tv [untitled] CSPAN June 7, 2009 7:30am-8:00am EDT
uaw forced this crisis to climb out of the industry in our country. it has little to do with trickle-down economics. unions in force the entire mechanism -- enforce the entire mechanism. host: here is another tweet. the american people do not -- "the american people do not care about each other. obama is trying to save jobs and the trite." caller: lending institutions, mr. obama is going to have to create a national bank to support these institutions. host:. -- host: thank you. coming up in the program, we will have a republican and
democrat on to talk about the budget deficit situation in california. you cannot have deficit spending according to california law. later, tim pawlenty, who announced that he would not seek a third term. there is speculation he is eyeing a 2012 presidential bid. we will spend the next hour looking back at the 2008 presidential campaign. richard wolffe will be here to take your phone calls. we will look back at some of the moment from that election. it is sunday, june 7. washington journal will continue. ♪
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host: what was your opinion, richard wolffe, of obama during the campaign? guest: he struggled, and it is easy to look back and say that it was a single simple trajectory. but it really was not. people have remarked on his coolness, which is true for the most part. but there are moods that track his performance and the people around him. he can get angry and frustrated. watching him adapt and learn how to be a candidate in this painful crucible of national attention was a fascinating thing to watch. dan begin where he began on the national stage, 2004 in his keynote address at the democrats small -- democratic national
convention. >> out of many, one. even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us. spin masters, negative advertisements, inviting the politics of anything goes. i say to them tonight that there is not a liberal america and a conservative america, there is a united states of america. there is not a black america, white america, latino america, asia and america, there is only the united states of america. host: he used that same line in his speeches. guest: not his line, of course. but yes. there is a remarkable consistency in his message in his attempt to appeal to those well beyond the democratic party. independent voters were the ones that put him over the top in the general election in in iowa to
begin with. as this administration moves forward and rolls out various policies, that group has grown. in addition to seeing him age, which is striking as you look at that video, the group of republicans that look at independent voters -- who have traditionally decided collected cycles -- that is the target. they give him north carolina, indiana, virginia. they are the most important target. one of the things that people did not realize early on was how he tis people together. he said that my story is like your story. as well as the guy down the streets. it is a technique and a rhetorical device to bring the message to the crowd from the podium, on to the streets and the people outside.
host: in the book, you outline his evolution from being a state senator and being elected to the senate, his insistence that he would not run in 2008, then he began the heads that statement. >> -- guest: he did, and it is interesting watching him do that. he is actually quite honest. he never says that he never said that. in response to what he has seen, he says, he is thinking about it. and what he was seeing through 2006 was a tremendous amount of public attention. he had a book coming out. he engineered a book tour where he was supporting congressional candidates. he told me that one key signal for him was when people started scalping free tickets to see him at a bookstore. he fuel this speculation by
going off to iowa, where they sent out a political operative to observe and see if they could bond, to create a staff for the senator at the time. they knew that would trigger more. and that was bubbling up, they said that we should calm down and wait until 2006 before starting the process on the decision of whether or not to run. host: here is one of those moments from illinois. >> that is why we will have to set priorities. we will have to make choices. government will be playing a crucial role, and money and programs alone will not get us where we need to go. each of us, in our own lives,
will have to accept responsibility for instilling a sense of achievement by and our children, strengthening our communities in insuring a measure. let us begin this hard work together. let us transform this nation. host: he began with that speech, a huge crowd in illinois. then he began to struggle in the campaign. guest: he raised a lot of money to begin with, which nobody expected. but around the summer time, things started to deflate. he did not really prepare for his debates. he thought the they were trivial, in a way. his stump speech that was based on that announcement, it began to get unwieldy. his age was creeping up on him. he did -- he did not like this
public attention, which was kind of weird. he told a friend that the experience of being a candidate was his public colonoscopy -- was like a public colonoscopy. he missed his family. he was raising money the old- fashioned way, doing back to back to back fund-raisers, as well as trying to manage the media. by the summer he was losing a lot of altitude. host: every campaign has its moments. we want to share a few with our audience and get the back story from you. our phone lines are open. you can e-mail us or use twitter as well. november 10, 2007, here is what he said the democrats in iowa.
