tv Capital News Today CSPAN December 25, 2009 11:00pm-2:00am EST
>> how do you see this debate to? >> i think there is every reason to be skeptical. i question everything, every statement, every position, every note of optimism about this war. i think all americans should. i think your partners around the world should. somehow, that the karzai government will create a standard security force that has enough space to break the momentum of the taliban, if that is brought to bear in a reasonable time frame, but the other big issue is whether it becomes another country. the real bad guys are in pakistan.
that is the problem. what is pakistan prepared to do? the challenge for this president is that [unintelligible] they will argue a but articulating an exit strategy or some sort of timeline. i think the secretary of defense was clear yesterday in that there is a time horizon. that is just the goal of a handoff to karzai in five years. that assumes that everything works. all of that is in place -- you have to see what the conditions are for the president down the line to say, hey, we are not winning, but it is time to come home. >> it did maybe seems like a
sideshow in this city. but it was a very lively issue for british politics as well. as you mentioned, the war has become increasingly unpopular. how has this decision by president obama play into the debate in prison? -- in britain? >> there has been a modest increase in the troops. prime minister gordon is talking about bringing down next year. but i think the reality of the situation is that it is obama possible strategy but is supported by all of mainstream. next year is going to be an intense time of pressure.
we're the main driver for reform for pakistan and afghanistan. if you do not establish ourselves known as a potential government, we are going to withdraw and you will be get -- and you will get killed. the problem is that that will be borne and paid for by the troops on the ground. that is a sober moment. that is before you get into the issue on how stable in iraq is. >> next question. >> my question is for the panel at large. given the opening of copenhagen today, what is the panel's view on president obama's strategy going to copenhagen, and
emissions target that has not been drafted by domestic legislation? i am interestininterested to hee republican view is what the american responsibility will be if there is a definitive agreement at copenhagen when the president comes back? >> we spent about 50 minutes talking about politics and we have not talk yet about the environment. >> from the larger sense, the question of climate change comes down to, if there has been in constant in human history, it has been climate change. the real question is the severity of that and the involvement of human causes in all that. that is from the larger sense. i think our party will approach it as such, with the the notion that all of us wants to make sure that we leave this planet a cleaner place.
how we strike that balance, given the priority of getting this economy back on track, i think that will be central to any republican response. there is much reticence right now, obviously, from the capt. trade finance. -- from the cap and trade finance. it is an ill-conceived plan that will kill jobs. it is a huge detriment to the number one priority, which is getting americans back to work. >> would you like to comment on that? >> is hard to believe. i think it is going to be a test of american leadership because the rest of the world is going. if we educate our role as a leader in the world, as an economic leader, while we are fighting about the politics of our congress and the u.s., then
it will be a step back for our country. we have been out of this debate for too long. i do not hear from the party opposite any good ideas on how to solve this. cap and trade came from industry. it is supported by lots of american corporations. there are certainly losers here and they do not support it, but, more importantly, this is an international issue, a global issue. if we want to continue our slide from influence in world leadership, this would be a way to do it. >> you talked a lot about jobs. we have seen the unemployment
rate drop. then you talk about the set -- your thanksgiving table. i was just wondering if it was representative of the whole country. i feel like maybe it is not giving thank you. maybe the republican party, are we going to be able to see the republican party come together with the democratic party in 2010 and worked together on soe issues? >> any bipartisanship in 2010? >> first of all, i think all of us wants to get this economy back on track. going back to the stimulus discussion, we continue to profit are alternatives. there are discussions surrounding the health care bill right now. it is taking place behind closed doors. there needs to be a mutual
cooperation. it is in the minorities interest, especially when you have the majority holding power in the house and the senate and in the white house. it is certainly in our interest to work together to produce results. it is about jobs. it really is. there has been a constant drumbeat away from the priority of trying to say, look, we want to provide to small businesses access to credit. we want to promote investment again. it is the private sector that will be which brings the economy back. >> i believe it is going to be the private sector. but can you imagine? no one can predict how much worse it would be if the government did not take the
strong actions it did. in the great depression, unemployment was at 25%. 10% is way too high. people are suffering. it is very real. people who have jobs are afraid of losing them. but very bold steps were taken. people want to ignore that right now. they want to score points and that is what politics is about. some of those very real steps were taken by a republican president. >> the follow-up to that is that the steps that were taken in 2008 under the bush administration and those of us who supported that effort and tarp, that tried to arrest what was believed to be a potential collapse in the market, that was meant to be an emergency temporary step.
are we going to live up to the initial promise, saying that it was tempered, that they were taxpayer dollars and need to be paid back, or are you going to allow that to be some kind of permanent slush fund in this town to go where the political whim is? i would take the position that we need to go ahead and deliver the promise that it was a temporary emergency steps. >> we will have to break that particular conversation. let's go to our final predictions. allowed each of you to give a particular production -- i want each of you to give a particular prediction for 2010. >> i think we face a very real question about the overall direction of the economy, whether recovery is more stagnant and there's always the
potential of a double-dip recession. it is primarily a jobless recovery. that will be the big trend in politics next year. the question will be to say whether this is a zero suming game -- a zero sum game. right now, the big prediction is anti-incumbency. >> i think there will be a watershed. we're clearly going in a different direction next year than where we are now. for the first time, we will have leaders' debate during the election. >> i think 2010 will be the year
that the politics of the middle will be empowered. if not, yes to the extremes -- >> tell me what that means. >> that means moderate republicans and conservative democrats having a stronger voice in the debate, which i think you saw in the 1990's. the corollary is that, if that is not true, you will see that a third party will be sown and we will see it as early as the next election. >> the elections in 2010 will bring about the fact that the democrats will lose their majority in the u.s. house. i think that will happen because americans like a check and a balance on federal power. that is what we got right now. it is administered it through an agenda that is far out of mainstream from where people see this country. >> we will be here in a year's time to see how that came about.
in the meantime, thank all of our panelists. [applause] >> coming up on c-span's christmas lineup, the life of william f. buckley. after that, at 12:15 pm eastern, colleagues of the late senator ted kennedy discuss his legacy. at 1:25 a.m., eric cantor and joe lockhart are part of a panel discussing the political events and trends that will shape 2010.
>> in the mid-1990's, he was named one of the 50 most influential people to watch in cyberspace. sunday night, he talks about his current study at harvard and what is ahead. >> up next, this is a discussion of the life and career of william f. buckley, jr. he passed away in figure it 2008 at the age of 82. we will hear from richard brookhiser. it is about an hour. >> it is a pleasure for me to
be invited to this event. as a guy who works in this liberal city i am sincere because it is a pleasure for me to be invited anywhere. it does not happen very often. [laughter] [applause] to give you an idea of the strange existence a conservative has in the city, for the longest time, the offices of "national review" was located above a rap music studio. the most interesting part of this juxtaposition is when the weather would get warmer and we would open up the windows, this unmistakable odor would waft up and i regret to tell you that " national review" has been produced in a haze of marijuana smoke. thank you for being here
tonight. bill buckley said it was a remarkable stylistic performance. pretty much everything he does is a remarkable stylistic performance. he can knock your socks off with a one line e-mail. please look forward to an extremely elucidating and entertaining evening. thanks for being with us. let's start off and go through the narrative flow of the book. >> my family discovered him in the late 1960's. the first means of it was television. he hosted a tv show called firelin"firing line."
through most of its life it was an hour of political talk. it was a very simple format. two chairs and a table. it was a simpler day of television, no bells and whistles. now top 10 lists or anything. it was just him and one guest and he would give them applied introduction and it would go at it. we first watched it as a sporting event without attending to the content so much. we also got drawn into that as a result of seeing the -- we also got into that. as a result of seeing the television show, we subscribe to the magazine. we bought a copy of his third
book. every issue. it had come out in 1959 so this was a reissued paperback. we have seen him and read his book. -- before 1969 before the idea came to me. i had written a letter to my brother about an interesting day in my high-school and what this was, there were vietnam war protests in 1969. it was called the moratorium against the vietnam war. this was mostly a college thing. there were going to be teach- ins' and kids would cut classes and so on. we decided to imitate this and
-- some kids decided to imitate this and i thought it was wrong. i wrote him a letter every weekend, mostly what happened during the week. it was mostly high-school plays and basketball games. this time i wrote about moratorium day. he said that was a funny one. my father said why don't you send that to the national review? i changed the letter a little bit and i sent it off. we were completely uninformed about journalism. we knew note journalists or anything about journalism except we concerned it -- we consumed it. i assumed they did not like it. they did not -- teacher it away and this is what magazines do. i got a letter from a man who was the managing editor.
i just cleaned off my desk and found your magazine and i learned that is what magazines do. >> nothing changes. i read it and i like it, he said. we would like to publish it. that was great. it was like a rush, you know. who would have thought -- i must have thought because i sent it off. i did not think, what really happened, it was like, my god. >> when it entered your mind that you might become a journalist? >> i think i always wanted to be a writer. i thought i would write fiction. that is what i read. we all read fiction in school. we read the traditional novels that are assigned to kids in high school like "david
copperfield." i also read on my own and most of it was fiction. i thought i would be a novelist. instead of doing that, here was something else that i had actually finished. it was a completed thing. someone said i like this and they published it and they paid me for it. so then, i guess maybe -- >> but not much. >> $180 is what i was paid. i did think to myself for many years that "national review" was in violation of the 19th amendment which prevents indentured servitude. it is $180 better than nothing. i was 14 or 15 years old when it came out. i never got paid for anything apart from mowing the lawn or
selling lemonade. $180, that was cool. that certainly was the beginning of thinking maybe this is the real thing to do. not writing novels. >> how did you stay in touch after that? >take us to the next step. >> everybody at "national review" i dealt with was very encouraging. i got a letter from one of his older sisters and she was the managing editor. i got a postcard which was a three by five postcard. it had scrawled on it hardly legible something like nice job. as you know, everybody who wrote
anything for any issued -- and the issue got those cards but they were very nice to get. it was a nice courtesy. that encouraged me. i sent other pieces when i was in high school. some were rejected but some are published. there was one occasion when i sent a letter when i was in college. i sent him this letter describing some [unintelligible] i got a call from my brother who was in high school. what he had done was writwrote a
column and said i want you to read a letter i got from someone in college. >> if you would write me a letter of 650 words it would make my job easier. >> as i had gone on in life i see the self-interest in that generosity. it was -- this was a surprise attack of approval. then i learned there was a young woman at yale a couple older -- couple years older than i was. she told me about that program and she said you really ought to apply for that. i know national review announces that every year. you do not absorb everything in the magazine so was her telling me that got me engaged. i applied to be an intern. i was accepted and this was the summer before my senior year. when i was graduating, this was
1977 graduating from college and this is a near where every humanity's major thought of going to law school. it was the defaulting. we would all go to law school. i took the law boards and i have no gift for law. none at all. now interest. i was on that track. i was corresponding with priscilla. she said what are you put off law for year and come to the "national review". and that summer has gone on longer. >> what was national review like at that time? >> among the causes was the defense of capitalism. which we did very intelligently. the bill was very savvy about economics. about to as well as a layman can.
