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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  January 10, 2016 11:23am-1:24pm EST

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prove today, the repealed and signed and placed by republican president. [applause] we are also asking the president to stop sending the hard-working taxpayer dollars of all of our constituents to planned parenthood. send that money to health centers. it can better be used there. we are asking the president to choose life. to value life. to protect life. i am very proud of this legislation. i am very proud of our constituents. fellow message to our citizens, hope is here, help is on the way, and with the light leadership, we can get this done. thank you. [applause]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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>> the house is back tomorrow at noon. legislative business begins at 2:00, when they take up registration -- legislation to strengthen sanctions against north korea. members also debating a bill to reduce the pension benefits of former u.s. presidents. the senate considers a u.s. circuit court nomination for pennsylvania. will look at an audit of the federal reserve. house here onthe c-span and the senate live on
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c-span tonight. coming up, presidential candidate hillary clinton receives the endorsement of planned parenthood. int will be at an event manchester, new hampshire. our live coverage will be here at 4:00 on c-span. now a look at presidential campaigns and the political process. ourg the speakers, former culture dan glickman, who talks the pursuit of the presidency. it is hosted by the washington center for internships and academic seminars. it is two hours. prof. bose: our seminar is titled, in "pursuit of the presidency." i put in a subtitle, "being a professor here, does
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conventional wisdom matter?" let me give you a little bit of background. in the past 20 years -- and i have been teaching american politics since fall of 1996 -- we have had six presidential elections. three of them had no incumbents. each one of those elections will be in the history books, and the american politics texas for -- american politics textbooks for different reasons. in september of 2000, the american political association -- we have thousands of political scientists who gathered together for four days to assess politics and political theory -- the american political scientist association had a panel asking if the campaign mattered, because a number of political scientists had run models forecasting who was going to win. they all showed -- there was a "new york times" article. i can still remember exactly where it was placed -- at that time, we were still reading papers -- protecting that al gore was going to win the popular vote.
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so this took place over labor day weekend -- the question was, did those months really matter? of course, the model is correct. al gore did win the popular vote. but he did not win the presidency. i was teaching at west point at it was my first year there. i will never forget, on election day, one of my students, who actually had dozed through much of the semester, raised his hand and said, what happens if george bush wins the popular vote, and al gore wins the electoral college vote? what do you think will happen? i said, it has not happened since 1888. these are my favorite last -- these are my famous last words. we are not going to see that again, it is uncommon, it is an aberration in american politics . the morningknow in for the next president will be.
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it did not happen. of course, it was the reverse. i still remember that the four key states, how history can repeat itself -- ohio, pennsylvania, florida, and michigan. i remember when florida was called, and then pennsylvania was called, i remember my mother calling and saying, you said whoever wins three of those four states wins the election, so that means al gore has won. looks like that. and i am sure your member -- many people here you remember what happened when florida changed. waking up in the morning, seeing florida as undecided. and then the election went into december. shocking. is there has ever been momentum for getting rid of the electoral college, it was after the 2000 election. i think the national popular vote organization, which you may know about, and we will be talking about electoral reform
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later this week built quite a bit -- gained momentum over the next few years. at this point, it does not seem as though those changes are moving forward. but there are certainly the fair vote organization's about other proposals for reform. we will be discussing that later. i think it is very possible in the next 20 to 30 years we will see structural changes in american politics. and we can take that to the 2000 election. to 2008, because 2004 was an incumbent. october 2007, i was in washington for a conference. a quite well-known commentator, in american politics, spoke, and said if everything goes as we expect, senator
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clinton will lock in the democratic nomination on super tuesday. the real question will be, who wins the republican nomination? that was roughly the middle of october, 2007. november 9, 2007 was the iowa jackson-jefferson democratic party dinner. barack obama was one of the last speakers. he got up and delivered an address where he quoted dr. martin luther king, talking about the fierce urgency of now, and why he was in the race. that speech put the clinton campaign on notice that there was a serious challenge. that this might not be a coronation. the iowaary 3, we had caucuses, and history changed. 2016, what is historic about 2016? the 2016 elections have made history, and not a single vote has been cast. the number of presidential
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candidates, we went from 17 republicans to a dozen. some of them with high funding governor walker from wisconsin had strong super pac's support, dropped out of the race. rick perry from texas, widely seen as a strong contender, dropped out. some of the lesser tier candidates, if you will, have gotten quite a bit of attention. the democratic side, five candidates down to three. it looks as though the thecratic race, the path to nomination is clear. but after the 2008 surprise, no one i think will ever, in the next couple of decades at least, suggest a coronation again. the number of candidates, the number of outsiders. donald trump, ben carson, carly fiorina.
