tv Tevi Troy Fight House CSPAN July 26, 2020 3:30pm-4:31pm EDT
at my own life very frankly in this book. how sometimes you are strong and successful. and sometimes you are not. so to watch the rest of this discussion visit our website booktv.org and search the title of her book the power notebooks. >> good afternoon i am the director of government book studies at the policy center. : : : let me start by introducing our guests and then we'll talk a little bit and then we're looking forward to having you ask questions as well. reason i'm very excited about the book and also about our guest is it's a rare thing to be good at public service and to be a person of action, and also a
rare thing to be a scholar and excellent the study of something, and tevi and kiron bring that to the table. tevi was someone who worked in many places in public service, some in congress, to several departments of the department of labor and the department of hhs and at the white house, which is what these books are about, this book and several other books. also an accomplished author oh has written in addition to that's piece on the white house, piece odd intellectuals in white house as well as emergency preparedness in the white house, and the use of social media by presidents. i hope you'll take the time to listen and to think but buying this book "fight house. ". we have fourth of july coming up. anytime is a good time to learn
about the white house and presidencies. kiron skinner is a person of action and of scholarly repute, she is someone who is worked most recently in the white house, or in the state department as a director of policy and planning. served in a number of other white house -- white house or administrations in advisory and other roles and on presidential campaigns and also the toby over and director of then constitute of politics and strategy at carnegie melon university harks written books on reagan and foreign policy as well. so we have great lineup today. we'll jump into the meat of the poock. we want you to get a sense from tevi what is the book and the key points and then i want to turn to kiron to hear her thoughts and have conversation and then turn to you.
what i do come to you for questions, you have a number of weh-wehs to get in touch and ones to submit questions in the comment section at facebook, and also with the youtube chat function and on twitter at #bpc live so we'll look for you questions. tevi, this is a book and you have written extensively on the white house. but what i like is of course it's about personalities and conflicts and important advisers in the white house and also a book but the presidency and the white house itself. it says a lot how the institution has grown and my first question is, you point out that over the period you're talking about, starring after fdr, the white house has back much bigger institution. it has more staff, more prominent. and yet the advisers are often maybe younger than cabinet secretaries and often have the
ear of the president. tell me about the froth of the white house and the relationship to cabinet and then a few of anecdotes to give us a sense of conflicts. >> thanks for doing this. the book is really as you said beaut the growth of the white house staff, the threat -- get to of the executive office and the president. people don't realize before fdr and franklin and eleanor roosevelt we didn't have staff in the white house. presidents may have had a secretary or two, but in roosevelt, you had something calls the brown lo commission and the commission had a famous four-word conclusion, the president needs help and that conclusion led the creation of the executive office of the president which now has 1800 people. most of the 1800 are career staffers who serve administration in and
administration out and that's 300 to 400 what we think of as white house staff. million odd people who you correctly note are sometimes younger, have the advantage of what i call proximity. they're close to the president but not necessarily the person with he delegated authority to run an issue but their very closeness to the president often creates challenges for the cabinet secretary in charge of the area and for the whole idea of fighting within the white house. so the first two presidents look at are truman and eisenhower and the both are the first two presidents who start with a white house staff. had to think how to create their white house staff, wanted to have a structure and boast both of them for the most part believe in cabinet government. the cabinet officers are in charge of the respective areas and the white house staff can help the president, can help guide, put really is the cabinet ofs setting policy and
eisenhower was known to tell cabinet officer who came to women if problems and he would say this is your yeah, you work it out. i point out where you did have cabinet secretaries kind of butting heads with white house staffer or people delegated by the president in a way that was different from what the cabinet government would seem to entail. one story i tell in the truman administration is that truman was facing the issue of whether to recognize israel. today that's not such a controversial proposition because it's a close al -- ally of us but at the time it was a big question mark and most of the national security establish was against it including george marshal, the secretary of state who would revered more than anyone necessary public life. truman new -- knew he wanted to hear the other side of the issue and assigned clark clifford to
make the casimere recognizing israel in a white house meeting where he would run up against marshall. marshall was not that interested in having a junior white house aide weighing in on the issue and let the president know it. what is delivered doing her, he said but truman said he's here because i asked him to do. clifford makes the craig for recognizing israel and marshall was angry the lost the argument but he never again spoke to clifford or uttered his name. in the eisenhower administration, john foster dulles, the secretary of state, frequent -- eisenhower decided to bring in harold strassen to be foreyou're original arms deal width the russias. and he was called the secretary of peace.
