tv PBS News Hour PBS November 4, 2010 5:30pm-6:30pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> lehrer: good evening. i'm jim lehrer. president obama called for a better working relationship with the new congress. republican leader mitch mcconnell said democrats have to move toward the g.o.p. agenda first. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the "newshour" tonight: we get an update on races still undecided including the one for alaska's senate seat. >> lehrer: then, we look at the future for the new health care law, after the republican takeover in the house. >> brown: and historians michael beschloss, richard norton smith, and beverly gage weigh this week's vote against mid-term
elections past. >> lehrer: plus on other news, ray suarez talks to jason beaubien of npr about haiti's latest crisis-- tropical storm tomas. >> brown: and margaret warner has the remarkable story of ingrid betancourt-- held hostage in the jungle in colombia for six years. for me, my rob session was to give back to my children, and it was also i my responsibility. my right was to be free. i was a free woman. >> lehrer: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ç
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and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> lehrer: president obama took his first steps today on the new political landscape in washington. he invited party leaders to talks at the white house as republicans made it clear that hard bargaining lies ahead. judy woodruff has the story. >> woodruff: the president met with his cabinet this morning and made it clear he's adjusting to the election he called a shellacking, with republicans taking over the house and gaining in the senate.
>> what's going to be critically is creating a better workingnthz relationship between this whiteç house and the congressional leadership that's coming in, as well as the congressional leadership that carries over from the previous congress. >> woodruff: to that end, . obama invited leaders of both parties to join him at the white house on november 18. >> this is going to be a meeting in which i want us to talk substantively about how we can move the american people's agenda forward. it's not just going to be a photo-op. >> woodruff: a short time later, senate republican leader mitch mcconnell announced that if the president wants progress, he'll have to move toward republican positions. >> the formula is simple, really: when the administration agrees with the american people, we will agree with the administration. when it disagrees with the american people, we won't.
this has been our posture from the beginning of this administration. and we intend to stick with it. if the administration wants cooperation, it will have to begin to move in our direction. >> woodruff: mcconnell also repeated that a top republican priority will be to limit president obama to one term. >> if our prima legislative goals are to repeal and repla the health spending bill; to end the bailouts; cut spending; and shrink the size and scope of government, the only way to do all these things it is to put someone in the white house who won't veto any of these things. >> woodruff: on the house side, republican leader john boehner formally began seeking support to become speaker. and, he told abc news he thinks the president and democrats are still in denial. >> when you have the most historic election in over 60, 70 years you would think that the other party would understand that the american people have clearly repudiated the policies
that they put forward the last two years. >> woodruff: back at the white house, spokesman robert gibbs signaled possible movement toward republican demands to extend the bush-era income tax cuts, even for the well-off if only for a year or two. >> i don't want to get into the negotiations here but we're certainly open to listening to their position, talking about it and working together to find a compromise that moves this issue forward.ç our biggest issue is that if this congress does not move thiç issue forward before the end of the year, taxes for middle class families are going to go up. >> woodruff: in the meantime, the president announced today he'll also meet with newly elected governors, most of them republicans, on december 2. there are also ten house races that remain unresolved. and a pair of senate races have yet to be called. in washington state, democratic incumbent patty murray led republican dino rossi, but
nearly all voting was done by mail, and thousands of ballots had yet to be counted. and it could be weeks before alaska's senate winner is named. incumbent lisa murkowski ran as a write-in candidate, after losing to joe miller in the republican primary. the write-in category led the way in tuesday's voting, and officials now plan to begin counting those ballots on november 10. for the very latest on that alaska race, we turn to michael carey, host of the weekly program "anchorage edition" on kska public radio, and a columnist for the "anchorage daily news." michael carey, good to have you back with us again. >> great to be here. >> woodruff: tell me, first of all, whether-- it is the case now that the write-in ballots clearly are ahead there. >> yes, write-in got the most
votes. 14,000 more than joe miller did and many, many more than scott mcadams, the democrat, yes, write-ins is in first place. >> woodruff: so the process of counting still is going to be slow. they don't even begin to look at these write-ins until next week? >> let me explain some of the process. first of all, when we established our election laws, they allowed for a longer period of time for the ballots toç coe in, especially forç rural alasa because at one time, those communities didn't have phones and all the ballots would come into central counting by mail. second, we centralized our election in the state of alaska. counties do not do the counting. it's the state o alaska in various places around the state. and third, our laws are such that we proceed by statute, and the election laws provide that any write-in ballots will be counted after all other ballots
