tv After Words CSPAN September 14, 2015 12:00am-1:01am EDT
discusses her book. >> senator amy klobuchar, congratulations on your book the senator next door. >> thank you so much. >> in the prologue you talk about an early brush with sexism and injustice. you were in the fourth grade. tell us what happened. >> what happened is that i was wearing the first pair of pants ever to be worn by a girl. >> now that is a good point. >> it was a public school and it was in minnesota and i wore multicolored floral bell bottom pants. sure enough i was called into the office and she had this
enormous beehive haircut and i still remember it to this day. i am traveling in the chair and she said you can wear your trousers and your culottes and your pantaloons at home but at high school you wear dresses. i literally got a permission slips, walked home and changed into address and came home. i shed a few tears, i will say that much. i use that example of why a wrote the book to show how through it all the changing culture i ended up being able to wear pants and being able to be the girl that could respond to those principles of the world and start a petition jot drive but at that moment i did what she said. the one little tangent to that story is that when the book came out i actually got a call from someone and he said this is ron
and i'm the son of the old principle. he said i read that and i didn't like what you said about my mom. i said well ron it's true she really did kick me out of the school. >> what you said about her hair with the beehive. >> i said ron i checked on the internet she did have a beehive. i had a lot of respect for her. then i heard this voice laugh that said this is al. it was my colleague faking that he was the son of the principal. that is how the book starts. >> one of the things i took from the book is how it's a process to learn how to stand up for yourself in a situation like that. it takes some time especially for girls to figure out how to do that. i think we are seeing that change. one of the reasons i wrote this and it's not just about girls. it's
about trying to get people from regular backgrounds growing up in a middle-class society to feel like they can get involved in the political process. for me my teachers were incredible mentors back then yes she wasn't that nice but a lot of the teachers whether it was the one that got me off the front of the door when i would get stuck on my mitten or the bright red hair that i had and the teacher that would yell speak louder, i can't hear you, when i gave presentations but she would write on my report cards, speak louder and she would spell louder with the space between each letter. those those are people that influence my life. it made it easier for me as i went ahead. i found that every step of the way from way back then to the last few years where i went to asia with john mccain and all those male leaders. john would start the meeting and they look over at lindsay because he was the second man
and john would say no senator klobuchar is the democratic lead on this and you will address her next. i think those people that have helped you, is hasn't been all women but they have helped me along the way. in the book you write a lot about your family you write a lot about your dad who was a long time and much beloved columnists and he worked for the associated press in fact in the year that you were born he played a really important role in that presidential election. tell us about that. my dad was dad was the one that called the election and this was a situation where alan wake, california and minnesota were the last three states. it was all down to the wire and you know california ended up going to nixon. so there's my dad he's a young young reporter in the associated
it was so glamorous. i still remember. i show up in my assignment ready to write a big policy piece about the furniture. i was going to crawl under the desk and write the numbers down. as i like to tell kids that interned for me, that was my first government job in washington and this was my second, so take them seriously. what did you take from his career or what he taught you? i really think the stability that he has is something that is missing in today's politics. i tried my best to practice that and how he would treat people and still when i was working with him later at the law firm, there would be republicans that would call in to talk about
issues because he just viewed his job in that way. he didn't use a lot of heated rhetoric so people made fun of him for being too norwegian but i think there was value to that. he was a lot of fun when he wasn't in tv. there was some value to that and certainly helped him to get things done. >> when you were becoming more politically active yourself, you are addressing democratic national convention in 2004 and he gave you some advice. i wonder if you would tell that story and read some of that. >> sure. the the background here is that john kerry, i'm elected county attorney and john kerry is running for president. it was was my first major involvement in being a speaker. in fact the first time john kerry came to minnesota, i introduced him and made the mistake at this big rally, i'd minimum her two minute speech and i said i give to give to you, my first line and he's up here with me, the next president
of the united states john kerry. it's it's so obvious he thinks i'm done. he's so nice. he comes over and says i know you're not done, go ahead and finish. >> he later told me when you got to the senate, i was being nice because i knew i couldn't get away from you. later they had me speak at the boston convention. this is an example of what a great mentor mondale was. i had gotten a great speech together. it was only three minutes long and there were certain things you couldn't say. i had just a tiny joke that set i'm going to and with the words of someone famous from texas. no it's not george bush, americo want something as good as its promise. so that's the background and they told me i couldn't use that. >> the more meaning of the speech walter mondale came up and said now you've memorized your speech right?
