tv After Words CSPAN August 25, 2015 10:13pm-11:14pm EDT
corporate money no labor union money no pac money and no political party money. >> host: lawrence is calling in from mel hall pennsylvania. hi lauren. >> caller: hi. i want to go back to the question on the panel about gore vidal. i believe we should go back and read corporate dolls essays. congressman edwards, you were in congress i believe during the insanity of the nixon reagan drug war and now we have got the biggest myths in our history. what would you suggest on how to get her way out of this? it's just absolutely ridiculous things going on for 70 years. >> guest: first of all i wasn't there during the nixon years but i was there during the reagan years. i think there is a movement away from having criminal penalties.
not just colorado and d.c. is doing it. i think there is a movement towards more openness either by making whatever drug is penalties there are much less or it legalizing it as in colorado. i am kind of libertarian. the idea that the federal government is going to tell us where state government everything we can and cannot do is appalling to me and we have really run up the cost of government by putting people in jail, prisons for what should be a minor offense. i would be all in favor of performing those laws. >> host: mickey edwards we often hear chris matthews on "msnbc" talk about how tip o'neill and ronald reagan could find out they can have a drink at 5. was that your experience during the reagan years?
>> guest: yes, i was very close to reagan. somebody complemented me the other day and i have declined to complement and they said you tend to be not full of certitude you are not very ideological and that's why you were able to work across the aisle. i said thank you but it wasn't me. it was a time when tip o'neill and ronald reagan were not an exception. i had many good friends on the other side of the aisle. it was working together on trying to solve problems that society was different then. our culture today you see it on c-span, you see it with the call-ins. so many people today are so full of anger and hatred for people on the other side. i must tell you one time i sent a note to brian lamb saying why
do you have the democrats call in line and a republican call-in line? what he does have americans call and? so there is this polarization and it's much worse. there was one study that said today an increasing number of people would really hate it if a member of their family married somebody from the other party. it's ridiculous. >> host: on booktv we use the east central mom pacific timezones and marshall and whoa illinois is calling from the east central zone. >> caller: i liked what you said about the polarization and this is from my personal point of view. don't you think the left has pushed everything meaning whatever people want to say about the right they have always been consistent that actually the nature of my call goes back to i've corresponded with the
congressman 30 years ago or so during the illinois scandal. our rich tradition of corruption and crime i was a one-man show on the hill trying to warn of imminent collapse. i had the opportunity to meet with members of a banking community, this is the staff. they were very kind and gave me the reports. very kind lip service. it continued. i went to my senator's office altec sin. >> host: i apologize can you bring this to a conclusion? >> caller: okay, my question here is this environment where talking about is something that's been in the making for 30 years. campaign finance reform post-watergate.
>> guest: let me just add you have a lot there so one of the things i would say is that it was a mistake to get rid of glass-steagall. you started talking about the banking problems. i think when you start opening it up where banks get into all kinds of that 70s and things that actually put at risk the people who they have given homelands to our people they have pledged money to that was a serious mistake.
they only allow people in power who will not talk about it, you know, like it is hard to convince a person who is -- who has an income that depends on something to talk against it. do you believe there is any truth to the battle between the ultra rich and everyone else? >> host: thank you, sir. >> guest: i think that oversimplifies it because i have a lot of good friends who are very wealthy,
multimillionaires who are totally against what is happening in politics, reformers, trying to change things. they acted in very bipartisan ways. i think you have oversimplified. after one last call from mickey edwards. >> guest: would you comment on the 47 republican senators 47 republican senators signed and that this will ultimately hurt the republican party? >> host: what do you think, phyllis? >> caller: i think it is treasonous. >> host: thank you, ma'am. >> guest: it is not treasonous. it is completely nonsense. but i think it was stupid if you wanted to send a letter saying what the agreement sugar should not be, we
should do is communicated to the president, the american people, not to the iranians command secondly there was in place an agreement where you had a lot of democrats and republicans coming together to insist that the president submit this to the congress for approval. by having by having a completely partisan letter signed by only members of one party, it appears that. it was not treasonous. it was not was not unconstitutional, but it was just stupid. >> host: here is the book, the parties versus the people.
