November 17th, 2008
12:23 PM ET
13 years ago

Bill Clinton says wife would be 'great' secretary of state

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Bill Clinton says his wife would make a great secretary of state."](CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton is weighing in on the possibility of his wife becoming secretary of state, saying the New York senator would "be really great" in the post.

"She loves doing what she is doing. But if she decided - if he decided to ask her to do it and they did it together I think she'd be really great at being secretary of state," Clinton said Sunday during an economic conference in Kuwait hosted by the National Bank of Kuwait.

But the former president made clear his wife did not seek out a job offer.

"She worked very hard for his election after the primary fight they had and so did I and we were very glad that he won and we have a lot of confidence that he can do a good job. But she did not do what she did with the hope or expectation of getting any kind of job offer, much less getting this discussed," he said.

The New York senator is reportedly on Obama's shortlist for the position. Sources tell CNN New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is also in the running.

soundoff (275 Responses)
  1. Anne

    Bill Richardson is a turncoat.

    Hillary should get the job.

    November 17, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. 60 year old, white female for Obama

    How do all you experts even know if Powell wants to return to SOS? How do you know if conversations between him and Obama have taken place? So many backseat drivers in the press and on blogs. One wonders why so many of you haven't run for elected office!!

    November 17, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  3. Linda

    Hill would be great, like she would have been a great President. Obama has had his OH CRAP moment. There is no change folks. He has to get all of Clintons people to fix this country. Sounds like he needs a Clinton, because it takes a Clinton to clean up after a Bush.

    November 17, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Loyal Dem in Paris

    I liked Hillary until the primaries, where I think she showed her true character (do anything to get power). I still like her (not as much as Obama), and love Bill Clinton, but aren't her talents better served as Secretary of HHS? I think SoS is not her specialty, her policies are not in line with Obama, and it puts her too much in the limelight – especially for someone as power hungry as she is.

    Bill, I love ya, but you need to step aside and let Obama make his own decisions without pressure from his supporters. He knows what is best.

    I for one hope that he chooses Richardson, but whomever he decides to choose, I am certain it will be for the good of the country.

    November 17, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. Pat in IL

    I think that Hillary will do a very good job of whatever she chooses to do. Those who don't like her just because she's married to Bill, or because she "wears boring pantsuits", or whatever, are just being silly – or worse – not discerning about who is best qualified for what job. Also, we don't know everything. Barack Obama and his advisors are much more savvy about what is needed for SOS, what the job really entails, etc., than we are, so it is definitely his decision to make and we should respect that.

    November 17, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. bob j

    sen clinton would be a great secy of state i applaud pres elect obama for his wise selections i hope and pray that the people he picks for sec of tres and other who will work with our economy are as good as his other appointees

    November 17, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. Jeff in Illinois

    <<< An Obama voter who has thought for a long time that Senator Clinton would make an excellent SecState.

    As for the comment that in 2012 Hillary will be too old to run for President...are you thinking she would consider running as a Republican? I'm fairly certain Barack Obama is running for President in 2012 on the Democratic ticket. I'm also sick of people degrading the youth of the nation for finally getting more involved in the political process, and I don't think anyone has been indicating that 'only the young have good ideas'.

    November 17, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  8. Sam Chandra

    "Don't worry about the deficit for the next year or two?" Surprise, surprise! Obama talking about spending tons of money and not worrying about the deficit. Socialist support of failing auto companies instead of letting the market determine winners and losers. This is why McCain would have been the better choice. He was focused on reducing the deficit by cutting spending.

    Sam Chandra

    November 17, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. Retired Army in San Antonio

    Alice Brinkley says: Hillary might as well take the Sec/State job since in 2012 she will be too old to run for President from a senator position. She will be approaching 70..........


    Nope......she just turned 61.....If Clinton ran for President in 2016, she'd still be younger than Reagan when he first ran.

    November 17, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. Steve

    She do as good a job as she did with Health Care several years back...

    November 17, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. Bobby

    Interesting how Obama, who vociferously campaigned against the Washington 'insiders' and against 'old style politics' is filling his Cabinet with Clinton insiders who are also Washington insiders. My sense is that as President he will be little more than a very articulate and eloquent mouthpiece for the partisan democratic party and the very special interests he condemned. All we have done is switch one set of idelogues for another. How does that saying go? You can fool some of the people some of the time.......

    November 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. I regret my vote!

    To: mm:

    You make me regret that I went ahead and voted Democratic. I almost didn't. I almost stayed home. While I still believe she was and still is the better more qualified candidate, I went ahead and voted for Obama, I decided to vote for the party and because of Hillary. Bill and Hillary Clinton did more to help Obama win this election than any other Democratic presidential candidate. She not only campaigned for him, but also raised money. She sure is more qualified than Bill Richardson!!!

    November 17, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. Dylan, Los Angeles

    Bill Richardson is a better fit

    November 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. Proud American

    As much as I love HIlary, i prefer John Kerry for the job!!

    November 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. sick n tired

    Im not a Hillary fan, But i agree that she would make a good Sec. of State. She's proven to have the backbone to deal with other world leaders. (cant believe im saying this!) She could handle it im sure.

    November 17, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  16. loic From Lbv

    Wether former Pres.B cliton meant it or not, let alone the future tell if she's up to the task.
    But i think she'll be a really great sec of state; The election is over, now it's time to take the county to a new direction. That's what change is all about.
    hope President-elect will choose the most qualified and experienced person capable to carry out his visions on foreign policies.

    November 17, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  17. Andrew

    What change? There is never going to be change in Washington. It was evident before the election. Obama ran on it and he did not keep to his words. Biden is not change. Look at the economy.....I wish Bill was still my president......balanced budget and a surplus too.

    November 17, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  18. No More GOP

    I think it would be great to have Hillary as Secretary of State. She's got the experience and the temperament to handle it. And the best part is: no more Republicans in office to screw things up!

    November 17, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. Joseph IRAQ WAR VET

    Give Hillary a break, I didnt like how the Clintons handled their campaign, which made me dislike her for a long time, but she has made up for it by her support the rest of the way. Wether you like her or not you have to agree thing she knows her stuff, she is tough, and knows how to get things done.

    November 17, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |






    YEAR 2009 = 2+0+0+9 = 11

    November 17, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  21. AJ

    She would have been a great President but instead we are stuck with Obama. I think Senator Clinton should stay where she's at and let him sink or swim on his own. Maybe he can get Oprah to take the job...

    November 17, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  22. grahame

    Many of these comments I do not agree with. Obama has said he wants to promote the best people for the job. OK. This has nothing to do with change. After all anything different from Bush/Chaney is welcome change anyway. You have to promote the best people for the job. This does not mean that you go to the nearest unemployment line and pick somebody just to change things. You've got to have quality and people who know what they are doing. The only way to know this job is by having served in Washington. So to disparage any choice because they are in government is counterproductive. We do not want Joe the Plumber.
    I'm so proud. I didn't read the name Sarah Palin once in this blog.

    November 17, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  23. Joe - Chicago, IL

    She couldn't run a campaign, why would we give her a chance to fail to run the State department?

    November 17, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  24. Charles Douglas Lemay


    November 17, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. ch

    Hillary Clinton is simply awesome – smart, strong, highly informed.

    She is the anti Sara Paiin.

    She would be a great Sec. of State – she would have been a great President too.

    She has clearly earned this and is clearly qualified.

    November 17, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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