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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  November 9, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm EST

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it is about america's future, not with standing who the president is. joining me are tom brocaw, ally gutmann, david brooks and jon meacham. >> they have to taker it out of column a and say some seizure are right and some of the issues on education and inequity are right and i'm going to take it out of both sides and that will just confuse everybody. but more people in the country between the tweeting and blogging would say interesting. >> rose: america and its ent re, the americame mwhno mont when we continue. re
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captioning sponsored by rose communications >> right here at home. >> that future is out there waiting for us. >> rose: a politician thinks
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of the next election, a statesman of the next gentlemen of the jury race said the theologian james clerk and you can't govern in poetry or pros. we want to raise this question. where is america 2012, 236 years after its birth and where is it going, the challenge of the next administration to both immediate and deep. no great country sustained its position without a strong economic foundation. the new president and new congress must deal with a fiscal cliff. partisan grid lock has present us from making hard decisions about where we need to stand and where we need to cut and how we bridge a growing economic inequity. while we remain the richest country of the world the economic order is rebalancing. economic powers are changing as we've seen to the response of the arab spring. defining east, demands between china and the united states and the realization it is not a zero sum game. there are problems that
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transcend are lationships, climate change global health and science. science and technology are giving us extraordinary insight who we are and how much we share. enormous power for both state and non-state actions. always at the heart of the nation's strengthing its ability to educate and press forward the frontier. these are issues not just to politicians but for all of us including the president. if there's one lesson that is if we can harness capacity for diverse experiences, cooperation and understanding, then there's a possibility for renewed hope. so we continue this evening not with the question of who won the election but where do we go from here. what is the great opportunity for the next four years. joining me, a remarkable group of people have written and thought hard about the choices ahead. from washington d.c., tom friedman. he's a columnist for the "new york times" and coauthor of that used to be us, how america fell beyond the world we invented and how we can come back. david bureaucrats the author of social love and achievement. joining me is tom brokaw,
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special correspondent for nbc news and author of the times of our lives, a conversation about america. and jon meacham executive editor of random house and author of the fourth coming book, thomas jefferson the art of power. finally amy gutmann president of the university of pennsylvania and chair of the bioethics and quo author of the spirit of promise why campaigning under mines it. i am pleased to have each here for this information. what is it that this new president has to understand about america at this moment? >> well, i think that this new president is going to have to govern, and governing in a polarized society which we have and a society which has tremendous problem, budgetary economic, immigration, educational. the list goes on. governing is going to mean bipartisan deals. and so mario cuomo may have said
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that you campaign in poetry but you govern in prose. we've been campaigning and most of america would agree in fiction. it isn't tuned to anybody's ears that anybody wants to hum, we've got to govern, this president has got to tell people there's going to be some sacrifices everybody makes in order to get some gain and we need some big deals here. >> rose: david this is not likely to happen but suppose the president on november 7 calls you and says oh my god, i won, what do i do now. >> what do you mean, it's not likely to happen. [laughter] >> that's the first call. in a panicked voice. >> rose: david or he will say you've been writing all this stuff now let's see what you know. >> right. so first of all i'm agreeing with amy's comment we've been campaigning in fiction and i would say extremely short fiction. it's been small and short. i guess the first thing i would
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do is i would say what is it we've been through and about to go through. you have to make a clear statement the election has passed. i'm going to talk in a different way, in a much bigger way. i'm going to say we've got three big problems the debt problem, the growth problem and inequity problem. they cross cut against each other and we're going to face this cliff pretty soon and so the, either i didn't do or president obama didn't do in the last four years i'm going to lay out the plan. here it is. some people in my party weent be happy, the other party won't be happy but here's my plan and let's work on this starting with my framework. >> rose: tom. >> the morning after whoever wins, the first thing i hope he does is call the leadership of the other side. make clear that we have some big hard things to do and we can only do them together. these are too big and hard for any party to deal alone. i think the biggest and hardest
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is we do need a grand bargain on debt deficit and taxes. that it stays in at an appropriate way at the proper scale. and at the same time we need to be a start-up country again. there's no employees, charlie, without employers. and it seems to me that the next president has got to reach out to the other party for starters but also to the business in the innovation community to make clear we're going to have a public/private partnership to make this a truly start up nation again that's going to get everybody in this country starting something. so we can get more people back to work. because if we don't, if we continue doing what we've been doing charlie which is taunting the two most powerful forces on the planet the market and mother nature at the same time. that's what we've been doing, we've basically been saying to each of them what you got baby, what you got. that all you got.
