Scuttlebutt has it that Barack Obama is apparently considering Hillary Clinton and Bill Richardson for the position of Secretary of State. I hope he chooses Bill Richardson. The concern I have with Hillary is that she isn’t a very ethical person. That isn’t to say she doesn’t have good intentions, she just is prone to resorting to lies and deceit to get her way. I don’t respect that and am hoping that Obama will actually place trustworthy people around him, especially in a position as important as Secretary of State.
It is one thing to put a competent but ethically lax person in a lesser role where their deceit can be managed. But to make them your main emissary to the world would be a mistake. If you can’t trust them, you can’t trust them. And given Hillary’s past exploits (including her behavior during the Nixon impeachment), she can’t be trusted.
So, that leaves Bill Richardson. He would make an excellent Secretary of State. He seems to be ethical, smart and well respected. I think Obama would do well in choosing him.
When it comes to politics, the question of ethics is difficult. After all, as John Ciardi once noted, the art of diplomacy is saying nice doggy while looking for a really big stick. That takes a certain willingness to not be totally honest. But, we did elect Obama to restore a strong moral foundation to the White House and while I can understand the intelligence behind keeping your enemies close (which is one of the reasons the pundits are thinking he is even talking to Hillary), in a role as important as Secretary of State, we need someone ethical that we as a nation can trust. That would be Bill.