The Washington Times - February 18, 2009, 12:10PM

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was “the most surprised person in the world” when President Obama asked her to be his chief diplomat, she told an audience in the Indonesian capital Jakarta Wednesday.

Mrs. Clinton said she didn’t expect to end up working for the man who beat her in last year’s Democratic primaries. She explained to civil society leaders in this relatively new democracy that, in elections, there are winners and losers, and the losers should acknowledge their defeat and either move on, or try to bring about change by other peaceful means.


“I have some experience, ” she said to laughter from the audience.

She was treated like a top celebrity in Indonesia, with scores of people lining up where she and her motorcade walked and rode. She received a warm welcome at the airport on arrival, where 44 children from an elementary school where Mr. Obama went in the late 1960s, sang a folk song and waived American and Indonesian flags.