tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 11, 2015 2:30am-4:31am EDT
almost the very first moment we were headed to the senate floor. within our first weeks in office and rand asked me how i was going to vote on a particular bill, and i told him i thought i was going to vote for it, and he identified some concerns. i didn't share his concern but i was impressed that he was willing to do the work to find it. i still vividly remember the moment he went to the floor and decided to speak for 13 hours at a time in one sitting on drone strikes, and that was exciting. some would say that the achilles' heel for him would be on foreign policy. but there again, others would view that as his strength. with rubio, i also met rubio pretty early on. i think i met rubio the soonest,
very early in 2010 when we were both running. i saw him speak at cpac and immediately impressed with his speaking ability. i'm not sure that i ever -- at least among the current field of presidential candidates, i don't know that we have any other candidate who is as good as rubio is at communicating and delivering a speech and inviting the audience into an emotional journey as he speaks. he's one of these guys who can bring grown men to tears very quickly with emotion speaking about his great love for our country. he's got great vision and he is an outstanding communicator one of the best natural athletes in political terms that we've got today. there are those who are still critical of him for his
involvement in the gang of eight immigration bill a few years ago but on the other hand, that was a few years ago and it was just one issue. reporter: next week marks the first 100 days of the republican congress, and you're one of a group that only served as a minority. i was hoping you could reflect a little bit about what the majority has been like and how that's been different for you and maybe more broadly your take on how republicans running congress are doing so far. what have been the hits and the misses? senator lee: the biggest single difference by far since we took the majority in the senate has been that we're voting. we're voting a lot, which is what we're supposed to be doing. i always think the more votes we can be casting the better. that's what we're here to do, is
to consider debate and ultimately vote on pieces of legislation. whether they pass or not, we need to be voting on them. we cast the most votes within the first -- i don't know i think it was the first 6, 7 weeks of the republican majority than we had cast in the entire previous year. in fact, i think within the first eight weeks we may have cast more votes than we cast in the previous congress in terms of roll call amendments on the floor of the senate. and that's a good thing. there was a lot of frustration not just among republicans, but among democrats as well in the past two congresses over the fact that our previous majority leader had been fairly reluctant
to call votes, to allow votes and allow amendments on legislation. when you don't have an open amendment process, the legislative process itself is thwarted and can't proceed as it should. so anyway that's been a rewarding thing. then you asked for the highlights. one highlight was passing out a budget just before we left for easter. that was a good thing. it's been about six years since congress has passed a budget and it's good to have gotten that one done and good to get the keystone xl pipeline legislation done and unfortunate that the president vetoed it and unfortunate we were not able to override it. reporter: can you go back one more time to your three really good friends. i was going to ask a little bit
about it. i was curious when you look at their potential paths in their candidacies, what do can see for each of them, their biggest challenge, and moving forward and completely separately mention in the introduction that >> one of the biggest challenges that each of them is likely to face in the path to the white house with -- ted has a really strong loyal following. as i talk to people around the country i see a lot of people
who are big cruise fans and a lot of them are very involved in grassroots movements. i think that is a great strength and going along with that great strength is a potential challenge that he has been demonstrating that he can appeal to others in the party. and also that he can have enough appeal outside of the party. to get him a shot at winning it in the election. i think the more people get to see him and interact with them they will appreciate his passion, whether they share his particular worldview or not, that is a different question. but i have talked to a lot of
people who have said, i was skeptical of him until i saw him speak in person, or until i watched more of his speeches and so -- instead of just 20 seconds on tv. he is working very hard at that. rand, going on with what i said a minute ago rand's biggest challenge will be to explain the foreign-policy views. his, the fact that he is his father's son is a blessing and a curse. his father has, with good reason bill up a very loyal following around the country over the course of many years. and rand has earned the trust of , and the support of, a lot of
that support base and he has told upon it from there. there are some challenges that go along with that, given that rand paul had some fairly unique idiosyncratic views on certain foreign-policy issues that make people nervous. some automatically assume that rand paul shares those views even where he does not express them even where he has expressed sentiments that depart from that of his father. so i keep thinking that is a challenge that he will have to overcome. he is working hard to address that. and also just embracing a foreign-policy of his own. it will be interesting that he was hit with these attack ads
the day of his announcement and that he was attacked. it is interesting i lost the constitution on the same day that rand announced his presidency. it into the -- it ended up being a consistent theme in the media all day long. i told rand at the end of the day, i became quite conversant in rand through that process. but i thought it was unfortunate and unfair that he was hit by these people who are saying that he falls to the left of barack obama on questions of foreign-policy and just, it didn't strike me as a fair argument or as an argument that is even that insightful. anyway, that is something he is wrestling with. with marco, he has not announced yet, it is a little bit harder to assess what his biggest
pitfalls will be, but among conservatives and the voter base, one of the things i hear from people across the country is that concern with his support of certain legislation. a few years ago, i was on the opposite side of that issue from him. yet i believe he was motivated by a sincere desire to fix a difficult problem. it difficult and seemingly intractable problem. that was related to immigration and the need to update and modernize the immigration system and to figure out how to fix this big problem. and i don't think that will stop him. that is not to say that i think
he will be our president or our nominee, but whether or not he wins, that will not be determined by that alone. >> and your relations with the reed family? senator lee: my dad was working for the justice department in the early 1980's and we were already here when harry reid got elected to the house from nevada in 1982. shortly after the november election, i don't remember whether it was december or january but the family moved to mcclain just a few blocks from where my family lived and they had a son josh who was in my class at school and in my sunday school class at church and we became fast friends.
they were the first democrats i knew really well. it's not that my parents didn't allow me to interact with democrats, but we lived in utah most of my life and most of the people we knew in utah were republicans. it's not a question i typically asked of people, but most of people i knew were republicans but i knew harry reid was a democrat. i learned early on i would get along great with the family as long as i didn't express my profound love for ronald reagan and the great things he was doing for america. when i did do that or express any of my conservative ideas to them i had to be ready to defend myself because they spared no expense at going after -- in the reid home there was open lively discussion about political issues like my own home only
they came at it from a different angle on the political spectrum than we did. but i have always really liked the reid family. spent an a lot of time at their home and swam in their pool and went on trips with them as a kid and josh spent a lot of time with me as well. harry and i always got along well. as long as we don't talk politics, we get along great. sometimes when we do talk about politics occasionally we agree on an issue. sometimes when we do, he'll say what's wrong here? if we're agreeing us which one of us is wrong? he's a great guy and i've always enskwroeutd being around him and -- i have always enjoyed being around him and he has a great sense of humor. and i find him to be a very likeable human being.
reporter: i think it's revealed a divide within conservative circles about the cheerleaders who say tax credits is unpaid spending. and then of course folks who are in your persuasion who see tax credits as a good public policy goal in this particular sense. when push comes to shove on this and as republicans are debating these ideas i know sort of where you'll fall on that line. i'm wondering where you think based on your conversations with senator rubio where he falls and the party is on this question of sort of keeping tax rates low to the lowest that they can be and possibly instituting some of these pro growth family policies that might require keeping tax rates a little higher than some of those absolutists might want.
