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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  September 8, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm EDT

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modesty. and they were proud of what they had done, and they were willing to come and tell their story but only if i asked the questions. and almost always they would respond, oh, i didn't do anything more here than anyone else did. and they all had stories of buddies that didn't make it or were terribly maimed, and they came back to america -- many of them from small towns, they'd lost their fathers at an early age, they lived lives of great deprivation -- but they came back, and they took the g.i. bill, and they found professions in foreign families, went to college in record numbers. they were the underpinning of the marshall pan, they rebuilt -- plan, they rebuilt their enemies in japan and in germany. they were involved in a long, difficult cold war. they withstood the ravages of the cultural revolution in the '60s. they were too quick at the beginning to say vietnam was a good idea but once they got with
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it, which they did quite swiftly, they said it was a terrible idea. and they were reluctant about women leaving the house. they grew up pretty much in an all-male environment during the war, but once they got that, they also encouraged not just tear lives, but especially their daughters to take their place in the world. and they never whited, and they never whimpered. >> third on the publisher's weekly bestsellers of 1998 is sugar bust withers by h. layton stuart. ..
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>> dan balz, chief correspondent at the "washington post" recounts the 2012 presidential elections on booktv. the other profiles nominees for its own perspective campaign for the republican primary to election day. this is just over an hour. [inaudible conversations] >> good evening. i am bradley graham, co-owner along with my wife, lissa muscatine of politics & prose. on behalf of the entire staff, i would like to welcome you here. it's with exquisite timing, we have to do have a senior member of the "washington post" with us. dan balz thought he was coming to talk about his book on the 2012 election, but in the wake of monday's surprise announced to the "washington post" these
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old, i would guess that at least a few people here are interested in what is happening and what's going to happen where dan works. we will note that get to that. but let me just say whether dan is discussing the goings-on at the "washington post" at the presidential race, he has always stood out among journalists for his smart and type, keen ability, clear writing and after calm and composed manner. at a newspaper that has prided itself first and foremost for its political coverage, there's a reason that deann emerged in recent years as the chief correspondent. and it's not because everyone else around him either died or retired. [laughter] i worked at deposed, starting
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manner about the time that deann did in 1978. and i've seen him in action many times. his rudeness, fairness, intelligence unsteadiness have long made him an unassuming star. he's been a white house correspondent, political editor, national editor and became a disciple of sword of two of the great political writers, david broder and haynes johnson. dan has carried on their tradition of unbiased, informed in the street coverage. his new book, "collision 2012: obama vs. romney and the future of elections in america" is a follow on to the book dan and haynes johnson wrote about the 2008 campaign. as dan says in the new book, he hadn't expected obama sackett run for the presidency to turn
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out quite as compelling as the first groundbreaking one big. but it did hit the campaign did turn out to be just as compelling, although in different ways. reviewing the book in the post the other day called it quote, old-fashioned and a good friend, referring to the fact that it's filled with attributed quotes a close focus group or ditch and thankfully? many analysis. the demo also shows a modern day appreciation for the new technology and social media that the obama campaign put to such effect reviews. if you really want to understand why the election turned out as it did and what it portends for america's political future, read this book. now, we will be life to 18 tonight's event, speaking of
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modern technology and social media. you can follow along and join the conversation at hash tag dan balz. dan will speak for a little bit and will be time for questions if you have a question. notice the bright lights on c-span. we are also videoing the event for our own website. so please try to make it to this microphone here so that everybody can pick up your question. afterwards of course dan will be happy to stay and sign copies of his book. given the size of the audience, if you could not all russia pier one, but take some time to fault the dirt shares in place to make it something solid and form alliances makes back that way, we appreciate it very much. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming dan balz.
