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tv   Brian Lamb Susan Swain Jeffrey Rosen Michael Gerhardt Robert Strauss...  CSPAN  August 26, 2019 10:22pm-11:41pm EDT

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available behind the register if you could form a line to the right of the table and please up your tears. thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> hi i am david rubenstein and of the privilege of serving as a co-chair of the national book festival. it is in washington on labor day weekend at the washington convention center. however, if you cannot make it and everybody can obviously not be here at the same time. please read about this and learn about it through book tv which is on c-span2, they will do extensive coverage of the national book festival and is always a terrific job of letting you know what's going on at the
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book festival even if you cannot be there. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen welcome to the center. [applause] i am jeffrey rosen the president of this institution. this is such a happy day to celebrate the great collaboration between the national constitution center and c-span. [cheering] c-span has an inspiring nonpartisan mission to bring unfiltered information about the u.s. government to american citizens and that coincides with the national constitution center's mission which i want all of you to recite along with me to inspire our guests and
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viewers. the national constitution center is only institution in america, chartered by congress to disseminate information about the u.s. constitution on a nonpartisan basis. that was very well done. [applause] i was thrilled to my friends and colleagues susan who is head of c-span came just a few months ago and said we have a great new book on the president, let's launch at the constitution center. were here to do it and it's an honor to welcome back the great founder of c-span brian lamb. >> america's greatest interviewer i was honored to interview by him from a piece of this book as were my colleagues and welcoming him back. is so meaningful. it is a special pleasure to welcome back to the center because susan has been here so
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many times, she is among many other virtues of philadelphia, born and bred in her relatives are here. please welcome susan. [applause] >> think a much innocent light to be back to the constitution center. i was have the bad luck with enthusiasm. it's hard to replicate but were delighted to be here once again and welcome you all here, as you heard this is my hometown in addition to our wonderful partnership with the constitution center and we have a shared mission of informing you about your government although we do it in different ways, i'm also delighted to have my family members here which makes it a special occasion. thank you for coming today. the c-span 40th anniversary. 1979 and march the house of representatives went on television for the first time in the cable television industry crated a service called c-span to bring congress into living your years ago, it's a
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not-for-profit company in our mission as jeff said, to give you unfiltered access to can decide for yourself about what's happening in washington. sent were in home territory, the folks are our largest cable affiliate and have been on the board of directors since the founding in their tremendously, and import part of what c-span is today. so many things to them for what they've done for these 40 years. when we talk about c-span 40th anniversary said what will we do to celebrate this in a meaningful way, i decided to do this book which is called the president and his subtitle is noted historians rank america's best and worst chief executives. the reason why it was an important thing, it allows us to showcase two very important aspects of our work over the years. first is a survey of presidential historians in the second is a real treasure trove of interviews that we have
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collected over the 40 years and many of them done by brian a presidential historians. here is a look at the names of people who are included in the book who are part of the collection here. you'll see familiar names. they're very well known contemporary presidential historians. three panelists today, the idea was to bring together three of the presidential biographers were featured in the book to talk about something other than the presidents who are on mount rushmore. jeffrey rosen has written a biography on william howard and he is interviewed by brian and as you know in addition to his work he is a professor at gw law school which made him interested in the work who went on to become the chief justice of the
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supreme court and we have known him as a journalist which he is in his heart and soul since his early days in washington, author of six books. michael wrote a book called the forgotten president and he will be talking to him about a number of them and in our book he's a chapter on jimmy carter. he is a philadelphia area journalist and worked at the daily news in ky w in his presidential biography, it's my favorite title of all the biographies. worst . . . president. president. ever. james mckenna reaches from the southern tier of the state, we will learn more from robert strauss and why he is the worst president ever. the organizing principle for this book was the second resource i mentioned and a survey we have done a
