November 24th, 2008
04:27 PM ET
5 years ago

Ex-Bush speechwriter: Obama would 'control' Clinton in Cabinet

David Frum says Barack Obama would cement his power over Hillary Clinton by putting her in his Cabinet.
David Frum says Barack Obama would cement his power over Hillary Clinton by putting her in his Cabinet.

(CNN) - The notion of President-elect Barack Obama creating a team of former rivals to be in his Cabinet has attracted a lot of attention, especially with news that Sen. Hillary Clinton reportedly is on track to be secretary of state.

CNN's Joe Johns talked with David Frum, a former speechwriter for President Bush, on Monday about the possibility of Clinton as well as a Republican serving in the new administration's Cabinet.

Watch: Obama foreign policy team could include some heavy hitters

CNN: And I guess a lot of people are wondering right now about Hillary Clinton. What do you see in this thing? What does it mean to have Hillary Clinton as the secretary of state? How will she end up there?

David Frum: Well, it means that Hillary Clinton has just moved from having an independent power base in the Senate to being in effect an employee of Barack Obama. And not just any employee, but one who has had to open her files to Barack Obama.

Just imagine the scene of the Obama people going through the Clinton files and saying, "Wow, this could be embarrassing if anybody ever found out about it. Don't worry, it's safe with us."

Full story


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Obama transition
soundoff (157 Responses)
  1. Diane Panama City Fl

    It's not surprising that a speechwriter from the G. W. Bush administration would take a "winner takes all, I've got the power now I'm going to emasculate you," interpretation of Obama's exercise of executive power through his appointments. I just completed reading Charles Homans' article in the Washington Monthly, "Last Secrets of the Bush Administration." This article presented evidence that made it quite clear that the Bush/Cheney Administration of hubris and reckless disregard for constitutional restraint tried to create the "Imperial Presidency," with an unprecedented grab for power and complete disdain for the legislative and judicial branches of government. Consequently, Frum is simply regurgitating the mindset of the demogogues that have run our country for the past eight years. That's why he was a Bush speechwriter. To be a good speechwriter, you have to think like them!

    November 24, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. Bill in Ct.

    I am so sick an tired of these republicans saying that the Clintons and the Obama team is not together and Hillary is going to cost problems in the cabinet. The rethugs are just trying to create some trouble with them, but guest what you idiots, their going to make this country very proud, some thing you racist bigots,smear mongers, hate mongers, and divide and conquer party knows nothing about. My personal opinion, I truly don't believe the rethugs love America. I say that b/c we are a nation of American and they(REPUBLICANS) hate everything that doesn't look like them (white people). Just look at their party, no Hispanics, no African Americans, no Jews, just old whitemen.

    November 24, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. austin, tx

    All i know is The University of Texas will win Thursday night, and fight for a National Championship bid. TEXAS FIGHT. HOOK'EM HORNS. Hey, its that time of the baby.

    November 24, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. Nik

    Ever find it funny how the odd-man-out seems to have so much advice, commentary and opinions for the winner?

    November 24, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. Stop the nonsense

    David Frum seems to be trying the same kind of division he created in Bush's speeches. America has had enough of those miguided politics.
    United we stand.

    November 24, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. austin, tx

    i forgot baby in my comment, I know, it sounded strange. started laughing after i read it.

    November 24, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  7. karen-phoenix

    I really think the media is making just way to much of this. Hillary is a team player!!!! She did over 60 camphaign rallies for Barack!!! Wish the media would stop this "bickering" about the Clintons. Obama is the best thing to happen to this country since Bill and we all had better be thankful!!! Barack is building a brilliant team that will try to the best they can for middle America not just the privileaged and rich!!! What a Change!!!

    November 24, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  8. tiredofher

    Oh Puhleeeze, a Bush former speech writer has all this to say? Big deal!

