tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN November 9, 2016 8:00am-10:01am EST
some hurry. some nervous. some uninformed. how many do you think do it perfectly? the commissioner figures there's some excuse being d disenfranchised by war or fear. yes it can happen here. but not for well intentioned mistakes. not in this age of the voting machine. and pushing the pointer back up and has no pencil to break or paper to tear which will not let you vote for more than you're allowed. it will not turn if you cast all of your votes. questions and issues if any are placed up here on the top of the ballot. the pointers are marked yes and
no and for or against. the machine won't let you spoil your ballot by voting both ways. and when you're satisfied with with your vote a new privilege awaits you. you will register and count your own vote by returning this handle. walk away knowing your ballot cannot be disqualified thrown out nor miscounted. it's already counted the moment you leave. nor can the machine make a mistake. it cannot be opened except by a
key. >> it looks complex. and it looks so because of a large number of voting units in it. and actually each is a straight mechanical linkage and rugged action like this. and 35 states and territory of hawaii. about half of our american voters voted by machine. why? why? well, newspapers run after answers. so did the commissioner and the first answer was it's so fast and so easy.
the commissioners understood about fear. and it's a very, very subtle thing. this voters opinion is in the machine. not on any piece of paper that passes from hand to hand. why else voting machines? the automatic voting machine absolutely eliminates the disenfranchisement that comes from mistakes. the count is mechanically accurate and of course of interest to me and 170 million others is the fact that immediately after the last voter the election results are
available. the results are available right now. my paper can get the result which means that the radio and tv stations can get the results hours earlier. just read the figures off the counters to the recorders. then check the recorded figures back against the counters. announce the results in five to ten minutes. how about the good old days. counting was a five hour job if things went smoothly.
voting machines vote more people much faster. therefore you can consolidate your precinct. sometimes even two for one. cuts in half your need for hard to find election workers. madison wisconsin for example eliminated 170 election workers and multiply by a days pay and you see what kind of savings we're talking about plus the counting takes a quarter of an hour as opposed to 3 to 6 hours. fewer people, fewer hours equals fewer dollars. not always of course.
>> paper ballots require at least one ballot for every voter. voting machines one printed ballot per machine. and saves just one old style county wide recount and your machines are nearly home free. they had to compete in this county with the intention of people pressing the clock hard every day. it has to compete against speed and motion regretly even against america's second cup of coffee.
everything else in the county competes hard for the citizens increasingly valuable time. our churches were modernizing with parking lots to get into faster. our schools modernize to command his respect and his tax dollar. the tools which our average citizen uses every day has become fantastically automatic and fast as industry moves to
automation. democracy is the foundation. the heart of that democracy is the poll which were still being run in our county the way they were when we held inauguration day on march 4th so the new president would have three months to iride his horse to washington. the driving question on the commissioners mind can democracy compete with it's right hand tied to a hitching post? his answer in our county is
what i consider the greatest show on earth. it's bringing out the people. as the commissioner likes to say, we have really become one of the freedom curtain counts. >> wednesday night highlights from the annual churchill conference in d.c. >> part of american history tv in primetime each night this week. at 8:00 p.m. eastern on cspan 3. cspan where history unfolds
daily. in 1979 cspan was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> he created ten commandments for presidential leadership. up next on the presidency, mr. boston discusses the commandments and provides examples of presidents that excel at each one. he is the author of cross examining history. a lawyer gets answers from the experts about our presidents. the denver forum hosted this hour long event. >> he's a big time texas attorney. a major force in the legal community of texas. he wrote two books on baseball.
really wonderful books and he came to the series to speak about one of the books and he then wrote a book and significant book but his new book is about leadership. and about leadership with the presidential level and there was a time in the history of politics and the history of governments and we need to understand what that really means. it seems to have greatly confused this election year terrific with wonderful kids and just a great texan which means he's a great american. welcome please the one and only, the great talmige boston.
good evening. thank you for making this wonderful evening possible. one of the great things about having a new book out and going across the krcountry is being ae to get in front of world affairs councils all over the country and see they carry on this important mission of adult education as well as reaching out to students and thank goodness we have organizations like the world affairs council because they make our world a better place. we are now less than a month away. from november 8th election day when our country will finally be put out of its misery. and we will choose who will become the 45th president of the united states.
many of you already know who is going to get your vote. there may be some in this audience that are undecided. the polls reflect that there are still people undecided. and the choice this year is shall we say complicated since both the candidates have negative approval ratings above 50% which means that both people are not really voting in favor of a candidate rather they are voting against a candidate. >> i'm not going to tell you who to vote for. i'm not going to say anything good or bad about either candidate. that would be foolish on my part because it would cutoff part of my book sales. i'm going to give you something new to chew on between now and election day. you probably heard that most people love history for two reasons. the first reason is because it
shows us how much things change and the second reason is it shows us how much things stay the same. and one of the main ways that history shows us how many things stay the same is the traits that make for a great presidential leader are the same in 2016 as they were in 1789 when george washington got sworn in. now for my new book cross examining history after completing my 31 interviews with with presidential experts i synthesize part of what i learn and what i call the 10 commandments of presidential leadership. >> this audience is filled with with leaders. we have business leaders and civic leaders. all kinds of leaders and the young people future leaders. i believe these traits are important for all leaders.
and face the most important decisions of their eras and met them in ways that set the standard. not just for presidential leadership but for all that are in leadership positions. >> he said something very important. nothing happens in our federal government without presidential leadership. and the reason for that is congress cannot take prompt action because they are truly a heard of cats. the president and only the president has to manage the process and if the president doesn't then the process doesn't get managed now that quote made me think of baseball hall of famer reggie jackson who during his glory day with the new york yankees would always refer to himself as the straw that
set the standard and to get deeper on understanding george washington i interviewed david and gene hidler husband and wife historians that happen to live in colorado springs and just retired at the air force academy and they had a terrific biography that kacame out in th wall street journal. i want to understand how did it manifest itself. where did it come from? and it said well in terms of how he presented himself there was a strong physical component to it he was a large man and 6'2". which would be like 6'8" compared to now.
