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Good afternoon, and welcome to this afternoon's session about American foreign policy and the '08 election. And to all of my fellow Europeans who do not have to reside, as I do, in Washington, I have brought a piece of new from Washington. And that news is the campaign is on. It is in full swing, and last time I looked it's still 17 months to go, and actually a little less than a year to the primaries, and that's a pretty phenomenal thing. As we speak, yesterday the first forum or the first candidates' forum for the Democratic Party has been held in South Carolina, and it sure feels as if the election is tomorrow. So it's only appropriate for us to have an event here at the Brussels Forum, not be to outdone by the Democrats in South Carolina. And naturally in a discussion about something that is, it had 10, 17 months there's a few hypothetical's involved here. No unknowns and unknown unknowns, as Don Rumsfeld would say. But since we all like to speculate and do it in a safe environment like this, so let's go. And on the other hand, there are some serious analyses out there about the foreign policy attitudes of the American people at this point in time, and about what it might mean down the road. Now we have two gentlemen with us. Former officials Bob Zoellick, former Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. And they will tell you in the course of this conversations if and in what way they are connected with any of the campaigns, and you should sure ask them. So here's my first question, and it's actually directed at both of you. And maybe you want to engage, should you disagree in a little discussion about it. The first truism of American politics is that foreign policy doesn't decide elections. And the second truism is, of course, that 9/11 has changed everything. Now if you say the election of 2002 and the one of 2004 was an affirmation of George Bush's foreign policy, and at '06 is a repudiation, what is '08 likely going to be given the fact that you can't beat or you can't support George Bush anymore. So set the stage for us, frame the issue for us, Well, first of all I'm delighted that we're having this discussion because it illustrates that the rest of the world cares about American politics. And I hope Americans realize that. Secondly, your first truism may be a truism, but it's falsism. It's just not true. In 1944 1940, '44, '48, '52, '56, '60, '64, and '68, and '72 foreign policy was the number one issue, always through the lens of a specific issue where there was World War II, Korea, Vietnam. In '76 it was not, because it was Watergate. In '80 the Hostage crisis is what took Reagan ahead of Carter. In '84 it wasn't, in '88 it wasn't, but it was a factor. In '92 and '96 and 2000 it definitely wasn't, and in 2000 it was, and 2004 it was, and in 2008 it will be the key issue. Now when we say foreign policy, let's be clear. We're talking about Iraq, Iraq, Iraq. And that is, of course, a metaphor for leadership, so people will judge the candidates of both parties so the prism of their positions on the defining issue over time. Just as Eisenhower won with his statement, I will go to Korea, and Nixon with his implied secret peace plan for Vietnam didn't exist, but it helped, and he won the narrowest of elections over Humphrey, and so on. OK. Now two-thirds of the American public is opposed to the President's policy on Iraq. Talking analytically for a second, trying to be above my own personal preferences, I'll tell you a bit secret. I'm a Democrat, and I will support the Democrat nominee unless it's Dennis Kucinich. That's for Senator Bennett's benefit. If it's Kucinich I'm going to support Bob Zoellick. For anything, on the other hand Kucinich will as Zoellick to be a Secretary of State so it's very complicated. But talking analytically for a minute, the Republicans have a tremendously difficult problem, and I say this with great trepidation because I'm in the presence of very senior Senator from the Republican Party. But my view, and I'll say it and if I'm wrong, please correct me, is that the Republicans have the problem of how to distance themselves enough from the Administration since so unpopular. So as to create the chances for majority and at the same time not repudiate the administration because that would alienate President Bush's base. One third of the public still supports him, and it would alienate the general Republican Electorate base. The Democrats do not have that problem. The different, leaving aside the marginal candidates, the top six candidates, Senator Clinton, Senator Obama, Senator Edwards, Senator Biden, Senator Dodd, Governor Richardson, all six of them they have nuance differences. They have their different styles, but they're all going to repudiate President Bush's core foreign policy position in Iraq. And they will criticize him on other grounds and the same thing will happen on domestic side. So there's a structural advantage to the Democrats and the Republicans have structural dilemma. This as you said Thomas in you introduction, this is the earliest starting, most intense, most expensive election in American history. In the first quarter of 2007, when the reporting came in for the money, the Democrats had raised $82 million, the Republican $51 million, a very big difference. Senator Clinton had raised $26 million, Senator Obama a stunning $25 million for a man starting from a zero start. Senator Edwards $14 million and to show how much that is, Edwards raised more money than had ever been raised by any other candidate in history and he was only third on the Democratic side. Senator McCain raised a disappointing $14 million, Governor Romney of Massachusetts, probably the man that you in the room are least familiar with. A Mormon from Massachusetts but also, Senator Bennett of course knows him very well because his roots are in Utah, raised a stunning $23 million. So you have a very expensive campaign, and you're right Thomas the intensity of it is mind boggling. And they