the hard stuff". lawrence block to me is a terrific, terrific mystery writer. that's at the top of my list. if i wasn't here tonight, i'd go read lawrence block. yeah, i think lawrence block is terrific. and then george who is a mystery writer who writes about mysteries that are set in washington, d.c. has a new book coming out. his wife told me about it. because she exercised at the same y that i go to. i'm looking forward to that. you know, he has -- he sets scenes on streets that i travel every day. i want to see what george has done. >> tell us what you are reading this summer. send us a tweet at booktv. >> up next on booktv, christine o'donnell, 2010 candidate for the senate in delaware recalls her campaign and her thoughts on political issues. this is about 45 minutes.
[applause] >> thank you. i want to start first off by thanking catherine and ronnie for organizing this, and for inviting me here as i've said on many trips to manhattan, i've attended events here. it's an honor to be on this side of the podium. thank you for that. i also want to apologize for being so late. i know that's not respectful of your time. so please accept my apology. we started out at, you know, about 5:00 in the morning at fox and friends and we've literally gone nonstop up until the final stop at cnn a few minutes ago. when one interview goes late, it just kind of piles up and everything is is late. i sincerely apologize. what i want to do tonight is really address what's on your mind and answer your questions. not just about the book or about the 2010 campaign, but also
about moving forward. i'm going to try to keep my remarks short to quickly get to the q & a. i want to start by talking about why i wrote the book and what i hope to accomplish with this book. i wrote the book because our party is certainly at a cross roads, and there's a division. and going forward, i truly believe we have to unite. as a matter of fact, i extend it on one my fox interviews for carl rove and i to kiss and make up so we can go forward a united party. i do talk a lot about the cronyism of the leaders of delaware. the leaders have been ousted. the reason that i bring it up is not to perpetuate is or fan the flames, but to put it to rest and to say that if that crony
crowd would embrace the principals that the grassroots crowd that our party was founded on, not just our party, but our country was founded on, we will be a power house if we can unite. and i detail some the things that my campaign has endured and what i went through as a candidate. again to illustrate a point of what happens when we divide, instead of when we unite. everybody knows it's not secret that the 2012 elections -- the republican party was divided. but i think that there are some examples to look at. i draw the contrast between kentucky and my own race. where in kentucky we had the nrsc and senator mitch mcconnell really campaigning against rand paul. you know, he was the worst thing to happen to politics until he won the primaries. the day after he won the
primary, the two, you know, mitch mcdonnell -- mcconnell and rand paul were arm in arm. we have to move forward to make sure this guy crosses the finish line. unfortunately that didn't happen in delaware. but it's not to happen in order for us to win in 2012. so that's the message that i hope that people can take away with them by reading this book. i tried to tell the story of how i got involved in politics. and what made me embrace the principals that i did and why i chose to become a republican. and i told it in a way that some political advisors have said was a little too honest. i probably shouldn't have admitted some things, but i did that again so that the reader can relate. because it's not about how many mistakes we've made, or if we've ever fallen. because you simply cannot pretend to be perfect. it's too exhausting and too
weary to keep up that. we're human. it's about whether you get back up. whether you are willing to own up to your mistakes, correct your mistakes, and whether you are willing to forge ahead and inspite of the opposition. that's why i chose to address many of the things i did in my book and talk about where i came from and some of the hardships that i endured so that people can be inspired to get involved. when i was on the campaign trail, i met so many people. and in the last chapter, i talked about one the stories where my sister and i -- my sister, jenny, was working with me on the campaign trail. we stopped to get gas. she ran in to pay the woman behind the counter. when she saw the o'donnell for u.s. senate sticker, the woman said tell your sister we are rooting for her.
