it's "offered words" with michael eric dyson, barack obama and the politics of race in america. mr. dyson's interview. >> the practical considerations were, on you get elected you want to get reelect. it's one to be elected the first black president but to get re-elected may be even more remarkable and even more difficult, and he had to overcome certain barriers. when he ran the first time he had no record. he was a senator for a little while but was a tabular -- a clean slate on which people could inscribe their hopes, dreams, ambitions and project on to his thousand body their ideals. but now, when you got a first term, you done done stuff. people like or don't like. theygen you or for you. they're supporting you or critical of you. >> into to tv.org for the
complete schedule. >> live now to a conversation with acting education secretary john king. he is sitting down today for an interview about k through 12 education with virginia edwards, the editor in chief of education magazine. the senate is scheduled to vote on mr. king's nomination to replace are in -- arne duncan. >> charmed with implementing the reauthorized k-12 law to every student succeeds act. so, please join me in welcoming secretary king to the stage. thank you. [applause] >> good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> that was low energy. good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> that's better. it's a privilege to be here with all of you great folks.
a lovely introduction, and education week for being a voice for students and educators, and also for being a place for constructive, thoughtful dialogue. we're not always going to agree on every policy issue in education in the united states, but it's important we have places for thoughtful, well-informed dialogue, and education week is exactly that. so i'm grateful to be here. also grateful for the opportunity to talk with a room of leader who have a tremendous opportunity to have impact on behalf of our nation's children. so, i know we'll get to a q & a so i won't speak long but i want to first try to frame a bit about our progress that we have made over the last seven years, some of the challenges we face, and the opportunities, the tremendous opportunities ahead. since the beginning of the administration, we have seen significant reductions in the dropout rate. the highest graduation rate from
high school than we've ever had as a country. thanks to leadership from folks in this room. [applause] >> much of that improvement has been driven by reductions in the dropout rate for african-american, latino students in particular. that is a very encouraging sign, encouraging we have tens of thousands more students who have access today to high quality early education than before the administration began. we had millions more students taking advantage of opportunities in higher education. we recently graduated not only our largest ever graduating class from college but the most diverse ever graduating class from college. that is also because of work by folks in this room. so there's tremendous progress to look back on over the last seven years. but we also all understand the scope of the challenges we face. the fact that despite that progress we have high schools in this country with graduation rates below 50%.
despite that progress, we see significant achievement gaps, persistent achievement gaps for african-american students-at lean to students, low-income students, english lerners -- learners and students with disability. we face an enormous challenge of mass incarcertion in this country. you look across this country, we are -- we should be leading the world in investment in education, and instead too often we're leading the world in incarceration. look across this country and see places where young people, particularly young men, are more likely to end up in prison than they are to end up going on to college. so we face enormous challenges as a country. education alone can't be the answer to those challenges. education is a part of the answer, and surely we understand that schools are imbedded in community and the challenges our communities face. the challenges of poverty, homelessness, inadequate access to health care. those are community challenges
that we have to face together, but schools can play a pivotal role. those who know me know that i believe that not only as a matter of public policy but i believe that deeply from personal experience as an educator, and as a student. i grew up in new york city in brooklyn. went to ps276. somebody from there. that's good. that's good. when i was eight, october of my fourth grade year my mom passed away. i lived with my dad, who was quite sick with undiagnosed alzheimer's. and he passed away when i was 12. and my life could have gone in a lot of directions in that period of my life. teachers could have said, here's an african-american, latino male student, family in crisis. what chance does he have? they could have given up on me and said the obstacles he faces outside of school are to great. what chance does he have? instead teachers chose to invest
in me and see hope and possibility, and created spaces in schools that were transformative. they created spaces in schools that were interesting, engaging, challenging, compelling, where we disproductions of alice in wonderland, memorized the capitol and leader of every country in the world. had amazing teachers in new york city public schools who are the reason -- that's right -- who are the reason i'm alive today. the reason i'm doing this work. the reason i became a teacher and a principal. the reason my life turned out differently than it could have if folks had given up on me. and it wasn't a straight line. when i was in high school, i moved around from different family members and schools, and i went to boarding school. i got kicked out of boarding school. i was angry as a teenager, angry, frustrated, disappointed. struggling with the experiences i had as a kid and my frustration with adults in my
life, and i got in trouble. and folks, again could have given up on me but they gave me a second chance, and so as we think about what education makes possible, not just about creating safe places that give students opportunity but also about having those second chances, that we never give up, never throw away one of our children. and so we are at this moment, i think, a tremendous opportunity with the new every student succeeds act, and i hope our conversation today will focus on that. we have the opportunity with the new law to rethink how we define educational excellence. yes, we know that english and math performance are necessary for long-term success but they're not sufficient. all the education not mean more than. it must mean a well-rounded education, what we all want for our own children. science and social studies and access to arts. and opportunities to have physical education and develop
personal health, opportunities for socioemotional learning, acquiring the kinds of personal skills that work so hard to understand and describe. we have to broaden our definition as a quality education and the every student succeeds act gives us that opportunity. and so we're at a tremendous moment where, as district leaders, educational leaders in your communities, you need to be part of the conversations about how we define quality, what it is we ask schools to focus on. we also have, i think, tremendous opportunity in the discussion in the act to focus intensely on issues of equity. the new law, every student succeeds act, is a civil rights law. an update of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965. it matters it was adopted in 1965. it in must be viewed in the context of the civil right act of 1964. the voter rights act of 1965.
it is a civil rights law intended to protect the quality of opportunity, and so as we implement that law, we must be laser focused on issues of equity. are students get -- low incomes or students of color getting the same access to advanced placementcourts and international baccalaureate courses. are african-american students and lated teen -- latino students subject to discipline, and are do they have access to social studies and science and the arts. are english learners getting support to acquire inning lush but to become bilingual. know that-and-search. they're home language is an asset. and our schools focused on ensuring they get those skills. we have an opportunity to advance excellence and equity through our work on the every student succeeds act. we also have an opportunity to think differently about school interventions. one of the weaknesses of child child child was a
one-size-fits-all approach to school accountability. if a school is doing poorly you must do x, which it mars or. no we have an opportunity to rethink that. states have an opportunity to rethink that. the department will said guardrails and the states make decisions what kinds of interventions happen if a schooling is struggling. if there's an influx of english learners that an opportunity to ensure teachers are ready to work with students to become bilingual. an opportunity to bring in teachers whod anded with english language learners to help hoch and mentor. and the schools in high needs community with concentrated poverty, an opportunity to ask, are there wrap-around services that would make a difference for kids? i was at sharps town high school in houston where they have an onsite health clinic and dental clinic, and they're seeing the relationship between better health outcomes and better student outcomes in their school.