senator: where rubio might fall? rubio's with me. we're both behind this plan. so, senator rubio and i both believe that we have achieved the right balance here. we've lowered rates and we've simply simplified the code. we have done in a way that protects the middle class and protects the poor and will promote growth. i think he'll be with me on this and i'm with him on that issue. as to where the rest of the party will be, i don't know. it's difficult to say. in part because we haven't had a lot of people who have weighed in on it yet. we had quite a few colleagues and looks like it's worth pursuing. i'm all too familiar with your -- with what you described
with the split among policy and pundits who have watched this. i've had a couple of sessions going in the rounds and i like am mitty should lays. she does a lot of writing on tax policy. i explained to her and others this is -- you don't necessarily have to choose not to adopt a child tax credit like this if you want to be pro growth. you can lower rates and simply -- simple affiant code and do something to help hard working american parents who are punished for being married and having children. i think this accomplishes both of those things.
as far as where our colleagues in the senate will go, it's too early to tell but i look forward to seeing where that goes. when we were rolling this out, rubio pulled kind of a fast one on me. we had a press conference to roll out the plan and i opened it and gave five minute spiel or something like that and he said, i'm going to deliver my remarks in spanish and senator lee will do the same thing. and i saw this look of sheer terror from my staff in the back of the room. they knew i hadn't separately written out my remarks in spanish so i winged it and i hope i didn't accidentally declare war on canada in spanish without realizing it. i think i did ok. rubio and i speak spanish together on the floor frequently. mostly to freak out our colleagues.
reporter: you played a prominent role in impoedse the -- imposing the implementation of obamacare and taking on the establishment and ultimately blamed for the government shut down along with cruz. do you feel you were unfairly portrayed in that debate? do you feel that the media did a bad job of kind of explaining your position? do you feel it was unfair and more broadly, what's your take away from that episode? what lessons did you learn and how did you evolve? now you're at mitch mcconnell's leadership table so i think you're chairman of the republican steering committee. so there seems to be an evolution to a guy who is working with the leadership , sitting down with them and insider now. you can describe that episode in your life? what you learned and how you evolved.
senator: as to the first question, whether or not the portrayal of my position in connection with that sequence of events was unfair, yes, i do think it was unfair. i think my position in that effort was a simple one. in july 2013, president obama announced that he was taking actions that were tantamount to -- that were tantamount to rewriting four provisions of obamacare explaining they were not ready to be implemented as written. and he what going to implement -- he was going to implement them in a way that was rewriting the law without going through congress. my reaction to that was a simple one. it came out fairly soon after he made that announcement which
was, look, if the law is not ready to implement and if he's using that as his justification for effectively rewriting these provisions of obamacare, i won't vote for any spending bill that funds those programs that funds him in doing that. the solution there is to delay this if the law is not ready. the solution is not to pretend as though the president has authority unilaterally to make the law in his own image. i announced my position on that and several of my colleagues decided they would do the same. and number of our counterparts in the house ended up doing the same. and one of the things that we ended up proposing was that look, let's have -- there with -- there was a problem whenever
congress starts to appropriate in one lump sum a year, in other words, with the regular order of budgeting process, you pass a budget and congress will pass a dozen or more spending bills funding different aspects of the government. one spending bill dealing with armed services with national defense generally and so on and so forth. when congress spends that way it does run up against these routine cliffs where it has to make all or nothing decisions. fund everything in government or nothing. it's unfortunate. what we said in that circumstance we shouldn't be appropriating this way, but since we are, since we are now here, since we are just a few weeks away from another one of those cliffs our approach was , to say, look, let's have at least two votes. let's have one vote on funding everything else in government and we'll vote in this circumstance to keep everything in government funded and open,
even programs that we don't like and programs that we think are not being managed propler and i -- properly and programs we would have never have wanted. and then we will have a different vote on undefunding on obamacare given that the fact that the president said it's not ready to be implemented as written. the house of representatives passed a measure that would have kept everything else in government funded except obamacare which would have allowed us to have a separate debate about it. the president was unwilling to accept that and unwilling to allow to us fund anything in government unless we found everything in government -- unless we funded everything in government , including obamacare. i don't think that it's fair to put on one senator or one group of senators blame for shutting
down the government simply because they said i'm not going to vote for a bill that includes obamacare funding. i will vote for everything else but not that. i do think it is at least equally fair and probably much more fair to say that when a president promises to veto anything that includes less than 100% of what he wants, that that president is at fault for shutting down the government. reporter: seems like you got blamed for the shutdown. now you are sitting at the table with mcconnell at the leadership meetings. explain the process. senator: the lesson is not everyone's going to agree with me all the time. and when they don't, it sometimes hurts, but that's life. we move on and we work with colleagues and even when they
don't agree with us all the time. and it is important, i think, to do everything you can to persuade your colleagues to agree with you and if you're asking whether there's more i could have done to persuade more of my colleagues of my position at the time? sure, yeah, i wondered that all the time. but that's -- we learn through experience in this job and i'm still trying to learn every day. >> we've got about three minutes left. michael from the daily caller. reporter: in your book, you -- you have a whole chapter on it and a lot of other members of congress talk about defunding certain agencies that are doing things you don't believe they have the power to do. now that there are majorities in both houses of congress, do you think that republicans will take seriously withholding funding from agencies and which agencies
would you withhold funding from? senator: okay, the short answer is probably not. probably not. because we haven't. so we had -- my concern with what i perceive to be president obama's rewrite of revisions of the affordable care act in july of 2013 my prediction there if we fund this anyway, this will not be the end of his rewriting provisions of this law or others. that turned out to be correct. he's now made modifications that some have characterized as tantamount to rewriting the law. then in november of 2014, just last year, he undertook executive actions that many have characterized as tantamount to rewriting substantial portions of our immigration code. i proposed at that time that
we withhold funding from the implementation of that particular program of that particular executive action. we did succeed in separating homeland security spending from other spending last fall. we did not succeed in keeping the rest of homeland security funding, but withholding from that particular program. that has set in motion something of a pattern that suggests it's unlikely we'll be able to withhold funding from other programs. i'll continue to push for it because i believe it's what we need to do. this is not a problem that will confine itself to one administration. it's not a problem that confines itself to democratic administrations
unless congress in pursuit in defending its own institutional prerogatives in the interest of defending the constitution itself, unless congress defends its own territory, this territory will continue to be lost. and we're going to continue to march in a direction that gives the president more and more power. now maybe some people are comfortable with that. maybe some at this table are. maybe some of my colleagues in congress are. apparently some of them seem to be. but there are going to be those who are not terribly disturbed by it right now who i think will one day look back and wonder why they weren't concerned at all at the time. there are a lot of opportunities for abuse if you allow a president -- not just any one president but presidents generally to -- by the stroke of the executive pen, make pretty
significant changes to our legal system without going through congress. and if you don't then have some reaction by congress -- and i don't mean impeachment and removal. that is not going to happen, that is an extraordinary remedy and it's meant to be such. but the day-to-day remedy that congress is supposed to be utilized. the remedy described by james madison and i discuss at some length in my book is one that involves the power of the purse. if there is no consequence to this sort of thing it it will continue to happen. over time this will end up upsetting a lot of people and harming the constitutional system which has worked well for a couple of centuries, but not unbreakable. >> thank you for coming, sir. i hope you'll come back. appreciate it. senator: thank you very much.
