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tv   After Words  CSPAN  March 28, 2016 11:17pm-12:23am EDT

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students and teachers who completed this year and teachers who completed this year congratulations to all of our winners. every weekday on april starting on the first, one of the top 21 winning entries will air at 6:5l winning entries can be viewed online at student kim.org. >> well senator daschle and senator, thank you for joining me today to talk about your new book as was described in the opening, crisis point. as i travel around the country, i watch the current affair shows which i don't watch many these days, but many people on both sides of the aisle think that there is a crisis point. however, people can say the house needs to be burned down but you actually know how to build it back, you all have actually been in the stomach of the beast and have had to navigate the different personalities and egos that you deal with on both sides of the aisle.
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so as we unfold here today and evolve through this process let me say on the outside that usually when i am on some show, i am sitting in your chair. today i'm asking the question so bear with me as we unravel this or peel this onion. as i went through the book i saw so many interesting things about how we get to a better chemistry. how we get get to a better civility. how do we get things done in washington. so let me ask you on the outset, why write the book? >> that's a great question. i think we write the book in part because we love the institution and we want to see it continue to thrive and progress and be
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what it can be and what our founding fathers envisioned for it. but that takes work and leadership, takes adjustment. i worry today that because of the dysfunction, we are at a crisis point. we are going to have to take some corrective action to bring it back. this institution is only as good as the people who sir. i think sometimes we take it for granted. we have to remind the american people how fragile our government and these institutions truly are. requires maintenance, requires real commitment to to the process and to the host spirits of what it is we need to do in democratic republic. that is what the book is about. >> first about tom and i both served in the house like you do where your chairman of the conference. so we have that background in the house and senate. why senate. why do we write the book? tom and i went through a lot of difficult times together yet we managed to get a lot of things
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done working with president bill clinton and president bush too. but over that process of dealing with the tough things like nine oh 11 and the anthrax attack in impeachments of william jefferson and we came back on the other side his friends. since we left the congress we continue to get together in a friendship has grown, i was actually down to south carolina with tom and his wife and my wife and we're talking about are concerned about the growing dysfunction and the gridlock. and the experiences we had had and the ideas going for. i think tom was the one going forward and said maybe it's time we think about a book going forward. i think in many respects these are the times that try souls and affect their thinking. not only in congress but politics as a whole all across the country now we're seeing some things that are very
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unusual. we think that we are at a pivotal points, crisis point domestically, internationally, with how we need to do things differently to get the result for the american people. so we put it in the book. >> when you talk about doing things differently, the older we get the more difficult it is for us to on learn. we think that what we have been doing for the last 20 years is right, it's the best. democrats never think their addiction is as bad as republicans, republicans never think their addictions are as bad as democrats. on learning and in getting to a better way, a better solution i've often said that in going into public service i think we all come and we are principled people and that is one of the reasons we get involved. but when a better plan emerges
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that is not principled, it's arrogance arrogance or it's pride that says no. it's a better solution but i don't like it, it's a better better solution but i don't like that. that's not principled, that's pride. so how do you keep your that? you're making making recommendations of the book but kind of shares some of those things with me on how we get there. how we get over that hurdle to say on learn and let's look at best model and best practices. >> i think of you talk with elected officials in both parties they realize that their problems now. the problems between the president and the congress, we laid a predicate before we got to the suggestions we had going forward of how you can change the dynamics and move things were. for so we looked back at history and we talked about what our founding fathers had in mind, the difficulties they went through.
