tv MSNBC Live MSNBC November 20, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PST
as it marks the 50th anniversary since president john f. kennedy established the medal of freedom. this week also marking the 50th anniversary since jfk's assassination. as i mentioned, former president bill clinton is among those being honored as well as oprah winfr winfrey, sally ride are among those being honored just moments from now. we'll have live coverage of this service. the medal of freedom ceremony just moments away right here on msnbc. i'm thomas roberts, but we lead off this hour and our agenda with the news of a u.s. congressman pleading guilty to possessing cocaine. this news breaking just in the last hour. freshman florida republican trey radel entered his guilty plea. he was busted in a federal coke sting last month, ratted out by a drug dealer by federal authorities. he swept into office with tea party support and is promising to seek professional help.
nevertheless, nancy pelosi wasted no time claiming republican hypocrisy exists in this interview about buzzfeed. >> it's really interesting right soon on the heels that date, on the heels of the republicans voting to make sure everybody that had access to food stamps was drug tested, it's just is like what? to get food stamps you have to be drug tested? and so i hope that it will humanize, shall we say, their thinking. >> nbc's pete williams was in court and he joins us now from our washington bureau. pete, i just want to point out that the congressman was one of the lawmakers who voted for drug testing for food stamp recipients so i believe that was the type of connection that nancy pelosi was trying to make there. but you were in the courtroom. explain how this all went down. >> well, he did plead guilty today and he got the same sentence that most defendants get for a first offense. he got a year's probation, so that means if there are no further violation, this will be removed from his record after a
year's time. that's the normal thing that happened here. the house speaker, john boehner, says what happens next is up to congressman radel, his family and his constituents. now, in court today mr. radel said he's already started outpatient drug treatment and his lawyer said he wants to continue it with inpatient treatment in florida, that he's seeking professional help. he referred to that in a statement that his office issued last night. let me read a portion of that statement to you. this was a written statement that the congressman put out last night. he said he's had a struggle with alcoholism that led him to an extremely irresponsible choice. he said as the father of a young son and a husband to a loving wife, he needs to get help so he can be a better man for both of them. he didn't speak much in court today, thomas, other than to admit that he did buy cocaine from an undercover policeman paying $260 for 3.5 grams. the government also said when they were doing the investigation of this drug ring, members of the ring said that he
had bought and used -- possessed cocaine several times before, thomas. >> pete williams reporting for us from our d.c. bureau. pete, thanks so much. i appreciate it. police say that former virginia gubernatorial candidate creigh deeds was likely stabbed by his own son, reportedly after deeds was trying to get his son help for a mental health issue. nbc's kristen welker has details from outside the hospital in charlottesville, virginia. >> reporter: thomas, good morning. this local newspaper says it all. "a family tragedy." state senator creigh deeds recovering here at the university of virginia medical center. one hospital official telling us he is listed in fair condition this morning. this as investigators try to figure out how this could have happened. creigh deeds is a fixture in virginia politics, a state senator since 2001. he made a high-profile but unsuccessful bid for governor four years ago. but now he's at the center of a family tragedy. state police say tuesday morning he was stabbed multiple times,
apparently by his own son, 24-year-old austin gus deeds who then fatally shot himself. >> based on the evidence we have right now, we are looking into this as an attempted murder and suicide. >> it all started here at deeds rural virginia home when an altercation between father and son turned violent. officials say the state senator was stabbed in the head and chest. >> deeds was able to leave the scene on foot. he encountered a cousin who lives nearby. the cousin was driving along the highway there, stopped, picked up senator deeds. >> he was airlifted to the hospital while authorities tried to save his son, but it was too late. the political world expressed disbelief. >> i love the guy and i'm pulling for him. >> gus, as he was known, was often seen side by side with his father on the campaign trail. a banjo-toting college student who helped deeds appeal to young voters. but there may have been hidden problems. on tuesday, the "richmond times dispatch" quoted a county official as saying the son was evaluate edmond at bath
community hospital but was released because no psychiatric bed could be located across a wide area of western virginia. cropper declined to confirm the report for nbc news. whatever the cause, deeds' colleagues say they too are grieving. >> even if he recover, and i'm sure he will, he's still facing the loss of a son and that's going to be the toughest part. >> reporter: virginia governor bob mcdonnell, who beat deeds back in that 2009 gubernatorial race released a statement calling this utterly heart breaking. one white house official tells me everyone in the white house from the president on down sending their thoughts and prayers to the deeds family. investigators trying to figure out what could have sparked that fight between father and son in the first place. thomas, back to you. >> kristen, thank you. pro-choice advocates suffer a major blow as well as a small sign of hope and it all happened in just one day. the supreme court is refusing to block texas' abortion law which supporters say has stopped a third of clinics there from