are now operating at the level that we're use to at the end, at the very end of the year before the election. So Bob you maybe you want to help me out with my truism or describe the structural disadvantage of the Republican Party right here. Well I just to start in this sense of full disclosure since you ask for that, I actively support Senator McCain, but in a spirit of analytical fairness, I'll be pleased to explain to the audience why any Republican candidate would be better than the Democrats. I'd be interested in speaking if you give me a chance. I agree with Dick about the fact that foreign policy and sometimes people ask whether foreign policy will be important. And I think it's going to be utterly important just to start with the fact the United States is a country at war. We talked about that a little bit in the opening session. But we've got people fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. But I think what adds to the political complexity is the American people are trying to struggle what war it is. It's not just a war in Afghanistan or a war in Iraq, but is it global war on terror? Is it a war against radical Islam? Is it a long war? I actually favor a description about, one I got from Gocuchucktung (ph) of Singapore about a struggle for the soul of Islam, putting some of the responsibility on Muslims. But I think what we've seen happen is that this has created one of two very big anxieties that permeates the American Electorate. In addition to sort of the uncertainty in the foreign policy, we have another one we could come back to the economic anxiety and some of the aspects of globalization. But just to stick with this one for a moment, I think what happened in short form is well Dick and I and others who worked in the Cold War know that there certainly were many difficult issues in there. It gave some pillars and moorings for a policy. With the end of the cold war, that changed the '90s in some ways for both parties was a little of a holiday from history, although there were trying issues, like the ones Dick dealt with in the Balkans. 9/11 gave a focus, an intensity that brought people together and were now in a phase were people no longer have the same sense of certainty about how to deal with this. So I think for both parties there will be a need to first, explain what's going on to people. Second, some sense of overall approach and then third, the specific policies. Now, I agree with Dick that, you know, Iraq is an unpopular issue, is a challenging problem for any Republican official. But just to flip this, you've watched Hillary Clinton over the course of her Senate tenure to try to position herself as a centrist. She's on the Armed Services Committee. She's now getting pulled by the activists in the Democratic party that just say pull out, and that's kind of where Edwards has been and that's were he is on the economic populism. Obama is in many things has been able to position himself in between. He said I wouldn't have voted for it, but he kind of, when he talks about these issues its sort of a higher level. So I think whoever gets nominated in 2008, you're going to have an intense discussion about who can keep the country safe and secure on both the issues of Islamic radicalism and also the economic topic. And I want to pick up on Bob's point, I agree with everything he said. On the, when I said Iraq's a key issue, I'm not clear how that will play out because it party confronts the same dilemma. You're appealing to the electorate in the primaries to the get nomination and then the general election. Your description of Senator Clinton is not inaccurate. I should have mentioned that among the Democrats running, I'm supporting Senator Clinton, but it's a very strong field and we'll see what happens here. I think the early assumption that she had the nomination in her hand and that the election would be more difficult is not true. I think it will be a tough, tough nomination fight. On the foreign policy issues, very important to underscore, that since at least the Vietnam War, the national security issue has always benefited the Republicans in every Presidential election. The polling afterward showed that for those Americans thought national security was most important issue. The Republicans had a ten to thirty point advantage, including the Kerry-Bush race of 2004. The current polls suggest that it is now roughly even and that's going to be a big issue for the Republicans, because if they can't regain that margin on the national security issue, then they thereby lose two or three points on the national election. And since the last two elections were both, one was a dead tie and the other one was a two point margin for President Bush that could be a critical variable. Now you mentioned Hillary Clinton, if you weren't advising John McCain or supporting John McCain but advising Hillary Clinton, how would you advise her to win? Now given that she is, seems to me to be in the same situation. Given that she is in the same situation and seems to be stuck with the same argument that John McCain, not John McCain, sorry, John Kerry in 2004 had to grapple with, which is with regard to the authorization of force by the Senate. If only, if only we had known before, if only, if only before what we know today, we wouldn't have had to vote. That's basically what she is saying today. How would you advise her to win? Let me start out and just to step back again and look at Senator Clinton's candidacy. One of the things that is so striking or ready about this election is that you have the first serious woman candidate for president in U.S. history and yet she is treated as the establishment candidate and somebody says that's kind of shocking to reflect on. And I also think that she, she brings a lot of experience, she is highly intelligent, but she will also carry this baggage of not being Bill Clinton. You can see it when she does the open forum. To me she is very impressive. She knows her stuff, but she doesn't quite have the empathy that Bill did. And one of