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Adevarul, Romania

Hillary Clinton Steps Down
as Secretary of State, but
Will She Run in 2016?

Translated By Andreea Muntean

2 February 2013

Edited by Gillian Palmer

Romania - Adevarul - Original Article (Romanian)

On Friday, “rock star” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave up power, knowing she helped restore the American blazon and that she reshaped U.S. politics outside its borders, all considered to be strong advantages in the 2016 race for the White House, which this political beast will avoid talking about.

The leader of American diplomacy stepped down at the height of her popularity, after four years of having loyally defended Obama’s and his consultants’ well-orchestrated diplomacy across the world.

Even though experts and diplomats acknowledge her professionalism, her energy and her exceptional charisma for having pushed forward the values and interests of America, they find it difficult to attribute any major successes to her – or major failures, for that matter.

As part of her appreciation, this brilliant lawyer, former first lady, senator and candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination received a concert of praise in the last week — a crowd bath at the State Department, receptions, conferences, meetings with the press and even an interview with Obama, who has reportedly referred to her as “the best ever secretary of state.”

Afterward, Clinton admitted that on her last day, her heart “will be very full,” leaving an administration of 70,000 people running the largest diplomatic network on the planet, with 275 posts. She said she was “very proud” of having been the voice of “the indispensable nation,” of an America that “today is stronger at home and more respected in the world,” thanks to a different way of doing diplomacy.

She recalled the legacy of President George W. Bush that she received when Obama offered her the position at the head of the State Department in January 2009: “two wars, an economy in freefall, traditional alliances fraying, our diplomatic standing damaged” and “people questioning Americans' commitment to core values.”

Four years later, she claims to have “revitalized American diplomacy and strengthened its alliances” and that she contributed to the withdrawals from Iraq and soon from Afghanistan, to the elimination of bin Laden and the intervention in Libya, that she supported the Arab Spring and the isolation of North Korea and Iran and that she contributed to rebalancing connections with Asia and strengthening those with Europe, Latin America and Africa.

“In 2009, everything needed to be rebuilt. She has succeeded in restoring America's image in the world. She has marked the return of multilateralism," a Western diplomat said in an interview.

Former Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk also admires Clinton’s strength; she rehabilitated the United States’ external relations.With a record of over 112 countries visited, cheered for in Kosovo, Cambodia, India and Malawi, she is “a rock star,” suggests Indyk, because she is always seeking to be a part of everything, bringing a major contribution to a president who doesn't have the time or the inclination to do things like she does.

Even though she is a relentless advocate for the rights of women and gays and has been supporting development, health and freedom of the Internet, Clinton steps down without being linked to a major diplomatic record.

According to Professor Aaron David Miller, from the Wilson Center, this is because Obama left her little room to maneuver and because since Richard Nixon, no president has had this level of control over foreign policy.

However, Hillary Clinton is still more popular that her president, having a 69 percent approval rating, which persuades Washington even more that she will run in the presidential election in 2016.

Over the course of this week, she didn't manage to avoid all the questions concerning her political future. She said all she can think about right now is “catching up on about 20 years of sleep deprivation.”

Miller thinks that if she decides to run, she will be unbeatable. Still, in his view, there are two constraints: first, the political outcome of the Benghazi case and secondly, her health. At the age of 65, Clinton admitted to being “exhausted” and that she spent New Year’s in the hospital because of a blood clot in the head, as a result of a stroke.



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