providing abortions. then in balance ker ke-- albuqu new mexico, voters rejected a ban. it could have been a model of restricting abortion by taking it to the local level. joining me is irin carmon who went to albuquerque to cover the story and has been covering the battle over abortion for msnbc. irin, is it a surprise that that all came down in one day? it seems as if the move from the supreme court as well as how the public reacted in albuquerque. >> well, for the longest time people have been saying that roe v. wade was the supreme court exerting its will of the people against their will by saying that abortion had to be legal until viability. yesterday was kind of a twist on that. the people voted. they said that they didn't want to see these kinds of restrictions. at the same time, every republican appointed justice voted to allow these medically unnecessary restrictions to go forward. every justice appointed by a
democrat said let's wait. let's hold off because women could be harmed in the process of this being enforced. >> so you talk about in one of your pieces that more than 87,000 were able to vote in this special election, but one thing that you were able to look at firsthand was the truth truck. and ride around. these are for people who are anti-choice. and they were very open and receptive to allowing you to ride along. what was your impression of how they were handling what they were trying to tell the voters? >> well, i think voters were not excited about seeing these very graphic images. they were not excited about the feeling that these outsiders were coming into their town and tell them what to do. they have had these relatively liberal laws on abortion for a long time. they haven't been bothered. you know, the clinic that they were targeting, the representative who represents that district said to me i've never had anyone call and complain to me about this. but once they saw these folks that came into town from operation rescue, they were
trained in wichita where dr. tiller was murdered, they didn't like it. they didn't like the screaming outside the clinic from people just trying to access medical care. >> as we talk more about the supreme court and it was that 5-4 decision with the court rejecting this appeal by planned parenthood and others to block a provision in the texas law that requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges in a nearby hospital. however, the case still moves on, correct? >> yes. >> because as i understand it, on appeal to the fifth u.s. circuit, arguments are expected in january. how -- based on the heels of this is it expected to move forward again to the fifth circuit? >> well, this just shows how incredibly important the federal judiciary is right now. we've seen all of these showdowns in the senate about president obama trying to get federal judges confirmed. a very basic presidential duty. so the fifth circuit is known to be very, very conservative. it wants to overturn roe v. wade. so the appeals trial in january is expected to not go in favor of the medical providers who
brought that suit, but it is -- justice briar actually said yesterday in his order that he expects that the supreme court will have to say whether creating these medically unnecessary restrictions on clinics that will force them to close their doors is against the constitutional standard that this is a right that women can pursue. >> and as we drill down just a little deeper, specifically on the state level, tennessee and utah enforce laws on admitting privileges. similar laws are under temporary court injunctions in alabama, kansas, mississippi, north dakota and wisconsin. so as those states are being watched on a national level just like we saw in albuquerque being taken down to a local level, where does the fight march from there? >> well, it's clear that the supreme court is going to have to say can you just make up this restriction that says the doctor has to have admitting privileges. the hallway has to be a certain width. at what point are they going to say this is an undue burden. if you're trying to create all these roadblocks in the way of people seeking abortions, can
they say come on, like the jig is up here. >> irin carmon, msnbc.com. it's great to see you. thanks for being here. i appreciate it. we continue to wait on the start of the ceremony at the white house. we'll take you back and show you live pictures as everyone is starting to get settled there. president obama will be awarding 16 presidential medals of freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. this year's recipients including former president bill clinton, civil rights leader bayard rustin and country music legend loretta lynn. joining me live from the white house is nbc news correspondent luke russert. i understand the president will pay special tribute to president john f. kennedy during this morning's ceremony? >> reporter: that's right, thomas. president kennedy was in fact the first president to sign into law the modern day presidential medal of freedom. sadly they were not live long enough to get to a war that the inaugural class was given that honor. but president obama two days before the formal 50th anniversary of president kennedy's assassination will in
fact use this ceremony to honor john f. kennedy. you expect to hear some remarks about president kennedy during this ceremony. later this evening, the president will have a dinner at the national history museum here in washington, d.c., where they will in fact have every single living recipient of this award from years past who wants to attend and he will be introduced by president kennedy's grandson, jack schlossberg there. i also left out that in between this ceremony and that dinner there's a very special occasion at arlington, the eternal flame. president and mrs. obama will go there along with former president bill clinton and hillary clinton. and, thomas, as everything in washington is political, this is the first time that president obama and bill clinton will be seen together since bill clinton uttered those famous remarks a few days ago that if you have your -- if you liked your health