we were a pre capitalist institution. it was like buckleyland and the ruler was bill buckley. that was clear to everybody. he was a benign ruler. he was certainly an unchecked one. there were no checks and balances there. he ruled that by charisma. and by generosity and geniality. he made it fun to work there. he did not rule it by paying people a lot of money. i do not want to poor mouth it. it was a little magazine. it was not like working for
conde nast. the offices then, you remember them. there were at 150 east 35th street and the polite word to describe them was dickensian. they were kind of ratty. it was billed as an apartment building. i do not know of had been used as an apartment building but it had small rooms, lots of bathrooms. little rooms. >> it was like working in an escher painting. >> one shortcut which bill and priscilla made use of, there was a dumb waiter that ran between her office and bill's office on the third. they used this to send manuscripts and notes to each other. i remember priscilla had a bell on her desk that was shaped like
a turtle. when she had something for bill she pressed the head and it rang. she would send this thing up in the dumb waiter. >> you cannot make this stuff up. >> he would send it back. there was something very honey about it -- homey about it. bill was a star. he was a celebrity. that is something that happens. one thing that happens when celebrities died [unintelligible] and bring them back. if they exist on film as bill does, the television shows, you does, the television shows, you can also, memoirs are coming out. mine is not the only one in.
there will probably be several shells of buckley books in the coming years. you have to remember that he was just a start. comics imitated him. they do not imitate people who are not stars or personalities. but robin williams had a buckley impersonation. you also got the door of that just by being in his presence. if you were walking along the street with him or getting out of his car with him, there was a little ever-present sense that people are looking in our direction. they were not looking at me. there were looking at him. it was that, yes, i am walking with him, sort of feeling.
>> you said there were no checks and balances on his benign dictatorship. who were the of the key players at the time? >> two people he relied on to make his career go where his sister, priscilla who was the managing editor, and his secretary and assistant francis bronson. francis was like the wrangler of his life. france's bronson was the regular of his life. she made sure that everything there was supposed to happen happened. at the peak, there was hundreds of things. the tv shows he did, all the writing assignments he had, the speeches he gave, the appearances, the parties, this, that, and the other thing. she told the story many times that there was one phone call from bill fenty have a list of
things she should do. it was 13 things and then when he got to the 13 he went back to number one and said has that been done yet, not realizing they had not high up the phone and given her the chance to do it. she made that happen. he relied -- priscilla had real world journalistic experience because she worked for united press in new york and paris. a lot less intellectual types that the magazine had not really had. she knew some nitty gritty things that maybe bill did not. she also shared his views and his tastes. he could safely go to europe every winter to ski and write the book and leave the magazine in her hands. he knew she would not do something crazy. he could trust her. >> in terms of the political
context of that time, how would you characterize the general tenor of things at "national review"? was it joyously in battle or optimistically embattled or we are doomed? >> the mid to late 1970's were horrible. i think they were a horrible time. >> we know the feeling, unfortunately. >> worse. it was really worse. nixon, who we had never wholeheartedly supported but supported to an extent had come to the ending that he had come to. ford we felt was weak. carter we felt was weak and bad. the soviet union seemed to be picking up, they were getting
park place here and hotels and assets, it was like monopoly. cuban troops were running the portuguese empire in africa. that is so weird to say that now. it is likely colonization. cuban troops took over the portuguese empire when the portuguese gave it up in the mid-1970s. energy shocks, stagflation, all kinds of stuff. i think the mood was embattled. the mood changes when ronald reagan wins in 1980 but those first few years were grim. >> when you were asked "national at "national review" in those years you were experiencing his full charm which is a mixed billblessing. talk about that a little. >> the biggest blast of it i got, the biggest bolt was one
day when he took me to lunch. i had been at the magazine a year and i was 23 years old. he takes me to lunch and he says, "rick, i have decided you will succeed me as editor. he also said when that happens you will all the magazine. -- own the magazine. i was flabbergasted. there was no preparation for this. no hands or anything i picked up. i had older colleagues. i asked him one of this one or that one and he had various reasons. he said it is going to be you. so and then to reinforce this a year later, he took me, he said, "let talk."
and that that were going to lunch but instead we go to mexico city. and then to tasco. that was his idea of going around the corner. then he sort of emphasized the offer. it was a way of underlining the offer. this was to be the plan of my life at age 23. i accepted it. i was very young. i accepted it without demur. that was how young i was. that was the framework for everything i did for the next nine years until i was 32. i was managing editor by this time. i came back to work after lunch one day and there was a letter addressed to me from bill. it said confidential.
i opened it and he says, i have decided you are not going to succeed me. you do not have executive flare. and then he went on to expirexpn what he meant. i thought i had torn up that ladder. i have a vivid memory of tearing up that ladder and the waste basket. i could have sore right toward up. when i was getting ready to write the book, i have folders and paper sitting around and i found it. i found the original letter. my memory played me false. so then -- i have to figure out what am i going to do with my life now but i have to figure out what do i do with this man? who has been my -- the man who attacked me and has untapped me, so how do i relate to this guy?
>> how did you relate to him? tell us how you process your view of bill in light of this information about him, what you had gained in what would strike most people as a tremendously cruel act in some ways? >> certainly the way he did it was. i think he was largely, maybe even mostly right in his judgment. about executive flair. i think i have some. >> every time i hear this story, do i have executive flair? >> my wife helped.
she was a sex therapist. she gave him a were shot card. we had them for dinner. -- she was a psychotherapist. she gave him a rorschach card. she believes it is a useful and powerful diagnostic tool. she brought one card which she showed to both of them. and i do not remember what pat saw although he said she was wrong. she saw two things and she told
him one. he used teh whithe white space. which is rare. she said, that means oppositional temperament. he was confirming in how he read this card. what she did not tell him was he did not use the color at all. just did not use it. that means detach from your emotions. or can mean. which bill could be. not always obviously. he could be. i had to put this in my picture of him. i also had to do with the fact that he still wanted me around. having said you're not going to succeed me, he went through many
adjusters and maneuvers to say and indicate do not go away. please stay writing. please stay around me. because one aspect of him is he liked youth, he had been a young success himself so he was always looking for other people -- young people. there is a list of them. he was very good at finding them. i guess that made he relive his own youthful start. it was generous and it showed his eye for talent. he could see you're going to be famous may be and pick you out. -- famous maybe and pick you up. my wife and i went to india and
i got -- they thought it was malaria. i was just so sick when i came back. i had to stop in london and go to the hospital for tropical diseases and it turned out to be some bug that was easily quelled. when i get home, i find this big box in the lobby of my apartment building and it was an electric piano that bill had said. i called him to thank him and he brushed past the facts and rushed past and said this is a really fine piano. it really sounds like a piano. he started talking about the technical details. he was saying, do not go away. i know you are pissed so i do not want to lose you. he made this the way he made his efforts. the where i made my efforts as i stayed and stayed writing for him.
i shared my riding with him -- writing with him. that is how we inched back together. >> to pick up the narrative, you talked about how horrible the mid 1970's were and then we had reagan. when did you -- did bill realize this is going to happen? we were going to elect our dream cast it -- candidate? >> i did not think we knew until the second ave with carter. it looked like it would be a close election. up to that second debate with carter went reagan said there you go again. i did not know what -- that was
the game changer. i made a bet on what the electoral college vote would be and i thought it would be close. then when the white about victory in the electoral college happens, there was great elation. we bought an ad in the new york times fo, for "national review"t was a mind-boggling extravagance. we have this picture of reagan reading "national review" on an airplane. but then we had to learn, very soon, that this was not the millennium. this was not the perfect world. reagan would be unable, sometimes unwilling, to do everything we thought he should. and we had to live with that this appointment, which is
realism. i remember there was -- reagan cut taxes and then he had to, in his second tour third year, raise them back up. there was a bad recession and politically it was necessary to raise some taxes. and we thought this was wrong. so there was a meeting with james baker -- was he chief of staff then? i think so. it left a very sour taste in my mouth. here was a bill, the public man i admired the most in the world and he was baker, just an operator. he was not listening at all. he was just stroking.
that is all this was. i am not so politically savvy, but i could tell this is what this was. but that was good. it was good to see that that is how things are sometimes. t is how things are sometimes. >> you will hear it said that in the 1980's, once conservatives took power, the magazine lost some of its intellectual oomph. is there something to that? >> it would not be because of people taking power. as people age and retire and die, they always have to be replaced. there're always moments of transition where we are mourning the people we lost and we do not yet realize that the replacements are as good as they are or perhaps they are not as good as it will become. james mbyrnum, one of his
right hands and he had a stroke before reagan took office and that was a serious loss. byrnum the very serious column about the cold war which ran in every issue. he just had all level of analysis and also imperviousness to fads and panics. you know how powerful those are. he just would not feel them. it would just roll off his back and he would keep his eye on the ball. and losing him was a great loss. it is always wrong to look for the replacement. because there never is. never an exact replacement of anybody. you have to find other people who do very different things or
somewhat different things. there is always that kind of -- you think what would the perfect "national review" be? yupik people from the perfect era. -- you pick people from the perfect pair of. >> we have 10 or 15 more minutes of us chatting. i would like to hit some particular aspects of bill and get some thoughts on political figures and we will end our discussion on some of your thoughts on the current political environment. you mentioned pat buckley. what role did she have in his life? >> i think she helped him gain entre to a certain society. buckleys were a rich family.
she was a stylish woman who was a figure in new york society. she was also quite a lively person. one of my favorite memories of her was towards the end -- >> that is a way of saying she was terrifying. mayor bloomberg came to an editorial dinner. he was in full campaign in smoking in public places. pat's was one of the glass tables in new york that had monogrammed matchbooks. this will soon be a crime. she had these. she did not blow a puff of smoke into the mayor's face but was pretty close to the mayor's face and, mr. mayor, man spoke in my
own house? that is a mild example of what she could do. >> talk about bill as a writer. you have surprisingly mixed things to say about him as a writer. >> i never liked his fiction particularly. i just never did. it was john r. fiction -- genre fiction. i think some genre fiction is wonderful. certain things i love. bill's spy novels ever did that for me. bill was a mster o master of th syndicated column.
