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tv   Lea Berman and Jeremy Bernard Treating People Well  CSPAN  July 14, 2018 2:30pm-3:30pm EDT

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book about trumps america. but i have a have a ton of other books. james patterson is one of my favorite authors. i also read bill clinton's book the day it came out. i read everything. including a light romance to escape the world. book tv wants to know what you're reading. or on facebook. book tv television for serious readers. [inaudible conversations] thank you for coming to the white house luncheon.
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it is a real treat for us and have not one but two social secretaries with us today. and i am sure they are very grateful that they did not had to plan and execute this white house luncheon. one of our guest today is a democrat won a republican. they aren't afraid to be friends they support one another. and the even show up in public together. originally from a small town in ohio lee berman served as white house social secretary from 20142007 under president and mr. george w. bush. prior to that. to the second lady lynn, cheney. and served as social secretary is president cheney. they landed those jobs she was in the right place at the right time. and having known of her for many years as she tells it she
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has been an event planner entire adult life. including as a wife full-time mom to two now adult daughters. she hosts a daily blog called america's table which i now had bookmarked on my own computer up at my desk. don't tell anybody. hints and treats. home life and cooking and for -- and food. and tips on entertaining and etiquette which she says is not just about knowing which for two years it's about treating each other with kindness even and especially in the anonymous abyss of the internet. our second guest today originally hails from san antonio texas but now is a fellow southern california. under president and mrs. obama from 201-12-2015.
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jeremy is the first man ever to serve in this role at the white house. and while that was a big news at the time he managed to keep a very low profile in order to do his job. it's all white house staffers he earned a reputation of being both extraordinarily efficient. when managing literally hundreds of events with a very young staff and their essay it a lot of laughter. before serving in the obama white house he earned his stripes as a campaign fundraiser for presidential candidate barack obama and then was rewarded with the job as a white house liaison to the national endowment for humanities. from there they were the senior advisor in france. and again, after being in the right place at the right time he landed his role of the white house social secretary. it is a real pleasure to have
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them with us today. i hope you will be ready to ask them some questions later. [applause]. thank you. we are going to get settled in. and before we get to the book i'm sure i'm not the only one in the room who is very interested in your background. so can you tell us what you get to be the social secretary of the united states. it's very different for every person who has have the job i believe. traditionally, they were daughters of governors or senators or their families were in politics in some very formal and aristocratic way. it hasn't been like that for some time now. i grew up in a small farm in ohio. i went to washington after
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college. and i worked at the center for strategic study. then i was a full-time mother for ten years. and then was the best possible experience to be a social secretary. and after that. a friend of mine said mrs. cheney is looking for social secretary. you should talk with her. and that's kind of how it all happened after that. i found myself going from the carpool lane to using the white house e-mail property. i'm very fortunate that i was pushed back into the workforce that way. i have just moved to paris to start working for the u.s. ambassador and i got a text or e-mail that said would you be willing to throw your hat in the ring for this job.
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not in a million years. but i thought sure. i went to washington dc and have a meeting with all of the senior staff in the west wing and then as i was going over to the east east wing to meet mrs. obama i realized these meetings are going really well. but what am i getting myself into it this was to happen. after mrs. obama came in and we're talking a little bit. i said i have to be really honest with you. i'm not good at arranging flowers. i'm not certain in the right i'm the right guy for this job. don't worry about it. you will have people there that will help you with that. and how do we get more people that have never been here into the white house. it was when i got it. i was kind of like this is
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surreal. it's never been a job i thought i would help you i am interested most white house staffers don't actually interview with the boss the interview underneath. you two actually interviewed with the boss. i'm interested what is her question. i was asked to come see mrs. bush and the family residence. there is a big fan. that you see on television shows about the white house. and the sun was shining in and everything was beautiful. they were so warm and welcoming and pleasant. she started talking about the job as if i have already had it. and saying things like i want to entertain a lot more. i need you to work with the chef because they have some issues and we've been we been trying to work with him. it was almost like a list of
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things that i should expect to do. maybe i was talking to her about this. and i was going to recommend someone else. i was so dazzled that i said. we need an upstairs made can you take that over. the interviews in the west wing was one right after another. it was relatively brief. fifteen minutes. the interview lasted an hour. and i said i'd had no idea how it went. i didn't think that this was knock it out of the ballpark. i called my mom on my way back to the hotel and said it is a day i will never forget.
