>> this is just over an hour. [applause] >> thank you. there is nothing probably worse than adding to your own resume. but it is a very important addition to what we are saying. the most passionate, the most interesting learning times i had were in 1976 and 1988 during the carter campaign, where i was in the pit at cambridge survey research running all the analysis that john gorman, and the partner pack udell was on the plane and working with the speechwriters. and a lot of my job was to coordinate between stu eisenstadt and the policy people. the speechwriters while everyone else was running around. i also had a rather's real
expense in 1980, because i helped practice the debates before the real debates. i will explain later why this was an uncomfortable experience. not because who am i to play reagan, but because you might think it is a dream to grade the president, to tell him why is the economy in the tank, it is in fact very disconcerting to cluster the president. [laughter] >> everything that i saw at the time, everything i saw that was in idiosyncratic, hamilton jordan or the carter team or the president, and over the years i
realized, the strange discomfort of the president and the debate practice was repeated with every president. finally understanding that, understanding what is different about being a president was part of finally being able to put the pieces together and write a book about campaigns and candidates. knockabout how did this one win or win or lose, but what is it that happens over and over again in campaigns that can help us to understand future campaigns. every time i have been in a campaign, i have the luxury of really going back to the university so that you are not in perpetual motion with no time to digest what you have done. i have worked the summer and the fall and i would go back to being a real person out of the
pressure cooker. it is like being in the emergency room at the hospital. it is all a adrenaline and action. and i would say, what do i think was going to happen that never happened and what mattered that nobody expected to matter. so you could start rethinking what matters in the campaigns. then i had a very discombobulated experience, which was the al gore campaign of 2000. throughout the campaign, after the fun and energy and a lot of camaraderie of the clinton campaign of 1992, it was like, what planet am i on? why is this so different? what could explain why one campaign, the peace is kept
coming back together, and in the other campaign it was like a little league game where none of the kids could catch or something. everything went wrong. from day one, something seemed wrong. i thought i wasn't going to be doing any campaigning for it i was in washington because my wife worked in the state department in charge of china. and bob squire who later died of cancer during the campaign, he said he wanted me to be a fly on the wall with him and write the kind of great, short memos that i wrote during the carter campaign. bob squire is a person that is so much fun to be around. and i thought, this is a chance to learn. in washington you see more of the power struggles and interaction that you might see on the telephone when you're doing the polling. this is just as important. the first thing he said to me was, yeah, we have a little meeting every week, just 17 of us, to make the decisions.
and i immediately knew something was wrong. because anybody who has ever made decisions -- there is reason that no jury in the world is bigger than 12 people. [laughter] that is already hard enough. you really need a small group. the idea that there were 17 people seemed wrong. from day one there was disarray. i write about it in the book. you have to decide why you are in the situation you are in and what the curious. at the time in 1999, al gore had low polling numbers. there are two ways to describe that. all vice presidents have bad numbers until they get the nomination. the other is the victim of monica lewinsky, the scandal that tainted you. now, every professional says that it takes time.
don't worry. you are just the vice president. nobody knows what you are. but vice president al gore decided no, i'm fine. it is him. the day of his announcement in carthage, later that day on the air, his interview with diane sawyer in which she says the word disappointed five or six times. and the whole story for the next week was gore separates from clinton. presidency is what he stood for and it made the news. by making the statement then by this rush to judgment, he looked both disloyal and he created friction in the white house between his staff in the clinton staff that gone the way of the whole campaign. my first reaction was i have to write about the campaign.
even before florida, i thought, this needs to be explained. how can so many stars be so crazy. there are a lot of brilliant people. but something was wrong. and i decided it is either the strategy, the strategist, or one of the six pollsters, or maybe it was one of the four media people. then i realized that there is a book that i had on my shelf by a geographer, the theme of the book basically was that all maps are misleading. that is why they are useful. [laughter] you buy a map to emphasize the features that you need to know about. the gasoline station, the mountain humans, the hamburger is if you have kids, the camping spots, the places where the fish
are biting. you don't want all the details. you don't want to know where the clothing stores are if you are looking for fish. you may need to know where the bait stores are. so you need a map that is particular to what you are doing. but in a campaign unlike with roadmaps are hunting maps or even monuments in any country, things change very quickly. so you realize how fast things change. you can't just talk about a good strategy that you start with. you couldn't possibly have a strategy that would cover everything that could ever happen in the campaign unless it was the size of an encyclopedia. coaches have to decide a playbook for every game. and they make mistakes and it might snow, or it may rain, but
you can't prepare everything you can possibly do or you will be so shallow that you won't be good at anything. everything changes. there are three reasons in campaigns that things keep changing. the first is this always new media with new information, more bolder and more sophisticated that are coming around. everyone is always talking about the media revolution, as if it were the newspaper, the telegraph, radio, television, cable tv, twitter, the internet. they spoke. there is always something that changes the game. twenty-two years ago james carville became famous. one of his saying is that in a campaign you haven't said anything until you set it on tv. what is tv?
