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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 2, 2013 8:00pm-10:01pm EST

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>> operated before us. >> you write it is between
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letter writing and conversation was blurred by the custom of dictating outgoing letters to describes and having incoming letters read aloud to them. >> indeed, you would have a describe and a messenger bringing them to friends and they were capable of reading and writing. they got more done back then. the reason week we can do social media is because it is fast and
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cheap to deliver image. and for the romans they had slavery and they were able to have a social eco system where they passed mej messages to each other. >> what were the wax tablets you talked about? >> they had devices that looked like like i-pads. you might use a wax tablet and you would scratch the message or a describe -- scribe -- would do it and the recipient would bring it back to you. cicero refers to this as roman texting. it was a note pad as well and people used them to learn to
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write. they are the same size as the i-pad. and dollar there was a lot of examples of people depicted holding what looked like smart phones or smart phones that use styluses to write on. and they are using them as notebooks. so it is another unexpected way to do things today. >> you talked about the romans having their own lol. >> they used abbreviations. by and large it was easier to use one so there was a premium on space.
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spd was send greetings to. and another meant i am well, i hope you are and if you are that makes me happy and you would say that in four or five letters. it is similar to the way we use abbreviations in tweets and text today. >> martin luther -- you write he reveal the revealed the power of a decentralized media center whose people took part of a distribution center. >> he is 15 centuries after cicero but what he does looked roman. he thinks the catholic church is wrong. and the church is failing these bits of paper that get you out of purgtory earlier than you
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should be. this is policing the poor of their savings in order to build a temple. he draws up a list of 95 rose -- reasons -- why he disagrees with them. he pinned it to the church door and people read them and said this is hot stuff. and they sent it to friends and discussed it. since the roman period, they started the printing wordprepre
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they spread throughout germany and europe. luther is amazed by this and so is everybody else. luther senses an opportunity and realizes if he wants to make the message to the public he can have it distributed without doing much. he follows up with a series of pa pamphlets in german and write straight-forward so people all around could understand him. he gives the text to the printer in the town. the printer prints a thousand copies, they go to nearby town and the printers say it is another one from luther and print another thousand each and so on and so on. it ripples and luther does this for several years waging a campaign using these pamphlets
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and preaching. he is using the fact they are a amplifying his message. they are recommending it to their friends. if you have a message people want to hear you can get this viral spread. and we recognize it on the internet. but that is what lurther is taking advantage and the result was the split; the reformation. >> how is it different from mass media? >> when you have a social media, whether it is today on the internet or pamphlets in the old day, it is two-way conversational environment and people are passing things two and from friends and exchanging information along social networks and that is why it is social networking. this creates a community.
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that is what a social environment looks like and we have familiar with that on facebook and twitter. we see stuff from people we follow. the difference with mass media is that mass media is one-way and impersonal and talked down broadcast. the radio sits in the corner of the room. it isn't social. it is sitting there and you are not having a conversation with it. and no social networking or personal recommendation involved. we have come to thing of one-way media channels that reach a large audience; newspaper, television and internet. and we come to think this now is a change and we can get news from friends and you don't need to be a newspaper editor to decide what message is going to spread. but this is how things were in
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the era before the mass media. wuch co-- the period before old media looks very familiar. it is social from the romans all the way up to the french and american revelation. the thesis of the book is that social media is a reversion to the way things used to be and we can learn from the old social media systems that came before. it turns out many questions we had on the social media today and the impact on public discourse and whether it is waste of time. these previous questions arose in the past and there are lez lessons we are learn.
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>> you talk about the year 1579 and england trying to restrict some of these systems. >> today we understand when an embarrassing video or something like that gets out on the internet and people try and take it down, you cannot do it with the distributed media environment. there is no center. just lots of interconnected things. it is very hard to control. we see this after luther and he is called this amazing split in the church and there are ramifications for politics and religion in europe. across europe, people think this printing press is bad news and we need to find a way to control it. they say you cannot own a printer press unless you have a license from the government and all documents have to be checked. but this system fails to work
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immediately. they are ways of getting around the licensing requirements. when given a license, you can write under license on a document and list a different pripter -- printer or make one up -- it is hard for the authorities to figure out who printed the document and you get a fight from the de-centralized nature of the environment and the desire to control it by government. we recognize this from the 1500s and now. >> tom standage is here with us and he is the author of "writing on the wall" what is your day job? >> i am a digital editor at the
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economist and part of that led to my interest in historical media. we have returning to the way things used to work. and the economist came out of culture of clubs and coffee shops and discussions. there is a lot we can learn from looking at the history of how we should deal with the changes in the media environment place. >> how did tom pain contribute to the american revolution? >> he took advantage of the social media environment that was constructed by ben franklin. ben franklin constructed a platform for social discourse. he was a publisher and one of the many jobs was postmaster
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general for the american colony. he improved the efficiency of the postal service. and he made a rule that newspaper publishers could use the service for me and collaborate with other papers. it is mostly letters from scribers or speeches or reports of funny happenings or stuff copied from other newspapers. there are not professional journalist writing reports. this is a social, local platform. and ben franklin built the system, and didn't realize it, but he is encouraging the spread of information. and his is what tom pane was
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able to use to spread the idea america should be independent from great britain. and he writes the pamphle pamphlet "common sense" and it is printed in the newspaper and they spread to other towns and people learn across the environment what tom pane has to say. many papers printed it in full. it was able to ripple throughout and become wide-known quickly. ben franklin prepared to ground and tom pane was able to use the system to spread the idea in independence was the way forward. >> let's talk about guglielmo marconi and the rise of amateur
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radio. >> the really interesting thing about radio is it too was a social medium. if you like at the rise of the 21st centuries, there were people that built a transmitter and receiver. it couldn't do audio so you would to do morris code with dots and dashes. and this is the same idea of building robots today. we think these are the skills that will be useful. radio was promoted as a way to improve your child. because guglielmo marconi made this tinkering in his parent's attic. get your son a radio set and he would learn morris code and communicate with others. as more and more people did it, and transmitters were more
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powerful, the fact they were all on the same frequency, the a airwaves filled up. and the navy wanted into use it but boys were playing with them saying there is a sinking ship here. radio went from being a social media to a two-way medium and it was controlled and regulated. this is interesting because it is familiar looking in social. you have an online chat room everyone is in. and then it goes from being absolutely opposite of that from being a one-way channel. radio is the pivot in the whole switchover. and now we are pivoting back to a more social media environment. >> and you might that the
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titanic led to one of the first regulations of the airways. why? >> the idea that boys who were building powerful transmitters and this was unregulated. they were starting to cause problems with rescuing people from sinking ships. it wasn't true the use of the m amateur radio hampered that. but when the titanic went down, it was like when there is breaking news on twitter, and everyone goes nuts on twitter, it was the same thing. the east coast lit up with the radio transforms. and in the end, it didn't hamper the rescue effort because it was
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flawed for other reasons. but it was convenient for the owners of the titanic to say it would have been fine. they used that theirs excuse. the whitehouse sorted it out and said we need to regulate the radio and that is when radio seized to be a social medium. the titanic is involved in that switchover. >> rca had the tag line world wide wireless >> that is right. www was their logo. it was going to provide telegra telegraphy services because they were sent building wires and radio meant you could have a few
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towers. so they were set up to capitalize on that because guglielmo marconi who was european was making great progress. and there was real concern the british were going to end up with monopoly on the business. and then it pivots to this broadcasting. and rca was selling radio and using the lour of free broadcast services to get every one to bu the hardware. and people start to wonder how you will do this. will you have a tax on every radio and that is the model in britain we ended up with. you have to have a license to run the radio. in america, that didn't go down well and ad vertising was the
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proposed. and there was opposition and just like how people reacted to advertising on fair -- facebo facebook -- or twitter. we had soap operas and other things. but it is familiar debate. >> october 29th, 1969 bob taylor, charlie cline, and leonard kleinrock, what happened? >> they were establishing the first lic link in what would become the internet. it crashed after two letters. they were trying to ty type "login "and trying to create ucla to stanford. they typed l, it worked.