he wrote a lot of them. if you get the best of those, that is a murderer's row and they are so varied. they can be analytical or appreciative or on the attack, they can be melancholic, he had a lot of different voices that he could summon. he could also do lager essays very well. but i remember one -- it was about the effective end of the latin mass in the catholic church and how that paid him. it was a very moving column. i was reading this from the outside. it was filled -- it was a mournful column about this, very powerful.
he could do essays. about truman capote's black and white ball. bill did that and he was a guest but he brings it alive. here is why everyone is talking about it. >> talk about bill as a new york figure. how important his run for mayor was and how important his new yorkness was. >> his run for mayor, it was in part a stung and tt and to get e brand out there.
the brand of himself. he worked in the city. he had an apartment in the city. he lived a lot of his life here. the way the city was in the mid- 1960's was the beginning of the long decline that really went right up until 1993. he just said, this is lousy and it is not inevitable. it is because we're doing things wrong. here are the things we're doing wrong and we ought to do them better. he was taking -- it was a stunt but it had a serious court. he was saying my city does not have to be this way. if we just free ourselves from certain shibboleths we can figure out ways to do with our -- do with our problems. he was having fun. what will you do if you win?
demand a recount. there were these jokes teammate. he was seriously advancing the case which, by the way, the attitude of most conservatives, barry goldwater said, why don't we saw it off and let it float off to see? -- to sea? that was an example of bill's openness and flexibility. he felt it was a problem that ought to occupy him because this is where it was. he was not going to turn his gaze away. being built, he had a practical side. the city-state's. here is how to make it better. >> some thoughts about political
figures, your thoughts on figures and their role in postwar conservatism. barry goldwater. >> he was -- what a handsome man. that was very important. he was the hero. the heroic -- i still use extremism [unintelligible] terrible political judgment but what a great thing to say. >> richard nixon? >> when bill clinton was president, my wife is a liberal democrat. i would always tell her, nixon was my problem, clinton is yours. nixon destroyed himself. he destroyed himself. his hatred destroyed himself. and took a lot of conservative energy down with him to say nothing of southeast asia and
millions of people. never forget that. millions of people. the first editorial i firstfo wrote for "national review", th ere was a jesuit that said the khmer rouge killed thousands. that was a lowball. it was also nixon bringing himself down. it was the final piece of that. >> reagan. >> reagan, the two things he did, you cannot do many things. you can do two things as president. the two things he did was he stopped the economic slump and he did say, i forget now who he said this to. here is my strategy for the cold war.
we win, they lose. and he set in place for the conditions in which that happen. >> jack kemp. >> it was so thrilling to be in his presence. he was so ebullient and energetic. i think he kind of went off some of the rails with some of his ideas. he could also like the sound of his own voice. he could also think, i am the only person in the party understands the problems of black people and there was back patting, but what a high spirited man. >> george w. bush. >> i am going to say what i said at washington and lee shortly after -- just before he left office. i was giving a talk and there was a dinner with contributors.
they were asking me not as a conservative but as a historian. what about this guy? very - group of people. i said, if presidents are stocks, buy george w. bush. if it moves at all it is going to go up. it cannot go down. i said more seriously, look at grant. he was in the cellar for 100 years and he did not deserve to be there. he was put there by elite historians like henry adams to thought he used the wrong forks, he was put there by a completely converted racists who were the dunning school and they were southerners and it was "the birth of a nation" with footnotes.
the insurgents one. i think bush, we will see. he made it possible for the insurgents to lose in his war. >> barack obama? >> i went down to the inauguration. i was doing that for "the newshour." there was a historic quality to that which can never be taken away. it is one thing but it is a very important thing. the quality became more real because he was elected president. there is the rest of his term. what do we do today, mr. president?
we have seen problems that he has gone himself into that i imagine that we will see many more of them. he is interesting after his afghanistan speech. his supporters on that will be his enemies. and his opponents on that are his base. that is a tricky position for a politician. we will see how that plays out. >> sarah palin. >> i will give you cole porter. you've got that thing, that certain thing makes the british for get to us saying -- makes the birdies for get to sing she is running -- she has had executive experience. but why does she cut it off?
why does she chop it off and foreclose it? because she is seeking the toughest executive jobs certainly in the country, arguably, in the world. how do you explain that? what are you offering that can possibly compensate for that? . that can possibly compensate for that? having that thing, i do not think that is enough in and of itself. we're going to have to see more and we will have to seek a lot more because of the decision she made. >> one last question and we will open it up. open it up. we have seen one book written declaring conservatism dead. how troubled is intellectual conservatism at the moment? >> there are always winners and losers. in my other life as a historian,
i spend a lot of time in the 17 nineties and the early 19th century, up to the war of 1812. some historians call that the age of passion. i have said that from this stage in a different context. if you really want to feel not so bad about politics now and level of discourse, go back and read about the 79 days and 1800's and 18-teens. they were foaming oat the mouth. jefferson thought hamilton was a monarchist and british agent. jefferson went to his grave believing that. the reason people thought that is they did not yet know that you could lose and then win.
the constitution said what it said and everyone believed elections would keep going but you have to experience it before you believe it. and now we know. you can lose but then you get another shot. 2006 was a terrible beating and 2008 was another one. the world does not end so you do the right thing and go back and keep coming back. >> great. thanks so much. [applause] do we have a mic? >> thanks. a follow-up to your last question. you mentioned hamilton and jefferson. there were towering intellectuals. what would william f. buckley think today about monumentally
ignorant people like sarah palin and glen echo supposedly speak for conservatives? that is one of the most depressing aspects of the discourse today. the disdain for intellectualism and thinking that people like sarah palin and glenn back represent. >> palin is in a different category because she is a politician. william buckley was never a politician. he ran for mayor of new york but he never won an office. intellectuals in office have a very mixed track record. thomas jefferson's presidency is a mixed bag and so is james madison's. woodrow wilson's was a disaster. they are different skill sets. we would not expect our
politicians and mostly they do not perform at the level of discourse of our and intellectuals. glenn beck is another thing. the media always changes. when i started off, it was three networks and pbs. daily newspapers were important things. i remember "lief"anfe" and "loo magazine. "time" magazine had content which it does not have any more. "the economist" is still recognizably what it was like in 99 -- 1976 and 1977. "time" and "newsweek" are going
donw. th-- going down. the world of media changes. you do not have to track its every mutation. it is an attractive to wring your hands and say woe is us. the answer to the political thing is do the right thing yourself. build it and they will come. >> another question. >> whichi havdo you agree with e will when he said [unintelligible] and there would not be a "national review" if there was
not a william buckley? >> yes. >> what do you think about chris buckley? >> he is a friend an an editor -- and an editor of mine. i wrote for him and i noticed he sent out 3 by 5 cards every time i wrote a piece and i thought, that is very nice to see that being carried on. chris was writing about his parents'deaths and i waparents'g about bill's life. two different books. >> i first read "conscience of
the conservative" at 14. in the course of my life i watched conservatism ormorph and it reached its pinnacle with ronald reagan. would you agree that conservatism has changed in appearance and is that a good thing or bad thing? >> i think there was a very depressing consequence of republicans who were most of them, not all of them, most of them taking over the house in 1994. and running the house till 2006. and the consequence was corruption. and it was just getting too used to be there and it was all othe k street connections.
who was the congressman who strangled his mistress? >> mayor bower so many of them. -- there were so many of them. [laughter] >> don't strangle your mistress. you can saw we should have known this might happen because humans are humans and men are men but it is good to -- you have to take them as lessons. they are disasters but you have to make lessons of them and to remind yourself, ok, these are the temptations. do not do it next time. knowing that many will fail. hopefully some rather than many.
the big change which we are still trying to adjust to was the fall of soviet communism. i think you cannot best -- cannot underestimate what an organizing principle that was for so much. when it fell in 19901 -- 1989 and 1991, i thought i would never see that. when i looked at the national " herald tribune" and the headline was "communism's collapse." it was inconceivable. adjusting to that. what is our role in the world? how should we take saddam hussein?
these became questions. and then 9/11. my reaction to 9/11 was, this is the rest of my life. this is the 30 years' war. i am not going to see the end of it. we could argue about that. that is what i believe. we are still trying to figure out what are the implications of that and what should the strategy be. one thing jim did over and over was not just to say that communism is evil but how do we fight it? what is our strategy and we are still grappling with this. here is this for us. it is very different from the soviet union. the soviet union never killed 3000 new yorkers. it never did. it is different. how you wrap your mind around that? what do you do? these are -- i am not going to give you the answer now. no one is going to give it to me
or anyone. this is a process of grappling with this. >> we have time for another question. let's go all the way back up here. i will add to what rick said. the political expression of conservatism is going to change. . . i know at least as early as his run for mayor of new york in 1965. he was very impressed>> he was
very impressed much a book by claude brown. a lot of it was about heroin use in harlem. he came out when he was running for mayor with some very anti- drug statement or proposal, and he got a postcard from milton friedman. an. he explained why this was wrong. this was something build lot about and wrestled with, and not just marijuana, he added an issue in the magazine called "the war on drugs is lost." it was a symposium. he was passing this judgment on the whole thing. i think his judgment was that yes, marijuana has that effect. they are not truly worse than
alcohol, and we waste a lot of resources and generate a lot of hypocrisy and capricious law- enforcement by pursuing its offenders. this came into my life in 1992 when i had cancer and had to go through chemotherapy. chemotherapy always always -- almost always creates nausea, and i found myself using marijuana to deal with that. i think bill's wrestling with this issue helped me indirectly. it prepared the intellectual grounds for it. i know i certainly had no problem writing about this, working for "national review." bill wrote a column about it. the only time it affected my worked, you will remember dan quayle was the elder bush's
vice-president. vice-president. he had gotten off he never shook the reputation that he was not smart. the 1992 race is heating up, and people were just in despair and panicking. a crazy idea was running around. bush should jump -- should don't quell from his ticket and pick somebody else, and that would revive his fortunes. it was a crazy idea, if for nothing else than it seeming desperate is worse than desperation. i remember the editorial conference in which we discussed this. i had just come out of a hospital and i was still in my marijuana haze. i was in the state of mind where these donor just kind of observe the world. -- the stoner just observes
the world. maybe i could have put in a good word for dan quayle. >> next, a look at the life of the late senator ted kennedy. then, eric cantor and june lockhart discussed at political events and trends that were shed 2010. after that, william eggers analyzes the successes and failures of the u.s. government over the last 75 years. >> beginning monday, a rare glimpse into america's highest court threw unprecedented off the record conversations with 10 supreme court justices about the court, their work, and the history of the iconic supreme court building. five days of interviews with
supreme court justices, starting monday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. get your own copy of our original documentary on dvd. it includes programs on the white house and the capital. one of the many items available at c-span.org/store. >> friends and colleagues of late senator edward kennedy joined earlier this month to discuss his life and legacy. they were joined by his widow, vicki kennedy. this is just over an hour. [applause] >> good evening. on behalf of the chair of the kennedy library foundation board of directors and the chair
of the board of the edward m. kennedy institute, i thank you for coming to this very special forum and thank those watching on c-span or listening on the radio. for me this fall will forever be a sacred space, the site chosen by senator kennedy himself and then duly consecrated by the tens of thousands who came to pay their last respects to him while he was lying in reposed in the center of this room. it was an honor for all of us associated with this institution to work with the centers legendary staff, many of whom are here with us tonight, and to be part of those hallowed days in august. when people ask me how we did, i give the credit to senator kennedy's wife vicki. restrengthen dignity and the indefatigable graciousness year extended begin extended emboldened all of us as a grieving nation.
