tv US House of Representatives Special Orders CSPAN January 12, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm EST
of the union message in person since then was herbert hoover who also was not a great public speaker, didn't think much of the occasion, and just sent his message. almost every other president, almost every year has felt that this is too good an opportunity to miss. not to be able to go in person and the drama. >> the president of the united states. [applause] >> everybody in congress is sitting there, senate and house, the cabinet is there, the supreme court is there. the gallery is packed with people. sort of a major moment that is coming together. the only other occasion like
that is the inauguration. >> i propose we begin a massive attack on crippling and killing diseases. [applause] >> i shall propose to this congress a $10 billion nationwide clean waters program to put modern municipal waste treatment plants to make our waters clean again and do it now. >> the president sets the tone for the legislative agenda. whether or not congress chooses to follow them or rewrite them, the president has given them an outline. sometimes president has never had a chance, harrison and garfield died before their first
opportunity. they came into office in march. so in the 19th century, state of the union messages were given in december. when the constitution was changed, they moved the congress up to january and now they are usually in january and february. there have been some miscues. president cleveland sent a controversial proposal dealing with a tariff and the days before we had a income tax. and one of those things that divided parties and created great passions and unfortunately for cleveland whose party who was not united on this issue and they lost the next election probably because of that division and a lot of people. but in most cases state of the union messages are a long laundry list of things the president wants to see them done.
they are not long speeches or inspiring but wish lists. when anything is done in congress, the galleries are opened and as long as there are galleries and there have been galeries since 1795, the public can come in. but, of course there aren't that many seats in the gallery. each member of congress gets a single ticket for a spouse or for a member of their staff or favored constituent. the press gallery is absolutely packed. galer is packed. there is not a lot of space for the public on those occasions. but over time, the public has gotten to hear and read it through the media. in the 19th century, you would have read the entire speech in
most newspapers. in the 20th century beginning in 1923, calvin coolidge's message was broadcast on the radio. in 1936, franklin roosevelt suggested moving from the middle of the day to the evening because you would get a much larger audience. in the 1940's, television came along. 1947, truman's state of the union message was covered by television. in 1965, president johnson said move it back into the evening so more people can see it. it's an evening performance and major networks are all covering it and it gets considerable audience that way and in the late 1990's, it has been streaming on the internet and
around the world. in recent years, the two parties have become cheerleading squads for their presidents. but there are moments when something that the president says inspires something more. it is a bipartisan reaction and you can tell what the mood of the congress is to some degree, what the responses are. >> and all the world knows that no successful system builds a wall to keep its people in and freedom out. [applause] >> immediately after the speech, members of congress will rush out into the hall where there will be dozens of cameras so television stations around the country, they will be getting a personal reaction, immediate reaction. in the house chamber, you can twitter and tweet and some of
those people will be responding instantly. >> mr. speaker, president, distinguished members of the house and senate, when we first met here seven years ago, many of us with the first time was with the hope of beginning something new for america. we meet here tonight in this historic chamber to continue that work. if anyone expects just a proud resuscitation of my administration, i say let's leave that to history, we aren't finished yet. [applause] >> one thing that you cannot do that is very different than say most parallelments where heckling is considered fair sport, in u.s. congress you have to be respectful of the president. one member of the house did interrupt the president and did
shout out and he was censured by the house of representatives. that is unbecoming conduct. president obama: the reforms i'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally. >> liar. >> the office of the constitution dn and wrote the corner stution in secret they did require certain things to be open, not open. they don't require congress to meet in open session. just from time to time to publish a journal of their proceedings and they don't ask the president to give an annual message but ask him to deliver a message on the state of the union. they would be pleased to see that the president comes very much every year. they would be astonished to realize that the congressional record is published every day after the proceedings and not