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and typed o and it worked. but g crashed the whole system. so the first attempt to do an internet link didn't work. it started off with a small network. it was built to link together various computers used for military research. the guys funding this has many computers they have helped to set up and were being used and see what was going on. they didn't want too far a remote terminal. they wanted to have a single terminal that you could see all of the them. and this is an interesting thing that seems to happen when you have computers that allow you to connect. they become social communities. and you get more collaboration between the researchers because you could share work. if you connected a lot of computers together you would get
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more collaboration. and we have seen that on a massive scale. we have seen collaborations of all sorts and people in different fields. this is what makes the internet so powerful as a means of st stimula stimulasti stimulate innovation. that is what coffee houses did in the 1600s. you were expected to be able to talk to anyone in the coffee house regardless of social clause and this was a big deal. you get environments where gentlemen lords and mechanics mix and you get ideas slicollid
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that didn't happen before. you never know who you are meeting and finding out and people end up spending hours in the coffee shop. it is fertile as a hotbed of innovation. you have the scientist and isaac newton wrote his story to settle an argument on gravity. coffee houses turned out to be a great place where you mix people and idea up. and that is what the internet does by allowing people to meet. >> when you look back to 1969, the first internet message to today, the growth and change in what we know as the internet, is it faster than in the past? >> yes, it is definitely faster.
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i have to, you know, be straightforward about this, martin's social media operates on a scale -- modern -- that say unlike any other in history. it is global, and might be permanent. but the idea social media environments haven't occurred before is unprecedenteunprecede. the social reactions you get to social media that it will tr trivalize debate and that is are the issues they are raising today. >> there are things you can do on the internet that you couldn't do with the pamphlets but the similarities are close enough week we can learn.
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>> you write tat today's platform represent a transitional stage like aol and compuserve. >> if you look at the way e-mail or web publishing works, if you don't like the way google is looking at your mail, you can set up your own web server thaz that runs the open standards and plug it in. similarly, if you don't want a company like wordpress to host your blog, you can set up your own standards and set it up. it is done in the centralized way and owned by large companies. this is very different. it is not open standard base and distributed. so i wonder if that is a
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permanent state of affairs. this is what happened with aol and compuserve. it looks like they owned access to the consumer internet, but people bought straight vanilla access, dial access and broad n broadband. they didn't need the software that aol and compuserve provided. it is a challenge to build a system that works in a time playma playma playmate -- time playmaly matte
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there is a lot of technical challen challenges that need to be overcome. but i am keeping an eye on efforts that are trying to create an open standard for social media. and maybe like aol and co compuserve were swayed away, the same could happen >> whatever form social media takes, it is not going away. social media is not new. it has been around for centuries. l logs are the new pamphlets and there are social platforms that
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let people's idea ripple through another. that said, mr. standage, social media as you ask, what is your answer to it being a trivialized d disadvantage? >> this happened with the printing press and literacy with writing the alphabet before that writing systems were difficult to learn. every time there is a way for more people to publish the people who used to be in charge complain the wrong people will use this. so it was said they were worried about everyone reading the
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pamphlets that are easy to read and no one is reading the greeks again. we get this time and time again. we get it with twitter and anyone can say anything. i think it is good and broadening access to publishing to more and more people. what happens each time you have an expansion is that it appears to be unmanageable. it takes time to work out the mechanisms from shifting to the stuff you see and don't see. when the printing press made it easier to print, there was an explosion and people felt overwhelmed. they came up with technology and tools for dealing with it. book reviews, table of context, and book indexes. and those let you work out what
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books are relevant to you. and they were invented to make books more easier to navigate. we go through the same process with this now. we had yahoo with a directory listing. and key words were able to put in. and now social networks and friends are recommending interesting beits. that is how the greeks did it. filtering everything through friend and filtering stuff were them is where we are going next. this is how we are dealing with the fact that lots and lots of stuff is being published and this is thou happened in the past. what i regard as the signal is different than what others. and these systems allow us to
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pluck what we want to read. >> tom standage is the author and "writing on the wall: social media -- the first 2,000 years. " >> on august 9, 1974 vice president ford was sworn in as president. this is the dress that ms. ford was wearing at the swearing in ceremony. she was less than excited about becoming first lady. but president ford encouraged her. she said i am going to have fun doing it. and the fun started immediately. within ten days she had a state
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dinner to entertain the king of jordan. >> first lady betty ford. tonight at 9 eastern. live on c-span 3 and on c-span's website. >> up next, an update on the health care law and website. this is 40 minutes. or satellite provider. now, >> and for a closer look at the ongoing efforts to get the health care site working. we go to a health care reporter and ms. ethridge let's start with the briefing on fixing the federal exchange website. what was your takeaway from that? >> the department official health and human services think
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they have hit the deadline for making the website work for most people by november 30th. they have done a management overhaul. it is up and running most of time up from 43%. the error rate is down to 1% and the wait time is seconds. >> and we read a bit of this from the wall street journal today. obamacare mission accomplished. was this a mission accomplish type briefing there? >> it wasn't a mission accomplish thing because they did a huge emphasis on we have a lot of work to do. this is by no-means a perfect system. we have it to where we want it. but there is going to be problems and things need to be
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fixed. this is an ongoing process to make it work better and better. and they acknowledge parts of the website need to continue to be worked on. so they are saying we did it. everything is great and we will take off now isn't the message >> what is the next measure of success? >> how many people can succe successful successfully enroll and looking at insurance companies and making sure they are receiving the payments and the subsidies. and starting january 1st, how many people have insurance and are going to the doctor and getting pavements and co-payments. we need to see it working in real life >> that issue of the insurance companies working for themselves
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has been releasing stories. this is from new york times and saying people anticipate problems in the billing site. what are insuare? -- insurers -- saying? >> they are saying is there a government subsidy and payment information. the actual registry of people enrolled in the separate plans. people are saying i have enrolled in this plan. and the insurance company isn't getting the information so when the personsies where is my insurance card they say they have no record rof you enrolling. that is manageable for the insurers but there is a big spike in the enrollment numbers into march that could be a bigger and bigger problem for the insurance companies. so they are concerned about that. >> we are talking to emily
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ethridge of cq roll call on the affordable care act and the announcement about the whitehouse saying they have met goals for functionality of the website and the vast majority can use the website. give us a call and the phones lines are open. democr democrats can call the number on the screen aif you are outside f the united states, 202-533-5833. news from last week on the supreme court take up pieces that have to do with the affordable care act. what is the biggest cases we are looking at. >> this big one is the case whether for-profit companies are going to have to provide
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contraception coverage at no-cost to employees. the law requires that and requires insurance plans to offer that except for religious institutions and they have create addd a workaround for th. but some for-profit are saying they should get that. the main one is hobby lobby. and we expect the supreme court to take up and rule on that next year. >> the timeline is oral argument sa s march and a ruling in june. what is administration's view? >> they asked them to take this up. they said let's have to resolved once for and all.