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[applause] >> now the wendy analysis begins. brad, thank you. it is a delight to be introduced by a former colleague and one with whom i have so much respect and his wonderful wife on the list that when they took over politics & prose. sorry, is the mike thayer? hello? already. i am paid tribute to brad and must for the great work they've carried on here at politics & prose. as brad said, we have a new owner at the "washington post" and at the risk of putting my own job in jeopardy, i want to say please patronize the store. [laughter] ibooks here. [applause] whatever else you do is your
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business, but this is one of the great bookstores in america and want to to keep it going. haynes johnson at night, he has passed away before this book was finished, but we were here four years ago almost on this very night. had said something that night that i want to repeat. there's nothing more gratifying for a month or then come before people who read unlike books and not be a slave who are interested in care about american politics. for those of us who write books about it, this is as wonderful an idea as we ever get to see. i thank you all for coming out. it's a wonderful crowd. feel free to rush forward with your books. [laughter] as brad said, this is a sequel to the one hand that i wrote in 2008. as i started this book, i did have doubts. i frankly did my publisher about
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whether this came pain would produce a story to be as compelling as the 2008 election. that election as we'll remember with with an historic collection and not only because we ended up a lot in the first african-american president in history in this country, but also the ethic struggle he went through an economic crisis we went through and also in a sense because of how people felt at the end of the election. i remember attending a focus group, maybe hearing a half two years after the election was run by peter hercules doing it for the annenberg center at the university of pennsylvania. and he asked people, put yourself back to election night, 2008 at tony what he felt and what you thought. this was a focus group of republicans, democrats, people who supported obama and john mccain. and a number of the people who supported john mccain said i actually felt good after that election.
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peter said why. is that i felt good for the country and the country had to something important and significant. even though i wanted john mccain to win, i felt something important had happened. we knew that this campaign in 2012 was not an uplifting campaign by any stretch of the imagination. it was a totally different one. in many ways it is a much more sprawling story that we dealt with in 2008. it had a much bigger cast of carriers, which will no doubt talk about tonight. they had a lot of plot twists and some bizarre moment. when the 2008 campaign ended, we interviewed president elect obama and sat at the opening, before we get to either question, before he became a politician, you are a writer. he had written a wonderful book, troops from a.
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how would you rate the story of your own election? he said well, i think it was a novel and i was not the most interesting during that period so i was thinking, i was not able to interview the president after this election for this book, but i've been thinking how would he answer the question about this election? there's times when it was a serious as we have seen in moments of tension and anger. my colleague, david merrin is said to me at one point during the campaign during the early stage, with all due respect and all the good political writers, we really need hunter thompson right now to explain what's really going on. so this was what i was dealing with as we started out this two-year cycle from the end of the 2010 that turns until the november election. and yet, at the end of it i thought that it produced a story
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that not only was as compelling as the other, but the mice more important. i say that because i think this campaign was much more of you in go into way america has been, a divided america and also where it may be going on this struggle we are in and also that it's more instructive at this moment in american politics and the campaign was four years ago. in some ways that campaign may have been a false start on. we thought something might happen as a result and it did not. there were volitions about this campaign all the way through it. as a result as i sat down to write the story, it was both more challenging and in the end more satisfying to be able to want pack would it have been and repackage and sell it. i call this boat "collision 2012". to be honest i call it
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"collision 2012" because they couldn't quite into something else when i get the respect is. when i got into the campaign, i thought there were three reasons why the title was the ad title. the first reason is this election in 2012 was a collision between the america that elect barack obama in 2008 and the america they swept republicans into power in the house of representatives in 2010. bothersome simple answers. a somewhat different lecture. these are two americas that are coming together on the political battlefield and 2012 to try to settle the argument that was fair. this was also a collision of philosophies. economic philosophy, the role of government. these are two political parties that have significantly different views of what i've to be done and this is a campaign that offered at least the opportunity for a pretty grand
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debate about that. the third reason was this is a collision of very different personalities. if you think of where these two candidates came from and how they got to where they are, it's hard to have a greater contrast in past presidential campaigns. president obama, the son of a white woman, african father, absentee father who abandoned him in the family when he was a kid, race sometimes by a single mother enough and ice cream. as his mother was working on her doctorate. they probably corrupt in a traditional family and a family of published affluence. his father was a successful businessperson. they carry presidential candidate at least for 10 minutes or so. and their perceptions of the world were shaped by totally different experiences.
