Swearing in ceremony
On Jan. 21, 2009, Hillary Rodham Clinton was sworn in as the 67th secretary of state of the United States. While working in President Obama’s first-term Cabinet, the former first lady and US senator from New York headed the department conducting foreign policy. Four years seemed to fly by, but we take a look back at some of her most memorable moments as secretary of state.
Sending troops to Afghanistan
In March 2009, Clinton prevailed over Vice President Joe Biden in a debate on whether to send an additional 21,000 troops to the war in Afghanistan, which she supported.
“It is true that Hillary was very forceful; I had some disagreement in degree with her,’’ Biden told USA Today.
Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review
In 2009, Hillary Clinton announced that the State Department would begin issuing its own Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, like the Pentagon’s issues Quadrennial Defense Review that is issued every four years.
“We need to get in the habit of looking to the horizon and planning for how we want things to be,’’ Clinton said in July 2009 during the announcement.
Turkey and Armenia
In 2009 Hillary Clinton and Swiss mediators intervened to overcome an accord establishing diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia that opened the border between the two nations.
Pictured: Clinton left as she spoke with Armenian Foreign Minister Edouard Nalbandian (right) in Zurich.
In January 2010, Clinton made a historic speech calling for a global Internet free of censorship. She criticized China’s Internet censorship, and demanded from China to investigate claims by Google that e-mail accounts belonging to human rights activists had been hacked. “And we look to the Chinese authorities to conduct a thorough review of the cyber intrusions that led Google to make its announcement, “ she said. “And we also look for that investigation and its results to be transparent.’’
South Korea trip
Clinton visited South Korea with Defense Secretary Robert Gates in July 2010, where they toured the no-man’s land that has divided the Korean Peninsula for more than 50 years.
“It struck me that, although it may be a thin line, these two places are worlds apart,’’ Clinton said at the time.
In late November 2010, after WikiLeaks leaked thousands of State Department cables, Clinton blasted the organization, and took charge of leading the damage control effort.
“Let’s be clear: This disclosure is not just an attack on America’s foreign policy interests,’’ Clinton told journalists. “It is an attack on the international community – the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity.’’
Pictured: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
The 2011 Egyptian revolution posed the biggest foreign policy crisis the administration had seen. Clinton was at the forefront of the United States’s public response, and called for “peaceful transition to democracy.’’
Clinton also acknowledged that the situation was “complex’’ because of US ties with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the main target of the protest.
Pictured: Egyptian military chief Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi shook hand with Clinton before their meeting at the Defence Ministry in Cairo on July 15, 2012.
Libya air strikes
Clinton, who was originally skeptical on whether to take military action on Libya, changed course to form an “unlikely alliance’’ with top administration aides who supported the intervention, and convinced the president to approve military strikes against the Libyan government. The secretary of state served a key role in the success of the NATO airstrikes.
With a visit to Tripoli in October 2011, Clinton was the first Cabinet-level American official to go to Libya following the ousting of the former leader.
Pictured: Clinton arrived to speak at the State Department in Washington on Sept. 12 on the deaths of Americans in Libya.
Bin Laden’s photograph
Following the successful mission to kill Osama Bin Laden, Clinton was instrumental in the administration’s decision not to release the pictures of the deceased terrorist.
According to the New York Daily News, a new book by former Wall Street Journal reporter Richard Miniter alleges that it was actually Hillary who persuaded Obama to carry out the kill mission.
In early December 2011, Clinton gave a historic speech before the United Nations Human Rights Council on international gay rights.
Said Clinton to a UN audience in Switzerland: “Being LGBT does not make you less human, and that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.’’
Texts from Hillary
In April 2012, this photo of the secretary sparked an Internet sensation, “Texts from Hillary,’’ in which memes of hypothetical text conversations were created for all to enjoy. The site’s popularity even earned an LOL from Hill-Dawg herself. Can we call her Hill-Dawg?
Broke ‘most countries visited by a secretary of state’ record
In June 2012, Clinton touched down in Riga, Latvia, and checked off the 100th country she had visited in office. The “most countries visited by a secretary of state’’ record was previously held by Madeleine Albright with 98.
Clinton is pictured arriving in Paris in April 2012.
Trip to Laos
In July 2012, Clinton became the first US secretary of state to visit Laos in more than five decades. During her weeklong tour of Southeastern Asia, Clinton met with Laos’s communist government’s prime minister and foreign minister.
During the Vietnam War, America dropped incessant bombs on Laos — every eight minutes, 24 hours a day — and the trip was meant to help heal the wounds of war.
According to NBC News, the visit was an attempt to gauge whether the country “could evolve into a new foothold of American influence in Asia.’’
Pictured: Clinton placed flowers at a statue during a tour of the Ho Phra Keo Temple, in Vientiane, Laos, on July 11.
Trip to Burma
In November 2012, President Obama and Clinton together made a historic first visit to Burma after more than 50 years of estrangement between the country and the West.
Recent health issues
Clinton was admitted to the New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Dec. 30, 2012 after a blood clot was discovered following her concussion earlier in the month. The State Department said Clinton was dehydrated because of the virus, fainted and sustained a concussion.
She sported thick-rimmed glasses instead of contact lenses because on lingering issues stemming from the December concussion. Unfortunately, it was not a fashion statement.
On Sept. 11, 2012, an attack was made on an American diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, resulting in the death of four Americans, including US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
The attack, America’s preparedness for it, and the aftermath of the killings became a hot political topic.
On Jan. 23, Clinton defended the Obama administration’s response to the deaths, and took responsibility for the “security lapses and systemic failures within the State Department.’’
Pictured: Clinton testified on Capitol Hill before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Most admired woman
The former first lady was also named the Most Admired Woman of 2012 in a Gallup poll, beating out Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey by a landslide.
The Obama administration recognized Somalia’s government again after a two-decade gap. Calling it a milestone in the country’s fight against Islamist extremists, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made the announcement Jan. 17 alongside Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
A second memoir
Hillary Clinton is planning another memoir, according to the Huffington Post, though she doesn’t know what she’ll be saying in it yet. She told Huffington Post that she wouldn’t be writing anything until she caught up on “about 20 years worth of sleep deprivation.’’ Clinton has already written a best selling memoir in 2003 (“Living History’’) and a book about child development (“It Takes A Village’’) in 1996.