Clinton avoids presidential speculation
FUTURE PLANS: US secretary of state Hillary Clinton yesterday said she was “too focused” on her current job when asked if her future career plans included a presidential run in four years’ time.
After a meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Government Buildings, Mrs Clinton said she was looking forward to spending time with family and friends after she leaves office next month.
“I’m right now too focused on what I’m doing to complete all the work we have ahead of us before I do step down. I’m frankly looking forward to returning to living a life that enjoys a lot of simple pleasures,” she said.
Mrs Clinton said she could not comment on speculation that President Barack Obama might appoint her husband, Bill, US ambassador to Ireland.
“I would think that my husband will be here many times in the future doing the work that he’s been doing without having to have the title of ambassador.”
In the aftermath of the budgetary announcement on Wednesday, Mrs Clinton praised the “practical, can-do spirit and unwavering resolve” of the Irish people.
“I understand the real sacrifice and even suffering that many people have gone through because of the economic challenges but the view from the United States is the resilience, the hard work, the determination of the Irish people,” she said.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny extended his sympathy to Ambassador Dan Rooney on the death of his daughter Rita in the US. “I’d like to pay tribute to him, to his wife and their staff for their very generous commitment to this country and to express our sympathy and our condolences to him and his wife and family on their very sad loss.”
Earlier yesterday Mrs Clinton met Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore at the RDS. Following the meeting, Mr Gilmore announced the Government would provide €250,000 in emergency funding to Irish voluntary organisations in the eastern United States to assist those worst affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Mr Gilmore said the funding would be directed towards relief and reconstruction efforts in Breezy Point, Staten Island and the Jersey Shore where Hurricane Sandy caused “massive devastation to communities with deep Irish roots”.
He said the funding was being made available from within existing resources in his Department and would complement the ongoing work of the Consulate General in New York.
Mrs Clinton was briefed by Mr Gilmore on recent developments in Northern Ireland. The pair discussed immigration reform.
They discussed hopes for an EU-US Free Trade Agreement during Ireland’s forthcoming presidency of the EU and the Global Diaspora Forum to be held in Dublin and the US next May.