irk foster dullless who said what does this make me, the secretary of war? he was trying to underconfident stassen and got rid of hill. you have he spence of people designate bed the president can run afoul of the cabinet secretary and create some tension. >> great. so another theme that you address is how a president has centralized authority or not within his white house. some presidents at least wanted to have a chief of staff, a strong chief of staff, a get akeeper who all things would go through the person, others didn't want a chief of staff at all or a very loose operation. sometimes revved to as the spokes on the wheel theory where many people have access the president. tell us about that organization of the white house and how it affected some of the conflicts in the book. >> you mention the chief of staff. people assume the chief of staff
is always there and it's not the case. he first from inept one was adams under eisenhower and then a back and forth writ wasn't clear that the chief of staff was going to be a recurrent position in the white house hierarchy. after eisenhower you had ken who did idea waugh said, spokes on the wheel. did not have a chief of staff, and then nixon has very prominently hr hadman as chief of standard who is a very kind of -- in the swept administration, kind of ranged against nixon in the imperial presidency and you first had ford who had a chief of staff, don rumsfeld but he called hmm the staff coordinator and then judgmenty carter didn't want to have a chief of staff and that led to challenges. so the carter administration starts without a chief of staff, relook can't dicome around to bringing in jordan that didn't work out and then you have jack
watson the chief of staff. he butted heads with hamilton jordan during the campaign of 1976 because watson was good charge of the transition and all the campaign people, like you see today, and even the modern era were worried the transition people were going to take the jobs so watson becomes chief of staff and when ronald reagan wins he meets jack watson and says to him from what i have you had had this position earlier, i might not be in this position right now. meaning if carter hadwith a chief of star early on he wouldn't have had an ineffective presidency and may have won a second term. the chief of staff is an important role. under the reagan administration you have james baker as recorded one of the best chief of staffs ever and when we comes in and see what a good chief of staff can do you had a chief of staff consecutively in every
administration since. that doesn't mean there aren't problems. don regan replaced jim baker as chief of staff, not nearly as effective, didn't get along nearly as well with mrs. reagan who was important and during the iran-contra scandal he hangs occupy on mrs. reagan and jim baker who was the previous chief of staff hears and says hanging up on the first lady, that's not just a firing offense, that's a hanging offense. and indeed, while don regan was no hangs he was fired. so the chief of staff is an important portion but sometimes that get involved in the conflict. >> great. so, if i ask you to give advice to a president, an incoming president, and especially with respect to how you deal with conflict in the white house, is it a thing that is necessary? do you need to manage? is it go to have a little? what
would you say, depend on who the president is? what's your big advice for a president really able to run a white house well, knowing there are potentially these very strong conflict outside detail in the book and some examples from the book would be great. >> sure. so, there's a continuum. on one side you have absolutely no conflict and that leads to group think. you saw in the johnson administration, johnson didn't want to hear opposing voices on the vietnam, majorrized people who tried to raise countervailing voices and some people at the state department who were uncomfortable with the vietnam policy and they formed a little group to discuss alternative policy options but were so nervous that johnson might fine out they call he themselves the nongroup and met secretly so johnson wouldn't be aware of and if it take revenge on them. so that is group think and that ties much conflict aversion.
