Clinton insists ties with Obama are strong



WASHINGTON - Hillary Clinton sought once again Sunday to dispel speculation she has a rocky relationship with President Barack Obama, her adversary in last year's White House race who picked her as secretary of state.
Media speculation has persisted about tensions between the two former rivals, with suggestions she has been a disgruntled chief diplomat in her boss's shadow, but Clinton insisted they have "a great relationship."



Clinton insists ties with Obama are strong
"We have an incredibly candid and open exchange," Clinton said on the NBC network's "Meet the Press."
"I see him usually several times a week, at least once one-on-one. And I'm ready to offer my advice."
Clinton stressed she understood "that the election is over" and she has no designs on the White House.
"That's not anything I'm at all thinking about," she said, referring to any future presidential bid. "I've got a very demanding and exciting job right now, and... I doubt very much that anything like that will ever -- ever be part of my life."
She has made sharp comments against the administration, criticizing the failure to fill open posts at the US Agency for International Development.
Further fueling the speculation, Clinton was forced to miss recent major foreign policy events, including Obama's trip to the G8 summit and to Russia, after she fractured her elbow.
But her high-profile trip to Asia, where she logged a key visit to India, attended an Asia security meeting, and traded jibes with North Korea placed her squarely back in the limelight -- but, she insisted, as Obama's top diplomat.
"At the end of the day, it is the president who has to set and articulate policy.
"I'm privileged to be in a position where I am the chief adviser, I'm the chief diplomat, I'm the chief executor of the policy that the president pursues, but I know very well that a team that works together is going to do a better job for America."
To push home the point that her ties with Obama were on an even keel, Clinton revealed she had a portrait in her State Department office of William Henry Seward, who served as president Abraham Lincoln's wartime secretary of state.
Seward had been seen by many as the top contender for their party's nomination in 1860, but joined Lincoln's cabinet after the defeat, in a scenario that helped create the team-of-rivals concept in American politics.
And while she had hit away at Obama's inexperience and lack of toughness on the campaign trail, she said Sunday she was impressed with how he has handled himself since the inauguration.
"I'm here to say, as somebody who's spent an enormous amount of time and effort running against him, I think his performance in office has been incredible," Clinton said.
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Sunday, July 26th 2009
AFP
           


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