Friday, November 21, 2008

'Get over it, Clinton haters'

"Obama's choice of rival Hillary Clinton for secretary of state shows his political wisdom. And the vetting suggests the Clintons -- surprise! -- have little to hide." Joe Conason in Salon here.

For a broad array of editorialists, pundits and kibitzers, as well as anybody else still obsessed with old resentments against the Clintons, the weeks since Election Day have inflicted a profound sensation of cognitive dissonance, as Barack Obama kept naming the friends and allies of his former rival to run his transition and his government. Now with reports that Hillary Rodham Clinton will indeed be appointed secretary of state, those feelings may even induce a stroke here or there.

Wasn't Obama the One who would exorcise the Clintonite demons from our midst and cleanse the capital of their sins?

Whatever the merits of any of the president-elect's particular personnel choices, he has hardly betrayed the faith of his supporters -- and in fact has displayed the very character and maturity that they always attributed to him. To say the least, he has showed that he cannot be swayed from exercising his own judgment by the petty backbiting of Washington at its worst. . . .

Whether Obama's appointments make sense can only be judged when those he has chosen have an opportunity to perform -- a caveat that applies to Clinton along with all the others, from Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff to Eric Holder as attorney general. But it should now be clear that the president-elect does not share the jaundiced view of the Clinton administration -- or the Clintons -- held so insistently by some of his own supporters. . . .

Meanwhile, the president-elect in his wisdom has repudiated the Clinton-bashing mythology of the '90s. Perhaps that is what he meant when he promised to say goodbye to all the partisan poison of the past.

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