tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg May 14, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm EDT
>> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: in politics this week, donald trump has turned his attention to making peace with his party and his party making peace with him. hillary clinton, on the other hand, can't seem to stop senator bernie sanders. here with that and more of the week in politics is dan balz. the chief political correspondent for the "washington post." as always, please to have him. what do we make of the deal, or whatever it was that happened on thursday in washington? dan: charlie, i think as everyone seemed to state, this is a first step, not a final step.
it was an important set of meetings that donald trump had first with paul ryan, and then the house are public and leadership, and then the senate republican leadership. there was a joint statement almost as if this was a summit meeting where they expressed confidence they were beginning to get on the same page. we know that particularly with donald trump and speaker ryan, they are very different human beings. they come from very different backgrounds. they have very different views about the world. on a lot of policy issues, they are on very different sides of the coin. while they may have a similar desire to have a unified party heading into the fall elections, i think the expectations they are ever going to be exactly on the same page is probably a bridge too far. charlie: and they have two different concerns. donald trump, to win the
election, and paul ryan to make sure that the damage to the republican party, if there is some, is minimized. dan: i think that is absolutely right. if there is a top priority on capitol hill at this point as they look to the fall, it is not necessarily to elect donald trump. it is first and foremost to preserve majorities they have in the house and senate. obviously they would like a republican president, because they do not like the prospect of hillary clinton becoming president and having four more years of democrats controlling the white house, possibly eight more years of democratic control in the white house. but they will watch and wait warily as donald trump makes the evolution from candidate for the nomination to candidate for the general election. they and everyone else will be looking closely at the polls, particularly in the swing states, and at some point they will make a judgment as to whether donald trump is an asset, neutral, or a liability, and they will take their cues from that. we will see in the final months,
exactly whether everybody is pulling together, or whether they are looking to protect their own majorities. charlie: clearly, donald trump has said some things and done some things within the last week that worry the republicans. number one, the attacks on hillary clinton, seeming to suggest he will run that type of campaign, and some people are nervous about that. also he has also begun to hedge some of his positions, especially with respect to social security, on which he differs with paul ryan. how different are they on issues, rather than just style? dan: they are very different on some issues. on entitlements, social security in particular, donald trump and paul ryan are in totally different places. donald trump went through the primaries as essentially almost the lone republican who said we don't want to do anything to change the security -- social security. we want to make sure that this program stays basically where it is. paul ryan has been a champion
for entitlement reform, significant entitlement reform. so that's one issue. trade agreements are another area. republican orthodoxy is that free trade is good for this country, and donald trump has campaigned strongly with the idea that these trade agreements have been terrible for this country. i don't know how they reconcile that, either of those issues. on foreign-policy issues, donald trump is in a different place than many republicans are. take two examples -- one, what he said about nato. many republicans, most republicans, i would suspect would say this is one of the most important alliances in the history of the globe, and donald trump says we ought to rethink it entirely. also on the idea of a nuclear japan. he seems to have backed away on these things, but, charlie, one thing we have to keep in mind is that donald trump's a moving target on a lot of these issues, and has been his entire life.
he has been a democrat, or republican, liberal on certain issues, conservative on certain issues, and i think that is one thing that probably concerns a lot of republicans in particular. he could sit down in a meeting on any given day and sound like he has moved or is relatively close to where the republican leaders would like him to be, and he can go out on the campaign trail a day later and espouse something quite different. so that's one reason why these meetings, while important, are not necessarily going to be definitive. charlie: he also says he will have a different kind of campaign. he has one point, that he is a -- he is on the verge of winning the nomination, he is a presumptive nominee, and he has campaigned a certain way, with big rallies. he also doesn't have a huge organization. he has set the data does not mean much to him. he wants to get elected president in the same way he got the republican nomination. dan: if you are in his shoes, that is an entirely logical and rational position to take. he broke a lot of rules that people said could not be broken,
and he still managed to prevail in this battle. so in his own mind, i think he says, i have a sense of how the campaign ought to be run. without he has a communication style that is different than most candidates have ever had, and it has been successful up to this point in getting him to where he is. but a general election is a much bigger enterprise, in part because you are the head of the party, not simply a person trying to become the nominee. it is incumbent on you to do some other things to try to make sure that there is a full-scale organization, an adequate amount of money, and in a sense the data and sophistication of a modern campaign that a major political party should expect of its nominee. he is a long way from that. they are moving to beef up the campaign, but when he talks about things in the way he does, he is essentially saying, i am prepared to run a much different kind of campaign than we have
seen, or than the republicans might have expected with a different nominee. charlie: what kind of vice president is he looking for? he says he's looking for an insider. yes? dan: i think that's obvious, that he will want to try to go inside. he has indicated he wants somebody with legislative experience. does that mean he will pick somebody currently in congress? does it mean he could pick somebody who has had legislative experience in the past? john kasich, who has said repeatedly he will not take the job, but john kasich has both executive and legislative experience. you know, i think he's going to want somebody who has some political chops, but as to who that would be, and who is exactly prepared to serve with him, i don't think we really know. he said he's got a short list of five or six people. you have to take him at his word that he's got that. but i will be curious as to who
it's going to be. he has indicated we will not know the answer for that until the convention. so there's a long way to go on that. charlie: turning to the democrats, bernie sanders continues to win primaries. dan: he sure does, and he will probably win a couple more. he very well could win a couple more. i think the clinton campaign has always thought that until they get to that june 7 date, when you have california, new jersey, some other states, some interim stops on the trail would be more favorable to bernie sanders. they certainly were on tuesday night. it keeps the energy going in his campaign. it provides him with at least some rationale to say he will keep fighting. he obviously has to make a turn at some point, to figure out what his convention strategy is
going to be, and what his final strategy is going to be, because it sure doesn't look like he's going to be able to convert superdelegates to his side. but it continues to cause a problem for hillary clinton, that she will have to resolve once they get to the convention and had to be general election. the sanders supporters are not fully bought in to hillary clinton's campaign. charlie: in a significant way if you look at the exit polls. dan: yes. i think the longer this has gone on, and the more fight bernie sanders has shown, and in a sense the more support he has been able to demonstrate within a big chunk of the party, makes it all the more difficult for her to have an easy time putting the party back together. you know, this is a normal process that any nominee has to do after a hard-fought campaign. but there is a gulf between the sanders supporters and the rest of the party, or the other parts of the party, and i think that
has become a bigger problem over time than the clinton campaign would have thought, if we were talking two months ago or three months ago. charlie: we saw her this week move on medicare to a position a little left of where she had been, closer to where he wants to go. dan: she has continued to do that. he has pulled or pushed her or whatever word you want to use. pushed her to the left. she has continued to do that. i think in some ways, that's the reality of where the party is. it also may be vital to what she needs to do to win the election. i think that turning out the democratic vote will be first and foremost her priority as opposed to try to get swing voters, of whom there probably are not going to be that many in this election. we know that the democratic party is a more liberal party today than it was eight years ago, and certainly when her husband was the president.
she has had to make accommodations to that. she is much more of a centrist, and an incrementalist, not a big, bold person from the left. but she has steadily, over time, adopted a number of those policies, at least in spoken words -- she may have specifics that are different from bernie sanders. she has had to move left, and that may be a valuable asset for her in winning over sanders voters when they get to the convention. charlie: a lot of people looking forward to donald trump and hillary clinton as nominees. my question, will this be a transformative election, or simply a blip in the political landscape? dan: i think it will end up as a historic election, and a
consequential election. whether it is transformative, i don't know if we can answer that. if in the end, hillary clinton is sworn in in january 2017, many people would go back and say, what was all that about? we knew she was the favorite for the nomination. we knew she might well be the president, and we ended up in that place. it took a lot of unexpected twists and turns to get there. but i think that what we have been through this year, charlie, tells us we are in a different place in our politics. the sanders challenge to clinton has been more successful than anybody would have imagined, and it says something about a portion of the electorate and the grievances they have, and their suspicion of in a sense, establishment politics. certainly the trump success, in becoming the present of -- presidential nominee, amounts to that in spades. what the republican party will look like after this election, i'm am not prepared to say at this point. we know it is right now badly split. parties have a way of adapting, even after terrible losses.
