Jansing and Co | February 01, 2013
>>> secretary of state hillary clinton will say goodbye to state department employees in a public farewell this afternoon. after logging nearly 1 million miles and visiting 112 countries in the past four years, this is, of course, intense speculation about what her future holds. senator john kerry meantime will be officially sworn in as the new secretary of state by supreme court justice elena takingen. joining me now, friends of hillary , here in the studio, msnbc political analyst and columnist for the hill, karen finney. good morning.
>> good morning.
>> and even before stepping down, there is a new hillary clinton super pac that launched for 2016 . and there's a headline from today's " washington post " that asks, what is clinton 's legacy at stake and her future? so after a rest which she said she wants, huge poll numbers, donors waiting to get on boardo you think the chances are hillary clinton will seriously consider running for president again?
>> i don't think we have any idea of that question until hillary does what she has said she will do. and hillary , in my experience, does what she says she'll do. first she is going to take a rest. you gave the numbers. she has really worked so hard for the last four years. this is literally 24 hours a day , 7 days a week job. and she is going to take some time. put her feet up, take a nap. but second, i think this is also important, she wants to write the book. you know, we can all learn so much about the world we live in. when she talks about her experiences in the last four years, about how we can restore -- we have restored american leadership, we have to continue, we have to stay connected, as hillary would say to us, we cannot just withdraw. if we leave a vacuum, there's some very bad guys waiting to fill it. so i hope we will take some time to look at what she has achieved, to look at the legacy, to look at this whole concept of 21st century state craft and how we use all of the tools of american life . we can all learn from it.
>> politico calls secretary clinton the most admired woman for more than a decade and they said, quote, few modern american politicians have enjoyed quite as dramatic a political rebirth as clinton has experienced in her four years at the state department . which has all but erased the taint of a humbling primary loss to barack obama , despite a tenure at state, more workman workmanlike than transcript sen denied. how do you describe her decision on whether or not to run?
>> i agree with ann . i worked for secretary clinton back in the white house days. for her, it's been since 1992 , this is the first time she is getting a rest. i feel like for the first time in the last four years, people have really gotten to see and i think they got a glimpse when she was senator how she works. this is a woman who works very hard, knows her information. but also understands, particularly when it comes to diplomacy, the importance not just of working with governments, but the people. and if you remember, one of the things i think she has done very well, in every trip, she has spent some time or some kind of event out talking to the people. whether it's a town hall with girls or, you know, whatever it is. and so i think she has brought that sort of unique take to the -- to her tenure at the state department . i agree with ann . i think she has got to take a rest and think about what she wants to do in the future. i feel pretty confident that whatever it is, it's going to include some kind of public service , because the hillary clinton i've known for over 20 years is somebody who is very dedicated to public service , particularly women and girls. and i do also want to make sure she gets credit for the fact -- and she put the issues of women and girls on the global stage in a way i don't think we had really been thinking about before.
>> what are some of the key moments, ann , do you think, in her tenure as secretary of state?
>> well, first, as hillary said directly, we've got to restore american leadership and our presence in the world. and so the time she spent traveling, meeting with other leaders and meeting, as karen just pointed out with the young people , with civic society in those countries, like i say, after eight years of the bush/cheney administration, it was important for people to see that america was back in a positive way. second, you had a number of in-country specific problems. everything from assembling as hillary did, putting together the largest coalition of really tough sanctions against iran, which continues to be a danger, but we are better prepared for it now. to the wonderful moment of lifting sanctions on burma. so she meets with an sue chi. the third, 21st century state craft . all the tools we can use. look how she brought in technology. look at the town hall she did just this week. using satellite.
>> because as secretary of state she is not supposed to be political, we haven't heard her in that context. but i think if you watched the questioning at the hearing on benghazi , you saw someone with very keen political instinct. she answered questions from specific senators in specific ways, giving deference to some, pushing back on others. would she be a very different candidate if she decides to run again?
>> o absolutely. because every campaign changes you. she was a different candidate the second time she ran for senate from the first time she ran for senate, from the first time she ran for president. so absolutely she would. one thing i want to say about benghazi , and i agree with you. she was, you know, i think excellent at the hearings. and you saw the -- you know, the hillary clinton sort of on fire there. but as tragic as what happened in benghazi was, i thought one of the most important things to come out of that, and it may be something important that comes out of it for her legacy, and that is how we move forward and how we think about security at our embassies and in our various installations and what's the nature of that relationship between the defense department and the state department . because we're confronting very different crises around the world that require a very different mind-set than we have had in the past, you know, 50 years or so.
>> karen finney, ann lewis , thank you so much.
>> thank you.