Transcript: Sebelius, Specter and Hatch

And we saw in the coverage that she was extraordinarily public on these trips. She was not only engaged in private diplomacy; she was engaged in public diplomacy. She can do that because of her celebrity. And part of the cost of celebrity, as we're talking about with Sarah Palin, is that, when you say something that isn't quite right, you get disproportionate attention to it.

She has to live with that as the cost of what is undeniably a benefit, her ability to engage not only leaders and elites, but publics around the world, because of the media attention she can attract not only here, but everywhere she goes.

TAPPER: I think what surprised me about this, Ed, was the fact that she is so smart and so savvy in so many ways that she has to know that, with the media, superficial and evil as we are, if she does something like that, that's what we're going to be focusing on.

GILLESPIE: Yes, it was a -- it was a breakdown in discipline, obviously. And it's disappointing, I have to say. Just, you know, setting aside all partisanship, I think the fact is that what this administration is doing in Africa -- I should also point out, building on a lot of the good work that was done by the Bush administration...

TAPPER: Which President Obama has said.

GILLESPIE: ... in Africa -- has said -- very important and -- and to distract from that, I think, is unfortunate. I think it was too long a trip. As someone who's done these trips, 11 days is a long time to be out there. And I think that they will probably dial these back, I suspect, in terms of duration in the future.

TAPPER: Ed, there's something I want to come to you on, completely switching topics. You and I are both Eagles fans.

GILLESPIE: Yes.

TAPPER: You're from south Jersey; I'm from Philly. And there was news in the last few days about Michael Vick, who had served his time for his involvement with dogfighting, being signed by the Eagles. We have a clip of the press conference.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICK: As we all know, in the past, I made some mistakes. I have done some terrible things, made a horrible mistake. And now I want to be a part of the solution and not the problem.

LURIE: If we don't have an extremely proactive player here, off the field, then this is a terrible decision.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: That's the owner of the Eagles, Jeff Lurie, talking about the need for Vick to continue with his rehabilitation process through the judicial system. I have to say, I am uncomfortable. As an Eagles fan, I don't want to root for Michael Vick. And I know that there are people in the NFL who have done far worse to humans -- or maybe not far worse -- but they've -- they've -- you know, they have other problems with the law. Tell me why I'm wrong. Why -- how am I going to root for Michael Vick?

GILLESPIE: I think you're not wrong to be uncomfortable. I think, though -- I bring some conflict to this. I am an Eagles fan. I also own two dogs.

TAPPER: You heard that, by the way, "Iggles" fan. I don't know if you heard "Iggles."

BRAZILE: I heard that.

GILLESPIE: But, look, I think that he served his time. We have to be a society that believes in redemption. He has confessed to, you know, his remorse.

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