tv Former President Obama at Rice University CSPAN November 28, 2018 1:10am-2:09am EST
including one that would direct the commerce secretary to conduct a study on the development of devices in the u.s.. british prime minister theresa may takes questions from parliament at 7:00 a.m. eastern -- eastern. departmente commerce nomination. c-span3, acting epa administrator andrew wheeler. thelly, a hearing on management of federal prisons with the justice department's inspector general and the head of the federal bureau of prisons. >> former president barack obama sat down with former secretary of state james baker and presidential historian john meacham at rice university in texas. the discussion as part of a
celebration of 25 years of the baker institute for public policy at rice university. [applause] mr. baker: thank you. mr. president, welcome to texas. mr. obama: it is good to be back in houston. congratulations on the texas victory yesterday. they beat the titans so no, sir, we don't want that. if it weren'ty, for us, you would be part of spain. made that joke to george bush when he was governor and he
said, that's funny, asshole. mr. baker: if it weren't for us, you wouldn't be saying ya'll. -- saying y'all. mr. meacham: president reagan used to say that when he was in hollywood, he would get a call to come to dinner and speak and perform and reagan would say, but i don't sing or dance. the organizer would say, we know, but you can introduce someone who can. my job is to introduce to people who can. i wanted to start with secretary baker, and thank him for the remarkable institute. more important -- [applause] mr. meacham: the half-century of service to america and to the world. mr. baker: thank you. [applause] -- as someonet is who spends most of his time thinking about the past and
talking to dead people, it is when you -- it is when they talk back that you are in trouble. i must say, it is hard to imagine, and it is a great tribute to our country, that two such different people come to the pinnacle of power and are able to lead the nation and the world in such a remarkable way. we have a man from texas, princeton, a marine, who served republican administrations. we have the 44th president of the united states from hawaii by way of the iq -- by way of the ivy league. what brings them together is what i think brings the country together, a shared sense that we have to push forward to a more perfect union. the subject of a more perfect union is what i would like to talk about tonight. mr. secretary, ordinarily the president would go first, but in
moment, iore beauty would like to ask -- mr. baker: you got that right. mr. meacham: what i would first like to talk about is how the world worked on your watches, how washington worked on your watches, and how they didn't work, and what we can learn from those positive and negative experiences. when you went to washington in 1981 as chief of staff, what was the ambient reality of washington for you? it wasn't perfect. it wasn't a great bipartisan with a holla -- bipartisan valhalla. but what did it feel like and how hard was it to get things done? mr. baker: thank you. before i answer that question, let me simply say, mr. president, you honor us by being here tonight and we are very -- [applause]
mr. baker: we are very appreciative and very grateful for your being here. we were having dinner and when ed was announcing all those big dollar numbers, i looked at the president and said, mr. president, 10% of that is yours. is, i'm not hell it letting you off that cheap. i want the rolodex. mr. obama: jim still uses a rolodex, by the way. [applause] john, what was it like. say,nk it is fair to considerably different than it is today. it was not, as you pointed out, kumbaya movement.
i worked for a president who was considered to be an ideologue. a was considered such hard-line conservative that he used to joke, our administration is so conservative that the right wing never knows what the far right wing is doing. he was able to reach across the aisle. people forget this, but president reagan had a democratic house for his entire presidency. tip o'neill was the speaker of the house. he and president reagan really didn't see anything hardly i to eye onardly eye-to- policy, but they both arrived at washington wanting to get something done for the country. they would fight like hell during the day, then they would retire somewhere at 5:00, start
making irish jokes and drinking bourbon, and find a way to get the nation's business done. in foreign policy i think it was an easier time. having said that, nobody should have any nostalgia for the cold war. i am old enough to remember those days when we had drills and schoolkids hiding under desks. nuclear annihilation was a distinct threat. in foreign policy, perhaps we had it a little bit easier in formulating the policy because we knew what we were for. we were for whatever the soviets were of test were against. we were against whatever the soviets were four. the implementation of that policy was extremely difficult, even back in those days, just as it is today.
