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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 26, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT

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one last story i'll tell. is that in the advertising industry, the naacp was suing the advertising industry. black people aren't apart of that. it's racial discrimination. we're going to sue you and take your to court. >> they were getting ready to sue the crap out of the people. >> and that struck me as something a, only a lawyer could possibly think of. b, it was one of the dumbest things i heard many my life..
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so, that is the moral of the story. [applause]
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>> present their book selecting a president next on book tv. it's part of a series for high school seniors and college freshmen. the authors argue although campaigns are modernized the electoral system has remained unchanged since the 18th century. this is about 45 minutes. >> so, good evening. we are here to celebrate the public publication of selecting a president co-authored with matthew spiller. all of her previous books some written with her late husband tom. eleanor, you were a fan of independent bookstores and especially politics and prose. many of us were riveted by your two weeks of life in the memoir of life, death and memory and
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fanatical politics. your insight on how we deal with death and failed to deal with it stay with those of us who read you to this day. nearly 22 years ago eleanor and tom joined us in a 20 or so others when her first political first politics and prose trip. it was a literary political trip to what were some of the former communist countries. we met with authors from poland, the czech republic and the communist part of germany. we also eight decently, have fun and enjoy each other's company. eleanor and her co-author have accomplished in "selecting a presient" is to make the election system understandable by breaking it into manageable parts, giving us history and wonderful stories, some of them
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iconic and taking away any excuses for not being informed. we learned what happens if no candidate receives a majority of the electoral college. even in a two-person race, there can be a tie or someone may not receive the majority as remote as that is. so for the high school or college graduate or mere graduate having read the book i can tell you there's plenty for a family to discuss. eleanor, i loved your dedication to those who educate us on the six and respect for those that run for office. atv political commentator and even as a person who's been featured in movies. tonight we welcome you as an author. let's welcome eleanor clift to politics and prose.
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>> thanking, david. i remember the trip we went to several countries and traveled by train and the cold war just ended and every time you cross the border someone would come into the cabin and shine of lights in your eyes and we actually shared with david and carla and she wanted us to experience life as the level of average human beings, and we did come and it was grand, it was wonderful. so politics and prose brings back so many neighborhoods become memories. it's a neighborhood bookstore and you'll love it. thanking, david. this book is a bill different for me because it doesn't express opinions which is what i get paid to do on television and also in print and it is a
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straightforward account of how our political system works. it to be honest the publisher came to me and saw a gap in our education system. they do not teach civics anymore. i'm sure people as they are wondering where the 527 and the super pak came from, who invented them, did they come from the founding fathers? how does the system work, the primaries this year certainly entertain us but what do they have to do with how we are selecting a president. will be the first in the series and if i'm not giving away too much former senate leader tom daschle will be working with some wonderful researcher and writer to put together a similar book on how the senate works, and david o.d. who recently stepped down from the house is
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being contracted to write about how the house works, so we hope to fill what the schools no longer do. for me this was doing the research and working on the manuscript it is a refreshing course for political junkies because nobody selects a president like we do in this country and the republican primary see is that the date certainly a case in point. also in egypt they actually staged a presidential debate and showed cliffs to sort of an educated populace which i shudder to think we are exporting some of this. but again it's got its drawbacks and it's better than anything else that has been tried. the stage early this year on the
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republican side i think has to plausible prospects and that was mitt romney who is now the obvious nominee and briefly jon huntsman. i think everybody else was in it for various reasons and may be partly their own delusions but that's the wonderful thing about running for president. you don't actually have to think you can win. there are lots of other reasons to run and among them to influence the party platform and shape with the nominee will run on. so the proliferation of primary that we saw now is a relatively recent phenomenon. in 1968 hubert humphrey won the nomination without competing in a single primary. it's kind of unimaginable. the power was in the hand of the party establishment and they dismissed the voting preferences
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expressed for mccarthy and new hampshire and certainly bobby kennedy in the california primary and sadly assassinated the night he was to win the primary. then humphrey's lost to richard nixon in 1968 triggered the calls for reform, so we got the mcgovern frazier commission and minnesota representative donald frazier. together they worked to come up with a set of rules where women, young voters and minorities would be represented in proportion to population. in 1970 to just four years later, 40% of the delegates in miami at the convention were women. that was my first convention. i was an operator for
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"newsweek." i worked in the swing and a fountain hotel and i was starry night. was wonderful to watch the politicians, and politicians to me were stars and celebrities and in a way they still are. in 196813% of the delegates were women so that gives you an idea of how much reform occurred in that for years. so george mcgovern -- i lived in a little vacuum myself. i thought everybody i knew supported george mcgovern and i was rather shocked when he didn't win but he got the nomination based on the rules he had devised and written like cheney getting of the vice presidential after we leading the search committee. but george mcgovern lost in the major way and carried massachusetts and the district of columbia.
