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tv   Honoring the Life and Legacy of Ronald Reagan  CSPAN  September 15, 2014 12:00am-1:26am EDT

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>> you're watching american history tv. all we can, every weekend, on c-span3. to join the conversation, like us on facebook at c-span history. monday night on the rankingators, the member on the house subcommittee on communications and technology talked about net neutrality and rules governing the internet. >> i spoke publicly about what i thought the fcc should do to be on firmer legal ground and pointed to title ii. now we have had to fast forward, we have had discussions at the committee about it. it's all about net neutrality, obviously. people in our country feel very, very strongly about the internet
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, not only how they use it, but i think about it. and the access to it and that it be free and that it be open. and that no one, no isp or anyone should be able to interfere with that. >> monday night at 8:00 eastern on the communicators on c-span2. >> 2014 remarks 10 years since ronald reagan's death. the ronald reagan presidential foundation library hosted a discussion about the 40th president's legacy. panelists included biographer lou cannon and peggy noonan. this is about an hour and 20 minutes. [applause] >> good morning. thank you all for coming today. i don't know where you have a gone off to but thank you for your introduction. what you said i found almost embarrassingly flattering.
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i sometimes say i do not deserve a those kind words but i have arthritis and i do not deserve that either. [laughter] what the heck. i thank the library for the privilege to be here today. it is always good for this stimulating environment of the reagan library, intellectually stimulating. all of us have been here many times. just one shot out i want to thank john highbush. we call him heroic highbush. always thinking about the future. thank you, john. our task this morning is a
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pretty clear one. i see no reason not to get straight to it. it is now 10 years since the passing of ronald reagan. in that time, we have learned or relearned or perhaps come to look in a new way on what his presidency meant to the united states and his leadership meant to the world. and so that is other great facts to be marked of this year. actually quite a cluster of them. this year is 25 years since ronald reagan left of the white house. after two terms of president. after two terms in which he would not have known at the time, some of us would say that he had in the last unambiguously successful american presidency which is part of the reason we gather here at -- and talk about
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his leadership. it is 30 years since his landmark 1984 landslide in which he carried 49 states and it has not been done since. it is 50 years since ronald made and gave a speech in california called "in reagan, the speech." it's publicly launched his political career. it lasted him. people thought of him as an actor to a man people thought of as a political being. i was thinking the other day that the political impact of the speech, it really is unusual, highly unusual, almost unique to see a man in the middle of his life and the ronald reagan at the time was 53.
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to see a man at 53 change the sentence by which people described him, summed him up. what a think to change in the sentence. he was in the movies and on tv, too. he may run for governor. he may run for president. he died at the age of 93, but in a way, many -- or professional selves. she was the ardent new dealer, who became the most conservative residences calvin coolidge. he was the man who remembered it when radio was brand-new. he listened to fdr fireside chats. he went on in time in a time of more pervasive technology and he
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used them superbly to achieve his political ends and the goals. he lived change. with in a hammock, there was a characterological consistency. a deep continuance of purpose. that spanned his adulthood. i cannot think of a better group to add their thoughts and insights and observations. i do not think they need introductions. i seek most of you in this audience and know them well and their work. we must observe a form. for the record we are joined by steven hayward, lou cannon, michael duffy and craig shirley. we will go your left to right as ronald reagan did. [laughter]
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thank you. thank you. lou cannon, this is what i think must be said of him. he has been called the dean of all things reagan. he is a storied journalist. a biographer of ronald reagan of which i think he has written five books. all familiar to you. "the role of a lifetime," i think is a classic. he was present covering ronald reagan when he was the governor of california. he almost served 25 years on the "washington post." he was known as a reporter's reporter. he has written for every important magazine and the father of the estimable journalists. michael duffy, too, is a trend watcher of a american politics.