    November 24, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  9. austin, tx

    can't always be about "It's your fault political talk" Hook'em

    November 24, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  10. Jeez

    He's a Ron Popiel wannabe.

    November 24, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  11. Bill

    Right. And I am Bill Clintons brother. The dems could not control Bill during the campaign. What makes this writer think Obama can control the Clintons?

    November 24, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  12. Annette

    Oh please!, Frum.

    November 24, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  13. JAbbey

    I am sorry but this guy is a talking parrot. Thank God this is America. He is justing speculating.

    November 24, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  14. Kathy

    I always thought that Hilary was a bright woman. Then I started watching how she voted – and from her very first vote, she seemed to vote with the "good 'ol boys" an awful lot. She was very hawkish on the war until she decided to run for president – she made a left hand turn so fast it made ya dizzy!! I think she's very ambitious and she will be happy to have "Secretary of State" behind her name. I hope all the dems will work together to try and heal the damage that has been done. I don't think we'll see a Republican in the White House for several years – especially if they run Sarah in 2012!!!! Let's encourage them to, okay?

    November 24, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. zgomer

    Sure he would, that witch wants morethan sec. of state

    November 24, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  16. PDX Gal

    Frum's perspective has always been a overly-simple comic-book version of the world. A pseudo-reality of spin.
    He never wrote a credible speech, and he never said a credible word.
    He was the perfect writer for Bush, & it fits his personality well.

    November 24, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. A Bush writer and Intellegence... "I don't get it"

    I think she took it because Richardson wanted it and it's payback for his betrayal. Obama has surrounded himself with Bill Clinton's staff...as a PUMA I'm all smiles today! Richardson as SOC? LOL!!! He thought he had it in the bag when he jumped ship .. that man cannot be trusted by anyone.

    What a great day for the democratic party!! Richardson - I wish I could've see your face when you didn't get the nod!!

    November 24, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. Rick S

    What an idiot, Mrs. Clinton needs no one to 'control' her. She knows how to handle herself.

    November 24, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. A Bush writer and Intellegence...

    think she took it because Richardson wanted it and it's payback for his betrayal. Obama has surrounded himself with Bill Clinton's staff...as a PUMA I'm all smiles today! Richardson as SOC? LOL!!! He thought he had it in the bag when he jumped ship .. that man cannot be trusted by anyone.

    What a great day for the democratic party!! Richardson - I wish I could've see your face when you didn't get the nod!!

    November 24, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  20. TrueIndependent

    How did this guy get a Visa to work in the U.S?

    Have you noticed how the Republicans are all coming out and giving advice they were not asked? Another form of job hunting?

    Please go back to the basement and advice your own party.

    November 24, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  21. kasera

    clinton is a free and independent woman no one will control her, but she will do what is best for america. bye to the REPUBLICANS AND GET OVER IT

    November 24, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  22. Next Four Years

    It is easy said than done. Just wait for four years, it is old old Democratic party's policy, and Jimmy Carter all over again. Let us see how an ineperienced president controls the seasoned politicians such as Clinton and Daschle within his cabinet, and deals with the seasoned leaders of Russia, North Korea, China, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Cuba and Syria? Do not forget Obama took advantage of the economic crisis, and criticized Bush without mercy. How will people treat him, four years from now, only God knows?? Who is perfect, after all???

    November 24, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. LIP

    Hillary comes to this job with plenty of experience in "Damage Control", as it was referred to back during the Clinton years. This of course, means that she won't be working full time for Obama, due to this other pressing requirement, but she will be there enough to dodge a few bullets while accepting flowers from little girls.

    November 24, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  24. deb

    I'm so sick of all the negativity from the GOP. We all need to come together as a country now! If not now, when!!? Quit being sore losers. You're already blaming Obama for everything the CURRENT administration has gotten us into! Geez, he hasn't even taken office yet!

    November 24, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. matchmaker

    Will you guys post anything that is posted about this idiot Obama? Or was the idiot part to much too?

    November 24, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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