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some commentators described bernie sanders as an outsider, of course he is in congress, so not quite the same -- but certainly presenting a very different political policy perspective within the democratic party. it is not just the number of outsiders that are new in 2016. it is their staying power. the first republican primary debate was on thursday, august 6. there were so many questions, what is donald trump going to do? is he going to storm off the stage? is he going to get into an argument with one of the moderators? while, he stayed. he stayed through three hours of the cnn derivate. continue to endure. we have seen other candidates
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like dr. carson rise in the polls and now fall. senator rubio, who was seen as initially, someone who is going to make a trial run, now is perhaps seen as the establishment republican party's best hope for a viable candidacy. it remains to be seen. the surprising fall of the insiders. governor bush of florida. all of the articles now talking about, what has gone wrong? i do not want to say what "went" wrong, it is not past tense, but what has gone wrong in the bush campaign? an important question for us to consider is to what degree do we see that as the influence our -- as the influence or the difficulties of the individual, and to what degree is that particular candidate, jeb bush,
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saddled by history, family, and two bush presidencies. it is easy to point out flaws in that campaign, but i'm not sure a flawless campaign could overcome the burden of a dynasty. and particularly, a controversial dynasty. something for us to discuss. this is what is new in 2016. the candidates, the types of in these the interest campaigns. i am sure you have seen the numbers on how many people are watching the presidential debates. these are exciting. anywhere from a low for the republican debate of 13 million, to a high of 25 million. even the undercard debate had close to 6 million total viewers. this is big news. it is exciting.
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it is almost like netflix and downloading. you almost wish you could see the full dozen of them all at once and binge on the debates. the money. donald trump is saying he's going to spend $2 million a week to run his television ads. that is really the first big financial investment he has made in the campaign. this is a change. but what is the same in 2016? same is less exciting, but it will increasingly become the focus over the next 10 months. 2016, from spring when the candidates -- 2015 from when the candidates were announcing, that was about what was new. in this election. 2016 is about the process. and the process remains the same.
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the candidates have to go through the invisible primaries, that is largely what we are seeing now. we are starting the nominating , into the conventions, and into the general election. that, of course, is what this seminar will focus on. the process, the politics, what is unique with the candidates and their campaign, and the policies. the path to the white house still depends on 270 electoral college votes. many of you have probably seen the website, 270 to win. if you are interested in that, what is the path to victory in the white house? of the 270 votes, as of today, january 4, about 217 of those are viewed as safely democratic.
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217. so that means that the democratic candidate needs to get 53 more votes. to win. now, if you think, the safe states could change, let me tell you what the safe states are. and the republicans, by the way have 191. ,the democrats -- california, 55 votes. i think we can safely say the democrats will win california. new york state, 29 votes. illinois, 20 votes. michigan, 16. new jersey, 14. washington, 12. massachusetts, 11. minnesota 10. maryland 10. or again, 7. connecticut, 7. , 7.regon
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connecticut, 7. that gets us to 191. add in maine, four. new mexico, five. washington, d.c., 3. hawaii, four. 16 votes.other once you get to 17, how do you get to 270? ohio, pennsylvania is 20 votes. florida is the big prize -- 29. ohio is 18. from 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. well let me say that again. , that is the long-term game. a lot can happen on the road to 270.
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i did a radio interview before the holidays, when someone was asking about the clinton campaign. some of the comments secretary clinton had made about foreign policy and isis. i said all she has to do is get 270 votes. they said no one had said that. but political insiders know, that is what ultimately matters. it was actually at the washington center's january 2001 seminar that a former chairman of the republican national committee spoke, and said, that was after the 2000 election -- that is what every political party, every campaign chair, and every campaign manager is thinking about. how do you get to 270? you don't need a mandate. a mandate is nice. you do not need to get -- draw
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out new voters. you need to hundred 70 but tauro votes. to dost efficient way that is the best way to win. let me be very clear. i'm not saying this election has been decided. the final 50, or on the republican side 80, votes to be found are going to be hard votes to fight for. this raises some questions about, again, the structure of our political system. in 2016, we are not going to hear a lot of discussion about political reform, but we as students who are engaged with the political process need to think about that. we will have the chances to do that this week. does the elect oral college makes sense? in the aftermath of the citizens
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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 now largely able to use his own funds, how significant are these concerns? should we try to encourage voter what is healthy turnout in american democracy? in 1996, when bill clinton ran for reelection against senator bob dole, by october, the expectations of victory for clinton were so clear. and this was, of course, after the democrats lost control of ingress for the first time 1994 in the house in 40 years. president clinton went on to recover from that.
