There are rumors that President-elect Obama is vetting Senator Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State. Taking Clinton out of the Senate and putting her in this position would be a major loss for New York, and no gain for Obama’s foreign policy team.
It is true that Clinton has met many international leaders – mostly during her time as first lady and not in a policy making capacity. She has also traveled abroad as Senator – mostly to Israel voicing her unwavering support. She has tried to boost her foreign policy credentials over the years by joining the Senate Armed Services Committee – mostly to support her candidacy for President. Not one of these examples makes her a diplomat.
Clinton, unlike Obama, is hawkish on national security issues. May I remind you she voted to go to war with Iraq and repeatedly said she thought nothing of using nuclear weapons on Iran.
Making Clinton Secretary of State is not what the US needs especially when it is trying to repair its relationships in the world, end two wars and get the Middle East peace process back on track. Further, trying to bring a more balanced civilian component into foreign policy is nothing she has ever purported to support.
So I ask you, will putting her in the top diplomat position encourage a better foreign policy and change? I don’t think so. What will she say to the Iranians, “oh that bombing threat was just for constituency consumption”?
If Obama is serious about turning America around, Chuck Hagel would be a much wiser choice. He has spoken out against the war, supported many of Obama’s initiatives in the Senate and, as a Republican, would be the right choice to build the bridge between party lines.
Hagel also understands the importance of leveling our civilian leadership in the foreign policy equation, taking into account international interests and working to improve the status of this country throughout the world. Clinton would serve everyone better by staying in the Senate and it would serve Obama much better if he left her there.