tv The Dylan Ratigan Show MSNBC July 7, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT
the big story today, money talks. i'm matt milner for dylan ratigan. you'll be shocked. no magic the fix out of today's bipartisan sitdown at the white house. more agreeing to disagree for now. >> nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to and the parties still far apart on a wide range of issues. everybody acknowledged that there's going to be pain involved politically on all sides. >> still, the president hinting at subtle signs of progress. now pushing to double the size of proposed spending cuts to $4 trillion over ten years. democrat and republican leaders will work through the weekend and meet with president obama again on sunday. areas of potential xpra mize, closing loopholes in the tax code if it doesn't sound like a tax code and changing yearly adjustments for social security. yes, social security is back on the table. though the white house says their only goal, "strengthen the
program." keep in mind the august 2nd august debt ceiling deadline is less than four weeks away. mike viqueira is live on the lawn of the white house. what if anything was accomplished? >> reporter: remember last week the president criticized house republicans, congress in generally, for pulling all-nighters like his 13 and 10-year-old girl. they nerve doer that. criticized congress for putting everything off to the last minute. they'll be cramming all weekend. the president telling negotiators go back, meeting at the staff level over the next couple of day, working out their bottom lines at the president phrased it today in a surprise appearance in the press conference and come back here sunday. there's a feeling here, matt, they are in the final stages of this negotiation. that was exquisitely said by house republican number two eric cantor today. john boehner, speaker of it's house, telling colleague bees hind closed doors today there is a 50/50 deal. they'll have a deal with the next few day. we're heading into crunch time today. the president said they were
constructive talks but the two sides are very far apart and you heard in that sound bite there's the president was talking about pain. there's going to be a lot of pain felt on the democratic side if they go through with these social security, these adjustments to social xushly. loathed to call it anything more than that. certainly not a restructuring. you mention the fact they're talking about adjusting possibly, at least reportedly, the cost of living adjustments. also talking about changing the retirement age and social security. the white house says none of this should be any surprise, at least as far as having social security on the table. meanwhile, the top democrat in the house leaving no doubt today at a press conference, nancy pelosi after meet wig her caucus says that social security and medicare cannot be touched, not be on this table. they should be on a completely different table. matt? >> mike viqueira, thanks, as always, for giving us at least the shape of the table or the multiple tables that exist now. you'll be watching this every day as we get to this next sunday meeting.
joining me now, top economist in many of the negotiations. laura tyson, ran the council of economic advisers understand e president clinton and teaches at berkeley and serves the president's council of competitiveness and joins us from sunny california. welcome. >> thank you, matt. >> before we get to the substance of this, laura, talk about the process. you've been in these rooms and big meeting when the summit's take place as wey proech these deadlines. is there a free discussion, or is their just fear in the room people are going to leak and it's more of a staged kabuki conversation? give folk as sense of that. >> i think at this point in the discussion, there must be a real negotiation going on. people are going into that room with a pretty good idea of the places they might be able to move in a package, and with a pretty good idea of things they absolutely could not accept. and those have to be communicated to one another,
because as the president said, it all has to come together in one big deal. so i think at this point, they are probably exchanging real information. real ideas. >> and how do you assess, before i -- i want to get to some of the ideas you put forth and are important. how do you assess where the debate seems to be with the president showing lots of readiness, seems like, on savings in medicare, medicaid and even social security prap. the republicans drawing a line in the sand, even if tax loopholes are fixed, you've got to rebate those tax savings elsewhere. aren't the rubbens being reap obstinate ones here? >> i personally think that's absolutely the case. i think actually from the beginning, if you look at president, president obama's own fiscal commission, simpson bowles and things he's said since that time, as he said today, it's not a surprise that a very big multiyear deficit reduction package would have to have, would have to address,
