Offered. Accepted.

Hillary Clinton has accepted the Secretary of State position. Gut feeling? That doesn’t seem like the best place for her to me. But I will trust Obama on the nomination. One place I don’t quite trust him is on the rumored appointment of John Brennan, torture enabler, to head the CIA. Big mistake, in my opinion.

Update: Timothy Geithner nominated to Treasury.






78 replies
  1. 1
    donovong says:

    Sorry, but I trust him on just about anybody appointed to anything, until given a reason to think otherwise. Been a long time since i felt that way about any President, but I do now.

  2. 2
    Michael D. says:

    @donovong: Well, John Brennan was one of the people in the CIA who supported George Tenet’s “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.” If that’s not a reason to think otherwise, then I don’t know what is.

  3. 3
    Zifnab says:

    @donovong: Ditto. At a certain point, who in the CIA with any degree of rank wouldn’t have torture on their hands? That’s not an excuse, its just a grim reality. Who wasn’t dirty? You’d need a completely clean crew to guarantee no one was tainted. And you can’t just bring in a bunch of fresh faces to head up an old boy’s network like the CIA.

    I’ve got faith in Obama until proven otherwise. The first job of our Intelligence Agency is to gather intelligence. If Brennan can effectively lead the agency, then he can probably be forgiven for career-minded complacency, especially given the rather brutal backlash given to more high profile whistle blowers.

  4. 4
    Michael D. says:

    @Zifnab: Great. So the standard now is that you can be such a pussy that you didn’t stand up on principle and can still get a high-level position? Wonderful. If Bush did this, you guys would be screaming bloody murder. I wish I had links to posts I wrote a years ago defending some Bush appointments saying things like “Oh, just trust him and see how it goes…” and similar things.

  5. 5
    KXB says:

    Obama I trust – Clinton, nope. Forget 18 million votes – this was a woman with a platinum name in the Democratic party, a sizable war chest, who in 2007 had a higher rating with black voters than Obama – and she blew it. She has not demonstrated any talent for executive authority – either with the health care disaster in 1994 or her campaign. Not to mention her promise to obliterate an entire population – she makes Biden’s gaffe’s look like kids’ stuff.

  6. 6
    DougJ says:

    I’m disappointed. I still though there was an outside chance Larry Johnson would get the CIA job.

  7. 7
    Geeno says:

    I’m disappointed, too. OTOH, Zifnab’s got a point; who could you put in there that could both do the job and not be at least a bit soiled if not completely dirty.
    Seriously – I’m not close enough to intelligence news to come up with any names. Is there anyone preferable?

  8. 8
    Brachiator says:

    Hillary Clinton has accepted the Secretary of State position.

    Oh, well. We shall see whether or not this appointment accomplishes anything more than simply feeding Senator Clinton’s ambition and placating her more devoted acolytes.

    On the other hand, if Obama has in fact selected Timothy Geithner to head Treasury, he has made a very good choice.

    As for Brennan, I find this piece of the linked article interesting: "Brennan, who was once slated to be deputy to current DNI Mike McConnell, is a lifelong Republican who converted to Obama last year, after his friend Tony Lake asked Brennan to serve on an intelligence advisory panel."

    Perhaps Obama sees something in Brennan that suggests that he was not fully on board with the excesses of the past administration, or that he has had a serious change of heart.

  9. 9
    Michael D. says:

    Geeno: I don’t have any alternatives. There are a lot of people out there more qualified than me to determine that. I just know who I don’t want – anyone associated with condoning torture.

  10. 10
    The Other Steve says:

    @donovong: Well, John Brennan was one of the people in the CIA who supported George Tenet’s “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.” If that’s not a reason to think otherwise, then I don’t know what is.

    Obama has already said that’s done. Over. Finis.

    I’ve never really cared for purity tests.

  11. 11
    BombIranForChrist says:

    Yeah, I am confused by Obama’s willingness to have her and her willingness to join. When is the latest Secretary of State that lasted two terms? Where will Hillary go when she leaves this position?

    Just doesn’t make sense, but I am fine with it.

