December 3rd, 2008
08:51 AM ET
10 years ago

Bill Clinton says he'd consider role in Obama administration

 The former President has pledged to release a list of donors.

The former President has pledged to release a list of donors.

HONG KONG, China (CNN) - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said Wednesday he will have "very little" to do with the decisions his wife Hillary will face as secretary of state in the incoming Obama administration.

"I'll just try to be a helpful sounding board to her, but I don't think I'll do any more than that," Clinton told CNN during a trip to Hong Kong.

President-elect Barack Obama announced Monday that Hillary Clinton, the senator from New York and former first lady, was his choice for secretary of state. Bill Clinton said he and his wife have always talked "about everything," and he called her advice "invaluable" throughout his career.

"I really care about all these profound challenges that our country and the world are facing," he said. "But the decisions will have to be ultimately the President-elect Obama's decisions to make about what we are going to do, what our policies are going to be."

Clinton said his wife learned she was being considered for the Cabinet post by reading it in the newspaper. He said he would remain in the background unless Obama "asks me to do something specific, which I'm neither looking for nor closed to."

"I think she made the right decision, but for her it was hard. She adored being in the Senate," he said.

Clinton was in Hong Kong to open a meeting of his Clinton Global Initiative, the non-profit foundation he started after leaving office. The organization, which is aimed at tackling international problems such as worldwide poverty and disease prevention, came under scrutiny while his wife was being vetted for the job.

Clinton said he has agreed to disclose his donors in order to eliminate concerns that supporters were trying to influence U.S. international policy, a move he called "over and above what the law requires."

"If she is going to be secretary of state and I operate globally and I have people who contribute to these efforts globally, I think that its important to make it totally transparent," he said.

Filed under: Bill Clinton
soundoff (245 Responses)
  1. Bill, Albany, Georgia

    I'm wondering if the new Bi-Partisanship plans call for Bill and Sarah getting together over a cigar while staying out Hillary's way!!!

    December 3, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. NY republican

    To "Roofin'" – It's not the "getting his horn tooted" (nice analogy by the way!) that is bothering me about Mr. President Clinton. The thing is I might still have a right leg (lost in Nam) if he didn't "dodge the draft" and stepped up when his country called (instead calling his country to step up when he needed it). Coupled with the fact that he let bin Laden walk causing all the resulting loss of life and limb, then the debacle in Somalia (more unnecessary loss of life and limb) that he and his newly re-hired "advisors" caused there. It seems every one forgets all the bodies and body parts with his name on them, while focusing only on those generated by President Bush.

    December 3, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. pam Eugene OR

    I thought Hillary wore big girl panties now and could do this job on her own.
    Bill's ego is out of the park!
    I voted for Obama not Clinton. Go home Bill. It is not your turn any more. Oh, and take NAFTA and your other bad deals with you.

    December 3, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. Nick

    I love how all the haters in this forum talk about how bad a president Bill Clinton supposedly was.... its absolutely ridiculous... its like... you guys elected "George Bush" .....TWICE.... having a Clinton administration is a DREAM compared to what we've had to deal with the last 8 years.

    December 3, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  5. Proud to be conservative Mitzi

    So interesting that you whining Liberals forgive anything done by Democrats like the Clintons and refuse to look at the history of our country's Republicans greatness. Don't you people read? You won, smile and look out in 2010.

    December 3, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Bill Clinton for court jester!

    December 3, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. CT Indy

    For everyone who said give the bailout money back to the people Google "Gohmert+Tax holiday". This rep from Texas is proposing a fed income tax holiday for January-February. He proposes using some of the remaining bailout money to fund it. This is real relief for taxpayers. Side benefit is employers (big, small, households who employ) also get payroll tax reliefs.

    December 3, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. shucks

    The republicans seem to forget that America had enough of Bush and all the old cronies in Washington that clung to the coat tales of Bush and Cheney. WE VOTED THEM OUT!!! Get it? No matter what any of you say, we will be better off with Obama, and the incredible administration he has picked. Bush was into token people just to look good ie: Rice. Obama is actually picking people of substance and sound judgement, and willing to stand up to him. That is the character of a true leader. Not like the dictatorship of Bush / Cheney.