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so, what came out of that? 1976 jimmy carter saw what george mcgovern had did and he noticed there was an opening in iowa so jimmy carter spent probably the better part of a year sleeping on couches and people's bedrooms and getting known by the people of iowa. the memorial service years ago president carter told how difficult it was to get press in iowa and the former governor from georgia he said finally jody scored a television spot early in the morning and said the your driving to the tv studio and says by the way, i guess it's not mr. president, it was jimmy. do you have any favorite recipes? i guess there is a cooking show and the host is wearing an apron and a chef's cap so i believe carter came up with a recipe
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because he prepared to do virtually anything to reach the goal to win the nomination and the presidency. carter of course a one-term president although i think his legacy will be seen in a much more favorable light than it has been and i have a piece that is going to appear in the daily beast website over the weekend, which is about commission in camp david on what happens when one does out jew and muslim and christian go behind the campus of kent david for 13 days and out comes a peace treaty. i think carter is going to look better in the box and he's really retaliated against some of mitt romney's
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characterization as a weak president. carter did lose big to ronald reagan and so that triggered another new set of reforms. carter loses and 80, 1982. the democratic party establishment says we are not going to let another outsider like jimmy carter in full tree or circles again, so they moved a lot of the power away from the delicate process back into the hands of the party elite so that 20% now the delegates are in the hands of what we call the superdelegates. remember them. they appeared in 2008 or we rid of them in 2008. they've been there since the 82 reform and hillary clinton felt they would rescue her candidacy. but the notion of the party is now overturning the will of the
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people is unthinkable. i learned in researching this a number of factors that get me through the day we've had four presidents elected with fewer votes than their opponent, and i bet you could probably will sink them. george w. bush, that is an easy one to remember. john quincy adams, 1824. rutherford b. hayes, 1876, benjamin harris, 1888 so it's not enough to win, you've to win the electoral college and it is explained but i'm not going to go through it here. the truman beets do election does have similarities relative to today. a true man rather famously ran against the do nothing congress and president obama is doing the same thing. tom dewey was the former governor of new york and a progressive much like mitt romney once was, former governor
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of massachusetts. some think mitt romney still is. in any event, he wasn't as conservative as the republican controlled 80th congress and he successfully tied him to do nothing congress and that gets me to today's politics because mitt romney is broadly acceptable to the american people in a way that his party isn't so his challenge is to establish himself as a centrist conservative and keep a distance from his party particularly the house republicans. the obama campaign challenge is to more for the republican party and its agenda with mitt romney and paint him as an extremist and to make him colin every one of the positions he took on his
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way to securing the nomination. he vowed to get rid of planned parenthood funding. he has taken some pretty far right positions on immigration in order to get to the right of rick perry during the primaries of that is the tension that is going on and you can see it played out from day-to-day in the political rhetoric. now president obama has demographics on his side, big gender gap, 90 plus support from the african-american community, strong support from hispanics and 23 kuhl one edge with young people. the wild card is how many will get out and vote. the economy the next six months are like the last two months week. i think a lot is facing a big challenge. one thing i learned in
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researching this book is that george w. bush was the first president to be reelected with an approval rating under 50% since harry truman. the polls that cannot today have the president at 48% hasn't really cracked 50 and stayed there for any length of time and quite a while. he does win on likability over romney and that matters but i think you want to belittle them this election will be decided on two things, the unemployment number if it is going up or down you know which candidate it benefits and that the dates. the announced that the date we have them in october, october 3rd, 16th and 22. romney has plenty of experience i think he had 20 of them and thgoing to stand him in good stead and he's pretty good