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well last week mother nature showed us what she got. if we don't do anything in the economy the market's going to show us what it's got. >> rose: tom brokaw. >> i think we have to get beyond the politics of fear. this campaign is terrifying about the other side. if that person gets in your life is all over. we've been playing by the rules of the 20th century. we now need to play by the rules of the 21st century. i agree with everything that's been said up to this point. the one step i would take beyond what david and tom said is the morning after the election i would not just reach out to the other side bud i would already have in place the private part of what i think is the important component going forward, the public/private partnership. you have to create a coalition outside of the beltway from the academy, from business and from the think tanks that can help you put this altogether and keep the pressure on capitol hill and keep the pressure on the agencies of government so that
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we can reform. i would just say one more thing and that is the most successful enterprise we have in america today is located in silicon valley. they're changing the world every day and we're all in awe that they have a continuing mantra. it is be disruptive. challenge convention. find new ways of doing things. and we said god this is just great, we just can't wait to be a part of it. and then the other parts of our life we're terrified about being disruptive or we just won't go there. >> rose: tom. >> churchill our great friend once said, one of the last things he said that the future's unknowable but the past should give us a hint. i think if you look back to two or three of the really transnormallive presidents you find a couple lessons that endure. one is be committed to one principle vision. it almost doesn't matter exactly what it is. with president reagan it was we asked first what the private sector can do before the public sector. with president roosevelt we just have to get moving again.
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and i think that the new president, whether it's the old president beginning anew or a new one is going to have to say this is what, this is the kind of country we want and that's my principal vision. and then be willing to depart from dogma at every point to get there. compromise should not be a dirty word. >> rose: nor should leadership. >> nor should followership. if we wanted the truth guess what they would be doing, they would be telling it. the whole system here is, i think, culpable. and my strong hope is that the american dream a phrase coined in 1931 by an his attorney named by james adams is, its most significant danger since the great economic boon of the second world war. without the renewal of that then we are in fact going to lose our
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imperial status. >> rose: tom and i talk board of director this before. is the country, that is the dakotas where you came from or the carolinas that i came from different from the powers that be in terms of how it feels from the way we are. >> yes, it's a religious holiday at this time of the year. that's where i was. and i was just, i mean i keep pretty close track what's going on even though i've been gone for 50 years. i have one of the smartest people i know out here said we're the future here. we're going to be able to keep young people here. they've got so much going on because they didn't do anything dumb. there were no sub-prime loans that won't on, they invested in small cities, always had a good school system and now commodities, agriculture are know booming across nebraska, south dakota and kansas. it's not just the shale oil coming out of north dakota. they don't get what's going on back in washington and at this point they don't care much because they're inkleined to take care of what they've got
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going on. it's a model in some ways. it wasn't that long ago -- we've got to turn that into the buffalo commons and give up on that part of the world. now agriculture is won by young entrepreneurial agricultural scientist how to get the most out of the soil and they're selling their products all over the world. they're familiar with china and with india and brazil. >> rose: you went to your home town. >> talking about tom brokaw we went to the same restaurant in minneapolis. on the one hand i found really the same kind of excitement that tom found. a lot of people, young people doing great innovation and start-ups in the minneapolis area much here's what i also found, charlie. i spent a day or an afternoon with three minnesota entrepreneurs to talk to them about their skill gap in the
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countries. it was an incredibly revealing conversation, i'll just share one slice of it. there was a woman, she and her sister inherited a steel plating company from their father in tracy, minnesota. a year ago they got a contract for army humvees, soothing steel plating on humvee is. they had to hire a dozen welders, a dozen welders. and they couldn't find 12 people who could do this welding. why was that. we think of welding, you put a task on, you have a torch. she said welding is a stem job. it is a science and technology job. you have to understand metallurgy. you have to understand geometry. they didn't have the people to do that. minnesota has a huge initiative state-wide to really close that skills gap. so that is a problem out there. the great thing is all these young people are inventing new