care plan, you should be allowed to in fact keep it. so folks will be sort of reading into the tea leaves of their interaction today and moving forward and any time they're together, obviously, in an event of this magnitude there is a 2016 speculation about their appearance together at the flame. so that's the political tea leaves if you will. maybely this ceremony serves as a huge honor. among the other folks receiving the presidential medal of freedom. dean smith, former coach at the university of north carolina, sally ride. obviously the late first woman in space. ernie banks, known as mr. cub. so there's a lot of star power here, including oprah winfrey, which has really packed the white house. my white house producers tell me as you know i'm a kill guy, that usually the white house is not this packed for this type of ceremony so a lot of star power here and a lot of people in the seats. >> and i think, luke, a lot of people as you point out will be interested, not just the star power involved but this first face-to-face between president obama and bill clinton because
it was bill clinton's remark about saying that the president should live up to the promise of you can keep your plan that really started the pr nightmare that we've seen for the aca. >> reporter: without a doubt. that was something that not only invigorated republicans, it also really took a lot of the arguments away from the democratic side to hold on, let the system play out, let us get the website up and running. so people today will be reading the body language. obviously today is a very special ceremony for president clint clinton. he awarded these types of honors in the past and understands the magnitude of it. don't expect to see how the real interaction plays out on that stage. it will be more than cordial, as they're both politicians, they know how to account t. but i would very much like to be a fly on the wall during their first interaction if that was discussed today and how it plays out throughout the rest of the week. >> we're watching now as the crowd there is applauding vice
president joe biden and his wife, dr. jill biden, just walked down the aisle and they are now welcoming in those who are being honored today, announcing those 16 recipients of the presidential medal of freedom. >> reporter: yeah, they are and they're walking in. also among those, gloria steinem will be honored as well. thomas, this is one of those things where throughout the years in washington, d.c., really serves to be a bipartisan occasion. a few years ago president bush 41 was given the award. it's really something where both sides put down the political spears and honor the americans who so very much deserve these awards. it will be interesting, though. i go back to bill clinton. i mean you think about the 2008 presidential campaign between hillary clinton and barack obama. it was very contentious. then bill clinton sort of put his arm around barack obama in 2012 and greatly helped him with a lot of voters, helped bring
him across the finish line in some of the more swing states so that they really have had this interesting partnership that was a rivalry and has turned into a friendship and how that plays out to the next presidential election is really where all eyes will be. you also see there in the middle is ben bradlee, former editor of "the washington post" known for watergate fame. a big honor for journalism, thomas, to see ben bradlee get this award. around 90 years old now. i know a lot of journalists in washington, d.c., were happy this is bestowed among him in our profession. >> i was going to say it looks like they're doing everything in alphabetical order and president clinton was walking with ben bradlee down the aisle. as you pointed out, it is big for journalists. ben bradlee a titan in the journalism in the world community for that matter for all the work that he has done for "the washington post." and oprah winfrey started out as a journalist too. i remember watching her on wjz
tv in baltimore, maryland. you know i'm the finest son of baltimore. we grew up with oprah. we claim oprah as our own and there she is. >> reporter: absolutely. and oprah an early supporter of president obama in 2008 and a huge honor for her. one that she's very excited about. thomas, one that i'm sure a lot of folks in that room came to see her. i believe that's steven spielberg right there. and we have the two-minute warning so the president should be speaking shortly. i will just sort of add, thomas, about the president kennedy legacy thing that's occurring today, you're going to see a lot of that today in the speech and tonight at the dinner at the history museum. a lot of the members of the kennedy family will be there and it's interesting that it's two days ahead of the anniversary. >> the president is there along with the first lady. >> good morning, everybody. everybody, please have a seat. have a seat. well, on behalf of michelle and
myself, welcome to the white house. this is one of my favorite events every year, especially special this year, as i look at this extraordinary group of individuals and our opportunity to honor them with our nation's highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom. and this year it's just a little more special because this marks the 50th anniversary of president kennedy establishing this award. we're honored, by the way, today to have with us one of my favorite people, ethel kennedy, and a pretty good basketball player, president kennedy's grandson, jack.