the press after the debate that i wasn't very lady like so those two incidents kind of reaffirmed in my mind that i have to communicate to other young women that it's plenty ladylike to be outspoken to be strong and opinionated and ambitious and i hope that's what it will do. >> host: i was kind struck as a consumer of a number of politicians memoirs many which are not nearly as frank and outspoken if you will ask your book is which is a very readable book for that reason. this notion of being ladylike and being in the senate is an outlier. people are blown away when i tell them the entire history of united states and i believe it's 44 women have ever served from the entire beginning of time so not only are women not anywhere close to the 51% majority they are in the population of the united states senate today even
if you added up 100 years plus of history they wouldn't have gotten to 50. >> guest: really that number is much smaller because a huge number of women deserve because their husbands died and they were appointed for a short period of time, sometimes as little as one or two days as the men scurried around trying to find the appropriate man to take the job. there really is a very small number beginning really barbara mikulski and casselbaum began the modern era which women were elected in their own right. we are 20 strong now and it's a much bigger number and we are getting there. >> host: again that's what's interesting about this book project of yours as you address that head on. you have a clear understanding throughout the book that you are a member of a very small class in american public life which is
the one politician which is not to say that's how it shouldn't be but i'd like you to address that head on many ways. there is such a huge debate always around this question of our women inherently different in politics and the military and in any sphere of public life versus the fact that there is such a small group that you have that experience really of an embattled minority. >> guest: that's exactly right beginning when i did in my 20s running for office, and i was young and single and i had been in the prosecutor's office where i was up around -- surrounded by all men from the judges to the detectives to my colleagues in the prosecutor's office to the defense attorney with very few exceptions of and of course in the legislature where was very male-dominated. in my 20s and 30s i had to overcome a whole bunch of stuff, a lot of sexist behavior and i talk about those things and i am also very honest that i am not
sure he handled it correctly. i'm not sure i did the right thing but i think at least the book will give some women an opportunity to understand that you can navigate around to get stronger and smarter and figure out a way to xl despite the that get in the way. >> host: i was really struck by the fact that clearly you have a natural aptitude and were drawn towards this even though it wasn't a sphere that was open to women at the time. you tell this sort of holy areas eye-opening story about even in high school mounting a very calculated campaign to become homecoming queen by systematically lobbying the lesser members of the football team, the guys who didn't get all the attention. i was struck by being so purposeful that a young age and number to copy your willingness to tell that story. did you really know at the time
that politics is going to be your thing? >> guest: i think i knew from the time i was in my 10, 11, 12, 13. i was told to say when i was seven years old in 1960 at was told to say trick-or-treat and vote for jfk so i was raised in the household that we were taught politics were powerful. my mom stuff demillo's and my dad was a committeeman than they were kind campaigns but they were not powerful. i did in the sense that i was drawn to it. and i did tell an embarrassing story. this was is the first time publicly told the story that i ran a secret campaign for homecoming queen. how lame is that? it's really embarrassing but i wanted to put it in the book because it's a great example of how you can think about your goal and i want everybody to believe it because i was soaked popular and had pulled off a
campaign and i thought it was a great way of reinforcing the strategy that's important. >> host: i love that you tell the story in a book and i have to say i've been a consumer of a lot of these books. there is an upshot for mile high filled with the memoirs of important figures in washington and i certainly never read an anecdote like in your book honestly. because a lot of their strategic calculation is don't reveal too much and don't take too much. i am struck by that, that you have taken a different approach which is that being willing to peel back the curtain more than usual. did that feel risky to you in writing this book? >> guest: it did and i had a colleague tried to talk me out of it. they said clear you really shouldn't go there. you shouldn't tell people how to become homecoming queen.
