Fareed Zakaria and Fran Townsend discuss the timing and motivation behind Secretary Clinton telling CNN's Elise Labott that she takes responsibility for the attacks in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Stevens.
Reporter's Note: President Obama receives a letter from me every day. I’m sure he would prefer a pizza, or perhaps cookies, but we must take what we get…even the president.
Dear Mr. President,
I assume you are busy preparing for your next debate, and who could blame you? I won’t offer any advice on what you need to do or how you need to do it. I can see on the Internet that you are getting plenty of those comments from all quarters, and even without the kibitzing I’m pretty sure you’d have a solid game plan.
I will, instead, wish you and Mitt Romney each the best of luck. I hope each of you does as well as he possibly can, for two key reasons.
First, America deserves a good debate. With all due respect, your first meeting was no fun to watch. It was as dull as dishwater. If it were a boxing match, you would have been leaning on the ropes the whole time just taking punches. In terms of sheer, political theater, I’m pretty sure most voters would much rather watch opponents actually tear into each other; to scrutinize their reactions (see: Biden-Ryan) and to wonder which one is going to stagger away as the victor.
Second, America deserves a good debate. Sure, it sounds like I’m making the same point, but I’m not talking about entertainment this time. How are we supposed to make an informed choice about which one of you will make a better president, if you do not engage in an open, candid discussion about your views? The problems facing our nation right now are serious, and they deserve serious discussion. I know that you know that, but you have to show it. With respect, firmness, and thoughtfulness, you and Mr. Romney have to compare your ideas and let the voters choose. Because while ads and news reports are important measures of your aspirations, nothing quite compares to seeing two individuals nose to nose arguing over who offers the nation a brighter future.
So again, the best of luck to you and your foe. For the all the promises that both of you are making, start by giving us something simple: A good, honest debate on the real issues.
And on another front…did you watch the Nationals fold on Friday night? So painful.
Malala Yousufzai, 14, is now in the hands of medical experts in England. The Pakistani teen was shot in the head and neck by the Taliban last week when riding home in a school van with other classmates in the Swat Valley region, near the border with Afghanistan.
Malala was targeted by the gunmen for speaking out about girls’ rights to education. Last year when asked why she risks her life, she told CNN’s Reza Sayah, "I shall raise my voice...I have rights. I have the right of education. I have the right to play. I have the right to sing. I have the right to talk. I have the right to go to market. I have the right to speak up."
The Islamic extremists aimed to silence her defiant message, and have promised to attack her again if she survives her injuries.
Leo McCarthy gives college scholarships to teenagers who pledge not to drink while they're underage.
In 2007, McCarthy lost his 14-year-old daughter, Mariah, when an underage drunken driver hit her and two of her friends as they walked down a sidewalk near her home in Butte, Montana.
Through McCarthy's nonprofit, Mariah's Challenge, more than 140 teenagers have received $1,000 scholarships.
CNN asked McCarthy for his thoughts on being chosen as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012.
CNN: What do you hope this recognition will mean for Mariah's Challenge?
McCarthy: It's a very quiet sense of pride for this town. We have such a hard history of living here. ... (We use) the term "Butte tough." Now, it's more about character and strength, about growing old and helping our youth to grow old.
Filed under: CNN Heroes
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