"Dr. Henry Kissinger especially. I had a good conversation with him recently. And he shared with me his passion for diplomacy." -- Sarah Palin, during the Vice-Presidential Debate.
Although Sarah Palin's September 23 conversation with Henry Kissinger was off-limits to reporters, the Huffington Post gained exclusive access to a microphone hidden in Dr. Kissinger's office. A transcript of their conversation follows.
Henry Kissinger: Governor Palin, it's a pleasure to finally meet you.
Sarah Palin: And it is so nice to meet you, Mr. Kissinger!
HK: Actually it's Dr. Kissinger.
SP: No kidding! What sort of doctor are you? Like for something specific like feet, or just general tummy aches?
HK: (laughter) No, I'm not that kind of doctor...
SP: Well, Henry... can I call you Henry?
HK: If you must.
SP: I can tell you for certain, we Americans are darn tired of having all these so-called intellectuals telling us about how complicated all these problems are going on in the world. All you have to do is walk on down to any pee-wee soccer game and talk to those hockey moms and Joe six-pack dads on the sidelines, and they can tell you their feelings about what's right and what's wrong with the world.
HK: Well, I suppose I should preface this by saying I'd have to call myself one of those intellectuals, given that I went to Harvard as an undergrad and for my PhD...
HK: Again, never mind. But Governor Palin, if I may... don't you think that perhaps, while those soccer moms and dads are doing an admirable job raising their children --
SP: You're darn right they are!
HK: (clears throat)... That those solving the complex crises facing our nation ought to go beyond their immediate feelings on a subject? That they might instead seek to solve these problems rationally and methodically?
SP: I'm listening.
HK: For example, we may feel that the leaders of certain regimes hate America and her values, and thereby impulsively want to respond with military action. But, if we take a step back, we might first question those leaders' ability to actually implement such hatred in any tangible way, and secondly whether they or those surrounding them could be brought to understand the futility of such hatred in contrast to the mutual benefits of Realpolitik.
SP: You betcha I'm talking about real politics! We need to get rid of corruption on Wall Street and in Washington real quickly!
HK: I mean Realpolitik as defined by the notion that practical diplomacy can outweigh ideological fervor. In other words, why spend billions of unnecessary dollars on unwinnable wars against madmen, when we can instead work our way toward restoring trade relations with that country, either under the present or new leadership, then spread our ideals of democracy and freedom peacefully?
You look confused. I've got this Play-Doh here if you'd like to visualize it...
SP: Okay. You know what, I think I follow!
HK: You do? Honestly, that's.... Congratulations, I'm not shocked easily, and you have just shocked Henry Kissinger.
SP: You're darn right I follow. What you're saying is...
SP: You'd raise the white flag of surrender against our enemies? Well frankly, Mr. Kissinger, I'm disappointed in you. And I'm not gonna sit here a second longer and listen to you badmouth America!
(Governor Palin rises, leaves).
(Dr. Kissinger sighs).