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tv   First Ladies Influence Image  CSPAN  December 14, 2013 8:30pm-9:01pm EST

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blindness. these are sets of things they've been working on for a long time. and they're achieving a lot of success. >> as we close out here, gary robinson wants to know, what's the perception of the carters as time has passed since their presidency, and will it improve more overtime. as an historian, can you anticipate the future? >> not our greatest strength as historians but it's been a successful postpresidency. in many ways they reinvented that job and it doesn't look like they'll stop here in the later years. >> as historian looking back on the white house. has the perception of that change in the ensuing decades? >> i think perhaps the jury is still out. i mean, it's not seen as the most successful presidency of the post war era, but at the same time, trying to change some of the directions of event up -- events, promote what he was promoting. energy independence, the spread of democracy. that's still the issue today. >> what about the first lady? >> top five, top ten. eleanor roosevelt is at the top. below that, there's some fluctuation. i think in his case, he's not rated as highly as she is. on the other hand, he was rated as one of the top three presidents in history on the environment. there's a libertarian book out
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that ranks them in the top ten that is interesting coming from that source. so i think the jury is still out. papers are still being declassified. people are being the broader perspective. hopefully people keep having these discussions. >> how much of her papers did she preserve for the public? >> she's got a lot. she took extensive notes and diaries. there's a lot of private comments in there and in general, those are still haven't been available to historians. so she's a great documenter, she's a good historian herself. the memoir, "the white house years" is something i always recommend to people. you can still get copies. >> in fact, i have one here. first lady from plains. it is one of five books that mrs. carter has authored or co-authored in her years since the white house. that's it for our time and i want to say thank you for their continuing help to produce the series and we'll have a list of
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many of the others who made this possible. and thanks to our two guests for their information and your conversation with the audience tonight. >> thanks for having me.
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>> first ladies will return in the new year. weeks watch an encore presentation of our programs. next week from edith roosevelt to grace coolidge.
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we are offering a special edition of the first ladies of the united states of america. it is a biography and a portrait of each lady. it talks about the role of each lady throughout history. it is available for discount. and our website has more about the ursula ladies. that is produced by the white house historical association. at c-n find out more firstladies. highlightsc-span from the memorial service honoring the late nelson mandela. toer that talking political's mike allen about jobs.
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thousands gathered at an open air stadium in johannesburg on tuesday to honor the life of warmer southampton president nelson mandela. he died earlier this month at the age of 95. within the next two hours you will hear some of their remarks beginning with president obama. >> thank you. thank you. thank you so much. [applause] thank you.
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to gra├ža machel and the mandela family, to president zuma and members of the government, to heads of state and government, past and present, distinguished guests -- it is a singular honour to be with you today, to celebrate a life unlike any other. to the people of south africa -- people of every race and walk of life -- the world thanks you for sharing nelson mandela with us. his struggle was your struggle. his triumph was your triumph. your dignity and hope found expression in his life, and your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy. it is hard to eulogise any man to capture in words not just
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the facts and the dates that make a life, but the essential truth of a person -- their private joys and sorrows, the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone's soul. how much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice, and in
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the process moved billions around the world. born during world war one, far from the corridors of power, a boy raised herding cattle and tutored by elders of his thembu tribe -- madiba would emerge as the last great liberator of the 20th century. like gandhi, he would lead a resistance movement -- a movement that at its start held little prospect of success. like king, he would give potent voice to the claims of the oppressed, and the moral necessity of racial justice. he would endure a brutal imprisonment that began in the time of kennedy and khrushchev, and reached the final days of the cold war. emerging from prison, without force of arms, he would -- like lincoln -- hold his country together when it threatened to
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break apart. like america's founding fathers, he would erect a constitutional order to preserve freedom for future generations -- a commitment to democracy and rule of law ratified not only by his election, but by his willingness to step down from power. given the sweep of his life, and given the sweep of his life, and the adoration that he so rightly earned, it is tempting then to remember nelson mandela as an icon, smiling and serene,
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detached from the tawdry affairs of lesser men. but madiba himself strongly resisted such a lifeless portrait. instead, he insisted on sharing with us his doubts and fears, his miscalculations along with his victories. [applause] "i'm not a saint," he said, "unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying." it was precisely because he could admit to imperfection -- because he could be so full of good humour, even mischief, despite the heavy burdens he carried -- that we loved him so. he was not a bust made of marble, he was a man of flesh and blood -- a son and husband, a father and a friend. that is why we learned so much
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from him, that is why we can learn from him still. for nothing he achieved was inevitable. in the arc of his life, we see a man who earned his place in history through struggle and shrewdness, persistence and faith. he tells us what's possible not just in the pages of dusty history books, but in our own lives as well. mandela showed us the power of action, of taking risks on behalf of our ideals. perhaps madiba was right that he inherited, "a proud rebelliousness, a stubborn sense of fairness" from his father.