she went on to clearly articulate her frustration. she said you can do more than hope that she wins, you can vote for her. her response was really telling. you know, she said, i'm not political. i'm not the type who votes. and i chose to tell that story not to shame her, but because there's the mindset that, you know, a certain elite control the political party. and they forget, or not just the political party, but the political establishment on both sides of the aisle, and the people who are impacted by this policy forget that you can get involved. not only can you get involved, but you must get involved. so i talk about some very practical application and you here in the room especially the republican women, you guys are the leaders and especially being manhattan republican women. [laughter] >> i've often said women politicians have a double standard.
conservative politicians have a -- face is even more, a double whammy, republican women in manhattan, you guys is a triple whammy. so i really hope the book can inspire you that inspite of the op i guessposition you might fae have a winning message. the beginning party is is a story. how i got involved, where i came from, how i got involved in politics. maybe we'll get to it during the q & a. i'll tell you i got involved because i thought the boy signing up at the republican table were cute and they were paying $75 to go pass out literature on election day. what college student, especially in the early '90s would turn down that large sum of money.
although my motives might have been a little wrong to begin with, i found that i truly stumbled upon something that i loved. being in that environment and especially this was in north jersey, i got to talk to some of the local candidates and ask them questions. and, you know, i was a little too naive to realize that you can't ask these candidates these challenges questions, but, you know, why do you stand for this? why do you take this position? you know, in case i knock on the door and they ask me about this, can you explain this? and that sort of curiosity got people's attention and then from there, you know, what might not have started out as the right reasons, it tapped into a passion in me. i realize i like what the republicans have to say. i think i'm republican, and i don't know what i was registered at the time quite honestly. but from there i found myself i got invited to actually work on
the bush-quayle campaign as a youth leader at the convention in houston in 1992. again, just being a curious college student asking people questions and that, you know, the people who were around me embracing that. did not looking down that i was young, that's what brought me into my political career. and then i close it with some practical application about the principals that the republican party stands for. because again, these are not just the principals on which the party was founded, these are the principals on which the country was founded. i try to give some practical application about the policies that we need to embrace moving forward. and what we can do for those people like the woman that we met at gas station that said i'm not the political type. i get it. i used to think that. then suddenly i found myself the political type, very much the political type. again, you have to get behind
the mindset. i closed the chapter with practical application. with some of the policy stuff that i talk about, there's a chapter that i called the freedom food chain. because one thing that, you know, we all are saying is that government is too big, the size of government blows -- you know, exploded under obama and recently i've heard some democratic pundits saying don't the republicans get it's a big thing. big government is a good thing. government is supposed to take care of the people. unless we can clearly articulate why no big government is not a good thing, we're going to lose. i also talk about, there's a chapter called defeating the power of the sound bite. especially inman that manhattanu might feel frustrated. i of all people understand that.
yet we have power right now. information technology has put the power back into the hands of the people and especially woman who are the activist who are the unsung heros in many major advancement in american history. you are the ones who can take this information into the pta meetings, into the little league games, into, you know, your arenas, into your jobs, and help talk about this. help counter that culture of misinformation that tends to plague some mainstream media. so i talk about, you know, defeating the power of the sound bite, how the sound bite derives it's power in the first place, and then i also talk about some practical arguments against socialism. because again that's a topic that's coming up a lot as we head towards the 2012 elections is that, you know, a lot of people say obamacare is the final nail on the coffin. that's what's going to cement this entitlement culture that we
have and push us over the edge. the democrats pundits are saying isn't socialism a good thing? i try to address the flaws. which is number one, it reduces the value of the individual to that which is cost effective. you see that very clearly with socialized medicine. if it's not cost effective, that person doesn't deserve that treatment. but number two, you could then say well what about modeling some socialist, you know, systems like france. you know, we model their fashion, isn't it cool to, you know, everything french is, you know, hip and cool. so why not have america model the french socialism where it's compassionate. isn't that okay? no, it's not okay. it's not right to put that kind of oppression on people. and the second flaw that i point
out and i go into greater detail about this. in a socialist economy, if you don't already have the means to get ahead, it's very likely that you and generations to come will stay dependent on the government. and that's the problem with the socialist model. it's that it snuffs out the american dream. the american dream on the campaign trial, i would ask people what do you think the american dream is? what do you think the american dream is? so often people would raise their hand, to have a car, house, or even to say to have a car and a house for your family. and that sounds great, and you might think isn't that the definition. but it's not. to me the definition of the american dream is to be able to hard work, to earn that house, to earn that car, and that is the american dream. that no matter where you've come from or what kind of economic