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they believe they will win in the case. they want this resolved because it has been going on for many years. >> tony is up first from fort worth, texas. >> how are you doing? my comment and question is that the president has had three years to get this straight. then he came back again. i voted for the president twice because i trusted him. i didn't like obamacare. then he had three years to get it straight. no one told him it was bad. and then now, we are waiting for some of it to be fixed. i heard rick santorum say the
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part that is going through the insurance company for verification isn't functioning. if it takes 60 days tell us 60. 90 to get it straight, tell us 90. give us the straight stuff. they made it the law. we don't have a choice about this. fully functional and straight stuff and let us deal with instead of trying to apese us. >> is there a target date for when it is going to be fully functional? >> they have never said when it will be fully functional for everybody in all areas. they happen by march because that is when you must enroll and
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not get the penalty. we have seen things change and deadlines move so there is a possibility it could be moved again. we are not sure when everything is good and it is working as it should. >> the caller brought up the isn't show. mark rogers is on the website and criticized the website and security functions. >> well overstated. have they made progress? yes. they brought in private sector folks to get it up. it still isn't functioning right. their own cio said 80% functionality is a good day. but the security of this site
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and the private information doesn't meet even the minimal standards of the private sector. and that concerns me. i don't know if you are for it or against it. we should not tolerate the sheer level of not being able to secure the site. remember how much personal information is there and all of the sites the hub accesses would expose american's personal information in a way that bad. >> this is a big concern of congressman rauogers because hi background is in computer messagi messaging. the one part of the site that worked well is this data hub and that transmits people between the information and agencies.
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that security hasn't been a problem. there is not any successful hack hackic -- hacking -- attempts. this isn't storing data. it is sending information along and then it is gone. they said with all of the problems and all of the errors they have had, that is the one part that hasn't had any problems and has worked as it should. even though republicans are quite interested in that. >> with interviews like that, is the whitehouse doing enough to show that it is concerned about these information security issues? lori from indianapolis writes us, many computer people are questioning whether the
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information entered has the safety against hackers. is this administration concerned about the safety? >> absolutely. i think the administration is responding when asked about it. and people might be more assured if the administration came out and got the contractors coming up and saying this is why your information is as secure as when you go on amazon's website or online banking. that is what they say, but only after being questioned. >> emily ethridge a health care reporter. have you started health care issues? >> i started in 2010 after the law was signed and i have been following it every since. >> we have a few callers waiting
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to offer questions. jacky is up first on the line for independents. >> there is a couple questions. i watch the hearings when they brought kathleen sebelius before the congress to ask pretty important questions like why wasn't this working and why were they not prepared. do i understand they did go outside of the united states to hi hire. if it turns out there was a brief of contract or something like that, they are going to be dealing with foreign laws. why with all of the intelligent
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people we have in america, why, if they did go outside of the country, why couldn't they use someone in the united states? >> yes, well there are several contractors working on this project. and almost all of them are u.s.-based. one is head quartered in england but all of the officers and managers are in the united states. they are in charge of processing the paper process. it is good point at what happened if the contractors are not held responsible. if the administration says some of the problems were from the contractors and how did that work out and so far they have
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said they have confidence in them and have used them to make the website better. they stuck with the same contractors and put one in charge of managing the others. >> do we have a current estimates on how much was spent to build the website? >> they have not spent much extra money than what was in the contract contracts. it is several hundred millions of theres. some contractors said they needed more money and asked for doubling of the current funds. but the administration wasn't thrilled with that request >> a comment from dean on twitter, as the president makes the affordable care act work, it shows how the government can help, and no need to destroy it
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like the tea party wants to. and bill says we will find they are fixing the worthless site and team of contractors is building a whole new system. we have 20 minutes left and going to barry ont line for the republicans >> the administration has bragged about the one provision of the law that allows children or young people to stay on parents medical plan up until the age of 26-27. i have two questions on that: number one, doesn't that benefit only the upper middle class? the people who have the kind of jobs that allow them to bring children in the their plan? and if that is successful, and the administration is providing
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no data that i know of, if is successful, doesn't it undercut the other part where they need young people to contribute on the exchanges to support the older and sicker people. >> that is a good point. you do need in the exchanges for them to work for the insurance companies having the balance of younger healthy people along with the older people that don't need health care services in order to be a good risk balance as they call it among all of the enrolees. the administration wanted if you are a young adult and you turn 27 you don't have insurance anymore and you are used to seeing the benefits. a person under 30 can buy
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catastrophic plans and that gives you the basic services and a lower cost. fewer services at a more affordable care act -- a affordable -- rate >> this question was asked: why so much quite talk about the rural areas? >> there is a huge difference of the cost of a plan in mississippi than kentucky. each state has their own plans and there can be big
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differences. you can get the same plan for difference prices depending on where you live >> 17-state based exchanges and 27 are defaulting to the federal exchanges and seven partnerships exchanges out there. since you bring up the subject of the state-run exchangies. talk about the state versus the federal >> the states are doing much better than the federal exchange. we might see that change now that the administration is fixing the problems with the federal exchange. but some states have been almost complete failures so far. oregon has not signed up anybody in their exchange. but states like california, kentucky and new york, their exchanges are going well and huge success and numbers they expected. people are saying it is easy to use. and that is helping the administration in some ways with
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these states that succeed >> what is keeping oregon from succeeding? >> i think we wish they knew. a lot is the website. people are not being able to enroll and use that website and compare plans. and whether it is technical glitch or something else, the wb site isn't working. they are telling people to use call centers. but that data still has to be entered into the online system by somebody and if the system isn't working it is going to be an ir rauocky road ahead >> duane is on the phone >> i want to make a comment that i feel like it took us 70 years to get to this point of health
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care coverage. i feel like we are nit-picking the aca apart. where was all of the impatient prior to 2-3 years ago when we didn't have any of what we have presently? i feel like the pundents and media are not looking at the law of effort here in terms of getting health care for everyone in america. i feel like we are nit-picking and ignoring the bigger issue that basically you know we are just loosing the larger idea of what is trying to take place. >> i think that is something a lot of democrats are bringing up. this is a huge piece of legislation and a major change
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to the way the health care system works. we see benefits coming from it. and republicans say there are all these problems with health care rollout and we need to repeal the law. what would you like to do to make it up to the people who are loosing the coverage. this is more than a website. this is a big law. let's step back and look at the bigger picture and get it fixed. >> here is a headline from the "washington post": members of congress running on the health care law in 2014. do you think democrats will be running on the law or more republicans running on the problems we have seen in the recent months? >> we know republicans are going
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to run on the problems. it is interesting to watch the senate democrats, particularly with the ones up in 2014. they have been supporting the law, but bringing up suggestions and fixes and things we should do to make it run better. there is a whole series of bills saying keep the law, but let's change this one part or extend the open enrollment part. or maybe make it easier for insurance brokers to enroll people theve people themselves. so they are saying i tried to make it work better and held the administration accountable. that is where the democrats are moving in. and in october, once we were aware of how big the problems are, the whitehouse had all the democrats up for a big meeting
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with obama to tell them it is going to be okay. and hear their problem and say how can we make this better. >> on that subject of democrats offering solutions. several democrats seek -- seven -- president obama to appoint an official it oversee the ongoing repairs of the website after jeffrey zines steps down. talk about if he is going to be replaced by the whitehouse department >> he came in to take over and manage this process once they were aware of the wb site problems. he is the ring leader all of the fix and things that needed to be changed in the website. he is going to move to a different position. we are not sure when.
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he is scheduled to take over in january. the whitehouse is going to replace him and we are not sure who or by whom. but the democrats say they want a long-term permanent person in this position so we know who is accountable. he was put in as the man in charge and we need to know who is the next man in charge >> we are talking with emily ethridge of cq rollcall. >> tank you for taking my call. medicare has been around for approximately 50 years. it started out to be a great program for the american people. but as time went by, the federal
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government would hack it here and there and before you know it, there is nothing in that for the retired people who have paid their whole lives. and now they have obamacare and that is just like medicare where no doctors and hospitals want this health insurance because the federal government will not pay the bills for these elderly people. my father was in the hospital with health issues and medicare wouldn't pay another penny and get him out. i had to bring my dad home anure him back to health. obamacare is going to be just like that. the people of this country are going to be in the hospital sick and the federal government will not pay for the hospitalization
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and these people will be out sick because they will not pay the billss. not pay for ...
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♪ ♪ prevent us for being ourselves. i do not believe that being first lady should prevent me from expressing my ideas. [applause] betty ford spoke her mind. pro choice and supporters of the equal rights amendment.
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they discussed her experience with breast cancer. for much ever her family's public life show struggled with drug and alcohol dependency. good evening. welcome to c-span series first ladies influence and image. today we'll tell you the story about elizabeth ford. the wife of president ford. for the next 90 minutes tell her story is richard norton smith. presidential historian. if you've been watching our series. you know him. he's an academic a vise for the prospect. he helped launch a number of libraries. among them the gerald ford library. the interest of full disclosure. i try to be as objective as possible. but i was very fortunate to become good friends with both the fords. >> we want to start tonight's story we left off. 19 eu7 when the ford's learned
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they were going to be in the white house. how much of a surprise was it for them? >> it's one of the things i find almost 40 years later. i recently took part in an oral history project which included about 150 of the ford's associate. including all of their children. you would think every other american household the summer of 1974 at some point sat around dinner table discussing what was happening and what might happen in the white house. the only dinner table in america where that discussion apparently took place was the ford's. for mrs. ford, i think it really was a case of denial in a lot of ways. she said august 9, 1974, was the saddest i did of her life. i think in part she felt badly
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for the country even more for nixon and the nixon family who were good friend of the ford's. and finally she had never, you know, he never aspire to the presidency. she was even more reluctant with the idea of going, i think. she really didn't find out until a week before it happened. >> among the video piece you during the program tonight are clips with the ford family children. the next one, and first one up is steve ford. we talked to him a year ago at the conference on first lady and include some of the pieces of the interview tonight. tonight is -- it's on the family's transition in august from their home in al virginia. >> mrs. ford has a -- what is her reaction to the heavy responsibility? >> well, she's just doing her best and we'll wait and see about the other. >> first of all, you have to remember after dad got sworn in,
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the day nixon resigned and i think everybody remembers the image of nixon's helicopter, him saying goodbye to his staff, family, friends, on the south lawn of the white house. the helicopter leaves. we go to the east room of the white house where the dad puts the hand on the bible. mom hold it. we are sitting there, we take a family portrait. nixon is cleared off his desk. people don't remember we didn't get to move to the white house because nixon -- we lived in our own little home in virginia, a little four bedroom house, and cush ya, and because nixon resigned so quickly unexpectedly. they left their daughter and son-in-law to pack up. it took seven or eight days. we went back to our little house in virginia, dad since become president of the united.
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[laughter] and we're eating dinner around the table. i'll never forget mom was cooking dinner that night and looks at my dad and said, jerry, something is wrong here. you just became president of the united states and i'm still cooking. that have our reality for the next eight days before we moved to the white house. >> when they transitioned to the white house, it was the basic american normal family that got so much coverage. i remember news report of the president toasting his own -- >> well, the famous picture. the fact is mrs. ford was never a morning person. i suspect he had been toasting his own english muffin for many years. that was not something. but you're right. the idea was even more than that. everyone remembers those famous pictures of nixon and the helicopter. with the b. and what they don't know is what president ford --
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son to be president ford said to his wife on the way back in to the white house. because he realized i had job was to reassure the country, and if he couldn't reassure his wife he couldn't reassure the country. he whispered in the ear, we can do it. and it was just the right thing to say. he said a lot of right things that day. you know, now there were a lot of problems and controversies that ensued, but you're right. there's a sense that as as if the country had been building up the thunderstorms and the storm raged for awhile. then suddenly, you know, the clouds parted and it was normal again. there were people in the white house who we could recognize and relate to. one of her -- lflt you have to remember, this
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was totally like going to live on another planet for these people. the first day of she actually lives in the white house, she didn't unshe would walk through the halls and saying hello to people when she saw them. secret service agents, you know household personnel. that was her nature. and no one spoke back to her. and she finally went direct the cure rater and said am i doing something wrong? do they dislike us for being here? and she explains, no, the nixons were somewhat more formal and established that practice, and so word went out to the white house staff, it's okay to talk to the first family. and before long, stories about the president ford and the butler a movie made recently comparing football scores.
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they became old shoe almost overnight. >> what has been so enjoyable about the series is your involvement along the way. tonight is no different. we're going have the phone loan lines open. you can calm us. you can also send us a tweet using the address @lead. you can join our facebook conversation. you can see there's a large picture of first lady betty ford and a robust conversation underway. we said at the outset her comment were often controversial. it's been interesting to remain controversial. people said i loved her, couldn't stand her. what made her so controversial? >> a number of things. first of all, she spoke her mind. and probably the fact she would
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address subjects. i mean, frankly, you can understand a lot of the criticism of people who were accustom to the lack of a better more, more traditional approach to the job. first ladies were not overtly political. first ladies did not wade in to intensely debated moral issues like abortion, for example. first ladies certainly did not discuss whether their children had used marijuana or whether their daughter might have an affair. part of what was different was, for the first time, she was being asked questions that no one would have put to a pat nixon or ladybird johnson. the difference was she was willing to respond. >> are mary said she was an
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inspiration perfect for the times. one of the things we have been covering is the changing role of women in society. how the first lady is often a benchmark for that. >> i think that's is where i think she connected with millions of women, you know, she was candid about her personal struggles. she was -- a lot of people didn't realize when she became first lady she had been married before. i think bonnie with "time magazine" correspondent asked her about that. and why people didn't know about it. she said no one bothered to ask her before. in 1957, i remember the first name her ever appeared in "the washington post, and it was about her fashion sensibility. it talked about her taste for quiet hat and slightly more talkative suits. in 1957, that was fine. that have one culture.
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a lot of people looked at betty ford, this cub scout den mother. a sunday schoolteacher and labeled her. they wrote her off, in effect. then they discovered no, actually this is a woman with views of her own. this is a woman who has had a lot of challenges in her life. a lot of those challenges bonded her with millions of other women who entertained similar doubts and uncertainties as she did. >> you reference her first marriage. let's go back in time and learn where she came from. her root and what influenced her. >> she was born in chicago, actually. her parents are fascinating contrast. her mother clearly is the dominating, defining figure in her life. i've often thought of as a character straight out of tennessee williams. she came from a very prosperous
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family, status meant a lot to her. she insisted, for example, betty wear white gloves when she went shopping. she was a perfectionist. betty is a child who was prone to overeat, at least as far as she was concerned who responded by hanging a sign over her daughter's neck saying, please don't feed this child. exactly. i mean, it was a form formidable figure. her father -- talk about pat -- patterns. her father was a traveling salesmen and alcoholic who died a mistierous circumstance. it was a death never fully
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discussed. in fact, it was only then that betty learned that her father was an alcoholic. and those trips that her mother had made from time to time to be with him on the road were the consequence of his illnd. it was a house where secrets flourished. she two brothers. one of whom of an click. in many ways, she was question -- genetically or culturally programmed for the disease she would have later on. but bloomer is a larger than life figure. she was president of the hospital in grand rap paid -- rap rapid. she had problem with the
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daughter who had a mind of her own, for example, wanted to pursue heaven forbid, a career as dance per. >> she did. she went to new york and studied dance. and was accepted in to school. >> she spent a couple of years in vermont. associated with the program in then joined the martha gram company. she never made the first. and she was very modest in later years. but it is a key to her personality. she was a natural performer. she was perfectly comfortable being on the strange. -- stage that came back to her to aid her when she became first lady. >> she came back to grand rapids. she came back to grand rapids
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and taught dance and worked as a fashion coordinator at the local department. and she was a party girl who met a party boy -- actually had known him since she was 12. bill himself a traveling salesmen. and alcoholic. and they were married. she was, i think, 24, and she had almost overnight kind of embraced a whole different set of values. she was ready to settle down and be a wife and have children. and that was not necessarily the same agenda that he had. the interesting thing is she made the decision after about three years to divorce him. then he went to a diabetic coma. and she spent the next two years nursing him back to health.
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then filed for divorce. >> 1947 all together five years. >> five years. she called it the five-year misunderstanding. >> i want to get to the story of how she met gerald ford. let he take a call. first up is susan watching us in corpus christie, texas. you're on the air as we discuss betty ford. >> caller: i wanted to say i have enjoyed the whole series. it's been wonderful. >> thank you. >> caller: i love the way this is being don. i just love it. and my question is did betty ford support her husband, gerald ford, when he wanted to run for the presidency, you know, he became president by being the vice president. but when he wanted to run for president, did she support him in this? >> yeah.
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good question. she supported him very vigorously. both of the fords -- saints interesting people forget now. president ford right at the beginning of his presidency had sort of more or less let it be known he wouldn't be a candidate in 1976, and i think henry kissinger helped persuade him. it would undermine his presidency. make him a lame duck. i think more to the point, they decided they liked life in the white house. for mrs. ford, it was a great improvement, you know, her husband is house minority leader was on the road 250 nights a year. she actually spent more time with him once they were in the white house. so they, who were both determined to do their best, to extend the ford presidency. i think for him particularly to have the mandate of a popular election as the only appointed
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president almost a president with ans a terrific next to his name. >> she may have supported the bid for the white house. when she first met him she didn't know he was getting a politician. >> that's what she said. it's hard to believe she was notely naive. ford was a big man on campus. a local hero. it's not terribly surprising he should decide to go to public life. there's no doubt she was surprised they were married in 1948. >> here is are a agree that. i want to get a request. in after the republican congressional primary, why? >> i think the simple answer is yes. you have to know west michigan to appreciate. west michigan considerably more than now was a culturally
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conservative place. a place with the dutch reform church held sway. and certainly always a fiscal conservative. never the less, was running against an entrenched republican incumbent. an eyelationallist who opposed the plan. ford was one of the world war ii returning veterans who had seen the consequences of american isolationism. and who went in to politics, really, with an idea which was that america would to play on a continuing role but significant leadership role. anyway, mrs. medical record -- ford was a divorcee. he wanted to get married but in effect couldn't tell her when but couldn't tell her why he couldn't tell her. the fact of the matter is, his
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political advisers were concerned that west began -- he was already facing an uphill campaign that having a divorcee in the family might add -- might lengthen those odds even more. but october 15th, you're right about three week before the election he showed up late. she showed up in time for dessert. he was late for the wedding. he showed up in brown shoes and a dark suit. his shoes were muddy because he was campaigning. their glamorous honeymoon consisted of an overnight in michigan sitting outdoors listening to thomas, the favorite son. and a football game in an are -- ann arbor. she stayed in the hotel in ann
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arbor. he went to the game. they went back to grand rapids on monday, and he said he had to campaign that evening. could she make him a sandwich? he said, number of times he said later on she never let him hear the number of it. i think they took a number of second honeymoons. >> thing a lot of women are thinking -- they were born in 1948. children followed soon thereafter. michael in 1950, jack, steven, and susan born in 1957. i'm returning to steve ford talking about their congressional years. because in fact the politician won the race for the house of representatives and it was next 25 years as a member of congress. let hear steve ford talking about that life. >> dad was on the road 150 nights. maybe 200 nights a year
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campaigning for other republicans trying to get a majority in congress. he wanted to be speaker of the house. and mom, to her credit, was the one like many wives of congressmen, back home, making sure we got to the dennest, making sure we got football practice, wrestling practice, and all those thing. and the glue that held the kids together while dad was out public serving. so, you know, it was later in the presidency that she finally had a chance to i would say blossom or shine, you know, and get her chance in the spotlight. during dad's 26 years of being a congressman, she was the one that kept the family, you know, drove the family. and it's interesting because ever family there is a blowup. one of us get in the trouble. and wait until your father gets home. we knew by the time dad got home the storm is gone and blew over. he wanted to come home and be
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the good guy anyway and bring you a present. my heart really went out to mom. she was the one that had to keep the whole ship pointed in the right direction. >> we're going take a call. but keeping the ship together, also starts on another important chapter of her life. let's listen to michael from atlantic. you are on the air, go ahead. >> caller: hello. thank you. my question is, what opinion or influence did mrs. ford have in president ford's decision to pardon richard nixon? >> that is a great question, and it is one of the sort of elusive areas. she said very little about the pardon. she thought it was necessary. she thought it was an act of courage. she said when you would expect her to say in the first memoir. i will say this, i -- toward the end of his life, i'm
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sure as you may recall, when the john f kennedy choose to give him the courage award specifically for the nixon pardon, he was initially reluctant to go. to go all the way across the country and, you know, at his age. he didn't see in effect the emotional significance of this, and it it ises mrs. ford, i think, convinced him, jerry, this is the greatest honor that has been bestowed on you since leaving office. people asked him about the burden and after the award people stopped asking. >> robert in chicago. you're on the air, hi, robert. >> caller: hi. thank you for your time. as i understand two presidents kennedy and hoover never
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received an income as president. did mrs. ford receive any kind of income after president ford had passed away? thank you. >> first of all, you're right about hoover and jfk. in fact, rejecting federal salaries as president. in hoover's case, he never accepted payment for any of his various positions whether secretary of commerce or the hoover commissions, whatever. the question about whether mrs. ford -- >> did she get a widow's pension, more or less. as i understand it. do you get compensation if your husband dies and you served as.? >> i don't believe you do. i don't think so. >> so back to the amount of time, we heard -- >> no, no term of payment or pension, no. there's an office, of course,
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the president's office remained in operation and she had the privilege. >> what is that? >> very good. the franking privilege is free postage. there was secret service protection until the end of her life. >> did the public pay for that? >> yes. >> so there were benefits not salaries. >> absolutely. >> back to their days in congress, steve ford talked about his dad being on the road times 250 days a year. that's a lot of time. what were -- >> well, you have to remember in 1963, there was a youth movement among republicans who were really tired of being the minority, and there was kind of an uprising and ford was catapulted in the to i believe the number three position in the
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leadership at that time. '64 came a gold water debacle. at the beginning of '65, ford's hat was thrown in the ring to become house republican leader. he ran against a man who had himself faced an uprising against joseph, his predecessor. no, this was not ideological. it was generational most instrumental in his victory by three voteses. one was a young congressman from illinois named donald rumsfeld and another was one from kansas named bob dole. what that election really signified was the republican party was moving the center of gravity of the republican party
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was moving away from the eastern establishment. that the point it was in the midwest. but there were already beginning to be a significant number of republicans in the south in both houses of congress a threand would, of course, accelerate. and, you know, 40 years later, you could argue that the mid western party has become a largely southern and western party. >> al on twitter besides her familiar predispositions, did her drinking and being alone to raise the kids contribute to her drinking? betty ford's own words answer that question. she wrote two memoir. sheer some what she writes. i hated feeling crippled so i took more pills. now i know some of the pain i was trying to wipe out was emotional. jerry became minority leader of the house. i was beginning to feel sorry for myself. it was poor me.
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he gets the headlines and applause what about me. in 1965 about a year i began mixing pain medication with alcohol i snapped. i packed my bag one afternoon and decided to drive to the beach, take susan with me, and have my family worry about where i was. >> remember 1965, that is the year her husband has become house republican leader. >> so over the years between his first election to congress and their vcial vice vice presidential pick. talk about her drug and alcohol use. how people should know about how big a problem it became. >> i think it became a real problem in the '60s. first of all, there were a number of contributing factors. there was actually a physical, you know, she had go oned arthritis, she was in -- she had a pinched nerve, which may or may not have been a
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result of reaching out to raise a window. whatever it was she had a pinched nerve that was excruciately painful. i think it became easy, frankly, she had pills prescribed for her. and the pills made her feel better. and the alcohol made her feel better still. one of the things that you realize as we went through this oral history project i mentioned. although we weren't particularly looking for the information. people volunteered talk about a cultural change. it's really remarkable how much more people drank. how routinely people drank to excess in washington 40 years ago. and the argument can be made it may lubricated a somewhat more civil cultural, but obviously that's some serious consequences too. >> from the job of house
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minority leader, how was he richard nixon's president pick? >> he had been considered in 1968 as a nixon running mate. again, he wasn't interested in the executive branch. he loved congress, and he wanted very much to be the first republican speaker in a very, very long time. that was his goal. in 1973, arguably, -- for richard nixon and the nixon presidency while watergate is unfolding, the [s apparent that president spear aring a new is under investigate for unrelated offenses. many of them stemming from his time as governor of maryland. a long story short, he resigns
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the office in october of 1973, and the 35th amendment, which has never been applied until the now, is applied. richard nixon has to find a vice president but clitically he needs to find a vice president who can be confirmed. and in the political climate that the time, there were very few people. if he -- but connorly a former democracy turned republican could not have been confirmed neither could ronald reagan or nixon. in the end basically the democrats on the hill mansfield, the speaker and majority leader told the white house if you want someone who can be confirmed easily, pick ford. and that's what the president did.
