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Hillary Clinton visits SF, pleas for new tech ideas

October 16, 2010 7:22:21 PM PDT
Hillary Clinton made her visit to San Francisco since she became secretary of state. There were no direct plugs for candidates in the November election, but the secretary did wrap up her speech with a little bit of a politics.

Clinton wants people in the Bay Area to help her with diplomacy. She's asking for ideas and says she's ready to listen.

She was definitely in friendly territory; Clinton said the commonwealth club has invited her to speak several times before, but she's been busy.

"This is only third place in United States I have spoken since I became secretary of state," said Clinton.

But she said now is the appropriate time to have a conversation and then she made her pitch to the savvy crowd -- diplomacy needs technology.

"I know that there are a million ideas that are born everyday here and if you have a good idea, we will listen," said Clinton.

Not only does she want ideas, she also encouraged the crowd to participate in public and private partnerships.

"We recently launched a new mentoring program called Tech Women that pairs accomplished women in Silicon Valley with counterparts in Muslim communities around the world," said Clinton.

The crowd loved it.

"We create the ideas that change the world and that the world follows, so it's awesome to know the government is behind that," said San Francisco resident Ishara Kotagama.

About 1,500 people came to hear her speak, most of them women.

"I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing on a Friday evening," said Walnut Creek resident Charmaine Berry.

Clinton answered questions about world issues such as the situation in Afghanistan, but the highlight came when a 10-year-old girl named Ellie asked her about the environment. She talked about conservation, but also used the question to address the upcoming election.

"I think people running for office should be asked to explain their positions on what they're going to do," said Clinton.

She got a little political at the end and covered a lot of ground with that question. In the same answer, she also defended her boss saying she's confident President Obama's policies will be effective and suggested people have some patience.


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