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FiveThirtyEight

Politics

While we continued to tour Georgia, the dominant political news of the day was the official announcement from Barack Obama that he will nominate Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State. Regardless of one’s opinion of the pick, it’s clear Clinton has a golden opportunity here to refresh her image not only within the Democratic Party, but with the country as a whole.

Her future presidential ambition is now inextricably bound to Barack Obama’s success as President. From Obama’s perspective, harnessing that energy to work in his favor was apparently worth the risk of the horrendous message discipline the Clinton machine brings with it wherever it goes. At first blush, it wouldn’t seem like a position endlessly scrutinized by foreign governments would be the ideal place for a political group that cannot keep a secret.

But most Democrats seem willing to give Obama’s judgment in the matter the benefit of the doubt. In a battle between skepticism of Clinton and trust of Obama, right now most of Obama’s supporters who mistrust Clinton seem willing to trust Obama’s judgment.

Not that they have a choice. Obama’s the boss.

In other news, with Janet Napolitano’s expected successful appointment to Homeland Security, Republican Secretary of State Jan Brewer will take the vacant governor’s seat. Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat will be appointed by Democratic Governor David Paterson. This is the third Democratic Senate seat that needs to be filled. Ted Kaufman will replace Joe Biden in Delaware, and in Illinois Rod Blagojevich will name a replacement for Barack Obama.

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