on the other hand, too muff conflict and i think of the ford administration, yep you have kind of a wild uncontrolled white house and you have people leaking to the press and people not able to trust one another and the ford administration is audit was like this because everybody thinks ferry ford was a niles but this niceness reincluded him from taking tough stephs to controlled the fighting and a man who was a friend of ford who was a very thin skinned and ego centric fellow and his nick name was sob and to the jurors it stands for sweet old bob. we know it didn't stand for that and he did as well. ford was very reluctant to control hartman and hartman would control the presidential in box from his office which is the antiroom to the oval so he even shared a bathroom with ford, which is a usual breach of
protocol. he would control the in box. i he saw something go in president in become he don't know would up it out and leak it to novak and then if the saw something he want -- he would slip it into the in box and this is untenable, not manageable, and in fact they thought they had to do something about it and gerald ford was close to hartman and didn't want to do anything but the deputy chief of staff named dick cheney who became the chief of staff, the youngest chief of and a half presidential history but cheney was assigned with figuring out how to deal with hartman and the kind of booted hartman out of the anteroom next to oval and knew he can't say to ford can we get ridoff your friend but the said you need a room for quite contemplation, ford agreed and then they made that anteroom the ford con september playing room and hartman found he was another
of an office. so hartman didn't stay in the white house orbit but no longer had the office from where he was being so problematic so sometimes you need to take steps that are not necessarily what the president is willing to articulate what he wants in order to address it. i would say in that continuum from group think to extreme choose, somewhere in the middle is a comfortable soap and sometime you have a president who is willing to survive a little chaos or actually engender a little chaos in order to get better results, and this the famous stories of bill clinton who loses the mid-term election in 1994 because his staff hat drifted too far to the left. he knows he needs alternative voices and brings in an advicer charlie, dick morris, who was a long standing political consultant to clinton and had been a republican political consul tap at times in his career, and charlie brings in these memos that are trying to drift clinton back towards the
center. clinton's aides don't like it and find out who charlie is, and leak to the press and the new yorker that dick morris is advice toking the.and people like george stephanopoulos and other lib rallying white house i.e.d.es are going at it hammer and tongue with morris the spire time he is in white house, and stephanopoulos, his memoir talk about how much he dislikes morris but he notes that clinton by bringing in the outside force got to getter result from his staff. so sometimes the president recognizes there are benefits to fostering a little chaos to get better results. >> thanks, teviment you have given a pretty good sense of some of what is in the book. there's certainly more reason to go out and buy that book. i'm going to do two things. i'm going to turn to kiron in one second but first i want to
remind you we'll be coming to you later for questions and how you do that, submit your questions in the comment section of facebook, you can do so in the youtube chat function and through twitter at the handle, #bpclive. kiron you have experience in this area. first, some broad thoughts but the book and then if you want to share your experiences in the the trump or reagan administrations we'd love to hear that. >> i'd like to thank you all at the bipartisan center for doing this book event and for the work you do across the political divide to bring us together to talk about big policy issues, and tevi's book to me is just a great demonstration of what you stand for and believe in. looking at democrats and republicans in the white house, how they interact in a scholarly way; not making judgments along
ideological lines. that being said i would like to ask tevi about -- and comment on the model he sets up for his analysis. he tacks about three big factors that govern his work as he looked at the white house. one he talked about ideological fighting. he was interested also, second, in administrative decisionmaking process, and then finally, he talked about just the broader category of infighting. i'm interested, tevi, if you could take a higher altitude to look inside which variable do you think has the best outcome for public policy in the white house? i'd like to start there. i think that's a fascinating way of looking and framing what goes on in the white house. relatedly, i'm interested, since
you henningsed evan and novak, many of us old enough to remember those amazing columns we waited for what they were going say next and for their scoop. what you think about the role of leaking and leakers in the public policy process. do they do something that is important for outcome? or are they just a nuisance and do they corrupt and corrode and destroy the democratic process. those or two big areas i'd like to have a conversation about. >> that is great. thank you for your careful read and for your scholarship which i enjoy over the years. so, i think you correctly note i have three levers in the book that presidents have in their purview to address conflict, number one is ideological comity. if you have a team that gets long ideologically you'll see