now, this medal has been bestowed on more than 500 deserving people. tonight i'm looking forward to joining some of these honorees as well as members of the kennedy family as we pay tribute to these 50 years of excellence. this morning we're honored to add 16 new names to this distinguished list. today we salute fierce competitors who became true champions. in the sweltering heat of a chicago summer, ernie banks walked into the cubs locker room and didn't like what he saw. everybody was sitting around, heads down, depressed he recalled. so ernie piped up and said, boy, what a great day. let's play two! that's mr. cub. the man who came up through the negro leagues making $7 a day and became the first black
player to suit up for the cubs and one of the greatest hitters of all time. and in the process, ernie became known as much for his 512 home runs as for his cheer and his optimism and his eternal faith that some day the cubs would go all the way. and that's serious belief. that is something that even a white sox fan like me can respect. but he is just a wonderful man and a great icon of my hometown. speaking of sports, dean smith is one of the winningest coaches in college basketball history, but his successes go far beyond xs and os. even as he won 78% of his games, he graduated 96% of his players. the first coach to use multiple defenses in a game, he was the
pioneer who popularized the idea of pointing to the passer. after a basket, players should point to the teammate who passed them the ball. and with his first national title on the line, he did have the good sense to give the ball to a 19-year-old kid named michael jordan. they used to joke that the only person who ever held michael under 20 was dean smith. while coach smith couldn't join us today due to an illness that he's facing with extraordinary courage, we also honor his courage in helping to change our country. he recruited the first black scholarship athlete to north carolina. and helped integrate a restaurant in a neighborhood in chapel hill. that's the kind of character that he represented on and off the court. we salute innovators who push the limits of science, changing how we see the world and ourselves. growing up, sally ride read about the space program in the newspaper almost every day and
she thought this was the coolest thing around. when she was a ph.d. candidate at stanford, she saw an ad for astronauts in the student newspaper, and she seized the opportunity. as the first american woman in space, sally didn't just break the extrstratospheric glass cei, she blasted through it. when she came back to earth, she devoted her life in helping girls excel in fields like math, science and engineering. young girls need to see role models, she said. you can't be what you can't see. today our daughters, including malia and sasha can set their sights a little bit higher because sally ride showed them the way. now, all of us have moments when we look back and wonder what the heck was i thinking? i have that quite a bit.
psychologist daniel kahneman has made that simple question his life's work. in a storied career in israel and america, he basically invented the study of human decision-making. he's helped us to understand everything from behavioral economics to does living in california make people happy. that's an interesting question. he's also been called an expert on irrational behavior, so i'm sure that he could shed some light on washington. but what truly sets daniel apart is his curiosity. guided by his belief that people are endlessly complicated and interesting. at 79, he's still discovering new insights into how we think and learn, not just so we understand each other, but so we can work and live together more effectively. dr. mario molina's love of science started as a young boy in mexico city. in a homemade laboratory in a bathroom at home.
