Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said President Barack Obama has “absolutely” answered questions she posed during the Democratic campaign about his lack of experience and ability to handle an international crisis.
“Absolutely,” Clinton told me in an exclusive “This Week” Sunday show interview– her first as secretary of state.
“And, you know, the president in his public actions and demeanor, and certainly in private with me and with the national security team, has been strong, thoughtful, decisive, I think he is doing a terrific job,” she said, “And it’s an honor to serve with him.”
Obama told Richard Wolffe that he had decided to offer State to Clinton during their primary battle.
That came as a surprise to her.
“I never had any — any dream, let alone inkling that I would end up in President Obama’s cabinet,” she told me.
“I was looking forward to going back to the Senate and, frankly, going back to my life and representing New York, which I love. And I had no idea that he had a different plan in mind.”
Clinton also deflected Obama’s first pass.
“When he called and asked me to come see him, and we had our first conversation I said, ‘you know, I really don’t think I’m the person to do this, I want to go back to my life. I really feel like I owe it to the people of New York,’” Clinton said.
“And I gave him a bunch of other names of people who I thought would be great secretaries of state. But he was quite persistent and very persuasive. And, you know, ultimately it came down to my feeling that, number one, when your president asks you to do something for your country, you really need a good reason not to do it.”
“Number two, if I had won and I had asked him to please help me serve our country, I would have hoped he would say yes,” Clinton said, “And finally, I looked around our world and I thought, you know, we are in just so many deep holes that everybody had better grab a shovel and start digging out.”