less fighting because the agreeing. number two the process. i you have process whereby people can get their voices heard and have their thoughts expressed to the president, even if they don't win at the end of the day they had a fair process, they're more likely to lock arm ted end of the discussion and say, okay, the president decided. i had my chance and we're going to accept this as the president's policy judgment. the third is presidential power. if i.ing willing to see more infighting and tolerant of innighting you'll have more and if a practice in con tsa says i don't want to see it and the latest example is obama, no drama obama he made it clear he did not want to see infighting in the white house and there's a great story i have in the book of -- didn't like something that was written about her and she wrote a blistering e-mail to many of the white house staff complaining about the wail she was treated and thought that
somebody leaked on her. obama called her into the oval office which is not that unusual because she is deputy chief of staff and, but the she doesn't know why and he says that was quite an e-mail you sent and she was shocked the president bothered knowing but e-mails she was sending but sent a very clear signal i don't want to see this kind of shenanigan in the white house. so those three are the levers a president has to control. in terms of which one has the best policy result, i think it's hard to say. i think ideological alignment is helpful because then you know where the president wants to go with them. reagan for example, peggy noonan said even though was fight neglect reagan white house, the idea of reagan rules, meaning that people knew generally where reagan wants to good and so even though people might have fought over titles or stature, the fact that where they were going in a general policy direction was
well -- i think the process one is extremely important. the administration which i worked was the george w. bush administration and process was extremely important and anyone that committed what was called a process -- that went round the process and circumvented. then presidential powers set the tone. if you force me to rank them i would put the process first, and i think -- with respect to your second question but the press, i think the press plays an important role. i think we need to have a press that lets us know what is going on, and i think we know more about fighting in the white house today than we did in previous eras because in part there's the press and you mentioned evans and novak. with each fight i look at in the book i went and looked up to see if evans and novak wrote any columns an that fight and they invery invariably did and the
publisher of the book, alex novak, and i think you -- he leaked the fact i was looking at his father's columns and he was the preface to the book. i think the press plays an important role but there are people who take advantage of the press and they will leak against their colleagues and they may lose their policy fight if they're the poor process and then leak to the press but the president's -- i was in favor of policy y and i don't think that kind of self-serving is helpful. the in the bush administration which i worked, on the domestic side of the house and not only was it a real toughly lock-free administration, the reason i say that is because the reporters complained that the are not enough leaks from the administration and i have a whole stream of quotes in the become reporters complain bug that absence of leaks from the
administration and that can lead to people cooperating better if they don't people every other meeting will show up in "the new york times" or the "washington post" or politico. >> kiron can he get you to ask some more, maybe talk but your time in the trump administration or your studies in the reagan administration, tevi has written about both of the book doesn't cover as much but trump because it's new but some of your thoughts on that and maybe tevi can interact with what is your thinking along the lines. >> absolutely. tevi, you talk about peggy noonan saying we understood reagan was in charge from an ideological and policy standpoint but you also know that he had numerous national security adviser. there was a churn in the white house. every 14 months or so over an eight year period so there was a new national security adviser.
and so there was a tension between his ideology which he was committed to and everyone knew what his north star was, and his ability to have the process of the white house work. i studied reagan 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? for example, a december 1987, the washington summit led to the first nuclear disarmament treaty of what was then the 40-year cold war. did you speak to how reagan got something that historic done in the midst of having new faces, not just the national security advisor, but downstream, the people underneath each map coming in and coming out. how did that happen from the work you did?
