tv [untitled] CSPAN June 7, 2009 10:00am-10:30am EDT
think of any military can pull off it is probably israel, but this would be probably, it would lead to regional war if not a war the stretches beyond the middle east. >> is it impossible to talk about what would happen over the next six months or a year or other so many variables you can possibly speculate? >> obviously you deal of this to end is almost impossible to predict but in terms of prescriptions i get back to what i said before -- i think the u.s. needs to continue to pursue iran as if there is no palestinian-israeli conflict and then if they really think it is important to pursue the arab-israeli conflict as if there is now iran but pursue both on separate tracks and not make the link a mother should not be linkage. if it is important to go after both duet but i would say the specter of iranian nuclear weapons should overshadow everything at this point and i shouldn't be the focus of the united states at this point.
talks about her book, "life equity." she provides advice on how women can realize their full potential and take advantage of the opportunities available to them in the u.s. the event hosted by the heritage foundation in washington, d.c., is about an hour. >> so we're just delighted to have you here today. we have an outstanding program for you because we have a star from the congress of the united states of america. and that's always a terrific opportunity for us. my name is becky norton dunlap. i'm the vice president here at the heritage foundation and it's just a delight to have you here at the heritage foundation. our speaker today is united states congressman who's also a congresswoman, she's a woman who's a congressman, marsha blackburn and she has written this fantastic book which we want everybody to know about and
we are offering today for sale after our event. but congresswoman, congressman -- how do you -- how about u.s. representative, marsha blackburn. >> how about public servant marsha blackburn. >> very good. representative blackburn is an accomplished leader and we're delighted she's serving in the united states congress today but she has also served in the tennessee legislature. so she brings the perspective of someone who understands what the constitution of the united states says that we're supposed to have a balanced system and that states aren't supposed to be administrative arms of the federal government. that they are supposed to be an equal branch of our government. she was elected in 1998 to the tennessee state senate and she served there with distinction and while she was in the senate, she also led a state-wide
grassroots campaign to defeat the proposed state income tax. now that is a great and noble cause and she was successful. that's even better. she did a lot of radio talk shows and television promotions and she's often daf called upon for speeches around the country and for special pieces in publications like "the wall street journal." she's definitely considered a leader in the national movement to limit tax -- to limit taxes on the american people and to be in favor of government reform so that the government is limited in what it's supposed to do it does well. we like that here at the heritage foundation. she then was elected to the congress of the united states and as soon as she got here, she
became a leader in the congress. she was selected by the leadership of the party to serve in a number of significant areas of responsibility in the congress and that's just wonderful for the women who are here today to see someone come to washington and become immediately a national role model indeed an international role model for accomplished women. she represents the part of tennessee where nashville is. how many of us have heard of nashville? it's very popular in this part of the woods. she's got metropolitan nashville and the suburbs of memphis and she has lots of ties with some of the premier singers and songwriters and performers who call that part of tennessee home. or do business there. and she has made the decision to write this book and it's got an important message and we are delighted that she has come to present it to us. i must say in addition to all
her public service which is tremendous, she has a successful career in private business and she is married and had a successful marriage for 32 years -- 34 now, very good. and she and her husband have two children and now one grandson. so let's welcome to our podium congresswoman marsha blackburn. [applause] >> thank you so much. thank you. thank you, becky. i appreciate that so very, very much. and i want to say thank you to the heritage foundation for the opportunity to be here today and to clare booth luce for the way the institute just encourages women to step forward and lead and not only provides the encouragement but provides the training. and open doors for leadership opportunities.
i know we all appreciate them. and to each of you for taking your time to be here today, thank you for caring about leadership and caring about those opportunities and for taking the time out of your day to be here and to listen. let me tell you what i think we're going to do. i think i want to talk for just a few minutes a little bit about the book and some of the premises that are in it. and then use most of our time for q & a and talk through the questions that you have. i prefer knowing what you're interested in so let me give you a little bit of an overview of the book. and then we'll kind of work our way back through the questions as we go. i have had so many -- so many people who said, how in the world did you find time to write a book? and when in the world did you start writing this book?
