"Don't do it! Bill will embarrass you!"


How many times did Barack Obama receive that advice as he was mulling over whether to hire Hillary Clinton for his cabinet?

"Don't do it! The Clintons will leak. They'll create an administration within the administration. They're undisciplined!"

That, uh, sage advice really did form the conventional wisdom when news first leaked that the former first lady was on the short list to be Secretary of State.

Turns out... those Clintons really do know how to seize the moment.  Not only has Hillary Clinton been a team player, her team -- still made up of loyalists -- doesn't leak. They don't try to undercut other power centers. (No, I don't think the Gregory Craig rumors are coming from State. And I don't put much stock in those rumors either.) They're humble and effective. When they make mistakes, they get things right, quickly. 

And Bill Clinton... his "entanglements" haven't been an issue. Either have his library donors or his foreign travels. He's behaved himself in public, by which I mean he has never undermined the administration's policy arguments, even going so far as to agree with their Clinton-era-corrections to policy approaches. He has not upstaged his wife.  He's matured since the presidential campaign. He now seems to understand the way news cycles work in the Net era. And today, as we've seen, he can -- and will -- drop everything at a moment's notice to do the administration a favor.

To add a contrary note to this musing on how great the Clintons are, there is a chance that the rapid acquiescence of the administration to the DPRK request for Bill Clinton's presence might give every punk dictator the idea to kidnap Americans and then demand a meeting with Bill Clinton in order to release them. After all, as of a few weeks ago, our formal policy toward the DPRK was one of non-response to their provocations. Allowing Bill Clinton to meet with Kim Jong Ill is a gesture of respect.

 It's also a great intelligence gathering opportunity.

.....Mr. President, this is Leon. I've got a few folks in my office who're very interested in what you think of Dear Leader's health....

Who won today? Is this a zero sum question? What do you think?

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