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presidential historians, three times, we did the first one in 2000 when bill clinton was leaving office, the second when george w bush left office and the third in 2017 when barack obama was leaving office. we worked for three known historians edna heppner, douglas brickley and richard norton smith, 20 years ago to put together the survey with ten leadership qualities, we sent it out to 100 historians, with worked hard for geographic and diversity over the years so we can represent different points of view as they are judging them. here's the qualities that the president is judged on. you might think about it as a conversation will come on full. public persuasion, crisis leadership. economic management. moral authority. international relations. administrative skills. relations with congress, visions
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and setting an agenda. some reason i always think about george h. w. bush when the vision comes up. i pursued equal justice for all. in the final one they wanted to add because office of the presidency has changed so much over the course of history. performance in the time in which he served. why do we do the surveys? we do them because -- i was standing at the register where the books are being sold and i heard a woman saying why is he on the cover of this book. i don't think that was such a great president and that is why we do the surveys. we want people to get involved, interested and passionate about our own history. we live in a society where we do that. our e-mail is filled every day with the top ten of this or the bottom five of that. in doing this, although suit this is historians, it provides a basis for you to get involved and have conversations around
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the dinner table about whether or not you think the historians did a good job of raiding presidents. so who is up and who's down over the course of the time that we did this? andrew jackson we heard his place on the 20-dollar bill for the next several years. he has gone down in our survey over time, he went to 13th place in 2002. woodward wilson 610 to 11th. he is gone for 26 to 32. in grover cleveland, 17 to 23. i'm sure historians will have perspective on some of the things our society has changed of why the historians are not looking at them or clinically. >> dwight eisenhower, when we first did the survey in 2000, now he's a fifth. bill clinton the first survey
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was just coming out of the impeachment process, 21st place in the next he settling at 13th position. finally this is interesting, from 33rd place to 22nd one of the things that we found over the course of time is the big biographies the become big bestsellers. they influence and use the historians have as presidents and they've had a couple of those in recent years. the top five overall will not be any surprises, dwight eisenhower and fifth position, theodore roosevelt and forth, frequent roosevelt and third in george washington and second-place and guess who is number one, abraham lincoln. in the bottom five, john tyler, he went on to join the confederate congress after he left the white house, the man
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without a party why he was in the white house and also buried with the confederate flag on his grave were in harding we are learning more as years go by, he was in the 40th spot, franklin pierce, new hampshire's only president, 41st position, he had a very difficult time with sexual and is him and he came into office with a you briefly put, they have three sons and two died before he was elected to the presidency, the third son 11-year-old benny was riding on a train with his parents in new hampshire making their way to washington and the train had a tremendous accident and benny was throwing out of the train and was killed. the president carried his son lifeless body back to the train and that's how they started the early presidency and he had a hard time assembling his cabinet and his wife spent much of the
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years in the white house in writing letters to her departed son. it's a very difficult start in the difficult time in our nations history. andrew johnson, the first president to be impeached, all the bit of that because of time and then james buchanan, worst president ever. quickly on the modern president, ronald reagan is only one in the top ten in ninth position. george h. w. bush and the 20 spot, he is father and son duo as well. i think it'll be fascinating at the end of the term presidency when we survey again because we went through three days of national scene setting of the presidency. presidential funerals are a tool that they used to put the image for prosperity. we witnessed scenes being repeated throughout the three
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days of the funeral. about integrity, here is him and being a decent man. it'll be interesting to see where he is next time. bill clinton at 15, george w bush is in 33rd spot, the last survey he was one spot lower and in the bottom ten, he moved up out of the bottom ten of adding another president to the mix. he has really difficult things for the assessment of time and it'll be differen interesting tt happens with his rating. barack obama in his debut in 12 position, a good start to his assessment. the idea was to get to interested and showcase the work of the wonderful historians. we have an incredibly rich website attached to this book. every one of the interviews from which this is drawn, you can watch the video and all the chapter references.
