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tv   After Words Sen. Tammy Duckworth D-IL Every Day Is a Gift  CSPAN  July 5, 2022 2:44pm-3:39pm EDT

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thank you so much. >> guest: thank you. i enjoyed it. >> there are a lot of places to get political information, but only at c-span you you get it straight from the source. no matter where you are from a point where you stand on the issues, c-span is america's network. unfiltered, unbiased, word for word. if it happens here or here, or anywhere that matters, america is watching on c-span. powered by cable. >> thank you so much for joining us today to discuss your book. >> guest: thanks for having me on. i'm very excited to be here. >> host: i want to start, your
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entire lifeor story is incrediby moving and f a so many emotional moments. as a congressional editor though on a lighter note i love the portion of your book where you say people tell me that i'm the first senator to have a baby while in office. no, i am the first senator to give birth while in office tried to exactly. the men had been having babies for years but it tells you with the average age of like 70 it's hard for the average senator to give birth. we need more women senators and younger senators. >> host: absolutely. the passages in the book are fantastic but i'm hoping we can advocate a conversation about what that looks like a personal level. you will know the tradition is a very male hidebound institution. how awkward was at talking through, i think use of the phrase without abreast on the senate floor. >> guest: as soon as i became pregnant, ir] mean, i got pregnt
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through ivf. i was trying but as soon as we were successful we begin having the conversations because remember the senate even then when democrats were in the minority we were pretty evenly divided i knew we would need every single vote. so i cannot take maternity leave. senate rule says i cannot take maternity leave because if i do that i can't introduce legislation. i can't vote. i can't do anything. i couldn't even give birth back in illinois by one or to give birth. i had to do it in d.c. because if iuc was in illinois i would'e been stuck there. you can't take a newborn baby on an airplane. even from the beginning under we would have to work through a lot of issues including the senate rules. senate rules. there's no way for me to get on the floor to vote with my baby unless they change the rules. that was almost a nine-month long process of negotiations
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with amy klobuchar. and orin hatch was the lead committee chairman. host: what does that experience tell you and show you how far washington has to go to be truly feminist with the ability to represent? because as you point out others raise children. >> one thing i learned you can find allies in unexpected places. once a senators knew i was having these conversations and negotiating. orin hatch really didn't want to change the rules. what will the babies dress code going to be? as a mom are you seriously asking me if the baby would adhere to a senate dress
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code? must have a blazer and shoes. she wears a beanie. i will not take that off. she would be in for the pajamas. i could put shoes on that. i will put a blazer on her. i did that day. but i had members, republican members, marco rubio i hardly ever agree said tammy, i am with you. i will stick up for you. i wish i could've brought my young kids to the floor. we need to do this. we need to change the rules. and roy blunt said tammy i will be the next chairman. i will change the rules. i remember when i was in the house how great it was when i can bring my children to the floor progressive as he became chairman, the same wiki change the rules for me. host: that is fascinating. and it brings me to another
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question as a hill person i consider that photograph of you entering the building to vote iconic holding her baby daughter. you have been in the public eye for so long. you address this but how did that feel different now not just a public figure. >> i am very jealous of guarding my daughter's privacy. you will rarely see pictures to see their fullface. sometimes you will see media has captured it. but i am most no ways on - - never post pictures with their face. they can decide whether or not they want to post pictures of themselves on social media. but it was important for me to do my job as a working mom. are fighting for working moms everywhere so it was very
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symbolic for all of the moms who work outside of the home as well. to see me break down that barrier i could show even a senator has to fight to bring her kid onto the floor to do her job. host: talk about very common experiences that women don't talk about, you were very candid about ivf and how tough that was. that is something a lot of women are starting to share more and more to get rid of the unnecessary shame attached to it. you talked about it matter of fact and your initial experience with the doctor in a catholic hospital who did not give you your full options. you can walk through with that shows you trying to help press healthcare policy to be more inclusive with fertility options. >> i was a congresswoman at the time. that was a learning
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experience. prior i was at the v.a. i also use them for the healthcare. at the time so had very limited services. every v.a. hospital has a civilian teaching hospital as a partner. the v.a. i go to happens to be a catholic institution which i didn't ever think about ever go to them for mammograms or routine care. but when they return on - - referred me to maternity services the doctor did not even examine me or take me into the clinic. she met me in the waiting room. your 43 years old. you are too old. you have less than a 3 percent chance of getting pregnant. the best you can do is go home and enjoy your husband and sent me on my way. not knowing anything about treatments i believed her.
