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tv   Book Discussion  CSPAN  September 28, 2014 10:00am-10:46am EDT

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barrett, executive editor at the washington post. marty? >> good morning, everyone. first thing i need to do, i was instructed to make an announcement, that is that we want to make sure you have your cellphones office, so that we don't have any unusual disruptions for this program. we appreciate that. c-span is filming this as well by the way. i am proud to say the post has been a charter sponsor of the national book festival since its inception in 2001.
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we are enormously proud of our support for this, we are proud to be associated with the library of congress which is keeper of what it likely calls the world's most comprehensive record of human creativity and knowledge. the library of congress is more than a collector of treasured works. with this festival it seeks to nurture and celebrate remarkable achievements of our time and in this pavilion today the history and biography. there can be no better way to launch this program than by introducing the authors of it, an examination of a central political figure of our time, hillary clinton. she could be our next president. or a clinton campaign could flock. it did happen once before. is out of the ashes of that previous campaign that two skilled political reporters, jonathan allen and amy bonds picked up hillary clinton's story. these are the storytellers you
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want, experienced, sourced, astute. jonathan is former white house bureau chief for politico and currently washington bureau chief for bloomberg news and amy is white house correspondent for the hill. their book, "hrc: state secrets and the rebirth of hillary clinton," is the story of her phoenix like rebirth out of the ashes of her stunning defeat in the 2008 democratic primary some members of ambition still burned. who would have guessed? as you might have surmised with the clintons there were some scores to settle too. her younger rival had a job to offer her and it is possible her performance in that job as secretary of state will make or break a campaign. washington post review of "hrc: state secrets and the rebirth of hillary clinton" called it deeply reported and ably written. for free layers of intrigue develop when a celebrity
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politician who is married to another celebrity politician loses to another celebrity politician and goes on to serve the politician who defeated her. and jonathan and amie parnes gained extraordinary access to this typically guarded hillary clinton. it give an in-depth interview with her and 200 hours. and confidents, critics and enemies. there is a pleasure to see the floor to jonathan and amie parnes and let them tell you what i learned about a woman who has been at the center of american political life for while more than two decades. thank you. [applause]
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>> thank you all for coming. >> thank you to wells fargo and to marty for the kind introduction. as son of a former professor, i would like to thank you. could you wave? hillary clinton became boring and uninteresting to news people over the last 20 years. i am kidding about that. every time i look at my iphone there's a new story about hillary clinton often avoid of news and i think we have to get used to that. i suggest humbly if you read the book, you can stop paying attention to news reports about her for a year-and-a-half. these pick up when you get into the primary. the general election season. >> i think the biggest thing we
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both came in to this with certain goals. my personal goal was i wanted to find out how this woman who was succeeded by this guy who came out of nowhere, how she came back and how she was able to go work for him. even as i was covering this champagne i thought how could you do this? how could you lose this primary and go on and be a team player. inspiring as a human being and i wanted to know more about that story line. >> the motivating factor for us was we looked at the time period hillary clinton was at the state department where she was covered by diplomatic reporters, not really political reporters and this is a very political person for a very political family with
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a real interest in potentially running for president. i wanted to put it in the context of what if she is running for president in 2016. when we decided to do this in summer of 2012 a lot of people thought she would do that, not as many people as currently do, we thought was important to tell that story. the decisions that she made, the people who are around her, all these things for particularly those of us who live in washington, and why those elements are important, the people around you are important for the way you make decisions -- we thought that was an important tale to tell. and i will let amie parnes talk about low fun part which is the campaign politics we are trying to get at. >> as john said, she is a very
