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Sunday Talk Show Thread *updated*

November 21, 2010

Ok, I’ve spent all morning trying to round up these videos and I still need MTP. The MTP interview is actually available on their website but each time I upload it to vodpod I end up with a one-minute clip on the story about the Pope and condoms, which I am not interesting in right at this minute.

I’ll be working on a photo bomb soon- I’m running late so it will be up later than usual so check back if you are interested.

Here is the transcript from her Fox News interview- and the interview:

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, welcome back to Fox News Sunday.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Chris. Good to talk to you.

QUESTION: NATO has now agreed to a goal of 2014 for turning over security responsibility to the Afghans. Does that mean that the U.S. will have combat troops there for the next four years and possibly beyond?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Chris, I think what happened today was a real vote of confidence in the strategy that is being pursued by the NATO ISAF coalition. We are following the lead of President Karzai and the Afghans, who have set 2014 as the year during which security will be transitioned to the Afghans. There was discussion today and an agreement by the NATO and ISAF partners that there will be a continuing effort to train and equip and support the Afghans. But the point of the declaration by the NATO ISAF partners is that the transition to lead Afghan security will occur during 2014.

QUESTION: But that means U.S. combat troops will be there for four more years and, as I understand it, possibly beyond.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I don’t know quite what you mean by that because, for example, if you are going to continue in a supportive role, whether it’s American troops or one of our other contributing nations, you’re not there for the primary duty of security or combat, you’re there to support the Afghans. But does that mean you’re going to defend yourself? Does that mean you’ll come to the aid of one of your Afghan colleagues in trouble? Of course. But that is not the primary goal. The goal is to transition the security to an Afghan lead.

And what we heard at the ISAF meeting was the contributions from contributing nations to increase the number of trainers and mentors so that we could accelerate the training of the Afghan security forces. So all around, this was a great vote of confidence in President Obama’s strategy for Afghanistan.

QUESTION: You met with Afghan President Karzai the other day. Last week, he said that the U.S. must reduce its military operations, especially its night raids, which are the very tactics that seem to be working. I know you met with him, as I say, a couple of days ago. Did you get him onboard the new aggressive U.S. battle plan?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Chris, I think I just want to somewhat take issue with your characterization – a new aggressive American battle plan. I think what you will hear from General Petraeus, President Obama, President Karzai, and all of us is that we now have all of the components of the strategy that President Obama directed a year ago. And we believe it’s working, and not only do we in the American Government believe it’s working; what was particularly reassuring is that the expressions of support that came from the NATO ISAF partner countries also recognized that we are making progress on the ground.

Now, when you are engaged in both trying to kill and capture the enemy and get support from the local population, you have to be always asking yourself, “Is what I’m doing keeping that balance?” General Petraeus understands that probably better than anyone. In my conversation with President Karzai, in the meeting that I just came from that President Obama had with President Karzai, we were very clear in saying we have to continue to do what is working, but we cannot do it to the extent that it turns people against the very strategy that’s working.

QUESTION: And did President —

SECRETARY CLINTON: This is a constant evaluation, and I think it shows the level of real dialogue that’s going on between us.

QUESTION: And did President Karzai agree to that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Absolutely. He is expressing legitimate concerns that come to him from the Afghan people. I mean, if you have a night raid and you take out a Taliban leader, he’s all for that. If you have a night raid and four or five other people who have nothing to do with the Taliban are collateral damage, that’s a problem. Everybody understands that. So what we’re trying to do, and I think we are succeeding through a lot of hard work by our military and civilian leadership on the ground, is to constantly try to get that balance right.

QUESTION: The Obama Administration is pushing for a vote this year on the New START Treaty agreement with the Russians, but the lead Republican John Kyl says that there’s not enough time in this session, this lame duck session before the end of the year. And the fact is you only have one of the nine Republican votes you need. Aren’t you taking a big chance pushing for a vote this year and running the risk of suffering a major, embarrassing defeat on the world stage?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Chris, I have a great deal of respect for all of my colleagues, Democratic and Republican, in the Senate. And I think that everyone is trying to figure out how to do the right thing on this important treaty. I would just make three quick points.