because they will only count the write-ins, if write-ins-- whoever the write-ins are-- could win the election. >> woodruff: and there's no doubt about that. let me ask you-- how much doubt is there that write-in could ultimately emerge the winner? >> write-in, also known as lisa murkowski, probably is going to win. it would be very difficult for joe miller to pick up in the absentee ballots and in the ballots that are challenged-- in other words ballotses that have some reason they're being held back to be examined-- with what's out. and also miller would have to have something like 10%, 12 prg more than 10% or 12% of the write-in ballots declared invalid. it's very, very unlikely. miller was told there may be write-in ballots for him as well, and that has happened in other election where's people will put in a write-in for their candidate even though their name is on the ballot just so they
know it's there. >> woodruff: what else is his campaign, and what else is lisa murkowski's campaign saying about all this? >> well, lisa murkowski has expressed confidence that-- if you look at the front page of the requested anchorage daily news" and all the alaskan media, you see a smiling lisa murkowski. her smile is accompanied by hiring a lawyer, a skilled lawyer, who will oversee the count of the write-in ballots. >> woodruff: and, carol marin, is there any question about whose side she's on? she did not win the republican primary, but she said she will caucus with the republicans. >> yes. she really ran as something of an independent saying i learned my lesson here, i'm going back to washington, in some ways, as a new person. she also made it clear that she's a republican and she tend to caucus with the republicans, and i think people can expect
her to be a good republican, although she solicited democratic votes vigorously, especially the votes of democratic women. she went after them very,ç very strong, and demonized joe miller.ç you could see that in the advertising. >> woodruff: very quickly, i have to ask you, what is sarah palin saying in all this? she did endorse joe miller. >> i haven't heard from her in the last couple of days. i think people like sarah palin get involved when victory is at hand and make themselves scarce when things aren't going so well. and they aren't going so well right now for joe miller. >> woodruff: all right, we are going to leave it with that. michael carey, joining us from anchorage. thank you. >> thank you. >> brown: we have two more post-election stories coming up: what the results could mean for health care reform and historians beschloss, smith, and gage. plus: haiti's latest crisis and the six-year ordeal of ingrid betancourt. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan in our newsroom.
>> sreenivasan: wall street got a big boost today from the federal reserve's plan to spend $600 billion on boosting the economy. the dow jones industrial average had its highest close since the collapse of lehman brothers in september of 2008. the blue chip index gained more than 219 points to finish at 11,434. the nasdaq rose 37 points to close at 2,577. the australian airline qantas grounded its entire fleet of airbus a-380 super-jumbo jets today, after one of them blew an engine in flight. the plane made a safe emergency landing in singapore with 459 people onboard. the ginelosest to the sela hadvisible burn marks and was missing a metal plate section. and passengers reported hearing loud bangs. >> yeah, i was sitting just behind the wing, so we felt this just loud thud, everybody was sort of pretty shaken by it, you can imagine now how pretty full on it was, but like i said, the pilot did a fantastic job. >> sreenivasan: qantas sent a team of specialists to investigate.
the a-380 is the world's newest and largest airliner. federal agents in san diego have seized more than 20 tons of marijuana-- one of the largest hauls ever in the u.s. it was smuggled through a tunnel connecting warehouses on either side of the border with mexico. the tunnel stretched the length of six football fields. the marijuana has a street value of more than $20 million. and in mexico today, police near acapulco searched for more bodies at a mass grave, agder finding 18 on wednesday.ç in a you-tube video, two men said they carried out the killings as revenge on a rival drug cartel. their bodies were also found. three more nato troops were killed today in eastern and southern afghanistan. in both regions, coalition forces are trying to root out taliban insurgents. the nato forces have lost 612 killed so far this year. researchers have the first clear evidence that spiral c.t. scans can save heavy smokers who get lung cancer. the national cancer institute reported today on a study of
53,000 people. deaths were 20% lower among those who had the scans. the screening can spot growths that are too small to show up in a standard chest x-ray. but the cancer institute also warned the scans often give false positives. nasa got its latest close-up look at a comet today. the "deep impact" spacecraft was 13 million miles from earth and just over 400 miles from "comet hartley 2." rare, close-up pictures showed a mass of ice and rock about a mile and a half wide. the images showed jets of gas coming off the peanut-shaped body. "deep impact" fired a probe into a larger comet in 2005. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff. >> brown: and we turn to health care reform, after tuesday's political storm. it was a heady, even historic moment last march when president obama signed his landmark health care bill. but ever since, and throughout the campaign that just ended, attacks on it continued.
