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Speculation Obama will choose Clinton as top diplomat

Intense speculation flared Friday over reports that president-elect Barack Obama is weighing former Democratic primary rival Hillary Clinton to be a heavy-hitting secretary of state.

Sources close to Clinton and Obama did not deny media reports that the former first lady met Obama in Chicago on Thursday and was in the frame to become the top US diplomat and fourth in line to the presidency.

The reports came as Obama's team announced that the president-elect, who will take office in January during an intense economic crisis and with two foreign wars raging, would meet former Republican rival John McCain For McCain's grandfather and father, see John S. McCain, Sr. and John S. McCain, Jr., respectively
John Sidney McCain III (born August 29, 1936 in Panama Canal Zone) is an American politician, war veteran, and currently the Republican Senior U.S. Senator from Arizona.
 on Monday.

The McCain talks and Clinton reports spurred speculation that Obama would assemble a "team of rivals" uniting his former political foes like that framed after the 1860 election by his hero Abraham Lincoln.

Obama spent much of Friday closeted clos·et·ed  
adj.
Being In a state of secrecy or cautious privacy.
 in his transition headquarters in Chicago in meetings about his future administration, fleshing out priorities following his historic November 4 victory.

A Secret Service motorcade of the kind in which Clinton travels, by virtue of her role as former first lady, was seen leaving the building shortly before Obama headed for his home late Thursday.

Two unidentified Obama advisers told NBC News NBC News (along with NBC News + HD) is the news division of American television network NBC, a part of NBC Universal, which is majority-owned by General Electric. Its current president is Steve Capus. It is the top-rated broadcast news division and has been for a decade.  the formidable former first lady, who is now a New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 senator, was under consideration for secretary of state.

Clinton flew to Chicago to meet with the Democratic president-elect on Thursday, CNN CNN
 or Cable News Network

Subsidiary company of Turner Broadcasting Systems. It was created by Ted Turner in 1980 to present 24-hour live news broadcasts, using satellites to transmit reports from news bureaus around the world.
 and ABC ABC
 in full American Broadcasting Co.

Major U.S. television network. It began when the expanding national radio network NBC split into the separate Red and Blue networks in 1928.
 said, but one adviser said it was on personal business.

Aides to Obama and Clinton refused all comment on the rampant speculation, but equally did not deny the reports. Clinton herself also refused to give details.

"I'm not going to speculate or address anything about the president-elect's incoming administration. I'm going to respect his process," she said in a speech to the New York Public Transit Association.

With the incoming administration inheriting two wars and the pressing need to restore America's damaged global reputation, the post of secretary of state is especially key.

Clinton, 61, has extensive foreign policy experience, having travelled widely when her husband Bill was president from 1993 to 2001, and from her time in the Senate, where she serves on the Armed Services Committee The term Armed Services Committee could refer to:
  • U.S. House Committee on Armed Services
  • U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services
.

But a decision to include her in the cabinet would also raise the question of the larger-than-life former president, who is popular abroad but hardly fits into the on-message discipline of Obama's team.

After Obama beat Clinton in the bruising Democratic primaries earlier this year, her legions of loyal supporters were disappointed when she was not approached to be his running-mate.

But Clinton, who won nearly 18 million votes, campaigned feverishly for her former rival in the final days of the campaign, doing more than 50 rallies.

Obama is also due to meet Monday in Chicago with McCain.

"It's well known that they share an important belief that Americans want and deserve a more effective and efficient government, and will discuss ways to work together to make that a reality," a transition statement said Friday.

An impressive array of former Clinton-era diplomats and officials have already been appointed to oversee the transition teams that are burrowing into the sprawling US bureaucracy.

Obama's office announced Friday new teams to review nearly all of the rest of the cabinet departments, to join reviews already in progress of the principal offices of treasury, state and defense.

According to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 the Washington Post, Clinton's name emerged as a possible secretary of state because the Obama camp "is not overly happy with the usual suspects" mentioned for the job.

Those include Senator John Kerry Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled due to vandalism. , a former presidential candidate, former US representative to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke (born April 24, 1941) is an American diplomat, magazine editor, author, Peace Corps official, and investment banker. He is also the only person to have held the Assistant Secretary of State position for two different regions of the world (Asia and  and New Mexico New Mexico, state in the SW United States. At its northwestern corner are the so-called Four Corners, where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet at right angles; New Mexico is also bordered by Oklahoma (NE), Texas (E, S), and Mexico (S).  Governor Bill Richardson This article or section contains information about one or more candidates in an upcoming or ongoing election.
Content may change as the election approaches.
.

Republican Senator Richard Lugar, whom Obama admires, has made clear he does not want to serve in the administration.

Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, a moderate on foreign policy, is also said to be in the mix for a national security job after touring Iraq and Afghanistan with Obama earlier this year.

Speculation has also swirled around the post of defense secretary, with rumors Robert Gates might be asked to stay on.
Copyright 2008 AFP Global Edition
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Author:AFP
Publication:AFP Global Edition
Date:Nov 14, 2008
Words:682
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