November 14th, 2008
05:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama asks Clinton if she is interested in secretary of state post

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Sources say Obama asked Clinton if she is interested in the secretary of state post.
Sources say Obama asked Clinton if she is interested in the secretary of state post.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Multiple Democratic sources tell CNN that President Elect Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton had a “serious discussion” Thursday to gauge Clinton’s interest in the post of Secretary of State, if she were offered it. Senator Clinton’s response is unknown, although multiple sources agree that Hillary Clinton was left with the impression that if she were interested in the post, it would be hers.

“There was a serious discussion to determine whether, if offered Secretary of State, she would accept it,” said a source close to the Obama transition.

In these circumstances, that source added, a president-elect does not meet with potential cabinet secretaries unless they are serious about making an offer.

Another source close to the Obama transition team told CNN, “this (asking Clinton to be Secretary of State) has been of great interest to Obama for awhile. You’ve got to assume that Hillary Clinton did not come to visit the city of Chicago.”

Over the course of the last 24 hours, sources close to Hillary Clinton have softened their one-time solid public position that she would not be interested in a cabinet position. Those sources now say that Hillary Clinton is clearly contemplating various ways in which she can serve the Obama Administration.

On Monday, Senator Clinton responded to a reporter’s question by saying, “I am happy being a Senator from New York, I love this state and this city. I am looking at the long list of things I have to catch up on and do. But I want to be a good partner and I want to do everything I can to make sure his agenda is going to be successful."

Another source close to the Obama transition team tells CNN that among the key details to be worked out with Clinton, should she express interest in the position, are issues of how her husband, former President Bill Clinton, will be able to continue his work with the Clinton Global Initiative without complicating Hillary Clinton’s work as Secretary of State.

soundoff (280 Responses)
  1. bill

    Everyone accept it for what it is. Obama is a political machine, probably the smartest to come along in awhile. He used his rhetoric to get your vote, if you voted for change of tone, get used to the disappointments.

    What qualifies her is the resentment that is still there among her supporters (just because they would never vote Republican doesnt mean they think the best Democrat won. )

    November 14, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  2. Charm

    I really hope Hillary is offered the position and she accepts. Hillary is respected around the world. She's tough and intelligent and in my opinion would have made a kick *ss President. There are several other positions I can see her doing well in...but I believe she will be a great SoS for Obama and the U.S.

    November 14, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  3. GARY

    (RAYMOND) GET A LIFE. OBAMA KNOWS HOW THE CLINTON YRS.WERE. GO HATE ON SOMEONE ELSE. YOU YOUNG MORONS ARE NOTHING BUT WHINING HATERS.

    November 14, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  4. Nick - Arlington, VA

    No Hillary = No Obama November 14th, 2008 5:43 pm ET
    Personally, I think she should tell him to kiss her buttocks and stay in NY. It should have been President Hillary Clinton and would have been President Hillary Clinton if not for the subversive media which Obama did not have to deal with. Obama has and always will be full of himself.
    --------------------------------
    REALLY?

    GET

    OVER

    IT!

    November 14, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  5. Marc in Virginia

    I LOVE how all of you Obamabots are turning on your leader. You really drank up the "change" kool-aid, didn't you? Face it, Obama NEEDS Hillary. This IS change folks. Change did not mean no Clinton, it meant no Bush. Deal with it.

    November 14, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. Dan

    I do believe that Bill Richardson is more qualified. However, I think she would do the job well and we'd be served well with Hillary has SOS . Other than SOS, I can't see another cabinet position that would be a good fit Hillary. So, if Obama wants her in the cabinet this is about his only option.

    November 14, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. Jim

    President-elect Obama is showing great management skills in forming a broad-based team to unite and govern the country – similar to what Franklin Roosevelt did in the Great Depression.

    I completely trust Obama's judgment to select Sen. Clinton and others to serve as cabinet secretaries, or in other roles, based on their ability to serve the country.

    November 14, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  8. Latina for Obama

    I like it!! besides is his choice.
    He will never make everybody happy

    November 14, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. Allan

    No statement from actual Obama transition team members.

    Hmmmm...

    I question the validity of these "leaks."

