tv Book Discussion on The Professor and the President CSPAN February 7, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EST
pres.'s hundred and 2nd birthday. before we start i i just want to say today is a free admission day. i encourage you to visit the president's birthplace. take that in and visit the memorial sites in the galleries to learn about the life of this extraordinary man. another extraordinary man is our nixon legacy lecturer today. he began his career in the eisenhower administration as a speechwriter and joined pres. nixon for his 1962 california gubernatorial bid. he returns to the white house in 1969 as the chief of staff to daniel patrick moynihan, somewhat of a political odd couple, democrat coupled with pres. next. the two were very loyal friends and made they're relationship work. one of the few people they
could say he was friends with both of these men. we have preview video to show. >> assistant to the president for urban affairs. the last time i saw him he was speaking appropriately scheduled on halloween night. predicting the end of the world's next and was elected the following week. >> mr. speaker, the president of the united states. >> and incredibly close election. he was coming in with an opposition in congress and really felt like he needed some prominent democrats.
strangely he turned to pat moynahan and put him on his white house staff. the opposition people in the cabinet because he can fire them more easily. put them on your white house staff and if they quit your in trouble. speechwriter for nixon when he ran for governor, a professional. it was close. moynihan was totally different. it is simply good friends. it was a very unusual white house to have a richard nixon staff that is all very uptight and then throw into the mix the 6-foot five super elf wandering around. it turned out strangely enough they're were. the medal of freedom was invented by pat moynihan.
he had the pleasure of putting together a list for the president a list that included duke ellington. >> ellington. >> the best he could. >> sang saying happy birthday to him. >> happy birthday. >> he got many things to the white house. was trying to was trying to build a a sense of nixon to be historic. >> proposed something that no president has ever proposed. >> this was a big surprise. nixon had actually in his campaign campaigned against this idea which basically was a negative income tax.
>> i think they are to get rid of their good conscience. >> clearly something on their mind that produce the family assistance plant with next and had to get on television and say, yeah, say, yeah, this is more expensive. >> initially this new system we will cost more. unlike unlike welfare it is designed to correct the condition. >> felt very deeply about the question. his his father had deserted his family when he was a young fellow two. >> won the support his children. and so to make the children eligible. >> won the support his children. and so to make the children eligible. >> creating a knew welfare system was his white whale the major thing that he wanted to do in the two
years that he was given to serve in the nixon administration command he did it. >> i therefore propose to abolish the president's welfare system and that we adopt in its place a new family assistance. >> changing the configuration of the world great. it was moynihan who created the opportunity for nixon to take advantage. >> ladies and gentlemen friend of the nixon foundation president nixon stephen hess. [applause]
ellington and the french style kissing next on both cheeks. i want to add something but one of our colleagues on the white house staff died on january 3 command his funeral was yesterday. his name is marty anderson. when you read my book you will see is a prominent player in this particular story. he's famous for what he did when he came back in the reagan administration, but he did one thing more important and it happened is something that in the earlier ceremony was talked extensively about richard nixon creating what became the volunteer army.
the proposal developed by marty anderson the san francisco in 1970. in the movie of the greatest game in town. no one remembers it. the town of course, was las vegas. inspired. he was getting his phd at mit it would have been in the early 60s and he had access to the great computer and he thought that maybe he would handicap races, the closest to boston.
all of the trainers all the conditions, all the way on the horses command on and on he went telling me what he had put into the machine. i guess so got so good that i could break even. i remember him today. i think the easiest way to get into the story and i want to tell you the professor and the president is to read a few of the 1st pages to set the scene. then we can can go into the plot. okay. i'm the only person who was
a a friend of both richard nixon and daniel patrick moynihan before they knew each other. the story of the consequences of their paths crossing in 1969, a conservative president made a liberal professor is urban affairs advisor in the white house. for moynihan this was a trajectory to become us ambassador. representative to the united nations by president ford. and at the united nations to the u.s. senate where he was elected four times. and if his domestic policy with a progressive test that he had neither promised nor imagined.