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she has been a major and highly regarded political journalist since homer was a pup. that is what you say when you know someone has a great reputation that you cannot nail down how long he has been a reporter. [laughter] he is the deputy managing editor of "time" magazine. he is the co-author of two books on the american presidency. the presidents club about some most eluxi -- elusive fraternity. and before that, he wrote "the preacher and the president" about billy graham and his history and experience with those in the white house. steven hayward, a historian, a
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writer, and educator. he is the author of a famous two-volume chronicle of ronald reagan and his times. both start with the age of reagan. one was the liberal order and the republican counterrevolution. he is the first visiting scholar and the conservative thought of it university of colorado at boulder. he writes for equally in the national press including "the new york times" and "wall street journal." craig shirley is a longtime movement conservative. the president and founder of shirley and bannister public relations. i think he, too, marks and anniversary this year. the 30th anniversary of the founding of that firm. he has written also books on ronald reagan, "rendezvous with destiny."
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he has written, most compellingly of reagan's challenge to a sitting republican president in 1976 which came with it a hair's breath of denying gerald ford his party's nomination and giving it to ronald reagan. craig will soon be out with a biography of newt gingrich. so, let's begin. each of our panelists has been asked to speak for a four or five or six minutes on some aspect that he has been thinking about regarding president reagan, 10 years after. after that, i will have a few questions for the panel. we'll have some lovely volunteers with a microphone walking around to ask any questions you want.
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i am thinking i will start up with a question that's being, can you tell us what might have changed and you're thinking of president reagan in the 10 years since his death? and what perhaps may have changed in the thinking of your view of the american people or historians or journalists cents president reagan's death? i was thinking lou cannon, let's start with you. we work in this direction. >> thank you. a great pleasure to be in this panel with you and mike and steve and craig. i have a feeling we have done this before and we will be doing it again. i just want to give a shout out to my wife who has been of the researcher on my books. and last resort. for those of you who do not like the final product, blame me.
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>> yay. [applause] >> i guess the answer to your question is i do not think that in the last 10 years i have changed my view of reagan as much as my view has deepened. what has deepened most of all -- it was done so casually, i doubt any of you noticed on the news. during the height of putin's demagogue takeover of crimea, there was a missile test. the russians carefully notified us over the test before it happened. last summer at the air force base in which we launched so
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many important missiles, the russians came and inspected about the time we were inspecting some missiles in russia. this is so taken for granted that it barely even makes the news. i knew about it from a two paragraph clip i saw somewhere on the internet. it is all a result of ronald reagan. there are 2/3 less nuclear weapons in the world then and there were when ronald reagan and gorbachev signed the intermediate nuclear forces treaty in 1987. at the time, this was a treaty notable because it was the first treaty of the cold war that reduced nuclear weapons instead
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of destabilizing. i am not sure even reagan or gorbachev realized what that was the forerunner to. what it was the forerunner to was negotiations in which every single -- every succeeding president including president obama who signed the treaty with putin last year and every russian leader, no matter how much they care about russian manifest destiny or empire has done this because of what reagan did. it means our children are not hiding under desks today. they are not practicing drills to protect us from the atom bomb which we remember from our
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childhood. on the other end, economics. ronald reagan left office in 1989. when he came into office we had some of the worst inflation and economic conditions we have ever had in this country. even today, we have very low inflation. we have had lots of ups and downs. that is the legacy of what reagan did. those are the two things i think about. the other thing i think about, what a -- stephen had said it, what a happy warrior he was. what a cheerful guy he was. he fought at the end of the day. tip called him up one day. he got along with the republican leader after 6:00 and said at 6:00, he called the president and ronald reagan said for you,
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tip, it is always 6:00. i think that is missing. the spirit of ronald reagan is missing from american politics whether you are democrat or republican, i hope we get it back. >> michael, what do you think? [applause] >> you can see why lou is the dean. and thank you to everybody for having us here. especially to the foundation, it is always a treat. when i think about ronald reagan is how important it is to be -- the two things he was great is that was principle and pragmatic. he showed us that the president doesn't have to be one or the other but both. do not forget when he left office, we only had one president.
