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. ron

    Sounds like davey boy is jealous. It is pretty obvious that he and the republicans don't want her to accept so he is making it sound like she will be his lacky. Nice try. I have heard some of his speeches. Does it really matter want this idiot has to say.

    November 24, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. John A. Castro

    Divide and Conquer. They're appealing to Clinton's ego to stop Obama from creating a Democratic Dream Team Administration.

    "An employee of Obama?" Please, is this all the GOP has left in their bag of tricks. Instead of helping with the transition of power, they're trying to screw it up. Why? Because they care more about their political party than their own country.

    November 24, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Molly

    You know...I'm not a true blue democrat but its becoming annoying and predictable that anytime a Republican opens their mouth its something negative about the new administration with no alternative solution.

    November 24, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. Happybob

    She has to open her files to Obama. No more free ride when it comes to Middle East peace plan. She better be neutral and not what Mr. David Frum would like her to be, unconditionally pro-Israel.

    November 24, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. FD

    Sounds like a sore member of the GOP to me. Get a life! Go fix your own party and stop trying to manipulate the democrats into a useless debate. Hiliary would not take the position if she felt that Obama was trying to manipulate her. Hillary and Obama will work very well together, he chose her because he values what she can bring to the table and is confident they can work TOGETHER.

    November 24, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. Frum

    This is the guy that coined the stupid phrase "Axis of Evil" when they weren't an axis – they were three independent nations. As a fellow Canadian, Frum embarrases me.

    November 24, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. Matthew

    This guy is such a hack. Check out his interview with Rachel Maddow.

    November 24, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. Rudy Bellamy

    Ha! Control Hillary? Whic one is crazier, Obama or Hillary?

    November 24, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    This is the same David Frum who has a made a career of reminding people that he crafted the speech that included the phrase "axis of evil" in describing Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Too bad he didn't say it first. Winston Churchill wrote it first and used the phrase dozens of times delivering speeches when referring to Germany, Italy and Japan during WWII!!!

    And David, don't worry about Hillary's files. You wrote for a family with 24-volume set of garbage!

    November 24, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. Jean2

    The Clintons are capable people without all of the manipulation by media, surrogates, and old timers.

    I think the Clinton appointment was a barging chip to get the support that the Obama campaign was convinced it needed to win. To really be "CHANG", if the Clinton's chose not to be involved they should have been left alone and the Obama campaign should have taken the risk. I think they would have been surprised.
    If the truth was faced, Obama started to move up with women and the working man's voters before the Clinton drama.

    This has the over tones of "calling in favors".

    With the push of the media and the old-timers there was no trust that the new guy was capable of doing the job.

    November 24, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. Elizabeth in Lansing, IL

    Of course there's something in it for Clinton, or else she wouldn't have taken the job. And she's smart enough to know that she serves at the pleasure of the President and wouldn't try any stupid moves like a power struggle.

    If she plays her cards right, in four years she could well position herself for another run at the Presidency. All she has to do is show her prowess at a high position like Secretary of State, build an even stronger international coalition (in other than her former position as First Lady), and then pray that if Obama becomes unpopular she doesn't get painted with the same brush.

    November 24, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. Rudy Bellamy

    Ha! Control Hillary? Which one has lost their mind, Obama or Hillary?

    November 24, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. bratte

    David Frum is ex-bush speech writer. So you know how many lies he has told the American people in that capacity

    November 24, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Simmy

    Please stop the drama!
    You people are overestimating Sen. Clinton! She ran against President Obama and he won, and he also won a huge victory over McCain!

    You began two years ago saying he had no chance. You went from there to he is no match for Hillary. Then you horned in on the notion that he had to win certain 'key states' in order to win the presidency.

    You've been wrong on every count! Give up the guessing, complaining and propaganding!

    Sit back, and enjoy the ride! It may start off like a roller coaster because of you know who (GWB), but in the end it'll be smooth sailling! We're loyal to our new President!

    November 24, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Frank

    What a dunce!! Can any of the guys say anything intelligent?

    November 24, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. Brian - Trinidad

    In Canada,David Frum is thought of as an idiot who got where he is riding the dress hem of his dear genius mother,Barbara Frum.How you Americans find his input valuable is another reason why your country is in the sorry state it is today.YOU KEEP LISTENING TO IDIOTS!

    November 24, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. vicky

    I think Hillary Clinton must be the most powerful woman in the world. Apparently her ambitions are so threatening to the free world that she has to be "controlled". Put a leash and muzzle on that woman!

    I am not accusing CNN or the Frum of being sexist. Only that whoever is choosing the title is purposely preying on people's sexist and mysogynistic views. Either that or they just want to upset people on purpose.

    November 24, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. Juan Xavier

    What a bunch of crap. Obviously has a partisan agenda.

    November 24, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. Pedro Penduko

    This guy's a Repub spin doctor and a professional lair. He just wants to put a wedge in the cohesive team Obama's trying to put together. This guys is so inconsequential and irrelevant, calling hi a loser would be a compliment. Does it not show clearly on his face how much contempt and malice he has in his being? Pathetic.

    November 24, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Warren

    Frum is a has been. Interview someone with credibility.

    November 24, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. Grog in Ohio

    Typical of a Republican to consider the benefit/cost analysis for personalities instead of the value it would have for the nation. Mrs. Clinton would likely be an enormously successful Sec of State that would be a huge benefit to the nation and the world cleaning up the Bush mess. I'm all for it.

    57 days till the end of the Bush administration.

    November 24, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. Texas Trail Kitty

    David Frum = Idiot. Anyone from the Bush adminstration should just go sit down somewhere and be quiet. Hillary isn't stupid. She's trying to save her legacy after saying that President Obama could not get the same people who would vote for her to vote for him. I expect her to run again and I hope she wins the next time – as longas it isn't against her new boss.

    November 24, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. happy thanksgiving

    we are probably as close to a dream team as we have ever been.

    November 24, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. Clinton Supporter

    And we really want to know what YOU think!

    November 24, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. S@ndr@

    And why is it newsworthy what a Bush ex-speechwriter thinks about Obama and Clinton? I am and always will be a Hillary Fan but I hope for the best for President Elect Obama and America; but most of all, THANK GOD IT'S NOT McCAIN-PALIN.

    Furthermore, for those who think he's not implementing change jsut because he's utilizing former Clinton people, America was in great shape under President Clinton, Bill did a wonderful job and I commend Obama for recognzing that.

    ** 57 days, why doesn't he just resign **

    November 24, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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