background you may have started in, if you are willing to work hard, and sacrifice and go the extra mile and exercise the spirit of entrepreneurship and make those creative sacrifices and take the blows and take the hits and have several failed business before your business model finally succeeds, you will leave your children and grandchildren a better future. and in a socialist model, there simply doesn't apply for that room for that profit margin when more than half of it is going to pay for taxes and, you know, these -- what are they called in france? social fees which is a euphemism for more taxes. there's not enough profit. we have to remember the principals and we have to remember that not too long ago,
democrats supported this as well. going into 2012, we have to have, i believe, the radical, ideological reawakening of the principals that made our country great and can still make our country great. i don't think it's too late. but it will take a lot of work, and it will take us unifying, a unified party, is what can make sure that barack obama truly is a one-term president. and i could go on, you know, i have a -- [applause] >> i have a whole chapter that i call our follower in chief where i lay out many of what i think are barack obama's flaw. but i'll probably -- you guys probably have some questions about 2012. so i'll safe it -- save it for that. >> okay. if you have a question, please line up behind the mike.
>> who do you think is going to be our candidate? >> you know, i honestly don't know. i think it's early, but i will say this -- >> you have to guess, who would you guess? >> you know, it's really hard to say. and -- >> now you are talking like a politician. >> people get frustrated when i say that. but i think all of them have really great characteristics. and i think it's a real testimony to the dialogue that the tea party has brought to the table. the mere fact that, you know, a balanced budget amendment was even part of the discussion before raising the debt ceiling. and again, you know, let's look to that whole debt ceiling discussion as an example. if, instead, we had a set of pointing fingers at each other and staying they are to blame, they are to blame, we pointed the fingers at barack obama and said what is wrong with the balanced budget amendment, what
is wrong with putting in safety measures to make sure we never get in the situation again and we had spoken in one accord, pointing -- putting the blame where it belongs, i think that we would have been much more successful. but instead, we've got to get over that finger pointing. but the mere fact that that was even part of the discussion and the mere fact that we have true champions of the constitutional principals not just, you know, people who are saying it, just to win the nominations. we have true champions who i believe are going to fight for our country and for our party and we've got a winning message. and we've got to be confident of our message. we should be proud of our message. and if we can adopt that attitude going into 2012, you know, we can do great things.
>> hi. you touched a little bit on your troubles after your primary win and the difficulties you had with the party establishment. what is your relationship like now with the delaware republican party and the rnc and what are your plans politically? >> those are great questions. first of all, i do want to clarify that my trouble is the former republican leadership, there has been a growing discon innocent delaware with the political establishment that has -- on both sides of the aisle. it's pretty much shut out the people, the voters. so my candidacy didn't create the discontent, we tapped into it. because of the dirty, under handed tricks that the republican, the former delaware republican leadership did, those leaders were ousted. and the new chairman of the republican party understands that we need to unite. and he's been doing -- john
ziegler, he's the former president of the nra, he's been doing a great job of reaching out and trying to build that unity and take back the state health and be a strong unified force and to help the former republican leadership take pride in the principals in which we stand. but, you know, the ousted leadership is still unhappy. and they are still resorting to some under handed tricks, because i talk about how one the things that our former chairman did, tom ross, file a false claim with me against the fcc. not only did the delaware republican leadership, but the democrats did it as well through a crew. they filed with the u.s. attorneys office. i have since been cleared of all
of the claims. why it's a sleazy, under handed trick, it's abusing the process, filing a false claim with the u.s. political office with a false motive is abusing the justice system. none of you in the room who has a vendetta against a neighbor can accuse them of burglary and get the police to look into that without facing consequences when they realize that it was, you know, a vindictive claim. that you did it vindictively. but that's what our former chairman did. and the fcc saw through it. there was no merit to their claim. so, you know, they are trying to fight back right now and try to say that some things are inaccurate in the book. i would just say, you know, these are the same people who lost their post because of their dishonest tactics. you know, dishonesty and trickery is not off of the table for them. but thankfully, we have a new
leadership and new people involved in the party who are, you know, mending those bridges. and as far as the rnc, chairman steele was great. he called me the day aft primary, he personally came to delaware. i talk about that in the book. i hope at least with the rnc, we still have that good relationship. and like i said earlier on fox, you know, and on cnn, i extended the olive branch to carl rove. come on, let's kiss and make up. hopefully we will, and hopefully we can all get behind whoever it is that wins the republican nomination and make sure we're talking about the issues at hand. and make sure we're holding barack obama accountable. >> fortunately, i had the opportunity to wear you on wr as i was driving in.