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at. there were a few moments he would probably like to take back, the 10,000-dollar debt and so forth for the most part he handled himself quite well. peter hart who everyone is familiar with, democratic pollster said in a memo to his clients a week or so ago a six month out deadline at the president has no better than a 50/50 chance with one caveat and that is the supreme court ruling is going to come down in june and these are peter hart's words, not mine. it could -- it could be the moment that rallies minorities, young people and the poor to vote. that could be wishful thinking that i can come up with a
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scenario where obama wins the elections at 53% because the democratic defeat could demographic changes which have been striking but i think it is more likely that we will see a squeaker that could go either way. in this book there are some iconic speeches of former presidents. eisenhower's speech when he devoted he would go to korea which basically turned around that election because after all, he had won world war ii just going to korea would certainly solve the war. hubert humphrey is a favorite throughout the book beginning in 1948 when he was the mayor of minneapolis and he went to the 48 democratic convention and basically told the democratic party they had to get on the right side of the civil rights and come out from the shadow of
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the southern backwoods thinking. it took along why all for that to happen, but he deserves credit for getting it under way. then barry goldwater and his extremism and defense of liberty is no vice. his speech is certainly worth revisiting. president obama's nominating speech of shaun carey in 2000 for which foreshadows all of the things that would then get the president reelected and the things he is still trying to articulate today said there is a lot on this election. the shape of the deficit reduction package they will forge after the votes in november to the supreme court and in many ways elections come and go and the supreme court is forever and they are likely to be one, two, three mabey vacancies over the next four
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years and whoever is in the white house will get to shape a lot of our policies through he/she, probably he appoints. then there's also the historic nature of president obama's election in the first place, and i recently went and her vernon jordan speak at the gallery. you all know who he is. she's spoken here as well and lives in the neighborhood. the former head of the urban league and his portrait now hangs in the portrait gallery. he made the statement that he thought president obama's re-election is more important than his election because america is an out reaffirmation. then he talked about his personal experience as the only african-american in his class in indiana, green castle indiana and i don't think he would might
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be giving away his age so you can place the time. he said his parents drove him to green castle where the university is located and his mother slipped $50 in his pocket and his father said you can't come home and he said what do you mean i can't come home and his father said people here have a much better education than you have had. they are going to be in the sixth chapter and you'll be going through the preface but you can't come home. four years later he graduates a pretty good big man on campus. his mother slaps him of hundred dollars and his father says you can come home i think he knows what he means. for me i think a lot of americans are wondering if obama
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loses to we just say it's the election and he was given a hand nobody could have dealt with any more successfully or we can do what wanda sykes, the african-american comedian says. she says if he screws up we will blame it on the half white guy. laughter cut that's where a little bit of humor in politics always helps. with that i would like to to to questions and i see every politically engaged audience so we can take this wherever you would like to go. [applause] >> don't be shy. there's the microphone. >> thank yer for your interesting presentation. i am curious what is going on with regard to six in the
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schools. how has it changed over the years? i get the impression that is one of the reasons you are writing this. how has it changed and why? you can go ahead and answer another question hell will you be marketing your book? will that be to schools? >> i don't know that it's been changed. it's just been taken away. everyone is looking for ways to cut budgets. schools teach to the test and i guess civics you can tuck into another course so that education just doesn't exist and sandra day o'connor the former supreme court justice has turned that into her life's work talking about the lack of civics education and has become a crusade. on a leave that to the publisher but i think they would love to get into schools. it's not a literal text book. it's more readable than that.