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this is a doctor and hospital i have received excellent care. it never even occurred to me. had no reason to believe i was to all that 43 to get pregnant. i had been trying for ten years. so my husband enjoyed that line about enjoy your husband but then two years later i was speaking at a women in leadership seminar when a woman who was there the question was asked, had you manager work life balance i try but i regret i could never have children because then i struggled and cannot get pregnant now i am 44 or 45. a woman said you are not too old go to this doctor. at northwestern in chicago. he has knocked up every single woman over 40 in chicago.
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go to him. i didn't believe her. was very polite she continue to pester me every month. finally i went i went in to see the doctor who said you work with me and go to the process. there's no reason why you cannot get pregnant and he examined be one - - examine me. eighteen months to the day i was pregnant. i don't want anybody else to be misled the way i was. i said i thought i couldn't get pregnant and i was too old. he said where did you go? because that's a catholic institution as a catholic church they do not support ivf specifically because it's fertilization of an egg outside of the human body. that happens a lot. so i included this in the book
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because i want other women and other families who try to start a family to know that they have options. and it is a struggle but it is worth it. have two beautiful girls one at 46 and then another right after i turned 50. host: it is incredible. you go into this in great depth. i wonder how you contextualize the story we didn't even get to the rest. and with healthcare policy there are very few members who have your direct experience with these choices of working women that they make every day. did you think about this as you are working or was that separate quick. >> everything i have experienced a bring to work with me because i think it makes me a better public servant for my constituents. i also told my staff members as they go through their lives
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with experiences. what the point of working for united states senator if you cannot work on your passion projects? i have been working very hard on reproductive rights not just as a progressive democratic women take on people's attention including my republican colleagues. if you support the persons of amendments of fertilized egg is a full person with rights you will make ivf out of reach for most people. my doctor said if this passes, tammy i could be convicted of manslaughter if i put fertilized eggs and you knowing that probably two of them will not take because they are human beings and has rights. think about what you are doing when you pass legislation on reproductive access for women. i bring that to the table. i wrote about it and letters
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to my colleagues and a speak up all the time. is not just about choice in terms of abortion but to want to have children and have techniques beyond my grasp because of these laws that haven't seen consequences most people don't even think about. host: i covered this but you raised this issue and had a discussion during the confirmation process. talking to more of your colleagues like the senators that were allies and access on the floor does it make them more open to talking about it? >> i think so. time and again whether we talk about the post office and then to support the u.s. postal service i get my medication through the mail. it's one thing for the mail to be the couple of days late but if it is three weeks late and
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is my medication for phantom pain people are suffering. i also think i bring to the table i introduced the mom act talking about the high maternal mortality rates among african of american women they need to support their not listen to in the childbirth process. and the diaper needs act talking on - - talk about people cannot afford diapers for their children in daycare not because it'll have access to daycare but access to diapers if they are choosing between food and diapers if you drop off a child you have to include diapers then you can't that your child in daycare then you can go to work. so i think it makes a better legislator.
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and my colleagues have their own experience that they are helpful to them as well. host:'s now going back to the earlier chapters in your life you discussed, i was struck reading "the new york times" review because they had the thought that i had. there are certain parallels to dreams of my father. you get extremely personal. your style of writing is very different from president obama. he could be a little ornate but i just like you get down to it. so what was that like? so discuss who your influences were because you are so candid what it was like growing up to have the vision of america and your life in america and you get really personal.
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did you say this is the way senator duckworth would talk quick. >> i really enjoyed born of crime. the title was amazing. very personal about being born biracial in south africa even his parents got together and had him. and my parents met each other and fell in love and had me my dad and home state of virginia could not have married my mother because it had not yet passed in virginia. and i learned so much about apartheid to the individual on the black side of the equation and the white side.