i thought it was a great deal on your part to say what you did by carl rove, by the way of the radio station. our question is you eluded and have been talking about the establishment across the board on all of the political parties, you were obviously a victim thereof and i think one the major candidates has been and she still is. would you run for office again, and if so, in what capacity and for what position? >> that's a good question. i think that was the third part of your question that i forget to answer. you know, in the book i talk about, you know, decision making process when i ran for office in previous times. i can honestly say i don't know. and the reason for that is right now my focus on hand is to -- we are filing countercomplaints against crew. i started the pact so that we can. because crew is the same
organization that went after sarah palin, curt, they went after so many good candidates, and my lawyer in that case also represented many of crew's other victims. and, you know, as she would explain, it's an exhausting process. you know, the fbi called my childhood friends. all because of this -- i have to say allegely for legal reasons the affidavit that crews filed and they dismissed. what happens is the candidates lose the election. because crew will file this complaint and then release a press release all in the same day so that as you are getting closer to election day, headlines read, you know, candidate is accused of this illegal activity. all of my attorneys clients, including me, has been dismissed of these.
but what happens is you are so emotionally tapped, so financially tapped, you are just glad you survived. well, i didn't earn that title troublemaker -- i did earn that title troublemaker for a reason. they picked on the wrong person. we are fighting back, and we are filing our own series of countercomplaints with the u.s. attorneys office with our state attorney general and with the irs. now our state attorney general is beau biden. yes, there is relation, our vice president's son. let's see if i get a fair shot. i'm sure he'll want to give this case all of the proper treatment it deserves. but we're also asking the irs to revoke their tax status, to revoke crews tax status. because they are a 501c
organization. when he donates his, you know, millions to crew, it's a tax writeoff. you know, if he and warren buffett want to write more checks to the government, great, but, you know, he gets to writeoff his check to crew. now when you are a 501(c)(3) organization as you probably very well know, you cannot engage in correct political activity. you can educate the voters about issues, but you cannot actively campaign. if you look at crew's top 12 worst re-elects of those 12 of 2012, they say, you know, the most horrible candidates who won reelection, 8th of those are republican, and of those four who are democrat, thee of them are african-american. so there's a very clear agenda here. and in the very beginning they
didn't go after democrats at all, until people starting pointing the finger at this obvious partisanship, motive, and then they started picking on the black caucus. usually not with the fanfare that they go after people like me, or sarah palin, or others. so they are obviously politically motivated. and, you know, melonie sloan was guilty of slander, allegely guilty of slander, in so many ways. we're fighting back. this is on, you know, the top of my priority list right now. because when of candidates for political opponents do not have a platform to stand on, don't have a record they can defend, which, you know, even the democrats are beginning to say about the obama administration, they don't have a record that they can defend. they resort to the politics of personal reinstruction. so if we don't fight back now and stop the corrupt behavior
from crew going into the 2012 election, they are going to continue to do that. so again, you can't accuse your neighbor of burglary because you might face some charges of your own for abusing the justice system. crew cannot do what they did. in terms of running for office again like i said, i honestly don't know, it depends on, you know, if we have a congress full of allen wests and jim demints, i can enjoy civilian life. that sounds very appealing. but again, i wrote the book because we need more allen wests, we need more jim demints, we need more michele bachmann and sarah palin and maybe some of you in the room. as an outsider looking on, when people watch what happened, realize that things you said 25 years ago are going to be dug up and taken out of context, you go
why would i do that. why would i put my family through that and embarrass myself or risk my reputation like that. if we allow them to do that. we are allowing them to win all over again. because we need more troublemakers to challenge the status quo to hold this administration accountable to put their name on the line, and again, we might not win the first time around, but we're making a difference. and we're paving the way and moving the standard further along for future candidates, especially, especially for women. so i really tip my hat to what your organization is doing here in such a difficult district. [applause] [applause] >> thank you. >> hi. i was wondering if you were willing to talk about your experience with the media during your campaign. was there anything that sur
