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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 25, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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i was in college at that time and it describes all the behind-the-scenes of the construction of the berlin wall and khrushchev and compares those times with what is happening today and finally a complicated man, a biography history of bill clinton. i was interviewed for the book, so i'm in the book but again i was serving in congress with bill clinton and it seemed good to read that. all told, for the basic set of books islamic terrorism, foreign policy and a biography of bill clinton. ..
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>> it is good that he mention that i'm a writer for the "washington post." as journalists come up one of the things we don't like to do is make predictions. is that right? we are dealing with the facts, and we are not guessing. of course, i would like to start off by making a prediction. [laughter]
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that is that it's highly likely that the first latino president of the united states has been born. now, he or she could be an infant right now, or in second-grader high school, or maybe even in the united states senate. it is clear from looking at the united states and the changes in our demography that latinos will continue to play a larger role in the national dialogue. you know, you look at the statistics. in 2004, 7.6 million latinos voted in the united states. that is according to research that has been done at the national level. in 2008, that jumped up to
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9.7 million. now there are estimates that this upcoming election in november, this number could go up to as high as 12 million. that number is only going to grow. it makes it all the more relevant to examine the life of somebody like marco rubio. in some respects, i kind of think of him a little bit is almost a test case for how the american population relates to latino politicians. that was reason enough for me to write a book about it. you look at the reasons why you want to write a newspaper article. -- you also have asked that question when you're setting out to write a book.
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i have come up with several interest-rate one was the answer that i had my first idea when i was writing about, that came to me. the other was one i was done writing the book and afterwards printmaking to me. so what was the first answer to the question? first answer was that this guy has better prospects of the white house than any politician in our history. so i decided that i would read a few things to you. illustrating two different
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answers. i think i will start with answer number one. this took place in august of 2010. for an instant, she hurtled toward the floor, her shoulder nightgown downward. with sideways, nancy reagan. tiny and fragile as a china figurine in an ivory colored suit. the crowd at the ronald reagan's library in simi valley california couldn't see what was happening. the synopsis of the young senator escorting the former first lady to her seat, fired perfectly. marco rubio, his hair parted just so. a valedictorian smile on his face. hub agent icon towards them. he swung beneath her left arm,
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catching her just as she squinted forward, bound for a bone chip in five. at marco rubio, a 40-year-old looked a decade younger, moved with this year agility as he once flashed on the high school football field of miami. he wasn't fast, but he was quick. his high school athletic director said. on the fifth of build there is a difference great bass means you run at high speeds and quick means you react at high speeds. you get to the right spot on the field at precisely the right time. sometimes being quick is better than being fast. it was august 23, 2011. the figurine didn't fall. soon, it was clear that this was a moment. a "los angeles times" blog published a frame by frame sequence of photographs.
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beneath the headlines, marco rubio to the rescue. they showed nancy reagan and marco rubio smiling at each other. then starting a slow-motion photo as the former first lady's anxiety at that second was written on her face as she closes her eyes. conservative bloggers and leaders who had been laudatory about all things marco rubio, and his quick ascent to the republican party to praise him. hero. michael rubio. saving a falling nancy reagan. that happened a couple of weeks before simon & schuster called me. i can remember watching it on television that night. it was on the evening news.
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i think that sometimes political careers are fated by the serendipity of timing. being there when this icon of the conservative movement happens to trip with the cameras rolling, it is just another example of how marco rubio is at the right place at the right time throughout his political career. he ran for the united states senate when nobody thought that he had any chance. but he really had the good fortune of running in the race. in politics, it is good to run in a three-person race because it splits the electorate. he became the conservative choice in florida. charlie crist had been the governor. very powerful. everyone thought that he was invincible.
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and he was running as a republican. but marco rubio was starting to make inroads and charlie crist dropout. there is a democrat african-american from northern florida. he was in the race, too. all three of them being there, they benefited marco rubio marco rubio was able to present himself as the most conservative voice in florida. charlie crist, presented as someone as he was called in a newspaper article -- the most liberal republican governor in the united states. when charlie crist decided to run as an independent, all the independents were able to be split and rubio was able to espouse the race.
