Clinton’s New Face: Irish Peace Ambassador?

Nov 26, 2007 6:45pm

ABC News’ Kate Snow and Susan Kriskey Report: Seated at Jim and Judi Lanza’s cozy kitchen table this afternoon, Senator Hillary Clinton once again claimed she is uniquely qualified to be the next President of the United States. But this time she bolstered her argument with some new specifics.

At a made-for-cameras conversation with the Lanzas and three other New Hampshire voters, Clinton was asked by Mrs. Lanza about diplomacy. She also mentioned criticism she hears from friends and neighbors that Clinton has never actually run anything.

Indeed in an interview with Nightline’s Terry Moran, Senator Barack Obama said Clinton’s resume is "not the strongest resume of the people on stage."

"I feel very well equipped for the job because I had the very unique experience of seeing it over eight years," Clinton said. "Having now been in the Senate, I understand better what we really have to do to work across party lines," she added.

Clinton again said she was "the face" of American policies abroad during her husband’s two terms as President.

"Well, you know, what I did during those eight years– in partnership with obviously my husband and people like Madeline Albright– was to try to be the face of American policy in a lot of different places," she said.

She cited 82 countries she visited as First Lady. She quoted her line from a famous speech in China, in which Clinton equated women’s rights with human rights.

Then she added a new line– that she had a role in the Irish peace process. "I was deeply involved in the Irish peace process," Clinton said. "And I know it’s frustrating. It took years before the Catholics and the Protestants before Sinn Fein and you know, the DUP would even talk to each other," she added referring to the once-warring parties.

"I mean George Mitchell sat at a table sometimes for hours and nobody would say a word or if they would they would say: ‘would you tell him this?’ Or ‘here’s what I think’. And that went on for years. But eventually there were breakthroughs. You could build enough trust and connection."

Clinton said "diplomacy is "the lifeblood" of a good foreign policy. "This administration has almost seemed allergic to diplomacy," she said.

"I am hoping and praying that something positive comes out of the Annapolis meeting," Clinton said. "I can certainly tell you that I intend to be very very vigorous diplomatically."

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