The Debut

By Arnab Datta

Dec 1, 2008 11:16am

ABC News’ Rick Klein Reports: The moment that we couldn’t possibly have imagined way back when (when being 3 am, naturally) has happened, with Secretary-of-State-to-be Hillary Rodham Clinton just over President-elect Barack Obama’s left shoulder, while Vice-president-elect Joe Biden was off to his right.

Obama called on "all elements of American power" to come together — and what better symbol for that than putting this particular former rival in this post?

For everyone who remembers the snows of Iowa, the tears of New Hampshire, the Maureen Dowd columns, the Punjab memo, the sniper fire, the fights over superdelegates and convention roll calls and, yes, the 3 am ad — an astounding moment.

This statement went out before the press conference ended, from former President Bill Clinton:

"As an American, I am thankful that President-elect Barack Obama has asked Hillary to be Secretary of State and that she has accepted. As her husband, I am deeply proud.

"She is the right person for the job of helping to restore America’s image abroad, end the war in Iraq, advance peace and increase our security, by building a future for our children with more partners and fewer adversaries, one of shared responsibilities and opportunities.

"She has already earned the respect of foreign leaders and diplomats through her work to promote human rights and the empowerment of women through access to education, healthcare and economic opportunity. And Americans know, from her leadership in the Senate on national security, that she will always put the security, values and the interests of our people first.

"In her service to the people of New York and our nation, Hillary has demonstrated the knowledge, passion, resilience, and capacity to learn that our country needs at this critical time. She loves being a Senator from New York, but as she has in all the thirty-seven years I’ve known her, she answered the call to serve. I commend President-Elect Obama for asking her to be a part of a great national security team. America will be well-served."

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