do you mean the internet or facebook or youtube? half of the students in america watch media on their iphone's, ipads, all over the place. what is a television set? what does that have to do with it? you have so many ways to release information now. joe biden was tweeting. it is a new world that way. ed rollins tried to make michele bachmann into a viable first-year candidate. and he bitterly complained afterwards. he said, you go on fox and throw a grenade and raise some money fast, and then you never get serious because you keep throwing hand grenades and raising a little bit of money. but if you want to be president, you have to go past the cute
little things. well, not only does that make the michele bachmann ladies of the world say outrageous things that keep them going for weeks. it also makes it hard on candidates who are trying not to throw the grenade. you have to be able to do so many more things today with the media. the very prominent and conservative and quite smart columnist in "the new york times" says and pointed out, if you can't defend your ideas on the daily show, you are not ready to be president. that is one way that things change fast. another way that things change fast is that you never can prepare for the issues that you run on and think it's going to stay that way. you run into candidates of peace
and then there is 911 -- 9/11. you think about john mccain. he had brilliant advisors, they try to prepare him to talk about economics. instead, he emphasizes iraq in the iraq war. then we have the collapse in the fall of 2008. john mccain has to find a way to get in front of the parade and look like he is leaving the show. so he gets the president to call a special summit meeting in washington and urges president obama to call off campaigning and join him at the summit. so they have the summit meeting. secretary of the treasury, henry paulson, later wrote about the meeting. he later said that mccain could not say where could a word. he did not understand the three-page proposal. he sat there, like barney frank said, looking like your old
article. they got so frustrated that frank started yelling, where is your plan and what you want? and mccain just mumbled because he did not understand enough to take part. by the time the meeting ended, vice president cheney was laughing out loud in the meeting at senator mccain. when you think about former governor romney of massachusetts. in 2009, he was perfectly positioned to be president obama is the moderate new england republican. he wrote an op-ed in usa today in the summer of 2009. saying if you drop the public option from obamacare, you have the perfect massachusetts health plan for the country. a conservative, cost cutting plan. as we know, the public option was dropped. and then the tea party went after everybody. now, mitt romney is repudiating
the plan that he said was the perfect plan for america. when i saw all that, when i started putting that together, the new competition that is always occurring, the new media, all of the changes that you realize go into teamwork and adaptation. during the iraq war, one of the stories in the "washington post" had a military phrase that just stuck with me every day when i was writing. the phrase was, planning is everything and the plan is nothing. the plan is thrown out the first day the shooting starts. you realize that if you are not planning all the time, you cannot replan all the time. now, i have a secret confession to make. i am a big nfl fan. you have 15 seconds for the coach to quarterback what to do.
you cannot have a debate in 15 seconds, and you can explain what you mean when you give these cryptic numbers like 40 and left. think about senator mccain. you need a lot of time. he has a lot of economic staff to explain to him his options because he hadn't paid attention to them. he was not interested. he could not get it fast enough the way that somebody who had really worked on it was. it is the ability to plan and replan. when the competition changes, people get thrown. president carter said that nobody knew this existed in american politics. in 1976 he won. a lot of the american people felt it was unfair. because the bitter, bitter divide in the democratic party was something like 80 or 90% of white democrats in america
opposed it. jimmy carter got the blue collar white vote and the african-american vote both in the primaries. that was the coalition that all of the other liberals were running against him. some of the people almost felt like you can't have both votes. they hate each other. well, in traditional political terms they did. but not when someone who was a moderate governor, but had done very courageous acts, it sounds like nothing -- but it was an awfully big event when he put a picture of martin luther king in the statehouse. you may call that symbolic politics. but that took a lot of courage. and it did not feel like that symbolic act to the people who followed reverend martin luther king when he did that.
i realize that people are always saying that the loser didn't have a chance. once jimmy carter won, it was obvious that the man who got a 15 in 1975 would win. it seems so obvious. that is why i say in the book that every campaign has two winners. the inevitable winner when it starts and the inevitable winner when it's over. [laughter] i wanted to explain the difference. in 2011, who was the person who set the all-time record for high poll ratings, good press and fund-raising in the republican party. america's mayor, time magazine person of the year, rudolph giuliani. he was endorsed by people like senator david vitter of louisiana, rick perry, even then, governor of texas, pat
robertson, they knew that he was a catholic with gay friends. he was also pro-choice. but they said it is a culture war, he hates liberals and he can win. and they put money on the line for him, people put their name on the line. he never made it to the starting gate. all the way to 2011 when the experts at national journal -- november 2009, the experts at the national journal on the political pull were asked for all the democratic candidates who did better than expected and who's surprised you by doing worse than expected. worse than expected was senator obama. better than expected was senator clinton. two days later, she lost and she blew it at the iowa jefferson and jackson center. you have to understand, there is a lot more contingency.
