President Barack Obama tried to get Hillary Clinton to stay on as secretary of state for another year after he won re-election, according to a new book.
Obama was concerned about having to replace two top cabinet secretaries — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Clinton at the State Department — and made his pitch aboard Air Force One two weeks after defeating Mitt Romney, according to the forthcoming, “HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton” by journalists Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen.
From an excerpt published in The Hill:
Hillary had long since told Obama that she didn’t plan to stick around for his second term. But now, after winning re-election, he didn’t want to let her go.
Hillary had proved herself a vital ally during the first term and the pair of one-time rivals had gotten into a rhythm. Why end a good thing? Also, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had told Obama on Election Day that he was leaving — meaning the president would have to find new lieutenants for both of the top seats in his war council if he couldn’t convince Hillary to stay put.
Would you reconsider, perhaps stay another year? Obama asked.
No, Hillary said. It was time for her to leave public office.
Even though he had refused repeatedly to take no for an answer in getting her to take the job in the first place, Obama pressed just once more, lightly, asking if she might stay just a little longer. That didn’t suit her, either. Obama gave up.
Read the full excerpt at The Hill.