Thursday, November 20, 2008

In Which I Endorse Hillary for Secretary of State

Many of you probably know that I was not only pro-Obama during the primary and election, but I was anti-Hillary. Mainly this was because Hillary had showed in the past that she was a big supporter of the imperial presidency, from asserting executive privilege as First Lady to, darnit I can't find the quote right now, but mixed up in the whole "vast right-wing conspiracy" thing was an assertion that she didn't think they should be able to prosecute a sitting President. With the raping that Bush has given the Constitutional separation of powers, I didn't think Hillary was a good choice for our next President. It seemed very likely to me that she would not only keep the extra power that Bush had claimed for himself, but expand it. Obama, on the other hand, seemed like he might actually restore the Presidency to its Constitutional bounds, and still seems to be on that path.

But today I realized something important. If Hillary runs in 2016 (assuming both that Obama is a good President and that he is re-elected in 2012), she'll be coming into a White House that just went through restoring those bounds. She would be significantly restrained in her ability to re-assert the imperial Presidency; she'd have to undo what her Democratic predecessor had just worked so hard to do.

Since that was the only thing I didn't like about Hillary, even if it was a huge thing in my mind, eliminating that option would make her a great potential President. Which leads me to my endorsement of Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State.

The one and only thing Republicans ever gain any traction on in Presidential campaigns is foreign policy. The Republicans know what they're talking about for foreign policy, people seem to think, and the Democrats do not. If she stays in as Secretary of State for somewhere close to 8 years (a surprisingly rare feat; the average shelf-life of a Secretary of State is just over 3 years, and only 14 of 66 have served more than 4 years, one of those being Powell by 6 days), she'll have more foreign policy experience than any conceivable opponent. Of course, I think there is a distinct possibility that she'll be Obama's running mate in 2012, but that would just shore up her experience even more.

In case you're wondering, the last time we had two consecutive, full-term, Democratic Presidents was, well, technically 1809-1825 (Madison and Monroe, Democratic-Republicans), although you could probably count 1933-1953 as close enough. Something similar to either of those spans would be just fine with me, minus, ya know, the near-nation-ending wars.

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