things were different. i think that perhaps a few more things got done on a bipartisan basis. own domestic policy 1986w president reagan's tax reform act was passed with democratic votes. it was a tax reform that was a true tax reform. it didn't jack up the budget deficit or the debt of the united states. it was revenue neutral. o'neillw he and tip were able to come together and protect for 30 years the financial solvency of social security by republicans getting a little bit more in contributions and taxes, democrats giving a little bit more in jacking up the
retirement age. it worked for 30 years. i believe it was from the standpoint of bipartisanship, that it was an issue dear to president obama's heart, that there were more opportunities to see some of that happen. it didn't happen totally in foreign policy. 41 decidedent bush address iraqio aggression in kuwait, both the house and senate were controlled by democrats and both said, no you are not. how many lives is it worth, mr. secretary, to do what you want to do? president bush was wise enough and adroit enough to go out and get the rest of the world on board first and then bring the
congress alone. he wanted the congress, not that he thought he needed it, because he thought he could do it under his commander-in-chief powers, but he wanted the congress to be able to say he had the support of the american people. mr. meacham: mr. president, you took power in -- [applause] mr. meacham: 16 years after the reagan-bush 41 era. pretty clearly, something periodd in the 1990-1994 , the rise of gingrichism and the revolt against 41 in 1990. how much of secretary baker's description of washington was true for you when you came to power and how much does it sound like we are describing thermopylae? mr. obama: not much.
jim,, let me complement not only for the extraordinary work being done here at the institute, as well as the ambassador and all those who support what you are doing. i had a chance to meet some of the young people who are interning here, the excitement that they have about the serving their country in various ways got me excited and expired -- and inspired. jim fort me complement the extraordinary service he rendered the country. i had the pleasure of visiting briefly this afternoon. you, jon, inhis to the book that you wrote, and i continue to believe it.
when it comes to foreign policy, the work that president george h sideh did with jim at his as deft,portant and and as effective a set of foreign policy initiatives as we saw in recent years. credit fore enormous navigating the end of the cold .ar one of the challenges when you are president or working for a don't getis you credit when nothing happens. and nothing happening is good a lot of times.
what i would say -- and what i'm saying here is not particular -- by the time i took office, there were a number of trends that had started to advance what commentators are calling the great sorting. , when jimn by that is arrives in washington in 1981, you still had a whole bunch of , many ofive democrats them from the south. you had republicans, many from the north, who were extraordinarily liberal on environmental issues or civil rights issues on a whole range of topics.
scientists use to angry about the fact that american parties don't make any sense. there's just this hodgepodge of various interest groups that are all kind of stuck together. there's not always any rhyme or reason for it. that wasdvantage of that you had overlapping ideological spectrum so there democrats who you would have a conversation with who would put pressure on tip o'neill and say, if i'm trying to keep my seat in tennessee, you are going to have to give a because reagan is really popular down there. conversely, democrats will have
the fact that they have to reach across the aisle because they have the same view on certain issues. there are a range of reasons why that changed. some of it had to do with, frankly, the shift in the media, cyclee in 1981, your new thestill governed by stories that were going to be post,by ap, washington maybe new york times, and the three broadcast stations. whether it was cronkite, brinkley, what have you, there was a common set of facts, a baseline around which both adapt and respond to. office, what take you increasingly have is a media
environment in which, if you are a fox news viewer, you have an entirely different reality than if you are a new york times reader. it means the basis of each respective party had become more ideological. it means that, because of gerrymandering, members of sureess now are entirely they will win their seat if they get the nomination. what they have to worry about is, do i have somebody from farther to my right or farther to my left that is going to run against me in a primary? they are not then able to stray from whatever the party line has become. you have folks like limbaugh and others who are enforcing what they consider to be ideological
purity of some sort. with thecombine that perpetual campaign that is fueled by highly ideological, what youthy donors, had by the time i arrived was a congress that has difficulty getting out of campaign mode and into government. we saw that even when we were in worst financial crisis since the great depression. bad for charlie crist down in florida, the governor, hugely popular, that hadn't gotten the memo that he wasn't supposed to cooperate supported the thevery act at a time when
economy was contracting faster than it did right after the crash in 1929. the poor guy, he's looking at it saying, this is good for florida , our housing market is tanking, i've got to make sure we shore things up. we need the federal help, this makes sense. i think the fact that i gave him a little bro hug, that was it. [laughter] mr. meacham: typhoid mary. mr. obama: i felt bad for the causecause he became a limbaugh, fox the news media world, which is how marco got elected, essentially saying you are not a true believer.