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if there is a reference to sectionalism or certain were we have linked all them. you don't have to do the work and you can go through history other interested in learning more. so these other three presidents with the historians and i will turn the podium over. william howard, his high score was a ministry of skills, does that surprise you? lowest score public persuasion. total score 528 out of 1000. jimmy carter highest score equal justice for all. does that make sense? the lowest score, crisis leadership. total score 506 out of a thousand and james buchanan was in the cellar for all of them. he had either 41, 42 or 43 in every single category. he was so low he was 30 points below andrew johnson.
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his high score was 41st position and a ministry of skills and his low score and seven of the ten categories was a number 43 spot. 245 out of a possible thousand. i cannot wait to tell stories about this man. i will sit down and enjoy the wonderful panel along with you. thank you for your attention. [applause] you will have cards passed out for you to ask questions which would be the last 15 minutes and everyone's books are going to be available "after words" if you're interested in learning more. i want to tell you about our book, it does not make any money off the sales, all of the very small amount of royalties that we get from the sales goes to c-span education fund which makes free teaching material for high school and middle school teacher. if you buy a book you help support teachers. thank you for your attention.
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[applause] only one crow with you. he said the only modern president of the top ten for somebody like me, eisenhower. [laughter] lbj and fdr are still modern in my life. [laughter] i want to start off, thank you susan and this book will not be here today without her editing. let me start with a historian. would you start off by telling us a little bit about why you got into the writing history. >> i was a journalist who worked at the daily news and among other places, but i was always interested in, my father taught me statuettes of the president. so they were sort of my guide and soldiers. he brought the facts about the president, and it tells you when
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their mother died and all that sort of thing. so based on statistics i was always involved with that. and i'm also a contrarian as my wife will tell you in to write about the worst president was much more fun to figure out who the best one is. it's a good question. i'm still trying to figure out the answer. i think a couple different reasons. the first is i'm a law professor, in my field, focuses on the supreme court and i'm fascinated by other institutions that are intertwined and do a lot of presidency, congress. so i have been interested in how presidents impact the understanding of the constitution and develop over
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time. i think of myself of a child of watergate. i grew up in the shadow of watergate initiates a lot of my understanding and particularly the conflicts between president and congress. and out of the shadow we get jimmy carter. but we also get nixon and ford and it changes a lot of how we view laws these days. that's another reason i got answers. >> as susan said emma journalist the heart so i only write on deadline and two assignments. the first biographies i wrote were assignments for the american president series. i did not know either of them before giving the assignment.
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i really designated with the writing history because when i was a kid reading biographies was the most inspiring thing. i had read a lot but i remember going to the library of congress and the first time in the adams building and being so full of wonder to think all of the books of the world were in the billing. in learning more about adams and jefferson and reading biographies, and about the kid with the glasses who read and learn leadership to leading, the amazing fdr biographies and about how another boy found his books that i was ignited so much to the stories and that's why find biographies to be an inspiring experience. >> i want to go back to robert truss' book, i want all of you to jump in on this.
