Secretary Clinton Greets the Press

ABC News' Martha Raddatz and Jen Duck report: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walked through the press area in the State Deptartment Tuesday and said, "It's much bigger than the White House press area."  Then, the woman who seems far more comfortable with policy talk than small talk sat down at a small table with reporters and took questions for fifteen minutes.

Clinton said that there has been "a great exhalation of breath around the world" since President Barack Obama has become president. She added that this was clear from her conversations with foreign leaders.

The secretary said after a followup that this was not necessarily a "repudiation" of prior policies, but an "excitement" that there is a new direction. Although she did say "there is a lot of damage to repair." 

As for the situation in Israel and Gaza, Clinton said that today's action by Hamas and the attack on the IDF means that the ceasefire "has receded somewhat."  She was highly critical of Hamas, and very supportive of Israel.

On Iran, she said there was "a clear opportunity" for the Iranians to engage meaningfully. She said Ambassador Susan Rice's comments Monday were a restatement of the Obama policy.

As for the missile strikes on Pakistan, Clinton would not confirm the strikes, but did say that in a call to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Zardari she "personally expressed concern about civilian casualties."

And her first trip abroad?

"We'll let you know when we figure that out," said Clinton.  "But we're looking forward to it."

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