>> national security advisor position was -- the secretary of state's position right after -- i have a wonderful story in the book houston haig because jim baker was the chief of staff and mike disease very didn't like haig and they tried to keep him off moat core do motorcades and air force one the hotel and haig said am i a helper in she complained but the gorillas in the white house. and mike deaver dresses up in a gorilla costume in the white house, making fun of him. astounding if could not imagine an era of cellphones and twitter somebody who duty but this was before that. so haig goes -- then george shut come -- george shuts comes in ask and the stan there really
helped and then the other thing is this idea that the idea of regular reagan rules. if you have a seasons of what the president wants you're more like through dish even if they interchange, aide notes the direction of president is trying to go and the person who succeeded reagan was george h.w. bush and you had much more warring between then more conservative staffers and moderate staffers because bush himself was a little less clear about his positions, he had trouble with the -- not clear on where they were going to go it's hard to get -- [loss of audio] >> related to that, john, if you don't mind, i'd like to say that sometimes it's difficult to -- you have already revved to this but like to draw you out more. it's often difficult for a white house that is largely cohesive, the three big variables you
mentioned, to get the work they want done when there's chaos in the agencies going on, and related to that, powerful cabinet secretaries who happen to disagree with the president, i think we have seen that in the trump administration and that may in fact be much of the trump story. can you give us historical examples that may help be a corrective to what the trump administration has experienced if indeed you agree with what i've just described? >> well, it certainly clear that some of my best stories in the white house but infighting are between the national security advisers and the secretary of state in the nixon administration for example you had henry king martin luther king who what's national security adviser and we see him as this aged drew rue spouting wisdom on foreign policy and then we was very young, very
aggressive, very thin skinned, and he was constantly thenned by williams rodgers, the secretary of state that the nixon administration and knew nixon back to the eisenhower and yes kissinger ran wings wind rodgers because nixon res need he kissinger's billans and he could learn from kissinger on important policy and rodgers had nothing to teach nixon what was quite the strategist when it came to foreign policy. so sometimes you have a swags where the national security advisor can kind of run rings around the secretary of state and similar live the issue in the carter administration where there was constant fighting between -- and the knew each other and had dinner the night of the election and talk about how the prospect of them working together and in the first day of
the carter administration, zoo buying sis this phone rings from the president and this phone rings from the secretary of state and he shouts yank it out. work for the president, not for vans. ... the secretary of defense he would up and up with kissinger's shenanigans and he would push back against kissinger and his much more effective as secretary of defense than rogers was able to be secretary of state because it kind of scared off kissinger. he was a bit of a bureaucratic bully.
so i think people are very alpha mail alpha female environment. people are pushing to sue they can accomplish. if you can stand your ground, not be a jerk about about show you can bring value without the shenanigans. >> great think we went to go to your audience questions let me remind you again in case more are coming and if you could submit them in the comment patient of facebook you can use the youtube chat function or twitter. of a number of questions and already. that question is what role do vice president's play in creating or disarming conflict? is that role changed as if taken on a more active role?
>> ej thank you for the question and your excellent baseball podcast which i listen to regularly. the vice president does play in important role, but doesn't necessarily have to play an important role. it really is at the pleasure of the president. i get as much power as the president grandson. thunder john f. kennedy, the attorney general is famously candy's brother who hates johnson and his hated him from the days of his senate is a staffer and a senator. they're trying to demean lyndon johnson and weaken his role. and kennedy was the most in blue agile person outside the president and that first thousand days that have the
terrible circumstances work kennedy's assassinated in the vice president is elevated to the presidency. and now he's working for president who hates him and in fact there is a big screaming fight in the oval office shortly after johnson is inaugurated after the cabinet meeting. and everybody is in this weird coronavirus. think about it was the sitting and turning general outside the president for two months that was unusual. so sometimes you have a president giving certain powers to the vice president they may have one instead of another. i also point out that hubert humphrey it was lbj's vice president lbj might have learned from experience he had to be nicer more inclusive. an effect the opposite was the case he was as belittling as humphrey as the kennedy people were of johnson and this
measure of events. in later years they have become more powerful the bush 43 administration obviously dick cheney who mentioned earlier when he was deputy chief he is very involved in the clash of the titans between secretary rice and colin powell and donald rumsfeld heard a mention earlier in team got along the port engine foreign policy the vice president was an important part of that. the vice president i just really liked into a serious situation with the vice president was able to tamp down conflicts. but sometimes he vice president is involved. civic thank you.
