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tv   History Bookshelf Condoleezza Rice No Higher Honor  CSPAN  April 8, 2021 9:49pm-10:33pm EDT

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c-span 3 as a public service. c-span's long-running series booknotes is back as a podcast booknotes. plus your compelling interviews with authors and historians new episodes are available every tuesday this week on the inaugural episode of booknotes plus find out which us presidents were caught in sex scandals. author eleanor herman joins us to share those stories from her book sex with presidents. booknotes plus a new weekly podcast from c-span subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and get information about all the c-span podcasts at slash podcasts. up next on history bookshelf former secretary of state condoleeza, rice talks about her memoir. no higher honor. she served as secretary of state
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from 2005 to 2009 during the george w bush administration. in this event, she was interviewed by university of miami president, donna shalala and also responded to questions submitted by students. thank you madam secretary. welcome. thank you. how long have i been inviting you here a few years? yeah a few years. yes. most of our questions today were submitted by students and let me start with the first one one of our students asked. how do i get to be secretary of state? good question. well, let me just start by thanking you very much and i have known president shalala as secretary shalaya, but also as my friend donna and so thank you very much for having me here at the u, right?
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i want to thank my my good friends the cobbs the ambassadors cobb for their service to the country and for their extraordinary friendship as well. and so and thanks to you university of miami students for having me here. well, so, how do you become secretary of state? all right, you start as a failed piano major. that's how you start. i actually went to college to be a concert pianist. i studied piano from the age of three. there was never any doubt that that's what i was going to do. and in the summer of my sophomore year i went to something called the aspen music festival school which a lot of prodigies were there and there were 12 year olds who could play from sight what i could play after only one year. they were 12. i was 17. i decided i was either going to end up teaching 13 year olds to murder beethoven, or maybe playing at nordstrom someplace, you know find careers, but not really for me and fortunately i
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wandered into a course in international politics and it was taught by a soviet specialist a man named joseph carbel who was madeleine albright's father and he opened up the world of diplomacy and eastern europe to me. and all of a sudden i knew what i wanted to be. i wanted to be a soviet specialist. so the first lesson of how you get to where i've where i am is you find something that you absolutely love to do. and so i would say to each and every one of you as students find your passion. not what job you want not what career you want, but what you're passionate about what's going to make you get up every day and want to go and do that. secondly, if you're fortunate, you're passionate your talents will come together and i went on then to become a professor at stanford. and i met when i was a young professor in a seminar at stanford a man named brent skullcroft who had been the national security advisor to president gerald ford and was
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would become the national security adviser to george hw bush. he took an interest in my career and when president george hw bush was elected. he took me with him to be the white house soviet specialist. and i was fortunate to be the white house soviet specialist at the end of the cold war and frankly doesn't get much better than that, but the second lesson is find people who are interested in you and in your career who can help to guide you and open up opportunities. we sometimes say i want to get there on my own. nobody gets their absolutely their own there are always mentors and there's another important lesson. sometimes we say you have to have role models and mentors who look like you. well if i'd been waiting for a black woman soviet specialist mentor i would still be waiting so. your mentors your role models can come in any color shape or size just find somebody who? really cares about you and cares about your career and the final part of that story.
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is that when in 1990 mcclellan trump came to white house and we were sitting together on the lawn of the white house in marine one the presidential helicopter getting ready to take off for california. just me gorbachev his wife and the secret service. i thought i'm really glad i my major and so if you find your passion if you find people who will support you if you work hard, and if you don't worry too much about what comes next incredible opportun do open themselves to you? finally i'd say get involved in politics at some point. find a candid. like work for them. ultimately, that's really how i got to be secretary of state. i worked for george w bush. and i became a secretary of state. so those are some of the thoughts that i have but the most important starts right now find your passion. wonderful.
