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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  July 3, 2009 6:30pm-11:00pm EDT

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not letting it grow. host: our next call is from bill in virginia. caller: i want to move over to health care. can you define what a subsidy is for me? guest: a subsidy is when the government raised the cost of something either directly or indirectly. a subsidy is when the government defrays the cost of something either directly or indirectly. caller: the dictionary says it is a gift to a person or country. the other night, president obama was asked a question about the possible taxing of the premiums that employers and employees pay for health insurance. he began his answer by saying that you need to understand that the money we pay for health
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insurance premiums is not taxed. that adds up to a huge subsidy for workers and employers. that is so incredibly illustrative of the way that liberals think. just because they cannot tax the money i spend to provide myself with health-care, in their minds, that adds up to be a government subsidy. it has been eating at me ever since i saw him. [laughter] guestcaller: as soon as i heardm say that, i went to the dictionary and looked up a "subsidy." i will hang up now. thank you. guest: i agree with you entirely. the mainstream view supports where you're saying. the idea that you hear from barack obama often when he talks
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about spreading the wealth or tax cuts for the rich under bush being a massive transfer payment from the port to the wealthy -- from the poor to the wealthy or bill clinton talking about people's spending the money wrong, the liberal mind-set works from the basic assumption that there is a defined pool of wealth out there that belongs to the government. the government gets to decide how it is distributed. the conservative point of view is that there is a defined amount of oil out there, but is created by individuals. we have laws that say certain amounts of it can be taken away from the people that created it for good public purposes. the left as a completely opposite view. it is the government's money and belongs to the collective and they get to decide how to dole it out. not taxing something from the
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liberal perspective is considered to be a subsidy. that being said, i am not as opposed to removing of the tax benefit on the health care benefits thing. i think one of the things the bush administration recognized and what the obama administration is coming to realize is that it is crazy to have a system where your lifeline to health care and everything else comes through your job. the idea that health care or insurance benefits come through your job is an anachronism from world war ii. in order to attract the best workers, employers would provide other benefits in lieu of wages. that system made a lot of sense and the days when you would stick with one job for four years -- for 40 years and then
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retire. people now switch jobs many times in their lives. the idea that every time you do that, you lose all of your connections to insurance and what not makes a lot less sense. i am for a major overhaul of health care, but not socialized medicine. that would involve liberating the markets so that the health care is stuck to the person instead of the job. host: this is eight weeks -- this is a tweet. andre is on the phone from new jersey. caller: we had just suffered eight years of a terrible government regime in george w.
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bush. for obama to get us out of this situation, how can he be critically judged so far with less than a year in office? we elected bush in. we had to live with his decisions. why is it so hard for the american people to come together to dig out of the situation with the president and follow his lead? guest: this is a democracy. i seem to recall quite a few people complaining about the way that bush did things when they thought he was wrong. i think the way barack obama is doing things is wrong. i see no reason why in a democracy we should not say that when we think those things. the idea that we cannot judge what he is doing it seems to be
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unpersuasive. he has put forward major policy proposals. he has dedicated trillions of dollars to certain ends. he made predictions about how the stimulus plan would work. it is not working the way he said it would. the idea that everyone should stay quiet while he tries to dig us out of the problem, the metaphor only works if everyone agrees that the way he is doing it makes sense. if you are in a collapsed cave and designate someone to did you out but all he does is make papier-mache dolls, you tell him to stop. it is an obligation and not a luxury to say that the policies are wrong. i may be wrong. that is part of democracy.
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the democrats have pursued still-devised policies that have more to do with any ideological and political agenda than they have to do with getting us out of this mess. host: you can read more of his work on line. the link is also available through guest: it is much easier to rule out the guys who will not be. host: give your general observations about sanford. guest: he should just go. he is an embarrassment. one can have all sorts of arguments about whether cheating on your wife should disqualify you from public office. they are all moot at this point. he has made an unholy spectacle of himself with this movable
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feast of in bears' offense and seminars on in relating king david -- on emulating king david. he is not that important to his state or the party. host: there is a new peace in the "vanity fair" on sarah palin. have you read it? guest: it seems to be a rehashing of familiar things. i think all politicians that and see a path towards the presidency think about it seriously. i think she is indisputably ambitious. i do not mean that in a bad way. most politicians have to be ambitious or they would get out of politics. i think she is taking it seriously.
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host: someone is saying that the early odds on favorite is mitt romney. guest: i have met him several times. he is a friend of "national review." i am not completely sold on him. in many ways, he fits the criteria for the gop. he can talk seriously and in depth about economic policy. that is a strength of his. he is a grown-up. he is a serious guy. he has been vetted in the public enough times. even though he is a mormon, he is married to one woman and he is sticking with her. the gop has a long history of picking the guy whose turn it is. we picked bob dole because it was perceived to be his turn. the same thing with john mccain.
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there are a lot of people who think it is his turn. the lesson of barack obama it is at this stage of the game, it is entirely possible we do not even know the name of the person that winds up getting the nomination. host: will sonia sotomayor be confirmed by the senate gu? guest: yeah. caller: can you hear me? host: hell are you doing in little rock? -- how are you doing in little rock? caller: it is hot down here. i am a true independent. i am a bit of a conservative.
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i have to tell you that the lines have been blurred between liberals and conservatives. mussolini was the father of fascism. he said this. he said that the definition of fascism is a government that mergesith corporations or corporations that control government, either one. the government controlled by a corporation was the bush government. now the obama government is controlling the corporations. both are fascism. they are two sides of the same fascist coin. guest: that quotation is often pictured. you got most of it right. he was referring to something called corporatism. that is a real political doctrine that was popular in the united states and europe. it comes out of catholic
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thinking in the 19th century as a replacement or alternative to liberal democracy and free- market capitalism carried the corporatism does not entirely refer to big corporations. that is something that the left often tries to say. it means labor unions, and guilds, universities, the church, the big institutions in society. the idea behind corporatism is that all of the big players sit around a table and figure out how to work cooperatively for the greater good. this was the idea that inflamed the minds of the american progressives during the progress of europe. we do see it on display with barack obama talking about getting wal-mart at the table and getting the health insurance companies at the table. the labor unions and the government now on general motors.
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the idea behind this is that we need to move beyond the idea of competition where everyone works together. if we all try our hardest, which can make this the best your book ever. that sort of mind set defines much of american liberalism. in the conservatives and republican party, to many liberals think you are conservative if you are pro- business. they should not necessarily be pro-business. they should be pro-markets. some of that has been lost. some of that was lost during the bush era. when you have the big players around a table, the people that its group are the small businesses -- the people that get screwed on the small businesses and individuals. that is what we saw with the new deal. that is what we're seeing today.
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host: we want to welcome our radio listeners and viewers. host: there you go. guest: i was not planning on bringing up ron paul, but there are plenty of other people i was not planning on bringing up. i like him. i liked having him in the primary. it was nice to have a libertarian. he is not my favorite kind of libertarian. he is a useful voice to have in there. i like these big fights on the right. that is one of the things that keeps us healthy. we're constantly revisiting our dog, and questioning where we should come down on things. ron paul has some friends i do not like. he has dabbled in some ideas i do not like. i do not like the way talks
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about foreign policy. if you listen to him, he would think that the republican party -- you would think that the republican party from eisenhower to ronald reagan was an isolationist party. that is nonsense. i have much less problem with having ron paul in there that i had with mike, to huckabee. huckabee really is different. the beauty of a libertarian is that no matter how bad his personal views may be, they do not matter as much. the libertarian would not want to impose his views on people. with mike huckabee, was sold it
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for me was because he said he was in favor of a nationwide ban on smoking because he does not like smoking. that bothered me more than anything that ron paul could have said. caller: hell are you doing today -- how are you doing today? the thing that really upsets me the most is that term fascism. if you look in the webster's dictionary, is where the government helps corporations. i have been fussing about that. i am active in the republican party. they have asked me to run for the state house. it would have involved moving so i turned it down. one thing you said that i really
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like is that we are entitled to speak up. i am retired from the oil and gas business. donald rumsfeld gave saddam hussein the material to gas the kurds. we gave that to him under reagan. we supported him. my first complaint was why should we just give it to them? we should have sold it to them during my second complete was why we were harming both iran and iraq. that was none of our business. even though i agreed with some of the things you said, my biggest complaint is that fascism is what we saw.
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towards the end of the years, all of my friends agreed with me. i have one friend that has street kids in the military. i cannot repeat what she said about bush. she was one of his strongest supporters. host: the book is called "liberal fascism." guest: there was a lot in that call. i do not think even webster's says that fascism is the marriage of corporations and government. that is part of it, to be sure i have a whole chapter on fascist economics. fascism is born from a specific moment in international politics. i mean politics in the broadest sense having to do with culture and literature. in many ways, it was a response to international socialism.
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that was based on the idea that your objective class status defined to you were. workers of the world unite, as it says in the communist manifesto. the workers in different countries and bond greater than their culture, nationality, or language. it was not popular enough to win over people in germany, italy, and other places. a lot of workers in places like germany, italy, and united states liked the ideas of socialism. they liked the precepts of socialism and the redistribution, but they did not like internationalism. they did not like the idea of paying but service to moscow.
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they liked the idea that said you could be a socialist and a german or an italian. mussolini was one of the most important socialist intellectuals in italy. he never abandoned his love of socialism. he realized his path to political power would come with promising socialism but also a populist nationalism terry and the merger of government and business is incidental to larger idea of nationalizing and spiritualizing the group collected towards national teams. that was what was at the heart of fascism. a lot of people say that big government and big business in bed together is fascism. it is not good. it is not something i like, but it does not stop the
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conversation. it merely starts it. host: earlier this week, "the new york times" pointed out these facts. the house approved the requirement last week that american utilities generate more of their power from renewable sources of energy. china is on track to pass the u.s. as the world's largest market for wind turbines. the point is that they are further ahead in many respects on clean energy. guest: there is nothing wrong with green energy. the problem is that you could quintuple the amount of energy produced by solar and wind.
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it was still make up a tiny fraction of our energy needs. it is no surprise that china wants to get into this business. they better reasons to get into some of the green stuff than we do. their air quality is so abysmal. the idea that we will somehow turn the midwest and the coasts of the united states into giant wind farms to power ourselves out of our problems is far more fanciful than the idea that we could drill our way out of our problems. host: in this piece, he writes the developing alternative energy sources makes sense.
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host: mary is joining us from kalamazoo, mich. caller: i have been a liberal democrat all my life. mr. goldberg, i have been a detractor of years. i voted for barack obama. i consider it the biggest mistake i have ever made in my entire life. i went from someone who defended my party to someone who is extremely angry at my party. i will never vote for them again. i live in michigan. i have looked around my state. all this talk about building windfarms, instead of contacting local domestic firms to create these, they have contacted with
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companies in spain. when the governor of pennsylvania was going to build a wind farm he went directly to madrid. china has the resources to develop all of these technologies because they are of very wealthy country now. they will continue to burn coal. they are purchasing up huge stores of oil and other products to protect their own economy. we are bleeding our economy drive. the democratic party is saying that we will have to subsidize china, india, and other countries not to pollute when they will definitely continue pleading. i believe my party is so corrupted that they are seeking to destroy our economy. that means destroying our lives. guest: whether it is purely
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corruption or just an aspect of it, there is a correction of an environmental constituency in the democratic party that is seeing this as an opportunity for political treats. it is also in the ideological obsession. the idea that this the greatest hoax ever perpetuated is a reference to tom friedman from "and york times -- from "the new york times." even if it were not true, he thinks that global warming is forcing us to do these smart things. i think that is idiotic. it is forcing us to do all the things you are describing in terms of outsourcing vast quantities of economic activity and job production to countries of laughing at us for going down
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this path. host: we go to martin in nashville, tenn. caller: you keep talking about being a conservative and stuff like that. i wonder what you think about the union workers supposed to take tax cuts. guest: i do not know that union workers -- i think we would disagree on the net benefit of unions in certain industries. i do not know how to respond. i think the premise is balls. host: reed is joining us on the republican line. caller: thank you for the opportunity to speak. i have a question for your guest. i wanted him to comment on a
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higher level aspect of politics. i would like to get a comment on what soft tyranny is and how the democrats are chipping away at our rights. it is like they keep coming up to the table with this rotten meat. we all know that we will not eat it. they will not even eat their rotten meat. but they will play this game and that somehow conservatives are holding society hostage and that there is some eutopia out there. can you comment on how soft tierney will chip away at our rights? -- soft tyranny will chip away at our rhts? guest: that is one theme of the
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book. he says that he would rather have hithe current -- people understand that sometimes the curtailment of liberty makes sense. the draft is one of the greatest curtailments of individual liberty ever conceived of. in times of war, it is sometimes necessary. what is not necessary is all these smaller increments on personal liberty that we see rolling out quietly. they say the politically correct people are funny, but over time, it is a death by a thousand cuts. in this bill, there is a rule that says you cannot sell your home unless someone from the federal government comes and makes sure that you have made it energy efficient first.
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that is going to impose costs of varying degrees on americans. the federal government is deciding when and how you can sell your own home. 1. i make in the book is that the classical orwellian 1984 vision will probably never come to the united states. we are at liberty-loving people. there is still the possibility of the brave new world vision for people have pre-packaged and joy and happiness delivered at their doors. it would render what c.s. lewis calls now and without chess men wit -- men without chests.
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the bigger danger is the idea that the government will do all these things for you. it will sap initiative. that is a far bigger danger. i think we are heading in that direction. host: chris is joining us from florida. caller: i want to make a statement and then i will hang up. you always hear about the conservatives saying it is the liberals. the conservatives had china with nixon. there was the star in vietnam. what does that say to people in the war? q. are rewarding them. if the government could make money off the taliban, they would be doing manufacturing for us if it were up to the republicans. you talk about gun-control and how is the liberals. it is the brady bill.
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that was president reagan's chief of staff. there was aig. you started buying up these companies. the medicaid b program is a socialist program. host: brady was president reagan's press secretary. guest: he was shot in the head and his wife became an activist. it is ludicrous that to say somehow republicans are in favor of gun control because of the tragedy of brady. i challenge you to look at voting records. the idea of trying to make republicans hypocrites on that is silly. some of the things he alludes to are things that i have criticized. i am not sure where the point of all this is.
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all this is. i hear things bush and republicans and who am i to criticize liberals. the argument that because bush was wrong makes it ok for obama to be very wrong is a deep policy. host: good morning. caller: i disagree with liberals being fascists. i find that funny. under your definition of fascism, with corporate lobbyists writing legislation being approved by congress fall under that definition? do you think the vacuum in the republican party is because of dick cheney picking himself as vice president? guest: i would not go as far as you go, but i do think there was a big problem with the primaries. we did not have the incumbent that represented the bush years
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in the race for everyone to key off of and criticize. there was a vacuum in the political process that did some damage to the republican party. i did not say that liberals are fascists. i said that liberalism is really progressivism and has some resemblance to fascism. i will stand by that. i wrote a whole book on it. in terms of lobbyists are writing bills being fascism, the greatest example of that came under woodrow wilson and fdr. the trade associations and industry representatives wrote all the codes that covered themselves. it seems that american liberalism remains a cult to the new deal. people forget that the new deal was the greatest single instance of corporate fascism in american history. you still have the left worshiping it and trying to repeat it again.