>> senator feingold has always been on our side fighting the insurance companies. >> north dakota doctors, nurses >> gramps is sad. obama cut $455 billion from his medicare. >> brown: what now? yesterday, the presumptive next house speaker, john boehner, was talking tough. >> listen, i believe the health care bill that was enacted by >> that means that we have to do everything we can to try and repeal this bill and replace it with commonsense reforms that will bring down the cost of health insurance. >> brown: today, though, senate >> we may not be able to bring about straight repeal in the next two years, and we may not win every vote against targetedç provisions, even though we should have bipartisan support for some. but we can compel administratioç officials to attempt to defend this indefensible health spending bill and other costly, government-driven measures, like the stimulus and financial reform. >> brown: for his part, the
president said yesterday he would be open to republican input moving forward. >> if they want to suggest modifications that would deliver faster and more effective reform to a health care system that, you know, has been wildly expensive for too many families and businesses and certainly for our federal government, i'm happy to consider some of those ideas. >> brown: and in an interview with abc news, current house speaker nancy pelosi said that minor changes could be coming. >> the talk about taking it apart bit by bit so that it's i don't think they're going to take health care apart. there's certain parts of it that we all may want to review. when we have this debate piece by piece, i think the american people will see how they like pieces of it and how they relate to each other. >> brown: on election day, public opinion on health care was split in a cbs news nationwide exit poll. 47% said health care reform should either be expanded or kept the way it is, while 48% said it should be repealed.
health care will be part of the agenda when leaders from both pares meet wi the president later this monthñ here to assess the state of play: ron pollack, executive director of families usa, a healthcare consumer advocacy group. james capretta, a former budget official for health-care during the george w. bush administration-- he's now a fellow at the ethics and public policy center. and "newshour" regular susan dentzer, editor-in-chief for the journal, "health affairs." welcome to all of you. ron pollack, you were here when that vote passed in march. you supped the health care bill. what message did the voters send on tuesday? >> i think the message from voters was essentially jobs and the economy. they're terribly concerned about the downturn in the economy and their loss of jobs, and i think that was the predominant theme. now, with respect to health care i don't think health care was a top issue during the campaign. 7 if you take a look at the
pre-election surveys that were undertaken by associated press, the kaiser family foundation, "new york times", they show that most people want health reform to have a chance to work. some of them actually want to build on health reform and make it even better and improve it further. i don't think there is public support for repealing the legislation. >> brown: you didn't hear that. james capretta, what did you hear? >> i heard a strong sentiment for repeal. it was a front and center issue. many, many candidates, both for the house and senate, ran explicitly on repeal and replace, and by and large, they won. the plurality in the exit polls show that the public would like to see the bill repealed. the number who actually support the bill as passed is less than 47%. it's a fraction of that, maybe half of that. so there's a large number of americans that are very unhappy, both with the process by which it was passed and the substance of what it is. with respect to the economy, i
think what's clear is they are very upset that the mapresident and the current congress passed and were obsessed with passing their version of health care as opposed to actually addressing the concerns of the economy and jobs. >> brown:ç susan, i'm not going to make you resolve this for us, but the analysis continues, right, ófç what exactly caused particular elections to go one way or the other. >> indeed it does, jeff. i mean, we're at the point where we stare into the entrails will the goats and try to decide what the signs is from the heavens of what the voters really believe. i think what is clear is the rhetoric has shifted a bit already on the republican side from repeal and replace. you now hear senator mcconnell say, in effect, let's get rid of the worst parts. that's different from repeal and replace. and it actually has invite the the administration to come back and say, reporter, let's start to talk about what you view are the worst parts. is it the part that would extend life of a medicare trust fund by
12 years? is it the part that would offer coverage for peel who are denied it because of preexisting conditions? is it the part that would repeal the $15 billion prevention and public health fund when we know that going on 80% of americans are likely to be overweight or obese in the next 30 years. and one out of three americans will develop diabetes. so i think we're going to now start to get to some specifics about what is really meant by what are the worst parts of the law and then we'll see some movement happen. >> brown: all right, with the well, that puts us forward here as to what might come. let's stay with repeal for the moment. how would it work, and what do you think of the possibilities? >> repeal is not going to happen. >> brown: not going to happen. >> it's not going to happen for a few reasons. number one, you can't get repeal through the united states senate. there are at least 52-- probably 53 democrats will in the senate. they're not going to vote for repeal. you may need 60 votes in order to pass something that's so controversial in the senate. that's not going to happen. president obama still has a veto
pen, and he would veto any such legislation. but i think there's actually something more significant that i think is going to change over time, and that is more and more people receive the benefits of this legislation, the early provisions-- not just the big provisions that get implemented in 2014-- things like young adults getting coverage through their parents. children no longer being did need coverage due to preexisting conditions. small businesses receiving subsidies to make coverage affordable. seniors getting money if they're falling into the donut hole, getting tax benefits to help pay for those costs, and in january, they will get a 50% discount on prescription drugs. i think as more and more of those people receive concrete benefits, they are going to be happy that the legislation passed. their family will know about it.