he had these pale blue eyes and broad nose and whenever he would speak publicly he always spoke very slowly. he did that to make sure he never misspoke. came across almost like the voice of god in the way george washington expressed himself publicly. when you have this huge presence and unusual speaking style whenever george washington entered a room people would stop what they were doing and take notice and immediately go into a mode of best behavior. >> where did it come from? how did he get an extraordinary level of integrity? like most people speg riintegri begins as a child. he has wonderfully highly ethical parents. and how he ramped up his
integrity came in his early teens when he was learning how to do cursive handwriting. that's his autograph. he had a strong hand with a great flourish to it and in george washington's era the way people learned how to do cursive handwriting is they got copy books. these were published books with beautifully elegant handwriting and people would copy them over and over again until their pen menship matched up with the standards and his favorite was written by jesuit priests and entitled rules of civility and descent behavior in company and conversation so washington fell in love with this book and learned the rules backwards and forward and the idea you also
disciplined your mind and it worked with george washington whose rules became his code for living for the rest of his life. i obviously read all 110 of them but two that stood out for me first every action done in company ought to be done with some sign of respect for all that are present and the second one which ties into the first commandment he said labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscious. now as president he maintained his virtue by reading daily devotionals attending church every sunday and making sure that every action he took was in complete come plie complete compliance with the new constitution as well as with the jesuit rules. he left in early 1797 and two years later he died and there
was a partisan of the area that decided he wanted to do something special. he decided he was going to write a biography of washington. one of the most famous was george washington at age 6. i cut down the cherry tree with my had hatchet and that was an early 19th century version of esop's fable but it absolutely told the truth and to be able to
serve as conscious in chief. we get national scandals like richard nixon and watergate and bill clinton and his shenanig s shenanigans. when you see the washington monument think of it as a capital i that stands for the integrity of george washington. second commandment, a great leader shall stay above the partisan fray and should be able to build consensus. it's an essential part of the american success story and that's how government works. people going across the aisle having dialogue and compromising and being able to legislate effectively. it means out of many, one. yes in most groups there's usually more than one faction.
it's the great leader that has the horsepower to pull them together and get a collective enterprise going and eliminate the dysfunction and the president who was particularly good at staying above the partisan fray and being able to build consensus was thomas jefferson. the jefferson biographer was peter. he spent over 20 years. thomas jefferson foundation of history at the university of virginia and is the author of six books on thomas jefferson. since we live in a world where nobody is able to build consensus in our federal government i wanted to vote much of the interview to understanding how did jefferson do it? particularly because he was operating at a difficult time where the federalist party controlled by john adams and alexander hamilton was in
constant conflict with the republican party controlled by jefferson and james madison and it got so bad that during adam's presidency the congress passed the sedition act of 1798 that made it a prime punishable by incarceration when people are being thrown in swral fjail for speech and criticizing a political leader thomas jefferson became president when the country was barely a decade old and he made it his priority to reach across the aisle and build consensus. in his first inaugural address close to the very beginning he
said we are all featherweights and all republicans. don't we wish we had a candidate in 2016 that can express those kinds of sentiments. but beyond that how do you build consensus. politics is all about relationshi relationships. if you want to build consensus you can only do it after you built relationships with those across the aisle. he said throughout his presidency of 8 years thomas jefferson would have regular on going dinner parties at the e c executive mansion where his only guests were the leaders of the party. and wonderful food and wine and thomas jefferson was a very charming character and ultimate renaissance man. he can talk about music and can
talk about art, architecture, history, agriculture, you name it. and he was dazzling conversationalist about any subject. on going steady diet of dialogue with people on the other side of the aisle, the walls started coming down and peel started to be able to act together as americans and trying to make the government work. now we know what happens when we have a president unable to stay above the partisan fray and that lacks the tool to be able to build relationships so as to be able to build consensus with those across the aisle. we'll get exactly what we had the last pu years. total gridlock and a government that doesn't work anymore. so when you're in washington defendant c. and you see the jefferson memorial, think of each of those columns as a faction. and think of them as all being unified together under the
perfect jefferson dome and remember thomas jefferson the president that made it his priority to bring the factions together and make government work during his presidency. third commandment. a great leader shall know his limitations and know how to supplement his limitations. this takes self-awareness. this takes knowing what are your strengths and what are your weaknesses? and for those areas where you are weak being able to connect with somebody that's strong in the areas where you're weak and make it work. and the one that was the best at this trait was james madison. now for his strengths he was very smart. he was brilliant. he also knew he was an extremely hard worker. he had a work ethic second to none. but for his weaknesses he was a
>> and although he was brilliant in a level-headed sort of way, he lacked creativity and he knew that. so the madison biographer, for my book, is award winning david stewart, came out in 2015, madison's gift is about how madison went about building partnerships with those who were strong in the areas where he was weak. how did james madison compensate for being a skronny little guy who got lost in every crowd. he buddied up with great big george washington. and washington was smart enough to know that he needed some more horsepower. he wasn't brilliant, he needed a little brilliance to add to the conservation. and so madison and washington locked arms at the constitutional convention and in
the early days of the washington presidency and did more together than either of them could have done individually. so what did madison did to compensate for the fact that he had no charisma. david stewart said he buddied up with the dynamic of the founders. hamilton who had this great vision of how we're going to get the constitution ratified came up with the brilliant idea, the papers to be able to pull it off, he couldn't do it alone. he needed somebody equally hardworking, they joined forces, wrote the federalist papers and led the charge to get the states to ratify the constitution. so what did madison do to compensate for not having any creativity, he buddied up with thomas jefferson, creative genius. jefferson was smart enough to know a lot of his creative ideas
were off the wall, unrealistic, crazy, he needed somebody levelheaded to bring him down to earth. you have this perfect balance, levelheaded genius in madison, creative genius in jefferson, together they invented our federal government that has served us so well for so long. now, in washington, we've got the james madison memorial building at the library of congress. and inside the library of congress you have the original of the constitution. and when you look at the constitution, think about the fact that the only way its words have power is because the words are partnered together in s synchronize, the word standing alone has no import. when you think about the constitution, think about james madison, the man we call the father of the constitution who had this extraordinary gift of knowing his strengths and his
weaknesses in forming partnerships with those who were strong in the areas where he was weak. fourth commandment, a great leader shall persevere over setbacks, nothing stops the great leader. when the ops goes in the ditch, the great leader finds the way to get the ox out of the ditch. and the president set the standard in this trait was franklin roosevelt. for my book. on franklin roosevelt. i interviewed ken burns. i hope to you got to see the in the fall of 2014 and jeffrey ward ken's collaborator. written three biographies, one of which was a finalist of the surprise and jamess toban, each of these biographers during my interview with him, focused on
the fact until age 39 franklin roosevelt he love to dance, te love to work the crowds hard. all of a sudden in 1921 came to grimy halt when he was attacked and loss the use of his legs for the rest of his life. yes, he was a major set back hold him back for longs. he talked to his steadfast resolve and first class temperament and how because of that he maintained his self confidence. he kept a smile on his face long after he had lost the bounce in his step. and by over coming and defying polio, he was the guy, his tenacity got the country to
accept him at his word when he said, we've got nothing to fear but fear itself. by over coming the reality of a major disability, roosevelt grew the wisdom of joseph kimball. where you stumble that's where your treasures lie. by define polio, roosevelt found resources ie treasure that he didn't know he had, polio he is intellectual rich guy. he had the common touch and communicate with the masses and little people and middle people because he knew the struggles of life -- and before -- franklin roosevelt memorial.
