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tv   After Words  CSPAN  June 19, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm EDT

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barbara boxer discusses her book, "the art of tough: fearlessly facing politics and life" which looks at her life and career in politics. she's interviewed by senator amy klobuchar of minnesota. >> barbara boxer, what an honor it is to be here with you, one of my mentors in the senate as someone who came into the senate when there was barely a woman to be seen anywhere there and this a book that you have written, "the art of tough: fearlessly facing politics and life" really tells her story of how you got there and barbara levy at the time barbara leavy born november 11 1940 from a family of jewish refugees in your own words growing up in the pervasive shadow of the holocaust somehow ends up going from match little place in brooklyn to the united states senate and maybe moves to california in between
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you did it all with such grace, but also with that art of the tub, so do you want to talk about what that was life growing up in your stories with your family and how you ever decided to take this journey? guest: you said it was to interview me. i'm so excited that you agreed to do this because it says a lot about our relationship and the warmth we share and i am so thrilled and as you know i'm going to get to your question seconds, but the fact is the warm relationships that have developed between the women senator and frankly a lot of the men means so much to me. you know i'm not running again and people say why, are you disgusted with the place, not at all. i just feel after 40 years there are people that are like you that can carry the banner.
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we have our colleague from new york who writes the forward and you interviewing me. i could not be more thrilled, but getting to the issue of how did i get tough, what was my life like when i was a child which in this memoir when i sat down to write this so long ago, took three years to pitted together. you have written a book and it's a lot of effort. when i first thought about it i thought it's going to meet my dad who has all the influence on who i am as a person because my dad was my idol. he was the youngest of nine brothers and sisters in the only one born in america. 's family was born in russia. none of them even graduated from high school and there is my dad born in 1908, and after he marries my mom he goes to city college of new york at night, at night.
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becomes a cpa and after i am born, in 1950, he goes to law school at night, gets his degree, so i'm thinking clearly it was my dad. but, when i sat down to think about the lessons, how are you tough, they'll come for my mother and in the beginning-- host: she did not even graduate from high school. guest: she did not and it was always such a burden on her. she felt so sad about it. at one point she then try to get her ged. i don't know exactly what happened, but i will say my mother was so smart and the kind of smart she had was smart from the heart and soul and in the beginning of the book i laid out the rules of "the art of tough", how can you do it and one of the things is always doing the right thing even when everything is going against you. you and i know what it's like. we have had experiences in the trenches together
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whether it's on human trafficking or toxic chemical reform that i took the leadership on, we know what it's like for people to look at you and think why are you looking to these problems. if you know it's right you better do the right thing and i also learned , never act out of anger. you can feel the anger, but don't act when you are angry. these are the things-- host: you tell a port-- funny story about how you were once a little adriana playground and stabbed a bully with a lead pencil and then the next day you walk by his apartment and see a dark dark cloth in front of the house and you think you have killed him and it turns out to be the grandfather, but i'm sure that is what of those memories you don't forget. guest: it's a memory i did not forget because what happened was alberta was kind of my nemesis and because i'm little, i'm still little, 5 feet three-- 5 feet period.
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maybe with my high heels. host: that's what i'm thinking. guest: and so he was little, so i was the perfect target. he would insult me and chase me and that's what we used to do in those days and maybe they still do in school, i don't know, but one day i had just had it. no one was around and i took at my number two pencil as i say in my book and i stabbed him in the arm right where you get a vaccination and he is stunned and i am stunned at what i did , you know. so, you are exactly right in retelling the story, we thought we would just keep it our little secret, but then he does not come to school for the next three days and there is a crêpe black cloth over his home, which i passed by everyday. it was on a vacant lot on the way home i lived in the inner-city and i really did think i had killed him and so i took it to my mother, which i took everything to it i said mom, i think i killed robert.
