Friday, June 5, 2009

Madeleine Albright Surprised but Pleased by Obama's Cairo Speech

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said she was surprised that President Barack Obama decided to give his much-anticipated speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, Egypt. She had expected him to do it in Indonesia, she told Commonwealth Club President and CEO Dr. Gloria Duffy today during a conversation before a large Commonwealth crowd.

There were a number of reasons that Indonesia would have made a logical place for the speech, not least because it would highlight the fact that most Muslims do not live in the Middle East, said Albright. But she said that the decision to go to Egypt, what she called the center of situation, is indicative of how Obama operates: He doesn't dance around the question, but he addresses it head on, as he did with opposition to his speech at Nortre Dame and other examples.

The former top diplomat -- and the first to hold that position in the United States -- says she was very pleased with Obama's speech, noting that he probably was well received by most of the audiences to whom he was speaking.

You can see more of her discussion of Obama's speech and his approach to the Muslim world in this homemade video from the event:


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