only the state of the union but words of the members of the house and senate. that is something they had intended that this was a republicic, it was a democratic republic and was representative of the people and the people had a right to know what was going on. in that sense, even though they weren't that specific, they set some goals that i think the government has met. >> i can report to you that the state is old but this faithful union is good. [applause] >> as president obama prepared for his state of the union address, he released this video on twitter. president obama: it's my last one. and as i'm writing, i keep thinking of the road we traveled together. that makes america great. our capacity to change for the
better. the ability to come together as one american family and pull ourselves closer to the america we believe in. it's hard to see sometimes in the day-to-day noise of washington but it is who we are and it is what i want to focus on. >> and c-span's coverage starts tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern with senate historian and a congressional reporter, looking back at the history and tradition of the president's annual message and what to expect in this year's address. at 9:00, our live coverage of the president's speech and response by governor haley and your reaction by phone, tweets and email as well as those from members of congress on c-span and reair our state of the union coverage and the republican response starting at 11:00 p.m. eastern. also live on c-span 2:00 after
the speech. we will hear from members of congress with their reaction to the president's address. last year, he talked about expectations of his final year in office. here's a look. president obama: in short all the progress we have some unfinished business and i plan on doing everything i can with every minute i have to deliver on behalf of the american people. since taking this office i have never been more optimistic about the year ahead. in 2016 i'm going to leave it
so you mentioned the presidential race voting starts in a matter of weeks. so the question is in the final year of a presidency, how much are people listening and watching the office holder as opposed to focusing on the future? host:ments are signing executive orders, tidying umh unfinished business. president obama since day one wanted to close the base on guantanamo. i suspect he will be raising that issue trying to fulfill promises during his last year. .
you start targeting barack obama in the urban centers like cincinnati or states in ohio and florida and bringing out the african-american vote which barack obama is good at, could make him relevant. host: douglas brinkley is in new the his new book take first call from chris in new haven, connecticut. caller: thanks for taking my call. i'm really pleased that this president is going to take his last year in office to do something really significant about gun violence in the united tates.
it was clear to me that they were going to be really important people. host: to what extent has the last year presidents tackled such big issues, big and ontroversial issues like guns? guest: president obama shed tears talking about the first graders slaughtered in newtown, connecticut. i went to the fairfax town hall that cnn held and i was milling around and i would introduce myself as historian doug brinkley. and they would say i lost my
daughter at aurora and my son in newtown. he is playing a grassroots role. this president is starting to build a coalition of n.g.o.'s, nonprofit groups and families of victims, when you have 30,000 people a year that are killed due to gun violence, you build a coalition and we will see him continuing in that particular role as being an activist on trying to get background checks for gun purchases made much tougher. tonight's state of the union, the big symbolic moment of the union is going to be the empty chair. you go to oklahoma city, there is an amazing memorial and empty chairs in the park that people. the empty chair will be representative of those people
killed by unviolence and solemn moment this evening and that's the symbol a reducing gun violence part of his last year in office issue. on the international front, climate change, which isn't popular in the american press. hard to get people riled up. but globally it is very potent and those two issues are those you will see him dealing with because no other leading figure has the platform as he does on those particularly troublesome public policy issues. host: you can watch it tuesday 8:00 eastern time is the preview program with the speech at 9:00 right here on c-span as well. next call is barry here in washington, d.c.,, independent caller.
host: i'm worried about the winter flooding that has gone in the midwest and always worry about flooding and the mississippi delta and new orleans. it's a complicated issue, the mayor of new orleans is trying to remove statues. things have to be done on a case by case basis. wrote a piece at the anniversary of selma, edmund
pettus bridge should be renamed after congressman john lewis. edmund pettus had no connection to the bridge and would be a great way to honor john lewis. those are appropriate but other times people go way too far. we want everybody to look like they did today and i think we have to slow some of that down a little bit and be very cautious on the tearing down of statues and renaming of everything. certainly in new orleans, huge advocate we need to do a park for one of the heroes of the civil rights movement in new orleans. i like honoring people that have done great things for the civil rights movement in the southern cities like new orleans.
