Tuesday Hillary Clinton released the audio of the author’s note for her upcoming book, “Hard Choices”. Hillary discusses her travels, hair and respect for President Barack Obama…
Partial transcript as follows:
This book is about choices I made as Secretary of State and those made by President Obama and other leaders around the world. Some chapters are about events that made headlines; others are about the trendlines that will continue to define our world for future generations.”
These years were also a personal journey for me, both literally (I ended up visiting 112 countries and traveling nearly one million miles) and figuratively, from the painful end of the 2008 campaign to an unexpected partnership and friendship with my former rival Barack Obama. I’ve served our country in one way or another for decades. Yet during my years as Secretary of State, I learned even more about our exceptional strengths and what it will take for us to compete and thrive at home and abroad.
What’s true in our daily lives is also true at the highest levels of government. Keeping America safe, strong, and prosperous presents an endless set of choices, many of which come with imperfect information and conflicting imperatives. Perhaps the most famous example from my four years as Secretary of State was President Obama’s order to send a team of Navy SEALs into a moonless Pakistani night to bring Osama bin Laden to justice. The President’s top advisors were divided. The intelligence was compelling, but far from definitive. The risks of failure were daunting. The stakes were significant for America’s national security, our battle against al Qaeda, and our relationship with Pakistan. Most of all, the lives of those brave SEALs and helicopter pilots hung in the balance. It was as crisp and courageous a display of leadership as I’ve ever seen.
I wrote it for anyone anywhere who wonders whether the United States still has what it takes to lead. For me, the answer is a resounding “Yes.” Talk of America’s decline has become commonplace, but my faith in our future has never been greater. While there are few problems in today’s world that the United States can solve alone, there are even fewer that can be solved without the United States. Everything that I have done and seen has convinced me that America remains the “indispensable nation.” I am just as convinced, however, that our leadership is not a birthright. It must be earned by every generation. And it will be–so long as we stay true to our values and remember that, before we are Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives, or any of the other labels that divide us as often as define us, we are Americans, all with a personal stake in our country.
When I began this book, shortly after leaving the State Department, I considered a number of titles. Helpfully, the Washington Post asked its readers to send in suggestions. One proposed “It Takes a World,” a fitting sequel to It Takes a Village. My favorite was “The Scrunchie Chronicles: 112 Countries and It’s Still All about My Hair.”
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