tv Lisa Mc Cubbin Betty Ford CSPAN December 31, 2018 3:15pm-4:21pm EST
and he didn't though he didn't vote, but writes this poem about how they've run over to roosevelt and gotten in his judgment nothing in return. the important thing about her story isn't what happened in politics later on. suffice to say which you must single-handedly brought an entire office of 19 white prosecutors must do it around to her theory, her lonely theory of how to convict luciano. thank you very much for your kind attention. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> all said i guess. i'll try anyways.
>> you are watching booktv on c-span2. every week and we bring you author talks and interviews from around the country. for complete television schedule, visit booktv.org. >> good afternoon, everyone. good afternoon. those of you who haven't been back on campus in a while, we are now on time time instead of michigan time. it's a new innovation for the school year, so we are actually going to start and i hope it's not too jarring for you to not wait until 10:00 after. i am michael barr. i am did dean of the gerald r. ford school of public policy and it's my distinct and pleasure honor. i'm delighted to see so many michigan alumni and friends in
the audience. happy homecoming. sorry that the weather is looking a little bit iffy now and through tomorrow, but it is still fall in ann arbor and the home team has favored to win by two touchdowns. we'll see how that goes. the university of michigan established the forerunner of the school we are in today in 1914. more than 100 years ago in the progressive era. it was the first of its kind in the country and has really been a model ever since. as you know, gerald ford captured the michigan football team here in the 1930s, went on to raise a family of four with ms. betty ford and has spent his life in principle public service in congress.
the family has revisited here many times in students and faculty have come to talk often about what we called to further deceive. a commitment to hard work in getting the facts right. having the courage and wisdom as leaders to do what is right we are gathered here at one of our larger stations were event the betty ford classroom known informally with affection by our students simply as betty. i hope you got a chance to see some of the wonderful photos of mrs. ford in the vestibule.
they capture at least some part of the strength and joy and love with which she lived her life. i'm honored to introduce today's featured guest here to tell us more about mrs. ford's life and legacy. started with a host for conversation, mr. mike ford. the other son of former president gerald r. and betty ford. mike and his wife have three daughters and eight grandchildren. he currently shares the presidential foundation served on the ford school of visiting committee for many, many years. mike is a b.a. from lake forest and a masters in divinity and for the last 36 years he's built a long and successful career in student affairs serving multiple leadership roles at lake forest. as he retired earlier this year, wake forest presented make with the medallion of marital award in honor of his many years of service to the school and students. commenting on that award, one of
my ex-colleagues, university chaplain tim almond models for students what it means to be a person of integrity a truth teller, a person who values service. thank you for being here with us today. and our special guest, the highly successful award-winning journalist lisa mccubbin. she's hosted her own radio show and spent six years in the middle east is a freelance writer. she's been co-written a number of books that have topped "the new york times" bestseller list including the kennedy detail, mrs. kennedy and me, five days in november and five presidents. her latest book released just two weeks ago titled betty ford -- "betty ford: first lady, women's advocate, survivor, trailblazer." it is the first in-depth biography of betty ford. reviewers have called it a
meticulously researched and delightful biography and a warmly sympathetic biography of a spirited woman. we are so honored to have you here to share with us what you've learned about the woman who's in a very real way of betty mike for the entire school and the university of michigan community. so with that, please join me in thanking our special guest. [applause] and i'm going to now turn it over to mike to run the show. >> thank you, michael. indeed it is a great pleasure to be back at the university of michigan and at the ford school. this place is a very special kind of home for a family, extended family and we love coming back here, for me to see a college campus students is in
my dna. my career in higher education, about to be around college students and faculty. ways in which this university and the school has impacted our family last spring we had this very special to honor my mother, betty ford on her 100 year anniversary. it was in april and the school just rolled out this wonderful recognition of her life and it was very, very special and our continuing the discussion here and it's only appropriate we are
back again in my mother's 100th year on this wonderful book that was written and were thrilled to have it out and lisa is going to share little but more about my mom's life and we'll have a little discussion. take it away. >> okay, in writing this book i have to tell a quick little story because when i was first approached with the idea to write a biography of betty ford i didn't know that much about her to be honest and so i knew i would devote two years of my life to this project and i have to be passionate about it. i told my editor, you need to think about it, research this a little bit. i went for a long walk. i live in the san francisco bay area. on this lock for a just and approach of this idea come i kid you not i saw four people were in university of michigan splatters [laughter] and i took that as a sign. it was the first of many signs and i'm so glad i did.
