THE PLANK NOVEMBER 16, 2009
Speaking of Hillary, Vogue's Jonathan van Meter traveled with the secretary of state and produced an interesting profile--he has good backstory on her decision to take the job:
All of these hand-wringing calculations took place in the span of a few days, and for various reasons—those mentioned above, others known only to herself—Clinton wavered daily. This seesaw effect created what was described to me as a "boys against the girls" dynamic among her advisers. Reines and Andrew Shapiro, her foreign-affairs adviser in the Senate, were pushing her to take the job, reportedly through occasional "E-mails that bordered on the disrespectful," someone told me. On the other side were the women who have been Clinton's most trusted advisers for years: Maggie Williams, Cheryl Mills, who is now her chief of staff, and Capricia Marshall, all urging her not to accept.
Each time Clinton wavered, Obama would talk her through it again. "At the end of the day," says one of her aides, "it was the president who sold her on it. He didn't delegate it."...
But as the hours ticked by, it was becoming increasingly obvious to her staff that Clinton wasn't going to accept. Out of desperation and knowing that Joe Biden was "gung ho" about the idea of Clinton as Secretary of State, Reines and Shapiro lied to their boss that it was Biden's birthday (it was actually the next day) so that she would call him and he might sway her at the eleventh hour. They were throwing the kitchen sink at her, I was told, "grasping at straws."
Reines and Shapiro went to bed Wednesday night thinking she was getting ready to call the president to say she wasn't going to do it. "We went to work Thursday not just preparing for the worst but prepared," says Reines. "There was a statement. Waiting to push the button. And every minute that went by that it didn't happen, the air was coming out of it. And then you could just tell by mid-morning, something had changed. I remember Maggie Williams called. Huma said, 'This is crazy!,' which I could just tell, knowing Huma, that it was something big. And then Maggie called me and said, 'So there's been a little development…. ' " Clinton had decided to accept.