ask the final question. which of your friends are going to ask? >> we have one more question. >> not you, joe. [laughter] >> ten years after 9/11, the committee has made some -- had some differences with the 9/11 commission. specifically one that the fbi should be taken out of the domestic and mi5 created. i'd like your comment how well prepared we are ten years later and specifically whether the fbi has over come that hurdle or you still would recommend that? >> a third recommendation without of the wmd commission or finding inspite of all of the thing that is we have done to improve our security since 9/11, that our adversaries have been moving at even a faster pace.
therefore, the margin of safety has been declining. not enlarging a sense of 9/11. as to the fbi, i personally continue to feel that like most of the countries in the world, including the countries that are reputed to have the best intelligence services, such as the israelis, and uk, that we would be well served if we had a separate agency that was assigned singularly to domestic intelligence as opposed to having the fbi take that on. and there are a number of reasons. i guess the most immediate reason is just competence. we found the number of instances significant number of the 12 were instances where the culture of the fbi which is one of
waiting until a crime has been committed, gathering evidence sufficient to take before a prosecutor to get an indictment that required a beyond reasonable doubt standard of evidence to get a conviction. that's a quite different mindset than when your objective is preventing the crime being occurred in the first instance. and we think that the culture of the fbi is so engrained that it has demonstrated its somewhere between difficulty and inability to be an effective domestic intelligence agency. >> senator, thank you. on behalf of the national press club, i'd like to present you with the highly coveted national press club mug. which is our gift to all speakers here. >> boy, i'm going to keep this under good security. [laughter] >> i want to remind everyone that if you are not yet purchased a copy of the book,
they are for sale outside here. senator graham will remain until you have signed them all, i hope. >> yeah. >> i want to thank nicole hoffman and julie shoe for helping us arrange this evening. senator, it was great to see you. >> good to be here. [applause] [applause] >> this event was hosted by national press club in washington, d.c., for more information visit press.org. >> we continue with more from frankfurt, kentucky. up next, lindsey apple. she explores the life of senator henry clay. >> henry clay was an early 19th
century politician, statesman, he ran for president three times, tried to get the nomination on two others, failed on all occasions, but he's probably the best known nonpresident of that period. >> why is that? >> well -- dana walker howell argues that clay had the most expansive vision for the country of any politician of that period. he's speaking basically of the american system. which was an attempt to unify the country. we were a big country, in fact, most people thought we could not exist as a democracy. as large as we were. he believed through transportation, commerce, we could tie the country together. house says that he was a better visionary than he was a politician. he could not get other people to
go with him. if he could have stood out here on the front step and looked out to the west where interstate 75 and interstate64 come together, he would have told you by god, i told you so. that was what he had in mind. connect the country and it would stay together. it was a vision that was important. it is what we have become. secondary, and i don't think it was his intent, but that american system while it was not introduced nationally, it was portions of it was introduced in the northern states. so the northern states became superior to the southern states in commerce and industry and manufacturing. and that was a critical issue when civil war did break out ten years after clay's death. so he helped hold the country
together beyond his lifetime, i think. >> why do you think he was never able to get elected? if he was prominent, why wouldn't people follow him? >> that's the question that historians have asked for a long time. and i don't think there's one good answer. he was a whig. as a young man, he had been the rascal. john quincy adams called him the gamester. he liked to gamble, he was called the womanizer, he flirted a lot with women, he enjoyed the company of women, he drank significantly. the democrats never let him forget that and they never let the country forget it. he got the things under control as he aged, but the democrats weren't going to let him out from under that reputation. the other thing i think you have to look at is look at the country itself. it wasn't just clay who did not become president.
daniel webster, john c. calhoun, all three of them were giants in their period. but the nation rejected them. and took people with names like fillmore and tyler and names that were not as prominent. it was like the country didn't want strong leadership in that era, andrew jackson being the acception to that. >> and your book is about henry clay's family. what role did they flay in his political life? >> well, one the reasons i became interested in the study was because historians imply, sometimes state openly, that his family was a burden to him. that they restricted his ability to become president. i did a biography of a great granddaughter that was a poet. in the process of that, i began
to see a different picture. clay worked as hard at providing for his family and setting his sons up as he worked in holding the union together and simultaneously. a lot of people suggest, for example, that his wife was a burden. she did not like washington. glen says washington wasn't a very popular place for the family because of her. well, what i discovered was she went to washington with him regularly until 1835. by 1835, she had buried all six of her daughters, she had about six or seven grandchildren that she was raising here at ashland. and she, you know, she just did not have the time to go to
washington. she had other responsibility. when she was in washington, she basically supported his career, and was hardly the recluse that historians have painted her as being. the sons had their problems, and there is a strain of mood disorder that is evident in the early generations. all five of his sons suffered from melancholy or depression. melancholy was the 19th century term. with one exception, they became successful businessmen, one served in the house of representatives, one served in the state legislature, one -- two of them were tremendous horseman. they contributed significantly to the horse industry?
kentucky. so they were more than historians have described them as. and i began to see this and thought the story should be told. >> what were they doing that people thought they were a burden just because she doesn't like washington? >> well, she -- she was rather plain looking and somewhat dour looking. there's a stereotype of the two of them. i say it's the clay version of grant woods' painting, "american gothic" because they both look so dour. by that time, he's suffering from tuberculosis, she's had 11 children in 21 years, raised them, raised her grandchildren, you know, they had experienced some difficult times. tragedy is a key ingredient of
this family. it -- they had suffered beyond any measure. how clay kept going, i can't comprehend. i don't think i could withstand the tragedy that affected him with his children and grandchildren. but i think it was appearances, i any the stories began to be told, and it's like, you know, once the story is told, it never goes away. it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. and but they were -- the sons took a long time to find their way. they were very slow to find their way. one of them ended up in the lexington lunatic asylum, which, of course, fed the rumors about others. so it -- i think it's the circumstances of the family that
caused that belief to build. >> before all of the tragedy, what kind of life did they lead here at ashland? >> it -- i think it's a fairly normal life for the upper class of the society. clay loved having his children around him. one son, he built a home just to the east of here. in fact, it was on the edge of the property. they would come up and have dinner once a week with the family. the younger sons, another -- a daughter bought a home to the southwest of here. the sons would ride over to see her and she became as much of surrogate mother as the other children and grandchildren to take care of. ann would be the big sister to her brothers. they had slaves at that point in
time who took care of the children, who made sure they didn't get into trouble. they were pretty free to ride and romp as play as they would. you can imagine in the house, it's a large home. but for five or six or seven children at any one time, they get small quickly. they were out and about doing things. >> and when did the tragedy begin? when did it all go down hill? >> within a year of their marriage. their first daughter died at childbirth. they buried all six. only two made it to an age to marry that married very young in the 19th century and then childbirth killed both of them, they died shortly after having children.
but 1923, i think they lost two daughters. i have to check my dates here. but at least two daughters in that year. they lost two daughters result of the horrendous trip in washington, one died in ohio, and one died shortly after they arrived in washington. theodore, the oldest son ended up in the mental asylum and the treatment was day was worse than the illness. if they left him alone, he might have come out it have. but the treatment essentially dammed him to live the rest of his life in that facility. the youngest son suffered mental disorder and had to go there. but it was 15 years later. so it was late enough that the cure did not make