One, this is in the national security interest of the United States. There’s no doubt about it. In fact, what I was heartened by and even a little surprised by at the NATO meeting was the number of people, like Chancellor Merkel of Germany, like foreign ministers and prime ministers and presidents from the Baltic countries, from Central and Eastern Europe, like the editorial that was written by the foreign minister of Poland – people who are on the ground in Europe, nearby Russia, many of whom were part of the former Soviet Union, who are saying: Please ratify this treaty now, United States Senate.

Now, why are they saying that? Not because they have a dog in the hunt between Republicans and Democrats in our country. It’s because they know that this would be an important treaty for the continuing cooperation between Russia and the United States.

Secondly, we do not have any inspectors verifying what Russia is doing with their nuclear stockpile or anything else that is going on in their sites. We’ve lost that capacity. If you talk to any of our intelligence experts, like General Jim Clapper, the new director of the National Intelligence Agency, they will tell you we cannot go much longer without that capacity restored.

And finally, this is in the tradition of not just bipartisan but nonpartisan action on behalf of arms control treaties, going back to President Reagan, who famously said, “Trust, but verify.” Well, right now, we have no verification. So what we are arguing is that we’ll find the time in the lame duck. I understand the legitimate concern that there might not be enough time to debate, to make sure that everybody is well-informed. But as Senator Lugar, who is one of the leading experts in the world on the dangers posed by nuclear weapons, on the necessity of having more insight into what Russia is doing, he said we cannot wait. I agree with him.

And so we’re continuing to work with all of our Democratic and Republican senators to try to get to a point where we can hold that vote this year.

QUESTION: We got a verdict this week in the big – let me start again. We got a verdict this week in the first big civilian file of a terror detainee who had been held in a CIA secret prison and then transferred to Guantanamo, Ahmed Ghailani, who was convicted on one count but acquitted on 284 other counts, all the other counts. This was supposed to be the easiest trial to conduct.

So I guess the question is, do you have any choice now expect to hold all of these terror detainees at Gitmo and either give them military trials or just hold them indefinitely?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Chris, I think that the verdict needs to be put into a larger context. The sentence for what he was convicted of is 20 years to life. Now, that is a significant sentence.

Secondly, some of the challenges in the courtroom would be the very same challenges before a military commission about whether or not certain evidence could be used.

Thirdly, we do believe that what are called Article III trials, in other words, in our civilian courts, are appropriate for the vast majority of detainees. There are some for whom it is not appropriate. You will get no argument from this Administration on that point.

But when you look at the success record in civilian courts of convicting, sentencing, detaining in maximum security prisons by the civilian courts, it surpasses what yet has been accomplished in the military commissions. So I’m well aware, as a former senator from New York on 9/11, how important it is to get this right. I want to see these guys behind prison or executed, whatever is appropriate in the individual cases.

Now, we are moving to try to do that in the way that maximizes the outcome that is in the best interest of the security of the American people. So I don’t think you can, as a rule, say oh, no more civilian trials or no more military commissions. President Obama’s theory of this is that most should be in Article III courts, some should be confined to military commissions. But as things stand right now, we have actually gotten more convictions, and more people, more terrorists, are serving time in prison right now, because of Article III courts than military commissions.

QUESTION: Secretary, one final question. You made some news recently in Australia when you ruled out running again for office in 2012 and 2016. (Laughter.) Why?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, I love what I’m doing. I can’t tell you what it’s like, Chris, to every day get to represent the United States. And it’s why I feel so strongly about every issue from START to Afghanistan.

QUESTION: Are you categorically saying that you are done with political office, elective office?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I have said it over and over again and I’m happy to say it on your show as well: I am committed to doing what I can to advance the security, the interests, and the values of the United States of America. I believe that what I’m doing right now is in furtherance of that, and I’m very proud and grateful to be doing it.

QUESTION: So you’re done with elective office?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I am. I am very happy doing what I’m doing, and I am not in any way interested in or pursuing anything in elective office.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, we want to thank you so much. Thank you for talking with us, and safe travels home.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thanks a lot, Chris. Good to talk to you.

Here is the video from Face the Nation.

Transcript from Face the Nation:

QUESTION: And the Secretary of State is speaking to us from Lisbon, Portugal. Madam Secretary, thank you.

