Hillary Reflects on her Years as Secretary of State

Saturday, 19 May 2012 08:51 PM

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With 777,000 miles under her belt and 96 countries visited Hillary Clinton is nearing the end of her tenure as President Obama’s secretary of state, which put her in the middle of two wars, an economic crisis at home and abroad, the rise of China and other emerging powers, the march toward a nuclear Iran, and the Arab Spring. And of course the ever-raging Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In a USA Today interview in which she talked about her time at the State Department, Clinton discussed the grueling nature of the job, and how she has been able to cope with its demands. “I’ve got good stamina and recuperative powers. Also, I love what I’m doing, and it’s so endlessly challenging and interesting — every day something new, no two days are the same.”

Visiting 96 countries hasn’t been a choice, Clinton said, but a necessity. “Even though we live in the age of so-called virtual reality, where I could do a video conference with anybody in the world in government, I could even be satellite-beamed into a personal appearance somewhere…nothing substitutes for showing up. You know the old Woody Allen adage — 90% of it is showing up,” she said.

Even with questions about debt, wars and unemployment, there is no question that America is still the world’s top political, economic and military power, Clinton said. “It's true that America can't solve every problem, but I don't know of any major problem in the world that can be solved without us.
So we are still in a position of predominant leadership.”

Clinton loves being America’s top diplomat but did not want to commit to another term, should the President get re-elected, because she wanted to focus on giving her all for four years and then move on after such a grueling commitment. “I may look like the bionic woman from the outside, but this is a very intense experience. It’s a 24-7 job,” she said.

She’s looking forward to taking some time, writing, giving speeches and philanthropy. “I don't know what else,” she said. “But that's what I'm looking forward to.”

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