tv President in Waiting CNN December 27, 2020 6:00pm-8:00pm PST
we as a nation spend the best part of the year selecting our president. many of the founding fathers fought against creating the vice presidency in the first place. since then, party bosses have recorded it as a political graveyard. the system has produced some worthy vice presidents. at best, it's a compromise. at worst, it's a game of roulette with the nation's destiny. ♪ >> ben franklin, when the
>> let's do it. >> i think when we formed this nation and the constitution was shaped, not an awful lot of thought was given to the vice presidency. >> the office as a general proposition, if you look back over the last 200 and some years, was described in all kinds of ways, most of which meant inconsequential. >> one vice president served while under indictment for murder. another took bribe. another was drunk at his inauguration. one 20th century vice president had never been to washington until elected. >> the formally enunciated
duties of the vice president are few in constitution. >> the nature of the federal government changed fundamentally from the days of our founding fathers. >> even as late as the kennedy administration, when lyndon johnson was vice president, he had a miserable time in the office. he had no significant responsibilities. >> the relationship between jfk and lyndon johnson was famously fraught with drama and a lack of trust. what that means then is that you have a vice president who is chafing to be involved, get things done, make things happen, be in the room when big decisions are made, and he's not in the room. >> you had kennedy stiff arming, in other words not bringing in
later president johnson. >> the story was that jack kennedy had asked johnson to serve as vice president and then bobby kennedy sent his time trying to get rid of johnson. >> would bobby put him in. >> this is a very ambitious young man. it's unbelievable. >> johnson didn't particularly like jack kennedy. he hated bobby kennedy. >> i reached a decision. it would inadvisable for you to be a candidate for the number two spot this year. he said, you decide who it's going to be? no. several that i don't think fit in. i haven't decided. >> humphrey who became the vice president after the election in '64 couldn't travel without the president's approval.
they rarely gave him a jet. >> i felt he was treated by johnson the way johnson had been treated by kennedy. my understanding is his experience was not a very good one. >> mr. president, he is in the senate dining room. he is coming up. he wanted to talk to you from another telephone. >> i got your note here. nobody is in the room when i talk to you. i read that story. i thought it was my friend talking. i thought you had a severe way of expressing it. i was trying to air it out. >> i didn't either. >> you talk when you ought to have been listening. that's the problem all of us got with dogs and everything else. i read the story. it looked like it came from you and you said, i just caught hell. >> that person is being underutilized.
enormous talent is not being tapped. there's a lack of trust there. the other thing is, mischief arises if you have somebody who is sitting down the hall in the west wing who feels as if he is not being treated with respect and consulted on big decisions. >> there have been a lot of vice presidents who weren't happy, partly because they never got the opportunity to do anything. nelson rockefeller hated his experience as vice president. i know because i was chief of staff when he was vice president. he was unhappy completely. jerry ford was vice president for nine months. he told me that was the worst experience of his life. he hated it. most of the time, he was an -- he was on an airplane. in terms of playing a significant policy role, he wasn't there long enough to do very much.
>> if you think back about it, jerry ford's position as vice president became very significant because after about nine months, he became president. the only man who was never elected either president or vice president. >> i am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your president by your ballots. >> he never passed up the opportunity to say to me, i don't know why i took that job. it's the worst job i ever had. >> i did not want to be standing around the president looking like an extra on a movie lot. >> you have to be deferential to the cabinet. the cabinet reports to the president. doesn't report to the vice president. you can have debates. when you disagree, as did i with cabinet members, i would take it to the president. i won those debates. stay out of the way, stay back, be his eyes and ears on capitol hill, be a voice around the world. >> there's one person every four years that writes the job description for the vice
president. that's the president of the united states. >> you cannot run the white house with people who come into a meeting and try to think about what you want to hear and then tell it to you. if you get that, you might as well have a computer make the decisions. >> when it came to foreign policy, he understood the importance of all the elements in american power, not just our military, but our diplomatic and economic and cultural power and the power of our ideals. >> bob gates, great secretary of defense and a really competent man. wrote about he was angry that biden made the president question the military. i did. because war is too important to be left to generals. ask a military man, can you take that hill? yes, sir, i can take that mountain. that's what they are trained to do. >> i'm vice president. you are the boss. i want to do what i can to help you. i have whideas of miy own. you make the call.
>> if there was something i didn't agree with, i would tell him that privately. he had photographs taken inside the nuclear reaction tore that the north koreans had built for the syrians. this was a huge no-no. the north koreans set off their first nuclear device the previous fall. i wanted to take it out militarily. debate raged internally. connie persuaded the president to take it to the united nations. i thought it was a mistake. >> dick's advice was well thought out. never haphazard. i listened carefully. others were more nuanced. >> we had a meeting in the residence. he and i had this conversation privately. he said, dick, go ahead and make your presentation. i did. it was important to take it out. >> his opinions were balanced by others. that's the nature of the presidency. you don't want a homogenous
group. you want different points of view. >> i got through and the president asked the assembled multitude, how many of you here agree with dick? nobody put their hand up. i was a lone voice. we didn't get it right. >> like any advisor, sometimes i took advice. sometimes i didn't. always, i listened. >> in the end, somebody has to make a decision. you have to get the show on the road. relax. get into it! aw, yeah! i've got it! rated everyone. responds to snoring-automatically. so no hiding under your pillow. or opting for the couch. your best sleep. all night. every night. experience the mattress ranked #1 in customer satisfaction by jd power two years in a row.