issues with social security and medicare. it's also not a surprise that it would also have to include revenue increases and i think the republicans so far have really been just saying, we w l will -- we don't care about deficit reduction. we care about taxes. we don't really care about the size of government. we care about taxes. i think that has the line in the sand so far, it's suggested no compromise. i've been happy to hear, given a little hope that now the discussion has shifted a little bit to what is meant by a tax increase to closing tax loopholes. because again, if you go back to simpson bowles, the idea of capping or reducing or alienating some of the tax expenditures which you could define as tax loopholes if you want to broaden the base that idea has been around a long time. the question is how much of that revenue capture can you then use
for deficit reduction and how much to continue to support essential areas of government spending? >> now, i want to play for you one of the sound bites we have, i think from john boehner. i think these guy, arguing as real no exec exec coutures. >> we leave on the personal and corporate side would make america more competitive, help create jobs in our country and it's something that is under discussion. >> anybody for august 2nd? >> a comprehensive tax reform, we could agree in long run, healthy for jobs. ed idea the republicans are pushing, there's some direct link between spending cuts now and boosting the economy. isn't that nonsense? you're a licensed economist. >> i think it's nonsense and i actually am not -- i don't think
just a democratic economist thinks that's nonsense. i mean, the international monetary fund and its publication says it's nonsense. the cbo says it's nonsense. i mean, the point is that in an economy with a lot of slack, and a lot of unemployment, cutting government spending does have a contractionary effect. we should talk about cutting the spending in the future when the economy has recovered, and not do anything now to jeopardize what is still a very fragile recovery. >> you've got a piece out in the "financial times" up in-line and in the paper tomorrow making that distinction between what we need do in the near-term to stimulate the economy and it's not inconsistent. ipd agree with getting our house in order. how do you a pack thatch woage and why isn't that part of the
conversation? >> i want to say this idea of paring lock-run multiyear deficit reduction package with a short-term additional fiscal support. this idea has been around a long time. i was arguing this, many economist was, a couple years ago. it's not new. it's not to have captured the imagination in particular of any of the republican leaders of the congress who as i said seem to be more about the size of government. they seem to be more about tax cuts, and they truly are for job creation. i think it's easy to imagine how do you this. since the long-run problem revolves around the aging of the population, around social security, around defense, around medicare, medicaid, you have to have a structural multiyear solution to those very big problem. that doesn't in any way preclude the possibility of spending more on infrastructure now. of a temporary payroll tax relief more generous than the
one enacted at the end of 2010, which will help employment now. doesn't rule out the possibility of additional support to the state. so what was discussed before by ezra, that list is a per spectly sensible list that could be funded now. wouldn't increase the deficit very much at all and doesn't have anything to do with the long-run deficit. >> you and i agree and if we could pound the table enough, we ought to get this deal done in washington. briefly, laura. one last question. the meaning on sunday, the president gathering folks back together after staff work and options, a strub in between. what will you be looking for and what should folks at home be looking for to gauge monday, if there's been real progress towards a deal? >> i actually would look at the, what the republicans are willing to say about what they're now calling tax loophole, because as you and i agree, i think the stumbling block to a deal right
now is the unwillingness of some, or maybe all, of the republicans to put any revenue increases on the table. if they are unwilling to do that, and they continue to be unwilling to do that, there can be no deal. i cannot see a deal. if they are willing to do that, there can be a deal. then the question is, what are they willing to put on the table? so listen to the words about anything related to loopholes, tax rates. that's going to be the clue about whether there's any give on the revenue side of this equation. >> laura tyson, former chief economic adviser to president clinton. thank you for decoding the coming conversation for us and for those great ideas. >> all right. thank you very much, matt. coming up, casey anthony let's her hair down. america's most famous accused killer since o.j. simpson is about to be sprung. we'll ask the mega panel what her acquittal says about our trite a fair trial. and the president getting it from all sides on everything
it's schwab at your fingertips wherever, whenever you want. one log in lets you monitor all of your balances and transfer between accounts, so your money can move as fast as you do. check out your portfolio, track the market with live updates. and execute trades anywhere and anytime the inspiration hits you. even deposit checks right from your phone. just take a picture, hit deposit and you're done. open an account today and put schwab mobile to work for you. with new extra-strength bayer advanced aspirin. it has microparticles, enters the bloodstream faster and rushes relief to the site of pain. it's clinically proven to relieve pain twice as fast. new bayer advanced aspirin.
