January 22nd, 2009
10:26 AM ET
8 months 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. rachel

    That was GREAT. Lets get to work.

    January 22, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. Dawn

    I am hearing her right now, I believe she will make an excellent SOS. Remember she was an Attorney, an avocate, First Lady of Ark, First Lady of the U.S. Senator from NY, and now SOS. Great huh!!!!!!!!!!!!

    She has been around the world many times visiting what 80 Countries and now the heads of these Countries and the respect from these Countries.

    Our voices in the World has not been heard, we are a joke behind closed doors of the World, because of Bush-Cheney administration.

    If you seen the warm welcoming she got from the State Department, Did SOS Rice get that?

    There are many blogger who may love her and hate her, but she brings a very strong voice for the United States of American.

    January 22, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. Ron

    We're screwed, she's going to REALLY screw things up and her husband is..........well, he just needs to stay away.

    January 22, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  4. Gordon Shumway

    Who's watching "Bill"?

    January 22, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. Jilly David

    Oh no!

    January 22, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  6. Milford Dunlap

    That's a new pants suit, huh?

    January 22, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  7. Darth Vadik, CA

    God bless Hilary and Bill, after what the right winghypocrites have done to them, they still stand tall, and will punch you right back in the mouth.
    God bless them

    January 22, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  8. Hillary......

    As Sec. of State, do you think you can find Obama's aunt who is an illegal immigrant living in Public Housing at taxpayer expense?

    She was deported back to Kenya 4 years ago but someone is hiding her illegally in the U.S.

    You should be able to solve this for us.

    January 22, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. sally

    is this person really our SOS?

    January 22, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  10. Lauren

    It seems such a shame that this woman with such an education and so much political experience only made it to the position of secretary, when men with less education and experience than her are her supervisors.

    January 22, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  11. Virginia

    UGH!

    January 22, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  12. JD in Moraga, CA

    It will be interesting to see if Clinton continues Rice's commitment to relocating State Dept workers to Iraq, by force if necessary. If she does, she could be perceived as a big "yawn" unwilling to break from the policies of the past (of which she has been so critical). If she does not, then she could be seen as backing away from her statements regarding the importance of diplomacy in resolving conflict on a global scale.

    Either way, she could take some lumps from critics at either extreme of the political spectrum.

    January 22, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  13. jaye

    Congratulations Hillary. We're behind you!

    January 22, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  14. jackie ohio

    I am so proud of Obama, I had told my husband that if Obama was to be the democrat nominie then he would be a fool not to appoint Hillary as Secretary of State,. She will do wonders and I feel this is just as important as President whenit comes to forien affairs

    January 22, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  15. Scott Tucson

    Well being an ol republican I do wish her luck for she's going to need it looking at the problems going on around the world. But fat chance of fixing the Middle East problem, there's no solution there as long as the Arabs are hell bent on destroying Israel.

    January 22, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  16. Patrick

    Yes, Sally she is and what a great one she will be, God willing.

    Cheers!

    January 22, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. rainbowgirl

    Sally, yes, she is really our Secretary of State, and what a wonderful thing that is!

    January 22, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  18. bgsosebee

    I think Hilary Clinton was a great choice for President Obama. I feel if President Obama has already started out right on!!!! President Obama Please put Prayer back in Schools .

    January 22, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. P. Y.

    For God's sake, give the woman a chance. If she messes up, then complain.

    January 22, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. Iowa Mom4

    Sally, Yes!! Thank heavens!

    January 22, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  21. Lynne

    Go Hillary!!!

    January 22, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. Southerner

    Sally,

    Sadly, yes.

    January 22, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  23. obama-mama

    Go Hillary....Good Luck

    January 22, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  24. Joe in NJ

    And apparently when she arrived, she had to duck inside under a hail of phantom gunfire

    January 22, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  25. miles

    yeah, and she was a darn good choice!

    January 22, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
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