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we have had 4 and we see our presidents come in many forms. he was committed to free democracy and free trade and all of the rest. he also had the muscle a memory from his years in california to know when to compromise. to know when both sides had gotten enough and welcome be expected and it was time to cut a deal. as a result, he was able to articulate principle executed on pragmatism and compromise. and see what was special about that era was the american public got both. it has been very rare in the
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intervening years, i am not sure we have had one yet that is much of both. that is what the public has come to see. i hope it is the reason why we are here, to lift up those things which we need as a nation to go forward to maintain our role in the world and take the nation forward for the people. that was something that was lost at least to me and is much clearer now. >> thanks. [applause] yes, much deserved. michael speaks of reagan as principled and pragmatic. i am in full agreement.
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it has occurred to me when you are a political figure, when you are secure in your principles, you can be pragmatic. it is the funniest thing. it is seems when you are not sure what you stand for, not confident what you stand for, you do not have a feeling of fullness. that is when you sometimes get stubborn or weak and give it all away. when you are confident of your principles, you really have the flexibility, i think, to be a pragmatic -- steven hayward, give us your thoughts. >> i am scared of the risk we may be in agreement. i think about a fight with michael, a little bit. >> do you want to define pragmatism as you understand it? >> understand reagan through pragmatism.
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when it is untethered to principles. here it was 10 years or longer, there is more depth to reagan than we thought. we thought that there was more than a lot of people. it is not often you put the name machiavelli and reagan together. if you experience what you really are. in the 10 years of the documents that have come out, we see more and more insight that summarizes the pragmatism and being able to adjust. my conclusion is reagan deserves to be thought of as a statesman of the first rank. even people who do not agree with his ideological view would agree. what do i mean by statesmen?
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something it is too much bound up with partisan inclinations. i think a statesman is two things. principles in a deep way and a profound understanding in front of them. you see reagan's absolutely uncanny knowing when to be tough on gorbachev and when to be conciliatory. sometimes in the same conversation. he knew when to back off. how did he know that? that is hard to figure out. it is there when you look at the summit. the russian transcripts are better than the american. they are fascinating reading. >> which summit?
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>> all of them. the first one -- the first summit in geneva, the first session, reagan and gorbachev were going at it like 2 new york taxi drivers after a fender bender. it was a deal that did not happen that day. there were enormous hidden depths to the man. you mention the time for the speech. not the funny ronald reagan. >> even with an edge of anger. >> somebody pointed out he might give you a wry smile. part of what made him a happy warrior is he did have respect for liberals' point of view.
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he respected what tip o'neill said and stood for. i think of that -- not only do we not have happy warriors today. nobody would confuse mitch mcconnell or harry reid with happy warriors. you get the sense in the two sides today do not respect each other's point of view. >> that is rather new. in my lifetime observing politics. stephen reminded me as the first summit in geneva, i was lucky to be there. to be one of the people watching from off stage and overhearing things and i remember president reagan saying to pat buchanan.
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had said, "are you feeling a little nervous or anxious before your first meeting with the gorbachev?" reagan laughed and said no, i am not. he said something he often times said in the office. "i used to have to sit down and do negotiations with jack warner. this is nothing." [laughter] i was there one time when he said in the office. as you go back to certain themes, i go back to reagan as union president, head of the screen actors guild negotiating with great, tough visionary killer pioneers of hollywood. the great owners of the studio and learning their in a way how
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clever he was and how sometimes you go soft here and heart here. that was a school for him. it set them very nicely for negotiating with soviet chief. craig shirley, what are your thoughts? >> it has never changed of reagan. i grew up as a child of the reagan revolution. in 1965, i grew up in upstate new york. my parents were charter members of the conservative party. went to all of the conventions and there were delegates to the conservative party. in 1965, my father brings home an album. the record album is the goldwater speech. my father explains that this man reagan should be president. that was in 1965.
