Nico Pitney reports for the Huffington Post:
President-elect Barack Obama offered Sen. Hillary Clinton the position of Secretary of State during their meeting Thursday in Chicago, according to two senior Democratic officials. She requested time to consider the offer, the officials said.
This is a high-risk, high-reward opportunity for Hillary Clinton. If she accepts, and serves out six or eight years in a popular Obama administration, then she is practically guaranteed the Presidency in 2016. Consider that the Secretary of State has been the most popular political figure in the entire nation for about twelve years running now, starting with Albright, then to Powell, then to Rice. It makes sense, since about all Americans see the Secretary of State doing is looking stately while meeting with powerful foreign leaders who suck up to him or her.
However, there is always a chance she will be replaced, or that Obama will not be a popular President. In either of these scenarios, taking the job might make it the last job Hillary Clinton has in politics.
In terms of politics, some progressives are worried that Clinton voted for a resolution that declared the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, thus making it difficult for her to hold the job. However, given that the other names most commonly floated are Kerry and Lugar, I fail to see how Clinton is inferior to either option.
Update: I should also add the rumors about Durbin and Kennedy supposedly denying Clinton a leading role on health care reform. If those rumors are true, then Clinton should probably take the job. It is the best leadership position available to her.
Update 2: Some people in the comments are saying they would have preferred Bill Richardson or Wes Clark. Clark would be a great choice, I think. Also, I did cut a television ad for Richardson, he is already proven in dealing with foreign governments, and it would be fantastic to have a proponent of No Residual Forces in Iraq so close to the top. However, I have not heard either Clark or Richardson floated as serious contenders.
Update 3: Some are expressing frustration over such a high profile position for Hillary Clinton, since they supported and worked for Obama in the primaries. All I have to say to that is any belief that defeating Clinton in the primaries would somehow vanquish all Clintonistas from the reigns of power was foolish. Obama's appointments so far are full of Clinton administration officials. It makes sense, since lots of Democrats went to work for Clinton, and if Obama wants people with prior executive branch experience, that is where he has to look. Further, while the party is supposed to come together after the primaries, that doesn't mean one side is supposed to be entirely subservient to the other side.
I don't care about the Clinton vs. Obama battle anymore. I can't even believe some people are still living through it. I care about the progressive vs. centrist struggle, and that is not, and never has been, the same thing as Obama vs. Clinton.