Transcript: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on 'This Week'

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, and welcome to "This Week."


STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): In her first Sunday interview, the secretary of state.

(on-screen): So is there any room for compromise?

Blunt talk...

CLINTON: There would be retaliation.

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): ... that 3 a.m. call.

(on-screen): Has the president answered it for you?

(voice-over): ... and how Obama convinced her to join his team.

CLINTON: I thought it was absurd.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hillary Clinton, her first Sunday interview as secretary, only on "This Week."


OBAMA: There's so much fear, so much mistrust that has built up over the years. But if we choose to be bound by the past, we will never move forward.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The Cairo speech. How was it heard? Will words be followed by deeds? That and the rest of the week's politics on our roundtable with George Will, Claire Shipman, Matthew Dowd, and Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

And, as always, the Sunday funnies.

(UNKNOWN): It was a very busy day for President Obama, because he's over in the Middle East. Now, don't worry: Joe Biden's running the country.



ANNOUNCER: From the heart of the nation's capital, "This Week" with ABC News chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos, live from the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hello again. We begin with our exclusive headliner, Hillary Clinton.


CLINTON: I, Hillary Rodham Clinton...

STEPHANOPOULOS: One year ago today, her fierce campaign against Barack Obama had a classy finish.

CLINTON: Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it.


STEPHANOPOULOS: She hasn't been seen on Sunday morning since.

CLINTON: Hello, everybody.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So there was a lot to catch up on when I sat down with Clinton after the president's speech in Cairo.

OBAMA: I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Iran, North Korea, Israel. And after all those battles with Obama, did she ever imagine herself in Egypt as his secretary of state?

CLINTON: Never. Never crossed my mind. And what an extraordinary honor to be here, especially for this speech today.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The president has a very high-powered team: Vice President Biden, General Jones, Secretary Gates. You've got envoys for Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea. How do you fit in?


CLINTON: Well, I...

STEPHANOPOULOS: What is your role, exactly?

CLINTON: Well, my role is as the chief diplomat for the United States of America. And, you know, when I agreed to do this job, I made it very clear to the president that I would be able to run the State Department and USAID and that we would have to forge a team that I think we've done very well, and that I wanted special envoys, because we were inheriting so many hotspot problems that I knew you could never have one person possibly address all of that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It also gives you the ability to get out of the crisis management and carve out areas where you're really going to take initiative. What are those?

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