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> congress returns from a two week break monday with several agenda items. the house is expected to work on oversight, the senate will consider a judicial nomination for the southern district of texas. also pending in the senate, a human trafficking bill. for more on the week ahead, we spoke with a capitol hill reporter. >> with congress set to return
after a two-week recess, the huffington post congressional reporter joining us now to give us an overview of what to expect in the house and senate over the next few weeks. bob corker is bill on the iran nuclear framework agreement. laura barron-lopez, you write about it in your article. what would the senators bill do and what kind of support does it have among senate republicans and democrats? laura: thank you for having me. what senator quarters bill does is give congress a chance to weigh in on the iran nuclear deal, the framework that the administration just announced last week. so, it either would let them vote on it vote for or against it or do nothing.
it puts a halt on whatever final deal they have for 60 days. there is a good amount of support within the republicans. republicans do need democrats to come over in order to get a vetoproof majority. >> the budget resolution which passed the house and senate before break heads to conference committee and you tweeted that house budget chair price and enzi met today to chat 2016 budget plans and ready for conference next week. what are some of the main differences they need to work out? laura: they need to work out the difference in defense spending. both the house gop and senate gop pledges budgets aimed to boost military spending but they have different amounts in their budget so they have to reconcile that. they have to see how far they can go in their appealing
obamacare in the separate budget plan. >> turning to the senate -- the anti-human trafficking bill was at an impasse due to abortion language. what is the status of that and how does that impact moving ahead with the loretta lynn's nomination for attorney general? laura: it impacts loretta lynch a lot because senate majority leader mcconnell said they will not be moving forward on lynch's nomination unless the human trafficking bill is pushed forward. like you said, in order to have that they need to figure out the abortion language on the bill. >> you wrote regarding the house that the first 100 days has been a learning process for the republicans. tell us why that is and what we can expect key bill-wise over the next few weeks and into may. laura: yes, as you know, the
senate is now controlled by the republican majority. it has been a little bit of a rocky start for republicans in the house and senate. in the senate, they set a month -- they spent a month and a half on the bill knowing it would be vetoed. it is because they made a commitment regarding the election that they were going to vote on that so it was a matter of honor. in the house, there was the rocky dhs battle followed closely by a budget debate where the house gop leadership had to put two different plans on the floor to make sure one passed. they had to work with their deficit and defense talks ahead of time to make sure one of the budget passed. i spoke with congressman mulvaney who was pretty upset with leadership.
he is a republican from south carolina and he wants more conservative amendments to be heard, their voices to be heard more. it'll be interesting how that will play out. when they get back next week, how majority leader kevin mccarthy will be focusing on a tax bill. there is also a possibility they may vote henri authorization of the patriot act, but that is not for certain. >> laura barron-lopez of the huffington post. you can catch her on twitter or the website for the paper. huffingtonpost.com. laura barron-lopez, thank you for being with us today. laura: thank you. >> here are some featured programs for the weekend. on the c-span networks --
c-span2, grover norquist says that americans are tired of the irs and our tax system. sunday night, susan butler on president franklin roosevelt's ally, joseph stalin, the unexpected partnership beyond the war. and tonight on american history tv, c-span3, lectures in history, jennifer murray on how the civil war reunions have changed from reconstruction to the present time. and from appomattox courthouse on sunday, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the confederate surrender and the end of the civil war. >> were you a fan of the first ladies series? it is now a book. it looks inside the personal life of every first lady in
american history. based on original interviews learn details of all 45 first ladies that made these women who they were. their lives, ambitions and unique partnerships with their presidential spouses. the book "first ladies" provides stories of these fascinating women who survived this for many of the white house. sometimes a great personal cost. even changed history. c-span's "first ladies" is an inspiring read and is available as a hardcover or an e-book. >> h knight this each night this week c-span has shown profiles of new , members of congress. we conclude with representative ryan zinke. he was a former navy seal.
he won the general election with 55% of the vote. from his capitol hill office, he talked about being raised by his grandmother and what he learned from playing football and serving in iraq. >> congressman ryan zinke, your grandmother had a huge influence in your life, how so? representative zinke: she grew up on a small farm, she went to school, this is during the 1930's. not many females went to college, so she worked as a handmade and got a teaching certificate. the only job she could find during the depression was a one room schoolhouse in montana. she was always my guide, growing
up she was very independent and she met my grandfather when he was working on a dam. it was a cute story. there was a camp there and it was near the school. there were two suitors who competed for my grandma. and my grandpa chopped better wood and they got married. my grandmother was a tremendous influence. >> a lot of aunts and uncles representative zinke: yes, i grew up in montana, it is enormous. and it is a diverse state, a lot of people, but i have always said i can speak east and west of montana and my family stretches across the whole state. >> what do you remember about growing up, the experiences that shaped who you are today as a teenager, as a young boy?
representative zinke: i come from a small town, very blue-collar. they were three generations of plumbers, so we didn't have a lot of money around the house. but there was a lot of spirit. we had a hard work ethic and you woke up before the sun came up and you worked hard. that idea of hard work sacrifice, family, that is part of the values that stick with me today. and as i move forward, when i was a kid at the gym 15 minutes before the coach at 5:00 in the morning, i think i worked harder than those around me. even though i didn't have as much talent. throughout my life, as a seal i was probably not the best jumper, shooter, sniper, but i
always knew who was and i surrounded myself with the finest talent. i have always been honored to be surrounded by men and women who had unbelievable commitment and sacrifice, on the most complex missions. >> your parents separated, how old were you? representative zinke: i was in third grade. the separation was not a happy separation. with my daughter, i always wanted to maintain a cordial and friendly relationship with her father. it helped in that way. my relationship with my daughter, when both myself and her father walked her down the aisle, it meant a lot. >> when did you first have an interest in politics?
representative zinke: probably third or fourth grade. i always would kid around about being governor of montana. i was always in student council, class president multiple years. looking back, i ran some pretty good campaigns, i listened a lot. but i like the idea of service and i like the idea of doing things for others and getting -- accomplishing goals. so at an early age, i thought about service and i have been on a team most of my life, between a football team in high school we were successful state champions, undefeated. i ended up going to oregon, had a successful career on that team. and the seals teams, you are only as strong as your weakest link. politics is very much a team
sport, for a higher purpose. you cannot operate independently, or you can, but you don't operate well. if you operate as an individual more than a team, i think the end result is you will not bring the ball to the field, you will not be successful. you will not be a successful politician. you will not get things done for a higher purpose, which is to make america more secure, make sure our future for children is more secure, to make sure that we protect opportunity and it is about equal opportunity and not equal outcome. that is an important part of the american value system, that is worth fighting for. >> you went to oregon, play football, why there? representative zinke: growing up in whitefish, oregon was in the
pac-10 you are playing against other teams that you watch on saturday. it was a good program, some of my best friends today are a result of my college career. rich brooks and the coaching staff at that time, they were as much of a coach, mentor, father. so being in a forest-type community, outdoors, it was a good fit for me. >> as somebody who played football, what are your thoughts about concussions, should parents be aware that their son or daughter plays football and those in the professional leagues? representative zinke: i think it is a concern. the head contacts can be limited successfully.
