tv Charlie Rose PBS October 28, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with the head coach of the ohio state university college football team urban meyer. >> the last three games, we were 6 point underdog, with alabama double digit underdog and final game at least a touchdown underdog and our players thrived on it. it was illogical to do what we did with third street quarterback, significant injuries. we endured tragedy, a player on our team committed suicide the week before a big game. there were so many reasons why we should not the b doing what we were doing. the inner workings of this team, i've not been around anything like that before. >> rose: we conclude with david holbrooke, his new film, "the diplomat," about his father
richard holbrooke. >> the memorial was epic, this array of washatonians, sat on stage with hillary clinton, barack obama, president clinton and all these other people and i saw him as an historic figure for the first time. >> rose: college football and richard holbrooke when we continue. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: american express. >> rose: additional funding provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: urban meyer is here.
he is the head football coach at ohio state university. the buckeyes are the defending national champion. meyer is one of only two coaches to win a national championship at two different schools. he previously won two titled at the university of florida ohio state defeated oregon 42-20 in the first off college football plaif in the season. that improbable run was made possible by the arm of a third string quarterback. he writes about the team and much more in "above the line: lessons in leadership and a life from a championship season." i am pleased to have him at this table for the first time, welcome. great to have you here. >> thank you. >> rose: let's talk about the title "above the line." y did it come from? >> i have a leadership consultant, became very close, used him with my team and staff, named tim kite. we have the exact same philosophy on life and it came about when we talked about every day there's a line in life you live either above it or below
it, and above it is clear, intentional and purpose, and below the line is impulsive and on auto pilot. the clientele we're dealing, with 18-22-year-olds, you have to live your life above that line and it's not easy. it's very difficult. >> rose: is there a place for spontaneity, for instinct, for acting in the moment? >> absolutely, but it has to be taught instinct. there is also in the book called ten eighty ten. ten are people that have self discipline and incredible work ethic. their spontaneity is right on target. impulsive behavior is not good most of the time. for highly trained people which i like to think our players are, hopefully spontaneity put them in the right position. >> rose: in an interesting way, some of the best jazz musiciamusicians have been well schooled in every aspect of music and jazz and spontaneity
is something they can do to because they have a grounding in good music. >> i agree 100%. a football player is a different skill set but a highly trained football player is no different than a highly trained jazz musician. highly trained, taught to perform above the line and spontaneity. as long as they're well-trained, i'm into it. >> rose: do you teach a lot of fundamentals? your predecessor used to say three yards and a cloud of dust. >> fundamentals are the backbone of what we teach. i love the way you put that, that some of the elite performers are spontaneous. you can't coach what some of the incredible athletes do. >> rose: nor can you coach all the things that will happen to them on the field. >> that's right. you have to have a toolbox we fill with fundamentals, prepare you and let you play with reckless abandon. >> rose: reminds me the story about ben hogan who was
somewhere out in a store they tell from texas and trying a shot from behind a tree and it was a very difficult shot. they said, ben, why do you spend so much time on that? you never have had to hit that shot. he said some day i will and i want to be ready. >> that's right. >> rose: tell me about the championship season. some people thought oregon were going to beat you. >> last three games we were six underdog against alabama, i think we were double digit underdog and in the final game a touchdown underdog. it was illogical to do what we did with a quarterback with significant injuries, a young player committed suicide a week before the big ten championship game. there are so many reasons why we should not do what we were doing, but the inner workings of this team, i'm not quite sure i had been around that before.
>> rose: because they came together? >> because the genuineness, might sound cliche, but they loved each other and cared about each other and the whole moment was not to let each other down. we worked hard at it. >> rose: that's what they teach in the military. >> exactly, and we use, as often as possible, examples from the united states military because they're respectable and is there another greater form of motivation to have people do what they don't want to do for love of country and each other? there is nothing quite like it? and you can teach this. >> no doubt you can teach it. i can't teach it by myself. i have a group of leaders, don't call them assistant coaches, they're unit leaders, their job is to get their unit to perform at maximum capacity. they did it last year and we're getting close to it this year. >> rose: to what?
