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. Zac

    Hillary Who?

    November 14, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  2. Observer

    She's been my choice for that job for months. Kerry's my next choice, if Hillary's not interested.

    November 14, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  3. Dee

    And she's a good candidate for SOS because...???
    So much for "Change we can believe in"...

    November 14, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. CG

    A great pick and would be well recieved around the world as a start to fix the torn relations from the Bush era!

    November 14, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  5. Don

    Once Hillary lost nomination I was hopeful B. Obama would offer her Secretay of State. This would be good for the country and all the world situations where she would lead positively, effectively and diplomatically mediate.

    Lets make it happen

    November 14, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. Frantz

    Both Kerry and Richardson are pretty good choices, but Hillary is an entire different league for the simple reason she probably already knows all the Heads of State on first name basis. When you have Hillary, former First lady, former Senator and SOS seating in front of you, that's no small matter.

    November 14, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  7. J

    Anyone who say's Hillary isn't a good choice is only biased. I voted for Obama in the primaries and election and I think Hillary would be good at almost any function she performed. It would be a great choice. This administration seems to be gathering strength and hopefully Obama and is team will do some great things for America and the world.

    November 14, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. CC from Chicago

    A good way not to offend Kerry or Richardson, she does have experience meeting with foreign heads of state, additional unity by those still reluctant to back Obama from the left, overall I think it would be a good fit. The next Madeline Albright?

    November 14, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. Obamaisafrraud

    I thought Obama was "turning a page" on the Clintons? Didn't he deride her national security policy? Didn't he deride her decsion making? Didn't he talk down her ability to "not be a polarizing" person?

    I think she should turn down the post, wait for 2012, b/c Obama will have even lower poll numbers than Bush and she will then be able to take the White House, and turn the page on Ofruadama.

    November 14, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. Noah

    I still don't trust HRC

    November 14, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  11. Puff

    Tell him to get lost Hillary. He wants you as a scapegoat. Kick him to the curb.

    November 14, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. arlene, CA

    I would rather have John Kerry. Something about picking her I just do not trust. Kerry or Richardson or Susan Rice, who was his foreign policy advisor during the campaign.

    November 14, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  13. D. Jones

    (No Hillary = No Obama)

    You might as well join the GOP... You have the same hate they do....

    November 14, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  14. joni

    Well, I am not surprised a bit, but Hillary keeps avoiding answering any questions about this, just like she did when asked 3 years ago if she was going to run for President. You know Obama made a deal with her, if she told her people to vote for him, he would give her a place on his cabinet. How can he stand to have her work with him, after all she said negative about him??? Politicians are so phony and hypocritical. I can't stand any of them. Hillary should stay outof politics along with Bill !!!

    November 14, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. Aaron

    It's great seeing Democrats so unified. I think it brings confidence to Americans. Obama is making great decisions by the second.

    November 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  16. California Gold

    Senator Clinton would do well no matter what position she fills. However, I see the problem is President Clinton who is acting as a Secretary of State.

    The difficulty I have with Senator Clinton is she says one thing, is adamant about her position, then votes the other way. Her campaign was riddled with lies and confabulations like running through a barrage of bullets, her diplomatic responsibilities as First Lady (BIG stretch of facts) etc. That just soured me on Clinton. She would be good wherever she works, but her #1 priority is Hillary. Enough said.

    November 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  17. PL

    Excellent choice let's move foward. What I don't understand is the meeting with McCain, I don't think he could bring anything to this adminstration. John McCain showed his true self during the compaing. It's over John accept it and move on.

    November 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  18. Shane


    November 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  19. joni (again)

    Just look at that photo above, and her FAKE smile !!! Makes me sick.

    November 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  20. Arlene Perez


    OK I get the whole channeling Lincoln's "team of rivals" thing but Clinton? Seriously? Why not Richardson? Richardson stuck his neck out for Obama an that's the thanks he gets? Who's advising Obama? They need to be fired!

    November 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  21. sglman4Obama

    Getting Hillary out of the country along with Bill to negoiate the Mid-East Peace is brillant strategy and a wise use of human resource! If anyone can straighten our Putin its HILLARY!

    November 14, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  22. bertha green

    Excellent choice! Obama will be one smart president and just what we need. Should anyone have any doubts just replay election night clips from all over the world. When was the last time we had anyone who could inspire so many!

    November 14, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  23. Maurice

    I have mixed feelings about this but I do trust President Elect Barrack Obama's judgement.
    But if you really think of it...given the current state of the U.S. you need the best and brightest (Friends or Foes) to work as one (Team) to pull this nation in the right direction and to get things done for the benefit for the American people.

    November 14, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  24. to Raymond...

    I agree, having Hillary on Obama's cabinet, will NOT be CHANGE. It will be just the same old, same old.....

    November 14, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. Mike

    The Republican formula for reclaiming power in 2010 and 2012:

    1 eloquent yet inexperienced and untested unknown + many recycled advisors/staff members from the Clinton era = Change You Can Believe In.

    "Change" apparently means that our future lies in the 1990s.

    November 14, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
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