Someone isn’t happy about Obama making nice with Hillary

Over at Huff Post, David Bromwich argues that Obama shouldn’t be so fast to make up with Hillary after everything she did to him during the primaries. First his take, then mine:

It is said that Barack Obama has read Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, Team of Rivals, about the war cabinet of Abraham Lincoln. It is said Obama wants to constitute his cabinet out of former rivals because he liked the book and he models himself on Lincoln.

Implausible as it sounds, this is the best explanation anyone has given of the offer of the position of secretary of state to Hillary Clinton. Lincoln took William Seward at State, and Seward was a rival indeed, but he had fought for Lincoln with ferocious loyalty and all his eloquence throughout the campaign, and he put his considerable vote-getting power at Lincoln’s disposal. What can be said for Hillary Clinton? She fought against Obama until the last possible moment, and on the way exploited, for the purpose of discrediting him, most of the devices the Republicans would later tap in the general election. She said Obama had not shown himself fit to be commander-in-chief. She pretended not to know for sure whether or not he was a Muslim.

Team of Rivals is a pleasant work of popular history, only harmful to the extent that you weave fantasies around it. Anyone who cares about Obama’s fortunes after his first large public mistake (for even to offer Clinton the position was a mistake) should close his copy of Goodwin and open the actual words of Hillary Clinton on Iraq, and the things Barack Obama said about those words.

I just don’t buy it. And I say this as someone who was rather tough on Hillary during the primaries (well, that is, after being one of her top defenders in the blogosphere). It was a primary, things get said, things get done, you get over it. Hillary was vicious at times, and we were vicious back at her. Yeah, and so what.

Hillary’s comportment during the primaries, as a primary contender, is a far cry from what Joe Lieberman did in actually endorsing the GOP candidate. When you are running for office you are granted a certain degree of latitude in how nasty you can be against your fellow primary contenders. Yes, we get pissed at you at the time, we strike back just as hard, but then we get over it. But running against, and criticizing, fellow Dems in a primary is not the same thing as joining with the enemy after the primaries are over.

I liked Hillary and Bill before the heat of the primaries, and I’m starting to like them all over again. I really believe Hillary would make a fantastic Secretary of State, and her husband’s international ties would only benefit the Obama administration. If anyone can fix America’s tattered image in the world, it’s President Obama aided by a tag-team of Clintons. And I really am serious. I think this could be an incredible opportunity for America.

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CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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