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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  January 7, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

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clinical professor at the department of psychiatry and behavioral science at george washington university presents a psychoanalytic study of president obama. it's about 50 minutes. ..
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after studying, the public face of obama, dr. frank has reached the conclusion president obama has obsessive bipartisan
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disorder. [laughter] and it is a neurosis of his, to a certain extent. his dream of bipartisan unity, but i just want to be contentious this evening a little bit and print one other prospective into the discussion. i just happen to be reading last night a new biography of eisenhower. i was reading it because the offer is coming year. and all of a sudden, i run across the author, jim newton saying about eisenhower that the quest for balance was the defining feature of the eisenhower administration. and he says, when i refer to them away, the balance i merely mean -- i'm sorry. he is quoted eisenhower here.
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when i refer to the middle way, i merely mean the middle weight as it represents a practical, working basis between extremists , both of whose doctrines are flatly reject. so contentious. i want to find out this evening why eisenhower strength is obama's heiresses. [laughter] so here is dr. frank to tell us all about it. [applause] >> no, no. stand. >> okay. some water. thank you very much for this lovely introduction, and first of all, since i am a psychoanalyst and not a political analyst i will not predict to is going to win in 2012. but i will say that what makes
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bipartisan, obsessive bipartisan disorder a disorder is pre-empting of the discussion of the book in a way, but what makes it a disorder is that it becomes the driving factor in everything he thinks and does, so he ends up -- obama ends up negotiating with himself before he even negotiates with republicans. that is one reason it is a problem, and the second reason is that he thinks -- and we will get into this a little bit later. he thinks that he can reason with people who actually are not interested in reasoning with them. they are actually only interested in defeating him and making him a one-term presidents he has this fantasy that he can reason with them and it if he just says it's the right way or gives them what they want it will be able to get along, and i don't think that -- that is what makes it a neurosis. the thing about eisenhower reminds me of something.
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i was not prepared to talk about eisenhower particularly, but in 1956 during the second election they were talking lot about segregation and integration. i don't know if you remember all of that or if you have read about all that. and stevenson said that he thought that integration in the south should take place gradually. kefauver, a southern democrat, said he thought it should take place moderately. and eisenhower proposed a compromise between those two extremes. [laughter] so that is my view on eisenhower. i wrote this book really because obama was a man who blazed
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across the national scene in the 2004 -- i had heard of him before 2004 because my son was a student at the university of chicago. he called me up once night after a speech in 2002 and obama was still a state senator. this card, he sounds like a psychoanalyst and talks about putting himself in other people's shoes and seeing things from their point of view. i don't remember his name, but he was pretty cool. in 2004 he give a speech which everybody knows when he talked about he does not see red state jobless states but he sees the united states, one country. it really struck a chord with a lot of people who had been feeling one way or another about george bush, feeling very bad about the elections in the supreme court, and there was a lot of division in this country.
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people rally to him, as everybody knows, but it turns out in retrospect that there were two obama's, and after he became president he was very different. everyone who is elected is boeing to be different from how they are when they run for office. you can't keep all the promises. but in his case, it seemed like he was even more different than that, especially when it came as the issues about negotiations, issues about appointments, issues about backing down on guantanamo closing, and also on the people that he hired to work for him in the beginning, which were all wall street experts who had worked from the clinton administration and were really part of the economic disaster that had been happening. so i decided that i would try to figure out what that was about and where that came from.