great, with a lot of questions coming in salt try to get to as many as we can take it we can keep it short so we can get to some more of them. but also like to answer the question or have something to say we are happy to have you share your wisdom as well. i have another question hear from gabby g. which white house has the biggest fight that actually impacted policy? so i would sit with the ford administration on that the ford administration was powerline by the inviting. i some of the instances you had presidential addresses including states of the union that did not get resolved because of of some of the infighting. there is one there is the night before the state of the union and ford is yelling at his staff because they had resolved of the conflicts for the state of the union was also a great story in the book
will try for how to celebrate the bicentennial. and harkin is afraid the other staffers working against hymns they got a lot of ideas to the outside world and he was afraid of at the other staffers would pick sweet came up seared don't know the name of the individual person made the recommendation and he said jed person a, b, c. and then through he loses the codes we tricks himself and ends up not knowing whose favorite blog to which scholar. so sometimes these things cannot only paralyze you because you're fighting with others was sometimes a tactic used to protect yourself can rebound against you. >> i actually like to jump in with a question before we move on. this is a little bit of a
different question when you think of evans and novak there the high watermark. but in this area we have technology and social media where many people are weighing a new have limited if any journalistic background. but we also have government officials going to the various individuals. and we have that they're leaking important information. what do you think about that? especially in the trump administration where there is the attempt to smear and destroy people who are serving honorably. once leading to a lot of churn and turn over. >> at the good question about leaking. where found in the book is a constant race of technology.
and there's technology for chasing down the leaks. lyndon johnson asked the white house operators to report on who they were calling. he asked the motor pool to report to him on where white house staffers are being taken by the army drivers who drive around the white house staffers. so the presence or are you trying a handle on leaks. the reason they're called the plumbers is they were designed to stop leaks for the end up breaking up and breaking in but the reason they started and they have that nickname is because they were to stop the leaks. there's a cat and mouse game between the administration and staffers on the leaking issue. think there's going to be technologies for leaking
there's going to be technologies for identifying who the leakers are pretty real think the best way to address it is to have the president set a standard in bringing people who are willing to not be leaking. with that said, i don't want to suggest all leaking is evil. because sometimes the administration will put out a travel put out a personal policy or personnel in a leak is not a silly designed to destroy sometimes is designed to get a policies and son chided heirs you can assess whether the policy will be treated or reacted too well by the american people towards the world leak has negative connotations but it's not always. >> over the audience question if you look close at his
screen, though smith the jefferson, and other books displayed behind them. you may feel the need to buy more than one of these books. i'm going to turn to a question from russell newsom. that begins with a comment i agree with. the white house is a truly good book about the presidency i like to hear the author discuss whether these rivalries emanate from policy or rivalry? civic that's a great question he's a former staffers or knows where he speaks. so personnel is important, kissinger is a sharp fellow. a person like robert hartman is a guy who i can't imagine environment worries not affecting people. sometimes people will try to put the policy above the
fights when the reagan administration you'd kind of a true conservative advisor to reagan very close to reagan. he was disorganized his briefcases known as placer papers go in and come out to have a lot of nicknames in the book the only object in the book is the briefcase. so there's fighting in a way was james baker. also unilaterally stepped out of the fighting set i am not going to leak because leaking not only hurts that but the president purchased sometimes people have a higher sense of what they're trying to accomplish from the perspective. not necessarily leaks like that but i'll do what i can
that unilaterally disarming pertinent personalities really drive you cannot have comments with them in the policy side if you have strong disagreements about policy talk about policy is variable. >> we have another question and actually i think certainly should weigh on this as well this is from herbert and the question is what are factors that have contributed to successful relationships between a given chief of staff and cabinet secretaries? >> it's a good question because the chief of staff at one level is himself above everybody else but at the same time he's in the cabinet so he doesn't cabinet rank and goes to cabinet meeting.
