tv After Words CSPAN February 18, 2014 8:01pm-9:02pm EST
questions and plan to end this event right around [ applause ] >> let start with where the book start and ends: new orleans. did you both decide you wanted to leave washington, d.c. at the same time? or was their discussion about t the move? >> that is a great place to start. ♪ summertime we also have a son who was year and thank you all for coming out. i kept saying she was going to come on a sunday afternoon in the rain. new orleans, the saints are
playing the seattle seahawks today. i want to hear a who dat. he is saying we are an eight point underdog. i say we will win. i loved new orleans 20 years before i met james, but after katrina when he said sugar, we are going to become a sliver on the river. i am from chicago, and anybody from the midwest, you know know words that follow sugar you are going to melt. i was nervous about having the
girls who i had high academic expectation to be near the academic record of 11 years louisiana state university. i will let you pick it up from there, honey. >> thank you very much. when it became public they moving, they called me and i said i am like an old jew, i am going back to jerusalem. i have the events of 2005, i lived up river from new orleans and my grandmother was from there. i assumed the culture would always be there for my use and pleasure whenever i wanted.
then stories came about whether people were coming back. and i read there were a thousand trumpets lost in the storm. and understand that the thing that sets new orleans off from every other place in the united states and we are not a very economically significant area in terms of political power. we are very little. 380,000 people in the city. but what we are is probably one of the most culturally significant places in the world. we have an culture you know whau see. you know the food and the music and a carnival view, and a new orleans funeral, architecture. and the idea this whole thing could go was just like tire --
terrifying to me. -- and my wife has always loved the sounds, fragance and the running of the street car sounds like no other placeism. but it is fragile. politically, culturally and environmentally. i was in a big depression. we were down there in '07 and she was as much for it as i was. i plotted and scheme and a couple other things i will not use to get to washington. i loved it here. i love the airport. the parks. my friends. but i had to go back home.
i had to. it was funny -- well not funny, but the day we moved is like the day that time died. june 13th. i put it in a book. i was in the car going to a grocery store in uptown new orleans and al hunt called me and said i have the worst news you can imagine. and it was almost like, you know, you want a leaf and i kind of open the book there but, i really, and i think we were -- we look back and talk about it sometimes, it has turned out great. the city is doing well. it is one of the great success stories.
now it is better it seemed like a cool and smart thing to do. the gamble we took moving our children, who were then very young, and like a place with a culture, it is hard to break into it if you are a child. it isn't the easiest thing. if you were not there for katrina it is like you didn't fight in the battle. there was an element of risk involved. there was still stuff stacked up from the storm. it is nowhere near where it is today. it is like walking into a casino and
putting $10,000 on black and it showed up on black. >> i hope that was a metaphor. and we love washington still. my daughter came back because she said i don't provide enough structure and she is at boarding school. i want to say something about politics. if you are at rock bottom line katrina, you don't get to have disputes, you have to come up with solutions. james did a pole and i said i could not support everything from the governor but on the practical conservative issues i
would be in and lead whatever the three republicans that are in new orleans for him. but to be a voice and to watch politics and policy work and work quickly is such an inspiration. like we think, you know, this sense of a loss of confidence in all of our institutions. things can change fast as people want to change them. if people want to protect something they love, which they did in new orleans. we went to 15 feet under water to by the super bowl we were number one in the silicone valley south and i could go on and on but this is progress. there is a way to make progress.
and while i am here i want to make a pitch about coastal restoration. you should care about coastal restoration. 40% of the seafood, energy and your food comes up and down that river and that coast and land is eroding and it will impact the entire country and economy. there are issues we agree on except for this 8-point underdog today. we like being on the same side of things. >> let's talk a second about something you are not on the same side of: cats. [laughter] >> i just have to say this: the presence of many cats is not proof of crazy cat ladism.
