Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright didn’t speak for long in West Des Moines today, but she got her point across: Hillary Clinton is the best person to be President of the United States.
Albright attended three organizing events on behalf of Clinton in western and central Iowa, and she spoke from the heart when talking to the crowd about her friendship with the former Secretary of State.
“Hillary and I actually went to the same college – I was 10 years ahead of her,” said Albright. “But I first saw Hillary in action when she was chairman of the Children’s Defense Fund, and really that was such an example of her dedication to not only children, but to public service, and working through organizations to getting people interested in and committed to hard work. Doing things for children is truly her passion.”
Albright, who worked under the Clinton administration in the 90’s first as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and then Secretary of State, reminisced memories of traveling around the world with Hillary Clinton when she was ambassador, portraying Clinton’s humanistic side to the audience. Albright also explained her perspective of Clinton at the Women’s Beijing Conference in 1995, where Clinton made one of her most memorable speeches on women’s rights.
“I was the technical hand of the delegation, but obviously wanted to have Hillary play a major role in it, and there was a real question of whether we should even go to Beijing,” said Albright. “It was not simple, because the Chinese were not wild to have us. She was absolutely the person who silenced the whole delegation and left people mesmerized with her speech. It was kind of emblematic of the way she worked.”
After being appointed Secretary of State, to which Albright said all the credit goes to Clinton, she and the former First Lady continued traveling all over together and “kind of tag-teamed events.” Again, Albright’s picture of Clinton was one the crowd has probably not heard from a stump surrogate: the tireless workhorse of Hillary Clinton, the foreign relations expert as well as domestic policy caretaker.
“I don’t think anybody has been better prepared to be president of the United States,” said Albright. “Her background in doing things with the Children’s Defense Fund and then her time as First Lady and then her time as Senator and then most recently as Secretary of State…she restored the reputation of the United States.”
Besides Clinton’s strong foreign policy experience, Albright praised her domestic issue approach as well.
“I’m a foreign policy wonk, but most foreign policy people do not understand the domestic aspect of foreign policy issues, and in Hillary we have somebody who is completely knowledgeable and caring about domestic issues,” said Albright. “She understands how those issues link with foreign policy issues, and that’s very rare. I think what it takes as president is to be able to use both sides of her brain.”
The crowd of over 60 people in West Des Moines adored Albright, and lingered afterward to get an autograph and shake hands with the former Secretary of State. Though most of those on hand were already committed to Hillary, the organizing event was a good move on the Clinton campaign’s part. It furthers the momentum Clinton has going on the trail, and was a smart placement directly after the first Democratic presidential debate where Clinton outshined her competitors. Clinton is starting to bring out the big guns on the caucus campaign trail, and stump speakers like Albright, with her experience and name recognition, will only further Clinton’s status in the race as the front-runner.
Starting Line sat down with Albright after her event for a quick interview:
by Sarah Beckman