excerpt:"During the presidential campaign, he regularly attacked President Bush for surrounding himself with people who only told him what he wanted to hear. He promised that he wouldn't do that. Every president says he's going to foster this spirit of candor (George W. Bush often said it), and we'll see if Obama really wants the kind of free-flowing dialogue he claims to. But the Clinton pick suggests that at least Obama is trying to make good on the promise. Obama is, in a way, courting drama.
What Obama wants from Clinton is the candor that can only be delivered by someone of her stature. It's what he said he wanted from Joe Biden, too. The problem for Clinton is that when the time comes for her to deliver her opinions to Obama directly and candidly and to fight for those opinions, it's going to look to those on the outside as if she's undermining her boss. The heated conversations might stay in the Oval Office, but it's hard to keep secrets in Washington, as Obama is learning. When a Cabinet secretary really believes in something, she tends to translate that passion to her staffers, who often talk to the press.
As long as Obama knows that Clinton is loyal, it may not matter how the chattering classes interpret any disagreement between them. Then again, it may. Secretary of state is an unusual position. Diplomats in Washington and foreign capitals believe a secretary of State based on how much weight they think the secretary carries with the president. If Clinton is viewed as operating on her own—even when she's being the kind of candid diplomat Obama wants her to be—it might send confusing signals."