certainly when i was playing the helmet and head were a lot bigger and a more pronounced part of the game. i think a lot of it is techniques. making sure that at an early age you do not use the head as a battering ram. you take -- the coaching has to be right. the game can evolve where we see less concussions and hopefully go back to its origins. it was a rugby-type of game. when you wear a helmet, that can be used as much as a weapon as protection. >> any injuries along the way? representative zinke: i was undersized as a center. i had gary zimmerman next to me, an amazing athletic ability, scott shepherd played at left
guard. i had ankle problems going through my last game and i started -- my last college game in football, i was 212 pounds. i used to wear three sweatpants so i looked like i was heavier than i was. it made for long days and when you face a 300 pound guard and you are only 212 pounds, it makes for a long day. >> did you ever think about the nfl? representative zinke: not really. i didn't think the opportunity was there. early on, you have aspirations. a lot of my friends played in the nfl. i was probably not the best player, but i know who was and i surrounded myself with great great people, a great team.
i don't think that my play was the caliber to be successful in the nfl. >> why the navy and why navy seals? representative zinke: i had a mentor at oregon who commanded the enterprise during the vietnam war and i had a graduate degree in geology. he asked me what i was going to do. i told him that i would be specializing in deep-sea operations. he said, if you're going to dive, have you considered being a navy seal? he said, i think it fits your personality. at that time, nobody really knew what a seal was. it was before the books and movies. he brought a recruiter down, i took exams both physical and written and he said, this is a volunteer program. if you don't like it, you can leave anytime. it was very truthful.
he was a pilot. but the program itself, he was truthful. you can leave anytime. the program was hard and it should be. if you are a navy seal, there is an expectation that you would never quit. >> hard, rigorous, tough training, so what do you remember about the training before you became a seal and what was the most difficult thing for you personally? representative zinke: in my life i was an instructor and student. it is a lot more humorous on the teacher's side. the course as a student lasted about six months. you would look at candidates and whittle them down.
we graduate with maybe 150, 200 people. about 90% will leave the program voluntarily. you had to have skills, the aptitude, attitude, the skillset to be a seal. some chose to quit. a lot of seal training is mental. never to quit, keep persevering. i can teach a kid to do push-ups, pull-ups, to swim, but it's much more difficult to look at the heart and make sure he doesn't quit. and that is what the seal training, the toughest part of it, that is important. >> could you hear your grandmother talking in your ear to not give up? representative zinke: well, the nights were cold. i grew up in montana and we didn't have a swimming pool.
we swam in a lake, that was fed by glacial waters. so, swimming was cold, but i never was colder than what i was in seal training. and i was never colder in actually doing operations as a seal, cold as training was. some of those operations were in -- which was a testament of why the training is so hard. >> you've been on a number of missions, something behind you is from saddam hussein's palace can you explain? representative zinke: that is a panel from a door in saddam hussein's bedroom. it is a small part.
that was definitely part of the attack in 2004. that was one of the non-value items that were brought back. >> what was that like to be in iraq and what was going through your mind during that mission? representative zinke: iraq is a complicated country, it is sophisticated in some terms of the very basic and others. iraq has a sunni population, which is very proud and currently has been disenfranchised. it has a majority shia population that for many years was put to aside. the current crisis of what we face, to a degree was creating a vacuum.
it is a battle within islam as it is a battle between east and west. it will not go away unless america leads by example, unless the administrations acts to resolve and -- those folks there were committed to peace and committed to being successful. >> how do the iraqi people view american people? representative zinke: the people there, in all parts, there was a great deal of respect between everyone. they knew we were not there to colonize. we spent a lot of effort looking at how to make their lives better. how to make the area stable in the long-term and being stable and in the middle east is good for the world. >> was it the right war?
representative zinke: it was a difficult call. i was looking at going into iraq from the point of view of someone who was executing policy, not making policy. you need to make sure that when we engage in a mission, we won. our job is to make sure that everyone had all the right equipment, the right training, the rules of engagement are decisive on the field of battle. and it has to eliminate collateral damage. we are on a lot of missions where there was collateral damage and i would sit down and talk about what happened. the koran is very different from the bible. ultimately, it is people. and as a u.s. commander, you are obligated that what you do is for the force and the mission. >> what is more difficult, serving as a navy seal or
raising money for a political campaign? representative zinke: being a navy seal is a great job. being a congressman, i laugh sometimes, it is sometimes more difficult. as a seal, you can watch things get done. you can engage, you have a terrific team around you. normally, you have resources and you can watch the progress being made. on the hill, under the current polarization, there is progress being made. progress is not as rapid as you would like, you need to exercise patience, and some is just political rhetoric. some people don't want the facts. they care about an agenda.
i never looked through life through a red or blue lens. it has always been red, white, blue. i never asked the political affiliation of those folks around me as a navy seal. i only cared about how good they were, were they skilled, committed, did they have the right training, and did they have the right gut and grit? to do what was necessary. the political landscape, the freshman group coming in, they have an enormous amount of talent. on both sides of the aisle. but again, my job is to surround myself with a good team. make sure we have the right resources to move the ball forward. >> let's say democrats want to raise taxes and you want budget
cuts in other areas, can you hold firm to principles but also compromise on spending, taxes, or other domestic matters? representative zinke: there are some values that are nonnegotiable. faith, the constitution, family, being safe. i hope that my background, as a seal commander, i defend the constitution against threats foreign and domestic. i was proud to give that both in congress. the constitution is nonnegotiable. how we approach making america more secure and making the economy prosperous, so we can afford a strong military, so we can afford to keep promises we have made in infrastructure, social security, medical, it will take a strong economy.
i will sit down and reach across the aisle on how to get there, but i don't think that you need to sacrifice your values to do it. are there places where tax reform should be done, absolutely. but my philosophy, has three components in the economy, taxes, you have cutting, spending. and you have growth. it is much better to grow the economy, you will gain more in a shorter amount of time if we grow the economy. growth is about energy independence. my experience in the middle east, think about the change that the world would look at the change in our lives as american, if we were energy independent and not held hostage
by the middle east. our allies in europe, they would not be held hostage by your -- by russia. that is part of a vision. i am a huge fan of teddy roosevelt. i was as a kid. and going forward, what i like about roosevelt was he thought built in the panama canal. montana enjoys a lot of federal lands for public use. over 100 years ago, he had the vision of what america should be and could be. we were not a great power at that time. we are today. a lot of that foundation was because of him and i like the
idea that roosevelt thought big and america has to be big again. the problems are real, but we need to think big enough to find solutions. the american spirit is it still strong. >> how do you structure your life here in washington, back in montana and with your family? representative zinke: i travel a lot. when folks from montana, knock at the office, i try to be here. i walk out of committees and say hello. it is important to me that we have a conversation over coffee, we talk about things eye to eye. montana is one small town with very long streets, that is what i joke. and my family is spread across i try to stay in touch with what is going on. we skype. cell phone coverage in iraq is better than cell phone coverage in montana. that needs to be fixed. i spend a lot of time on the road.
