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US Politics

Whereto from here for Clinton?

I expect she now fully understands that she won’t be his running mate. 

What does the future hold for Hillary Clinton? It’s the number one question on her supporter’s lips and a subject which attracts the interest of people everywhere. It also sells a lot of newspapers and magazines and lifts the TV ratings.  As a result of the Democratic Primaries, Hillary Clinton is even more famous, just for being Hillary Clinton.

In that sense she is a bit like the political version of Paris Hilton, only she is more famous. It’s called celebrity, and these are the days of the so called celebrity. Back in the real world however, while Hillary’s political future may be of intense interest to the public, I wouldn’t think it has a very high priority at present in the Obama camp.

Why is that so?

Following her talk with Senator Obama prior to suspending her campaign publicly and endorsing him belatedly last Saturday in the US, I expect she now fully understands that she won’t be his running mate.  As each day passes, the reality of her position will become more apparent and slightly more bearable. This is the way of things.

Of course the Clinton name will be among those on the short list for VP consideration, though that will be a courtesy and more of a historical gesture than anything else. I would venture that Senator Obama has not promised anything to anyone at this early stage. He has said that he is in no hurry and wants to ensure that the vetting of all candidates for his VP is thorough. When you think about it, the exercise would be quite pointless if he had already committed to any person.

Based on Clinton’s performance in the Primaries I believe that she will be encouraged to remain in the Senate to facilitate the passage of legislation for the Obama administration. Her immediate future in politics will be determined by performance in that arena. Success would provide her with the opportunity to build a reputation in her own right without reliance on her husband. He has certainly cost her dearly by his intervention in this campaign.

The Clintons and the Clinton legacy has suffered a lot of damage in the past 15 months and if Hillary Clinton is to become a force in legislative politics as a Senator, she will need to do a lot of fence building and hard work just to retain her New York seat in four years time. I cannot see a place for her in an Obama cabinet for a number of reasons. 

These are but a few.

Credibility

During the campaign she was caught out not just exaggerating, she was found to be telling outright lies.  The President would not be able to trust her and this makes her appointment to any senior position in the administration untenable.

Temperament

She seems to suffer extreme mood swings under pressure. This would reflect badly on the United States and on any department for which she was responsible.

Experience

The campaign proved that she does not have the necessary judgement or skills required to manage people or a campaign efficiently. With more than 20 million dollars of debt accrued, and a lot of unhappy creditors awaiting payment, her campaign has been poorly planned and managed by the type of people she and her husband selected. She claimed to have experience. Her claims were never supported by the facts or subsequently proved by performance and results.

Ethics and Integrity

Clinton and her husband are currently facing civil legal action for fraud. (The Peter F Paul civil action for fraud in the LA Superior Court) while this matter is yet to be determined, it is not the first time the Clintons have been involved in scandals.  Another reason why it would be difficult to have Hillary Clinton involved in a new Obama administration.

None of these things would enhance anyone’s CV and they certainly do not constitute the attributes or skills one would expect to see in an Obama White House. Politics being what it is, all is not lost if Barack Obama can convince HRC that her future career in politics is best served by committing to her role in the Senate, as Ted Kennedy did, after the Presidential train passed him by when he lost his challenge to President Carter in 1980.

In other words Hillary Clinton will have to roll up her sleeves and earn her stripes in the Senate. She will have to change her ways and apply her well known tenacity in an effective manner to benefit the Democratic Party, the Obama administration and the American people. Her future is in her hands. With the coming of the Obama, the Office of President will no longer be for sale, or be something to be arrogantly assumed and then passed on by dynastic demand.

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