Saturday, November 29, 2008

With Hillary Clinton as Sec-State, will Obama’s bold agenda prevail?

Matt Yglesias in The National, here
"...But since Obama met with Hillary Clinton two weeks ago – and offered her a job as Secretary of State – the conversation has been dominated by speculation about her acceptance. Talk of Obama’s new national security team – now reported to include Robert Gates staying on as Secretary of Defense, and former General Jim Jones as National Security Advisor – has hardly touched on actual policy plans. Instead, we’ve been treated to endless treatments of the touching story of personal reconciliation between Clinton and Obama...
What has compounded the confusion is a tendency to rewrite the history of disagreements between Clinton and Obama to minimise the clear policy differences......
Many of those differences were indeed small. But it’s important to recall that, though the dispute over direct high-level talks with Iran was the highest-profile difference between Clinton and Obama, it was far from the only one...On Iran, they differed not only on direct talks, but also in that Obama explicitly envisioned negotiations as ideally leading to a grand
bargain and a normalisation of relations...."

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