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of course she looks and says barbara which is what she called me when she was mad she said what did you do and she said i can believe you'd ever do that. you can't do that and but i don't think you killed him. let me call the principal and of course she finds out his grandpa died. i was so relieved i hugged him when he came back, but it taught me on amazing lesson and she said you never use violence. you have to persuade, diffuse and of course, never did after that use violence. i try to defuse a lot of situations and sometimes i won and sometimes-- host: just as a young girl when you think about this at a time where girls did not organize a lot of things you-- when you were one of the favorite letters you are 10 years old and you-- are matters in the hospital with illness and you are not allowed to visit. do you want to read the
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letter that you wrote? guest: yes. host: your first organizing effort right there. guest: i found this after my mother died in their little jewel box. i wrote to the doctor because the rules-- kids could not visit their parents, so it's dear doc, i mrs. leavy's daughter and i would love to see my mother very much. i did not see my mother when she left, only a little while, about five minutes before i went to school. i have no sickness, only a bellyache now and. i won't make a lot of noise. i missed my mother very much. so, why can't i see here thanks for reading this letter, sincerely yours, barbara leavy. so, then i had a feeling it would not work so i wrote a backup to my mother. dear mom, how mean can a person the? if they don't let me and they really are mean. i will be so happy if i see you. i get teary-eyed.
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in school i'm in the mexican group, a study group on mexican culture and art. eyeing the chairman. love and many kisses to you. i am so choked up at these things because they are memories that you and i have so deep inside of a. host: exactly, this whole idea that any kid that can make in america, which we still believe today no matter where you came from i think it's a big part of your story, but one of the things that was different about your story than some of the people we've seen in the senate is that you were a girl and here you are you then go to brooklyn college following in your dad's footsteps and you get a degree anyone to be a stockbroker. your dad has instilled the sinew and you start interviewing around for jobs and it was not easy back then for a girl to get a job. guest: impossible. in those days they had a program at the wall
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street firms and they were called because the people who are selling the securities who are the stockbrokers were called customer's men, amy. that was the man-- name. so, i wanted to be a customers man and so i was ready to do it your clinic that my first it was an assistant. long story and i will go into it too much, but assistant to a woman who wrote a municipal bond newsletter. she was so smart, but she never signed it in elizabeth, which was her name. she signed it he cook to disguise the fact that she was a woman and i said why don't you sign it and she said no one will buy it because it was sold and she never became a partner for many years and it-- she was kind of in disguise. it was unreal. so, that i will take a different path. i will work for her get a salary.
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i guess i made $90 a week or something and then i said i had to make more so we could at least live a decent life , so i study for the exam because i couldn't get into the program. if you cut into the the customers man program you got trained and it was like studying for an exam. i did it on my own and i pass the test. i was so excited. i took it to elizabeth and she said, well, i don't know. you will have to go to the big boss. i did and he said, sorry memento to do that. the shocking thing about that was not only that he just said it like it was a fact of life, but that i took it work now, -- i just said okay. boat-- but, i did quit. i quit and went to another firmware they allowed me quietly to have a little business on the side where i was kind of the assistant to one of the vice
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presidents and did his work and i had a little side business, so i was able to make $250 a week. any, that was great. host: i think that's why some intense and politics some of us who came in on your shoulders, on your 5-foot shoulders and barbara mikulski says we talk about the fact that when you came and it was so much harder and i think for young people to read your story and understand what you went through at a time when most women were expected to only have a few jobs and that was secretary, teacher, nurse, that was it and in fact, you kind of went over meetings to, your great husband whom you have been married to in my mind forever. guest: fifty-four years. host: but, you say in one of my favorite quotes from the book, i often joke that's due married debbie reynolds and woke up with so to my air. explained that. guest: remember when we met, girls, young women did not have
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the kind of opportunities we have today and that our daughters have today and i know you have a great one. hope she is watching. so, we had to settle for a lot less. so, when he met me i was pursuing my dream of being an economics major and he knew that and he saw in those years when you got together for little parties the mid would be here talking about issues of the day and the women so as not to be persuaded as uppity would be here talking about-- seriously food and more appropriate things for women. that is the true that of course i would do my thing with the women and then i would covert them and talk to them also which was considered a bit odd, but i did it, so he knew some clues that i would not long stay a cheerleader that i was in brooklyn
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college, head of the boosters in high school. when he met me i was a kid. i was 18. going to the senate you might as well fed flying to the moon by yourself with your arms waving. that's where was. host: then you make this decision which was monumental in your whole career and the history of america you decide to move to california and how did that come about? guest: while, my sister and her family had moved there and i wanted to visit and so stu, such a good student as he is he made law review and forward and i went with my parents and we drove out to california to work i to california, my eyes open up, my mouth drops and i said i have never seen anything as beautiful as this because i joke-- i grew up in brooklyn, which by the way is the coolest place to live now. then it wasn't considered, but i talk about how only if you have a movie called-- a
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book called a tree grows in brooklyn because it wasn't in that green. you had beautiful places and now you have more beautiful places, but it was really the city. so, when i came to california where the environment is kind of history there, i mean, the first thing you learn about california if you pick up a history book is the beauty and the various ecology from the north of the state to the south where it's a forest or the marsh lands or the desert or the ocean and of course, we have the richest farmland. so, i just send i was i guess 21 or so and i said i went to move here that was well then i said to him, could we move and he said why and i said you will see. it's gorgeous and you'll love it.
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i can't describe it. we will have so much more freedom to the outside and outdoors. he said, okay, but i have to get a job in advance and so he did. he got a job two years in advance. we came out to california because of the beauty. that's what i want to tell you and of course the diversity of the state and the excitement , hollywood and silicon valley and everything about it is so incredible. host: and then you are pregnant. guest: yes. host: doug, your first child is born two months early and stu is still in law school and we will go into the whole fact that they won't let him come out because he has an exam, but the biggest part of the stories that this is dangerous back then. there you are in your own and you have your family there. guest: no insurance. host: that got you somewhat
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interested in getting involved in government and politics. guest: copy interested in understanding what it means to be uninsured and frightened to death. of course, that feeling you never forget it coming never forget it. i was uninsured, why? i thought nothing is going to go wrong. on happy-go-lucky and everything will grow gray, which we always think when we are young. we will be gray, immortal and all of a sudden we had agreed to move, so i said honey i will go get us a place to live. you finish your exams and the first day i get here at doug wanted see california. that i always kid about it. i arrived on may 20 and he arrived on may 21. i was staying at my sister's place and all of a sudden the water breaks and i had not even met my doctor. i'm lining up in the clinic in mount sinai
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hospital. it was so wonderful to me. i never forgot them stew and they took you and. guest: i was charity because i had nothing and they came in and said, you know, it's calling to cost $1000 a day. amy, the amount which today you can imagine what it is for a preemie and we said we don't know how long he will have to stay, at least a month if he survives, so i'm thinking this is that ended as. of course all we cared about was doug. they said 50/50 chance of may said everyday it will go up 10%. we prayed and stu got out there's fast as they would let him. doug is the most wonderful gift to us. i hate to tell you how old he is now. he takes care of me. is a lawyer. he has his own family. we had our second child. she was preemie, but not as a-- as preemie and
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she-- that was a lesson of how it is to be in a situation where you really don't have anything. host: leading to your support for the affordable care act, but what most truck me during this traditional time just as you grew up in the shadow of the holocaust you are now in california, northern california in the shadow of the vietnam war and you have not been that involved in politics. you learned that part of being tough, the title of your book if you start to get involved in organizing. leading to something much bigger and your ultimate decision to run for county supervisor. guest: your right to point out the vietnam war because this was for of my going into politics. by that time i had two little kids-- you know as a mom yourself you
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start to think differently. you start to think long-term. you start to wonder, how is my daughter-- what kind of world will she grow up and in what will my son face and all of these issues came to the poor around the time of the vietnam war. the environmental movement, women's movement and vietnam war , but especially the vietnam war because it was the first word that came into your living room and you saw it and so i was part of the antiwar movement. stu was. we used to take the kids and march and i became a real activist, a real activist. when a seat opened up, election for the county supervisor opened up in maureen county california, which is a beautiful place for the san francisco, the issues were all of the issues, even stopping the war.
