Interview With Luna Maya and Isyana Bagoes Oka of Dahsyat

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Jakarta, Indonesia
February 19, 2009

QUESTION: So please welcome Madam Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State of the United States (inaudible). (Applause.)

(Music plays.)



QUESTION: How are you today?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I am so good. I am thrilled to be back here in Jakarta and to have a chance to be on this awesome show.



QUESTION: And at the back we have your fans, and some of them are most promising Indonesian artists and musicians and also songwriters.


QUESTION: (Inaudible.)


QUESTION: (Inaudible) and (inaudible).

SECRETARY CLINTON: Wonderful to see you all. There is so much excitement in the air here, and you can just feel all of the activity and the culture and artists and just a very good sense of what the future holds.

QUESTION: Yeah, we’re really excited to meet you today.


QUESTION: My first question for you is a simple question. This is your second time to visit Indonesia.


QUESTION: If you have a chance to come back and visit Indonesia but for holiday, where would you like to go?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I would like to hit as many places as possible because I’ve had the chance last time I was here to travel to different parts of Indonesia. I went to Yogyakarta.

QUESTION: Yogyakarta, interesting.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes. I had a wonderful time there. And I’d like to come back and see more of the country. So it’s not any one place as much as getting as big an overview as possible. I was just speaking to President Obama --


SECRETARY CLINTON: -- who sends greetings to all of you.

QUESTION: Oh, that’s great.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes. And we were talking about some of his memories.

QUESTION: Yes, back in Menteng (ph).

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah, and I met the children from his school yesterday at the airport.

QUESTION: Yeah, yesterday, yes.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) it was really nice.

SECRETARY CLINTON: He saw the picture of them.


SECRETARY CLINTON: He said, “I understand you met some of the students from my old school.” And I said, “They were adorable.”

QUESTION: Wow, that’s great. Madam Secretary, your first – your visit to Indonesia is a part of your first trip as U.S. Secretary of State. Can we perceive that as signifying a new direction in U.S. foreign policy? Are you trying to be on better terms with Muslim countries?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think Indonesia is important for many reasons. The work that you have done here, both the people of Indonesia and the Government of Indonesia, over the last decade so that democracy has really taken hold and the economy is growing, even in this difficult economic time globally, just has a great feeling about what Indonesia is accomplishing. So I said last night in a meeting that I had if you want to see democracy and Islam and modernity and women’s rights all coexisting in one place in the world, come to Indonesia. Because this is the place that I think is more about the future than many places right now in the world.

QUESTION: And we get to live here harmoniously, right?


QUESTION: (In Indonesian.) (Applause.) (In Indonesian.) (Applause.)

QUESTION: (In Indonesian.)

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QUESTION: (In Indonesian.) (Applause.)

QUESTION: (In Indonesian.) We’d like to thank – say thank you – (in Indonesian) – Madam Secretary Hillary Clinton. (Cheers and applause.)

QUESTION: (In Indonesian.)

QUESTION: (In Indonesian.)

QUESTION: (In Indonesian.)

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QUESTION: (In Indonesian.)

QUESTION: (In Indonesian.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: That is something that I noticed when I was here before. It’s something that President Obama and I have talked about. It’s part of his memories of spending his childhood years here that people were living harmoniously, there was great diversity, 250 languages in Indonesia.


SECRETARY CLINTON: And there was a sense that people could get along with one another, work with one another. And now with a democratic form of government, there is an opportunity for people to participate and so many are choosing to do so.

QUESTION: Okay. It’s getting heavy, but it’s my turn now. It’s a fun part. (Laughter.) Okay, so this is a music show. Dahsyat is a music show.

QUESTION: In English, it mean awesome.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Awesome, that’s right. That’s what I was told. I told – I was told I was going to be on an awesome show.

QUESTION: Yeah. (Laughter.) But the question is, what is your favorite music and artist?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I am older than you are, so I --

QUESTION: Okay. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: I have many, many likes in music. When I work, I listen to classical music because I find it very soothing. And my husband can listen to jazz and rock and roll and concentrate. I have to have the kind of sense of order and harmony. But I am someone who loves the music of my youth. I think that kind of happens when you --


SECRETARY CLINTON: -- grow up. And what was important to you when you were a young person kind of stays that way. So for me, it’s really the old standbys, like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and I am really very – (applause) – oh, good, good.

