tv Historian and Author Doris Kearns Goodwin at National Press Club CSPAN November 6, 2018 6:53pm-8:01pm EST
are the nerds" then software engineer david hour-by-hour on his book "bitwise, like in code". later george gilder talks about his latest book "life after google, the follow big data in the rise of block chain economy". booktv in prime time all this week on c-span2. >> "leadership in turbulent times", she focuses on president abraham lincoln, theodore roosevelt, franklin roosevelt, and lyndon johnson. she also compared president trumps leadership style to the previous presidents. >> all right everyone, good afternoon and welcome to the national press club. the place where news happens.
and andrea edney, editor at bloomberg news and i'm the 111th president of the national press club. before we get started i like to ask you to please silence your cell phones if you haven't already. if you are on twitter we encourage you to tweak during the program and please use #mtclive, our handle at the club's press club dc. for our c-span and public radio on audiences please be aware that members of the general public are here in the audience with us today. any reaction you might hear is not necessarily from the working press. now i'd like to introduce our head table please hold your applause until everyone has been introduced. we have ãb we have barbara conklin, if you'd like to stand. barbara, she's the president of the board of the national press
club journalism institute and the curtis b hurley chair in public affairs journalism at the missouri school of journalism. [applause] we have alfred brooks, the member of the national press club board of governors and senior reporter at med tech inside.we have gil klein, the former national press club president and washington program coordinator for the university of oklahoma gaylord college of journalism and masking medications. we have susan page, she is the washington bureau chief at usa today. we have lauren put tech, staff cider at the national newspaper publishers association. catherine skiba, freelance journalist and author than member of the national press club head c. heather foreskin weaver, freelance journalist and member of the national press club headliner steam. and we have betsy fisher martin, executive director of the women in politics institute
and american university and cochair of the national press club headliner steam. thank you for being here today. all of you. [applause] i'd also like to take a second to think the other members of the headliner steam responsible for organizing today's events. if you're in the room today please stand and be recognized. we have lisa matthews, lori russo, tamera hinton, danny summit, bill lord, club staff members lindsay underwood, and laura cooker and our executive director bill mccarron. we are so very excited to welcome here today world-renowned presidential historian and pulitzer prize winning author doris kearns goodwin. she has just published her seventh book leadership in turbulent times and that's the book were to be discussing here
today. if you haven't already purchased the copy we are selling them outside. ms. goodwin will be signing books after today's events. the sale of each book benefits the national press club journalism institute which does so much good work to support press freedoms and to promote professional development and scholarships here at the club. leadership in turbulent times examines how foreign men, two of whom are immortalized by mount rushmore, overcame obstacles to become iconic presidents. since ms. goodwin has spent five decades studying this presidents featured in this book, abraham lincoln, theodore roosevelt, franklin doan nor roosevelt ãbtoday's discussion should be both educational and illuminating. ms. goodwin's career starting presidents began when she was chosen as white house fellow for the johnson administration. the story of which is worth having her retail today during
our discussion. she won the pulitzer prize in 1995 for her book no ordinary time franklin and eleanor roosevelt home can't in world war ii. her book on abraham lincoln team of rivals, the political genius of abraham lincoln, was adapted to the big screen. lincoln was directed by steven spielberg, it earned a 12 academy award nominations and daniel day lewis won an oscar for his portrayal of president abraham lincoln at movie. spielberg has acquired the rights to her book ãbmaybe she will tell us who she envisions as playing teddy and chief justice. ms. goodwin graduated magna cum
laude from colby college.she earned a phd in government from harvard university.she also taught classes on government there including course on the american presidency. she is a frequent guest on nbc's meet the press and her appearance in ken burns documentary on baseball led her to write her baseball memoir wait until next year. [laughter] [cheering] so if you don't already know this she is a diehard fan of the boston red sox. i'm guessing she's pretty happy. after their big win in the world series this year. with the midterm elections tomorrow and politics on the mind of so many, this is really the perfect time to have a door is here to reflect on political leadership in the direction of our country. we have a lot to get to. and we are saving time for questions from the audience as well. i will let you know when to start lining up the two microphones we have in the room. please welcome join me in welcoming doris kearns goodwin to the national press club. [applause]
>> can you tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write this book on leadership? what inspired you new to write this book now. after i finished teddy and tapley usually then go to a new president and i always feel like i'm leaving the old guys like i've left an old boyfriend behind. ... all my career i've been thinking about leadership and in graduate school we used debate the big questions where does ambition come from, does the man make the times or his leadership inborn or is it developed? i relate i could focus that lends on the guys i knew the best -- that maybe i could think
about leadership and even when i started it there seem to be a problem with leadership in washington. we cannot get bipartisanship on any signature issue and people were wearing whether or not we were having the right leaders come to washington since they were so unable to get together. i called it leadership in turbulent times because never did i realize how relevant the title would be until the last couple of years. in some ways i feel what i'd like to think it does is shine a light on what genuine leadership look like in one are the traits are developed and how does one grow in office -- all the questions that we can put to our current president and question the leadership capacities of today. >> so, you started this book and they were young and focused on them as they were growing up and their home life.