  12. 12
    Original Lee says:

    Brennan I’m disappointed in. Clinton, meh. A few people have speculated that giving Clinton SoS is Obama’s way of inoculating against Clinton running again in 2012, which has some merit. I still think it’s quid pro quo for her campaigning hard for him in the GE, as well as keeping her out of the Senate while he tries to get stuff done. Furthermore, my son reminded me that Obama has a sneakier way of keeping Clinton from running in 2012 than appointing her to a Cabinet position – he could have asked her to be ambassador to France or Australia, which would make her live outside the country for a while. One of the eligibility conditions for candidates for President is that you have to have lived continuously in the U.S. for 14 years prior to the election year.

  13. 13
    Michael D. says:

    “Purity Tests???” Are you serious? This is someone who condoned torture? This is not someone who condoned simply yelling at prisoners. This is someone who condoned waterboarding, and everything else that people here found REPUGNANT and unAmerican!!

    Are you now ok with someone like that? Because I know most people here weren’t when it was Bush appointing these people!!

    My God. Amazing.

  14. 14
    Comrade Jake says:

    I suspect there’s a good chance Clinton and Obama have been able to strike up a surprisingly good relationship since the primaries ended. I don’t see Obama picking her otherwise, in spite of the "team of rivals" bullshit.

    Their staffs, however, are probably another matter. If we see a blowup in the next few months or just after Jan 20, it’ll probably be between lower-level staff members.

  15. 15
    D-Chance. says:

    DADT remains military policy for the forseeable future under Obamamerica.

    Know hope. Heh, indeedy!

  16. 16
    Quibbler says:

    An American embassy in France or Australia is on American soil — and vice versa. That’s the way they set these things up. So, the ambassador disqualification thing is a no-go.

    I think military bases count too. (Otherwise, how could Eisenhower have become our President?)

  17. 17
    Michael D. says:

    @D-Chance.: I’ll still take Obama’s failings over Hillary or McCain any day!

  18. 18
    gwangung says:

    DADT remains military policy for the forseeable future under Obamamerica.

    Know hope. Heh, indeedy!

    If this were 2000, yeah. I understand.

    But it’s 2008. *sigh*

  19. 19
    Studly Pantload says:

    BREAKING NEWS: Stocks close up about 500 points on report of Treasury pick

    So saith MSNBC. Guess I better get up to speed on this Geithner fellow.

  20. 20
    RandyH says:

    I heard earlier on CNBC that Bill Richardson will take Commerce Secretary.

    On the Brennan thing though, you really should read Anonymous Liberal’s take. I tend to agree with him. The universe of people who are qualified to hit the ground running in intelligence (and know where all the bodies are buried) is extremely small. Besides, they can’t do anything without direction from the President and the authorization of the DOJ.

  21. 21
    DougJ says:

    Guess I better get up to speed on this Geithner fellow.

    He’s a DINO who will continue Bush’s disastrous economic policies.

  22. 22

    The policy on torture (interrogation limits) will come down from the top, not from people in the CIA.

    Obama has made his position clear.

    The point is moot.

  23. 23
    Napoleon says:

    @DougJ:

    He’s a DINO who will continue Bush’s disastrous economic policies.

    I don’t even think he is a Democrat. I want to say that I read a few weeks ago that he is an Independant. Regardless I think it is a good choice and he will not continue Bush’s policies.

  24. 24
    J. says:

    Hey, anything that makes the Dow go up nearly 500 points is OK by me (at least right now). Better Geithner than Summers. Btw, I’d wait for the official announcement on Clinton, post Turkey Day, to start cheering or wringing my hands.

    Oh, and aides to the New York Jets told reporters that the team is a lock to beat the Tennessee Titans this weekend.

  25. 25
    Vincent says:

    I’m with Michael D. on this. I hope the Brennan rumor is just that, a rumor. This is not a matter over which there can be polite disagreement. It’s a matter of morality.

    And no, it’s not the same thing as a pro-life person deciding to vote for a pro-choice candidate. When life begins is a metaphysical question that has no real answer. Flexibility in this regard is simply to acknowledge that because there’s no real answer the law shouldn’t act like there is one and should leave the choice up to the woman.

    Torture is definitely wrong and was considered wrong by everyone until we started doing it to the ‘bad guys.’ People who can’t see that simple truth shouldn’t be rewarded. Are we really supposed to believe that there’s nobody who’s familiar with the CIA who’s also anti-torture that can be selected instead?

