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Will Clinton Resign And Who Might Come Next?

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on from behind President Barack Obama's seat during an ASEAN-US Summit in 2011.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on from behind President Barack Obama's seat during an ASEAN-US Summit in 2011.

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By Robert Coalson
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary, who over the last four years has transformed herself from President Barack Obama's political rival into his tireless representative abroad, has long maintained that one term as the U.S. chief diplomat is enough.

Here she was answering questions from CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer in March 2011:

Blitzer: If the president is reelected, do you want to serve a second term as secretary of state?
Clinton: No.
Blitzer: Would you like to serve as secretary of defense?
Clinton: No.
Blitzer: Would you like to be vice president of the United States?
Clinton: No.
Blitzer: Would you like to be president of the United States?
Clinton: No.

Having visited at least 111 countries and traveled about 1.5 million kilometers as secretary, Clinton might have an understandable point.

Equally understandable, Obama is reluctant to see her go. The president has said publicly that he is doing his best to persuade her to stay on, particularly to help guide U.S. policy on the Arab Spring and events in Syria.

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"I don't think the secretary's plans have changed," spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters at the State Department following Obama's November 6 election victory. "You've heard her say many times that she intends to see through a transition of a successor and then she will go back to private life and enjoy some rest and think and write and all those things."

The key to a good secretary of state is his or her relationship with the president, says former White House official Lawrence Haas, who is a senior fellow on U.S. foreign policy at the American Foreign Policy Council.

"The secretary of state is carrying out the policy of the president of the United States, and that is going to be true no matter who is in that position," Haas says. "And I think that Secretary Clinton has done a very good job in that realm. There has been no daylight between what Obama has said and what Clinton has tried to do."

So if Obama is unable to get Clinton to change her mind, who will fill her shoes?
U.S. Senator John KerryU.S. Senator John Kerry
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U.S. Senator John Kerry
U.S. Senator John Kerry

Several names have been mentioned as possible successors. The one that pops up most frequently is Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He has been praised for his wide-ranging international contacts and his broad expertise in foreign-policy issues ranging from the Middle East to China to Russia.

The U.S. Constitution requires that cabinet appointments be approved by the Senate, which should present no problem for Kerry, who has served in that chamber since 1985.

But that strength is also his weakness. With the opposition Republican Party controlling the House of Representatives and Obama's Democrats holding a slim majority in the Senate, Obama would certainly think twice about appointing a senator to the cabinet and taking the risk that a Republican might win that Senate seat in the resulting special election.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan RiceU.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice
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U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice

Also reportedly in the mix is U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, a position that Obama elevated to cabinet-level status.

However, Rice has been sharply criticized for comments that she made following the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead. Conservatives in the United States have called for her resignation for allegedly misleading the public about the nature of the attack. If Obama nominated her, she would face tough questions during Senate confirmation hearings.

In addition, she has been on the front lines of some tense interactions in the UN Security Council with Russia and China over issues like Iran, Libya, and Syria, which could mean there would be tensions for her to overcome if she became the top U.S. diplomat.
White House national security adviser Thomas DonilonWhite House national security adviser Thomas Donilon
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White House national security adviser Thomas Donilon
White House national security adviser Thomas Donilon

Obama's national security adviser, Thomas Donilon, is also frequently mentioned as a possible successor to Clinton. He served as the secretary of state's chief of staff in the administration of President Bill Clinton, playing important roles in negotiating the agreement that ended the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the expansion of NATO in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

"He's got broad experience in issues of foreign policy, national security policy, and I think, probably, compared to the other two, he is the best-qualified," Haas says of Donilon. "He doesn't quite have the gravitas of somebody like Senator Kerry, who would come to this job as the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but he is widely respected and he would have all the tools to do a good job, I believe."

Robert Coalson

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
November 08, 2012 17:44
Well,when a girl`s meaning yes she says no,the Slade used to sing in the 70s and I guess the same goes for babushkas,too.We shouldnt let the Hillarious woman go too soon-the Godmother of the Muslim brotherhoods in the arab springs.Soon we shall need her for future springs in Syria and Iran and who can do better than her-well,Sarah Palin maybe.
In Response

by: Jack from: US
November 08, 2012 19:22
why is Camel allowed to berate the brightest of the bright in US government - Hillary Clinton? She saved me tons of money on electricity because she shines so bright.
Of course Sarah Palin is unbeatable, not even Hillary can outshine her. Taliban, Al Qaeda, Kosovo Liberation Army, Syrian Free Army, all came together under careful motherly eyes of Hillary Clinton
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
November 08, 2012 21:22
Well, Jack, Camel is apparently allowed to berate Hillary because he is even brighter as she is :-)). And yes, while mentioning the successes of Hillary as the State Secretary, you forgot to mention the fact that he has very successfully installed freedom, democracy and prosperity in Lybia. You don't believe me? Just ask the US embassador to this country - he will tell you that it's true :-)).
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
November 09, 2012 02:35
They allow me,because they are not Radio Muss cow ,or Russia Today,molodets Jacko.Say hello from me to the other Pavlov`s dog here-the Vienna genius.

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
November 09, 2012 04:02
The best candidate for this position is Michael Saakashvili.
Obama needs to go to Georgia, to kneel and ask Saakashvili to take the post of U.S. Secretary of State.
Only in this case the United States can crawl out of the pit into which stupid Obama threw country...

The tension in the world's growing:

Putin and his friends-Somali pirates, the Abkhaz racists and Nazis, Palestinian terrorists, the Taliban, terrorists Chavez and Ortega, the Iranian fanatics,camel -loafer and lumpen (I congratulate you, Mr. Putin! Good choice ..)...they are preparing for terrorist acts and destruction of innocent people...

Obama you have to do a lot of good deeds:
carpet-bombing of terrorists
strikes with cruise missile on obscurantists and fanatics
Arrests of Abkhaz criminals and other crooks and their transportation to the military tribunal.

Оbama! Time to turn the brains! But without Saakashvili, you can not do it!
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
November 09, 2012 10:08
Sheer St.georgian modesty prevents Vakhtanganaika Kakabidze from offering himself for the post,so now we`ll have to do with another Mice,which can do worse than Con do leeza.Vakhtangadze,my son,dont forget to send her,whoever she may be a bottle of pigsw.,pardon georgian wine and see that it is not empty,like a georgian`s,pardon your head!!!

by: Aftab Kazi from: Washington DC
November 09, 2012 08:27
I also heard the name of Honorable Congresman Howard Berman of California. He has lost this election and , as I heard yesterday evening is also interested in this post. God knows better.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
November 09, 2012 11:29
Talking about the "achievements" of Hillary as a State Secretary, the current situation in Syria is one of those. And now the Russia Today has finally put on line the full version of the interview of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; he is being interviews by the grand-daughter of the former Georgian President Eduard Schewardnadze:
VIDEO: Assad to RT: 'I'm not Western puppet - I live and die in Syria' (EXCLUSIVE) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdH4JKjVRyA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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