POLITICS

McCain Staffer Crows At Idea Of Clinton In Cabinet

12/19/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Over at the Weekly Standard, McCain campaign blogger Michael Goldfarb explains why Republicans should be cheered by the prospect of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

Clinton flipped on the war, but as the nomination slipped out of her reach last spring she spoke of the threats this country faces, and of the prescriptions offered by Obama, in language that would warm the hearts of neoconservatives (if we had them). She threatened to "obliterate" Iran in response to unprovoked aggression against Israel, she spoke of unconditional meetings with the leaders of rogue states as "irresponsible and, frankly, naive," and she castigated Obama's transparent saber-rattling on Pakistan ("last summer [Obama] basically threatened to bomb Pakistan, which I don't think was a particularly wise position to take."). On matters of diplomacy, Clinton's views are not so different from those held by John McCain and most Republicans -- and they are certainly well to the right of Obama.

Of course, if Clinton takes the job one expects she'll be loyal to her new boss. Though it would be extremely entertaining, we probably wouldn't see Madame Secretary working to undermine an Obama administration with recalcitrance and rogue diplomacy. But then Colin Powell was a dutiful soldier while inside the Bush administration and that still didn't prevent him from becoming a foil for the administration's opponents. It's not difficult to imagine Clinton performing a similar service for Republicans. She could be held up as the very model of a responsible Democrat, forced against her better judgment to partake in a series of reckless diplomatic escapades pursued by a more ideological president.

Clinton would be a fine Secretary of State, and she is likely to be a nuisance to Obama whether she is inside or outside of his administration, but as our top diplomat she could reprise a role that made Powell a kingmaker in this year's election. And perhaps she could even present the case for war with Iran to an insubordinate United Nations in the event that Obama's personal diplomacy somehow fails to deter the mullahs from their present course.

Read more about Hillary Clinton's Secretary of State prospects.

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