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Hillary Clinton May Have a Job for John Podesta

Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the executive editor of Bloomberg News, before which he was a reporter, bureau chief and executive Washington editor at the Wall Street Journal.
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John Podesta, who just negotiated a successful climate deal with China, may be headed for another tough challenge: leading Hillary Clinton's likely presidential campaign.

When I asked him about this possibility in an interview for the "Charlie Rose" show he replied: "If she runs, as I hope she will, I will do whatever she asks me to do." 

Sources have said the former secretary of state has discussed bringing Podesta in as chairman of any campaign (which is not likely to be officially started for months). Podesta, who has served as counselor to President Barack Obama this year, mentioned that he always has said he'll stay at the White House for about a year and likely will depart after the State of the Union speech in January.

Asked if he has spoken with Clinton about his role in a campaign, he replied, "I talk to her from time to time."

There may be no one in Democratic circles who commands more respect than Podesta. His standing is similar that of James Baker, the former secretary of state, in Republican circles three decades ago. Podesta was chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and then started the most successful Democratic think tank, the Center for American Progress. He was the major player in the negotiations with China, which culminated  in this week's joint agreement to cut greenhouse emissions.

The unsuccessful Hillary Clinton 2008 campaign was marked by chaotic infighting and, at least initially, a lack of direction. Prominent Democrats believe it'll take someone of Podesta's stature to bring order to her expected 2016 quest.

Excerpts of our interview will air on "Charlie Rose: The Week" tonight; the full interview airs on "Charlie Rose" on PBS later this evening and will be rebroadcast on Bloomberg Television.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Albert R. Hunt at

To contact the editor on this story:
Maria Lamagna at