tv The Year of Voting Dangerously CSPAN November 20, 2016 5:30pm-6:39pm EST
rip the face of washington. so sometimes when donald trump had unsavory characteristics, that just persuaded these voters that he was more of a rottweiler, so they loath to washington more than they didn't like his behavior. you know, i think it was -- i wish i had brought this in the high 50s, disapproved of, you know, when he won, the presidency, his unpopularity rating was historic in the high 60s. i think over 70%. this is trump when he won the other day. over 70% disapproved of how he treated women in the 60s again didn't think he had the temperament to be president, but they voted for him anyway. not because they didn't know who it was, because they knew who he was and he was their rottweiler. they decided to catch a thief.
>> guest: >> i've described this as a repudiation. you seem us with your brothers and sisters. how do they explain? >> more than my brother and sister, all my nephews. yeah, i come from a very conservative family. and the book, before we knew this was the outcome, i had my sister and brother write essays about why they were voting for trump for trying to vote for trump. it is very interesting to read them because you can tell what paul ryan must've been thinking through the campaign but he was muzzled and will stay muscled now for quite some time. but if you read their essays to me you couldn't see because my brother after the gold star family, when trump insults at them he called me and says is it
too late to kill my essay? my brother thinks he's ernest hemingway of the raid. for him to want to kill a single word much less an essay is very rare. i said no, srd shipped to bookstores. my sister kept jumping on and off every time he insulted heidi cruz, she would say she wasn't going to vote for him and then he asked me about that and i told him and he apologized for that. but then she decided she could vote for him again when he stayed up all night tweaking about miss universe after the debate. she's like why isn't he talking about the economy or terrorism? why is he talking about a woman who gained 12 pounds? so in the end, you know, she went back and forth she didn't vote for him, but my brother and nephews did vote for him. this is what i said to people. my fellow columnists have gone out on this margaret mead
expeditions to find this rare creature known as the trump voter and try and understand them and reason with them and they always end up at the same coffee shop in paris, kentucky. one of them actually put out an open letter. trump voter, please come forward so i can reason with you. and now they are saying when you go home for thanksgiving, you have to reason with them then obviously they don't know these people because my family has never asked my opinion about politics in my whole life. not at thanksgiving or any other time. so it is going to be tough for those who think they are going to bring people around with one conversation. >> i want to ask you about donald trump. you covered him for many, many years ago with a column in this book that was written one year
before election. it was written november 8th -- published november 8, 2015. and it relates to a lunch date you shared with trump in the trump tower. and you quote him as saying to you, i am a solid stable person. i am a man of great achievement. i went, marie, i always win. knock on what i always win. it's what i do. i beat people. i win. this is the trump that you know. >> well, trump from the time he got -- you know, so his father was a builder of middle-class housing in queens and brooklyn. is a young man, trump always looked across at manhattan and it has sought. he wanted the skyscrapers and the supermodels with skyhigh lakes. that's what he wanted. so he came and he started hanging out at yankee stadium with george steinbrenner and lee iacocca and this guy who was
third career to the stars and this other guy who is the limit thinking in all larger than life figures and cary grant would drop by sometimes. and so, he fashioned this larger than life figure and then. in those days, he was very polite and not egotistical in this group, but big egos. and so, that was when he created that character and then he created another character on the apprentice of the judicious and wise but firm decisions. and then when he got on the campaign trail, and he heard the roar of the crowd first at the burger king and then with his bigoted statement about mexicans and building the wall and he heard the roar of the crowd and he followed that and i asked him in an interview once. i say you note, this person in the primary is nothing like the
person i covered in new york all those years. he thought about it and he said i guess i got to number one by saying these things, so i thought i should keep saying them. and so, basically he's a salesman, you know, and he found this vacuum in the market and he just created the product for that vacuum. that's why none of us know where he's going now because his only value is winning. his ideology is his ego. >> i want you to describe his office to this crowd. as the ms office. i've interviewed donald trump. you describe it in a few of the columns. that could be an indication of the personality character he wants to perjury. >> you know, as you know i'm from washington. i was born there facing plenty
of narcissists. but i've never seen narcissism at a level of donald trump. you go in his office in every single wall space is covered with magazine covers from a french magazine covers of himself. the only thing i missed at the stacks of magazine covers it has not on trent of himself. >> the place between the frames is about that much. it's not as if the were family photos. >> yeah, he does have some sports paraphernalia. he has mike tyson championship and some other things, but it is mostly like an infinity mirror of his face. and so, i did ask him in an interview once this summer i said, you know, when you get to the white house, that brings out
a lot of narcissism because there is a photographer who follows the president around and takes pictures of him every minute of every day and then they put those pictures all over the walls of the white house and now they had digital frames that they are running pictures and whoops. and i think you are already like that. so what you get there and it's more intense in your surround it even more, don't shoot me there'd be a narcissistic explosion, you know, that we could all see on pennsylvania avenue. how would that work? as tom said, i know how to behave when i go to palm beach. i can go to dinner with society prints and they think i'm the most politically correct the young man either and they're all dead and hands. >> you are safe to say that in miami-dade, by the way. what about the coffee shop comparison. can you go there?
