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Clinton as the next Secretary of Defense

DCblogger's picture

The latest rumor in Versailles is that Clinton might be moved to Defense. Dunno if it is true, but it would signal that Obama is serious about dumping DADT. It also might mean that we will get serious about violence against women in the military.

Otherwise it would just be the same old imperial hubris.

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madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

I think maybe this is just that Obama is realizing that Hillary has the highest approval ratings of anyone in his Administration, and his wars have the lowest approval ratings of all his craptastic policy initiatives.

This is just the type of "thinking" that Versailles does best - "Oooh, let's get someone a lot more popular to sell the wars! People will like them then! Better marketing is all we need!"

I would tend to doubt that Hillary would leave SOS for DoD. All indicators are that she and the SOS job are a great fit. But hey, I guess you never know.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

it will suggest to me that she is serious about running for the White House in 12. After having won the right to appoint all the political positions at State, I don't know why she would move unless she wanted the entry on her resume.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

You nailed it. Its never "how can we make our policy better", its always "how can we sell it better." The latter wouldn't be so bad if the policies were in fact good. But they are crap and everyone knows it. It does get a little easier to sell crap, though, if people are scared of Rand Paul.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Yes, this is typical Versailles thinking, especially on the D-side. Have an unpopular policy, link it to a popular person. It seems to be particularly consistent with the Democratic Party's recent habit of making a Clinton sell something Obama can't (including after the primaries, Obama himself).

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

If this rumor has any validity at all....What does Hillary want to do?

A slightly more likely scenario, which I have seen floated elsewhere, is Biden as DOD and Hillary as VP in 2012. Then, in 2016, Hillary runs for President.

But in truth, I can't see either of these things happening. Most likely scenario to me is this: She finishes her term as SOS whenever she feels like it's finished, then decides whether or not to run against Obama for President. If she decides not to run against him, then she's done with government. Most likely she'll make her life's work - it's ready for her to take over whenever she wants it.

I don't see how the DoD job would appeal to her. Again, I think this is a trial balloon by Versailles, and a leaden one at that.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

That's not in her makeup, IMO.

The only way I see her as running in 2012 is if Obama's brand is so trashed, the party has to turn to one of its few "stars" to try to save it. But I don't think that's likely. Mostly because from everything I've seen, Dems seem determined to go down with Obama instead of saving themselves (mush as the GOP was willing to do for Bush).

Taking over DOD from a political standpoint would seem unappealing to me - she'll get all of the blame for the failing wars (which would make it appealing to Obama, once again he can channel blame towards an advisor ala Rahm, which doesn't mean the advisor is blameless). The only thing that might make it appealing is being the first female DOD and her clear interest in the military. And, of course, just because I think the Obama Administration is tragically wrong about the wars, there's no indication she shares that belief. Quite the opposite, in fact. So the potential downside, being held accountable for a multitude of war related since, might not even occur to her.

Not that any of it matters to me. Unless something changes, I'm done with the Ds and Rs.

mikep's picture
Submitted by mikep on

If Obama is thinking about doing this, it can only mean that he intends to significantly expand the US's military presence overseas and that he intends to attack Iran and most likely other countries as well (N. Korea, Venezuela???). Hillary is a confirmed warmonger and war-profiteer (along with Bill), with extensive and long-standing ties to the MIC, and a vigorous supporter of violence as a way of increasing corporate profits. She has strongly supported every war that the US has been involved in since Bill became Prez, and has vigorously opposed any and all investigations into any war crimes or abuses. She has been a total disaster as SOS (has made every situation she's been involved in significantly worse) but would be even worse at Defense. What a victory it would be for the right-wingers and corporates to see one of their leading lights as chief warmonger.

Walter Wit Man's picture
Submitted by Walter Wit Man on

And the Obama administration probably sees a great opening. Plenty of Clinton supporters will happily send tens of thousands of innocent brown people to their deaths just because it means Hillary's political prospects are increased.

Here's the propaganda campaign we are about to go through: We're bombing the people of Afghanistan to bring their women "freedom".

Obama will probably succeed in fooling the feminist groups that happily sold out and gave up their reproductive rights for a pig in a poke.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

The only war that I know that she supported was the conflict in the Balkans - and if you oppose that, then your morality is something I seriously question. Clinton is a peacenik - not the lunatic caricature dreamt up by the misogynists running Obama's campaign.

Clinton was the one with the backbone to go to AIPAC and rap George Bush for taking diplomacy with Iran off the table. Name one other politician with the guts to do that.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

In addition to voting for the Iraq War Authorization,* she also is reportedly one of the people in the Administration who supported the Afghan surge, and it appears she is pushing for a harder line against Iran.

