Sometime during the campaign late last year, in the debate between Hillary and Barack for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer suggested that if either of them won and named the other as their VP candidate, that would be a real "Dream Team." Not everyone knows the origin of that term in basketball, but it is a term that resonates in the US.
In fact, the term team is a big deal in the US. Team, of course, is a sports term, but it soon came to be the core of an American belief in how you get things done in this culture. Teamwork is vital to any enterprise. It is also the heart of American management theory. I first heard the term used in that sense 20 years ago when a new Consul General and long-time friend Louis Schwartz, arrived in Rio de Janeiro and announced that we of the Con Gen staff would work as a team. That revolutionized my idea of organizations, because I had never known in my previous 20 years in the State Department anything other than a hierarchical concept of management. Teamwork has proven to be the effective way for organizations to operate in the information age.
I was actually disappointed that Hillary was not brought on as the Vice Presidential nominee. Although I like Joe Biden, Hillary it seemed deserved a place on the ticket given her very strong showing in the primaries. When she did not get that, I still hoped that perhaps her talents could be used beyond the Senate, and I queried a number of friends on the idea of Hillary becoming the US Ambassador to the United Nations. Frankly, given some of the rancor between the Obama and Clinton camps, I could not imagine that Barack Obama would give her a Cabinet department, so I satisfied myself with what I consider to be the next best thing to being Secretary of State, the UN Ambassadorship.
I could not imagine that Barack Obama had been reading A Team of Rivals, the book by Doris Kearns Goodwin, a good friend and former board member of the Eleanor Roosevelt Center when I was there. So because of the Team of Rivals, we have in fact gotten "The Dream Team." Seeing the President, Joe Biden and Hillary together at the State Department a day after the Inauguration certainly made that palpable. And also, as I approached the massive State Department building last Thursday and thought of the hundreds of embassies and consulates that report back to it daily, I could not help thinking to myself, "Damn, Hillary, this is a great empire you've been handed." In short, I think Hillary actually got the second best job in our government and think that there is no reason for Hillary supporters as I was during the primaries to bemoan the way the electoral process worked out. We got "The Dream Team" after all.