>> well, you know, and donald trump won for the oldest of political reasons. he's list and to the voters. you know, when he was sent, he heard that anxiety and paid attention to it. you know, it is interesting because it has come out now that bill clinton tried to warn the clinton campaign for more than a year he's the world's leading expert on this group of voters that his wife lost and you try to say to dan, you have to pay more attention and robbie monk is hillary's campaign guide a 35-year-old big data guy and they lasted bill clinton and dave said that the old way. the new way is urban ghetto, its voter base and stuff.
now we've had two democrats who lost basically because they didn't listen to bill clinton. >> when are they going to start listening to him? not quite as secretary clinton the next? what did she say to the american people? >> i don't know. she's going to have a whole new chapter and i'm sure she will have a wonderful job. you know, she is going to end up winning the popular vote by a couple million. as al gore, you know, i'm sure she will take her passion into something wonderful with them. our chief political correspondent was saying he is winning the popular vote by so much will make it harder for track because he'll always be seen by a lot of people as being
illegitimate. [applause] >> just a little bit. just a little bit. you told charlie rose that you used to call strategist, political strategist and understand campaign, but this campaign has forced you to call shrinks. what are they toed shoe? what can you impart to the rest of us? >> yeah, well, trump has done some teen we have never seen. this is why a lot of people are scared in the field of foreign affairs because he subjugated the entire orthodoxy and history of the republican party on russia, the evil empire to his own ego. so he got a compliment from putin and then he changed his
stance that the republican party and he was the republicans going on tv, trying to grapple with this in not knowing how to. we have a wonderful reporter called steven lee myers did a great biography of putin. he says that the word is used when he complimented trump was mistranslated, that the word did not mean brilliant. it meant gaudy. so trump changed the entire stamp upside down of his party based on a mistranslation. and now he and putin are going forward, you know, based on this weird thing where, you know, he can be completely malleable if he is given a compliment. someone with a metric he got in a fight with kellyanne conway during the campaign, how should get back on his good side is the one who knew him said to get
honest as i do give him him seven complements the narrow really fast here so that dynamic you will see in washington with mitch mcconnell and abroad with 210 and assad, they all think they can influence trumped. even president obama if is doing this by flattering him. so everyone is going to be flattering and am trying to beat him until he is host body for their plan. that is what you will see in the coming months. >> that this translation, was it bigly for big league. let's talk about what yours are we learning about a trump administration. the soon-to-be former chairman chief of staff, chief campaign strategist steve bannon inside the white house.
what is this telling you about the makeup of his inner circle and as it relates to your last point in his relationship with capitol hill. >> okay, so the times, the new site has this thing, the transition game but they call the reporters and get the latest news, but all newsbytes. it is honestly one of the most amazing things i've ever read. you just can't believe what you're reading. so, the latest being as i was coming over here is that because they gave the transition to mike pence, he hasn't signed some official piece of paper he needs to sign. so the obama people are probably about to give him all the information they need to give. so basically the defense department and the national security apparatus have had no
contact with the trump transition people. so we are operating in this weird limbo. and there's so many things about days i don't even know where to begin. >> it takes a moment to try to make any sense of it. >> yeah. >> where less than 70 days away. >> this is the other thing i wanted to tell you. during the campaign, trump's son went to john kasich and said we are thinking about you as vice president and if we did that, you would really be running the white house and my father would be floating. so in essence, trump was thinking it as one of his licensing deals, like steak or wine or something. so his name went beyond that, that he would be back in trump tower. >> the way that was reported was governor kasich said what would i be responsible for and the
response back was policy. he said the policy, foreign or domestic? yes. >> right. so now you see that happen with mike pence. so trump is just basically licensing it to mike pence at the moment and mike pence is, you know, taking on all the policies. >> which digs into the question of how engaged he is going to be. what can the american public expect from president trump? you seem to campaign or trump, and the character you articulate and described in the book. you seen this other business character that has been able to ruin build, ruin built companies. how is this person now going to engage with the electorate, engage with the legislature. is this person going to govern differently and campaign?
