tv Tevi Troy Fight House CSPAN July 3, 2020 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
on the street. but sort of social events take place. someone who is capable of managing these details managing the people beneath him, was crucial when you're talking about governing structure that isn't in the constitution and isn't passing legislation. ... ... we will be joined to make commentary on this book.
let me start by introducing our guests, then we will talk a little bit were looking forward have summing you ask questions as well. the reason i'm very excited about this book but also about our guest is it's a rare thing to be good at public service, to be a person of action. it's also a rare thing to be a scholar and to be excellent at the study of something. both the bring that to the tabl table. was someone who worked in many places in public service on congress to several departments with the department of labor. also importantly at the white house which is what these books are about this book in several of his other books. he's also got a published author is written in addition to this peace on the white house pieces about intellectuals in the white house as well as emergency preparedness at the white house and the use of social media by presidents.
so i hope you will take the time to listen, but also to think about buying this book. the fourth of july coming up we have presidents birthdays in the summer, anytime is a great time for loved ones learn more about the white house. karen skinner is in verse of action and scholarly repute she's worked most recently in the white house or the state department of director of policy and planning is served as another of white house or administration advisory and other roles as well as presidential campaign she is also the toby professor and director of the institute of strategy carnegie melon university. there she studies presidency she's written books on ronald ragan in foreign policy as well. we have a great lineup today
what were going to do is jump into the meats of the book we want you to get a little sense of what's in the book part of the key points that i want to hear some of her thoughts will have conversation and then we will turn to you prudhomme mention it now and i'll mention a couple other times when i do come to you for questions there's a number of ways to getting in touch with this one is to submit questions in the comment section and also with youtube chat function and the hash tag live. will look for your questions but let's begin this is a book you've written extensively on the white house. what i like about this book is it's of course about personalities and conflicts of important advisors in the white house it's also a book about the presidency in the white house itself how that institution has grown. my first question is, you point out that over the. you are talking about starting
after fdr the white house has become a much bigger institution, more staff and more prominent. and yet the advisors there are often may be younger than cabinet secretaries but they also have the ear of the president. tell us a little bit about the growth of the president and they cabinet and then if you can with the many examples you have in your book a few of them to give a sense of what those conflicts in that area were? >> thank you john, thank you everyone for doing this. the book is really as you said about the growth of the white house staff the growth of the staff of the president many don't realize this but before the fdr decisions he really didn't have a white house staff. se. people would say what about nikolai in hay or this administration, the truth is the president had a secretary or two but with roosevelt but something called the brownlow commission. and the brownlow commission
had a famous foreword commission when the president needs help and not forward conclusion led to the creation of the executive office. the president now has about 1800 people. most of us are career staffers that serve the administrations there about three to 400 but with what we traditionally think is white house staffers. sometimes they are little younger they had the advantage of the proximity. they are close to the president but they are not necessarily the person with the delegated authority. however their very closest to the president creates challenges for the cabinet secretary who is in charge of the area and also for the whole idea of fighting against the white house. the first two presidents that i look at our truman and eisenhower. these guys both are the first two presidents to start with the white house staff they had to think about how they wanted to create their white house staff and structure. from both of them for the most
part believing cabinet government. they believe the cabinet officers are in charge of the respective areas in the white house staff can help the president can help guide but really it is the cabinet officers in fact eisenhower who's known to tell cabinet officers who came to him said this is your area, you handle you work it out. that being said there's a couple instances where he did have cabinet secretary with white house staffers are people delegated by the president in a way that was different from what the cabinet government seem to entail. one thing in the truman administration's truman was faced with the issue of whether to recognize and today is not a controversial proposition. but at the time it was a big? for u.s. policy. most were against it including george marshall who is not
only a war hero but he is a secretary of state and someone who truly was revered more than anyone else in public life. truman knew he was not hearing the other side of the issue. so he is a relatively junior white house aide and a white house meeting where he would be running against marshall. marshall was not interested having his junior aid way and on his purview and let the president know it he said what is clifford doing here? truman said he's here because i asked him to be here, he makes a case to recognize marshall is so angry that he lost his argument he never again spoke to clifford or uttered his name for the rest of his life the white house people former minnesota governor to be negotiator and
arms do the near times had an editorial in the called the secretary of peace this really irked who said what is that make me, the secretary of war? he was costley trying to undercut staff and eventually did manage to get rid of it. even with the two presidents who really believes in cabinet government you often have a sense of people who are designated by the president to handle an issue that sometimes ran a foul of the cabinet secretary created tension. >> great, so a nether theme you address is how a president has centralized authority or not within the white house they wanted to have a chief of staff all things would go through that person did not want to keep a staff it all or keep a loose operation or
perhaps it's the spokes on the wheel were many people have access to the president. tell us about that organization of the white house and how it affected some of the conflicts you highlighted in the book. >> guest: i'm glad you mentioned the chief of staff. they know that he was always there but he was not always there. truman adams under eisenhower but they had this back-and-forth of the next three or four administration or is not clear with the chief of staff would be a recurring position in the white house higher. with eisenhower said exactly with the folks on the wheel did not have it chief of staff. and then nixon has very prominently chief of staff who is an imperious fellow. subsequent administration kind of reacted against nixon and the imperial presidency and you had ford who had a chief of staff, but he did not want to call him a chief of staff
he called the staff coordinator. in jimmy carter did not want to have a chief of staff that all kinds of challenges to the carter administration started without a chief of staff reluctantly they come around to bring around allison jordan was a strategist and eventually of jack watson who becomes a chief of staff he butted heads with hamilton during the campaign of 1976 because watson was in charge of the transition and all of the campaign people, like you see today in the modern era they are worried the transition be were going to take their jobs so watson eventually comes chief of staff and is good at it so much so that when ronald ragan wins he meets jack watson and says it from what i hear you had this position earlier i might not be in this position right now many of carter guy with an executive chief of staff early on he would not have is an effective presidency so the chief of
staff is an important role under the reagan administration of jim baker who is widely regarded as the best chief of staff ever and once he comes in he does a really good job you can see what a good chief of staff can do, basically had a chief of staff consecutively in every administration that doesn't mean there aren't problems reagan replaced jim baker is chief of staff was not nearly as effective did not get along nearly as well with mrs. reagan and in fact during the scandal healed one point hangs up on mrs. reagan when she's telling them to do something he does not want to do. so jim baker who is of previous chief of staff hears about this and says hanging up on the first lady that is not a firing offense that is a hanging offense. even though he wasn't hank he was fired and did not last much longer after that. the chief of staff is an important decision it can help control conflict but sometimes they get involved in conflict.
>> great, so i asked you to give advice to a president, an incoming president especially with respect to how you deal with conflict in the white house is it a think that's necessary? shooting time management you need to have a little does it depend on who the president is? what is your big advice to run a white house well knowing there are potentially very strong conflicts that you detail in the book again some examples of the book would be great. >> guest: on one side you have absolutely no conflict that leaves the johnson administration he did not went to hear opposing voices he tried to raise those voices and in fact the state department were uncomfortable with the vietnam policy and they formed a little group to discuss alternative options but they were so nervous that johnson might find out about
they called themselves the non- group and they met secretly so johnson would not be aware of it and take revenge on them. so that is way too much conflict the version on the other hand there's too much conflict this is with the ford administration you have a wild uncontrolled white house and you have people leaking to the press and not able to trust one another. with the ford administration it was like this because everyone thanks jerry ford was a nice guy. any was a nice guy, but his niceness precluded him from taking tough steps and specifically there's a guy named robert who is a friend of ford was a very thin skinned and egocentric fellow. his nickname in the white house it used to joke it was sweet old bob but we know as it didn't for that and he knew
as well. forward is very reluctant to control harvey and he did the shenanigans like he would control the presidential inbox from his office which is the anteroom to the oval. he even shared a bathroom with ford which was a huge breach of protocol. the assaults on the go in the presidential inbox he did like he would pull it out and flip it to the columnists. then if he wrote something he wanted to get in front of the president who slip it into the presidential inbox without going to the desk that was not manageable and in fact they had to do something about it. gerald ford was close to harvey and he did not want to do anything about it for the deputy chief of staff was it dick cheney who later became the chief of staff. but he was assigned to figure out a day to do with the harvey problem one thing he did was he booted him out of the anteroom that was next to the oval.
