Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Kissinger Talks Presidential Politics While Discussing His Own Legacy

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger dipped into presidential politics Monday while defending his legacy as a statesman and strategic thinker.

At the Pentagon, where he received the Distinguished Public Service Award, the 92-year-old warned against the tendency of the presidential contenders -- he didn't name them -- to put all blame for the state of the world on current and past administrations.

Kissinger said, "We are entering a presidential campaign and it seems to be the habit of particular figures now to contrast themselves with the evils of their predecessors" going back to Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, whom he served as national security adviser and secretary of state, respectively.

Those nameless "particular figures" are also trying to "contrast themselves with the evils of the incumbent," he said, while sidestepping what those evils might be. As for his own case, he said, "the fact is we were engaged in good causes" through his turbulent tenure in shaping foreign policy.