i do take james' point of cat hair in the butter isn't pleasant. one day i came down and my favorite cat -- i have 12 of them. this was black cat. it is hard to get creative. half of his face was charred off. and he was getting near the butter and somehow the stove turned on and burned half his face off. so we have some instances of kitty pyromania in the house. i have a few dogs and pets rats and birds but most of them are rescu rescued. and this is a good rescue place. we have a great humain society here in washington.
so about animals. we have brought them animals and people who are having a difficulty resocializing -- you may remember when the dahli lama was here he came to the battered women's shelter and i have a larger interest in animals. and i am going to agree with you that we should put a lid on the butter. [laughter] i could ride a horse before riding a bike. i raised a pig that won a ribbon in the 4-h. call me weird, i don't like animals in the food prep spots. when i see a cat licking the
room -- that turns me off. but i am fine. i could still get on a horse. i had the best childhood you can imagine. when i was young, my grandfather grew rice. and that is nothing but mud and water. and there is nothing better for a five yoorear old on a july da. sgr >> he is not an anti-hero. he knows what the animals mean to me. they are not allowed in his office and he doesn't know any of their names. one time we had to go to the emergency vet i heard him saying why can't these bastards learn how to cross the street.
[laughter] >> i don't get the whole animal kingdom he says. >> this is for james. i have one just fwr for james and one just for mary. you decided to give up local elections and only do foreign elections. why did you make that decision? >> when president clinton won i was 48. i didn't want to be a guy in center field having fly balls hit me in the head. i saw it going on. and you know, it is kind of hard but you go back to that time of is clinton sending someone in and what does this or that mean. and you know the real truth is that in the united states once you become a famous person you have to earn a living being a famous person. if you try to do real work, it doesn't work. i have done, i think, 22
different countries. and i like it. the last trip i took was to indonesia. i took the newark to singapore flight. i enjoy doing that. i do it now much more limited. i was involved in u.s. politics for a while. i was a campaign manager. i didn't sell a firm or have a direct television spot. i got paid for working 20 hours a day, you know? it was a decision that i made and i look back on it and i made bad decisions in my life but that wasn't one. the last time i did one -- the
'92 campaign, the cellphone was as big as george snef lofs. and i am reading the stuff about the data and that is good. there is something to be said for overstaying your time. and you know, it is nothing you will be remembered for. and you and i have a common affection for sports. there is nothing worse than to see a former great athlete trying to take another year out there. there is a time for everything. there was a time for me to do it. >> can i add to this? not to butt into your questions,
but because there is an emerging perception that people in politics, political operatives or whatever -- well, when we got into it and i am happy to be 60. i am an empty nester. >> i wish i was 60. >> he is almost 60. very upset the girls are both gone and his life is over. i am chopped liver, i guess. in our day, you didn't make money. when we were married, we had nothing. he had a bike that i bought him. he never had a car. maybe he had a horse, i don't know. so getting out of domestic
polit politics -- we care about what it is the political system is trying to deliver. so james, at my request and the state department's request joined me to teach the iraqi women had to codify rights in their constitution. we did the ukraine together. and i think you volunteer to do these things because freedom around the world isn't born. politics as a sport or game there are a lot of people involved and that is not why they are involved in it. i will say the women in iraq didn't understand that james was
saying except he said one thing they got and they made t-shirts for him that said -- you finish the story. >> just if i am thinking about it is the hardest thing in democracy is not having the first election, it is having the second. if you lose,ia you leave. i also say the most secular part in the country is when the president ges gets on the helicopter and leaves. the camp drivers from africa follow u.s. politics here more than you can imagine. and they are like there he is. and i said why do you guys find
fascinating about politics. and he said when somebody loses they leave. the only way you leave is you get shot and leave in a pine box. so i see that a lot. one of my favorite stories about the foreign stuff is an old friend of mine asked me to meet with a man who was running for the president of afghanistan. so, you know, i talked to him and i'll called richard wholebrook at the state department and i said is there any problem working with him and he said james this is finest man, i know. and i did research and i said i know he is a fine guy and i don't think he can pay my afffat
to be honest. and he said you are a member of the john kennedy administration -- you go! i go to kabal and stay in the guy's house and write a plan and on the way out he gives me a rut. and i got reimbursed two weeks later. i didn't make money but i wasn't out $13,000 for the ticket. >> you want to hear what we might about. you would think thia guy going kabul would have asked me something about security. no, he is driving around in some little bus, you know, and ied's
everywhere and with the traffic stops you can get blown up. >> the house there totally blew up. writing a campaign plan for afghanistan was really different. we got 1%. which is what we predicted to get. it was a great guy and experience. >> can't win them all. >> what is the old saying people say they have lost races and call political consultants and people that never lose a race are called liars. >> mary, it is 1992, the election is over, you don't have a job or much money and you end up on what you call the first chick fight show. and you also write that the show was great until it became a hit.
