Former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, honorary chair of the Baker Institute, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sat down with journalist Charlie Rose on June 20 for a wide-ranging conversation on U.S. foreign policy. Baker said that the biggest threat to America right now isn"t Iran or China, but the need to "get our economic house in order." Clinton agreed, saying that much of her time as secretary of state is spent "reassuring" government and business leaders that the U.S. economy is improving.
Clinton also noted that despite partisan politics, Democrats and Republicans in Congress were able to reach compromises with the president during the last three administrations. That is not the case with the Obama administration, she observed. Baker concurred. "I don"t disagree with that at all," he commented. "I hate to tell you this, but based on my political and civil service experience, it ain"t happening before November."
The interview, held in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the State Department in Washington, D.C., is the second in a series of conversations Rose is conducting with Clinton and previous secretaries of state. The "Conversations on Diplomacy" series aims to examine foreign policy in the context of present challenges and options, as well historical lessons and experiences. The event will be part of the United States Diplomacy Center, which will bring the story of American diplomacy to life through state-of-the art technology, compelling artifacts and interactive exhibits.