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i wanted to do the same thing for the experience of growing up biracial in asia. i wanted to teach the reader about what it was like to grow up in southeast asia post- vietnam but also why i still believe america is worth it. america is worth fighting for. my sexual daughter abigail asked me the question. mommy you don't have legs. she wants me to teach her to ride her bike. but i can't run alongside of her to push the bike. so she said why couldn't somebody else's mommy or daddy go to iraq and lose their legs? why you? i wanted to show her america is worth it. democracy is worth it. it beg
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otthey had been abandoned by their fathers the way i have not beenabandoned by my . >> speaking of your father, the first chapter that you yourself continued later on as somebody grappling with the da and trying to make it better. if you can talk leaders through what's personally painful for you to explore and especially the political, talk about how this hadn't failed . >> so my dad did what a lot of veterans do which is they don't go to the va to get the care they need and the support they need because they think they're okay they're saving the care for their bodies. my dad time and again lied to the va. he had wounds from his literary service and he'd say
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, you take care of the other guys which is what you learn to do in the service . you learn to take care of each other and look out for your buddies and our veterans take that to the most extreme form. i read about this in the book where in illinois when i was the director of the state department of sveteran affairs the va had 600,000 veterans in illinois but i knew there were 1.2 million veterans because that's how many individual applied for license plates from the secretary of the state so the va is undercounting 400,000 veterans in illinois which means that when the va goes to build a new hospital they look at all this and say hello money has 800,000 veterans, it does need additional one or two hospitals . that means illinois get those hospitals and when those other 400,000 veterans not being counted you need to go to be a part of the home is in there, it's gone somewhere else siphoning a lot of time telling veterans if you even
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if you don't plan to use it sign-ups and so the va knows her hair. the best way you can takecare of your buddies is not to not enroll in the end, the best way is to enroll so they know you're there and you get councils but i managed this all the time with veterans . they're still in that mode of taking care of their buddies, pricing for the team instead of watching up for themselves and it ends up hurting the team when they don't go in and get the care they need . >> so i should say you eloquently say this in the book. it's just a theory that the matter of the culture of taking care of veterans. is it your hope that telling your story can help that happen? >> i hope so. all the stories in the book about me growing up in asia and revering america and being so lucky or talking about being hungry, when i was in my teens and my dad has lost his job and was unemployed for poor five years in his 50s, telling the stories of people i know that there are people that have
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lost a job in their 50s who can't get it and are behind on their rent and are grateful for the food stamps or are just screaming by wherever they can and their choosing between do i feed my kids or do i take medicine? all those things. i've been telling me stories and i putthem all together in the book to show that you're not alone . you're not alone and that there are people like me who are in positions of power will understand and see you and are trying our best to solve the problems they're facing despite all of that, the safety nets were there for me. the cps nwere there. i did get, i could go to a public school like a graduate from you i could graduate from college with a relatively low debt. so that i could join the army . i want to make sure those safety nets and therefore
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other people . b>> another sort of question i have about your inspirations, the current situation with anti-asian hate crimes lately when a really terrifying moment thfor a lot of asian americans pacific islanders in this country and i know you're working on legislation that can address this but i'm wondering when you're writing n this book i imagine we may be working in the pandemic but whether that incident your mind in terms of talking about your experienceto people who might suffer discrimination here in america . >> i'm of the chapters about feeling like a permanent other. about actually being discriminated against when i was in asia as i was half white i was sworn for being
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half white and insulted and treateddifferently by my asian cousins because i was halfwhite. it didn't fit in with the asian community and i talked about being and other later on . that all happens ibefore the coronavirus hit . and so i tell people take from that and understand this is a universal experience among asian americans and pacific islanders. we are the one group in this country that after some of our ancestors having earned citizenship in fighting for the north and the civil war had taken away from them in the chinese exclusion. veterans of the civil war had their citizenship they had earth taken away. due to the chinese nsexclusion act. we are the only population that has our families put into internment camps in the middle of a war and fought for this country even as our family members leaving behind rsbecause they were of japanese descent. they might be of japanese descent. so i have had people come up to me while i was wearing the uniform of my nation and the american flag on my shoulder .
