John McCain was asked recently in an interview whether he would offer Hillary Clinton a cabinet position in his administration. He replied with something diplomatic about how she wants to remain in the Senate where she will be an influential legislator together with whom the president will need to work. Still, I can see a place for a Clinton in a McCain administration - but not Hillary.
Last year, Bill Clinton was often floated as a possible Ambassador to the United Nations in a potential Hillary (or other Democratic) presidency. That position is probably the best one for him, and he is probably the best man for the job - Democratic or Republican. Like any ambassador, he would not be responsible for creating policy, so his presence would not give undue influence to the voters of 1992. He would, however, be responsible for diplomatic strategizing, confronting those enemies so recalcitrant they lack a Washington embassy, and being the face of the U.S.A. in Manhattan's global village.
These jobs would emphasize Bill Clinton's strengths, furthering his bipartisan disaster relief work, and letting him serve his country just a few miles from his Harlem office. It would rehabilitate his image as a statesman, tarnished in the Democratic primary (and leave him free to re-tarnish it in another bruising Hillary run in 2012).
The appointment of Clinton would let McCain emphasize his differences with the Bush administration on foreign policy - which are small, but significant. McCain agreed with Bush (and Hillary) on the need for a war in Iraq in 2003, a disastrous misjudgment in my view. He agreed with Bush (but not Hillary) on the need to win the war decisively, despite the setbacks of 2006, a vital long-term decision in my view. But McCain could show a different style in his prosecution of these policies: showing more respect for allies and working within rather than around international institutions.
Just as the Bush foreign policy style can be best characterized with the appointment of UN Ambassador John Bolton, McCain's could set the tone for a new era - and apologize to the world for defeating their darling, Barack Obama - by appointing Bill Clinton to this high-profile position.