Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Future for Hillary?

I find Peggy Noonan as insipid as the next guy, but one segment of her WSJ column today struck me as interesting.

"Mrs. Clinton is in a different position now. By this spring it must have become apparent to her that when the nice new president came and offered her the secretary of state job, and she said yes, she got rolled. What he got was clear: He took her off the chessboard. She wouldn't be in the Senate being a counterforce, wouldn't be planning her next move or become the rallying point of anti-Obama Democrats. She'd be on board, part of the team and invested in the administration's success, for now its success would ensure her future. If their relationship didn't work, nobody would think it was his fault.
What she would not have known was that she would be a public face of American diplomacy—not the face but a face—and not a decisive inside power. The portfolio for key areas—Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Mideast—was day by day given to others. She was sent off to do interviews on "Good Morning Manila." In a foreign-affairs apparatus of clashing egos, she'd be just another ego. A Henry Kissinger or George Shultz would never have allowed this. She didn't even go to the G-8 or the Russia meeting. President Obama, that canny fellow, only wants Obama in the room. It is true she broke her elbow, but they make it sound like a farming accident where her elbow was torn from her arm as she fed the thresher. Tina Brown wrote a witty column saying Mr. Obama should let Hillary out of her burqa.
But you know, one thing Mrs. Clinton's learned is how to wait. Things turn on a dime, you wake up in the morning and there's a new headline that changes everything. Sooner or later Mr. Obama is going to get in trouble, sooner or later the trouble will take hold and settle in, and sooner or later she will be the unsullied one who quietly did her duty in spite of the slights to which she's been subjected. And when that happens, she will emerge—reluctantly, painfully—as the Democratic alternative. The one who almost won, who knew—who learned the hard way—that you can't do everything all at once, that it's the economy, stupid.
They will look like kids playing with history. Hillary isn't a kid. She's experienced, and has been roughed up by history. Watch. She'll roll right back."

Does anyone think she might be back?


Smoothfur said...

Hillary has no one to blame but herself for the position she finds herself in today. If she were “America’s smartest women” she would have been smart enough to avoid this pitfall. If she is not intelligent enough to have seen this coming would you want her as your president? Does anyone really believe that she would have been so very much different than the prophet of hope and change?

Sally said...

No, I don't want her as my president-but I think watching the battle between these two again would be priceless as Dems lined up to take sides.

Mudge said...

I have to ask whether Peggy Noonan was as alert to the all-too-obvious maneuver by His O-ness back when he asked HRC to be SecState or if it just appeared to her. If the latter, then Peggy Noonan is a dolt. If the former, why the hell didn't she write about it then? Either way, I continue to take exception to Peggy's (or anyone else's) assertion that Hillary has this vast reservoir of foreign policy and national security experience. And I agree with Smoothfur, if she wants to play babe in the woods, fine, but it just makes the case all the more that she isn't Presidential material. Of course, that standard is becoming more and more diluted (and deluded) with each day. But she certainly is well-positioned to drive a heated wedge into the Dem party. And for that I am thankful.

BigFred said...

My original conspiracy theory about the Clintons, and the avoidance of a brokered election, was that State was a consolation prize, and that to further appease the Kennedy Machine, Obama to the Whitehouse, Clinton to State, and Kennedy to the Senate (D-NY). Being a Chicago politician, after the deal was done, and with her Senate seat filled, Obama could marginalize Hillary, or say that Bill was too big of a distraction, and sack her. Kennedy, like we need yet another Senator kennedy, did not work out, but the rest of the plan may come together, as it matters not who filled the Senate seat, as long as it was NOT Hillary.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Hillary will be an early canary in the coalmine for the Obama Administration. She knows she's been marginalized, that she's been pushed to the sidelines. She's not happy about it. If she sees the President slipping, she'll bolt in a New York minute. Watch for it...

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