i think the challenge we continue to have -- it has gotten worse, not better, now with the internet and all these things taking place. one of these things you discover as president is that the post-world war ii order that was fdr, truman, and ,isenhower, and george marshall that that basic notion of liberal -- not liberal in partisan terms, but a pluralistic, liberal, law-baseded, rule of democracy and those sets of universal principles
and republican leaders believed in those things. and that was the running thread 1945, all the way through reagan. mete were certain ideas jim, regardless of how it was viewed, whether it was far right or right, there were certain ideals you assumed you had to follow because that was part of american leadership in the world and it was part of what made us a great country. those are now being contested, in part because of the fact that we don't have this common base of information, and i think the biggest challenge we will have over the next 10, 15, 20 years is to return to a civic conversation in which if i say this is a chair, we agree that
it is a chair. [laughter] we can disagree on -- [applause] >> we can disagree on whether it is a nice chair, whether you would like to replace the chair, move it over there, but we cannot say it is an elephant. >> at that we were against obama chair. [laughter] >> that was a good chair, by the way. [laughter] they tried to move at this last election but they didn't have a good time. [applause] [laughter] president obama: anyway. but i do -- one thing i realized when i got to congress, which is part of the reason i didn't stay very long -- [laughter] , and i am making a great
generalization, there are some wonderful people in congress. but the fact is, members of congress are from early motivated around keeping their seat. >> yes, and it is getting worse and worse. >> i cannot tell you how many times during my presidency i would have former colleagues of mine in the senate who are good people, and sensible people, come up and say, mr. president, i would love to help you, but i would get killed doing this. and i think that kind of pressure, jim, i may be it didn, it was not as not exist, at least not on every vote. once in a while get an ideological vote where the leader would come in and say, look, we are -- you have to toe
the line here. but that was not on every single item, in the way it is today. >> i totally agree with that, mr. president. another way to say that, is that perhaps the responsible center in american politics has disappeared. and that is because of the -- [applause] jim: it is due to a lot of things. we are a pretty eagerly divided country. we do have a constitutional requirements to redistrict. if you live in a state dominated by republicans, they will draw more and more safe districts on the right. and for democrats, more and more safe districts on the left. people go in washington today to represent us in congress and they longer take their families up there. there is no longer any social interaction in washington
between the two parties. and the next to last thing, you have the advent of the internet. but is what really makes it easy to be divisive. divisiveness cells. comity doesn't best divisivenessse -- divisiveness sells. comity does not sell. if someone says something outrageous, they can get on tv. problemly, part of this is the responsibility of the media. our media today are no longer objective reporters of the facts the way they were when i was there. [applause] are come as you pointed out, they are players. you tune into fox news, you think you are listening to the house organ of the republican
party to read on msnbc, you would know you are listening to the house organ of the .emocratic party fmr. president obama: but you seek a my change that around -- those kind of slick moves are what made baker so effective as a -- [laughter] obama: that is exactly right. jim: trying to say cnn, not msnbc. -- the observation you made about not moving family there, when i was senator, i did not move my family there, in part for healthy reasons, which is a lot espouse is now have careers. was like, yo, i got a job. but part of it, jim, i think is
a -- the there is perpetual campaign that takes place, which puts enormous pressure on every member of congress. they know they were being watched every minute, being scorecard it and graded by whatever ideological group is there every single minute. they don't feel like they can afford to be away from -- if they move your family, someone will say, the guy has gone to washington and he doesn't believe that we are important anymore. you create this hothouse folks are in which running scared all the time. the ability to step back and reflect and compromise, is
reduced. now, i will say that the gerrymandering issue is a jim, unlikeblem, some of these issues. work are larger forces at but are also creating this great issue. hasave an economy that created differences of opportunity and urban versus rural areas, for example. those trends, because of technology, globalization and a will bunch of forces probably not reverse themselves anytime soon, and that has created divides in the country. but gerrymandering is one thing you can actually solve. california shifted to a nonpartisan independent commission that carries out gerrymandering. proponentlly a strong
and have been supportive of eric holder's efforts to try to get more states to adopt a non- wayisan -- in nonpartisan to do that. and i say that as -- when it comes to gerrymandering, it is absolutely true that democrats do the same thing republicans do. if they are in control, they will try to maximize the number of seats they have, and vice versa. we are in texas, by the way, which is a champion of some gerrymandering. it is a fundamentally , becauseatic approach essentially what happens, the elected official chooses the voters, rather than the other way around. -- when people ask me what are a few things that can be done to improve the functioning of government, this