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>> it was ahead of the time. >> my brother and i were the campaigners for goldwater for president in elementary school. we lost 486-100. were always political. i realized how little i understood what he was about. one of the things about working on books about ronald reagan, i have two more coming out. one was about when he goes through a complete ideological makeover. a totally different candidate by 1980. you get to interview and talk to a lot of people. that is what it is so much fun. several years ago when i was working on a book about the 1980 campaign, i wanted to do ours
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cooper, the rock and star -- the rock 'n roll star, he was a reagan man. i was wondering why he was support ronald reagan? reagan had a pardoned him on a drug charge. i called his office and one of his assistants said, yes, she supported him and attributed him. no, it would not be any good to talk to him about the campaign. i said, why? she said alice was drunk. she said he was drunk from 1969-1983. i said, you mean all the time? she said, pretty much. i was not able to interview
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alice. we were talking earlier and jim baker said something we have all heard many, many times. ronald reagan made us feel good. if you look at a superficial way, you dismiss it. in 1952, adelaide stevens was running. a woman said, all of the intelligent people are supporting you and he said yes, ma'am, but i need a majority. [laughter] a complete putdown of the american people. if you take the phrase, he made me feel good about myself but if you take what was trying to do. all of the speeches are tutorials. we learned. just is trying to communicate ideas and thoughts the use of phrases of -- a very profound thought.
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and what politician talks like that today? the time that i did not fall asleep in high school physics, i remember the professor saying power can only be shifted around. when reagan said reordering man's relationship to state was the reorientation of power away from the state to the individual. if you look at all of his speeches, very enlightening. he is very much about the individual, the spiritual individual. what he was really about was from the time of the new deal forward, he saw that the power had gone against the will of the founders, the intentions of the framers. too much away from the individual and too much in washington. it really was not about -- he did not want to reform washington, he wanted to break it apart. i think to some it up, i never really appreciated all that time
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and the 1960's and 1970's, the wisdom of reagan and the intellect until i got to the books and what this man was all about. >> i was also thinking the other day that michael is a journalist and lou is a journalist. i wonder if you see it as i do. it seems to me that one thing we learned 10 years ago after the death of president reagan was -- when ronald reagan died, he had been in essentially offering the scene for 10 years. i think there were a lot of people who look to back at him with a kind of hazy glow, but that was yesterday. the world continues. in effect, he had not been on the scene for a long time when he died. and then all of a sudden, the media were watching for reports that he was passing.
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he did pass and something amazing happened. america came alive and demonstrated that they did not just view this man through a rosy glow, they admired him. they loved him. it was shocking for some journalists and other observers that when president reagan was taken back to washington for the lying in state in the capital, that all of a sudden people were lining up in the blocks near the capital and content to sleep overnight on the sidewalks. when the capital opened up the next morning, they could see him. the remarkable reaction to his funeral as the national cathedral was a very big production and wonderful speakers like mrs. thatcher. the part i will never forget, lou, when the president's
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remains were taken back to california, i think they landed and they took a long motorcade here to simi valley to the burial place. that is where america came out onto the street. i talked to nancy reagan about it and she described to me what she saw. the little cub scout troops. the old women holding up flags. she said there was a fellow who put his war jacket on and he did not fit him anymore but he would not break his salute. thousands and thousands of people came. i think if you watched you realize there was something going on here with regard to the standing of ronald reagan and that we are only coming to notice in the days after he died. lou, where were you?
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>> i was privileged to be active the event here where he was buried. and it was interesting, i had a long-standing contract with abc news to do commentary. and i had been doing it in with a few days before. there was an invitation sent that was sent to "washington post" office. for some reason, they do not tell me. mrs. reagan's secretary called and got mary, and said you of not responded to mrs. reagan's invitation. i talked to peter jennings. i said, i feel -- i know i've been doing commentary, but i
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think i have to do this. may he rest in peace. he said, you have to do this. you go to the funeral. as fred and others will remember that today, mrs. reagan and her party got here late. they got here late because of all of the things paid he described. i asked why you relate? he told me was that he said mrs. reagan said to slow down. this is the only time this is ever going to happen in the history of our country. slow down, we do not want to have an accident or anything that would mar this. they took their time. i think it is one of the few events i know of that in this turnout -- the most we know, the ones who cover politics, how spontaneous. it was spontaneous.