their friends will know about it. their neighbors will know about it. and i think some of the myths thatç were propagated during te course of the debate will fall by theç wayside. >> brown: your turn here, but start with repeal. do you-- he's saying no way. do you see any way that that could happen,-- >> repeal is absolutely a possibility. it's always been, however, a two-step process. when they passed this legislation, it was clear there would be two national elections before the main provisions of the bill went into effect in 2014. the vors got to register their views just two days ago. they're going to get another chance in 2012. i-- it's absolutely certain that the presidential campaign will have health care again as a front and center issue. at that point, we will have a possibility for a real debate over what would be the replacement program for what has passed. in the meantime-- sdwroun. >> brown: in the meantime what, can opponents do to slow it down or set up roadblocks.
>> with regard to some of the things my colleague here has mentioned, many of these provisions are very minor in scope in terms of how many people are affected. by and large, the main effect that's going tobe happening over the next couple of years is large cuts in what's called medicare advantage. many millions of seniors will see their medicare advantage plans actually either close down or lesser benefits than they would have gotten. many employers are going to be contemplating large changes in their employer programs because of what's in the law. they will be communicating a lot to their employees. there will be instability in the employer market. these provisions will affect many millions of people, many, many more than are covered by these early provisions that have been mentioned. >> i don't know, we're talking aut stabity in the employer market. that's part of what's driven the need for health care reform. with each passing year, fewer employers are providing coverage. they're diminishing what is covered--. >> brown: let me stop you because we're rearguinging the
health care bill here and i'm putting it in the new politics. let me go to susan on this and i'll come back to you. when you look at the political changes here are, there place where's there might be viable places to come together to make some of the changes that we're talking about here, that we heard on the tape? >> indeed. i think the clip from speaker pelosi made clear there's agreement across the aisle to get rid of one provision, that requires small businesses to report everyone purchase they makeç ofç $600 or more. that would not take effect until 2012, but it has the small business community up in arms about it because it would be such a paperwork burden. there's pretty clear consensus that will be repealed. it cost about $17 billion to repeal it so they'll have to look around for money to do that. an earlier proposal had been to steal the money out of the prevention and public health fund as i mentioned a moment ago so we'll see how that shakes out. there's also a propoem afoot to get rid of an independent payment advisory board that would take effect in 2014 that
would look to shave money out of medicare. now, this is going to produce some real tension within the republican party between the deficit hawks in the party, and the people who want to buy some support from hospitals or others particularly in the health care sector-- pharmaceutical companies and others-- who are fearful of this board. we'll have to see how the tensions play out even within the republican party on these things. >> brown: how do you see that playing out? stay with the political realities here. >> right. i think there are many aspects of the bill that can be addressed even in the next two years without full repeal. i think they will pass full repeal in the house, but short of that getting through the senate and president they can go for a number of things. they can give the states much more authority to be the drivers of reform rather than the just implementing what the federal government is telling them to do. i think they actually could get bipartisan support to actually free up the states instead of having them really accepting dictates from the federal government. i think there's an opportunity to stop some of the really bad
ideas on the medicare program. one i've already mentioned-- cutting medicare advantage. that simply puts people back to fee for service. i think you could get bipartisan support around that. i think there are a number of things like that. >> brown: in a brief last word. you can maintain what you like about the bill and still have some of these changes? >> i think there may be some change with respect to malpractice reform. i think there are opportunities to provide partisanship, but i don't hear bipartisanship coming from the new leaders. senator mcconnell said his first priorityis to defeat president obama in 2012. that doesn't sound to me like he's angling for cooperation. i think what we are going to see and i think that republican leaders are going to try to make sure that the federal government and the states don't have the resources necessary to implement the legislation, and that may result in a budget impasse. sdploun so this debate clearly continues. ron pollack, jamesç capretta, susan dentzer, thanks very muchç >> lehrer: now, for some
historical context on how the midterm elections turned out from presidential historian michael beschloss, richard norton smith, scholar in residence at george mason university and bevery gage, professor of american history at yale university. so, michael, does the label "historic" legitimately fit what happened two days ago? >> i think we can stamp this one with historic. >> lehrer: it's used all the time. >> why not? but i think in this case it has the added advantage of being true as they say in texas. it's historic for a couple reasons. one, is the obama presidency is unlikely to be the same again. things he was able to do with control of congress is going to be very different now that he's lost one house. also, you don't usually see a wave of this magnitude. it hasn't happened quite like this in at least a half century, so the american people were obviously saying something very powerful, very different from what they said two years ago. >> lehrer: gage, do you agree, this was historic?