i am going to start off with a little bit about eddie's early life. she was born elizabeth ann bloomer, april 8th 1918. she was born in chicago and the family moved to denver. she had two older brothers, bill and bob and the family moved to grand rapids, michigan when betty was three years old and this is where they sat her memories began. her father was william s. bloomer and he was a traveling salesman. he wasn't home a lot, but every time he came home he would bring betty a stuffed animal. so this is a picture of her with one of her favorite animals. the family had a summer cottage at whitefish lake that they would go to and spent most of the summer's. when betty was little she would wander around from table to
table, little picnic tables everywhere and people thought she was so cute and had this bubbly personality and they would give her a cookie and a brownie and she started getting. so her mother one day put a sign around her neck that said please do not feed this child. [laughter] that he was kind of a tomboy with two older brothers and she was very athletic. her mother wanted to instill some femininity and to her so she enrolled her in dance class when she was eight years old and from the moment she started my betty said dance was her happiness pitch he wanted steak every kind are wes. she started with ballroom dancing and then went on to ballet and tap and she fell in love with modern dance and ended up going to the college school of dance summer program and studying under martha graham.
when betty was 20 she went to new york and danced in martha graham's troop. she didn't make the a-team so to speak because betty liked to socialize. everybody interviewed and i'm sure you can attest to this, betty liked to have a good time. she always had a lot of boys wanting to go on dates with her and she enjoyed that in martha graham said to her, if you really want to be a number one dance are coming or going to to give up your social life. well, daddy loves dance but she wasn't willing to give her whole life to god. so she ended up going back to grand rapids, teaching dance and she also to earn a living she worked at purple shiners department store. she was the fashion coordinator there. she loved fashion. she was beautiful. she was the model and that is
how she earned her living. so she also when she went back to grand rapids medavoy. she ended up marrying. his name was bill warren. [laughter] and i think this is something that i don't know if you can know about this growing up that your mother had been married before. >> we did know about it but they didn't talk about it. >> five-year misunderstanding. >> reading your book i learned a lot more about that. >> a lot of people didn't know about that. so betty's father had been a traveling salesman and when she was 16 she came home one day and found that he had taken his own life. during the great depression, he had lost his job.
she also found out at his funeral that he had been an alcoholic. she didn't know that because he traveled all the time. turned out that she married a man, bill warren, who was just like her father. so she decided to divorce him, which in the 40s this is a very big decision, the she knew that she couldn't live the rest of her life like this, so she divorced him and she swore she was never going to get married again. going to be an independent woman and that's when jerry ford showed up. [laughter] he swept her off her feet and proposed very quickly. so when he asked her to marry him, she said yes and he said we can't get married right away because there's something i have to do, but i can't tell you what it is. she trusted him so much and she said that's fine, whatever jerry wants to do. she would come to find out that
ring he was going to do was he was going to run for congress. now she didn't know what running for congress meant, but she thought of jerry ford wanted to do it that was just fine. and then when she learned a little bit more, she thought only old men with white hair go to congress, said gerry's not going to end up going to congress. well, sure enough he was running and they decided to get married. the reason he didn't want to get married too soon was he was afraid that because betty had been divorced before, that could hurt his chances for election. this is in the 40s. so they did end up getting married on october and there is a reason for that day. >> 1948 -- it's a friday and had to get married on a friday
because michigan was playing on saturday. >> that was her honeymoon. they were married in grace church in grand rapids inhabited party and they jumped in the car and drove down and that's how their life started. >> so she knew right away what she was getting into. there is a lot of football in that house in three boys to follow. she thought she was married a lawyer from grand rapids. now all of a sudden she's married to a congressman and the move to washington d.c. and mike came along soon thereafter and growing up you would often go down to congress to the capitol with your dad and that was kind of like your playground. >> right. so my father with his career in
the house and mom have the four children to try to manage and keep up with and she did a wonderful job with that. but on saturdays, my dad went to the office. but he always brought the three boys to give mom a break. this was a ritual where he would take us to his office, maybe get a haircut. pose in front of a desk -- and he would say in on cue all of you, so we would start learning how to hunt and peck. we need to write your mother a letter and tell her how much you love her and how special she is. so he went off and did his work and we were typing those letters. then we finished that and we ran around the hall to the capital
and we would get lost. where is jerry ford's office. we'd have the letters then give them to my mom. it was like the first time she'd ever read that. probably did it 30 times. so that was their way of sharing the parenting and for us to express our love. >> and i got your dad some good ronnie points with your mom. because he was gone a lot. and your mother really was the one that was carrying for all four of your kids as he grew up. so what kind of mother was she?