he knew he could not go to forward and say can we get rid of your friend, but what he did say is mr. president you need a room for quiet contemplation to think about big issues today. ford agreed and then they made that room and he found he was out of an office. so harvey did not stay in the white house but he no longer have that office from where he was being so problematic. sometimes you have to take steps which is not necessarily what the president was to articulate what he wants in order to address it that goes from groupthink to extreme chaos somewhere is a comfortable zone. can it survive a little chaos to get better results and admit the famous stories of bill clinton who loses the midterm election in 1994 because his staff drifted too far to the left he knows he needs alternative voices he secretly brings in an advisory
nickname charlie, which later we found it was dick morris was a long-standing political consultant to clinton but is also a republican consultant and charlie brings in these memos that are trying to drift clinton back towards the center. the aides don't like it they eventually find out who he is they leak it to the press with the new yorker people like george duff anapolis who are among the more liberal white house aides and the memoir is excellent book by the way he talks about how much she dislikes morris in the end he even notes by bringing in the inside force and sometimes the president realizes there's benefit to have a get better results.
>> thank you, i think you give a pretty good sense of some of what's in the book. there is a lot more for the audience. there are certainly more reason to go out and buy that book. i'm going to do two things for first i want to remind you is the audience will be coming to you later for questions how to do that you submit your comments in the question section on the youtube chat unction and through twitter at the handle # live. >> of all types of experience in scholarly work on some broad thoughts about the book and if you want to then share some of your experiences we'd love to hear that. >> first if i want to thank you all the bipartisan center for doing this work event in the work you do across the political divide to bring us together and talk about big
policy issues. this book to me is a great demonstration of what you stand for and believe in. looking at democrats and republicans in the white house, scholarly way that making judgments along ideological. that being set i would like to ask [inaudabl tevi about the model he sets up for analysis. he talks about three big factors that govern his work. as he looks at the white house. one he talks about ideological. an administrative and decision-making process. and finally, talks about the broader category of infighting. i am interested, tevi, if you could take a higher altitude say which variable do you
think has the best outcome for public policy in the white house. i'd like to start their secret way of looking and framing what goes on at the white house. he mentioned evans and novak many of us are old enough to remember those amazing columns and we waited for what they were going to say next. but what they think about the role of leaking and leakers in the public policy process, do they do something important for outcomes? are they a nuisance and do they corrupt and corrode and destroy the democratic process? those are two big areas i would like to have a conversation about. >> guest: that is great thank you i think you correctly note
i have three levers in the book the purview to address, number one is ideological comedy if you have a team that gets along ideologically, you are slowing to see less fighting. number two this process if you have a process whereby people can get their voices heard and have their thoughts expressed to the president, even if they don't end at the when a giant end of the day they're more likely to lock arms at the end of the discussions okay the president decided, had my chance and i'll work with him to accept this and the third is the president is willing to speak and tolerance of infighting you will have more of it. the president contra says i don't see it, then there's the famous no drama obama he made it clear he did not want to see infighting in the white
house and there is a great story i have he did like something that was written about she wrote a blistering e-mail to many of them complaining about the way she was treated when she thought someone leaked on her. she was a chief of staff in that kind of person they doesn't know why said that was quite an e-mail you sent and she was shocked that his father knowing about the e-mail she sent. sent a very clear signal i don't want to see the shenanigans those three are the levers the present has control of they so desire. in terms of which has the best policy results, i think it's hard to say ideological alignment is helpful reagan for example that even though there was fighting in the
reagan right under white house new people knew generally where reagan wants to go. and the people may have thought fought over titles or statue where they wanted to know the general policy direction was clear. i think the process what is extremely important. and process is extremely important i will be tied to anyone what's committed is a process route they went around the process circumvented the process. but it also sets a tone. i think if you force me to it rank them i would put the process first, with respect to your second question about the press, i think the press played an important role. i think we have a press that let's us know what's going on i think we know more about fighting in the white house today than we did in previous
