With a “Democratic official” having “confirmed to the Huffington Post that Sen. Hillary Clinton met with President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday to discuss her role in the new administration,” and with Clinton having concocted a cover story about being there on “private business,” it seems a fairly safe bet that she’ll be the next Secretary of State, as various news orgs are speculating.

The dominant reason for Obama offering the post to Clinton? In a nutshell, because it’s better to have the Clinton camel inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.

“The best reason for Obama to be looking for a place in his cabinet for Clinton is simple,” MSNBC’s First Read newsletter said this morning. “To get her out of the Senate. Just ask George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter what it was like to have a once or future presidential rival in the Senate serving as a one-person Roman tribunal. Remember how easily the press gravitated to John McCain in ’01 or Bob Kerrey in ’93 or Ted Kennedy in ’77 to allow them to be one-senator judge/juries on Administration proposals?

“The upside for Obama putting Clinton at State (or even the Pentagon) is that it gets her out of the Senate and gets her out of the domestic policy debates. Also, one other thing to keep in mind if Clinton does end up at State, she’ll be off the political circuit; it’s considered unseemly to practice politics while serving in one of the big cabinet posts, especially at State or Defense. So this would mean no more Hillary on the stump for candidates, no more Hillary raising money, no more Hillary collecting chits.”