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if it is readable and think they think maybe it doesn't count trying to bridge the gap so that people might actually get something out of it. but i do feel that it -- we do a disservice to young people when -- conquer it right now is a mess and i think it has gone beyond the point. but we did get a surgeon system, and that needs to be explained. so why think there is -- there is room in the marketplace for this book i hope. >> i have a multi-party question. you talk about third-party candidacies. in that light there was the experiment this year the public
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nominating somebody and they couldn't get what was it 100,000 votes? >> you are talking about americans elect and it was a process in search of the candidate they had money backing them, they had some interesting people working with them. they have offices down near where "newsweek" is. i spent a morning listening to them. i was dubious because i could never see who the person was. they were not going to get mayor bloomberg, they were not going to get jon huntsman because jon huntsman probably harbors in addition to the future as he walks away and does an independent run that is unlikely to win he poisons the well and his party. a bloomberg wet look at it and think i would be a spoiler. it's unlikely i could win. i would probably spoil it for the democrats who knows who. it's a crapshoot. so buddy roemer, former governor of louisiana, who tried in the
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republican campaign and didn't really succeed so that was about the best he could do. and i think he really needed to get maybe it's 100,000 signatures to even be credible for them and then their idea was whoever won the lottery they would pick someone from the opposite party or independent so that you would bypass politics. it's nice to think that way but we tried that. jesse, the former fighter -- jesse ventura in minnesota tried that and the thing is you have no party base. it's nice in theory but it doesn't work so i think they were doomed from the beginning that they raised a lot of money than the announced they were going to give back the big donations to the big contributors but not to the
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little contributors and if anybody had managed to get through the process the would have to raise the money afterwards. you look at the sums of the obama and romney campaign raising and just above their little subsidiary organizations anybody else succeed in this climate. you have another organization no labels. they are not there to field a candidate. they are trying to find ways to make the congress work. they would like to see filibustered reform so they are a positive organization and bring people together from the right, the left and the middle, so third parties we will talk about the 1948 election there were to third parties one on each side. that's when strom thurmond walked out of the democratic convention and ran as a dixiecrat then you have harry vv to henry wallace as a liberal so
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that would have been a great time -- well, i was alive now that i think about it. i don't remember being a whole lot of attention except i think my parents who were german immigrants i believe they supported dewey and i remember asking my mother why and she said because he was younger. [laughter] i don't even know if he was that she wasn't going to tell me much. >> i'm a little bit younger than vernon jordan but i still have been through a lot of politics, worked in the congress for ten years a number of years ago. i don't recall a time when the republican party, the deep delete republicans declared the number one goal to get the president out of office and to
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easily block everything he wanted to do to promote that. do you know of any -- >> i don't know of any parallel. when you think back to 2008, obama was such a phenomenon, and i think that the republicans were really flummoxed. they thought we are going to be in the wilderness forever. how are we going to deal with this and they came up pretty quickly in part if the reporting is correct that frank luntz, the pollster who has been around for some time advising republican candidates that all i think the date of the inauguration he was counseling republicans to just oppose what obama did, and they did that and the sun came up the next day and the base cheered
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and it paid off and it paid off rather handsomely in 2010 because they took back the house so i think the strategy has worked short term for them. i don't know where it takes them coming and i think if mitt romney does when, it will be a very interesting to see we could also then have a republican house and republican sen net and he will then have to walk the walk. he will not be able to stand up to his party. he said he would be comfortable with him in the white house and if you listen carefully find a number of democrats that say he was a good governor in massachusetts i have a summit was in massachusetts that said she was fine as governor. they are not worried about him that he would have that party
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testing him every step of the way, and i think even now he's having trouble moving back to the center because every time he takes a half a step he's got somebody on the right complaining about it. it's tricky. it's very tricky for him. not that i am in the business of giving mitt romney advice necessarily, but as a political observer, it is traditionally the republicans run to the right in the primary and then scurry back and the democrats run to the left and then scurry back. it's a lot harder for mitt romney because of the dynamics of his party and also the ubiquitous television. you can't say anything anymore that somebody isn't documented. it makes it very hard for politicians in general i do admire politicians it's a tough life to get out there and feel so publicly when you succeed
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it's wonderful it's not guaranteed. romney has been running almost nonstop for a least seven years and i heard myself say the and i that's why he can fit into those skinnerians he does look very energetic. >> in the lame-duck session of congress, which might happen or might not happen, i believe it will happen, after the november elections we are going to be having a battle royal with the debt ceiling. do you have any predictions about what might happen? >> they are calling the attack to get him everything comes together and it's also a great