sometimes they get a little bit ahead of themselves so i mentioned earlier in nancy reagan said pretty get the chief part but not the of staff parts i think the way to make sure they get along is to try in the sense of their own the presidents team and they have ability to access which is one of the reasons that reagan wants become chief of staff. never had time alone with president reagan. to keep the secretary isolate from the president that will hurt user chief of staff because you are isolating the president and not letting them have the facetime they need in order to get a sense of getting stuff done. i think the chief of staff needs to be an inclusive player who works in the bush
white house they realize the importance of the cabinet secretary i think that is a good model. >> probably helps he had been a cabinet secretary of transportation previously so he knew about that tension. >> let me speak on that question mason a standpoint of the trump administration. again, to an administration that has had a lot of churn in the white house. not just the national security council but is the chief of staff. would i have been able to affirm is both as a chief of staff has become so critical for the modern american president. i don't see how a president can survive without a chief of staff given the activity that the white house is responsible for in any given day.
i was so great chief of staff who may have been missing and they trump administration the prior relationship of any that individual have with the commander-in-chief. a lot of overseeing in the trump administration as it's a collection of people who really did not know donald trump when they came to serve him. either in the cabinet or as chief of staff or as national security advisor. it's hard to build the relationship in real time. often when you're that close to the president the more you have history the more i think the trust is there. and if you have been in the trances before either during the campaign or other phase of life. we are seeing in this. they're serving a president where they don't really know him very well and he doesn't know them very well.
>> out of you want to respond to that? >> look i think you're raising a very important point. the president has the most trust in the people and there's also this appalachian built to a heavy heart break it is a california mafia or there's the georgia mafia. people who would get him. if your president anyone you meet as president as you have to have some level of distress because they want to talk to you because you are president. and what did they think of you before your president. it's the people who knew you when are the closest to you nuts why talked earlier about bob hartman hughes closer to ford before he was president or vice president. the honesty that comes.
>> okay i am going to remind there's a little more time to submit a question you can do this so in the comment question i facebook you can do so on twitter's another question from peter and good that's structure and process usually have the outcome of desire when the president doesn't care about either what are the alternatives for better outcomes? >> as i said earlier process and structure extremely important. it's hard to beat that. going to have some problematic outcome. that said you have a clear direction you can overcome some process potentially by everybody knowing where trying to go.
the question is if you don't have a good process and you don't have clarity and direction that's really what leads i think it's a really good question. it's boring the process is boring until it's incredibly important for getting things done. also not a policy then the process is a tried-and-true tradition that goes from the administration to administration its perfectly online with the theory of the bipartisan policy center there certain structures of government that we should maintain any hereto regardless of the ideology the nature of the administration of powers. so. could i follow-up and maybe get you to talk a little bit more about the reagan administration? the reagan administration famously had a triumphant of three people at the top.
as described it seems like it could've been very chaotic. it was not necessarily something you would recommend just a model on paper. there is a way in which it sort of settled in and was successful even though this one of conflicts. maybe you could say a little bit more process which may not have operated the weight look like on paper. stomach i think the reason it worked is jim baker's chief of staff and there's the counselor to the president on there's a deputy chief of staff are the three of them worked really well together. each of them had specific roles to play. jim baker is a chief of staff was the operator he made the trains run on time. divvy up the rolls in the white house baker took all of the logistical polices but help them run the white house. meese was kind of the keeper
of the ideological claim is important for the reagan administration tried to make sure they did not go off the rails ideologically even though baker was more moderate. the reagan image was so important. i was really good at making reagan but good. we did not step on each other in their specific areas that's important for the other funny thing stories about this in the book in the white house they didn't trust each other so they always stuck together as a group. the other staffers knew they could get a lot done without those three senior people bothering them if they were all going to reagan nobody wanted to have a meeting with reagan without one of the three because in reagan could say something and someone else
would be missing it. when reagan was in the hospitalist through them had to visit him in the hospital together. reagan joked when they showed up he said i did know we're having a staff meeting. that was one of the instances in part because of reagan's management's style. on the cover of reagan's clear ideological guidance. it was not clear coming into the white house that these would emerge as the ones who work together to help organize the president. so what made the difference in the first you days of the administration. and how did they perform during the presidential crisis.