i 1st met nixon just after he lost the presidency the john f. kennedy in 1960 and returned to california. i have been a speechwriter for president eisenhower from 1958 to 1961. he was not a presence in the white house because he did not have an office they're. eisenhower considered the vice presidency to be constitutionally part of the executive branch. one proposal eisenhower got his own car and was driven home. the president's then president then did not get staff and offices and all the other perks. the republican national committee determined to keep eisenhower politically active. someone had answered his mail. mail. and the job that i accepted was to be paid so many cents
for each letter. we failed to anticipate the deluge. it was as if every school board in america wanted next paragraph accepting to the charity auctions are just wanted to say hello. they provide they provide the windfall in the lobby to become an independent writer i would draft a letter & . the masses look from from the general. arranged to have been chief congressional lobbyist in the eisenhower white house and was now the go-between. he also instructed me to attempt to any needs nixon
might have. nixon was now alain maker for los angeles law firm proud to have considerable income for the 1st time in his life and to be able to build a home. i have to play golf fueled his washington since 1947. didn't meet nixon in person until the spring of 1961. he wanted help writing articles for the sunday evening post. he borrowed law office these
are the days before large firms would have there own offices in washington. and after we discussed the article that he wanted he said said incidentally don't send me those draft letters. i don't want to be remembered as one of those politicians who are members people's birthdays. lesson learned. eisenhower was a natural politician. nixon the politician, was not. i not. i also learned how helpful it was. those projects which i continue to do for the next three years. admired writers, told me that writing crisis is episodic and compelling account of his political career the most difficult
thing he had ever done. moreover, he was exceedingly generous. often splitting large fees. the family too much. he was embarrassed and said i would only have to give it to the irs. much of a connection i learned was different from the public. nixon was largely professional and political. moynihan it was neither. pat and i have been socially connected they have declared the two young friends, two young men who were going to be friends command he was right. we instantly liked each other. we saw a good deal of each other.
through the years the memories compounded. at the upstate new york farm he declared their teenage children pointing to a sumptuous vegetable patch future leaders of america go forth. trapped in trapped in washington on a boiling july sunday the knew call and that he secretly discovered there was a grotto on the capitol grounds where the wind would stay cool. my wife and i joined pat and his wife as we do many times after pat's death in 2,003 1117 of june. was there anything you would like to have? three both days.
you don't where them. but i will have the framed and have them with me. if you should buy the book on the back cover you will find the three bowties. she gave me roddy bowties. december 51968 the nixon transition headquarters the president-elect announced that daniel patrick moynihan would join the white house staff assistant to the president for urban affairs. the two-year leave from his position at harvard and nixon said that he will create by executive order a knew council that we will serve as the counterpart domestic counterpart to the national security council. the "washington post" moynihan was described as
6-foot 5 inches of gross of wit, infuriating candor. come to be nixon's democrat. 1969 was not a good year for republicans to become president. one by a bear margin both houses of congress were controlled by the democrats. he democrats. he felt he needed a democrat in his administration. you choose a democrat for your next because you can fire the person. but instead he took moynihan to be an advisor to have which was incredibly high risk proposition. he did not no.
he asked the young man if moynihan called dan or daniel. he knew he was called pat. they did not no each other. did not much care. he was from harvard. and he was a liberal. why would moynihan on the other hand choose to go with nixon? nixon was the person most despised by the liberal community of cambridge the upper west side in new york and in the sense pat was giving up his future in his own party didn't have the
future. a very serious report talked at some length. it was immediately despised by liberals. important elements of the democratic coalition. he was on the outs. he could not possibly have gotten a president from lyndon johnson at that time. rsc points out if you could comprehend humphrey had been elected. if their is ever something that pat moynihan and it worked his way up the political scale started with running a campaign for governor of new york became
his assistant. when kennedy was elected he became an assistant in the labor department, and suddenly his career was over because know one would accept him who had said these things about the sociological nature of the lower class. so they joined forces. joining forces was tricky. in some ways he responded. the 1st day he went to work for january 211969 he had in his office or the burns from an old friend of his from the eisenhower administration who had been preparing transition reports will be delivering them. i'll now be counsel to the president. he had rejected the idea.
