tv Washington This Week CSPAN May 5, 2013 2:00pm-6:01pm EDT
that came from september 11. a lot of letters george received. the program from the memorial service at the national monument. the national cathedral, rather. the badge that arlene howard gave george, to remember her son. even now, when i see these, and when i see this video -- here is the pentagon in flames in the video. i am reminded again of what it was like. the crushing anxiety that came with it. the fear that many of us had. how vulnerable we felt as americans, really, for the first time. other than pearl harbor, we had an act in our homeland. the unexpectedness of it, and the shock of attacking people who were going about their daily life.
>> did the events in boston serve as another reminder? >> they did. it is crushing, really, the idea of harming innocent people for some sort of theology, or sort of ideology. tois very hard for us imagine in the united states. >> let us head to the oval office. this is it. >> this is the oval office. it is full-scale, exactly like it was when george lived here. of course, these are reproductions. the real rug and the real furniture stay in the white house collection. they are all still in washington, in the facility where presidents' furniture is kept. several of the presidential libraries have oval office replicas for people to see, because most people will never
have a chance to really go to the oval office. but this has the same aspect as the real oval office, with the south sun pouring in the big window, and even a rose garden we can step into. this is a replica of the desk that george used. and this is a gift from an american who called us, a supporter from ohio, who said he had the resolute reproduced, and used it in his own office for a while. he wondered if we wanted it. this is a gift, which is really great to have. he even has the little door with hinges, with the famous photograph of little john kennedy, looking out the door while his dad worked at the desk. >> what is the story behind this desk? >> the resolute was a gift from queen victoria to the united states, named for a ship that had gone adrift.
towedrican navy ship had it in, kept it, and returned it to great britain. when the ship was decommissioned, queen victoria used the timbers of the ship to build a desk for the president of the united states. many presidents have used it. i it. i think president obama continues to use it. george's dad used another desk, but george wanted to use this one. there is a little glass arm. it is raised a couple of inches. ronald reagan raised it because the hole was too short for his long legs. it is a beautiful piece. and it speaks of the friendship between the united states and great britain. >> do you remember the very first time you went to the oval office, i assume during president bush's years?
>> i think we went over there once or twice, when we would come visit them for christmas holiday, or another holiday. the very first day that george moved into the office, after the inauguration, his dad was upstairs. they were staying with us for the inauguration. he called his dad over. there is a great picture of george and his dad together on the first day. this is the picture "a charge to keep." the is a reproduction of painting was in george's office when he was governor and then president. it shows a horseman leading a group behind him. it is named for the wesley hymn, "a charge to keep," which we sang at the inaugural prayer service when he became governor. >> the lighting is typical of
the oval office. or is a different feel in this room than other rooms of the white house. >> i think it is because of the big bay window. the other thing i like is that it is really human in scale. it is a lovely space. ithink the oval shape makes graceful. it is not like throne rooms in european countries we visited, or other very magnificent offices that other heads of state have. i like that, because we are a country who elect our president from the people. i like it that our president's office is human in scale. >> as we look outside, there is an exact replica of the rose garden. you are calling it a texas rose garden. >> this is something i think none of the other presidential libraries have. we planted a texas rose garden. it is part of the museum tour. people can come in here. you can get your picture made,
standing at the desk. this room will not be roped off, like it might be in other libraries. and you can go outside. i think, after you have been through the part about september 11, and then the war in iraq and afghanistan, that being able to step outside and sit on the benches will give people a chance to refresh and think about what they have just seen, and the loss that we incurred on september 11, the many, many people who died. >> was it your idea to have the break in the middle of the museum? >> it is a good idea. people get museum fatigue. museums are dark to protect the documents. there is not a lot of light. and there is a lot of information. alfway through, if you have
chance to walk outside, you have a chance to be refreshed. we are fortunate that we had sort of space where we could put the oval office here and have a rose garden. >> president bush required everyone to have a jacket when they came to the oval office. >> george respected the oval office, and he respects the presidency. he thinks it is very important that all of us should do that. that is one of the reasons he is not into politics now, and not talking about our current president, or any political issue he might agree or disagree on, because he thinks that just the respect for the president also means a respect office itself. that is why he wanted people to wear a coat in here. while they had a chance to serve the people, by working for the president or working in the
administration, to show that kind of respect. >> what does the president of this replica? >> i think he -- i think he likes it. it we were able to have a full- scale replica, exactly like the real oval office, with the same fabrics, and reproductions of all the furniture and paintings we had -- the portrait of lincoln, the portrait of washington. we borrowed the rest of these paintings from texas museums. >> as they leave the texas rose garden, they enter "living in the white house." this is what many people want to see. they want to see what it is like to live in the white house, what the rooms are like, and what the family personal life is like. we have pictures of our dogs. spot died in the white house. she was born in the white house.
whitee a huge map of the house, as you can see behind me, so people can see what the rooms set up is. i read did the lincoln bedroom, restore the lincoln bedroom, while i was at the white house. there is a section on the lincoln bedroom, including what the wallpaper was like. we have other great parts that i think people will be interested in. the whole setup for the state dinner for queen elizabeth, including my down, and george's white tie, which he is hoping to never wear again, i am sure. that was our only white tie dinner, and condi and i had to persuade him that was perfect for a queen. he said ok and did it. we have a section on air force one and marine one. people are always really interested in that. a big sports section includes the baseballs and footballs, from all the championship teams that come to visit the
president. we chose to put at the back of it the girls' basketball team from baylor university, when they won the ncaa basketball and came to the white house. without people from around here would love to see them. they are still a great basketball team. they did not win this year, but they almost did. >> the south lawn view -- you of course have the truman balcony. on much time did you spend the balcony? did you have a favorite part in the white house? >> one of our upstairs rooms opens directly on the balcony. every year, i hosted george's birthday party on july 4. his birthday is july 6. our friends from around the country came. we would stand on the balcony to watch the fireworks over the washington monument, all eight years. in fact, now i get e-mails from all of our friends on george's birthday. they think they will never have
as much fun at a birthday party again, because we will not be there, watching the fireworks from the truman balcony. >> did it seem like home to you? >> it did. and i knew it would. we had been there with my in- laws. i knew my mother-in-law had made it into a home. it is a home. you live with the furniture and decorating of presidents before you, but it is a home, and a wonderful place to live. our girls came up, and our friends stayed with them. george's brother and sister -- one brother and sister lives in the washington area. they came over for family dinners with their children. stayedse, his parents with us when they were in washington. it really is a home. >> as people come here and view the exhibits, what will they
learn? what is their takeaway? >> they will see that it is a home. as magnificent as it is, and as historical, you really do live with the other presidents. you think about the challenges they face. certainly, lincoln is the one you think about the most. his son died while he was there. our country went into civil war. there is something very comforting about living with that history. overcomethat we can challenges. in those days after september 11. you know it was comforting to be there, and to think about other families when they live there, and how our country was able to move through each of those times, through world war ii, and the civil war, and president lincoln, and the sadness he had when he lived there. i think there is something great about living in a house with such history, our presidents getting to live with the history
of our country like that. >> finally, a look at the humor in the white house. >> we have a little video back here, and a little screening room, set up like the red velvet screening room at the white house. it includes some of the funny things from all the dinners that i know you have been to, the white house correspondents, all the rest of them. forhis is our final stop the tour. the policy and politics of the presidency -- where are we? >> we are here with my travels, with things i did. certainly, women's rights in afghanistan, and other parts in the world, in burma and others. i traveled to 76 different countries. i was there when george founded the emergency plan for aids relief.
people in the united states for helping people in africa live full and productive lives by providing antiretrovirals to all the people who had been dying with aids. it shows right behind me a decision points theater. this reminds me to say that the museum is very interactive. there are lots of videos for people to watch at every part of the museum. there are also tables of games for children to look at. there is a lot about iraq and afghanistan on one table, where boys and girls can learn about both of the countries behind us. the curved wall is the decision points theater. that is a place where a class or a group of friends who come together can go in and study decisions that george made, on
the financial crisis, on the surge in iraq, hurricane katrina, afghanistan, and get the information he was given at the time, and he prodded by the press. what are you going to decide? they can make their decisions on what they would have done if they had been president with any of those issues. behind us is a lie and that the president of tanzania gave to george from me got there, in thanks for all the ways the people of tanzania benefited from the aids relief and aids initiative. >> let me go back to the decision points. does that reinforce the decisions the president had to make and the choices he was confronted with? >> that is what it does. it does not reinforce his decision,, but it shows people what he was faced with. the information he had at the
time, why he chose what he did, and to see if that is what they would have done. it also gives people an idea of what it was like to be president, and to have those serious decisions to make. all the decisions that come to the desk of the president of the united states. in fact, nearly every big problem does come to the desk of the president of the united states. >> leading on the issues. >> this is a national archives site map, all of the documents from the bush presidency. this is just a chance for you to see different documents. some are just speeches. others are bills he signed with the pen he used to sign them. scholars and researchers will be able to come here.
there is a beautiful reading room, and part of the national archives space, where people can call up different documents or papers from years that george was president, to do the research that people will do. >> in the lobby, as people depart or arrive, a rotation of displays. >> this was our architect's idea, to build these big vitrines on the walls as you walk in, so that if you have to stand in line to get your ticket, you can start to look at things already. those cases are filled with gifts from foreign heads of state. they all have to be things that cannot be damaged with light, because of course the whole does have a lot of windows. they are things like the diamond and sapphire necklace that king abdullah from saudi arabia gave me.
>> as you know, your husband had a lot of critics. will this change the way people view his presidency? >> i do not know that it will change the way. it is not meant to do that. it is meant to explain what happened during those eight years of history, to talk about the different things we faced as a country, and his choices and decisions he made to respond to whatever the challenges were. i think people will learn a lot. i think there are things people did not know, for instance, about the aids relief from graham, about the generosity the american people funded. i think there are a lot of things people will learn about. i think it will also give people an idea of what it is like to be president, the successes and failures. it is just like in any life.
we all have that. our presidents are human. we will have the same sort of records. >> has it met your expectations? >> i think people will find it very interesting. we have tried to include everything. you cannot include every single thing. you and i have not even talk about our support for dissidents and the freedom movement, as part of this wall i am looking at behind you. thank you so much for being here. >> the george w. bush presidential center includes the library, museum, and the bush institute. the library houses material including 43,000 artifacts, 200 million e-mails, 4 million digital photographs, and 70 million pages of paper records. squareility is 226,000
feet, on 23 acres of land. it is part of the southern methodist university campus. it is the 13th presidential library to be administered by the national archives and records administration, and the third presidential library in texas. the total cost -- $500 million, raised from more than 325,000 individual and corporate donors. in a recent interview, president bush discussed what researchers will have access to inside the library and museum. >> i think historians will see that i had a very deliberative process on making tough decisions. sadly, i was a wartime president. i took on the duties of commander in chief, -- i was loath to commit them to contact. when i did, i supported them to
the max. am of the things i comfortable about saying is, for any administration to be properly analyzed -- in other words, history has a long reach to it. if they are still writing about washington, we are not going to have to worry about what they are writing about me for a long time. historians will be able to take a look at my administration. they will have a lot of material at his or her disposal, on which to make an analysis. >> for more information on the bush presidential center, log on to the website.
>> the national rifle association held its annual meeting in houston tx. today at 6:30 p.m. eastern here on c-span. the next washington journal, hot line editor and chief reed wilson will talk about the 2016 presidential field, followed by washington post reporter sarah kliff. then jim morris talks of the occupational safety and health administration. washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> ronald reagan made mistakes on defense.
it was not just a waste of money in those 80 years, it is what created the war machine that is used to create so much havoc in the world and create so much anger and problems throughout the world that were totally unnecessary. its hubris dick imperial power. that is a real negative. for the first time since eisenhower's he did stand up for the state isstate not a solution to every problem. it can weigh down the private economy. entering the norse, the idea of technological change -- the idea of on to the doors, the idea of technological change, he stood for all of those things. i agree with all of those things. that puts the possum in the his
comment. it puts the plus in his column. ronald reagan spent a lifetime before 1980 as the greatest opponent of deficit spending there ever was. he left a legacy of massive deficits which permitted his followers to say that he -- that was a historical error of enormous proportions. >> more with former ronald reagan budget director david stockman tonight at 8:00. >> now supreme court justice clarence thomas. he talks about his life and career to faculty and staff at became law school. this is a little over an hour.
