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Secretary of State Albright Addresses PSU

albrightFormer US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright addressed a large audience last night at Eisenhower Auditorium.

Her speech was a globe-trotting look at the problems Obama faces. This is also the topic of her latest book, Memo to the President Elect.

Albright is a self proclaimed “true extrovert.” Indeed, that’s probably why she and Bill Clinton got along so well. Both seem to derive their energy from whomever they are speaking to.

It was through a discussion of Bill Clinton– she says that if she could send any person to the Middle East as special envoy, it would be him– that her partisan love became evident. That viewpoint is supported by her assessment of 43’s eight years as a “failed presidency.”

We thought that @CraneHusband on Twitter did a good job in his “live blog.” Here are some of our shared favorite quotes from last night.

“Every president inherits headaches, but President Obama has inherited the whole emergency room.”

“I would not spend a lot of time looking into Putin’s eyes.”

“I’ve been to the Middle East a lot, to Dubai, which is kind of, like, amazing.”

“Our intelligence said he was crazy and a pervert. He’s not crazy.”

Our conversation with her made us realize just how interconnected the Washington political scene can be. Madeleine Albright served as Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State, and during her tenure in that position she became quite close to Hillary Clinton, the current Secretary of State; Condeleeza Rice was also a protege of Albright’s father at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Albright shared an interesting anecdote about Rice. At one point during the Clinton Presidency, Albright needed to fill a position related to Russia and its surrounding states. She remembered that she knew this African-American girl from Alabama who was a Russia expert AND a protege of her father, so it seemed the perfect fit. She called Rice up and pitched the job to her. Rice said, “Madeleine, I don’t really know how to say this, but I’m a Republican,” to which Albright responded, “Condi, how could you? We had the same father!”


You can find additional coverage of last night’s speech at the Collegian and on Penn State Live.

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