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. Karen- Change is coming

    Long over due and another Republican was holding up Madam Secretary Clinton's nomination.

    January 22, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. Save My Hard Earned $$

    Yep, SOS.

    January 22, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  3. Pat J

    She should have been president. What a shame!

    January 22, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. Dorothy in NC

    I wish Hillary the best of luck as she starts her new important job as Secretary of State. She knows alot of foreign leaders and has had alot of experience and I think our country is in good hands.
    I listened to her this morning as she was addressing the State Dept and she looked real excited and happy to be getting right to work. I have no doubts whatsoever she will do a wonderful job. May God keep her safe.

    January 22, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  5. rodham

    Hillary the fraud arrives....what a joke that Mr. Obama needs to kiss up to this corrupt and morally bankrupt woman who is in this solely for herself.

    At least NY may have a senator that actually cares about the state.
    Hillary used NY solely for a stepping stone for greater personal glory.

    SHAME, SHAME, SHAME ON ANYONE WHO SUPPORTS HER...

    January 22, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. Tim

    Suddenly... being American just feels better. I love our new government!

    January 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. Christian for Obama

    God bless Hillary. I feel great comfort knowing she is our new Secretary of State – she's perfect for the job. Between her and our wonderful new Prez, I know with certainty that we're finally in good, thoughtful, and capable hands. Good bye Bush, and good riddance! And Rush and your ilk, why don't you go along with him to that village in Texas. They've missed their idiot all these 8 years and might like some more to make up for it.

    Go Hillary! Obamanos!

    January 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. Pyao

    What's your problem sally? She could have been the POTUS if things had gone her way

    January 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. DB

    She totally deserved the reception she received! What a mess this woman and her staff have to clean up!

    January 22, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. Robert Wooller Bradford England UK

    I wish Clinton the best of luck in her new job. She, after all, needs all the luck in the world with the world being more unsafe than ever before. After eight years of Bush and terrorism, I know she will do things for the good and make the World a much better place for us all to live in.

    January 22, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. M from NC

    Get over yourself Sally.

    January 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  12. sue

    I'm so happy, relieved, hopeful. I'm not even sure if I'd rather her be President, as this is such an important job and she is so well suited for it. Wish I knew half a year ago that I'd feel so good about this today!

    January 22, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  13. rich

    I am happy for Mrs. Clinton. There is no doubt in my mind that she will make a great SOS. I do believe that she will be more effective than the previous SOS.

    January 22, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. Howard

    You betcha, Sally, and she'll be a darn good one. Even Condo Rice said so.

    January 22, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. VoteThoughtful

    Thank God, she really is our SOS! Secretary of State Clinton will be fantastic in the role.

    January 22, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  16. jan 22nd

    i voted for obama,,,,

    however, i just don't trust the clintons,,,i really don't

    January 22, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  17. chelle

    Ummmm Sally, she is emminently qualified. Whether you like her or not, she is qualified.

    January 22, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. GOPloser

    God Bless you Secretary of state Clinton. I have faith on you.

    January 22, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  19. trey

    yes sally, she is. we're all the better for it.

    January 22, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  20. At first, it was hate everything Clinton..

    As a staunch Obama supporter, I didn't want Clinton anywhere near the White House.

    But, there's a CHANGE in the air.

    I am proud of Clinton, and glad that she is our Secretary of State!

    January 22, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. Donal

    Jeez, Sally, don't you and your type read the news? YES! SHE IS our new SoS! And why do you, as a political genius that you must be, ask yet another stupid loser question, throw more loser R party rancor and bitterness on a legitimate transfer of power. Keep your grumbling to yourself or with your bitter cronies in the coffee shop but leave us, who believe this really is a GOOD change for America, to watch as the new American dream unfolds

    January 22, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  22. Jose

    Silly Sally...yes, she is...I suppose a soccer mom would have been your preference?

    Stop turning on America and instead turn to America.

    January 22, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  23. Douglas S.

    Good luck in your new position. There is no doubt that you will be successful. God bless you.

    January 22, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  24. steel

    The best of luck to you – America's new Secretary of State.

    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.... Returning violence for violence multiples violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    January 22, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. Michael M. Noonan

    When the State Department is in the ascendancy, it usually means trouble. It was the State Department that Reagan gratefully emasculated.

    January 22, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
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