tv Washington Journal CSPAN February 9, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EST
mike allen, the chief white house correspondent with politico joins us on the phone this morning. if this story on politico.com -- no high hopes for health care summit. why is that? guest: already the two sides have staked out positions that are very different from each other. democrats seem to be planning to you -- use this as a new deadline to get a deal negotiated so they can go in with a plan pretty well baked and to use this summit coming up after the president's day break as a way to have political cover if they need to go ahead
and have an all democratic vote. republicans on the other side are getting ready to use this as an opportunity to really push back against the public -- the president. last night house republican leaders sent a letter to white house chief of staff rahm emanuel asking him several questions, and as you know, questions can be used to make hostile points. among the things that they say are that the government should get -- go back to square one. that they should start with a blank slate. host: there is also a report that john boehner, leader in the house for the republicans is asking there be some conditions set for this meeting and that he once, or republicans possibly want reconciliation in the senate taken off the table if they are going to have any kind of negotiations on health care. guest: it can't hurt to ask.
and republicans are going to go ahead with this. things would go so bad if they walk, it would give the president's -- president a talking point. this is a smart move of the president was because one of the biggest objections the people have to this plan, heightened by the fact that this is being done behind closed doors. and, of course, c-span viewers know all legislation is negotiated in private. nothing surprising about that. but the president was out there with his repeated pledge in the campaign to have these negotiations on c-span so he is going down what he should have done 13 months ago -- bring in c-span, bring in the republicans, and say what have you got? host: it will not just the c- span but it would be open to all the networks to cover the summit. this is the editorial this
morning -- what do you think this editorial will have on republicans deciding whether or not or how they go about this health care summit? guest: they recognize that they are props to some degree. and they do plan to use it to go ahead to make their point and to argue that -- you might not have been listening, we have been talking though. it sounds like there will be a little chest thumping going on. they will not end up stiffing the president but they will try to get some of the concessions. but the white house said they are not going to start at square one, they're looking at ways to
improve or change the legislation but not scrap it. host: at the white house, is this a long time campaign strategy as some are suggesting this morning, that in 2010, candidates want to run not against president obama but rather candidates, democratic candidate, went to be able to run against republican ideas when it comes to health care? guest: i think it is an excellent point. the president's senior adviser david axelrod has been telling us for a while that we can't let these midterm elections become a referendum on the president. that is what midterm elections are. but they are going to try to dilute back to the degree that they can -- by live that to the degree they can. -- dilute that to the degree
that they can. democrats, too, recognize that calling out republicans and saying you have just been out there throwing rocks, will be an effective strategy. david axelrod just this weekend said we can't be governing while the other side is running an election campaign. host: there is a story in "roll call" that progressives will huddle, weather permitting, to revive the public option in the debate. guest: that story gave us a chuckle when we heard about that a day or two ago. they may be doing that for their constituents.
it shows that there is sometimes a parallel reality in washington because anyone who vaguely follows the news would know there is not any chance of that. host: give us a little bit of a bad story of how the idea of the health care summit came about. when where republicans and forms? guest: i think only about half an hour before the president announced it during his interview during the super bowl pregame show. reporters had gotten a little information in the afternoonç, the date, february 25, that it was probably at the blair house, a few details the president had not gone into in his conversation with katie couric. some republicans said they did get a little heads up, not till late surprise but an example of what david axelrod is saying -- the white house is looking for
examples of ways to show the presence of with republicans and to engage republicans, to show he is bipartisan and so they will not haveç a free ride to take shots. pretty well ruled out the idea of having a regular question time, kind of like what we get from britain. they say one of the reasons the baltimore appearance was so memorable and effective was because it was a one-shot deal, it was surprised, there was an air of spontaneity. if you were to do the events all the time, republicans would filibuster and it would not quite served its same purpose. host: do we know any details of the summit, other than it would be at the blair house and the dates? other than that we know how it will work? guest: leaders of both theç he and senate from both parties and i think the president will let them talk. he wants to be shown listening
to their ideas. it does not mean he has to take them. but having the president just listening to that ideas -- ideas so that it can deflate the charge it is done behind the scenes. but republicans will make some tough challenges to the president, including in this letter they wrote to rahm emanuel asking, will you agree that any vote that is going to come up, any bill that will come up for a vote will be out there for 72 hours before this, or will you agree to not go the all democrat 51-vote reconciliation route? these are questions they will not get a favorable response from the white house on, but it shows how they are trying to set the table a little bit. they learned the lesson of baltimore, so they are trying to get some political advantage going and so they are not just potted plants. host: mike allen, thank you for your time.