maximum capacity. nine units are operate agent full capacity. >> rose: you're getting close to maximum performance. >> maximum compass tivment there is still something left and our players know it. they know we're not hitting on all cylinders, but we don't have to yet. >> rose: you should never play -- or should you -- play to the limit of your game? in other words, you should play within your game, i'm trying to say, i think. >> well, if you're trying to say the level of competition, you're right, we need to perform at -- >> rose: no, i mean you need always to have something extra to push through at times that you will have to have it. >> absolutely, and that's the term we use is maximum capacity. there is always something left in the tank, and if you pull everything you can out of the tank like the last three games last year, that's when magic happens. >> rose: what do you look for in terms of well-rounded, in
terms of being fully-developed human beings at that age? >> the number one thing i look for is a competitive spirit. if you are a competitor and a person of competitive spirit and character, you can teach that person to move mountains. what i mean, the greatest competitor i've ever coached is tim tebow. if you ever played checkers, basketball, free-throws or ping-pong, you're not getting out of that game unless he wins. that's how competitive he is and everything he does and his level of competitiveness, i he's stro. >> rose: he has a strong religious component. >> he truly goes to work every day with a purpose. >> rose: and i don't personally know him, but i would ask the question why hasn't he delivered in the pros? >> that's one of the greatest
phenophenomenons. i'm not a pro coach. >> rose: but you know. why hasn't he delivered? >> maybe it's a skill set, they don't run the plays like in college. it has nothing to do with competitive spirit. >> rose: he's tried as hard as he possibly could. >> yes. >> rose: is it a lack of skill in throwing the football? >> that's what i'm hearing. >> rose: this is the guy who think is the greatest football player you've ever coached, coached him for two championship seasons. >> i think used the right way, i think he can. >> rose: so if you were a pro coach today and he was available, you would want him as your quarterback? >> in a second. >> rose: but he can't throw the ball like so many other pro quarterbacks. he's not tom brady or peyton manning. >> in the history of college football, he's the second most efficient passer of all time. >> rose: so help me understand
why he can't pass in pros. >> i do believe the program is much different than the college. to speak on the program, i can't, i'm not an expert. >> rose: yes, you can. you know. i mean, if it's teachable, he would have learned, or it's something he could have learned to do. >> and he's worked with belichick and chip kelly, two of my favorite coaches. >> so, therefore, your conclusion is? >> oh, my goodness. >> rose: come on. you asked me a question that's much more easy to answer, if i went to the pros, i would get tim in a new york second. >> rose: because he's a winner. >> he's a winner and brings people with him. >> rose: but he had a chance in the pros, several times. so if tim called you up today and said, coach, you and i had some great times together, you know, you were there for peand i was there for you and we won, what do i do?
what would you say? >> we have had that conversation. he's had opportunities to move on. we've had many heart-to-heart conversations. >> rose: what do you tell him in. >> keep swinging as hard as he possibly can. i think now that this final chapter, i think maybe his pro opportunities will diminish and maybe will never happen again, unfortunately, but i tell him that he's got to look out for himself. it's more specific when he calls me about an opportunity in the 1/2. i don't want to see him go into a situation where he has no chance of success. >> rose: tell me about florida state and you. >> florida? >> rose: florida. florida state was a rival. >> rose: bobby was there at florida state when you were there. >> very close to bobby. love him. >> rose: i did a "60 minutes" profile with him. >> great person. florida we had a great run, six
years there. won two championships, had a tremendous experience. i always loved florida. there is a special place in my heart always for the florida gators. >> rose: well, we all know your story there. i asked you this morning, you know, what happened before you took a year off? a year off -- you that you had taken a year off, you decided to invest in leadership and find coaches and leaders you admire and find the common denominator so you could learn and pass it on, this book and other places. but what led you to that? what happened? that's what i want to know, in your words, not somebody else's. >> well, we were having tremendous success. we were in a 22-game win streak and a great friend of mine was the head coach of northwestern. randy walker passed away of a heart attack at a young age.