and that passion for discovery led mario to become one of the most respected chemists of his era. he was awarded the nobel peace prize -- or the nobel prize, rather, not only for his path-breaking research but also for his insistence that when we ignore dangerous carbon emissions, we risk destroying the ozone layer and endanger our planet. thanks to mario's work, the world came together to address a common thread. and today inspired by his example, we're working to leave our planet safer and cleaner for future generations. we also have to salute musicians who bring such joy to our lives. loretta lynn was 19 the first time she won the big -- she won big at the local fair. her canned vegetables brought home 17 blue ribbons and made her canner of the year. now that's impressive.
for a girl from butcher haller, kentucky, that was fame. fortunately for all of us she decided to try her hand at things other than canning. her first guitar cost $17, and with it this coal miner's daughter gave voice to a generation, singing who no one wanted to talk about and saying what no one wanted to think about. and now over 50 years after she cut her first record and canned her first vegetables, loretta lynn still reigns as the rule-breaking, record-setting queen of country music. as a young man in cuba, arturo sandoval loved jazz so much it landed him in jail. it was the cold war and the only radio station where he could hear jazz was the voice of america, which was dangerous to listen to. but arturo listened anyway. later he defected to the united states, knowing he might never see his parents or beloved
homeland again. without freedom, he said, there is no life. and today arturo is an american citizen and one of the most celebrated trumpet players in the world. there isn't any place on earth where the people don't know about jazz, he says, and that's true in part because musicians like him have sacrificed so much to play it. we salute pioneers who pushed our nation towards greater justice and equality. a baptist minister, c.t. vivian was one of dr. martin luther king jr.'s closest advisers. martin taught us, he says, that it's in the action that we find out who we really are. time and again reverend vivian was among the first to be in the action. in 1947 joining a sit-in to integrate an illinois restaurant, one of the first freedom riders. in selma, on the courthouse steps to register blacks to vote for which he was beaten, bloodied and jailed.
rosa parks said of him, even after things had supposedly been taken care of and we had our rights, he was still out there, inspiring the next generation, including me. helping kids go to college with a program that would become upward bound. and at 89 years old, reverend vivian is still out there, still in the action, pushing us closer to our founding ideals. early in the morning the day of the march on washington, the national mall was far from full and some in the press were beginning to wonder if the event would be a failure. but the march's chief organizer, bayard rustin, didn't panic. as the story goes, he looked down at a piece of paper, looked back up and reassured reporters that everything was right on schedule. the only thing those reporters didn't know was that the paper he was holding was blank. he didn't know how it was going to work out, but bayard had an
unshakeable optimism, nerves of steel, and most importantly a faith that if the cause is just and people are organized, nothing can stand in our way. for decades this great leader, often at dr. king's side, was denied his rightful place in history because he was openly gay. no medal can change that, but today we honor bayard rustin's memory by taking our place in his march towards true equality. no matter who we are or who we love. [ applause ] speaking of game-changers, disrupters, there's a young girl named gloria steinem who arrived in new york to make her mark as a journalist, and magazines only wanted to write articles like how to cook without really cooking for men. gloria noticed things like that.
she's been called a champion noticer. she's alert to all the ways large and small that women had been and in some cases continue to be treated unfairly just because they're women. as a writer, a speaker, an activist, she awakened a vast and often skeptical public to problems like domestic violence, the lack of affordable child care, unfair hiring practices, and because of her work across america and around the world, more women are afforded the respect and opportunities that they deserve, but she also changed how women thought about themselves. and gloria continues to pour her heart into teaching and mentoring. her one piece of advice to young girls is, i love this, do not listen to my advice. listen to the voice inside you and follow that. when patricia wald's law firm
asked if she'd come back after having her first child, she said she'd like some time off to focus on her family. devoted almost ten years to raising five children. but patricia never lost the itch to practice law. so while her husband watched the kids at home, she'd hit the library on weekends. at the age of 40, she went back to the courtroom to show the young kids a thing or two. as the first female judge on the d.c. circuit, patricia was a top candidate for attorney general. after leaving the bench, her idea of retirement was to go to the hague to preside over the trials of war criminals. patricia says she hopes enough women will become judges that it's not worth celebrating anymore. but today we celebrate her, along with gloria, she shows there were all kinds of paths listening to your own voice. we salute communicators who shined a light on stories no one
