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Page last updated at 21:29 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

Clinton 'will accept State post'

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton chat during the election campaign, Ocotober 2008
Mrs Clinton seems poised to serve under her former presidential rival

Hillary Clinton will agree to serve as secretary of state in US President-elect Barack Obama's cabinet, the New York Times has reported.

The paper quotes two "confidants" as saying Mrs Clinton has decided to quit her Senate position for the job.

Mrs Clinton's office says discussions are "very much on track" but says further reports are premature.

But correspondents say some kind of deal between the two former political rivals seems far advanced.

The latest report comes after days of speculation on Mrs Clinton's prospects.

KEY APPOINTMENTS
Chief of staff: Rahm Emanuel, a deputy chief of staff to Bill Clinton
Senior advisers: David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett, Peter Rouse and John Podesta (formerly chief of staff to Bill Clinton)
Press secretary: Robert Gibbs
White House counsel: Greg Craig, formerly special counsel to Bill Clinton
Vice-president's chief of staff: Ron Klain, formerly chief of staff to Al Gore
Staff secretary: Lisa Brown, formerly counsel to Al Gore

The BBC's Kim Ghattas, in Washington, says if Mr Obama did not want those stories out there - because he was not thinking of Mrs Clinton for the job - someone from his team would have already been scotching the reports.

Reports also suggest Mr Obama is likely to pick former presidential candidate and New Mexico Gov Bill Richardson as commerce secretary.

And Timothy Geithner, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, is expected to be nominated to the post of US Treasury secretary.

American stock markets reacted positively to the reports about Mr Geithner, with the Dow Jones index rising by more than 6%.

Reports 'premature'

Philippe Reines, a senior advisor to Mrs Clinton, told the BBC it would be premature to say Mrs Clinton had accepted the position.

"We're still in discussions, which are very much on track. Any reports beyond that are premature."

But unnamed officials in the Obama and Clinton camps said they had every reason to believe Mr Obama would announce her as his choice, the Associated Press reports.

Mrs Clinton, who was First Lady when her husband Bill served as president from 1993 to 2001, lost a close race against Mr Obama for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

If she is appointed secretary of state (foreign minister), she will have to step down as a senator for New York.

She would succeed Condoleezza Rice, who has had the job for the past four years under President Bush.

To date, the most senior appointment made by Mr Obama, who succeeds President Bush in January, is Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff.

He is expected to announce a round of appointments after the Thanksgiving holiday next Thursday.

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