when you look at, look at the strong countenance on his face. this is a guy who is capable of doing anything. but you notice that the rest of his body he's seated and cloaked so as not to draw attention to his legs. when you see that image, remember how important it is for president to persevere and triumph over setbacks like franklin roosevelt did. great leader should know how to play hard ball when necessary. the president of modern era who was particularly good at that was dwight eisenhower. from my book the writer was jean edward smith, a finalist who during the interview and in his biography talked to one fantastic example of how eisenhower played hard ball with extraordinary skill. the year was 1956.
it was one week before the november presidential election, eisenhower was basically finishing his first term and a week later be elected for what would become his second term. in all of a sudden, great britain, france and israel joined forces and seized the canal. they did it knowing that eisenhower was strongly opposed to doing they did it any and they thought they could get away with it. he doesn't want to lose the jewish vote. if this is what israel wants to do, they thought he would not respond and they were wrong. he said i want you to go out and buy all the british pounds you can. once he had done that, eisenhower picked up the phone and called the british prime
minister. he said if you don't get all those troops out of the immediately, i will drive the pound down to zero. -- what was he going to do, that's how you play hard ball when people get out of line and disrupt your tactics and goals for -- in this case, trying to maintain international order. . they can't seem to agree on design. when you're in dc. go to the arlington national cemetery and the tomb of the unknown soldier, remember that before he was president the architect of the division -- d day invasion, excuse me, and he held that position in the
military and he served with distinction as president, for many reasons. one of the main reasons was he knew how to play hard ball when people got out of line in order to make sure that his goals didn't get sidetracked. great leader never wants to appear that he's panicking, always wants to appear like he's in a mode of being able to make good decisions. the president who was particularly good was john f. kennedy. from our book, the kennedy biographer was sheldon stern. he was the historian resident of the library in boston for over 20 years and as the author of three books on the cuban missile crisis. you'll remember the soviet
delivered nuclear missiles into cuba. obviously, we had to respond. john f. kennedy called his cabinet, his top advisers, called them the executive committee and these meetings took place over the course of 13 days. unbeknownst to everybody, those conversations over 13 days were secretly tape recorded. john and robert kennedy decided they wanted to record the meetings and they did it for the same reason nixon wanted to take tape record his oval office because they thought it would always be their personal property. would never become available to scholars and the publicment sheldon stern was the first to listen to all 43 hours. what he learned from those
tapes, that with each take, all of kennedy's advisers were ramping up their voess, insisting strong retaliation, which is necessary if you're going to go those missiles out of cuba. thank goodness the person who is in charge, president john f. kennedy. over the course of 13 days, calm head, negotiated an agreement that caused missiles to be removed from cuba. we there by avoided what surely could have been world war 3. when you see the kennedy memorial in washington, d.c., think about john kennedy, how he kept us us from world war three and there by allowed us to continue to enjoy our american way of life which, among other things, includes the privilege of enjoying the arts.
-- and seventh commandment and mindful and good timing when pursuing initiatives. the philosopher car las said warrior/great leaders recognize the cubic center meter of chance that can make or break them. when it pops up, they move on it with the necessary speed and paralysis to capital liez kapt the opportunity. on the modern era linden johnson, in the way -- and most important civil rights legislation. -- i interviewed taylor branch and the head of the lbj library and johnson biographer. lbj's daughter and his white
house counsel, larry temple. from then i learned the answer to troubling question, why in the world did linden johnson wait so long before he became champion of civil rights legislation. after all. he arrived in congress -- every single civil rights bill. in 1957 as the majority leader he took over out of the bill. it was passed but it had no effect. why did he wait until he was president before he final. and lbj, if you read much about him, country expressions that were always right on the mark, why did you wait to you were president, he said, you don't try to kill the snake until
you've got the ho in your hand. [ laughter ] okay. as president, he had the ho in his hand with jim crow segregation laws. you're aware, he had served in congress for 15 years with even his greatest admires acknowledged he didn't take his job seriously. he had no idea how to get legislation passed. and then as president, of course, the civil rights movement erupted. martin luther king was getting thrown in jail all the time. riots. timely after more than two years kennedy got serious and made a strong civil rights speech and submitted a strong civil rights bill to congress, but got stuck in committee and had no idea how to get it out before he was assassinated. now, after kennedy's death with
the ho in his hand, lyinden johnson moved forward, he knew he had a nation in grief with a loss over the young president. so he reached out to those in congress who were obstructing the civil rights bill and he used this argument, look, we all need to do something major, historic to preserve the important legacy and memory of our dear departed john f. kennedy, let's make him the martyr for the cause of civil rights and it resinated and people changed their minds. busted the filler buster and passed the law in 1964. now larry temple both said, the conventional wisdom suggested
after he had been elected before taking on such a highly controversial bill as the civil rights bill by then it would be too late and lost the momentum associated with the public desire to recognize and honor the beloved former president l.b.j. did the same thing with voting rights in 1965. nothing, nothing was happening. and then along came bloody sunday, selma, 1965 when police troops started beating up unarmed peaceful as a protest against the lack of voting rights in alabama the image of
these police beating up the african-americans reminded of nazi germany and it was moral outrage over bloody sunday and lbj saw cubic center meter of chance, now is the time. his we shall over come speech and immediately submitted a bill to congress, which soon became the voting rights act of 1965. -- the house refused to agree a version of the bill, how are we going to get this unstuck, boom. martin luther king was assassinated. april 4, 1968, just like you've done with kennedy, lbj reached out and said this was a major leader. we've got to do something historic to preserve his legacy, let's make him the martyr for fair housing. within a matter of days the house agreed to senate version
and fair housing act of 1968 was passed. so in washington, d.c. you have the linden b johnson department of education building move with perfect timing in pursuing his initiatives that allowed us to have integration sooner rather than later he communicated and followed through the best was ronald reagan. the people i interviewed for my book on reagan were his chief of staff and second term james baker and his biographer finalist hw brant. i talked to them about many aspects of reagan's life, but i
wanted to zoom in, what made him the great communicator. well, the aknee jerk reaction, e knew how to look the camera in the lie with full dramatic force. no. no. it was a lot more than that. was the disposition in the spirit of optimism that we've got better days away and that gave americans hope and allowing him to channel the inner voice of the american people. jam james baker said it was consistent. you know in the modern era, in
the final draft. -- the most important speech attempting to bring an end to the cold war. he said, tear down this wall. now, the speech with that line went through many drafts. every time his speech writers kept taking the line out, they thought it was too inflammatory and would alien nate. reagan knew better. he kept putting the line back in. he knew june 12, 1987, the time was right. the place was right. his entire foreign policy, first political speech in 1964 has finally arrived and the speech writer, he gave us the word that will forever give him a special place in our history. tear down this wall.
