CEDAR RAPIDS — It seemed appropriate to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to be discussing her support for Hillary Clinton in the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library.
“There’s no better place to talk about it,” the Czech immigrant said Wednesday as she talked about the world views of Clinton and GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“It’s fantasyland to think we can isolate ourselves from what’s going on in the world,” Albright said about Trump’s views that have been compared to the America First non-interventionists who opposed United States entry onto World War II.
“We can’t build walls and isolate ourselves even less than we could in the 1930s because the world comes to our shores, we are interdependent and crises do affect us,” she said, about the United States’ absence from multilateral talks in the 1980s that “sold (Czechoslovakia) down the river” for the sake of appeasement.
“If anybody should understand it, it would be sitting right here in Cedar Rapids,” which has a large Czech and Slovak population, she said.
The need for stronger relations with the international community plays to Clinton’s strengths, Albright said
“I’m very happy to be here on her behalf and talk about why she is the best prepared person ever to be president of the United States,” Albright, who was sporting a “Hillary” pin above a brooch of glass shards representing breaking the glass ceiling, said before talking to Clinton supporters at the Democratic campaign field office in Cedar Rapids.
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As secretary of state, Clinton had to repair the damage the George W. Bush administration had done to the United States’ reputation around the world, she said.
“People respected her. People paid attention,” said Albright.
Clinton was behind the “rebalancing” to Asia that has been important because “our relation to China is in my estimation the most important relationship of the 21st Century.” For example, she said, China is the only nation that has real influence with North Korea.
Clinton also help negotiate a nuclear agreement to lower the threat of nuclear weapons and laid the groundwork for the nuclear pact with Iran that “doesn’t answer every question in terms of our relationship, but gets our arms around their nuclear program and gets our eyes on, through international verification” of Iranian nuclear development.
Albright, 79, doesn’t plan on leaving the public life after the election. She’s working with a Bush foreign affairs adviser on taking a new look at the Middle East and how to prevent further damage from the “crisis of the region that is spreading out of the region.”
She also wants to be part of reaching out to Trump supporters in an effort to bring the country together after what she anticipates will be a Clinton victory Nov. 8.