Bill Clinton Envisions A Diplomatic Role For Himself If Hillary Is Elected President

Former President Clinton has said his wife wants him to lead efforts to rebuild the United States' tarnished reputation abroad - if she is elected to the White House next year.

The former president made the comments in interviews released Friday in Britain where he was fundraising for Hillary Rodham Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for next year's presidential election.

Clinton was asked what his public role might be if his wife becomes president, in interviews with The Guardian newspaper and British Broadcasting Corp. television.

He joked to The Guardian that Scottish friends have suggested his title could be "first laddie."

"What Hillary has said is that if she were elected she would ask me, and others - including former Republican presidents - to go out and immediately try to restore America's standing, go out and tell people America was open for business and cooperation again," he was quoted as telling the newspaper.

He said for the first time in his political experience, "ordinary Americans in the heartlands" were concerned about how the world sees the U.S. after years of unilateralism of President Bush's administration on issues such as Iraq, climate change, and nuclear nonproliferation.

"The collective effect of that was to enrage the world at the very moment when we had more world support than we've had in recent
memory because of 9/11. It was an unbelievable turnaround," Clinton said.

As an example of how the U.S. can win by working with others, Clinton pointed to the six-nation North Korea arms talks this week, where the country committed to disabling its main nuclear facilities by year-end.

"You can see in the recent success of the North Korean nuclear effort that when America moved from unilateralism to working through, and with, others it works pretty well," he said on the BBC.


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