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Hillary set to become Obama's secretary -

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Hillary set to become Obama's secretary

The World Today - Friday, 14 November , 2008 12:30:00

ELEANOR HALL: Well the rumour mill is in overdrive about who'll be part of the Obama
administration, and the latest tip from a US media network is that Hilary Clinton will be Secretary
of State.

Dr Simon Jackman is professor of political science at Stanford University and also a visiting
fellow at the US Studies Centre at Sydney University. He joins us now from Stanford University.

Simon Jackman, NBC is saying that Hilary Clinton will be a key part of the administration. What are
your sources telling you?

SIMON JACKMAN: Well, it's at one point they are the source. They seem to have this one media outlet
NBC. It is the only media organisation in the United States tonight reporting that.

So it's interesting in that so far this transition team has been marked by its discipline.

You've got an anxious media looking for whatever they can get out of this office of the
President-elect and so far they have been getting precious little so this is sourced to people
close to Obama so this may be, we will have to wait and see.

So far the leaks or the rumours that have come out have either been shot down pretty quickly by
other people in the Obama team and so we will see how long this one stays out there. It may give us
a clue as to whether this one has actually got some legs or is credible or not.

ELEANOR HALL: From what you know of the relationship between Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama, how
likely do you think it is that he would appoint her as his Secretary of State?

SIMON JACKMAN: Well, it is so intriguing isn't it? It could be one of these cases where in politics
you keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

What it would do, it brings Hilary Clinton into the heart of the administration and at that point
she's in some extent the political rivalry between Obama and Clinton has put to bed. She either
accepts this appointment and as a team play in one of the most senior Cabinet positions there is in
the American system, well she isn't and if she does and I can imagine she might be really tempted
by this if it is a genuine offer.

It would effectively knock her out of contention for 2012 and in effect delay any pesidential
ambitions she may still have to the seemingly distant date of 2016 by which point Hilary Clinton
will be a spritely 69-year-old by the way.

ELEANOR HALL: Now we have talked before about how difficult this transition period is for Barack
Obama with the scale of the problems facing the United States. What do you make of his choices so
far, particularly in the economic areas?

SIMON JACKMAN: Well, there hasn't been much. I mean to be honest with you, we just haven't had a
lot. This team is in deep think mode. They are going over resumes very, very carefully. Obama has
certainly surrounded himself on the economic front with a very impressive and very large team of
advisors.

In many respects reaching back to some of the grey beards as they are now that were once part of
the first Clinton administration. That's true also on the foreign policy front but so far it is not
like we have had a lot of you know the Cabinet seats as yet haven't really, we haven't learnt too
much.

The only firm appointment that is out there in the media so far is the chief of staff, Rahm
Emmanuel but we're sort of still waiting to hear about where those big Cabinet posts will go. He
certainly has got a lot of talent around him and a lot of people have indicated their willingness
to serve if asked but again, I think it highlights sort of the speculation that we are seeing here
tonight in the United States with this rumour about Hilary Clinton.

The media and the rest of the world are dying to know but we are not getting a lot of the office of
the President-elect so far.

ELEANOR HALL: Simon Jackman, thanks very much for joining us.

SIMON JACKMAN: Thank you.

ELEANOR HALL: That is Dr Simon Jackman, professor of political science at Stanford University who
is also a visiting fellow at the US Studies Centre at Sydney University.