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probably sealed the economy and government shaped almost entirely by his role as a business person. obama is shaped by the world in which he grew up in the identity in which he saw it and became then the role of the community organizer. if you think of those two different worlds, the two different americas and the two different philosophies, collision 2012 turned out to be a very apt title. in a book like this, there are two ways are in the retelling of any campaign, to raise to try to do it. one is from the hideout. one of the great challenges of doing a campaign book frankly is in my role as a journalist in all my terrific colleagues, we cover these campaigns in such minute detail that by the time you get to the end of it come you feel you know everything there is to know and if you're
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writing a book about it, part of which are publisher wants is be able to tell more. much of that comes inside. what was really happening inside the two campaigns. what were the arguments that were going on? and so, a lot of reporting goes into that. this book is a product of several hundred interviews conducted over a two-year period. some of them done as part of my daily reporting and some strictly for the book on the condition the contents of the interview not be revealed until the book was out. this is a tricky thing if you're writing daily journalism because the people you interview know you're doing that. i've always tried to say let's talk about events of the past, not at the moment. i've always felt it's important to try to get people to talk honestly about things at the moment because it's easy for campaign operatives afterwards to revise and extend them to
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shape the story in a different way. i was pleased in this book that there actually is quite a lot of new material in part because i was able to get a number of the people who ran for president to sit down in the course of the campaign to talk about what they were seeing and feeling were to sit down afterwards. i did a long interview with governor romney in late january. it is a week after the inauguration here and i spent 90 minutes with him at his home just outside abbas and. it was a fascinating interview. it is interesting in a number of ways. there was nobody else there. normally is used to seeing that romney surrounded by secret service family and staff in handlers at the people and all that. he greeted me at the door. there was nobody else there. i had the only recorders that were running. i always used to because i've
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had experiences with one doing it is an interview, you feel you've lost half your vital organs. i put them down between us and just began asking him questions. he was not defensive. he was gracious. it's not easy frankly for somebody who's just poured what he poured into that campaign is the people who run for president do to have a reporter ask a lot of questions about why he should do this or that or why did you do a better job at this? he was good about it. there were some interesting things, particularly sadowski had about whether he should run at the beginning of the campaign, whether he was the right person to run a take on president obama, why he ultimately changed his mind on that and felt that he was the right person in the strongest republican and why he was so confident on election day. he thought you were going to win and he said i did. i was quite confident.
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not 90% confident, but he said i had but a fake tourist beach and i had not written a concession speech. we later learned that paul ryan on that election day was talking to people about resigning immediately assert the house budget committee, but he was so certain he would become vice president elect. he also taught that some of the difficult moments. he talked about self deportation, perhaps one of the most damaging utterances be seen in a debate beyond who and more consequential because this is a person about to become the nominee and not a person to exit the stage. he has a totally different view of this and it's interesting to hear him explain. he's been with this is not a harsh expression. it was a more benign way of talking about people going back and making the country. in my view, deportation is a
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harsh policy. he said this president has deported a lot of people in my view was that within self deportation, with the idea that if there are jobs available, people will go back. he still is wrestling with why that had become so controversial. we talked at the end about the 47% comment. this is one in which he still was digesting it. he got his ipod out, try to read some of the things he thought it said. he still said he didn't say what he actually said. he said i didn't say that. but he said that became the perception. in fact, but the reality and the perception. nonetheless, he said i knew was damaging. it was a very bad moment. at the end i said, governor, do you think we are in an environment in which someone with your profile, your life experience, your wealth, the
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kind of life you've led that in an environment in which most of the country, particularly the middle class thinks that the rich are doing great and they are left behind, that he would always be impossible for someone like you to get elected? he said i knew that was a problem. i knew my profile was a problem. i thought i could overcome it and obviously i couldn't. i won't go into the interesting stuff that came out of the postelection and during the election interviews, the chris christie says this frankly fascinating. he is a character that we will continue to see on the public stage. i went up to see them in negro i just said in september of last year, tell me about the decision process he went through into fighting not to run. we were scheduled to talk for about 45 minutes. an hour and a half later he was still telling me the story. it's a fascinating story needs a
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fascinating storyteller. i'll just give you one anecdote. he was invited to the purpose to new york in the summer 2011. the campaign was well underway at that point and they recoup that money people in new york urging him to run. one of them invited into a practice and said i thought this would be relatively small gathering. when i walked in there were 60 people there. i thought it would be informal. they were chairs lined up, a speakerphone on the table, some heavy hitters calling and energy him to run. the last person to speak with henry kissinger. he had conversations is that kissinger came to the front using his cane and he said i've known ex-presidents in my life. being president is about two things. courage and character. he said you have both in your country needs you. i said well what did you say? he said he was as close to speechless as chris christie ever is.
