Disclaimer: This blog post was going to go up last night, but I became busy with other things. Come to wake up, and VivirLatino is reporting that Hillary Clinton will accept Barack Obama’s offer for Secretary of State. Remember how many in the Latino community were hoping that Bill Richardson would get the top diplomat spot. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) may get to fill Hillary’s seat in the senate. Remember that Bill Richardson has been an Ambassador to the UN, was a staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, worked on Congressional Relations for Henry Kissinger’s State Department, speaks Spanish and French, in addition to his most recent stint as Governor of NM and Secretary of Energy. He is certainly more qualified than Hillary Clinton to become the Secretary of State.
Here is Seneca’s take on Latinos in the Foreign Policy realm, and yes, once again, it looks like we Latinos are getting the shaft.
Basically, we are not players in the foreign policy realm, except for the Cuban Americans, who have successfully shaken down both parties on Cuba policy because of Florida’s importance as an electoral pivotal state. I will be most lacerating if Richardson gets the shaft as Hillary shoves him aside. All with the white boys approving and cheering her on to snatch the Secretary of State position from Richardson. Now if Obama goes with Kerry, it will be dreadfully boring. Teresa Heinz, his Portuguese wife, will be the only spice in that picture. As for Chuck Hagel, he would be honorable and decent choice, but if Obama keeps Gates at Defense, then Hagel’s possibilities diminish with a GOPer at Defense, hence another at State would be out of order.
Hillary is the biggest threat now to Richardson. She knows that in 8 yrs she is not running as her time would have passed. The Senate now is too small for her global-sized ego. Hence State Dept becomes her last swan song politically speaking. Do recall that the Irish mafia in the senate (Kennedy, Dodd, Kerry and Biden) successfully blocked her from VEEP. The Kennedys were treated like pariahs under Clinton as was Carter. Therefore, it will be interesting to watch Hillary get the SECSTATE and how she relates to Vice Pres Biden, who is now the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, and he would be most interested in foreign policy while Obama treats the economic crisis. I maintain that Hillary, plenty smarter than her two female predecessors, will try internationally and nationally to steal the thunder from Obama and keep her stock high world-wide with Bill at her side on SECSTATE presidential aircraft. Latin America would readily be banished from the Hillary awareness. Anything to do with the Cucaracha Circuit would be ‘slumming it’ for Hillary. She would play the female Metternich or Talleyrand or Kissinger — all with maniacally sweeping size egos along with having a Euro andfocused view of the world.
Albright came across as an eager cheerleader of the Clintonistas but appeared shallow in depth and Rice was perceived as being over her head at the NSC from day one and her move to State did nothing to disabuse anyone of that notion. Madeline Albright got the job because Clinton needed a woman for the job to make history. Rice got SECSTATE because she charmed W and made herself ‘indispensable.’ The rumor on Albright was that Clinton minimized or disregarded her. Rice was never any match for Rumsfeld or Cheney, and she was viewed as betraying her mentor and main promoter Brent Scowcroft and looking the other way when Powell was being eviscerated and used by the Bushies.
As for Latin America, Shultz and Baker were the last SECSTATES that even spent any notable time and made or guided policy toward the Latin region. Rice is known to avoid having to deal with the region, flees from any looming complication and has a ‘careerist’ deal with the region : meaning keep it off her desk. Remarkably, Rice appears ready to be able to waltz away relatively unscathed and bearing no responsibility for this current Administration’s epic foreign policy debacle and wreckage because being the first female NSC Director and the second African American SECSTATE seem to insulate her from any harm to her ‘celebrity’ status. Truly too many policy-makers prefer to become ‘celebrities’ not politicians. ‘Celebrity’ translates into more opportunities and lucrative secured income after office. Hence doing ‘well’ as opposed to having to do ‘good’ becomes the end game. This adds credence to the view of the outside world that Washington is a ‘Hollywood for the Ugly.’ Hardly any politicians and policy-makers are beautiful people.