Monday, 9 June 2008

Team of Rivals- what Obama intends for Clinton

There is much speculation about Barack Obama's plans for Hillary Clinton with the main focus on whether she will be his Vice Presidential nominee. Personally, I see speculation about Hillary as VP nominee as wide of the mark. It just doesn't work as I argued a few weeks ago. That doesn't mean that she won't have a major role to play in an Obama administration.

Senator Obama has made reference on a number of occasions to a book called Team of Rivals by Doris Earns Goodwin. Its basic thesis is that Lincoln demonstrated the political genius and leadership that would define him right at the beginning of his Presidency. He appointed his main presidential rivals to his Cabinet. William H Seward became Secretary of State, Salmon P Chase, Treasury Secretary, and Edward Bates, Attorney General.

In appointing his main and more established rivals to these key Cabinet positions he unified the Republican party, creating a strong administration, and demonstrated that he was a man of character.

The almost spooky echoes of Lincoln's rise to the Presidency in Obama's campaign have been commented on before. These two gangly outsiders from Illinois share more than just one biographical detail.

They are about to share another. Some are predicting that Clinton will become Senate Majority Leader but I'm sure that Obama would rather keep her closer than that (I'm not sure the pissing in/ out of the tent analogy works when you are talking about female politicians.....?) I would have thought that he will be tempted to offer her Secretary of State in his administration. Her congressional experience in this field is strong and it is a major position of importance.

Let's put some of the really silly things she said about foreign policy during the campaign to one side. In political terms, Secretary of State feels right for Hillary. Not too close for comfort, tempting to Hillary herself, and not too distant either.

No comments:

Post a Comment