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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 5, 2016 4:00am-6:01am EST

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donald trump is saying he's going to spend $2 million a week to run television ads. that is really the first big financial investment he has made in the campaign. this is a change. stat same in 2016? it is less exciting, but it will increasingly become the focus over the next 10 months. 2016, from spring when the from when the2015 candidates were announcing, that was about what was new. 2016 is about the process. the process remains the same. the candidates have to go through the invisible primaries, what we are seeing now. we are starting the nominating
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contest, into the convention and general election. that of course, is what this seminar will focus on. withrocess, the politics the candidates and their campaign, and the policies. houseth to the white still depends on 270 electoral college votes. many of you have probably seen the website, 270 to win. that, are interested in what is the path to victory in the white house? today,270 votes, as of january 4, 217 of those are viewed as safely democratic. that means that the democratic candidate needs to get 53 more
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votes. if you think, essay states could could -- the safe states change, let me tell you what the safe states are. the republicans have 191. california, 55 votes. new york state, 29 votes. votes.s, 20 michigan, 16. new jersey, 14. washington, 12. massachusetts, 11. maryland 10, oregon seven, connecticut seven. that gets us to 191. four. maine, three, anddc, hawaii, four.
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once you get to 17, how do you get to 270? votes.ennsylvania is 20 florida is 29. ohio is 18. 217, a candidate could take two of those three states and just needs to peel off north carolina or virginia, or a combination of iowa, colorado, new hampshire, wisconsin to win the race. that is the ground game right now. let me say that again. that is the long-term game. a lot can happen on the road to 270. i did a radio interview before the holidays, when someone was
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asking about the clinton campaign. some of the comments secretary clinton had made about orrin policy and -- foreign policy and isis. all she has to do is get 270 votes. no one had said that. but political insiders know, matters.hat ultimately it was at the washington center's january 2001 seminar that a former chairman of the republican national committee , that is whatd every political party, every campaign chair, and every campaign manager is in camp out. how do you get to 270? you don't need a mandate. -- drawt need to get out new letters. -- new voters. whatever the best way to do that is the way to win. let me be very clear.
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i'm not saying this election has been decided. the final 80 votes on the republican side are going to be hard votes to fight for. this raises questions about, again, the structure of our political system. in 2016 we are not going to hear a lot of discussion about but we asreform, students who are engaged with the political process need to think about that. we will have chances to do that this week. does the electoral college still make sense? in the aftermath of the citizens united decision, do we need to rethink campaign spending, and how? if a celebrity candidate is able to benefit from free advertising and media, and barely even focus on campaign fund-raising, and is
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gradually able to use his own able to use his own funds, how significant are these concerns? should we try to encourage voter turnout? what is healthy turnout in american democracy? when bill clinton ran for reelection against senator october, the expectations of victory for clinton were so clear. this was after the democrats lost control of congress for the years.ime in 94 in 40 president clinton went on to recover from that. by october of 1996, the republican party was advising
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members of their party to campaign in congress on the platform of not giving bill clinton a blank check. they virtually conceded the race. voter turnout was just under 60%. 2004, and 2008, turnout was closer to 64%. 62% in 2012. what is the ideal voter turnout? what responsibilities do we have as a society to encourage voter turnout, and to make voter feasible?re there has been a lot of debate over the past few years. students have spent time looking at this with voter id laws, and the challenges that these laws place on getting people to the polls. are those laws unduly
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burdensome? this is something dealt with in the courts/ . after the butterfly ballot in 2000, and the help america and the motor voter turnout -- are there larger structural changes we can make? that election day have to be the tuesday following the first monday in november? could we have weekend voting? could we have early voting? that has come under controversy in certain states that have limited early voting, which is known for bringing out turnout. you have to go to the polls? oregon has 100% mail-in voting now. are there other changes we can make to encourage voter turnout, and what is optimal in a
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democracy? do we want 100% voter turnout? 100% in october 2002. not the model we want to follow. what is healthy turnout in american elections? this year is a good time to discuss what is acceptable, and what we want to achieve. we need to talk about the importance, but not the decisiveness, of the traditional parts of campaigns, like funding. party endorsements. on the democratic side, hillary ,linton has pretty much secured so far ahead of her major opponent, that it is not really clear that the endorsements will
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make a difference. again, let me be careful here. the sender campaign just announced over the weekend that they are putting -- assigning 100 paid staff members in iowa to draw support in each of the nearly 1700 precincts. that ground game matters. we talked about the electoral college getting -- donald trump. for all of his coverage, donald trump's, campaign manager promised in the
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fall the trunk campaign would have a leader for each precinct in iowa by december. when they did a training session about six weeks ago, they had 18 people. another roughly 50 people online participating. what kind of a difference will that make? right now the latest poll before the holidays, senator cruz was leading in iowa. trump was close behind. marco rubio, after that with significant drop-off. and in fifthmpaign place, jeb bush. will stay the same, the importance of these early contests and the difference they could make. i don't think a difference in a loss in iowa for the clinton
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won't be decisive. a win in iowa on the public and side may not be decisive but could turn the campaign. 2008,think back to president obama's campaign manager says everyone looks back and says you can see how it developed. them, every battle was won iowa or be out of the race. they won iowa, went to new hampshire, lost new hampshire, but made enough of a showing to go to south carolina. there was a small window there in the obama campaign and they saw the window and was able to make that into a path. path, but nevertheless, a path to victory. as we pursue that, campaign funding matters, right? not decisive. it is clear there will be no
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coronation. neither party will be willing to do that. policy. spend a lot of time talking about politics and numbers. but policies matter too. wer the course of the week will talk about environmental policy, national security panel on moderated a november 5 on u.s. policy and presidential elections where we spent much time discussing the the of attention that campaigns were paying to national security. after the terrorist attacks on paris on november 13, national security has become front and center. it has become clear a competitive presidential candidate will have to show
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fluency and expertise in national security. maybe not expertise, but fluency in the understanding the issues that are at stake and we will leave it at that for now. because ity means, does not, i don't think in 2016 it means expertise. traditionally, what do we know about how do policies matter? traditionally, if you have studied or taken a course on retrospective voting, most look back on the last four years. they do not look ahead. if the economy has done well you tend to vote with the incumbent or the incumbent party. -- badly,oing valley you vote the incumbent out. 5%, all5 was about right? president obama, during the visit and see whether you credit
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the obama white house or not, unemployment has been cut in half, right? 5% now.bout 5% -- gdp growth, 5.5%, roughly when you adjusted for inflation, roughly close to the historical average. that suggests retrospective voting, what we know, the conventional wisdom, might help the democrats. most economists will say what matters is the state of the economy six months before the election. if we think back to 1992, george by the time the 1992 elections took place, united states is coming out of the election but the perception was that we were in economic difficulty and the president was not best suited. victory for path to
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bill clinton in a three-way race with prospero. so it may be too early to say. it seems that retrospective voting would favor the incumbent party but a lot can happen in the next six months. there are some analysis that suggest democrats could be favorite fortney 16, but then -- that would be a problem for 2016. iowa, thee poles, in sanders campaign is mounting a strong push. a strong offensive. hillary clinton is about 13 points ahead in the polls. clinton campaign is taking no chances. you have probably seen that former president campaign -- -- former president clinton is campaigning heavily.
