Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been following the whole “Hillary Clinton soon to become Secretary of State for President Obama” story. He thinks it is a bad move for Obama and for Hillary Clinton.
Your Maximum Leader understands the whole “Team of Rivals” bit and getting the best advice available for his 21st Century Camelot in the making. But this is one of those appointments where LBJ’s aphorism doesn’t apply. (It may not be better to have Hillary in the tent peeing out rather than having Hillary outside the tent peeing in.) Your Maximum Leader also understands the whole “keep your enemies closer” idea too.
The problems with these two lines of thought are these. Hillary isn’t an enemy. She is a completely vanquished opponent. Barring a complete meltdown during the First Obama term, there is not a chance in hell that Hillary Clinton will mount a nomination bid in 2012. There is no reason to keep her close to keep an eye on her. Hillary is done. Frankly your Maximum Leader thinks that Hillary is done completely and that there is no chance that she will run in 2016. Hillary’s chances of winning the Democrat Party nomination and being elected President have been staked through the heart. No chance. Also, what advice could she give President-Elect Obama that Joe Biden couldn’t? Wasn’t the reason for picking Biden as VP primarially that he had loads of foreign policy experience? Obama can do better than Hillary for Secretary of State. (Admittedly your Maximum Leader can’t think of too many - mainly because he isn’t used to rattling off the Democratic foreign policy wonk bench like he should be…)
Hillary is poised to take over Teddy Kennedy’s role as the “(flawed) liberal lion of the Senate.” It is a role she should take. She will have more impact on America from a safe Senate seat than she will as Secretary of State. Hillary Clinton, your Maximum Leader has read, is a little frustrated by the Senate. She wishes she had more seniority and better committee chairmanships. Just wait a little while longer Hillary. It will all come. You are set in the Senate. Why screw up a good thing for you? The Presidency isn’t an option. Make the most of the debating society that you can.
There is another reason that Hillary shouldn’t be offered or take the Secretary of State job… That reason has a name. That name is William Jefferson Clinton.
Your Maximum Leader was never a great fan of Bill Clinton’s. Your Maxmium Leader voted against him… Twice in fact… (Indeed, it is odd that the only Clinton to ever receive a vote from your Maximum Leader was Hillary in the Virginia Democratic Primary.) Having said that, your Maximum Leader fully believes that Bill Clinton has earned a retirement and the privledge to do what he wants to do as a former President.
Well, imagine your Maximum Leader’s dismay when he read this little bit from today’s Washington Post:
Clinton is mulling whether to take the post [Secretary of State] with her husband and close advisers, the source said, noting that becoming the nation’s top diplomat would be a major and career-changing decision for the former first lady. Of particular concern is how much influence Clinton would have in Obama’s White House, where she would compete for attention with other top foreign policy and national security advisers, said a source, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly about the negotiations.
The source said the Clintons are “going to extraordinary lengths to do whatever it takes,” and that Obama’s team is now satisfied with the concessions agreed to by the former president, whose global business and philanthropic activities have been a source of concern during the vetting process.
Bill Clinton has agreed to make public all previous and future donors to the William J. Clinton Foundation, including those who gave gifts anonymously, the source said. The foundation staff will begin contacting donors, who gave to the foundation on the condition that their identities remain anonymous, to tell them their names will now have to be released to the Obama team, the source said.
The former president also has agreed in principle to clear every future speech and activity with the Obama administration, but lawyers for Obama and Clinton have yet to “work out the details. That is, if he gives a speech in France, will it go through the State Department or the White House,” the source said. But, the source added, the former president has “agreed to it.“
Italics added by your Maximum Leader in those last two paragraphs.
Allow your Maximum Leader to now exhort: What the fuck?!? Bill Clinton is going to reveal the annonymous donors to his foundation. He is going to clear speeches with the Obama administration before giving them? What the hell?
Releasing those names to Obama’s people is tantamount to just letting them out in the open. It might take a little while to circulate out of the sanctum sanctorum but the names will get out. Why reopen that old wound? Why? Is Hillary’s ambition so great that Bill is willing to have the final days of his Administration reopened and investigated again?
And on top of that Bill Clinton is going to have to clear his speeches with the new Administration before he gives them. Great jeezey creezey. It isn’t the speeches that you need to worry about. It is the off the cuff Q and A sessions that you have to watch out for. It is the impromptu (and honest) Bill Clinton that you have to worry about.
If your Maximum Leader were Bill Clinton… Well, if your Maximum Leader were Bill Clinton he’d have dumped Hillary shortly after she got her Senate seat and would be jetting around the world dispensing wisdom and picking up new young hotties every few months and trying to die researching vaginaltruism under a space lamp before reaching age 75… But your Maximum Leader digresses…
If your Maximum Leader were Bill Clinton, he’d never agree to this. In fact your Maximum Leader would tell President-Elect Obama’s transition team to stick their collective heads up their collectivist arses. No way in hell he’d divulge his donor names. There is even less of a chance that he’d get his speeches vetted by some punk-arse senior staffer in the White House (or by a senior diplomat at State). He’s a former President. A former two-term President of the United States of America. He has been to the mountaintop. He’s been lord of all he surveyed. His finger has been on the button (and who knows where on Monica Lewinsky). Now he can do whatever the hell he wants to do.
Your Maximum Leader, as longtime readers know, generally looks kindly on former Presidents who choose to die shortly after leaving office (ie: James Knox Polk - the fourth greatest President in our history) or just remain in quiet obscurity (ie: Ronald Reagan, Jerry Ford and the Elder Bush - one hopes that the Younger Bush will spend the rest of his natural life on his ranch in Crawford). Your Maximum Leader knew that life (the quiet obsucre one) wasn’t the life for Bill Clinton. Clinton needs the attention of an adoring crowd. Your Maximum Leader figured that if he kept as low a profile as possible and didn’t go condeming America or American policy (a la Jimmy Carter) Clinton wouldn’t be too bad. Sure, Bill had to campaign for Hillary. That was unseemly. But one hoped that after Hillary lost her shot Bill could go back to being Bill. Alas, it seems not to be…
Is all this kow-towing to Hillary’s ambitions the punishment Bill must suffer for Hillary standing by him during the bad times? If it is your Maximum Leader would like to advise the junior senator from New York that her chips have been cashed and it is time for her to leave the table. Your Maximum Leader would also like to advise the forty-second President of the United States that if he is doing all this to “make up” for all the crap he’s done to Hillary; then he has officially received his (and your) Maximum Leader’s dispensation to stop now and just go back to being Bill.
Before ending this post… Your Maximum Leader will give an unsolicited piece of advice to President-Elect Obama. Don’t. Just don’t. If you want to be your own man don’t involve the old regime with your own. You can privately ask for advice and ideas from those who went before you. (And frankly if you are serious about bringing change you should.) But inviting a Clinton (which really means inviting both Clintons) into your cabinet is not going to help you grow into the office you stand ready to take. Just don’t do it.
Now loyal minions… It is time to get some egg nog with bourbon…