There are two names that are circled at the top of the shortlist of President-Elect Barack Obama’s Secretary of State position. The two of them were Obama’s rivals in the democratic primaries earlier this year. Obama has met with Sen. Hillary Clinton Thursday in Chicago and that was followed by a meeting with Governor Bill Richardson the next day. Previously, even before the election, one of the leading candidates was former democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry. Each has their own special knowledge and experience, so it could go either way, but rest assure he or she will have their hands full as the highest ranked cabinet secretary.
This position is as highly ranked because its tops in the line of succession as president and the order of precedence. The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State and his or her major role serves as a principal advisor to the president in overseeing and conducting matters in foreign policy. The position was originally given a number of responsibilities both foreign and domestic when it was first created, but some of those functions have been transferred to other agencies. Some that remain are drafting proclamations, replies to inquiries, performance of protocol functions for the White House, and storage and use of the Great Seal of the United States. Under the U.S. Constitution the secretary of state performs such duties required by the president which include negotiating with foreign representatives and instructing U.S. embassies or consulates abroad.
Not for nothin’, but with the current state of affairs the United States find themselves in, the duties of the secretary of state carry some importance particular when it comes to handling our nations relationships with the Middle East, North Korea, and more recently Russia. Along with the president, the secretary of state is a person with represents the United States of America to the world. It can come with a good deal of worldwide praise as well as a great deal of criticism.