i started having significant chest pains and every year i would get checked out by the heart cardio people and they would come back and say your heart is fine. i knew i didn't feel right. >> rose: you did the stress test. >> inside, outside, especially the third year when it got really bad. i had a bad episode one night. i went down. 911 call. >> rose: you went down in your own home and your wife found you on the floor? >> yes, it was a bad situation. >> rose: because you almost died? because? >> well, i don't want to go there because i don't know. you know, i just did not feel right and i felt i was putting my family in harm's way. and i started evaluating why. why am i doing this. that's when the question started coming back is, you know, get away from this. if this is going to kill you, get away from this. >> rose: you were neglecting your health? >> in a bad way. >> rose: even though you were getting checkups. >> yeah, and i've always been a good workout guy, eat well,
always. >> rose: you stopped working out? >> yeah. >> rose: because you wanted to win and you felt it was necessary to spend all the time to win. >> charlie, get four hours of sleep, take two ambien, drink a beer just to get four hours sleep. >> rose: you had to take ambien and chug it with a beer to get four hours' sleep? >> yes. >> rose: that's a warning signal there. >> big time. i felt god was tap meg on the shoulder and say you need to step away. >> rose: he put you on the floor to tell you. >> yes. >> rose: where was your wife in this? >> we have a very close family. my daughter was at georgia tech at the time and she heard the 911 call and she came home and lost it, and that's when i made the decision to step away. it was too much for my family. i want them not to have to worry about their phatter. >> rose: what did the alumni of florida say? >> they were great up at the point when i left. florida struggled a little bit
afterwards and everybody was very supportive. the feedback i got was great. the a.d. and president were outstanding. they were trying to give me all the help possible but saw what was going on. i am extremely close with the a.d., jeremy, as of today, extremely supportive. when i made the decision, they were very supportive of that as well. >> rose: do you think bill belichick is a little bit like you are, obsessed? >> i know he is. he's a very good friend. so is billy donovan, my neighborhood. coach duke called me and -- >> rose: he had a problem with his back. >> wasn't necessarily his back. we had a long conversation about it? what did he tell you? >> he said he built a beast he couldn't feed. >> rose: sounds like mike. and mike used almost the exact same quote, this monster from texas, you win a national championship and your whole
focus, you lose perspective on everything other than feeding the beast, and that happened to me. >> rose: to be number one in college football. >> much more than that. >> rose: to be what? perfect. >> rose: what's perfect? perfect in florida is they never had an undefeated season. we almost didt. we went 22 straight 12 and 0 and when we lost the game to alabama, the perfection was shattered and everything you worked for so hard was gone. >> rose: you felt you were a failure because you weren't perfect? >> i wouldn't necessarily say that. >> rose: what would you say? yeah, i think we failed. >> rose: failed? we failed. >> rose: 22 and 0 and you failed? >> we failed. >> rose: madness, as you know. it was madness. it was out of control. >> rose: i mean, there are stories about this, about coaches who sleep at the gym and coaches who fall asleep watching film and all that stuff. >> you have a good reputation as a grinder, too. (laughter)
i did a little homework on you. some people would -- >> rose: what would they say? you're a perfectionist, and that you work till you can't anymore and that isn't necessarily healthy all the time. i really believe and so does everybody with common sense, there has to be some kind of balance in your world. we're not created -- >> rose: this is about you and not me, but i fervently believe that i probably work too hard. i fervently believe that. but i also believe in terms of having a well-rounded life and doing a whole lot of other things, i really do. so playing sports isn't boredom to me. i understand -- i'm 24-7 but not -- >> imagine that being gone for you. that was gone from me for that period of time. everything you just said, i let it -- there was nothing there other than the relentless pursuit of perfection. >> rose: and i actually
believe in the relentless pursuit of perfection, i really do. i believe in doing and being as good as you possibly can and to know that you do what you do as good as anybody in the world is a rather comforting feeling, but at the same time it cannot be the thing that drives your life. >> i agree. >> rose: how did you recover? i stepped away and took a year off. i thought i was done for good when i stepped away. about two months into it, i went on a walk with my wife, who we're extremely close, and i said, i can't t do this and i ms it so bad. she said, you're nuts. please give it time. i'm close enough with my children and we're old enough to talk, 20, 25 years old. i was all set to go on tv. i loved it. >> rose: you did good too. i had a great team. i had plenty of opportunities. people would call.
then my home school called from the state of ohio and they went through the complete -- the program lost seven games and all kinds of things -- >> rose: they called and said we need you, only you can do this for us and we're family, you have roots here and it's your home and you need to give back to your home. >> yeah, that's kind of how it took place, yeah. >> rose: of course it is. and so you decided to go back. then the question becomes did you change the way you behave when you went back? >> right. >> rose: did you? absolutely, i did. and it's a challenge every day. it's staying above the line is every day. i have a lot of mechanisms now in my life that, to say i'm perfect, absolutely i go below that line. >> rose: exactly, but you just said to me the goal this year is to be perfect and you're not perfect. you're 8 and 0 but you're not
perfect. >> i never said the goal was tore perfect. >> rose: i thought you said this year. >> no, better and better. maximum capacity. everybody give all they can. >> rose: the difference between maximum capacity and perfection is the point you want to make. >> a whole different atmosphere. maximum capacity is as good as you possibly can be. >> rose: let's assume it's beyond the obsession with perfection and wherever you are now above the line that you know a whole lot about football, but somehow -- as belichick does, obviously. i mean, i saw the jets yesterday and it was unbelievable to me. i thought the jets were going to play well. they played well the first half, moving the ball again, and all of a sudden in the fourth quarter with five minutes to go, they couldn't stop brady for a second. >> see, i would say that bill belichick, because i know him very well, and chip kelly, they do know football, but they know people. they know the human spirit. that's what i think. i don't like talking about myself, but --
>> rose: i know, i have to pull it out of you. >> to say i'm smarter than another football coach i would disagree. i would say i trust and believe in the human spirit and i focus on getting the most out of people. >> rose: mike says that, getting the maximum about amount out of his players and having the players that can literally, he says, coach on the court. >> that's exactly what we do. we lead. our unit leaders are the assistant coaches and we pick a unit leader of every group and we expect them to lead from within. >> rose: it's motivating people, it's recruiting, as you said. >> right. >> rose: and discipline, above the line. but it's also -- you know something. you know something about the game. >> well, i think i know a lot about the game. >> rose: i thought so, too. i have incredible leaders and mentors that have guided me and i do, i love football.