>> in outcome at the very beginning before it turned really ugly, he would say things that he wanted to go and negotiate and spend a lot of time at congress and try and get some deals. he said he wanted to negotiate a middle east peace contract because he thought he could do it. so i like the deal at the mart although grace putting into cement truck both named. but i don't think we can now and he doesn't now. some of the things that come the 60 minutes fame, some of what he said was reassuring when they talk about gay marriage and he's like that is settled. when i talked about women's rights on abortion, he was like, you know, that is a scarier thing because they send it back to the states and women might have to go to a different state
and evoke this image is going to the back alley abortions. so some of his appointment that he is talking about now on immigration are really scary. they are talking about rudy giuliani as secretary of state, which spare me. so, some of the people he is bringing in our really, really right wing and mike pence is really, really right wing and president obama was saying in his conversation, no, he seems like a pragmatist and of course he used to be a pro-choice democrat who gave money to the clinton foundation and hillary's campaign said they have voted for her and was third at fred was bill and played golf with him. so i don't think we know and he doesn't now and that is what is so in battling.
>> you mentioned obviously the supreme court ruling on gay marriage and the supreme court ruling on abortion and this kind of too confusing answers from the president in that. he also in the same interview walked back some of the wholesale repeal of the affordable care act in a preexisting conditions is a good part of it. >> but he couldn't get that. republicans know that is popular so they wouldn't let him take that away even if he wanted. >> and when he sat down with president obama much like we are right here and the president came to the microphone just yesterday saying president-elect trump expressed a commitment to nato when it was a much different kind of rhetoric. >> he doesn't know. you know, i'm a book to her i met this wonderful texas state representative and he said can you do me a favor? i said what and he said please
stop comparing donald trump to a child. he goes children are awesome. [laughter] >> we're going to take an open up for questions. a couple of questions about the media here because i know there's no other industry the last two practice -- [inaudible] your paper, your publication about how it reported the odds of winning as opposed to the polls. if you have a moment of reflection about how the institution of "the new york times" more generally fractured industry in the mainstream media approach to this election and what we should take away from what we are hearing from our audience. >> okay, so this election was for the first time a fusion of politics, social media and
reality tv. we have never seen someone not spend millions and tens of millions on campaigns, but instead use twitter. so there are a lot of new things about this. we have never seems someone with a complaint estrangement from the truth like donald trump. we are used to more boy early line and parsing. we are not used to someone saying i didn't say that they're telling you something that's the exact opposite. maggiea berman who was i amazing tribe reporter says it's almost impossible to deal with someone like that suggest that he didn't say that or give you a completely different thing. so yes, it did take the media a while to get their arms around it. i compared it at the beginning to who framed roger rabbit, where you got a movie with a tune and a human. so it's two different species.
but of course it took some people to live. for instance, when trump have is birth or announcement and he had it at the hotel in washington, which was their old post office building that he is redone he invited the press and took them on a tour, if the press didn't understand donald trump was inviting them for an infomercial for the hotel, which at that point had to slash its prices in half as no one was going there, and then the press was just being naïve. "the new york times" at some point just said okay, we are going to change the rules. we are going to change our rule about calling a politician a liar in stories and headlines and talked about his pic whoppers that i wished to change that rule for dick cheney and the iraq war sooner.
and they said we are going to put bad words on the front of "the new york times." so i thought that was going to be his legacy until he won but we were going to have bad words on our front page. it is a struggle, but we just had never seen, you know, anything like that. >> i said to her staff are biases are the truth. try to earn the audience's trust each and every day. that's opening up to to questions. welcome. >> on the bernie delegate so i have to ask, what is your assessment of bernie's candidacy and how do you think things would've gone if he was the nominee? >> it now, i did a column on this yesterday. it is hard not to feel for president obama. he is our first african-american president elected in this wave
of excitement and now he has to sit there with the most overtly racist candidate in modern history who is going to basically wipe out everything that he thought was his legacy. but at the same time, i think that given the fact of what a once-in-a-lifetime politician he has been, that he didn't read that correctly. you know, he was elected in a revolution of people, you know, who they wanted a various change. some of them did not want to go back to clinton inc. then there was another revolution this year. this was on both sides of the aisle and president obama, that you know, he has a way -- he is brilliant, but he has a way of just telling people what is right.
a top adviser to him said he would rather be right than when. and he wanted to say, you know, stop having your revolution. this is the candidate. it is hillary and she was incrementalist in the revolution. so you know, the funny part to me was that he treated bernie sanders the way and treated him in 2008. the us is a fairytale, stop it, rather than sort of realizing where are trying to understand where the revolutionary fervor came from. it was the year where people wanted authenticity, even like trump, because he, you know, tweed mean things about people that they are getting more unfinished. they were looking at unvarnished on both sides. i think the democratic party was like you are going to take what we give you and it was rigged. it was the same with joe biden.