if you were to lose in a significant way, they have to pick up the pieces, and perhaps they are equipped to do that. but in all sorts of ways, this election is saying something about our political process, about the state of the country, that i don't think we were as appreciative of as we are today. charlie: dan, thank you so much. a pleasure. dan: thank you, charlie. charlie: dan balz from "the washington post." back in a moment. stay with us. ♪
♪ charlie: michael kindley is here, he is a columnist for "vanity fair." slate"the founder of "l magazine. he is the previous editor of "harpers." dwight garner of the new york times says "he possesses probably the greatest journalistic voice of his generation." in 1993 he was diagnosed with parkinson's, a disease he hid for eight years. he writes about that and more in his new book, "old age: a beginner's guide." i am pleased to welcome michael kinsley. welcome. i second everything he said about you. what is interesting is that you view yourself as a kind of scout for the boomer generation. michael: that is the gimmick of the book.
is that i am experiencing what everyone is going to experience , unless they get run over by a truck. you know. if they die the way most people die, with some sort of ailment, it will resemble parkinson's, which is very much like growing old. charlie: the tremor is one thing. slowness of movement. michael: yes, slowness of thinking. charlie: thinking as well. michael: so, i figured i might as well make it useful. charlie: thank you, by the way. i am about two years earlier than the boomers, so i will take any advice i can get. we thank you for telling us what it will be like. i hope, maybe if we know what this will look like, we will want to speed up the alternatives. michael: there is a lot of good
research going on, but there is also a lot of good research not being funded. charlie: research that would do what? help us understand what happens cellular and aging -- in aging? michael: at all levels, you have your dna, and the key thing is, they make, i never -- what do they call, this is one of the symptoms -- the tip of the tongue. i'm not just playing. charlie: this is part of the research, trying to understand the aging process at a cellular level as well as how it affects the way the systems work. and understanding the effects on the brain, parkinson's being a disease of the brain, as is alzheimer's, as is multiple sclerosis, and als, and so many of those diseases.
they affect the brain, the muscles, the way you breathe. michael: the doctor who operated on me when i had my brain surgery says -- he's a great believer in that. he says it will be a 45 minute operation in a doctor's office. it will not require a hospital. charlie: the operation that took you eight or nine hours. michael: yes. charlie: they drilled and did something? michael: they attached -- they drill down from here, and attached wire, which ends in a point, and then they come in from the other direction with a, with the thing i can't remember, and they attach those. if they get it right, it puts out a little electrical signal which block the electrical signals that cause parkinson's. something like that.
charlie: did you set out to write about old age, and it turned out to be more about parkinson's, and this scouting expedition? michael: not really. that's the gimmick of the book, and as i say in the book, the, anyone who wishes to buy it under this misconception, go ahead. [laughter] charlie: but people might think you do what you always have done in your career, able to look at something that others have looked at, and explain it in a way that is more penetrating and more interesting, and written better, and to show us, sometimes a contrary and quite a few, or sometimes a view from a different perspective. michael: i will take that. charlie: you will take that too? let's talk about parkinson's for a second. what was the first symptom? when did you know maybe something is not working? michael: i guess it was my right
hand, it was stiff, and a little bit shaky. i asked my internist, should i do something about this? he said, you could go see a neurologist. and neurologist took one look and said, you've got parkinson's. charlie: one look. michael: i have no idea what parkinson's was, except for the fact my colleague mort, his wife had it. charlie: he wrote a wonderful book about it. michael: yes. that was how i found that. charlie: and you didn't, as you say, you did not announce it to the world. michael: no. charlie: you didn't announce it to your friends even. michael: one or two arbitrary exceptions. charlie: because you don't want -- as everyone said, you don't want people to think of you in a different way. you don't want people to think you are somehow not you -- who you have always been.