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with the republican shutdown and the republican congress, and by october of 1996, the republican party was advising, the republican national committee was advising 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%. about 58%. that was the low in the last two seconds. -- in the last two decades. in 2004, and 2008, turnout was closer to 64%. about 62% in 2012. what is the ideal voter turnout? and what responsibilities do we have as a society to encourage voter turnout, and to make voter turnout more feasible? there has been a lot of debate over the past few years. i know the elon students have
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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 burdensome? this is something dealt with in the courts right now. after the butterfly ballot in 2000 and congress passing the help america vote act, do we have other efforts to increase the vote? the motor voter law where you could register to vote while renewing your drivers license. but are there larger structural changes we can make? does election day have to be the tuesday following the first monday in november? could we have weekend voting? could we have early voting? that is an issue that has come under controversy in certain states that have limited early voting, which is known for bringing out, for expanded turnout. do you have to go to the polls? oregon has 100% mail-in voting
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now. are there other changes that we can make to encourage voter turnout, and what is optimal in a democracy? do we want 100% voter turnout? saddam hussein had 100% voter turnout in iraq in october 2002. not necessarily the model we want to see an american politics. but what is healthy turnout in presidential elections? we will talk about midterm elections in fall, but this year is a good time to discuss what is acceptable, what we want to achieve. we need to talk about the importance, though not the decisiveness of some traditional parts of campaigns, like funding. campaign finance. party endorsements. on the democratic side, hillary clinton has pretty much secured,
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so far ahead of her major opponent, if you will, senator sanders, that it is not really clear that the endorsements will make a difference. me be carefult here. the sanders 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 and getting to 270. right now, the concern for the candidates is getting to 50%, plus one. for the republicans, that is 1236 delegates. 2252.ats, donald trump. for all of his coverage,
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publicity, approval ratings donald trump's campaign manager promised, in the fall, that the trump 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 -- they had 80 people. i think they had another roughly 50 people online participating. what kind of a difference will that make? right now, the latest poll from right before the holidays, senator cruz was leading in iowa. donald trump was close behind. marco rubio after that, but with significant drop-off. then the carson campaign. and in fifth place jeb bush. what will stay the same? the importance of these early
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contests and the difference they could make. i don't think -- a difference in a loss in iowa for the clinton campaign won't be decisive. a win in iowa on the republican side may not be decisive but could turn the campaign. we think back again to 2008. president obama's campaign manager says everyone looks back at the 2008 campaign and says you can see how it developed. but for them, every battle was win 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 ahead in south carolina. for them, it was each one. win this or we are out. there was a small window there . and the obama campaign and they saw the window and was able to make that into a path. a rough, but nevertheless path , to victory.
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so when we pursue that ground game, campaign funding matters? party endorsements matter? but it is clear there will be no coronation. neither party will be able to do that. policy. we spend a lot of time talking about politics and numbers. but policies matter, too. over the course of the week, we will be talking about tax policy environmental policy, national , security policy. i moderated a panel on november fifth on u.s. foreign policy and the presidential elections where we spent much time discussing the lack of attention that the campaigns were paying to national security. after the terrorist attacks in paris on november 13, national security has become front and center.
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it is clear that a competitive presidential candidate will have to show fluency in national security. expertise -- maybe not expertise, but fluency in the understanding the issues that are at stake. we will leave it at that for now. we can talk about what fluency means. because i do not think in 2016, fluency necessarily means expertise. traditionally, what do we know about how do policies matter? traditionally, the incumbent party if you have studied or , taken a course on voters look back on the last -- studied or taken a course on retrospective voting, most voters 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. if the economy is doing badly, you vote the incumbent out. unemployment as of late 2015 was
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about 5%, all right? president obama, during the obama presidency, whether you credit the obama white house or not, unemployment has been cut in half, right? it was 10% in the fall of 2009. 5% now. 2.5%, whichas about when you adjust for inflation, is roughly close to the historical average. that suggests retrospective voting, what we know, the conventional wisdom, might help the democrats. however, most economists will say that what matters is the state of the economy six months before the election. if we think back to 1992, george bush, 41, by the time the 1992 elections took place, the united states is coming out of the recession, but the perception
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was still that we were in economic difficulty and the president was not best suited to lead us out. that was the path to victory for bill clinton in a three-way race, with ross perot. so it may be too early to say. it seems that retrospective voting would favor the incumbent party, but again, a lot can happen in the next six months. there is some analysis that could he inocrats favor in 2016, but that would be a problem for 2016. just on the polls, in iowa, the sanders campaign is mounting a strong push. a strong offensive. but the clinton -- hillary clinton is about 13 points ahead in the polls. clinton campaign is taking no chances.
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you have probably seen that former president clinton is campaigning heavily for hillary's campaign. howard dean, former presidential candidate, former chairman of the democratic national committee who will speak with us later, said on msnbc yesterday that bill clinton is the best politician the united states has seen since franklin delano roosevelt. and that whatever is being thewn at bill clinton, criticisms, personal criticisms and political criticisms the , clinton machine is prepared to take those on. will any of that matter? you may have seen a new hampshire yesterday, a republican state legislator tried to disrupt, did disrupt, a town hall meeting with hillary clinton. just raising personal issues about bill clinton. and she would not take the question.
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does that turn into anything? is this a concern for the front runner on the democratic ticket? difficult to say. at this point, i would not say space -- i would not say safe, but strong for the clinton campaign. new hampshire, senator sanders is ahead by about six percentage points right now. -- it veryblicans much remains to be seen how that will play out for the democratic party. what that means -- it seems premature to be talking about vice presidents. but what that means, not just to the top of the ticket but who is in second price. -- in second place. that is especially 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.
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they are doing the "six-day cruz" through iowa. that was the campaign slogan not , me. they are making a strong push. but donald trump is less than three points behind. so you have the large game and the ground game. it is difficult to tell. in iowa, you have to declare on february 1 which caucus you will be in. stay in the democratic and decide to be 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. in new hampshire, trump, 26%. senator rubio, 12%. chris christie, new jersey governor, 11.5%. god a major endorsement a few -- got a major endorsement a few weeks ago. governor kasich of ohio, 9% in new hampshire. ahead of former governor jeb bush. what does this mean? how do we interpret what is happening?