* And, yes, I think she's gotten screwed on this vote, not because it wasn't wrong (it was), but because somehow she's held more accountable for it than any of her male colleagues. The Iraq War is not single-handedly (or even primarily) Hillary Clinton's fault, but you wouldn't necessarily know that given the coverage it got during the 2008 election season. Somehow, while her vote ruled her out, it didn't seem to rule out any of the male Senators who had voted for it, including Joe Biden who freaking led the charge to invade Iraq. None of those guys, however, were peaceniks. Just as Hillary Clinton is not a peacenik. If she were, she'd have voted against the Iraq Resolution. It's easy to forget, but people did do that.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

I had my say on this topic.

Let me just say also, it wouldn't at all surprise me because yes, I agree with the others above about their always wanting to put a new shiny, happy face on the same old killing machine. I'm sure the courtiers in Versailles are anxious to find out where their next caviar appetizer is coming from, i.e. who's up, who's down. That is all courtiers DO care about.

Sadly, the possiblity of jack-shit changing is jack-shit.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

And so does Hans Blix by the way. The Democrats were going to lose the Senate in two weeks - that was a foregone conclusion. Her two choices were helping to pass a bill that included UN language, or voting against that bill, and seeing one pass in January without the UN language.

A peacenik with backbone took the risk. A coward didn't. That bill was going to pass one way or the other. The only question was whether you were willing to risk your political career to keep the UN involved. Hans Blix was lobbying senators to vote for it, because he felt it was the only way to open up Iraq and to prevent the war.

As for Iran, Clinton's language is tough but she's also the only one who goes to Iran's enemies and explains that we need diplomacy.

Yes, she's a peacenik. She supported the counter-insurgency plan in Afghanistan which, initially, led to a decrease in civilian deaths. It's failing now, and it's time to rethink strategy.

Submitted by lambert on

... and not merely cut down the collateral damage in the civilian population.

As for Blix, I'm inclined to agree with you.

But I don't recall that losing the Senate was a foregone conclusion. Then again, it was a long time ago, and a lot of blood under the bridge.

And of course holding Clinton to a higher standard than Biden was part of the disgusting misogyny manifested by the OFB through the primaries and to this day.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

Walking away means a Taliban resurgence and the horrendous toll that takes on the lives of women and children. Now, there is toll being taken here as well. The point of a successful anti-insurgency strategy is that while troop deaths will rise, civilians deaths will fall. Combined with an aggressive plan to restore the infra-structure, you can hopefully produce a more stable society. I may not like a lot of what we're doing in Afghanistan but I also don't like the idea of us abandoning the women and children over there to the Taliban. I don't know what the responsible policy is.

Yes, it was a foregone conclusion we were going to lose. The polls were dreadful for us. And then there was the cheating.....

Here's a post I made on October 25, 2002 in a total state of despair. Talk about over the top! LOL

adrena's picture
Submitted by adrena on

On a visit to Canada last November, Malalai Joya, author of 'A Woman Among Warlords,' explained that,

living under the Taliban "was risky" but those who are in power today are simply the Taliban in another form, and Afghans' everyday lives are still fraught with terror.

"Today's situation is as catastrophic as it was under the domination of the Taliban in most provinces of Afghanistan," Joya said. "And today by the presence of thousands of troops in Afghanistan, rape cases against women, domestic violence, attacks, killing of women, are increasing rapidly."

More of her thoughts here.

S Brennan's picture
Submitted by S Brennan on


I was/am totally against this war, but

"Iraq War Authorization" such thing

"In October 2002 the US Congress passed a "Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq"

The resolution "supported" and "encouraged" diplomatic efforts by President George W. Bush to "strictly enforce through the U.N. Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq" and "obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion, and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."

The resolution authorized President Bush to use the Armed Forces of the United States "as he determines to be necessary and appropriate" in order to "defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq."

UN Security Council adopted a compromise resolution, UN Security Council Resolution 1441, which authorized the resumption of weapons inspections and promised "serious consequences" for noncompliance. Security Council members France and Russia made clear that they did not consider these consequences to include the use of force to overthrow the Iraqi government.[41] Both the US ambassador to the UN, John Negroponte, and the UK ambassador, Jeremy Greenstock, publicly confirmed this reading of the resolution, assuring that Resolution 1441 provided no "automaticity" or "hidden triggers" for an invasion without further consultation of the Security Council.

An additional Security Council resolution, which the US and UK failed to obtain, would have been necessary to specifically authorize the invasion."

