Skip to main content

tv   Tavis Smiley  WHUT  April 14, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT

7:00 pm
>> i am tavis smiley. it is the states were most often feeling the pinch. first of tonight, a state's -- a conversation about how states are coping with massachusetts gov. deval patrick. he is out with a new book about his political journey. also tonight, dana delany is here. she is back in the primetime in the new drama "body of proof." coming up, right now. >> he needs extra help with this rating. >> i am james.
7:01 pm
>> to everyone making a better. >> nationwide insurance supports tavis smiley. national life-insurance is working on improving financial literacy. nationwide is on your side. >> and by contributions to your pbs stations from ewser like you. thank you. [captioning made possible by kcet public television] tavis: the average income of the bottom 90% actually declined. meanwhile, the top 1% saw their income rise by an average of
7:02 pm
more than a quarter of a million dollars each. that is due needs to pay less taxes? tavis: president obama discussing his plan for long- term deficit reduction. i am joined by massachusetts gov. deval patrick. the second term democrats is the author of "a reason to believe." he joins us tonight from washington. it is always have to give you -- to have you on this program, sir. i am anxious to get to the book. i enjoyed it. let me start with a few questions about the president's words today. this is my own assessment read i have not heard the president that forceful, that forthright and a longtime. i am happy to see it. is the president finally starting to find a spot? >> i am thrilled with the
7:03 pm
speech. he put the real question to not just the republicans, but to the american people. the one that we are really debating, what kind of country do we want to live in? what is the character of this country? do we still believe in the american dream? what are we willing to sacrifice? tavis: how is this debate impacting the states? >> we are in pretty good shape in washington -- in massachusetts. we have delivered four budgets now. we have had to reduce headcount in state government, but we have also improved our bond rating, for example present we are the only state whose bond rating has improved in these times. we have invested in education, infrastructure, and in job creation. everybody knows that educating our kids, assuring a way forward in our an economy, considering
7:04 pm
our health care is the way to build a better and stronger commonwealth. we are coming out of recession faster than most of the rest of the country. this notion of trying to up and the federal government's role in partnership with the states, which seems to be implied by some of the republicans and the congress, is wrong. it puts an awful lot of good that we are trying to do for our people in jeopardy. tavis: though controls both houses a in massachusetts? >> democrats in both houses. we have a business community that is a range of political, across the political spectrum we have those in labor who are in every place. we have more in world independence then we have registered democrats and republicans combined. we come together to solve our big problems. tavis: i wonder how much
7:05 pm
sympathy you have for these governors who are fighting across party. the difficulty that comes along with trying to deliver a budget on time, which you have done a few times in massachusetts. >> i have good, strong productive working relationships with the leaderships in both the house and senate. we do not agree on everything. the dynamic in massachusetts is not so much a partisan dynamic. it is an insider-outsider dynamic. i am an outsider. you can imagine what that drama has been. we get it done. i do not expect to agree on everything but the legislature. they did not expect to agree with me on everything. sometimes the differences will be sharp. what kind of community do we
7:06 pm
want to live in? what are the implications for those choices on the choices we have to make on our budget? tavis: what most disturbs you about the debate in washington right now? >> i read the following the issues around health care the national health care reform, the affordable care act is modeled on what we have been doing in massachusetts for the last five years. yesterday was the 50-year anniversary of health care reform. 98% of our residents have health care today. no other state in america can touch that. medicaid has grown about 2% per capita per year. it is a very successful program about expanding access and we are moving to the next big challenge which is bringing costs down. driving them down. it is something that i think we can model for the whole of the
7:07 pm
country. when i listen to the debates in washington about the affordable care act, what troubles me is that we're the only once was that experience with this type of solution. and it is working really well. above all, it says something about the value that we support and believe then. in this case, that is about helping the the public good. tavis: one of the thing that concerns me, you want to see somebody fight. you want to know what they believed in. on the other hand, i believe that the conversation about deficit reduction might be a little ill-timed. we are not out of this recession yet. americans are still urging. the president has to be careful to not be pulled into a base to deeply about deficit reduction.