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president of the national committee will be speaking to was later this week and said on yesterday that bill clinton is the best politician the united states has seen since franklin delano roosevelt and whatever is being thrown at him, the criticisms, personal, and political, the clinton machine is there to take those on. that matter? you may have seen a new hampshire yesterday republican state legislator tries to townpt, did disrupt, a hall meeting with hillary clinton. and, just raising personal issues about all clinton. and she would not take the question. does that turn into anything? is this a concern for the front-runner on the of a chronic ticket? difficult to say.
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at this point i was seems i would not say safe, but strong for the clinton campaign. for senatore and sanders is ahead by about six percentage points right now. on the republican front, very much remains to be seen how that will play out. what that means, it seems premature to be talking about vice president of candidates, but what that means, not just to is at the top of the ticket but who is in second price. that is a specially significant on the republican side. senator cruz is ahead in iowa. senator cruz has been getting some criticism from his party opponents for not spending a lot of time in iowa. they are doing the six-day cruise through iowa. that was the campaign, not me. they are making a strong push. donald trump is less plan three
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points behind. so you have the large game and the ground game. it just of gall to tell. in iowa, you have to declare on february 1 which caucus you will be in. you can't stand the democrat and moved to republican but you can wait until february 1 to decide. there are a lot of voters up for grabs. marco rubio is at 12% in iowa. .n new hampshire, trump 26% senator rubio, to set. chris christie, new jersey governor, 11 .5% by a major endorsement a few weeks ago. ohio, 9% inich of new hampshire. ahead of former governor jeb bush. what does this mean? how do we interpret what is happening? i want to take question terror and we are topics we will talk about but let me say very quickly when we talk about the issues, when we talk about the ?oad to the white house, ok
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how do we explain the unexpected. why has governor bush been so disappointing? is it fair to say it is low-energy? all right, that is very comic kind of reducing some very, i think, some bigger, much bigger issues in particular. the burden of two previous presidencies of the same name. all right? hillary clinton only has one, so that makes it a two-term. what about the scene? what are the issues that will matter. national security, the economy, all right? who are the voters. swingre the voters in the states in pennsylvania, and ohio, that need to be reached? and florida? all right? there was a column in the new york times, i underestimated up.
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a recent article talks about how blue-collar white voters who are registered democrats are saying they like donald trump. will they turn out to vote for him? remains to be seen. but there is a theme here. has populism, nationalism, a sense that voter -- the government does not care about the middle class. those themes are resonating with voters and how candidates play those out, now that the debates are still continuing, but in and goingaigning, through meetings with voters, town halls, getting out the state-by-state and nationally as we head to the conventions, will be a big part of determining whether conventional wisdom still matters.
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wisdom so matters, but how much can a tedious and 2016. those are some of the issues we will explore this week. i did not even talk about the possibility of a broken convention but we will discuss that later this week. why don't we take a little bit of time before secretary glickman comes to talk about some of these issues? i have kept the focus on the election terror, we will talk about governess with the state of the union message and it is important to keep governance. right? we have to address both of them. as obama said famously in 2008, you have to walk into them gum at the same time. what what that means as far as how it shapes election in the campaign will be an important part of the discussion. questions? how do we want to do this? >> state your name, your university, and the question.
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>> i know guys like rubio and guessnd carson, and i even a malley are still in it. but now that we're in 2016, 11 months away, would you say we are at the point where we are at the final four with clinton, sanders, trump, and ted cruz? great question. when you senator cruz and senator rubio and governor o'malley in the same sentence, that just does not seem fair. all right? the democratic side,
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this is hillary clinton's nomination to lose. right? i think the sanders campaign could have a very strong influence. already has influence, right, some of her policy positions. of the nomination getting to the delegates is going to get hard. thehe republican side, conventional wisdom of now, it was not last spring, is that this is a three-priors race. senator cruz, senator rubio, and donald trump. right? in virginia, he is pulling so low, not even showing up. governor pataki just suspended his campaign, right? governor jindal dropped out. have thethink you cover, but it has a bobby jindal campaign but not the top. already that is history. to dress your question, it looks like it is going to be a
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three-percent raise, but the republican front of from last spring, jeb bush, i do not think will jump out easily. it remains to be seen what the bush campaign does. >> why do you think ben carson limited? plummeted out of nowhere. it was carson and then cruise. the question with dr. carson is less why has his numbers drop but more, why did his numbers go up in the first place? i do not mean that rudely, but when you look at dr. carson's chiefgn manager and the communications director both quite yesterday. right? this is a campaign in trouble. dr. carson, all right, is a renowned doctor. a physician. right? no expertise in politics and ly national security.
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when you have members of the campaign talking about the candidates lack of fluency, right? not necessarily on job expertise, but lack of fluency think,issues, that, i explains dr. carson strupp in the polls. what is interesting is why dr. carson was doing so well in the fall. that points to this outsider east those and i think the system and process. is what both nominees will have to address. great question. looking ahead after the primaries, on the democratic side, the two front runners are both substantial in age. what you are alluding to when you mentioned it might be a
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candidates areth 70-years-old in 2020? i cannot see having a president and vice president whose mean total ages 130. i don't know when the last time we had at that age. i think it is an interesting subject. how do you see that being a liability or not necessarily a for they, but a pro candidates? do you think that is where they will be attacked? meena: when hours talking about 2020, i was not talk about age been about issues. the incumbent's party. it is unusual, right, when four sittingne president, highly unusual. that is why people were hoping president biden could mount a serious challenge.
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so, 2020 was referring more to parties, not age of candidates. i could give the quick answer, ronald reagan to mondale in 1984. at the second debate, president reagan said, in the debate, he was not going to make his opponents in use or experience an issue in the campaign. he was not going to hold his campaigns -- his opponent's youth and inexperience against him. ronald reagan, when he became president in 1981, was the oldest president. before that, it was dwight d. eisenhower. , thishink it is also true is a larger questions in american politics, that people in certain jobs are working longer. you can work longer, right? with had senators into their 100 , right? sure when i say that,
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kind of, 70-years-old is the new 50. right? it is not an entire joke. but, i do think there is a question here about the future of the party, right? this is where senator rubio, i think, is drawing a lot of appeal. this new, fresh face on the republican side could have some crossover appeal to voters that republicans have been juggling to bring in. right? particularly minorities. chris christie, who is also very young, was seen as that, but i think the political liabilities that's governor christie brings underestimated. on the democratic side, think that is a row question about what the next generation is. who among the millennial's will stand out? who said 2032? someone over here?
