Saturday, November 15, 2008

My Nomination for Secretary of State . . .

Will not surprise
any of my
regular readers.

Wes Clark was my favorite Veep candidate, which I blogged about into oblivion, so it's natural that I favor him as Secretary of State. Anyone wishing to question my grounds for believing that this elite statesman's career should be extended into the future Barack Obama administration should just scroll my previous posts in his behalf.

He shoulda coulda woulda have been an excellent Vice-President. Failing that, Obama is going to take another strong voice - Hillary Clinton's - out of the Senate?

BTW, I'm fed up with this Lincolnesque mythology of folding your previous adversaries into your tent. What's that going to lead to? McCain or Lieberman as Secretary of Defense? Shit to that, man. (There is no other decorous way to put that.) Ted Rall has put it well: The First Rule of Reelection is Don't Think About Reelection! Obama ought not to be thinking about governing his first term so as to ensure a second term. He should go for the knock out punch in the first term. If he does that well, there won't be enough collateral damage - politically - for any Democratic challenger to find useful material among the detritus. Obama's second term will be a victory lap.

Clark campaigned for Hillary until Obama became Nominated President-Presumed. Then he enthusiastically campaigned enthusiastically for Mr. O.
Clark has been a tireless and energetic fund-raiser for Progressive Democratic candidates across the country. Although some may question his early positions on Busheney's catastrophic invasion and occupation of Iraq, early on his voice became a consistent asset for those of us opposed to Iraquagmire. He has a lot of good will in Europe left over from his NATO days. His rapport with the press is without an equal.

Wes Clark is a natural for Secretary of States. Will someone please tell Barry???


  1. Vigilante, see Wes Clark for Secretary of State. You have to get in line and take a number.

  2. You're obviously not a betting man, Vigil. Clark's a long shot. Not even mentioned for Sec of State.

  3. Yes, excellent link, Soros! Let anyone daring to contest my nomination of Clark first read CampaignTactician's post in TPM in its entirety. For those who can't be bothered, here are the money points:

    * He's crazy smart. The position of Secretary of State requires an incredible amount of intelligence and focus. He or she is responsible for implementing the President's foreign policy agenda and maintaining America's diplomatic relationships with other nations, whether they be friendly or hostile. It takes an absurd amount of knowledge and the sort of mentality that can stay on top of the shifting sands of global politics. Wesley Clark, a Rhodes Scholar (like Bill Clinton), has always impressed me with some very penetrating analysis of any situation he's been asked to provide commentary on. Th

    * The second reason is that .... first-hand experience engaging in high-stakes diplomacy with our enemies is even more vital now than ever before.

    * Finally, the man is simply a workaholic.....

    I rest my case.

  4. Excellent post, Vigil. And, no, the Lincolnese strategy doesn't work today. In Lincoln's time, you didn't get the news for two or three days after the fact, if then. In today's world, with cable news media going 24/7, with well-paid, arrogant pundits who are licking their lips for news to argue about, people will get the news and hear idiotic pundits trying to justify their jobs escalate the silliest crap into a major story.

    Obama, cut the Lincoln crap and get somebody in there like Gen. Clarke to do the job. Unlike Clinton and Kerry, Clarke is adept at handling the media.

  5. Well put, McDaddy. This'all I am sayin': When Clinton built his first cabinet, he wanted something that reflected America. Fine and Good. But he thought he was running on cruise control. Obama's being handled a truck that Busheney have already run into the friggin' ditch. Cruise control won't do. I'm saying Obama can't afford to end up with Janet Reno types. Nothing short of the fricking VARSITY, can he afford.

  6. People have forgotten.
    Bill's Foreign Deals May Pose Issue For Clinton As Secretary Of State.
    The same arguments which counterindicated Hillary as VPOTUS, counterindicate her as SoS.

  7. Or, maybe not. Could it be that the main subject discussed in the Clinton-Obama meeting in Chicago was the possibility of an appointment of Bill Clinton to an adinistration position?

  8. LTE, Even former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger says that Senator Hillary Clinton would make "an outstanding appointment" as America's top diplomat. The elder statesman, who served in Republican administrations, says if President-elect Obama chooses Mrs. Clinton it would show "great courage" on his part.

  9. Of course. Both HRC and HAK are unapologetic backers of the invasion of Iraq. What did you expect?

  10. Ah yes, I've forgotten all about Wes Clark... Yep, he should be a very good Sec of State but I won't feel sorry at all if Hillary gets the post (ok, if she accepts the post.)

    I think that outside of Hillary and Clark, Obama might be looking at General Jim Jones too followed by some other guys, Richardson included.

    But I have this feeling that he's putting Richardson very much behind all those people, the man is UNKNOWN outside of the clique of foreign ambassadors serving in the UN -- so he won't do at all.

    As far as hillary is concerned, I don't think I'm off the mark when I say that besides the name recall (Bill is appreciated greatly abroad, you know), she's very much respected around the world; foreign leaders recognise her as a distinguished politician all on her own with a first-class intellect and that's an important requirement for a US sec of state to be effective at the job.

