Hillary Clinton's remarks on her Secretary of State appointment

1 December 2008

Mr. President-Elect, thank you for this honor. If confirmed, I will give this assignment, your administration and our country my all.

I also want to thank my fellow New Yorkers, who have for eight years given me the joy of a job I love, with the opportunity to work on issues I care about deeply, in a state that I cherish. And you've also helped prepare me well for this new role. After all, New Yorkers aren't afraid to speak their minds, and do so in every language.

Leaving the Senate is very difficult for me, but during the last few weeks, I thought often of our troops, serving bravely under difficult circumstances in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. I thought of those other Americans in our Foreign and Civil Services, working hard to promote and protect our interests around the world. And I thought of the daunting tasks ahead for our country: an economy that is reeling, a climate that is warming, and, as we saw with the horrible events in Mumbai, threats that are relentless.

The fate of our nation and the future of our children will be forged in the crucible of these global challenges. America cannot solve these crises without the world, and the world cannot solve them without America. By electing Barack Obama our next president, the American people have demanded not just a new direction at home but a new effort to renew America's standing in the world as a force for positive change.

We know our security, our values, and our interests cannot be protected and advanced by force alone, nor, indeed, by Americans alone. We must pursue vigorous diplomacy using all the tools we can muster to build a future with more partners and fewer adversaries, more opportunities and fewer dangers, for all who seek freedom, peace and prosperity.

America is a place founded on the idea that everyone should have the right to live up to his or her God-given potential, and it is that same ideal that must guide America's purpose in the world today. And while we are determined to defend our freedoms and liberties at all costs, we also reach out to the world again, seeking common cause and higher ground.

And so I believe the best way to continue serving my country is to join President-elect Obama, Vice President-elect Biden, the leaders here and the dedicated public servants of the State Department on behalf of our nation at this defining moment.

President Kennedy once said that engaging the world to meet the threats we face was the greatest adventure of our century. Well, Mr. President-elect, I am proud to join you on what will be a difficult and exciting adventure in this new century. And may God bless you and all who serve with you and our great country.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).