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After participating in today's roxors-suxors battle over drones/idiotic cartoons on the front page, I got to thinking: why does Hillary Clinton so rarely show up in these conversations? After all, she's America's chief diplomat and a strong supporter of the administration's drone policy. Apparently, she and Leon Panetta were also primarily responsible for convincing Obama to authorize the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, against the advice of Eric Holder. I don't mean to bash Sec. Clinton; in fact, I think she's been excellent in her role as Secretary of State and would make a fine president as well. But it did make me wonder about her potential successors. After all, she's said that if Obama wins a second term, she does not plan on sticking around. So who will Obama replace her with? More below the squiggle.

First thing's first: I don't mean to suggest in any way that Obama has the election wrapped up. It looks instead like we're in for a helluva fight this fall. This diary's purely based on speculation, and I encourage any readers to give their opinions on who Obama should appoint to the position should he win a second term.

Most reports I've read on the matter list three names as part of the short list: John Kerry, Susan Rice, and Thomas Donilan. By most accounts, Kerry is the frontrunner. This makes sense, as he is as well-versed in foreign policy as anyone in the Senate, is a known quantity, and has the affable, worldly disposition desirable for such a job. The Obama administration also seems to believe that he would not meddle in policy, as Rice may be prone to do.

Rice is my personal favorite of the group. Her outspoken support for intervention in Libya won over Clinton and eventually Obama, but that's only one of her many accomplishments in her short tenure as ambassador to the UN. She has helped reform the UN Council on Human Rights to the point that it has begun to condemn actual human rights violators (!). This may seem like a hollow victory; after all, who cares how some UN council votes when they're being slaughtered in the streets? But it's all part of a reversal of the Bush-Bolton years, where we essentially chose to ignore the council entirely out of protest. This strategy was foolish and counterproductive, as both Obama and Rice recognized, and we are now trying to reform the council from within, with some tentative success.

Obviously, there's still work to do on this matter. Rice did not mince words in her criticisms of China and Russia for their continued support of the Assad regime in Syria. Reportedly, she's also one of the leading voices in the Obama administration for arming Syrian rebels. This kind of proactive, multilateral approach to foreign policy is the best way for the US to protect its interests and rebuild its image, imo, and Susan Rice has been one of its leading advocates.

Finally, there's Donilan. He would be a safe pick, one that wouldn't ruffle any feathers. While he wouldn't make a splash or excite anyone, he is considered the level-headed, elder statesman of the bunch. I apologize for not going further into his qualifications, but I must admit that I would be slightly disappointed if he were to be chosen for SoS. I would vastly prefer Kerry or Rice.

So have at it. Am I wrong in supporting Rice or dismissing Donilan? Is there anyone I left off the list? Was this whole diary a waste of time? Let me know!


If he wins reelection, who will Obama appoint Sec. of State to replace Hillary Clinton?

40%9 votes
31%7 votes
0%0 votes
27%6 votes

| 22 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    All the original handles were taken.

    by liberaldeminpittsburgh on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 08:54:39 PM PDT

  •  ldeminpi - I think you picked the finalists (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jack K, Sky Net

    I think it's Kerry's if he wants it as a swan song. If not I think it's Rice.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 09:03:01 PM PDT

  •  None of the above (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Rice is a hawk like Clinton.

    Someone like Christopher Hill would be a better choice, if an unlikely one.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 11:33:54 PM PDT

    •  hill does look interesting (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, liberaldeminpittsburgh, mickT

      especially given how he has chosen to engage the populace in south korea and china, instead of sticking solely to government officials and corporate-friendly think tank types. it would be nice to have a secretary of state that knows the diplomatic cops from the inside, instead of a big-name outsider with political clout. the complication would be that the sec of state has a very high status within the government, and as such tends to go to people with a lot of DC clout, and then the underlings do the diplomatic heavy lifting.

      it would be really nice to see america take diplomacy seriously, instead of using it as a patronage dispensary. the obama admin has made some progress in this regard, but i suspect a sec of state would be a step too far even for them.

      •  I think he is too low profile (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        To actually get appointed, but his qualifications and ability (pretty cagey and tough negotiator) are excellent.

        I think he is teaching now.

        Clinton is a mixed bag. In some respects she has done well, but sometimes I wonder if the pants are too small for her rather long and ambitious legs. No one can accuse her of failing to take the lead whenever she can.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 02:46:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i am not a fan of clinton at all (0+ / 0-)

          in some ways i think she has been an obstacle to the progress the obama admin has made on foreign relations. i suppose it is a vain hope, but all the same i hope her successor is less of a hawk and more of a diplomat.

  •  If Kerry, who fills his Senate seat? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Can someone who's familiar with Massachusetts politics tell me who would fill Kerry's empty seat if he were appointed Secretary of State?

    •  Very true (0+ / 0-)

      Obama may not want to risk another Scott Brown-style surprise.

      Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

      by milkbone on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 11:03:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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