Hillary Clinton Talks About Her Future, Politics and Hair


Clinton's journey from first lady to senator to presidential candidate has taken her across the country and across the globe. But it's in the role as secretary of state that Clinton has racked up the most frequent flier miles, in fact more than any other Secretary of State in U.S. history. Clinton has traveled to 112 countries, and has spent the equivalent of a year of her life on a plane. She will likely hit the million mile mark before stepping down. And though staff and press half her age often have trouble keeping up with her, that type of schedule does take a toll, Clinton admits.

"Being on planes, as you know, as much as I am, takes something out of anybody, doesn't matter how old you are, or how often you've done it," she said. Clinton revealed she replenishes her energy by drinking a lot of water, trying to swim and do yoga when time permits and regulate her sleep. Her abnormal schedule is also behind one of the most talked about subjects throughout her political career – her hair.

It's longer than it has been previously, and that, says Clinton, is by design. "I do not travel with any hairdresser, or anybody, to help me do that, and I'm not very competent myself. I've been admitting that for years, which should be obvious to everyone," Clinton joked. "And so it became simpler to just grow it so that I can pull it back, and I can stick rollers in," said Clinton calling the conversation "girl talk" between her and Walters.

Rather than being annoyed by all the talk about her hair and appearance Clinton said she finds it amusing.

"It's fascinating to me how people are so curious about it. Because after a while, it just got to be really burdensome to try to find a hairdresser in some city, somewhere, oftentimes not being able to speak English, that at least I could communicate with," she told Walters. "So, I said enough, we're just going to try to go with as simple as possible."

But regardless of whatever inconveniences that come with being America's top diplomat, Clinton said she's relished the job.

"I've been very fortunate, because I had the chance to travel as much, and work as hard here at home on behalf of my country, which is a great honor, and the president, and everything we care about," she said.

Her darkest moment as Secretary of State happened this year when terrorists in Libya attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11th, killing four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Clinton calls the attack the "worst time" in her tenure.

"It's something that is certainly terrible," she said. "We take risks in the work we do. The people who do this work, are often in very threatening environments, whether it's our military or our civilian people around the world, I have just the most extraordinary admiration for them."

Clinton, who knew Stevens personally, has repeatedly said that no-one wants to find out what happened in Benghazi more than she does. The results from an internal State Department investigation are expected to be released soon.

Clinton said she is leaving the office feeling immensely proud of what has been accomplished over the last four years.

"When I became secretary, when the president took office, we were in the midst of a terrible economic downturn, but we also were experiencing some very negative attitudes toward our country. People were questioning whether we had the values and principles that had always exemplified America, whether we had the staying power, the economic power to remain the indisputable, indispensable leader that the world needs from us," said Clinton. "I don't think there's any doubt now, and we have gone through enormous difficult changes, but I think everyone knows that the United States and our leadership is to be counted on."

Tune in for "Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2012" on December 12 at 9:30 P.M. EST on ABC.

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