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i was with the first lady and the president. i will remember always. i kind of assumed i was acting to get the job. i went back to paris i did not see all of the articles that were in the washington press. will you fill out this paperwork. but just in case you would you fill it out. then i thought maybe there was a chance. i was surprised when i got that call. she have a good poker face. loader sheet -- later she told me. it's all what you know in the first five minutes. okay. let's talk about this new book. that the two of you had co-authored and you have
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entitled it treating people will the extraordinary power of civility at work and in life. i want you to tell us how did you turn from being the top social workers in the office. and with your different political views how did you decide to write it together. we've been friends since we met. there is a wonderful network of formal white house secretaries. they provide themselves as a resource. we met. and we just clicked. and we stayed friends. and it was very helpful to me at the time that i started a social secretary to be talking to someone like this. she worked for jacqueline kennedy. in the horror stories of things that happened to her. when she first began working in social secretary. they told her that she wanted the friendship and the white
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house. they have heard about the wonderful chef. she called and offered him the job. the chef reported this to his boss the fresh and at -- the fresh investor. being called on the oval office. under no circumstances was she to coach any french chef. in typical social secretary maneuvering. she found another french chef. they have them made a u.s. citizen overnight. so mrs. kennedy got hurt french chef. when you can do something like that overnight. it is a great resource.
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i would call on that. he worked for reagan. i would say does this head to do with that. this is what can happen. it wasn't that they have the magic answer all the time. there were comfort in knowing that others went through the same experiences and i hate to tell this so i will make it as pleasant as possible. did you ever have problems on the holiday perceptions with people getting sick. and eggnog at the white house is really strong. and it have to really quickly. and then the third one and you're like and what would happen as is people would be drinking and it would suddenly hit them.
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they did not want to get sick towards one of the christmas trees. how many will get hit. it was always kind of a game to figure how many trees would get decorated. it was like don't worry. this has happened is happened before. the politics doesn't matter. because we have similar experiences. we were changed by the job we are very focused on making sure that all the event goes smoothly. and that made us very conscious of getting everything right so that we didn't do anything that would embarrass the president in the first lady and the worst possible way.
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that's how we came around to writing the book. with getting along with people more effectively. so that we could make sure that our events and all credit is that i have dinner with a mutual friend of ours. with the reporter at the washington post. you are close to all of the former leads. you guys should write a book together its neck and buy it. u.s. have it covered. i thought that's a great idea. we didn't want to book about entertaining. it did take a little time to figure out what to write.
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what bucket do we wish that we have before we started this job or any job and a lot of it is common sense. >> that leads me to my next question. i think you just said it. it's a great book to have for your job. i can honestly tell you it's not just for that job. it's honestly filled with great stories and little hints and wonderful little tidbits. that really apply to all of us every day. whether you are a stay-at-home mom where the ceo of the company. i looked and i said it's not really an effective topic. this is not your grandmother's attic etiquette book. some people called it dishy. i'm hoping that the two of you can each tell us the most
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frightful behavior that we witnessed during the white house days. and feel free to leave out names if it helps tell the story. there is a lot of fun. at one point in our administration someone that's in an entertainer. will cancel at the last minute. you have no contract because they were doing it for free. you weren't paying for anything other than sometimes the transportation and hotel rooms. it was just there word that they were going to show up. and i thought that's i can happen. the kid steak dinner which is really a lunch. i got a call that the
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entertainment they needed to have a private jet for all of the backup dancers as well. we would have to throw some of the kids out. the demands were outrageous. we can never do it. it would be bad press for both of us. will just head to try to make it another time. we will never pay for entertainment the feeling was how did that happen. i text mrs. obama and i got a text back saying he will have some ideas.
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whatever else. i go in there. can we talk about the kids state dinner. there is a plane is coming over. he wants 60 people. and we looked into it what was the show. the linking was at the kennedy center. we have then come to form. even when i came to talk to the president about it. it was awful. it was really a shock that someone would admit to performing someone like that. i don't want to say the name but it's for rough -- from al
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williams. that were not pain for entertainment at the white house the most difficult gas were always members of congress. there is a sense of entitlement there. and whether it was an individual a senator or the incorrect entire waiting to greet the sender and i saw him pull up to the north portico and he opened the door and i saw him take a bottle and drink something. i took him up to his meeting and i thought that was clearly appalling. you go to the congressional picnics and they all defy the
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rules and they will show up with not just their kids but the ten interns that they just hired that day. and they will be very angry that all of their gas can be cleared in immediately. name, date of birth so security number. all of that information has to be sent to the secret service and they have to come back to us and say yes they can come in. there was no way that we can control that. and then they would come into the picnic which was at least 1200 people i was always a very hot and they would just smother the president and first lady. it was quite unpleasant for them. many of them would be overserved as we would say. and had trouble finding the porter parties. and they would all sort of stumble home with their centerpieces tucked under their arms. i'm sure there's wonderful members of congress.