so intervention could look different under the new law, but that will require thoughtful decisionmaking at the state level. we also have the opportunity in the new law to focus on expanding access to high quality preschool weapon know the return on investment is clear, eight to one, nine to one return on investment of high-quality preschool. states can use the new law and new resources which we propose in the president's budget to drive opportunities for more of our kids, particularly our low income kids, to get access to high quality preschool. but you have to be part of these state conversations to make them transformative. so equity and excellence. i want to ask two more things to think about before we go to the q & a. it's critically important that we all gather together our energies to lift up the teaching profession. we have to acknowledge that over the last ten years, the conversation around teaching has -- to teachers and
principals like they're being attacked, and we acknowledge that. and we have to ask, how do we change that? how do we shift the narrative around teaching? how do we make sure we're lifting up the teaching profession, that we're celebrating teaching excellent, creating time in schools for teachers to collaborate and do the kind of professional development, common lesson planning-watching video tape of instruction, looking at students work together, the kind of collaboration that places like singapore are using to drive outcomes, great outcomes for students. so how do we shift the conversation around the teaching profession? how do we ensure that our teacher preparation institutions are equipping student with the skills they need to succeed on day one with our diverse classrooms of students, as carol talked about. i we want teachers to succeed we need to make sure they have the preparation. if we want teachers to be able to develop, help the students develop, that needs to be part of the conversation in our teacher prep and school liter
prep programs, and we have to ensure that our teacher and school leader preparation is delivering a diverse pipeline of candidates. majorities of students in public schools are students of color but 18% of teachers teachers of color, and two percent are african-american men. we must do better. that is about better preparation strategy, better recruitment strategies and better retention strategies. and showing that folks have the working conditions and salaries and support that will lead them to stay. so, excellence in equity, lift upping the teaching profession, and then finally i wanted to raise a tremendous opportunity we have to tackle the issue of college readiness and college completion, career reddiness and career -- readiness and career success. we have done a lot of work together as a country to try to raise standards over the last decade, to try to point schools towards college and career ready standards and the new every sent to succeed act requires states
commit to career-ready standards but requiring the standards is not the same thing ace ensuring they happen day to day in classroom ininstruction, so we have to work together to make sure the experience students are having in the classroom are giving them the skills of writing and problem solving and critical thinking that are essential to college success and they're acquiring the kinds of skills around perseverance and grit and determination that will help them overcome the struggles they will undoubtedly face as they transdiscussion into college and careers and we have to make sure our school students, the high school social study teacher, connect what students are anything classroom to what they will do afterwardses. whether that's the ap class, dual enrollment program, kids in college classes while in high school. and the connection between high school and what they'll do afterwardses. so college and career readiness are our shared responsibility. there's work we can do in the
highered of indication -- not enough just to enroll student wes have to make sure institutions are focused on them grated weighing but in the k-12 sector there's more we can do together to innovated around ensuring that stunts are prepared for college -- students are prepared for college and career schism want to get to the questions and answers. three final thank yous. deeply grateful that folks in this room believe in the principle that all means all, and i would challenge each of us -- we do this at the department every day to reflect on he we say all means all, are we live that every day? when we say all means all do we mean the kid who just got from juvenile justice facility? do we mean the kid who has interrupted formal education and is many agreed levels behind and doesn't have english language. when with say all means all, are we taking responsibility to create school climates that are safe and supportive for our lgbt students?
and so this question of all means all dish appreciate that folk are gathering because we're committed to that principle and together we must live that principle each day. i'm grateful we're in a room of people that understand that the best ideaom from classrooms, not conference rooms. and we have to be vigilant about that. as folks make the transition from classroom to conference room, even if the principle is challenges. we have to make sure we live under the prim that teacher leadership -- this is what places like singapore are doing -- teacher leadership, supporting teachers and creating opportunities for teachers to help their students succeed is the central goal of our work, and that we have to build up teacher leadership. and finally, it's mother being in a room of people that understand the centrality of education to the american promise. who we are as americans, as place of opportunity and opportunity begins with schools. schools can't do everything but
it is to say that access to an excellent education is foundational, it is a civil right, and it's a pleasure to be to room of people who are not only committed to that principle as an idea but are working to ensure its reality every day. so, thrilled to be here. looking forward to the q & a. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, john, very much. so, we're only going to take ten, 15 minutes or so and so i'm going to try to be somewhat lightning round in my questions to see if we can cover a fair amount of terrain. but how many of you knew that john was on the kolbert didn't on cbs late newt last night? i stayed up to watch it. i state up. what was that like? >> very fun.
we were there for a donor's choose event, celebrating folks across the country who committed to pay for teacher projects that are on donors choose. very fun. the most important thing for my 12-year-old was that unanimous kendrick was also on -- anna kendrick was also on. my daughter was very precise. to meet anna kendrick and tell her how much my daughter appreciates her and wants to be like her. so i waited to meet her. mission accomplished. most important thing. >> nice dad, nice. so, what are -- in looking back ten months from now, what are the couple of things that you want to be able to say that you feel best about having accomplished? >> a great question. i think creating the framework and are guardrails for every student succeed act implementation in a way that empowers folks to make a difference on issues of equity in and excellence. top priority, and on higher
education, trying to in our work, our regulatory work and our work with congress, to focus higher ed institutions on not just getting students to college but through college to graduation. >> i'll rip off what you say and not -- just following mimes here. what's your timeline for the regular la -- the getting the regulations, and then -- you're going to be right up against even when you get the regulations, you'll have a -- going to be a gasoline administration. are you going to want to start being able to approve state plans before you leave? >> so, right now we're in the input and comment-gathering phase weapon started the negotiated rulemaking process, the regulatory process, around assessments and supplement, not supplant, we're developing a timeline based on input and public comment from hearings and requests for comments. our hope is we'll be able to create a good regulatory
framework and guidance framework by the end of the year and that states will then be positioned to have their plans in place for the 2017-2018 school year. >> so the end of the calendar year. >> the end of the calendar year. >> so by definition the next administration where most of the approving and moving toward implementation -- >> i think that's right. but our hope is -- one of our goals in this conversation is, folks have to start now thinking about what are those accountability indicators, the interventions, what are to the changes that people are going to make. that's not a conversation that should wait until after this whole regulatory process completes. >> i have had a couple of conversations witch people who say they're already on, like, state teams and how many of you are on state or district teams to work on this kind of work, to be able to transition? good. so, there is some. john, how do you think about the bully pulpit you have?
i'm very interested in this notion of what the narrative is and how you build demand, as you said, i think we have a lot of work to do to really flip that. how do you think about your role in that? >> well, you know, part of why i try to share my own experience is to make sure that we remember the difference that school can make for kids, and it's both a celebration of what is possible in schools and a reinforcement of the urgency we all need to have, because i have teachers who didn't know. they didn't know what i was going through at home. they didn't know how difficult environment it was, but they made school great. and every person in this room has somebody in your classroom or in your school building who is going through a crisis outside of school, and your building may the only place where they get a good meal or have an adult they feel cares
about them. the only place where they get to be a kid, and we have to remind ourselves of that and then have to say as a society their people who take on that responsibility ought to be valued and celebrated and supports. >> your were intentional about making sure your message was inclusive and one that was expansive in the way you were putting it out there. i think that that's been some of the problem in the way some of what has been going on in k-12. feels like we're trying to -- at times. i'm talking very generally -- show where the negative things are instead of saying, wait a minute, i can't we all -- so talk about this message of inclusiveness. >> yeah. i think it's -- we have the tendency to get into a lot of debates where we try to have good guys and bad guys. we sort of narrowly define the options, and i think in the way the new law helps us by saying,
okay, what do we think is bad? that do we thick is right? what do we think ought to define high-quality education and leave room for variations elm we have an opportunity to have a more nuanced conversation instead of a binary, winners and losers conversation. >> so, with -- are you saying -- yes. >> i still have been trying to figure out if we say s or we say essa. i'm actually deadly serious about that. i worry about these kinds of things. what part of essa do you think lawmakers and -- aren't paying enough attention to? >> great question. to two things come to mind. one is the english language learner and i think i covered
this bus i think has not been enough conversation about -- that now english language proficiency process is required part of the accountability system. essa requires folks to look at long-term outcome, and students who seem stuck and requires us to look at disabilities a category of students often underattendded to. so that's one. the other is the title 4 program, which is the grant program that folks will be able to use to do things like arts and school counseling and physical health and access to ap classes. very broad. that is an important conversation for states and districts to have now. how are people thinking about using those dollars to advance their definition of what great schooling should look like. >> so, as you know, ace well as anybody in this room, there's a lot of conversation bet the states' lack of capacity to be
able to take on what will we just by definition more work, right? the balance -- the pendulum is swinging. to some great degree from the federal government to the state government and on down. what will the department do to attend to the capacity issue? >> so, i think counselor school officers has jumped into this work eagerly. tony from wisconsin is the chair of the -- theme of the year, and i think they're very focused on it. we're trying to work with them to think about technical systems that will provide technical assistance, provide to states. i think one of the keys here is that the state level conversation means to be robust and needs to engage educators thoroughly. this is not about making tweaks to current systems, just to satisfy the new law. >> to get a check. >> exactly. so folks see this as a compliance exercise will miss a