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in the income he ended up winning it by a lot. so all that i knew when i got started on the project. i did not know a man named pedro victor garcia. he is marco rubio's grandfather. a name i never heard before i started research on this project. there have been mentioned a discrepancy among the senators family coming after fidel castro. but i also wanted to know about garcia. and if you speech speeches that the senator had spoken about him -- i begin to study him and see what his life was like. one of the things you have to love about washington is that we have lots of little rules. great, tiny, little rules.
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i found out you're talking to a bunch of researchers that if you were born 100 years ago, all of your immigration records are transferred from the immigration service, the u.s. cia, to the national archives. this may not seem like a big deal to you. but it was a really big deal to me. because to get records from the immigration service and make a freedom of information request. to get from the archives is a much easier process. so i found out that pedro victor garcia's records were kept at the records office in kansas city. and i looked up on the internet, randomly, the archive who was in
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charge of the guy. and i called the archivist of them got her on the phone and answer the phone. and she said that i am so, so busy today. time is of the essence. so busy. she said i'm not going to be able to get to those records until after lunch. and i said oh, i think i can wait until after lunch. because she called me dock after lunch. she found the file that i was looking for and that she would be happy to overnight it to me. again, i was surprised.
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your top dollars at work. what arrived the next day was a package filled with documents. they were wonderful documents for researcher. handwritten certificate of birth and confirmation from cuba. fascinating stuff to look over. there were three sheets at the bottom that i almost didn't notice at the time. the next morning over coffee, i was looking at the file again, and i realized that these were xeroxes of three photograph discs. and i got to thinking, i wonder if there is actually a recording about for this record. so i called up the woman that i now call the world's greatest archivist, and i said, just out
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of curiosity, -- she said oh, yes, but i have no way of listening to it. she's about but what about bringing your record player. i wasn't going to work out either. eventually those discs were transferred onto -- the records were transferred on two computer disks that i could listen to. and she sent him by fedex to me again. i did not know what was on those recordings. i had no idea. and i put it into my computer and i heard this voice, it was a very deadpan voice. a voice that sounded like a new yorker to me.
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the next race i heard was another sort of straightforward voice learned as a prosecutor. the next was an angelic woman's voice. all she translator. then i heard in court. that is when i got a lump in my throat. because i realized that it was pedro victor garcia. it was this man that i had been studying about and learning about, the way to set to understand his biography. he came to the united states in 1956. he came to the united states in
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1956. he was born in cuba in 1899. more than 100 years ago. the thing about emigration is that it doesn't work out for everybody. we have this american dream. one of the people it didn't work out for was pedro victor garcia. he came to the united states with seven daughters and a wife and struggle. he could not make a living. in 1959, after fidel castro took over cuba, like a lot of humans, he thought that cuba was going to be a better place and that his options would actually possibly be better in cuba. then they were here in the united states. he returned. he went back to the land of his birth. after three years they are, after it became clear that cuba
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was moving towards being a communist state. he did something really risky. i will read you about what he did. bear with me for just one moment. i thought they have this mark. he bought an airplane ticket is what he did. at the airport, a guy who was an immigration officer stopped pedro victor garcia. and he told him that he did not for long. it turns out that pedro victor garcia did not have a visa. and because he stayed out of the united states for longer than
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one year, he was viewed to have renounced his residency. in those days in florida, there is this wonderful building on that is called the freedom tower. it is modeled after the beautiful belltower in spain. that is where cubans were being sent to get aid upon their arrival. but that is not where he was being sent. this was being called the ellis island of the south. the southern statue of liberty. but pedro victor garcia wasn't being sent to the beacon. he was being sent up the street to the justice department immigration and nationalization
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service officers. physically about 3 miles north of the south u.s. ivins, it is symbolically a million miles in the distance. the one to the north will turn more towards the punitive. it was on october 4, 1964, pedro victor garcia stood before the special inquiry officer. a judge. pedro victor garcia's appearing was recorded on an edison voice writer. a machine. they had great clarity in its advertisements. two vinyl discs, containing audio recordings. the record is a remarkable artifact of another era. in 33 minutes of testimony, they
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tell the story of a man caught in an immigration no man's land. a lesson about the laws but decide who gets to be in the united states in who gets glencoe. the translator instructed, sir, raise your right hand. i swear, garcia, he said in spanish. his voice was a low rumble. on the record, pedro victor garcia sounds calm and respectable. he speaks spanish and a smoky voice. the product of a three cigar a day habit. a habit he maintained into his 80s. he asked people onto political party in cuba. >> we don't have political parties, he said. so he really became a guiding
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spirit while working on this book. you probably know how this hearing ended. ended with him being being deported from the united states. and he really caught a break, though, in those days you are not necessarily put on the plane and sent back right away. you were ordered to leave and you are expected to do so. here is how he got lucky. a few days after this hearing, and maybe we hadn't thought about this before, i talk a lot about his grandson having good timing. this man was born under a thatched palm roof and rural cuba and his mother was illiterate and had polio when he was a child. he had good timing when it came to being deported. what happened was that a few
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days after that order, the united states announced that there were missiles on the island of cuba. the cuban missile crisis was going on. nobody would've gotten on the airplane go to cuba, deported or ordered or not deported. the reason for that is that all the airports were closed. over the next five years, pedro victor garcia fledge the united states. he had no documents to say that he could be here. it wasn't until 1967 when the climate had changed in the law that had been passed in the year before, the justice act, went into effect, that he was able to appeal for residency again, and this time, he got it.
