The Last Word | November 19, 2012
>>> for a man who is better at stage craft than almost any leader in u.s. history , this morning president obama chose burma as the backdrop to remind this country and the rest of the world about what america stands for. he did it in his bare feet. burma has been sealed off for nearly half a century. in the interim, a brutal military dictatorship has slaughtered its own and eliminated almost every basic freedom. but change has tom coburma. the release of prisoners and the gradual restoration of basic rights . less than two weeks after his triumphant reelection on what will be his last trip with secretary of state hillary clinton , president obama explained why he was there.
>> above all, i came here because of america 's belief in human dignity . over the last several decades, our two countries became strangers, but today i can tell you that we always remain hopeful about the people of this country. about you. you gave us hope and we bore witness to your courage.
>> early this morning, air force one landed on the tarmac in ran goon, the heart and soul of the country and the seat of the pro- democracy movement . as the plane touched down, the fake capital constructed in the north of the country. having drawn leaders to the city they once abandoned, when president obama met with his burr meez counterpart, from repression earned her the nobel peace prize .
>> the united states has been studentive in their support of burma and we are confident that this support will continue through the difficult years that lie ahead. i say difficult because the most difficult time in any transition is when we think that success is in sight. then we have to be careful we are not veered by a mirage of success and that we are working to stimulate success for the people and our friendship between our two countries.
>> for the people who waited for her to be released from 15 years of house arrest , this was an unimaginable moment. two nobel lawyer yets, charting the course from war to peace.
>> so today i have come to keep my promise and extend the hand of friendship. america now has an ambassador in ran goon, sanctions have been eased, and we will help rebuild an economy that will serve as an engine of growth for the world. but this remarkable journey has just begun and has much further to go. reforms launched from the top of society must meet the aspirations of citizens who form its foundation. the flickers of progress that we have seen must not be extinguished, they must be strengthened. they must become a shining north star for all this nation's people.
>> for the thousands of students and nurses and cap drivers who took to the sidewalks to catch a glimpse of the motorcade of the very first u.s. president to ever set foot inside their country, it was most stunning to see america 's commander-in-chief at the pagoda, one of the holiest places in the world. it sent monks into the streets, demand i demanding an end to violence. it was an impromptu visit and like every other worshipper, president obama went shoeless, walking in the same steps that countless hundreds had walked before him. for the president's kenyan grandfather who served in burma under the british, there would have no way to foresee a future where his gs might take the change that elected him president of the united states and bring that spirit of redemption back to the very same place where he had served so many years ago. or that few hours later, burmese president thein sein would say i want to do what you've been talking about, i want to move forward. "the ed show" is up next.