prized you or shocked you in the coverage? and also do you have any advise as to what conservatives can be prepared for in terms of coverage with the election in 2012? >> okay. remind me to address both parts of your question. because my mind, there's so many things that i want to share and answer to that question. first of all, there were a lot of surprises. a lot of surprises can the media. we all expect the unfair treatment. we all expect the double standard. but i was surprised how some conservative media, you know, would justify getting behind a man who co-authored the disclose act which i essentially called a grassroots gag order with that incumbent protection clause and then also a man who supported cap and trade, a piece of legislation that i believe is really destructive to our
economy. but yet conservative to also oppose these legislations justified getting behind the and did, you know, for reasons that i think are false. because it's better to have a republican in there. and my response to that -- first of all, i was surprised that the malicious treatment from the conservative media. down right malicious. where they would repeat some of the false accusations that the former, i love saying the former delaware republican leadership, the former leadership would put out there. but, you know, to address that point. you know, number one exit polling shows my opponent was declining in the polls. and before my party's attack against me, i was ahead in the general election. and had a 2-1 advantage against the coveted independents. i say the coveted because in delaware, there are almost as many independents as there are
republicans. so when you have a 2-1 advantage, if you can secure your base and get out the vote to the polls and then you have a 2-1 advantage with the independents, you can win. so until we started the insighting and the republican cannibalism, if we had modeled what they did in kentucky, i believe we would have had a republican in that seat. but, you know, there were some surprises. i remember the day after the primary, "good morning america" wanted to talk to me. my publishers saw they had george stephanopoulos interviewing me. they said no way. george stephanopoulos is not interviewing her. i said i can handle him. he's very fair. i mean very fair. even when he had on my opponent and i talk about this in the book in one the pictures, i talk
about how the democratic opponent, chris thune, served in the lame duck. because you would be sworn in to immediately fill the rest of the term vacated by joe biden. so my opponent had literally no less than five public positions and on how he would vote on extending the bush tax cuts. he had five public positions. so depending on the audience, that's the position that he took. and i would try to get this out there, but, of course, i'd say it in rooms like this. then it would never be picked up by the media. well, i was on "good morning, america" one morning and as i was leaving to go do the next campaign event, you know, they had chris coontz on immediately after me. and george stephanopoulos says and your opponent accuses of you having no less than five
positions on the tax cuts. can you tell me now how you would vote? he said thank you, george for the opportunity. i'm going to get accused for misquoting him. something to the effect of, thank you for allowing me to set the record tax my position has been and has always been, blah, blah, blah. george stephanopoulos pulls up the smartphone. i could have kissed him. your web site says something different. george stephanopoulos held him accountable. that didn't get a lot of play. there was a lesson learned. you know, obviously steph nap -- stephanopoulos was democratic operative. he recognized his position as a reporter. he will throw the tough questions, but he does it
evenly. he'll throw them to the other side as well. so that's one the surprises that i had is where the untreatment came from. i was surprised where it should be who came for friendly and reportive. i was going into the interviews and you can't have a prejudices about who will, you know, -- it's who's professional. you never know who was going to choose to take the role and who's going to use the role to advance the political agenda. as we can go -- as we are going into the 2012 elections, what we can expect is that, you know, we can expect unfair treatment. we can expect misinformation, but again, information technology has put the power back into the hands of the people. so at this time, unlike ever