as i started to work on the campaigns, one of the first things that i realized, and it sounds awfully simple, but it is not. there really are only three campaigns for president. there is the challenger from the party out of power trying to capture the white house, and then there is an incumbent, trying to hold and defend the white house after four years. or a successor trying to maintain control of the white house for the party in power. only three times in the last 100 years have we had a race without a successor. without a vice president or president. senator mccain was the successor in 2008, but it is rather. most of the time we have an incumbent and the challenger. that is where i will talk more
about here. the public views you differently if you are in the coming, challenger, or successor. you have had different kinds of experience within the media with what you have done, whether you are in power are wanting power. and organizational challenges are very different. the last campaign is the one you think about when you're getting ready to run. it's always wrong. whether you have been a governor or a senator or a hero, like eisenhower or mayor like mayor giuliani, you are running a very different race with very different media competition, and it's much tougher. and they all think they are ready. everyone thinks they are ready when they start running.
whenever they ask me about drugs, i just say that i never broke any state laws. i first interviewed don imus, governor clinton, what about when you were in england? that is when the famous, well, i did not inhale answer was used. that became -- i don't hope you still remember that, but years and years ago -- yeah, i did not inhale. it was the line, over and over you heard the line that i did not inhale. and then senator obama needs to
iowa and he's having a terrible time with the debate and question and answers with people. he starts complaining to his staff and says i am not like these other people. i give both sides of the question and then i explain where i stand. as a professor, i realized the arrogance of professors. if you are a professor and you talked at length, either the kids get it or they fail. but when you are a candidate come if you talked at length, then you fail. it is your job to talk at the level of the candidate and the people want. he had to learn to not be the professor that showed how much he knew, but the professor who got to the point of the level that the audience wanted. you know, argue for chocolate or vanilla, they don't want to hear
essays on the health value of chocolate versus the calories of vanilla. it took him a long time to learn that. i called this section of the book about challenges the search for an experienced version. [laughter] now, i understand that there is a contradiction in that. but there is a contradiction in the dreams and hopes and aspirations that we keep looking for, and the next great promise. i used to call this we are all looking for forward the great white hope. now i call it the knight in shining armor, because the great white hope was african-american or a war man, but it is the magical outsider who can come in and make it easy. one who is untainted. really, if you remember the old star wars movie, the perfect challenger would be yoda.
wise, experienced, clean not from washington. experience that cleaning up the swamp, because his planet was swamp like and heated like washington. but also tough. you have this image, and everybody knows the trick of the campaign is to mix the experienced people with some of the hope. over time, some of the lines are hard. it is very hard in the end to do it. it is very hard to be the candidate of hope. but if you look at the lines, the things that jimmy carter said in 1976 or gary hart said,
they are virtually the same. you can cover up the name of the candidate in the book on the table and have a very hard time guessing which one. this is isn't about me, this is about us. i am but an imperfect vessel. i can't even remember which one is gary hart in which one was barack obama because they are very similar. but it is not easy to do that. when they are running in the campaign against the incumbent, they are like a speedo. the idea of the challenger's campaign, and the movie that everybody studies to this day is the war room, the documentary. and there you have the band of brothers, this robin hood or
something. you are in this big bunker and you're working out the plan and your policy people are right there, and whatever the president does before he is done with the speech, the attack is out there showing the contradictions between what he says now and what he said last year. you are out there zipping around and reacting quickly. it is a rapid reaction sorts. all they do is talk about plans and say if i won this would never happen. or governor carter said on the way to becoming president carter, we deserve a government that is good to the people. we deserve a government that as good as the people. and he said when i am president it it will be as good as the people. the hope and change against what you have. the challenger can always look at what the incumbent has done and say, you didn't do a lot of
what you promised. that glass is barely full and you promised us the class would be overflowing. whatever the unemployment rate is, you promised less. whatever the inflation rate is or the state of the war, you said you were going to take care of these problems. always they point to things that did not happen. and in james carville's famous phrase, whether the president likes it or not, they are always -- the incumbent is always more of the same. when challenger on the way to the white house that it must be so depressing in washington for a man's word when it isn't worth anything. that was governor bush in 2000. could you imagine president bush saying something like that?
i am a texan, my word is always my word. no. it is a perpetual part of our hope and our idealism that this time will be different in this time will be magical, and it is a very tricky situation. i am not resizing anyone who makes the promises. i do it when it works for my candidates. you can't win if you don't make those promises because that is what people want. you would be disappointing people if you did not overpromise you know, promised the moon kind of thing. and make it sound original when you do. [laughter] >> i learned a lot about how difficult it is to be an uncommon.
it is a long story, but when so many wrote about the debate 10 years later after they wrote about it. i somehow persuaded them to give me the copy of the tapes of the practice sessions that they had. i didn't look at them for years. it was very uncomfortable. somebody who is uncomfortable and flustered, somebody you respect what the nobel peace prize, somebody who had good years and bad years but you are dedicated to. when i finally did look at them carefully, i was able to do so because i realized that it is common. i noticed over and over in presidential campaigns the same difficulty preparing for
debates. we started the first session after 11 minutes. and he said, is not enough? [laughter] >> every president has that problem. they have that problem in the debate. no president wants to. as somebody wrote, when you are president, you think you know everything that is going on, and you do not because you are in a bubble. when you leave the white house, you think you are in touch with america. you are always in the white house when you are president. when ronald reagan resisted, it was written that for four years nobody ever questioned the presidents motive. and the shock of the debates for me was that president carter had not ever heard the things that governor reagan was saying about him every single day.
he was so busy being president and talking about what he would do that he had never had time to listen. and it was very shocking for him. at one point he said, listening to governor reagan, i was reminded of myself for years ago. i have been in the white house for four years as president, and now i know that for every difficult question, there is an easy grid wrong answer. [laughter] >> it took me months when i finally listened and realized that extraordinary ironing of that statement. president carter was criticizing challenger reagan for saying exactly the same kind of things that challenger carter had said. but now that challenger carter had realized how much harder it was to be president, and how
poorly prepared key and every other person were until they had been there for four years, he could not believe that anybody should be allowed to get away with the same nonsense he got away with. i mean, it is extraordinary. the incumbent has to be in the position to say, the glass is not empty, either, thanks to me. and if you are a president, there would be a hole in the class or someone else would be drinking from it, none of us would have anything. now, the challenger is like a speedboat that could move very quickly. the incumbent is more like a battleship. it takes a lot of planning to make any move, and the moves are very slow. but you make very big waves. the gold standard of anything any president can do is richard nixon visited china. do you know? nobody can criticize that on the
left. once richard nixon -- i mean, how many times does a presidential visit change history and fascinate the world? >> by doing it, it allowed president nixon to campaign against george mcgovern and his piece tomorrow slogan. people admired honorable peace in a few years as opposed to instant peace with dishonor. the big move that the president had was really a veto. when there is not a war and they are not commander in chief, whatever the president campaigned as -- when i am president we will have milk and honey. when i am president, we will close guantánamo. when i am president, we will fix this problem. the truth is if the senate sends
the bill that he likes, it takes 50 senators to pass it. if he does not like it, it takes is the seven senators to override him. he is the 800-pound center, if you will. the 17-pound gorilla, if you want. i will skip the successors, because i have gone on longer than i was supposed to. i wanted to talk about obama today, because he is really running the truman strategy of 1948, which is the same as bill clinton in 1996, which is basically trying to paralyze and take away the operating space of the challenger, by giving senators and congressmen from that party, the rope to tie the person up. tom do we was not as stiff. he was a dynamic, articulate, dynamic governor and an
extraordinary speaker and very, very smart and impressive public figure. robert taft would prefer tom dewey to lose than to have the moderate internationalist takeover the republican party. truman called on taft to past some of the platforms in the summer of 1948 and taft made all kinds of faults with the argument. if we do and he does come at it is leading the president exert the power of the senate. what he really meant is that if i do this, i am accepting the fact that julie is right and i'm wrong and i will never be president. that is a little bit what george stephanopoulos wrote in 1996. the freshmen became his best friend because the more they pushed on things, the easier it was for clinton to affect a
balancing act. i will skip over some balancing details of that. the point i should've gone to a few minutes ago is that the overlooked element that i emphasize, that the book brings together for me is teamwork. what does it take to have a presidential team? they are all different. there is not a formula. every president has different pieces. you cannot just hire them and do it quickly. it is difficult because the only people who run for president are truly audacious. you really have to be bold and feisty and have a lot of brass if you're going to stand up and say, i'm ready i am ready to be the most powerful person in the world. and you are not and you know it,
but you have to act like you believe it. you announce that you are running and it is like the old westerns where you walk into the saloon and they look at you like you are the new gone in town, are you really faster than johnny ringo or martial art. who are you to say you're the fastest gun in the west. if you claim now, all the other senators say, who do you think you are? who does he think he is. they all say i would've been better. [laughter] now, how do you claim that you are ready to run the world and keep learning all the same about things you don't really know? >> that is not easy. you have to be able to be agile. you can't be agile to canada if you don't know what you stand for. but you also can be agile without the truth. because you're going to be
asked, president carter got in some very difficult situations when he answered some very simple questions. one was in his human rights stance applies to northern ireland. not knowing at that point and he's expected the ira proposal of monahan and cute kerry and the governor of new york and prompted emergency cabinet meetings in ireland and london a week before the election. only richard holbrook on the phone for 48 hours to save the president, and if they denounced him, they would be sorry. and also to be resilient. you need this constant every day you know exactly what you're going to do. but you are obviously going to fall flat on your keister someday. you are obviously going to make huge mistakes in the team has to
be ready. it is the world according to mike tyson, the boxer. when reporters would ask mike tyson about the opponent's strategy, they say that they're going to beat you by doing this or that, he says everyone has a strategy until they get hit in the face. [laughter] >> it is the campaign's job to be ready so that when you are hit in the face they know that they have a bucket of water where they have a contingency plan, and also, to prevent ambushes that you don't want to help you to decide what bites that you do want. you cannot go out there and just act like on going to do is knock not everybody down because that is a disaster, too. the team has to understand the difference between the three campaigns. then, what are the two most astonishingly difficult things? one of them is a very strong
chief of staff that is a real peer of the candidate, and why is that important? because without a strong chief of staff, you do not get closure. everybody always wants to go behind the chiefs back and tell the candidate that you better talk more about the euro were you wanted to spend more time in misery. or really, gay rights is a bigger issue than they understand. there is always somebody who has something at stake. it is really like trying to referee between the army and air force and marines over who should get the money or be in charge of the next war. that has to be done when the candidates on the road are on the road 18 hours a day. i can only be done with a strong chief and it can only be done if there is someone who is close to the family that is in the inner circle of the campaign who knows the candidate. at first, i do not appreciate
why this was important in the campaign. because he seemed like a kindly gentleman and a friend of president carter's. but there were times when the president would make a mistake, and he would say, jimmy, this is upsetting people. the president would understand it is not just the speechwriter who is upset, or the issue person is upset. but that i need to do something, and it is a very important thing. a person that turns out to be brilliant at it, despite the vicious press was, nancy reagan. the great richard neustadt, the breast presidential scholar of the last century, told interviewers that the miller center for the presidency at the university of virginia asked for
nancy to interview at the white house. the person who watches the president's back and takes care of him. it's not always the wife, but somebody who watches them. that is a good way to adapt and keep things in order. people say today there is a long process, longer than it used to be, and it is less stringent than it used to be. i don't like all the money any more than most people, and i don't think -- it's like an arms race. we could stop at 1000 nuclear weapons as opposed to each stopping at eight or 9000. we would all save a lot of money. but you can't be forced to have a treaty. so you pile on the billions on each side. but it is not a longer process than it needs to be. it is just a longer public process. eugene mccarthy started campaigning to be a nominee in 1960. then he decided in 1968 to be
the reluctant nominee that never wanted to run. [laughter] john kennedy spent years trying to get to be vice president in 1956. people have always started running today that they get the dream in their eye and they don't stop until they can't run anymore. the difference is now are that it is public. i think it works better in a smoke-filled room. not because we are smarter than the bosses, but because this public process gives people more time to show how they are. it gives more time for the candidates to go at each other and push. and it is a better process that way than it ever used to be. i am sorry that i didn't have another hour, but i am giving the signals to be polite. there is always so many questions at this carter library. [applause]
>> you have a great opportunity to ask questions to someone who really knows about politics. a better time. racier hand, be recognized, and then wait for the microphone to come over. in fact, let's start here in the front. >> hello. >> hello. >> [inaudible question] >> what has been the feedback? >> i gave a copy to one candidate, but i will let you guess what one i gave it to. [laughter] i know they both have it. [laughter] >> [inaudible question] >> i am very positive.
[laughter] look, i don't know that it matters. and if i did and said so i would never be listened to again. my generation, you don't say much about it for the longest time. it is a book that sets patterns. it doesn't necessarily make it easier to do things, but makes it easier for us to understand what is happening, i think. it is quite an art. [laughter] >> stand up and i think it will work better. >> thank you. i have worked on a lot of local campaigns managing them. can you explain the power of incumbency, even if it is not logical, you know, the old
saying that i see congress but i love my congressman. >> okay. >> part of it is a chapter on the commons. it is a big step to knock off that person. it is a lot harder, especially when they are the executive. it is easier to get madder councilmen over something because they are just the messenger in a way. but if you are the mayor, police chief, sheriff, governor, president, there is a certain presumption. whatever people say about president obama, even the people who don't believe he was born on this planet, nobody says there has been another 9/11 in four years. none of the dams in america have verse. it is no worse today than when he took office. the things you're not paying attention to were not so bad.
