tv Washington This Week CSPAN June 9, 2013 6:30pm-8:01pm EDT
they were just continued for another year. there were no changes made to the food stamp program. >> food stamps make it the majority of the farm bill. >> close to 80% was including some other nutrition program. >> another topic brought up was smithville. does this rise to the level of something the average american is going to hear about? doesn't make headlines? >> this process is for foreign acquisitions of u.s. companies. viewers may remember that this came up before to purchase a
u.s. port operator. this is something that everyone in a while comes up and steals the headlines for a few. if that happens, it becomes something where there are these concerns raised more broadly about the possibility of something that was raised during the interview about what it might have for an effect on the u.s. food supply. this is the kind of thing that may get that attention. >> your take? >> if the dubai court issue was important to the average american, this is more important because this affects what people buy in the supermarket. the chairwoman of the agricultural committee is asking those questions. they are questions that have not been asked so far in the media or industry. >> thank you for being on "newsmakers."
>> the senate returns to work on monday to continue to hating -- debating an immigration bill. the bill also aims to crack down on the hiring of illegal border, approval security, and place caps on visas. the judiciary committee approved the bill at last month. the senate is also on course to complete a five-year reauthorization farm. the final vote at 5:30 p.m. the new jersey attorney will be sworn in on monday. vice president biden will reenact the ceremony in the old chamber. live coverage on c-span2. the house on monday at 3:00 p.m.
when you put on a uniform for a job that is a maintenance job, this is true if you are a janitor or a sanitation worker, you are consumed by the role where it is almost like you are a part of the background. i am going to say almost like a machine. you are a human being wearing that uniform. the general world gets to overlook you. sort of not see you. like acalled it -- it is cloaking device. the people who are star trek geeks will recognize the reference. or the harry potter cloak of invisibility which is very frustrating and an interesting privilege. when i am work a sanitation uniform on i can observe people in ways i do not realize i am observing them. , robin nagle on
"q&a." >> the issues of president obama's second term. analyst include chief of staff to joe biden. and a cnn analysit. this is a little more than an hour.[applause] >> thank you so much, i want to thank the loyal georgetown alums for coming back, including members of our panel. i want to tell you as somebody who teaches here, the new generation of georgetown students is doing you proud. when i say i truly love georgetown, i can give you evidence for that, my wife is a georgetown grad, we got married [applause]pel.
we have a lot of parties in the public policy school in front of chapel, my dean said, it must be nice to walk by where you get married. i said, it is. then i paused, and i said, and it's a good thing we're still married. i was thinking about today's panel, it's called cementing a legacy, it could be called a fool'ser rand, and it could be call that because determining a legacy at this point, an eighth into his second term, consider, for instance, if we'd had such a discussion about ronald reagan in the midst of the iran- contrascandal, his legacy would be different. harry truman was extremely disliked when he left office and new republican -- and now
republicans and democrats identify with his legacy. but in 35 seconds, to put what we might discuss, what might business legacy be, ending the great depression? the revolution in gay marriage, education reform, budget issues, notably the end of the bush tax cut for high income people and perhaps immigration, maybe even gun control. in terms of his political legacy two victories built on high african-american turnout, gains aamong latinos, substantial margins among the young but democrats lost the house, had severe set bas in governorships in 2010 and state legislative lossdzes gave the republicans control over redistricting which
is going to strengthen them for a long time out. can obama's coalition be recreated? do demographic trends favor the democrats? where can the republicans chip away at obama's majority, choices on iraq, afghanistan, his latest speech on terrorism, drones, asia, the recent unpleasantness, i'm thinking of benghazi, iraq, and the i.r.s. and finally is there a philosophical legacy here? we have a lot to talk about even if our judgments today might not be exactly what they would be if we reconvened, and i hope we do, and i hope you all come back at the end of president obama's term. let me start with a broadly general question, which is, and i'll start with my colleague chris, we have two chrises on the panel, i may refer to that chris as the fifth as he often referred to himself. he -- >> it's a contract. >> he refers to his son as fix
on his blog. so let me start with the fix and then work down the panel. which is where do you see president obama now and chris actually put a couple of issues on the table which, you know, in judging that, which include, you know, how does his style contribute to that and also how does the changing mood in washington since the days the class of 1983 was here. and ron, class of 1983, brought along his own cheering section, including his wonderful wife. >> always good to seed the audience. >> so i think where he is now is that he is the sort of best campaigner in the country by far. he's the best candidate we've seen. he is someone with real, whether you like him -- i always say this to people and almost everybody feels one way or the other, whether you like him or
dislike, he was tremendous as a candidate. speaking ability is well known, unless people say what's tissue pay attention to it. but he's the first guy to raise $1 billion ever. he's someone who is very gifted at those things. i think he has struggled more and i think his aides including dan pfeiffer, who graduated my year and is now a senior advisor, would agree he has struggled more on the governance side of things. because i write a blog, i can hear people in the conference section saying he struggled because republicans have blocked him. that is in part true, though -- well, it's in large part true though i remind people then he was elected he had a democrat controlled house and senate. he could not get health care -- eventually got through but it was not how they would want it to have gone through. the stimulus went through with a few votes from republicans, one of whom wound up switching and becoming a democrat, arlen specter.
