tv Book Discussion on Frank CSPAN April 12, 2015 7:00am-7:54am EDT
the murder rate actually goes up. how can that be? what she discovered was chino establishes a reputation. you just trigger a war between rival gangs to control. huge numbers of people are killed in this turf wars. there are 10,000 deaths a year in the united states. freeman 11th as a result of this turf wars. a lot of people caught in the crossfire. tiffany smith from a tree will grow playing in west baltimore
gets hit in the crossfire. they didn't know what to do with this insight. another of her best friends, an agent who also believe strongly in the drug workers to do an undercover drug's best any shot by the dealer would party with another dealer. and he goes and looks at the body and things i can't do this anymore and quit the police force and we trained as a lawyer -- is under time wherever she can for the drug arrest. i'm so proud to know her. an extraordinary person. >> next, former congressman barney frank recounting his life and political career. [applause]
>> thank you. unwelcome barney frank. personalize the question their questions from the audience which i have on these cars. so accept or reject them as i wish. [laughter] congressman frank i was hoping you could say a little bit about the two stories that you try to tell and this book which is about your life and also about your political work. >> it's appropriate that there were two themes. i was a normal teenager, but my father -- there were many
programs and one of things i remember watching in 1954 they found they had to stand up when he was smearing democrats. so these hearings were fascinating to me. i also decided i had to do some thing about the terrible racism. emma taylor was murdered in 1954 was my age my murdered by a guy from chicago. so i thought if i could get into politics. i was in bold type that because i was always good at debating or arguing. and i watched and i thought i could do that. at the same time every last this
is a terrible conference because dwight eisenhower had promulgated in executive order and the gay people are automatically disqualified. it wasn't on my account because that code is then surmounted by being outed. it's because we're bad people, evil. ibm shea i want to be influential to the government and society, but i never will be because i am gay. by the time i retire there is still this disparity in me at the social acceptability of being gay and being in politics. but the order had been reversed. in 2012 i was the first member of congress to have a same-sex marriage. that turned out to be much more popular than chairing the committee of the financial services reform bill.
so as i got to be more influential in government, government got to be more influential in the society. so what i really want to crusade is how people recognize they are undervaluing government that is a very important force for good in our lives and that is the part i am working on. [applause] >> you have a very interesting analysis of who has lost faith in government and why. if you could say something about the economic issues that underlie. >> yeah some people don't believe in government philosophically. we can't win them over. the primary and followers. it is economic. if you are very very wealthy you have some incentive not to want to get the government off because you will disproportionately contribute. our biggest problem started in
the early 80s as well because the reagan democrats and the white working class men working middle class men don't have very high and scales and the economic position as you read it. the first response many people had was what is the matter with kansas. i thought maybe dallas ballet. but god guns and gay. i don't think that is true. it is clear -- i don't know many democrats who lost because they supported same-sex marriage. even abortion, which is a hot issue. and religion. the fundamental problem we have is they have become antigovernment precisely because they believe so deeply in
government. from the end of world war ii from the mid-70s if you are a white guy and you are willing to work you could go get a very good job. he could coach a factor it got a factor it got a lot of skills and by the time you're in your 50s yet a second home you could put your case or college. and then changes in the economic situation in the world and the country began to work to their disadvantage. people in that situation now found that they are at the bottom. the trade policies -- it's interesting. it used to be a liberal article of faith. there is now a broad recognition, people like paul krugman and others that the way trade had worked at enhance national wealth, but in the way that distributed unfairly and can exacerbate some of that. i represented for 30 years southeast massachusetts with a garment and textile business.
