Hillary Clinton May Turn Down State Offer

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The air-tight campaign of Barack Obama has turned into the leak-a-minute transition of president-Elect Obama. Floating names is obviously important but, if things don’t work out, it can make Obama’s team look sloppy. Is that what’s about to happen with the whole Hillary Clinton at State scenario? Apparently, she may not be interested.

Hillary Rodham Clinton isn’t certain she would accept the Secretary of State post even if Barack Obama offers it to her, several people close to the former first lady say.

Press reports that portray Clinton as willing to accept the job – once the Obama transition team vets Bill Clinton’s philanthropic and business ventures – are inaccurate, one Clinton insider told Politico.

“A lot of the speculation and reporting is out ahead of the facts here,” said the person, who requested anonymity. “She is still weighing this, independent of President Clinton’s work.”

Politically, I can see why Clinton would turn down the invitation to join Obama’s cabinet. Despite all her talk during the campaign of being ready on day one, she’s not exactly a foreign policy maven. Her passion is domestic issues and she’d likely be of greater service from her position in the Senate. Plus, Secretary of State is a thankless job, particularly in the current mess that is international affairs. Does she want to risk damaging her image if things don’t go well on the world stage the next four years?

Whatever the outcome, I think it’s clear by this leak that Clinton wants to make this appear to be her decision, not something Obama lured her in to and not something her husband can facilitate or complicate by his oversized presence. Clinton’s not going to do anything at this point that’s not good for Clinton. If she ends up in Obama’s cabinet, you better believe it will appear to be as a favor to Obama (and duty to country). I don’t see it happening any other way.