he was coming on sabbatical. as he expected in a a years time when the job is open. you you cannot say know to the present he has two competing ivy league professors one a liberal harvard social scientists the other a conservative columbia economist and they are in conflict. what conflict. what happens is they are in conflict in about the way that you would like people to be in conflict where they're are disputes in the white house. it could have been conducted in the faculty lounge. now, nixon probably did not expect this to happen.
mixes model for how our government would operate with basically foreign-policy. but in domestic affairs it turns to the models in which eisenhower reached out to his. the and basically worked out decisions. the secretary of commerce. while at the mouth. so that the eisenhower model was supposed these questions out into the. but what happened was eisenhower knew exactly how to run an organization, he had rather work. he was able to get the cabinet officers he wanted. nixon won a big election. people were devoted to him. he had none of these
advantages. he had many cabinet officers who are not necessarily his 1st choice. choice. and so as we started this urban affairs council pretty sure he cannot stand it. they did not set up. and after a while he just told him keep me away from the. and in turn he turned this conflict for urban policy not to his and specifically but to barnes and moynihan now. if you had a game who would win. it win. it would have to be burns. always a republican. moynihan was not.
burns had all of the advantages to win and yet he didn't. so if the 1st -- at this book is really thought of as three mysteries of the 1st was all around why moynihan picked nixon and why nixon picked moynihan. the 2nd would be what happened in this internal struggle of the policy and why would moynihan when most of the battles. battles are not just one. thoroughly engaging. funny. he attracted the people the staff. and that the way to the next
word came out. entered into the question. early on winning some battles because they were afraid of losing them. but as it became clear remember publicly against the vietnam war. he had been a founder of many of lyndon johnson's war on poverty program which nixon ran against. yet his commitment to the president was not to say anything public about any of these disputes. that's not why he was there. he said things privately. the war was a disaster and i
wish i had that money spent for other reasons. publicly he never said anything. this was important. a major component. they became close, it became a real that was founded in a funny way he started to send memorandum memoranda to the president. i know because i was on the eisenhower staff but not nixon. long convoluted, long convoluted, complex. they were even about subjects that the president cannot do anything about. the president should know about this.
somebody who reads that. these were memos that clearly or election to intellectual. richard nixon had never received memos like that before command he loved them. what did he he do? unfortunately he started to send them around the people which means that ultimately they would leak and cause problems. this this was a strange way they started to me through memoranda. nixon particularly at the stage for he was not anxious to be sitting around with his own cabinet the executive office the oval office across the street he created another office. they would have conversations. the president would say political biographies which
ones should i read? pat would say read blake cannot read the book on melbourne. and the president who apparently had a sleeping problem would get up at two or three in the morning and start reading these books. and he said you can be like this man a conservative prime minister with liberal ideas. ..
