The hearing on the confirmation of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State is over, she apparently did well, and now Billary is expected to be named with a vote tomorrow:
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton smoothly took on policy questions, from the acute to the arcane, in a gentle job interview to be the nation's top diplomat, but she could not dispel tougher questions about whether her husband's charity work poses an ethical conflict.This has to be one of smartest moves Barack Obama has ever made politically: turning Hillary Clinton into a subordinate. If Hillary had remained a Senator she'd be an independent force answering to no one. Now the cutthroat and always calculating Hillary, who only two years ago was the heads-on favorite to be taking the Presidential oath next week, will work for Barack Obama, a man I believe her and her husband still hold some contempt for even running in the primaries last year, much less winning. But Hillary shouldn't be too mad, at least now when she talks about ducking bullets in Bosnia there might actually be some truth to it.
Her confirmation as secretary of state is not in doubt, and she could be on the job as soon as President-elect Barack Obama's first full day in office. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee planned to vote on the selection Thursday.
"I thought it was a very strong performance," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the committee chairman and once thought to be a top contender for secretary of state in the Obama administration.
"She clearly demonstrated a different path from the past administration in terms of engagement with Iran, I think, even talking about how they are going to walk a line in the Middle East as an honest broker in the effort to end the violence," Kerry said Wednesday on NBC's "Today."
In testimony Tuesday, Clinton offered well-prepared answers to questions on crises and trouble spots including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran, Cuba and Afghanistan. She offered few details about how she and Obama would handle those problems, except to say that in many cases they would offer a fresh approach after eight years of President George W. Bush.