many american, even jurors, are sick over the verdict. today the world watched as casey was sentenced to four year, translating into six days when you account for time served. not the outcome hope ford by throngs outside the courthouse chanting "justice for day p cay" lilia, what's the mood? >> reporter: right now i have to tell you a storm over us, over orlando. everybody took their place and ran for shelter. i have to tell you, i feel a little surprised that the difference a striking difference between the reaction to the verdict and now the reaction to this sentencing. i would expect those protesters who sought for casey anthony to spend her life in jail would be more aggravated or we would see more people outside once declared shale spend no more than six days in jail. an abysmal difference and of
course, thought she might have spend over a year according to the sentence and taking into consideration the time served already. so they're quite calm right now. >> reporter: thanks, lilia, for that update. i'm sure we'll watch this in the hours ahead. let's bring in our mega panel, karen finney, republican strategist susan del percio and our d.c. insider jimmy williams. welcome, guy, from across the country and across our new york studio. susan's in the isolation booth. not to have an unfair advantage. i want to put up a couple quotes from alan desch rshowitz. a piece entitled "the system worked." he said a legally proper result may not be the same as a morally just result's in such a case, justice has not been done to the victim but the law has prevailed. then dershowitz had another line. a criminal trial is not a search
for truth. scientists search for truth, philosophers search foremore rate. a criminal trial searches for one result. proof beyond a reasonable doubt. karen finney is professor dershowitz giving us the right big picture? >> it is one of the big pictures. a couple of thing. a lot of people compareds they case to the o.j. simpson case, which i really take issue with and i'm going to go on a side bar about that for a second, because we have to remember, for those who particularly lived in los angeles, who lived through rodney king, lived lou that whole period, the o.j. simpson trial was about a lot more than the legal system. it was about the african-american community and our distrust of the legal system. it was about racial and socio-cultural changes going on in the countries. that's not in any way, shape or form to diminish the pain of nicole's family, but still it's not the same. this is a case where a woman may or may not have killed her
child. we don't know the answer to the question. that happens often in this country, i'm horrified and probably those cases should get more attention and the legal system did what it does when you have a good lawyer and pay the right amount, can you get off. >> you're so unpredictable, jimmy, i can't guess if you're outraged or bored of it all? >> i could actually care less. i hate to say this. maybe i'm just the grumpy old dude from the south. casey anthony, i don't know who she is, i don't care if i ever meet her. it's in god's hands to deal with this woman and she's not to create job. not going to bring down unemployment or lower the cost of gas and i don't give a damn about her, her weird ass family or anybody else in florida right now. >> jimmy williams, a principal dissent. susan -- i'm one of those guys. thought i was the only man in america, jimmy alike, who hasn't been following it. fascinated parsing through the
outrage of the american people and nuances that alan dershowitz make, this is the way the justice system is supposed to work. susan? >> another interesting point, when you look at one of the jurors that spoke last night,y i believe and said the prosecution didn't make their case. i think right now you're also seeing people very frustrated with government and how district attorney act. we have it right now in new york with the prosecution of dsk there and people are very outraged and they're wondering what are we doing with our judicial system, and i think that's maybe where this will go in the larger picture. >> people should bear in mind, there's a great scottish verdict in scotland that everyone talk answer now. at least the legal experts, that's called "not proven." not innocent or not guilty, not proven. that's the consensus. i want to move on. jimmy, china, reports from unnamed sources from a publication called "business insider" speculating or sourcing
quite seriously the idea china is looking to make a major investment in facebook and facebook approaches its initial public offering talking billions of dollar. some people already raising the question that maybe this is kind of shades of look what happened a couple decades ago? japan would take over the u.s. buying pebble beach, rockefeller center. china may be using its economic growing strength to do the same thing with some of our marquise properties that facebook is emblematic of american innovation. should we be worried or much ado about not so much? >> china is 7% of our debt. why can't they own the number one networking site in the world? doesn't bother me. i could care less. be honest. i know that google reads my e-mails, and that's why i get spam e-mails. i'm sure that the people at facebook read my e-mails. that's why i get advertisements saying, would you like blah, blah, blah, because i just