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[laughter] so he wasn't speechless, but he said i said to the group, i don't think i'm going to run, but i thought to all of you to think about it. he then laid out the process and it's a really interesting moment in the camp pain in because he's going to be around, we will hear more. they're great. interview is interesting in part because when we talk about that iconic moment, he was very funny about it. he said, i went into that debate feeling more confident and relaxed to any debate up to that point. i was doing good than i had this brain lapse. if you read the book, you'll see what he said. but he said, you know, this happens to people. it's not going to be that bad. they did some immediate repair
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work nonetheless, but he said i went back and slept fine that night. the truth is, these are my words, but fair freezing, my kid was already over it that point. i didn't lose the election or nomination because of what happened in that debate. i lost earlier because my performance. he said the thing i learned was to kick it into a presidential camp in late if you're not fully prepared. he said i wasn't fully prepared for it. there's fresh material on the denver debate. again, i walked well in the details, but this was the high point for governor romney. he said i had a lousy september. i had a great october, that was denver. the day of or before the debate, he got a call from george w. bush and the former president had to mitt romney, don't worry
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about the debate. you are going to do fine. i know from an experienced president is not going to be fully prepared. this is in fact be true with in, presidents who ran for reelection also missed the first debate they have. there's a lot of reasons. one is they have been spoken to for four years the way they are about to be spoken to. their aides are some of our respectful than their opponent on debate stages. second, they think they are prepared because they've been dealing with issues that don't feel the need to freshen up. he didn't have a good debate. if debates were from mediocre to really bad. the day of the debate i ran into one of his people who said what do you think? this person said that mori. i don't think he's ready for tonight and i'm worried about what is going to happen. as a result, the stakes are higher in later debate and there's a great omen when you recall the vice presidential debate.
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vice president at arrives in kentucky at center college. he's on the tarmac and he said this limousine taking a call and he comes out and said to one of his aides to be fair, i know we are really in trouble. what do you mean? i know where trouble because the president said joe, be yourself. [laughter] he's never said that to me in four years. and in fact, he was himself that night and the hulk three rallied the democratic base as a result of the election. one of the things i try to do with the type story was to talk about the development by the obama campaign of the middle-class message, which in many ways was one of the most strategic things they were able to do and all the research that went into it.
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they went to extraordinary length to understand better what was in the psyche of the american voter, including a project in which they asked asked people to fill out journals, not about politics, but their allies financially from economically, which produced 1400 pages of raw material and digested down, which became a message that allowed them basically to leapfrog beyond the question of how do you feel about the economy and the president's handling of the economy coming to a question which they so badly they were in stronger ground, which is which of these two candidates will be better for your family to yours are now, i've years, 10 years. the other innovative thing they did and we can talk more in the questions because i'm sure there will be some as all of the work he did on the get out the vote operation and particularly the analytics, the madeleine, the use of facebook and social media
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to give them much more understanding of each of you, particularly if he lived in ohio, not the district of maryland. but if you lived in ohio, they knew a lot about you. when they win on the streets, they were randomly knocking on doors to people. they knew who stories they need to either convince them to get out to vote because if they got them out they would vote for the president where they were actually persuadable because a lot of people say i'm undecided and they develop metrics to figure that out. so that's one way to tell the story departed this book. the other way when is a presidential campaign is spending out i didn't. what i mean is we concentrate on the television that on the strategy of this moment at that
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moment. burkett overly fixated on it. they are things in the background. the forces changing everything. this one is obviously the economy. the question i'll blog was what this economy be just good not to allow the president to win reelection or just bad enough to win reelection? as the year went along, particularly in the final couple of months, the economy improved enough that he made easier for them to win. governor romney believes this is toted sanitizers. i said what do you think made the difference? he said it was the shift in the economy in the last months. voter anger is clearly another one. this is always just beneath the surface at not bad on the surface and there was a question of whether direct itself in one
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direction or another? they think of me and they did not. in some ways, the conditions for a third-party candidacy were certainly they are because that is the section across the political spectrum about this city and its inability to get things done. but it didn't and the reason it did is the third big force that was fair and that is the red-blue divide in america. i don't think at this stage in american politics overstate the importance of that. we are a country deeply embedded red and blue. in this election as you look at the results, you could argue that got better and blue cod bluer. this is a relatively close election. it was not disclosed as it is they could have been. they are for states divided by five or fewer points.
