Martin Bashir | November 21, 2012
>>> after a week of bombing and blood shed secretary hk announced a cease-fire.
>> the people of this region deserve the chance to live free from fear and violence. and today's agreement is a step in the right direction that we should build on. there is no substitute for a just and lasting peace.
>> former u.s. ambassador mark ginsberg joined us as expert on middle east and he joins us today.
>> we were talking about this the other day. this is a very big deal for the administration and a very big deal for secretary clinton. how much credit do you think she deserves in this?
>> the fact she came flying in from a victory lap in asia and had to immerse herself in the swampy waters of this negotiation deserves credit because she basically stepped in with president morsi of egypt and forged a -- hopefully more than temporary alliance with the egyptians on this. my hats off to her. she deserves a lot of congratulations pulling this out given the odds at stake.
>> some say she should have sent her husband. instead secretary clinton went and got the job done. i lieu that. the secretary plans to leave the administration at some point during the president's second term. given what's happening in the middle east right now, obviously she's got a great success, but the petraeus scandal, some other hot spots going on, and even a question as to whether or not, you know, this cease-fire agreement is going to hold. is that potentially going to complicate her ability to depart?
>> well, not to make a shameless plug on myself, but i literally just posted a field guide to this gaza troop and discussed this very issue in "the huffington post ." what i essentially wrote was the following, that this is a hot potato not a good time for her to drop. while at this point in time her reputation is more than enshrined with her good achievements, the fact of the matter is that it's very hard for anyone to walk away from this after she just established this rapport with the president of egypt . so, i'd like to see her at least see if she can get some legs on this agreement, even though it's the worst type of reward that you want to inflict on her at this point.
>> obviously the president also played a very significant role in making this happen. many phone calls while he was multitasking from burma. this is a big deal for the president. it's a big deal also for the relationship between the president and president morsi. there was some concerns, i talked with others about this, in the aftermath of the change in government in egypt that we needed to find sort of new ways to build relationships and build our leverage with egyptians going forward because of some other events in the middle east .
>> i agree, karen, because the president did make all those calls and worked the phones repeatedly and tirelessly to try to get this agreement in order to forestall israeli incurse into gaza. the fact of the matter is the president's policies in the middle east have, shall we say, been in deep ice in the last couple of years. he has not achieved the breakthroughs that he wanted when he went to cairo in 2009 . and while many on his team have abandoned the playing field , mitchell, dennis ross , this is a unique opportunity for him to reinvigorate his middle east leadership and bring a new team in with new ideas and strategies to resurrect the commitments he made in cairo which is essential to u.s. long-term interest.
>> the other relationship is the one between the president and prime minister -- mr. netanyahu, who actually praised the president's diplomatic efforts within this. he's got an election coming up. it's been something of a rocky relationship, if you will. how does this -- the president's involvement strengthen his relationship with netanyahu going forward?
>> there's been all this criticism of this relationship, the dysfunctionalty over political issues, negotiations. one thing that's quite clear to me in watching the president very carefully, after the election, he didn't need the jewish vote in florida or new york, and yet he stood up to the plate, he had his reels backed when israel was being attacked with these -- with this onslaught of missiles and he deserves a lot of credit for standing by israel at a time when there would have been a lot of people saying --
>> thank you, ambassador. we have to leave it there. thank you, ambassador ginsburg, have a wonderful thanksgiving.