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let's talk a little about the organization of decision making in your role in the nsc the national security console that role is it was almost painful for me to read it. it was hurting cats. if you were to advise now after your experience in that job in particular a president of the united states. would you suggest to them that one characteristic of the members of that team whether it's the secretary of defense treasury even the vice president would be gets along well with others. yeah, well that might eliminate a fair number of people in washington, so i be careful about that criteria. no, there's no doubt that we had very strong personalities. but i hope that i gave the impression in the book that they were debates about substance. these were not personal issues. nonetheless, we got along just fine until most stressful and
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the most stressful times were around the war on terror and around iraq. and so perhaps the lesson is that in so-called normal times is to the degree that everything's ever normal in decision making in washington. you can it is important to have different voices you can even do with some tension. but you know when things get really tough it is easier if people will get along. and that perhaps is the lesson that i would say to the president. it's a new president you can do fine with with personalities that may clash if things are going well when they get rough. it's a lot harder. let me follow up on that question. it's it's the personalities but it's also different points very strong points of view some black and white some more nuanced as used described it in your book. does the fact that each political party has kind of this big tenth strategy? does that need to be reflected in the foreign policy leadership
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or can you just bring people into consult with them? so i'm pushing you pretty hard on how you put the team together. well, it's it is a really fine line because if you put a team together where people have yeah, and that's not a good thing when i was secretary of state. i actually had a couple of curmudgins on my staff who would come in and challenge me about just everything i wanted to do because i have always thought that if you're constantly and this is true for you in school, too. if you're constantly in the company of people. say amen to everything that you a find other company because you don't actually test your assumptions. in that way and so i would tend to err in the direction of people who do have strong views. who do express them but who can also put them aside ultimately. and find a way to work together. and within the political party both the republican democratic party, they do have people with
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with widely different views. if if you were actually advising a president. hit anticipate that you're going to go through tough times. so what characteristics of that foreign policy team? in past years we've had people on foreign policy teams that were lawyers. yes, but not necessarily have this kind of subsidive expertise right that you have so that's no, that's very true. we actually had on our foreign policy theme. think about it. we had quite experienced foreign policy hands don had been secretary of defense before vice president cheney had been secretary defense. of staff in the white house, colin powell had been chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and deputy national security advisor. i'd been in the white house before so we actually had a lot of expertise. i'm really to this day. not quite sure why sometimes the personalities didn't gel and i'm not actually sure. i don't actually think it was observable in before we got to washington. that's why i say i think it was
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the times that perhaps tested us, but i would say to a president who's a foreign policy team do think about talking to people? about internal dynamics and because it can get a bit i think about the team thing
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for train policy. we do share some problems, just the kind of transnational borders of trying to deal with trafficking in arms, trafficking in drugs and so there are reasons to work as a re-kitchen. so as the organization of american states as a democratic charter, we should have a view of our hemisphere, first and foremost your neighborhood has been democratic. but you make a very good point. once you get beyond those big categories, you really are talking about countries that are very different and how they interact.
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brazil thinks of itself, of course, as a regional leader. but brazil is also one of the most important emerging across new through the whole global carbon. in phase one of the brits, one of the emerging economies that has a chance to really structure how the international economy is going to look going forward. when you think about countries like, of course the united states has a global, but when you're thinking about countries along the pacific rim of latin america, they make connect more to the economies of asia. i was always struck when i would go to something called the summit of the americas, which was really about latin america and the caribbean and you, know we would have these discussions and hugo chavez would take off and everybody would sort of -- whatever. but then, almost a week or two weeks later, we would go to the asia pacific economic council
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and there, it's the pacific rim countries of chile and the pacific grim, all the way to canada and all the way out through japan and china and korea and the conversation was completely different. it was about global trade, it was about free trade and so, i actually always thought that that in that sense the countries had more in common with their asian counterparts than they had with their armor on american counterparts. >> it's how they perceive themselves significant? there >> i think it is because if you look at places like chile, now quite developed in many ways, columbia getting there in terms of development, you know country like brazil is interesting because on the one hand, it is leading the global economy but with huge distribution difficulties that keep it really more on the developing countryside. if you look at some of the
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poorest countries in say central america, like guatemala for instance, you're talking about places where you can't even reach the farmers and highlights by highway. and so their problems are trying to build infrastructure so that they can join the 20th century economy, forget the 21st century economy, so yes you've radically different levels of development, but when you think about, it you have radically different levels of development within countries. look at the north of mexico and the interior of the country, there are very different levels of development, even within the countries. >> as a secretary of state think of human differently as part of the region because of the domestic policies and the relationships? >> i think we think of cuba differently because it is the one country in the ups that can't even take a seat at the table because it doesn't have a democratically elected president, unfortunately we have a history with cuba of castro's decision to install
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soviet nuclear capability that threatened the territory and highly anti-american regime there and so, there are foreign policy reasons principally that we have my hope is that the cuban people can't be left behind. it absolutely has to be the case that one fidel castro goes, the cuban people have a chance to elect the next government, it's not just -- >> that was a setup question. both the national security advisor and certainly the secretary of state or almost firefighters, they get woken up in the middle of the night, someone does something stupid, either with your own organization or around the world. how do you anticipate the future though?
