Hillary Clinton is sworn in - again

February 3rd, 2009 - 9:23 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Feb 3 (IANS) After President Barack Obama, it was the turn of Hillary Clinton to be sworn in as America’s 67th secretary of state - for a second time.Vice President Joe Biden administered the oath to Clinton in a ceremonial star-studded gathering at the State Department Monday, with husband, former president Bill Clinton, and former first daughter Chelsea Clinton among those on hand.

So was Indian-American businessman Sant Singh Chatwal, a key supporter of the Clintons and a trustee of the William J. Clinton Foundation, a charitable foundation organized by Bill Clinton focusing on global issues of health security and economic empowerment.

Several of Clinton’s predecessors were in attendance for the unusual gathering, including Madeleine Albright, Lawrence Eagleburger, James Baker and Henry Kissinger. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also attended. So did actor Chevy Chase and designer Oscar de la Renta.

“It is an overwhelming honour … to assume this position,” Clinton said. “We have a lot of work to do (to ensure that) America’s future can be even brighter than our storied past.”

“In selecting Senator Clinton for this critical task, I think the president selected a person of unrivaled talent and experience,” Biden said. She is “equally at ease in the great diplomatic halls of Europe as she is in the small villages in Africa.”

“I thank my dear friend, Vice President Biden, and I thank President Obama for investing the trust and confidence in me during a particularly challenging time in our nation’s history,” she said..

“For me, this has been an amazing personal journey. As Joe laughingly referenced, neither one of us thought that we would be standing here together, doing what we are now doing together,” she said apparently referring to the presidential race that both lost to Obama. “Life has a funny way of unfolding and politics is even stranger.”

She also thanked her mother, daughter “and finally, to my husband”. “I am so grateful to him for a lifetime of all kinds of experiences,” Clinton said amidst laughter, “which have given me given me an extraordinary richness that I am absolutely beholden to and grateful for.”

Hillary Clinton’s official swearing-in took place Jan 21 in her former Senate office shortly after the Senate approved her nomination on a 94-2 vote. The low-key event was attended only by her husband and Senate staff.

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