Posts Tagged ‘Bloomberg’

Margaret Carlson has chosen to go where no one should.  It is risky at best to interfere in the relationship of any married couple, but to insinuate yourself between the Clintons and tell them what to do takes a special mix of moxie and silliness.  In her latest post on Bloomberg, Carlson offers America’s power couple unsolicited advice based on faulty “facts,”  supposition, and speculation.  It was not exactly a slow Hillary-news day given Claire McCaskill’s premature endorsement, so one wonders exactly what spurred Carlson to enter this particular arena uninvited.

Let’s stop here for a moment.  Everyone knows that this is not Hillary 2.0.  It is Hillary 3.0.  She had a website as New York Senator, and during her primary campaign, she had a blog, a Facebook account, a Twitter account, and a MySpace account.  As Secretary of State she had almost all of those (no MySpace- and everyone knows why).  So this is the new unofficial Hillary on the social nets.  That is a minor point, however, compared to the statement that her campaign was defeated.  In fact, she won the popular vote.  She was not defeated at all.  Her own party took delegates away and gave them to Obama, effectively handing him the nomination.

Her re-emergence had just one flaw. She didn’t keep her dog on the porch, a mistake so serious it could be disqualifying. She, of all people, knows how good Bill Clinton can be, and how bad. So why did she choose to revive her brand during the weeklong annual celebration of his Global Initiative, surrounded by his cast and on his turf? Why not wait until her husband was off in Malawi or somewhere to announce that his sustainable agriculture initiative had brought about a 30 percent increase in soybean yields?

Is is possible Carlson is the only one who did not get the memo that Hillary has made it clear that she will be working at the foundation that has been renamed for all three Clintons? Did she miss the announcement of Hillary’s early childhood initiative?  When that Twitter account went live, was it not clear that she did it in advance of the CGI America 2013 convening so that she could promote her foundation work?

Then there is this.

The Senate was the intermediate step she needed to make the unprecedented journey from FLOTUS to POTUS. Otherwise, she would look like a widow (Muriel Humphrey) or worse, Eva Peron, filling the shoes of a missing husband by default.


Bill Clinton didn’t help her become president in 2008, and he won’t be much help in 2016, except as a warm, supportive presence who, in our imagination, will inhabit the East Wing as a benign elder statesman, giving gentle advice only when prodded.

Ummmm… she has not said she is running. She has said that she is working at the foundation.  The Peron reference makes no sense at all since Evita predeceased her husband who remained in office for two years after her death.

And finally this.

If he meddles in his wife’s 2016 campaign the way he did in 2008, he could lose his hard-won halo. If she lets him meddle, she will go down with him.

He will always loom. What didn’t drive them apart made their marriage stronger. But one thing he hasn’t learned is how to stand by his woman without standing in her way, blocking our view.

So thank you, Bill, for all you’ve done. Now for all womankind, and for the sake of the TBD at the end of Hillary’s Twitter profile, could you go where no man has gone before, except perhaps Denis Thatcher, and take one step back and to the side?

She can’t do this with you.

(Margaret Carlson is a Bloomberg View columnist.)

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Right now there is no 2016 campaign.  There is a couple, finally together again, working in tandem at their foundation.  Where else would she have announced her plans?  “She can’t do this with you?”  “For all womankind?”  It appears Margaret has joined the giddy ranks of those who insist that every word from Hillary’s lips, every character in her tweets, and how she parts her hair are loaded with code.  Really, Margaret.  Sometimes you just have to take the Clintons at their word and not insinuate yourself between them


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Typically, these interviews come in multiples, but they arrive sporadically. These are the first to appear. If more come in I will add them to this post.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton attends a dinner hosted by Swiss authorities after a meeting of the Action Group for Syria at the European headquarters of the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland, Saturday, June 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Laurent Gillieron, Pool)

Interview With Michele Kelemen of NPR


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Geneva, Switzerland
July 1, 2012

QUESTION: Thank you for joining us here. Kofi Annan called it a serious agreement, this push for a new transitional government, but it seems quite vague. He said that it can include current government officials and opposition figures, as long as there’s mutual consent. But aren’t you worried that this just is a new recipe for more conflict? I mean, how do warring parties come to an agreement on who’s in the government?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the transition plan that we have adopted in this document makes very clear that the Special Envoy will be working to determine who can be in a transitional governing body based on mutual consent, which means people with blood on their hands or jihadi extremists are not going to be at the table.

