tv Political Capital With Al Hunt Bloomberg December 8, 2013 5:00am-5:31am EST
>> this week on "political capital", former secretary of state madeleine albright talks about nelson mandela and north korea. the november jobs report. margaret carlson and ramesh ponnuru debate obamacare's revival. we begin the program with the former secretary of state, dr. madeleine albright. madame secretary. >> good to be with you. >> you paid tribute to the noble
statesman, nelson mandela. you say you treasure the memory of your meetings with him. what is the most memorable? >> the most memorable was his modesty. he walked up to me and said, hello, i am nelson mandela, like you would not know. when he spoke at the general assembly session, he walked up slowly to that podium and he would take out his glasses and he would clean them and then he would put them on, then he would speak with a great cadence. i also visited him. as a human being, he was stunning. the more you knew the history of a man that had spent so much time in prison. for me, the most important thing about him was his forgiveness. >> no bitterness. >> no bitterness. >> you said his words and works will survive. when you look around the world today whether it is asia, the
middle east, or africa, there is the anti-mandela forces that are dominant. why is there no mandela today? >> i think it is important that we actually use his passing as a way to try to teach that lesson because i think it is so easy to develop that animosity and to keep revenge and polarization. i do hope that we can use this as a teaching moment because he actually used it as a teaching moment. we need to look at local interests wherever it is and a real sense of the globalization which has had an opposite effect of making people identify more with their own group because they feel so lost. they are proud in their own identity but when it curdles
into hatred of the next people, then that develops this poisonous atmosphere that mandela did not put up with. >> let's turn now to north korea. there were reports of internal strife. kim jong un sacked his uncle and mentor. what does that mean? might they try to get militarily adventuresome? >> they are hard to read. has beennow how much confirmed. he is clearly trying to prove that he is in charge. the uncle was kind of put in there as regent in order to watch over him. there was also a military contingent that was part of that. i think that we don't know what the effect of it is and they have a tendency to do something to distract.
on the other hand, it could be seen because some of these people were known to be hardliners, that he wants to move in a different direction. notbottom line is -- we do know. >> you were one of the few diplomats to ever spend time there. he was not the leader then. do we know anything more about him now, the way he is different from his grandfather or father? >> we don't. people are supposing because he went to school in switzerland that he might have a different idea about things, that he might have more western ideas. very few people have met with him. we do not have a lot of information on him. the weird thing is that we did not know that much about his father. i know when i was going over there one of the hard parts was trying to get information on him. ultimately, i spoke with the president of south korea who was able to tell me that kim jong-il was not crazy, he was someone
that you could negotiate with who was smart and knew the details of a lot of stuff. >> when we get in tense situations there, we rely a lot on the chinese. when you look at the context of the conflict, the turbulence going on in the south china sea, will that make it harder for the chinese to rein in the north koreans? >> we are involved in a trilateral story which is korea japan, and china all have interest in the south and east china sea. the koreans and the chinese are anti-japanese. that has held them together. the koreans and the chinese have some common interests in not having threats come out of north korea. there are different interests there, the chinese have their own interest about north korea which i don't think will get in the way of this. >> one of the sad stories is
that the north koreans captured an 85-year-old tourist, made him engage in this phony confession. will he get out? >> i hope so. there are those that are making an effort. i have heard that he made this phony confession and there are those that believe that the fact that they did that means it is one of the ways that he might get out. >> let me switch to iran. you have been a supporter of the interim agreement on nuclear weapons. what do you tell israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu when he says that this is a mistake? >> i think that you tell him, and i gather that secretary kerry has been working on this and other levels, people are saying -- first of all, this is an interim agreement. the final agreement would be something that would be very good in terms of making clear
that iran was not a nuclear threat. one of the kind of things you say about agreements, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. that is an important proviso of it. one has to keep telling the israelis and prime minister netanyahu that the u.s. is an ally and cares about the security of israel. getting an agreement and getting some kind of understanding and control, and a rollback of the iranian nuclear potential something that is ultimately in the security interest of israel. >> will we get an agreement by next summer? >> i am an endless optimist who worries a lot.
i think they will work very hard on it. i think that this is a very important aspect. it is not just the u.s. it makes it even more clear that the interim agreement is a good idea because what it has done is halted some production and has rolled back aspects and provided a whole kind of series of potential inspections which we have not had before. it makes it much more likely that there will be one and we have to be supportive. we should not do things that make it more difficult. there is no question that the reason that the iranians came to the table because of the sanctions. a small part of them have been lifted. adding sanctions would make it worse. >> madame secretary, thank you for being with us. when we return, the latest on the budget negotiations with bloomberg reporters. ♪
what we are talking about is that that list has narrowed more. it is not necessarily getting easier with those smaller items. the democrats are raising concerns about what will happen to federal employees. >> if they do get a deal, it would be a pretty small deal. the politics are important as opposed to the fiscal or economic impact. >> it will be a very small deal. the range were talking about was $50 billion-$100 billion. we are being told that that might be whittled down so much that they might not get anything more than a patch deal for about one year. that is very small. that leaves a lot to be dealt with. >> what is the white house doing? >> it avoids another shutdown. while the republicans came out of the last shutdown looking pretty bad, the president's
approval ratings are not looking good either. they see -- >> it hurt the economy. >> the economy is moving in the right direction and any sort of shutdown or shake, the uncertainty in washington is what is damaging the economy right now. >> if they take budget off the table temporarily, what is obama doing as his domestic priorities? >> he has to devote all of his attention into righting the healthcare ship. this is his legacy-defining item. the enrollment numbers are looking pretty good but that is in the front end. enrollment is a lot different than actually getting the 7 million people that they need signed up and having purchased health care. they are focusing big on colleges, on getting the word out to be able to get the young
uninsured signed up to balance out that risk pool. >> i am not in that risk pool. if they are going punt on entitlements and taxes, which they're going to do, they will not do it next year either, are they? >> i am starting to believe that none of that can happen meaning structural changes to entitlements until we have another big election or some kind of big economic shock that forces these lawmakers to come together. the house is a big part of the problem but the senate is becoming a big part of the problem as well. the house goes back to politics and the fact that individual lawmakers, republicans specifically are so concerned about challenges from the right instead of having a democrat challenge them that they are not going to cut a deal that makes them look like they are not conservative. >> they only have about a week left, will anything they will
get done? >> there are things they have to get done. this year, we have unemployment insurance expiring for 1.3 million americans. there is a farm bill that is expiring. you can see shocks in the dairy market. there is also other housekeeping things. we will confirm another fed governor. janet yellen. there's a lot that needs to be addressed. >> they will be leaving town in a week or so with the lowest approval rating of any congress ever. this is probably the least productive congressional session, certainly that i have ever seen. do they care? >> when you ask them about that and the particularly when you talk to republicans about it, they say that they have stopped certain pieces of legislation, they have stopped new regulations, they have stopped a lot of the fiscal overspending that they seen as a problem in washington.