and it's one of those odd things that sort of comes about, you know, you're not really planning on it. you're not out seeking to do it. it just happens. but isn't that what we're supposed to do? as leaders to be ready when open doors arrive? and take advantage of those opportunities. and for over two decades i've been talking to women's groups on leadership. some ofx$z you may have been in some of those groups that i've spoken with and encouraging women to stepa@3éx forward and and to realize that leadership is not about demanding rights, about deploying our god-given gifts. and using those gifts, those giftings that we each possess to be able to leave things÷n in better shape, to leave the world in better shape. a couple of friends of mine who
are authors, you know, nashville is a great creative community and in my nashville area i just i'm a little bit country and i'm a little bit rock 'n roll with the groups that i represent in both ends of my district have great creative communities and we have a lot of authors and writers that live around the nashville area. and i had some that had encouraged me to move forward in this. i said nobody wants to buy a book from me. and they said let me lookq) at your speeches. let's see where we could go with this so they did. chartwell-lit area zfj --ço chal literary group helped me they are part of the hometown team and they have a studentaçb summer book sales program at thomas nelson and i had worked for southwestern company when i was in college and that's how i got
through school, selling books door to door. so here i come again. i've got a book in my hand. isn't that just amazing? [laughter] >> how life works? as we went through the process of pulling a book together, it was so exciting for me to think, i have the opportunity to help and to help them focus on their life's equity. and a great part was no one had ever used the term "life equity" and i thought -- this is good. we talk about sweat equity. we talk about home equity. we talk about financial equity. but your life's equity, what makes you uniquely you is the compellation of your strengths, your experiences, where you've passions, the things you would put all your time and energy
into. that is your life's equity. that'sí7 what makes you you. now, sometimes we as womenrçñ a tendency to undervalue ourselves. because we as women generally don't travel on a trajectory of a career path. we take time off to be a wife,m to be a mother, to care for relatives who may be ill. we may move in and out of the market. work with big business. work in public service. work in private enterprise. women have a tendency to do a nontraditional career path. so many times we will say, well, my resume doesn't have the cachet that a lot of other resumes have. one of the things we need to realize, though, is that
sometimes those mundane tasks that we have been performing day in and day out really equip us to perform the magnificent in our lives and let me give you a couple of examples of how this works with leadership. and how this will make a difference, how i think it makes a difference for every woman. i think one of the greatest resources our nation possesses is women. and the ability of women to lead. because women instinctively know that you lead people and you manage assets. and there is a big difference between those two.ñ and women are uniquely qualified for@zñ 21st century leadership because we listen more. we nurture, we mentor all components that are very important for 21st century leadership. and how these apply to you and
how the task and the skills that you are developing whether you've been in school, whether you're new to the work force, whether you are an empty-nestor, whether you're m1ñ back into the job market, you have a wonderful resource and an equity in yourself, in your strengths and in your experiences. i like to use the term "leadership is a transferrable commodity" and the skills you can use in one arena into another arena. and a great example of this is one day i was out campaigning in tennessee. i was out on one of our little -- our little town squares and, you know, you always have the courthouse and you have the lawyer offices and you always have a meet and three. now, i'm assuming y'all are all from the south and you know what
a meet and three is, you don't? it's a cafe. i like the meet, the three and the dessert. i'll tell you that. i walked into the little cafe and i walked up to this guy. you could tell by looking at him he had been out working hard;s that morning. i handed him my push card and i said iq state senator marsha blackburn i'm running for the u.s. house of representatives and i sure would appreciate having your sñvote. so he flipped my card over in his hand and he3- looked up at and he said, little lady, i thought i might not get this vote. [laughter] >> and i said, yes, sir. and he said, little lady, what qualifies you for the u.s. house of representatives? and i said well, you know what? i have been the three-year-old cookie mom and if you can handle those jobs you can handle the
u.s. house of representatives budget. it may be 12:06 am but you're going to find that last penny. have to. but the point of it is, those leadership skills -- i thought about it later. all those skills that i had developed all those years in volunteer activities, being a small business owner, all of those skills i was ready to pick those skills up and then move them over and work on the problems that addressed our nation. and they were the same skills of organization, rallying the troops, getting things done, solving problems. the very same skills but on a different level. and in a different arena. so remember that leadership is a transferrable commodity.
