tv American Politics CSPAN April 25, 2010 6:30pm-8:00pm EDT
this quarter and the next and what the unemployment rate might be, but number two is how much they trust their elected officials. one of the points we were making is 10 or 15 years ago there was more collegiality in congress. people talked. they were able to sit on an appropriations fees for 10 days. -- piece for 10 days. they may not understand the nuances, but the public understands somehow government is not right, and i wonder if they're going to take that out on both parties. >> there is a real concern about how much we're spending as a nation. i think there are mixed feelings about what we're supposed to do with stimulus spending. i think people understand we are spending much more than before we got into this. there's a real concern, and i
think that applies for democrats as well as republicans. >> i would like to have you explain to a general as national audience about the discussion of an omnibus bill, and with the elections coming, the fiscal calendar ends before the elections, so what are the concerns for people about federal spending and budgets and getting money to communities? >> it is not that much more concerned than any year. congress has a poor record for getting the bills done on time. they have actually done it only three or four times since 1974, when they have a law that they pushed the bill backed by three months. they will have the stop-gap lending resolutions. it will make it difficult for people in federal agencies. they get the number they think they are going to have, and then they get the real numbers. >> but the stock market could end up freezing, so ultimately,
it does some of the work without the politics. >> it does not matter. however, go back to the politics. we just blew through this april 15 deadline for the budget. i am not sure the pols suddenly moved up or down. the same thing with the appropriations bill. i suspect most voters could not tell you what an appropriation is, let alone authorization, but here is the important thing. deficit spending bill prophecies are a surrogate for -- government is not right. something does not work. for somebody to try to explain that they did not pass the budget resolution, no, but if he explains, i am trying to work with this congressman, and they will not talk with me -- that matters to people, and that is what i think it's like to help drive the election. >> even though the miyisha does not resonate, but it -- does it
not -- even though the minutia does not resonate, does it not keep congress from getting its job done? >> they have been able to get things done the last couple years, and that is basically an internal blueprint, so it is more a factor of not being able to get signals. >> when i was in massachusetts in january for the election, you would walk into diners, and people would say, why didn't the senate vote on christmas eve at 5:00 in the morning on health care? why didn't they include millions of dollars for medicaid? people are talking about this? people may not understand the nuances, but the government is broken, and the government is a huge piece of that in their minds. >> health care certainly matters to people, whether or not the other programs did. thank you very much to both of you for being here.
please come again. it is always good to see you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> i think there's a huge lack of knowledge about how this town works, how congress works. >> when you're doing the research, you have to do that yourself. >> tonight, richard norton smith and douglas brinkley will talk about their work, their books, and their profession, and revisit their first appearances on our network. tonight on c-span. >> on monday, the senate has a key vote on moving forward with the financial regulations bill. legislation aims to close regulatory gaps, increase consumer lending oversight, and increase supervision of the derivatives market. here is a quick look at president obama and republican senator mitch mcconnell speaking this week. >> here is the good news. a comprehensive plan to achieve
these reforms has already passed the house of representatives. [applause] plus 7 version is currently being debated -- a senate version is currently being debated, drawing on ideas of democrats and republicans. both bills represents significant improvement on the flawed rules we have in place today, despite the serious effort of industry lobbyists to shape this legislation to their special interests. for those of you in the financial industry, they are doing what they are paid to do. i want you to join us in fighting these efforts. >> the administration says it wants to end bailouts. i say to them, prove it. some of us have pointed out
concerns this bill would give the administration the authority to use taxpayer funds to support institutions at a time of crisis. yes, the bill says taxpayers get the money back later, but that sounds awfully familiar. isn't that exactly what we did with the first bailout fund, a bailout fund americans were promised would be repaid by which democrats are now trying to raid in order to pay for everything? >> to begin debating the financial regulations bill, senate democrats need one republican vote to go forward. watch live coverage on monday at 5:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 2 and act now c-span.org. the house -- and at c-span.org. meanwhile, the house is that very good on wednesday, they will take up a bill to better manage defense department contracts and streamline the acquisition projects. live coverage is always on c-
span. the washington press club foundation hosted its annual dinner on wednesday night. members of congress traditionally served as the comedy act of these events with the indiana senator and the missouri senator filling these roles this year. this is just over an hour. >> ladies and gentlemen. i am jim coonan. thank you so much for joining us at this annual event. i hope you all are enjoying a brief requisite from the rough- and-tumble of the day. i want to introduce our
distinguished head table. please hold off your applause until i finish the introduction. beginning with my right and your left, david miers, the foundation secretaries, dorothy gilliam, are live time achievement recipients off -- our lifetime achievement recipient, our vice president, congressman mike pence of indiana, one of our honored speakers tonight, julie davis of the associated press and one of our dinner cochairs, and the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi of california. [applause] from my left and you're right,
the president of the national press club, she let casey of the hill, the foundation's treasurer -- if sheila casey of the hill, and are under it -- our other honored speaker tonight. jonathan alan of politico, are other co-chair -- our other cochair, joe scarborough, the host of "morning shojoe," the ct of the show, and a member of the senate republican and greeted the coast -- the cohoast, and a member of the seventh republican
team. please have one round of applause. [applause] a special debt of gratitude to our cochairs end to our executive director, the tireless suzanne. i also want to thank the sponsors who made the work of the foundation possible and help with this dinner tonight. the following -- the boeing company, the hill, roll call group, ford motor co., aarp, public relations, honeywell, the u.s. chamber of congress and its affiliates, the devlin y. david -- evelyn y. davis foundation.