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certainly he shared with millions of black and coloured south africans the anger born of, "a thousand slights, a thousand indignities, a thousand unremembered moments -- a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people." but like other early giants of the anc -- the sisulus and tambos -- madiba disciplined his anger, and channelled his desire to fight into organisation, and platforms, and strategies for action, so men and women could stand-up for their dignity. moreover, he accepted the consequences of his actions, knowing that standing up to powerful interests and injustice carries a price. "i have fought against white domination and i have fought
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against black domination," he said at his 1964 trial. "i've cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. it is an ideal which i hope to live for and to achieve. but if needs be, it is an ideal for which i am prepared to die." [applause]
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mandela taught us the power of action, but also ideas, the importance of reason and arguments, the need to study not only those you agree with, but those who you don't. he understood that ideas cannot be contained by prison walls, or extinguished by a sniper's bullet. he turned his trial into an indictment of apartheid because of his eloquence and passion, but also his training as an advocate. he used decades in prison to sharpen his arguments, but also to spread his thirst for knowledge to others in the movement. and he learned the language and customs of his oppressor so that one day he might better convey to them how their own freedom depended upon his. mandela demonstrated that action and ideas are not enough, no matter how right, they must be chiselled into laws and institutions. [applause]
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he was practical, testing his beliefs against the hard surface of circumstance and history. on core principles he was unyielding, which is why he could rebuff offers of conditional release, reminding the apartheid regime that, "prisoners cannot enter into contracts." but as he showed in painstaking negotiations to transfer power and draft new laws, he was not afraid to compromise for the sake of a larger goal. and because he was not only a leader of a movement, but a skilful politician, the constitution that emerged was worthy of this multiracial democracy, true to his vision of laws that protect minority as well as majority rights, and the precious freedoms of every south african. finally, mandela understood the ties that bind the human spirit.
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there is a word in south africa "ubuntu" -- that describes his greatest gift, his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that can be invisible to the eye, that there is a oneness to humanity, that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us. we can never know how much of this was innate in him, or how much of was shaped and burnished in a dark, solitary cell.
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but we remember the gestures, large and small -- introducing his jailors as honoured guests at his inauguration, taking the pitch in a springbok uniform, turning his family's heartbreak into a call to confront hiv/aids that revealed the depth of his empathy and understanding. he not only embodied ubuntu, he taught millions to find that truth within themselves. it took a man like madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailor as well, to show that you must trust others so that they may trust you, to teach that reconciliation is not a matter of ignoring a cruel past, but a means of confronting it with inclusion, generosity and truth. [applause]
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he changed laws, but also hearts. for the people of south africa, for those he inspired around the globe -- madiba's passing is rightly a time of mourning, and a time to celebrate his heroic life. but i believe it should also prompt in each of us a time for self-reflection. with honesty, regardless of our station or circumstance, we must ask, how well have i applied his lessons in my own life? it is a question i ask myself -- as a man and as a president.
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we know that like south africa, the united states had to overcome centuries of racial subjugation. as was true here, it took the sacrifice of countless people -- known and unknown -- to see the dawn of a new day. michelle and i are the beneficiaries of that struggle. but in america and south africa, and countries around the globe, we cannot allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not done. [applause] the struggles that follow the victory of formal equality and universal franchise may not be as filled with drama and moral clarity as those that came before, but they are no less important. for around the world today, we still see children suffering from hunger, and disease, run- down schools, and few prospects for the future. around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs, and are
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still persecuted for what they look like, or how they worship, or who they love. that is happening today. [applause] we, too, must act on behalf of justice. we, too, must act on behalf of peace. there are too many of us who happily embrace madiba's legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality. there are too many leaders who claim solidarity with madiba's struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people. [applause]
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and there are too many of us who stand on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard. the questions we face today -- how to promote equality and justice, to uphold freedom and human rights, to end conflict and sectarian war -- do not have easy answers. but there were no easy answers in front of that child in qunu. nelson mandela reminds us that it always seems impossible until it is done. south africa shows us that is true. south africa shows us we can change. we can choose to live in a world defined not by our differences, but by our common hopes. we can choose a world defined not by conflict, but by peace and justice and opportunity. we will never see the likes of nelson mandela again.
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but let me say to the young people of africa, and young people around the world -- you can make his life's work your own. over 30 years ago, while still a student, i learned of mandela and the struggles in this land. it stirred something in me. it woke me up to my responsibilities -- to others, and to myself -- and set me on
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an improbable journey that finds me here today. and while i will always fall short of madiba's example, he makes me want to be better. he speaks to what is best inside us. after this great liberator is laid to rest, when we have returned to our cities and villages, and rejoined our daily routines, let us search then for his strength -- for his largeness of spirit -- somewhere inside ourselves. and when the night grows dark, when injustice weighs heavy on our hearts, or our best laid plans seem beyond our reach -- think of madiba, and the words that brought him comfort within the four walls of a cell -- it matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll,
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i am the master of my fate -- i am the captain of my soul. what a great soul it was. we will miss him deeply. may god bless the memory of nelson mandela. may god bless the people of south africa. [applause] >> we would like to thank president barack obama for his
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words. on with our program. otherare a number of world leaders who have come to ,ay tribute to nelson mandela his excellency the president of portugal is here. , the crown prince of sweden is here. president ofy, the the democratic republic of the congo is here. [applause]
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his excellency of gambia is here. the prime minister of the bahamas is here. the president of israel, and the representative of benjamin netanyahu is here. his excellency, the president of botswana is here.
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the honorable prime minister of new zealand is also here. [applause] the prime minister of canada is here. president ofy, the the united states, barack obama, is here. [applause] excellency, the prime minister of denmark is here. excellency, mr. mohammed is also here to re. gabon is here.f
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his excellency of the european council is here. the leader of croatia is here. his excellency, the president of nigeria is here. [applause] minister ofe prime the united kingdom is also here. ofhe president d'voire is here.
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and of course the president of brazil is here. this point that i would like to call upon the president of brazil all the way from latin america. [applause] we need translation? translation? oh, he is there. thank you. >> thank you.
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president zuma and south , and family members of toson mandela i would like say my condolences for the invaluable loss of nelson mandela. ladies and gentlemen, heads of friends,ar


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