After Barack Obama secured the Presidential nomination for the Democrats, there was a movement to have Hillary Clinton run beside him as veep. Obama ultimately went with Joe Biden, instead naming Clinton Secretary of State. Now, a Washington Post columnist is suggesting that perhaps it’s time for a swap in duties.
Sally Quinn feels that Clinton has risen above the potential obstacles that might have impacted Obama’s decision to go with Biden:
Clinton has done an incredible job as secretary of state. First of all, she has worked harder than anyone should ever be expected to. She has managed to do the impossible: She is the ambassador of the United States to the world, maintaining her credibility while playing the bad guy to President Obama’s good guy, such as with North Korea, Iran and Israel, and still looking good. She has been a true team player. If Clinton is dissatisfied with her role, you would never know it. She has been loyal and supportive to the president and has maintained a good relationship with him and with others in the White House. If she is being left out of the policymaking, or being sent on trips to keep her out of town, she has not shown it. She is cheerful, thoughtful, serious and diligent. There are no horror stories about her coming out of the State Department. Most notable, though, is that Bill Clinton has not been the problem that so many anticipated. He has been supportive of her and of Obama, and he has stayed out of the limelight and been discreet about his own life.
The logistics are actually not as complicated as you might think. In fact, Quinn outlines a pretty decent strategy for Democrats.
Now consider Hillary the Democratic campaigner. She is tireless and relentless. Given the combination of votes that she and Obama got in the 2008 primary campaign, they would be a near-unbeatable team. Clinton also appeals to independents, but importantly, she would neutralize the effect of Sarah Palin. Whatever Palin came up with, Hillary could best her — and the Tea Party crowd as well. The Republicans would lose their “year of the woman” argument. And based on experience alone, Hillary is far more qualified to be president than any of the Republicans being considered today, including Mitt Romney, Bobby Jindal, Tim Pawlenty and Palin.Clinton is also young enough to be the Democratic nominee at the end of an Obama second term; she will be in her late 60s in 2016 but still younger than Ronald Reagan was when he was inaugurated in 1981 (just shy of 70) and younger than John McCain, who was 72 when he ran in 2008. Most important, were she vice president and Obama were for some reason not able to fulfill his term, she would be ready to step in.
There are things about Hillary Clinton that I don’t love, but she is on an infinitely high pedestal in my mind when placed next to the infamous Ms. Palin. I mean, is it kind of a cheap trick using a woman to counterbalance another woman? Hell, yeah … but it might well work. Oh, and Hillary Clinton is at least qualified.
But what about the poor old “lame duck” (so to speak)? How would Joe Biden feel about this?
Joe Biden has been rehabilitated. A recent profile in The Post portrayed him as a successful and intelligent man whose foreign policy advice is valued by the president. The gaffe-prone former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee seems to have worked out the kinks. Clearly, he is aware that he is no longer an independent voice but, rather, a representative of the president. But Biden has no intention of running for president in six years. His passion is foreign policy. He would have been an ideal choice for secretary of state had he not been Obama’s running mate. And those who know him have said that secretary of state is his dream job.
Honestly, I think this sounds pretty win/win. Biden would be in his foreign policy glory, Clinton would have her foot right on Sarah Palin be in one of the most powerful positions in the world, and the Democrats have a game plan for the next election.
So what would you think of a Clinton/Biden swap, with Hillary becoming Vice-President (and unquestionable heir apparent) and Biden making verbal slips all over the world as Secretary of State?