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tv   After Words John Kerry Every Day is Extra  CSPAN  November 8, 2018 8:01pm-9:02pm EST

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>> host: welcome john kerry, my friend. >> thank you for having me. >> host: thank you. happy new year to all. this is only 5776 new year but
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that tells you something the journey has been long and continues but you have written as a very big book which i have gone through and found lots in common with your journey but really i would like to talk about the jewish new year because it is the time of renewal and one of the frustrations of your journey as secretary of state that there was no happy ending and there is no happy ending yet for israel and palestine and you have a long chapter about that. i remember you telling me while working in boston. >> we met at the charles hotel and had a nice conversation but i remember you said to me if you are ever in a position
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to get things done i think we could get great things done together. i held onto that. >> host: i also remember as a member of the foreign advisory board one night at dinner with the other members of the committee you had a map on a piece of paper and you were passionate about the fact if we do these things we could get this done. i think all of those tuning into c-span would like to know what you tried to do. >> i am passionate about israel supporting from the earliest of times as a member of the senate and many, many, saw many friends and i took my first trip to israel again swimming in the dead sea
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and i actually flew a plane over israel with that air force and just to learn a lot. and i'm sad. i'm sorry it was not possible to make the pieces come together. but frankly as i write in the book, the dynamics are very complicated right now the majority of which has said public no matter what the prime minister has said we don't believe in the two state that there never will be two states. so how do you move a government when in fact, it requires a change of coalition? it's very difficult forgot the same time i think there was
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great problems politically with t13. there is a politics of life and it simply was not right. but we did good things that made a huge difference i got the arab world to agree for the first time publicly to change that peace initiative so with that alliance with the swaps and that meant we could bring 90 percent of the settlers into israel by annexing those particular communities. that was a big step forward. i also got them to accept publicly that israel would be a jewish state and be acknowledged as a jewish state that is a huge step forward. there may be some on the
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outlying areas but the critical countries came together to say this is what we will do. it required guaranteeing what we thought was paramount that you have to have is real to be able to defend itself, by itself. that was the premise that we lay down and i accepted that it was fair. we came up with ways assuredly we could do that. but the bottom line is the road yet to travel we hope there will be peace every region deserves and i hope it can happen. >> host: your efforts were heroic so with us policy hoping there would be two states some things have changed but the capital of
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israel is the jerusalem embassy and we all voted as a member of congress in the mid- nineties for that policy so the timing was up to the president and this president decided to make it now and moved to the embassy that is temporarily located where the consulate is. we've had a consulate for years in jerusalem. i would express sadness those that make trips to the region that that lack of progress it's not a state with the palestinian authority so
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spending time with the arabs especially would be very hard for israel to maintain its character as a pluralist democracy. . >> that is the dilemma. >> host: the administration announced that it wants to close the plo holiday and many with the holiday cannot comment because they were observing so i just feel sad there will be the announcement of the administration plan that i understand that is within the plan but if what that is, no two states, not now, not ever a compromise is a big principal that was designed by the founders to be a pluralist democracy by the people both of those happening at the same tim time.