By US law, the war is illegal, Bush violated the terms of the "authorization resolution"

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

Bush was always going to violate the resolution. everyone knew it. there is no excuse for voting for the Iraq War Authorization Act, none.

That cynical statement by Andrew Card about product roll out, the whole of Versailles was committed to the Iraq War. The fact that Clinton was and is still beating the Iran war drums tell us that she is a war monger.

She may be the very best that Versailles has to offer, but she is still very much Versailles.

Elizabeth Warren 2016!

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Have liberals bothered to read his book? I get the feeling no. It precipitated inspectors getting into Iraq and these inspectors were well on the way to demonstrating now WMD and hence undermine the justification for war. The fact is, Bush didn't need a resolution to get troops into Iraq because he was claiming "imminent danger" and the need for "self defense". His justification does not pass the test with or without the resolution, particularly since Iraq was complying with all ultimatums given. Bush pulled inspectors out and violated the spirit of AUMF.

Thanks for pointing this out SBrennan. Its shocking how the left is so absurd on this issue. AUMF did its job and got inspectors in and they were well on the way for undermining the rationale for war.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

It is absurd to claim that people knew at the time that Bush would knowingly violate the AUMF, trot Colin Powell out to the U.N. with some cartoons and a vial of baby powder, pull the inspectors out and unilaterally invade Iraq. To claim "everybody knew" is hindsight. Sure, we knew he wanted to do it, but we didn't know how lawless his Administration was going to be.

Remember, this was just after 9/11 and emotions were running high. Hillary was the junior Senator from New York, where we lost thousands of people and the World Trade Center, an integral part of our business life and our skyline. Support for invading Iraq was extremely strong because Bush kept deliberately confusing Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. I had to be careful at work because I couldn't say anything against Bush. IN NEW YORK, blue New York. Oh, and don't forget the anthrax attacks - rumors were that Saddam was behind them too.

The AUMF was the only thing that slowed Bush's march into Iraq. If Bush hadn't violated it, we never would have invaded the country.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

is a peacenik, which is what I was responding to. It's one thing to claim she was justified to vote the way she did, it's another to say that her vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq (and that's what that vote did, even if it also included some nice language about terms and conditions) somehow shows she's a peacenik. A peacenik votes against authorizing the use of force, that's what makes them a peacenik!

It's easy to forget now, but there were a lot of Dems who voted against the resolution. A majority of them did in the Hosue (126) and a significant number (21 out of 50, if Wikipedia can be believed) in the Senate. So it's not like it was completely obvious it was the right thing to do (in fact, I think it was the wrong thing to do, although I understand the argument the other way). And I would go so far as to say the few people I think of as true "peaceniks" - think Dennis Kucinich and his Department of Peace - all voted against it.

Also, not particularly on topic, but the AUMF didn't slow Bush down. He waited until he got it so he'd have his political cover. That was obvious at the time to anyone paying attention and the Dems, led by Tom Daschle and Joe Biden, were only too happy to give it to him. But again, you don't have to agree with that analysis, to think that it's ludicrous to call Hillary Clinton, who has supported the use of force in a number of instances, a peacenik. In fact, I suspect nobody would be faster to distance Hillary Clinton from that claim than Hillary Clinton.

Submitted by lambert on

Anybody who was paying attention during the WMD debate -- and I was posting on it, daily, playing whack-a-mole -- could see that the Bush administration was just making shit up. A transparent lie would be exploded, to be followed immediately by another transparent lie. And what could be the only reason for the lies? That Bush was hellbent on going to war. (In fact, people who were paying attention knew at the time that Powell was using justifications that had already been exploded.)

Maybe "everybody" didn't know, but the "blogosphere," which at that point had not evolved into access bloggers and the rest of us, certainly did know, and that's an awful lot of politically informed and engaged people. Once you accepted that, it was crystal clear that the AUMF, to Bush, was kabuki (though I'm not sure we'd invented the term "kabuki" at the time). Now, I can accept that Blix didn't think it was kabuki, and it may even be that Hillary, who gives our institutional frameworks a level of respect they don't deserve, either believed the AUMF wasn't kabuki, or felt that she could turn the words into reality, as sometimes happens in politics, but regardless:

The claim that this is just "hindsight" is 180 degrees wrong. I was there, and I know. I may be immodest to say so, but I think I fought Clinton's corner as hard as anybody in the primaries. However, I'm pretty clear on Clinton's real qualities, as opposed to her imagined or projected ones. The idea of Clinton being a "peacenik" is simply wrong. She's a fully paid up supporter of the imperial mission.