Transcript: Hillary Clinton's Final Television Interview as Secretary of State


Clinton: Right, but I'm not making any commitments or obligations because I do take them seriously and I did an interview with President Obama the other night and obviously I know how important this is to the press, to journalists like yourself, but it's not what I'm thinking about. It's not anything that I'm planning or giving the okay to others to plan. I have so many things I'm interested in doing and that's what I am focused on right now.

McFadden: It is good to see you looking so healthy.

Clinton: Thank you.

McFadden: It really was a serious health scare?

Clinton: Well, it was a big surprise to me because I've been so healthy my entire life. I've been in the hospital once when I had my daughter, and, oh, when I broke my elbow, but other than that, I've been very fortunate. So when I got sick and fainted and hit my head I was so surprised and I thought I would just get up and go to work and thankfully I had very good medical care and doctors who said, 'no we had better do an MRI,' we'd better do this, we'd better do that. I feel very lucky, Cynthia, because I know now how a split second of being beset by a virus and dehydrated what it can do to you. I'm getting fully recovered and I will be getting back to full speed but I am grateful for the excellent care that I got.

McFadden: So as one woman who wears glasses to another. I'll tell you what happens if I take mine off, I can't see my questions.

Clinton: Right.

McFadden: If you take yours off right now--

Clinton: Well that would have been true even before I had a concussion, if I take mine off, I've been near-sighted since I was 9, but I've worn contacts for so many years except for at night when I take my glasses off, but I'll be fine.

McFadden: But this whole seeing double thing, is that true?

Clinton: Well I have some lingering effects from the concussions but they will dissipate and I will be back to my old myopic self.

McFadden: Senator [John] Kerry has just been confirmed [as the new Secretary of State].

Clinton: Yes, I'm thrilled by that.

McFadden: Does that feel, do you start to feel--

Clinton: I do, I do, because obviously we have been working with him and his team for him to come into the State department. My last day will be Friday afternoon after I finish all of my obligations. I think that he will pick right up where I have ended and continue to represent us extremely well around the world.

McFadden: What do you wish you'd known four years ago that you could pass on to him?

Clinton: I've tried to pass on everything I've learned. I think there are a couple of big takeaways. One, I don't see how you do this job without travelling a lot. Condi Rice travelled a million miles and I travelled nearly that and went to more countries than anybody has gone to and why do we do that? Because we're gluttons for punishment? No, because the United States has to show up.

Particularly now when, ironically, people can turn on the news and get online or follow us through some other social media, but nothing substitutes for demonstrating that the United States of America cares enough to be there, to be at that meeting, to represent our values, to go to that event. I did not realize how critically important it was going to be and the fact that there's hardly any part of the world now that can be relegated to second tier, because something can happen anywhere and we'll know about it instantaneously and it can have, as we've seen in Mali, consequences for us and our allies security.

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