CEDAR RAPIDS–Here is the rest of Hillary Rodham Clinton at a invitation-only house party here.
She deals with a lot of stuff here: her presidential gameplan; leadership; her being a polarizing figure; part of a political couple and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
click below for pool report
POOL REPORT #2: Sen. Clinton at Cedar Rapids Conversation with Iowans
(Adam Nagourney, New York Times)
January 27, 2007: 9 p.m. Cedar Rapids
About 150 people, open bar, Greek food and dessert, in a sprawling house in a suburban part of Cedar Rapids. People wore name tags. Invitation only. She arrived at 7:15, spent 15 minutes mingling before speaking. Spoke for about an hour in the corner of the living room; at one point, her voice completely gave out (like her husbands used to) came back after she sipped some water and tea. After she gave her remarks, Dale Todd walked over his son, Adam, who is seven, who he said epilepsy, and broke down as he thanked Mrs. Clinton for fighting for money for his epilepsy foundation. People crowded around her, listened intently and enthusiastically as she spoke.
Note: I am typing this in a dark car (no I am not driving) but if you see garble or stupid sentences, let me know and Ill check it against tape.
See previous pool report (sent earlier as QUICK POOL REPORT) for stuff on Iraq. This is not a complete transcript; there were some other reporters in the room, so if you see stuff there that I missed apologies in advance; you wont see anything in the NYT that isnt here.
I really am overwhelmed by the last 24 hours that Ive had in Iowa.
I want to do this the Iowa way. I want to do exactly what we are doing tonight: Going into living rooms, to church basements, to Union halls.
This is what I like to do best. Its what I did in New York when I started running began to travel around New York, particularly around upstate New York which as really a place that I wish more of you would get to know. Because every one of you think of New York as just a city. .But New York is not only NYC: it is the suburbs and small towns and villages, rolling farmland.
In the last six years, it has been a great honor to represent New York and to be in the United States Senate.
It has been a frustrating and disheartening time. Because our leadership in Washington in particularly from our president and vice president have been undermining has been undermining the progress our country made during the 21s century. When I first got to the United States senate, I realized this new administration wanted to undo everything my husband had done. And I admit, I take that rather personally.
Than I realized they wanted to turn back the clock on the 21st century. This was about undoing the bipartisan consensus we have on foreign policy. This was about turning our back to the rest of the world.
So I began to try to figure out ways that we could reverse all of that and the best news is we won Congress in 2006.
But we still have to take back the White House. Thats what it comes down to. We need a strong Democratic congress and we need a Democratic president.
I believe we can win and I believe I can hit the ground running in January 2009 and start undoing the damage that has been done. We have to renew the progress of America.
I come to this, in some sense, with a better understanding of most people of how difficult this will be.
I know how important it is to have a president who is ready to roll up her sleeves and get to work. To get people together and solve problems.
We also need somebody who can work in the Congress. Now that I have had a full term in the Senate, I understand much better than I could before what it will take to create that partnership before.
Weve got to get back to making it possible do we have some water.
We need to get back to a commitment where we are going to try to enable every young person who wants to go to college.
We have made it more expensive now for a young person to be able to start college and complete college than I was 30 years ago. Tuition keeps coming up. Yet the aid, the scholarship funding, they havent gone up.
With all due respect, Americas great creation was the middle class. You can find rich people anyplace in the world and unfortunately you can find poor people anywhere in the world.
I want to get back to growing the middle class and giving people the belief they can do better. That means tackling the cost of education and health care and energy.
Our government has to stop tilting our policies the way our congress and president has done for the past six years to the already privileged.
IRAQ STUFF HERE — SEE PREVIOUS POOL REPORT
QUESTION: How will you stop our president from attacking Iran:
I have long advocated talking to Iran. I dont see that as a sign of weakness. I see that as a sign of leadership. I have argued when you have a country like Iran that is clearly being provocative confrontational, we know that it funds terrorist groups we understand all of the downside that we confront with Iran, that it does not in any way undermine your position or take away any of your options if you begin a process of engagement. This president has refused to do that. lunch, I thought that is enough.
Q: Personal questions: What is your leadership philosophies. Who are you heroes and why
A: I believe in a collaborative approach to leadership. Being willing to listen to opposing point of views and trying to bring people together results in better decision-making. One that is clearly in contrast what was in evidence in the White House today.
What I have tried to do in my work is to have people around me who have strong opinions. We have some vigorous conversations.
She gave a shout-out to Doris Kearns Goodwin, saying how much she loved Team of Rivals;
I thought it was like a management primer. He (Lincoln) was both confident enough and visionary enough to realize what he knows and what he doesnt know. And he brought people into his Cabinet who had run against him>
He was someone who was unafraid to seek out advise and manage a team of rivals.
She also mentioned FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt as people she admired. e (FDR)_ pitted people together to try to get the rest answers out of them. And at the end of the day look at what he was trying to achieve.
Q: YOU ARE CALLED BY TRE TALING HEADS A POLARIZING CANDIDATE THAT I THINK MEANS THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO BE HARD OUT OF YOU. How to you reflect on that people. No matter who wins this primary, I think there
A: I have thought about it.
I do seem to engender strong feelings both positive and negative. I could give you a sort of flip answer that you know, some people are going to like me and some people are not. I think its bigger and deeper than that. I think I have stood up for and advocated for causes and issues and candidates my entire life, long before I ever thought of running for office. And theres always a tension in bringing people together to find common ground and standing your ground. Ive tried to do both. And when I have stood my ground I have engendered opposition. In part because Im a woman doing it. And that was true before my husband ever ran or held any office. Partly because I was part of a political couple that was very much committed to progressive political policies. In a perverse form flattery, people who opposed us took us seriously and decided that it was important to go after us and I understand that and I accept that. But we always fought back.
I come at it from the perspective that I have worked hard in the Senate to cross the aisles and work with people and I Have been very proud
I think the other side views me as a worthy adversary.
When I started running in New York, I heard exactly the same things that you are hearing right now and all the media and the pundits and everything. My attitude was I wanted voters to make the decisions not observers. So I went to work meeting as man people as I could in as many setting as I could, in settings all over New York State just like this.
I kept reaching out and I was able to gets support from people who would never dream of voting for me.
When I ran last time, I carried 58 counties: I carried a lot of Republican counties, I carry
Now why. Because they got to know me. Because they saw what I could do. And they could work through all the characterizations and stereotypes that are out there.. Thats all Im asking for. Because I really think the right question to ask in this election is who would be the best president for our country in January 2009. I believe that my experience and my qualifications best equip me to deal with the problems facing the next president of the United States.
When Bill took office and began to work diligently I mean so personally to bring the Israelis and the Palestinians together, people stopped dying. That to me was a huge accomplishment. Did we get to where we needed to go. No, unfortunately, my view because a YA refusal to make the step necessary to have a resolution of the issues.
What is the result six years later? A much more dangerous situation. Im hoping the president is going to be serious about trying once again to start a process. We have to support Israel. Israel is a Democracy. Its values are close to our values. It is feeling totally overwhelmed by the waves of