With Gratitude and Best Wishes

February 1, 2013
Secretary Clinton Bids Farewell to State Department Employees

Thank you.

That's what I want to say one last time before I finish my tenure as Secretary. Thank you for four wonderful years.

When President Obama asked me to serve as Secretary of State, I was determined to restore America's leadership and to elevate diplomacy and development as core pillars of American power, because I was convinced that they are critical for solving problems and seizing opportunities worldwide.

I will walk out the door today even more convinced of that -- because of you, the men and women of the U.S. Foreign and Civil Service. Because of the work we have done together and its importance to our nation and world.

Comments

Comments

Maureen
|
Massachusetts, USA
February 1, 2013

Maureen in Massachusetts writes:

@ Secretary Rodham Clinton

I will miss your coined phrases of diplomacy.

See you at your Coffeeterview book signing?

My admiration for all that you have accomplished is immeasurable.

Molly
|
Maryland, USA
February 2, 2013

Molly in Maryland writes:

Thank YOU! I will miss watching your speeches and following your travels. Hope you get some rest but don't stay out of the public eye for too long!

Paul
|
Indiana, USA
February 2, 2013

Paul in Indiana writes:

Thank you Sec. Clinton for the outstanding job you have done as Sec of State! Your work and dedication to our country will be remembered for years to come! May God Bless you!

effect74
February 2, 2013

Hillary Clinton : the beauty of politics

John Kerry : another lobbyist nepotistic rotten tomato

no future lost the chance to move forward 1000 year in day

margaret d.
|
Australia
February 2, 2013

Margaret D. in Australia writes:

Dear Hilary,

I have followed your life from First Lady to Senator and then Secretary of State.

You are a symbol of Woman around the World. An inspiration for all young girls.

Best wishes for the future.

Thank you for all you have done.

Kind regards,
Margaret D.
Cheltenham 3192
AUSTRALIA

Chris H.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
February 2, 2013

Chris H. in Washington, D.C. writes:

Thank you for 4 years of intense work, for being such an incredible role model for women, and for demonstrating that common sense and honesty surpass politics. Your contributions will not be forgotten!

Dorothy B.
|
Arkansas, USA
February 3, 2013

Dorothy B. in Arkansas writes:

Dear Hillary:

I want to thank you for the great work you have done for not only Arkansas but for the United States of America. My husband, Rev. John Blundell, former Director, Camp Aldersgate, Little Rock, AR. and I were acquainted with you through our contacts with you and Governor Bill Clinton.

I am now 89 years old, John died nine years ago, but if you run for President in 2016 and I am alive, you have my vote!

One more word. I just want to tell you how attractive you are with glasses on your face. Please consider wearing some type of glasses after the effects of your brain concussion no longer demand you wear glasses.

Best Wishes for the future.

Dorothy B.

saman
February 3, 2013

Saman B. writes:

We wish her all the best whatever she want to do in future.

Kim S.
|
Ecuador
February 3, 2013

Kim S. in Ecuador writes:

Thank you for your outstanding service to the United States for the last four years. I always felt safer you were at the helm.

Now, take a nice, well-deserved break and then run for President. You already have my vote!

Catherine F.
|
New York, USA
February 3, 2013

Catherine F. in New York writes:

I'm sorry to see Hillary Clinton go. It was great fun opening my email every day and playing the game "Where in the World is Hillary Today?" looking at the dispatches from state.gov about her many travels.

Among her many fine moments was the town hall, or "Townterview" in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, where she took -- and answered -- hard questions on human rights and religion in a society where the Internet is often blocked and these debates are not easily held publicly.

She was also notable for giving four-square support -- and that meant resources, people, and her personal attention -- to the Helsinki process -- the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. OSCE has its problems, but Hillary understood the Woody Allen theory of life -- and foreign policy -- that 90 percent of life is just showing up. She also shepherded the US return to the UN Human Rights Council, which it had rejected when it wasn't re-elected.