very important opportunity. so it's good there were hands that went up you're involved in the state process itch wish every hand would go up. i think these conversations need be driven by innovative, courageous, local leaders. >> i apologize to you all and to john that this is very, very superficial but i am trying to lit some topics. talk about testing and accountability. that, too, is going to the states more, and the idea of different ways of piloting new approaches to assessment. >> two quirk thoughts. in the fall the president announced testing action plan with the idea, we need to acknowledge that in some places, yes, we think it's important for those to get information every year for teachers and parents about kits' performances but in some places the assessment has become excessive, and is crowding out good instruction, and one of the things we recently did was put out guidance on how states and districts can use existing federal dollars, a process where folks would audit what is assessments are given, decide if
they're all necessary, eliminate ones that are redundant and replace ones that are of lower quality, simplistic. so replacing a simple low level bubble test with a research project, or a science experiment that students write about, and write write about their analysis. so there's that opportunity. i think there's local assessment that we have to reflect on. and then the other piece around assessment, as states think about the -- we have to make sure that the assessments and work we're doing on curriculum instruction, line up with each other in a thoughtful way, and i worry that there's, again -- if folks just rush to satisfy the new law or rush to participate in the assessment pilot without thoughtful analysis of how the assessment work fit thursday their broader vision we'll have lost an opportunity. people say way want to do what
new hampshire has done because they're doing this work on performance based assessment but they've been at that for years, working close live with teacher ands principals. so this is something to think about now to build the system. >> you feel like you have best learned from your experience in new york as you're talking about the next stage. >> well, the idea of folks doing audit and bringing teachers and principals and parents together to look at assessments, we should have done that right from the start. we also had a grant program called strengthening teacher and leader effectiveness that was really asked people to use the evaluation work we were doing to inform, mentoring, induction support, professional development, coaching, and that grant program actually helps shift how people are thinking about the evaluation from just being about putting people into
performance levels, oh how to do we use this information to inform their work. i wish we had done that earlier. a recent study on tennessee on how they're using they're evaluation around teacher coaching. but that's powerful work, and we started that late in our race to the top effort, and i wish we had started that work earlier. >> so, i'm going to ask the last question. i had lots of questions, early childhood, career, technical. you did a good job of make sure the bells were rung. you and president obama have talked about a new federal program to incorporate socioeconomic ways of thinking about what integration would look like. there's been a little pushback from folks who want to make sure that's not a retreat from thinking about race specifically. talk about what your intentions are there. >> yeah.
a we have places today that are more than ever two decades ago. clearly some of that is what housing policy. a lot of that is about housing policy but many places where the schools are more segregated than housing because of systems of school assignment in school enrollment so there's an opportunity to think about what's happening in hartford around us. can a dual language program attract a diverse population of students? in an arts program attract a diverse population? career and technical education program.
can you take k-5 schools that is also economically isolated and make one a k-12 and achieve socioeconomic integration? my kids go to school in montgomery county, maryland, and one of the things i love about the schools that they attend -- that's good. the schools that they attend are both racially and socioeconomically diverse and it's because of intentional efforts by the adults in the community to make that happen. i think we've got to encourage that and that's what this grant program would do. >> it would be rfp that would put out guidelines for -- >> exactly. a grant program where districts or consortia of districts because there are places where the district line creates those areas. might be a partnership. they would apply, use the sponsor planning and, therefore, implementing new socioeconomic integration initiative. >> join me in thanking acting
secretary john king. [applause] >> thank you. >> as we leave this conversation with acting education secretary john king, a reminder that the senate will debate and vote on his nomination to replace arne duncan this monday. you can watch that live here on c-span2. a confirmation vote at 5:30 p.m. happening right now the funeral for former first lady nancy reagan at the ronald reagan presidential library in simi valley, california. speakers at today's service include president reagan's chief of staff james baker, former nbc news anchor tom brokaw and daughter patti davis. you can watch it live now on our companion network c-span and we will air it again tonight starting at 8 p.m. eastern time. also road to the white house comes with senator bernie sanders speaking to supporters at a campaign rally in illinois.
he plans to discuss his efforts to take money out of politics, making college education, tuition free. climate change and universal health care. illinois one of a number of states holding primaries this coming tuesday. watch live coverage tonight at nine eastern here on c-span2 your. >> i think what's so unusual is that if i can be sappy for a second, to be able to have professional and personal partnership over more than 15 years is really unusual thing. >> wic assistance to prevent and great vision in terms of editing is something i don't have and don't spend much time with her pastor closely to the crowd side of the equation. >> sunday night political editor susan glasser and "new york times" chief white house correspondent peter baker who are married join us to talk
about their careers and upcoming plans to move to israel. >> there will be a great adventure. susan and i were pure cheats together for the "washington post" we've done the overseas thing together before but we've never spent any time in jerusalem, never spent time in israel and i think we're looking for to learn a lot. it's going to be a real adventure. it's a part of the work that has so much history and so much of a vital part of today's issues. we spent a lot of time writing about it but we've never lived there on the ground. >> i will also basically be changing roles and continuing at politico in our roll around helping to meet our editorial growth and innovation. we are continuing to expand both in the united states and also internationally. just this past year we launched political europe. i came to politico to start politico magazine about to a half years ago. we started that. i think it's been a really exciting new platform to take us
>> and you saw prime minister and mrs. to grow arriving at the white house. that was live coverage. now the next scheduled event is about 7:30 p.m. eastern time in about 25 minutes and that's when they will come down the grand staircase for their official photo. they'll go up to the residencesi and have a little social type at this point and after that they will come back downstairs. but here in our studio in washington we are joined by luiza savage. she spent many years with "maclean's" magazine which was come is a canadian magazine. she's now with politico. ms. savage, what's the significance of the state dinner, or state visit? >> this is huge for candidate. it's been 19 years and this is the relationship that goes on every day. a huge relationship, big trading partners, energy company name it. n military. but canada never gets much attention in washington, d.c.or so to have the spotlight on this
relationship is a really big deal for candidate. and it's a particularly a big deal for prime minister trudeau who as you know is newly elected coming in trying to make his mark coming to get this incredibly warm and enthusiastit reception that we are seeing from the president it means a great deal to his government. >> his father has been to the white house a couple of times. the state dinner 1969, 1977. his mother is attending this dinner as well. >> that's right. prime minister trudeau is the son of an iconic canadian prime minister, pierre trudeau did a lot to establish what canadians consider the identity even today, multiculturalism, bilingualism. these are his big legacies any repatriated the canadian constitution from britain. a summit is also very controversial. he was seen as opposing the energy industry out west and some of the same tensions are emerging today.an this prime minister has a big pedigree behind in terms of
canadian politics and political history. >> what do we know about primeno minister trudeau, the current? >> we know he's young, very progressive. is a self-described feminist. peacemaking climate change a bi issue for his government. thank you someone who came to politics after wandering around a little bit through life trying on different roles. he was a school teacher for afid while. he tried at various degrees that he didn't finish and ultimately came back i was into canadian consciousness when his father died and he gave a very moving eulogy.om wan and people within the liberal party look at him and said there someone who can inspire our party again and eventually became the leader of the liberal party and now this fall was elected prime minister. >> is it fair to say was a bit of a dilettante, a wealthyld pot delacorte at one point it is like? >> i think that's a some people would portray. shortly when he got into
politics to the question was is this guy a lightweight? does give anything to say and w what does he stand for? he had a lot of work to do during the campaign to persuade voters that he actually had substance to them. i think he still even if you see the coverage that he's been getting here in washington it'se been very much of celebrity profile attention at a lot of pictures of him on social media. but his challenges we show the substance but i think he's trying to do that. >> luiza savage come you said this was a big deal for canada to have this. what besides the state didn't have what goes into a state visit? >> there are a lot of preparation, a lot of meetings. of course, every department of every official is looking forca what they call deliverables. what can they show for the work that the prime minister and the president can stand together and say here's what we've accomplished. so there was a lot of work going on especially i was on the climate change by both leaders
were at paris they are on the same page and both trying so hard to keep momentum going on this in both of their countries. it's not easy. and four prime minister trudeau wasim a champion for the issue of climate change, his own government says that canada ist not on track to meet its emission reduction targets that is agreed to internationally. he was out last week meeting with provincial leaders trying to get them to agree to level for carbon tax and that wasn't of these and they haven't agreed. i think there's so many parallels between him and president obama. one of them is its that moment where okay, you've campaign but now reality sets in and how do you cope with the idea, how do you put them into reality. >> as with all c-span programs we like to hear from you and get your input as well. we are going to put up the phone lines and try to work in the phones. we will watch the arrivals, talk with our guest luiza savage and
watch all the different events that are happening at tonight state dinner. but we want to get those lines up so you can participate as well. if you are a canadian are watching us we would love to hear from you as well. and you can also send a tweet and you can just make it at c-span, and we will find it and we will look for that as well. luiza savage, is this busy getting a lot of attention in canada the? >> it certainly is getting a lot of attention in candidate. it's been covered to death particularly big deal.