QUESTION: Awesome.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t feel so old. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: You love the Beatle and the Rolling Stones.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, good, good. Well, and when you see Paul McCartney or the Rolling Stones still perform, it makes you feel pretty good that – (laughter) --


SECRETARY CLINTON: -- and it keeps going.

QUESTION: Well, I bet you listen to music all the time, especially during your last campaign?


QUESTION: Yes. Well, what do you have – what your – is most – your most valuable experience or lesson that you’ve learned during your campaign? And how do you perceive your former rival, now President Barack Obama because now you’re working together?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the most wonderful memory is how great the people of my country are. I had such an extraordinary experience because I crisscrossed our country, I met people in every state and so many different settings, and I campaigned hard against President Obama. We had an incredibly intense competition. But in a democracy, somebody has to win and somebody has to lose. And part of what you get used to when you’ve been practicing democracy a long time is that if you lose, you go and figure out how to continue helping to make a contribution. And so when the President asked me to be Secretary of State, I was very surprised, very honored, and decided that I wanted to both serve my country and serve my President.

QUESTION: That’s what we have to learn here in Indonesia.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I had a long conversation about that last night. I had a wonderful dinner with a number of active people here in every kind of advocacy group and civic society. And they asked me – they said, “Well, how does it feel when you lose? Because you have so many political parties, you have so many people running.” I said, well, of course it hurts. You lose, you work hard, and then you don’t make it. That’s a disappointment.

But in a democracy, you close ranks and you say, okay, what are we going to do to try to overcome our disagreements and try to support the people who have been elected because you can’t just be tied up in politics. You’ve got to turn to governing and make life better for people, and I think that that’s part of the ongoing process of democracy.

QUESTION: Well, since we have very limited time, so I have to ask you the final question. Well, you became the United States Secretary of State just as the Gaza crisis happened. What do you want to say to Indonesians who are angry about the U.S. policy in the Middle East?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, one thing is that immediately upon being inaugurated and my taking office as Secretary of State, President Obama and I said the United States will get reengaged in trying to help in the Middle East. We felt like the United States had not been as active in trying to bring the parties together to resolve the conflict.

So we appointed a special envoy. I will go to Cairo next week to a conference sponsored by the Egyptians to try to get humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. I’m working hard to support the Palestinian Authority so that they can help their people. And we’re going to work very hard to try to resolve what has been such a painful, difficult conflict for so many years, and to move toward a two-state solution so that Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace, side by side, and do the things that you’re doing here – having fun, working on the future, caring about whether your child does well in school, instead of feeling so besieged, as both Israelis and Palestinians do. We’ve got to try to find a breakthrough.

QUESTION: Well, thank you very much, Madam Secretary.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.


QUESTION: There are so many questions, but unfortunately –

SECRETARY CLINTON: Will you have me back if I come back?

QUESTION: Yes, yes.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, good. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: I’d be delighted to.

QUESTION: You’ve opened our --

SECRETARY CLINTON: I always have so many good memories when I leave from here.

QUESTION: Thank you so much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: And I thank you both for what you’re doing, bringing information and fun to people early in the morning.

QUESTION: Yes, exactly. Entertainment and news.

QUESTION: That’s right.

QUESTION: Well, since this is a music show --


QUESTION: -- I think I would like to --

QUESTION: Maybe to hear you sing a little bit?

QUESTION: Just a little bit? (Laughter and applause.) From the Beatles, maybe?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Here is the problem. (Laughter.)


SECRETARY CLINTON: You see all of these people? If I start to sing, they will leave.

QUESTION: No. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Okay. If you’ll say one word in Indonesian --


QUESTION: -- for our Dahsyat audience. Salam hangat terdahsyat.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Salam hangat --

QUESTION: Terdahsyat.


QUESTION: Keluarga Indonesia.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Wait, say that again? (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Salam Hangat.


QUESTION: Terdahsyat.




QUESTION: Keluarga Indonesia.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Keluarga Indonesia.

QUESTION: Yay. (Applause.)

PRN: 2009/1323