Sept. 26 (UPI) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who served during the Obama administration, watched the unveiling of her official portrait at the State Department on Tuesday, calling it an “incredibly emotional moment.”
“I look to so many of you who I have had the privilege of serving in my four years,” Clinton said earlier the portrait, painted by Steven Polson, has been unveiled. “Now, 14 years ago, I knew, hard to believe, that this place was very special and that the unique honor of leading the State Department and USA ID would be an incredible experience, both personal and professional.”
“Today I had the honor of returning to the State Department and unveiling my official portrait as the 67th Secretary of State alongside Secretary of State Antony Blinken,” Clinton wrote Tuesday in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
We’re happy to share it here with the American public in case you can’t make it to the headquarters in Foggy Bottom in person soon. pic.twitter.com/YcPymY77aq— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 26, 2023
When it was unveiled, Clinton joked that she hadn’t seen the portrait – which shows her in front of an American flag – in some time.
“Between COVID and not wanting to finish it during the previous administration,” Clinton said in a swipe at former President Donald Trump, to whom she lost the election in 2016. In addition to being the Democratic presidential nominee, Clinton was first lady to former President Bill Clinton – who also attended Tuesday’s ceremony – and the first woman from New York elected to the U.S. Senate.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken introduced Clinton and said she was about to join “this esteemed group” of predecessors who line the wood-paneled mahogany wall on the seventh floor on the way to the secretary’s office.
“Secretary Clinton, your foothold has helped revitalize the power and purpose of American diplomacy. It reminded the world of who America is and what we stand for, and helped us fulfill our mission,” Blinken said.
“Secretary Clinton had this vision from the beginning. She promised, and I quote, to “address the urgent, the important and the long-term at the same time.” “That means dealing with crises day in and day out, which she has done incredibly skillfully, including by brokering a groundbreaking ceasefire in the Middle East,” Blinken added.
In her own remarks, Clinton thanked Blinken and everyone at the State Department and praised the Biden administration for “carrying forward many of the values and priorities we have worked on.”
“Defending democracy in Ukraine, expanding NATO. Just by the way, it’s a shame you brought this on yourself,” Clinton said, taking a swipe at Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Confront Russian aggression, address China’s challenges, use creative diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific,” Clinton added, “and strengthen our alliances and partnerships.”