the question as you go forward, barack obama if you read the span of his career and i urge you to read our colleague david maranas's book about obama and who he is, always has seen himself as someone who can bridge the ungridgeable -- unbridgeable gap. in his life in general, his life story is unbelievable, again whether you like him or dislike him, it's unbelieve thble that this kid, david went to indonesia and stood on the street barack obama lived on as a young kid and he was like, this is as far as you could possibly be from being elected to the white house. that's a good way -- that's amazing that that person gets elected. but he's always been uniquely giffletted and feels hymn uniquely able to bridge unbridgeable divides and solve problems no one else can solve. when he ran in 2008 his premise
in part was, fwoth is broken and i'm the one who can fix it. he has not so far done that. blame lies in a lot of places, including with republicans who found their voice in opposing him but again he made a big pledge, that he was going to change how washington worked. he has not yet done that. gun control is the latest example where, including by some of his own party he struggled. i think his legacy is up in the air as -- in materials of his governance record. his record as a candidate is hard to argue with. he beat hillary clinton in a primary and then won, you know, 332 electoral vote, his electoral record is pretty good. >> chris? >> i think i'm the only panel member who lives currently way beyond the beltway and when i was a student here i remember, and then worked on the hill, i remember people referring to
washington as 67 square miles surrounded by reality. i'm back in the hinterlands. those of you who may read my blog, straight scoop politics, know while i have run for office as a democrat, i'm an independent political analyst. i see any president who builds a legacy, there's two significant elements. one is the turf they're operating in and the second their leadership skills to get the job done in that climate. i recall and some of you may have worked, one of the beauties of going to georgetown, we have opportunities to work on the hill when we're going through school, i did that as an undergraduate here and at law school, that was in the 1980's and 1990's and the environment down here was so different. the travel budgets for members of congress were low. many members stayed in washington over weekends. that was -- these are what i want to call the elements that made life more productive and efficient in government way back when. now it still was political but these were the elements. the travel budgets.
members were here. you'd go into the restaurants on the hill and in churches on sunday, you'd see members around. on friday, killing each other on the floor of the house or the senate but buy bithe time they had played cards over the weekend, very often on monday, not in all cases but very often they were able to cut a deal on something. number two, we didn't have these wonderful stations like c-span and the cable networks and because of that, there wasn't a 24/7 news cycle. people who served in the house and senate and i knew this well when i was state legislator as well, you could take a tough vote and the president would be working with people who would take tough votes and they'd have time to go home and explain it to their constituents before they were being blasted all over their tv. and the third element is the money. campaign financing has skyrocketed and so back in those days, for a four-year presidential cycle, you had at
least two years to work some things out that may be controversial and in a two-year congressional cycle you had at least the first year before it got super flill political. now as we all know that's hard. president obama has today's climate and that's tough. barack obama is not bill clinton. barack obama if you watched him as i have and i'm sure you have the last few years, he loved being the chairman of the board he doesn't really enjoy the nitty-gritty of being the c.e.o. and running the country. bill clinton was very detail oriented. when i was a senate chief of staff he'd be working the phones cons tavently and knew the nuances of legislation. thanks to a georgetown grad who is now the chief of staff to the president, you know, he's been starting this routine by inviting the member of the house and senate to dinner but it's a little too late.
you have to have built those relationships in the first term in order to build on that. and he hasn't. can it work? it can work but it's difficult to pick up when you're starting now. plus he, i don't know if you saw "the new york times" magazine section article, it was a few years back, it was too psychological for me but it talked about his upbringing and how his relationship or not relationship with his father affected his dealings with other people and makes them reluctant to really get close and work with members of congress. i don't know whether that is true or not because i don't know him that well. but i know the leadership art of and the campaigning. we have seen him. the more he does that, the more it antagonizes the republican side and makes it tougher for him to cut a deal. he has to balance off that part of it. i don't want to go on too long.
>> i have a very different perspective than chris and i worked for president obama in both campaigns. one of the most significant in our time. first, there is the economic turnaround. you can agree or disagree with economic policies, but the naff the math on the numbers, national welcome housing prices, and the greatest nominal reduction of any president in history. saving the auto industry and turning around the economy, that will be his legacy. then health reform. ending the time in our country where people could lose their homes and their bank accounts because they didn't have health
care coverage, that is an achievement, a historic achievement. it ends a 100-year project beginning with president wilson about building a social safety net. workman's comp, the new deal, i think our social safety as a country is complete. i think that ended with president obama. i think that is a historic landmark. he ended three wars that began on september 11. the war in iraq, the war in afghanistan, and the war against al qaeda. i teach on campus today. for children today, this is a war they have lived with since they were nine years old. with those wars coming to an end under this president, that is tremendous.
we also have our first non-white president, but will be on that, what has happened in our inclusion of gay, and lesbian americans. gays are serving openly in our military, the inclusion of his antics as a significant part -- the inclusion of hispanics as a significant part of our politics. i think that inclusiveness, that change of the dominant paradigm in our society is also a historic landmark. the economic turnaround health care, ending the wars, and the inclusiveness of people of color, gays, hispanics, all of this changes our society. i think those are four complaint week -- those are four complete historical outcomes.
>> if i ever need a lawyer, i am going to hire ron maclean. although i wouldn't be able to afford it. [laughter] let me go back to the beginning on president obama. to me, there was always a potential contradiction in his original 2008 promise, even though you don't have to see it as a contradiction. on the one hand, he ran as a president who would bring red and blue together. there's no red american there's no blue america. there is the united states of america. -- no blue america. there is the united states of america. it was structurally impossible from the day he walked into the white house. on the other hand, he promised to be a progressive reformer who would really change the country. indeed, on your list, notably, healthcare, dodd frank, and financial reform and some of the things that actually happened --
there was that sort of reform. but he has been caught between the two and judged often on the basis of one and not the other. at times, he seems to have made people on both sides unhappy. let me start with ron on that since you made the bold defense. >> i think the record and the historical achievements speak for themselves. i think a way in which we got some of these things was very different than the way president obama thought we would get to them in 2008. i think there are a lot of reasons to compare him to woodrow wilson as a president. largely progressive achievements, but sometimes working with people on the right and sharply criticized by people in his own party and accused of being out of touch. although editorial cartoons at the time had president wilson
has a professor lecturing the congress. however he has gotten it done -- and it has been it for and ways of working, sometimes just with democrats and sometimes across the aisle sometimes by executive action, and sometimes by commander-in-chief on the war, and setting the tone on the inclusiveness, i think he has got it done. >> incidentally, for those interested, a friend and colleague at the brookings institute wrote a wonderful essay comparing woodrow wilson and barack obama in suggesting, sort of detailing much of your case on this. >> i don't disagree on ron's points on his achievement. people criticized him for moving off the stimulus and taking on health care. but he was record doing that. i think in time, while it is controversial now and we should
be grasping at now more and talking about the implementation in a more positive light than he has recently, in time, that will be a major achievement. i do think that taking us from the verge of a fiscal cliff as we were in 2009 and sipping that is true. -- and saving that is true. but the cost issues, like the grand bargain, people want him to achieve on the deficit. it probably will not be achieved in the next three and a half to four years. it is a failure that i think the public, in the long-term, will regret that he didn't achieve. i think joe biden has been an enormous asset. let's face it. he can take credit for being chief of staff there. i met joe when i was -- i had just gotten out of -- let's see i was in school getting ready to go out. he had just earned it in the senate and i interviewed in his staff.