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it was an outpouring of affection a by the american people. i do not think a lot of people realized they felt this way. this is all sort of a goody two shoes and mary poppins like. there were all kinds of fights when reagan was alive. what happened after he became sick, the two sides carried out the fight. when reagan died, it stopped. america was able to say, we say we owe him a debt because he was our leader. that is what happened. it was one of the few times, the people spoke more loudly than the politicians. they all want to speak more loudly than those in the pundit
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business. it was one of the most remarkable days. >> the spontaneity was the most moving. mike, where were you? >> it was more than one day. it was a couple of days. to redeem themselves. [laughter] it is a big job. [laughter] it is not a bad job as second careers ago because you are never really done. even if you do a great job as president, you always have things you would have or should have done differently. it is part of the president now and we elected them are earlier and sending them on their way earlier. but as you hinted, ronald reagan never needed that. he left office within a few
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years of silence. and so does not have the opportunity to do what other presidents of both parties do as a matter of course. and so, the really -- lou just said he reentered the picture after having been absent from 1989 or almost certainly 20 years. that was a surprise. that is what the gave the moment whether a week or fortnight, a greater power. the reason it worked was because he was a leader. we do not see them very often anymore. >> i also think -- modern presidents of both parties, if they are lucky enough to get a second term spent at the second term surrounded by people saying the horrible three syllable word -- legacy. it is all about your legacy. you must do it for your legacy.
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i've never heard ronald reagan say the word. the white house was not a buzzing about it. it was we have a job to do. we could do tax reform. it was a different bind set from the historically conceding one that runs now. it was a mind set that i am not doing the ronald reagan a product. i am not doing the ronald reagan project. i am doing the american project. stephen, you want to jump in here? >> two things to add. i think while lou is right in summing up the cold war and the main achievement that people remember reagan on one, there is a bigger one we forget. at the time he becomes president, we had five
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presidencies should -- cut short or were a failure. there are and often a lot of people, not just conservatives, nobody can do this office anymore. they were pessimistic about someone who was an actor. ward the fact that he was the governor of california was forgotten. by the middle of his second term, people stopped saying that. he was showing you could be an effect of president. the cold war, reagan was the only president to have a positive second term domestically. we forget about some of the health care changes, small compared to what we have done it now.
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he got stuff done with congress in his second term. people forgot all of that. it is quite extraordinary. what wraps it up, craig mentioned the quote from adlai stevenson that i often use. reagan made us feel good about ourselves. it is not simple. there's a trick to the presidency. americans all want to look up at their president, but they do not want to feel our president is looking back down on us. to put it differently, we want to put our president on a pedestal, but we want to gaze at them from eye level. the most successful candidates and the best are the ones who manage the paradox. i think clinton was pretty good.
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reagan was the very best. >> they do not put him on a pedestal in that way. it was good to see government function. that should be a basic level of desire. oh, my god we have a federal government that functions. in retrospect, it was very good to see that. it was good to see the two parties work together, not sweetly or kindly, smacking each other over the head, but functionally capable of making a deal. do you want to jump in craig? >> some of the things you are talking about is the subject of the book i am writing about. the very reason -- the shorthand is he came back to california. the alzheimer's was announced and he passed away 10 years. there was a lot of living that went on in the 10 years. anybody can join in from
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1989-1984. a lot of speeches here and around the world. in a lot of activities. he was going on "nightline." he was still very vital and active a lot of demands on him. several things happened to help enhance and solidify the reagan legacy and the reason why we are here today is that even leaving his office in 1989, his approval rating overall is 69%. his approval rating among african-americans is 40%. his approval rating -- voters under 30 was 85%. the 1984 campaign, he was reelected with 50% of the vote. he got 65.5% with the voters under 30. he gets support from the youngest americans.
