Hiring Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State is Mr. Obama’s first big mistake.  Let’s hope it is his last. 

The age-old adage of the personnel field (now called Human Resources Management) is, “Never hire someone you cannot afford to fire.”  Mr. Obama just showed us what he means by “Change We Can Believe In.”  He has hired to fill one of the most visible positions in Government, a person who is still his main rival and whom he cannot  fire.

In the Senate, Mrs. Clinton could have been a serious thorn in Mr. Obama’s side.  But, as the titular leader of the Democratic Party, he could have kept her in check by using the ‘party unity card.’  As Secretary of State she can cultivate her position to gain power and Mr. Obama cannot publicly chide her without losing part of his base of voters.  He definitely can’t fire her.  It would greatly reduce his power and increase hers.

By and large, Mr. Obama has chosen good advisors and used wisely their advice.  This time, either he didn’t listen or he relied on the wrong advisors.

The potential for Mr. Obama to leverage his considerable popularity overseas may just have been scuttled in an attempt to neutralize his biggest rival in Congress.

We are all worse off for this decision.

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