Clinton Courting Fellow Senators Ahead of Confirmation Hearing

Posted January 9, 2009 at 1:05pm

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), President-elect Barack Obama’s pick for secretary of State, is making the rounds on Capitol Hill Friday in preparation for her confirmation hearing before the Foreign Relations Committee next week.

Clinton’s listening tour took her to Sen. Bob Casey’s (D-Pa.) office on Friday, where she told Casey, “I’m having a good time going around and seeing all of my colleagues.”

Clinton also met with Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) earlier in the day.

The former First Lady spent an hour each with incoming Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) and ranking member Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) last week, and she has made herself available to all committee members as well, a Clinton aide said.

Casey’s meeting lasted about 30 minutes; he said he focused his questions on how best to manage the State Department. Casey said he expected Clinton’s confirmation to go smoothly next Tuesday, when she is scheduled to appear before the Foreign Relations panel.

While Clinton is courting her Senate colleagues, at least one said Clinton didn’t need to make any stump speeches to her. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), a strong Clinton supporter in the Democratic presidential primary, said her meeting with the former First Lady was nothing more than a few minutes of chatter.

“She’s been my colleague for a long time. I met with her every day for six years,” Boxer said.