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Secretary of State

Re “State of mind,” Opinion, Nov. 15

It’s preposterous that one of four qualities necessary to be a successful secretary of State should be deviousness.

Also, Aaron David Miller wrote that James Baker and Henry Kissinger were able to “yell and threaten” during negotiations. Miller doesn’t say it, but implicit in his argument is that winning is everything. Is there no room for honesty, integrity and trust when it comes to negotiating at an international level?

Just what do I tell my grandchildren? If you ever want to be secretary of State, you have to be devious, deceptive and manipulative? How interesting that when we talk about youngsters naturally being manipulative we chastise instead of congratulate them for their manipulative behavior.

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Benny Wasserman

La Palma

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Amid all the speculation about the Obama Cabinet, I have a nomination that trumps those names previously mentioned. For secretary of State, I propose Billary Clinton. That’s right -- co-secretaries of State. It would be the perfect combination of charm, experience and panache for the position. It is the two-for-one we never fully received.

Moreover, it is the shrewdest move Barack Obama could make. Talk about keeping your friends close, your enemies closer, and the Clintons ... .

Paul Rockower

Los Angeles

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I am struggling to understand how a woman who used the phrase “hardworking Americans, white Americans” in a primary campaign, no matter how bitterly fought, could possibly be considered by our president-elect as secretary of State when a majority of the inhabitants of this world are nonwhite.

Is this payback for her and her husband agreeing to campaign for him? I voted enthusiastically for Obama, and will be seriously disappointed in him if he makes this appointment. Even John McCain, at his worst, never played the race card so blatantly.

Judith Searle

Santa Monica

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