i love the strategic part of it. to say i don't study it and spend immense time with it, but i have been around some incredible people with knowledge of the game of football that can't get out of their own way, just because they can't transfer that knowledge to the player and get the player to go at maximum capacity. >> rose: that's one of the reasons that some great baseball, basketball players cannot become great coaches. >> i agree. >> rose: they have extraordinary talent but can't communicate what it is they have to other young men and women. >> sometimes, really most of the time, the greatest coaches are the ones who struggle athletically because they had to work so hard for everything they had. >> rose: and they knew what exactly it is they wanted but couldn't get there. >> i agree with that. >> rose: so what do you want to do with your life now? >> i want to can't to build teams and watch young people have -- do things they never thought they would do. >> rose: and what did you
learn when you went and talked to all of these people about -- not just about leadership but about life? >> i was on the journey for two reasons, because when i was younger, before i became a head coach in florida and ohio state, you get in a co a cacoon because you're afraid people will steal what you know. bob stoops was a good friend. he went to work late friday to take his children to school. in the day, you were soft if you did that. i went on a mission about can you have balance in your life and i wanted to find out what made the great programs. from chip kelly, mike brown, bob stoops to bill belichick, they can't be more different people and the programs are different, but the common denominator, the alignment from championship kelly's greatest gift is not the offense, it's the ability to
make them believe within his organization this is the bay way to do it. bill belichick's greatest gift is he has everyone within the organization, from the person that cleans the place to the place -- from tom brady all the way down is that everyone believes bill belichick's system is the way to do it, so i call that enlightenment. >> rose: that's true about phil jackson, too. >> top to bottom. and it's a full-time job to get everybody to believe in that consistently. it's so fluid. people are leaving your program, coming in. >> rose: bill check is a defensive genius. you are a what genius? >> i wouldn't like to use the word genius. >> rose: you are good at... motivating. >> rose: are you offensive? offensive is my specialty. >> rose: you created this. spread offense. our spread offense. >> rose: and explain that to me. >> it's all about equating numbers. it's all about not running a bad play. so, for example, they have extra people in the box, you don't -- you run it from spread
formations, force the defense to fin horizontally and vertically, and you need an athletic quarterback helps you with that. >> rose: you like an athletic quarterback, one who can move around and doesn't just go to the pocket? >> yeah, we need an athletic quarterback. >> rose: isn't that the quarterback of today? the new quarterbacks are not brady or peyton manning. >> well, it tells you how hard it is. when you say brady and manning, there is only a couple of them. it's so hard. it's a much different game. i had people come and stand in a pocket against a great team already in practice, and what that quarterback does in two seconds, as far as check and protections, knowing where everybody's at. >> rose: explain that, what does a quarterback have to do? >> be an exceptional leader and clarity of purpose. he takes the snap and, within two seconds, against
six-foot-six, 270-pound men trying to rip your head off you need to identify the defense, make sure the protection is correct, the offensive line is protected, because it's so complicated, that part of the game, have a movement key, deliver the ball on time, all within two seconds. the ball is snapped, you take the ball in your hands, identify the movement key, deliver the ball. one of the hardest skills in football. that's why there is so very few pocket passers that are great. it's such a hard skill. >> rose: why is it -- i mean, i could have told the jets' defense that brady is going to throw at somebody making that kind of move. >> i didn't see it? but they do it all the time. >> sure. >> rose: and they know it's coming. >> he's that exceptional. >> rose: he is. yeah. >> rose: and -- twice, i went and watched the patriots, and he was running the offense. i walked in there and i couldn't believe what i saw. he's running the clicker, the offensive line is there, the receiver is there --
>> rose: and he was not a top draft choice? >> sixth or seventh round. phenomenal. >> rose: what does that say? that says there is an x factor. >> yes. >> rose: in winning. anbell check took a sixth rounder hall of fame quarterback in a system that obviously works. >> rose: we talked this morning about whether we immediate to do something about making it safer. >> right. >> rose: from the n.f.l. to college to high school. >> i was not aware this morning of what happened. i looked it up when i left. horrible. >> rose: incredible. horrible. took my breath away. >> rose: high school. i have a son 16 years old playing high school football, and it's horrible. and i do believe from the bottom of my heart football is as safe as it's ever been and it sounds
almost irrational to the families it happened to. i think we're going to continue. i think the rules are in place to make it a safer game, i think the equipment is safer. but obviously, when things happen -- when you asked me that this morning, i have not in touch. i looked it up when i walked out of the room. it hit home because i have a 16-year-old playing. >> rose: have you seen every game he plays? >> the majority of them. that's above-the-line behavior. >> rose: yes, it is. when's the last movie you went to see? >> every christmas, we do a family movie. my wife makes sure of that. >> rose: the book is called "above the line: lessons in leadership and a life from a championship season." everybody has to find their own balance. they really do, don't they? >> i think you need guidance, though. >> rose: this is a starting point. >> that's my journey. >> rose: this is your journey.
