A trial balloon is information sent out in order to observe the reaction of an audience. It can be used by companies sending out press releases to judge reaction by customers, or it can be used by politicians who deliberately leak information on a policy change under consideration. In politics trial balloons often take the form of an intentional news leak to assess public opinion.
There's talk, indeed, that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) may now be under consideration for the post. Her office referred any questions to the Obama transition; Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to comment.
The pick of the former presidential contender and Senate Armed Services Committee member would go a long way toward healing any remaining divisions within the Democratic Party after the divisive primaries. Also, Clinton has long been known for her work on international women's issues and human rights. The former first lady could also enhance Obama's efforts to restore U.S. standing amongst allies worldwide.
This one is very interesting indeed. She's certainly qualified for the job and it certainly would freak out the freepers.