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in 1974, he was mr. x, an unknown peanut farmer from georgia. >> all i can tell you is he provides a service. let's begin the questioning with arlene. >> is it a service that has to do with women? >> it certainly does. not enough. >> i can rule out that you are a government official of any kind, can't i? >> no. >> you fresh -- >> you are a non-federal
official? >> that's correct. >> are you a state official? >> that's correct. >> are you a governor? >> yes. >> that's it. he is governor jimmy carter of the state of georgia. >> the fact that carter was from georgia as governor, nothing wrong with georgia, but he never had federal office. no federal experience. he really did need somebody with national experience that had been part of the government. mondale was obviously a well-regarded -- been a candidate for president himself. >> what president carter saw in vice president saw in mondale, what president reagan saw in vice president bush is someone who would bring maybe a different background, maybe more experience in washington, d.c. and in government service to be able to help that president move their agenda forward. >> for me, i was looking for someone who could balance the absence of knowledge about washington that i did not have.
i had never served in the house or senate. i had never served in washington in any capacity. mop dale h mondale had good experience as a good record. as a former governor of georgia and a peanut farmer, there was a lot of things about the operation of the federal government that i did not know. so that was an important consideration, too. >> jimmy carter knew he needed someone who had significant legislative experience and some foreign policy experience. he brought walter mondale in in a different way than other vice presidents had been brought in. >> the other is that i asked to serve as my running mate, if the delegates will approve, senator walter mondale. >> he brings a speaker teperspe i lack. i recognize that. as a bonus, and an unanticipated
bonus, we have been close personal friends. >> he came prepared to be a consequential vice president, conducted a study of the office before he took the oath and secured president-elect carter's agreement to make the office more than it had been in the past. >> the thing that made mondale special, above all the other highly qualified members of the u.s. senate and house, was his clear ideas on what the role of the vice president should be. >> i will be the only other national elected officer -- i spent a lot of my life in the senate. i think i can really help you. he said, that's exactly what i want. >> he didn't want to be a vice president if it was a continuation of what had been in history. he wanted to have some real substance to his position while he was serving. >> if i could be a part of the executive, if i can have the information that you have so i can be up to speed when we get
together. >> before walter mondale and i served together, the vice president still had zero power or authority or responsibilities on major issues that faced our nation. >> i'm not sure i want to be a vice president if it's like it has always been. my dignity and self-respect are very important to me. vice president can look like a puppet. i don't want to be put in that position. he said, i understand that. i won't do it. he never did. we sat down and worked out what i think is the basicn vice pres >> every one of them was well considered and was a benefit to our nation. i just approved the whole context of what he wanted. >> that document is even now -- every time there's a new vice president, the first question is, where is that document? it's the best summary of what we are trying to do.
>> mondale is a good friend. i went to him when i was considering whether to accept the offer of vice presidency. he had a pretty good checklist to make sure that the vice president would be aware of everything the president was aware of. it was all a paper trail. for example, make sure every memo you get an agreement from the president, every memo written by senior staff to the president, a copy went to the vice president. that role changed, too. it became much more informal. things moved so rapidly. there was a greater need for networking, to be able to be in on the conversations, to be able to be in on the meetings in order to be current. >> president carter also deserves an enormous amount of credit for understanding and agreeing with what fritz laid out and proposed. the two of them put that new
kind of relationship into practice. >> the president has permitted me to play a role of substance in this administration, to work closely with him, to be privy to all the secret information and strategic information and to play a role at home here and abroad, strengthen my ability to help him and enhanced the perception that i speak for the president when i speak and all of that helps me perform more effectively on his behalf and on behalf of the nation. >> there's no question that in the latter part of the 20th century, that began to evolve. unlike other sleep aids, our extended release melatonin helps you sleep longer. and longer. zzzquil pure zzzs all night.
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to do, what kind of person is this, why did he pick him or her. >> the vice presidential decision, the decision making process has to be very thorough and very deliberate, because it's the people's chance to see how a person would make decisions as president. >> good evening. george bush has chosen the man he wants to run with him. dan quayle is a junior senator. he is 41 years old which mr. bush sees as part of his appeal. he has the conservative credentials. >> get back to the room. call this number. i called the number. it's jim baker. he says, hang on for the veep. it was george bush. it's 2:00 now. 4:00 we will introduce you. show up at the spanish plaza. where is the spanish plaza? he said something like, i don't really know. this is your first assignment. don't screw it up. >> george bush decided this was the day for the news. >> i said, i have to be there at
4:00 so they can introduce me. i'm driving around there. it's too early. i drive around the block. ten minutes to 4:00 i go to the spanish plaza. i get out of the car. i turn the corner to go down to where i'm supposed to be. there's 5,000 people. i go, oh, my gosh. how in the heck am i going to get through that crowd? >> quayle, a defense hard-liner, popular on the right, seemed nervous. he arrived barely in time to hear bush's words. >> somebody about halfway through gives me a big elbow in the solar plexus. almost knocked the breath out of me. i said, excuse me. i said, i'm senator dan quayle. i don't care who you are. i've been waiting here for two hours to see who the next vice president is going to be. i almost said, it's me but george bush said we want to keep this a secret, so don't tell anybody. i didn't even tell that guy. we make it down there. unfortunately, i was late.