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and they moved to the white house, much of that time was consumed country was consumed with the unfolding watergate scandal. it was a time which ford didn't do much. >> well, he hit the road. very shrewd i are. he got out of town. >> and what did she do? >> he was chef back at the house. she had, for the first time now, realized for the first time in her life she had to be on time. that was a lifelong issue. she was not the most punt yule of people. there are those who think it was a paive aggressive. one of the things in their marriage she could control. but any event, all of that changed once she became the vice president's wife. she also had causes that she was involved with. she had been involved from an
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early age with disabled children. the washington children's hospital was something she was involved with. but notion that, she also had the vice presidential residence never occupied before that had to be decorated. >> they never got to it. >> two days -- what was it? a few days before nixon resigned, the vice president agreed to accompany his wife to the house that he by then knew they were never going live in because if i had didn't the prez would have sensed that in the end game. and, you know, he didn't want to give that, by the way. >> and he finally said, a short time after betty we're never going make it to the vice presidential house. >> somehow they went to a dinner party and --
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he had been august 1st. he had been told by general heying the white house chief of staff about what became known as the smoking gun tape. and pretty clear what the consequences of that would be. and after midnight that night he said, betty, we're never going to listen in that house. >>let listen to robert in florida for the next question. hi, robert. you are on. >> caller: hello. i'm enjoying everything. betty ford wrote wonderful auto biography. are they in print? secondly, i can't commend them too strongly. could they address these? >> well, we'll show them on screen. the first was "betty ford; the time of my life ." which was cowritten with chris chase. and the second was one we showed earlier "betty; glad awakingens." are they still available in print? >> i think the second is.
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i don't think the second. chris chase who worked on both of those passed away within the last month. which. >> which is the better of the two? >> "glad awakening" is candid sometimes almost painfully candid. it's much more mrs. ford. there's also this wonderful wry sense of humor. you can experience her rebirth. >> in print. >> we're going to listen to betty ford next one month after they were sworn in as the first couple as president was sworn in. she held a news conference at the white house. we're going listen to one requested asked of her and response. [inaudible] >> well, i like to be remembered in a very kind way.
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[laughter] also, as a constructive wife of a president. i don't expect to come anywhere near living up to those first ladies who have gone before me. they've all done a great job. i admire them a great deal. t only my ambition to come close to it. >> one day i was -- we were talking and she said to me, i don't know what prompted. he said i don't know why everyone thought it was a bad thing that i admired el inure roosevelt. it turned out roosevelt was one of heroes. i think it wasn't just a publish accomplishment of mrs. roosevelt's wife or life in the white house as it was the private challenges that eleanor roosevelt had confronted along the way in becoming roosevelt. but it was clearly she was a role model.
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and i also think ladybird johnson. she was a very good friend. but i also think he was a role model of mrs. ford. >> the ford presidency was just 8days. but it was a tumultuous time in our country's history. we chose a few of them. some of the hallmark even of the ford years. beginning with the pardon of nixon. they -- there were two assassination attempt. rising inflation was a hall measuring of his years in office. and the vietnam war and the fall of saigon and you'll remember the scene of the helicopters leaving the american embassy as the city fell. very continuing lots of history unfolding. >> historically accelerated in the two and a half years. by no means, all of -- >> on a personal front a couple of months after they came to office, mrs. ford discovered she
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had breast cancer. >> yeah. this was, you know, in some ways this was the moment the indelible moment she, i think, first impressed her on the american people. or maybe the whole ford family. it is really hard 40 years later to conceive the degree to which people didn't talk about this disease. euphemism were deployed. people didn't die of breast cancer. they died of a wasting illness. what mrs. ford did was to bring this out in the open, and overnight transformed the way women in particular looked at the disease. for her, it was also a lesson, i mean, she had it was her first
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-- that a first lady could have. by being herself. by shining the light on a dark corner. by educating the public. >> next up we'll listen to president ford himself announcing the result of her surgery. >> i justice returned from the hospital, where i saw betty, as she came from the operating room. the doctor has assured me that she came through the operation all right. [applause] [applause] it's been a difficult 36 hours. our faith will sustain us, and betty would expect me to be
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here. >> in a few weeks, i will complete my chemotherapy treatments. and that will be another milestone for me. since that first year, i have not talked much about the differences in my experience with cancer. but at that time, my mas sect my and the discussion about it -- i was really pleased to see it because it prompted a large number of women to go and get checkups in their local communities. it made my recoup ration easier because i new that i was helping others. i make this progress report to help cheer up those who have just had an operation for
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cancer, and to encourage them to keep up their good spirits. part of the battle against cancer is to fight the fear that accompanies the disease. >> and of course, famously, one of those women who was inspired by her example was kathy rockefeller. two weeks after mrs. ford's surgery was diagnosed herself with the disease. and who went on to have surgery of her own. >> when you see president ford making announcement. you can see his lips quivering. it's terribly emotional. >> he said that night when he went home alone to the white house, the night before that, was the loneliest night of his life. >> gary robinson on twitter wants know the result of her --
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was there anything inside what you suggested more people got checkups. anything else that changed the way we treat breast cancer in country? >> i think it initiated what had been missing. it initiated a national conversation. a conversation among women. a conversation between women and their doctors. what it comes to women's health issues. literally history is divided in two periods. before betty and after betty. >> we have a photograph of the fords in her hospital room. looking at the cad with the get well-wishes. next up is jane watching us in key port, nrnl. you're on. >> hello. let me congratulate you on a wonderful series. i've been watching since mrs. jack. it's wonderful. i was wondering president ford was a member of the warren
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commission, and i was wondering what mrs. ford thought of his involvement on that commission. and the results and the controversies that have sense occur -- since occurred. >> that's a great question. i'm sorry to say i wish i had. i never had a conversation with her. i never heard her discuss it. he felt, you know, very strongly that -- [laughter] he was once trapped on an airplane -- i shouldn't tell this. i will. he was on the airplane and of course the movie was on jfk. he was not happy. he, you know, artistic license is one thing. he worried that young people, people who are not alive at the time of the assassination would see this and conclude that in fact was history. he also, it was interesting. we had a number of conversations about the warren conversation.