president obama told him he couldn't run, you know. so i just think they tried to impose something that was never going to work in this climate. >> thank you. thank you for the question. hi, good evening. >> and missed out. i'm a huge fan of your work. one question for you. been an unprecedented election and the e. that his son bernard. do you think that this will affect future elections that will be cast to make it more difficult for someone to run for presidency or do you think this will affect the longevity of the electoral college? >> or to have -- infinity, like mental.
it is funny because the only place you can't have a shrinking the world is the white house. that is the one place. you still can't get into any of that stuff into any of that stuff announced arthur's solicitor arthur's solicitor wrote in his memoir as a lot of our presidents have been a little mentally unbalanced. lyndon johnson's 80s to argue about whether he was paranoid by manic depressive. dixie and jfk and had psychotropic drugs in the medicine cabinet. you know, i think this election will have profound impacts in every area for decades to come, but we are only just beginning to sort that out. >> does the electoral college survive? >> well, this is what i was going to tell you earlier. when i first went out with him,
you know, i said why i'm a presidential foray -- i said why would anyone vote for you for president? he said because i got big ratings on larry king. he was with melania. he was dating with her. and because a lot of men hit on melania. that is his ego arithmetic. everything is the arithmetic of ego. he even did something -- we had a story recently where he made them have higher floor numbers to pretend they were taller or something. so he treated today, i love the electoral college. he loves it now. he didn't like it before years ago. but he said i could have won the popular vote if that's what the game was. and so now he's done that the
fact i didn't win it and where you could have won it. they still haven't taken his own away from him. >> thank you for the question. good evening. >> good evening, thank you. a couple things. one very simple one. why didn't hillary listen to bill? but also in general, it seems in the bowl that everybody got it wrong. and on the other hand, you know, the idea where there is smoke there is fire. one thing was put in early on and it was very obvious one at trump to win with the hacking that was confirmed of every, et
thoughts on that, then i'll talk? >> well-played. well-played, dowd. >> i think that is a great question. >> from a local media standpoint i think it's a great question. here in florida where i operate, there are 67 separate voting systems and, i think that our coverage of the county election supervisors and the state election supervisors, we pressed them very, very hard how the system is set up and what kind of protections they have. voting machines that count the ballots not connected to the internet. 67 different kinds of processes that each county has, each county is responsible for. all reporting up to the state and they were assured that all of those additional protections of the ballots, the vote by mail ballots, which were the absentee ballots, the provisional ballots, all of the additional changes in the ballot made after the 2000 election here in
florida, all of that has gone into assure the sanctity of the vote and that comes from the county elections supervisor. what i would say as a journalist, it is worth getting into, worth looking for that evidence, proving the negative is also very difficult in this aspect. >> yeah, no, i have wondered the same thing and assured by our political reporters because there was some noodling around a couple places by the russians in local election things that everyone was watching really, really carefully. yeah, i just assume, i'm listening to what they tell me, but then again i listen to what the big data guys told me and i agree with you, i never spent a more shocking night in my professional life. i was so shocked when the times flipped from 85% chance for hillary to 95 for trump, i literally took a picture with my cell phone.
i couldn't comprehend it. i think maybe we were missing something something in plain sight which is americans are having an identity crisis and the two parties were having an identity crisis. we were in a series of interlocking identity crises. we went to war that we shouldn't have gone to with most of the country not understanding who shia and sunni were. the economy went under without anyone knowing what a derivative was. all these people in the middle of the country were told globalization was the shiny bright thing that was going to solve all of our problems and it wasn't. so, if, who are we as americans if we're not people who can win wars, you know and be the big blustering, swaggering country, who are we? and i think that a lot of the
country was really suffering and the politicians weren't listening. ted cruz was so busy destroying the capitol he worked in and mitch mcconnell was so busy obstructing, i think we were in a sound-proof room in washington in a way, you know? i want to answer about about bill, because i don't have an answer because their relationship is so interesting to me because i read all of the biographies, and in my book i started covering her when she is running as bill's wife in '92 and i'm extremely supportive of her when she's running because i know she hates that first lady role. she wanted to call it first mate. while i covering her she got stationary that dropped the name rodham and said hillary clinton. she sent it back. it is a struggle for women like
hillary and michelle who have is the same credentials to go into this antiquated satin box. but the confusing thing when you read her arc, sometimes she is completely dependent on bill's advice and wants it all the time and other times in 2008, her campaign wouldn't take his call sometime. she didn't take his advice on where to compromise on health care which cause it to go down and she didn't take it this time. it's a codependent relationship but also sort of competitive and i things get lost in the middle of that in a way, very similar. i have a long original essay in the book about the bush father and son relationship which led to the worse mistake in foreign policy history i think. it is a similar thing. like love but competition and, in the gap between those two things, things can happen.