You and the President met with President Karzai of Afghanistan while you were there. Is he still wanting to reduce the American presence in Afghanistan?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Bob, first, I think that what happened in Lisbon by the NATO ISAF alliance was extremely important. It was basically a resounding vote of confidence in President Obama’s strategy, which, by all accounts, is making progress.

As part of that strategy, we are trying to balance two imperatives: on the one hand, going after, killing, and capturing the Taliban; on the other hand, maintaining the support of the Afghan people. And I think what President Karzai has raised with me and others is that we constantly have to be asking ourselves, “Are we getting that balance right?”

He is fully in support of the strategy. He is fully in support of the fact that it is making progress. But he is very sensitive, as you would expect the president of any country to be, as to whether or not, when we engage in night raids or other offensive actions, we are actually getting the bad guys, and not conducting actions that result in a lot of civilian casualties.

And so, General Petraeus understands that, and they are working closely together to make sure that they stay in sync.

QUESTION: Well, that doesn’t sound exactly like what he told the Washington Post just a week ago, when he said U.S. forces were becoming too intrusive in Afghan life, he wanted to stop the nighttime raids, which is kind of the heart of General Petraeus’s strategy. Are you telling me he has changed on that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No. What he has said to me and to others is if you have a night raid that kills a Taliban leader, he is all for it. If you have a night raid that kills five or six innocent civilians and maybe some really low-ranking 19-year-old kid who joined the Taliban, he is asking us to evaluate whether or not that is an appropriate balance.

So I think sometimes the very legitimate questions he is raising get blown out of proportion. And I think what we do, in talking with him — and I do it on a regular basis — is to make sure we listen well, and we understand exactly what the root of his concerns are. So we just — I met with him twice, and President Obama met with him, and we have had very in-depth conversations about the way forward. And what I described to you as the example that he gave is exactly what I think he means.

QUESTION: Well, let me ask you. What do you say to the parents of an American 19-year-old, the parents who have lost a 19-year-old in Afghanistan, when they hear that the President of Afghanistan says we’re being intrusive there? What do you say to those people?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we say it — and the President, of course, signs a letter to everyone — every family that loses someone in Afghanistan — we say, “We are making progress in the ground.” That is indisputable. It’s not only something we believe; the Afghans believe it, and all of our NATO ISAF allies believe it.

Number two, because this is a war against an enemy that doesn’t fight fairly, that is picking off civilians, using IEDs going after our troops, we have to be always as clear as we can that we are going after the real enemy, and not just making an offensive move that doesn’t have a positive military reason behind it.

But that 19-year-old who is out on an outpost in Afghanistan is standing up for American national security interests. And maybe there is always a question when you are trying to win the hearts and minds of a population while killing an enemy that lives and hides amidst that population, how best to do it. But I think our young men and women on the ground understand that better than perhaps those who are far from the fight. So this is something we always are asking ourselves, “How can we do it better? How do we protect our people? How do we protect the innocent Afghans? And how do we keep doing what we are doing successfully,” which is degrading and reversing the momentum of the Taliban?

QUESTION: All right. Well, let’s talk about this START Treaty. You know, Madam Secretary, on the President’s recent trip to Asia, he was totally blind-sided when he thought he was going to get a trade agreement in South Korea and the thing fell apart. Now he is saying that getting this START Treaty ratified by the Senate is — he is putting the highest priority on getting that done in this lame duck session in the Congress.

How — isn’t he risking another serious embarrassment? Because, frankly, he doesn’t have the votes to get it ratified in the Senate right now. Why has he said this is the highest priority right now?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Bob, first, I don’t think those are two analogous situations. I mean the President didn’t finalize a deal in Korea because he was not satisfied that the deal was in the best interests of America. And that’s what a President is supposed to do. And so he did the right thing. Obviously, he is continuing to negotiate to get a deal that is in the interests of the United States.

