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tv   Former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove  CSPAN  December 25, 2017 4:33pm-5:40pm EST

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that would never be affected and would be a work in progress. wax more from the cities tour in charlottesville. on the beginning of her career as u.s. poet laureate. [applause] >> the 2011 national medal of arts for her contributions to american letters and her service of the united states from 1993 to 1995. blends criticism, critique and politics. they cultivated popular interest in the arts.
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>> getting that metal, getting the national medal of the arts meant, personally for me, it was quite an achievement and one that i felt really humbled to receive. that the arts mattered. and to have the arts recognized at that level of the country of government, it was a profound act. not just for me, but for every young person in this country who wanted to express themselves, whether with paint, words, song, or bodies and dance. it meant all of those things. i wrote as a hobby and i did not know it could be a profession at
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all. i had no role models. i had never met a novelist or a poet. all of these people that wrote these things were names in a book. and the only one i really had a visual was long gone. to me, it was something i did as a hobby. i really thought that i was going to be one of the three things, to be a doctor, lawyer, or teacher. i do not feel that pressure that you will become a doctor, lawyer, or teacher. it was just in the air. and i discovered creative writing classes. you mean you can do this as a profession? and that's when i started
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thinking about the fact that this is what i loved. and what i did whenever i had a free moment. so i made up my mind that i was going to try it. while i was young and could afford to starve. i went home and did the thing that so many kids and their parents tell them. i said i want to be a poet. my father was a chemist. credit, he said i don't understand poetry. don't be upset if i don't read your poems. he let me go and do my thing. that was all i wanted. they were really supportive. as a grandmother, i realize how courageous it was for them and
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how great it was for them to let me do the things that they didn't understand. ohio, and in akron there were books in my house. which onesot know were supposed to be difficult or not. reading a comic book and trying my hand at shakespeare in the afternoon. to me, they were all words on a page that then came to life. and that was magic. it meant i could go anyplace in downorld just by sitting and opening the object. i begin writing as soon as i could learn how to write. then even though i had been
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reading children's books, the idea that i could actually take paper andnd put it to write words to create this other reality, i felt like a magician myself. did it tonow you publish it, i thought it was because it was enjoyable. book.lly i would read a my brother is two years older than i am. i would read every book that he got out of the library. the books were they would meet aliens and there would be all these people and i would sit down and write my own little story except owed put a black girl in it because there were no black girls in the stories. but i could put them in there. i could put a little black girl into a story of my own making.
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that helped met also understand that i was worth something. the little black girl landing on the moon was not such a fiction. shy. very i've always been very shy. it wasa of teaching, just the act of getting in front of a class that filled me with terror, frankly. i had to earn a living to support my habit. i began to apply for creative writing positions and i got my first one. it was lucky. in arizona. a place i had never been. it is not a place i would've
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said i wanted to go, necessarily . but that's where the job was. yearsed up spending eight in the phoenix area. we had our daughter there. learned that those terrified to go into class, students were more flayed than i was. and it was the love of writing that carried me over because of his teaching something that i loved. and if i could convey the love, the shyness fell away and we all met on that page. and after arizona, i came to virginia and i have been here ever since. i remember it was in the spring. in may. it was the very end of the semester.
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in fact, i was in chicago at the time, giving a reading with gwendolyn brooks. i was terrifically excited about this. being able to read one of my idols. but i also knew that after that reading, i had the entire summer free. i had nothing more to do but to finish reading my students poems and portfolios, putting in the grades, and i was free for the whole summer. my husband said, you're going to get a call in a minute. and i'm not supposed to tell you what it's about. but i'm going to tell you anyway. he told me i was going to get a to bend they wanted me the next poet laureate of the united states. it came completely out of the blue. when i said yes to becoming poet
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laureate, i thought that i was going to have to defend poetry. i made up my mind i wasn't going to defend anything. it should be celebrated. defense implies that something is wrong or that it is under siege. even before i could implement this celebration, people began to write me letters. it was an incredible. they start these letters off with this disclaimer of, i don't know much about poetry. or, you know, it's a really wonderful thing. i really don't know much. we talk about the poems that moved them.
