- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
- HAYDEN: Intelligence, evidence and the case against Russia
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
- Activists vow to occupy fast-food restaurants to get higher pay
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics
- Summer camp for 1 percenters: Sushi, limos and shopping at FAO Schwarz
- Colorado gun crackdown law found to be built on faulty data
- Hank Aaron steps to fundraising plate for Democrat Michelle Nunn
Obama win doesn’t change Hillary Clinton’s plans to step down
Question of the Day
The State Department on Wednesday said Tuesday's election results don't change Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's plans to step down.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Wednesday said members of the news media may have "misread" recent remarks in which Mrs. Clinton suggested she might stay longer.
Speculation is surging through foreign policy circles over how quickly the Obama administration will move to nominate a successor, with Sen. John F. Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, and Susan Rice, the current ambassador to the United Nations, believed to be on the short list.
But the potential downside of picking Ms. Rice or Mr. Kerry — either choice could create thorny political problems for the administration — has some wondering whether the White House might consider capitalizing upon the moment by offering a Cabinet-level olive branch to Republicans.
Names bandied about Wednesday included former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, who presently is chairman of President Obama's Intelligence Advisory Board, and Sen. Richard G. Lugar, Indiana Republican and former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who lost his party's primary for re-election earlier this year.
"It's an out-of-the-box suggestion, but it would capture the desire for bipartisanship and that is to ask the outgoing senior senator from Indiana to be secretary of state," said Karl F. Inderfurth, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic International Studies.
"I think the administration will look to incorporate centrist Republicans," added H. Andrew Schwartz, a senior vice president at the center, who said that might mean taking "a close look at Chuck Hagel both for secretary of state and for secretary of defense."
The challenge of replacing Mrs. Clinton, popular among foreign dignitaries and people in their nations, is likely to prove among the most difficult issue facing the Obama administration going into the second term.
Mr. Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, appeared to be the administration's most likely choice. But it now remains to be seen whether the Democratic Party will accept his departure from the Senate.
The Democrats could retain their majority in the Senate even if they lost Mr. Kerry's seat. But some in the party may still resist, since the subsequent shock-election would create an immediate opening for Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott P. Brown, who lost his own seat on Tuesday.
Ms. Rice, meanwhile, has faced a rash of criticism from Republicans over statements she made following the Sept. 11 killing of American Ambassador J. Christopher Stephens in Libya. It remains to be seen whether the administration has the stomach for the grueling confirmation hearing she is likely to face if nominated to replace Mrs. Clinton.
More than any political calculation, however, Mr. Schwartz said the White House is likely to weigh the secretary of state nomination very carefully to avoid sacrificing the successes it has achieved in foreign policy over the past four years. That could mean a much slower transition process than State Department officials are suggesting.
"I think the administration has accomplished a lot," he said. "They've gone a long way to restoring America's dignity internationally and it's extremely important that there's a smooth transition."
"So I don't think anybody's going to be in a rush to make that happen."
Such factors could play into Mr. Lugar's possible rise on the short list.
"He is obviously a person of great stature and respected by both parties and has established in the past a close relationship with then-Senator Obama," Mr. Inderfurth said. "They both worked together on the so-called Nunn-Lugar cooperative threat reduction programs. They traveled together."
While tapping Mr. Lugar would be "quite a statement," Mr. Inderfurth said the president set such a precedent when he kept Republican-appointed former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates at the Pentagon well into the administration's first term.
"Lugar, if you will, is the foreign policy equivalent of the national security specialist Robert Gates," he said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Guy Taylor is the National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times, overseeing the paper’s State Department, Pentagon and intelligence community coverage. He’s also a frequent guest on The McLaughlin Group and C-SPAN.
His series on political, economic and security developments in Mexico won a 2012 Virginia Press Association award.
Prior to rejoining The Times in 2011, his work was ...
- U.S. intelligence nearly certain pro-Russian separatists downed Malaysian Airlines flight
- Israel's ambassador praises Obama, slams Human Rights Watch report
- U.S. scrambles as violence escalates in Israel-Hamas conflict
- MH17: Fear of ground-to-air missile strike becomes nightmare reality in Ukraine
- U.S., China to participate in unprecedented joint ground force exercise
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- PRUDEN: The Democratic-wannabe mice under Hillary Clinton's feet
- Let it roll: D.C. Council hits Las Vegas on taxpayer's dime, leaves $14,000 tab
- White House readies for House GOP impeachment push: 'Foolish' to ignore
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready for different route to title
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq