President-elect Barack Obama watches Senator Hillary Clinton deliver her speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, in Billings, Montana, August 26, 2008. (Jim Young/Reuters)
Oh, Jim Young, I totally heart you.
Anyway! People seem to get the mistaken impression that my "area of expertise" is the State Department, despite the fact that my expertise is mainly limited to the shoes and hairdos there. Whatever, but everyone wants to know what I make of the whole Hillary Clinton as SOS thing, so in my decidedly misinformed way, here goes:
I don't get it! Sure, there's a lot to be said in favor of Obama getting his rival out of the Senate, but is he really going to make such a political choice for such an important office? Would it be just a political choice? It's true that the rest of the world just totally loved the Clinton administration, but that was due mostly to Bill and his secretaries of state, not really Hillary. But maybe Obama's onto something here: would Hillary be more lovable to the rest of the world than Bill Richardson?
I don't know. It seems like picking Hillary to head the State Department would be a curiously shallow choice for Obama, somebody who we expect to be a little more pragmatic, a little less political. Plus, what's in it for Hillary? Wouldn't she have both more power and a longer shelf life (secretaries of state don't last long) representing New York in the Senate? It seems to me, too, that Richardson has way, WAY more experience in State Departmenty-type things.
Also: I really, really want to make a "Bill Richardson Facial Hair Alert System," so I'm totally rooting for him.
Maybe our friend John Brown can give us some opinions about this?