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it does not have to relate to james buchanan. he waffled about everything. why did you say that? >> at some point, the book does stop on the president is we have to stop. in most of our great presidents, made the decision they were all great decisions, i would say that the japanese internment wasn't a wonderful decision but sometimes it comes to a head and buchanan would be open to diplomat. first of all he was the best party giver of the middle of the 19th century. there were positive things, he was a really nice guy but he was always trying to please people. and he is a diplomat like i said, the ambassador to england
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and he was really good at having him over for lunch. so i say there are certain things that were good about it. but he did well. your book after the carter chapter came out was about 13 presidencies, 2012 men, any of the other 12 besides jimmy carter and i'm not so sure you would call them that. >> they were wallflowers that i think one of the interesting things we learn about, is precisely because they weren't wallflowers, they were too strong, they were stubborn. sometimes stubborn and really constructive ways. i would not say they were stubborn and the destructive way but he was not a waffle. he came in with a strong sense
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of what he wanted to do and part of the problem, he did not listen to other people. he thought use write about different issues and it turns out sometimes what was good or bad or popular and that became a story of the presidency. i read about this, he died 30 days after becoming president. but in the 30 days, he was stubborn, he had to be stubborn in some respects he had to push against henry clay and harrison did not want that to happen. it turned out to be the defining moment of the presidency. in a lot of presidents become a popular because the not listen to other people, not react to contacts or events at the time and lose the presidency and lose
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the historical judgment. >> do you think is right among the list of the 12? >> sure. as a presidential leader in the c-span survey is right, it is low but for ministry skills it is incredibly high, the incredible power -- >> if you want a book about the constitutional legacy, he's only person that is written is the same book about provisions. as michael said, characters who are not great as president have a very strong constitutional vision. it was heroic and seems all the more questions trying to defend the constrained presidency and congress added time with the new populist presidency was rising
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up. the question of waffling, if you know it you know it, you refuse to engage in the arts of public persuasion. i will not play for popularity. if people don't like my vision so be it. they would write legalistic speeches and expect that would be persuasive. i was trying to think about the different between waffling and deliberating. the great presidents took a while to make up their mind. waiting so long before he felt the market public was ready for world war ii. in change in the war from preserving the union to eradicating slavery. the real place is a lack of
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deliberation and is not the only way of voting, you cannot refuse because you're too sure of your principles in advance and i think that was the case for th them. >> you're in the book that jeffrey rosen wrote about, i can't remember if there was a quote or what you call it, they called him a great heater. , he wrote about him, did you see that? >> he had his moments and in those moments he could be hateful. it did not work for him. one of the more famous, i think that in did up working more for brenda than taft. he was a reflective of his time
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and he like many people reacted negatively. there are others he is used to. and to some extent when the president becomes that way, somebody who hates something, they tried not to hate the enemy and right before he died. he is still trying to hang out the hand to the other side to find a way to bring people together, great presidents do that,. >> can you expand on the presidencies study, or the heaters? >> , that is interesting. i know buchanan did not seem to be a hater. he did not get along with longer and particular, stephen douglas.
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it does not seem that there were that many heaters. they were put against each other but they had a history before in history after they were able to get around is difficult to spring it also seems to me that that is part of being a part mission. trying to bridge your hatred in order to get things done. >> tell the story about the charles evans, and you landed up on the court instead. >> his father told him to be part chief justice.
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he unwillingly becomes president because his wife make him do it and although time he is still planning to be on the supreme court. finally a moment arrives in the changeup, he has to be replaced and he really wants to take the seat himself and he says i cannot help. somebody signing the commission is not 70 stop i want. he got out to the point where they choose the obvious candidate. dynamic, young, former governor of new york, admired by all and the phone rings any cancel the interview. an overweight southern democrat and the only qualification is that he will die.
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[laughter] so he becomes chief justice and served for about ten years and he stops by every couple of years to find out how he is doing. tragically he refuses to expire. [laughter] happily and without any wording he does often all of a sudden. he has to mobilize all the forces and persuade him to appoint them in eac achieves his lifelong goal. it is a wonderful story of forward planning. [laughter] >> i point out in your book in one term, four years, six members of the supreme court and as you point out, jimmy carter is 0. so talk about all three of these, talk about the importance
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of or the lack of significant when you cannot appoint somebo somebody. >> appointments is something the all presidents want to do because they can shake the court but i should add it is not killing. [laughter] and didn't really bear the rate but, in some respects is important because it's not just a joke, presidents cannot do certain things, they cannot make people fall over, i can imagine the current present hope some happens with justice ginsburg and many of us hope nothing happens to work. [laughter]
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in presenting presidents with opportunity tutor than expected and ronald reagan got the opportunity. he decides what we do. i can see carter was timing for the court but every president that was full-time thought that transferred they got several chances. carter got on however, there's lower appointments including two circuit court judges 12 elevated the supreme court. jim breyer injustice can grow.
