New York, Nov.19 : Several longtime associates of the Clintons said former president Bill Clinton would be an asset to his wife Hillary Clinton if she were appointed the next secretary of state.
In such a scenario, the Obama administration "would be able to use Bill Clinton as the ultimate special envoy inside the tent," one longtime associate said. Over the weekend, Bill Clinton enthusiastically endorsed the prospect of Hillary becoming secretary of state in the Obama administration.
"If he decided to ask her and they did it together," the former president said, "I think she'll be really great as a secretary of state," he was quoted, as saying in Kuwait.
However, the associates' caution that Bill Clinton would have to make significant concessions vis- -vis his foundation's global fund-raising activities.
He would probably have to agree not to take money for speeches from foreign businesses that have a stake in the actions of the American government.
Another obvious issue, Democratic lawyers said, would be whether Clinton's foundation should accept money from foreign governments, businesses or individuals for the foundation's philanthropic activities and if it should disclose those donors publicly.
The Obama transition team is focused on the wide array of Clinton's post-presidential activities, some details of which have not been made public.
This list includes the identity of most of the donors to his foundation, the source of some of his speaking fees - he has earned as much as 425,000 dollars for a one-hour speech - and his work for the billionaire investor Ronald W. Burkle. The vetting of Mr. Clinton's myriad philanthropic and business dealings is "complicated, and it may be the complications that are causing hesitation on both sides," said Abner J. Mikva, one of Obama's closest supporters and a White House counsel during the Clinton administration.
Since the former president established the William J. Clinton Foundation in 1998, it has raised more than 500 million dollars, a sum that allowed him to build his steel-and-glass presidential library in Little Rock, Arkansas, and create the Clinton Global Initiative, which has done good deeds all over the world, including working to eradicate AIDS in Africa.