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in some respects, it has a little bit of a happy ending. but it had to be an incredibly dramatic experience of the time. and i think that is one of the reasons i kept a picture of him on my desk while i was working on this. i felt like i got to know him. quickly, i will give you the third answer and we can take some questions and thank you for listening. the third answer to my question about why marco rubio and in writing this book -- it came after the book was published. prior to publication, marco rubio began to talk about an alternative dream act. it has never been passed but really has a symbolic -- it is
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more than a talking point. it is really a rallying point for a lot of those in the united states. he had been through school or had joined the military to have a citizenship. marco rubio had suggested an alternative to this. just suggested it. it was a huge deal. the front page of "the wall street journal." it was the most talked about piece of legislation but wasn't a piece of legislation in washington dc. while that was bubbling, a surprise happened. that was when president obama announced that he would change the deportation policy. but they would be deporting a lot of these young children who had no other place or came to
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united states when they were very young. he would not support them. and i thought that that was -- it was very interesting of an affirmation of the influence of a senator who had only been in office for less than two years. it was a lesson in how to influence policy without actually putting any legislation down. it raised all these interesting questions about what it is to be a hispanic politician and 2012. particularly, if you're a republican. i think there are different expectations and different litmus test under hispanics and non-latinos. there is an expectation that the politician will adhere to a very
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open door policy when it comes to immigration. marco rubio has had some criticism for not adhering to a particularly open door policy. opposing the dream act, being in favor of either verified, which is a computer system that is used for checking checking the immigrated immigration status of people. because of those pressures, you are going to see an evolving manner in which latinos at the national level confront this large issue, which is not only want what to do with people who are coming into the united states, whether legally or illegally, but what to do with the 12 million latinos in the united states that are
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undocumented right now. moving forward, it will be one of the most interesting questions. not only don't marco rubio, but to answer about the governor of nevada, brian sandoval. every other latino politician whose name is injected as someone who potentially could end up on pennsylvania avenue. thank you very much. [applause] >> i will stand on tiptoe as. >> okay, very nimble. >> recently, som, someone told e that latinos from cuba are at odds with other hispanics in
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this country, and they don't get along well. could you speak to that? >> historically, there have been some tensions within the hispanic community in the united states. people sometimes want to say american hispanics. as if it were a monolithic group. in reality, it is made up of a lot of different segments, some of which have conflicting interests and passions and directions. there are sometimes contentions between those different groups. the tensions that exist between mexican-americans and cuban-americans at time i'm 10 times is that there is a different immigration policy for that year. the americans -- cuban-americans
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represent a population in the u.s. that have a much easier to legal residency than non-cuban hispanics. that is because of the dry foot policy. which means if you're caught you are caught at sea, you can be returned. but if you are intercepted homeland without a visa or permission to be here, then you have an almost unfettered right to be here. that is where that tension exists. it doesn't apply to somebody from el salvador guatemala. >> will and a cuban vote for
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marco rubio? >> possibly. at the same time, if you look at a person who is an attractive candidate and you can speak in spanish like marco rubio, then it really will possibly get down to something that you would want to get it down here. which is policy position. where do you stand on the issues that are interesting to me. there is an assumption that the number one issue with hispanics would be immigration of latinos. it is but one issue that is associated with them the most. consistently in polls, the economy, jobs, health care, they have been listed higher by latinos than immigration. the question is whether latinos look at innovation as to whether they would like someone to begin
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with is a litmus test. and the nation can play into that. >> ion't have a sense of marco rubio, but you have spent some time with him before you became a writer on this. what is he like? >> tremendously energetic. charming. everyone who talks to him -- they say that he taps his foot a lot. he just has that kind of kinetic energy. he has a way like a lot of successful politicians, immediately ingratiating himself with people through sheer charisma. you can call it an ex- factor or a motel, but whatever it is, he
