Obama: Clinton is America's 'Finest Secretary of State'

Saturday, 26 Jan 2013 11:21 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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President Barack Obama, in a rare joint interview with outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton scheduled for “60 Minutes” Sunday, says she has become one of the finest secretaries of state the nation has ever had.

The president took a political risk by hiring Clinton, who fiercely campaigned against him for the White House, reports The Hill, but she proved a loyal ally who has gotten bipartisan praise for her international work, even though it was marred by the deaths of a U.S. ambassador and three others in Benghazi.

“I'm going to miss her, wish she was sticking around,” Obama said. “But she has logged in so many miles I can't begrudge her wanting to take it easy for a little bit. But I want the country to appreciate what an extraordinary role she's played during the course of my administration. A lot of the successes we've had internationally have been because of her hard work.”

Clinton will leave within the next few days, and her proposed replacement, Democratic U.S. Sen. John Kerry, of Massachusetts, is likely to have few problems being confirmed.

Clinton acknowledged that her teaming up with Obama may have have been difficult because of the hard-fought campaign.

“I've gone around the world on behalf of the president and our country, and one of the things that I say to people, because I think it helps them understand, I say 'look, in politics and in democracy, sometimes you win elections and sometimes you lose,' ” she said.

The 60 Minutes interview is Obama's first joint appearance with someone other than his wife, according to CBS, but the president also sat down alongside French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the margins of the G20 summit in Cannes in November 2011.

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