What goes around doesn’t come around

by | Dec 2, 2008


Marc Ambinder writes:

So where does Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy cabinet hang its hat for the next four years?
Her main team consists of:

Richard Holbrooke, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Dayton Peace Accord broker; Clinton’s chief defense adviser, Bob Einhorn, a Clinton administration veteran and non-proliferation expert, Andrew Shapiro, Clinton’s chief foreign policy adviser, Wendy Sherman, a senior adviser to Madelieine Albright and Warren Christopher, and Melaine Verveer, a former Clinton chief of staff and longtime Clinton confidante.

Now — signing up for Team Obama, especially when things were not looking so hot in late 2007, was a real act of professional courage for many Obamaites. And there was quite a bit of tension between the two camps — although it’s not clear whether the principals listed above were involved.

Tensions have cooled; Clinton advisers are assisting Obama’s transition team and serving on several advisory committees. But staff is destiny, and there are conflicting reports about how much latitude Clinton will have to bring her own team aboard.

I’d say Ambinder underplays the irony of the situation.  As Alex noted over a year ago, the Clinton camp let it be known that no foreign policy expert associated with Obama’s primary campaign would be welcome to change sides once Hillary won her inevitable nomination.

Team Clinton has put the word out that the usual process – whereby foreign policy advisers to other candidates are allowed to switch horses as and when their candidate gets eliminated during primary season – has been abolished, at least as far as Hillary as concerned. The ‘you’re with us or against us’ ethos is no longer limited to the GOP, it seems…

Clinton’s people are lucky that their boss’s new boss is a more forgiving type…

Author

  • David Steven is a senior fellow at New York University, where he founded the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children and the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, a multi-stakeholder partnership to deliver the SDG targets for preventing all forms of violence, strengthening governance, and promoting justice and inclusion. He was lead author for the ministerial Task Force on Justice for All and senior external adviser for the UN-World Bank flagship study on prevention, Pathways for Peace. He is a former senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-author of The Risk Pivot: Great Powers, International Security, and the Energy Revolution (Brookings Institution Press, 2014). In 2001, he helped develop and launch the UK’s network of climate diplomats. David lives in and works from Pisa, Italy.


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