Alex Spillius
January 13, 2008

Though she refrained from naming the outgoing president, Mrs Clinton sent a strong signal to the world that as President-elect Barack Obama’s secretary of state, she would strengthen US diplomacy and “build a word with more partners and fewer adversaries”.

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In a dig at the Bush administration, Mrs Clinton said she and Mr Obama believed in foreign policy which married “principles and pragmatism, not rigid ideology” and military force only as “a last resort”.

“American leadership has been wanting but it is still wanted,” Mrs Clinton told her confirmation hearing before the senate foreign relations committee.

“We must use what has been called ‘smart power,’ the full range of tools at our disposal,” she continued, advocating a mix of diplomatic, economic, military, political legal and cultural strategies.

The former First Lady received a gushing welcome from the senate panel although Republicans raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest between US foreign policy and Bill Clinton’s global charity, which receives donations from numerous foreign governments and businessmen.

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