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where are you really from? that is in your really your name and i said no, i'm a and the duckworth's have beenhere since before the revolution . this past year has been hard on the api community because of the mix has always been with us but now tto be the target of hate crimes that are just exploding and part of it is because the president of the united states is using a speech. donald trump is saying things like the chinese virus and blaming the chinese for epthe virus but not saying the people's republic of china but saying the chinese, chinese-americans, headache committing hate crimes against them has been traumatic for the aapi community. hate crimes have risen in our cities over 3000 cases of reporting a crimes and we know was a crimes against
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aapi's are never recorded as such. there recorded as vandalism, mugging,, anythingother than a crime .at >> the answer to this might be nothing but i wonder if ryou got a chance to reopen your book now in light of what we're seeing. and anything more in addition to how you addressthe otherness issue . wouldytyou have anything ? >> i think i would maybe spend a little bit more time talking about how when it really matter identity in america was really all that matter. in my helicopter on that dayi talked at length about the shootdown . i think i would have talked about doing it as part of a helicopter crew.it doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, black or whitettor asian or hispanic . i i think part of it is where there's one of each flavor of skittle in there. we're all a bag of skittles. we're all american. and that's why i love the
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army because it didn't matter who i was . if i was a little halfbreed asian girl, mixed asian girl. only matter if i could shoot straight and whether i was willing to carry the load one someone needed help. i would probably have spent more time on operational perspective and just from i left the army because of meritocracy. >> interesting. it's actually a good segue to the portion of the book where you talk about the shootdown. i read another new york times interview with her in part for this discussion where you talk i don't like to consume too much pop culture because it's time for me to watch that replay on street. how hard was it to put all thison paper ? >> it was hard but i did it all in one senate sitting. it was the party in a way but i did have to go back and talk to a lot of people because i don't have a lot of
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memory of what happened past the aircraft so when my pilot command and it landed aircraft and i went to the emergency engine shutdown i came to later on or within the hour and i have lots of conversations but i don't remember any of that because the doctors and nurses at the emergency room in baghdad gave me a drug to say me that they knew the side effects would be on my short-term memory and they do that for all the units coming through as an act of mercy and i'm grateful to them for that but i have to ygo find those and talk to them and cthear what happened in theintervening time . and i found it incredibly rewarding because i was told of things that i said and did that i'm very proud of. i was not euro that day. i didn't land the aircraft, didn't carry anybody to see but until they surveyed me i
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was watching out for my crew and for me as a soldier, as an army officer ultimately was vindication for who i was . i was watching out for myguys until the end . >> is such a remarkable experience having those conversations and you mentioned did you have any research assistance or others helpingyou keep all this together ? >> i did. it was a group project. mostly i reached out. what happened was over the years when i was at walter reed one of the nurses in charge of the emergency room had come up to me and said i know who you are. this is within four or five months of meeting wounded. he said you were talking to me, i just want you to know what you did and he gave me his name and i was able to track down the medevac medic in the medevac trhelicopter and he put me intouch with other folks . it ended up being a little
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facebook coup for the medical unit where they all, and statistics is called snowball sampling. think ofa snowball rolling downhill .once i found one person help me find two people and that help me find three people and the before i was in touch with folks and service all reaching out.it became very healing for the others as well because many of them never saw once they treated you in baghdad what happened to the patients. n'if those know patients died or survived or whatever it was so for some of them one nurse who intimated me he said that i had haunted him or 17 years dwith my final words to him before he sedated me and he thanked me for letting him know i was okay. >> wow, isn't it kind of impressive you're now a us senator?
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>> the thing about being in the military is you don't talk politics. you don't care if people are in a political spectrumbut they know . the book is called every day is a gift every day since that day when i was shutdown has been agift . i should have died in and the only reason i survived was because of heroism of my crew. the heroism of the doctors and nurses and all the people who took care of me so every day is literally a gift that these men and women have given me and i tried to in convey and say we may not always agree but know that you guys are my northstar and i tried to never make you ashamed or embarrassed by what i've done . >> speaking of the title, it's an interesting contrast with trevor know his title. his title born a crime is very from about the trauma inherent human experience a lot of trauma yet the title of your book is something that's a joyful positive
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sentiments. was it hard to settle on a y title? >> all the discussion. there's a saying strong in the book in places. the title for his book, he is from vietnam. and we bought a whole certain things. my callsign is mad dog six. but one day when i was talking as i was writing this to the publishers and to my collaborator , i was talking about the shootdown and i say but you know, every day in my life. every day i have a tough day at work i don't know what it was whether it was a healthcare side. they said you had a tough day and i said yeah but every day is a gift . every day i have is one that i'msurprised that i have and they went past the title . that's the title because
