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Commentary

Mattis Flips the Tables on Audience: 'You're Locked in Here with Me'

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You don’t get the nickname “Mad Dog” by being a shrinking violet in interviews — and a whole room of people at the American Enterprise Institute found that out the hard way this week.

Yes, Defense Secretary James Mattis was visiting AEI to be interviewed by Peter Robinson, known to conservative political geeks all over this fruited plain as the host of the undeniably awesome “Uncommon Knowledge.”

The event was part of the 2018 edition of AEI’s Podcast Summit, which prompted Robinson to bring his decades-old interview television show/podcast to Washington, D.C., on Friday.

If you attended, you weren’t to be disappointed. As Independent Journal Review noted, Mattis joked that “the people in attendance were there under false pretenses.”

“None of you understand. I’m not locked up in here with you,” Mattis told the audience. “You’re locked up in here with me.”

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The event was semi-live-tweeted by conservative writer Stephen Miller (completely unrelated to the presidential adviser of the same name), who was decidedly impressed by Mattis’ bearing.



Do you think James Mattis has been a good secretary of defense?


Just a reminder to mute that shutter sound on your phone, folks. And whatever you do, don’t bring an SLR. Please, for the love of Pete, don’t bring an SLR.

There were some other pretty awesome Mattis comments during the interview, including this gem: “I don’t have stress. I create it.” And doesn’t Kim Jong Un know it.

This wasn’t the first time that Mattis has appeared on “Uncommon Knowledge.” Mattis, in fact, was a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, which produces the show, until his appointment as defense secretary.

However, judging by reactions on Twitter, the interview was fairly wide-ranging. Mattis discussed the National Defense Strategy, noting that it was switching from terrorism to state security as a goal. He also talked about the Syria conflict and other issues:

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When the podcast is released, I’m hoping for a few more golden quotes. As Independent Journal Review noted, this is a man who’s famous for saying, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” That’ll beat “strategic patience” any day of the week.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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