Keeping an Eye on Rivals

Barack Obama most likely realized that having Hillary Clinton in his administration was safer than leaving her in the Senate to lead opposition to his policies. While some recent Secretaries of State have been close to the president who appointed them, it is expected that major foreign policy decisions will be made in the White House with Clinton having less influence than many of her predecessors. Ben Smith describes part of the power play under way:

With the suggestion that he was offered, and turned down, the job Hillary Clinton took hovering in the air, Joe Biden’s presence at the State Department hints at the complexity of his role in this administration.

He has no formal or statuatory role at the State Department.

Yet he’s the immediate past chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And these are the days in which turf is being won and lost; he has evidently claimed a chunk of it today.

A glimpse at the behind-the-scenes drama here: Biden introduced Hillary. But Hillary doesn’t talk about herself as part of some troika with Biden and Obama: The phrase, which she hits hard and repeatedly, is “the President and I.”

Her preferred phrase might be “the President and I” but her position on the totem pole is well below that.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a comment