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tv   Former Senator George Mitchell D-ME on The Negotiator  CSPAN  May 31, 2015 12:00am-1:18am EDT

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process but it's another case is independence choose not to vote but they're conceding the outcome for a small group of voters to pick candidates from the parties. . . [inaudible conversations]
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>> good evening, i am bradley graham, the co-owner of politics and prose along with my wife. on behalf of the entire staff we welcome you. a few announcements and that would be a good time to turn off cell phones or anything else that might be. when you come up to get your books assigned come up would be grateful of us if you could look at chairs and leaned them against something that may not fall over.
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and by way of introducing this, let me just say that there is a lot of talk these days about the american dream not being what it once was. but george mitchell's wife she is certainly one example of how someone can rise from small-town origins and modest means and become a person of considerable accomplishment and influence. a lawyer from maine, senator mitchell arrived in the u.s. than in 1980 and nine years later took over as the majority leader for six years. in that time he was among the most respected members in the senate. actually there was a bipartisan group of senior congressional aides that repeatedly voted him the most respected member.
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but the story of the career of george mitchell as an elected politician only gets you halfway through his new book "the negotiator" come and that is because he has shown that integrity and problem solving skills would continue to achieve much even after stepping down from one of the governments most important positions. since retiring from congress and as we talk about the international committee members and performance enhancing drugs in u.s. baseball the use of them, a whole section of senator mitchell's new book is titled no time for retirement.
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and he offered four previous books, one dealt with his experiences in northern ireland another was the iran contra investigation and he intends to devote a future book to his work in the middle east. and so this and other key parts of his life don't quite get the full treatment in the negotiator . there is a collection of anecdotes coupled with a series of lessons at the end about the art of negotiation. those lessons alone are very instructive reading. and so i wasn't quite sure.
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>> ladies and gentlemen thank you and please welcome george mitchell. >> thank you all for being here. >> the title. when i began the negotiations in northern ireland i was the chairman of the british and irish governments. there was opposition by several of the parties in northern ireland who walked out when i came in to take this chairman
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and we have a controversial installment beginning and i call that a meeting for later that day and after the meeting finished, i telephoned the leaders of the party and they're all kinds of publicity, yelling at me and so forth. but they sort of thought about it and grumbled. but they did come back and so they refuse to call me chairman. and i said well that's a deal. and they said senator and so
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since then people have said how do you want to be introduced and senator is as good as anything. i want to comment on that kind introduction by bradley, as you might expect i speak often. i am on this tour this week and three or four times a day i get up and talk and after a while you get tired of hearing yourself. a highlight of the program is the introduction. and i said i will be brief and i said i don't have to be. [laughter] >> that there is a danger to it. that is if you hear this kind of stuff often enough it is
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unhealthy for your mental state and i like to begin with a story about introductions and how i was brought back down to earth. i served in that period of five years, i wrote a book about my experience i think that the last time that i was here when that book was published. and in that book tour i received a very large number of invitations from irish-american groups understandably. i learned in the process that in the united states there are more irish-american organizations than there are irish-americans and i picked out several and we
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are developed among them an informal competition. and sometimes rather fantastic introductions of me. the proper reaction, of course would be to show some humility, to urge them to keep it short and do not be repetitious. i had an improper reaction. i love that, i encourage to them i scolded them when they left something out one that took 35 minutes reading a long litany of everything that i had done in my life. and by the time i got to the very last stop on this tour it was the irish-american society
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of stamford, connecticut, i was very impressed with myself and my head was so swollen that i could rarely put it in the front door. when i walked in the first person i encountered was an elderly woman who rushed up to me very excited and nervous and then he said what a great man i was and how she did not live anywhere near stanford, she drove 3.5 hours just to come there and shake my hand and to tell me how much she admired me. as well as to ask me if i would sign her poster and she handed me a cardboard with a photograph on it and a pen and i said i will be very happy to sign your poster. but before i do it i think that there's something that i should tell you. and she said what is there. and i said that i am not henry kissinger. [laughter] >> there's a photograph of him with signs and pictures of me and she said you are not who
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are you anyway. [laughter] and so when i told her, she was obviously disappointed and said that that is just terrible and she said that i drove three and a half hours to meet a great man like this and all i got is a nobody like you. [laughter] and i said that i'm sorry you feel so bad, i wish it was something that i could do to make you feel better. after a pause she said there is. and she leaned forward in a conspiratorial manner and she said nobody will ever know the difference. [laughter] and she said would you mind signing henry kissinger's name to my poster. [laughter] and so i did. and it is hanging today in eastern connecticut is a daily reminder not to take these introductions to seriously. and so most of you have heard henry kissinger speak.
