Obama announces Clinton as pick for secretary of state

(AP) - The woman who wanted to be president steppedup to a podium too tall, turned the microphones down and began byaddressing the man who defeated her: "Mr. President-elect." With her words on Monday,

News 12 Staff

Dec 2, 2008, 12:18 AM

Updated 5,709 days ago

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(AP) - The woman who wanted to be president steppedup to a podium too tall, turned the microphones down and began byaddressing the man who defeated her: "Mr. President-elect."
With her words on Monday, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who in theSenate emerged from the long shadow of her husband, stepped into asupporting role for another man, this one her former rival.
Click for more on who could take Hillary Clinton's Senate seat
And while it's hard to see the position of secretary of state asanything but the highest honor, Clinton appeared somber as Obamaintroduced her and the rest of his foreign policy team.
"Her face was very set, she looked very serious," said MaxineFiel, a behavioral analyst and body language expert in New York."She didn't look extremely relaxed or happy or appreciative. Infact, she looked very grim."
Perhaps that's to be expected when the subject at hand isnational security, more so when a team of rivals comes together.Clinton entered the Democratic presidential primary as the clearfront-runner, and after a marathon battle she is now working forthe junior senator who defeated her.
Some insiders have questioned whether Clinton is too independentand ambitious to serve Obama as secretary of state. She said Mondaythat her Senate seat had prepared her for the task: "After all,New Yorkers aren't afraid to speak their minds and do so in everylanguage."
But in the Senate, Clinton was one of 100. As secretary ofstate, she has just one boss, said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, directorof the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University ofPennsylvania.
"I've studied and watched Hillary Clinton for a long time. Idon't think Hillary Clinton spends a lot of time living in thepast," she said. "I think she moves on and moves forward. And Ithink the interesting question is, relatively, where could she makethe greatest contribution given her interests?"
Anyone who expects Clinton to hold a grudge or compete forattention should look at her actions in the Senate, where shestayed out of the limelight, attended committee meetings and madefriends with Republicans who had impeached her husband, Jamiesonsaid.
And about that husband: Clinton had scarcely finished speakingwhen the former president issued a statement in support of hernomination, suggesting that he hasn't entirely disappeared from thespotlight.
Still, the notion that Hillary Clinton might feel like secondfiddle strikes former adviser Doug Hattaway as sexist.
"Hillary Clinton has spent two decades traveling the world,advancing American ideals and interests," he said. "I don't thinkshe would be viewed as standing in anyone's shadow so much as ahighly valued partner of the president."
She is motivated by service to others, Hattaway said, notservice of her ego. "She's very much a team player and in myexperience has always been focused on doing what's right to helppeople," he said.
At the news conference on Monday, it was Obama who answeredquestions about how Clinton felt, explaining that each felt theother was ready for the job.
"I think she is going to be an outstanding secretary of state.And if I didn't believe that, I wouldn't have offered her the job.And if she didn't believe that I was equipped to lead this nationin such a difficult time, she would not have accepted," he said.
Clinton nodded from the sidelines, so much so that Fiel said sheresembled "a bobblehead."
"She was standing there looking very serious, a little bitteary, but she was affirming with her head everything that he'ssaying," she said.
And with that, the former rivals walked offstage, each with ahand on the other's back.
Watch Sen. Clinton's commentsTo see the full press conference, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.


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