Transcript: Interview With Hillary Clinton

Photo: Clinton Nears Decision on U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan: Americas Top Diplomat Tells Nightline: Not Every Taliban Is al Qaeda

The following is an edited transcript of ABC News' Cynthia McFadden's interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Moscow, Oct. 14, 2009

CYNTHIA McFADDEN: Well, Secretary Clinton, thank you so much for sitting down and talking to us.

HILLARY CLINTON: I'm happy to.

CM: So is the job what you thought it was going to be?

Clinton: You know, I wasn't sure that I had any preconceptions because I never thought I would do the (laughs) job, so I … I had never thought about it. It's an incredibly demanding job, but it's also really rewarding. You get to go and try to deal with very difficult problems that represent our country, it's, uh … um, a great, you know, a great honor. And so, it's … it's unlike anything I've ever done, but I'm finding it to be endlessly interesting and challenging.


CM: So in these nine months has there been one particular, painful, heart-wrenching moment that you look back at and say, oh that … that was a real tough one?

Clinton: Oh, yeah. Going to Goma. You know, going to Eastern Congo and meeting with women who had been so horribly abused and attacked and – not just their body but their souls. It was just heart-wrenching. But there's also a lot of real positive energy that comes from working with my colleagues and knowing that we're trying to make a difference.

CM: What … what issues dominate your schedule?

Clinton: Oh, the … the headline issues. Um, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iran, the Middle East, obviously our relationships with China and Russia, where we are speaking with you today. Um, you know, it's hard to answer that question, Cynthia, because every day is filled with so many, uh … subjects of either immediate or long term interest. I try to think about what we have to do right now, the crisis. Uh, what we have to do that are immediately demanding but not yet in the headlines. And then the long term trends, like climate change and the rest. They're going to have a big impact on our world.

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CM: You're also responsible for food policy I know.

Clinton: That's right. You know, people are starving, um … food riots are causing political instability as we've seen in the last, uh … several years. So we're going to get back to trying to help people feed themselves, which I think is a lot better than, you know, just coming in, as we should, with humanitarian aid, let's try to help, you know, particularly, you know, the poor farmers of the world, 70 percent of whom are women, uh … make a better living for themselves and their children.

CM: You said earlier this week that you were going to retire at some point.

Clinton: (Laughs).

CM: That you were not going to run for President.

Clinton: I did say that.

CM: It's making enormous waves throughout the country back home.

Clinton: You think so? Oh, well, I mean, really, I feel like I, uh … I've had the most amazing life in my public service and for the last, um … seventeen years, after since my husband started running for President, I have been, you know, in the spotlight, working hard, and this job is, uh … incredibly, uh … all encompassing. So I think looking forward to maybe taking some time off. You don't think that's a good idea? (Laughs).

CM: It's just a little bit soon, somehow, having trying to keep up with you for the last few days. You don't seem … you don't seem tired. You don't seem daunted. You don't seem as if you were anywhere close to stopping.

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