many thanks to kevin for providing the cover art for our program tonight, and of course the mandarin hotel and their great staff, who have accommodated our needs and are serving you tonight. more than two months ago, congress was debating the great issue of health care . sports fans anticipated a great hockey match between canada and the u.s., and storms paralyzed the northeast. here we are now. used up with us. congress is debating another big
issue -- used up with us. congress is debating another big issue -- you stuck with us. but congress is debating another big issue, so we like to think of ourselves as having a big role on history, but it is déjà vu all over again. 91 years ago, a group of pioneering women's journalists formed when an press club -- women's press club to establish their voice in an otherwise male-dominated business. we are proud airs of that legacy. we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the national press club's decision to open its doors to women and the 25th anniversary of the merger of fun the women's and national press club. from that came the mission to
carry out the press club goals of equality, scholarship, and excellence in journalism. in keeping with that mission, the proceeds of tonight's dinner go to charitable projects, including collecting oral history of women pioneers in journalism. it is my pleasure and honor to not leave our program in the more than able hands of are in steve -- our mcs. joe is in familiar territory. he has lived the life of a congressman and newspaper publisher. mecham, a recent author of a memoir, -- micah, a recent author of the mark, offers a message that is relevant today
but would have been-. and i give your own version of "evening joe." [applause] >> thank you. let us pray. let us pray. if we could all about our heads -- bow our heads. it is the southern trick to get you to shut up. thank you. and keep shutting up, or i am going to deliver a sermon for those of you in the back. thank you, amen. do i hear an amen?
show a little respect to night. joe, a real loser i have known, since the days he was destroying me in roll-call when i was in congress, told major tell a lot of shows tonight. i reminded him that we wake up at 4:00 a.m. every morning. we are not in a particularly feisty mood right now. i will leave you with one. not not. -- knock-knock. i wake of the 4:00 every morning -- i wake up at 4:00 every morning. i want to see it -- to be serious, because this dinner brings together two great institutions -- the washington press corps and congress, and both of these institutions face great challenges. the united states congress right now is facing low approval
ratings, a rising public anger, and a vicious 24/7 news cycle that keeps turning day in and stay out, and i always have people come up to me, whether it is in airports or whether i am in malls or one of the orphanages but i do, and they always say, i bet you're glad to be out of congress, expected me to say, those guys are horrible, and i always surprised them and say, is the greatest job i will ever have, and i' thank god every day and was given the opportunity to see what happens behind closed doors. are we critical? yes, we are, but that is our responsibility, but i agree with bobby kennedy that those of you who are not only members of congress but those of you that
are associated any -- in any way, you are in an honorable profession, and i am proud to know you. [applause] since i now work in media, i am not as proud to know -- i am joking. i am very proud of what i learned in the media as well, and there are so many people that go around and have been going around the past 18 months to two years, setting their hair on fire, talking about how the end is near, this is the end of america as we know it, etc. we are going to be fine. i really think the greatest challenge to this country right now is what is happening to the media, that you get news rooms being slashed day in and day
out. you get multinational corporations consolidating and looking at the bottom line every quarter instead of figuring out what the mission of the media is, and there is no doubt in my mind that the vibrancy of this democracy depends on a strong press corps keeping everybody, including members of the media, honest, so we salute members of the media as well, and let me turn it over to me di-- micah. >> i will leave the jokes to you. we want to thank you for having us here tonight, and as far as the media is concerned, the medium is changing quickly, and there are so many new voices and doubtless out there, and so many of them very shrill and irresponsible -- many new voices and outlets out there, and so many of them are very shrill and irresponsible, so we salute those who do their jobs
responsibly, so we are going to be introducing the winners of the david lynch regional reporting award. this award was established in honor of david lynch who reported from a number of newspapers from alaska to new england. as we have been talking here, it is a tough landscapes for reporters in the washington, d.c., area and across the country, and we honor those organizations who still find value in working hard and getting the story and tailoring their coverage to the community and washington, to give the story that affects the people in the community in a responsible way, so first we are going to be doing honorable mention, which goes to matt. take about. where are you better off his -- take a bow.
