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tv   Q A  CSPAN  July 7, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am EDT

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to a different part of the spectrum. and in return, get a part of the auction proceeds as we rearrange he spectrum, turn it around, and sell it to the wireless companies for flexible use, broadband. be mobile >> more of what's happening from oday's cable industry from the communicators, monday night, 8:00 eastern on c-span 2. "q&a," richard baker discusses "the american insider's history." the book was co-authored with neil te journalist, mcneil. > richard baker, senate historian emeritus, author, co-author of the american new book.brand
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an insider's history with neil mcneil and richard a. baker. how did you get together with neil mcneil and do the book? the il mcneil is one of gigantic figures who not only do "time" magazine's chief congressional correspondent for 30 years, came 1949.e hill in he retired in the mid 1980s, he went to work on what he hoped a quick one-volume history of the senate. nd he spent 17 years trying to write that and finish it up. needless to say he came by our the historical office on numerous occasions. e got a habit of going and having a lunch from time to time. we had wonderful conversations. he passed awayd, in 2008. and it was clear he was probably to finish it. and so he was -- you know, he -- okay, this issaid, it. he had the oxford university agreed to publish the
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book. sent it out the the viewers. anonymous f the reviewers, got it, read it. his is going to be a 700-page book. didn't know when to start writing as happens with a lot of authors. and so my review said, this was a great book lurking in the 700 pages. but some needs to carve it out. and he died short shortly there oxford turned to me and said, how would you like to be the guy to carve it out. i got involve in this project. >> how much did you have to write yourself? the book.0% of he had 250,000 words. my job, all they wanted was 150,000. down to 120,000 of his words and added 30,000 of my as, what, 1400ll footnotes and extensive you know, i and, knew what i was getting into for three years down the road.
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and, indeed, it's been every bit as challenging as i thought it would be. fun and very satisfying. >> give us a specific on omething that you thought had to be changed? >> overall, writer for 30 years for "time" magazine. "time" magazine style. some inverted sentences. hings that really didn't ring terribly well in a general book of this nature. o throughout, i've been out -- throughout the book, i went and kind of changed that a bit. nd other than that, it was really the major change was just adding it down and then those cursed quick notes. >> you acquired in 2009, how on the book?work >> about three years. >> going to show you video. out of context. the chronology of the book. but it shows some oratory of a senators. famous
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the first is going to be huey long. video, when ow the was huey long in the senate and what impact did he have? he had a huge impact on the senate. in the senate for a short period 1930s , from the early until he was assassinated in 1935. that , you know, decided he was going to use the filibuster as a -- as a major tool.ative he did it almost like no one before him had done it. is going to be 1935. we're cutting in the middle where he's talking about -- figure it body will out. let's run this and get your comment on it. how many men ever went to the barbecue and let one man take off of the table what's intended the people to eat. the only way you're going to feed them people is go back and that man come back with the grub that he got no business with. going to feed the
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people?of the what's rockefeller and melon oing to do with all of that grub? they can't eat it, they can't wear their clothes, they can't house. the give them a yacht. lace.them a pal send them to reno and give them a new wife when they want it. want. what they >> there's more to that. it's on youtube. and people really believe that he had a serious chance of becoming president of the united states. that he was line himself up to populist kind a of campaign with lots of heard. s like we just >> he was assassinated the same year that was done. batonthe state capital in rouge. >> what was the issue? disgruntledlly is a who -- there was
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financial dealings. i don't recall the specifics of it. but he had a lot of enemies, a whole lot of enemies. assassination was on his mind as well as the minds of the staff who tried to protect him. did the fellow senators think of him? >> not much. a few ere probably hat -- that southern senators engaged in some of the same kinds of oratory. despited himor who beyond definition was joseph t. robinson from the neighboring of arkansas. joe robinson was the majority leader. he's responsible to make the run on time. and huey long was the guy standing out there making sure trains did not run on time ntil he finished his extended speeches, recipes for pot amusing.oysters, very but people said, the senate is going to blazes.
