CLINTON ON ‘MTP’…. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton covered quite a bit of ground on “Meet the Press” this morning, including praise for China as part of the international response to North Korea, which, she noted, “doesn’t have any friends left.”

Clinton also took a firm line with Iran, telling its leaders that pursuing a nuclear weapons program is “futile,” adding, “What we want to do is to send a message to whoever is making these decisions, that if you’re pursuing nuclear weapons for the purpose of intimidating, of projecting your power, we’re not going to let that happen.”

The Secretary of State added, however, that the should the U.S. engage Iranian officials, it will not betray the dissidents who took to the streets to protest the ruling regime. “We have negotiated with many governments who we did not believe represented the will of their people,” Clinton said. “Look at all the negotiations that went on with the Soviet Union…. That’s what you do in diplomacy. You don’t get to choose the people.”

More generally, I found her discussion of administration vision and principles pretty compelling:

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I also got the sense watching this that the administration is functioning exactly as it should:

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.