And I think it’s important to just pause and say – I am familiar, intimately, with a few peace processes, and you do not sit down in the beginning with people that you even want to talk to or see. It was so remarkable this week that Martin McGuinness shook Queen Elizabeth’s hand. He was a commander in the IRA. And so you don’t know how this is going to all play out unless you get started. And my point is: Let’s get started. And we couldn’t get started until we had an agreement of the most interested parties, which of course included Russia and China. We now have such an agreement, and we’re fully behind Kofi Annan’s effort.

QUESTION: You spent a lot of time talking to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov when we were in St. Petersburg. Do you get the sense that the Russians are really ready to lean on Bashar al-Assad? And do you think the Russians have influence with him?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think the answer to the first question is yes, I believe they are ready to lean. They have told me that. They have made clear they have no continuing strategic interest in Assad remaining in power. So I have every reason to believe – both on what I was told by Minister Lavrov yesterday and what he said in our meeting all day today – that they will make the case that there needs to be this transition.

Whether he has influence and leverage to the extent that we would want to see won’t be known until it is tested. But at least now we’re in a position where we can together be pushing the Assad regime and the opposition.

Michele, there are so many terrible things about this violence that has gone on for so long: the fact of the violence, the loss of life, the destruction, the government abusing and killing its own people. But I think today it became very clear that everyone, including Russia and China, is worried about it spreading. So the motivation and the focus today was very clear to me. Now we just have to work to see what we can do with it.

QUESTION: And the fact that Turkey was there, and just had this incident with the Turkish plane being downed, did that influence that aspect of the conversation?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think it did. Because in my remarks, for example, at the plenary this morning, I was able to point at Iraq sitting there, I was able to point at Turkey sitting there, mentioned Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, the countries in the region that are already dealing with the repercussions of the violence and instability in Syria. And everyone around that table knew that we could – if we didn’t act today and get behind this transition plan – be sitting in six months with a literal war in the region on our hands that was destabilizing country after country. And Turkey was very clear about its worries that that was one of the outcomes if we failed.

QUESTION: But Kofi Annan had very strong words – that history is a somber judge; it will judge us harshly if we prove incapable of taking the right path. How is this crisis weighing on you?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I not only think about it and worry about it, I work on it a lot. I mean, in the last 24 hours, between St. Petersburg and Geneva, it has been the principle focus of all of my efforts. And it’s because I care deeply about the kind of abuses that no people should suffer in the 21st century. That is absolutely one of my highest priorities, is to work as hard as I can to end these kinds of terrible conflicts.

But it’s also because I am very worried that, in the absence of the leading nations that were gathered here today and the others we can bring on board doing everything we can to send a message to both the government and the opposition that they’ve got to begin negotiating about a transition, we will see some really serious and dangerous consequences for the region, for U.S. interests, and in fact, as one of my colleagues said, for the whole world.

QUESTION: Just one quick thing. I mean none of his plan has worked so far, so what makes you think —

SECRETARY CLINTON: I want to be caught trying. I can’t, sitting here today, tell you whether Assad is ready to stop killing his own people. Usually you don’t get to a peace table, negotiate transition, until something happens and those with the guns, on whatever side they are, finally decide that there’s got to be a better way. I mean, we negotiated for more than a year in Yemen. We had former President Ali Abdullah Saleh up to the signing desk three or four times, and he would back off every time. So there’s nobody anywhere that is more aware of all of the problems we have going forward.

But I am 100 percent convinced that we have to begin changing the reality in the minds and on the ground. And having Russia and China sign up to this lengthy list of guidelines and principles will, I believe, give us the opening to do just that.

QUESTION: Thank you so much for your time today.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Michele.


Interview With Indira Lakshmanan of Bloomberg


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Geneva, Switzerland
July 1, 2012

QUESTION: Thank you, Secretary Clinton, so much for making the time. I know it’s been a very long day. (Laughter.) All right. Can we get started? Great.