e-mailed someone about that on facebook. it's not a -- i don't care. here's the point. i don't care if china buys into facebook. if that's what it takes to make their stock value go up when they declare think ipo, let them. i don't care. >> karen? >> well i have to say you know, having traveled to china in the '90s for an ngo conference, kniss is not a country known for human rights and telling their own people the truth. particularly given the role we've seen, technology and facebook play in the arab spring is, can we ensure that if china were to do something like that, that facebook will remain the open platform it is? because it did play a very important role. we know technology going forward can play an important role and i'm concerned a government known for lying to its own people is probably not the best adviser or investor in a company that's about getting information out
there. >> not only that, they block it in their own country. they censor it in their own country. the good point karen brings us, non-voting shares. wouldn't be able to really affect policy. >> china overreaches, then the brilliant plen and women that established facebook will establish a different facebook. i mean what was myspace two years ago and what is it now? the rage. so, you know, inquiring minds and brilliant minds will do whatter that made to do. >> we thieve there for now. the last word when i was in china, flaunting our recent china experience, i was there during the time when google was being shutdown and censored and i was amazed in the spirit of explaining economic nationalism we don't appreciate fully about the chinese. lots of young, highly educated chinese i thought might be sympathetic of not censoring google had the contact opposite. google must play by china's
rules. we'll pick this up again. stick around, guys. we're going it need you as we bring our specialists in in a moment. still ahead, both parties reu.s. phooir refusing to budge and the president stuck in the middle michael steele is our specialist. that's next. having the right real estate agent on your side
is more important than ever. at remax.com, you can find the experts you need, whether you're trying to sell of hoping to buy. nobody sells more real estate than re/max. visit remax.com today. fiber one. uh, forgot jack's cereal. [ jack ] what's for breakfast? um... try the number one! [ jack ] yeah, this is pretty good. [ male announcer ] half a day's worth of fiber. fiber one.
we are not going to raise taxes on the american people. we're 23409 going to raise taxes on the very people that we expect to reen sfleft our economy and to help grow jobs. >> democrats believe all americans those that can afford yachts should contribute to reducing the deficit. the question is, why aren't republicans willing to do the same? >> lots of sound and fury in washington as republicans and
democrats wrestle with the budget mess. a topic the public wants action on with a new poll showing nearly 6 in 10 americans want debt to be the national the top priority. i'm confused getting into crunchtime here fop help me clear it up, a man with uniquely deep insight into the republican mind. joining me now, former rnc xharmen and msnbc contributor michael steele. nice to meet you through the -- >> absolutely. good to be with you, buddy. >> here's my two quick questions before we get to the our panelists to really grill you. >> oh! >> i want to stipulate, i understand the republican critique that obama hasn't been fully -- responsible, on the long-term budget situation. all the republicans -- put that aside. all the republicans, the republican party voted for the ryan budget plan that adds over $5 trillion to the debt in the next decade. how on earth can republicans be so reckless as to say, if we've all voted for a plan that adds
trillions in debt, we're not going to raise the debt limit unless we get something else that we want? isn't that really hypocritical? >> i don't think it is. the ryan plan, the discussion, it was a framework. >> no, no. passed by the house. >> it was passed -- >> and by the senate. >> i'm not discounting that. it was a framework. everyone inside and outside of the town knew it wasn't going to be a bill the president would sign or would get passed in the senate. what it was, a way of saying this is a baseline from which, that we're ready tobegin the discussion on where we go with this. particularly given that you know it was the same republican congress that finally got a 2011 budget passed that the democrats who had control the last two years didn't even get done in respect was a lot of stuff going on in this town where's to budgets and deficits. the framework and discussion, particularly since there was