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what could we do locally to do it in that environment and women's rights, so of course everyone came to stu and said which you run and i said stu, why don't you do it and he said honey, it pays $11000 a year, why don't you do it, so i ran. host: in the primary. guest: it was so crazy. i came out on top of the primary. the other two were republicans. the, you didn't run as a democrat or republican, so before we had two votes and i came out on top there was that incumbent, myself and this opposition who is running an issue they tried to use was anti- choice issue. this candidate's name was bill and he said i want to speak to you, barbara. was excited because my campaign was going strong and i said come
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over and talk to stu enemy and we let him in that door and he looks across at me and said i have been giving this a lot of thought this election i thought he would say-- he started out and he said my wife is a physician and it's been hard for her and then he said so this is what i want to say to you right now, you should drop out and i said why would i do that because you will be bad for women and i said where did you get that from and he said he know the oppressor has two free the oppressed and i remember him saying that host: that men would have to free you. guest: guess or like whites to free blacks that's the first thing that came to my mind and because one of the arts of toughness is a fight against racism. every hair on my body went straight up and i looked at him and i employ the art of tough, which is when someone is going over the line that is it. so i looked at him and i said this meeting is
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over and as i say the book stu and i got up and he got up and i shut the door and then i said we actually slammed the door. what happened was he was so mad at me, he can outlast and he endorsed the other guy, so i lost that by a small votes. it was a humbling of. host: how it affects us and then when you are running and women at the door i love the woman who said how can you do this when you have four kids and he said, no, i have two kids, no, you are for kids because of rumors were so strong like your you are leaving your kids at home. what were the stories about the dishes? guest: 70 various stories in this book, "the art of tough". the book goes into what it was like to be a woman then and you had to have a sense of humor because if not you would just cry yourself to sleep. coming i would knock on
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a door because i went door to door. he was a small election i think like you needed about 20000 votes to win , so knock knock who's there barbara boxer. the first thing that would happen if someone would open the door is headed not think you would be so small. what did they expect? they expected a big person. they would said did not expect you to be so short and i would say yeah, i am. than this one woman said i would never vote for you. you are for-- a portage are abandoning and i said excuse me, i have two kids and she said no, you don't she got into an argument with me and i said lady, if you have a child you never forget it and i did it twice or comes at another meeting and things were going great and i was telling people how we had to preserve the environment and it was wonderful and i thought i'm making it. i'm hitting it and a hand goes up in the back and this woman says how
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do you have time to do your dishes and even then i was taken aback. i mean, for goodness sake and i just said i use paper plates, which was stupid because this was that environmental group, so you couldn't. i thought it was a joke. i use paper plates, it was a joke-- i mean, amy host: the questions you are getting about doing your dishes. there are a few questions like that these days, but not many. guest: we have come a long way, i will tell you that. and lost that race. they were not ready for me and the only reason i stayed after that, stayed in politics. host: you were a newspaper reporter for a while. guest: i did a little radio show-- but, the reason i stuck with it is because i read an article the newsmagazine and i write about in the book and the article says women take things to personal.
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and women if they lose the first time they think they hate me because we are just a little more sensitive and i thought this was a horrible experience, but i'm not going to take it personally. there i was out on a lot of issues that were a bit ahead of my time, which i have always been host: gay marriage you were ahead of your time. guest: way ahead, so it continues, but you have to say to yourself, you know get people to vote for you because you are in it for the right reasons. attorney to you for a minute you are one of the most popular pet-- politicians in the state, maybe the country and the reason is even when people disagree to argue for the and trying truly to get things done and to trolley find a sweet spot with legislation 54 card copy of a sense of humor and your not afraid and that's why people will pope or you who were from the other party when they would never
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vote for a democrat in this is what i would try to show in my tenure because believe it or not with about 15 to make 70% of republicans i would never have won my races and if you ask them they will say, well, i told agree with her sometimes, but she tells me where she's coming from and she is in it for the right reasons. host: to fast-forward and we will get back, but for me one of the most surprising things people might not know until people read your book or talk to you is-- it's called the "the art of tough". guest: that's right. host: part of the-- one of the things they may not know is that you do stand your ground and many many issues and everyone knows that is part of you, but i don't know if everyone knows about the times you try to find common ground like the transportation bill recently with mitch maccoll. you have worked with others and really got a long-term bill done for
