In The Beginning: Clinton In DC, Feb. 21, 2009Hillary Clinton attends a news conference in Beijing Feb. 21, 2009. Clinton said on Saturday the United States and China could help the world recover from economic crisis by working together, adding that Washington appreciated Beijing's confidence in U.S. government debt.
Clinton And Michelle Obama, March 10, 2010Hillary Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama share a laugh during their participation in the 2010 International Women of Courage Awards at the State Department in Washington, D.C., March 10, 2010. Ten women were awarded this year by the State Department that pays tribute to women leaders worldwide.
Clinton On Military PlaneHillary Clinton checks her PDA upon her departure in a military C-17 plane from Malta bound for Tripoli, Libya, Oct. 18, 2011. This photo spawned the popular blog Texts From Hillary.(textsfromhillaryclinton.tumblr.com), cementing Clinton's place in annuls of Internet lore.
Clinton in Togo, January 17, 2012Clinton waves to local residents after meeting with Togo President Faure Gnassingbe at the Presidential Palace in Lome, Togo, January 17, 2012.
Clinton In Cartagena April 15, 2012Clinton dances with members of her delegation in the Cafe Havana salsa bar, during a break from the Americas Summit in Cartagena April 15, 2012. Clinton went dancing after midnight at the bar known for its Cuban music, after a day of diplomacy at the Summit.
Clinton And Di Rupo April 18, 2012U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton winks at Belgium's Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo as they say goodbye after a meeting at the prime minister's residence in Brussels, Belgium, April 18, 2012.
Clinton And Krishna June 13, 2012Hillary Clinton calls a time-out during a multiple question from an Indian journalist, as India's Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna smiles during their news conference at the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue in Washington, D.C., June 13, 2012.
ClintonHillary Clinton reacts during a joint news conference in Kabul July 7, 2012. The United States has named Afghanistan a major non-NATO ally, Clinton said on Saturday, a move that could reinforce Washington's message to Afghans that they will not be abandoned as the war winds down.
Clinton And Mandela, Aug. 6, 2012Clinton meets with Nelson Mandela, 94, former president of South Africa, at his home in Qunu, South Africa, Aug. 6, 2012. Clinton praised the "beautiful" smile of her friend Mandela when they met at his country home on Monday during her multination trade and security tour through Africa. Mandela, in failing health, has only seen a few visitors outside his family in recent years. During his 94th birthday celebration, the anti-apartheid leader met Hillary's husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Clinton At Benghazi Hearings Jan. 23, 2013Hillary Clinton pounds her fists as she responds to intense questioning on the September attacks on U.S. diplomatic sites in Benghazi, Libya, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Jan. 23, 2013.
Clinton And Aung San Suu Kyi Dec. 2, 2011U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, hugs Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as they meet at Suu Kyi's house in Yangon Dec. 2, 2011. Clinton held a final meeting with Suu Kyi on Friday as she wrapped up a landmark visit to Myanmar, which saw the new civilian government pledge to forge ahead with political reforms and reengage with the world community.
Now-former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gave her last talks on her second-to-last day on the job to an assembled mass at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington D.C. She addressed America's need to change its diplomatic tactics, to keep up with technology and accept the fact that we need to be both a world leader and a partner to governments everywhere.
Clinton said she dismissed “declinists” who were predicting the imminent doom of the American empire, instead emphasizing that America needed to readjust its diplomacy style. After World War II, she explained, the U.S. led the charge to set up the U.N., the IMF, the World Bank and NATO. These institutions, Clinton said, “protected our interests, defended universal values and benefited peoples and nations around the world.” But, she continued, the world has undeniably changed, and the U.S. can no longer sit back and relax, confident in its power.
“Two decades after the end of the Cold War, we face a different world,” Clinton said. “The old post-war architecture is crumbling under the weight of new threats. We have to be smart about how we use our power, not because we have less of it. ... No, it's because as the world has changed, so too have the levers of power that can most effectively shape international affairs.”
Clinton went on to speak to the concept of “actually showing up” in a world where “we can be anywhere virtually” and of setting up partnerships with more than just regional governments. In her time as secretary of state, Clinton visited a record number of countries: 114, recording just under 1 million miles traveled, and 401 days away from Washington D.C., according to the State department.
She has also set a precedent for visiting some of the most overlooked countries in the world, such as Togo and the Cook Islands.
“Tomorrow is my last day as secretary of state,” Clinton said. “It’s hard to predict what any day in this job will bring, but tomorrow my heart will be full.”
Clinton gave her actual last address as secretary of state to her employees on Friday, her last day on the job. She officially resigned the post at 2 p.m. As Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass quipped at the end of Clinton’s speech, the next secretary of state, John Kerry, “has some very big Manolo Blahniks to fill.”