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it's funny. in talking with my predecessors everyone have the same reaction. the most feared event every year as a congressional picnic. it would happen in the summer. it was hot. to your point i was as everyone was leaving. you can to kind of push people long and assembly. i noticed one congress woman it was heading towards a food warmer. i realized i think he thinks that support a party. there was a moment where bad jeremy said where they said to sit back and watch this.
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i said the exit is over there. i still go back and forth whether i should have let that happen. the little devil on your shoulder. i think a lot of people think that the white house social secretary. and that is certainly one of the toughest jobs that is never discussed in an interview. and it's certainly not on the job description. but it seems to me that it's not so much about the politics but about the people as we just talked about. i wonder if you tell a little story and we do want names this time that gives us hope that people really can be good to one another. >> my favorite story about this.
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for most people coming to the white house. it's a really important milestone. and they tell their family about it. they want to take him a little paper napkins. they're very proud of it. my favorite thing was watching people enter the white house for the first time. and they look around at the columns and you can just see them thinking. i share a common heritage. with all the people that lived in this house. they often become very emotional. it's just a very lovely reinforcing thing. i'm sure that every social secretary has seen it many times. is positive.
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we have a lunch. for the family. and then about a week later i got a letter handwritten letter laura bush had called my assistant laura wants to send something to jeremy met someone sends something to the white house. anything that goes to the white house becomes public record. i got home one day. and have this beautiful handwritten note from mrs. bush saying how welcomed they felt in the personal china from upstairs. she noticed everything. and think the chef for making enchiladas which is one of president bush's favorite meals. getting something like that and just the moment it is thoughtful. and it really means a great
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deal. that's in the book. that's one of the topics in the book. going through. and be consistent. having self-confidence using humor and charm. you call them the great equalizers. they are just a few of the 12 practices. that they're there illustrated in the book. they all sound obvious. common sense but not all of them come easy to most people. i'm going to ask each of you if you have to choose just one place to start which practice would fall at the top of the list and why. the top of the list because of the times we live in now. we've a lot of benefits of technology. in getting information so quick. because of coming accustomed to immediate response that sometimes people don't step
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back and really listen in one of the things listen person speak last. to get people to really listen to someone else. when i see someone at a store. when they are talking to someone. and they are at a cashier or something. i find unbelievably rude. because you're not even acknowledging the person right across the way. and it is one of the more important things for these times. i also think humor is an incredibly powerful tool we often say i'm not naturally funny or i'm not naturally charming. all these are learned
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behaviors. there are people that are naturally funny like jeremy there people like me to have to try to find a way to learn that. and the most favorite and beloved president and this is perfectly fitting to be talking about ronald reagan here today. to tell my favorite story and every event that we do. we've never been able to prove that this actually happened. it is a story about president reagan. in windsor park. and at one point they have a prolonged though. i thought it was divorce. that kind of natural humor. and to be the individual can set in a tent meeting. to be able to work together again. it's a very powerful thing.
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i cannot confirm the story although i know the president pretty well. it sounds just like him. i'm a go with i think that is true. we will open it up for questions. i want to ask each of you without getting yourselves in trouble politically as a one person in washington dc today that you would like to have read your book. and if he or she only has time for one chapter which one would you recommend. i would like to give it there is a built in animosity. i think bad behavior is unfortunately very contagious. when you see someone acting ridley are being inconsiderate it seems to grow because it's giving permission.