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jobs and industries but they have one thing in common. you need more education to get any job in any of those industries and companies. >> rose: tom and then to david. >> they've got a new technical institute, they're turning out welders and everyone coming out of there is getting a job. one of my friends who is an agricultural entrepreneur who had a real feel for how to manage big enterprises. do you know where he gets his workers to run the combine, they come from south africa to south dakota. and they spend eight months there living in houses that he turns over to them that have been vacated by older farmers who have now moved to town. and then they go back to south africa and come back again because he doesn't have enough skilled farm workers in south dakota. they think that will change because now there's a reason for people to stay but that's what's going on in the meantime. >> rose: is this part of the failure of our educational system whether it's our education or k-12. >> it's been written about how
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global our educational competition is today. and we are under investing in education hugely. we don't have national standards, the rates to the top is showing some progress but it's going to be a long term proposition to invest. and we're starving our state universities. a privileged private university has great supporters to continue to enable us to get financial aid. but berkley, michigan and uva's of this country are being starred right now and we're going to lose out. we are losing out. and it's a tragedy because that's the economic engine of our country and it's also, charlie, you mentioned earlier, about opportunities. the engine of opportunity to narrow that divide between the haves and the have-nots. >> rose: david brooks you've written also about education. but back to this issue of wanting to do lots of things but living in a world in which we
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have too much debt. and how do we break that grid lock, that dysfunction in washington. what does the new president have to do that previous presidents have not done? >> i'm not actually sure it's in washington. i do think it's from a deeper cultural problem. i'm sort of struck by this election how it was possible to lie without any negative consequences for both parties. that's a national problem people aren't willing to punish candidates on their own side for lying. as far as the debt we've got to have a different attitude toward debt bend of life care. that's not only a washington problem that's a national problem. as far as taxes you've got to be willing to pay for the government you want. and the american people aren't doing that right now. while i agree all the innovation is going on around the country america is still america, we're still have the greatest educational system at least in higher ed. i do think there are certain
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cultural problems with the country we haven't faced. one of them meecham mentioned the word followership. we're too cynical about government. people in the 1920's and 30's and 1880's we're not confronted with magical great government but they had more faith in it because they understood how hard it was. now we think we're better than whoever it is who happens to be governing us. >> charlie, i'm struck by that and i don't have enough depth perception. i'll ask tom brokaw this. there does seem to be a degree of lying, balanced face lying to a whole new industry of fact checking, i don't remember. at this degree. it seems to be a difference of degree that's a difference in kind. is that your consensus, tom brokaw. >> i have not done what i would call a qualitative study of it. i think one of the things that happened though is everyone is saying much more attention to whatever anyone is saying at any
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given moment, it pops up on the internet and the bloggers are all over in heart beat so we have a greater awareness. but there has to be to put it kindly stretching of claims in every election going all the way back to our system. but what i think is the larger issue is that in this election, there was a narrowing of the constituency so that you really were operating within very confined space, if you wanted to get the nomination on the republican side, for example. and even on the democratic side there was even a lot of kind of holding your hands and feet to the fire if you're going to run. and not your other points of view. on the lying thing, there was a lot of that going on. was it greater than what we've seen in the past or do we have a greater awareness, i can't say. >> i think one of the thing that links both the cultural and political side here is american democracy has worked best when we have been, we, everybody, has
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been fully engaged in it. a jacksonian idea that elections are not the end of something they're the beginning of something. one of the things, has anyone heard this word, mandate, at all this here? i mean except as big as chris christie and president obama went on. aside from that, it's just not been part of the conversation. and i think that again all of us, the voters, particularly in states that are not deep red or deep blue have a certain obligation to give their lawmakers the room to cast a couple votes that might get them in my favorite washington verb primaried. when you talk to these guys and the cameras are away they say the real problems is not so much the general election it's that if we vote with the other side on a couple big thing which is what a fiscal deal's going to require, then we're going to get
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hit by people who think we aren't pure enough. so we are punishing compromise at just the kind of moment we need. the middle way is not the right way but sometimes it is. >> so we are punishing compromise but we also need leaders in congress who will be courageous enough, have the guts as well as the stamina to really make a difference. what we didn't say is that the president's going to have to do right after the election is he's going to have to stare down congress especially your own party. you cater to your own party when you campaign. you have to make your party a little unhappy when you govern. >> rose: let me ask this question back to teddy roosevelt. have we lost the presidency, and are we looking at a time in 2013 in which we're looking at small things, not big thing. >> it is very hard.
