We have known for weeks that Hillary Clinton would be in Los Angeles next Wednesday to receive the Warren Christopher Public Service Award from the Pacific Council on International Relations. We did not know, however, that she would be honored last night at the Atlantic Council Awards dinner.
Henry Kissinger presented her with the council’s Distinguished Leadership Award with a quip about “at least four” secretaries of state who went on to become president.* Apparently unfazed, Hillary responded, “When I became secretary of state, I spent a lot of time thinking about my illustrious predecessors – not primarily the ones who went on to become president.”
As secretary of state, Hillary often expressed her deep admiration for several of those predecessors While it has always seemed that George Marshall topped her list, we have seen a strong, cordial relationship develop between Hillary and Henry over the years as the photos attest. If the text of her remarks are released, I will add them here.
Bill Clinton presented an award to Tony Bennett. Also honored at the event was NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
Here is a partial account from the Atlantic Council website. There are additional photos there as well.
Former US President Bill Clinton presented the next award via video address for Distinguished Artistic Leaership to legendary performer and humanitarian Tony Bennett. President Clinton praised Bennett for his illustrious musical career, but also his significant work as an advocate and humanitarian. “As long as I’ve known him,” said President Clinton, “he has truly been a citizen of the world: an extraordinary individual who served his country in World War II, marched with Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma in 1965, and has devoted his generous spirit to charitable causes all across the globe.”
The final award for Distinguished International Leadership was presented to former First Lady, US Senator, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Secretary Clinton was presented with video tributes by President of Malawi Joyce Banda and internationally-renowned political activist Aung San Suu Kyi. She was introduced in person by former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Dr. Henry Kissinger. Secretary Clinton accepted her award and delivered brief remarks on the state of the transatlantic alliance and the three primary challenges facing NATO in the coming decades: energy security, trade cooperation, and conflict readiness. Secretary Clinton seized the opportunity to endorse a comprehensive transatlantic trade agreement, and to stress that all members of NATO must redouble their efforts to promote transatlantic values around the world. “We cannot afford to let the greatest alliance in history slide into military irrelevance,” she urged.
Click on the playlist to find Hillary’s speech. (Wow! Did I ever hit the nail on the head with George Marshal! I did not even know what was in this speech!)
*In case you wondered, it was six secretaries of state who went on to become president. The last was James Buchanan.