Secretary Antony J. Blinken On NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!

QUESTION:  And now the sport the place vital folks do one thing fairly pointless.  It’s known as Not My Job.  You might say Antony Blinken went into the household enterprise – his father was a U.S. ambassador, his uncle was one as properly, however despite the fact that he rose by the ranks of diplomacy and international affairs to be the U.S. Secretary of State, he nonetheless needs he might have rebelled and grow to be a rock musician.  Ah, properly, now he simply performs for individuals who must faux to take pleasure in it to allow them to keep away from a conflict.  (Laughter.)

Secretary Blinken, welcome to Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you, Peter.  (Applause.)

QUESTION:  It is an honor to have you ever.


QUESTION:  And I don’t know if you happen to’d name this luck, however we occur to be your first media interview after this specific information broke out of the State Department.  We must ask you about it.  You have modified the official typeface of the State Department from Times New Roman to Calibri.  (Applause.)  NPR viewers, they’re font nerds.  Sir, what do you might have in opposition to Times New Roman?  (Laughter.)

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  First, I’m known as to make very weighty selections (inaudible).

QUESTION:  Oh.  Type joke.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  And I’m all the time making an attempt to be a font of knowledge, (inaudible).


SECRETARY BLINKEN:  I might go on.  Maybe we must always cease there.

QUESTION:  Nah, you’re good.  Yes.  (Laughter.)

I’m truly genuinely curious, as a result of we often hear solely about secretaries of state once they do one thing unsuitable, like use a non-public e-mail server or bully an NPR reporter.  (Laughter.)  But I don’t learn about what your day is like.  So what’s the common day of the highest diplomat of the United States like?

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, it relies upon the place you might be.  If I’m at dwelling right here within the United States, the day begins with one thing actually vital to me, which is definitely making an attempt to have breakfast with my children —


SECRETARY BLINKEN:  — who’re quickly to be 4 and three years previous.  I’ve obtained actual little ones.

QUESTION:  Yeah.  Oh my God.  (Applause.)  I need to ask you about that.  And earlier than you might have breakfast with them, does your employees transient you?  Like, “Sir, he’s actually into vans?”  (Laughter.)

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  I discover it’s truly extremely good apply for the remainder of the day.

QUESTION:  I can think about.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Because my son is de facto good at saying no.

QUESTION:  Oh, certain.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Yeah.  So if I can determine tips on how to get him to say sure, hey, it’s no downside with a number of the people we take care of.

QUESTION:  All proper, so how – so I occur to have a small son proper now.  How previous is your son?

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  He’s virtually 4.

QUESTION:  He’s virtually 4.  And so I do know what that’s like.  He’s not fairly a toddler, so he’s saying no, and do you – can you use your expertise?  Are you capable of, like, for instance, if he received’t eat his lunch, provide him a major package deal of arms?  (Laughter.)


QUESTION:  We can get, like, Patriots, HIMARS, missiles if you happen to simply eat the sandwich.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  That works, or generally I simply name up the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and ask him if he can —

QUESTION:  Oh wow, yeah, certain.  Exactly.

I’ve to ask once more – and also you, after all, are the primary secretary of state of the Biden administration, so that you’re going on the market after the earlier interval, and I ponder if – (laughter) – talking of youngsters, if you happen to ever must consolation, like, international dignitaries and heads of state such as you’re placing your youngsters to mattress.  They’re like, “The unhealthy man’s not going to come back again, is he?”  Like, “No, it’s all proper.”  (Applause.)

You’re not going to say something.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  No, I’m not.  (Laughter.)

QUESTION:  Because you’re —

QUESTION:  Good job.

QUESTION:  Because we’d have talked about you’re a diplomat.

Okay, let’s – I perceive.  I perceive your reticence; it makes good sense.  Let’s transfer on to one thing I’m certain you’ll be able to discuss.  When you convey categorized paperwork dwelling, the place do you set them?  (Laughter.)

QUESTION:  Next to his —

QUESTION:  He’s simply looking at me, women and gents.

QUESTION:  He doesn’t have a Corvette but.  He places them subsequent to his Volvo.

QUESTION:  Exactly.  (Laughter.)

As I discussed – okay, as I discussed, your father was an envoy – your father, who I do know handed away lately on the age of 96.  He noticed you grow to be Secretary of State.  Having been a diplomat himself, did he have any, like, recommendation for you?  “Now that you just’re in cost, son, that is what I would like you to do.”

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  So the one time when my dad and I overlapped was throughout the Clinton administration when he was ambassador to Hungary.  And President Clinton went to Hungary, and I used to be a speechwriter for him at the moment.  And we arrived in Hungary, and often the ambassador’s on the backside of the aircraft to greet the president when he arrives.


SECRETARY BLINKEN:  President Clinton was fantastic.  He stated, “Why don’t you come off the entrance of the aircraft with me,” which isn’t one thing a junior staffer would usually do.


SECRETARY BLINKEN:  So this nice second, proper, getting off the aircraft with the president.  My dad’s on the backside of the steps.  Incredible second, proper?  And my dad seems to be at me after greeting President Clinton, and the very first thing he says is, “You want a haircut.”  (Laughter.)

QUESTION:  I simply need to make clear – he stated it to you.

QUESTION:  Of course.


QUESTION:  Not – he didn’t —

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  No, he did say it to me.

QUESTION:  He didn’t say it to Clinton, as a result of that wouldn’t be very diplomatic.  (Laughter.)

I need to circle again to the explanation I do know you’re right here, which is to speak about your music profession.  (Laughter.)

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  This could possibly be a really brief dialog.

