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Henry Kissinger and Robert Rubin discuss the advice they would give to the next president.

The next U.S. President, says former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, will be "drowned in conflict" if he tries to face all his problems at once.

Kissinger and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin debated diplomacy, development and defense at the Impact 08 forum, hosted by the Center for U.S. Global Engagement, in the Annenberg Auditorium last night.

In the forum, Kissinger and Rubin discussed the advice they would give to the next president as election day approaches.

Kissinger - who supports Republican nominee John McCain - emphasized the importance of prioritizing issues.

"In crisis, the urgent tends to drive out the important," he said.

Rubin, who supports Democratic nominee Barack Obama, said the next President would be facing "excruciating choices" and recalled Obama joking that it was "a little late" to be wondering if he really wanted the job.

The question of the United States' status of superpower beyond the present economic crisis led Kissinger to wonder if "there is a law of nature that the U.S. must be the single superpower in the world."

Rubin predicted that America will remain economically and militarily the most powerful country in the world but described China specifically as an "impressive, major economic force" and twice mentioned the U.S. debt to China.

On diplomacy with Iran, Kissinger advocated for negotiations and said some people see barriers to diplomacy as a "theological problem where someone has to be morally fit to be in the same room as us."

Regardless, "it's not just about getting in the same room," he said. "It's about doing things in the region so that Iran can do its part."

He also said that "if the Iranians are serious, they won't field Ahmadinejad as their negotiator," referring to the country's president.

Rubin's advice to improve the United States' moral authority abroad was to "close Guantanimo Bay" and not focus on imposing democracy in other countries, since economic reforms have taken place under authoritarian governments.

Kissinger said U.S. overseas development is "not a security issue," but rather an issue of "expressing our values."

Following the debate, former Navy Secretary John Lehman and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell spoke on behalf of the McCain and Obama campaigns, respectively. Lehman stressed foreign policy, while Rendell discussed the economy.

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