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these are important questions. there are a lot of democrats at state level, right? kamala harris, right, in california is being talked about as a possibility down the road. we need to see more of that rising. that is why i said the vice presidential spot, while that is not the focus now, will be very important. by sarah for -- why sarah palin was so important. the wild factor. there was a sense that this could be the future of the republican party. has not turned up that way, but it is interesting to see the role she continues to play from the sidelines. >> my name is justin, i am a student from suffolk university. my question is a compound question, but from the last republican debate, donald trump and jeb bush got into an argument where donald trump, as he is, said to jeb bush, usa
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percent, you are going to follow up the side of the debate stage, it does not matter. so my compound question is, if someone is so low in the polls, do they still see the popular vote does not matter when it comes to percentages and what makes them stay of they are so low at 10%. meena: there are a few answers are. a few questions. start with the last one. why do they stay? why is jeb bush still in their benchmark because, as of last spring, he was widely expected, right, to be the nominee. challenges. governor walker, governor perry, right? these were seen as viable candidacies. the mckissick, who is still in the race. last spring there were a lot of articles been about how jeb bush had mastered fundraising. the government session, four
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one-our fundraising sessions in a row. was able to bridge the divide in the republican party, right? jeb bush at this point is ceiling candidate i know who i have heard defend common core, right? easy to, it is so interpret common core, right? jeb bush continues to defend it. i think that was seen as the republican establishment, if you will. former governor bush would be able to bring in some democrats, right? immigration, right? more open. be, though he is not even labeled a compassionate conservative, like his mother. now that that has not happened, there is still a lad, there is a lag for good reason between what the polls are saying and what
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republican party leaders are saying. but the commentators, right? if you look at all the commentary, the criticism of donald trump that has come out over the past few months. doesn't know anything about foreign policy. he is good, he is this is, his this, he is that. there has been a concerted effort by establishment figures to minimize travel. right? but trump, right? not quite anyone but trunk, but i think that is why jeb bush is there. could talk about why that is happening. to address your question with the low numbers, why is he staying in which mark not a single vote has been cast yet. right? i grant to an entirely, i am the one the part of this problem is, right? he is behind in carson, right? he is behind been cases in new hampshire. this is a significant problem. if you just go to the washington post, you can see the articles
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being written about everything jeb bush is doing wrong. it is so easy. would be harder to write a story about when he is doing right. someone should try doing that. what he is doing right and why that might not be enough. and that is why he is staying incumbent is he with the vets are. i think there is a hope. problem,ld be a big actually on the republican side it would not even happen in trying to annoy someone that does not an get the public vote but i think the hope is he will still be able to build momentum but right now the odds are not in his favor. from iowa. randy buena vista at university. it if bernie sanders and donald trump do not win the nomination, do you think we'll see them one in third-party? i feel confident saying bernie sanders would not do
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that. donald trump has said he would not do that and i do not think he would because that is a sure-fire route to victory for democrats. not come by and donald trump to roosevelt, but teddy roosevelt, and 19 of, ran on his own. for guidance and you would not 1912, 1908, try to run in could not continue to nomination, socgen on the bowman's party ticket and that bob woodrow wilson to the white house, one both elections with less than 2% and five. -- bush.n 1996, behink there would significant for depression. i think it is publicly at this point. donald trump is, i mean his staying far demonstrates he is taking this very seriously. i do not think you would want to see that happen to the
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republican party. the question you are raising brings up some very big issues about the structure of our political system. their structural reasons we have a two-party system in the united states. and the road to the white house is through one of the parties. thank you. >> i am julia from nine you. my question dovetails. i was wondering if you could comment on the potential of rolee sanders to fill the of a third-party candidate without meaning to. when you are talking about the 2000 election, correct me if i'm wrong, i know some are bearded ability to win the white house to third-party candidates like wealth nader, who maybe detracted from some of the democratic votes and i have
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similarly her different commentators posit that there are voters who would see bernie is a good potential second choice for currently-committed hillary but the reverse is not true. i was wondering about europe you in on that. even if there were not a sanders nomination for the democrats, could sanders possibly win the white house and the general election. meena: i think that is such a significant question and really, i think, it is the crux of the issue. the challenge for the clinton campaign is that hillary clinton thatkability factor and is -- would democratic voters decide -- who are disaffected who party establishment don't want to see hillary run, would they stay home?
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i think it is too early to tell. first of all, i think there are a number of positives that secretary clinton has as well. i mean, this would be if she wins, right, and historical election of the united states. i think the gender issue, which will talk about on wednesday from emily's love, i think it will bring out a lot of the older democratic voters. it seems to be less significant underunger voters 35-years-old. but since they vote less, that is not much of an issue for her. i think, unless some scandal or which i'm notp, suggesting there's anything there but there is always the unexpected, right? it would be very unlikely to see, you are not seeing the
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frustration. while democrats, some democrats may not like hillary, i don't think you are seeing the same frustration or the sense that to anyone but hillary, even a republican. it is interesting there is that if donald trump got the nomination, what republicans would do. the think you're more likely to see it on the other side but i will concede it is too early to be seen. i do not want to at all minimize the sanders critique of the clinton campaign because i think it will be forced to be reckoned with if not for the actual buying the for the nomination the end but what the clinton campaign stands for. >> my name is kim, i am from the harvard extension school. i am wondering if you think the average voter was someone who does not have the strongest political education sees them as having a beneficial side, as
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real-world experience and more relatable or is it a setback. meena: i think this question of the outsider is where the conventional wisdom is not helpful, right? this is what is new and what, i think, we are trying to understand. i think understanding that is still a work in progress, but i would say the strong support that donald trump and ben carson -- and even relative newcomers come i mean senator cruz has not been on the political scene very soon. he is not pulling as well but made up from the first of may 2 the second, made up to the top tier, right? what does this tell us? there is a strong sentiment in american politics
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that our process, right, there is a frustration with the process. this is not working. i think what is appealing about platform, right, is that he is promising to get things done. there may be a big gulf between that -- i will leave aside the question about the policies, right? if you look at the ad, when he is talking about, banning muslims were coming into the united states. obviously, there are a number of bubbles with that. is promising, right? there is a big disconnect the 20 balancing and what is actually possible because the president is not a dictator, right? the president is not a king. but, there is a sentiment here that this is a person who is not just saying yes to the system as it is. that ties into a lot why speaker john meiners pretty turned against him and he had to set down as speaker. paul ryan, is he doing anything
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substantively the fairly? no, but there is see perception he is listening more. that is what the freedom caucuses said. that ties into a larger question about how do we break through politics as usual. that is what the outsider appeal is in a nugget. more to itk there is than that. there are questions about future american politics, the state of our economy, right? the future of jobs. againill the 21st century benchmark i think there is somewhat of a reluctance to appreciate the importance of the politics as a process that takes a long time. >> high. -- hi, you mentioned structural
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changes. want to anticipate those to be and what are the pros and cons? meena: the biggest one people seem to be talking about is the electoral college. will the electoral college still in the nextng couple of decades, right? you could get rid of it to buy a constitutional amendment or you could of state pass and amendments, right? which is what the popular vote movement is about. states pass laws that would votes.electoral a little over a dozen states have signed on. none of the big states at this point have signed on to do that above got to a total of 270. that is the biggest question. there does not appear to be a lot of momentum for that, but again, most momentum was right
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after 2000. but after nine, the focus shifted to national security not election process. it is hard to say what might've been different otherwise. to the the movement question of the relevance of the electoral college is one that is simmering under the surface. that is the big one. questions about campaign finance and voting, campaign finance seems unlikely after citizen and united in the coming years. but with the voter ids, that is more state-by-state and in the court. the big question i was referring to is the electoral college. >> going back to structural changes, my question is on campaign finance.