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there's some evidence that while there was the basis for the arab spring or even others predicted the soviet collapse, how do you anticipate the future when you are in those particular leadership roles for both the president but born portly for the country? and how do you organize yourselves to do? that >> will obviously you try to have experts who are keeping an eye on defense and in this regard, having embassies and people who really know the place and can get out into community, one of the things i tried to get forward and officers to do is not stay in the embassy, not talk to other foreign officials but get out in the country, get a sense for what the conversation is on the street in the country. and that sometimes will give you a bit of early warning. secondly, on the arab spring, i think we knew something was coming. the freedom agenda that we
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launched about the middle east, i gave -- prison pooch goose reckon inaugural address when we talked about the need for there to be no man, woman or child that lived in poverty, including in the middle east, i gave a speech at the american university of cairo saying that egypt and needed to lead this demolition and i can never see the morning before i give the speech and saying to him, mister president, get out ahead of this, get reforms started before your people are in the streets because what you could feel by being in the middle east was the kind of seething anger that was growing against authoritarian's who were corrupt, authoritarian's were planning dynastic succession's further themselves to their sons, you could sense that toonie share were increasingly isolated with people who were telling their people love the.
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from this truth, your people didn't love them. so we had a sense that this was coming. but you can never know what is the spark. that this park would have been a man, a shopkeeper self emulating into an asia as where you can see. so you see the gathering, but you don't know when it's going to ignite. and the best thing that you can do is expect that it might ignite at anytime. i try to get ahead of it and so trying to get particularly our friends in the middle east to reform before their people were in the streets was our way of trying to get ahead of the -- what happened ultimately in egypt and in tunisia and other places. but >> about the collapse of the soviet union in terms of what's callers new and you are right there. >> i was. and we used to laugh that people would say, gorbachev is bound to fall for power. thank you but when was the
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issue. because had general sense that things were going bad is not enough. people knew that the infrastructure, political, economic, social of the soviet union was week. i went to the soviet union for the first time in 1979 to study language, i was there for an extended period of time. and i was a student of the soviet military and i remember thinking, you, know i had this image of the soviet military tending to be called. and i remember going into a store to buy some little charged for my family and they were doing the computation of the prices on an abacus. and i hadn't seen an abacus since second grade in birmingham, alabama. and i thought well, this is a very develop place. and you start to get a sense that some things really wrong there. so i think soviet specialists and knew that the infrastructure was weak. it took however, a true believer in kind of marxist
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ideology that it could triumph over the fact that people were estonian or ukrainian and it took somebody who believed you could reform the soviet union. gorbachev tried to reform it and then a collapsed. but i can tell you that still in 1990, the soviet union collapses on december 20th, 1991. 1990 when we were unifying chimney in the fall of 1990, i don't think anybody thought that the collapse of the soviet union was a year away. one >> one of our students wanted to try and ask about social media and how the foreign policy establishment now follow social media around the world. and whether that's part of the intelligence gathering. >> it is now. in fact, when i went to state i took with me someone moved sean -- was an emerging kind of social media, there was no facebook or twitter but people were aunt internet sites all the time and
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chat rooms and so we started to understand better what was going on there. i also asked a former student of mine and a gentleman named a jarrett coin who would later on go to work for secretary clinton to go and start thinking about, did we want to even try to help people to use social media to democratize? so he created groups of friends who would, for instance, people who helped overthrow terrorism in columbia who could chat with people in the middle east who were trying to deal with tourism. so we were starting to use social media. but i began to understand now, of course it is an accelerant, it's not the cause of these trends but it's an accelerant. but what's very interesting is what's happening with social media in china. because the regime is doing everything it can to control
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the internet. it's terrified of the internet, in fact, packing in the servers to try to find that last human rights advocate who might be online and apparently social media is going wild. and the regime is not so certain that maybe it's not a bad thing that people have a way to vent through social media. so remember the story of this young girl who was run over in the streets? that exploded into the social media in china. but i would say to the regime, you know, it's one thing to think that people will just fanned. but eventually, they will event and want to organize to do something about it. and so, social media is going to continue to have a huge impact on how revolutions, how reforms, how democratization takes place. >> and so foreign policy experts in the years ahead are going to have to follow social media. >> absolutely.