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opportunity because here is where if romney does get elected i think that he will have a much harder time because he would have to make and there will be no taxes love them or hate him hasn't been himself down so much. he did make a lot for compromise isn't and allowed some of the base. i must say i like the front road to watch how he would square all his campaign promises which would be so immediate and that
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would be a real confrontation but i do that i don't think they can wiggle out of the decisions they are going to have to make. spec the democratic party especially on the liberal side felt that mr. obama has given away so much over the past couple of years in that i'm wondering how much more he can give. >> you're point is well taken, but they will have to give and because of his personality and because of the fact that he hasn't been himself down as much as from the, obama's better position. but i agree with you when the president first can come and remember he ran on i can go to washington and we can all get along. hillary ran online go to washington and they've thrown everything at me and i am still standing. i know how to fight. the country understandably liked
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the idea of everybody getting along and i believe that it sends your. it's in his dna. he reached out to the congress and they took it as a sign of weakness and i think that he has been battling that ever since and it took him a long time to realize that they were not playing nice and it wasn't going to get him anywhere. >> jimmy carter may think it is okay to have a mitt romney presidency, but i don't. and i don't think the young people in america today understand if mitt romney gets elected what impact it will have on their lives in the generations to come because she would appoint at least three supreme court justices and it would be a disaster for the country. but i also don't understand why obama's advisers don't get him
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to go to wisconsin to support their recall vote. just him coming there would mean so much. all the votes that are going to count, getting people out to vote would be important for obama, whoever comes out is in the plus column. i don't understand why he doesn't take the trip to israel and solidify a good portion of the american vote to come behind him. these are things you look at and say he would get the votes and they are important for him. >> to take those one at a time, wisconsin i'm sure the strategists are looking at that. and i have read today there are 37 undecided and that isn't 37%, that is 37 people. it is polarized and there's 1% supporting scott walker from the democratic challenger. everybody is energized. if obama went out there, republicans would be crawling
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out from everywhere. that is the concern he would energize. i think everybody is worked up so i understand why they are not doing that. second, the supreme court, a democratic friend of mine said she wouldn't be surprised to see campaign ads that featured the justices in red and blue robes instead of their customary black robe because you need to get across what is at stake. the supreme court voting issue for people in this room but it isn't for most people. most people don't understand. it's never been successful but you are exactly right about how much is at stake. right now is probably for and have read justices, and you can see all of the issues that are lining up the are going to do affirmative action.
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you have personhood stuff lining of out there. the conservatives really see the corps as an arm of their movement and think in a much more visceral way than liberals to come and the court in a wave reflects that but it also reflects who's been president so there will be at least one vacancy and possibly two or three, dennis rell i don't know if he will go before the election they may get a deal on the nixon and that will avert a potential attack and then he should get some diplomatic credit for that. thanks for the question. >> do you have any thoughts as to what is in hilary's future? >> i think she probably wants to sleep for awhile and is probably
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hoping for a grandchild. i don't know whether she will run or not, but i think it is possible and if you listen to bill clinton to think it is pretty clear what he would like. he's a man blank practically had to shoehorn him out of the awful lot this. i've never seen a politician who actually draws so much energy from the whole process even on a bad day. and hillary has done a remarkable job putting a good face on america in the last four years and i think she is energetic enough and 60 guess 70 are not what they used to be. pretty soon we will be saying 100 isn't what it used to be. but i don't think that the age
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thing is an impediment so if she wants to run she can run. but i don't think that she can expect the democrats would the field before her. they are unable to do that but you have a new york governor out there not known to be shy. center mark warner, governor o'malley and that is just three of the of and comers that are lobbying the white house and there are probably more. and joe biden spending a lot of time in new hampshire and the only cure for wanting to be president is embalming fluid. if you get tired of 2012 you can start emphasizing. thanking. >> i want to get your opinion on rahm emanuel. he was an insider and i feel he
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didn't do a good job because it seems like the republicans took the initiative and when he went into conagra's he had a huge majority in the house and it seems like they just fell through. >> the mixed reviews of rob emanu-el, something he did a good job and then he's got plenty of critics he did restore the house to the democrats by going out and recruiting people that match their districts. so there were not a lot of loyal to loyalists in the people that he recruited and they were easy to knock off. and in the white house she was cautious and in this book we talk about what is a mandate, who has it and what is it? lyndon johnson had a mandate when he had 61% of the votes in
