November 24th, 2008
04:27 PM ET
12 years ago

Ex-Bush speechwriter: Obama would 'control' Clinton in Cabinet

David Frum says Barack Obama would cement his power over Hillary Clinton by putting her in his Cabinet.

David Frum says Barack Obama would cement his power over Hillary Clinton by putting her in his Cabinet.

(CNN) - The notion of President-elect Barack Obama creating a team of former rivals to be in his Cabinet has attracted a lot of attention, especially with news that Sen. Hillary Clinton reportedly is on track to be secretary of state.

CNN's Joe Johns talked with David Frum, a former speechwriter for President Bush, on Monday about the possibility of Clinton as well as a Republican serving in the new administration's Cabinet.

Watch: Obama foreign policy team could include some heavy hitters

CNN: And I guess a lot of people are wondering right now about Hillary Clinton. What do you see in this thing? What does it mean to have Hillary Clinton as the secretary of state? How will she end up there?

David Frum: Well, it means that Hillary Clinton has just moved from having an independent power base in the Senate to being in effect an employee of Barack Obama. And not just any employee, but one who has had to open her files to Barack Obama.

Just imagine the scene of the Obama people going through the Clinton files and saying, "Wow, this could be embarrassing if anybody ever found out about it. Don't worry, it's safe with us."

Full story

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Obama transition
soundoff (157 Responses)
  1. Locutus of Borg

    The Obama unit is very wise, and at times, thinks as an individual. Fascinating....

    November 24, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. therealist

    With 3/4's of the Clintons returning..., Obama will be nothing more than what al queda's leader discribed, a house negro.

    November 24, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. Ratgurl

    Why is what an ex-Bush ANYTHING says important?

    November 24, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. Lynda Jones-Owings

    Why is the media going there? I think that this was a great plan for our country. Hiliary will be a great access for President -Elect and I believe if the media stays out of it they will make a great team.

    November 24, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. Bill Clinton

    Good luck with that.


    November 24, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Jan

    where was that bridge for sale? This guy is amazingly disilluisioned!

    November 24, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. MD, TX

    Don't think so. My guess is that within 8 months, Hillary is sitting in the Oval Office and Obama is serving snacks.

    November 24, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. carol

    I guess this guy would know all about secrets, being an Ex-Bush speechwriter!!!!!!
    It must be really irritating them watching Obama putting together such a formidable team and knowing what a sad bunch they had to put up with for 8 years.
    I've no doubt that Hillary will definitely not be ruling the roost in the Obama cabinet....he will be in full control and making sure they know who is the President.
    The whole team is going to do a great job, it's a pity they couldn't start today......Bush would not be missed at all, he's practically on vacation now and when you do see him you get the impression that "the lights are on but nobody is home"!!!!

    November 24, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  9. Lynne

    His paranoia is a tell-tell sign that he was part of the Bush administration. Bush was secretive and tried to be the smartest person in the room by hiring dolts and then keeping them under his thumb. Those who disagreed with him out loud were fired and replaced by "yes men". Obama is for honesty, transparency and having smart people around him that disagree and will speak their minds or challenge him into making the best decisions – that's why he chose Hillary and several others.

    Unfortunately, Frum can't differentiate the two and answered this question based on what his experience working for Bush was. He has no idea what role Hillary will play, nor do the rest of us.

    November 24, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  10. Abby

    Thank you, cynical man, for your jaded, tired and Bushesqe analogy of the situation at hand. NOw get out! you're time is up, thank God.

    November 24, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Laverne

    Some people are soo supicious of others motives. This is actually a win, win situation for the both of them. I think Hillary will be a great SOS and I think Obama will be a great POTUS! Together at last!

    November 24, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  12. boered1

    President Obama (I know I should say President elect but he is acting more Presidential than the current resident) is a brilliant man!

    Take the liar hillary out of the senate.. no power base there any longer.. give her the job of SoS until her husband blows it for her or she goes against his instructions, which should be about 6 months, than fire her lying butt, now she has no senate seat, no public exposure at all. This takes the liar hillary and her philandering husband out of the political scene for the rest of his term.. brilliant like I said!

    November 24, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. We love Sarah

    Keep stirring the pot. The rethugs will never learn.

    November 24, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. rachel

    I am sure that's excatly what Obama intended. I am also sure that it delights the republicans because it will shut Hillary up and when they start dogging Obama Hillary can't be her own person she will just have to say what Obama says is okay. Either way Hillary has give up something to get something so if she chooses Obama's cabinet I am sure she knows what she is getting into.

    November 24, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. jonathan

    Well, too bad the Liberals aren't the Evil Entity the Republican's would
    have us all believe. . . they are in fact, the Only One's who actually care about the American People and will do things to improve our Great Nation as a Whole, not just wealthy friends as we've seen for the past eight miserable years.

    November 24, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. rachel

    I also think that Obama did this because Hillary has a strong personality that anything she says negative Obama will easily try and seperate it from his administration ie going rouge or you know Hillary she says things.

    November 24, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Matt

    Is it just me and I am no fan of Hillary's, but that she is being suckered into the Secretary of State job. She won't be able to run for president, she can't oppose him if he screws up and gets tied to the same faliure if he does as well. And any accomplishements she might make are really Obama's accomplishments as it is his administration.

    November 24, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. Luis, Seattle, WA

    Frum, is an idiot.....afterall, he wrote the Bush speeches, which amounted a no more than 4th grade level simplicity. He has no basis for a any educated opinion

    November 24, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. mike

    how much do you want to bet in about 20 minutes cnn will psot a headline that says "Dow surges on Obama picks" even though the dow was surging well before then because of the stupid citi bailout.

    November 24, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. earle,florida

    No one is going to usurp Obama, when campaign strategist David Axelrod got his back!

    November 24, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. Michael watching from Canada

    Clinton is smart enough to understand that if she accepts SoS that she will have to be loyal to her boss. She must accept his leadership and he must give her enough latitude to let her use her judgment and initiative to be an effective SoS.

    November 24, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    He Is Keeping Her Close To Keep An Eye On Her! I Still Think She Will Be A Good Secretary Of State!

    November 24, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. Terry

    Frum is such an idiot

    November 24, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |

    Frum is a hater and a sore loser.

    November 24, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. Tired of being wrong?

    Not David Frum!

    November 24, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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