Monday, February 16, 2009

Bill Clinton talks to CNN about Hillary's trip

Bill Clinton sat down recently with CNN's John Roberts to ask him his opinion about how the Obama administration is performing, how his wife is doing as Secretary of State, and what responsibility he may have for the current financial crisis. It aired this morning on American Morning on CNN.You can read the full interview here, but I pulled out the questions on Hillary.

Roberts: Your wife is on a big trip over to the Far East, talking with the leaders of China. She's going to be taking on the North Korea issue. There's been some talk in the last week that with the appointment of all of these high profile envoys, from Richard Holbrooke to South Asia, George Mitchell to the Middle East, Dennis Ross in the same area, Vice President Joe Biden out there talking about foreign policy, that maybe she might get a little bit elbowed out here when she it comes to the big projects. Are you concerned about that? Do you talk to her about that?

Clinton: No. I'm not concerned about it. And these envoys are her idea, both the idea of the envoys and the people who were selected. She thinks that Joe Biden has got one of the best foreign policy minds and certainly some of the most important foreign policy experience we've had. Let me remind you when I was president, Al Gore had special relationships with both Russia and South Africa. And it didn't undermine the authority of either Warren Christopher or Madeleine Albright as secretary of state.

The reason they're doing this, and the reason the president agreed to support it -- and he came to the State Department to support the announcements of Holbrooke and Mitchell -- is that they all want to get off to a fast start and you've got to do a lot of things at once. It's inconceivable that she could devote the time and detailed attention right now to having a diplomatic strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan that exactly parallels the military strategy that [the head of U.S. General Command] Gen. [David] Petraeus has or figures out how to start the Middle East peace negotiations again and what the timetable is and do all this other stuff.

So as long as they're working on a team and nobody is playing sharp elbows and this is a team -- these guys have got a team concept. The president has made it clear he wants everybody to be on the team, they all report in to her as well as to him. They're all working together. I'm very impressed by that. I think that she made a judgment that we needed in the country's interest to do everything at once. And I think she's right.

Roberts: Of course, bilateral relations between the United States and China, a big focus of your administration, did you talk to her at all about this trip?

Clinton: Sure I did. Just like she consulted with a lot of people, we talked about it. I told her what my take on the Chinese is and especially in light of the fact that I work there now in AIDS, I have a big AIDS project there. And I know how they think economically and I think she'll do quite well there. I think she made a really good decision obviously, she had to go to Japan and south Korea, but going to Indonesia, the word's biggest Muslim country, sends a loud signal because Indonesia has a part of it, Bali, which is predominantly Hindu, which has been the subject of terrorist attacks. It's a good deal, I mean the whole thing, it's the right place to start.

Here's a clip of Bill in his response to the infamous "House-Husband Poll."

I love hearing Bill Clinton talk. Just listening to the way his mind works and his thought process is intriguing to me. He talks very straightforward and is so smart. I'm glad he is backing Obama and giving him his support. I also think he is really proud of Hillary and it was so cute to hear him say that he wishes he could go with her and be there for her. Awwwww.


PYW said...

After that last clip, CNN's John Roberts was asked about Bill's seeming to be thrilled about Hillary's new job, and he said, "Absolutely."

Sarah said...

oh wow, that's great to hear!

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