and here in washington of course there's so much competing news that's not getting quite as much attention. the other presidential race going on so this is always the challenge for canada is how to get on the american radar. this is a nice window of opportunity for the prime minister to come and raise his issues which include not just the climate issue but also border management, trade. so there were some announcements on that made with the president. so in canada everyone is watching this closely, will they not screw up, will they get what he wants, whether the any substance to deliver from this meeting?of and certainly they will watch it much more close in canada than here spent one of the substantive issues that seem to be playing out in canada now with the election of justin trudeau is the budget deficit and the potential for the deficit going higher because of some of the programs he wants to initiate. >> this is so fascinating to me because i was a reporter in ottawa in the '90s under the
last liberal government, and their whole focus was on getting rid of budget deficits, balancing the books because they're under so much pressure from wall street creditors who are raising their interest rates.s. pages and if they can't spending that's what the entire federal budget would have to go. so you saw the liberal leaders go to such great lengths to try to balance a budget. you thought of losing seats in certain areas as they cut back on government programs. it was such a point of pride and then they started to run surpluses. there was this feeling that this was that canada was going to stay in balance after that, and the conservatives came in. pay ransom deficits after the financial crisis. so it was quite interesting not only given canadian political history but also given what's going on in the world where you see countries in europe trying to rein in their spending, policies of austerity.
and here comes the world leader who says no, we think it's time now for standing and investing and particularly in infrastructure. so the argument that he made was interest rates are really low right now, this is a good time to do this and we think and sort of a stimulus type way this kind of spending can stimulate the economy and eventually pay itself through increased revenue. the problem has been that now they are on track to even greater deficits and what they thought they would have. and on top of that, it's a bad moment for the candidate economy because as you know oil prices are so low and this is a country that exports oil and is being hit quite hard by the decline in the price of oil. so that is a concern and that's going to put a lot of pressure on various policy priorities that this government has. how do you do everything you want to do when the price tag keeps going up? >> stephen harper was prime
minister for 10 plus years, correct? >> that's right. >> why do you think he never got invited out for a state dinner? that's a long time. >> first of all, he wasn't that kind of guy. this is not something that he liked to do, the pomp and circumstance. i don't think that was part of who he was. so that's one thing. and as i was saying, the canadian relationship is such ay everyday relationship, such a close tight knit one that you don't need a special dinner,n, e right? and toward the end especially of the obama administration that relationship got very frosty and it was as you know this whole tension over the keystone xl pipeline, which the obama administration was looking at and to look at it and you look at it and that process kept getting dragged out. every time the prime minister come here, he would be held it, how did he go in keystone? and he became uncomfortable and embarrassing. and, finally, in the end the president said no, get a permitu
for the fight went across the board which is something that's very important to the previous prime minister. >> this is a terrible segue but i did want to report on what the first lady is wearing tonight. go from th the keystone pipelino the address that the first lady is wearing. the first lady is wearing a midnight blue floral gown with asymmetrical draping signed by jason wu., for those of you who wanted to know that. that's what she's wearing and we will see her and about 15 minutes or so as she comes down the grand staircase with mrs. trudeau. who are some the canadians who are here? >> the are a lot of ministers from this government who are here.ou what's very interesting about this group is first of all, as i said, the prime minister described himself as a feminist and he is appointed a halfdinary female cabinet on purpose, which
is pretty extraordinary i think. young dynamic ministers and a lot of them are here with him to do a lot of women and a lot of very diverse cabinet. so this is really an opportunity for them to forge those relationships with people that they need to be working with going forward. >> luiza savage politico formerly of maclean's in canada is our guest and we will take a few calls while we wait for the obama's and the kudos to come down the grand staircase for an official portraits and will get to that.s what is maclean's very quickly speak with canada's national weekly news magazine, time "newsweek." and long-form journalism. so i was washing correspondent for some years and got a really close look at how the bilateral relationship actually works in practice. >> about $2 billion a day over the border between our two
nations in trade. let's hear from new jersey. >> caller: hello, c-span. our youth today? just to ask louisa a question,n, is it just me or is the canadiau delegation in the absolute antithesis of a trumpet rally in this day and age we are seeing progresses and sing young people. we are seeing folks of all different sorts of different sexes and different colors involved. as a fan of all things politics it's very refreshing to see good looking progresses on tv for a change. i would like luiza to comment on that, please spent i think that's true because a certain a very progressive and very youngs group of politicians. i think that's a big reason why the president -- i think he looks at this prime minister and
he sees in the version of himself. you heard today the prime minister talk about president obama, someone he is learning from. it's almost sort of a protége relationship that they been projected in which i thought war really interesting. but certainly prime minister has asked today about trump and potential president trumka and what would that mean for canada. of course, the guys talk about building walls although he says he will not build on the canadian border. he was very careful which was smart and he said look, our relationship is so close and so big that it transcends all it takes but it transcends parties and will have to work with whoever is in the white house and we trust the judgment of the american people. i think i was a diplomatic answer but i'm sure they coached him on that but it is to ultimately and i think both under republicans and democrats this relationship keeps chugging along. and, frankly, somebody, so many announcements and they did it on
some of these border measures to ease the movement of people and goods and that's been in the works for years, a continuation of something that started under the harper government and osha will continue under the next government in the next administration. >> ronald reagan and ronald maloney seem to have a good relationship. to state dinners. the president obama seems to found a friend, a real buddy. they seem to have really bonded. >> and they met before on the sidelines of other meetings and they have this warm relationship. as someone who's been covering this stuff for years, the big question that fascinates me is to what extent does it make aatr difference?get because there was a lot of speculation that harper and obama don't get along the candidate will not get keystone. how much is that personal relationship work when it comes down to it? some people say it's worth a lot, that when they are some key holding up an agreement or we need some help pushing something
to congress, that having the ability to call up the president and put in a were directly makes a big difference. it will be interesting to see what it means between these two leaders. >> otto von bismarck tweets a good night for canadian and american relations. hopefully trent one can work with whoever -- prime minister trudeau can work with whoever the u.s. elects in november. next call from brenda. >> caller: hello. good evening. i'm just watching -- how low? >> host: go ahead and turn down your tv and listen to the telephone. go ahead. we are listening. >> caller: i just wanted to say i am a canadian. i'm from newfoundland, and current prime minister, when his father was elected i came to the campaign and i was just a young
