Secretary of state list narrows

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson met President-elect Obama in Chicago on Friday, Democratic sources said, and is under consideration to be secretary of state in the Obama administration.

News of the meeting comes after a similar meeting Thursday between Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., sparked a daylong frenzy of speculation about the possibility that she could be secretary of state.

Clinton is a top contender for the job, the Washington Post quoted unnamed sources as saying. Clinton, in television appearance Friday, said she would not speculate about Obama's Cabinet selections. Her aides referred questions about the process to the Obama transition team, whose officials did not comment. Advisers say only a handful of officials know for certain where Clinton ranks on Obama's short list, which also includes Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.

Richardson, who served as energy secretary and U.N. ambassador under President Bill Clinton, has long been considered a possible candidate to run the State Department. Richardson angered the Clintons by endorsing Obama on March 21, giving the senator from Illinois a boost in his bid to become the Democratic nominee.

The mere mention of Clinton's name raised questions about the advantages — and disadvantages — of selecting his former Democratic rival and former first lady, whom Obama passed over as his vice presidential running mate.

Among the key questions: How would Clinton fare in the vetting process, and how well would her operation blend into an Obama operation famous for its discipline and collegiality?

A third political consideration for Obama is how to handle Kerry, who set Obama's political career in motion by having him give the keynote address at the Democratic convention in 2004. Kerry is a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Clinton is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

YouTube president: Obama plans to tape a weekly address not just for radio listeners, as presidents have for years, but for YouTube Internet viewers, too. A four-minute address will be posted today through a YouTube link on his transition Web site, www.change.gov. And he will continue to do the videos when he takes office Jan. 20.

McCain meeting: Obama meets Republican Sen. John McCain on Monday, hoping to make an ally of the man he defeated for the presidency. Advisers don't expect an administration post for McCain but say Obama would like to have the Arizona senator partner with him on legislation they both have advocated, such as climate change, government reform, immigration and a ban on torture.

Alaska count: Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, a stalwart of Alaska politics who was convicted of felony charges last month, fell further behind his Democratic rival Friday, and most remaining ballots come from parts of the state that have favored the challenger. Mark Begich, the two-term mayor of Anchorage, increased his lead from 814 votes to 1,022 as election workers counted 17,100 ballots. Begich had 47.4 percent of the vote to Stevens' 47.0 percent.

Information from the Associated Press was also used in this report.

Obama choses senior adviser

Nearly two decades ago, Valerie Jarrett hired a young lawyer named Michelle Obama for a job at City Hall in Chicago. Now President-elect Barack Obama is hiring Jarrett for a senior role in the White House. Jarrett's role and title are threefold: White House senior adviser and assistant to the president for intergovernmental relations and public liaison. Jarrett turned 52 on Friday. "My birthday present from the president-elect," she joked.

New York Times

Fast facts

Obama choses senior adviser

Nearly two decades ago, Valerie Jarrett hired a young lawyer named Michelle Obama for a job at City Hall in Chicago. Now Barack Obama is hiring Jarrett for a senior role in the White House. Jarrett's role and title are threefold: White House senior adviser and assistant to the president for intergovernmental relations and public liaison. Jarrett turned 52 on Friday. "My birthday present from the president-elect," she joked.

Secretary of state list narrows 11/14/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 9:44am]

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