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Hillary Takes Questions from Russian Students

Here’s an entertaining scene from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Russia from Tom Lasseter of McClatchey.  I suppose having planted questions like the Putin telethon is a step up from the Obama visit, which was banned from most television. 

Freshman Pavel Yankovsky was among the first to take the microphone: Nervously, he inquired about the financial crisis and why it started in the U.S. Like all the students who spoke, his English was good and his question seemed well rehearsed.

Clinton walked the audience through an abbreviated history of bad mortgages, derivatives and the false notion that free markets are infallible.

“It all seemed like a great idea at the time,” she said, launching into an explanation of how the need for more checks and balances in the economy reminds one of the balance of power in the American government.

Afterward,Yankovsky, a thoughtful 17-year-old in a dark suit, with a bushyhaircut threatening to go wild, didn’t talk about the details ofClinton’s response so much as the feeling he got listening to her. “Itwas brilliant,” he said.

“I think that is the main thing ourcountries should work on, moving from the past, Cold War era,” he said.What about the Soviet propaganda on the stage behind him? Yankovskyflicked his hand in that direction without looking and said: “I thinkthat the past we should leave as the past.”