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so here's the best part of the story. about a year ago he and i appeared in manhattan henry seemed to enjoy it and we ran on with the program. and we found ourselves going down to the ground floor together and he said to me i have heard you speak often when you are a senate majority leader we appeared together several times and i have to tell you to never have i heard you better anywhere tonight. and he said that was the story,
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you should tell all over america and we do and we keep a list. and every time i see them we hand him an updated list. politics imposes on the next list. and so i'm fully capable of speaking of any link on any subject with no prior notice and i'm not going to do that tonight. because i do enjoy the question and answer time frame. and perhaps i'd like to read
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from it. and at an event in new york and he said what are you going to read and i said i don't know i'm going to talk and answer questions. and it's always good when authors read from the book's and i thought well, maybe i'm an author now. you have to find something to read. and at that point i did it spontaneously and since then i have a few days to think about it and so i read from the book and i wanted to recognize and pay to be to the role of my
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parents and my life. and with most of us they are the dominant factors in shaping what and who we are. my mother was an immigrant from lebanon, she came here when she was 18 and went to a small town in maine where her sister had preceded her in immigration and where many immigrants are pouring in because the textile industry was booming versus northern new england. all of the immigrants went to the middle as soon as they arrived. and so my father was born in boston of irish immigrants coming never knew his parents coming was raised in an orphanage. after several years he was adopted by an elderly couple from the state of maine who happen to live next door to my
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mother's sister. my father left school after the fourth grade and began at the age of 10 or so of a life of long hard work and my parents let a very hard life. but they had a dream. their dream was that each of their five children would go to and graduate from college to receive the education that they had never had a chance to get. and as is often the case those that have no education, had a profound believe in some respects an exaggerated belief in the value of education. and my parents are among them. my father was certain that we would lead what seemed like a
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life of luxury. and although they died penniless, they achieved victory. and it would be wholly unrecognizable because of that. not only because of them, of course we were very fortunate that they ended up in this country and there are serious imperfections that remain the most free and open and the most just society in all of human history and the closest any society has ever come no matter the background or status they have a chance to go as high and as far as talent and willingness to work and willingness to risk will take them.
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and i said in the book that i wrote not just america but two or more. and what i call the middle-class working class is disappearing. and there are two textile mills one paper mill, a large railroad in the town and within one hour drive there were 20 factories of one kind or another and there's
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not one today and i think that that is a microcosm of what has happened in communities all over america. and the technological communications and information revolution to which not as we but also society is passing it is as much a turning point in history as was the industrial revolution. and each of us benefits enormously from it in our daily lives. and as a society that has displaced work for many and we have not figured out how to replace those jobs are gone forever. and it seems to me that higher levels of knowledge and skill and therefore education are
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necessary to offset that enable us to have what are called mineworkers in the future. and that means that every american child should have the early care and the early intellectual stimulation and good education that will enable each of them to go as high and as far as their talents would take them. and it's not just that we would be helping the individuals because of course it is individuals that comprise a society. but that we would benefit from the talents of all the members of our society. in one of the most revolutionary things about the american revolution is that it established what we now take so
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much for granted that the only legitimate source of authority for any government anywhere is the informed consent of the government. and that was not the case for most of human history. and if democracy which is a demanding form of government is to take root particularly in what are now deeply troubled areas around the world and it is in my judgment crucial to the task. so it's your home and abroad but i think that we have to do better than one dropped drop in an ocean, i bet that this book will contribute to that. i would like to just read about
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a page and a half at the end of the book which i talk about my parents in the book is a collection of many things and a lot of anecdotes, which i hope you'll somehow find humorous and i describe my work in northern ireland's unum about a page and a half of the book my father's parents were born in ireland and my mother was born in lebanon. traveling to and from it has
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enabled me to meet the people among whom they live and to learn of their hopes and fears and aspirations. and it helped me fill and fill a void that i didn't know it existed before i traveled to lebanon and ireland. all of this came an extra benefit as serving for my country. on the hundreds of long flights to and from ireland and the middle east i have tried to imagine my mother's early life. what was it like for a young girl growing up in the hills of southern lebanon and what was it like. and i asked these questions while daydreaming about my father. going to boston to the cold forests of maine where is the