With respect to START, there is no doubt that the START Treaty is in the interest of the United States. Don’t just take it from me or from the President. Look at what Europeans, people like Angela Merkel or the foreign minister of Poland or the presidents of any of the Baltic countries or so many others are saying. They live next door to Russia. They know that this is in their interests. And they also know that, because we have no treaty, there is no inspection going on, there is no verification going on —

QUESTION: But, Madam Secretary, he doesn’t have the votes.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, but it’s always difficult to get these treaties through. It always takes a lot of presidential effort. And we are making the case that, number one, this is in America’s national security interests. Our friends and allies around the world support it. We need to get inspectors back on the ground. Remember what Ronald Reagan said when he was passing an arms control treaty with Russia? “Trust, but verify.” Right now we cannot verify. And this is the kind of important national security agreement that the Senate needs to be encouraged to stop and really study and focus on.

And, to be fair, Bob, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted it out on a big bipartisan vote. It couldn’t get the attention it needed before the election. The President is saying, “This needs to be dealt with in the lame duck session.” Senator Lugar, who knows more about arms control treaties than anybody else, I would argue, in our country probably at this point has said very passionately, “This must be done for the United States.”

QUESTION: But do you think you can get the votes? I guess that’s the question I have.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, but that’s what politics is about. And I have to say I am proud of the President for making this a priority, because he is putting it above politics, which is exactly where it needs to be. He believes so strongly that this is an important treaty to get done this year, that he is putting his enormous office efforts behind it. And, obviously, we are all doing everything we can.

Now, at the end of the day, the senators have to decide. But I would hope that this treaty would be treated as others — whether it was a Democratic or a Republican president — saw their treaties in arms control with the Russians treated, and that is this is beyond politics. Let’s pass it by an overwhelming bipartisan vote.

QUESTION: All right, but let me ask you quickly about this terror trials. We saw one of these people from Guantanamo. He almost walked out of a courtroom here, someone who was charged with blowing up our embassies in Kenya and another place in Africa. And he was acquitted of 284 criminal counts, convicted on only one. Now, mind you, I know he is going to pay some prison time.

Is it time, Madam Secretary, to start rethinking whether we ought to put these people in these civilian court rooms, and think about putting them before a military tribunal?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Bob, I don’t believe so, and here is why. The terrorists who are serving time in our maximum security prisons are there because of civilian courts, what are called Article III courts. Our Article III courts have a much better record of trying and convicting terrorists than military commissions do. And, in fact, this defendant, having been convicted, will be spending somewhere between 20 years and life.

And some of the evidence that was presented could not be used. But the rules of the military commission — which, remember, operates under military law — similarly would be disqualifying certain evidence. I believe that the vast majority of the defendants can be tried in Article III courts. But there are some who should not be. And they should be reserved for military commissions, for a variety of reasons. But I think that —

QUESTION: What about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? Do you think he ought to be tried in a civilian court?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that that is a case that is a very difficult one, because of all of the security issues and the other problems. There will be a recommendation made by the attorney general. But if you look at the case that was finished last week, a lot of the counts were related to evidence that, because it was connected in some way to the use of inappropriate interrogation methods, could not be used. And, as experts in military law have pointed out, that would also be a problem in a military commission.

So, I have no difficulty with people looking at this, expressing their concerns, expressing their opinions. But I would like to see us get a common basis of understanding of the facts as to what can and already has happened — and you can go and look at the roster of maximum security prisons in this country and see a lot of people who are there because of terrorism, compared to what hasn’t yet been proven to be possible within the military commission.

QUESTION: Let me ask you one final question. There is a big uproar in this country now about these new pat-downs that are going on as people try to get on airplanes. Now, do you think that this is necessary in the war against terrorism, or should we take another look at this?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Bob, I think that we have to be constantly asking ourselves, “How do we calculate the risk?” And sometimes we don’t calculate it correctly; we either overstate it or understate it. Clearly, as Secretary Napolitano has said, we are doing this because the terrorists keep getting more creative about what they do to hide explosives, and crazy things like underwear. So, clearly, there is a need.

Now, if there is a way to limit the number of people who are going to be put through surveillance, that is something that I am sure can be considered. But everybody is trying to do the right thing.

QUESTION: Okay —

SECRETARY CLINTON: And I understand how difficult it is, and how offensive it must be for the people who are going through it.

QUESTION: Final question. My time is up. But would you submit to one of these pat-downs?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Not if I could avoid it, no. I mean, who would?

