- Hillary Rodham Clinton formally resigned Friday as America’s 67th secretary of state on Friday at 4 pm
- ‘I am more convinced than ever in the strength and staying power of America’s global leadership and our capacity to be a force for good in the world,’ Clinton said in a letter to President Barack Obama shortly before she resigned
- Former Massachusetts senator John Kerry was sworn in as his predecessor’s resignation became official
- Hours later a suicide bomber exploded a device just outside the U.S. Embassy in Turkey killing himself and a guard
Associated Press Reporter and Daily Mail Reporter
23:21, 1 February 2013
03:55, 2 February 2013
Hillary Rodham Clinton formally resigned Friday as America’s 67th secretary of state, ending a four-year tenure that saw her shatter records for the number of countries visited, as John Kerry was sworn in as the country’s new diplomatic leader.
In a letter sent to President Barack Obama shortly before left the State Department for the last time in her official capacity, Clinton thanked her former foe for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination for the opportunity to serve in his administration. Clinton said it had been an honor to be part of his Cabinet.
‘I am more convinced than ever in the strength and staying power of America’s global leadership and our capacity to be a force for good in the world,’ she said in the letter.
Stepping down: Hillary Clinton formally resigned Friday as America’s 67th secretary of state
Changing of leaders: Her resignation became effective on the swearing-in of her successor, John Kerry, who took take the oath of office in a private ceremony later Friday
Job done: ‘I am more convinced than ever in the strength and staying power of America’s global leadership and our capacity to be a force for good in the world,’ Clinton said in a letter to President Barack Obama shortly before she left the State Department
Her resignation became effective on the swearing-in of her successor, John Kerry, who took take the oath of office in a private ceremony later Friday.
The former Massachusetts senator and 2004 presidential candidate was sworn in Friday by Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan becoming the 68th secretary of state.
‘I’m just very, very honored to be sworn in and I’m very anxious to get to work,’ Kerry told reporters after the private ceremony at the Capitol. ‘I’ll be reporting Monday morning at 9 o’clock to do my part.’
Kerry told The Boston Globe earlier on Friday that he was President Obama’s choice for secretary of state for some time, even as UN Ambassador Susan Rice came under heavy fire as a possible nominee for the position.
‘He called me, actually a week before Susan got out of the thing,’ said Kerry. ‘He called me and said, ‘You’re my choice. I want you to do this.’ He asked me to keep it quiet. I did. I sat on it.’
Kerry was sworn in at around 4pm EST on Friday as his predecessor’s resignation became official.
Thanks: Clinton thanked Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns as she addressed employees at the State Department for the final time as Secretary of State
Touching moment: Employees at the State Department gave an emotional goodbye to their former leader
In the State Department’s main lobby,
Clinton pushed through a throng of American foreign service workers who
clamored for handshakes and smartphone photos with her and gave an
emotional goodbye speech.
She told them to continue to ‘serve the nation we all love, to understand the challenges, the threats and the opportunities that the United States faces and to work with all our heart and all of our might to make sure that America is secure, that our interests are promoted and our values are respected.’
Clinton, however, also left office with a slap at critics of the Obama administration’s handling of the September attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya.
She told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that critics of the administration’s handling of the attack don’t live in an “evidence-based world,” and their refusal to “accept the facts” is unfortunate and regrettable for the political system.
Clinton told the AP that the attack in Benghazi was the low point of her time as America’s top diplomat. But she suggested that the furor over the assault would not affect whether she runs for president in 2016.
Although she insisted that she has not decided what her future holds, she said she ‘absolutely’ still plans to make a difference on issues she cares about in speeches and in a sequel to her 2003 memoir, ‘Living History,’ that will focus largely on her years as secretary of state.
Saying goodbye: Clinton addressed employees at the State Department for the final time as Secretary of State on February 1, 2013, in Washington D.C.
Big crowd: In the State Department’s main lobby, Clinton pushed through a throng of American foreign service workers who clamored for handshakes and smartphone photos with her and gave an emotional goodbye speech
Clinton spoke to the AP Thursday in her outer office on the seventh floor of the State Department less than 24 hours before she walks out for a final time as boss.