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there is some he thinks. .. .. don't scream and less they are putting your lives in danger, what's the matter? it will take another 30 seconds. my reaction was what i learned, when it is to scream, hawk and curse. >> which doesn't work. >> doesn't work. we are going to open up to questions. we have someone with a microphone, so please wait for someone with the microphone because
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we are streaming. >> of this is great. i have a very shallow question. when people come to dinner at the white house, do they ever let the silverware? >> it's been known to happen. >> can you tell? >> there is some beautiful old silver that is engraved and we just stopped using it because we didn't have enough pieces to use it because it had been taken, but now, we use a something you would see with any caterer so there's less desire to take it. >> president obama would say at holiday parties, take the napkins, take the towels downstairs in the restrooms. don't take the silverware because it's rented. it's not from here because you know, it's a somewhat natural and leah told me about this for the nameplates at eight place. there's an eagle.
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it's very attractive and guess would take it, so i was told early on to pick up those before dessert because most people don't think about it until it's towards the end of and one of the problems was when we would be short, there was the budget to buy that, i mean, it was like-- they were like $50 each, but if we were short it's not like we will get the slush fund to pay for it we really didn't have an account to pay for that stuff was so it wasn't that we wanted to be greedy with it, but we really couldn't part with it. >> i would go to someone and say politely i believe you just put the place card holder in your pocket in that stays here at the white house and they would dish it out sheepishly and give it out. >> the card you would
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allow them to take? >> yes. >> those alone are so special. if you have a place card from the white house you are a rare person to have that, so seems to me they would be happy with that, but yes, i can see anything not wired down sadly even to let come to white house events they may take everything on the table. another question right here? >> i have two quick questions. when general and one specific. the general one is, if he were to hire the next secretary what would be the top quality? >> that's a good question. but, i think there is something about-- we both when we started these are jobs, we talked about it. we were like what are we doing here? how did we get here?
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, but you played off as if you belong, so i think we all have our insecurities, but one important thing is to put on-- because it is enough in yourself. i think everyone at the white house feels like when will they find out the mistake they have made an on going to be thrown out of here, so you don't want to in front of your staff appear to be in certain and so that in a sense of humor, i mean, it's hard to say one: detail is important so that domination and a sense of humor is really important, most of all because when someone says or does something it could be a guest or someone else at the white house you have to let it go and sometimes they can be catty or reviewed and you just have to let it go and that's not always easy. >> for various reasons which we get into in our book as children that neither of us were particularly extroverted
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and when you go through a stage in your life where you feel like an outsider, i think it changes how you deal with people afterwards and i think we were better social secretaries for having a sense of how uncomfortable and intimidated many times people would be when they come to the white house, so we would make the extra effort to make them feel welcome, so i would say every social secretary needs to be able to reach out to be comfortable and make people feel comfortable there because that is actually the most important part of the job. >> building a bridge between the guests. >> it's not always easy. one time for kennedy center honors, before the ceremony of the family members of the honorees go out and sit in the east room where the ceremony will take place and meryl streep was being honored that year and someone took her family onset i'm sorry-- no, i'm glad you got rid of them, but
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come sit down with me i'm so nervous i was like you are nervous. i'm so nervous and i said i think the president is more nervous about him meeting you and she said no, i'm so nervous. a she just wanted for so doesn't who it is, everyone has that and it's important to recognize it and be sensitive to it even went to recognize everyone is a person. they all have emotions. question over here? >> did you ever have anyone try to change their place cards at the dinner table and how did you handle it? >> change the place cards. unless it was at the president's table, if it was last-minute the only thing-- no one changed tables because that is a problem because then someone else will go to the table, but they would change places and you know, it was
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annoying, understandably. but, unless it was that the president and first lady's table i didn't do it. if someone moved themselves to sit next to him it was, like that's obvious. >> we had social secretaries often started from a deficit of goodwill because so may people think they should be invited to the white house and when they are not they tend to blame us like we took them off the guest list and is so years afterwards we would run into people that would comment. i know jeremy would hear from people that would say i was never invited while you were there and at one point there is a restaurant in washington called the palm and their alerts of caricatures on the wall and i went to dinner with my husband about a year into working as the social secretary and i looked over at my caricature and someone took a fork and stuck it all over my face and i
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thought this has to be someone that think i took them off the guest list, so it made us the extra carefully nice to people when we could because in truth social secretaries really don't take people at the list. other people around the white house do. >> we can't exactly say oh, valerie jarrett said no, so we were often the bad guys. >> absolutely. question over here? >> very shy crowd. >> thought i saw a hand over here. it is a shy crowd. >> jeremy, i have a question regarding the couple that stuck into a party. how did that happen? how did they get checked how did they get in and they were not on the guest list? >> lee knows it even better than i do because i was-- yes, let's make that clear. [laughter]
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but, in fact, on june 7, 2011, was my first estate dinner, but jeremy was out the rose garden and it was gorgeous, but i couldn't relax for any of it because you know anything could go wrong and that's what makes the story. that they crash certainly did put the fear in the white house that lasted the entire administration. it was-- we-- unfortunately the people that really suffered our guests now because it's such a process. you have to show your id multiple times. >> worse than the airplane. >> it's really awful and so it's a shame. they got in. it was the first state dinner.