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that's how i and my ylife. every day i get up i think dan miller and kurt hammond and matt bacchus for carrying me out in iraq. and then i say okay. where what do i need to do today to live up to what they did for me on that day . >> sometimes all the brainstorming ends in you just blurting out the final out. another logistical question senator i'm just so impressed that you have the time. how did you do it? did your husband take over trauma care? >> i do it in bits and pieces. when i would do the proposal for the book i was writing most apps in my iphone on airplanes. because you go back and forth to illinois, you have an hour and a half. then when i was on long flights i went back to iraq so i just sat and wrote
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there. i just would write bits and pieces and put it together. then once i have or i have the book deal and i knew i had, i got the book deal in december and i was due in august of 2020 i knew that i had to get this done so i just hunkered down and wrote. it's just about making sure that i even 10minutes writing down a paragraph . so it's just a process. i had a great collaborator who worked with me and helped me along. i have lots of good proofreaders. dick durbin my senior senator , i talk about how he found me in the hospital and gaveme a new mission and eencouraged me to run . i sent them copies to read . i sent it to different folks that i'm a big fan of sharon brown and his process igand his wife is also a new york times
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, connie is a best-selling author so i sent it to him and they gave me feedback. i have lots of people hoping me along the way. >> i love that. it's a great detail. what was the hardest part of this book to write? i'm assuming it's talking t about the crash but there might be another part you found most difficult. >> actually my early childhood was the hardest part. the bad guys still came. it was not anaccident, it was intentional and yes he landed the bird . it's fine. it's not on me, is the fact that dan milburn commanded the aircraft did a remarkable piece of flying and actually landed that burden one piece and that's why were all alive so i want to honor his expertise and he received the rodistinguished flying cross
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for his action on that day so i'm always saying is not crash, then did an amazing number of piloting. >> will make sure they shootdown. >> no problem. i close off a lot of the struggle of reliving what it was like. i only started talking about it in recent years as the nation has been in more of a depression, a recession and talk about it more that i was on food stamps. i was very ashamed of being on food stamps for a long time in my early 20s and 30s. i thought that was a failure. it's only later in life i realized athat was success because we never gave up as a family.to this day don't get between me and a penny on the ground i will rollover you on mywheelchair and you . that's not nothing to be embarrassed that's something to be proud of. with the food stamps, with
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the school lunch program. that's, we should be more open about that. there are other families that are food insecure right now that need to know. >> it makes sense although i would not have expected you to hdo that part. you talk about trevor noah. and in that same interview of the new york times that i referenced earlier you referenced your affection or born a crime and you also talk about other books white rage which was a book that you referenced recently and that you would like to see eventhe president read . i wish i could ask you a question i will not ask you just what would you have anybody working on the hill, or staffer read? >> i would rather have a reading list, i'd rather put white rage on there because it does talk about the pendulum swing in our nation
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every time we had major movements and success and a stepping forward that there is this backlash. it's been part of our nation's history. i think that's one that you read. i think that people should understand those in the military about experience. brandon friedman who wrote the war i always wanted, that's a good book about the iraq war and afghanistan as well and what my generation of troops were thinking about not having been at war which it's our turn to go and that coming-of-age story for infantrymen and women but i would have a whole long list of things . you want to learn about apartheid south africa read born a crime . >> reading this is probably fair. another book question i have is this i was so struck by this is not your political
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memoir are often times written by members who have their eye on something higher . you're telling a sweeping story and i wonder you get a new book for anyone whether they have no ideawhat you are ? >> this book was written for my daughters. i want them to read and hosunderstand. i want them to read and understand the struggles i went through and that america provided me with privilege deand with help all along the way and that's america's worth it. i truly wrote this just for my girl but also for others to understand this democracy is worth fighting for and so maybe give people a perspective as to why i believe in the programs i believe in and why i asked for things like more food stamps and moneyfor public education . why i support the policies that i do o and to really explain how i got to these positions based on my
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experiences. and i hope people get that as well but really this book is a love letter to my nation and my daughter so that they would understand why i was willing to even compromise. my daughter is shappy to teach her to write about that, that i made a decision before she was born that resulted in me losing my license and i would still do it again because i was making the same decision because our democracy and this less-than-perfect union is worth the struggleto become a more perfect union . >> speaking of your daughter, one portion that made me laugh out loud and i'm going to botch the paraphrase but what's mommy's name and she says in the perfect congressional voice my brother, i cracked up.