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political figure even when she tries to remain out of politics so we looked at this as this is a woman who could run for president. the theory became more and more true to us as we report the book. we interviewed 200 people for this book, some people were fierce and amused, some -- we tried to tell and accurate picture of where she was at this point in time. >> i would add to that a couple things. one is the way we approach this once we had done a lot of the interviews was this is somebody who has been running for president for a very long time and the question is whether she runs for president in 2016, whether she stops running for president in 2016, we don't see a period in the last six years
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where she was not laying the groundwork for presidential campaign, up 16,000 thank you and notes in the 2008 election, and these are what -- you probably heard of this anecdote, but to end including her husband going out on a primary campaign trail, attorney general races and helping people who endorsed hillary clinton in 2008 in democratic primaries against people who helped barack obama in 2008. she was still punishing barack obama's friends for opposing her through bill clinton. that is one of the strains that goes through this book, how the two of them work together, expanding the political network, to build the family's operation
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all the way if through the 2008 election, the 2010 election, the 2012 election, and so that is the fun stuff. that is fundamental foreign policy as well. and we need to read one of our favorite excerpts from the book especially one that is good here in d.c. about a time there was a clash between the obama and clinton camps, one of the hottest and heaviest in the eerily days of 2009 so you get a little -- these guys are not going on vacation at martha's vineyard, they're living in separate houses, the obamas and the clintons but at the same time the shotgun wedding of the political forces in the united states, ended of being profitable for both of them and we will see if that continues
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going forward but up to this point they held that together. for the most part. >> this is an excerpt from part 2 and it is chapter 5 and it is called bloom where you are planted and we love this particular quote, it is one of hillary clinton's favorite quotes. it is basically you have to succeed where you are, no matter if you are unhappy or happy, she believes this is a philosophy she really believes in. bloom where you are planted. in the spring of 2009 obama's team gathered as it often did in white house counsel greg craig, would corner office on the second floor of the west wing. in lunchtime session's low small set of senior aides typically shuffled through paperwork, as many as 15 job candidates.
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on this day one name conjured such searing memories from the campaign trail that its that out from the others to push on marshall. the west wing group considered marshallese staunch hillary loyalists, to be an enemy combatants. like many of the women who surround hillary marshall is grateful, disciplined and a brunette with a short hair cut and highlights, have croatian and have mexican marshall who favors rigorous workouts when swayback with the clintons. marshall had been one of hillary's closest confidants in washington since becoming the youngest white house secretary in memory following bill's 1992 campaign. when hillary was in june 2008, she entrusted marshall with running her political action committee at a time when some democrats fear hillary might make a final play for the
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nomination at the convention. back then the animosity between the two camps had run so deep that hillary was a bulletin board material in the obama scheduling office. they had these unflattering pictures of her said one source who saw the display kind of like a locker room mind set. even after the primary, marshall had been inside of the project, counting elegance from the texas primary convention to make sure hillary won her fair share. no single marshall stood out in the minds of obama's aids so much as a general view that she embodied that heated hillary. the president's team had acquiesced when hillary shows cheryl miller as a chief of staff and with even greater hesitancy, his senior adviser, as there were members of hillary's personal past and that is entirely within her domain.
