Clinton Does the Sunday Shows

Today, the Secretary of State clearly became the face of the US response to the Egyptian protests.  She appeared on all

State Visit to Egypt, June 2009

five talk shows.  Here’s some coverage of what she said and what others think about it.

From the NY Times:  Clinton Urges Egyptian Dialogue

She issued a strong endorsement of key groups working to exert their influence on the chaotic Egyptian protests – the military, civil society groups and, perhaps most importantly, the nation’s people – but carefully avoided any specific commitment to Mr. Mubarak.

Her phrasing seemed to imply an eventual end to Mr. Mubarak’s 30 years in power. But when asked whether the United States was backing away from Mr. Mubarak and whether he could survive the protests, the secretary chose her words carefully. His political future, she said, “is going to be up to the Egyptian people.”

Making the rounds of the Sunday television talk shows, Mrs. Clinton urged the government in Cairo to respond in a “clear, unambiguous way” to the people’s demands and to do so “immediately” by initiating a national dialogue. At the same time, she was supportive of the Egyptian military, calling it “a respected institution in Egyptian society, and we know they have delicate line to walk.”

Hillary Clinton On ABC with Christine Amanpour:

From CBS NEWS: ‘Clinton: In Egypt, “Words Alone” Are Not Enough’

“Let me repeat again what President Obama and I have been saying,” Clinton said in an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “That is, to urge the Egyptian security forces to show restraint, to not respond in any way through violence or intimidation that falls upon the peaceful protestors who are demanding that their grievances were heard.”

Faux News:  Secretary Clinton: Won’t Label Egypt Foreign Policy Crisis Situation

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shied away Sunday from labeling the escalating political turmoil in Egypt as a “foreign crisis situation” for the Obama administration.

“I don’t label anything like that, this is a very serious time for Egypt and we are going to do all we can to support an orderly transition to support a situation in which the aspirations of the Egyptians are addressed,” Clinton said.

She made the comment while briefing reporters before leaving on a trip to Haiti to assess recovery and political work there after last year’s devastating earthquake.

Clinton said that there are “many complexities” because Egypt has been a partner to the U.S. and worked closely with the country to keep peace in the region. She also lauded the Egyptian-Israeli peace agreement.

“We do not want to see a change or a regime that would actually continue to foment violence or chaos — either because it didn’t exist or because it had a different view in which in which to pose on the Egyptian people,” she said.

Some possible hints at what’s going on behind the scenes from the LATimes and Peter Nicholas.

A tight-lipped White House is taking an even-handed approach to the crisis in Egypt, suggesting that President Mubarak might be able to hold onto power if he allows competitive elections and restores individual freedoms. But inside the Obama administration, there are signs that officials are preparing for a post-Mubarak era after three decades.

One former senior administration advisor said he had spoken to his old colleagues inside the Obama administration in recent days about the unrest in Egypt. As early as last Wednesday, the Obama administration recognized that they would not be able to prop up the Mubarak regime and keep it in power at all costs, the former official said.

“They don’t want to push Mubarak over the cliff, but they understand that the Mubarak era is over and that the only way Mubarak could be saved now is by a ruthless suppression of the population, which would probably set the stage for a much more radical revolution down the road.”

Other behind the scenes hint at the Jerusalem Post: Gates appears to be talking to Israel.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke Saturday evening both with US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, and on Sunday Defense Minister Ehud Barak held a telephone conversation with Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Obama made a round of phone calls Saturday to Middle East leaders to consult on the situation. In addition to speaking to Prime Minister Netanyahu, Obama also reached out to Prime Minister Recep Tayyi Erdogan of Turkey and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. On Sunday he spoke to British Prime Minister David Cameron.


StateDept StateDept

Missed #SecClinton interviews with ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX and NBC on #Egypt? Find all the transcripts here:

I have some take away questions from her interviews.  Like, did she or didn’t she hedge the aid to Egypt question?  We can talk about them below the fold.

26 Comments on “Clinton Does the Sunday Shows”

  1. TheRock says:

    Did you see the interview with David Gregory? I’m not sure that I had much respect for him before. It’s less now. The entire round-table discussion was ‘Do you agree with Clinton this..’ and ‘Did Sec. Clinton say the right thing, that’ You could see him deftly trying to pass the blame onto her. None of the talking heads could impeach her comments and none of the wanted to. Her recognition of the role Egypt has played FOR the U.S. had to give govt. in the middle east confidence that there are some grownups at the big table over here.

    Hillary 2012

    • Fannie says:

      I saw Gregory and she told him, STOP putting words in my mouth! He just went on ignoring her.

      I just read Aljareera had the plug pulled on their credentials in reporting on Egypt…………guess that means that they will not be offered a safety net from the Egyptian Government.

      • Woman Voter says:

        Yup, if you do REAL JOURNALISM, you get kicked out like Al Jazeera! I have a lot of respect for Al Jazeera, especially for releasing photos and footage because they knew their hours or minutes in Egypt were numbered…goones knocking at their door with guns.

