Barack Obama praises Hillary Clinton in joint interview

This was the first time President Obama and Hillary Clinton have given a joint interview

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US President Barack Obama has paid tribute to what he called the "extraordinary role" Hillary Clinton played as Secretary of State.

In a joint interview on CBS, Mr Obama praised Mrs Clinton's "discipline, her stamina, her thoughtfulness, her ability to project".

Both Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton sidestepped questions about whether she might run for the presidency in 2016.

Mr Obama beat Mrs Clinton to the Democratic nomination in 2008.

He then chose her as his Secretary of State, though she was initially reluctant to take the post.

Mrs Clinton is expected to step down within days and Senator John Kerry to be confirmed as her successor.

In the CBS interview, Mr Obama said Mrs Clinton would "go down as one of the finest secretaries of state we've had".

"It has been a great collaboration over the last four years," he said.

"I'm going to miss her. Wish she was sticking around. But she has logged in so many miles, I can't begrudge her wanting to take it easy for a little bit."

'Incorrigible press'

There has been much speculation that this interview has been cueing Mrs Clinton up for a run in 2016, the BBC's Jane Little reports from Washington.

There was no denial, and the possibility was left open, our correspondent says.

"The president and I care deeply about what's going to happen for our country in the future," said Mrs Clinton.

"And I don't think, you know, either he or I can make predictions about what's going to happen tomorrow or the next year."

Pressed on the question of a possible candidacy for Mrs Clinton in 2016, Mr Obama said:

"You guys in the press are incorrigible.

"I was literally inaugurated four days ago. And you're talking about elections four years from now."

Mrs Clinton confirmed that she has lingering issues from a recent concussion and blood clot, but said doctors had assured her of a full recovery.

The interview was recorded on Friday and broadcast on Sunday.

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