nothing coming from the other side. you now have a sense of, both sides have be put something out there. whether it's the simpson bowles effort or the ryan plan, now both the white house and the republican congress with the senate leadership on the democrating side having to come together to work out a consensus on what we're going to do to tackle both, not just the debt side of it but the fiscal side. how we raise money to put back into this economy. we, republicans say, we'd rather have that money raised through, you know, a cut in tax rates. that allows the entrepreneur to put more, invest more into the economy. democrats want to raise the tax revenues so the government could arguably spend more money to do the same thing. >> bringing in jimmy williams. declaring myself unsatisfied with that answer. that's yore debate for another day. jimmy? >> michael, i'm glad you're here. i want to ask you a question, because i like taking trips down memory lane. >> yep. >> from 1995 until 2006, you
will remember that republicans were in control of both either the house or senate all at the same time. right? >> yep. >> spending increased from $1.5 trillion to $2.7 trillion. that's a 75.5% increase in spending. >> when was this, again? >> this would be 1995 to 2006. i'm trying to figure out where the hell the republicans were complaining and the tea party was from 1995 to 2006 when they doubled by, all doubled by 90% america's debt, and george bush vetoed zero spending bills his entire eight years. >> gotcha. >> where were y'all then? i just want to know, because i can't remember i. can tell you exactly where we were. let me help correct your history. when republicans took control in 1995 from the democrats, in the house for the first time in 40 years, they cut taxes and spending for that period of time
up until 2001, which helped spur along the recovery that everyone loves to talk about under the clinton years. when you got to 2001, what you're talking about is exactly what happened. there was a growth in spending that occurred under the bush administration, largely triggered initially by 9/11. that was the argument that was being made that we had to do all of these other things and got into afghanistan and iraq. so there's no -- there's no argument from me or any republican. in fact, most republicans while you saw the losses in '06 and '08 came from those very republican whose stopped supporting the party, because it moved away from its conservative fiscal principles with respect to spending, by spending so much money. that's been the crust of this whole argument that helped form the tea party. the tea party folks by the way, did not start in 2009. >> right. that's my point. >> they've been in the works some time. >> they were absolutely silent. my point. >> when it came to spending the
first coal health of the country. >> to bring it could current day, instead of going through the history, which i appreciate. right now we see that the discussion is back on potentially eliminating tax loopholes, lowering the corporate rate, which i am a big fan of and also part of the paul ryan plan. which was passed. sometimes being, a the speaker of the house can be a little like herding cats. i'm wondering what you think now the speak ker do to bring on the majority of the republicans to kind of come to a compromise, because there are some saying, oh, if we close loopholes that's just raising taxes? >> well, you raise a very excellent question, and therein lies the number of the problem, that the speaker finds himself in right now. he's got to do his counting. figure what number he can get to do allow him to go into the negotiations with the white house to actually come out way deal, where we had let go, just
lie-in-l nancy pelosi did in the last two years on the health care bill, finding a number she can live with and allowing a certain portion of the caucus to do what they had to do. same with speaker boehner. he has to figure out the number that he can go into discussions with knowing he's going to lose certain members because they are tightly "lined on this issue with the tea party or whatever back at home. that's what he's trying to figure out right now, and i think that's why you hear kind of the posturing that's going on in this town. particularly from republicans, and you know today, the speaker did move a little bit further by acknowledging, yeah, we're going to have to look at those loopholes again and look at other ways in which we can help us get to the point where we need to be, which some will argue, talk about raising taxes. that's not the argument the speaker wants to have right now and he's trying to find a kmpt zone for himself and his caulk
caucus to negotiate. >> a nanosecond question and answer. >> speaking realistically, saying you're not going to raise revenues untenable. republicans said it's about the deficit and spending. democrats have pretty much taken that off the table. what's it going to take? what can we call it to will make republicans jump in or admit wed actually need to raise revenues? what do we call it oh republicanless come to the table and get something done? realistic speaks, this is where we are. >> karen, you're absolutely right. i don't know the magic word that gives everybody comfort. the party has gone through, as i can attest to, during my chairmanship, a very big transition. philosophically and ideologically. i don't know what the key word is they're looking for. that goes back to the last question. i think that's part of what you're seeing the leadership have to come to terms with in what is the phraseology, the word, the term that gets everyone settled down and focused on the end game, which is putting people back to work?
