It's official: Sen. Clinton will be named secretary of state

(Credit: Urbanite)

By Jason Fink

They looked liked bitter enemies during the campaign, but now it’s official: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are a team.

Tomorrow, Clinton will be announced as President-elect Obama’s choice for secretary of state, after a deal was struck with Bill Clinton over his charitable foundation.

“I am thrilled that Sen. Clinton is going to be our new secretary of state,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan). “As senator and as First Lady she has represented what is best about our country.”

The choice comes amid growing speculation about who’ll fill Clinton’s soon-to-be vacated senate seat.

Gov. David Paterson, a fellow Democrat who will appoint her replacement, has given no indication of whom he will choose and many believe he’s still weighing his options. Front-runners include Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Queens), and Rep. Kristen Gillibrand (D-Hudson), among many others.

To pave the way for Hillary, former President Clinton agreed to release the names of donors to his foundation, step away from its day-to-day management and refuse donations from foreign governments to the annual Clinton Global Initiative, among other restrictions.

The former president had long refused to disclose the identities of contributors, saying many gave on the condition of anonymity.Sen. Richard Luger, (R-Ind.), the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, said there will be “legitimate questions” raised about the former president’s extensive international involvement, but said he would vote to confirm Hillary Clinton.

The announcement, to be made at a news conference tomorrow morning in Chicago, is part of a rollout of Obama’s national security team, which will include Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who will keep his current job, and retired Marine Gen. Jim Jones, who will be appointed national security adviser.

A report over the weekend said Clinton had turned down an offer to chair the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, a perch that has been used to funnel huge amounts of federal money to senators’ home states.

Rep. Peter King, (R-Massapequa), said he did not believe turning down that post would prove a blow to New York and its ailing economy.

“The appropriations committee is important day-to-day but I think she does more for New York and the country as secretary of state,” he said.

“I think it’s an excellent choice,” he added. “Hillary Clinton’s a Democrat and I’m a Republican but I have great regard for her ability. I consider her a centrist.”

(The AP contributed to this report)

Tags: hillary clinton , barack obama , transition , secretary of state , politics

advertisement | advertise on newsday

advertisement | advertise on newsday