QUESTION:  Again – once more – once more – no, we have been like, “Well, why would he need to be within the present?”  Because he desires to speak about ABlinken, which is the title below which you set out music on Spotify.  And if you happen to’re listening at dwelling and also you’re bored with the present or – properly, wait until we’re over – you’ll be able to go to Spotify and hearken to 4 tracks, I believe.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  There are three tracks, but when anybody truly follows up at dwelling I’ll have my fourth streamer, which might be enormous.

QUESTION:  That’s nice.  (Laughter.)  And that’s fantastic as a result of I do know you’re in a authorities wage so I’m certain the Spotify revenue actually helps.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  (Inaudible.)  I search for that verify each month.  (Laughter.)

QUESTION:  So is it – and these are songs you wrote – like your – how would you describe your music?

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  I’m undecided how I’d describe it.  Let me simply say that for somebody who’s keen about music all my life, simply because I occur to wind up on this job and to place some music on Spotify, a number of the most illustrious publications truly took observe of it, together with Rolling Stone, and I believe they known as it one thing like roughly credible dad rock.  (Laughter.)

QUESTION:  That’s not unhealthy.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Something like that.  So I assumed – I took that as excessive reward.

QUESTION:  Yeah.  Tom and I are, like, going, “That’s good.”

QUESTION:  So you telling me that you just out right here diplomating and obtained a aspect gig?  (Laughter.)

QUESTION:  It’s the economic system we’re in, Dulcé.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Guy’s obtained to make ends meet.


QUESTION:  I imply, I do know you bought to —

QUESTION:  Every at times, an Uber passenger in Washington, D.C. will get the shock of their lives.  (Laughter.)  It’s all good, man.

Well, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, we now have requested you right here to play a sport we’re calling:

QUESTION:  Blinken lawyer, meet Lincoln Lawyer.

QUESTION:  So you’re Blinken and a lawyer, and we – made us consider the Lincoln Lawyer.  That is Matthew McConaughey, proper, who was additionally a Lincoln automotive pitchman.  So we thought we’d ask you three questions on him.  Answer two out of three questions appropriately – (laughter) —

QUESTION:  All proper, all proper, all proper.

QUESTION:  Exactly.  (Applause.)

QUESTION:  Somebody had —

QUESTION:  Honestly I guess – did – I’ve to ask you this query as a result of I do know as a result of I met a few of them.  You have a beautiful employees who prepares your journey and does advance be just right for you.  Did any of them attempt to guess what we have been going to ask you about?

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Yes.  And they didn’t get it.

QUESTION:  Really?  All proper.  (Laughter.)  Answer two out of three questions on Matthew McConaughey appropriately, you’ll win our prize, a voice of anybody they could select from our present for our voicemail.  This is for a listener.  Bill, who’s the Secretary enjoying for?

QUESTION:  Jason Collins (ph) of Detroit, Michigan.

QUESTION:  Here we go.  Here’s your first query:  Like a number of actors, Mr. McConaughey had a number of odd jobs earlier than he hit it massive, together with which of those:  A, at a Texas golf course capturing armadillos who have been wandering onto the greens at evening; B, working for Peck-an Pies (ph), Austin’s solely male topless bakery; or C, he was an adjunct professor of anthropology at UT Austin?

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  I really need it to be B, however —

QUESTION:  You need it to be Peck-an Pies.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:   I’m going to go along with A.

QUESTION:  You’re going to go along with A.  That’s proper, he did actually shoot armadillos.  He says he loved the work.  (Applause.)

All proper, subsequent query:  Mr. McConaughey did a well-known sequence of advertisements for Lincoln cars a couple of years in the past through which he would drive round and improvise these stream of consciousness monologues.  Which one in every of these did he truly say in a kind of advertisements?  All proper, right here we go.  Listen rigorously.  A, I’m pushed, I additionally drive, so in a means I’m driving myself, however who’s steering?  Option B, that’s a giant bull, 1,800 kilos, I respect that.  (Laughter.)  Or possibility C, automobiles are only a means of turning dinosaurs into distance.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  So is there an the entire above possibility?

QUESTION:  No, there may be not an the entire above.  Sometimes we do this, however I’m promising you that’s – two of these we made up.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Based on that, I’ve obtained to throw myself within the mosh pit and say B.

QUESTION:  B, that’s proper.  Yes.  (Applause.)  To be truthful, it’s just a little little bit of a trick query as a result of I didn’t let you know that in that second within the industrial he’s actually a really massive bull.

All proper.  Last query.  Mr. McConaughey generally attracts on true life in his performances.  Which of those memorable actions from a film he did is one thing he truly does in actual life?  A, as in The Wolf of Wall Street, he actually hums and kilos on his chest to focus himself.  B, as in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, he actually talks to ghosts of his exes.  Or C, as in Dazed and Confused, he actually hangs out at his previous highschool hitting on seniors.  (Laughter.)

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  So I’m eliminating C.

QUESTION:  You’re eliminating C.






QUESTION:  Really?


QUESTION:  It is A.  Yeah.  (Applause.)  Bill, how did the Secretary of State to do on our quiz?

QUESTION:  Perfect rating.  (Inaudible.)

QUESTION:  Yay.  (Applause.)

QUESTION:  I like – I like the way you constructed consensus.  I imply – I imply, it was like hastily everyone right here was allied.

QUESTION:  Diplomat.

QUESTION:  I – we have to allow you to go, I do know, however I’ve yet another query, as a result of how usually do I get to speak to the Secretary of State?  So one thing I’ve all the time needed to marvel:  What’s the worst nation?  (Laughter.)  I imply, as a result of .  I imply, you’ve obtained an inventory in your head.

QUESTION:  The one when the caller ID comes up, you don’t reply.


SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Peter, I actually admire the query.  Thank you.

QUESTION:  Well, there you go.


QUESTION:  Ladies and gents, Antony Blinken is the Secretary of State of the United States.  Secretary of State Antony Blinken.  (Applause.)

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