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. Canadian POV

    David Frum – you can keep him. Glad he left his home and native land to spew for Bush & Co. Canada is better off without divisive blowhards like him. Anybody ever stop and think maybe Obama picked Mrs. Clinton as Sec of State because she happens to be very qualified for the job? Stop digging for dirt where there isn't any. Obama seem too smart to "play" politics in such dangerous times. He is going with the best and the brightest and that includes Clinton and people with experience from the last time a Democrat was in the WH (reminder: it was a Clinton and the US was in much better shape than it is now).

    November 24, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. GOP Cretins

    More hate-mongering, spin-doctoring and outright lying from the Republicans. You'd think these losers would learn to think before shoving their foot in their mouth. Frum has always been a lapdog of the GOP, but now he sounds like he's a lapdog for fools like Rush or Hannity.

    November 24, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. chelle

    Well isn't he bitter?? So much for working for the good of the country!!! Is he seriously saying that if Chuck Hagel decided to work with Obama in a cabinet or advisory position, that Hagel would be abandoned by the GOP? And people would vote for that party in two years.....why????

    November 24, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  4. bernj

    Frum is a bad, and obnoxious, joke. He has no credibility whatsoever.

    November 24, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. Sarah Pootin Palin

    Fe Fi Fo Frum...the David is a big dumb dumb.

    November 24, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. Richard, San Francisco, CA

    Is it because conservative Republicans take no joy in governance, that their political commentary is so cynical. ENOUGH.

    Or is it that the idea of a Democratic party unified and determined to serve the country and lead us out of the past eight years of Republican incompetence just scare the hell of the GOP.

    November 24, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    Boy I bet whatever is left of PUMA is going to hate to hear THIS!!

    November 24, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. Stephanie

    Let me get this straight.

    She opened her files to the Obama team.

    She will have to give up her independence and political base.

    She knows perfectly well that some people keep saying that Obama wants to control her.

    After the story leaked, she did nothing to kill the story.

    Has it occurred to anyone yet that perhaps this narrative about Hillary being the most evil, ambitious person ever is, oh, a little off base?

    OMG! What if she is a real person?!!! A human being?!!! What if she actually cares about the work she does?!!!

    LOL. All you Hillary haters are so gullible and paranoid. You got fed a story about her 16 years ago and you bought it. Open your eyes.

    BTW, if you think Barack Obama did this to control Hillary, you should probably know that you are being fed a story about him, too. Are you going to buy that one, too?

    November 24, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. Frann Altman in CA

    Wow, this guy is a real outside the box thinker; a real team player who understands that the "me" is a much greater concept than the "we" concept. Ah huh. Gimme. Gimme. Gimme.

    Time for the "I, me and mine" to give way to the "we, ours and us" concept and by the way, hoarding is not the way of the future.

    Posturing, positioning and clouding have brought us here. Time for transparency, global thinking and cooperation with responsibility.

    Hillary can take her dynamic abilities, huddle with Team America 2009 and add to the equation. Cooperative leadership makes us stronger. It does not diminish us.


    November 24, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. jeff

    She would be crazy to be his emplyee.
    Obama will fail and fail big time.
    The expectations are huge and nobody will be able to live up to what his suppoters expect. He will be a one term president like Carter.

    She would be better off staying in the senate and advaning her career that way than working for him
    He will break her and make her usless.
    She has a real shot at 2012 or if not at least 2016. She will only be around 68 and she is in great health

    November 24, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  11. Bill Uhlig

    David Frum? Who's that? Who cares what this dead ender has to say?

    November 24, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. Sweetie

    What a Joke!

    Hillary is her own person and anyone who thinks she needs to be "controlled" is an insecure sexists.

    November 24, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. FreeNLovIt

    Dear Hillary,

    I'm so excited and glad to hear that you accepted the position. It's great to see the best of two political rivals fuse themselves together. This means, it's a win-win for America. I always liked the way Obama's team managed themselves and on the other hand, I have always admired the Clintons for having a track record that speaks for itself. Leader + experience = WINNING ticket

    November 24, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. jeff

    It is terrible to see how the demicratic party will allow her and Bill to be humiliated by Obama and his supporters when the Clintons had a 8 year run in the white house that was great for the country
    yet their own party hekped defeat her and now wants her to be humiliated working for Obama

    November 24, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. G.

    Frum's snarly "spin" serves as a prime example as to why the Republicans are where they are today. They just say anything, without support of the slightest bit of rationale or any facts, in hopes that if they say it, it will be so. What an idiot.

    November 24, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  16. Bill S., Commack, New York

    Wow, what an impressive speaker, lol. I now know at least one reason W usually sounded like an idiot.

    November 24, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  17. Jann in Denver

    I do think Obama will control Hillary. Not only will he control Hillary, but he will control Bill as well. I think she will be an excellent Secratary of State and an excellent team player.

    November 24, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. Diana Ewing NJ

    I don't have anything to add, agree with most of what is written here... just would not have been so rude to have said it myself...

    Everyone is busy talking about the drama of the Clintons... where I have not seen them do anything to date.. it is the press talking and filling up sheets of newspapers.. and air time.

    November 24, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. gp

    Hillary's personality disorder doesn't let her ever be satisfied. She alwawys belives not to be treated well enough or not geting enough or what she is entiteled. Unfortunatelu the ssame disorder doestn let her decide what is that she wont- so no one can fullfileher wishes to her satisfaction. That terible wound and shame Bill delivered for her is so demaging and destructive that not only she will continuo to suffer BUT ALL AROUND HER HAVE TO HAVE A SHARE OF THAT SUFFERING. She is always centered on what she did not get or may loose . It must be nightmare. I am afraid Obama belives he can handel her but minimalizes efect of power of her disatisfaction how the life played on her!!!!!!!!!!!!He can not fix that, mayby only Bill can help her reestablishe her dignity after which she wont torment people around requiring more and more respect. First you have to respect self so you can recognize respect of others...Poor thing always creating so much of a drama..........

    November 24, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  20. Conservative James, Phoenix, AZ

    Sounds like someone has a full diaper.

    Frum, your GOP lost. Get over it. Join the team and work for a better America. What do your negative comments accomplish?

    Oh, yeah, it keeps you in the spotlight.

    November 24, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Frum is too heavy handed in what he's trying to say. And in the end, his attempt at getting Hillary to say no will not work.
    Advantages for Obama: a skilled politician who is already known and is married to a popular former President. She'll be able to get his foreign agenda moved with decision makers in countries we need to engage with.

    Advantages for Hillary: an opportunity to really burnish her foreign policy credentials at the top of the world (literally). She then resigns and becomes a player in commerce or treasury whereas she now triangulates any Dem and certainly any Rep (hello SP) who runs against her in 2016.

    This set up is so sweet. Good looking out Barack and Hillary.

    November 24, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. Kevin

    "Speech writer for Bush"

    That's all you need to know.

    November 24, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. wow

    There are three things that the republicans all have in common.
    Sarah Palin
    Need I say more? Really I live with one right now and I see a trend with him, Giuliani, Romney, O’Reilly, Hannity and Rush. They hate and they never have anything positive to say. Never!!

    November 24, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. wow

    I forgot another name Larry Elder

    November 24, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. Wow

    Wow, what is with all these 'Frum' bashing comments. He was simply providing his own view of Obama choosing Hillary as his secretary of state.

    November 24, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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