Clinton Wins Bi-Partisan Praise

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CBNNews.com - WASHINGTON - In her bid to become America's top diplomat, Sen. Hillary Clinton won bi-partisan praise by several members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tuesday.

Laying out her foreign policy plans as the next secretary of state, Clinton said, "Foreign policy must be based on a marriage of principles and pragmatism, not rigid ideology."

Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the committee, was one in support of Clinton.

"Hillary Clinton has shown the intelligence to navigate the complex issues that we face," he said.

Ranking Republican Sen. Richard Lugar also noticed potential in her experience and the case she made for U.S. foreign relations.

"She has a long standing relationship with many world leaders that can be put to great use in the service of our country," he said.

But Lugar drew attention to one issue that could snag Clinton's confirmation-- her husband's charitable foundation that receives hefty donations from countries around the world.

"Foreign governments and entities may perceive the Clinton foundation as a means to gain favor with the secretary of state," Lugar explained.

An Associated Press investigation found that the Sen. Clinton intervened six times in government issues affecting companies and organizations that later contributed to former President Bill Clinton's foundation.

Obama's transition team has outlined procedures to minimize potential conflicts of interest.

Tuesday, senators urged more transparency measures, but agreed the former President's work shouldn't impede his wife's service.

"I believe that American leadership has been wanting, but is still wanted," Hillary Clinton said. "We must use what has been called 'smart power.' The full range of tools at our disposal: diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal and cultural."

The 61-year old added that the greatest threat facing America is weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists and vows to reduce nuclear stockpiles.

She's also interested in improving the plight of women around the world.

"If half the world's population remains vulnerable to economic, political, legal and social marginalization," she began, "our hope of advancing democracy and prosperity is in serious jeopardy."

The foreign relations committee is expected to vote to approve Clinton's nomination Thursday.

If that happens, the full Senate could confirm her as soon as inauguration day.

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