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Video: Marginalization talk ‘absurd,’ Clinton says

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    >>> ten minutes after the hour.

    >>> more now on the president's nobel peace prize win and the administration's strategy for the war in afghanistan . ann is here with her exclusive interview with secretary of state hillary clinton conducted over the weekend. hey, ann .

    >> thanks, meredith. that's right, our team sat down with secretary clinton over the weekend in zurich, switzerland and hit on a number of topics starting with president obama 's nobel peace prize win. the president is joining the ranks of martin luther king , of mother teresa , of nelson mandela . does he deserve to be in those ranks? what has he done specifically to promote peace?

    >> the fact that the nobel committee -- i can't read their minds, none of us can -- the fact they recognized his attitude toward america's role in the world, his willingness to challenge everyone to kind of step up and take responsibility, really restores an image and appreciation of our country.

    >> will winning the nobel peace prize in your view influence the president's decision on whether or not to send more u.s. troops to war in afghanistan ?

    >> ann , i think that the president makes each decision on the merits. it's not going to influence some of these tough decisions that he has to make, and i think he is very well aware of the multiple responsibilities he bears.

    >> given the top commander's assessment that the situation is deteriorating in afghanistan , and in the weeks the president has already taken at least ten u.s. troops have died, with all due respect to the administration, what is taking so long?

    >> well, first of all, every one of those deaths and all of the injuries of any of our men and women in uniform weighs heavily on all of us who are sitting around the table in the situation room . and what is going on in this analysis is the kind of deep, stripped-down investigation of assumptions. because when we make this decision, and when we recommend to the president what we believe he should do, we're going to be all in.

    >> if the president decides not to send more troops to afghanistan , morally can he still keep 68,000 u.s. troops there?

    >> i want to not only guarantee you, but guarantee all of your listeners that this process will result in a very well thought out approach and the number of troops will reflect how we are going to implement the strategy. now i know there are many americans who say get out of afghanistan , bring them all home, and there are others who say, put in hundreds of thousands of more. but i think neither extreme is really focused on the situation as we are.

    >> at this very important moment in history, "the washington post " writes but, quote, "she is largely invisible on the big issues that dominate the foreign policy agenda, including afghanistan and iran." why are you not more out in front on these very important issues of our time?

    >> well, you know, i honestly don't have any reaction to something like that which is so at variance with what i do every day.

    >> what do you say to the people who are concerned that you have been marginalized, that the highest ranking woman in the united states , having to fight against being marginalized?

    >> ann , you know, i find it absurd.

    >> so you're not.

    >> i find it beyond any realistic assessment of what i'm doing every day. i think there is such -- maybe there is some misunderstanding which needs to be clarified. i believe in delegating power. i'm not one of these people who feels like i have to have my face in the front of the newspaper or on the tv in every moment of the day. i would be irresponsible and negligent were i to say, oh, no, everything must come to me. now maybe that is a woman's thing. maybe i'm totally secure and feel absolutely no need to go running around in order for people to see what i'm doing. it's just the way i am. my goal is to be a very positive force to implement the kind of changes that the president and i believe are in the best interests of our country. but that doesn't mean that it all has to be me, me, me all the time. i like lifting people up.

    >> i can't help but think nine months into this administration, having campaigned so fiercely to be president yourself, that there can't be moments for you where you wish you could make the decisions yourself.

    >> i have to tell you, it never crosses my mind.

    >> never.

    >> no. not at all. i am part of the team that makes the decisions.

    >> will you ever run for president again, yes or no?

    >> no.

    >> no?

    >> no. no. i mean this is a great job. it is a 24/7 job and i'm looking forward to retirement at some point.

    >> no retirement yet, however. today secretary clinton is in belfast giving a major speech on the peace process in northern ireland and she expects to visit pakistan by end of the year, meredith.

    >> check her in a few more years on that running for president. we'll see.

    >> she was definitive there.

    >> she was. ann , thank you very much. 7:16.

    >>> now the economy, the dow

By
TODAY contributor
updated 10/12/2009 9:58:00 AM ET 2009-10-12T13:58:00

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton scoffed Monday at suggestions that she has been “largely invisible” on major foreign policy issues in the Obama White House, and said that she has no interest in another run at the White House.

In an interview with TODAY’s Ann Curry, Clinton responded to a Washington Post story that said, “She is largely invisible on the big issues that dominate the foreign policy agenda. Including Afghanistan and Iran.”

After reading that quote aloud, Curry asked, “What do you say to people who are concerned that you have been marginalized?”

“I find it absurd,” Clinton said. “I find it beyond any realistic assessment of what I’m doing every day ... Maybe there is some misunderstanding which needs to be clarified.”

Clinton labeled the statement a misperception of how she operates.

“I believe in delegating power,” Clinton said. “I’m not one of these people who feels like I have to have my face in the front of the newspaper or on the TV every moment of the day. I would be irresponsible and negligent were I to say, ‘Oh, no. Everything must come to me.’ Now, maybe that is a woman’s thing. Maybe I'm totally secure and feel absolutely no need to go running around in order for people to see what I’m doing. It's just the way I am. My goal is to be a very positive force to implement the kind of changes that the president and I believe are in the best interest of our country.”

No more presidential aspirations
Clinton made the comments in the prerecorded interview before departing on a five-day overseas tour that has seen her speak out on Iran’s nuclear ambitions in Switzerland. On Sunday she was in Britain, where she warned Iran that the world “will not wait indefinitely” for proof that it is not trying to develop atomic weapons.

On Monday Clinton urged the rival leaders of Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government to keep making their awkward coalition work for the sake of lasting peace. In an address to the Northern Ireland Assembly, with Irish Catholics to her left and British Protestants to her right, Clinton said they should take the next critical step in cooperation — running the police and justice system together — as the best way to defeat Irish Republican Army dissidents still plotting bloodshed. Protestant leaders are blocking the move.

Curry also asked Clinton whether she ever wishes her presidential bid had been successful so that she could be making the decisions instead of carrying out President Obama’s policies.

“I have to tell you, it never crosses my mind,” Clinton said

“Will you ever run for president again?” Curry asked.

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“No,” Clinton said with a laugh. “This is a great job. It is a 24/7 job. And I’m looking forward to retirement at some point.”

Clinton said she thinks President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize because of “his attitude toward America’s role in the world.”

“His willingness to really kind of challenge everyone ... restores a kind of image and appreciation of our country,” Clinton said.

Clinton added that she didn’t think winning the award would have any effect on Obama’s deliberations over what to do next in Afghanistan, including the question of whether to send large numbers of additional troops into a country where violence has recently surged.

“I think that the president makes each decision on the merits,” she said in the interview taped during her visit to Switzerland. She said the Nobel award is “not going to influence” the tough decisions Obama faces on Afghanistan.

“Every one of those deaths and all of the injuries of any of our men and women in uniform weigh heavily on all us,” Clinton said. “I want to guarantee all your listeners that this process will result in a very well-thought-out approach.”

She said that she recognizes that some are demanding a quick withdrawal, while others believe there should be a substantial infusion of forces. “Neither extreme is really focused on the situation, as we are,” Clinton said.

Clinton’s five-day overseas tour next takes her to Moscow.

The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.

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