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he and his fellow congressional members remember dick russell was on -- anyway the members of congress were on the commission were very careful in the language they chose. they rewrote, sinned it, the staff's initial report to say we have found no evidence of a conspiracy. which is a little bit different in a subtle way from saying flat out there was no conspiracy. >> while we're speak of assassination. we mentioned that gerald ford had two attempts on his life within short or the. order. is the only president to have assassination attempts or successful carried out by women? >> that's a good question. i can't think of any? >> yeah. i think you right. >> stays a classic instance of
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the times. you know, a member of the manson family. take it for what it's worth. and sara jay moore was a bay area house wife on the fringes of radical politic. only in the '70s would either of those characters have emerged in a public notice. >> and what about the ford family's reaction to the assassination attempt? how did the president take it? did the security increase? were they greatly concerned about his life. >> i think the secret service changed thing thereafter. for awhile he wore, for example, a bulletproof vest. the day of the sacramento, the incident he was there among other things to meet with governor jerry brown who was their governor today. and the remarkable thing, and so
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typically of ford. he never mentioned what had happened outside. he said later on he thought it would be ungracious, you know, to tell the governor, well, you know, somebody tried to shoot me. >> in we have a photograph of him being e escorted away from the scene. of course, it couldn't happen today with twitter, with all of the instant news. he couldn't have kept it from the sitting governor as he did then. >> that's true. but it's also very unlikely he would be out strolling through the grounds of the state capital as they decided really on the spur of the moment that morning in september 1975. >> tim in denver, hi. tim, what is your question. >> caller: i had. -- hi. it's a very good show. the ford campaign -- 1976 --
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[inaudible] my question is the -- [inaudible] the distribute this way. certainly in 1976, thing were rather frosty. they were running a very intense, very close really uncertain battle for the republican nomination. i think quite frankly the ford white house underestimated ronald reagan. and they almost made the ultimate price for doing so. but in fact, in later years remember as crazy as it sound, in 1980 president reagan, you
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know, very seriously thought about having ford on his ticket as his running mate, and i also know in that in the '90s after president reagan wrote his letter to the american public revealing his al samers. i know president ford visited him more than once after that, and whatever an pieces of -- animosity were evaporated. >> we talk about her interest in issue. how political was betty ford in her own right? simply a supporter of her husband's beliefs and value. >> it's a good question, because publicly she was arguably the most political first lady since
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roosevelt. she was an advocate for the equal rights amendment. she publicly disagreed with her husband during the president on the roe v. wade case. is she famously discussed on the 60 minutes interview. and other venues. so she was very much an independent force. and initially that terrified people in the white house. after the 60 minutes interview, the president said he says jokingly, you cost me 10, no 20 million votes. it was only a few days later when the first polls came in and the people in the white house were astonished that in fact there have an -- sympathize with the first lady's candor if not necessarily her
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specific views. >> here is the first lady herself talking about the equal right amendment to the constitution and urging ratification. >> the equal rights amendment will not be an instant solution to women's problems. it will not alter the fabric of the constitution. or force women away from their families. it will help knock down the restrictions that have locked women in to the old stereotypes of behavior and opportunity. it will help open up more options for women. it is only a beginning. the debate over era has become too emotional. because of the fears of some both men and women about the changes already taking place in
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america. >> within the republican party i.t., the party ha early '60s there was the blitz that was developing in the party. how did the republicans feel about betty ford's public statement on these and abortion rights issues and the like. was it going over well within the base? >> well, that's -- there's no doubt she was a polarizing figure. when i said 70% voiced approval, i meant 30% disapproved. you be sure that 30% was disproportionately the republican base. certainly conservative republican tradition -- if you will. so she -- there was a legitimate debate -- it's interesting i recommend to readers john robert reid who wrote a book on the ford
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presidency as part of the university of kansas series also did a book on mrs. ford. it's very well researched and really a great read. and he makes the case probably stronger than i would. that she was on balance detrimental to her husband's reelection prospects. particularly within the republican party but not exclusively within the republican party. >> you mentioned the 60 minutes interview. how significant was her sitting down with the most popular news and public affairs program to public view of her and the party's view of her? >> i think it defined her for millions and millions of people. who really -- first of all, it was the first time they had seen her in that kind of setting. but i also think remember how americans were accustom to
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seeing their first lady on television. we had seen mrs. kennedy's unforgettable white house tour. but of it -- it was an org orgestrated presentation. people were not accustomed to a first lady being asked or answering, as i say, the kind of questions. her view was people were talking about all over america. why shouldn't the first family have the same? >> and they covered issue such as divorce, use of marijuana, her daughter's dating and sex before marriage. things of those nature. >> absolutely. sexual appeals talked about her use pillow talk to get a woman in the cab innocent. she also mentioned she was getting a woman on the supreme court.
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>> caller: hi. i love the show. thank you. i've read somewhere that chef older than president ford. >>. actually he was five years her senior. we talked about the use of the white house for entertaining but entertaining has a political purpose. to start that we go to the ford new seem in grand rapids the cure rater show an element of style and how she approached thats a penalty -- aspect of her job. let watch. >> hand and hand with her lough for dance was love for design for fashion. as well as and particularly she wanted to promote american fashion. these are some of her dresses gowns from her first lady period.
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this is a gown that she wore to her first head of state event. it was designed by a lady named franky welsh who had a boo teak in virginia. this also next one also is a franky well much dress. and this she wore mrs. ford wore for her official portrait as first lady. this is a dress that some people might recognize. it's by [inaudible] and she wore this gown for a portrait taken of the family and featured on the cover of "time" magazine. but she also loved very practical designs as well. albert, a fellow from new york designed a number of dresses and gowns for her. very practical. very inexpensive but
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functional. she would wear these outfits both of which are albert pieces to arrival ceremonies for dignitaries to hairdresser, to church, on trips for campaigning events. they were the ones she could get most comfortable in. this was a piece that she wore if the 60 minute interview. and so she faced -- as she fielded his many questions. we know a lot of this because one of the things that mrs. ford was very careful about as organized a z. she kept secretary's cards for each dress. there would be nations where she wore this them. she wore them multiple times. some in the handwrite of her secretary.
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some in her handwriting. many of these extend beyond the first lady's period in to her post first ladyship period. she would wear these in to the early 1980s. and her love for design her promotion of american fashion lead to in 1976, her receiving the parson's school of design award. and this is the accolades she received for her promotion of american designers in fashion. >> we have -- a comment? >> she loved clothe. and she had been a model if her early days. one of the ways she supported hertz herself in new york was as a professional model. >> back to twitter. here is a question who wants to know how betty ford balanced
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being first lady and a mother. >> she said -- one reason i said i thought that ladybird johnson as a role model. mrs. johnson is exhibit a and exactly how to do that. mrs. ford said she thought that being a good housewife and mother was a much tougher job than going to have officer and getting paid for it. so she was both a traditionalist and a trailblazer. and as we have already said, she not only balanced the job but of course before they were in the white house she was in a sense mother and father. >> during that very brief presidency, they hosted 33 states. >> yeah. because the reason it was concentrated, of course, it was the by sen -- bicentennial year. in addition to being hotly con
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teed republican race for the nation and the campaign. it played out against the back drop of the american bicentennial. ..


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