Obama and Clinton: The odd couple?

It’s evolution, baby!

It’s like calling up your ex to be friends after a messy breakup. Or contacting an old enemy when you’re in a bind. Or burying the hatchet with an old rival.

Whatever the metaphor, the ex-rivals of one of the most fiercely contested primary battles are now teammates. Today, Obama nominated Hillary Clinton to the post of Secretary of State, basically meaning that she will be the face and voice of US foreign policy. In one of the most heavily scrutinized posts not named President, Clinton may now see Obama’s vice-presidential snubbing as a blessing in disguise. I mean, noone can argue that Clinton will now have more influence and sway than Biden, who is essentially there to break ties in the Senate. Obviously, Biden will continue to have the President’s ear, but Clinton will be the spokesperson for US international activity. Think of how much media coverage Ms. Rice got in her time as Secretary of State. Possibly as much as Mr. Bush himself.

Obviously, this is a very shrewd political move for Obama. It shows his willingness to leave the past the past and move on. Clinton is one of the most recognizable and trusted characters in US politics, and her nomination gives the Obama team instant “starpower”. I can’t wait to see all the editorial cartoons about this partnership.

In addition to this, for those who strongly supported Clinton during the primaries, it will serve to take some of the sting out of Obama’s victory over Americas favourite first lady. Clinton was especially popular amongst women, and many saw the primaries as an extremely rare opportunity (and one that will not likely be replicated for some time) for a woman to be a legitimate contender and maybe even the favourite in a US presidential election. But then in came Obama with his charismatic, passionate, and fiery public speaking (not to mention his arugula lettuce and his chai tea lattes). He wooed the crowd into submission and instantly became the “sexy” choice. The Obama train gained steam and eventually left Clinton and her many diehard supporters in the proverbial dust.

This nomination is likely an olive branch to those very Clinton supporters who remain crushed by her defeat and who became even more incensed when she was passed up for the Vice-Presidential nomination. Personally, I think I like the choice. My only concern would be that their political ideologies vis a vis foreign policy are quite different, with Clinton a bit more to the right, highlighted by her support for the Iraq war. But, in the end, its the Presidents’ party and he can do what he wants. Advisers are there to do just that, advise, and in the end, the President always has the final word. This provides me with a certain level of comfort, because OBAMA IS INCAPABLE OF MAKING A BAD DECISION. I say this in jest obviously, but also in reference to the wildly high expectations bestowed upon the skinny Chicagoan.


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