Hillary for State: The Big Sticking Point

By Jennifer Parker

Nov 16, 2008 8:27am

All my reporting tells me that Barack Obama wants Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State, and that Clinton wants the job too.

But there’s one significant complication: how to make sure that former President Clinton’s foreign speeches, business dealings and foundation work don’t present conflicts of interest.

This is not completely new territory for the Clinton team. They would have had to take steps to review, and possibly disclose,  foreign contributions to the Clinton Foundation had Senator Clinton won the nomination and the White House.

Clinton’s team began thinking about how to do this during the primaries. That work has intensified since Senator Clinton’s meeting with Obama on Thursday.

Here are some of the major questions that need to be addressed: How much public disclosure must there be of past foreign donations to the foundation?

Is any more disclosure of foreign business and speaking income required? Are there other ways — short of or in addition to full disclosure — to vet for possible conflicts?

Going forward, would the Clinton Foundation be permitted to continue soliciting foreign support?  If so, under what conditions?

How would the contributions be reviewed and vetted?

All of these questions can be answered, but getting there is complicated. It’s not done yet.

More below on This Week’s Roundtable…

–George Stephanopoulos

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