“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
— Mark Twain
In previous editions of The Tattler, some drunken idiot wrote piffle such as:
“Well, it’s three days after Thanksgiving and Hillary Clinton has still not been named as Obama’s Secretary of State. I just don’t think it’s going to happen.”
Well, it did happen, last Monday, and, I confess, the drunken idiot was staring back at me from the mirror this morning. (I am now hunched into a Basil Fawlty ball, hopping around with my head between my hands in disgust with myself.)
In another edition of The Tattler posted here November 18, 2008, “The Tattlesnake Big Media Hillary Silly Season in Full Swing Edition,” I hilariously typed:
“Lost in most of their [the Big Media] circuitous gossip is any sort of common-sense analysis: Why would Hillary give up her powerful senate seat, and an excellent chance to be Senate Majority Leader, to serve as a peripatetic foreign service factotum in Obama’s government? The appointment would also proscribe her from criticizing him should things go sour, thereby tainting her bid for the 2012 nomination. Quick, name the last five Secretaries of State before Condi and look at what has happened to them. I think it’s fair to say the energetic Sen. Clinton doesn’t desire to live out her days lounging in academia, playing golf, or filling space on the board of some think tank or corporation, publishing occasional knotted-brow op-ed pieces in The New York Times.”
Those were, I felt, valid questions IF Sen. Clinton wanted to be president some day but, since then, I’ve checked with an Anonymous Source Close to the Obama Camp (just like the Mighty NYT!) and gathered some exclusive background that changes the picture considerably.
First off, my A.S.C.O.C. says Hillary doesn’t desire the presidency any longer. She allegedly feels that 2008 was her best shot and she hates ‘mass-market’ retail campaigning. (Hubby Bill is the political animal who loves that glad-handing stuff.) Although she likes talking to people in small groups, the speaking to large gatherings, the endless traveling, the repeated stump speeches, and the sheer exhaustion of running for president turned the fire in her belly into a bad case of dyspepsia that she never wants to experience again.
Secondly, while she liked the Senate, her ability to work on the issues that most animated her — health care, economic justice and children’s rights — was limited, and she supposedly got The Word: even with her national celebrity, there would be no jumping ahead in line the junior senator from New York would have to wait her turn to become Majority Leader and that could take decades. (Even NY colleague Chuck Schumer is ahead of her in seniority.) Aside from that, the appointment as SoS relieved her of having to campaign for office again, and she and Obama have actually become friends since the summer and work well together. She’s willing to respect his office and policies, so there should be no conflict there, and she’s a popular figure overseas. Her keen intelligence and ability to quickly process new information are a relief to foreign leaders accustomed to dealing with the Bush-bedazzled Condi Rice.
Speaking of Bill Clinton, he’s already turned down taking Hill’s place in the Senate (not that it was offered), but is still considering a run at the Governor’s mansion in Albany. Word is, his wife wishes he would find something to occupy himself that won’t pose any problems in her new job. Governor of New York fills the bill, or vice versa.
From Obama’s standpoint, he not only removed his major political rival, but he’s also found a smart and tenacious ally he can trust to carry out his foreign policy, so it’s a ‘win-win’ for him.
BTW, as a side note, don’t worry about the Dems not having a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority in the Senate the Obamaites have been working behind the scenes with moderate-right Republicans like Maine Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, and a couple of other privately disaffected GOPers just as disgusted with the Bush years as Democrats, to keep Mitch McConnell and the Boys from Buzzkill from stopping change before it starts.