but i think to change washington at lee college and get rid of lee's name and that is a slippery slope for us to do as a country. host: bob, you are on with douglas brinkley. caller: mr. brinkley, you wouldn't believe this i got on, this is my favorite program. i know you wrote the book on franklin roosevelt. we are both big bernie sanders'
fans. and i was wondering, the thing that bernie sanders trying to do is break up the big banks, start a work program like bernie sanders is talking about. would f.d.r. be considered a socialist? and i would like to hear your comments. guest: it's a very good question. one could say that f.d.r. in some ways was a democratic socialist, although that term socialism seems repugnant to many people due to the cold war context that it was used. the word people like to use is progressivism. f.d.r. is somebody who very much after rnie sanders, went
ig companies and trusts. water power and the like. i don't think it's wrong to compare what bernie sanders' message to what franklin roosevelt was saying. he was standing to what used to be called the forgotten man and woman of america of the the difference is f.d.r. had been secretary of the navy during world war i and was an activist in that role and had great military experience, foreign policy experience to a degree that bernie sanders is not. bernie sanders is like f.d.r. but on international affairs, f.d.r. was the greatest in his
era and sanders doesn't have positions. host: since we are talking about him, remind us of what his last year in office was like, third term there. how significant? guest: his last year, he had to run for a full year alive was 1944. he died april 12, 19456789 in 1944 he had the huge victory and beginning of the end of hitler, the turning of the tide in europe and he reluctantly ran in 1944. he said i just want to go back to the hudson river valley and bird watch, relax, enjoy myself. but he felt compelled to see the war through. and he had an endless summit
meetings and wear and tear on his body. by early 1945 when he went to met ummit at yalta, and he with churchill and stalin and looking at the post-world war ii world. roosevelt wanted to make a conservation effort. believed that conservation was the premise for global peace. he wanted a standard for natural resources, which never quite happened and he was pushing forward what would be his great legacy the united nations and died in warm springs, georgia, exhausted. his heart was a mess. blood pressure was high. he was prone to having horrific headaches and not the man he was two years earlier. his health was in decline.
when he died, his body was moved from warm springs to washington and then up to hyde park, new york, where he was buried and considered an extraordinarily successful commander in chief during world war ii and always picking the right people and counting on george marshall and dwight eisenhower and earnest king and mark clark and george patton and the rest. he was remarkable. i rank him as one of our two debatest presidents. host: barbara is on the democratic line. ello, barbara. caller: i just had a comment that i think what the president is trying to do at this point in time is a very good thing. not only should they put that
into law of all people with mental health problems, not having access to guns, because i have a daughter that open carries and one has mental health problems. at the grassroots problem, i don't feel they should be in the same room along with the locking mechanism and only be fired whose thumbprint fits that gun that would be a definite control. those two are very well and should be instituted in our laws to put some kind of control there. guest: i think it's important for people to understand that we need the second amendment issue with guns was not controversial until recent times. people worked around it.
as the national rifle association grew into a lobby group and the supreme court got conservative, when barack obama was running for president, right when obama was getting the nomination, you had the district of columbia verdict which said it was illegal in washington, d.c., to not allow people to have handguns. this was a scalia wrote the judgment on this. and it was a big victory for the n.r.a. and second amendment to the individual right to bear arms which all of us know that will second amendment is fuzzy, d they mean militia or individual. our whole presidency has been involved with this gun issue and he has been fighting an uphill battle against the n.r.a. and
every time there are mass shootings, he has become the mourner in chief. i counted 13 mass shootings he has had to weigh indirectly. it's going to be impossible to look at the obama years without looking at the role of guns the power of the n.r.a., mass shootings, what the president did or didn't do, what congress didn't do. t's part of the obama era. and the president post-san bernandino, but san bernandino gives someone like president obama the connection with national security. that was a terrorist attack that these people got guns easily in the united states. and i'm not weighing on which side but i'm pointing out that president obama is going to make his a major part of his last
year. i envision as ex-president in chicago weighing in on the public schools, holding town hall forums, working to make chicago safer and use the model what he does in chicago for other places in the united states. i wouldn't be surprised if he does more town halls this year on the gun issue and in the end we are going to vote. hillary clinton is with president obama. we'll see who wins the 2016 presidentsal election and it will be very telling which way this gun control issue will move.