>> he is watching. the story of your life growing up is really a remarkable one -- do you know what part of west africa and your family came from and how they ended up in georgia? >> i think they lost the itinerary. that was in the 1700's. i do not think anyone quite those ofthing and for you in the deep south much was underwritten. are into their genealogy now. i have no idea of much of my own genealogy. wee of my relatives told me
don't want to know much. and that iss no, unfortunate. that is one of the reasons why in the last few years we have tried to focus on trying to retain was left of that culture. when you look across the country you see sandstone buildings, the beautiful architecture, there is much of an effort to preserve those things. there is another part of culture -- if you hadwant a case system, would be the untouchables. --d had a caste system it had a caste system they would be the untouchables. the effort to retain that or
record that is not there. onwould spend more time aristotle or socrates, more time on frank lloyd wright, but none on the un-lettered. if you look at the barrier i -- the barrier islands, i am from iowa. some people may have heard the term eg. those of us that are from those of it is bordered on the north. the same language in south carolina is known -- one of the spunrful slurs that were off -- that was hurled by way
was that i was at a geechee. of where i ashamed was from. i think it is a wonderful culture and people are wonderful people. >> did your people speak the gullah dialect? is there something you could example wherean your grandfather would say? >> he spoke the exact same language. i am more from -- i am more from pinpoint and he is from liberty county. ,hat is where we went to live where his grandmother lived. it is hard to really do it. to west be similar indian dialect. the '60snt north in people were asking if i was indian. i had no idea what they're talking about.
finally out i was of georgia. recently excuse me -- i was around a lot of my relatives and she said i'm beginning to talk my language again. anyone who is part of that country know you did not go back to that grew speaking to king's in english. there's always this delicate balance. you had tot up north move in and out of cultures. culture, thenhite an urban culture. waytalk to your buddies one
and your parents another way. you might be speaking three or four different languages every day. >> is the different language here. >> i have noticed that. that ifling to bet you you are in a conversation with friends to grew up -- >> my wife is nodding her head. respectfullways been of those people who spoke. i love it. . love going home finally i am home. when i stopped in washington law school went to
to go home. finally i was going home. i have been stuck in this place for 30 plus years. people were trying to prevent it from going on the court. why do i care? >> just as we were fortunate to learn about your home life in , tell the audience who your grandfather was and what he meant to you and why did you write your memoirs? >> let me just address the last -- i think the film did a good job of carrying bad. tost of all, i did not want write a memoir. tendency to recreate as
in the public life. i ask my grandparents to leave a all the people who made of this wonderful world that we somehow sleepover because we have to have a narrative of how terrible it was down there. these are good people that try to get to to lead and live a good decent life. i owe it to them to leave a record. my initial plan was just to record it and leave it. i still have the entire manuscript. the book is only 40% of the manuscript. eventually i was told that it is probably good to put it in the form of a book and then i made the fatal mistake, i signed the
book contract. that is sentencing your own self. talk about an eighth amendment violation. once ipads started it was very hard. , it istwo pages a day like your homework. you push yourself, having to relive it, having to think about things you haven't thought about for years, having to draw the memories, he put it on a piece of paper. ofid not go around with all that is about my life. you give it your best shot. there are things that, we have all said it, i just want to get it behind me. i'm going to put it behind me. >> some said about writing opinions. [indiscernible]
-- we will resurrected for you. you keep writing it will help you with that. [laughter] >> let me ask you, specifically about the nuns where you were educated. what did you learn from them? >> a sister was my second grade teacher. andd a chance to go back think all of my teachers, and to have a totally separate life. also, the ones who were just so sweet to me like sister mary. my second grade teacher, i never did make contact. i do not think she took her final vows. sister mary said that when we
arrived at saint benedict's, gas with the cast-iron, you to buy two and little tiny desks. she made a stand and repeat why did god make you? god made us to know and serve him in this life, and be happy with him in the next. all the philosophy, nietzsche, kant comes back to what she said. they made us believe that we were inherently equal. that was a main stay. it is him and you see me repeat
over and over. we were told under all circumstances we were inherently equal. that was in the face of segregation and theories that said we were inferior. they held us to that standard. those who are old enough and he went to schools probably probably remember those exams. achievement test that you took at the end of each december and in may. those measured where you stood with the other schools. thenuns had held rb to the fire. my favorite nun, my eighth grade teacher, she is still alive but not doing very well. she's at a retirement home.
ie was, when i was in 1962, performed very well and high school entrance exams. i've always done well academically breathing that is god's gift. she said, you lazy thing. she was right. i was kind of sliding by. i never forgot that. she called me out. fast forward to 10 years ago. i was there intent to fly visiting her with a friend of mine. a very dear friend of mine. i met him through tom, who graduated, a wonderful man. we were there with sister mary.
she was in her 90s at the time. she still is. she said, when i die, this goes to the sisters, this goes to my relatives, this goes to this person. and she took this photo of the two of us, and she did this to her chest. this goes to my coffin with me. to say that this photo, it that is just a bus, they will go there where she is to lay. >> they made you take latin. my children might see this program. >> the only latin i remember is
take latin. it was very aggressive and quite difficult. i took latin am a three years in high school and one in college. my only regret was i did not take greek. i would not, if i had to go back, i would take more music. i would take more mathematics. i was good at sciences. i would probably take another course in physics and chemistry. rigorous education, and the people who required me to educate myself, or prevented me from avoiding education, our fabulous -- our fabulous and what they help me do. people don't run out and say it let me take latin. you say you're required to take latin. you are required to take
philosophy. you are required to take metaphysics. you're required to take ethics. as what i got. i say think offer the people who knew better than i did, and required me to be better than i would have without their invites. that is the beginning of my education. out of that, they taught me to read more books, to think about things. to be willing to listen to people who are thinking about things. and to continue that education process. latin was like a spelling bee. back then, there was this faith that if you're given a chance go to the right school, we could do as well as whites. we would hold our own.
this was proof positive. thes the only black kid in high school for two or three years that i was there. this was in the 1960s. his point was, this is exhibit a that we can hold our own at any time. it was important. it was encouragement to the few people who were at meetings that their efforts were worthwhile. >> holy cross was a critical aspect of your education. surely making that difficult transition to massachusetts. you talk about that as a difficult time in america. you describe yourself at that time as an angry young man. what were you angry about? >> the same thing that every other black was saying. we had a lot of problems.
race wise. the question is, how do you respond? how do you deal with it? when you are young, you do with things by what? you lash out, criticize, savings to people. you you do it in a way with a lot of emotion and a lot of passion. i think one of the values of being educated is you find out how do you channel that passion? how do you deal with difficult things in a way that is constructive, as opposed to the way we dealt with things. >> as all the judges and lawyers know, we are still suffering with a lot of angry young men who find themselves in criminal justice systems. do you have any theory as to what the chief contributors are to that national problem that we have? >> i started mine career in washington in the early 1980s
pointing out something that bothered me. the 1980 census. the breakdown of black families. it is not because i had a solution. i am not someone who tries to have a theory each year. i do not do that. i do not claim to be god or anything. but something said in those numbers that there was a fundamental change in the structure of the black family, and the one thing that was stable, even on an extended basis was at least you had a family. he you had a lot of other problems. you had a family. when that was gone, what are you left with? i looked over data. the penetration of drugs in our lives, of addictive drugs.
you can, when i read petitions, i read 9000 a year, for 21.5 years. every crime is drug-related. from your work as a district judge, you see these young people with no families, no education. we pointed out those numbers back in the 1980s. one of the things that has happened is that if you do not toe the ideological line or narrative, then you are not listen to, for pointing out that the family members were not good. i was cast as blaming the victim. dismissing the obvious. we have a problem.
by the solution? no. any solution, you have to accurately set up what the problem is. you do be willing to say what a is and try to deal with preview go to the doctor. the doctor you want to have an accurate diagnosis of the can have a constructive and positive diagnosis. anyway, i do not have any of those solutions. my heart is broken because i worked in the inner cities. we've been trying my entire adult life to just be honest with people about it. they came with urban renewal. look at our neighborhoods. they came in with this program, and that solution, and this and
that. all of these theories and programs. i go back to my neighborhood. as soon as i drive in, my heart is broken. where i grew up, i could walk to school. i knew everybody. everybody, we were poor but proud. i would walk to the 6:00 mass three quarters of a mile in the inner-city. kidwould let a little walked three quarters of a mile in the intercity to serve the 6:00 mass today? veryot getting into the complicated. i am asking a simple question for you i can walk to serve the 6:00 mass with my bookbag on, and nobody ever bothered me. and you do it today question
rick something has happened. i not have a theory. i do know that we should at least fess up and say that something is wrong and then deal with it and not try to turn into some kind of political fodder. >> let's talk for a second about your time at gl. you have an open about talking about a business. 15hink you still have this cent cigar sticker on your degree from yale. why was it unsatisfactory? >> i probably should have been more respectful of my years at yale. i took a lot of positive from yale. did i have disappointments? yes. the sticker had less to do with
my experience than what i thought you would mean, how people would perceive it. that there is this assumption that when you graduate, you are a certain level. of course, we should be realistic that they were discounted. we know why they were discounted. the $.15 was put there so that i could get a job with it. it is hard to be upset when my grandmother used to say, some doors closed, but god opens other doors. how could i complain? yale is mixed. i have a deeper appreciation for that now. i should've asked respite early on. the sticker was point -- put there out of frustration. i did everything i was supposed to do and i cannot get a job. how was i supposed to feel?
i have student loans. i was frustrated. i was very upset. yielded not make it better. >> you wrote later in your opinion in a case called jenkins, you wrote "it never ceases to amaze me that the courts are so willing to assume that anything that is predominately black must be inferior." >> it speaks for itself. it is true. our schools were closed because people said they were not as good because they were all black. i do not believe any of that stuff. i went to all black schools. i lived in all-black neighborhoods. i had a wonderful life in those neighborhoods. people think you are making it up. you are trying to paint the south anyway it wasn't.
they have a narrative. i was moving back home when i stopped in dc. i still wanted to get back. my high school was not inferior. my neighborhood was not inferior. my church is not inferior. my family was not inferior. i never believed it. i never will. i do not think you need to start from the armistead if something is predominately one another that you can make these broad assumptions about whether or not it is inferior. if i were to ask you today what school, what university produces the largest number of black doctors, or black going to medical school, which would you say it is question mark -- which would you say it is? it is xavier.
xavier has been considered a predominantly black school. they should ask how they do it. >> wasn't on your radar to go to a historically black college? >> yes. i was dumb of all white schools. i was angry. 1968, dr. king had just been assassinated. i was done with it. i understand people's reactions when they are angry. i was angry. grandfatherand my kicked me out of the house. the only school i could apply to was holy cross. holy cross saved me. i was going to savannah state college.
that was fortuitous based on your catholic school upbringing. >> had a that come about? >> the mythmakers that come upit was because of my chemistry teacher. she called a friend of mine and told me to send an application. out of respect for them i took about an hour and filled it out. got accepted. the reason i got it said it is because i had almost a straight a average. with thiskers came up thing that i was recruited. confidential or serendipity, if you are not religious, that i was accepted and wound up at holy cross. >> speaking of myth making. making, whenf myth you go to washington with senator danforth and your career it picks up, did you set up to
go, "i have an opportunity as a young conservative to move up the ladder." >> i never called myself conservative. that was another put down when they started naming us black conservatives to show that we were sort of like some vile thing. we did not call ourselves anything. we were just people try to think of very difficult things and offer a point of view. i always found it fascinating that people were told they could only go to one neighborhood that is wrong, they can only go to the schools. when you tell people they can only thing certain things that is bizarre. i was never politically involved. i do not like politics.
i think about philosophies or ideologies are things that happen in this society. i do not know how you can tell somebody something that is obviously wrong and make them believe it. [laughter] [applause] i certainly was not republican when i came to washington dc. i became a republican to vote for ronald reagan. i was a registered independent. that was about it. 18 -- i was from georgia, i voted for humphrey in 1968 and mcgovern in 1972. i thought they were too conservative. [laughter] i was more of a libertarian. i was trying to figure things out the people were telling me,
"you are black, we already have the views you are supposed to have. you are not supposed to read or think about things." that is bizarre. what am i supposed to think today? >> should we anticipate some future ambition? >> no. the way i wasd to raised. it was a deviation from the way i was raised and a return to the way i was raised. as my grandfather said when i was involved in all sorts of notcal things, "boy, i did raise it to be like that. i did not raise it to be disrespectful, to be an " ucated, etc. when i came home talking
"nonsense," he would leave the room because i was so far off the chart in his mind. >> before president bush was elected to ever envision yourself that -- did you ever envision yourself as a judge? >> daughter, no. -- god, no. people who are seminarians understand what i am saying. you think you are called to do certain things and when you are illed you are supposed to do would say to myself, "just don't call me." and then the president calls you. his aides called me in 1989.
breakfast too have talk about the administration. breakfast andthat then he said some people were interested in me being a judge. that was the beginning of the process. believe when you are called, the president calls you to do it a particular job and it is the right thing, you are to do it. choose what i wanted to do, "no, i would not do this." what i had to choose wanted to do, no i would not do this. my wife and i talked about it. i could have made a lot of not want to do that. i did not go to law school to make money. i did not go to law school to be
famous. i went to law school to go back to georgia and do what i wanted to do when i was going to be a priest. i wanted to go to my neighborhood and be a leader. i am one of those people, and a walk -- and a young woman said she was one of the people who was naive, i am proud the '90s. you can call a idealistic, naive, whatever. to have to do well in order do good. when you have a chance to make hard decisions, when you are called you are bound to do it. you do not have that choice to win out. >> on that topic, obviously when the controversy erupted with the id to hill -- with the anita did you everent, consider just withdrawing? >> i never run from people i consider to be police.
