January 29th, 2013
06:48 PM ET

Clinton defends her diplomatic legacy

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she can't be faulted for not solving some of the thorny diplomatic issues she faced her in term.

In her final week of Secretary of State, Clinton defended her legacy in an exit interview with CNN's Jill Dougherty and Elise Labott.

Clinton acknowledged that her legacy includes unsolved problems in some of the world's hot spots, but noted that she assumed the job four years ago at a time of great uncertainty.

"I think we have to go back to my beginning in January '09 to remember how poorly perceived the United States was, how badly damaged our reputation was, how our leadership was in question, how the economic crisis had really shaken people's confidence in our government, our economic system, our country.

Clinton said she had sought initially simply to restore international confidence in American leadership, "sometimes against pretty tough odds," which included a crisis in the world's economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The challenges went on to include responding to the Arab Spring, forming international coalitions to inflict sanctions on Iran and North Korea and dealing with changes in Burma, Europe, Latin America and Africa.

"I'm very proud of what we've done," she said, adding, "We began to practice diplomacy in a different way - not that we jettisoned everything done before, but added new tools to the box."

Asked about the Obama administration's failure to appoint a woman to any of the top four Cabinet positions, she said, "What we have to do is take a look at the broad picture."

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Secretary of State
soundoff (39 Responses)
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  10. massoud

    How do you defend the indefensible ?

    February 4, 2013 at 12:09 am | Reply
  11. helenecha

    Oh, yeah, we could have seen the US tried to practice diplomacy in a different way around world. Ok, whether Egyptian democratic revolution has helped build a better market investment environment in its country than ever before or not? Hey, I'm pleased to learn what Hillary Clinton was talking about. Good for her!

    January 31, 2013 at 11:55 pm | Reply
  12. John Smith

    monica monica

    January 31, 2013 at 11:37 pm | Reply
  13. Mike H.

    "responding to the Arab Spring, forming international coalitions to inflict sanctions on Iran and North Korea and dealing with changes in Burma, Europe, Latin America and Africa."
    Those are her accomplishments?

    January 31, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • A 5th Marine

      Unfortunately yes, Mike H. These thing will go down in infamy as a stigma on our country for a long time to come! Hilary Clinton should be ashamed of herself but as a typical right-winger, she's not!

      January 31, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  14. massoud


    January 31, 2013 at 10:13 am | Reply
  15. Rick

    Hillary is the greatest

    January 30, 2013 at 8:58 am | Reply
    • Marine5484

      Are you trying to be funny, Rick? You ought to know better that to say the above! She disgraced this country with her arrogance and self-righteousness as anyone who follows the news would know! I don't expect John Kerry to do much better.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Reply
      • freedom

        You said it, Marine5484! We've seen her kanive and claw her way to the top at any cost! Even lying about the murdered ambassador and servicemen in Benghazi, and then screeching "what difference does it make!" She's a disgrace and even treasonous with her behavior. Where are the witnesses from Benghazi? She and Obama are hiding them. Why hasn't anyone gone to jail for those murders? The truth is still being sought by the Foreign Affairs Committee. Still seeking the truth, thankfully. The media is hiding everything, but half the country knows what this women is – and what she's capable of.

        January 30, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
      • Ben Lutz

        So true! And now they want women in the Spec Ops & frontlines. Our military is going to suffer for this idiotic move. Now we get a yellow bellied traitor Kerry to be our next SOS. And pacifist Hagel for DOD. How pathetic we are becoming because of liberal BS.

        January 31, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • John Smith

      satanic´╗┐ bloodthirsty warmonger

      January 30, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • massoud

      I thought Ali was the greatest.

      January 31, 2013 at 10:12 am | Reply
    • Ben Lutz

      Hillary is LAUGHABLE as any kind of serious SOS! Just look at Benghazi. And that's just one of her failures. The USA is not perceived any differently today than 4 years ago. Except now they burn Obama's picture. Idiot liberals.

      January 31, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • Dragonfly40

      did she have to respond with "broad" picture? I'd expect our SoS to be a little more aware of her vernacular.

      February 1, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Reply
  16. Rick

    Lets try again! People dead. White House delays, and White House cover ups. What do these have in common. Let us see. How about Whitewater, Fast and Furious, and Bengazie Gate. Hillary runs from one scandal to another just like her husband has. In 2016 it will be fun to watch the coverup of bengazie gate just like slick willy covered up his theft of the Haitian Relief Funds.

