Thursday, July 2, 2009

Is Secretary of State Clinton on the way out?

There appears to be a rift developing between President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. It was bound to happen sometime. Her job has been diluted by four special envoys that report, not to her, but directly to the President. Her cabinet position was a buyoff to gain the Clintons’ support after Obama’s nomination. I reported on a secret meeting between Bill Clinton and candidate Obama in Harlem on 9/11, where no doubt a deal was made.. But deals between political enemies are short lived, especially when their purpose has been served. Obama got what he wanted, her heavily female loyalists and the presidency. She is excess baggage now -- especially when she challenges him on a critical issue. The first sign of friction came in a leak to the Washington Times yesterday that she and Obama had been on different wavelengths on the Iran crackdown. It goes on to say when Obama finally toughened his position, he blindsided her when he announced it. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged President Obama for two days to toughen his language on Iran before he did so, and then was surprised when he condemned Iran's crackdown on demonstrators last week, administration officials say…. This was the first known example of awkwardness between the two former rivals for the Democratic nomination for president since they made up following Mr. Obama's election. The disagreement also gave some insight into the Obama administration's foreign policy decision-making process five months into its term. The officials said they were familiar with the language Mr. Obama used in his news conference because it was sent to the State Department a day earlier, but that Mrs. Clinton did not know until he uttered the words that he would choose that moment to make them public. Then later in the day Secretary Clinton announced she would not accompany Obama on his trip to Moscow and would send a substitute instead. History will probably be made in Moscow with an agreement to reduce nuclear warheads to 1,500 on both sides. This is too important for Hillary to miss because of a cast on her arm, but she will. From AFP via Breitbart: Secretary Clinton is not going to go to Moscow. She is going to designate a State Department official to go," the official told reporters on condition of anonymity. He did not give a reason but Clinton cancelled a trip to Greece and Italy last week because she is recovering from a broken elbow. There has always been bad blood between the Obama and Clinton camps, but most figured she would hang in there until late 2010 and form an exploratory committee to run for president in early 2011. She has the best political advisor in her husband, and it may well be he sees the new administration headed in a suicidal direction. Is it Obama tiring of Clinton or the other way around? Probably a bit of both. And I doubt it will get any better soon.

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