>> thank you for the question. >> thank you. >> hi, good evening, go ahead. >> hello. how do you find inspiration for the articles you write? how do you know a certain idea that you may have is detailed enough to pursue it for an article? >> this is hard for "times" readers to understand and i think, in the introduction they address this, that you know, there is no warm place for me to go to because everyone's always mad at me, either my family is mad at me when a republican president's in. when w was in, you know, my older brother, i came home for a family dinner and my older brother said, you know, if there was a hurricane you would blame it on w. and then there was. [laughter], and i did. but i am not an idealogical columnist.
i base the column, i don't want this to sound pompous, i can never touch the hem of his garment but more based on shakespeare in the sense it is about how power warps people or they rise to the occasion, and so, you know, "times" readers don't really understand that, so is they get mad at me and i understand that, it is not, i'm trying to be more of a watchdog rather than partisan, rather than push somebody. i think of it like shakespeare, like, i don't, you know, i want to be there if we're going to get a richard iii or white house press room watching out for you guys. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. >> how many columns do you have cooking at one time? >> oh, i don't, when we used to
back in the jurassic days of where we had the trucks, delivery trucks in the building at 43rd street i would be sitting there staring at a blank screen and i would hear the trucks rev up their engines and type really fast. i have to be really scared to write because most of the time i'm sitting there why does anyone want to hear my opinion. this doesn't make sense. >> hi, good evening. >> my name is alberto hernandez. this is an aside. in the early '70s went to law school with both hillary and bill clinton. >> wow. >> i have no -- wisdom in over 40 years. here's my question. we heard a lot about never trump movement for months, which was primarily republican establishment, rather than regular voters. but there is really not much being said, now that we know the
results of the election about never hillary. what effect do you think the fact that it was personal, that millions of people voted because fairly or unfairly they just did not like her? >> so what's the question? >> the question is, what do you think, there is such a an effect that there were people, a lot of people who voted on a personal basis, not just on policy, but didn't like her or valid or non-valid reasons? >> a protest vote. >> yeah, i don't know if it was a protest vote. people like my siblings, there was no he way were ever going to vote forehellory. my sister voted for me in the end and she wasn't going to vote for trump and wasn't going to vote for hillary. so i had one vote for president. that is what i think is amazing about president obama. the reason, barack obama became
president is because so many people in his party wanted something fresh and they wanted a huge change. they did not want to go back to the clinton machine. so he became president because of that but then he failed to understand that strain in the electorate because he is the one who steered everyone back to the machine. i don't know if he felt guilty about usurping it from her in the first place, or that they have common ground, they're both cerebral elitists kind of? you know i'm not sure why he was so determined to put his legacy in the hands of someone, a machine he had already disabled eight years before. but, that is why i love politics because it is like a shakespearian play. there are all these interlocking motivations, and we could talk about this for hours more. it's fascinating but the answer is yes.
>> do you believe the same demographic coalition elected reagan in, clinton in '92, just elected trump in 2016? >> well look at this way. so he my father was a policeman, right? so he stayed up all night the night truman was elected. he was so excited. he knew him personally. he worked -- my dad was policeman in charge of senate security on capitol hill. so he knew truman and loved him and you know, truman was a hero of the working class, and somewhere then, last week, my brother kevin stayed up all night wanting trump to get elected, so what happened between my dad and truman and kevin and trump? and i think a lot of what happened is the democrats forgot how to talk to the working class which joe biden can do and bernie sanders can do but obama forgot. amazing, a quarter of people who
voted for obama then switched to trump. that is a crazy statistic that so many obama voters, but when people, this was an amazing thing. so david plouffe, the genius behind the obama win had a pies the other day what happened to hillary and one of his bullet points was, the voters that turned out, the voters really did want change. [laughter] >> said the architect of the change campaign years ago. >> so those stupid voters, they really did want it, what? >> thank you for your question, sir, appreciate it. >> hi, good evening. go ahead. >> one much your colleagues on "the new york times," david brooks, had a article last week and in the last sentence of his article was that he fully, the word fully may not have been
there, that he expected within a year it was likely that trump would either have resigned or been impeached. would you agree? >> well, this is another, i mean you can't absorb the craziness of what's happening fast enough for another crazy thing to happen. so before the election, all the house republicans were talking about a a hillary clinton impeachment and everybody is talking about a trump impeachment. what a difference a week makes. you know in david's case, it might have been wishful thinking but allen lichtman, the american university professor, he was the only, kind of professor, historian in the country to say that trump would win, is also saying trump will be impeached. so, things are, in washington,
in a complete state of chaos. so, i don't know. i think as americans we, somehow have to hope that washington gets itself together. >> could you explain a little about the culture of "the new york times" in the months preceding george bush's invasion of iraq. it seemed like judith miller would have a front page news item about their weapons of mass destruction and then vice president cheney would appear on the sunday talk shows, say, well "the new york times" says there is weapons of mass destruction, seems like "the new york times" was in tandem with neoconform la of invading iraq. has the culture of the times changed since then. will there be obama pardon of hillary before his term ends? >> yay, i don't know about the latter, i don't.