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host: >> tonight, we begin our look at presidential policy advisers. tomorrow, their experiences trying to sell their policy agendas to congress and the public. they will wrap up with lessons learned from serving under chief executive said. -- chief executives. here is a look ahead to some upcoming guests on "washington journal." we will have ken silverstein.
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coming up monday, henry waxman on the clear air act, steroid use in major league baseball, and the debate on health care. "washington journal" airs each day at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. an event now with a the founder of craigslist. this is hosted by the association for computing machinery. this is just under one hour. >> i have the privilege of introducing this very interesting discussion that we are going to have now.
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and we have craig newman. we all know that craigslist has grown since it was created in 1995. craig continues to serve as a customer service representative for craigslist. he is a long term supporter of cfp. and 2002, wh i am sure that this conversation will touch on some of the recent events involving internet
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freedom. he is always willing to take a principled stand to speak truth to power and do so notwithstanding the risks. i am thrilled that he will be having a conversation about this. saul is an editor for "the new york times" and he writes about internet commerce and commerce and policy questions in the medium. i am looking forward to this discussion. >> thank you for spending time here. i've never been to this conference before. i have been a business and technology writer but business blurs into politics in a lot of ways. this is what we're going to talk about today with greacraig.
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i think the ethic of the engineer, which i think that craig may well epitomize, the slightly authoritarian, the libertarian, the value of the efficiency and clarity over artifice that has led to a political movement and process that has led to a very moderated way. we can talk about what does it
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mean if you think about the world politically as an engineer. some of the ideas about open government and efficiency has been very important to craig stands out. we can talk about craigslist and other things. do you think your experience as an engineer has informed how you run your company? >> there's a lot of stuff and not one. -- stuff in that one. cutting to the chase, i am a nerd. i grew up wearing a pocket
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protector, glasses taped together. that old cliche. the president is on the record doing this, "star trek" fans will recognize this. i am not an activist. i am not really interested in politics. we are in a time where we are seeing the tremendous change when i feel that a reasonably good system of participatory democracy is being complemented by the beginnings of a fairly good system of network grass- roots democracy. things are changing in ways we never seen before in human history.
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i want to overcome my tendency to be a couch potato. i like television. i will stand up for other people right now. saul is right about my tendency to be impatient at times. he might be right in saying that i like to get to the point, yet i spent a lot of time with people that make things go. that is changing things. so is the ethic of. the-- ethic of the engineer. i have stopped coding since 99.
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that makes me sad since my background as computeis computer programming. i'm spending more time in this town. that is even why i am wearing a jacket and tie now. >> what is your political agenda? you have hit some organizations to be involved with, to become more active than and give some of your money to. -- you have some organizations to be involved with. >> we have this movement going on, this big effort, this excitement about changing the way government works, about making a government which returns to the ideals of the founders. certainly, they created a flawed system which we have improved.
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now, we have th drama, which is hard to see. we have a government slowly transforming itself forom the bottom up. i was speaking before a group and it seems now as though the darkness has suddenly lifted and they feel empowered to do their jobs again. they are working on how to make this real they are trying to figure out how to use the ordinary consumer products to do the right thing for ttheir community.
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i am serious about this and i'm trying to work with people throughout the government here and in different places focusing on the big ideals. in san francisco, for example, if we have a 311 system. if you see a pothole, you can get it fixed. in san francisco, they are integrating 311 with twitter. you see a pothole, you twitter it to the cituy and it gets
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done. stuff is happening right now, the mundane stuff. the bark of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice. i figure that the energies i have should be channeled towards making sure that rarely happens, towards nurturing that trend. >> what does that mean? >> what this means is finding the people that do the real work and supporting them. they write about this some more. as a nerd and former engineer, i
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am used to being the person that does stuff. now they tell me my great value is primarily being a person who talks about the good work that other people do could telo. >> has someone as impatient as you may be who looks at the promises that this administration made during the campaign, how would you grade the administration so far and what do you think you need to do differently? >> many people are focusing on the open government initiatives, that kind of thing. also open for government. the deal is that i spent a lot of time in the corporate world working with large organizations. when you have large
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organizations, you have a lot of people with a lot of intrenched power, there are many stakeholders lose the value you need. this takes a long time. management, in a lot of cases, they need time to understand what these defects will be of such things as social media. given that context, the folks in the white house are moving pretty fast. these things are coming almost pretty day. recently-- almost every day. i want to see a discussion board which can scale to millions.
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i want to see where people of good will can load up the good stuff and get rid of the best that could right now, we're having problems with people who troll. what we have right now is a system of grass-roots democracy which can be used by people to have actual communications with the government. this realizes in some large part the dream of direct democracy that people have had for a long time. the stuff is happening, that is why i am trying to stand up. >> that is a transition to what i think is an interesting discussion of craigslist itself. you always described craigslist as a community where the community is in charge. there are constraints from the
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top, other constraints that you have to deal with. are you interested in what lessons we can draw from your years at craigslist about how communities can be organized in an effective way and sometimes in an ineffective way that might be applicable to the larger question of government. what were the mistakes that you made in terms of how to empower people on craigslist that you have learned from as you have gone better. >> there is a whole bunch of questions, the big questions that people are overwhelmingly trustworthy and good. if you trust people and let themself police, we receive a greater proportion to the thread because we have devolved to see threats because this is what could have killed us as we work
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devolving. you hear more from extremists because moderates have stuff to do it. people operate according to universal shared values like treating people how you want to be treated. if you follow through on this, that is a big lesson to learn right away without thinking about it. trust people, in gauge with people on a daily basis, and for me it has been literally daily for over 14 years. people try to gain the system, they will do that.
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>> what about dealing with someone who is abusive? you have disreputable characters who frequent the site and do business in various ways. how many bad people does it take? >> but that is a lot of questions. there are bad people out there, some are just troll's. these are people who post very ugly stuff sometimes and they are doing it to get attention. there you have to enlist the work of other people to draw this to your attention. you have to build mechanisms which either remove it automatically or manually. in our advertisements, it is
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mostly automatic. i had the pleasure of removing some of this as recently as 20 minutes or 30 minutes ago. you will see people pickering sometimes regarding animals and pets. you will see this as predictable and politics. you will see some spin as well, some of bit of a rather unpleasant nature, there, you'll enlisted the aid of your community. i expect when we have a better mix of anonymity that it will be easier to deal with. i am committed to this stuff but only as long as i live. >> there is a strain of thinking in this community that highly prized as anonymity.
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sometimes identifying people helps the community to be better. sometimes you want to use isp's to attract the people down. how should people be identified? >> well, this speaks to my dual role in my day job in that i have a long history. i think i founda bug in the phone. this goes back to a civets class where we were introduced to something called the bill of rights. the deal there is that one thing that we need in a very practical sense is anonymity for people
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like whistleblowers, things like that. we need anonymity for people posting things which they feel should be private. in some context, you need people to be accountable. there is of we bicker in that goes on in our discussion boards. that balance needs to be addressed. we will see if no sooner than we expect with digital certificates and that kind of thing. officials will have to decide for them selves. the decisions will be tough at times because accountability means wamore work for us. if this is an emotional issue for people like me, i don't have any answers now.
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we will see how things go when it comes to the company, i will provide feedback. >> you sound like you are leaning towards a role on identifying yourself in a positive way? >> i am not leaning that way but the answer is easy in a sense. we are driven by our community. we listened to the community in a big way. we are driven by what people tell us. we will pose questions to people asking us to address the mix and we will change in response to that. sometimes we hear people that need to consider decisions. yesterday, i heard a very recent director suggesting that we should find some ways to allow for the gun advertisements in
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alaska. one of the very first policy decisions that we made in 1998 was that there would be no gun advertisements based on community feedback. we have stuck with that. now we have heard arguments about this. >> you are not a direct democracy, you're not going to put things to a vote. the guns or no guns. you say you are responsive to the community but it is anything more than just listening to the e-mail that comes in and then you decide? >> well, it actually is kind of like you are describing, anecdotal, we listen to feedback and we try to make the best
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decision that we can. there is explicit feedback regarding categories. now we look at things that need to be done. if you have parents of any sort, that is not bad. for me personally, i go back and forth between mostly talking just for myself, occasional referring to our history, i thought a lot about the governance for sites like would appeal. sometimes making decisions, you need a balance like command-and- control systems. then, balanced by sourcing and bottom of decision making.
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you have to make a decision and fast. on the other hand, sometimes, we will decide together what happened from the bottom up. sometimes you want the crowds to decide. i think that you need some kind of balance. i think they do a pretty good job on wikipedia. >> will we be happy if we have open government with that methodology? >> well, i think we do much better with open government.
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sometimes it is extreme views that dominate the conversation. if millions of people are participating, that can make things work. congressmen organized campaigns. they have not listen to this. they want messages from actual constituents, they want the real stuff, the real feedback. the mechanisms that are happening are happening now. i am beginning to see this participation in these efforts
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this is a form of patriotism, a form of service. >> how will you spend these ideas into the latest news about craigslist? >> you have the community doing what they have been doing with the erotic services. then you have people with opinions about what should be going on. i am interested in the intersection between the community and external forces, some of whom have political power. >> well, sometimes fighting the good fight gets awkward and delicate and the deal is as conan the barbarian says, whatever doesn't kill you makes you strong. this is an opportunity for me as an individual human. the community has been overwhelming in its support for us, this has been pretty gratifying.
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the only downside for me has been an increase in fan mail. i feel obliged to answer everything. this means extra work in some senses. my e-mail address really is i answer everything, this is a must the person is behaving in an unsavory manner and i have to shake up the customer service requests to my boss.
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i act as a customer service representative, not manager. sometimes we have the opportunity to do the right thing. >> as you see it, changing the names from adult services to roddick services -- roddick services to a dulerotic serviceo adult services, is this better? >> that is what they asked for. >> you filed suit against the attorney general of south carolina. how do you see craigslist in
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society and why is it your role, how is it what you want to be doing? >> well, we don't pick fights. we do a response in inappropriate way. >> that is appropriate because? >> because it was the right way to do so. >> what will come of it? >> i don't know. >> do you think that the committee which you have built which mostly lets people advertise what they want and most people who are acting good, they say i want or need this or i have this to offer and they find themselves in the full range of human wants and needs, is that going to thrive in this environment or will there be places where one step after another, pieces of that activity
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will be snipped off? >> i see a lot going on right now and maybe i don't understand the question but i don't see a problem. >> what do you see going forward? >> craigslist in 10 years will be more of the same. we are passionate about the mundane and the boring, specifically that if you want to give people a break, help them find a job or a place to live, the kind of stuff -- that is the focus right there, we live in the real world. you want to give a person a break, help them find a job or a place to live, keep that part free. the differences, we will be in more cities, more countries we will be in more languages. frankly, we need to be more
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language's right now. >> how do you see that perpetuating? one thing that you have is an ethic that you make just enough money that you don't make the most money. you serve because charge more. >>is there a way of creating an organization that is permanently devoted to the values and the operating procedures you are talking about? >> you have to preserve the values of this site.
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it is more exciting to change the world and make a difference, that is working. fortunately, our ceo does a great job of that. if you see us in a photograph, you will see me standing on a box. we have done what we need to do to preserve the value system. i am committed to this for my life. i have six-8 hours in which i might commit to my own version of public service from. i have to think about that more. >> let's talk about the
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newspaper business. with talk about the newspaper business, no small number of newspaper executives think that the decline of classified advertising revenue is a major contributor. do you feel guilty that you are killing a newspaper business? >> i have spoken with a lot of newspaper executives and none of them blame us. they point to newspapers having a lot of problems. the future to success and profit will be trust and the way you get that is by things like a lot of fact checking, you get it by
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maintaining a clear distinction between the editorial and reporting side of the business and the advertising and funding side of the business. the news organizations that do those kind of things will be the ones that are perceived as trustworthy. those are the ones that people will pay extra for. other news organizations might have to fight for a dwindling pool of advertising dollars. i think that trustworthiness, fact checking. >> i am going to open it up to the audience. you have been involved in some new media projects.
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tell me about what you're trying to do in terms of your activism and your founding in terms of spawning various things in the media. >> what i am doing is trying to talk to the folks who are providing the tools and mechanisms to do it increasingly good reporting, particularly investigative reporting and all of that. i have worked with and why you, they're doing exciting stuff with the huffington post. there are tools being built for the government accountability and transparency, particularly for investigative reporters. i've talked and work with jeff jarvis and also some folks at
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aspen and the berkeley journalism school on the theme of what are the business models that will help journalism survive to. i am an outsider. i discussed this in a casual way, it focused way, since i used to be an engineer. how do we make the news business thrives because we need a vital news business asking difficult questions so that we can prevent problems like government is going off on foreign misadventures or governments allowing major financial crisis to occur. you ask questions, other people in the news are backing up people like helen to get the job done. i am a dilettante in this. there's a lot of government action going on right now.
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ha i am the forest gump of the internet. i know enough to see when something is going on that is good and then i will stand up for those activities. today, a new transparency initiative was announced. i will tell people about it. i don't think i'm being a journalist while doing this kind of thing, i am just trying to be a stand-up guy with all of my faults. >> please identify yourself. >> [inaudible] what moral and ethical responsibilities should there be from an advertiser? do you have a suggestion for me to try to get my earned pay?
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one result from this situation is that i have had an extended but not always welcome e-mail correspondence with the owner of the washington capitals. >> the deal is that this was a bunch of questions and if we hear about someone performing in a bad way on this, what i've done is listened to the reports and trying to do the right thing when it is tough. on one hand, they are innocent until proven guilty, on the other hand, you can send me the link. >> i will do that. thank you. >> hello, i just wanted to speak up on one of the questions that you asked about his involvement in the demise of our newspapers.
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though that is amusing, that speaks to an argument that many organizations are using in that internet technologies are not killing these things, there is providing an avenue for people that would not have paid for that material in the first place. people who nowould not purchase these because this is free. >> i don't -- what is going on with the raa and all of that kind of thing, they see a wave of creative destruction. instead of trying to respond in a way that will lead to their survival and profit, they have many self-inflicted wounds.
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>> do you believe that has anything to do with the decline as newspapers? >> i believe that the internet destroys profits and craigslist is the epitome of taking something that costs money and vaporizing that advantage and as profits. i think that there was money that was made by many metropolitan newspapers which is not want the may because classified are a function of another era but they have paid the salaries of the fact checkers and the journalists in a way that current economic models. nothing personal but by believe that this trend represents part of the destruction of a particular kind of business that existed before.
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>> >> i don't blame craigslist for the demise in newspapers but there are many people used to pay for advertisements, i am one of them. i n a small plan award and i own some properties. one of the ways i am able to make more money is that instead of having to pay for advertisements when we have someone move out of one of our apartments, we advertise them on craigslist and there are a community of people who look on craigslist for the best places. i am grateful for this but i would not suggest that the loss of the revenue from me has not hurt the industry.
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>> how do you go about making sure that everyone can participate this? is important not to let troll's crap out other people. there are all kinds of access problems including people that don't have computers. what are your thoughts on solving this? >> you are right, we want everyone to be able to participate in this kind of open government discussion. right now, it is focused on the web. this may or may not be fair, especially considering it is just starting. we need to open this up to everyone possible. a key to that will be finding ways to use cell phones in this. not everyone has a cell phone. it looks like this cellphone,
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they will be the key to access for everyone and not just in the u.s., looking beyond that, i do see a digital link between the young and the old because right now, lower age ranges are finding it a lot easier to be comfortable with electronic media. that is a small but growing problem. it is person a distressing. let's say i have been an aarp member for many years. i cannot keep up with kids and their rock-and-roll and their loud messages. >> i am an attorney in town. i wanted to congratulate you on your amazing accomplishment. this is incredibly influential and an incredibly powerful tool.