i failed my first assignment. >> bush had just set foot in the city. was in the midst of a rally when he came out with the news he planned to keep secret two more days. >> the next vice president of the united states, senator dan quayle of indiana. >> i was talking to my wife. he said, i think i have a good choice at this. the safe choice is bob dole. same generation, same background, no controversy. the bold choice, the different choice would be me. it was very much what eisenhower did when he selected richard nixon. it was a generational choice. >> now it is seen as essentially the nominee's choice to pick his running mate. this is in many ways the most
important selection that a president makes. >> i think they modernized the office when they solidified the new stature and standing of the vice president. real estate means a lot in washington. >> when the vice president is distant from the oval office and you have a crisis, there's a difference between a personal presence and a telephone call. if you meet with a foreign leader and the vice president is in a remote office, it's hard for him to find it convenient to be there to sit in on the session, even in an unanticipated way. >> it's hard to be a principle advisor to the president if your office is on capitol hill or
even over in the old executive office building. when you put him in the west wing, betwedown the hall from t oval office, that sends a strong signal. >> the availability of fritz mondale to be in the oval office on the spur of the moment someti sometimes, the action was made. if i was in a quandary, his sound judgment was helpful. having him at my side was a very important -- it strengthened all of the confidence in controversial decisions i made to have mondale with me. the full authority that i gave him over any member of my staff, even my chief of staff, that
they had to obey an order from him just like it came from me. those factors i think were very important in making the change we did accomplish. i think they would have been impossible had he been in a remote location. >> moving into the white house, being a part of the president's administration and the way we did it, it was the trick. >> when i met with former vice president mondale, we had an opportunity to talk a bit about his service in office and his experience serving alongside president carter. many historians and observers record that that was a time that the vice presidency took on a different role. >> governor carter said some weeks back he wanted his vice president to have a more prominent role than any vice president of american history. i think it has been that. i sat in on all the crucial discussions, key executive posts. >> beginning with fritz mondale,
there was more of a delegation of that responsibility to the vice president, because when the vice president spoke, no one had to worry to use my mom's expression that anything would be missed between the cup and the lip. they knew it was the president speaking. >> i don't believe you ought to be quoting me on what i'm ready to do on these amendments. tell what you are doing. >> mr. president, that was not my quote. i'm sorry. >> all the tickers are raising hell about it. >> i was asked. i said, the president of the united states -- >> don't quote me unless you talk to me, unless you know i want to say it. i can say it down here. i have been saying it at every press conference. they would like very much to say -- i'm -- that's not my position. >> you have a hard core reporter staff there. they know what's going on.
>> you have key executive officials that know what's going on. if they're not saying is working, the word will get out it isn't working. >> president clinton made it abundantly and crystal clear that he was going to back me up. that was essential. if the president has delegated power and delegated discretion to make decisions with a clear understanding that whatever decision the vice president makes is going to be backed up by the president, then that becomes power. it's presidential power that's delegated and used by the vice president. in practice, you can get an awful lot done that way, because you are a second set of eyes and ears and a decision maker with the delegated responsibility from the president. >> i saw a story. it's one that said you held up your ears like a beagle. >> i did not.
>> said they had a debate in the press corps whether you were trying to hear them. of course, they got it wrong. all i have done is hold the beagle up so he could get the front of his picture. >> i know. >> they got his ass ten days here. i want to show them a well-formed head. when the hound barks, i don't want to get in the paper on this. that's his pleasure. (upbeat music) - [narrator] this is kate.
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i think one of the most important things for the relationship between a president and vice president to work is some basic levels of trust. we have seen that hasn't always been the case in modern times. typically, where that trust has been lacking, you ended up seeing problems. >> the way you get the trust is the vice president has to be local in carrying out the president's agenda. you can disagree with the president in vprivate. i had disagreements, but i did that privately. once he made the decision, you
salute and carry out the agenda. that's tough. sometimes you are carrying an agenda that that may not be the right agenda, but it's the president's agenda. it's not your agenda. big difference than being in the senate. >> the relationship between the president and vice president sets a tone for the administration. if people see that both the president and vice president and their staffs are being open, transparent, honest, loyal, tru tru trustworthy, that means everybody else better be doing the same thing. >> one of the things between presidents and vice presidents often develops at the staff level. >> that mistrust, not just between the president and vice president, but their staffs in trying to carry out the work, that becomes particularly important, i think, in modern times as you get so much hunger for information and gossip to
feed the constant social media news cycle. >> it's too much driven by the psychological impact of i think mostly television and online coverage. >> disagreements were kept in house because everybody felt the process was honest. everybody was heard, even though they might not always get their way. >> president bush in his first term gave enormous weight to cheney. >> i don't know what the definition of a powerful vice president is. people have to recognize the vice president is empowered by the president. >> you serve as the pleasure of the president. all the power in the vice presidency after the 12th ame amendment was passed is reflective. it all is the reflective power of the president. the president delegates to the vice president. no matter what a vice president tries to do or say even at odds with the president, none of it matters unless people know the vice president is speaking for the president.
>> i took my fair share of shots. if you are concerned about your image or your ratings in the polls, you shouldn't be vice president. or if you are vice president, and you are probably not doing anything, you are not breaking any china, you are not defending tough policy. >> when your vice president, cheney, when he shot that guy in the face, how did he tell you? did he call you? did he come in and close the door? how did that go down? >> what irritated me about that is he shot the only trial lawyer for me in texas. >> that's right. he was a lawyer. >> it was an unusual period. >> i would imagine so. did it seem funny at all to you? >> every time cheney would come in, people would yell duck. >> you had fun with it?
>> very, very few people said anything negative to me personally. everybody made good fun of me as a darth vader of the administration. crest gum detoxify. my gums are irritated. i don't have to worry about that, do i? harmful bacteria lurk just below the gum line. crest gum detoxify works below the gum line to neutralize harmful plaque bacteria and help reverse early gum damage. crest.