While I was a critic of Hillary's "New Silk Road" theories about Central Asia, I think she did her best to try to craft an ideology that both encouraged enterprise and promoted human rights although certainly not easy when we were over a barrel with the exigency of the Northern Distribution Network's role in the Afghan war.

Benghazi was not the State Department's finest hour, and I was troubled that Hillary, while rejecting the "hate video" narrative still talked about "men out for a walk one night who decide to attack the US" -- when it was more likely that this resourced terrorist group planned the attack to coincide with the 9/11 anniversary and seized an opportunity tragically provided them.

Hillary also championed women's rights all over in the world, notably in conflict regions such as Sudan and Egypt and of course in Afghanistan. Will we see the same attention to women's issues after she goes? Yes, it is now a staple of US foreign policy, but not with the same heart and soul.

Laura
|
United States
February 3, 2013

Laura in the U.S.A. writes:

Hillary, you have been an inspiration to my life! I've tried to imitate your strenght, faith and perseverance when things get tough, thank you for your life of service and your love to our country. You'll be always in my heart, please don't forget your fans! HILLARY 2016!

DonaldM
|
Virginia, USA
February 3, 2013

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

Fairwell to Mrs. Hillery Clinton and Welcome Mr. Kerry to the State Department Blog. First we all know that Mrs. Clinton did a remarkable job. It's time to move into a new chapter in the world.

I would like to see the State Department be more involved in solving US Citizens missing or held in foreign countries against their will. The US Marine held in Mexico was resolved by a US Senator from Florida. Mr. Robert Levinson still missing. Others continue to vanish or taken hostage overseas and last thing families want to hear is lip service from the State Department. They want resolve. "A US Citizen who served our Government for almost 30 years should take a higher priority to get resolved then worrying about things that are not in US control.

A NY woman in Turkey was on vacation from the news they said they found her body. Whats the State Department role going to be to help the family? These are the issues including the most critical "Diplomatic Secuirty" to protect our Americans abroad, even after the bombing in Turkey. I hope that change can come about to help those Americans still missing from their families. People have faith and elect public servants to get the job done. Sorry to be blunt but Americans should matter even to the State Department.

chance59
February 4, 2013

W.W. writes:

We have just begun.. the future is US..chance is knocking

With gratitude and respect

Mari
|
United States
February 4, 2013

Mari in the U.S.A. writes:

Secretary Clinton, I supported your campaign for President and I had great respect for you. I am sorry to say that I believe that you have dishonored yourself in your conduct as Secretary of State. I realize that you were faced with a Hobson's choice: either accommodate President Obama in his persistent violations of international law, or resign. Initially, I had hoped that you could "reform the administration from within," but that was a vain hope. In retrospect, you should have said, "The United States should not attempt to overthrow regimes we don't like by arming and promoting mercenary terrorists. The United States should not launch its own terror attacks, via drone, against non-belligerent nations. The United States should bring Osama bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi to trial, instead of having them assassinated. The United States should continue to respect the principle of national sovereignty as it is enshrined in the UN Charter. I quit."

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
February 4, 2013

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Dear Hillary Clinton,

It's the first Monday you don't have to wake up early to get to a meeting or hop on a plane to anywhere, and the first Monday in awhile you can say..."It's someone else's problem" now and sleep in as late as you want.

Welcome to the state of unemployment called "Retirement"...of which I had a taste in the "great recession" after being in construction for some 30 years without vacation. Only to find myself with a heck of a lot of time on my hands in "forced retirement" getting by for the first time on unemployment...ever.

Now this is not to say you won't stay busy...but such a state risks total boredom from the pace you've set previously...a million miles later I suppose it'll take a bit of long term reajustment from all the jet lag suffered. And I hear you plan of catching up on some well needed sleep...but hey! that's part of what being on "permanent vacation" is all about! And no, I won't bore you by suggesting you dream big dreams of 2916...(chuckle). I think you've been pestered enough about that for any one Sec. of State! (another record broken).

