It seemed like a nice idea to me, but I got talked out of it – by Clive Crook – whose explanation of the problem I rather enjoyed.
I think choosing Hillary would be a mistake. Not because of Bill. . . . they are not exactly chained together. Equally, if Hillary were the best candidate for secretary of state, it would be absurd to deny her the offer because of Bills post-presidential connections. . . .
No, the problem is that she is not a well-qualified candidate. She is not by any stretch of the imagination a foreign-policy expert. I dont think I would call her a born diplomat. And her loyalties, to put it mildly, might be divided. Her first priority would be to advance her own presidential ambitions, not to help make the Obama presidency such a success that those hopes die. The team of rivals idea is wonderful so long as the rivals are fully invested in the success of the enterprise. In this case, it seems doubtful. Could Hillary defer to Obama, and carry out his instructions to the best of her ability? I doubt it. And it would not help that everyone would be watching for the first sign of friction or insubordination. The soap-opera dimension would be highly counter-productive. . . .
What is Obama thinking, I wonder? That the party would be delighted? Yes it would, but so what: the election is already won. Or is it something to do with keeping your friends close and your enemies closer? (LBJ put it less delicately of course, but the metaphor does not really work in this instance.)