you wrote how they grew in office. can you tell us about that. >> it's important. i didn't in part because i was in a college audience and a student said how can i be one of those guys that are on mount rushmore? i need to know what it was like for them in their journey. that is partly why did it because then you see them struggle and fail but as i realized more importantly you see them grow in office. for example, lincoln is only 23 when he runs for office the first time in the statement he puts out his remarkable showing how different he is from the other three and maybe from any other president we've had. that everyone has his own peculiar ambitions minus to be esteemed of by my fellow man and be worthy of that testing which is a huge ambition to have when you're 23. the others had ambition for themselves but eventually developed for the greater good and the fun thing about watching him he says in a statement i don't know many of you and you probably will not give me the chance to be your representative
and if so i will not be with much sugar and because of these two disparate reset file is now don't worry, i will try again. in fact all try many times until it's humiliating and i promise i will never try again. it shows a leadership trait in him from the start. then you watch when he starts get into state legislator and he's very much like current president in some ways. he loved being the center of attention even then. he wanted to be the baby of the baptism -- and made blistering statements against the democratic opponent and made headlines everywhere in new york state as a fresh new legislator but realized he wasn't getting anything done and his opponents were too angry with him and the republican's were embarrassed by what he was doing so is that i rose like a rocket and felt like a rocket. and i had 12 head so i had to learn to compromise and collaborate. he understood from acknowledging his errors which were something
all these people and all leaders have to do. they also develop what lincoln had inborn. he was born with empathy, the feeling of wanting to think about what other people were feeling and hopefully help them then he said when he first got in here no desire to make things better for people. he just wanted the adventure of being in politics but then suddenly as he is in the state legislator and please commissioner he sees decrepit living conditions and children working in factories and developed in him what he called a fellow feeling or empathy and that made his leadership much larger than it otherwise would have been. barbara glenn roosevelt he got that at 28 and doesn't really know that's what wants to be but when he gets on the campaign trail he loved barnstorming and look listening to people but eleanor said he was still speaking and have a pause and he was afraid he would never continue but until the end of the campaign he was up there for so long he thought he would never end. he realized what the philosopher
william james that was every now and then, probably comes to all of us there comes a moment when you say this is the real me what i want to be. lbj from the time he was to wanted to go into politics. he pursued power through college et cetera and then eventually his power was used for the greater good. the journey that i wanted to let people follow is how they grew and how they made mistakes, backward and forward. >> you touch on this earlier. to what extent do you think is leadership born or made? >> obviously it is both. there are certain gifts that you might be bournemouth and lincoln was born with a gift for language and i'm not sure that however you tried one could write the gettysburg address. roosevelt road where he said there's two successful world. one is if you talent that will
matter far you try to develop it like a poem or six replay you might not emulated but most success he says comes from people who have ordinary talent that developed into a next ordinary degree through hard sustained work. it's probably true from all of us. except for that gift of language he was born with empathy and teddy was lucky to be born with a photographic memory that helped him in his political world. fdr had the optimistic temperament inborn and that was so important in the leadership and lbj had unbounded energy but then most of it is that they take what talent they have and work hard, all of them. they're in the office before everyone and staying there before everyone got home and there's a sense of knowing that it will take more work than their opponents to get something done. >> based on your observations, it does our current president share any character traits with these leaders you focus on?
>> okay. let's start with humility. in fact, one of my favorite comments that present or made as a candidate was the reason he loved pope francis so very much is that the princess is very humble just like donald trump. but humility means accepting limitations in technology it and learning from mistakes and so far we've not seen it. the interesting thing about empathy is one has to concede that he must've had some better feeling toward what the base would who voted for him in the election were feeling and what they were thinking and who they were upset with and what they wanted in their fears and hopes because he found them to a site but then you would hope that empathy once you get into office would be expanded so he could be president of all the people. obviously, he knows how to communicate. all the people i wrote about learned that technology of the time and lincoln was lucky to
communicate the time with his speeches would be printed and pull in the newspapers and then reprinted in pamphlets. you read the whole speech home out loud. he was lucky to come along a time when the national news segments were being born so as short, language was perfect for headlines and speak softly, carry a big stick. don't hit until you have to and then hit hard. or go to the last drop, he could be here in our twitter world. no question. if you want someone to run against president trump it would be teddy roosevelt for lots of reasons. fdr obviously came of age in the presidency with the radio, not just that intimate voice but conversational style of speaking. he was able to make people feel that he was talking to them directly in the story of a construction worker running overnight and he said where are you going and he said my president is coming to the living room to greet me and i must be there to say hello to him. made people feel he had each individual in mind when he gave those fireside chats. it was such an important bond of
trust that he developed with people and then you get jfk and ronald reagan and television network in today's social media. certainly, mr. trump mastered the social media to cut through his tweets and everything and all the cable and words he made news everywhere. the difficulty is when you become president even though lincoln could speak extemporaneously better than a 112 as president he was worth better so he hardly even though he could answer anybody at the moment, he said if i'm two-faced when i be wearing the same? he could do that that quickly but he said as president his words matter. i thank you said that and the question is has he been able to control his anger. lincoln when he would get mad would write a hot letter but the letter side hoping he would cool down psychologically and never need to send it. in the papers you see the blistering letters were at the bottom never sent, never signed. certainly, that is often true for president trump when he gets
angry and that tweets come out. building a team and making the team deal as a common purpose so they feel like a family and don't yell at each other in public but that does not happen so there's a very leadership traits and i used to think and betsy may know this when tim was alive we talked about how the journalist covering campaigns instead of looking at the debates and who was raised was money could look at a leadership index and they've all been somewhere in benin congress and senators in an american and look at their leadership and they don't change hugely. they may grow into the office but hopefully they've grown and that's the index we should be studying our leaders by today. >> what would you have a net index? >> i would put resilience there, and all four of these people went through terrible personal trials and came out stronger as a result of that.
