certain
    tasks. I would not be surprised to learn that he has picks lined
    up for the second and third round of appointments and tasks.
    As for HRC, I hope that she can aspire to the standard set by her
    predecessor NY Senator and SoC, William Henry Seward. He
    deftly handled many sticky international issues, to the point that
    international actions had little bearing on the outcome of the
    Civil War. Even after some early missteps. And he managed to
    relieve Russia of Alaska (and a few other inconsiderable scraps
    of land) at a price now recognized as an unparalleled bargain.
    Imagine if the USSR had occupied Alaska during the Cold War…
    HRC, good luck and Godspeed!

    Reply

  38. WigWag says:

    Several months ago, around the time of the South Carolina primary, then Senator Obama directed a not so subtle jab at Hillary Clinton by sharing his opinion that while Bill Clinton was not a transformational president, Ronald Reagan was. The remark caused quite an uproar and Obama supporters at the Washington Note and elsewhere did everything they could to explain why Obama was right and why he, like Reagan would be “transformational.”
    Well, it looks like President-Elect Obama has concluded that transformation is not everything it’s cracked up to be. I wonder if his supporters now feel the same way.
    I could only laugh while watching Obama at the podium today. Standing by his side were two Republicans (Gates and Jones), his nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security (who Bill Clinton appointed as United States Attorney for the District of Arizona), his new UN Ambassador (a Madelyn Albright protégé and Clinton Assistant Secretary of State) and Senator Clinton herself who the net roots has always insisted is a cross between Dick Cheney and Darth Vader.
    You Obama supporters out there, is there anything transformational at all about this group? Instead of transformation, isn’t this just a time warp back to the 1990s?
    Obama has appointed all of the most traditional and conservative Clinton appointees to his economic and national security team without appointing any of the progressive people Bill Clinton appointed. This, despite the fact, that Bill Clinton was President in a much more conservative period.
    Obama’s appointees come right out of the Democratic Leadership Council playbook. Had Hillary Clinton been elected she would probably have made more progressive picks. The same goes for Biden, Dodd and Edwards. One thing is certain, had any of the other candidates been elected, none of them would have nominated a more conservative team. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that no Democrat could get away with appointing a more conservative group of Cabinet members and advisors than Obama has.
    Dan Kervick says “despite Steve’s optimistic predictions of a “makeover”, Clinton has her own well-known views and foreign policy positions and alliances. These positions and commitment are in some tension, in certain areas, with the Obama outlook.”
    Clinton’s views “in tension” with Obama’s outlook? Obama’s appointments demonstrate that to the extent he has any independent outlook at all, his outlook is significantly to the right of where Obama supporters thought it was. What about “tension” between Obama’s views and Gates’ or Obama’s views and Geithner’s or Obama’s views and Summers’? His appointments related to the economy demonstrate that he is as far to the right on economic issues as he is on national security issues.
    Obama supporters were warned that they were merely seeing in Obama the reflection of their own views that they hoped (without any evidence) that he shared.
    Well even before he takes office, the evidence is in; Obama was the most right wing of the Democrats running for President. If there is another reasonable explanation for his appointments to date, I would love to hear it.
    It looks like the best Obama supporters can hope for is that Obama’s positions will be as progressive as Bill Clinton’s. But by the looks of his nominees so far, even that will be a stretch.
    I’m just curious, is that transformational enough for you?

    Reply

  39. Arch Roberts says:

    I only hope Hillary can resist the tendency of her husband’s administration to go to lots of meetings – in the interest of diplomaacy – and come away with nothing much (except for Dayton). I’ll be waiting to see how she performs, but I’m not (even cautiously) optimistic.

    Reply

  40. TonyForesta says:

    Though Gate particularly, and Jones as well are a little to rightofcenter for my tastes and hopes, Obama has assembled a stalwart team of experienced advisors “to carry out” his policies.
    Unlike the predatory idiot occupying the WH now, Obama is not interested in “groupthink”, and a crowd of yesmen or women. The president elect is seeking vigorous debate within the counsels of his advisors.
    I see Hillary working from day one to present and push Obama’s policies, restoring credibility to the State Department and America globally, and advancing diplomacy and communication with America friends and foes as the primary thrust of America’s foreign policy.
    A welcome change from the brutish, predatory incompetence and supremist war-first policies of the bushgov.

