From NPR News, this is All Things Considered. I'm Robert Siegel.


And I'm Melissa Block. Well, we've come a long way from the primary battles between Hillary Clinton and now President-elect Barack Obama. Mr. Obama is expected to name Senator Clinton as his pick for Secretary of State. Members of the Obama transition team say they expect a formal announcement after Thanksgiving. But as NPR's Michele Kelemen reminds us, Senator Clinton and the future president did have their differences.

MICHELE KELEMEN: On the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton often found herself defending her foreign policy credentials from attacks from the Obama campaign. Some of the same people who will likely be in high-level positions at the White House and State Department, questioned how much of a role she actually played as First Lady, working on a peace deal in Northern Ireland or helping refugees from Kosovo make it to Macedonia.

Senator HILLARY CLINTON (Democrat, New York): I played a major role in many of the foreign policy decisions. I represented our government and our country in more than 80 countries and I know the people are nitpicking and raising questions. That's fair, that's in a campaign. But compare my experience even after the nitpicking with Senator Obama's, hey, let's, you know, let's look at this objectively here. And I think my experience, you know, is much more preparatory for the job that awaits.

KELEMEN: That was from an interview on NPR while she was still a presidential hopeful. While some question her experience in foreign policy, Hillary Clinton is widely respected for her role in promoting human rights and for a speech she made in China in 1995 as she recounted in an NPR-hosted primary debate.

Sen. CLINTON: The Chinese didn't want me to come and they didn't want me to make a speech. And when I made the speech they blocked it out from being heard within China, where I stood up for human rights and in particular, women's rights because women had been so brutally abused in many settings in China. And I think you do have to call them on it.

KELEMEN: On policy issues, Hillary Clinton and President-elect Obama had some memorable clashes over who is more prepared for that three A.M. wake-up call during the time of crisis or whether or not its naïve to sit down with the leader of Iran. But from now, she will have to learn to keep those disputes private according to Aaron David Miller, a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center who has advised six - both Democratic and Republican secretaries of state including James Baker.

Mr. AARON DAVID MILLER (Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center): Baker described himself as a president's man at the State Department. Not the State Department's man at the White House. She needs to look at the situation much the same way for this to work. It doesn't mean she can't push back privately and she should. He doesn't need a team of rivals. He needs a team that is prepared to offer him judgment.

KELEMEN: Miller says that the most effective secretaries have been close to the presidents they served, and they have to be good negotiators. Though he is not sure how Clinton will measure up to those standards, he says the former first lady does have other qualities that will be key, including a strong public persona.

Mr. MILLER: When a secretary of state walks in a room, you want people on the edge of their seats. And she clearly has that. I mean, she fills up and lights up the room. There is no question about that. In fact, I believe she is tough enough.

KELEMEN: Miller says Clinton certainly proved that on the campaign trail. Michele Kelemen, NPR News, Washington.

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