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from the middle of the country, he told me his first book in got out of the mobile library. a collection of poems, and he only got it because after filling out his entire -- all cart,uff he needs for his he did not have time to get any books. at first, i felt cheated. it's by this dude who's dead. and he's at it because it was the only book he had, it had just changed his life. people were basically telling me enlarged and enriched their lives. they told me they did not feel
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equal, made to feel that they were not worthy of this. and i thought, that is my mission. we've got to get poetry everywhere. as much as you can. so people know that it is their song and their story. that was about 1993. strongly, this misconception that poetry lived in an ivory tower and you somehow had to be educated. aat you somehow had to have certain standing to be able to understand it. and it did not deal with everyday life. i can think of nothing higher than everyday life. realized that so many isolated or apart
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from poetry because it wasn't -- it'sn the schools hard to grade. it's hard to put a grade on someone's interpretation of a poem. someone iswhen really struck speechless by a poem, they are exactly that. it is very hard to write about it. ,o the difficulty in teaching is why poetry really made something that we've grown up with. luckyaid earlier, i was that i grew up with books. i was allowed to discover them at my arms speed.
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so yes, the misconceptions are out there. arts -- thehat the notion that the arts, that we don't need them. that they are the low person on the totem pole. that we can get rid of the arts and we will be just fine. distrusts from a basic of the arts, a basic feeling that somehow, they don't have to do that very spirit. we are born creative. wildly creative. the joy that comes from being able to express that without having to rationalize it and the thingshink of
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that will be in precisely the right order. that with thedo paintbrush, kids know what that's like. and i'm not trying to say that other things aren't as important. and i grew up with the sciences. thishere are two sides of and you can't just say, ok, we don't need the arts and humidity -- humanity. we need them, desperately. testimonial. back when the earth was new and heaven just a whisper, back when the names of things hadn't had
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time to stick. the world called and i answered. breath and called that life. between spoonfuls of lemon sorbet. i was euro at and flourish. how can i count my blessings when i did not know their names. back when everything was still to come. luckily doubt everywhere. world,my promise to the and the world followed me here. >> more now from charlottesville on the origins of james madison, the fourth president of the united states, and the earlier
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years created a future founding father. >> the story that was kind of the greatest interpreter, he gave this quote. james madison did the most but is known the least. the thing that is frustrating but fascinating was that he was this incredibly impactful individual. but because he was private and because he was introverted and other aspects. he was 5'4", 100 pounds, anxiety attacks. samed not exerted the gravitational force field on people that thomas jefferson or these other larger-than-life figures had.
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very deep tolunged try to figure out how to we know this guy? how do we understand and motivate him? james madison was from right here in orange county. in the heart of virginia. he grew up in this house right behind us, which has changed over the years. they brought him back to what he was. there andsed over another, much more primitive before hiselopment father built this brick house. ofison was the son definitely a privileged family. his father was a planter and grew up in the elite gentry.
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of brought into the world the experience of being an older brother. he had a very demanding and unconventional father that raised him here and a mother that was very warm. maybe a little bit anxious as some of the studies i write about in the book. and so he was the eldest son of a premier family in virginia at the time and enjoyed all of the benefits and burdens that came with that. he was sent away to an elite boarding school when he was young and his early teens. he was sent out of the state as kind the eldest born. it later became princeton and an unusual choice. it was not william and mary which is what most parents at the time send their kids. .t was not an anglican college it was a presbyterian one.