it's not entirely gone. i am worried by the way a union made to. [applause] manufactured in the city of new bedford. by union people. so go buy one if you need one. what happened was this. working class people, saw themselves at the short end of the stick economically. and they believe in government. for many of them it is a problem because the government could have helped them and didn't. exacerbating it inaccurately thought that's because the governor only cares about black people, gay people appeared to prejudice comes than not because people start up prejudice, but they feel like we are doing this for them for other people and not them. we weren't doing much for anybody given the economic
situation and our inability to run the government. one of the things people wonder why they haven't done more. since he became president 35 years ago, there've been four years and there is a democratic house and senate. when you have ranches of government, it doesn't work very well. but we were in a vicious cycle. there are people who think government should have been protecting them. i don't say well but some of you will remember. at winchester cathedral. he didn't do nothing when my baby got down. you could have done some things that didn't do nothing. that is the way these people think about the government. they believe they could have done some name and didn't, so they punish the government by going to people who hate it and make it worse. gay is not an issue. i think it's the alienation --
the anger of white working men who continue to rate things are going well. there's one issue and this is controversial and i plan to pursue it. where this becomes one that liberals have to cope with this environmentalism. there are times when there is a conflict between environmental issues and we had to put a hierarchy. my own view climate change, you don't compromise. architectural preservation aesthetic value should not override everything in the mix. but that was before i started thinking about it in these terms. i think can we persuade white working class and middle class men that they do have government and they have to do that by showing how government can deliver for them. >> and the news that some in the
democratic party can do? the issue of income inequality is coming on the republican and democratic side. what is the way for the democrats to see that issue? >> some things are happening now. minimum wage is an example. it helps everybody. one of the things you are seeing and i am pleased to say renewed democratic recognition and that is there is a direct causal not just correlated relationship retreating the unions and the erosion of the quality. this is one that hasn't got enough attention. they tell employees in tennessee is prepared to support a union because they've had good relations with worker councils in germany. so they are about to have the election in tennessee republicans led by robert corcoran, the senator who is a mainstream conservative, not a tea party guy threatens the
workers and says what are you upset about? the union and the company -- the company wants the union. they threatened the people is a very, save money that was supposed to go to volkswagen for the expansion of the plant would be withdrawn. so the union lost by a very small margin. people said what do you care? he was his answer. if volkswagen just a union they will push up wages. for a while there is this argument the unions don't help the wages. they just take your money. so corker sat with the tennessee republicans behind him if they get a union that will push up wages and up wages go up if volkswagen, it will cost upwards pressure on wages throughout tennessee. the wages go up throughout tennessee to diminish our ability to lure industry and other states.
scott walker is pushing a right to work is because he said michigan has one, and deanna has lent. that is one thing we can do to recognize unions. the president talking about the short-term and long-term. when you make it easier for people to go to community college is in that is another way to do it. infrastructure. yes, there's been some progress in the construction trades but the people out there banging and digging and schlepping wealthy white men more than any other group. so that is another factor you can do. being that when you say -- when you give what senator corcoran gives us his argument about tennessee, that seems so absurd. how could anyone who is a working person in tennessee actually agree with that argument? >> they don't agree. they get scared by him. that's another thing.
we have this great liberal tradition from justice brandeis. let's see things in the states. but the problem is you can't do that laboratory experiments when the subject of the experiment can run to another laboratory and get better fed. that is what is happening. one of the most potent that you see, dwight eisenhower puts forward the interstate highway program to unite the nation, to help business because they use these things. the current republican majority is not willing to raise the money needed to keep the highway system going and some of them say, do they regularly, why do you go on cnbc? no if the states want more highways, let them do it. the problem is that conservatives have good a very nice tuesday. first you send things to the state. to make medicaid estate block grant. you send things back to the
state and in this state, the conservatives say that we can't do this because both yet it can edit a disadvantage for the other states don't. so you send it back to the states and you have this race to the bottom. among the things we can do is say okay federalism and some areas works, but when it comes to things that involve the expenditure of significant money for social purposes, federalism state by state serious corrode or off our values. >> i'm very curious what you say is the legislative solution to that. i was struck by the account you gave your first first year of congressman tip o'neill was speaker of the house and ronald reagan became president and you correct the misimpression you say that tip o'neill liked ronald reagan was not nice, well of him on a personal level. you also make the point that he did not feel that it was possible to parliamentary tact
takes to work against the president's agenda because it would undermine our system of government. not only the political party but the system. >> that is the advantage. he said what about the bipartisanship? now, in the first place, bipartisanship should come sometimes after you start with partisanship. i've said many times i am a member of a minority group that escape gone in with a cold and undervalued. i'm a part of the democrats. part of the essential democratic government, the people of the american constitution did two things regarding parties. they denounced them and they formed them. jefferson had an edge to them. you need political parties representing a broad, general tendency arose politics is all personality. that is what we have had. we've had two big parties in many western democracies have a
single party that recognizes you need a private sector, but still thinks the government and others say yeah you need some government approval to expand the private sector in politics is the push. for the first time where the group in america that does not believe in the value of the public sector. when there is a republican president, guess we democrats have an incentive to give them grief for political reasons. but we also have an incentive to cooperate because we think the government had to function. as you see with obama, they have zero incentive. they want to undermine him in positive terms into essentially since paradoxically we are seeing come the democrats correctly if the party people identify with government if they cause problems, we take bailouts. doubts are very unpopular. people think bailouts are
terrible. all of those democrats they will tell you. there were five day allows for 2008 into 2009. every single one initiated by george w. bush. every single one. two of them he did by himself. aig, bear stearns. three of them we cooperated on. aig and tired. but people see us as the bombs. what happened to bipartisanship? bush is president and in 2008 comes to harry reid and nancy pelosi to partisan people, very able people. they said sure, before why, before it went out because someone, before why now because i'm one and it it would've been better for the democrats but what about the people we care about. it would've been worse for government. a year later when obama asks obama did not ask for a stimulus because we had done focus
groups. you know what a focus group is. you gather people who don't have firm opinions. the problem with that is very often people don't have firm opinions because they are arrowheads. [laughter] you look at the focus groups in october at the election year. on the undecided people in october can be in a focus group. who was undecided between obama and mccain or bush and gore? maybe a few people a few people appeared for this and for that. most of them don't know anything. the focus groups reported stimulus is a bad word, and make it in context so that is why it was called the economic recovery act. and my leadership decided recovery was a more attractive thing in stimulus. to me it was kind of intuitive because in my experience most people would rather be stimulated then recovered. i was overruled.
