Authored by Jon Mercer in Politics
Published on 11-25-2008
President-elect Barack Obama has offered Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton an appointment as the Secretary of State in his administration. A close advisor to Mrs. Clinton said Tuesday that she was flattered by the offer but she was still unsure as to whether or not to accept it.
In a recent New York Times article, President-elect Barack Obama said he was reluctant to appoint Senator Clinton to any position until he knew for sure that former President Bill Clinton’s financial dealings and other interest were not going to be a factor later on.
Mr. Clinton’s questionable business dealings include his fees for public speaking. He has earned as much as $425,000 for a one hour speech. Clinton also has done work for billionaire investor Ronald W. Burkle. A spokesman for the Obama camp said that lawyers were researching Mr. Clinton’s financial history to confirm Mrs. Clinton’s eligibility to the position.
Meanwhile Mrs. Clinton’s spokesperson said that Mr. Clinton’s business would not be an issue in her appointment. Mrs. Clinton’s camp said that she was still undecided about whether or not to accept the job due to the fact that she was still contemplating running for President again in the next election.
A major complication for Senator Clinton will be her large campaign debt that she has left over from her failed Presidential bid. Mrs. Clinton felt, however, that it is very gracious of President-elect Obama to offer her this position after the fierce battle they had in the Democratic Primary.
Mrs. Clinton’s outstanding debts from the Presidential campaign are in excess of $7 million dollars and the Hatch Act, which governs political activities of federal employees, prohibits the solicitation and receipt of political contributions. However, if Senator Clinton is appointed as the Secretary of State, as a federal employee she would be eligible to organize and promote fund-raising events to retire her campaign debt.
President-elect Obama may have been gracious in offering her the position as Secretary of State but his choice in Senator Hillary Clinton may not have been a realistic one. Senator Clinton has stated before the offer that she was anxious to get back to her Senate seat so she could tackle some of the tough issues at hand like healthcare.
In an e-mail response to a New York Times reporter, a member of Senator Clinton’s team said “She was thrilled by the consideration of the appointment of secretary of state, but she was reluctant to give up her independence that comes from being a Senator.