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every picked marshall to be the nation's chief protocol officer. deposition that carried with it the coveted seat of an ambassador's ring and a reserved seat on air force one any time the president traveled abroad. not only would hillary have a lot of base time with obama but she would be taking up high-profile spots on the administration, a friend of the president. there was another red flag on her nomination, generally betting issues, and those charges and occasionally embarrassing associations. one nominee had been photographed with lisa and, the porn film actress who played the title in a hustler produced video called noon is nailing pailin. marshall's problem was less lascivious the troubling all the same. she had filed a tax return in
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2005 or 2006. she rectified the admission in the fall of 2008 around the time it became clear hillary might take a job in the administration. as it turned back marshall was entitled to refundss from those years but still tax issues had the sense of obama nominees including treasury secretary timothy geithner air and tom daschle and the white house had opportunity for another tax story. >> having an attorney from the justice department read a three page memo on march aloud, white house deputy chief of staff jim messina and deputy communications director dan pfeiffer were visually advocated -- agitated in their chairs as another obama campaign veterans around the room. by all rights this jobless aplomb that should be going to and obama loyalists, not to marshall and not a fit man defending yet another nominee against questions of improper
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tax filings. it was going to be a press problem at the time when we had been through a lot of confirmation issues with tom daschle and timothy geithner. i will pause for a moment. if you have small children you might cut their ears. this is a parental advisory. i will back up the second. a lot of confirmation issues with tom daschle in timothy geithner. they reacted viscerally, fuck no she was a complete bit during the campaign and worse. marshall at experience with white house level social planning and her closeness to the hillary clinton made a natural. obama's aides didn't see it that way. no one in a room spoke up to defend her, not legislative affairs specialist sean kennedy had to get marshall confirmed for the senate if she was nominated, not personnel director nick see hogan, not greg craig who along with senator richard blumenthal had been a study of bill clinton and hillary rodham when bill cook up
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his mother's fried chicken to serve guests in the vietnam war. and alignment with obama had been a major be trail during the campaign. it was less than they were against marshall than they wanted one of their infested people in the profile role. we should have our person said one senior white house aide familiar with discussions on marshall, it would have been the equivalent of the roles being reversed if hillary was president and as cutting a deal, and when you think of it that way, one of us traveling with them. the process worked in such a way that by the time a job candidate reached the team he or she was on was the only immediate consideration. if obama rejected her another candidate would be lined up in the same way, a process that could take weeks or months. hopefully obama and clinton
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could take a primary behind them. and the only personal effect was robert kennedy poster on the wall. the two sides didn't understand each other. they didn't trust each other, the president's aides didn't have another candidate in mind to cast their votes. they are certain they did not want marshall. the thumb pointing down. a strawberry blonde in montana takes the edge off of his often profane vocabulary delivered bad news to the team. they are clearly and h r c pick and needs to be raised with the president. typically skirmishs hr lower-level aides were resolved with cheryl mills, hillary clinton's chief of staff for obama's aides backed down rather
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than kicking the command jane. obama's team tried to draw a line in the scene, one of the rare occasions a personal fight ended up in obama's store. this is a, quote, test case and, quote, watershed moment in a brittle monthlong fight between the white house and state over hillary's power to pick her team. marshall had a secret weapon in valerie jarrett, who had worked as a special assistant for president in the clinton white house, lobbied jarrett on marshall's the have describing his strengths and skills and encouraging her -- >> to bat for marshall too. the white house didn't fully appreciate the role she was protocol officer and what went into it. it wasn't a glorified advanced after or donor with little experience in washington. there is nobody better to do this job, hillary told obama. she has the experience from the social office, a great touch and helping organize people, she will be fabulous. hillary have also gone rounds with the president, saying i am
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telling you this is the best person, she had said. you will know i am right after you have worked with her for a month and have a renews she held the trump card. the president told me i could kick the people in the state department and this is my pick, she said. so let's move forward. there is a lot going on there, we think, in terms of that battle between obama and clinton. and from the outside people wouldn't -- protocol officer most people couldn't figure out who that is but these people worked together very closely and if you have a pretty tightly held staff you don't want -- sorry about that. i didn't listen to the admonition earlier. i think that might be rudy guiliani. i don't know why that is having trouble. i am turning it completely off.
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>> but i think -- i think -- is this part was interesting to report because of all the tension. you have obama's side fighting clinton's sides of what we tried to do as two reporters, political reporters, we talk to as many people as possible. you would think we talked to one side to get their take but in reality we talked to white house aides, a lot of clinton people and they all agree that this is what happened and they all had their own thing. this is why we would want our person but they all agreed this was a very tense moment for both sides. >> one of the things, we will read another short bit in a minute but one of the things you find in this story is this intense loyalty hillary clinton feels toward people in her inner
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circle. that is for better and worse. we all think of loyalty as a positive. you want to be loyal to your friends, loyal to the people who are good to you but sometimes it can be a real crimp, or a real inhibitor to good decisionmaking that brings a lot of people in and we work on both sides of that to show the loyalties seem, probably the trade the clintons value more in other people and themselves than anything else and to a fault, sometimes. we think this is one of the stories, and a lot of them that at that in the book, something to think about going forward in terms of presidential campaign in 2016, her 2008 campaign staff was very insular. they made a lot of bad decisions. right now you are seeing the same people around her, some faces exchanged for others. they made a lot of the same
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mistake she made in 2016. in 2008. there are a lot of refreshed thinking. she is aware of that up here but not internally internalized it. we will see. i want to read one more small piece. kind of short. we will take some questions, we like interactions. we like listening to people talk, not the other way around. and the reason, there is the tension point between two interesting characters.