But beyond the telling of the experience as Secretary in a book someday, and time w/ family and getting back to a semblance of normality in "retired life"...it's the bordeom (some call it freedom from the 9-5), that's prone to be your worst enemy.

As it was with me...looking for non-existant work and then it dawned on me..."I need a project." and I looked around and saw that I needed to invest in my infrasteructure in order to be better prepared to get back work with a set of reliable wheels to get me to work...and thus an 86 Isuzu Trooper became my "unemployment restoration project"...and now that I'm back working...it's no cash for clunker...drives like new!

Got into building bicycles for the homeless...turns them into commuters. Till my backyard was filled with old frames and rims and misc. parts...it was definately "not for profit" LOL!

Anything to keep from being bored out of my mind...

Well Hillary, I have a project in mind for you...a "mission" should you choose to accept it;

It's simple in concept but it'll take a person with your pull and influence to put into motion.

To take the lessons learned in State/USAID develoipment assisatance globally, and apply these concepts to a domestic setting. Starting with recovery efforts from "Sandy", and rampant inner city unemployment generally.

I think it is possible to raise money from the private corperate base of America to do this (in their own interests as well), that would far exeed any gov. funded "stimulus".
But they'll want to see a return on their investment as they have "boards" to answer to, and Hillary...I can truly say I've been one of millions who are "chairmen of the bored" and got over it while "on vacation".

So I hope you'll consider taking on this worthy mission...You were "America's face to the world"...and I can't think of anyone better suited to help put a good face on recovery and inspire it.

Best regards,

EJ

Anna
|
District Of Columbia, USA
February 4, 2013

Anna in Washington, D.C. writes:

Secretary Clinton,

Thank you for your service. You have been an inspiration and role model to so many. I am sad to see you leave the State Department but I know this doesn't mean you are leaving the world stage. I can't wait to see what the next chapter holds for you. Thank you!

Ashim C.
|
India
February 5, 2013

Ashim C. in India writes:

Part 1 of 2

As Mrs Clinton leaves the office of Secretary of State, one's thoughts go out to the unfinshed agenda of US foreign policy, which I think are best encapsulated in the phrase " world peace with inclusive progress". One cannot but admire the hard work she did in last four years in travelling round the world and engaging with governments, leaders and people and starting, most importantly, some plain speaking on issues, which sounded undiplomatic. But that is what is required precisely. One would ,therefore, hope that Mr. John Kerry carries forward the practice of plain speaking and add to that clarity on US foreign policy in terms of their objectives and methods in the context of specific US perception of role of individual countries in different regions, their economic and political problems and suggest win-win solutions to those problems. In this task, US need not neccasrily bring in ideologies of even democracy, liberty and freedom. This is meaningless because first not everything is done for these ideologies and also a polity can be without any of the institutions of conventional democracy and yet not be totalitarian in the eyes of people; similarly a polity may have all the institutions and mechanisms, which promote democracy and defend liberty and freedom and yet be totalitarian.

There are many vexed problems of territorial claims of nations based on blurred facts or plain conjectures of history, which the wisest and most visionary statesmen interpret and misinterpret to suit policies of a given time and circumstances for very patriotic reasons. This has been the general pattern of conducting foreign policy and diplomacy universally. The fallibility of this is evident in history of wars after wars not giving any solution, history of huge investments in preparation of war post second world war and post cold war, which far exceed probably the cumulative expenditure of wars till second world war many times over. This has had much damaging effects on the strongest of states.