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both states were decided by 7.3.310., including new york or california or texas by landslide margins. the number of county switched from one party to the next was about the lowest level, 207. despite everything else for a long everything else because they sort themselves out better blue. maybe% to 95% would vote republican in the same at the democrats. that has become one of the most significant aspects of our politics. if you're thinking outside in, the fourth great force those crucially important and was the demographic changes we've seen over the last several decades, each presidential campaign, the
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electorate becomes a little less weight in its composition. it is still predominately white, but it goes down a couple of percentage points with each election. he was 74% white in 2008, which was the lowest it has ever been. it would chicago back in the spring of the election year and sat down with jim messina, campaign manager. i was interested in exploring this phenomenon. i said, give me your sense of what the electorate will look like on election day. he said we believe it will be 72% white and 28% nonwhite. that is what it turned out to be. iraq obama won this election despite winning the smallest share of the white vote of either leave any winning democratic candidate that we've seen. he was able to win because he got 80% of the nonwhite vote. after the election, the
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republicans spoke up and said we've got a problem here. this is a problem that spencerian republicans in the face for a very long time. they may or may not be starting to deal with it, the smart republicans and we've heard in a number of republican strategists talk about this for the better part of a decade. some of the people around george w. bush recognized this and were warning the party and get that romney ended up getting 27% of the hispanic vote and that is a permanent recipes for losing presidential elections unless they are able to change that. so when i tried to do was mary at the eighth story with the outside story, to remind people that the genius of one campaign versus another is off the numbers dated. the winners are never quite as good as we like to say in the losers are never quite as bad. having said that, the romney
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camp game if there was a significant error on the part of the romney camp pain and all losing campaign for back with what is we've done this or that, the single biggest mistake they made was their best estimation of what the electorate would look like on election day. they overestimated the percentage of the white vote that they underestimated the gap between democrats and republicans in the composition of the electorate and that's why they're pulling had to race closer than the obama campaigns and a lot of public polling. these are the forces that will continue to shape our politics as we head towards 2016. so with that, i will take your questions. thank you. [applause]
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>> as brad said, pleased member to come to the microphone so everyone can you the questions. >> two things. my name is ed grief. is there not? okay. my name is ed grief than i am involved in politics for 47 years. >> you have to speak out. >> like this? first of all, i want to say before i talk about the political question, you and i share something. i was at the "washington times" herald in 1954 when we went to post. i went over to the post enough and that was the managing editor and so i've been through a little bit. the question i have a and i've done politics for over 40 years, 300 campaigns. my specialty is community
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organizing, grassroots organizing. the impression i have is from what i read in the washington post excerpt is that they discovered something that the bush people have discovered previously, but in fact the person has been the ultimate campaign since clinton talked about it in 1856. it's not new. it took elegy and i've developed a technology and i think you're perfect correct. this divide is permanent because of technology. today, all of the districts have been reshaped so that it's virtually impossible to have anyone running in a district back and forth. i just wonder if it's really the presidential can gain for a more subsidence matter the republicans have been statehouses and control of the
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district. >> we talked a long time about the impact of redistricting. there's a debate among scientists and others about all of our problems as a result of redistrict team. some people say yes. i would say only in part. obviously with technology, you can draw these bizarre districts in order to carve out at the edges for one for one party or another. the other reality is we live in america in which people tend to sort themselves out to look more like people. we see evidence of that around us. so that is part of it. your point about the person-to-person campaigning is correct. good campaigns have always wanted to get volunteers out on the street, but with the bush campaign, based on some work done by political scientist at
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yale, i won't say perfect date, but improved this by recognizing its not just person-to-person disaffected. if i go to your door because you know me. so if you're called by someone you know her through doors knocked by someone you are no come you're more likely to respond than simply a stranger knocking on your door. but the obama campaign discovered was that not just at the door, that through facebook they were able to tap into, with your permission, they could tap into your facebook friends. and from their own data commit they knew what his friends collections were, how they tended to vote, what issues they cared about. and so, let say you watched a video on their campaign sites about health care. you might get an e-mail from the
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campaign that said you just watch this health care theme. you've got three friends on facebook you might be interested to see the same video. whether to send a message to encourage to do that? i type to the deputy campaign manager, overseeing a lot of the get out the vote operation. i said to her, do you still believe that the door-to-door is the most effective way of campaigning quite she said until this election i would've said yes. she said what we now know it's different people want to be contact it in different ways. and what we learned is we figured out what a great way to contact you versus the right way to contact you. that was part of what they did. again, let me just add this caveat because, you know, you could type to the people at headquarters and they can describe the architecture of the most beautiful way and talk to you about the amazing software they've got in the data analysis they've done.