>> i am running because the democratic party is what america needs right now. [applause] a party that offers not just a difference of policies, but the difference in leadership. a party that does not just focus on how to win, but why we should. [applause] a party that does not just offer change as a slogan, but real meaningful change that america can believe in. [applause] that is why i am in this race, it is why i am running for the presidency of the united states of america. to offer change that we can be
heat -- believe in. host: was that a defining moment in the primary? guest: it really was. it showed that he had the stomach for the fight and that he could fight. the person he is not mentioning right there is sitting about 20 feet away, and hillary clinton is now the secretary of state. the other thing to notice about that. he was not using a teleprompter, he had to memorize that speech. he did not tell his aides that he was doing it. he turned the television on relief loud and rehearsed it on his own. when he came up with a final run through, the aides had no idea he had spent any time on it. that performance was incredibly important.
that event is what helped out board, bill bradley, john kerry. a lot of work went into it. it really put him on a launch pad to winning in iowa. host: on the phone from springfield, mass., good morning. caller: first, i would like to say that i have watched you on msnbc. host: -- guest: thank you. caller: two questions. what do you think about the cabinet? what you think about the flip flops? guest: good question. the most striking thing, frankly, is the presence of hillary clinton in the cabinet. there was more rancor around
him and they are now working together on a staff level. it was an extraordinary move to bring her in. this was a decision that he made before the primary was over. he obviously has a number of republicans in their. they have been smart about pulling in republicans. certainly not because congress is going to flip over because of ray lahood, but it showed his willingness to be reasonable on a middle ground. the flip-flop question is interesting. the supreme court debate is obviously very alive right now. when chief justice john roberts was nominated to the court, he was convinced by his staff not
to vote for roberts because of the flak that he would take. having voted against roberts, he went out and wrote a piece saying that you progressive liberals out there, do not attack those who voted for john roberts. there is saying pattern in his behavior to pick a fight with people that would naturally support him, challenging him, testing them. on the politics, looking back on it, his policies have become very left of center. host: richard wolffe is our guest this morning. frank, good morning. caller: when i first turned it this on, i thought i was listening to a big political commercial for obama. the gentleman says that obama does not flip-flop, i cannot
think of an item that he promised during the campaign that he has not flip-flop on. taxes are going up. more people are unemployed. the economy is generally bad. i realize that people think that most americans are stupid. maybe you are right, maybe i am one of them. guest: let me stop you right there, i have a deep respect and admiration for all of the americans i have met on this campaign, and many others. look, the economy went south well before president obama thought office. -- president obama took office. it is not clear when it will bounce back. a vast amount of money has been spent to try to get back on track. i do not know if you can accuse him of flip-floping because the economy is not back on track
yet. any president would want the economy to recover. on taxes, look, he said that he would have a tax cut for 95% of working americans. he did that. you might disagree with how big it is, but he did it. host: he wins the caucus of my thursday, traveling to new hampshire on friday. it was the first time in modern history that there was such a short time between iowa and new hampshire. what happened? >> it was a ridiculously short amount of time. -- guest: it was a ridiculously short amount of time. in short, they got cocky. for instance, issues of choice,
the clinton campaign had a very effective ground operation where they were saying that obama had had a 100% pro-choice voting record in the senate but he was weak on that. they thought they had this momentum, then they got suckered into this debate on the meaning of hope. the one where obama said "you are likable enough." host: i have that. the only debate in new hampshire before the primary. >> what can you say to the voters of new hampshire who see your resonate and like it, but are hesitating on the likability issue? where they seem to like barack obama more? >> and that hurts my feelings. [laughter] >> i am sorry, senator.
