Kissinger to Hillary: Secretaries of State Become Presidents

Image: Kissinger to Hillary: Secretaries of State Become Presidents

Thursday, 02 May 2013 01:24 PM

By Dan Weil

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Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger made light of the possible presidential bid of another ex-secretary — Hillary Clinton – while presenting her an award at a Washington, D.C., dinner Wednesday.

First, he joked about his own presidential aspirations. "At least four secretaries of state became president," Kissinger said, according to news reports.

"And that sort of started focusing my mind even though there was a constitutional provision that prevented me from doing it. I thought up all kinds of schemes to get around that." Kissinger was ineligible to be president because he was born in Germany.

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As for Clinton, "I want to tell Hillary that when she misses the office, when she looks at the histories of secretaries of state, there might be hope for a fulfilling life afterwards," he said.

Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, and James Buchanan all were secretary of state before ascending to the presidency.

Clinton's response to Kissinger: "When I became secretary of state, I spent a lot of time thinking about my illustrious predecessors — not primarily the ones who went on to become president," she said.

"But about the extraordinary generation of those leaders who were not just present at the creation but leading the creation of a liberal global order that provided unprecedented peace and prosperity along with progress on behalf of the values that we hold in common."

Recent polls have shown Clinton far ahead of other potential Democratic presidential contenders.


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