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they were dressed as if they belonged and it was evidently storming that night and the secret service didn't have them on the list, but they were convincing and they got through and unfortunately, it costs the secret service agent a job or to and it was really the bad accidents -- act of them trying to get attention or getting attention that affected a lot of lives. [inaudible] >> there was a production company trying to start a real housewives of washington dc at that time in the couple who were the gatecrashers wanted on the show, so they were trying to impress the producer by saying we got invited to a state dinner and the women dressed in their whole plan was just to get inside, get some photos of me before the dinner started because they would have been discovered that because they had no seats and a
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"washington post" reporter watching the people come through saw them and thought it was really odd and asked some of the staff, but they didn't have time to focus on it until the next morning when they posted these pictures on facebook and people realize what had happened, so it was inconceivable that any white house could have ever foreseen someone tried to do this because they didn't particularly care about coming to the white house. they cared about getting on the tv show. >> [inaudible] [inaudible question] [inaudible question] >> i drank a lot. [laughter] you know, i actually had advised by predecessor, which he took the job
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and i went into the office and i said you should have a big bulletin board or-- that tells every event of every day because we would from 390 to 410 events a year so some days there would be three events and some days there would be nothing, but it was never phased out-- a space out the way you'd wanted to be, so it was keeping an eye and knowing. it was very difficult, i would tell my staff we are so busy going from one event to the other and making money that happen. don't forget to enjoy the history of it because when there is a medal of honor or medal of freedom, this is historic, this is something you are not going to see most likely in your post white house lives. but, it's difficult because you're going from one to the other to the other and i lucked
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out-- well, i changed some of the staff once i got there it was turnover and having a great staff and people that are detailed, i mainly hired people that had been interns for the social office because they worked in the most and had the longest hours and if they could make it through that i felt like they would be -- staff will be easy. >> for every event that happens on the white house grounds with the exception of the oval office and the press room so the coordination point really is in the social office and then we work with the ushers, butlers and various white house staff and of course our bosses to make sure everything is organized and we all know what we are doing, so there was never a time when i walked onto the ground floor and found there was event going on that i didn't know about. >> multitasker, supreme multitasker. we have one over here.
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>> how did your office interface with protocol and the state department >> we did regularly when there were foreign visitors and state visits required more interaction with them and then we also had a lot of interaction with the nsc staff because there were regular lotions with the president and what ever visiting foreign head of state has delegation, so we would get all of those names from them, their order of precedence so i could pass them on to the calligrapher than we would put them in place it was almost always flawless and almost always right. only one occasion i remember when that a mere of kuwait was coming to lunch with president bush and i got the list and we did it just as they said and then when the kuwaiti delegation arrived there was one extra person there and he kind of
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looked around and there was a flurry of arabic and he left and he was escorted out and the next dd that ambassadors wife caused call me and said you caused my wife is a problem yesterday and i said how in she said he thinks my husband that ambassador kept him out of the lunch and now has a political problem at home, so these tiny insignificant things had consequences and i went back and they were apologetic and i'm sure they did with a needed to do to smooth the over which is why being a social secretary can be nerve-racking because something that small can blow up in your face. >> nsc is the national security council. >> there is a coordination point for foreign-policy with the state department within the white house. >> i worked with all the sub protocol on almost a daily basis. what was a benefit for me was the chief of protocol had had a job under the clinton years, so patricia marshall is
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great at, you know, in my first month and i would ask her. she would be here and i would say what did you about this-- >> chief of protocol is assigned to the state department. international protocol on the white house staff >> protocol was great because they would tell us right away when we found out a leader was visiting whether it was for a meeting or a luncheon or a full state visit with their likes and dislikes were. what colors would be offensive if we had flowers if they were white that could be offensive in certain cultures. what to food allergies there were, so we relied on state department and the office of protocol a great deal. that was one thing we didn't have to worry about as much because we knew they had that information. >> during the reagan administration we did
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have one social office events, a state dinner overseas and it was during the visit of president and mrs. reagan to moscow when they hosted a state dinner at the investors home in moscow. either of you hold a state dinner or an event -- state events outside of the white house? >> we-- well, whenever we did one of the summits or aipac depending on a fresher is coming-- depending on if russia was coming. one was at camp david. one was in hawaii. there was one in chicago if it was a white house event we were in charge of it. also, united nations reception when the president would speak at the united nations he would host all of the leaders and so if we are
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the host country then we would have to be there and it made us realize and appreciate how much we enjoy doing things at the white house. not that you really have control over anything. you have a lot more control than in new york where we had to deal with my first un we did at the new york library, which was beautiful, but unfortunately because secret service had to block off so much with pipe and drapes the president and mrs. obama could just as well be in an airport hangar and so you learn let's just do it at the hotel and you just kind of learned by mistake because it wasn't your footprint. it wasn't the usual, which is being at the white house. >> so, we have time for one more question out here.