i didn't go to work for him, but i have known him for 30 years. right after the election last november, perfect example, with the sequestration pending, he is able to cut a deal with the republicans on the hill. he has the relationships that he was able to build and he did an excellent job. and i do think him on social deficit -- as most of us did watch the state of -- his second inaugural address in january, people were surprised that the general fizzle -- the general philosophical nature of it. but i think this is truly barack obama. he wants social justice, open doors, level playing field to be part of his legacy. there are still elements that could have been stronger if he was able to work on the hill
better. >> i think president obama would agree with this. when he was elected in 2008, the expectations were impossible for anyone to meet. certainly on the left, the cut is in the center, but definitely on the left. it would have been impossible to have met them. close gitmo on november 7 and get all of the troops out on november 8 and we would have single-payer healthcare by november 9. in reality coming and one who has worked on hill, that is not possible. so i think he suffered from the overwhelming nature of his victory. you would rather have an overwhelming victory than not, but it still set him up in some
ways to fail no matter what he did. i think this is true with most politicians, especially with barack obama. there is a battle between pragmatist and idealist. at some level, there is a mix of that in all of us. i would say politicians are human. good to remember that. they have a set of motivations, too. i actually think he genuinely believed, when he was elected, that he, as a unique historical figure, the way he was elected, who he was, his background, that he was someone who would be able to bring people together. and i think he did attempt to do that. i look back to the whole debt ceiling debacle. it fell apart. i can't remember what grand bargain was. it fell apart.
barack obama goes and gives a statement and john boehner is a statement. both of them are very clearly worked up. you rarely see emotions at that level politics. they are good at not making clear how angry they are. that is one of those things that they get better at. >> they are good at masking emotion. >> but especially obama. he was generally annoyed and that gives 25 -- that gives way to frustration. then he took a different and more successful electoral path, i think. he was no longer willing to reach out. his reelection rates are coming up and there were a lot of other factors. but he turned into a much more successful politician from that point on because i think he listened to what ron and what other folks in the administration were saying, which is that you think the republicans are waiting to find
something that they want to work with you on and they are not. i know for a fact from people in the administration. i would argue he was more effective in terms of hitting what he wanted done and the message he wanted out there from august 2011 and certainly until november 2012. actually through the fiscal cliff and through the better part of this year. >> i want to ask each of you a different question. by the way, on the debt ceiling, i do think that the whole negotiating style became controversial. if i want to negotiate a new house or a new car for my will not ask the obama administration to help negotiate for me.
>> liberals always criticize the president, saying that he negotiates with himself. he starts where he wants to end. he wants a deal. there's a very pragmatic part of them. if you as an ideologue, he wouldn't have opted out to public money. they raised $750 million. he is not a pure ideologue. he is smart politically and he makes those decisions. this is pragmatic. but he wants to find common ground. it is just a question if there is common ground to be found. >> i will open this up to you all. when i come to you, speak your question as loudly -- we do have
two and a from the audience. oh. >> there are several 1998 college grads here who are the deeply informed. they are not just here because i'm here. [laughter] >> forgive me for not looking at my briefing book. this is a kind of governing question. if you look at two potentially regulated and law, the healthcare act and dodd frank, so much of the legacy is to be determined by regulation and implementation. and the healthcare law is particularly vulnerable because so much of it is through the
state. the plan is hostage to a lot of forces hostile to it. we were speaking about these two things going forward. >> yes, they are obviously very significant. the devil is in the details and implementation. both dodd frank and the affordable care act have worked to be done. aat said, i do think there is certain inevitability to the way in which health care is going to allow, no matter what republicans try to do to block legislation. it is not difficult to medicate in any respect. , it is such an incredibly bed rock part of our health system, even conservative governors are holding back core of medicaid. what you will see is affordable
care act get implemented in most states. i think what you will see is the affordable care act get implemented in most of the states. there will be a few holdouts. they will look around them and people in other states will have healthcare coverage and it will be working and prices will go down. and people will want that. i think momentum in time will grind this out. on dodd frank, it is a very complex law. you it moved to deal with some of it will stop some parts of it, but not yet. but this is a big project for
the president and his white house in this term, in the second term, taking a lot of things they got done in the first two years and bringing them to their full fruition in his final four years. and how that comes out will color, at least in the short term, how his legacy is perceived. although i do believe come in the long run, time and history is on their side. -- on his side. >> you are on the hill going back to 1979. this relates to the question i want to ask. the change in the republican party and how that has had such a large effect on president obama's term. i agree with you on all the factors you cited about people going toiscernible] little league games together and all of that. i do think it is a terrible mistake for the country that people don't move here, not because i want to further jack up watching the real estate prices, but because it has created more of a break. but fundamentally, it is an ideological break, not any other kind. talk about the change, not in light of personal relations, but a shift in ideology. as you know, from reading all of those comments underneath your you can talk about comments, too, but -- a lot people come back at the media -- i am on the liberal side myself -- we
pretend that there is equal, that each party is equally different from the center. and that is just not true. i want you to address that. chris can talk about the change. again, not personality and feelings, but ideology. rex has more people know -- >> as more people know, the republican party was a much broader tent back then. there was a precise moderate segment of the republican party, even moderate liberals. in connecticut, we have six comments men and three were republican and three were democrats and and some of the republicans were fairly moderate and liberal. my opponent when i ran for congress was the last remaining republican in new england in the congressional legation. -- congressional delegation. bob dole has recently said that there's no room in the republican party for moderates