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boy he worked among men. and i wondered about his parents. much has been written about irish immigrants who succeeded in this new land little about the many who failed. and there are rock formations on the west coast had that been the fate of my grandparents and their parents. on a recent flight across the atlantic i saw the sun rising in dublin as the plane touched down and i was drowsy but my mind was awake with thoughts and dreams and fantasies about those whose blood is now mine. and then i thought of stories and familiar stories that always make me smile when it comes to my mind. and i was at a reception in my honor at a resort hotel just by the border of northern ireland
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and ireland. a bridge between them had been destroyed during the troubles and it had been rebuilt and it is not to be called the peace bridge and named after me. and though large and friendly crowd of well-wishers peppered me with questions about my father and his family. most reacted with surprise as well as this release when i entered i didn't know much about his family history. because to them, history is a living part of the president. a couple of them in the crowd suggested that i retain them in the business that specializes in genealogy and mostly for wealthy irish americans. and they say senator, they will connect you to buying this. and this wasn't ancient irish
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warrior king well known in irish history like we know george washington we all laughed. and it's all hokum. on the other hand maybe it's not. the other stories about my mother when she was growing up she often said to her children usually around the kitchen table, softly and with great nostalgia with mist and her eyes the you should see lebanon. it is so beautiful the mountains, forests the flowers smell better, lebanon my lebanon. after arriving in the united states at the age of 18 years old she returned there only once, late in her life after my father died. my sister accompanied her as she returned to the village where she grew up where they attended a reception and dinner with relatives and friends in the
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house in which she had been raised. late in the evening my mother was asked to say something and according to my sister my mother stood and paused and looked out at the large and happy crowd with great emotion. she said you should see america it's so beautiful, the air is pure, the water is clean, the mountains in the forest and even the flowers smell better. oh america my america. she had little formal education. she could not read or write english and she spoke with a heavy accent. she worked her life on the night shift in a textile mill but she was generous and loving and strong and wise. she understood clearly the meaning of america. to me, no one has ever said it better.
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oh america, my america. thank you all very much for being here. [applause] [applause] to i would be glad to take your questions contrary to what you may have been told if anyone wants to make a speech, please be my guest. >> thank you senator. i only have 20 minutes, so i will make this brief. i enjoyed the sections and you learn to treat staff not like small appliances but like human beings. so i love what senator ford used to say when someone would acknowledge the existence of a staffer moses leaned on his staff. but mitchell did not do that. >> i lean on my staff and i
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thrive. once in boston, as we talked about it you give me a pat on the back. my friend saw this and before i could give back to the auditorium come in the street credit i had was great. until i open my mouth. and the question is this when you are describing the irish and when you were up there -- did you see that and did you work there? and how did you deal with that remark. >> on my first flight of northern ireland i carried with me on the plane "the new york times" of that day and many
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criticize the americans of the lack of their american history. he described high school students that didn't know much about history they didn't know who the government senators were. creating the impression and i find that in ireland they know too much about their history and a desire constantly human and understandable to right the wrong of history. and we encourage people to be more forward looking, not to
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suggest forgetting the past which i think would be wrong in any of them. but just to give a little bit more emphasis to the future. and in effect having a person turning around and facing in a different direction. and the back is still there and so i can't say that i was responsible for any change in attitudes. over the course of the years that i was there almost all of those who are so strongly opposed became a renz. they reconciled. we shook hands and we hugged and we had pictures taken later in our lives.
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and whether it's the people of northern ireland and their political individuals. like most societies, their elected leaders there are ordinary men and women and many of them have done prison time for people on the other side who did brutal crimes. and that they they summon the courage to rise to the occasion and they did the right thing.
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many of them saw their career [inaudible] the society has benefited greatly, while it remains fragile there is not full reconciliation and the ugly wall that separates the two communities and the capital city of belfast is still there and will be for some time. and so this includes democratic and nonviolent means which really is all that we can hope or ask for it. so you can be sure. people still have to work at it. there are many decisions are political leaders have to make. but i think it's a great and healthy thing that they are solving them in elections.