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you'll talk to anybody, and tom knows this better than any of us. you talk to whitehouse operatives, they cannot get the kind of audience they used to get. when president reagan wanted to get an economic speech, he got 45 or 50 million in prime time. the presidents don't get that anymore unless it's a real crises. so they go on the view, they go on letterman. they get a tax for that. but in fact, that's the only way to reach them. >> rose: they believe it humanizes them to do that. >> they do but they cannot get, it's very hard to exercise presidential leadership in the classic sense, in a culture that is so incredibly atomized. >> rose: david go ahead. >> i don't think i agree with that. if you look at what's happened over i would say over the last 30 or 40 years, this power has become centralized in
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washington. it's more insular and more centralized and a small number of people in the west wing that really control the administration. in congress it's certainly more centralized than the house, much more centralized than the speaker's office in the senate and much more centralized in the leadership. so i do think that if you got say obama and boehner or romney and reid together with a relatively small number of people, you could exercise some pretty serious presidential leadership even with all the other thing going on in the country we talked about. >> rose: tom just joined us. go ahead tom. >> i'll just add to david's point i think when jon meacham 20 years from now writes the biography of president obama for his term there will certainly be a chapter that will be titled how could it be that barack obama turned out to be the worst communicating modern president in american history. and i think that's been himself has acknowledge that he had no narrative. i think that part of it was he was reacting to the hillary criticism, he just gives
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speeches. part of it he was truly focused on the substance of what he did. i would argue that it was not all just this noise thing. they had a very bad communication strategy and operation. there's a way of getting things across and repeating things. the way of explaining things like healthcare in a way americans would understand and appreciate. the way of explaining the importance of the race to the top in this era of globalization, explaining the auto mileage deal he put through. and i think he is poor for it, for not having taken the time or risen to that challenge. >> rose: not to disagree with my friend david brooks -- to believes in centralized power. one of the few conservatives. >> and thomas jefferson. >> rose: who believes in democracy and the virtue of the people which america has become great on the power of that. nothing personal in this at all. i think it's just very very hard to exercise and i agree with tom, to present a coherent narrative in a culture where
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everyone is there own pundit, their own narrator. >> rose: david brooks in washington. back to the idea of presidential leadership. i mean remember, i remember when carter and there was all this conversation about one man couldn't hold the job and along came ronald reagan and said yes, in fact he can hold this job and provide a vision. aren't these qualities that are still viable for presidential leadership? >> i guess i would say the sign of a failing president is someone who talks about the limitation of the power of the office. >> rose: or david suggested it's a marketing problem and not a content problem. go ahead. >> i would say it's not knowing how to use the power. now listen there are limits on the power. i once asked someone who was president what did you learn in office they didn't know beforehand and he said there's a lot of passive aggressive behavior in government that i
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didn't understand. and that's true. the president gives an order and nobody will take it. that happens a lot. nonetheless they said that being mayor of new york until rudy giuliani came along and barack obama did a lot in his first term. i think it's possible to get things done. you have to revive faith in government. i don't agree with tom that obama has a communication issues. i don't believe americans believe in good government particularly so i think it was more of a substance issue and how he went about it. to me the next president has to take some issue out of column a in the republican side and say some of the ideas are right, some of the regulatory ideas are right and take some issues out of column b the democratic side and say a lot of their issues on equity and inequity are right and i'm going to take it out of both sides and that will confuse everybody. most people in the country between the tweeting and
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blogging they would say mm-mm, interesting. >> i thought they were far too promiscuous how they used the president as a speech maker. they had him in back yards in virginia and back yards in new mexico. they thought he still had a magic about him that predated him taking office and the campaign. it just wasn't having an impact anymore because people see so much all day every day. it's not unique. there was a time and i've been in this business a long time. the president's going to make a prime time speech. that's something really unusual and we have to pay attention. that's not true anymore. >> charlie, i would say one thing which is that i think this president uniquely did not use his cabinet and leverage some of the really skilled people in this cabinet. the skilled people have been in the witness protection program. i hear we had a labor crises in this country. i would shudder to think how few americans know we have a labor
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secretary let alone know her name, let alone if you flashed her picture now on your screen, anyone would know who she was. now you have people like arne duncan over in education who are tremendous great communicators, did a lot and who can amplify the president's message. bill sack over at agriculture, he's a really good solid people. they were uniquely under utilized. they're endangered species i see more in the last year than leads jackson head of the epa who is a fantastic administrator. >> rose: you said the national debt problem is a medicare problem. what should we do now about healthcare? >> well, i have my own preferred approach which i have no confidence in. which is the premium support approach that basically is mitt romney. but say if romney loses there's still another approach proposed by people like emanuel and
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others like getting rid of the two four sursist system. as long as we're paying for quantity and not quality and as long as people are facing end of lynchers that's a moral conversation. it's not the people dying who wants to spend all their dollars on hip replacement in their 90's it's the other people who don't want to have that unpleasant feeling of guilt. for those two issues, those are the two core issues to keep the country solvent, whether you believe in a big government or small government if you can't keep it solvent it doesn't farther. >> the other big piece of that is you've got to get the consumer involved. i have a trick i do, how many of you how much you spent on your health care last year. roger goodell the commissioner of the football league said i don't know who to ask. people just walk in with an insurance policy or going to the er saying i have an ache or pain somewhere. i have a daughter in the middle of all this in the er in san
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francisco is now shifted. she's managing complicated cases for family finding herself doing more and more on end of life and making sure family are prepared for this issue and the cost savings is enormous. medicare is trying to level the playing field the disparity between what we spend on medicare patients on south florida and in oregon or in other parts of the country is enormous. these are the kind of hard complex issues that we're going to have to drill down on. >> rose: go ahead, jon. >> it's culture, not politics. families that decide, death's got a bad rap. i was on one for my dpranld mother, i assume we've all been on them at various times. these are all organic kind of respect. >> it's perky. >> it's organic. >> rose: we talked about entrepreneurial spirit which you
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suggested earlier, we talked about innovation, dave writes about that and everything thinks about that. have we lost that. does that need tush somehow rekindled or is it there and moving along spectacularly well. >> well you know there are statistics that show that start ups have slowed down. coughing institute has done a study on that and there is, don't quite know exactly what all the reasons are. one of the thing that had the negative effect is the change in bankruptcy law. a lot of people did start ups on their credit cards. that limited some people's ability to do that. but traveling around the country like all of us on this show get the chance to do. i saw people if you want to be an opt mission about -- optimist about america stand on your head. it is still exploding with entrepreneurship and i think that one of the things of many thing the next president has to do is i think really convey
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excitement about that and sit down with everyone on the business from one end to the other and simply say what are the thing we have to do to get more of that amplified to take it to scale. because the days charlie when they're going to come to your town with a 25,000 person factory that's over. ford will come to your town but maybe with a 2500 person, 2500 robots. we need 50 people starting jobs for 20, 20 people starting jobs for 30, 30 people starting jobs for 50. that's really what we need now and we need it at scale. >> rose: so the new president faces for his country a diminished role for america or what? >> i want to go back to your opening charlie. it's something jon meacham said which i certainly believe that the american treatment we all know is at stake here, our ability to pass on the rising standard of live to our
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children. if america can't provide the global goods it provides in the world system, i am a believe that we are a net positive contributor to the global system and its stability. if we can't do that your dwidz won't just grow up in a different america it will be a fundamentally different world by china or russia or most likely nobody at all. there's a lot at stake here on how our economy goes and develops. part of that is pulling mac bitions out of proportion like afghanistan. it's also remembering one thing. we have one unique thing that the chinese and russians don't have. we can lead by emlation. the chinese have to find people the chinese have to bludgenon people -- exponential. >> rose: where does american leadership express itself in terms of going beyond its own
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borders? david. >> first the old fashion truth is that power does matter and the military does power. filling the space in is asia, we have military presence important that. dealing with iran is the number one issue the next president faces. you got to have some military presence for that. and then finally and i think this goes along with what people have been saying the blur between that and foreign domestic paul z we have lots of countries around the world facing crises. so we all have sort of similar problems whether it's japan, europe, us, even to some extent china which is aging without a welfare state. providing leadership on that and maybe getting people to think together about how you deal with these issue that seems to be important. finally i will say what amy said which is our university system is the tremendous exporter of soft power right now. i met with three of the on-line even indicators last week and they said we're proud of the americans. we've got people all around the
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world who want to take classes because they are american universities and that is just a tremendous opportunity to spread not so much american ideas but the american tradition of education. >> yes and pleurallism around the world. >> rose: and that allows them to come here and work. >> it is so stupid to deport those students who come here, get a degree and want to stay and start a company here and employ americans. we have examples of students who were deported back to india and they started up their company there and they're opening branches here rather than letting them stay here. >> rose: americans here but ememploying all the people. an interesting for the biographers of the world. david says the number one problem we're going to falls i s -- face is iran, that's possible. sitting here in 2000 we would not presumably have talked about the effects of the terrorists attacks what happens less than a