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the first criteria of the baseline is, could i envision that person serving as president, effectively? that is, that the single most important requirement for the job, that then winnowed the list down. >> i believe that he actually wanted me to help him govern. >> after that, for me at least, one of the things i was looking for is somebody who had complimentary skills, somebody who could make up for some of my weaknesses, somebody who could provide a healthy debate and provide some creative tension. >> i got to know the president when he served on the foreign relations committee. he is the brightest of all the presidents i have ever worked with. he and i were the only two that
never disagreed on a substantive matter. i knew we were the same in terms of our vision for the country. >> there's a dance that has to be done to keep the selection secret. you are talking to a number of candidates. there weren't a lot of surprises with joe. he had expressed some reluctance when i called him initially. he said it wasn't something he was really looking for. which was understandable. here is somebody who served in the senate for many decades. i think it's fair to say most senators aren't used to playing a supporting role. that's not sort of how egos in the senate are constructed. >> when i asked him, he said he wanted me to help him govern because i knew the intricacies of the congress and senate and bureaucracy that could be helpful to him because he was new to it. >> you will have production
against the fool factor? >> i think that's human nature. there are a lot of fools in congress and senate and those who want to get there. there's no way you can legislate against that. >> you think in the long run the american people will put up with their money being squandered on all sorts of wild political notions? >> the question is, how long is the american public going to put up with a small group of men and organizations determining the political process by deciding who can run and who can't run? >> senator, aren't you a living example -- >> i am a 29-year-old oddball. the only reason i was able to raise money is i was able to have a national constituency to run for office. >> one of the things i loved about joe was that he was opinionated. >> i knew after all those years of being in the senate how the congress viewed the presidency, democrat and republican, and how they functioned, how it worked
and how the mechanics of the process -- how you got things done in the senate. what i learned was that the single most important currency in the senate is your word. for people to know what you say you mean and what you say you will do. >> joe was very clear that if he were to do this, was to feel as if he had my ear. we would have the relationship where he could give me unvarnished advice. i assured him that that was something that i could deliver on, because that was what i needed. >> when he first asked me would i consider being vetted, i said, i don't want to be vetted. i don't want to be vice president. i was on a train going home after he was the de facto nominee. he said, you didn't answer now. i said, no, i don't want to be vetted. he said, how much time do you need? i don't need any time.
go home and talk it over with your family. i said to jill, put the family together. she was more worried that the scuttlebutt was i would be asked to be secretary of state. he never offered me secretary of state. i will never forget, jill said, it's better for the family if you are vice president than secretary of no one offered me secretary of state. my mom sat there and hadn't said a word. she said, "joe, remember i called you last month and asked you about barack and you said you thought he was a really fine man, really smart?" i said, "yeah, mom. what's the point?" "let me get this straight, american has a chance to be president says he wants you to help him govern and you can help him win pennsylvania and some other states, and you told him no?" i said, "oh, mom, come on!" that's when i made the decision, because i realized this guy would be a hell of a president. i'd be proud to serve with him. and it turned out to be the best decision i'd ever made in my
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he was thinking about running for president, and he was in a social event at our house there in dallas, took me aside and wanted to know if i would run his campaign for him. >> i asked dick cheney to lead the process, knowing full well that he is a very well-organized guy who would be very deliberate in his selection and his recommendations. >> i said question, i'd be happy to do that, because it was a definable task. it is going to take a couple of months in the spring. it would be over with when we got to the convention. so i agreed to run the search. as we went through the process, we spent a couple of months with a lot of time talking about what he is looking for in a vice president. and what i was struck by was how much time and effort he had devoted to it. >> during the process, i came to the conclusion that the selector was the best person to be selected. >> and he said, "you know, you're the solution to my
problem." >> and i need your help. and the country can benefit from your experience. >> at that point it donned on me i was a lousy headhunter. i hadn't found a good one. >> i ran this by karl rove, and he didn't particularly think the cheney selection was the right selection. >> put out everything i could think of in terms of why he shouldn't pick me. >> i forgot who's instigation. so carl cheney and i sat down and he recited the litany why he didn't think he would be the right choice. and i listened carefully. and cheney said i agree. and i don't i don't. >> i went through the list. been kicked out of yale, twice, that i had an arrest record. >> the interesting thing about the vice presidential selection, if it's done thoroughly, there is a lot of investigation into the potential candidates. and inevitably, there is problems.
income tax issue or something issue or a statement that would come back to haunt a potential candidate. >> when we looked at the constitution, there was no provision for removing a vice president except through impeachment. it was something i was concerned about on my watch because i had a history of heart disease. so we sort of cobbled together our own, which was to sign a letter of resignation, give it to my lawyer dave addington, and he held it in his office. it basically said that i resign the vice presidency at noon today. then my counsel would take the letter that i had already signed and give it to the president. it's the act of submitting the letter to the secretary of state that vacates the office, makes the resignation effective. >> the vetting process is they sort of take you, turn you upside down, shake you, and everything comes out. i told my wife one time, i think he knows more about me than you do. she didn't really appreciate that, but i think it's probably true, because he is asking all these questions. but you go through it because
you have to. and it's something that hopefully i won't have to experience again. >> i picked up the phone and heard that very familiar voice over the line. and he said, "mike, it's going to be great." after he gave me that enthusiastic message, i said to him, and i called him donald back then, i said well, donald, if there was a question in there, the answer is yes. we were very happy to go through that process. through a process i expect of looking at our record and our career to make sure that our nominee had all the information that he would need to make an informed decision. >> i tell you when it really hit me. we went to the inaugural parade. we had some minnesota floats there. and we were watching the parade go by. at one point, a secret service man tapped my shoulder and said would you like to go to your
