The First Draft

November 14, 2008

As world leaders begin arriving in Washington for this weekend’s global financial summit, the U.S. capital is abuzz with talk that President-elect Barack Obama may choose former rival Hillary Clinton to be his new secretary of state.

But morning television shows asked whether Obama could really be considering a woman who once called him naive in matters of foreign policy and whom he accused of inflating her foreign policy credentials.

ABC’s Good Morning America show quoted a source close to Obama as saying Clinton’s candidacy was “under very serious consideration” and that her “international stature” made her a strong contender. CNN said her appointment would help to “heal the wounds of a bruising primary battle”.

CBS reported that “people close to her” said she had not yet been approached, although Clinton did fly to Chicago on Thursday for what her office described as personal business.

The financial crisis is likely to remain sharply in focus on Friday. The Commerce Department issues retail figures for October, and economists surveyed by Reuters are expecting the figures to show that sales fell 2.0 percent after a 1.2 percent decline in September.

The latest Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers, which measures U.S. consumer confidence, is also due to be published. The last survey showed consumer confidence suffering its steepest monthly drop on record in October

Christopher Dodd, the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, appeared on several morning TV shows to lambaste the Bush administration for what he called its failure to address the root cause of the financial crisis — the flood of mortgage foreclosures, which he said numbered 9,128 per day.

Bush is hosting a summit of world leaders in Washington on Saturday, the first in a series, on the worst global economic crisis in 80 years. He will host a dinner for the leaders at the White House on Friday night.

“There is a pressing need for leaders to agree on basic steps to jump-start the sagging world economy, including fiscal stimulus and financial help for developing countries, which are being pummeled as multinational banks and investors cut credit lines and dump assets,” the New York Times said in an editorial.

U.S. stock futures were down on Friday, indicating the stock market will surrender some of the hefty gains it made in Thursday’s session.

ABC, meanwhile, secured the first interview with William Ayers, a founder of a radical left anti-Vietnam War group who Republican presidential candidate John McCain tried unsuccessfully to tie to Obama during the election campaign.

Ayers, who hosted a meeting at his house in 1995 to introduce Obama to neighbors during Obama’s first run for the Illinois Senate, dismissed suggestions that the two were close.

“I know Barack Obama. I know him as well as thousands of other Chicagoans,” he said.

REUTERS/Jim Young (Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama at Florida rally); REUTERS/Jim Young (President George W. Bush at New York’s JFK Airport)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

I am sick of hearing the democrats push all of the finincial burden on Bush’s shoulders. For the past few years the Democrats have controlled congress, so they are just as much at fault as the rest of the administration. Instead of spending time pointing fingers, they need to just get down to work. Stop worrying about the next time you come up to election; it would look far better for you if you actually fixed the problem rather than pushed the blame onto someone else.

Posted by Jordan | Report as abusive

Ah well love, do enjoy yourself. Whether you know it or not these are the good old days. Serious dumping on Bush and the GOP should continue for the next four years or so. People with money safely tucked away in funds or property lost a fortune. You should really ask yourself how long will it take before the country forgives the GOP? And dumping on Bush will be done by both parties. After all wasn’t he the worst President over the past century?

Posted by Daedalus | Report as abusive

Barack Obama’s possible choice of Hilary Clinton is a soundly based, respectful move. Sue duriong the dampainging she was hostile and openly critical of Obama but since she has shown herself to be an impeccable politican and a lady. In defeat she accepted the loss and quickly moved on to support and tirelessly campaign for Barack Obama. Not a fan of Hilary previously I have come to respect and applaud her and believe that she deserves a senior role in the Obama Administration. Hilary knows her stuff, she will bring the support of the Clinton era and her own achievemnts in New York would make her a strong, talented and LOYAL member of the Obama team. And being a woman on this occasion a’int half bad…

Posted by Ruth Sullivan | Report as abusive

I voted for Obama because I voted for change. Not for a reinstatement of the Clinton administration. Who has he appointed, or who is he considering who did NOT hold an influential position during the Clinton years? Just like the Republican party handlers stole the election from John McCain – forcing or persuading him to abandon his own strategy in favor of theirs – I’m afraid the Democrats are exerting the same kind of influence on the President Elect. So far I’m disappointed. I hope we start to see some more inspired choices.

Posted by forumpostar | Report as abusive

I’m not saying Hillary’s necessarily a bad choice, just not the sort of change I hoped for.

Posted by forumpostar | Report as abusive

Chris Dodd has been the head of the Senate Banking committee for the past two years and has been on the committee for many years. He received perks, including a better mortgage deal, from the banking and finance industry. And yet he claims he had no clue about the financial problems of the banking industry for the past several years. Either he is a complete idiot or a liar. And being a politician, he might be both!

Posted by Lt. Bookman (retired) | Report as abusive

No not all the reponsiblity lies with the repubs – some can be laid at Clintons feet for NAFTA and repeal of Glass Stegeall…etc. What I need to know is why anyone would be still be concerned about bruised egos, that Hclinton inflicted on herself and her opponent cast off, be a issue today!!!

She should go back to the Senate and leave well enough alone! Someone might really vet her!!!

Posted by docb | Report as abusive

World War II never for the United States. First was the communist threat and the cold war. Then there was our meddling in the Middle East. We were briefly interrupted with Nicaragua and South America. Then we went back to the Middle East. All of these countries one thing in common.

Call it imperial hubris or over reach. At the end of the day all military conflicts are over resources. History is replete with countless examples and as for us, the resource is oil. We need it for energy, plastics and fertilizer for industrial farming. Shall the fate of our society rest upon our ability to obtain oil? And at what price?

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

Glad Obama took my advice: this is a constructive channelling of Hilary’s dynamic.

Posted by TheTruthIs… | Report as abusive