Question: When you read the newspaper of watch the news, what issues stand out for you?
Robert Menendez: Well obviously I think what stands out is . . . You know they say the essence of a good story is conflict. And it seems to me that I read a lot about conflict. Conflict in the political sense. Conflict in our society between ethnic, racial and religious groups. Conflict, you know, in our families. And so much of the stories, if you read about them, there’s an element of conflict to it. And so broadly defined, I’d say, you know, of course the issues of the day. You know Iraq. How do we educate our kids? How do we get a quality education? How do we have healthcare for every American? How do we preserve the planet? Those are the big issues, but even within all those issues is conflict. And so it seems to me that what is missing is a combination of . . . instead of talking about the conflict, how do we go about solving the conflict? And also, you know, there’s a lot of good things happening in our communities and in the country. And those good things which can be models of successes, or instill pride, as well as promote a certain positivism for us collectively, they’re missing because they’re not the essence of a good story.