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senate is not getting anything done. happen to the senate? this is the new deal. this is trying to clean up after depression. we cannot afford the extended oratory. of have to take this man off his feet. and somebody did. >> some 40 years later of his son. interestingly enough, was one of those who was opposed to television. >> he was indeed. him 47 years later in the senate. clear to make this you, mr. rose, i'm not in bad favor on anything. a deal to anybody. and i don't even know what deal you've made up until now. that when i find out about i want, it may be something that i can vote for and it may not. understand that. >> and i want to make it clear here, that everybody i couldn't care less what deal you made with somebody and why e agreed to this and why somebody agreed to that. what concerns me is is this bill country.the
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if it turns out to be a bill to monopoly, it has to wait in line, take its turn. we have ten other monopoly bills there. >> russell long? what was the difference between he and his father? >> about 30 years. more moderate. a significant drinking problem earlier in the senate career. of the best things that happened to him was narrate -- named his staff members carolyn -- carolyn long who indeed helped him get his act and he became an extremely powerful and the edgeable tactician on senate floor.
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>> what changed? peoplemethod under which arrive in the senate, the whole campaign procedure in the american senate, the first two trying to e about answer that question. t -- there were senators, george aiken of vermont comes to who as late as the 1960s oasted his campaign expenditures amounted to $147. of y it's multiple millions dollars. they didn't have to worry about spending time with constituents. come to town. go four times a year. this is a long time before
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high-speed aircraft travel and could settle in and get to know one another. maybe get to know the family of whether they es, were republican or democrat, it doesn't really matter. slower kind of time for sure. despite the national crises they to deal with. >> you mentioned joseph robinson from arkansas. had video from mark pryor, the senator from arkansas talking about him. once you -- he's called the, what, fightingest man in the united states senate? out what that means. >> in 1930, he was elected as arkansas's governor but was immediately selected to fill a senate. in the u.s. robinson held three political of two thin the span weeks. robinson was the last senator hosen be i the arkansas state legislature before the implementation of the 17th mendment that established a collection of senators. in the senate, robinson took on leadership roles including
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following his had dei 1937, introduced a resolution authorizing the acceptance of portrait as a gift to the senate. the portrait was later presented by robinson's widow and friends. mean about the fightingest man in the senate . >> general commdemeanor. ginn to rages. face would turn scarlet. theould beat his breasts on senate floor. scream, well. as another senator, you wouldn't want to incur the wrath of joe t. robinson because he did indes moniker. >> talked about when the senate changed because of direct election. hat brought on the direct election? what amendment was it? who's behind it? >> it was the 17th amendment to the constitution.
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the house on a number of occasions throughout the 19th century passed that amendment, it over to the senate, the senate killed them. reasons ne of the main that southern senators had a strangle hold on the -- on the rocedures and floor proceedings, who were very much afraid that if you have direct election, you're going to have african-americans voting for senate. was something that until the jim crow laws began to disenfranchise african-americans, that was a concern. term of the 20th century, they weren't quite as worried about it. then, of course, by the progressive reform movement. 1910 really of brought a sea change to the senate.
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more open for reform minded popular nd directly senators is one of the constant points for reform. through. ly, it got >> what changed, then? >> i should add the main reason through, there were a umber of rather terrible corruption cases. it went into effect, one of the points that we make in question, perennial did it make any difference to have direct popular election. yes, e down on the side, id did make a difference.
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act like houseto members. it's not something that any senator wants to hear. names they were up scavenging for votes. they had to go out and deal with opposed to if you have a state legislature and there are 26 members of your all you need is 14 votes and you can easily pay off nd they did, inkleed, in some cases, pay off 14 senators by paying off their mortgages in a couple of know tore yous cases. to buy their election. the direct election, significantly. 1914 election. every incumbent to seek re-election won. the last remember senator who served in the u.s. selected by d been the legislature in a state? used to know that. i -- i've forgotten now. if you knew the name -- if you
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recall the name, i would tell you whether you were right or wrong. >> i do not. that's why i asked you. >> you may have recalled that. but i -- i -- did it go into the 40s or 50s? >> it did indeed. senator from florida you have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. here are some things that you slip away. explain what senator george smathers' role he played. >> a good friend of john f. ken pals.hey're drinking they each contributed to one another's political education. is remembered for the campaign against claude pepper. pepper.ated claude
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some thought it was a scandal louse campaign. mythology, rtain never tracked that down of george smathers going around speeches saying, george -- clyde pepper has a who's a thespian, his brother has a brother that was a home same yen and on and on. he did the oral history at the pepper died to set the record straight. as my partner in this book neil cneil said, he should left that alone. he would have gone down as the wits of all time to attack. with a campaign >> neil mcneil who you co-authored this died of what? 2008? cancer.
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i believe it was lung cancer. >> what was he like? deeply s large, confidence in his own abilities. he had the power, and most a ators knew this, to put senator on the cover of "time" magazine. -- he did a book in called the forge democracy. he had been poking around since 1949. was a popular become. the question was where is your senate book. he would n we decided begin his research. enormously tenacious. on say, i have a question
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rules from 1911. generally some will remember he started a program before that that led to "washington week in review." to him about his beginning? did he do an oral history himself? he did not. >> he was proud of his role "time"ith the society of magazine along with washington week as they called it back in those days. "washington week in review." he did that for 12 years 1967.ing in a well-known face on the circuit. >> talking about l.b.j. talking
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the phone from the oval office conversations and see on else they can learn this. >> see what we can do. >> yeah. because russell is wild and -- he's with the doctors, isn't he? yeah.h, but russell will shift in time. but we can't just come in there you know, you've asked and now you're suddenly change destroying our own position. >> good try, good try. there and call me back on that damn bennett and ogers and i'll go work on your ambassador and your judgeship. you hang those on the wall. have a canal or whatever they got to have, we'll do it. cannot lose.ote i charlie told every republican if you vote against me, you're out the republican party, i'll eliminate you. about 29 of these damn southerners like bennett and from my own gers
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state. some of them have taken walks for me. some are going off. say, hell, i have to get him to give me this canal. to have at they've got and then let's get it. let's get the two votes. >> what do you think? >> classic. absolutely classic. of the rity leader senate, as he was in the 1950s, or the president of the united states, saying this is one vote i cannot lose. everything else -- >> how many presidents in your make that kind of -- that call? to think. >> well, barack obama doing this? imagine this will give you your bridge or -- or bad.at good suppose. lbj personality. another large man with fire in his eyes. you, a junior senator.
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a chairman of the committee. you know he can shape the rest career in the united states senate if he chose to in your lp or stand way. way. what does that mean? it means that most legislative bodies have upper only rubber re stamps. >> the lower house passes the substance of legislation. house.o the upper the upper house kind of reviews it. maybe they don't like it. hey send it back to the lower house. the lower house said i respect going to on but we're
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pass it again and then it becomes the law of the land. italian senate and the sure states senate for that have absolute veto. >> what's the history of why hat's thought to be the way it should be. constitutional convention in 1787. state e to vote for the legislative infections. we'll need a cooler body to and slow down and as one senator said in the 19th placey, the senate is the of sober second front. that's what the framers of the had in mind. >> edward dirksen. what role in history does he senate? the >> well, he's most remembered it possible to invoke
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closure on civil rights legislation. what does that mean? >> to shut off debate with the votes.amount of at that point, they needed 67 on this 1964debate civil rights act. southern senators were pass that.not to and it was edward dirksen who gather up enough of the republican colleagues to 71ve them what ended up to be votes to pass. that was huge. it was the first time ever that on senate shut off debate civil rights legislation. and it was really the beginning of southern filibusters on civil rights. know him? ever >> i didn't. i saw him -- i saw him in action in the mid 1950s. when i came to visit the senate time.er one for many years in the 1970s and
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1980s, i served on the board of center inthe research his hometown in illinois. a really state of the art research facility. eil mcneil, the biography of derksen, that's still considered derksen. iography of >> you talk about show horses or workhorses. horse or how workhorse? >> he was both. a little of both. there he feels on the tournament of roses parade, grand marshal 1968. albums utting record using his magnificent voice. heard ken burns not too long ago at an event here in washington rep respond to a question -- what is your about the ory capita capital. -- capitol. he did a film on the capitol in congress. there was a story about ladies who came to stalk door of his
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republican leaders' office. ladies -- you wish to work with me? what can i say to you? what is it to you. one of the ladies said, oh, nothing, senator, we just wanted hear you talk. hiss deep baritone voice was so theatrical. this is an outdoor theater circuit. very proud of his voice. an actor on the senate floor. but also, there's a deeply vein.s people criticize derksen for oliogenist. infewsive. the grand old chameleon that he vote, his position rather easily. i tend to think that although this is a e of that, man who really knew how to make the senate work the way that johnson did.
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>> wish we had video of him talking about the marigold. -- marigold to be >> the national flower at the same time that margaret chase mith wanted the rose to be the national flower. so there's wonderful exchanges. interview from an with howard k. smith and abc in 1968. see what he sounded like. >> do you think that any votes or minds are ever changed on the in speech?ther house >> oh, yes. not often, but sometimes. nature of the he subject matter and obviously on you make.f a speech i think it's happened twice to me. once on civil rights. because i dug out that quote from victor hugo allegedly night he died in his an idea whosesaid time is come is stronger than armies on earth. >> what was the other time. >> this is on a sugar bill. late at night.
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and i prepared for it. chamber.d full and i laid into it. well several members came changed -- d, you are you hearing from your memories. you're not particularly conscious of it yourself. >> that's a key -- that's an excellent question. get changed by oratory on the senate floor. in the scope, we have a chapter debate. that's the fundamental organizing question in that chapter. right, you know? very, very seldom. but sometimes. think of one other than the one you mentioned where somebody changed their vote? >> no. no. don't. but if i knew more about it, i could think of one. the remember being in chamber years ago when they had a vote back on -- excuse me, 1970. on the abn, whether or not they antiballistic missile
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system. the guy that stood up and made a most dramatic speech was guy named john pastori. stood still and everyone held our breath and here stood john f. kennedy ten
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feet tall. en feet tall, that determined, courageous, and strong, and, for first st time, for the time, we saw nikita khrushchev and go home.arbles pastore, rhode island democrat. didn't die until 2003. fact, i think i just saw his wife just died in may or something. but anyway, would it have made any difference -- let me ask toir how about the or today compared to what we've seen with huey long and russell pastore. john how did you compare to it? more docile, less row
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backups for sure. john f. kennedy. later larly later in the years they had it on c-span. this is or toir. old school. >> over the years, when were the the senate?s in in other words, when it started back at the beginning. there?y senators were and how did it increase up to 100? 22 because not all of the states gratified the constitution when it convened on 6 in the senate in 1789. gradually, of course, through numbers century, the increased. members. they had 76 that began to pose some major procedural problems. there the people out seeking attention and whatnot. it was a lot easier than when smaller body.
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then alaska and hawaii. they had to cap the number in 1911 because there just was no place for people to sit. out had to take the desks and give everybody a bench to sit on in the house. this is not talked about often. when a freshman democratic senator casually a local television station broadcast live a hearing he feels conducting in new orleans as part of an organized crime. and nobody in the senate paid much attention to the request of doing.e was the first television set
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we got in 1951. watched were g we the hearing. people were talk about the candidate of vice president or power nt because of the of television and the power of investigative hearings. the book, harry truman didn't like him. no question of who truman liked or didn't like. arrive in the senate, he said, you know, for the first ix months, you're going to wander, harry, how you got here. and after that, you're gong to of us got the rest here. retrospect and there he is holding hearings. >> how much did you write this section? mostly neil on is
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mcneil. >> he's indifferent to is it meaning the uest, station in his hometown, home state of tennessee. preoccupied for managing his proceedings, he was first unmindful that the hearing was being broadcast. reaction, houf, was spectacular. why then later on if the public's reaction spectacular did the senate fight themselves so much not to put them on to it. great opponent. issue of the senate rules. public will the lose respect for the senate when there's an endless series of calls. the senate's medium with the opponents of it. that today about the supreme court. we can't have the broadcast of supreme court deliberations. that's really unfortunate. attitude.he
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>> one of the former colleagues the house of representatives was the parliamentarian, he bad for theision is house of representatives. what's he done for the senate soo. question.e a big t was inevitable, thanks to certainly members like senator robert bird and howard baker who the receptive to argumentings. i don't see how you could avoid it. sooner or later, the senate -- house went on television in 1979. senate waited until 1996. deliberative body. it took longer. the pressure was so great. the story of the senate walking through the airport. the home state. house member, we saw you on television, on c-span. becoming so a known member of the state's delegation. vote.did a lot to push the
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>> it would have been interesting to see this man, united states senator, majority leader in television. here he is after he retired coming back and giving the speech. you might haveon been in the room for this. >> yes. mid 1963, various democratic senators had begun to express publicly their rustration with the lack of apparent progress in advancing the kennedy administration's initiative. equally ators were open in their s criticism. but they were equally determined hat i, as a majority leader, should begin to "knock some heads together." fter all, they reasoned, democrats in the senate enjoyed two-to-one party ratio. with those numbers, anything
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possible under the lash of disciplined leadership. 65 democrats. 35 republicans. it, senator daschle. use the word "enjoy" loosely. seriously undercut that apparent numerical advantage. -- he was on he television a lot. he feels on "meet the press" and the like. what would he be like? the difference between him and lyndon johnson? well, the -- the the difference is between 1 and 100. he was famous when he appeared n "meet the press" for going
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through many questions available to him with one-word answers. johnson would embellish and and go off on a tangent here and there. profoundly different styles. mike mansfield was the product johnson. senators electing a successor to not want nson did another lyndon johnson. he wanted someone to make the time and kind of keep quiet. o mansfield went about -- his philosophy was he lit 100 candles flicker. wailin don johnson approached his concept of the in the senate. before too long, a year or two in his leadership, he began to criticism from some of his friends in the senate. the s dodd in connecticut, father of christie dodd really blasted mansfield. about bipartisan. dirksen became the -- the republican leader to come to the
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democratic leader saying, you know, you should not talk about your leader. sacrilegious do that. and it was mike mansfield who that said,h prepared you know this, is the way i am as a leader. or can basically take it leave it. he was going to give that speech 1963.ember 22, that was the day john f. ken dip assassinated. he never gave the speech. it was time for this speech, speeches by ies of former speeches in the senate hat senate majority leader trent lott recognized. my phone rang in the historical and it was mike mansfield. the guy responsible for the creation of the historical 1970s. in the he said, i've been asked to give a speech for this series. should i talk about?
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i knew about the 1963 speech on he nature of leadership never gave. he stuck it in the record. i said, senator, give that, bit. it a little he said, well, maybe i'll do that. he did. it was the first in a series of leadership, but all on the senate website. and it was a blockbuster. magnificent. >> we hear a lot today about how his is the meanest time in the history of the senate and the house of representatives. what'so read back to you in this book. it's not something that you put in. it's got a footnote. may be merrill petersen. jackson.d
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>> i looked into that. powerful statement. hatred, realized the one example, of john quincy and daniel webster. adams called daniel webster the heart.h the rotten it was daniel webster who adam's onen quincy's major aspiration, to be a united states senator. did not want his other delicate to be john quincy a former president whom he couldn't manipulate. e wanted somebody less threatening and got somebody less threatening. for the rest of his life, john webster ams resented for that particular action. they hated each other. they also loved each other. daniel webster who wrote -- who wrote the john ption that is on quincy adams about the
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accomplishments. loved each other? plof/hate relationship. another one. savage.ld be there was a fistfight on the senate floor. who was benton? from missouri. was a whig. they could be opposing parties. type of large bullying man who was remembered for ulling a -- pulling a -- for moving down the senate aisle in from gainst a senator mississippi. a foot -- a foot. and the foot was so intimidated presence of thomas hart benton that he pulled a silver pistol out of his inner coat pocket and pointed it at benton. 1850. >> where. >> in the floor of the senate. in the old senate chamber.
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that point who theatrically opened his jacket senators who were trying to put this to an end -- stand out of the way, stand out of the way. assassin fire. and unfortunately the assassin not become an assassin and cooler heads prevailed. 1850s.as in the >> were they fired at either chamber? >> not in the senate. i don't think in the house. short of erything that. >> how many senators and congress people and they were that time, carried pistols? >> in that particular time iriod, maybe -- i don't know, don't have any hard evidence, but it wouldn't be surprising to 20% or more.
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. >> pretty tough times. keep do people today saying this is the meanest congress they've ever seen. >> because they haven't read this book. because -- >> it doesn't come close to being the meanest. bad.t's no question. bad. but not the first ever. you can start with the beginning of congress. 1798, 1799. the ederalists versus democratic republicans, they hated each other. thomas jefferson said if we saw of the opposition he'd cross the street to avoid having hat to that person and say hello to them. >> any idea when the duel stop? 130s through the 1850s.