[applause] my role this evening is to explain how the forum and book signing will unfold. the lowell institute and the boston foundation. our focus this evening is senator kennedy was the legendary life, extraordinary career, and enduring legacy, especially as told through his best selling memoir, "true compass."
with such an outstanding and array of speakers to hear from, i will be brief in my introduction. additional by graphic liberation is listed in your program. doris kearns goodwin has endeared herself to this library and are wider audience would prefer groundbreaking history, her many appearances on this stage, discussing her most recent book, honoring arthur schlesinger, or moderating a conversation with her husband, richard goodwin, who served in the kennedy administration. as a lover of personal memoirs, it is the image of her childhood to which i am drawn in those bleak october days when the red sox fall short, recalling the heartbreaking season ending losses she endured as a young fan of the brooklyn dodgers.
as her title suggests, her writing in historical commentary are infused by our own balance optimism weather in baseball or politics, she leaves us with hope that we only have to wait until next year for another chance of winning season for the advancement of a political ideal. they invariably find that michael knows more about the subject and they do. michael said, now you see why i am so much fun to be with. in addition to being the author of nine books, he has served this institution as a member of our profile in courage award committee.
there was an anecdote where he maquette a massachusetts attorney. he explained he could see the gears turning in wells' mind. he said he reappointed my mind to the board of the community college. in the same manner in which tim russert's childhood in buffalo and used his career, e.j.'s career is informed by his past and present connections with fall river, this commonwealth, and its people. when ken burns produced his monumental documentary on world war two, we turn to my barnicle to facilitate his conversation with mr. burns.
might not only brought out his best, but closely capture the close of the shared sacrifice that defined that era. when assembling this panel, we knew he was the perfect choice to serve as moderator. on behalf of everyone at the library, the institute, and members of the extended kennedy family, we are deeply honored to have you here this evening. we will hear closing words from the new chairman of the library foundation board, kenneth feinberg. he is a former chief of staff for senator kennedy. he currently serves as special master for tarpexecutive compensation.
important votes are scheduled this evening, precluding his being with us. the panel discussion will begin following remarks made by mrs. kennedy. a member of the kennedy library foundation board of directors, a dear friend, colleague, and soon to be next door neighbor. [applause] >> thank you very much. did tom mentioned that the book is on sale at the bookstore? senator kennedy wrote about his mother having him at st. margaret's hospital, just up the street. it is a very important
institution. a couple hundred yards from here, the bethlehem community health centers -- it was the first in the country, and senator kennedy was a major force in creating it and all the other health centers. we will be beside the john f. kennedy library where senator kennedy wanted to be. an important part of the university of massachusetts at boston, senator kennedy said if you want to see the future of massachusetts, you go into u- mass boston. we are proud to be part of, never to, brother of the kennedy library in boston. there are three things the senator brought to the table every day. he was the best prepared in the room. he did his homework. he had respect for other people and other people's ideas.
he knew how to reach across the aisle. thirdly, he knew how to get the deal done. if we can impart to young people today as they study the u.s. senate, those three items to bring with you in whatever your task, we will have succeeded in his dream of explaining the u.s. senate, teaching young people the importance of understanding how a democracy works, and about how you get it done, which was what the senator did all the time. he was blessed. he had a partner who had the same zeal about the important issues of justice and health care, justice and education and all the labor issues. you could go through -- people talk about senator kennedy as the health senator. the labor guy stands up and says he was the labor senator. he was a senator who was an
extraordinary performer. he had a partner who understood how important that work was. his most important adviser, his best friend, his partner, our friend, vicky reggie kennedy. [applause] >> thank you so much for those wonderful, warm words. thank you and roseanne for your friendship. teddy was so delighted with the leadership you were going to be giving to the institute. it is such a pleasure to be here at the kennedy library. tech loved this place, and he would have agreed this is the perfect place to discuss his memoir, especially given the role the library has played over the decades in fostering
debate on critical issues and informing the american people about what ted love to call our march of progress. i am delighted that the library is coasting tonight's forum with the edward m. kennedy institute for the united states senate, which will be built just a stone's throw from here. i thank ken feinberg, the chair of the kennedy library foundation, also of the chair of the emk institute. if you will indulge me just a moment, i would like to say a special word of thanks to tom putnam, the director of the jfk library. also to everyone here at the library and library foundation who were so helpful to me and to all our family last august. on very short notice, they did the impossible, helping us to prepare the way for the people
of the commonwealth to come here to pay their respects to ted. 50,000 people came through the library last august, and it would not have been possible without their tireless efforts. thank you so much. [applause] i would also like to say a brief word about the edward m. kennedy institute for the united states senate. ted love to the senate. he called it one of our forefathers most brilliant democratic conventions. about seven years ago, ted and i started talking about the idea of a living institution to educate and inform generations of americans about the critical role of the senate in our democracy. he had a clear vision of a place where young people could visit and see firsthand the role
the senate place in our system of government, and were americans can come and participate in the debates of the day. he wanted to build a place to train our next generation of leaders. in his last 15 months, ted had three long term goals. launching the institute, finishing a " true compass," and passing national health reform. with the institute on its way to breaking ground next spring, "true compass" on the best- seller lists, he accomplished two of these goals and we are closer than ever before of passing a health reform since the creation of medicare. [applause] he would be thrilled at this progress and focus on getting it
done. but we are here tonight to talk about "true compass," his memoirs. he did not have the chance to see it in final book form, but he knew every word. we had read the entire book aloud to each other. for as long as i knew him, i knew that teddy white to tell his own story for history. for 50 years, he kept contemporaneously it's a critical meetings with presidents, historic debates in the senate, conversations with world leaders, and many personal impressions of events in his life. he was an eyewitness, an active participant in the greatest
moments of our collective history over the last half century, and he preserved his memories for the ages. about five years ago, ted started an oral history project with the university of virginia, and these notes really started to come alive during this oral history project. i think it was through the process of mining his memories during those hours and hours of interviews that had started to reflect on his life in a different, deeper, and more open way. it was during that time that his concept of what his memoirs would be really shifted to something much more personal. and so, a " true compass" was born. ted was well into the project when he became ill, but he was
determined to continue. so many others had written their own version of ted's story. it is a candid and personal look at his life as he lived it. as he said many times, he wanted to get it right for history. i hope you will agree after reading it that he did. i want to thank mike barnicle for moderating our discussion tonight and the others participating in it. they have been participants in and students of this country's historic march to progress, and i am looking forward to their thoughts. thank you very much. [applause]
>> this is quite an amazing biography. there have been other political biographies. one of the best was written by former president ulysses s. grant. he, too, finished his memoirs all dying of cancer. one of the things that struck me about this book is that everyone here in this room and everyone in the world knows great amounts about ted kennedy's of her life. but he had an inner life that
"atonement is a process that never ends." what evidence did you see or were you aware of of his deep faith? >> first of all, you actually saw him in church. i have to report, my favorite line in the book was when he was courting, and they were having dinner in the early phase. he is worried about a poll that showed his approval rating down to 48%. vicki kennedy said that is fortunate, because i never go out with the guy whose approval is below 47%. [laughter] that is part of the real deal,
that you saw him in church. there was a connection to the church that came down very much from his mother. there is something intimately connected in their relationship in his attitude toward faith. you saw it also in his constant engagement in religious issues and in the dialogue among religious people. there's a great story in the book where one day he gets a mailing from liberty college, jerry falwell's university, making him a member of liberty college. it includes a line "join us to fight ultraliberal like ted kennedy." jerry falwell's guy called him and they made light of it. he said he should come down here and visit with us. he said i not only want to do that, i want to go down and talk.
they had him come down, and he gave a talk about how his religious faith led him to the conclusions that he did, and he said it may elect to some people like it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a kennedy to go to liberty university. by the end of it, even the people at the university realized there was an organic link between his catholic faith and how to approach to public life. there was a sunday in 1994, and we went to the same church for a while. there is a wonderful priest there who is very close to them. we were at a mass where there were tons of kids. there he was with vicki, and my mom was visiting us.
it was before the election. after mask she goes up and greet him and says she is voting for him again. she turns to the kennedys and said to be good to each other. >> in the course of his campaign and his almost daily visits back to this state, the element of compassion and forgiveness, the element of the belief and redemption -- can you speak to that? >> i think it had more to do with his catholic faith then i realized during his lifetime. the first hint i had was a
letter he wrote to the pope at the very end, which essentially explained his career within the context of his catholic faith. i thought that was so moving. two of the hardest things to figure out about a politician in real time or what his marriage is like and what his religious views are like. our religious views, usually political figures pretend to be more religious than they really are. this will be a shock to you, michael. occasionally happens. harry truman once said that his grandfather always said if you hear a politician praying too loud, go home and lockyer smokehouse, which was advice he took. if you read the book, you get the sense that his catholicism was not very basic it is not only very basic and connected to the compassion, but more connected than i realized.