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he then go on the street with people and they don't quite handle it the exact same way. these are volunteers. they're committed, but not necessarily going to read the script they were given. it's a little sloppy or on the street that sounds like it headquarters. having said that, there's no question the obama campaign was more efficient than the romney campaign. >> is this not? can you hear me? >> speak loudly into it. >> thank you for coming. we are thrilled that you are here. can you comment on two aspects of the romney campaign? i was flabbergasted that there was such a disconnect between romney's performance as a governor, his performance in the primary and then how we turned around so many issues towards the general election. i thought there was an entire disconnectedness issues.
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and then i wanted you to comment about how romney got so many things wrong, fundamentally wrong about where the electorate is going to be. >> on the first, when we talked about why he had doubts, this is in the excerpt the post ran a few weeks ago. it was a family gathering in december 2010. make in and romney have done this in 2006. it's kind of a family town logo should be or should he run for president. in 2006, it is the unanimous vote in favor. 2010 with 10 both know in to the gas. mitt romney was one of the no votes. so we talked about that and he said two things. one was that another republican who i thought would've been stronger to run against president obama had gotten the reason he specifically mentioned jeb bush, i might not have run.
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he was willing to say that at the time he thought there might be a better candidate. in terms of the republican nomination chemistry was the events, chief strategist said here is what we are up against. this is a southern-based party and you were a northerner. this is an evangelical party in your morning. this is a very conservative party in your armor modeler for massachusetts. it's always going to be as well. one of the things we saw in the 2008 campaign in the 2012 campaign was this question as he had run broadway in massachusetts. you could not win the republican nomination in 2008 at 2012 at those positions, particularly on abortion. he had been pro-choice in a switched on it. so it was a question of what he would do. there was a big debate -- actually there wasn't a debate. there is a big issue up for the walk back from his health care plan in massachusetts?
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neil newhouse, who became his pollster went up to massachusetts to pitch the campaign to become the poster as they were ramping up. he had been a poet himself, just to be armed with the data. one of the things he said was massachusetts health care plan is a big problem with a lot of republican voters in iowa and new hampshire and south carolina, the three crucial states. and he said, you know, you've got some options. you know, you could walk away from it, say it was a mistake, i would do it again. you could say governor patrick has taken it and distorted it and i don't agree. and he said before i could basically finished, he said i'm not walking away from it. case closed. part of the reason he wasn't going to do it was because he genuinely believed that was the right thing to do. others in the camp and said they
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recognized had he walked away from it, even if that seems like a politically smart thing to do, that he would have been charged with any flip flopper. so he had this conflict about consistent v. one of the reasons he talked about immigration in the debate the way he did was he had a record in massachusetts and it was consistent with what i said in the debates. he said i couldn't set in the debates claim i was in a different position. so u.s. conflict did. i'll think after the primaries he ever effectively move to the center as well as some people have.he should do until the first debate. when i talk to them about that commie he said it was in a move to the center. there's a fuller presentation of he was. he said you get defined by short time i and he said this was the first time a big national audience could see the totality of what i thought. so that was it.
