After it was formally announced that Sen. Hillary Clinton was President Elect Obama’s choice for Secretary of State, the Republican National Committee put out a statement which highlighted the differences between Clinton and Obama on foreign policy. It seems that the RNC is already trying to stir up trouble in the new administration.
Amber Wilkerson of the RNC said, “As President-elect Obama announces his nominee for Secretary of State today, Americans are reminded of Senator Clinton’s repeated and expressed concerns about Obama’s stances on foreign policy issues. Senator Clinton questioned Obama’s willingness to meet with rogue leaders without precondition, his policy on Pakistan, and his stance concerning Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, among other positions. One has to wonder whether Senator Clinton still carries those same, real concerns about President-elect Obama and his stances on critical issues confronting the nation.”
This is in contrast to the glowing words that Obama had for Clinton this morning, “Hillary’s appointment is a sign to friend and foe of the seriousness of my commitment to renew American diplomacy and restore our alliances. There is much to do – from preventing the spread of nuclear weapons to Iran and North Korea, to seeking a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, to strengthening international institutions. I have no doubt that Hillary Clinton is the right person to lead our State Department, and to work with me in tackling this ambitious foreign policy agenda.”
In the months since the Democratic primary, it has become clear that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama work together and get along very well. The stumbling block between them was the finances and dealings of former president Bill Clinton, but once he agreed to make the donor list to presidential library available, and to stop earning foreign money, there was nothing stopping Obama from fully bringing Sen. Clinton into the fold.
What critics overlook is that Clinton and Obama agree on a basic foreign policy strategy. One of the reasons that foreign policy didn’t dominate the primaries was because Clinton and Obama agree on the big issues, and the role of diplomacy. Mrs. Clinton brings with her international credibility that will serve Obama’s desire to advance his foreign policy goals well. It is likely that she will work hard and throw herself into the job from day one. She has already shown herself as a willing team player, so I think this is a move that benefits the Obama administration now, and Hillary Clinton’s political future.