is an area where you can actually have an impact and in some states, you are seeing referendums in which the average voter gets it. any think this is an important thing. [applause] jim: i agree with you. i agree with you that if we could get to the point that independent commissions would draw our district lines, it would be wonderful. the problem with that, mr. president, is that it means taking power out of the hands of the politicians. i don't know where it is going to work. i know it is beginning to work in california. fmr. president obama: you just had a referendum in michigan pass this. it are seeing citizen initiative behind this because in part, they recognize what is currently in place is not working. one thing i will say, my observations during the time i
,as in the white house sometimes we make the mistake of that the problem has to do with the people who are there. out, itck all the bums will get fixed. don't getsome bums, me wrong, who need to get kicked out. i will not mention names, i am sure you have a list, i have a list. some of them overlap. >> some just got reelected. [laughter] fmr. president obama: right. this, if youll you don't change of the incentive structures and the underlying dynamics, then we will continue to see these problems. good people will burn out and get discouraged. and voters will continue to be
frustrated. what it does is leave a vacuum for those who garner attention through the most divisive, controversial alt-right -- divisive, controversial, outlandish statements. often, whate surprises me most about the presidency? it is the degree to which the united dates underwrites the international order. it is not always in the obvious ways. but if there is a problem around the world, people do not call moscow, the do not call beijing, the call washington. even our adversaries expect us to solve problems, and expect us to keep things running. start getting dysfunction in washington, which is difficult for decisions to get made, and policy making to
run in an orderly process. what is one of our greatest assets, which is an extraordinary civil service, right, career staff, say at the state department, when that begins to get undermined, that does not just weaken our influence, it provides the opportunities for disorder to start ramping up all around the world, and ultimately makes us less safe and less prosperous. so do we have a stake in making sure we have our act together enough? everybody else, whether they admit it or not, tends to follow our lead. >> and there is a line between heson,ddison -- dean ac , toge marshall, jim baker secretary clinton and secretary
kerry. that was a coherent conversation among secretaries of state. it could be possibly over here on this ekstrom, but it was a butrent -- on the spectrum, it was a coherent conversation. pastyou surprised in the 24 or 28 months or so, to see baltimore -- he is rt, i am not going to say his name. jim: who is that? voldermort. fmr. president obama: you have to read harry potter to your kids. an extraordinary coalition with madrid itself, the peace conference, those institutions throughtty effective this man's presidency.
i am not just being clever, over the last bill could years, we have began to fear the breakdown of those institutions. agency that coming? jim: i did not see that coming. i tend to agree with you. i certainly agree with you, and then the the president would agree with you on this, american leadership in the world is absolutely imperative. no other country can do it. everybody expects us to lead. [applause] everybody expects us to lead and we won the cold war because every president, from harry truman through george h.w. bush was steadfast, whether they were democrats or republicans. he won the cold war, because we ouralliances that leveraged power and that we could rely on. and those alliances were evidenced by nature, of course,
but by our security agreements with japan and korea, in the economic sphere. the world bank, the imf, so on and so forth. those institutions were created by americans in order for us to do what the rest of the world needed to have done, and what was good for america. and i think it is still good for america. i don't think we ought to be denigrating those institutions, or attacking them. do they need some of them, reformation? absolutely. as someone who spent a lot of time working with the imf -- there is a good one, the u.n. -- there is another good one, even nato, this president is right in one respect, for sure. our european allies need to pay their way. and they have agreed to pay. should not be required forever
to pick up the top on that. but these institutions make america stronger and we ought not to be running them down [applause] . [applause] jon: mr. president, you first. .ere is an exam question assess the validity of this statement, if you would. american politics between 1933 , can be understood as the kind of conversation between franklin roosevelt and ronald figurative conversation. but the field on which we made most of our domestic and foreign decisionsreign policy was regarding the use of force against, and rebels in -- and foes. the moment between your leaving
the white house and now, feels like an incoherent part of that story. [applause] do you agree that you govern in a world that was basically shaped by those american traditions, and if you agree, how does one go about recovering and restoring the conversation? fmr. president obama: i think it is correct. despite all the differences -- i was listening to jim talk about tip o'neill and ronald reagan going at it. the truth is that during that period you described, the band of american politics was pretty narrow, compared to most other countries. there was a broad consensus around a number of core issues and principles. and there is a reason why i was example,le asking, for
robert gates to stay on as my pot dust my secretary of we were still in the middle of the local wars. there was a reason why i could baker about aim particular issue comfortably. it wasn't a strain, it was because we had a common baseline of assumptions and values around certain issues. i think what is also true, is about consensus was hugely beneficial to the united states, and that over the course of the , it wasld war ii era hugely beneficial to the world. it doesn't mean we did not screw up or make mistakes, were not hypocritical or self-interested. there were nationstates governed by politicians, and so the world