QUESTION: All right. Thank you very much.

Meet the Press Transcript:

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, welcome back to the program.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, David.

QUESTION: I want to talk about this showdown between the President and Senate Republicans over the START Treaty. The President, in his comments to reporters, made it very clear he thinks politics is being played here, saying to reporters, “Nobody’s going to score any political points to 2012.”

Is that the President’s belief here about what’s standing in the way? And in your view, is this really a litmus test of whether there can be bipartisanship in Washington after the election?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think the President believes strongly, and I agree with him, that this treaty is in the national security interests of the United States. And it’s not only Americans who believe that. I’m very impressed by the number of leaders at the NATO-Lisbon summit who voluntarily told their own press or American press – they were chasing down reporters to say this is so much in the interests of Europe and others.

So the President sees this very clearly, but I don’t think he considers this a political issue. It’s a question of whether we have the time and whether we can make the case, in the limited time that the lame duck provides, to satisfy the concerns of two-thirds of the Senate. I think we can. I think that everyone has operated in good faith. We have looked hard at this. When it came out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, it came out with an overwhelming bipartisan vote, 14-4.

I think that the questions are being – that are being asked by Republicans deserve thoughtful answers, and everyone in the Administration stands ready, from Bob Gates to Jim Clapper, the head of – the Director of National Intelligence, because we all see it in the same way. And we’re in the tradition of both Republican and Democratic presidents, going back to Ronald Reagan, who famously said, “Trust, but verify.”

We have no verification without a treaty about what’s going on in Russia’s nuclear program. So I think whether you’re already convinced or can be convinced, I think we want to get our inspectors back on the ground, and the only way to do that is by ratifying this treaty.

QUESTION: Is there an issue, though, of America prestige? The President was dealt a setback on fair trade when he was in Seoul. There was a feeling when it comes to whether it’s trade or economic policy, that America can’t always get what it wants. Is this going to potentially be a problem with the President not being able to get what he wants on the world stage because of Republicans?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, I think that the President didn’t agree to a trade deal in Seoul because he didn’t feel like it was enough in America’s interests. That’s what a president is supposed to do. Obviously, he’s still working to get one finalized that is. And in respect to START, which concerns not just trade but life or death, because we’re talking about thousands of nuclear warheads that are still pointed at the United States.

The President believes that it does go beyond politics. You can argue about a trade deal, but what the tradition has been in the Senate going back to the 1980s with President Reagan, is that once people have had a chance to carefully consider these arms control treaties, they have been passed overwhelmingly. We’ve seen it with the Reagan and the Bush Administrations, the Clinton Administration. Now, of course, we are in the Obama Administration. And in this one area, this goes beyond politics. This should be nonpartisan, not just bipartisan.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, let me get to a few other areas, including the war in Afghanistan. Listening to the President, listening and following the events that have happened at the NATO summit, I wonder whether the Washington clock for the war has change, that Americans should expect that by next July there’s a token number of U.S. forces that are withdrawn, and that really the war doesn’t end for America until 2014.

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, David, I think that we’ve been very clear about this, that the transition to Afghan security lead begins next year in 2011. It is conditions-based. So where it can happen, at what pace it can happen, how many troops can be substituted for, that is what General Petraeus and the military leaders are going to be working on to recommend to the President and the leaders of other countries.

QUESTION: Well, let me get it on a key point, that is it possible then, even in 2014 when you envision and you hope that a transition is complete, might the United States have a long-term presence there, say, in the form of permanent air bases to maintain a presence in the country?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we’re intent upon reaching the goal of transition to Afghan security in 2014. But both the United States and NATO ISAF partners have said that, of course, we’d be willing to continue to help train and equip the Afghan military, what we do with countries around the world. There could be other missions that other countries would take on in terms of civilian aid and supporting the government. So the security lead, the fight, if you will, does transition to the Afghans. Support for that fight will continue to be provided by not just the United States but others.

QUESTION: What about permanent bases?

SECRETARY CLINTON: There’s been no decision whatsoever about any of that.

QUESTION: But is that possible? Is that something that the U.S. is considering?

SECRETARY CLINTON: There’s no consideration. It’s just not on the table at this point.