anymore. that has affected significantly their ability to get a national coalition. last summer, it was just -- i could see partial pieces moving around in the obama campaign. they had the gay lesbian issue. they had the healthcare money for catholic and non-catholic institutions issue among going to the women's vote. they had immigration. when you have the republican party sitting there watching it all and not able to address that because had alienated women on issues, alienated hispanic on issues. now you talk about the legacy cometh immigration passes all, many say it will basically because president obama supports it, but it's important, but once the republicans in marco rubio take the lead on it, the republicans will get some credit for it and get some credit from
the hispanic sector for the next presidential election. the women's vote, to make craddick presidential candidates have gotten it the last few times repeatedly. the republicans have lost on that. they need to figure out an agenda to pick that up as well. the fact that their positions have become more right wing, the fact that they don't have that mainstream segment of the party the way they used to come i think that diminishes their ability to put together a coalition to win the national women's vote. >> i think michele bachmann's retirement this week is a good example. her defenders -- and there are some -- doing >> how many? >> i don't think her defenders would say that this is a person who left a lasting imprint on
congress. she ran very briefly for congressional leadership. it was literally a one-day campaign and she dropped out because she would get 30 votes and her opponent would get 200 votes. but i do think her model is an interesting one in which the ability of a back and member of congress -- true of a republican or democrat -- to be a national figure based on some combination of -- i think she has a certain amount of willingness to say somewhat controversial things, social media, cable -- there is a hold different avenue that exists. you can become a national figure. in the 1980s, there is no michelle bachmann in that regard. there's no way. you can't get there where you can now. ted cruz is someone who has expressed zero interest in legislating. he says commerce does too much. i think we should do less. he has become a big figure in the party by doing less. marco rubio is in the game on immigration. it goes in a way that looks bad. there is a way in which people can assume politics. >> we have empowered the audience.
thank you so much. we are going to turn to you. but on the one hand, whenever people say things are way worse outcome i go back and say, well, they did impeach bill clinton. this is hardly a friendly act. on the other hand, things are -- [laughter] on the other hand, things are quite affront. even -- white different. even from the 1990s until now. can you talk about party and media and then we will open it up to the audience. >> when i want to persuade the students that i am very old, i tell the story. when i went to the clinton white
house in 1996, the washington post was going to break a politics changing story, that there was chinese money and our local system. it would really transform the 1996 campaign. and it did in some ways. but we did was sat in the yellow oval room of the president's residence and we waited for some person to come back from "the washington post" loading dock and bring us a bulldog edition of "the washington post" so we could find out what was in the story. that was 1996. not 1896, not 1986. [laughter] so they really should -- so a relatively short time waiting for someone to walk a newspaper back to the white house to today where i haven't read what chris has posted in the last seven
minutes puts me out of date in american politics. >> that is exactly how chris is. [laughter] the pace of all of this is changed. it is also a lot more democratic. it was also true in 1996, if you wanted to know what was going on in american politics, you had to be in washington. now if you are sitting in a place in america, you have equal access to what chris writes on twitter, on facebook, on his blog in a way that has broadened access to political access. cable, all these things. it is more of a national conversation than it was 20 years ago. back then, it was a conversation with in the beltway. i'm sure that there are negative things about that, in terms of polarization. but there are a lot of positive things come a more open system in terms terms of a national conversation than 20 years ago. >> big mainstream media companies, including "the
washington post" are dealing with it. but also in the democratization of the media, two. -- the media, too. >> i can't tell you how old i'm feeling. [laughter] rex there is a leveling. back then it was "the wall street journal," "the new york times," "ap," and now people say who is your competition? anybody who can type onto the internet, which is basically everyone at this point. that is an oversimplification, but it is in fact true. i do think that is a great for journalists. we are way more accountable than
lease to be. the usage of the people would say that story generated a lot of talk. there were two letters to the editor. now, you have instantaneous -- i get one thing wrong or i misspelled the name of a character in "game of thrones" on my twitter feed, i get responses immediately. parents. [laughter] that's fine. that is a respectable right. i think it helps keep us on our toes in a positive way. there is a lot of vitriol out there that you have to put up with, but it keeps us on our toes. that is a thing ultimately for everything that we are all after. >> it does keep us jobless on our toes. but when you're footing the public -- when you are flooding the public and for people who are raising a family trying to separate the wheat from the
chaff and you have officials sitting there at getting things just on the gun vote and the nra for there is a lot of information and misinformation out there, it makes it tougher for public officials to take those votes when they are getting feedback from people who may not have the full information on issues. >> i will make one observation and then turned to the first question from the audience. i love the new technology and i like to use it. but i think new media make spreading truth more efficient but they also make spreading untruths more efficient. it is a really interesting problem for all kinds of media and for citizens right now. eventually, there is a collecting process. always thought, when something really bad about someone get out there and it is totally untrue, they never fully shed it. it is always in the back of people's heads, even if it is wrong. i still think that is a problem. >> can you imagine a decade ago, the president going into the
briefing room with a copy of his birth certificate? it is remarkable the power. and i still get e-mails from people -- have you seen the birth certificate? i don't spend a lot of time on that topic. that the power of it is remarkable. >> you mentioned early on that we would get to things like benghazi and the irs. i wonder if we can turn to that real quick. i think the administration is trained to present an image that republicans are making a mountain out of a mole hill. but the simple facts are that there was a terrorist attack on sovereign u.s. soil right before the election. and there clearly was some attempt to try to divert attention from what happened for political purposes due to president obama, specifically
secretary of state clinton leaving the homeland unprotected. that and the sea was left unprotected. i wonder how that will continue to play out. specifically, i am interested in what my friend ron queen things. and whether that will affect obama's legacy or whether it is a speed bump and moves industry. i also have a similar question regarding the irs issue. >> we will assume the irs is part of this discussion. do you want to answer first? >> obviously, it was a horrible tragedy at benghazi. i think the the brave people who were there try to protect the floor mats, several of them lost their lives and wouldn't say that the facility was unprotected.