before, we are not powerless. yes, it means we have to work harder. yes, we have to stay one step ahead of them. but if we are vigilant, we can defeat the power of the sound bite. again, i have that whole chapter in there about how first of all, you know, how the media derives it's power from the sound bite and then how to disarm it. you know, knowledge is to the sound bite what kryptonite is to superman. we can use the sound bite to our advance if we are just as clever, just as creative, and just as vigilant, and just as unified. i mean do you hear any democrats turning on each other? turning on their base? the way that we are? you know, so -- was there -- did i address all three points? i did. remember i might forget all of them. >> hi, your last statement made
-- prompted me to get up and ask you a question very specifically. how would you specifically unify the tea party movement with the party? >> okay. well, first of all, what i think we have to do is be proud of the principals that on which our party was founded. right now though there's almost -- i don't have to say an embarrassment. you know, whether it's joe biden calling the tea party terrorists or other people saying that the tea party is causing this paralysis in congress. i think where that is coming from is because the tea party and the middle class movement that protells the tea party has put the establishment on notice. politics will not be the same. i think the tea party, we have a
lot of democrats and a lot of independents and they are unify ied around this discontent with the career politicians have that turned congress into a favor factory. one the things we can recognize is that the reason why so many tea party candidates won the primaries is because their message was resonating with the everyday voters. where it was rand paul, my race, they were engaging people like never before. and they were articulating common sense solutions that you don't need an ivy league degree to meet. i think what it does is it moves the power of the message. again, these are the principals on which our country was
founded. as i said earlier, they are the principals that made the country great and can still make our country great. going forward, how we can unify is if you know, the establishment part of the party would get over prized egos or recognize that, you know, you can't trade favor and embrace the grassroots movement that won so many primaries based on principals if they would extent their experper -- expertise and come together. that's going to defeat obama. unfortunately it's a big if. we have to be unified, we can't be pointing fingers at each other. at the same time, i don't think there's any reason why we have to embarrassed about our message. we've got a winning message.
and in that chapter about defeating the sound bite, i talk about how freedom is inscribed on the heart of every individual. that's why we yearn for a better life for our children. that's why when you work, you want to be appreciated and valued and loved by your spouse. because you want your unique preciousness, your individuality to be celebrated by those around you. and that is how freedom is inscribed on our heart. because in a free market economy, in the what america once was, you have that freedom to take your god given gifts, very unique talents and go make a life for yourself. unlike a socialist or honest economy where your role is given to you. that's your latin life.
lake it or not. there's no room for outside of the book thinking. if you are content with that, good for you. but don't try to make a better life for yourself. so, you know, again in that chapter, i articulate that freedom is inscribed on the heart of every individual. our challenge is to articulate that. if our message is not resonating with the people, you don't abandon the message, you refrain the message. i wouldn't go to a 12-year-old and talk about this very wongy stuff and why it's such a bad thing that the imf is calling for the dollar to be removed from the reserve currency. because, well, you know, my nephew might understand because he's very smart, but most 12-year-olds won't get that. so you talk to them on their level. but you don't abandon your principals. you refrain the argument. that's what we need to do. if we can do that as a party, as a movement, again, i'm very
optimistic that we can make sure that barack obama is a one-term president. because everyone -- i agree. let's clap to that notion. [laughter] >> anyway, as you can tell, i'm very passionate about that. any other questions? >> okay. >> thank you, ronnie. >> i can't thank you enough for coming. it was a great pleasure for us. and a great honor. >> thank you very much. >> thanks a lot. >> thank you for having me. and thank you for being patient with me being late. >> christine will sign your books at the front near where they are being sold. carol will be selling the books, she'll do signatures for all of you. we want to thank you her again. >> thank you. >> and good luck. good luck with everything that you -- all of your endeavors.
