'Hillary still confused about Obama's offer'

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New York, Nov 19: New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton reportedly isn't certain she would accept the post of US Secretary of State even if Barack Obama offers it to her.

Politico quoted several people close to the former First Lady, as saying that "She is still weighing this, independent of President Clinton's work." Clinton, one person said, remains deeply 'torn' between the possibility of serving in Obama's cabinet and remaining in the Senate to "help pass health care and work on a broad range of domestic issues." Most of the speculation about Clinton's frame of mind in the last few days has been off-base, sources say, because she's played her cards close to the vest, consulting only her husband and two or three kitchen cabinet advisers.

The Clinton camp's effort to downplay her interest in the post might simply reflect her need to create an alternative storyline if the deal falls apart for other reasons, including the possibility that insurmountable problems arise during the vetting process, Democrats not connected with Clinton cautioned.

There is also a view that she might want to neutralize the perception that she's at the mercy of Obama's team because of a desire for the Obama team to write off her campaign debts.

Obama isn't likely to make a formal offer of the post to Clinton unless he's given assurances that Bill Clinton's global charitable foundation won't create future conflicts of interest with foreign governments.

The Clinton Foundation has earned praise for its efforts to eradicate AIDS, malaria and poverty in Africa. But it could prove problematic if the former president continues to arrange donations from foreign countries at the same time that his wife serves as secretary of state.

Obama's vetting team has expressed similar concerns about Bill Clinton's overseas fundraising when Hillary Clinton was briefly considered for the vice-presidency.


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