The Reuters news agency, referring to its source in the White house, asserts that US State Secretary Hillary Clinton will leave Obama’s administration next year to head the World bank. However Clinton denies hearings about her intention to become the head of the World Bank.
The former first lady and onetime political rival to President Barack Obama rapidly became one of the most influential members of his Cabinet after she began her tenure at State in early 2009.
She claimed in public that she did not plan to stay on at the State Department for more than four years. Associates say that Clinton has expressed interest in having the World Bank job, taking into the account the fact that the bank’s current president, Robert Zoellick, leave at the end of his term, in the middle of 2012.
“Hillary Clinton wants the job,” affirmed one of the unnamed source of the Reuters who knows the secretary well. Another source also said Clinton wants the position.
The third one said that Obama had already approved the change in her role. It is unclear whether Obama has formally agreed to nominate her for the post, which would require approval by the 187 member countries of the World Bank.
Philippe Reines, a close advisor to Clinton, told AFP:”It’s 100 percent untrue, Reuters is wrong!” In a second statement he added:”To be crystal clear,Secretary Clinton has not had any conversations with the president, the White House or anyone about moving to the World Bank.She has expressed absolutely no interest in the job. She would not take it if offered.”
Traditionally names of potential candidates for the World Bank are not surfaced more than a year before the post becomes vacant. But the timing of the discussions is not unusual this year because of the sudden opening of the top job at the bank’s sister organization, the IMF, after Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s resignation.
The World Bank provides billions of dollars in development of funds to the poorest countries and is also at the center of such issues as climate change, rebuilding countries emerging from conflict and recently the transitions to democracy in Tunisia and Egypt.
Clinton’s future has long been a favorite subject in the Beltway cocktail circuit, with guesses including a vice presidential run in place of Joe Biden in 2012, and another run of her own for the presidency in 2016. [via The Huff Post, LA Times and Yahoo! News]