girl. it's so nice to see him come to washington. >> host: do you feel a special connection as a canadian to the trudeau family? >> caller: definitely.ll i was in montréal when he was yese minister. i was going to school there, and really enjoyed him being prime minister and of all his books. i keep up with canadian politics. it's lovely to see them. i hope to get to see his mom on television. i had followed her when she married his father back in the '70s. so it's quite a treat for me. >> thank you for calling him. margaret trudeau did not arrivel with prime minister trudeau and we haven't seen her come through and the booksellers everywhere the arrivals are. maybe you'll see her come
through but she's got her own story, doesn't she. >> guest: a very interesting person and a very interesting valley.eresting if you recall she married the prime minister. she was almost 30 years younger than him and she was known for having his celebrity party lifestyle and partying with thee rolling stones your they were such a colorful couple. but in the years since then she's been very outspoken about struggles with mental illness,ew and i think the public came to see her in the new light. she tragically lost a son. so she someone i think most canadians have a lot of warmthr toward. but pierre trudeau, i grew up in western canada in calgary and i then i lived in east and i think the attitudes i encountered toward him which is diametrically opposed. it was someone when i was a kid there were posters that was a wanted dead or alive in western canada because of his policies on energy that were seen very
hostile and harmful to the energy sector. where as when he was dying and i was working in ottawa. they were colleagues of mine who just in tears. han it was such an incredible moving thing. it was like jfk or someone of that stature. so very polarizing figure in certain parts of the country. pe what's interesting to see now is with the collapse of oil prices and with the difficulty that the energy sector is happening in building pipelines to get the oil from landlocked alberta out to coast, you are seeing some of those tensions resurface. it's interesting it's not in trudeau the sun is in power. it's a strain that runs through canadian politics that you don't have internet. everything here is polarized left and right. but in canada there's this undercurrent of national unity. is the policy going to help or
hinder the task of keeping the confederation together, keeping québec have the on the one hand, keeping alberta happy on the other. it's an interesting secondly to politics that you don't see here. you seek rumblings once in a while but no one takes it seriously. candidate came very close to falling apart. this is a very live issue and one that i think is going to have pay attention to very closely. >> host: it does sound similar to the u.s. where you've got an east coast. you've got the west side of -- >> guest: certainly ver' similar but i don't think anyone in america things that there is the slightest chance that some part of the country could actually break off. this comes very close to happening in canada. i think there's a lot more anxiety around it than there is here. here we can laugh, the west coast the red states but there is actually something that people take seriously.
>> host: that was when we are showing two screens can watching the arrivals live at the white house. that was former "saturday night live" in person and movie star mike myers who was arriving who is canadian by birth. maybe didn't recognize him with the gray hair.on is about 310, 320 million is the population of the u.s. which the population of canada transfer it's about one ninth of the american population and most of the population, most of theat population is pretty close to the u.s. border. everyone watches american tv an. feels that connection i think very much to the united states.r this trade relationship that is so huge, you know, hundreds of billions of dollars a day, and here we are in this situation now where the trade agreements were signed. nafta was signed.
the trade has been flowing of the problems become infrastructure. how did it that trade across whether it's the oil trade or whether it's trucks carrying goods for the auto industry.y. there's an issue with building a bridge between ontario and michigan to carry 10,000 trucks a day. these are the issues you saw in the presidential debate the issue around building electrical power lines to bringec hydroelectricity from canadat into new hampshire. that became a talking point in the republican debates about eminent domain and was going to take to build this. so that's the challenge now for canada and the u.s. >> host: i tweet, this proud canadian as watching this taken from a home in maryland. my parents campaign for pierre trudeau. at our next caller is from new brunswick canada. we are listening to what you have to say. >> caller: thank you very
much. it's a pleasure to speak with you. but i'm not in new brunswick. i'm in florida. hosting are you from new brunswick into winter in florida? >> caller: right. i must say it's just an absolute pleasure to view your program tonight and feel so proud to see justin trudeau it was just apo mesmerizing figure now on our lyrical landscape. and with his wife -- political landscape your give someone is going to bring i think a new jontier to our country and be very progressive and open to new aspects.t t he nom just speaking about the cabinet that he nominated to half of women is absolutely wonderful. it's also something i guess that i reminisced about his father having a close relationship with fidel castro. and now that america has made that open visit with president obama come and here is his son visiting with obama. i think it's history. it's amazing to be here and
watch it. >> host: you spend your winters in florida in the u.s. and to spend the rest of the year in new brunswick, correct? >> caller: thatcherite. >> host: where are the similarities? were other differences between these two nations in your view? >> caller: well, i think from the perspective of being really close with americans. i have family here in florida. the differences are based on i think that greater population o america and what's happening. some of the issues and again issue is also something we see with the great, great concern and worry. and again until it is always something. antistate when i visit in the winter how open it is to say you're carrying a gun. that's not part of our population at our culture at all. we find great difficulty with ta that.
>> host: thank you. luiza savage, anything you want to add to what she had to say? >> guest: i think it's interesting if you look at political attitudes in the united states, imagine if you to aligns the middle of the country and just had northern united states, bobby find a lot more similar in the political culture between the northern u.s. andol canada we see a lot more differences with politics in tht south. i think of it as if you took the entire american politicalft spectrum and just cut off thedl, far right and even some of the far left and just took the mushy middle, you might get something closer to the canadian political spectrum where people are morea. comfortable with centrist policies. i just want to correct one thing i said earlier. a it is 2.4 billion a day in terms of trade, and that is the united states biggest trading partner. if something like 400,000 people a day crossing the border.
.. ossing to and fro to work in detroit on a daily basis. for many people, the border is part of their daily life. host: that is the busiest border crossing between our two nations, the windsor detroit border crossing. ory >> host: there's been this interesting story for years andl years where canada has wanted to build a second bridge, into the middle of windsor where they encounter 18 traffic lights. and so they've been trying to build a bridge to take the traffic that's so important to the auto companies around that bridge, but it's owned by a private owner which is an unusual situation, and he collects the tolls.
and he's been fighting this both in the michigan legislature and in washington.hi and so recently there was an agreement signed with the governor of michigan, governor snyder -- who's now, of course, under attack over the flint water crisis -- but he signed a executive agreement and said, okay, i can't get the legislature to authorize this or pay for it. but if you, canada, pay the full freight for this new bridge plus highways in michigan, i can just make an executive decision to authorize it. so they're trying to move forward, but the current owner of the bridge continues to bring lawsuits and fight it in various ways. so it'll be very interesting to see if this piece of infrastructure is ever built. >> host: one of those issues you don't really think about. >> guest: no, unless you're in michigan.t but it is important to the manufacturing economy. >> host: all right. well, earlier today the president and mrs. obama welcomed the trudeaus to the white house. we want to show you that arrival ceremony.