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>> there's another dimension. >> i think it will be one of the most important sources of understanding the pulse of what is going on beneath governments because governments are not irrelevant by any means that this, but populations are more empowered than they've ever been by social media. >> i have to ask you about a -- iraq, because one of the things you do is you put a broader context. and the broader justification's of the reasons that go into iraq. and you described, as i think an imminent security risk. and my question is, first, how did you change their collection of intelligence information after your experience in iraq? because clearly, there are real questions about how accurate the information was. but the most important thing that we did was to england reorganize the intelligence agencies and by the way, both as a result of the and external
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intelligent which is what the cia did and when they crossed, as they did in 9/11, we couldn't talk to one another. in iraq, i think we -- >> excuse me, would you explain because many of the students may not understand why we have that gap between the fbi and the cia. >> ghouta, cooler like to call it was there for a good very good and legitimate reasons which was we did not want our foreign intelligence agency, the cia being active inside the country and perhaps spying, to use that word on domestic events on american citizens and so forth. so this yay was kept to a foreign intelligence agency.
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the fbi, which operated under rules and laws, think lined order, the fbi was the internal intelligence agency. while, just give you one example. a few nights before 9/11, a telephone call was made in san diego by one of the men who ultimately would be one of the suicide hijackers to afghanistan. but we couldn't track across that boundary because we didn't want their tracking of phone calls inside the united states by foreign intelligence. so, what i'd like to have known what he said? couple of days before 9/11? when we realized that of course, we had an internal security problem, an attack on our internal security, we had to sew up that gap so that the cia and what they knew about what was going on outside the country and the fbi and what they knew about what's going on inside the country to talk to
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one another and that's with the so called patriot act, which you probably read about actually it closed that state. so that was one intelligence problem. the iraqi intelligence problem was a little bit different, but also structural. we had, as many depending between 15 and 17 different intelligence agencies in the united states. the department has one, the energy department as one, the state department has won, the cia has one, it's that around the cia has one. the person who is in charge of all of those as the director central intelligence was also the head of the cia. we had the strange situation which we had all this different reporting but obviously the director cia was human. he trusted his own intelligence agency, more than the others that were supposed to be over. and we found that some of the counter evidence about what was going on in iraq's mass destruction programs, probably
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did not get the airing and the hearing that it might have, so we created the director of national intelligence, who is not the director of the cia. it's a separate person who colt intelligence, helped the president understand when it was a disagreement in the intelligence agency, and give more of a total picture of what's going on with intelligence. that was the big reform. >> you also have talked in at least one speech i know about. the disciplinary of self-defense as part of the context we're making the decision to go into iraq i really want to ask you when you examine the iraqi situation and there was a discussion, did you look at any other countries as well? because if you look at the list of justification's you could put those on iran as well, so why iraq rather than iran?