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their relationship to the president had been the failed presidents we talked before. this president who is making things work and is successful. and by the way, he seems like a nice guy and is about individuality which is what young americans are about. several things happened along the way to solidify. even though he is -- unemployment when he left office was 5.2%. everything domestically that stephen talked about and winning the cold war is that asked peggy said, we were happy to see a president and see government work. even in the face, there are political enemies who want to consign him and do great his presidency to something like calvin coolidge. he is in danger of becoming that
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way. three books came out that were very -- came out at precisely the right time to resurrect the reagan legacy. done by anderson, great friend. and also skinner, a professor at carnegie mellon. "reagan in his own hands" and a book about his radio commentaries. for the first time, people can see the depth of his thinking. but you do not get the ideological muscular arguments and personal arguments you get into the diaries as you do in of the letters. they came out at just the right
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time. also, a book called -- i think important to me and other people by john patrick who was a very liberal historian and was a reagan opponent and then the unofficial historian. he wrote about the labor movement and the women's movement. his last book and we became friends. it is -- this lifetime liberal and reagan critic writes a book about ronald reagan in which he said he is one of the 4 greatest presidents. the criteria is like washington and lincoln and roosevelt, he rescued or saved many people. we think about the best criteria for america president. the human freedom and privacy and all of those things. the third thing is the funeral itself. i have been working on a book. when he passes away 10 years ago today, there are still some harsh commentary and columns and
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"the new york times" and "washington post" and new stations. you start to see the outpouring from the american people. even beginning that afternoon at the home in bel air, people spontaneously breaking flowers and jellybeans and did then -- it is a wave of building over the course of a week. more and more people turn out to pay homage or honor to the 40th president. it is like a tide. the criticism is receding. as someone told me by the middle of the week, if someone went on a network television to start
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criticizing reagan, the switchboard would light up from hundreds of people and say knock it off. by the end of the week, the elites are in sync with the american people and they are praising. that is where we are today. the elites who never took this matter seriously and only took him seriously when they saw the outpouring of the american people -- >> they began. my thought is when it started in california and rolled east and back from the east to the west, it was the voice of the people giving permission to the people to express what they really felt and not what they felt they should. but simply express their on gratitude and, wait a minute, we lived through some big and wonderful and highly respectable history together in the 1980's. and we are going to market it. and they did. let me switch at this a little bit and go forward into the future. i will ask each of you a question and will start to take
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questions from the audience. here is the question -- michael barrone, just a few days ago had a provocative piece outlining what he thought noting the anniversary coming up, outlining ronald reagan's achievement and if indeed he could have survived as ronald reagan in the current american political climate and in the republican political climate. i thought it was a provocative piece of work. just having done it for justice but i ask you to take a look. what do you think, lou? do you think reagan was something of the past that could not by example and imitation to
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some degree be pulled into the future? >> that is a good question. politicians always say that is a good question when they have not the foggiest idea. [laughter] >> could he survive for today? >> sure, he could survive today. jeb bush who i think is admirable does not think of that reagan could get the vote of the party today. i do not agree. reagan made a lot of the climate. it did not just happen. there was a lot of acrimony in washington. it is a little off point but not
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much, playing off something you said. when ronald reagan came back from geneva, i had an interview scheduled for a book. it was just a coincidence. i asked him and he was -- i asked him, what is the most neglected part of your biography, mr. president? and he said -- would you know it is true, a person just says it. my years negotiating for the screen actors guild. i said, what did you learn? he said of the purpose of a negotiation is to get an agreement. i did not know what to the agreement was going to be, but i knew it was [indiscernible] reagan had a sense of outcomes. walker litman said that he was kind of a nearsighted person. he was ok in the middle but he could see a across of the room. we ronald reagan could see a cross the wrong. there was a lot of acrimony.