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>> correct. yes. the great challenges already today as we sit here, the population between the jordan river valley and the mediterranean is not majority jewish now. if you are a full-fledged democracy what happens if everybody votes? has it maintained its character? i will always work hard with the conflict to provide for israel's ability and ultimately it is inevitable and likewise the palestinians can have a state that is viable, continuous and maybe
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that's one of the key questions that if a state is offered will it be viable and continuous? that's a serious question if not it will not be accepted so you don't have legitimate peace. but times have changed in the reason and israel is finding there are many countries which we worked very hard to encourage were willing to work on counterterrorism, regional security issues and other things. i put forward the idea there is a new regional security arrangement that could be made if people were to move down the road. imagine here you have remarkable sites if there were peace you could have this extraordinary burst of energy with any other part of the
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world to be such incredible opportunity with leadership to get them over the hurdles. >> host: one of the frustrations the leaders. >> and there are serious issues on the palestinian side we should not gloss over that were to take in support that remains a problem. but there are ways to begin to lay the groundwork. >> i could not agree more to make those courageous steps for peace that was jordan and egypt those were still historic agreements. >> you are right i write a chapter that tries to do justice of the things we might have done where that moment of
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opportunity was there. i am an optimist. i believe that my book really is the answer to bob woodward's book that lays out the problems of washington today and this book and its journey, the journey tells the story of what you do about it. how you manage to deal with these things that seem insurmountable as they did. facing richard nixon breaking the law with an enemies list and spying on people, firing archie cox to carry on a war that we knew was wrong and then watergate and then to carry 49 states within a year and a half and then he was gone because people held him
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accountable. that's what we need to do. >> host: as i was mentioning to you but to be inspired by john kennedy and robert kennedy i worked for five years in the early seventies and in law school i am sure that you know, just this last year so that was wonderful to be with those two subcommittees in the senate when he was a senator but the idealism shines through the whole book to have a few
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unsuccessful moments but that's a test not as a tenant governor of massachusetts with an unsuccessful run for president i was in support when i was in congress then. i have a story about that. this senate foreign relations committee is huge and then to go into the administration to try your best to do three or four things and one of which succeeded with the alien deal. and the paris climate agreement. . >> so to switch into this.
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the last chapter of the book is called protecting the planet not just with climate change but the journey in paris and how we got there and got the chinese to get off of their opposition not doing anything until finally they cooperated that cooperation of the two biggest economies on the planet allowed us to go to paris to get it done. as we sit here today not only are we close to holding the earth of what we were aiming for to go 4 degrees centigrade in this century. we are looking kids one and a half and three and five now so
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you just have to stop in question how a president of the united states could willfully decide to pull out of the paris agreement without any facts or science or knowledge simply because he made a campaign promise with the orthodoxy on his side of the fence with the agreement how humans contribute to this. it is crazy. so the first time in recorded history in the middle of winter the arctic was above freezing and we are seeing changes in the ocean and on land and more floods and longer rain. send more moisture for call of this is a result of forming and there are things we could do about it specifically with energy policy. >> host: the wilson center which is nonpartisan, i have
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my chapter in the congressman now i try my hardest and i think you do also to reach for responsible politicians of both parties that they have a program there is a function the arctic ocean qualifies as an ocean in the world so global warming there is much faster or twice as fast as the rest of the world in a country's border on the ocean because in addition to the possibility it could become a shipping channel between asia and europe it is a much shorter distance than the panama canal so they are cooperating on security issues including russia. one part of this book is a long chapter some are
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productive. >> and syria remains an open wound i hope we would have two leverage to make it clear to the russians we meant business trying to get a result with this resolution we passed in the united nations for participation by the opposition to bring about a global cease-fire for the country into port one - - to support the resolution after a certain amount of time went by they thought we were playing games that we were not serious about going after extremism.
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instead of fundamentally being able to make progress. >> so a death spiral for those who live there so what was really a great country so i met with a sod early in his tenure we thought he would be a moderate voice in the country and in the region as he still had his father's cabinet thinking they would retire or die but guess what? that was the wrong assumption so today one of the only cities left what will the
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collection of rubble become? where does this end? . >> it's the tragedy so considering what assad and the russians have decided to do it is a near massacre i would hope wiser voices would prevail to work something out to actually get to the table so the special envoy deeply frustrated one of the principal players to not to play a straight. they intend to win at the end of a gun barrel and that's not winning historically.
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as a failed state and refugee hemorrhaging with lebanon and others? . >> so go back to something more hopeful we were both inspired by the kennedys i grew up in los angeles and to go to the democratic convention so i was the usher of sorts at the louisiana coliseum and then the lightbulb went off.
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and to run those democrats there at harvard law school was a research assistant p-letter to be enormously active in the bobby kennedy campaign and finally in 1991 seat opened in congress who i'm sure you knew i move back full-time to california running for the congressional seat and i want. so to describe that in a really wonderful way your family was not politics and mine was not. >>. >> host: and traveling around the world not that you have not seen a lot. >> recalled that the world back then. [laughter] >> host: talk about your
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earliest memory to go back to your family home but that was just glass and rubble. >> so to give context. to say my family home abroad but my grandfather was a businessman and he was working between france and england when the war broke out and raising a big family my mother was one of 11 living between france and britain and they vacationed on the emerald coast and fell in love so my grandfather bought a home there for the 11 kids to have fun in the summer so in warsaw they were scattered literally.