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father brought him back to be a tutor to his youngest sibling here. he didn't want to do that, but of beingrt of the cost the eldest son, the bearer of all this privilege. that he came back and forced by his father to apply all that learning an investment. kind of being in the cities of the country. orange county is where you really understand where he was and how he came to be. what was he going to be and what was he going to do for a living? what he was really good at was legislating. understanding problems, researching them. coming up with an approach to really crucial public policy
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problems that everyone else couldn't understand or couldn't figure out how to translate. that is what he was good at. because he inherited the , also settling on vocation outside of public service. he had a terrible time becoming a lawyer. i chronicled the difficulties he had. he had an equally harder time becoming a lawyer which is what he felt like he needed to do. there are these really funny passages where he's complaining boring andhow difficult and intense the study of law is. in ther managed to do it right way. just miserable in the process, vocally miserable about it.
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he was a constant struggle of how he was going to make a living. he had a fit of anxious depression when he came back. he had these psychological challenges which i think and i argue in the book, that he had a category of anxiety. a couple of causes kind of took him over. in the the harassment bathrooms they were experiencing in virginia at this time. kind of like you needed a licensed to preach.
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here, they were in prison den harassed by the ruling state religion. taken.was very you cast her lot with an underdog. there are some accounts that he traveled out there and took this on as a cause. it is the political itch to use public policy to express conviction and a principal. and engage in questions of governance. and he talked about it that way. member of orange county to the constitutional convention. this was after the declaration and they needed to come up with a constitution. he became a counselor to the governor.
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governor patrick henry, he was in the mid-20's. when he was in his mid-20's. he started his career, his ofviction ran the gamut every public policy issue that the country was dealing with. when he was a young age, governor patrick henry became absolutely obsessed with the problem of filters and supplies. the state was figuring out how to supply federal -- part federal, state. it dragged on for ever. how do you acquit meant supply the troops when the dollars you are using, they are five different signs of money.
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is difficult to find food and drink. you need people in government trying to work the problem. and he carried that through to the congress. when he came back to virginia as a delegate after having been in congress, he got fascinated by the problem of overhauling virginia's state code. and there was capital punishment for all kinds of random things. intond of threw himself much less sexy examples. separation of powers in the design of our government. the design of the presidency. appointed, very statesmanlike federal judiciary.
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issues forll those what he contributed and there are dozens of others that he also mastered. one of the grains of the book. when i was looking through the , they happened in 1788. this major figure, they faced off with each other for three weeks. they try to tear down the constitution. epilepsy attacks caused him to be removed.
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think he experienced it as incredibly daunting and difficult, this pressure of having the whole country on his shoulders. time, when he intense public battles, it was not easy for him . naturally to be a leader in the nation. the gifts that he had, the understanding. he mastered it by will.
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it was a more tortured overcoming of obstacles for him than it was for someone who was, you know, who had a great sense of ease about being in public. there was a charisma and that, that is not what madison's experience was like at all. sometimes a crippled him. he was the least likely person to get involved with politics. there was a wonderful friend of houseat ran a boarding and there was one time when thomas jefferson said he should come back and run for governor of virginia. she said but he could never handle a torrent of a uses he would expect and public life, he was too sensitive. the fact that his closest
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friends said politics is the last thing he should do, the fact that he did it anyway because of how deeply he felt the need to address these heblems, even if it was him, said it has to be somebody, i might as well do it. it was his conviction that paradigm through andrew some have given to him because they about,at he was talking if you get out an answer that was probably better than a lot of the rest of them had done. he was throwing himself into the ring to figure out the solution work, the presidency came out of the kind of chain of succession and relationships that he had an effect that he had been secretary, when he shifted into the executive, and he began the president of the united states, the deficiencies that he had were more on display, it was harder for him to give confidence to the nation during the war of 1812 when he was criticized. that was one of the things he
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saw, even with his step in this is what the cabinet members where he prosecuted the war, the signals and the image that he presented to the contrary did not really meet the moment and that was one of the reasons that his image separate over the decades. he very much mcmullen when the country and to design his foundation and when it needed to thet the compromises and instructions that would make the states to a stronger federal government that would create the home machine that was going to guide the country and that is how he talked about his life, one of the initial is a research was looking at the made event drafts and memoirs that he did as he got older. he kept on refining this very short autobiography. it was like 20 pages. his whole on all of life on the events that happened up until he was 37.