So today in Geneva this political transition plan that has been endorsed didn’t have the strongest language that the U.S. had hoped for. What makes you think that Russia and China are committed to pulling their support for Assad? What makes you think this is going to work?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I believe it did have strong language. We can always, in any document, worry over and argue over words, but the bottom line is that it pledged to support a transitional governing body whose members can only be put on that body by mutual consent. So as I said in the meeting when we were working together, I don’t think you have to be up on current events to know that no member of the opposition is going to have Assad or anyone else with blood on their hands on the transition body.

So I think the important achievement was to get a unified P-5, plus the permanent members of the Security Council, plus other key actors to really endorse Kofi Annan’s guidelines and principles so that he was empowered. He can now go to the Assad regime and say we have to start talking about a transition and not be met with well, we don’t have to do that, because Russia and China don’t agree with us. And I believe that it was a significant step forward in giving him the tools that he needs to test whether it is possible to mediate this very bloody, violent conflict.

QUESTION: So not everything you had hoped for, but better than it could have been?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, I didn’t know that we were going to be able to get anything when we started. There was every reason to believe that we would never get the Russians and the Chinese on board or that we would ever satisfy the legitimate anxieties of the region about what is happening on their doorstep. Turkey, of course, was here today. And I think the fact we did demonstrated a recognition by the Action Group of the high stakes.

I mean, it’s not enough just to wring our hands and make impassioned speeches about how terrible the Assad regime is and how they are deteriorating into a civil war that will have regional consequences. We needed to put some flesh on the bones. And the only way to do that within the existing framework was to empower Kofi Annan. That’s what he was asking for; that’s what he wanted. And I really judge the success by the fact that he believes – and I agree with him – that he now has a stronger hand to play then he did yesterday.

QUESTION: So the challenge, as you said, is in the implementation. Now, you’ve publicly criticized Russia for selling arms to the Syrian regime. So if an arms embargo were agreed to, would Russia abide by it? And could the U.S. force its allies – Saudi Arabia and Qatar – to stop arming the opposition?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think that’s one of the issues that we’re going to have to be discussing further as we go forward. Clearly, the United States believes that ending the arming of the Assad government is the first order of business. The Russians continue to claim that they are not providing anything that can be used to suppress internal dissent. We beg to differ.

But nevertheless, I think where we are today gives us the basis for going to the UN Security Council to discuss what consequences have to be considered and imposed if after empowering Kofi Annan he comes to the Security Council and reports to us – as he said he will do – that the government’s not cooperating, that other parties are not cooperating, that he’s not making progress. Then I think we will have to act. And I believe we will be building the case as to why the Security Council should take such action.

QUESTION: Well, that’s actually what I wanted to move to. Is the next step proposing a Chapter 7 mandate at the UN Security Council that could mandate sanctions or authorize military force to stop the slaughter? And would China and Russia agree to that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think we are going to test first whether we can get the agreement we reached today implemented. And we are certainly going to consider any and all appropriate action through the Security Council as circumstances require. So I don’t want to answer a hypothetical, because we’ve just finished a very long day of very hard negotiations, and the fact that we came out united and determined to empower Kofi Annan has to be given some time to be tested.

But I said – and I said it again in my press avail after the session today – that we, the United States, are perfectly free to propose whatever we believe is necessary in the Security Council, and we will listen closely to Kofi Annan’s reports to us.

QUESTION: Let me just turn for a moment to Iran’s nuclear program. You recently sat for an interview with former Secretary of State James Baker in which he said that at the end of the day, if pressure and talks don’t work, we ought to take them out. You said that the end of the day might be next year. How much time are you giving for diplomacy and sanctions?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, what I meant was that we’ve always had a two-track policy. The President’s been very clear on that. The pressure track is our primary focus now, and we believe that the economic sanctions are bringing Iran to the table. They are going to continue to increase and cause economic difficulties for them. But the President has said no option is off the table. We obviously, clearly, prefer that we resolve the international community’s dispute with Iran over their nuclear program through the diplomatic channels that we are pursuing. That is what we’re focused on and that’s what we’re going to do everything we can to make successful.

