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Hillary Clinton 'would make an excellent president': Obama

Hillary Clinton would make an excellent president: Obama

Panama City: Hillary Clinton would make "an excellent president", US President Brack Obama said a day before Clinton's much-touted launch of her run for the White House in 2016.

Obama's former secretary of state and 2008 primary opponent, Clinton was set to announce her candidacy for the Democratic nomination on Sunday, the Guardian reported on Sunday.

The president was speaking in Panama City, after an historic meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas and before a diplomatically delicate meeting with the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The president said Clinton -- who was the First Lady for eight years, then senator for New York and Secretary of State in Obamas's first term in office -- "was a formidable candidate in 2008, she was a great supporter of mine in the general election, she was an outstanding Secretary of State, she is my friend."

"I think she would be an excellent president," Obama said.

Obama hedged his bets over whether Clinton would indeed run, being careful not to appear to steal her thunder. But at a lengthy press conference during which he was asked about Clinton, he said: "The one thing I can say is, she's going to be able to handle herself very well in any conversation or debates around foreign policy."

"And her track record with respect to domestic policies is I think one that cares about working families."

"If she decides to run," Obama said, "and she makes an announcement, she's going to have some strong messages to deliver."

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