If Sen. Hillary Clinton is to be picked by President-elect Barack Obama as his secretary of state, it may well depend on a review of the business activities of her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Obama met former rival New York Sen. Clinton last Thursday to discuss the secretary of state job as he seeks high-powered individuals to join his administration, which takes power on January 20.
Obama's transition team is believed to be looking at the former president's post-White House work as part of efforts to determine whether his wife could gain Senate confirmation as secretary of state, Reuters reported.
Bill Clinton has built a fortune since leaving the White House in early 2001 and is believed to be worth around $100 million, much of it from writing books and giving speeches.
He has played the role of roving ambassador, and his William Jefferson Clinton Foundation has raised millions of dollars from around the world to combat AIDS, malaria and global warming.
Some political experts believe he should be required to disclose the list of donors who helped pay for his presidential library in Arkansas and fund his foundation.
"There should be an ironclad agreement on disclosure," said Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist. "Because one thing we've learned about Bill Clinton is if he can possibly wheedle his way out of disclosure, he'll do it."
Many Democrats believe he would be willing to accept some limits on his activities in order to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest should his wife gain the chief U.S. diplomatic post.
"I think the only issue going forward prospectively is whether the former president is willing to do less than he is currently doing," said Democratic strategist Steve Elmendorf, a Clinton backer. "Obviously he has a lot of business around the world and it seems to me he is willing to do less."