how when he was president, he couldn't run for re-election in 1952 because he had a 27 approval rating and nobody wanted much to do anything. lyndon johnson in 1968, his last full year, just consumed by vietnam and irrelevant in a ountry that had the most angry year. so these last years are very hard. i would say ronald reagan had a good last year along with bill clinton in the sense he was able to get his vice president elected and people started saying as margaret thatcher won
that reagan won the cold war without firing a shot. it was clear at the end of reagan's term that the berlin wall would come down. but the fact of the matter was democracy was on the march in eastern europe and the soviet union was stretched and it was dismantled by 1991. reagan and clinton had pretty good last years. host: eric in new york, republican caller. caller: thanks very much, mr. brinkley. so, mr. brinkley, you made a prediction a little while ago what may become of what president obama with chicago efforts. i had another idea. there has been one president in history, president taft i believe in 1920 that went on to become the supreme court
justice. i wonder if you might be able to go back with him and talk if he seemed to have a positive career on the supreme court and then with all the issues at hand, what potential there might be with the intellects and commonsense approach of barack obama as he might take that role and what might be the likelihood something like that would be a positive for the country. guest: it's an interesting question. it raises the question of ex-presidents. john quincy adams left the presidency and became a congressman and fought slavery. and theodore roosevelt and ran the bull moose party and came in second behind woodrow wilson and taft came in third.
taft had to find himself in a bit of a political loser in 1912, but the country honored him by putting him on the supreme court. i think barack obama would make a good supreme court justice but i don't know that the politics at the moment would allow him to get approved by a senate and congress. it would depend what the makeup of congress is at that time, because he has so many political statements out there that they may feel he is not a fair justice but a partisan one. i don't foresee that route but i do see the president teaching constitutional law at columbia law and being engaged at the university of chicago. and he will be writing a memoir in building this presidential
library and finding the public policy issues that he is most passionate about. bill clinton is passionate about all of them. barack obama may try to make a real difference on a few key issues. and when i say thin i don't mean it in a negative way. bill clinton has been involved and had to raise so much money and i don't see it in his personality that he wants to be this fundraiser every moment for the rest of his life. he is much more intellectual, more scholarly and i do think that the gun violence issue and climate change that he will be rapping his arms around. taft was a good choice to get on the supreme court.
caller: i was calling about the robert e. lee statue and this is the thing i wanted to say. this makes it so dangerous, you have this guy on and he is so calm and collected and he is actually in agreement with keeping the statues. guest: i never agreed that the statue should be kept. i never said that. i didn't want to weigh in on it. t's a complicated issue. caller: it's not complicated at all. the equivalent, this state was once occupied by the french. or ing it erecting a statue
equivalent of hitler. i equate robert e. lee to a hitler. guest: the mayor is a friend of mine in new orleans but i have f.d.r. ting a book on the reason i say it's complicated, memorials are part of a city, they all have legalities to them and get challenged in court and i got a random call about that statue. the likelihood but the mayor told me that he is determined to make this a big part of his legacy. i don't mind if the statue comes down. but it is the approach -- you have to start trying to have a
big dialogue of all of this and i don't know what is going on in new orleans. university of texas, i live in austin, they recently removed a statue from campus and done it in a smart way and put in a museum in austin. so i think these things can be done but need to be done but doesn't create acrimony. guest: eric, you there? ller: i hope you all new year's really good. and i wanted to know something. there are two points i would like to make, mr. brinkley. first of all, you being ap presidential historian, the big thing is, have you seen through e history of our nation more
disrespect for one president than we have had against the people on the right, people -- some people on the left have had towards our current president? also, another thing, as i think he has been a wonderful job for the gun debate, because there's a big thing called the second amendment, and i believe, being i eteran and carrying a gun, was in the united states coast guard, which i'm very proud to be in, and i was a law enforcement agent. and there's one thing about it, a lot of people on the right, even some on the left that are
