Washington, Nov 16 : Senator Hillary Clinton would face awkward questions about her husband and former US president Bill Clinton's financial ties with Arab sheikhs and Central Asian oligarchs, if US President-elect Barack Obama nominates her as his Secretary of State.
The President-elect has dropped hints that his former bitter rival would be the international face for his new administration. Till a few months ago, Hillary mocked at Obama's foreign policy inexperience, criticising his plans to talk to America's enemies.
But, the ex-First Lady would first have to go through a grueling confirmation process on Capitol Hill at which the Republican senators will raise her husband's "secrecy-shrouded business deals" and fund-raising for his glitzy presidential library and foundation, reported The Sunday Telegraph.
According to the paper, former president Bill Clinton has consistently refused to provide the names of the donors, but newspaper investigations have identified a slew of foreign contributors, many from oil-rich Gulf states. His lucrative consultancy work for a friend's investment group has also involved dealings with Arab partners.
Republican strategists are dusting off plans to expose Clinton's financial ties, which they will argue, represent a serious conflict of interest for his wife as the country's top diplomat. "Bill's multi-million dollar deals to fund his foundation and make the family rich were always going to be a profitable source of attack for us if Hillary was the candidate. Now it looks like we're going to get the chance to have a go at her over this, thanks to President-Elect Obama. How can Hillary represent our interests when Bill is Bill is said to have close financial ties with some oil sheikhs?" said a Republican strategist," the paper quoted a Republican strategist as saying.
Some of their themes will echo persistent lines of attack by the Obama campaign during the tough primary battle. His aides consistently urged Senator Hillary Clinton to provide full details of financial transactions which made the couple rich after they left the White House in debt - and separately helped turn the Clinton Foundation into one of the world's leading philanthropic organisations.
Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe once dubbed Mrs Clinton as "one of the most secretive politicians in America today".