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congratulations and thank you. i want to push on the erotic services. why did you make those choices? you said that this is what to the members told you to do. that has a prescriptive component but also uninformative component. craigslist is not a team reps democracy and does exercise some discretion over when the committee's voice governs. i wonder what you might say about those tensions, how much should people look at craigslist as a normative actor. >> i will confess my ignorance of the everyday use of the term normative. the deal is that we listened to the community, we tried to do
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the right thing legally, we balanced them and you see the results. >> the cellphone, the smart phone, will it be the way that everyone is going to have access to things like craigslist and other ways that you get information from the newspaper or other forms of mass media? they are so limited and there's only so much that you can do in the palm of your hand. i could do school assignments and i can browse the web but if i was just using a cellphone, that is all i have. i am a kid in the inner city. how am i going to be able to compete? >> i don't know if you can composcompete but i do see somes
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in practice, people are not managing to get fully involved simply with texting. the idea is that people are pretty good at making do with limited resources. i had some grandiose plans and i'm very fortunate to have limited resources and this worked. on the one hand, we need to make these resources available to everyone, hence national broadband policy. do not under estimate people who are typically much younger and smarter than me to do a lot with resources. we are privileged. people manage to do things that i certainly cannot envision.
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i'm not blowing them off in that sense but i don't want to underestimate people. >> i run an organization called digital sisters. when we talk about texting, we are forgetting some basic things like using your resume, using a mobile application. we just had a laptop jump out because we had to the community where there was not access to the internet just so they can apply for the summer youth employment. you are missing something about how we're actually looking. your comment about mobil is the way to go, and talk out this i would think we would be talking not going to the communities instead of figuring out how to create some technology that will
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make it accessible to the people in those communities. we need to reverse our thinking on that. i did a tweed on this, we need to start going back to the community in that way physically and not just the on-line community. >> i would like to hear more about it. >> i am involved in the kids i.t. centers. hopefully the systems are being delivered now in the west bank of palestine. >> we will talk more about that, we will ask one more question about the social community and mobile. as you have more people participating with craigslist, does this make easy to have shorter comments and shorter actions, is there a change that
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you see in the discourse whereas behavior in the community? >> i have seen a tendency of a lot of folks including myself to speak even more briefly. i do believe that brevity is the soul of wit. shorter communication is more effective than longer communication. if someone here send me something by e-mail, the response could be when can you send me the briefer version? i would probably do one or two of those every day. i think it has changed the nature of discourse in a way that i personally like because i find a short form a more effective than a long form and i have gotten more in my communications. this would be easeand easy in washington.
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people are passionate about doing this. most people just go on and on in washington. people just say it and stop. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2008] >> sarah palin has announced that she is going to resign. here's part of a statement. >> we are doing so well. the accomplishments speak for themselves. we worked tirelessly for the people of alaska. we aggressively and responsibly develop our resources. we protected the environment and to the people of alaska with our policies. here are some of the things we have done. we created a petroleum integrity office to oversee safe development. we held the line on alaska and
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for the first time in decades, you are seeing drilling up there for oil and gas. we have a massive project, the vote was 58 to one. protecting alaskans as our clean and natural gas will flow to energize alaska and america. it is to very different than what happened before. this time it was through a very competitive project. this is the largest energy project ever. this is energy independence. another bipartisan effort is working as intended and industry has publicly acknowledged its success. our new will and gas formula, this is so alaskans will no longer be taken advantage of. this incentivizes new exploration and development and jobs that were previously not going to happen, not with the
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monopolized oil basin. we cleaned up on ethical options and we ushered in bipartisan ethics reform. we also slowed the rate of government growth and we work with the legislature to save billions of dollars for our future. i made lobbyist friends with my hundreds of millions of dollars in budget vetoes. living beyond our budget is irresponsible for tomorrow. we put the government acting to-- we took the government outf some of the businesses and put it in the hands of the private sector. we build a subcabinet for private change and we took heat from outside special interests. -- we took the government out of the businesses and we put it in the hands of the private sector. we broke new ground on the state's new prison.
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we made common-sense conservative choices to eliminate a personal luxuries, things ligkle the jet. there is some success in his first term. i am proud to take credit for hiring the right people. our goal is to achieve a gas line project and more fair valuation. we did it in two. it is because of the people, but could people, good public servants surrounding the governor's office. there is an astounding work ethic. we are doing well. i wish that you would hear more from the media, more the good progress and how we tackle outside interests. we are tackling these interests
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gately this would force the heavy hand of the federal >> into our communities with an ongoing attitude. to veto this was the right thing to do. i know being right is better than being popular and it was not a popular stand to take. some of those dollars would harm alaska. i resisted those because of the of seen national debt that we are forcing our children to pay because of the big government spending. this is a moral and it does not make economic sense. our lot apartment protected states' rights. two huge reversals came down against the night circuit. a decided that we are protectors of our constitutions. we protect state rights.
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you don't hear much about the good stuff and press any more, do you prove some say that things change from last year, the day john mccain ticked me to be his running mate. it was an honor to be beside a hero. i say that others changed. political opportunists descended on alaska's digging for dirt. the ethics law that i championed became their record of choice. i have been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations such as holding a fish in a photograph or wearing a jacket with a logo on it and answering reporters' questions. all 15 of the complaints have been dismissed, we have one but it has not been cheapened to the state has wasted thousands of hours of your time and gave out some 2 million of your dollars to respond to opposition
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research. that is money that is not going to find teachers or troopers or safer roads. the politics of personal destruction, we are looking at half a million dollars in legal bills. . . >> i choose not to tear down and waste precious time, but to
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build up the state and our great country and her industrious and generous and free people. life is too short to compromise time and resources. though it may be tempting and more comfortable to keep your head down and appease those who are demanding, hey, just sit down and shut up, but that's an easy pathout. that's a quitter's out. i think it would be apathetic to hunker down and go with the flow. we're fishermen. we know only dead fish go with the flow. no predictive, fulfilled people are determined where to put their efforts, choosing to wisely utilize precious time to build up. and there is such a need to build up and fight for our state and our country. and i choose to fight for it. and i'll work very hard for others who still believe in free enterprise and smaller government and strong national security for our country and support for our troops and
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energy independence. and for those who will protect freedom and equality in life, i'll work hard for and campaign for those who are proud to be americans and who are inspired by our ideals and won't deride them. i will support others who seek to serve in or out of office. i don't care what party they're in or no matter at all. inside or alaska or outside of alaska. but i won't do it from the governor's desk. i've never believed that i nor anyone else needs a title to do this to make a difference, to help people. so i choose for my state and for my family more freedom to progress all the way around so that alaska may progress. i will not seek re-election as governor. so as i thought about this announcement, that i wouldn't run for re-election, what that means for alaska, i thought about, well, how much fun some governors have as lame duction.
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maybe travel around their state, travel to other states, maybe take their overseas international trade missions. so many politicians do that. then i thought, that's what's wrong. many just accept that lame duck status and they hit the road, they draw a paycheck, they kind of milk it. i'm not going to put alaskans through that. i promise deficiencies and effectiveness. that's not how i'm wired. i'm not wired to operate under the same old politics as usual. i promised that four years ago and i meant it. that's not what is best for alaska at this time. i'm determined to take the right path for alaska, even though it is unconventional and it's not so comfortable. with this announcement that i'm not seeking re-election, i've determined it's best to transfer the authority of governor to lot governor parnell. >> governor sarah palin took office in december 2006. the associated press reports that the transfer of power to the lot governor will take effect on july 26.
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> you're watching c-span, public affairs programming courtesy of america's cable companies. coming up, former presidential domestic policy advisors talk about walking in the white house. then a historical look at president james madison. after that, support justice stephen breyer and former justice sandra day o'connor talk about their life on the court. >> domestic policy advisors for presidents gathered to talk about how they dealt with their presidents. hosted by the university of virginia, this is about 90 minutes.
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>> i want to welcome everybody watching this on c-span or on the website of the miller center public affairs at the university of virginia, which is sponsoring this symposium on white house domestic policy-making. there are four sessions in this symposium. they're being broadcast at different time, so check the websites to see when you can see the others. this session is on the theme of domestic policy development in the white house. and we really have an all-star cast of former white house domestic policy people. to talk about this issue along with scholars and others who are interested. i want to begin by introducing better carr. -- burt carr. burt was part of the carter administration having worked for years with scenario walter mondale. he served as assistant director of domestic policy.
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since then, he's worked a significant period of time in the cable television industry and is currently vice chairman of the firm of williams & jenson. we also have james cannes with us here from the ford administration. 1975-1977, jim cannes went from working with former governor nelson rockefeller to working with president ford in the white house. he was involved in the full range of domestic policy activities and assistant to the president for executive affairs and domestic for the council. he's written a wonderful book called "time and chance." gerald ford's appointment with history. more recently, he also published a book called "the apostle paul."
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it's a good book to know about. we also have from the nixon years, eagle bud croge, who currently is in congress, a senior fellow on leadership ethics and integrity in washington. he was part of the staff when john arofman was in the white house. famously, of course, he mentioned this in his own biographical writings, he was co-director of the white house plumbers, and out of that experience has spent 35 years now thinking about issues related to integrity in public office and in business and in other domains. the principles in this discussion, and the first 45 minutes or so, we'll be hearing
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a lot from bertram carp and roger porter who needs no introduction. which is why i didn't give him one. we'll give him one any way. roger porter, almost literally needs to introduction the this setting because in the ford administration, in the reagan administration, in the george h.w. bush administration, roger porter was in one slot or another one of the leading white house staff people dealing with domestic policy. and also in other administrative positions. he is well-known as the i.b.m. professor of business and government at the kennedy school at harvard university where he teaches a course on the presidency, author of several books, but probably best known in the scholarly community for his book on presidential decision-making
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and others on efficiency, equity, and legitimate ma si. i'm giving you a longer introduction, roger. now, these four white house veterans will be consuming the first half of the program. we'll bring in others at the table, scholars, other white house officials from other administrations. but i'm going to turn the floor over now to the two scholars who'll be leading this session, the husband and wife team of karen hult and chuck walcott. karen hult, professor of political science at virginia tech, as is chuck walcott. karen, recipient for faculty excellence and chuck another year. karen serving as book review editor of presidential studies quarterly. author. karen and chuck have four or five books, depending on who's counting. most recently, a book with the
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university presses canvas called "empowering the white house: governments under nixon, ford, and carter." i could go on because these two have won numerous awards and published numerous works, but probably the best thing i can do by way of introduction is simply turn the floor over to them. so professors, it's your time to shine. >> thank you, michael. and thank you all to the miller center and the others around the table. we're all learning very much from these discussions of domestic policymaking, development, and implementation. in this session, in the past session today, and in a couple more session tomorrow. as michael suggested, the theme of this panel is developing domestic policy in the white house. and moving beyond the campaign and even some extent the transition period. and really asking the question, how did you, how is domestic policy fashioned, moved toward
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enactment, or in some cases implementation once one is finally in the white house itself. rather than expressing any further notions of the questions likely asked, i thought we might get started about where we ended the last session on moving from the campaign and transition to governance. i'd like to ask each of you how you came to be a domestic policy staff person and perhaps along with that, what you thought the job entailed, if you can recall when you first accepted the position as domestic policy advisor to the president. >> i can start with maybe how i got to the white house. i was in a law firm in seattle and had to stay there during the campaign while he was tour director because i was working on his cases. he said, i'd like you to run my case as well. right after the election, which he won on tuesday, which nixon
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won on tuesday, would have lost on thursday. john came to seattle and came to my office and he said, do you like your job here? i said, yeah, i do. he said, would you consider changing your job? i said, yes, sir, i would. he said, would you consider being staff council to the president? there was no gap between the question and my answer. yes, immediately there. three days later, transition headquarters. came down on january 20th. our transition was in new york city at the pierre hotel, which is very unusual federal facility, to be working out of the pierre. started working right at the start with the investigations, getting people prepared for various hearings and committees. it was about the seventh month in that i started doing more -- more seriously working on domestic policy. when they formed the domestic con surbling i became an associate director, first the deputy assistant for domestic affairs. it all took place during that first year.
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>> by coming down with governor rockefeller, who was nominated to be vice president, when president ford -- a few weeks into his presidency asked rockefeller to be his vice president, he gave him some serious work to do. the background for that was that ford had hated the vice-presidency. he hated being vice president. he hated having to zigzag, as he put it, by defending nixon one day and saying the next day in public that he auth to deliver the tapes to the -- that he ought to deliver the tapes to the house judiciary committee. it was an unhappy time for vice president ford.
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he told dick cheney when dick became vice president that it was the most unhappy period of his life. so with that background, he wanted rockefeller to be his vice president. [laughter] and he had to promise him he would not just be a mouthpiece or go to funerals and so on. so he made him several specific promises. he told me he would be in national security affairs and he would be in charge of domestic policy. and at that point, ford had not really understood yet how to run the white house. it was days into his administration. and he still thought he could run it in what he called a spokes at the wheel arrangement, which is the way he ran his office as minority leader in the house.
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he did not really understand apparently what he was promising to rockefeller when he gave him that assignment. so four months -- it took four months to get confirmed. it was difficult and embargs -- embarrassing job for him. but in december just before christmas of 1974, we came down, the governor and several of his staff members, including me. and said to get his assignments. and ford reiterated what he had promised him before, that he would be in charge of among other things domestic policy. by that time, we didn't know this at the time, but at that time, rumsfeld had been coming to the white house and rumsfeld was a superb organizer. he knew how to manage. he knew how to run an organization. he had organized president ford's white house and he saw right away that this was --
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well, a mistake, because there was no way a president could give up control over domestic policy. it was too great a part of his responsibility. anyway, the promise had been made and we tried to make the best of it. after a tussle between rockefeller and cheney over who should be the domestic policy advisor, the president appointed me and that's how i came to have the job. we had no idea what it did. we had studied it, tried to understand it. and the domestic policy staff, you were gone and the others were gone by that time. we couldn't ask them what they had done. so i got into the job thinking it would -- you know, doing high level policy. and that's what governor rockefeller thought, vice president rockefeller thought it was going to be. but it didn't work out that way.