where are you? now to the winner -- rob of the "sacramento bee"newspapers. can you come up? [applause] this award was presented for reporting on issues important to california, with originality, depth of understanding, and flair for good detail. there you go. >> congratulations. >> thank you reagan -- thank you. >> congratulations. [applause] >> ok, now for the washington press club. i might need you to pray again. can you do it?
now for the washington club press foundation -- washington press club foundation award for the person whose outstanding accomplishments promotes the profession and enhances wo men's journalism. dorothy gilliam was a trailblazer for women and minorities in the media. the first black woman to report for "the washington post," she founded the george washington university prime movers program with student journalists to start and revitalize high school media. in addition to a long career, she was one of the first women's associate editors and later went on to serve as president of the national association of black journalists and on the board of the maynard institute for journalism education. throughout her career, she always emphasized the importance of diversity in the newsroom so
i am particularly humbled by it because i have joined so many previous recipients i deeply admire. my former colleagues, helen thomas, who is somewhere in the room -- [applause] and robertson of "the new york times," another person i greatly admire, and i am thankful god gave me the strength and power to achieve the cop was considered being honored -- the strength and accomplishments being honored tonight. i always feel i am among friends, and friends exaggerated achievements and overlook your failures and a tribute your big mistakes to eccentricities, so this is a very good group.
i just want to say a couple quick things in the two minutes i have been given. i was a 17-year-old working for a weekly paper when i became hooked on journalism. when i graduated from columbia, a professor said, you have so many handicaps, you will probably make it, and i did not know any other young black women working for the l.a. -- working for the papers when i started back in 1961. it was pretty rough waters back then. washington, d.c., was nearly as segregated as in the southern town, and when i reported in mississippi, there were no hotels that admitted blacks, so i stayed in a black funeral home. it was challenging in many ways, but i was fortunate to be able to report on interesting times, the civil rights movement, the
women's movement, and all that happened in the aftermath, and i really have a love affair with journalism's for five decades, and throughout all those areas in which i worked, and even into the turbulence of today just referred to commo, i have alwayt we have to maintain the principles of journalism, the principles of truth and accuracy and clarity and balance. i truly believe, as i think everyone in this room believes, that our democracy cannot survive without the watchdog role of journalism, and i -- [applause] and it is critical to have journalists in the democracy that journalists do their jobs and do it one of -- do it well.
i am going to quickly say a word about diversity. i have always been told you have to do what you have come to do, and i am worried, because i think diversity is slipping in all of the transmission going through, the general shrinkage of diversity is -- general diversity is shrinking, and i am hoping as this nation grows more rivers, it is urgent region more diverse, it is urgent our media continues to be givers. i support division of the pioneers who started the press club foundation. -- it is urgent our media continues to bea diverse. thank you again to the washington press club foundation for this award. i am very pleased, very
excited, and i say thank you. [applause] >> that was wonderful. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, dorothy gilliam. we have a brief video that shows -- that pays tribute to her remarkable creature. -- career. >> if there is a theme of her life and career, it is the passion to inspire others and create opportunities for those
whose dreams were greeted with closed doors. she showed great and determination, risking her life to cover the civil rights movement throughout the south. dorothy burst onto the national scene when she became the first african-american woman reporter for "the washington post." >> she was more than competent. she was a good reporter. >> she distinguished herself as a reporter, editor, and columnist. >> blacks were upstairs, moving. the back of the bus. it was a segregated thing. >> dorothy gilliam has worked tirelessly to work -- to open up new terms to african-americans, hispanic, asian, and native american reporters. everybody has a voice, and their voices need to be heard. for the established the young
journalist development program, reaching out to high school students in the d.c. area to give them hands on training and expose them to the real world of newspaper reporting. >> this is a win-win program, because we start with young people, many of whom never gave us thought to -- give a thought to journalism, but we teach them about the power of journalism, the way it meets their needs and the needs of the community they care about. >> in 1993, she did on the job as president of the national association of black -- she took on the job as president of the national association of black journalists. her job included keeping the group on the top of digital technology and battling to keep jobs of minority journalists in newsrooms across the country. she is a fellow of the george washington university school of public affairs, where she runs prime movers.
