Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Hillary Clinton's Defining Moment

Today's transition hot topic is the rumor that the President-Elect is considering Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State and that the two of them have met in Chicago to discuss it.

Coming right after the buzz about her as Senate Major Leader, this seems to be a fork in the road for the former First Lady. Does she best keep her presidential hopes alive by devoting herself to domestic issues or foreign policy?

It may be a close call. In the immediate future, the economy will be front and center on the national agenda, but if any Obama initiatives fail (and some almost certainly will), should the once and future candidate risk taking the heat for them as legislative overseer? As the original proponent of "a vast right-wing conspiracy" a decade ago, how effective would she be in reaching across the aisle for bipartisanship?

As Secretary of State, Clinton would be the face of America interacting with world leaders, but it would be President Obama's policy and, while there might less glory in it, the position would strengthen her future claims about experience against any upstart political opponent in 2016.

If Obama offers her the position, it would be tempting and, for the rest of us, fascinating to see Bill Clinton traveling the world in the role of an upgraded Denis Thatcher.

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