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year later. and the foreign policy effects and the economic effects which we are still living. so we don't really know because history's like this what the real number one foreign policy is going to be. we can guess. we have educated guesses but things happen that we don't anticipate. that's where the arab spring. september 11 and its implications. i would just argue that's why the character of whoever wins this election is so important. foreign policy, as clinical as we want it to be in many ways is a human undertaking. >> rose: this is very important. what do you mean by character. help us understand what character has to do in terms of what are we talking about. character with respect to the presidency. >> i think we saw in 2001 we had a president who had a stubborn streak, who had, was in a way radicalized by events in the
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autumn of 2001. >> rose: 9/11. >> he was against nation building before he was in favor of it. and because of the effects of that we are living in a world which is radically different. the great example would be world war ii where fdr said i'm a jugular, i never let my left hand know what my right happened is doing. he got us in a position to fight. that was his character. made him a lousy husband but made him a great president. i would say that between the president obama we've seen in the last four years kind of law professor with hawkish streak, character-driven foreign policy. i think that that's, it's important of all these fears of life i would argue foreign policy perhaps, i would submit for argument, so what you all think, that the character of the president matters almost more in foreign policy than it does in domestic policy. >> i figure big part of the future has to be marrying soft power with hard power. i don't disagree with david but
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at the same time we've let soft power fall by the wayside especially the middle east. the face of america in that part of the world for most of the people involved in islamic rage, a loaded weapon going down a two-lane road in a striker or humvee of some kind. a new president could have a big idea creating what i call diplomatic special forces. getting a series of public service academies across the country making public private and have them posted here but also abroad so they're working side by side. if you go into those villages in afghanistan where i've been with special forces and the tenth mountain division you can see the weariness in their eyes even though the young lawyers so skilled what they do we want to help, i don't need more guys with guns telling me what to do. but if you had diplomatic special forces secured by the military you could put up a dish and down load mid wifery or
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carpentry or nutrition. we're not thinking bolding how to go into the new world and that's what troubles me. >> rose: friedman they're singing your song. >> to pick up on tom's point, there's one word i keep coming back to when i think of the challenge of the next president. and that is to make this a rea silient country. resilience is so important because when you look at the world in europe we're seeing today the crack up of the super national state, the euro zone which is clearly not working. in the arab world we're seeing the crack up of the nation state which clearly isn't working there and the reemergence of the oldest civil war on the planet between sunni and shiites. we see the biggest amount of political reform in a two-way conversation with the chinese
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people 400 million bloggers, okay. so he's going to have to navigate this political reform in a two-way conversation. when i think of those three things i think of one thing i hope we can be a pillar of stability for the world. >> the good thing about that hope tom is that democracy is the most resilient form of government, if only they really do tend to character as well as, you know, in our leaders as well as in the followers, right. it's really, i do think jefferson was right and our founder franklin also said it. which is you can't have -- special pleading here -- >> that's the best name dropping i've heard in a long time. >> you can't fault that. education and educated citizenry
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is absolutely essential to moving from campaigning to governing because governing is more example than campaigning except this campaign which was the most painful campaign which may push the public to yearn for governing. >> rose: i got some currency a little while back seemed less so now because tough times have come to other parts of the world. is america in decline. david where do you come on the idea of america on decline? >> i call my family mother moses and trump's everybody else's founding father. [laughter] >> rose: he wants to talk about abraham. >> and you never saw the promised land. >> unfair. >> came close. i never really thought this america in decline business. in part you look at people under 30. they are tremendously holding a
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responsible generation. they have -- but until then, they're very hard working responsible. they're going to save our bacon. second, america is still basically america. we still have a very creative dynamic culture. we have a lot of advantage going forward. there's a global middle class rising, they're going to be buying our products good for making products for the middle class like entertainment and education. and we do have the educational system amy talks about. it's in crises but amy's university, the university of pennsylvania is a fantastic university, almost as good as the university of chicago. and we've got community colleges which i think are growing and have had good support. we've got a pretty good education reform. so you know i think the culture of america is still basically the culture of america and i can't imagine any of us would trade our problems for anybody else's problems. >> rose: tom friedman, go ahead. >> i want to pick up on david. i'm a little less sanguine.
