WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton is seeking to expand the role and power of the department on foreign and economic matters, observers said.
Clinton is looking to Jacob Lew, the budget director under former President Bill Clinton, and James B. Steinberg, a deputy security adviser in her husbands administration, to be her chief lieutenants, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
President-elect Barack Obama's administration, once he takes office in January, likely will name several envoys, reviving another Clinton administration practice of diplomats playing a key role in mediating disputes. Under President George Bush's administration, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice handled peacekeeping activities.
Clinton also is reportedly trying to bulk up the State Department's role in economic affairs, seeking advice from Laura D'Andrea Tyson, an economist who led Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers, the Times said.
"There's no question that there is a reinvention of the wheel here," said Aaron Miller, a public policy analyst at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. "But it's geared not so much as a reaction to Bush as to a fairly astute analysis of what's going to work in foreign policy."