President Barack Obama is taking far-reaching steps to centralize decision-making inside the White House, surrounding himself with influential counselors, overseas envoys and policy "czars" that shift power from traditional Cabinet posts.
Not even a week has passed since he was sworn in, but already Obama is moving to create perhaps the most powerful staff in modern history – a sort of West Wing on steroids that places no less than a half-dozen of his top initiatives into the hands of advisers outside the Cabinet.
At least 2 of those picks seem to indicate that Clinton will have less of a role than she may have expected:
For all the talk of his “Team of Rivals” pick in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Obama last week handed the two hottest hotspots in American foreign policy to presidential envoys – one to former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, and the other to a man who knows his way around Foggy Bottom better than Clinton does, Richard Holbrooke.Apparently all of that talk about whether Clinton would be furthering her political goals or not by taking the post of Secretary of State is now somewhat moot.
More of concern to Israel's supporters who saw Clinton's appointment as a majore plus--you will have to deal George Mitchell now, who has been touted as even-handed, but not by everyone.
The game has changed--Maybe Biden knew what he was doing when he turned down the job of Secretary of State to be Vice President.