Main | Monday, May 19, 2008

What To Do With Bill Clinton?

An interesting op-ed piece in the NY Times makes a suggestion.
Here’s an easy answer. Give Mr. Clinton a real job with real power, a challenging position that would be engaging, in part because it would be new. Let me explain. Once the campaigns agree on an Obama-Clinton ticket, Mr. Obama calls Gov. David Paterson of New York, lays out the situation and gets an agreement that if an Obama-Clinton ticket wins, the governor appoints the former president to fill Mrs. Clinton’s Senate seat, where he would serve until 2010. He could then run in a special election for the two remaining years of the term.

As for precedent, recall that John Quincy Adams moved from the executive to the legislative branch of the federal government, serving in Congress after his time in the White House. Upon being sworn in, Mr. Clinton would immediately be the most prominent member of Congress. He would carry the prestige of being a former two-term president — and he would be married to the vice president, who also happens to preside over the Senate.

Bill Clinton’s lack of legislative experience would be a virtue, a new challenge for him. It would also bring his political life full circle: his first campaign, which he lost, was for Congress in 1974. Of course, there would be plenty of incentive for Governor Paterson, too. Think what his state would have after the inaugural — a former New York senator in the White House, and a former president in the Senate.
Others have suggested Bill Clinton for the Supreme Court, but I like this idea too.

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