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and i got my first assignment -- i think this is a fair example of how president ford addressed issues of policy. this issue was whether there should be a science advisor to the president. he gave me this assignment. rumsfeld gave me this assignment to staff this out, an expression he used. i thought, well, i've never done this before. i better ask president ford what he wants in this kind of thing. so i went down to see him. he said, well, i want it stated in clear, crisp english, what the issue is, what the background is, who stands where, what the history is, who stands on what side. and i want to have tabs with this brief summary you're going to give me a complete account of what everybody thinks his position is on this issue. and he said, now, i want you to
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do two other things. he said, i want you to call up every science advisor to the president thus far and ask him what he thinks he accomplished. and then i want you to have some outsider, some good science writer, tell me what he thinks each one of them accomplished. so i went through -- you can get anybody on the white house -- if you're in the white house, you can get anybody on the phone. so eisenhower's science advisor said, well, he thought he had calmed the public to some extent after sputnik went up. jerry weezener said he thought he never got very far with kennedy, because he would say, tell me how radio works. tell me how it gets from over here to over there. nixon told me, well, i never got to see him after i took a stand on vietnam. [laughter]
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at any rate, i reported all this to the president and he said, well, let's have a meeting on this. and he got everybody concerned. o.m.b. o.m.b. never wants to expand anything. we got in the meeting and everybody had a say. president ford went around the table. everybody got their chance to talk. and he said -- does anyone else have an observation he wants to make? he would go into the office and make his -- write down his decision. he called me in and said, now, i've written this out because i learned a long time ago that if you don't write it out, people hear what they want to hear. and so i'm writing this out and i'm going to say we're going to do this, but i want you to have congress authorize this because
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congress will pay a lot more attention to it. and he said, i'm putting you in charge of getting this done. so that was really my first assignment. and that was a fair illustration of how president ford addressed an issue and how we served to make policy. >> thanks. mr. porter? >> well, the first president i worked for, president ford, was the one that jim had described. i came to this job quite by chance, or of good fortune. i had been selected as a white house fellow in the spring of 1974. and when they're selected, they have an opportunity to express a preference as to where they would like to work. and i called some people in washington and asked them what was the furthest place you could get from the nixon white
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house and still be in the executive branch. and i was told by all four of them, well, the ford vice-presidential staff. they weren't on speaking terms. eight of us interviewed with the vice president's office. they narrowed it down to two and two of us got an interview with vice president ford. i had about a half an hour with him. i of course had never met him before. but we seemed to hit it off. so on the 31st of july, he called me and offered me a position on his staff and i told him i would see him bright and early in the morning of september 1, which is when the fellowship began. he said, i'd like you to get started on right away, come as soon as possible, and i left cambridge the morning of august 8 and arrived at 8:30 in the morning to begin my work for vice president ford on august 9 and he was sworn in as president at noon.
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so i technically spent three and a half-hours in the nixon administration. i had the good fortune of linking up with bill speedman, whom he appointed as assistant to the president for economic policy. and jim and bill were officed in the same suite, those of you who worked in the second floor of the west wing will know that suite. and i was in one of the other -- four offices there. and i was in one of them serving as the deputy to bill speedman and jim cannon. so we spent an enormous amount of time with one another during those days. i then went back at the end of the ford administration and began an academic career and ended up writing a book on presidential decision making that came out in the summer of 1980. and somehow, it got to
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candidate reagan, who liked it. and so three days after the 19800 election, i got called and asked if i would be willing to come work on the transition and how they were going to organize the white house. and at the end of that, i was asked if i would stay on to coordinate economic policy in what was called the office of policy developth. we took the domestic council staff and what had been known as the economic policy board and put them together. and so that office, which is called the office of policy development, i worked in for the first five years of president reagan's term in that process got to know vice president bush well. and so when he got elected in november of 1988, he called and asked if i would come down. i said, well, how are you
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dividing it? he said, brent is going to do foreign policy and i want you to do "everything else." i said, well, i think we ought to divide it between economic and domestic as it had been previously. he said no, i just want to have the two of you. so i ended up in the first bush administration being over both economic and domestic. and it just happened to be there at the right place at the right time. >> i worked for then senator my dell for seven years in the senate. i went down to atlanta to coordinate the vice-presidential campaign. i came back to washington and the job in the senate disappeared. i was working for the transition.
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no signs anybody was going to hire me. there was a christmas party. i went to christmas parties and said, well, how you doing? doing about as well as you can do with two little kids and no job. so picked up the phone and called stu. i think that when we looked at how we wanted to organize the white house, we got a lot of advice from jim cannon and his excellent staff. our role in the administration was a product of two things. one was his campaign commitment to cabinet government, which to him meant that the cabinets' officers were going to be the big guys in the administration and the white house staff were not going to be the big guys in the administration. the fact that he was an engineer and a naval officer, a
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very organized guy, who certainly enjoyed a meeting and thought that was an important part of developing policy, but wanted to make his decision on paper. generally speaking at 1:00 in the morning and all by himself. and we thought that the thing we needed to do was to establish a position in the paper flow. that was going to be the key to our success. we were very focused on that. an we did stand between the executive branch including the office of management and budget. and the president in terms of the paper flow. tried to make sure that everything was right. every single thing that was written by a cabinet officer went to president. every cabinet officer could call the president. and the president often would read this stuff. but one thing he cannot do is write anything short. so the decision memo people,
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and i think for him, presidents do these things differently. for him, because of the way he wanted to make decisions, this was a -- this was a system that works and it was a very organized system and he was a very organized guy. and therefore i think it worked well. i wouldn't say necessarily a model for anybody else. but for him i think this system served him pretty well. >> well, the continuing themes of domestic policy is how you do this organizational division, how you put things into boxes. could you tell us a little bit about how it came to pass that president nixon created a domestic policy council? >> well, trial and error. maybe i should say error and trial. at the beginning, we weren't quite sure who was going to do domestic policy. i remember being in a meeting with ed morgan, henry cash and
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myself. we were reviewing all the legislation that was going from the executive branch to congress and deciding whether or not he was in accordance with the president's program, consistent with the president's program, no objection. after we'd done that for about four weeks, morgan said i think we're running the government here. i think we're quite capable of doing that. he said, well, keep going. we did it for a few more months. the rookies weren't quite sure how to staff things out. i got a call from the consumer affair advisor. said, budding i have to testify tomorrow on the content of the american hot dog. he said, i'd like to reduce the fat content by 2%, 32-30. i'm busy, doing full field
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investigations, getting people ready for their hearings. i said, go ahead and testify. she went up the next day and testified. i think the headline was something like major administration shift on wee knee. -- weenie. the meet packers from colorado to iowa started calling the department of agriculture. the question was, who was the idiot that approved the system? this would have been a very short white house career. in retrospect that would have been a good thing. [laughter] but the president saw that story. and i'm not sure what he was thinking. but he picked up the phone and called virginia and said, virginia -- and i'm just going to tell it to you the way he told it to her and the way she told me, because she called me right after because i was going home to seattle. the president said, stick to your guns, virginia. i come from humblor swrins. we were raised on -- humble
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origins. we were raised on hot dogs. we have got to stick by the hot dog. that was better than ask not what your country can do for you. i was saved by that. i asked her to call news week. and share this wonderful story. you can google this, by the way. you can find this time mag story. my point was i hasn't quite figured out how to staff out something like that. a hot dog is not very big. 2% is not much, but go with it. i think there were a lot of sort of misfires like that that led us to how can we actually organize this better? and it took us about sick or seven months -- six or seven months to think through it. we had daniel patrick des moines than the basement running the urban affairs council. arthur burns who had his staff in the old executive office building and they would lob memos at each other.
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so towards the end of the summer after some of these misfires, the idea of a domestic council came up through the organization group that was put together. they proposed basically expanding the function of the budget to make it the office of management and budget and to create the domestic council. i think there has been a domestic council in some form or other ever since. i think before that it was mostly ad hoc and the rest, people with specific tasks reporting to president. once the do -- domestic council was set up, it was much more regularized. we all had our own staffs. i think it worked much better. i would say the genius behind making it successful was john earlicman. a very good organizer. we had a meeting every morning
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in a table this large. the roosevelt room. the other side would be the head of the office of management and budget and the associate directors. 7:30. that's early to get to work in the morning. make sure we were tracking with each over's issues. i think it kept us on top of things. it worked pretty well. >> any other thoughts? roger? >> one of the features of government in general and the white house in particular is that policy is always the product of many hands. presidents spend very little time with individuals one-on-one. and they do this for a whole variety of reasons, because they recognize that there are a wide variety of different perspectives that they want to be informed about.
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and that they don't want to find themselveses the prisoner of one person or one particular idea. and so the white house in part exists to try to pull together a cross -- an executive branch of government that is very far flung and has lots of pockets of excellence where there are people who have valuable pieces of information to help you understand what the consequences are of moving from 32 to 30 with respect to the fat content in hot dogs. and what presidents want is really two things. they want to make informed decisions. so that they don't discover three months or six months later, my gosh, why didn't somebody tell me this? if only i had known that, i
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would have made a different decision. the second thing they want is the likelihood or at least a good shot at likelihood that the decisions they take will actually get implemented, that there is some sort of structure in place that's going to translate the decision they make into an outcome. that involves dealing with the congress and organized interest groups and regulatory agencies and the public and the press, etc. and producing informed decisions that get implemented roughly in the way the president intended them to be does not happen automatically. it is only the product of people working closely with one another and that's what really led to the creation of the domestic council and ultimately its counterparts of the
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economic side. in the ford administration, we called it the economic policy board. in the carters administration, it was called the -- >> economic policy group. >> economic policy group. group was considered to be less formal than board. board was republican and group was democrat. and when president reagan came in, we called it the office of policy development. there's a real interesting reason why the term domestic was dropped. and that was because -- i was actually there when we were figuring this out. people had woken up in the late 1970's to the fact that international economic policy was big. that people were not very enthusiastic in a nuclear age of firing weapons at one another, but there were lots of ways in which nations could compete with one another and try to exercise political
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leverage and economics was a big thing. so the state department and other elements were trying to get engaged in this. and we wanted -- we, those in the economic and domestic policy arena, wanted to be able to claim international economic policy as not national security, but economic. and therefore, ed nice said, well, let's get domestic out of the title. we'll call it the office of policy development. hey, we can claim almost anything under that heading, which ultimately successfully, we did. then we created a whole series of cabinet councils. ultimately started with five and ended up with seven. that became a little too complicated. so they got collapsed at the beginning of president reagan's second term, too. economic policy council and a
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domestic policy council. and that was continued during the bush administration. then when president clinton came in, they kept the form the same but changed the names and got the national economic council and the domestic policy counsel. so you've essentially had these two collective groupings, economic and domestic, trying to play the role of coordinating and facilitating and bringing together the expertise that is scattered all across the government and the expertise that is scattered all throughout the executive office of the president, because you've got the office of management and budget and the council of economic advisors and the office of science and technology policy and a whole host of other entities there, all of whom are full of very talented people who want to
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play a role, want to have input, but it is very confusing and troubling for presidents to be trying to listen to large numbers of people on essentially the same issue and so they need -- i like to call them honest brokers. they need people who are skillful and adept in pulling together all of the interested parties so that the president gets a good feel for both the substance of an issue and the politics of the issue. >> back to reemphasize what roger has said about the president not being captive of one person, the idea really is domestic council and economic policy board and the n.s.c. any issue, any development, any problem, any new initiative should be subjected internally to its natural enemy so that
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you make sure that you know everything that's wrong with this before you go public with it. the worst thing a president can do is have somebody come in, a cabinet officer or somebody else, and have a meeting on something and as he's leaving, he says, "oh, by the way, mr. president, i would like to do a, b, or c." and the president nods or whatever he does. doesn't say no. and then the next thing you know, you have a wind program, which was an abomination, and whispered in his ear by bob heartman. >> quit inflation now? >> quit inflation now. ford went before congress with a huge button. >> only one button at the time he launched it. >> that's right.
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more tragic was john dunlap, who was the secretary of labor said, "by the way, mr. president, i think i can get a deal in congress on picketting." i never understood exactly what that was. and the president didn't say no. so john went up to the hill and working with labor people and so forth got a deal on picketting. it's about to be culminated. 10 people in the white house said, mr. president, you can't do that. it violates everything you've ever done, said, believed in, and so on. so president ford had to tell john, i can't do this now. genre signed and we lost a very good cabinet member because of this stains of, oh, by the way, mr. president. >> he was an excellent cabinet member and i talked to him at
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great length about this, both at the time and later. he believed that he had fully informed president ford in the meeting that they had in the oval office of what the consequences were. dick cheney, who was the chief of staff and was 35 and relatively new on the job, this was right after the so-called halloween massacre when ford had reshuffled his cabinet -- was there. and didn't pick up on it. and so this cabinet secretary, excellent cabinet secretary went up on the hill, as you described. and once the full ramifications of what was happening came to people's attention, then ford found himself in the very difficult situation of having essentially given a green signal to a cabinet officer who thought he had explained it to
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him. i've talked to him at great length and he didn't feel like he was trying to pull the wool over his eyes or not fully inform, but picketting is a complicated issue and i'm fairly confident ford didn't fully understand it. as a result, of that decision, ford became very insistent that people not meet with him one-on-one. >> right. >> and there used to be a little game -- i don't know whether this is true in the other administrations. but in the cabinet room, there's a big, long table that seats 22 people around it like this. the president comes from a door at that end and he sits right there. well, what would happen is once the meeting is over, the president physically has to get from where he is out that door. so people always try to intercept him and the staff -- we're sitting there across on this side of the room watching to see who's trying to nab the
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president. just need 30 seconds of your time. can we do this. i remember one day, secretary butts, secretary of agriculture, wanted to change some myic price support levels. and technically, this is within the authority of the secretary of agriculture. at least it was at that time. but traditionally, it has been cleared by the white house and approved by the president. so he asks president ford, oh, by the way, we're probably going to need to raise the milk price support level this quarter because of such and such. ford turns to him and says, "has this gone through the economic policy board"? and ford says -- butt says no. and so 15 minutes later. i get a call from dick cheney, the chief of staff, and says, by the way, secretary butts caught the president on the way out and wants to have brought
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up at the economic policy board meeting this next week the milk price support level. i thought i'd have some fun, so i just waited for 15 minutes. 15 minutes later, secretary buts calls and said, oh, could you help me out? i'd like to get on the agenda. he never said he had tried to skirt the system. i'd like to get this on the agenda. ford had learned partially out of this picketting experience, that you need to force it through a regularized channel so that everybody is going to have the opportunity to have their say. and in order that the president can make an informed decision? because it's those uninformed decisions that come back to really haunt you, and we've all seen what can happen when those occur. >> roger where were you when i need you on the hotdog issue? you could have spared me a whole lot of embarrassment there at that point. i think you've got a general point here, that when the president is spoken to individually, there's risk, or
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when he sets up a unit on his own and tells them they can't talk to anybody else, you come up with it and go forward, there's risk. you need to have a system in place where you can bring to bear all the different points of view. you do need an oz broker, no matter how sensitive or difficult they are. otherwise, he's out and he's exposed and he can get into a terrible amount of trouble. >> there is a very fundamental analytical reason for this, it seems to me. and that is a large number of disputes in government and in public policy are over forecasts of what will happen in the future. if we do x, what will be the stream of consequences? what will be the cost? what will be the benefits? and proponents of a proposal and opponents of that proposal are often going to have very different ideas about how to calculate those stream of
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benefits and those costs. and a large part of what the white house mechanisms exist to do is to get in the room at the same time so you can hammer it out. ok, so why are you estimating this to be x and why are you estimating it to be y? and when this isn't done well, as it wasn't done in the mid 1960's for medicare and medicaid, you discovered that within one year, the cost of those programs were five times what had been estimated. the cost within a decade had been 10 time what is they were estimated. well, no president, if he had known what the stream of actual consequences were going to be on that, would have made the same decision, but they were presented with a set of "facts" or analyses on which they base their decision, which turned
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out to be wildly inaccurate. >> could you all talk maybe just a little bit about how well you thought the domestic council, in your case, and the domestic policy staff and the office of policy development handled those activities during the times you were in the white house. or if that was the place where those kinds of brokering was done. >> we pretty much followed it. i understood the ford model to have been, except we -- we had to get rid of something, so we got rid of the cabinet council, which i rarely met as a grune. -- a group. anyway, the biggest difficulty that we had was where presidents tend to get involved is where cabinet officer disagree. because when two cabinet officers disagree, somebody's got to referee this.
