Hillary Clinton, one of the finest US Secretaries of State: Barack Obama

Hillary Clinton

US President Barack Obama today heaped praise on Hillary Clinton, saying that she would be considered as one of the finest Secretaries of State the country ever had, and he would miss her in the administration.

"I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretaries of state we've had. It has been a great collaboration over the last four years," Obama told the CBS News in a joint interview with Clinton, who would soon be leaving the Administration.

If confirmed by the Senate, Senator John Kerry would replace her as the Secretary of State.

"I'm going to miss her, wish she was sticking around but she has logged in so many miles I can't begrudge her wanting to take it easy for a little bit. I want the country to appreciate what an extraordinary role she's played during the course of my administration. A lot of the successes we've had internationally have been because of her hard work," Obama said.

According to CBS News the joint interview is the only US interview Obama has ever given with anyone other than his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama.

The entire interview is scheduled to be telecast tomorrow.

"A few years ago it would have been seen as improbable because we had that very long, hard primary campaign," Clinton said, according to the excerpts of the interview.

"But, you know, I've gone around the world on behalf of the President and our country, and one of the things that I say to people, because I think it helps them understand, I say look, in politics and in democracy, sometimes you win elections and sometimes you lose elections. And I worked very hard but I lost," she said.

"And then President Obama asked me to be secretary of state and I said yes. And why did he ask me and why did I say yes? Because we both love our country," Clinton said.

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