Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – Take Two

When rumors surfaced Friday that Hillary Clinton was being seriously considered for Secretary of State, I was more than a little skeptical, stating “She’s simply not qualified.  Aside from some dog-and-pony show trips as First Lady and Senator, she’s got no foreign policy credentials whatsoever.  Her training, experience, and demonstrated interests are in domestic issues.”

Having weighed the reaction of former Secretaries of State, her Senate colleagues, and the commentariat, I’ve revisited the seemingly forthcoming appointment at New Atlanticist in, “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Alex Knapp says:

    This is one of those things that I refuse to believe until its announced. Bill Richardson is a much better fit.

  2. Herb Ely says:

    President Elect Obama should not assume that she would manage state better than she managed her campaign.

  3. Chris says:

    “he’s simply not qualified.”

    Not to be a pedant, but Hill’s a she not a he even if some might dissent.

  4. Floyd says:

    “She’s simply not qualified.”
    In that case, she should fit right in!

    Suggesting Billy Richardson gives double meaning to the initials S.O.S. The very thought makes Hillary supporters out of all conscious observers.
    Richardson is a terminal Smart-@ss with less control over his mouth than Biden, what more perfect qualifications could possibly be desired?

  5. Brett says:

    Keep in mind that James Baker hadn’t just been Treasury Secretary; he had been Under-Secretary of Commerce for President Ford, and that touches on a whole number of international trade issues and regulations. It wasn’t like with Hillary Clinton, where her foreign policy background is mostly ceremonial.

    I think it’s telling that a lot of her endorsements (including Kissinger’s) praise her “intelligence and determination”. There’s not really a lot to praise her over.

  6. Fredw says:

    She has foreign policy experience; from places in New York state you can see Canada.

  7. Bandit says:

    I just don’t see it happening.

  8. Bithead says:

    Meh… (To coin a word)… I’m not overly convinced either.

    That’s more or less offset by the idea I’ve seen Obama’s people so interested in spreading a meme. They’d hardly do that particularly given the nature of it, if they didn’t figure to actually haul off and DO it. There’s no real reason… no gain in the long term for sending out this thick a smokescreen.

    OTOH, Obama is starting to get some flack from Democrats annoyed that so much of his administration is already being given to the Clintonistas.

    Interesting how quickly we fal into the mode of trying to see through the smokescreens already. Just like we learned to do under Bill Clinton. Maybe we’d better keep the ice handy.

  9. Bithead says:

    I think I should also point up that such an appointment ends any chance she had at the WH, at least from a historical standpoint; The last time anyone made that leap was President Buchanan.

    (Aside:Possibly the reason why we’re so reluctant to elect former Secretaries of State to the White House is Buchanan was so gawd-awful as President. A Democrat, of course. And he thought the war of 1812 an “unnecessary conflict”. He found out otherwise when the Brits landed at Baltimore. Sound familiar?)

    Anyway, I can’t help but think this dead- ends her, and removes a problem for Obama in 2012. If, of course his interest in her filling that role isn’t just a smoke screen.