>> variant match managing officer or whatever of the house. she kept the calendar, all the doctors appointments in the athletic events and she was cub scout den mother, sunday school teacher. she was always moving us from place to place as any beautiful, loving mother would because my dad was away a lot. during the day he was all there, fully engaged. sundays were sacred for us as a family. but mom was really going hardcharging and very match a manager of our lives, yeah. >> and in her own memoir, she said she spent a lot of time in the emergency room.
>> they kept saying which one is it? which one? >> so yes, very athletic family. so that was betty's life and she was very involved with the congressman's wife as well. when they were first married she would go when set and watch what was going on because she wanted to learn what her husband's job was about so when he came home in the evenings she could talk to him intelligently about what he was doing. so she really took an interest in politics and all of that. so, as the kids grew, there were four children eventually mike m. at jack, stevens is then. daddy started to feel at one point that there was just a lot going on and like many mothers then and now, what about me? she had been a career woman and now she's giving, giving, giving to her family.
she had an incident in which she was reaching across the kitchen sink to open a window probably to yell at one of the boys in the backyard. she woke up the next day in excruciating pain. ended up in the hospital. a pinched nerve. the doctors prescribed pain medication, very strong pain medication. when she got out of the hospital, she was concerned this might act up again and he said don't let that happen. take your medication every four hours. and that's what she did. she also went to see a psychiatrist for depression, which she was very open about. the psychiatrist prescribed valium. so none of the doctors mentioned that, you know, maybe having a vodka tonic at 6:00 with your house in what you're taking all
these medications is not a good idea. nobody ever said that. it wasn't known really. so this kind of started. this is just to let you see how things develop. this is just your normal family. you didn't see anything abnormal about your mother. no, it wasn't something we observed. our lives were fairly crazy with four children and so it was sometimes survival just to get through all that. we didn't see any effect on her functioning at that time. >> right. many of you if you're from michigan might know where this picture is. >> as lisa said, my father and mother were both very athletic.
big football player from the university of michigan. mom was a major professional dancer. and so they kind of came later as a word told partly because of the attraction to winter sports, but also some of the former boyfriends and girlfriends. between christmas and new year's and they put us into the ski school in the morning so they could does he get in the afternoons we would all ski together as a family and it was a wonderful time until one winter the snow wasn't too good in michigan. so friends of mom and dad said
did you get out to colorado? so we took this trip to vail, colorado when it was nothing. it was one hotel. the mountains were a lot better and we matter -- >> once he went to vail. >> veil became their second home. they bought a condominium where they would spend summers and christmas fair. as he got older, your parents really wanted you kids to be involved with politics and current events. you had family discussions about what was going on. >> was actually more around our dinner table. when dad would come in, he would
always have his evening swim. again, that was his therapy. from the work on the health and then we'd have dinner and around the table would talk about these different issues in society. i remember many heated discussions around the civil rights movement, around vietnam, just our role as the nation in vietnam in that transition and just many other things. that was i think a place where they first instilled with us a sense of civic duty and responsibility and curiosity. so that was -- those were special times and it's been passed down hopefully for all of our children.