my family is here in washington, which is important. i make sure that i am a father. i see my children, my grandchildren. my daughter is a navy diver, my son-in-law is a navy seal. it is nice to have the grandkids appear. i am proud to have them with me. >> is it the job what you expected? representative zinke: to a degree. i have had to readjust my expectations on how fast we get things done. it is bureaucratic. i wasn't surprised at the amount of bureaucracy in washington d.c. the view from here is a lot different from yellowstone. part of the hurdle we will need to get over is that decisions being made in washington, by the
bureaucrats, they are not bad people but they do not know the issues on the ground. they cannot tell you where montana is on the map, these decisions are being made that affect people across america from people who don't understand what it is to be out in america. we see these these regulations how they affect normal people and their lives. i think the further we can push those decisions down, or if you're going to make a decision, i think it is a fair request that if you make a decision, you should understand what the consequences will be on the ground. and decisions are made every day that are one-size-fits-all, but it doesn't work. it is stifling what the one value that america has done
better than any other nation which is think out of the box. innovate. one-size-fits-all, top-down management, it stifles the thing that has made america a shining light. it is our ability to innovate and think out of the box. bring new products, look at things differently, the american way. that is what we need to protect. >> you talk about your grandmother, family members, but was there somebody in your life that influenced you and sent you on the path you are today? representative zinke: my high school coach, he taught me that if you worked hard, you could be successful. he gave me an indication that i had talent, but if i worked hard -- he was always a coach, there has always been a coach relationship.
there were vietnam instructors there that had been to combat, and they were always very kind. they were mentors. i have some mentors here, great leaders that have gone out of their way, to bring me under their wing. this is the path that we see for you, if you want to go on this path, you have to earn it. you have a great opportunity. as a result, i try to stay disciplined in my message, and a football sense i try to use a -- try to stay between the hashmarks. i represent not only the republican side, but the democratic side, the tea party side, every person in montana. i think if we take that value
set forward, congress represent america and i want to article he values and needs of the district, but the purpose is to make america better. there are a lot of ways to obtain our goals. we are all here for one purpose, make sure that america is strong, secure, and prosperous. >> could we see you in leadership down the road? representative zinke: yes, i am always interested in contributing when i can. leadership, i think if i work hard, that is probably obtainable. it is about where i can fit in and help the team. >> congressman ryan zinke. thank you.
>> on the next washington journal, a look at rules for food stamps and welfare programs. then convention of state project cofounder michael farris on grassroots efforts to amend the constitution through a method known as article five. kevin mccormally has advised of wednesday's deadline. we will also take your calls and comment on facebook and twitter starting at 7 a.m. on c-span. on newsmakers this weekend, dr. robert wah talks about the affordable care act in its second year and other health care issues. newsmakers, sunday, 10:00 a.m.
on c-span. >> this sunday, senior editor for the weekly standard andrew ferguson on his writing career, the gop presidential candidates and what voters are looking for in a candidate. andrew: they want somebody who looks like he has stood up for them. i am amazed at the degree to which primary voters on both sides are motivated by resentment and the sense of being put upon. those people don't understand us. here is a guy, who does understand us and he will stick it to them. that happens on both sides. hillary clinton gives her own version of that type of thing. i don't think that that was actually true 30 years ago. resentment has always been part of politics, but to the degree
to which it is exclusively the motivating factor in truly committed republicans and democrats -- >> sunday night on c-span. >> coming up next, a look at the legacy of laura bush. then a debate on the merits and impact of employee unions. and from des moines, iowa, jim webb and martin o'malley. >> hofstra university looks at former first lady laura bush. this was part of a conference on the bush presidency. this event is 1.5 hours.
>> welcome to hofstra. and to the panel, the leadership of the first lady laura bush. we have two terrific papers. the session will include two scholarly papers, which i immensely enjoyed reading. we will also had a presentation by two former administration officials. i will tell you a little bit about the papers and bios of the speakers today. the first paper "dancing with the first lady" is by patricia, an associate with the realtor real estate department of
our partners. she has served as an account manager for several relationships and has had extensive experience representing buyers and sellers on real estate transactions. her work is a fascinating historical look at first ladies. a traditional conservative woman, or activist. she comes from texas. dr. cooper's research focuses on comparative experiences of women in the western world specifically the transnational ground of women and international relations. she's the author of a number of works, including the book "informal ambassadors: american women, transatlantic marriages."
ourt first two administration officials. dr. a in her 35 year career, she has served as curator, museum director, government official, association director, and advisor for private and public cultural institutions prior. prior to assuming museum director, she was part of library services where she served in both the george w. bush and barack obama administration. margot was chairman of the business community on the arts -- of the chairman committee of the arts. she traveled with laura bush: to paris or the u.s. reentry to unesco in 2003, and was
appointed by secretary of state powell to unesco. she has traveled to many places at led cultural missions from uruguay to the peoples republic of china. finally, our discussion in the center will be a need to mcbride, chief of staff to first lady laura bush:. ms. mcbride is executive in residence for the center of congressional and presidential study in the american university in washington. she direct programming and national conferences on the legacies of america's first lady and their influence on politics, policy, and global diplomacy. she served as chief of staff first lady laura bush from 2005-2009. in this capacity, she directed the staff work on a variety of domestic and global initiative in which mrs. bush was involved. each of the speakers is going to have 10 minutes to speak.
at the conclusion of their presentations, we will have q&a from the audience. there will be floating microphone so you will be asked to raise her hand. thank you. enjoy. [applause] >> good morning. the valuation of the first lady's role is evolution, its societal expectation perception her particular execution of the role has oscillated throughout the course of history. the commitments of every presidential administration, the boundaries tethered to the first lady's role have customarily undergone a realignment or redesignation. they are deeply woven into the fabric of first lady post and
elusive threat of power, often elastic. at certain junctures, the first lady's role has been exclusively defined and carry out as hostess, interior decorator greeter. the delineated the reason are completely doused in the mystic obligation. -- domestic obligations requirements. the emphasis -- her selected china pattern, color scheme, fematheme for wallpaper yet at other junctures, the metaphorical pendulum swings in the other direction. and the first lady abandoned the mystic obligations and --abandons domestic obligations and assumes the politically active role.
often times, more frequently than not choosing women's rights, the feminist movement, women's suffrage. what happens? she at times is admonished, criticized for stepping over traditional boundaries. at other points, she is uploaded for over action. -- applauded for her overarching. which are called eight brave initiative. -- a brave initiative. betty ford, in the midst of her tenure 1974-1977, held historic press conference announcing to over 150 reporters that she was indeed a firm supporter of the equal rights amendment, ended up she would undertake to seek its passage. her or did declaration -- her ardent declaration was seen by some as an act of courage, well some were -- while some were offended by her opennessutspokenness.
her actions are appointed by some, deemed reprehensible by others. we see historical accounts swinging the other way. where the first lady seems to assume it every demure role. the feminist movement is intentionally disregarded. successor to lawrence harding varies up her role as purely social, a political demonstrates complete allegiance to her husband calvin to refrain from trying anything new. making speeches of any sort, and is forbidden from wearing trousers. she is directed to hold tea parties and ladies w lunches. another example is eisenhower. she served as the perfect 1950's
wife. she too followed instructions quite the and showed no deviation -- quite blissfully and showed no deviation. she does exactly what is expected of her domestically and socially. perhaps her coat is all telling quite illustrative of her tenure. "i turnt he the porkchops." the research i have done on first ladies shows this pattern of first ladies walked in the spotlight. others remained shouted in darkness. others were just fake silhouettes. this ebb and flow appears to be tightly tethered to the individual, to her education her level of confidence, her fears, her relationship with her husband, definitely the political climate. what is happening in the united
states? is the economy waning? is it improving? public perception -- how did the media perceive her? all factors that influence how she is able to move about. also, some of my research disclosed that there are first rate who never assume the role. -- first ladies. due to depression or health. what happens? there is a surrogate. it is a nice, for a sister. -- a niece or a sister. in the 1800s, and and takes the role of -- an aunt takes the role of the traditional first lady. hosting receptions will be an integral part of first ladyship. what does emerge from my research that is interesting is that there is no pattern. as the pendulum swings back and forth, you would think that if
one lady makes a lot of progress and open stores thatdoors, that the next first lady would take the figurative torch and progress, doing more than the first lady. eleanor roosevelt 1933-making 35 as we all know accomplished so much. -- 1933-1935. she visits supervision. fights against racism. -- visits soup kitchens. she executes her role as first lady with a very domestic flare. -- domestic flair. the eleanor's groundbreaking activities are no litmus test for vets.