QUESTION: Last question on Pakistan. It’s been seven months since the accidental attack that killed some Pakistani soldiers and the Pakistanis shut their supply lines. Relations have been frozen since. Why not just apologize and try to move on?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we have a number of issues with the Pakistanis that we are continuing to consult with them over. It goes on constantly. It may not be in the headlines, but there is a constant exchange of military and civilian experts. And I want to look at this comprehensively. And there are a number of issues that are important to the United States, and there are issues that are important to Pakistan, but it has to be negotiated in order to resolve any of them. And we’re still in the process of trying to do that.

QUESTION: Is an apology still possible?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m not going to get into the specifics, because there are a lot of things we want from them, and they want things from us, and we’re just going to have to see what is possible to get the relationship moving. As I’ve said many times, I think this is a consequential relationship. I think it has great impact on America’s national security interests, on the regional interests. And so we are continuing to work as hard as we can to try to resolve the ongoing differences between us.

QUESTION: Thank you so much, Madam Secretary.


Interview With Jill Dougherty of CNN


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Geneva, Switzerland
July 1, 2012

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, thank you very much. I know it’s been a very long and intense day.

Let’s begin with that critical point that you’ve talked about so many times, that Assad has to step down, leave. Now, it appears that the Russians won that point. There is no direct demand that Assad go.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Jill, I couldn’t disagree with you more. I think that what the agreement clearly states is that there has to be a transitional governing body that will be constituted of people who are there by the mutual consent of the government and the opposition. Now, unless I am wildly off base, there is no way anyone in the opposition would ever consent to Assad or his inside regime cronies with blood on their hands being on any transitional governing body.
But I said weeks ago that Assad going could be an outcome as well as a precondition, and what was important is that we were on a path with an empowered Special Envoy with the full support of all the P-5 members, including Russia and China, with an approach that absolutely guarantees, if there is a transition that is still the hard work ahead, Assad will not be part of it.

And we’ve had lots of experience in this. I mean, we just went through more than a year with Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen, and he kept saying he would go, then he wouldn’t go. And people just kept bearing down and pushing forward and eventually were successful.

But until today, we did not have the kind of roadmap in specifics, with concrete actions, that you could telegraph to Damascus, where I believe they are shocked that Russia and China have signed onto this agreement, which so clearly says goodbye to them in this transition.

QUESTION: But the timing. In other words, this could be down the road; this could be a year from now. What?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, of course, making peace is really hard. And when it happens and how it happens is dependent on so many factors. And what we did today was to make clear that, for the first time, we had agreed-upon approach that satisfied the Russians and the Chinese and the neighbors, who are very anxious, for understandable reasons, about what’s going on in Syria.

Jill, there’s no guarantee that we’re going to be successful. I just hate to say that, because it’s the fact. But I am very grateful that we now have a roadmap that has everybody on board with a clear path towards transition, with a clear set of expectations that have to be fulfilled. And now I believe the internal reality within both the regime and elements of the opposition will begin to move in a direction that, I hope, puts us on an inevitable path.

QUESTION: But how do you get to that transitional body? Because people are fighting.


QUESTION: I mean, isn’t it unrealistic to think that you’re going to get the body that you say will strip him of his power?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, because I just look at history. I look at the conflicts that I’m familiar with. I have to smile thinking about Queen Elizabeth shaking the hand of Martin McGuinness, an IRA commander, just this past week. Whenever you start with a process like this, number one, there’s neither a guarantee as to the outcome nor as to the timing, but you are beginning to change the international calculations of everybody who is a party to the conflict.

And that’s what I think will really give Kofi Annan the support he needs. Because now when he goes to Damascus and he says, “I have been instructed by all Security Council members, including the Russians and the Chinese, to begin talking to you about appointing an empowered interlocutor to meet with me and meet with representatives of the opposition. Who are you going to appoint?” and they’re not going to be able to say, “Well, there’s division in the international community, and there are a lot of people who are on our side.” They are pretty much left with Iran.

QUESTION: Do you really believe that the Russians can convince Assad?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Jill, I think that’s a great question, because one of the points that became clear, both in my long conversations with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov last night in St. Petersburg and then in our larger group today – they have committed to trying, but they’ve also admitted that they may or may not have enough leverage to convince not just one man but a family and a regime that their time is over. But what was important was to get them on board to make this effort on their own, using their leverage, and in support of Kofi Annan. And I think it’s a significant step forward in our efforts to try to figure out the least violent, disruptive, destabilizing way to end this conflict and give the Syrian people a chance at a different future.