>> i do agree, and i would say looking back to this half century, we really want to look at 1946 as a really good example of a moment where a midterm actually was a sea change. and i think it's an interesting model going back to what we were saying with the health care debate which is in 1946, there was a lot of talk about labor law and as this new republican congress came in under a democratic president, they actually managed to do something significant. they didn't repeelt labor laws that had been passed during the new deal but they did actually succeed in passes new laws that taft-hartley that severely restricted the kindof legislations they been objecting to up to a dekdate at that point. >> lehrer: has there ever been a time when the outcome of a midterm election caused something to be repealed or changed dramatically, a substance change? >> oh, boy, that's a good
question. let me think about that. 1930, of course, herbert hoover hadúreen sold to the american people as aç non-politician, te hero of world war 1, never run for office before. both parties wanted to make him president in 1920. the slogan was, "who but hoover?" he's elected in 1928 with very high expectations, "and then, of course, wall street collapses. in 1930 the democrats come within a whisker of taking over the house, and then through a series of bi-elections they actually take the house. and there's no doubt that they stopped hoover's program cold and enshrined hoofener public memory to this day as a man who is snon mulc not with feeding people but denying, in effect, government aid to victims of the depression. >> lehrer: do you have an example to throw in there, michael? >> a lot of democrats in the late 1960s, as we remember, were against the vietnam war.
they said the gulf of tonkin resolution, 1964, lyndon johnson should never have gotten that out of congress, and they campaigned on a platform, among other things, we'll repeal the gulf of tonkin resolution. we'll turn our backs on the vietnam war. congress will end this war. they said it for years. it really took until 1970, 1971 for that to happen. i think it gives you an idea of how rarely these threats are really carried out. >> lehrer: beverly, there's already been a lot of talk already, since tuesday, now the democrats, or the president and the democrats have to work with the republicans. what's the record on that after there's been a big shift? has there been a sudden burst in cooperation and collaboration or something different? >> well, here, i think for a lot of people, the point of reference is 1994, when the conventional wisdom suggests we've got bill clinton in power. you have this republican backlash against clinton in 1994 and the conventional wisdom is that clinton then goes on very effectively to triangulate, to
steal a lot of conservative republican issues and he himself backtrackaise little bit and becomes more conservative. i think 1994 is an interesting moment, though, because one of the things we learn about bipartisanship from that example is that for all of clinton's triangulating, the republicans on the other side weren't really interested in compromise. they still were going to go about shutting down the government, later, of course, we get the wholeç monica lewinsky scandal. so i think thç track record is very mixed and i think it really will take both sides fthis is what we're going to see. if obama is the only one who reaches out, it doesn't necessarily mean he's going to get the response that he wants. >> lehrer: how do you look at bipartisanship when you look back, richard? >> i would say '94 is unique. in '74, johnson had been in office three months, suffered a disastrous midterm election, the nixon pardon, a very bad
economy, and spent the next two years governing by veto. the democrats had a veto-proof majority in the house. he vetoed over 60 mills, mostly for budget-busting reasons, and he made most of his vetoes stick. but it was certainly not an effort to come together. i don't know, i think that, as i said, i mentioned-- well, the truman example, of course, truman in '46, truman actually takes advantage of the fact he's got this perfect foil, this true-blue conservative republican congress at odds, by the way, with the presidential wing of the republican party, and he drives a truck right througthe middle and exploits the differences between the two, and rides that wave right to reelection in 1948. so will obama be harry truman? will he be gerald ford? >> lehrer: as they say in journalism, only time will tell.