>> so during this time your father is rising through the ranks in congress and he becomes minority leader. in 1973 he told betty she was kind of getting tired of this whole washington life. she thought it was a two-year term and now 20 years go by and he promised betty that he was going to run one more time in 1974 and then he would announce his retirement in 1975 and betty knew that jerry ford was good as gold good >> go back to practicing law in grand rapids and spend more time in michigan. there is a different story there. >> so in 1968, richard nixon and spiro agnew are like in an overwhelmingly again in 1972.
history intervenes when vice president you resigned and all of a sudden nixon has to nominate a vice president. now, you knew your dad was on the short list here there was a list of about 10 names circling around in your college at this point. do not graduate school, yeah. >> did you really think her father was going to be named as vice president? >> not at all. i did not think it was going to happen. my mother did not either. she was not feeling like that was in the future they are. as you remember back then, the name that was being circulated was john connolly from texas. everyone saying he's going to be the news vice president and lo and behold richard nixon because it any chooses gerald ford for
michigan and rockstar worlds. >> so yes, all of the sudden we go into depth about how this all happened in a phone call and everything. that he is overwhelmed because she didn't expect this. in december of 1074 -- a make it in the years right? he is confirmed as vice president. what does he do? he plants a big kiss right afterwards and you can see the speaker of the house like well. but there are so many pictures of jerry and betty in this wonderful embrace as in they really had a wonderful love story. but when this happened, your dad apparently said to your mother don't worry, daddy, vice presidents don't do anything anyway.
[laughter] unless the president -- [inaudible] so now where were you when you found that your dad was going to become president? >> right. so this is august of 74. gail and i., my wife had just married july 5th, a month earlier. the back story on now was we were supposed to be married in august and it was, you know, something everyone in the family was excited about a mom and dad for wanting to make a ride, not make it to public. so they actually came to us not knowing what was going to happen because the things with watergate were just unfolding. each day was a different revelation. and so, they actually sit just
that we move away just to be safe, so we did, july 5th. going back to graduate school, driving a wee actually said hey, should we stick around? no, go. there was no cell phone. and so, we are on the road and we get up there, they had been looking for us. we get up there and there was the press corps and our house, our friends waiting for us and we find out. literally find out that nixon had resigned or was going to resign and that was going to change everything. we had to jump on a plane the
next day to come to washington for the swearing-in of my father. >> i was a big summer for the ford family. wedding, dad becomes president. so this is august 9, 1974 and your mother said in her memoir that this was the saddest day of her life. why do you think that is? >> i remember saying that. i think two reasons at one level she was very sad as many of us were to see a sitting president, richard nixon, have to resign from office. this was a dark day for our nation for many reasons. i think my mother, she was looking forward to dad retiring.
and you know, she could kind of see it coming and i'll, a more intimate life and she thought this was ramping it up to another level. the good news is she came to realize that us first lady she was a few hundred yards from our office. so it was really wonderful to have him so close by and so she actually saw him and his bat more time together in the white house than when he was moving around traveling. >> so that they actually, it had to have been overwhelming. right after the swearing-in.
you go to the oval office and have this family portrait taken and then, your dad goes to work, his first day of work in the family goes back to their house in alexandria because the nixons have left so suddenly there was no inauguration. no and natural. the white house wasn't ready for you to move into. the family goes back to the house why president ford has his first day in office. they're having a party with the neighbors. it's not every day your dad becomes president. your dad comes in later that evening and betty was pulling a lasagna out of rehab and. do you remember what she said? >> you are president of the united states and i'm working in the kitchen. something's wrong with this picture. [laughter]
>> something's wrong here. i'm still cooking. i don't think she really cooked much after that. so they actually lived at their house at 514 crowned the drive in alexandria for the first 10 days, which i found astonishing. you presumably went back to -- >> went back to her graduate school and coming to visit often. >> seven weeks later you get another sort of devastating -- really devastating piece of news. tell us a little bit about that. >> my mother had her annual checkup with her doctor and they discovered she had a lump in her so this was a shocker that she had breast cancer and that they needed to do some immediate
treatment. back then, that was kind of early stages of breast cancer detection and treatment. we were up in massachusetts and i never heard -- i guess there were two times. when his mother, dorothy ford died and the other time was when my mom had this breast cancer and he told us that she was going forward with treatment, maybe surgery. one thing to remember and i'm not sure if this is in the book, but he rode on this beautiful love letter before she went into surgery. and it's really precious. regardless of what happens, you're my soulmate. sure my wife. it's really cool. >> the way things were back
then, this is night teen 70s -- 75, 74. getting my dates all mixed up. and you couldn't say breast on television. when you had cancer was whispered about, not something you talk publicly about. she would go under general anesthesia and they were going to do a biopsy. if it was malignant, while she was under general anesthesia they removed her breast. she went in not knowing if she had cancer and not knowing if she would wake up with her breast removed. completely different from the way it's done now. she was adamant to go public with this very personal decision because she felt that other women are going through the same thing and they were terrified, too.
