Clinton accepts Obama secretary of state offer: NY Times

WASHINGTON Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:53pm EST

1 of 3. Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton attend a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, in this file image from October 20, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Young

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New York Sen. Hillary Clinton has accepted an offer from President-elect Barack Obama to become U.S. secretary of state, joining her former Democratic rival to help guide U.S. foreign policy, the New York Times said on Friday.

The newspaper quoted two Clinton associates who said she came to her decision after additional discussions with Obama about the nature of her role as the top U.S. diplomat and his foreign policy plans.

"She's ready," one of the sources told the newspaper, which posted the report on its website.

Clinton emerged as a frontrunner for the secretary of state job late last week, transfixing a country which had seen her compete hard against Obama to win the Democratic nomination for the presidency. Obama clinched that nomination in June and then beat Republican John McCain in the November 4 election.

Democratic Party sources have recently said Clinton, was on track to be nominated, with an official announcement expected after the November 27 Thanksgiving holiday.

NBC news meanwhile also reported two other key Obama appointments: New York Federal Reserve President Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary, and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as commerce secretary. NBC said official announcements on the appointments were expected on Monday.

Officials with the Obama transition team had no immediate comment.

Clinton has a global profile both as a political leader in her own right and as the wife of former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Policy analysts say her selection as secretary of state could mean a more hawkish U.S. stance, noting that she has been more reluctant than Obama to commit to a firm timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.

(Writing by Andy Quinn, Editing by Frances Kerry)

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