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the first term kentucky republican from the russell senate office killing sweet to the hearing, rachel beauvoir, legislative aide for 4 relations matters at his side. it would be the libertarian leanings tea party favorites in the senate floor and relations committee, met with his staff the day before to go over the benghazi time line. as paul made his way to the hard building, he briefed them on hillary's prepared testimony which was sent over the night before. the rest of the ten minute walk and behind the hearing room, the grass of the timeline, the cables and security between tripoli and washington before the attack, why hillary would have been apprised of those interactions given what wouldn't have -- why hillary wouldn't have been given the high profile level and state department officials have been placed on leave or move to other jobs rather than being fired, and paul laid out his understanding
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of the essential elements, give him a chance to collect if necessary. if you plan to go hard, he didn't share his strategy or the specifics of his questions ahead of time. paul was one of two republicans on the committee widely considered to be interested in running for president in 2016. the other, marco rubio, 40-year-old cuban-american from florida had been falling benghazi for months as a member of the intelligence and foreign relations committees. the mic paul, marco rubio leaned heavily on his national security edge to generate questions for the hearing. he had been president for both public and clothes classified hearings in benghazi and was determined to use his time to ask questions he had been asking of the state department's. he was eager to plug gaps in what he had gotten in the state department and to get to the bottom of answers he didn't think made sense. hillary's and preparation for the hearing included reading transcripts of summaries for 37
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capitol hill briefings over the florida months since the attack. both sessions in which she participated and those in which other administration officials appeared without her. she suspected she would be asked questions for what other departments and agencies had done. even if they had nothing to do with a role of secretary of state. she met behind closed doors with top aides in the days before the hearing to go over questions that make up for various senators. distaff expected they would take shots at her. they went over the talking points used on sunday shows and it becomes a focal point for republican critics of the administration. because the fbi interviewed survivors of the attack, republicans were convinced the white house should have known definitively that there had been no protests outside the gates of the consulate before the attack. the state department's response waited to talk to survivors because they didn't want to create the appearance of interfering with the fbi's invested over tory interviews
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and the fbi hadn't disseminated information about other agencies until after sunday's show appearances. hillary expressed frustration when republicans focus on a talking points and the question of whether the administration started calling it a terrorist attack. she called terrorism in the senate briefings after benghazi determining motivation of the attackers was secondary in her mind to finding them and bring them to justice. i don't understand she told her aides. why don't they get it? everyone who was briefed or testified has wanted to stand up and scream what the hell difference does it make? unwittingly planting the seed. wait in 2012, james clapper, the director of intelligence had become so i read with questions along that line from the house intelligence committee that when one lawmaker asked what he got from benghazi lost his temper. it will be a cold day in hell
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before we get talking points to you again. one republican getting worked up over attacking points was ron johnson, first term wisconsin's senator who would be interrogating hillary in his first hearing in the committee. johnson came from a business background from a world of politics and public policy, requiring them to get up to speed on most of the issues. rather than coming with preprinted notes on what to ask. no one save ron johnson was prepared for him to create the most memorable highlight of the hearing and after that we write about what is going on at the hearing. some of you may have seen something on video. i imagine we will see that again. what difference does it make
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online. we have questions. yes, you. >> in the black shirt. >> a microphone here. we planted her in the audience. >> i apologize if you addressed this earlier. i got in late. i wonder if the administration vigorous prosecution got more difficult to get sources to speak to you, or is the machine that is more difficulty in getting -- >> why don't i answer the first part and you answer the second part? the question is about whether the administration, and the second is whether it was harder because the clinton people don't want anyone talking to. on the first part we don't know entirely what people held back