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not by just bombs and bullets. so i thank you. >> first of all thank you for your work with major league baseball as well. but in the last several years especially since your report came out there has been a giant change, as a baseball fan i have noticed this from a decade ago to today especially the players association, the owners and the current players than elves, i thank you for that. i also want to know your thoughts on how would you compare this. that includes the international organizations like the international olympic committee, where are they better, where are they not so well. >> thank you. thank you for your nice comments. and i'm not able to do a
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comparison because i know thoroughly the baseball program, but i don't know thoroughly the others. and i believe that baseball has the strongest and most effective programs because of the tribulations that they went through to get there and i think that it is to the great credit of the commission's, the former commissioner that he authorized a completely independent inquiry into this, which no other sport has done. and i had told him that he had to understand that while we were friends i had to have complete independence and i was going to follow the evidence wherever it could lead. my report would say what i found.
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and he said i understand you will have that independence, and i did. there was absolutely no effort to interfere in any way. and i should mention and repeat really what has been a dramatic change in the attitude of the players which they deserve credit for. at the time i get my investigation, the players through their association were adamantly opposed to the investigation and they refused to cooperate. they would not talk to me, they would provide me with no documents. i tried hard to persuade them that the principal victims of cheating in sports are the athletes that do not cheat because they face a competitive disadvantage and indeed they have to face a horrific question of do i cheat or do i suffer competitively by not cheating.
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and it's now eight years since i did my report and they have undergone a dramatic change of heart and change of view and now they understand the benefit or actively and aggressively supporting a strong program with strong penalties and the commissioner and it has definitely strengthen the program. >> senator, i want to thank you. i have friends and relatives that are deeply grateful to you. and with all of this is about the scottish national party and its inclination to break away
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maybe that is an understatement, to break away from the uk and there are some political processes. and so we talk about the breakup of the uk. and do you ever see a time when possibly the uk will rake up and northern ireland will be on its own perhaps in some fantasy world the uk northern ireland would want to be part of the republic of ireland? >> included in the peace agreement which i and my colleagues drafted is a provision, which states that the political status of northern ireland can be altered only with the consent of the people of northern ireland in a referendum that is a free and open vote in democratic society that there
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has not been one even though 17 years have passed because it is widely recognized and accepted that a majority would want to stay as a part of the united kingdom with scotland, england, and wales. the minority view held largely by catholics commonly referred to as nationalists, is in favor of leaving the united kingdom and becoming part of a united ireland. and one of the interesting things that has happened since the agreement is that while the percentage of unionists who wish to stay in the united kingdom has remained a very high the percentage of nationalists who wish to leave the union and become part of this has declined somewhat.
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in part because they had been the victims of discrimination over the previous century. their interest was equality and jobs, housing and education which they are now getting. so for them, at least for some of them the imperative to join the republic has declined and that was accentuated during the economic difficulties that the republic went through the recent financial meltdown. but it is the fact that both of them have committed themselves to holding such a referendum when there is reason to believe that it might be change and it will be up to the people of northern ireland to decide. right now it's fair to say that i was just there 10 days ago and
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it's fair to say that in the immediate future particularly if the population stabilizes about 55-45 there is unlikely to be any change in that status. >> senator mitchell i feel some connection to you [inaudible] envy you are someone that is solving a lot of problems. but it may be the hardest. and that is what is happening in baltimore the last couple of
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weeks. and what is not just about baltimore but about all of our cities and maybe even a small town. and then i spent time in northern ireland and the middle east and also the balkans and it is my view that while every social problem is not exclusively economic or even primarily economic, underlying all of them is an economic factor. and the lack of jobs the lack of opportunity and the lack of
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hope. it is fuel for instability. and it creates desperate and portable population and mostly young adult men without any prospects of the future and so i think that that is true and so i think that although it is intensified, by the racial divide in our country. there are differences that exist in our society and i don't pretend to have the answers this has existed for our nation's beginning and we all end but it
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basically included provisions which confirmed and it took 75 years or so and then another hundred years for the changes to be changing practically. and my feeling is that we have to do a lot of things and if it is not education opportunities and jobs i don't think you can build a society when men and
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women don't have opportunity and i think it's impossible for young men with families to maintain a sense of self-esteem and i describe my senior year in high school when my father, at the age of 50 who worked steadily lost his job and was out of work for a year. it very nearly destroyed him and my family. and it was a desperately difficult circumstance. he seemed to shrink physically as he withdrew and became more despairing. and the change in attitude you
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apply to become president of general motors and he changed completely. as a result of that that has always been with me and i think one of the things that we can and must do is to deal with this issue of the absence of opportunity through education and skills, better to help people help themselves and to do things for them. >> one thing that i forgot to say is in the introduction i think something was missing and it's not just this and all the other titles. >> thank you. >> next time i'm here i will tell her you said that. >> hello george. there's an anecdote for the
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question. i was in afghanistan in 2009 when richard holbrook came in there and a special envoy there. and there was china and cutlery and everything. and happen to be sitting in the cafeteria and then we looked at each other and i think it was the right way.