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on the miscalculation, i think it goes back to what i said it the end of my regular remarks. that is they just thought the electorate is going to be different. they thought the african-american vote in raw numbers, not necessarily percentages, but in raw numbers would not, could not be as large as the had been in 2008 because that was the first time an african-american had run for president and they thought the enthusiasm level would not be as great and it turned out the african-american vote for significant, so they just made some miscalculations. >> thank you. they're each echo. i want to thank you for your columns. the ever insightful. you covered a lot of ground today. one thing i was surprised she didn't refer to end the thing a lot of people had in their head as this is being played out, the racism. was there in the racism this camp game where you felt that
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perhaps a lot of the white voters just wouldn't go over? >> to vote for an african-american. it happened once. i was surprised it happened twice actually. kind of proud of that. >> we've all talked about this a lot. i don't know anybody who's been able to, in any real way to quantify that. i think a lot of people have their own views as to how significant or not that was. whenever i've talked to the obama campaign about that and frankly this is more of a conversation during the 2008 campaign and in this campaign, and their view has been this ends up as a wash, that there were some people who will not vote for an african-american for president, but other people may be more likely to vote for him because he's african-american. the president himself said that during one of our interviews.
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people will continue to debate how significant it was. i don't think it was in major factor in the outcome of the election by any means. >> yadira chomsky, congressional reporter for the hispanic outlook magazine. i covered both the convention, namely my task was to interview hispanic delegates. i was most interested in talking to a lot of the hispanic delegates at the republican convention. almost every delegation had been, especially a growing number of mormon hispanics. so this is something i wanted to ask you about, something i really notice the difference between the democratic republican convention was during
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the day with jenny at the big things going on on television, the republicans met in state, the way they identify themselves. democrats on that in identity group caucuses. we had the latinos in the blacks and the and and women and all that. it seemed to me as a lifelong democrat and this is what i wanted -- what you think, democrats are becoming less and less tolerant of diverse v. they seem to put everyone into a group. so while women supposedly focusing. all latinos are the same. there is the latino vote, which there really isn't. latinos are incredibly diverse that we will see that more and more. maybe it worked in this election, but i am concerned for democrats if they are getting too narrow, that they are targeting groups as if they are
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all monolithic. i wonder what you think about that. >> it's a really interesting question. identity politics within the democratic party has been initiated at various times has been helpful or harmful. covered as long as i have come to use in those moments when our member paul curt when he became the democratic party chair, abandoned all of these caucuses because he felt -- this would've been back in the 80s. because he thought it was not healthy for the party to sort out in that way. at the same time, now we see somewhat more it is the way the party has organized. partly that's the professional, the dnc and they do that. i don't know what the great significance of that is. i think in a campaign said, would you look at the hispanic vote, for example, you are
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right. the hispanic vote is certainly diverse. but it has consistently come with very few exceptions voted with a sizable majority voted democratic. doesn't mean it's monolithic by any means, but 65, 70, 72% democratic. can democrats take that for granted? sure. but can republicans crack at? that the big question. a long time ago, 30 years ago i was thinner euro in taxes during the first reagan administration and spent a lot of time looking at the emergence of the hispanic vote and efforts by the republican party to harness more voters and they've been doing it for 30 years without a consistent record of success. they have it enabled in any way. george w. bush did pretty well as president. his brother did pretty well in florida. so that says it's possible for a
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candidate to do pretty well. but if you look at susanna martinez, the republican governor of new mexico or brian sandoval, the republican governor of nevada, both won elections in 2010 with a minority of the hispanic vote in their states. it's a struggle even for hispanic candidate at that point. part of it is that the two parties has good for her. one of the things that both the romney campaign and the obama campaign new in this past election is we did a lot of looking at immigration and that was certainly a factor. perhaps the single biggest factor that pushed more latino voters and the president support of the care act.
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the john mccain said last week on the news hour, he said is obviously pushing for a comprehensive immigration bill. he said the passage of this bill will not win republicans one single hispanic vote. but he said what he will do is put us in a position to begin to curb the more effectively for hispanic voters. thank you. >> watch them. >> my name is walter rosenkrantz. i can't put it in my mouth. >> just speak up a little more. [laughter] >> my name is walter rosenkrantz. before retiring here, i was a professor at the university of massachusetts in amherst, during which time romney was governor. i just want to make this comment before asking a question.