and clear and passionate and right on the market and kept that momentum going and completed with his successor, george h.w. bush. when you go to washington, you fly into reagan airport, you think about aviation. aviation is all about having optimism and having clarity and consistency and having follow through, if you're doing to land airplanes successfully and being the key of what make ronald reagan the great communicator. great leader put people's interest above his own personal political interest. person who was . . . . . . . . . . .
.as g . .. . . . his buy ago g -- biographer. and now 1988 republican republican convention i'm sure you remember now was his prime time speech national television, he said six very important words, read my lips, no new taxes and the convention cheered and he got elected in 1988. well, the tax issue was politically huge. and in our national deficit, our federal deficit.
and became aware that we had to do something because the rest of the world was buying fewer t bills over concerns about the strength of the american economy, with the record level. when the 1990 budget talks came along in both houses of congress were controlled by the democratic party's attempt who absolutely refused to cut any aspect of spending, if you're going to have any money available to try to cut the deficit, that's only way to do it, new tax revenues. not only were new tax revenues going to be needed to cut the deficit. but the iraqi army had just invaded kuwait. bush saw leaning on the horizon, expensive military work there, which, of course, became the gulf war and it didn't want to fight a war on borrowed money. so president bush broke his
convention pledge, agreed to new taxes and it triggered an immediate newt gingrich and republican party and certainly a factor in his losing 1992 election. could president bush kept that convention. because he had it would have been in 1990 budget talk. shutdown and no money would have been available to address the increase that was in the world, lack of confidence that would continue to grow. we'll put the country first over his own personal political. washington, d.c. we had the george w. and head -- say it remember, president bush there's
a courageous president who is willing to for the good of the country -- the great leader and shall find ways to shape it so as to align with his own vision. and the president who was the best of this was our greatest. abe lincoln sentiment is everything. whoever mold -- the decision. out of the judiciary. the two lincoln was great and two chapters in my book, two
different top historians. who last year won the lincoln prize regardless of what seemed lincoln historian. he's written dozens of books on lincoln and ronald white, who wrote three books on lincoln, his book a lincoln, "new york times" best seller during by 2009. i believe is the best biography of lincoln. so public sentiment, how do we get our arms around public sentiment. lincoln knew in his day he wanted to understand what the people were thinking the best way was to stay connected to the people who ran the local newspapers in each of the towns. he always made a point of stopping at the newspaper office talking to the publisher and editor and the reporter and so he could narrow the talk of their town. once he found out what people were thinking, he then could
come up with the strategy to get their thinking to move in the direction of his vision and that certainly what he did as president by the way he approached, then he went very complicated and controversial issue of slavery during the civil war. now, obviously, the civil war was raging. it was a huge issue. and lincoln decided he wanted the issue an emancipation proclamation. first was issued right after september 22, 1862. that was preliminary version and final was issued january 1, 1863. now, i don't know if there's anybody in this audience who has ever read the emancipation proclamation from beginning to end, it's not particularly long. it is a pretty boring, not eloquent document. people have said it reads like a
bill of lading. they drew it up airtight because he knew he was going to have pass constitutional mustard and emancipation, slavery, surely somewhere in that document there would be reference to the immorality of slavery, the unjust fact that people of different races were treated differently and that that would be the basis for why we need to emancipate the slaves, but you won't find that language in there. and the reason you won't is because lincoln new public sentiment. he knew that some people in the north and many people in the border states had not made up their mind on what to do about slavery, do you abolish immediately, over time, do we need to abolish it at all. it was high uncertainty about the best way to go about abolishing slavery. lincoln knew that and he knew that if he had set the basis for the emancipation proclamation
was moral justice basis, they grew a lot of push back because there was so much -- such of a mixed reaction and mixed perception on what to do about slavery. but also because he knew public sentiment, he knew there was one thing that the public, 100% agreed upon. and that was we need to bring an end to the civil war asap. we need to stop the killing and the wounding and the disruption. if you, as commander in chief, think that as a matter of military necessity, that's the language lincoln put in the emancipation proclamation and issueness is a matter of awe then tis, so that those slaves who escaped could join the union forces. you think that's what we need to put an end to this war, go for it. we're all for you. it was very little push back on the emancipation proclamation. it sets the stage for the 13th
amendment, which became the subject of the steven spielberg film. so when you go to washington, d.c., you see the lincoln memorial inside. you see the statute, great emancipator, i hope when you look at that you look into his eyes. you think, oh my god, she's looking in my eyes. say, no, he's looking beyond me. he had a personal vision. but he had a long range vision. he knew how to figure out what the pub because he knew how to figure out what the public sentiment was and shape it so that it aligned with his vision, that he succeeded in abolishing slavery and bringing an end to the civil war and bringing the country back together. i want to close by getting back to november the 8th. in the days ahead, i hope that everybody in this room will go to a quiet place, by yourself
and think about ten questions i'm about to ask that are tied to the ten commandments you just heard. i'm not going to tell you how to answer these questions. by answering these ten questions based on these commandments from the pages of presidential history, it provides a really good metric for what voters need to be thinking about when that very important choice happens and you vote on november the 8th. who is better suited to be conscience and chief? who is more likely to stay above the partisan fray and be able to build consensus? who is going to have the self-awareness to be able to
recognize strengths and weaknesses and align with those people who are strong in the areas where he or she is weak. who has the better record of persevering over setback the. who is more liable to play hardball skillfully when necessary. who is more likely to remain calm and make good decisions in a crisis? p who is more able to meet the cubic centimeter of chance and perfect timing when pursuing initiatives? who is the better communicator and will follow through on what he or she says? who is uls going to put the nation's welfare above his or her own personal interest and who is going to stay abreast of public sentiment and find ways to shape it to move in ways that align with his or her vision.