    Reply

  41. MarkL says:

    Daro,
    In case you didn’t notice, Hillary has been a US Senator for 8 years, not just a “wife”.
    Incidentally, before that, she held other high profile positions.
    I’ll take Steve’s commentary over your stupid sexism any day.

    Reply

  42. Daro says:

    Steve’s gushing comments on Clinton read like a favor to someone more than informed commentary. Or (I hope) an intentionally ironic, over-saccharine homage designed as a dog whistle warning that this opine is forced.
    I guess it’s a harsh reality that to stay relevant and informative he has to avoid being frozen out of contact with heavyweight Beltway players who have huge egos and a sense of status and entitlement to match. They viciously prosecute their malicious tendencies towards anyone not playing their favorites and demand regular, periodic pronouncements of filialty to monitor who’s toeing the line and, more importantly, pre-empt the possibility of critical articles.
    Steve can’t exactly slam Hillary later on after such an ode without looking foolish. This insistence on pronouncements is a lethally effective trapping strategy perfected by AIPAC…
    For Hillary – she can control her mouth but not her enormously inflated head and it will burn her on the intricate, fickle, international stage when she starts spouting off with her “views”. As “wife” she got a free pass while globetrotting. There’s no advantage in attacking a person with no position.
    But now every diplomat and foreign office on Earth will be watching to see her slip to exploit it for leverage. I foresee a long trail of global Hillary gaffes over a period of months ending in her being dragged from her post screaming, spitting and kicking, screaming “Internal Conspiracy”.

    Reply

  43. samg says:

    james glassman as hillary’s aide for public diplomacy. that’s insane. glassman is a bushie. and, if it’s the same guy and i think it is, he’s the lunatic who co wrote the idiot book “dow 36000” that came out about ten years ago saying the dow would hit 36,000 within a few years. ten years later it’s in the 8,000s. steve, how you can compliment him is incomprehensible to me. and i can’t believe that hillary would keep him in her state department. are you sure you know what you’re talking about here?

    Reply

  44. Carol says:

    After seeing Obama’s latest team, I think they are going to be a great asset to him….of course no one is going to be pleased with everyone he has chosen, hey, we’re not the ones in charge of this country…Obama will be!!!
    I think we are going to see an administration like we’ve never seen before…open and honest…now wouldn’t that be a first?
    Obama has already released his donation contributions…in keeping with his promise of transparency, now there’s a darn good start.
    So, all the folks who don’t or won’t give him a chance are just being stupid….you can’t condemn what you don’t know to be true as yet.
    I think he’s going to make a great President and one day even those who didn’t vote for him will agree…albeit reluctantly I’m sure!!

    Reply

  45. Jay C says:

    Another modest recommendation, Steve, would be to avoid pushing the “healthcare diva” part of Hillary Clinton’s resumé: even her partisans would have to admit that that particular episode was one of HRC’s less-than-stellar (lack-of-) accomplishments.

    Reply

  46. Dan Kervick says:

    The positive aspect of the Clinton appointment:
    I assume Clinton knows a lot of people around the world, especially among the “Clinton generation” of global leaders in the 55-65 range, having traveled extensively as first lady, attended countless state diners etc. She and her husband are, I assume, generally well-respected in foreign capitals. She has a prominent profile and power base of her own, and so is someone other leaders will understand has to be treated seriously and deferentially. People will understand that her own policies are likely to be supported and reinforced by Bill Clinton and his foundation, and his own less formal global network of the world’s powerful, and for better or worse that adds a sort of multiplier effect to the impact of whatever message she has to deliver on the part of the US. The Obama administration now gets to stamp, in effect, the Clinton brand on all its foreign policies. And for many people in this world, that still means something.
    She is also by all accounts a very hard worker and a very quick study, with a detail-oriented mind and success-driven temperament.
    The negative aspect:
    Despite Steve’s optimistic predictions of a “makeover”, Clinton has her own well-known views and foreign policy positions and alliances. These positions and commitment are in some tension, in certain areas, with the Obama outlook. She doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who is AT ALL disposed to make herself over for the new guy. When there are disagreements, and I suspect there will be several, will she adhere to the administration position with consistency and conviction after being given a chance to influence policy formation and express her dissenting views in private? Or will she use her contacts and power reservoirs in Cheneyite fashion to outflank and manipulate the White House and bend or subvert official policy to her own preferred ends? Only time will tell.
    One modest recommendation: we should avoid the gender-loaded term “diva” when describing our Secretary of State.

