The Big Question is a feature where influential lawmakers, pundits and interest group leaders give their answers to a question that’s driving discussion in news circles around the country.

Today’s Big Question is:
What's the first call Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFormer Vermont Governor: Sanders 'will play dirty' NYT: Justice investigating alleged Comey leak of years-old classified info New Hampshire state lawmaker switches support from Warren to Klobuchar MORE should make as Secretary of State?

See responses below from Celinda Lake, Ron Bonjean, Liz Schrayer, Micheal Moran, John Zogby, Jeremy Ben-Ami, Tom Fitton and Lanny Davis.

See the last Big Question here.

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Celinda Lake, president, Lake Research Partners said:
The Middle East -- Iraq and Afghanistan will have Presidential and V-Presidential attention but someone needs to focus on the most dangerous part of the world.


Ron Bonjean, president, The Bonjean Company said:
This job is a pressure cooker. Secretary Clinton’s first goal will be how to ensure that America remains a tough negotiator overseas while trying to diplomatically improve America’s image abroad. Read the full response


Liz Schrayer, Executive Director, U.S. Global Leadership Campaign, said:
Hillary Clinton’s first phone call as Secretary of State should be to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. In her confirmation hearing earlier this week, she laid out the Obama Administration’s “smart power” approach to foreign policy, augmenting a strong defense with new investments in our civilian-led tools of diplomacy and development. Tools such as these in the International Affairs Budget will provide critical resources for the new Administration to respond to the global challenges confronting America. Read the full response.


Michael Moran, executive editor, CFR.org (Council on Foreign Relations) said:
Send snail mail to Ahmadinejad, email Hu, and tell Putin to hold. These men, and a half dozen Karzais, Malikis, Abbas' and Olmert's besides, can wait another day before receiving their first telephone call from the new American Secretary of State. They are, to a man (and in the case of Angela Merkel, a woman, too), inevitable, omnipresent forces in the life of America's chief diplomat. A fast phone call is not going to stop the Gaza fighting. Moving too quickly on Iran courts danger. The rest require nuance. So who does she call? Felipe Perez Roque, of course, the foreign minister of Cuba. Read the full response


John Zogby, president/CEO, Zogby International said:
To Ehud Olmert, Tsipi Livny, and Benjamin Netanyahu. She should say -- Israel, we love you, and we love the Palestinians, too. This is a new era. You failed to eliminate the PLO, Hizbullah, and now Hamas. Arguably, you have empowered militants by your actions. Read the full response


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Jeremy Ben-Ami, executive director, J Street said:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should actually put together a conference call right off the bat with King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel, and deliver the same firm message to both. Referencing the tragedy of the recent violence in Gaza for Israel, the Palestinians and also moderates in the region, Clinton should stress how the crisis demonstrates the urgent need for peace and stability to the Middle East. Read the full response


Tom Fitton, president, Judicial Watch said:
She should resign, as she’s constitutionally ineligible to serve as Secretary of State.

According to the Ineligibility Clause of the United States Constitution, no member of Congress can be appointed to an office that has benefited from a salary increase during the time that Senator or Representative served in Congress. Read the full response


Lanny Davis, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe said:
With the President's concurrence, the Secretary of State, I hope, will support assisting Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to progress in negotiations for a two-state solution, and to endorse the PA, with Israel's assistance, playing a major role in the reconstruction of Gaza, the isolation of the terrorists of Hamas, and the absolute shutting down of the tunnels and other pathways for Iran-supplied rockets that Hamas has used to intentionally kill Israeli innocent civilians.