office now in the white house. i had never -- i thought of it, but it wasn't really -- i didn't think it was going to happen or something. i don't know. >> i had a vision of the role, and it started with watching my dad be the vice president of the ronald reagan. he earned ronald reagan's trust because he was loyal. and he had established a very close relationship with president reagan. i was hopeful for the same kind of a relationship with my vice president. i knew it sent a good signal, particularly to some of the chattering people in washington that i was wise enough to pick somebody who made up for my lack of foreign policy, for example. but dick, you know, dick had a lot of international experience as well as experience with the military. and one of our themes in the campaign was help is on the way for the u.s. military. oftentimes an administration is defined by the unexpected, and therefore to have people who had been in positions of
responsibility like dick's case, secretary of defense, would benefit in the long run for my administration. the vice president is the only person in the administration whose name is on the ballot. a president must be comfortable in answering the question can the person be president? and will the person be a good adviser. >> so a president can make a misjudgment, could choose someone who just ends up not getting along with, and so it's really important in that sense because as time goes on, the office becomes more important because of the breadth of the responsibilities of a president are just increasing. they get larger and larger, more complex. >> i think back to george mcgovern when he picked eagleton. the first presidential decision was a bust. it wasn't very well vetted, and it set his campaign way back. >> missouri senator thomas
eagleton draws as presidential candidate george mcgovern's running mate. the move follows the disclosure that eagleton had been hospitalized for psychiatric treatment in the 1960s and twice received electroshock treatment for depression. >> if i remain on the ticket, all the attention and all the debate would be about eagleton as george calls it, his past medical history. and it would take away from focusing on some problems that have to be attended to. >> i do not say that this matter was handled every step of the way as wisely as possible, but if there were mistakes, they were mistakes of the heart. >> a vice president can't win an election, but a vice presidential pick can lose an election. this is the home of vice president hubert humphrey in
rock creek park, washington. and this is a typical day in the life of mr. humphrey. it starts early and energetically. even the family dog gets in the act as another busy day begins. >> for most of the history of this country, the vice president didn't have an official residence. lived in various places around washington, d.c. >> it was determined in the late '60s, early '70s that there needed to be a vice presidential residence. >> the first one eligible for it was nelson rockefeller. he had dinners there, but he never moved into it because he had a better house on fox hall lane. so the first one to really occupy it was walter mondale on a full-time basis. i was the first to have young kids. >> i was glad when mondales moved in and used it very effectively. >> a vice president's house is really extraordinary. i like it better than the white house because it's more remote.
>> it's beautiful, beautiful, maybe the most beautiful piece of property in all of washington. on a bright, sunny day you can see the washington monument from the residence. it's over 78 acres. it has the naval observatory on it, but it's gated and it's private. no one can say a negative thing about dan quayle, because he built a swimming pool out there. it was the destination if anybody had any business or wanted to come to washington where there were extra rooms, it was a family home. >> if you want public housing, move in there. i think you'll like it. >> i was a little jealous sometimes because it's less of a museum and more of a house. >> i thought it a cool place to visit when my dad was vice president. i think it's a perfect location for the vice president.
i think it's majestic. it is a good place to entertain. and it's private. and people need privacy in washington, d.c. >> we have just enough room to get the dog out for a good run. >> great dog country. we had three great labs while we were there. >> i remember the first time i went over there, i thought, you know, this isn't a bad deal. plus nobody does tours there. >> the four most exciting words in the american political landscape, vice president al gore. >> i enjoy being vice president. as a matter of fact, i went on the david letterman show, and i was asked to draw up a top ten list of the best things about being vice president.
i'll not share the whole list, but number five came to mind as i was sitting here next to john and diane cook, looking up at the seal here. i have a seal myself. the great seal of the vice president of the united states of america. and the fifth best thing about being vice president has to do with that seal. if you close your left eye and turn your head just right, it says "president of the united states of america." a great thrill. thank you very much. >> what happened was at first when they went to camp david, i think he stayed in the presidential cabin, and his dog dave i think is the dog's name, stayed with the cheneys in the presidential cabin. so the next time i go to the presidential cabin, my dog barney went ballistic smelling
another dog in his territory. >> so saturday morning we're getting ready for a meeting. i always drove the golf carts up there. and dave loved the golf carts. he would get right up on the seat next to you, looked like he owned the world. he saw barney and he took after him. and barney is just running around the big table like crazy, the dog jumping along. and all of the sudden there is this loud voice, what the hell is going on here? it's the president. i immediately grabbed a donut off the pastry tray and hollered "dave, treat!" went outside, got in the golf cart and drove up to the cabin where we always stayed. and about 15 minutes later there is a knock at the door. it's a camp commander in his dress blues, a navy captain. he said "sir, until further notice, your dog is banished from laurel lodge and from aspen." what had happened is dave had moved into aspen with us.
and barney had gone around every place he could smell dave and marked it throughout the whole damned house for a couple of days. pissed everywhere. and i didn't find that out until some time later they told me what had happened. >> i'm afraid that it's true, that barney caused dave to be quarantined from camp david. >> there were a lot of laughs along the way. to be honest...a little dust? it never bothered me.
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we had a weekly meeting. typically it would be a lunch some time in the middle of the week. if he had a specific suggestion, oftentimes that was something that was easily incorporated. >> the president knew that i understood that there were certain things even when the vice president strongly disagreed with the recommendation the president was getting that he should give the president the space to be able to make his own decision, which meant that on really important subjects, i would leave my advice that might be different than the senior staff and senior cabinet members who were giving
him, i disagreed, i would leave it to doing it privately with him. it was not healthy for the president and vice president to be seen, even by the senior staff as having a disagreement. >> if he wanted to do something, we worked through whether it was good idea or not. if i wanted him to do something, we did the same thing. >> i sought to avoid specific jobs that would tie me down and interfere with my ability to be an adviser at large, weighing in on every policy decision that the president had before him. >> every time he'd tell me what he thought when it was hard. when he was telling me something he knew either darn well i didn't agree with or didn't hear, he knew every time. he had the courage to do it. >> the president asked me initially if i would be interested in chairing the effort to rewrite the health care policies. and i said no because that would confine me to a specific area.