errors mentioned novak each fight i looked at the white house i went and looked up to see if they wrote any columns on that fight and they usually did it was a great source for additional work when i was doing they were helpful. indeed the publisher of this book, alex novak he liked the fact i was looking at his father's column. i think that plays an important role but i think there are people who take advantage of the press and they will leak against their colleagues and they will leak to the press thing president had policy acts i don't think that kind of self-serving approaches help one of the bush administration and i worked in that not only was it
a relatively leakfree administration, i don't think i'm naïve about these issues the reason i said it was leakfree administration is because the reporters complained there is not as leaks coming from the administration. in the book i talk about the absence of leaks from this administration. i think that will lead to cooperating better if you don't feel like every other will show up. >> , i get you to maybe ask some more maybe tempt you to talk more about your time and the trump administration your studies of the reagan administration? you've written about both, the book does not covers much about trump is new. some of your thoughts on that and maybe tevi could interact with what you're thinking along those lines? >> absolutely. tevi, you talked about we understand reagan was in
charge from an ideological and policy standpoint. but you also know he had numerous national security advisers. every 14 months or so over and eight year. there is a new nashville security advisor. there is a tension between his ideology and everyone knew it his northstar was in his ability to have the process of the white house. i studied dragon and found that fascinating and i've often wondered how did a president who had that many national security advisers have the historic breakthrough in the cold war that he did. in december of 1987 the washington summit what was then the 40 year cold war could you speak could use speak to how reagan got
something that done. with new faces not just the national security advisor coming in and coming out. how that happened off of what you get? >> so is very wise position as secretary of state position. their wonderful stories in the book because jim baker was a chief of staff the deputy chief of staff on i tried to keep them off motorcades and air force one and out of the hotel the president was saying it and they said what am i a leper? 42-year-old deputy chief of staff dresses up in a gorilla parading around and making fun it was astounding could not imagine the era of cell phones and twitter symone would do
something like that. then george schultz come in mixon excellent secretary of state has a clear sense of what he wants i know he's a colleague of yours in the stability there would help. the other thing is what you talked about the idea of reagan rule if you have any sense of what the president wants, then you are more likely, even if the interchange you know the direction the president will go. and then the person that succeeded reagan was george hwb issue with. much more conservative staffers and moderate staffers because bush himself was a little less clear about his position. he said he had trouble with the vision thing. but you found the humor sure they would go.
>> related to that, i would like to say that sometimes it is difficult any party referred to this printed like to draw you out more, tevi, on this point. it's often difficult for a white house is largely cohesive on the three big variables you mentioned to get the work they want done when there is chaos and the agent is going on. unrelated to that, powerful cabinet secretaries who happened to disagree with the president. i think we've seen that the trump administration and that may be much of the trump administration so far. can you give historic example to what the trump administration has experienced agree with what i've just described? so but certainly clear that some by stories in the white house or between the national
security advisor in the secretary of state. in the nixon administration, kissinger was the national security advisor and it's hard for us remember now we see him as a guru on foreign policy. whose conflict threatened by william rogers who is the secretary of state and nay nixon demonstration who knew eisenhower and then kissinger ran around rogers because nixon allowed it. he recognized kissinger's of brilliance and learn from him on foreign policy and rogers had nothing to teach nixon he is quite the strategist when it came to foreign policy. sometimes you have a situation for the national security adviser can run rings about around the secretary of state.
similarly as in the carter administration with this constant fighting these guys knew each other before the administration and had dinner before the election and talked about working together. on the first day of the carter administration he's briefed on his administration council and his phone rings from the president's phone rings and a secretary of state line heals yank it out, i work for the president not for them. so the first day of the administration he was already saying he was going to be holding at all to the secretary of state. sometimes you have a relationship that works better paid sometimes in the nixon administration i talk about the secretary of defense and he would not put up with kissinger's shenanigans. he had a bureaucratic standing to push back against kissinger
and was much more effective as a secretary of defense than rogers was able to be. may because he was kind of scared off kissinger he was a bit of a bureaucratic bully and he nearly could bully. i think it that environment was really pushing to see what they could accomplish if you could stand your ground and can show that you bring value when you're not going to cower by someone that would be my advice. >> i think were going to go to to the audience questions going to remind you again you can do it in the comment section of facebook you can use the youtube chat function or twitter. so we have a number of questions in already.