[applause] >> dorothy gilliam, we salute you. and now dole will introduce another trail blazer from the world of american politics. >> i've been out of congress since 2001. you hear about how things have gotten so much worse. how things have become more shrill and so much more angry, and it never really hit home how true that was until i was
reading "the washington post" last week and the question was asked, is tom coburn too nice? [laughter] no, that is not tom's problem. he is of fran but that is not close to his biggest problem. but tom had been attacked for daring to say nancy pelosi is a nice person. [laughter] i want to commend -- because i say that. people think that i do not like you, nancy. i'd have no idea where they get that idea from. nancy is a wonderful person. she is a great mother, a great white -- i was about to say, a great grandmother. you are a wonderful grandmother, not a great grandmother.
you're not there yet. you're not, are you? ok. everyone knows that she is a special person. we worked on several issues here, and even though ideologically we could not be further apart on a lot of issues, when i was standing in the back of the house of representatives, see nancy pelosi sworn in january 2007, i think with your husband and other members of the family back there, i sat there thinking what a wonderful moment. i am going to tell my daughter about this. and again, nancy, politics aside and all the battles of the past two years aside, these things come and go. we are all of this and the 1990's that this was the world ending, the worst that politics had been. it goes in cycles.
that think that is going to remain is what you have done is a trailblazer. the example that you said for my daughter and other women across this country, just like dorothy as well. so let me invite up of person i called -- a person i call the reservation 8 -- without reservation that anyone would ever call me nuys, my friend nancy pelosi. [applause] >> thank you very much, joe and mika. i know you have 8:04 a.m. wakeup call. i have the privilege of serving in the congress of the united states and calling joe scarborough a colleague. i am so proud of his success and i cannot wait until tomorrow morning to see him. [laughter]
it's so exciting that you and mika are the emcee's for this evening. this is a tradition not shared by the united states senate, speaking for one man and, but it is an honored to extend greetings to the washington press club foundation congressional dinner on behalf of the house of representatives. i am so pleased that many members of the house are here, and if i may, the leadership of this event, may i ask them to stand? [applause] i want to recognize that democrats and republicans are here. we come together in a bipartisan way. i am always pleased to receive the invitation to come here, especially considering the
foundations history to ensure the equal place of women in the newsroom. leading the way in that regard is dorothy gilliam -- where did she go? this year's winner of a lifetime achievement award. dorothy was never content to simply blaze trails for herself. she has always reach back to elevate others, whether women or minorities, to have diversity in the presentation of the news. doing so, she followed in the footsteps of another remarkable woman, dr. dorothy height, who we lost yesterday. [applause] in 1985, dorothy gilliam asked, how will the next
generation elevate this place after this error in? that sentence he wrote 25 years ago, and dorothy gilliam has always seen it as her responsibility to make progress. we commit to do the same. congratulations to you on this evening, all well learned lifetime achievement award. i would also like to congratulate the winner of the david lynch award, a very prestigious award. i like to thank robert for his insightful reporting on issues important to california. thank you, rob, and congratulations. we're looking forward to hearing funny stories from the congress, with our colleague
from the house, my pants -- mike pence. i would like to thank him for an stopping twittering to come here tonight. we applauded you 140 characters. -- we have allotted you 140 characters. lol. we thank all the journalists for exercising the fundamental american freedom of the press in strengthening our democracy. you are keeping the public informed engaged on all the great issues of our time, and among those issues is the health insurance reform, an historic his achievement, and for those of us who boarded for in the house, the most important issue of our official lives.
or as vice-president biden said -- [laughter] about health insurance reform, one big fabulous deal. thank you very much and on with the show. [applause] >> thank you so much, speaker policy. you did twitter a lot. just like the kids, lol, laugh out loud, wtf, why the face? [laughter] that's what rahm told me it was. our next speaker is at baghdad gave me that great rhetorical trick about seeing that.
center alexander is the chairman of the senate republican conference. i have to say, he does not publicize its a lot, but he is quietly working behind the scenes with chuck schumer, as if chuck schumer can do anything quietly, to bring republicans and democrats together. you did not publicize it. it is nice. unfortunately right now it is only chuck can lama -- and lamar that go there. if you could cut my friends some slack. bipartisan ship may be on its deathbed. he has also been governor tennessee and served as secretary of education.
you know what? i am trying to be nice here predict -- center alexander was the presidential campaign that introduce flannel shirts as a presidential or met. i thought you always walk around in those flannel shirts playing piano, saying abc, and all that other stuff. but let's bring up center lamar alexander. -- senator lamar alexander. >> distinguished ladies and gentlemen, this is a day of celebration for me. i spent the day in memphis celebrating the life of friend, reverend dan hooked, and we come back to celebrate the life work of dorothy gilliam. this is a wonderful memphis
date. she began her life in memphis, tennessee and we are proud of that. the speaker made some allusion to the fact that senators have a hard time speaking for one minute. senator john warner said that when he came to the united states senate, he really did not know what to do. he was sitting at his desk by himself wondering what a senator does, and one of the older senators put his arm around his shoulder and said, son, there's really nothing to it. all you have to do to the united states senator is to stand up, start talking, and eventually you will think of something to say. [laughter] so i am going to do something uncharacteristic of the united states senator. on the behalf of the united states senator, i salute the professionalism of the capitol hill press corps and i thank you for inviting us to dinner.