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well, all of them are not questions on which cabinet officer disagree. and not all issues which cabinet officer disagree on really ought to be decided by the president of the united states. he just might not want to be accountable for every single one of these things. and the system that we set up, i think we found to be -- and we struggled with it for four years -- too reactive. especially given the great deference that the carter administration paid to its cabinet officers. no person in the white house with exception of the president could tell a cabinet officer to do anything. we were finally able to come up with a system in which we ranked at least legislative issues -- we gave them explicit priorities and we said, if you don't give them this priority, we're not going to work on it.
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the president won't make phone calls. and we were able to sort of use that in a way to sort of discipline the process. but the biggest weakness in the way we had things set up is the way you could drive it just by creating a disagreement between the secretary of labor and the secretary of h.e.w. and the next thing you know, we'd all be up to our elbows. and there might be something else that was going to get us into even more trouble percolating somewhere. maybe we were so busy doing this that we weren't saying you need to talk to the boss about that before you decide what you want to do. so our life was a struggle to not be overly reactive. >> is that a common experience? >> no. you know, ours was quite different. i think that the first year, there was effort to make cabinet government work. i think president nixon became increasingly dissatisfied with
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that. and to the point where no cabinet member would call him up. >> that's why we were the way we were. >> that's right. maybe we should have done what you did there, bert. ours became primarily staff-driven after a while. we had associate directors, the domestic council working with our counterparts. and we would bring together the work groups that included the departments, included the agencies. we would prepare the documents, which i think was probably consistent. we tried to be honest brokers there. we also tried to interseed when we would bring a cabinet together so that we wouldn't get that -- the president nabbed before he got to the door. sometimes the president would say, well, you know, this is a staffer idea. and point. that was me, sir. i thought you liked it before we came in. but i think over the last couple of years, it worked
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pretty effectively. we were trying to do a lot of things. the environmental programs that came out of the nixon white house, i think some people are surprised to know that we did support the national environmental policy act. i remember earlicman asking me, now what's this about, this e.i.s., this environmental impact statement. it's a two-page checkoff, sir. it's not a big deal. you just go through there. you can do it in an afternoon. well, that was not properly staffed. i can tell you that. 10 years later, he said, i think we've created the environmental industrial complex. and you're at fault. but i think for the most part, we tried to staff things out and john whitaker was our associate director for the environmental natural resources. very careful with the papers he put together. in the two-year period, we passioned the national environmental policy act, set up the environmental protection agency, the council for environmental quality, clean
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air, clean water, engaged species, solid waste. a lot of things were done, because i think it was extremely well staffed. now, is nixon a passional proponent of environmental legislation? probably not. but he had staff people who were able to point out to hinl there's a lot of support for this. the mood in the country is different now starting from 19707 to 1972 than it was in 19 68. he was able to respond to that. it worked pretty well the last couple of years. i would say 1971, 1972, and early 1973. >> it didn't work perfectly. >> not perfectly. >> by evidence of the following. richard nixon selected john connelly as his secretary of the treasury. he became enormously enamored of john connelly. >> infatuated? >> we won't go that far.
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he liked him a lot osm infatuated, i don't know. >> john connelly is a very engaging individual, or was a very engaging individual, who could be enormously persuasive in a meeting where you were not being driven by these tightly crafted memos that nixon used to like to get. one of the problems is that nixon really did not like domestic issues as much as he liked the foreign policy stuff. and so he became -- i interviewed john connelly for over three hours on this and it was one of the most fascinating experiences i ever had. he was the one who sold richard nixon on imposing wage and price controls on august 15 of 1971. when you go back and look and through the records, everybody -- all the other advisors were recommending against this. george schultz, herb stein,
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paul mccracken, the whole -- john earlicman one was of those who was opposed to it. and nixon spent so much -- i remember herb stein telling me, we would just be terrified every time nixon was alone with connelly because you never knew what the two of them were going to come up with. and that is why you really do need a process that subjects presidents to a wide variety of opinions and wants -- so that they can have a good feel for all the ramifications of an issue as opposed to getting captured by one strong, magnetic, powerful personality. >> i think president nixon was almost trying to groom connelly for the presidency at some point. he really felt he had command presidency. >> in fact, he told -- when he called ford in, said, well, i'm going to make you -- appoint you vice president. but you should know that i'm going to support john connelly
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in 1976. ford said, that's fine with me. i'm getting out anyway. [laughter] >> i will say that ford and reagan and bush 41, the one i i know best, all understood this well, and were very comfortable hearing people argue in front of them. >> yeah. >> i think this is an important element for a president to have. he's got to be willing to -- nixon did not like -- he did not like that at all. so he wanted it all on paper. he could sit down like a lawyer's brief and go through it. and i actually think if you go in the presidential archives, some of the best memorandum come from out of the nixon administration because you recognize that an enormous amount of decision were going to be done off of paper. >> he graded your papers almost every day. you didn't want to flunk out.
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>> i happen to like a system that combines. carefully crafted, well-thought out papers with meetings in which people can convey to the president. >> which is what ford liked to do. he really liked to do that best. i remember it was swine flu. we had -- president ford insisted that david matthews bring in every expert on this in any way. and he went around the room and listened to every one of them. at the end, he said, does anybody else have something to offer? and nobody said anything. and he said, well, i'm going to be in my office for 30 minutes. and if there's somebody else that has a contrary view, i want you to come in, just tell the secretary you want to see me, and come right on in, because i want to hear it. and that was -- he decided
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that. incidentally, you say what does domestic council -- in my opinion, we did our best to be an honest broker. and i think we were also a resource for finding out things that the president kind of wanted to ask, but might have been too -- a little bit too embarrassed to ask. and so i remember in the swine flu, we got to a decision. going to go ahead with this. we're going to have to have millions of vaccines. and that's going to take -- it will have to be made with fertilized eggs. and i remember that one of the duties that our agriculture expert had to do was find out if there were enough roosters alive at that point --
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[laughter] -- to fertilize all those eggs. we made an inventory of all the roosters in the united states. >> it's a very difficult job. >> somebody's got to do it. >> let's open it up to the broader audience as well. >> i think we're trying to be honest brokers, but we were always perfectly clear that we were going to make recommendations and that no one was going to know what our recommendations were. that is, everyone in the white house staff news what our recommendations were. nobody outside the white house staff knew our recommendations. people who participated in the process knew that we would make recommendations, although we would never tell them what those recommendations would be. we thought that was -- and people made huge efforts to come in. want to see how you're writing the memo and want to see your recommendations. >> well, how did you decide what the recommendation would be? what was the process of determining that?
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>> well, stuart decided what the recommendation would be. he was the assistant to the president. my role was -- and we had our people divide it up by subject matter expertise. i wanted people to come in and talk to me, but i wanted good people. if they didn't come in to talk to me, then stuart's secretary -- if they came in to talk to me, i would put a little slip on it that said cleared by bert. the memo would go over. if they didn't talk to me, the thing wouldn't be there, so stuart's secretary would send it back and i would put a memo saying what i thought about it. and that system worked. >> the president knew what your position was, though. would you be identified on the memo itself? >> the memos -- you'll find the memos that have stuart's name on it. and the memos will all have the name of the staff person that wrote the memo. and except under unusual circumstances, it would not have my name on it.
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>> on occasion, your initials indicated you had seen the memos, is that correct? >> stuart always did it, whether i had seen it. it's very important for these hard-working, good people to get the appropriate credit. . .
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>> the state department had voted for option 2. the staff voted for option 3. i went into my boss and said that this is embarrassing. kissinger is in charge of both the state department. i look at this and said that it could not be right. >> i thought that i would have my head handed to me in this meeting. i called up bob and said that we had a problem the sm. which did you want? i did not want kissinger to explode in a meeting.
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so, he checked, and sure enough, kissinger wanted the state department to be listed on option to. i pointed this out. i pointed out that he had not made up his mind. he said that you will note that the state department is voting for option 2. i tried to keep my people happy. now, i will tell you what the right answer is. he would lay that out. it was a system in which everybody got to see. in the end, we allied the
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department's -- we allow the departments to see that. bucs we were late, so this is all we have. all of a sudden, i had eight catholic bishops in my office. >> it was scheduled for an hour. the congress passed the summer jobs program. this was on a nonsectarian basis. the aclu had challenged the ruling and they challenged it in
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madison wisconsin the aclu had one. the justice department look this over and decided that the district court was correct and they were not going to appeal it under the ruling. the catholic bishops said that we could have known better. we did not become party to the case. so, i write my little memo to the president and told them that it seems like they're really mad. this is as we were moving into the carter administration.
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these are in the attorney general's book. >> i have a question. why did to not pass the by the counsel's office? >> it was a piece of paper. >> i would be very interested in hearing everybody else's viewpoint. >the president of the united states only has 24 hours in the day, like everybody else. he has got to do with foreign policy cuttage to go about deciding this was an issue of
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that you needed to get resolved, even if it was just bringing to cabinet officers into your office and saying that we are not going to leave until you become to some resolution of this. because there is only so much that we can pass on to him. >> there was a response to that question. >> in my case, the decision was usually made by the chief of staff and if he sent the paper down to me and said that the president wants to to staff this out, then i staff it out and win back to him and it was basically not my responsibility to decide.
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sometimes it did happen. the junior economist would come in to see me and say we were going to meet on an electronic transfer. i did not have any idea what it was. he kept pestering me about it and said that we have to have this meeting. they said they were to transfer money electronically. they would not do that without somebody signing the piece of paper. president foreign listened to both sides. president ford had some experience as a lawyer and they understood it right away.
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so, they said to go ahead with it. >> that question has for answers. i think we talked about how there is nobody at home in the department and agencies. they may have been made in the cabinet agencies and i was glad to be at the white house. i think this is the bridge between the sessions. the president knew about it and ask about it. those are things that he wanted to be involved in. i think that, often,
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accountability would be elsewhere and it would be general newsworthiness and those would be the criteria. i did want to raise one quick thing. one of the things that i observed, we have a process. the way that the consensus building and the order of all of this happened and those people were in non decision. i can think of a particular decision there were some of us and the white house of wanted him to be more aggressive on that.
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try as we might come over and over, to have a process litigated, it never got there. we have all of the stuff. the process can stall out. >> in my experience, this is one to be a judgment call, time after time, that is driven in ponderously by the way that you size of the immediate situation. bruce and i were fellow deputies at the beginning of the clinton administration. he and i got together very early on and we divvy it up and it
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turned out that it fit together perfectly. at any rate, the education portfolio was part of my assignment. one of the things that candidate bill clinton talked about during the campaign, which i worked on during the transition, that was the direct lending program. this turned into an enormous brouhaha. >> it still is. >> it still is. and the i did not expect my job to be so vertically integrated to the extent that it was the
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clinton administration was consumed with high profile -- high-profile items. basically, i was out there on my own. i found myself in vote counting meetings. she proposed a compromise. the president is up to his eyeballs in health care and the controversy over trade. i said to myself, i cannot get this to the president. so, i told her i would give back
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to were in half an hour. iphone her back and i rejected the compromise. i've been put the phone barron and then i said that i may be responsible for the collapse of one of the pieces of policy. alomar going to live this down if things go badly. i thought i had to do that because there were three or four other things going on that i knew were higher on the radar screen. i suspect that everybody in the white house in sub making a series of judgment calls on a daily basis as to what rises to the president's level and what you just have to take a deep breath and take responsibility
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for yourself. you're going to get it wrong. there is no magic algorithm. that is why -- i was listening to you and you said the white house changed course. it could have been worse. [laughter] >> i would be interested in knowing to what extent people have regular time with the president. for the last few administrations, there was that early in the day.
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the next one was with the national security adviser and generally the white house chief of staff. to what extent did you have regular time with the president, and let me start off with saying that in the first administration, we have this at the top. they would go win and represent the policy side. indeed george h. w. bush and administration, we had a half an hour where the white house chief of staff would go when and they
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were responsible for the agenda. the chief of staff was there, but he would not present that. we would get through three-four issues. we knew that we had three-four issues that we could take up with the president and make sure he was informed. we had to think about we would try to -- we would try to get some guidance. we did not want to find ourselves in a position of creating a problem for him.
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>> let's start with nixon. we have the early morning meeting with everyone and then called and was there a lot. i would say maybe four-six hours a day. i would be in meetings where they would save would go down build lists. this was the same thing for the staff and kissinger had his own people there. holland was usually the person that was for to be there for
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both meetings. they met with us early. there was a lot of this time in the areas that i had responsibility for and i would go with their. i got past that. that was one of the initial moments. we had the opportunity to explain things. he would be articular and bring you in for that.
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they would fill up with issues. some club would be an important topic. as things progress through time, it was more accommodations >> or people going in and? >> it was a deadline for the culmination process. >> clackum started having standing time and quickly realized -- i was -- it was
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actually terrified for people who get to go in front of him because one of the real dangers were making sure that they would know the subject that they were being made on. >> we would try to and did this. it was a particular issue that was not just as damning appointment. >> did that continue with the second term as well? >> the longer he was in office, the more he could make decisions simply by -- we were really
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providing additional information. we would then have his time. we would have a deep division. >> the process is organic. i was at the deputy level. that is not the same as being the assistant to the president for anything, i will confess to you that bill plante and terrified me because because he almost always knew a good deal more about the subject or a lease some aspect of the subject that you did.
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so, i came, very quickly, to prefer a paper relationship with him. i deliberately did not seek out face time because i knew i would not be over odd. it would present the facts that he needed to know in the options that he needed to consider. it is also the case that if you're writing a memo, he cannot interrupt you. he cannot divert the conversation my sense is that
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this changes of overtime for two reasons. the longer you are rather president, my sense was that nobody wanted to pretend that they were the president. nobody wanted to say that they knew more. if you quickly become aware of how busy he is and you become more aware of what his preferences are of particular issues. if you ask yourself that you cannot get to him and you need a decision, what would he say? by the time you went to the second term, you knew an enormous amount about what his preferences were. the notion that we would decide this and inform him later is much less of a leap of faith.
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>> over time, policy development has become more and more constant in the white house. white house aides can to know the president better and know his preferences better. cabinet members often have a lot of catching up to do. there are important -- they are important figures in their own right. they do not necessarily know where the president's heart is and it so i think that in our experience, the decisions that most had to be brought to the president's attention were not necessarily differences among cabinet members, they were when the white house staff was divided. when those that the president best were not sure where he would be or not sure what the
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right thing for him was or who had watched him closely and still come to the conclusion that he could go either way on this. then you would know that it was a decision that he had to hear and, often, he preferred to be the great synthesizer where you come to him with option 12 and 3 basrah option 1, 2 and 3 -- option 1, 2 and 3. you would see who was dissatisfied in the room and try to bring that out and then you would come up with some purpose of this that usually turned out to be the best policy and also gave advisers on the staff and the cabinet a chance to walk away feeling like they have
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added something and they could save face even if they did not totally when the argument. here is the problem. in this conversation, i am gradually revealing how often i got it wrong. one of the judgments that you have to make is that you know where the president would like to go. the question is, how far can you get down that road to what the president would really like to have happened. is that good enough? not only is that good enough in principle and practice, but will that be good enough for the president? >> in the nature of things, in the legislative process, you cannot take all of those judgments to the oval office.