michael, bringing up your first point about the wave, this wave went from 2008, all the movement and the euphoria was one way, and, boom, two years later the wave went the other way. >> right. >> lehrer: does this kind of thing happen very often? >> it's exactly what james madison wanted and in a sense he'd be glad to see what happened on tuesday night because he wanted the senate to be somewhat protected from these waves, but he wanted the house to be an instant geiger counter, to use a modern word--. >> lehrer: i can't believe james madison used that. >> it wasn't the word he used-- but you never know. but he wanted this to register big changes in american public opinion. and i think it really did. the interesting thing, though, what may be a precedent for, this we've been talking about 1946, when truman lost congress and there were a lot of things written at the time-- this is the start of big era of republican domination ofç congress-- that lasted exactly
two years. two years later, an even bigger wave swept the democrats back into leadership. >> lehrer: beverly, how do you see the wave issue here? when you look back, what do you see? >> well, i think that's very much an open question. i think it's easy to read a lot into this midterm election and we've all been sort of operating on this narrative that we had the age of roosevelt. we had the age of reagan, and a lot of people said in 2008 that we were entering the age of obama. and i think the easy narrative of this midterm is, ha-ha! the age of obama is already over. we've had this sort of conservative backlash, but i think that's still very much ap open question. can if you looked at someone like ronald reagan, he never controlled congress. he department get through a lot of legislation he wanted yet he was still able to define and become the towering figure of his era. i think the question of whether or not we're in the age of obama whether we're in some sort of new wave or whether obama is going to end up more like bill
clinton, a democratic president in a period of republican dominance, i think that's still very much an open question. >> what we have not talked about yet, because, obviously, we've been looking at the top of the ticket, down-ballot, the republican success, state legislatures and governorships is so profound, that they are estimating that--. >> lehrer: tuesday you're talking about. >> on tuesday. they're going to redistrict the nation for 2012, and for a decade to come. there are estimates that they're going to pick up 15 or 20 house seats, simply by-- by controlling the map which, ironically means, instead of having to pick up some 25 seats two years from now for the democrats to take the house, it's 45 seats. and so the irony is a wave election has actually built in a republican cushion against the next wave. >> lehrer: you see it the same way, michael? >> yes, and i would think i would say if this is not a wave i don't know what a wave is.
elections do have meaning, and so many runners swept in the other night, it does send a message, and i think the message is, you know, to perhaps over-simplify, barack obama decided not to govern as a centrist, and the stimulus did not do what people hoped it would. if the jobless rate were 6% and obama had governed as a centrist this would not have happened, i think, on tuesday night. but those two things did unfold, and it did. >> lehrer: beverly, finallyç, s therein history, a parallel forheç currt tea party movement and its success in many races on tuesday in. >> well, i think a lot of the themes that we saw brought up by the tea party about liberal elitism, the equation of liberalism and socialism, the opposition to big government eye mean, these are all ideas that have a very long history in the united states. what's interesting, i think, about today's tea party is that they've had so much electoral
impact so quickly. if you look at, say, the early 1960s, when you actually had a fairly similar populist search, the years when the john birch society was founded. a lot of energy and response to the election of a young liberal democrat named john kennedy. but what's interesting about that moment is that it didn't translate into this kind of electoral impact, and i think there are a couple of reasons for that. one is that the party structure was really quite different then. you had a conservative south, but it was a democratic south in the 1960s. and i think the other reason has to do to some degree with the dynamics of the conservative moveme itself. in the early 1960, there was a real debate between-- quote, unquote-- respectable conservatives and extremist conservatives of the more populist variety, and a figure like william f. buckley comes out and says i don't think what we today would call the tea party is really the way to go.
>> lehrer: speak of going, we have to. thank you, beverly, gentlemen. >> thank you. >> brown: next, the unlucky nation of haiti struggles to prepare as a tropical storm heads its way. we start with a report narrated by kylie morris of "independent television news." >> reporter: here, they were meant to be safe. but to haiti's refugees, anger and panic spilled over today as officials tried to organize them to leave their homes again. at this resettlement camp, the fear was authorities were trying to move them out permanently. and then there was that other fear: that really, there's no where else to go. the government talks of more than a thousand available shelters-- a generous term for any building that survived the january earthquake with four walls. aid groups stretched by theçç recent cholera outbreak are reorganizing, sending extra supplies to the areas forecast
to bear the brunt of the winds and the rains. hurricane tomas has been swirling over the caribbean, about 400 miles sw of port-au- prince for the past few days. it's now projected to reach the western tip of haiti within the next few hours. if it stays on that path, it won't hit the cholera affected areas in haiti's north directly, but that's little solace for refugees at risk in makeshift but it's not only the storm itself the aid community fears. it's the water that's left behind. and the possibility that it might carry further, the deadly spread of cholera. >> ( translated ): any rain can spread the disease. it will be bad for the patients. it will increase the number of patients. >> reporter: already, cholera has killed more than 400 people and hospitalized 6,000. >> brown: a short time ago, ray suarez talked to npr's jason beaubien in port-au-prince.
