tv The Gavin Newsom Show Current November 9, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PST
[ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> gavin: hello, and thank you for watching the show. i got to say it feels pretty good to sit in this chair tonight. some of the issues that i've been advocating for as two-term mayor and now lieutenant governor in san francisco is starting to take shape. tuesday's election was a huge yes to women's rights, gay rights, drug reform and seriously address the issue of climate change. tonight we'll talk about next steps. we can't afford to sit back and celebrate our wins. we have to continue manufacturing forward, leaning forward. with me tonight exploring with me tonight our guests include
chris lehans long time clinton aide lawyer and political consultant. and then legendary willie brown and his candid take on key measures. and now we'll get the back story why ad gurus rich silverstein and jeff goodby just don't like politics. we'll start with chris lehans. this is a predictable outcome and in other respects overoverwhelmoverwhelming gains in the u.s. senate, drug policies in states, gay marriage in ways we haven't seen in the past. what is your perspective of what is going on in this country. >> people will look back at this a tipping point of election in our country. what people talk about the demographic turnout and the importance of latino votes and
women. a lot of people spent a lot of time on latinos, which is important in how it plays you had in politics, but i'm fascinateed by not only of the fact that they made, made the millennials in our they look at the issues. in some ways they're the type of data that you see from the greatest generation. they carry nor mustily about the greater issues and the world around them, and a little bit less of what's in it for me and more what's in it for us. the results that you're seeing on some of the progressive initiatives are the voting population and attitudes and their perspectives. those folks stay progressives,
will they continue to have those types of attitudes as they go ahead married and have children, will they see involve evolve in a different way. >> gavin: it's interesting because the millennial generation is slightly bigger than the baby boom generation, and their impact is profound. they are a more empathetic generation, and that's what you're suggesting with the gay marriage and drug issues etc. >> gay marriage, climate clang change, a bunch of these issues as a progressive--a lot of people have been talking about this election being just a function of a demographic change. certainly that is an element of it right? but it me there is a bigger issue going on. part of it is the republican
party has a brand problem. losing in states like montana and north dakota and senate races in missouri and indiana those are streets states should have been automatic wins. that tells you they're having bigger problems with their brand it's not just the democratic and republican brand but you have people moving on things. to me the climate change is an enormous issue. >> gavin: well, it wasn't, right, until sandy woke people up and mayor bloomberg talking about it. but it didn't come up at all and it was frustrating for many of us about this issue. over a decade and a half was it brought up in campaigns nor did the candidates bring it up. >> each candidate tried to
out-oil each other during the debate. that said you're looking--if you're the president you win this election, how do you begin it work with republicans to move the country forward. some of the republicans will have it look in the mirror and find some areas to work with democrats or they'll go nowhere. if you look at issues oh out there, there are a couple of obvious ones. what are we going tad to help the next generation, to help our kids. we need to deal with tax revenue, reform our taxes and deal with the social safety net so it's still there. immigration is a kid issue and climate change, if the president is capable of giving a bigger framework, a thesis, an organizing principle i think some of these you can create the public argument to force the republicans who will have to
almost engage on those or they risk on losing larger percentages of a vote. >> gavin: the immigration issue of immigration. let's get back to that. do you expect the party to rally around some of the principles that john mccain espoused, and even president bush. do you think that's the first place they'll go to build consensus with the president. >> that's a natural place to go because it's in their self interest to not lose roughly 12%, 15% of the electorate as they move forward. they'll lose texas. they'll lose virginia and north north carolina. florida. that's a formula politics, as you know, you want to grow. you don't want to do things that shrink. that's an area that is incumbent on the president to give a framework. i say this as a democrat.
