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Secretary of State Clinton’s Dialogue with Former Secretary Shultz

Washington, DC
January 30, 2009

Watch the VIDEO!

SECRETARY CLINTON: We are delighted to have former Secretary Shultz visit the State Department today. Some of you who may have been around a while know that he was Secretary of State for seven years and had a leadership role, was instrumental in so many of the important events of those years. But nearer to home here, he also led the efforts to renovate and refurbish the State Department. So much of what we enjoy today and the beauty of these rooms is really traced to his interest in making sure that the State Department reflected, you know, the historic significance that it has, in fact, by the way that it appears.

So I’m delighted to have him here. We’re going to spend some time talking. I’m going to ask him to just give me whatever advice and counsel he wishes to share. Do you want to say something, George?

SECRETARY SHULTZ: I like to come back and look around. I was the first Secretary of State since Thomas Jefferson who liked construction jobs. (Laughter.) And when I hear those tap, taps, it means something’s happening.
SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s right.
SECRETARY SHULTZ: So I enjoyed fixing this. But more, it always seemed to me when you have visitors coming here from all over the world, and we put our good foot forward, and the décor is all sort of colonial America, so it tells them we have a history.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Right.
SECRETARY SHULTZ: And up in the Adams Room, I think it is, is the Thomas Jefferson desk.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Right.
SECRETARY SHULTZ: I love to show it to people because he designed it, he built it, he wrote portions of the Declaration of Independence on it. So there is a Renaissance man that’s deep in our history, and it’s right here in the Department of State.
SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s right. Well, it’s an interesting juxtaposition, but yesterday, I greeted the latest class of the Foreign Service school applicants, the Foreign Service applicants. And they were here and they’re on their way to becoming the next generation of our diplomats. So the continuity is very much in not only the present, but to be, you know, valued and respected. So let’s go have a conversation.
SECRETARY SHULTZ: Okay.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much. Thank you.

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