>> reporter: it's expected to pass right off of the western coast of haiti tonight, overnight. the good thing is that it's not taking a direct hit at haiti. if that had actually happened, this place would really be in trouble. it look like looks like it's going to pass offshore. the very southern tip of haiti might get struck directly, but it looks like the bankrupt of the country will not get a full hurricane blow from tomas. >> tell us about the efforts to get people into more store-resistant shelters. >> reporter: there have been attempts at some of the more organized camps, rows and rows of tents. it didn't go that well. if you look at the people in places behind me, they were going about their ordinary business today basicay having
given up saying they had nowhere to go and they weren't going to make any attempts to move in with friends and family as the government has asked them to do because if they had friends and family they could be living with they'd already be living with them. >> suarez: government representatives, we're told, have been pleading with residents to leave, but is there transportation out of port-au-prince if you do want to get out? >> reporter: some people were taking the ordinary buses, but there was no effort to move mass numbers of people out of port-au-prince. at one of the camps to the north they were trying to move 1800 people out of an entire population of 6500 people, they were trying to move 1800 of theç in u.n. trucks today out and they were going to move them into some other governmentç building. there was a lot of chaos. there were some they called riots among people who believed they were being evicted. it was not going very smoothly. >> suarez: you say the island may only receive a glancing blow. but even if just five to 10 inches of rain and some high
winds come,, what will it do to a neighborhood like the one just behind you? >> even though this is not going to be the full brunt of the hurricane, this could be absolutely devastating. high winds could rip the tent to shreds. i was talking to people who were in a camp that the entire camp collapsed back in september during just an ordinary storm. they were saying that high winds came through, all the tents started falling over, they're all tied together, and pretty soon the whole thing had collapsed. so if high winds strike here, it really could knock down camps like the one behind me. also, when it rains really hard here, water just floods along the ground and goes underneath all of those structures you're seeing behind me, these basically shacks made out of tarps and some sticks. they get completely flooded and people describe that they have to stand up all night because they've had several inches of water purnd neath their feet. >> suarez: before tomas gotorsed as a tropical storm, haiti was last in the news because of an
outbreak of cholera. how do heavy rainses in a place like port-au-prince complicate of job of fighting that? >> reporter: it basically distracts the entire international community which has been working on the cholera outbreak and now have to scramble to reposition supplies in case the storm is as devastating as some people think this may be. if they get flooding into the river, some people say it's the possible source of the cholera, that could end up spreading that further around the country. so it definitely complicates this cholera outbreak, which has already killed more than 400 people, sickened thousands. so, yes, it's adding to the difficulty with the cholera situation. >> suarez: there are still standing, solid structures in the haitian catal. has there been any attempt to throw open the doors, to get as many people inside them as possible to ride this out?" >> reporter: it's reallyçç striking today how little was going on. most people were going about their ordinary business. you didn't see places that said,
"shelter, come in." there was no real large-scale organized effort to get people into some of buildings that are still standing. there's actually a concern if people went into some of these buildings they may never leave. so there was sort of a hesitancy to open up some buildings to people. but, really, there has not been a large-scale effort to move people out of the camps like the one you see behind me into some more solid shelter. >> suarez: npr's jason beaubien joining us from port-au-prince. thanks a lot, jason. >> reporter: you're welcome, ray. >> lehrer: finally tonight, a memoir about one of the world's most dramatic political kidnappings. margaret warner has the story. >> warner: in a friend's garden ingrid betancourt is now two years and many miles beyond the ordeal that stole more than six years of her life. it was february 2002. betancourt, a french-colombian politician and colombian senator was campaigning for president in a region controlled by marxist
guerrillas. on her way to a remote town, when she and her aides were abducted at a checkpoint by the revolutionary armed forces of colombia, known by its spanish acronym: farc. the rebel group has waged a betancourt became the most high- profile of thousands of farc prisoners. they were concealed in the jungle for six and a half years. their captors occasionally then, in july 2008, a daring helicopter rescue. colombian army forces-- posing as aid workers-- freed her and 14 others without a shot being fired. bettancourt was reunited with her family in paris and showered with international acclaim. now, she's recounted the ordeal in a remarkable new book-- "even silence has an end." i spoke with her recently. ingrid betancourt, welcome. this is quite a tale you've told in this book. i'm wondering whetherç youç tk when you kidnapp anything in
your background had prepared you for this? >> well, i think in life everything prepares you for whal come. i don't know how it works, but then once you're confronted with the difficulty, you grab on to what you have lived and your experience. and for me, what really helped me was the love i had in my childhood, with my children, this, you know, protection of love was the key for me. >> warner: you were subjected to unspeakably degrading conditions. >> well, it was getting back to prehistorical times-- no light. no running water. no toilets. no facilities. no privacy. no doors to shut. and only rice and beans to eat every day for six and a half years. muddy water to drink. >> warner: you kept trying to escape, and then you would be subbed to-- subjected to ever more-horrific forms of abuse.