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so was it a tough decision to talk about your current situation as a working mom because as you mentioned you want to have your daughters eating their privacy . howdid you grapple with that at all ? >> if you'd asked me about it when i first ran for office i would not have talked aboutit but after having had my two girls , after having gone through a senate campaign on ivf and having the vimiscarriage, i decided i had to talk about four other moms , four other women struggling with fertility issues. people would come up to me and i have this idea that my life is all heroic and vip treatment and i want her to know that there's nosuch thing as worklife balance . it is a lie. and it's a lie that gets perpetuated that hurts our nation and hurts our families in the long run. because there is no worklife balance. we must pass things that
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universal family leave, paid family leave. we need to have it and here is why. the fact that military women have to go back. this is what i said in y2014 for example. women have to report after giving birth even if that duty station was afghanistan they would have to do that and that is wrong.i got into that portion that is deeply personal as a mom because i wanted to really say that i struggle with it and i see your struggles and that i too have had to pump my breast milk out. because there's no place to express breastmilk but i was trying to do the best i could in that instance . but the system is not set up to support a mom who works outside the home and so i felt that to have left it out would have been a disservice.
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>> as you mentioned not even in the workplace is set up to report that. now that this book is out i mean, we're talking today. i imagine you're doing a lot of other public appearances . to what extent do you want other female leadership o figures to start counting stories like this. to start getting personal. >> i hope that more people step forward and speak about the struggle. i understand that it's, i have to step forward and take charge but sometimes you're just too exhausted and you can't take charge and youhave to set up boundaries i want to be realistic about that . i get called all the time by women who want to run for office and especially federal office younger women who have younger children and i tell them you read the book,
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you'll see the story i've worked on in the campaign because i hadenough and i had a huge temper tantrum . when i was with my campaign i was feeling my baby daughter. when i was with my baby m daughter i was feeling. even as the world saw me as this senate candidate will have it all together. and i want more women who actually do achieve success to be upfront about the fact that there was also the house and it's not, you just have to work harder. i was workingas hard as i could and i was barely holding it together but i did it and i did make it . that's the message iwant to tell to other families that you can make it . but it's hard. it's worth it in the end. >> absolutely. you know, and part of that all that is we're now seeing a little bit of a baby bump in this country and certainly the average age of motherhood.
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you asked somebody who became a mom oftwo at 50 . is there anything in writing this anything that surprised you. anything you want to share with companies watching right now. >> i actually feel younger because of my daughters. they made me do all those things that i had been a mom in my mid-20s i would not have appreciated. i think i'm a calm her mother , more patient but i also think that it's given me a second youth almost. i go and i sit on the swing with my kids. i would do that i didn't have kids. i went to the aquarium with my girls and my three-year-old had this great belly laugh. mommy, fish. it was just like a day of laughter. so i think, i say go for it.
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the old line. you can either be a 50-year-old with kids or a 50-year-old without kids wishing you have some. or you know, when you talk to somebody who's 65 who wants to go back to college, why don't you do that? in four years you'll be 69 anyway. you might as well be a 69-year-old with a college degree than one without so do it . >> very good point. you mentioned earlier in the conversation you're a senior senator with senator durbin. he played arguably the central role in your political career and i wonder if you had conversations with him that shake that part of the book or if there's any notable dialogue you had with him as you wrote the book . >> when i wrote the first half of the book through the shootdown i shared it with them. you talk about my writing, the army teaches you to do active writing. you get to the point, you keep your sentences short.
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you do it. and so that's how i write. i'm very much in an active place and very plainspoken cousin spent 23 years in the army and i he came back to me and it was moving. i know a lot aboutyour experiences and i can see why you are the way you are now . you had your passage about shooting down but could you tone down the army stuff just a bit. i don't ethink that's going to be goodfor your future career . you could even even say a bomb. i don't think you should do right. and then when i gave him a copy of thebook the other day , he saidtone it down and he said i didn't think you would . >> that's funny. >> he's always watching out for me. he's my mentor. but uthe says i know, you have to be true to yourself. i don't swear that once, it's
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only in private that ido it . and it's people with my army buddies but i'm very much myself in the book.>> absolutely but going back to the stylistic conversation did anybody read this and go give me some adjectives, give me some color or were they saying be you, right your style. >> i think i did a good job of describing things. i wanted to show people for example what cambodia was like before it was destroyed and i remember my early achildhood memory was sitting in a car with you see warm role of french bread because it had been a french colony at one point and the flowers and mango trees so there's a lot of description in the book but it was just a description in my style of writing and talking. i needed to be true to myself. >> absolutely. 100 percent succeeded in
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that. >> one portion of the book but i'm wondering is when you were going for fertility treatments. that's an incredibly tough thing to go over let alone while runninga political campaign . did you consider saying more about that? was bothere more that you found talk to put into words because you talk a lot about it and there are portions where you say it's succeeded after a lot of failures, how did you navigate that . >> i wanted to address it but a book can only be so long so you have constraints in terms of how many pages. i didwant to write a 500 page tome. i wanted to write a book people can read and get through. and that was enjoyable . i'm sure some people will cry when they read the portions about the shootdown and how i feel about my buddies that there are laugh out loud moments as well . i felt that i treated it and i was upfront about it. but in my own life i don't dwell on things for a long time. that's just how i am.
