Depending on your point of view, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been (1) a brilliant secretary of state, or (2) merely the mouthpiece for a president who wanted to run his own foreign policy. Whatever is the case, President Obama will have a hard time replacing her.
She has said she plans to retire at the end of her term, and for all we know already may have turned in her resignation.
Obama no longer has a need to keep her under his thumb, working her hard so she had no time to make plans to run against him. Clinton and Obama, as you may remember, weren’t friends in the tough 2008 Democratic campaign. Some were surprised at his decision to offer her the secretary of state’s position, while others said it was politically shrewd.
Her competence to hold the job was never in question. She elbowed her way into the U.S. Senate on the strength of her husband’s name, but that wasn’t unusual to New Yorkers, who are used to being carpet-bagged by prominent, out-of-state Democrats. And — surprise — she turned out to be a quick study and competent, earning the respect of most of her fellow senators on both sides of the aisle. Those who said she was the brains of the Clinton duo turned out to be right.
She was certainly a brighter senator than John Kerry, who now is being considered to replace her if U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice doesn’t make the cut with the Senate, where Kerry is considered a more comfortable pick.
Neither Rice nor Kerry is a Henry Kissinger or a Madelaine Albright. Nor is either a Hillary Clinton.
Perhaps Obama can talk Secretary Clinton into staying on for four more years. She certainly would be wasting her valuable time in retirement.