"And I put the picture in my office. It's still there. I look at Barack and Michelle and their daughters every day when I'm in my office. I think he's an extraordinary person. And we were friends before, and we will be friends afterwards," she added.
"Not one scintilla of bad blood between you now?" Couric asked.
"Not from my side, no," Clinton said. "I was sitting on that stage in Los Angeles and I was thinking to myself, 'This is what I have dreamed of my entire life,' you know."
"An African-American, a woman. I never thought I'd be the woman, but here I am. And I'm on this stage. And this is like the culmination of the efforts, the struggles, the sacrifice of so many people who came before. So whenever I look at him I think about that. I mean, it is about him, just like it is about me. But it's also about what we represent. And who could not be thrilled about that? I am," Clinton said.
"I understand when he joined the Senate he came to see you for advice. And you told him to work hard," Couric remarked.
"I did," Clinton said.
"And keep a low profile," Couric said.
"I did," Clinton acknowledged, laughing.
But Obama didn't keep a low profile. "Not for long. Not for long," Clinton said.
Asked if the media has treated her the same way as they've treated Obama, Clinton told Couric, "I think the media has certainly been very, shall we say, tough on me."
"Tougher on you than Senator Obama?" Couric asked.
"Or nearly anybody else, the best I can tell. But that's okay," Clinton said.
"You've said, 'I've been through the Republican attacks. And I've been vetted.' And cynics suggest that you're insinuating there's some deep, dark secret that is in Barack Obama's past that will be somehow unveiled by a GOP attack machine," Couric said.
"You know, that is not what I'm suggesting at all. But, you know, Senator Obama has never had, I don't think, a single negative ad run against him. He's never been on the receiving end even in this campaign. It's been incredibly civil by any modern standards," Clinton said. "Until you have been through this experience, you have no idea what it's like. And he hasn't been. He's never, ever had to face this. And I think that I am much better prepared and ready to, you know, withstand whatever comes my way."
"Are you saying he couldn't handle it?" Couric asked.
"I'm just saying that I've been there and I know how to handle it. And I think that one of the factors the Democrats should take into account as they make their decisions in these upcoming elections is who could be the best nominee to, you know, take us to victory in November," Clinton replied.
"Let me ask you about that, senator. Because in exit polls, most people thought you would make a better commander in chief. But, they said, Barack Obama would be better at unifying the country. Why are you so often seen as polarizing?" Couric asked.
"I think it's because I have been active on behalf of a lot of controversial causes like universal healthcare, like a woman's right to choose for many, many years. And that is who I am," Clinton said. "Unity for the sake of unity is not my goal. I want to unify the country around meeting big goals like dealing with our energy crisis. I want to call the country to action around global warming. I want to set some, you know, really big vision that young people can buy into. That's the best way to unify the country."
"Senator Obama told Steve Kroft that you represent the status quo, that you accept the rules of the game as it's played in Washington," Couric remarked.
"Yes, I've heard him say that. And I'm not quite sure ever what he means. It's clever. It's a sort of a clever point to make. But, of course the status quo is George Bush. The status quo are the Republicans. The status quo are the people like Senator McCain who want more of the same. I think I represent dramatic change. You know no one will ever accuse me as having the same policies as George W. Bush," Clinton replied.