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i want to take questions here. these are topics we will talk about. but let me say very quickly when we talk about the issues, when we talk about the road to the white house, ok? how do we explain the unexpected? why has governor bush been so disappointing? is it really fair to say it is low-energy? that is 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 little easier. and bill was a two-term. what about the theme? what are the issues that will matter? we talked about national security, the economy, all right? who are the voters? who are the voters in the swing states in pennsylvania, and
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ohio, that need to be reached? and florida? all right? there was a column in the "new " over the weekend. "i underestimated trump." a recent article talks about how blue-collar, white voters who are registered democrats are saying they like donald trump. now, will they turn out to vote for him? remains to be seen. but there is a theme here. teams of 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 -- not that the debates are still continuing, but in their campaigning, and going through meetings with voters, town halls, getting out the vote,
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appealing state-by-state and nationally as we head to the conventions, will be a big part of determining whether conventional wisdom still matters. how much -- conventional wisdom still matters, but how much conventional wisdom can teach us in 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 i think we will discuss that this week with the committee chairs. 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 largely on the elections here. we will talk about governance 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 be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. but what that means as far as how it shapes election in the campaign will be an important part of the discussion. so, questions? how do we want to do this?
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>> if you could come to the mic. state your name, your university, and the question. from quinnipiac university. i know guys like rubio and bush and carson, and i guess even o'malley are still in it. , but now that we're in 2016, 11 months away, would you say, to put in simple meena: that is a great question. when you senator cruz and senator rubio and governor o'malley in the same sentence, that just does not seem fair.
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all right? i think on the democratic side, 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. on the republican side, the 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. i do not think you have the cover, but it has a bobby jindal campaign but not the top.
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already that is history. to dress your question, it looks like it is going to be a 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 plummeted out of nowhere. it was carson and then cruise. meena: 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 campaign manager and the chief communications director both quit yesterday. right? this is a campaign in trouble. carson, all right, is a renowned doctor. a physician.
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right? no expertise in politics and particularly national security. when you have members of the campaign talking about the candidates lack of fluency, right? not necessarily on job expertise, but lack of fluency on the issues, that, i think, 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 i think the system and process. i think that 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.
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is that what you are alluding to when you mentioned it might be a problem when both candidates are 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 liability, but a pro for the candidates? do you think that is where they will be attacked? talking about 2020, i was not talk about age been about issues. the incumbent's party. it is unusual, right, when george bush one four sitting president, highly unusual. that is why people were hoping president biden could mount a
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serious challenge. 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 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. i do think it is also true, this is a larger questions in american politics, that people in certain jobs are working longer. you can work longer, right?
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with had senators into their 100 , right? so i'm not sure when i say that, 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 our not to be 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?
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who said 2032? someone over here? 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
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argument where donald trump, as he is, said to jeb bush, usa 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. let me 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. despite the 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
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articles been about how jeb bush had mastered fundraising. the government session, four 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? everyone, it is so easy to 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. someone who may 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
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lag for good reason between what the polls are saying and what 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? anyone 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.
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if you just go to the washington post, you can see the articles 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. there would be a big problem, 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. >> hi, i am randy from iowa. buena vista at university. so, if bernie sanders and it donald trump do not win the
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nomination, do you think we'll see them one in third-party? meena: i feel confident saying bernie sanders would not do 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 the democrats. not come by and donald trump to roosevelt, but teddy roosevelt, ran on his own. run in 1908, try to run in 1912, 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. i think there would be significant for depression. i think it is publicly at this point. donald trump is, i mean his
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staying far demonstrates he is taking this very seriously. i do not think you would want to see that happen to the 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 was wondering if you could comment on the potential of bernie sanders to fill the role 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
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wealth nader, who maybe detracted from some of the democratic votes and i have 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. 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 's likability factor and is that -- would democratic voters
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decide -- who are disaffected with party establishment who don't want to see hillary run, would they stay home? 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 i think it will bring out a lot of the older democratic voters. it seems to be less significant for younger voters under 35-years-old. but since they vote less, that is not much of an issue for her. i think, unless some scandal or crisis comes up, which i'm not suggesting there's anything there but there is always the unexpected, right?
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it would be very unlikely to see, you are not seeing the 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 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
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average voter was someone who does not have the strongest political education sees them as having a beneficial side, as 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 have -- 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
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tier, right? what does this tell us? it seems clear there is a strong sentiment in american politics that our process, right, there is a frustration with the process. this is not working. i think what is appealing about the trump 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
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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 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. but, i think there is more to it than that. there are questions about future american politics, the state of our economy, right? the future of jobs. what will the 21st century again benchmark i think there is somewhat of a reluctance to appreciate the importance of the politics as a process that takes a long time.
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>> hi, you mentioned structural 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 be functioning in the next 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 outlaw electoral votes. a little over a dozen states have signed on. none of the big states at this point have signed on to do that if you got to a total of above 270. that is the biggest question.