i do not believe that. not in playing sports, you stand your ground. that did not make sense to me. you're going to do all of these things to me because you don't agree with me. thank goodness, the people in the country are better than the people who claim to be better than everybody else. [applause] >> soon after your swearg in at the white house, you had the -- swearing in at the white house, you had the opportunity to speak with thurgood marshall. did can you share some of the things you got to talk to him about. >> he was a delight. it is interesting when people have these narratives about public people and you actually get to meet that person. the man was a delight to meet. it was supposed to be a 10-
minute meeting and it lasted for two and a half hours. if you know him, he will regale you in stories. it was laughing and stories about his travels. both he and his family have been just delightful. she is there at the court frequently and she's been a delight. >> what advice did he give you? did he talk to you about the interaction between the justices? what to expect going into the new environment? >> what is interesting did you notice that the justices are nominated the only people who don't say anything is the people who have done the job. nobody who has done the job presumes to tell anyone how to do it.
it is a humbling experience. i was looking at the pictures of me when i was nominated. look at what this job has done to me. [laughter] you crawl away from it. you do not presume to tell anyone else how to do it. he told me exactly the right thing. i did what i had to do in my time and you have to do in your time. >> did he tell you anything about collegiality. one of the narratives when the justices come down with the 5-4 decisions in the hot button decisions. is the court a colleague yull place, has it been like that during your tenure at the court? >> for those who have been to the court -- for those of you
haven't, the walls are about that thick. unless they have an insight that i don't have or an in road they don't have. when you make hard decisions, of course, there's disappointment, there's probably -- you're exass per rated. i read some place where someone said justice scalia was yelling or making noise, something, everything about banking the walls. he's my next door neighbor and he was doing fine. he's a hunter, he's probably trying to figure out how to kill an unarmed animal. yeah, you're disappointed. it is a hard job.
i have not seen all this. the worst that i have seen has been in the opinions, the edgy opinions. that's about it. no, i have not seen it. there are times when people get upset because i think people work hard, they feel strongly about their-minutes on this thing. put nine of you in the room with different views and pick any hot button issue, pick abortion. put you in a room and how long do you think you can get along? throw you some issues. see lounge you can survive together. people can't sit in the room and talk about it, they are not making the decision, they just have an opinion. they storm away from the dinner table, storm out of the restaurant, stop speaking each other. they are not making the decision, they just have an
opinion. people in the court, at my time, at least think the constitution, the country, the process of the court is much more important than they are. they somehow keep it together to decide cases appropriately and to get along with each other in a civil way. >> any of the justices particularly close friends? >> justice scalia and justice ginsberg are very close. i tend to be more of an train vert and -- intravert. i'm close to justice scalia but not as close as justice ginsburg. they are very dear friends. i think people are very respectful there.
they are very kind but people have different schedules and different lives. i like opera but i like opera on the radio so i don't have to go. [laughter] some people like to go to the kennedy center. i'm a nebraska corn husband kerr fan and there's not -- husker fan. there's not a lot of those around here. i'm close to my kids. i'm very, very close to my wife. if it requires me to leave her that is a nonstarter. >> did you expect to see an african american president during your lifetime? did you think that would happen? >> oh, yeah. i always thought there would be black coaches, black heads of universities. maybe, again, as i said i'm naive. but the thing i always knew it would have to be a black president who was approved by the elites, the media because anybody they don't agree with
they would take apart. that will happen with virtually you pick your person, any black person that says something that is not a prescribed things they expect from a black person will be picked part. pick anyone, not me, who decided not to go along with it there's a price to pay. aalways assumed it would be somebody that the media has to agree with. >> have you met president obama? have you had a chance to speak with him personally or in passing? >> passing, he visited the court. i don't do a lot of washington and i'm not into politics. i shook hands with him at the inauguration. he's very polite. but i had no in depth conversation. >> was that a courtesy to all the justices or you -- >> to everyone. >> did president clinton do that? >> we were at yale together so i
knew him better. in recent years, they stop. the president-elect will stop by and shake hands with the members of the court and meet us as a group. >> do you see, obviously, you and president obama have different opinions on things. do you have any common ground on things with him that you could share with us? >> i have -- >> do you want to take the fifth? >> that's hard to say. what common ground did i have with president bush, 43. i'm not into politics. i don't like politics. i do my job. i have common ground with some of the appointees say with justice ginsberg or justice kagan. we're doing the same thing. but as politics, i just don't do
politics. i don't like politics. >> do you avoid intention talley in terms of media, a lost judges don't keep up with the news the way they did when they were practicing law. >> i don't like politics. i'm just done. i like history, i like things of substance. i don't understand politics. i don't understand scuba diving. you know, when i think of scuba diving i think of drowning. [laughter] i'm not against it, i'm not going under water. [laughter] >> in a minute, we're going to ask questions that have been supplied by students. i do want to ask you this justice thomas, all of the current justices on the court attended an ivy league law school. do you think it is healthy to have that kind of diversity for
justices from smaller universities? >> finally, you're on things i like to talk about. i agree with that. i think we should have people from other law schools. it is all harvard and yale and justice ginsberg graduated from columbia but also attended harvard. they are wonderful, wonderful people. they are talented, good people. but the -- i do think -- i've been all over the country. there's more people, there's smart people. this school was started for immigrants. it is like holy cross college. there is something valuable about these people who live in these little neighborhoods and work their way out. i tend to hire kids from modest backgrounds and smaller schools.
my lead law clerk was from l.s.u. i've had clerks from rutgers, george mason, georgia. i like clerks from modest backgrounds. i'm from a modest backgrounds. they are special. they keep at it despite of the odds. get up every day, nobody gives them a break but they keep going. that is something special about that kid. this past weekend -- i'm very much involved with an organization, one of your students was in that. these kids come from very bad circumstances and yet, their grade point average as a group, the 107 scholars is like 3.97 or something. some rare grade point average. these kids live in homeless
shelters, their parents are drug addicts. what kind of resolve does it take to keep going? it would be wonderful to have those kids as members of the court. i think they would have a different perspective and add something to the court. >> speaking of this school, you mention in the book that you frequently prayed to the holy spirit when you were faced with difficult and challenging times. why was the holy spirit important in your life? >> it is hard for me when you say "the priest" i always thought of that suicide the holy ghost. i'm trying to be modern. i'm not trying to very hard. [laughter] i do have an ipad. [laughter] that's only because it was forced upon me. i just think -- i'm one of these people who still believes it is
through grails that you do lots of things. -- grace that you do lots of things. when i go home and i was angry and upset and fighting with my grandfather she would pull me aside and say son, say your prayers. or i would have problems and say son, turn it over the lord. it was always the same answer. i didn't have any political transformation. i just went back home. if you just read my book you will see i simply went back and embraced the legacy they gave me and part of that is the way we do things and the faith we have. part of that is, of course, is serenity. so as you say, let the holy ghost speak through me. i was at mass, the feast of the
assumption, which was oddly celebrated on monday. but the theme was humility. we have to be humble to receive this. i think it is very important. it is important in the way we do things. that is as deep as i can explain it but it is all important. >> we have a few questions from some of the students, justice thomas, so i want to read a couple of these. the first one is one of our all- star third year day students. did the court's recent decision upholding the affordable care act produce any hard feelings among the justice us because there were such strong views on the subject? >> no. >> ok, check that off.
>> you know, it would be enormously prideful and presumptuous of me to assume that i have the right answer. i have an opinion. i do not have the gospel. i give it my best shot and that is the way i approach the job. i try to be candid with you. was there hard feelings? no. i don't have hard feelings about a lot of things. if i was going to have hard feelings it would be on race issues. then you wouldn't let me in this room, ok? that's a reason why we offload these things. i don't have enough -- i don't think that it is appropriate for me to be angry with people who have a different opinion. read my dissents i respect your
right to have a different opinion. in this society, think about it, as much as -- i just read when something is said about me, most of them are white, they assume what they know what i think because i'm black. they are upset with me because i don't think what they think i should think. isn't that bizarre? i'm not going to follow that and say i disrespect justice ginsberg or justice breyer or justice scalia if they disagree with me. i respect their right to have a different opinion. >> this question is from a second year student. >> are you outing people? >> yes, i am. they are in class. this one is always asked. the media has made a big production about you not speaking in court. repeatedly a two second comment
you made made national news. what is your philosophy about justices at oral argument? >> my philosophy is never watch it, you never hear about it. this is the first i heard about that. thank you. i don't follow it much of this stuff. i think that we have become -- when i first went on the court there would be a series of questions by one member of the court. others would listen as this person asked a few questions in succession and had a veers of mini conversations. that is helpful. it allowed people -- each to have a turn to talk. today, it is just -- oh my gosh. everybody has a question. i don't have a question about everything.
there are some things you let go. but i just think there are too many questions. i think we have capable advocates and we should let the capability advocates talk. >> that is an old fashioned view, right? >> the 1990's. >> it is true. in the past there were far less questions. >> does it make impossible to judge if --? >> is it more of a show now? i remember being a student in the late 1980's and you can walk to the court with your jeans, t- shirt, and sit there and listen to a couple of arguments. now there is a massive humanity, it is very formal. is that a cultural shift? >> i've said enough. [laughter] i do not think what we're doing is necessary. if you go to argentina, we were there visiting their supreme
court a few years ago. the members of the court -- i'm using the numbers i remember i could be wrong. a couple hundred cases a year and i think they have two arguments a year. they have two oral arguments a year. so if you look at the courts of appeals, you're on the court of appeals. what percentage of your cases decided without arguement? >> about 75%. >> i rest my case. >> a second year student matt asks, you mention in your book that you pray to pope francis, were surprised that the pope chose that name. >> i'm more surprised by the latter than the former. [laughter] that's why i don't say anything. i can be a smart alec, that is what got me on the national
news. anyway, no -- i don't know. i don't keep up with these things. i'm glad they seem to have a good man as pope. i don't know. i just go to church. [laughter] >> here's a question from bridge get -- a third year student. do you believe the same-sex marriage that this is the sort of issue should be tackling rather than the legislative branch or the states? >> i'm not going to say anything about that. >> a for effort anyway. >> i shouldn't -- there's no way i can comment on that. [laughter] i'll be back in the national news. [laughter] >> well, ok let me try this one. >> nice try. >> you live in virginia and married to your wife, a white
woman and the supreme court struck down a virginia law that prohibited an interracial marriage was the court right to consider that issue? >> that that was a interracial classification case. that is pretty much it. i try to, if you go back and look at some of the things i have written i have tried to talk about racial classify case. we have to be careful. some things we're careful about classifying people by race. why? because we like classifying people i will racial classification. some people like to segregate people by race. this is another racial classification. it says, this is right at the heart of the 14th amendment. this is what it says. this is what it was meant to deal with. i know this is leading -- trying
to lure me -- >> that's what we're trying to do. >> i've been doing this a long time. [laughter] you grow up in the inner cities you hear a lot of guys and people try to sell you a lot of stuff. >> as you mentioned and those who read the supreme court's opinions know you are an extremely polite center, certainly, the most polite. in a case called kelo involving property rights you wrote something has gone seriously wrong with this court's interpretation of the constitution. citizens are safe from the government in their homes but the homes themselves are not. that struck me than the typical justice thomas. was that a case that you felt particularly strongly about?
