On December 1, President-elect Barack Obama announced his appointment of Sen. Hillary Clinton to the position of secretary of state, at a press conference in Chicago.
This appointment could potentially make Sen. Clinton the third woman to serve in this position, following Madeleine Albright in Bill Clinton’s administration and Condoleezza Rice in George W. Bush’s administration.
“She’s not going to have any problem getting the job,” said John Daniels, a political science professor at Marist. “The confirmation process goes through the Senate, and right now the majority [in the Senate] belongs to the Democratic Party.”
USnews.com called this appointment a “feat of daring and difficult diplomacy,” in reference to her husband’s “tangled foreign business dealings” that could complicate Sen. Clinton’s entry into a position “that is promising transparency.”
According to the New York Times, the former president’s network of business and charities sparked discussion about how his wife could conduct foreign policy while he could continue to travel the world “soliciting multimillion-dollar contributions” and “ collecting six-figure speaking fees from foreign institutions” for his presidential library and the William J. Clinton Foundation.
“I don’t think her husband is going to have a negative influence,” Daniels said. “She asked her husband to go public about his contributors, and as a result he published around 200,000 donors to his foundation.” CNN.com noted the disclosure was one of nine conditions that Mr. Clinton agreed on as part of an accord with Obama.
Obama also displayed confidence in his appointment speech when he referred to his appointment of Sen. Clinton as a “sign to friend and foe” and the seriousness of his “commitment to renew American diplomacy and restore our alliances.”
While foreign policy has been a primary topic of discussion, the relationship between Sen. Clinton and the President-elect has also been in question. According to Politico.com, some doubts have been raised about the partnership of the former rivals.
“Some people are questioning this relationship after the primaries,” said Alissa Bauer, a political science student at Marist. “What they don’t realize is that Hillary supported Obama throughout the rest of his campaign.”
According to Gallup Polls Daily Report, 57 percent of Americans as a whole support Obama’s appointment, while 30 percent do not. The report stated that much of the disagreement with Obama’s decision to appoint Sen. Clinton is in regards to the history of intense rivalry between the two, particularly in their differing opinions in foreign relations.
“Campaigns are meant to show the differences between the candidates,” Daniels said. “Ideologically, they are both on the same page: left of center. Time will tell, but I think they will make a good team.