>> give people realize his deep devotion to his family, to his parents, his brothers and sisters. it is a devotion that seems to have begun quite early in life. part of it revolved around his grandfather. i would like to read this paragraph from the book. "my memories of this grand old man that restore hope when things have been purchased in my life. he was a constant in my life during the years of boarding school. his request to me has been more precious than any fortune." love life, and believe in it, and he did. >> he is to go down to the breaker hotel in palm beach. they said he would sit in the big couch is there, waiting for anybody from massachusetts to come in, so he could talk to them.
those songs that teddy used to sing all the time, that all came from honey fitz. the memoir really is a family story, underneath it all. no one else was able to write the kennedy family story, because bobby died, jack died, and joe jr. died. nobody could write it from inside the way that teddy kennedy did. the story is the story of a family that has captivated our interest, our sadness, our happiness for almost a century. to be able to bring that story out in the last years of his life, he was more open than he could have been before. it is unusual because of its openness. those characters are thinking about the future and balancing things. lbj wanted to say something mean about bobby kennedy. he said in the next sentence i
will say something good about jackie kennedy, as though he could balance things out. lbj said he was so concerned about saving face, that he would lose his ass some day. what you see here, there is a great story about when he decided to run away from home. jack kennedy was like a second father to him. he said, why don't i just read at the movies? by the end of the movie, maybe we will just go home. then he talks about how much he loves jack and bobby. what jack's death meant to bobby, and more importantly, what they made him want to do.
he loved looking at the capitol in the distance and the scratches on the desk doors. believing that he could cross party lines, that there could be friendships forged, that somehow he could make a difference in the social progress of the country. it is an extraordinary legacy. jack kennedy created a committee where they would have statues for all the best centers. they picked the best orator, daniel webster, the best committee chairman, the best constituent service person, the best person who was able to bring things across party lines. you look at ted kennedy and he is every single one of those things. in a sense, his legacy is
larger than any one thing. any of us who were here during the time when he was here laying in state saw those people coming one after another, telling what he had done for them. what a great orator, committee chairman, all those things are in line. all that comes out in the book, his love of the senate, his love of family. he said vickie made me understand me, which is what love is all about. >> the other thing about the book is, we have all read many memoirs, and if we were in a different line of work, we probably would not read a lot of them.
a lot of these books are interesting if you are interested in the time or the career or the issues. the ones that are really great are universal. you do not have to be a political junkie to get something out of the book. you will read this book from beginning to end even if you are not interested in politics. there are so many things there early on. when ted kennedy was talking about writing this book, he said one model he had is katherine graham's book, personal history. because she was a candid. brown the time that book came out, i was in chicago and our ran into a woman who was about 22 years old. she came up to me and said he lived in washington, don't you? she said, do you know katherine
graham? she looked at me as if she was seeing -- that book was able to speak to someone of a total different experience who was not a billionaire who would inherit a newspaper. the book does a couple of things that really stand out, how did you motivate children. i asked how his father was able to motivate his kids to do so much in life. he told me a little bit about that, which is captured in the book. his father came to him at a crucial moment and said ted, you can do what you want with your adult life, that decision is open to you, but you should know that if you do not use your life to do something serious, i will not have a lot of time for you, because there are other
siblings of yours who will. he writes about what enormous influence that had on him. that is the kind of lesson you can get from reading this book. many people probably think this book is all about politics. it is more about ted kennedy the human being that it is about politics. all of us as witnesses to his life and our own lives are sometimes staggered by help one would cope with the sense of loss and the reality of loss that ted kennedy and his family endured across the years. there was a moment in denver colorado just prior to his speech to the democratic national convention when he was troubled with gallstones. he was fighting what he was fighting. he manned up, as they would say today, saying to the people
around him, i can handle this. he handled almost everything is extraordinarily well. there is a passage in the book that i would like you to reflect on as i repeated. has to do with dealing with loss. it has to do with the events of the summer of 1968 and with teddy's love of the ocean and his love of sailing, and the fact that when he would be out in the ocean, especially at night, he would look for the north star. that is the truly magical time of sailing, as the north star appears. the norstar which has been the guiding star for all seamen three-time. the north star guide you through the evening. its light is the most definite thing you can see on the surface of the dark water. you have the north star and the sound as well as the shipping water. sometimes the fall will come in and you must go by the compass for a period, but you are
always waiting to see the north star again because it is the guide to the home port. the voice becomes all-inclusive. you are enveloped in the totality of it. your part of the beginning, part of the end, part of the ship, and part of the sea. i gazed at the night sky often on those voyages and thought of bobby. >> you had the sense of foreboding he had about the campaign from the beginning. some folks are old enough to remember that bobby kennedy did not want to get into that race. he thought it would be seen as part of a personal fight with lbj, not about the vietnam war. he describes the process of bobby kennedy thinking about
getting into that race. as 1967 goes on, more and more of the kennedy insiders and friends want him to run. in the end, he is one of the only holdouts who, until the very last moment, he does not really want him to run. in the book, he talks about how politically it would make more sense for him to run in 1972. if there lbj would win again or he would lose and the party would turn to him. there is this sense of foreboding, that he sensed that some tragedy could happen. you feel that since the tragedy at many moments in the book, but never work more poignantly than when he is discussing the loss. >> he said everyone is broken
by a life, but afterward, many are strong in the broken places. there are many times when teddy and the family are broken by life, but they are strong in those broken places. he describes his responsibility to tell joe kennedy sr. that jack has been assassinated. there is such a realist to it, because he says he was lying there, and even though the father had had a stroke, he understood what was going on. his father's eyes were closed. he decided to wait a few more minutes. then he is the one who had to tell him. when bobby died, he is the one who had to tell bobbies children that bobby had died. to think about that men still retaining that optimism. just before he was diagnosed with the cancer, my husband and i were in a car, and for some
reason ", wild irish rose" came on the radio. we called him up and there was that booming voice just singing those ridiculous songs he would sing. it just shows you that loss is connected to life. if you have a sense of nature, of the season is being reviewed over time, if you have a religious faith of renewal, you just keep: and you drive. that is the main message of this book. it goes beyond politics. is human response to love and loss. >> richard nixon once said in 1972 after he won a landslide reelection, i had to go out campaigning and shaking hands with these people when i really felt like kicking them.
ted kennedy was the exact opposite. it also affected his career. at the same time, he had these great friendships across the aisle with people like orrin hatch and others. the founding fathers always hoped that members of the senate and all of america would it do get out during the day strenuously, but at the end of the day, have a glass of ale together. it is a quality that is not very present in the senate now. >> i don't think there was a republican in the senate he did not work with on something at some point.
you asked the question, what is it about this guy who could be, who was such a strong and principled liberal, how could he do that? one of the paradoxes of politics is precisely because he knew where he wanted to go, he knew what he wanted and where the country should move, that only someone with that clarity can actually enter into compromises. in the end, if i can only get here this time, i will get there. if i can get help from orrin hatch, who was one of his great partners are a lot of things, particularly children's health care, i will go with them. it -- the times were different. it was not because he was unprincipled or completely flexible. it was because he had a set of principles.
>> why did he become more liberal as time went on? that was not necessarily true of jfk. it has a lot to do with the adversity he suffered, and his identifying with people who had suffered and who were locked out, almost in the way that franklin roosevelt's polio gave him a different degree. >> i have always felt that his embassy was natural, because like so many -- his empathy was natural. he knew what it was like to be damaged. he had tremendous identification of sympathy and a desire to improve the lives of those who had been damaged. do you agree with that? >> absolutely.
he tells interesting stories about lbj and the fact that lbj had offered -- or bobby had offered to go and negotiate the vietnamese situation for lbj. had he done that, teddy says he would have then been so caught up in the peacemaking process that he would not have run for the primaries. he would not have been killed, possibly. on the other hand, he gives lbj much more credit than one would have imagined he would have for the extraordinary domestic achievements. he said it closest to fdr is lbj. lbj always like teddy. he understood him. the one thing that is fun, even though he has nice things to say about lbj and even reagan, and clinton had magnetism,
carter does not escape. he says that carter baffled me. in 1976, he claimed that he won without any help from me or any democrat. he seems to have this special anumus toward me. the trouble of was, he liked to claim he was a great listener, but he only gave the appearance of listening. he served no liquor when anyone was around. he would hold seminars in which he would show of how much he knew. the one thing that really got to him, carter refused to support archibald cox because he had supported might udall in the primaries. teddy did not hold grudges in
that way. >> if carter had named archie cox to that judgeship, would he have reconsidered running for president? one of the things he is candid about our his laws. there is one moment where he says there are so many stories about me, unfortunately, some of them were true. some of them were embellishments, and some were so amazing i cannot believe anyone thought i could do that. it creates an unusual kind of humility in a public figure. when you talk about empathy for the suffering, which he had, there is also a sense of human frailty.
having a sense of human frailty is a very useful thing in confronting the world, and being honest about it in yourself can make you a far more understanding and decent person. he was not someone who was flawed and then judge everyone else by some other standard. i was struck about his own candor. >> let's talk about that in terms of biography, a political autobiography. 99% of people the right political autobiographies about himself are lies. this book is amazingly self revelatory. you would be surprised at the level of truth that he sees and
saw when he looked in the mirror. i think it will be amazed in reading the book that there are many moments in the book where you can hear his voice. here might be one of them, to your point. . . i am and enjoy your. i have enjoyed being a center. i have enjoyed my children and my close friends. i have enjoyed books, music, and well-prepared food, especially with a helping of cream sauce on top. i have enjoyed a stiff drink or to and relished the smooth taste of a good one. at times i have enjoyed these pleasures too much. >> early on, and we all look at the kennedy family from the outside in, what an extraordinary thing in must have been to be a kennedy. as the youngest member that family, he said he was a constant state of catching up, and he was not as talented or
handsome >> who were older than he and h a n s old to boarding school. right from the start, he is so difficult -- so honest about how difficult that was, you pull for him. because he is honest and you see the pain he is feeling from the time he is a little kid, he then becomes this overwhelmingly friendly person in order to make his way in each one of these boarding schools.
you pull for him from the beginning to end. >> it works wonderfully on that level. the other level is political history. this is a guy who knew the people around winston churchill, and he knew barack obama. that is a pretty large slice of american history. if you had to find one figure to cover the whole gamut, ted kennedy is just about the only one. in reading this, it is not only the story of a life that is expiring and tells us that to liberalize, but it is a history of that period. >> teddy's youth was lonely. that and baggage from this school to that school. i remember him once telling me he was very excited that on his 18th birthday he received a set of luggage from his parents,
with his initials embossed upon the luggage, emk. the luggage was placed on the second floor of the house in hyannis port. they came back after dinner and yet this had taken the luggage, because those are her initials. -- eunice had taken the luggage because those are her initials. [laughter] he is on an army base in europe, trying to fit in. his mother makes him go out for this very fancy dinner, which he does, and comes back. near the gate, his mother comes running out of the limousine yelling teddy, dear, you have left your dancing shoes behind. after that, he says everyone
referred to him as "teddy, dear ." >> history is replete with stories of both kennedy's, specifically the ambassador, joseph kennedy, and you would read stories about him and say oh, jesus. ted had a norris and lasting love for his parents. here is a story about teddy and his mother, rose kennedy. he was in virginia and had lost the iowa caucuses. he came on the phone to tell his mother, and she said that is all right, i am sure you work hard and it will get better. then she said, teddy, do you know that nice blue sweater i gave a christmas time? he said it was a turtle neck with a small pocket on the front that had been made in france.