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a 235i mouse duelling ground not capitol hill, maryland, many of invitations to meet thereupon. >> senate debates are often ugly.t and sometimes lay's mastery of vote hustling prompted senate fall lores to dictator.a benton unmatched egotism. to ing the language used describe them. the question to you about this, journalist. was a you were an employee of a united states senator for 35 years. id you have any trouble with the adverbs, adjectives, the in this book?e >> no. >> why not? journal a very good iles with a vastf command of the language. sitting there, reading his drafteds.
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yeah, that's right. that gets to the heart of the matter. i did nothing to censor it or cool it down. i just welcome it. you wrote the story in here about the current senate mr. mcconnell , from kentucky? >> i did. >> there's a story there about got ackground and why he there and why he wanted to -- can you tell us that. had polio as w he a young man, a young boy. lot of courage and and the help of his mother to get on and move on. t one point, he was interested in becoming an historian today. ery well read in american political history. but it was a tough decision. an he want to become academic or a practicing politician? > you say he had a goal of
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becoming a majority leader of the united states senate way back when. do that?uraged you to internship summer with senator john sherman of kentucky. >> a liberal republican. yes. there were some. and i just soaked that up. more power to internship programs. . that's such a crucial time in people's lives. then what was next? graduated. went to work for another senator from kentucky. marlo cook. for another one. tell genic, interesting gentleman. involved in the civil 1964 when he the cooper. john sherman experience in your
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did the senators in leadership come from staff? >> fairly often. the major reasons why senators did not want to have professional staffs. it was not until after world war ii that they decided they absolutely needed them. couldn't operate without them. but you hire these staff, you're going to have somebody who's smarter than you are. >> senator robert byrd was alive. he claimed the longest serving congress ever. that's already been retired. now.john dingle >> it depends on how you define it. say senate, he'll hold the longest serving senate in history.
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satisfy it. the frosting of the cake to say the whole congress. say, oday, he'll smile and i'll hold on to the senate. >> you were right about the 1964. rights act of i don't know if we've seen this. this is an interview where he about why question he changed his mind on civil rights. againsthe was very much the bill. you to react to this. >> it came to mind at that time loved his grandson. to my mind that black people love their grandsons too. where i thought about it. i thought, well now, suppose i were black. and my grandson and i were out highways in the mid hour -- the wee hours of the morning or midnight and i at place to get that little grandson a glass of water r to have it go to the
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restroom. and there's a sign -- whites only. their grandsonve as much as i love mine. not right.just like myself are born in the southern environment, grew up in southern people, knew feelings. knew about the civil war and all thought, my , i goodness, we ought to get ahead curb, really. not have the law force us to do those ought to take down signs. that is what made me came to the conclusion, if i had though do over again, i would vote against that. >> done work with the robert byrd. board of directors in the byrd center. shepherdstown.
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>> yeah, raymond stock. >> what did you think of that answer? 1982, senator byrd lost his grandson, 16-year-old an michael moore in automobile accident. he was delivering papers early in the morning. robably the most devastating, without question, the most devastating event in senator byrd's life. going to the minority. minority leader. very unhappy period. he thought his life, his contributions, where he wanted to go. will be his legacy? >> i think it will be a significant legacy when i -- book is filled with robert byrd. ends with robert byrd, with robert byrd. i didn't see any way to do that. focus to the senate as an institution in the 1980s. he was interest in the majority leader's power.
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senators -- hiding, they didn't want to make a filibuster.ng he called me in and said, you suppose you could give me a history of on the arresting senators from hiding from filibusters? he did. liked it. e had other question, other matters at the is senate -- the procedure. 1980s was out -- ere out -- he delivered 100 speeches and they were publish in the bicentennial of the history a very large sik lpsych e, an enpsych history of the senate. he developed over the course of his career and a remarkable career. >> ever get mad at you? >> he -- one time i had a great idea for a book.