world had all kinds of opportunities and various junctures to say oh, the united states is supporting folks who are not democrats, they are doing things for convenience, all those things. period,he end of this years, the it 60, 70 world was wealthier, less violent, healthier, more tolerant, more democratic. the average person's life chances were improved across the board. and yet, billions of people -- the chinese, essentially, were free riders on the system we built and lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. justifiable for us
now to want them to stop writing freeree -- stop riding for , another your status has changed. but here is what is also true. , andis also true is that this is true for any political system, any consensus that over time, contradictions appear, and there are things that were not tended to. in the united states, one of the ,ajor fault lines in america was always race. towardshalting leaps laws and our customs, and our culture so that we were more likely, at least, to live up to the ideals of the
declaration of the independence, and the notion that we are all created equal. despite not getting there. but as we started doing that -- now, as we started doing that, the consensus starts weakening. that is why when lyndon johnson signed the civil rights act of 1964, the first thing he says is -- we just lost the south for the rest of my lifetime, maybe more. because he understood that part of that old consensus had tamped down this big contradiction which is, we talk a lot about democracy, but we are not treating everybody the same. reason-- what are the everybody could get along pretty good in congress in a 1957 or 1965 was that there weren't any women there to a -- what you guys are doing -- women there to say: "what you guys are doing is
stupid!" [laughter] [applause] fmr. president obama: suddenly women show up in the start questioning things, and suddenly men are uncomfortable. it changes consensus. same with lgbt issues. so within the united dates, we had a whole range of issues that were not being addressed as they come up, which is a healthy thing. it can be varied -- they could not be buried. suddenly, that consensus felt uncomfortable. when it comes to the economy, part of what happens is that the -- where you actually had a consensus between bill clinton, george h.w. bush, george w. bush and certainly ,lements of my administration
when we wanted to get the transpacific ridership done -- ,rans-pacific partnership done we did not fully address the fact that although net-net, the whole world was doing better because of mobilization, the internet, global supply chains, there were folks whose factories were being closed and suddenly found themselves to be redundant workers. you suddenly had a winner , where back iny the 1960's, the ceo may be made 10 times more than the guy on the assembly-line, and now it is 200 or 200 times. and the capacity of nationstates to regulate global capital so that they have some control and say, let us speed things up, slow things down, that is ease the transition for commodities
that are being hurt by -- transition for communities that are being hurt by whether it is automation or competition. that becomes harder to do because everybody is worried theirwhethe what orderly reports will look like on wall street. that creates contradictions. i think what we -- i think a legitimate critique of that , you know, i consider myself to be a part of -- and still believe it -- that we did to thept quickly enough fact that there were people being left behind. and that frustrations were going to flare up. that all of these changes that were happening were happening really quick, and you had to address them and speak to them.
[applause] in those environments, you start getting a politics that says, that person is not like me. you start getting the politics of nationalism. [applause] you start getting the kind of politics that does not allow for compromise, because it is based emotions.s and jim: identity politics. which isident obama: why, by the way, when i hear people say they don't like
identity politics, i think it is important to remember that identity politics does not just apply one it is black people, .ay people, women, no the folks are really originated identity politics were the folks , all that3/5 clause stuff. that was identity politics. that is still out there. maybe there was a bit too controversial for houston, but -- [laughter] jim crow was identity politics. that is where it started. happened ishat is that when people feel their status is being threatened, they react. what i would agree with is that the washington consensus, whatever you want to call it, got a little too comfortable with -- there are only looking at gdp numbers and looking at
the internet, and everything is looking pretty great, particularly after the cold war. after what you guys engineered, jim, you had this period of smugness of the on the part of america and american elite, saying, we have this figured out. you remember the book that came out? jim: the end of history. that came to bite us in the back. sorry,esident obama: guys. i should have thrown a joke in there, or something. [laughter] mr. secretary, what would you want us to remember the most about your public service legacy? jim: you mean what are my most proud of about my public service legacy? i suppose, i am most proud of the fact that i have the privilege of serving two
presidents of the united states .s chief of staff i had the privilege of being secretary of the treasury. i had the privilege of being secretary of state. i had the privilege of running for presidential campaigns three republican presidents and spending 12 years in washington, and in leaving washington unindicted. [laughter] [applause] fmr. president obama: that was something there, good job, sir. i give you credit. [laughter] jon: i think susan gets the credit for that, or. but -- mr. president, what about you? fmr. president obama: he stole my answer! -- 'm a look
