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Think Out Loud

The Changeover: Secretary of State

Hillary Clinton goes back to the Senate tomorrow, but not as a senator. She faces a confirmation hearing for her nomination as Secretary of State. The conventional wisdom is that she’ll receive a warm welcome from Republicans and fellow and Democrats alike, but that she can expect a few tough-ish questions. For example, it’s likely she’ll be asked about potential conflicts of interest between her new post and her husband’s ongoing charitable and business activities with the Clinton Global Initiative.

There’s also the question of what role — if any — Bill will have in her travels and negotiations. Not to mention wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Gaza, unrest in Pakistan, and a nuclearly amibitious Iran — some of which proved to be sources of friction between candidates Obama and Clinton in the course of the election. Is this “team of rivals” ready to speak with one voice?

On the off-chance that the members of the Senate Foreign Relations committee run out of questions, they can always turn to a handy cheat-sheet from the folks at Foreign Policy magazine, who were good enough to provide 47 questions for Clinton.

What about you? What would you ask this former first lady, and senator, and presidential candidate in anticipation of this new chapter in an already extraordinary life? Are you focused on China? Or Gaza? Zimbabwe or Pakistan? Who should a Secretary Clinton sit down with first?

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