they have a teleprompter so i should be fine. know that isn't isn't fine he said. remember the time when carter said hubert horatio hornblower? i remember he said. that was a teleprompter screwup he said so don't trust it. memorize the speech. this struck me as a little out of date but even so i told him i would memorize my speech and i did. later in the day i turned up at the appointed hour and found myself backstage with patrick leahy, chuck schumer and rago. don't ask me me why the conventions organizers put me together with that high powered crowd, but they did. it was a pretty good speaking slot in the convention hall was fairly full. senator leahy was up before me. he started into his speech but after about half a minute a minute he stopped and looked around. the teleprompter had gone dark. he made a joke about it by
suggesting the malfunction was tied to a well-publicized fight he recently had with vp dick cheney. eventually someone brought out a copy of copy of senator leahy's remarks. oh my god i thought, from where i stood waiting at the corner of the stage i could see walter mondale. he was sitting right there in the front row. i made eye contact with him and i have i have never seen a more pointed, i told you so nod, in my life. i nodded back. after senator leahy finished his remarks i stepped up to the podium. someone gave me a printed copy of my speech and at some point after i launched into it the teleprompter came back to life. i rarely looked at it and i never looked at the printed copy thanks to walter mondale, i had memorize my speech and i looked only at the crowd. i. i added some stuff, i had some fun in the speech went great.
and i use the bush line. >> just two years later you were elected to the u.s. senate. you were the first woman elected in your own right to the senate. from minnesota. do you think that was an asset or liability in that campaign? >> we had two really strong women. in the 80s and in the 70s the secretary of state had run. they had both lost. when i started running people would literally ask me, do you think a woman can win? it was a reference to the others. this was in 2006. with a reference to 2006. with a reference to kay bailey hutchinson, i said well a woman one in texas so i think a woman can probably win. i think the last two were in the 80s and 90s. then i finally ended up, i didn't emphasize it too much and the other women had focused so
much on that issue. some of the guys i would speak to these steelworkers i would say look, somebody would ask that question and i would say look, last time i checked half the voters were men. i was just running as a woman, i wouldn't win. so i'm running on my record as a prosecutor of what i want to do for the state of minnesota. at the end of the election when i won by an overwhelming margin, one of of the newspaper reporters, pat lopez, writes for the minneapolis tribune wrote a piece. i had a group called amy's angels which meant a lot to me. we did a lot in term of gathering women support but it wasn't the focus of my campaign. >> we have a record number of women in the senate now but it's still only 20. in fact there are fewer than 50 women elected in the history of our cut country.
for the 20 women who are now in the senate, do you think the women senators tend to behave differently than the male senators? >> i do. there is a recent study that showed from harvard that showed the women senators tend to sponsor each other's bills more and get things done more in their more bipartisan. it's not just anecdotal. i've seen time and time again whether it was susan collins and the shutdown giving a major speech, i was the first democrat to join her and we put together a group of 14 on how 14 on how to end the shutdown which was adopted by the leaders. i think there is a lot more trust among us and we have what we say about the men never goes out of the room. of course course we never talk about them.
>> the had never elected a woman to a national office. hillary clinton is now set to win the democratic nomination for president. she is running in the gop race. to what extent do you think gender is a factor in those national races? >> it's been hard for women to win and those jobs, but first is the money issue. a lot of men give money to men and so the more we get women in business the more advantage will have. sometimes voters think of a woman in that kind of role and
we have a small percentage of women governors. i think the time is right. i think people are starting to see more and more women in leadership roles and that changes the thinking. >> she has had some challenges behind some of the criticisms of her. >> i think throughout her life she has gotten criticism. i think the key is again, what do you do with it? how do you move on? sometimes there are low expectations but then you have a debate or a speech and those can be to your advantage if you do it right.
the second thing is the harassment issues which we know still go on all over the country and must be taken seriously. there are so many races where she is called the mom in tennis shoes or there is an opponent talking about rape and it somehow the fault of the women. >> he called at legitimate rate. when you go back through those things you realize they started to boomerang and they hurt the opponents who say these things. i had someone who worked for my opponent call me a prom queen and, i wish, and daddy's little girl and no one even noticed it because i didn't make a big deal out of it. the point is either no one notices it because it's so minor and you don't think you need to bring it up, but if you do it's boomerang.