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>> speaking of state dinner, it's my understanding that now when you have state dinners he serve only american wine. since we're in california, we are interested in knowing how those lines get chosen. >> there was an usher who recently retired and he had connections with all of the vineyards up and down the west coast and he was very clever about it. he would not justify the wind that fit the food, but he would find wine with interesting names and i remember there was a foreign visits with china, which was always problematic for us because countries are always at loggerhead and he chose a wine called conundrum. that was very clever. i'm sure they have someone else doing it now. >> we use that a lot here. >> do you? [laughter]
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>> he was there the entire time i was at the white house and it made it easy because we would have wine-- he would pick out one for state visits. i would have a tasting with mrs. obama and her mom and we would especially we would be drinking the wine. mrs. obama would like have a taste, but it was the ability to choose a great selection to begin with, so that was a big plus for us. >> we have a question right here. >> i'm from pasadena and i enjoyed hearing it, but i was saddened to hear some bad behavior in events with all the alcohol so i was curious why didn't they ever reduce the number of alcoholic drinks or reduce the alcohol level and eggnog and on that thing you were talking protocol and you hear so much about protocol that took place with the british wedding recently and etiquette you are supposed to wear a
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certain thing. was there also that kind of thing to visit the white house? >> well, for the first question, we did started having-- i think it was previous administration started having nonalcoholic eggnog and the recipe is such a tradition that there was this-- you can't mess with the recipe, but we would have the person serving it warned people hey, this is really potent and you have to be careful because people used it to drink a lot more years ago and now i think for a lot of people it hit quicker, but we did certainly offer other alternatives and try. we were very careful of what events we served alcohol. >> hard liquor like st. patrick's day that was particularly a
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liquid event every year, but also really fun and then after a non- knocked it down one of the military social aids in her zeal to get to the president to shake his hand we stop doing that as well and we just had a lovely sort of irish themed events. but, we are probably making it sound worse than it is because you remember the bad behavior kind of like a media you hear the bad stories about the good stories about people being kind and honest and fatal and so forth, but i think people like to hear some of these more unusual stories and i understand there are many here from the reagan library today and i just want to say thank you for your service because without the volunteers we had at the white house, but the military and the nonmilitary volunteers i don't think we could function at all. >> that is true, absolutely. >> we have just a couple of minutes. i know in the book you have something that you call touching moments at the white house.