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there does not appear to be a lot of momentum for that, but again, most momentum was right after 2000. the focus shifted to national security not election process. it is hard to say what might've been different otherwise. i think the movement to the 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
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campaign finance. 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] -- meena: 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
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will be reading next week about the 2012 election talks about that. at this point, one of the 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 american politics about money and free speech, right? to some people, when you equate that, it is infuriating. for others, that is first amendment, right? but i don't want to 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
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donors have now started to put in provisions that if the candidate they support ultimately and second is see, the money goes back to them. i think the larger question is not so much legal change from our political institutions, but changes from the funders and 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 make or break the 20 16 presidential election like the national security. what other issues might be a deciding factor? meena: you are from seton hill, right? i think it national security and
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the economy, those are the two areas where you have the 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. with national security, i would
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say the challenge for all of the candidates is to convey 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 is to demonstrate leadership 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. so, my question actually kind of goes along with the other
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question. i know that national security is very salient in the minds of americans, especially after paris. which candidate would you say has been really successful at steering the debates and setting the agenda of the 2016 election? meena: i guess i could just say it remains to be seen. 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?
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he has taken a pretty hard line against intervention, right #he is actually going against the establishment and his party. but he has really, i think, 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 with money, troops, alliances, foreign aid, right? diplomacy. those are 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. how to defend, right, the decisions of the bush 43 administration. trying to carve his own path
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while holding true to policies that have supported within a significant portion of his party and there is obviously a personal connection there. so i think a lot of candidates are trying to -- 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? the bigger question about how we 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. and, i think, with that, with this very difficult issue, i am
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not going to take any more questions. i am going to turn them over to 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. after leaving the house, representative glickman served as the u.s. secretary of agriculture in the
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clinton administration from march 1995 until january of 2001. 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 u.s. commitment to fairness, in 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 law firm akin gump and strauss in washington and currently is executive director of the aspen institute congressional program, which is a nonpartisan, nongovernmental program for
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members of the congregation -- of congress. he is also a senior fellow of 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 make a book about me entitled, failing upwards.
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you can be the judge of that. 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. there are 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. do they so have that? the highlight of my congressional existence. what a great name. pretty prairie. that is classic heartland america.
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i am really interested in what you have to say so let me just mention a couple things. i ran for office 10 times. i lost the last one. then i was privileged to be 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
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educate them on issues of the 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.
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at the end of the day you also want to do something for the country. work to find solutions. partisanship is supposed to produce thinking and an 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
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general themes i think lay out right now. the first theme i talk about is 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. at the same time there is a huge 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
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where education perhaps has not 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. man bites dog is the story. pretty much now it is man biting dog and that is what gets the attention.
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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 interesting on television to large numbers of people. it should be, but it is not. the base of the party is driving 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
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conflict, not policy, because that is what tends to drive 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.
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my district was -- i is a 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. any 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
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depends upon trust and our leaders and institutions. 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.
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there is also little trust in leadership. i think some of that is because 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 barack obama today or said about george w bush in the previous administration, you would think these people were the pariahs of all time and it is just not true. this kind of rhetoric and not 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 had 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. these 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.
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we of people who have run away from that a lot of their lives. 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. you know, i was -- i ran for congress in 1976 and this was 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. one of the things we try to do 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
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country to operate. we operate as a country, a 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. the goal was to have one foot on 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.
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you know, most americans are kind of in the middle-of-the-road between the 40 yard line and the 40 yard line and most primary voters are at the 20 yard line. the movie does not encourage the discussion to be on the 50 yard line. i am reminded there was a former agricultural commissioner of texas, jim hightower, he was a populist and he said, the only thing in the middle of the road is a yellow stripe and a dead armadillo. the idea is, there isn't anything in the middle of the road. but i challenge that. in middle-of-the-road is where most policy decisions are made. unfortunately, it is not wear good politics are. aderod middle of the roto can't excite people.
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once you get into office and you get things done, then you have to move into that area. but civil discourse is really important for our political system. the partisanship, the excessive partisanship, there is no way to stop it once the election is over. you would like to say that you could close the door but if you campaign with victory and hate, it is hard to get people back together again. it doesn't work in a marriage very easily. imagine how it works in the country? that is why i think we are doing our best to get people together. gladthink that i am very to respect paul ryan. i think he is doing the best to diminish the rhetoric and get people working together on both sides.
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in march, 1892, there were news reports about the then speaker of the house, he had to define what a statesman was. that is what i've been trying to do in my job. he set a statesman is a successful politician who is dead. and that prompted a response by a boston man who said, why don't you die? and so, it is tricky being a statesman in the modern world. i give you that in context because i think these are exciting times and our country is resilient and the opportunities here are very unlike anywhere in the world. our system is thriving and we are still the envy of the world. even with all the problems. the problems are really serious. they could impact our ability to lead. so looking at the political
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system, this is where i am interested in where you are. do you still see politics as the way to influence the world? as people who are younger and more entering the fray? do you see politics as an avenue for change? asdo you see public service an opportunity to change? like working as an ngo or a charitable organization? i think this is a good question. how is the political system impacted your decision? for you tong a role go into politics? or does it close the door? tweenre a difference local, state and national issues? does the presidential race have an impact? happens in your communities is important to you?
