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January 22nd, 2009
Meet the New Administration

What do Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, George Mitchell, Leon Panetta, Susan Rice, Dennis Ross, Gene Sperling and Tom Vilsack all have in common? They’re all expected to serve in high-level positions in the Obama administration, and they’ve all appeared as distinguished guests on WIDE ANGLE. Watch the videos below to hear what members (and potential members) of the new administration had to say on issues ranging from education in the developing world to the prospects for peace in the Middle East.


JOE BIDEN
was sworn in as Vice President of the United States just minutes before Barack Obama’s historic inauguration. In the fall of 2004, then-Senator Biden spoke with WIDE ANGLE host Carol Marin about U.S.-Saudi relations.

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On Thursday, January 22, the Senate voted 94 to 2 to confirm HILLARY CLINTON as the next Secretary of State. Here, Clinton discusses human trafficking, an issue she’s been working on since her days as the nation’s First Lady, with WIDE ANGLE host Jamie Rubin.

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GEORGE MITCHELL, whose 2001 Mitchell Report became the basis of the “road map” to peace between Israel and Palestine, is expected to be named the new administration’s Special Envoy to the Middle East as early as today. Mitchell also helped negotiate a lasting peace in Northern Ireland. Here, he talks about ethnic and religious violence between Muslims and Hindus in India with host Jamie Rubin.

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LEON PANETTA is Obama’s choice for CIA director. A CIA outsider, Panetta, as Chairman of the Pew Oceans Commission and grandson of a sardine fisherman, spoke to host Carol Marin about the state of the world’s oceans and marine life.

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The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has endorsed SUSAN RICE as Ambassador to the United Nations, and she’s expected to be easily confirmed. Rice was the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during the Clinton administration, and here, she talks with WIDE ANGLE host Mishal Husain about black economic empowerment in South Africa.

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DENNIS ROSS is expected to be named Obama’s Special Envoy to Iran, a rumor that has angered Obama’s anti-war supporters –Ross says he will not rule out military action in Iran. In July 2006, Ross spoke to WIDE ANGLE host Daljit Dhaliwal about U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

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Assuming Timothy F. Geithner is confirmed as Secretary of Treasury, GENE SPERLING, a well-known veteran of the Clinton administration, is expected to be brought on as an adviser. As a senior economic fellow and director of the Center for Universal Education at the Council on Foreign Relations, Sperling spoke with host Daljit Dhaliwal about education in the developing world.

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Promising to promote renewable energy as a means of boosting the rural economy, former Iowa Gov. TOM VILSACK was confirmed as U.S. Agriculture Secretary. Here, he discusses the politics of climate change with WIDE ANGLE host Aaron Brown.

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