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>> go to scott and how the happen. >> there is a theory that buchanan wanted the decision topic. what he deafly wanted he was going to solve slavery. i don't know that he had a particular solution but it was a case winding around and use a former slave had gone up to minnesota and he comes back in the master guys and he said he is free because he was living in the territories that were not supposed to have slavery. at any case the court case comes
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and he's a chief justice, all these guys are related. anyway but there's a split side, not conservative and liberal as today but southern and northern. i am buchanan apparently had a discussion with him before he took office and said what are we going to do about this and he says nobody is going to buy into that. if you can convince somebody to change his mind. buchanan, did anybody go to
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dickinson college? you responsible for the civil war. there's a third supreme court justice that went to dickinson intentions one is most vile of cases came to be. because of dickinson college. >> jeffrey rosen talked about jimmy carter and he makes the statement, he was a tremendously good man, how often you say that about the 44 amendment of the president? >> before internet, i must put in a plug for the new civil war exhibit which i want you to see
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downstairs. it has the freedom petition that he filed to the spring court because he cannot write when it's on story as you say so will and overturn. was carter a good man, i cannot look into his heart although he characterized his own heart during the 1976 presidential campaign. it seems to be a good man but most presidents, is a correlation between private virtue and public virtue. >> let me add. [laughter] he also said this, he had integrity, he was demanding more from, outsider and brings us the
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fact that he gave amnesty during the vietnam war. but again talk about the most integrity written president. >> there is no doubt, let me start with my guy, taft was very good man and we talked about him being a hater and he is a strong sense of personal loyalty and he had ambition he would've reappointed to the supreme court and had a fantasy that the democratic president would appoint him. but the thing about him he made up with them and he was so devoted to the institutional court into massing the court. that he would join the decisions which you degrade were disagreements to converge and they ended up working together well. but he shows there's no correlation between virtue and he was a devoted husband in
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nursing his wife back to health after she had a stroke and taught her to speak again. incredibly devoted to his kids. none of that means your good leader. because leadership requires things like liberation, flexibly, accommodation, willingness to listen to your opponents that may not correlate with public virtue. i remember reading one anti-nixon historian that said he was normally truly a wicked president. i don't think that that is true. the recent biography shows there were such a human side to nixon, he so vulnerable and also did a
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great deal of good inform policy and even his failed attempts to connect with his wife and kids, you cannot help but empathize with humanity. >> he said in the book that richard nixon was weird . . .
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and national constitution center you have to go back for a moment to understand anyone's character and his beard and this came from that end of reagan's inaccessibility so each of us is complex in his own way but i haven'that ihaven't answered yon about whether you need to be a good person to be a good president my instinct is now i guess you don't. the other presidents written about, franklin pierce and the,s chester arthur, coolidge, benjamin harris, how about this business of being tremendously good? >> if you studied history all
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those other guys in between so there is a period became the presidency pretty much that the congress ruled. we had a great congressman even if you don't agree with the politics, they were great prominent men and not made for the presidency as we view it n
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now. they don't necessarily have to be good if they have to recognize the good in other people and achieve something good that is a commonality. lincoln was a complex character rated the highest presidents of all time and he was extremely good at reading other people. stephen douglas who you wrote about had to go up against him a couple of times and what's
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interesting is douglas was a hater but he didn't hate lincoln. when he learned he would face lincoln, i'm paraphrasing him he said i really like thinking coming is a good guy which is extraordinary coming from douglas. he wouldn't say that about anything else but he does say that lincoln. people that work with and find he was difficult sometimes because he wasn't always told you what he was thinking and sometimes he could go back on what he said and things like that. he had a lot on his plate and they had to deal with that at the end of the day president have to think about goodness because they have to achieve something that is good because that is what is going to be lasting. >> we wil >> we will go to the questions. i don't know where the little
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cards for. what are the chances we talk about and think about the presidency too much? >> they are high in the framers thought that congress would be the most powerful branch. the judiciary would be the least dangerous of the chief magistrate supposed to be a constraint office that would take care where the walls were faithfully executed and the commander-in-chief exercising his constitutional bounds but not a popular leader and this was his point.