but they gave bush a stimulus. in 2008 they sent his top economic people, to the democratic committee seven weeks before the election. jim and i had a great weekend planned. we were enjoying dating and i had to call and say instead of dinner for the prime minister and the harvard gay anniversary you get to sit in the capital for the weekend while we haggle about the t.a.r.p. program. and you get to watch rahm emmanuel burst out of the meeting kerry a sack full of blackberries like wyatt earp because as we were sitting in the meeting, people inside the meeting were black. now what was going on to the press. so we sat with george bush seven weeks before the election and decided yet, we are in terrible shape. we have no option now, so we pass something called t.a.r.p.,
which will go down in history as the most unpopular successful thing we ever did. democrats go forward in the house more than republicans. so we gave iraq obama or john mccain refuses to. and then obama becomes president. 2008 areas by partisanship. when obama becomes president, the advantage the republicans have is they don't care -- they used to not care so much if the government shut down. now that is a good thing. basically here is the deal. the story of king solomon and you have a faction that says see if i care. we have to be the ones that say you can't do that.
>> well, you espouse -- obviously you're a liberal but one of the things you talk about in the book and it seems today back to your experience when in 1964 you were part of the freedom summer in mississippi and you were interviewed by someone who quoted you at the time. >> william mcchord wrote a great book about the long summer. he was a sociologist. >> and you said then, i guess you were about 24, that you were not there to create a perfect world and that you believed in leading -- i am not here to build a perfect society. just to ensure that the gets his chance to live his life his own way. and then you talk about in that quote the tactical importance of remaining realistic. so if you can say something about how that philosophy.
>> that was the term used at the time. what i saw and there was within the african movement. martin luther king is now greatly revered, but in 1964 people were making fun of him. if you remember, the great play green pastures, there is a character in their called the lord. the people used to call martin luther king, mocking him as mr. high and mighty. they were differences both overstretch intact eggs, but also most of us i think in this turned out to be the majority and it's been replayed with algae bt people. there were people initially opposed to marriage as a goal.
marriage is a bourgeois institution that oppresses women. why do we want it? basically swept aside but it was a saying people can stick it elsewhere. people said well, we gay lesbian, blacks, want to be treated the same as everyone else. others said the oppressed group could be the spear and the tip of the spear and perform in a corrupt society. they have been excluded and their saying we should rebuild it entirely differently and that there will be new communities. they said now i just want to be like everybody else and there were people who deplored the fact of the black separatists had great support.
separatists in my experience felt they were being treated equally. same thing with people in the gay community. i needed to sort that out. but then there was this tactical difference in strategic difference about gay same martin luther king never compromise. rosa parks never to sit in the middle of the bus. the naacp were not even a challenge segregation by to say you'll give the separate but equal appeared that about lawsuits against the law schools in texas and oklahoma because they were black people in separate law schools and they proved they were a separate. so they got the men made it out on the grounds of segregation is inherently constitutional. if you read books about martin luther king, he was constantly thinking manipulate them. being realistic about your goals is important recovery. if you are unrealistic you lose
your followers. if you tell people to do something they have no chance of succeeding in and you denigrate partial successes, you can persuade your people is a waste of time. finally people in the movement understood it. >> what do you think moving into chair and any decision from the supreme court on gay marriage and other decision, what do you think the threat is given back in congress you were never able to witness even unlikely it would pass or in many states now there is this kind of movement towards a religious free down. >> that is the problem. it is pretty clear the supreme court is going to okay same-sex marriage. justice kennedy, has written very eloquent pro-algae bt
quality. secondly, when a lot of courts of appeals said the states under their jurisdiction had to allow marriages in that state's hispanic, the supreme court said no, if the supreme court was not sure, it would've been pretty irresponsible to allow them to go forward only to pull the rug out later on. so i think marriage will be done. among those who are hoping that the supreme court does this all but the fanatical republicans because they know a losing issue when we see it. if they commit against marriage they look and if they don't they lose the primary. [laughter] nondiscrimination is critical. we are at a point -- we had a problem because too many people
were still uneasy about the people. now people are familiar with them. the extent of the democratic house senate and president, we will pass and inclusive nondiscrimination bill. but then you go to this religious freedom thing. it is not a constitution to be a statutory one. not about religious institutions, but an individual being able to say nondiscrimination goes against my principles. to encouraging things. when i want to do that in arizona, giving businesses the right to ignore the laws, are you crazy? we don't need this. that has been very helpful. beyond that what we have to do is they look, and this isn't just said six people. there are still people who still have interracial marriage.
muslim, non-muslim. under this law if it passes do muslims have a right to say who want stores that unveiled women may not come into their store? if you look at that principle and passé that a woman who is not dress the way muslim orthodox say they shed will be kicked out. so i think in the end we are going to win that fight politically because it is damaging economically. the business community does not want to get back into it. the first breakthrough in nondiscrimination in employment came because the most advanced set to resume the american economy said no we can't have that. so i'm not sure a bill with not sure if bill will get passed right away, but we will be able to defeat this you cannot magically invoke your religion and not follow the law.
>> before we go to questions for the audience, in describing your early life you talk about the fact before you got into politics you are studying for a phd. you've got an unlimited extension. since her thesis was supposed to be in the legislative process -- >> and i would have to pass statistics. there's a boston story here. i was supposed to do a phd chemist i took some time off to write it. and then i got involved in a campaign. i didn't know him very well but it is terrible racism. anyone. he said i need you to come work for me. i said i can't do that. he said as i say in the book you want me to be political. i want to be but it's not easy to do that. if you walk away, don't complain to me. i was pretty persuasive.
here is the way. they had neighbors if you're familiar, you will note the name samuel p. huntington. he cowrote several books. he said the chairman of the government department -- okay. next thing i know there was a rule they just instituted that after you just take your phd -- i had taken my general exams. you have five years to fix her thesis. i tactic has been so we would give you an extension beyond the five years. that was in 1967. >> well, we will call you dr. frank. >> sam huntington's brother-in-law, his wife's sister was married to christopher who became one of
our great broadcast journalist on public radio. >> well, thank you. barney frank will not take questions from the audience. [applause] >> two of my distinguish mark green has been such a valued insider. and the man in southern maine and the man who would have been my representative is id. at 10 years ago, tom allen is here. [applause] >> so the question is dependent on my ability to read people's handwriting. so forgive me. mr. frank how to bring the issue of voter suppression to the consciousness of the large majority of the american people. >> it is very hard to do because
it is concentrated against minorities and of course voter suppression is just awful. it is republicans manipulating the rules to make it physically harder for people to vote. for instance, requiring i.d. african-american members of the house has said my mother was born in mississippi. she had no record. they didn't get noticed about people in the 20s and 30s. you &-ampersand the lines. if your precinct, cut down early voting days. as a terrible idea and then it was facilitated by the worst decision even worse to me than citizens united. it was the last for conservatives say we don't like activism. not that it was inherently on constitutional but because they
make the right judgment about the criteria. it is a terrible thing and enables things to be done. what we have to do is to make it clear to buy their people environmentalists, people defending medicare that if they succeeded in diminishing black folk, fewer legislators will be for fighting climate change and protect the medicare, supporting the rights i think we do have it. i have another problem with another form of voter suppression. clearly have a different order better intentioned. i do wish some of my friends would stop saying to people, there is no point in voting. they are all bugs, all corrupt. they never listen to you. and i have to say i wish once in a while on that show, some politician did something good because people get a steady
diet. some people -- i think that contributes to the lower turnout, especially with younger people. the worse you think it is the more you have to vote to try and change it. [applause] >> that goes to my mind what you say in the book about the way of the mccarthy hearings and also the murder of emmett till inspired you to want to become a working public service. do you think that the issue of medical brown matthew shepard will bring for people? >> when they say here. i think the cases are different. they are much more complicated. worst of all this the guy who was indicted here in new york shot in a stairwell.