She was relaxed but clearly perturbed by allegations from Republican lawmakers and commentators that the administration had intentionally misled the public about whether the attack was a protest gone awry or a terrorist attack, or intentionally withheld additional security for diplomatic personnel in Libya knowing that an attack could happen.
An independent panel she convened to look into the incident was scathing in its criticism of the State Department and singled out four officials for serious management and leadership failures.
But it also determined that there was no guarantee that extra personnel could have prevented the deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans. Clinton herself was not blamed, although she has said she accepted responsibility for the situation.
‘I was so unhappy with the way that some people refused to accept the facts, refused to accept the findings of an independent Accountability Review Board, politicized everything about this terrible attack,’ she said.
‘My job is to admit that we have to make improvements and we’re going to.’
Low point: Clinton said the day before her resignation that the attack in Benghazi was the low point of her time as America’s top diplomat
Hours later a suicide bomber linked to a domestic terror group exploded a device just outside the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, killing himself and a guard.
Clinton told State Department staff on Friday that the attack showed again how ‘we live in very complex and dangerous times.’
Clinton faced a barrage of hostile questions about Benghazi from Republican lawmakers when she testified before Congress recently in appearances that were delayed from December because of illness.
Afterward, some lawmakers continued to accuse her and the administration of withholding evidence. Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, of South Carolina, told a television interviewer that he thought Clinton was getting ‘away with murder.’
In the interview, Clinton had little patience for such allegations.
‘There are some people in politics and in the press who can’t be confused by the facts,’ she said. ‘They just will not live in an evidence-based world. And that’s regrettable. It’s regrettable for our political system and for the people who serve our government in very dangerous, difficult circumstances.’
Because of that, she said, the partisan divide should not dissuade anyone with a cause from getting involved in politics, and she hinted strongly that a divisive atmosphere would not stop her in any future endeavor. ‘You have to have a thick skin because (politics) is just going to be a contact sport as far as we can look into the future.’
‘No decisions’: ‘I am making no decisions, but I would never give that advice to someone that I wouldn’t take myself,’ Clinton said about a potential run for president in 2016
Clinton is no stranger to partisan politics. As first lady, she railed in 1998 against a ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’ that she asserted had been attacking her husband, Bill Clinton, ever since he had become president.
But the woman who was once considered a divisive figure in American politics, yet leaves office as one of its most popular, remained coy about whether she would run for president in 2016.
‘I am making no decisions, but I would never give that advice to someone that I wouldn’t take myself,’ she said.
‘If you believe you can make a difference, not just in politics, in public service, in advocacy around all these important issues, then you have to be prepared to accept that you are not going to get 100 per cent approval.’
Farewell: Clinton waved as she left the State Department in Washington for last time as America’s top diplomat
Share this article:
The comments below have not been moderated.
Realistic Southampton – you clearly do not know anything about US politics. By withdrawing from the active administration, HC has actually placed herself in a far stronger position to be considered for the next Democratic candidate. US politics is somewhat different from the UK (understatement)!
The boot of Cantona
Steel City, UK,
Better we Brits don’t comment, we may face a “do not enter order” if we try to go to the US. Perhaps then, US people would desist from telling us we MUST stay in the good-for-nothing-unless-you-come-from-a-poor-nation EU?
Most countries visited as well as the most Embassies hit by terriorists.
She has just merely surfed a free-loading global hopping government trips.. What the frig has she actually done??? Name just one thing?? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Only that she dreamed of being president for personal status reasons Obama felt sorry for her.. She was just a freeloading buffoon, scoffing as many cream chocolate cakes as she could get down her throat, whilst obviously scaling up a decent platinum plated pension.. But obviously Americans are far too fat stupid to realise this!! No wonder they’re staring down a $20trillion debt hole! Whilst kids are going around killing everyone they don’t like!!
I agree manicure, she is hugely offensive! Now we have another military hating idiot taking her place! We’re sunk!
Los Angeles, United States,
She quit because she has worked non stop -24 hours a day for four years and was clearly too exhausted to face another four years! Is that plain enough?
I should think she resigned to prepare her campaign for the American Presidentcy at the next election.
The Crayped Crusader
Well that’s one gone , Americans should now throw out the rest of the trash in the White House before they destroy the USA.
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.