Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice praised her successor, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), as having what it takes to hold the country's top diplomatic position, while pledging to keep comments on Clinton's work to herself.

"I know that she will bring enormous energy and intellect and skill to the position," Rice said. "I know her to be somebody who has what you need most in this job, which is a deep love for the United States of America and for its values, a respect for differences that we may have with friends and allies, but always recognizing that the core of who we are as Americans unites us with very many around the world."

President-elect Barack Obama named Clinton, his longtime rival during this year's Democratic primary, to head the State Department at a press conference in Chicago Monday morning.

"As to advice, I'll give her that advice privately, and then she won't and you won't hear from me again, because I will certainly not make the effort to comment on everything that is done," Rice added, to audience laughter.