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you mentioned there are some a celebrity candidates in this race. i feel like they have not really had to put much effort into campaign fund-raising. do you think that the nature of this race will warrant indiscernible] -- a campaign finance has gone through such an evolution of the past 40 years, right? from when we had public financing, we still have public financing but it is pretty much george w. bush declined in for the nominating contest, barack obama declined it for the general election in 2008, the book you will be reading next week about the 2012 election talks about that. point, one of the
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candidates for the republican side has said any money that comes in is people wanting to give him money, that he does not needed. he has spent relatively little of his own money today. there is a healthy tension in moneyan politics about and free speech, right? when you equate that, it is infuriating. that is first amendment, right? want ton't oversimplified the rise of super pac's. super pac's were exercising more control over how the fonts are used. there was an article last week talking about how super back donors have now started to put in provisions that if the candidate they support ultimately and second is see,
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the money goes back to them. i think the larger question is change fromlegal our political institutions, but andges from the funders will that ultimately, in the era of the billion-dollar presidential campaign, will that build public momentum for institutional change? that remains to be seen. >> you are talking about different key issues that might 20 16r break the presidential election like the national security. what other issues might be a deciding factor? you are from seton hill, right? security andtional the economy, those are the two have there you
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greatest unknowns. the greatest concerns, right? right now, as i mentioned earlier, the numbers seem to favor the incumbent party. but again, 10 months before the election, it is risky. it would be risky for any democratic candidate to campaign like good morning america again. 1984. right? the messages still, there is work to be done even with a healthy economy. with national security, and that is why i think trump is right in and in his message with, let's make america great again, we have to get there. i wouldional security, say the challenge for all of the candidates is to convey
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leadership qualities without boxing themselves into policy positions that could change depending upon other countries and what happens in the middle east in particular but also with climate change viewed by many, especially after the paris security issue, immigration is really not just a mess to policy. i think with national security, the challenge for the candidates leadershipstrate qualities. understanding the issues at stake. i think that is where the cars and campaign has all in the short. national security or the economy. >> hello, professor. sam english.
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of my question actually kind goes along with the other question. i know that national security is very salient in the minds of americans, especially after paris. sayich candidate would you has been really successful at steering the debates and setting the agenda of the 2016 election? just sayguess i could it remains to be seen. [laughter] meena: that is a tough question. i think one of the most interesting speakers on national security in the debates has been senator paul. whether you agree with him or not, right? he has taken a pretty hard line against intervention, right #he is actually going against the establishment and his party.
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think,has really, i raised some fundamental questions about the united states role in the world. i think it is not endorsing his position, but the questions about what our goals are abroad and how to pursue those goals alliances, troops, foreign aid, right? diplomacy. sometimes questions that i do not think we have gotten into the specifics. carly fiorina has brought up a lot about the defense budget and pointed out where she sees shortfalls. jeb bush, of course, has been stymied by iraq. defend, right, the decisions of the bush 43 administration. trying to carve his own path while holding true to policies that have supported within a significant portion of his party
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and there is obviously a personal connection there. so i think a lot of candidates -- they are taking stances where they know there is quite a bit of room for discussion. the critics of the iran deal, right on the republican side are strong. president obama is likely to make an announcement about guantanamo the coming weeks. what will that mean? how weger question about fight terrorism, and i will leave it at terrorism without getting into any labels. what commitment the united states makes as a country. those bigger questions are not easy to adjust a debate and they have not been addressed yet. think, with that, with this very difficult issue, i am not going to take any more questions. i am going to turn them over to
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our distinguished speaker. the lighted to welcome secretary glickman, dan glickman, back to the washington center. senator glickman, secretary glickman, so many titles for you, has a long and distinguished career in american politics. he represented the fourth congressional district of kansas for 14 years in the house of representatives, he was a member of the house agriculture committee. he chaired the subcommittee on federal foreign policy 46 years. representative glickman also served on the house judiciary committee and was chairman of the permanent select committee on intelligence and is and at on aviation policy. the house,ng representative glickman served as the u.s. secretary of agriculture in the clinton administration from march 1995 until january of 2001.
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during his tenure at the department of agriculture, the department modernized and administered farm and conservation of them's, was active in modernizing food safety regulation and developing international trade agreements for expanding u.s. markets and expanding the commitment, the in. commitment to fairness, quality, and civil rights. after leaving the department of agriculture, secretary glickman served as chairman of the motion picture association of america and also spent time at the harvard institute of politics of the kennedy school. as a partner in senior in the akin gump and strauss in washington and currently is executive director of the aspen institute congressional program, which is a nonpartisan, nongovernmental program for members of the congregation -- of congress.
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fellow of a senior the bipartisan center and coaches a commission on political reform, the democracy project, and the prevention initiative. he is here to talk to us today about the only 16 election. we were actually talking about political reform earlier so perhaps he will give us his thoughts on not just what we have now but what could change in the future. these join me in welcoming secretary glickman. [applause] secretary glickman: good morning. if you listen to my biography, you can see if you can't keep a job, keep moving up its. my son, i don't know how this happened, but my son is actually a legitimate film producer los angeles and said he wants to entitled,k about me failing upwards. you can be the judge of that.
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it is good to be here january 4, 2016, the first day of this presidential and congressional election season. you are here during extremely exciting times. folks come from all over the country. a fair amount of people from new hampshire. raise your hand if you are from new hampshire. anybody here from kansas? you have got to be kidding. where you from? that was my congressional district before you were born. where are you in school? ok. i used to go to the rodeo on pretty prairie. that?y so have the highlight of my congressional existence. what a great name. pretty prairie. that is classic heartland america. am really interested in what you have to say so let me just mention a couple things.
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i ran for office 10 times. by 19. i lost the last one. ben i was privileged to secretary of agriculture in the clinton administration where we did a lot of great things. food safety, farm and agricultural problems, i ran -- some of you are watching this controversy in oregon with perhaps a clash between different views of government by people who think the land belongs to them and maybe not the federal government and that reminds me of my old days when the u.s. forest service was under the department of agriculture with some of the same related issues. i am now at two places largely, one is the aspen institute, a think tank in washington, i am involved with trying to bring members of congress together to educate them on issues of the
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day, mostly foreign policy, national security, global policy issues in a bipartisan way, to bring members of congress together. you would be surprised when we do this, most of the people are very talented and the partisanship leaves when they come together in a quiet way with no media, no political consultants. they talk about substantive issues and are quite productive. i am also at the bipartisan policy center, where i came before hand and spoke. the bipartisan policy center was started by the senate majority leaders of the past. senator dodd, senator baker, two democrats. senator daschle and senator mitchell, to try to see what we could to recognize that partisanship is not bad. we have always said partisanship in america. it is good, it is healthy, it is a clash of ideas to be partisan. at the end of the day you also want to do something for the country.