i would but humility and empathy and put mitigating with people and put connecting with people all manner of people outside the office. i would put courage, the ability to make a decision that might be risky like lbj did when he first came in and decided to make civil rights by priority and they said you cannot do that and will never get it through the senate. you'll be a field president when you go to the election. you can spend currency honestly said what the hell is the presidency for then? this great triumph despite the shadow of being on. there's a series of things you can look at in the past and see whether that person exhibited these traits and how they will fit into the time in which he will lead. >> that would be very interesting. >> i need diaries and letters and i don't think i could write about the current president. i did not get to know president obama and people keep saying we write about him but i'm only comfortable when i can look over the shoulder of somebody writing a letter, read their diary and
i'm not sure what happened 200 years from now but the stories will know so much more about us and we walked and talked and we were moving working on the movie lincoln, we only knew he had a high-pitched voice because someone said they did. it was never hurt. don't know that about us but will e-mails be saved and will tweets be saved but more important lee will the emotions that are described in diaries and letters from the 19th century from even nearly 20th, be available to the historian. >> that will be interesting, 200 years from now. i'm sure you can make a go for it. i may learn things. can you tell us a little bit about your writing process? how do you winnow your ideas and how do you know when to stop writing? >> mostly they stop writing when
it's time. otherwise i could go on forever. my book took me so long and it took me longer to write about world war ii and twice as long as the civil war and first process that i've gotten to the person that i want to stay with over a period of time i mean they may disappoint me and balance but i couldn't live with the mussolini or hitler under. >> so much my fellow historians but i would not want to spend the day with them. my first decision is who i want to write about. then the scary thing is because all people i chosen except for johnson because i met him and that is how i ended up writing my first book but all the others there'd been hundreds of thousands written about them because they were our best known of president. how do i create a story is not just a biography that may tell a story that the other people are not told. that took a while. for franklin roosevelt i spent a year or so thinking i do a biopsy and him and no i want eleanor there.
if i did franklin and eleanor it would be too big but if i took the homefront during one or two that maybe i can look at it in detail, similarly with lincoln, it was terrifying to think about writing a biography about him and at first i thought i'd do [inaudible] abe and mary but two years later i realized she couldn't carry the public side of the story the way eleanor did so i happened to come upon letters that stewart had written to his wife was up in albany, new york and i thought thousands of letters he wrote and thought about diaries and letters and feet to a diaries and letters and he put them in his cabinet and that became king of rivals. the muller metallic, this is my rationale for why take so long. it means that you got big fat books and someone told me they were reading bully pulpit and i was still a hardback and fell asleep and she broke her nose.
[laughter] i promise you, this one is not like that. >> can you tell us a little bit about how you became working to resident johnson -- >> is a great sword. i was a graduate student at harvard and selected as a white house fellow, a program many of you know, you get assigned to a cabinet office or the white house staff and we had a dance at the white house and president johnson did dance with me, not that peculiar we only had three women but as he twirled me around he was whispered to me that he want me to be assigned directly to him in white house but it is not to be that simple and in the month leading up to my suction was a graduate student like many young people i was active in the anti- vehicle from war movement and firm i sent the article to the public and to lbj and have not heard anything in the dance happens several days later the article pops up and the title when they
had to remove lyndon johnson from power. i was certain he would kick me out of the program but surprisingly he said bring her down here for a year if i can't win her over, no one can. eventually i did work for him white house and accompanied him to help him on his memoirs. not sure i ever fully understood why he chose me to spend three hours with us and i like to believe is because i was a good lecture and he was a great storyteller. clever stories of the problem with i later discovered it wasn't quite the way he told me but they were so entertaining nonetheless. i also rate to be completely honest was probably because i was a young woman and he had a minor womanizing reputation. was constantly talk to about study boyfriends even when i had no boyfriends at all. everything was working perfectly one day he said he wanted to discuss our relationship and i found that so ominous and he took me nearby to the lake and said wine and cheese and white checkered tablecloth and romantic trappings and he
spelled outdoors, more than any other woman i've ever known in my heart he said you remind me of my mother. [laughter] i ended up living at the ranch helping him on his memoirs and it was the privilege of a lifetime. i took it for granted. i realized that chance especially when he was so sad and wanted to talk about civil rights and the great society and all the domestic stuff that i really cared about is probably what gave me the impetus to be a presidential historian and look with empathy toward each of my subjects rather than judging them from the outside and. >> sound like he would've gotten himself into a budget trouble. >> like many others to stay. >> of the presidents who have served tense lbj who would you pick to write about and why? >> i probably wouldn't as i just said. they be to current for me.