[applause] >> i think i have a new co-host. it was brief. i liked it. that was great. you ought to learn something, joe, from him perhaps. just listen to an ending so nicely. congressman mike pence followed joe's career in reverse. he began radiobroadcasting in 1982 and then network india and a syndicated -- in dns indicated his show, a also hosted a sunday morning political television show in indianapolis,
and he describes himself this way -- a christian, a conservative, and the republican in that order. ladies and gentleman, congressman mike pence. >> thank you, mika. wow, the 66 annual dinner of the washington press club. i am still reeling from nancy pelosi rooting for mike pence. that has to be a first. boy, i hope that doesn't go viral. it's great to be with you here at the mandarin oriental, or as our friends at goldman sachs would call it, the german p --
and chariming pie tier. i did not write this stuff. someone tell me that i would not do this for all the tea parties in china. but then i thought, i am a conservative but i am not in a bad mood about it. [laughter] so i thought, i will give it a shot. can mccarthy did it. it could not be that hard, could it? and i've got one person in the room that thinks i am funny. they say behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes. privilege to be joined by my wife of 25 years and a proud graduate of butler university, care and pence -- karin pence.
but i am ready to go. in fact, i was ready for this when we were supposed to do it in february. i am not sure why all that snow caused us to delay this bitter. a city discuss that shoveling should be able to handle that -- this could at shoveling -- this good at shovelling should be able to handle it. that challenge was keeping my jokes topical from then until thnow. everywhere i had the words health care, i inserted supreme court. where i had tiger woods, i replaced it was rnith rnc young
eagles. and where i talked about john boehner looking tanned, i did not have to change that at all. i worry about accepting an invitation to an event that is publican clamors. some of you may remember that i was voted a couple of years back by one media out what has one of congress's biggest show horses. i was really tense. some people said, mike, let it go. but there is only one way to refute being called a show horse. you take it head on. in front of the huge audience. press conference, national conference, editorial boards, and maybe we could get a book deal. i was thinking of calling the book, "work force," by mike pence.
well, maybe not a book bill. books require a lot of work. the whole reading and research and writing -- honestly, i might not have time to write a book. during all those cable interviews back-to-back in relief of up your schedule. if you want to talk about show horses -- tonight's n save legally changed his name to morning joe brought to you by starbucks. just watch tomorrow morning when joe puts this clip on the air just because i mentioned his name. mika, you know what i am talking about. i really liked joe. we have a lot in common. as conservatives in our respective work places, we are
in the minority. cho left congress to do a talk show. i left that talk show to come to congress. public confidence in congress is at an 80-year low, the same polling results for msnbc. [laughter] keep digging. keep digging. mika has totally up in did my perceptions about washington, d.c. i used to think where the sons of famous people got jobs because of what their parents did. [growaning] mika, i kid. is not much you can give me to listen voluntarily to joe scarborough, much less what jim
is nbc, but you do in you deserve a lot of credit for what you put up with every day. it's also good to be here with senator mccaskill. a real rising star. her political rise may be stunted by something i just discovered. let me read a bit of her biography. "clear is the fourth generation missouri and who spent her entire life in the show me state. raised in 11 non and columbia -- 11 lebanon and columbia." claire swears that both of those places are in missouri, but the burirthers are going to go crazy over that. it's not easy following the
comedic stylings of nancy pelosi. speaker pelosi mentioned that i am a leader -- i am actually the fourth ranking in the republican leadership did you have me, eric cantor republican whip, leader banner, and then there is rush limbaugh. brush called me earlier today from the doctor's office in costa rica. [laughter] speaking about health care, you have to admit it was a controversial bill. some of the provisions in that bill were just on tellable to the republican leadership. come on, nancy. you had to know that john boehner was never going to stand
for that tax on tanning beds. [laughter] i get it. they pass the bill, president obama bills like he's got some momentum going, so he is trying to coopt some of our initiatives. the one that surprised me recently what the president's proposal for offshore drilling. i just never thought he really understood the concept. not to drill in part, but for a guy who walks on water, the whole concept of offshore would be difficult for him to understand. [laughter] i know you think republicans would be discouraged by this but i am not. as i travel around the country, i was ashley here in washington for the 9/12 rally on the national mall. i had a chance to speak there.