    Reply

  47. PissedOffMonkey says:

    Hey POA,
    What colour is your bathrobe today?
    Lots of Lov,
    POM

    Reply

  48. Spunkmeyer says:

    I’m just lovin’ all the critical armchair policy wonkin’ here in the
    comments. Be sure to save a little something for after Inauguration
    Day!

    Reply

  49. Zathras says:

    Fascinating is in the eye of the beholder, and depending on how impressed the beholder is by celebrity Hillary Clinton’s life is either “incredibly fascinating” or something less than that.
    I’ve already given my views about Clinton’s appointment as Secretary of State being a foolish decision that President-elect Obama will come to regret. With the country in trouble, the most important public offices need to be filled by the best people for those offices, and Obama just isn’t doing that here. But I could always be wrong — we certainly have to hope so in this case — and in any event those of us on the outside aren’t accomplishing anything by doing what Steve Clemons does here, projecting a somewhat dreamy picture of what he would like to see from the new administration as what we are likely to see. That’s not analysis; that’s just guessing.
    Incidentally, is it not more accurate to refer to James Glassman as the outgoing Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy?

    Reply

  50. PissedOffAmerican says:

    If these status quo actors were interested in “human rights”, Dick Cheney and George Bush would be standing before a jury, and aid to Israel would have been cut off along time ago.
    How long are we going to entertain these fantasies about what are leaders are all about. Show me ANY actions of Hillary Clinton’s that implies she truly gives a shit about “human rights”. See her lamenting Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians? Seen any comments from her in regards to the clusterbombing of Lebanese citizens, other than defending Israel’s actions? Seen any honest statements from her in regards to the TRUE casualty numbers of Iraqi non-combatants? Seen her urge the cessation of the use of DU munitions in Iraq?
    “Human rights”, my ass. Hillary is a huge part of the PROBLEM, not the solution. What Bush policies has she actually shown true powerful leadership in opposing? What Israeli policies and actions has she decried or opposed?
    Its actually disheartening to see otherwise intelligent and analytical minds refusing to accept truths that are paraded daily in front of their very eyes. How anyone can believe that the appointment of Hillary Clinton, and many of the other Obama appointees such as Gates portend “change”, is beyond me. Its like they live in a fairy tale world, where thinking it makes it so.
    Open your eyes, and stop seeing gold nuggets in a pile of shit.

    Reply

  51. Jim says:

    Glassman is a Bush-appointee, no? Have they said he’s going to
    stay on? I’m not automatically opposed to all Bush appointees
    staying on, but it seems to me they have to prove their utility and
    integrity. Being a) successor to Karen Hughes, and b) co-author of
    “Dow 36,000” are two additional strikes against Glassman

    Reply

  52. JohnH says:

    I will be interested to see if Clinton can get beyond the RHETORIC of human rights to move the foreign policy/national security mob in a direction that ACTUALLY PROMOTES human rights.
    Engaging with Iran about the whole grand bargain, including energy security, would send a very positive message to the world that the days of arrogance and intransigeance are over and that America may disagree with its adversaries but respects them nonetheless.

    Reply

  53. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Yawn. And the beat goes on.
    Change, my ass.

    Reply

  54. MarkL says:

    I am interested to see if Clinton can direct the humanistic impulses behind her interest in women’s and childrens’ rights to the problems men have in the developing and 3rd worlds, where lack of jobs and other opportunities create a huge surplus of angry young men.

    Reply

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