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of thees the rhetoric presidential campaign do for you. i don't want to single out donald trump, but it is easy. it is interesting and unusual and some of you may remember h ross perot. he was the donald trump of the last generation. talks about a giant sucking sound. he said that was happening south of the border. sameu have some of the rhetoric but it is not as volatile. what do think about that? is it good or bad? do you like him because he has strong views? even if you find the views of offensive?
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the truth is, a lot of the hot button issues, guns, the social issues, a lot of them have as much relevance as education or infrastructure or global security issues. and is this presidential campaign able to address those things? and if not, why not? what would you like to see out campaign tontial get them to focus more directly on the issues? democrats have not the same level of intensity, largely because there are far fewer candidates. and they are also personally not trying to kill each other all andtime like on the public side of the aisle. that is just a fact of life.
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bernie sanders is a provocative guy. he has a strong view. and while there is some volatility on that side of the aisle, it it is nothing compared -- or what we see on the republican side. i worked for president bill clinton for six years. he once said, remember this. strong and wrong will usually defeat week and write. strong and wrong will defeat -- we see that in the campaign. hopefully, strong and write will be prevailing. but it does speak to some of the issues that we do see now in the primary race.
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end by saying that anyone can kick down a door but it takes a carpenter to build one. and i think the country needs a few more carpenters on both sides. fromully that will come people who can prevail on our elected officials. so saying that, i will stop right now. i would like to open up to comments or questions. tell us where you are from and -- yeah. >> i am john from the harvard university extension. my view, i don't have a problem with the money being spent in campaigning. aree is a lot of jobs that
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coming out of -- we could spend ,1 million on media and such not many countries can do that, and that means a lot of money is involved. feel with with how i the political system is that there are two main parties, the democrats and the republicans. and dr. -- mentioned that there are only two parties and not more than that. i didn't grow up with a traditional study of history. i have seen you mention the middle ground. i feel like we are shoved into the role of the democratic party as we need to be.
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i don't like that. i feel more polarization and i wonder how congress is going to -- in terms of -- if things are fine, why would we change anything? that is my opinion. are more tribal eyes then be used to be. that comes from grassroots. it's not the politicians fault. that is what they're hearing when they go to the townhall meetings. and traditionally, our parties have been center-right and centerleft. and the parties in america were never intended to be how the parties were in europe or asia. in fact, political parties are not in the constitution. many people believe that the
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founding fathers would be extremely nervous if they knew what was happening to our political parties. they were never mentioned -- they were never meant to be there, it was a convenient organizing force. so an equal number of americans identify as independents. the problem with the system is that, if the system encourages people on the edges and discourages people from the center, that will ultimately encourage a government on the edges. invariably, we can america because it will be hard to compromise and reach consensus. all politics is supposed to do is produce political leaders who try to do their best to make country a better place. sometimes, we look at the campaigns and think, the country come second. you will havere to be active forces. you and others like you, to
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encourage your political leaders to focus on the politics. the media has to do a much better job. the last cnn debate did a better job than some of the earlier debates i had seen. don't think the system is hopeless but i think a lot of people think it is hopeless and the two now -- they tune out. have a quick question. i want to appeal to your agriculture. , theabout the federal national debate with kansas. or -- >> this is not an issue i prepared for. [laughter] >> so, it is funny. i once was on a tv show called the craig kilborn show and it
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was like seth meyers after jimmy fallon. the first question he asked me was, why don't you just make marijuana legal? and i worked for clinton at the time and i said, the question. so i don't know. has evolving changes. certainly i think medical marijuana is something that people who are sick are to be entitled to take invented of that. beyond that, i will pass on your question. >> i am from elon university. i am here with a group of educators and i am bringing your question back up about the politics creating change. i want to propose the idea that maybe politics isn't seen as a way to create change by a lot of people who are not specializing in politics. so my question is, how can we better educate the mask populace
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in politics and how do we make it available for non-politicians? >> there is a crying need for more specific education, particularly in elementary and secondary schools. some of you may remember the jay leno show. he would interview people in the street and they would say, who is the president, abraham lincoln, thomas jefferson -- you get a staged answer. is thath of the matter we don't emphasize civic education. i don't just mean history. i mean, how did things get done. how do you organize, how do you participate? not just in government but in other activities. -- there areas university of arizona has been involved. and others as well. in terms of developing interest in civics and the constitution.
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that is probably the best thing we could do. but also, our leading politicians ought to lead by example. and, you know, i think they have a lot of work to do. they have to realize that what they say and what they the people have to demand it as well. >> my follow-up question to that is do you see this being reflected in the common core? my knowledge is somewhat limited fo. i think we have gone a little bit overboard on stem education. learning to read and write the english language, and learning how to participate in society is also very, very important. there needs to be good thoughtful balance there. >> thank you, mr. secretary. my name is nicholas chavez. i have a question with regards to the intersection of your
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career of hollywood in politics. i have the honor of cohosting the screen actors guild party at the democratic national convention in 2008. i wonder if you would take someone like david geffen and fronting hef aggregates for chosen politics. us understand why it's important to him and why there's the industr intersection between the two industries and why it matters? dan: 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 are becoming interested in politics on the right of center. not the extreme right, but there are more conservatives and republicans in that world. let me subdivide it further.
