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This afternoon Hillary sat down at the Aspen Ideas Festival with Walter Isaacson for a conversation, that was fed live on Facebook from the Aspen Institute where the festival is being held,  about her memoir, Hard Choices,  and her experience as secretary of state.   Signed copies of the book were available for purchase following the event which ran for roughly an hour plus.

Beginning with a mention of the anxiety she perceived nationwide in the course of her book-signing tour,  she stressed an agenda of rebuilding trust and making evidence-based decisions.

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Isaacson started the ball rolling with a question  about the issue of arming rebels in Syria.  Her chapter on that topic is entitled “A Wicked Problem.”   She refitted that issue into a more subtle problem of how to empower moderates and marginalize extremists, noting that she and David Petraeus, who was in the audience and a would later also address the gathering, struggled over lunch at her house with the question of strengthening the opposition to Assad’s government.

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On the subject of Iraq, she noted that Maliki has made bad decisions,  but that he has won the election and that our policy is to support elected governments even though we have not always followed that policy.

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In as far as her own vote to empower President Bush to enter armed conflict in Iraq, she focused on the word “mistake” and her long resistance to utter it.  (She stressed in this segment that President Obama was not in the Senate when that vote was taken.)   Her reluctance to say that vote was a mistake, she stated, was the message she feared that would send to the troops.

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Russia and her relationship with Putin was the topic of several remarks.  She corrected Isaacson’s original comment about shooting polar bears and assured him that she would have been tagging them had Putin taken her along on the mission.

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Reminding the audience that at the time the Obama administration came to office Russia had just invaded Georgia and occupied two regions (that it continues to occupy), she said that the U.S. agenda at the time included getting Russia on board with sanctions on Iran, crafting a new START treaty (and getting it ratified – perhaps the more challenging part), and a supply route through northern Russian to Afghanistan.  That agenda, by the way, was accomplished.

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Recalling Fall 2011 when Putin and Medvedev, wearing black motorcycle jackets, announced that they were essentially about to switch roles and the angry demonstrations that engendered across Russia, she said Putin blamed her personally for the unrest.  The retribution he exacted included boycotting the G-8, intransigence at a G-20 in Los Cabos, Mexico on Syria issues, kicking USAID, long resident in Russia, out of the country, and enacting a variety of anti-LGBT laws as a deliberate political act.

 

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On the subject of Sergei Lavrov, her Russian counterpart during her tenure, she said he is very smart and served both Medvedev and Putin very well.  Personal take: despite much attention to the original “reset’ upon her first formal meeting with Lavrov, she had a good working relationship with him and together they accomplished a great deal in the interest of both of their countries.

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Upon assuming office, Hillary explained, she thought we had to redirect our leadership, promote our values, pursue our interests, and protect our security.   To accomplish these ends, she set markers.

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The first was women and girls. Harking once again to evidence-based decisions, she said there is evidence that contributions from this sector of society are positive for nations.  The second marker involved the balance between freedom of religion and freedom of speech.  People should have the right to practice their faith, but they also have the right to express opinion.  The final marker was the LGBT community and how they are treated in a society.

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On the subject of values v. interests, she cited the case of the Chinese dissident whose case first came to her attention when she was at home preparing to leave for an important trip to China.  She was told he had escaped from house arrest and was headed for the U.S. Embassy where he intended to seek refuge. She said it was a clear choice for her.  She made the decision and we took him in.

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Upon further examination of his case she discovered that his intent was not originally to leave China.  He, and other activists, wanted the high officials in Beijing to become aware of their mistreatment by local officials and harbored a firm belief that if high government officials knew about this they would stop it.

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Ultimately, she said, Chen wanted relief from oppression by local officials and to go to law school.  In the ensuing drama, he called the U.S. Congress on the cell phone we had given him.  Republican congressmen held the phone to a microphone on the floor of Congress.   He wanted to come here to study.  She called the ordeal an exercise in high-stakes diplomacy that ultimately was resolved through what she alternately called “smart power” and “soft power.”

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At an event where an American student spoke in Mandarin about his experience studying in China and a Chinese student related her experiences studying in the U.S. the Chinese saw the value of educational and cultural exchange and the crisis was resolved.

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Finally the floor was opened to questions posted on Facebook.  She stated that she, her family, and the Clinton Foundation all support the idea,  championed by Stanley McChrystal, of a National Year of Service.  She emphasized the value of volunteering and urged people to get out of their comfort zones.

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On voting:  People have to vote and it should be as easy as possible.

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On the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision:  Deeply disturbing.  Women and girls are “the canaries in the mine.”  Erosion of women’s rights indicates an anti-democratic trend in our society that she described as a slippery slope.

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Of Obamacare:  Her exhortation to “mend it not end it” had the ring of a campaign slogan that we might be hearing as the mid-term campaigns get underway if Democrats are savvy enough to follow her advice to campaign on that issue.

“Are you going to run for president?” is the wrong question, in Hillary’s eyes.  The questions should be  “What is your vision for America?”  and “How do you plan to get us there?”

She ended by affirming that America matters to the world,  and the world matters to America.   She said there is no escape in an interdependent world .  We need to stay engaged.

 

This is the link to the video:

https://live.facebooklive.com/videos/446

 

Shortly after delivering these remarks, Hillary tweeted this.

 

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Hard-working women will pay the price for today’s two troubling decisions — in wages, health care & dignity.

The new HBO miniseries has not made it clear that the disappearances in a single moment of millions of people worldwide was actually ‘The Rapture,’ but it was clear in the premiere last night that the event three years in the past occurred on Hillary Clinton’s watch as secretary of state.