    I will still support Obama because I think he’ll do great things, but if this rumor comes to pass I’ll look at it the same way I look at other great men who make deplorable mistakes from time to time. As a damn shame and a blemish on an otherwise good record.

  26. 26
    psycholinguist says:

    ME ME ME I have a THEORY!!!!

    The end game is supreme court. But can he get away with putting HRC on the supreme court right now strait out of the senate? No… so, put her in cabinet with the promise that when the spot opens, she is in. She get the executive tools by running the state department, etc.

    Thinking about this, maybe she’s thinking NY gov when that opens up. My theory would work a lot better if he had made her attorney general. ah well, never mind maybe……

  27. 27
    libarbarian says:

    I’d need to know more about his involvement before I condemn him.

  28. 28
    The Other Steve says:

    “Purity Tests???” Are you serious?

    I see the stock market jumped up when they selected a torture enabler as head of the CIA.

  29. 29
    gbear says:

    Gut feeling?

    Barf.

  30. 30
    Bill H says:

    Given the media’s proclivity for prolonging her husband’s term in office to infinity, I can’t wait until she and Bill come into some soiree and some jackass news person observes,

    "Oh, here’s President and Secretary of State Clinton."

    That guy over there is Barack Obama. I think he does something in government, too.

  31. 31
    JD Rhoades says:

    I don’t have any alternatives. There are a lot of people out there more qualified than me to determine that.

    Let us know when you hear from them.

    Look, I’m troubled by the selection of Brennan, too. But it is just a rumor at this point, so screaming that "we are BETRAAAAAAYED!!!!!!" seems a bit premature.

    And if Brennan IS picked, the big question for me is, will he use what appear to be his considerable operational talents in line with Obama’s clear ‘no torture" directive?

  32. 32

    I see the stock market jumped up when they selected a torture enabler as head of the CIA.

    LOL.

  33. 33
    Napoleon says:

    Speaking of filling positions with the Obama administration the NY Times is reporting that it has received more then 200,000 applications on line for jobs.

  34. 34
    JD Rhoades says:

    I’d need to know more about his involvement before I condemn him.

    What fun is that?

  35. 35
    Studly Pantload says:

    I will still support Obama because I think he’ll do great things, but if this rumor comes to pass I’ll look at it the same way I look at other great men who make deplorable mistakes from time to time. As a damn shame and a blemish on an otherwise good record.

    So long as "no torture" is, indeed, the directive, Obama could do worse than appoint someone with dirty hands. It’s hard to find a liberal icon that doesn’t have a dark side to their history. With FDR, it was mass civilian bombings and American-Japanese detention. With LBJ, it was the escalation of the war in Vietnam.

    Steady as she goes, folks. Steady as she goes.

  36. 36
    gwangung says:

    Perhaps more substantive on Geithner..

    Unlike many senior Treasury and Fed officials, Geithner is not a high roller from a big bank or investment house but a public-minded civil servant. He has neither a doctorate in economics nor an M.B.A. After receiving a master’s degree in international economics from Johns Hopkins University, he worked as a research assistant to Henry Kissinger and then joined the Treasury, where he was posted as an assistant attache in Japan. He came to the attention of both Larry Summers and Robert Rubin and quickly moved up the ladder. He was a key player in the containment of the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998 and later went to the International Monetary Fund as a top official. Despite being a Democrat, he was named president of the New York Fed after two stronger and more conservative candidates withdrew.

    Geithner’s admirers span the spectrum from Republican financial mogul Pete Peterson to liberal Democrat Barney Frank. One can infer from his broad fan base three possible conclusions: Wall Street is so clubby and politically powerful that permissible policy differences just aren’t that great; or maybe Geithner is all things to all people; or perhaps, in a deep crisis, truly talented and effective people can earn broad respect.

    This was written 9/22/08 at the Prospect
    http://www.prospect.org/cs/art....._secretary

    Not from a big bank or investment firm? That’s a big plus already….

  37. 37
    Cain says:

    What fun is that?

    Yeah, see I like to stroke and shoot… and call it good.

    cain

  38. 38
    JD Rhoades says:

    Yeah, see I like to stroke and shoot… and call it good.
    cain

    MUST…RESIST….STRAIGHT LINE! MUST…RESIST!