else was telling. a veteran of world war ii and more than a dozen pacific battles, ben bradlee brought the same intensity and dedication to journalism. since joining "the washington post" 65 years ago, he transformed that newspaper into one of the finest in the world. and with ben in charge, the post published the pentagon papers exposed watergate, unleashed a new era of investigative journalism, holding america's leaders accountable and reminding us that our freedom as a nation rests on our freedom of the press. when ben retired, senator daniel patrick moynihan put the admiration of many into a poem. oh rare ben bradlee, his reign has ceased, but his nation stands, its strength increased. and i also indicated to ben he can pull off those shirts and i
can't. he always looked so cool in them. early in oprah winfrey's career, her bosses told her she should change her name to susie. i have to pause here to say i got the same advice. they didn't say i should be named susie, but they suggested i should change my name. people can relate to susie. that's what they said. it turned out, surprisingly, that people can relate to oprah just fine. in more than 4500 episodes of her show, her message was always you can. you can do and you can be and you can grow and it can be
better. and she is living proof, rising from a childhood of poverty and abuse to the pinnacle of the entertainment universe. but even with 40 emmys, the distinction of being the first black female billionaire, oprah's greatest strength has always been her ability to help us discover the best in ourselves. michelle and i count ourselves among her many devoted fans and friends. as one of those fans wrote, i didn't know i had a light in me until oprah told me it was there. what a great gift. and finally we salute public servants who strengthened our nation. daniel inouye was a humble man and didn't wear his medal of honor very often. instead he wore a pin that was a good conduct medal he got as a private.
danny always honored his family and his country, even when his country didn't always honor him. after being classified as an enemy alien, danny joined a japanese american unit that became one of the most decorated in world war ii. and as the second longest serving senator in american history, he showed a generation of young people, including one kid with a funny name growing up in hawaii who noticed that there was somebody during some of those hearings in washington that didn't look like everybody else, which meant maybe i had a chance to do something important too. he taught all of us that no matter what you look like or where you come from, this country has a place for everybody who's willing to serve and work hard. a proud hoosier, dick lugar has served america for more than half a century, from a young navy lieutenant to a respected leader in the united states senate. i'll always be thankful to dick for taking me, a new junior senator, under his wing,
including travels together to review some of his visionary work, the destruction of cold war arsenals in the former soviet union. something that doesn't get a lot of public notice, but was absolutely critical to making us safer in the wake of the cold war. now, i should say traveling with dick, you said close to unexploded land mines, mortar shells, test tubes filled with anthrax and the plague. his legacy, though, is the thousands of missiles and bombers and submarines and warheads that no longer threaten us because of his extraordinary work. and our nation and our world are safer because of this statesman. and in a time of unrelenting partisanship, dick lugar's decency, his commitment to problem-solving serve as a model of what public service ought to
be. and last but never least, we honor a leader who we still remember with such extraordinary fondness, he still remembers as a child waving good-bye to his mom with tears in her eyes as she went to nursing school so she could provide for her family. and i think lifting up families like his own became the story of bill clinton's life. he remembered what his mom had to do on behalf of him. and he wanted to make sure that he made life better and easier for so many people all across the country that were struggling in those same ways and had those same hopes and dreams. so as a governor he transformed education so more kids could pursue those dreams. as president, he proved that with the right choices you could grow the economy, lift people
out of poverty. we could shrink our deficits and still invest in our families, our health, our schools, science, technology. in other words, we can go farther when we look out for each other. and as we've all seen, as president he was just getting started. he doesn't stop. he's helped lead relief efforts after the asian tsunami, hurricane katrina, the haiti earthquake. his foundation and global initiative have helped to save or improve the lives of literally hundreds of millions of people. and of course i am most grateful for his patience during the endless travels of my secretary of state. so i'm grateful to bill as well for the advice and counsel that you've offered me on and off the golf course. and most importantly for your
life-saving work around the world, which represents what's the very best in america. so thank you so much, president clinton. [ applause ] so these are the recipients of the 2013 presidential medal of freedom. these are the men and women who in their extraordinary lives remind us all of the beauty of the human spirit, of the values that define us as americans, the potential that lives inside of all of us. i could not be more happy and more honored to participate in this ceremony here today. with that, what i would like to do is invite our honorees to just sit there and let all of us stand and give you a big round of applause. [ applause ]
here we go. lee, you want to hit it? >> presidential medal of freedom recipients. ernie banks. [ applause ] with an unmatched enthusiasm for america's past time, ernie banks slugged, sprinted and smiled his way into the record books. known to fans as mr. cub, he played an extraordinary 19 seasons with the chicago cubs during which he was named to 11 all-star teams, hit over 500 home runs and won back-to-back most valuable player honors. ernie banks was elected to the baseball hall of fame in 1977 and he will forever be known as one of the finest power hitters and most dynamic players of all time.
