November 14th, 2008
05:30 PM ET
6 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. Wayne ( Canada )

    I don't understand some of the arguements presented her about change.Change does not mean that you a whole team of completely different cabinet members who have little or no credentials. New faces do not translate into new ideas or automatic success. President Obama wants to bring in the most talented people with the highest credentials. In fact he is willing to bring in people who will challenge him and bring the best solutions to the problems facing the country .That is real change. Kudos

    November 14, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  2. Cathy from Colorado

    Why are we all second guessing the president-elect? He ran one of the best political campaigns in our adult lives–sans–deceit, lies and dirty tricks. Please remember, he will not take office until Jan. 20, 2009 and still has 100 days of "grace" to initiate and do what needs to be done.
    I admit the time line seems long, but, considering the past 8 yrs., we need to be respectful and patient regarding his decisions and choices.

    Please remove from moderation.

    November 14, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  3. Alex

    Denise....Boardman, Ohio <– I don't agree that you want a team of rivals. Think about it, he'll have them second guessing him and I don't know if Obama wants to worry about Clinton or McCain and their "staffers" leaking information.

    Look Clinton would do a great job, and she is qualified, shoot she could be President if she wanted to. But, this post is not the right position for her under his term. He promised change, not the same old Washington Insiders.

    What we need is more Cowbells! Not Clintons!

    November 14, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  4. A Well Educated Woman

    C'mon Hil's. Let us show the world that this new administration means business.

    November 14, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  5. Gracie

    This is a very BRILLIANT move on President-Elect Obama's part. This is exactly where Clinton should be so he can keep tabs on everything she does. She can't veer off the beaten path as Secretary of State, she will be doing the President's bidding and therefore must walk the straight and narrow path. This also puts Bill Clinton on a tight leash. he can't just run off with the mouth or misbehave.

    I honestly think this is WHAT we need in the White House. A President who will bring in the BEST OF THE BEST and put them to work in cleaning out all the rubbish Bush and Cheney brought in. It's like "taking out the trash". It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it and President Obama is THE MAN for the job! He's a NO NONSENSE kind of President and he doesn't like any "drama". Thank God!

    November 14, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  6. 30-m-PA-Democrat-voted McCain

    I hope she accepts it. She's well known throughout the world.

    November 14, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  7. Israel's Other Senator

    Hillary Clinton would probably be a patsy for Israel. 1.3 million Palestinians currently live in refugee camps, because the State of Israel excludes them from returning to their lands. America needs leaders who will be tough with Israel about this.

    November 14, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  8. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    FOR THE CYNICS WHO QUESTION 'CHANGE' .......... WE HAVE CHANGE! WE HAVE A PRESIDENT-ELECT WHO IS USING HIS BRAIN, GATHERING THE BRILLIANT PEOPLE TO HIS ADMINISTRATION! THAT'S ........REAL........CHANGE!

    NO MORE NEOCONS, NO MORE WAR-HATE-LIE-DIVISION MONGERS!

    (sorry for shouting folks)

    November 14, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  9. Dan from Philly

    This surprises me. I expected him to make her an offer, but I can think of 5 places she'd be more prepared to serve than State. She really has little or no foreign policy or diplomatic experience.

    November 14, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  10. Luigi ina California

    Once again, Obama shows his smarts. And, he shows he's able to pick the person with the best credentials for this pivotal position.

    November 14, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  11. Tariq

    Why Hillary is a good pick?

    She is already a familiar name and face to many world leaders that will remind them of a time when the U.S. was still viewed in a positive light

    In such a high ranking position, it will be hard for all the Hillary supporters to deny the re-election of Obama-Biden in 2012

    Hillary thinks big and it doesn't get any bigger than the whole world as her playing field

    November 14, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  12. David

    I knew that Obama would pick her from the start of the election for sec of state. She will be great here.

    November 14, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  13. Fla. Voter

    Hillary is a smart choice for Secretary of State. Obama seems to have learned from one of our greatest presidents, Lincoln. It gives me such hope for our future again.

    God bless America!

    November 14, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  14. It's healthcare not welfare (stupid)

    I think we can find a spot for Hillary thats what (we) Democrats do we forgive each other , let's roll up our sleeve and get this economy moving forward, If you are ready then type YES WE CAN at the bottom of your comments until January 20, 2009

    Let's Go

    YES WE CAN

    November 14, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  15. David

    TEAM OF RIVALS....pick the best from the country no matter what party or "rivary" ....UNITED WE STAND.

    November 14, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  16. Yogi Bala

    Is this is the change we need? The same old politics. Obama should select either John Kerry or Bill Richardson as the SOS. In this worst recession, the only hope we Americans have is OBAMA. He too should understand and should not spoil the hope of Americans by selecting Clinton as SOS.

    November 14, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  17. Cornell

    Brilliant... Just recall the strategies of Lincoln... Just Brilliant! This process was share with us two years ago and now it being executed.

    November 14, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  18. paul (staunch Moderate)

    With her experience and exposure to foriegn leaders the world over for 8 years as First Lady and her "tough as nails" approach to some things, she'd be an excellent choice!

    November 14, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  19. Frank

    I would definately like to know what some of you think change is?? Any new young politician worth their salt that is being considered for top roles was in some form or fashion in the Clinton administration. There are thousands of jobs that he can use to groom the next generation.. I mean Rahm Emanuel was a fundrasier for the Clintons before he became Congressman then COS. As much as I didn't like Clinton in the primaries because of her lies this move sets her up for 2016 against any of the GOP govenors. She'll have a coalition of 36 Million DEMS, the support of OBAMA's aides to help her campaign. Plus she doesn't have any path to leadership in the Senate. She is still the Jr Senator from NY. Why not take the 3rd highest job in the land?? I look for a prominent Rebublican for Sec of Defense and/or NSA and Homeland Security Chief. Don't forget McCain will be in Chicago on Monday

    November 14, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  20. Martha Hussein Baker for Barack

    Hillary would make a wonderful secretary of state, but who will be watching Bill?

    Good luck and may God bless our new President elect and his family.

    November 14, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  21. Texas Latina

    Understand that Richardson would be wonderful as Secretary of State. I think so too.

    Send Richardson to the U. N. to represent the USA.

    November 14, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  22. A Woman In California For Obama

    Kat I'm with you on your comment 100%. Kerry would be a good SoS.

    November 14, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  23. Goodie-Ga.

    Terrific choice. You are the President – Elect and it is your decision alone. Those know it all that does not like that may consider running for the office of the President. So far your judgement has been refreshing and promptly. God bless you , your family and your team and God bless America. Peace my/our President -Elect.

    November 14, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  24. Pat in IL

    I hope Hilary seriously considers this post, as she would do a very good job of it. I didn't vote for her, but she's a very intelligent and savvy woman who is dedicated to her country and who does a great job of whatever she decides to do.

    November 14, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  25. Liberal and proud of it!

    First of all, he is talking to Richardson also. He has not made a decision. Secondly, the "Change " will be in HOW we are governed not who the cast is. I trust Obama. I know he will not put up with any shenanigans in his cabinet. Second guessing does not accomplish a thing. We voted for him because he is smart. Now we need to trust his intelligence. I do.

    November 14, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
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