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there are times in our country's history where things worse and gridlock were involved. but then we talk about what we went through and i just sense that people are now looking for a way to change the politics of the ugliness of what we have now. but it won't be easy. you're right. i haven't thought about it in that way. some of the things we suggest like bring your families with you to washington, work five days a week, everybody do one your public service. there can be people that say wait a minute, that is going the wrong direction, we don't want to do that. so we put it both in a collage of things that would change the dynamics and the culture. we think it needs to happen because were not dealing with the country's problems right now in and of effective way in my opinion. >> one of the things that we need to do to fully succeed is ask us what happened that got us
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here. i think a lot of factors over time causes evolution to occur. you're to say many times, think the airplane is partly at fault here in part because it's made it so easy for people not to be in washington. people leave on thursdays and come back on tuesdays and we try to run the country on wednesday. we have reconfigured the lines for most congressional districts. all of those those things have contributed to this new environment. when you put them all together you get the result that we are now seeing. this dysfunction. all exacerbated in part by some of the factors that got us here. >> we talk about spending time in washington, is elected elected in a class of 94 that gave republicans the majority the first time in over 40 years. in that class we kinda said were
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not going to live in washington, ivan campaigned on the fact that i would be home on the weekends and in eight years i touchdown in my district every weekend except for. in looking back on it, if i had to do it over again, i would bring my family to washington. that is the wisdom of having done it for eight years. i would've brought my family to washington. so in terms of creating a chemistry or a culture, i find that there is not the relationship, in reading the book you talk about the relationship that is created and each senator is assigned a number and eventually you talk about whose desk you are sitting in, thomas jefferson, et cetera. the senate is different in terms
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of relationships with the house. can you give us some thoughts on what you did to create those relationships? >> one of of the things we both feel strongly about is the need for inclusion. by that, that, the president inviting leaders down to the white house. we did that right after 911 president bush invited us down, he told us we needed to be there at 7:00 a.m. every tuesday. that inclusion created a chemistry among us and allowed us to deal with the real crisis at that time and made a huge difference in the relationships that came from it made a difference in terms of what we are able to get done. joint caucuses, to listen to the leadership together rather than separately so these separate caucuses don't, doing things to
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socialize, bringing spouses together, opportunities to know one another in an informal basis. that is the that is the way they used to do things. it really made a difference. we don't have those things anymore. >> none of that happens today. i think that is one of the problems. >> several times we face the crisis we would have a joint conference leading republican democrats in the old chamber, sometime it was the head of the cia briefing about something sensitive. sometimes it was trying to find a way to proceed with an impeachment trial. every time we had those joint meetings whether it was in the senate or in the old senate chamber, marvelous things came out of it. we heard each other out, we made decisions and we move forward. >> tell jc about the kennedy agreement. >> this is the one where tom and i had come to terms that the house had voted to impeach the
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president we are going to have to have the trial. but we're not sure how to proceed. we had not had one of those in a hundred years. finally we came up with the idea to meet in the old senate chamber and have a discussion about how to proceed. we didn't know what the result was going to be. i called the on demand from hawaii to open it with prayer. and guidance on how to proceed. and then i asked bob byrd, asked bob byrd, give us a little history, not too long about our constitutional responsibility and he did a marvelous job. and then we opened up a discussion and people started talking back and forth. finally kennedy made some comments, take cad in the and then phil gramm made comments. now they're they're the polls of the two parties. conservative of the conservatives in a very liberal line. it sounded like they're saying the same thing. i looked down at connie mack my
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buddy and he nodded and he said that's it, we had the kennedy graham solution, and so everybody was so excited, we broke up the session, we had an agreement on how to proceed and thomps let's tell the press, and i don't know which set it but what do we exactly agree to. and i i said i don't really know either time. so why don't we get key players and put them in a room and get them to write up what we agree to. but we got the agreement and we proceeded. we did our constitutional responsibility. we did it in a way we felt was fair to all and we came out the other side with the ability to go back and do legislation for the people. >> ..
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>> >> between the lines when you explain something to articulate to said totally agree.
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and to take up politics of that. to be exhibited in such a way like a fox and the hound to play together as kids to be disjointed and the fox wanted to still be friends and the hound said no. i am a hunting dog now. [laughter] >> when you looked at that analogy to say i totally agree and i will sell it to my conference. >> i will not talk about the bill i am not sure read it a
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great job. and is pushing back on what he was trying to do her cry had that same experience i didn't want to move forward with this bill. he came outside the conference room and we discussed it we both knew we had to get it done thompson i will be on the floor in 10 minutes. who went to the floor instead we will call it up now by 9:00 tonight it was done. behalf to be willing to put a little bit on the line. it is all-important to have a relationship. i trusted and respected respected, even though philosophically we have our differences with leaders of opposing parties but you have to have an open door of communication to develop a trust.