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when you have both said and roosevelt saying he is a steward of the people channel but there will then you have a different vision than the framers imagined and he thought it was a threat with factions by making the appeal and therefore threatening liberty. today obviously we are seeing the fulfillment of some of those not only because of the claim is that it allows the president to communicate with the public in a way they would have found a nightmare because the danger of demagoguery. the president occupies so much airtime that the danger is he will distract us with his
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personal virtues from the public policy and the law that required a lot morrequirea lot more timen than it could take so i think we are paying too much attention. >> but he also started out with the greatest american, george washington, we started out based with a strong president and significant than none the less no matter what you would have said about his presidency, he was the guy on the whitehorse, i don't know that his forces were white but in any case, the first was martin van buren we might not have said that.
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i don't know the first presidents of other european countries but i would bet [inaudible] may be that amaybe that is the y we discuss this. >> one reason people think about the presidency of office because one thing that gets left out of that the creation of a lot of times thinking about great leaders they need followers, they need the people not just to vote for them, but to support an end to enjoy interacting with people. lincoln actually liked it and was a great storyteller. he would say let me tell you a story and finally he says
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another story, but the other thing
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at the cemetery and they would
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say the kennedy center and i would ask them who else is. at the arlington national cemetery and they have no idea. and it's the president had served for four years and nine years as the chie chief justicef the supreme court and it is within walking distance and they have no idea and they don't even know who william howard taft is. what does that say about history or civics classes or glamour, fill in the blanks on all of that. >> we rate colleges and law schools and museums and opera houses and so forth, but the c-span ratings are extremely helpful we learned so much about history from the introduction to why the president for good and bad but if that is what they identify as the greatest
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strength and administrative skill and weakness in the public persuasion that helps us evaluate the leadership and also it helps us have heroes and put them into perspective and have a conversation like we are having now. your question i'm still pondering you asked can you be good and present. you think about roosevelt, such a complex person. she has a heart and spend time with his cousin and walled off his children but it was
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precisely that comports in a position that allowed him to give up all the empathy that gave him a feeling of empathy with the most downtrodden and just thinking about that is interesting. what they are trying to do is inspire people to be good citizen and that involves leadership and about what you think the constitution means and american history means and that's why i said we were paying too much attention on a daily basis, but they heavily into history because you need to tell stories and personalize it and make judgments and connect and you have to be a kid and be inspired to learn more and read those books. in that sense i think reading them is fun. >> i think we rate pretty much
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everything and i would say i don't know when this became true that the president is the most well known person in america. maybe mohammad ali was more well known saying i have better years that's why i got it more. but in general, he's the one that represents america in some way both internally and externally. i don't see how you could not say donald trump isn't the most well known person in america. and that makes us different from even the english system are parliamentary to the heads of party. theresa may isn't a minister, who's the next guy he might last a few month, so there are the
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celebrity countries and the president as a celebrity as low. i know there are a lot of people who must read but not as many as donald trump's. >> again that is a good questi question. it's because presidents care about ratings. they care about being remembered. we all want to be remembered. i think that they want to be remembered. one of the defining things for presidents is how they are constantly comparing themselves to other president so even if we don't rate them they will rate
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themselves. lincoln, near the end of his first term) can turn is basically saying i think i'm doing pretty well against the others. but he was thinking about it and so do you. if each of you could invite three former president to the table for a conversation which three would you advise? >> of course i would want to ask buchanan. we should have seen the list of
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food and liquor. [laughter] of course now that i've studied him in a way that i would want him there but to be compared to somebody wonderful and i think that washington sort of in a certain way even though he was so popular, he was enigmatic. >> i'd like to talk to nixon. he seems the most complex. that is another great question. i don't think that it would be
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any of the presidents beginning in the 20th century. part of it is because it covered so much. we know that better than the other ones. to hear those stories i would mention another one because he's forgotten and that is william henry harrison. let's give him a chance to speak. i would invite him as another one saying what put you have done and the other one might be something like james madison, because he was there and involved in so much not just in the founding that the development of america. so, he of course you take medicine of the constitution atn center we need him back for
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quite a few questions. and if there is an amazing moment when lincoln was discovered they should take no position selec for all of us tok to medicine and find out exactly what went on. you have to invite to jefferson to see if you can have a better dinner party but also to talk about music and science to channel his genius and conversation which is supposed to be so incredibly sparkling.
