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. Dexter Skagway

    Wow, He's not even in office yet and I am already disillusioned! Darn it, Obama, "change" does not mean the same old people and the same tired ideas and lots of inevitable score-settling! Change does not mean changing back and forth between the same old disfunctional parties.

    November 14, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  2. Denise....Boardman, Ohio

    President-elect Obama is building a "team of rivals"....This is a very wise and clever man....he is someone this country has needed for a very long time...Hillary, as well as several other people, would be a great choice.... Senator Chuck Hagel, would have also been a great choice....putting our country back on track will not be easy...President-elect Obama will need all the "wisdom" he has, plus the intelligence of many others....A team of rivals....fitting for this time and season in our Nation.

    November 14, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  3. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    Maybe he'll pick Sarah Palin for Secretary of Education! 🙂

    November 14, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  4. Matt


    November 14, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  5. Arthur James

    Well, She SHOULD have been offered the Vice Presidency candidacy by Obama, and he would have ended up with a much larger mandate via a popular vote landslide instead of the smaller one he has now from the Electoral College win. And there probably would have been no Sarah Palin either, not that I have anything against her.

    This would truly bolster my confidence in him, which I've never really sincerely had.

    And don't waste John McCain either!

    November 14, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. Al

    I am very happy to hear that. I hope she says YES and double YES!!!!!!

    November 14, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. Obama/Biden 08

    Clinton would make a good secretary of state. I'm not sure that she would be better than someone like Bill Richardson, but she would definitely be good (better than John Kerry, by far).

    November 14, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. echeweozo

    The game is played already

    November 14, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  9. anna

    What did Obama supporters think he meant when he said CHANGE?

    I was asking myself that question during the whole campaign.

    Just bringing in New Democrats to the Administration?
    That is what you call CHANGE?

    That is what every new Administration has done from the beginning.
    Political favors, paybacks, golfing buddies...
    Just bringing in new faces who Kiss the new Guys' bootie isnt Change.
    Thats what they all do!

    I am sorry folks, but we need people involved who have a proven RECORD of knowing what they are doing...

    The World loves the Clintons. Hill is a smart, strong, hard-willed/working lady and will make a FANTASTIC Secy of State.

    November 14, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. Artola

    I think this is a great choice. I agree w/Obama completely on this. This shows just how outstanding his character really is. Considering all that was said in the primaries, he is big enough to recognize that she has qualities that could help the country. Most people would hold a grudge.

    As for change, we will be getting a change – a change from the Bush Disastrous Administration. That is plenty enough change for me. As for the Clinton years ...mmm... I was doing pretty good in those years.

    November 14, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  11. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    She'd be crazy NOT to take the job!

    November 14, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  12. Texas Democrat

    If Hillary was Secretary of State, I then could officially call myself a PROUD Obama Supporter

    YES YES YES OBAMA CLINTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 14, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  13. Jesse

    Boy if Obama selects Hillary over Richardson for Secretary of State your going to see alot of Latinos moving over to the GOP!!!

    November 14, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  14. alpha_nu_916

    all of these conservatives who call obama a fraud for not promoting "change" are ridiculous.
    obama's tapping of both rahm and hillary clinton are wise and intelligent moves. rahm understands the internal workings of the executive branch and clinton is extremely knowledgable with regards to foreign affairs.
    what did conservatives expect? joe the plumber for secretary of housing and development? palin for secretary of interior? john mccain for secretary of defense? for secretary of education?
    no politician in his right mind would fill his cabinet or inner circle with inexperienced individual – unless you're GWB.

    November 14, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  15. Gabriella, LA

    I'm not too fond of Hillary Clinton, but she's really really smart. She's also a quick study. This wouldn't be a terrible choice at all.

    November 14, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  16. Matt

    Biden, Emmanuel, Clinton, Axelrod...rumors of Kerry. Yup, thanks for bringing that "change" Mr. President-Elect.

    November 14, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  17. Don

    For those of you who question Hillary's experiance as a reason Obama should not choose her must not realize what the position of Sec of State. Hillary is more than qualified as she has great appeal across the planet. She knows about world issues and she knows the leaders of the nations that make up our world. Thats real life experiance. Hillary will be great if she takes the jobs. Its really sad that some people have nothing better to do than bash people...and its clear you know not what you speak of.

    November 14, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  18. Oakland, CA

    I do not trust Hillary at all. Obama should be able to see through her fake smile!!! NO HILLARY, PLEASE. If we have Hillary in there, then Bill will be back in and it will be the Clinton administration all over again.!!!!

    November 14, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  19. Carrie Pa

    I don't like the sudden leaks coming out of the Obama Camp. I suspect it's from some former Clintonite now working for Obama. Hillary can never answer a question truefully. I don't trust her at all! It would be a disaster if Hillary becomes SOS.

    November 14, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  20. anna

    Stop talking about the "baggage!" I believe that Hilary and Obama have the prudence to overcome their differences and work together to make this country great again. As a team, they will be unstoppable, and a testament to the fact that they are true democrats, working together, a tour de force, creating the kind of America that we can once again be proud of. Kudos to them both!

    November 14, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  21. Al

    I do not think that President -elect Obama ever considered any harsh feeling toward any one from the campaign trail. He does seem like that kind of man that would waist time on such things. He is trying to put together the best possible team he or anyone can. The man is a thinker. He is not re-acting, he is acting. I also hope he finds something that MCcain can do. It is going to take all of us to get out of this mess. President-elect Obama, EVER FORWARD!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 14, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  22. Jeanne H.

    GO OBAMA! Give it to her. And Hillary: Take it, PLEASE!!!

    November 14, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  23. Mike

    It's amazing, you people are so happy about this article. He promised change for two years and all we are getting is the same old Democrat garbage. I'm not sure which is worse, the Republican garbage or the Democrat garbage.

    Reading articles today, I see that Democrats are bending to the wishes of the auto union, that Clinton and maybe Kerry will be in his cabinet, that our enemies are pushing harder and harder due to the perceived weakness of our President-elect...It's like a time warp!

    November 14, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  24. Subhash Durlabhji

    If this happens, Obama will score a coup - he actually gets both the Clintons for the price of one, as Bill will ply his global efforts outside the US government while Hillary will be on the inside. He'll also get them out of his hair in the domestic arena, especially health care. Plus Hillary will hopefully find the job rewarding enough that she does not try to position herself to challenge Obama in 2012. Smart man, which is why I voted for him. I do believe he will change politics in nthis country forever, the Karl Roves of this country will be out of their jobs, and good riddance.

    November 14, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  25. DrMan

    I think it's a great idea. We're going to have a president with no experience, why not a SOS with no experience either.

    November 14, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
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