so i hope you will think about these questions between now and the time when you vote. i hope you will be aided in answering those questions by these lessons from presidential history. i had the great privilege of learning over the last three years in interview ourg top presidential experts, both the scholars who did the heavy research as well as the insiders who worked side by side with our presses. our presidents, those who have served us so well now, for 227 years. thank you very much. >> questions. >> you bet. >> or comments.
>> yes. >> wait for the microphone so that everyone can hear. which of the presidents in doing the research and interviewing their advisers and historians, which was most compelling to you as a personality? >> as a personality? i think franklin roosevelt. not only did he have responsibility for dealing with the great depression but also world war ii and to do it in a mode of his disability and always be in the mode of giving the country hope in our darkest hours really puts him as a personal and as a compelling story, head and shoulders above everybody else. nobody had to deal with that kind of disability.
nobody persevered and triumphed and rose to the highest possible heights at franklin roosevelt. na would be my answer to that question. >> given that this has been a lifelong interest for you, as you were studying this book and all these different personalities, what surprised you the most about whom? >> one of the most surprising things that i learned in the book was about the john f. kennedy and the cuban missile crisis. because after john f. kennedy was assassinated, then within a matter of time, bobby kennedy decided he wanted to run for president. so obviously when you are running for president, you try to do everything you can to make yourself look like a hero and wore shi of adulation. so bobby kennedy began writing the book 13 days portraying himself as the great hero, the cool head in the room. while he was writing this and showing it to the others there at the meetings, they said, ah,
that's not the way i remember it, bobby. bobby's response was, my brother would understand. so then, of course, bobby kennedy was assassinated and ted sorenson completed the job and portrayed bobby as the cool head and great hero of 13 days. arthur schlessinger acted like that is the way it was and when the tapes came out, it totally disproved that that bobby was pounding the table the same as everybody else. it is a very important lesson about always go to the best sources and when you are taking somebody's word for his heroic conduct, you better do some real due diligence to make sure there is accuracy and it is corroborated and so forth. so that was really the most -- sheldon stern is the one who really brought all of this out. the historian and residence at the kennedy presidential library in boston. >> yes, sir.
>> when doris concerns goodwin is a presidential historian. she is closely affiliated with president johnson. did you decide to exclude her or was she not available? >> i reached out to doris and sent her e-mails trying to arrange for a time when i could do an interview program with her. she was not able to do it. it was not because i didn't try. if she had agreed, she would have been on the front cover of the book. i did not bat 1,000 reaching out to historians and insiders to participate. nobody bats 1,000. i am very satisfied. doris kerns goodwin. we think about lincoln, team, and harold hoser and ronald white are top flight lincoln historians. i feel very good about the caliber of the minds and the stature of the people i
interviewed. each of the presidents, understand this book, i did not find a biographer of every american president. this book is 500 pages as it is. if i had found a biographer of every american president, it would probably be 1300 pages instead of 500 pages. i just identified who i thought were the 21 most significant american presidents. i didn't say best, because that's subjective. the people who were the president at the most critical times such that herbert hoover, who nobody regard as a great president, nonetheless, he was a president when the great depression hit. so i found a major biographer of every significant president, lincoln, fdr, theodore roosevelt and nixon, because he was so weird, had two historian chapters. i also made the decision not to interview a biographer for every american president. i thought that in 2016, we do
not have this deep public fascination for the life of millard fillmore. so many of our presidents were insignificant. so 500 pages is the length of the book. it is big enough and heavy enough as it is. i will tell those of you who are encouraged to pick up the book, read about the presidents of your lifetime first. you don't have to read this book in a particular order. you don't have to start on page one. read about the president of your lifetime. then, read about the presses that preceded your lifetime. >> thank you so much. and thanks everyone for coming. welcome, governor. we have a distinguished member
of the audience. we know you have great taste in history. my "hear comes santa claus" speech apparently started with the governor. he has the book in his hand. you too can be an owner of the book. it has the best cover of any book in publication thanks to c-span for filming this tonight. thanks to all of you, a surprise in december. we are a little gittering about saying anything. we look forward to seeing you. karen will be back. you won't have to have two of us trying to replace her. she is coming back from iran and she will have many stories to tell. so safe home and thank you, tallmidge, come again soon.
>> we have a special website to help you follow the supreme court. go to c-span.org to help you accept. you will see four of the most recent oral arguments heard by the course. you can find recent appearances by many of the supreme court justices or watch justices in their own words including one-on-one interview the in the past few months with justices kagan, thomas and ginsburg. there is also a calendar for this term, a list of all current justices with links to quickly see all of their appearances on c-span as well as many other supreme court vios. follow the supreme court at c-span.org.
>> up next, on the presidency, author, kathleen bartoloni-tuazof talks about her book "for fear of the elective king," george washington and the presidential title controversy of 1789. when washington was elected, congress was unsure how he should be addressed. he was commonly known as his excellence lency until the title was changed to president because of concerns that the position would become too much like a monarch. george washington university hosted this event as part of a celebration honoring the first president's birthday. it is about an hour. welcome to -- i teach a course on george washington.
five years ago, when this series began, president knapp made a commitment to add an -- since that time, the event has forged. we have heard stimulating presentation frs some of the most prominent scholars from george washington and his time. this year, for washington's 284 birthday, we have at least four firsts, which is fitting for the first president. this is the first year we have an election on washington's actual birthday, the true presidents' day. this is also the first year that we have had an election at george washington university museum and textile museum. thanks to the generosity of albert h. small tells the history of washington, d.c. there can be no more fitting location for the lecture.