>> i said seriously awry not seriously wrong. [laughter] i'm nitpicking. no stronger than other cases. i took a lot of property law glass law school. property is for poor people it is something you did have, particularly in the south. so i tried to understand property. who do you think would be most profitabled by taking someone's property? a well-connected businessman or a poor person? where do you think they would build a highway through a poor neighborhood or a rich neighborhood? where would they let people have an industrial development?
i think that we should be very, very careful with words that change when use becomes purpose. what is a purpose versus a use? a park is a use. can a purpose be a bigger tax base? can it be beautification? can bit urban renewable? you're taking people's property and the constitution uses the word use and not purpose. what i was trying to say that something is wrong. something doesn't make sense. i was -- i wasn't angry, i did not personalize it. i said the court. something is wrong with what we're doing and it is, again, that lady she didn't have anything. she lived in that house. you say -- you were talking about neighborhoods, this lady lived -- that family lived in
that house 100 years or so. that's all she's got. if it does not protect her, who does it protect? >> we would like to end with another question from a student. this is a first-year day student. i think it is a great question to end our session with you on. she asks, what do you tell young men and women who are entering the legal profession today? >> oh, my goodness. the world is different from when i started out. i did not have good advice for myself. i try to give advice to my law clerks to try to tell them, there's going to be challenges out here. i had my share and i can't claim to have reacted in an appropriate way a lot of times. i was very negative, cynical. i listened to a lot of the wrong people. i wound up being not constructive or positive.
i just encourage them to no matter what try to remain positive and try to remain -- remember why you went to law school. i can still remember my -- sitting on my 30th and 31st birthday in st. louis catalogging why i went to law school and why what i wanted to do. i was shoing away the wrong reasons, i'm in it for the money. i said write down why you went and remember that and try to remember to stay positive and base the bar exam. [laughter] i know they are going to give the me the hug but c-span will just cut you off. i just wanted -- first of all, i want to thank you all. i want to say to the students
that sometimes when you get a degree you really don't know what you're going to accomplish. i mentioned the young man -- i mentioned tom. he introduced me -- when i was at school to another young man who was a student at the time mark. mark would then go on to be absolutely the key and instrumental in my confirmation. he's the person with whom i spent the most time during the most difficult times. he was a kid who was educated here. whoever educated him, which ever professor educated with him, whoever dealt with him, i want to congratulate you. the product of your work, the honorestty, the energy, the
inintegrity is all embodied in this young man. i want to thank you for inviting me here today. i don't do as my speaking engagements as i should. but it is an opportunity to help people to understand why we do well in order for people to do good. i encourage you to think that way and do things that way. thank you for putting up with me this afternoon. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> we will have two live events on our companion network, c- span 2. first a report on immigration.
that is with former commerce secretary under george w. bush. and the former mexican president, hosted by the migration policy institute, live at 9:30 a.m. eastern. and a look at the political situation in egypt, two years after it led to the resignation of president mubarak. currentcountry's political structure. our live coverage begins at 12:15 p.m. eastern. former president bill clinton talked about his public service career at georgetown university where he graduated from the school of foreign service and i can 68. this is about one hour 40 minutes. [applause]
>> good morning. it is my pleasure to welcome you all here today. this marks the beginning of a journey we will take together over the course of the coming years to learn from one of the most accomplished global leaders of our time and someone we are proud to call a son of georgetown. [cheers and applause] president clinton, it is an honor to welcome you back to the hilltop. we are grateful for your contributions to our community
throughout the decades and for the extraordinary impact you have had throughout our nation and our world. i wish to welcome our colleagues here from the clinton foundation and the clinton global initiative. i wish to welcome everyone watching on our webcast. after president clinton delivers his lecture, he will take questions from both our students and students from the clinton school. a senior in our school of foreign service and past president of the georgetown university student association will join the president on stage to asking your questions. this is a historic day on our campus. we celebrate the inaugural lecture in a series we believe have a deep and meaningful impact not just within our community, but throughout the academy and global affairs.
we are privileged to have one of the most local practitioners in our time, a member of the georgetown family, international affairs major in the school of foreign service to his years as a road scholar in oxford and a law student at yale to his tenure as governor of arkansas to his eight years in the white house, and his extraordinary host presidency work through the clinton global initiative, he has demonstrated unmatched political mind and ability to bring people together to forge real, tangible change, and to serve with extraordinary clarity and lasting solutions to our most pressing needs. during his presidency, he helped to reform the welfare system and strengthen environmental regulations, and turned a massive federal budget deficit into a surplus. he also helped to expand international trade,
intervene to end ethnic cleansing in bosnia, and to promote peace in ireland. in recent years, he has brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 nobel prize laureate, and many others to address some of our world's greatest challenges. the clinton global initiative, members have made more than 2300 commitments that have improved the lives of more than 400 million people in more than 180 countries. president clinton represents the very best of our tradition at georgetown, a tradition that is guided by our catholic and
jesuit identity and he calls us to seek a deeper understanding of ourselves and of our world and to use that knowledge for the betterment of humankind. one of the great forms for this work is a lecture series such as this one. in these forms, we look to our leaders and thinkers to distill their expenses and share their insights and lessons learned and vision for the future. president clinton offered such a series of lectures here once before in 1991 as then governor of arkansas and as a candidate for president. he presented three new covenant speeches to students in gaston hall on responsibility on building the american community on economic change, and on american security. he has also returned here many more times by his presidency and post-presidency, speaking to our community about such topics as the responsibility of citizenships and the clinton economics of the 1990's. through this series we launch today, president clinton will continue the conversation he has had with us throughout the decades. he also continued the tradition of so many iconic members of our community who had shared the wisdom of their careers and their lives through defining
courses and lectures. president clinton has recalled such icons from his time as a student here. father joseph and his classes on world cultures. ulrich on the history of political thought. it was one of them who coined the preference -- president clinton called upon this idea in his acceptance speech for the democratic nomination. it is an idea that will serve as a guiding theme throughout his career. in 1993, he addressed members of the diplomatic corps from the steps come explaining that professor taught him "that that future could be better than the present and each of us has personal, moral responsibility to make it so."
president clinton has lived in these words throughout his career. he joins us today. we are deeply honored by his presence here today and his continued commitment to georgetown, our nation, and global family. ladies and gentlemen, it is my privilege to introduce to you president bill clinton. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you very much. thank you very much. thank you for the walk down
memory lane you gave me. i want to say thank you for presenting your questions. i told her she could ask whatever she wanted. i often say the great thing about being a former president is you can say whatever you please. [laughter] the sad thing is that no one has to care anymore. [laughter] i want to thank my friends who are here, and georgetown classmates, members of my administration, people i have known for many years. sometimes in both categories.
i'm delighted to be back here. the speeches i gave at georgetown in the late 1991 set the stage for my presidential campaign and for what i would do if i got elected. they were important not only for the campaign, but for me. it forced all of us who are trying to win that election to really think about where we were, where we wanted to go, how we were supposed to get there. i thought it might be helpful to the students here and this talk is mainly directed to you. i understand you showed up at 4:30 to get a seat. i also hope you do not get pneumonia. [laughter] i'm honored that you took the trouble to come. you can see i have prepared this. i thought a lot about this. what i would like to do is to
talk about organizing a life for service and the public good. whether as an elect an official or someone in private life want to do public good and i have given a lot of thought to this. i have had a lot of time to do it. i will be coming back to georgetown for my 45th reunion. those 45 years pass quickly. i am grateful that a whole set of chance circumstances brought me here today. i only applied to one college when i was in high school. i knew that i wanted to come here. i was not accepted until june.
[laughter] i think when i showed up -- as a matter of fact, the first jesuit i met said, what is a southern baptist from arkansas with no foreign language except latin doing here? i said, we will just have to figure it out as we go along. [laughter] i knew i wanted to come here. when i was 16, i literally made a decision that although there was no basis based on my family or circumstances, i wanted to go into politics. the typical route to that when i was a young man was to go to to a state university and make as
look for your chance. at that it was more important to be well prepared. i felt that the world is getting smaller and that i needed to understand things that i could never learn if i never left the borders of my state. i had come to washington in the summer of 1963 with the american legion. i wanted to come back. their service had the reputation of being the best and the most cosmopolitan undergraduate program in the city. i applied. i waited and waited and waited. they let me in. i'm very glad they did. i'm glad i came.
after i left georgetown, i spent five more years sort of preparing to live my life. i went to oxford. i came back for law school at yale. that is where i met hillary. i briefly taught for law school and start my political career. i was involved in politics for 27 years. after i left, i set up the clinton foundation and i have done that since. that was interesting to me because hillary was the person in our family who is always involved in foundation activities and in doing public good as a private citizen.
working in the legal clinic when we were at yale. organizing a group called arkansas advocates for families. that is still doing well today. when we came home, 49th in per capita. she lived this stuff. she was on all kinds of other boards. when i was president, she got me to start meeting with civil society leaders, to meet with nongovernment organization leaders. i did that in india and turkey and various other countries and in latin america. i will never forget some time after i left the white house, i
thought to myself when looking in the mirror, my god. i had become an ngo. [laughter] i say that because i have the opportunity to see the grassroots up how politics work through dramatic exchanges. the year i graduated from georgetown is one of the most tumultuous years since the end of world war ii. then i had the opportunity to start an attempt to build a nongovernmental organization
with a very specific focus that works in many countries around the world. this whole thing has been extremely interesting to me. especially these last 12 years, i have had a good time. everyone asked me, don't you miss being president? i tell the truth. i do. when there is a problem that i think i know a lot about or some dilemma that i feel well-suited to solve, i think, i would like to do that. but it is foolish to spend one day of your life wishing you could do anything you can no longer do. our days are limited. these 45 years have passed quickly.
it is always best to focus on what is at hand and what you can do. we can imagine or reimagine the task that you are involved with. i have really had a great time doing this. i realize i am part of something much bigger. one of the good news stories of the turn-of-the-century and early 21st century is the explosion of the nongovernmental movement. the u.s. has about one million foundations of various sizes. community foundations up to the gates foundations. they do wonderful work. that does not count the 355,000 religious institutions all across our country of all different faiths that try to do public good as part of their mission.
half of those foundations have been established since 1995. you see it in india. half one million active ngos. there are a lot more registered that may or may not be activated depending on the financial means of the people who register. china has about a quarter of a million registered. probably at least that many more registered for fear of political reprisal of one kind of another. russia used to have -- but mr. putin seems to think they are a threat. in some ways, they are. in ways that are positive. i remember thinking about the freedom component of ngo movement.
there was a hilarious cartoon that appeared in many newspapers in america. the middle of my second term, when i was in a long-running battle, in this cartoon i'm speaking to a political leader and say, you ought to allow more political liberty. you keep putting these people in jail. they would be out there speaking on the street corner. he said, yeah. and -- would be in our jail making tennis shoes. it was a cartoon, so it was really funny. [laughter] made me rethink our position on liberty. [laughter]
they have pushed the envelope of liberty and political responsiveness in a way that i think is very positive. having had the benefit of about 40 years of experience in politics and in ngos, i have reached the firm conclusion that 21st-century citizenship requires every thoughtful person to try to do some public good even if they are in private life. when we all came here almost half a century ago now, the definition of good citizenship was something like this -- you should stay in school as long as
you can and do as well as you can. when you get out, help the world. if you have a student loan, repay it. you should try to do a good job at whatever your work is and if you start a family, and try to do a good job with that. raising children in society is as much important work. you should pay your taxes and be informed enough to cast an intelligent vote at election time. now even then there were lots of people involved in public service as private citizens. there was a local united way and people volunteering in their schools in wealthy people would give money to art institutions and things like that, but nothing like today. it was viewed as the nice thing. today was explosion of internet giving, cell phone giving
through texts. the tsunami disaster were the u.s. gave $1 billion and the median contribution was $56 that people gave over the internet. in haiti after the earthquake, the american people gave $1 billion. the median contribution was $26 because so many people texted "haiti" and another number for the red cross and any other number -- the empowerment of technology has helped with the possibilities and more responsibilities. whatever your politics and whatever you do with your life,
21st century citizenship requires some way of doing public good as a private citizen. around the corner or around the world, in office or out. what i wanted to do for the series of talks of which i think there will be more common is to talk about how to compose and live a life where service is important. i think that it is important because the world is interdependent. it is full of opportunities. two more planets sighted in a constellation far outside our solar system.
appeared to be far enough away from their sun and dense enough to support life. i want to find out. we have constant new discoveries in particle physics and super colliding in switzerland, which should have been in texas, but i lost economic agreement. the human genome is stunning. there is an open of developments as soon as they have them.
they send to every cancer office in the world, in every continent. the have discovered because of their ability to do genome testing the answered to a terrible, rare, and dangerous form of childhood brain cancer. the drug already approved by the fda has 100% cure rate. it seemed to be causing the death of all the other kids. 25% of the people who have this condition. because they are able to do genomic testing, they found that in the cluster of kids that were not responding positively to the medicine, there was a difference.
a different set of genomes. a must as an act of god, they decided to give the minority group half a dose of the approved medicine. they all got well. they thought they were giving everybody too much. they give cap does to the majority group and it did not help them. they had to have the whole dose. this apparently simple solution was made possible by the exploration of the billions of genomes in the human body. i spent $5 billion of your money to figure out the human genome. and now cost them $5,000 per person to do the test. it will soon be down to $3500. so it is an exciting time to be alive.
what we all know the world is many challenges. too much inequality and instability. it is a terrible constraint on growth and opportunity, investment. there are not enough jobs being created, not even for college graduates across the world. one of the reasons for the demonstrations of young people in tahrir square was that the egyptian education system was producing dozens of college graduates. mexico under the recently departed president caldiran, many universities produced in a country population of -- 113,00 113,000
engineers. stunning achievement. will there be enough jobs for them? will there be enough investments of the poor can find their path out of poverty? we have to do something about this. you want stability. if there's too much much instability and too much inequality, the whole thing starts to go down. the world we are living in is clearly in sustainable. we have global warming. 90% melts -- in years past it has been 50%.
oceans are becoming more acidic. they are trying to absorb more carbon. it is interrupting a lot of the fishes in the world. they are a source of protein for many people. they are caught more in fish farms than in oceans and lakes. as a result, we will have bad consequences, the details of which we do not know. so the way that we consume and
produce energy and other local resources have with us on an unsustainable path for the future. not sure how many views on that new york times article about how many chinese parents are desperate to find a way to leave china because their children are all getting as much and they are sick. how many have the money to do so and put their children in schools when their athletic fields are covered with tents and serious air filters so children can get for what passes for outdoor exercise? i could give you lots of other examples. that the point is the world has too much in sustainability. finally in this modern world where we can look at planets hundreds of light years away, it
might be my great-great-great- greg child home -- great-grand child's home, allowing all of us to have four physicals a year by stepping into canisters that will measure us up and down and find all melinda sees or they find all melinda sees or they can be possibly big enough to --malignancies before they can possibly kill us. when to zap out tumors because all of us have cancerous cells in our body. it is an amazing time.