they flagged several things in the book and effect i think there were two pages of things they wanted me to take out the book but that wasn't really what this was about. this is about dressing me up and making me look like i'm perfect and wonderful politician and i'm going to save america. this is really about -- it was painful to talk about my first marriage and the failure of that marriage in that my first husband was murdered and dealing with all of that in the book and the shortcomings of my mother along with her amazing role modeling for me. i don't think we do anybody any favors by trying to dress up politicians like we are not real human beings that have made major mistakes and have had major problems in our lives. more people saw us as multi-dimensions and dimensional and fallible and vulnerable then we could communicate better and
never told the story of how engaged you are, it tells a little bit about that, can you talk about that now and your decision to be upfront with up front with people about what you are doing in that case. >> i think that this was a good example of how i want women to be comfortable with strategic decisions that are high risk. my friends have been in situations where they have to take a big risk. there are lessons to go there with women. i don't want to rock the vote, i don't want to take this risk. this is a situation where millions of dollars were being spent at that time. beating me up, driving my negatives up, millions of dollars are being spent. i saw three candidates that had basically the same positions, but one of them had a record of saying things that were very extreme and i knew she didn't have a filter because she had a very religious view of government and i knew that she
would never filter those out or try to be careful about the way that she talked about them. so we decided in the primary season and it would be great if we could send a signal to republican voters how conservative she wants. so what is it about them that they like. so what we did was above and in the open. and then we listed the things that we knew that the republican primary voters liked and they were sending a signal to the republican party that todd was their guy. but we were also communicating to independent voters that if they got the nomination, this is someone who is different in terms of his view of the world. so it helped the independent voters in regard to this and it helped him in the primaries and it worked. so he went from the either
second or third in the polls, depending on which one you are looking at. most of the polling was private. >> actually reinforce what was out there in the public. and so we ran the ad and we watched him climb in the polls and then he won and exceeded our expectations. >> exactly. his comment was right after that primary. going back to that primary campaign that was closing in, it was very tight and there was an extraordinary moment where your campaign really directly got involved. were you personally, as well as pollsters, where you connected with either supporters or people to get a message through about a key advertisement. and what we saw is that mike
huckabee is very popular. everybody knew that mike huckabee was really popular. he was talking about the things that we were talking about, faith and family, conservative values. and he is good for television. it was a powerful advertisement. they put another one up about faith and family and the friends of freedom and it explained freedom and it was just our opinion within our campaign. >> you guys would be good republicans's grad adjusts as well. >> i reached out to a couple of people that i knew were consultants in his world and i said, we don't think about a very good ad, some people call our campaign and then i told the pollster that it was fine to talk to them in broad generalities about why we thought this ad was so good and they took our advice. it was general advice given, no
polling data exchanged or anything of that nature. we gave them what we thought and within hours, we couldn't believe that they were taking our guys and so i have given my advise to hundreds of candidates in my career and this was the first time i had a future opponent. >> it's a remarkable story. not only that you decided to tell that a new book that this is the kind of thing that we all know and assume it occurs all the time in american politics. but transparency and the willingness to talk about it publicly, you know, usually that's left to hollywood versions and house of cards and that sort of thing. >> i think that transparency is good always. i have probably self-defensive but i wanted everyone to know that there is nothing we have done that wasn't about this.
that's why it wasn't third party committees, it wasn't done through operatives. it was our campaign. and i think that it is a great example of being strategic and i thought it was great for women to see a women's campaign engaging in now. a lot of that stuff goes on in men's campaigns as well and i thought it was important as is said. >> traditionally there is that were calculating. which is a negative version of strategic which is applied often to women in public life or those in executive jobs. i stuck by the fact that your book has a quote from sheryl sandberg on the cover whose book generated so much conversation
and the question is how women can get ahead. there was a huge, you know, backlash and circles around her statements that women should sort of be willing to embrace and plan their careers and be mothers, but just to think more straightforwardly and away. >> there was controversy but we agree completely. i tell so many personal stories about my children and family and i want young women to be that you don't have to do it perfectly. but you can definitely do it all and prioritize your family in a way where everyone is healthy and happy without sacrificing a hard edge. it might be termed a hard edge
toward some. this notion that you have a good job, you cannot rock the vote, don't ask for more money because they're giving you extra time off, that's more valuable to you than a little bit more money. ask for both. ask for a little bit more time off and a little bit more money. i agree with sheryl sandberg about this. >> i'm stuck in the fact is i'm sure that you are that on one hand that was probably pretty valuable abayas, don't be afraid to sort of take your career and your own hands. on the other hand when you look at how few women have reached the upper levels whether it's american politics, american media, american companies that are five to 7% ceos. >> and corporate words that are terrible. >> yes. women leaders in any position
including journalism or politics, they are astonishingly low and these are the women that have leaned in. so your account is like, you know, the 1%, it's not an account although that is certainly something that you have done. but what i have been struck by and written about a little bit is, that still doesn't explain why we have so few women in leadership positions in visible positions in the senate. there is a broader category and class of women that have leaned in and those that have made it into these jobs. that is where this extraordinary level of personal criticism and scrutiny faces this. it was eleanor roosevelt on the way back in the 1930s who said that to be a woman in public life you need to have the skin of a rhinoceros and my guess is that that probably still
resonates for you all of these years later. >> yes, absolutely. my haters have a particularly tough edge. not too long ago someone said you have a face like a diaper, lots of things about my weight. and really tough stuff. but i have parents. my dad kept telling me that you can't get anything done without making somebody mad. and this need that we have to two apiece, that women want everyone to be happy. it makes us good elected official is, we want to bring people together. we want people to agree on common ground. and the thing is, you can't make everyone happy.
