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Joe Biden for secretary of state doesn’t entirely make sense.

Boston Globe/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton is considering the vice president as her top diplomat if she wins the White House, Politico reported:

The vice president, who chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before joining the administration, is one of the most experienced and respected Democrats on the world stage. He’s also coming to what would be the close of a 44-year career in Washington, first with six terms in the Senate and then two terms as President Barack Obama’s closest adviser — and the keeper of the portfolio on some of the most difficult international issues, including Iraq and Ukraine.

He certainly has the experience, and some continuity with the Obama years could benefit the administration. But there are a host of reasons why this might be a bad idea—for Clinton and for Biden.

First, there’s the obvious: He’s not always the most diplomatic. Biden’s gaffes could have real consequences as secretary of state, resulting in embarrassing and even damaging international incidents. He can’t just say he’d like to take Vladimir Putin “behind the gym.”

Then there’s the fact that Biden and Clinton disagreed on major foreign policy issues over the past eight years. As Politico noted, “They differed over leaving troops in Iraq, the surge in Afghanistan, and whether to arm Syria’s rebels and bomb Libya — and Clinton took the more hawkish line in every case.” Biden reportedly opposed the military raid that killed Osama bin Laden, although he has since disputed that.

Serving in Clinton’s administration could also be a risky proposition for Biden’s legacy, burnished substantially by his vice presidency. Maybe it’s a call to service he has to answer, but writing a book and working on cancer research is definitely the safer bet.