There hasn't been an American secretary of state so cloistered in nearly a half century. That one was Dean Rusk who had been a heroic soldier during World War II and then went to the State Department where he understood more than others the importance of Korea to U.S. strategy. A little bit of teaching intervened until he became president of the Rockefeller Foundation which had not yet embarked on its agenda of changing the world according to the fatuous guidelines of John D's grandchildren. In 1961, John F. Kennedy appointed Rusk ostensibly to run the foreign policy of the new frontier. But it turned out that what J.F.K. really wanted Rusk to do was to administer the State Department. So he ran Foggy Bottom where he dealt with the bruised egos of George Ball, W. Averell Harriman and Chester Bowles. As for the aptly aggressive internationalism that animated the new president's worldview, Kennedy had put McGeorge Bundy in the White House as his National Security Adviser. That's where power lay.
After the election last November, a tremendous psychodrama ensued about what Barack Obama would--or would not--do with Hillary Clinton. He had already broken her heart by not anointing her as his running-mate which would have been interpreted immediately as an endorsement of her as his successor. Instead, soon after Obama won, he announced that he would make her his secretary of state. I am sure I was disappointed, although i did not quite imagine a coup d'