exmain -- explain what you mean by that. >> i never wanted to be on tv. i don't like being on tv to this day. i like radio a bit. and i will say the joke -- i have a face for radio. but when george h bush was loosing, who i adore, people started jumping the ship and the worst the numbers got i went out there. so i became the face of the loosingest campaign and he became the hero of don't stop thinking about tomorrow -- and
not only did i have no job. i had no prospect of a job pause because i was a looser. i had a mortgage. unlike him who lived in an apartment with a murphy bed. so i got the call do you want to do tv and i said i hate television. and she said you are good on television and i said i am own good when i have a topic. i had to pay the bills. and i didn't think anybody was watching it. it was like wayne's world on estrogen. we would have a bottle of wine and talk about anything we wanted. this was before cnbc was there. when i say it was such a low bej budget show.
we would go out in the hallway to pull in the furniture. and then it became this cult hit. and people started sending us furniture because we were complaining about the furniture. and then the senators and congress people don't follow this stuff but their staffers do. so we started getting great guest. and then it became -- when you have a hit everybody gets involved and you had to fix your hair and get different clothes and do real interviews. so i quit. [laughter] >> my favorite moment of the show was tony corn house was the regular guest. and mary january was singing
into hair brushes and she was -- he was -- offended he did haven't a hair brush. >> and tony corn insisted on going to get -- we didn't have hair and make-up -- but he went and got his eye brows, and his hair done. tony, if you are watching, you know this. >> i still pick on the point spread against tony. i have san diago this ye-- diego -- and i will tell you the number of people that i run into like in washington that say i heard your picks on tony's radio show, it is like stunning the
kind of following. >> did you pick against us? >> i never pick against us. i think the weather is going to be horrible. i cannot think about the 4:30 kickoff. and we have national tickets and i will never give those out. i love sports. they have always been a big part of my life. and you know, it is great because i am home and i go to the lsu games, the saints and the pelicans -- well, let's talk about something else versus the pelic pelicans. >> i have one political question. what is one piece of advice each of you would give to your own party that they are not doing currently that would improve
that party. >> well, i don't like doing tv, but i am on tv enough to not be saying this for the first time and not the last time i will say it. republicans have to be republicans. they cannot be a lesser version of democrats. i grew up as a democrat on the south side of chicago and i became a conservative when i started reading and paying taxes. i know why i am a conservative and we have a long history of what works and what doesn't work. and good intent isn't the equivalent of good outcome. and why republicans can't, in a full-throated way, say what the alternative to good intention
politics or call people against success crazy birds and turn around and be for exactly what they called the crazy bird. so were the midterm, and everybody wants to jump to 2016. it is going to be based on what happens in 2014 as is always the case. i think in 2014, we will look at the records of governors elected in the 2010 mini tsunami. look at what mitch did in new orleans. and look at what happens when you incentivize business by lowering taxes and having balanced budgets. i don't think we talk about that enough.
i think we are too defense about -- we spend too much time defending strawm men. the obama people accuse us of hating women and we spend time saying we love women. that is a waste of time. we need to quit being so defensive about things that are not true and focus on what works. >> let me say it is unbelievable between the republican and the democrats. if you want to live like a republican, which i do, vote like a democrat. [laughter]
>> we have, in my opinion, a terrible problem in this country and it has been going on for a long, long time. we chase this all of a sudden the deficit is going to kill us. then health care cost. then energy dependence. the thing we have been unable to do, and unable to do for a long time, is grow income. and we go and we have every other thing we do and we chase and everything that comes and every deal and there is not -- where is the jointed committed on income growth? where is the foundation that does this? where is the person saying 80% of the country over time is
staga stagant? we know how to create wealth, we just don't know how to distribute it. so i think the democrats should be clear with a message and we have done a lot of research on this. there is no one thing you will do to get income to grow. there is some things you can do to help. so we, and this is just -- i am not an eonomist, obviously, but i think the emp -- emphasis on inequality is missing the point. if your income isn't going, it isn't so much the other's guy grew, it is yours hasn't grown. if yours grew 20% that would be
much better. so we should say this the job and i think the president can easily say we have an economic crisis we had to deal with bank failures and a lot of things. but now our charge for the future in the country is to somehow or another bring the prosperity across the great forth of the country. the more we tell that story, and the simpler, the better off we will be. everything we do, bills before congress, speeches, and people going out and talking -- that should be the defining mission of the democratic party. >> and the last place that is going to come from, to quote a former democratic president, the era of big government is over. if we want to do with what he is
saying, we agree it has to start locally and up the states. it can't trickle down if i can use that term. that is not politics >> now we are going to your questions. there is a microphone there and there and i will alternate as people get to them. we will start here. >> hi, james and mary. good to see you. thanks for what you are doing. what do you both think of ken star now in retrospect? and the other thing i want to ask you is when you guys were stratagizing ask and talking about com pains, did you every accidently convey to your team
the strategy of the others? and how would you protect that if something needed to be done and suddenly it was conveyed to the other side? >> let me say i admire ken start but i have not thought about him in ten years. at the time of the crazy, i had my first born and i was post partum and all i cared about is my husband defending a lie. and he said sugar if i did something that stupid with a girl that young, i would lie about it, too. [laughter] >> that is as far as i want to think about that. as for the larger issue of honor and integrity, i was 40 when we
got married and he was 39. i had been doing politics since college. we are jekyll and hyde. there is the dearest wife you will have and then there is the mary madalene and there has never been an issue for us. we call it the burden of knowledge. even if it is isn't something i don't care about, he says i am not going to tell you because you don't need the burden of knowledge. and we have physical restraints. i have my fox fair and balanced and he has his own espn room. and his own closet and bathroom.
so there is no fear of sharing confidences. but in the larger sense, messages are not secret and if they are, that campaign that is keeping the message secret are going to lose. >> i think by all accounts he is doing a heck of a job at baylor. i think athletically he is doing well. and probably academically. and i am glad he is there. the think i am the most proud of is i was the first person out there defending clinton. not because i really long him but because i was ofepd --
offended -- by the overstepping there. i was in boka raton giving a speech and this was like in early january of '99. so q&a and i get a question and she says i have a question for you. i saw you and your beautiful wife and two precious young children on meet the press during the holidays. and i said yes, ma'am. and she said how would are they and i said one is three and one is one. she said this is my question: they are not going to be little girls for long. they are going to grow up. and they will find out all of the sorry things bill clinton
did and the thinks he did in the oval office and the disgusting things and they will find out how their daddy went out and defended him. and they will go to you and ask you why did you do that and i want to know what ioyou are goi to tell yourself. and i said to myself heck. and i said the answer girls i am going to write this. there was a time when a friend did one bad thing. and i had i am going to forgive the bad thing and stick with a friend. sometimes you will run across situations where you have a good friend do a bad thing. want you to pause and look at
the eye. you are a good girl and daddy knows that. and daddy knows that sometimes good girls do bad things. and if that happens, the lesson i want you to take is your tell your daddy first, i will be the first to forgive you. it is over. history rendered their judgment. the people rendered their judgment. for those people that are there will remember it forever. i am glad bill is doing well. and he is at fine school and probably happier he is there. >> he is the best daddy in the world but when they do bad things the first thing they say is don't tell daddy. is don't tell daddy.