another reported there were just a couple thousand people gathered on the mall that day. fox news channel reported that there were a billion. [laughter] but as god is my witness, there were hundreds of thousands of people gathered out there exercising their first amendment rights about fiscal responsibility and reform. it reminds me of my one and only meeting in the oval office with president george w. bush. something you may remember in 2006, i got involved in the immigration debate. kay bailey hutchison and i introduced the bill, no amnesty. when the "indianapolis star" in dorset, when your equally attacked by both sides of the spectrum you might be on to something and so they endorsed it. he invited me to the oval office and i know how these things go. outstanding outside and i know
some staffer pulled him aside and said, he has been taking heat on the issue. you ought to encourage him. our reason i know that is because i walked in and and i did a photo opportunity thing with the president, and then we sit down and i am sitting on the couch and he sits in a hardback chairs, and the president says, i ask you over here because i wanted to hear about your bill. i also wanted you to be encouraged. [laughter] [applause] and then he said, i like you to see me as an encourage r. i want you to leave here without some encouragement. i am serious. he is the word six times in the first five minutes.
i looked at him and said, mr. president, sitting here in the oval office with the leader of the free world, i am encouraged. and i really was. as a republican, we are getting our grew back groov -- our groove back. we have our web site come gov.gov. that's a big thing. we are skyping and youtubing. you can imagine some of our early meetings, this is a keyboard. one person is up to 25 friends on facebook. and we're also getting there. we're getting our groove back
by sticking with what works, like putting people ford exclusively on the power of their ideas. or, like running people who have persevered through challenging experiences. and when the substance failed, we're going to fall back on nominating leaders that are just downright sexy. [laughter] am i glad he's not here. and when we get our groove back, it will be good for our party,
and who knows what it will mean for me. i've been contemplating some pretty big things lately. like a concerted effort to break that all important 3% barrier in the next republican straw poll. but it might just be true what president obama call me right before the republican retreat. he had heard the rumor about me , and he pulled me aside and said, you are a great guy. i am not sure america is ready for some unknown legislator from the midwest, especially one with so much experience. maybe he is right. maybe i am overqualified. all kidding aside, it is a privilege to be with you tonight at the washington press club foundation's annual dinner, and not honored to help honor no. -- dorothy gilliam. she is emblematic of the two
great freedoms was celebrate here, the pursuit of excellence and the freedom of the press for it despite the fact that we can sometimes be at odds, i believe everyone in this room is in public service and i respect the work you do as freedoms were three four years ago we offered the free flow of information act, also known as the federal media shield. i know it turned a few heads when i filed that bill, reporters coming up from time to time and ask the same question after afoul of the bill. they would say, "you are pretty conservative, right? and i said i am not really conservative. and then an idiot question -- do you think the media is liberal? and i said, terribly liberal. way out there. they would say, why are you doing this?
and i would always say the same period as a conservative that believes in limited government, the only check on government power in real time is a free and independent press, and i hope and pray that this congress will send to this president the free flow of information act and that the president will sign it into law. [applause] so thank you for the honor of being here tonight. i hope you thought i was funny. and if you tell people i was not, i'll be forced to respond with the immortal words of my new all-time favorite justice of the supreme court -- [whispering] not true.
[normal voice] thank you very much. >> mike pence, all right. make sure you tip the waiter. the 10:00 shows the same as the 8:00 show. mikea and i, we do run clips where people say my name. nancy, you did pretty well. he held up the house side very well. now we turn to the honorable senator from twitter. you have been twittering the event tonight? claire says --it has been great getting to know clare mccaskill.
she has warned us all up. i heard her saying that she is coming with guns a-blazing. welcome the senator from missouri, clare mccaskill. >> thank you very much. it is an honor to be what the washington press club foundation this evening. it is particularly special to be at this podium tonight, the night that dorothy gilliam is honored. it makes a very special evening for me. thank you. as i understand it, my job tonight is to be like the eyes land volcano -- amid all lot of hot air, blow out a lot of smoke, and keep everyone from leaving when they wanted. although i been given a lot of
these speeches lately, i am still pretty much the new kid in town. and what i love about the united states senate, it is the only place in america where a woman my age can go to feel like a hot young check. -- chick. [laughter] it is great to be with you all tonight especially when this event was canceled because of our blizzard. what a mess. the streets were so tied up, michael steele and the rnc paid $2,000 to watch. [laughter] it took awhile. more wine, more wine. getting to see that much snow
was alive time -- was a lifetime event, like seeing a democrat with a 50% approval. i am privileged to be with so many privileged members. senator alexander, always good to be with you. it's wonderful being up with you tonight and a great honor to be with speakers pelosi, but tonight is about all of you in the audience, the many hard- working, fair minded journalist to cover the city. and it is so nice we were able to seat all of you at one table. [laughter] the newly minted unmavericky john mccain could not be here tonight. he it was detained at the
border while the dogs checked his paper. -- lou dobbs checked his papers. gov. bob mcdonnell could not be here because he was at a confederacy dinner tonight. sarah palin was here but left before we were halfway done. i don't care what people say, affirmative action works. if you want evidence, look no further than joe scarborough being employed at msnbc. people talk about sarah palin and mike huckabee, but scarborough was a trailblazer. he was the first lost a politician to become a tv host before it was hip. mika, look how beautiful you are. sitting there in the size 2
dress. we have noted your passion and dedication to nutrition and exercise. a strong and consistent message of better eating and more exercise. and i would like to say on behalf of all the middle-aged, overweight women in america, it just shut up. [laughter] [inaudible] >> i am a big fan of mika. she actually grow up in washington and are all hoping that someday joe will too. we also have the first woman speaker of the house. she represents giorgio on marmani in the house of
representatives. we all over a lot -- owe her a lot. health care is almost a trillion dollars, but it gets rushed to move, it will be worth every penny. it's good to say lamar alexander here as well. he recently made headlines. no, i don't think they can be right. [laughter] [applause] he may not remember this but he did get 3% in the 1996 republican presidential primary. this flannel shirts got 4% and chris dodd was heard to be asking lamar his secret. one of my closest friends in the
senate is here tonight, chuck schumer. sat pulls me once a day to see what i'm doing. he says the candy on valentine's. he says i am the smartest senator i've ever met. i promise to think about voting for you for leader, but my husband is starting to get suspicious. it's great to see mike pence. we have a lot of common. we're from the midwest and, well, that is about it. that is not true. mike and i have one thing in common. neither of us will be the 2012 gop nominee for president. [laughter] earlier this year, mike was under pressure from republican leaders to run for an open seat.