democrats shouldn't just talk about this issue as we're better than republicans. i mean, democrats need to be very affirmative about how important the latino population is to our country. they did great things day in an day out. they're a great part of our future, and it has to be more than hey we're better than the republicans. this is a very important constituency and we need to do right by them. >> gavin: what about gay marriage. there are some final counts in washington state but the three states--two states affirmative and the one that pulled back in minnesota some draconian legislation. what is your sense of that. you were in the thick of it, this was toxic even within our own party. >> look, you have been one of the singular leaders on this and demonstrated courage on this issue, so i imagine for someone like yourself this is great to see. >> i'm not going to deny that. >> as i said it's always to be
at the right time of history and to be there early. >> sometimes it's the wrong time time. >> it's never the wrong time to be on the right side of history. it takes guts and courage. on a purely political level. here is another issue. as the population grows and new people come in the electorate, this is an issue where people have a positive view. gay marriage should be legalized. it's the first of 32 efforts maine had it beaten in the past. washington state again with the votes to be counted. >> gavin: maryland. >> tipping-point moments. the republicans, there was a great 40-year-old run it use some of these issues to divide our country. for 40 years the democrats cared about half of the elections. what i know is that it set the
republican party up to go the way the republican party of california which is the party of nothing, the party of nowhere the party of nada. this is one of those issues that they have an inherit problem. how do they deal with that as a party given that the religious conservatives have a view on this. even rudy jewel giuliani, who was on television last night. paraphrasing, i don't get the republicans. we don't want the state to decide except when it comes to gay marriage then the state shouldn't decide. we don't want people in our bedroom until this. >> gavin: rudy giuliani with a sanctuary status on documented immigrants. we'll look at what a second term of obama looks like. here in our own country.
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[ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> gavin: well, we're back with long time clinton-gore aide chris lehans. thanks for joining us. >> yes. >> gavin: what does a second obama term look like? i saw all the headlines. the man with the plan. that was about the plan they executed to get elected. but i didn't necessarily see any big headlines about the man with a plan for the second term. what do you think it looks like?
>> that's a great question and it's a question that a lot of us in the business and around the country are trying to figure out. there's no question that they had a great plan and they executeed it flawlessly. the president said one of his big lessons was the importance of leading publicly. one of the challenges is there going to be a clearly definedded clearly or tick articulateed thesis to government, whatever you want to call it, that will bring everything together. i thought he did a better job governing in an incredibly better time an did not necessarily get the credit for it because people were not able to put it all together into something bigger. as he goes forward--he touched on this on tuesday night this is not a message of intergenerational equity argument. what are we going it do to
position the country for our kids. that's a thesis, a governing principle, and then leading from that. it's not just one speech here or a photo-op there. it's your thesis and everything fits into it. >> gavin: is this along the lines the responsibility frame that a president offers years. >> people understand the decisions you're making because they have a reference point to understand it. i think being president is an incredibly difficult job. you don't have the type of powers that you would have in the past and you would control--but arguably your biggest asset is the bully pulpit. republicans will resist, well, the republicans start looking at numbers over 50% in their district for people doing tax reform and responsible budget cuts that becomes a difficult thing for them to say no to. if they look at their district
and over 50% want immigration reform that's difficult. but it get those numbers and look at the healthcare, republicans were looking at their districts healthcare was upside down. there is no political market force to force them to walk with the president. he has got to do that publicly to create the type of country he wants. >> now you're unencumbered having to face the voters again. you're still a party of the de facto. you're still a leader. you don't want to leave the party in ruins just to be you're your authentic self. you don't want to deny that freedom because the system is set up to keep you within a family frame. >> we have this state of perpetual campaign, so you
really have effectively 16 months. your four year term comes down to 16 months of governing. if you're lucking, 16 months of beganning out of eight years. how much can you get done in that 16 month-period which is why you see presidents moving to foreign policy over the last two years. so what can he get accomplished in 16 months. it's the confidence. it's like getting the game-winning shot. then you can come back. i think there will be a certain amount of confidence that he's going it have. i think you saw that on tuesday night. tuesday night you saw the president obama that we saw in 2008. which we hadn't seen up until that moment. >> and he spoke about citizenship. that was refreshing, what are
