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So Who Are Clinton’s People, Anyhow?

Not long ago, a number of foreign-policy progressives in the Obama orbit vented to me about how they were concerned Hillary Rodham Clinton would shut them out of State Dept. jobs in favor of her own people. It wasn’t really an idle concern: several remember how the Clinton people un-sutbly warned Democrats during the primaries not to back Obama, because Clinton would inevitably win the nomination and the presidency, and they’d be frozen out. So let’s say, for the sake of argument, that their fears materialize. Who are Clinton’s people, anyway?

Marc Ambinder runs down the list:

Richard Holbrooke, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Dayton Peace Accord broker; Clinton’s chief defense adviser, Bob Einhorn, a Clinton administration veteran and non-proliferation expert, Andrew Shapiro, Clinton’s chief foreign policy adviser, Wendy Sherman, a senior adviser to Madelieine Albright and Warren Christopher, and Melaine Verveer, a former Clinton chief of staff and longtime Clinton confidante.

If this is the team, it’s a fairly progressive one. Holbrooke we’ve dealt with before, and chances are if he’s not going to be deputy secretary it’s hard for him to find a suitable place at the department. As for the others, Andrew Shapiro is probably the one that would most concern progressives, as he worked for Sen. Joe Lieberman on the 2000 presidential campaign and has been wary of setting a deadline for withdrawing from Iraq, but he’s also got the Steve Clemons seal of approval.

Einhorn and Sherman certainly qualify as progressives. Sherman, an Emily’s List veteran, did yeoman work in the Clinton administration trying to staunch North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Einhorn is a dyed-in-the-wool non-proliferation guy who’d be a bold choice for undersecretary for arms control. Melanne Verveer, I must confess, I don’t know anything about. [UPDATE: Including how to spell her name. Sorry!]

None of this is to say that progressives shouldn’t be watching to see whom Clinton places — and doesn’t place — in her State Dept. But judging from this list, they’d probably be pretty OK with several of Clinton’s top aides.

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