michael: yeah. a women at a dinner party after i had gone public offered to cut my meat for me, even though i had just eaten the first course without any trouble. but she did not see that. she looked through that at the parkinson's. she was well-meaning. charlie: of course. were you angry? michael: no. i feel, i just lost the lottery. and i have done pretty well with the lottery. charlie: you have, in a sense. the accomplishments. you say all these wonderful things. i want to get to them. for example you talk about the four competitions. michael: ok. charlie: typical kinsleyan analysis. michael: you start out wanting
things. charlie: material things. michael: the famous bumper sticker, "he who dies with the most stuff wins." but ask somebody five minutes before they die, would they trade all the maserati and everything else for more time? they would say yes. charlie: more time with their families. michael: right. so maybe it is not things. it is life expectancy. but then you think -- charlie: charlie: living longer. michael: then you think more and you think what good is life expectancy if you have lost your marbles? so what you really want is a long life, with your cognition intact. then you think, well, you are going to be dead longer than you are alive, and what really matters is the reputation you
leave behind. charlie: that's what stays. it lives longer than you have. michael: a canadian scholar wrote a book last year in which she, in which she said, jane austen was nothing special but that she had people working for her, she had pr forces working to make her, make her reputation. and apparently, for the half a decade before she died and this other woman died, she was regarded as number two. but fortunately for her, she had her brother, i think. charlie: you also tell the story of a magazine you love, "the new yorker," and you are prepared to be the new editor, and you told
them about the parkinson's. and you suggested, because i have parkinson's, and you don't want to go through with this, i understand. correct? michael: yeah, basically. charlie: tell me. michael: basically, he offered me the job and then he withdrew it almost immediately. charlie: because of something you said? michael: it was, i think yes, i think so. i have no evidence, and i am really sort of a little bit sorry i put this story in the public. charlie: why? michael: because i was really mad. i was really angry. i was really angry. i felt it had been given to me, then taken away.
but in retrospect, i got to finish creating "slate," and then i met my wife, and there's a lot of good things. and david remnick has been an excellent editor of "the new yorker." so it all ended up more or less happily. charlie: speaking of magazines, you also say you don't want to write another book. that books are not your best form, that you are a column man, a magazine man. michael: 1200 words is my ideal length, and i will stick to that. charlie: when you finally decided you had to people, what happened? why did you do that? because it would be obvious? michael: the symptoms do not stay still, but they move pretty slowly. but they have not stayed still, and more people were finding out. also, the people i told were telling other people, and the
secret was not going to hold. so i wrote a piece. that's what journalists do. charlie: you are best known for a piece about how hard it was, i think way back when, maybe for the "new york times magazine," i don't remember, how hard it was to find an apartment in new york, the most famous piece you say you have written, despite how many columns, how many things about politics, culture. michael: it was. any time you can get someone to write about a personal experience that has larger ramifications, that is the sort of piece that i like. charlie: it is the sort of piece i like as well to when you look at this thing in terms of being a scout, and your friends say, what should i do? do you say grin and bear it?
michael: there's nothing you can do about parkinson's, for the moment, except that the symptoms can be controlled pretty well. charlie: and that's what you have done. michael: yes. plus i had the operation, the deep brain stimulation. there will be big breaks. -- breakthroughs. charlie: when? michael: that's what i keep asking the doctor when i see him every six months. charlie: talking about baby boomers, you also, you call for them to have a cause. to have purpose before they die. you want them to have some grand, generational gesture. michael: yes. charlie: your choice is interesting to me -- which is -- michael: a little boring. charlie: it's a little like when bono said that debt relief is what africa needs, and people were surprised, that a man who is considered a poet was mostly interested in debt relief.
michael: he's right. i have taken a lot of ribbing. about four or five years ago, i wrote a piece saying that i think inflation will still be a problem, a terrible problem, unless we do something about it. i got beaten over the head by everybody, and so far at least i'm wrong. but i think, you know, unless you can spend as much money as you want, and never pay it back, and just live like that -- charlie: there is a day of reckoning. what do you think, michael, i want you to tell me, all of us, within the range of your generation, you are several years younger than i am.