>> i will try to go on. [laughter] he is very likable. i read with that. i do not think that your that bad. >> you are likable enough, hilary. >> thank you. [laughter] host: richard wolffe? guest: it was a backfired approach, that arrogance. people wound up switching over to the republican primary, because for many it was a done deal. it was a very volatile time. they stopped polling, which was a huge mistake that they did not repeat. as i explained in the book, they
lost track of it because it was over, they were going to sail through it. host: were you there at the cafe guest: i was not. host: this was one of the many early morning events that senator clinton was conducting. here's what happened. >> it is not easy. i could not do it if i did not passionately believe that it was the right thing to do. i have so many opportunities in this country. i just do not want to see us fall backwards. you know? [applause] this is very personal for me. it is not just political. it is not just public. i see what is happening. we have to reverse that.
some people think that the elections are a game. but it is about our country. it is about our kids' futures. it is about all of us together. help us get out there to do this. it is difficult. we do it, each one of us, because we care about our country. some of us are right, some models are wrong. some of us know what we will do, others have not thought it through. host: -- guest: a critical moment. when it came out, the obama campaign realize that every single undecided woman voter when hillary clinton. what is fascinating to me, it was obvious that she was emotional. it was an innocent question, how do you look so good?
very effectively, through this moment of a motion, she said that some of us are ready to leave and some are not. -- ready to lead and some are not. the reaction inside of the obama bus was very competitive. a lot of them thought that she had melted down. his reaction was different. his reaction was, based on his own difficulties of the year before, he said you guys do not know how hard this is. there was a certain amount of empathy. but, he wanted to win, but he understood the kind of pressures that would lead you to an emotional moment on the campaign trail. host: we are speaking with author richard wolffe.
next caller, good morning. caller: thank you for c-span. people criticize president obama because they think he is supposed to be moses or something. this man inherited something that george bush left behind, at eight years of a big, big mess. people like rush limbaugh, fox news, they really irritate me. barack obama cannot do anything. they will say something critical about him no matter what. he is going to be a great president, don't you think? but guest: is too early to say. whether he is or could be a
great president, something that he decided at the early stages when bringing about when to run , as a mixture of the top levels, that is why he thought ronald reagan was a great president, even though he opposed all those policies. it was a time when the country was ready for that kind of change. around the time of the nevada caucuses, driving president clinton crazy -- figuratively -- prompting him to react in very undisciplined ways. i think did you can only tell the greatness of a person in hindsight. we are living in the middle of a
tumultuous event. he is a historic figure and an iconic figure. look at the world's reaction to images associated with him. we have not seen anything like this since princess diana. guest: there were many democratic candidates, but the third one that you -- host: there were many democratic candidates, but the third one that you touched on was john edwards. guest: there were plenty of rumors buzzing around everywhere. they were dismissed out of hand by most people. a lot of reporters and political operatives. they were deeply concerned about john edwards. they thought that they would come in second after edwards in iowa. they thought they had a block of union support that they could not shift. they were very concerned about
union funded groups. in the end, the final week or two, edwards was their real target, not hillary clinton. host: an e-mail to the earlier point, "why does the press continue to say that she cried when it is obvious that she did not close votes? guest: good question. there was a lot of hyperbole about that moment as it spread by relief. people said that she melted down. she obviously tiered up -- teared up. by the time people heard about the video, it had been described as a full service break down and it was not. this was an emotional few days.
host: new york, good morning. caller: good morning, the morning. i have been following you on cnbc. guest: msnbc, please. [laughter] caller: i am sorry. i have been living in this country for many years. i was a hillary clinton supporter. we have a family that debates hotly in politics. by switched over to obama, persuaded by my daughters. guest: a common story, by the way. children convincing their parents did. caller: it did not take that much convincing. following hillary clinton's statements, moving over to obama, it brought back memories
of how very much i was going for mrs. clinton. then obama came up. i had not heard of him that much. i had to catch up on a lot of reading. i am looking forward to reading your book, sir. host: why secretary of state and not vice president? guest: he said very early on that he had picture for that job before the primaries were over -- picked her for that job before the primaries were over. she was never seriously considered for vice president. the conversation boiled down to senator clinton saying that i do not want to go through vetting unless you are serious about meeting the job.
there was plenty that they thought was not known, especially about her husband's business activities, presidential foundation records, donor lists, that kind of thing. the feeling was that, especially with her husband, former president clinton, he would be difficult to control and he would be a distraction to a campaign process, that it would be rid -- easier to regulate that inside of the cabinet after the election. one thing is true, he came out of the primaries with a deep respect for how tough she was and what a great performer she was. by all accounts, they are working very closely together. he likes the fact that she is very good at executing a message. people around the world listen to her. she has her own platform that is used. the vice presidency that was
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