i need distance. as a historian, when you got a generation between you and the president you can see the context of the time and see what was possible and you can read not only the diaries and letters but memoirs and other papers that are now being -- i would feel to naked and that's not the right word probably. [laughter] but that's what i mean about the current present or recent one. >> since were at the national press club today how did each of the presidents that you write about in leadership to the press? and, is knowing how to relate to the press part of what makes a president a good leader? >> without a good question. without a question. when i think of teddy roosevelt in particular his presidency would've been impossible without the partnership he established the investigative journalists. they were able to create the momentum in the country at large to worry about big businesses swallowing up small businesses and worry about the railroads which were corrupt and worry about corruption in the city state that then allowed him to
use that public sentiment to push the conservative congress to do the laws and things he wanted them to do. what it took from him and from fdr, lyndon johnson or comp get it but what it took was that sense of confidence that you could be criticized by the press and that did not mean the press was your enemy. on the contrary even when teddy roosevelt was younger and wrote a memoir about his experiences in the spanish-american war and famous journalist wrote a critique of it and said teddy, he made himself the center of every action and every battle i wore the nation called the book alone in cuba. everybody is laughing in the country making fun of him that he write a letter to the journalist and it then becomes public never get to tell you my wife and good friends adore you review my book. now you owe me something. i've always wanted to meet you. the journalist wasn't sure he could come to see teddy because
he knew how charismatic he was but he decided to take a chance and still be able to criticize him. they did become friends and he still criticize them but teddy still accepted that relationship. then when i think about fdr imagine to press, does a week. he said those press compasses educated him and made him get up-to-date on things and called them by their first name and was one time a reporter comic stop on a train and wrote the column for the reporter but is much more important than that. he knew the press was a vehicle for spelling problems to the country and without that without the mitigation he had to the press he would never be able to do what he had to do. it's unconscionable the idea that the press is the enemy of the people. the press, as you know so well, without the press democracy would not be what it is. despite presidents getting pissed off an individual press along the way and closing down a newspaper or another, never ever the been what it is right now. i'm so glad you are here in this press club and the camaraderie i
thank you must be feeling now. you're doing a great job in the midst of all of this. i'm so proud for all of you that you're fighting back in his time with democracy depends on you and even more in honor to be here that would've been ten years ago to be sitting amongst you come back. >> thank you so much. >> you mentioned camaraderie. many of the presidents you read about have visited the national press club. william howard taft was the first, theodore roosevelt between the ministration and bring in roosevelt addressed the club from the spot here in the ballroom and lbj. eleanor roosevelt also the first woman to address the club from this very spot in the ballroom. a lot of the presidency come here to set and to relax and journalist come to the club to
socialize and relax this photo upstairs on the 14th floor of harry truman as vice president playing the piano as a young movie star sitting on top of it and what you think about the role the club played in people been able to get together and relax a little bit? >> from what i've read the history that was the first idea that a couple journalists wanted a place to go and play poker and relax with each other and have a few drinks. and then the place developed and it's a larger point in the study of leadership for the study of career and we feel today especially that we have no time to relax because everything goes with us. e-mail or iphone but my presidents were busy and maybe busy than we are. they often time to relax and feel camaraderie and replenish
their energy. lincoln went to the theater 100 times during the civil war and when the lights came down in the shakespeare kate came on for a few precious hours he could forget the war that was raging and i was so important to him. otherwise he said the anxiety he felt would have killed him if he didn't have those moments of relaxation. then another favorite way to relax was through humor. through stories that he could tell people when they were anxious they would make them laugh and he said last thing was like whistling off dennis. david story i was able to get daniel day-lewis to put into the lincoln movie had to do is lincoln told the story with the revolutionary war hero, ethan allen, who went to england after the war and to a dinner party and decided to embarrass him by putting a huge picture of general washington in the only outhouse where he have to encounter it. they thought lincoln would be irritated at the idea of george washington in the white house but he came out out of that and they said did you see george washington there?
he said i thought it was a perfectly appropriate place and they said what you mean? he said there's going to make an englishman ship faster than the thought of general george washington and asked hundreds of the stories. in the middle of the cabinet meeting one of these stories would come out and teddy roosevelt spent two hours every afternoon at the end of the day some sort of exercise and sometimes wrestling at the game or boxing match but his favorite was a hike in the park where you cannot go around any obstacle so came to rock you had to climb it if you came to a precipice you had to go down so there are stories of journalists inconvenience falling by the wayside as they try to follow in the woods but my favorite story was the french ambassador came he was so excited he had his first walk with the president so he had this silk outfit on it that he be on the dash and he finds himself chasing after them in the woods and finally they come to a stream and he says they got, it's over.
