The Next Secretary of State
Jude Wanniski
August 28, 1996


Memo To:Thomas L. Friedman, NYT Foreign Affairs Columnist
From: Jude Wanniski
Re:The Next Secretary of State

Your rundown today on the likely successors to Warren Christopher in a second Clinton administration was expertly done. Your assessments are so razor sharp that I can't find a word out of place. The list is not alphabetical, so I assume the list is in order of your personal preference: Anthony Lake, the national security advisor; Richard Holbrooke, the former Bosnia negotiator; Senator Sam Nunn; Madeleine Albright, the UN ambassador; Thomas Picketing, the U.S.Ambassador to Russia; Former Senator George Mitchell; Senator Richard Lugar. Actually, your comment on Pickering's weakness seems to apply to the entire roster: "Unclear whether he has a global vision that could guide a second-term Clinton Administration."

The two names I would suggest that are not on your list would be Colin Powell and former Oklahoma Senator David Boren. The next secretary of state should be able to transfer the power of the National Security Council back to Foggy Bottom, which is where it belongs in peacetime. The NSC was established as a council of war, and the war is over. State needs a very strong leader who will be able to outmaneuver the Military-Industrial Complex, as it feeds through the NSC and the Pentagon. The only real allies the diplomats have these days are people like you, in the press corps, and those like Henry Kissinger who continue to stress diplomacy over fear and force.

Powell had turned down the job with the Clinton administration, but he would surely consider it again if Clinton were re-elected. Powell would be a much better SecState in a Dole/Kemp administration, though, because I presume Clinton will remain burdened with Bob Rubin (and Larry Summers) at Treasury. Keynesian economics will continue to plague the planet via the IMF and World Bank, unless there are changes made there. David Boren would at least be able to bring some understanding of foreign economic policy to State. Boren, like Bradley, has bailed out of elective politics because he sees the void in the Senate. Unlike Bradley, Boren is growth oriented in his economics.

The ideal combination in a Dole/Kemp administration would be Ted Forstmann at Treasury and Colin Powell at State, with Don Rumsfeld the White House chief of staff, and Sam Nunn the Secretary of Defense. I note that Steven Rosenfeld of The Washington Post thinks Powell is too much of a dove for conservative Republicans, but that is only when it comes to the Oval Office. Conservatives accept the idea that Powell's dovishness would be appropriate at State.