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Sen. Clinton Surveys Katrina Aftermath

This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," September 5, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: We had lots of visitors today in Houston, including two former presidents of the United States and several members of Congress, including Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose own state went through September 11 (search) and had much damage and heartache. Let's listen to the interview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

So Senator, your state, New York, has gone through this hell. What's your advice for both Houston and Louisiana, and Mississippi and Alabama?

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, D-N.Y.: Well, obviously, I'm here in part because America was so generous to New York after 9/11, and we had enormous help both from the federal government, as well as from private individuals, corporations. Everybody chipped in. And our recovery was much more possible because of that.

Now, though, the dimensions of this disaster, the hundreds of thousands of people who are directly and indirectly affected, you know, it means that we're in this for the long term, and I hope everybody understands that. And I'm going to do everything I can when I get back to Washington tomorrow to make sure that the people of New Orleans and the surrounding parishes and up and down the Gulf Coast in Alabama and Mississippi, everybody who's been affected gets the help that they deserve from America.

VAN SUSTEREN: Let me ask you sort of an odd question. What can the media do? I mean, it's, like, you know, we follow this around, but you've been through this in New York, and you know, we have our job. But how can we sort of help the whole process?

CLINTON: Well, I think the media has done a good job over the last seven, eight days. You have brought home to America and the world the enormity of the suffering and loss that has happened. And stay with it. Don't get diverted from this story. This is, you know, something that will take months and years even to define and analyze. And the media can't just go to another story. And maybe now there has been a seriousness of purpose, you know, that really gives the media a chance to, you know, turn away from some of the celebrity stories of the moment.

And let's look at how we're living in America. Let's look at the challenges that people face every day, and then let's be sure that we do everything we can to follow the individuals who are going to be so drastically transformed in this effort.

You know, I think that — when I look at those pictures — I've been to New Orleans a lot. I'm familiar with the surrounding area, the parishes up and down the Gulf Coast. I know those people have lots and lots of friends. Living in Arkansas, we used to go, you know, down there all the time. And I just want to be sure that Americans know that we're going to need help for months and years to come. And the media has to help us to remind ourselves of that.

VAN SUSTEREN: How do we avoid disaster fatigue, meaning the government, the private givers, the corporations, the media — how do we avoid getting disaster fatigue and sort of forgetting about this? We all have the enthusiasm right now, you know, let's help these people. I mean, this is not a short-term project. How do we stay on it?

CLINTON: By staying on it and by doing what has been done the last several days, which are sort of the human aspects of this story. You know, let's follow some of the people who have been dislocated from their home. Let's see if they do get jobs. Let's see if they do get help. Let's see if their kids get into school. Let's see if they get the medical care they need.

You know, there is no more important issue, and so I hope that both from a civic perspective and, frankly, from a moral perspective, Americans don't get fatigued and the media doesn't get fatigued because we have a lot ahead of us.

VAN SUSTEREN: Any thought on Texas and Houston, how they've done? How have they done?

CLINTON: They've done well. They have done really well.

VAN SUSTEREN: I want to tell you, walking through the Astrodome, when people — when members of Congress show up or even celebrities show up, it's a little bit of an inspiration to these people. It's, like, you know...

CLINTON: You don't want anybody to feel forgotten.

VAN SUSTEREN: No, no. But I'm saying just the walkthrough is huge for everybody.

CLINTON: Well, that's what we're going to go to.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, Senator.

CLINTON: Thanks, Greta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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