-- older than i am. what is it you think you had? michael: gosh. i know what we had in terms of what we got from our parents. which is the ideal 1950's upbringing looks pretty good. it's what i had. i feel extremely fortunate that i did. charlie: were you born with the ability to write? michael: no. writing is painful no matter how long or how little you have been at it. charlie: let's turn a little to politics. one word sticks out in your definition of donald trump, "phony." michael: does anyone want to challenge that?
charlie: he would. he won all those primaries. he was voted by citizens of the united states. michael: yes. it's distressing because it suggests there is a larger gap than people previously thought. charlie: this is just some -- what do you think? michael: i am looking forward to voting against him. charlie: you think he will flame out? michael: yes. i think -- people say how exciting this campaign is going to be. i think the excitement is over. charlie: just his nomination, her nomination. michael: the convention will be entertaining. charlie: if you had a choice to vote between bernie sanders and hillary clinton, which would you vote for? michael: i would vote for hillary because i think bernie
sanders, although he's really the most remarkable person to emerge from this all, does not understand basic economics and is not -- hillary, i think, she is the establishment, and she will always compromise. charlie: that's what trump says he will do. "i am a transactional man," he says. michael: he does deals. charlie: i do deals. i negotiate. that's what they call the nuclear thing with iran -- the iran nuclear deal. michael: his case is the deals are the way the world goes around.
charlie: that's all congress its legislation which is what used to happen. michael: the nuclear deals, i wrote a little thing in the post, "washington post" about this. remember nixon and kissinger thinking this is a game theory strategy. it is not such a terrible thing if people think you are crazy, because, you know, -- charlie: unpredictable. michael: if you look and there is putin, and both sides are threatening to push the button, who are you going to believe? charlie: remember what sonny liston said about muhammad ali after losing to him. he famously said to muhammad ali about him, "i ain't scared of no man except a crazy man." michael: that's it.
charlie: and nixon and kissinger showed a bit of that? michael: kissinger even does not deny. i'm not sure. charlie: this is a tough question for me. but you were very close to bill buckley. michael: well -- charlie: he liked you a lot. he respected your mind. he respected you. you were one of the interrogators on his show. michael: i liked him a lot. charlie: he famously said to me here, on this program, "i'm ready to die." i said, how can you say that? he said, i'm not ready to commit suicide but i can't do all the things that brought me joy. i can't travel and make speeches. i can't sail. i can't run the magazine. all the things that brought me so much joy in my life, i can't do, so i'm ready. michael: well, i have a longer
list and him. i'm not ready. charlie: a longer list of things you can't do? michael: the things that i want to do. charlie: what are they? just give me a hand. -- hint. michael: i would like to have another journalistic adventure, or something. create something again, like "slate." charlie: create something in a was. giveike "slate" me what that might be? michael: i don't know. charlie: but you are open to the idea, a new storytelling form. michael: i think people are struggling to find it today, longform journalism and so on. i don't think anyone has nailed it yet. i would like to be that person. charlie: you think jeff bezos is trying to nail it at "the washington post" in some way? michael: yes. jeff bezos is the type -- there are two types of proprietors.
one who says we are going -- i am just going to be happy with a small loss every year, and then there's one that says, i'm going to spend a little money and really make this good. usually, they don't last very long. the second type. charlie: but if jeff bezos is the second type, he has deep pockets. michael: yes, and he's also smarter than just about anyone you ever meet. charlie: absolutely. and in fact, not only smarter, but he has a sense of being able to look around the corner. i mean what started out as an online bookseller is now -- and he just made another announcement where he will challenge youtube. he has taken that retail of selling books to i want to sell everything to everybody, to
creating an enterprise in the cloud, and now he says he will challenge youtube. michael: i would be scared if i were youtube. charlie: i would. but stay with me on this. you have a long list. one is to find a form. what else? michael: to see places i have never seen. in my career, i have not done a hell of a lot of traveling. like everybody, to see grandchildren grow up, and well, those are three things. it would take a lot of time. charlie: do you have a sense of urgency about this? michael: well, yes. that's one of the good aspects of parkinson's as i say in the book. it gives you a sense of urgency, without really causing you to
much inconvenience, at least in the beginning. charlie: what has been the most important thing in helping you deal with all of this? i mean, clearly patty and family -- michael: i don't know. just, i think i'm pretty good at just taking what comes. this is what came. charlie: you said dementia is especially cruel. what you said about diseases of the brain. michael: well, yes. what i should have emphasized more in this book, you know, we take physical ailments in stride. you break your leg, so you broke your leg. in six months it will heal. and no one gets turned down for
a job because they have a broken leg, or it must be very rare. but mentally, caugh cognitively, it is a different story. i took a cognitive exam. i took several just to see what was going on, if there was any progress, and they did show some regress, i guess you would call it. but not all that much. it's like having a broken leg, or not even that serious but it does exist. charlie: what brings you the most satisfaction? michael: the most satisfaction in life? i guess i better say -- charlie: family and all that. but is it finding a great book to read?