[background sounds] >> good morning, everybody. >> good morning! >> bonjour! on behalf of the american people, on behalf of michelle and myself, it is my honor to welcome to the united states prime minister justin trudeau -- [cheers and applause] mrs. gregoire trudeau, their beautiful children and the quite good looking canadian delegation. [cheers and applause] [laughter] it's long been said that you can choose your friends, but you
cannot choose your neighbors.te] [laughter] well, by virtue of geography, the united states and canada are blessed to be neighbors. and by choice, we are steadfast allies and the closest of friends. [cheers and applause] the truth is, though, we don't express this enough; in part, because of our national characters. our canadian friends can be more reserved, more easy-going. we americans can be a little louder -- [laughter] more boisterous. and as a result, we haven't r always conveyed how much we treasure our alliance and our ties with our canadian friends. and that's why today we are very proud to welcome the first official visit by a canadian prime minister in nearly 20
years. [cheers and applause] i it's about time, eh? [laughter] [cheers and applause] and what a beautiful day it is, which is a little unfair. as president, my very first foreign trip was to canada, to ottawa in february. [laughter] in the snow. still, our friends from the great white north gave me a very warm welcome and, mr. prime minister, we hope to reciprocate some of that warmth today with your first official visit south of the border. we're joined today by proud canadian-americans -- [cheers and applause] we are a family, and this is also a special day for the many canadians who live and work here in america and who enrich our
lives every day.ways re [applause] we don't always realize it, but so often that neighbor, that coworker, that member of the white house staff, some of our favorite artists and performers, they're canadian. [laughter] they sneak up on you. [laughter] even as we remember what makes us unique, americans and canadians, we see ourselves in each other. we're guided by the same values, including our conviction that the blessings we cherish as free people are not gifts to be taken for granted, but are precious freedoms that have to be defended anew by everyprotec e generation. americans and canadians are brave men and women in uniform -- our brave men and women in uniform, have paid the price across a century of sacrifice from the poppy fields of flanders to the rugged mountains of afghanistan.
as nato allies, we stand united against terrorism and for the rights of nations like ukraine to determine their own destiny.r as leaders of the united nations, we stand up for peace and security and the human rights of all people. our shared values also guide us at home. i'm proud to be the first f american president to stand with a canadian prime minister and be able to say that in both our int nations health care is not a privilege for a few, but is now a right for all. [cheers and applause] and as two vast and vibrant societies, we reaffirm that our diversity is our strength. whether your family was among the first native peoples to live on these lands or refugees, we welcomed just yesterday. whether you pray in a church or
a synagogue or a temple or a mosque. where no matter what province or state you live in, you have the freedom to marry the person that you love. [cheers and applause] now, i don't want to gloss over the very real differences between americans and canadians. there's some things we will probably never agree on.whos whose beer is better -- [laughter] who's better at hockey -- [laughter] where's the stanley cup right now? [laughter] i'm sorry. is it in my hometown with the chicago blackhawks? [laughter] in case you were wondering. in case you canadians were
wondering, where is it? [laughter] and this visit is special for another reason. nearly 40 years ago on another march morning, another american president welcomed another canadian prime minister here to the white house. that day prime minister pierre trudeau said that the united states is canada's best friend and ally. w and one of the reasons he said is that we have a common outlook on the world. today prime minister justin trudeau carries on this work. as prime minister your election and the first few months in office have brought a new energy and dynamism not only to canada, but to the relationship betweenb our nations. we have a common outlook on the world, and i have to say i've never seen so many americans excited about the visit of a canadian prime minister. [laughter] [cheers and applause]
so with this visit, i believe that the united states and canada can do even more together, even more to promote the trade and economic t partnerships that provide good jobs and opportunities for our people, even more to insure the security that so many americans and canadians count on so that they can live in safety and freedom, even more to protect our countries and our communities especially in the arctic from climate change just as we acted together at paris to reach the most ambitious agreement in history to fight climate change. [cheers and applause] and, guided by our values, we can do even more together toe advance human development around the world. from saving a child from a preventable disease, to giving a student in africa electricity to study by. because as americans and canadians, we believe in the inherent dignity of every human being.
[cheers and applause] as always, our work as nations remains rooted in the friendship between our peoples, and we seet that every day in communities along our shared border. up in alaska, folks head acrossr the border to celebrate canada day. at the baseball diamond in alberta, if you hit a home run, there's a good chance the ball will land in sweet grass, montana. and up where derby line, vermont, meets quebec, americans and canadians come together at the local library where the borderline literally runs right across floor. a resident of one of these border towns once said, "we're two different countries, but we're like one big town, and people are always there for you." prime minister trudeau, justin, sophie, to all our canadianfr friends, we are two different
countries, but days like this remind us we're like one big town, and we reaffirm that americans and canadians will always be there for each other. welcome to the united states. [speaking french] [applause] >> mr. president, first lady, distinguished guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for this extraordinary welcome. thank you so much for inviting sophie and me and, through us, all of canada to join with you on this spectacular morning. thank you very much. [cheers and applause] i along w sophie and i are honored and touched by your magnificent hospitality and by the reinforcement of just howw powerful you are, mr. president, to organize such a perfect day for us.[lau [laughter]
[speaking french] >> you may recall that our government was elected on a plan to strengthen the middle class. we have an ambitious innovation agenda as we realize that revitalizing our economy will require investing in new ideas and new technologies. our plan will foster emerging industries, create good jobs ann increase our global competitiveness. that was the decade can plan and, of course -- canadian plan and, of course, it very much
resembles the challenges and solutions you've been putting forward here south of the border; a plan to invest in our country and invest in our people. it's wonderful to see that our american friends and partners share and are working on the exact same objectives. see, as our leading trading partner and closest ally, the relationship between our two countries has always been vital. as an exporting nation, canada is always eager to work closely to reduce trade barriers between our countries. and speaking of exports, we know with certainty that there's a high demand for canadian goods down here. a few that come to mind that president obama just rightly recognized as being extraordinary contributors to the american success story is jonathan towes and duncan keith
of the chicago blackhawks. [laughter] [applause] we've shared many challenges, and while we have agreed on many things and disagreed on a fewot ores, we remain united in a common purpose. allies, partners and friends, as we tackle the world's great challenges. whether we're charting a course for environmental protection, making key investments to grow our middle class or defending the the rights of oppressed peoples abroad, canada and the united states will always collaborate in partnership and good faith. his the history may be complex, but the bottom line is clear. there is no relationship in the entire world like the canada/u.s. relationship. [cheers and applause] our great countries have been
friends a long time. we grew up together. and like all great, enduring friendships, at our best we bring out the best in one another. and through it all, our enormous shared accomplishments speak for themselves. prosperous, free, diverse societies that have shaped history together. we could not be prouder of that past. and on behalf of 36 million canadians, i thank you all for your warm welcome. now, let's get to work on shaping our shared future. [speaking french] [applause] >> honor guard, attention!
luiza savage of politico is here with us. in eight years i don't think i've ever seen the president this excited about another former leader, seems like a rear bromance going on here. >> guest: it's really interesting to watch, just the way he speaks the words he uses. i mean, there really is some kind of emotional warmth here that you don't often see with meetings with world leaders. it's almost as if he's a younger version of himself, and he wants to kind of grab onto that solidarity in terms of their common political ideology, their common goals. and, look, i mean, this is a president who's about to leave office at the end of this year, so he's got a short window of time. the notion that he's got someone here that he thinks can help push his agenda forward whether it's on climate or on trade, you know, he's hoping to get an embrace here of the tpp at some point from the prime minister before it goes to a vote in the
congress. so he sees this as an opportunity to sort of push some of his issues forward and a kindred spirit, i think. >> host: and the prime minister has not endorsed that trade agreement. >> guest: no, it's really interesting. i mean, i'm pretty certain he will eventually. canada's an export-driven economy, and most of those exports actually go to the united states.ev it's a huge part of the gdp. it's really important. and so canada looks for trades. agreements all over the world.me so the idea that they would want to be locked out of this one is unlikely. but the thing is, this was an agreement that was signed by the previous government. and so trudeau came in saying he wants to consult, and he wants to have a vote on this agreement before embracing it. so you'll see that happen. i don't think on this visits he'll embrace the tpp, but i would be incredibly surprised if, ultimately, he didn't. >> host: we're going to take a few more calls before the white house toasts and then the dinner. so we'll put up the phone lines if you'd like to participate in
our conversation about tonight's state dinner. this is the 11th time that thee obamas have sponsored a state or official dinner. in the past india, mexico, china twice, south korea, japan, the united kingdom, france, germany and pope francis, have all been honored with a state dinner like this. and you said this earlier, it's a wig deal in canada, correct?cr >> guest: absolutely. this is really the coming out internationally of the prime minister, the embrace by the president of the united states and all the attention, the glitz and the glamour. you know, in canada, in canadian politics there isn't this kind of pomp and circumstance. the prime minister's not the head of state, he's the head of government.f he's a member of parliament. so this is pretty unique. this is the kind of, you know, big show that you really only see in washington. so i think everyone involved with this trip is very excited, and it's getting a lot of attention -- >> host: so who is head of state in canada?