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he would pay good -- barely any attention to when he was president or secretary of state and not because he sighs let's work and his contribution to the world as having been writing and enacting the constitution and and theucting the wars, country as chief executive. there's imaging and 1820's were medicine is in his old age when he appears and has been president, secretary of state and father of the constitution verye takes on some unpopular, difficult causes. like giving african-americans the right of representation and the design of a copy for population of districts. people quieting and hushing and try around as they get what he says, it is
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totally different than daniel webster standing up for people and being bought away by this powerful oratory. but it was that quietness and the element of being magnetically pulled toward the depth of what he was saying, thatconviction, the fact he knew what he was talking about the state explains why people were so drawn to him. i don't think that history has given the right credit to james madison, i wrote the book basically about statesmanship. you see it in the way talks about the federal judiciary. easy about how he talks about the united states senate and when he talks of regular citizens. there was supposed to be challenging of public opinion. there is a must be research and knowledge. there was a bust to be alliances and compromises and debate and liberation, all of which go toward pushing to a higher plane and not just going to lows, denominator and not just into what makes people feel that.
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we would not be here but for his statesmanship at any number of crucial junctures that we had come when it was freedom of religion or getting constitutions asked. , we needed somebody doing what he did in the fact that we don't think about it much, i think that is the problem. >>, next more from sharpsville with advice from presidential historians about the potential and the pitfalls of the president's first year. the millicent is a nonpartisan academic group associated with university of virginia. it focuses on presidential scholarships, policy and also presidential history. whence we have to get that text editor that committee and we have to get the civil rights bill and get started in the senate.
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>> lyndon johnson really capture the very well. the promise of the first year which is you are elected and you have a mandate working with the congress, you, the president, the executive branch, as the new johnson said when he became president, novak -- no matter how big your majorities, you get one year before congress stops thinking about you, the president and start thinking about themselves, their own reelection and at about january of your second year after you have done your first year, all the members of congress are thinking about the midterm election and they are really cautious without taking any risk to help you get your mandate and your agenda through. that is my president who are only on their administration are so eager to get things done. they feel this is the moment they'll never have again. there are also learning the ropes, they're still not as experienced as they will be in for five years so sometimes they make stakes. , theis what at first year
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first few months is so important for setting the agenda for later presidents were further later effectiveness. andt lobbyist and law firms bidders except this foreign element of government. in washington. >> had a jimmy carter who was like donald trump -- an outside to washington, that is why jimmy carter was elected, in the post-watergate. , he was able to say i am not of washington, i am from georgia, i was the governor of georgia. going to lie to you, i'm a born again christian, so he was able to separate himself out of the muck and mire of washington and watergate. much as dollars represented himself to the american people to say i'm not even a politician, i never served in when jimmybefore,
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carter told us in his oral history is he thought he would be fine in terms of his experience, as chief executive of the state, he had been in atlanta as the governor of georgia but he said when i get to washington, it was very different from what i expected. >> i didn't have any obligations to the people in washington from up my lesson. very few. congress, members of the major the distant was of democratic leaders played much of a role in my election. that was in the general issue that would have occurred had i not been able to witness the nomination by myself, it's didn't have that sort of potential. i think it's out there on the outside. >> it is a cautionary tale book for outsiders coming into the white house but also a cautionary tale for thinking
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that you know enough to get by in those first few months and then realizing that you don't. we beenis a never working on for almost three inrs, since my arrival january of 2015 but even before then when i first started talking to the miller center our historicalke assets, the archives that we built through oral history and through transcribing the secret of office recordings, our network of scholars, i would network of practitioners we are in touch with and take the lessons of all of the history and projected forward to the current president when we were designing and building the next president asterisk you're in office. so it a series of case studies but also a series of directed interviews with those people. this is about the challenge of taking over the most important our job in the world.