it apparently is doing that with african-americans in missouri. there is no question. now what i hope is this. if in fact the results of the election and ferguson is more black people take office, that will have a good message. there is a point in voting. yes, i hope it will also -- that scott walker will also do this. too many union people have been somewhat ambivalent about this. scott walker's all-out attack i hope will motivate some of the union. one of the great annoyance is one of the things that troubles me as police departments have become very right to on the whole. they vote for people who want to cut the money they can get attack them in every way. it is a very self-defeating kind of thing. i understand some of the anger.
i do hope we can get that across. yes, i do think that is the impact of what is going on and ferguson. >> while this is a question that refers to your work in the finance world. i mean dodd-frank. you have two appendices with a history of subprime lending. >> it's great. here's what happens. we are in a situation where the economic model for lending changes because the money comes and outside the banking system. information technology allows people to make long-term package them and sell them. the result is where as many in this audience, when they first bought a home got a loan from the bank and paid back the bank
in the bank watched very carefully that they wanted to. younger people added immediately sold them packaged in the lender did not care whether you pay them or not. the incentive for them to switch from the quality of the loan to the quantity and not budget crisis. and what was made worse is that the republicans were in power, but to many democrats bought into this and did not regulate this. so these mortgages were made and they were packed into these new kinds of financial derivatives. david is used to be hot valleys in. that is why the main regulators to rivet is this called the commodities future trading position and financial dread the days came and then we have no rules for it. that's what caused the crash. during the period when these phones were being made you've
made the bank lender to poor people. he gave been terrible mantegna protected fannie mae and freddie mac. first of all as to the lungs by 1994, democrats got worried about those loans and pass the federal reserve to regulate them. alan greenspan said that's an interference i won't do that. then the republicans took over congress. we tried on several occasions to pass the laws to regulate predatory lending. the bush administration is federal powers to preempt dad and tell them they couldn't regulate banks. in 2004, democrats in the house tried to pass a bill to restrict subprime line and. when i became chairman in 2007 i did get a bill through the committee. tom was still there and voted for it on the floor that said no lending to people who can't pay you back.
"the wall street journal" attacked me. why is mr. frank stopping islam to low income people? in other words, some of the republicans, alan greenspan in 2007. in the appendix. when he wrote about before the crash. he said i am aware that the loosening of mortgage credit terms for subprime borrowers increased financial risk and not subsidize homeownership initiatives distort market outcomes. but i believe then as now -- remember, he has the power to regulate. i believed then as now that the benefit are worth the risk. protection of property rights so critical to a market economy requires a massive owners to sustain political support.
let's lend these people money so they will be conservatives. and of course they don't pay you back. "the wall street journal" said most of these new homeowners are low income families who are otherwise not qualify to a mortgage. in the name of consumer protection mr. frank's legislation will ensure far fewer are in the future. [applause] what happens is the loves that they kept us from slowing down then caused the crash. the logical argument, which we followed through, we needed regulation. we should've regulated these modes, these derivatives. aig was selling credit default swaps. skewer, jim is known up and down the east coast because he listens to me talk about them for so many years.