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so i started reading. one of the things that happened, actually during the primary when i was not thinking about a book of all, a colleague of mine suggested that i read dreams from my father. i have to say, it is one of the great books. i just adore it. and i've -- it was as good a book about the coming of age as an adolescent as i have read ever, certainly as a nonfiction book. although some people might think it is fiction. and so i decided, not only what i work by studying obama as a president, his behavior, and looking into his past, i will try to do a more intensive contextual analysis. and i spent a lot of time reading the book, reading the book, going over difference segues from one scene to another, things that i thought were blind spots that were left out. a lot of times i thought
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something was left out, and three pages later, there it was. and what i decided to do really was look very closely at who he is and who he thinks he is and what his efforts are to understand himself. basically in the simplest of terms there are couple of things that people just already know. one of them is that he is -- was a bi-racial child of a mother who was a child herself, 18 who had a black face and was raised in a sea of white faces. his father left home very early on in his life, was never really left with them. and then he also lived in several places. he lived in jakarta from the ages of 6-10. he was back and forth. he was abandoned by a father, taken away from a stepfather who was very involved in indonesian
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man who the mother also met in hawaii critical, and obama himself, he was extremely close to low, and he even talked about him in his autobiography assembly that was like the ground that he was always there, there was something elemental and 30. so he was essentially someone who came from a mixed-race, came from two broken homes. and the thing that really struck me more than those things which most people know a little bit about was how absent his mother was from his growing up life and at the same time help present she was. she was really intensely present when she was with him and intensely absent, and not because she was a working mother but because she was really a way , a long time, sometimes a year or two during is growing up. so he really had this experience
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of this intense relationship and abandonment. so he had to deal with abandonment throughout his growing up in one form or another. and because of that he was extremely sensitive to abandonment and to ballooning to groups, and he wrote about it fairly honestly. he wrote in a poignant moment about how he actually shows the way a fourth grade crocus make because people were saying that she is his grow friend. relief duster and disconnected from her. he is able to talk about that. and he even talked about fear when he was older. he said he was never really afraid of being physically hurt, even when he was in the middle of the projects in chicago. he talked about being afraid of not belonging to a group. that was his biggest fear, of not being connected. and he romanticized families.
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here is a person who wanted to be in a family, wanted to find ways for people to get along. wanted to heal his internal self. we all do. why do you think a lot of people become psychoanalyst's. we try to heal things in our lives from our past. so he did -- it's not like he's different from everyone else in that sense, but he really was dedicated to healing is internal self and was really also very focused on communities. so he was a community organizer because he wanted to bring communities together. it was fundamental to him, and he felt he could do it. that was the goal. he also wanted to marry into, the woman who had a real devotion to family who would not have relief for children. i think that -- and he would never do to his children what his father -- what was done to
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him by his stepfather. he made real hours inside himself to be different, to really make a difference both in his own personal life and to make a difference in the world. he felt that people could get along much better than they did. one of the reasons he felt that people could get along better than it did started from early on and the childhood. that is that his mother wanted to make sure that he was proud of his black heritage, and she wanted to make sure, since his father was absent, to know that there was a lot to be proud of historically about american civil rights and all that. and so she spent a lot of time talking about these things, picture books, telling of stories. they talked about the civil rights movement. but there was a story in particular that was important
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that was told to him by her father and corroborated by her. he calls his father ramps. ramps and pyroxene year were in a bar in hawaii. at that bar brock sr. was the only black face and the whole bar. and one of the people at the bar made a racial slur. the entire bar became silent. barack senior walked over to the guy. everyone was frightened there would be a fight. you know, like in a western movie your something, and instead of having a fight. ♪ sr. started talking to this man about the dangers of racism and how terrible it is to be racist. and that it is hurtful to the person who is the victim of the racism and that it is also demeaning in the long run to the
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resistance self. they become -- they dehumanize themselves. he was very clear. in fact, it was so convincing that at the end of this half-hour lecture, if you will, the guy was so moved that he bought everyone a round of drinks. that was a story that he was told regularly growing up by his mother. the interesting thing was that even though it's a mess because, you know, we don't know about it , after his father died about a year later he writes that he got a phone call from somebody who was at that part. i he said i've been trying go book you. i want to tell you the story about how amazing your father was. now, as a psychoanalyst i
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concede that that may corroborate. as a scientist we only have been in of to, but i think that might be enough. and it was convincing enough that the triumph of reason over hate and hate is based on ignorance and not knowing the other person that the triumph of reason over hate is so great and so possible if you just stick with it long enough. and i think he really firmly believe that and still does. that is -- that is to strengthen downfall. i think that there are some chapters in hear about that. i call him the accommodator in chief. bipartisan disorder. those are all qualities, but he has other qualities that are -- those qualities themselves really could be very striking a powerful. but the other thing that is very important is that he also seems
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to be uncomfortable having direct confrontation. one of the things that happens with why fathers are important, there are a lot of different reasons, but one of them is that fathers help their sons in particular learn to modify and moderate their own aggression. they help them learn the limits, usefulness. they can model various behavior, and they can help them. one of the findings that the psychoanalyst who has written a book called father hunger found is that children who are two, three, four, five without a father at home have more trouble modulating their aggression and managing it. what happens if you can't manage aggression is you become anxious or you kind of split off and become disconnected. internally from your aggression, and i think that is something that may have also happened to him.
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one of the things that is striking also is that all of us when we are developing have an either or experience in life. you're a good guy or bad guy. my kid used to say to me, do we let that person on television, or is he a bad guy? whatever it is, it is always comparing. this is the better, or is that? compare and contrast, but almost always like opposites. and when you are an infant the theory goes that we ascribe to, when you -- your experiences are segmental. they're like digital. so a baby when they're crying has never been happy. a baby when he is happy has never been crying. that is the feeling you get when you're with a baby who is totally miserable or totally joyful. and if the baby only has one
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mother they may link their image of that mother with of the crying more happy. so in order to manage their world they have to mothers, almost, good and bad. it's an either or. eventually as they grow older they realize something that woody allen called ambivalence. and they learned that they can love and hate the same person and be angry. that is something obama learned very deeply in one way and, in fact, give one of the most moving speeches i've ever heard about his grandmother in the famous speech on race in april in philadelphia 2008. the problem is in politics most nations of basically paranoid. most nations are either or. many leaders are paranoid. ronald reagan and george bush would be with us or against us.
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evil empire were good. obama is a both and person, not an either or. it is very hard for a both and person to lead an either or nation. and it is a great difficulty, and i think that is one of his major difficulties, which is how the lead and either or nation. you have to recognize that it is either or. there is a lot more in the book, but those are some of the main ideas. the technique of applied psychoanalysis is very old. it started with great, almost as old as the clinical psychoanalyst because it is essentially an experienced analytically of treating people who you could never get into your consulting room because they are either public figures or dead or sometimes even fictitious figures like hamlet
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who have a lot of analysts over the years. [laughter] probably still does. and -- but it involves reading everything about them, looking at everything you can about them , looking for patterns in their behavior, looking for different feelings that they repeat, looking for feelings that it aroused in you when you read about them and thinking about those things, so it is a very extensive exploration, and the difference with obama is that he actually did write the essentially two autobiographies, so it made it much more compelling to read him and to really think about him in a psychoanalytic weight. then i would compare the different things that i read with various behavior's that he exhibited as president and also comparing a lot of the things that he said verses the things that he did. and i have looked at that extensively. that is essentially a lot of the
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book. i felt that the last couple of chapters, what was very important was that i wrote a chapter called our obama and another one called their obama. and the reason i did that was because i really think that there are not just to different obama's, one candid and one president. there are at least two different perceptions. i was very interested in the dynamics of those and the factors that go into making them and help people on the left, liberal people see him. people on the right. and there are chapters on each of those. i was really thinking very much about his accommodation and i'm going to stop a second, but what happened was i was going to send in the book on a monday morning to the publisher to get printed. on sunday he made an announcement that he had killed bin laden.
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here i am talking about this bipartisan, neurotic president who is tough, and i called the publisher and editor. i said, you know what, i think we need another chapter. it became a very interesting project to do that chapter. and essentially it really is about -- the chapter is entitled mission accomplished. but basically it just had something to do -- it worries me a little bit, as a psychoanalyst , but basically i felt that he was comfortable being aggressive and being absolutely dead on tough when it's clear to him that everybody will support him. when he is not attacking anybody except when he is a candidate, then it's okay to tax people on the other camp would party. basically it's okay to do it
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this time, but it's not okay any other time, and it was very hard for him still to do it. but i'm worried about that conclusion or that tentative conclusion. i was reminded of sir karl popper, who i happened to have the fortune of spend an evening with many years ago. he hated psychoanalysis. and he had good reason sometimes. i thought that -- he said to me, look, if this glass suddenly started going up and there was no one lifting it up all scientists would have to throw out the theory of gravity. but a psychoanalyst would just find a way to fold that into their theory. i hope that chapter did not just do that, but it may have. there is one of the theoretical thing that is very important about psychoanalysis in general and that we all know about. that is something called repetition compulsion.
