Monday, December 01, 2008

An Emotional Choice

If this story is true, then I will never vote for Hillary Clinton for Senator again:

WASHINGTON - Hillary Clinton passed on becoming boss of the superpowerful Senate Appropriations Committee to pursue the more prestigious secretary of state job with President-elect Barack Obama, the Daily News has learned.

As chairwoman of the panel that controls the nation's purse strings, Clinton could have pumped billions in federal dollars into the Empire State.

Instead, as Obama continues to piece together his cabinet, Clinton is poised to become the third female secretary of state, following Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice.

Of course, I make that threat tongue-in-cheek.

This offer was made in part because, as the article goes on to state, Sen. Edward Kennedy did not want Hillary on his health care taask force.
I guess his ego was a bit too large to fit in the same room as Hillary's.
Not to begrudge Kennedy a thing. I would have done the same thing if nearly all of my adult life I had been pursuing an agenda on a signature piece of legislation, and after all, this is likely his last turn as the Liberal Lion of the Senate. Why share the spotlight?
Hillary's celebrity would have, of course, both assisted the cause and distracted attention from the legislation. That might not be a bad thing in a nation that may not quite be ready for national health care.
It is interesting that Hillary would turn down a chance to skip way ahead of the crowd in the Senate in order to re-plow ground that's been turned over twice already. I think I know why.
She intends to be the Secretary of State credited with ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and bringing peace to that corner of the Middle East. By extension, she could end terrorism as we in America know it.
Let's face facts: she has a certified ace in the hole in husband President Clinton here. He has credibility amongst both the Israelis and Palestinians and her own "cred amongst Jews" is very high. After nearly eight years of intense and delicate negotiations, Bill Clinton set the bar for peace in the Middle East at an attainable level with the Camp David talks with Ehud Barak, who paid a hefty price for not bringing home an accord with Arafat (I won't get into a discussion of the finer points of the talks, other than to say that Arafat was handed the world on a platter and decided he'd rather check out the buffet first).
So certainly Hillary Clinton could make a mark, an indelible mark, on the history of the world and in the same motion, tweak the noses of folks who thought she wouldn't be an effective president because she couldn't bring about change.
So, Appropriations is a powerful post and in that seat, she could have effectively assisted New York state in overcoming what is amounting to "Ground Zero" of the Bush Depression. She could have been any one of a number of senators who have held that seat (most recently, Sen. Robert Byrd and disgraced Sen. Ted Stevens) and brought home so much pork, she contracted trichinosis.
Or she could wave goodbye to all that, and move on to bigger and better things.
Now does anyone doubt Hillary's reasons for wanting to be SoS?