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Why Obama Wants Hillary for His 'Team of Rivals'

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-08 10:31 AM
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Why Obama Wants Hillary for His 'Team of Rivals'

Why Obama Wants Hillary for His 'Team of Rivals'
By Karen Tumulty and Massimo Calabresi Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008


To succeed at modern diplomacy, it helps to take the long view. As word trickled out that President-elect Barack Obama was considering Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State, Clinton was on the phone with the President of Pakistan. Asif Ali Zardari was calling with a long-overdue thank-you. Back in 1998, when Zardari's late wife Benazir Bhutto was powerless and out of favor with the United States, the then First Lady had received her at the White House, over the objections of both the State Department and the National Security Council. Bhutto eventually regained her influence, and before her assassination last December, became an important U.S. ally. But she had never forgotten that act of graciousness, Zardari told Clinton on Nov. 14. "To be treated with such respect was very important."

As he wrapped up his second week as President-elect, it was clear that Obama was taking the long view in both diplomacy and politics. How else to explain the fact that he had all but offered the most prestigious job in his Cabinet to a woman whose foreign policy experience he once dismissed as consisting of having tea with ambassadors? Or that Clinton might accept an offer from a man whose national-security credentials, she once said, began and ended with "a speech he made in 2002"? Nowhere did Obama and Clinton attack each other more brutally last spring than on the question of who was best equipped to handle international relations in a dangerous world. That they could be on the brink of becoming partners in that endeavor is the most remarkable evidence yet that Obama is serious about his declared intention to follow another Illinois President's model in assembling a "team of rivals" to run his government, in what could be a sharp contrast with the past 40 years of American Presidents. "I've been spending a lot of time reading Lincoln," Obama told Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes. "There is a wisdom there and a humility about his approach to government, even before he was President, that I just find very helpful." (See pictures from Voting Day).

And a shrewdness as well. The surprising proffer to Clinton came the same week that Obama sat down with John McCain in Chicago and helped engineer a commutation for Senator Joe Lieberman, who had backed McCain in the election and faced possibly being stripped of his committee chairmanship. The general amnesty campaign, part of a promise to change the way Washington works, impressed some longtime partisans. "It's brilliant," says a senior Republican Party official. "My hat is totally off to the guy." Viewed more cynically, bringing Clinton into the tent could co-opt a potential adversary in 2012 and put a leash on her globetrotting husband, who has a propensity for foreign policy freelancing. Which raises a question: Would this move, if it happens, be just the first manifestation of that new kind of politics that Obama was promising in his presidential campaign? Or proof that he understands the oldest kind all too well? (See pictures of Barack Obama's family tree.)

However smart it might ultimately prove to be, the Clinton offer is likely to induce grumbling among some Obama loyalists. The job Obama dangled in front of Clinton has excited a frenzy of speculation and leaking exactly the kind of thing the no-drama Obama operation did not tolerate during the presidential campaign. And coming amid word that Obama is eyeing an array of former Clinton officials including former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder for the top job at Justice even Democrats began to ask how much change Obama really represents. "What were the last two years all about?" asks one exasperated party strategist. "The restoration of the Clintons?"

more...

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1860727,...

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-08 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. Yeah, Well It Hasn't Happened Yet
This may be the biggest non-event yet in the Clinton saga. It's damned embarrassing, all the leaks spurting all over the place...
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-08 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Hmmm. It's not a done deal? Ha! You're right. nt
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xultar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-08 10:39 AM
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3. I wouldn't want to be part of a team of rivals; a team yes, team of rivals hell no.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-08 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. It's a reference to Lincoln's genius and a book:
http://www.amazon.com/Team-Rivals-Political-Abraham-Lin...

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-08 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. except Lincoln didn't have 24/7 international news networks and the global fascist agenda to face
Does Obama think the BFEE will be sated as long as Clintons are kept in the loop?
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-08 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. blm, I'm not happy either.
There is not a whole lot I can do or you can do, is there. I just have to believe Obama's reasoning will pan out and this will turn out to be a good thing. That's all I can do.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-08 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Of course that's all we can do....that, and stay on top of the fascists like white on rice.
I don't believe Obama ever really studied indepth what has gone on the last few decades as much of it didn't involve his areas of interest.

I have to HOPE he doesn't follow Clintons' path and actively protect the BFEE. Of course, they are not above threatening him and assuring him that the threats will be carried out. Some of Obama's cabinet turnarounds came AFTER his 'cordial' meeting with Bush.
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xultar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-08 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. I know that. rofl
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-08 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
6. "Change" began the day that Obama announced he was running for President. Anyone who thinks
"change" has to do with specifics, like who Obama appoints to be Secretary of State, has totally missed the point, IMO.
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