[MUSIC PLAYING] CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN: My experience in this arena stretches back 40 years. I hate to admit it, but that's true. Actually, it goes back further than that. But in real public service, it's 40 years.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, I worked in the first Nixon administration down in Washington. In the 1990s, I served as a-- 1980s, excuse me-- I served as a countywide elected official. In the 1990s, I was governor of the state of New Jersey. And in the first decade of this century, I served under President Bush as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency at the federal level.
And there's no doubt in my mind that, over this period, government's ability to enact sensible policy has been increasingly crippled by the partisanship that almost defies description. And when you talk to people who served 20 years ago and people who are serving today, you will note an enormous difference. And they will tell you, those who served earlier, that it's not the way it was.
And as a result of that, the ability of government, unfortunately at every level-- not just at the federal level, but it's increasingly coming down-- to make positive difference in people's lives has been really diminished. I mean, I went into politics to make a difference. But to make that kind of difference today, and with the hyper-partisanship that we have, is much, much tougher than it should be. To an ever-increasing degree, what passes as smart politics is frustrating the passage of smart policy.