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if you are in the talent side of that world, if you are an actor or a writer, you will be active more on the democratic side. if you are on the suit side of the world, the business side, he probably will tend to be slightly more conservative as well. the public has a love affair with entertainers, musicians, with actors. it is no secret why politicians like to get folks from that world involved in politics. it gives you star power. you had a few people make the transition like arnold schwarzenegger from entertainment into politics. not a lot of people because 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 who have stayed out of the
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system to come back into it as much as they possibly can. when i was at the motion picture association, i was a lobbyist for the trade association of the major motion picture companies. i did my best to do two things, encourage film companies and folks from alliances like the screen actors guild or the directors guild be involved in politics, and be more bipartisan. there was a perception that hollywood was to the left and my idea was to say we are interested in a lot of things. on the social issues, many of them are on the left. on economic issues, many are not. that was my goal. is i'm from new york, hofstra university co. 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.
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on thursday, he will be doing at town hall with cnn on the issue .ould and respond t in response to that, i read this morning that ted cruz is holding auction for a shotgun with his campaign logo 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. i think it's immature, disrespectful, and said that this is occurring in a presidential election. that said, my question is -- by president obama taking an executive action, is he exacerbating the problem in saying, i'm giving up bipartisan here 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? dan: very good question. extremely complicated question. let's look at it politically. i'm not talking stop
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substantively. both sides are playing to their base. ted cruz has this primary battle with donald trump who has 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. you know, it's kind of attack anything to put your logo on a gun, but it's probably a clever idea to do that. jump out of the pack and show people you are their side and you care about the issue. same thing on the democratic side. there is a feeling because of politics we are stuck and we can't get sensible gun control legislation, with respect to gun show loop holes the whole issue , that you are on a no-fly list,
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and other things. since congress will not move, the president thinks he needs to make a stand, it is probably partially political. the base needs to know he is out there doing it and is partly substantive, because my guess is he believes in it. he is not going to get legislation through. that is for sure. especially now. he is trying to executive order route coul. whether the courts will uphold or not, i do not know. it is a tough row to hoe. if he believes in it strongly, 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 political move. it is a good thing to do. i do not disagree that take ted cruz may not believe in what he is doing either. distrust in
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politics is partly due to the thinking that politicians are not acting on the basis of belief, but on political population. there is going to be both in everybody's eyes. nobody will do things for one reason or the others. all thenie sanders, stuff he is done on income inequality and taxation and taxation everything else, i know he believes in it. i think they have done a lot appalling to show it is good politics, to, with respect to the base there. i will give you one minor thing. i was a congressman. sorry, i have to pick on you. i voted in 1994 for federal gun which put aslation, ban on assault weapons. i was a pretty good congressman. i did all the right things. i was in a big airplane district with lear, aerojet, boeing.
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in aviation nut and i did things to help jobs there. i lost the election in 1994. there are many reasons i lost the election. without question, the biggest factor was my vote on gun legislation. who did i lose in the process? i lost a lot of my democratic base -- blue-collar workers who were nra members and felt that my vote was particularly wrong. out of that experience, i learned how hard and how difficult this issue is. it is a constitutional issue. it's a cultural issue. in many places, it's a religious issue. it's rural versus urban. that is a big factor in these things. the question is a great question. is a reallye complicated issue. out of that, you would think
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that we could do some sensible things in the middle fifth it's an issue where there isin the middle to do anything. is if candidates such as donald trump and bernie sanders are causing people to vote for more polarized congressman in the future, do you think there will be anything that congress can agree on? is there an issue that congress would be able to agree on ?>> we passed a highway bill this last year. we got a budget done. speaker ryan was able to get last year.udget and the national security space, there is room to work together on. there are things our government can do that you can find bipartisan support for. one of the interesting things that i've learned from my aspen
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experience is that it in awful lot of people quietly want more bipartisanship. even people who are more on the conservative or liberal side want to work with each other much more. notpolitical system does necessarily encourage that because the word compromise in some circles is viewed as unilateral disarmament in other circles. i do think that most numbers of congress to see the value of working together. >> john from harvard extension. mentionedn -- you that campaigns are run on the 20 yard line for a football analogy. it seems like good governance comes at the 50 yard line. the error of the constant campaign -- is there space for ?olicy construction yucca if not, how is that built? dan: there is some space for it.
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the word is a leadership. it will be nice to see candidates show leadership on some issues, some substantive issues. we have seen a little bit on that. you have to give the public some specifics. for example, there has been discussion about a national highway bridge, road, sewer infrastructure plan. that would be a big issue. genetically increase the funding for health research that we can cure cancer, heart disease, alzheimer's, those kinds of things. there i think you can exit poll people together. today, most politicians have not really focused on those things. that would be the kind of thing i think would bring people to the 50 yard line. you have to find things the public really kind of cares about and those would be two things i would encourage them to think about. yes, ma'am. i'm dawn epstein and i'm from harvard university extension.