QUESTION: Let me ask you about – as Secretary of State, you don’t have to deal with airport security, but so many Americans do, especially coming up in this Thanksgiving week.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Right.

QUESTION: There’s obviously a security threat out there, a terror threat, which is why you have this advanced technology and why you have these rather invasive pat-downs that we’re seeing throughout airports around the country. Is this excessive, or is this the right response to the kind of threat environment that Americans face?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the people responsible for our security, such as Secretary Napolitano, obviously believe that this is necessary, and I’m not going to comment or certainly second-guess their considered opinions. At the same time, I think everyone, including our security experts, are looking for ways to diminish the impact on the traveling public. I mean, obviously, the vast, vast majority of people getting on these planes are law-abiding citizens who are just trying to get from one place to another. But let’s not kid ourselves: The terrorists are adaptable; they start doing whatever they can to try to cause harm; and when you have people who are willing to die in order to kill Americans and others, you’ve got folks putting explosives in their underwear. Who would have thought that?

So striking the right balance is what this is about, and I am absolutely confident that our security experts are going to keep trying to get it better and less intrusive and more precise. But at the same time, we want people to travel safely.

QUESTION: And to follow up on terrorism, the Ahmed Ghailani case that was concluded this week with a conviction has raised new questions about whether it’s wise to put these terror suspects in civilian courts. As Secretary of State, why is it important to the rest of the world that these hardened terror suspects go in U.S. civilian courts to be tried?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it’s important, first and foremost, to Americans, which is my highest priority. What is best for the United States and for our own citizens? The civilian courts, known as Article III courts under the Constitution, have a good track record of convicting terrorists. And in fact, if you look at the comparison between terrorists who are now serving time in our maximum security prisons compared to what military commissions have been able to do, there’s no comparison. We get convictions, we send people away in our civilian courts at a much more regularized and predictable way than yet we’ve been able to figure out how in the military commissions.

Secondly, I think there’s a misconception in our own country about what’s admissible in terms of evidence in a civilian court versus a military commission. They don’t have the same rules, but the rules are close enough in terms of what can or can’t be admitted into evidence. So there’s a very strong argument that what the judge in the Ghailani case said could not be admitted would not have been admissible in a military commission.

QUESTION: Well, right. And that is a very narrow issue. But the real issue is there’s a lot of uncertainty in the criminal justice system, as you well know as a lawyer, in a civilian case. But my question is: Are we committed with these terror suspects that if they are acquitted in civilian courts they should be released?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, no, and don’t forget we’re not going —

QUESTION: Well, then why hold up the American system as the right route if you’re not going to release them? That’s what the American system says you have to do.

SECRETARY CLINTON: But, David, first of all, our system is the best system in the world. We all know that. It is good enough and strong enough to either convict and sentence the guilty, or even execute where appropriate, and where you can’t convince an American jury, which is certainly obsessed with terrorism, maybe there’s a question about the strength of the case.

And I think what we are trying to do is get the best result consistent with our laws and constitution. And under our laws, military commissions are legal for certain cases, but it should be the primary decision to use our civilian courts whenever and wherever possible. So I think that this has become a kind of strange argument. On the one hand, people say we want to convict these people. The civilian courts have a better record of actually convicting and imprisoning than we do yet have in the military commission. But we also don’t want to have security problems or publicity problems for particularly dangerous leading terrorists, so we should look at the military commission. So I think that this is a difficult issue, but I really hope that everyone can look at it carefully and consider all of the facts concerning this.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, before I let you go, I have to ask you this just as a political observer. What do you make of what happened on election day? And all this talk about Sarah Palin – when I interviewed you a while back, you said you’d be willing to sit down and have coffee with her. She may be someone who is in a position to try to equal what you accomplished in the political arena. What advice might you give her and what do you make of what’s happened politically?

SECRETARY CLINTON: You know, David, the best thing about being of Secretary of State is representing the United States around the world, but the second best thing is I’m out of politics. So with all due respect, I am not going to comment on the political scene right now other than to say that I’m focused on making the case to 67-plus senators in the Senate to pass the START treaty because that, to me, is the most important task facing the Senate and it goes way beyond politics.

