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August 24, 2007

Hillary Clinton Unplugged

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JC: Critics say that because you're a woman you've got to be doubly tough on the issue of war. Do you agree?
HC: No, I don't. I feel like I have to do what I believe is right. I don't think we need to have an either/or debate about the use of military force — I think you can be both tough and smart. And we haven't had that for the last six-and-a-half years. We are desperately in need of the kind of smart diplomacy that has worked for America in the past. If you use force, it should be a last resort. And it needs to be used with full understanding of the consequences. I bring the experience that I had in eight years in the White House where Bill did intervene in places like Bosnia and Kosovo but did it in a smart, effective way. George Bush — the first George Bush — also [was effective] in putting together a real coalition, not a pretend coalition.

JC: Do you get to see Chelsea very often?
HC: Oh yeah, sure. Yesterday we had an engagement party for her best friend and had lots of the kids they went to school with and their families over to our house. Then she stayed while I went off to do the debate, and she was there when I got back. Last week when I was in Iowa, she and my husband took my mother to the theater. We do a lot of things together.

JC: Take us back to when Chelsea was little and you were juggling motherhood and a career.
HC: Like every working mother, there's guilt involved in deciding how you're going to balance family and work. I tried to put as much time into taking care of Chelsea myself as I could. Bill and I alternated reading to her every night; we'd try to have a meal together every day, whether breakfast or dinner. Once a week, one of us would pick what we were going to do that night. We might go to a movie or go bowling or play tennis. I remember one time, Chelsea was about 3-and-a-half, and what she wanted to do was buy a coconut and crack it open, because she'd never seen that before. I think it's a false trade-off to say quality time versus quantity — you have to have both. So if you have long work hours like I did, how do you get rid of things in your life you don't need in order to put that extra time into your children?

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