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i know there was a story about someone being arrested at one of your events and a little bit of an icy-- facing us at a couple of your events as well or can you share one moments, certainly not all the bad stuff because as you say there is so many wonderful days and moments at the white house and to be there, to work there, to attend an event there is an extraordinary opportunity. >> well, i think we just witnessed yesterday what happens more often than is usually reported, though, it's not terribly common i don't want to say. when you submit your information to come to the white house the secret service checks it and if you have a warrant for your arrest they will know which. now, how this idiot showed up at the white house after getting his
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information and did not know he would be arrested is kind of shocking. it goes to, you know, one of the dumbest possible felons. but, sometimes i would get a call and it would be the secret service and they would say someone on your list is a do not admit and we don't want you to be embarrassed by their getting here, so i would call the person and often it was like you have a speeding ticket somewhere. i got a speeding tickets years ago in georgia and i said it doesn't go away. they attach it and if you are pulled over and they are checking they will see you have an unpaid parking ticket and i don't want you to come to the white house and get arrested for having an unpaid parking ticket-- speeding ticket, so it was always scary to get those calls from the secret service. the other thing that
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happened a lot is that people would be stuck at the gate and i would try to figure out what it was that went wrong and how the information next up and then they would usually say to the secret service or something i was actually born in 1963, but my husband thinks it's 1968 so they would have to resubmit the information [laughter] >> i had a particularly bad day when we had an official visit from the chinese president and i will only tell you the last part of the horror. it was just as a luncheon was about to begin and i was approached by state department employee who said the chinese zero is try to the american translator out-of-the-way and president bush has to have his own translator solution that doesn't happen so i would walk over to the president's table and people are slowly coming into the luncheon and i see a chinese woman sitting in the american translator's seat and the american translator
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is nervous and troubling is that you let me sick to my seat, so i walk over and try to explain to her politely she needs to move over once he and she pretended even though she was a translator that she did not speak english, so i could see the presidents were coming down the hallway and the thing was about to happen and if so i said to the american translator when i get this seat open sitting it and don't leave until the luncheon is over so i push the woman's chair forward bit and she jumped up and world on me and anger like what are you doing and i could see the chinese chief of protocol coming at me looking furious and i shoved the american translator into the chair and i was literally saved by the marine band who struck up he'll to the chief as he walked in to the dining room otherwise, i honestly don't know what would have happened, but that was a pearl clutching moment. >> we are going to leave everyone with one of your best moments and if you could help us out with that. >> you know, at the end of a state dinner or a holiday reception it was
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and you could see how happy people were. i remember after the british state dinner prime minister cameron and his wife turned to me and said thank you for the most amazing special night of our lives and you kind of were taken back like well, thank you. but, moments like that when you see people that have never been there before leaving and they are so happy and excited was always a great great moment. the holiday receptions, there were so many and we could not wait for them to end, but when they ended i was sad because it was the end of the season that was just so special. >> every presidential administration has times when they're up in times when they are down and as joanne can tell you, when you feel embattled within the white house it is a daily struggle to just move on and do the best possible job you can do and i was in
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the white house at the time when the iraq war wasn't going well before the surge and the president decided to do an is * jenner which is breaking of the ramadan fast dinner and it's a very complicated dinner so on the religious observances were done properly by the white house and we were very focused on it. the east room was emptied of furniture. prayer rugs were put down and exactly the moment of the sunset they stood in the grand foyer and called all of the cast who are prominent muslim clerics which had muslim populations called them to prayer and invited them to pray in the east room and a number of them went in and closed the doors and the prayers went on in the making on the dinner began and i remember standing there feeling so impressed and proud that i was working in this white house where yes, the war was going terribly and everyone was angry at us and that
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we couldn't do anything right and yet we exhibited this level of religious tolerance to the very people who had knocked down the towers and we were able to make that intellectual distinction between terrorism and a religion and i always think of that is my proudest moment at the white house. >> well, many of you know ronald reagan was a man that absolutely understood that extraordinary power of stability in work and light. kelly street people well even if he didn't agree with their political views. in fact, he always treated people the same. he didn't care if you are the queen of england or a school bus driver. always said hello to you and if there was time he asked how you're doing, what was going on in your life and he actually stuck around to hear the answer. he didn't just will you off. one of my favorite ronald reagan" which was engraved on a plaque on the desk in his oval office said there is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go as
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long as he doesn't mind who gets the credit. its reminds me so much of what is in this book and i hope all of you will get your copy and it's a great gift for someone in your life. a daughter, a seven, a niece, nephew, granddaughter. i hope you all take the time to do that and in honor of that fact i have one for each of you today. i want to thank you for coming here and it joining us. >> thank you so much. >> we are going to take jeremy and lee up and in a few minutes we hope you join us up there with a copy of the book. i know they will be happy to answer questions as you move through the line. thank you all for coming and i hope we see you again next time. >> thank you. [applause]. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> here's a look at upcoming book fairs and festivals hopping around the country. next week it's the beyond the sea book festival in lincoln bill, maine. august 18, we will be live at the mississippi book festival held on the grounds of the state capitol in jackson. later in august, the aj decatur book festival takes place in atlanta and september 1, we are live in the washington convention center for the library of congress' national book festival in the nation's capital. for more information about upcoming book fairs and festivals and to watch previous festival coverage look at the book fairs web on our website, but to


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