WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A top Republican senator said on Sunday U.S. President-elect Barack Obama would be making a good choice if he selected Sen. Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State.
Sen. Jon Kyl, the second ranking Republican in the Senate, said he could not predict that Clinton would win Senate confirmation, but told Fox News Sunday: “I think it would be a good choice, at least superficially.”
“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.”
A Democratic official said on Friday Obama had discussed the job with his former rival for the Democratic presidential nomination at a meeting in Chicago.
But later Friday in New York, Clinton did not confirm or deny the meeting, and the Obama transition office refused to comment.
Sen. Byron Dorgan, the second ranking Senate Democrat, predicted Clinton would have no difficulty winning Senate approval, adding that she had “good bipartisan relationships” in the chamber. She is in her second Senate term.
“She’d be an excellent choice, would have instant credibility around the world. We have a lot of relationships to repair and a lot of work to do, so I think she’d be a fine choice,” Dorgan, of North Dakota, said on Fox.
But he noted that there are others who have been mentioned for the post of U.S. top diplomat.
The Washington Post said Obama met on Friday with another former rival, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, and that they talked about the secretary of state position.
Obama’s nominees to senior posts in his administration after he takes office on January 20 will come before a Senate where his Democrats have stronger control, giving them a better chance of swift approval. In the November 4 election Democrats gained six Senate seats, increasing their majority in the 100-member chamber to 57.
Obama’s selection of Clinton would be a bold move that would bring into his coming administration a high-profile former rival who had questioned his level of experience and his foreign policy ideas in the Democratic primary battle earlier this year.
Writing by Jackie Frank; Editing by Eric Walsh