Column: Compromise Necessary For Clinton At State

This story was written by Alex Sanders, The Daily Campus
Obama's previous competitor is now teaming up with him as his secretary of state. It was very nice that Obama asked his rival to work with him. He probably recognized the positive influence she could have on the American people and the added effect that she could have on the female population. It is a great thing that a woman and a black man are working together to make decisions because minorities, including women, will not be forgotten in the decision making processes.

However, Clinton may not be Obama's best choice to aid him on his path of change. During the primaries, Obama said that it was time to move past the Clinton era. Now he is turning around and naming Clinton as his secretary of state.

The choice was a good one for Clinton's career as she may never have another chance to run for president. This position allows her to be in power and make her mark on society. She can, and most likely will, make an impact on society and work well with Obama to make changes for the better. However, will people take her seriously?

The president's secretary of state is basically his gatekeeper and go-to girl, in this case. But it may be hard for the public to come to terms with Obama and Clinton teaming up. Two people who were once rivals can't magically become best friends, even with dirty politics aside.

While I agree that Obama made a good political choice in choosing Clinton as his secretary of state, I am worried that she may not make as much of an impact as the secretary of state potentially could. The choice will prove to be worth it only if the public can accept Clinton as Obama's secretary of state, rather than his past presidential opponent.

If the public can do that, the presidency can perhaps become more transparent, which will benefit the American people. Usually, the public is unaware of many decisions discussed with the secretary of state, but because Clinton has put all of her opinions and beliefs out there, the public will be able to see at least some issues that were discussed or compromised.

Clinton is a great candidate for the job, with her experience in world travel and foreign policy, but those strengths also bring about weaknesses. Her travel has allowed her to get involved in numerous charities and philanthropies that could possibly lead to conflicts of interest. Also, some of her foreign policy experience has led her to disagree with some of Obama's views on foreign policy. Team Obama/Clinton could be conflicting if the two cannot compromise. For example, they need to come to a decision together on whether or not to talk to Iranian adversaries, which Obama wants to do and Clinton is vehemently opposed to.

The discrepancies in their outlooks on some foreign policy issues are also reasons they need to compromise if they want the public to be influenced in any manner whatsoever. The American people are going to see inconsistency in government, especially if there is more transparency, and if people see inconsistency they could potentially feel as if they can't rely on government decisions. That is one reason why many high-power teams in the working world do not disagree with each other publicly. If there is public disagreement, there appears to be instability in power, which is never a good thing, especially in the highest possible decision-making position: the presidency.

The goal is to compromise and present the finalized idea to the public. Clinton could possibly make an adequate secretary of state for Obama. However, in order for them to be a successful duo, Clinton needs to realize that she is Obama's secretary of state, not a backseat president, and learn to compromise with him. She also needs to separate herself from any philanthropies and activities that could cause conflicts of interest wth Obama's presidency. His choice of making his rival his go-to girl was a risky one, but it could work if Clinton realizes what she needs to do, and the public can see her for what she is: Obama's teammate, not his rival.
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