that there was a very strange part about nixon and i do very wellhouse because of his campaign in the 62 to be interested in local domestic issues. but yet how can a man who so excessively seeks the presidency avoid u.s. domestic issues? and pat went to go see the president and he called me and said come here. and he was very excited and he said he is a deterrent. he didn't know anything about social policies that when a man was telling him about. because i do nixon i said he
is not ignorance. he is this interested. -- dis- interested. when running for governor and knew he would lose he called me and i said the still thank you will lose? and he said yes but i won't have to talk about crap like dope addiction negev. [laughter] so how to solve problems of the soviet union or vietnam. so pat was such an advantage over henry that he had a blank slate to work upon. not only as an educator
betted europe -- brilliant politician. this is important with richard nixon. nixon was of moderate. he was a moderate for the supreme court decision to make sure that is how he would come out on a the middle and pat knew when to move. the book describes not only the fight but the excitement of being at the white house. the basement of the kissinger's staff or the
place that you got your hair cut. there was a couch opposite the security post. next to the situation room. and there is always an important person sitting on the couch because kissinger was always late for an appointment and a lot of these people were important and they sat there. and i look and say that is kurt douglas. and i got up some nerve and i said hello mr. douglas. are you waiting for henry kissinger? he is always late. come into my office we will have a cup of coffee while you are waiting. so he comes into my office
that is really pats' office i rush into and he comes in and the three of us sitting there. we were talking about movies. and another story. into represent nelson rockefeller. but kissinger was quite nervous he had never talked to a six year-old in his life. [laughter] i was quite sure i could talk about the volunteer army but we had the debate and one year later we're both in the basement of the white house. if we happen to cut bin at the same time in the morning i would say learn how to
solve the war. this went on and on. at one point we're at separate urinals and henry a. kissinger leans over to say steve, you are right this is what i demand for this moment in history. [laughter] it is very interesting i was only in the situation room once. the issue was drug use so international as well as domestic issue. we sat around the table and henry got up to say excuse me but i have to translate
the president's speech from the original job. [laughter] then we went on if you take a leafleteers -- off for two years. then minute --. >> host: had a great victory. so he took a victory lap in 69 he had accomplished amazing things. a lot of little things as well but almost as if his friend said he can do anything he wants as long as he does not embarrass me. so there is a whole stream of little things.
for example,, the statistical systems at that time has listed people as white or non-white. this is outrageous. had you tell people they are non-white? he said do something about it. so when i hand -- moynihan calls the various agencies and says what should recall other people? they worked it out in the system. so it is those little things that our important. for example, with the domestic agencies to configure the united states in different ways with the sba might be in chicago but
housing might be in kansas city. that did not make sense and moynihan said move quickly to change the so they're all the same. he had the headquarters moved and he starts to do that then all hell breaks loose. then suddenly a senator says why is it something in seattle? so you go back to the drawing point -- the drawing board so everybody is happy pro so then they have the same configuration. this is what is going on. however i doing on time? and 1970 it should have
but suddenly there was cambodia. and we were into another country. but i will make it clear moynihan was not against the use of force he was for this particular war. and he believed firmly that nixon wanted to end of for it as the president he had the right to try to get this out of the war. the going to cambodia caused a great uproar among the young people. hundreds of thousands were now surrounding the white house. and some people in the administration including the vice president said awful things about these kids they were just protesting.
moynihan did the like that and wanted nixon to do something about it. and kids were killed. so with this relationship the family assistance plan was defeated by one vote and that important memo he seethed that it was leaked. so he offered the resignation to his embarrassment and nixon refused it. moynihan got letters from his colleagues at harvard to say we're welcoming you back to cambridge he resigned but he did not publicly he just sent a letter to the
president and the president said dieter stand but will use day through the summer to help with the family assistance plan? he said he would but then some way the president goes to camp david and calls and says why don't we give moynihan to the united nations? now we're talking about the summer of 70. to be a spokesman what could this educator want? for some reason they don't announce it and they don't tell the person who has the job.
[laughter] the story breaks and it embarrasses pat a great deal and other things are happening. his wife and family they stayed in cambridge, he commuted back and forth every weekend and paid for that himself. he called me to have lunch and asked if i wanted to be here is deputy. he leaves dinner somewhere between the first and fifth floor in his apartment building he said i cannot do it and calls his wife who was in tears she is so thrilled she is not going to new york. he writes an amazing letter and it is in the book. i cannot do this. this would destroy my family.
second, i'm broke. i came here with $60,000 i spent a little we cannot go to new york without any money. third, kissinger and rogers really don't want me. every plan has now failed and he blames the democrats so i am going back to harvard. and he does. and they stayed friendly and they comment back and forth into years later nixon calls him again and says will you be ambassador to india? his wife was an archaeologist and she liked that also and used it to discover some major develops had she not been the ambassador's wife.