>> guest: well, it's the queen is the head of state and the governor general is herad representative in canada. and it's kind of a funny situation because the governor general is actually appointed by the prime minister, but it's part of the constitutional heritage of the country. >> host: is there any power associated with that position? >> guest: there is some constitutional power when it i comes to, for example, calling an election. the prime minister has to go to the governor general, certain constitutional situations there is a role.in but largely, it's ceremonial and symbolic and not overtly political. >> host: we've been watching the white house lawn there with thel arrival ceremony and all the pomp and circumstance. where does the prime ministere live in ottawa, and would there be this kind of an arrivaller is ceremony for a state dinner up there? >> guest: the house at 24 sussex is not as big a symbol as the white house. but the prime minister has invited president obama to address the parliament, so that's where i think you wouldd
see all the pomp andhe circumstance if he chooses to do that. look, president obama's still very popular in canada. he made -- it's traditional, actually, for the u.s. president to make his first foreign visit to canada. and shortly after he was elected, president obama did that, and it was a really big deal in ottawa. he, they still talk about the obama cookies. you can still go and get them that were made for him. and it was just a really warm welcome that he got quite like this now that prime minister trudeau's getting. >> host: the president alluded to the fact that sometimes the usa takes canada for granted. do you agree with that, and what's the canadian attitude toward the state? >> guest: you know, i think in a way it's true, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. tha i think whereas the attention of washington, of the white house is on the problem places, right? it's on syria, it's on iraq, it's on afghanistan, it's
looking at the refugee crisis in europe, looking at china, russia and the ukraine. so this canadian stuff, it's so important economically, and it's important to the daily lives of so many families and so many people who cross the border together, but it's not a crisist it's not a problem. so it's not in the headlines. when it gets in the head headlines, that's not necessarily a good thing. keystone got in the headlines, it got in the presidential debates. and as soon as an issue gets into american politics, it immediately becomes polarized. and so it becomes this political football. and you don't want to be in that situation. because then you have to, one side has to win or the other. so it's actually not always a good thing to get a ton of media attention in washington. it really depends on the situation. you have to be careful, i think, dealing with american politics that are so divided between republicans and democrats right now.
>> host: but there are some substantial issues of potential disagreements; syrian refugees, keystone pipeline, tpp. >> guest: right. c the one where canada's really trying to make its mark internationally is responding to the syrian crisis. there are two pieces to this, one that the president agrees with very much and the other, you know, he's not thrilled with, but he's putting a positive face on. so where the president has really congratulated the prime minister is in canada's very bold move to take 25,000 syrian refugees. so by comparison, the united states -- which has a population roughly nine times the size -- is going to take or said it will take only 10,000 this year. so you can see just how big a difference that is. that'd be like here taking more than 200,000 refugees x. you've had governors here in the united states who have said we don't want any in our state because they're worried that this would
be a way for some kind of sleeper terrorist to get in the country.fois so this has raised some hackles on capitol hill. so the white house loves this. they're very, you know, congratulating him today on this policy. and the prime minister himself went to the airport to greet these families. it was a big symbolic moment. you know, this picture went around the world. he was helping them pick out coats, winter coats for the recently-arrived children. but on the hill there have been concerned about, well, what doec this mean for security, the u.s. refugee vetting system takes a year and a half to two years. and here the prime minister was elected in the fall, and as of february he's already taken in 25,000 refugees. so there are some questionss being raised in senate hearings. the senior officials at the department of homeland security, including the head of the u.s. customs and border protection service, have said that they ars satisfied with the way canada is
vetting these refugees. they're also emphasized that there's a lot of sharing of information about these people who are coming in, and they are testing them -- checking them against canadian databases, also u.s. databases. and they said for the most part these are are families, notes young men of fighting age as the commissioner put it. at politico we did an event and an interview with him tuesday night on this very issue, and he was quite adamant that he's comfortable with the procedures that are being followed here. but that said, you know, there's always an element of risk. and the fbi director has pointed out that when the refugees coming from the iraq war were taken in, a few of them did eventually get arrested on a terrorism-related charges. and in terms of syria, there's not, you know, in iraq you had u.s. boots on the ground.d you could collect intelligence. in syria there's a lot less information. so they have to work harder to put together some kind of
intelligence assessments. but that said, most of these families have come out of syriah have been living in refugee camps for a long time, so they're not coming fresh out of the war zone. but it's definitely something that the u.s. has paid attention to.. on the flip side of dealing with the middle east, you know, the prime minister has said he'll pull out canada's fighter jets from the coalition against isis. and i don't think that was a result that anyone here in washington wanted to see whenha they're trying so hard to keep a coalition going. so today the prime minister put a positive face on this, and hep said, look, canada's tripling their number of military trainers in northern iraq, and they're increasing their intelligence activities ther and that's all helpful to our cause, and we appreciate it. so that seemed to me to be a diplomatic way of trying to put something positive to say about something that i don't think they were too thrilled with. and in addition, successive american presidents have been
pressing canada to step up in terms of their commitments to spend more as a nato partner on military and defense. i mean, the nato members have said they should be spending 2% of gdp. i think canada's roughly 1%. and that's not just a president obama thing, that's, you know, over the years there's this ongoing pressure to step up for all the allies, not just canada, and do more for nato. >> host: luiza savage is our guest, and we're looking at the state dinner being held at the white house as we speak. the reception is going on now before the toasts and the dinner, and then sarah barellis will be entertaining at about 10 p.m. tonight. unfortunately, we can't get our cameras in there, but we're talking about some issues on this state visit. it's a three-day state visit, but there's also the social side that people care about. >> guest: right.t. >> host: we mentioned that mrs. obama is wearing a gown by jason wu.