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i will give you an example. somehow, the issue of whether adoption should be carried out on a race neutral basis fell onto my plate and there were all sorts of arguments involving hhs, the justice apartment and other parties. it was obvious that the president cared a lot about that issue and cared about it because a columnist that had a regular wall street journal column was passionate on the subject. he was outraged that race should be a factor in the adoption process. i work with congress and there were a lot of interest groups that felt equally passionate and we moved the ball substantially down the field but we did not get all the way.
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i finally said that this is good enough. and then the administration's position surfaced and al hunt wrote a column denouncing the white house for having wimped out. [laughter] i happened to find myself in the oval office on another matter that same day and the president went ballistic. i tried to tell him that there has been a lot of heavy lifting. this was the best that we could do. it was this or nothing. he was having none of it. he was convinced that this bad outcome have occurred because i did not care about this issue as
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much as he cared about this issue. my position was identical to his. i have been working the issue for six weeks and i knew that that was the best we could do. he would not believe it. those are the sorts of judgments that get made all of the hon. and i got a lot of the mall. >> you were right more often than not. it goes to the nature of the role of domestic policy. we describe it as an honest broker, but it is not exactly that. it is not as though the job is to weigh the views of each respective cabinet department and put them all on the table and say to the president of that there are 54 option 2 and 64 option 3.
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-- that five or four -- about five or four option to and 6 are for option 3. it forces the government to deal with what the president wants to deal with rather than force the president to do what the government wants to do. >> that is that the president knows what he wants to do. on some issues, he does not have a very clearly formed of you and so he wants to know what everyone wants, but then he will turn to you and ask you what you think. you almost have to protect the president from the cabinet member. just a quick story, just before the election in 1972, they took over indian affairs.
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i saw this and it was ready to bloom. there was a recommendation that we go in and pull them out by force. what would you do? >> john de was on counsel for the president and i was moving on to transportation. i said that i could not counsel him. i knew that the president had a very progressive american policy. it he gave all lot of land back and he was a big believer in that policy. i thought of the risks. if we pull the now, i thought there will be bloodshed. i got a call about 50 minutes later from john s. asking what was going on. we were ready to move on the building and pull these folks out. this was now your problems to
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solve. this was four days before the election and i proceeded to try to figure out how serious this problem was. it turned out to be extremely serious. this is when heroes and heroines are rise. we were able to get and to the bureau of metal american affairs, there were welcoming an attack. the attorney general had gone to the district court and ordered a cease and desist. they set a deadline of 6:00 on monday. if they did not come out, we would go in and pull you out and we will gas you well. i want to the meeting of the justice department. they were talking about vertical envelopment. they said they would cast them out. that was the operative plan.
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they did not use helicopters, but they have of metropolitan police, they were physically going to pull people out of the building. i went back to the white house staff and ask them what they thought we should do. they said that we had a court order that the attorney-general has and he has had approval to go forward with this. so, you have a choice to make. if we actually attacked the building, what is the likelihood of violence? he is very high. what is the likelihood that they would burn the building. it is very high. we have a law enforcement agenda. we do the maximum not to make things worse. it came down to making a call
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and we were hit in 49 states and did not want to win massachusetts. >> i like to make a point. >> let me finish i said that we are born to come back tomorrow after a great victory and you would see an orange glow on the horizon and that would be the building of indian affairs on fire. he went to see the president who called the back. they said to shut it down. they had to move everybody away from the building and that was a discussion that i had with the attorney general that was spirited. i told him i hoped you know what you do we were not going to attack right now. i felt that my job was to be the
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steward of the president's policies that he had worked for years to try and establish good relationships. the risks were too high. another genius came forward and said that they are destitute, why don't we give them some money. we basically got $66,660 and we gave them money to go back to their reservations. they were all gone by when state. but the point was my job was to protect the president's interests at all costs. >> i was going to say that these pendulums the back-and-forth routinely between the cabinet and the white house. i worked in a white house that
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represented an extreme. but i think that there are things that are lost when you move too far away from that. for one thing, these great ideas that we dreamed up half to be implemented by gaea's twelves -- but gs-12's. even if they do not have any good ideas, in the end, we will move on and they are going to be there. secondly, i think that the more you do, the more you have to do. if you are not doing it, someone else is doing it. over time, you can get less done in the administration because nobody in congress or the press
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-- is some port cabinet officer is laboring away, it is not important because the important stuff is all over here. i also find that again -- i believe the white house needs to be a place where you're not personally accountable for congress. the bigger and more all encompassing and larger 0 bureaucracy that it becomes, the harder it is to defend that. i have noticed in this current administration that some jobs have to be confirmed by congress and some are not. everybody should work this out the way that it works out best
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for them, but if the cabinet is simply an employment, it has serious disadvantages to it. >> that would serve as a benediction because our time is up. >> michael, i would like to thank everybody for the marvelously entertaining stories, the insightful observations and i think this could have gone on twice as long, but we have to end it. thank you very much.
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>> tomorrow, we will continue this discussion with policy advisers that worked with presidents from nixon to president bush. that is tomorrow a 10:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> in a few moments, a historical look at president james madison. after that, supreme court justice stephen briar and former justice sandra day o'connor talk about their life on the court and then the future of the republican party >> tomorrow, on
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washington journal, kiran silverstein -- cannot silverstein -- ken silverstein, james hudson and richard manageiniter. washington journal, at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> these places remind me of modern cathedrals that donors would build wings on, hoping they will go to heaven. >> walter kirn would like to see a few changes in the higher education system. >> princeton philosophy should be on the web. i think that these wonderfully concentrated islands of talent and wealth should be opened up
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to the larger society, and not kept separate, which they still are and i cannot understand why. >> that is on q&a, sunday night at 8:00 p.m. here on c-span. you can also listen on xm satellite radio. >> and now, historians on james madison's role on writing the constitution. the former president of yale moderates the discussion. this is just over one hour. this portrait was painted in 1833 in madison's 82nd year.
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this was a rare portrait that fully satisfied the subject wife. he wrote to his friend and said there were two sittings on this portrait and he will finish it in one more. mrs. madison calls it a perfect and is almost afraid to have me touch again. note that in his 82nd year, madison's age is apparent, but aids has affected not a whit -- but age has affected not a whit. there is not a hint of remove or aloofness in this portrait.
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it is all fears and connected. you have both written some things about the great paintings of the founders. do you like this one? >> i do, very much. it is done in a style that is solely. it lets you know what madison looked like at that stage in his life. like any artist, this is the way i see it and then everybody starts to see at the same way. what is somewhat mr. representative about it is that this is of an old man. madison's greatest creative political achievement occurred
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in his middle '30's. this misrepresents the revolutionary generation. washington was in his early '40's when he took over the continental army. hamilton was the same age as madison. so, all of the major portraits are of old men. we think of them as old men, some of the major achievements were done when they were much more vital. there is no photographs of the men. the second thing i would say is that when you look at the portrait, you do not understand how will he was. he was really small.
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he was 5 foot 3 inches. it was little jimmy madison. since you're just looking at the head, you cannot get that. but the reason that his beloved lows it is because in some sense, it makes him look better than he really was. first of all, i love the artist anyway. he began as an engraver, actually in only he could execute a portrait like that. it is interesting. he did a portrait of andrew jackson. jackson was older than madison.
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he was late in coming to the presidency. what is interesting is that the hoped-for -- that the portrait captures all of this. people were saying that thomas jefferson use that word in the draft of the kentucky resolutions. madison has got to try to cover that up. he wants to save the nation and he sees himself as part of that. what he did was very much alive. what it does not show is his shyness. he was short and he was shy. sometimes the to go together. in napoleon's case it did not, but in madison's case, it did not. it tells you something about the
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man: i think he did a better job as president and some historians did. he was much better behind the scenes. there is a famous story told of his it moderation -- of his inauguration. he gave an ok inaugural address. they had a big party afterwards. there, thomas jefferson is very happy. he cannot wait to get back to monticello. there is james madison, completely shy and boring. thomas jefferson comes and and he is so happy to be getting out of the presidency, but he is looking for someone to talk to. he makes his way over to the
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biggest party animal in the room, john quincy adams. john quincy adams was not a party animal, but he liked to talk about these things. you do not see that in the picture. >> right, so many of his greatest works did not have his name attached. let's start with the young madison. this was somebody who remained, all his life, deeply rooted in his virginia -- gentry.
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how does that -- how did his virginia roots affect the intellectual character that he brings to the constitutional convention and his other great achievements. >> as is almost always the case, indeed very early years of everyone's life, it is not recorded with the same thoroughness. there's a lot the we do not know about his early years. certainly, going to princeton is a big move for him. however, a lot of virginians are doing that. i am going to say something controversial. his virginia roots prevent them from being the nationalist that
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he wishes to be. mainly, he goes into a very nationalist phase and we will talk about this. in the 79 is, and even through his presidency, he reverts to what henry adams calls the virginia ripped version of the republic. part of that is a commitment to the preservation of the constitution. it needs to be maintained. whether slavery is working down there beneath the surface --
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>> he has over 150 slaves. >> he dies in virginia and he is surrounded by slaves. it is not happy. jefferson had the same experience even though he was more in depth. to be a tobacco plantation owner was virtually to guarantee that you're born to be bankrupt. virginia defines them in virginia is where he died as in the virginia that he dies and will never be a place that produces another generation like that again. >> unlike some people i have known that went to princeton, madison seems to have been deeply shaikh intellectually by
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his experience at princeton. would you say a little bit about what he encountered when he got to prison? >> madison got to princeton at the right time. he was a member of the most extraordinary run trading class of any american and all of american history. it was the princeton class of 1771. he was a very distinguished class but no, he arrived at the right time. he almost did not come. he should have gone to william and mary.
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>> but he did not like the anglican kind of imbalance that he thought he saw at william and mary. >> and his father did not get along with the staff of william and mary. >> princeton is a special place. rather, princeton in the late 17 60s was a very special place. it not just for the students that were there, because they were caught up in what was going on there. he arrived a year before madison comes to princeton. >> he was not the greatest intellect, but he conveyed it to princeton and intellectual drive that was very powerful.
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he came from scotland and he was kind of taking a chance. there was this backwoods place. he was a very learned man. he came with the ideas of the scottish enlightenment. if you do not know how they -- who they were, it was people like adam smith. there was an idea of common- sense philosophy is which i think the shape madison fundamentally. so, the decision to come to princeton was important. there was a funny mix.
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he was deeply calamus. that was very interesting -- that was a very interesting combination. there was this pessimistic view of mankind that was enhanced by his experience at princeton. >> i agree with what your saying about the bad influence on him. these are basic assumptions. when it graduates, is it 1971 that he graduates? >> yes. >> when he graduates, he is never going to amount to much because he is going to die young. he is all mind and no matter. he outlives them all.
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>> so he finds at princeton, imagine a college president that has something to teach, he finds witherspoon, who becomes a pipeline into the scottish enlightenment and he not only experiences -- princeton is unusual in the freedom of religion that was part of the bedrock. all religions are welcome and tolerated and madison notices in their religion is more vital in the freedom of the princeton context. i think it shakes his religious liberty, and he is one of the first of the founders that finds that religion is likely to flourish in an atmosphere of freedom more than it will in an
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atmosphere of a state support and involvement and regulation. so, he finishes princeton and witherspoon sends him home with a constant stream of further reading to do. >> he also sticks around. he takes an extra year after he graduates to learn hebrew. he is called princeton first graduate student. >> he has this scottish enlightenment education and experience of religious freedom, and a couple of years thereafter, he writes to fred. madison is now 22. this must of been one of the great understatement of the founding era. he says that the principal modes of government are too important to be disregarded by an inquisitive mind.
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i think we are well worthy of a critical examination by all students who have health and leisure. so, he urges his friends to focus their inquisitive mind on the study of government and then he, at the age of 25, he moves into his first political office in virginia and one of the first pregnancy does is rewrite the virginia declaration of rights that george mason is passing through the convention -- pushing through the convention. it was a natural rights statement. mason said that government would
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tolerate religion, and he saw it not as something as some thought something the government tolerates, but a natural right of conscience. >> three years later, he is elected in 1779 to the consul congress, and there, is one of the experiences that i think as a lot to do with his own ultimate constitutional views eight years later. >> by that time, the continental congress is a functioning, coherent body that seeks to embody the nation. after that, it becomes a [unintelligible] rather than a chorus. it is pretty clear to madison
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that the states, themselves, are selfishly defending their own interests and did you begin with some sort of the assumption that there is a thing called the people that is a coherent whole, when you confront reality of the, you realize that that is an illusion. there are a series of interest groups that function according to their own pattern and their own interests. you can bring that romantic notion to bear and it will be quickly undermined. i think he finds the same thing in the virginia government a few years later it is a maturation that will eventually serve him very well the time he gets to philadelphia. >> he has to return to virginia after three years because of the 31 year term limits to rule
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that keeps the cottle congress from developing people of seniority and continuity. under the articles of comfort -- articles of confederation, he sees this as institutional this function. >> things got so bad that congress had to move to princeton >> the moved about five or six places. i think they even moved to trenton. >> madison knew about it. the could not afford to pay the troops. the articles of confederation assured this. under the articles, the united states could not afford to pay for its diplomats to be abroad and could not have a commercial policy.
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every state could have its own commercial policy, not a good idea for an emerging nation. it provided nothing in the way of power of the national level. >> it was regarded as a banana republic at by all the european banks. >> if you're to get the money you needed, there was a lot more wealth across the atlantic. >> the only thing they did well was the northwest ordinance. the figure out how to live in cumming territories into the new nation on an equal basis rather than any kind of colonial basis. no european power would have done it that way. >> they did one thing right. >> back in virginia, madison is said to annapolis as a delegate
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, that is supposed to be an amendment to the federation. . . if you go for broke you'll lose everything. let's go for half a loaf. this annapolis convention was designed to address the question of interstate commerce. only six states showed up.
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>> they dent have a quorum and if ned done anything i don't think he would have gone forward for the constitutional convention. what he said was we failed, like a boxer losing in the 10th round and bloodied and everything and goes for a knockout. >> in the ninth round -- >> for a knockout in the 10th. hamilton is the one who convinces him that's what we should do. the brilliant precocious hamilton. but his correspondence with jefferson from annapolis is -- he's really down. he thinks oh, my god. nothing's going to work. hell in a hand basket, anarchy's coming. the shays rebellion. and so it's like out of desperation that they say let's give it a shot. we're a major convention in philadelphia. >> and madison takes it on himself to be the one to try to persuade washington to take part in this activity.