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the country, water billing number of things for you have been able to do that whether it's by taking a bunch of democrats and republicans out together for dinner and i think part of this and we will get back to your running is that you really start to learn the people you work with and you certainly did that with the bird brothers and they were mentors to you and because you have proven yourself through the arts of the tough when congressman burton called you out of the blue and says he's going into rehab and wanted you to run for his seat he must've in florida. would you do from there? guest: so stunned. this was in the 80s and eight was beginning to really hit and john burton who had been one of my mentors and i worked for him when he was in congress and he helped me my whole career, but when he went to congress and i got elected to the board of supervisors we did not talk often. out of the blue he calls me and says he's addicted to drugs and alcohol and he's checking into a rehab
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facility in arizona, and what i consider running for his seat. my cost, my kids were in high school. just a bit too young to be a perfect time. but, i took it up with them and they said mom, these opportunities don't come along very often. so, i went for it. i got there. i got there. to the house, served in the house for 10 years. from a very safe district and could've stayed there, but there were reasons pushing me out. host: bug, one of the things people should focus on women mentors, which, of course. you had and barbara mikulski and you had these women colleagues that were incredible and i love when you tell the story about nancy pelosi and diane feinstein in your book, but you also had male mentors that helps you. look at the stories of
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really the person that calls you who's in trouble, horrible time in his life, that he picks a woman to run for his seat. guest: well, he did and he knew that my politics were progressive. he knew i was kind of new. he knew he had taught me to be fearless and he wanted me there, but what was funny as his brother who is the real if i can say game maker, he then called which was the biggest call because john said i hope you will run and fill will call you. i was shaking because he was so powerful in california at the time and he calls up and i said hello how are you he said i'm fine and then he says i think you ought to run for john's seat. i said i'm so honored and he said don't get so honored i was really for art agnello's running, not you but he said no, so talk about coming down fast, but still he put up with a because he wasn't sure at all that
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i could do it and he pledged, i said i'm a little worried about the money. and i had to raise $250,000 for the congressional and he said, i don't want you to worry about it because that i will do. so i am on cloud nine and the families decide we will go for it then he gets challenged in a serious way by milton marson this popular state senator and he cannot do one thing for me because he is this a protecting his seat. ..
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$7600. some of this is military contract in. there was a bracket with a thousand dollars and you are similar cheap one at that necklace. >> guest: because i don't know hundreds of thousands. it should've been 75 cents. it was a bracket. in this issue came to me from the terrific staffer, which really we don't give enough banks, so let me say to everybody. if you don't run yourself, help somebody else, it's worth it. with that said amid this is handled. there's a whole group here and i
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thought i had come there wanting to work with kids. i have a little expect asian. there were already people there. you have to find a niche. so there of course aides found me because of my tragic situation in my district. this one was brought to me by this group in my stats that no one is really talking about this. they are talking about vessels. people can't picture what a missile should cost story carrier should cost bid they get into the billions, your eyes glaze over. how about a $600 fee, which is at the pentagon was spending for one reason. they were contracting out the small business is everything to lock it, you does this thing. that was the reason. we wrote a bill and it's the law and if they billions of dollars. >> host: wow, that is great. so you're doing well.
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>> guest: great story story that is hilarious. i was very proud of my work on military procurement. so i had a town hall meeting. i will never forget this outdoors in marion county and i tell this story. i said can you imagine a $600 toilet seat. what is it made of old? does anybody have questions? this is the rich part of my district beard do you know where i can get one of those? >> there's a mason -- a reason. people forget about the humorous things that have been in politics with all this negativity. it is important because you what young women and young men to run for office. that's the cool part. >> guest: you're a great contributor. people wonder, do i really need
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someone with a sense of humor or a person you want to write limericks like i do? the fact is that as part of what you have to have a sense of humor or have something. it enables you to survive. >> host: one of the things in your book you talk about how the women didn't have the gym and there is this big deal. it was so unfair to give women to have access to a gym as well. you took this on. tip o'neill made them a leader at the time. >> guest: he was a speaker. >> host: you take this on in your way because he is a beautiful singing voice and a documented many of your songs in this boat. you actually read a psalm about the women needing a gym. >> guest: if you're asking me. >> host: i'm asking you if you could sing it for us. >> guest: i will send one first and i will read the recipe
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at i remember from memory. to set the stage about the stage of what happened last year i came from california where the ethic was really important. i get here and i find out there was a gym for women. it was about the size of the table and you couldn't do anything there. all i had was a bunch of hair dryers. don't ask me why. i had a staffer who said i want to lead the women members. some are closely with my college in the house. you know how funny she is. geraldine ferrero who is about to make history and a few others. >> host: there is the story of barbara. >> guest: we have this wonderful meeting in this tiny little gym where trust me, there's seven of us in the room. you could even spread your arms out.