is it having somebody tell you something you didn't know in an interesting way? is it a scintillating debate at a dinner table where you can argue your point, which you have done so well in so many different forums and mediums? michael: you are giving me too much credit. you are saying, because i like arguments that i win. [laughter] charlie: did he win most of the time? michael: you are talking in the past tense. charlie: are you continuing to win? michael: i do ok. charlie: you certainly do. the book is "old age: a beginner's guide." michael kinsley, thank you. michael: thank you, charlie. charlie: back in a moment. stay with us. ♪
♪ charlie: jon meacham, the executive editor and executive vice president at random house. his book "american lion" was awarded the pulitzer prize for biography. he also wrote of everything andt thomas jefferson george bush. he is a proud graduate, and i recently went with him, where i gave the commencement speech. we sat down for an event called "the art of conversation."
here it is. i grew up as an only child, with huge curiosity. it began with my father who went to world war ii, and my mother moved back to a small village of 100 and helped her father run a country store. when my father came back, he stayed for a while and commuted to a business he had about 20 miles away. in the formative years between 2 and 12, i literally lived above the store. what the store did for me, it was a very southern thing. it was a meeting place. it was a hub, place where people
came and was the center of the town. with only 100 people and a railroad through the middle. with the service station on one side and my grandfather's business on the other. it was a place they gathered. there was not much television, in terms of what they were doing in the evening so they would come to talk and share experiences. i was a young man, you had to ask questions to be a part, for them to listen to you. and if you knew something about sports, a little bit about politics, a little gossip, a little bit sense about crops and farming, you could do ok. i quickly learned that. so questions became my entree. you were always around older people. jon: yes. charlie: how did that affect you? jon: i don't know. i am much younger than my age in terms of my attitude. i always have been. i have always been independent. for example in the middle of my , high school years, i got on a
greyhound bus and went north, and i ended up in hyannisport, when john kennedy was president, and saw him there. i got a job working at the hyannisport inn, where the press would stay. there is an independent spirit i had. it did nothing to diminish that. that sense of wonder lust. charlie: also, i would imagine it gave you a sense of a disposition to listen. i realized i learned more listening than talking, which is true of many people. not everyone. [laughter] certainly not in this political campaign. jon: we learn to read and write in school. how can we teach listening? what advice would you give people to be better listeners? charlie: i thought about this.
it's also about interviewing. to be a good interviewer, you have to be a good listener, and to listen you have to be in the moment. to listen, you have to hear, not just listen. you have to really let it wash over you in a way that you can't overanalyze it, but you have to see clearly. what is someone saying, and why are they saying it? jon: what was that? [laughter] just kidding. charlie: that's why your the interviewee. [laughter] jon: this is from a graduate. when i read hunter thompson's "fear and loathing on the campaign trail," i read prose about partisan politics that would fit into today's discourse. could it be that the discourse has not changed much, but rather that we look at the past through
rose-colored glasses?" charlie: maybe. what do you think? jon: as i like to say about jefferson, at least my guy did not get shot in jersey. it has always been rough. i think one of the reasons we have hyperbole in american , and sewanee is a particularly good place to offer this point -- there's two ways of looking at the american experiment. if you look at it from the theological point of view, the providential one, you may tend to believe we are a country that has been given extraordinary blessings and therefore has extraordinary obligations. much is given, much is expected. so our politics are hyperbolic if you view the world in a theocentric way, because this is
a quasi-divine project and the stakes are so high. flip it around. if you are entirely rationalistic, and you believe what i just said is wrongheaded, even if you are entirely a creature of the enlightenment, this is the most significant experiment in enlightenment-era thinking and in the creation of a system of checks and balances to try to maximize the possibility of reason operating on human affairs and human fashions. so you are hyperbolic about it because it is the most high-stakes project you can imagine. so from either worldview, either highly rationalistic or highly religious, it is incredibly important, each political moment is incredibly important. so we are forever at a turning point. charlie: how many people in this audience have seen "hamilton?" i urge you to see it when you
come to new york, except don't go for another year. [laughter] because you can't get tickets. you see a lot of that. it is based on that book on hamilton. it is a wonderful thing, because it has made people think about our history. people who have forgotten who alexander hamilton was other than he was on the $10 bill. they knew he was a financial genius, and they knew about the federalist papers, that he wrote at least 45% or 50% of them. yet he had this remarkable life. but, you know, they got him because of an affair. he was different in that he fessed up and insisted on writing a letter as to why he did it. , he schemed to win the president. you know that. jon: he planned strategically. i don't think he schemed.