but to my horror i saw the president about his clothes and heard them say it's an obstacle in mechanic around it no sense in getting our close word. for the honor of france, i too, took off my close but left on my gloves. should we meet ladies on the other side windows to bear seem to be without gloves. all i could think of this guy with nothing on but the best part of the relaxing is during one or two heady cocktail hour every night where the rule was could not talk about the war. you talk about books you read and movies you seen, gossip, as long as you do not mention the war. after a while it became so important he wanted the people to go to cocktail hour to live on the second floor to be ready so harry hopkins, foreign-policy visor, came to dominate was left over, did i leave the working to an end and eleanor's friend lived in the bedroom next to her when winston churchill spent weeks at a time -- when i was
writing a book on eleanor franklin i became assessed with the thought of what these people must be talking about in the bathrooms and night as they gather as it surrounds those six bedrooms of sleep and wishing when i've been up there i thought of asking where the church asleep and where was fdr and where was eleanor? i do not think in those terms. mention it on the diane show in washington and [inaudible] hillary clinton called me up and invited me to a sleepover in the white house we could figure out where everyone slept a few years earlier. couple weeks later she invited me has been a me to a state dinner after which between midnight yes chelsea clinton is sleeping where [inaudible] there was no way i could sleep -- he was in the corner smoking a cigar. to go back to your major question when anxious times are there been able to relax with conrad is a -- conrad cannot do
it very well. so we pool in his white house at the ranch when it was you think you'd be sweet but they were floating rafts and putting telephones and floating memo pads all over the place. the press club was to provide that relaxation. at least for a few moments when i think about the anxious moments outside and it's a really good thing. >> that's wonderful. so many more questions but i'd like to open it to the audience. we have microphones here and you can line up in the conference. anyone who is a question can line up on the mics. we will take questions alternating so first person to get to this mike i believe this lovely woman in the chartreuse jacket will start with you and go with you and please introduce yourself and let me ask you please keep your questions sustained. we will have a lot to get to. >> i love your books and i love history and fascinated to hear about how you gathered it but
i'm worried about that 200 years ahead when everything we do isn't tweet or facebook or whatever all the other -- the diaries and the pieces that we gather as historians won't be as available what do you think that will do for us? >> it's a worry something although i suspect the figure out something to a year so now that we don't know now. the value of diaries for the values of letters people are affecting when the writing is letters and taking the time to think about what they're experiencing so you as historians can get into their heads in a way you normally couldn't. a friend of mine, james mcpherson, wrote a book about the letters the union soldiers home to their families. these were not educated soldiers but that the weight you communicative then for the telephone for you at other ways of commuting. they learned or had to learn how to express themselves to keep in
touch with their loved ones and letters are beautiful. they talk about the ideals of the country for which there fighting and emancipation versus union and i worry that not only will we not have access to these things but our young people are not thinking in these terms. everything is so staccato on e-mail or tweet that is not really thinking through a whole problem in trying to source it or through a diary or handwritten letter. technology will figures it out and there will be other form or things will be saved. when i talk to college students i don't throw away e-mails even if you break away with your boyfriend or government some biographer may come along someday. >> my question is about president jackson and president trump and trump as indicated sympathy with jackson and we been at one time he was the star
of the democratic party so i just wonder if you have anything to say about them as leaders. >> the question. the recent president trump turn toward resident jackson was the idea that representing the people and a populist versus the elite who had the president up this time and oddly of course came from a very different background than president trump and president trump came out privileged background but was assuming that he had some marginal emotions of people who felt left out of the political system and who felt they needed a champion and someone on the site. lots of things about jackson that are troubling and a trail of tears and the native americans in some of his policies are but it was that piece of him that allowed trump to feel this is my guy and to some extent he channeled the emotions of the political system will fill them just as andrew jackson did.
it's interesting who defined as our mentors and the my four people is that each one from the person before them lbj's mentor and political hero was fdr and it was teddy roosevelt. abraham lincoln was george washington showing the history of the country in that short period of time. >> steve jones. title of your book is leadership in turbulent time so there's an intersection of the person in time and what are your thoughts around each of your if it had been in other times? >> i thought about that in a match or if they could have fit into the other people times. they each had a set of drinks which were so suited to what was needed and also you can see what people say do you need a great challenge to be a great leader and there is some thought about that. some of our greatest leaders in
the historical rankings either had a war, depression or something challenge that allowed them to mobilize country but having that challenge can also mean a great failure. think about buchanan is they are before lincoln and the country is already beginning to spread apart and exacerbated the country and that's why he was always at the bottom scale of the presidential historians raking until recently there was a new historical that put president trump at the bottom and until there was a story at paper same begin a family with a rating they were no longer at the bottom it you take herbert hoover who was a very decent man and a good man and pretty good leader up until he hit the challenge of the depression and his ideology was such that he cannot allow himself to believe the federal government had to step in. he kept thinking the state and local could do it. cannot experiment and unable to deal with the depression in the same way fdr given his fermentation of had that polio trying everything you had to do it and already came to the conclusion as governor that the
federal government had to take roles because the states cannot do it. he was the right man for the time that he had optimism able to give people that morale and from that first inaugural there were letters that came in and said my roof fell off, my dog died and my wife is mad at me and no job and it's okay because you are there. it's the mystery of leadership. it was better than going back to lincoln you need someone with patience and perseverance with more suppleness and mercy and with the ability to run themselves with people from different factions so they could contain in the cabinet. teddy roosevelt was much better suited than mckinley would've been to deal with the industrial revolution which was the biggest echo today. think about the industrial revolution. shook up the economy much as global revolution and technological app today. huge gaps develop between the rich and poor, immigrants are coming in and used as scapegoats by a lot of that working people who are feeling they were not having a fair share in the glories of the country
prosperity in the working class were in real rebellion. bonds in the street, a short breaks and yet he came long and channeled that populist energy into a square deal for the rich and poor, capitalist and wage worker in a way that mckinley could not. i would argue that a matter that jfk as far good as he was on foreign policy in vietnam could ever gotten the silver as well through the senate. thompson understood every single senator and called them up in the morning and call the midnight and senators fallen asleep at night is that i hope i didn't wake you but i'm looking at the ceiling hoping my present will call you when you listen to those takes it is so subtle what he does. it is not simply a give you this but when he deals with jerks and tries to bring republicans to help break the filibuster first day of drinks and they know each other and play poker and live together in a way they don't anymore today. anyone who are veterans of the
korean war without a common purpose that is not sustained us in these current commercial but he says what you want? he says one ambassadorship? you got it. do you want me to come to springfield, i will come there. then he also understood so you want to be remembered and if you bring up against to join the northern democrats and break that filibuster it's 200 years from now and you'll remember two names, abraham again and [inaudible]. so he knew how to put that and he was a southerner and believed he could help us out at the segregation finally occurred and he went voting rights with the demonstration occurred that he had to get voting rights for african-americans and i don't know anyone could've understood that congress as well as he. maybe they could not have done each other but i think they could not -- the people before them were not for the time the same way. it's a question of the man makes the time but the time makes a
man. >> hello, bob weiner, weiner public news and we write our beds in papers. can presidential leadership after trump return to respect for people at home and alliances abroad? what is the political lesson of trump for the future and is there a parallel to trump? >> the lesson for the future has to be that we can return to a time when there is dignity in our recourse and when america is again the begin of hope for the world at large. we been through -- in some ways the lesson of the book is when i think about what it must've been like to live during that period of the beginning of the civil war and those people do not know how it would end in the country splitting apart at 600,000 people would die.