another component that i would encourage you to remember is that leadership is not as it appears but as it performs and i think today more than ever this is important for us to realize. leadership is not as it appears but as it performs. another story from the campaign trail out knocking on doors in the memphis, tennessee, heat in july. it's 103 in the shade. and i'm just going to it and hair? a ponytail, i got my things in my arms going door to door. there's this elderly gentleman comes to the door. i said my time state senator marsha blackburn i'm running for the u.s. house. i sure appreciate your vote. and he said you who? and i took my push card i said i'm state senator marsha blackburn and i'm running for congress. he said is that you?
i said, yes, sir. it's me and i sure would like to to get your vote. and he said, you stand right there. so i did. [laughter] >> i didn't move. and he walked about 10 feet back into the house and i heard him yell out -- he said mama, get out here. he said you know that little gal that had been leading that fight against that tax in nashville, she's on the front porch and she is a little bitty. thing [laughter] >> but, you know, that is such a good example for it. i didn't look like anything he would expect to be a leader. he later said, honey, i thought you were going to be a big old tall something. [laughter] >> and i didn't look like the embodiment he would think of as a leader. because it was hot. and he was in my tennis shoes working door to door and this was pretty late in the day.
but the point is, leadership today is not as it appears. people don't want to say well, they just look like a leader who would come from central casting. what they want is somebody who is going to take action and solve problems and get the job done. margaret thatcher said it best, you want something said, ask a man. you want something done, ask a woman. [laughter] all you guys in the room, we'll let you stay here because next component, leaders are team-builders. and it requires that we be a team-builder and provide leadership for men and women. building a team that has a balanced approach, good opinions is going to help us solve
problems. whether it is our family, our church, our business or our community. another thing and i think this is so important, leaders are lifelong learners. those that are most aggressive in reading and staying up-to-date, they generally end up making the best leaders. because they know that they don't know it all. and they know there's great value in what they have not yet learned. so leaders always commit to being lifelong learners. and leaders raise up other leaders. and how important this is for us to remember. for the things that we value that we are passionate about, where we want to place our life's work and put our energy into those passions, it is imperative that we bring along a
generation of leaders after us who are going to have that same set of values. and be willing to invest the time and energy in learning from us how to keep that legacy moving forward. so leaders will always commit to raising up other leaders. with that, becky, let me stop and i will open the floor and take your questions and again, i am so thrilled to be here with you. thank you for spending a few minutes of your day with me. [applause] >> okay. now, we will take as many questions as we possibly can. i know we do have some men in the room and we're happy to have you here. >> absolutely. >> what i'm going to ask if we have questions from women first and then we'll open it up to the whole audience. so we have a microphone here. and we have a microphone back here. who's got the first question? well, i have one so how about if i start things off.
