January 22nd, 2009
10:26 AM ET
4 years ago

Clinton arrives at State Department

 Clinton has arrived at the State Department.

Clinton has arrived at the State Department.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived at her new office in the State Department Thursday morning, promising a renewed emphasis on candor and "robust diplomacy" as the primary means for advancing American interests around the world.

Watch: Clinton speaks at the State Dept.

America's new chief diplomat walked through the front doors of the State Department lobby shortly after 9 a.m. ET to a thunderous round of applause from an overflow crowd of about 1,000 career diplomats and other department employees.

"I believe with all of my heart that this is a new era for America," Clinton told her colleagues. "President Obama set the tone with his inaugural address.... Robust diplomacy and effective development are the best long term tools for securing America's future."

In remarks that could be interpreted as a rebuke of the former Bush administration, Clinton also said that the Obama administration would not "tolerate the divisiveness and paralysis that has undermined our ability to get things done for America."

President Barack Obama is expected at the State Department later Thursday to speak to employees. Clinton also called for a new sense of candor and free exchange of ideas during her tenure. She urged the country's diplomatic corps to think "outside the proverbial box."

"There's nothing I welcome more than a good debate and the kind of dialogue that will make us better."

Clinton is scheduled to meet with Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and National Security Adviser Jim Jones at the State Department Thursday afternoon. Clinton and Obama are then expected to address the department's permanent staff.

On Thursday she will visit the US Agency for International Development, which she praised "for the work they've done on behalf of development through some very difficult years."

During her confirmation hearing, Clinton pledged to secure more resources for the State Department and USAID, which has seen a lot of its development work fall to the Pentagon during the Bush administration.

Clinton is America's 67th secretary of state.

- CNN's Elise Labott contributed to this report

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. Ia Guy

    Congratulations Hillary...I'm so proud of you and feel much better knowing you will improve our relations with other countries around the world.

    January 22, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. Imoan

    I am displeased with some of the news commentary since the swearing in the our new president because ,in my opinion, President Obama is being disrespected when it comes to his title. People are still calling him Obama instead of President Obama. He is due his title at all times.

    January 22, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. Alain

    Finally we have in place an Secretary of State that brings respect with her. Finally we can as Americans get back to diplomacy rather then cowboy mentality to the world stage.

    The hatred the Right has for the Clintons never fails to amaze me. Sen. Vitter, a petty little man who cheated on his wife scolds a woman who stood by her man during what must have been a terrible time for her.

    Get over it Clinton haters. She is the new Secretary of State. She helped get Nixon out of the White House and she has done more for children's health then any right winger has done in 30 years.

    January 22, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. Vic

    Secretary Hillary Clinton ranks right up there with the actions of President Obama that earned him 53% of the votes for the presidency. We should all give these two people all the respect and support we can for the preservation of our imperiled country.

    January 22, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. Ia Guy

    I was for Hillary for president but I'm proud of Obama. For the first time in the past 8 years I'm proud to be an American again!

    January 22, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Now this is gonna get interesting. This will be as fun as Obama-watching.

    January 22, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. not a little sad, actually quite happy

    "This person" was voted the most admired woman in the world every year from 1993 to 2007, with the exception of falling to 2nd behind Laura Bush one year.

    Hate her if you want, but she is well respected worldwide. It's more a reflection on yourself.

    January 22, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. jean

    Hillary Clinton will be a star as Secretary of State!

    January 22, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. R Wolf

    Congratulations Madame Secretary. We're so proud of you and wish you a wonderful eight years!!!!!!

    January 22, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. Thomas

    I wish her the best of luck and hope she can rebuild some of the reputation of the United States with respect to some other countries.

    January 22, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. Linda

    How can you be so proud to have Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State. How soon we forget the day that she stood in front of the cameras and LIED about flying into Bosnia and having to duck being shot at? She was smiling as she said it, because she knows just how stupid some liberals are. She knows that she can lie and some of you will make excuses about it. Later, she said that she had made a misslip!!! How can you forget having to run to keep from being shot?? How honest is she going to be as Secretary of State? As my Daddy used to say to us as we were growing up "If you tell one lie, you have to tell another one to back it up".

    January 22, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. Jose

    I'm sure Sec. of State Clinton will serve our country well. The age of cowboy diplomacy is over, let's usher in a new era of smart power that will better serve this country for years to come.

    January 22, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. Bridgette-PA

    Yes, Sally, she is. What about it?! Say something smart...I DARE YOU!

    January 22, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. Walt from Canada

    From Canada, Hilary, Our heartiest congratulations. A great dark cloud has been lifted from the world with Obama and you guys taking office. Now we can sleep at night!! Thank you!

    January 22, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. proudliberal-independent

    i didn't support you for SOS, hillary, but, i do wish you luck. bush has left the world in a wreck,so, you have much to do.

    January 22, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Debbie

    Sad day when we can't trust the press any longer to tell us the truth....sad day...I am starting to feel like I live in Russia...

    January 22, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Sara from Arizona

    A heart of gold??????

    January 22, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. thm

    The last eight years of a double standard approach really damaged the image of the United States to the outside world. When the First Lady said 'candor and robust diplomacy', indeed, this is what was missing. Never has anyone witnessed such a huge interest showed by the rest of the world in this election and in this great tradition of peaceful power transition. Now, a new era has begun for America to continue uphold the rule of law and to lead the world towards peace and democracy.

    May God bless our government and the United State of America!


    January 22, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  19. Sara from Arizona

    Right on Rush.

    January 22, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. Tina

    Secretary of State Clinton. You are my Hero! And, I'm so glad that President Barack Obama has you in his Administration. You are a big piece of the puzzle. God's Speed to you and the Obama Administration!

    January 22, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
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