Team of Rivals

by Larry Tate on November 16, 2008

I know that Obama seems to have decided to use Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals as some kind of template for his presidency, but I wonder: is it wise to bring Hillary Clinton into the fold as Secretary of State?

It is true that Hillary has been making all the right moves of late to allay any concerns that she might take a Machiavellian path that undermines the administration. And I suppose there is something to that old adage about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. While the president-elect may see this as an opportunity to neutralize a potentially powerful, recalcitrant foe, it carries some significant risk.

Perhaps most significant of those risks is Mr. Clinton. It seems pretty plain that Bill still holds a grudge from the campaign. I could see him going off the reservation, disruptively opening up back channels and using his proximity to Hillary to try and get back into the game. It’s a sure bet that he’ll meddle.

But maybe Obama will pull a rabbit out of a stovepipe hat and then magically transform Hillary Clinton into William Henry Seward. But I dunno — seems fraught.

Team of Rivals

Dramatis personæ:

Barack Obama …………….President Abraham Lincoln

Hillary Clinton ……………..Senator William Henry Seward

Bill Clinton ………………….Salmon P. Chase


See what I mean?

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