Barack Obama, during the Democratic primaries, cited as influential to his thinking the book "Team Of Rivals," about Abraham Lincoln's opponent-stocked cabinet. It would appear this was more than mere campaign puffery: Obama's former presidential rival Hillary Clinton has accepted an offer to join the president-elect's cabinet as Secretary of State, according to a report in Britain's Guardian, carried on the front of Drudge Report. Rather than a thorny problem outside of the Obama administration, in the senate, Clinton will now be on the team, and focused on international problems where political disagreements with the president are less likely to erupt into public view. Of course her appointment could still go spectacularly wrong.
To find an example of an embarrassing breakdown between a president and his Secretary of State, one need go back no further than the current Bush Administration. Colin Powell was, by most accounts, slowly frozen out of key decisions after voicing early dissent over the Iraq war. His office became a source of leaks. And after leaving at the end of Bush's first term, Powell spoke publicly about his regrets.
Luckily for Obama, he's already gotten the "bitter public disagreement" phase of his relationship with Clinton out of the way! And his alliance with Clinton, combined with recent efforts to build bridges to former Republican presidential rival John McCain in the senate, could help him avoid the bruising Congressional battles of Bill Clinton's first year.