"President Clinton wanted to make sure the attention was focused on Sen. Clinton," Vietor said.
The Senate hearing room was packed with ambassadors, current and former diplomats, supporters and aides sitting cheek by jowl. Dozens of photographers ringed Clinton as she spoke.
In discussing the problem of peacemaking in the Middle East, Clinton referred to her husband's extensive, though ultimately unsuccessful, efforts to strike a comprehensive peace deal.
"As intractable as the Middle East's problems may seem and many presidents, including my husband, have spent years trying to help work out a resolution, we cannot give up on peace," she said.
"We must also actively pursue a strategy of smart power in the Middle East that addresses the security needs of Israel and the legitimate political and economic aspirations of the Palestinians," she said.
Clinton also said that during the Bush administration, "Our foreign policy has gotten way out of balance," with the Pentagon taking too large a role at the expense of the State Department. She said she intends to rectify that, with the support of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, whom she praised as a clear-thinking leader.
Lugar, who has played a leading Senate role in arms control issues, applauded Obama's stated intention to engage Russia in more arms control talks and pursue efforts to improve international controls of nuclear materials that could fall into the hands of terrorists. He said that during the Bush administration the State Department had been a "reluctant or almost nonexistent partner" in that effort. Clinton said she intended to bring more arms control experts back into the State Department, where arms control functions had been "significantly degraded" under Bush.
On Iraq, Clinton said ending the war is a priority. The first step will be moving troops out of cities by June, in line with an agreement already established between the Bush administration and the Iraqi government. The agreement calls for all U.S. troops to be gone by the end of 2011. Obama has said he believes the withdrawal can be accomplished more quickly.