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every now and then i was prepared to say that wasn't cool i am sorry but we will fix that. i don't see that happening. and not just being mean-spirited. >> you mentioned and in the book you probably turn to page four in the book and because of those five ballpoints to have a good sense what the book is about new york courage is such a necessary component today it is the al will tougher on paul ryan. and harry reid or mitch
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mcconnell because we have grown so far apart. so courage is what you talk about in a detached of leadership but to unravel that a little bit more. for what you have to deal with with leader of your respective conference. and what they are dealing with today's. >> even though it was bad then it is much worse now. the constant need to fund raise the and that means members get on more committees because they are
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spread so thin that they have their own constituency. the last race was $50 million with $120 million. so just the incredible insatiable demand for more and more money is one of the issues and made a harder for the leaders to bring the leaders in there doing all of this other stuff and to find out and don't want to lose the primary. because they tried to find consensus.
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all those pressures make it harder. >>. >> that atmosphere is for a variety of reasons. in the media is different. if for 24/7 coverage. and i was known as the conscience of the senate. when pat moynihan would come even though he was a liberal democrat that i respected
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his knowledge. >> can you have henry hyde. >> quantity stop and hear what he had to say. >> is that true now? >> this too shall pass. but not without leadership and courage to do things differently. and a change of politics. with the national primary. we think that campaigns are way too long. and what do they know about civil responsibility.
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what do we do for future generations with a one year of public service. with 17 or 18. whether fighting fires in the west or the peace corps or the military. and is littered with in this function and what other ways to cut back on expenses is the length of campaigns. >> when you talk about money
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that money does drive it to raise money to get elected. without throwing the constitution out the window what your thoughts on how we might do that? and also with the campaign process it is one component and unravel that a little bit more. >> and we don't have as much as transparency but making sure everybody a understands and as we all know the supreme court has ruled monday is speech so that is a constitutional issue. that will be harder to redress but some states have
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passed laws that prohibit while the body is in session with strict fund-raising trip least restrict when it can be done. and to set up a time frame and all of those they think would fit those constitutional parameters but as much as we can what can be done with major transformations? but there is a growing realization we will continue to be plagued with the problem of money in the process better just not healthy. >> this is a way to get a lot of money. i have found on more than one occasion for the super
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pac but we need to take a look at the super pac ious believe an instantaneous reporting so you know, who's doing it. and not saying don't do it necessarily but made sure it is open. >> we all knew to cambridge but what we have been advocating for a long time if they think that will help you both mentioned monday in the media and and i was elected to congress 1994 blackberry was a fruit. [laughter] now they have the iphones
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instagram and tweeting internet, etc.. and it being something that has contributed to this is we can go for the next month and never talked to anybody that disagrees with us. and in my opinion we tend to become very short-sighted and even the press today with 300 + channels with a radio that agrees with me. with those current affair shows to have the opinions. >> i watch fox. 24/7 but my partner watches
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msnbc. at least we talk to each other and agree to disagree. >> with that culture has changed so much from that culture. >> i notice that. and that is something we still haven't adjusted to. even between objective and subjective. >> like to cover conflict. it just isn't sexy but if you can have two candidates like trump and cruz the other form is chopped liver. >> i want to encourage you.
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if you were watching fox and nbc i demand to get equal time. [laughter] >> i do play some hardball every now and then. i do get a little bored sometimes but that is a part of the culture. >> no question i totally agree. with politics with the people like us and go to church with social media the entire network with 500 friends but 498 think like guests and they do think that has hurt us in more ways than one. i had white staff even black staff in congress and my white staff deemed value
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from my culture and my family. i've learned a great deal from them and got a lot of value from them. justin and not with people that we can't think like us. to think that hurts us the diversity from 2016. >> that great debate is what we are all about. and by the way what we have talked about in the book is there are a lot of things we can deal with in congress better not a war zone we need to do more with cybersecurity. do we want safe drinking water in flint michigan?