[laughter] charlie: what comes out of his book about jefferson. one, jefferson was a political creature, and whatever else he did, he was a political creature. jon: and he was ambivalent about it, which is -- remember, the author of the declaration -- charlie: it is said about bush 41 that the bush family sort of wanted to say, we want a government that is really good at governing, but we will do everything we can to get elected. willie horton, exhibit one. hiring the group of people he hired to run the campaign. roger ailes was a principal advisor to george bush. having been to see him, enjoying his company, receiving letters from him -- but at the same time, to the point being made here, coarseness in american
politics is not new. jon: it is forever hyperbolic, and it will be forever hyperbolic, because every moment feels so fraught. so i don't think we look back with -- obviously, we have to beware looking back nostalgically. but at the same time, we should not be fearful and look back to say, this was a moment where congressman george herbert walker bush, when he was presenting the seventh district from houston, two years under lyndon johnson, two years under richard nixon, he voted with lyndon johnson 52% of the time. imagine today, a republican from texas voting with barack obama 52% of the time. charlie: that's the absence of bipartisanship, too.
that has really been lost. even if you go back recently, to ronald reagan, ronald reagan and tip o'neill. ronald reagan was prepared to compromise. donald trump has said that's what he will be, that he is a transactional human being. jon: do you believe that? charlie: to a degree. yes, to a lot of degrees. oliver wendell holmes said franklin roosevelt had a second-class mind and first-class temperament. bob gates will tell you today, and he has served lots of presidents, he will point to eisenhower, reagan, and say they had the right temperament, and that's what i think people miss with donald trump. i think trump is a product, he's really not a product of business. business was what he did. he's a product of celebrity, a
product of "the apprentice." he's a man who somehow got some insight and this is what he has used about television, media, from the experience he has. and it is unlike any other presidential candidate. jon: you have interviewed how many presidents? charlie: back to nixon. nixon famously said to me, i was trying to probe into why, one of my favorite questions. nixon said to me, "i don't like this psychological stuff." [laughter] things might have been a little different if he had. [laughter] [applause] charlie: i don't want to go there. jon: where does obama fit in your sense?
charlie: i am ambivalent. to me, he is so convinced and his party believes he is the smartest person in the room, and he is the most curious decision -- person in the room and he makes the decision that he knows what he knows and he does it. bob gates, for example, told me george bush 43, he would have the cabinet there and they would be lined up, and he would talk to them and ask what they thought. were as obama, this is the same bob gates in the same seat, he would have seven other people, and you would see some staff member in the fifth row who has not raised his hand, to avert his eyes, and he will call on him and say, what do you think? does this resonate with you? so there's a lot of things i like about him.
i think he has brought dignity to the office. [applause] jon: so a final question. you spent a lot of time thinking about long-term trends. economic, scientific, technological. how hopeful are you about the next generation or two? charlie: very. i said to president obama, and he has said this, we have the strongest military, we have the strongest economy, the most technological skills, 18 of the top 20 universities, all these things. so i said to him, what could stop us from owning the 21st century? not owning it completely, because it is not a zero-sum game and we should not be -- he said to me, our politics. i tend to agree with that.
♪ >> this place seems like make-believe, or perhaps the fever dream of a design blogger. no one in their right mind would build a hotel in a forest and stick the rooms up in some trees. but then again, it sort of fits perfectly. because this is sweden, and the treehouse hotel oozes swede. it is nature fornicating with