  39. 39
    Vincent says:

    I guess what I’m saying is the identity of the person in the Oval Office shouldn’t affect whether you think having a torture enabler in charge of the CIA is a good thing. I’ve heard it said that Brennan won’t be a problem because it’ll be people like Obama and Holder creating policy.

    Even if that’s true, wasn’t it lack of accountability that got people so riled up about Lieberman? About the retroactive immunity of warrantless wiretapping? Should we just forget about what Bush did because it’s now ‘moot’?

    Isn’t it better to have a person who’s enthusiastic about enacting certain policies (especially in this area) rather than someone who may only be doing it out of duty?

    It’s okay to support Obama and still say when you’re disappointed in him as well and not make excuses when the situation calls for it. Otherwise, you’re just a mindless cheerleader.

    But as there’s no point in getting riled up if the pick turns out not to be Brennan, I’ll wait without saying more on this subject.

  40. 40
    Tymannosourus says:

    @Michael D.:

    “Purity Tests???” Are you serious? This is someone who condoned torture? This is not someone who condoned simply yelling at prisoners. This is someone who condoned waterboarding, and everything else that people here found REPUGNANT and unAmerican!!

    See, this is interesting. I was sent out on a rail two threads ago for telling people to at least give Scalia credit for his smarts and his influence despite his torture mumbo jumbo… but now, because Obama’s name is attached to it, "torture" is just one of those costs of doing business, and something we can accept? This is absurd.

    I’m disheartened by the Brennan news, but I actually think that HRC will do a fine job.

  41. 41
    Xanthippas says:

    The universe of people who are qualified to hit the ground running in intelligence (and know where all the bodies are buried) is extremely small.

    Given the performance of the CIA under even highly qualified people, perhaps it would be best to install someone who has no fucking clue of what he or she is doing.

  42. 42
    Doug H. (Comrade Fausto no more) says:

    Well, it is a purity test. From Armbinder’s link:

    Brennan, who was once slated to be deputy to current DNI Mike McConnell, is a lifelong Republican who converted to Obama last year, after his friend Tony Lake asked Brennan to serve on an intelligence advisory panel. A career CIA officer, Brennan favors a holistic and systematic approach to intelligence gathering, and earned the respect of Democrats as the founding director of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, now the National Counterrorism Center. On terrorism, as he told National Journal’s Shane Harris, United States foreign policy should be more proactive.

    I am a strong proponent of trying to focus more of our efforts on the upstream phenomenon of terrorism. I make the analogy to pollution. We learned that pollutants kill us when they get into the water we drink or the fish we eat or the air we breathe. But I think we also learned that we have to go upstream to identify and eliminate those sources of pollution. Terrorism is a tactic, and we have to be more focused upstream. Since 9/11, understandably we’ve focused downstream, on those terrorists who might be in our midst or trying to kill us, the operators. I think there needs to be much more attention paid to those upstream factors and conditions that spawn terrorists.

    I admit there’s reason to be hesitant, but from what Armbinder posted, the guy’s got the right mindset going forward. Also, don’t forget that the cossacks work for the tsar, and the tsar won’t be Dick Cheney.

    (And its not as if Tenet was a Bush appointee or if rendition began with the Bush Administration…)

  43. 43
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Robert Kuttner wrote a good piece about Geithner at The American Prospect.
    A quote:

    Unlike many senior Treasury and Fed officials, Geithner is not a high roller from a big bank or investment house but a public-minded civil servant. He has neither a doctorate in economics nor an M.B.A. After receiving a master’s degree in international economics from Johns Hopkins University, he worked as a research assistant to Henry Kissinger and then joined the Treasury, where he was posted as an assistant attaché in Japan. He came to the attention of both Larry Summers and Robert Rubin and quickly moved up the ladder. He was a key player in the containment of the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998 and later went to the International Monetary Fund as a top official. Despite being a Democrat, he was named president of the New York Fed after two stronger and more conservative candidates withdrew.

