Former President Bill Clinton‘s globe-trotting business deals and fundraising for his foundation sometimes put his activities abroad at odds with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and it could cause complications for her if President-elect Barack Obama picks her to be secretary of state.
By SHARON THEIMER, Associated Press Writer
During her own presidential campaign, the New York senator criticized China for its crackdown on protesters in Tibet and urged President George W. Bush to skip the Olympics in Beijing. Her campaign was embarrassed by reports that her husband’s foundation had raised money from a Chinese Internet company that posted an online government “Most Wanted” notice seeking information on Tibetan human-rights activists that may have been involved in the demonstrations.
Hillary Clinton has campaigned as a champion of workers’ rights. Earlier this year, Brazilian labor inspectors found what they called “degrading” living conditions for sugar cane workers employed by an ethanol company in which Bill Clinton invested.
In the Senate, Clinton was an outspoken critic of a proposed deal under which a Dubai company planned to buy a British business that helped run six major U.S. ports. Meanwhile, the company, named DP World, privately sought Bill Clinton’s advice about how to respond to the controversy in Washington over the port plan, which the company later abandoned.
Obama met quietly with Hillary Clinton on Thursday at his headquarters in Chicago, and some Democrats were enthusiastic amid speculation the pair discussed the job of secretary of state. She declined Friday to say anything about the matter, and Obama is understood to be considering other candidates as his top diplomat, including Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico and retiring Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb.