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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 3, 2015 12:30am-2:31am EST

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works in finance quit to help her do her job. i think we're building a beautiful world when women making things are pulling their husbands out of finance jobs. that's the world i want to live in. that is the world i am >> finally, this is a shop, urban wood goods. the pro proprietier started making these desks from reclaimed wood. and the baskets here, which you might recognize from high school lockers and that sort of thing they were sourcing them from second-hand stores. the demand got so high that they couldn't source enough of these baskets. so they called up the original manufacturer in chicago and asked for them to make a run of these baskets and spin out more production. so in chicago, we're seeing something that started out as a hobby, actually contributing to manufacturing jobs and supporting, in this case a manufacturing outfit that was
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100 years old and needed more business. so this is really the economy we see. when we look at the internet or look at the political challenges in the united states and all the issues and all the sniping, what we see is, when people self-organize, they use the internet to connect with each other and they work with each other. then the economy works. >> great. so i think people can envision transformation when it affects them and they have a hard time when it doesn't. people in d.c. understand the transforming political effect of being able to raise money on line. in a recent conference, we had travis from uber. people can understand uber. the maker movement, many people in big service-sector cities like this have a hard time taking seriously why should the maker movement -- what is it and why should it be taken seriously? >> how many of you have heard of the home brew computer club. great. so it was a group that met in
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the bay area in the 70's and it was a group of people who traded supplies and tips and they were basically making computers home brew computer club. people who went to that meeting included people like steve jobs and steve wozniak. i know it was kind of a subculture. if you were outside of that subculture, you would look at it and think it was somewhat trivial. you know they were doing phone freaking and all kinds of hacker stuff. it was a little bit of a fringe movement. but that was really the seed of the personal computing revolution. what we're seeing today is that there are literally tens of thousands of home brew computer clubs, called etsy teams self-organized groups of sellers who meet together in communities all around the world. that i do things very much like the home brew computer club. they trade tips. from the outside it may look like a hobby, but when you look at the stories that i told you, we're seeing that it's emerging as, you know a real vocation
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and a real way for people to make money. anything that looks like a hobby in the beginning often turns into a bigger movement. and i think that's what we're seeing. >> and there's the craft brew movement, the home brewing movement, which became a yen win business -- became a genuine business. you've written about the etsy economy on your site. if things go the way you hope they would, what would the etsy look like and mean? >> our mission is to build a more fulfilling and lasting world. it's not just about the buying and selling of things. it's about bringing that personal connection back to commerce. when you look at the broader landscape and the traditional retail landscape, it's all about price and convenience and next-day delivery and many of the companies who are successful in that ecosystem are all about squeezing suppliers, going to the lowest cost labor, that sort of thing. the etsy economy that we see is really about creating an com i
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where everyone -- an economy where everyone wins at every step of the way. the way etsy works, we're obviously an internet platform. but when you sell something on etsy etsy's cut is 3.5%. the artist's cut is 96%. all the money is going back to communities everywhere. there's not like a sucking sound to bentonville arkansas, for example. not to name names. and we really see this, you know our 3.5%, as etsy has become more successful, we haven't -- that fee has not been raised, really since the company started. so the etsy economy is a really fair economy. it's also getting into offline retail. so i mentioned sarah from milk and honey luxuries. we've also built a wholesale program. so boutiques and retailers are now buying from etsy sellers. we're brokering the wholesale deal, again 3.5%. the etsy economy is really
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about, instead of looking at the economy in sort of a zero sum way, like how can i win, how can etsy win it's how can etsy do well, how can our suppliers do well, how can the retailers do well and everybody take a fair cut. then everyone does well. it's just a different view. >> you've also written about the ways in which the virtual communications of internet age can facility real human connections between people. tell us about how you think that can work. >> i mentioned briefly etsy teams. the thing to understand about etsy is it's real people on the ground, you know. in new york there are dozens of these etsy teams who meet. to give you a visual sense of kind of how pervasive etsy sellers are, there are actually more etsy sellers in the five boroughs in new york than there are yellow cans. so a lot, lot of people. we've done things -- you know i think a lot of internet companies out there are kind of fighting regulation, fighting
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the government. it's very adversarial. we really look at government as another opportunity to partner, again, that fulfilling and lasting world. we worked with local civic organizations, local government, in a program that we call craft entrepreneurship where we're working with our etsy teams, again the etsy sellers on the ground, to teach disadvantaged communities how to start businesses on etsy. and those classes again, being taught by the sellers in our community, not by etsy. they're meeting in places like the dallas public library. so we're an internet company that cares about libraries. and civic institutions. and i think, to the early question about etsy economy, that's really what we envision and what we're seeing happen. and we think it's possible. and it's a great alternative to things like cable news and politics. >> so i have to ask you one other policy question before some more transdental ones. when businesses are growing like
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yours, their view to the government is either they want the government somehow to support them, somehow to stop oppressing or hindering them or to get out of their way. >> right. >> what is your view towards government in general, of those three? >> it's a little bit of each. i'll add a fourth option. i think it's more a plea for understanding. we want government and the media and everyone to understand that the work -- the work that these, largely women are doing 88% of sellers on etsy are women. it's legitimate. not just a hobby. these are real businesses. everything from highway how you support business with internet taxation like free trade. we have sellers shipping all over the world. i think it's, in our minds, it's less about thinking, how can we lure, you know a thousand factories to the united states which is still important, but how do we support these small
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entrepreneurs and help them be successful in all of these policy areas? it's more about shifting the sort of understanding. >> so let's talk about culture. you've work, you say, a lot in the bay area during the sort of glory days of the dot comes. you're working in brooklyn. how would you both compare the new york and california start-up cultures and derive lessons from the two of them to other parts of the country? even d.c. >> so this is more my personal point of view. in my intro, you heard i was an english lit major. i focused on shakespeare. i went to work at the raleigh news observer in 1993, the first daily newspaper on the web in the united states. there i got interested in the internet and taught myself how to code. just on a personal level, you know, i think coding is really important. but also liberal arts. and, you know, taking a big step back when i think about sort of lasting ideas in the world, the programming languages that
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people were learning in 1993 are mostly forgotten. mcbeth is still remembered. so -- [applause] so i think that -- thank you. so what does this have to do with new york silicon valley culture? i personally enjoy new york, because i think it's more of a balanced culture. i don't believe that technology and software is going to solve all of the world's problems. i think it can solve a lot of problems and it's very much an enabler. so working in a creative company like etsy that serves creative people, i think working in a place where you have everything from theater to art to the opera to amazing authors i think the cultural environment in new york is really second to none. and for that reason i really prefer building a company like etsy in a place like new york. i think, you know, silicon
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valley is a one-industry town but it's a big, big industry. >> sort of like d.c. >> yes. on a personal revel, i this -- level, i think it's better to build in new york. >> so just to ask the underside of that, both for all of their strengths, both new york, especially brooklyn and the bay area, they're seen as fostering and rewarding a certain class of people at the expense of many others. how will your company build an embracing thick middle class economy? how does that factor into your concerns? in we >> we look at etsy -- the platform is all about bringing opportunity to a diverse group of people. the proof is in the pudding. we're seeing, in the cities that i mentioned, our entrepreneurship program, we have our local teams supporting people in those communities with urban wood goods, for example, we have our sellers as they scale up. they're making money and doing
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well but also submitting orders to smaller manufacturers in their area, which is creating jobs. i really think everything we do is -- because it is based on that principle of fairness that i talked about, everything we do is intended to build a really healthy economy. and, again, is the mission about more fulfilling and lasting world, we're not saying etsy is the place to sell more stuff. we want all of the mechanisms in the company to make the world better, not in the trite silicon valley make the world better, because i think that can be overused. but making things, selling things promoting community. those are things that really do make the world better. >> in the work you do and the technology you put together, what is the part of it that's difficult that nobody from the outside fully appreciates? you know, every job has something that's harder than anybody on the outside knows. what is it for you? >> i think in talent. there's so much happening. you know, a new app launches
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every day, like dozens of apps, hundreds. and there are people building those things. so assembling a company when everyone is looking for the same talent and running that company is really difficult. i think because my background was in technology, and i know how the internet works and all that kind of thing, there are some days i wake up and i'm surprised that the internet actually works. [laughter] because in some ways, it's very patched together. so i think the hard part of the job is just every day 24/7, making the company work, technology-wise and talent-wise. >> we have one minute left. we're here in d.c. we've heard about all the things difficult here. if you were plummeted into some governmental organization now and could apply what you have learned to making things function better here, what would it be? >> i have to pause for a moment, even though we have a minute. i think it's really to -- for me, it's really about addressing
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fear. i think there's a fear of technology in washington what i've seen. there's kind of a superstructure of government contractors and all this sort of thing. what i would do is really change the way software is built in the government, to be more like what we're doing in new york, more like silicon valley. i think it's notable to me that, you know -- i hate to bring up but when you look at, it took a group of silicon valley people top technologists to come in and fix it. let's build things the right way so people don't have to come in and fix it. >> with those encouraging words please join me in thanking chad dickerson. >> next, a washington ideas forum discussion with mike. he talks about the latest trends in mobile technology and the evolution of the flip board app which provides customized news and information feed.
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this is about 15 minutes. [applause] >> so we've been told if there's time at the end, we each have to do 20 push-ups in front of you. the bar is pretty high. mike is one of the most successful serial founders in silicon valley. i want to go to the founding of flip board. so the ipad launched in 2010. flip board launched not after. the experiment at the creation of flip board, it was a really interesting one. as i understand it, it was if the web was washed away and you had to rebuild it from scratch start the web from scratch what would you do? that was the experiment behind flip board. can you talk about the conclusions, the convictions that that thought experiment led you to and that played eut in out in flip board? >> yes. this all happened, when your writing an e-mail, great e-mail.
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you've got everything right. you're about to hit send and the computer crashes. you lose the e-mail. and you've got to write it again. but when you write it the second time it's better. you know, you realize, well, i probably could have done this a little bit better, could have been more concise here. and it is something better. that was the thinking around how i approached my next venture. i wasn't even sure i was going to start a company. i was just doing what i loved following pickens' advice, just doing what i loved, building products thinking about, you know technology. and, you know, the big thing for me was i felt that content stories were being lost on the web. when you flip through the atlantic or national geographic, you have a narrative. there's a sense of pacing. there's a beauty to it. you have beautiful photography
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beautiful, you know, typography. there are inset maps, things that kind of guide you along. you don't have any of that on the web. increasingly over time, it's getting better. but back when we were starting flip board, five years ago, four years ago, the web looked like it was frozen in the mid-90's. and so we wanted to say, well look, you know, if you were going to build a new web today if you were going to build the web today, you would optimize it for these mobile touch screen devices. that was one of the key things we wanted to do. the reason why magazines are so beautiful, in part, is they don't have to have lots of controls. you don't have to have a menu bar and navigation bar. you just have great content and you use your finger to flip through pages of that content. that was something we really wanted, that beautiful presentation. with a touch screen device, you can have that kind of beauty. the other really important thing is the power of people. you know, people know how to
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tell a story. people know what makes a great story. and we wanted to leverage social, the idea that the web is becoming a -- not just a connection of an article to another article, which is a very powerful thing but now it's a person to an article. it's a person to another person. a person to a group of people. so you have this new curated web that i don't think we, as an industry, have even begun to grasp how powerful it is. >> so the things are visual and social essentially navigation of content. it's almost five years since the launch of flip board. what do you know now that you didn't know when you were imagining what the web should be, almost five years ago? >> probably the biggest thing is the importance of people and machines interwoven together to create great content. and the second thing would be the importance of structure to content. what i mean by that is, today
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you know you have social media. there's just this ongoing stream. it's an infinite stream, people posting things endorsing content. that's very powerful. however, you know, great stories help influence people, great stories move the world forward. great stories have an end. there's a beginning, middle and end. and in this world of infinite streams, there is no end. when is the end? you have a sense of timelessness when everything is always realtime. how do you allow people to step back and think about things and have that context to understand what really matters? and so that's something that we really believe in. and i really want to try and figure out how to enable that to happen. again, you have that in print. you just don't have that in social media. so that sense of, you know, people cricketing content -- -- contributing content but in a way that can have more of a narrative form to it, i think is really important. >> so you have an interesting aggregate view on some really
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kind of fundamental questions. the most fundamental is, how do people spend their free time? how do people spend their waking hours? because you see people using your app you actually know when they're awake and when they're reading and across the world you see patterns of things. so what are some of the most interesting and surprising takeaways about how human beings use their free time or at the very least, what their reading habits look like? >> one of the most shocking things is how much people use their phone to read. people spend a lot of time on their phone reading. it can be a 50-page article and they'll read it, tb it's a good -- if it's a good article. the other thing that's been encouraging has been the amount of great long-form journalism that people want to read. you know, the problem is, it's a little too hard to filter out the noise. you get distracted by other noise before you get to that great content. but people do want to be able to
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read that. those are two observations. people will read journalism on the phone if it's presented well. that's tricky to do, but if you can do that, i think that's a pretty big deal. >> what's your watch strategy? >> ha ha! >> will people read long-form journalism on an apple watch or the samsung watches? are you thinking about presenting content on watches? >> not so much presenting content but perhaps presenting moments when you might want to look at content on your phone more contextual moments. there's a variety of things there. there's the obvious like, okay, there's breaking news. you might want to know about that and read it. but also the not so obvious. you might be in a location, standing near the white house. and you might get a notification that, you know, there's something really interesting about this right now, this place that you should know about. >> so it comes into your watch and leads you to your phone? >> to your phone. they're very much linked
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together. i think there's a tremendous amount of linkage between the phone and watch that i think is going to be critical. >> we should talk for a second about tablets. so flip board was essentially launched with the ipad. what's really interesting is that ipad sales at least are falling. so in the last quarter, they were down something like 12% from a year earlier. there are people now who are saying that in between the larger and larger smartphones the tablets and the lighter and lighter laptops like the mac book airs. what is the purpose of a tablet computer? what is the purpose of an ipad? how do you see that? >> well, tablets are still growing quite fast. they may not be growing as fast as they were a year ago. part of that probably is due to the fact that you have some larger screens on phones now and phones are starting to become more like tablets. but also part of that is the tablet from a form factor point of view, hasn't achieved a
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fundamental breakthrough. it's gotten thinner. the new ipad is really a beautiful product, incredibly thin and light. but i think there are still opportunities for it to break through further. you know, to have it feel more like paper. and i think when that happens you'll see that there will be a continuation of that tablet form factor. but the idea of a touch screen is with us now everywhere. and i think you're going to see that on laptops and computing devices that will be able to be used as a tablet or laptop. you'll have phones. so these worlds are blending together. >> i want to ask you about a few companies that you work with very directly. one of them is apple. one of the big concerns or questions, when tim cook took over, is apple going to be as good at products, at design, in the post-steve jobs era? we've now had a few years of this, the latest raft of products. what's your verdict on that? >> oh, i think apple is alive
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and well and thriving. and, you know, there are a lot of great product leaders at apple that, you know, are still there. you know johnny being a good example but there are many others. i think tim has done an amazing job at marshaling the creative energy, the innovation, in a way that yields great products time and time again. and so yeah. i think they're doing incredibly well. >> facebook. >> uh-huh. >> so so much of the focus on how people consume content is around facebook. >> right. >> you have media companies that have sprung up, whose strategies really are built primary around distribution through facebook, in some cases through other people's content. facebook is the mechanism for the consumption of content. how do you think of -- how do you see facebook's involvement with media content consumption right now? >> well, it's evolving. they're certainly in a significant role, as is twitter
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linkedin. social media in general and social networks are a fundamental part of how media is discovered right now particularly by millennials. i mentioned the social web, this idea that people and content are intricately connected together if ways that were just never before possible. facebook is a big component of that. but they're not the only one. i think it's important that there are multiple, you know, places like this where this curated web is developing. >> do you think it's distorting, that content is being created to play to facebook's algorithms? >> there's always a risk of that. you know there's also, for example, the so-called linkism. the headlines that are written specifically more google to pick pick up in search results. you're always going to have a little bit of that. but this is where the great
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journalists are separated from the ones that aren't so great. i think the ones who really have something to say, the publishers publications who have a strong point of view and really believe in the power of editorial great journalism are going to be able to thrive. and so facebook is -- if you know how to use it, consider very helpful, as can twitter linkedin, flip board. across the board, you need to think comprehensively. it's just kind of how the web works now. i think one of the most important elements is that it's easy for you to fall into the trap that, you know, everyone used to come to our site and look at our content structured in our way. there will be people who will do that. but also you need to be able to think about your content in an atomic way. you know these atomic units that travel throughout this curated web. there will be a group of people who are really passionate about something. for example, on flip board, i found a magazine this morning called middle east for the perplexed.
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it's a guy hand picking great content from around the world about the middle east, to help explain it to normal people without all the hype. that's a really big deal. that idea that that person is forming a new node in this curated web, with a collection of all this great content. so for publishers, it's really important to think about that. they might be on facebook or twitter or linkedin or all of the above. that's just how the web works now. >> there was some new research in august. what was concluded was that the average u.s. smartphone user downloaded zero apps. >> ha ha! >> per month. in a world -- how do you reach new users when people aren't using -- aren't downloading new apps and in many cases are using only a handful of apps that they find on their home screens? >> the good news is there are literally billions of apps being
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downloaded. so there are definitely people downloading apps. so, you know, we have, for example, 250,000 new users every single day on flip board that are coming in and setting up flip board. so people are definitely still downloading. but i also think you have to figure out, you know, smart strategies, so, for example our publishing partners help promote flip board. you need to make it in other people's best interests to promote your app and create an ecosystem ideally and that will help get you to rise above the noise of a million apps or so that you could possibly you load. >> two questions i want to make sure which get to. one is about the future of your economy. one is your own future. so the future of the company first. you've raised around -- i think it's reported around $160 million. you launched about five years ago. how close are you to either an ipo to a sale or some conclusive event around flip board?
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>> we are just beginning our journey. the thing that is so exciting about the space that we're in and flip board itself, is this is just the beginning. just the beginning. there is so much more that's going to happen with great content, media this curated web and mobile. just the beginning. if you look at, you know, a screen shot of the web from 1996, which wasn't that long ago, it's amazing the difference between where we were then and where we are now. and, again, we're just beginning. so friendship board has a long -- so flip board has a long journey ahead of it. an ipo is a milestone along the way. but i don't think so much about that as i do the entirety of the journey. >> you said that as a boy, you dreamed of being an as astro naut, which hasn't happened yet. but you're in a place that is at the center of a lot of the
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private efforts to -- for private space exploration. you have elon musk, talking very openly about trying to start a colony on mars, i think. are you tempted to rekindling your astronaut? >> i'm a little less tempted after the explosion yesterday. but i did promise my wife that i wouldn't go into space, which at the time seemed like an absurd promise, of course i'm not going to go out into space. now i'mle realizing actually -- i'm realizing, actually, i could go into space if i wanted to. we're probably not that far away, where i can buy a ticket into space, in my lifetime. that's unbelievable. and, you know, so -- but i promised i wouldn't do it, because it is dangerous. and i'm the father of four kids. and i have an amazing wife. >> you don't think she'd reconsider? >> no, i don't think so. >> ha ha ha! okay.
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we'll we're going to leave it there. mike of flip board. thank you so much. [applause] >> u.s. chief technology officer megan smith also spoke at the 2014 washington ideas forum. before joining the obama administration, she served as a vice president at google. she's interdo interviewed for about 20 minutes. >> wow. this is quite a crowd. i can sense she actually doesn't want to spend this time trashing blackberries a great silicon valley tradition. i may skip that question. one thing i guess i did want to start on. the white house -- it was in the post today -- that the white house network had been breached again, which made we wonder, are the technologists here and their contractors, will they ever make products that are as good as gmail or should they just give up and switch to the stuff that's getting built out there? >> the technology teams here are
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fabulous as cto, i don't oversee those. i'm aware of the issues that are going on that, you know, attack not only places like the white house but companies where i've worked before, et cetera. so the main thing there is there is a great team working on this. and they're working through it. we'll see where that goes. >> but you think that the tradition of having government contractors and government officials doing -- building their own e-mail systems, for instance, is something that makes sense at this point? >> one of the things that is exciting about what i think the president is doing, and i think it comes in some ways out of the experience with, this amazing policy and legislation and plan and that it's really work, all of a sudden they kind of hit this wall of a website not working. what was great is the tech folks helped showed up to help transition it, to get it into a place where
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>> how do we get more of the tech talent into government. we want services in the cloud. when we write software, we were making exceptions when needed. having people who have digital services, great talent now with backend design. they are now here. that is exciting. it's part of why i came. i wanted to make sure that
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together with our extranet economists riders, that where showing up on behalf of our government. if are not here, we are lagging behind. >> the u.s. digital services -- they are working systematically on a couple of high priority website areas. the american people should interact with our government. mobile services and website. we want to be as good as the commercial sector. also could hold of some technologies for our services. >> in silicon valley -- one of
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the things that has an interesting to watch is this relationship between silicon valley and powerful companies and wealthy individuals in washington. t's evolving. gmail, search, when you're talking about cars, aviation, there is a realization out there that government is something you have to deal with. how do you see that relationship evolving? >> one of the things that's happening in general is it is becoming less and less expensive to make things. whether it's 3-d printing, websites services -- so the regulators are running as fast as they can to keep up with those advancements. one of the opportunities we have
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, creating sandboxing for uavs. the fda recently listed -- from a commercial perspective, the ability to have the jets and future. that is something we want to get to. whether it's hollywood, real estate, agricultural, we would like to use aerial view disaster response people we want to protect the american people and protect innovators to move forward. the agencies have been working hard to find places where safe harbors are sandboxes are placing the city where you could test this. i think people are in good conversations. i don't think there is some kind of tech versus government. i think people have good dialogue. >> traditionally libertarians are staunchly anti-relation.
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your average drawn hobbyist feels that way. the agencies are working to create sandboxes. as or something reciprocal happening in san francisco as a thing that can have to deal with , they want to help shape. >> the best policy happens when all the people are at the table talking to each other. instead of people working against each other, how do you get on the same side of the problem and work on solutions. we are seen creative conversations. they are coming out -- we were talking about uavs, whether it's transportation policies, driving a car, all the different areas. the key is to get the dialogue and keep the dialogue going and to be open. it's hard. regulators are open to the conversation to that has been my expanse. >> do you fly uavs question mark >> i've done a little bit. >> on a what the rules are in washington good there were signs
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all over town that they lost the drone last year. i don't know what that was about. >> one of the twitter questions had to do with science and technology. i think the president has been really good on pushing for innovation and funding and has successfully gotten a budget, even though there's been some cap's. you made me think about darpa and security, flying vehicles. they could bring that to bear to solving on the problem of regulation and technology solutions around control and security. >> for instance? >> the darpa folks have demonstrated how to make sure that people can't break into the internet of things technologies and how are going to address that. as we begin to have sensors and these great technologies that can help us, we have to make sure that's a secure network and having someone like darpa funded
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research looking at those problems is really important. >> you have this incredibly broad -- it's what your most excited about. where do you feel like there are places and resources with the federal government, also constraints, that you can change the bureaucracy. >> technology should help people's quality of life, big challenges. how do we reduce our impact on the planet. i ran into a friend of mine, catherine moore, who will be on the stage, and i think that what we want to do, what i want to do is unlock talent. there is so much talent in this country. there's talent of the highest end, some of our greatest innovators, elon musk, silicon valley and henry ford's of the past, clara barton. how do we help them do their
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thing by helping with regulation conversations and tech policy? how do we help with jobs? we need all americans to be included in this innovation opportunity of the 21st century. one of my favorite things is what we are doing with nec. there are a million jobs that are going to go unfilled in the i.t. tech sector. what's going on with some line -- supply and demand? why can't they train for that? we need to make sure those jobs get filled, not only for our country and our companies, but all the opportunities -- these are fun jobs. these tech jobs are collaborative, engaging, i paid. there has been fabius innovation on these coding classes how do we get the scaled into our community colleges? how do we help with people who are in companies that are not making the jump to the next wave in making sure that the leadership and talent there is retrained.
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computer science, new languages and technologies cloud-based things, that they need to move to good leveraging the infrastructure we have in doing the policy side of that, whether it's making sure that trend can use some of their g.i. bill money for the retraining, really thinking through the ecosystem of engaging americans into that especially our youth. >> presidential candidates have been talking about this for 20 years. where these it working? >> it's amazing to watch. people are seeing a percent take-up -- 80-90% pickup. they are nascent. there are not millions of people. there's beginning to be hundreds and thousands into these programs. you can imagine it's like taking a semester long class and bring you into coding. in some cases, it's people who are already technical and their upgrading their skills to a more modern set of products.
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i was with the cofounder square, who placed 1000 people in miami into new jobs just by -- what he did was he created a place for people to comment do these online courses together, the upgrade themselves. having community and help them place in the jobs. more of that. >> there's minor backlash to that argument were people say that in 1932 the was a conversation that everybody out of the of cartridges, but ultimately -- these are not going to be well-paying jobs. they are our basic coding. it's like recurring a car engine. it's not a high-level tech job. it's not a job with a future that people can imagine. i'm sure you've heard that argument. what you make of it? >> you begin somewhere. with the beginning of computers, we did not have these degrees. a lot of young people, high school kids, if they get hold of
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the computer will engage in that. it can work very well. one of the things it is really important is helping our schools have more opportunities for young people to have experiences doing this. we are happy to teach people reading and writing, you start with basic abc's until you write your term paper in high school. we onboard you. in other fields we have canceled a lot of the classes in her schools. you are learning all these facts for science, learning math, but not in context. you don't have lab, science, art , home act, shout. we have to get that back. we don't have specialty classes can we adapt to active learning? i was lucky that science there was mandatory in my high school in inner-city buffalo.
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yesterday we had the incredible middle school students from the competition. the ability to play at and expenses as a kid -- of u.s. any technical person, they can draw back to that moment. it's the moment when they realize that science and tech is not mount everest, but it begins with a few steps. not only is it fun and interesting and you don't of the answers, but also that you get the confidence that you can do it. that is important, whether it's for kids or with any americans. these are lucrative, important, fun, interesting sectors of our economy. they are not all programming. some's user interface design. some is marketing. these are growing sectors. a faculty member at berkeley did some research recently that every stem or tech job that is happening in the brain helps
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high-growth cities like austin, boston, washington, d.c. comes in cisco -- it's generally five more jobs on average. those jobs, whether they are dr., lawyer, taxi driver carpenter are better paid than other jobs. we really need to attract money to regions and distribute that into the ecosystem. we need people to invent discoveries of the literate is economy and is in a field. >> you learn to code in school? >> definitely. in vietnam, you learn from second grade for that is happening in china. uk's moving them. dr. sue black from the u.k. said second graders, third-graders they learn to reed it's the perfect time to learn to code. we often will teach them a set of instructions. >> are you going to make that happen? >> people are working on that across the country. the best leadership is coming
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out of a group called i encourage everybody, national computer science week is the second week of september. if you don't know who ada lovelace is, reed the new book. the chapter starts with her. during that time, all americans are encouraged to do an hour of code. right now, most people in this room are not programmers. take one hour this year, go on to and to those activities. it will start to demystify this. it's an important skill. it does not mean everyone should be a programmer, but it's a 21st century skill. >> you were a woman in teflon before there was this focus lab conversation happening around why are there not more women in tech. there were probably more women in tech when you started and there are now. do you think things are getting better? is this public discourse moving
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things? >> yes. none of us created these problems. discrimination, unconscious bias, we did not create them. as they become -- come to our consciousness, we need to fix them. the tech industry is at that moment were starting to wake up. you are talking about distorted trends. in engineering, most of the fields just have a continuous increase of women getting much more balanced, the computer science goes off a cliff in the 1980's and drops from 40% to 15-20%. there's a fabulous npr piece. we culturally decided as the personal computer came in that it was for the boys. you even talk to some of the women who are in computer science and had to get the key from their brother to get in to his room and use the family computer that was basically his.
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leslie park is this astonishing place where churchill put the team that cracked the enigma code for world war ii. more than half were women. there's a new movie coming out on this, where people saved love and million lives and shortly were but using code. what is interesting is that our cultural bias -- when people in the u.k. who visited the museum, it's 25-1 for visitors to girl visitors. it is because people are naturally selecting. there were a lot of women, mathematicians in england. we need the u.k. parents and u.s. parents to help us up the girls into be part of it. the other big part of solving this is for just a have the experiences. the sooner we can get this into class, elementary's goma, high school mandatory. the more the case will realize they can do this. all the data shows that.
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>> thank you for so much taking time. >> is a pleasure to be here. [applause] x our final portion of the washington ids -- that is formed features women from the world's fourth straight is a is the vice chair of nascar. rita benson is the owner of the new orleans saints. they are interviewed by jonathan karl. this is about 20 minutes. >> [applause] >> this is a real treat for me. i'm here with the two most powerful women in sports. very exciting. not only are you a the top of a profession that we see is largely male-dominated, the nfl, nascar, not only is professional sports male-dominated, but those two sports particularly, but you're both doing innovative things in the side of business
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and community development side of sports. first, i have to start with women in sports. come right out and tell us, what's it like to be the boss of a 350 pound offense alignment? what is that relationship like? >> i'm older now. i'm also in a family business. when i started, a lot of people who workforce -- i was a kid, a years old. it's a difficult thing in terms of some of them have known me when i was a child. the players are younger than me now. i think of them as a cousin con of relationship. they're clearly not my children. they are big guys. the larger-than-life. they have big hearts. they do a lot in a community in london the field to make her fans proud. i'm very blessed to be around always be guys. >> you have a very different approach than some of the other owners. just to pick name, dan snyder
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jerry jones -- what is your -- jerry jones is up there in the owner's fox like living and breathing every play, micromanaging the team. >> they are coronation of all the teams, particulars and the personalities, so i most affectionate with the nfl. they have such diverse backgrounds. jerry was instrumental in pushing the league and a marketing direction when he came in. sometimes when you push things, you ruffle feathers. i appreciate that structure. i also appreciate that we can change and adapt what are friends love. if you are the owner and you bought a team, you can run it as you feel. we are also very collaborative and the business of football. they are watching the games. jerry's very competitive. he has ever where he really cares about ticking the players. that is his prerogative. for me my family, we have
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somebody different companies i feels the general manager's responsibility. they have that autonomy to be properly the right decisions. the collaboration that happens on the league level is so important. some people might think that is more of a feminine trait, but that is the strength of the league. the parity and unity we have as a make decisions for we discuss it argue, fight for beliefs, and yet, we all know that we're moving fort in the same direction. >> nascar, one of the fastest growing sports -- we think of it as a male-dominated area. what's interesting is how important women are to the bottom line of nascar. >> it has changed. i think you bring up a good point. sometimes it's thought of as a traditionally male-dominated sport, but i started in the 1980's with nascar. it is a family business. i've seen dramatic changes, not just on the track.
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i know everybody thinks about danica patrick. she is on the scene and given nascar a different face, which is terrific. there are also up-and-coming stars as well that are females and really making a positive impact. it's not just on the track which you may be for more familiar with, it's also what's going on behind the scenes, what's going on in the boardroom, engineers. nascar officials are on the dirt road in participating, hands-on in the sport. dramatic changes and really making a difference for all of us. >> will write your family's question mark >> our fan base is about 45% women. i think that surprises people a lot of times as well. we have a very strong female fan base. >> obviously it's been a rough year for the nfl. it's been a great year for ratings and for the bottom line but it's been a rough year on
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the public relations front. you think the nfl could have come through some of what occur this year looking better if there have been more women in leadership and nina felt? >> of there are more women involved in the conversation and does frank in the conversation. we can mentor bring up others. because everything is so focused on the men who play the game the usual bejewel don't understand that our women on the club level where you are impacting have face-to-face and are action with her fans and players. what i appreciate are those feminine traits. you can go through katrina and not in a negative into a positive. this is a very important time for us to discuss social issues. women tend to be more collaborative and share more. embracing people that deal with
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tough issues but giving them within the family and doing with those issues, and driven society, i think we will see more women involved. we will be better. >> it's sports, entertainment that how important is that role model function to sports question mark -- sports? you see them as more than just some of the going out in competing on given day. >> i would like to go back to what we are all about. when we talk about women in our sport, when you arrive at the track, it's a full day of activities, not just for the mail that's going to watch the races, but also the female fans and the family. you are trying to entertain families all day long and provide great value. we talked about a different perspective. when we have women that are in the business side of it, we can
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also discuss what's important to the fan from our perspective and what's going to bring that family in an what's going to attract family to come and spend all day with you. there are a lot of opportunities and options out there. it's a -- up to us to be of a deliver that expense for our fans. questions a total -- touch on the youth program of nascar, football, and best of all so much that we have done in terms of building grassroots programs whether that's the fields and >> but unifying our community and that way. one of the things i have been proud of is that it used to be that there were most interested in the player. after we won the super bowl it's remarkable how kids would come up to me. for little girls, i can say see you don't have to be a football player to get a ring. you can be a girl. if you stay in school and get a job, you can be a part of the
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overall business. it really takes speaking to them and talking and having an interest. it's amazing that they can -- they aspire to be athletes, but the vast percentage will not be an elite athlete. it's very important for us and our development programs that these kids have some engagement with sport, but also have realistic and connected expectations. the director of our community relations program, she is an african-american female and she's from new orleans. i'm so proud of having her there to speak to these young kids. they can identify with her. >> we were talking earlier to about how we can use our sport and our businesses to be him to educate. when there are so many educational opportunities that make reading, writing, math engineering just a little bit sexier to the students so they
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can go forward. we have programs as well, and i know we do does, but we're very proud of that. we had a chance to talk about it earlier. it was fun to compare notes. >> one of our sponsors -- the commonality of sports and focusing on science technology is even better. in mathematics and all the things that they should be learning, but to use that in sports examples, so i nascar they use the car and our new innovations for the center, we use the football example sneakers, technology and that, the league and showing what the players can do. sports is such a unifying element. clearly we all watch it, but it's expanding your program so that that touch comes home. i think because your focus of much on the game a lot of times, that's a very masculine thing as far as competition and winning and being aggressive to be at
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the top, where's the female, the feminine traits, they are more collaborative. >> you want to win? >> adeptly want to win. -- i definitely want to win. you have to be happy with the experience you offer. we think it is more entertainment and sports these days. >> sports his entertainment? what's the balance? >> it is obviously both. it is more sports focus before, but having an opportunity to take our facilities and expand upon them. in daytona, which is the home of the daytona 500, we are putting $400 million into totally renovating the facilities. we are not thinking about just raising, which is our bread and butter, but also about what other events we can put on that will be great for the business, great for the fans, and also drive economic impact for our community. we've had such a positive
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reaction so far. we are going to open on february, 2016, and the plans are so exciting. we will be a would to open up to concerts. other checks have wine festivals. all kinds of charitable events. we will continue to expand even more with his entertainment options. question did this in kansas city. -- >> you did this in kansas city. this is something that requires a lot of public funding upfront. i imagine there are some questions about that. what impact does it have on the economic vitality of what was a region that was really depressed? >> we opened our track, kansas speedway in 2001. low and behold, we learned we had a great partner with the state of kansas and also with the county. we got together and figure it out there was a blighted area and it was going backwards rapidly backwards, there was
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nothing there whatsoever. there are only 260 $5,000 a year that they were collecting in taxes from that property and the surrounding area. today, after we have built the racetrack and all the other developments that sprung up around it, we now have a casino, hotel, a whole village area that is right around the racetrack -- 12 mean visitors a year now come to a place where nobody visited before. we went from 206 $5,000 annually to testify million dollars in taxes today. we are proud of that. not just for nascar and for our business, but for what the community has done, how they've embraced us. it is really a story of high you can be successful if you partner together and have the same vision. >> tell us the story. there some commonalities. one of the most max stories in sports, business, and community
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with katrina. we all watched as katrina hit your city. what was the state of your team, your stadium, which we also, and how did you leave that come back? >> it was insanely traumatic. even though i'm not watching the video, i can hear it. it was very emotional. at the time, really just collaborating and listening to experts from the is the spirit groups. i was counsel that you would have it increased domestic violence, alcohol abuse, drug abuse because people were going to this trauma they had never collectively done that and everybody was germanic people from their homes. he was very germanic. you cannot talk about -- you knew what you hope to do in a congress, but decisions for people that could handle the situation became very finite.
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you can only do what was possible. when of the things that we were very fortunate is that our governor had the vision that the superdome had become a symbol of destruction and pain and those problems, but that was the biggest thing, if we put it back together, when everyone was thinking would not be able to, that would be a symbol of what our community can a compass together. it truly was. we had the promise and commitment of a lot of people. we had investment from the nfl owners. there was a constant process. i know it's long-winded, but it was so much time and effort. our tire community succeeded when the game started. then we won and beat the falcons. we won the super bowl. we had a lot of milestones in the community, but everybody was involved in that game so that was the most impactful experience at had in sports and their careers or anything just to be a part of it. i'm deeply proud of that.
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that was the step to get it back on our feet and talk about what we could do. our public and private partnerships, there was property adjacent to the superdome that was blighted three years after katrina, office door, mall, some other retail and parking, and one of them having a direct government subsidy to we got very creative in our conversations. the state was going to invest in a 110 million dollars building. we invest in our dollars and turn the blade into commerce. therefore, they give us a long-term leasing agreement on all that office space. that was an integral pre--- as we put everything back together we attracted mercedes-benz to be the sponsor for our facility. there was another milestone an indication that are building was brand-new and world-class.
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>> brings back to those discussions as the city was devastated. was there any voices saying we should move to an entirely different location? i'm a strict bottom-line sense that make sense? >> it made sense because people were there, but it was a very difficult conversation to have daily. i was asked by people, where you back? i knew that whatever played well was going to get covered, but you have to send messages to all the people you work with that we'll had to be there. everyone from every socioeconomic background was forced to leave that -- and yet we made a financial commitment to go and be there. it was not easy. we had to have people. first of all, you had to have a building. the first year you had to set the schedule for the nfl for the first year.
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we were in multiple different locations. knowing that people were there and also that the companies were there, we did not have nielsen ratings. we did not have a per capita. it was a difficult for companies to make decisions as to what they would do and whether the could function, not just a will, but also people to be the customers. we had our season ticket holders that stepped up and we were sold out for the next season. that was the one fact that we could say, 72,000 people are planning to be there for 10 home games. >> you better be ready. >> we were simple, catalyst, ambassadors for a community. we are home where we are. the hornets were -- we did not own the team at a time. we acquired it in 2012. there are some familiar faces in that room. both leagues have a different evolutionary phase.
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we are committed and determined to help support new orleans. it's a great global, cultural city. >> one of the great stories. kansas and daytona looking for to see what happens down there. a pleasure to talk to both of you. i hope to see you at a game come as you had a race. >> absolutely. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> we're a parting gift. >> wow. >> and i you have divisive. >> now, a 2004 book notes
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interview with mayor cuomo on his book "why lincoln matters. >> mario cuomo died at age -- the son of a time immigrant, he played minor-league a spot before embarking on a legal and political career. his dedication to policy made him a political star. he is considered a possible presidential candidate in 19881992. he decided not to run good he was author of three books. he appeared on c-span book note to talk about his book "why lincoln matters." this is in our. most what about politics and
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-- this is an hour. works? >> >> mayor cuomo, author of "why lincoln matters," what year did your sister give you a copy of lincoln's collected works? >> 1955, the first year. >> why did she give it to you? >> i had shown an interest in lincoln already and she knew it and she was my older sister and education was everything in my household. my parents were immigrants. my mother died at 95 never having been able to read a book in any language which is something we talked about a lot, the kids in the family. thing we talked about with the kids in the family and my sister and older brother were constantly after me buying books for me etc. i wasn't a kid when she did it in 1955, i had been around for a while, but she knew i had an interest in lincoln and she thought it would be a good idea and the collective works had become a treasure for me since then. >> how big are the collected works? how many volumes? >> nine volumes and they have those magic indexes that they
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did for a while the additional indexes and i wish they kept writing the collected works because they do find new things from time to time but i think in its original form it was nine. >> so 1955 did you say? >> 1955. host: how old would you have been? >> i was born in 1932. host: so you were in your 20's. >> yes. host: where were you in your life, had you had college? >> in 1955, i had just started law school, i guess. 1941 to -- 1951 to 1953 was college. yes, i was in law school. host: so how much time did you spend with the collected work? >> and i was married. it's been married for a year or so. host: this was your 50th 50th anniversary? >> we just had had our 50th 50th anniversary. host: how much time did you spend with the collected work? >> over the years i've head
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lincoln regularly. i'm not a lincoln historian, i'm not a lincoln scholar but i've read lincoln, you know i've done the lincoln portrait twice, i've written on lincoln, not for publication, although we did do a book in 1985 i think 1986 lincoln on democracy that i edited with harold holzer, i did speaks in springfield with jim thompson a couple of times. and i've wrote not everything that comes down the list every once if a while there's a book on lincoln i'm really not interested in, because to me the thing that i -- i was totally dazzled by was his extreme intelligence, his incredible ability to analyze cies suppleness with the law and his big ideas for a man who never stepped out of the country except to go to canada and new york state. we don't count the canadian border as far as foreign policy but that was the only time he ever left the country, but he
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talked constantly about the rest of the world and the effect of the experiment on the rest of the world. for a fellow who only went to school for a year of formal schooling, his sense of the big, big trees in the world especially and this is particularly relevant i think now, especially on religious issues. he talked a lot about religion we're confronted now by very big recommendationous issues, a -- religious issues, abortion, stem cells and his thinking about the fundamental truths the basic spiritual truths that every religion starts with what surrelationship to other human beings, how do you regard other human beings, and what do you do if you conclude that well you're supposed to respect them love them if you will and work with them on what is your mission. well hebrew says prepare the universe.
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christians say be collaborators in creation. he wasn't a christian, he wasn't a jew but he said exactly the same thing. the whole mission was to try to make this place better, make this living experience better. wonderful stuff. we don't have anybody who talks that way now. that's why i wrote the book. >> you say he wrote a million words. >> i'm sorry? i. you say he. host: you say he wrote a million words. do you think he wrote them himself? >> well let's see what his choices would have been. he was practicing law when he wasn't being a politician and when he was being a politician even the people around him weren't perfectly suited to the way he was hounded who loved him and found him an abolitionist. he wasn't the way clinton was on slavery from the very beginning. mechanically he didn't have much of a choice. and he did everything, just about everything on his own unlike most modern politicians. he had who think up the ideas.
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nobody -- he didn't sit around trying to figure out, you know how to get around the constitution, which he became extremely adept at and i marvel at the suppleness he showed in dealing with the constitution, making it sound like he wasn't breaking it in half when sometimes he was coming very close to doing that so i think he did everything himself. host: were you able very often in your political life to write for yourself? >> oh yes. on the major speeches, always. i've had some brilliant brilliant people work with me peter quinn, who wrote a great historical novel on ireland and is doing very well now as an author and wrote like an angel, had written speeches for the governor before me and i worked with him several times and -- but in the end if it's a speech that i was going to give and not the ordinary day-to-day
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address you give to this group or that group. that was always written for me. sometimes i didn't see the cards until i got to the event but if it was a speech at a convention like the speech at san francisco in 1984 or nomination of clinton in 1992 or the notre dame talk i had peter quinn, i had bill hanlon, a friend of his we all worked together for five weeks, but that was mostly on the theology of it and the logic of it and making sure we had it exactly right. if i was going to read a speech, then i wanted it to be as much as possible mine because otherwise it wasn't easy for me to deliver it as well as i was capable of delivering it if the words were mine. >> just for a moment while we are on this in your lifetime, who are the best speakers? >> well you see that's difficult because if you mean readers of speeches -- >> i'm not talking about politicians -- i mean, you know
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one side ort other but who in your opinion has gotten the message through? >> reagan did it better than anyone that i've ever seen. because he had -- first of all you can't separate the persona from the performance, because if there's somebody up there you don't like the looks of who seems silly or negative, you're not going to give him the same willingness to be persuaded. but reagan was perfectly non-menacing. nobody ever ever ever looked at reagan and said i have to look out for this guy. they remembered him from the screen and in part because he was that kind of person. he wasn't a harsh or negative person, he was a gentle, sweet person, so he started with that advantage and then he could read anything and make it sound good. he could read the menu i'm sure
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and make it inspiring if he wanted to and what he did with pauses and that wonderful smile and his good looks. my mother, i mentioned her already, i was sitting with tim russert and i was governor at the time and tim was working and we were watching the candidates, only my mother was in the room with us and tim asked her what she thought of reagan and she said how old is he and i said, well he's 70 75. she said his hair and i said yes and she said, is it dark? i said well they say that that's his natural hair he didn't change the color. >> and she said if italian god must love him. a guy like that is going to be persuasive when a woman like my mother can look at him and feel that way about him. he was wonderful. in speeches he was wonderful. we make a little bit of fun of him in the book in the piece harold and i got together on in
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the beginning of this book in which he cited some things as lincoln epithets that weren't really but that wasn't his fault. he was a great great communicator. no question about it. he transmitted sincerity, which is the big key for a politician. bill clinton, bill clinton is a great talker. bill clinton is very fluid, he's very fluent, sometimes too much so and that is what happened in 1988. but he's so knowledgeable and so intelligent and as the obvious charm too so makes him a very good communicator. >> i thought nixon who i got to know a little bit in the book monica kraally wrote the only place anyone ever described this odd relationship that developed after i became governor, but his economic speeches, which i read you know, are some of the plainest easiest language to read on economics that i've ever read and he was good there.
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what was your relationship with richard nixon? >> one of the reasons i went into politics and i went in belatedly, i was not a politician i'm still not a politician by instinct. i love politics, i love governance more than politics. i love the serving in government, which was a wonderful opportunity, but i was born during the second vatican council with the catholic jewish relations committee and then came watergate anted rabbi said to me you've beaten robert moses in lawsuits, mayor lindsey of new york rockefeller you constantly beat up the system, why don't you become a part of it? so i went into government and then i decided well let's try it so we don't feel so much like hypocrites. for a couple of years. i stayed 20. so nixon -- what did he with
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watergate and what that did to the system in part convinced me to go into politics and i did. years later 1983, i become a governor, he's out he's living in jersey he's a former president, i had nef met him. i bumped into him a couple of times but i couldn't say they were meetings. i might even -- there was no relationship. and then i do an inaugural fain 83 and we -- 1983, and we get a call from the president's office in new jersey or wherever it was, did the governor get my note? nobody knew anything about a note. they looked in my trash pail and it was in the trash pail and it had a tomato stain on it apparently a ham and cheese with tomato on rye. a note came in dr. governor cuomo, an then it was typed an then it says sincerely richard nixon. they put it on my desk when i got there i looked at it and
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figured this is ridiculous, so i just put it in the pail. i thought it was a wise guy republican sending it to me and it was at my inaugural address and there was a coming con garage -- a note congratulating me and that started a series of phone calls and monica crowly was very young and very bright and lincoln just talked to her all day long and she made notes. save sapphire said that nixon always knew he would do a book and he was using her to get his last story out and in the course of our conversations, some of which are reported in the book so he must have talked to other about them or she overheard them, i don't know which he suggested for example i run against president bush. i mean george bush, the first
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george bush. it would be good for the president, he said. and i don't want you to win but you know, so he had a kind of peculiar way about him. he also -- hammond who is now deceased, said i'm going to arrange a meeting with the governor, which he did and that was strangely erased just before i left for moscow and he swore that it was because the bush people found out and they didn't want that so it was that kind of thing. we talked a lot about the economy? no. strike we talked. he talked a lot about it. because at that stage if his life, it was very hard to interrupt his flow. he would call you how are you i saw this governor, you did very well and then you would say thank you very much mr. president. incidentally, what do you think about, boom, and that was the end of it. that was it an then he would stay on that. whatever the subject was the
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economy, foreign policy, and when you tried to get in he returned it so it was mostly a way for him to ventilate, i thought, the conversation. i met him once it was in new york after that but most of it was just these telephone conversations until finally it passed. host: let me go to abraham lincoln speaking. i know you studied him chosely. what would he been like in the television age. would he been able to make it? >> that's such a difficult question. i start with a blunt crude evaluation. he was so smart, he was so wise he was so acute in his intelligence that i can't imagine any of the technological impediments really hiding that. i don't know what his voice was. you hear all kinds of descriptions that could be heard at the -- a thousand feet away
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but it was high and it was this. i really don't know. and a beautiful voice like reagan's would help sure surely and a screechy voice would not but i think no matter where you put this man in our history whatever period, whatever the technology, in the end his ideas, his intelligence i don't know that his sense of humor, he had a great reputation as we know as a story teller, etc., but i hate puns and when i discovered he liked puns you know, that kind of disappointed me, and the one that maybe is the worst, he was going down the street and somebody saw the sign t.t.r. strong. and he looked at it and said t.r. strong? but coffee are stronger. tea are stronger but coffee are stronger.
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stronger. >> why do you hate pundits? >> i don't know. the cruel use of humor. and a guy like him the subtlety i so admire. so i think brian if you had him today, and i try doing this on page 166 in the book i do a state of the union, by lincoln today in lincolnesque language and harold holzer who everybody knows is a great lincoln scholar and old friend of mine harold holzer who i -- i said hoarld, i'm going to write this write it tonight and he said gee how could you ever get away with that? i said let me try it just trying to do his language and today's issues, iraq terrorism, the huge tax cut etc. and i did it and harold called me up and said son of a gun i think we can make this work. and i said go through second
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inaugural and the other places, check out sentences for me that are actual lincoln sentences that fit this speech that i've written and we did that hand worked on it and so that's an idea of lincoln speaking today. i think he'd have to change some of his syntax and some of his grammar, but we need him desperately today. that's why i wrote the book. i think what he said what he believed the big ideas he offered you the wisdom he offers you we need desperately now. we're confused. we're riveted on terrorism which we need to deal with still losing men and women and other innocent people are dying as well and sure we have to think about it but we have to be thinking about that and much more. he thought about the civil war he thought about each battle but he thought constantly about much more than that. he thought about what was going to happen when he finally did win the war. and how he was going to reconcile and how he was going to make us one again and how he
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was going to preserve us for the benefit of the entire world. that's his mind. that's what we need now. >> you say in the introduction, had lincoln not existed, had he been left than he was or had the battle to keep the nation together been lost it would have meant the end of the american experiment. >> right. that was lincoln's assessment. that is my assessment. that's essentially what he says when people came at him as we know offered all sorts of possible compromises, let these guys go, the heck with them we'll be better off in the north, we can survive as two countries, etc. and he said all of that would destroy the original idea. the original idea was we went from the articles of can con fet federation to a constitution -- con federation to a constitution
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to bind us as one and if you allow them to create their own republic there would be another fragmentation, and you'll eventually crumble into particles. that in essence is what he was saying. and he was, i'm sure, right. he said look, the whole world is looking at us. there have been attempts at democracies before. never one like this. never one with the potential success of this one. and this now is the big test to see if can he with govern ourselves or whether the first time you have a really passionate disagreement amongst yourselves, you're going to break up balkanize, a word he wouldn't have used but i do and that was his feeling and i think he's right and i think he made the right judgment and that was to pay the price, to keep the union together. host: you also right in the introduction neither party republican or democrat, so far has presented a compelling
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comprehensive achievable vision that sets out the basic principles we must live by to bring us closer to the more perfect union described by our founding fathers. now your own party is not going to like to hear that. >> so be it. host: neither party so far has presented a compelling comprehensive achievable vision. >> i think that's absolutely true and i think it's absolutely true of my party and i'm devoted to my party and i'm devoted to the candidate we have, but it's clear we haven't done it yet. that's not to say we won't and i think as a matter of fact we'll have to to win to be honest. i think there's a reason why we haven't done it to far. i think right now it's -- the campaign is bush against bush and bush is losing for the time being. because the fact of the situation is that everyone is watching iraq. and everybody is still concerned about terrorism and he is the commander-in-chief, and he is in the middle of the action. and so of course we're focused
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on him. it makes very little difference what john kerry or anybody else on the democratic side says now. joe biden or any other spokesperson because we're watching our president. they don't have the power to influence that president. and -- oh this is not an even -- and even tactically if you see the president is subsiding and taking a hit not as big a hit as you might have imagined, but you don't interrupt that process. just let minimum stand until he stabilized, starts moving up and then you make your move so i think kerry hasn't made his move yet. he's not going to be able to -- it's not going to wait until the last two weeks, you're going of to have to start pretty soon and i think probably the convention is the date. starting with the convention, he has to start offering the vision i'm talking about. he has to say to the american people, here's where we were wrong, that's easy 54% of you already think that the war in
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iraq was a mistake so convincing you, we've made a lot of mistakes is not the problem. convincing you that i could do it better than he did that's our challenge and i accept it and here's what we're going to do. then he has to lay it out. host: you safe parties shouldn't try to claim lincoln either side. >> you can try. well -- forgive me. i think what i say is don't try to make him a republican in today's terms or a democrat in today's terms. as a matter of fact, don't besmirch him with any of the modern labels. the old ones were bad enough because the modern labels are an absolute joke. what would you call president clinton? a conservative? no, no. no. liberal? no, no no. he didn't like that. what do you call him? and if the word conservative meant anything, why would george bush have to come from texas where he was a conservative and suddenly become
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a compassionate conservative and if democrat meant anything, why would you have to run as a new democrat? why would you need those mitigating muckup words attached to the label if the label told you about the candidate? so the labels don't mean anything and they didn't mean much in his time. i say you shouldn't try to label him he's too supple for that and if you absolutely forced me to give you a label which only had two words to describe him, i would say well call him progressive and call him pragmatic and make him a pragmatic progressive, or a progressive pragmatist because he was broader than that. here's a good example i think of that. right now if we have an argument about who are the conservatives horthe liberals you'd probably have to start it by saying ok what do they say about the role of government?
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and the conservatives would say as reagan did and as clinton did at one point the era of big government should be over. big government is the problem. little government is what we believe in. and then you go to liberals, and they'd say well no we need more government. you go to -- lincoln what does he say? he doesn't fall into that foolish trap he doesn't play that simplistic game. he said look, it's basic. the constitution brought us together. government is the coming together of people to do for one another collectively what they could not do as well or at all privately. and so if you can use the market system, use the market system. don't bother with us. if you could build all the roads we need in this country don't ask eisenhower to do the road program, just build them and make them toll roads like
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europe. if you could educate everybody in this country through the market system, lincoln wouldn't have wasted my time saying one of the first things we have to do is education and for your information, neither would adam smith have done it in the wealth of nations when he says look market systems are inevitable if you're going of to have a good society, but they're not sufficient by themselves. there have to be interventions and he named specifically education, so lincoln didn't read the wealth of nation. maybe he did. but he didn't need to. he was as smart as smith was only said it better. and if you take that test and apply it to everything, you end this argument about the role of government. it gets to be very easy then you're arguing ad hoc. space program kennedy wants one. conservatives, you want to leave it to the private industry? maybe boeing will do it. i don't think so. how about government in --
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government? yeah it's a good investment so we're in it. with hamilton, it was the national bank, etc. etc. but that's always a correct analysis. when it got to roosevelt and poor people were dying because nobody would go to help them and old people who were sick had no help roosevelt said look we have to make a change in this democracy there there are a lot of things the market is not doing for us beyond public schools and that's health care and work for people or help for people who are out of work and retirement benefits, so you do social security, unemployment insurance, workers benefits of all kinds and then lady johnson does medicare and medicaid and this is lincoln and if you had paid attention to lincoln in the early stages and didn't make these simplistic arguments about government is bad government is good, it's neither. it's necessary. when it's necessary you use it when it's not you don't.
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we could use that talk today for lincoln. host: i don't want to bore you but you've gone over this territory so many times, but i want to go back to your beginning. your very beginning. because you point out in here that abraham lincoln was poor came from poverty, didn't have any education. what was the neighborhood like what was your life like when you were born? where was it? >> well it wasn't a little creek in the middle of a forest and it wasn't a log could be cabin in kentucky. where was i born? i was born on a table behind harry and ruby kessler's grocery store. i was delivered by a midwife. all the children, four children my parents had two of us left my older sister and myself, were delivered by midwifes. host: 1932? >> 19 1932. and we at that point spent all day in one room with a black tub in which we washed with a cloth
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and we washed clothes, etc. a blackstone tub and a toilet and cots and curtains. gypsies lived in the middle of the block at that time. that was not unusual in neighborhoods, you know gypsies that lived in empty stores and they put curtains up and they would read your palm and stuff like that. so my mother and father were helping the kesslers by doing physical work in the grocery store. neither of them could read or write english. my father had been a ditch digger in jersey city new jersey but the depression came he was out of work by a miracle, a miracle a miracle somebody in south jamaica queens who was from the same neighborhood as my father was a customer of mr. kessler, who had a heart attack and couldn't do the work said look there's a couple in jersey city going to starve to death because there was no unemployment insurance there was no workers' compensation, there was no welfare, etc. etc. and they work like horses, just give them
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a place to live give them a little something to eat and a few bucks now and then and they'll help out. seven years later, the kesslers turned the store over to my father and they stayed for a long time helping him because he needed a lot of help. host: how long did the family live in one room? >> in the one room in the daytime, we lived for i guess five or six years, and then -- but after two years he found a bedroom for the kids upstairs and my mother and father stayed in the one room and after that we found an apartment. let me make it clear before i -- that sounds like a very you know tough, bare existence and it wasn't. you have to keep it in context. south jamaica queens was all tentments. across the street were three gin
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mills portuguese, spanish all side by side. it was a very poor neighborhood. there was a synagogue on the corner. everybody was poor. the jewish people, the portuguese, the black struggling to get into the middle class and compared to everybody in that neighborhood and the kids that went to ps-50 where there was no library and no bilingual education so they didn't understand names with i first went there because nobody spoke italian and could interpret. we lived well because we had food, we had our two parents home all the time because they were working in the store and we lived there, it was really a very secure comfortable and good life for me and the fact that yeah, we were poor and that i got to know them and meet them because they all came in to the store, the really poor woman, the woman with the scar on her face who happened to be working if in a house of -- it's
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not what we would call it now but you saw all of these people and you concluded after a wile they're all the same, they're all like my mother and father working, struggling, poor they're just like me and that's something i never forgot and i wish everybody had had that experience. host: parents weren't educated? >> to. host: how far did they go to school. >> never. not in italy or here. host: how long did you speak italian? >> i consider it a compliment if you had heard me and you called it italian, it would have been a compliment because it was a bastardized italian. from a rural part of west virginia would be the counterpart here speaking the way they speak in the hills compared to english, so they spoke a terrible dialect to begin with they weren't educated and then they come here and gets mixed with the language of the street. for example, the word for toilet is. [speaking in italian]
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the word for italian was a corruption of back house. that was the italian word for it. so i spoke italian and i speak that kind of italian still but then until i was about 6 seven years old because i was mostly in the store and didn't have a lot of experience outside the store. i was locked behind the store, my brother had been nearly killed if a car accident in the street in front of the store so they didn't want me running around, but i caught up after a wile. >> one of the reasons i ask you go back to the lincoln upbringing and no education and lots of kids around, all that and you had four kids in the family. aft some point you have to get interested in education because you talk about education here the need to spend lots of money on education. but it clearly neither you nor abraham lincoln had a lot of money spent on you for education. somehow you figured it out. >> but i have a mother and father -- lincoln's father apparently was not so prone to
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encouraging his son. his stepmother was and his stepmother pushed lincoln very hard to read and to learn i had two parents who did nothing but push us on education. i had two parents, my father particularly, he was a very smart man he really was and it's hard to think of him now even at my advanced stage and you get choked up thinking about what it must be like to be as smart as he and my mother were and know what you can't communicate, you can't write, you can't read etc. etc. host: so they were smart? >> they were very smart and he would say to me always the same thing. i'm working for one reason -- so that you people get the education we didn't have so that you can be more than i have been able to be. now, if i can get you educated i will have done my job. you're going to have to do much more because you're going to have an education, and so everything they did he had four bank books andre i can't cuomo
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in trust for my brother, andrea cuomo in trust for maria, my sister. and one of the children who died was mario. so i was the second mario. those were little bank accounts, put $5 in $2 in. they were used for one purpose -- not to buy a house. they were for school. so that someday you would be able to go to school. he had no notion how much more school would cost than he would be able to save but that was his whole life. my sister brother, my older sister and brother they both did very well in ' o
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to heterosexuality yet and this was a book basically on lesbianism and i remember struggling as a young person with -- holding it up trying to figure out what this was all about and i had nobody to interpret it for me. but that's an example of how they -- they just saturated me in every opportunity. they saved me from work where they could, if it meant a difference between being able to take a course no school, an then i got another lucky break from priests because i went from south jamaica to a high school run by priests who had been chased from the missions years before and turned to education and created st. john's university, they had a high school st. john's prep beer i
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eventually went four years, got a scholarship to the college across the street, then got a scholarship to the law school and eventually wound up teaching and representing the priests. so i had a lot of people helping me. lincoln had nobody. lincoln had nobody in his family, except his stepmother encouraging him. he didn't have any books being delivered to him by his sister that he couldn't read. i mean i had -- i had a wealth of facilities made available to me from the people around me. >> have you passed on abraham lincoln to your five kids in any way? >> yes. it's kind of inevitable because you talk about it a lot in the house, etc.. i think -- i'm no expert on him although we have five children and 11 grand daughters. i'm beginning to get to be an expert on granddaughters because 11 if a row you have to learn something, but today the
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state of mind is not let me be like my old man or my mother, but i think the children see well, ok my father about d that now i -- my father did that, so i should do something more. i don't want to do something more otherwise there's no addition to the family accomplishments. so let's go off and do something else. while i encouraged three of them to become lawyers, no one wound up practicing. andrew is working as a lawyer now, but he's basically interested in public service and he'll be running for office i'm sure. my daughter margaret quit altogether the law and just raising her children and christopher, my son quit and quit a big law firm to go on abc and do electronic journal. >> i. the other two kids what are they doing? >> my first daughter is a doctor a raidologist and she's doing all kinds of things,
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including raising a second child who came as a blessing to her 15 years after the first child and maria, my daughter maria did not become a lawyer but is now running the largest homeless housing project in america which means in the world. help for the homeless, which was started by my son andrew and is now run by maria and has been for the last eight or nine years. >> you practiced law you live in manhattan. do you speak much? >> i have debate and i speak, yes, i do speak and i debate. i debate bill bennett and jack kemp and dan quayle, republicans, basically. >> around the country? >> around the country. >> people hire you to come in and do this for their meetings. >> new york i do the 92nd street but in new york they're not going to pay any politicians to talk. they don't think enough of politicians to give them money. host: let me go back to the book and because time flies ask you
