Skip to main content

President Obama has officially announced that he is nominating Senator John Kerry (D-MA) for Secretary of State (SoS). I acknowledge that Senator Kerry had aspirations for the job and is as qualified and able as anybody out there. But as much as I love and respect the guy, and I do, there are other things to consider.

President Obama doesn't like conflict. That's why Shirley Sherrod and Van Jones lost their jobs. He'd rather avoid any conflict and move on.

Each time the President makes such a decision there are costs and benefits to weigh. In this case, I fear, he miscalculated (again). It's true, to his immediate benefit, President Obama was able to eliminate the confirmation conflict--created by Senator McCain and associates--by accepting Ambassador Susan Rice's request to be removed from consideration for the SoS opening. But by accepting her request (and, I suspect, encouraging it), President Obama has not avoided conflict; he has shifted conflict onto others. Specifically, he has shifted conflict onto the people of Massachusetts...and, indirectly, the rest of us.

To avoid a nomination fight, Massachusetts must now suffer through another insufferable Senate campaign. Which conflict is more expensive? Which conflict, however decided, would have more long-run implications, either positive or negative? Which conflict was more likely to be decided in a way that is more favorable to the issues that the President's party, and most of the country, cares about? (Scott Brown will run again and could lose, but he currently polls higher than most Democrats being floated)?

As President Obama sees it, he only had two good candidates for the job. So, he had a choice. He could nominate Susan Rice and fight for her nomination, or he could take an easier path for him while outsourcing a different, more expensive, more risky, and potentially more damaging fight to the people of Massachusetts. He chose the latter.

 

Poll

Who should President Obama have nominated for Secretary of State?

33%20 votes
45%27 votes
21%13 votes

| 60 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site