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succumbing back to the states with that war effort and the kids were in various places where they had been deposited. but our house was taken over by the germans and my mother was working in paris as a nurse taking care refugees and northern france then she learned that the germans are about to march so there her sister's new husband had a friend and they started to bike south foraging across france to get there so the war
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ends with the bombing and burning of the house i was four years old my mom wanted to return to the house to see what was there i was walking with her holding her hand feeling the glass crunch under my feet and my mother was crying. i didn't know why i was very disturbed but up in the sky i could see a stairwell the opposite side of the house and that was it. otherwise it was rubble it made the indelible impression on me but then my grandfather decided to rebuild it and is still there and all of us kids, 291st cousins to take care of the house. >> so as a metaphor for the
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destruction of war that at some level we are all immigrants to this country. >> that's the impression that i have. it tears families apart while there are reasons occasionally you have to fight and we did thank god those brave young people storm those beaches in normandy which i write about at length because i was so amazed they are incredible it is peaceful it is a great restingplace because it is the american cemetery. so i write in the book teresa
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and my life went with me and we sat there for hours to take it in. an older guy in front of me was there with his wife hugging profoundly and at one point got up and took off all of his close to walk into the water and just started to bob in the water like he was purifying himself so i remember to pay homage that day it was a very beautiful site to see this and to write what it was like because it was so compelling with their bravery and their sacrifice. >> so after the training with the vietnam mission and
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shipping off to vietnam and how your views of the war changed and the tragic death of your buddy as we were headed in. and what changed you and that led to a whole chapter and nascar is never fully healed so we still have from that era it is a tragedy that they never welcomed them home but it's with that experience but then also with you and john mccain a prisoner for who was tortured there she will - - shared.
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>> it was a remarkable turn of events, jane. one of the most important things that happened while i was in the senate was the reconciliation and the partnership that we built. john and i were flying to kuwait we were sitting opposite each other by seniority. but it worked and brought us together we had a conversation into the night talking about annapolis and his family and his own service and time as a prisoner he wanted to know how we thought and what it was like so we pledged right then the country was still divided over the war we had to try to find a way not just make peace
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with vietnam but at home. so we set out to get answers for families that were distraught so people were left there alive have to answer those questions as a matter of duty but also practicality otherwise you cannot have a strategy. we had hearings it was disgraceful what people said to john mccain calling him the manchurian candidate because he would not believe what might or might not would happen he wanted to look for the truth that mattered to him we worked very hard and at one point he and i together went to hanoi to get to the information we talk to the prisoner guards and the
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history houses with the team on the ground and went into prisons unannounced to see if there was any evidence if any european or american that was a remarkable process with unanimous consent to make a unanimous decision there was no evidence that anybody was still alive. there was some evidence maybe somebody was not negotiated for at the end but we did not have conclusive evidence. >> host: that was a huge deal for these families. >> we had 700 families were able to receive remains coming back after painstaking efforts
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after the military personnel which they still do to this day. visiting john mccain about six weeks before he died , talking about to make peace here at home and the process digging into deep holes with a component of the remains with the risk of life but to put together with the military and the clinton administration the most extensive far-reaching transparent system ever designed by any nation at any time of war in order to account for our missing
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potential pow and mia. >> host: and extraordinary process and a tribute to you and john mccain. in my first term getting a call from a local constituent on the federal facility and he was told only post offices could fly the flag that you can now fly the pow and mia flag on all government buildings for patriotic holidays so within my district on the wall of my office for those that i had a principal
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role after our huge mistakes leading up to the estimate that was wrong on iraq. i was so proud of that and you describe that in interesting ways. [laughter] he is a character. so that the mccain funeral jay leno was in front of me were on the right and giuliani was on the left. but then my heart broke with
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the trips to the conference but. >> it is not up to us but i will never spin that many years in a prison camp and then to work in that kind of a manner. >> that was a gift we should all just focus on that. so this book is just so much more. and to talk about it at length
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other things that you have not yet said the sophisticated audience would like to hear and the iran efforts that a lot of people supported after the fact once it became implemented on the day the administration decided to pull out and most where i was said i supported it not then but i do now. . >> that's the point president trump pulled out without adequately thinking through those consequences because china, russia germany, france and britain they all want to keep it to do the best that we can to disrupt that.
