Clinton to ambassadors: Stay put
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the second annual Global Chiefs of Mission Conference at the State Department Tuesday.
March 13th, 2012
01:02 PM ET

Clinton to ambassadors: Stay put

By Elise Labott

The 2012 presidential election is weighing on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's mind, but it's a human resource issue that is her biggest concern.

Addressing U.S. ambassadors from around the world who are back in Washington for a group conference, Clinton asked those whose terms are expected to end this summer or following the elections to stay in their jobs, amid fears that political infighting might make it difficult to replace them before the election.

"Now I should also note that there will be changes in our ambassadorial corps, both this summer and following the November elections, as is customary at the end of a presidential term," she said Tuesday.

"The foreign policy of the United States, however, does not stop for elections. It requires consistent direction and management, so it is important that our ambassadors work to remain at their posts until either the Senate has confirmed a replacement or specific departure instructions are given," Clinton explained.

The secretary said that she's met U.S. ambassadors in several countries in the past six months who have noted that their terms will be up soon.

"But we don't know if we will get people confirmed in the current political climate. We don't know who will or won't get confirmed in some last-minute deal that might be worked out before the Congress basically goes out for elections. So we very much encourage you, in so far as possible, to stay. We need you, we look to you, and there is no country in the world that can do without you," Clinton said.

Still, she seemed pretty sure that her boss will still have a job after the November elections. While in Tunisia last month, Clinton sounded a confident note on President Barack Obama's re-election prospects, telling a group of Arab students that he would be president for another four years.

"He will be re-elected president," Clinton said. "I think that will be a very clear signal to the entire world as to what our values are and what our president believes."

Clinton was responding to a question from a student, who asked about the staunch pro-Israel stance nearly every American politician, both Republican and Democrat, espouse when they're running for office. Although secretaries of state are supposed to remain apolitical and not speak about campaign politics abroad, Clinton explained to CNN in an interview that she was merely trying to explain about how rhetoric used in political campaigns gains outsized significance that doesn't actualize when governing.

"I represent America, and I know what happens in campaigns. I've been there, done that. And I know that things are said that are not going to be put into practice or policy. But I did think I needed to point that out to the audience. And probably, my enthusiasm for the president got a little out of hand," Clinton said.

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Catamount

    Egad, look at her. Every day that passes she deteriorates. She looks delirious, like that disheveled cat-lady in the trailer on the edge of town that even the black kids are too scared to rob because she radiates an aura of bad ju-ju. You hear noises emanating from the trailer at two in the morning and images of a hag cackling over a bubbling cauldron come to mind. It’s Hillary, conjuring spells!

    I think her doctor is over prescribing prozacs to help her with jet lag.

    Hey, Occupy Wall Street losers! You know who you are: Correctly indoctrinated entitlement-minded low GPA in an easy major at a mediocre over-priced college in New England or the left coast. Here’s a helpful hint to put you on the path to success, if your feeble persona can deal with that prospect: In your journalism class find out who Hillary’s having sex with. While horrible to imagine, that ‘s journalistic gold.

    March 15, 2012 at 8:55 am | Reply
    • Aquino Loayza

      You know you have so many arrogrant comments in there that it amazes you had even been able to type. As for Rilly, this is about the US Foreign policy, not the war on women, the only reason the GOP even talks about it is because people like you aren't able to let it go.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  2. RillyKewl

    Its no contest. The Republican Taliban is shooting itself in the foot with its War on Women.

    When the world watched our congress bring in the Spanish Inquisition to try to stop their employees from accessing prescription medicine for their reproductive and health needs, it was all over.

    They then followed with a tacit approval of a vulgar 3-day rant against a woman who came to testify against that kind of medieval thinking. Now they're crying about a comedian having hurt their double-standard.
    They lose. Sorry. Too easy.

    March 13, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  3. Bill

    I think the election in November 2012 is going to be a squeeker, but Obama will most likely be there for another 4 years.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Reply
    • sal

      Let's hope not Bill!!!!

      March 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Reply
      • Nickma

        Actually, all of Romney's money can be spent in the primary, iilducnng the $2.35M he loaned to himself for startup costs in the first days of his candidacy, which in effect brings the total to $23M. He's already spent half of that, but the half he has left is still more than the record $8.9M Al Gore raised in the first three months of 1999.Romney has won the first major round of PR since the simple fact that he has raised the most on the GOP side will increase the amount of free publicity he receives, which he desperately needs in order to get his name out in the public eye over and over again until people start becoming interested and finding out what he's all about. It's going to take a lot of PR and expensive advertising for him to compete with the name recognition that Giuliani has going for him, but if Romney has any chance at all he seems to be making the best of it.

        April 3, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • magggie

      people who are unaware think that he is doing a gerat job because they think 'well the econime is not that bad right now' when realy you should know all thats going on before you vote

      March 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply

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