the other uncertainties here will be how will the electorate feel about Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton. So in a way this is kind of the establishment mantle that she carries. Having said that, I think her major challenge will be one that Dick mentioned. I think that there will be a tenancy, but part of this depends on world events, that as you get more towards the general election, people will want to have somebody that they feel comfortable with based on security. And at least the two leading republican candidates today, Rudy Giuliani has the association of 9/11 and Senator McCain obviously has a long military experience of heroism, courage and patriotism. So she is going to want to be strong in that account and so she has to be a little careful how far left she gets pulled. But then, I would also say that part of the challenge which we should talk about is the, sort of the economic anxiety. And here, going back to Dick's point, traditionally the democrats would score better on a healthcare issue or on some of the other domestic issues. And in my first serious campaign, which was '88, one of the lessons that I learned is if you got people talking about your issues, more weeks of the campaign, it is likely to advantage you. So in a sense, since you asked the strategy question, she has got to be good enough on security. She has got to have a position that gives people comfort, but then frankly she has got to try to take the economic anxiety issue and put it to her advantage. So I am gong to do the same thing too now. The three major republican candidates all support George Bush's strategy in Iraq. One of them has even built his campaign around it, falling like a stone in the polls in the last weeks, John McCain. So, how can a republican win in this environment? First, I just want to say one word about Hillary Clinton. I want to be clear why I am supporting her aside from the fact that I have worked closely with her and her husband's administration as a member of his Cabinet. On January 20, 2009, whoever the next President is is going to inherit two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan. That has never happened before in history, a major confrontation with Iran, enormous problems around the world, the agenda of which you all know, massive deficit and I think she, her experience makes her most qualified to get off to a strong immediate start. I think she would make a terrific President. And Bob has made an interesting point that gender, which people thought would be a major issue, has so far not become a major issue. Well first of all, I know John McCain very well and sat in this from with him exactly a year ago at the first Brussels' Forum. I have enormous respect for him. He is a genuine, authentic American hero. And a year ago when we sat at the first Brussels' Forum, he was the most popular politician in the United States, both parties, and there is no one who was in the room with us a year ago who would have expected him to be in this present political position. And everyone respects and like him. What has happened to him is that he has decided that although he clearly, he made clear his dislike of George W. Bush as a person, that the highest priority that he had as an American citizen was to advocate a strategy for success in Iraq, and this took him into an extraordinary terrain, the anti-Bush republican who suddenly was supporting the policy as it was going downhill. He, my own view is that the surge, the 21,000 additional troops that were, who were proposed by General Petreus and approved, which is now expanded to 30,000 troops and it is no longer a surge. They are going to stay there as long as we are in Iraq, that that surge was either too many troops or too few troops. It is not enough to make a difference but it is enough to double down a bad bet. Senator McCain, who in private had indicated to many of us that he knew they needed more troops chose to support the surge. His was a historic decision. Knowing John McCain, and again I have to be very careful here, because we have a colleague of his in the Senate here who will know better than I know the motives of John McCain. But knowing John McCain the way I do, I believe that what he did was out of conviction and not politics. I deeply respect his decision and I think it was wrong. If I was advising him, I guess I would start by saying listen to Bob Zoellick, who is, Bob and I like to tease each other. But he is truly one of the two or three best officials that served the United States government in the last six years, and I greatly admire him. And I think that Senator McCain is jus wrong on Iraq, but I deeply respect him, and I would say fix it. Either say there aren't enough troops to achieve it or say we've given it a shot and I want to reevaluate. As for Governor Romney, his positions are very vague and I'm not in a position to advise him. I've never met him. Mayor Giuliani is very interesting case. He's leading in the polls. Those of us, who live in New York and watched him over the last 15 years, are frankly stupefied by this. Because if you know Rudy Giuliani the way we know him in New York you know that he is going to do really extraordinary things continually in the campaign that are going to damage him. He's already; well he went to Alabama and told them that it was their decision whether or not to fly the Confederate flag. At the same week that Senator McCain said on national television three weeks ago that was the single thing, he'd done same thing in 2000 and (INAUDIBLE), calling it was the single thing he's most ashamed of in his career. So you never know what Rudy Giuliani is going to do next and his personal life is very complicated. There is a joke which I will conclude with here that it's an extraordinary campaign when the only Republican in the race who's only been married once is the Mormon, and it's true. So I think that this joke is a good moment to go to the audience because we are going to have to close on time, Richard Holbrooke will have to leave.