Re: Et Tu, Hillary?

My colleague Sean Chone Shawn had a hell of a good piece on just what may be going on With Secretary of State Clinton, but there is one aspect that he neglected to discuss — and it’s absolutely worth mentioning.

There very well might be something to what my associate discussed — that Hillary might be seriously considering a challenge to Obama in 2012. But one thing that deserves even more focus is just how much of a “good soldier” Hillary has been.

When she was tapped to be Secretary of State, it was seen as a sop, a reward for her endorsing and supporting Obama once it was clear (crystal clear) that he had won the nomination. But ever since then, he’s been treating her with exceptional contempt.

Which is nothing new, of course; Obama has no respect for those he defeats. He’s stuck in perpetual campaign mode, and can never get past it. Remember the health care “summit?” John McCain reminded Obama of one of his campaign promises, and Obama’s response was “the the campaign’s over” — with the unspoken “and you lost, so STFU.” The only interpretation that makes sense to me is that Obama is admitting that he said all sorts of things as a candidate that he had no intention of following through on, and it’s just downright rude to remind him of them — so rude that he’ll shut you up in short order.

But back to Hillary Clinton. Remember the deal they struck? If she helped him win the election, she’d be Secretary of State, and he’d help her retire her campaign debt.

As always, an Obama promise comes with an expiration date. This one, though, quite possibly broke records. Several months later, Obama did his part to help with the campaign debt — he and Michelle each cut a check for $2,300 for Hillary. Oh, and he said a few words halfheartedly asking donors to help her out. Amazingly, she’s still several million in the hole.

Well, at least she got to be Secretary of State, right? He kept that deal, didn’t he?

Sure. But it looks like Hillary got out-lawyered on that one, because she didn’t read the fine print. In no time her duties got whittled down, and she saw a good chunk of her power given to Obama cronies and favorites — people who hadn’t dared oppose The One and made him actually work for the nomination.

The Secretary of State is, nominally, our Chief Diplomat to the world. All ambassadors and diplomatic functions go through her office. At least, they used to. Obama spared no time in appointing “special envoys” who were put in charge of select regions of the world, moving them out of Hillary’s authority and directly answerable to him. Hillary doesn’t have to trouble her pretty little head about such concerns as “Middle East Peace” or “Iraq and Afghanistan,” as George Mitchell and Richard Holbrooke are taking care of those pesky trouble spots. There’s also a special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic conference, and Obama also made the United Nations Ambassador a Cabinet-rank position. In other words, Ambassador Susan Rice is essentially peers with her nominal boss.

Through all this, Hillary has continued on to be a “good soldier.” She has not once publicly said a word of complaint, despite these heaps of insults and humiliations piled on her. (I guess 35 years of being married to Bill Clinton was damned good training for that.)

Only now, after a year of being Obama’s doormat, are the old Clinton cronies and proxies starting to draw their knives in her defense. And those knives are viciously sharp.

If she is planning another run for the presidency, if she is seriously considering challenging President Obama for the 2012 Democratic nomination, she’s certainly doing it right — showing absolute loyalty to her president right up until she finds just the right moment to resign in protest. And that resignation will not be over all these petty slights, but a major failing by the Obama administration — one she will be certain to have documented her opposition to and prediction of utter failure. It will be a departure of principle, not pique.

At least publicly.

Don’t get me wrong. I still think she would be a lousy president. Her demeanor is far more suited to the Supreme Court, where she would only have to gain the approval of a majority of her former colleagues in the Senate, never have to stand for election and the approval of the masses, and wouldn’t have to give press interviews. (She’d be a lousy Justice, too, but the confirmation process plays to her strengths, unlike campaigning.)

But she could cause some very, very serious aggravation to the Obama re-election campaign (which kicked off a year ago last November, the day after the election), which they will have so richly earned.

I ask you — is there a more entertaining spectator sport than politics?

Disapproval of universal healthcare almost universal
Weekend Caption Contest™ Winners