The November 16th issue of Time magazine has Secretary Of State Hilary Clinton on its cover. The blurbs advertising the article inside speak of the Secretary as a “global celebrity” with a teaser link to Joe Klein’s article asking if she can make peace. Wow, now she is a global celebrity. When did that happen and won’t Bill be jealous? Besides, I thought that John Kerry was the new grand poo-bah of Obama’s foreign policy.
I guess that makes her the first celebrity Secretary of State since Henry Kissinger. No one saw fit to use that title with Condolezza Rice, although they could have . Surely, not Madeline Albright, ok maybe Colin Powell, not positive. But as I scrolled backwards through the recent occupants of the office, courtesy of my handy World Almanac and Book of Facts , I really did not see anyone else I might consider a global celebrity. Not Lawrence Eagleburger or Warren Christopher or Edmund Muskie. You get the idea.
Now, perusing the names above and excluding them from celeb status doesn’t necessarily mean they were not good or very good secretaries. Perhaps some of them just chose not to go the celeb route. So, back to that peace maker thing. Wasn’t Ms Clinton just in Israel recently where she spoke very highly of their progress on the West Bank settlements and then had to back track later at a gathering of Arab leaders? Yep, that was it.
I am not so sure that Obama is more the architect of his foreign policy in this peace making arena. Nobel Prize, anyone? Madame Secretary went to the Berlin Wall anniversary soiree instead of the President. Not agood move , him not going and her pinch-hitting. Seems that the heavy lifting on making peace is a White House prerogative, anyway. And, chew on this. Just this week, a couple of Obama’s old pals, Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn roundly trashed Hilary’s 2008 campaign as having racist overtones. Remember these folks are big time Obama pals and it doesn’t look so good for them to trash his Secretary of State. Stay tuned, there will doubtless be more. But, I would not be surprised if she were not the first high profile member of the Cabinet to depart.
Green jobs czar Van Jones has announced his resignation. The White House among others has thanked him for his service. From other areas have come a bit of a different perspective. More on Mr Jones’ departure a little later.
His position in the Administration was one of as many as 30 that could be described as czars. These powerful positions are not subject to the Senate review that say a Cabinet secretary would require. They give a President flexibility and perhaps a way to diffuse power or even short circuit Congress when they feel the need to do so. The idea began with Nixon in the early 70′s which is no surprise. He definitely preferred consolidating power in the White H ouse over the Cabinet which is a perceived benefit of a czar. His first czar was Bill Simon for energy and either the appointment or concept or both provided less than stellar results. Both George H W Bush and Clinton made use of the concept and Bush 43 even got a czar elevated to a Cabinet level position, one Tom Ridge. That is almost a have it both ways deal.
Other Obama czars are Paul Volcker on the economy. Carol Browner on energy, Adolfo Carrrion on urban affairs and Nancy-Ann DeParie on health who has since departed. Soon to be named is a cyber security czar who will actually serve on the National Security Council. That should be an interesting appointment.
So back to Mr Jones . His resignation letter blames his departure on a vicious smear campaign led by one Glenn Beck and being composed of lies and distortions. Apparently Jones has done and said some rather controversial things in years gone by. Among them were comments about school shootings being done by only white students and that he signed a 9/11 truth petition whose content he said was not informed about. FYI, the San Francisco Chronicle and Howard Dean are decrying his departure.
Now for some thoughts. Do I think he should have stepped down? Yep. Was it racial , don’t think so. Could it have been avoided, yep again. Now I know that The Obama folks haven’t taken my advise before. But here goes again. The appointee in this case was either not fully vetted by the administration or he was and that did not care. You gotta know that inflammatory sounding comments such as his will come into public view and White House advisers and nominees have been dumped for much less. Had they been determined on having him serve, appoint him to a position that requres a Senate hearing. Get all this stuff out in the open and deal with it on your terms. Odds of success are much greater.
One more question to ponder and it demands more depth than I can give it now. Does Mr Jones departure indicate that any criticism of major Obama initiatives or opposition to appointees or programs will automatically be deemed as racial in nature? Just wondering.
Those of you who read this blog regularly and if you don’t, shame, it is never too late to start may remember that I provided a list of prospective Cabinet appointees for the new administration before it took office. For those who missed it, I mused about this topic on November 15 and alas none of these folks officially made the Cabinet, yet. But, never fear, George Clooney, who I suggested as Secretary of Suave and Debonair had a private meeting on Monday night with the President and Vice-President and then proceeded to share details with the press afterward.
Good cause, probably, but betcha it wont be the last celebrity to have visiting privileges. Remember, Mr Clooney, private meeting, private meeting.
I had never realized that such an office existed . Or to quote Ann Coulter. ” Is he kidding ? That’s an “office ” ? When did all this happen ? Have I been asleep for 40 years ? Am I INSANE ? “
But we should not be surprised when a national news magazine hailed Mr Obama as the best president- elect ever . There are awards for this ?
And , not to be outdone Joe ( i was just kidding when i endorsed McCain ) Lieberman said that Obama had picked a perfect Cabinet . And , just one more, political scientist , Larry Sabato thinks ( guess he is serious ) we should strongly consider condensing the time between election and inauguration, probably just a coincidence, huh ?
Do you think that becoming president will be a demotion even ? Stay tuned . While you wait , ponder this. Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt is under consideration for a position in the Obama administration . How could I have missed that in list of possible cabinet members ?
I have been pondering this topic for a while , even before Obama’s inevitable election . Who should serve in his cabinet ? When I heard that Hilary was being considered for Secretary of State ( along with Bill Richardson) , I felt compelled to offer my advice to the Obama transition team , as they undoubtedly are in dire need of assistance . Shucks, there isnt much time till the inauguration , so we gotta get this process moving folks .
One caveat , I havent quite decided how to get this information to the appropriate people since I am unsure how regularly the Obama people monitor my posts .
Secretary of Suave and Debonair — George Clooney ( no brainer choice )
Secretary of Flash and Dash ——- The Oprah
Secretary of Ranting and Raving—– Keith Olbermann
Press Secretary or Head Cheerleader — Chris Matthews
Secretary in charge of eliminating Conservative Views - Chuck Schumer/ Jeff Bingaman
Secretary of Attacking Business- Henry Waxman
Treasury Secretary- George Soros
Defense Secretary ( not that we will need one since everybody will like us ) Chuck ( Head RINO ) Hagel
Goodwill Ambassador———— Maya Angelou
Senate Liaison ———— John ( Of Course ) McCain
Dual Role- U N Ambassador and Recreator of Camelot – Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg
Secretary of HHS and Gloating——–Howard Dean
Co Secretaries of Nailing Republicans- Nancy Pelosi
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