    Geithner’s admirers span the spectrum from Republican financial mogul Pete Peterson to liberal Democrat Barney Frank. One can infer from his broad fan base three possible conclusions: Wall Street is so clubby and politically powerful that permissible policy differences just aren’t that great; or maybe Geithner is all things to all people; or perhaps, in a deep crisis, truly talented and effective people can earn broad respect.

  44. 44
    Zifnab says:

    @Michael D.:

    So the standard now is that you can be such a pussy that you didn’t stand up on principle and can still get a high-level position? Wonderful. If Bush did this, you guys would be screaming bloody murder. I wish I had links to posts I wrote a years ago defending some Bush appointments saying things like “Oh, just trust him and see how it goes…” and similar things.

    If photos come out of John Brennan standing over a bunch of naked greased up Iraqis, then I sincerely hope that Obama pulls his name from the candidate list.

    That said, Brennan was in the CIA. The CIA was torturing people. It was torturing people with the advised consent of the Bush Justice Department. Unless you think Obama should just shit-can the entire CIA from top to bottom, you’re going to have people in the bureaucracy who – in the previous administration – did some bad shit.

    Yeah, at a certain point "I was just following orders" does become a valid excuse. Especially when the alternative is to get dragged out through the mud like John Kiriakou. If Brennan is sincere about reforming the agency and he passes the Obama vetting test, then I don’t see why simply working for George Tenet should disqualify him from the position.

  45. 45
    dbrown says:

    Weird and weirder – David Brooks of the NYT is impressed with most of Obama’s choices (and some possible ones remaining.) Here is what he said about Hillary:
    "Hillary Clinton at State is problematic, mostly because nobody has a role for her husband. But, as she has demonstrated in the Senate, her foreign-policy views are hardheaded and pragmatic."
    He has far greater praise for some others and concludes that Obama has started off on an excellent footing and his admin. looks to be one of the best … .

  46. 46
    LarryB says:

    There are a few positives with HRC at State, as have been discussed earlier (e.g., personal contacts, world rep., Bill). Moreover, where else? Health? Do we really want to re-fight the Universal Health Care fiasco of 1993? Plus, there’s the whole issue of what she’d accept. I think it’s no secret that Hillary may want to try again for POTUS in 2012. Given that the Senate has relegated her to the back bench, the only way she has to burnish her resume (unless the NY Governorship opens up) is in a cabinet post with a foreign policy or defense portfolio. Would you rather have her in the Pentagon? (hmm, actually, she might do pretty well there).

  47. 47
    Zifnab says:

    @libarbarian:

    I’d need to know more about his involvement before I condemn him.

    That’s really the bottom line with me. He’s ok until proven otherwise. Again, if you can find him stand over a bunch of Abu Garab detainees pointing and smiling, he’s definitely lost my vote of confidence. But if he was pushing papers in Tenet’s office and refused to resign in disgust the first time a torture memo crossed his desk, I’d be willing to cut him some slack.

  48. 48
    Calouste says:

    @Original Lee:

    Embassies are the territory of the country the embassy is from, not of the host country, so any ambassador is still considered to live in his/her own country.

    Case of precedence: Sargent Shriver, nominated as VP candidate while ambassador to France.

  49. 49
    Calouste says:

    All those people who have their knickers in a twist about Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State seem to forget that the Senator with the most experience of foreign affairs will be Secretary of overseeing the Secretary of State Vice-President come January.

  50. 50
    Zifnab says:

    Given that the Senate has relegated her to the back bench, the only way she has to burnish her resume (unless the NY Governorship opens up) is in a cabinet post with a foreign policy or defense portfolio.

    The Politico was reporting something different. Had Hillary remained, she might have been able to secure herself a leadership position. Maybe she’s not going to run off and become Majority Leader, but if she took control of a high ranking committee, she could have a very strong lock on future Obama legislation.

    Given Hillary’s corporate ties and history of DLC-style triangulation, I’d much rather see her as Secretary of State – globe-trotting for peace – than throwing her political weight around the Senate floor. Hillary is an attention whore at heart. She doesn’t want to be one Senator out of 100. This job will be right up her alley.

  51. 51
    donovong says:

    @michaelD:

    I understand your disappointment with the Brennan POSSIBILITY. I happen to think that the torture thing is second only to the Iraq thing on the Fucked Up Bush Scale. But, my President has said that he will end torture. Period.