>> have you wanted? >> i am not sure i have worn it. is there something special about it? i just got the bill for it and it is $220. if you have not worn it, send it back, because i have another one here that has not been warned. -- has not been worn. >> everybody has put rose kennedy on a pedestal, but what he does here, his dad was the one that he truly loved as well. i am sure everybody told him he had to talk about his father and what he did during world war ii. he says he was too young to comprehend his father's attitudes. in some region of my mind, he
remains internally and solely my dad. he shows that the father was the one who kissed him when he came home from school and made all his home games in football at harvard. you can imagine what it was like for him, knowing that he was the caboose in this family, as he often said. he had to become the engine of the family went bobby died. he had to become the father for that whole generation of kennedy children. he had to be at their weddings, and be with his own children when they suffered illnesses and difficulties. he wrote this book to put his
father in a different light, since most people do not see him that way. >> how many here are the youngest child in the family they were born into? more than a few. a lot of youngest children that i know, about the fact that they had to work really hard to be noticed and taken seriously, and even to be accepted into the family that already existed. one of the most interesting things in the book is when he talked about around 1961, he thought seriously about moving way beyond massachusetts, maybe to the southwest, and starting to work out there and may be running for office on his own. his father was not too wild for that.
you can read this on this level, that this is someone who was ambivalent about the legacy. >> there are two sentences that underscore about the youngest and the debt. he describes his dad and talks about the politics, but says in some region of my mind, joseph p. kennedy remains to be internally and solely my dad, just as i remained the ninth and youngest child of all the kennedys. he is also quite candid that his dad was a stern taskmaster. he said you can have an interesting life or not. you can. riding if you are downstairs -- can come riding debut or
downstairs in 5 mins. he meant what he said. >> if we were just told that there was a father who was that intents and demanded so much from these children, you would think out of nine children at least one of them would rebel, and it would not be a happy story. because the combined with that kind of love and commitment, that is why it succeeded. >> that is a huge part of the books, the corps of ted kennedy, his love for his wife and his family, his complete joy in recollecting all sorts of things about his brothers and sisters and nephews and nieces. he was filled with stories. it was mystifying to meet in a sense that a man like this had
never once ceded to bitterness or resentment of events that had taken place over his lifetime. he loved telling stories, and the stories are all here in this book. one of the best is not in the book, but it gets to his joy of his family and his memories of his brother. he told me once again -- that in october 1963, president kennedy's last appearance in the state of massachusettsu he came to attend the fund- raiser at the old commonwealth armory. he was arriving as president of the united states, and the three statewide officeholders, as well as many other local minions and politicians who were indicted, to meet and greet the president. they had two choices, they could either meet the president at the airport, shake hands and have
their picture taken with him, or medium at the armory -- meet him at the armory, which was a black-tie event, and shake hands with him there. they could not do both. three statewide democratic officeholders were the lieutenant governor, the attorney general, and a young secretary of state by the name of kevin white. air force one comes in to logan airport. kevin white, and frank chose to greet the airport -- to greet the president at the airport. just as the plane is landing, the lieutenant governor shows up in black tie. [laughter] . .
>> for those that don't know it, they went on to the dinner and that was where j.f.k. had sa >> they went on and teddy said he was tired of running on the family name so he was going to change from teddy kennedy to teddy roosevelt. >> the one funny thing about the name, because he was born on november 22nd, his brother
wanted to call him george washington kennedy. >> amazing coincidence. >> let's -- before we closeout and we have a few questions, let's bring it right up to today. he said, you first met barack obama in 1997. and he was a young state senator from illinois. the only member of the legislature in the indicted up there. >> anyone from illinois? >> do you think that any part of senator kennedy's endorsement of barack obama for the president was rooted in the possibility that he heard his brothers voice in barack obama? >> that's really an interesting question. i -- you mow, he mentioned, i'm from massachusetts, we have had our problems and i always like it say thank god for louisiana. and -- >> for both of us all.
and the -- the -- i think that what i would -- was struck by was how many people i knew who as kids or young adults have worked for bobby kennedy's campaign and who ended up supporting barack obama. and heard this kind of a little bit of a sense of j.f.k. in the sort of somewhat, the 0 -- the cerebral and cool part of him. and -- some of the r.f.k. in the more sort of -- in the more passion fat part of him. and different people who are out of the kennedy tradition, some saw it more as j.f.k. and some saw him more as r.f.k. they gave an opening to do one thing i want to do before we close by chance i was looking up something in the great journals if you looked at those.
there's a lot of great gossip in them and a lot of absolutely political observations. and i happened upon this passage in 1963, it is actually taken in the first year after election. it is not about ted kennedy, what -- what, and this does go to your question, i promise. he was -- slingser was in the white house and he was talking about the problem that old new dealers and new frontier people just seem to come from a different tradition -- the new dealers, he said, of the new dealers, he said the heart was worn on the sleeve then. the deep frontier, has a distrust of the senment talt of the 30's. i sympathize with both sides and see all too clearly why each is baffled by the other. all the more baffled because the substantial agreement on policy.
those are the new dealers are still more aid dasheuous and less impressed by business wisdom and more willing to damn the torpedos and go ahead. the difference in rhetoric does signify a deeper difference had commitment and a change in way from evangelist to want to do something because it is just and right to techno crat who is want to do something because it is rational and necessary. the new front tier lacks the advantage cal impulse. i wish i could figure out the term, where the ideal lism and imagine neighbors of the new deal could be fused with the understated move of the new front tier. it occurred to me when i read that, that in some ways his life was working out those extremes of liberal thought. he was out of the new frontier but also represented in so many
ways that more audacious part of the new teal. i have a hunch he play have seen that -- very tension to work things out in obama. what's int >> what did you think, senator kennedy's -- what do you senator kennedy would think of obama's decision about afghanistan. >> it was as though, if her grandfather were alive, she's sure he would be a taft republican. >> you want to fake a stab at that? >> no.
>> e.j. fp >> where fools fear to tread. >> there's no way to be wrong. >> i think there are three democratic camps on this. the hawks which he would not have been who were just horrified but what he did and there are others that are against what he did and then there's a group, i ran into several different democrats whose reaction is, god i hope he's right who are uneasy about this choice and think he play have had no better choice. and i think he play be suspended somewhere between the dove and the god, i hop he's right camp. >> i don't think so. >> i think -- i i think he would have driss agreed with him. >> he would have driven to the oval office and said do you think afghanistan is going to look different five years than this does right now?