they tried to convince and saying it would be a great stepping stone. mike has ambitions they go far beyond getting passed over for vice president. [laughter] i'm glad to see you are celebrating women and diversity in the newsroom. it's glad to know that someone is in the newsroom. we have come a long way. think about 25 years ago. arlen specter was the republican, joe lieberman was a democrat, and david's sister actually wanted to work at msnbc. -- david shuster actually wanted to work at msnbc.
washington still dreams of one and have a major league baseball team. elliott's big sur's idea of a four sum was golf. but despite the gains we have paid in the last 25 years, it is not always easy being a woman and a mother in the public and -- 5. since earth day is tomorrow, i'll recycle 9 -- a story. we all know the gridiron is a much bigger deal, anyway. i and many stories about my children, as i am sir speaker pelosi could tell, adding a mom -- being a mom and having children. but this is true. when my 22-year-old son was 7, he was told that he had to write a paper about what his mom did during the day. as we are all likely to do in this line of work, i sat him
down and explain what a big deal i was very son, i am the elected prosecutor in kansas city. i am in charge of the entire prosecutor's office. i have hundreds of lawyers that work for me and we put all the bad guys and jailed. you can talk about how busy your mother is because she is the best prosecutor in kansas city. a couple of weeks later, i get a note from the teacher. sealed -- never a good sign. it said, i thought you might want to keep this for your scrapbook. the title said, what my mom does during the day. and the first line read as follows -- my mother is the best prostitute in kansas city. [laughter] and his says kids don't keep grounded?
mine certainly do. my congratulations to both door the androb -- to both dorothy and rob and all you fair minded journalists here tonight. the truth matters. and at this time in our political discourse, the truth matters more than ever. it had been a great and fun evening and i was very honored you ask me to do this tonight. thank you so much. >> president obama and vice- president biden spoke today at a memorial service for the 29 miners who died in a coal mine explosion pre this portion is about 20 minutes. >> governor. the families of the miners that
we lost and that the president i had the pleasure to meet -- i learned about courage and valor and gumption of miners sitting around my grandfather's table in scranton, paennsylvania, the men that they knew in the lives that were lost, but i learn more when robert byrd who is here, serving with him so many years. his incredible pride in miners is only matched by his loyalty. the men we remember today went
into the darkness so that we could have liked. they embraced a career full of peril. it was dangerous work and they knew it. but they never flinched what amazed me is how they saddled up everyday, squeezed in side by side for a cramped journey into the heart of darkness. many of them loved it, some regretted it, but all of them, all of them approached it with dignity, resolved, and strength. they went into the mindes to provide for themselves and their families and in a very direct way for all of us. and though this work to find them, it did not describe them.