that question is what role do vice president's play in creating and disarming, conflic conflict? is that change the take on a more active role? >> thank you for the question and your excellent baseball. the vice president does play an important role but does not necessarily have to play an important role they acted the pleasure of the president and the very circumstance in lbj and jfk administration is the vice president under john f. kennedy. the attorney general is kennedy's brother who hates johnson and hated since that they are both in the senate johnson as a senator. wisconsin trying to demean
lyndon johnson and weaken his role in the robert kennedy was the most powerful person for this first thousand days. then he had the terrible tragic circumstance were kennedy is assassinated and suddenly the vice president is elevated to the presidency. and now rfk, robert kennedy's working for someone who hates him there's a screaming fight they have in the oval office shortly after johnson is inaugurated right after the first cabinet meeting prayed they don't talk for two months after that. think about it rfk was the sitting attorney general and did not talk to the president for two months that is unusual sometimes you have the president giving certain powers to a vice president it's interesting in the book that hubert humphrey you think lbj might have learned had the
nicer more inclusive just the opposite was the case he was belittling humphrey as the kennedy people the measure of events and in later years he points out the vice president had become more powerful need to look at my chapter on the bush 43 administration dick cheney had mentioned earlier is very involved in the clash of the titans between secretary of the security advisor and then : powell and donald rumsfeld and cheney is the vice president. i mentioned earlier the domestic team got along pretty well the foreign policy team the vice president was an important part.
i've not really seen in this situation for the vice president sometimes the vice president is involved so great we have a lot of questions coming in will get there as many as we can. keep it short so you get some more of them. have something to say we are happy to have you share your wisdom as well. i have another question from gaby g. which white house had the biggest fights it actually impact to the of policy? >> i like to go with the ford administration on that it was really paralyzed by the infighting mentioned with robert hartman yet presidential addresses including states of the union that would not get resolved because the inviting.
those one place where it was the night before the state of the union his yelling at his staff because they had not resolve the conflicts with the state of the union. there's also a great story in the book where the thinking of ways to celebrate the bicentennial in 1976. hartman is a frayed that the other staffers are working against him. so i get a bunch of ideas from the outside world by others such as herbie crystal and others they were afraid of at the other staffers would pick so it comes up with the codes you do not know the name of the individual person who made the recommendation and he had happy will be like person a, person b, person c. they use the code and he ends up not knowing whose paper belong to which scholar. sometimes these things cannot only paralyze you because you're fighting with others but sometimes it's a tactic
you use against yourself. >> i would actually like to jump in with a question before you move on. this is a little bit of a different question but relates to the issue of leaking. we think of evans and novak it was a high water mark. but in this era we have technology and social media where many people are weighing and who have limited if any journalistic background. but we also have government officials going to these various individuals and leaking important information. what do you think about that, tevi. especially with the trump administration through going to attempt to smear and destroy people who are serving honorabl honorably.
leaving to a lot of turnover. >> that's a good question about leaking. what i found in the book is a constant race of technologies. as improved the leaking they improve for taking down the leaking. lyndon johnson asked operators to report him on who white house staffers were calling so he could try to identify leakers similarly had the white house motor pool to report to him on where white house staffers were being taken by the army drivers who drive around white house staffers. presidents are always trying to get a handle on that that led to the watergate the reason they're called the plumbers as they were designed to stop leaks they ended up breaking into the watergate hotel to get the papers but the reason they started, the reason i had that nickname is
because they were to stop leaks. as a cat and mouse game between administration and staffers on the leaking issue. that's in technology for identifying who the leakers are. i really think the best way to address it is to have the president set a standard for behavior and bring in people who are willing to not be leaking against one another. i don't want to suggest all leaking is evil sometimes a president or administrational put out a trial is not necessarily designed to destroy sometimes is designed to get a policy was in sunshine and air you can assess whether it should be treated well by the american people in washington.