so they go off to india and the book actually ends with the two of them he cents a cable from india that says says, to a supplemental social security past. there will be aid for disabled people for those without sight. we did not win it all but we won this it will be a happier new year for all of us. [applause] >> he has agreed to answer your questions but first daniel patrick moynihan became a senator from new york is there any lessons he took to the senate from president nixon? >> that is the good question. i don't know how to answer
it. moynihan as a senator was as unique as an adviser to the president every summer when they retired he would go in his farm upstate new york where he put a schoolhouse on the property and he would write a book. about intelligence, the secrecy, that moynihan has written more books than the average senator has read the [laughter] he was unique as the united states senator. i know of any specific thing i would say but i should say
well in the process of writing the book little things that i remember. and one thing that i remember which is a less appropriate way to end his fairways i saw richard nixon. i should say that the end of 1969 daniel patrick moynihan is a counselor to the president basically at cabinet officer. he remained from thinking good thoughts. and became chairman of the federal reserve. and nixon made the white house conference of children and use that is from teddy
roosevelt and every 10 years there would have it. after about one month realized in that moment in history we could have a successful conference with children and to set the problems were so different that they would overwhelm the real problems that we have. so i ask the president if i could divide it in tutu to conferences. 1970 i held the white house conference for children 1971 was a conference on use. so january i went to the brookings institution that i have been there since, he invites the family into the oval office it is ceremonial. or a total opportunity the
kids were eight and 10 at that point and get trinkets but the president was never good at these functions in never at ease. he would say jokes that or not very funny. then he is ready to get on a helicopter to fly to ottawa where he is to meet with the prime minister of china. and tell the president says with his favorite subject at school? and charlie age 10 says geography and nixon's eyes light up and he said that was my favorite subject. at this point he takes my
son to walk around the perimeter of the oval office because he wants to show him all love the kids from the countries from all over the world. and then he takes the two boys as a conservative president says i want you to travel while you were young even if you have to borrow the money. then he is imitating a little old man trying to come down the gangplank of a ship in the are all laughing. now that i am almost 82 adult think it is that funny but it was hysterical at the time. [laughter] that is the last time in person i saw richard millhouse nixon. >> in your opinion deal
think president nixon invented vietnam war in his first term? >> fell was his first term because he was succeeded by gerald ford and reevaluated helicopters and all. switching get what has been the same thing that he been given the extra two years. i don't know. i guess i cannot say more than that. what would happen? the question asked is what happened possible? given the state of our political society.
factors in because it seems so arbitrary. such things as people actually liking each other. that those that really deserved to be named to. sometimes you are lucky. >> this is not a question about nixon and i actually have a 17 year-old son who was very interested in going into foreign services. do you have any advice i could give to him how to achieve his dream? [laughter] i can give any advice on that. i have a bunch of children myself.
but i never had to face that this somehow they found their way without there father's guidance to get there. on the way home i will stop in los angeles to have dinner with my son and his family and he is a graphic designer. he makes a living and supports his family. i could not have led him to a career as a graphic designer. [laughter] that's it. >> thank you mr. hess. [applause] mr. hess will be available to sign books in the lobby but first we will present him with a signature of mud with the presidential seal and thanks for coming. we will see you next time. [applause]
reasons. i remember reading the first time i was able to read the diaries years ago so much more became clear to me because he talked about the torture he was subjected to that resulted in him to provide false information about himself and others because essentially he was told what they wanted him to say. he was also in a position, he said in the book, the more incriminating than fiction he could make up the happier his interrogators were. at one point he says whenever they ask me about canada if i had incriminating information even if i did not know him if i thought about the word i don't know i got nauseous because i remember the words that were redacted. all you have to say is i
don't know, i don't remember and to f you and that was the obscenity that was used and he said i erase these words from my dictionary. then you read about his pain that he goes through so that debates about torture focused on effectiveness and of course, that does not matter. wright? it is immoral and unlawful but it shows yet again there are two things that torture absolutely guarantees one is pain and one is false information.
. . >> on behalf of the owners of politics and prose, thank you for coming out and good evening on this wintry night. i would like to remind everyone to turn or silencer cell phones as well as i would like to remind everyone that we are recording the event. when it is time to ask questions, please use the audience microphone which is