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Clinton and Obama

December 01, 2008

Re "Clinton's stature no guarantee of success," news analysis, Nov. 24

Although concerns regarding Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's loyalty to President-elect Barack Obama are legitimate, I question whether Clinton would allow her future ambitions to be quelled by refusing to support a very popular leader. Though Clinton has a fiercely loyal base and considerable power, she cannot afford to pursue a hard-headed foreign policy against her boss' will.

If Obama's popularity wanes, Clinton could assert her own policies and begin to set herself apart, as she did during the campaign, but it would be foolish to appear as the lone dissenter before then.

However, points in the article regarding Vice President-elect Joe Biden's potentially substantial role in foreign policy are justified. Biden has shown that he will likely take a strong stand on relations with Israel, and his position as former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee points to his commitment to issues abroad.

Though Clinton is by no means a weak voice, she must take care to balance her views with those of Obama and Biden -- and even her husband -- while advancing her own reputation.

Elizabeth Shirey

Sacramento

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I was astonished to read this so-called news analysis, where a "marginal figure ... may point to potential pitfalls for Hillary Rodham Clinton"; an expert historian "can imagine"; an anonymous source confirms what world leaders "may wonder"; and The Times offers its own expertise four times in four paragraphs when it tells us what the Clintons "may" do.

In the last two paragraphs, The Times has us wonder what "Biden is likely to" do, and what, in turn, Obama and Clinton "may try to" do. With such interesting speculation, who needs the gossip columns?

Susan Wilber

Los Angeles

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