Clinton Returns to Office Next Week, No Foreign Travel

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is making phone calls and reviewing paperwork while recovering at home and she plans to return to her office next week, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

Clinton, who was discharged from New York-Presbyterian Hospital Dec. 2 after being treated there for a blood clot near her brain, is at home in New York “sounding terrific, upbeat, raring to go,” Nuland said yesterday at a news briefing in Washington.

Clinton, 65, spoke yesterday with senior staff, handled official paperwork, and called in to a meeting of her foreign policy advisory board, which was discussing the situation in Syria and a number of long-term policy issues, according to Nuland.

“She’s looking forward to getting back to the office,” Nuland said. “She is very much planning to do so next week.”

Nuland said Clinton will testify to Congress at some point on the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

“She is committed to testifying, and we are working with the committees on an appropriate set of dates,” Nuland said.

Clinton has received a “tsunami” of supportive messages from foreign officials, Nuland said.

Clinton won’t do any international travel “for a little while” under instructions from her doctors, Nuland said. Because Clinton is already preparing to leave her post once her successor is confirmed by the Senate, that may mean she will do no more travel as secretary of state.

A series of ailments, starting with a stomach virus following her last foreign trip, has kept Clinton out of public view for almost a month, grounding the woman who has logged almost a million miles as the U.S.’s most-traveled top diplomat.

Blood Clot

Clinton was hospitalized Dec. 30 for a blood clot found that day between her brain and skull, according to her aides, who have said the clot was discovered when an MRI scan was performed during a check-up before Clinton’s planned return to work. The secretary had suffered a concussion after fainting at home from dehydration while ill with a stomach virus, aides have said.

Kerry’s Nomination

Clinton’s medical team advised that she is “making good progress on all fronts, and they are confident she will make a full recovery,” Philippe Reines, deputy assistant secretary of state for public affairs, said Jan. 2.

President Barack Obama last month named Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as his choice to succeed Clinton.

Some Republican senators have said they won’t consider Kerry’s nomination to replace her until Clinton appears. Clinton has said she will testify about the attack on a U.S. mission in Benghazi that resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Clinton, a former first lady, U.S. senator and presidential candidate, is one of the world’s best-known figures and ranks in polls as the early Democratic favorite for president in 2016 if she chooses to run again. In a Gallup poll of Americans released over the weekend, she ranked as the most-admired woman in the world for the 11th consecutive year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Indira A.R. Lakshmanan in Washington at ilakshmanan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Walcott at jwalcott9@bloomberg.net

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