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and i was on the senate banking committee stephanie were briefly on the committee and there is no concept of the national interest anymore and so can you see any way out of this situation? >> i do not for see any changes in the immediate future. and i say that with regret because i share the common assessment of how unfortunate it is that there is such a parent
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dysfunction in the congress. and i describe it in in my book the situation when i was elected senate majority leader and i said, you have been here 25 years and i've only been here a view years and and so i ask that you, when i tend to behave towards you do you behave the same way towards me. and so i outlined the simple standards of fairness and perjury. so never has a harsh word passed either in public or private.
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and so we let the senate aside the differences sometimes that and it never affected our relationship and that still remains the same. i think you have to put it in context that many people look back to history through rose-colored glasses and they imagine a time when everything was sweetness and light and everyone got along. that was not the case. a professor at the university of maine photo link the article and that includes the general campaign of the year, which two guys that ran against each other, thomas jefferson and john adams. the name-calling that went on was any in recent campaigns.
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of course that there were billions of dollars spent and tens of thousands of of negative television ads. so the impact wasn't what it was now. but it has always been tough and i thought it was very hard when i was in the senate. i could not imagine imagine it being any tougher. cover. but yet here it is much tougher. and so i hope that there will come a realization that while the leaders have an obligation to their parties and to the members that they have a higher obligation to our country and to the institution of the senate. and that it is possible in a responsible way as long as you remember. and the highest volume is the interest of the country. and there are many causes and i'm not a political scientist what i have learned in life is through trial and error and i would identify just a few of them in my mind.
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the first is that redistricting, thanks to technology now occurs and it was very precise. they had put up slides showing outlines of some congressional districts. and she likened it to the rorschach test and i don't think that he had the imagination to come up with some of these congressional districts. so what that has done it has been to move the pivotal moment in american politics certainly with respect to the house of representatives with the general election to the primary election. because of the 435 house seats and it's only about that between
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the parties in the form of compromise that got us where we are the notion that you can govern and he said yes, the other one is talking to the individual. and this includes the most rigid on both sides. but just had a hugely disproportionate weight.
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and that means that candidates don't run gentlemanly but the whole constituency in mind, running with the nominating constituency and mine because that is how the election is decided in their district. a second factor is the truly immense and i think i've seen amount of money that is put into our political system. money and influence have a role in selecting readers. but it has reached a point where it is degrading and corrupting our democracy.
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and the trust of the american people and their elected officials it has been severed. and i have asked this question all over america through audiences large and small businesses, colleges everything. how many people here believe that your elected officials in the congress are more responsive to their constituents than they are to the donors? and i have asked that hundreds of times to audiences that aggregate in the thousands. and only once about six months ago in washington when i asked that western did one hand go up. i was so astonished it was a woman and i didn't want to embarrass her. and after that i spoke to her
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instead i have to ask you you're the only person in america who has ever raised their hand. and i said can you tell me why and she said it's simple my husband is a member of congress. [laughter] and i wasn't actually true story and there's not another person that i've ever asked. young and old, nobody believes it, that's the corrupting influence of politics. and i believe that the sprinkler decision and the citizens united case will go down in history as one of the worst decisions ever made by any supreme court. and you have to have a copy of that opinion tried to read it through to the end i challenge you to do that. in it, what you're going to find is a description of the american political process that does not
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exist. it's a fantasy world. but there isn't any suggestion because of contributions. only the divine it in this outset that is true, but everyone knows that donors have influence and that is why they are donors. and essentially what they did was a group of nine guys walking down the street, and it's out of control now. i will conclude with this one story and it's like please,
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don't ever vote because i have a fund-raising meeting don't vote at 5:00 o'clock because i have a fund-raising reception come at 6:00 o'clock i have a dinner and i know about the dinner i went to hundreds of them as the guest speaker urging the donors to support whichever and so it was all backed out and i said if i accept all of your requests to not vote when you are doing fund-raising you can see from this that the only time that the senate can vote is between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. on thursday mornings. [laughter] and it was infinitely worse now, much worse, a mad money chase
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that is demeaning to the individuals and most importantly corrupting to the trust that americans should have on the political process. i thank you. [applause] [applause] >> senator mitchell. no need for modesty it's a personal question. and one of the personal characteristics that you feel have enabled you to be successful as a negotiator if he felt that that task was untenable and my follow-up question to that is what you refer to yourself as a
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negotiator rather than a mediator. on the second one i wrote a book which i titled growing up in maine. about the first half of a what ended up in this book. and i said i'm sure the people of maine would love it. [laughter] ..