>> name one thing you would >> name one thing you would change about governor christy's press conference? >> we don't talk about policy because if you are a plumber during the day you don't want to fix your toilet at night. i would have changed the dureration and wouldn't have talked about my pjs. -- duration -- and i think i said after that, and i don't know when kathleen parker's article is coming out, but james thought about this for hours and he had all kinds of strategy and
he went on wolf to think about it. so take it away james. >> this thing about a scandal that makes it and this was true with clinton. everybody understood it. this isn't the lie bar, fixed interest rates thing. this is like the real deal. i was asked and what i would have done is not gone to the mayor. i would have gone to the people of fort lee. also the problem with this is that everybody is from -- whatever we know now, we know we will know more. i mean it is the nature of everything. it is hard, sometimes it is hard to get all of the kind of information out.
but look, what he needs right now, i think the best thing is to investigate and let's wait until that comes out. and then shutdown. it has become a standard thing. and there is no reason you can not talk to an investigation. but say we cannot say anything because we will wait. and finding criminality is one thing. hopefully christy says we are not charging anybody with a criminal act and he says that is fine. but the more you say the mor trouble you get in. >> he said christy should have dressed up in a tollbooth and let people get in and out of fort lee. that was a good idea. >> i would have worked the
tollbooth. i would have had bridget ann kelly scrubbing commodes on the turnpike. people understand this. this is like -- and if you stop and you actually think about it, you go damn, man, they shutdown the bridge down? they really did that? >> can you tell he has adhd. >> what advice do you give young people thinking about getting into politics? >> there is a chapter in the become and i wrote everything and then i was going to cut, cut cut. and the publisher left it infelt
you will never be more idealistic than you are at this age. the beauty of age is wisdom but the terror is realism. so don't be afraid of anything, dry cleaning, coffee, learn, pick a mentor and don't be afraid to ask. people who have done it want to teach you. and think outside the box. we don't know any of the twitter stuff. my best friend says you need to get a twitter account. and i said if you are over 30 and you like a glass of wine after 10:00 at night you don't need a twitter. we need people like you. and james teaches at tulane i
work with loyola and that is why we are so optimistic. you are a much better generation than we deserve. and don't judge the current politics. bring your idealism to it. >> i am nice when asked but i will tell them it is the wrong question. i want to say what advice do you have. and i said you are you, and follow your passion. you cannot look to me who is 69 years old and came up at a different time. one of the great women of washington were sally smith. her lab school looks like a
college and the children had learning disabilities and sally would bring people in and you would have a banquet and it was myself and clarence page and kelly mcgillis. and a guy with a ford. and they would bring you in and they would raise a lot of money and it was a cool thing. you were glad to do it. and you get with these kids. and so we were sitting up there and i asked the kids and said how many want to grow up and be like us. and i said no. you want to be like you. there is nothing wrong with you. don't aspire to be another person. be yourself. because if you to be somebody else you are going to fail. every time i have not succeeded or made a fool out of myself, i tried to be somebody other than me. and in so, i tell my young people in my class, it isn't
important what i think, it is only important that you thing. my job is to be a provocter. i am supposed to get you -- and one thing i decided to cover this spring is this nsa data gathering. i don't know much about it. there are dangerous people in the world but it seems like a lot of information for somebody to have. i find out i teach better if i do that. if we bring people in and explore the kind of thing. and hopefully, at the end of the thing, i have a better opinion. i do a-l you are for the
keystone pipeline and m-z is against it. so for an exam they will have to advocate on ten issues and they don't know the side they will have to argue on. you will not be successful being me. and i am not be successful being you. you have to find out yourself, your passion, and your talent level and your weaknesses. >> be yourselves. and the kids said don't worry about that. people say are you raising your children to be democrats or republicans i said there is a connection between them listening to what i tell them? i am just trying to get them to
close the door. >> this is going to have to be the last question over here. sorry about that. but we don't have time for more >> the movie t"the war room" compared the campaign people into folk heroes and made it a cool career. and i think more and more people would like to be the person that steps into a campaign and turns it all around. what do you think about the legacy of that? >> we love penny balker and them and that was great film. but if you really want to know what it is like, boy "boys on the bus" and "what it takes".