ight. >> rose: why is it so hard for me to get you to tell it? >> i don't like talking about myself. >> rose: but you write about it. hello! >> well, en i think that's -- im not comfortable talk about those things. >> rose: thank you for coming. honor meeting you. >> rose: we'll have to see a game. >> come be my guest. thank you. >> rose: richard holbrooke died suddenly december 13, 2010. he was an american diplomatic, u.n. am barmdz, secretary of state, peace corps officer, investment banker and author and a friend of this show. he appeared close to 50 times. his son david went in search of the father he barely knew. the documentary he has made about him, "the diplomat," airs on hbo monday november 2, marking the 20th anniversary of holbrooke's crowning foreign
policy achievement the dayton peace accords. here's the trailer for the film. >> my father's career as a diplomat spanned 50 years of american foreign policy. >> those who travel in the dangerous areas are taking great risks. but life is always risks. >> the most brilliant, demanding, impitch lent, and those things didn't work with obama. >> he knew where he was going and no one should get in his way. >> i've inquired what's the bottom line? he said it can't work. >> as i went around the world working to understand my father's life and legacy, i realized my father was an historical figure. >> rose: i am pleased to welcome david holbrooke to this table. welcome. >> great to be here, charlie, though a little weird not to have my father here. >> rose: he sat in that seat more than 50 times. >> i wish he were here. >> rose: i know you do. you went in search of your
father. >> yeah, i did. what happened was i sat on the stage, the kennedy center memorial. it was epic. this incredible array of washingtonians, sat on stage are hillary clinton, barack obama, president clinton and all these other people and i saw him as an historic figure for the first time. he had been my father and he was absent, certainly. but when he was around, we had a lot of fun. he loved to go to movies and enjoy himself. but i sat there and to see the president of the united states sit there for two and a half hours and listen to people talk about him really changed my perspective on him, and i talk about that in the film the day before his team, his final teams on afghanistan and pakistan gathered. they told stories about a guy i didn't know. they were talking about the familiarity of traveling with him and his crazy yellow pajamas he wore and all these other holbrooke stories and made me think, who is this guy? so i set off, it was certainly a
journey film. it took me to nine different countries, we interviewed 75 people who knew him in various ways. it's been a remarkable experience. >> rose: you come away from that that he was an historic figure? >> yeah, he really was. his impact on what happened in bosnia, 20 years ago, right now, but not only that, vietnam, china, all these different things that he was involved with and his impact -- you know, i really saw it more from the eyes of these luminaires i sat on stage with to hear these presidents laud him in so many ways. >> rose: one of the interesting things -- i saw him the week before, so maybe the day he came to new york and was at the pup pet library where there was an event, we were attend ago book party for somebody and we walked across to the four seasons and were talking about an appearance on my show and whether the white
house would let him appear and stuff like that. i would say, it's not him, it's you. and he would say, no, it's different. but the point is it was an interesting moment and he was gone. >> gone, and in a way with his boots on. it was striking because he never became secretary of state which is the job he always wanted. he was ambassador to the u.n. he has a lot of great posts but his impact i think was greater than a lot of secretary of state. warren christopher who he worked for in the clinton administration died a couple of months after my father. it wasn't news. it was an obituary, but my father because he was in the game, it was still news. one of the things samantha powers say -- >> rose: you call me and say would you do a book about her book? >> she says richard holbrooke doesn't die. he's the most alive man most of us have ever met. i think that vitality was so shocking to people. but you saw him, he didn't look well. >> rose: i talked to him about
it. >> i'm glad you did. you're a good friend that way. i wish more people had and i wish he had listened but i think he was under such tremendous pressure. he didn't eat well. his office was on the first floor of the state department, down the hall from the cafeteria. that didn't serve him well. he had heart issues, but the big thing was the stress. that was paramount. at that point, do you know anybody who was under more pressure than my father in december of 20 so when you say him? >> rose: because he wasn't sure about what his own future was? >> i think the pressure on him was really coming from the impossible task he had. when he was in the administration, he said, dave,noy how to be secretary of state,noy ehow to be hillary's deputy but they've give men the hardest job in the administration. i asked that question of hillary clinton and she said by many metrics he did have the hardest job. it was hard enough dealing with