executive editor of "the washington post," he oversaw coverage of the watergate scandal and successfully challenged the federal government over the right to publish the pentagon papers. his passion for accuracy and unyielding pursuit of truth continued to set the standard for journalism. [ applause ] the honorable william j. clinton.
among the finest public servants of our time, president william j. clinton argued cases for the people of arkansas, served his state in the governor's mansion and guided our nation into a new century. as the 42nd president of the united states, bill clinton oversaw an era of challenge and change, prosperity and progress. his work after leaving public office continues to reflect his passionate, unending commitment to improving the lives and livelihoods of people around the world. in responding to needs both at home and abroad and as founder of the clinton foundation, he has shown that through creative cooperation among women and men of good will, we can solve even the most intractable problems. [ applause ]
irene inouye accepting on behalf of her husband, daniel k. inouye. a true patriot and dedicated public servant, daniel k. inouye understood the power of leaders when united in common purpose to protect and promote the tenets that we cherish as americans. as a member of the 442nd combat team, he helped free europe from the grasp of tyranny for which he received the medal of honor. representing the people of
hawaii, from the moment the islands joined the union, he never lost sight of the ideals that bind us across the 50 states. senator inouye's reason and resolve helped make our country what it is today, and for that we honor him. [ applause ] dr. daniel kahneman. daniel kahneman's grounds-breaking work earned him a nobel prize for his research developing prospect theory. after escaping from nazi occupied francis occupy ed france as a young boy, he grew interested in understanding
the origins of people's beliefs combining psychology and economic analysis and working with long side dr. amos verski, he used simple experiments to demonstrate how people make decisions under uncertain circumstances and he forever changed the way we view human judgment. [ applause ] the honorable richard g. lugar. representing the state of indiana for over three decades in the united states senate, richard g. lugar put country above party and self to forge bipartisan consensus. throughout his time in the
senate, he offered effective solutions to our national and international problems, advocating for the control of nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction, working with senator sam nunn, he established the threat reduction program, one of our country's most successful national security initiatives, helping to sustain american leadership and engage nations in collaboration after decades of confrontation. he remains a strong voice on foreign policy issues and his informed perspective will have broad influence for years to come. [ applause ] loretta lynn.
born a coal miner's daughter, loretta lynn has followed a bold path to become a legend in country music. a singer, songwriter and author. she has written dozens of chart-topping songs, released scores of albums and won numerous accolades. breaking barriers in country music and entertainment, he opened doors for women not only by winning tremendous achievements, but also by raising issues few dared to discuss. fearlessly telling her own stories with candor and humor, loretta lynn has brought a strong female voice to mainstream music, captured the emotions of women and men alike, and revealed the common truths about life as it is lived. [ applause ]
dr. mario molina. the curiosity and creativity that inspired mario molina to convert his family's bathroom into a laboratory as a child have driven him through decades of scientific research. born in mexico, dr. molina's passion for chemistry brought him to the united states, where his investigations of chlorofluoro carbons led to our understanding of how they deplete the ozone layer. he has affected environmental policy and fostering international awareness as well as earning him the 1995 nobel
prize in chemistry. today dr. molina remains a global leader, continuing to study air quality, climate change and the environment that connects us all. [ applause ] tam o'shaughnessy accepting on behalf of her life partner, dr. sally k. ride. 30 years ago, dr. sally k. ride soared into space as the youngest american and first woman to wear the stars and stripes above earth's atmosphere. as an astronaut, she sought to
keep america at the forefront of space exploration. as a role model, she fought tirelessly to inspire young people, especially girls, to become scientifically literate and to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. at the end of her life, she became an inspiration for those battling pancreatic cancer and for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. the tale of a quiet hero, sally ride's story demonstrates that the sky is no limit for those who dream of reaching for the stars. [ applause ] walter nagel accepting on behalf of his partner bayard rustin.