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>> even when george h.w. bush took over from our reagan, it was a hostile takeover, this is not an easy to do, they fired all of the same people because they wanted to put their own stamp on the presidency and the executive branch. i provide some opportunities, he bring in a new set of people, a fresh perspective, a new set of voices but also challenges that matter how experienced a team's, working together as a team, they're not very experienced, they have not been in that position or. and a firstpromise year and then there is parallel the first year and we try to capture what those lessons of history are for the new teams coming in. what's the first thing we have to do is rely on trusted advisors. residents are human beings, they don't know anything, they have to learn from people around them. they have to find trusted advisors. but this is a trap because the most trusted advisor of a new
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president is someone who helped him on the campaign. someone who got them elected. is politically super skilled. that necessarily a national security expert. newhis is the tension, the president has to let go of the political advisers that got him elected and find a team of very smart, savvy, experienced people to bring to the white house to educate him on what the main issues are that he will face. so the choice of the advisors is the most important new president can do. one of the key things about building a team is to make sure that they were together. aorge, -- george w. bush had very experienced group of people. he had an all-star team of colin rumsfeld,l condoleezza rice, smart people with a great deal of knowledge of how the government works, one problem, they hated each other. that is not going to serve the president well if his team doesn't function well as a group.
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those differences of opinion and style and personality only got greater and wider as they became exposed. so finding a team that not only serves the president well but one that works together well as it's really difficult to do. >> there is an inevitable first euro crisis. always something on the national security side of the ledger. >> last night, our u.s. military forces to panama. no president takes such acts and. >> seem george h.w. bush, they had a crisis in october of the first year. president bush came in saying that man while noriega had to go from office. he was a dictator in panama was connected to the drug trade.
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>> the united states, nations of the caribbean will work together to solve the crisis in panama. the goal of the united states has been to safeguard the lives of americans, defend democracy in panama, combat drug trafficking and to protect the integrity of the panama canal treaty. a pretty consistent refrain from president bush that he was going to try to see where it could go. they ended up hearing about a pot from some junior military officers in the noriega regime and their different camera secretaries and reactions to whether they should not -- should get involved or not connect to attempt. the mixture signals and look leading to a failed coup in panama. now we have a cool rising up against somebody president bush i should go, different members of the cabinet on differently, it failed. president bush appeared to have
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a got his face. let's recently we were out in wyoming and we were talking to dick cheney, the former vice president, the former secretary of defense, former member of the house of representatives. somebody lost the washington experience in different areas of washington and two different branches of government, this is what vice president cheney was pointing out to us and he said think of the people who were surrounding george h.w. bush. general, colined himself, they had the a-team, maybe the a plus team in foreign affairs and yet their first foreign affairs crisis was a coup in panama, ultimately our invasion of panama to remove manuel noriega that while wed were a great group of individuals with a lot of experiences inform policy and defense policy, we had not
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worked together as a team yet and he said that took some time for us to get going as a team and he said we made some mistakes. let's we learned a lot as a team how to work with the functions. one of the real palms you have the new administration, we were not a bunch of amateurs, we had been around them before. it is hard, there is no training ground. no training rent for senior citizen political leaders in the administration. >> our view now is if that team made mistakes, think of how much harder it is for a president that has no washington experience, no foreign policy experience, no defense policy experience and no work in washington with the levers of power and with the centers of power in the nation's capital. >> this was a great event, we in the meaning of
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these times in which we live. we are not understanding if we beseech god's guidance, we summon all of our past and we scan all signs of the future. we bring all of our wit and will to meet the question -- how far have we come in men's long one for the light. you never knew what was around the corner, there was always a crisis area the phrase that he used that many people in washington have referred to his plans are worthless but planning is everything. what does that mean? it means you don't know what is coming. of course you can see the future but you have to anticipate a variety of scenarios and constantly plan around the possibility that five or six things may happen and your team has to be in the habit of planning. that to talk to each other, they have to meet regularly.