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in a conscious act whereby you repeat early problems the you had, patterns of behavior that you had in relation to certain people. probably in the attempt to solve what does not come out differently. and i'm struck by that in my own life. obama wrote something that absolutely shocked me even though i know about repetition compulsion. he rode in dreams from my father , so he wrote this in 19 -- zero, -- well, yeah, 1955, 1995. 1995 he writes this in one sentence. i have grown tired of trying to untangle the mess that was not of my own making. isn't that an amazing thing to right, given the fact that he inherited the biggest mass and
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sought to untangle the biggest mess in the history of any bodies lifetime. this is stunning. anyway, why don't we to stop there. there is a lot to talk about. people have lots of thoughts. i think this is a -- okay. >> we have a question right here. it. >> that sounds absolutely spot on. it confirms what i thought. my question is politically it has been disastrous for him. the deficit argument this summer where they backed him up, each time he agree to something they really did. they kept moving the goal post until he finally said, no. do you think he can learn anything? do you think he and we are compelled to repeat this until 2012? >> i think he is much better than mark twain's cat.
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mark twain said that he did not believe in learning from experience. he said the cat who jumps on a hot stove will never do it again of course it will never jump on a cold stove either. i think that in obama's case he actually is learning from his experience, and i think he can. i think that -- in fact, i said in one interview that i felt his single best therapist at this point would be john boehner because he would finally recognize that this man is only up to get him and the idea of a grand bargain is an idea that was initiated maybe even by boehner but is about eight seduction and abandonment. there is a pattern in a bomb was life of seduction and abandonment that i did not really get into the discussion, but it's in the book. his mother would be very close and then go away.
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if he can see that people are really just fundamentally out to get him without being -- it's okay to be a little paranoid, especially if you're the president. [laughter] in fact, if you weren't, you know -- so i think he can learn from experience. right now we are seeing someone who is not clear yet. either candidate obama coming back or he is actually the president who we have wanted him to be in the first place. it's not clear yet, but i think he can learn. i was so moved by that possibility, in fact that i decided i wanted to get him a copy. on friday morning -- the book came out on tuesday, and on friday i went to the white house and i tried to get the guard to take the book into have. it's a whole long story. it was pretty amazing. the guard said no. i had to mail it. i learned earlier that day that
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someone from the white house communications office could actually run out the person who did the interview of me and said to her, is this for real? and she, to her credit, wrote back and said, yes, and how is your mother? [laughter] so i like that. so i decided to find that guy's name. i called him out. i call the white house up. the white house was giving me all of this were merle. i talked to her, the secretary. and she said that the book would get there. i still had to mail it then. i was concerned because people like sean hand the -- maybe i was being grandiose, but if they were they could make a with it. they got a hold of it. i think it would be a bad thing, and he said no about it. they said, look, it would get here in a timely manner.
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i said, i've been living in washington too long. what do you mean timely manner? [laughter] she said, well, a week, two weeks. i said, well, i don't know what time the is to you or me, but what do you mean? finally i got so fed up i said, i'm going to go to the phone book and look up the guys address and just give him the book. the director of communications for the white house. so i hung out. about two minutes later the white house called me and said this is the white house. i got really scared. [laughter] and they said someone will be calling you from the white house. a few minutes later this woman called me back. she said she changed her afternoon schedule and will meet with me and let me give for the book. i said, okay. [laughter] well, a fairly big part. >> it wasn't in a garage. >> it was not in a garage. that's right. i finally said, okay.
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let's find a better place. she said she would meet at this coffee place on pennsylvania. i said, well, you will recognize me. i am an old bald man with a big white mustache. how will i recognize you? she set out be wearing a black trench coat. [laughter] and sure enough she was. she got the book. i hope you can learn from this. he is really great and lots of ways and maddening in others. >> obama from his family history and everything that we know and you describe, had many, many reasons to not turn out well. i mean, we know people who have very early dismantling and they're lives. they don't ever quite make it or they are not quite full citizens, you might say in society. i have known a couple of people
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whom i think, like obama, have made very well, of their life, and i think certainly he had. i am wondering what your perspective is on the factor of intelligence. people i know all seem to be of high intelligence that were able to see what was the reality and be able to go beyond. >> i think high intelligence is very important, especially in his -- especially because if something, you know -- i don't want to sound too freudian, but in some ways for right wrote about delayed gratification, and fought to my trial, action. if you can learn to think before you write to, and that usually takes somewhat higher intelligence, then you can actually move into action in a very different way and a much more mature way. obama, from his earliest days, was able to think.
