Obama expected to name Hillary Clinton as secretary of state

December 1st, 2008 - 12:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Dec 1 (IANS) US President-elect Barack Obama is expected to name Hillary Clinton, his one time rival for Democratic presidential nomination, as secretary of state as he unveils his full national security team Monday.Obama is also expected to finally confirm that he is keeping Defence Secretary Robert Gates in his current post and name retired Marine Gen. Jim Jones as his national security adviser at the White House, CNN said Sunday citing two unnamed Obama transition team officials.

CNN also cited two sources close to the transition as saying Obama will nominate Susan Rice as United Nations ambassador; Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano as homeland security secretary and Eric Holder as attorney general.

Hillary Clinton’s nomination hinged in part on her husband, former president Bill Clinton, who has agreed to several limits on his own international work to avoid potential conflicts of interest, the Daily News said citing sources.

As part of the deal, the former president is expected to disclose the names of every contributor to his presidential foundation, refuse donations from foreign governments and submit for White House review every new speaking engagement and source of income.

The restrictions, while well above what the law requires, are still likely to draw attention when his wife’s nomination is sent to the Senate for approval.

“I’m not alone in suggesting that there will be questions raised, and probably legitimate questions,” Senator Richard Lugar, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

Since exiting the Oval Office eight years ago, Clinton has reportedly raised more than $500 million for the foundation, a significant portion of which financed the construction of his presidential library. The foundation has also doled out millions for AIDS relief in Africa and other charitable causes around the world.

The New York Times has reported the Clinton donor list includes members of the Saudi royal family, the king of Morocco, a fund connected to the United Arab Emirates, and the governments of Kuwait and Qatar.

The former president has also reportedly solicited funds from international business figures connected to human rights abuses that his wife has criticised, including the governments of Kazakhstan and China.

All of the likely Obama selections are people who have been mentioned often during weeks of fevered speculation about the likely nominees.

In fact, retiring Republican Senator John Warner, a veteran member of the Armed Services Committee, released a statement Saturday night praising all three nominees, even before they are officially announced at Monday’s planned rollout.

“The triumvirate of Gates, Clinton and Jones to lead Obama’s ‘national security team’ instills great confidence at home and abroad; and, further strengthens the growing respect for the President-elect’s courage and ability to exercise sound judgment in selecting the ‘best and the brightest’ to implement our nation’s security policies,” Warner said.

To some, the choice of Gates demonstrates bipartisanship and conveys that Obama has the self-confidence in his leadership abilities to keep one of the more widely respected members of the Bush administration.

Others say keeping Gates could delay the change that Obama promised during his campaign, because it could lead to potential policy conflicts over missile defence funding and a speedy Iraq pullout.

Last week, Obama pushed back against criticism that his cabinet picks failed to reflect the change he called for during the election.

“What we are going to do is combine experience with fresh thinking. But understand … the vision for change comes first and foremost … from me. That’s my job,” he said.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |