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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 22, 2009 1:00pm-2:00pm EST

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at think is our president as a father figure. you can do better than that. my fear is we're starting to look at our president for national leaders have sort of dear i say an overbearing mother, you can't do that on your own, i need to do that for you and as a dangerous place for american to be. >> host: we are in a dangerous place right now with the level of debt burden i think people understand especially with china, the u.n., russia saying let's remove the dollar as the international reserve currency, that would mean less demand for the dollar which could portend a not good things for the value of the dollar that americans are on in. peter schweizer, i want to thank you. my name is michele bachmann, member of congress, i want to thank mr. peter schweizer for joining us to introduce us to his book "architects of ruin". you can find more information at and thank you so much for joining us today. ..
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welcome to our tobler 1981.
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reagan's job approval rating was 57%. obama, 55%. in 1981 the democrats swept the virginia race is that were at stake, including the governorship to which democrats said hallelujah, all is not lost. in 1981, the new jersey governor's race was the closest in history. and tom kane, the republican pete jim by 1800 votes. history is repeating itself. no it's not. the reagan era, which was in full swing in 1981, to be best characterized as being un- yong, i'm poor, and i'm black. that was the real majority. to put it another way, white come a middle-class, middle-age,
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married, mom, dad, kids. reagan grasped that vision very well. and that vision was not just something that he grasped, but a whisper trade over and over again in the popular culture. whether it was leave it to beaver in the 1960's or the cosby show in the 19 80's. democrats didn't do well when that's a real majority was on young, on poor amah and i'm black. how badly? we know the record. but just bear with me on to statistics. democrats won 50% of the vote. only twice since 1970 and that was jimmy carter in 1976 and obama in 2008. not bill clinton not harry truman not john off kennedy.
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if we go back further on fdr, lbj, carter, and obama have received the 50% mark. i think the real majority that unyoung, unpoor, unblack it works well for the republican party. it worked well because democrats succeeded. think about for a moment. the new deal was geared towards a nation that was one third joe clark, ill housed, ill marist as roosevelt told us in 1937. in short, there was work to do and that work was successful. so that by 1980, we had a relatively prosperous middle-class suburban country that wasn't worried about what government ought to be doing for them, but saw themselves as the proprietors of government that taxed too much, spent too much, put on the green eye shades of
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government. and of course ronald reagan is such a good example of that journey, if you will, from new deal democrats as he was to expounding a reagan revolution. well, the real majority is over. it's over. three big revolutions are happening in the united states today. first, we've got a new demography and that revolution is a racial revolution. when the real majority was in full swing, nine out of ten voters in this country where whites. in 2004, that was 77% of the electorate which is one of the reasons i tell my friend mark shields watch that number, it's declining. and of course it declined even more in 2008 to 74%.
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partly because we have the first african-american run for president in barack obama. but that number was going to decline any way. why? because by 2042, whites are going to be a minority throughout the united states. by 2042, the census bureau a few years ago estimated 2050. they revamped that estimation out to 2042 and as a parent of a 20-year-old i think about what country she is living in. and i see it's already in the schools that she does do. because in our schools, she is a minority, being white. what's going on? immigration is going on. we have more foreign-born living in the state of california today than there are people in new jersey. okay.
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there are more foreign-born and new york state than there are in south carolina. we're not talking about little states here. latinos now outnumber him in many places, african americans. in fairfax county, virginia, we passed the threshold where latinos are the leading minority group. and we think that by 2050 there will be 29% of the total population in the united states. the old black white dichotomy, the ways we thought about race in terms of black and white. as coming to enact, population trends, immigration, that taking care of it. but it's also something else. interracial marriage. i grew up in the 1950's and 1960's and i remember one day when "time" magazine came in our
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mailbox and there was a picture of the daughter of the secretary of state dean rask, marrying a lack man. i was an extraordinary controversial. that happened just a few months after the loving -- after the loving versus virginia case which i describe at great length in the book. fast forward to 2004. here is the nephew of the president, george t. bush, hispanic, biracial, marrying a white woman in maine. interestingly, actually it's an interesting story because the race george t. bush and his wife, so far as i could tell she is white was never ever mentioned in any of the news report. but the portland sunday telegram in maine actually read an
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editorial noticing that the state was 97% white and that the children in the states, because of that lap of democratic diversity were missing out on something important. for in ten teenagers in this country have dated someone of a different race, not the irish boys dating the italian girl. three in ten say these are serious relationships. interracial marriage has exploded in the united states today. and barack obama got it. barack obama understood in 2008 that his race was not a liability. it was announced that in this new demographic environment. he said, i think if you tell people we have a president in the white house who still has a
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grandmother living in a hut on the shore of lake victoria and has a sister who is half indonesian, married to a chinese canadian, then they are going to think that he may have a better sense of what's going on in our lives and our country. and he'd be right. he was right. there's an old saying that demography is destiny. this racial revolution is huge. and one of the things, as i wrote the book, was i realized it was big, but i didn't realize just how big it really was until you've pored through the numbers. but also poor through the different stories that people have as they are bringing to the table. in that is everywhere. this is not in california a revolution or a new york revolution. this is a revolution that's happening in iowa and in kansas and in places we don't take a
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where again, a huge amount of immigration and interracial marriage and all the rest is changing our country. that would be a big story and of itself. and it's certainly worth a book in of itself. but then there's the family revolution. if you go back to that old, real majority. the typical american family with mom, dad, and kids, usually to. today at one third of americans describe their own families that way as being a mom, dad, kids, according to stan greenberg. the number one description for a family today is love, that people get. love. so when people are asked to describe what their families are in an open number question, the answer is love. i can understand that. if you go back to 1960, 80% of
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kids under the age of 18 lived with a married parent. now 69 and a falling. sixty-nine and falling. divorce rate has doubled from 1960 to 2000, but it's been pretty stable. interestingly at the beginning of our country, most marriages ended in death. now the end by choice. [laughter] 1960, 5% of newborns had unmarried mothers. today that's a third and rising. among african americans, of course, that number is very high at 68.5%. but other races are catching up very rapidly to that. between 1960 and 2000, the number of single-parent families tripled from nine to 27%.
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and again, that is rising. cohabitation before marriage. that was about half a million americans in 1960. 4.7 million in 2000, probably getting close to 10 million by the time we get the next census. two thirds of those born between 1963 and 1964 essay their first union was a cohabitation. if you think about that, too, we know the stories. and i'll just give you one small example. my daughter goes to a catholic school and recently they were asked in an assembly, the boys were taken on a field trip and the boys were asked how many of them wanted to get married. a very small minority of seventh graders raised their -- raised their hands. so actually i thought that was rather striking. today we have more americans who live alone than ever before in our history.
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you may have seen this week in the "washington post" on that. and the number one place for living alone is manhattan. so, if you want to date, if you're looking for someone, manhattan. look, this has a lot of downsides in our culture. if you listen to what young people listen to today, just give you a few of the claim lyrics that i can. popper roche, broken home. i know my mother loves me but does my father even care? blink 182, the song is stay together for the kids sake. what stupid palm could fix this home? i'd read it every day. good charlotte, who is actually from maryland. we kept dad's room. his things were gone, we didn't see him no more. one more. i blame my family, their damage is in the.
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so, this is a revolution in the family, but it's a revolution with some serious all of the consequences. i don't think we have fully dealt with it, but certainly it is an important demographic reality and that would be a big story in of itself. and we've got a revolution. and that revolution i think we forget how big of a story this is. phlegmy tell you one brief one. 2003, new year's day, we all get the newspaper stories. who is the first baby born in the states. 2003, don breaks 12:01 a.m. in the state of virginia. guess what? we've got a new baby. the first baby of the year. fifteen hours of labor, 5 pounds, 20-ounce girl, one
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minute after midnight, parents said, she's adorable, she's perfect, she's brilliant. these stories always read the same. but not that time because now the newborn had two mommies. after 12 years together, the couple decided to have a baby through artificial and then when the photographer came around and said well, we want a picture of the baby with the mom, the women said scheuer, which mother would you like wax [laughter] same-sex couples are 99% of u.s. counties report having done in the 2000 census about half a million couples and many more have to come in 2010. this is a big change. again, we forget how big it is. but let me give you some idea of how big it is. the very first question asked
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about gay was in 1965. the question was america has many different types of people in it. we'd like to know whether you think each of these different kinds of people is more harmful or helpful to american life or don't you think they harm things one way or the other. homosexuals, 70% more harmful. is it always wrong? yes, said 70%. how about adopting children 1977. this is when in need of brian was leading a crusade on this. they should not be allowed to adopt children, 77%. how about gay teachers in your school? 66% opposed that. suppose your child was involved in the gay relationship. 82% said they'd be very unhappy as parents to learn about that.
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what about homosexuality on television. 55% in 1989 were opposed to that. and finally, the first question on gay marriage came in 1994 and 62% were opposed to it. how far have we come? we kind of knew, i think, that we were going to come a long way on this issue as early as night he 98. because one of the best polling questions ever asked on the subject was, do you think that by 2025 gay marriage will be legal in the united states? 74% said yes. even though they were opposed to it, 74% said yes. that included 73% republicans
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saying yes, 74% of democrats said yes, 81% of independents said yes. and this revolution in gay writes which is also involve different formations of families. there's an old line that heterosexuals want out of marriage and want in. [laughter] this revolution is being really forged by young people. and there is a big generational split on this. for example, if you look at 18 to 29 euros versus age 65 and older, are you sympathetic to the community? it dropped to 43%. how about willing to vote for a gay candidate for any office wax 69% of young people say yes, 42% of seniors say no. here's another one.
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can two people of the same sex behemoth the same way a man and woman can behemoth? young people 65 yes, seniors dirty 1% yes. would you permit your child to play at the home of a friend who lives with a gay parents. a young people, 70% yes. seniors, 39 yes. ginny can a gay person be a good role model? this revolution is really being fueled by a values preference among young people for tolerance. and it's not just tolerance for this revolution, but that value of tolerance is also being elevated by the racial revolution that's going on in the country. it's been elevated by that family revolution that's going on in the country. and so where are we going. about a decade before he died, the republican strategist, paul
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ryberg, said sunday that was pretty profound. is that i believe that we probably have lost the cultural war. that doesn't mean that war isn't going to continue and that it's not going to be fought on other fronts. but in terms of society in general, we've lost. which is why even when we win in politics, our republican victories failed to translate into the kinds of policies we think are important. so we have a family revolution, a racial revolution, a gay writes revolution, and here's one more, a religious revolution. it's a big one because now what we've got are americans moving away from adherence to religion in terms of the location of it being in the institution or the building to be with in the heart of the individuals. and that's reflected in
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declining church attendance. i have a store in the bug and i'll just mention it briefly here. my wife and i have another home that we go to in fall river, massachusetts. we went to a large, catholic shrine on christmas day, kennecott, just like we always do. we brought our then 10-year-old. she was just one of two kids at the math. there were about 75 people in this large building. the priest said, we know it's very small because everyone went the night before, but it was still, to me, as a child of the 1950's quite striking. the writer, alan aaron holmes is your members in 1957 that its catholic church in his chicago neighborhood at 1100 seats filled, to capacity every sunday every hour on the hour. at 7:00, at noon, at 8:00, 9:00,
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so on. in 1958, catholics were asked or polled about their mass attendance and 75% of them said i go every week. one catholic bishop put it, when i grew up you had two choices, go to mass or go to hell. most of us chose math, he said. we know that only 40% of catholics attend church on any given sunday now. the number of young catholic church goers is dropped to just one in five. 10% of all americans today describe themselves as being former catholics. that is really astounding, given the hispanic migration to the united states. they should be bolstering the number of people in the pews. this does not mean though that we are not a religious country. overwhelming numbers of american side, i believe in god.
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82% say a person can be a good christian or without going to church. 56% say it's important to follow one's conscience. even if that meant going across what churches say or synagogues say and do. 53% say it's not necessary to strengthen religion to strengthen one's moral values. that's an interesting line. while mainline churches, whether it be roman catholic or mainline protestant churches are losing people. the mega- churches are packing them in. 10,000, 12,000, 20,000. either way, why are they doing that? it that they market themselves so well. they are a one-stop shop, not just to go to church, but to have their child care, to go shopping, to network. and the pastors of these very
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successful churches are very much aware of how they need to market themselves. rick warren did a wonderful job at this as the reports in his book. and yet despite all of that, we also have a country that's far less doctrinaire. even the mega- churches don't emphasize doctrine. in fact, doctrine is found upon my friend, ben marks colleague, david brooks. he has a line which he says americans don't want a last judgment with the almighty, you want a last discussion. [laughter] all of this really came to a head i think in 2008 and it's still there now. if you look at that old real majority, mccain did great. he got 55% of the white vote.
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that's usually enough to get you elect did. 56% of those are the reagan generation. those are the people that came of age politically when ronald reagan was president. he got 52% of married voters, 65% of white protestants, 55% of those who went to church weekly. but you look at that and you say, zero my goodness, this man should have been elected. and by the way 90% of mccain's vote was white. that would work very well, even as recently as 1992, as mark and i have talked about this. is that real majority had been in place in 1992, i'm sorry, if we had the 1992 electorate in 2008, barack obama would've
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lost. ed gillespie, the republicans get this, by the way. they get it, they just don't like to talk about it. but here's what he says, are majority already rests too heavily on white voters. and given that current democratic voting percentages are not going to allow us to hold our majority in the future. he's right. ken mehlman gets it, too. the problem is they get it but they don't know what to do about it, or they are struggling in terms of what they are going do about it. and the other thing that's happening is that with every passing year, ronald reagan becomes a more distant memory. so he becomes an installer of all figure for many americans. obama's america is emerging from all this. so while the book is about the 2008 election, it really is about us. it's about who we are as a people and why that majority
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that he got in 2008 is actually a very sturdy majority. let me explain what i mean very briefly. his job approval rating, according to the latest gallup poll, 55%, very healthy, very nice. 42% of whites like him, approve of his job in the same poll. 44% of weekly churchgoers give obama a passing grade. 59% of those that seldom go to church like what obama is doing. but what is doing him in the polls is 76% of nonwhites approve of his job performance. 93% of african-americans say we like what he's doing, we like and. hispanics, 72%, approve of his job performance.
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49% of those age 65 or older approve, a relatively low mark. but 60% of young people give him a high grade. young voters are absolutely crucial to the because all of the revolutions that i just mentioned are foremost in their age group and young voters are key to understanding the country's future. we know that with fdr because those young voters that came of age in 1932, 1936, stayed with the democrats. we can elsey signed that they are stained with the democrats when we get the very senior people. we know that reagan republicans, and young people that came of age in 1980, born circa 1964, 1966, cast in their first votes in 1980, 1984, give the
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republican party a very strong infusion political vitality. and the obama john constitute a basis on which the democrats can build a new majority. what we have now is the new real majority. it's barack obama's majority. doesn't mean that the democrats are going to win every race, as virginia may show a and new jersey might. that we are at the dawn of a new era. i'm not sure that we would've said that in 1981 about reagan, but we can look back at that, i think, with some sense of realism and say yes, it was a new era. one thing has not changed. in politics, demography is destiny. and that is something that was written about by scamming and wattenberg bareboat real majority in 1970. if you want to read our
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political tea leaves for the future, demography is destiny. it will be up to the democrats, obviously, to exploit that new demography, but the fact that they have that edge, that the politics is about us and them. and at its core, people have to think, this person is on my side. he is one of us. richard nixon was the subject of a biography by tom wicker titled one of us. ..
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i have a couple of questions already. while most of us would agree that tolerance is far preferable to intolerance, is in this new cultural individualism and cons with humanitarianism of historic democratic party values? >> yes, there is a great line which is that we have a two-party system in part because if we didn't they would have to be invented the.
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we have a republican party that, of course, values freedom and individual rights and is more libertarian minded. democrats have always valued those things to, but they also very much value equality of opportunity and i think it is that particular value in many respects that it is certainly on the rise in a question in the go through moments of our political history or it's not one of the other, we wanted all, but we go through moments where we are revising not our values and how we define them. and i think we are at all of these revolutions basically treating a moment now where we are rethinking, what is freedom, what our individual rights, what does the quality of opportunity really mean in this teenage?
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>> you didn't mention women in your talk is a group or a revolution. >> right. >> what use is happening to women as a group in this country? is there a coming revolution in lobbing that group? >> well, that revolution is very much under way in the process of convincing the book. of course, i didn't pay as much attention to that as perhaps i should have here but i speak a lot about this in the book and that revolution is happening not just in terms of gender roles within families whereby we have an increasing rise for example in which women are a primary earner in household and we have more house husbands. and that number is rising fairly to radically. what is the woman's place in our society? i right in the book that when my wife decided to keep her maiden
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name when we were married in the early 1990's that my mother who was a child of the early 20th century was totally appalled by that decision. i was just very glad the she decided to marry me actually. [laughter] education. the fact is that women outnumber men in college classrooms today by considerable number for every hundred 30 women there are about a hundred men. and these women are certainly moving along in a very fast career track. it is a big shift in the country. >> add a couple of related questions. once is granted demography helps explain obama's win, but will ache sustain him if he doesn't fulfill his promises and raise another way, can continuing economic recession undermine the
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politics of the demography that you describe? >> there is nothing like success in politics and the best thing that can happen two any party is they have some success but not total. if you think about it because then when you have a total success a candidate for office says the reelect me because i've had some success but there's more to be done and, in fact, that sustained the democratic party and fdr for long time. that may enact the rest of the new deal. by lbj that was pretty much over with safer health care. issues and politics matter a great deal and so the economy health care, afghanistan, iraq -- all of that matters a great deal for sure. there are two things so that political parties have to be very careful about to hear it in
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one is success as edmonton and the other is failure. [laughter] in between you are okay. failure is -- it her supported tremendously and one thing we know about the beginnings of a new era system that there preceded by a failed presidency. so i don't think demography is the be all in all but it's going to sustain obama and the democrats, it gives them a buoyancy in our politics that the republicans don't seem to get yet as a party. >> to use the demography having an impact on controversial issues like health care reform? >> guess there's no question, but i think that if you look it just health care and think about 2010 and the ships in demography that i described in 2008 may not show up as readily in 2010. where the electorate is more likely to be older where we may
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have referred a little bit more toward have that real majority. where is showing up is not so much in health care but in various gay rights legislation, several unions, a marriage, but it shows up also in policy questions dealing with heterosexual families and gender roles without any question. delete led better case for example. the beginning of the hola administration, the first piece of legislation and the president sign is a reflection of what's going on in our society and that he gets it. and i think that's a very important thing that presidents get these changes that are under way. most people who don't. they tend to think in that old mind-set. >> what percentage of eligible young voters actually voted to this last time? and how can they be inspired to
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vote as a group of blacks facing easily discouraged and rocked by not voting. >> we're looking at 2008 as 63 percent over all turn out. young people if i remember right were just above 50 or 55, summer in that range. that's always going to be an issue no question it is a big issue right now in new jersey and virginia because the shift of the demographics in this elektra's particularly in virginia where we are looking at that old real majority coming out to the left of republican governor it would seem and i think democrats would be very wise to tie themselves to the president because when they do that they will find that they may have greater success so midterms are not great but
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president elections are going to be very important in terms of turnout and i think we're going to continue to see that especially young people. if you get them wants the theory is you can get them again. >> well, we will say. what happened to the hispanic vote in the last presidential election and where do see the cuban of those going out? >> over all hispanics two-thirds for obama, is a big improvement for the democrats because bush won either 40 or 44% of the hispanic vote in 2004 but look what happened. in 2005 the republican house passes a law that says if you are a priest in helping illegal immigrants you could be charged with a felony. people get that message in a course in 2006 when people -- when bush wanted to do something about immigration reform which has to happen, we cannot send 12 million people back on a bus
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and we can't break up families. bush was so weak and some bush and rove understood the importance of hispanics. the problem wasn't just the failed policies but also the missed opportunities which are very real tragedy for his presidency and this was one and hispanics got that message. they voted democrat tim big numbers putting a hispanic judge on the court was important and immigration reform also matters in terms of sustaining it. >> the other question about the cuban boat, may be affected by the generation? >> exactly because of the fidel castro came to power in 1959. we are now to the second into the third generation. that issue has less resonance and as it does the importance of
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that vote in florida for the republicans has diminished, is diminishing in part because the issue itself seems to be fading and certainly the latest generation cuban-americans off to other things. >> how will the demographics affect the rise of a third-party , an effective third-party? >> obama's biggest problem is of the republicans -- this problem is populism. and it comes from the implosion of the republican party because what's happening is that when they had that old real majority in was also a real majority fuelled by the south. now they are locked up in the south and the more they are locked up their the worse off they are. and we see that even in the day now for 2010, if you look at
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generic congressional preference republicans are doing okay and the south, they are way behind replace house. new york state which had a sizable contingent of republican members of congress has three and a half two by the time we meet again. unbelievable. new england used to have lots of republican members. we are reminded of that with ed burke this week and now zero. republicans in congress. when that happens then you have this hybrid for all kinds of funny things start happening for people that were once rob -- moderate republicans moving to the republican party in the coalition and one is even more but it can lead to more factory within that coalition as we have seen in health care. >> he said one of the big revolutions was increasing tolerance particularly by the on. that doesn't go by populism and
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glenda back or any of those other things. >> it doesn't but i don't think young voters are paying that much attention. if you look at who is at the tea party use they are not young people by and large. what is this is their life experiences. the fact that they are going to school with diverse racial groups. that they are dating people of diverse races and think very little about it. indeed, the very definition of race is going to change so rapidly. i give you just one example, new gingrich understood this and when he was speaker he actually got a change so that on federal forms like education people could check more than one race. well, of course, that makes sense doesn't it? and how one defines one south. i mean, there are many terms for hispanics, latino, latina, and so on. the definition of race is going
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to be really slippery in the 21st century. not the way we have been accustomed to thinking about. >> you have quoted numerous polls in your talk. have you noticed any change in the public's willingness over the years to participate in polls? >> that's a big problem now with polls because you got so many hangups. who wants to be interviewed by pollster? what about noon -- to do not call us? so poles are trying to become more says ms. tecate and in terms of rain yourself on. i had won a ringing the other night about the virginia race. i don't know why, i don't live in virginia, but there was and i didn't answer it. i'm sorry to say. but there is more online polling. so the industry itself knows that this is a big import issue and yet there is still -- because there are so many of them you can screen out which
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ones are not so good and which are fairly reliable. >> here is one of the audience that says he or she soared in a queens the independent voter with the agnostic or atheists. that is them speaking. how did these groups get into thinking and i think that they mean the non committed religious. >> if you look at the secular, the people that aren't attending, you know, it's not a situation where is driven by a philosophy. whether it is liberal or conservative necessarily. we can find lots of a non and tending toward non mass going liberals and lots of a non church attending conservatives. i think there is this connection
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in that the non church attendance is defining religion for himself or herself and independence are also in some ways doing that in our country now and we have seen a rise in the last 10 months independence in terms of their affiliation. that is really i thank you to the implosion of the republican party which is still above a huge problem. so that if there is some disaffection with obama those independents aren't moving to the republicans, they don't find that an acceptable choice as we just saw on the nbc news journal poll more than interest in third parties. again that is why i say obama's biggest problem is populism. >> another question and on populism from the head table here. what are the factors are forces that are currently fueling this rice? is that the bailout of wall street or the auto companies? what else?
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>> thank you mark, that's a great question. [laughter] i would say that there was a poll done by peter hart that the week that shows in terms of the bailout the public was asked who was benefiting from that? it was they saw the auto companies, the big banks but not me. i wasn't benefiting from that. and that's going to be a challenge for this president over the longer term which is then to not only have to talk about values into it in the context of this new demography but where people see those values being made more real in their own lives. you go back to ronald reagan on this. even though 1981 was certainly the beginning of a big era in american politics, reagan's job approval rating continue to plummet in 1980 as the economy plummeted. when the economy rose seven made
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presidents that is on view our family and community and neighborhood and peace and freedom, all that values rhetoric stores to resonate with the public so americans are really practical minded. i love these questions. >> so that means once the job stars going things will feel better? >> but i also think that the majority that obama constructed is much sturdier than people think and so even though he is being buffeted by a bad economy, he is being buffeted by health care and how we're going to deal with that issue in the legislative process, he is being buffeted by progressive that's a your public auction isn't good enough, he is being buffeted by gays say you are not moving fast enough -- that majority he constructed is able to withstand
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those waves. >> my last question possibly you have just answered. it's a lot of those who voted for obama have lost enthusiasm for him this year. some of that's clearly inevitable and some of that -- you can -- can the coalition be put back together and you said it hasn't gone anywhere? >> i don't think it's fallen apart. it's still very much there and on that point if you look at where obama is today in public standing is exactly where he was on november 4th, 2008. so if he has fallen in is a short slide and i don't think that's line is going to be as rapid as the republicans would think they are hoping it would like to be. [laughter] because of that tomography, because of the fact that people think this guy is on my side, he's one of us, he understands. that is a hugely important in politics and to be likable.
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75 percent of americans like barack obama. well, guess what? 75 percent of americans back in the reagan years like ronald reagan. likability can never be underestimated as a huge issue in politics. >> you talk about the candidate you want to go have a beer with a window that nobody drinks beer. [laughter] thank you so much. john will be around to sign your books in the room back there. this is the book and let me give you a small token of appreciation for your talk. >> thank you so much. >> when is the last time you're going to feel good after a speakers bob? [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> john kenneth white political writing has been in the washington post, the boston globe and the christian science monitor. he's a politics professor at the
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catholic univ. of america. for more information visit
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a former vice president of lehman brothers is the inside story of the collapse of one of the oldest investment houses in america. this event is just over an hour. >> good afternoon. i am patrick robinson, i actually did the writing of the book. i am a ghost writer sometimes. i usually write novels but i have coaster ride about four books and they have all been pretty successful in this is the death. it is happening in a way that was real extraordinary. larry lived in new york and i was in new england and my son larry or france but james was back in our house and leary was far away across the ocean. in james said one day would you write larry mcdonald spoke? and i said i don't know what he runs to write a book about. he said you know he worked for
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lehman and i didn't, i knew he worked on wall street but didn't know where he worked. and i said it does he want a book about lehman brothers and he said he wants to blow the lid off of lehman brothers. and he had read lone survivor which was another thriller and i said if he really wants to blow the lid off of lehman brothers and he really no punches pulled, i don't want to deal with someone pussyfooting around making excuses for people, if he really wants to lead to rapid probably i and his men so tell him i would if that's what he wants to do so we got on the telephone and larry said he did, indeed, want to tell the entire hole and punish tail. of how with lehman brothers collapsed, the biggest bankruptcy in history of the universe. i said and then i would write that but you better get over here so he said when and i said now. so he left the following morning
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and was in england for dinner which is a very good activity. we started there. it was difficult because what i don't know about finance and wall street would probably fill fenway park. i just had no idea about the subject, i had never done a book about finance but the one thing that i have discovered it is that ghostwriters need to know as little as possible. experts write for other experts. historians write for other historians. and the first time is really happened to me was a few years back when john bertrand had asked me to read his book about winning the america's cup in 1983 for australia. i remember i said to him, john, he had read a couple of books of mine and i said to him, i don't know enough about racing a big boat to be able to do a story
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like that. and he is a big kind of iconic australian and he said, made, you've got the wrong idea, i don't need an expert, an expert. i need a bloke with a pen. [laughter] and that was actually -- i had never heard anyone say that and i thought that was pretty cool. so anyway, we walked away to that ended the biggest hardbacks seller in australia, the biggest bestseller for a year. when i came to my next book that i was going to ghost for the battle of the fall plan islands in 1982i told him of any success story he's an african angelina stand that. any said it is better that you don't know. he said i don't want to tell me
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what i did wrong. telling me how i should have done it. [laughter] and he said, we did this but i actually had to ask him everything because i just don't know that much about firing guided missiles, they destroy the argentine air force on down fighter-bombers. but we managed to do this and when he broke his total forward he said i have tried to tell my story as if i was recanting into an old friend and in this task i chose patrick robinson who was obliged to sit very quietly, very patiently into a great deal of listening, none of which are his great suits.
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[laughter] the first sentence in the book. but anyway, we did this and i really didn't know -- who does? you don't really know anything about its and firing -- it is the first on computer firing missiles. it is very high tech staff. since then really he has been my advisor writing these navy thrillers and some marine books. finally when i got to talking to larry about this realizing and even less about finance, i did not know when a bond was. roger more. [laughter] i called the admiral and i said, sandy, i'm about to embark on a book, on a subject about which i know absolutely nothing. he said so far as i can tell it's never stopped to before.
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[laughter] so very and i set sail on this adventure and he came over. it was the largest project ever done because not only did i not know anything about it i didn't know of his story while this. i did not know how we were going to get from a to b. i did not know the story. i know this bank and gone bust but didn't know anything about it in you is very difficult. he had to come over to england for times for about nine days each time. he left me when he went back to new york, left me to write for chapters. and that was really very difficult. my son stepped in as researcher


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