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. gregory james

    if she want thats ok thats politics...... you no!!!!

    November 14, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  2. aware

    Good move by Obama!

    Senator Hillary Clinton has the gravitas, commitment, loyalty and wisdom to be a great Secretary of State! 🙂

    November 14, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  3. Beverly, NYC

    I think she would do better in the senate. I think this is purely a political move,throw her a bone, while derailing her aspirations for higher office. How many past Secretaries of State, except Kissenger & Albright can anyone name. How many have gone on top be president, Zero. Grow where you are planted Hillary, stay in the Senate or run for Governor of NY.

    November 14, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. aware

    President Lincoln built a team of rivals! I wonder what Obama has in store for McCain and Palin? 🙂

    November 14, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  5. Don

    I am starting to think the posters who claim to be Obama supporters who are shocked about this choice, are really Obama supporters, or the other side in disguise. Lets be clear. Obama promised change..yes. However, from day one he has surrounded himself by former Clinton advisors. You seem to confuse what he means by change...he wants to change the way things are done...and so does Hillary. Please stop the deception. Many of you did this during the election to create the rift between Obama and Clinton supporters and its clear you are still playing games.

    November 14, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  6. Larry

    Bravo ...

    Go Obama ...

    November 14, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  7. Dean P Valencia Ca

    Great choice Obama. I hope you offer Hillary the position.

    She deserves it for mobilizing half of the Democratic party and supporting Obama for Prez.

    She will be great.

    November 14, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  8. Miami for Obama


    November 14, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  9. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    November 14, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. Alice in Coldstream

    Hillary must feel a greater satisfaction that Obama did not invite her along just to get votes. He is complimenting her far more this way.

    November 14, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  11. Matt

    Where is the "change"?

    November 14, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  12. Matt

    Yes Don, you're right. Hillary has a lot of international experience including several trips to the Middle East under heavy gunfire. Oh wait, that's right...that never happened., she lied I must have been thinking about Biden who landed in the Middle East under heavy gun fire. Oh wait, that's right..that never happened either, he lied.

    November 14, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  13. Phil Newton in Murphy, Oregon

    Join the dream team!

    November 14, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  14. bk

    Meet the people that are going to run the country. The Clintons and the Clinton administration. They will let Obama read from his teleprompter and take the credit. That is what happens when you elect someone with no experience, some one has to do the job, when you don't know how. Obama fooled you all! Ha Ha!

    November 14, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  15. Kathy

    Great!!! Just what we need!! Dumb and Dumber!! I figured this is what would happen, I'm sure it was discussed after he beat her. That explains her changing her tune and pumping him up during the campaign.

    November 14, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  16. Sherri

    It is terrific news!

    November 14, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  17. Cathy, Peoria AZ

    I think she would be a great choice. To those of you complaining this is not change – think a minute. He is surrounding himself with talented individuals with strength, intelligence, world knowledge. We have serious problems and need individuals who can provide leadership, strong ideas and solutions.
    Both Senator Kerry and Gov Richardson are excellent choices and may end up in other cabinet posts. Let the man do his job!

    November 14, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  18. New Day

    I think its a good choice. I hope he finds in a spot in the cabinet for McCain, too.

    November 14, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  19. Pablo R

    I support Clinton as SoS...
    If it wouldn't be possible, bring Richardson... But please, not Kerry!!!

    November 14, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  20. kcbob

    Well she has shown she will dodge sniper fire to get the job done, so why not? Har Har!

    November 14, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  21. Ted

    I think Richardson would be better.

    November 14, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  22. Lynn in NM

    She has no experience. Bill Richardson would be a better choice. However, there is payback to be expected. For what, I don't know, since she didn't do a whole heck of a lot for Obama despite what she promised.

    November 14, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. frustrated

    To people complaining that Obama isn't pushing change that he promised with the consideration of Clinton and other political figures, I agree with you. I think to bring real change he should be considering Carrot Top instead for the position of Secretary of State. And maybe Hulk Hogan as Secretary of Defense.

    November 14, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  24. OMG

    So what if he picks HRC??!! You think that just because of one pick, he's not the President of "Change?" Get real, people. He is going to CHANGE the U.S. position in the world...and it takes someone to do that. If he chose Richardson, you'd be whining because he served under President Clinton. If he chose Kerry, you'd whine because he was the D-candidate in 2004. He has to have experience to get us out of the mess that 8-years of "W" gave us. Stop the whining and support your President. We already had one civil war...get over yourselves!!

    November 14, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  25. Niky

    Change doesn't mean bringing new faces to washington. It means bringing new policies to washington.

    He never promised he will change the look... he will change the feel – the way washington works.

    Keep up the good work Obama... every move so far has been very intelligent.

    November 14, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
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