i think some of that is behind us but the real challenge to me is still that thing that is so hard to define when you are a minority, whether you are a racial minority or you're a minority because you're a woman. only 20 of us in the senate and you always do wonder sometimes, was i not included because they have no women in it3;añ and they wanted to hang out with each other or is it just because they picked people that they wanted to have in the group. it's really hard to define those things. they've talked a lot about that with lean in and some of the columns she has written about that subtlety of incomes out of power or being kept out of the room and having to assert yourself to get into the room. i
think that's the level of the leadership and i do not discount the words are the harassment that's going on. i think when you get at that leadership level, that's where the fight is at and that's where it gets into the presidential level. to the presidential level. to make sure were calling people when they exclude people from those decision-making roles. >> one of the things we have seen with women candidates is handling sexist charges or offensive names in a different way. there is less of an inclination to
she has acknowledged that she takes responsibility for what happened, but it's her responsibility. she has agreed to hear it in front of the representatives that are not her friend so that she can publicly ask questions about it. when you combine the release of the e-mails by the state department with the public hearings my hope is that bad when all of that is complete we can then move to some of the major differences between her and some of the people on the republican side who were talking about deporting them to build a and building a wall to canada were saying things like one of
the problems as they they are not working hard enough. and the serious policy prescriptions that she's putting forward whether it is about people who are on prescription drugs that leads to heroin abuse or changing the campaign-finance laws that are so detrimental right out of the process and getting compromise to the economic proposal. >> you are in the same senate class as senator bernie sanders from vermont who has i think exceeded about everybody's expectations including his own in his presidential bid. why do you think that he's managed to speak the court? >> guest: i came into the senate with him and i'm not that
surprised because he's always had a strong grassroots following and i just look at this as not as a negative but a positive that we have a robust interesting primary going on and i think that hillary clinton has made clear she meant what she said that it wasn't going to be a coronation but the there would be debate and a contested primary. and i will say that there's major differences between the democratic side into the republican side. i see more similarities in their views but i also do not see the attacks have been so classic. i don't see the candidate putting their cell phone numbers out on tv. so these are imported as we move forward and get to one candidate to unify the party.
>> host: so it would be boosted by having the vice president -- what does your political sense tells you? >> guest: i have a lot of respect for the vice president. he has come to my state many times and i think that he is going to have to make his own decision based on what he wants to do and as he has said publicly what his family wants him to do. >> host: you mentioned jesse ventura earlier in this conversation who was a predecessor of donald trump and an outsider who manages to get the attention but what do you think is behind the surprising appeal on the republican side to be sure but with a lot of americans? >> guest: as i point out he signed the supporters would be in the back of the line in the
parade would be a lot less fun that i was running for the county prosecutor and he was running into somehow got to the back of the parade and his people with signs that said retaliate in 98 and that captures how some people are understanding the feeling of institutions and there are people that are mad at the government and manages this and that just feel left behind and you can see that with the income inequality that's happening in the country so i think in that way that has fueled some of this donald trump, but i think that it's real in terms of how people are feeling and that's what i said earlier i want to get to the data stage. what are your solutions are about the two parties and what really will help these people back? the other thing that i say about jesse trump is that he came on at the end.
she's running a good campaign throughout the year but he really didn't catch people's attention until after the state fair. and that is at the end of august in case you didn't catch it. then the other thing is that while he was certainly provocative he didn't say the things about his opponents in the same way. so there are some comparisons but a lot of differences. >> host: you could a lot of experience in politics. do you think it would be possible to have the presidential bonhomie? >> guest: i have seen that in our state and i don't rule anything out. the fact that he now has said he would not run as an independent who is this of course would venture that it. remember he was that way when they were pretty candidate on either side and now he will be running in a republican primary and there will be quite a package for him. >> your book is called the senator next door.
what does that mean? >> guest: i named it that in part because i wanted to bring back this idea of representing the neighbor's fundamental idea of democracy if you get elected by your neighbors or the senate and you go and represent your neighbors into you over to them to act like a neighbor so if you have someone next to you you don't always agree with your neighborhood or you don't like you have to find a way to get along and that is not what has been happening in washington so i make the case here that there are a lot of good people that went for good reasons and i told some stories of getting those done and working across the aisle with her for me it is the senator from the dakota or senator mccain and then i make the case that we all went to our neighbors the citizens we represent and not act like boxers in the corner of the ring to find the common ground and at that point of compromise. >> host: you talked about
redefining the political courage. we think of political courage as someone standing up for the principle into being on shielding that you make the argument that it takes more courage to be willing to make a compromise. >> guest: i gave the example that he got a lot of grief on the right for that. when i came out for a certain kind of public option debate i thought that it should be a competitive public option when it came to that affordable care act which i supported i got grief on the left for that. so there are example after example of people who show courage in my mind when they are willing to stand next to someone they don't always agree with him to come up with a compromise instead of just going to a chamber and giving the speech alone that has turned out but that has turned out in these recent days to be easy to do.