even if you hated him. there is a certain -- and when you are elected, maybe 15% of the people in the country haven't focused on you enough to know whether they are positive or negative about you. over the four years, that level of uncertainty diminishes. after four years, while more people are aware of you. there is an important change that people think about. they think about the incumbent in terms of what they have done. so you have something more solid. he did this and he promises that. it is -- i mean, it is the bird in hand and to birds and the bush problem. what is it that helps the bird that you have looked better than the promise of magic change? that is the trick of the game.
right there. i see both of you. i saw you, too. >> how to be obama family decide to, when they did -- how do they make the decision to come out for gay marriage in this particular point in the campaign? >> i was asked -- okay. i was asked about it in new york for days before that. one thing i said was i am certain that he will come out before the convention so there will not be protests. i don't think either campaign understood what was going to happen when he made the statement. i don't think i would ever see the day when a republican candidate for president accused
democrats of a smokescreen by talking about social issues. we know what has been one of the fastest changing issues in america. that has been true for a long time. but it suddenly has evolved so that you cannot take a strong position and win everywhere. you have to have a nuanced position or a state position. it is happening so fast, it is all a gamble. that is another example of how much harder it is as an incumbent. his basketball buddy, arnie duncan, already came out for it. as the secretary of education. you can't put people in the basement or the closet to quiet them up the weight you can when you are a challenger. you have people in the cabinet. you try quieting henry kissinger do you tell somebody whose career depends on that but they shouldn't do it anymore.
i think that shocked me was how fast neither party wanted to make a big fuss about it. he had no choice to do it at some point, and honestly the timing was affected at some part by president biden. i didn't know obama was a skier until he said obama crossed my skis. that was almost as funny as the smokescreen comment. i didn't know basketball players went skiing. ma'am, right there. >> you spoke a little bit about the strategies between campaigns. in the republican primary, there seems to be a lot of negative campaigns. i was wondering if you could speak a little bit about it. >> can i just remind you of the democratic campaign of 1992 or 1972? yes, okay. when you have a chance of
winning, if you are george w. bush, if you are bill clinton, if you are mitt romney, the trick is that you need for percent of the country to love you to get through your primary. the right 40 or the left 40 or the 30% -- the trick is when the primary occurs, when it without doing anything that makes it harder to get to 50. mitt romney was determined to do nothing to move farther to the right and necessary to get the nomination. unlike george w. bush in 2000, bill clinton in 1992, where governor carter in 1976, his challengers were on the right and not in the center. bill clinton did not have to move to the left to be people. george w. bush had challengers.
john mccain, on the left of him. deep forbes decided to not be the right-wing menace. mitt romney, unlike many other candidates, which faced far more verlyn challengers sucking up delegates and growth in pockets, none of them could ever win by that. but they all did challenges and there were some weak planning that no one expected. i am certain that nobody expected they would have to come out and condemn contraception. i don't think he wanted to go as far as he did as endorsing congressman paul ryan. but when you are facing michele bachmann and sir palen and newt gingrich, and senator santorum, you have a hard time finding
room for a person. if i think he made one mistake, nobody likes to be told vote for me because i can win even if you don't really like me. nobody likes to be told, vote for the lowest common denominator because you have no other winner. but that is some of what he ended up with. even though he has a very smart team around him. over there? wait for the microphone boom. >> it is interesting that the process is more public. in your opinion, has the process become more or less substances over the years? and then part two of that would be, how have you or would you advise people not to become very cynical and jaded by the process
and what goes on a process? >> i cannot answer the second half and i'm not going to try the first half. the first half is there is so much more substance that is stunning. john kennedy traveled the country with two people. and he goes to the book to show that he has intellect, that ted sorenson wrote most of why england slept. and he could do enough to get through the campaign and know that he's very smart, well read. governor bush met every weekend with an economic team. condoleezza rice literally camp in texas, resigned as provost of stanford and moved to texas to work with him on national security. and they had weekly meetings with all sorts of people. it is a much more rigorous job,
and look at the people. michelle bockman never explained what she would do. and then there was another governor -- [laughter] yeah, he had some great lines. the lines looked great as rally cheering points for his devoted people, but he could not swing them at any length. you have to have a lot more debt. as i learned when i only got three quarters of the way through my talk, really knowing how to keep it on time and not talk too much here and there. when senator obama realized to be president obama, it's hard to be precise and congenial.
