Likely ... Hillary Clinton at a memorial service for Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker of Pennsylvania. Clinton is expected to be announced as secretary of state this week.
A REMARKABLE political union between two once bitter rivals looks set to be cemented after Hillary Clinton appeared ready to accept Barack Obama's offer to be secretary of state.
The former first lady sent clear signals yesterday that she had decided to give up her Senate seat to become the face of US diplomacy abroad, The New York Times reported.
"She's ready," the newspaper quoted an unnamed Clinton confidant as saying, adding that she had made her decision after follow-up consultations with Mr Obama on his vision for foreign policy.
Obama aides said there were no plans for a formal announcement until after the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. Senator Clinton would be the third female secretary of state, after Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice.
Senator Clinton's aides would not confirm the New York Times report, but pointedly did not deny it.
"We're still in discussions, which are very much on track," senior adviser Philippe Reines said. "Any reports beyond that are premature."
The nomination moved on after financial disclosures were worked out with Senator Clinton's husband, the former president Bill Clinton.
Some analysts had expressed fears that the former US leader's myriad business interests abroad and donor lists to his charitable foundation could pose a conflict of interest if his wife became secretary of state.
Mr Clinton reportedly offered to submit names of donors to his global charity to an ethical review.
NBC News has reported that Mr Obama is set to appoint New York Federal Reserve chief Timothy Geithner as his treasury secretary amid the deepening economic crisis. The news caused share prices to rise on Wall Street.
Mr Geithner, 47, has been on the front lines of the US central bank's battle to shore up the markets.
Mr Obama's transition office did not comment on the NBC report.
More speculation about the president-elect's emerging cabinet on Friday surrounded James Jones, a former four-star general and NATO's former supreme commander in Europe.
ABC News said he was a top candidate to become the national security adviser. General Jones may be sought by Mr Obama for his expertise on the war in Afghanistan.
The prospect of Senator Clinton as secretary of state has been welcomed across the political spectrum. But some commentators have wondered whether uniting two such bold political egos could be destructive and foster political infighting.
Clinton close to taking top US diplomat's role
Sydney Morning Herald