As pundits bet that Sen. Hillary Clinton is a done deal for Secretary of State, today’s editorial in the Financial Times calls it a poor choice for a variety of reasons. In the piece extolling President-ele
ct Barack Obama’s picks for his economic team, the FT says that’s not the case for Hillary and hits her lack of experience, her ambitions, and her personality.
Economics aside, the biggest surprise among Mr Obama’s rumoured appointments is Hillary Clinton, whose selection as secretary of state is said to be “on track”. This is a far more questionable choice, since Mrs Clinton is so lacking in foreign policy experience. The appointment gives rise to unhelpful speculation about the new president’s motives. Is he attempting to bind his party’s wounds? His victory already did that, and governing well would assure a full recovery. Is he attempting to neutralise her as a rival for the presidency in 2012? If things go badly for him, it will take more than this to quell another Clinton bid.
Could Mrs Clinton subordinate herself to Mr Obama, and devote herself to making his presidency a success? That is doubtful and, with many far better qualified candidates available, is a risk there is no need to take.
CEI has criticized that choice for different reasons — Sen. Clinton, who has strong anti-trade, anti-globalization positions, would not temper the in-coming president’s lack of support for trade, which could cause not only more economic problems for the U.S. and the developing world but also geopolitical ones.