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so claudette who is leading that could raise your hands in the air. raise your hand to the side. now put your hands on your head. barber yelled that if i could find a hips i wouldn't be here. so things got desperate. a few of us went to the man who were in charge to the gym. absolutely not. it's not fair. now, can not. can we expand the women's gym? you cannot. i use the art of the test. i said okay and reduce my sense of humor. i wanted to colleagues. marcy captor in a row so from ohio. yes, we can carry a tune. i wrote this on suggested by my colleague that i sing it to the
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leadership of the democratic caucus. we walked in there. we have a guitarist. it went like this. ♪ and then i went not. equal rights will wear a tie. we will avoid those macho sites. can everybody use your gym and then wait and that which we are not slim. we are not plan. can't everybody use your gym? we're only asking and the big finish -- it's the only time i have to admit that i ever change policy. but we did it. >> host: i think it is an example, and this is not just a senate gym. for the house gym. you are taking on an issue
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happening all over america with other people use locker rooms for high school girls have access to sports. let's take we are tough to a different level, something much more serious, which is my favorite in this boat, the picture of you bleeding and of course patricia schroeder as well. you are the first one of course late in the women while you're running for senate. this eats up enough in california. clarence thomas hearings going on. the supreme court nominee clarence thomas and uber house women decide to hear he needs to be open again and there is this photo if you bleeding the women of the stairs of senate. >> guest: a look at this photo all of us at nicaea taken. i see determination. the photo captured the moment
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and then some photos to come me think back to the iconic photographs. but for me, this was a symbol of equality. we were going over to say look, you have a professor who is intelligent. she's fallen and she is saying that in fact she was harassed by the nominee to the supreme court the guys in the senate, let me be clear, there was not one woman on the judiciary committee. you serve on it. >> host: there is still the two of us now. >> guest: ridiculous. they would not open up the hearing. the reason for an excited about. i'm just going to talk about what it felt like for us. >> host: demanding a meeting with george mitchell.
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>> guest: there's only one way to get the meeting. we've got to walk over there. so pat schroeder, whose idea this was. what a fabulous later she was on this. we walk over about seven of us in the rest of the women i say in this on the florida talk about it. we are walking over there. we get up to the top of the steps that the steps of my knock on the door because the time. this conference lunches. we are in there. that's how the democratic senators. all men except barb, barbara mikulski. i don't think she was -- she was there. the only one. i knock on the door and they peek out a woman. hi. hi, we say.
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where seven women from the house democratic women. we want to come in and speak with the senators. at the minimum, senator mitchell. zero no she said. why? we don't let strangers in the senate. i wrote another book called strangers in the senate a long time ago. this is what he's talking about? we are not strangers. between us we have well over 100 years of its. we just want to talk to the senators. well, don't take offense she says she is she says. that's just a term of ours. anyone who's not a senators call a stranger. i've never heard that. be that as it may that's not what she said. i reached to the back of my mind. how are we going to get a meeting? i said you know, that is all well and good. but if we turn back and walked down the stairs now, there is a bank of cameras down there and we are going to tell them that we weren't able to see anybody.
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she said just a minute. she goes back and says okay, go in the side room and george mitchell will meet with you. we told him you have to open up the hearings and they did. but to reopen hearings were disastrous. i explain in the book. i will go into it. there's a whole movie made by hbo. i want to say here on a visit to you and to anyone that our voices here. without a leader hails courage, i never would have gotten to the senate here in california they were to suit up in. diane was way ahead because she was much more known. she had run for governor before. wonderful mayor. i was considered more progressive itself a tougher run for me. then really a state was more purple. now it was light purple, red
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dish. >> there is attention on the fact that there is no women. >> host: what i love about this story is diane with both seed and they say why are you both running? it's impossible. you can't have two jewish women running at the same time. are still in their primary. she campaigned with you. she says, her famous line 2% may be good >> guest: but it's not enough to have 2% of the senate version. >> guest: and then when i would get the questions cannot be serious? no state had ever had to buy my number one. there had never even be a jewish senator for my status as far as i know. i don't did so. i can't write a top of my head believe that. they said have you ever expect
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to jewish women to run? we say we never raised the issue about two protestant men being elected. why is this an issue? the senate could use a good dose of chicken soup. so he tried to use our sense of humor. we stuck together on the campaign trail and the message was so powerful given the jocks position of anita hill and no woman on the judiciary committee looked at the senate. it was 90% men. so they got elected. and we tripled our numbers two to six. they called it the year the woman. i don't know if they were so excited about. but then, it started to grow and now we're up to 20% of the senate and hopefully after this election will be far more.
