Monday, December 1, 2008

Clinton’s Selection Draws Bipartisan Praise


Dec. 1, 2008 – 1:23 p.m.

Despite some questions about campaign statements and her husband’s work, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton , D-N.Y., appears to face a smooth path to Senate confirmation as secretary of State.

John Kerry , the Massachusetts Democrat who will chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and its confirmation hearings next month, praised her Monday, along with the rest of the national security team announced by President-elect Barack Obama .

“My friend and colleague Hillary Clinton will bring her years of experience and her remarkable intellect to the effort to restore our alliances and advance the President’s agenda in the world,” Kerry said.

On Sunday, Sen. Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, the top Republican on Foreign Relations, praised the appointments. “I think they’re excellent selections. I think it will be a strong team,” he said on ABC’s “This Week,” adding that the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, gave new urgency to confirming Obama’s picks.

“Bipartisan support of this team really is of the essence right now,” Lugar said.

Obama called Clinton an “American of tremendous stature who will have my complete confidence, who knows many of the world’s leaders, who will command respect in every capital, and who will clearly have the ability to advance our interests around the world.”

Clinton said that challenges such as terrorism, global warming and the global economy convinced her to accept the post and leave the Senate after serving there for eight years.

“The fate of our nation and the future of our children will be forged in the crucible of these global challenges,” she said.

In order to avoid potential conflicts of interest with his wife’s diplomatic work, former President Bill Clinton has agreed to disclose all past and future donors to the foundation that runs his charitable programs overseas and funds his presidential library. He also agreed to incorporate the Clinton Global Initiative separately from the Clinton Foundation and submit his future work to ethics review.

Lugar said he supports Sen. Clinton’s nomination, but noted that there would be “legitimate questions” about that arrangement during the confirmation process.

For a full version of this story and the latest coverage, please visit CQ Politics.

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