The Note: On Track, Off Track

"One week after the former primary rivals met secretly to discuss the idea of Clinton becoming the nation's top diplomat, an Obama adviser said Thursday that the two sides were moving quickly toward making it a reality, barring any unforeseen problems," per the AP's Nedra Pickler. "The senior adviser, speaking on condition of anonymity because the president-elect is not prepared to officially announce the nomination, said Obama believes Clinton would bring instant stature and credibility to U.S. diplomatic relations."

And yet -- your drama: "One friend said Mrs. Clinton decided late Wednesday to say no, reasoning that she would have more freedom in the Senate. By midday Thursday, the friend said, she was 'back in the indecisive column again.' By the end of the day, another associate said she could accept by Friday," Peter Baker and Helene Cooper write in The New York Times.

"At the end of a confused day in which even Mr. Obama's advisers seemed unsure what was happening, a transition official reached out to reporters Thursday night to say that the president-elect's team believed things were on track with Mrs. Clinton and that her nomination could be announced after Thanksgiving," they write.

"Driving her consideration, friends said, is a sense of disenchantment with the Senate, where despite her stature she remains low in the ranks of seniority that governs the body," Baker and Cooper write.

"The harder truth is that Clinton's options as a Senator are limited, at least in the immediate future. In that chamber, she is just one of many presidential also-rans and a relatively junior member of an institution where power and advancement require seniority," Time's Karen Tumulty and Massimo Calabresi report. "And if there's anything a First Lady who became a Senator would understand, it's that opportunities don't always come to those who wait for them."

Making her wait? "Advisers to Bill and Hillary Clinton believe they've given the Obama transition team much if not all of the all the information on Bill's post-presidency the Obama team will be asking for, and see the Clinton camp as now being in a holding pattern, waiting on a formal offer of the State Department gig to Hillary from Obama," Greg Sargent reports at Talking Points Memo.

Ah -- the dance: "Clinton in the last few days began aggressively pursuing the secretary of state slot and mounted an all-out sales campaign amid fears the job might be slipping away, sources said," Ken Bazinet writes in the New York Daily News. "Former Clinton campaign aides and some of her inner-circle advisers -- aka Hillaryland -- were part of a coordinated effort to win her the top State Department post, the Clinton source confirmed."

How does this factor in? "Hillary Clinton continues to carry $7.5 million of debt owed to vendors from her failed presidential bid," ABC's Tahman Bradley reports. "If Clinton accepts the position of Secretary of State, or some other post in the Obama administration, she would be barred by The Hatch Act of 1939 from soliciting and receiving political contributions."

"Of the $7.5 million owed to vendors, nearly $5.4 million was to her former adviser and pollster, Mark Penn. Clinton owed vendors a high of $12 million at the end of June," per the AP write-up.

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