January 22nd, 2009
10:26 AM ET
11 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. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Hillary Clinton is following one of the most significant, abject failures in the job – Condi Rice.

    Watch Hillary in action my right-wing keyboard commandos and learn something!!!

    January 22, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. Here we go!!+

    Congratulations, Senator Clinton! My prayers are with the entire administration.

    January 22, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. TCM

    yeah...she's the SOS...and an angry one too, after Biden's wife gaffed and inferred she was 2nd fiddle. I guess gaffing is contagious, being around Uncle Joe....so, what's funny is Hillary and ol' slick Willy cannot stand OBama...and will do their best to sabotage his efforts. Which in a way is a plus for the teflon Don, because he'll have some white folks to blame his mistakes on .

    January 22, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. chris

    Hope she keep it real-
    Don't trust her

    January 22, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. Here we go!

    Be that as it may, we need to support this administration instead of bashing. They haven't even got off to any kind of start. Chill out!!

    January 22, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  6. Joyce Becker

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got a rousing welcome at Foggy Bottom and the President and Vice President will get one also when they visit later in the day. It is about time we will have an effective State Department with some good diplomacy going on, we really need it after the failed years under the control of the Republicans.

    January 22, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. Theresa rivas

    I believe President Barack Obama will be a great President.
    Michelle Obama will be a breath of fresh air for all women
    regardless of race. The girls are beautiful and very gracious

    January 22, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. Thomas

    Scary. Very scary. So I wonder how many bribes she'll take in the first 24 hours?

    January 22, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  9. Hillary Don't Be Another Al Haig ...

    Hillary Clinton is a hard working, smart, woman.

    However Americans will be watching to see her use words like

    "The Obama Administration's position is .... "

    "We believe ....."

    "Our plan will be ...."

    INSTEAD of the pronoun "I".

    January 22, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. MARYANN ILLINOIS

    Thank goodness Hillary is our SOS......we need her more than ever to mend our relationships that have been destroyed during the last 8 years......

    January 22, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  11. Kevin

    Where are the snipers when you need them?

    January 22, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  12. Nat

    Yes she is! And God Bless her. I'm very happy about this!

    January 22, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  13. Vegas

    ....and peace broke out all over the world. Terror groups are putting down their weapons and joining hands to sing Kumbaya followed by a giant group hug with the Western countries they have despised so much.

    Diplomacy and Development will work...with those countries and non-nation states that accept diplomacy and development as an answer to disagreements. However, we cannot forget the Defense leg of the three-legged stool. We cannot cut this leg to beef up the other two on the stool....it will make the stool uneven and it will eventually either fall over on its own or be knocked over by someone else.

    Best of luck Secretary Clinton.

    January 22, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  14. Ann in Iowa

    YES and I am incredibly proud of her!

    January 22, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  15. katiec

    Hillary Clinton will do a good job.
    With her new boss how can it be otherwise??

    January 22, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  16. Connor

    Hooray! Way to go Hillary! You will servie us well!

    January 22, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  17. Connor

    Hooray! Way to go Hillary! You will serve us well!

    January 22, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  18. suzi

    Thank you Hillary!

    January 22, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. Mrs. Wilson

    Go Hillary!!!!

    January 22, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  20. Silly

    A hot head for Top Diplomat, Humm

    We shall see.

    January 22, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  21. Darla

    Yes...and she's fabulous! Just look at that reception she got!

    January 22, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. sandee in Portland

    Clinton has such an abrasive personality; you either love her or hate her.

    January 22, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  23. Christy

    Yes she is, and she IS The right person for the job. I'm sorry she makes you feel inferior.

    January 22, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  24. Katy

    I don't doubt about her ability, but about interest conflict with her husband foundation that still accept international donation.

    Hilary, if you care and love this country, please retain your integrity and honesty & unbias when performing your duty. I am looking forward to support and see you success as US SOS. We need your smart brain and articulate communication & steel hands.

    Congrats.

    January 22, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. Dan, TX

    Yes, She Can. Go Hillary.

    January 22, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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