November 14th, 2008
05:30 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama asks Clinton if she is interested in secretary of state post

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[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sources say Obama asked Clinton if she is interested in the secretary of state post."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Multiple Democratic sources tell CNN that President Elect Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton had a “serious discussion” Thursday to gauge Clinton’s interest in the post of Secretary of State, if she were offered it. Senator Clinton’s response is unknown, although multiple sources agree that Hillary Clinton was left with the impression that if she were interested in the post, it would be hers.

“There was a serious discussion to determine whether, if offered Secretary of State, she would accept it,” said a source close to the Obama transition.

In these circumstances, that source added, a president-elect does not meet with potential cabinet secretaries unless they are serious about making an offer.

Another source close to the Obama transition team told CNN, “this (asking Clinton to be Secretary of State) has been of great interest to Obama for awhile. You’ve got to assume that Hillary Clinton did not come to visit the city of Chicago.”

Over the course of the last 24 hours, sources close to Hillary Clinton have softened their one-time solid public position that she would not be interested in a cabinet position. Those sources now say that Hillary Clinton is clearly contemplating various ways in which she can serve the Obama Administration.

On Monday, Senator Clinton responded to a reporter’s question by saying, “I am happy being a Senator from New York, I love this state and this city. I am looking at the long list of things I have to catch up on and do. But I want to be a good partner and I want to do everything I can to make sure his agenda is going to be successful."

Another source close to the Obama transition team tells CNN that among the key details to be worked out with Clinton, should she express interest in the position, are issues of how her husband, former President Bill Clinton, will be able to continue his work with the Clinton Global Initiative without complicating Hillary Clinton’s work as Secretary of State.

soundoff (280 Responses)
  1. Lost in Texas

    from reading some the post here it's "darned if you do darned if you don't" so soon to be President Obama is going to learn everyone will NOT be pleased no matter who he chooses. The bad thing to me is that this supposed private story was leaked out. I just hope he chooses a cabinent like he says is diverse, bipartisan, mixture of new and old, and above all GOOD. The people that are complaining now were going to bicker anyway no matter what he did so just keep going I say.

    November 14, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  2. j. williams

    the more things 'change', the more they stay the same....nice con job Barry Obama...

    November 14, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  3. Lilarose in Bandon-by-the-Sea, Oregon

    I hope that Bill Richardson of New Mexico is NOT considered for any Obama administration position.

    He was vicious about Hillary Clinton during the campaign. He deserves nothing.

    November 14, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  4. james

    Sounds like the old Washington crowd. "Change you can believe in?"

    November 14, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  5. Dixie AZ

    If Hillary is loyal to Obama's foriegn policy plan and not to Bill Clinton's, I think she will be super.

    November 14, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  6. Patricia in Las Vegas

    My vote would be for Bill Richardson, but its President Elect Obama's call, not mine. If he asks Hillary, it will be because he thinks she is capable of the job. Once thing you can count on PE Obama will choose people based on talent and not on perceived consolation prizes.

    November 14, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  7. Maggie

    Yes – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton!!! President-Elect Obama could not have a better choice.

    November 14, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  8. Ray from NY

    Go Hillary Go! you would make one of if not the best SOS we ever had! TY Pres Elect Obama you are living up to your promises:)

    November 14, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  9. Franky

    Well, well. What do we have here. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State? I gotta say, not bad, not bad at all...

    While everybody kept talking about how my boy needed HIllary as V.P and so forth, this position may be the most underrated one if in fact she accepts. It may be bigger than the V.P many people thought she had a chance in the primaries..

    Not bad, not bad at all...

    November 14, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  10. Gaylon Barrow

    Well she need to take it for the GOOD OF THE COUNTRY Without the Clintons we would have san after the Reagan-Bush Sr. Years. Now with the Bush Jr-OBAMA we will surely sink without her and her staff in Obama's organization. Come on Clintons your change to rule after all.

    November 14, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  11. bern

    Children, children......BO knows what he is doing. He is always 2 steps ahead. Whatever he decides on Hillary I'm with him.