another again with rosalyn carter. she truly served as a political partner to jimmy carter. she arrived quite surprisingly with her own agenda. she sat down on cabinet meetings represented her husband on a diplomatic meetings to south america, initiated her own projects. the projects included federal health care for the e lderly. fashion concerns not unheard to do list. -- not on her to-do list. nancy reagan arrives with no political agenda, hosts celebrity luncheon, assumes the traditional role. is criticized when she appears to have spent an inordinate amount of money on a new white house tea set. i want to go back in time to abigail at. -- abigail adams.
she is like rosalyn carter, political partners. what is amazing about abigail adams is a plethora of letters that are her legacy. over 2000 letters that we find that she has exchanged and written to john adams, her husband. her opinions, or political demeanor, her political acumen is remarkable. she is promoting women's rights. everything is emerging from these letters. perhaps her most famous quote her written instructions to her husband -- "remember the ladies" when he goes up to draft the declaration of independence. but what happens if she is persecuted for speaking out. she is mocked as mr s. president accused of being an outspoken aristocrat. dolly madison is her predecessor.
she treats her post quite differently. she expresses her in a disdain for politics when she declares "politics is the business of men." " i don't care what office they hold or what supports them. i only care about people." she is known very well for her parties, gowns, her generosity. very different from abigail adams. switching back to the word "political partner." i mentioned abigail adams. sarah polk is the right-hand woman for james polk. she is assisting with his speeches, breeding and highlighting his people articles for him to show and issues that demand his attention. her passion is indeed politics. her interest in the domestic affairs quite peripheral. what is interesting about sarah polk is the same reaction.
she is not interested in anything domestic. her demonstrated disenchantment with traditional roles is a subject of harsh criticism particularly among women who were appalled by her actions. again, this is the mid-1800s. they firmly believed that sarah should spend more time in the kitchen and less time debating. if we fast-forward a century later, it sounds like hillary clinton assumes a very aggressive first lady role. she is a practicing attorney. she sets up an office in the west wing. the first lady's office had always been located in the east wing. eight difference from the nucleus of power. her relocation is interpreted as a deliberate relocation to be involved in her administration. to proximity of her office to the president's oval office is deemed incomprehensible, plainly unacceptable. she stirred more controversy when she leaves a task force on
national health care reform. -- leads a task force. she is deemed too outspoken for many. for americans, her political involvement is too invasive. mouse which laura bush. -- now switch to laura bush. i have been talking about the jhhe pendulum swinging back and forth, some taking a domestic role and some taking a more aggressive role. somewhere more interested in being political of all. --- being politically involved. if you study over bush, by research shows that she is the epitome of delicately balancing both roles. of being a political partner and also building domestic obligations. she is a career woman.
she is a librarian, a former teacher. she exhibits domestic qualities. she has a wife, and mother, she handles reception of social affairs, she admits her interest perhaps her anxiety with respect to passion. in her out of biography, she states "i was was like all first ladies. i wanted to look good. i knew how interested the public and press were in what first lady's wear. i wanted to look elegant.' and yet, she does much more. she approaches controversial topics including stem cell research abortion, same-sex marriage is. she raises early childhood cognitive development intervention literacy, reading programs. in 2001, laura bush took the place of george bush on his weekly address and regularly speaks out against the taliban's oppression of women and children in afghanistan. she speaks about oppressive government into burma.
acumen to her predecessor's are concerned that her initiative primarily focused on women and children. however, her casted net was indeed wider. for the first time, she raced or global -- for global communitarian issues. she moved the first lady spotlight to a global. quoting her quite a lot of insight, and is probably what major successful in this delicate balance that she achieved so gracefully. she says "the role of the first lady should be whatever the first lady wants it to be." but her caveat "in conclusion" and she accomplishes this -- " but i am not the one who was elected." she successfully navigate the perimeters of the first lady ship by achieving a delicate
balance, unlike anyone before. thank you. [applause] >> thank you for your patience. i am hate historian, not a -- i am a historian, not a technician. is that better? i am going to continue with many of the comments from the preceding paper. they actually flow very well together. this works out for both of us, i think. in our journey from west texas to the challenging and horny
world of washington dc, laura bush wore many hats. elementary school teacher librarian, mother. all of these traditionally a consent conservative identity shape laura bush's eight years in the nation's capital. ask an american on the street to describe her, and responses will fall into broader responses of education and literacy. is dominate the mindset of most americans today. -- this dominates. such a conventional perspective of her comes as no surprise. she was raised in a conservative region of a conservatives date in a conservative period. these recurring conformance labels have played a significant role in the molding of her identity as a wife, and mother, a teacher, and a librarian. and has been promoted, and presented repeatedly in a number
of venues and in a myriad of ways over the last 20 years. but what is surprising the degree to which eight short years in which she pursued an integral rear prior to marrying george has dominated her public life and her husband's political dialogue for decades. how do we as historicans and practitioners explained this fixation on laura bush in these roles? specifically a teacher in a librarian, when those pursuits lasted eight out of her 68 years. a lover of children and a lover of children and books, and much admired first lady twice over seems to be the image most americans have of her. a very safe, sellable version of her has proven to be a successful strategy. reading, children, and education or issues that she was comfortable with, and gave
her credibility in the political arena as well as the public. in her own words, she had explained that she had always done with traditional women did. and "i was very satisfied." but as one of her biographers argue, that is not a story. -- not the whole story. it never is. the code provided by mrs. bush herself provides a window into hard identity. -- into her identity. " people probably think i am a shy librarian." few librarians fit the stereotype. there are people who like knowledge and are interested in lots of different things. the simple version with the first hold, and it certainly fit the first lady mold. a closer inspection of laura's words over the next decade reveal a very different persona that disputes the conformist and exclusively traditional identity.