this is the first year we feature dr. kathleen bartoloni tuazon who has written a critically acclaimed story that is the subject of tonight's event. i say event. this year, george washington's lecture is a little different. it is not a traditional lecture. but rather a conversation that's the fourth verse if you are keeping track. we felt that in this presidential election year, this made more sense, to have an informal conversation about the creation of the presidency and welcome more audience participation. please, have your questions ready. in addition, immediately following the conversation, there will be a reception in the lobby and cat will be signing her book and i brought my copy and it will be on sale out there. for a few introductions, i would
like to welcome some special guests, first, raul, our speaker's husband. welcome. charlene bitker, and her staff, director of the project. unfortunately, ken bowling, an editor for the project could not be here this evening. we also want to recognize him for a couple reasons. for participating in the inaugural george washington lecture. # finally, we welcome jamie, now, vice-president of the guest experience at george washington's mt. vernon. welcome, jamie. i am pleased to welcome dr. kat
lynn bartaloni tuazon, kata. she is an alum na of our university having received her dock rat in history in 2010. she is also a visiting scholar with the first federal congress project and invited to speak at george washington's mt. vernon, the organization for american historians and this past presidents' day, she was featured on the npr program, all things considered. she applied her knowledge of forestry and resource management while working as a chief and information management for the u.s. fish and wildlife service and director at the california department of fish and game and the california state lands commission. her wonderful book explores the presidential title controversy, what to call the president. her amazing research tells the story of how after the establishment of the government under the constitution, congress
and individuals debated more than 30 titles for our nation. a few that did not make the cut included his elective majesty, hi highness and her favorite, serene highness. some even favored calling all presidents washington much like caesar. so na would make president obama, washington xliv. as the nation prepares to select a successor, washington 45, to the office that george washington defined over 225 years ago, we couldn't be any luckier than to have someone like kata with the expertise about the original presidency. it is my pleasure to welcome dr. kathleen bartaloni tuazon.
>> hello. thank you for coming and happy washington's birthday. >> we get comfortable here. you know that i love this book. i will just show here at the start, why i wonder about is why they have dismissed the presidential title controversy. it will be a paragraph or something in a book at best. i am interested how you came to this topic. >> well, first of all, there were times when it was called by historian's a big -- or others wondered why the congress spent so much time on it when they could have been working on those amendments to the constitution or figuring out taxation policy. what they didn't quite realize was how important the title controversy was to figuring out what they were going to do with
this new office of the president. how i came about it, i was reading a lot about washington at beginning of my studies. i came across different historian arguments which said, you know, washington's presidency was trapped within the controversial and die cot must concept of the republican king. i thought to myself, trapped, washington. i just didn't believe it. i think of presidencies as being dynamic i was having lunch at the first congress project one day. i mentioned this much to my colleagues there. we started talking about the presidential title controversy. they happen to mention that they had this multitude of materials on the title controversy that
had never been explored. the more i thought about it, i realized my dissertation topic had basically hit me on the head. >> those are the best kind. >> great. so let's take a step back, because if it is not obvious to people today, i think we take it for granted the presidency. this is something of a radical creation. if you could say a little bit about the fears that the american people had of the presidency, of this new executive office. >> well, you have to realize that a president's place within a popular sovereignty is complicated. it was quite controversial in the beginning. the american nation had just fought a war against a king. six years after the treaty of paris and the end of the war, this new constitution, untried featured a federal, singular,
central executive with no term limits and vaguely defying powers. it is no wonder that people worried about a monarchy attaching to the presidency. whoo kind of a president did the country want and need. there were those that were worried the press would turn into a despotic, all powerful monarch, too much like the powerful king would be there was another group of americans that worried about a weak executive that would be subject to corruption and manipulation like a weak king could be manipulated by his court. for them t stood to reason they would be more interested in a strong title to counter act this
weak -- the scare of a weak president. >> it seems like all sides agree the person should be george washington. he was the obvious choice. >> he was the most trusted man in america and i would say he was the most celebrated person in the western world at that time. really, when you think about it. he studied. at the end of the war, he was -- he and the nation were one. the union he was like a steadying influence on an unsettled america. people celebrated him, though with such enthusiasm that he was for the presidency a blessing, as i said, trusted guy that he
was. he was a bit of a curse for the presidency as well. he was so celebrated. the enthusiasm toward washington were so excessive and so kinglike, that he p was almost like a rapture in the people at times. >> the public loves him and they loved to celebrate him in kingly ways. as a result, he brought this whip of monarchy to the presidency just in the way that people celebrated him. that was a problem for the presidency for this office that he was going to be occupying. yes, he was a terrific guy and probably the only choice for a really successful first president, because of the trust that people had in him that he could inhabit the presidency, this controversial position and they can trust him in that position but he brought with him
some problems. >> the question i do get a lot is, if not washington, who would be next? there wasn't another one. he was the indispensable man at that moment. >> that brings us to this question of what to call him, this debate you write about, the title controversy. i wonder if you could give us a little bit of background to the debate. why did it happen? the constitution says this person will be the president of the united states. why did people in the senate feel like they needed something more than that. >> the senate had veend. once the senate veend in early april, 1789 and counted -- finally counted the votes, washington was sent for. he starts making his journey
from mt. vernon to new york. he is celebrated all along the way. in these huge productions. he is coming to new york. the senate is convening. it is no surprise that people start wondering what are we gonna call him once he arrives? are we just going to call him mister? i don't think so. washington had already addressed as general and your excellency. that was his title of the revolutionary forces. in addition, at that time, all the governors were addressed as your excellency, except fort governor of georgia, in the constitution, it said he must be your honor. it specified a title for him. with washington coming, this person who is so celebrated like
a king, calling himm your excellency, which is the highest title that he holds. the highest title held by the state, the governors. he is supposed to be the head of this new federal government. the question was, what should we call not just washington, but what should we call the president? they merged somewhat. he was so celebrated. your excellency didn't seem quite majestic enough for him. at the same time, your excellency was already in use for state governors. so what are we going to call this new federal officer? >> so it is the senate that really pushes this issue. we have to remember that this was a new office as well, the office of vice-president. when john adams, the first vice-president read the constitution and wonders what he is supposed to do, he this is he is supposed to go to the senate,
because he is the president of the senate constitutionally. this was something that he pushed and one thing i really like about your book is that other people just dismiss adams as kind of crazy. this is a kind of ridiculous thing he did. you explain that there were reasons that he did it. >> for adams, eve thon though hs a high federalist, adams was more concerned about a weak executive than a strong executive. he was concerned that the executive would be corruptible when he had been in britain as an ambassador there. perhaps he had seen king george manipulated by his court. so he was worried and richard henry lee, the senator from
virginia was also very worried about a weak executive. so they felt one of the ways to shore up the executive is to give him some tremendous title and that this would somehow help. now, the senate majority felt this way. part of the reason that they did was that they really found themselves in a bit of a bind, the senate did, because those that the people most fearful of this weak executive or thought would be the most manipulative would be the senates, the states, the states were very powerful. the senators were the state elites. adams was very afraid these state elites would overpower the executive. not so much washington with his
incredible authority but all the presidents to come. so the senate did find itself in a bit of a bind. if they didn't give the president a high title, they would be accused as an ar ris toecratic body out to subvert his authority. >> you have to tell us some of the titles. the book is amazing. >> the senate and the people, the american people, debated over 30 titles, most with royal overtones, specially various forms of high nus and your majesty, serene, sacred majesty.