and then there was senator mccain with the three-page memo, he said that he had no time to read it. i will go to my grave believing that he read it didn't have a clue about it because he hadn't paid attention over the years at his meetings. no disrespect to a great hero, but i don't believe that he could not understand it without a lot of -- i certainly could not with a phd from mit. i still don't understand some of these derivatives and problems that you have to know about. if you are a president coming have to sit in a room with larry summers and bob rubin, both of whom are too smart to fail and decide which of them is right. and they are both determined they are going to win every argument. you have to decide which one is right.
next question? is probably easier if you stand. >> in your estimation, who campaigns with the greatest reputation that had the biggest problems, maybe it was the fact that the other campaign imploded or something like that. but which gets more high reputation than they deserve in your estimation? >> i think too much credit might be given to the vice president -- well, that's a hard one. people usually ask me who was the great loser. he was 40 points ahead and won by about 20,000 votes, because the ford campaign doubled away day by day by day, the whole campaign. that was a very good campaign. you might say that the dewey
campaign, and all the obstacles that were thrown in his path, they almost pulled it off. there is a lot of campaign, it is a hard question. i need a better answer, and i'm sorry. sir? >> would you anticipate, and we are already seeing some in 2010, about the citizens united decision allowing huge amounts of unknown money coming in and making all these attacks and there is no way to really respond when you don't know who is making the attacks. >> i think the fact that they are going to have to say who the donors were is going to make a difference. i read on the way here preparing my talk, one of the big super pac contenders was complaining about you are making us subject to criticism.
for exercising our first amendment rights. it is very interesting how fast some of these people will back off. it is also the old curse, be careful what you wish for because you might get it. i think that this is the year that the super pacs do as much damage as hell. i think the idea of going after obama on racism and reverend wright, now that he is president, i don't think that person was really as interested in helping governor romney as they were in making themselves a name with a new swiftboat read a superstar person who can attract this. that doesn't help you get to
[inaudible] >> they all need substance in the end. the income the campaign has to be based on substance of what they have done. the challenger beyond smoke and mirrors need to record. people don't understand. bill clinton is famous he made it clear he was determined to build the multiracial coalition to
criticize by lance and pop lyrics. he gave speeches but nobody took him seriously because of the i did not inhale. he looked like somebody who said his favorite color is plata. [laughter] but he did give a tough speech about changing behavior in a black church then went to a white church but in the black church said if you get them together then both sides have to change policies. we have to recognize the problem of single-parent
single-parent, welfare dependency, i don't remember the details. it was very powerful. but he had to take a chance and the press would not listen. then he would talk about the policies in arkansas. president bush said he was a tax raising liberal he could point* two the jobs on welfare. if you look the other way you don't want to be accused to be hard on black sea said look at arkansas. he had policy is. he could talk about them. it takes years and years with the ability to go beyond the one liner.
i used to think here are five things to say. would dick armey said, they asked about foreign policy i unsold france then go to the next question. [laughter] that does not work anymore professor use the funds mistakes governor romney made to speaking to soon on afghanistan. >> i 12 you to pick of the book so i will ask the last question. what should we expect to seafood in the months ahead? what do you think will happen? >> there are two important
events coming for governor romney. what does he do for a vice president? >> relating he is going and robotic it is weak what expect -- to they expect him to solve? there is not a perfect candidate but who is the best option? what do they do with senator santorum to have a moderate convention and not the religious revival that pinned president bush. the three year-old dying
daughter is made a lifetime member of the nra. this maybe realistic or not but i would bet every penny that santorum thinks he could get the nomination if something happens to romney and thinks he is a leader of the party and it can only stay that way when he pushes to show he once the issues kept alive. i am not sure mitt romney once those issues discussed very much this year. they have an easy time with ron -- congressmen ron paul because rand paul is the senator.
not much ron paul can-do without getting his son and the dog house. there is a hostage ruth congressmen paul. this is the problem with jerry ford and ronald reagan. but those are the two things to look for. but house does president obama akamai and -- have roach about this, how did the turn the criticism of bain capital not the capitalist but the policies that don't work for everybody? how does he point* out carefully why do you think you would be better as
president? it is not your mother was better than my mother all of the silliness. somebody help their likes that silliness that other people cannot stand. and jon stewart available always. why does he take vacations? it is not fair. [laughter] thank you. >> one reviewer said this is the book to keep by your bedside you have the opportunity to buy the book in the lobby.