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certainly has that. he is also person, i think, who, in washington, is becoming a little bit more cautious. he came up through roughly the state of florida. he was someone who was a very public person report coming a national figure. and i think he is learning that when expectations are very high like they are for him, but every single word that you say will be parsed. in washington, he hasn't been one of the senators who is very much a part of the social world of capitol hill. several aides have remarked on
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me. he is not on the boat with the rest of the boys. >> naming off the people that can [inaudible] latin countries. i don't know what it means, really. they are pouring. they work very hard. they do the jobs no one else wants to do. many of them are here illegally. they cannot provide any indication of citizenship. marco rubio represents the hispanic population -- [inaudible] >> well, one thing that they have in common is that they both have had undocumented people in
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our family. marco rubio's grandfather was undocumented for five years. but the point that you are making about the difference between people who have legal status to be in the united states and people who do not, it is an irrelevant one to ask. somebody might look at marco rubio and say they have had a lot easier than somebody whose father came and was in california or wherever order -- but i think that he was able to make a compelling case. it is really a defining ethos. he is a product of the immigrant experience. whether it is an exile experience, or coming into a
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place that isn't yours. but is it your home. trying to make your way in it. his father was a bartender. his mother clean hotels. she stocked shelves at kmart. there is that whether they are cuban-americans are not. >> hello come asking you about marco rubio. what has he said in his reach is about his grandfather? what stuck with him so much? >> he talks about his grandfather very lovingly. that was one of the things that first connected an emotional week for me when i was beginning my research. because i also have a spanish-speaking, cigar smoking
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grandfather. my heritage is spanish. my grandfather smoked cuban cigars on the porches when i was a little boy. when i heard marco rubio talking about that, it made an emotional connection and i can really see how it makes an emotional connection for people who are listening to his speeches. he talks about his grandfather being someone who loves history and love politics and loved talking about all those things. others will say that even at a young age, marco rubio was interested in hearing all of that stuff. i think they had this very deep bond, the two of them. and they lived together. at various times. both in miami and in las vegas
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were the family lived for a little while. i think it is one of the most important and foundational relationships of his life. he lived through incredible history in cuba. because during his lifetime, there were a series of political upheavals. of course, as is the pattern, you have a cuban leader going off into exile. they have a cemetery there were a couple of former cuban leaders are buried. his grandfather lived all of that prior to fidel castro.
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they didn't view him with his sons of what a government and its troubles and foibles can do for individuals as far as day-to-day every life. pedro victor garcia went back to cuba after castro takeover. it was at a time that the cuban government, the castro government was just getting started. they came up with a law that said, if you are a renter, your rent is immediately slashed in half. but then after a certain number of years, you will gain ownership of those houses where those apartments. most people are still waiting.
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>> [inaudible question] >> just this one time. >> the cuban culture has changed quite radically since i came here in the 1950s. politically, there are a lot of changes going on in the community. especially vis-à-vis, the castro regime. you know, you have cuban congresspeople who would take quite extreme positions on the castro regime. if marco rubio where to go when a growing community, maybe looking into the future to play a bigger role in politics -- how are these changes taking place in his own community, vis-à-vis cuba and vis-à-vis latin america. does he have an example?
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[inaudible] are there examples that he may be tried to moderate his career on a background of cuba, the leader that he looked to that he tried to emulate? >> at a very good question. before i answer specifically, i want to tell you a little story. in 2004, on the night of the presidential election, i was the bureau chief for the post in miami at that time. a bunch of reporters had come into town. everybody had filed their stories, and a group of us gathered at my house. and i said we are not going to be around here, let's go down to little havana. the focus points of the republican right in the community is a restaurant called
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their versailles. we walked through that side of the street and talk to people because we are reporters and that's what we do. so they asked people, -- oh, he is going to get fidel castro and it's going to be tough on him. it was the thing that everybody wanted to talk to us about. then we went over to the other side of the street. the opponent, democrat, john kerry had placed his headquarters there. there were people waving flags and all of that. they were also cuban-americans. and he said, why do you want this guy? and he said well, we like his positions on health care and we think he's going to do this for the economy and jobs and etc.
