December 1st, 2008
09:56 AM ET
10 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. kim

    I don't understand why people think that having some of the same people means that Obama really isn't changing anything. People and what policies they try to enhance, are two different things. If he put all new people in, you guys would complain about that too. We get to, as Americans, have our own opinions, but why are people so unwilling to give it a chance before any of them even take office. What ever happened to faith.

    December 1, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. Concern citizen!!

    Why should he CNN?

    December 1, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Senator Hillary Clinton is a highly professional woman in her own rights and will not focus on petty differences, she's got a job to do and she will do it well. The campaign is over and it's not time to sit around a table and gossip about petty differences. There's a lesson to be learned in this whole matter that may help others secure their jobs.

    December 1, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. Remi N.

    It's really funny that, those conservatives who call themselves christians, preach more hate, racism than people they point fingers at... They are just the same as the radical islamists.
    Seriously , what part of the Bible do you guys read? GOD IS LOVE NOT HATE!!!!!

    December 1, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  5. Looking for Truth

    The ignorance shown by no right wing nutcases actually shows him to be a real nut job. Make Obama show his birth certificate and prove it to be real. Then find out if he renounced his citizenship when he became a citizen of Indo.

    December 1, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. Clarence (Florida)

    Leave Bill alone!!!!! If he shows up you all would say he is upstaging Hillary and if he does not you all will make a big story out of it.

    December 1, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. Who knew?

    Obama acting conservatively?
    It's a Christmas miracle!


    December 1, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. Denise Groves

    He must have found him anotherr Monica! LOL. JuanM, who do you think ran the military when Clinton was in office? Get over it!

    December 1, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. wonkguy, Bethesda MD

    Whoever came up with the title for this little ditty should be summarily terminated. Note to CNN, the absence of Bill Clinton at this event is not news! Get over your fetish-like salivation for a Clinton controversy, it really is quite annoying.

    December 1, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. Noah

    Is anyone surprised by this announcement? My guess is that he will be back home in New York throwing himself a bachelor party and inviting only those of the female persuasion to entertain him while Hillary is away.

    December 1, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. Helen, NC


    December 1, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. Laura, Boston


    December 1, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. larrywi

    Talk about a fricking train wreck!! What's up next for this nut??

    December 1, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. Gretchen, SD

    I'm dissappointed that Susan Rice has Michelleitis. NEVER wear prints for an important press announcement or historical moment.

    December 1, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. Valerie

    Hillary will make a great Secretary of State. Even though I was a Obama supporter, I know he made an excellent choice.

    December 1, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  16. Mike

    Obama supporters voted for change and that's exactly what they got. They voted for Obama and he has changed into Clinton.

    Next time, they won't be so easily fooled.

    December 1, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. Clarence (Florida)

    John – I pray for the day when people like you who use lies to attack our President stop. You can disagree with his platform, but your attacks are stupid. feel sorry for you. You all lost the race get over it!! Obama is our President. Obama will prove to the thinking world that the best man won. To those who think like John – you are no longer the majority and hopefully you will all just grow up or be quiet.

    December 1, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. Laura, Boston


    True a crazy lawsuit was filed and for your information it had appeared on the cable news stations. It is not just Obama that they want a ruling on but McCain as well.

    Don't you think that all the candidates had to present proper documentation at the time they decided to run?

    I think you are making a mountain out of a molehill. Obama is the President-elect and will become the 44th President of the US on January 20, 2009. Deal with it!

    December 1, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. Laverne

    It is extremely sad and unfortunate that people right here in America can be so mean spirited towards your own leaders with all the terrorist acts of hatred and violence going on in the world. Do you really think that Obama would even have been in the running for POTUS if he wasn't thoroughly vetted and it was confirmed he was a natural born citizen of the US. Where do you people come from? Obama will be our next POTUS and will need the support of the US. We are living in perilous times. You may have not voted for him nor support his views, but he deserves the same chance as your current lame duck president who has helped destroy our country. God Bless you President Elect Obama, there is a righteous wind at your back!

    December 1, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  20. Janey

    Yeh, Canada–there is a great deal of respect for a person who calls another person a "monster" and gets away with it. If Obama lets that woman anywhere on his team, he has no "respect" from me. I never understand you Canadians–you just voted in a conservative Govt on Oct 10 by a landslide because you were sick of the way the liberals were ruining the country–yet you come on here and support far-left Obama–Go figure.

    December 1, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. KJL

    This nonsense about Obama being "disqualified" is wearing a little thin. I guess those of us who are really interested in what others have to say, as well as making our own comments, need to learn to ignore the fools amongst us and look for different opinions that are actually rational.

    Is Bill staying away to keep out of the spotlight while Hillary shines?

    December 1, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. Barbara in NC

    I'm very proud of our President-Elect.

    Some of you rabble-rousers need to stop stirring the stink and start doing something positive for this country. It's people like you all that make me ashamed for you.

    Love it or Leave it.

    December 1, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  23. WildBill5600

    FOR ALL U BUSH/GOP HATERS: First, nothing says "Change" like all the Clinton retreads on That One's team. i wait with baited breath for the senate confirmation of the "Monster". We will get to re visit all the gates; whitewatergate, MonikaGate, VinceFosterGate, Chinese fundraiserCrookGate, TravelGate......the list is long. Let's not forget the 200,000 "donors" on Sklick Willy's list.

    For all you Obama lovers, you got us four more years of the Clinton's.

    ....BTW, what legacy did Slick Willy leave? other than a stain on ablue dress and the oval office......Values anyone?

    December 1, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  24. Sweetie

    It would seem that if you are Liberal enough you can be thrown under a bus and then pulled back out and called "OK"!

    I think Samatha Power is the "MONSTER!"

    I'm pleased about Hillary's appointment .....

    she is the only person in the Obama administration who knows the score!

    GO "NEW" Clinton Administration!

    December 1, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. Mickie

    I think it should be up to Hillary whether Powers stays or not. If they can't work together, then it should be Hillary's perogative to ask her to resign. I was not a supporter of Hillary during the campaign, but I would not want to be forced to work with someone if we could not work well together. The job of Sec. of State is just too difficult. If Pres. Elect Obama could always find another position for Powers should he feel she is worthy.

    December 1, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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