Mitchell Reports | December 10, 2012
>>> president obama and house speaker john became trying to negotiate a grand bargain. what can we learn from their failure in 2011 to help us predict whether they can do it better this time around? joining us is bill daley , former chi of staff to president obama and commerce secretary during the clinton years. thanks very much. great to see you again, bill. well, the word that they --
>> nice to see you again.
>> the word that they finally got together one-on-one this weekend, how important is that that they cleared the room of all their seconds?
>> i think it's extremely important. we are down to the final three weeks, and as the congressman said, there's a lot to be done in the short period. these are complicated issues. i know a lot of times we want to simplify them, but the fact that the two principles, and it really is the president and the speaker, who will do this deal, spent some time alone having seen the two of them in the past when we went through the 2011 negotiations, they have respect for each other. they like each other. they will be able to do a deal together. i think the meeting yesterday was extremely important. is this a nonstarter for the white house ?
>> well, i'm not obviously speaking on behalf of the white house , so i think it is -- there are always the options and especially when you are down to the final three weeks. i think the markets and i think the american people would be disappointed if there isn't a framework that really gives a road to a long-term economic recovery by virtue of dealing with the long-term fiscal problems and our debt, which is a serious problem, obviously. we need revenue, and we need a lot of revenue, and we also need cuts, and we need this to be done shortly to give the country and the world confidence that our system can work again. i think that's why it's important. the president and speaker have gotten together because they really are the two principal people here.
>> you've been through this before as the white house chief of staff . can you explain the delay and the way the president has been clearly trying to make a decision between john kerry and susan rice and susan rice is hanging out there now, and everyone -- all of her critics are taking shots at her. is there any reason to want to try to move this more quickly, the cabinet selection ? what goes on behind the scenes here?
>> i would take some exception with the way you describe it, andrea. look, these are important decisions. john kerry , senator kerry , and ambassador rice are extremely well qualified. obviously, there's been a lot of news around the ambassador over the last number of months by virtue of them benghazi situation. she is extremely well qualified. the president knows that. he is not iffing to be forced into a decision by virtue of the chatter that's out there in the street and the politics, and i think he is going about it in a deliberate way. there are a lot of other issues also going on that he deals with on a daily basis that are very real-time, and you also have the fiscal cliff problem. he i don't feel has the secretary of state who has said she will stay in in national hockey league a replacement is there. it is normal to get that done right before the inauguration. he has a lot of team because both of these people's, senator kerry or ambassador rice, are fully vetted. they've been around for a while. people know them. they know the sort of things they've said and the records pretty clear and public, so either one of them can move pretty quickly through the process because they both have been vetted and been so high profile and public over a long period of time .
>> is -- you don't think that she's been damaged by people -- by all of these hits she's had to endure without having the full defense that you would have if you were a nominee? plus, the fact that this would open a whole benghazi investigation.
>> as you know, andrea, there is a commission that's reporting soon to the secretary of state on benghazi , but, as you know, once a nominee is named, you basically go into a very silent period, so if either ambassador rice or senator kerry were nominated, they would have to go into a very quiet period, and until the actual hearing took place, which probably wouldn't take place in january anyway, there would be no comment, no visibility by either one of them. i don't think that's so much of an issue because neither one of them would be out there doing some defense of themselves or some arguments against them. it would allow the chattering class to let loose once either one of them is nominated with the pluses and minuses of either one of them, but as far as their own individual involvement, they wouldn't be able to be visible to the actual hearing anyways.
>> and speaking of the secretary of state who you say would be willing to stay on until a successor is confirmed, hillary clinton , now, a week ago, there was an extraordinary video at the savan forum here that looked like a campaign video with endorsements from, you know, all sorts of people. tony blair and benjamin netanyahu , and it's very clear that her popularity is extraordinary. what about hillary clinton as the candidate in 2016 and joe biden has made it very clear he would like to run, so is this shaping up to a battle between biden and clinton ? i know it's very far out, and you know politics better than anyone.
>> it is very far out.
>> the fact --
>> auz know --
>> she's got all this going for her right now.
>> well, conventional wisdom generally gets disproven, but as the secretary clinton knows better than anyone, but there's no question, she has been on a roll for good reason. she's been extremely successful as secretary of state. she is someone who is known and respected around the world, so she has done a remarkable job, and she's done it in a way after a very tough campaign in 2008 that really is a best of what american politics can be about and should be about. that is, after a tough election, you move on to do what's right for the country, and she's done that. i don't think there's any limit to her potential, and that's going without saying based upon what she's succeeded at. on the other hand, you know, this is a very personal decision, as she knows better than anyone, because she's been through it, and she's lived the life very advise ivisible, very public. i think she deserves time to reflect on things and enjoy life more than she's been able to over the last number of years. the vice president is also extremely well liked, well known throughout the democratic party , and as a primary candidate, if that was his choice, he would be also strong, but there are a lot of number of other governors and other elected officials that are coming up that i think will want to be involved in the next presidential election , but it is a long way out, and we ought to at least get through the holiday season and enjoy life a little more than talking about campaigns again.
>> well, at the same time, there is a down side because if she wants to keep her options open, there are certain kinds of roles she can't play. she has to avoid, you know, some economic connections. she's got to, you know, keep herself in the mode of being a potential presidential candidate .
>> yeah, but there's no question. she has lived the life to be cautious so that the public, which has and respects her, so she's lived the life that's been one that's very aware of what you just laid out. i don't think there's any question about that. i think she will be cautious not just because of a potential 2000 election possibility, but just because that's the way they live their lives, the clintons, and so i think she will continue to do the right thing in private. she is dedicated her life to helping people, and i think she will continue to do that and our nation and around the world. this is a lady -- this is a woman who is unbelievably well known and respected around the world by leaders and lots of people are going to call on her for help and assistance and direction, and i think that's a good thing for america, and as i say, i look at her tenure at secretary of state, but the thing that stands out for me is the fact that she took after a very tough election the obligation of being on the president's team and being part of trying to help the country, and that's what's the best about politics, and i think hillary clinton represents that. it was a sacrifice to leave the senate. some people would say that you have a lot more freedom in the senate, and it's obviously a lot easier life than being secretary of state. she did it for the country, and i think that's remarkable and should still be admired and thanked by the american people .
>> well, we have to leave it there. thank you very much, bill daley . good to see you again.
>> happy holidays.