November 14th, 2008
07:25 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama discusses Secretary of State job with Richardson

(CNN) - CNN has learned that President-elect Barack Obama spoke with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson Friday to discuss the post of Secretary of State. A senior Democratic source tells CNN that Richardson’s name has always been on Obama’s list for that post. Obama has also gauged Sen. Hillary Clinton’s interest in the post if she were offered it. If Clinton does not express interest in the post, then Richardson and others would be candidates for the job.

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

soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. Lady in GA

    Senator Kerry is a much better choice.

    November 14, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  2. Kal

    Richardson – SOS – has some credentials and level headedness and no baggage..but difficult choice if you factor NAFTA

    November 14, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  3. Charlie in Maine

    Don't get me wrong I loved having Bill Clinton as President but even his most ardent admirers such as myself have to admit to frustation with the lack of self-discipline he showed. It neary derailed his Presidency and certainly short -circuited his agenda.

    Imagine what people suchas Bill Richardson or Hillary for that matter could accomplish for a President who can keep his personal life in check and can keep his full focus on th agenda.

    Add to this powerful team put together by this brilliant man a working majority in both houses of congress and there is a chance for some really good things to happen.

    November 14, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  4. Jim

    I work for the gov't and they can't even afford to give a decent cost of living adjustment every year, yet they have plenty of money to waste on themselves. They are no better than the CEOs they criticize. The lot of them should be thrown out!

    November 14, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  5. Hal B

    When you change drivers you don't have to change pit crew.. a good leader has to choose capable surrogates lay out an objective, and delegate

    November 14, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  6. Joe and Natalie

    How effective can a women Sec'ty of State be in dealing with Muslim countries that have no respect for women. Our encumbant was graciously received, but what substantive work was accomplished? Are we in for more of the same?????

    November 14, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  7. KCB

    What about Colin Powell? He's well respected, great resume, and would demonstrate reaching across the asile.

    November 14, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  8. Mark in Orlando

    Richardson is the most qualified person for the job. Clinton would be a much better HHS pick because domestic policy is her forte not foreign policy. Oh, and to those people who want to bring up the fact Obama has picked a lot of Clinton's people, the point of this election was to stop REPUBLICAN policies. Just because the best people to fill these positions are often Clinton's people doesn't mean they won't be able to reverse the last eight years of abysmal governing.

    November 14, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  9. no party affiliation

    I would prefer Hillary for the post. The world respects her, even if Americans of color conveniently forget she and Bill were a big part of the reason Obama even had a chance at the Presidency, thanks to their strong work on behalf of people of color. Unlike some, I have a long memory.

    You can thank the Clintons for paving the way in your lifetime.

    If Obama would like to give it to a person of color, Colin Powell would be the best choice. He's got actual experience in the job, after all.

    November 14, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  10. Rose

    I have no respect for Richardson. What a traitor. I don't think
    the rest of the world would get that excited about him.
    Hillary would be good....the nations would respond well to her.

    November 14, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  11. Hal B

    Richardson - Rice , Clinton - Rice , ---- Rice, Condi Rice
    is the most qualified for the position ......

    November 14, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  12. Daniel

    OH God!!! Hillary as Secretary of State? give me a break is it Hillary or Bill? That post belongs to General Wessley Clark. The only job Hillary should get is the next TAMPAX spokeswoman as far as I am concern.
    And as for Juddas, I think GUILLERMO from the Jimmy Kimmel late night show is a better pick.

    November 14, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  13. Sasha

    There are few people who are more qualified than Richardson – if you think Clinton is honestly a better choice, then you are sorely mistaken. Give her another cabinet seat, just not the one that is practically tailor made for Bill Richardson.

    November 14, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  14. Randy, San Francisco

    Just like in sports it is a good problem to over abundance of talent to choose from for your team. All the candidates on the short list are qualified to be Secretary of State. A bi-partisan list doubles the number of candidates!

    November 14, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  15. David

    Richardson is a great choice, and not just for the prospect of improving relations with our neighbors in Central and South America. He has extensive diplomatic experience and is temperamentally very similar to Obama.

    This "team of rivals" stuff is all well and good when it comes to behind-the-scenes discussions leading to a final decision, but the president should not have a spokesperson to the rest of the world who may not fully represent the president's interests.

    November 14, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  16. Matthew

    I can't believe people saying Colin Powell would be a better choice. The man sold Bush's war to the international community. And worse, he apparently didn't agree with anyone in the administration. The moment he went to the UN and held up that vial, he lost all credibility.

    Richardson and Kerry especially are flakes. Both would be disasters.

    And to people questioning Obama's "change" – that went out the door when he picked Biden as his VP.

    November 14, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  17. just a thought

    some good choices.

    November 14, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  18. Strong Team

    I would rather have Richardson who is a former diplomat.

    Furthermore, I think we need to pay more attention to South America, Latin America, and Africa. Both the Russians and the Chinese have more of a presence there than the United States does. We need to fix that.

    I don't get why people say Hillary has "foriegn policy" experience ... She does not. She made this claim over and over during campaign and I still find it to be an exageration. There is nothing she brings to the qualifications table for Secretary of State. Additionally, do we really want Bill to have unfettered access to Department of State business?

    Politically, let Hillary stay in the Senate and build a career there.

    November 14, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  19. james

    obama and clinton are like oil and water and just leave it like that

    November 14, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  20. Frederick

    I remember one of his comments during a primary debate.
    He said:

    "Give Peace a Chance"

    Based on that ideal, I think he would make an ideal Secretary of State.

    November 14, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  21. Melissa Petoskey, MI

    It should be Bill Richardson. Nothing against Hillary Clinton, I just think he's more suited for the job.

    November 14, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  22. Steve

    Hey, PUMAs, it's far past time to get a life. Same goes for pro-Obama Hillary bashers.

    Both Clinton or Richardson would do a good job. Full stop.

    November 14, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  23. Joe

    Hal B – you have to be kidding. C. Rice has been the least diplomatic "diplomat" we've ever had.

    November 14, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  24. Ken

    Richardson would be the BIGGEST mistake that Obama could make, having him as Secretary of State!

    Hillary Clinton would be his wisest choice and it would probably put her in a position in 2012 not to run against Obama.

    Hillary Clinton would be a great Secretary of State!

    November 14, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  25. Duh

    Richardson is a far superior choice for this position. Once again, Hillary has zero foreign policy experience. Not in Northern Ireland, not in Kosovo, not in the Middle East.

    Her talents and background make her a much better fit for AG.

    November 14, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
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