28 Jan 2013

Obama praises departing Clinton

9:26 pm on 28 January 2013

US President Barack Obama has paid tribute to what he called the "extraordinary role" Hillary Clinton played as Secretary of State.

In a joint interview on American network CBS, Mr Obama praised Mrs Clinton's "discipline, her stamina, her thoughtfulness, her ability to project".

Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton sidestepped questions about whether she might run for the presidency in 2016. There was no denial and the possibility was left open, the BBC reports.

Barack Obama beat Mrs Clinton to the Democratic nomination in 2008. He then chose her as his Secretary of State, though she was initially reluctant to take the post.

Mrs Clinton is expected to step down within days and Senator John Kerry to be confirmed as her successor.

In the interview recorded on Friday and broadcast on Sunday, Mr Obama said Hillary Clinton would "go down as one of the finest secretaries of state we've had.

"It has been a great collaboration over the last four years. 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."

Mrs Clinton confirmed that she has lingering issues from a recent concussion and blood clot, but said doctors had assured her of a full recovery.