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he had very good mother in the first few days of his life. even though he came from two broken homes, he also had a really lot -- a lot of really positive things. his grandmother adored him. she went -- she worked very hard to make sure he did his studies. in that sense she got a lot. intelligence plays a huge role. one of the things he wrote about as an aside, when he looks at a picture in a magazine before he reads the caption he liked to picture -- figure out what the caption would say, and that is someone who has a playful mind that this mark. he likes to think like that. i think it does play a role. >> i need your help in making sense of something. a big a obama supporter. i had been stopped in my tracks on the issue -- i've won't even
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name names. the names are inflammatory, but on the issue of killing of american citizens overseas, there are always going to be bad people in this country it threaten people. this is the first time in our nation's history that the executive branch in secret proceedings have presented evidence to itself and determined that american citizen is worthy of being killed without presenting any formal charges against the person or even revealing what the processes are for putting that person on the list to be killed, and i cannot square this with the candidate i supported in the election. it seems to be the beneficiary of some of the best our education system has offered who seemed to be himself a beneficiary of the 14th amendment. i feel like i have missed something very profound about
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his background that needs explanation. >> i do think that is a very important question first of all. something that has troubled me also. i think that is -- if he can someone anonymously express aggression and murderous this and a distance, he is somewhat comfortable doing that and it does override his sense of law because it's doing the right thing. one of the things that i did not mention in this discussion, but i think if you read the book you will see that he talks about how at times he will withdraw into a tight coil of rage, and he used that term. i think that the tight coil of rage is really aimed unconsciously at both of his parents, not just his father for abandoning the family, but at his mother, and i think that the
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rage at his mother is just so unacceptable that it has to be tonight or repressed or something. and so he box -- mach's people who think the way she did as his way of getting back of her. as far as the rage that is there, i think that it really is there. i think that bill marr has been made anxious by that great enough that he actually said something about it. he said, you know -- he essentially said that obama is telling people, don't mess with me. i'll, you know -- i can look you right in the eye and be very friendly, and then i'll have you killed. i think that is a message that is coming out. now, i don't know where else to go with that except that i do think that the source of it is that he is able to do that as long as the person is anonymous. because as above and person you can never know the person you want to kill. once he plays golf with john
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boehner, he cannot kill him. [laughter] that's too bad. not that i want to kill boehner. it's too bad that he can't just do what needs to be done, which is to make clear what the problems are and in them. >> i had a question that was very much related to the last comment. it has to do with both osama bin laden and these -- the use of the secret war. david ignatius wrote about how he is one of the presidents who has taken most quickly into understanding our intelligence system and all the secret stuff that is out there. we have all these secret armies. also what is interesting, he has been one of the presidents who has been most vociferous about shutting down and badly treating whistle-blowers and not tolerating any -- any kind of a tax or someone coming at him. and so i am wondering if you put all of this together, someone who cannot book criticism,
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having an alternative view out there. on top of this being willing to be a law unto himself, regardless of what that is. >> this is all is why i like to come to politics and prose. i think that in his unconscious, and this is, again, my reading of him, whistle-blowers are wiener's, complainers. they are not really responsible, help the people, in his mind, just the way he treated the congressional black caucus a couple of weeks ago when he said, you know, get out of your slippers and all the stuff. i think that it is because he was never allowed to wind. some of your here. you know. i hope they don't so much now, but i think that he never was allowed ever.
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his mother would not allow it, and i think that he has learned to not accept it. there is one thing yet that is part of the incident is important. he talked about how he, when i was telling you before about how we live look at pictures, he wrote about a guy and a magazine, a black man he tried to bleach his can. he started reading about it. he was nine years old of the time. he said he would -- was horrified that someone could take themselves so much that would want to change their skin color. he discovered that nine. he was horrified. the thing that is the secret thing that impressed me in the book is not the horror of it and not his rage. he wanted to tell his mother, wanted to ask his mother's boss. instead he read it, was
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horrified, and over the ten or 50 minute time friend he put the book back, and a little pile, smile on his face as if nothing ever happened. that is where it goes. >> killing boehner would not gain him any votes. >> no, it would not. so. >> i'll vote for him anyway. >> obama is a politician, and i think it's very important. i write also about psychology. and i think you have to look at what a leader like obama is a strategist. he is constantly thinking of what will work, when. he has had a vision from the start about what would make the country stronger in terms of infrastructure, education, science and so on.