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i would like to meet. truman he seems so authentic burning a hole in the pillow because he was so determined to teach himself about the ancient greeks and learning about the american centur century as it ws present from the strong proud of brilliant leader. >> in our book we talk about from your interview the rift between theodore roosevelt and howard taft and how like adams and jefferson and they came together late. can you tell that story?
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taft is persuaded at roosevelt ais a demagogue threatening the comes to cushion against the demagoguery and then reporters see him on the campaign trail after he's denounced roosevelt and says my closest friend and then he just convulses in tears and it is a drama.
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they knew they had to come back together again. how has the availability of the universal and instance information impacted our differences from the predecessors? i think they are getting more information almost all presidents want more informati information. they want to be informed and why not. being able to gather information quickly and better have arisen with technology and would be something all presidents want and the other thing about it ifs the wouldn't want them to appear
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so how they deal with that information is the defining thing. >> is there any question between good or bad evidence or legislative experience coming into office? to better as it made him if he was a state which is later in pennsylvania and secretary of state and ambassador to russia, he had been up for supreme court justice ship a couple of times and it's sort of came to nothing. he has no great legislative
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triumph and was the last man left. bringing somebody else in the essentially a abraham lincoln didn't have a big bar to jump over to become a great president so maybe you are comparing before and after. it's hard to say that about lincoln. >> i think legislation is critical especially one that would endure and be remembered. in part because of the speech and what they say in the
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rhetoric they sometimes remember because of the things they've done but also for their achievements. they've achieved no legislative success. to be done in the future passing legislation might be important but hell if you did have legislative experience including roosevelt and by state legislators johnson may be the only serious legislator who has the achievements and i would say i've learned from your book greatness, do you have a constitutional vision, do you
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transform the understanding of the constitution there are three republican history in washington is the founding of that. lincoln is the anchoring and then the new deal republican. you see ronald reagan aspiring to repeal and resurrect the original must constitution through the transformative supreme court appointments. he would have led to a new republic. what is fascinating to think of now in the court appointment they might indeed achieve the resurrection and eluded whether you think it is a good or bad idea that would be just as
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transformative and significant. i want to add one quick thing to that. it may help a great mystery. often times people say he didn't really do anything before he became president. one reason why he gets elected is what people care about in the 19th century is that they still care about it now. they care about vision, much less about experience than the present judgment and vision and of course lincoln has both and many that is what they have. >> i'm going to turn to this in your timeframe. why has wilson dropped so many points? teaneck is views on race.
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it's not a president that can speak to our time and that's one important reason for the progress is now questioning wilson. at the same time i think it is next wednesday to talk about his new book george will says the defining question whether you are a conservative today is who you would have voted for in 1912 and anyone devoted in the progressive traces to woodrow wilson. there directly challenged demagoguery and lots of conservatives and libertarians claim that all one will send so that is on both sides and why it is going down.
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>> in part to cause we are all embedded in the culture of the president as well. they can try to break a lot of things that they can' but they t of their culture. also the vision encompasses in part it's changed the culture in part by getting rid of slavery. let's break the chains for this peak and begin a different way of thinking. it's critical because it defines the context of which they operate. >> anyone want to tackle this one, jfk's place, is it camelot?
