Thank goodness President-elect Obama has been thinking. Northwest Asian Weekly supports Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State-designate.
Though she isn’t a “first” (the first woman title goes to Madeline Albright under the Clinton administration, and first Black woman goes to Condeleeza Rice under the current Bush administration), we are optimistic that she will be outstanding in this position as she brings experience, credentials and confidence.
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, which is concerned with foreign affairs. The secretary is a member of the president’s Cabinet and the highest-ranking Cabinet secretary. The secretary is fourth in line to succeed the president, after the vice president, the speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate.
Her appointment comes at a crucial time, as the United States’ image worldwide is at an all-time low due to Bush’s politics and American involvement in the Iraq War. Clinton will be pivotal in turning this image around.
What Clinton has going for her is that she is already well known and needs no introductions to the American public or those abroad. With this comes authority, as she will not have to work as hard to prove that she is qualified for the position.
Clinton also has a sounding board in her husband, former President Bill Clinton. We’re not saying that Hillary Clinton is at all dependent on her husband, but she does have the eight years of her husband’s presidency to draw on when making the tough decisions.
As current Secretary of State, Rice has been criticized for being under the thumb of the Bush administration, lacking much of a unique voice or an ability to steer the president onto the right path. She will leave no significant or positive legacy in diplomacy.
Being Obama’s former opponent for the Democratic nomination, Clinton is unique in that she has proven her strength and commitment to issues that are different from of Obama’s politics. Her position as a former competitor could set a new tone for the next presidency, one in which there are varied opinions instead of one collective hive mind.
We appreciate that Clinton is not afraid to speak her mind and let her thoughts be known. We also appreciate that she has shown herself to be flexible. There is controversy around this nomination, of course, but we think Clinton will do very well as the United States’ top diplomat. ♦