January 22nd, 2009
10:26 AM ET
9 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. Lori

    Yes! I am so excited that Hillary will be Secretary of State. Best of luck to her. We need her to succeed so that we can rebuild America's image in the world.

    January 22, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Veronica

    YOU GO GIRL!

    Im so proud of my new administration.

    January 22, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. Charley

    I'm SO glad I'm Livin' in the USA

    and the world will be a better place

    January 22, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. Edgardo of West Hollywood

    She is simply awesome! There was never a doubt in mind that she will be a great Secretary of State. She is even fit to be the president of this great nation. Her time will come, let her shine again for 2012!

    January 22, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  5. john

    Yes, this person is really our Secretary of State, and if we as a nation were more intelligent, she would be our President.

    January 22, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. FreeNLovIt

    Yeah, honey, I wish you and your husband WERE fixing our economy for us!!!

    January 22, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  7. Boston Irish

    @Allan, you tell her. Couldn't have said it better myself. GO HILLARY!!

    January 22, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. FreeNLovIt

    WE miss U! But Obie is keeping us, entertained, so we'll stick with it.

    January 22, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. Gavin

    WHat ever happened to the Emolument clause of the Constitution Issue? Did she get her salary reduced like Nixon had to for his guys? If not it is a violation of the Constitution to have her serve as Secretary of State. Even if so it may still be a violation.

    Emolument Clause

    No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time . . .

    January 22, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  10. Jackie in Dallas

    I'm not a big Hillary fan, but even I recognize her tenaciousness, her intelligence, and her ability to perform this office. We need these qualities to regain our image in the rest of the world. I'm actually not slighting Condi Rice, either. Her main liability was the President for whom she worked, who pursued a counterproductive foreign policy.

    January 22, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  11. Scott Shelby

    Yes, Sally, She really is!

    Leaders of the world now know the differences in the world between when Bill Clinton was President and when George W. Bush was President. They admire and respect both President Clinton and now Secretary Clinton. She IS the right person to, when it comes to fixing our relationships with foreign diplomats and leaders, be able to say Yes We Can and Yes We Will be allies like we once were. Americans all have faith in our new President and now our new Secretary of State!

    January 22, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. AndyL

    I heard that instead of playing "Hail to the Chief" when she walks in, they play the same song as when the A&W bear walks in.

    January 22, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. Cheri

    Hillary Clinton will be a fantastic Secretary of State.

    January 22, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. Move On!

    First Lady, Senator, and now Sectreary of State! I think we have a very accomplished, intelligent, experienced, and capable lady who will have influence with world leaders in her own right; but will also bring influence from her tenure as first lady, when Bill Clinton was president he was respected by world leaders and this should be of great help repairing the damage the last administartion caused.

    Go Hillary!

    January 22, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. pete

    yes Sally, and she will be great! She ran a great race and did what was asked to make sure Obama get elected...go Hillary ! Texas and NJ loves you and so does 18 Million that voted for you! Time to move on everyone and get this country back to where it was 8 years ago!

    January 22, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. GG from Minnesota

    She'll probably be a fine SOS but I would like to see more transparency on Bill's activities with foreign governments, too many opportunities for shenanigans.

    January 22, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. believe

    Good luck Hillary, if it is possible, can limbaugh be banned from the U.S, he is worse than a trader.

    January 22, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  18. RealityKing

    "a renewed emphasis on candor and "robust diplomacy" as the primary means for advancing American interests around the world."

    i.e. nothing but talk...

    January 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. Mark in Atlanta

    What a strong and brilliant woman! This is a proud time in our Nation's history.

    January 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. WIlly Brown

    Mrs. Bill Clinton. man what have we done...

    January 22, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  21. S Callahan

    Congrats to Sen. Clinton...though I still have my reservation..maybe even prejudiced by your husbands actions...I just have a real hard time trusting your stance....you and your husband have profitied greatly on the backs of American(s)...and it nausates me...especially to see two souls that are meant to do righteous things....
    so ...with my thoughts known...I will pray you have it right..and DO the RIGHT thing in this role...redeeming ......
    Perhaps each one of us should send a baby picture to you..having you put it in your briefcase to view every time you make a decision as a reminder of the future impact you'll have....
    God's speed if you in his will for this

    January 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  22. tired of corporate politics

    to Sally: "is this person really our SOS?"

    After considering your in depth analysis and detailed arguments, I find I can only answer "Yes."

    Stop buying into the old neo-con myths please.

    January 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. k

    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."

    What kind of debate will she tolerate?

    Does that go for other countries as well?

    Kneel Before Zod!

    January 22, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. guilda

    Congratulations, Madame Secretary! Hillary is exactly what this country needs to heal our foreign wounds.

    I am so proud of her, that there are no words.

    God Bless America And God Bless Hillary Clinton!

    January 22, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  25. karthikdinakar

    I really admire Hillary Clinton. Her poise, her intellect, the way she fought for Pres. Obama during the general election campaign, and her remarkable tenacity tells me that she will be an extraordinary Secretary of State. I think she's one of the most prolific woman in the history of the United States.

    January 22, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
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