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William C. Altreuter
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Saturday, November 15, 2008


HRC as Secretary of State? A couple of thoughts. First, I'd be a bit surprised if it was a job she was really interested in. She has a sweet deal in the Senate now, and an office in Foggy Bottom wouldn't appreciably improve her visibility. If she is still interested in running for President she has to be thinking that it has been a long time since someone got there by serving in the Cabinet. (It was Hoover, by the way.)

I'm not so sure she's the best qualified for the job, either
. I'd like to see someone with more substantial diplomatic and academic credentials. HRC is well-respected internationally, and I suppose I'd have to concede that she has the tools, but the majority of her career has been spent as a corporate lawyer in Little Rock.

And then there is this. At the end of "The Maltese Falcon" Spade and Guttman are negotiating. Guttman has the money, ("Ten Thousand Dollars is a lot of money,") and Spade has the Black Bird. Spade tells them that they need a fall guy, someone to hand over to the District Attorney. He proposes Wilmer, and then Joel Cairo. Cairo, furious, suggests that they turn over Brigid O'Shaugnessy, and then some comedy ensues about a missing thousand dollar bill. When that has resolved, in a moment when Ms. O'Shaugnessy is out of the room, Guttman speaks with Spade.

"Are you sharing with her?"
Spade said, "That's my business too."
"It certainly is," the fat man agreed once more, "but,"-- he hesitated-- "I'd like to give you a word of advice."
"Go ahead."
"If you don't-- I dare say you'll give her some money in any event, but-- if you don't give her as much as she thinks she she ought to have, my word of advice is-- be careful."

Mr. Obama, no doubt you'll take care of the Clintons. My advice? Make ol' Bill Ambassador to the United Nations. The job is perfect for him, and he already has an office in New York. But most of all, be careful.

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