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find solutions. partisanship is supposed to anduce thinking and intellectual stimulating environment where you can come to constructive ideas on foreign policy, domestic policy, and whatever it is. so we continue to work on a variety of those issues as well. let us look at today for a moment and where we are. i know you have a group of great speakers coming up and i really want to hear your thoughts about our political system especially people who are at the beginning of their political life. people who are may voting for the first time, entering the picture. whether they see politics and government as a worthwhile operation in this country anymore. let us look at some of the general themes i think lay out right now. the first theme i talk about is
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the economic and jobs theme. historically the foundation, the bottom line of american politics. working? is economy doing well? do people believe they have an economic teacher? while overall the economy is the good, the unemployment rate is at a fairly low a gear right now, although there are a lot of people who are not counted in that rate. generally speaking, the economy is better today than it was five years ago or 10 years ago. a hugesame time there is amount of anxiety due to economic uncertainty. loss of middle-class jobs, loss of manufacturing jobs. if you are educated and you have a college degree and you are tech-savvy, things are much more open and positive for you they hand if you have been in a manufacturing or a kind of area education perhaps has not
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had the classic impact it has had in the past. so, economic uncertainty, lack of middle-class jobs, and then all of the issues surrounding terrorism and international conflict has created an environment where there is a high level of anxiety in america and all of these actions, whether san bernardino or other things, accentuate that kind of thing. political campaigns do not try to smooth these conflicts out. they are built to stoke the fires. it is the old dog bites man is not a story. bites dog is the story. pretty much now it is man biting dog and that is what gets the attention. so we have 24-our media coverage of everything imaginable. there is very little policy discussion on issues in the national debate because policy discussion is not particularly
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interesting on television to large numbers of people. it should be, but it is not. is driving the party the discussion in the primary season. more on the republican side they and the democratic side because the conflict right now is on the republican side because far p/e bowl -- far fewer people although it could change in new hampshire or iowa, secretary clinton is heading this, but sanders has been a formidable opponent. there is extensive money and politics, almost unlimited spending now. every issue is driven by this catalyst of money which creates way more media attention. way more online at attention. way more social media attention than ever before. most of the attention is on conflict, not policy, because that is what tends to drive
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voters. the attention is exclusively based on presidential politics, virtually nothing on congress so far. it is worth by mentioning the founding fathers were pretty smart. he said article one was the congress, not the president. so, i am a student of the congressional ranks and i have always felt that all branches are equal but one is slightly more equal than others and that is the congress but you would never know it today from media attention or coverage. part of this is because of the antipathy people have towards congress in particular right now. there are a lot of other issues. one is gerrymandering, most of our congressional districts are geared towards the one-pretty well. it was different when i ran for congress from the perry, kansas. -- i is at was
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democrat was able to win nine times in that district. if i went back today and ran and that district, maybe i can get 100 votes. not very many more the end that. it is a whole different world. these one-pretty districts tend to dominate. when you run for office you tend to deal with more who your voters are and they tend to be the extreme. you are not going to appeal to people on the other side if you know where your voters are going to be. of these congressional districts have low primary turnout so you are getting a smaller percentage voting with you. at any event, those are some of the issues driving the national area. in addition, i think there is a fairly extensive lack of trust and major institutions. trust is a big factor. the american political system depends upon trust and our leaders and institutions.
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look at government, media, corporate world, academia, and if you look at congress particularly, there is an enormous lack of trust and all of these institutions. mark twain -- however this is not necessarily new, so don't think you are a victim of this in 2016, by 100 years ago mark twain said there's only one true criminal class in america and that is congress. he said that just after the first world war. if all is had this national -- natural trust of our institutions. that is healthy. totalitarian systems do not met that kind of distressed in their system. now it has gone to the point where an awful lot of do not trust anybody, anytime, anyplace, anywhere. that is not healthy for a long-term democratic situation. there is also little trust in leadership. becausesome of that is
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the media and the rest of the world encourages distressed and politicians running for office encourage to stress. when you hear all of the negative things being said about or said aboutoday george w bush in the previous administration, you would think these people were the pariahs of all time and it is just not true. not kind of rhetoric and disloyal rhetoric but disenchanted rhetoric about political leaders and others is a problem. table do not want to identify themselves as politicians come in fact most of the people running for president today are making it absolutely clear they do not want to be considered a politician, they are different. on the other hand, what are they running for? their money in politics to be a politician and yet they do not want to be a politician.
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it creates an internal conflict, they must be schizophrenic all the time, they want to do something they wanted to but they don't want to be called what they want to do. i'm reminded of harry truman, the former president of the united states wants it, i have i am a politician. a petition is a person who understands government and it takes a politician to run a government. a statesman is a politician who has been dead for 15 years. people are all running to be statesman but they cannot run unless they are a working politician. it takes a working politician to be a good leader and politics. that is what it is all about. we of people who have run away their lives.ot of and then, i would talk a little bit about some of discourse and bipartisanship. the discourse in american political life today is really pretty bad. -- i ran foras congress in 1976 and this was
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the year after watergate and the election was between jimmy carter and gerald ford and i did not always have the nicest things to say about president ford, but the much they were not personal things about personal lives and trying to destroy them. both democrats and republicans are guilty of this on the other side of these ad hominem attacks on people which tend to become part of the culture of the country as well. to do the things we try at aspen and the bipartisan policy center's to bring people together of different perspectives and points of view. partisans who respect each other as human beings. and try to see what they can work out. sometimes they can and sometimes they cannot at the basic human respect, it tries to create a system of civil discourse which i think is important for our country to operate. we operate as a country, a
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system of checks and balances and separation of powers. our founding fathers did not want a strong central government so they created a government where they had equal branches. foot on was to have one the brake and one foot on the accelerator at all times. they wanted that. they did not when a system where you got things done right away. they wanted a system where would be almost impossible to get things done and the only thing that would keep people from falling apart would be civil discourse and mutual respect and if you had that you can greece the wheels to get stuff done. our system was not meant to work efficiently, not like a parliamentary system. if people are not respectful of each other, it is so much more difficult to get used to work than it would be otherwise as what we would want to see. areknow, most americans kind of in the middle-of-the-road between the 40 yard line and the 40 yard line and most primary voters are
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about to 20 yard line on either side. encouragedia does not the discussion to be on the 50 odd line, the discussion is on the 20 online. i am reminded there was a former agricultural commissioner of texas, jim hightower, he was a populist and he said, the idea is there's not anything in the middle of the road. i challenge that. the middle of the road's work most decisions are made. unfortunately, it is not were good politics is. a good moderate middle of the road are cannot excite people well. politics tries to move in that direction. once you get into office and get things done then you have to move into that area. is important for
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our political system. partisanship, there is no way to stop it when the election is over. you like to think you close the door and moved to a happier time where we all love each other and get things done. the the trail and hate is hard to get people to get back together again. it is network in a marriage easily. it is not working families easy. imagine is -- imagine how it works in the country as a whole. we are doing our best to get people together. glad i respect the speaker of the house paul ryan, he is doing his best to reduce the rhetoric and get people working together on both sides. in march 1892 there were news reports about the speaker of the house thomas reed who had to define what is a statesman? we need more statesman in america.