the intransigents of pakistan and afghanistan, but he also had enormous pressure coming from the white house and his relationship with them which we explore. >> rose: and he was protect bid the secretary of state -- prospected by the secretary of state. >> who said she saved his job more than twice. >> rose: she did, clearer more than anybody. >> and the constant drum beat of this affection and the frustration that he had both with the white house and the white house had with him was creating an untenable situation. >> rose: the most important thing i can say about him in terms of a friendship being his remarkable record and he wanted to be where the action was and, so, therefore, i suspected, in part, he loved the job that he had in part, even though it was difficult, even though, you know, foreign policy was run from the white house, and he was not exactly in sync with the white house. the most important thing about him, one achievement from
dayton, but he was one of those people that you would have liked as a journalist to see what they would have done as the nation's most important fn official. you know it would have been interesting and different, yet he had this personality that sometimes clashed, often clashed with a range of people, and to see that man as secretary of state would have been a fascinating process. >> not to mention his vision. one of his friends told me he had this unusual ability to be able to see far away but also understand how to get there. >> rose: said about de gaulle. >> and some people can execute or envision, and he could do both. >> rose: hem talk about and show you the film. you interviewed a lot of people. this is dexter and hillary clinton speaking about afghanistan. here it is. >> there was a big gap in our military commitment and our
diplomatic commitment in afghanistan. if we didn't make a full press on the diplomatic front, we wouldn't know whether or not there could be some kind of negotiated ending. >> the military dominated everything that we did. so for your dad to show up, this high-energy, brilliant, funny, engaging diplomat who knew the region and was just ready to push everybody else out of the way, it was really great to see. it was, like, wow, man, we've got the a team here again. >> the a team, i love that. >> rose: the relationship with secretary clinton. >> yeah. it was deep, and i really think that they had known each other through the clinton years. they had stayed in touch when -- during the bush years, and i think she trusted him. you know, she saved his job more than twice. she believed in his ability to
execute, and all the things that he brought to the table and was willing to say there was a richard. he was a difficult person. the day he dade 'do, she tells me in th the film, he came in l. then she said, that was richard. she said, i saved the big chair for him. and secretary of state hillary clinton saves the big chair for my big father so he's comfortable when he comes in and i think it's a remarkably human touch. she says, no, don't sit in that chair, that's holbrooke's chair. i think it's just amazing. his heart starts to go, and she really was a real leader and a real comfort to our family. >> rose: so what happened between that moment and the day he died? >> he got out of the hospital quickly, taken to surgery, a
brilliant pakistani surgeon worked on him 22 hours. he made it through the weekend holding on, but it wasn't pretty. my heart breaks for him because i think he had so much more to say and give. it's one of the reasons i made this film is i felt that america should be hearing from him still, and i think his impressions will bear themselves out in afghanistan. >> rose: did he know he wasn't going to make it? >> i don't think when he went under he knew but he knew it was bad. >> rose: he never came out in. he never was conscious after he went under. i think the notes he'd give ton ton -- given to his aide as they were going to the ambulance, he said, i love so many people, tell david to come down. but what gets me the most is he says my career in public service is over. and in his last moments, wrenching to him, he knew being
carted out of the state department on a stretcher would make the news and that this was going to be the exit ramp for him. >> rose: it's amazing he thought about that. >> well you know him. that was so much of what he cared about, charlie. i think every time it gets me because that was why he did this. look, he had me go, it was certainly a holbrooke thing, but it was also because he believed in public service. he saw john kennedy speak and that never left him. >> rose: what we need in this country and hillary clinton and colin powell and others talked about this, he believed in diplomacy, in afghanistan for the desperate need for diplomacy. there was a definitely need for the united states to use what was in his arsenal but not well enough which with us diplomacy.