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because of fear of retribution, and most of it isn't classified material. there were some things, i don't know what we should admit to. i did not encounter anyone say and i'm worried the administration will come in and prosecute me for talking, and when it is played down, the office it's perfect happens, people get tired of information not getting out. if ed snowden brings out this whole trove of information that he is still mining, the blessed a mining in a really irresponsible way and one wonders if he had an opportunity to make the case better for releasing it in a normal way whether that would be better for national security or whether the information would have gotten out or the administration would have talked a little more about
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it, there are a lot of people who think they should but for the question about the book we did not find that. i don't have anything to report on it. >> the second answer is a little touchier because the clinton people i think -- most reporters would say they are pretty -- they are tough people to deal with and have a reputation around town. they like knowing temples guiding this woman who is a value and i think the clintons both values that in their staff so we danced a very delicate dance to see this. we have to deal with them, we came to them with this idea, we would like your cooperation and
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this is what we want to do and slowly over time they sort of started seeing where we were going and helping us more and really valuable in telling the story. i don't think we could have told the story without them. >> you have to look at it in separate tracks, the clinton people said this is what we want to do and people we want to talk to and every once in awhile we send e-mails to people who have not set us up with and we have a few more people set up on the calendar so there would be a response we directly contacted before. we talked to a fair number of people, a lot was valuable information. the book came from people who did not feel the same loyalty as political aides that had been there forever and win political aides tell you a story they think is beneficial to them that turns out it is not and sometimes when they try to hide things because they're worried they are going to hurt the
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person they're protecting it turns out those stories are pretty helpful. one of our approaches was the interior clinton strategy of working hard to set up interviews and the exterior we talked to who has that access but also doesn't necessarily care for and even some people who talk to us in the second category, part of the inner circle, under what requirements versus those to talk to us. their names will remain quiet. >> thank you very much. sensitive very interesting read. three quick things. the big criticism with hillary is she comes across as so calculating. in fact we all know six years ago when she went away in new hampshire and this biggest success. i am wondering if she realized
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or been able to internalized and tried to act more naturally and what really happened in the meeting between obama and clinton and his rahm emanuel play any role since he traveled the world, was he able to play a role in bringing clinton and obama together? >> to answer your first question that is a problem for her. she is a little too cautious and guarded, and we have always been aware of that and the state department at the state department she started letting her care down a little more and we saw her drinking beer and dancing in south africana and they were very supportive of the tax from hillary enough that they invited these two creators into the state department to meet her so they are very aware
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of letting the public sees this personal side of her. they are very cautious of letting that side show a little more especially in 2008 where you had people devising her to not play the woman candidate role so i think we're going to see a different sort of hillary clinton 2016 should she run. i think it would expose her a little more. they want her to do the daily show. when she did the daily show recently, one of her best interviews where she was sort of a little more candid. they wanted to come out of little more. >> as far as rahm emanuel goes i think rahm emanuel is helpful in bringing the two sides together, rahm emanuel eventually ran out of rope that the white house itself. he was somebody who was a go-between getting hillary clinton to exit the job as secretary of state and somebody to try to bring clinton people
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into the obama administration and keep others out and figure out which ones should be in what jobs, we have a thing here about how jack lew was going to be deputy treasury secretary until rahm emanuel decided it wasn't the idea to bring somebody in from citigroup in the middle of a financial crisis to be that the treasury secretary which is how he was at the state department so that is true of rahm emanuel and i pose an open question, is it better to be calculated or have no strategy. you get criticized for either of those things. with president obama obviously you intend that to come out differently than it did. i think that is one of those double edged trades and a fun thing about a book like this from a riding perspective and this is true, journalists who do any sort of long-term journalism