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nobody was talking about the castro. these are the cuban-americans, many born in the united states and has sort of left behind this very intractable and long-standing feud between nations. and we will analyze cuban politics. there are a lot of expectations that group will eventually sort of rise and be significant and be shaping american policy. marco rubio would've been would have been on the other side of that street. on the precise side of the street. he was raised in a political mindset. he maintains the position of of
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the strict handling of the cuban regime. in other words, not into having more down there, cost her brother derek, demanding on the island. some cuban americans are tired of that. not to be underestimated that many of them are still involved in this ongoing fight as long as fidel castro's living. >> marco rubio is a senator from florida. i'm wondering what his position on medicare and medicaid -- has it influenced and have you
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detected in the nuances to any state position, what his devotion to the proposed budget -- paul ryan budget, i'm wondering if you would comment on those issues we talked about him making that great catch about nancy reagan. i got a lot of headlines. during that same talk, because he was there to give a speech. he said something that became very controversial. that was he thought the entitlement programs have weakened us as a nation. the community to took care people in need whether they be elderly or not.
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that became a big fight. the commentators on the left pounced on that as a repudiation of these very popular programs. in some respects, it was not a very fair criticism. he had been talking about reforming the system so that it would survive. he presented that nuanced vision when it came to these entitlement programs. pretty consistently throughout. he had somewhat of a tepid response originally to the ryan budget, but he has been very enthusiastic about the choice of ryan in the vice presidential nominee. >> what you expected him and his
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opportunity to introduce romney as the presidential candidate? >> it will be one of the electric moments of the convention. this is the local always made good. it will be played up in a very large way. i think that he is going to have a role beyond that. it is interesting that the republican party will be featuring several latinos. one would think that the democratic party will wouldn't have any equal answers as far as the star power goes. i think you saw a little bit of an attempt to reach out to the latino community by the keynote speaker at the democratic national convention. which is the mayor of san antonio. at the same time, you have a lot
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of people saying that marco rubio could be on the national ticket, or at one time, people were mentioning susana martinez as someone who could be on one of these lists that are never published that are spoken up constantly. it is interesting that the democratic party does not have a latino who right now is very readily who would say on that short list of folks who could be on the national ticket. >> good evening. how do you envision senator rubio's relationship with the talking heads on the radio. particularly sean hannity and rush limbaugh, who really blasted him when you mentioned
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in your presentation, his idea would be on the dream act came out. do you think that they could ever realistically support him as a national candidate? >> yes. i think he would be very popular on conservative radio and television. sean hannity has been one of those prime examples of that and he has been on hannity shows frequently. he is very popular with the departed. there is a crossover on conservative radio. one thing we haven't talked about that is also very popular -- he is popular with
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evangelical christians and catholics. because he has had a connection to both of those religions. he is a practicing catholic who has said that he goes to mass every day in washington dc. but he attends a protestant and evangelical church with his family in florida. in addition to that, as a child, for a time he was a mormon. he then became self identifying as a baptist. then became self identifying as a catholic. then sort of a hybrid. now, mostly catholic but also with a little bit of protestant and evangelical. religion is complicated. and the very important -- a very complicated and important role in this national image. >> one follow-up.
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i am continually amazed by these talk show hosts who, in the beginning, are blasting rubio and mitt romney and everybody -- and everybody else like them. now, all you hear is he is the greatest thing on earth. i was wondering if you had any comments about that. >> it sounds like american politics to me. [laughter] >> rhetoric that we hear during the primaries, sometimes of all is when we get into the showdown between the democrat and republican. >> i had a question. >> time for one question.