    Look, in the Air Force, I used to hold attitudes that would not be that far from those I now abhor, and was in a position to exercise some of them. I have learned, and grown. It is possible. Especially if someone like Obama is leading the way.

    Know hope.

  52. 52
    dbrown says:

    Tymannosourus

    See, this is interesting. I was sent out on a rail two threads ago for telling people to at least give Scalia credit for his smarts and his influence despite his torture mumbo jumbo…

    Scalia is an asshole’s asshole. The dumb fucker scalia is stupid beyond measure. The coaksucker believes that a King has divine rights to make law because he is the chosen of God (and scalia really thinks some of our law is derived from this bases and hence, can not be over turned by ‘mere mortals’. What an asshole. Yes, in this century someone believes the most uneducated, stupid fuckhead theory that ever was created to hold people in absolute slavery. Scalia isn’t fit to lick toilets clean much less give legal opinion that determines constructional law.

  53. 53
    burnspbesq says:

    My 401(k) account loves the Geithner choice. S&P 500 up over six percent today.

  54. 54
    Zifnab says:

    The coaksucker believes that a King has divine rights to make law because he is the chosen of God (and scalia really thinks some of our law is derived from this bases and hence, can not be over turned by ‘mere mortals’.

    Wow. You’re wrong. Scalia didn’t hold that view at all while Clinton was in office. Likewise, I expect he will rediscover the limits of the executive branch most zealously over the next four years.

  55. 55
    TenguPhule says:

    One place I don’t quite trust him is on the rumored appointment of John Brennan, torture enabler, to head the CIA.

    This has been another edition of Michael D jumping the gun.

  56. 56
    gwangung says:

    My 401(k) account loves the Geithner choice. S&P 500 up over six percent today.

    That, of course, may not be the best recomendation for Geithner…

  57. 57
    Cain says:

    @JD Rhoades:

    MUST…RESIST….STRAIGHT LINE! MUST…RESIST

    The point is not to! shoot first, ask questions later!

    cain

  58. 58
    Reed says:

    At the risk of stoning, I’ll admit to favoring Summers over Geithner, but am willing to let Obama make his own decision.

    What I’m really concerned about is what is gonna happen at the FHA? Anyone catch the Business Week article on the sub-prime loan companies in bankrupty who’re still issuing FHA-backed loans? Pretty scary. No oversight. The FHA needs to be completely overhauled. Soon. Who’s a good choice to head up that agency?

  59. 59
    tavella says:

    I’m tentatively optimistic about Geithner; the fact that he’s not an investment banker is a huge plus to me, since hopefully unlike Paulson his first thought will not always be "what can I do to make sure Goldman Sachs survives."

    And despite all the paranoid fantasies, Clinton is not going to try to undermine Obama, and I sincerely doubt that he’s doing this to somehow get her ‘out of the way’ in the Senate; there’s probably at least 30 Dem senators farther away from him politically than Clinton (either to the left or the right), and many of them are far better positioned to screw with legislation Obama wants.

    Seriously, didn’t you guys learn after all the fervid theorizing about how Clinton was doing stuff so that she could undermine him in the general blah blah blah and how she’d never campaign for him or do so only briefly? And instead she was an absolute workhorse, doing far more events for Obama then any of his other primary opponents, for that matter more than I can recall any other defeated opponent doing in previous Dem campaigns.

  60. 60
    JGabriel says:

    KXB:

    [Clinton] has not demonstrated any talent for executive authority…

    Actually…

    As a New Yorker, I can tell you that Clinton’s office has a great reputation for constituent responsiveness and services. I’ve got friends who couldn’t get jackshit out of Schumer’s office when they needed help, but Clinton’s office took care of their questions and needs.

    That kind of stuff says a lot about day to day executive experience, and running a large staff.

    Anyway, I can see pros and cons to this appointment, but the "no executive experience" or "no talent for executive experience" accusations are mostly baseless.

    .

  61. 61
    burnspbesq says:

    @Reed:

    Either would have been fine, but Geithner doesn’t come with Summers’ baggage. There is a role for Summers, but hopefully it is one where his lack of people skills won’t be a detriment.