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yes. does the government have a role to help these communities? we need better highways and safer bridges a few little glimmers of hope that the president signed off on. and barbara boxer. >> but they got a result the new house of the legislators hillsides to do have that ability. but german -- chairman schuster am barbara boxer on the house side. >> and the agreement that
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was very important and a companion bill in the senate. with these divisive issues better very confrontational. >> instead of always taking the place is where you have a huge battle with something good can be done. and then they quit doing that. ended 1995 when you're in the senate and i was in the house talk about the vision in the book. and talk about researching and developing a. lever talking about opportunities to grow and
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create more jobs. and i literally did not watch current affairs. it is like watching a soap opera. in there during the same old thing. and then to make that happen.
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event that is what upsets me about the total of the election as we are angry and frustrated and mad. i addressed him that. but what is the antidote? in one of the things that upset me is my republican colleagues what is the agenda? what is the message? i. anderson and the. but that's not enough. what you want to do for america?
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and i was painting a picture to my democratic colleagues off president bush's plan is not a planned and now obama this plan is not a plan of but like senator daschle plan he would probably say to really step got a plan would issuers? -- what is yours? most voters are talking about the future. have they not given us the foundation to get out there and do that? >> tom brokaw called them the greatest generation. they thought about j.c. watts where he would be in
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to share with us thinking about the future but doing something about it. >> touching one of the most important questions and to act on our future our future is our children in grandchildren we have to teach them the importance of civic responsibility and the need to get back. i had a first grade teacher that used to say public-service was the highest calling we could have. and has inspired us to think about public service and a registered with me i would not be here today without that inspiration of a first
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grade teacher to put the emphasis often to inspire the next generation we have to do a better job. >> most kids grow up thinking washington must be a horror show. why would i ever want to go to washington? >> end we have to learn it is not a sin to want to serve in washington to be part of the democratic party -- process in a meaningful way to change that mind-set is part of communities and parents to do a better job. >> one other was a
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schoolteacher. >> and a republican from oklahoma by yet we have been able to be involved and benefit this country now what will be due? that is why we wrote the book to make decisions how we go forward to present this great republic we have all benefited from. like it to watch the debate the people need to do more of that where we want health care. there are those that what we want is nothing. one of the arguments i make
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if you don't like the way it has been run doing nothing is not the answer. but to change what congress is doing. regulations are weighing down the american economy. >> tom daschle may disagree or true lot may disagree with me but you have just as much value as i have as human beings and individuals. talk about double the point of harnessing that natural conflict that comes from a body of different ideas and personalities. and as leaders in the senate you have to deal with 98 other people elected
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independently of you guys newt gingrich to nancy pelosi who have to deal with 4302 other people that got elected just like they did. so there is some built-in conflicts with that on top of the personality my addiction is a dispatch as your addiction how do you parnis that conflict? i think the viewers are turning up their volume. what kind of answer will they give? that comes from the body of personality. i say that respectfully because we have that cross to bear.
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>> like agriculture. we grow cotton. and that is acceptable throughout the southwest and midwest. >> i start with tolerance there has to be an understanding with the differences of religion and philosophy and politics is so corer as lovell of tolerance. bb better than some countries but not as good as we should be. and that concerns me. suggest finding ways to include everybody at the table because of newt gingrich has a voice or nancy pelosi but this collective cacophony comes together so when you reach a
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common ground possibility possibility, and everybody has a chance to give in and contribute to but it starts with relationship and tolerance and communication and a recognition to find common ground or lack of it is my eight idea of a dictatorship. this country wasn't built on dictators. >> before you give your thoughts on that i learned relationships from the football huddle. when you go to war every day you learn to trust them and in the locker room they would say things on the streets would be politically
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incorrect and it would seem racist but they didn't mean anything. i know the military tends to have that. and with that diversity and inclusion. those words don't offend me. and that has come from my face more than anything else. . .
