Hillary Clinton to be named Secretary of State Monday – key Republican Senator expresses support

November 30, 2008

WASHINGTON (ChattahBox) -— Not a huge surprise now, but Hillary Rodham Clinton will join President-elect Barack Obama’s national security team as Secretary of State.

Democratic officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Obama will name the New York senator as his Secretary of State at a press conference in Chicago on Monday.

Obama also plans to announce that Defense Secretary Robert Gates will remain in his job for a year or more and that retired Marine General James M. Jones will serve as national security adviser. Obama critics have pointed out that the President-elect’s team doesn’t represent the change he promised on the campaign trail, with all of his top choices having served in either the Clinton or Bush administration.

Bill Clinton cleared the way for his wife to take the job by agreeing 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 CGI meetings overseas. He also agreed to step away from the day-to-day running of the foundation during his wife’s tenure.

Former President Clinton’s business deals and global charitable endeavors were expected to create problems for Hillary’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.

Richard G. Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations committee, said yesterday that he intended to vote in favor of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, but he said important questions remain over how she and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, will deal with potential conflicts of interest while she serves as the nation’s top diplomat.

“I would vote in favor of Senator Clinton,” Lugar, of Indiana, said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I suspect, however, that I am not alone in suggesting that there will be questions raised, and there will probably be legitimate questions.”


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