>> i didn't want him to say, do something that he couldn't stand the thought of doing, although when you're vice president, every now and then you have to do things you'd just soon not do. >> but you couldn't do everything together. and frankly, i didn't want to, because there are some things the president has to do that i really don't want to spend my time on. taking care of the turkey, for example. >> the vice president's role is to support the president of the united states, to provide steady counsel, to keep that counsel in confidence, to be there to publicly advocate for the agenda the president was elected to advance. >> to be effective and to help the president help the country by helping the president. it really depends 100% on that relationship of trust. if you try to make sure that all your conversations are grounded in the truth as you know it,
really stick to that, then it's a pretty simple guideline. >> whether you agreed or disagreed with him, you knew that, a, he was informed, b, he was smart, and c, he cared. so he was entitled to a respectful ear from me and from everybody else on the team. >> i never felt that there was any kind of advice that i shouldn't give him for fear that he might not react well to it. i gave him the unvarnished version of what i thought was the best truth i could share with him. >> there was one other element that i thought joe played an important role in, and that is in congressional relations. because he had served so much longer, he was much more a fixer in washington. those relationships i think proved to be invaluable. nobody would feel insulted if he
took a meeting rather than me. since we had a lot of work to do, he had a lot of relationships with people who influence it in the administration was critically important. essentially, it allowed me to get a lot more done. >> the presidency is full of all kinds of pressures, and there is a lot of incoming, but it was particularly helpful to have a really steady hand there that wouldn't panic when the pressure was on, and it would help the president think through decisions. >> if an issue was easy, it usually was solved before it got to my desk. the only things i had to decide on were things that were hard. it's not a slam-dunk one way or the other which way we should go, what the right answer is. and in those situations, you have hard decisions, difficult choices. you can make arguments on either side. joe could be the foil and create
sort of a debate. in some cases, might make an argument just to see what kind of responses you got around the table. and allowed me to sit back and listen without tipping my hand about which way i was going, and he could advance an argument, see what kind of pushback there was, or he might go after somebody else's argument and try to punch holes in it. >> even when i did not strongly believe what i was pushing against, challenging that, to force a discussion, to force a real discipline, to explain in detail why they were making the decision they made, did think of the following consequences so the president would have a choice without having to tip his hand so that he didn't have to do the challenging. >> he understood that at the end of the day, i was the decision-maker.
more often than not, we agreed on some of the big questions involved, but he could often provide a certain perspective. ensures that we've surfaced the kind of analysis, ideas that hopefully lead to the best decision possible. >> now i may have been wrong sometimes in thinking he wanted me to do that, but i don't think so. >> sometimes we would even do a good cop/bad cop routine where i would press some of the less comfortable points in a meeting and try to get the truth of what we needed to know, and then he could come in and kind of smooth things over and pick up the dialogue from that point. my hygienist cleans with a round head, so does my oral-b. my hygienist personalizes my cleaning, so does my oral-b.
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separate and apart from my brief, there would be a tab behind the tab, we called it, and that was information that i'd asked for about issues and so forth. the president wasn't going to see things i was interested in simply. >> i thought it was very important for him to hear the same intelligence i was getting. >> we'd meet in the oval office, and i'd do the exact same brief with the president, the two of us side by side. there was an awful lot of effort to keep plugged in with what he was doing. >> i'm a more socratic method guy, so i loved asking questions to the briefers. i knew it was important for dick to hear the questions i was asking and the answers i was getting. if he wasn't there, he of course got his own brief. ♪ >> look, there are a lot of
funny moments that we shared. >> well, look. >> but they're not things that are appropriate for me to talk about. >> just sorting through my mind in terms of which examples i might draw from. >> which do you like better, these or these? >> joe, they're the same. >> they capture different moods. >> joe, i need some focus here. >> and by the way, things about one another we -- >> joe i think is fair to say was well-known for his loquaciousness. >> things that i did i'm sure he found hilarious, and a few things he did i found absolutely hilarious. >> i'm still trying to think of a good funny story that's not going to make joe mad at me for telling. >> um. >> we laughed a lot. um. >> i want to be -- i'm going to -- i'm doing a lot of self-editing here.
>> i want to make it clear, he did the first friendship bracelet, not me. >> everybody loved those, including joe and me. >> stuff that was the funniest were things that are probably not things i should be talking about. >> i'll be honest with you. the immediate stories that came to my mind were ones that i would probably want to check off with joe before i told. >> funniest moment, i'll have to get become to you on that. ♪
>> george bush and his team were flying to malta to meet with gorbachev for the first time in 1989. during the flight over there, a coup breaks in the philippines. i was in the situation room with bob gates, who was at that time national security adviser. we had people who were on the screen, if you will, like colin powell and others who were trying to figure out exactly what to do. i was in contact with president aquino, who was president of the philippines. and fortunately, i had just travelled there, so i knew her. i knew her on a personal basis. and that was helpful. we finally come up with a recommendation to put on an air cap to the president of the united states who agreed to it. he announced it when he landed in malta. he was fully briefed on what was going on. and democracy was saved. >> i am not going to go into the detail of it. we're doing what has been
requested of us. and we are hopeful that the matter will be contained. >> it goes to show you never know when you might be called upon. and that is why it's so important to have 24/7 constant communication between the president and the vice president. >> i developed a relationship with the prime minister of russia. >> and he and gore met personally twice a year. >> both president clinton and president yeltsin proposed that chernomyrdin and i co-chair a binational commission, which from the standpoint of the united states had the purpose of organizing everything we could possibly do to help them make a transition in the post-soviet
union era to an open democracy, what we hoped would be the new russia now. the history sense then has taken russia under vladimir putin back toward a more authoritarian neo stalinist kind of nation. >> harry s. truman, president of the united states. distinguished senator from the state of missouri for ten years, and vice president since the last national election, mr. truman brings to his new high office an understanding of the gigantic american war effort, second only to the late president roosevelt. >> a short time ago, an american airplane dropped one bomb on hiroshima and destroyed its usefulness to the enemy. that bomb has more power than
20,000 tons of tnt. >> i remember being very surprised upon learning that vice president truman did not even know about the manhattan project and the building of the first two atomic bombs when he became president. and of course that is reflective of the kind of relationship that so many presidents had with their vice presidents prior to fritz mondale. >> i was informed as far as i could be from the time i became vice president until i became president. but that only lasted two days and i wasn't fully broken in as a vice president in that time. quarter mile of tinsel. s) (harold) and real snow all the way from switzerland. (betsy) hmmhm... gonna be tough to top.