QUESTION: So if the Russians are supposed to influence Assad, you are supposed to influence the opposition. How do you do that? What do you say to them?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, not just me, but others as well. I mean, we will have an American presence at the meeting of the opposition in Cairo next week. But the Turks, the Qataris, the Arab League, all who were part of our negotiations to reach this agreement today, will all be there. Because what’s the alternative? I mean, what are they going to do? Just continue to have meeting after meeting, or are they going to buckle down to the hard work of choosing someone to – or several people – to represent them in a transitional governing body to engage in the negotiation. And they’re going to have to finally make a decision about what it means to take responsibility for trying to end a conflict and lead a nation.
We went through this in Libya. The Transitional National Council had both members of the Qadhafi regime, who had fairly recently left, along with longtime oppositionists. So we have seen how important it is to have an organizing focus. We now have that. So at the meeting of the opposition in Cairo, they will hear from a number of different voices that you have to make some decisions about how to be part of this process.

QUESTION: There are some people who say that the Russians want to play this out, that they look at the election schedule in the United States, November there’s an election, they realize that there’s little appetite either in Washington or practically any other capital for military action, and so they’re just playing it out, banking on the fact that nobody is going to really take any type of strong military step. What do you say to that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’d say that if we were talking a week ago, based on what we were hearing from the Russians, from the very highest levels, from President Putin on down, we would never have even had the meeting in Geneva, they would not have come under any circumstances, and they would not have participated in reaching the agreement that we reached today. So what happened?

I think they have begun to realize that they are trying to ride two horses at the same time, so to speak. They are constantly saying we have no love lost for Assad, we don’t have any stake in him staying, but we are afraid of the violence and what will come after. So the argument I have made to them consistently is that their failure to be part of the solution is the surest way to ensure we have a civil war with sectarian conflict that spills over the borders.

And I can’t speak for them. I can’t put myself into their internal discussions. But I believe, based on my lengthy conversation last night and our discussions today, they’ve decided to get on one horse, and it’s the horse that would back a transition plan that Kofi Annan would be empowered to implement.

QUESTION: Okay. Could I ask you a quick question on Egypt? President – incoming President Morsi wants to ask the United States to extradite Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman from the World Trade Center attack in 1993 on the basis of – humanitarian basis. What would the U.S. do in that case?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it’s very clear that he was given due process. He was tried and convicted for his participation in terrorist activities, most particularly the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. The evidence is very clear and convincing, and he was sentenced to life in prison, and we have every reason to back the process and the sentence that he received and will do so.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you very much.


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Interview With Cheryl Casone of Fox Business Network


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
New York, New York
September 9, 2011

QUESTION: We’re back here live in front of the New York Stock Exchange. She was the junior senator from New York 10 years ago when the city was attacked, and now she is the Secretary of State. And I asked Hillary Clinton how do you balance protecting the country while at the same time protecting the U.S. economy. Listen in.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think we’ve made a lot of progress in the last 10 years. I always think there is room for improvement, so I think we always have to be honest and say, what can we do better? But I’m very proud of a lot of the actions and reforms that we’ve undertaken. I think there’s more to be done. I’ll be giving a speech about that in about an hour. But I agree with you, too, that the core of our strength and our leadership is right here at home. And what we have to do is make sure that we are keeping faith with the millions and millions of people who believe in our country, who want a better life, and who are ready to die and defend us. And I’ve worked with a lot of firefighters, a lot of police officers, a lot of guys and women in uniform on the military, and I mean they’re on the front lines, and the rest of us need to do our part. So I’m very proud of our country. I get to represent us around the world. But I always think that we’re Americans. We always can ask ourselves, what can we do better?

QUESTION: Well, I know you’re very proud of the country, as am I. At the same time, for the war on terror, we’ve spent in the last 10 years about $1.283 trillion, and we still have threats. We had one last night from the Middle East. It’s Pakistan, it’s Afghanistan, some say even parts of Egypt. Where are we in the Middle East? They are a big piece and a big threat to this country. How do you feel that we’re doing and where are we in the Middle East right now?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, Cheryl, I think it’s important to recognize that there will always be threats. I mean, if – we’re living in a globalized world, where all that we take advantage of here – instant communications, easy travel – is available to people with evil intentions. And unfortunately, that’s just a new reality that we have to accept. But at the same time, we are going to do everything we can to protect ourselves, to be vigilant, to make it clear that if somebody comes after us, we will never rest until we come after them. And that’s what we did. It took us 10 years; we finally got bin Ladin. And we got him because we never gave up, and we never said, “Oh, that was yesterday’s news.” No. You attack us, we’re going to get you.