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i worry sometimes what we're that -- cleaned the cleanest dirty shirt. i agree with all the strengths that david has cited. but i do worry about the public private partnership that is needed to sustain those strengths and i fear that we are in the worst kind of decline, a slow decline. it's slow enough for us to imagine we're not in a decline and that drop everything and do what is still very much in our control and in our power right now for reasons david said to really turn this ship in another direction. >> rose: but if you look at this idea of being in the united states today having all the power not in decline, but needing to tap into the resources it has and also needing to tap into resources around the world in terms of problem solving. is that a big opportunity that the right kind of president can seize? >> one of the things i always, i've always admired about president obama and i think his
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great strength. he gave his speech in cairo charlie, something i felt strongly about to this day there's something about the audience in cairo four years ago who looked up to president obama and said he's darked skinned, his name's barack and my name's barack. his grandfather's a muslim and i'm muslim and he's the president of the united states and i can't vote. i think that really set a lot of wheels in motion more than we realize. i simply say this. when they do write the biography of president obama i think one of the thing that is under appreciated. i think he's been a great representative of the united states. charlie we are sitting here the day before the election appearing the day before the election we are debating whether to replace a black man whose middle name is hussein with a mormon. who else do they do that? is this a great country or what and i think president obama
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whatever happens, he's been a great representative for the best of america around the world. and our standing in the world has benefited from that. >> rose: what's necessary for a the president be able to reach the out and have the leadership ability and the kind of argument to prevail in uniting diverse forces. >> i guess i'm stripped by something i'm always stripped by when i have lunch or breakfast or dinner with a member of congress or politician. i always think reasonable and private. i happen to think the quality of the people in government now are as good as it's ever been and if you go back to the founding, little higher maybe. but it's a very high quality group of people. barack obama, mitt romney. if you just met them on the street, you would be really impressed by them if they had nut run for office. wow what an amazing person. i was reviewing the sheet of the congressional house candidates running against each other personal bios.
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there's a medal of arne here, founding a community group there. it's district after district really impressive people who i think really knows our issues if you talk to the senators. much less likely to be drunk at lunch than 20 years ago. so i think the quality of the individuals is fine. it's the system that stinks. >> rose: so would you change the system? >> i think some of it can be done legislatively doing more open primaries in different states changing the financing of the system. all those thing would help but i would have more drinking more bourbon in washington where they can get drunk together i think that would help. might do that around the country too actually. but i do think it's just a question of leadership. i think obama tried it. he came in really wanting to try, couldn't quite find the partner to do that. but if you had a burst of five or six people you keep listening to in washington then you could change the dynamic and the quality of the individual. >> rose: you're talking about old rarity it seems to me the idea of -- and other qualities
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that i think the country hungers for. >> you're going to have a little consciousness between campaign consciousness and governing consciousness and that's a little -- that's not there. >> you can be elite without being elitist. once you get elected to congress you're a member of the elite but it's not elitist to think you can govern and to govern you need relationships. the problem with reasonableness in congress now is the country desires it but the media ignores it because if you're reasonable and you speak reasonably you don't get the media that you get. so there are problems with how the 24/7 blogosphere and media work. but i do think that whether it
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takes bourbon or soirees or whatever it's really good for the president to meet to have relationships, to argue and to just get, you have to -- >> rose: secretary of states have said to me the most important thing i learned in this job is how important personal relationships are. >> george herbert walker bush used to be in the run up to building the great global coalition, one of the greatest achievements in america life in 1990-91 used to say that what he would do when he first became president was he would call up somewhere and say house the weather in the desert. when he called that emir at some other point the emir remembered that he called about the weather. >> rose: they both understood that. putting together the perfect
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president, what qualities would you draw on from previous presidents you've read about? >> mm-mm. let's see. i would start with tom's brain. you know, it's pretty obvious, you know. you go with lincoln. i'm going to give my hamilton pitch. he was the a president but what he did was introduce the school of thinking that says this country's about social mobility. we have one party that's all about freedom and one party that's more or less about the quality and those are limited virtues but we do not have a party that's all about social mobility and about the market. i do think that's been the missing element in american life which we used to have in the whig party and the early republican party. i think it's more the substances having that agenda. where is it impo tent in america it's lack of ideas and agenda and it's lack of 23eu8ing that agenda that's really the crucial