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>> i became a wartime president, and therefore the responsibilities became a little different than i initially thought they would be. >> to our whole mind-set had to shift and change. that morning the president was out of town, he was down in florida. i was in my office. so we hadn't had the regular 8:00 intel brief. my secretary called in and said an aircraft had just hit the world trade center. i turned on the television and watched, just in time to see the second one go in. initially, people gathered. condi rice came in. others started to gather in my office. i was on the phone with the president down in florida, and all of the sudden the door burst open. the lead agent came hurrying in, came around behind my desk,
grabbed the back of my belt, took me downstairs, and there is a tunnel that runs from the west wing over to the east wing. we were headed for the president's emergency op center, which is over -- it's world war ii era stuff on the east side. part way over, we stopped and they closed the doors off in the tunnel. so it was a separate room. they had lockers in there. and my agent was passing out m-16s and gas masks and so forth. nobody knew what was happening. >> in between being in the classroom and addressing the nation, and i called him and condi, i think. they were together in the peoc, which was a secure room in the basement of the white house. >> there was secure communications. so i could tell him, get me the president. the president is in his limo by then, headed for the airport. >> the problem was communications weren't very good. and believe it or not, on air force one, the line kept dropping. but i got a pretty good sense there was order in the national security staff in the white
house. as i was being spirited around. >> the president is flying in florida, louisiana, nebraska. at that point, i got him on the phone and strongly urged him not to return to washington. he was gung-ho to come back to washington, for understandable reasons. it's where the action is. he is the president. he is the commander in chief. >> he, along with others recommended strongly i didn't go back to washington, which kind of irritated me because i wanted to be back this the center of action. >> my argument was that now that they hit the pentagon, obviously washington is a target too. it was very important for us not to come together in the same location. until we knew the scale of the attack and what all was happening. the secret service made the same kind of recommendation to him. his plane was routed to barksdale air force base in louisiana, and where he had an opportunity to go make a public
statement. >> i want to reassure the american people that the full resources of the federal government are working to assist local authorities to save lives and to help the victims of these attacks. >> took off from there. i was asked where he might go. probably the best facility is offutt air force base. so he went to offutt, unloaded there, went underground. >> i ended up in omaha, nebraska. and i had a secure video with my national security team, most of whom were in the basement of the white house. >> from there we did a national security council meeting by closed circuit video. so there is a lot of communication going back and forth. >> we were in touch quite a bit. one of the key first decisions i had to make was once the skies were cleared, give the
instructions to shoot down any plane that didn't meet the transponder protocol. and dick was the one who relayed my decision, for example. >> air force officer came in and said, "sir, we have a plane believed to have been hijacked headed towards washington at a high rate of speed. are we authorized to take it out?" and i said "yes, take it out." some time later we got word that the plane was down on the border of pennsylvania. that was united 93. what hadn't been known at the time we weren't able to get a plane there fast enough to execute the order. and the passengers instead had taken it down themselves. >> and when i got back, i had a national security meeting. of course dick was there as was condi and colin powell and rumsfeld.
>> the search is under way for those who are behind these evil acts. i've directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. ♪ >> i want to make sure i don't discuss things that are still classified. the president and four of us, not the secretary of state, not homeland security, knew or believed that bin laden was in abbottabad, all the way in september. we didn't tell anybody. there were five people who knew -- secretary of defense, cia, because we knew if it ever leaked out, he'd be gone. but we were never certain that
that was bin laden in abbottabad. the place where bin laden was only a couple of clicks from their military academy and half a click from the police station in the middle of a circumstance where you had to believe the pakistanis knew he was there. it was hard to believe they wouldn't know. so it was a really complicated situation. so the way the president and i would talk about it alone, we'd talk about it with a small group. toward the end of the fall when it was opened up to the secretary of state, to the homeland security, et cetera, there was a lot more discussion about trying to decide whether bin laden was there. but literally because of the phases of the moon, we got to a place where the president had 48 hours to make a decision to go or not go.
these guys, these navy seals were incredible group of people. they had already done all the planning. they had built a replica of abbottabad. they practiced. and it came time to go or not go. and the president went around the room to i think there were 17 people around the table. national security adviser, secretary of state, cia, chairman of the joint chief, all the way to secretary of defense, et cetera. three people gave him an absolute when he said what do you think we should do. everybody in the room was 60-40, 49-51, et cetera. two said go and one said don't go. and i was the last person in the room. well, again, this is a place where i've got to reserve space in my view for the president.
and there was one option that was remaining. you could have done one more very low flight spying down on the site to determine whether this was bin laden. because, again, there was no certainty who it was there was a predominancy of the evidence. so i looked around the table and said i didn't think we had this many economists in the room, on the one hand. on the other hand, mr. president, to give him space, i think you should wait and do one more pass, knowing that if you made a lower pass they might observe it and he might flee. and i walked out as i always did after every meeting of the security council, i walked up to the office and we had a private discussion. and i said, "mr. president, follow your instincts on this one." what i didn't want to happen, he risked his entire presidency and it took real, real, real courage to make that decision. and had this decision been wrong, had he not been there, or
had it failed, i doubt whether the 17 people around that table would have said i told him he should go. so i was trying to preserve space for him. but at the end of the day, the good old harry truman phrase, the buck stops here, it stops here. and it was a consequential decision showing this man's courage and determination to risk an entire presidency. we'd follow bin laden to the gates of hell to get him. it was important. and he knew that. and he went ahead and pulled the cord the next morning. or coverage changes or you need help paying cosentyx connect is here to help. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting, get checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor about an infection or symptoms, if your inflammatory bowel disease symptoms develop or worsen or if you've had a vaccine, or plan to. serious allergic reactions may occur. call us or visit us online. we're here for you.
