Obama praises 'extraordinary' Clinton

2013-01-26 12:00

Washington - US President Barack Obama on Friday heaped praise on outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a rare joint interview set to renew speculation that she will run for president in 2016.

The joint sit-down interview with CBS television, which was filmed at the White House, was apparently Obama's idea.

"I just wanted to have a chance to publicly say thank you, because I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretaries of state we've had," Obama said in an excerpt shown on CBS ahead of Sunday's "60 Minutes" program.

"It has been a great collaboration over the last four years. I'm going to miss her," he added, saying he wished she was staying on.

Many people were surprised when Obama named Clinton to be his secretary of state, after the two fought a long and bitter battle for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in the 2008 elections.

Clinton was just beaten by Obama in the historic race, which went down to the wire, and many observers believe she could well try again to become the nation's first woman president in the 2016 elections.

A public endorsement by the sitting president would give added weight to her candidacy - although she is already riding high in the popularity stakes with an approval rating of around 65%.

"I want the country to appreciate just what an extraordinary role she's played during the course of my administration and a lot of the successes we've had internationally because of her hard work," Obama added.

Useful lesson

Clinton, who is tapped to be replaced in the coming days by Senator John Kerry, acknowledged that it would have seemed "improbable" that she would have joined forces with Obama a few years ago.

But she said she had used her 2008 defeat as a useful lesson about the workings of democracy in her travels.

"I think it helps them understand. I say, look, in politics and in democracy, sometimes you win elections; sometimes you lose elections," she said.

"I worked very hard but I lost and then President Obama asked me to be secretary of state and I said yes and why did he ask me and why did I say yes? Because we both love our country."

Obama rarely sits down for joint interviews with anyone other than his wife, Michelle. An exception was one he gave with former French president Nicolas Sarkozy in November 2011 on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Cannes.

  • fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-26 12:58

    Good riddance, this reptilian has never seen any world problem that couldn't be solved by war!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-26 13:04

      . Can you be more specific, or is this just a matter of spewing out some more of your childlike anti American CRAP !!!

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2013-01-26 13:37

      Fidel fedal foo.

      Jo - 2013-01-27 14:08

      Strong woman, difficult term, hope we see you again.

  • Flippncool - 2013-01-26 13:25

    Who cares? This is news how?

  • Sibusiso - 2013-01-26 13:32

    Unfortunately her mooted replacement is just as bad.

      diana.gill.18 - 2013-01-26 13:47

      Do you honestly believe that any post of state importance would ever be given to an honest and contrite American citizen?

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-26 14:51

      Diana, Well, a little more honest than those clowns in the Kremlin : Sergey Lavrov; "what us ??????, supplying weapons to Syria, how can you say that" !?!?!?!?!?!

      dylan.sciarappa - 2013-01-26 15:33

      I thought the us were bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq??

  • jean.rossouwsa - 2013-01-26 15:39

    She lied about Bengahzi attack!!! NO CONTROL over the department she led. Did not read the E-mails sent to her by the Consulate in Bengahzi at all! She is to blame and now the "anointed one" praises her!! LOW MORALS AND LOW EXPECTATIONS!!! Nixon was fired for less!!!

      sheldon.matthys.9 - 2013-01-26 22:42

      This happened on foreign soil.9/11 happened right there in the USA,thousands died,bush got a 2nd term,no enquiries.No thumbs down please,just an explanation.I am a bit dof

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