LINDA WERTHEIMER, Host:
Good morning, Cokie.
COKIE ROBERTS: Hi, Linda.
WERTHEIMER: Now, obviously, President Obama is concerned about public reaction to his decisions on Libya, so the secretaries of State and Defense go out to prepare the way and make smooth the path. What was their message?
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ROBERTS: Here she is on NBC's "Meet the Press."
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HILLARY CLINTON: I think we prevented a great humanitarian disaster - which is always hard to point to something that didn't happen, but I believe we did.
ROBERTS: The question, of course, is what happens next, and how long the U.S. will be engaged in Libya. And the Cabinet secretaries were pretty clear that they really don't know the answer to those questions. And Secretary Gates said over - said a couple of times that Libya was really not a vital interest to the United States.
WERTHEIMER: Now what? And that is the question.
WERTHEIMER: So do you have any sense of how this is playing with the American people? Is the public on the president's side on military action in Libya?
ROBERTS: Former Speaker Newt Gingrich - who, by the way, yesterday said he's likely to announce his presidential bid soon - has been on both sides of the Libya question. But he insists that now that the president has said that Gadhafi must go, that U.S. credibility is at stake if Gadhafi stays. So he's putting pressure on President Obama to go further.
WERTHEIMER: Former Speaker Gingrich was not just talking on television. He was also in Iowa this weekend for the first recognized candidate event of the coming 2012 season. How'd that go?
ROBERTS: She did also, though, Linda, take a moment to honor Geraldine Ferraro, who died over the weekend, the first female candidate on a major party ticket for vice president. And Bachmann, among others, talked about how she paved the way for women in politics.
WERTHEIMER: NPR's Cokie Roberts, thank you very much.
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WERTHEIMER: It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News.
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