QUESTION: And here I thought I’d lulled you into a moment of candor. (Laughter.) Secretary Clinton, thank you very much, as always.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, David.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. filipino-american4hrc permalink
    November 21, 2010 2:11 pm

    Thanks for this, Stacy! I’m looking forward to the videos. Hillary is really good at such back-and-forth’s, and I especially like how she defended the civilian trials. Now, regarding the questions, I’m beginning to believe that there’s a centralized set of talking points handed out to the Sunday talk shows if they want to do this kind of interview — they’re all alike and practically in the same order! Oh, well. . .That’s why I love Christiane Amanpour.

    • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
      November 21, 2010 4:44 pm

      Yeah, I imagine the hosts were told she wouldn’t be fielding questions about Israel, for example. The press has been stone-walled on this during State dep’t briefings, too.

      • November 21, 2010 6:12 pm

        Yeah, it’s strange that every single interview followed the same formula- 1) afghanistan 2) START and 3) TSA rules. Of course all of those issues (save the last one) are what she’s been focusing on recently but not one single mention of Israel or any other issue? Kind of strange.

        I really wish she would go on Amanpour’s show on ABC and I wonder if there is a reason she hasn’t. Maybe she just hasn’t had the time. I think Amanpour is a real class act and very fair but she does tend to ask harder questions than a lot of the beltway interviewers.

        I read the State Dept. press briefings every day and they get really annoyed when people ask about the Mideast peace negotiations and the deal allegedly in the works. I totally understand that they don’t want to prejudge an outcome by having private conversations spilled to the media but when it comes to financial deals to EITHER side that go above and beyond their foreign aid packages, I feel like We the People should know about it. Of course I know the response they would give- “when the deal goes through you will know about it and its subject to Congressional approval.”

        I like to think that Secretary Clinton would never even consider freeing Jonathan Pollard as part of this deal- he’s up for parole in 2014 I think- he should be paroled and then the story is over.

  2. November 21, 2010 2:18 pm

    As soon as I get the other videos I’ll post them. I was thinking the exact same thing about the questions- every interviewer asked the exact same thing! I was sort of annoyed with that to be honest for reasons that have nothing to do with Hillary- there are so many important issues going on despite a 24/7 news cycle every single news channel talks about the same 3 or 4 things.

    And regarding the patdowns at the airport- yes, they are intrusive but I find it interesting that in the years following 9/11 the government has been involved in so many questionable civil liberties violations- warrantless wiretapping of domestic communications of everybody, national security letters, the FBI going after anti-war groups under PATRIOT Act and even things like the use of torture and indefinite detentions and hardly anyone but a handful of people even made a fuss. But SUDDENLY, because this is something tangible that impacts us in a way we can see (and feel), we our OUTRAGED for this intrusion and violation of being felt up by a TSA worker at the airport. I find that to be the perfect example of how spoiled we are as a nation. Can you imagine how we would react if we had to feel the effects of the two wars that our troops are fighting, every single day, much like civilians did during WWI and WWII? Can you imagine if we actually had to SACRIFICE in some tangible way? We’d be out of Iraq and Afghanistan so fast it’d make your head spin.

    • November 21, 2010 11:12 pm

      What if the next bombing attempt is with explosive material in a body cavity? Are we all going to face a proctologist at the airport? The thing is that if someone is willing to die to make a statement against your government, sooner or later, they are going to succeed, unless they are consistently inept.

      And although our government never wants to face the question, as a people, we should face the question of why us? I don’t see anyone risking death or torture to kill people in Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, or Singapore. It’s interesting to me that so many Americans don’t question when our politicians say that the terrorists hate our freedom, as if we’re the only free country in the world. There are plenty of free countries (whose citizens don’t face pat downs or full body scans) who the potential terrorists couldn’t care less about attacking.

  3. HillaryFan permalink
    November 21, 2010 4:03 pm

    Thanks so much for pulling this altogether. I know it must take some time and it’s much appreciated. I was just over at Taylor Marsh and saw you had done a long post over there- honestly I don’t know how you have the time to do all this blogging- and I mean that in a good way.

    I liked the interviews and shame on Obama if he doesn’t realize Hillary could be a huge asset in getting his message out.

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