The door is now open for Bill "Slick Willie" to profit Big-Time when Hillary accepts the Secretary of State position in Obama's adminstration. Imagine having two SoS for the price of one! Hillary would make a great SoS, but world leaders and industrialists will be handing Slick more money behind our backs than his accounts will be able to keep track. Not bad for the illegitmate son of Winthrop Rockefeller from Hope, Arkansas -- Governor to President to King of the World.
By PETER BAKER and HELENE COOPER Published: November 19, 2008
WASHINGTON — Former President Bill Clinton has agreed to all of the conditions sought by President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team to eliminate potential conflicts of interest if Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes secretary of state, people close to the Clintons said Wednesday.
Mr. Clinton accepted several restrictions on his business and philanthropic activities to remove any obstacle to his wife’s nomination if the cabinet job is formally offered and accepted, said the associates, who insisted that they not be identified because they were disclosing confidential negotiations. “I’ll do whatever they want,” Mr. Clinton said Wednesday at a public appearance.
The discussions came as Mr. Obama moved forward in putting together the team he will bring to office in January. Mr. Obama has decided to nominate Tom Daschle, the former Senate Democratic leader, as secretary of health and human services, Mr. Obama’s advisers said Wednesday. Mr. Daschle has accepted the offer, which would make him a point man in Mr. Obama’s ambitious plan to expand health care coverage.
Although Mr. Daschle’s nomination will not be officially announced for a while, the transition team did make public several expected White House appointments on Wednesday. They included David Axelrod, who was Mr. Obama’s chief campaign strategist and now will serve as senior adviser to the president, and Gregory B. Craig, who was Mr. Clinton’s impeachment defense lawyer and now will serve as White House counsel.
Two other leading contenders for cabinet positions emerged late Wednesday, Democrats with knowledge of the process said. Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona was poised to be offered the position of homeland security secretary, and Penny Pritzker, a Chicago businesswoman and national finance chairman of the Obama campaign, was in the final stages of vetting for commerce secretary.
A longtime friend of Mr. Obama, Ms. Pritzker was a chief architect of his record-breaking fund-raising efforts during the presidential campaign. Ms. Priztker is one of three cousins who manage their dynasty’s financial empire, which includes the Hyatt hotel chain, casinos and many other ventures. But some of Ms. Pritzker’s business dealings may also raise tough questions during any confirmation process. She was involved in running and overseeing Superior Bank, an Illinois institution co-owned by her family that was at the forefront of turning subprime loans into securities, the risky practice at the heart of the financial crisis. The bank collapsed in 2001 after regulators discovered accounting irregularities that overstated its assets.
Washington continued to be gripped by the drama surrounding Mrs. Clinton’s fate and the possibility that Mr. Obama might bring his toughest rival for the Democratic presidential nomination into his cabinet. Mr. Obama’s advisers said the talks had gone well, but would not say if an agreement to avoid conflicts had been reached, as the Clinton camp has indicated.
Even if the guidelines for Mr. Clinton’s future activities are on the verge of being resolved, Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton must still decide if they can put the rancor of their long and bitter primary battle behind them. The two sides have a framework on “what he needs to do to satisfy the vetting concerns and that gives her an opportunity to consider the job on the merits,” said one person close to the Clintons.
Both sides were engaged in a delicate public and private dance, maneuvering for position and reputation in case the deal falls through. Aides in each camp have grown increasingly sour toward the other in recent days as the matter played out publicly.
In their public signals, the Clintons are trying to take the former president’s activities off the table as an issue, in their view eliminating any excuses for Mr. Obama not to give Mrs. Clinton the job. Some in the Obama camp are bristling at what they see as strategic leaks by the Clintons aimed at boxing in the president-elect and forcing him to offer the post.
The tension could foreshadow a complex relationship burdened by suspicion and enmity should Mrs. Clinton become secretary of state. By putting her in the cabinet, Mr. Obama could remove a potential thorn in the Senate on issues like health care and a potential rival for the nomination in 2012 if his term proves rocky. But he could also face a rival power center within his own administration with her on his team.
In discussions over the last few days, Mr. Clinton has agreed to disclose some major donors to his charitable foundation and to subject his future foundation activities and paid speeches to review by the White House counsel’s office and the State Department ethics office, according to Democrats close to the negotiations. He would step back from day-to-day responsibility involving the William J. Clinton Foundation and alert the State Department to speaking plans and new income sources.
The Wall Street Journal first reported his concessions. Advisers to both Mr. Obama and the Clintons confirmed them on Wednesday. Clinton advisers added that the former president had met all of the conditions sought by the Obama team and said he would meet any others that might still be presented.
“I’m certain President Clinton will do whatever it takes, which means whatever President-elect Obama wants, to make the nomination acceptable, if he offers and she accepts,” said Lanny J. Davis, a longtime Clinton friend who was special counsel in his White House and has consulted the Clinton camp in recent days.
Asked about the situation at a ceremony in New York renaming the Triborough Bridge after Robert F. Kennedy on Wednesday, Mr. Clinton pledged the same without elaboration. “Whatever they want,” he said. He added that it was between the president-elect and his wife. “You should talk to them. I’ll do whatever they want.”
Mr. Clinton is being represented in the talks by his longtime aides, Cheryl D. Mills, Bruce R. Lindsey and Douglas J. Band. Mr. Obama is being represented by John D. Podesta, his transition co-leader; Todd Stern, a deputy to Mr. Podesta, and Thomas J. Perrelli, a Harvard Law School classmate of Mr. Obama’s. Reflecting the complex entanglements of the negotiations, all three of Mr. Obama’s representatives served in Mr. Clinton’s administration.
In picking Mr. Daschle for health and human services, Mr. Obama is seeking to install a close ally and early supporter of his run for the presidency. Although no announcement will be made until after Mr. Obama first unveils his economic and national security teams, the transition office announced Wednesday that Mr. Daschle would also oversee a health policy working group to develop a health care plan.
That could address what Mr. Daschle’s friends said was a condition for considering the cabinet job, his insistence that he not just be the head of a huge bureaucracy but a chief player on the subject he has literally written a book on.
In “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis,” published in February, Mr. Daschle proposed creating a Federal Health Board, similar to the Federal Reserve System, and merging employers’ plans, Medicaid and Medicare with an expanded federal employee health benefits program to provide universal coverage.
Mr. Daschle’s former colleagues on Capitol Hill embraced his selection. “President-elect Obama quite simply could not have made a better choice for the job,” said Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon. Senator Charles E. Grassley, a senior Republican from Iowa, called it “a big step forward” because Mr. Daschle understands the Senate.
While attention focused on Mr. Obama’s emerging cabinet, the president-elect filled out more of his White House staff. Aside from Mr. Axelrod and Mr. Craig, the Obama transition announced that Lisa Brown, former counsel to Vice President Al Gore, will serve as staff secretary and Christopher P. Lu, a top aide in Mr. Obama’s Senate office, will be cabinet secretary.