a third of people think i'm satan on a horse. that's okay. i'm sad they don't like me, but i'm not going to let it slow me down. i'm going to be transparent, work hard and accomplished things and i can sit around and worry that people will say upsetting things. and frankly i think that's why many women avoid politics. the negativity just doesn't have the bite but it hasn't politics. i think the people are kind of over this and oh, her husband is a tough sop.
>> on one hand the level of and the ability to create entries narratives, the ability to judge women in ways that comes out even more loudly. the decibel level in politics has gone up and it magnifies whatever is already out there. and i do think that you are really onto something with this notion about why is it that many women, not only to enter politics, but just in general being in the public sphere. it's well documented that it's extremely hard to recruit women to write opinion columns because that is where you are putting yourself on the line. it's a form of writing that is not on a safe subject and a worklife balance or something.
i see that as a woman editor and i have a more interest in recruiting women in particular running opinion columns and things like that. it is structural and women understand that the penalties are higher. so that is why i was struck by it in your background come amid your family experience, maybe it's just in your personality that you're not worrying about that criticism for internalizing it is. >> to prove them wrong? >> just. >> basically the whole narrative on success is part of this. >> when i was relieved moralized by some of the comments that were made to me and about me, i just internalize it and focus that i am going to show them.
that i'm going to show them that i will do well. but i will continue to get raises by my bosses. i will rise in the system and be effective and make a difference. and every time one of them did this to me i just worked work that much harder and i kept my head down that much more. so maybe i'd used it as fuel. >> that's definitely very interesting. perhaps it is that conversion machine. obviously, you know, a woman politician is hillary clinton. and, you know, another well-known fact about you is your decision to endorse not hillary clinton but barack obama in 2008. you have given an account of that in your book and actually be saving her daughter was a key catalyst to that. >> it was a hard decision.
both armies and candidates extraordinary in their own way. it was a strong and smart woman and an amazing african-american inspirational leader. i've been close to barack obama. i was inclined to support him because i was so inspired by his he. but i was reluctant. my daughter got in my face and said, you know, you should look yourself in the mirror. our entire lives you've been saying that you'd make sacrifices when it comes to the family in order to make it different. now, in the important moment in history, you are not endorsing him because you're worried about your own political skin. and she was right. i was worried about the blowback that i was going to get and that i did get from my supporters, some women who had been good to me and helped me and allowed me to succeed in politics, they were going to be bitterly disappointed, and they were. i called the next day after she
confronted me and told the now president that i was all in and i was indeed all in and i worked very hard on his campaign. >> there was blowback. i don't know that it was pacific we addressed to you. but when madeleine albright said that there's nothing worse than women who don't support other women in public life, that staying at the time? >> yes, it did. but my counter argument is what we are fighting for is a level playing field. unless we begin to achieve at the same level as men, we cannot turn around and do what they did to us. we are going to assume that you are better just because you are a woman. it's about level and not about a preference. so it goes both ways. quality is quality. so i really did think that while it was a hard decision, i felt great and we were pleased to see
barack obama elected as president. >> it's hard for me and i think a lot of people say don't go all in. but i just have that personality. and i'm out there doing everything i can. >> has your daughter won the primary? 2 you know, she has won the primary. not all my kids are there yet. >> i think that they are trying to figure it out. and i have learned a lot, i have tried not to tell them what they think. they are at an age where if i try to do that it has bad consequences and i want them to come to their own conclusions and they will all come to this conclusion. i'm not sure that they're all there yet but i think that they will get better. >> she has been presumed to be such an overwhelming
front-runner. it is certainly the case this time as well and there are these persistent sort of questions about her popularity on the left and the surge in the polls and he's not even a democrat. it's an interesting phenomenon. do you think it reflects the discomfort or the desire to have a conversation within the party 2. >> you know, part of it is the context. they are all aiming at hillary clinton and i've not seen any of them spending a lot of time criticizing bernie sanders. then in our party he is speaking to folks who believe that the status quo is part of this. he does it with a great deal of passion and so i think that he
