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Premier de mes deux papiers pour Politico ce week-end :

At home, he’s sometimes considered a bit of a liability — prone to speaking his mind too freely, a lightning rod for conservatives, subject to, ahem, personal controversies and clashes with the press.

But abroad, former President Bill Clinton is a rock star — the brand name for happier U.S. engagement with the world. And he could be one of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s chief assets if she becomes secretary of state.

“The Clinton brand is a good one,” said Dana Allin, an expert on trans-Atlantic affairs at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. “Her husband’s administration is remembered fondly, maybe even more fondly in retrospect, after eight years of Bush.”

“Bill is a popular guy in Europe,” said Constanze Stelzenmueller, director of the German Marshall Fund’s Berlin office. “He is very touchy-feely, and on a more serious note, he is educated, and Europe felt taken seriously and understood” during his administration. The hope is that “some of that might rub off on his wife.”

President-elect Obama is expected to announce his national security team after Thanksgiving, and Hillary Clinton is the odds-on favorite for secretary of state. Clinton’s selection came after her husband agreed to provide extensive financial disclosures to Obama’s transition team and to ensure that his future activities overseas would not conflict, politically or financially, with his wife’s role as the nation’s top diplomat.

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