The US State Department has welcomed its new boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the first former First Lady to take one of America’s top jobs. In the past eight years the State Department has suffered as the Pentagon asserted its control over US foreign policy. One of Clinton’s tasks will be to restore the State Department’s authority in policy and get its voice heard in the White House and overseas.America’s image abroad is a key area for this new government and Clinton sounds as though she is to go about it her own way. She said: “I believe with all my heart that this is a new era for America.” This was not a language of shock and awe. “I will do all that I can working with you to make it abundantly clear that robust diplomacy and effective development are the best long term tools for securing America’s future.” But it is a bulging caseload awaiting Hillary. To underline the change he is bringing to Washington, the President makes a morale-boosting visit to the State Department on Thursday night.