seems more like an outsider to many in my party and i understand why he's hitting the attention that he is getting. but in the long run i don't think that you can get outside of the party and and if you get a very independent voters that decide statewide elections in my state. i do not think that from a practical standpoint they will vote for a man that self identifies as a socialist. >> the idea that they would do this. >> so i think that you realize she's an amazing strong position. i think the more she keeps this nomination, she needs to learn this nomination and she wants
to. and she wants to show she's a fighter and that it will end up a schedule that we could cut either way. she was criticized for not really embracing this in 2008. she didn't want to be known as the woman candidate at that time when she dropped out of the race at the end of the race. and she gave a speech and said that she had not destroyed it. but had made many cracks in that. clearly she has come to a different way in that campaign and is opposed to being a president, what is your advice and candid advice about whether to play that gender card or not? >> we have actually talked about
this. in my race for governor i was so anxious to prove to everyone that i was qualified and that i knew every answer to every question and i was, you know, this is about me being qualified to be the executive, not about anything else but that. and the journalist said he you're minded me of an obnoxious candidate on jeopardy. we are really sure if we are human. some of the women compared me to cruella deville. and after i lost that race and that is when i realized, they didn't know that my husband and kids are the same as theirs and that i worked my way through school as a waitress.
and that my dad, you know, i grew up where my dad handled everything and his family were from a small town. i had not filled out who i was as a person and so i think that that was something that hillary clinton should keep in mind and i think that hillary clinton needs to show some vulnerability. she has had so many attacks and her life that it's really easy to get in the bunker and be so defensive and i think some of the mistakes she made around e-mails came from that place from wanting to protect some of her personal information, not that she was doing anything terrible or wrong. or not that she wanted to undermine the united states of america. , what was her motive. she on the payroll with china? is that what these people are
alleging? so i don't really think that she should spend so much time being protective of her self she is to open herself up. and i think that missourians got a full picture with the good and the bad and the ugly. >> i think that that is an interesting lesson or case study that applies outside of the realm of politics because there are women in these positions and they attract criticism and the bunker mentality is probably easy for a corporate executive to be in a similar position, it's easy for any woman facing that up. let's go back to the very interesting and unusual role that you have given to navigating the family and politics that i certainly never read and any of these memoirs. her daughter was the one who
pushed and prodded you to endorse barack obama and you talk a lot about this in the book, that them at a young age, there is a wonderful and know where you are asking and you in your early interpublic career and you are asking your son to get ready to come with you to what you say was a party. but i'm gathering that it was certainly not just a party. >> i was going to a political event. when they were young he was probably 86 or seven, something like that. and i would say, come on, we are all going to a party. then we would go to some political event. so you know how kids whispering they don't realize how loud they are whispering, i heard him say to his younger sister if she says it's a party come after anyone is going to give a speech. because if anybody gives a speech it is not a party. and they were on to me as an early age that i was dressing up our time together as something
more fun than it actually was for them. >> it's interesting to that you are able to establish that there wasn't some barrier between the personal and professional you, which my guess is that it's enabled you to really keep integrating your family and your life and so many women struggle that it's a zero-sum game. there is professional time. >> when i ran, i couldn't didn't put my children in with my literature. i was worried that people knew that i had small children and that it was inappropriate for me to take on this law-enforcement type job that had some dangers associated with young children. then i gravitate to the point now that i cannot wait to take pictures of my nine grandchildren. so it's been a process for me and where i come down is that i want my children to be part of
my life. i want to be part of their lives. and that means i want them to understand what i'm doing, i want them to be a part of it. and i have highlights were the children really participate. in my two daughters actually traveled with me during the summer of 2012 for the campaign. it was wonderful. and that's one of the things about politics is that you have more flexibility. you don't have a boss that you have to check with. if you want to see your son at the talent show at the grade school. i never missed my son except for when i was in trial a couple of times. i couldn't leave because i had a jury in the the box. but i would take off and go see my son. you might have to work on saturdays, you might have to give a speech at night, but in terms of my schedule there was more flexibility when i was in the legislative job.