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is the same traits are good and bad. she is a calculator and not as natural and she works hard but not necessarily the most creative person in the room but picking up other people's ideas, all these things are true and people like her and don't like her and see the same things and like -- half of like the trade and half of them don't like it. it is a fun revelation for us. when you are writing about people, just trying to get to what the truth is and the truth can be seen from different perspectives. >> i came into this thinking she was the character you portrayed, this very stiff woman but everyone had a funny story about her and i didn't believe it at first, she is not really funny, is she? slowly descended hearing these hilarious stories, one of them is actually the story we looked
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to tell, at a party, got photographs, cutting a cardboard cutout of her with the beer in one hand and cupping her breast in the other hand and freaked out because this comes out right as the president-elect obama is coming into office and is scared he is going to lose his job and suddenly is trying to work out a way to apologize to her and checked his voice mail and has a message from her, and she says i haven't seen the photo but my hair looks great. the kind of hillary clinton the public doesn't see very often that they need to show a little more. >> let that be a lesson to you young people out there about facebook and social media and also as i read more stories, let
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that be a lesson to you, older folks using social media and what pictures you put out there. >> everytime i see hillary she seems intelligent, articulate, sense of humor, really confident but she keeps being described as the wicked witch of the west. is she the wicked witch of the west or is a bad case of sexism? >> i always thought there was a little bit of sex is an involved and i think john is tired of me as a woman talking about that but i got offended personally, there is a cover photo of her on people magazine. she was holding a one share and it was a walker.
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that would never happen. i think there is a little bit of sex is a mixed in and i have been vocal about that. we need to judge these candidates for who they are and not based on their sex. >> or lack thereof. as far as the question of sexism goes i think there is a lot of stuff played against her that has a sexist tone to it. to some extent it worked fine but we are seeing a real revolution in the way we treat tolerance and intolerance as a public in general, as a voting public. even what is going on with kingston july brand who
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basically said fellow senators fat shamed her. don't get porky. a point out there wait, even if that wasn't the case, you see the backlash, who thinks it is okay to do that? what we have seen, a >> in gay marriage and tolerance of gays and lesbians and people of the other orientations and identifications in our culture and a function of that, it is worse to be the haters and the hated these days. those who take a sexists approach had better calibrate it to such a point that it can't be seen as that or talked about on television or they will find themselves with a pretty big backlash that that is part of the narrative. >> one last question. >> in what you learned about hillary clinton at what point do
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you think principle would trump ambition and at what point did principle from the ambition in her service as secretary of state? >> in 2008 is arguable and easily arguable that she lost the democratic primary nomination because she voted for the war in iraq, she declined to apologize for that vote for many years and i think what you saw when she was secretary of state in barack obama's administration she continued along the same lines of what would be considered a hawk in the democratic party or a pragmatist in the republican party. somebody who wanted more troops than the president puts into iraq, put together the coalition in libya, someone who wanted to on the moderates in syria, someone who went to the president and cast her vote for the osama bin laden raid and put in that direction as fast as possible at the behest of leon
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panetta who understood the president's acted quickly on things. i think if she were looking at ambition over principal. and pull back from those hawkish views and that view of the world and that as a result of that, i don't know what was in her heart and any moment but this is the physician she held, and was pretty formal. the basket of foreign policy options, something every democrat is comfortable. vice president joe biden or john kerry, they will seek to make the distinction.
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>> thank you. [applause]
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>> training his next and talks
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about negroponte, whose career stretches over five decades. this is about an hour and 10 minutes. >> we are lucky to have george liebmann with us tonight. george is in or in private practice in this story specializing in american and international diplomatic history. his publications include diplomacy between the wars, five diplomat in the shape of the modern world. tonight he's here are bad to us is by u.s. ambassador john make her ponty. locum, george. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. the book is called "the last american diplomat" not because you've in a literal sense did diplomat, but because in some respects is


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