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Diplomacy in Action

Interview With Mallory Moore of National Geographic Kids


Interview
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 17, 2014

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QUESTION: Hi, I’m Mallory Moore, a reporter for National Geographic Kids. Nice to meet you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Hi, Mallory. I’m glad to be here. Thank you.

QUESTION: All right. We’re just going to start with a few quick questions. What is your favorite ocean activity?

SECRETARY KERRY: Sailing and scuba diving. Some kind of sailing.

QUESTION: Okay.

SECRETARY KERRY: Kite surfing, real boat sailing – sailing.

QUESTION: Yes. What is your favorite ocean movie?

SECRETARY KERRY: That’s a hard one. Endless Summer – (laughter) – or Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, one of those, something or other. Perfect Storm a little less than Endless Summer.

QUESTION: When you go to the beach, do you prefer barefoot or flip-flops?

SECRETARY KERRY: Barefoot.

QUESTION: If you could breathe underwater or breathe fire, which would you choose?

SECRETARY KERRY: Underwater.

QUESTION: What is your favorite fish, and why?

SECRETARY KERRY: Probably porpoise. Why? Because they seem to have so much fun, and they’re beautiful to watch. And they swim fast, and I love their jumps.

So there we – sorry about that. (Laughter.)

PARTICIPANT: Okay, let’s get – so -- (Laughter.)

SECRETARY KERRY: It’s quite a challenge. (Laughter.)

PARTICIPANT: I think it’s fantastic, actually. He’s perfect.

SECRETARY KERRY: Ben, place. Ben. (Laughter.) Ben, sit.

PARTICIPANT: Ben, sit.

SECRETARY KERRY: Ben. Ben, you sit. Go on.

PARTICIPANT: Okay.

SECRETARY KERRY: Place. Over there. Go ahead, keep moving.

PARTICIPANT: Okay.

SECRETARY KERRY: I’m sorry.

QUESTION: That’s fine.

PARTICIPANT: So we’ll start from the top.

SECRETARY KERRY: I’ve never brought him to an interview before, so this is -- (laughter.)

PARTICIPANT: It’s great. I mean, we love it. We’re National Geographic. We actually love it.

PARTICIPANT: We’re National Geographic. Pets allowed.

PARTICIPANT: All right, so we’ll start from the top with the introduction.

QUESTION: From the top? Okay.

PARTICIPANT: And then you can go right into the questions. We’ll do the whole thing.

QUESTION: All right.

Hi, I’m Mallory Moore, a reporter for National Geographic Kids. Nice to meet you.

SECRETARY KERRY: I’m happy to meet you. Thank you.

QUESTION: We’re going to start with a few quick questions. What is your favorite ocean activity?

SECRETARY KERRY: Sailing.

QUESTION: What is your favorite ocean movie?

SECRETARY KERRY: Endless Summer.

QUESTION: When you go to the beach, do you prefer barefoot or flip-flops?

SECRETARY KERRY: Definitely barefoot.

QUESTION: If you could breathe underwater or breathe fire, which would you choose?

SECRETARY KERRY: Underwater.

QUESTION: What is your favorite fish, and why?

SECRETARY KERRY: Porpoise, because they’re beautiful and they seem to have so much fun all the time. And they smile. I like it.

QUESTION: Secretary Kerry, would you do a fish face with me?

SECRETARY KERRY: Actually, I’ll reserve that for my (inaudible). (Laughter.) I don’t want that on YouTube. I mean, I’m ugly enough without it. I mean, something of a pout, at any rate.

QUESTION: Well, would you like to try a breath-holding contest, just like underwater?

SECRETARY KERRY: Would I?

(Holds breath.)

SECRETARY KERRY: Oh, wow. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Good job.

SECRETARY KERRY: (Inaudible.) (Laughter.)

QUESTION: All right.

SECRETARY KERRY: (Inaudible) break up. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Here are a couple more questions.

PARTICIPANT: Hold on, let’s do the breath real quick. You guys don’t have to go the whole time.

QUESTION: Okay.

SECRETARY KERRY: Try the breath again?

PARTICIPANT: Yes.

QUESTION: All right. Secretary Kerry – sorry.

Secretary Kerry, would you do a breath-holding contest with me?

SECRETARY KERRY: Sure.

(Holds breath.)

QUESTION: All right. Good job.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Who won?

PARTICIPANT: I’ll (inaudible) here.

QUESTION: All right.

PARTICIPANT: We’re doing great.

SECRETARY KERRY: Ben. (Laughter.) Benny, come here. Place. Place. Place. Good boy. (Laughter.) Good. Calm you down a bit.

PARTICIPANT: Okay. And right after the breath we’ll launch into the (inaudible).

QUESTION: Okay. What do you love most about the ocean?

SECRETARY KERRY: I think it has so many moods. I think the ocean can be stormy and angry and the ocean can be calm and placid and it’s always mysterious. It’s – gives you a sense of vastness, power, and beauty. So many different emotions in the ocean and so many different realities.

PARTICIPANT: Good. Let’s do that one again. For these, can you repeat the question so we can get a sound bite?

SECRETARY KERRY: Okay.

QUESTION: Okay.

PARTICIPANT: Yep, go ahead.

QUESTION: What do you love most about the ocean?

SECRETARY KERRY: What do I love most about the ocean? I love the moods of the ocean. It’s so incredibly varied from dark and blue and gray to foamy and angry, the wind blowing to calm, beautiful, placid, blue, turquoise, transparent, incredibly mysterious, incredibly powerful. It tells you about time and it tells you about where we fit on Earth. It’s a very emotional thing, I think, the ocean. It’s very beautiful.

QUESTION: Thank you.

What is one thing kids can do to protect the ocean?

SECRETARY KERRY: Pick up trash. Don’t dump the trash in the first place. And if you see any plastic or any trash anywhere near water bodies, pick it up and put it where it belongs.

QUESTION: I know that we protect our lands by creating parks, but how can governments protect the ocean?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, the government can do a lot of things to protect the ocean. It needs to have regulations that are enforced and enforceable. It needs to have people who can go out and monitor. We need to have better science about what’s happening in the ocean so we make good decisions about it. We need to not fish as much, as recklessly, or allow fishing to be so excessive in certain places. We need to deal with climate change, reduce the acidity of the ocean, which is destroying and damaging coral reefs and species. And we need to change our energy policy so we’re not dumping carbon monoxide and monoxide and other particulates into the ocean, which have a profound impact on the ecosystem.

So those are the big things: Don’t overfish; don’t over develop, control your development in a way that doesn’t do harm to the oceans; and deal with acidification, which comes from climate change. The three biggies.

QUESTION: All right. Thank you.

You spend more times on planes than almost anyone else in the world. When you’re not sleeping or working during flight, what do you do for fun on a plane?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, fun is relative on a plane – (laughter) – but I take my guitar with me. I have a guitar and I kind of play around and pretend that I know what I’m doing and I try to practice a bit and it’s very relaxing, it’s fun. Or read a good book, watch a movie occasionally. That’s basically the choices.

QUESTION: Thank you, Secretary Kerry.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you for spending time with me. I appreciate it.

QUESTION: Thank you for having us, National Geographic.

SECRETARY KERRY: Delighted to have you here. This is the Treaty Room in back of us where treaties are signed, and it’s a very formal room for the State Department. So we’re in a special place here.

QUESTION: Yes, sir.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you.

QUESTION: Thank you.


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