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Team of Rivals

10:12 AM, Nov 14, 2008 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Will Barack Obama choose Hillary Clinton to be his secretary of state? She was in Chicago yesterday, and Politico reports that "Obama has, himself, recently discussed the possibility with advisors," some of whom like the idea.

Jennifer Rubin looks at the merits of making Clinton secretary of state:

As became painfully obvious during the campaign, she really doesn't have much foreign policy experience. And her opportunistic opposition to the surge was not the high point of her career. Nevertheless, for conservatives, she might be about as good as it gets - she did support the Iraq War (until she didn't), voted for the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment, and (before she realized it would be a problem in the Ohio primaries) was a free trader. Conservatives could do worse. And they probably will.

The political benefit to Obama is much more obvious. If Hillary is offered and accepts the job, that would almost certainly prevent her from challenging Obama for the 2012 nomination--no matter how bad things get in the next four years. The unseemliness of a cabinet member challenging the president would just be too much. As they say, keep your friends close ...

But Clinton has much to gain politically as well: it could potentially put her in a better position to make one last run in 2016 (she would be 69 then). While being secretary of state would tie Clinton to every Obama administration foreign policy decision, she would be able to avoid taking a position on all of the tough, controversial economic questions that she would otherwise have to deal with in the Senate.

And putting Hillary in charge of State might even mend the rift with Bill Clinton, who would undoubtedly be grateful for all the time he would have to focus on his, uh, philanthropic activities while Hillary is busy globetrotting.