tv Panel Discussion on Political Campaigns CSPAN April 17, 2016 12:52am-1:50am EDT
>> where back then i that is live at the annapolis book festival, a panel on political campaigning. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> good morning everyone.love i have taught were 27 years in politics so i love this panel. i taught at the university maryland and serve 31 years in elected office so i love this panel even more especially now that i am not in elected office and currently serve as the headi of the amfar mezzo group. most importantly though i am the proud father of three who was a student here and loves the
school as well.is that may not only say welcome to you but are two panelists. this panel by the way is the mac politics campaigns off the rails i hope everyone is in the right room. if you are not now is the time to quietly slipped out.ho i do that routinely because one-time after getting what i felt was a really great lecture at the university i asked for questions as i normally do and someone raised their hand and said what does this have to do with sociology? [laughter] this was the third week into the semester.d. if anyone wants to quietly slide out and out the time to do so but welcome. my job is straightforward. one should use the authors. i will aggressively enforce time limits so that we stay within c-span's requirements here and i will also work to coordinate and stimulate a little bit of audience participation butou having said that that's going in
and get started. our first guest is mat bai sitting to my left whose most recent book is "all the truth is out" the week politics went tabloid. it a revisit of gary hart and how it changed forever really the intersection of american media and politics. as a publisher stated in the release of the book and i'm quoting this marked a crucial turning point in the efforts of political media and extension politics itself. when candidates character began to draw more fixation than their political experience or issues. i won't say anything about the contemporary issues. i will leave those questions for you all. matt bai is a political columnist for yahoo! news. his political world column appears we are.
before that he was the chief political correspondent for "the new york times", "new york times" magazine where he covered three presidential campaigns in detail. matt lives in bethesda maryland with his wife and two children. one more just a note of his biography, matt, some of you may recognize this plays a recurring role in the second season of netflix show house of cards. >> that tells you what people care about. >> i must tell you i love that extra work because one of the fun things about being governor was that i once played a governor and a baltimore-based show homicide that some of you might remember and the same program with the then mayor and
my friend who played the mayor and originally i was supposed to get shot. let me turn at this time to map and let me introduce joseph cummins and a few minutes. >> it's an honor to be here with you and the cast and to be at this book festival.my home all writers love festivals. this is my home area and i love the annapolis. i was pleased with myself having their role in house of cards until somebody on twitter asked if the matt bai character was based on anyone and then i realized i was not as well-known as i might have thought. i want to talk for a few minutes about this book which is close to my heart that i want to talk about another book which is probably not the best marketing tool in the world but in 1985 as tremendous social critic names neal postman wrote an amazing
book called amusing ourselves to death. i wonder if anybody read an amusing myself to death. he had a theory at that time in 1985. he's writing a hereafter the year made famous by orwell and at the height of the television age. postman said we have not in fact as a country and heard the age that orwell had predicted. we did not live with a big brother. we did not live under u authoritarian role. this was pre-nsa and wiretapping and all of that but he said we had come close to realizing the vision outlined by the brave ne. world that the real thing to worry about was that we would entertain ourselves into oblivion that all of the fun in the games and the narratives and the story lines would come to make a mockery to obscure the important public business of the country.direct l
i think you can draw a direct line from postman's theory to where we are today for which i would offer two words as evidence, donald trump trump. trump is a new reality television.levision trump is a television star.ty he's as liberty candidate with no experience in governance and no particular and just in governance in no particular agenda to offer. what he offers is tremendous ratings and outrageousness, antics and he's a provocateur. i have called them in my columns a couple of times now and emotional extremist. i believe this comes very close to being able to slid his ideology. he someone who can manipulate the emotions of an audience intuitively and brilliantly and for the purposes of capturing attention and being compelling and that is this great gift. that is what the political of ct process is rewarding.at to understand how we got to at this moment and understand where
neal postman's vision came to reality i think you understandno the events of 1987 and you have to revisit the story of garyry h hart which some of you may remember. if you go to a college audience and asked them who gary hart is its absolute blank which is remarkable. it's almost anomalous in american politics. gary hart was not just some senator and this was not 100 years ago.american pol .. former vice president having almost stolen the nomination. he was running 20 points above the next democrat in any public polling in those democrats were not even running and one of them was not even a democrat. it was mario cuomo and lee iacocca, that lasted 10 minutes and he was running double digits, 13 points ahead of george w. bush, gary hart was
the guy to beat, a towering figure in >> >> way ahead of his time what he talked about was appropriated by bill clinton a few years later only one quarter of society that is the part of the culture coming to embrace politics as celebrities that hasnf affected hollywood, as, sports, a business that treats people as if they are subjected in "people"