think about was like in the early days of the depression when the banks are collapsing in your savings are out and you can't get the money and you got a job. hungry people riding in the streets and he would not have thought how that could've ended or in the early days of world war ii when it is not clear the war would be one against the greatest threat to western civilization and yet, because of two things it work. not just with the leader at the right time but the citizen were awakened in each one of those times. lincoln was called a liberator but he said don't call me that. it was the antislavery movement that did it all. without the antislavery movement the party would have been formed and megan were not been president and would not amend the foundation for emancipation. the question the progressive movement that started in the city and state underlay both franklin and eleanor until he was about leadership and the settlement and the social gospel and without a question the civil rights movement was essential for anything of the day should do so what we should do now in the awakening of the citizens
and i hoping it's already happening that there's more young people energized and more people running for political office especially record breaking numbers of women who never held public office before and maybe we need people who are not so caught up in washington it's almost like they live and they don't know what peace is like. things we can do and bring roosevelt said man makes problems so men can solve problems. i keep thinking about we could have nonpartisan congressional committees that are nonpartisan joined by district lines instead of gerrymandering we have now. we can have states or beginning already to do that. states beginning for our constitutional minutes to overturn citizens united. there are practical problems that make our political system better. biblical system is a revolution right now. one of my favorite thoughts is just i wish we could we institute the idea of a huge national service program at home
and teddy roosevelt for the rock of democracy will when people in the other parts of the country or other parties begin to see each other at the other rather than a common citizen. i keep dreaming and i know more people want to be in the teacher corps and they can possibly take but we have a huge program for people from the cities go to the country and be working as you would in the military with that common purpose but at home on disaster relief and on teaching and on service and maybe teach people to teach each other and a younger duration but is common american citizen. i don't know the answers but i have a feeling that the citizens awakened and this is their rendezvous with destiny in the next generation and if they don't put smile i think that the problem of our country and the collective mirror on us. not just young people but all of us. >> thank you. >> can i slip one in really quick? can i just -- sorry. moderators prerogative.
what is your prediction for tomorrow's midterm election? >> i am an historian and i look backwards back i really will say that. [laughter] if you guys aren't sure what it will be that i certainly don't know what it will be. because of the past problems in the last election all i hope is that it's very good thing that a lot of people are coming out to vote for them before and if it has the kind of numbers that a general election has than the will of more people will be felt then in a normal midterm where it's much a small group of people usually go. so far it looks like a large turnout and we will see. but i will tell you what it means tomorrow, day after tomorrow. >> and you put it into historical context. >> of course. >> allen, member of the working school club and member of the
press club. going back as a historian 250 years approximately washington's leadership in very turbulent times with the aid of people celebrated in so on as alexander hamilton and two other wars world war i and the anniversary of the ending of that is coming up in just a few days in world war ii where the 75th anniversary will be coming up, dd next year and the following year. what are the lessons from these three wars and the leaders both here and abroad will be dealt with such as the french who helped us when seemingly insurmountable against insurmountable odds in the revolutionary war. >> i'm working on a documentary possibly on the history channel on george washington and can't wait to learn more about him because i need to understand the
presidency he said as president in his farewell address and worried about entitlements brought worried about partisanship and i love the idea of these anniversaries being sulfated and it so important we remember these moments in our history and in fact, one of the things that don't want me now is when lincoln was 29 years old he wrote an address or a lecture called the -- address and in it he talked about the fact that he was very worried about the state of the country at the point that there was a lot of mob violence going on in anti- slavery editors being killed in lynchings in the south and rule of law is not being followed and worried that in such a time of anxiety it would rise above us who might try to tear down rather than build up which would have authoritarian aspect. he said that you might be julius caesar or a napoleon coming along and said the only answer to that is to reinstate the rule of law for more portly to remember the ideals of the country. he said he was worried that scenes of that revolution were
already fading so the people were forgetting what we were on a four so we canceled every person to read about the revolution as mothers read the bible to their children and said they should read about american history to their children and that was the answer to motivate again the memory of the ideals of the country to fight against the possibility of such a thing happening in our democracy. your question raises that perfectly. anniversaries are incredibly important in history is so important so we think about what these other people did and how we got to those times and how it was the benefits of remembering the ideals of how we were founded still as a special nation and still as link that no one would want to change where you are from this country because the country has troubling times and we are in one now and the best thing to do is because i love history so much with passion since i was a little girl but reading history and remembering these times and separating the leaders in the