so i tried to integrate to the extent that they want to be and now they are highly opinionated adults as a result and i'm sure that they have lots of thoughts on politics. you have talked about a lot of your female colleagues in the senate as well and their own experiences. and there is a great example of kelly ayotte with her small child when she was a top law enforcement officer there in new hampshire. and tell me about hillary clinton's campaign office? >> she was held hostage back in 2008 at the clinton campaign office accused the attorney general honored hampshire and she was bathing her newborn. she had the phone in her hair. there's a lot of them trying to dress the children, while she was giving information, she said
she remembered thinking that this was surreal. real. thing that you have to get home, i have to go. but leaving her newborn in this way in a tense and serious situation is one great example in the book. and that includes something that is funny and interesting. >> we have some radio program that we used to do and that i thought that i had the foundation, but you could hardly hear my toddler at the time talking the entire time and i had no idea that i came into that.
and, you know, i could hear in the entire time. nobody else had told me that. and i felt mortified, actually. >> i have had dogs in the background of interviews, children crying, children is saying things. >> it certainly humanizes once you got to this question of being such a minority in the senate and institutions of government. i want to push a little bit because i feel like sometimes i hear contradictory things from women who are in the senate or who have been in these political positions. on the one hand there is a rhetoric of women's empowerment. we have these meetings. they are a more bipartisan group. if you have more women in the
senate, you often hear we are collaborative, here's patty murray making a deal on where others failed, so you have an empowerment narrative and then on the other hand, you know, wait a minute, i'm not just going to endorse it because we are fighting for a level playing field not replicate this. and there's something essentially different, because of our historical experience. >> i think that both things can be true, i think that you can make decisions based on merit without gender but at the same time have a disposition that
allows you to work on problems without worrying if you won or whether or not you get the credit. and i think that this isn't complicated. the women in the senate, we had to go through a lot of the same things to get there. it is hard. and there's almost an unspoken language that we get each other, even though i have huge disagreements with deb fisher or joni ernst on policy. there is still this that comes from the shared experience and a lot of it has to do with getting around some of the obstacles. we really don't want to each other under the bus. you want to look at how they talk about each other and to each other, they are at each
other like this all the time. and it's always been that way between the two leaders and it certainly is now that we have two people that clearly don't like each other very much and i think that you can get a lot more done if you'd like each other even if you disagree. so as long as we get to know the women because we talk about our kids and personal lives, i think that it's not just this idea of winning at someone else's expense and that is what is wrong with washington. mitch mcconnell damone barack obama to win anything because he thought that that was going to be at their expense that would make obama effective and therefore they would not be able to take over. now there is a lot of how we need to return the favor to mitch mcconnell, we have to make sure that they don't win anything because look at what they did to us, we need to do
that for them. there's not as much of that among the women and i think that if there were more women we would have even more deals and compromises and i firmly believe that. >> it's really interesting in that context to talk about this with your career in the senate when you had a public disagreement with another woman senator, senator gillibrand of how to ensure more prosecutions for military sexual us all, really objecting to what you saw as a sexist narrative that jumped in and there is the proverbial cat fight. what did you take away enact. >> there were two narratives that i objected to, the first was this was a decision between who did you do support, victims or commanders, that's not what this debate was about up other things. and the media picked up on the
simple. and that was a fight that i was really waiting because in my view having studied it carefully is a former prosecutor and someone who spent more time holding the hands of dems and decrying them than any other member may be in the senate history i feel very strongly when i was advocating that this was better. but the other in this debate is that you had to democratic women with different views and i think that elevated the difference would've been otherwise than by way of masking the fact that we have done so much together. we disagreed on one thing. >> it is striking because you are partnered with her and have continued after that. >> even after the vote. you know, we came down and kind