our responsibilities. it's not just a sound byte of ask not, as important as that was,. >> yes forward backward frame, that was fine. but that's your point is it's sort of a cotton candy. there's ultimately not a lot there. the citizen concept is loaded with a lot of important ideas that go to the heart of what we are as americans what it means our constitution. >> gavin: for the millennials which you speak of, which are naturally wired, literally and figuratively in that empathetic role. >> this is something that you spent a lot of time on. you've looked at this issue. you've done this. it will be interesting to see the president doing this at a national level talking about that concept. >> gavin: what do you expect? you expect the fiscal cliff with a lame duck congress at the moment. did you see all the good work--and i think there was more good work between boehner an
himself and the president on a grand bargaining. do you see a lot of that quickly dusted oh off so we'll see a more fast-tracked version of a big solution in a bipartisan opportunity? >> i was one going into the election day that was very confident that the presidents with going topresident wasgoing it win but pessimistic on how the country would operate on the other side of it. i think about how the president won at the end of the day the magnitude of the electoral college victory. i think it has created a mandate on the republican side to work with the president assuming the president gives a bigger argument out there. i may be the irrational ex-using irrational exuberance of tuesday. and you know this, right when you have moments like this, people talk about political
capital. you make political capital. if you have it, you don't say it, you use it. if you say it, by the time you're done saying it, you've lost it. you use it, and you use it as quickly as you can. political capital it's like money. if you spend it well, it's a multiplier that comes back. does the president not say it, do something with it and do it quickly. >> gavin: what do you expect in terms of immigration. you think it will be front and center dealing with the economic cries of debt and entitlement. daughter think those are the first two things out of the box. one will have to be advanced on the fiscal cliff issues. you think immigration will be front. >> i think fiscal cliff first. it should go big and it will be a combination of preserving the social safety net and making
sure that we have a revenue system with tax reform. that propels you into immigration reform, which is a natural place for the republicans to go, right? suddenly the president has three big legacy items healthcare, getting our financial and fiscal system in order and immigration. right? and then after that you go somewhere towards education or climate change. i mean, now you may not have the time. you may run out of time. you may not--you may have to get the election cycle. but those are the sequence. you should not do it at once, boom, boom boom. >> gavin: 2016 is around the corner. this is what you do. you're already on the phone hillary. who are the bright lights that you're going it see the world focus on? i imagine rubio on the republican side. christie with his future looking a little brighter even in terms of his own re-election because of the bipartisanship he demonstrated with the president.
who do you see on the republican side? any surprises. >> in this cycle of 2012 it wasn't exactly a formidable group. this was not the 1967 yankees. >> gavin: or the 2012 giants. >> or the 2012 giants. i think next time around the republicans will be really interesting. there will be fight for heart and soul of the republican party, where it's going, also people who are going to be a little bit more thoughtful, real vision. you may not agree with their vision but there will be people of significant substance, a christie, a rubio a jeb bush. people who have strong philosophical beliefs. and it's going to be where the democratic party was in 1988. bill clinton emerged from the ashes of that loss and took the party in a different direction.
you could potentially see that. and then on the democratic side you start with secretary clinton clinton, and it's effectively frozen unless and until she clearly indicates what she intends to do. >> cenk: what is your over-under on a clinton-bush election. >> i'll try not to get the statistic wrong but since 1920 there were four election where is either a nixon or bush or clinton were not on the ticket or some crazy statistic. that's bind boggling it think about. it would be the rematch right? if the 2010 giants repeated in 2012, i would like to see that with the clintons, obviously. >> gavin: but hillary clinton effectively holds the prospect in her hand for biden cuomo
o'malley, others who might seek that nomination. >> with one exception on this, which is i think yes the field is frozen. i think governor cuomo is in an unique position is that in some ways he benefits from a frozen field, which is he already has $2 million in the bank. he is the most popular governor in the country. he is actually governing day in and day out in a bipartisan way and has demonstrated a real rapport with the middle class on trust issues. so a frozen field. in the event he should decide not to go. he could quickly put the money together. overnight he's in new york. if you're a politician from new york or california you start out with large constituency folks and organization. he is in an interesting position, which is in some ways he benefits--he could focus for however long the field is frozen deal on governing new york, and yet probably the
only one who could instantaneous instantaneously leap and move quickly and put together the type of operation you need to. >> gavin: looking forward to governing for a few years then we'll be back in the political process. chris, thanks for coming on the show. >> thanks for having me. it's been fun. >> gavin: out here in california i'm very pleased we voted yes to a measure that will keep more jobs here in the state and we voted yes sir to amend our three strikes law and also yes to fund education. legendary willie brown joins me on his perspective on the next steps right after this quick break. (vo) answer in a moment.