>> and secretary clinton and dexter says the military dominated everything. secretary clinton says his ideas and the search of civilians are right on. if you look at the film, there is a muddle of who's in charge in terms of who's making the foreign policy. strobe talbot one of his closest friends, strobe said the same during bosnia was diplomacy backed by force. i think that's the key to the film in afghanistan. it was the day of the generals. we should be asking, who should be making our foreign policy? the diplomats and the generals. >> rose: what did you know about your dad that you didn't know? >> the broad strokes, i understood. i read articles and books about him and all the different accounts of what he achieved.
there was understanding feeling in the details. it's fascinating how people come around a table and make peace and it's remarkable. it's most remarkable in dayton. here we are 20 years later. 20 years later, no shots fired in anger. our troops have been safe and we've maintained a peace. it's a tenuous peace and one of my real hopes with this film is that that is to be examened. here we are 20 years later, significant accomplishment of the clinton administration and i hope americans won't take a lot of american leadership, they will take some and look and make sure that thing keeps the peace as it was intended. >> rose: you quote a letter you wrote to your mother where he says i'm constantly amazed so many military men who had been here so many months can miss so many facts in front of their eyes. >> he had a tremendous respect for the military but ealso felt there was a top heavy thinking there and he saw robert mcnamara come over to vietnam and not only, you know, not get good answers but not even know
what questions to ask. it was a flyover in a way, even though he landed. that drove my father crazy. he also wrote my mother, saying how people cannot make decisions about this place from 12,000 miles away. he believed in the power of being on the ground and you see them in each one of his postings. in vietnam he was there. in 1963 john f. kennedy was still president. in bosnia, he goes there as a private citizen in a national rescue committee and sees firsthand what ethnic cleansing looks like before he's in the government, then does it in afghanistan making trips in 2007 and 2008 to really understand that. when he got in the government he saw the restrictions first hand. he wasn't allowed out of the green zone, his meetings were scheduled with people he didn't feel could tell him things. he wanted to go to refugee camps, food markets, schools, he
wanted to talk to people and he felt that the altitude was a little high for a lot of the conversations he had as a government official as opposed tota private citizen. >> rose: tell me about the secret diary. >> remarkable. it's a remarkable thing because here he is and, you know, in the first, we have the letters to my mother which are beautiful and he's writing for posterity and saying keep these instead of a journal, you hold on to these. in the second act with bosnia, and we have his voice through the book. >> rose: he wrote about his own experiences. >> exactly, the war which he talked about on this show so ol' quintly. in the third act, we had him on this show, different clips of him in a variety of places. when we got the tapes, we got a sense of what he was saying and how frustrated he was that he wasn't able to advance what he felt were really good and important ideas and you can see some of the tensions coming to a head with him and some people in the white house. but there is other stuff in there where he goes to the theater and talks about how
brilliant it is. >> rose: many people think that he also wanted to create his own definition of his place and that a lot of what he said and was, in a sense wanting to be the shepherd of his own legacy. >> i think he did. he was planning to write a book. the week he died, he'd spoken to his literary agent and speaker's agent. he was looking to get out in july 2011. he wanted to accomplish what he could and was going to write a book. he was keeping an audio diary. he said he would be doing this for posterity. i teased him it would be two volumes like churchill. his sensitivity goes back to a kid. i have a quote from an uncle
talking about him writing his autobiography when he was 14, and he said i'm going to write mine before i'm famous. >> rose: this is the audio of richard holbrooke's book to hillary clinton on afghanistan. >> hillary has delivered the all-important memo to the president seeking negotiating roots out of this thing. finally, the president is focused on it. maybe we'll look back on it as one of the most important memos we ever wrote, but that remains to be seen. that's all for tonight. >> rose: that was one of the diary parts? >> yeah, that was. and here he was. i mean, this is pretty late. this is fall of 2010 that he's recording that, and he's still going for it. he really believes he can help shape this and get us out of the store. he knew it was enormously complicated. his idea and there are a lot of people that can speak this better is really there was a grand bargain in all the
regional power. he talked about that with you but he had more of a clarity for it. he gave that to the president. the day he collapsed he had a meeting with david axlerod at the white house and that meeting was to say, hey, i need to talk to the president, give me 15 minutes with him, and i never found out till recently what happened in that meeting. and i talked to les, his close friend, and les said it didn't go well at the white house, i've got to go. and that was the les spoke to him. >> rose: how long was it between that phone call and the collapse? >> half an hour, 45 minutes. >> rose: that close. yeah, it was a meeting at 8:00 a.m. it was full on. he jumped on the phone, told us it didn't go well. but he was an optimist, eternally so, and felt like he could still pull this out, even though the writing was on the wall that he was never going to gain the trust. >> rose: why? different stylistically and