>> thank you. [applause] >> oh, i forget to thank c-span for covering it. i'm sorry. thank you, c-span for covering the event. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> is there a nonfiction author or book you'd like to see featured on booktv? set us an e-mail or tweet us at twitter.com/booktv. we continue with more from frankfort, kentucky. up next, book tv interviewed lindsey apple. she explores the life of secretary of state and speaker of house of representatives, henry clay. >> henry clay was an early 19th century politician, statesman,
he ran for president three times, tried to get the nomination two others, failed on all occasions, but he's probably the best known nonpresident of that period. >> why is that? >> well, daniel 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. but he believed through transportation, through commerce, that 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. but he could have stood out here on the front step and looked out
to the west where interstate 75 and interstate 64 come together, he would have said, by god, i told you so. because that was exactly what he had in mind. connect the country and it would stay together. and that's a vision i think that's important. it is what we have become. secondary, i don't think it was his intent that the american system while it was not introduced nationally, it was -- portions of it were introduced in the northern states. the northern states became superior to the southern states in commerce and industry and manufacturing. that was a critical issue when civil war did break out ten years after clay's death. so he helped hole the country together even beyond his own lifetime, i think. >> why do you think he was never
able to get elected if he was still no, prominent, why wouldnt people follow him? >> you know, that's the question that historians have asked for a long time. i don't think there's one good answer. he was a whig. as a young man, he had been quite the rascal. he was known as a -- john quincy adams call him a gamester. he liked to gamble. he was called a womanizer. :
took people with names like that and, names that were not as prominent in the time. it was like the country did not want strong leaders in that era. andrew jackson being the exception to that. >> and your book is about henry clay and his family. what role did they play in his political life? >> well, one of 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 presidents. i did a biography of a great granddaughter who was a poet. in the process of that i began to see a different picture.
clay work is hard at providing for his family and setting his sons up in business as he worked at holding the union together, and simultaneously. a lot of people suggest, for example, that his wife, lucretia, was a burden and did not like washington. washington was not 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, had about six are seven grandchildren that she was raising here. you know, she just did not have the time to go to washington. she had other responsibilities. when she was in washington she
basically supported his career and was hardly the recluse that historians have painted her as being. the suns had their problems. there is a stream of mood disorder that is evident in the early generations of the family. all five of his sons suffer from melancholy or depression. mellon collie was the 19th century term. but they also all became with one exception successful businessmen. one served in the house of representatives. one served in the state legislature. one -- two of them were tremendous horsemen. they contributed significantly to the horse industry in kentucky. so they were more then
historians have described them as, and i began to see this and thought the story needed to be told. >> what exactly where they doing that people thought that they were a burden this because she doesn't like washington? >> well, she was rather plain looking. somewhat dour looking. there is a gregarious type of the two of them, and i say it is the play version of grant wood's painting american gothic, because they both looked so dour, but by that time he is suffering from tuberculosis. she has had 11 children in 21 years, raise them, raised her grandchildren, you know, they had experienced some difficult times. tragedy is a key ingredient of this family.
they have suffered beyond any measure. how play 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 that it was appearances. i think the stories began to be told. it is like once the story is told it never goes away. it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. the suns took a long time to find their way. there were very slow to find their way. one of them ended up in the lexington when it took asylum, which, of course, there were rumors about others. so, it -- but think it is -- just the circumstances of the family that were built.
