December 1st, 2008
09:56 AM ET
9 years ago

Bill Clinton will not appear at Obama announcement

Bill Clinton will be absent when his wife is formally nominated as Secretary of State.

Bill Clinton will be absent when his wife is formally nominated as Secretary of State.

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton won’t be on hand this morning when President-elect Barack Obama officially nominates Sen. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, according to sources familiar with the transition.

Obama will unveil the full team at a press conference at the Chicago Hilton at 10:40 a.m. ET

Obama is also expected to finally confirm that he is keeping Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his current post, and plans to name retired Marine Gen. Jim Jones as his National Security Adviser at the White House.

Watch: Ed Henry discusses the security team rollout

Also, two sources close to the transition said Obama will nominate Susan Rice as United Nations ambassador, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as Homeland Security secretary and Eric Holder as Attorney General.

Some unfinished business from the primary season is heading toward a resolution as the former rivals take the stage this morning: Hillary Clinton has been assured by the Obama team that they will help her fundraise in the next 60 days to help clear her remaining campaign debt of roughly $6.5 million.

The status of another open question with roots in the contentious Democratic primary contest remains unresolved: the future status of Samatha Power. The Obama advisor who had to resign after calling Hillary Clinton "a monster" is currently on the transition team's "agency review team" for the State Department. She has apologized twice to Clinton, according to two Democratic sources, who say Clinton accepted the apology. But it is still unclear whether Power will have a job at the State Department with Clinton in charge.

Update: Bill Clinton praised his wife's nomination Monday. "As an American, I am thankful that President-elect Barack Obama has asked Hillary to be Secretary of State and that she has accepted. As her husband, I am deeply proud," the former president said in a statement.

"She is the right person for the job of helping to restore America's image abroad, end the war in Iraq, advance peace and increase our security, by building a future for our children with more partners and fewer adversaries, one of shared responsibilities and opportunities.

"She has already earned the respect of foreign leaders and diplomats through her work to promote human rights and the empowerment of women through access to education, healthcare and economic opportunity. And Americans know, from her leadership in the Senate on national security, that she will always put the security, values and the interests of our people first.

"In her service to the people of New York and our nation, Hillary has demonstrated the knowledge, passion, resilience, and capacity to learn that our country needs at this critical time. She loves being a Senator from New York, but as she has in all the thirty-seven years I've known her, she answered the call to serve. I commend President-Elect Obama for asking her to be a part of a great national security team. America will be well-served."

soundoff (235 Responses)
  1. Chris

    Bring Samantha back!!!

    December 1, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  2. Jennifer

    Go HILLARY!!!!!

    December 1, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  3. JuanM

    More "HOPE" and "CHANGE" we can believe in. My favorite is Obama's pick of former Marine Commandant General Jones. He was also a McCain supporter, not to mention Gates. I guess even Democrats agree that Democrats can't run the military. Once again, this is proof that there really is no difference between Repubs and Dems.

    December 1, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  4. Susan

    Obama is picking an excellent cabinet. We're sure Former Presient Clinton has other business to attend to today. It's hard when so much is going on in the same day.

    December 1, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. Joanne


    December 1, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  6. Jozee

    Bill Clinton needs to stop reminding us that he is Hillary's husband and allow her to stand on her own credentials. It is a very good thing that he won't appear at the announcement.

    In my opinion, choosing Hillary as SoS is not a good one, however, only time will tell whether PE Obama has made a prudent choice or not. He's been batting a thousand so far.

    December 1, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  7. John

    The biggest surprise is that no major news network is covering the fact that today Obama must supply evidence that he was born in America to Justice Souter. This could be the day that we find out that our president-elect is a fraud and a liar, yet there is nothing on the news networks about it.

    December 1, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. Michael watching from Canada

    Its a sign of respect that Bill Clinton is not appearing with Hillary at the Obama announcement. He does want to create any distraction for Hillary becoming SoS. The fact that Samantha Power has been allowed to participate on the transition team shows maturity for Obama and Clinton to let go of the past and call on those most qualified to help Obama during his transition. Besides, Power's role is only for the transition.

    December 1, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. Gylon Barrow

    There is no reason why Bill Clinton shouldn't be there. OBAMA will be president for many a year and still not be qualified to shine Bill's shoes.

    December 1, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. Gretchen

    Here we go with the drama. It's the Bill and Hilliary show all over again. Appearing or not appearing she will always be in his shadow.

    December 1, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. Scott

    Juan's comments are silly. Obama is bringing change by bringing on these Republicans because they are from the rational wing of the Republican Party, not the insane group that ran the country most of Bush's term. Gates reigned in Iraq policy and Jones is a voice of moderation and reason. Obama wants divergent minds on his team, and now he will insure that. Good choices.

    December 1, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. puffafish

    what great posts I find myself coming to your blog more and more often to the
    point where my visits are almost daily now
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    Great Paul 🙂

    December 1, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  13. No Right Wing Nutcases

    John, forget about this canard. Obama was born in Hawaii. You people are a sick joke.

    December 1, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. Dee


    can you just go away. Your ignorance is really unbecoming

    December 1, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. dave

    "Et tu, Hillary?"

    December 1, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. 60 year old white female and proud supporter of PE Obama

    So What?? How many spouses of the economic team showed up. Most of this Clinton "stuff" is media hype to fill in air space. No one except the officials being announced know what kind of relationships they have developed with PE Obama except them.

    The Clintons may have realized as many American voters did that it is Obama with his intelligence, generational change and twentieth century vision is what America and the world needs. Obama is the idea man, the visionary and the leader while Clinton is the fact, dor t the "i"s person just as was exposed in the primary debates. Neither would have agreed to the position if they didn't know they could work together.

    Joe Biden will also help to be the glue to consolidate this well balanced team that will usher in a bipartisan team.

    December 1, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. Jeff from Atlanta

    Smart, eliminate all competition

    December 1, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  18. Daniel

    Why would Hillary want to be part of this Micky Mouse White House?

    President Oprah, sorry Obama, is still doing a great job of speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

    December 1, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. Sue

    I sure wouldn't hire someone who called me a monster...bye bye Samantha!

    December 1, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. CAL

    I'm a little uneasy about Hillary also, I don't really trust her but I will see what happens and I hope she does a great job. Hillary is a very smart and strong woman, I think she will keep Bill in place.

    In response to John's comment
    You are a complete idiot. This was verified a long time ago and besides do you think he would have been elected if he wasn't? Stop hating, Obama is an american and he is the Pres elect.

    December 1, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  21. Hayward

    Okay now that we have all that out of the way, will everyone please confess that Obama's message of change was a bunch of hogwash. I mean it's okay, really, don't be hesitant. It's okay. When will we ever learn??? The message of change is a powerful thing when a country and a people are in the midst of economic and political chaos. It paralyzes us all and hypnotizes us all but when the smoke clears you discover that's all it was, smoke........

    December 1, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. Lisa

    Congratulations Hillary Clinton!!!

    December 1, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  23. Lake side

    So calling Hillary a monster may keep Samantha from getting a job, but her husband got to keep his job after cheating on and humiliating Hillary for years?

    December 1, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. Myrna Ulrich


    December 1, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. Lauren

    Here is what I find funny about the Samantha Powers issue. The Dems are ready, willing and able to accept her apology. Let by gone be by gones.
    But they continue to bash Sarah Palin at every chance they get. And Bush also. You always see post on here about how bad Bush is, how they can not wait until he is gone and the Messiah is in power.
    But yet when one of thier own asks to be forgiven,,, all is well.

    December 1, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
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