generationally. my father carefully supported, never denigrated president obama during the campaign but had been a supporter. i think he never found his footing there. it's unfortunate because he had a lot to give and he was such a patriot. you know, i've heard multiple times from different people if anybody brought up any criticism of the president in the staff meeting and anywhere else, he stopped that conversation in respect for the president and the chain of command. but he did have a real struggle. as i look at it, it was more personality than policy and that to me sun fortunate. >> rose: roll tape number five, one of richard holbrooke's 50 appearances on this show. here it is. >> i was thinking about this this morning before this program, and, you know, in architecture, you make up your blueprint, you design the whole
building perfectly down to the last little stress beam and then you build it. foreign policy is not like architecture. you have a general concept, you start out -- this was true of dean acheson 50 years ago. you start out, adjust to realities, you have to bring congress along. congress says no, you back up. you have to bring allies along. allies say they want to take this into account, you adjust. you have to deal with the russians, so on. foreign policy is not architecture and it is not pre-written. i don't know the end of this movie now. all i know is that what is happening in kosovo is of tremendous importance not only to the people of kosovo. over there the primary ones concerned, but also the future of the atlantic alliance and america's role in europe. >> what a great clip. my goodness. >> there is so much of that. i tell you two stories, finally. one was told to me about a
member of parliament, rory stewart, i think his name is, who told me that there was a dinner for secretary hillary clinton -- i've forgotten exactly when it took place but had to do with afghanistan policy -- and stewart had traveled through afghanistan on foot and he had written a number of books about it, and richard put him next to secretary clinton because he wanted him to make the argument that richard was interested in her hearing. and stewart told me this, i think, and i think this is reasonably close to what he told me. he basically said, you better convince her or you will never sit next to her again. does that sound like your father? >> very much so. i love hearing him talk about kosovo. i showed the film this summer, and it was amazing. i did the press and local newscast. when i was leaving the country, the border guard said holbrooke. i said yes.
he said, senator richard? i said, yes. he hands me back the passport and shakes my hand and said he's number one here. people said his name was synonymous with hope and freedom. to see that impact and the wonderful clip you showed us, it's tremendous. in kosovo, there are statues. it's really quite a thing. i'm glad that legacy endures today. >> rose: my favorite story about richard holbrooke is he would talk about i've thong from books v movies, books, women, foreign policy, leaders as well. there was a time he wanted me to interview the prime minister of pakistan, the president of afghanistan at the same time. they never appeared together and he wanted me to do it and he set it up. whatever he said to them to get them to do it, i don't know.
but they came together, the first time as far as i know, and we had one interesting conversation between these two people. after that -- and e i thanked h. not knowing where he or secretary clinton had done it, i later saw secretary clinton and i said thanks for putting together and enabling me to interview these two people for the first time and an exclusive conversation with these two men together at the table. she said don't thank me, it was richard. richard insisted we get them to do that. >> sit them down here or somewhere else, and that was his vision, because he also understood, i think, it's people. attend of the day, you have to get people to sit down. i love in the clip the idea of the diplomacy shifting and i thought a lot about president obama's efforts and secretary kerry's efforts on iran, and he would have really respected they went for this. he would have also said i saw secretary kerry speak about this and say it's a good deal.
he didn't say it's a great deal. that imperfection is a hallmark of deploim si. >> rose: no one doubted his skills. some worried about a bull in a china shop, a metaphor. but one thing that i thought was amusing, and i have huge respect for george mitchell who i think is a great american and worked hard, i would have liked to have seen the president make richard holbrooke his middle east envoy and say, look, for all the reasons you want to see this succeed because it's in the interest of peace of the world, for whatever your own ambition is, i'm telling you now, i'm going to give you my authority to go try to make peace in the middle east primarily beginning with the israeli palestinians. and that was my great hope of what obama might do. not knowing whether richard would accept it or not, but it was a challenge up to his skills.
>> look, afghanistan was an enormous challenge. i think the key word you use is authority. that's what he never got from the president, they never had the relationship and president obama never trusted him to say go with it, you're my point man, but then they took away the ball, and i think that was unfortunate for my father, the country and ultimately h this administration, because here we are seven years into what bob woodward calls obama's -- and my father where he stayed in the seat and represented the united states government, he would have been able to air the tick late it in a way nobody could have. >> rose: thank you for coming. thank you. i'm really sorry he's not here. i wish he were here instead of me. thank you for letting me do this. great to be here, charlie. >> rose: thank you. thank you for joining us. see you next time. for more about this program and earlier episodes, visit us online at pbs.org and charlierose.com.