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statesman is a successful politician who is dead. that prompted a response by a boston man who sent speaker read a telegram saying why don't you die? it is tricky being a statesman in the modern world. i give you that in context. i think it is an exciting time. our country is resilient. the opportunity is here unlike any other country in the world. our political system and economic system is thriving. it is still the abbey of the world. nobody comes close to us even with all of the problems. andproblems are serious, they could impact our ability to continue to lead. looking at the political system right now. i am interested in where you are. do you still see politics as a way to influence the world? people who are younger, and
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entering the fray, do you see politics as an avenue for change in? large aslic service at an opportunity for change, like going to work at an ngo or charitable organization? is that more interesting than working in our political system? the political system impact your decision. does it help you decide the role for you to go into politics or does it close the door and say i cannot get anything done in politics? is there a diverse between local, state, and national issues and you look at the stuff? does the presidential race have an impact on your decision, do you think maybe what happens in your communities or your colleges is more important to you in the situation? what does the rhetoric of this presidential campaign do for you? i do not want to single out
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donald trump. it is easy to single him out as one of the most interesting and unusual people that i have ever seen in a political system. man and hmain for a ross perot, he was the donald trump of the last generation. he talked about a giant sucking happening south of the border to pull our jobs. he has some of the same rhetoric but not nearly as volatile as donald trump. what do you think about that? is it good or bad? do you like it because he has strong views even if you find it offensive? maybe some people do not find his use of offensive. the truth is that a lot of these hot button issues like immigration, guns, the social
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asues have as much resonance education or transportation, or infrastructure. even global security issues. campaignresidential able to address any of those things, if not, why not? what would you like to see out of a presidential campaign to get these candidates to focus on the issues you care about? have not the same level of intensity in the campaign right now, largely because there are fewer candidates. there are also persons not trying to kill each other all the time like on the republican side of the aisle. it is just a fact of life. bernie sanders is a provocative guy. he has a strong point of view on economic issues. not so engaged on the international front. secretary clinton has a long
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record and a lot of the issues. there is some volatility on that side of the aisle, it is nothing compared to what we see on the republican side. clinton was in a cabinet meeting with me and said remember this -- strong and wrong will usually defeat week and write. strong and wrong we usually .efeat week and right we see that in this presidential campaign. hopefully strong and right will be prevailing. it speaks to some of the issues we see in a primary race. i would and bike quoting the former speaker sam rayburn who once said any jack asked thinking down a barn door but it
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takes a carpenter to build one. the country needs a few more carpenters right now. on both sides of the aisle. hopefully, that will come from people from grassroots who can prevail on our elected officials to appeal to the common good. nowthing i will stop right and i would like to hear your views -- open up to questions and comments you may have. tell us where you are from. >> i'm from harvard university extension. . like our political process i have a problem with money being spent in campaigns. a lot of money has been going into -- we spend a billion dollars on media and such, not many countries can do that.
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ito not have a problem with personally. theoncern with how i feel political system exists is there are the main parties the democrats and republicans. dr. mentioned there are two parties and not more than that. the general population of people , you history or what not mention the milligram aspect of things. whate shoved in a role of the democratic party sets we need to be in a role of. i do not like that. i am feeling more polarization.
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-- polarization. how is congress going to do -- like you terms said, the attacks. that is my opinion. >> we are a lot more tribal lysed them used to be. that is what they are hearing when they go to their town hall meetings. traditionally, our parties have been center-right and centerleft . the parties in america were named -- never attended to be like the parties in europe or in asia. many people believe that the founding fathers would be nervous if they knew what was happening in the political parties. the parties with were never meant to be like monoliths.
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they were inconvenient organizing force for people. back in -- americans identify themselves a lot as independents. our system encourages people on the edges and discourages people from the center. that will encourage government on the edges. it will weaken america because it will be hard to compromise and reach consensus. all politics is supposed to do is produce leaders will try to do their best to make the country a better place in terms of the issues people care about. sometimes you look at the campaigns and think the country comes second. politics comes first. that is where you have to be active forces, you and others like you to encourage leaders to focus on the policies. the media has to do a better job of doing it. the last cnn debate did a better job.
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some of the earlier debates i saw doing that kind of thing. i do not think the system is hopeless. a lot of people think it is hopeless. they tune out and that is troubling to me. >> have a quick question. i want to appeal to your agriculture side of things. what about the federal and national debate with cannabis. not an issue that i prepared for today. it is funny. i was once on a show called the craig kilborn show, this was years ago. this is like seth meyers. why don't you make marijuana legal? i said next question.
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i do not know. the public has evolving changes on health care. i think medical marijuana is something people who are very sick ought to be entitled to take advantage of. the on that, i will pass. i am an educator here with a group of educators. i'm bringing your question free change. i want to propose the idea that politics is not seen as a way to create change by a lot of people who do not specialize in politics. my question is how can we better educate the vast mass populace in politics and how do we make it available for non-politicians? >> there is a crying need for civic education. particularly elementary and
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secondary schools. you may or member the jay leno show when needed jaywalking, he interviewed people on the streets asking who was the president of the united states? i do not know if it was a staged answer, i cannot believe people were that stupid. the truth of the matter is we do not emphasize its civic education. not meany civic, at do history, i mean how things get done, how do you organize, participate. not just government, but in other activities which influence public holocene choices. there are areas -- the university of arizona has been developing terms of interest in civic and constitution, that's the best thing we can do. politicians ought to lead by example. think they have a lot of work to do.
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dot they say and what they gets picked up by people. the people have to demand it as well. >> do you see this being reflected in the common core? >> my knowledge is limited. i think we have gone overboard. learning to read and write the english language, and learning how to participate in society is also very important here it -- important. there has to be a good balance. >> thank you mr. secretary. question with regards to the intersection of your career of hollywood in politics. i have the honor of cohosting the screen actors guild at the
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democratic national convention in 2008. would you take someone like david geffen and see how he aggregates for politics. could help us understand why it is important the intersection between the two industries, why it matters. >> people in the entertainment business have taken a more active role in the government generally. historically, they have been left of center. more and more people in that world i becoming interested in politics on the right of center. conservatives and republicans in that world. let me subdivided further. if you are in the talent side of that world, if you are an actor be activer, you will
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on the democratic side. if you are on the suit side of the world, the business side, you will tend to be more conservative as well. the public has a love affair with entertainers, musicians, actors. it is no secret why politicians like to get folks from that world involved in politics. it gives you star power. you have a few people make the transition like arnold schwarzenegger from entertainment into politics. it is not an easy transition to make. i think it is a good thing. i do not think it is bad. i would like to see more people from other sectors of society come back into it as much as possible. when i was at the motion picture association i was a lobbyist for
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the trade association -- of the major motion picture companies. , did my best to do two things encourage film companies and folks from the screen actors guild or the directors guild be involved in politics, and be more bipartisan. there is a perception that hollywood was to the left and my idea was to say we are interested in a lot of things. many social issues are on the left. many economic issues are not. nick, i am from new york. i will share my thoughts and i have a question for you. president obama is meeting with loretta lynch about executive actions on gun control. or stay he will be doing a townhall with cnn on the issue. in response to that i read this isning that ted cruise holding a shotgun with his logo
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inscribed on it. as a young voter, it scares me. i am pushed to the left. i will donate to hillary's campaign. that is scary to see. think that is said that the is occurring in a presidential election. , by president obama taking an executive action , is he exacerbating the problem in saying he is giving up bipartisan, i need to do this on my own. do you think he has no choice? or do you think he is exacerbating the problem of partisanship? >> a good question. let's look at it politically. to theirs are playing base. has a primary battle with donald trump.
