NewsNation | February 01, 2013
>> state department workers you see there. being joined by ambassador nicholas burns , former u.s. undersecretary of state and andrea mitchell host of " andrea mitchell reports" and correspondent. andrea 's joining us by phone. andrea , you conducted that interview with secretary clinton and heard he say to advocate for the agency from the outside. what do you believe her life will be like in the immediate future? what does hillary clinton do? you can hear the applause there behind. i'm not sure we're able to talk with andrea . i'll bring in ambassador burns. ambassador burns, let me ask you from a different perspective the question that i'd posed to andrea . you see the impact that hillary clinton has had on the state department workers but she mentioned even today you have an attack on a u.s. embassy in turkey. putting it all in perspective, what she sees as the accomplishments of the state department and the struggles still ahead. what kind of an impact did she have in the time there?
>> first of all, she was speaking from the state department in washington. she is beloved and the u.s. foreign service . she has the loyalty of that building. she has stood up for the diplomats time and time again and made a case in the farewell speech that diplomacy should be front and center so i think she leaves that legacy. in addition, she's done two things that were very different for a secretary of state. she has put development in to the picture as a major priority. what we do to assist poorer countries of the world and stood up for women. some people have diminished that but for the united states secretary of state to say that promoting the role of women worldwide to be leaders globally, that's a revolutionary thing and i think that's going to have a lasting impact and finally i would say she has redefined american power in asia with the opening to burma, myanmar and stood up in the difficult conversations with the chinese, stood up in support of the peaceful resolutions in the south china sea and secretary clinton is a memorable, outstanding secretary of state and many people's minds. i think she deserves enormous credit for what she's done.
>> andrea , are you there?
>> are you there? this is katherine, her producer.
>> how are you?
>> great, katherine. we're waiting to get andrea on the phone. we're on air. let me go back to the ambassador here. we can, of course, talk about the accomplishments, ambassador burns, of hillary clinton in this respect. but you and i both know that many people are looking at this image and they're visualizing a couple of years from now and these are not state department workers clamoring for a hand shake. they're people who are supporting her run for presidency. what do you believe at least is looking that far ahead? you are an insider. you know a lot about the clinton family. both the former president and the secretary of state.
>> oh, i think it's impossible to answer that question. only secretary clinton knows, obviously, what she intends to do in the future. observing both president clinton and secretary clinton , she is a unique person in our society. having been first lady, having been a senator of one of the most important states, a presidential candidate and now a really unique secretary of state. there's no one like her in hour society. i think she can do whatever she wants to do in the future. i hope for one she'll stay in public life because i think she's such a great leader.
>> some of the last images of hillary clinton , the testimony at the hearing regarding benghazi and her being applauded by many the way she handled the tough questions, her directness that was equal to the directness of some of the senators including rand paul saying he would have fired her and intriguing i think in her exit, so-called exit interviews. many people asked about mistakes in the past, some presidents others have not. she instantly went to benghazi as a mistake. as something that went wrong under her leadership of the state department . will that linger if you will on her legacy as there are still questions that have not been answered?
>> well, it will certainly be part of her record and it has to be. she has stood up and taken full responsibility many times including in those very dramatic hearings on capitol hill of last week. obviously, that was a black day for the foreign service to lose four fine public servants . and so, the state department needs to internalize the lessons of benghazi and move forward but not think that defining the entire record, four years, a million miles traveled. improvement of the america's reputation in the world. she and president obama have accomplished that. and i think the reinforcement of the american strategic position in east asia , i think this is a very fine record for her to be proud of for many years to come.
>> ambassador nick burns , thank you so much for your time. greatly appreciate you joining us to see that historic moment and watch hillary clinton 's last day at the state department .
>> thank you.
>> obviously so many thousands of workers who love her dearly.