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okay, i go through that this topic sucks. ihave a chapter called on the stuff . it's just an army philosophy. and mark and i own it and now i'm moving on. now i'm under undressing the stuff that being a working mom of two girls under the age of six and trying to be a good senator at the same time so i'm always moving on with the next phase. i acknowledge what happened i don't shield away from it but i can't dwell on it because i just don't have the time. after this interview i got to go find all the stuff for my easter basket. when we, like 40 hours away? i haven't got the time to spend dwelling on the past. >> absolutely. it's a fantastic job title by the way. i'm wondering how constituents shaped that all. if you have any conversations with people about your personal life thatended up affecting chapters in the book .
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if illinois inspired you in any particular way. >> definitely. my constituents are why i was able to write this book because over the last years, my four years in the house and my four years in the senate as i talk to constituents, i've been called to tell stories i never told before. i never told people that my dad was out of a job for five years and that we were struggling. and that i was the only one putting food on the table for our family for a long time. i only started talking about that because i went and met folks at a steel mill that had been laid off and i looked out in the audience and people said i'm 52 years ld old, what am i going to doand it hit me . i just started talking about my dad in that meeting and i've never spoken about him being out of work before. they said i did not know that about you so it is my constituents. it's the fact that after i
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had my two girls, i started talking about ivf. and then women would come up to me and it's like thankyou for talking to me . i've had more than one person, and say because of you i went and had my baby. so it t is my constituents may be comfortable and trying to relate to them and understand them and hear them. i've been able to share experiences with them and that's got me to the place where i'm now able to write this book because i've been able to open up myself and share the stories and i've learned torecognize that ithese are not uniquely my stories . these are stories people have had and i hope people see themselves in my story whether there the first person to go to college like i was, whether they been asked where you're from because even though their american. whether they have had to fight to try to get some support at work for being a working mom. i hope they see themselves in
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this book. >> i wonder also writing it how people think about the future in a different way. that we sometimes family members step away to spend more time with their family and have a young family. how howdo you reevaluate that problem ? >> i got to pay for college. you me working every time too, i've got like college tuition coming up. i can't start work for another 18 years at least. that's a real problem. my oldest daughter will get my husband's g.i. bill that i use my not with my phd so i've got to be hustling for money. [laughter] know, lists listen. being a senator is an amazing job and i love it.the only thing that's better for this job is commander of my
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battalion and i'm happy to be a united states senator and i think my job makes me a better mom. and so i plan on doing this for a long time to come. >> wonderful, do you plan on maybe writing another book? >> let's see how this one goes. let's see if this one is well-received . and i as i said, i didn't write this book just to tell my story. tei will this book to tell america's story that my life is just an example of america's story and to answer my daughter's question. this is for them. i own the book hewith a letter to my daughter that i think other moms and dads might recognize the desire to your child as an adult but from your current experience. i write another book it might be about all the great people at walter reed that helped me recover . i talk about the visitors to the book and there's such characters there.
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both of whom are korean war veterans. both of whom, he's an amputee, she's a physical therapist. in their 80s became the sex talk couple. because they were so upfront about what life is like post amputation and to the milkshake man vietnam veteran with no legs who wandered around walter reed handing out milkshakes for years to help support the troops so i'd love to tell thosestories in more detail . >> thank you for listening, i think that's a fantastic book idea. well, this is a fascinating conversation. thank you for your time and i hope all of you go out and read every day is a gift.
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