ST PAUL, Minnesota: President-elect Barack Obama plans to nominate senator Hillary Clinton as his secretary of state on Monday, transforming a once-bitter political rivalry into a high-level strategic and diplomatic partnership.
New role: Hillary Clinton is set to become the new secretary of state.Carolyn Kaster / AP
Obama will name the New York senator to his national security team at a news conference in Chicago, Democratic officials said Saturday. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly for the transition team.
To clear the way for his wife to take the job, former president Bill Clinton agreed to disclose the names of every contributor to his foundation since its inception in 1997. He’ll also refuse donations from foreign governments to the Clinton Global Initiative, his annual charitable conference, and will cease holding its meetings overseas.
Bill Clinton’s business deals and global charitable endeavours had been expected to create problems for the former first lady’s nomination. But in negotiations with the Obama transition team, the former president agreed to several measures designed to bring transparency to his post-presidential work.
The former president had long refused to disclose the identities of contributors to his foundation, saying many gave money on condition that they not be identified.
Bill Clinton also agreed to submit his speaking schedule to vetting by the state department and White House counsel, and to submit any new sources of income to similar ethical review.
Obama’s choice of Hillary Clinton was an extraordinary gesture of goodwill after a year in which the two rivals competed for the Democratic nomination in a long, bitter primary battle.
Advisers said Obama had for several months envisioned Clinton as his top diplomat, and invited her to Chicago to discuss the job just a week after the 4 November election. The two met privately on 13 November in Obama’s downtown transition office.
Clinton was said to be interested and then to waver, concerned about relinquishing her Senate seat and the political independence it conferred. Those concerns were largely ameliorated after Obama assured her she would be able to choose a staff and have direct access to him, advisers said.