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not an easy thing to do. because washington, i think, sees what this is really about. which is trapping the articles of confederation. the articles of confederation had in them an amendment process. but it required the unanimous consent of all the states. so that it was an almost impossible to deal with any kind of a controversial or sectional rivalry kind of -- >> rhode island never showed upment >> they would have killed it right away. >> rhode island didn't show up at the convention. >> and washington has taken an oath, an oath to support the articles of confederation. can he attend this constitutional convention? >> he's also promised the american people that he will never come back in public life. he's cinciatus and he doesn't come back. one of the major political
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achievements of that moment. without washington, this could have very well been perceived as an illegitimate coup d'etat. >> washington and franklin. at the end of the end of the day, they're embraced of the project, this actually illegitimate in a stric÷ legal sense. you could even call it treason. the project of the constitutional convention to scrap the articles, this getting washington to sit in the chair was one of madison's greatest achievements. >> and he's a conniver. like madison is like -- to think about the mind of madison. some of platonic mind up there. madison is a details guy. if god were -- if god were in the details, he would meet madison right there, right at the middle of them. it's like i want to tell you, general washington, that i've
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looked at the massachusetts delegates that are going to come. and here's how the votes are really going to go. and, therefore, it's not going to fail. and i've already talked to the virginia delegation. >> you won't be embarrassed. >> he's counted every nose. he's shaken every hand and nudged every elbow. he's very much in the nitty-gritty kind of guy. in terms of his political behavior. >> are you surprised, then, that right off the bat, at the convention, madison comes out of the corner, talk about throwing a haymaker. he drafts the virginia plan. again, true to madison's form, it's not presented by him. it's presented by randolph. but the virginia plan is -- i think it's nare to say an -- i think it's fair to say an ultra national statement on a constitutional level. it is in many ways. but the most most singular
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example is under the virginia plan, national legislature has the right to veto any state law, any state law that in its opinion, the opinion of the national legislature, is embarrassing to the purposes of the broader union. a complete reversal. the articles of confederation, which would put a premium on state sovereignty. and the virginia plan, which madison starts the convention by presenting a plan that basically suborder nates the -- subordinates the states' sovereignty to that of the national government. the virginia plan really doesn't go anywhere or i shouldn't say that. it's not adopted. the veto, madison's national veto of state laws does not make it into the final document.
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but it seems to me that madison somehow put the constitutional convention on a certain nationalistic path that he and hamilton would together embrace right at the outset of the convention. and i think it set a tone for the radicalism of the convention. >> if you're going foff a coup d'etat, -- going to have a coup d'etat, you might as well start with a coup. he started off by setting the terms of the conversation. and i'm not even sure madison believed it will get through anyway. but he was setting the terms of the conversation. from then on in, people had to respond to that. when things seemed to be flagging, and alexander hamilton, to give a speech, i think it was on june 18, so you're about a month and a half into the proceedings, hadn't been around much, he gets up
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and gives a speep which is even more shocking -- gives a speech which is even more shocking. he calls for a president to be elected for life. in those days that wasn't so bad. -- so odd. you could actually vote for a person to stay in office for life. but still, this was shocking. basically -- basically a government as close to the tradition of government and still be a republic and it was a republic. i don't want to say avenues monarchist or -- say he was a monarchist or a monocrat. but the people in the convention knew how to manipulate the trend of the conversation and very skilled at it. it helped set the terms of what was to come. >> it marked him as a monarchist for the rest of his life. >> the anti-democrat. it strikes me that the second
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great accomplishment of madison is to -- is to take the anti-democratic deep concerns from people like hamilton, i guess governor morris, and others who thought that the people are not to be trusted. if people are running things, they're just going to run it for their own -- >> the people, sir, is a great beast. >> the people, is a great -- madison takes that distrust and he fashions a constitutional approach to it that does not in any way undermine the principle of popular sovereignty. he embraces the principle of popular sovereignty. but the distrust of democracy he deals with by as you put it in your book, by filtering it through various institutional forms. >> right. >> so the senate is elected for
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a long time. and cannot be recalled. >> we saw why that's a good idea. [laughter] the salaries of the people in the national government are paid by the national government. not the states. elections, the terms are longer than a year. so people can -- so that -- he sees that in a broad geographic expanse, a republican form of government is going to work against what he called the evils of direct democracy. that is, that representatives will get away from their constituents. they'll mingle with people from other parts of the country. they'll learn what he calls in the virginia ratifying convention, republican virtue. >> it relates back to the question earlier, madison thinks that what he saw in the continental congress in 1779 and the virginia legislature, that's democracy. democracy is chaos.
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as far as he's concerned. and the word that is the word for madison is not the people, it's the public. the public, res publica, the long-term interest of the people, which the people don't understand. >> and we have -- happen to be in a convenient moment there. >> but madison is searching to find a way that is -- that is bottomed on the principle of popular sovereignty. but is protected from the accesses of demockragse. he talks -- he wants the government to be run by people he describes as men of liberality and light. people with a broad view of national problems, not a narrow, localist concerns. and democracy as he sees it could promote that kind of narrowness. but by the same token, and this i think is part of madison's
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genius and not just his, james wilson i think is the other great hero of all of this, pennsylvania delegate. but he says, look, you have to build the federal edifice in such a way that it has a very sharp top but a very broad bottom. without the legitimacy that comes from the recognition that every branch of the government depends on popular sovereignty with all of these filters to be sure, men of liberality and light are running the show and not the demagogues, but legitimacy would come from an acknowledgement that at every point, that ultimately it is we the people of the united states, that's what the -- the nationalist statement and a democratic statement in the sense he's talking about a very broad bottom. his genius to combine those two things. >> and you remind me that the guy from pennsylvania, james wilson, is the guy -- in the ratifying convention, speaks most intelligently about this. most of the time if you said to
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madison, where does sovereignty reside? and he said the people, he would note he was lying. there is no such thing as -- and to me, what is the greatest insight of madison is not federalist 10 which we haven't talked about, i presume we will. but his recognition after the convention when he's writing the federalist papers, and he's debating this in the virginia ratifying convention, i guess, that what -- that what he wanted was clear resolution of the sovereignty question. the virginia plan. >> which of course he didn't get. >> he didn't get. and he comes to realize if he got it would have never passed. and that the smartest thing they did inadvertently was create an ambiguous line between federal and state
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sovereignty. and nobody could agree where it was. >> we're still arguing about it. >> it created a situation that was really dual sovereignty. multiple sovereignty which is a violation of all aristolean political principle. if the british believed that there never would have been the revolution. they said the colonies could have been sovereign. madison has understood we have created an argumentive process in which there is no final answer. it is an argument about, well, in this case, it's this, in that case, it's that. >> the argument that plays out over time and changes. >> history they say is an argument without end. the constitution is an argument without end. that's the reason some. guys that take the strict original intent -- some of the guys that take the strict original intent are laughable karkes. those as smart as scalia. in the end there is no original intent other than to keep
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arguing. [applause] madison embodies to me franklin's last statement that many people think was franklin's greatest -- >> when he's leaving the convention. >> the greatest contribution ever to his country. when he -- when he piles on the double negatives. i'm not sure. this is not the best. i'm not sure whether it's good or not. but we all need to compromise. it's better than the alternative. madison doesn't get his national veto. he doesn't get his position on the senate. nevertheless, he leaves the convention determined to get the constitution ratified, if he can. he has to decide at this point whether to go back to virginia. or to come up to new york. and he decides to come to new york because he's -- he wants
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to defend the constitution in congress. if congress gets into mischief in new york. he arrives in new york and hamilton and jay have cranked out the first nine of the federalist papers. they're behind schedule. one of the three people who was supposed to write these things has turned in stuff that hamilton views as unpublishable and not up to -- not up to his standard. it strikes me that madison may be the only person in the country who comes to new york and actually elevates the level of the -- of these remarkable, some people, i'm one, think the greatest statement of political science ever. >> and what's amazing, it's called the great deliberation on american government. but it was produced at red hot
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speed. it was all nighters. these were not deliberative processes. these guys were turning over to the printer before the ink was dry. these are op-ed pieces. >> that's right. >> and so madison cranks out as you say this incredible federalist 10 which by the way, gary wills writes he thinks federalist 10 had almost no influence at all until the 20th century. it was too late to affect the new york ratification vote. anti-federalists had already been elected by the time most of the federalist papers come out. but effective or not, these are the greatest statements of political theory in our history. >> the way i put it, wills might very well be right. it's tough to know how people are influenced. the debate the other day, people's bloodlines, like
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they're measuring -- we don't have anything like that for the 18th century. i think the idea was so novel and so counterintuitive that some people just didn't get it. i mean, when he -- he makes it a couple times in the convention itself. and then again in a written form in federalist 10. but it turns it on its head. the point is supposed to be that republics can only exist in small swiss cantons and greek city states because they're too weak to control large land mass. he said just the opposite. increase the scale and you increase the stability of the republic. i don't know what the modern analogy would be. but it's turning everything upside down. i will -- what supports wills' view is nobody said anything about it at the time.
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you know, they didn't say oh, my god, that was a great argument. i think the way in which madison thought and i know that -- very distinguished madison biographers and scholars who don't agree with me on this, even though he wasn't trained as a lawyer, he thought like a lawyer. and he knew going into the convention that the argument that was going to be thrown against them by the opponents of the constitution was that it's too big, the country -- the republic can't be this big. so he was looking to find an answer. he is like a lawyer who knows he's got a client and he's got to maximize the evidence on his client's behalf. and so in some sense, he's looking for that kind of antidote, that kind of federalist 10 argument. and he pulls some of it out of -- maybe out of adam smith. and you can look for sources all over the place. but he needs that argument in order to be effective.
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>> just thinking about this. the 19th century had almost proved him wrong. >> the civil war. >> expansionism and the enlargement -- expanded sphere, the country almost pulled in half and had the country been pulled in half it's possible the republic would have blown. >> it's a big failure. >> and it has to do with slavery which is something we'll get back into again. >> it's really interesting, isn't it? how lincoln at that time to jump ahead, lincoln reprises a lot of the arguments of the federalist papers. in his first inaugural and in his arguments about why he cannot tolerateunion. why cessation is not just a matter of the states who c secede, but creating a structure in which everyone is likely to fail. geographical unity, this i think is more hamilton's view but madison clearly shares it, geographical unity across the
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whole continental expanse is absolutely critical to the united states' ability to defend itself. from any kind of foes. the other thing that has always struck me about the federalist papers is how nonutopian, i mean, how realistic, some would even say almost cynical, a view that the federalist papers take about human nature. >> the scotts' enlightenment -- the scots' enlightenment meets the west indies. natural philosophy and common sense philosophy, doesn't go into this general wills stuff. none of that there. we take human beings as they are and we understand them and reason and faith can go together. that's where mad shon is coming from. -- where madison is coming
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from. alexander hamilton from a very different place. he has been to my alma mater, kings college. but he was shaped by something even before that. which had to do with how congress operates and what human nature is all about and doesn't have a very benovelent view of the way that people operate in the world. so yeah, i wouldn't call it cynicism. but i would certainly call it realism. >> hamilton's first letter that we have is the end of the last sentence of his first letter, 12 years old, o how i wish there were a war. this is not a jeffersonian smiley smile kind of a guy. but they believe in power. they believe power should be lodged in the right place. this is all part of the show. but it's basically an idea that human nature is not -- is not essentially benovelent. it's not essentially evil. it's both. and we are all what -- all victims of original sin and all the rest is there. >> one of the best is
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federalist 51. men were all angels. >> and must be made to counteract ambition, if men were angels, there would be the need for government? but what is government? the greatest reflection on human nature. this nationalist, madison, affer producing these remarkable papers -- after producing these remarkable papers, goes to virginia and takes on patrick henry and manages to be the david who slays patrick henry, the goliath, in the virginia ratification. >> henry has been giving madison a hard time throughout the 1780's, blocking the madison-jefferson legislation for religious freedom. separation of church and state. and i think that it's probably fair to say, sean can correct me if he disagrees, but hen have i probably the -- henry is probably the second most powerful figure after washington. henry is like the or tore of the revolution. -- the orator of the
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revolution. the governor of virginia during this time. and jefferson and madison both hate him. jefferson is over in paris and when madison writes him and says i'm going to have to debate henry, and jefferson says, we must fervently pray for his imminent death. [laughter] and then you got henry, the orator and evangel tal -- evan cal -- evangelical style, the reason jefferson hated him, jefferson would write out the words, this is perfect, lyrical, logical pros and henry would sweep it away with liz emotion. -- with his emotion. but madison, this diminutive guy, would stand still, holding his hand with his notes. they had stenographers here. the first time, nothing about
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the constitutional convention that was -- that was recorded in this way. but they had stenographers and the stenographers couldn't hear him. his voice was so low. but i think marshall said, i'm not going to get it quite right, that henry was the master of persuasion. but madison was the master of -- could make you -- show you how to think. he really was -- he became -- i think if that was the moment that he became a great man in virginia. to take on the leader of this -- in this way. and when henry was at full force toward the end, arguing for like 75 new amendments to the constitution, like a thunderstorm act, the severe thunderstorm in richmond had closed the whole thing down. and everybody said madison has just spoken.
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>> let's conclude this part of the discussion by looking at the great -- what some people find as the great reversal or contradiction in madison's career. here the great nationalist from the constitutional convention and from the ratification period, goes to the new government, heads to the house. hamilton assumes that he will be his closest ally. washington assumes it, too. washington consults madison. on everything that he does. >> when washington comes to new york, as president, the house writes him an -- welcome. madison writes it. washington says to madison, would you write my response? [laughter] madison wrote the welcome and the response. he did the same thing with washington's inaugural address, the house's response to it. then he wrote washington's response and washington's response to the senate. was it you, joe? a lot of this is madison in
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dialogue with himself. but not over his own name. >> a lot of things that are called jeffersonian are really madisonian. >> so hamilton expects madison to be his great ally. and madison as the federalist would have it, turns on him in washington. when he sees the scope of hamilton's finance project, the bank, the national credit, this vast internal improvement. >> the assumption of the state debt. >> that's almost -- that is like perceived as an arrow into the heart of the states themselves. >> the redemption of the u.s. credit to face value so that speculators -- so madison becomes now the defender of states' rights. >> i think it's perhaps the most breathtakingly dramatic switch in american political history. and it happens like in a year and a half. >> yep.
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>> by 1890. >> and i sat to write about this, what is going on here? like from the ultra federalist to the person attempting to undermine the federalist vision and the federalist government. >> is it jefferson's influence? >> one answer is jefferson comes back from paris. >> it makes me wonder if jefferson had been around if the constitutional convention would have had the outcome. >> i don't think it was jefferson so much. >> i don't, either. but that's an explanation. >> i think it was his being in new york as opposed to philadelphia. and being in new york, he could see the -- co-see hamilton's buddies. -- he could see hamilton's buddies. he could see what was going on and -- that -- he thought these guys were about to take over. he saw that hamilton was not only designing a more powerful government but he thought rightly or wrongly that this is going to redound to the profit of a class that was going to emerge and take the country over. and so whereas before, he was
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worried about the many. now all of a sudden in new york he's looking around and saying wait a minute. the few might be the problem now. and i think that there was a way in which his moving about had a lot to do with what -- the difference between setting up a government and getting a government going. hamilton understood the need to bring the money men if you will in concert with the government if you're going to keep it going. not going to work any other way. madison took one look at that and got very, very nervous. and i think that had a lot to do with what was going on. >> it makes sense. i think -- given the argument that madison developed in 1791 and 1792 and madison called the national gazette, which becomes the basic platform of the so-called republic -- republican party. and plans made from princeton who is being paid by jefferson in the state department which is illegal. but the argument is this.
