Is Hillary un-likeable?
Theodore C. Sorensen, former special counsel and adviser to President John F. Kennedy and a widely published author on the presidency and foreign affairs, practiced international law for more than 36 years as a senior partner, and now of counsel, at the prominent U.S. law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. The former chairman of the firm’s International Practice Committee, he has represented U.S. and multinational corporations in negotiations with governments all over the world and advised and assisted a large number of foreign governments and government leaders, ranging from the late President Sadat of Egypt to former President Mandela of South Africa.
Mr. Sorensen and his team at Paul, Weiss have advised U.S. corporations on factories in Russia and Africa, pipelines in the Caribbean and Latin America, and disputes in the Middle East and North America, and negotiated on their behalf with government officials at the highest level in dozens of countries. He has advised foreign corporations from five continents on investments in the United States and elsewhere, foreign governments on problems with the World Bank, the United Nations, the U.S. government and foreign investors, and on changes in their respective mining, petroleum, investment and election codes, and constitutions.
In 2002, Mr. Sorensen was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Sorensen is on the advisory board of the Foreign Policy Leadership Council, a director of the Council on Foreign Relations (until 2004) and the Century Foundation, a member of the advisory board of the Partnership for a Secure America and an honorary co-chair of the ABA Commission on the Renaissance of Idealism in the Legal Profession. Mr. Sorensen is the author of the 1965 international best seller Kennedy, seven other books on the presidency, politics or foreign policy and numerous articles on those subjects in Foreign Affairs, The New York Times and other publications. As an active figure in the Democratic Party, he has participated in 10 of the last 12 Democratic Party National Conventions and served in a number of governmental, political and civic posts. Appointed by President Bill Clinton, he served on the boards of the Central Asian-American Enterprise Fund (covering Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) and the Commission on White House Fellows. He is experienced in the ways of Washington, the United Nations and the multilateral (World Bank, IFC, etc.) and U.S. (AID, OPIC, etc.) financing institutions.
Mr. Sorensen was born in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1928. He is father of three sons, one daughter and is married to Gillian Martin Sorensen, a former New York City commissioner, a former United Nations under-secretary general and current senior advisor and national advocate at the United Nations Foundation. Mr. Sorensen's memoirs, Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History, were published by HarperCollins in May of 2008.
Question: Is Hillary un-likeable?
Ted Sorensen: Oh let’s not get into Hillary’s likeability. I don’t want her to cry. Let’s simply point out that no one has ever said she communicates as well, as smoothly, as effectively as her husband. He was a great political communicator. She reads a speech very well, but Ronald Reagan went a long way reading a speech very well. But I don’t think anyone has ever said that she is as inspiring as Obama. She would proudly acknowledge that. After all, Cicero was not as aspiring as Demothenese. Seward was not as inspiring as Abraham Lincoln. Not every famous, intelligent, likeable leader can be inspiring.
Question: It’s because she’s not an effective communicator?
Ted Sorensen: It’s part of it, but it’s not her lack of intelligence. She is . . . It’s not her lack of intelligence at all. She is intelligent. She reflects her briefings very well in the debates when she spells off one, two, three, four; what a particular program will consist of and do. But for some time now we’ve been nominating Democrats like Mondale, and Gore, and Dukakis, and Carey. They can all recite those four point programs very well. It sounded as though they were lecturing to an MIT political science class, or the editorial board of the New York Times. They were likeable. They were intelligent, but they were all losers.
Recorded on: 1/30/08
It's not her likeability or intelligence, says Sorensen. It's her inability to communicate effectively.
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