Hillary in the house

Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State in the Obama administration is the latest buzz. Is this on the level or are the Democrats just answering the call by many Americans to finally get Sarah Palin to shut up and stop doing interviews while taking up all the sound bites. Nothing can stop a Palin quicker than a Hillary. In any event, late night comics can continue with their wardrobe one-liners — whether it be Hillary’s pants suits or Palin’s RNC credit card to Nieman-Marcus.

Clinton would be a better choice for Secretary of State than, say, John Kerry. Kerry, who looks like Herman Munster, is rather an opposing figure. OK, he’s too tall. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is also interested in the job — but he’s also an opposing figure. Kind of looks like his nickname would be Hoss. And the country is trying to lasso our image of cowboy diplomacy on the world stage.

Hillary is more the right height — and she proved she could down shots with the big boys, so she’d be right at home when she and world leaders would propose a toast to this agreement or that agreement. She should accept the job — Secretary of State gets almost as much ink as the president. Certainly more than that of being a junior senator from New York. The sound bites alone will keep Hillary out there in the public eye — where the Clintons have 20-20 vision.

Hillary met with Obama in Chicago on Thursday, and you could bet it wasn’t about her personally congratulating him on being president-elect. Although she wasn’t giving anything away to the press when askeed what up, she had that cat that swallowed the canary look on her face — which speaks volumes.

There are pros and cons surrounding Hillary taking the job as Madame Secretary. The positive: Clinton is popular around the world, has that name recognition, and is a formidable diplomat. Ah, the negatives: If Obama supporters didn’t want her to be his VP, they won’t be crazy about her in the most powerful Cabinet position. She could steal the spotlight from Obama at every turn — some naysayers in the press are already saying she’d create her own “parallel universe.” And the Cabinet position even carries more weight than the VP — so what about Biden? He is an expert on foreign policy, so conflicts between the VP and Clinton would be inevitable.

Be that as it may, President-elect Obama is making the transition period a popular parlor game. Kind of like a soap opera for policy wonks. It would be fun to think that when Obama decided to get in touch with Hillary to talk about the Secretary of State job it was a 3 a.m. phone call…

CHENEY’S CASTLE

Joe and Jill Biden met with VP Dick Cheney and his wife Lynn on Thursday at the Veep’s disclosed location. After discussing the role of vice president, the couples sat down to dinner. When the servant poured merlot for Joe, he noticed Cheney wasn’t having any. Biden asked, “None for you, Mr. Vice President?” Cheney peered at him over his cape and said, ala Bela Lugosi, “I never drink …. wine.”

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