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do the sub committee, go to the full committee. it sort of sanded down so when you get there you won't have 150 amendments. most amendments. most of the work will be done. when i first came to launch in 1968 when i was 26, was 26, i was the top aide to a democrat in the house of representatives. at that time they had four
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round-trip home year. they brought their families, they did the work up here and on thursday afternoon to go into the capital with what they call the medicine room and they would drink cheap alcohol, smoke cigars and played gin rummy. that's a card game i couldn't tell you how to play to this day. who is in that room. liberal democrats, republicans, and there would be about eight or ten like that. they knew each other. they loved each other. did they agree philosophically, of a lot of reasons, no. but out of that came incredible pieces of legislation that made america what it became and what it is today.
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that's why i think we talk so much about relationships. that's invaluable. the job is not. the job is here. it involves critically the time to do the job. we put a lot of emphasis on that in the recommendations. >> you talk about those things. i got elected in the fourth district of oklahoma. i got elected and reelected by wider margins every time. the folks had a vote on me. they didn't have a vote in the fourth district of massachusetts are the fourth district of connecticut. so, it was very difficult, i always found myself finding it very difficult to say to the people in massachusetts or
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connecticut that hey, you don't know what you're doing, you sent the wrong person. he doesn't agree with me. that's part of being a free nation, a democracy and a republic. you all talk a lot about relationships and again i am big on relationships. i think they cover a multitude multitude -- every thursday we had a bipartisan prayer breakfast. once i went to the prayer breakfasts, i heard her give a personal testimonial of her mother at her mother was 86 years old at the time and she was a city council person at one time and engaged in community activity and community service and up until that point i had a certain perspective of what i
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thought or who i thought she was but today i saw rosa about a month and a half ago and i asked her about her mom. i said his mom still living? >> oh yes, she's still living in active, she said. that one moment in time gave me a perspective or a perception about rosa that i wouldn't have gotten otherwise had i not gone to that prayer breakfast to hear some of her story. empathizing where the people are coming from, that makes a difference difference. it's easy to sympathize with someone, but when you empathize, that's cost. i've got to put myself in tom shoes. i have to put myself in trends shoes. i think often we come to our worldview, honestly, our past experience inform our worldview. like i said earlier, it's difficult to on learn. we realize we been wrong for the
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last 20 years. relationships are a big thing. >> there's a wonderful poem called her dead young soldiers and he talks about how if we've got 1 million people who have given their lives so we enjoy our freedom today and one of the last lines in the poem, we give you our debts, give them their meaning. every day when we walked through the doors of the capital, we have that responsibility to give all those deaths their meaning. they gave up their lives fighting for it. now we have to work at it to give those deaths their meaning. i think that's something every member of congress can appreciate and remember. let us be reminded that there's a lot on the line when you walk through those doors. giving those deaths their meaning is important. >> the junior senator for oklahoma, he's a part of my class and was a 94 class that sworn in and 95.
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i'd walk on coals for tom. i just have great respect for him. he's very transparent, but tom had a really good relationship with president obama. people didn't understand it. i thought that was a picture of much of what your book talked about when it comes to relationships. >> you're right. there were opposite ends of the philosophical spectrum but they had that communication that we been talking about. that communication case and led to a relationship that led to trust. they still disagree but they did it in a way that was respectful. >> and guys, as you all know, i learned this from quarterback and politics and in the youth
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ministry and having to make calls, but leadership is sometimes heavy as you all know, and it does take courage. can you give a little more thought, if you will, on what you talk about in the book. you touched on it a little a little bit earlier in the conversation, but give me a little more thought on your thought process that were put in the book on the courage of leadership when you have the craziness that you have in politics. i'm not so sure that your caucus today, your conference today would allow what you are able to do back in the mid-90s on on. give some thought again, peel
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the onion a little bit, define courage, if you would. >> i used to ask myself and i was in the house, and when i came to the senate, wendy become a statesman? statesman? what is a statesman? my predecessor had that reputation. it's when you are sent to washington to get to know a subject and vote on behalf of the people. that's what our form of government is all about. sometime you come to the conclusion that your constituents may not agree with, but it's the right thing to do for your country. you decide, i'm going to do it even if it cost me the seat. that's the job i have because it's the right thing to do. i think that's when you become a statesman. now it's not to say that you're
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not supposed to swell instead of growing immaturity. you have to care about what people think but you have to live with your conscience and you have to have the courage to do something as best as you see fit on behalf of the people. then you have to communicate it. why'd you feel do you feel that way. we've had a lot of experiences where we had to show leadership, and by the way, we have some good leaders in washington right now but we don't have a whole lot of good followers. a leader is only as good as his or her followers. you do need to reach out and explain what's going on. the one instance that i was talking about, can you imagine trying to manage a place that is 5050? tom and i had to figure out how to make that work. so i said, okay, look, let's divide everything 5050.