>> i think the two words should be fiscal responsibility. we're going to have to leave it there for now. thanks, michael steele, for coming by with those insights. that's as always to our mega mega barren, karen susan and jimmy. if you thought l.a. traffic was bad now, wade for karmageddon. we'll explain. that's next. [ male announcer ] this is lisa, who tries to stay ahead of her class. morning starts with arthritis pain... that's two pills before the first bell. [ bell rings ]
it's time for recess... and more pills. afternoon art starts and so does her knee pain, that's two more pills. almost done, but hang on... her doctor recommended aleve because it can relieve pain all day with just two pills. this is lisa... who switched to aleve and fewer pills for a day free of pain. and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels.
have to be rescheduled if they want anyone to show up. sorry. to coax us off the roads, there were electronic billboards everywhere. an official countdown to the closure clock on its website and erik estrada is doing a psa warning us to stay home. listen? >> the weekend of july 16 and 17, ten-mile stretch of the 405 freeway will be closed from the 10 to the 101 freeway. so plan ahead. avoid the area. or just stay home. >> there's more. the police have even asked lady gaga to tweet her 11 million followers ar carmageddon to help get the word out. will it will what it's hyped up to be or turn into another y2k crisis that never came to pass? speaking from my own corner of l.a., my family won't be taking any chances. we're filling the fridge and downloading the netflix for a carmageddon weekend at home.
coming up, it's a tough time to be president. do we need to give barack obama credit? bob woodward, after the break. ♪ there's another way to minimize litter box odor: purina tidy cats. tidy cats premium line of litters now works harder to help neutralize odors in multiple-cat homes. and our improved formula also helps eliminate dust. so it's easier than ever to keep your house smelling just the way you want it. purina tidy cats. keep your home smelling like home. [ male announcer ] introducing mio. a revolutionary water enhancer. add a little...add a lot. for a drink that's just the way you like it. make it yours. make it mio. a living, breathing intelligence that's helping drive the future of business.
in here, inventory can be taught to learn. ♪ machines have a voice. ♪ medical history follows you. it's the at&t network -- a network of possibilities... committed to delivering the most advanced mobile broadband experience to help move business... forward. ♪ to help move business... forward. at liberty mutual, we know how much you count on your car and how much the people in your life count on you. that's why we offer accident forgiveness, man: good job. where your price won't increase due to your first accident.
