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You were a big supporter of affirmative action when you ran the Office for Civil Rights during the Clinton Administration. Are you worried about what the Supreme Court is going to do in the affirmative-action and school-integration cases it will rule on this spring?
To pretend we can make ourselves color-blind in fact by declaring ourselves color-blind in law is completely unrealistic to me, and I hope the Supreme Court will not follow a recent pattern of showing a pious acknowledgment of the existence of discrimination followed by condemnation of an effort to do anything about it.
Is the country ready for a black President?
The people in the United States, just like the people in the Commonwealth [of Massachusetts], are further ahead than some pundits give them credit for. It's not that they are or wish to be color-blind. They are so hungry for real leadership that they are willing to look past differences.
Our current President has one degree from Harvard. You have two. Have you thought about higher office?
Perry, if you don't get off that ... [Laughs.] I have not thought about that. I didn't run for this job in order to get some other job.
As an Illinois native, which team do you root for, Chicago's White Sox or Boston's Red?
Since I've been a candidate, I only root for the home team.