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you have half the committee seats and will have half and will split the money. the chairman will be republican because we do have the theoretical majority and he'll get a little kicker to run the office. i almost lost my leadership position because they felt like i had given him much, too early to tom. tom was having what experience? >> same thing. people didn't think that i was being as tough as i should. we have a lot of persuading to do but we got through it all. it was a struggle on both side. i think that's part of what leadership is about. leadership is also realizing that whatever it is your leading at the time, it's not a lifetime assignment.
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i think it's healthy to realize you have that mantle for a period of time. you have to maximize the use of that title, that mantle, that responsibility for whatever length of time you're going to have it. then you have to walk away with your head held high and the realization that you did the best you could. >> i felt i needed to resign at one point because of a vote of no confidence. they stood up and said, what you talking about. we elected his our leader. he did the best job he could and we have a job to do. it's a 50-50 argument and let's move forward. that was leadership by pat roberts. he stood up and told everybody to get back to their senses. unfortunately, it is tough now. you you take paul ryan and john boehner and you have a lot of new members that i call them the hell no caucus. they sell say no to everything. that's hard to manage when you don't have the majority of your
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caucus with you. the same is true with harry and mitch. they are being pulled by the left, by the right, don't get too far, don't give in too much and oh by the way, we talk about a date. one of the things that's going on in the senate, you can't be too sure who's going to be in the majority every two years. everybody gets up in the morning saying if i don't have them have a good vote or we find a way to beat them today, i might be majority leader or chairman of appropriations. again, i don't want to focus on the negative. i like to focus more on the positive, and one of the things that we really do focus on is getting the work done in committees. i the way i talk to a member of the senate recently and he's on five committees including appropriations and security, homeland security. there's no way physically that he can do all of that. there really ought to be a limit on committee assignments.
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i would remind you all that when we became the majority and 95, after the 94 elections, we had said contract with america we'd balance the budget and pay down the debt, unfunded mandate eight etc., etc. all of those things happen, president things happen, president clinton actually signed those bills and we can literally say that we were in congress at a time when we actual had a balanced budget, we actually pay down a public debt but newt gingrich had to resign his speaker ship
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it's sad to say that some of that would be blasphemous. new gingrich resigned his seat. i think a lot of those members today have a little better appreciation for what leadership was challenged with back during those days. the republicans and democrats. the democrats hadn't been in the minority in over 40 years. we all had a lot to learn. we both made mistakes but nevertheless, we saw very, very productive time and bob dole, i came to washington again just based on what people were saying that bob dole was a bad guy. he wasn't our kind of republican or whatever the case might be.
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i believe that the fact that senator dole had good relationships and trust on the democrat and republican side, when i left washington or when i stepped down from congress, i had great respect for the legislative abilities of senator dole. i thought he was a master of the senate, if you will, what they said about lyndon johnson, but it was relationships. it was all about relationships. i totally agree, it's the pinky finger promise, i'm with you, hell or high water and we seem to have lost that. but again, let's go back to the courage thing briefly as i think we have about three minutes left you think over the last 200 years, the leadership that we've
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seen in our country the courage started with george washington, thomas jefferson, abraham lincoln, we just celebrated martin luther king's birthday on last monday. ronald reagan at a time when it was a difficult time and it took a lot of courage. i've often read about the courage of reagan and speaker neil at the time. >> i asked them why they even allowed the tip o'neill votes to happen and the answer was, because it was the president and the speaker thought he deserved an opportunity to at least have his issues heard. he won on them.
