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ANCHOR ONE: Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Chicago today and says he came to the neighborhood that is Ukraine’s beating heart.
ANCHOR TWO: His visit coinciding with the two-year anniversary of President Biden taking office. Our political reporter Marie Ann Ahern, joining us now, sat down with Secretary Blinken for an exclusive interview today.
MS AHERN: Good evening to all of you. Secretary of State Antony Blinken witnessed how this Chicago neighborhood displays its big support for Ukraine. Here on the city’s northwest side, Secretary of State Antony Blinken witnessed how the Ukrainian Village neighborhood displays its support for Ukraine.
SECRETARY BLINKEN: If that’s allowed to happen in one place with impunity, it could start to happen every place.
(Video Clip of Secretary Blinken) As we like to say we’re from Washington. We’re here to help.
MS AHERN: Senator Dick Durbin alongside Blinken to meet with community leaders.
(Video Clip of Senator Durbin) Washington is rarefied atmosphere. You need to come into communities that are directly impacted by these foreign policy decisions.
MS AHERN: Blinken sees no easy resolution between Russia and Ukraine. Does diplomacy work with Putin?
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Diplomacy works in this sense: We have pulled together over the last year, now that this war has been going on, dozens of countries around the world; dozens of countries to support Ukraine, to give it what it needs to defend itself.
MS AHERN: Next month, Blinken visits China. And it was two years ago today that President Biden took office.
SECRETARY BLINKEN: We’re back at the table. The United States is reengaged. We’re leading. And we know what happens when we don’t. When we don’t, either someone else is — tries to take our place and probably not in a way that advances our interests and values — or no one does, and the world doesn’t organize itself.
MS AHERN: Blinken’s tour included this modern art museum, and as the father of two young children, the artwork from the Ukrainian children especially touched him.
(Video Clip of Secretary Blinken) I think the first thing you think about is what if this were my kids? This could be my kids. And that’s a reminder of why it is so important that we sustain our support for Ukraine until the aggression ends.
MS AHERN: While his resume is centered on foreign policy, what you might not know, is Secretary of State Antony Blinken is a guitar player who loves classic rock.
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Played in a lot of bands over the years. I’d say that if I had had just one thing that I’m missing, I probably would have pursued it as a career. The one missing thing was talent. But other than that, I love it.
MS AHERN: Blinken’s Chicago visit also included remarks at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, and he also taped the popular radio program on NPR: Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me, and that airs tomorrow morning
ANCHOR TWO: Wow.
ANCHOR ONE: That’s an interesting interview. Love his mindset though thinking about his own children when looking at negotiations in Ukraine.
MS AHERN: Absolutely.