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Clinton as top US diplomat? OK by top GOP senator

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[November 17, 2008]  WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate's second-ranking Republican says it wouldn't be a bad idea if President-elect Barack Obama named Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state.

"It seems to me she's got the experience. She's got the temperament for it. I think she would be well received around the world," said Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. "So my own initial reaction is it would be a very good selection."

RestaurantBoth Clinton, Obama's fiercest rival for the presidential nomination, and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who also ran for the White House this year, interviewed with Obama in Chicago last week for the post, according to Democratic officials.

In an interview aired Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes," Obama acknowledged meeting with Clinton last week but refused to say whether she was being considered for a Cabinet position. He also said the Republican party will be represented in his Cabinet.

A team of lawyers with Obama's transition team was examining former President Bill Clinton's foundation and financial ties, The New York Times reported in a story posted on its Web site Sunday night. A Democratic official told The Associated Press that several candidates were being vetted for the position.

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said he did not think Hillary Clinton, if nominated, would have trouble winning confirmation in the Democratic-controlled Senate.


"She's worked across the aisle, has good bipartisan relationships," Dorgan said. In the role of chief U.S. diplomat, Clinton "would have instant credibility around the world," he added.

He said the U.S. has "a lot of relationships to repair and a lot of work to do, so I think she'd be a fine choice."

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At a symposium organized by the National Bank of Kuwait, former President Bill Clinton said, "If he decided to ask her to do it and they did it together, I think she would be really great at being secretary of state."

Richardson has extensive foreign policy experience. He was President Bill Clinton's ambassador to the United Nations and has conducted freelance diplomacy for the U.S. in Sudan, North Korea and elsewhere.

Richardson and Clinton are not the only candidates Obama has talked to about the job, Democrats said.

Kyl and Dorgan appeared on "Fox News Sunday."

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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