of hug each other. >> but senators are very competitive. you know ,-com,-com ma did your relationship take even a temporary head as a result of that? >> we were focused on getting the votes to prevail because we both had honest policy disagreements. and it's like oh, i better talk to him. it was trying to get the votes, making sure that people understood her point of view. but after it was over one individual said i'm not sure that men would do what you just did. so it was emotional and it had been elevated in the press. so at that moment part of me did not want to hug her or her shake shake her hand or reconnect, but i knew that i knew to an thank goodness she did as well. so we are fine and now we are
working closely together on this. >> when you look at the senate, one of the things to do great job with in this book is talking about how we institutionalize sexism, that environmental role which is very clear to you in a variety of ways that you are in a small minority but it persists so much into the now. i think that for many people there is just a desire to say that that is in the past. don't we have more women in office than ever before. you can't read this book, you cannot really say that that is a fact. so i thought that it was very striking that you did a good job of saying that this isn't some crazy world and this is what happened to women in the 1980s when barbara mikulski was elected when clearly it was really extraordinary and that of
a boy's club, can you tell us a little bit about that. there were others that were talking about where she was recounting one of her colleagues that was commenting on her weight, sexism isn't dead in the u.s. congress, is a? smack it is not it is something that i have never fell diminished or minimalized. that might have something to do with it. but i did have a doorman tell me that i can come into the senate and i didn't have an assumption that i wasn't a senator. insight that. but you are right about this point. there is a tendency in our society. when barack obama was elected president that we are past the
racial politics and i am from st. louis and i had a front row seat to a great deal of racial unrest and i understand the biases that are racist within our country in the criminal justice system. the same thing is true with women that we have accomplished a great deal. that we can pat ourselves on the back that we have made progress. but if we think that we are done or that this is over, just a few weeks ago to members of the missouri legislature lost their job because young women came forward and called call them out on sexual harassment and they had evidence that text messages were inappropriate by these legislators. that was 1974 when i was an intern and that happened to me. so we cannot think, okay. but we still have work to do. >> there is a great anecdote that you talk about when you were first elected as part of democratic women who came into
the senate and the really push the boundaries of what was there. single tiny bathrooms, what was it that you said enact. >> there were literally two stalls to stand in front of a sink and i was standing there and then in came elizabeth warren who had just gotten elected. and this was in 2012. some of the else was in there and then we were all like this and so i said that they are going to have to get a bigger after them. another is room when we get 50 or 60. we didn't have an office behind their. >> we all know in washington that office space is part of
this. but i was amazed about another in a note from that period of time. i think it was senator kay hagan that wanted to go swimming in the senators -- members only jim. and i found out that she was told no, you cannot do that. and i guess she really had to press to find out the reason why and she said that the men were swimming naked sumac not all of them. i can never forgive her because she told me who was among the men senators. >> i heard who it was as well. >> i cannot get it out of my hard drive. sumac and that is a friend of yours? >> yes, right. [applause] >> and that was just a few years ago that we finally had to make that up. >> that wasn't like in 1965 or you could be like oh, we were just walking around. >> she took care of that.
and i don't want people to think that we have some huge great thing, but it's adequate and modest, but now i think your kids can come in if they want to swim in the wintertime. >> amazing. >> you obviously came in to washington with a set of expectations and they point of view about what you would encounter and politics in missouri. what is the difference between politics and her home state and politics in washington. i think some of that does come out in the book. >> there are some things that are the same. the things that are different are that it feels more like drinking out of a firehose 24/7.
you kind of walk through your schedule, you meet people and her staff tells you how to vote and you follow their recommendations. but if you are really engaged in really serious, it is an enormous amount of material. and that is a big difference because i feel in my adequately informed and adequately prepared. i don't think i've ever felt this way is much as any of the jobs i've had in missouri. so that is different. this function is different. i had never served in a legislative body that was this dysfunctional. you couldn't even get mitch mcconnell and john boehner to agree on how to fund highways much less republicans and democrats. speaker boehner was pushing a three months extension and o'connell said no, no extension at all, and