FORMER US president Bill Clinton says he will be given the task of restoring the image of the United States overseas if his wife Hillary is elected president.
Speaking to The Guardian while on a visit to London, Mr Clinton said his wife would ask him to "go out and immediately restore America's standing, go out and tell people America was open for business and co-operation again" after eight years of policies that he said had served to "enrage the world".
Mr Clinton, who was US president from 1992 to 2000, said that for the first time in his political life, "ordinary US voters in the heartlands are concerned about who would be most likely to restore America's standing in the world".
He said the effect of American unilateralism over the Iraq war had been "to enrage the world at the very moment when we had more support than we've had in recent memory, because of 9/11 (the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York City and Washington)".
"The average American knows instinctively that we have almost no problems in the world that we can solve all by ourselves," said Mr Clinton, who was in London for a fund-raising dinner for his wife's presidential campaign, and to promote his new book, Giving.
"And that, I think, is helping her candidacy, because people believe — I think rightly — that if she were elected she would quickly move to restore our standing in the world, and tell people there may be a few occasions when we have to do something on our own, but our strong preference is going to be co-operative."
Poll results published on Thursday showed Hillary Clinton leading Republican frontrunner Rudolph Giuliani in a hypothetical 2008 showdown for the White House.
The Washington Post-ABC News survey came a day after she posted a 33-point lead over her top party rival Barack Obama in another poll.
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