Like most statements from politicians, it can’t taken be very seriously. Things change and at any point in time over the next three to seven years I can easily imagine hearing Hillary Clinton say “I had no plan to run for President, but the circumstances and challenges that we face, force me to answer a call to duty that I am uniquely qualified for”. That statement will be as true as her claim that she does not want to be President but reality and truth have very little to do with politics. Politics is perception and the winners are the ones who create the perception that the people appreciate the most.
So for now, Hillary is sure that she will not run for President again. She is trying to create the perception of being a strong, committed team player for President Obama. But behind that slant, lies some disturbing facts.
Hillary may be trying to be a team player but she is on a team that has marginalized her. The whole reason for President Obama making her Secretary of State was for the express purpose of marginalizing her. If she intends on continuing to seem to be supportive of the President and to serve the administration, she can hardly oppose the administration. This insures that she doesn’t take potshots at the President in the U.S. Senate, where if she continued to serve, Clinton could have done much to position herself for a future presidential run.
Now, as a member of the Obama team, Hillary Clinton has to accept her marching orders from the President and simply carry them out like a good soldier. This in fact does marginalize her. But that alone was not enough. In attempts to insure limited credit for foreign policy efforts, the President has appointed a number of “special envoys” or “czar like“ foreign affair posts. The most prominent one of all being former senator, George Mitchell who serves as the special envoy for Arab-Israeli relations. But there are quite a few more like Dick Holbrooke in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Dennis Ross in Iran. On top of that President Clinton (not Secretary of State Hillary Clinton), was used to procure the freedom of journalists held captive by North Korea. Much of this begs to question what is Hilllary needed for? But to add insult to injury the Obama administration has relegated Secretary of State Clinton to sharing the Secretary of State’s usual foreign policy role on the National Security Council with Vice President Biden and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, CIA chief Leon Panetta, and NSC staffer Samantha Powers.
None of this lends any credence to the suggestion that the President has a great deal of faith in or desire for Hillary Clinton’s leadership or opinion. Why should they? Unlike past Secretaries of State, Hillary Clinton has limited foreign affairs policy expertise. Yes, as a First Lady, she has kissed and praised the wife of Yassir Arafat, curtsied to Kings and Queens, and broken bread with despots, dictators and designated dignitaries but she has never been an expert in the field of foreign affairs or specialized areas in foreign affairs as many of her predecessors have had. She was hardly as qualified for the job as a John Foster Dulles or even Condoleeza Rice or Collin Powell. The truth is that Barack Obama appointed her because she was the wife of a former President, turned carpet bagging senator from New York, who almost defeated him for President. After picking Joe Biden for Vice President because of his not wanting Hillary to have any right to claim that she helped him win, making her Secretary of State satisfied those who hold the former First Lady in high regard and feminist activists disgruntled by the fact Barack Obama is man. It also eliminated her presence as a threat to the President and ultimately, marginalized her. Yes marginalized her.
So it should not come as a shock that the President would also prevent her from having attention or power as Secretary of State.
In her interview with Ann Curry, Clinton asserts that the claim she has been marginalized is ridiculous. She states that she just does not need everyone answering to her and that she simply is not so insecure that she needs credit for everything that happens.
Well that’s a good because just as there was no reason President Obama deserved winning the Nobel Peace Prize, there is no reason to give Hillary Clinton credit for anything. The President has made sure of that. In truth, Hillary has been relegated to delivering messages from the President. That’s it. She is strictly a figurehead for the President’s foreign policy initiatives. She has very little say in it. In the end, denials aside, the administration’s marginalization of Secretary of State Clinton is well documented and despite her cheerful, good soldier persona, resentment is their. As a former First Lady who tried to control policy when her husband was President and then subsequently became a Senator from a state she applied for a license in so that she could ultimately become President, Hillary feels, deep down, that it is she who was suppose to be President. Having to suppress her instincts and desires is hard enough, but having to accept the fact that the responsibilities which are actually hers, have been divvied up between more than a dozen other people who answer to the President and not her, is enough to fuel a great deal of animosity.
That is why, Clinton’s claim that she will not run for President again can’t be taken too seriously. If the opportunity arises, at anytime within the next few years, she will jump at it. She feels that she is owed the job. And more than that, she has reason to be pissed at the man who took that dream away from her and placed her into job where her hands are tied and mouth is gagged.
None of this a secret. While sleeping in the same bedroom that Hillary Clinton once slept in, President Obama is constantly reminded of his Secretary of State and closets rival for the presidency. He still sleeps with one eye open and feels her presence right behind him. He knows that Hillary is waiting for his approval numbers to dip so low that she will be able to get a cadre of Clintonistas together in 2011 who will try convince the President to not seek reelection for “the good of the party”. Such a situation will thereby allow Hillary to utter those words I that expect….. “the circumstances and challenges that we face, force me to answer a call to duty, that I am uniquely qualified for”.