>> so before all the tragedy what kind of life to the lead here? >> i think it is a fairly mobile wife for the upper class of the society. loved having his children around. one son 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, daughter bought a home to the southwest of here. the suns would ride over to see her, and she became as much as surrogate mother. lucretia and the other children and grandchildren. and so and would be the big sister to her brother's. they had slaves at that point in time he took care of the children and made sure that they did not get into trouble.
free to ride and romp and play as they would. and you can imagine in the south it is a large home, but for five or six, seven children at any one time they get stalled very quickly. they were out and about and doing things. >> and when did this tragedy began? when did it all of them have? >> within a year of their marriage. their first daughter died in childbirth. and then it was just a succession. they buried all six of their daughters. only two mated to an age to marry. they married very young, and then, of course, this scourge of women in the 19th century with childbirth. it killed of. they died shortly after having children. but 1823, i think, they lost to
dallas. of have to check my dates. but at least two daughters in that year. they lost $2 as a result of the her in this trip to washington. one died in lebanon, ohio, and one died shortly after their arrival in washington. the door, the oldest son, ended up in the mental asylum. the treatment of the day was actually worse than the illness, i think. if they have left him alone, he might have come out of it. but the treatment, essentially, damned him to live the rest of his life in that facility. the kendis 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 it worse. actually helped. and he left. but henry worried about him all
the time. he would write letters from washington begging for information. another son had a real problem with up gaullism. eventually straightened it out with the help of a good wife. what the clay sons did very well west of mary good women. with no help from henry. but they married a really strong women who help them to establish stability in their lives. >> if he had become president of the united states what affect do you think that would have had of his family? >> they would have -- i think it would have lived with it. i think lucretia it would have gone back to washington. she knew what was needed. she had shared duties with john
quincy adams' wife when play was secretary of state, so she was not beyond the ability to do with. the sons, i don't know. i don't know what might have happened. they were good businessman. one of them served briefly as a diplomat to portugal and the late 1840's, so they had some experience at government as well, but i think equally interesting is what henry clay would have done as president, how his health would have held out. he suffered tremendously while secretary of state from the workload. how his temperament would have gone as president of the united states.
i think it was meant to carry, an economist at the time he said that play had become president in 1844 the civil war would have been postponed. significantly. now, you know, how he can say that to my don't know. obviously cannot prove it. but he felt like that his economic policies would have helped to weaken slavery and therefore taken away the civil war. >> book tv was in frankfurt kentucky as part of our cities to work. we visit several southeastern cities over the next few months. to bring you a taste of the literary history and culture. local affiliate. further affirmation of this and other cities visit to c-span.org / local content.
>> "what are you reading?." book tv wants to know. >> two of my economic our american the ask -- to get to see and dating capitalism. i was taught years ago when i was a student that economics is not destiny, but it is 85 percent of it. i'd focus a lot of my reading on what is actually going inside -- going on inside the bells of our economy. kevin phillips. by the way, i am a democrat and he is a republican. but chapter eight in his book, every living human being you can read. chapter eight is about soaring debt and the financial edition of the united states. separate. and in this book is a magnificent chart that shows the heart of our struggle as a country compared to post-world war two when most of our jobs were in manufacturing. those have just plummeted.
corporate profits in those countries have plummeted. overall financial sector, six banks now control two-thirds of the banking system of this country. too much power in the hands of too few, and we see what has happened after we saw that. he talked about beating capitalism and how america's workers were being asked to compete in and of leveled global playing field. he discusses how our free-market capitalism has to compete against state capitalism in places like china. we have recognized this in our policies. i think just brilliant, brilliant work. not only all these books coming out about wall street, well, go back to kill -- kevin phillips. really went wrong in terms of who had power in this country. too much power. all these other books are coming up now about to big to fail,
michael lewis's. and all of the devils are here bite into the mclean. the behavior of this financial sector that kevin phillips addresses that he wrote his book. i am interested in plight -- changing the playing field and putting more power back in the hand of communities and businesses that try to play by the rules. but very, very hard to do when you have managed institutions that have their claws around the economic lifeblood of this country. a lot of figures in washington stand up to them and you can see the results of it. >> tell us what you are reading this summer. send us a tweet at book tv. >> c-span travel to frankfort, kentucky to uncover the rich literary cul