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what i remember was that there was a minor scandal but the landscape contractors of his home in massachusetts. most of them were undocumented, illegal immigrants. so it's kind of hypocritical for him to talk about self deportation when he himself was providing the jobs that they came north to take. but that's just a comment. [laughter] what i want to ask you about is what these elections portend for the future of the governed ability of this country? it seems that the checks and balances that we are so proud of have reduced a system that cannot move at all. i'm just reminded. my father was born in 1905 in
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imperial russia. after world war i, his town became part of poland. he knew polish interest in history. i remember him telling me before the partition of poland in the 18th century. the great powers, russia, prussia and austria, the polish government was run by a parliament consisting of notables and aristocrats. you could not do anything in the polish parliament except by unanimous could send. so one person could bring the whole machinery of government to its knees. and what happened was the great powers would afford any policy that would affect their interest in poland. i wonder if we are anywhere close to the situation now. >> i don't think were quite in the same situation. you know, we used to think that
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elections for a moment at which we settled. the campaigns are putting one platform or another forward and went candidate forward who had ideas or philosophies and the outcome of that would give that person at least some leeway. this election was not that. i think the president came out at this election thinking he had a moment. he came not of that with a more muscular rhetoric. but think of the immaculate dress. it was a much more robust and mackerel address he gave in four years earlier. i think he thought he might feel to recuse the more effectively on capitol hill. but he's not been able to do that and it has been a part because of this red-blue divide
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and with republicans having a power base in the house, they are able to thwart an indie can't get done what he wants and they can't get done with a one. i don't know the answer to this. my friend roger simon who is here and i talked about this over the weekend. he said you've written a very gloomy boat. i said well, i don't know about that, but i felt all the way through this campaign, certainly in the last four or five months, i just thought we were going to end the campaign without having resolved the argument, that republicans and democrats would still be very far apart and it would be difficult to govern. i think this is a longer-term problem. maybe a different set of personalities will do. maybe a shot to the system won't do it. they be another defeat for republicans in a presidential campaign to change them being.
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politics is not static. it's dynamic, it's organic. parties changing event change them. right now you have to say that this election didn't resolve the argument, produced in some ways the status quo outcome at least in the sense the white house and the house and senate remain in the same hand as the election. republicans continue to build a strong play by what barack obama is doing in the president feels he's right in the country ought to go in that direction. i will say one of the games there was a way they mackerel address was the president seemed to be pitching his ideas to the america he believes is now in a national election the majority of america. we will see going into 2016 how to lease out. so thank you. [inaudible]
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>> okay. quick questions and short answers. >> speak into the microphone. >> why so many white people did not vote? 's >> you know, the overall vote was down. i am not sure that any group voted in as high as number six they had in 2012. the overall votes for both the republican nominee democratic nominee was down. i think one reason there's a lot of white voters who did not want to vote for president obama. we have seen that. there were a number of white voters, particularly some working-class voters who may have been resistant to governor romney is certainly the obama campaign worked and spent tons of money to convince them not to vote. if you look at ohio, in ohio he outperformed his white coat compared to nationally because
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in part the kind of campaign he ran. short answer. next. >> i wanted to know -- do you think that the current effort to suppress the vote will be successful? and if so, how will it affect the next election in 2016? >> to question his offers to suppress the vote be successful and how will it affect the next election? >> you can make the argument there was a backlash against it and that efforts to do that combat a potential political price for the advocates of it. and we will see how much effort there is to enact laws and then what the reaction is. i mean, if you look what happened with a lot of african-american voters, the
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long lines in florida in the final weekend, the huge turnout that suddenly struck with the romney campaign on election day in philadelphia. the obama campaign would say this is an assertion by african-americans a brief pat your back, president obama and we are not going to let anything get in our way of voting. this is part of a debate about election laws, but it's also part of the emotion that goes into how people decide to vote and how motivated they are. >> good evening. her name is james reid. i'm at george washington university. >> how about now? >> i could speak loudly if you guys can hear me. my question is concerned about the obama family and the romney family, their impacts on the

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