n.r.a. people, they don't think about that first part of the second amendment, which it says, a well regulated militia is necessary in the defense of a free state, all people have the right to keep and bear arms. uest: it's been tough on president obama. part of the reason it has been tough is once the affordable care act was passed without just got votes, it he congressmen rank willed and unproductive relationship between president obama and congress. i think president obama will come out just fine in history. he did not have a lot of scandals in his administration. he inherited the great recession and what does the economy look
like when president obama leaves office. if the economy is much better and the indicatorsr we will have to wait. he got our economy going. there is the saving of general mortse, the killing of osama bin laden. there will be trouble spots and think the red line in syria and calling the isis the j.v. team, some of that problem in the middle east is going to hurt the reputation. but i have no doubt that this president is going to go down as a successful american president even though his relationship with congress was not good. host: here's a look at the magazine, calling it the obama issue, when you look inside, the
president by the numbers, you can see here there were 1,64 bills from january 2009 to 2015. at is fewer than george bush and the president vetoed five bills including the defense authorization act and bush vetoed eight bills as president and clinton, 35. and executive orders which is made so much years, 228 compared with 292 under bush and 308 under president clinton. caller: i would like to ask you a question, you studied mr. roosevelt.
of his inauguration who were planning to make him a one-term president. and there has been plenty of barack obama will not move to chicago but move to new york and go forward with his post-presidency from that point forward. and i think he will concentrate to a significant degree i don't want to say the plight of back males but the condition ever black males in this country. and lastly, the last two things, with regards to reagan, there doesn't need to be any revisionist history that has been taken on the part of the right wing in comparison to f.d.r. with whom i consider one of the two best presidents of all time, as you do and my
ultimate question with regards to that, why there no movement o put him on rushmore. the : barack obama, yes, obamas living in new york and being a professor at columbia university or lecturing there. new york will be a part of their life. the presidential library, all the documents from the obama years will be in chicago. he will be in new york, chicago and hawaii wants to get involved with the legacy of barack obama also. i will say that barack obama did fromet much of a honeymoon congress. mitch mcconnell said it is not allowing barack obama to be part
of the success. racism has been been part of the anti--obama movement. we have a black president, that is what has played into some of the animosity to barack obama the last eight years. i agree that people say, al gore won and the dangling chads in florida, but it does seem true that if al gore didn't pick joe leiberman as his vice residential ticket and if gore would have been left and it would have been been enhancing that vote. it would have been so close. with gore winning the popular vote. mount rushmore is an interesting
thing. but i think it is a monument in time if you would have to add f.d.r. and reagan. i know the history of the carving of mount rushmore and it's not going to happen any time soon that we will be going into the property of the national park service and doing drilling on the mountain. host: more calls for douglas brinkley. we'll look at data compiled from the gallup poll about the final presidential approval rating. reagan was the lowest. bill clinton, 66% approval rating, final approval rating. jerry calling in from north carolina, republican. caller: question for the
professor brinkley. professor, i wanted to know what rating you would put on obama's fundamentally changing america. would you give him an a on that or something less? host: when you say fundamentally changing america, what do you mean? caller: that was his statement in his address, he was going to fundamentally change america, and i'm curious if the professor had a rating that he would give him on his success of that goal. host: thank you. hot guest: i don't think he has changed. the culture of washington, to kind of pull the country together as one voice.
i don't think that has been successful. where he has been, if you want to look at areas -- if you are a gay american, the whole push for gay marriage that the president oversaw would be a big change. some of the work he has done for latino americans in trying to deal with issues with that particular community, the change has come. the amount of women appointed to the obama administration, including two women to the u.s. supreme court. you are seeing that inclusive change. when it comes to the partisan getting that dilemma of nothing done between democrats and republicans, the president did not succeed and it's a longer conversation of why not.
