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Obama embraces Hillary.



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2CN AM Obama embraces Hillary

02/12/2008

TONY EASTLEY: It's official. The world will be seeing a lot more of Hillary Clinton after she was formally named as Barack Obama's choice for US Secretary of State.

The woman who was once Mr Obama's rival will now be re-shaping US foreign policy. She's a key part of his national security team which also includes the current Defence Secretary Robert Gates.

President-elect Obama has also made it clear that he still intends to pull US combat troops out of Iraq within 16 months of taking office.

Washington Correspondent Kim Landers reports.

KIM LANDERS: The bitterness of the long duel between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton now seems a distant memory.

BARACK OBAMA: She's an American of tremendous stature who will have my complete confidence.

HILLARY CLINTON: Thank you for this honour, if confirmed I will give this assignment, your administration and our country my all.

KIM LANDERS: Barack Obama has officially nominated Hillary Clinton as the next Secretary of State.

And he's made it clear that he's keen to repair the damage done by the Bush administration's decision to go to war in Iraq.

BARACK OBAMA: Hillary's appointment is a sign to friend and foe of the seriousness of my commitment to renew American diplomacy and restore our alliances.

KIM LANDERS: Barack Obama once mocked Hillary Clinton's foreign policy credentials but now he calls her a friend and colleague.

BARACK OBAMA: This is fun for the press to try to stir up whatever quotes were generated during the course of the campaign, and you're having fun. But there's nothing with that, I'm not faulting it.

KIM LANDERS: Unlike Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton backed the war in Iraq, but today she was echoing his ideals for greater cooperation with the world.

HILLARY CLINTON: 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.

KIM LANDERS: Barack Obama says he's sticking with his goal of removing American combat troops from Iraq within 16 months. And he says that's the mission he'll give Defence Secretary Robert Gates, who's the only holdover from the Bush administration.

BARACK OBAMA: Responsibly ending the war in Iraq through a successful transition to Iraqi control. We will ensure we have the strategy and resources to succeed against al Qaeda and the Taliban.

ROBERT GATES: And with a profound sense of responsibility to and for our men and women in uniform and their families, I must do my duty as they do theirs. How could I do otherwise?

KIM LANDERS: Barack Obama now has half of his 15-member Cabinet in place less than a month after the election.

TONY EASTLEY: Kim Landers.

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