what is tearing the world up are the oldest divisions. the religious divisions. the political divisions. yesterday we read there might be a new civil war in iraq because the sunnis rejected extremism of al qaeda in iraq and organizing around the old office ideology. they do not think the shiite majority had been fair to them. we read today this morning is stored -- a story of an ongoing war with boca from -- a muslim organization that feels like it's people have not been fairly treated and the which is nigeria,
and on and on. you know all of this. it is very interesting that in spite of all of this globalization and opportunities and diversity i see in this crowd, we still see the world but at risk -- put at risk if two young brothers from -- were given a chance to come here and get an education and it did not work out so well. you have the boston marathon incident. ayoung man tried to blow up car bomb in times square a couple of years ago. he and his wife both at university degrees in this country and were made to feel welcome. for a while they had good jobs
and the home and the mortgage like many of us do when we start out. then it didn't work out. he decided an appropriate response was to learn how to make a bomb and take it to times square. one of the things we have learned in the genome study is that all people are 99.5% the same. even the gender differences are only a small percentage of the genome. we have people in this room today from all over the world. if you look around, every difference you can see between somebody else and yourself is rooting and one half of 1% of your genomic makeup. yet every one of us come even those of us who are apolitical, spend 99.5% whirring about the small percent of us that is different. we can all laugh about being taller, thinner, faster.
i might've had a different life. [laughter] that tiny bit of difference gave albert einstein a brain bigger than most people. he put it to pretty good use. i can give you lots of other examples. i can say that i was 99.5% the same as gandhi, but he had a pretty remarkable life that was different. thehe other hand, most of truly great people who have ever lived taught us how to connect a little bit of us that is different with the part that we have in common. you are going to live in a world where you have to figure
out how to reconcile all of these challenges with all of these opportunities. i believe you will have no choice but to do public service, whether you are in private life or not. i think it will make a big difference. is reason is that there always a gap between what the private sector can produce and what the government can provide that you need nongovernmental groups to try to fill. countries,e poorest systems have to be built and reformed and more often than not they cannot be done entirely within. the whole reason is to figure out how to work with government and with the private sector to
do things faster cheaper, better, break through the limit that the current arrangements imposed on people all over the world. ifdo any of that as well possible it is necessary to think about what you are doing and have some idea. if you want to take survey seriously when they went to be a political candidate or the person who does right, there are four requirements. obsessivelye interested in people, session people who are different from you. -- especially people who are different from you. you should want to understand them and understand how they perceive the world. and how they perceive what their needs are and what their dreams are.
two, you should care about principle. what is the purpose of service? what is the role of government? what is the role of ngos? how do you organize this in your mind? three, what are the policies? the ones that you believe will advance those? four, one of the politics -- what are the politics of the situation? how will you turn your good intentions into real changes? on a couple of people, purpose, policies, politics. -- i want to talk about people, purpose, policies, politics.
most people get into real trouble and abuse power. ofy forget that the purpose the power is not to impose their will on others, but to let other people be empowered to live their own lives better or as i say, to have better stories. i want to start with that. people ask me, how in the world did you get elected president? [laughter] when i was born in arkansas during world war ii, i think our per capitva was -- no one in direct family had ever been to college.
my mother went to nursing school. my grandparents raised me until i was four with a lot of great help from my uncle and his wife. people talked about that like it was a disadvantage. it was actually the key to my later success. withoutot imagine life a cell phone and a computer. i was born to a different family without a television. without even a private telephone line. we were on what we called party lines. you heard about six? your neighbors could pick up the phone and listen to who you were chewing out. it was by conventional poor. it was deeply segregated.
whiteth the black-and- communities, families were more coherent up and down the economic spectrum than they are today. there were more two-parent household and less divorce. there is more character building, if you will, at home. orave employed at one time another for members of the kearney family, an african- american family in a tiny town of a thousand in southeast arkansas. there were 19 of them. 17 kids and a mom and a dad. mother was a domestic and dad was a sharecropper. kids that college degrees. the other 4 did real well.
all of them had a first name the started with a j. when i made chairman of the public service commission in arkansas, he graduated from harvard law school. whites my diarist in the house. generalin the attorney office. as long as i got the kearney family to vote for me, i cannot lose an election. [laughter] they had a family reunion that included a stop at the white house when i was there. stillthe 17 kids were alive. the dad was 102. give that because i could you lots of other examples that
people are not defined just by their per capita income. there are incredibly powerful, dignified people who manage to compose a life out of their poverty. rum that we can learn how to help them and the children get out of poverty. this is to all over the world. my great-grandfather whom i used to love to go stay with, the longest living man in my family, he lived to be 76, everyone since then, no one has made as long as i have. myould like to emulate great-grandfather. he lived in an old house in the country. a wooden house that was unpainted and build on the ground.
you needed a storm cellar because it was attorney no caps off of america than. -- tornado cellar because it was the tornado capital of america background -- back then. he was a very good man, as was my great-grandmother. i learned a lot from them. things that are still valuable to me today. most of the lessons i got from childhood i got from my grandfather and my great uncle. i grandfather in the great depression to give you an idea of how different then and now was, a lot of you might be worried about student loan debt and finding a job and all that, in the great oppression am a 25% of americans were out of work. i grandfather worked on an ice truck. refrigerators were called ice
boxes. they actually took ice walks -- blocks to keep the food cold. i grant further carry these blocks of ice on his back -- my grandfather would carry these blocks of ice on his back. fast forward. 1976, i was running for attorney general of arkansas. i went back to the town where i was born. i saw this guy who was a judge. he could be active in politics. he said, i have to be for you. why? wasng the digestion when i 10, your grandfather who had no money himself still hired boys like me to write on that ice truck -- ride on that ice truck and would give us a quarter.
without that was all the money in the world. the first time i got a and your grandfather gave me a quarter, i asked if i could have two dimes and nickels i would feel richer walking home. i started shaking the coins home -- coins in my pocket. one of them fell out of his pocket and he looked for it for an hour and a half. never found. whenays look for that dime i go by that spot. [laughter] i say that because it is very important for you if you want do this work to realize something i learned from my grandfather and from my uncle. everybody has some kind of story
like that. my uncle had a six good education and 180 iq. the smartest man in my family. -- sixth grade education and 180 iq. the smartest man in my family. people remembered the depression. they try to grow as much of their own food as they could. i started to farm with him. he was one of the funniest people i have ever seen. i would sit there with them and laughed until i cried listening to them talk about ordinary people in our town at the grocery store at the drugstore for someone at work at the factory where my aunt worked out. why am i telling you this? theuse people ask me all
time, where did you learn to speak? i learned to speak by learning to listen. and our family, no one could afford a vacation. inre was one movie theater our town that did not change movies very often. my family had hunting, fishing, and dinner, meals. meals were a feast because people could tell stories. you could not tell a story unless you proved you could listen to one. somebody would tell a story and my uncle or my aunt would look at me and say, did you understand that? i said, i think so. what did you hear? then if you had something to tell, you could tell it. what i learned in the toll thing is that everybody has a story. -- whole thing is that everybody has a story.
somethinghas inherently interesting and a value to us even though most people cannot get it out because they are too self-conscious or shy or whatever. the point is, in the beginning, i learned that you cannot really speak unless you can first listen. not in the way people can hear. i see it today when i see a lot of these verbal spats going on in washington. asrever it is coming from, yourself, did this person say that thing to genuinely be heard by people who disagree with him or her? or did this person say that thing in that way because they wanted to be on television?
or because they wanted to reassure their own crowd that they are carrying this year forward? in a free society, if you want democracy to work, people have to be able to hear each other. whether someone can hear you depends in part on what you say, but maybe even more on how say it and whether you had first listened to them. i learned all these stories. when my great uncle was nearly 90, he could remember the names of hunting dogs he had had in the 1930's, who sold him the dogs, and the way he bargained for them. how they ran, in the springtime when the frost lifted. to me, i could have been
listening to singing because of the way he told a story. i am not trying to romanticize poverty. i would like everybody to get through it. that is not what i am trying to do. i am trying to get you to not the little people who know less than you do, have less than you do, less credentials than you are. thee is a reason why jesuits have spent centuries serving the poor. there is a reason why all the scriptures of all the different faiths acknowledge that what we have in common in our soul is important. it tells me today when we try to help farmers in rwanda to have heard the stories of people
who seem to be poor, but in fact were rich. don't ever romanticize poverty. it is way overrated. but do not denigrate the people who live in it. there is a mountain of evidence that there is a lot of dignity there. i saw those stories when i was young. when i was older, i moved to a town that was the polar opposite of the one i was born in. a national park, the first land set aside under andrew jackson as a natural reserve. thomas jefferson sent a friend of his there to look at the hot sulphur springs to see what the profits were because people bathing in them since the 16th century when a man thought
he discovered the fountain of youth. a large number of people left and found their way to my little home town. there i was in the middle of arkansas with a doctor running a restaurant. with a greek orthodox community with two synagogues, with muslims coming from syria and elsewhere. all in my little home town. so i saw a microcosm of the world, even though i was living in the segregated south, with all its problems. tryingt the time still
to figure out what was going on. i still learned more from the stories of the kids i went to school with, the people i saw the street, and my teachers. i would like to give you a flavor of what it was like. i had a science teacher. i have told the story many times. it was the eighth grade. a retired coach. he was not a handsome man. [laughter] he was overweight and his clothes were too tight, he had thick glasses and smoke cheap cigars out of a plastic cigar holder. he had a beautiful wife who was a history teacher.
she had a beautiful sister, my geometry teacher. the family was there. they were terrific people. saidld science teacher near the end of our course, i was 13. this was 63 years ago and i remember this like it was yesterday. he said, kids, you are not going to remember anything at taught you in science. if you do not remember anything else, you remember this. every morning, i get up and go into the bathroom with shaving cream on my face, shave, wash the shaving cream off, i look into the mirror, and i say, vernon, you are beautiful. [laughter] tosaid, you have got remember that. theybody wants to believe
are beautiful. everybody. he said, if you remember that, it will keep you out of trouble and bring a lot of possibilities to your life. 53 years later, that is what i remember about my science class. [laughter] in my home town all those years ago, 50 years ago, i met the first person i knew was gay. he was a teacher. was unthinkable 50 years ago that he would come out. all of his students knew and we loved him. there was a practice hypocrisy in my home town about it that as long as you did not say it, was an interesting thing. it started half a century of thinking about identity in a way i had never thought about it before. when i came to georgetown, i was most influenced by the fact that for the first time in my
was around students from everywhere. including places in america i had never been, like new york. my roommate at georgetown, i thought i was going to liberal georgetown, i would escape from arkansas. i get my room and there is a bumper sticker on my door for president. [laughter] i was for johnson. at i thought, oh my god, i came here for this? from long island, a friend whose father was an elected judge. he thought it was too liberal. [laughter]
thatforward, i lived with guy for four years. i still talk to him all the time. i will see him at the reunion. he is as good a person as i have ever met in my life. one day, his politics came to conform with his private life. through a set of family misfortunes, his wife's sister had a child with cerebral palsy that she could not raise. herriend and his wife took in and raised her as their own. she lived a successful and independent life. inn he was a pilot living orange county california, their idea was to live in mexico and help poor people. he called me one day when i was having my fight with the pre tea party tea party. when i was trying to decide to veto their budget, and everybody
said, they will kill you if you do this. one night, this man, a book i might have judged by its cover, called me and said, let me get this straight. he said, i am an air line pilots with a good living. they want to give me a tax cut, in return for which they want to cut spending for disabled kids like my daughter. i said, that is it. he said, my daughter's best friend, who also has cerebral palsy, go to school together. her mother is a minimum wage worker who travels one hour a day to work and one hour a day home on public transportation. as i understand this bill, it will cut the transportation necessities of the bus ride will be more expensive.
withat least children cerebral palsy had to get six pairs of expensive shoes every year. they would take all the way to get me a tax cut? i said, that is right. that is what will happen. he said, that is immoral and you cannot let it happen. you have to veto it. my friend's catholic values overcame his political upbringing. his story overwhelmed the circumstances under which he lived. ien i got elected president, may have been the only democrat he ever voted for, but it was no longer the case. he saw a live child he had
taken to raise who had a friend just like his daughter, except she had no money. he knew what would really happen it was not a theoretical discussion. the story pierced his heart and changed his mind. i could give you lots of other stories. if father celebrated his 75th birthday and took me for a hamburger when i was a freshman and he asked me if i had ever thought about becoming a jesuit. [laughter] i asked him if i had to become a catholic first. [laughter] he said, what do you mean? i said, i am a southern baptist. i am not eligible. he said, i read your test papers and it is not possible.
