McCain to Speak Alongside 'Friend' Hillary

Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 11:10 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will join Sen. John McCain at a session of the McCain Institute's annual Sedona Forum in Arizona on Saturday.

"I am very pleased to have my friend Secretary Clinton join this year's Sedona Forum," McCain said in a statement released by the institute on Thursday. "From her years of service as first lady, in the U.S. Senate and at the State Department, one would be hard-pressed to find a leader with Secretary Clinton's informed perspective on the many challenges facing America across the globe."

Clinton, who is seen as the leading potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, served in the Senate with McCain from 2001 to 2009. She represented New York, and lost the 2008 presidential primary to Barack Obama.

Obama, who defeated McCain that fall, later appointed Clinton Secretary of State. She stepped down in January and was succeeded by Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry.

This year's theme for the forum is "Crisis in the Middle East: Values, Strategy and Options," and will also include sessions on Russia and Ukraine and on combating human trafficking, according to the institute's release.

Other participants this year include Republican Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Bob Corker of Tennessee; and Democratic Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.

In addition, Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine and retired GOP Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona also will be participating.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Ambassador William Burns, who served under Clinton, also will be featured.

The sessions also will include corporate leaders, international officials, and civil rights and human rights advocates.

Last year's forum featured Vice President Joe Biden, six heads of state and five senators. Biden made headlines when he said that McCain might have won the White House in 2008 if the economy had not collapsed.

"The truth of the matter is, Barack knows it, I know, had the economy not collapsed around your ears, John, in the middle of literally — as things were moving — I think you probably would have won,” Biden said, according to news reports. "But it would have been incredibly, incredibly, incredibly close. You inherited a really difficult time."

Based in Washington, the McCain Institute for International Leadership is affiliated with Arizona State University. The release described it as "a non-partisan do-tank dedicated to advancing character-driven leadership based on security, economic opportunity, and human freedom and democracy in the United States and around the world."

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