magazine with personal lives in behavior morality than what you believe for what you have accomplished over into the echoes of politics in particular it is hard to believe somebody may write about his personal life even though he is reunited butf cannot believe that people are searching for evidence of infidelity and that is what happens our reporter calls up to say my friend is having an affair with gary hart he should go follow and by the way some but it happens when for the press that had nothing to do with the photos that came after
he was out of the race in the place him under surveillance and there comes a moment on a weekend where the most important democratic politician in the country their presumed nominee literally backed up against job brick wall in washington and wearing a white city surrounded by three reporters and photographers who say who was a woman in your house who are -- along have you know, her in the you having sex with her? in that alley with the american political journalism it began to shift in several days later they asked had ever committed adultery which no presidential candidate has announced that publicly and it was shocking people still remember that today as a watershed moment in politics
changes in a moment with the r&d lives and how reverberated through the industry through almost 20 years because things shift through local journalism because it changes to the notion that we know you are a fraud son how did we know you are lying but we have to figure out how but it creates a predatory culturerubrh
on the sidelines who don't want to have anything to do with that because they have some sense of perspective about their lives and then you allow a lot of people to go through the process of go business holding public t office so to be entertaining and avoided the traps you can get to the office tuesday through what your world view is then you can be successful in politics without giving any thought to the impact of service or consequences of policies. when gary hart got out of the race he gave a defiant statement he wasn't supposed to it was suppose to be a contrite speech but he spoke from the heart you can see
it on c-span it is remarkable and should have been remembered. take it from me your on thema verge of a sporting match match, paraphrased as air travel from my country that we may get the kind of leaders that we deserve and i find those words are relevant and chilling in the current moment. hope you will read and enjoy the book.ave time [applause] >> we will have time for questions or personal attacks. [laughter] our second author wrote a book anything for a vote. in addition to this book is
fun to read, the publisher describes the book is a complete history of misleadingly and character assassination and other election strategies and eating for a vote covers 225 years of smear campaigns campaigns, bad behavior of u.s. presidential elections from george washington to barack obama. also the author of works of history and several works of short fiction. creative writing from columbia university lives in new jersey. on a personal note the description of the book covering every election from george washington through
barack obama may suggest a long boring historical tone that you may not want to run out and buy. but i can tell you this is a fun read. covering each election it is only five or six pages per election so you can go right to which. having said that let's go to him. >> thinks governor and for having me indianapolis book fair in matte topic that coincides with that i will be talking about. the reason i started anything -- writing anything for a vote around 2004 with the campaign between george bush --.
[laughter] and john kerry. [laughter] i am so sorry.ba >> too many dirty elections. i began to realize people were talking about how uncivil the discourse had become with the voting of john kerry or you may remember during the presidential debate george bush accused to be wired to a transmitter because he had a wrinkle in the back of his coat so that he could noto speak at a public debate and i was wondering have things gotten as dirty with ourrs elected discourse or have they always been this way? i should have known that because every member in 1960
and the kennedy and nixon campaign the day after election day my father came into the room flicking on the lights to wake us up to star of your friend kennedy won. [laughter] i should have known as a child that things were pretty bad when your own dad hates to do for a moment. b [laughter] so decide to go back through 1799 the book goes through 2012 and of course, dirty elections have not gotten worse it is just differentgoveri but basically american election campaigns are just as dirty as they have always been. perhaps not always as bad as some that took place in the 19th century. there was a guy named thomas and 1840, and that was the
karl rove of his day as a camper it -- can be inoperative for harrison in said passion and prejudice properly arrau's and directed as a principle i period recent low dash reason and a party contests to kick but of american when you when you go back through 1800 people bring back jefferson as the paragon of democracy as a founding father but if you go back through 1800 with thete federalist candidate adamsthe against republican thomas jefferson is one of the dirtiest campaigns we have had to this day where thomas jefferson hired a writer to a sale john adams as a hermaphrodite looking either
like a man or a woman. the attack him to get into bed so does speak with aquino for the new american democracy in the federalist attacked jefferson for being an atheist the you had to hide your daughters he was promiscuous. one of my favorite of all time where they basically said he was dead. [laughter] you cannot vote for him. he is dead. [laughter] but as it turns out there was a message to their madness because in fact, it was in jefferson but the slave whose name was alsoso poomas jefferson. so there for what they were pointing out was the fact that thomas jefferson the great republican was a slave owner.
