Madeline Albright is one of my political heroes. This courageous woman emigrated to America as a child along with her parents. A Czech native she rose to become Secretary of State under Bill Clinton after serving as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Albright was one of the most effective diplomats this country has had serving as Secretary of State in a long time. Once upon a time the United States actually relied on diplomacy and brains to secure peace and prosperity. Madeline Albright was a key facet of that policy.
I read her autobiography, which she very kindly signed for me today, several years ago and have recommended it to several federal candidates as a primer for foreign policy information. I know I learned a vast amount from simply reading "Madame Secretary." She appeared nearby this afternoon at Kutztown University on behalf of Hillary Clinton talking about her experiences, her intimate knowledge of the former First lady and answered questions.
She note dhow well suited women seem to be at conflict resolution and reminded the audience of Hillary's vast experience working with various women's groups internationally to achieve results. Her reference to Bejing was especially intriguing. Hillary went there for an international women's conference as First Lady in what, at the time, was a very controversial speech. The Chinese government did not want America's First Lady coming to Bejing an dgiving a speech on equal rights. Albright spoke about her discussions with Hillary on the plane trip and how she believed "women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights."
That trip by Hillary Clinton greatly defined the woman's courage for me. She stood up to the oppressive Chinese government and gave an historic speech.
Albright also reminisced about policy discussions and briefings for Hillary in which she was always eager for more information, how she always had a deep understanding about what was going on in the world and sought to bring solutions to complex problems. An audience member asked about the issue of the new president meeting with foreign leaders their first year in office. This has been an issue between Hillary and Barack.
Madeline Albright provided a very serious answer to this question which bespeaks a deep understanding and thorough knowledge of diplomacy. She pointed out that presidential visits are extremely important and operate as trump cards in difficult negotiations. They should be saved for crucial moments in diplomatic negotiations to provide breakthroughs and finalize deals. If you read Bill Clinton's bio, Albright's or even those of other Secretary of State's such as George Schultz, you'll understand how critically important this is. Meeting right away before any agreements, deals or progress is made sharply degrades the possibility that any will succeed.