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. Saffta

    How can anyone take this guy seriously when he wrote Bush's speeches. He most obviously is speaking from a very slanted point of view.

    November 24, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. Nicholas, Nigeria

    I see a sense in what Frum has said but at the end, the ultimate goal is governance and service to the nation. Dont you think that she may have put all these variables in consideration before accepting to be vetted for the job? Stop igniting the clintons against the Obamas. It is one united state and not Obama clinton states

    November 24, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  3. David

    YAWWWWWWWWWWWWWNS – next..........

    November 24, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Patricia T.

    And we care what David Frum thinks . . . why? Maybe it's just hard for Republicans to deal with an incoming president who really is going to be a uniter, not a you-know what. One who is looking for the best people for particular jobs.

    And as for Senator Clinton, her intelligence speaks for itself, as does her record of public service. It's just possible that people of talent take a job in a new administration, because they believe "country first" is something more than a campaign slogan. At any rate, if we need any help, Frum is probably not the one we'll be calling on!

    November 24, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. 60 year old white female and proud supporter of PE Obama

    PE Obama was the world's choice for president; if you have travelled or read the world press you would realize that he is as popular as the Clintons are. Politicians abroad know who is boss !

    Hillary is aware of this and perhaps, like so many of her supporters, she and her husband have come to realize that this is a time for a generational change and Obama is the one who fit the bill.

    November 24, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. Greed is not good

    Too many chiefs in the room with Hillary in the cabinet. Clinton should stay in the Senate.

    November 24, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Libs be dopes

    Who gets to control Bill?

    November 24, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. Remy

    Frum is useless in Canada. I am still wondering how Bush hired him?
    Who is the dumb? Frum or Bush?

    November 24, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  9. Deb in Vegas

    Is it possible that the plan, from the day VP-elect Biden was announced as Pres-elect Obama's running mate, that Sen Clinton would be Sec of State? Sec of State has more power and more visibility than the VP (unless the VP is a bumbling idiot, of course).

    Good choices or bad choices for Cabinet positions? Really hard to make that determination until everyone is seated in the new Cabinet and President-Elect is the sitting president.

    November 24, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Bruce Frier

    This argument is only good by the operational practices of the Bush administration, where discourse was tightly controlled and dissent not encouraged. We have some reason to believe that the Obama administration will be more open to dissent within its ranks, so long as an overall unity is maintained.

    November 24, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  11. California Gold

    I agree with Kathy about Hillary Clinton's voting record. She says one thing and will champion a cause for years. When the time comes to vote she flips.

    November 24, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. Neita Varona

    'Re' the presumed Clinton secretary of state, "keep your enemies closer."

    November 24, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  13. Obama Looks like Greatness

    what a moron.

    November 24, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. francee

    Maybe, just maybe, President Obama will listen to Hillary and Hillary will listen to Obama and together they will make the decisions. Just because Bozo Bush let Cheney run everybody, doesn't mean President Obama is going to run things with the "my way or the highway" attitude that got us in this mess.

    November 24, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  15. Charles Atlanta

    No wonder Bush had problems with such idiot as the speechwriter.

    November 24, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  16. Vickie

    I have seen the hateful and ignorant lies Joe Johns has written about the democratic party and Barack Obama and as far as I am concerned he (Joe Johns) would say mean and hateful things about Hillary taking the position of Secretary of State to discourage hope, confidence and a New America. I don't trust most GOP's, bottom line!

    November 24, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  17. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Frum is player hating on Hillary. But that's okay, don't hate the player hate the game and Frum should know this already.

    November 24, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  18. Jay

    People are forgetting that she is a junior senator.

    November 24, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  19. Gronk

    Hahaha! The republican desperation to pit Obama & Clinton against each other shines through the words of this loser. Nice job on Bush's approval rating, Frum!!!

    November 24, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  20. He is the Man ... Don't Start None ... and there Won't be None

    Obama will fire Hillary Clinton if she ACTS UP. There will be no repeat of Al Haig's, " I'm in charge here at the White House" quip.

    I'd like to see Joe Biden in that Secretary of State job any way ... especially in 2012 just after the election.

    Then Obama could name Kathleen Sebelius or Napolitano as his VP and when they serve out 4 years, they would be poised to run for President in 2016 against .... gasp ... Palin. And if Hillary still wanted to run then too .... which I doubt she will at age 68 ... then she could .

    November 24, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  21. james

    Wow, Frum is really taking all this really hard! Let's see...his resume reads "I wrote speaches for the worst president in U.S. history." And at a level so low, but Bush still managed to mangle every one. No call coming for you Frumboy, that's for sure! Ha Ha Ha!!!

    November 24, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  22. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Just curious, but can someone provide 4-5 bullets on what exactly Hillary's foreign policy experience and credentials are? You know like any foreign policy legislation she's sponsored, treaties she's negotiated, policies she's advised the President on, foreign leaders she's negotiated with (photo ops as First Lady don't count). That sort of thing. Most of Obama's other picks seem to have substantial subject matter expertise. Hillary, not so much.

    November 24, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  23. Billy J , TX-

    I wish we could hurry up and get the new administration in there and working. Things are so messed up. I look forward to Obama's 3 and 4th years in office. I suspect we will be on track by then and things will start looking quite rosy again... (fingers crossed)

    November 24, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. JT

    I take this commentary very seriously because it is a former speech writer, NOT!!!!!!!!

    November 24, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  25. California Girl

    Frum you need to go under a rock and rot. No one will listen to you and yours negative republicans. Get over it! Democrats are in control.

    Ha, ha, ha

    November 24, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
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