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to be brief on this so we can give the audience some sense of what you write. you have a whole series of what would lincoln say and i'll go through them and then you can just give us a minute or so so we can find out roughly what he was thinking. what would lincoln say about war? >> i don't like it. i'm against it the way i was against the mexican war. i may be cute about it sometimes and do a bill for appropriations to play the political game but i'm against it. don't do it preemptively and if you do it preemptively as you did it here in iraq then don't make a double mistake of having ended a previous war or evacuating afghanistan because you could never do two wars at once. >> what would he said about civil liberties? >> civil liberties, sometimes you have to play the game with the constitution, if there's something really at risk then in this balancing of liberties in the constitution against protecting the nation and
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protecting the individuals, you lean toward protecting them even if they have to give up some liberties. i did it with habeas corpus, i did it with a lot of things, as to you president bush, you took me a little bit more seriously than you should have because you didn't have as big a problem as i did. the country was at stake with i did it but terrorism is a very important problem, but it's not big enough to justify what you're doing to the constitution. that's what i think it was. host: because you talked about the role of government earlier i'll skip over that and go to opportunity. what would lincoln have said by opportunity? >> chance to work. the opportunity to work. the opportunity to rise the writ in his book the opportunity of the chance to rise up. the opportunity to work your way up to a higher level. and he would have said you do it through a free market system we have to insist that you work as hard as you can yourself the way i did abraham lincoln, but then having worked as hard as you could if you feed some help, then the rest of us should
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chip into educate you, to give you the skills you need etc. etc. and in our economy there are two things that are important -- capital and labor but labor comes before capital. he said that over and over and you should remember that. and in talking about opportunity now, remember those distinctions and that tax cut you gave that some people say will come to as much as a trillion dollars for the top 2 percent of the taxpayers, that's two million, a trillion dollars for two million million, too much kill that give some of that back to the middle class, put some in education. help people enhans their productivity. only four out of five americans is skilled. give them real opportunity, give them more education. >> on global interdependence. >> he would say, you started president bush by being dissident in your campaign, you
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said well, you know we shouldn't mess around with the rest of the world, we'll take care of ourselves, we don't need those protocols we don't have to get involved in environmental deals we don't have to get involved if a criminal justice deal, we don't have to prush off to israel to bail out. let's be strong more modest about it. no nation building, none of that ok. you were wrong. the world is interconnected and interdependent. it was with i was president. i could see it then and i never had what you have. the mobility, the total reliance on one another. you're not big enough to do without the rest of the world. and the rest of the world needs you, so you should be more leaning toward the interconnectedness and interdependence of this world than you have. now belatedly, you've been forced into it good stay on that path. work very hard to get the support of as many people in this world as possible and help
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as many people as you can. >> supreme court? >> supreme court i think he and bush and franklin roosevelt and most of the presidents would agree regrettably which i disagree with all of them and that is look when it comes to the supreme court, you can talk all you want about the niceties of the difference between judges and politicians. but you make sure first you get your political wishes done. if you want to end -- get somebody who guarantees you to do what you want. i don't know how you have do that within the technical rules but i took care of myself politically but putting people on the supreme court who i thought would protect me on the judgments i made on the war the political judgments. that's what you're doing obviously because you say you want somebody like scalia and thomas and that's what roosevelt did. clinton was not. clinton because himself was a constitutional lawyer i think had a more refined and sincere
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sense that hey look there's a big difference between judges and politicians. the same person as a politician could arrive at a different conclusion as a judge because the judge uses different criteria, so to make them politicians is to demean them. lincoln did it bush is doing it. they would probably agree on that. host: were you offered a supreme court seat? >> yes. host: why didn't you take it? >> well, first of all i was hoping i would never have to explain it so i never said anything about it but then somebody, stephanopoulos put it in the book and then the president said it a couple of times. my family doesn't understand this either and it's difficult to explain. if you look at the problems of this country politically, now i'm a lawyer, the thing i do best is as a lawyer, not as a politician, but i did spend 20 years and i was governor for 12 years and it's why i wrote the book and there were all kinds of problems. some of them have to do with the
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constitution, but you get 75 cases a year maybe two or three or four of them would be really big. i would be a dissenter probably and every once if a while maybe i would write a good dissent and maybe it would change somebody's mind, but if you leave me off the bench, then for the rest of my life, i'll be able to bring to bear everything i know about politics, everything i learned in new york state for 12 years as governor and eight years before that. everything i learned about poverty, about the role of government everything i've learned from lincoln, can i go and participate in arguments, i can help and i feel myself that i'm more valuable doing that. now, nobody hears my speeches because i'm not in the public eye and probably not as many people as i like will read the book, burr from my own -- but from my own point of view the feeling i have is i'm giving everything that i got by way of my experience back. every day that they give me a chance to do it and i just feel better doing it. >> did you ever come close to
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saying yes? >> no. host: as long as we're on this topic, why didn't you go for the president? >> oh, well you know two possibilities there. i suspect and i -- believe it or not it's hard to believe although i was in polls a couple of times, i never never once discussed it with my wife or the kids. it never came up. host: never talked about it? >> it never came up. host: did they ever bring it up? >> never did. host: they've never asked these kind of questions. >> what you just asked me no child and my wife to whom i'm married 50 years, have ever asked that question. host: doesn't that seem a little strange? >> no, because other people did. host: they'll watch this show and find out. >> the -- first of all this intrigues me. an editor of the "new york times" once said to me i don't think you have the firing ability to be president. i said well look if thanes i don't have the courage then i'm
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going to be offended, because running for mayor -- for governor wasn't easy and i had roger ailes against me twice running campaigns and they were very, very tough campaigns and i survived those and a campaign with he ed koch and i've taken a lot of hits as governor. so i'm not afraid of that. if you say i don't have that desire that's driving me that says you have to be the president, you're absolutely right and the reason is to do it right i think you would have to look around at all the owe other potential candidates and say none of them are as good as i. to be decent about t you have to say i'm the best person to lead this country and therefore much of the world. that's a heck of a conclusion to reach about yourself. i know myself very well. it's very hard for me to believe that about myself to be candid. now when you showed me a group of people on the governorship in 1982 and i looked around, they were good people, but i said i'm better than they are for
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whatever reason. i ran with all my heart and ran as an underdog, against the money, against everything. host: don't you think -- this is not a fair question. don't you think you're better than john kerry and george bush? >> today? absolutely not. george bush i'm not -- john kerry, absolutely not. no. today, i mean, my age my background no. >> better than bill clinton? >> no. no. clinton was in the field in 1991. i finally did look at it in 1991 because they made a big thing of it i said let me take a look at it, i did. people came back and said there's plenty of money you're first in the polls. i announce i will look at it seriously and if the republicans will make a budget, they have controlled the house, the senate in new york for 70 years if they make a budget, i will run but i can't lead this state without a budget because that -- they'll destroy me in the campaign and it would hurt the state badly. and the republicans for reasons
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i will never understand refused to make the budget until the primaries were over. host: was the plane really on the runway? >> it was but i didn't know it. and i mean i've had to defend myself, you know, why did you let that happen? i didn't let it they -- there were a group of people who wanted me very badly to run and were pushing me to run. i told them i will make the decisions. i didn't tell -- and ron brown, may he rest in peace, who i taught -- he called me professor until he died much too early in his life. and he called me from paris two days before he died. but ron brown had said make the new hampshire -- please make that a deadline governor because people are go to be asking you -- so somebody put a plane out there, they raised money, they had it going. i didn't find that out until later. >> how in touch are you with today's nominee? >> well i talk to people. i talk to bob frum and people in the campaign just about every day.
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>> what would abraham lincoln do if he were president today based on what you know about terrorism? >> ewould say -- he would say first of all don't call it the war on terrorism. you did that because it allowed you to run up the flag and allows you to take a vote etc. it's not a war like the war in iraq where you're taking a specific piece of land against a specific government and it will have a conclusion. this war is not going to have a conclusion any more than the war against crime will have a conclusion. or the war against poverty will have a conclusion. or the war against illness will have a conclusion. so get that clear in your mind. it is not the same kind of war. number two it will take military force real force and where you find the nation that is hosting -- truly hosting terrorists and nothing else works but military force you will have to use it.
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when you find groups of like like al qaeda you will have to use it. to get osama, you have to use it. you need military force. but to think that military force is going to end terrorism is ridiculous. why? because the terrorists are willing to give their life to take yours. and so you can't frighten them with force. you'll need other things. you'll need propaganda to stop the mad rasss from teaching young jihadists to kill up a infidel that there is no answer but the slaughter of the infidels. you have to stop that. you have to stop the saudi arabians from feeding it. maybe now that the terrorists are attacking them you have an opening there. in addition to that, you have to do what colin powell has a program to do, but nobody has allowed him to run it by giving him money, and that is the partnership program with other arab nations to work on the economic problem of the arab lands. there are 90 million young muslims between 15 and 24. a lot of them are out of work.
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a lot of them are desperate. they're easy to teach in a school to hate somebody. take it from a governor who knows you can't stop crime. you can't stop killing with prisons and police and judges and all of that. it takes much more. you have to figure out what the source of this is. but you people won't talk about the source of it because you think that's mushy-headed liberalism. no, no that's stupidity of you people, not to consider the other causes here. and deal with them as well. i think the analogy i use in the book he would like. and that terrorism is a cancer. and you have malignant growths and you must extro pate those growths but terrorism is a perverse kind of cancer that when you pull one out and osama bin laden, for example, it's going to produce others. so you have to get at the cancer that creates the growths, and that's different than the force that extropates the


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