Obama Wanted to ‘Publicly Say Thank You’
President Obama started off the interview effusively, telling Steve Kroft that Hillary Clinton “will go down as one of the finest secretary of state we’ve had.” Complimentary and grateful, the president also allowed himself a moment of reflection. “I’m gonna miss her,” he said. “Wish she was sticking around.”
Appointment Took Hillary by Surprise
When Kroft brought up reports that Hillary at first had no interest in accepting the position of secretary of state, Clinton admitted she was “so surprised” by Obama’s offer and initially felt “hesitancy.” But after mulling it over, she understood where the president was coming from and couldn’t say no. “If the roles had been reversed,” Clinton said, “I would’ve desperately wanted him to be in my cabinet.” She then said she’d made a “great decision.”
Are Obama and Hillary Besties?
They might not be getting manicures together, but Obama described Clinton as a “strong friend.” Hillary didn’t go quite that far, but she did say they were “warm” and “close” and shared “a sense of understanding that doesn’t even take words.” And they have a very healthy professional relationship to boot.
The ‘Incorrigible’ Media
Nothing unites politicians like shared distaste for the press. The interview would’ve been incomplete without Kroft alluding to the 2016 election, but neither Obama nor Clinton would entertain the thought. “I was literally inaugurated four days ago, and you’re talking about elections four years from now,” said a beaming Obama, while Clinton laughed alongside. And as still-active secretary of state, Clinton told Kroft, she was “out of politics” and “forbidden from even hearing these questions.”
Foreign Policy Must Be ‘Careful’ and ‘Thoughtful’
In response to Kroft questioning whether the administration is guilty of “an abdication of the United States on the world stage,” Clinton stressed that the modern world is both “dangerous” and “incredibly complicated,” and that “you can’t rush in” to foreign entanglements. Still, she affirmed the government’s commitment to “American values,” “freedom,” and “the aspirations of all people to have a better life.” Obama then commended Clinton for taking advantage of “opportunities where our intervention, our engagement, can really make a difference.”