it certainly was a predictable enough. i think there is no -- it certainly was not protected well enough. they have conducted a full review what went on and trying to protect our emcees to keep that from happening again. there is a lot of noise among us in capitol hill. it had a lot more to do with the republican views of hillary clinton's 2016 candidacy than issues about embassy security. but i hope we do get a better and the sea security policy out of this. i hope we do more to prevent those kinds of incidents from happening in the future. >> the irs, obviously, we need to get to the bottom of that one. we need to see who gave the orders and why there appears to be an uneven this in the enforcement of these rules and regulations. i think it is too soon to say why that happened. whether there was evidence in the white house to give orders or suggestions that people do that, i don't think this is a
scandal that touches in the in the white house where the president or senior officials in the administration. he is president of the united states. he is responsible for the conduct of the government and what officials are doing under his authority and the irs is part of that. and he has to clean it up and straighten it out and fix it. i hear people talking about restoring confidence in the irs. i don't remember a time when there was a lot confidence in the irs.[laughter] but every american has a right to be equally skeptical about the iris, whether you are liberal, conservative or a martyr. -- about the irs, whether you are liberal, conservative or a moderate. >> i once wrote a column on april 15 praising the men and women of the irs. probably the least popular column i have ever written in my life. who wants to take either benghazi or the holy or otherwise story of benghazi. >> i just want to say that these are important -- ron has mentioned the physics of each, but is are important events that distract the administration from focusing on what they want to focus on. there's no surprise that obama gave a each on the shifting towards terrorism in his speech the other day. in terms of benghazi and the irs and the department of justice and ap, those are the three or four issues lately -- i agree with ron wholeheartedly. once the e-mails cannot come it was pretty clear that the administration wasn't trying to hide anything. i think this is really about
2016 and all about keeping hillary's feed to the fire and discourage her from running. in terms of the irs and the president, a major poll was taken after those three stories were in the headlines every day. president obama had a 52% approval rating. it didn't seem to affect his job approval rating. the i arrest's reputation -- the irs' titian was still down in the tank. and republicans on the hill were doing what they should do to at least -- the irs's reputation was still down in the tank. and republicans on the hill were doing what they should be doing. i don't think any of these groups should have [indiscernible] but that is a separate issue. [applause] in terms of the -- the irs has the ability to connect with people. so we can relate to what goes on there. until all the facts come out, how much the white house knew, there does not seem to be any connection to -- connection between the white house and what happened at the iris.
in terms of a subpoena, ap should have been told in advance. but i don't know the intricacies. but it is sort of an inside the beltway sort of issue than an issue that appeals broadly to the public. from a political standpoint, it is important for the white house to get beyond these things and get back to them fomenting healthcare and dealing with immigration and some of the other issues. >> the 54 tax act and 501 c4's should be exclusive for welfare purposes. the regulation five years later interpreted that, as interpreting your marriage vow going from exclusively to primarily. [laughter] whatever happens here, and we should find out, they messed up interpretation and an unclear regulation is at the heart of this problem. we have another gentleman or lady over here. >> gentlemen, i hope.
[laughter] i wanted to raise the issue of foreign policy in a broader sense. as a focal point, a book about form policy is really the critical of the administration. taking it to task to summarize that it has a lack of vision and that our foreign policy, and in them or 10, is in a sense of drift. -- in an important sense, is in a sense of drift. >> ronald, you should talk about it. you know more about foreign policy than i do. >> why don't you start? >> sure. because the economy -- president
obama has acknowledged that when he came into office that the economy was worse than he thought. any time the economy matters emma when it matters, it is most always when it is struggling. it took so much time, that and health care, in first chairman that, in truth -- i won't say for bolsa got left behind, but it didn't, but i think that the i don't want to say that foreign policy got left the hind, because it didn't come about i think that it didn't get attention. i gave speeches a few years ago in europe and it was really cool. the first question they always ask is what does america think of brussels? and i told them, the average american is not thinking about brussels. the truth is, when the economy is in tough shape, we rarely look beyond our shores. not everybody, but the majority
of people. normally, that is doubly true when the economy isn't doing well. i think the president recognized that reality will stop you're likely to see more -- that reality. you're likely to see more. afghanistan, iraq, the capture and killing of osama bin laden, these are not broad mix and go things. these matter in real and serious ways. do i think they focus more on domestic? all essay
-- domestic policy? yes. do you think americans want them to focus more on domestic policy> absolutely. course i think the president's focus on war on terror was the form policy. if you have a child in college, every day, that child, since nine years old, americans have been in combat. we have cadets on campus. when they should appear as freshmen, they thought they were leaving here to go command troops in, it in iraq and afghanistan. next year, we will have no
americans in combat. it will be home. that is a foreign-policy issue. the below attack the country on nine/11 -- on 9/11, the sound elated, he has been killed. that is a significant part of foreign-policy. i know there are folks who want to see us do more nationbuilding in afghanistan. there are folks who want to see us do more nationbuilding in iraq. but i think the president has made a priority of doing what we
could do responsibly and reasonably. americans but more than a decade of their sons and daughters and tens of billions of dollars in those two countries and i think the president made a responsible choice. it is time now for the people of those two countries to take over and bring our troops and our people home. i think that is certainly a centerpiece of president obama's foreign policy. i think he is doing a lot to rebuild our relationships around the world. there has been a lot of big form policy issues in the first four years, world economic cooperation in dealing with the economic troubles of the eurozone and working closely with leaders over there. i think there will be renewed focus in the next two years of our relationship with china and they turned to asia. it will be a very significant part of our foreign-policy in the next three years. hopefully, at the outset, we are brief and to the president's second term. three years from now, we will look back on what the president did to engage china and work with china on issues and it will be a big part of his foreign- policy legacy. >> i think your question is a good one. it is significant that the president of the council of foreign relations, an old friend of mine, has written a book called "foreign-policy begins at home." that is the last thing that you would expect him to write. he wrote that book because he argues and i think this is an instinctive wrong -- instinctive among them -- instinct among americans are now that we have to get things right at home and make adjustments.