i've been gone on book tour too many days. the tour is moving fast. "the times" said it should have handled that different many times. they talked about that. that was a very painful paired for me because it was so plain to me we were doing something, you know, that was completely had no predicate. in fact i, this is part of what made me a little suspect, what made me want to hear more from hillary clinton, what she had learned from these cat chrisic things she had gone through. what i wanted to know what she learned for voting for the iraq war. she was the senator who went down to the floor and helped w
make the case for the fake connection between al qaeda and saddam and you know, if i could have heard from her what she learned as a leader, i would have felt better because, you know, she was miss homework. that would be a good time to be miss homework and read the national intelligence estimate. i just find that whole period, and it is still going on in iraq, the most painful thing i have ever covered. it is horrible. but "the times" has you know, said that yeah, that that was not handled well with judy. >> as a journalist at "the times" have you experienced that difference of fact-checking or editor input since that episode? >> yeah, no. i'm on the, in the opinion kingdom so i'm sure they have a lot of different ways they handle things in the news
kingdom and they have put a lot of new rules in place, even just during trump. but our rules are a little bit different. >> hi, good evening, welcome. >> i wanted to hear you talk a little bit more about hillary clinton. i know you covered the clintons for a long time. i heard you recently say she is unnecessarily paranoid and that could have caused her to make a lot of the decisions that people judged her for. i was wondering if you really feel she is unnecessarily paranoid or that she really has a reason to be because it seems like people are always attacking her? >> no, i think it's, i think it's both but, i think what happened was, the clintons got in a very unhealthy relationship with their foes and the press where, because of the way they handled it, it was almost like throwing chum out in "jaws." they just had a way of handling things that sent their foes in
the press into a frenzy. so this is, let's take whitewater as an example, right? so whitewater started, george stephanopoulos says, in his memoir that if he had a genie in bottle and could do anything differently he would go back to hillary, he tried this, but she said no, insist she released papers to "the washington post" because he says it would have been a one-week story. because hillary builds this wall of defensiveness and secrecy, then, everybody thinks she's hiding something. then this frenzy happens. and then it cascades into something that maybe there was nothing there in the first place, who knows. in a way you see the same pattern in the way she handled the server and in the way she handled pneumonia. it is always the same pattern. it gets worse and worse.
in the end whitewater which stephanopoulous thinks would be a one week story, ended up 80 million in federal investigations and several federal prosecutors and impeachment. people, there are disappearing and appearing records and people feel she is not leveling and then, you know, starts snowballing and so, then you kind of forget was there anything there in the first place or is it just, you know, the wall of secrecy and defensiveness that's spurring things? you know, so you're right, and that's, but that is the bad part, that, it's both, that people are after. then i me, look at president obama, i'm sure the same people are after him but they haven't been able to do anything, right? because he doesn't give them the ammunition. and that's why his popularity numbers are going up because people are thinking, wow, we have had eight years without any ethical or family drama. that is a pretty amazing thing.
>> thank you for the question. >> i have a question about the fight over the deficit and comment about how the pollsters got it wrong. in terms of the deficit, it seems to me that trump is heading for massive deficits with his spending on the infrastructure and reducing taxes and yet republicans and an, neocons are so invested in having offsets and not letting the deficit balloon. what is going to happen? >> you know, i know that that is the argument but, since i went to summer school in algebra i am not an expert in the deficit in any way. and in fact, to show you how bad at i am i was assuming we would have president clinton and adding up numbers in my head. if you have 94% of blacks who disapprove of you, and 75% of women disapprove of you, and 90%
of latinos disapprove of you, you can't be president. that is what i'm thinking, right? so, i don't know, i'm going to have to take your guidance on that. i know, i know that is confusing with trump but again, again, what is happening right this minute is all these different groups are seeing him as a malleable host body that they can pour their thing into. so it just depends which person, you know, our reporters said he tends to listen to the last person he talked to. why a lot of his advisors manuever to be the last person. >> i would point out. we'll fix veterans affairs. we'll rebuild all the military, all of those are significant government spending projects as well. >> i really fear reagan and bush, devastating our economy following in their, you know, footsteps. in terms of the interesting, maybe, thought about how the
pollsters got it so wrong, one thing i, wondering is if they got it wrong because the public all felt hillary was a sure thing and many of us may have been mad at both of them and said, well, i want hillary to be president but since she is clearly going to win i will vote for trump in a pretty -- protest caused it to change? >> that is interesting. you're making my point. we'll be discussing and debating this and it will be written about in history books for decades to come. and that's why what we're watching right now is scary and volatile. >> thank you. >> i know it happened in florida at least, florida republican party looked at this and they have found their vote by mail, absentee vote and early vote in florida were essentially newer voters.