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1964 and he used it. george w. bush didn't even when the popular vote and he acted like he had a mandate. and i think president obama was shot about using his power. i know there is one instant he snapped at one of the republicans we won or on one. john mccain and everybody took that as a sign that they're against. i don't think that he was arrogant enough whether that is how the president reacted. we will have to wait for him to write his memoirs. but his experience as the chicago mayor may dominate because that is where he is really starting. >> i want to pose a couple of questions. those of us of certain age remember the era of that there was such a thing as a moderate republican and even the liberal
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republican that lost the up the ante for civil rights like senator javits and others. one of the things that happened on january 20 it in 2009 as was pointed out in the book that was discussed recently was the famous dinner that was put together with eric cantor and other people but not john boehner in which the group really came together to be the disloyal opposition and to make sure that nothing happened constructive in the obama administration domestically. if president obama is reflective and the house remains republican and the senate stays democratic,
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what are the chances of creating majorities to get something done domestically? >> limited which is why in part presidents in a second term often turn to foreign policy all the way think this president has been remarkably successful in foreign policy. at brookings they said every day the campaign talks about foreign policy is a wasted day because of the president has turned elton his attitude about that. but i think you have to wait and see with their results are. even if the republicans maintain their hold on the house, it will be dhaka a smaller majority by a handful of seats. i think a lot of those tea party types that are compromised as a dirty word may not be coming
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back, and if there is a leadership turnover in the house i don't know that that is necessarily a good thing. they now come close to resembling a moderate republican and anybody that might replace him. if the white house and obama and axelrod are to be the lead, they always seem to think there is a chance for rationality to prevail. and i think that it's the other alternate question to ask his what if mitt romney wins in the affairs of republican house or senate. will the democrats have a meeting whoever the democratic version is and make a similar decision? i think not. and i think democrats don't have quite the appetite for the back that i'm sure a lot of democrats
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would be wishing they did if in fact this is the outcome in november. how it plays out across the washington area and whether people will be sober at all and realize that we don't want the prosperity we've known and a future that we have known to be squandered simply because nobody can get decision that may be when it gets to that point that the democracy will respond. i like to think that is the case. that is as close as i can get to optimism. >> thanking. you've been wonderful thank you for your question. now you will get a chance to sign some books and all of you please help us with the chairs. that was great.
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recently book tv toward a new library of congress exhibit called books that she america. we are going to show you that exhibit in just a minute, but we also want to give you an invitation to participate in an on-line discussion about books that shaped america. what books you think may be included or should be included. we are going to show you the library of congress came up with, and if you are interested in participating in an on-line discussion with us, e-mail us at now here is the tour. >> welcome there's an exhibit at the library of congress and it's called books that shaped
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america. book tv is taking a tour of the exit and joining us is roberta shaver, associate librarian for the library of congress. ms. schaefer, why do you call that books that shaped america? >> well, we actually call it books that shaped america as opposed to some of the other words we considered like changed america because we think that books so we have an impact on american society. and shaped seemed to be the better word to imply that kind of consultation. >> when you think of the worst shape what the book comes to mind? >> that is the fabulous part of this exhibit. no one book is shaping america. so many books have had such a profound influence on american culture and society and indeed the very essence of what america is that it would be impossible, and would be in proper to pick one book from the 88 it better here. >> it starts off, the exhibit
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starts off with common sense. >> yes it does although the earliest book is actually been franklin's book on electricity. that is 1751. so, we have to books about common sense on the shelf. one is dr. spock's book on raising your child in a common sense way, and of course thomas kane's book that kind of sparked or shaped the american revolution. >> when we see these books are these all first editions rear? >> they are not first editions of the we have many books in the collections in the library of congress collection that would be first editions and very rare if not on that kind. but we've selected books for a variety of reasons. some of them have inscriptions by other famous people are by the authors themselves. books in this collection that i just adore our books that are part of armed service outreach to people who are serving in the military. and so we have examples of books
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that i believe now they are a false sense to read the war front on ipod and other things. but at least in the olden days. >> i believe one of them is tarzan and i am trying to take now what the other one is. but goodness. >> weigel you think of that in this exhibit a lot of novels. >> yes. novels are a critical part of american culture. not only the novels that people have read, but some very highbrow conflict models. some that appeal to people all ages. some children's books that appeal to people will all ages. so the wizard of oz, charlotte's web, limited to just the children's audience. >> gone with the wind is here as well. how do the sheep america? >> many of them identified who
