Telegraph: Obama To Pay Campaign Debt, Offer Cabinet Posts

06/09/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The British Telegraph reported yesterday that the Obama campaign is talking with the Clinton campaign about paying her campaign debts when she withdraws from the Democratic primary race next week. The Telegraph also reported Obama staffers seriously discussing offering Clinton a place in the administration and extending offers to former nomination rivals Joe Biden and John Edwards.

In the writing, the Telegraph story was admittedly cryptic as to its sources:

"Another Democrat who has discussed strategy with friends in the Obama inner circle said that Mr Obama was openly considering asking Mrs Clinton to join his cabinet, alongside two other former presidential rivals: John Edwards, who is seen as a likely attorney general, and Sen. Joe Biden, who is a leading contender to become Secretary of State.

"Informal talks have already begun between Obama and Clinton fundraisers to discuss a merger, enabling Mr Obama to pay off Mrs Clinton's campaign debts of $11 million.

"Senior figures in the Obama camp have told Democrat colleagues that the offer to Mrs Clinton of a cabinet post as health secretary or to steer new legislation through the Senate will be a central element of their peace overtures to the New York senator."

In the wake of the controversial Democratic Party Rules and Bylaws committee ruling Saturday, it's not surprising the Obama campaign would be turning the lion's share of its energy to uniting the party and its voters behind his candidacy. An quick move to make an inclusive ticket and presumptive administration would likely draw in Clinton campaign staffers and supporters, which would go a long way toward healing rift in key states such as Florida, where Clinton backers have threatened to hunker down and either vote for McCain or write in Clinton's name come November.