Thomas Friedman's Unusual Pick for Secretary of State

He thinks education chief Arne Duncan should replace Hillary

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 28, 2012 12:28 PM CST

(Newser) – The top contenders to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state look to be John Kerry and Susan Rice. But if Thomas Friedman had his way, President Obama would shift education secretary Arne Duncan into Clinton's job. Yes, Friedman knows the chances of that happening are just about non-existent, but he floats the idea in the New York Times to illustrate how important education could be in world affairs.

"The biggest issue in the world today is growth, and, in this information age, improving educational outcomes for more young people is now the most important lever for increasing economic growth and narrowing income inequality," writes Friedman. "In other words, education is now the key to sustainable power." Besides, a secretary of state spends much time negotiating treaties and such, and anyone who cut his teeth dealing with the Chicago Teachers Union, as Duncan did, should have no problem with the Russians, adds Friedman. Duncan, for his part is having none of it. When ask about Friedman's column today, he responded, "Last week, the Onion said I was going to become a male stripper," adding that story was "probably more accurate than Tom Friedman." Friedman's full column is here.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan: He's the one to replace Hillary Clinton, says Thomas Friedman.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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