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>> most of his signaled things he wanted done he found a not too much success in congress. if we look back, people who don't like trump, the horror of our age but my god, the cuban missile crisis, we thought we were all going to blow up. so, there were a lot of the ice wouldn't necessarily call it a great successful presidency, accept the idea that you got involved in the peace corps story. it's why now we are having a resurrection remembering those old times as not so bad. >> silence isn't something that helps into this reminds me of one of the greatest stories of
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any president and that is calvin coolidge. he didn't like people all that much. he also was burdened by the death of his son but he also didn't like to speak that much. there's a story that arises with coolidge when he's at a dinner party and a woman sex next to him and says i made a bet with someone that i could get you to say more than three words and he said you lose. [laughter] not surprisingly we have four or five upon to ask about the incumbent president, so i will use this one. again, you can start. you just talked about historians being a product of the culture in which they live. this person wants to know will historians be able to look at president trump in a non- biased way? >> it will be difficult, but the
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great historians, that is what they have to do. they have to find a way to be dispassionate about their subjects so they can be able to write about them in a way that will improve understanding and enrich our understanding of history. i think with president trump this night take some time for people to be able to put them in perspective. there is also the sense of stopping himself from talking. the more he utters provides ammunition so to speak for people to judge him not just now, the leader. it's about the supreme court using the current example and regardless, it is possible even likely they will overturn and will put you out of this type of
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the concurrent majority public opinion. so the ability to appoint and with the majority of the culture might be saying in the public opinion polls. help people understand that. >> that's a very important question. so, we just did podcasts on both of the questions i think i have some of the numbers. we the people podcast where i get to call up and talk to scholars who debate. they've been pretty consistent more than two thirds were about two thirds of americans have supported the right to choose early and 80 or more. that consensus was paying much near in the 1992 casey decision.
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the debate that has been transformed by the new divide including alabama right to life for the constitutional matter it is supported by large numbers and within those states. the position doesn't have a super majority or even majority support in the reddest speeds, but it could very much transform. it is that you need another supreme court appointment to overturn. and it's that reason that many think even they won't be in a hurry to overturn even as it might chip away or overturn if that is the answer. many have written about this. it was perceived.
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it exhibits this backlash is which is so dramatic about this moment we are about to enter into. imagine a scenario the questioner signals and i mentioned before, say the clerk to overturn roe over the marriage equality decision which are not conceivable, that would put the cork in conflict and regulations that are supported by the majority of american people. what happens next and they might be talking again about the court packing and not funding the courts and the definition of a constitutional crisis i might
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when one doesn't fund the other and those are some of the scenarios that might play out same but this gets out of step with public opinion and its peril and they have a way of fighting back. >> this is about eisenhower inching ahead and wondering what happens especially considering truman gave the marshall plan, integrated the armed forces to stop the expansion of communism in korea. >> they didn't like each other and it was actually bother trimming a great deal to no eisenhower pinched him and ensure he would just chuckle. the fact to some extent he's begun to rise a little bit of
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this distance now. he wasn't a man of many words that he was a man whose the tv of good deeds and actions have become very important to. the story of the presidency is how long it took for the vp critical if they didn't fail at the end. one of the things that's important is values. there are those that embrace values that the american people as a whole embrace. the president said don't do that, and you can't fail.
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do that and succeed and you will be remembered. >> should c-span categories deleted for example genocide of american indians not count more than some other categories and historians when they formulated and made the decision early on to have it be consistent over time and write each category evenly ten times 102,000 but i would argue the survey does take into account and that is why the poll numbers have gone down into major areaintwo major areas purl justice for all and moral authority so the shifting and understanding of the role affected the numbers enormously so it does get waited. iif you're an athlete is you aro that website and all of the ratings are there and you can
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play knocking off one of the categories and see what happens, have a little fun with it. thank you for your attention and please join me in thanking brian for the questions. [applause] all five of us will be at the table if yo you like your book signed by everybody, we are happy to accommodate. thank you for posting. [applause]
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good afternoon and thank you for coming i think you are in for a


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