7:08 pm
we're still trying to deal with this that you have to have a deficit reduction conversation at the right time. is now the right time for that conversation? >> the time is right for the conversation. should we do all the solutions right now? we certainly have a plan and that is what the deficit- reduction commission on the basis of which the president's speech turns day. they were also making the point that we have to do jobs first, at deficit reduction in just a little while. part of the issue is that we are being lectured to about the urgency of deficit reduction by the very people who drove up the deficit. by running towards on a credit card and a prescription drug benefit and cutting taxes. i do not think there is in the nation in human history that has gone to war and cut taxes at the
7:09 pm
same time. that is a big contributor, the biggest contributor, for why we are in the situation we are encouraged when the president talks about a plan, which is about investing in education and job creation and health care. those are the kinds of things that move the economy. affirm our vision of the kind of country we want. the deficit reduction has to be a part of that, including by contributions from the most fortunate and the country. tavis: one last question about others. one of your predecessors announced earlier this week that he has exploratory committee formed now to run for president. your thoughts about the former governor of massachusetts saying that he is gonna run again? >> i do not know him well. he is a good man.
7:10 pm
he was very responsible and responsive in the transition. we certainly do not agree on a lot of policy. i congratulate him, and ideas so sincerely for delivering our own health care reform. per something that is done so much good for so many people, i did not understand why he runs away from that today. my state is not in his candidacy. my stake is in the reelection of president barack obama. he is the kind of visionary leader that we need right now facing -- given the challenges facing us as a nation. tavis: to your book, "a reason to believe." >> you and i have talked about some of this in the past. i grew up on the south side of chicago and spent most of that time on welfare. my mother and sister and i used to live with our grandparents and various cousins. the three of us slept in one of those bedrooms and had assets of
7:11 pm
bunk beds. i went to under resource public schools, but we have a real sense of community. those were days in the 1950's and 1960's were every child was under every jurisdiction of every adult on the block. i think this book -- those experiences in different settings. i had a scholarship in 1970, harvard law school, in the sudan where i worked after college. those experiences from node and anonymous people has made me very helpful, given me a sense of idealism. the book is a gesture of gratitude to those people for those lessons. i try to pass on some of those lessons. tavis: you have some great stuff
7:12 pm
in the book. you are good at this oratory thing. you said something to me years ago. americans need to hear this today. you can build a whole life on hold. you can build a whole life on hold. i love beltline. what did you mean by that? -- i love that line. what did you mean by that? >> hope for the best, and work for it. people are so busy trying to get over it, that they are just trying to hold together, they forget how important it is to be mindful of why we are trying to do that. i often say this to people who are running for public office. they speak all the time about how to win, and why we should. i think that ability to
7:13 pm
envision, to imagine a better way and to apply yourself to it, is the way to climb out of a whole. is the way to build a better life. it is the way to build a better community and country. tavis: you had a chance to go to a great school. a private institution, in fact proved part of the proceeds from this book are going to a program called better chance. tell me about the program. >> a better chance is a program that introduced me to milton academy 42 years ago. that was like landing on a different planet. what milton academy -- what a better chance was about was a euphemism of the day when finding kids from nontraditional prep school backgrounds and introducing them to those environments. while i think the lessons i learned on the south side of the
7:14 pm
chicago and the aspirations i was given from teachers and old ladies in half and the church and other adults in the neighborhood, encouraged me to envision a broader and better and better life. that opportunity to go to milton academy was a big step in that direction. i just want to express my gratitude to them by sharing some of the proceeds of this book. tavis: i scratched the surface on what is a remarkable life being written as we date -- as we speak. deval patrick. the new text is called "a reason to believe." governor, good to have you on. thank you for sharing your insights. >> thank you so much. >> up next, actress dana delany. stay with us.
7:15 pm
tavis: i am pleased to welcome dana delany back to this program. she is back in primetime. the show airs tuesday night at 10:00. >> you drop schedule? >> she will be here in two hours. she is going to interview each one of you. >> did you draw up our answers, too? >> just be on your best behavior. >> that is kind of hard to do anymore. >> she will be confined to the lab and the bridegroom. >> you want us to lie? tavis: tell me about the character that you play. i heard a story that sounds like a publicist creation. >> they would never do that. tavis: it is a true story, i am told. >> the character is to be a
7:16 pm
neurosurgeon, very driven. you have to work hard. it was all about her career. because of that, she lost her marriage, custody of for child. and she has a car accident were hence go numb. and she ends up killing somebody on the operating table. she has to switch professions. tavis: in real life, what happens? >> a week before we were about to shift, and i had a car accident in santa monica, where i was hit by a bus. i feel like i've been hit by a bus. i know what that feels like. [laughter] i broke the stiff fingers, very much like the character. when you see the show, tt is me really going like this. tavis: what goes through your mind? when something like happens and you are about to play this character?