host: dave, you are on with douglas brinkley. what is your question or comment? caller: i watch c-span quite a lot and this is one of the most insightful program. the term law enforcement, this term has bothered me for quite a while and i'm a product of truman generation moving forward and it seems to me that the obama administration has used this term quite openly but selectively enforcing laws if it comes through the attorney general, whether to prosecute the criminals on wall street and now we are going to leave them alone. any other president from a historical stand point has used is term so decisively in his
speeches. guest: bill clinton did that a lot. we forget that bill clinton really ran -- in 1992, the presidency on tough on crime and many of these kind of ideas adding more policemen to the streets, cleaning up america. e was a real a law and order candidate, we forget that about bill clinton in his first two years as president. everything with violence and crime in america comes in waves and when a high-profile crime the country language changes. i'm suggesting that in 1968 when martin luth they are king was killed and robert kennedy we got the gun policy act and we are
going to start doing that and you could see the rhetoric ratchet up. and ronald reagan was shot and almost died and john lennon was murdered and a new brady bill and tough on crime and that went on for a while and goes through cycles and the obama years has been where the murder rates are down under president obama, it is a headline you don't see a lot. we are doing well in our country fighting violent crime, but the mass shootings that keep plaguing our country has caused president obama and the justice department to try to use a more vigorous language to explain what they want to do and how they are going to do crackdowns on organized crime and that might be what you are getting at. host: one tweet, what are you
writing about next? guest: i'm all about my f.d.r. book that is coming out and got interested in the dust bowl and what happens when you have droughts and wildfires. and how did we respond to it in e 190's and 1940's and how f.d.r. planted the civilian conservation corps and planted three billion trees and how do we get young people working for america doing things like they did during the early new deal years. that's my theme focus right now is on the roosevelt and land and environmental policy of the 1930's and 1940's. host: one last caller.
caller: good morning gentlemen. i'm a little nervousous. i'm a proud american of puerto rican descent and prosecutor is going through an economic upheaval. our president has done some things within the scope in trying to help puerto ricans who are also american citizens do what they need to do. i would like to know if you have any idea if the president will be doing anything after his presidency to work with the puerto ricans on the island and help them in their effort. that island gives its sons and daughters for fights in our wars and been doing it for over 100 years and can't vote for the commander in chief but can take orders. i have one who is committed after the first middle east war in iraq. i have one who has retired after
nine tours and a couple of others who are still out there. as a puerto rican, i would like to see our government do more for the island and for the people who have supported our ainland country. guest: well, i wish our country would do more to help puerto rico also. it is a wonderful place. i go down to san juan and see the tropical forest there because i love going to the island and you can see the poverty and how we need to do a lot more to help the people of puerto rico and feel more included. puerto ricans are enrolling in defending our country and many of our veterans are from puerto rico and we need to care more. whether president obama will care more, i don't know. it will be part of what he tries
to do. hillary clinton goes to puerto rico quite frequently and she is a senator from new york and there is a large puerto rican population and very attuned to the issues that are going on down there. host: author and presidential historian. professor at rice university. we appreciate it. guest: thanks for having me. i appreciate it. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> we have college-aged kids covered here in alabama but the kids in the elementary school that are suffering. they are getting poor education, horrible buildings. >> sunday night, documentary filmmaker talks about her latest film and his partnership with
booker t. washington and the african-american communities in the south and bring education. >> you know, puts together these kid houses and use the kid houses and the best things that he did was say no, i want the communities to build it. first the six schools were built and that is amazing. but from them, it went into 5,000 schools, all over the south, including maryland. >> sunday night at 6:00 p.m.. you are watching c-span. it is state of the union night. we will speak with the senate historian and a political correspondent and live at 9:00, president obama delivers his
final state of the union speech followed by the response. and 11:00, we'll reair the >> good evening and welcome to thean's live coverage of state of the union address. president and mrs. obama will if the white house for their brief ride to the capital. where shortly after 9 p.m. president obama will make his a jointport before session of congress. we will set the stage historically and politically and our cameras will show you what is happening inside the capitol as the congress, supreme court, the our military leaders, and the diplomatic corps gather in the house chambers. here to help us understand some of the history of tonight's event is the u.s. senate's historian. let's set the stage for why this