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in these complex situations particularly that does do at the table on the process and own the result because as i said to them many times when this is over i'm leaving. i'm going back home. you guys are going to live with the results. in fact on the first day i said to them that if we are ever able
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to get an agreement it will be your agreement. it will be your words. i did not then dream that it would be two years of discussion that i had to listen to but when i and my colleagues draft of the agreement we were acutely aware of that commitment and every single word in the good friday agreement was spoken or written by the delegate from northern ireland. it was their process. it's their country, it's their agreement ended their lives that have to live there say you can't come in and assume a superior or condescending view. the second is it's a very hard thing in life to listen. sounds pretty obvious but you think about all the social conversations you have, you say
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something, someone else talks and while you are talking you are vaguely listening that you are thinking about what you are going to say next i can tell you from the painful experience that i've been through it's a very demanding task to actually listen. it's especially hard to listen carefully to people with whom you disagree or you don't like. i'm not a scientist but i know this our brains have for setters for information. and information that comes in that is consistent with our prior beliefs goes through wide open door is well received stored and promptly retrieved. information that is inconsistent with our prior believes has to thread a needle it's not well stored there's no index and it takes forever to remember it. you really have to work hard to
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actually listen to and give credit to and try to figure out why the arguments of those who disagree with you that's absolutely critical in these negotiations even though i had opinions on everything even though i didn't disclose them and i never was intolerant firm views were different than mine. in fact on the first day the large number of mistakes i made i said to them in a moment of hubris because i knew they had it not long history of not talking to each other in northern ireland a highly publicized walkout was a standard part of their politics. you make a dramatic statement you throw your paper stemming you walk out before the other guy can answer so i said to them trying to encourage them to stay and listen i said i'm the product of the u.s. senate where
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we have the rule of unlimited debate. i listen to 12 lower speeches, ten-hour speeches i can listen to anything you guys say and i will. how i regretted that statement. [laughter] over the years. you think about it, two years listening to the same guys saying the same things over and over again. but i never cut them off never shut them up. i listened to every word they said so i wanted to be able to say to them at the end nobody can claim that they didn't have a chance to make their case. nobody can say that they weren't listened to. nobody can say they didn't have a fair opportunity to persuade others. i think that was a factor in accepting me. bradley says one more.
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i have to say bradley it's not the length of the questions as the length of the answers of the problem. if you will indulge a couple more i will try to shorten my answers. >> it's a great honor to meet you. you give the world the great gift. ireland one of the most retractable complex. [inaudible] i'm not blaming you. in ireland i never thought the parties would recognize each other. i never thought the ira would give up wanting ireland unified. what was different about the mideast and what needs to be done it be done, is it hopeless? >> you would ask me that just like to after i committed to brief answers. i will do the best they can but i can't keep my commitment to you to give a short answer.
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about a year ago i spoke to a large gathering, about 1000 irish-americans in new york city and i said to them that i was about to make a statement that i never thought i would ever believe let alone say and it is that after two tours of duty involving several years in the middle east i had come to the conclusion that the average were really easy to deal with. the middle east is more complex. it's more difficult. there are more fact ears. there are more actors. there are many more external forces. there is no iran issue in northern ireland. right now islam is going through a very difficult period of internal conflict. some of it dates back to the
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prophet mohammad. the sunni-shia divide is not a religious argument. it's a political argument that arose upon mohammed's death in this succession contest for authority. it is now erupted fiercely notably in iraq and syria with devastating consequences for the people of those countries and all of these have a fax not to mention the arab spring not to mention isis and all of the others. so i think it's very difficult. it is compounded by the fact that there is not only a lack of trust, there is a haiyan at that level of mistrust between the israelis and palestinians and the israelis and arabs generally even though they share many common interests most notably with respect to iran positions of israel and saudi arabia are
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those with respect to iran but they don't cooperate and act upon that closeness because of the barrier that the palestinian issue presents to them. i have got a long chapter in a book about it and i urge you to read that. i would simply say that i believe that in this respect american policy is the right policy. it was well stated by president george w. bush who just before he left office went to jerusalem and differed -- delivered a speech which i encourage everyone to read january 9 2009 when she explained that the united states supports israel. unequivocally we are committed to israel's safety, security and existence lined defensible borders. at the same time we are committed to the palestinian state. israel has a state but they don't have reasonable and
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sustainable security for their people. the palestinians don't have a state and they want one. the president made clear and i believe this is a correct statement of american policy that the palestinians are not going to get the state until the israelis have a reasonable and sustainable sense of security but they can't get back until the palestinians get a state. so each has vested not only in its own interest but in the others because neither candidate pain is subjective by denying the other subjective. that's extremely difficult. both societies are deeply divided and there is a high level of press trust between the leaders of both societies but i believe that so much in both interest of their societies but ultimately they will reach agreement and a fully demilitarized palestinian state will be created and will live
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side-by-side. >> it's a miracle again, i never thought i'd agree with anything that george bush said. >> thank you for everything you have done. >> i'm glad i said we'd take extra questions. >> i am in maine are and i was writing my thesis that unit for city of maine i wrote a lot about how -- the maine democratic party not also finished working for senator mike mitchell. as you look at the results of the last election are there lessons we can learn and try to figure out what to do next? >> i'm a democrat because the principles of the party are closer to my own beliefs and those of any other party.
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i recognize we made many mistakes in our past as a party as we all have as individuals as well. but i believe that we will prevail at every level so when we are able to devise and advocate effectively for solutions to what i think remains the central issue i described earlier tonight that i won't go over to get in. it's not easy to do. it's very hard to do and i think we have strayed from not. in the particular case you were for two we have had the difficulty of third party candidates. as you know the governor has been elected twice without getting 50% of the vote in either election because there are candidates who have divided the boat.
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that's a more difficult issue to deal with because everybody has a right to run and there is nothing wrong or inappropriate about it but the effects can be adverse. i'm trying to shorten the answer answer. the last two here. >> hi. i may maine native as well born and bred so thank you. you are a rock star. we appreciate your lineage deeply. something that worries me as a mainer and this baby doesn't speak his or at least some of the other questions you have been more specifically towards being residents that worried me very deeply is there is a lot of brain drain going on. my four best girlfriends from high school all of us talk at your colleges and one of us found a job. the reason why they found a job
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is because they started the beer company with her husband and maine. one is a marine biologist. i'm a teacher in the other one is an award-winning journalist. so one of four of us have been able to live there. my partner -- the reason we live in d.c. is because this is where we can find work. where would love to raise my family and for them to be able to have the harbor master bring them back in his in maine but i can't do that because i can't afford to live there. it saddens me. i wondered what you're feeling would be a how we get our young people back to maine. c it's an issue. we have historically had relatively in relation to other
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states low levels of employment and income and people historically going way back to the second world war travel to other states for employment. and it's left the state. i think it's a microcosm of much of our country. states all around the country. i don't know what the answer is the full answer but i do know education is significant. one reason that's one major reason why i created a scholarship fund for needy main students to enable youngsters who don't have the financial resource to to go to college to do so and we strongly urge although we don't require that they remain in the state after graduation and i now give out the scholarship to a graduate
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for every high school and maine every year. we have already given out nearly 2500 of them and most of them are hopefully going to stay in the state. there is no simple or easy answer. it's not a problem that is unique to maine. it's in many parts of our country particularly the smaller and more rural states but i hope you find something in maine soon. we need you back there. thank you. the last question. how often have i regretted saying that? [laughter] >> first of all i will state that i'm not for maine. i'm from the state of nevada but in the interest of time and people who want to meet you and get their books signed i will -- [applause] >> will thank you very much.
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thank you all very much.


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