7:17 pm
>> i was making a left turn and the person behind me was haunting. -- honking. i was about to get out of the car and tell her to shut up. i literally had the door open. the light turned and i thought, i will turn. this was my fatal error reported i looked back at her to make this face. at that moment, i see it this city bus, at the right. i was thinking, you have to be kidding me. i do not have time for this. tavis: where was tmz? >> the person that had been honking left the scene. i was in shock. she shakes her head and drives away. then the bus driver cast me for my autograph. [laughter] tavis: that is better than
7:18 pm
getting slipped off by the bus driver. are you one of those persons that believes in that kind of stuff? >> i did not have to act. i actually knew the feeling. i did not let anyone push me anymore. tavis: that is a tough lesson to learn. network television, you have done as a key times. you are not tired of it yet? >> it is a grind. when you are 30, it is fine. when you are my age, it is a little harder. i love the show, i love the past. -- cast. tavis: at this point in your career, what makes the decision? how do you make a decision about whether or not you were going to do x, y, or z?
7:19 pm
>> i was pickier when i was down there. -- when i was younger. i set myself up credit -- up. i did ask about this one. "west wing." but the character did not last past the second season, so i was kind of right about that when. she did not last. i knew that character would not last. i am an idiot. tavis: -- >> i know what it takes to do not work showbread
7:20 pm
it takes a lot of work. this time around, i was on "housewives." why not? that was my reasoning. why not? tavis: you have been a while for a roundup. is there an ingredient that makes this stuff works? >> might taste is so not the public taste. i tend to like darker stranger things. this is very much what people like. it is procedural. every week, there will be different bodies. the show is a little bit different. we have more of a character family stuff going on. tavis: i would never have imagined that you like darker things. the stock that we have seen you play over the years, i do not see dark. you had a bubbly personality. you have a good sense of humor.
7:21 pm
i do not get the darker the thing. >> i like cable. i keep trying to get on cable. they keep throwing me back to a network. tavis: what you make of the fact that we are at the moment in love with these procedural>> i . i do like mysteries. i like a good mystery. for us in the modern age, we come home from work and we are tired. we want to have that our where something assault. -- is solved. tavis: you made a comment earlier about to cable versus network. what is it about this business that keeps you pulling you back? >> i love to act.
7:22 pm
it is the only reason that i do it. i just love what i do. i am so lucky that i get to do that. tavis: how do i read this coming ?ut of dana delany's mouth when i was acting. hal my supposed to read that? but this is a big secret about acting. good acting is you are just being and you are not lying. you are using yourself and your own life and being honest. tavis: that was a very good dancer. i did not know where you were going with that one. i accept that. good acting. i hear the distinction.
7:23 pm
i read somewhere that you went to -- cuts -- >> four different autopsies. it is fascinating. it was like a secret club and i actually got to see what was going on. tavis: what did you think? >> genius. my favorite parts -- by the fourth one, they were letting me participate. i got to open the cranium and cut out the brain. underneath that brain is this little bone box that was developed by somebody. it is protected like this little jewel box of bone underneath the brain. it is ingenious technology. the four people were men and not
7:24 pm
one of them should have died. one guy was heart disease and he did not go to the doctor. one was a heroin overdose. one was alcoholism. and one was a gunshot wound to the head. tavis: this has nothing to do with this conversation. we recently paraded the 43rd anniversary of dr. king. king was under such stress from trying to change this country. he was assassinated at the age of 39 great when they did the autopsy of his body, they said that he had the body of a 60- year-old man. >> i believe that. it is up to us. tavis: are you having fun on "body of proof"?
7:25 pm
>>he t accrual class at me. i get to getty. the crew laughs at me. i get giddy. tavis: it all makes sense now. this conversation has, bulls circle. we are done. dana delany, starring in "body of proof." good to have you back. that is our show for tonight. see you next time. >> for more information, this pbs,org. tavis: 2 in the next time with author rebecca skloot. that is next time. we will see you then. >> his name is james and she
7:26 pm
needs help extra help with his reading. >> you help us all is better. >> nationwide insurance supports tavis smiley. we are proud to join tavisin in impring its financial literacy. nationwide, on your side. >> contributions by to -- to your pbs stations by viewers like you. thank you. yo
7:27 pm
7:28 pm
7:29 pm