So I guess my view on this is we’ve made improvements. What I worry about is our country needs to sort of stay in the game. We need to be on our toes. We need to be ready to do what’s necessary to get the economy going again. And obviously, the President laid out some very important ideas last night. We need to be aware of the fact that our leadership, our ability to respond and defend ourselves, really starts right here.

QUESTION: How confident are you in your conversations with the President about the safety of the country? And obviously, you’ve got to request a budget just like everyone else as the Administration. The country’s under great financial strain right now. Are you concerned that the budget at State might be in jeopardy?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, obviously, we have tough budgetary decisions to make, but the President is totally focused and committed on making sure, first and foremost, we’re safe. And we’re going to take a hard look at what we need to do. I’m working with the Congress in order to make sure that I have what I need, and obviously the other parts of our government do.

But yes, we’ve spent a lot of money, but we had a lot of work to do. And when I look back on all the changes we had to make after 9/11 – because I was part of that; I was doing legislation, I was advocating, I was working with my colleagues – we’ve done a lot of it, but I’m not satisfied. I don’t think anybody should be satisfied. But at the same time, I’m very proud of who we are, and we just have to keep going.

QUESTION: Final question: You were a New York State senator 10 years ago on 9/11, and New York City, I mean, this is 9 percent of the U.S. output. I mean, this is a big piece of the economic health of this country. What do you want to see, and what do you think the future of New York City is?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, I am so bullish on New York. I am absolutely convinced that New York will remain not only the number one economic powerhouse in the world but the leading city in the world. I mean, look at what’s happened in 10 years. More people live in New York than lived in New York on 9/11. We’re rebuilding at Ground Zero. We’re going to be back in business around the site with the new buildings that’ll go up. People are attracted from around the world. The real estate market is still booming here. Always remember that considering the right design accounting plan for your HOA is necessary to ensure the financial strength of your community. If you need such assistance, clarksimsonmiller.com is a accounting company who specializes in HOA accounting and back-office services. All of those are tremendous votes of confidence in New York and in [interruption of audio feed.]

Interview With Margaret Brennan of Bloomberg


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
New York, New York
September 9, 2011

QUESTION: I am live here on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange with a very important guest, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on hand as we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the tragedy of the September 11th attacks, commemorate that here on the floor of the exchange today – and an ominous turn in many ways. We have this credible terror threat.


QUESTION: What can you tell us about what’s happening right now?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Margaret, it is a specific, credible, but unconfirmed threat. And we are taking every precaution. Obviously, once it was determined that we needed to, information was shared with state and local officials. You saw Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly out.

And part of the reason for sharing the information is to enlist millions of eyes and ears. We want people to go about your daily lives, but be vigilant and remember that the Times Square bomber, so-called, was stopped because a food vendor saw something suspicious.

QUESTION: In so many ways, the financial community and economic security is a big part of that broader security picture.


QUESTION: And we had the President give a jobs address last night – around the world, increased joblessness, high food prices. They’ve led to political instability. How are you trying to utilize economic diplomacy?

SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s a great question, and I am very focused on economic diplomacy. Now, there are some things that the State Department can do. Obviously, we promote American exports, we promote American jobs. I spend a lot of my time talking to leaders around the world about why American products are the best in the world and they should be purchased.

But we also are facing some very tough decisions here, Europe, and elsewhere. And we’re all going to have to recognize that there is no quick or easy way out of this. But we’re on a path. We have to stay on that path. And I think what the President said last night about a lot of what could be done right now will certainly contribute to moving us forward and getting us back to growth.

