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Keep Your Friends Close (and Your Enemies Under Your Thumb)

By Andrea Tantaros

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? That's what reports are saying. According to officials, Obama has narrowed the possibilities for secretary of state and Senator Hillary Clinton is among those being strongly considered. Some officials are even calling her the favorite.

Obama offering Clinton the position of secretary of state exemplifies the notion of keeping your friends close and your enemies -- not just close -- but under your thumb. The last thing Barack Obama wants is a supercharged Hillary Clinton potentially causing trouble in the Senate. (The last thing Hillary wants is to be under a man's thumb, I thought). If she accepts the job, she's shackled to his administration, which is smart if he wants to fend off attacks from the Clintons in 2012 -- a win for Obama and Democratic Party unity.

It's all politics, shrewd politics. So is Obama's upcoming meeting with John McCain. The President elect ran on bi-partisanship. Now the onus is on him to deliver. But most importantly, he wants shore up two terms early. And he can do that by mollifying his detractors and appeasing potential opponents.

If Hillary doesn't accept the job she looks like a sore loser, unwilling to cooperate. But Obama is smart enough not to publicly ask her without knowing she'll accept.

I'm not sure why she would want the position. Sure it's prestigious, but if she signs on Obama will own her. She will serve at his pleasure. In the Senate, nobody owns Hillary, especially now. She is poised to assume the role of lioness in the Senate in Ted Kennedy's absence. And secretary of state may seem old hat for the former First Lady. She likely considered herself Madeline Albright's boss when Bill was Commander in Chief.

To the Senator's credit, she is the most hawkish out of the names being floated thus far.

My hunch is the Clintons have already brokered a deal with President elect Obama. The question is, is this it?

Andrea Tantaros is a Republican political commentator and contributor. Her commentary can be a found at and