he will sign it. please give him a round of applause. [applause] >> h >> how old was she when she killed herself?w >> 26. she killed herself she leftandm. a suicide note that said she was distraught over her husband's if cheating. it is the president's grandmother because of the dramatic event they moved to
el dorado to live with his grandparents. his great-grandfather c christopher moller columbushht n clark. >>host: where did thets meet? mandparents meet?st: they >> a best of.awayoth in and butler county wherei madeleine grew up. hi sch madeline was a senior in >> host: high school and w working in construction that is where he met her. >>host: what was their lifelike after they married? >>guest: her parents did not like him. of h
the first thing her father said by a do not want you to marry that wop. she married him secretly.ridgelg she was very smart out oflways b high-school always on the honor roll who promised to get her out. that is what she wanted.she had she grew up like bette davis ece sophistication of hollywood. ys u e had already been to california and promised to take her back. his jobs were unstable, it .ky a rocky rgoad >>host: on the kenyan side
where did the obama clanth began? >>guest: actually in sudan several hundred years ago but i start in a small village from lake victoria rovi it is a very poor part of it'sa. it is where the of willowes tribe is centered they areh about the same. that is rather find themselves. >>host: on the paternal side who are here is grandparents? >>guest: his grandfather born in the late 1800's andfirt
the first to be westernized.and so he learned english and coming into the british colony later he worked as at chef for the military people for those folks in nairobi. the mother came from anotheren village in that area. hussain was very difficult to live with. he beat his wife and he moved from the area and move stf
back to another part of the klan and she had had enough. he had a younger wife.e faly whe she ran away. so brock obama's father of he was a little boy. >> >>host: did presidentdipresiden obama ever be to them?? >> no. he was there 1980's. stor in that surveys of his birth he did not get back to kenya until both good parents were gone. >> how many iontbaerveiews did you do?
>> almost 400.ed with so later with the interviews to travel around the world so ibodu interviewed everybody i could find.parents an >> barack obama sr. was born 1936. was was his childhood like? >>guest: dealing with western culture and very smart. his father was difficult to get to along with. he wass luky lucky he was smart
because we think they slowly have an impact and that seems to be the better word. >> white comes to mind? >> no one book shapes america. but with the very essence of what america it is this is improper to pick one book from that 88 better here. >>host: starting with common-sense. >>guest: earliest is from ben franklin on electricity. one is dr. spock's book on raising your child and
thomas paine that sparked the revolution. >> are they all first editions? >> although we have many books that would be first editions. some have descriptions by other famous people and to books that i adore our part of the outreach people serving in the military. i believe now there from the war front but i believe one is tarzan and i tried to
think now what it is. >>host: in this exhibit exhibit, lot of novels. not only what the common people read the complex novels that appeal to people of all ages. the "wizard of oz" oz", charlotte's web. >>host: also "gone with the wind." how does that shape america? >> the aspirations rehab as a nation and others that told about experiences like the diary of lewis and clark.
or "huckleberry finn." they shaped not only the ideas of how we speak today. >>host: you also have cultural books mentioning dr. spock. also of the big book. i alcoholics anonymous. >>guest: it is important to look at nonfiction or those that were self-help or broke period it -- appears. we did not want to to limit ourselves to author, europe, writing style but innovative that showed america as the innovative country, practical solutions
, that new books and stories to go into the front here. >>host: at the library of congress were you in charge of the process? >>guest: it was a very large committee with no chair%. we had a number of discussions as people brought up titles. it was not that difficult to select these books. cahal are it was not support a definitive list. so we decided what we wanted to do would get to it people talking about books. that was not as difficult as two street 500 or 100 bucks.
>> some have created social movements. upton sinclair and ratio ratio -- rich a person. >> yes. they not only created social movements but some lead to legislation. we see the jungle in reno it created the fda being created. it created social change we stopped at 88 we did not want a definitive list. 10, 25 and 100. it is up for grabs a and at 88 rethought that was a good number.
>>host: poetry and read this books? >> we have exemplars and we have walt whitman it has been an impressive part of american history americans are committed to raking in reading poetry. >>host: religious books? >> although they are not associated with a religion and have good do good tone to them. other than a particular religious buck rather than
looking at a particular religious books. >>host: how did you get your start here? >> over 20 years ago fresh out of moscow. i fell in love with the library of congress and over 30 years ago you cannot keep me away. i run it to work every morning. supported by musical scores common movies, the whole gamut of what is knowledge it is such a of privilege you will have trouble getting me to retire. >>host: is this open to the public? >> yes. open through the end of
september. we have day virtual version on our website and part of this conversation is we ask people to comment on the book we have selected the so why you think it should not be on the list are my something new n'sync should we want to hear from you have heard from over 5,000 people go to our website you will find the list of the books in the opportunity to complete a brief form of the books. >> last book published in here?
worthies best sellers? >> many have not got out of print. of those not the specific criteria it carried ideals across the overruled. >> emilie dickinson book of poetry? >> she is a must ask but the particular books are done by a cooperative in cuba of reproducing the book of poetry making a a facsimile of a house made out of recycled materials. she is the phenomenal paul witt but we did not know about occur until the 1950's