Hillary Clinton, secretary of state?

Barack Obama transition team declines to confirm reports she is under consideration for post

Senior officials with President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team said late Thursday that Sen. Hillary Clinton would be an asset to the new administration, but declined to confirm reports she was under consideration for secretary of state.

Aides to Clinton had little to say about the news reports, including one that said she was in Chicago where Obama is holding daily transition planning meetings. Clinton’s office would only say that the New York Democrat and former first lady had no public schedule on Thursday. Her office said any speculation about Cabinet or other administration appointments is for Obama’s transition team to address.

“We’re not going to discuss any meeting he has about appointments,” said Robert Gibbs, a senior Obama aide who is expected to soon be named White House press secretary.

Several other names have been mentioned for the post, including Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.

The Associated Press and NBC both reported Clinton was under consideration for secretary of state; NBC also reported Clinton was in Chicago on Thursday.

Bill Daley, brother of Mayor Richard Daley and a member of Obama’s transition team, would not speculate on the reports but noted Obama has great respect for Clinton.

“She’s been a great senator, she’s obviously a great candidate and she’d be good at anything,” Daley told WGN-TV. “I think she’s known worldwide, but that’s really a decision the president-elect will make.”