The situation is becoming clearer this morning : it is now up to Hillary Clinton to make up her mind.
If she wants to be the one who will help Obama in the middle of the night, when he receives a phone call telling him there is an international crisis, she needs to say one only word : YES !
Several Democratic officials have confirmed that Hillary and Obama met on Thursday night in Chicago, and Obama asked her to become his Secretary of State.
But Hillary, far from being enthusiastic and accepting immediately, said she wanted to think about it, and she would give her answer in a few days...
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton attend a campaign rally in October. Intense speculation flared over reports that US president-elect Obama is weighing former Democratic primary rival Clinton to be a heavy-hitting secretary of state.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Joe Raedle)
Hillary's hesitation is easy to understand : she is not so naive. She perfectly knows that her former rival does not make this proposition just to please her, or to content her supporters who still do not accept him as "their" President.
This is pure political tactics, nothing else. And it perfectly reflects how Obama practises politics.
Obama aims at one one thing : he wants to eliminate all political opposition. Like Nicolas Sarkozy in France, Obama is so infatuated with himself that he wants to be the only one. He wants to put all his opponents "out".
He has already announced that he intended to work with Republicans, even to appoint some of them to key Cabinet positions (Chuck Hagel, who is another possible candidate for SOS (Secretary of State) is himself a Republican). By doing so, Obama hopes he will be able to build a coalition in order to meet no opposition in Congress to pass his bills.
And, of course, he also intends to put an end to the persisting discontent within the Democratic Party, especially among those who voted for Hillary Clinton during the primaries, and who consider Obama has stolen this election from her.
Hillary Clinton talks to reporters outside her polling station after casting her vote in the 2008 presidential election in Chappaqua, New York. Intense speculation flared over reports that US president-elect Barack Obama is weighing former Democratic primary rival Clinton to be a heavy-hitting secretary of state.(AFP/File/Don Emmert)
On the other hand, if Hillary became SOS, he would "get rid of her" : she would have to leave the Senate and she could not become the majority leader in the Upper House, which is a very influent job. He would put an end to her brilliant legislative career, as everybody agrees on that : since she arrived in the Senate in January 2001, Hillary has been a very good senator.
If she accepted the job, she would probably never be able to come back. It is a terrible risk : as a Secretary of State, she will work in the administration for 4 years, and not more, and she might well be dismissed before in case of a major crisis. On the contrary, if she remains Senator of New York, her legislative career can last for a long time, as a large majority of New York voters approve of what she is doing for them , so could reelect her several times.
Moreover, Obama (or rather those who advise him) is a very cunning person : if he manages to convince Hillary to accept, he will also prevent Bill Clinton from criticizing him. Since Obama's election on the 4th of November, we haven't heard from Bill a lot. We have got the feeling that he is not so happy with the result of this election.
It means that Bill Clinton will probably not hesitate to criticize an Obama's administration on foreign policy choices (as President of a very important Foundation and former president of the USA, he is of course listened to and respected), except if his own wife becomes the US chief diplomat...
n this Sept. 2005, file photo former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks in Beijing, China, to honor Chinese physicians serving the HIV/AIDS population. Since leaving the White House in early 2001, Bill Clinton has raised at least $353 million for the William J. Clinton Foundation, which finances his presidential library in Little Rock, Ark., as well as his global anti-AIDS initiative and other charitable efforts.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
To conclude, you do not need to be an expert in politics to understand that Obama is trying to make the Clintons fall into a trap.
It remains to be seen if they will or not...
We'll have an answer to this question in only a few hours...