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we remember. the reason that was a different climate was reagan. reagan wanted to get things done. i think reagan could come and to this present an environment and get things done and change. there is a lot a people congress -- we like them -- we like to bang our politicians. there are a lot of people in congress that are good people and wanted this to change. there are a lot of good people in politics. they want of the climate to change. what they need is a leader who says, let's get it change. i think ronald reagan would do just fine in this day. i cannot prove it. >> i agree. to think otherwise would be to be too bleak. i do not know how else i can say it. it would be too bleak to say he cannot do it.
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it is important to remember that some of the nostalgia for rate that is a nostalgia for an america that does not exist anymore for his politics. democrats are more liberal than they were in 1984 and republicans are much more conservative. it would be a bigger bridge he would have to build. but as i said, if we cannot imagine some leader building it, we are a nation without any hope. we cannot have that. i have to say yes. it will be a more difficult challenge for him, a considerable distance. when you think about specific pieces about how the country has changed, democrats tend to be much more liberal today about
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foreign policy and a social issues. republicans tend to to be more conservative of the economics and social issues. he would have to stretch a little more. he stretched a lot. it is a bigger challenge. i have to say, yes, he could do it. >> one of the things i think everyone who watches all it takes up close in washington misses is having a politician who makes his move or decision in a negotiation or debate, when there was a single with reagan that he never fully got what he liked. politicians do not get the best deal, get a perfect deal that perfectly encapsulates. when he was going for a deal and in a negotiation, when he took not half a loaf since he would not take half but when he took his percent of a loaf, his
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supporters backed him and did not in general and not pummel his head because it they had the confidence of knowing this -- we know what he believes in and therefore if he says 78.6% is the best he can get, that is the best anyone could get. we totally accept it. one of the things i miss in washington and would love to see again as someone -- we are back to your word of principle, has a deeply held principle and intent and is trusted to go forward and negotiate and when it does not turn out perfectly, his people can feel confident in standing with him. they know he got to the best deal possible because they trust him. i have been one of those who spent about a dozen years our
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goal speaking to the republican party about ronald reagan. a number of things, his importance and the things he achieved. but also warning the republican party, do not get caught in where is the next reagan or what would reagan do or things like that. reagan was brilliantly a perfect expression of his time and place in history. and so, i never bring reagan forward to 2014 and and say let's do this. that is like saying when is lincoln coming back? you do not want to do that. i am free associating a little bit.
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the qualities that reagan had as a negotiator and a leader and thinker about this american project are always welcome in america and always relevant and his style would be a delight to see now. including his affection for his sometimes weary and of using affection for the people on the other side. >> michael is a good friend and i know him well. i was very surprised at that piece. i do not know if he run for clicks online or pressure. that is how he addresses that for me. [laughter] it is a digital world these days. a good question. a really good question.
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my view is reagan would do just fine. he was supremely skillful. i will talk about one of the examples you bring up. the broader when i learned from lou cannon is observing his race for governor. something -- kind of wrong, reagan took a lot of grief from the deal he made in 1982. >> they got back in line pretty quick. he said, come on and they were quiet. >> secretary baker was in the room for a lot of the meetings including one famous one where they could not decide who was going to stand up first to leave the room. conservatives did not like the deal. you should've say what the democrats started wanted and what they ended up getting. that is what led o'neill to say he hated negotiating with reagan
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because he gets 80% of what he wants. i learned this from lou cannon. reagan is running for governor and he has two problems which he openly recognizes. more than a million more democrats than republicans in california. and a second, kind of forgotten now but did that is in the days of the tea party. you have a john burke society. it was thought of conspiracy minded paranoids. [laughter] reagan knew how to finesse that. i think he would do just as well today. this man was supremely skilled. in the way that few people are. >> he said -- [indiscernible] they are buying my philosophy. you could work all day with all those smart consultants and try
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to come up with a better formulation. it came out of reagan's head. >> it was simple logic. >> barry goldwater was not able to do that years before. >> he got tarred by extremism. craig, add a thought and then we will ask the audience.
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