>> i spoke to who she was, being very forthright, open and also wanting to help others who are facing similar crises in their life. >> so when she came out with this, women's health care literally changed overnight because women started lining up at doctor's offices, to get exams. there there were pictures in the newspaper of how to do self exams and all of a sudden research and funding started and that became a lifelong commitment. so she realized at this point she can make a difference. one other thing she started talking about was the equal rights amendment. >> right, so mom was very outspoken about the role of women in society. now on a platform i guess as the
first lady and this is when the feminist movement was beginning and you know, she would not maybe think of herself as a radical feminist, but she was a strong feminist and pretty radical for her day to go in champion equal rights for women. equal education social security should be hopefully captured. so she is campaigning for that publicly much to the concern of not so much my dad, but all of my dad staff. they thought she was a little too vocal about this in the pushback in the public opinion
wasn't going to be that great. and so, she said what? >> well, and dick cheney and don rumsfeld went to president ford and said, could you asked betty to tone it down? your dad to tone it down. and neither one of them did. they confirm that story with me last year. that's your mom became first lady she agreed to go on 60 minutes. i'm going to play you a clip of this. it really brings her to life and you'll see this afraid to answer all these questions. >> they found themselves in the unsung position of president and first lady. we expect it to find predictable
political life. [inaudible] >> i told my husband if we have to go to the white house occurred i will go, [inaudible] kind of a taboo subject. >> you have to be honest exactly how you feel. it was the best thing in the world when the supreme court voted to legalize abortion and bring it out of the back woods and does a great, great
[inaudible] i never would've gone into it as a habit or anything like that. the type of thing young people experience the first year, something like that. >> be fascinated to know the issue and say listen, i want you to listen. >> a lot of that had to do with perhaps putting a woman in a cabinet. i won not one. and i learned another. we've accomplished a great deal. [applause] what are you thinking when you watch that? >> she's a woman ahead of her
time. you know, we saw that and it did kind of make us a little nervous talking about the family. a little too transparent. but then again, it was refreshing. the woman that was our mother and we knew her as someone who spoke her mind and was honest and really thinking about, you know, what is the best for people. i'm just glad she was able to be outspoken like this. >> yeah, you know we just love betty. i'm going to go through these next one's a little bit. white house parties are fun again. there i was the last ones to leave the dance floor. then came the campaign of 1976
and she was actually more popular than your father. unfortunately jerry ford did not win that election and he lost his voice at the end of the campaign in your mother actually gave the confession. i wanted to move forward to what happened next. it's a terrible time losing that election. but then your mom and dad stayed in the white house for a couple more months. the last day, her last full day in the white house and favorite photo of my mother in the first lady.