so the word leak has negative connotations and many instances it is but not always. >> working to take another audience question if you take a look at tevi screen you'll see not just this book but other books displayed behind him. feel the need to buy more than one of these books. i'm going to turn to a question from russell. that questions feel with the comment i agree with the white house is a truly good book i would like to hear the author discuss whether these rivalries emanate more from personality or from policy? >> that is a great question and he's a former white house staffer. the personality is obviously an issue. a guy like kissinger is a sharp skinned fellow first
like robert hartman also a guy not liked by people sometimes people would put public a policy above the fighting in the reagan administration noted true conservative advisor to reagan did not get the chief of staff job. he was disorganized is a great story in the book his briefcase was known for papers going and never come out. they called it the black hole is a lot of nicknames in the book but the only object is the briefcase. they are finding their way that they unilaterally stepped out and said i am not going to leak because leaking but not only hurt baker potentially hurt the president. sometimes people have a higher sense of what they are trying
to accomplish my policy perspective and they say i'm not in a socially going to leak to advance myself but i will do what i can to kind of help the administration. i think personality. but then on the policy side if you have strong disagreement so personality is a constant or policy is a variable. >> we have a nether question. actually i think tevi should answer this. this is from herbert, the question is what are factors that have contributed to successful relationships between a given chief of staff and cabinet secretaries? >> it is a good question. the chief of staff at one level of above everybody else
but at the same time he doesn't nestle and cabinet rank because the cabinet meetings. sometimes it will get a little ahead of themselves so reagan i mentioned earlier, nancy said he's pretty good the chief part without the staff part. think the way to make sure they get along is to try have the sense of their own the president team have equivalent ability to access. one of the reasons don reagan won to become chief of staff is because of his treasury secretary never had one on one time alone with president reagan. so if you keep the cabinet secretary isolate from the president, i think that role hurts he was a chief of staff there's a feeling you are isolating the president and not letting him have the face time they need i think the
chief of staff needs to be -- when i worked in the white house he recognize the importance of the secretary and be included in the process that was a good model. at help the secretary himself a been a cabinet secretary of transportation previously he knew about it. >> let me speak on that question from the standpoint of the trump administration. again it administration had a lot of turnover in the white house not just of the national security council but with the chief of staff. what i've been able to confirm is that both the chief of staff which has become critical for the modern american presidency i don't see how president could survive without a chief of
staf staff. given the sheer amount of operational activity that the white house is responsible for on any given day. but the common factor that leads to a great chief of staff that may have been missing in the trump administration has been on the relationship if any. that he would have with the commander-in-chief rate a lot of what we are seeing in the trump administration is that the collection of people who really did not know donald trump when they came to serve him either in the cabinet or the chief it staff or national security adviser hard to build a relationship in real time and often when you are that close to the president the more you have the more i think the trust is there if you've been in the trenches before either in the campaign or some
other phase of life and so we are seeing in this. a collection of people who are serving the president where they really don't know him very well and he does not know them very well. >> i don't know if you want to respond to that based on your decision because mark. >> think the raising of really important point once the president has the most trust in the people they often have built in a heavy heart or carter have the georgia mafia. people who were with him before anybody you meet as president you apparently have to distrust and what if they thought of you before you were president the people who knew you when and value to it
that's why talked earlier even as before ford before he was vice president. and becomes inherent in that relationship is extremely important the president can put in that. >> alright i'm going to remind the audience we still have a little more time if you like to submit questions do so in the comment section or on twitter at # live. here's another question in its proper structure and process usually provide outcomes desired from the president does not care about either what is the hope for better outcomes? >> as i said earlier, process and structure very important. it's hard to beat that. if you don't have that you
that being said, if you have a clear direction you can overcome some process problems potentially by everyone knowing what you're trying to go. if you don't have clarity and direction that's what tune lead to problems. a process is boring and told but it's incredibly important sought a partisan thing. it's an honored tried-and-true position it's perfectly in line with the bipartisan center for certain structures of government that we should maintain and are adhered to regardless of the ideology of the administration empowered. stop thus trying thing.
so chai get you to follow up a little bit more about the reagan administration on a one away and on the reagan administration there were three people at the top as described seemed like it could've been very chaotic. not something you would recommend just a model on paper but there is a way in which it settled in and there was a lot of conflict. maybe you could say a little bit more about the process which might not have been operated the look like it did on paper. speech i think the reason that worked and so people know it's jim baker chief john chief of staff and then you have the deputy chief of staff the three of them work really well together but each of them had specific roles to play, jim baker's chief of staff made the white house trains run on time in the famous peace of paper i talk about in the book
that divvied up the role the white house, baker took all of the logistical pieces but helps him run the white house effectively. meese was the keeper of the ideological claim was so important in the reagan administration he made sure they did not go off the room even though baker was more moderate and he didn't care about ideology at all he was more of an image of god. the reagan image was so, so important making reagan look good. the other staffers knew they
could get a lot done without those three people bothering them because nobody won to have a meeting with reagan without one of the three members because in ragged could say something that is detrimental to the missing member. first reagan in the hospital and three of them have to visit him at the hospital seo they cannot visit individually reagan joked when they showed up and said i didn't know we are to have a staff meeting. that was one of the instances in which the tension worked in part because of reagan's management style and because of reagan's clear ideological guidance. each had specific goals.
