What do John Jay, Edmund Randolph, Levi Lincoln Sr., Daniel Webster and Frederick T. Frelinghuysen have in common?

They all were called to serve as U.S. Secretary of State, and it was a dead-end job for all of them. But future advancement may not have mattered to them, since we’re not sure the job was too intense back then.

If you remember, the United States followed a policy of isolationism for many years in its infancy.

But the lack of job advancement brings us to the second question: Why would anyone want to be appointed secretary of state?

Today’s secretary of state is like the parent for the world, anytime a crisis erupts, the United States secretary of state answers that late-night call and offers guidance for solving the problem.

The secretary of state is appointed by the president and is the president’s go-to-person for anything involving foreign affairs. Along with rebellions and invasions, the secretary of state advises the president on appointing U.S. ambassadors and dismissing representatives of foreign countries, is his personal representative at conferences and negotiates treaties, ensures the protection of U.S. citizens and U.S. interest in foreign countries, and fulfills several other responsibilities.

With those kinds of credentials, why can’t the secretary of state be promoted to the presidency?

Current secretaries of state have also proven they can think and respond under fire, so why not give them a serious look for president?

We wouldn’t mind seeing Condoleezza Rice and/or Hillary Rodham Clinton as their party’s presidential nominee in four years. As they say, we’ve done worse.

— Harrison Daily Times, Arkansas, Nov. 29

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