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where did you look at more than one country? >> yes, iraq was unique in our view. it was unique because we had been to war in 1991 against saddam hussein. he was systematically violating the armistice. he was found in 1991 to have been one year from a crude nuclear device. he had used weapons of mass destruction against the iranians and against his own people. the constraints that were put on him were starting to break down, including, by the way, the fact that we were flying a no fly zones to keep the air force on the ground. he was shooting at our aircraft practically every day. i can remember the president asking what do we do if he gets a lucky shot and brings down an american pilot? we were really in a state of suspended hostilities with
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iraqi. not any state of peace with iraq. in 1998, president clinton had actually launched cruise missiles against iraq. the inspectors who is supposed to keep his weapons of mass destruction programs under control where -- he was different for his having directly -- including us. the fact that he was continuing we believe building weapons of mass destruction according to an intelligence agency and reconstituted his chemical weapons, his biological weapons and was on his way to reconstituting his nuclear program. he had tried to assassinate president george h.w. bush. he was shooting at our aircraft. he put 4000 people in mass graves. he was a big biggest threat in the middle east. as bad as north korea and iran was, they were not in a category like iraq where there were 16 security council resolutions that said that he was a threat to international
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peace and security. >> and that also account for the need to focus on the israeli palestinian issues -- in a sense that it's unique compared to other parts of the world? >> yes the israeli palestinian issue is not the key to peace in the middle east and to a different kind of middle east. it is achy to a different kind of middle east. any student of international politics, from the time i was your age and in college, which admittedly is a long time ago, but from that time when you took a course an international politics people started with the most volatile region in the world, which is the middle east. that is still true today. people have been trying to do something about that for all of this time. the israeli palestinian issue is one of the court issues that needs to be resolved to get rid of that volatility. >> every administration has struggled with this.
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>> every administration. you see hope. >> do you see hope? >> i do. i described the prime minister of israel when i was secretary of state. the current president of the palestinian authority were pretty close to a deal in 2008. a very good deal put on the table by omar. a boss did not take it up for a variety of reasons. the reason i wrote about it is i wanted to subject jess that it was not a hopeless cause. there is a state solution that is available, the time is not on the side of either of them. >> i'd like to go back to the soviet union. given your expertise about the soviet union, how do you see russia developing over the next few years, and do you think that their importance in the world will continue to increase, perhaps even surpassing china? >> yes. i think the russians are in trouble in terms of global
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standing. i think they know it. russia -- the russian economy is 80% dependent on exports, oil, gas and minerals. that is not a modern economy. and i will tell you a little story, how much that oil, gas and minerals is linked up with personal fortunes, political power and the state. i was at the australian foreign minister's house one day. we were having a meeting about energy policy. he was going around asking people about the energy policy. the russian says, we understand that our oil and gas fields are technologically behind, but no foreigner will ever own russian oil and gas, he said. he said so we are going to buy the technology from western oil companies. so i had been a director of the chevron corporation and set, so don't you understand that their advantage is actually in their
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technology. they're not going to sell you their technology to make you a better competitor. he said that's a really good point. and then he said are you still a director of chevron? i was the secretary of state. but in russia, dimitri who is the deputy prime minister and also the chairman of gas -- state and economy and politics and personal fortunes with a fair amount of political violence. know that mr. putin has decided that he is the once and future president of russia, i think the chances that russia is going to break out of that and built on other strengths that it might have, including a smart population. for those have receded. i think unfortunately, russia will not find greater strength in the international economy. it's pretty much an economy
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that is dependent on the price of oil as well. >> let's go back to the arab spring. what do you think the lessons are? >> the lesson of the arab spring is the authoritarianism is not stable. it is not stable. if men, women and children don't have a way to change your circumstances and change their government peacefully, they will do it violently. when we were in romania, we learned what i call the ceausescu moment. he was the dictator of romania and in 1989 with revolutions going on and pull, in hungary and czechoslovakia, he was exhorting the romanian people for what he had done for them. all of a sudden, one old lady yelled liar. and tenfold, and 100. then 100,000 people are yelling liar. all of a sudden he realizes that he better get out of there. something has gone wrong. instead of delivering him
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freedom, the young military officer, he and his wife are executed. the cha-cha ski moment is one fear breaks down. either an old lady yields liar or a soldier refuses to fire where the tank is turned away from the crowd and all that is left between the dictator and his people his anger. that is what you have in the arab spring now. that's why authoritarianism is not stable. >> what about -- would you think about leading from behind in these multilateral coalitions? >> i don't mind multilateral coalitions. i'm sorry, leading from behind is an oxymoron. it is. you do not lead from behind. [applause] and i think some in the white house -- >> let me ask you about a domestic issue.