While the mystified characters who were left behind followed reportage of the event on a TV in a pub, photos of celebrities taken flashed across the screen.  They included Hillary’s predecessor, Condi Rice, the pope at the time Benedict XVI, and,  to everyone’s bewilderment, Gary Busey.

Then, in the familiar surroundings of the Thomas Jefferson Room, we saw Hillary Clinton briefing the press.  No, she was not smiling as in this, one of my favorite pictures of her in that setting, since obviously presiding over talking points to the media about an event of such global proportions had grave implications.

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‘The Leftovers’: Why were these eight celebrities raptured?

The former president came to the defense of his lovely and hardworking wife in a pre-recorded segment on Meet the Press Sunday morning.  Interviewed last Tuesday by David Gregory during CGI America, President Clinton had a few items to straighten out regarding media spins on recent comments by Hillary and the endless right wing emphasis on her handling of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. outposts in Benghazi in September 2012.

Remarkably, Gregory’s interrogation failed to address any of the outstanding initiatives announced at CGI America 2014.  (Or were they redacted?)  Some were monumental and difficult to ignore beneath the CGI America logo flapping in the breeze. Here are a few that Hillary announced.  Clearly her record speaks for itself on the topic of being “in touch.”   Mr. Gregory could do with being a bit better in touch himself!

CGI America 2014: Hillary Clinton Announces New Commitments in Early Childhood Development and Education

CGI America 2014: Hillary Clinton Announces ‘Job One’

 

While this segment was airing, Bill Clinton was in Haiti launching a new enterprise to benefit peanut farmers there.  Hillary was home in Chappaqua preparing for her final book tour stop at the local library.   Monday she will be participating in the Aspen Ideas Festival to be carried live on Facebook.  (Join her there.  I  encourage you to.)

Such a life of privilege and leisure!

(Just a reminder:  The Clintons were doing this work on a Sunday.  You know, the supposed “day of rest?”)

 

Hillary brought her marathon book tour to a close this afternoon at the Chappaqua Library in the town she calls home.  Friends and neighbors showed up early for wristbands and filed in to have a few words with her and receive their signed copies of Hard Choices.  Originally, phones and cameras were not going to be allowed, but at the last minute they were permitted, so my friend Rumana Alvi was able to get these pictures.  Thank you, Rumana!

 

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At her Aspen Ideas event tomorrow,  she will be signing some books, but this is being billed primarily as a speaking event.  It will be live on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

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Heartbreaking news: a vital voice for justice is silenced.

Prominent Rights Activist Assassinated

June 26, 2014
(Tripoli) – Human Rights Watch today issued the following tribute to Salwa Bughaighis, a prominent human rights and women’s rights activist who was assassinated in Libya on June 25, 2014.
SNIP

On Wednesday, following countless threats against her and her family, Salwa was assassinated, shortly after she voted in Libya’s parliamentary election. With Salwa’s death, the original idealism of the 2011 uprising that overthrew Gaddafi’s tyranny has received another crushing blow, and many Libyan women have lost a role model.

My friend Mark G. Murphy was one of the famous 300 (+) Hillary Clinton delegates to sign the petition asking that her name be put in nomination on the convention floor in August, 2008.  He has remained a solid Hillary Clinton supporter over these years and saw her at the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco Wednesday evening.  Today he tweeted his picture with Hillary and gave me permission to share it.  He looks so handsome with her.  I believe that green button is his 300 pin.  Looks like he might also be sporting a Ready for Hillary tie.  Great picture, Mark!  So happy for you!  Hillary looks happy to see you!

 

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In 2008, another longtime friend of mine,  Amy Dugan,  was Hillary’s Congressional Coordinator in her Ohio district.  She attended Hillary’s book signing in Dayton today and not only got to see and talk to Hillary but also introduced her husband to Hillary and ended up front and center in this news report!  You look great, Amy!

Friday, June 27, 2014 | Posted: 5:27 p.m. Friday, June 27, 2014

More than 1,000 attend Hillary Clinton event

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By Breaking News Staff

BEAVERCREEK —

Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived at Books & Co. at The Greene at 6:55 p.m. Friday to applause from hundreds of supporters who have lined up for her book signing.

Clinton was in town to sign copies of her new memoir, “Hard Choices.” More than 1,000 people made it through the line during the two-hour event.

Dayton was the second stop of the day and the sixth this week in Clinton’s national book tour. The former first lady has been dashing across the country since June 9 when she kicked off the three-week promotional tour.

Read more >>>>

Updated to add:  Amy and her hubby are also in this news video in the background – more than once!

http://www.abc22now.com/shared/news/top-stories/stories/wkef_former-first-lady-sec-state-hillary-clinton-at-greene-friday-book-signing-20893.shtml

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The current FLOAR, Ginger Beebe, in lime green,  welcomed the past FLOAR to the Walmart in Little Rock today where folks lined up to have copies of Hard Choices signed by Hillary.  She clearly was happy to greet some old friends.

Hillary Clinton Book Tour Hillary Clinton Book Tour

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Hillary submitted to a few local interviews while in Little Rock.

Web Extra: One-on-One Interview with Hillary Clinton

LITTLE ROCK, AR – Reporter David Goins spoke with former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after her ‘Hard Choices’ book signing Friday morning.

Clinton discusses her book and what it means to be back in Arkansas.

http://www.fox16.com/video/d/video/5196595

 

Hillary Clinton’s Full Interview

Posted: Jun 27, 2014 7:13 PM EST Updated: Jun 27, 2014 7:23 PM EST

 

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