i think there is a war weariness in the country. you see it in the polls on syria will stop there is a lot of relief support for more intervention in syria. there's not a lot of popular support. we are in one of those times where we believe we need to strengthen ourselves in fundamental ways at home in order to preserve our power for the long run. but it is a very interesting book. one more question from the audience. where is the mike? it's right up there. think you. >> i would like to thank georgetown university today for putting together such a ideologically rigorous panel. we have a liberal journalist on the left, the partisan hack with ron in the know, the former democratic candidate for some office sitting to his left. and we have the centrist. i would like to thank them for putting together an
ideologically rigorous panel. looking back at the way we look at presidents, we look back at bill clinton is the first black president, whether jokingly or not. we look at george w. bush is the first legacy president. there are some similarities between bush and obama that have not been discussed day. they probably both would be where they were today without who their father was. second of all, i would also say that a lot of the issues that really affect their future, -- affect our future, the bottom line is we have probably a president who is overmatched a little bit with the size and scope of the federal government. how do we keep track of all the
things that are going on? how my supposed to know what is going on in all of these offices in cincinnati and benghazi? there are all of these things going on? i think he's right. obama will probably be remembered as someone who is a first affirmative action president, who won the resident because of the color of his skin rather than anything else. i would like to discuss that point. the question is -- do you think that obama is the first affirmative action president? >> before we get to that, i personally take some affect -- some offense to the question, but i appreciate it. we did have a staunch conservative who had to cancel at the last moment. so georgetown does care about ideological diversity.
pat buchanan and my course and i do believe in. old diversity. [applause] -- i do believe in philosophical the gentleman raises a series of questions that i think could allow us to sort of offer some closing comments on the obama legacy. let me start with chris. >> let me answer the question as asked. i think barack obama's background, an african father, a white mother, largely raised by his grandparents in hawaii did clearly come in the same way that my background as a dad who is a teacher and a mother who is in healthcare raised in connecticut, our background impacts who we are.
do i think he was elected iecause he is african-american? would not agree with that. i think he was elected in large part some combination of who he was and who people believed he represented, which i think a lot of people represented the american story. and you can debate how much it was, 50/50 or 20-80. or that his name was not george w. bush and it did not have an r after it. what if they nominated mitt romney? i don't think it would have made a huge difference. but it is a broad question that you raise as it relates to size of government. it is sort of the crux of the ongoing debate that we have in this country between the two parties. bill clinton very famously declared the era a government
over. a democrat. i think barack obama was elected at least in part -- people love to a rack -- to iraq as a thing that brought george bush down. if you look at the numbers, they would suggest that hurricane katrina and the handling of that coupled with iraq helped ring it down. president obama was elected at least in part to bring back confidence in competency -- to bring back competency and to do things that should be doing. people have in their minds what the government should do. should the government provide health care? we would have to raise your taxes to do that. well -- we have a very contradictory to the two. there is a libertarian strain,
particularly among younger people. they want government out of their personal lives. yet, when the moore, oklahoma happens or hurricane sandy happens come even a majority of republicans said that we should not offset the money that goes to hurricane -- excuse me turn a to really come it doesn't needs to offset it with the federal budget. so there is this constant battle. i don't envy people from barack obama on down who have to deal with this. if impart your job is to lead and to channel the desires and wants of the populace, i don't know that this country knows what they want. you know, bob dole got a lot of attention saying that they should close the republican party for pairs. he said that the american people don't really know what they want and that is kind of the problem.
yes, leaders and politicians are supposed to lead. but they are also elected officials come elected by us to carry out our desires, hopes, dreams come ambitions, keep us from our fears, etc., etc. those things are often complement -- contradictory at the moment and that is why you see this massive polarization between people who think that president obama is the greatest president ever and who people think that barack obama is among the worst presidents ever. >> is has made a lot of good points that i agree with. i won't go on at length. to get back to part of your question. you answered most of his. i still think the legacy of barack obama is tied into the economic cliff of 2009 and the healthcare initiative and opening up opportunities in a broader sense in social justice.