we also offer a hassle-free lifetime repair guarantee, where the repairs made on your car are guaranteed for life or they're on us. these are just two of the valuable features you can expect from liberty mutual. plus, when you insure both your home and car with us, it could save you time and money. at liberty mutual, we help you move on with your life. so get the insurance responsible drivers like you deserve. looks really good. call us at... or visit your local liberty mutual office, where an agent can help you find the policy that's right for you. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
find course with little to show for it. clearly one of the toughest times in history to be president. how is obama measuring up under the glare? "washington post" assistant managing editor bob woodward. thanks for coming by. >> let's start with what's atop the news today. you've watch eed this stuff a lg time. how do you assess obama in this leadership role and in both parties? >> obama has a big problem. the expectation is, the stewardship role of the president, he's going to take care of everyone, and it's -- it's really potentially kind of ten days that shook the world. if they don't fix this, as you well know, the economic reverberations will be endless, perhaps. so even though the republicans have immense responsibility, the president is expected to be the
leader. when there was the famous government shutdown in the '90s they blamed the republicans, but there was no real economic impact. if this is not worked out, the economic impact is going to be giant. >> and what's your gut tell you on that? briefly, are you optimistic or pessimistic as you look at the next couple of weeks? >> here thei ishthe -- you talk people in the republican party, democrat party, they all talk about public service. their public sevens and the expectation is they're going to serve the public interest. and i think the view in the country now is, these people as public servants need to come together. how can you possibly let yourself be a prisoner of some ideology of some concept of, oh, this is the only way to do it. so maybe people are going to get
mad and insist on some sort of bargaining deal, but, wow. i mean, i saw today they're far apart. >> you're right. shift gears. talk about afghanistan. the thing that confused or upset me, a lot of people with questions about afghanistan, even after the phased withdrawal, he'll end his presidency with substantially more troop there's than when we went in and it's very hard to see people on any side who can really define what success looks like. i know you've reported extensively on this for your books and "the post" and what do you make of it at this point? >> it's very -- if you step back, it's very unusual what the president's done here. he said we're going to start withdrawing before the end of the war. and if you get military leaders on sodium pen thal truth sear yum and say, ho do you really
feel like this, they say, we'll go along because he's the commander in chief. they are dumbfounded that we had a strategy, and an objective, namely, counterinsurgency. protect the people, nation-bidding in nation-bi nation-building in afghanistan. we've gone to a strategy, really, let's get out. so maybe it's going to work, but it could backfire. >> and do you think -- because i was struck, in your book "obama's wars" that obama seems to manage his relationship with the military brass like a major constituency, and almost trying to triangulate if that's not a discreditive word to sort of move towards the objective he wants that helps him, i guess, in substance, but also with his political base without pushing so far that some generals would feel they needed to resign, for example? if they disagreed. is that the right way to think about how obama's managing this?
>> well, he steers for the middle lane. he didn't want to offend the generals by adding troops. so they got most of what they wanted, but at the same time, you look at these secret meetings, which i've tried to report on, and you see obama says, i want out. this has to be a planned end of war, and at the same time he escalates it. so there is -- you know, there's a deep paradox in all of this. there is a deep paradox in being president now. it is -- you said it's a difficult time. i think it's a dangerous time. >> let's talk about the arab spring and the uprisings around the arab world, because when you speak about the paradoxes of obama's leadership, there's a big phrase that got some traction when one white house aide i think gave it to the "new yorker" magazine on background saying that the president in the arab spring was leading from behind. is that a fair description?
and is that the kind of leadership we need? >> well, no. i think what it is -- i mean, it's oh complicated, the number of countries that are involved in this. two dozen. any one could blow up, or you know, what's going to happen in libya? what about saudi arabia? yemen, syria? iraq? that war is not over. so i think obama approaches it with the -- kind of looks at it and says, my god, let's be careful. let's not do anything dramatic. let's try to be informed, get better intelligence, but i think caution is not necessarily leading from behind, to be frank. >> just got about 30 seconds left, bob. i've got to ask awe question that occurred to me when i saw the casey anthony trial come down. which was i think about your reporting from my white house
days, the way of the conversations in the room of private conversations. i'd like to tleed from the casey anthony jury just to understand how they did it. do you have advice for folks trying to reconstruct that? i guess before all the jurors run out and get book and movie deals? . talk to the people who were there and you know, that's an important issue, but you know, we're going through a time when lots of things can go wrong, and you know, look at what in japan. the tsunami. the focus, what's obama going to do? everything is on his plate. >> a reminder from bob woodward. dangerous times, important times for this president or any president. bob woodward, thanks for sharing your thoughts. >> thanks. coming up on "hardball," chris is asking, can president obama and speaker boehner really
lead the debate over the debt ceiling? one of this summer's best beach reads. kelly goff here to tell us about her new book "the gq candidate a". that's next. well-being. we're all striving for it. purina cat chow helps you nurture it in your cat with a full family of excellent nutrition and helpful resources. purina cat chow. share a better life.