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we are becoming more the aspirations we have as a nation. others told about experiences that we had uniquely as americans like the diary of lewis and clark. many others defined the dialect. huckleberry finn talk in dialect so they shape not only al-aribiya but how we speak today. >> you also have social and cultural books about to ask about such as you mentioned dr. spock. there's a couple of books in this collection and a book called the big book. >> we thought was very important to look at non-fiction and books that either were self-help and kind of broke barriers of certain kinds. we looked across the bogden broad spectrum. we didn't want to limit ourselves to a particular genre
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or a particular kind of book or certain kind of author or writing style. we looked for many books that were innovative that kind of showed america as an innovative country. as a country that looked for practical solutions that shared her experience is broadly but used books and stories to inspire going to the frontier and that could be literally or in the intellectual sense. stat care of the library of congress you were in charge of the process? >> that is an interesting question. it was definitely a very large committee with no chair person, which i think is interesting. we have a number of discussions as people brought forth titles. and so, believe it or not, it was not all that difficult to select these books because i think as you will find this is not a definitive list. there is no article that shaped
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america in the title of this exhibition. and so, we really decided that what we wanted to do to choose books public get america talking about books, and that wasn't as difficult to find consensus on as may be choosing the 56 or the 100 books. and so we didn't need a chair person. >> some of the books have created social movements. i am thinking on the tarbell, upton sinclair, rachel carson. >> i think one of the interesting things are that they not only created social movements but some even lead to legislation. so, we see it is a jungle and creighton the forerunner legislation to the food and drug administration. so not only the social movements but actually the legislation, the social change. >> y88? >> it is where we just decided
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to stop. it's commonly associated with a definitive list. so, we avoid it ten, 25 and 100. beyond that, it was kind of up for grabs. we think it is a good number. it won't give anybody the impression that we mean in this is the 88. >> poetry and religious books? >> we have quite a few of exemplars of poetry running the span of the centuries. we've got well, walt whitman, allen ginsberg, and we try to be very clear of the poetry has been an impressive part of america's history and that americans have been very committed to those writing and reading poetry and i think that continues today. >> what about religious books? >> we have a holographic bible. a lot of the books while they wouldn't necessarily be associated with a religion have
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a moralistic or kind of a deutsch do good. so they felt but was more representative of america than our values than what be a particular religious book to read as we try to look at the value of america, her spiritual sort of persona rather than looking at particular religious books. >> how did you get your start at the library of congress? >> my goodness. i started over 30 years ago was this person believed to first special assistant fresh out of law school. i fell in love with the library of congress and 30 plus years ago as of today you cannot keep me away. on a run to work every morning. and i think that working here and being here surrounded by books, manuscripts, musical
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scores, movies, the whole gamut of what is knowledge of america is such a thrill and privilege that you are going to have trouble. >> is this open to the public? >> it is entirely open to the public. it's open through the end of september. we had a virtual version of the exhibit on the web site, and part of this exhibit, part of the conversation is an open website where we are asking people from all over the world to comment on the books we have selected, but also to tell us why you think something selected shouldn't be on the list and even more important why you think something that should be on the list should be added and we want to hear from you. so far we have heard from over 5,000 people, and we encourage a free to go to our website,
3:58 pm and you will find the list of the books and you will also find the opportunity to complete a very brief form telling us what you think of the book and what should be on the list. >> the west but you have one here was published in 2010 to the estimate we decided to put a cut off. if we are going to be looking at books that shape america, we have to give them an opportunity, given the opportunity to prove their worth in saving america. so this is an organic endeavor by the library of congress. we intend to keep looking at books that keeping america. and we thought about a decade that is a good place to stop. since we are in a 2012 now let's stop and 20 o2 and we will keep revisiting it. >> some of the leader books you have in here, 1987 and cesar chavez, 2006. >> they are. the book had a huge influence as
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we talked about earlier gains research and raising our consciousness about the terrible disease and a leading voice of farm workers and of america. >> roberta shaver come in your books in the exhibit for the best sellers in their time? >> many of them were best sellers and many of them continue to be and haven't gone out of print. even though that wasn't a specific criterion many of them have carried american ideals across the world. >> i want to ask about other specific and that is emily dickinson book of poetry to be a stack of course emily dickinson is a must have american poet. but the particular books that we have here in the show is an art book done by a cooperative in cuba, and the have reproduced a book of poetry, and they've also made a facsimile of


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