As far as US and some of the European countries are concerned, by mow it is widely acknowledged that their people don’t want their countries to engage in military pursuits in foreign countries. But somehow their governments have not been able to give up policy of indirect limited military interventions of various scales at the cost huge unpopularity at home and abroad. Given the imperfections of world, which manifest in unnecessary aggressive behave of certain states in Asia and Africa, need for military action have remained relevant and cannot be wished away. Anamolies of the situation are a) big powers like still have the hardware but no willing human resource b) there are international mechanisms of all kinds which can intervene with great decisiveness and with much legitimacy based on international majority opinion not general consensus that is always elusive under UN system.

In these circumstances, the initiatives for new bilateral and multilateral alliances in Asia & Pacific regions taken by Obama administration are significant. The alliance in this region consists of powerful but strong island states, which benefitted enormously by their close relationship with USA under formal alliance system and out of it. US is lending it the might of navy, which makes sense in as much it means utilisation of an high cost infrastructure, whose maintenance cost would not much different if they are shifted to Asia Pacific region. China calls this encirclement of China. This should not be denied. Plain speaking in diplomacy demands that this allegation is readily accepted because that precisely is the objective and the alliance is fully justified in view of Chinese blow hot blow cold policies of China here and elsewhere.

Ashim C.
|
India
February 5, 2013

Ashim C. in India writes:

Part 2 of 2

US does not say this openly for understandable reasons of trade commerce and economic considerations. This aspect must be thoroughly analysed and debated to assess if China has the ability to bear an effective boycott given it’s dependence on exports of low technology finished products and import of raw materials and energy. As it is China has lot of discontent, which will aggravate and explode if trade with China is scaled down damaging that monolith beyond repairs. To do this US can do two things a) be prepared to take the hit, which it can because indigenous production of goods to substitute Chinese imports into China will unleash forces of American entrepreneurship creating jobs in USA b) however, in case US market and consumers have got used to cheap Chinese imports and are not ready to pay for it’s products manufactured at US cost base, it can substitute Chinese imports by imports from other low cost economies.

In fact later is a better option given the need to impart economic content to alliance system and increasing importance of economic diplomacy. US foreign policy should be able to acknowledge that whole of South Asia represented by SAARC can play an important useful role in mitigating pains that may be caused by disruptions and dislocation of trade and commerce with China till a disintegrated China finds it’s level like Soviet Bloc did after disintegration of Soviet Russia. Incidentally, entire SAARC region is energy and food insecurity but has many demographic advantages and other resourcefulness, which possibly substantially exceeds that of China. US has not reached out to them in full measure yet except in bits and phases like in it’s policies towards.

US alliance in South Asia can be built upon sharing US technology in food production, agro processing, power generation, infrastructure building at costs without cost of royalty on patents to make US offers more price friendly, more affordable and achieve advantages of scale to make US industries more competitive. If analysed it may be found that South Asia pays 20 to 30% royalty fees on goods and technologies from USA. So long as this continues, cold war era mindset shall continue to obstruct US alliance system with SAARC. It is disappointing to find emphasis on protecting IPR in current BIT negotiation. At the least US can reduced the royalty fees drastically to less than 3% and extend the patent protection over a longer period of time to compensate such reduction in royalty fees.

SAARC countries ill afford their huge defence budgets. This can be drastically reduced by US offering to share it’s military hardware under a joint command system under bilateral arrangements with individual countries. Money thus saved could be diverted again for technology import from USA. Assess for example Indian savings from just heads a) oil bill b) defence production and ascertain what impact would be there if those savings could be diverted for updated technology import. If safe nuclear civil power generation technology is shared with India with unnecessary fuss, India can save upto $ 170 billion.

Subject to these things happening, South Asia can also provide human resources for strategic operations, which US has to undertake but is reluctant to act decisively under pressure of domestic public opinion. US can make this condition of new alliance, which, one’s sense is people will understand. Fact is providing manpower for strategic operations against terrorism anywhere can be a route to employment generation, which people will like. All of this requires plain speaking in engagements with not only governments and leaders but with people. It would be interesting to watch how second Obama administration give direction to US foreign policy under leadership of President Obama & Secretary of State Mr. John Kerry.

.

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