[ applause ] bayard rustin was a giant in the american civil rights movement, openly gay at a time when many had to hide who they loved. his unwavering belief that we are all equal members of a single human family took him from his first freedom ride to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights movement. thanks to his unparalleled skills as an organizer, progress that once seemed impossible appears in retrospect to have been inevitable. 50 years after the march on washington he organized, america honored bayard rustin as one of its greatest architects for social change and a fearless advocate for its most vulnerable citizens. [ applause ]
arturo sandoval. [ applause ] arturo sandoval is one of the world's finest jazz musicians. born into poverty in cuba and held back by his government, he risked everything to share his gifts with the world, eventually defecting with help from his mentor and friend. in the decades since, this astonishing trumpeter, pianist, and composer has inspired audiences in every corner of the world and awakened a new generation of great performers. he remains one of the best ever to play. [ applause ]
lanea smith accepting on behalf of her husband dean e. smith [ applause ] dean e. smith spent 36 seasons taking college basketball to new heights. as head coach at the university of north carolina at chapel hill, he led his team to 11 final fours, two national titles, and 879 victories, retiring as the winningest men's college basketball coach in history. dean smith brought the same commitment to supporting his players off the court. he helped more than 96% of his lettermen graduate, and in an era of deep division, he taught
players to overcome bigotry with courage and compassion. he will forever stand as one of the greatest coaches in college basketball history. [ applause ] gloria steinem. [ applause [ applause ] a trail blazing writer and feminist organizer, gloria steinem has been at the forefront of the fight for equality and social justice for more than four decades. instrumental to a broad range of initiatives and issues from establishing ms. magazine and take our daughters to workday to pushing for women's
self-empowerment and an end to sex trafficking. she has promoted lasting political and social change in america and abroad. through her reporting and speaking, she has shaped debates on the intersection of sex and race, brought critical problems to national attention and forged new opportunities for women in media. gloria steinem continues to move us all to take up the calls for reaching for a more just tomorrow. [ applause ] reverend c.t. vivian. [ applause ]
equipped only with courage and an overwhelming commitment to social justice, the reverend c.t. vivian was a stallwart activist. whether on a freedom ride or behind the bars of a prison cell, he was unafraid to take action. by pushing change through nonviolent demonstration and advocacy, c.t. vivian established and led numerous organizations to support underserved individuals and communities. his legacy of combatting injustice will shine as an example for generations to come. [ applause ]
patricia wald. [ applause ] patricia wald made history as the first woman appointed to the united states court of appeals for the district of columbia circuit, rising to chief judge of the court. she always strove to better understand the law and fairly apply it. after leaving federal service, judge wald helped institute standards for justice and the rule of law at the international criminal tribunal for the former yugoslavia in the hague. hailed as a model judge, she laid a foundation for countless women within the legal profession and helped unveil the
humanity within the law. [ applause ] oprah g. winfrey. [ applause ] oprah g. winfrey is a global media icon. when she launched "the oprah winfrey" show in 1986, there were few women and even fewer women of color with a national platform to discuss the issues and events shaping our times. but over the 25 years that followed, oprah winfrey's innate gift for tapping into our most fervent hopes and deepest fears
drew millions of viewers across every background, making her show the highest rated talk show in television history. off screen, oprah winfrey has used her influence to support underserved communities and to lift up the lives of young people, especially young women, around the world. in her story, we are reminded that no dream can be deferred when we refuse to let life's obstacles keep us down. [ applause ] >> the medal of freedom honorees, please. [ applause ]
>> all right. well, that concludes the formal part of today' ceremony. i want to thank all of you for being here. obviously, we are deeply indebted to those who we honor here today. and we're going to have an opportunity to take some pictures with the honorees and their family members. the rest of you, i understand the food here is pretty good. so i hope you