there are fathers, grandfathers, sons, nephews, husbands, they loved hutton and fishing, they hated the way rodriguez last west virginia for michigan. [applause] the love motorcycles and a practice random acts of kindness. they had their given names, but as we learned today they answer to others. some had been mining for decades. some for months. one was planning a wedding one was planning for retirement. as individuals, these men were strong proud they were
providers. they represent what i think is the heart and soul and spine of this nation. and ladies and gentlemen, a nation mourns them. to every member of every family that has been touched by this tragedy i can say that i know what it is like to lose a spouse and child, and i also know when the tributes are done and the flags are once again flying at full staff, once the miners you see today go back to work, that is when it will be hardest for you all. when life has moved on around us and has yet to stir within you, that is when you're going
to need one another for the lucky ones, like its to go one but as a community and a nation we would compound tragedy if we let the whites go one unchanged. certainly no one should have to sacrifice their lives for their livelihood. but as they said, we will have that conversation later. we bear responsibility as well our responsibility to be aware of and respect and to honor those who risked their lives so that we can live as ours. and those who will continue to do this hard and dangerous
worked so often when we're met with this kind of sorrow and pain research for meaning and purpose where there seems to be none. we look for answers to questions that are literally hard to ask and even when answered, they provide little relief. to perfect -- to paraphrase one him, i have a wish for all of you. may he raise you up on the eagles' wings and bear you on the breath of bonn and make the sun to shine upon you and until you are reunited with those you have lost, may god hold you in the palm of his hand, for you know this band of 29 roughneck
angels watching over you are doing that now as they sit at the right hand of the lord today and they are wondering, is all that fuss about me? [applause] there is a famous headstone in an ira cemetery that says, daeeath leaves a hard eight no one can heal, lovelies a memory no one can steal. i can tell you from my own personal experience that eventually the painful part make you feel will be replaced by the joyful memory of the ones you love so much.
west virginia, let me begin by saying that we have been mourning with you throughout these difficult days. our hearts have been aching with you. we keep our thoughts with the survivors who are recovering and resting at the hospitals and homes. we are thankful for the rescue teams. but our hearts ache alongside you. we are here to memorialize 29 americans. carl accord. jason adtkins. christopher bell. gregory stephen barack. kenneth alan chapman. robert clarke. charles timothy davis. cory davis.
deward scott. gary quarles. grover skeens. benny willingham. ricky workman. if any comfort can be found, it can be found by seeking a god that man's our broken hearts and eases our mourning souls. we also remember 29 lives lived. up at 4:30, 5:00 in the morning at the latest, they began their day as they worked, in darkness. and coveralls and hard steel toed boots, i had on their
head, they sit quietly for their hour-long journey, 5 miles into a mountain. their only light, the lands on their cap. day after day burrow into the coal, the fruits of their labor something we so often take for granted, the electricity that lights up convention centers, that whites up our church and our home, our school, our office. the energy that powers our country in the energy that powers the world. [applause] on most days they would emerge from the darkness squinting at the light. that would emerge sweaty and dirty and dusty from the coal. most days they would come home.
but not that day. these men, these husbands, fathers, grandfathers, brothers, sons uncles, nephews, they did not take on their job on aware of the peril. some of them had already been injured. some of them had seen a friend get her to. so they understood there were risks. the families did, too. they knew their kids would say a prayer at night before they left. they knew their wives would wait for a call when their shift ended saying everything was ok. they knew the parents felt a pang of fear every time a breaking news alert came on. but they left for the mines anyway, some having waited all of their life miners come along
in the follow the footsteps of their fathers and grandfathers, and yet none of them did it for themselves alone. all that hard work, all that hard ship, all the time spent underground, it was all for the families. it was all for you. for a car in the driveway, the roof over your head, for the chance to give their kids opportunities that they would never know, enjoy retirement with their spouses -- it was all in the hope of something better. and so these miners lived as they died come in pursuit of the american dream. there minein the mines for their families, they became a
family themself. they may not have always loved what they did, but they loved doing it together. they love doing it as a family. they love doing it as a community. and that is a spirit that is reflected in the song that almost every american knows, but is a song most people would be surprised was actually written by a coal miner's son about this town, about the people of west virginia. the song, "lean on me." an anthem of french of and of community, of coming together. friends keeping porch lights on and nightly vigils, hanging up homemade signs, praying for the families, neighbors consoling
each other and supporting each other, leaning on one another. and i have seen the strength of that community and the days that followed the disaster, e-mails and letters poured into the white house, postmarked from different places across the country they often began the same way -- i am proud to be from a family of miners. i am the son of a coal miner. i am proud to be a coal miner's daughter. [applause] they were always proud and they asked me to keep miners in my thoughts and prayers, and never forget, they said miners keep america's lights on. [applause] and then in these letters, they
make a simple plea -- don't let this happen again. [applause] don't let this happen again. how can we fail them? how can a nation that role m is ainers not do everything in its power to protect them? how can we let anyone in this country put their lives at risk by simply showing up to work, by simply pursuing the american dream? we cannot bring back the 29 man we lost. they are with the lord now. our task here on earth is to say fives from being lost in another such tragedy, it could do what me and must do individually and collectively to ensure safe conditionunderground, a dutch m ouriners as they treat each
other, like a family, because we are all americans and we have to lean on one another and look out for one another and love one another. and pray for one another. psalm that comes to mind today, when we often turn to in times of heartache. even though i walk to the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil for you are with me your rod in your staff a --n-- d your staff they comfort me. god bless the united states of america.