welcome author -- noveli isist goff i. didn't know i had this in me, either. we'll wait for the reviews to think if anyone else thinks i had it in me. i wrote my first book "party crashers" about the 2001 election and my agent was, where's the second book? and i didn't have anything nonfiction tickling my fancy. i said i had a wacky idea, fiction, what happens to a group of friends when one runs for president. never have done a novel before, she said, you have to, and that's how the book came about. >> the antagonist, a black jewish governor who ends up running for president? >> yes. by sheer coincidence. i'm sure everyone knows far from the depths of my naimagination, handsome, african frern,
multiracial family. >> and jewish. >> black and jewish. which he's adopted. >> adopted jewish parents, and i wanted to really, even though i know everyone says that sounds very familiar. i did want to do something different in terms of religious diversity. one of the things fascinating to me since i've been blogging about the age of obama quite a bit. people like my parents, thought they'd never see black president in their lifetime. finally get a viable black president and a quarter of the population says we don't think he's christian, we think he's muslim therefore we won't vote for hill. i wanted to write about a phenomenal, religion seems to be one of the final bashes of prejudice. >> you seem to be getting buzz on the "huffington post." >> right. up on the huffington post, like 500 comments. the title is, is religion a greater barrier to the white house than race? >> that's really what the novel's dramatizing in ways? >> right.
one of the issues it explores. the idea of identity. we live in an era with president obama and muslim rumors and even with candidates like mitt romney being mormon how it's no longer acceptable to say i won't vote for mun because they're black. it's not acceptable to say you won't vote for someone because they're gay, but it is okay tock say i won't vote for tom cruise because he's scientologist or because they're muslim. i wanted to explore that. it's a fun beach read but i did want to explore that issue. >> i started this last night. i'm around page 20 because i had to go to bed to get my beauty sleep to guest host for dylan but i noticed there's also both the candidate and his pals, they're basketball playing cronies from their college day. sounds a little bit like in politicians we may know, and talk about the friendship anglealitiangle aliti a little bit. entourage meets west wing. nice for the movie idea.
>> that story's never been told. i couldn't believe it and my agent couldn't believe it, there have been so many terrific books about presidential campaign, primary, colors being one of the most famous. there hasn't been a book told from the vantage point of the friends of the candidate, and how much that changes your life when someone you've known forever becomes one of the most recognizable people on the planet overnight. this issue fascinated me when i was covering the campaign and blogging about the 2008 campaign, especially in this age of camera phones and twitter. right? i remember a moment when i watched sarah palin's buddies from jazzercise interviewed a week after he is was picked. bizarre. a week ago, someone fairly in your state and now one of the most famous people on the planet and whatever you say could end up hurting the career. and end up on national news. i thought the same about watching valerie jarrett and
some of the obama other friends. 's in a way i saw senator obama and mccain were the least fascinated. how this turned their lives upside down fascinated me and that's what i wanted to write about. >> talk about the spousal relationship. you get into that as well. has should people expect, without any spoiler alerts what should people be thinking about? and what got you intrigued to make it part of the story? >> this idea that, running for office is one of the few professions where you are asking people to sacrifice to keep your job but to get a job interview essentially. i wanted to do something on a loving couple, but how the spotlight effects their relationship. >> keli goff, "the gq candidate." i'm looking forward to finishing. it's absence the "l.a. times," they've called this a recommended summer selection, and another side of keli, which we needed to see.