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they made a big public statement against the president's executive order. he has everybody on the republican side jumping over themselves to be more pro-gun. that is the heart of the activist republican base. it's a tacky thing to put your logo on a gun, but it is a clever idea to do that. drop out of the pack, show people you are on their side and you care about the issue. same thing on the democratic side. there is a feeling because of politics we are stuck, cannot get sensible gun control legislation, the whole issue that you are any no-fly list, and other things. since congress will not move, the president thinks he needs to make a stand, it is probably partially political.
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the base needs to know he is doing it and is partly substantive, because my guess is he believes in it. he will not get legislation through. that is sure. he is trying the executive order route. the courts will uphold or not, i do not know. it is a tough road. strongly,eves in it he is doing what is best for him. what you would like to know is if politicians are doing things they believe in. if the president believes in this, it's not just a calculated move. it is a good thing to do. that takeisagree crews doesn't believe he's doing it either. politicians are acting on the basis of political cut late.
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there is going to be both in everybody's eyes. all of the stuff he has done on income inequality , i know he believes it. they have done polling to show it is good politics too. i was a congressman, sorry, i have to pick on you. 1994 for federal gun control legislation which put a ban on assault weapons. i was a good congressman, i did , i was inthings aviation not, i did things to help jobs there. in 1994.e election there are many reasons i lost
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the election. the biggest factor was my vote on gun legislation. who did i lose in the process? i lost my democratic base, blue-collar workers who are in a raid members and felt the vote was wrong. out of the experience i learned how hard this issue is. it is a constitutional issue, a cultural issue, religious issue, rural versus urban. that is a big factor. the question is a great question. the gun issue is complicated. out of that you would think we could do sensible things in the middle. it is an issue where there isin the middle to do anything. my question is our candidates
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like donald trump and bernie sanders are causing people to vote for polarized congressman in the future, do you think there will be anything they can agree on? we passed a highway bill this last year. we got a budget done. speaker rhymes able to get a budget last year. space,ional security there is room to work together. there are things our government can do, that you could find bipartisan support for. people quietly want more bipartisanship. even people who are more on the conservative or liberal side want to work together more.
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the political system does not encourage it. the word compromise in some circles is abused as unilateral disarmament and other circles. most members of congress see the value in working together. >> my question, you mentioned the campaigns are run on the 20 yard line and it seems that good government comes at the 50 yard line. the error of the constant foraign, is there space policy construction. if not, how is it built? >> there is some space for it. the word is a leadership. it will be nice to see candidates show leadership on issues, substitute issues.
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we have seen a little bit on that. publice to get the specifics. there has been discussion about an national highway bridge, a road, sewer infrastructure plan. it would be a big issue. to increase the funding for health research so we can cure cancer or heart disease. those kinds of things. togetherull people there. most politicians have not been focused on those things for that would be the thing i think of bring people to the 50 yard line. you have to find things the public cares about. >> i'm a longtime software engineer and i invested my career and i am looking at how
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to get back the next half of my life. is in politics, is it in policy, is a local government? on the national level, the discourse has become polarized and full of vitriol that it is difficult to have a reasonable conversation among friends, nevermind the national stage. i am more eight when you are talking about the anxiety, much of what we have done has created a combination of economics and media that drives this anxiety. i am also a film maker and i am looking at the art of the place
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to bridge where we can have conflict discussions. local, national, regional politics, some politics need to be global. we need to think about how we work together and how we tolerate, not just tolerate but embrace. viewpoints,erent embrace the times we stand and say we do not know how we get from here to there. i do not think we are teaching that. we are not seeing it in our dystopian films right now. i want to get to a less combative place. how is your group working toward that? we have had conflict in this world forever. that is a fact of life.
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you raise interesting points. in many respects a lot of the leading sports figures became advocates for civil rights because they work with each other all the time in the system. many mention one other institution which i think could do much more than it is doing. faith-based institutions. 100 million americans go to church, synagogue, or mosque every week. the messages in the pulpit are not necessarily consistent with what you are talking about today . that is the golden rule it ought to prevail even if people are on the different side of the aisle. mutual respect ought to be taught as a human value, a biblical value. i think faith-based institutions have let us down on this.
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they could also be taught as an ethical value that is something where we start looking , withoutd ethics referring to whether we require a particular believe in our god, or particular belief system to sustain a way of considering every human being as valuable. >> there are some faith-based warren, wrote the purpose driven life, he talks of values, how to talk and listen to people. my mother used to tell me you have two years -- two years and one mouth for a reason. i have to see if i can get donald trump to do that. is
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connecticut, ain famous polling place. school is 30 minutes, we went by the rear anniversary of sandy hook. it was the since columbine which was almost 10 years ago. 1999. more than 10 years ago. i was just wondering, number one, how much worse can it get than sandy hook to get these politicians to realize that something needs to change. and number two, how much of an theuence is the nra in decisions of these politicians? i think the nra is a
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significant force. but, they are not the reason the politicians vote the way they do. they doans vote the way because of what they hear from their constituents. in many parts of this country, heavily in rural and suburban and smaller communities, all over the country, people feel very intensely on the firearms issue that we do not need the government involved in more regulation. we are not even getting to the point of sandy hook and columbine that you were talking about. it becomes a cultural issue. to overcome that, there has got to be some what i call daschle that sent -- sensible points of
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view brought him. maybe i am pollyanna's but i think we can come up with sensible compromises on some of these issues without interfering with people's constitutional rights and second amendment. the issues are so polarized and we do not understand from where a lot of people are coming to in 1994, i ran for reelection and i voted for this assault weapons ban. i had done this great thing on general aviation that kept a lot of jobs. thousands of jobs in my state and my district. i went and knocked on a door who was a person who was a union member in my days as a democrat. the guy was so excited to see me. me profusely. i have a win right here. he said, i cannot vote for you. he said because of god. started discussing this with
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him. i knew -- he said because of guns. this is what he told me. he said you do not seem to understand, you come from a family that has a lot of privilege and you can go on vacations and you can do what you want in life. he says i am a working man. fishing andnd my being a sportsman and having firearms, that is part of my existence. elitist tryingn to take that away from me. now, i thought about it for a moment and i thought we might quietly agree on some things we should do. but it taught me that this issue is so profound culturally and regionally.
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the folks who are on the side of more effective regulation on the gun issue have to understand that better. this is not an argument for not doing anything but i am saying that at its core the nra is a little bit involved in this but at its core it is a structural issue. a lot of this is really-urban. people -- think that another new town example. the gun was from his mother. did not lock it. she kept it in his room. it is not just guns but also mental health. son is mentally unstable.