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health care. and if you look at the nature of the voting public, there are 20 percent that determine the election. you have probably 40 percent democrats and 40% republicans who reckon felt that way and 20% and dependents. those independents elected him because they believed he would bring people together. so the strength that he developed, as you point out, from childhood and so forth, was exactly what they wanted to see. if he did not cry he would have lost immediately any support from this group. what he has been able to do now is to be able to say, as he attacks the congress and the republicans, i did everything, i tried everything. i went the distance. he has set himself up strategically to be able to really do a tremendous tight
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election. so i think it's very important, if you want to balance the understanding of obama to understand the fact that he is a very gifted politician and that has both from a human point of view, an ethical point of view its strengths and weaknesses. go back and read their excellent book about lincoln and slavery. uc also some of these same kind of contradiction is that you were discussing. >> i agree with that, and i do think -- that is why this is a very hard -- freud said don't ever write about a patient until the analysis is over. this is an ongoing situation. i think that had more time and a different publisher i would have spent more time with some of the issues the you raised. i think they are very important. i do think he is a strategist and thinks in the long run. the problem with that is that he also, until two years ago, until
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last year, until a few months ago seems to really denied the destructiveness. in fact, in 2010 he was getting people to vote against congress, not against republicans in congress, so the democrats lost the congress badly, but that was partly his fault and that he did not really -- was not explicit. one of the important things of being aggressive is to have it pointed and name what you're angry at and talk about it as opposed to the do-nothing congress. now, his complaints about the congress are very similar to what the left has complained about. it is interesting to think about it that way also. the do-nothing president who says one thing and does not get it done. i was really -- first of all, psychoanalysis is only one tool to understanding and expand our thinking about a person. it's not really going to take into account all of the economic
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factors, and he is a smart strategist and people have always talked about how he plays chess when everyone else plays checkers. i think that is probably true. it is a daunting experience to be working with someone who is that smart and thinking about him in this way, so i appreciate the comment. we will have to wait and see. >> time for one last question. >> a question about strategy. i don't know how many people saw lost in detention, but it was about the president's strategy on the immigration policy. and in that, a large number of people -- a larger number of people are being deported from this country. there were deported under george w. bush. >> yes. >> and the numerical being set for the number of people to be deported to the point where people, families were being broken out, and people who came forward as witnesses or victims
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of crimes found themselves deported. there was one very chilling part of that show where are representative of the administration referred to those families as collateral damage. >> yes. >> and i'm having a hard time reconciling that with the principal person. >> i think that -- i think that that is why i wrote the book, too. that really is hard to recognize that. let me say one thing. if obama could have said to bunt his mother, and i don't blame everything on this, but if he could have said, can you believe that people do this or if he could is said to his mother, what is more important? a boy or a remote indonesian village. if he could have said some of those things, i don't think you would necessarily be in the situation he is in now because i
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think he was collateral damage to his mother's research. and i think that that makes it very difficult. there is a kind of attachment that some psychoanalyst's are talking about more than ever before which is called a dismissive attachment, which is that if you are hurt in certain ways by a parent or sibling or whenever, instead of protesting and getting angry you shut yourself down and close off, and that is dismissive attachment. he does that, and his mother did that, and i think that's a problem because he can really see these people as collateral damage, and that is very disturbing. [inaudible question] >> can i make a comment? >> sure. >> when you talk about him as a strategist, maybe he is a brilliant strategist, but he has a strategizing black man. his involvement with jeremiah right had to have him understand
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some things about the dynamics of black and white america. it is a very delicate type of -- in the wake of the second, the blanket of night you can go from benevolent to the black monster that will devour us. so he really -- all his life. >> and particularly now. >> and the irony about that is that right was the one real significant in my view father figure he ever had after he left the way. he was a person who, you know, married he and michelle, baptized both of their children, had intense and substantive discussions with him, and he was also torn away in a certain way. i agree, it is a very tough balance. thank you. [applause] are going to do one thing -- one
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last thing because i think this is important. it's something i ran across last week, which is a "that is only one sentence. and it summarizes some of these issues. out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field i'll meet you there. [applause] >> you're watching book tv on c-span2, 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books every weekend. c-span donated the books covered on book notes to george mason university to bucket just outside washington d.c. the university is currently catalog the collection. book notes, an hourlong interview post them to the program aired from 1989 to 2004.