washington was put forth as denver said, because, shouldn't all the other presidents try to be as wonderful as washington was. they should aspire to the grandness of his name. for washington, his name should be the delight of human kind. >> there was president, general. it just went on and on really. president, of course, was one of the suggestions. some people were like, forget all this, just call him president. that's what it is in the constitution. there was a large and vocal group. a majority of the people eventually who orgd fargued for simple titles. there were a lot of other titles, your majestracy. the senate finding itself in this bind as it was specially
with the house being adamantly opposed. the house was always opposed to any title other than the civic title of president, which is mentioned in the constitution. in subcommittees when they would try to meet to come up with some other title, the house would not budge. so eventually p what happened in the end after the three weeks of legislative debate on this issue during what i call the legislative phase of the controversy, the accept nat capitulated completely to the house, went with the simple title of president with no introductory elaborate extra address. however, in that resolution, they begin with the recommendation that the senate felt that his title should be his highness, president of the
united states and protector of the liberties. president and protector obama. >> that's an amazing story. >> something you accomplished, i really admire, is how you treat washington in this book. there is this long tradition suggesting that during this whole debate that somehow washington is in the background cheering for one of these illustrious titles but you show quite the opposite. >> yes. >> tell us a little bit about washington's role and what was on his mind? >> first of all, the title controversy is rife, rife with gossip and innuendo. my book is just filled with caddie facebook posts.
in all of that gossip and innuendo, never did i find any evidence that washington supported a title. so that's my first argument against it. i have several in the book. one of the other big arguments against washington supporting a title is that he wrote in aler to his son-in-law, david stewart, and a grand friend of his, a confident. he wrote to david stewart he was against the title controversy once he heard of it. it was started before he arrived on the scene in new york. he argued against it once he heard about it. in new york. he predicted the uproar it would he predicted the uproar it would cause and the harm it was doing to the perceptions of the new federal government.
he was from virginia. they barely ratified the constitution. his neighbors were already going, you're going to be the fi his neighbors were going, you are going to be the president? we don't like this idea of this nation you are going to form. the last thing he is going to want is anything that will exacerbate negative attitudes towards the new federal government and in the larger population. also, in that letter to david stewart, he expresses specifically his irritation about john as ams for pressing for a high title. the other main piece of evidence that i bring to the argument he was not in favor of a high title is by looking at james madison during this period. think it's
all of us to look at james madison and to listen i think it is very important ad. during that first year, washington and madison who was a representative from the state of virginia and the house. and in some ways de facto head of the house. madison and washington were very close. they were two of the founders that were at the constitutional convention every day in philadelphia. washington and madison, adams was in britain. jefferson was in france. hamilton was there for a while and then he left and went back to new york to run his legal practice. really, it was madison and
washington there every day bonding over these arguments for the constitution. and very committed to the constitution's success in the beginning of washington's administration. if you listen to what madison is saying, he argues on the house floor. he speaks basically. on a lot of issues. and he's washington public voice. really i think you can -- what you're hearing is washington fields. on the title issue. madison speaks on the house floor. against titles. against in particular, the title of high mightiness, which was the title give tonight state holders in the netherlands. he basically just totally ridicules that title, which is the title which is sometimes
erroneously associated with george washington today. he denigrates that title. then he goes on to say in his speech on the house floor, he alludes to washington and says that any title would go he alludes to washington and says any title would go against the true dignity of the first executive. he also refers to washington and washington's displeasure, his relief over the outcome of the simple title to jefferson and several others. >> i think it is very persuasive and it fits with a prt of washingtpart of washington that i think is sometimes lost. he was a great politician. this was bad politics.
we know in part from what happens after the debate in congress. you describe how the controversy becomes a more public controversy. it enters the public's fear. what happens then, when the american people find out what the senate has been doing for the first three weeks? what do they say? well, remember, that the senate met behind closed doors at this time. so they have been arguing about a title for three weeks from april 23rd, which was the day when they first started the resolution to come up with a title for the president, form a committee, let's form a committee. this happened to be the same day washington arrived in new york. i don't think there is any doubt. it was not a coincidence.
washington is arriving. they are like, let's get a committee together to figure this out. they don't figure it out. washington goes on to be inaugurated a week later. they are still arguing behind closed doors. on may 13th, they capitulate to the house, a formal resolution. it goes into the senate journals. the senate journals aren't going to be published right away. they have to be cleansed up. usually, they come out six months later but the title resolution was leaked to the press almost as soon as the ink was dry. the boston papers get it first. then, the new york papers get it right after tla. it is almost word for word.
as soon as the public finds out about this debate, when the general public finds out about it, it is not like everybody says, oh, great, this is what they are going to do and yawns. instead, everybody has an opinion about titles. so what happened, it was like the twitter feed gone viral. for the next three or four months, throughout the summer of 1789 and into the fall, it was this cathartic and fierce debate that sold lots of newspapers. it was obvious the press was, oh, my gosh, let's write up some more things on titles and sell some more papers. the public needed to debate this. they had to debate whether the senate had made the right choice. it eventually became obvious a majority of americans agreed with the senate, that they were happy with what had happened and
what came out of this, the reason i call it cathartic, as a result of this, some of the public fears about their new government, their congress and their new president were resolved. they gained more trust that the new federal government, these legislators could argue something as politically volatile as they thought a title for the president was and come up with a solution and a choice that the people agreed with. >> i wonder if you could talk about some of the lasting impact that this controversy had on the office of the president.