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does that exist today? that was a unique relationship by two unique human beings. he wasn't always pretty. i was a whip in the house during those days. i had to count the votes. the fact that he cooperated with the president was critical. >> it was great courage that tip o'neill stood up and said that. >> i think we have this capacity, and it's almost inexplicable to rise to the occasion. i think that's partly what were calling for in this book. we need people to rise for the occasion again. it is another crisis point.
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it's not the same as the crisis points we've faced through history but nonetheless our democracy is on the line and the quality of our democracy. the ability for us to govern in this complicated new world with technology so dramatically a part of every aspect of our lives, the way we communicate the way we work, the way we live in the way we govern. it calls for different kinds of leadership and we need to and still that pride in government and the pride that true tolerance and true inclusion and true relationships, we can govern again. >> we want to thank cspan for allowing us to do this and thank you, our good friend for coming in and being with us. my queue is to saying it's time to wrap. i will hold the book up. crisis point. it is worth reading. i hope that people will buy it because again, i wanted to read it and they pitched me an opportunity to do this. cspan has on several different occasions and because i set served with you guys, i wanted to do this one. this is a new exercise.
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i'm i'm in this chair and not those chairs. i want to thank you all very much for giving the listener in the viewer a little bit of insight. >> thank you. [inaudible] >> the media teaches us that democrats and republicans are supposed to be at odds with each other. i think people need to recognize that we need to be respectful towards each other and we need to understand that senator are respectful towards each other. that will be more conducive to "getting real" policy done instead of just patrimony and betrayal. these people that we see on television are real people. >> when we saw president obama the thing that stood most to me is that he had bags under his, he was tired and a real person dealing with real issues. i thought that was most
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interesting. >> sunday night on q&a top high school students from around the country talk about their experiences in the weeklong government and leadership program and their plans for the future. the students met with members of the executive judicial and legislative branches of government and military and media representatives. >> mr. jonathan capehart came to talk to us and i really loved the insight he gave us about the outside chores, reporting back to us in the electorate about what's going on in our government. >> ruth bader ginsburg was the most inspirational person we met this week. she's been one of my idols for a long time. i even want to be in the legal profession or possibly a senator. >> i understand the need for bipartisanship at times, but i
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also think it's a port and that politicians go to washington or go to their state capitals with their eyes on the goal and they're determined to meet that goal instead of sacrificing it in the light of money or bipartisanship or whatever it is. >> we need to get back to having constructive discourse. we need to make this country a more respectful place where people feel welcome to give their opinion. >> sunday night on eight eastern on q&a. >> when i tune in on the weekend, usually usually it's authors sharing their new releases. >> watching non-fiction authors on book tv is the best television for serious readers. on c-span they could have a longer longer conversation and delve into their subject. >> book tv weekends. they bring you author after author after author. it's the work of fascinating people. >> on the book tv and i love cspan. >> of next it's book tv on prime time with books on politics. first matt lewis talks about his book on the state of the republican party titled too dumb to fail.
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then elaine kmart discusses her nonfiction work on the presidential primary process. later, he shares his book when liberals when the culture wars. in his book too dumb to fail, matt lewis explores how the republican party has it changed through the years to its current state today. he he recently discussed the book with conservative commentator sc cup on "after words". this is one hour. >> so matt, first, when did you start writing this book because it really predicts the landscape of where we are today with the selection. it's so timely. take me through the process of when this all formed in your head. >> i think i did get lucky with the time and someone that i should buy a powerball ticket
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because i can see the future. it's hard to say when you start writing the book. is it when you write the proposal or turn in the manuscript. i would say five years ago i started writing columns which led me to this book. it was a round the time that sarah palin went rogue. i initially thought i would like her. i thought after the race she got radicalized and changed. i started seeing candidate like christine o'donnell and others who were saying things that i felt uncomfortable with as a conservative.

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