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they have to have a plan for how intelligence, really, interpreted and map out possible consequences, strategic mean forwhat this will the budget, defense, our military performance, our new strategy it x happens. the national security establishment must always be planning ahead for a variety of scenarios. if anyone of them happen for something happens that looks a little bit like plan a, the president has at least the beginnings of a plan already in place. john kennedy, everyone loves john kennedy, we think of him as an admirable figure and a tragic figure but in his first few months in office, he made a very serious mistake. handle't sure how to this great problem of cuba and he allowed a process that was , the invasionce of cuba to unfold, unfold in april 1961. >> that the records show that our restraint is not
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inexhaustible. should it ever appear that the inter-american doctrine of noninterference really conceals or excuses a policy of not action, and the nations of this hemisphere should fail to meet their commitments against outside communist penetration then i wanted clearly understood that this government will not hesitate in meeting its primary obligation with the security of our nation. >> what should he have done differently? what he didn't do was he didn't subject that plan to sufficient rigor, he did not do through the scenario, he didn't go through a long. that plan. of just a few months of his presidency. he felt he knew to act both, he felt he needs to show he was a hawk, that he would be an activist president. he criticized eisenhower for
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being asleep at the wheel. so he said invading cuba, that sounds like a bold plan, that will demonstrate real change. it was a fiasco, it was a disaster as anyone looking at the plans to addictive. but kennedy learned from that mistake and he then ratcheted back his activism and became more restrained. he became much more weary of pre-existing plans that have not gone through 6 -- sufficient rigorous analysis. >> he had such a disaster in his first year of the bay of tags that he decided in the midst of the cuban missile crisis that i better make a record of this because i need to have what i said to my advisors so he recorded himself in his telephone conversations and particularly in his meetings so the secret behind closed doors, executive committee meetings and cabinet meetings that kennedy had in real-time in the midst of
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the cuban missile crisis, you can hear. one of my favorites is a phone conversation that he had with former president eisenhower. he calls him in the midst of the cuban missile crisis to say what should i do? am i doing the right thing? >> they take any spot in the world. is, you've either can't or won't resist. cracks that is right. >>, yeah, that is right.
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>> then you always have the right things. >> i will keep in touch with you general. >> thank you very much. >> he was hawkish. he pushed kennedy, it is a remarkable exchange, suddenly the roles were reversed and kennedy was arguing for more restraint and eisenhower, they also said you have to go for it. you have to invade cuba area i think it is a wonderful moment and nineents talking from each other, it doesn't happen as often as it should. because of the party politics that get in the way of personalities. as all previous presidents have said, knowing us with job is really like except another president so they can learn from another. >> at think a president has to be thinking of the first year in the campaign and the most successful presidents are those who have taken two or three
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major points of policy, it can be domestic, foreign, a combination of the two and at on the campaign stump, they make the case over and over again and as soon as they get into the white house, they hit the ground workingand they begin on those two or three points of domestic reform policy. andill clinton was elected he got elected on the mantra, it is the economy, stupid. he had to forget about it in the first few weeks and office. was a president i worked for adding he was a terrific resin. his first weeks in office became the issue of the day. he answered a question in a press conference. whether theynot should be homosexuals in the military, everyone can see that there are. the issue is whether men and women who can and have served with real distinction should be excluded from military service
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solely on the basis of their status. i believe they should not. prepared for was the politics of that and the governing challenges of that pen ony, it came up a the press conference, it came up at a press conference, he ended up losing three months for the controversy and ended up with a policy that was very different from the one that he wanted. ronald reagan is another good example. a majoriate him with moment in american and world history because he presided over the beginnings of the end of the cold war. gorbachev, tear down this wall. elected toas increase defense spending but he thatlected on an argument government should be shrunk. welfare should be transformed.