i have never seen those. it is too painful to watch. but they played a clip of it from me in one of these shows i was doing. i look like something one of my 12 cats dragged in. you have to love your guy. you have to love your team. but it isn't glamorous and you're not going to make a lot of money >> that thing has survived and i mean, if you look at it and remember two things about it, one there was no narrator. and two nothing was scripted. no one said this was the democratic election. no one told you.
there was no narrator. nothing appeared to help you. to pull that off creatively was dich difficulty. people like they they feel like they get what the campaign wants you to get. people feel like they are getting to see something that would normally not be available. it wasn't strategic but they felt a sense of realness. if you are going to have somebody make a movie about you have a brilliant filmmaker and penny was that. did you will see this "american
hustle"? that is a good movie. that is what carries that thing. i want to tell you how honored we are at this press club and having you all turn out. and we are proud of the book and glad we could share it with you. i want to thank the press club for doing this. >> we are surprised. we said whose coming out on sat afternoon in the rain. can i have a final who dat? thank you. [ applause ]
community and the classes were in the same classroom. and there were a lot of mary's. my parents never called me mary. my name was kathy. but my best friend's name was kathy. so she decided in the third grade she would rename me. she had already read hundreds of books by the time she was in the third book and heidi was one of her great books and she gave me that name and it stuck. >> and we will talk to johnter thune about how his grand father changed the family name. >> they came to ellis island and
didn't know any english. they were asked to change names because they thought it would be too hard to speak it. they picked the name of the farm where they lived and that was the thune farm. they d they got to ellis island and had a sponsor and went to work on the railroads in south dakota. you are watching c-span 2. weekdays we feature live coverage of the united states senate. and on the week night we cover what happened. and on the weekend, we have
population. and we have new arrivals from somalia, from russia, from laos and we have the traditional population from northern europe, sweden, norway, and the traditional african-american tradition that is growing. but greg wilkins is from here. people start businesses and you can get any food you want. we have a strong tradition of tolerance. we have intolerance, too. but the congressman who stood against the war was here.
and paul woodstone's support came from my district. and the vice president walter mondale is from. and he lost his beloved wife joan recently. so it is a remarkable place. >> your role on capital hill, you are a co-leader of the progressive caucus? >> and one of the five reps that whip hoyer relies on to count the vote. i am on the steering and policy committee and the financial service committee. i am a proud member of the democratic caucus. >> you are a new congressman when you talk about colleagues serving decades.
why write the become now? >> after peter king, my colleague from new york, decided that he was going to use his place as the chair of the homeland security division, to talk about the violence in muslim, and i went to him and said i don't mind you talking about violent muslim radicals. but i ask you to not only focus on muslims. there are a lot of national security threats in the homeland. and he had no, i am going to do it the way i am going to do. but i will let you testify. and i said okay. and this was the decision that was causing controversy on my part because i went back to friend and said he invited me to
testify and some said don't d dignify them by testifying and others said get our opinion out. i went with the latter. i talked about a 23-year-old muslim who ran into the burning towers as a first responder on new york and died. this young muslim man paid the ultimate sacrifice for americans. and i got emotional during my testimony and that got attention. and after that, a friend name karen hunter, who is now a friend, called me and said i am a pu