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>> since florida is possibly going to be such a key state in the forthcoming presidential elections, why do you think romney didn't pick marco rubio? >> that is a difficult question to answer without having that myers in the room. i think that marco rubio would have presented a lot of efforts to national ticket. and that republicans are aware of that. through his appeal in florida and certain religious groups and the possibility that he could maybe bring some latino votes. at the same time, he was battling against some perceived or real liabilities. one of them is an experienced question, which i'm not sure it
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is a particularly legitimate question or concern, because he had such long experience in the florida legislature as a speaker of the house. much more governing experience and president obama had one president obama ran. then there were some vetting issues. the story about his family's migration, he also had an issue with a republican party of florida credit card that he was using for some personal expenses and have to repay those -- he said it was a mistake but it undercut his narrative as a small government conservative. then his friendship with david rivera, which has been controversial. they are said to be under investigation by the federal government. they own a house together and that is in foreclosure. all of those could have been storylines that the national media certainly would have been a lot about if he had been more
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popular. whether they choose him or not, you have to weigh those very abundant assets against possible liability. >> thank you for all the good questions. i appreciate the attentive audience. >> the adventures of several men who spent their careers working at bell telephone laboratories. this book is about innovation and how it happens, why it happens, and to make that happen. it is why innovation matters, not just the scientists and corporate engineers and executives. it is labs in the late 1930s in the mid-1970s is not a coincidence. many of them came east to new jersey where they worked in
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buildings located on grassy campuses were deer were cruising at twilight. bell labs employ about 1500 people. its ranks included the most million men and women. a time before google, it was where the future, which is what what we now haven't called up present, was conceived and designed. for a long stretch of the 20th century, it was the most scientific organization in the world. in many ways we would like to think that it happened right here within just a stone's throw of this building. is it fair to think about it as silicon valley or before silicon valley. >> i think so. it didn't all happen there. it has happened there a little bit before it happened here.
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i think some of the things you see now in the valley, the kind of freedom given engineers and researchers, attacking big problems with enlarger exorcisms that could help support them with advice and money, all sorts of other things, i think a lot of that, yeah it does go back to that formula of bell labs. the near term thinking and long-term thinking is sean had said in the introduction. and giving autonomy to people who are very capable. >> in those glory years, john mentioned the things, but the list is impressive. just rattle off, if you want, some of the things that grew out of that. >> sure. bell labs began in 1925 as research and development wing of the telephone company red but a lot of my book is really focused on the postwar years.
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a payday really began in 1947 with the invention of the transistor. john cornyn and walter batson. a host of other kinds of transistors. after that, a lot happened in very quick recession. it was the precursor for the solar panel today. there were digital communications, called shannon's information theory, looking at capacity and to mutations of satellites were begun at bell labs. the first was microsatellite, which was a passive, so-called satellite, and then telstar, -- the ccd chip, which is a charge
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coupled device, which is a fundamental part of digital photography and cell phones. the theory of the laser, one of the semiconductor temperature laser schematic bell labs, which are still essential to fiber-optic mutations, as well as every dvd player. it was a pretty big list. >> a pretty big list. [laughter] >> out of that happen to come out about? >> that is the significance. >> what's in the name? and how did it matter that it would lead to the trail of all of those things that you just described. >> a little bit of history probably helped. bell labs was actually formed after the phone company had been around for about 45 years. at&t was a monopoly, they controlled 80% of the telephone in the united states services. they were a vertically recognized companies.
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in the early years, beginning of the 20th century, western electric had its own engineering department. there was a bit of tension and competitiveness between the two. in 1925, they created the stand-alone lab, bell laboratories, is the bottom box of the company. ideas would come out of bell labs, ideas and development. they would be transferred to western electric for manufacturing, the electric part of the company. and they would eventually be deployed by at&t, which control the long-distance lines, as well as about 23 parts or total of the operating companies. some of the problems of a hat. we read a lot about being a problem rich environment. i want to spend some time talking about it. give us some sense of the early problems they had to contend
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with. there wasn't a dial phone. very basic problems. >> everything. there was no dial tones are ringers or hang of things, the amount of detail that went into designing operator headsets, you know, teams of people would work on these problems for years. teams of chemists come as a talk about it in the book, would work on cheating is for cables. others would work on insulation between the sheeting shooting and the cables. a level of detail and an amount of work that was pretty much unless. problems kept proliferating. >> wasn't the first time when science was deployed with all those sorts of products? >> there was. a very small research department at the beginning. again, bell labs was not a huge amount of people


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