The Note: Of Clintons and Clintonistas

David Broder thinks it would all be a mistake: "Clinton is the wrong person for that job in this administration. It's not the best use of her talents and it's certainly not the best fit for this new president," Broder writes. "What Obama wants and needs in the person running the State Department is a diplomat who will carry out his foreign policy. He does not need someone who will tell him how to approach the world or be his mentor in international relations."

Maureen Dowd catches up with David Geffen (again), for an alternate view: "She's smart and tough, a lot better than any of the old hacks like Holbrooke, Albright, etc.," says Geffen. "Barack Obama is going to run policy, and Hillary will be an effective communicator. It also takes Bill out of the game. It completely turns him into an ally -- and probably a help to both of them."

Dee Dee Myers is also a fan of the partnership: "That's right, 'when,' not 'if.' Because it's going to happen. And not just because things have gotten so far -- and so publicly --along that any other outcome would be a major embarrassment to everyone involved. Rather, it's going to happen because Obama understands that it's in his interest."

How does this factor in? "Hillary Clinton will face a financial decision if she is nominated as secretary of state: what to do about the more than $7 million in debts left over from her presidential campaign," Bloomberg's Jonathan D. Salant reports. "She could pay off the bulk of her debt by liquidating her Senate campaign committee account. She also could legally continue to raise money, though that may present ethical concerns if she is serving in the Cabinet."

Unless: "As the nation's top diplomat, she would be barred by tradition and ethics rules from partisan political activity, including raising cash to pay off debt from her unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination," Politico's Kenneth T. Vogel reports. "And that could give her a powerful case to make to the Federal Election Commission about why it should forgive her campaign debt through a settlement process not unlike filing for bankruptcy."

Hear this drumbeat? "This is not change we can believe in. Not if Robert Rubin or his protegé, Lawrence Summers, get to call the shots on the economy in President-elect Barack Obama's incoming administration," Robert Scheer writes at The Nation.

Another barnburner of a day from the most open and transparent transition in American history: "Today, President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden will hold private meetings in Chicago. There are no public events scheduled," per the release from the transition team.

In the meantime, a Rahm sighting, at The Wall Street Journal conference. "President-elect Barack Obama's incoming White House chief of staff challenged chief executives and other business leaders Tuesday night to join the new administration in a push for universal health care, saying incremental increases in coverage won't be acceptable," per the Journal's Jonathan Weisman.

Said Emanuel: "When it gets rough out there, a lot of business leaders get out of the car and say, 'We're OK with minor reform.' I'm challenging you today, we're going to have to do big, serious things."

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