Having her on board, working in the Senate to clear the health care initiative, is of far more importance than having her out of the country all the time — regardless of how politically expedient it would be for Barack Obama to have her out of his way.
When the new Congress convenes, Democrats will have a strong majority in both chambers. Not the filibuster-breaking majority they wanted, but still. However, the mere fact that the Democrats will not have such a majority, means that they will still have to make deals with some Republican members of Congress in order to get proposals passed. In that reality, it would be a smart move to have Reid work the Democrats on the left while Clinton works the Democrat ‘Blue Dogs’ and the moderate Republicans. (Okay, the few moderate Republicans that still remain after ‘Bloody Tuesday’ of last November 4.)
Of course, there will be times when Clinton will want to make a fist and celebrate her own, possibly vengeful victories over the Obama White House. So be it; that’s what you get when you essentially copy the old Roman ways of governance. You get a rowdy Senate, with senior Senators who see themselves as the Saviours of the Nation. Again, so be it. Obama will have to deal with it and he probably can, thanks to people like Rahm Emanuel.
The smart old lion of the Democrats, Ted Kennedy, probably sees things the same way and has therefore undercut the entire Secretary of State-game for Obama by publicly asking Clinton to lead the health insurance initiative.
By doing so publicly, Hillary can’t turn the offer down; thanks to her hard work trying to get her own failed health care initiative through Congress back in 1993, turning down Kennedy’s request would be equivalent to her erasing part of her legacy.
And if there is one thing the Clintons hold dear, it is their legacy.