they are proud of that. you are technically accurate, this is the lowest number of bills ever recorded. yes, they say that they are proud of that. when you look at it and what is falling by the wayside, it is the basic function of government that is not getting taken care of. we are not even funding the federal government. we have been repeating this pattern of stopgap spending bills. >> let me turn to the great african leader that died, nelson mandela. he meant a lot to barack obama, didn't he? >> they met just once and had limited communication. both of them are so tied and bound by history. both of them broke the race barrier. they are both nobel laureates. obama's political activism, his sense of service, it was really born from mandela. he got his start working in the
anti-apartheid divestiture campaign when he was at occidental and was the first big speech he gave. president barack obama is directly tied to president nelson mandela. >> you said they only met once, when? >> it was in 2005. barack obama was a freshman senator. he was driving and he got a call that said, nelson mandela is at the hotel. do you want to meet him? they got to the four seasons and the guy thought, maybe i should grab the camera. they are going up the elevator to the suite and he notices that the battery light is blinking. so, they walk in and mandela is reclining underneath the window with his legs propped up and obama went up to shake his hand and david got a couple of pictures and then the camera
died. that picture is hanging up in the residence at the white house, in his office. it is framed in the oval office and it was framed in mandela's study. >> i think the president is right, we will probably never see his like again. to be in jail for 27 years and come out without bitterness is extraordinary. when we return, we will talk about the november jobs report. ♪
>> welcome back. we will get to margaret colson and ramesh ponnuru in a moment but first rich miller is here to break down the november jobs report. 203,000 jobs, unemployment is down. even rich miller has got to be pulling out his wallet for holiday spending. full of good cheer, right? >> for once, i don't have to do that. we got an early christmas present from the bureau of labor statistics. jobs picked up, retail picked up.
two thirds of the industry said they expanded payrolls. unemployment fell mostly because people are working, not dropping out of looking for work. pretty darn good. >> gdp got upgraded but that might be less than meets the eye. >> some say this sets us up for a good year and of course we have heard this before. the gdp report that says maybe it will not happen until the middle of next year. inventories went up a huge amount. companies have a little bit ahead of themselves. the growth might be stuck in two percent over the next couple of quarters. they might move up finally to escape velocity, 3%. >> in 10 days, the fed meets. i guess is it bernanke's last open market committee? >> it is the last scheduled
press conference. >> what are you looking for? >> you like these movie analogies. what we have had here is a failure to communicate. in june, he said, we're going going to end quantitative easing. when the unemployment rate at seven percent in november and they have not even started to cut back on quantitative easing. there is a good chance, i put it under 50%. there is good chance they will start a small cut back in quantitative easing at that meeting. >> janet yellen will be confirmed next week. they have only had one change in the past 25 years. is there unease over here? >> the continuity candidate, basically. even though she is on the dovish end of the spectrum, i think on the whole, they are someone that believes in the purity of the
argument. she comes with very detailed arguments, very well-prepared. she is not emotional or anything like that. i think it would be a pretty easy handover. >> let it be known that it is an ebullient rich miller. >> margaret, are democrats out of the woods yet? it is all the land of great promise. >> it has not reached escape velocity, but it is vastly improved. but the best that it is doing so much better is that the republicans lowered the volume on how bad it is. john boehner complained bitterly that his premiums went up ever so slightly but he just happens to be a chain smoker and that is not a pre-existing condition. >> what do you think? is a dynamic changing? >> the website is improved and republicans would be out of
touch with reality if they did not acknowledge that. democrats are out of touch if they don't understand that the situation remains bad for them. we have a 10% error rate. we don't have enrollment hitting anything like the targets. this is a situation that looks good only in comparison to a way looked in october. it does not look good in comparison to what anyone was projecting before. >> let me turn the tables and talk about a cowgirl fight. the cheney sisters. mary cheny, is gay and married, and liz opposes it. who is right? >> we will not settle this but this illustrates that this is one of the issues that can painfully divide families.
the cheney parents have said that this is a long-standing painful disagreement in our family. the sad thing here is watching it play out on the public stage. >> dick cheney came to do a fundraiser for liz and he has emerged on the side of liz cheney. what is sad about that is that it is on the side of careerism, of helping her win a senate seat, when the very soul of his daughter mary is involved and at one time he was with mary on this issue. >> ahead of his own president. >> he said in his statement, don't confuse liz's compassion for mary with support for gay marriage. that was the worst thing that a dad could say. oh, liz feels sorry for mary. he is a politician at heart and he wants the senate seat. >> it is sad but i thank you.
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