Hillary Clinton, former Democratic presidential rival of the US president-elect Barack Obama will accept his offer to become secretary of state in his new administration, US media has reported. (photo, from cbc.ca)
On Friday, the New York Times newspaper said that after discussions with Mr Obama regarding the nature or her role and his foreign policy plans, Mrs Clinton came to her decision. Quoting two “confidants”, the paper says that Mrs Clinton has decided to quit her Senate position for the job.
Her reported decision follows days of speculation that Mrs Clinton has been offered the role. During the campaign, the senator of New York spent months in an often bitter battle with Mr Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, before conceding in June.
On Friday Philippe Reines, a spokesman for Mrs Clinton, told AP that the discussions were “very much on track”, but denied that she had accepted the job offer.
She flew to Chicago, Illinois, last week in order to hold talks with Mr Obama in a move largely thought to have been about a possible nomination for the secretary of state role.
But sources report that the news is not “100 per cent” confirmed, says Al Jazeera’s Anand Naidoo in Washington DC, adding that it could have been leaked by Mrs Clinton supporters who are keen to move her nomination for the role further on.
None of the reports have been confirmed by Mr Obama’s team. But for the BBC’s Kim Ghattas, in Washington, if the president-elect did not want those stories out there, because he was not thinking of Mrs Clinton for the job, the report would already have been scotched by someone from his team.
Recently, Democratic Party sources have said that Mrs Clinton was on track to be nominated for the post. The official announcement was expected after the November 27 Thanksgiving holiday in the US.
In the past few days, members of Mr Obama’s transitional team have been vetting Mrs Clinton and her husband, former US president Bill Clinton. They want to be sure that there would be no conflict of interest with his business interests and donors to his charitable foundation if she took on the role.
Although analysts say her experience and global visibility are assets to the role, her harsh words over Iran and its nuclear programme have been questioned by some, as well as her firm support of Israel as being evidence of a more hawkish stance towards world politics.
However, it would be premature to say Mrs Clinton had accepted the position, Philippe Reines, a senior advisor to Mrs Clinton, told the BBC.
“We’re still in discussions, which are very much on track. Any reports beyond that are premature.”
NBC News also said that Mr Obama is widely expected to ask Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico and one of the US’s most prominent Hispanic politicians, to be US secretary of commerce.
After dropping his own bid to win the Democratic party’s presidential nomination, Mr Richardson became an early supporter of the president-elect.
Also expected to be nominated : Timothy Geithner, the president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. According to NBC he would have the post of US treasury secretary.
On the reports, US stocks soared, pushing major indices up more than six per cent, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing above 8,000, up more than 500 points, despite neither of the posts being confirmed by Obama’s team.
Mr Obama is expected to formally announce his economic team on Monday in an effort to calm markets after months of financial turmoil, added NBC.