    November 14, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  10. Wayne ( Canada )

    The clinton's have a lot of respect internationally. I am sure there are other seasoned picks but the Star power of Clinton will give a jump start to repairing America's Image abroad. it is a good move at least for the initial impact which is important. Also it is a good political move to further unite the Democrats. keep your friends close and your
    enemies even closer.

    November 14, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  11. Laurel

    First reaction is to say she would be the perfect choice but I think a lot of people who agree with this also are forgetting that she is such a powerhouse in the Senate and a voice for the underdog. It would be so unfortunate if she were to leave because we need her there in the Senate. She is the best person to take Senator Kennedy's role should he retire or suffer another health setback, or worse.

    November 14, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  12. Bush Turned Me Into a Democrat

    Hmmm.....I would rather see Hagel for Sec of State – that would add some party balance and put a person with real foreign policy experience in the role.

    Clinton for AG.

    Gore for Secretary of the Interior (wouldn't that drive the haters nuts?).

    Colin Powell for Sec Defense or Homeland Security.

    November 14, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  13. D4Obama

    I trust Obama's wisdom on this. Let's get it on!

    November 14, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. Texans for Obama

    I don't think he should offer her SoS; although he should consider offering her a cabinet position. She's doesn't have the necessary foreign policy experience. (I keep remembering what she said during the primaries about the sniper fire. LOL) IMO a better choice would be Bill Richardson or Colin Powell.

    November 14, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  15. C - SAN FRANCISCO

    ALL YOU HRC HATERS PLEASE REMEMBER SHE DID RECEIVE 18 MILLION VOTES DURING THE PRIMARY, WHICH IS MORE THAN ANY ONE ELSE. SHE IS RESPECTED AND BELOVED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. I HAVE BEEN TO OVER 45 COUNTRIES SO FAR AND EVERYWHERE I HAVE TRAVELED THEY LOVE BOTH CLINTONS. SO ALL YOU CLINTON HATERS NEED TO ACCEPT THAT AND DEAL WITH IT. ITS GOING TO HAPPEN. ROCK ON HILLARY!!!!!

    November 14, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. Betty

    Well it will be a good choice. The country of of ours has not been a good example to the other countries and our allies. It is time for a change. I had often thought of Hillary as SOS I think it is good. Obama is no fool or a puppet he will get the job done with the right people.

    November 14, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  17. Grace

    I think Obama knows exactly what he is doing. I have an eensy bit of wondering if Hillary will stay true to Obama's objectives though. She would be great if she is fully dedicated. That would be wonderful.

    November 14, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  18. terri

    How can Obama say he will give our country CHANGE, if he has Clintons on his cabinet... we already had 8 years of Clintons and 8 years of Bush! So, Obama... please, your CHANGE needs to be all new people and new ideas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 14, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  19. Silence Dogood

    Obama supporters generally:

    - believe anything Obama says or does as Supreme Wisdom
    - hate Hillary for old conservative myths or sexism or both

    If Obama picks Hillary, I want to watch their heads spin around and explode.

    November 14, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  20. behzad

    Maybe it could help her to run as a president in the future if democrates lose. Dem. need to plan this out for 8 or 12 years out from now so when time comes she could run for presidency again. But bottom line I think she is a very smart women.

    November 14, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  21. bk

    Obama steals Hillarys plans, appoints all Clinton people, and now the Clintons are back in again. No change here, just more of the same. The Clintons, Pelosi, and Reid will be running the country because Obama has no experience and doesn't know how. He is a puppet on a string.

    November 14, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  22. INDEPENDENT

    GO HILIARY!! SHE WILL BE GOOD FOR THIS COUNTRY. SHE UNDERSTANDS WHAT A TAKES TO BUILD JOBS AND CREAT A SURPLUS.

    GO HILIARY

    November 14, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  23. Oakland, CA

    OH NO... this is not good. Hillary said some terrible things while campainging against Obama, and now she will have to eat her words and be like her old phony self. This is not CHANGE . We already had Clinton in the white house for 8 years, please Mr. Obama, choose someone else, someone who isn't fake and evil. Pick a nice person.

    November 14, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  24. Patrick

    God bless the USA. She would be a GREAT Secretary of State.

    November 14, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  25. deb in Colo

    Did she fill out the questionnaire?? Inquiring mines want to know....
    :D

    November 14, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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