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and with that regime change if that's the theory and to do this well and number two if you did have it in the country i guarantee you won't have a jeffersonian democrat another ahmadinejad or the hardliners use this to reclaim power because they told her honey don't negotiate with america you cannot trust america. what donald trump has done to guarantee this generation of politicians can trust america. and then to be more trustworthy but i guarantee not to sit with him. what would've been the smarter thing to do?
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to get all of those countries to come together with all the countries in the middle east and with the activities in yemen and then to be standing with these other countries legitimately stopping transfers and now having pulled away and then going into a conflict to get a un resolution it is a not smart way to approach foreign policy that is dangerous.
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>> so to comments first of all, as i understand it a scholar of nonproliferation issues at the wilson center and senior vice president it was transactional not transformational now there is a legitimate criticism i'm not saying is that you would have gotten but. >> so the people that complain about it after some point in time but what they never put on the table is the fact we have 130 additional inspectors tracing every bit of the centrifuge production everything in terms of the
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enrichment process. from cradle to grave in their subject for life forever is the additional protocol which gives us the right as a building if something is suspicious they have to let us it if they don't let us and within 28 days all the sanctions came back. >> host: you understand i'm on your side. >> but trying to underscore for people who have been listening the degree to which we didn't know what they were doing. i never thought that iran may not to say i will break out but guess what? that break out time is more than a year.
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then it goes back down to a matter of mindset is more dangerous for israel and the community. that's why the security establishment supported the dea deal. they thought it was working and should not get rid of it. so politics. it's very unfortunate because america's national security should not be a prisoner to politics. >> host: and criticism which has gone on for decades. >> and to say something about the book jane, my book is not a policy prescription by the secretary of state. this book is recanting the stories in the anecdotes so
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what happened with richard dixon? how did we get with those voting issues? to hold people accountable? so this is the companion book to bob woodward's book because he lays out brilliantly all the things that are happening in washington and who says what et cetera et cetera but does not tell you so what do you do? i think my book does tell you what to do. it's about citizenship and democracy and how do you make your democracy work and the journey of 40 or 50 years to do that mostly being able to make it work and be accountable. >> and to help that problem about bipartisanship and you mentioned this on the brake
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and the prince that lost in a primary to somebody on the far right and that election was lost to a democrat. >> that's why today we have gridlock and lack of accountability because republican senators are not as worried about their election is terrified of a primary. primaries are used of a leverag leverage. >> that happens in the democratic party to be fair. they are challenged from the left the center has disappeared i thought i was in the center many ways not on social issues but economic and defense issues but back in the day with blue dogs on fiscal
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matters there we were now going down most of the people lost in the primaries so now there is another issue with the massachusetts election the woman who beat the ten term congressman she is enormously impressive but one of the arguments is we need younger new leadership. >> least argue that now i argue need experience. she is terrific you have to run the race in every district in that district you know, that better than anybody to pick up the template and she
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worked hard and is a terrific congresswoman so to serve that district very well this is just what happens when our democracy decides to remake itself of that. >> bipartisanship is very healthy so if you talk to the other side that is the word that is really dangerous. they stay in their quarters. >> as disturbing as anything i could think of right now you don't have to answer this because i know you are in a nonpartisan position but but just to state the reality
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everybody knows for a year and a half in this anonymous op-ed it is now confirmed why people plead guilty people see the facts. but despite the degree that people are perturbed what they are seeing in washington will the defense secretary counter mandate or will somebody steal off the desk? will the president continue to attack the justice department you should not indict somebody during the election. to affect the outcome? that's not justice we have a
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problem in washington and i think a lot of people in the house and senate are not reading the oath they took about upholding the constitution the senate deserves more than those who are more interested in party article one is the legislative branch decided to be check of executive authority in the federal court system and the checks and balances that our inherent has not ever been smooth that congress has a big voice over centuries.
