November 17th, 2008
04:50 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama team vetting Bill Clinton, sources say


Obama officials are looking into the former president's finances. (Getty Images)

CHICAGO (CNN) - Two Obama transition officials confirm they have begun taking a look at former President Bill Clinton’s finances and post-presidential dealings as part of the early vetting process into whether or not there’s any negative information to wave President-elect Barack Obama off from consideration of Sen. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

The officials said the transition team is seeking unspecified records from the former president to get a better handle on issues related to his foundation work and presidential library to try and deal with potential conflicts of interest if Sen. Clinton is nominated for the post.

While the officials refused to say how quickly the information is being turned over, they are refuting a Politico report suggesting transition officials are exasperated by slow cooperation from the Clintons.

“That is just not true,” said one of the Obama transition officials.

soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. ran

    They need to let this go. Clinton does not need to be in his admin. She would do better in the Senate. Bill is just going to be a problem and HC I do not believe is the right person for SOS anyway. Maybe health and human services but they would still have to deal with Bill and he is just too controversial.

    November 17, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. 60 year old, white female for Obama

    The press has become the spreader of false information no matter what side of the fence they are on. Unnamed sources, supositions, a desire to be the first with the story no matter how flimsy, need to fill up air time and pundits who think they are more insightful and intelligent than the people they are reporting on.

    CNN for example were way too early on the SOS stories.

    November 17, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Purple Alaska


    November 17, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. KJL

    Skeletons in Bill Clinton's closet? Surely you jest!

    November 17, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. Reality Check

    and this could unfortunately end Hillarys chances.

    November 17, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. Jason B.

    They're looking to see if there's any negative info on Bill Clinton? They're joking right? Good grief, the guy was a decent President but he's got more skeletons in his closet than a state full of high school science labs! Questionable land deals, affairs, etc.

    November 17, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. Phil-Little Rock

    I hope they find a graveyard of skeletons in Clinton's closets and decide against offering Hillary the job.

    November 17, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |




    November 17, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. Robert in raleigh

    He will lie, Please leave them alone , They come as a pair Leave them alone....

    November 17, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. Jaun

    I think Hilary should be left just where she is now...she will be of more use there.
    And then she may accept and end up eposing stuff that is better left where they are...and end up in the same boat as Sarah Palin.(if only she had known she would of never accepted McCain's offer.

    November 17, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  11. lovable liberal

    One side benefit of a prominent role for the Clintons: The lunatic fringe on the right has a familiar target for outrage, which takes their attention away from Obama.

    November 17, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. Slo Moe

    Do you think he will mention Monica?

    November 17, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. blaising

    Way too much drama already!!! Maybe re-think this one O.

    November 17, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  14. don

    I think adding Clinton to his staff defeats the "no drama Obama" thing as the republicans are just waiting for him to give them something to take shots at. I wonder why so many republicans support this idea? Hummmmmmmmm....

    November 17, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. rich

    The Clintons have been a political duo and tied at the hips. One can argue that Hillary would not be where she is if it were not for Bill. Yet, as she has struck out on her own to make a name for herself, it may be quite an irony if Bill's financial dealings would be the anchor around Hillary's heels that kept her from surfacing for air. I hope this will not be the case, and she would get the position of Secretary of State. Should it fair, she can always stay in the Senate, and enjoy the millions she and Bill has made post 1700 Pennyslvania Ave.

    November 17, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  16. Rockford

    Glad to see new government moving in...
    Change we can believe in...

    Bill Clinton getting vetted... bet he's nervous... I do like him though.

    November 17, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  17. Jeffrey Long

    HA!!!!! Take that Politico!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 17, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  18. Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    I think this is a smart move for Obama. I actually like the notion of HRC serving as Sec. of State, but I also think her husband has a lot of "issues", so I don't blame Obama for vetting President Clinton.

    November 17, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  19. karen-phoenix

    Hillary would be fantastic for the job. Bill was President of the USA!!!
    I do not understand all this vetting of him and it is Hillary that would get the job–not Bill. AND I do believe after watching Bill campaign for Obama and his speech at the DEM convention–Bill really, really likes Barack!!! His background and educational level are so similar. People they really are friends!!! Two highly intellegent men who care about the average people in this country!!!!

    November 17, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. Sandra Crawford

    Sandra Summerville, SC

    Hillary Clinton is a brilliant woman. If she were the president elect, which could have been, I do not think all of this junk about her husband's activities would be brought up. If Obama needs to place her in a position that is under the President of the U.S., what is the problem? Go Obama and Hillary!

    November 17, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. Mike

    Would this not have taken place when Hillary was trying to win the nomination? Could Bill's dealings have prevented Senator Clinton from her White House bid? This should be a non-issue!
    Thank goodness, Hillary didn't win the nomination and then been disqualified to run for office. If Bill's dealings are found to be shady, could this be terminal for Hillary in the Senate?

    Fingers crossed everybody!

    November 17, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  22. Texas Trail Kitty

    I would rather see Hillary than Bill connected in anyway with the White House. While I loved Bill when he was President, he has baggage and would be a distraction (per Repubs dragging it al up) to President Obama. Hillary, is smart and really has a clean political record (except what the Repubs drag up) and would be good in any position.

    November 17, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  23. Axl

    this is just due process and bill isn't up to anything illegal. it's just that most of his library donors are wealthy foreigners and he's kept them confidential to avoid scaring them away because journalists with an agenda don't care. for example, Fox News will smear Clinton for accepting donations from Saudi donors to fight AIDS in Africa.

    many activities in bill clinton's post-presidential career, though perfectly legal, could become tricky for American foreign policy and trip up his wife as secretary of state. the vetting is as useful for them as it is for obama. people want to make a big story of nothing.

    there's nothing immune from stupid distortion.

    November 17, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  24. ems Mike

    I'm outraged that so many folks here are denigrating the Clintons.

    He IS the only two term Democratic POTUS in 50 years. Successful. He left our Nation in excellent shape, all to be squandered by Lil' Bush, but now the folks who support our newly elected Democrat POTUS squabble about Clinton's negatives? Because they hate Bill and Hillary?

    You can admire Hillary and Bill and Obama all at the same time. Allegiance to one does not dictate constant denigration of the other two.

    Bill has been working on global issues, and this is the thanks he gets? He's down in East Freakin' Ellijay GA stumping for Martin to get our Senate levels closer to the 60, and you folks are gunning for his head?

    Get over it already!

    November 17, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. Feeling Blue happily

    Love Obama, but the Clintons come with way too much baggage. Loose em. John Kerry Secretary of State please...

    November 17, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
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