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costco you are giving up his safe house. she said go for it. a lot of women may be looking out the window for prince charming. i am looking for more women senators. >> guest: what else did she say? it's not about gender. it's been about an agenda. and she would say it not about macroeconomics. it's about macaroni and cheese economics. she has a way about her. >> host: it was not easy. there is the house thinking candle and you had nothing to do with it. there is an investigation of every member that had message there. at one point you decided i don't even know if i want to keep running. >> guest: i will tell it quickly. the house bank scandal, to make
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a brief, this is what it was. the house bank wasn't really a bank. it did not break like a bank. in other words, when you put your check-in, mine was automatically bear. it took him days before they printed it. i didn't know that. they never taught us that. i read a rent check, pay for my mother's medicine, whatever is doing. two weeks later everything was fine, but they never told you about it. so when the scandal hit, they said all of these people bounced checks. it was so embarrassing and they put the fbi on the case. you had to meet with the fbi. i thought to myself, why are they sitting here with me and they could be going after criminals. the bottom line is i was cleared complete me. but even though i was cleared completely, they were running horrible ads all over the screen. and here is the press going show me her check book. i said i'm not showing you my
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check book. that infuriated the press. they would meet word boxer won't show us her check book. anyway, a total nightmare. like that. tv show and i called to appear tonight going to do the senate race. i thought he be happy because as most of our spouses are, we support you as a constituent, but we miss you. so the saying i'm happy, let's talk about it when you get home. there's nothing to talk about. on the way home i stopped off at the party. they were watching 60 minutes and it showed me in the happier moments. ally while called and he hands me to kid who were waiting for
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me. what are you doing here. they didn't even live at home anymore. they were working. i said mom, you can't drop out. i said why not? i'm so sick of this. i have to have some dignity. they said we are going to redo a book that you always read us. the places you'll go. a dr. seuss book. this can't be happening. they are reading sometimes erratic and sometimes you are down. tears are coming to my eyes and my daughter's foes say you can't do this. who cares if you lose. she looks at me. you know nicole. mom, she said, what is that message going to be for all the women who are counting on you?
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you are going to just walk away. my kids, and i stayed in the race and i win the race by a lot and then have a tough race in the general and pull it off anyway. it's one of those moments i'm so glad i wrote about. and a lot of ways this book is an empowerment book. don't do that. don't succumb to that. >> host: one that you talk about some of the battles in the senate the u.s. had had. not everyone would do the assignment of the ethics committee where you are policing fellow senators. you had to deal with the packwood case. you have taken on climate change. the benefit forefront of many battles. >> guest: the senate was amazing when i got there. i told my constituents, there is good there is good news and bad
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news about the senate. i said the bad news is jesse holland who was always a negative force from my point of view. he can check the senate now. the good news is so good night. when i got there, i realized i had the power to utilize, this ability to shut the senate down, to make a compromise. i could do that even just as a freshman. but when i came in as a freshman senator, i was going to just be quiet and i was going to burn the ropes like hillary did and then she was hit with 9/11. so with me, i am bare really, truly quiet. you can imagine it that way because you don't know me. i'm quiet. i'm just looking, watching. and then just after i win my race can remember when it not because they need a hill. believe me. what happened?
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right before i sworn into the story in the "washington post" that senator robert packwood had apparently, according to 25 women engaged in, what's the word i can say? misconduct. i thought i can't believe it. after anita hill, now i'm coming in and one of my colleagues is engaging in this kind of behavior. take a long story short i said it's not my business. the ethics committee. mitch mcconnell is on it. so without going into detail, which your listeners will have to learn -- [inaudible] this thing was unreal. believe me when i tell you this, one of the only people in the senate pushing to air his dirty laundry.