past who got us through and the citizens who were awakened is our best protection against what's happening right now. >> we have time for about three or four more questions. go ahead. >> do you think were headed for another world war? do you think were headed to a civil war? >> i don't. i think the people themselves are strong enough right now that there will be a check but on the presidency. if i were to predict what would happen i think there will be a check tomorrow and how big will be in house, i don't know. but i think in the end it's up to the people and overwhelming majority of the people don't want this anger against immigrants. we look at the statistics about them wanting some sort of pass for immigrants there so sad about the divisiveness in the country and i kept thinking and it turned out not to be right that there were certain moments when the people would just say this cannot hold anymore and i think obviously when we have the
journalist murdered it seemed to be one of those moments when people would say this cannot be happening. that this has taken place and the president is talking about saudi arabia help for us in buying our weapons. and then again when the bombing took place. think about that bombing plot meant? we know it did not go off but had it done so it would been the greatest attack on the whole leadership structure since abraham lincoln when john looks booth was trying not only to gilligan but had two other assassins. one who knifed stewart and nearly killed him and the other who got drunk in a bar never got after andrew johnson, vice president, but they were here you had two former presidents and their families with the top leadership in many other places in again after that when president trump was able to say he was any momentum until this bombing thing happen and then they have to regain momentum. some of these things he said should all be put aside because that's what he's really thinking of time.
even today or yesterday when he was saying that why are you talking about the economy and so because it so good and will help people and he said it's not exciting to talk about the economy. it's only exciting to be fighting something is what he feels. i just have a feeling that the country itself is feeling exhausted by this. waking up every day and having breaking news and exhausted by fake news and the idea that there is such a thing and there will be that the people know this. how it gets manifested and whether the selection or partly or the next election but the one thing to remember about this midterm was thing about this the other day one of the big thing that happened in the terms we may not know who it is right now is that some of the big figures have arisen. abraham lincoln rose up in 1850 in the midterm election with debate with steven douglas and becomes abraham lincoln. teddy roosevelt won in the midterm in 1898 as governor and becomes the president who helped us during that industrial revolution time. frank and roosevelt in the
midterms in 1930 is the governor who finally speaking out about the need for taking care of jobs and unemployment. he becomes the leader of the progressive forces in becomes franklin roosevelt. somewhere out there we may not know who it is probably in the state and local area maybe it's a mayor or someone who will win or not win the election but leaders arise when we need them you can't just look for them. we can do it. this is not normal and we believe in the marks enough and we will turn back, neck. [applause] >> two final questions. >> i'm washington editor which is an online form at nyu law and national security and human rights in the law. we hear a lot of talk during
election periods but also in between about american values and we heard it under this presidency and previous presidency and so forth but in your historical research have you found some court definition of what that really means and is there -- is there a societal agreement as far as what american values are and what that means? >> i'm not sure i know the answer but if you have a question because it's very thoughtful question and might take me a little longer to think about but i think if we look at some of the documents that are part of our founding especially the declaration of independence and see what those words meant to the people who were fighting a revolution to preserve those and what abraham lincoln would talk about was that what he was
fighting for in the civil war was not simply for the south to be reunited to the north but that we believe that people could govern themselves and that if the south could secede from the north it would show all those people who believe they need a dictator or a king or queen that we cannot do it because maybe someday the west was seen from the east. to take that idea that is part of america tradition that we vote our own people into power and don't need a person on high to be having that authority over us that we have that capacity is one thing that other democracies may not have or other forms of government in a half. i thank you think about the words in the decoration of independence and what it means in one of the values that we can talk about the most was the right of everyone to rise to the level of their discipline and talent which means mobility and that is something we used to believe in democracy.
one of the things we have failed that in these last decades and maybe that is what has caused the schism in the country that too many people don't have the right education to be able to mobilize themselves up to the level of their discipline and talent and maybe losing those talented people and providing education and we need this is going off in another direction but we need teachers and to honor our teachers more than we have in the education system at the core of what a democracy depends upon. but the things we had to do but a matter -- i would love to think about it but look in the declaration or constitution and find those words that i think we still adhere to and go back to especially -- and it's not just american values but use of democracy and human rights and social justice and economic opportunity which are larger than america. we believe in them and anyway, i can't think anymore because i think it's too big for me right now. great question.