>> to help organize the president so what made the critical distance of the first couple of months of the administration? was at the fact reagan was shot? and how they performed during that presidential crisis. remember al ended up being outside of the community surrounding the president because of his performance especially before the press when he said i am in charge. these men comported themselves in a way the got reported back to the president that they were respectful and dignified and collaborative. i think that presidential crisis also help the framework of the administration. it also made george h.w. bush a trusted aide in a way that may not have happened. but on the other side even with him in place it could not stop the chaos with the national security council which ultimately got us the
scandal which almost toppled the reagan presidency. i think sometimes leaders are great with a vision. but even nancy reagan said that her husband was no manager. you really need the president to have the ideological or policy direction was some ability, not complete ability but serious ability to manage. reagan was better one than the other. >> that initial crisis of reagan being shot was very informative you mention george h.w. bush. one of the things he did he was effectively acting president but he refused to have helicopter landed on the lawn during that time. i later saw bush was not
trying to bring power to himself in a circumstance and others people thought, david was in the situation room and kept excusing himself, was unclear why that richard allen was a national security advisor and thought he was leaving the room to leak to the press. >> we are coming to the end of our hour. could i ask if you have a last thought you could put on the table about the book. then i'm can ask you to close it out with a final summation of whatever else is not been said. >> what i like about the book in particular is it fills a void in presidential history. we often think of infighting in the context of scandal after scandal. we read these books looking for some inclination about a
particular person we did not know. but that is not what tevi did. he took the exercise and as i said to him the other day, i teach american politics i want this book that really helped us understand the american form of government and what is a federalist paper was concerned about what they were predicting. much of it occurs on the pages of tevi's book. we always have to worry about factual is in. we have to worry about particular individuals who can corrupt the process but tevi's book gives us hope. even though we have to worry about the potential to destroy the democratic process, somehow, in the american system of government, we keep recovering, we keep course correcting and get really big policy outcomes.
remember, over the time that tevi rights. the united states is the predominant power on earth and has for each president increasing the amount of possibility and responsibility for the globe and domestic policy as more people push for rights from racial rights to gender, to disability, that is a lot to do and a relatively small white house with a relatively small staff. and despite the leaking and despite the infighting and the ideological battles and varying levels of presidential tolerance for all of this, we still get the outcomes back that makes us the world's most fully functioning democracy. thank you tevi for this important work. >> thank you. final thoughts? >> thank you for participating in this and also for your kind words i so admire your service to this great nation. i really think you've captured
what i'm trying to get at in this book. people are human, you may look at your democrats and republicans and i don't like that these are humans they have families they have career concerns they worry what's going to happen for them to capture the human element in this book. you have so many instances where you think of them is this all-powerful person. you read about them in the "new york times" and "washington post" these are actual real people with real lives. as a part of the book i wanted to mention in the reagan campaign in 1980 there is a lot of tumult in this campaign. there john sears was a campaign manager systematically going after californians to getting rid of them. talk in the book about a confrontation at ronald reagan's house led to him being accused of financial improprieties some very, very
close jim baker said to him i'm able to go to the bedroom to brief the reagan's but he's illogical in the bathroom with them that shows how close he was. and when he's accused of these improprieties he gets indignant and storms out on the house. he says if you don't want me i quit and runs out of the house. and in the next minute he sheepishly walked back into the house on since i forgot my wife drop me off here i don't have a car, can i borrow the station wagon to get back into the city? it's a very human moment. here's a man who indignantly resigned from the campaign that recognizes his friendship with nancy would allow him to borrow her station wagon. he sheepishly comes back. after all kinds of human moments in the book because again it's important these personalities, they really shape policy, they shape the direction of this great country. i recognize that each
president has ideological elections and knows a way to some degree they do help shape the direction you're going. but who people are and what they are trying to accomplish and what their concerns are in the obama administration there is a story the deputy chief of staff and she is frustrated there are feminine products in the white house oval office in the west wing bathroom she goes and makes a big announcement that i got it fixed and she talks with a blank stare she got from the obama staff when it happened but it's important to her that was the reality that she brought. human element is incredibly important and i appreciate everybody calling income appreciate you doing this i hope people will purchase the book look forward to engaging with people in the future. :
♪ ♪ >> book tv continues on c-span2 television for serious readers. >> good evening everybody and welcome to politics and prose our new lives streaming service, i am with muscatine the co-owner of politics and prose along with my husband brad and on behalf of our entire staff, we welcome you to tonight's event which we all have been so excited about and i'm sure all of your two. let me say a few housekeeping things, first of