the white house photographer and they were kind of finishing a the last day of occupancy in the white house. walked by. she said to david, you know, i've always wanted to get on top of that table. david is a prankster himself. please do. go ahead. when not been give the dancers pose on the cabinet table and that was the final farewell to the white house. that ended up being the cover of the betty ford book. we want to make time for some questions from the audience. the book chronicles betty's
whole life and obviously a big part what happened the following year in the family had a very painful intervention. we describe that in the book. is it as accurate as you remember it? >> yes, very well accounted for in the book. a very difficult painful time for our family as for any family. the intervention for a loved one. we were somewhat in the dark about how serious my mom's illness was, my sister was out there in california and saw the changes in my mother and the deterioration in the rest of the boys who were spread out. fortunately with some medical
help, susan and dad, you know, conferred and really talk through what we can do to basically save a life. and so, they propose this intervention by the family. .. we got the intervention about the family -- the medical professionals we talked about it and traded about it as a family. and then we got some coaching and april 1st, 1978, we not done the door. she was surprised because we
were in pittsburgh at the time and basically the message was, you know, we love you dearly. this is not your problem. this is our problem and we will together as a family get through this and finally released her defense is in winning to detox. >> and the rest is kind of history. she turned that around like breast cancer in 1982 she cofounded the betty ford foundation. and has since served over 100,000 patients saved countless
lives. it's a love story of the parents. i hope you'll get the book and learned so much more about betty ford. >> final quote. thank you for reminding me. when the final tally is taken, her contribution will be larger than mine. do you agree with that. and i think both my father and my mother each in their own way made enormous contributions to the health and well-being of many people in our nation.
couples or the two women, also in her own way. >> you want to talk? >> why don't you start. >> i interviewed carter for the book. in georgia. she and betty formed this wonderful friendship and partnership later in the 80s because carter cause was mental health issues. as betty was really champing for insurance to cover treatment for alcohol and drug addiction, the two of them got together and they actually bought in congress together, these two former first ladies, their husbands had been rivals. what an example that set. it was fabulous.
>> as time passed after the elections, 76, the relationship between my father and mother ended when carters warmed up and strengthened this excellent example around policy and mental health. also, my father and president did a number of speaking and forms together around human rights, if you remember my dad was, the agreement in europe which really broke open the discussion and it started that slippery slope of human rights along communist and jimmy carter carried those rights across the globe. so they really came together with great respect and
admiration and friendship and even to the point that my father's role, jimmy carter for that. again, i partisan respect that is the strength of american democracy. >> to have any more questions? >> i'll come up for a second. thank you. [laughter] [applause] this is just a very moving and insightful and fabulous discussion between the two of you. i'm grateful for both of you to be willing to do this here. and to betty. we are going to have a reception after this.
everybody is welcome to join for that. we have time to chat further at the reception. if you'd like a tour of this school, we have four students outside who will give you a tour. have a wonderful homecoming weekend and go blue. >> the book is available. [laughter] will be happy to start. >> betty fourth book is available for sale & it outside. please enjoy. go, blue. >> the memoir, educated, tops the list of most-watched tv events of 2018. also on the new york times bestsellers list, educated tells us the story of being raised by survivalist and being no formal education into the age of 17.
see the full program and all of the most-watched book events at booktv.org. of the past 20 years, booktv has covered thousands of author events and festivals. is a portion of a recent program. >> i knew at some point, i wanted to talk about how slavery to the end. it just changed addresses. moved from there to courtrooms in classrooms and that we have never dealt with it in this country. 9400 years. but i did do it. i was a journalism major who wanted to tell the news and everything was news. i became a journalist of the things that we thought were real. but underneath the surface, we were still dealing with. this columnist for the pittsburgh paper wrote a column that saying that people needed to get over slavery, it wasn't that bad, they were better off.
let me know two things about this columnist. he had never been to africa. he didn't know any black people. we have a columnist code is of the first amendment. you can write anything you want even if it's wrong. i couldn't write a column saying he's in india. when i decided to do was to write an essay about why slavery and the pain of it in the damage still persists. >> you can watch this in any of our programs in their entirety at booktv.org. type the author's name in the search bar at the top of the page. 2019 is about to begin and booktv is returning to our nonfiction route for in-depth. our monthly three hour interview and calling with an author who has written books on policy, science, history, biography in more. we'll kick off the new year with best selling authors, david,
washington bureau chief for mother jones magazine will discuss all of his books, including his most recent. russian roulette, the inside story of putin's war on america in the election of donald trump. sunday january 6, 12 to 3:00 p.m. eastern, mr. will join us live to answer your questions. visit booktv.org for book information. live with david corn january 6. >> thanks everyone, good evening. thanks for joining politics.