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the budget should be balanced, he was going to be a conservative in the white house and that was his ticket to victory. to be a president that focused on the state affairs as well and of worse, the contrast of the carter years was dramatic. in fact, he set out a gold at the beginning to try to end the cold war, build up new defense ending and build up who he did all those things and those are the things that define his presidency in many ways. as your present i will raise the bar, i will assist on accountability systems that refuse to the children behind, but in place programs that will give our children the building blocks to learn to read. we will challenge people to meet the high expectations and you mark my words of what leadership
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can provide, it'll provide aid education system that will not leave anybody behind and america will be back -- better off for it. ask was 43 where george w. bush also had a successful first year , also following the pattern of our reagan, be very specific in your campaign about two or three things you want to do. bush 43's case, it was our reform, staying strong in the world but don't try to do regime change. these were several of the things he said in the campaign, he gets into office and what does he do? he reaches out to ted kennedy of all people on the other side of the aisle and on the other side of the -- one of the spectrum. a liberal in the most liberal sense of the term as opposed to george w. bush and what did george bush do? he invited ted kennedy and his family to the white house after the inauguration and he said the new movie 13 days has just come
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out about the cuban missile crisis and your brother john f. kennedy and his presidency, would you like to come and watch it in the white house theater? >> all of these things were developing,rust this mating dance, this relationship, this common cause of and we get something big done russian mark they both had their own equities, d -- politically and otherwise. imagine, thest brother candidate sitting there with the new president bush washington on the white house. they started talking about how they wanted to work together on some big issues. it would be health care, education reform, he started reaching out right across party lines from the early days of the administration. member, president george w. bush was elected as compassionate conservative. and reform was where he was going to make that mark. on
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september 10, the day before september 11, they had a white house summit on education policy. the next day, he gets on an airplane and flies down to florida and is doing an event in , reading toflorida students, that iconic picture of andy card whispering into george w. bush is here that america is under attack, people remember that for 9/11, with a don't remember is that was in a school on behalf of trying to remove -- move legislation for on education reform. that very day, laura bush was back at the capital with senator kennedy talking about the same exact issue. for the present was down in florida, laura bush and senator kennedy were working on this piece of legislation and x them because the airplanes were scrambling or heading into buildings, one might be coming to the capital. that is what they were trying to accomplish and sure enough, the 11th month of that administration, there were able
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to pass that piece of legislation. is a great example of a president reaching across party lines, knowing from the first weeks in office that this was something he wanted to do. even in a moment of crisis, sticking with it while they were planning a war in afghanistan to respond to the 9/11 attacks, they were still moving forward that piece of domestic legislation in a bipartisan way area >> lyndon johnson remarkably had to first years, he had the first year of his actor that --n accidental president after the assassination of president kennedy and once he help this country get through the sadness and the grief over that, he began moving forward very quickly and by that next summer, president kennedy was assassinated in november of 1963 and by july of 1960 work, lyndon johnson had passed through the house and the senate the 1964 civil rights bill. then reelected by a landslide in his own right in november of 64.
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taste his official oath of office to become a president in and passesht in 1965 the voting rights act, medicaid, medicare, the great society is up and running within that first year of his official presidency to which he was elected. >> recanted feels that if only i could be in the oval office have hands on thethe levers of power, i could turn this around. but the power of the presidency is limited, it is designed so the president cannot easily put into place a dramatic change of government. sure, personnel will change, ideologies might change but a relationship with congress, the relationship with the court, these things constrain presidential power. effectively. a very large the artists he threw a ship to drive your
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policy choices and you find a president's power is constrained. there are moments, moments that a presidential -- early in a residential term where you may feel you have a great opportunity, president obama has in the health-care bill, focusing on that in the first couple years of his presidency, it is the text but for example, he had a significant majority in the congress, he had demanded of the people, he had a lot of popularity and he pushed through the health care bill that he felt was going to be his legacy. almost a century after over aday, year of debate, today, after all the votes have been tallied, health insurance reform becomes law and united states of america. >> whether you like the bill or not, it is a great moment of presidential leadership because
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after he did that, his power began to weaken as it always does. >> one of the major pitfalls in that first year is inexperienced, again, we had a number of president in recent years reacting to washington and presenting themselves to the the evil not part of washington, not part of the muck and mire of daily politics and so we have had people coming from governorship. we have had reagan and carter manylinton and then we had who had no political is granted any city of the country or any state. this person is coming in with a fresh start. that is the good news for the american people who tend to be washington as it is not able been corrupt. that is a good thing to first elected.