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thing. >> just on social mobility, one of the things that makes me realize why my job is worthwhile, is when i can say that one out of seven of our incoming freshmen will be the first in their families to graduate college. not enough of that's happening in our country. and to go back to what i think we all could agree on is to have a country where we have an educational system and an economic system that is truly free so that talented people can rise up beyond their family circumstances. like many of us did. it's really to know what makes this country so wonderful. and i think that dream has really been suppressed in decades of late. >> rose: go ahead, jon. >> i was going to say, i don't want politics to be too bad a
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rap here because -- >> rose: there's -- who made that same point and he was a politician. >> if somebody comes up with a better system that's great but it doesn't seem likely in the next couple weeks. and jefferson when he was trying to work out a deal where the capitol was going to be in the washington and they're going to fund the debt and hamilton and adams and madison are all fighting each other. jefferson held a dinner and basically said i think it's best a system like ours to give as well as to take. so the ones we defy were deal makers. the art of the deal is what's going to get us out of this. whether it was a deal for education funding or gi bill or whatever it is, it's going to require these folks who are getting elected tomorrow from david's point not just for the presidency but 435 fies around
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and politics in the state and it's kind of productive. >> when you talk about leadership charlie, i think what jon has hit on is one part of politics and that is politics is a craft. kennedy and hatch had it, tip o'neill and ronald reagan. we need to respect that craft. >> rose: all back to politics. >> exactly. >> one of the places you can look in america is at the city level and the mayor around the country. they're moving their cities into 21st century where i think we still have a lot of trouble are in the states where there's still an antiquated system. new york has 11,000 state agencies, for example. iowa had 99 down trees, 35 miles apart. everyone with a separate sheriff and auditor and everything else. at the tertiary level people are coming to grips with the problems and a lot of that has to do with public private. not just mitch daniels in
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indiana. municipalities are meecham of reaching out and shutting down local agencies and bringing in private enterprise and working on it to make it more efficient to free up revenue and to give people a sense of hope that the system can work for them. and so that's one of the ways that we need to nurture our leaders. we need to be drawing from the same well for too long in terms of the people who are in washington. >> rose: david brooks, is this the center-right country or center-left country? >> to me it's de monitoring center-right country. you can do the polling. ask people where you want to scale 0-0, 0 being conservative 5 is liberal. they see themselves in center-right, suspicious in government but it should be around to give them a helping hand with grants and stuff like that. >> rose: and fema to stand by. >> that's right. if i could give one bit of advice to the republican party assuming they're going to be in some tough shape for the next
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couple decades is get over the argument that the argument is big government versus small government it's not about that it's what kind of country are we and what kind of government. there are certain government programs that promote ambition, that promote aspiration, that enhance mobility. there are programs that decrease those things. you should be against that. big government versus little government means you're going to lose a people in the lower middle class, you're going to lose a lot of of the immigrant groups and be sentenced to a perpellual minority stance. >> rose: we are a divination for many reasons but you look at the composition of the voting public today. this is a very different country than it was 25 years ago. >> it's another minor. >> it's an immigrant nation. it's always been part of the genius of this country is people come here to fulfill their aspirations and that they see opportunity and rule of law here and they see an opportunity for their children that they wouldn't have from wherever they
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came. now we're seeing in the electorate because it's not just the latinos who are expanding across america it's also the asian americans and other ethnic groups who are coming here and planting their hopes in this soil and are now beginning to take part in the election. not just that but also as representatives. the fast of the american public service has changed profoundly. i'm not doing this to pay tribute to amy. i also believe this is going to be century of women in america and there has to be acknowledgment of that. >> what do you mean going to be. >> well it is. and it's taking place and i say that and i'm the father of three daughters and a remarkable wife and four grand daughters. but you look at every conceivable thing and that ought to be encouraged more than it is and the prefile ought to be raised because we're going to need everybody to solve this. >> rose: with that thank you very much tom brokaw, thank you
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jon meacham, thank you amy gutmann, thank you tom friedman and thank you david brooks. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh
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