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so there were some questions since president nixon. so where is congress? where is congress' voice sadly people conclude it's more about being relaxed - - we elected we can argue pro and con but some people feel very strongly. >> i agree that is an appropriate way to put up focus on the founding fathers of what they intended with congress. >> host: some of us seeing hamilton. >> i love it. it was fabulous. and that brilliant musical score came up then. but everybody wonders how this administration happened i don't think it fell out of the sky they felt that anxiety
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with the total transformation and the global economy many people did not speak to the problem but the people felt ignored. >> i think it's more than that. so what made a difference in people's lives was not the focus of the congress except when president obama came in but look at the opposition to the party that opposed it. what has donald trump been trying to do? and obama care it is the and workers are working harder
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with the crash of 2008 people have mortgages on the home if they are lucky enough to have a job so working harder working more in many cases less to take a second or third job to see the richest people walking off with massive tax cuts or benefits they could afford to pay to the lobbying system. there is the insidious corruption in this country right and left and our center are in touch with that and they are angry. going from the gingrich revolution to the tea party to the freedom caucus to the hostile takeover by donald trump and on our side we saw our own battle which is still
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playing out. i don't find any mystery in this at all except those that are smart are ignored and not working together. >> host: i agree with that so to focus on congress so to blame the other side for not solving the problem because if you work with the other side it is bipartisan making you cannon fodder. we have a few minutes left. >> you want to talk about the title of my book? . >>. >> host: now i do but i do understand. but i think you should explain it and to talk about the optimism. >> i and the book talking
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about how we can make a difference to change things. but the title every day is extra comes from a bunch of guys who came back from a war and survived who felt who could not totally explain why this guy made it and this guy didn't to feel a sense of obligation as a gift that's why you don't have to go to war to get the sense everyday is extra or somebody passed away then you know, that life is fragile so the point is that if you adopt the right spirit gives you a sense of
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obligation and a sense of duty to live a life of purpose so i write the authors note there are a lot worse things in life than losing a debate or election the worst is to do nothing but to show indifference as a public citizen it comes from my mother and my dad and i still believe in it after all these years but every problem that we face that could be traced back to kennedy all the problems are created by human beings.
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although we are adding to the problems of hurricanes because of climate but we can solve these problems if we really want to shut the door at the g 20 don't let anybody out. we can put the energy there is countless things we could do to rebuild america and use energy. we just choose not to do anything. >> host: listen to you here is a guy who has the same fire and passion that he did. you and i were on an airplane to los angeles in 2011 i have been offered the job of president and ceo of the wilson center with the foreign
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affairs committee for a long time. i am ambivalent i might disappoint my constituents what is your view? it has been a great decision eight years later to run an institution dedicated to nonpartisan serious scholarship leading to those policy ideas from the first international president. on your last day as secretary of state thank you very much and we had a conversation about trade. so i wonder what you think of a value added especially now.
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>> they are the essential ingredient of our democracy key check and balance of the think tanks that are very valuable if you are in public life the pace is such if you don't have the time to do your own researc research, you need people to present you an idea and i find the contributions of others aei, in fact, aei comes up with a couple of ideas we tried to implement and taboo on the hill because of the orthodoxy
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so everybody is suffering what is happening right now, right and left and center so we need to to reinvigorate our democracy to get people to focus on the fact so that's not something someone else can do by themselves to have massive participation in with those eligible voters in the last election 54.2 percent of those eligible voters with george bush it was 60.4 percent. when obama was elected it was 60.2 percent. the point is look at the difference you've got to come
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out and vote to much more than 60 percent i have been into countries as an election observer and i have been stunned by the numbers of people who come out to vote it is the biggest thing in their lives waiting all day in the hot sun to get that purple stamp on their thumb at 90 percent eligible. >> host: you are as passionate now about public ideas and the journey of someone adding value as you are as a young man and that is to be applauded. congratulations on your thoughtful and serious and fascinating book and congratulations on a life well lived so far.
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this is personal to me on the journey we have shared. >> thank you very much. you are doing great work and i love working with you. think you.
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