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that madison makes. that in -- it really is a suggestion that the federalist government as now constituted represents an imposition, a tyrannical imposition on the states in the same way that parliament and the king represented a tyrannical policy toward the colonies. and it's got some of the same paranoid dimensions in it, too, that the colonial argument back in the 1960's made. and this is not friendly to madison. but i think the whole virginia planner class is going to hell in a hand basket by the late 18thson tri. their plantations are not profitable. trapped in slavery. most will die bankrupt. washington is one of the exceptions to the rule. and they're looking for some personal version of an enemy to pin it all on.
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it's not madison. it's not hamilton's fault. it's not the federalists' fault but they're looking for devils to explain their own predicament. and the degree of fervor that both madison and jefferson expressed towards hamilton and the federalists is adequacy paranoid. -- is quasiparanoid. >> so madison helps to make the constitution in practice this endless argument. this source of continuing contest. and this continues. we -- throughout this tremendous career of his, there's a lot we haven't touched on. dealing with the basic constitutional issues as we are tonight. but of course madison writes the bill of rights. he is jefferson's ally. and ultimately opposing and
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ultimately in a sense reversing the alien sedigs act of 1798 and does the country a great act of service as president in the constitutional way that he fights the war of 1812. he looks to congress to declare the war. there is no sedition act. no denial of habeas corpus. except in new orleans with andy jackson who puts it all under marshall law. but that's not madison. >> the war is actually over by then. >> but madison accomplishes i think great constitutional objectives in his conduct of the war. >>ness a rich topic, -- this is a rich topic, gentlemen, we could go on for a long time. let's take a couple of minutes and hear a couple of questions or comments. >> as a trustee of the new york historical society, i'm going
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to be presumptuous and say on behalf of the new york historical society and i hope i'm speaking on behalf of everybody here, this has been one of the most fascinating hours that we have had in this building. [applause] >> you have a great subject. >> so thank you, gentlemen. my question is -- goes back to the paranoia that joe ellis was talking about. and my question goes to with madison and jefferson changing so quickly, to what extent was slavery the reason for the change? and the protection of the rights of the slave states to forever remain slave states? >> you can search their compons as i have. -- their correspondence as i have. and you'll never find a direct piece of evidence to support them. but i think it's the -- it goes to the banquet.
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and that underlying their commitment to the principle of states' rights. and the position that they both argue in the kentucky and virginia resolutions, jefferson's draft of the kentucky resolutions, goes further and prepared to consider secession. is the principle that the federal government has no authority to make domestic policy. it can make foreign policy, can't make domestic policy. that's one of the reasons hamilton's financial plan is such a threat. but madison saying they can't even do interstate commerce. and why is that? i think they know once they admit the principle, the federal government has the right to make some forms of domestic policy. slavery is going to come up on the agenda. and is eventually due. this is a way of assuring that it cannot appear at the
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national level and essentially that it will -- it must remain a state matter. >> sean, do you have a comment? >> i would be more convinced if we had some evidence. which we don't. >> we got indirect evidence. >> what is indirect evidence? >> the fact that madison gets the house to pass this resolution at the outset -- >> in the spring of 1790. he masterminds -- >> masterminds a resolution that basically says the federal government has no power over slavery in the state. >> within a state. >> if a state wants to abolish slavery, well and good. but the federal government has no power to do it. >> we can go back even before that. in 1787, the reason we have a three fifths clause, the reason we have a number -- a number of things, in the constitution, precisely because the slaveholders wouldn't have put up with it. but it wasn't the virginia slaveholders. it was south carolina and georgia. they were the ones who were
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really angry about this. virginia is divided. virginia is a divided mind. james madison is a man that said the word slavery shouldn't be in the constitution because the constitution should not admit of the institution. that didn't mean he was going to free all the slaves but we should not base this government on the idea of slavery. >> and also explains a lot of silence. >> that's right. but the silence permits change down the line. they're not going to abolish slavery tomorrow or anywhere else. they doesn't see -- they don't see slavery as a good -- so i think -- i'm less persuaded of this proposition that slavery was driving everything underneath it. this is an idea that insofar as historians have rediscovered that slavery was much more important than they had admitted before, i think we may have gone too far in that
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direction and see it driving everything. it's there. it's certainly there. but we have to be very careful about how we see where it is. >> i'm being admonished to bring this to a close although we could spend a lot of time profitably. but i know -- >> if could i stay here for an hour. >> there's a bar around the corner, too. >> because we've got debates. let me just close with a message from james madison. which sums up for me one of the most striking aspects of his legacy. here is madison speaking. i think effectively to you. my fellow citizens. >> my country. >> my fellow citizens, federalist 14, this is from, my fellow citizens, hearken not to the voice which petulantly tells you that the form of government recommended for your adoption is a novelty. in the political world.
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that it had a -- never has had a place in the theories of the wildest projectors, that it rashly attempts what is impossible to accomplish. why is the experiment of an extended republic to be rejected merely because it may comprise what is new? numerous innovations have already displayed -- been displayed in the american theater. americans, leaders, accomplished a revolution which has no parallel in the annals of human history. they reared fabrics of government which have no model on the face of the globe. that is what he and the others accomplished in philadelphia. and in the ratifying conventions. and as the politics of the republic played out, think of the intellectual and political courage that it took for these people to do something
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completely novel in the annals of human history. this is one, the constitution seems to me in many ways of all the unprecedented events, there had never been a successful revolution until the american revolution against a colonial power. >> how many wars did great britain lose between 1750 and 1950? >> all of these remarkable things. think of the courage of the intellectual power of the sense that we can make this country into something that has never been in the entire scope of human history. that to me is the greatest -- the greatest achievement of madison in this group. their unbelievable courage. >> sorry. beno schmidt.
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joseph ellis. john wallinz, thank you so much. [applause] >> in a few moments, supreme court justice stephen breyer and former justice sandra day o'connor talk about their life on the court. then jonah goldberg of the national review online discusses the future of the republican party. and after that, a look at iran's nuclear program. >> during this holiday weekend, notable americans on c-span. stories from inside the white house. domestic policy advisors on their president, from richard nixon to george w. bush. honoring president ronald
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reagan. ken burns on his career and upcoming series on america's national parks. a tribute to the late writer john updike, two-time winner of the pulitzer prize. and a reunion of the apollo astronauts and more books and authors on c-span2 on "book tv" including historian john furling taking your calls on our first president live from george washington's mount vernon estate. sunday on "in depth." and p.j. o'roarke, his passion for cars and america's need to drive like crazy. also nobel peace prize recipient juan gare maathai on the challenges facing africa. find out on >> president obama leaves sunday for a week-long trip to russia, italy and ghana. the president will be in moscow to meet with president
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medvedev, prime minister puten and former president mikhail gorbachev. the president will be in italy from wednesday until friday for the g-8 summit and meetings with italian president napolitano, chinese president wu, and the pope. and ghana will be the last stop on the president's trip, a series of meetings on development and democracy. check our website, web web -- c for the coverage of the president's stops. >> now supreme court justice stephen breyer and former justice sandra day o'connor talk about the history of the court, the life of a justice, and the decision-making process. from the aspen institute, this is about an hour and 10 minutes.
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>> i want to welcome you to another provocative series on justice and society. a couple of housekeeping points. we are filming. we are taping this session. if could you silence your phones and black bares that would be much appreciated -- blackberries that would be much appreciated. the last 20 minutes of this period will be reserved for q&a and we'll have stationary mics so if you could make yourselves to those stationary mics and introduce yourselves before proceeding to ask your questions. questions, a few statements, that would help us considerably. in meeting all the needs of our taping technicians. my honor is to introduce you to the moderator, sandy levinson, who is a professor of law at the university of texas. his bios in the back of your program. he's had a very distinguished life of letters and law. and we're very pleased to have him to moderate this session. sandy.
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>> i think among the people at the aspen institute tied for first among the people who do not need an introduction are former justice sandra day o'connor and justice stephen breyer. i do want to add one item of their respective biographies. so appropriate to the general theme of selecting judges because both justice o'connor and justice breyer have actually been selected twice. justice o'connor was among the very last elected judges in arizona if i remember correctly. and then of course selected by president reagan to join the united states supreme court. justice breyer for many years, a very distinguished member of the first circuit court of appeals in boston. appointed to office by president carter. and i think i'm correct in saying he was the very last person confirmed during the carter administration.
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and so i do hope and assume that we'll talk about judicial selection beyond the topic of the hour. almost literally, judicial selection for the united states supreme court. and i take it that the president -- justice breyer and justice o'connor, now among other things, a very distinguished professor of law at georgetown university. for purposes of this panel, probably he is the most relevant item on his resume, is that he was assistant attorney general in the first term of the george w. bush administration for legal policy. and by -- it was suggested among a lot of people that he was very key in selecting
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judges. not for the united states supreme court because among other things president bush didn't get any appointments to the u.s. supreme court during that term, but i suspect that professor din might have weighed in on occasion as to district and even circuit court appointments with regard to what the bush administration had in mind. with nominating people to these positions. i'm thrilled to be here. we will proceed in the order that people are seated. justice o'connor will be followed by justice breyer and professor din will conclude. >> what do you want us to start with? >> anything you would like to say about the process of jigs -- judicial appointment and selection. either at state courts where most states, especially west of the mississippi, elect judges.
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i know you have very strong views about judicial election rather than appointment. or the selection process of the united states supreme court. >> all right. well, i think we're seeing the selection process work itself out again as we speak. we have a vacancy on the supreme court with the retirement of justice david souter and the selection of his replacement. and i understand that about july 13, the hearings will begin for judge society mare. -- soto mare. -- sotomayor. once a justice is confirmed and is on the bench you don't see a lot of them. certainly not much on television. because we don't have cameras in the supreme courtroom at this point. and you won't see them. in fact, my own -- when i took the oath of office at the u.s.
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supreme court, i took it in the supreme court chambers. and the president and mrs. reagan were in attendance. i think that's the last time that the ceremony has been conducted there because presidents like to have it on television. so they bring them to the white house and have all the tv cameras. so i think i was the last one sworn in at the court. the selection process normally includes some input from the attorney general to the president by way of the selection. i know that william french smith was the attorney general when i was selected. and he told me that because president reagan had indicated during his campaign that if he had a chance, he would like to put a qualified woman on the supreme court. and attorney general smith began collecting a few names. well, his list was pretty short because there weren't many women judges. and there were even fewer republican women judges.
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so his list was pretty short. he kept it under his telephone. at the department of justice. [laughter] and sure enough there was a vacancy and william french smith put out his list and there i was so i ended up on the court. and i think president reagan was very fond of horses and ranch life and so forth. so my own ranch background sort of appealed to president reagan. i suspect. i don't know. but i would think possibly so. anyway, the selection process is larblingly -- is largely behind closed doors. but the confirmation process, because the constitution says the president shall nominate with the advice and consent of the senate. so the senate gets into the act. and it was most of our court's history, the senate did not summon a nominee for questioning. that began, i think, with felix
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frankfurt's nomination. and he was asked to come over and anyway, it continued and now it is this grilling process with gavel-to-gavel television coverage. and it's the only chance the nation has to see the nominee in action so to speak. it can be a learning process. i think when chief justice john roberts' hearing was conducted, we all watched in amazement. he was very articulate and knowledgeable and we learned a lot from that process. now, our states have the choice of how to nominate judges. and select them. it was president andrew jackson who persuaded some states, starting in georgia, to elect their judges instead of appoint them by the governor with some kind of confirmation process. it was andrew jackson was a real populist. and a lot of states fell for his line. and start started electing
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judges and still do. there are some form of election -- a number of them just retention elections. in 30 some states today out of 50. at least 20 some states have partisan election of judges involving campaign contributions, mean television ads and the whole ball of wax. and it is a very unfortunate way of selecting judges. i am biased on this subject. so you will hear it in my remarks. i do not think that's a healthy way to select judges. we'll have more to say about that later. because i don't want to take up too much time. >> i'll pick up where you left off. and probably one of the problems we both see which is the problem is the problem of campaign contributions in state elections for judges. what sort of problem is it?
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my student, tom phillips, when i was teaching years ago, went on to become chief justice of texas and he told me he had to raise $4 million. that was about -- many years ago, quite a few years ago and it's a lot more now. and change, and not for the better. why? why is it bad? do you think you can get a fair trial? before the lawyer and the judge when lawyer a has given $100,000 to this particular judge? or somebody he represents does? that is a problem. and we heard i thought -- in your conference, sandra, the conference was a judge from texas who's a trial lawyer who does not like this system and he says that he asked the other lawyers, why do you contribute all this money or your clients contribute the money? he said they tell me that it doesn't really matter.
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the judge can be fair. and he tries to be fair. and it's a question of perception. we agree with that. but it isn't the reality. so then he asks them this question, so what you do is you pick which candidate you think is the best and you give them the money? and they say no. we give both candidates the money. oh, he says, and why? hmmm. exactly. so anyway, the perception problem at least is a serious problem. we had a case this term where the court ventured very delicately into this area. and the question was this, one of the -- the judge received $3 million from one individual, the corporation. and the $3 million didn't all go to him. a little bit of it went to him but most went to a p.a.c. which is against his opponent.
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and he sat on this case involving this particular judge. the question was whether the due process clause of the constitution which says you shall not deprive anyone of life, liberty or property without due process of law, whether that was violated when the judge sat on the case where he had received this rather large amount of money from directly or indirectly from a party to the case. and we held 5-4 that it did violate the clause. and he could not sit on the case having received that amount of money, directly or indirectly. but the four who dissented came up with some pretty good questions. they said to the five, how are you going to administer this? how is it going to work out in detail? i mean, after all, a lot of people have influence on the selection of judges. how are you going to do it?
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and the response of the majority was we're not in charge. we simply trace the outer bounds. and we can say this went beyond the outer bounds. but within that boundary, there's an enormous amount to be done. and the people who will do it, we believe should do it, are the states, the bar association, the state legislature, the state courts. and all kinds of rules and regulations can be produced that limit or eliminate this kind of problem. we can't do it. you can say, well, why is it that important? after all, life is filled with problems. and when judges start talking about their problems, the lawyers all nod as if it were very serious. because they want the judge to think that they're being taken seriously. but as soon as they get out of the room, they say, you know,
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everyone has problems. and judges fewer than most. so why is this such a problem? well, i would say the answer as to why faces me and did face sandra and still does in the courts every single day. we see in front of us every day in that court where i'm sitting , every person you can imagine, every race, every religion, every point of view, andness a country of -- and this is a country of 300 million people. my mother used to say, she said there's no view some crazy that somebody doesn't hold it in the united states. and we were in san francisco. she said they all live in los angeles. [laughter] the point is that's true. people do in fact have very, very different points of view. and they have decided to resolve their differences under law. and that is a kind of miracle
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that's taken us about 200 years or more to accomplish. and andrew jackson was the one who also says when john marshall made a decision that the cherokee indians were entitled to their land, he said john marshall's made his decision. now let him enforce it. and he kicked the indians out. after the supreme court said it was their land. >> and ordered my ancestor to drive them out. >> really? >> really. >> i didn't know that. you've made up for it. >> ok. pretty unhappy -- >> you see why. you start thinking of what will happen if people do not have confidence in the fairness of the judiciary. and it isn't just the judges' problem. it's your problem and mine and everybody else's. so that's sort of commercial message. >> i won't pick up from where you left off because i cannot. i'll be very brief because you did not come here to listen to me. i will just begin and end with one simple observation about


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