Hillary Clinton Senate Confirmation Hearing

January 13, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The hearing brought Hillary Clinton to familiar territory today as she took her case to a panel of her former colleagues. Hillary Clinton didn't have to ask directions as she made her way to her Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday morning.

"America cannot solve the most pressing problems on our own, and the world cannot solve them without America," said Hillary Clinton (D) New York.

Only, Tuesday, the junior senator from New York was the one answering the questions as President-Elect Obama's Secretary of State Designee.

"Foreign policy must be based on a marriage of principles and pragmatism, not rigid ideology. On facts and evidence, not emotion or prejudice."

Testifying before her colleagues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Clinton pledged to renew U.S. leadership with other nations through a mix of diplomacy and defense.

"I believe American leadership has been wanting, but is still wanted. We must use what has been called 'smart power,' the full range of tools at our disposal," said Clinton.

The committee's ranking Republican supports Clinton's nomination, but to avoid conflict of interest Senator Richard Lugar wants Bill Clinton to reject new foreign contributions for his foundation while his wife is serving as America's chief diplomat.

"I recommend this straightforward approach as the course most likely to avoid pitfalls that could disrupt United States foreign policy or inhibit Senator Clinton's own activities as Secretary of state," said Senator Richard Lugar (R) Indiana.

The nominee came prepared to answer those questions, and many more.

"It's all about the homework. She has done it. She's talked to every member of the committee. She has answered hundreds of questions from the committee. She's had dozens of hours of preparation," said ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

As a final preparation for Tuesday's hearing, Clinton had dinner last night at the State Department with the current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley.

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