So it is Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State. But…

The Guardian seemed to have had it first, though it was a bit hard to tell what they really knew.  Now the NY Times says Hillary Clinton will be the official Secretary of State appointee, and so it must be true.  (Joke!)

But there is a problem.  What if she disagrees with Obama on something?  Wouldn’t that be just awful? In an article in Slate entitled “The Underminer?”  John Dickerson worries:

What Obama wants from Clinton is the candor that can only be delivered by someone of her stature. It’s what he said he wanted from Joe Biden, too. The problem for Clinton is that when the time comes for her to deliver her opinions to Obama directly and candidly and to fight for those opinions, it’s going to look to those on the outside as if she’s undermining her boss. The heated conversations might stay in the Oval Office, but it’s hard to keep secrets in Washington, …. When a Cabinet secretary really believes in something, she tends to translate that passion to her staffers, who often talk to the press.

Let me see:  It’s a given that any Secretary who defends opposing views will be known to do so.  So why would it be undermining particularly if Hillary does it? 

In the meantime, what about Biden and undermining?  Biden has already treated Obama to a number of less than fortunately remarks in public (see here and here), but somehow Clinton is particularly a problem.  Maybe its being imagined that she’ll go to the UN and say  something like this:

Mark my words.  Some of you are planning to inflict a wound on US interests in order to challenge President Obama.  And when you do, the American people are not going to like his response.  But you need to know that Obama is bright and clean.

Or maybe Obama’s idea of having people around him who might disagree is his plan that he will actually try to entertain different views before he takes action.  That’s going to have us all freaked out! 

And can you imagine pointing out to students in critical reasoning classes that we can now see that it’s a good idea to think through things when the fate of the world is in your hands?

8 thoughts on “So it is Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State. But…

  1. You raise a very interesting point at the end of your post about college students. Traditional college-aged students have “matured” under a Presidential administration that doesn’t receive dissent well. (They were only 8 or 9 when the current administration was elected by the people selected by the Supreme Court.)

    Students will be thoroughly confused by thoughtful analysis, conceptual clarity, and precisification.

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