if we look at a quick glance of her as first lady, she is second only to hillary clinton at the most traveled first lady in history. she took 46 tips to more than 75 countries. in the second term alone, she spent hundred 35 days abroad. comparing it to the president, she ranks third amongst the most traveled numbers of the executive range. but she is not an activist simply based on the days she spent away from home. is what she chose with her time that defines her as an activist. whether she was promoting education, health care opportunities for women, burma or tanzania, she was an exceedingly active first lady. her director describes her as a medical diplomat. her initial foray into politics as first lady came in texas
between 1995-2000, wish you supported -- where she supported issues about literacy and women's health. doctors literally wrote out the scriptures say -- prescriptions saying "read to your children every day." that worked wonders. the ready to read program concentrated on early childhood education programs serve as a processor to the national program "ready to read, ready to learn." she established the texas book festival, perceived by many to be her crowning achievement. finally, she was a serious advocate for breast cancer and alzheimer's awareness and research/
believing that writer dialogue would lead to greater awareness. and approach she took to multiple initiatives. as first lady of the united states, laura continues to promote issues at a national level that she had supported the state level. the consistency between her ideas and initiatives often in washington dc mirrored one another almost exactly, and rightfully so. she and her staff had achieved terrific success in texas. consequently, it was logical to continue the same path but in a different location. she began to replicate from her most successful texas projects on the national scale, including the book is the book based on the texas version. by december of 2001, she remarked that she was finally hitting her stride in the white house. in september, she hosted her first state dinner and kicked off the national book festival. after a short nine in the white house, during that second term
as chief of staff, she said all of the pieces were getting together. she was doing what she loves and found her place in washington and beyond. she reflected upon the moment, laura recognized that "she had a forum. i will not always have it. the time is now." little did she know how right she was. september 11, 2001, laura was on her way to capitol hill to testify on in early childhood education conference, which made her the fourth first lady in history to appear before a congressional committee. in the time it had taken to drive from the white house to the capital, the world had irrevocably changed. but laura has not. as always, she had adapted to her circumstances. this day marks a trajectory in the turning point of her presidency. so too was her first ladyship.
in her first official act after 9/11, she wrote two letters to school age children in the united states. to elementary school students, she began with "dear children" and to middle school and high school students she began with "dear students." she spoke in new york city and directed her thanks and appreciation to the teachers and volunteers across the country. she noted as we rebuild and recover from the tragedy of september 11, we must remember while our lives are changed forever, our purpose as educators and volunteers remains the same. with those words, she may very well have been talking about herself. she substituted for her husband in weekly saturday radio address in november 2011, she became the first first lady to deliver an entire radio presidential address. she chose to address the issue
of women's rights in afghanistan. focused on the brutality in women and children by the al qaeda terrorist network, and argued that in afghanistan, we see the world that terrorists would like to impose on the rest of us. she delineated the television from muslims around the world, and identified the poverty poor health, and illiteracy, that the terrorists had imposed on women and children for decades. laura, not the president forever aligned the war on terror with the fight for women and children. and chose to pursue much of the initiatives on her own. more importantly, she solidified her long-standing advocacy for many children when she categorized the fight against terrorism is a fight with the right and dignity for women. a week later, she talked to 11 exiled afghani women in the white house, and argued that you write for women -- that the rights for women must be secured in in afghani government. this marked her tenure as first lady. she consistently vocalized the
need to advance educational opportunities for women while promoting issues critical to children and families worldwide. and initiatives occurred during the second term with the help of chief of staff anita mcbride, whose wide-ranging experience in d.c. and the state to permit helped to shape the global nature of laura's evolving activism. mcbride planned the trip to afghanistan while that country with still very dangerous and its future most uncertain. for a first lady to travel to a country in war to specifically meet with afghan women and children made a significant impact on programs, such as the children's counsel. such risks are important for all of us, and especially for american women to "speak up for our sisters around the world." another area laura visited
regularly was africa. whether it was a trip to cape town to talk about violent against women, a visit to tanzania to personally meet with individuals suffering from hiv/aids, or to talk with orphaned at the catholic ministry center. her time and energy has been diverse and where he will receive. another issue laura shed significant spotlight on what human rights in burma. with the help of the entire women's caucus in the senate she wrote a letter to the general of the united nations. she demanded the immediate and unconditional release of chee and called upon burma's neighbors to bring about a democratic transition. pressing efficacy at such a high influential level does not support the superficial version
of laura, feesimple elementary teacher. finally, her leadership concerning breast cancer brought awareness. she removed some of these stigma of the mere word "breast" mentioned in political dialogue. in her final years as first lady, laura established several breast cancer alliances in countries that had previously seemed women into silence, rather than treating the reality as a medical situation. she led efforts in the middle east, mexico, panama, saudi arabia, and the uae to make breast cancer our businees. is not aggressive presupposing the conservative -- for a supposedly conservative first lady to talk about potentially taboo topics in these countries.
consequently, the u.s.-middle east partnership offered women hope. a chance to tell their stories and to offer them the cultural context and environment to empower women to take charge of their own health. speaking of four sisters around the world, and talk of empowering women does not mesh with the alleged conformist perspective of laura. demanding the release of medical visitors traveling in the midst of work -- political prisoners traveling in the midst of war, and calling to educate all children are not the examples that come to mind in discussing her time as first lady. but if one wants to take an evidence-based approach to evaluating her, a very interesting picture appears. if we stopped to analyze the rhetoric of her speeches without your picture at the top of the page. if we pull her name off the travel logs, and examined the breadth and depth of her
initiative, and to measure the consistency of these efforts it reads much more like what the american public associates with hillary clinton than laura bush. mrs. bush has repeatedly demonstrated her dedication to the challenges facing men, women and children around the world. after 9/11, you can imagine how difficult it was to help children learn long after teacher. i'm proud to be able to continue that same mission today. she was true to the mission. perhaps even more importantly, laura had been exceptionally active in her term since leaving the white house. she boosted a women's for my project, renovated a clinic, visited an orphanage, and visited zambia alone in 2010.
the initiatives she pursued 20 years ago appeared to be the same she will pursue the next 20. two follow her interest for the rest of my life. -- i hope. while it may be easier to imagine her as the dutiful wife, is neither a complete nor wholly accurate picture. based on her time as first lady, in this country and abroad, the public at home must reconsider their view of laura the librarian with laura, the international activist first lady. >> difficult following such terrific papers. but i will try.
my name is ann. ann: i had the pleasure of working with mrs. bush on a number of projects. i would like to focus on her work in the arts. in fact, i want you to know that i had the pleasure of serving also george bush senior when i was the head of the national endowment of the arts. president bush 43 and the laura bush were people dedicated to the arts. in fact, i like to call their administration the most money ever given out by the government for the arts. in the history of arts funding. the second greatest amount of money ever given out for the arts was given out by his father.
not only did he keep the tradition, he expanded it. but with mrs. bush, certain words come to mind to me. i loved consistency. that was one of my words as well. synergy, compassion, and humanity. when i first encountered mrs. bush, i was at the department of education as a chief of staff. having a first lady who is a teacher, who was a librarian who understands the basic necessities of literacy, was not only inspiring to all of us, it helped create a keystone in the no child left behind legislation. after i left education, i went to the national endowment for the humanities, where i was a deputy chairman. there, i saw how mrs. bush was developing a very consistent and impressive sense of working
together. this was really the first time that the heads of the arts endowment, the director of the e-zine and library services, and the head of the arts and humanities actually met together, actually worked together, and came up with things that each could support. with regard to the humanities, i was very involved with the digitization project. digitization is something that holds off our tongues now. it is something that everyone is trying to get funding for. we are living in the digital age. this was ahead of the curve. this is because mrs. bush told very strongly about it. she met with bruce and i was part of that.