they were not super voters. in other words they were voters that voted in one or two of the past four presidential elections. and so they were very confident going into election day. they hadn't seen the super voters show up yet. voters show up three out of the past four elections. they grew more confident as they got closer to election day they still had a pool of voters they were going to pool from. that is at least what the data shows in florida. >> we'll take two last questions. >> thank you. most of my friends and family and i are have been long-time activists in the democratic party and we've been going nuts since last week. do you have an idea what we can do as activists to help the country and, isn't an effort in futility now? or can we continue?
we don't want to flee the country. some said that, but they're not going to. what do we do? >> well, you know, i was on a panel yesterday morning with lena dunham and let me just tell you, she is not giving up. she is charged up and ready to go and she, i think she just, called paul ryan's office and she tweeted the number to paul ryan's office, you know, she is starting new organization s and, it was funny, i was in los angeles last night, because i was on this panel and i went to a bookstore that where everyone was reading poetry to try and feel better and they read about fascism, richarden and they read robert frost and some other poetry but i think that we are about to enter a
period of incredible activism in democratic party history. >> we have to -- [applause] >> the only thing i promised you i put in a request for a white house pass and i will be there from dawn to midnight every day. [applause] >> good evening, thank you for taking my question. the media seems to be, i've been watching a lot as all of us have, emersed in the craziness that is going on in washington and in pointing out how well everybody, president obama, joe biden, everybody is helping the transition. will the media come back to holding trump accountable for all the lies and all of the, the
way he won? in other words, it is all nice. it is all fine. you won, it is all over? >> no, no. i think that is president, president obama has a tactic, which may be working, we can't tell yet. it does seem too gentle on the surface for trump to appoint a guy who run as website that flirts with white supremacists and white national its, it has headlines like, birth control makes women unattractive and crazy. you know, that is a typical "breitbart" headline. and another great one was, gabby giffords, the human shield of the anti-gun lobby. i mean this is the guy who was now is the chief strategist to the president of the united states, and of course, we would have loved to see barack obama just let him have it over that but, president obama has a strategy which may work, you know, partly.
i'm not sure you know. i'm not sure. i mean again, i just think everybody is struggling but i can tell you that, "the new york times," i can tell from the tone of the transition thing, that "the new york times" is gearing up to cover president trump in a very, very tough way, tough but fair but tough. [applause] >> coverage about hillary's emails and server never stopped, and i'm just outrained that coverage of what trump has done seems to have stopped. >> oy, don't worry. really. [laughter]. do not worry. go to sleep tonight. we'll take care of that. [laughter] [applause] >> thank you.
>> maureen, i'm going to take a moderator's prerogative if i could, one last question. hillary clinton tweeted out a picture of a letter that george herbert walker bush wrote to president clinton in 1992 when president clinton moved into the oval office. if president obama is to write such a letter to president trump, elect trump. >> what would that say? what would you you suggest that letter say? >> i don't give politician's advice. i'm sure president obama, you know, i have been critical of him at times because as it turned out amazingly enough he doesn't like politics and, that gets in the way of doing politics because politics is the art of persuading people who don't want to go along with you to go along with you but i will say i traveled with him to cuba and you know, i was very proud
he was my president and that michelle was my first lady. [applause] and, i think they're the most amazing parents ever and his girls are a wonder. and i'm sure whatever he does will be classy and, you know, whatever note leaves because he is the epitome of class, and you know, and i think as the days go on people are going to miss that. >> maureen dowd, ladies and gentlemen, for "the new york times." the year of voting dangerously. [applause] >> thank you, both, for a marvlous evening. it really was. >> that concludes booktv's coverage of this year's miami book fair. now if you missed any of the programs from today or want to
rewatch them, you can go to booktv.org. also, we'll be reairing today's coverage of the festival beginning at 1:00 a.m. eastern time. >> pittsburgh is a city of neighborhoods. we're truncated by three rivers and covered in hills and valleys. >> pittsburgh is the place that you can best understand the urban black experience but in fact, pittsburgh has it all. >> the steel industry was the lifeblood of pittsburgh. it was the purpose for pittsburgh to be here. >> welcome to pittsburgh on booktv. with help from our comcast cable partners over the next 90 minutes we'll travel the city to talk with local authors about their books and the history of the area. first up a visit to the hill district to explore of the life of pulitzer prize winner and american playwrite august wilson. >> when i left my mother's house
i went out into the world, into that community to learn what it meant to be a man, what used to be at one time a very thriving community although a depressed community. there were stores and shops all along the avenue. they're not there anymore. >> the sort of discrimination he faced was actually from the other black students, the darker-skinned students who chased wilson kids home after school, calling them cracker and this and that, they come flying up the street there in the yard. there was a gate there that would stop the kids. one day their mother, today's sy told them, listen, put an end to this don't close the gate. let them flying on up and she stood back in that corner there, back in that corner hidden, with this big pale of water she used for bathing, over her head. i don't know how she did this the kids went flying by and doused them with this big bucket of water, said you leave my kids alone.