then, i actually love what you write about the vice presidency. i think that's really interesting too. maybe the president first. what does this mean in the long-term for the office. the simple title gave the people some relief from the fear of an elected king. i got the title of my book in there. it gave them some relief. they gained trust in the government, in the presidency. as a result of this title controversy happening so quickly, in the earliest part of the washington administration, as people gained confidence it allowed them to relax about the
presidency just a little bit. basically, the outcome of the title controversy helped the power of the presidency, helped the presidency pledge its power by not flaunting its power. >> in a way, adams got what he wanted. >> ironically. we can argue that the presidency would have been strong in any case but my argument is that people the people were more comfortable with the presidency, it was, like i said, it could start to spread its wings and they could explore the power of the presidency more easily without the added baggage of a high title attached to it.
as far as the vice presidency is concerned, my feeling is very strong that the presidential title controversy is one of the great casualties of the presidential title controversy is the relationship between the presidency and the vice presidency. i feel that because of the presidential title controversy, we basically have the diminished vice presidency that we see to this day. washington backed away from the extremely unpopular adams. adams, among his colleagues in the federal elite, was called behind his back, his rotundadee. among the public, he was referred to as the dangerous
vice, because of a poem that came out called the dangerous vice that linked the vice of monarchy and the vice-president, only a heartbeat away from the presidency. he was called the spawn of satan in that poem. so washington backed away from adams basically never to return. is the vice-president a member of -- is he a member of washington's cabinet? no. could he have been? i argue washington could have done whatever he wanted with that vice-presidential position. he basically did nothing. on top of washington backing away from the vice presidency because of adams' unpopularity, adams himself contributed to this because of his own attitude toward the vice presidency, i feel. he discounted that role as being just sort of the place holder.
if something happened to the president, the vice-president was there. adams felt that his main job was to be president of the senate where he irritated a lot of the senators by trying to throw his weight around. he admittedly, over the years, adams cast a lot of deciding votes when the senate was tied but his influence within that body waned. so the vice presidency's influence in the legislature in the congress, and the vice presidency's influence in the executive branch in both cases diminished. i think it all starts with the presidential title controversy. >> in the beginning, a lot of people didn't know whether this was an executive branch office or a legislative branch office. it is kind of like both. >> yes. it became neither. to some degree.
>> your description of the political rhetoric from the 1790s makes me think of our own rather rankerous elec that's going election that's going on. if washington were here, what would -- we don't want to say what would he think but what could our current presidential candidates learn from washington's example? >> well, washington in this whole presidential title controversy, washington really and the people, washington and the people developed what i consider to be the first principles of american executive leadership. these are principles that really help the presidency find no
problem with democracy and strength. it helped the presidency go stronger. through this whole cathartic controversy over a title and they developed these first principles. fer first, mod es stri aesty and re. people got because of the simple title of president and second, a sincere nod to the people. a sincere understanding that there exists an interdependence between the presidency and the people. the president and the people are connected. the people got that by washington supporting the simple
title of president, which matched the bulk of popular opinion. so restraint and a nod to the people i feel are these first principles of executive leadership that you see at the beginning of the administration. now, in terms of today, we often hear the presidency since the 20th century referred to as the modern presidency. that modern presidency no longer adheres to these particular principles you might argue. i would argue that at the very least if you look at the way presidents tried so hard to appear like one of us, hating broccoli, playing the saxophone, playing basketball, clearing
brush, loving football, all of these traits hearken back to those principles of sim called but these are true principles and ways to go about being a leader that i think could be a case their tail and restraint, anod to all of the people of the united states and not just a small for those reasoning for the presidency today. >> so a big dose of humility. >> yeah, by that you gain trust and people trust you to go ahead
and be the leader that they want you to be. if you don't think that people want a strong leader, they do want a strong leader and someone that they can trust. there are other people and things at the time and i am dying to know about martha, what did people call martha. you say in the book that mr. president comes later, and i don't think that first lady exis exists but tell us. >> he was sir, general, your excel si and just to the days and that washington's name attached to treaties and
proclamations helped with the title of president, but because he had that & allowed for mr. president to be something that came along naturally and for the woman at the time they were referred to as lady, lady washington and martha and she was called more often than you think the president's consort
and she was addressed as the queen and in that poem, that poem is dedicated to washington so lady and the president. >> maybe just mrs. washington. >> yeah, i'm sure. as ambassador, they was called excel lan si and they were that in britain. i found evidence that when they were back in the united states after that, she was getting things addressed and to some of the friends probably and the
friends in britain. >> okay. i'm going to ask one more question and then we're going to turn it to the audience. get the questions ready, but one other thing that's been on my mind with the current presidential election is that there's a better chance and is there going to be a new debate or do you think that it's pretty settled on what it's going to be called? >> many are called madam president. i would assume she would be called madam president. i don't think that there's a lot of debate about that. i think most that are going to be president would be called mr. or if they had a title like
doctor or lieutenant, they would be called that. or called the first gentlemen happening. i can see the first gentlemen being used for bill clinton. what i can see or the confusion is when hillary clinton and referred to that at the same time. maybe they have to identify them as the first names or i'm not sure. the president's clinton. i'm not sure but i can see that confusion because to this day
and back then you get a title and it just follows you for ever. >> so we would love to have questions from the audience. we have a microphone at the back of the room if you want to just walk back there and tell us the name. >> you all don't have to run at once. okay. there we go. we have a question. >> hi, is there a concern by not giving the president of the
united states and ones following washington a grand title that it would put them in a weakness. >> yeah this is a big problem and concern for a lot of people and what happened is that you start to see in the literature people are worried about this. they're worried about the presidents and who will follow. in one note they were worried that first there's washington and then the next president might be sort of this bare or title. he needs the title if you read
you see that washington got all of those preference and respects without a title. he did not need a high title along the way to get our respect. so we have to have the other people rise to the top and show what they are without the noise and confusion that a title could bring. >> thank you. that was a aterrific question. we have another question. >> what influence in france at this point are having on what is going on? this is when everything is sort of unraveling in france? >> okay. thank you.
they have tossed away the title itself and basically su merged is something that they say that they're following the u.s. example or the american example is part of that and it really does and you do see that in some of the -- in some of the commentary they actually do say this just helps our position and it throws away any arguments in favor of a high title. >> thanks. so another question that i had is that you mentioned the