aig issued them. it is a policy and the security doesn't payoff. you have to make up the difference. aig came to the federal government under bush in september 2008 and said we are $85 billion short of paying our debts and we will go out of business and i will cause terrible reverberations. you've got to come up with the money. a week later when they were telling us how much they needed for a t.a.r.p., 50 for this 80 for this we said no, you are just told us that. the answer is no, this is an additional. aig not only about a total of 170 billion, they had no idea how much they owed. mr. greenberg who is the founder of aig who is no longer running at the time is now suing the federal government for damages because of the federal
government paid off the $170 billion worth of debt his company had incurred, he wasn't taking care of. i don't always like metaphors but he is suing the fire department for wider damages. but the conservatives protected these loans. but after the fact they discovered they were all against it because the alternative was to have regulation. they were talking about all these people. mike bloomberg said the liberal spot. the liberals tried to stop it. sheila bair who is bush's fdic commissioner. fannie mae and freddie mac. 2003 -- by 2004 is starting to get nervous. in 2004, george bush -- george bush ordered fannie mae and freddie mac says atchley and
increase the number of homes they bought for people below the median income. we said that's dangerous. by 2005 i joined the republican chairman passing a bill in the house in the committee. it passed the house. the senate republicans did. they tried to work it out in the bush administration pulled the plug. so the chairman of the committee of sarbanes-oxley, good legislation, when he was fast when nothing happened coming he said george bush gave me the one finger salute. 2007 i become the chairman of the committee and we pass the bill. hank paulson testifies and i will give you what i am refuting in cheney's memoir. i said at that time i took what some people know as the
washington read for your name in your index. i can tell you by the way, but almost every book about politics mentions benjamin franklin. the reason i know that is by the time they get to benjamin franklin, and he's not in it. [laughter] but i turned to cheney spoke in his memoir in 2003 we submitted a bill to reform fannie mae and freddie mac, the financial services committee chairman barney frank killed it. the problem is i was not chairman in 2003 or four or five or six. the house is being run at that time by tom delay. when they raise this, if i was giving orders to tom delay i would not -- there were other things i would have done. i would've stopped the the big
tax cut and i would've told them not to go on "dancing with the stars." [laughter] i said in the book that in 2003, chairman barney frank killed the bill. i felt a kinship to iraqi weapons of mass destruction. he lied about what both of us were doing in 2003. i gave a chronology that they didn't do anything for the 12 years they were in control. they've had the subprime lending and they then blamed us for it. people are always ready to believe the government is wrong. but that had a purpose. it was to absolve the financial community from the response ability so that they could avoid legislation to regulate them. >> well, i think we have time for two questions that i related.
aside from hillary clinton, do you have any preference for a democratic presidential candidate, any hope for another. the related question from a different person is would you consider running on the same ticket with elizabeth warren for president and vice president? >> if we did and we won i cannot get the votes of the commonwealth of massachusetts. is that in the constitution director shall cast vote, one of whom shall not be from the same state as those electors. if she was the president should have the vote. >> e.g. change her registration? >> tax consequences. that is possible. here's the deal. jim has made the point how john
mccain smashed his own record, which has some elements of distention by nominating a person to be vice president who is clearly unqualified to be president. if you get to be the presidential nominee, you have an absolute obligation to pick someone to be the vice president who can take over. when the next president is elected is inaugurated, i will be almost 77 years old. there is no way someone who is nearing 80 would be in a position to become president. i've seen too many great people, mostly men stay beyond when it made sense. the problem is you don't know when it's too late. i've seen the most able, distinguished people become pathetic by staying too long. beyond that i said yes i'm a great friend.
i support the intelligent decision to make it clear she's not running for president. in the first place, she's an extraordinary force for good staff. an uphill presidential race she started making would allow people to criticize her. right now if someone wants to argue coming they've got back to arguing the merits of the legislation and she's very bright and very well-informed. i don't want to put in a position where they can denigrate it. secondly, i'm very happy with hillary clinton. hillary clinton on domestic issues. when we have this weakening of the financial reform bill, she put out a statement saying we can't allow any weakening. we have to defend it. the second point is this. when people say we want to see this good fight. i have to ask my friends on the left does anyone think what happened in the republican nomination process in 2012 was helpful to them?
why do we want to replicate that? we are in a financial disadvantage. some of the richest people, particularly the finance community got so mad at the president, me and the democrats are the reform bill. but the president criticized them. they give all their money now to the republicans. they can flood the zone. we've got to save our money. was back to satisfy some urge is not a good idea. so i am for hillary clinton and we should unite behind her. [applause] >> thank you very much. i think it is testament to your own career when he talked about whether you could be vice president or president he talked about your age and not the fact you are gay and jewish.
[laughter] >> the jewish part has been resolved. there was this perception. joe lieberman's candidacy, which i've come to regret for other reasons has zero negative effect on the ticket. but i think a gay couple in the white house would do fine. i think we are getting closer to that. how old are you? >> well thank you very much. [applause] is
>> was born in charlestown in 1859. he was a local boy if you will. he was born with a slight defect in his right eye. his eye looked really white and because of that, people made fun of him quite a bit. his family his schoolmates. he was abused because he looked a little bit different and he really got beat up for that. he really got abused at school. children who were much older then him and much bigger than him really made him pay dearly for that. his own father believes maybe he was possessed, that it was some kind of a sign of the devil something terrible within him. his father really abused him terribly. so he grew up knowing quite a lot of pain. in turn the only way he could control that, he started abus