elizabeth wants to know via twitter who designed sophie's gown, both the first lady and sophie gregoire trudeau look magnificent. >> guest: well, it's a magnificent gown, it was designed by a canadian designer who was born in romania, and the last name is matisse. he studied fashion design at ryier orson in toronto. >> host: well, jason wu is taiwanese-canadian. >> guest: there you go. very diplomatic. >> host: let's go back and take some calls from our viewers. gordon in medford, oregon, you've been very patient. please go ahead, gordon. >> caller: i just wanted to say how wonderful your coverage is. my brother, i have the honor of having a brother who was economic adviser, amongst other titles, to the prime ministere
trudeau, his father, pierre elhi development so i'm -- elliott. so i'm an old man now, and i just really am touched by the whole ceremonies today. >> host: gordon, thanks for calling in, and thanks for sharing.ar now, gordon, did you live in canada at one point in your life? >> guest: yeah. -- >> caller: yeah, i grew up in montreal. >> host: gordon, that's -- growing up in month central, part of quebec s is it a different world than it would be in western canada or even in toronto? >> caller: yes. >> host: why so? >> caller: well, when i grew up, it was very cloistered. we were not very progressive. it was in due plessy's time, prime minister du plessy who i considered a tyrannies. and he kept progress from
occurring in montreal or in quebec. but that's since changed dramatically in the late '50s and early '60s. >> host: thank you, sir. quebec. is it a different world? >> guest: well, i think so. i mean, this is a province that went from being a very conservative place with the heavy hand of the catholic-- church to emerging to almost the complete opposite, a very secular, very multicultural society that really is one of the most progressive, politically, parts of the country and really looks outward toward europe a lot and has a very different political culture. just on the dress, it was lucianne matisse. the first name was slipping my mind. but it's interesting, sophie gregoire trudeau, she knows how to do these things. she was a former tv present exercise did a lot of entertainment and celebrity television. so i think she's very much in her element on an --
>> host: does she have a full schedule during the state visit as well? >> guest: she's doing numerous things. today she and the first lady, michelle obama, did an event promoting education for girls around the world. they were at the institute of peace, and i think that's an issue that's been close to her heart and, obviously, one that is close to michelle obama's heart as it was for laura bush who was very active in educatinw girls and women in places like afghanistan. so i think that's one where they can find some common cause. >> host: and, in fact, laura bush was just out with a new book. she was in town today, out with a new book on women in afghanistan which you'll see in our companion network, booktv. about 130 people are attending tonight's dinner. it's being held in the east room because the state dining room is not quite big enough for everybody attending. some of the senators that are there tonight include senator hatch, senator klobuchar of minnesota, shared border,ne senator collins and king of
maine, large shared border there, and jeanne shaheen, senator from new hampshire is there as well, as well as minnesota governor mark dayton. ash carter, the defense secretary, ernest no news, the energy secretary. jeh johnson of dhs is there, samantha power of the u.n. ambassadorship is there as well as valerie jarrett. and the ceos of dow chemical, c xerox and ups are all at the dinner tonight. now, pete sousa is the official white house photographer. and we want to show you a photo that he took. this is in the state dining room. that's abraham lincoln, and it looks like it's well lit in entertainment colors there. that's a photo that he took. lincoln is ready for the state dinner tonight, is what pete sousa, the white house officiall photographer, says about that photo. tom's in st. petersburg, florida.
tom, please go ahead. our guest is luiza savage of politico, formerly of maclean's. >> caller: yeah, luiza, it's great to talk to you. i one of the -- i was one of tht few americans that probably watched justin the night he was elected there in canada, and how happy we were to see yourre country. i wouldn't worry about any advice from the barack obamafroe administration militarily. he doesn't have too many great successes. d and the good news for the people of canada is in november we're going to be electing the century 21 real estate agent. that ought to be fun for the canadian people. thank you for taking my call. >> guest: well, i have to say there's just enormous, enormous interest in canada and this election and kind of a fascination with the whole republican race with donald trump, and there's a lot of test also in bernie sanders.
so they're watching it closely. a lot of jokes about, you know, we'll be the ones to build the wall -- [laughter]th on the border if there's a trump administration. you know, it's interesting to listen to trump from a canadian perspective or someone who's certainly followed the issues between the u.s. and canada. he makes trade sound like the zero sum game, they're beating us or we're winning. and if you look at the way trade works between canada and the united states, it's not that canada's building a bunch of stuff and selling it to the united states or vice versa. so much of this is building things together, and they call them integrated supply chains, right? and so you see -- that's why you have a company like ups, right? they really care about moving things across the border. and you have companies like campbells soup where they grow the tomatoes in one country and process them and can them juste like the auto industry makes their things across the border.
so that kind of rhetoric just doesn't jive with the reality on the ground that both canadian and american companies see. canada's the biggest export market for, i think, more than 30 states. so there are a lot of jobs that actually relate to trade with canada. so the idea that either one country has to win or the other loses, it just doesn't really reflect the reality on the ground, i think. >> host: they say $2 billion a day flow between the borderssa when it comes to trade and issues like that. loren michaels of saturday night live and mike myers, the actor, are both attending tonight's dinner. michael j. forbes another famous canadian -- fox, another famous canadian, and his wife are also at the dinner tonight. halibut, apricot with appalachian cheese, baby lamb chops and maple pecan cake are being served tonight. there's the official menu on the screen as we take this call from stuart in naples, florida. go ahead, stuart.
>> caller: good evening. ms. savage, you have passion and purpose. you're a great public speaker. i was on c-span with general colin powell a few years back, so i appreciate everything that c-span does. the dynasty of the trudeau family is incredible. showing the picture when he was a baby and knowing he's in office now, it shows you in life that anybody can run for offices or be in office. and, but the fact is a continuation of the family, i think, is amazing. so god bless him.le i first went to canada in 1967, expo, and i met a young lady, and i dated her. i used to drive up there every weekend, 400 miles. that's true love. but the canadians are great people, very friendly, and i found the city of montreal -- i used to study at ma gill at the library -- mcgill at the library: and everybody went out of their way to help you. they didn't just point and say it's down there.
they walked you to show you where the office was or where a store was, whatever it was., so god bless canada and what we do financially in shipping and everything else. i had helped governor rockefeller get reelected, and in closing, i also just want to -- because i help toys 4 to thes with the marines for 35 years. i do the luncheon at the 21 club in new york. and prince albert's a friend of mine, and i want to wish prince albert a happy 58th birthday on monday, march 14th. >> host: that's stuart in names, florida. pierre trudeau, the father, was honored twice at a state dinner, once in 1969 by president nixon, again in 1977 by jimmy carter. brian mulroney twice by ronald reagan in '86 and '88.
jean credit yen was the last canadian to have a state dinner in 197. and lenti wants to know why did it take 19 years to have a canadian state dinner? >> guest: i think that's an interesting question. as we were saying earlier, i think there are a couple oft reasons for that. the previous prime minister who was there a long time, he wasn't big into the ceremony. and i think both he and the president, you know, they were -- they're people who are reserved, and they didn't have, neither one of them have that warmth between them. there were a lot -- there was an emphasis also, i would say, ono having trilateral meetings. if you remember after 9/11 when there were all these problems with shutting down the borders and figuring out how are we going to balance security andrid commerce together, canada and mexico and the united states, i think to some degree at the urging of companies and industries who are really worried about this, started to meet.
and it was a george w. bush initiative. he brought the leaders to his ranch in crawford, and he started a process. and people called it the three amigos. and these were the three leaders coming together trying to find some common solutions in the post-9/11 world.e and i think to some extent those north american leaders' meetings in a way supplanted this kind of bilateral thing that we'rey. seeing today. that was really the focus. and it was quite an urgent focus, because the world changed after 9/11. and when that border was shut, t mean, you had trucks going for days standing there on highways that could not get into the united states. you know, i've interviewed the mayor of windsor, ontario, about this, and he was showing me pictures about these trucks that they were just sitting there on the highway, and the drivers literally were wearing diapers.h and they were bringing in port-a-johns on people's front lawns because that's how clogged the highways were. this was just an incredible crisis.pl and that was -- the priority was
how do we grapple now with this new security environment? and there have been so many changes since then, right? i mean, we've had a passport requirement imposed on traveling between the united states and canada which never was the case before. and sure, you might say, well, it makes sense to have a passport to travel abroad. but if you're a family of four traveling up to ontario on a lark on a weekend, you're not thinking about applying for passports. a lot of people go to canada who don't necessarily travel abroad. so this was something that canada initially fought against but ultimately gave into and had to go along with because it's what the congress wanted, it's what the 9/11 commission recommended. but that took an adjustment. nore dinner, these are people that really pushed the agenda between canada and the united aids, the northern states have so much at stake and you saw them coming out with drivers licenses that would have your citizenship, that could be used to cross the border. those economies from the pacific
northwest or the great lakes, they are very intertwined, and it is really the governors and senators of those states that care about making this work. it is an interesting question and complicate a, why we do not see this earlier. but there is so much focus on figuring out how to make this work after 9/11. under the harper government and under the previous government. and now we are looking at the fruits of labor. now we are today this week they were announcing we are expanding preclearance. if you're flying out of canadian airports, taking the train, you can be cleared in one country and across the border and not have to go through customs they didn't. you can be certified as a trusted traveler. we have all these things. outsole post 9/11 and that was really the focus of so much focus and work. so not have these two leaders