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shouldn't she be accountable. >> civil liability ought to come into this situation. we do this when it comes to serving people underage in terms of our call. we can hold people civilly responsible if not criminally responsible. there are a lot of different ways to skin this cat that are just as effective. ok, yes. i will be quick. my name is mallory and i am from hofstra university. you mentioned before that the founding fathers intended our government to be a one foot on the gas, one foot on the brake. >> my characterization. >> with this system in place, can the average american regain this trust when they are not seeing significant progress? >> i do think we need progress on some things. that is why i think a major
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infrastructure -- something to show people that we can get to work and modernize these decaying pieces of infrastructure. that would be one thing. folks have to see the government can do things. ago, aas an author years historian named daniel burnham. if you came through union station, he built that. he said make no little plants because they do not have the power to stir man's soul. that struck me. if you have big ideas, you will get people excited that the system can work. to some extent after 9/11, we felt like we were responding to that and i think we still do from a national securities perspective. that is why i mentioned a big, major, infrastructure program to rebuild the decaying infrastructure we have were a major effort to cure major deal
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-- diseases. this would give people confidence that the system can work. hello, my name is christopher and i come from seton hill. seen hill is in pennsylvania and state having this huge budget standoff. it has caused a lot of problems teacher and so a i feel that affect at home. ways that therent average citizen can encourage politicians to compromise on this kind of issue? this is outrageous. respects, you are giving me both sides of the equation. the local and state governments have done a better job reaching
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compromise because they have to complete a legislative session in a year and in many cases they have to operate within a balanced budget and limits. i have seen more in recent years -- years like kansas for example. they have become incapable of solving major problems. the same issues that affect our national government are beginning to affect the states as well. dealing thing i can tell you is citizen action and citizen involvement. in a democratic system there is no other magic answer except for people like yourself who organize and try to push the political system. and then perhaps get others engaged as well. you are still free to vote and try to influence the system. let us see, last question. >> my questions have to do with similar questions regarding state government.
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my name is joe and i am from the university of massachusetts. modern politics are in my realm of expertise. i study the creation of the constitution and the first political parties. bigger government versus big government which is better. which do you think is better healing state government or federal government? >> that is interesting because you have some of the same principles as federalist today as you did in terms of the role of government. closer the the government is to the people do better it response because you can call the school board councilt or the city officer directly because they live with that consequences that you the citizen has tried to challenge.
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the further you get from the local system, the more problematic. the bigger the issue, the more you need a national response. ,f you are dealing with isis you will not get the state of massachusetts to deal with that issue. andely, civil constitutional rights, we have a national country so we need a set of national principles on that kind of thing. what worries me is that people lose trust in their national government to operate. and then you have a system of many states, some do better and by and worse and people large are treated unequally in this country. thatasic roles in his will apply to your securities and liberties are national and not state why state. powers why we have all not enumerated are reserved to the state. most people take that seriously.
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anyway, i think we are about done. i am seeing a lot of nods. thank you all. [applause] we would like all to bring home a flag. [applause] vocus and on concussions. we will have live coverage from the national press club at 10:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. then president obama will announce his administration's closing loopholes on the gun background checks. that's live from the white house at 11 court: 40 eastern. later on c-span two, the head of the american petroleum institute speaks about u.s. energy policy and oil and national gas
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industry ironies. -- priorities. we need to know how many people are reading us and how they are coming to us. if they are not coming directly to our website and are coming google orcebook or snap chat or any other venues, we should know that. q&a,nday night on washington post executive editor talks about the changes at the post when he took over in 2013 and discusses the depiction of his work as editor and chief of the boston globe in spotlight. faithful to how the investigation unfolded. it's good to keep in mind it's a movie, not a documentary. two hours compress in a seven-month investigation including things that happened afterward and you had to introduce a lot of characters and themes.
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>> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on q&a. >> the former voice of american talks about the state of united states international broadcasting and how washington can win the into -- information work. the usc center on information policy cohosted this event. we are honored and pleased to have someone also known to almost everyone in this room. this is someone known to everyone here, the former director of the voice of america. he has had an extraordinary career at npr and abc news. since then he has been at harvard on a fellowship where he developed a report you see here
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on the harvard website and he will bring us a summary today. david, the floor is yours. [applause] >> if anyone doesn't hear me, please let me know because i will speak louder. i can do that. i used to do it for a living. today.ce to be here thank you for coming out. my print colleagues used to complain about newspaper headline writers that would exaggerate the contents of their articles and create an attention grabbing headline. i'm afraid the title of this talk may be in that category. it's the headline given to an article i recently published based on this paper.
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it makes a promise of more , anyonehan i probably of us in the room has and certainly more than i have. it might've helped convince you to come here today so it achieved its purpose. the headline writer chose the term information war. my friend, dean of the tough fletcher school says he thinks the war of ideas is as flawed a concept as the war on drugs. in practice, he says we need a marketplace of ideas which presents alternatives and not just the negative side of radical islam. he is right, of course. and i do not have all the answers on how washington can win the information work or prevail if you will in the marketplace of ideas but i would like to offer you thoughts on our road forward from the perspective of someone who was, as was mentioned, honored to tod the voice of america,
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have worked in public diplomacy in afghanistan for 16 months before that, and who served the nation as a broadcast journalist for 30 years before that. for starters, we need to face facts. will not do well enough in this arena until we take it more seriously. it's clear from recent history in iraq and afghanistan and elsewhere that america cannot prevail globally with hard power alone. the nation's capacity to participate meaningfully in the global contest of ideas has been allowed to decline in recent years, even as the information challenges we face grow and change. putinorld where vladimir weaponize's information and where terrorists recruit on the internet, the united states has no one in charge of its information efforts. it has cut the budget for public diplomacy and spending in real terms on exporting its journalism. as most here now, when the u.s.
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information agency was disbanded as a peace dividend at the end of the cold war, public diplomacy efforts were moved to the state department across the street. international broadcasting was put under a bipartisan board. let's start with the advocacy side, the public diplomacy side of that equation first. since 1999, it has suffered from weak budgets and excessive leadership turnover. understandably but perhaps unfortunately, public diplomacy tends not to be valued at the department as highly as conventional diplomacy. in the digital age, i think that way of thinking is out of date. weeks, both president obama and hillary clinton, the democratic can make an best havedate have -- candidate called for means to prevent terrorists from using social
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media and the internet to propagandize and recruit. there is a whole post snowden debate about encryption tools and in security and privacy. a complex topic and not the subject of my talk today but i simply mention it. i mention it to underscore the nation's need for full time, sustained leadership in the area of information. there is a counter messaging aspect of this. the state department has a $5.8 million effort to counter isis recruiting online. the work is critically important, but the effort is too small. it may be just as well that in the upcoming defense authorization bill, the pentagon is given permission to launch a bigger effort of its own. going forward, maintaining civilian control and high-level coordination will be key, as will strong partnerships with
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our allies in the region. believe the actual efforts on website chat rooms and social media should only be done by air of the partners in the region and not by washington. there is than just covering isis on the internet. one of the more effective efforts in afghanistan when i embassy, wasthe our effort to strengthen the afghan media. successful, we and others including the british thernment did a lot to make media sector in afghanistan vibrant, strong, and meaningful for the country. that sector, along with others, faces new challenges as the taliban takes territory and investment from overseas is reduced. it will need continued support. we cannot just leave it. one
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one of the most valued things is export broadcast journalism. the air, few realize the voice of america is one of the most influential media organizations on the planet because this past november, the parent agency issued its annual report on global audiences. oa'se past 40 years, the audience has grown 40%. they listen to, watch, or read on everything from shortwave radio to smartphone apps to facebook and twitter. this robust growth has come


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