[laughter] >> hopefully you can get an easier question. >> my question is excluding 2016 candidates could he think of a couple of candidates who lost the presidency who you think would have demonstrated amazing leadership. >> do you mean in the past? >> interestingly, in 1940 when roosevelt ran against wendell wilkie i think he was an extra ordinary man, a businessman from a socially progressive businessman and more importantly when he came in he understood despite the reporting party's isolationist wing which presumably he was supposed to represent he understood the threat that hitler posed and went for -- and one for the draft and without that would've been a hard election and almost
beat fdr. i think it's an interesting thing to think about where he might have been. he was a republican progressive, he's one of them and i think that we try to think about in our recent times hubert humphrey what kind of president he might've been and certainly he would've been about president than richard nixon and he was a man who had real groundedness in the part of the working class as well as the other people in the party and was a happy warrior and is there at the wrong time at the convention 1968 but i met him a few times through lyndon johnson and an extraordinarily warm character and much like joe biden. natural politician who liked being with people. i think he would've been a good leader and i bet you we could find half a dozen and someone virtually i'm not ready yet but
i found these candidates interesting idea why they lost whether it was something particular at the moment or whether they had the quality that might have been fit for the next time around. i will think some more about that. lots more to talk about. we can't stop. [laughter] >> so much more to talk about and i hope perhaps you would consider coming back to talk to us more at some point in the near future. before we wrap up i have a couple of housekeeping items. first, if you'd like to have her sign up your book. come over here and lineup. after i gaveled the luncheon outfit second, i like to take a moment to take time and let our audience know about upcoming events. today on the number nine battery of affairs robert wilkie joining us for lunch and. during a prior coming in today november 13th to discuss her book in november 14 we will discuss issues confronting us youth soccer and the night
host -- [inaudible] like to tell everyone if you have not purchased your tickets for our fourth states for dinner they are going quickly. it is time to do it. we will honor marty baron -- the executive editor's of "the washington post" and "the new york times" respectively. i have a small gift for you and i'd like to get your thoughts on here from you on one other thing. this is a national press club mug. we present one to each of our esteemed -- and we hope you use it in good health. >> thank you so much. [applause] last question, we like to end on a lighter note. i understand you the first woman to enter the boston red sox
clubhouse. is that true? if so, can you tell us. >> i don't know about the first woman but the first woman writing a story for journalism. i used to take my kids to spring training every year i would write an article in order to rationalize why was there so i happen to be there at the moment when the ruling came down from the court that women to be allowed into the locker room. the owner of the red sox said okay, go in. i went in and it was good way to end on a light note because baseball is the way i came to love history in the first place. my father taught me the mysterious art of keeping score while watching a facebook game so i could record the history of that brooklyn dodger game. i grew up in long island we were all dodger, giant or yankee fans. he'd come home at night and i could tell him every play of every inning of the game that adjust to a place that afternoon and make sure that there was
something magic about history to keep your father's attention. i would go on and on telling them everything and realized i learned the narrative art because at first i would blurt out dodgers one or dodgers loss which took much of the drama of the two hour telling away. [laughter] i learn to tell the story from beginning, middle and to end. he never told me that all this was described in great detail in the sports pages of this paper the next day so i thought without me you would not know what happened to the brooklyn dodgers but then they were ripped away for me to los angeles and i cannot follow baseball until he went to harvard and then my boyfriend took me to fenway park and the team so much like the brooklyn dodgers and they almost almost one and i became an equally rational red sox fan. we now have had season tickets for 35 years i must say it's been an extraordinary part of my life and it is my application that goes along with my vocation even though my father died before i even had my three sons so they were never able to meet their grandfather when i sit with my son sometimes at fenway
park i can imagine myself still young at abbott field watching the players of my youth, jackie robinson, duke snider, peewee, and is magic in the moments. when i open my eyes to see my sons play when my father wants that i can feel an invisible loyalty linking my sons to their grandfather who space they never had a chance to see but whose heart and soul they come to know through the stories i had told. to end it is the reason why i'm so happy to have been and historian and constantly looking back in the past is that allows me to believe that private people we've loved and lost her families and the public figures we've respected in history can live on if we pledge to tell and retell the stories of their lives. i'm glad to do that with you today. >> we are so happy to have you here. thank you so much. [applause] >> it is election day and voters
around the country have been heading to the polls including members of congress. the talking on social media sharing experiences and encouraging constituents to vote. in fact, the message was clear. clinic harassment and illinois congressman simply tweeted the word, vote. indiana congressman tweeted the picture of the word vote written in dust on the back of a semi truck saying as i traveled the district today meeting with folks i saw this message reminding his followers the voice is important to democracy. in new jersey, congressman echoed the message with a tweet that read -- it was shared alongside an instagram of him in a polling booth with his thumb up. as a public and challenger shared a photo on twitter telling his followers no matter the outcome of the election he will continue to be their voice. adding he got choked up today
casting his ballot. in tennessee congresswoman and candidate for senate marsha blackburn told her supporters on facebook that every vote matters sharing photos from a camping event in jackson and her opponent from her tennessee governor phil bredesen tweeted, let's do this. she announced her support for phil bredesen last month on instagram and has been active on social media supporting the democrats for senate. on her instagram bio should be fans with five words, go vote. seriously, do it. follow live election night coverage of c-span with victory and consistent beaches from key races across the country. it starts at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, your primary source for campaign 2018. congress returns next tuesday after the election. the house will work on legislation running the federal government passed december 7 while the senate returns for votes on coast guard programs and federal reserve board