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[ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> gavin: after more than four decades in politics, willie brown is still a force to be reckoned with, both here in california and throughout this nation. willie, welcome to the show. >> thank you for having me. >> gavin: what do you make of the impact of money now nationally in this context. it seems to me that the super pacs played an extraordinary and influential role in the republican parties but less sow in the general election. we saw karl rove spinning the $300 million made things look
better than they would have been without the money but most are analyzing that million plus money, the adelson money etc. did in the show up in the outcome of the election. what do you assess from that? the primary investment versus the general election return. >> one thing that barack obama did better than any other democrat has ever done, he put himself in a position to almost match them dollar-for-dollar in the world of television and ads. i went it a couple of those so-called swing states and i had never seen even in my lifetime the number of ads. they were not all karl rove. there were democratic ads and pro obama ads period. i say the ability to offset what karl rove does means you got it raise money the way obama raised money. i am very pleased now that my
cell phone i can get my messages. before that i didn't get nay messages because every day there was another solicitation and they--not even a thank you. it was a solicitation, and it worked. he got all the money he needed. what i'm really disappointed in, though gavin is the use of the money in the primary. it obviously helped the republican offensively and in particular helped the man who became the nominee. but by the time they got to the general obama was able to match him dollar-for-dollar, and they foolishly did not understand that they should have been spending as much money on behalf of the senate candidates and house candidates. nancy is delighted they didn't. and harry is ecstatic that they didn't. i don't think we'll be that lucky next time around.
they'll do what they did in 2010. in 2010 they broke the backs of congressional democrats by outspending them three four, five, six to one. they election they concentrateed on obama because obama was equal to the task, and we were all equal to helping obama and that national campaign that they were in didn't work. however, i got to believe if i'm karl rove i'm already plodding my next move. after all i'm a 10%-15% winner that's my commission. >> gavin: i had a sense you're going there. you're not kidding. speaking of going there where does the republican party--where do they go now? do they go towards the immigration party and lean along the lines of mccain even former president bush. or oh did they find the branded
candidates the rubio and cruzs and the women what is your sense. >> we'll keep winning if they do that. if they resort to being the republicans that rockefeller was, if they resort it being the republicans who long ago including nixon that proceeded them they'll do violence on democrats you would not believe. they could start it instantly by tapping in to our plurality among latinos. if they go about treating latinos with the dignity that they deserve and should have, if they come up with an immigration package my guess is we would lose of our base overnight. if they continue to really address the needs of women as they started to do near the end of the campaign, if they get rid of the business we're an
anti-abortion group, if they get rid of the idiocy of the tea party people as it relates to women, they could veryel very well be attractive. finally, i think they do have a better organizing method among young people than democrats. go to these college operations, and you see these youth groups. they're not like crazy youth groups. they really are youth groups that want to do things. at one time they were all republicans, they were all young republicans. that's what they were. we were the major vote group but not like republicans. these are real republicans. if they go back to that kind of organizing and then finally, finally if they do what lincoln did--lincoln said my ancestors should be free. at one time in this country
african-americans preferred republicans because that's where we had our best day. democrats were dominated by the southern democrats who were, in fact the practicing racists. we went to the republicans, not knowing what they stood for or anything else other than freedom for us. if they figure that out and they go into the south as they have done on a few occasions in some districts in the south and west in florida, and places like that, they could very well begin to build. then in three to six years you would have a different republican party and far more competitive party than the democrats. that second term for obama. what do you think? if we were talking four years from now we would look back in this second term and say what about it? >> i'm hopeful we'll look back and say everything that i want him to do in the first term he
finally got around to it in the second term. and believe me, he really should should. he should preempt, for example the republicans on immigration. out of the box the same energy he used to get the health measure january february, march, he should do immigration. he shoe not hesitate to evidence the need to readdress the issue of inequality in this nation based on race. those red states, i'm telling you, the foundation of much of that color came from the existence of color in those maces. an if he will did the job that he knee tad an elevate the reasons why is many people died for the right it vote, i will be ecstatic. obviously he didn't did that in the first time. he wanted continue re-elected.
now he is re-elected. this is not the cornell west argument. this is not the kevin smalley argument. this is not the jesse jackson argument. this is the practical approach to a legacy. he has about the a championships to do it, similar to what lyndon johnson kennedy an believe it or not nixon. they were the first to fashion the fashion the tenants of affirmative action. mr. obama should instill that in his choice cabinet members so he would have people like schultz doing his bidding. >> good it have you. >> gavin: it's now safe to watch tv again now that election has finally played out. as much states had a huge up tick in ad revenue but some of these ads were not that lucrative.