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the university library and shows us the collection, entitled be on the boat. >> in the mind of iran this book is the genesis, all the book note programs of c-span. by reading this book he decided that he wanted to interview the author, and that gave him the idea that of book notes. it would be worthwhile for him to read a lot of books and to talk to the authors. >> 801 total episodes of "booknotes," all are original, and this was the first official "booknotes", correct? >> exactly. he was, of course, the chair of the security council for the carter administration. >> host: when you pick the
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books to go and these display cases, -- who carried this? >> several of my colleagues in the special collections and archives area. they made this election. works to be highlighted, and they made the annotations accompanying each of the displayed items. >> host: when you put these books in the cases, did you look for varying points of view, like as c-span does in general? >> guest: yes, exactly so. as i mentioned, one of the
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criteria was to reflect the broad perspective involved in "booknotes", and that is exactly the point. there are various subjects covered in the 801 looks. and then secondly, many points of view from political perspective, social perspective, human interest perspective, all kinds. >> host: is this archive available for scholars or for the public to see? >> guest: it is beginning to become available. the library staff are in the process of cataloguing the collection. we are about 40% through it at this point. for the titles that have already been catalogued, yes, they are available to any student, faculty member here at the university. and, of course, because this information is successful
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through the world wide web. >> guest: and the united states and abroad, so you will be putting in on the website at one. >> guest: oh, yes. >> host: we have seen some of the books, but you also have posters throughout the library, and i want to start with this one right here. this is from the "booknotes" interview. what are we looking at? >> guest: we are looking at two pieces of paper. one is a page from a writing pad that has the notes about the book. then we have an envelope from a bill. it looks like the horizon. he also has made additional notes, including some personal information. naples, florida i understand.
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and i understand henry was the first person that employed bryan professionally in a professional capacity. so it shows that brian lamb maintained relationships throughout his life with his early mentors. >> host: well, let's continue. let's look at the full collection, if we could. again, we have posters. >> guest: the posters, to connect this part of the exhibit to the other part of the exhibit, which is the first building in this building complex that constitutes the library. >> host: can the public come through here and see these books? >> guest: yes, most definitely . in the other parts of the exhibit, which is outside our special collections and archives area. here we have three display cases
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containing materials from the books collection. in this particular case it is not just the books, but we also have what we consider archives part of the collection, which is related to the book of cornell west. and it is john coltrane, music, part of the music. >> guest: does all of the books have notes, such as this one that we see here? >> guest: it varies. i understand from brian originally he was not making invitations within the books themselves.
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he was making notes separately. he has retained some of those notes, but not all of them. later on, as the program progressed, he started making notes in the books themselves. >> host: now, in the long term , will that ankh fade, being as open as it is now? >> guest: well -- >> host: to the air and light. >> guest: all physical materials deteriorated. however, we have special collections and archives. we have a special environmental conditions to preserve paper. anything that is written on paper. so under proper chair -- care this writing should last for centuries.
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this particular book can only be used on site. the special collections and archives to which will be going later. however, we have over copies available in the general collection of the libraries that are available for circulation. >> host: more notes from one of the books. why did this one get blown up? what was special about this one? >> guest: we understand he is one of the favorite authors of brian. as you can see, from this poster, the blown up notes, he really became interested in this particular book, and that's why we chose it because of the significance as to the author. >> host: a letter to brian.
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>> guest: exactly, recommending that the book be considered for "booknotes." i should point out that the late professor was a professor here at george mason university. in fact, this contains another book by an mason professor, which is. [inaudible] which, by the way, is the only fiction book to be highlighted and the "booknotes" program. >> host: here are the rest of the 801 books, correct? >> guest: exactly. these are shelved in the order that they were in the office of brian lamb at c-span. also, they are in the order of the televised programs. >> host: so, beginning here,
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except for the ones that were taken out. >> guest: placeholders to indicate where they belong in this arrangement. >> host: and so these are the books in order to correct? >> guest: exactly. >> host: did you watch? >> guest: most definitely. i was a regular "booknotes" viewer. and win brian lamb announced on air that the program was coming to an end i made a mental note, and the next day i needed to look into the matter of whether we could obtain the collection and the associated archive from the c-span organization. soon thereafter we made contact with mr. brian lamb. we visited him. we presented three said proposals from
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2005 until 2010. and in the end we convinced bryan batt george mason university would be a good home for the collection. but more importantly he was impressed with what we were planning to do with the collection. this collection is going to be innovated with teaching, learning, and research. we will be working with several academic departments to make sure that this material is integrated into appropriate courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels of that our students will have access to


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