Ironies pile up as Clinton sworn in to new U.S. post
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The ironies and memories piled up fast on Monday when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with husband Bill Clinton at her side, was publicly sworn-in to her new post by Vice President Joe Biden.
"Never did I think, Madame secretary, that I would swear you in as secretary of state," said Biden, once considered a front-runner for the top diplomatic job until President Barack Obama tapped him as his number two.
"Never did I think I'd be sworn in as vice president," he said to laughter at a State Department ceremony attended by several hundred of Clinton's friends and colleagues as well as four former secretaries of state.
Clinton noted the strange twists of fate that led them there.
"For me this has been an amazing personal journey," said the former first lady, who was the early favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination last year until Obama beat her in a grueling campaign.
Biden also ran for president last year, but bowed out after early losses to Clinton and Obama.
"As Joe laughingly referenced, neither one of us thought we would be standing here together doing what we are now doing. Life has that funny way of unfolding and politics is even stranger," she said.
Clinton placed her hand on a Bible held by her husband, the former president, as she repeated the oath administered by Biden. She was sworn in privately on January 21 after she was confirmed by the Senate.
She acknowledged four former secretaries of state who attended the ceremony -- Henry Kissinger, James Baker, Madeleine Albright and Lawrence Eagleburger -- and made special note of some of her colleagues from Congress there.
Clinton singled out Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, "who after all presided over my confirmation hearing."
"I look forward to working with all of you -- particularly the appropriators," she said, alluding to the powerful members of Congress who dole out money for the State Department and other government agencies.
(Reporting by John Whitesides; editing by Mohammad Zargham)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this