and we have -- [applause] >> we have one last question that i don't think any of us can answer. and it is this. it is to vicky kennedy. senator kennedy's dogs splash and sunny, touching the relationship, we list them. and how are they doing? [inaudible] [applause] >> thank you to the panel because it is now --
[applause] my pleasure to introduce ken fineburg. [applause] >> thank you all very much. just -- just before we conclude, i want to thank all of you for being here, i want to thank my friend leaf some. who is here this evening, representing the senate, kennedy senate institute. and i also want to acknowledge the absence but -- his shadow is all over this place -- and the man i replace, junior senator ball kirk who -- whose shoes as the new chairman of the foundation board i could never fill. i'll just do the best that i
can. and i also want to express what an honor it is for me to serve as the chairman of the foun foundation and have as my first public appearance being here today at this forum -- to discuss my former boss and my friend and my mentor. and senator kennedy. it is an extreme honor for me as chairman to spend my first official visit to the library as chairman. at a public event. honoring this great, great man. i also want to remind all of you as if you needed reminding, that this forum today is very, very memorable. and i don't know when we'll be able to get this group of panelists back together on the same stage. it play be that you will tell your family and your
grandchildren, that you were here that you were here this evening to hear from this extraordinary quartet that has been up here this evening. [applause] two final points, years from now there will be books written, histories written about senator kennedy. it won't be political science, it won't be current events, it'll be real history. as people will look back decades from now about his extraordinary impact. and i exprn tee you, that when those books are written, 10, 20, 30 more years from now, there will be a huge chapter, not yet
written about the impact on senator kennedy's personal and public life, the critical impact of vicky kennedy. i think we all ought to acknowledge that. finally i hope that you'll take advantage at the conclusion of this forum, down tears, and buy a book, and see vicky and buy -- let me tell you about buying this book. the library supply of this book is virtually inexhaustible. [laughter] >> don't worry, thank you for coming. ank [captions performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009]
>> the economist magazine, what play shape 2010 and eric canter and former press secretary joe lockhart. this lasts about an hour. >> we'll go around the world starting i think in this country again. and let me introduce our -- our panelists, first of all. and congressman -- eric canter and of course very familiar to everyone not just in this town and in this country, republican whip and -- a busy ahead of him certainly. and joe, lockhart, and he was, he was -- chief spokesperson as you know for the clinton white house. and is -- is now a founding partner and managing director of the global parks group which is -- is, a large and --
flourishing specialist in -- in media relations. and -- and -- of course, se familiar around this town as well. and adam bolten is an extremely familiar face on british television but knows his way around washington, well as well. he was here in this town for the first first 100 days of the obama administration. and he is also one of the most experienced and -- and respected commenttators on -- not only british politician but politician around the world for -- for the news. and last but not least, david gregory, who is -- the host of meet the press, for nbc, and a chance here i think to thank you for -- for allowing us to be present as your program yesterday was mush appreciated. thank you so much. congressman, if i could start with you. imagine that we are sitting here a year from now and you're looking back on 2 hundred --
2010, apart presumably from the heroic republican victory in the mid term, what else would be your highlights of the mill year? >> you know, if we're referring a year from now, looking back, i think the story, obviously has to be -- the progress of lack there of made on the jobs front. clearly, this is -- this has been a year in 2009 and will be again about -- about whether washington will focus on getting americans back to work. if i go back and look at where we have been over the last 11 months, i remember the instance when i was at a meeting with the president at the white house in january. and it was said among both parties at the time, that we were going to do everything we could working together, to try and get this economy going again. and what has been so baffling i think to me personally and many americans at this point is -- is how is it that we continue to say, we're putting jobs first
but we see the kind of proposals that continue to be revealed that don't help people get back to work. and you know, this week and i know today in the news, very much is the issue of climate change and in particular the bill cap and trade. and -- and the continued promotion of that effort and now we see aned a straightive effort to try and declare a public endangerment of carbon emissions. that has sent i'm sure shock waves through the industry in this the -- this country and the job creators in this country. again, we have a situation where there's clearly a disconnect between the proposals being pushed by this administration and the last year and i'm fearful the same thing will occur in 2010. and i think long-term and certainly in 2010 we'll look
back and see what this town has done regarding the deficit we're facing. people in america understand the credit card is maxed out. and they're -- they're very limited options at this point. and you could go barrow from the chinese, or you could raise taxes. neither of which, helps the primary concern of americans right now which is getting back to work. and i gave a speech last week at the heritage foundation, rolling out proposals that we could take now to -- together, don't cost anything, and to try and help this economy along. and if we -- we hopefully move in that direction, maybe -- maybe november 2010 will turn out differently. i'm thinkinging very much that the outcome in 2010 will reflect what i heard at the thanksgiving dinner table last week and that is that people in this country have a real sense of pessimism right now because they're scared. they're scare add they don't see leadership in washington addressing their concerns. and you know, president obama ways elected because he said
that we needed change. i think what people in this country want now is some certainty. businesses and families alike. >> one of the things that as an outsider coming into america i'm struck by the is the fundamental optimism. what you're describing speaks to a grumpy gloomy mood next year. do you think that's right or are we going to see the optimistic -- up side of america on display as well. >> i think -- we saw last week, sort of a recognition part of the administration that hey, wait a minute, it is 11 months maybe we ought to get back and talk about jobs. we ought to talk about the issues that people face around the kitchen table, which which is essentially getting through the month and worrying about college u tuition and worrying about whether they could retire early or not. and if jobs is the key to that, maybe we should take some encouragement, but what i did not hear last week, was --
recognition on the part of this white house and the majority in congress, that we ought to do something to reduce the price of risk. because that's what small businesses and large, that we're counting on to create jobs need to hear. it is that certainty and until we see some focus on the number one issue, which is economic security for families in this country, i'm fearful yes, that we play see a very grumpy electorate. >> you said secretly want it. >> and -- >> listen, i don't think anybody wants to, to root against the american public. all of us want to see this country continue to lead the world. and -- in order to do that, we got to regain our economic footing. >> and alcott, your thanksgiving table next year going to be a more cheerful place. >> thank phi, i'm not running for anything. so -- i'll try to look at -- there's a lot i could disagree with there but we, we could turn this into cable television quickly and that's not good for
anybody. i think there's some analogous circumstances to where we were in 1993 and 1994. and you have a -- a very difficult economic situation, much worse this time than when president clinton took over from the first president bush. and -- i think what you have seen this year is a lot of hard and tough decisions that have been made, you know, this is -- this president didn't want to save a bunch of banks and insurance companies. that's not why he ran for president. he had to. i don't think he wanted to run deficits away. the time he had to get going. the question will be timing. the question is how quickly do all of these things that were coordinated globally done very unpopular things, how quickly will they turn this economy. it is going to turn. and you know, i am optimistic about the economic future of the country and i don't think we have seen our best days. i don't think there's anybody in town that does is -- if it does
not turn quickly enough. employment was a good step. and if it doesn't turn quickly enough, it would be a tough environment for incumbents and there's a lot more democrats than republicans. >> and particularly one of the issues for that, for the democrats is motivating the base at a time when things might be -- a little bit rough and you don't have the excitement of a new presidency coming in, potentially and how do you see that? >> mid term elections are historically difficult for the incumbent party, particularly if they control all three branches. this is a country that is -- is grumpy and looking for an instant solution to very difficult problems that there are no instant solutions for. if there was an instant solution, i assume president bush 43 would have done it before he left. there isn't. and so i think -- i think the question is -- we were talking about before, that i am interested in is -- democrats in
2008 made pretty significant advances on how to reach people and motivate them through technology, through social media. and whether that can be transplanted and built upon for 2010, if it can, that's a significant advantage. i am certain the republicans are sitting some place with their own plans and i'll be interested to see because we tend to leap frog each other, the party out of power is more -- >> you feel the democrats, very much in the last cycle. >> yeah,. >> i worked -- >> ahead of this thing. scry worked for john kerry for a couple of months in 2004 and -- i was surprised by how significantly -- how -- how it worked, how much smarter the republican campaign was as far as infrastructure and i think 2008 republicans were vifed by what democrats were able to do. and i think being out of power is a great motivator to innovate and think about new ways to engage voters. i think democrats, on paper have
an advantage right now. you know a couple of years in the wilderness is a motivator. i think if we don't have that advantage -- you know, that points to a tough year. >> and adam bolten, you're familiar with america but again coming with this somewhat outsider perspective and you come back having spent an intensive time here from the beginning of the obama administration. what do you see the dynamics going into next year. >> i'm not so sure that the rest of the world, the mid term elections will matter too much whatever the results are. and because -- because, i think the rest of the world already perceives that the president is having a great deal of trouble with the congress trying to get through, what he wants to get through. and also because i suspect that -- you know just as president obama gets the -- the nobel prize probably the assumption of the rest of the world could be
the wrong one is that -- he looks like a two-term president and indeed the mood of electorates across the world in stable democracies tends to be to go for two terms and make a decision and then turn away. and i think that -- there is still as far as obama is concerned certainly in europe, and not including israel in europe necessarily, a tremendous, a tremendous amount of goodwill and the feeling that the economic crisis has been handled well in the sense that the governments of -- of the and certainly in britain and america behave in a similar way. which makes it paradoxical, that i would agree with the official prescription that gordon brown is going to lose the election. and -- again, i think that is partly because of the sheer fact of getting tired with an incumbent government, they have been here with 13 years and a
sense of time for change and gordon brown is intensely uncharismatic. the economy which has been steered off consistently has been -- has been -- it is we're the only g-20 nation nout out of recession, but it depends what you mean according to gordon boun but also there's another factor which we perhaps haven't necessarily mentioned sufficiently. and that is that britain has -- has turned dramatically against the post9/11 conflict, that -- that for britain there are those this year that the highest number and notice it is a small compared to the united states and that has -- really poisoned politician for the incumbent, the government which took us to war. and tony blair for example viciously unpopular in britain. i can't think of any section where you mention his name and even though -- he was twice
reelected people don't necessarily. they almost spit at the mention of the name. he spent so much timed abroad, -- >> there are other reasons for that. >> and i mean, there's sort of, what do most people want for christmas? they love the iraqi inquiry to conflict tony blair. that's how the national mood is expressing itself and it is expressing itself as you were saying in going for a character like cameron, although -- >> it is curious in this globalized world, the world we live in describing a situation where i expect it is probably news to many people here that tony blair is so unpopular as you suggest in britain and gordon brown -- gordon brown they probably don't spend too much time. >> and obama was more popular aprod. president obama as you mentioned is still very -- very, much more popular i think abroad, he hasn't -- his popularity hasn't rubbed off aprod to the extent
that it has in this country. why is it that we're -- we're, so, so, the reputations don't travel as quickly as you play think other things travel. >> well -- partly because of the function of democracy, they keep it viable, a democracy with rival parties taking each other on. everybody knows about that at home. used to, where it is aprod certainly international politician and those kind of clobber leaders and leaders in office, it doesn't matter where idealogical they come from. one -- there's an example of tony blair moving from clinton blair to bush blair. and i think that -- that is how people see it. but the other plateau which, if you like, if we want to globalize this argument at the hometown is -- moment is that we are at the end of an era where people made political assumptions that the market was good and the market could sort out -- a lot of the problems which the world faced.
now i think following the banking collapse and the rest of it, there is a realization that what we call the state, let's not get confused where you probably would -- talk about the government has got a bigger role but precisely the time when the government can't actually find the money to did something -- do something to occupy that role and has to go pack to relying on individual responsibility. that's the question in all of these elections that we have been talking about that balance between the individual and between, private enterprise and between the role of -- of the central state. is -- it is what going to be argued now. >> i suspect that will be a key debating point in elections coming up. and to ask you a little bit about the quality of the discourse that you expect to see in the year ahead, you're going to have to moderate a bit. and -- first of all, how, how do you think it is -- it has been in the past? what is in the dynamic of -- of this discourse in washington and
for what -- what momentum are we approaching 2010 with, as -- as the political temperature heats up? >> i think new presidents run into the reality of washington that it is a tough place to change culturally, for a couple of reasons. there's limits to what presidents can do with their own coalition. and even within their party and then working outside the party and then they run up against the ambition of the other party. if congressman canter. and i think congressman canter does well in the way he sort of breaks down the major pressure points on the administration. and there are also rks what the republicans will take into battle into the mid term year which is essentially, a look at the status quo, do you like how things are going under-- under obama, if not what about change. they're not a party of ideas, they don't want to be. they'll move into a period of time where they want to get more aggressive in presenting contrast. right now they're happy to say lieu how high unemployment is
and the deficit and will act virtues about the need to control the deficit than when the republicans were in power in washington but they'll do this to say look at the status quo and isn't he taking on too much? i think the discourse got off to a bad start and the white house underestimated how difficult health care would be as a matter of public debate. now, they -- they could have taken a closer look at how quickly -- the debate can be -- sort of sidetracked as it was this, during the clinton administration both -- both the clinton administration's mistakes and the opposition chose to go about it. it is a tough subject. take one example of the president was irritated at response to his press conference early on in the health care debate when he really held forth and explained what was going on in the health care system and what the remedies would be and that question came up about professor gates and that had this huge reaction and the president was irritated at that,
it was a take away. not realizing that he just wasn't breaking through and holding fort r forth on health care was too difficult to understand. so i think the discourse will sort of continue, as it has been and what i think you have to focus on, is the presidents get unpopular when they get involved. and there's a reason why congress is never popular. they're involved in the thing that is the ugliest process in democracy which this was. and when presidents get more involved in that, it is an uglier process. presidents are evaluated by achievements. they don't want to be sen diagnose achieving. the president, and it is a matter of win and he gets health care reform passed and then as i think president clinton has suggested you'll see that become more popular as it goes along. le needs achievements under his belt. >> let's propose that health care does happen that the bill is passed -- sometime early next
year. yeah. what do -- what does the agenda move on to. it is the climate change and energy bill. >> i think they'll talk about that and talk about immigration. i don't know how realistic that is. if congressman canter said, it is about jobs. last week was a really interesting juxtaposition. what are the two issue that is could define the presidency, a war he inherited and the jobs picture. i think the jobs are much more likely to define him. if you look at the recession in the early 80's and the high point of unemployment at some point, i think it was 10.4 or 10.8%, it dropped within seven months to single digits and within a year it was do you know three points. that was the perfect time for the election and it was morning again in america. you know, the democrats by the mid term if they could get it. they need morning again in america under their here. that's the issue. in 2004, for the reelect, that joe was part of karl rove would go to president bush and say if -- if the question is -- is terrorism, and the answer is
george bush. and that simple matrix ultimately worked and sort of in a way that confounded so many people. it turned a veteran, and a guy that was not tough enough to take on the terrorists, that was the work of a political operation and ultimately the democrats have to find a way to sort of turn this ocean liner in a better direction, by the mid term point if they're going to have tracks. >> congressman can i come pack to you and pick up something that jerry said about the tricks of the trade, if you like, going into an election that somehow in this -- in this constant my changing battle, the last cycle, the democrats nudged ahead in terms of their use of technology and use of the internet and mobilization and so on. what can we expect in the form of innovation from the republican party in the mid term. daniel, i think probably the best place to look is in virginia and new jersey. about a month ago, and that was the governor elections.