what's hard to do is find a way that you can reach common ground cynical say that it's a dysfunctional capital. what is the ability and willingness to make the compromises and get things done how did that get lost and is there a way to bring it back? >> guest: first of all the way the money works is determined to compromise because anything we can do to reverse the decision the money tends to go to either extreme because the independent expenditures who want you to get things done that happens all the time. but the money tends to go to the extremes that they want you to be there so that is a big problem. the second problem is the way that it works now with social
media. that's how big that's what we get the message out to the citizens but rumors had been spread from one side or another sometimes were to not hae sponsored by groups and then also the media of course not every discussion is like this. on the c-span appearance today a lot of the discussion for people screaming at each other going back and forth and that is encouraging you get a lot of attention ask donald trump u. get a lot of attention when you act like that and when you tend to be more conciliatory it doesn't mean you don't stand your ground. john mccain didn't necessarily have that moderate character but it's whether in politics you can see inside the other person's views.
whether you can put yourself in their shoes to find out where the plaintiff common ground is. it's this idea that you can stand your ground against and still look for common ground and i think that is missing into some and some of it involves the way politics is the longer just every single thing we do is covered by a second on buzz feed or sleek on twitter. i tell them about some had the immigration bill in the senate and that is where people came together. it's big and we have a roadmap for the next president. you hit the recent infrastructure built just brought up that i think is a great examples of i go through my own personal experiences with that and i think it's important for citizens to know that this
happened and reworded. >> host: in the decisions there is an unprecedented amount of money being spent in the political campaign. there's more that's not disclosed your offshore who's putting the money up. when you're a u.s. senator, how much time and attention to the prospect of raising money for the next campaign for how big of a role does the plate brigade a life? >> guest: some of it depends on the race. both of my races were about $10 million i had to find that is daunting but it's not like some of these dealing with independent expenditures and 50 or $70 million so i told a story in here that for me i started having never raised more than $500 a person and suddenly having to raise 10 million i literally ended up having to command i tried to call people but no one called me back a day couldn't pronounce my name is finally one day in august nobody was calli back and they went
to every old rolodex and every old address book i could find and i set an all-time record and raised $17,000 from ex-boyfriend as my husband points out it's not an expanding base. you were given an environment and have to find a way to survive. i do not let it dominate my days with the good of both grassroots orientation to them but it made a difference and i reached out a lot across the i/o and i haven't had to have those kind of major part of our affairs but that is to say dude could say you see you kids be up for the fight. >> host: webmail franken was elected to some of the senators decided to give you some advice.
the >> guest: i had been there for two and a half years and i just got used to being a senator and suddenly now i'm the senior senator and the other is a celebrity so they talked about their experience -- >> host: who came to talk to you? >> guest: chuck schumer and dick durbin. v-victor been had barack obama so they told me stories of what it was like and said it's not easy as you think your constituents asking to take pictures of them with the other senator. i said i can handle it and all culminated getting on a plane into the flight attended announces we have some celebrities on the plane mr. and mrs. al franken. everyone left and then he said no she is the other senator and the flight attendant says how
cool is this husband and wife senators. so it's never easy. >> host: that's the worst southern accent either. >> guest: o. get out of here. >> host: the current issue of beer dealing issues they are dealing with is the nuclear deal. it looks like the president is guaranteed to be able to put the deal into effect because it will be sustained or there will be a filibuster. are you no longer a supported of the deal that this will go into effect because the majority will back it even though the majority opposes it? >> guest: i think first of all, there was an agreement made, a bipartisan agreement made between senator corker and senator cardin about the rules of the game and how this was going to work and like any other vote in the senate on a major
issue that is how it works for major pieces of legislation and that is how it's worked since i've gotten there. that was the rules that were set for the bill and i proposed changing and overall. so i think that is the answer to it and if you have what looks like i don't know the exact number but it's going to be over 40 senators that approve of this agreement and couldn't get up to 60 if you put it as a motion to disapprove it would get over that threshold. if you did it as a motion to approve it would get to those numbers, so it's like any other bill that was negotiated about what the process would be so
that would be my first answer. second is that this is an agreement congress made in the congress thought i ran to the table. i think that's why you see congressional involvement. it wouldn't have to take place. the aid to israel, more security and other things i'm hoping has to happen. to see that just about every republican is going to oppose it and is going to support it although there are some democrats that are not and that it's not an issue that you think would naturally be inevitably split along those partisan lines
