The Huffington Post reports that President-Elect Barack Obama will formally announce Sen. Hillary Clinton as his choice for Secretary of State tomorrow in Chicago. Supposedly, Obama wanted Clinton for the position for several months and spoke to her about it directly after the election. Thoug Clinton initially wavered at the offer, she finally accepted after considering her relatively junior position in the Senate.
In accordance with the announcement, Bill Clintion will release the names of the donors to his presidential library by the end of the year, a list of about 20,000 names. Clinton also agreed to the following concessions to ensure his wife has a clear shot at becoming America’s top diplomat:
—The Clinton Foundation will publish the names of everyone who has contributed since its founding in 1997 (this year).
—Should Senator Clinton be nominated and confirmed as Secretary of State, during her time of service, the Foundation will also publish the names of everyone who contributes going forward on an annual basis.
—The Foundation will separately incorporate CGI from the Foundation; President Clinton will continue to host CGI gatherings, such as the one in NYC and its meetings for college and university students, as Founding Chairman of CGI.
—Although President Clinton will continue to invite participants to CGI events (which involves normal registration fees), he will not solicit ‘sponsorship’ contributions for CGI.
—CGI will also not host annual events outside the US and CGI will not solicit or accept foreign government contributions.
—Given the extensive and life-saving work of the Clinton Foundation’s HIV/AIDS Initiative which can and should continue, the Foundation will continue to fulfill its commitments funded by foreign governments (including, among others, Sweden Norway, France, Great Britain). In the event an existing contributing country chooses to substantially increase its commitment, or a new country, or government-owned entity, decides to contribute, the Foundation will share such proposed contributions with the State Department ethics officials. State may also share the issue to the WH Counsel’s office for review. To whatever extent there are conflict of interest concerns raised about such potential contributions related to Senator Clinton’s service as Secretary, they will be conveyed to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation for appropriate action.
—Same procedure to be followed for any foreign country contributors to CCI, CGSCI and CHDI.
—Regarding President Clinton’s private work, during her tenure, President Clinton will share proposed hosts of speeches with the State Department ethics officials for their review, and as appropriate for review by the White House Counsel. Again, should there be conflict of interest concerns related to the Senator’s anticipated service as Secretary, they will share those concerns with Senator and President Clinton for appropriate action.
—During her tenure as Secretary of State, should she be nominated and confirmed, President Clinton will share any proposed consultant relationships with State Department ethics officials, and the same procedures outlined above will apply here as well.
These are very strict requirements, but they speak to the Obama administration’s strict ethical standards and a zero tolerance policy towards conflicts of interest. It’s a far cry from the pay-for-play culture of corruption that defined the Bush years, and it’s a welcome change that our nation sorely needs.
Hillary Clinton will be a fantastic Secretary of State–she’ll have the potential to a lot of good for millions of people around the world. Her selection is welcome development for the burgeoning Obama administration and good news for America, and I gladly welcome the announcement.