QUESTION: Now, how has – I mean, we’re talking in a week where we see U.S. bond yields go this record low, money going in to U.S. debt at the very same moment we have S&P downgrading the credit quality of this country, at least nominally. How has that hurt or inhibited or impacted the work you’re doing in terms of U.S. perception?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think first of all, the market has given a strong endorsement to the strength of the American economy and the stability of the American government, because – you’re right – I thought that the downgrade was basically irrelevant. It didn’t reflect at all the fundamentals or the strength of our economic and political system. So with money flooding in, people are voting in a very clear way for American economic leadership.

At the same time, our political system is under scrutiny. We have to pull together. We can’t be ideologically divided so that people are only staring at each other across this political chasm. We have to pull together, we have to make some decisions. It was only 10 years ago we had a balanced budget. We had a surplus. We had four years of a surplus. We can do this again, but everybody’s going to have to give a little. That’s the way political systems in a democracy are supposed to work. And I worry that some people think that we have no basis for compromise; it’s either my way or the highway. That is not how you solve problems, and I want to see people moving, getting together, as the President called for last night.

QUESTION: And the President called for and really upped the ante for the super committee to come up with new ways to find methods of austerity to cut back here. How has that atmosphere of cutbacks in discretionary funding inhibited what you can do through economic diplomacy?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, obviously, there are some big opportunities that we have now in the Middle East and North Africa with the so-called Arab Awakening that we may not be able to deliver on the way I would like to see. But we, like every part of our government, are going to have to make some tough decisions. And so every day, I try to balance what’s in our real interests and how can we make sure we’re moving in the right direction. Because a lot of what I do is not about today or tomorrow. It’s about five years, 10 years, 15 years down the road. So it’s going to be tough. I’m not going to stand here and tell you any different. But I think if we could come to some political resolution, we’ll be able to work all this through.

QUESTION: You mentioned the Arab Awakening. Specifically with Libya, the global oil markets want to know when Libya’s oil production, 1.5 million barrels a day, is going to get back on to the market. How is the U.S. trying to help that get done?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We are working very hard with the Transitional National Council. I met with them last week in Paris. We are prepared, along with a lot of our other partners, both in Europe and in the Gulf, to assist them in getting back up online. Obviously, there is still some fighting going on in some parts of Libya, but other parts are secure enough that we can begin this process of trying to get oil back onto the market. We are working to make sure we lift the sanctions that were imposed on the Qadhafi regime so that the new leadership of Libya will not be held back from trying to get the oil moving. So we’re making progress on that.

QUESTION: Do you expect oil to be back on the market within the next few weeks or a month?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I don’t – I’m not an oil expert, so I don’t want to be hazarding an opinion. I don’t know what the damage was. I don’t know what other kinds of steps will have to be taken. But I can assure you and I can assure all your viewers we are 100 percent committed to doing everything we can to help the TNC get up and going in the oil markets again.

QUESTION: Finally, I want to ask you about, as you just mentioned, freeing up assets for the Libyan regime. One and a half billion given the okay by the United Nations, but a lot of those assets are tied up, hard to get to. What kind of progress are we making there, and what do you want to hold onto as leverage with this new government?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we’re making progress. Ironically, the Qadhafi regime used to print their money in England, so the British have just been able to release hundreds of millions of dollars of banknotes that are either already or on their way to Libya. Every country that had frozen assets is working through (inaudible) legal system, working through the UN sanctions regime, to free up as much as possible as quickly as possible. It does belong to the Libyan people.

At the same time, I am certainly expressing very clearly what our expectations are. We want transparency. We want accountability for the money that goes back in. We want financial systems established that can be audited and understood not only by us but by the Libyan people themselves. So there’s some work to be done, but I have found the Transitional National Council to be very receptive. And the finance minister, Mr. Tarhouni, had been, for quite a number of years since he was in exile, a business professor at the University of Washington.

QUESTION: That’s right. We talked to him. Forty years in the U.S., I believe.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah. Forty years. And so he is just working extremely hard. I don’t know that the man has slept in months. So there are some very good people. But like, I mean, it’s understandable; they don’t have yet the critical mass, so we’re trying to offer expertise. The UN, others are, as well. I think given the fact they started from a standstill, there were no institutions, no political system to hang onto because of what Qadhafi had done to Libya, they’ve made a lot of progress. But they are the first to tell you they have a long way to go.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, it’s wonderful to speak with you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good to see you, too.

QUESTION: Thank you so much for making time for us today.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. My pleasure.

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