This story was written by Alexander Pherson, Daily Bruin
Hillary played Obama like a fiddle. She insinuated herself into talks, and then apparently had her people leak the news of her appointment before Obama gave it the presidential thumbs-up. That left the president-elect with two unattractive options: He could cancel the appointment and risk offending Hillarys 18 million cheerleaders, or he could go through with it.
By doing the latter, President-elect Barack Obama has already set a precedent of bowing to Sen. Hillary Clinton. He has already lost control of his own administration.
Certainly, he can try to save face by pleading his case: Hillary is qualified, she loves her country and all that jazz. But we know better. She simply out-maneuvered him.
Whether Hillary was the better of two evils, Obama now has to suffer the consequences of that appointment. She wanted the partys nomination badly and you can bet shes out for blood.
Now some people will hail this appointment the incarnation of the change that was promised us. But is that what this signifies, change?
I should think not. Hillary represents more of the same. Shes the ultimate entrenched politician, someone whose supposed love for this country will never yield to her aspirations for greatness.
Big dreams die hard, and Hillarys go well beyond secretary of state. Trust me, this woman wont be sated until shes sitting in the Oval Office until she deals the final blow to that glass ceiling. You could almost see her drooling in the primary, before her new boss snatched it away.
Hillary will be a tremendous thorn in Obamas side. First of all, theres no way shes going to subvert her own interests to his. Every move she makes will be a gambit for her next presidential bid. Whatever he gets from her, he deserves.
But besides the fact that Hillary is an obvious threat to Obamas independence, and out to serve herself, Obama should have disqualified her based on her lack of experience. Other than going on goodwill tours around the world as first lady, shaking hands, visiting hospitals and posing for photos (very Princess Diana-esque), Hillarys limited experience on the world stage is not befitting of a secretary of state. And she knows it.
During her primary fight, Hillary postured about her integral role in the Irish peace process. But in her memoirs, there is no mention of such a role. The only contribution she seems to have made to the process was to accept a ceremonial teapot from a female branch of the peace movement. That, while former President Bill Clinton helped to craft the Good Friday Agreement.
Some of us may also recall her song and dance about being assailed by sniper fire in Bosnia a gross embellishment at best.
Hillarys romanticized international role was disingenuous and frankly, disconcerting. As far as I can tell, storytelling does not a good secretary make. And a neophyte like Obama needs someone with consummate experience.
We also mustnt forget that the very reason Obama is in the White House, instead of Hillary, is for his stance on foreign affairs. The two went at it tooth and nail on Iraq. Iran and everything in between. For two such powerful personalities, these differences will be hard to hammer out.
The secretary-designates husband is another cause for concern.
Since leaving office, the former presidents business exploits have raised eyebrows, to say the least. In the past eight years, Bills fundraising odyssey has brought him in contact with a number of questionable players Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, to name only a few. Each of these entities has given millions to the Clinton Foundation, the presidential library and speaking fees for Bill funds that the Clinons can use as personal income, according to a secretary at the Foundation.
Its inconceivable to hire as your chief envoy a woman whose husband is in league with some of the very countries shell be negotiating with, some of which have been mentioned as human rights violators.
Then again, can you even imagine Obamas thought process in allowing the former president back into the game? If he thinks that Bill wont challenge him at every turn, he should have his head examined. An ex-president will not sit idly by when his precedents are threatened. Bills ego cant sustain it.
But luckily for Bill, he will be around familiar faces. Its only been a few weeks, and weve learned that Eric Holder, Tim Geithner, Rahm Emanuel, Bill Richardson and the queen bee herself Clinton insiders and appointees all will be reassembled in the Obama administration.
All this talk about a team of rivals is nonsense. Obama had a clear mandate to appoint whomever he wanted, and unwittingly, he has chosen to recreate the Clinton cabinet, becoming a virtual figurehead in his own administration.
Looks like the change we can believe in has stagnated.