    December 3, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. obama-mama

    Mark is a sicko pervert. What a loser

    December 3, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. Anton

    Mrs. Clinton was meant to be President!!!

    So wat if BIll will contribute when she is Sec. of State, I want to see him annoy Obama as much as he can for stealing his wifes shot at the Presidency.

    December 3, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Riaz

    Best Role: STAY AWAY !!!

    December 3, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. Concerned in MA

    Once again proving that the only "change" we're going to have is that which is stashed in our piggy banks.

    December 3, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  13. boered1

    so did bubba talk to the liar hillary about doing Monica or is his statement that they talk about everything just another clinton lie?

    i suspect that latter..

    Stephen Colbert says he will accept a spot in the Obama administration also.. guess that just shows that bubba is also a joke

    December 3, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  14. FreeNLovIt

    We have so many problems. We really do need 3 Presidents in the White House at this critical time in our history. If you think about it, Roosevelt only had to battle ONE problem at a time. First, he fought against the ECONOMY and then later, he fought against WWII. So yes, we need THREE presidents in the White House. By reading and hearing about all the problems in the world, it's enough to go crazy.

    December 3, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. Sharon Kitchen

    oh my.................

    December 3, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. JuanM

    When your racist mouth spews comments such as "token" you are just showing your ignorance. Is that part of the "Change" your messiah is talking about. I noticed that you didn't mention General Powell. Does this mean that he wasn't a token? You're a racist.

    December 3, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. Ken from Memphis

    I did not support Obama. I have voted Republican all my life. I was very disappointed in the last Bush term. However, Obama won the election. He is our next President. We all need to support him.

    December 3, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. PJP

    Oh, come on!! Stay out of any and all politics MR. Bill!!!!!!! You've done enough damage to America!!

    December 3, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  19. Gaylon Barrow

    You people that talk down on Bill Clinton are Idiots. The man don more for this country in his Presidency every before him. Like leaving office with thre trilliion dollars in escrow. First President to ever balance the budget. You're wrong about his advising Hillary. She is quite obviously her own woman. She will make her own decisions. If Obama ever had an offer of Help from BILL CLINTON then he would be a wise man to grab at it. This U.S. economy is sinking. No better man for the job than Bill Clinton.

    December 3, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  20. NY republican

    freenluvnit – look what a triumverate did for the Roman empire. You say "what Roman Empire?" I say "right". I find that one President at time can do enough harm, thank you.

    December 3, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. Deb in Vegas

    Vigla–You need to read the Constitution, Article 1, Section 6 states:

    No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

    The pay for the SoS has been increased during Hillary's time as a NY Senator. So, for her to be approved as the SoS, Congress would have to figure out a work around to this minor Constitutional detail such as Hillary not accepting the increased pay for her new job.

    And as far as those who still believe that President-elect Obama isn't a US citizen because his birth certificate may show he was born outside the US–regardless of where he was born, his mother was a US citizen which made him one by birth. My daughter was born in Germany but she is a US citizen by birth because both I and her father are US citizens by birth.

    December 3, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. boered1

    Obama already has 73% of positions filled by former Clinton officials

    idiot you should go back to school and maybe learn some math this time.. fractions and percentages are not really all that hard... he has selected less than 20% of Clinton's cabinet and NOT ONE OF THEM IS DOING THE SAME JOB! You see one of the ways you get change is to take EXPERIANCED PEOPLE with differing ideas and put them in NEW CIRCUMSTANCES and than LISTEN to all their input this usually gives new ideas than the LEADER (Obama for you idiots that cannot figure that out) makes the decision and gives the direction.. you yes it is change

    As for the liar hillary as sos (same old Sh**?) I think it is a great idea, takes her out of the senate (you are welcome NY) and after she proves herself incompetant at that job also he gets to fire her and than the liar hillary and bubba get to fade away... well except from the clinton "news" network (cnn)

    December 3, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  23. proudliberal

    he would be a much better SOS than hillary!

    December 3, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. Boxer3

    Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, will be the fourth in the line of succession to become president in the event of the death of President Obama. Watch your backs Obama, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Robert Byrd.

    December 3, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. Rick

    Sounds like more change, Obama style. Face it dems, you were duped.

    December 3, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
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