>> you start things off. >> one of the challenges that we have in our country today and it's a challenge for every home, as well as every business, is the issue about where in the world are we going to come up with affordable energy? now, this doesn't relate to your book in particular but it does relate to leadership in the congress. and i'm just wondering -- i mean, you've had your -- raised your family. you've been in business and now you're in the congress where they're dealing with these challenges, how in the world are we going to have economic growth in this country when energy is difficult to find and it's getting more and more expensive? >> and if there were a silver bullet for that, we would -- we would all have it. i think that there are so many -- so many options that are out there for addressing issues, the energy issues, that are going to be in front of us. certainly this is something that
is on the mind -- on everyone's mind every single day. i will say this, i think that the way you begin to work through any number of problems that we have is to realize that you have to put options on the table and not be afraid to fail. and in the book one of the things that we talk about is leaders are not afraid to fail. and as i've done the research work on the book and interviewed women from around the country, regardless of whether they worked in any kind of field, the law the politics, the music industry or the travel industry or the publishing industry or healthcare, whatever their field was, what i found was the way that they were successful in finding solutions were actually a couple of things. number one was that they were
not afraid to fail. i actually had a writer who had moved to nashville and i asked them why they moved from the midwest to nashville and she said well, nashville is a great place to fail. and i said what in the world are you talking about? and she said well, it's like this. it's a creative community. and you have engineers and you have scientists and you have songwriters and you have healthcare experts and you have researchers. it's a creative community and people wake up every single day saying, i've got a great idea. and they try to move that idea forward. and if they hit a stumbling block and they can't get around it, they regroup and they get up the next day and they still say i've got a great idea. there's no shame in failure. years ago, this was probably 12 years or so ago. i saw an ad in the "wall street
journal" which was -- i thought it was wonderful, it says we're not looking for people who have never failed. we're looking for people who never give up trying. and doesn't that say a lot about the american spirit? and our way of approaching and solving problems. we don't have that aversion to risk. we say that there is a risk that is out there and we know that. and we recognize that. and we take responsibility for moving forward on whatever that project is knowing that there is a risk but then when we finish it, we expect to reap the reward. and that is the way we have -- we have always approached things so not being afraid of -- not being afraid of failure is one of the primary reasons that i think that we're going to be able to work our way to new
solutions and being able to address that risk, realize there's responsibility with it and then reap those rewards will help our innovators to find solutions to all the myriad of problems that we have right now. anyone else with a question? >> all right. we have one here. if you'd introduce yourself to the congresswoman. >> sure. my name is katherine helzly. i'm a heritage foundation intern and a former clare booth luce intern. what do you think in your career is your biggest success and -- but also what is your biggest failure? >> i think that -- and that's a great question and i appreciate that you would ask that. i think probably the greatest success would be relationships and primarily relationships with my family. and making certain that those
are all in order before you begin to step forward. failures, you know, i think that -- i look at many of those as being challenges. and they were opportunities because you're always going to have doors that gets slammed in your face. so you have to begin to compartmentalize that. we're all going to get -- when you have things you can let it become a failure or you can let it become a learning opportunity. and the way you address that is how you're going to be able to assess it. now, we've all had elections that we've lost or a business project that was not as fruitful as we would have wanted to, but did we learn from that or not? or we've all had people that have addressed us in such a way that we just, you know, had a tough time getting past what they had said. and the first time -- and this
is a great example for that and then i'll come back and finish my story. the first time i was running for office i went in to see a gentleman and told him, you know, what i was going to do, wanted to ask for his vote, wanted to ask for his support. he knew that a woman had never, in her own right, put her name on the ballot in tennessee and run and won. at the congressional level. so he proceeded to tell me that my gender was wrong, my education was inadequate, my background and my training was all wrong, and that i had no business running. and then he dismissed me from his office. and i realized that was intended to be hurtful. and that was intended to be a roadblock for me. but i didn't let that stand in the way of achieving what i wanted to do, what i felt called to do.
i just used that as a learning situation so i think what you have to do is look at those -- what would be considered a failure and say, do i file 13 this and toss it aside or do i learn from it and move on? it's a matter of perspective. the glass is always half full with me. >> okay. over here. we won't forget you. >> i'm from the institute of world politics. i have a question regarding limited government. i'm also a supporter of limited government and i was wondering with this big expansion of federal government right now, what do you see as the road forward. how do supporters of limited government mobilize and kind of spread the word of personal responsibility? >> yeah. and i appreciate that. i will tell all of you as -- being a member in congress and writing the book we're to
address the book and not to address federal policy within the same tone with the book if you respect that ethics request that is made of us, i will respect it. i would say that every -- every step we make provides opportunity. it is our job to look at what those opportunities may be. i feel like this is an opportunity, a period of time when as i said women know that you lead people and we have an opportunity to lead people to encourage women to step forward and look for some opportunities to get in there because women right now are the fastest growing sector of our small business economy, are me