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>> it's difficult. >> and them focus groups killer. killer of any good idea. >> but you guys test ads. >> oh sure, sure. >> right? the got milk ad infamously tested horribly. >> and you have to have the nerve to put it on the air even though it tested horribly. >> good point. go back to the client. >> you have to learn from it. you have to listen to it and make your own decisions in the end. some people don't and they just do whatever it said. the morning america ad, it's very interesting. it became like the paradigm for what advertising people think political advertising should be like. but that's not what it's like. what it's really like is focus groups and they then go crazy. how upset can they get? if they got really upset the better piece of work. that ad was a very different thing, and it played at a time when he was running against
mondale. >> gavin: do you think it got more credit than it deserves in terms of impact. >> it's an amazing piece of filmmaking, it is. and it pulls at all the heartstrings. >> but the politicians in advertising, theater followed it's lead. i don't think we follow that lead ape more. there aren't emotional political ads. if they are they usually have a little punch inside them. >> part of the tuesday team. the tuesday team was a group of people who were going to get reagan elected. but we know hal really well. it was all about hal. he made that spot. there was no team in that. >> gavin: interesting. >> that's how it got done and that's why it was so well done. >> he wrote it in a bar and produced it himself. >> there you go. >> the other guys didn't want to do it, that's what i heard. they didn't think it would have the punch that it has. it comes back and they admitted
that it made it. >> gavin: this is important. it reminds me of everybody's reflective conversation of steve jobs. is that the approach that you take to advertising? or is that overstated. >> steve is unique. we met him twice. twice he could have hire us, and twice he didn't hire us. i think our work--it has more depth and a little bit--it's not obtuse-- >> really? >> you have to use your imagination a little bit. and steve was brilliant in saying this is what it is, it's clear, it's simple. he was a dictator. dictators get what they want. he happened to be a dictator. he was hard to work with. >> i don't think we worked for a dictator for very long. that's the problem. >> gavin: are you guys dictators dictators? >> no. >> gavin: you're collaborative?
>> we have differing opinions. >> gavin: what happens when it conflicts with your clients. >> in the office we win. that's how it works. but with a client, no, no, you can't boss a client around. you have to work with them. it's like the republicans and democrats--i'm getting to the politics. you got the two sides of the house. they're not going it work with each other. just in the going it did it. nothing will get done. you have it work with the client--have to. >> gavin: have there been moments that you quit on a client because the way the client wanteding to-- >> more often than not is the personal interaction, they are not respecting you any more. they're not going it listen to any reason--if we come in and do a terrific job they're not going to hear it or see it. that's when we wit. >> the bizarre thing is advertising people care so much.
>> we care too much. >> we will apologize for, and we'll make them feel good and look good. >> gavin: this is why you disdain advertising. >> you get paid well-to-do this. >> gavin: apparently so. the political ads you did them, but what? it wasn't you? what was it? >> no, we went to meetings with the democratic national committee and talked to them about things, and it just never--you're right. we're dictators we came back and we had opinions, an they didn't like the opinions. that's really what happened. >> they're very smart people. they are the same people around clinton, oh my god we know all these people. but they just like to talk. they don't come back with--once they said, we like your idea. now raise the money. >> we love your idea.