    • zaladonis says:

      I didn’t stick around, turned it off after Hillary’s segment. But now I’d like to see it. Does anybody know offhand when it’s replayed? I think it’s something like 2am east coast.

    • Woman Voter says:

      David Gregory should have asked the REAL important question; how was Obama’s backetball game while the protesters were at the White House? OK, I am being cheeky but it seems only Hillary is held to a supper high bar. Biden mean while is in full support of Mubarak, refuting the protesters chants that Hosni Mubarak is a dictator.

      • zaladonis says:

        Hillary’s always held to a super high bar.

        That’s one reason she’d have been a great President.

        Don’t get me started.

      • Fannie says:

        Apparently the media says he’s being forced to sit this one out.

  2. zaladonis says:

    I don’t know how to properly post tweets but Robert Reich tweeted (twittered?):

    If you think revolts in Tunis, Egypt, and Yemen are big, wait for coming food and energy shortages around world. US shld take lead now.

    (showed up on his FB feed)

    • dakinikat says:

      Yeah, I’ve been saying that for awhile. It’s also going to hit here too.

    • Fannie says:

      US is leaderless, know what I mean?

    • dakinikat says:

      I retweeted his previous one:

      RBReich Robert Reich
      3.5% ec growth pitiful. We’re in so deep a hole that we need twice that to get jobs back. Don’t believe the Wall St cheerleaders.

      (aside: i just cut and past them)

      This is also what I’ve been saying … we’re normalizing this unemployment rate which is just going to toss more people on to the street.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        It is frightening. (the normalizing of unemployment rate) Reminds me of the scene in Boys in the Hood, where they see the dead body and they have become desensitized to the violence. Murder and killing becomes a natural state, something that will not change. The attitude of unemployed people, that sense of giving up and the pointlessness of trying to find a job is just a beginning.

    • Woman Voter says:

      We have talked about that for about 2 + years and even about growing gardens and discussions about how to store food when the rice disappeared from the shelfs. Yup, that isn’t something the press isn’t covering.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    I can’t see the video. Maybe it was copyrighted.

  4. Woman Voter says:

    Egypt unrest – El Baradei says he’s ready to lead a transition

    Well, since the Americans are being evacuated, it appears more likely that Hosni Mubarak is not going peacefully and it will get ugly. I guess he really has been in power so long that he can’t seem to let go of the power, and insisting on passing the dictatorship to his son.

  5. Woman Voter says:

    EmilTin Emil Tin RT by dredeyedick
    The Torture Career of #Egypt’s New Vice President: Omar #Suleiman and the Rendition to #Torture Program #wikileaks

    Dak, you are so right about the VP who was in charge of torturing people. 😯

    I can see why the people continue to protest, the message, is ‘He tortured prisoners, NOW he will torture all of Egypt!’ EAAAK, running to protest too.

  6. […] Hillary Clinton understands better than most that not all CHANGE is for the best: “We do not want to see a change or a regime that would actually continue to foment violence or chaos — either because it didn’t exist or because it had a different view in which in which to pose on the Egyptian people,” she said. […]

  7. Minkoff Minx says:

    ‘No to Suleiman, no to Shafik’ | Al Jazeera Blogs

    The headline of this post was a common banner at tonight’s protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square – a sign that Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak hasn’t succeeded in mollifying anti-government demonstrators with two new appointments.

    One enterprising Egyptian actually set up a small kiosk and sold the signs outside the square.

    Mubarak yesterday installed Omar Suleiman, his longtime intelligence chief, as vice president; and former air force commander Ahmed Shafik as prime minister.

    But the move has won him little popular support, as evidenced by the signs at tonight’s rally, or the group of about 25 demonstrators who surrounded a tank outside the Egyptian museum and chanted slogans about the Egyptian intelligence chief. “Suleiman, Suleiman, get on a plane tonight,” was one refrain.

    Suleiman’s appointment as vice president has been described by some as a major step; Egypt hasn’t had a vice president since Mubarak took office, after all.

    But most Egyptians at Sunday’s protest dismissed the appointment as a stunt: Ahmed, a taxi driver from the Medinat Nasr neighbourhood, called him “Mubarak’s right hand”; Osama, a businessman who walked across the bridge from Cairo’s upscale Zamalek district, called him “the big man” behind the regime’s “dirty policies.”

    Khalid, a 35-year-old shoe salesman from downtown Cairo, turned the tables a bit, asking me who the American government would prefer as Egypt’s president. Omar Suleiman, I answered.

    “That’s why he was appointed,” Khalid said.


    Even fewer voiced their support for Mohamed ElBaradei, the former IAEA chief; indeed, while hundreds of demonstrators who surrounded him tonight seized the media’s attention, thousands of other protesters nearby took no notice of his speech.

    “ElBaradei has been outside of Egypt for 40 years,” said Mohammad Hassan, a dry cleaner from Giza, shortly after ElBaradei spoke. “He doesn’t know the Egyptian people.”

  8. Woman Voter says:

    This video is spot on, with the conditions that have led to the current political revolt in the Arab World. They have found their oppressors and want freedom and true Democracy.
    Now You Know: Rebellion in the Arab World