So, Can She Start Now?

Madame Secretary
Madame Secretary

President-Elect Barack Obama has finally named Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as Secretary of State today. I am thrilled, but nervous, since I expect the press to react like this for the next four years, and she will face many challenges in her new position, including – perhaps – other members of Barack Obama’s Administration. 

What I’m wondering is, since Obama has been acting as co-President, can Hillary now act as co-Secretary of State with Condoleezza Rice? Because quite frankly, Dr. Rice has been an unmitigated disaster.

Just think about the history of this woman’s tenure in the Bush Administration. On 9/11, she was the National Security Adviser. She admitted in Congressional Hearings that she had seen the August PDB entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” She had taken no action whatsoever on terrorism either before or after this briefing, and on the day itself, she was scheduled to give a talk on missile defense and Russia. The idiocy of wasting time on this billion-dollar Reaganite boondoggle, when they had so much information on terrorism in their hands, is truly mindboggling. The Bushian excuses for missing the significance of the chatter and the foreign intel and the PDB were pathetic; Rice actually called the PDB a “historical document,” which was utterly laughable.

And as for the Secretary of State position, Rice has been all but invisible. Colin Powell was a strong Secretary of State, until he ruined his credibility with the cartoon drawings and vial of flour at the United Nations. After that, Bush should have appointed a person with impeccable credentials and experience; someone who could help erase the taint of the Iraq WMD lies from the SOS position. But who does Bush choose? A loyalist, a crony, the woman who failed to prevent the attacks of September 11, 2001. As a New Yorker, I was shocked and disgusted by this appointment. I knew then that Bush had taken the principle of “failing upward” to a new extreme.

The one time Dr. Rice actually tried to do something – that last-minute effort to hold a Middle East peace conference – she failed miserably. And that missile defense shield, which Rice is so fond of promoting? Well, that’s not working out too well. Who could have predicted that if America planted missiles 100 miles from Russia in Poland, it would be interpreted as an act of aggression? Oh yes – EVERYONE WITH 1/10TH OF A BRAIN.

You may be wondering why I don’t support Dr. Rice, since she is a woman. Many people feel she is a sympathetic figure, a smart, capable person who has been scapegoated for the Bush Administration’s failures. Indeed, I would be tempted to think the same way, had I ever seen the slightest evidence of her intelligence or capability in the high-profile jobs with which she has been gifted. Certainly she has no integrity, for if she did, she would have resigned from the Administration after 9/11.

Yet despite the damage done by the previous Administration and its incompetent and malignant appointees, I am hopeful that Hillary can help rebuild our reputation in the world and repair our standing with friends, allies and even our enemies. Hearing her speech today, I am absolutely convinced that Obama could not have made a better choice than Hillary Rodham Clinton. Godspeed, Hillary, and good luck.

***ACTIVISM ALERT: As Riverdaughter has suggested, let’s make sure a woman is appointed to Hillary’s Senate seat. Sign my petition and forward it to your friends! I will send it to Governor David Paterson on Friday.

Cross-posted at The Confluence and Partizane


5 responses to “So, Can She Start Now?

  1. I guess you know by now that I am a hopeless Obama groupie. Truth is that I did vote for Hillary in the primary, and I mourned her defeat by the 1,2,3 punch of early primaries, superdelegates and the old boys network of the Democratic party. That said, naturally I was wet with expectation to hear this morning’s press conference, surely to confirm the choice of Hillary Clinton as our ambassador to the world. I couldn’t help but think of you as I got ready to count the male to female ratio. 50/50! That’s pretty good, you have to admit.

    If I may ask one so well-informed, what was Rice’s role when the August 2001 PDB was received? I just can’t remember her before Powell resigned. And you are right. This so-called missile defense system is a return to the cold war arms excalation of the 1950s through 1980s. It would be sheer madness to attempt anything of the kind, never mind the ridiculous cost. That’s not leadership. I thank my lucky stars that Bush didn’t push this one through before his exit. I hope and pray that Obama will kill it when he takes office.

    Nice to hear from you. I knew that you would have to post on this one.

  2. FJ – You are most certainly not a hopeless Obama groupie, or you would not EVER come to my site. You just like Obama without worshiping him, which is perfectly fine with me.

    Dr. Rice was the National Security Advisor when Bush received the August PDB.

    Yes, you heard that right.

    I was also excited to see a more equitable ratio of men to women. On a more specific level I am not a fan of Susan Rice, since she was quite heinous to HRC during the primaries; but I don’t know much about Janet Napolitano, and am hoping she will be a vast improvement over Skeletor.

  3. hmmmm….how many of these women that he has picked turned on Hillary during the primaries. Forgive me, but I don’t trust a damn thing obama does.

  4. I confess some of your plays in one act were very witty indeed.

  5. I know Susan Rice, not very well, but enough to form an impression of her. In my opinion she is stuck-up, rude and only has time for people she considers important or useful in some way. The suggestion that she is going to be the US’s top diplomat (of all things!) to the UN is laughable.