December 1st, 2008
09:56 AM ET
5 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. Jaye

    Bill dosen't want to draw attention away from these proceedings – and he would if he were there.
    This is Obama's moment, Obama's and his cabinet.
    It's a great team (regardless of what the republicans say) so stand behind them.

    December 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  2. Peggy

    caribbean admirer of

    WELL SAID CARIBBEAN ADMIRE

    BOTH JOHN AND ENEMY ARE NOTHING MORE THAN SLIME
    THEY ARE NO BETTER THAN DOG POO
    THEY ARE UNEDUCATED NUTS WHO DO NOT KNOW ANY BETTER

    MY GUESS THEY ARE THE OLD TIMERS.
    THEY SHOULD BE BURIED 100 FEET BENEATH THE SEA

    December 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  3. Brad Morse

    Was it not obvious to the american people, this appointment was about the 6.5 million dollars or else?

    When they say it is not about the money...it is about the money!

    December 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. Janey

    Canadian –dream on, liberal–you must be one of the few idiot left-wingers that voted for the French Guy–don't hold your breath–just keep on spewing false information–Harper is the best thing to happen to Canada in years!

    December 1, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. James From Chicago

    Do any of you idiots remember when Bill Clinton was President we were all sitting pretty. He was one of the best Presidents this country
    has ever had. And Hillary has served the people of this country
    for over 35 years.

    December 1, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. Jeff - Mt. Juliet

    Hey Wild Bill,
    you forgot Valerie-Plame-Gate, Halliburton-Gate, Patriot-Act-Gate, Karl-Rove-Gate, 4000-plus-Dead-Troops-for-nothing-Gate, Trillion-plus-dollar-deficit-Gate, Bin Laden-still-on-the-loose-Gate, Highest-unemployment-since-before-"Slick Willy"-Gate, etc, etc, etc...
    The Legacy that "Slick Willy" left was a trillion-dollar SURPLUS – even while Ken Starr spent millions of the taxpayers money to discover evidence of an extra marital affair. Wheewww! I'm sure glad we know about THAT. The country could've went right down the tubes over that (because that's really anyone's business but his and his family's).

    December 1, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. Brian

    It would be nice if he would stay out of her life.

    Maybe he he could be president of Somalia, yea that's it.

    December 1, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. BJ

    The big winner in all of this is the people of New York...they get to elect a REAL New Yorker to the Senate.

    December 1, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  9. Ia Guy

    Cheers to the Clintons!!! Welcome back!!!

    December 1, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. tess

    i can't wait until the clintons try to upstage obama and he is "forced" to let her go because she is not a team player and is trying to undercut him. when it is publicly obvious then he has once and for all gotten rid of those vile ,power-hungary fools. good riddenced and let's hope it happens sooner rather than later!!!!

    December 1, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. Vasha, FL

    Must Bill be present? This is Obama's era.

    December 1, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  12. Phil-Little Rock

    What, is he busy? Or is he banging Gina Gershon again?

    I guess that would constitute being busy. Gettin' busy.

    December 1, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. pam Eugene OR

    I voted for Obama. I registered voters for him. I gave the max in money in the primary and the general. I went door to door for him and I worked the phone banks for him.
    I will not give one dime to help Clinton pay her debts. She was a "monster" and spent money she did not have to stay in the race long after the outcome was known. Sorry Barack, as much as I support you there will no money from me for Hillary.
    I am sure Bill has enough shady deals to pay her debts.
    Otherwise great team and I pray Bill Clinton continues to stay home!

    December 1, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. Donna

    This is another outstanding decision Obama has made. Let's hope he continues to place the right people in the right places and get America back on track. Good job.

    December 1, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. Sandra

    Aren't these people rolling in dough??? Why does ANYONE have to help Hillary pay off her campaign debt. Can't she just write a check? I am so sick of these rich ppl expecting you and me to pay their bills.

    December 1, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. Franky

    This won't be the first time Bill isn't with his wife...if you know what I mean, LOL!!!! Ohhh man, you knew I had to say it, I had to say it, LOL!!

    December 1, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. Don

    For those concerned that Obama may not have been born in the US, it doesn't matter. His mother was an American citizen, making hom and American citizen no matter where her was born.

    And by the way, John McCain was born in Panama.

    December 1, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. FreeNLovIt

    To those who doubts the Clintons

    They have never RUSHED to war. They have never LIED to rush to war. Internationally, they represent the GLORY of America. Stop freaking out about Hillary. She is a strong woman but she knows when she needs to pull back and support a GREATER cause – just look at the Nov election (fighting for Barack), just look at her standing by Bill (MOnica). She knows which battle to lose and to win.

    December 1, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  19. FreeNLovIt

    Ther's no time to fight internally. We need to THINK as ONE. We have RUSSIA, NK, Iran, and that whole Middle Eastern areas, breathing down on necks. Pray for wisdom. One false move and we'll fight in another WWIII.

    December 1, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. Kaye- Jacksonville FL

    I have to laugh at the drama machine of the media – trust me, Samantha Power and Hillary Clinton are big girls who know how to navigate national politics. So much is made of contentious times in the campaign but these professional public servants know the difference between the past and the future. I expect Ms Powers will play a significant role, officially or otherwise, and Ms Clinton will respect the expertise and contributions of Ms Powers, hands down.

    I must keep looking – for a news outlet that focuses on NEWS instead of petty drama and muckraking. I'm about to cry "Uncle" to Wolf Blitzer – drives me crazy with his alarmist reporting.

    December 1, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  21. Rob Johnson

    If Obama is capable of keeping Bill Clinton away from a photo op, maybe he really does have supernatural powers!

    All joking aside, this tells you how much Hillary wants this job, and how tired she is of standing in her husband's shadow.

    December 1, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. A, sf

    Of course, Bill C. fatten his bank accounts even more in 8 years. Good plan for $, for the Clinton team.

    December 1, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. amabobama

    To the birth-certificate doubters including Enemy-of-mine and anybody who regards Obama as an alien or "house negro": You forget that real Americans (the majority) have pronounced racial distinctions meaningless when applied to elected officers. From now on, your remarks all sound unAmerican.

    December 1, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. A, sf

    Of course, Bill C. will fatten his bank accounts even more in 8 years. Good plan for $, for the Clinton team.

    December 1, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  25. amabobama

    To the birth-certificate doubters including Enemy-of-mine and anybody who regards Obama as an alien or "house negro": You forget that real Americans (the majority) have pronounced racial distinctions meaningless when applied to elected officers. From now on, your remarks all sound unAmerican.

    amabobama

    December 1, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
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