To Vet Her, Obama Looks at Him

Clinton Global initiative work could create conflict of interest for No. 42
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2008 7:41 AM CST
In this Sept. 2005, file photo former US President Bill Clinton speaks in Beijing, China, to honor Chinese physicians serving the HIV/AIDS population.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama’s lawyers are looking into Bill Clinton’s international endeavors, afraid they might create conflicts of interest if Hillary lands the secretary of state job. Clinton works closely with foreign governments and officials on philanthropic projects, and more problematically, has accepted millions in speaking fees from them. “He does good work,” said an Obama adviser. “No one wants it to stop, but a structure to avoid conflicts must be thought of.”

Democrats close to both camps believe something will be worked out, and that Hillary will ultimately be offered the post. “I can’t believe they would have her schlep out there unless they were real about it,” said one Clinton adviser, voicing the conventional wisdom. “No one has called to say ‘Don’t get too far on this,’” said James Carville. “A silent phone’s sometimes as much of an indication as a ringing phone.”