but, that was part of the dynamics. it was an enat that greated neighborhood. it was not one really of racial tensions. august wilson is such a pittsburgh figure, an iconic pittsburgh figure, his plays, all but one of his major plays are set in pittsburgh. they have a pittsburgh themes whether jitny station or urban redevelopment, whether coming in of drugs, whether it is urban renewal later in the 1990s in the hill district. so he and his plays really capture an important part of black pittsburgh history. wilson had a real sense of place he walked the streets of the hill district. he never drove a car. didn't have a license. didn't like driving. he didn't like flying. he was a person who walked. he could walk for miles.
as he walked he observed. he watched the guys on the corner. he watched people in the barbershops. i would go in the barbershops and pool halls. woe talk with them and learn from them. he could capture the atmosphere of those spaces. he liked to work there. he was writing and also listening at the same time and absorbing the atmosphere and feel for the life he wanted to portray and it was life on the street and just off the street. it wasn't some sort of obscure location, everyday life, every day people and everyday settings. he wanted people to be aware that art exists there. life exists there. important things are said there. things we can learn in those places that people just drive right by, don't pay any attention to. things that are said by ordinary
or kind of weird people that others kind of looked down on or look away from or dismiss. a lot of his people are, are outsiders like he is. one of the remarkable things in the neighborhood, it was multiracial, multi-ethnic, blacks, jews, italians, syrians and people got along. people really cared for one another t was really a community. people asked about each other's children. they looked out for their children. it was a neighborhood you didn't have to lock your doors. it was a quiet neighborhood. there were no bars or brothels. very little retail at all on the street. very solid, working class, lower middle class, sort of life. life here. so wilson had very comfortable childhood in that regard. it was a pleasant place.
talks about this about how well the neighbors got along. so he did not really experience discrimination or racism or prejudice until he left the hill district when he moved to hazelwood when he was a even tanker. as he grew up here, it was really a very coming for thible, nuturing sort of environment. he was also very creative person, you know. the house they lived in was very run-down. paint peeling on the walls and things like that. the kids all slept in the bed together. this was two rooms for five people. so, they shared the bed. august would always get next to the wall and he picked the paint chips off the wall and then, make stories up about the figures that emerged from that, from the figures that you could see from the paint being missing so he was always thinking creatively as a even a little kid.
this is the wilson house. it was situated in the back of where the ziegerss lived. the wilsons had bottom first two rooms when they moved here. this was actually the basement. they had those two, those two rooms up there. what looks like the second floor, which is really the first floor. and that's where they had five people in those two rooms. then in the '50s, the family who loved above them, family called headley, who figures in his play, seven guitars, they had the apartment up above. when they moved out around 1952 the wilsons got that apartment. so it expanded their living space. but this was the home that he really related to, that meant so much to him. his father did not live with him. his father did not live here. his father had another family in
the south hills. his father had another family. so his father would come here after work. he was a baker, his father was a baker. so he baked downtown, overnight like bakers do. they work overnight. in the morning he would come to the wilson home. by the time he got here, 8:00, 9:00 in the morning, the kids left for school. by the time kids were back from school he already left here. so he wasn't around much. they didn't really bond for that reason. one reason he had trouble identifying and bonding with his father, his father was an alcoholic. he was very talented baker but he had a real drinking problem. he was a serious alcoholic. and so, i think possibly for that reason august very seldom drank himself. he smoked like a smokestack but he didn't really hit the bottle at all, just socially a little
bit. that is a mystery just what the relationship between the two was his real father, his substitute father, was the neighbor who lived across the street from him, charlie burrly. who was a prizefighter. you can sigh a kid getting more b august really idolized charlie and charlie almost adopted august as his son. charlie's wife julia was august's mother's best friend. there were a lot of ties between the two. and august modeled himself after charlie. in addition to being an outsider which august was, he had what he called the warrior spirit. charlie is a boxer a warrior, a fighter, somebody who stands up, not necessarily who is aggressive and hostile but charlie wasn't that but charlie