it became a major initiative. what was so intriguing about it wasn't there were a million ideas about how to digitize. whether it was photographs books, archives, whatever. mrs. bush said "you know, i think it would be a good idea if we develop a standard way of doing this." because indeed, lots of people have these projects, but none of them could read them all on one reader or season in one setting. -- or see them in 17. -- in setting. it may sound boring, but this changed the way we handle things in libraries in archives. one of the first people i called up was an evening brian because i needed her wisdom. -- was anita mcbride. we had found we had $17 million
in the budget that somehow know when it you anything about. it had just been sitting there. -- no one knew anything about it. i wanted everyone to know at least that we had it. we hit another big problem in the art world -- conservation and preservation. that $17 million became the first seed money to pull people together. first, throughout the united dates, and then a throughout the world. --throughout the united states and then throughout the world. we gave at $1 billion in grants. of that, almost 300 million dollars with conservation and preservation. mrs. bush helped us think through how we all of this together. -- how we pulled all of this together. she was the chairman of this
approach. we started in washington, but then we went on the road. we got scholarships from a bank of america. it is two magic words -- laura bush, when you go to corporate america are many projects. those words opened doors. it helped create a network of museum directors and curators, librarians, also archivists. we brought them together in atlanta, in denver, in buffalo, in washington. we brought them together to talk about topics that were of common interest and need. someone said to me, what you think is the biggest advantage of all this? i said, they all sat in the same room and got each other's phone numbers.
the big names in the arts were sitting with people perhaps from smaller institutions. people who would never in their wildest imagination call the other people up. now they knew each other. they had a drink or had lunch together. all of that came directly from laura bush's instigation. i will let you know about that. with the national endowment for the arts, we develop something called "the big read.' i am sure anita logged many miles. i was on a couple of those trips. it meant that communities pick a book that they wanted to focus on. some american classic like "washington square" or whatever. the community would read the book, have discussions, there
were teaching aids prepared, a curriculum. with each book, there was even a dvd where sections of the book work read by a mosquito. -- read by famous people. i was so excited, i got to read something by "washington square." it was wonderful to have that opportunity and to see the results of this extraordinary program. also at imlf, we were honored to be asked to help with katrina. i spent a lot of time down there drinking books out of the mud, as did so many people who were directly involved with the administration. -- dragging books. i know anita can give much more context students. this is something the first
lady was involved with on a daily basis. the imlf has a scholarship program for librarians called the laura bush program. usually what happens when one administration and another comes in that anything that has somebody's name on it disappears. this is sacrosanct, no one would take her name off of this. no matter what political strife or view. the one that i hope that people begin to understand besides the list of achievements and these papers that contextualized and certainly shared all of mrs. bush's achievements was that mrs. bush is a person that really cares and walks the walk.
she's the person you can depend on. she's the person who understands what it is like to be in a small town, or to have the platform of the world. she is someone that we will always be proud of. and i feel especially honored that i have the chance to work with her. thanks so much. >> i really enjoyed your talk so much. i wish i can continue listen to you. it is great to be here with you all today. i will say, if laura bush were to walk into this room. everybody would just try to be better. she is one of those extraordinary presences that
inspires other people by here mere presence to do the best that you can. i am delighted to be here to talk about her leadership. i want to spend a few minutes talking about her. ultimately, the way the person leads is an indication of the kind of person they are. when i first met laura bush, i was in my hometown in 1995 of el paso, texas. that is where her mother is from. her husband had just been elected governor of texas. what i remember most, it was at a reception at the university of texas at el paso, with those penetrating blue eyes and the way that she listened more than she spoke. she was at this reception honoring an artist and writer tom lee, whose book she had read this painting hung in the governor's office.
tom was 87 years old. by the end of that year, she and governor bush had invited him to austin with his wife sarah sleep in sam houston's that at the governor's engine and to see friends of his, including numbers of the king ranch family. to see friends of his before the last time he died in 2001. when laura noted the texas book festival in austin, which grew into the from your u.s. literary event. -- into this premier. she took it on the road. when she took it on the road she brought it back to el paso. again, to honor tom lee and other el paso artist. when she meets someone she admires, she will never forget them. daily, like a thread that is woman -- they become like a thread that is woven through
her life. one thing laura bush, after meeting tom lee and reading his books, he wrote a quote. there is a mountain on el paso old frank on. -- called franklin. there is a beautiful quote of his same "sarah and i live on the east side of the mountain. it is the sunrise side, not sunset side. it is the site to see the data that is coming, not the date that is gone." it goes on to say that "the best date is the date that is coming, with eyes wide open." she loved that quote. her husband it used to that quote he accepted the republican nomination and became president of the united states.
one thing i did learn early on about bush is that when she does need someone she admires, their lives become intertwined with hers, but also she focuses attention on them. a mexican friend of mine was a cnn hero award winner. she started a hospital in our bordering community. she once said upon meeting laura bush, when she was invited to speak at a border governor's conference. she said "laura bush does not absorb light. she reflects it and it shines on other people." the texas festival became the model for the national book festival. which just celebrated 15 anniversary. of the obamas were the honorary chairs. with 200,000 people attending.
in 2002, when it started in d.c., laura bush invited mrs. putin to attend. where the russian first lady got the idea, she got the idea no one was telling her what to do, she got the idea of hosting a festival of her own. the following year, after stopping in paris for the u.s. national delegation's reentry into unesco, which she led. i was part of led. mrs. bush continued on to russia. she visited mrs. putin's book festival, inviting american authors who delighted at the russian children. in addition to shining the light on others, another thing i have learned that when laura bush shares what she loves things multiply. her love of books has not only
given birth to these book festivals in the u.s. and parts of the world, but the laura bush foundation for replacing libraries continues providing grants or hundreds of school libraries every year. after asking me to chair the president's committee on the arts and humanities in 2001, she attended our first meeting. her words were few. she is not professorial, really. she is just very brief and to the point. as we have seen her quotes here. what she says is that time is short. you better get going. so we did. realizing that this is the truth of coming into government service. realizing that if we tried to do something on our own that no one else was doing, we would
have wasted too much time trying to figure out what that was. knowing her, we took another tack asking how we might help. we had many partners, all of the institutions that have anything to do with arts and culture in the u.s., including the smithsonian institution, the kennedy center, but our primary partners were the national endowment for the arts, the national endowment for the communities, and the institute of museum and library services, which ann chaired. we found out that all of them were interested in international cultural diplomacy, but their budget had no leeway for cross-border collaboration. since we raised our money privately, we did get a bit of government money, but most was raised privately, we were free to help them out.
we were able to add an international component. it did not just happen in the united dates, it happened in mexico and china. it happened in egypt. in focusing on collections, we developed many international components focusing on collections and preservation. it was natural for me as a border girl, by the time i got to washington, i was thinking, where are my mexican friends? when i became chair, we did award ceremonies called "coming up taller" where a word recognize. -- awards for youth were recognized.
while he could not project with four children the future, he could see the joy in their eyes when they participated. he could swear when they took their final bow that they came up taller. that is how the awards got their name. we used to do the ceremony on capitol hill. it was done in the clinton administration, started back then. we moved it back into the white house at bush's invitation. we began recognizing programs for mexico that first year. then we recognized programs from china. then we recognized programs from egypt. than our last "coming up taller awards," english, chinese, arabic, and spanish world spoken. i remember the mexican investor
turning off his telephone before things started. he said "i do not want to be distracted from this wonderful experience, which is what the real relationship between the u.s. and mexico is all about -- and that is wanting the best for our children.' another thing about mrs. bush is leadership is that she has always worked for the best of the world's children. saving america's treasures was another project the president committee spearheaded, collaborating with the ilmf. they became integrated into that program in selecting the award. when we recognize treasures like fort davis, the place where the buffalo soldiers