you think like a catholic. we agreed it was only because a his overpowering skills as professor that he reworked my mind. i was was and i did not become a priest. i think life worked out pretty well for the both of us. [laughter] at i love the jesuits for reason that i do not know would even be popular today. they were to hunt gary and professors who had gone to the fourth grade together in a town in hungry. one taught international economics and the other top world religion to a class of 200 students for all non catholics took it. it was effectively called buddhism for baptist. [laughter] at the end of the course, the father gave an oral exam in 12 languages.
he said, if you do not feel comfortable writing this exam, i will give you an oral. he started reading of the languages he would give it in. wouldght, you know, i like to be educated in a tradition that uses that much of my brain. economics,taught five classis, 40 people each. assignedo sit in an seat and attendance was mandatory until thanksgiving. after which, you never had to come back and if you did, you could sit wherever you want. i am not making this story up. [laughter] end forward, we are at the of the second semester. i am walking down a hall with one of my classmates, niel, who oversees people for my campaign
later. seeaid, father, can i come you? i am worried about the exam. he said, what did you expect? you missed three classes. he had memorized every student and developed a system which enabled him to tell which of the 200 were there and where they had been. i could not believe it. it a long time, i thought was some sort of magic trick. 10 years later when i was governor, i came back to see the father. i was in his office. a woman called him who was a year older than me and ask him for a job reference. he said, what is the job? send me the information and i
will write you it. he hangs up the phone and says, do you remember her? firstd an eighth the semester and bb-plus the second semester. no computers. he has got a card catalog stack with him. he goes down to her class and pulls out her card and showed it to me. i wanted to be able to think that well. there was a big movement at the end of my time at georgetown to liberalize the curriculum, which i think was done. all my classmates and i, we did not have a single elective until the second semester of our junior year. no electives. because of the influence of the professors, i was opposed to
changing it, which made me about as popular as, you name it, with my fellow classmates. [laughter] but i came at a lifetime friend of the father. he lived in a little room after that ended his own research. when he died, i got a lovely letter from a young priest who found him who said he kept a role of letters from his former students and the letters i wrote to him when i was he sent them to me. hisent me an account of last days and the last picture taken of him in the vatican. i still have it. why am i telling you this? because when these boys grew up and became the order, their lives had different turns.
one went to asia because he spoke all the different languages. notcommunist chinese did like it that he was doing his missionary work and they put him in a four by 4 foot hole and he lost a lot of stomach. he came out and he was anti- communist. he thought the vietnam war was a great deal and he knew i thought it was a terrible mistake. he looked at me one day and he said, because of all the fights on campus, we have these terrible disagreements but we will be friends. [laughter] i said, why? he said, because we have all the same enemies. [laughter] how weird is that? [laughter] why am i telling you this?
because as you wander through life, if you just pay attention, you would be amazed how many encounters like that you can have. it can serve you well. the thing that bothers me about modern politics is that we have made all this progress, racism and sexism and homophobic as we used to be, and we just have one remaining bigotry in america, which is that we do not want to be around anyone who disagrees with us. people are organizing massive living patterns in the country around dealing with somebody that agrees with them. if you do not believe me, read something by bill bishop. in 1976, president carter and president ford had a close election. only 20% of americans voted for
either one of them by more than 20 points. whenars later, in 2004, john kerry and president bush had a close election, and bush's reelection was the narrowest margin of victory for a reelected president since woodrow wilson in 1916, nonetheless, 40% of america accounting voted for one or the other by more than 20%. so americans are not hearing enough stories from other people. it is a big mistake. if we had all the time in the world, i would keep you here until tomorrow morning telling you all the stories. when i was at oxford, i took myself all the way to russia, even though i did not speak russian. because i had a friend there, i
wound up at a university which the soviets had built for third world students. i was with nigerian students in the first week of 1970 when their bloody civil war killed millions of people ended. there were students there from both tribes whose families were fighting each other. over the radio, it had been announced the war had ended. i saw people crying in each other's arms whose families were back home killing each other. thetruck me that most of things we kill each other over are not worth it. whenever i asked myself, is this worth it, i think about those young people who were basically liked put in a test tube and pushed away from their
country because they could still see and hear each other. as we go along and talk about politics, i will tell more about what happened and what i learned through the stories. but i hope you will remember this. the purpose of service is to help other people, not to make you feel good about yourself, although you will, not to impose everything you think should be done on other people, but to create a world where we can all live together. it is so interdependent. if we do not, the consequences to our families and future will be adverse and severe. every place in the world, people are trying to cooperate. they are doing pretty well.
every place in the world, people elevate our differences over our common humanity. every place in the world where we can no longer hear what people who are different from us are saying, where our ears are closed and our minds more closed, there is trouble. so, do i think it matters what policies you adopt and how you conduct politics in or out of the political arena? i think all of that matters. but you have a much better chance of living both a successful and rewarding life of service if you begin by finding something to learn from everybody you run into.
if you begin by believing there is a certain inherent dignity to people who will never be on television and will never be in a newspaper article, are just a statistic to most people who talk about politics. i will close with one last story. when i was working on the tsunami with the first president bush, i got very indonesia and the un asked me to stay on for two more years and i did. one of the ways that i disappointed people is that i could not immediately solve the housing problem, just like the problem in haiti and still people in the katrina area who do not have homes back again. it is always the hardest thing in any natural disaster.
we were going to miss a deadline in indonesia in housing. themd, i have to tell face-to-face. i want them to know we have not forgotten about them and that we will do this. we went to the biggest camp, and there were probably still 15,000 people in the camp. every one of the camps had an elected president. i arrived at the camp. the president is there. his wife is there. just a simple man who was trusted by other people to the president of the camp. his son was there. theboy, i still believe, is single most beautiful child i have ever seen in my life. this indonesian boy. breathtaking. luminous. i asked my interpreter, who had
been a very interesting young indonesian woman, who give up a promising career in television, just to be an interpreter until things were put back together. as i meet the president and his wife, i said, i believe that is the best looking boy i ever saw in my life. he is just gorgeous. she said, yes, he is very beautiful. before the tsunami hit, he had nine brothers and sisters and they are all gone. now here is what i observed. i never said a word. but pretty soon, the boy and his mother left and this man, who had lost nine of his 10 children, a man with no formal education, a man who had never been more than a few miles away from his home in his entire life, who led me through his camp, and every place, all he
ever talked about was what the people there needed. he knew them. he knew their stories. he eased his own pain by advancing their lives. it was one of the most astonishing examples of service i have ever seen. then we get to the end of this tour. because they knew about my foundation's work in health care, they saved the clinic to last. all the sudden, the president of the camp's wife shows up with her son. but she is holding a baby. the lady starts talking and the interpreter says, what she is telling you is, they are very grateful you have come to the camp and listen to their concerns. is this is the news, this the most recently born baby in this camp. we want you to name the baby.
because we appreciate your coming. in went on to say that, their culture, when a woman had a baby, she got to go to bed for 40 days and not get out. i thought, if that gets out and america -- [laughter] that is why the mother did not come herself. she was in her period of declining. i looked at the mother and said, do you have a word in your language for "new beginning." i was afraid it might cause her to cry because she lost her children. she got this huge smile on her face. she said, yes. it is lucky for you, in our language, unlike english, the
word "dawn" is a boy's name and not a girl's name. we will name this boy "dawn" and he will be the symbol of our new beginning. have you ever met anybody of any positions of importance at any level of wealth who could have dealt with the loss of nine of her 10 children with more dignity and honor and orientedness? the stories, if you want to serve, you have to begin with stories. thank you very much. [applause]
>> thank you, president clinton, for your stories this morning. by urging us to listen sharing some of those moving stories. we have a few questions from the audience here at georgetown and also back in little rock at your school. we will start with a question from a student at georgetown. sorry if i mispronounce any of your names. if you were a professor at georgetown, what class would you teach and why? an international economics and politics, because i believe it is very important that every person in your generation have a world view, whether you are a
conservative, liberal, a republican, democrat, independent, or you come from another country, we need a common understanding of what is the nature of the modern world, what are the biggest opportunities and biggest challenges, what evidence do we have about how best we can deal with them. that is what i would teach now. when i was in georgetown, i think my favorite course was in great ideas of the western world, which was taught by a palestinian professor. it was a two-hour seminar once a week. there were 14 books. once a week, the student got a book. it started off every week with a presentation by the student. if you talk more than 10
minutes, they would cut you off and say, you obviously did not understand the book, or you would have explained it in 10 minutes. isi were a professor, that what i would teach. >> the second question is from little rock. from your school. atam a first-year student your school. i will be doing a service project in haiti this summer. ofognizing your support building haiti's economy, how would you defend against criticism that this approach benefits american interests more than haitian interests? secondly, come visit me?" [laughter] secondanswer your question, i go once a month. i would be happy to see her. or him.
on the textile front, i disagree with that. for decades, haiti had all these textile jobs. a korean company, a huge complex, is moving the first mill the company has ever had. toy will have the capacity produce their own clothing. they have never had it in the history of their country. they are doing it because haiti has a duty-free access to the united states and have a chance to do it. you cannot turn down the potential of 20,000 jobs if you can get it. and if you will make a living wage and environmentally safe way. i do not think this age the american economy any more than any other clothing imports do,
and it is a big difference for haiti because now they will have the potential to develop their own indigenous clothing operation because this will be their first textile mill. >> the third question is from a georgetown student. which public policy instituted during your tenure are you most proud of? >> that is hard to answer. i love americorps, the national service program, and i think it should be bigger and more people should have a chance to do it. but i think that before the recession, health care reform did weigh more good than harm. there were things that congress insisted on that i thought were not good. the problem with the welfare
reform law is we capped payments they were gaining in february of 1994. when they dropped 60% when i was president, states had a lot of money, which they were supposed to put into education and training and other things. what happened is, after i left office, a lot of them were permitted to stop spending that money on poor people, which i think was a terrible mistake. i am still very proud we did it. i am most proud of the economic policy that we began with the passage of one vote by both houses of my economic plan in 1993 because that drove down interest rates and drove up investment, and accelerated new jobs and new technology. most importantly, we had 30%
more jobs in my year, 30% more than in president reagan's term, but we had 100 times as many people move from poverty to middle class. it is the only time of shared prosperity we have had in the last 35 years. i was very proud of that and it still means a lot to me. totill have people come up me and tell me they worked their way from welfare into a good, solid job, and they raised their children to have a better life. that is still the most important thing to me. it has gotten surprisingly little notice and surprisingly little academic analysis. we come the economic path chose and the paths chosen by my predecessors in both administrations, they had recessions until poverty increased. i do not count that.
we had 100 times as many people moved to poverty in the middle class. that is what i am proud of. we gave them a chance to make their own stories. >> if you were to become an international economics professor at georgetown, would that be your research? your path of research contribution to academia? [laughter] >> no, because i know the story and i know i would not be trusted. i would rather have somebody else do it than have somebody else do it and does agree with them. i should not be too self-serving for me to do it. bei were here, i would focused on what we would do to increase the level of employment growth the wrong world. one of the real problems we are having, i.t.-driven growth.
it has been a godsend. when we rebuild the industry in indonesia, and we put all these men and women back in boats, we gave them cell phones for the first time. their incomes averaged a 30% increase. no one could lie to them anymore. andtarted rebuilding haiti 90% were unbanked. yearf haiti's income each was from remittances from the nine states and canada and dominican republic and france. for the banks, you just charge both and you could put currencies in the board and they do not want to worry about serving poor folks and making loans to little businesses.
so, you know, i would like to talk about things like that, how we started a small business loan there. we need the best minds we can to think about how we are going to create more jobs. inspite of all of these i.t., they make everybody so productive. you can do more with people. how are we going to find sustainable employment in poor countries, and in the rising countries? how are we going to do this? how are we going to make the adjustments for different cultures and different possibilities and different levels of natural resources? there is way too little research on that. when i got elected, i had been governor of a state which had an unemployment rate never less than the national average. theorked 10 years on
economy. the american people need some sense of how we're going to do this. so do people throughout the world. we do not have, we do not know enough to know how these new realities are different from what we did in the 1990's. if we did everything we did then, it would not produce the jobs we need. i have some ideas. but i think we should do more on it. >> another question from a student here in georgetown. "during a time as president in 1996, you passed the immigration reform act. what do you think it will take to pass the comprehensive immigration reform?"