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it is more problematic for governance. and how quickly a president pivots from running for office, politicking to governing can make all the difference in the world. grasp the levers of power, can they get what washington is about russian mark can they understand working with washington media? can they understand working with capitol hill and how that will carry itself out? >> the first year is an especially vulnerable moment for new presidents. all presidents face crises all the time, it is nonstop crisis one after the other when you're president. when you're right in the first year, you're at your most honorable. if something goes wrong in the first few months for the first year, they may not have clear answers were clear goals, they may not have a great team run them to do with it. whenirst year is a moment
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-- if something goes wrong, it can expose a new presidents weaknesses for insecurity or experience so the miller center focused on this. this is a way to gauge what can go wrong and what you need to do to anticipate those problems. >> the other five things i would say to president trump is focused on your five p's personnel, process, priorities, the politics of getting your priorities done and how you communicate as a person. every president fails in those five things. don't be flustered by any particular failure. this is like a game of baseball. andn from your failures work for others to succeed. >> jose that the problems are more difficult than i imagine them to be.
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there's lots of otis in the united states are greater than i imagine the debate. are greater limitations upon our ability to bring about a favorable result than i had imagined them to be. i think that is probably true of anyone who becomes president, there is such a difference between those who advise or in betweengislate the menu must make -- select from the various alternatives proposed and said this should be the policy of the united states. it is much easier to make a speech is that it is to finally make the judgments. unfortunately, you are devices are frequent me divided. it is the wrong cause, the burden, thekes the advisors may move on to new advice. >> c-span cities tour takes you to springfield, missouri on january 6 and seventh well and
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good and working with media, to explore the literary scene and history of the birthplace of route 66 in southwestern missouri. on saturday, january 6, on book tv, jeremy neeley talks about the conflict occurring along the kansas missouri border in the struggle over slavery in his book, the border between them. john brown having left kansas goes back to the territory and begins a series of raids into western missouri during which has been for the great and if they people from missouri and help them escape to freedom and in the course of this, they will kill innovaro slaveholders and the legend and notoriety of john brown grows as part of the struggle that people locally understand is really the beginning of the civil war. >> sunday, january 7 at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv, we
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visit the nra national sporting arms present. parachutingvelt was is president, he was an avid hunter. the first thing he did when he left office was organize and go on a very long hunting safari to africa. this was prepared specifically for roosevelt, it has the presidential seal engraved on the breach and of course roosevelt was famous for the bonus party and there was a bonus engraved. let's watch c-span cities tour on sprint bill, missouri, january 6 and seventh on book tv and on american history tv on c-span3. working with our cable affiliate as we explore america. >> join us tonight on c-span for a debate on the boycott,
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divestment and sanctions movement, a campaign to change israel's policy toward the palestinians through economic pressure. we'll hear from harvard professors west anderson with. also tonight, american history tv is in prime time, will show the u.s. capital historical society ceremony honoring the writer and actor in hamilton. american history tv in prime time beginning at 8:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3. >> others we, washington journal is featuring key authors, when asked where that conversation about this with a popular books. and can stand with her update republican like me, how i let the liberal bubble and learn to love the right. and angela j davis with police
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and the black man. and thursday, cliff stearns with his book, the light in the marble palace, the praise of folly. also, on friday, december 29, the author and scholar with his world war, is on this and the fight for cyber supremacy. 30th,n saturday, several jessica britta with her book, no man's land, surviving america in the 21st century. sunday,ber 1 -- december 31, the gatekeepers, how the white house chief of staff's defined every presidency, washington journal's author serious all this week at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span, and c-span radio. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your
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cable or satellite provider. >> more than 200 young people are dissipated in the annual youth parliament debate at the british house of commons, one of this year's topics was to bt right. this is 35 minutes. >> i call on you to invite from the northwest of and going, jonathan right. >> nike mr. speaker. on hundred 50 years ago, the radical


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