i know in my home state of virginia, we far surpassed the get out the vote effort, of the other side. this time. and -- it came from really the energy now, that has been focused on what is going on in washington, and -- coupled with a very disciplined and very good campaign, led by our governor elect bob mcdonald. i do think and i joke correct, the motivation of those out of party is necessarily going to trump the incumbent party. but -- i also think that it has to do with -- with, real challenges. it is not -- e perceived here. people have problems. and at home. and if you look at the official unemployment, and it says it is at 10% or a little higher, they said that the unofficial rate, those who are either working part-time jobs or simply given up is probably closer to 20%. and you know, that -- that's
extraordinary. everybody if they're not out of a job knows someone who is or is worried about losing a job. so when you see a -- a leader, a candidate, such as bob mcdonald put forth a vision, say look, i'm going to be the jobs governor. and -- go about translating that vision, and i'll take a little issue with david who says we don't talk about ideas. that's -- that's -- i'll turn it on him and i know he and i have said this pf, we don't think that necessarily it is as sexy a story for the mainstream media to cover our ideas right now because it is the incumbent party in power and the presidency is held by the democrats as well as both houses of congress. it is their agenda, which is now -- up -- >> and up for referendum. >> what is the big idea? >> the big idea is -- e >> jobs is not an idea. >> the big idea is to get -- to get to produce an environment we could have job creation again. and see that is where i think that the obama administration
agenda -- so clearly disadvantages the democrats in this upcoming election in 11 months and advantages us. and the same was true a month ago in virginia. >> and there are alternative ideas within the agenda that -- kind of like a defense lawyer arguing against the prosecution. i don't, i think there's a discussion within the republican party about whether there's a need for a second, you know, contract, with america, and so on and so forth and maybe we see by the mid term and maybe they wait until 2012. but right now, i think the republican party -- really wants to say that the prosecution, has it proven its case? look at the democrats and make a judgment based on that. there's something else, away from the substance of the polltics which is what is it republicans want to be. i don't think they worked that out yet in terms of what they want to be as a party. is it bob macdonald in virginia? is it the new jersey race or is it new york and sarah palin?
there's a process that has to be gone through where republicans decide and the voters decide what is the way back. i don't know that is inside it. >> let me respond to that. i know clearly for myself, do i very mch believe it is in the mode of bob mcdonald and i don't necessarily think it is so clear-cut that we can be one or the other because if you look at bob mcdonald and what he stood for and his record in our screnl assembly, he was extraordinarily conservative on all issues. and it wasn't that he shot -- shied away from any conservative principles he believed in. he focused the pins of lower government and he focused those on --ed kitchen table issues that were playinging virginia voters. and began to -- to represent a leader that could actually deliver results and get people back to work. >> i brought a problem which again i think is a trend not just in this country that there is now -- a kind of, of a
disgruntled, a businessed off if you like oppositionist right which in some countries that principle was one of the brirble national party and the independent party which is opposed to europe. they property a bigger chance than ever before. australia, we had the opposition conservative party this and just ousted leader to supporting climate change. and we got northern leaps before italy and here we have, you know glenn beck and rush limbaugh and an argument about what is the true republican party. it seems to me there is a very clear turmoil on the right, which is also, will be a problem. >> and adam i always said this. there radio a lot of voices in both parties and those are those in public office and those not. there's a different motive often in terms of those in the media, than perhaps those of us who owe it to our constituents to live up to the promises made. and -- i think you're right in that -- people are angry in this
country. because there's a lack of demonstrable results. and as people are out of work, they become more enraged at a hack of deliverable party government. >> if you wrant to talk about unemployment, you don't want to talk about barack obama and if he is racist? >> you want to talk about, people are looking for leadership now and they don't care about that issue. they care about getting back to work. >> when you have that raised and put on the agenda, that's a problem for you. >> and i wanted to -- >> i want to make this less partisan although it play come out as partisan and talk about history, because i am listening carefully to what you say and my history doesn't go back very long, i remember the 50e9's under a democratic president where we made a surplus and created 23 million jobs, we gave that to the republicans, we left the surplus and under the
president bush, we created jobs. the unemployment rate did not start at zero in january of this year and go to 10%. this is -- this was financial mismanagement that went on for a decade. and you know what? the president is doing his best to try to turn that around. and now, that is my partisan speech. elections are not about history. elections are about the moment. and owe -- e you know what? one of the reasons barack obama was elected was people thought, he seems to be young and prmsing but -- boy is he different than that bum we want to throw out and one of the the reasons why, bill clinton was elected and the same with jimmy carter. it is a bipartisan feeling that we do this. and i think you know, it is -- it is a tough year for the incumbents. to pick up on what i think david and adam were saying, one positive sign for the democrats, one positive sign is the election is a while from now. i don't think the president is
responsible for the problems but he owns them because he's the president. there's no getting around that. the second thing and it geese to democrats and republicans and where they are as far as figuring out what they want to do and what their o-their leadership is. democrats have an advantage, that they do have the presidency as far as message orientation. and they had, there's a lot of negatives there. and i think if you -- as to what is really interesting looking at democrats is the reaction to the afghanistan speech. fully 50% of the party in congress did not support that speech. but do you know what? they're swallowing it and moving forward they're going to be with the president of the party. if you look at the leches, the mid term elections with the republicans, there's more of a struggle. i completely agree with what was said about bob mcdonald and as a partisan democrat, to the the scariest thing in the world to me that people will use common sense and take a candidate and emphasize the strengths which is exactly what he did. he went -- you also had new york
23 and you had an election where republicans had the election won, i think and then overplayed their hand because there's part of the party that believes that -- that being practical and common sense does not make sense, you have to over on the far right and that, that struggle is going to play out over the next year. and your group play win and they play lose too. it is an advantage to democrats. >> i want to escape for a moment fromee -- from an america and exclusively american perspective on this. we had the most extraordinary global recession, you play think that there would be -- a political trends that you could observe around the world in response -- in response to that. this would be either, this would be anti-income beans, all it brings to the left or to the right and do something totally unexpected. and it is hard to detect global trends out of this. and some incumbents got back in and we seen the merkel
government voted pack in in germany. and -- there isn't, if anything, there's a tendency to swing to the conservative and -- with -- in the, in the british traditional sense of the word not to board the right but to play it safe and adam, you, you -- and there's steps around the world. what do you see? >> there are other trnds and taxes and jep -- taxes have certainly gone up in both britain and the united states. and deficit for whoever wins the gem election in britain is going to be a massive problem and actually, a lot of european countries are not far behind. and -- but again, i -- my feeling is that -- that, there is, a certain kind of realization of -- of the limits of what government can do, certainly this both countries
where -- where the government has fueled a bigger role. i was at a public meeting with a member of cameron teen and they came out and said i was absolutely fantastic. as you notice, they asked me for money. and -- and what we're not hearing and we probably won't hear that much of in the general election but will happen afterward is undoubtedly going to be not just taxes, which i think, it is probably pretty much reached their limit but real cuts in spending. i think we're going to see that across -- across spectrum. >> i think -- i spoke to a prominent person in american finance yesterday that said, the real question around the world is what the hell is going on in america? and so -- in this -- in asia that's the case for a while. and china h-a sense of growing american weakness for a while and as america's creditor feels they have got, you know more leverage over the united states, and less inchiened to -- to be
supportive on -- eon other geopolitical areas where we need their help and iran and north korea and, et cetera and latin america, things look, europe is having a hard time and the united states is having a hard time but the question is, this, this person said, is -- you know, what happened to capitol hillism. the talk of regulation and -- capitalism, the talk of regulation and the bailouts and what not. there's a fear about where america is headed this this regard. and you see that reflected in some of our major companies too who don't like the uncertainty about health care, don't like the uncertainty about energy policy and about tax policy. and so i spoke to those who say, where is the impetus for economic growth? we don't see it. there's no impetus for investment. the administration is trying to get the private sector jump started to create jobs and get consumer spending again. so i think one of the trends and
i spoke to the politician and the policy side, there's a question about role government and effectiveness of government with regard to the economy, worldwide and a lot of that is looking a the the united states and wondering what is happening. >> i think it is certainly true that the outside world always looks to america and particular perhaps now, this time, and this america at all looks to the outside world. we heard from peter davis this on about elections in iraq and brazil and elsewhere. you're going to be taken up with your own campaigns. are there any lessons you think you could pick up from other campaigns that have just been fought around the world, and what trends you see anywhere else. >> if you look at south america, maybe there's a lesson there. i know we saw the bolivian elections. take a look at what happened in your guy last week and the election of -- of a traditionally leftist one-time terrorist gorilla individual who then remade himself committed to