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)

    go away bill.

    December 1, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. Bill

    President William Jefferson Clinton was a great president for eight years. Those years were nothing like the Bush years of economic downturn and war.
    Critics judge him for the scandal, but on job performance he was one of our most competent presidents. By the way, probably half our Presidents were not faithful to their wives during office.

    December 1, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. Gino

    @Wild Bill. It's "bated" breath not "baited" breath. That you don't know this simply makes your comments even more dense.

    December 1, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. BillforSOS

    Why was not Bill given the job of SOS?

    December 1, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. G.R.I.T.S. - Girl Raised in the South

    Lauren said: ...The Dems are ready, willing and able to accept her apology. ... 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.

    Lauren, you ignorant twit – let me explain this so you can understand. Samantha Powers' apology was accepted, as was Lieberman's, because they asked for it. Neither Palin nor Bush have EVER, not once, asked to be forgiven for their lies and deceptions. If, and this is a big IF, either of them publicly apologized for lying, spreading falsities in the name of truth (i.e. WMD or palling around with terrorists, "kill him", monkeys with Obama stickers, etc.), and generally deceiving their worshipers, they would deserve forgiveness as well. Since that has not and never will happen, they remain unforgiven by the majority of us.

    December 1, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. Barry Soetoro

    John is still right.

    December 1, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. SamanthaPowersRocks

    Samantha Power should be given a high profile position she is smart and would bring a Progressive voice in his Admin.

    December 1, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. Dave

    Of course he's happy. The CFR, Bilderberg, Rhodes boy is glad to be back in the DC loop. Not that he was ever out of it.

    December 1, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. Casey

    You know, as much as everybody has been talking about sexism in politics over the past year or so, I find this statement that is running across the CNN political ticker to be a bit outlandish. Yes, I realize that Bill Clinton is "Former President" Bill Clinton, and that that makes his presence or absence more noticeable. But, of all the other appointees that Obama is making, how often do you hear about whether or not their spouses are there for the announcement. I mean–I don't know a tremendous amount about how the procedure of things works at such a level, but, for instance, this Jim Jones guy, is his wife there for this press conference??? Is Robert Gates' wife there??? Is Neapolitano's husband showing up for things yet??? Why is it newsworthy just because Bill Clinton is not attached to Hillary's hip???? I'm sure he'll be at the inauguration...sheesh...give this sillyness a break!!!

    December 1, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  10. Uncle Sam

    Why do Democrats and Republicans hate one another?
    The world is much too small for that.

    December 1, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  11. euromade

    Is this is the change Hussein Obama promised to all his supporters!

    4 years of the Clintons and their cronies.

    December 1, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. clramsay

    Do you really think that Hillary and McCain would have let a non native born American become president if they had proof? Are you nuts??

    December 1, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. hugh ~ california

    Anti-Hillary people who support Obama–get over it. Be part of the solution or be part of the problem, it doesn't help to be negative.

    December 1, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  14. Chelsea

    umm..John....Hawaii...Is one of our 50 states... problem solved. And his birth certificate was posted online for EVERYONE to see, but I guess you were too busy reading the crazed crap put out by the McCain camp to notice that. And Enemyofmine...Welcome to the 21st century...we have done away with slavery and segregation..oh..and GUESS WHAT ELSE..woman can vote now... crazy..I know..Uhggg.. people like YOU are what make the rest of us look bad in the eyes of the rest of the world..

    December 1, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. Change - Yeah Left

    Even Bill knows a joke when he sees it in Office.

    December 1, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. J.P.

    What, was there an unattended "Monica" somewhere that needed attending? Yep, there's that Hope and Change I keep hearing so much about.

    Sorry, Barry, Bubba and Cankles, you can "keep the change."

    December 1, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. Mari



    YOU CAN'T PROVE IT...........BECAUSE BARACK OBAMA .......IS......A .......CITIZEN......... OF OUR ......NATION!

    ******STOP THE LIES********** STOP THE HATE*****************

    December 1, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. sick n tired

    Once again Obama proving that he IS ready to lead and smart enough to make intelligent decisions. A nice change from the D student moron we had the last 8 years!

    December 1, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. California Gold

    Hope Samantha Power remains with President elect Obama and his administration. We need all the critical thinkers we can get and he should be surrounded with people who aren't timid to voice their perspectives.

    As for Senator Clinton, hands down the Clintons are widely respected abroad. I have heard nothing but praise for Senator Clinton and President Clinton throughout the middle east. Certainly her appointment as Secretary of State will be received well. Hope she is up to the job.

    December 1, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. sick n tired

    Once again Obama proving that he IS ready to lead and smart enough to make intelligent decisions. A nice change from the D student moron we had the last 8 years!

    December 1, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. Hall for Obama

    Max: Why do you want to see Obama birth certificate? Oh, you must want to see if it has black or white on it for race. Well it may have other on it. GET OVER IT. HE IS THE POTUSA. Did you ask for any of the other people birth certificate?

    December 1, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. Brennan, Seattle WA

    Who cares what Bill Clinton does?

    Are we really going to have to hear about this for the next 8 years?

    ......President Obama had a meeting with SOS Clinton and Bill Clinton did not attend.....President Obama and SOS Clinton had dinner together and Bill Clinton didn't attend.

    This is fabricated news. Bill Clinton is not part of this administration. Obama will be a great President and Hillary will be a great SOS, enough said. Now lets see what they do.

    December 1, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  23. Bill Clinton

    Our master plan is working...

    December 1, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  24. sick n tired

    Once again Obama proving that he IS ready to lead and smart enough to make intelligent decisions. A nice change from the D student moron we had the last 8 years! Bottom line.............Bush is a joke!

    December 1, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  25. Ken K

    Well, as a former President, he probably doesn't want to draw attention away from the focus of the event, which is to name new cabinet members for the new administration – it's their event.

    I don't recall other former Presidents attending these events as a matter of protocol, and I don't think that spousal attendance is required. Sounds to me like Mr. Clinton made the correct call.

    I don't see the story being remarkable enough to merit the sarcastic and nasty comments being left here.

    December 1, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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