jon: after your eight years, what do you want us to think of yourn terms presidency? fmr. president obama: there are obvious the accomplishments that i am extraordinary proud of and believe deeply in. i think the affordable care act was an important, it was a starter, but it was smarter,the path to a more rational health care system where we are not spending six than other, 10% more countries for worse outcomes. i was excited hillary proud best extraordinarily proud of the paris accords. -- i was extraordinarily proud of the paris accords. i know we are an oil country and we need american energy. and by the way, american energy production, you would not always it went up every
year i was president. [applause] wholeresident obama: that dust suddenly america is the iggest oil producer -- um, that was me, people. so -- [laughter] [applause] fmr. president obama: sometimes you go to wall street and people are grumbling about antibusiness. i said, have you checked where your stocks were when i came? what are you talking about? what are you complaining about? just say thank you, please. [laughter] because i want to raise your taxes 2% to make sure kids have a chance to go to school? all those things -- i really auld put a secondary
variation of what jim said, which is, michelle and i am our girls, we came out in tact. and what i mean -- we came out intact. i mean that the core values we brought into the office, pretty homespun values, to tell the try to see the other person's point of view, treat people kindly and with respect, through,, think things -- we were able to sustain that in a difficult environment for sustain. indicted,id i not get but nobody in my administration got indicted. [applause] which by the way, was the only
administration in modern history that that can be said about. in fact, nobody came close to being indicted. partly because the people who joined us were there for the right reasons. serve. there to but i guess there is a larger point to that, and i am in the process of writing right now. the first time i was in the oval office, was actually after had been elected. i had been -- i had been to the white house but i hadn't been to the oval office. but the tradition is, shortly after the election, the current president invites his successor in. over, laura was with michelle, they could not be more gracious.
and i have to make the point that they had set up a transition process that was andless and generous thoughtful so that every member staff had made themselves available to the person who would be taking their place, and had prepared manuals and books about how things work. , despite the political differences, which were real and recognized, they there was a valley above those differences. above those a value differences. when i walked into the oval office, there was a reverence there for that office. that is independent of you.
that, thendon't feel he should not be there. because -- [applause] fmr. president obama: because a lot of fights, a lot of sacrifices, a lot of what should is represented -- a lot of bloodshed is represented in that office. ,ot just soldiers at iwo jima in selma, in -- maids it is workers at a coal mine, it is farmers in the dust bowl. vessel are carrying that . and i never lost that reverence for that office.
everyday i would come and i would say, i am going to make mistakes, they will be decisions , compromises -- jim knows this, when you are in that office, there is never such a thing as 100% solution, because by definition, if it was easy to solve, somebody else would have solved it. there comes to you unless is nowhere else for an answer. you have to have a part of you. the bushes had that. ronald reagan had that. bill clinton had that. man, this is, sacred. this is important. and there is a civic religion and a set of ideals and not getes that we will perfect, but we should strive to perfect. and that, i think, is something
i never lost throughout the time i was there. my staff -- we used to put stickers on people's binders and ,olders and guarded them because you have to be realistic. but you cannot be nihilistic. whether you are president, secretary of state or a young staffer who is there for the first time. jon: i would like to close, if i may, by giving ronald reagan the last word. from here in secretary baker's office, there is a picture of that chief of staff -- secretary of treasury of the time, baker, sitting next to reagan. was taken by david hume, the great political
photographer, in 1987. reagan looks a little puzzled and in reagan's wonderful handwriting, these fiction reads -- dear jim, i look like i am lost, but not worried. you will straighten it out like you always do. ronald reagan." i think i speak for all of us when i think secretary baker and president obama, because they have straightened out a lot for us. thank you. fmr. president obama: thank you very much. [applause] [raucous applause] announcer: here's a look at our live coverage wednesday. on c-span come of the house is back at noon for legislative
business. several bills including one that would direct the commerce secretary to conduct a study on development of internet connected devices in the u.s. agenda.on the prime minister theresa may takes questions from members of the house of commons as 7 a.m. two.rn on c-span later, the senate returns to continue debate on the nomination of the deputy commerce secretary. on c-span3, acting epa administrator, andrew wheeler, sit down with the washington post to talk about environmental parties for this administration. and later, a house oversight hearing on the management of federal reasons with the justice department's inspector general and the head of the federal your of prisons. -- federal bureau of prisons. >> sunday on q&a, we visit the washington library at mount vernon for the 2018 debate program, featuring historians. discussi