    November 14, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  12. bern

    No Hillary = No Obama November 14th, 2008 5:43 pm ET

    Personally, I think she should tell him to kiss her buttocks and stay in NY. It should have been President Hillary Clinton and would have been President Hillary Clinton if not for the subversive media which Obama did not have to deal with. Obama has and always will be full of himself.

    Oh please let this tired old dead horse rest in peace.

    November 14, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  13. alex

    so much for a different approach to Israel/Palestine and Middle Eastern affairs with Clinton in the cabinet...

    November 14, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  14. diane08

    The "Change" Obama was referring to was a change in how things are done in Washington. It didn't mean that he wouldn't choose experienced, well known people to be in his administration. Obama needs to choose the BEST people for the job, not just new faces. If that means bringing in some of Clinton's old people, or Hillary, or even John McCain, then so be it.

    I mean think about it, Flava Flav as Secretary of State would be a "change", but wisdom involves knowing what to change and what not to. We elected him because we trust his judgement. Now let him do what he needs to do to put this country back on track.

    November 14, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  15. New Citizen

    I do nt have any data, or political experience to say something about this selection. I just get to know both of them, Obama and Hillary, during this elction cycle.
    My mind says, Hillary will take it, and resign from her cabinet position within two years, somehow blaming obama to create a road for running 2012.

    November 14, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  16. Jewel

    Undisputed Choice...No further comments please...
    Unless..Somebody wants to argue ..for the sake of arguments...

    This is an Intelligent Decision ..and would go a long way ...
    Kudos OBAMA

    November 14, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  17. FreeNLovIt

    If Hill A Baby accepts the position, it's as good as HAVING 3 Presidents in the White House, and right now, WE need 3 heavy leagues to handle North Korea, the Middle East, Russia and Europe.

    November 14, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  18. FreeNLovIt

    I was really worried about Obama handling multiple major catastrophic issues so if Clinton joins the ticket to shoulder the WORLD on her shoulder, I can now SLEEP better at 3AM.

    November 14, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  19. Back to DC?

    Can the Clintons rent out the Lincoln bedroom if she is SOS?

    I don't know, but I think Bill Clinton's less than valiant years with all his women made a laughing stock of this country with foreign nations once we can in Hillary's lies about being under sniper fire and negotiating the Ireland peace treaty or some such bunk and it will really make us a laughing stock again.

    I'm just NOT confinced she will demand respect from foreign leaders when they know she could not control her womanizing husband.

    I kind of thought we needed to improve our international image...Hillary is the least likely person to do that.

    November 14, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  20. mo.

    I believe this is one of many good dicisions B.O will be making. For those who say Hillary differs on foreigh policy from B.O, I don't think yuo realise that as any SOS will be working for the President. The man already showed how tightly he can control his people. Further more this shows how much confidens he's got. A very well connected and famous Hillary CLINTON with an experiance in poletics so vast, B.O knows he gets the best. For Hillary Clinton the SOS is far better than the VP position because it puts her in one of the new administrations very tough but incredebly important policy matters, foregh policy.

    November 14, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  21. Polly

    She, like McCain got the bad end of the deal. She should do what's best for her and our country.

    November 14, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  22. vahe

    i love it lets do this clinton we need smart people!!!

    November 14, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  23. Andrew

    Oh no! Please tell me he didn't do that!

    November 14, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  24. Gene

    Everyone talks as if President Clinton had a disastrous presidency while the record speaks so differently. Barak would be wise to use the same playbook.

    November 14, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  25. pam

    Hillary would be a great SOS. Just another example of Obama's wisdom in choosing his Administration. She would be a far better choice than Richardson or Hagel. Hillary won 18,000 votes, I think that proves that many more than Obama have great confidence in Hillary. She is known Nationally and Internationally as a woman of great wisdom who gets things done. She and Obama are on the same page regarding what is needed for their Nation. I think she's an excellent choice.

    November 14, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
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