the rumors about sally having had not come out yet but they would surely within the next couple of elections is seems the writer the jefferson hired turned against him and he began to write against jefferson himself in soon after was out -- found floating dead in the james river nobody found out what happened although he was an alcoholic. thinking of donald trump today rose an article recently wondering why people are surprised by the physical attacks that donald trump makes because if you c go back to the 19th century it was no-holds-barred what they said about people. for instance davy crockett that many remember with the was
congressmen said to martin van doren was a transvestite comedy for james buchanan was a democratic president and had a congenital birthdi disorder that caused his head to tilt slightly to the left and his opponents claim he had tried to hang himself and failed. [laughter] so there for of course, you don't want to elect somebody who cannot do suicide right. [laughter]vellian in a more machiavellian fashion when other presidents was rumored to be gay so interjects and would call him nancy. and for james buchanan was known to be a bachelor
running for president that means you are gay? you are promiscuous or you have a sexually transmitted diseases like an 1876 once again none of it is true with the 19th century it was no-holds-barred.interestin interestingly enough as a point i want to make is that the average voter which was were basically a white male was in the high 70th percentile. everybody voted in the 19th century there is an interesting book that came out called of virginia wrote that is what it was called a few were flowing to vote for a the first time it was taken very seriously people would assure you to the poll you would vote to do your civic duty but a lot of that was
inflamed by passion and prejudice that has always been a part of american elections.ctions hav and in the 20th centuryhe ones i were bad in a different way 1964 i like to talk about because it had a great influence on american politics but most people didn't know how dirty that the election was with lyndon johnson against goldwater in johnson running for his first elected term and was obviously going to beat goldwater but wanted to crush him for his freey society program.co he created a group that's met after hours in washington to do dirty tricks from creating a covering book that portrayed goldwater with the kkk for children to write hundreds
of letters touche dear abby.t a and he said the active cia agents to infiltrate the goldwater campaign to bring back the policy statements to complain that he knew what he would say and some say that they've done to the campaign planned so what happened was had the press not gotten a hold of it nobody found out.and when you but people inside politics knew about that if you have richard nixon and after watergate says as far as i
was concerned it was a routine political bugging feeling he was being disingenuous so in some ways it was he was doing what was done to him so from a certain point there were other things going on with nixon but and then to change that all after 1988 it was us tabloid race they attacked cleveland for having a child out of wedlock but there were headlines to say he is a foul lecturer but he has the sense to simply say i am supporting this child that was 10 years old but he said i am supporting this child and that is all he would
refer to that the woman in question would not give statements to the of press and would put the scandal to rest so it took another 100 years.e to put so i will say about the current campaign is occasionally we have a perfect storm there is no incumbent vice president running with the internal division and a lot of terrorism going on in the world that create zeno phobia that is a potent force especially on the right to it and finally a candidate like donald trump of o who has echoes of the most bombastic candidate since teddy roosevelt although he
had much more substance than donald trump in my opinion but when he shows up in 1912 smoking a cigar wearing aid sombrero referring to william howard taft you cancomm. see they have something inponenn common with that neutral i tinted individual that is a low energy charge of itse neutri time there was no one beforerumr to say he really isn't a politician but thank you for having me your.
and have been involved one way or another with every presidential campaign since adlai stevenson.f you, you many of you have no idea but growing up in florida with said democratic office eyesore all the candidates and i said what is going on? and that is the way the campaign was run.democrat in that then national democratic convention since 84 is the reason i say this is a sound these two groups very interesting and what
really stands out is supreme court justices were directly involved running as candidate with a different perspective it is interesting to watch all that. so i will go ahead to take a chance. but i would also make an observation spee closely to the mike because you hear this all the time the elections about covering personal life about the bad
language and bad politics or is it we live in the day of 24 our news coverage? and social media where something happens somewhere12 than instantly you hire a 12 million people?differen so maybe the exact same system has inflamed the public. >> that is a segue for my question.jo great panel.daughters have i agree and to go way back i would like to hear your take that with our media all of
the mainstream media today. so the fact that trump has so much press the use -- they have an agenda to have a 24 hour news cycle that is agenda based and backing certain candidates? >> in the old days but the first newspapers were run not so much by the candidates themselves but in 1896 "the new york times" the agenda of based against william jennings bryan and of the psychologist at the time to discuss now whether or not he was crazy this
with the idea of politics and people tell yet but it'sss and then the ways to the election unprocessed and it is a hindrance. anything you want to say. >> before i answer that question i read a series of columns on trump and the media are made for each other. i do have some strong feelings about that.it. i don't go to presidential
debates any more. you watching don tv. but i will say the debate by and large that every four years but the most pivotal moment and that momentum of new hampshire with the jets the legs out from under him and then rubio went into the fetal position to be carried offstage because at that moment and rubio was on fire.