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to work on.t me.ooked at oh, well dr. baker, that could be your book. be my book.oing to that's as close as you can. > he did get mad, we saw it often in hearings. >> absolutely, not at me. you. not at >> but we had a very cordial relationship. >> another famous name. building is named after him. the old senate office building named after him. --s is 1952 in the hour of >> early television. oscope.g called chro in, let's watch richard russell. >> do you think it's now to ible for a southerner receive the democratic nomination for the president? >> i don't like to think that 90 years of and the party have been over thatto the south
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period. but a man to be discriminated to bet because he happens born on the wrong side of the tracks or the wrong side -- >> did you know him? no. he died in 19 1. what impact did he have? >> he had a huge impact while he was a member. very large table in the office suite. that table is significant because around that table would members of the southern caucus. they ran the senate throughout 1940s, on to the '50s. e presided in the end of that period over the southern caucus. in 1974, no part of that. from lyndon johnson's point of view, he was a great mentor.
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he learned a lot about the senate when he came over from russell.e from richard >> another famous southerner. this is 1987. senate.floor of the in the wheelchair, he's had a leg amputated. john stennis. you, senator. i want to highly compliment the the or from new jersey and senator from new york for an week ant and difficult they did too at times that they did preparing the bill and hearings and going o a good solid amount of difficult work at times. granted. we take for and don't get into the facts has been done.at attention to call it. -- i would like to call attention to the work that they've done.
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like him? >> he was revered by his colleagues. he was respected by the points of view. judge stennis. propriety.reat an issue of ethics to be looked turn to him.uld sure. a kind for >> this is the second to last sentence you wrote. did you write that last chapter. yes. >> i wrote the whole chapter. >> you said this. two plus century landscape, one will note ignificant change coming in ed unplanned bursts and one will note dire frustration. what are you say ing? analysts who say in the last te is days are too close to right now. is back up d to do and take the longer view. shortly ead this book
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before i sent it off to the publisher. said, oked ate it and she now i get it. now i understand. you hope everybody thinks the same thing. senate is profoundly a historytive slow-moving tradition-based institution. that.u don't remember don't take that into consideration, the senate makes no sense whatsoever. changes the rules from majority culture, huge problem. but you know, it won't be the senate anymore. if you consider -- if you rank all of the states in terms of the top ation and take 26 in smallest populated states, those amount to 16% of the population. 26 states.t they would have 52 votes in the senate. and therefore, the majority. now, that was -- that was a great concern to the framers of the constitution that hadn't broken down that way. they won't vote by states. but they could.
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>> a couple of weeks ago, we were looking at barbara mccull from the chair and she read a tweet. saying that n somebody on c-span as they were hearing not letting somebody talk. she answered it right there. bad for the or senate? >> for many years, from the time to the senate in 1986, there was a prohibition blackberry tops and unless the senate chamber for that reason. people are going to be and any constituent -- they have contact from the floor of the senate. for the citizenry to get that close to the senator? >> no. i don't think so. citizenry gets close to the senator through his or her office. for ator voted recently
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cloture on the immigration voted against it. a senator from the southern a te, the senator within matter of minutes was deluged with death threats, the worst messages.inds of they're getting close to that senator through that office. you said last time you were here, you want to write a book of the communication between the the senators.nd i wonder if you had gotten closer to that idea. >> no, i haven't. a very hard book to write. it would require a lot of, you lot of search and a senatorial papers. else?t >> i have a book i want to write. not sure what it will be. what do you think? >> i would like to do a book bout the relationship of maybe two senators, two very powerful senators. in ably sometime in the -- the past. are documented
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records and get a sense of how that went and how that impact on p had an the making of the laws of the people of this nation. >> you have picked those two out? i had thoughts. i need to run it up the flag pole. >> leaving it to next time. since 2009, but not -- not without busy days. guest. baker, our co-author and neil mcneil, now book ed since 2008 a called "the american senator: an story."s thank you for joining us. >> thank you, brian, very much. >> for a dvd copy of this 1-877-662-7726. for free transcripts, or to give s your comments about this program, visit us at q&a.org. month a programs are also
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available as c-span podcasts. >> after that canadian prime minister addresses the house of commons. openness washington journal, the southern baptist invention talks about the role of the religion plays. executive director of moveon outlines the goals and agenda. for transportation policy talks about the creation of the interstate highway system. "washington journal" on c-span. >> no man needs a strong partner, and on his partner more

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