what does that say about this issue? >> guest: i think traditionally foreign-policy foreign policy hasn't been partisan but it has become a little more that way in recent years we see it with some issues about eight although you always have some republicans kind of going the way that it used to be and realizing that it's really important to the country security. we did have people come together both sides to agree on the process and i think part of that was knowing that in the end this might break down on party lines so i would go back to the fundamental reason that we did it come up come up with a process that was bipartisan and there will be a package of things that are bipartisan because that's been important to the country and it has been more bipartisan. >> host: is one it's more of a tradition of funding the government would break along partisan lines. we have groundhog day in
september and the government isn't funding for the fiscal year that starts october 1. what are the odds that you think there will be another government shutdown this fall? >> guest: i don't think that the odds are great. i've heard from the republican leaders and i know there are some like senator cruise has played an instrumental role. that didn't go very well in terms of the reaction of the american people. the rules were made and shouldn't have been and i saw mitch mcconnell recently said that. that was given i was given a reason to shut the government down and i'm hoping that means that there is pragmatism in the negotiation and the way that the
speaker showed on the fix with the medicare payment at the beginning of the year so to come up with an agreement that being said on our side we think it is pretty important that you have if we try to change the sequestration that we try to do something that is fiscally responsible that includes the domestic and the military side so that we have done so much of the budgeting and i've supported these cuts but they've been something like three to one or four to one. we have exceeded that with the cuts to revenue so in the long-term as we are looking at the tax reform and we are going to move the country forward we need to look at reducing the deficit. >> host: there are five senators running and one democrat. how much affect, doesn't have an
effect on the debate that we will see this fall? >> guest: you see mitch mcconnell running for people as ted cruz did back in december. call everyone back and told the story in the book when they said they could go home and go to than half the party ends up opposing. we had so many important things to do with confirming the important positions in the u.s. government. we had at the end of year bills that had to be passed into that was to make a point. on some of these issues including the issues in the revision and of the revision and important changes that have to be made to the patriot act.
the way that it's done with tv ads and the showdown is designed >> host: you are marching in a labor day parade. >> guest: that was an minnesota. people were shouting klobuchar for president. what do you think of that? >> guest: i love my job right now and that's why i called the book for but senator next-door and a lot of people running for president i'm happy doing my job. >> host: it's not exactly -- if i wanted to i would call it boring to read. >> host: the next generation of office holders who might be
considered running for national office you've got kristen gillibrand the senator from new york, cory booker the new jersey senator come at the castro brothers from texas and one thing that struck me is how diverse the group is. i didn't intend to make it make its papers it's just every one the people i mentioned is either hispanic or african-american or female. you think the time has come when democrats will no longer nominate a ticket are we at the figure will be an think there will be an expectation of diversity on the national democratic ticket looks >> guest: i don't like to say that there has to be a way that we are heading into that kind period and that is whoever the nominee is on the party but when you look at the democratic party and there is no doubt about this brd diverse party bringing
diversity and immigration reform and the support for that so i think that you see a big party that brings in new people that they could party for women and a lot of issues that women care about and the child issues and family medical leave issues so that's why i think you are going to see more and more diversity on the democratic ticket and i would be surprised if there was just what we've seen in the past it wasn't always like that because walter mondale. thinking about your political career as a county prosecutor and u.s. senator can you name
one achievement that makes you think i'm so proud of this as a political achievement? >> guest: i think it was the work that we did on the white collar crime in iran an office of 400 people and they have a major cases and property crimes and shrug cases but i made the decision that it was a love of the time was after 9/11 and think u.s. attorney's office was involved in with the person caught in minnesota who was in jail so they focus on that and we took more of the cases jointly gather them in our own office and i can't believe it doesn't matter. and while the cases are complicated thing after a judge like we did when i was the chief
prosecutor, a guy that stole than $400,000 whose truck. we go after someone whether they are running a business or standing out doing drugs come so we made the may better major emphasis. and to make people understand you can't have two systems of justice one for the rich and powerful and one for everyone else. just close your eyes to the white collar cases mostly involving, not all but most involving people who are not of color and then. it was perfect work we did on the photo identification working with the innocence project.
it was 3 billion, three to 4 billion we could say. i am on the road to allow to create some competition. i have a number of democrats that i'm leaving jeff negotiation for the medicare prices and i'm not going to get involved but at some point. thank you. >> that was "after words" in which authors of the latest nonfiction books are interviewed by public policy makers and others familiar with the material. "after words" airs every weekend on booktv at 10 p.m. on saturday