  62. 62
    JGabriel says:

    tavella:

    I’m tentatively optimistic about Geithner; the fact that he’s not an investment banker is a huge plus to me, since hopefully unlike Paulson his first thought will not always be "what can I do to make sure Goldman Sachs survives."

    Given Geithner’s experience as head of the New York Fed., I wouldn’t want to bet on that proposition.

    That said, I too prefer Geithner to Summers. I can’t say I’m crazy about either of them to be honest, but I suppose Krugman and other progressives are out of the question.

    .

  63. 63
    burnspbesq says:

    I’m trying to convince myself that Brennan is the least bad of the available alternatives. Can anybody point to anything that would corroborate that?

  64. 64

    @Brachiator:

    Perhaps Obama sees something in Brennan that suggests that he was not fully on board with the excesses of the past administration, or that he has had a serious change of heart.

    Perhaps Obama sees someone who he has given a very important job, who therefore owes him a lot, and who will therefore do what he is damn well told by his President?

  65. 65
    Incertus says:

    @tavella:

    And instead she was an absolute workhorse, doing far more events for Obama then any of his other primary opponents, for that matter more than I can recall any other defeated opponent doing in previous Dem campaigns.

    I’m glad you said that because it’s absolutely correct. She and Bill both really went to town for Obama. They went above and beyond what previous also-rans have done, that’s for certain.

  66. 66
    JGabriel says:

    Brachiator:

    Perhaps Obama sees something in Brennan that suggests that he was not fully on board with the excesses of the past administration, or that he has had a serious change of heart.

    Or perhaps Obama sees in Brennan someone who knows where the bodies are buried, which agents were the most gung-ho for torture and need to have their career paths redirected, etc.

    .

  67. 67

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    I should read the whole thread before I post.

    The policy on torture (interrogation limits) will come down from the top, not from people in the CIA.

    Obama has made his position clear.

    The point is moot.

    What TZ said….

  68. 68
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    So, when Hillary goes to Iran to try and talk them down from building nuclear weapons, does Ahamedinejad refuse to see her because she threatened to "annihilate" his country?

  69. 69
    dbrown says:

    Zifnab
    Speak of what you know – scalia the coaksucker DID IN FACT SO STATE this. That is fact. I even made a copy of the article he wrote and try googling it. So, before you make yourself appear stupid (I’ll assume it is a lapse) check your facts before you tell someone they are wrong.

  70. 70
    kay says:

    I wasn’t in favor of HRC as SoS.

    I’m basing this entirely on her own statements during the campaign. I didn’t pay much attention to the HRC aspects of the effort to remove Bill Clinton, other than to marvel at the vitriol of conservatives.

    She came off as dogmatic, and deeply conventional. That was my overall impression. That she spent a lot of time defending some really boilerplate "ideas", and that was a stand-in for her own ideas.

    Not one new idea came out of her mouth, on foreign policy, over 20 months.

    Even John McCain managed that wacky foray into the "League of Democracies", or whatever that was.

    Not a risk-taker, Senator Clinton. No sir. Boilerplate.

  71. 71
    tavella says:

    @JGabriel:

    Given Geithner’s experience as head of the New York Fed., I wouldn’t want to bet on that proposition.

    Well, I’m not going to claim it wouldn’t be *among* his thoughts, but I’m optimistic that it will be a lot farther down than Paulson’s, and that perhaps he will structure the next emergency rescue plan with the prime thought being how to save the economy first. It’s definitely tentative optimism, though.

    That said, I too prefer Geithner to Summers. I can’t say I’m crazy about either of them to be honest, but I suppose Krugman and other progressives are out of the question.

    Krugman’s said he didn’t want a Treasury slot, though. I guess Krugman does count as a progressive these days, which kind of amuses me — he used to be kind of a conservative guy, but the total insanity of the modern Republican drove him to the Order of the Shrill.

  72. 72
    Brachiator says:

    @Incertus:

    I’m glad you said that because it’s absolutely correct. She and Bill both really went to town for Obama. They went above and beyond what previous also-rans have done, that’s for certain.

    This is not true historically (see, for example, Robert Taft’s strong support for Eisenhower after losing the 1952 presidential nomination to him). And it is certainly not true of Bill Clinton, whose sometimes half-hearted efforts at campaigning for Obama were at times comical. It certainly didn’t escape comedian Chris Rock, when he and Clinton had both been booked on David Letterman’s show.