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i actually share your view and had conversations with president bush about the immigration reform. how serious do you think that issue is for the next presidential debate that we had? >> it is essential. let me tell you, when your secretary of state you get to go out in the world, you get to see what people admire about the united states and there are a lot of things that are not admire, but the one thing that is overwhelmingly admired is what i call a great national myth. under difficult circumstances you could do great things. it doesn't matter where you're going. that's actually led people to come here for generations from around the world to be a part of that. it is why we have asian americans, mexican americans, and we have german americans, indian americans. it is because people, the most ambitious people have wanted to be a part of that. i don't know when immigrants became the enemy, but if we
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don't fix this we are going to undo one of the greatest strengths of the united states. the only thing that keeps us from this demographics, europe and japan is immigration. i am a major component of comprehension immigration reform that first and foremost -- [applause] first and foremost recognizes that we have people living in the shadows and we have to deal with that. we are not a country that actually wants people to be afraid to go and take their sixth child to a hospital. that is not the country we live in. i worry that the states, because the federal government has not acted, are starting a patchwork know of immigration policies, when really where we need is a federal policy that is true to ourselves, true our laws, but also true to the
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absolute fact that the united states of america as well served by the great milan of people hug. >> three quick questions. [applause] next fall, let's pretend. you've been invited to be the moderator of a presidential debate. the debates theme as foreign policy. what is the first question you will ask both candidates? >> do you believe that america has an exceptional and unique role to play in the world? or is america just any other country? because if america is just any other country, and you have an right to ask the american people to sustain the sacrifices that we have and to play the role that we have on
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behalf of the international community for now, better than 60 years. so why is america exceptional? [applause] >> second question is, even though you are not responsible -- would keeps you up at night? what are the things that you worry about that we ought to worry about? >> i worry about the list of the terrible's, iran, pakistan, mexico. i think we don't pay enough attention to what's happening on our southern border. if you live in california or mexico you know that the drug cartels own a lot of that space between northern mexico and the southern border of the united states. it's very dangerous. last year -- two years ago, there were 5000 kidnappings and murders of officials big. probably twice that in the last
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couple years. very dangerous, but would mostly keeps me up at night is the question whether the united states is going to reach a firm and somehow do the internal repair that we need to do to lead. i worry that we cannot seem to get our entitlements under control. i worry that we can get a budget that's under control. i worry about immigration policy. i worry about the fact that k-12 education hug -- you look at a zip code and you can't tell whether or not you're going to get a good education. it's not just wrong, it is actually probably going to undo us more quickly than anything the chinese can never do to us, because if we have people who are unemployable and they will be unemployable, it will have to live on the go because they will have no other choice. we will continue to have a situation in which only 30% of the people who take the basic skills to get into the military -- it will indeed pull us apart as
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a country faster than anything else. if we are not confident enough we won't lead. that's probably the one that really keeps me up and. i if you have a choice between running for senate in california, being a university president or being head of the national football league, what's your first choice? >> that's no contest. well i used to want to be the commissioner of the nfl, but i told roger goodall, i said you, know when i was struggling with the iranians and russians every day, your job looked pretty good. but actually from northern california, doesn't look so good anymore. and these days, and i have to say it, these days being a university professor at stanford university where the stanford cardinal are having quite a special season, you
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know, come on, you know when those special seasons are light. you've had plenty of them! let us have one. that's really the greatest job in the world. thank you madam secretary. >> thank you very much.
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