has sevener 800 people the fire marshal was running around going crazy and that hit drop timrod people to stay in the race that i thought was possible at that moment they all went down to south carolina is quite possible daunted -- donald trump loses and never recovers. they are not perfect. i share the concerns sometimes they can face the lowe's accusations but there is some balance. i was very frustrated with the role that pulling played to decide who got to debate
of where people stood on stage if you pulled on the bottom you were on the edge if you're donald trump yourte in the middle that is a signal to the voters the matters and you didn't see your role is coming in from the edge and not getting as many questions. the idea of debates is toth introduce people to the public not have their judgment based on nothing factor into how they are presented the doesn't give a chance there are better ways to do it that was a board decision particular the with cable news the cycle. >> after the first 100 years they did not debate or give public speeches. >> know they'll let somebody
else do the dirty work because there were donald trump's in the 19th century but they did not do it. >> you said gary hart and his dating was well known through washington.who had historically there have been other political figures that were widely known but it was the tradition of the press to ignore that or give them a pass.. what caused a shift to decide now it was fair game? >> that is the big question.u a i will try to answer briefly you are right. i think the 20th century
people will look at joe's stories and say and then became twisted 1 inch of hist a life on the floor but the 20th century is where modern media takes hold of course, fdr in johnson and eisenhower as i said so why didn't ask anybody fdr about his affairs?e >> we can do that percolating go back the great depression and the nuclear bomb and fivebu somebody else to handle the cuban missile crisis but most americans agree there were pretty well handled. in a series but even after
people that if not for carry mighto bed this would happen somewhere now little more than a decade passed watergate the fed to follow him around not to know hisew psychosis what he was capable of. a new generation just getting on the trail in the late '80s that believe it is there prime directive with
cnn being brand new set amid the ability to broadcast live and recklessly if it matters or not. the mclaughlin group is a brand new.cr crossfire is brand-new but the moral is dirty and pessimism have them includedgar so all of the things start coming together in a moment so i was not prepared to find himself in that mess because he comes from another world. he was the very profound
sense of privacy and so in that sense he could not appreciate the moment she was walking into. >> there are large number of people who started their political career to be involved in the hard campaigns.matt >> first thing qe2 match for his hard-hitting coverage. [laughter]he actor and c both the actorish in in the character excellent reporting.s assuming donald trump does not get electedg of a chron president, and do you view his candidacy as the beginning of the illness or the fever breaking?
[laughter] first i assume i don't assume he will not be elected president anders than the unfavorable ratings than polling but i think he i is running with the strong historical currents if he is the nominee. there's only one party that is third term since the '50s and that was the crazy '88 campaign. i think clinton is a flawed candidate not great running against him if he is theto nominee he will respond at some point and the americans still care what you said two months ago i don't think they do.ning of
that with more viability. >> i guess what i would say with my love of history of presidential elections that it is inevitable and had to happen with the spectacle of politics in the last 20 or 30 years. in american history every 100 years there will be a bloodletting that willut change that they will seek outside the answers so i am not certain lease certain he is the harbinger of the future and i cannot imagineave k that he would.
and i could be wrong butdent thv basically everything thatha has come before we had to have one sooner or later. >> from the candidates. [laughter] >> in general to journalists have the wherewithal or competence to report on substantive issues? after a year-and-a-half of this campaign is seen as they always defaults to character really hear about
that substantive issue. >> i am not the journalists but going back to thats, question there were too many debates. look at the history that is incredible. there are too many things out there too quickly and frankly and there is a substance to talk about. and the i think all of this is happening so they'll look they can do fairly quickly. >> obviously i work for ya to end that is changing and
annapolis maryland. >> here is a look at some authors recently featured on booktv's afterwards, weekly author interview program. former congressman jc watts talked about guiding principles he follows in his professional and personal life. professor and former chairwoman of the us civil rights commission mary frances berry explored the history of voter fraud and suppression. nancy cohen discussed the challenges women facing politics at the potential of a woman president. in the coming weeks on afterwards, mother of dylan k klebold will talk about how she dealt with the tragedy. aol cofounder steve case will discuss how emerging technologies will reshape the internet. coming up peter marx will tell
us about the career of the late aig ceo bob benmoche. ellen malcolm will recall her creation of emily's list, a political action committee that works to elect pro-choice democratic women to political office. >> we did that because we wanted to raise early money >> we did that to raise early monday if we gave them credibility and to raise the additional money they needed to win nizolek will venture capitalist we were the kickstart your. we make the dough rise in doing that ever since.