i think he is more than an affirmative action president stop but i remember how people said in the last election how people in the united states could elect a person of color. on the person who said he ran for something. i represented a republican district in the connecticut legislature. i had a coalition of moderates. i was one of the early members of the dlc, which is what though clinton and al gore organized, but i remember saying cash base to speak to young women all the time when i was elected at the age of try seven andes to speak at high schools and some eighth- graders -- at age when he seven to speak to high school students and some eighth graders. we all seem to believe that a man of color would be elected to the white house before a woman would. perhaps it transforms us to the
next that in thinking that we might elect a woman in this country the next time around so that people are more comfortable with that. [applause] >> is my reunion and i am in a good news, so i will try not to take offense to a statement that was offensive. if the suggestion is that somehow president obama is not up to the job because he is african-american it is particularly offensive. well, to call him an affirmative action president, i'm not sure what that means. it is suggestion is that being black is a huge advantage in american politics, then i doubt you would be the first -- he would be the first black president. we would have so few black members of congress and few black governors. but he is a person who graduated from columbia university, not quite georgetown, but still a very good school. [laughter] he was president of the harvard
law review, so not quite georgetown law school, but a very good law school. he went on to serve with distinction in the u.s. senate and as our president and i think there's no question about this man's intellect and ability and achievements. you can dispute his. i know there is a passionate disagreement about the points i met and whether or not you agree with health care reform or dodd frank or the ways in which we saved the auto companies and turn the economy around, whether or not you agree with national security things. but his talent, his attitude, his skills and passion that he has brought to the job come i think they are very hard to dispute. in terms of the more specifics, as i said, he inherited a huge deficit. there was no grand bargain, but between policies of cuts and increases in revenues, sequester, for better or worse, heading down the deficit to three percent gdp. he is getting it under control. bottom line, we see the improvement in the economy and
we see the other legacy items. but do i think the obama presidency is a historic one, i do. obviously. it is historic for who he is and what he represents, the kind of change he has wrought to the country, his accomplishments. and i look forward to being back here in three years when this is all over and debating it all again. >> thank you so much. [applause] >> i just want to say three quick things in closing. my favorite response of a politician who is dealing with a crowd that was really coming at them was barney frank in a very difficult town meeting. he finally looked up and he said, look, we politicians are no great shakes, but you voters are no day at the beach either. [laughter] i always loved that line. the second point, the passion and some of the conversation here reflects the fact that we americans are that we have two
sets of ideas. one is community and solidarity and the others that about liberty and individualism. and that we are constantly looking for the right balance between those two sets of values and that we happen to be having a good titular lead sharp debate right now in the country. what in the end come i think is good for us to remember that we are best off when we find the right talents between the two rather than put one set or the other set aside. i want to thank this distinguished panel of georgetown analysts and this distinguished georgetown audience. [applause] one of the great things about teaching here and being a student here is the extraordinary diversity of view among students and among graduates.
and that view is expressed intelligently and well tutored by our jesuits and those who follow in a great tradition. thank you so much for being here. [applause] >> that was cool. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> tomorrow, the alliance for health reform hosts a discussion on medicare advantage and how the affordable care act could affect of the program. you can join us at 12:15 2.tern on c-span
also, the immigration bill and whether it can pass the senate and the house. companion our network, c-span 3. tomorrow, a discussion about cyber security efforts a home -- at home and abroad. it includes former ambassador and national encouraged -- intelligence director. begins atoverage 12:30 p.m. eastern here on c- span. >> as the incentive auctionshhii that are upon us now, i do think that the fcc has to steer this that is very small. media-size. big fish swallowiiiihiiiihihiii
fish, i do not think is for our economy. they'll have a business plan. when you look at the markets in the country, 80% is owned. in terms of beachfront, the , thevaluable spectrum(((( spectrum is gold in our country. we have to do much more. >> the fcc spectrum option. monday night on the communicators on c-span 2. >> last week, arizona senator gave his first or more address from the senate floor. he was elected after serving in the house of representatives in 2001. it is about 10 minutes. i am learning to senate is an institution bound by presidents.
one of the time-honored and worth while. the new senators for the first few months of their service are to be seen and not heard until they deliver their speeches. in the same vein of new senators, traditionally not being heard but seen, i may to avoid well advised the reporters that congregate outside of this chamber. can only heed so much. it has been my service to serve in the house of representatives. at its core, the house is governed by the concept of majority rules. one party can have a majority of and by virtueo
of the rules can still maintain control of that body. theng my time, i had experience of being in the majority and the minority. all things equal, i preferred the former. the power of the majority is fleeting. that is as it should be. by senate is a body governed consensus. the party holding the gavel is on a short leash. mosting even the noncontroversial resolutions to the senate floor requires the agreement or at least the acquiescence of the minority party. over the past decade, both chased these arrangements. both parties have at times considered changing the rules that would in some way make in the senate more like the house. both parties have widely reconsidered.
the house has rules appropriate for the house. the rules of the senate, however frustrating to the party that happens to wield the gavel, are appropriate for the senate. this with great appreciation for those arizona senators that have preceded me. the 48th state in the union, arizona celebrated its centennial just last year. prior to my swearing in, arizona sent in 10 senators to this body. arizonaians left more than just carving their names in this desk. few have matched the longevity of carl hayden. had the lasting impact of gary who helped launch the conservative movement. i consider it a high honor to follow in the footsteps of jon kyl who shaped arizona for the
better and made our nation stronger and more secure. my constituents now call the same telephone number i answered as a intern. i was taught a great deal about .onstituent service now i have the honor to serve with john mccain who as a prisoner of war taught us all the meaning of sacrifice. since that time, he has served arizona, the country, and the senate. fortunately for all of us, and his to this institution continues. it is my great privilege to serve with him. america faces today are legion and growing. received aid of your reconcilable enmity to the united states. s take advantage, but it
is not just individual terrorists or terror cells. they now threaten the peace. today, our concerns are focused on iran and north korea. countries that are one of toction from moving over regional or international instability. here at home, our fiscal situation is dire. we spend more than we take in. worse yet, we have no serious plan to remedy the problem in a structural way. we seem to endlessly load from cliff to crisis in the back again with a high-wire act that erodes the markets and invites the disdain of our constituents. it is understandable that with
two-year election cycles, the house of representatives focuses on one election as soon as one is finished. in the house, difficult issues are often avoided or perpetually shelved until the next election. but here in the senate, we have a six-year terms. should have an added dose of courage to take up the issues on which the other chamber takes a pass. it is our responsibility to lead and if there was ever a time for this body, this chamber, the united states senate to lead, this is it. i am a proud and unapologetic conservative and a republican. i hope my votes will constant -- consistently reflect that philosophy. i am not suggesting we hold hands and agree on every issue or even most issues. there are profound and meaningful differences between the parties.
