Obama makes right choice in selecting Clinton as secretary of state

January 8, 2009 — by Vijay Menon

Barack Obama’s cabinet choices have received almost universal praise. He has been commended for his decisions to keep secretary of defense Robert Gates in office and for his hiring of a new and improved team of economic advisers to deal with the current crisis. There is one glaring exception, however: his choice of Hillary Clinton for secretary of state. Obama’s choice has been attacked as political appeasement rather than a choice based on talent. While many criticized his controversial choice, his biggest gamble is likely to pay off in the long run.

As secretary of state, Clinton will face a large list of problems, ranging from genocide in Darfur to wars in the Middle East. No other candidate is better equipped to handle these issues than the experienced senator and former first lady from New York, a woman whom 18 million voted for in the primary season.

If nothing else, Clinton’s campaign showed her tenacity, toughness of spirit and ambition. She is a proven leader and a seasoned political veteran. Clinton also commands immediate credibility in the eyes of the world community. During her time as first lady, Clinton traveled around the world as a champion of human rights, endearing herself globally and allowing her to better perform her job.

Her addition to Obama’s staff will also bring to the White House two of the most influential and recognizable political faces in the entire world.
Obama’s selection of Clinton calmed his opponents’ fears of a massively liberal staff running the White House. Clinton is a politician with a proven
track record of bipartisanship and cooperation in Congress that will complement her well in her new position in the Obama administration.

Many have expressed doubts that Obama and Clinton will be able to get along. These doubts are completely unfounded and ignore Clinton’s history as a tireless champion of the people. The two have mutual respect and there is no doubt that they will put aside their differences and work together as partners in the best interests of serving their nation, just as Clinton has done throughout the course of her career.

The choice of Hillary Clinton as the next secretary of state is one that will have enormous benefits down the line. Clinton’s standing in the world community will go a long way to repair the diplomatic damage done to America during the disastrous eight years of the Bush administration. She will not require any on-the-job training and will be ready to go from day one. Despite controversy, Hillary Clinton was a brilliant choice.

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