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>> when he gave one of his first addresses to a joint session of congress in the first year, and i was sitting up behind him, presiding along with the speaker of the house, and he began his speech. and he stopped. and while the congress was applauding, you know, they give a bunch of standing ovations at these joint sessions, and he turned around and came up to me and said "al, they got the wrong speech on the teleprompter." he turned around as if nothing was wrong and began giving his speech extemporaneously. but i had the angle on the teleprompter where i could see the pages scrolling up and down and they were changing the file. it must have been a terrible distraction. but for the first seven or eight minutes of that speech, he was
just making it up as they went along, and then picked up the text when they finally got the rest of it loaded. >> from a settling of the frontier to the landing on the moon, ours has been a continuous story of challenges defined. >> many commentators and i among them said those were the best eight minutes of the speech. >> you know, cheney had kind of a dry sense of humor. my bodyman left the white house without saying goodbye to anybody. his name was blake, got us in the oval office and something was weird. and he had made a bust of himself and replaced the churchill bust with the bust of himself. and so cheney came in there, and i thought it of course hilarious. i said you see anything different in the oval office? nah, i don't really. he looks around and he sees the bust of blake. "the guy is a real card" which talks about cheney's humor. a pretty dry sense of humor.
♪ >> muriel humphrey telling joe no matter what this job costs you, don't let it cost your family. and there is a lot of messed up kids. you can't let the kids get the big head. they got to know they're still human beings. if you get in that position, you got to work at it. >> maril and i have been through a lot of campaigns, not at this level, but it's really hard on the kids. in school they all knew i was in the senate, but that was no big deal. everybody in washington was the son or daughter of a senator, congressman or cabinet officer, somebody who is important. but now the vice presidential nominee is a little different, and their friends look at them differently. that's tough. our new house is amazing.
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he can get to help support him. >> in my opinion is light for the way it's worked the most of the time. but in the last few decades, vice presidency has become much more important, much more critical to the nation's future. >> as time went on vice presidency evolved into a position where presidents or candidates for president looked for individuals who would be automobile to help them advance the agenda. >> i think since the 1970s, that intimacy between the two leaders of our country and the trust placed in the vice president and the responsibility in dealing with foreign leaders and our own children has to be preimminent. and that's what's happened. >> what fritz did really created the opportunity for a president to empower his or her vice president to play a very
meaningful role, if the president chose to do that. >> i just looked at a photograph of me and mondale together in the rose garden before i came in. and the ensubscription from mondale was, this is from the first vice president in history who ever loved the president whom he served. i've been eager to share with him the credit or the responsibility for the change or status of the vice presidency when he served. i've given him a lot of credit for doing so. and i think he's looked upon as someone who could have very well have been a successful serving president. >> i think vice presidents throughout our history have played an important role in the life of the nation, for their commitment to the country and for their service. >> i think the idea that the millions and millions of americans who are living a better life because a lot of us got involved in these issues and i think made a difference for the better. so, i have a very good feeling
about it. sorry it's over, but that happens. >> i miss politics. i miss being vice president. i tried to be president. didn't work out. of course you miss it. but look, i've got a good life now, got a great life, great family, so i'm very happy where i am. and in our political environment today, it's much more challenging than when i was there. we actually had bipartisanship. we worked across the aisles. people that say they don't want to be vice president, they probably realize they won't be asked to be vice president. i don't know too many people that would turn it down. although some people that say they would have never been offered the job. >> i hope history would say i've contributed to the success of president clinton's administration. >> my guess is there will be future presidents and vice presidents that have the kind of relationship we did, that will allow them to function effectively as a team. and the vice president will get to do a lot. >> my dad used to always say,
you're a man about your word. without your word, you're not a man. i hope after 36 years in the senate and eight years as vice president, that i'll be remembered as the person who was authentic, had some genuine integrity and was always honest. >> a model of the vice presidency, where you are a partner to the president, that you've established a bond of trust between the president and the vice president, and that the whole ends up being greater than the sum of its parts. >> we apprehended this report on the vice presidency in the hope of stimulating discussion of the selection used by both political parties. and in the hope, perhaps vain, that at the next convention the delegates and the citizens will
remember that it is no minor matter, to us and to the free world, who is elected as vice presidential candidates for both parties. good night and good luck. >> i'll tell you a story. right after, oh, maybe a few months after i was in the white house, my grandson came in there. he came in one evening when the vice president was there. and david was in, oh, i suppose, five or six years old. so, we around the house had always tried to make the grandchildren understand that there was nothing special about it. they know about this house and know about their grandparents. so, finally, david came in the room, and i introduced him to the vice president. i said, david, this is the vice
-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com the coronavirus vaccines are here. >> i strongly recommend that when the vaccine becomes available to get vaccinated. >> but as cases continue to spike across the country, is the worst behind us or still to come? i'll speak exclusively to dr. anthony fauci. and leading governors gretchen whitmer and larry hogan next. and burn down the house. president trump sows more chaos on his way out, pardoning loyalists, vetoing legislation, and going after leaders in his own party. >> there is a real, real danger of this whole thing falling apart. >> has he taken his fury too far? republican congressman adam kinzinger will be here to discuss.