>> you have two obstacles. will there be a filibuster in the senate? will the speaker of the house allow any bill that passes the senate to be voted on the house floor if the majority of the republicans are not? that has been their policy since newt gingrich was speaker. it was formalized. john boehner deserves a lot of credit. he allowed the house to vote on the violence against women act, which did pass by a big bipartisan majority, but not by a majority within the republican caucus. i think they will pass the immigration reform. i would be surprised if it doesn't get 70 votes in the senate. because of the pure demographics of it, 75% of the
latino vote. the numbers will only get bigger. the same thing is true of asians. asian a huge influx of immigrants. a lot of the vietnamese were militantly anti-communist. they were inclined to vote republican because they perceived republicans were more anti-communist than the democrats and that the democrats had driven the country's disengagement from vietnam, even though president ford was in office when the last shoes were drawn. all that has changed since the immigration business. now, the democrats get a big majority. for sheer demographic reasons,
i think we will get it. also, keep in mind there are economic imperatives here. the united states, one of the things that gives us hope about our economy is that we are younger than europe. we are younger than japan. we are not resistant to immigrants historic plea. only ireland is younger than we are. thanks to the catholics, they have still got a high birthrate. [laughter] and, by the way, now that you are laughing, you should know that the irish were very open to immigration. there was a huge variety of immigrants. a lot of those folks when home mostly to central europe.
they will come back again if things pick up again. this is an economic imperative for us. i do believe it will pass. it is possible depending on the details that there will be a majority of the republican house caucus for it and they will have to decide to let it come to the floor and all that. i really think this will pass. alsoe next question is from a georgetown student. what was your motivation for starting the clinton organization? >> i started the foundation with a clear notion, but i did have the details filled in. i knew when i left office, i did not want to spend most of my time talking about current
political issues were talking about my record and legacy. i wanted to spend time on issues i care a lot about as president where i can still have an impact. there were a lot of things i cared about as president that had a relatively small impact, like peace between palestinians and israelis. i spent a fair amount of time in the middle east since i left office. i still keep a contact there and i do what i can. but that is more the province of governments as facilitators, but also what the leaders and people of those countries want to do. it would be foolish, i think, for me to do one more of the voices saying, believe me, they all know what i think about it. it does not matter.
i do not have a position anymore to have as much impact. in all these other things, i do. i started out with that in mind. then i began working with nelson mandela when there was no global fund for aids and malaria. providing states was about 28% of all the money the world was spending to fight aids. we were trying to raise more money. beinghere, i got into asked to do with the systematic challenges facing the caribbean, which then had the second fast growth rate of aids in the world next to africa. everything else fell into place after that. a few years later, i got interested in whether one of my
staff member suggested to me, we ought to have a meeting at the opening of the u.n. because people could come and meet with the people who come from the u.n. and leaders in business. i said, who would pay from new york during the u.n. when it has the worst traffic in the world already? i said, we will make it even harder for them. when you come to our meeting, promised to help somebody somewhere and keep the promise if you want to come back. in the first meeting, we asked people to meet with people and make commitments. it has worked out pretty well. it was a widely. these things have come up and then i took up child obesity because it is a public health problem in the country. i tried to chart these programs within the framework of my record and my passions as president where i could still
have an impact. and to have the discipline to try to stop doing things when i thought i could have an impact and it turned out not to work. we keep trying to measure for impact and do that. >> final question is from another student at your school in little rock. it ties very nicely back into the theme of your talk today. "i heard you say the last remaining widespread bigotry is toward those with whom we have ideological differences. what can we do to bring people together?" >> well, very interesting. i will never forget i had a very interesting encounter when i was attempting to change the pentagon policy of gays in the military 20 years ago.
everybody knows we failed. that is not important now. there was a survey that came out on this issue. it said in the population of the united states as it existed in 1993, very different from now, much more diverse now in every way than we were then, the public was about evenly divided and i had pushed it to where in the survey, it was 48 to 45 for my position on to serve without regard to sexual orientation. it was a political loser because the 45 who disagreed, 33% of them were intensely opposed.
the real political vote was 33 vs 64. that was a problem my friends who are trying to pass the gun legislation are having. i do not agree with it anymore. i passed an assault weapons ban and it did just fine. it was allowed to expire in 1994. what happened in 1994 congressional elections, when people who were for what i did, the majority, said thank you very much, i think i will vote on something else. the people against it said, i will kill you. [laughter] i would not vote for you if you were the last candidate on earth. the fact that we had majority support did not amount to
anything. it is the intensity of support you have to measure. people say, there is 90% support for this, how could they vote against it? they all believe the opposition is more heated. i think they are wrong this time, by the way. the problem with a cat that sits on a hot stove is that that cat will never sit on a hot stove again, but it will never sit on a cold stove. i think this is a cold stove and we could do this. that is what the problem is, anyway. i did not answer. [laughter] >> how then do you engage the opposition? [laughter]
>> here is what i think you have to do. first of all, there are legitimate differences over gun control. it is basically an open deal. there is something you cannot reach. if you think you need protection in your home, you are way better off with a shotgun than an assault weapon. trust me. it is not even close. this is mostly a deal. murkowskienator talking about in the far reaches of alaska, if somebody wants to sell a gun to their next-door neighbor, how could you possibly ask for a background checks? congress set this up this way so that rural states had this influence in the united states senate. i think they need to keep talking about it.
i think they can do that. i think the president having the two dinners with the republican senators is a good thing. president meeting with the women senators was a good thing. the first one of these dinners, they did not seem too stilted because everybody had something they want to say to him, so it took the whole two hours they set aside for the dinner. after endless hours of to people, and finally digging and digging and digging, it does not always work. one of the reasons we are in the mess we are in in the middle east today is that i spent eight years listening and i proposed a peace proposal and israel said, yes, and it was the colossal political error of
my lifetime and a lot has flowed out of this. one of the reasons we are still stuck is he said he wanted settlement. so hillary and other people went out and got settlement for 10 months. it was a big deal out of netanyahu's government. they would not talk to him. they waited until the 10 months was over and he said, give me another 10 months and maybe i will talk to him. bad move. it does not always work. the second thing i want to tell you, if you get into politics, nothing lasts forever. it is a human creation. people come to me all the time and say, were you not sick that
president bush took your economic policy and we went from a surplus to debt? i said, yes, it made me sick. but the american people made it possible. i am constantly amazed when people vote and then they are surprised that the people they vote for do what they promised to do. it was not like he made a secret of what he was going to do. most politicians actually do try to do what they say they will do. it should be the basis for this kind of communication. i do not know how much these people are talking. it may not be possible. i know this. america has come back. san diego, the human genome center of america.
even in cleveland, with all its trouble, the cleveland clinic and the community college are training the hardest unemployed population we have to do jobs the health-care industry. you look around the countries. the places where you are doing well and where there is critical operation. one of the problems in washington today is that the congressional districts are drawn so that the most liberal and the most conservative of our members in congress have to worry far more about being purer and being defeated by a primary challenge than losing the general election because they did not work with people from the other side to get things done. there is a political reality in a lot of these house districts and it is very different than the national political reality
and the screaming hunter of the american people to see people make honorable compromises and get the show on the road. you cannot get tired of listening. you have to keep getting after people and figure out where they are coming from and what their motives are and where their interests are. with all these peace deals i tried to work out, i never argued so much about what i thought was right or wrong than what i thought was in their interests to take it. there is no easy answer here. but disengagement is a recipe for failure. my view is, you just cannot get tired of just reaching out and going ahead with it. >> wonderful. two final words. please stay here until president clinton has parted. finally, help me in thanking
>> mrs. grant was also interesting. they had this extraordinary roller-coaster existence. unablet of their lives, to provide for his own family. in almost no time at all, suddenly, he was the most popular man in the country, the man who had saved the union on the battlefield. time in the her white house. she said it was like a bright and beautiful dream. wonderful time of my life. that gives you some idea of how much she enjoyed being first lady. and how she felt that her husband had achieved recognition that she -- that he deserved. >> be part of our conversation
with your questions and comments monday night at 9:00. host: linda feldmann is here to talk about president obama's second term. immigration, this is the big one for him in the second term. guest: i always thought that andcontrol was a long shot immigration reform largely because there is a strong pitch for the republicans to get this done. this is not necessarily about the president being successful.
even he knows and has hinted at the white house correspondents' dinner last weekend that that was not necessarily going to be his ticket to success. the immigration reform is not going to be easy either. the senate has the gang of eight. the senate has presented its legislation. we are now in the coming week and a half at the deadline for amendments on tuesday. we can hear a vote by june. forces on both the right and left are building their arguments about why this is a problem for legislation. that doesn't even get it to the house yet. host: there is the possibility of a house bill. what is the level of engagement personally that the president had on immigration? guest: he is not super involved. he knows he is in a tricky situation. hesays regularly that when gets super publicly involved it becomes about him and not about legislation.
he knows that there are people, republicans in congress, who, for their own reasons, do not want him to succeed. he has these dinners. this is part of a permission structure that will allow other forces to come together and create an atmosphere and environment with the legislation can be passed. host: a lot more issues on the president's agenda. linda talking with housenn, the white correspondent for christian science monitor. phone numbers are on the bottom of the screen. roughly 100 days into his new term the president held a conference to talk about his agenda. here is one short piece with one question i want to ask about. [video clip] >> you are 100 days into your
second term. on the gun bill you put everything into it to try to get it passed. obviously it did not. congress has ignored your efforts to undo the sequestered. there is a bill that you try to ito that got 92 democrats in the house voting yes. you still have to choose to get the rest of your agenda through this congress? >> if you put that way -- [laughter] golly. i think it is a little -- as mark twain said, the rumors of my demise may be exaggerated at this point. we understand we are in a divided government. republicans control the house
of representatives. in the senate this habit of requiring 60 votes for even the most modest of piece of legislation has gummed up the workst here. it comes to no surprise that things are pretty dysfunctional but not on capitol hill. despite that i am confident that there are a range of things that we are quite be able to get done. i feel confident that the bipartisan work that has been done on immigration reform will result in a bill that passes in the senate, passes in the house, and it's on my desk. that is point to be a historic achievement. i have been very complimentary of the efforts of both republicans and democrats in those efforts. host: a bit of a chuckle about the question of whether or not he has juice. does he? guest: he has been reelected. he got a bounce in opinion polls.
he was above 50%, that has declined. he used political capital in pushing for the background check legislation. he pushed very hard. he put his personal prestige on the line on that in a way we have not seen. he is usually very pragmatic and calculating in how he puts of out there. on guns he obviously felt very very deeply and personally involved in the issue, starting from the day in newtown. ais was, in some ways, departure for him. he had to make that effort. we're seeing some of the residual fallout from that. we have seen other members of congress -- and control is dead but not completely.
move on to immigration reform. he has this habit in a press conferences us feeling sorry for himself. we saw him being very relaxed and funny at the white house correspondents' dinner. just a few days later he is very sober, it did not seem like he wanted to be there. in terms of what his white is doing in reaching out to the hill, his people are reaching out and working with their allies on the hill. it really comes down to politics in the end and this idea that there is this dysfunction on capitol hill is
true. it is the system we have. it is not a parliamentary system where the leader of government also has a majority in the congress or parliament. in the end it may be that all that we can relate to in his second term -- his biggest achievement may be accomplishing health care reform and not getting anything else three. i would not give up on immigration reform. host: first call for our guest is john from virginia, good morning. caller: how're you doing? earlier this week i watched the president's news conference on tv. i felt the answer to benghazi was now or sufficient enough to answer the question the american people have. as part of the media, how come we do not have the answers to benghazi and how come we let fast and furious go by the wayside? guest: a question asked by fox news, which has been the lead
news organization pursuing this, he said he was not aware -- the question was, why are department whistle- blower is not being allowed to testify. the state department, the president did not know, was not aware of that issue. the state department subsequently came out and said that the people who had been out to testify were awaiting security clearance and now that during his going to take place in general committee this week. under the house oversight committee chairman. this is an issue that is clearly a very important to conservatives. ofs so on the liberal end things. the president has more central issues to contend with. >> in the clip from the president he said there was a range of issues to work on. we have touched on immigration and guns, but what else is out
there, realistically, in terms of the second term agenda? >> there is the issue that jonathan referred to, with the democrats going against the president's position on cyber- security legislation. obviously a critically important issue. we hear warnings of a potential kind of pearl harbor in the cyber-world as we become more and more computer oriented. i am not sure where that is going or if that can get through. but it is something he cares about. >> the health care bill, subject to a lot of hearings on the hill, some of them kind of feisty. how long will the process take? what about the dynamics of that issue affecting everything else?
