Seats were limited, and snapped up long ago, for a day-long symposium at the Clinton Presidential Center on the Clinton administration,.
The topic this morning was foreign policy. Speakers were Sandy Berger, the former national security advisor; retired Gen. Wesley Clark, the former NATO commander; Ambassador Nancy Soderberg; Mara Rudman, former chief of staff of the National Security Council, and Robert Strong, a professor at Washington and Lee University. Moderator was James Bennet of The Atlantic.
Berger thanked Clark for leading and winning the war in Kosovo. Clark said Clinton had told military brass who disagreed with his policy to go public and to Congress with their objections.
Initiatives in Northern Ireland also were discussed.
The sessions are being streamed on the web. The panels continue until 3:30 p.m., with a break for lunch. Separate panels are set on domestic policy and economic policy. Domestic policy speakers include former Labor Secretary Alexis Herman and Bruce Reed, former director of the Domestic Policy Council. Former chief of staff Erskine Bowles and economic advisor Gene Sperling are on the economic policy panel.
The symposium is being held in partnership with the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. It’s my understanding that the Miller Center is prepared to release at the conclusion of the session a trove of interviews it conducted with Clinton Administration officials in 2002 and 2003. By one account, these are unvarnished discussions. Reporters will be combing them, almost certainly, for influence of Hillary Clinton in her husband’s administration on account of the expectation she’ll run for president herself in 2016.
A dinner for invited guests is scheduled in a temporary pavilion on the library parking lot tonight as part of the center’s 10th birthday. Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton will lead a discussion about ecoomic opportunity for women and families at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Clinton Center. A sold-out concert in the pavilion is set for 8 p.m. Saturday. Volunteers will work Sunday in a day of action for Little Rock at the Arkansas Foodbank. A panel discussion is set at noon Monday at the Clinton Center on the impact of the center on Little Rock.