Wednesday, December 13, 2006

John Edwards on Hardball

(Here's a partial transcript dealing with foreign leaders from yesterday's appearance on Hardball with Chris Matthews.)

MATTHEWS: So I‘m going to be a little tough with you right now. OK? You ready?

J. EDWARDS: You mean, unlike usual?

MATTHEWS: Unlike usual.

When the president was running, George W. Bush, he didn‘t have any foreign affairs background and a Boston reporter named Mandy Heller (ph) asked him to name the head of government of four countries. And they were somewhat obscure countries: South Korea, Chechnya, Pakistan—I forget the other one. And he only got one right.

And that‘s what I got right at the time, too because I was—I mean, guessing that the head of South Korea‘s name is Lee is probably a pretty good bet, which is like Smith in England, you know.

So I‘m going to ask you some easy ones, I think. But they may be hard. And if you want to pass on them, you can do that.

Who‘s the prime minister of Canada?

J. EDWARDS: The prime minister of Canada is Harper, I believe.

MATTHEWS: Very good.

Who‘s the president of Mexico?

J. EDWARDS: He‘s the new president, he‘s Calderon.

MATTHEWS: Great. Great. And who is the...

J. EDWARDS: This is not—this is ridiculous.

But go ahead.

MATTHEWS: No, no, no. It‘s not ridiculous. Who‘s the president of South Africa?

J. EDWARDS: I don‘t know the answer to that.


Who‘s the president of Iraq? The president?

J. EDWARDS: The president is Talabani, who I met before he became president, as a matter of fact.

MATTHEWS: The president of South Africa is Thabo Mbeki.

J. EDWARDS: There we go.

MATTHEWS: OK. Let‘s see. The chancellor of Germany?

J. EDWARDS: The chancellor of Germany is—I just met with her—


MATTHEWS: Who don‘t you know here?

J. EDWARDS: Keep going.


MATTHEWS: Let‘s try—really very obscure? Italy.

J. EDWARDS: Italy is...

MATTHEWS: Was Berlusconi.

J. EDWARDS: ... Prodi—Pradi (ph). I‘m not sure I can say it right.

MATTHEWS: Is that right?


J. EDWARDS: They‘re going to say yes no matter what.

MATTHEWS: I‘m going to go back in my box because Harper is pretty obscure. What‘s his first name?

J. EDWARDS: I don‘t know.

MATTHEWS: Steven Harper.

What party is he?

J. EDWARDS: Don‘t know that, either.

MATTHEWS: He‘s Tories, conservative.

What about Calderon? You think he‘s—he‘s a conservative?

J. EDWARDS: Calderon is a conservative.


MATTHEWS: ... despite all this anti-American feeling in the world, and yet, it‘s not about ideology. A lot of these countries are electing relatively conservative leaders, Germany, Canada...

J. EDWARDS: They‘re more conservative.

MATTHEWS: ... Mexico. And why do you think we‘re still hated around the world?

J. EDWARDS: Why do I think America‘s still hated?

MATTHEWS: Yes. We are.

J. EDWARDS: Because I think that over the last six years, the Bush administration has shown a fundamental misunderstanding of what it takes to lead. I think to lead you have to have more than power. You need power.

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