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Obama and Bill brought 'enormous intelligence' to White House: Hillary

world Updated: Aug 10, 2009 12:52 IST
Arun Kumar
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Both President Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton brought "just enormous intelligence" to the nation's top job, says the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton comparing the way the two functioned.

"Well, I think both of them bring just enormous intelligence to the job," she told CNN in an interview broadcast Sunday when asked what was the principal difference between how her husband ran the White House and how her one rime rival for Democratic presidential nomination was doing it.

"I mean, obviously, I know Bill much better. But I have seen in President Obama, as well, just an intelligence that is so compelling, to struggle with the difficult issues that are put before you," Clinton said though the times are "so different".

In the White House, Bill Clinton was "constantly seeking out information, always trying to figure out where to end up. And he does it in a very public way," she said. "I think that President Obama is very clear about the process that he wants to lead to his decision.

"I think, obviously, my husband made a lot of great decisions for our country, and I think that President Obama is doing the same."

Her own relationship with Obama "has really worked out better than anybody could have predicted," Clinton said.

"I think our personal relationship has, you know, certainly deepened and broadened over the course of the last six and a half months. The time that we spend together, the difficult problems that we wrestle with."

Obama's top foreign policy adviser, who hit hard at her then rival's inexperience and lack of toughness on the campaign trail, said she believed her policy differences with Obama during their rival presidential nomination campaigns were a question of "degree, not kind."

"We have a world view that says America should be leading by example. You know, it's not the - I think my husband said it, actually -it's not the example of our power, but the power of our example that we want to convey."

Clinton said she was "personally very surprised" when Obama asked her to serve as secretary of state, but described the post as "a rewarding professional and personal experience."

Clinton said there is no tension between the State Department and White House, despite Obama's interest in foreign policy. "We are the implementers, there is no doubt about that. The White House cannot implement policy."

"I'm not exactly a shrinking violet," she added. "And my opinions are not only sought, but listened to. And I appreciate that very much.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had told her that he was very surprised. "It was the first administration he could remember where, if he talked to me and then he talked to somebody in the White House, he got the same story. And it's because we really try to hash out problems in private."