President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sat down for a joint 60 Minutes interview Sunday (Jan. 2 7) and expressed their adoration for one another.
As her tenure winds down, the 65-year-old and the commander in chief –once opponents in the 2008 election—have grown into close friends. Clinton pointed out that their spouses may have taken their one-time competition more personally, but any negative feelings have since subsided. “It's ancient history because of the kind of people we all are, but also we're professional.”
Since appointing Clinton to her post, Obama has been pleased with the work that she's done, and was not shy about submerging her in praise. “I just wanted to have a chance to publicly say ‘thank you,' because 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. I'm going to miss her.”
But not everyone shares in the president's love. Clinton's handling of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya has been the focus of what may be looked at as a stain on her political legacy. Last week, she testified on Capitol Hill answering questions as to what led to the deaths of four Americans. Clinton's explanations were criticized by conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh, who called her exchange with Republican Sen. Ron Johnson a “puke fest.”
“Obviously I deeply regret what happened,” Clinton said on 60 Minutes. Having known U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens (who was killed during the attack) personally, the loss of his life hit home. “I sent him there originally, it was a great personal loss to lose him and three other Americans. But I also have looked back and tried to figure out what we can do so that nobody would be in this position again.”
The attacks, believed to have been fueled by an anti-Islamic film, took place on the 10 year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
See the entire interview with Obama and Clinton below, and on the next page.