a lot of your fellow captives didn't want to try to escape. why did you? >> for me, my obsessionas to get back to m children, to life. and it was sauls i thought my responsibility. my right was to be free. i was a free woman. others wanted-- i wanted to escape. >> warner: you steamed adjust-- if i can use that word-- in phases. >> i began realizing what was really at stake when i opened my eyes to the fact that everything i was living and the aggressions the cruelty, the humiliation, was was not abq(urgg my body on, bu especial myç soul. and couldn't do anything to protect my body, but i had to do everything to protect my soul. >> warner: during one of these episodes, after you have been caught yet again, and you said you found yourself watching yourself, and you said, "measuring my strength and resistance, not according to my ability to fight bark but to submit to those blows."
what did you mean by that? >> i couldn't do anything to prevent what was happening to me but i could just cope. i could reislamist. i could resist in many ways. what i wanted to protect was my dignity. for example, we had roll yaulz they would force us to respond like numbers. >> warner: in other words, in place of a name. >> yes, in place of a name. and i remember not accepting that, and saying whenever they wanted me to do-- to respond with a number i would say my name. i couldn't let my spirit to play the game where i was going to accept being a number or an object because then it could just affect me in the way-- 7 and the respect i had for myself. >> warner: you were considered a marquee prisoner by the farc. did you feel that meant they wouldn't kill you? >> what it meant to me was first i was not going to be released. once i discovered we had a0prie
that we wereç a trophy, then ty didn't want to negotiate any more because by keeping us, they would have the platform they wanted. and the second thing was how it would affect my relationship with my fellow captives because every time people would, you know,alk about our situation, ey wld rfer to my name. and not to the others. >> warner: what was the psychology of the captives? you wrote, "we behaved like bugs. we betrayed one another." another time you said, "we started to see our guards as the power figures and each other as rivals." >> what happened is we were confined in a very small space where space was part of the rivalry between us and a very small amount of food. i thinks that you barp trying to load us with lies and gossip and
thing so we would feel the other ones were the enemy, and we came to the point where we would more easily forgive the captors because we didn't expect anything from them. we knew they were going to be nasty. but we had a hard time to forgive our brothers. >> warner: what was the psychology, as best you could understand, of the captors? >> i think we all haveçç, youw human condition-- light and shadow. and this shadow is like little monster that is locked inside of us and that we keep there. but when you meet some conditions, that monster can be unleashed. i can see people in the first days where they would come and meet us, they would encourage-- they would try to be nice. but the weeks passing by, they would turn themselves into this horrible person, being very
cruel, anding--. >> warner: you think that's in every man or woman? >> yes, i think so. >> warner: after your third escape attempt and you're being led back to the camp with a chain around your neck as you wrote, i think, like a dog, you said, however, "i knew that in a way, i had gained more than i had lost. i knew that i had the ability to free myself from hatred." >> it came slowly. it wasn't something that i realized, like, very quick. but i had, like, the vision for a moment, and then it got stronger, that hatred was a prison. hatred was a chain. hatred was something that only harmed myself. and i didn't wantç to get out f the jungle like an old, bitterç woman full of. revenge.
and one rule i just put on myself was that of course i will try to escape many times, but i will never kill to find my freedom. i don't want to be like them sdplarg tell us if you would about the moment you realized you were free, and if you might read a couple of prafz from the end of the book. >> it was a miraculous moment. we were supposed to be in the fans of the farc, and one of the guys who had came in the group with the helicopter took his white cap off and threw it in the air and said we are the colombian army. are you free. i'm going to now read the passage. "a long, long and very painful cry came breaking through like a burst of flames wanting to reach the sky, forcing me open like a mother in childbirth. when i finished emptying my lungs, my eyes opened to another
world. william was clinging to me and i to him. suddenly, afraid and breathless, in front of this voifd freedom, opening up before us, as i we were about to take flight, our feet on the edge of the cliff."ç >> warner: that void, was that frightening? >> yes. the impression thatç just like this, our lives had changed, and now we were facing this freedom and it was too big, too intense, too marvelous. and i always think that we were like those birds when they're in a cage and you open the door of the cage, and they look out , and they just are paralyzed. they don't know what to do. and they knowhey haveo get out. that's how we were. >> warner: ingrid betancourt, thank you. >> thank you.
>> brown: again, the major developments of the day: president obama called for better relations with the new congress. republican leaders said he'll have to move toward their positions. the dow jones industrial average closed above 11,430-- its best finish in two years. and to hari sreenivasan, in our newsroom, for what's on the "newshour" online. hari? >> sreenivasan: watch more of margaret's interview with ingrid betancourt on "the rundown" news blog. on politics, we check in with pbs reporters in florida and nevada on the role of the tea party in this week's midterm vote and ray has a blog post on all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. jeff? >> brown: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. on friday, we'll have more post- election coverage including the latest jobless figures and how >> lehrer: and i'm jim lehrer. we'll see you on-line and again here tomo$y=]áewj.jn thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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