>> it reminds me of an impression i had after that press conference, which was that the president did not come in with opening remarks. often he will have five minutes, 10 minutes, something he wants to use his bully pulpit to promote. in this case he just started asking questions. he could have used that opportunity to emphasize that obama care, the affordable care act, is about to enter its most important deadline, the open enrollment period. the market place for people who lack insurance and are going to be going into the individual market they will go in and get it because they are now required to do so. the implementation of the law is struggling.
because a shocking percentage of the public does not understand it that it is the law of the land. 42% of americans do not know that obama care is still law. on top of that most states opted not to set up individual exchanges, prompting the federal government to do that. a lot of states turned down the expansion of medicaid. it is not clear that the law will deliver and carry through on the promises the president said it would. i am a little struck that he has not used his bully pulpit more to inform the american public of their rights of that law. host: linda feldmann, white house correspondent with "the christian science monitor," serving as their mama -- moscow bureau chief in the late 1980's and 1990's. larry, atlanta. caller: how are you this morning?
was nancy pelosi talking about health care or chinese food? we have sure got a train wreck. i will take the comment of the air. host: anything you want to say? guest: as the president pointed out, the law has already intersected 85% of the public. lots of people are happy with that law. people with adult children just out of college, just out of high school in the world of work, without health insurance, can remain on a parent's plan. you cannot ban someone from coverage because of previous existing conditions. lifetime caps have been removed. the public already has obama care, it is the final, the uninsured who are now in the spotlight. host: nancy, baltimore, hello.
caller: fly feel like the president's agenda is going to get done, regardless of all of the roadblocks and everything else. now, your guest on their made a statement that the president has the tendency to feel sorry for himself. he does not feel sorry for himself. i do not know what her agenda is, but she needs to look to it. he is the president of the united states, he just hopes and prays, really. he cares about the american people. the little dog democrats get on board, because he is really going to get to the point.
it may not be him, but he will be starting something. host: let's hear from our guests. guest: the president is an interesting historical figure, no doubt about that. when running for president and said that if he -- when he ran for his second term it would give his agenda a big boost. i am not quite sure that that is going to happen. politics is a permanent feature of the governing structure. i know that c-span has already started their road to the white house coverage for 2016. the midterm elections for 2014 are well under way.
the president in a way had the most minimal honeymoon after he won reelection. whether that means he can get major legislation passed in the next year is open to discussion. as we have said, the immigration reform is probably his best shot at a big piece of legislation that can pass. republicans are part of the legislation as well. they want to hold onto their house majority, likely going to happen. as they now points out in "the washington post," the have not done much for 2016. there really still have a lot of very conservative members who are very powerful and are really pulling back, try to undo the immigration reform that senator marco rubio is promoting.
we just said the nra convention in houston, gunning for, as it were, 2014 as well. this mixture of policy and politics is here to stay, which can either help the president or hurt him, but the fact that obama was reelected, i do not know if that will make him successful. host: this is from page 2, "what has the gop done since november"? he says there is little evidence that they have begun to solve the 2012 problems. fromteresting question twitter, please tell me -- what are the obama core beliefs and policies? "he seems to randomly move from issue to issue." guest: he fundamentally believes that government can be a force for good. this is the core belief of
democrats. republicans want government to be as small as possible, the president leaves that government exists to help necessarily with handouts, but a hand up. it was interesting a few weeks ago when he released his budget and it included cuts to entitlement programs, social security and medicare. this was a very clinton-ask move towards triangulation. kind of work the middle, make a gesture toward the republicans and away from the democrats to try to bring them to the negotiating table to work out some kind of a grand bargain on deficit reduction. that is still sitting there. i would not necessarily rule out the possibility of a grand bargain, but by definition the president moves from subject to subject because that is what being president is all about. syriae not talked about and yet, but that is a very critical issue at the moment.
who bombings, israel, thursday night -- moment. bombings, israel, thursday night, has a lot -- hezbollah, the president clearly does not want to get the u.s. more involved in a serious situation, but he kind of walked up to that point with his red line comment and now that there is evidence of chemical weapons, he is trying to play for time. ast: more of your calls in moment. a short piece from the president about sequestration this week, along with ongoing talks from senators. here's a look. [video clip] >> the sequester in place right now is damaging the economy and hurting the people, it needs to
be lifted and clearly the only way it will be lifted is if we do a deal that meets the test of lowering our deficit and a economy. at the same time. that is going to require some compromises on the part of democrats and republicans. i have had some good conversations with republican senators so far, those conversations are continuing. this was a genuine desire on their part to move past not only sequester, but washington dysfunction. whether we can get it done or not, we will see. host: compromise possible that he talks about? the debt ceiling is coming up again within a couple of months. guest: the way things happen in washington, when we go into crisis mode, everybody hates
this, but it is the way it has worked out. we get up to the point of defaulting on the national debt or the government shuts down. really, the republicans havmore government by crisis mode, but it really does not help anyone. at a certain point the public stops paying attention and brushes off washington as a bunch of incompetent idiots. on sequester, the latest jobs report, unemployment is still high, but it went down to 7.5%. on a huge impact sequestration, but economists are saying that they could see that and maybe that will contribute to the sense of crisis. host: arthur is on the line from new york city. thank you for waiting. caller: i must -- obamacare, a surly 26-year-old's are a good policy, but in reality it is a disaster.
iny of my colleagues are their late 50's or are retiring. hospitals are buying up all the practices. they are totally inefficient at delivering care and there will be a major disaster. on the other front, health insurance is going to collapse. there will be a 20% increase over last year. in new york state there is only one plan available for small businesses. the bottom line of all of this is the health industry is going to collapse and in five years 20% of americans will be on medicaid. advance coverage has better care than medicaid. host: any concern?
what is the level of concern in the white house? as he said, many people do not even know that it is the law. guest: the white house's answer is that any major new law like this is going to be tricky starting out. drugtalk about the benefit, medicare drug benefits introduced under president bush. initially people hated it. this is many orders of bigger than medicare prescription drug benefits. when medicare itself was introduced, all of these benefits of first there are people who say that it will create a people. i cannot really assess what the caller as saying. i have heard people say this. i was recently on a vacation and there was a nurse in our group
who said the same thing, that she was looking for an hour as a health-care provider. ae thought that this would be mess. then it would be up to government to step in. host: we read about another vote to repeal it on the house side. more realistically, to lack of a better word, we have seen these, will we continue to see this? guest: the new members have not had that opportunity. a bill was not brought to the floor for that reason, the feeling that your tacitly improving the rest of the bill. the have had a full repeal vote, which will not work. then they go smaller. host: iowa, democratic line.
hello, warren. whatr: my question is -- is he doing about jobs and the economy? i was just wondering, what is he doing about it now? host: jobs. guest: a tough one. in his budget in addition to proposing medicare and social security that would save money over the long haul, he also had what he would call investments and spending, and forcing infrastructure, education and research. he very much does not believe in dealing with deficit reduction. he believes that you can do deficit reduction and continue to invest critical aspects of the economy at the same time and that with that you will have jobs created.
host: thomas, burgess, new york. hello, there. go-ahead. caller: doing well. your program is great. i love to watch it all the time. i would like to inform the public about what is happening with the jobs. there are plenty of jobs on long island. immigration is the problem. the have taken over the construction jobs out east. my company was put out of business by illegal aliens and the companies that hire them. and now eastern long island is completely overrun by illegal aliens and they have got all the jobs. it is impossible for american citizens to get any kind of job at all now. guest: i have a question for you. do you think that the immigration reform in the senate is a partial solution? caller how it is complete amnesty.
guest: so, you do not like it? caller: they had the chance, they did not do their job, now we are back to the table again. host to what is the nexus, if any, between a large scale immigration bill and jobs? guest: that will be a huge, and i am passing this, bringing the undocumented workers into the system. a lot of people who are here illegally are paying taxes. some of them have in fact had money withheld from their pay that they never claimed and there is no refund because they are afraid and want to lay low.
i do not know what the bottom line is in terms of what the impact of immigration reform is on the economy, but people who support the reform say that it will be a net gain. host: this is the front page of "the arizona republic." host: from "the new york post," "graduates facing harsh reality huge steps." another tough season for college graduates out there. new do you make of the announcements beginning with the commerce secretary? supporter is a major and donor of the original campaign. her name was floated for the
first term but then taken out of contention because i guess she was seen as a little bit controversial, but now she has been nominated for commerce and is expected to be confirmed. the federal fannie, freddie agency. it is interesting. it is not seen as the a list. that is seen as a follow-up for the second term. it was very important to him that he had a sufficient number of minorities and women. now he can move on from that issue. host: are you expecting any more? guest: i am not aware of any more. host: good morning, republican line.
caller: we keep talking about the budget, the reform, sequestration, now we are raising the debt ceiling again. how is it that we can even think about raising the debt ceiling? coming from someone who has to be scrupulous with money, how can we be spending all this money when we are trying to reduce the debt, not increase it? guest: the debt ceiling is not about increasing the debt, it is about paying the debt we have already incurred. when the issue comes up they say that we risk of defaulting on that debt, which would crash the economy. syria,et me get back to which mentioned.
we only talked about it briefly. this is from "the new york times." the talk about the off the cuff line from obama on syria. what is next, now that the chemical weapons are out there, the white house is in a bit of a pinch on this? guest: they really are. a fascinating piece from the times, what worked out behind the scenes were not exactly what the president was doing. as they found in the press conference on tuesday, but knowing more about the chain of custody this is not about boots on the ground. no one wants that. even the syrian opposition does not want boots on the ground.
really they want a no-fly zone and more sanctions to isolate the regime. host: does this have the potential to derail the agenda? guest: absolutely. foreign policy is always an x factor. in help the president, especially in the second term, because he doesn't have to work with congress, but the flip side is that it can consume this time, energy, the attention of the public, and it can really hurt him. host: nancy, tennessee, hello. caller: good morning. yes, i have one question. how do you get insurance if you have no job to pay for it? guest: under obama care there are subsidies for people in that boat. well, it depends on which state you are in. tennessee, i do not know of your state has accepted the expansion of medicaid, but it covers people after a certain
percentage of the proper level and it will rise. you will be eligible for medicaid. i do not recall where tennessee is on this. there is a list once the exchange's up. when people fall through the cracks, yes, more people will have insurance than before. host: we are moving onto clinton, connecticut. caller: morning. it seems to me that we're spending a lot of money in overseas countries but we have a major about the problems in our off time, we could be taking care of the problems we have here, including the debt and so many people who do not have
health care insurance. host: not an uncommon comment. what is the perspective of that? guest: it is a fraction of a percent that goes to overseas aid, but the iraq war, afghan war, was funded on the credit card that was tacked on to our debt that we are still paying for. so, this is one reason why president obama is not going to get involved in any kind of major, expensive regional situation following u.s. troops in syria. host: who in the white house is currently reaching out to congress formulating plans, policy, working on this? who is over there?
guest: we have the new chief of staff, that there is dan pfeiffer, senior vice a to the president. joe biden is still very important. obviously he is angling possibly for a 2016 campaign, particularly if hillary clinton does not run. he is out there with great gusto. even if he personally does not feel that he can necessarily make things happen directly through his own charm or force of well, he can support the vice-president, which is leadership as well. host: time for a couple more calls. david, a williamsport,
maryland, republican. hello. caller: here is a few years in a bank got robbed and then this young man was back on the street after robbing the bank with a loaded handgun. he just brought it again last week. i do not stand nothing about the criminal justice system. host: anything for our guest in terms of the second term agenda? caller: maryland has the strictest gun laws and don't stop this man from getting a gun again and going out and robbing a bank. host: connection to gun legislation. state-yes, gun laws are by-state.
and federal. i mean, you have both. as the president says, if they can do anything, if it is right is worth doing. clearly the debate will go on. host: gerald? caller: correct. host: go ahead. caller: i am mystified that the rate of the job growth for african-americans, or at least to the extent that it is being reported within the corporate media, i am mystified why it has been so? why can we not have a more intellectual, factual dissemination of the job rather than just saying 7.1 when you know that that figure does not represent people like the black people. at the black people rate it is something like 15%.
guest: an interesting question, given that we have a black president, and he has taken a lot of grief from black intellectuals that he has not done anything special to help black americans with an unemployment rate is twice the overall rate. through his second term this may come up for him, he may feel that this historically significant figure, that there is a photo to keep his focus on that issue and what was seen as just catering to african- americans. host: our guest has been linda feldmann, from "the christian science monitor." you can read her work on their website. thank you very much for your time and inside this morning.
>> on the next "washington the 2016 presidential field. morris discusses the work of the occupational safety and health administration. live atton journal" is 7:00 eastern here on c-span. lawmakers return from a weeklong recess monday. the senate plans to complete work on the internet sales tax bill. in the house, a handful of suspension belzberg on wednesday, a joint meeting of congress to hear from the south korean president. a bill allowing employers to grant, a time instead of overtime to hourly workers.
of the house on c- span, the senate on c-span2 at 2:00 eastern. reagan made mistakes on defense. the defense budget was not just a waste of money in those eight years. it is what created the war machine that was used to create some much havoc in the world and andate so much anger problems of throughout the world that were totally unnecessary that made us an imperial power. that was a real negative. stand other hand, he did up for limiting the state, big government is not the solution to every problem.
it can way down the economy. -- weigh down the economy. the idea of technological change, the idea that people should make their own decisions without some big nanny in washington, he stood for all those things. i agree with those things. fiscally, he lost it. he really needed to stand up for closing more of the deficit. ronald reagan spent a lifetime before 1980 as the greatest ofrers -- scourge opponent deficit spending there ever was. he left a legacy of mass of gas offense -- of massive deficits that proved that deficits do not matter. >> more with former reagan budget director david stockman tonight at 8:00 on c-span.
>> today, and newsmakers woodhouse veterans committee chairmen -- newsmakers with the veterans committee chairmen jeff miller. >> joining us this week on "newsmakers," congressman jeff miller of florida. he joins us from pensacola in his district. joining us to question him here in the c-span studio, with a journalist rick maze of "the military times," and jeff from "usa today." >> the number one issue for veterans is and has been for sometimes the backlog of claims. you have had a lot of questions about this and answers from the va about what to do with the 1 million claims that are pending. there are personally -- i know many veterans personally who are