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and if that was true, i came to grips with mitch mcconnell who was a very senior powerful member of the ethics committee coming soon to be chair of the ethics committee and bob dole. they attacked me as the biggest partisan. they did everything to stop me. we got rid of packwood. the point behind the story as i never expected that would happen. then we had a horrible earthquake in california. the points i make in this book is when you get someplace, when you're in politics come you never know what issues will be on your plate. >> guest: exactly. through it all you worked with many presidents. bill clinton, barack obama, al gore, helping hillary clinton. >> guest: i sure am. >> host: i love that this rate of you going down during the recount at an horrendous time to
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florida and taking on the issue. it was just one thing after another, but probably the best one was when you're running against her leafy arena. at this point i'm on the committee with you on the environment. i see what you're doing and what you are up against. you are maddening and i thought now that we saw her running for president come you kind of put her away in that race. >> guest: one would've thought. >> host: the moment she was talking about your hair and your reaction. once again, people are into these issues that men wouldn't have to deal with. >> guest: is so interesting i'm glad you brought it up simply because it's another amazing months into people watching this that no matter what field they are in. i don't care what it is or if they are raising their families. things happen that you don't expect to change the course of human events. let's put it that way. i was running in 2010. she was a top-tier candidate.
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she had millions of her own that she had got when she got her golden parachute and got fired from hewlett-packard to shed millions of dollars to throw into the race which he did throw in and the race was neck and neck because mainly the deepest recession since the great recession were trying to help the president with a stimulus bill. i remember standing on the floor just looking at us losing tens of thousands of jobs a month. we wound up losing 8 million jobs in california was a mess. the real estate situation hit us. we were struggling. and i'm running for reelection in fiorina is blaming everything on me, even when it rained. she is blaming everything on me and it is tied. i am saying we don't want to
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elect her. she is saying barbara boxer fought for recession. barbara boxer is getting scared about climate change. so anyway, flash forward i think to cnn as a matter of fact. she is miked up lately i've been everything she is saying is being recorded. et cetera speaking of staff on how to do interview give me the latest issues in the morning. there's been a change in this, that or the other. she says to her staff, had the same arbor boxer's hair? i said now, what about it. it is so yesterday and she starts laughing. now the truth is about my hair, it's always had a life of its own. however, i thought at that moment, everybody does. so what is she doing when she is saying this? it's kind of been in salt.
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if you're wealthy enough to have a hairdresser that follows you around every day, which most of us do not. >> host: she got in trouble with that and i think in again. people understood we were in a hard time. including we stood up against the iraq war. there were so many times that you are alone or maybe had a few people that you are willing to take a break and. what i love about "the art of tough" as it talks about the issue through the lens of history, but also that people even when they didn't agree with you, some of the republicans and others understood you were going to be tough and stand up for them. >> guest: it has been a remarkable thing. i did beat her by a million votes. again, some of the things that have been, that shine the light on who the person is. i am going to go off for a
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minute and say when donald trump, for example, said he was excited from the housing market crash because he thought, i can make a lot of money. how do you make america great when your business life that is how your mind works? i know a lot of decent people. they may say i will buy some thing, but they don't think that way, that they are profiting off somebody's misery. now that i put in that word, it just truly -- there were things that in a campaign that showed that person really is in my. one thing may not be enough, but there's a few things. when people saw her making fun of me and not really caring about the issues when the cameras were off and they put it together with the fact that when she was ceo she shipped tens of thousands of jobs overseas comment is that you know what, not a good person.
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>> host: with a minute left as we look at the incredible career you've had and "the art of tough" so people understand and you can pass it on to others. would you want to pass on to people like me, people who are young people running for the supervisor seat. >> i want to pass on to you is how to stand up and be tough to know you can win and don't worry. it doesn't matter. when i opened the book, i have quotes from the right wing media is that it's the worst things about me. stand up for what you believe in and it will be a satisfying life. >> host: came to maximus, barbara. i recommend your book, "the art of tough" because it is fun to read and people will understand what you came from will give them the faith and politics run themselves. >> guest: i hope so. >> host: thank you.
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>> host: you are watching booktv on c-span2. we are on location at claremont mckenna college in claremont, california. we are talking with professors who are also authors richard has now is professor john pitney, professor of politics and author of this book, "the politics of autism."


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