Kissinger is a friend, and I relied on his counsel when I served as secretary of state. He checked in with me regularly, sharing astute observations about foreign leaders and sending me written reports on his travels. Though we have often seen the world and some of our challenges quite differently, and advocated different responses now and in the past, what comes through clearly in this new book is a conviction that we, and President Obama, share: a belief in the indispensability of continued American leadership in service of a just and liberal order.
Clinton also approvingly quotes a passage in Kissinger’s book about “respecting national sovereignty” and “adopting participatory and democratic systems of governance.”
Biographer Walter Isaacson and former Slate contributor Christopher Hitchens are among those who have written that Kissinger leaked information about duly elected President Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam peace talks to presidential candidate Richard Nixon, who sabotaged the talks in an effort to improve his chances of winning the election. Kissinger is also infamous for advocating and planning the overthrow of democratically elected Chilean President Salvador Allende. There’s also the fact that the president with whom Kissinger worked most closely—Nixon—is the only president in the 238-year history of our country to have resigned in shame after being caught urinating on the Constitution. And Clinton wants us to know that this is someone whose conception of democracy she shares!