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I think that you can wind up with a great deal of discussion on this particular question. There probably is not going to be one right answer. I think that much of it depends on what immediate challenges the nation and the President face at a given time. For example, I think that the Secretary of the Treasury is an important one when there is economic challenges facing the nation. The last two Treasury Secretaries, Hank Paulsen and Tim Geithner, have occupied a great deal of significance given the nation's financial condition. I do think that the Secretary of State is highly relevant, and could be considered one of the most important cabinet positions. There are always going to be international challenges all over the world where diplomacy and other forms of negotiation will be required. Certainly, this was true after World War II in terms of containing Communism and understanding the nature of worldwide Communism. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the Secretary of State has played a vital role in helping American interests around the world navigate a reality of the war on terrorism, as well as balancing the demands of a globalized world. In this, I think that the Secretary of State plays an extremely important role in ensuring that the President not merely reacts appropriately to world change, but helps guide change into ensuring that all world members can embrace liberal democracy and the ideas that help to broaden a globalized world. In this, I would say that the Secretary of State is an extremely important cabinet post.
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