because of his performance especially before the press i said i was in charge. these men purported themselves they got back to the president they were respectful and dignified and collaborative. think that presidential crisis also help the framework of the administration and it also made george hwb rusch a trusted aide in the way in no way that said even on the other side with him and placed her could not stop the chaos of the national security council. ultima had a conflict scandal but almost toppled the reagan presidency. i think sometimes leaders are
great with the vision but even nancy reagan said her husband was no manager. we need to have the president ideological or policy direction was some serious ability to mandate. >> that initial crisis of reagan being shot was very informative you mentioned george hwb rusch. one of the things he did he was effectively acting president but he refused to have the helicopter and what land on the white house lawn during that period and reconcile later the bush was not trying to propel himself into the circumstance. there's also other people, david berger was in the situation room and kept excusing himself of the situation room unclear why but
richard allen who is a national security advisor did not trust him and thought he was going out to leak to the press that's why his name professor leakey. >> we are coming to the end of our our so if you have a last thought you went to put on the table about the book. then i'm been asked to close it out with a final summation of whatever else is not been said. >> what i like about the book in particular that it fills a void in presidential history. we often think of infighting in the con sapped of scandal after scandal looking for some information about a particular person we did not know. but that's not what tavi did. he took it seriously as an exercise. and that what i said to him the other day this is a book i
would use with my students that i teach american politics. it really helps us understand the american form of government and what in the federalist papers they were concerned about and what they were predicting. much of it occurred from the pages of heavies book. we always have to worry about factual and even particular that corrupt the process. but his book gives us hope. because even though we have to worry about the potential to destroy the democratic process somehow in the american system of government we keep recovery we keep course correcting get really big policy outcomes remember the united states is the predominant power on earth. and has for each president an
increasing amount of responsibility for the globe and domestic policy as more people push for racial rights to gender to disability, is a relatively the ideological battle in the presidential tolerance for all of this we get tolerance that us the world's most fully functioning multiethnic democracy. thank you for this important work. >> thank you, final thoughts? thank you for participating in this in your kind words. so admire your great nation. i really think you captured what i'm trying to get at in this book. these people are human. you may look at your democratic and republican from say i don't like that but these are human and they've
got families and challenges and career concerns and they worry what's going to happen after the administration is really trying to capture the human element of this book because you have so many instances we think of people as us all-powerful person you read about in the "new york times" and "washington post" these are actual real people with real lives. there's a great story i want to mention in the book. in the reagan campaign in 1980 there is a lot of tumult in this campaign there is john sears who is the campaign manager who systematically going after californians and getting rid of them heard it talked in the book about a confrontation that ronald reagan's house that led to him being accused of financial improprieties. he was someone who is very, very close to the reagan's peace and i am able to go to the bedroom to brief the reagan's but he can go into the bathroom. so when he's accused of these improprieties he storms out of
the house and he says you don't want me a quick parade runs out of the house. and in the next minute he sheepishly walked back into the house and said i forgot that my wife drop me off here, i don't have a car. can i borrow nancy station wagon to get back into the city? it's a very human moment he resigned from the campaign but yet at the same moment he recognizes his friendship with nancy would allow him to borrow her station wagon and sheepishly comes back. i've got all kinds of human moments in the book. again it's important these personalities really shape policy. they shape the direction of this great company. the ideological them some weight to shape the direction you're going but also what they try to accomplish in the
obama administration. there's a story about alyssa that i mentioned earlier is frustrated the white house oval office in the west wing bathroom. she goes and fixes it makes it big announcement not getting it fixed in the blank stare she got from the obama staff. without born to her and that was the reality she brought to the role. so again the human element is incredibly important i appreciate everybody. >> thank you to our audience. thank you president joel historians and author of the great book we have been discussing today. white house, rivalries in the white house from truman to trump. ♪ ♪