    That said, she might not accept the job because of hubby Bill's international business ventures. So, Wes Clark has a chance. (But as I said, I've got this gut feeling that Jim Jones just might have an edge over Clark -- Obama simply likes the man and truly, Jones, who speaks a couple of other foreign languages, is very very well liked in Europe.

  11. If we are making dream nominations, I'd like to put one in for Attorney General: U.S. Attorney in Chicago Patrick Fitzgerald. His tough non-partisan investigations and prosecution of corruption stand out in the last few years of DOJ politicization and kow-towing sycophancy like a diamond in a sea of crud. Ashcroft, Gonzales, Mukasey.....(drum roll)....Patrick Fitzgerald.

  12. LTE, good point! You hit a nail I had missed. Hills, I had never heard of Jim Jones before. I'll have to study up. Coleen, there's a contest over at Speed Bumps to predict the make-up of the cabinet. I forgot, I think, to include Patrick Fitzgerald in my slate of picks. Seems like a good bet! He's definitely a member of the varsity!

  13. As a resource for this discussion on the relative merits of Wesley Clark et. al., I have placed a list of criterion for exemplary secretaries of state below.

  14. Thank you for visiting my blog.

    Being based in Minneapolis, I've crossed paths on the picketline with Colleen.

    I think Chomsky would be good.

  15. Vig, something on Jim Jones here: More on Gen. Jim Jones, VP Contender (I personally like Jim Jones -- OK, must admit it's got something to do with having worked a bit with him before he was summarily recalled by Rumsfeld...)

    Obama mentioned him during his last debate with McCain and a few times during TV interviews preceeding election.

    His not being "political", eg., Wes Clark, may be a drawback just as it could be an advantage.

  16. Using Miller's criteria, Richardson is clearly disqualified as being little more than a messenger-boy. Hillary has proven to all that she can wear boots - with spurs - as well as heels.

  17. Renegade Eye-

    I'll see your Chomsky and raise you a McCain.

  18. [...] My blog friend The Vigil, who I must admit has prompted me to write this post, has been batting for Wes Clark as far back as I could remember and I understand why. [...]

  19. Many thanks for schoolin' me, Hills. I'll be linking this post to others who are need of knowing about Gen. Jones!

  20. Vig, that's nice a compliment -- thanks too.

  21. Based upon the video clip in Hillblogger's post, I'd have to concede that Jones is in play. It is significant that Obama drops his name! But based on Miller's arguments, I'd still maintain that Clark should get the nod over Hillary, marginally.

  22. I cannot help but believe that Barack Obama got elected president because he knew what he was doing. As a result I believe that if he thinks Hillary is a better choice than anyone else out there I should respect his decision.

    Secondly, as Boris said, Clark is not even being considered and I think that speaks volumes. Did anyone ever think that our brilliant president-elect might know something that we don't? I would pretty much bet on that......

    Are you happy now Vigil?:-)

  23. Boris is right: Clark is a long shot. But he's a great candidate. As much as I think he'd make a dynamic Secretary of State, I think Clinton and Richardson would also do a great job. Given her passion for health care, I think Clinton would be at her best as Secretary of HHS.

    As of now, Obama is leaning towards Clinton for Secretary of State. Unfortunately, as boris said, Clark's a long shot. Damn.

    Chuck Hagel, Chris Dodd, and John Kerry are on the slate. All have excellent credentials, but I don't think Kerry in particular would do the best possible job representing America's interests overseas. After the Bush debacle, this role is highly critical in how we represent ourselves to the world.

    Obama is considering primary election rivals Hillary Clinton and Bill Richardson to be his secretary of state, as Senator John F. Kerry, an early supporter of Obama, appeared to be out of the running according to Democratic officials.

    The MSNBC link includes an Obama Cabinet Speculation list and potential Cabinet members. Amusing notes: for Secretary of Energy, Arnold Schwarzenegger (has said no); The AP says don't expect Obama to make a job offer to McCain.

    I'm betting Richardson will get a Cabinet position.

  24. Stella..(Sis)..Sometimes your positions confuse me.

  25. Richardson deserves a Cabinet post but doesn't get to go to the head of the line for SoS. He doesn't cut the mustard by Miller's standards.

  26. This is all about politics, not about competency.

  27. Sorry, Bro Mike, let me clarify. Sometimes I mumble when I write. I do think Hillary would be great as Secretary of HHS if she doesn't get the Secretary of State position. But I think she will.

    She is passionate about health care and has been since 1992. The GOP Congress prevented her from trying to mend the broken health care system, perhaps with the support of big pharma campaign investments.

    I think she will be named SoS, and I think she'll do an excellent job. My comment wasn't a position, but I am extremely encouraged by the great candidates for this Cabinet position.

    Would I have loved to have seen Clark as Secretary of State? Yes, but I think boris (great link) is right. I don't think Clark has ever gotten the recognition he deserves.

    Nevertheless, I'm putting my support with Hillary on this round. I'm with Vig about Richardson: I definitely want him in the Cabinet, but I don't feel he's ready for SoS.

    Since Clark won't be considered for SoS, then Clinton is my preference. I hope that clarifies my textual mumblings. ;-)