we have a couple of cocktail parties you have to come to. >> that's not going to work. >> gavin: you never had a candidate come and say you know what-- >> no, no, we tried many times--we've sent ideas in-- >> we helped. we always get excited about things. you know-- >> you know it's funny i was going it say i'm bad with names of the great documentarian. >> bill morris. >> we had him lined up to do some work at one time, which he did. he did a new york--only we didn't do it. >> gavin: he took the idea? >> he did. he went oh off an did it, it was a little different. >> yeah, we would have done it better that can i-- >> i'm going it play the camera. if you want to be elected anything, call us, but have the
money first. >> yeah, we're not in the fundraising business. >> gavin: you guys have grown from 1983 when you started by yourself. you started to break with ogilvy ogilvy a legend out here in san francisco. that fabulous ad that defined so much of those reagan years. but you've grown into offices all around the world hundreds and hundreds of employees. >> we have hundreds of employees now. we have a big office in detroit and we're thinking about offices elsewhere. >> we can't talk about it. but we have big plans. >> gavin: i promise we'll edit it. >> sure. i think we're little bit like bill and dave of hp and starting in the garage. it can happen. america is the place where it can happen. it sounds corny but for some reason san francisco is that
place to do it it in. >> gavin: let's talk about that. you decided to stick out here. >> we're different from people in new york. it's a different place. we make things that are more welcomed. we don't believe in yelling at people. we don't believe in jingles and put things in your head that people hate. a lot of advertising is just reputation and people being cynical but what you're really going it take in. we want things that are welcome funny. a lot of things we do are humorous beautiful. when we're supposed to scare people, we like to scare them. yeah. >> and a sound byte would be that we hate advertising. >> gavin: you hate it? >> yes, i really do. i dislike it. >> gavin: you go out of your way to say it. >> it's oh offensive. >> gavin: what is that? >> well, i don't think i'm in advertising. i think i'm in a relationship with the public where it's part of popular culture.
we have a dialogue. we try to treat the consumer with respect. the write something intelligent. >> you're disrespecting the people? what does that mean? >> no, there is not an intention, that's a good pointish but it's dumbed down. >> gavin: what are the ads that you gays talk about amongst yourself, the ones that don't resonate with the public. what was it-- >> the once we like to that don't resonate? >> gavin: your style your values you're approach. >> we both work on this spot for hp at one time where it was going to be hp plus a client plus a product. it was all about the win. you didn't know it--it was done in black and white in france.
>> in french. >> and this thing is shooting. >> it's so esoteric. >> he's very upset. well he is very french. then you have the wind. >> and the wind talking is french. >> then finally it goes over a porsche, and goes, whoa. that's what i like. nobody has seen it in a long time. i think the best work is in front of us. if we didn't believe we couldn't come up with the next "got milk" we would just shoot ourselves or retire. >> that's a little harsh. >> gavin: well, yeah. it's a little damning. >> gavin: do you still have the same fire. >> yeah, ridiculously, we do. >> gavin: what is it, i ask that in an enlightened way? is it insecurity that you're getting old and there are all these young hot shots. >> it's not getting hold.
>> gavin: you always have to prove yourself that you don't want to be known. >> what does he have? >> you know what it is? it's stupid optimism. it is. i say it, i am. you're little bit less that way. but i think it's stupid optimism that you think something great is going to come out of you today, and i think it's infectious around younger people. like you said, you're a dictator, and they have to do what you say. if you have younger people around they're infectious that way. >> they really keep you young. >> gavin: we're out of time. thanks for being on the show. i'm so happy that this long an often nasty election is behind us. when we come back i'll share my personal thoughts on why we have to reform this ridiculous process that so often favors the rich. it's one box with hundreds of
ideas are the best politics. >> gavin: finally tonight i just want to say one more time how proud i am of this country and the progressive policies we unleashed this week. the only way to move forward is it evaluate what works. that's liberated thinking. i have no hesitation in saying the way we elect our leaders is shamefully outdated and flat out wrong. it shunt take more than a year of campaigning to get out the vote and aspirations for public office should not be owned exclusively by the rich. we have a hopeful reform but we have a long way to go. we have to get money out of politics. let's put our innovators an
entrepreneurs to work. as you hear on this show over and over, pollsters still make calls to landlines. and even though obama is our first president on twitter we have a long way to go to how we fully realize how we use social media to campaign and reform. stay with us as we reform. we'll have more guests in hopes of finding new less costly and more transparent ways to elect our president. have a great night and don't forget to follow the conversation on our website twitter, facebook and google-plus. [ ♪ theme music ♪ ] we find the best sweetest crab for red lobster that we can find. [ male announcer ] hurry in to
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