    "The Late Show with David Letterman" caught a couple of good ones Monday when Bill Clinton and Chris Rock were guests….

    One observation Rock made was "Is it me, or did he not want to say the words ‘Barack Obama?"

    Clinton had mentioned his wife quite a bit, he noted.

    "Hilary ain’t running! One of those guys needs to tell him. I love Hillary but she lost. She got a lot of votes she lost. The Patriots got a lot of points too, but they lost to the Giants."
    Hillary Clinton didn’t lose because of sexism, Rock said. "She lost to a black guy nobody had ever heard of."

    One of the annoying things about the stories surrounding Senator Clinton’s probable nomination to become secretary of state is the emphasis on her "negotiations" with the Obama camp — as though she expects to somehow be Obama’s equal instead of serving at his pleasure, and the continued Hillary worship which can be seen even in a recent NY Times story about Clinton:

    As secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton will have had a powerful platform to travel the world and help repair relations with other countries strained after eight years of President Bush’s policies. But at the same time, she will now have to subordinate her own agenda and ambitions to Mr. Obama’s and sacrifice the independence that comes with a Senate seat and the 18 million votes she collected during their arduous primary battle.

    Driving Mrs. Clinton’s deliberations in part, friends said, was a sense of disenchantment with the Senate, where despite her stature she remained low in the ranks of seniority that governs the body. She was particularly upset, they said, at the reception she felt she received when she returned from the campaign trail and sought a more significant leadership role in the expanding Democratic majority.

    While the 18 million votes that Senator Clinton accumulated during the primary campaign was impressive and heavily symbolic, the last time I checked, Obama had received over 67 million votes in the 2008 presidential election. Even adjusting for Clintonian mathematics, I do think that Obama’s vote total was greater and more significant than Clinton’s.

    And the notion that Senator Clinton had magically earned Senate seniority chips because of her presidential run is absurd, as is any suggestion that the job of Secretary of State should be some kind of reward simply because she is her Hillary-ness.

  73. 73
    Reed says:

    burnspbesq: Either would have been fine, but Geithner doesn’t come with Summers’ baggage. There is a role for Summers, but hopefully it is one where his lack of people skills won’t be a detriment.

    Actually it might be a dream team to see Geithner, Summers, and Krugman together dealing with the financial disaster. Krugman has demonstrated that he knows his history at least — he tore George Will a new one on FDRs admin a few days ago.

  74. 74
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    I’d rather see Clinton at State than acting as the leader of a faction of like-minded DLC types in the Senate.

  75. 75
    Delia says:

    You know what’s kind of fun? Moseying on over to NoIQ and watching the PUMAs biting their own tails over whether Hillary’s acceptance of SoS is brilliant or is a deep betrayal of The Cause and how they’re going to deal with their archenemy Obama once Hillary is in the Administration.

  76. 76
    passerby says:

    Yeah, I am confused by Obama’s willingness to have her and her willingness to join. When is the latest Secretary of State that lasted two terms? Where will Hillary go when she leaves this position?

    I don’t know where she would go…she could do what Bill is doing: globe trotting with the uber rich and hob-nobbing for money.

    But, if I’m not mistaken, the diplomatic immunity she receives with the SoS position is given in perpetuity. She would have a lot of freedom from prosecution. Does anyone know how this immunity works? Seems to be a lot of folks scrounging around for immunity these days.

    Wish I knew what’s really behind this appointment. I don’t think it’s as simple as Obama reaching out or the "team of rivals" bullshit narrative the corporate media loves so much.

    I’m wishing this appointment is some kind of trap or some kind of deal to remove any threat she may pose as a senator to the new administration.

    I’ll end with my usual: I don’t trust the Clintons as far as I can throw the Clintons.

  77. 77
    Calouste says:

    @passerby:

    You might check with Henry Kissinger about diplomatic imminunity as a former SoS. I don’t think he is in a rush to travel to France or other countries that recognize universal jurisdiction.

  78. 78
    Original Lee says:

    Calouste: Thanks for the correction. I was so excited about being reminded of the third requirement for President that I forgot about our embassies technically being part of the U.S.

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