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engineergtime software and i left my career and i'm now looking at how i'm going to get back the next half of my life. about where ited is in politics. is it behind the scenes in some way? i have been involved in local government and i've been fascinated at how it works at the committee level. i found that on the national level, the discourse has become so polarized and full of vitriol that it is difficult to have even a reasonable conversation among friends, never mind on the national stage. when you are talking about this anxiety that much of what we have done has created combination of economics thisedia that drives
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anxiety, the sense of conflict. i'm also a filmmaker and i'm looking at the art as the place to bridge where we can have more conflict discussions. you laid out local, national, , and i thinktics some of our politics now need to be global. i think we need to start thinking about how we work together and how we tolerate and not just tolerate but embrace. embrace different viewpoints. embrace the times where we stand there and say to each other, i don't know. i disagree with you and i do not know how we get from here to there. i do not think we are teaching that. we are not even seeing it in our dystopian sums are noted -- soames right now. i want to get to a less combative place. how is your group working toward that? dan: it's a very good point. i do not want to the poly and
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about this stuff. sh about thisi stuff. we have had conflict in this world forever. that is a fact of life. you raise interesting points. the art of sports is another area. 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. let me mention one other institution which i think could do much more than it is doing right now and that is faith-based institutions. over 100 million americans go to church, synagogue, or a mosque every week. my guess is that messages from the pulpits are not necessarily consistent with what you're talking about today. the golden rule kind of october via even if people are on fundamentally different sides of the aisle. mutual respect ought to be taught as a human value, a biblical value.
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i think faith-based institutions have kind of let us all down a little bit on this. sure i will get excommunicated from every church in america by saying that. is ant can also be taught ethical value where we start shared for the ethics without referring to whether we require a particular belief and our god or a particularly system to sustain a way of considering every single human being, every single life as valuable. dan: there are some faith-based leaders have done -- rick warren, who wrote the purpose driven life, he is very religious. to treatvalues on how people and listen to people. my mother used to tell me you have two years and one mouth for a simple reason. we don't learn that quite as much. i have to see if i can get
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donald trump to do that. >> my name is colton. i'm from quinnipiac university. i go to school in connecticut, a famous polling place. donald trump doesn't like us apparently from his tweets. he's not a big quinnipiac fan. my school is about 30 minutes from newtown. we went by the three-year anniversary of sandy hook. i'm sure everyone knows how severe it wasn't everything. was definitely the worst shooting since columbine, which is almost 10 years ago. i think it was 1999. so 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?
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and number two, how much of an influence is the nra in the decisions of these politicians? dan: i will try to talk about it from my perspective. i think the nra is a significant force, but they are not the reason that politicians vote the way they do. politicians vote the way they do because of what they hear from their constituents. in many parts of this country, heavily in rural and suburban , rural districts and smaller communities, all over the country, people feel very intensely on the firearms issue that we do not need the of government involved in more regulation. we are not even getting to the point you talked about with sandy hook and columbine and the other thing. it becomes a cultural issue. to overcome that, there has got
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to be some what i call -- sensible, national discussion about these issues were all points of view are brought in. maybe i am pollyanna 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 issue is so polarized and we the edges so dominate the debate and we do not understand from where a lot of people are coming. let me give you an example. 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 union member in my days as a democrat. the guy was so excited to see me. thanks, thanks, thanks for what you did for my job.
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i said, i have a win right here. he said, i cannot vote for you. i said, why? he said because of guns. how you voted on guns. i started discussing with him, not arguing with him. i'm not going to take your gun away from here. this is what he told me. he said you do not seem to understand, mr. glickman. 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. my hunting and my fishing and being a sportsman and having firearms, that is part of my existence. i view you as an elitist trying to take that away from me. now, i thought about it for a moment and i thought he might quietly agree on some things we should do, whether a gun show
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loophole or something else, but it taught me that this issue is so profound culturally and regionally. 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 because i am saying that i voted for the stuff. 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 rural-urban. i will have to tell you that. --also, i think that people because another newtown example. , the gun was from his mother. she did not lock it. he kept it in adam lanza's room. it is not just guns but also mental health. you know your son is mentally unstable.
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not keep your guns unlocked and number to keep it in its room to -- in his room. shouldn't she be accountable? dan: civil liability ought to come into this situation. we do this when it comes to serving people underage in terms of drinks, liquor, alcohol. 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. two and heke you to you. >> 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. dan: my characterization. >> with this kind of system in
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place, do you believe the average american can regain this trust when they are not seeing significant progress? dan: i do think we need progress on some things. that is why i think a major , roads, sewer, water system -- something to show people that we can get to work and modernize these decaying pieces of infrastructure would certainly be one thing. folks have to see the government can do things. there was an author years ago, a historian named daniel burnham. any of you come through union station? he built that. he said, "make the little plans because they do not have the soul." stir man's 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, national infrastructure
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program to rebuild the decaying infrastructure we have or a major effort to cure major diseases. like heart disease, cancer, diabetes. some of these things would kind of give people confidence that the system can work. you need a few of those. yes, right here. >> hi, my name is christopher and i come from seton hill. seton hill is in pennsylvania and we are having this huge , like basically a 6-7 month now state budget standoff. ofis basically cause a lot problems because my mom is a teacher and i so feel the effect that home even more. also i go to school and i rely on the money that the state gives out to the schools. what are different ways that the average citizen can encourage politicians to compromise on this kind of issue? because this is clearly outrageous.


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