but i want to spend more time exercising my franchise been debating the legislation and less time deciding whether such legislation should be debated on the senate floor. there is a time and a place for using super majority rules to and/oregislation nominees from coming to the senate floor. there is a time and space for partisanship, but not every time and not every place. this country yearns for a functioning senate that recognizes the gravity of our escrow situation and its responsibility to propose and fiscaleasures -- our situation and its responsibility to propose and adopt measures. to rein in executive branch measures -- excessive measures in foreign affairs. the abuses of the irs and other asncies stand as exhibit a
the need for more oversight. -- have exercised the authority in the form arena, often obligating future congresses to financial commitments far beyond the security arrangements. a better-functioning senate, less distracted by games of shirts and skins would not count such a theft of its authority. , madamnot the time president, for this institution to retreat into irrelevance, where the sum of our influence is decided on a continuing resolution to fund the government for another six months. where success is measured by how well our tracks are covered when the debt ceiling is raised. where prioritizing spending cuts ae avoided by invoking
sequester. we have been there, done that. it is time now for the senate to lead. there are encouraging signs we may be moving in this direction. earlier this year, a budget was passed by this chamber. it was not a budget that i preferred, but i was given ample offerunity to debate and amendments as were my republican colleagues. we came up short, but at least the senate got back to regular order. in the coming weeks, this body will consider an immigration bill. immigration has remained a comp likes issue with members holding strong views on many of its assets. still, a bill having had a thorough vetting will now be allowed to come to the senate floor to be debated, amended, and hopefully improved upon. this is the way it should work. to conclude, madam president, in the few -- a few days after last
november's of election, the 12 new elected senate freshmen were invited to the national archives. he were taken to the legislative vaults were reviewed the original signed copies of the first bill and acted by congress, as well as other landmark pieces of legislation and memorabilia. allegiances signed by revolutionary war soldiers, documents, artifacts related to the civil war, segregation, and women's suffrage was also on hand. it was an affirmation to me of the to malta once he through which our state failed for more than 200 years. we have had many brilliant and inspired individuals at the helm. we have also had a personalities ranging from mediocre to malevolent. but our system of government has survived them all. ,erious challenges lie ahead
but any honest reckoning of our history will note that we have confronted and survived more daunting challenges than we now face. resilientdurable, system of government, designed , includingd men yours truly. madam president, it is an honor of a lifetime just to be here in this history that institution. -- in this institution. my modest hope is that my contributions will in some way honor the senate's past and help it to realize it's full potential as the world's most deliberative body. thank you. i yield the floor area >> we speak with a k reporter on the immigration bills making their way through congress. sanchez is joining us from capitol hill, what are the key issues that senators plan to key -- bring up
on the immigration bill? >> you will see senator start to frame the debate. we have two camps here. we heard a lot from senator sessions leading the opposition, making the case that they should be done in a piecemeal way. making the case that it's could hurt low-wage workers. this could threaten a fragile economy, a fragile recovery. he believes that something should be done. something less comprehensive, more piecemeal is the way the senate should take this on. on the pro side, you will hear the gang of eight, made up of four republicans and four democrats, have drafted this compromise, and a putting it forth. making the case that the current system is broken, it needs to be revamped. they have gotten a sign on from
labor and the chamber of commerce. they believe that they have the best chance, the best compromise to move forward on reforming our immigration system. >> on that gang of eight, it had bipartisan support. where does that stand now? is that still holding? who are the key players in that? >> interestingly enough, john mccain, one of the members of the gang, told me in casual conversations, he thinks there is already 60 votes for the bill. then you're hearing from senator marco rubio who is making the case more public and by and needs to be done, and he is asking for ideas to strengthen border security, which will help something past the house.
he believes that it -- if the border security portion is enhanced, it seems a greater chance of passing. >> over the next couple of weeks, when the amendments,, take a look at the key proposed changes that we are likely to see debated or to pass. >> the key one is whatever comes up with center rubio's implements. right now he is talking to his republican colleagues to solicit ideas, and input on the bill. this is a way for him to get by and for other republicans. he said he is actually hinted it is not enforced -- that he may walk away from the bill. i think that is the key issue right now. other possible things could
throw a monkey wrench in this. it could be an issue for treating same-sex couples,, adding them benefits -- giving them benefits. a centrist mentioning might want to revisit the gun control debate in this, which could be explosive. >> what about the white house? >> he has taken a very hands-off approach. he's very much in favor of this passing. i think that is why he is giving the senator's room to negotiate and discuss. it is one of his top priorities going forward. i think it is hard to say when the right time will be for him to step in. he has been careful to stay back because he is concerned that he may alienate conservatives if he makes too -- if the campaigns too much. the $64,000 question, the house
has a gang of eight made up of four democrats and for public and sprayed one republican has stepped away from the group over concerns about whether the bill would allow newly legalized immigrants to get health care benefits. while there is no animus in the decision to leave, there are going to be competing bills. the remainder of the -- also, it is unclear whether -- what house leaders are going to do. if they're going to go to in a piece by piece approach, or a comprehensive bill. there is a lot of momentum to get something done. a lot of pressure. that is what the senate hopes to pass the bill with 70 votes. they will pressure the house into dealing with the issue. >> the immigration debate on capitol hill.
thank you for the update. >> thank you. >> in order to raise money, i >> when the senate returns tomorrow, they will continue debating the bill from last month. a final vote is expected tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. eastern. also tomorrow, attorney general will be sworn in. vice president biden will reenact the ceremony. live coverage when the senate returns on c-span 2. the house is also in briefly on monday for a session at 3:00 a.m. eastern. p.m. eastern. tonight on "q&a," robin nagle.
♪ ," authoreek on "q&a and new york university professor robin nagle. entitled "picking up: on the streets with the -- with theh these sanitation workers of new york city." >> robin nagle, why did you want to drive a garbage truck? >> i was curious about sanitation in new york. also around the world, but i was here. after some timean