Hillary Clinton says goodbye to state department


Hillary Clinton: "I am so grateful that we've had a chance to contribute to making the world safer"

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Hillary Clinton has said the world is a safer place, in her farewell address to state department staff on her last day as America's top diplomat.

Mrs Clinton, 65, leaves the post after four years, visits to 112 countries and nearly a million air miles.

She will be replaced by John Kerry, a Massachusetts senator, who was sworn in at a private ceremony on Friday.

The former first lady is now discussed as a possible candidate for the 2016 presidential election.

Mrs Clinton said leading the agency as the 67th US Secretary of State had been a "unique and singular, exciting and challenging" experience.

'More optimistic'

She acknowledged the attack on the US embassy in Turkey - a sobering reminder of the everyday global threats that will face her successor.

Ambassador for America

Boarding her plane in Armenia
  • Hillary Clinton visited 112 countries in four years, making her the most-travelled secretary of state
  • Foreign Policy magazine's Secretary of Schlep slideshow has 112 photos, one from each country (registration required)
  • "Her total time spent travelling adds up to 2084.21 hours (or 86.8 days), and she will have racked up 956,733 miles," it notes

"I am very proud of the work we have done together," she told her staff. "Of course, we live in very complex and dangerous times, as we saw again just today at our embassy in Ankara, where we were attacked."

But she said she was "more optimistic" now than when she took up her post in 2009.

"I am so grateful that we've had a chance to contribute in each of our ways to making our country and our world stronger, safer, fairer and better," she told staff.

Earlier in the day, Mrs Clinton officially tendered her resignation to President Barack Obama, her former bitter rival in the 2008 race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In her letter, she said she was more convinced than ever of America's strength as a global leader and its potential to be a force for good.

Mrs Clinton has been coy about a possible White House run in four years' time. She has said she has no specific plans for the future, but that she "absolutely" still plans to make a difference on issues she cares about.

"I am going to be secretary of state until the very last minute when I walk out the door," she told the Associated Press on Thursday.

"And then I am going to take the weekend off and then I may start thinking about all the various offers and requests and ideas that have come my way."

Mrs Clinton's time in office will also be remembered for the attack last September on a consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed a US ambassador and three other Americans. She has apologised for that security failure.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 125.

    Hilary Clinton brags that this world is a "safer" place. Safer for whom? Certainly not for those people living in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen who are being slaughtered day after day by those ungodly drones and neither for the Syrians who caught up in a bloody civil war! On the other hand, if we went back to a policy of Isolationism it would in fact be.

  • rate this

    Comment number 124.

    RobG: US does nothing to help any of its 'allies'

    If another country tried to invade Britain or another of our allies today
    you can bet USA would help you fend them off

    By the way Happy Super Bowl!!! ;)

    I am going for Ravens this year as I love Edgar Allen Poe

    Plus, Ray Lewis is one of the biggest and baddest in the whole wide world

    Go Ravens!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 123.


    Because of people like Richard Reid.

  • rate this

    Comment number 122.

    Just now

    Your statistic on the pre-Jamestown Indian population only indicts your own country, as Brits killed Indians non-stop in the 13 colonies until 1783 and then after that in Canada.

    Meanwhile over in India the Brits were starving 100 million Hindus to death and calling it "famine."


    After independence the deaths ended???

  • rate this

    Comment number 121.


    Your statistic on the pre-Jamestown Indian population only indicts your own country, as Brits killed Indians non-stop in the 13 colonies until 1783 and then after that in Canada.

    Meanwhile over in India the Brits were starving 100 million Hindus to death and calling it "famine."

    Wherever Brits go, genocide seems to follow. Isn't that funny?

  • rate this

    Comment number 120.

    The only place the world is a safer place is right here in neutral Finland. Almost everywhere else in the world over population and consequent food shortages combined with environmental disasters are leading the Goths and Vandals to rise up. Those with nothing to lose will and are doing anything out of desperation and to but food in their bellies. Safe forget it!

  • rate this

    Comment number 119.

    Lucy you have been blinkered by your own country's propaganda. The US does nothing to help any of its 'allies' unless it perceives a significant self interest in so doing, there is no altruism. This was demonstrated in the late entry into WW1 and 2 and the lack of support to Britain in the Falklands war, amongst others.

  • rate this

    Comment number 118.

    If the world is a much safer place why do so many Americans fear travelling outside their country?

  • rate this

    Comment number 117.

    Duncan: What is independent about being subservient to Israel?

    USA is a protector to all of our allies in the world

    Someone has got to stick up for the little guy+that someone is us

    Duncan: Britain and America are every bit a part of the order

    Perhaps our leaders but
    Not our peoples

    Many British do not want to be subserviant to EU
    Many Americans do not want to be subserviant to UN

  • rate this

    Comment number 116.

    "There's no amount of restitution Britain could make to undo the damage it's done to the world."

    Pot and kettle, sir. When the first settlers landed in the future US there were more than 70 million Native Americans already there. By the end of the Trail of Tears there were less than 1 million.

  • rate this

    Comment number 115.


    What is independent about being subservient to Israel and to the banking elite for whom Israel was set up as a fiefdom?

    Britain and America are every bit a part of the order to which you refer.

  • rate this

    Comment number 114.

    Is it now safe for white people to go alone into the "ghetto" areas inside her country's warships?

  • rate this

    Comment number 113.

    Beam: USA is a mess. Is it not worth fixing? Or is the plan to control others

    The plan was for European Union to turn world into One World Order

    But now that Great Britain has chosen independence+freedom over power+greed
    this has thrown a loop in their plans

    America+Great Britain are their least favorite because we are the two most independent countries in the world

  • rate this

    Comment number 112.

    84.golfghost - "The World a Safer place..?
    for who?
    This woman is certainly deluded!!!"

    No, you are just a clueless (insert rude adjective of choice) who cares not for checking their facts before gobbing off.....

    ....violent deaths are at an all time low in the era of recorded history....

    ....but hey, don;t let that get in the way of voicing your gut instinct, even when it is wrong...

  • rate this

    Comment number 111.

    If Hilary Clinton thinks the world is a safer place then she is delusional. Never have the west had so many enemies as it does now and by interfering in sovereign matters of other countries we are making more by the day. Her influence globally is less than she thinks and she`s ended up being more of a celebrity than an effective secretary of state and diplomat.

  • rate this

    Comment number 110.

    World leaders/diplomats are at the top of the flow-chart. I think in their realm they are all connected by a plan/goal. They make decisions most of the rest of us pay for (one way or another) and then go on with their privileged lives. Unfortunately, so many of the general populous praise them. I'm not sure why this is- eg USA is a mess. Is it not worth fixing? Or is the plan to control others.

  • Comment number 109.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 108.

    # The mad professor
    I was simply mocking BBC leftism.
    No you weren't.

    You perceived that you mocked what you perceived to be left wing.

    In reality you simply made a tit out of yourself.

  • rate this

    Comment number 107.

    2 Minutes ago

    I don't think they're random.You have a problem with that? I don't.In some parts of the world notions of justice are not so lofty as they are in Britain.The only way to win the war on terrorists is to terrorize them and would be terrorists.


    I remeber your enthusiasm to kill Iranians as punishment for NOT killing captive Britons.

  • rate this

    Comment number 106.

    Hillary is likely retiring:

    1) because she no longer wants to be associated with Obama
    2) because she or her daughter may run for President in 2016

    Truth is America was ready for our first female President
    Instead we got our first black President

    I am just so glad we got John Kerry instead of Susan Rice
    as that would have been a nightmare

    Welcome, John Kerry+ Good Luck!!! ;)


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