    January 30, 2013 at 8:05 am | Reply
    • John Smith

      monica monica.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  17. StanCalif

    Hillary worked tirelessly to renew the world's respect for the USA! Did she solve all problems? No. GW Bush and Cheney did so much damage to us there was no quick solution. Obama won a Nobel Prize simply for NOT being a Bush! He had done nothing yet, but the world was relieved! Hillary should also get a Nobel Prize. I hope she does. I visited Egypt during GW's reign. Over and over I heard from Egyptians that "we love America, we just hate your politics". Shop owners I visited could speak 4 or 5 languages, ALL of them told me of a relative living in the USA. "someday, I want to go visit your country" I heard time and again! No one wants "shock & awe" – it didn't solve anything. "Mission accomplished" was a big lie, the mission was only to begin.

    January 29, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Reply
    • StanCalif

      I apologize for this post, but CNN and Disqus will not accept this (don't know why). Different topic entirely:

      Believe me, ANY immigration reform that gets through Congress will do nothing to solve the problem! We acknowledge the fact that 11 million illegals will never be deported. It just won't happen! "Illegals steal Americans' jobs", another big lie! How many whites or blacks show up in the fields looking for a job? ZERO! Housecleaning, gardening, day laboring?? Again, ZERO!

      Congress proposes that illegals can get a chance IF they pay back taxes and a big fine! How many could ever meet this requirement? ZERO! How would they determine the amount of unpaid taxes anyway?

      All this talk is simply about securing Latino votes for the next election! Anything useful will certainly be left out. The "old white men" of the GOP would do better learning to speak Spanish! This is as likely to happen as whites and blacks showing up for jobs in the fields!
      For sure, Congress will pass "something". They all want to crow about their accomplishments when begging for the Latino vote.
      But wait a minute, illegals can't vote anyway! Legal Latinos who can vote don't necessarily agree with "passes to citizenship"!

      This new debate on immigration reform is nothing more than luring Latino votes. Our porous border with Mexico could have been shut down decades ago, and should have. But powerful members of Congress have prevented this. Cut off "below market labor" and big agricultual companies would suffer. Today, many actually are feeling the lack of cheap labor. This won't pass muster in Congress! When your kids show up to pick grapes, tend vines, pick fruits and vegetables by hand out in the sun, then start arguing!

      January 29, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  18. Joseph McCarthy

    Hilary Clinton has been nothing but a national disgrace by defending Obama's right-wing warlike policies and the use of those obscene drones, slaughtering people like pigs in a pen. Anyone who takes up for this broad needs to have their head examined!

    January 29, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Reply
    • Kevin

      Then how would you solve these problems.

      January 29, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Reply
      • Joseph McCarthy

        Easy Kevin, by talking to countries like Iran and North Korea instead of trying to bully and starve them into submission. Most of all, I would oppose to the fullest the obscene butchery caused by those ungodly drones and Apache helicopters. Moreover, we do not need to have troops everywhere from Timbuktu to kingdom come!

        January 29, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
      • Hahahhahahahaha

        Yeah Joe. Talking!!! That will do it!!!!! NOT!!! WTH do you think we've been doing???? Don't you think we tried "talking" to Hitler about not attacking Europe? What a DA!!!!!!! Hahahahahahahahah

        January 30, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • StanCalif

      You prefer to send our young men (and now women) into face to face combat? We have lost enough, drones save Americans! Enlist your daughter in the Army, then write again!
      By the way, very soon our advisaries will also have drones. Suicide bombers will become obsolete. Then what?

      January 29, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Reply
      • Sim

        Absolutely, I would send the troops in. WTH are they being paid for?

        January 30, 2013 at 12:00 am |
  19. MrNeedtoKnow

    So, she could not control the hot spot Egypt? I thought she considered Islam Brotherhood friendly, liberators, arab spring. What an idot. She will dupe the ignorants, democratic, socialist, progressive, left wing nut case, liberal to vote for her in 2016. I would love to see CLINTON/PELOSI or CLINTON/REID in 2016 primary.

    January 29, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  20. Tembisa

    Reblogged this on World Chaos.

    January 29, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Reply
    • MrNeedtoKnow

      What are you talking about?

      January 29, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Reply

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