on our republican line in charlotte, north carolina, what are your expectations for the health care summit? caller: thank you for having me. i like the idea of transparency in government. unfortunately the transparency we will see out of the summit is phony transparency. i took away from the republican retreat steenbok to more web interacted with the president, -- retreat in baltimore where they interacted with the president is the president always has an answer for everything and it paved the republican party as the party of no. the republican party is a party of alternatives in which they were shut out. 50-plus bills, and the list goes on. it will be a great show for the democrats and president obama to try to make the republican party
look like they are not cooperating. but i don't have any great expectations. i think they are going to go ahead and do the reconciliation option. but the american people are watching this and they know exactly what is going on, they see it. they are not stupid as they might think. so it might not be very good for them in november because the american people see what is happening. host: the next phone call, laurie of the democratic line from california. caller: am i on? ok. if the president listens to the democrats then i think we poor people and middle-class will be taken care of the but if he doesn't listen, then i don't think we will be taken care of. host: kansas city, don on independent line. caller: i think basically the
republicans have been following time ago and itçó has been provn çóheavily before obama with geoe bush -- they want toxd break the government. they want to be fund -- defundç the government entirely. not paying for it, and then putting in the medicare thing and not paying for it and then cutting taxes to boostq. -- to boot. if obama does not stick with his base, that is the lesson from george bush. i used it with your base or you lose it all. host: victor on the republican line from silver spring, maryland. caller: i don't think there is going to be a summit. i will tell you why. if i were the republicans i would stay away as far as i could. let them own this.
when you have nancy pelosi making remarks about, if we can't get through the door or over the wall, we will parachute in -- let them own the mess that they created in the first place. host: chicago, mark on the democratic line. what do you think? caller: i don't see one way or another the president getting anything accomplished with the republican party. they have never son -- done anything since day one. as far as i'm concerned, there is absolutely no need to even include the republicans. they are not going to be involved. all their plans have no numbers. all they have are talking points like their queen palin. host: a little bit where the democrats and republicans agree and differ. this one is "usa today."
we will read more of these articles that outlined where they agree and differ. the independent line, good morning. caller: this is going to be a dog and pony show by the president to show how he can out-legalese the republicans. 85% of the american people have access to health care. if you take the number, 15%, which comes out to 48 million. half of those 48 million can afford health care, however, they elect to choose not to have health care because they want to save their money like i did when i was 20 or 25. maybe i went to the doctor in 25 years four or five times. i did not have a need for health care.
when you whittle the number down even more, it comes to the same amount of people who are in the country illegally. what this health care plan will do is, like the congressional budget office said, three things it will not do -- it will not improve the qualityw3 of health care, it will not make health care more accessible, and it will not -- i can't think of the third thing. but anyway, it is a bad plan. president obama does not help a plan. this came from harry reid and nancy pelosi -- president obama does not have a plan. caller: fellow -- if i were a republican i would not meet with this shady community organizer. insurance went up 39% in california because obama wants to put them out of business. why is he on tv so long?
host: this is "the baltimore sun" this morning. they have a statistic that says the 70% is the portion of americans who would back a health-care bill with tax credits for small businesses, according to the kaiser family foundation. the current bill -- that is an area where democrats and republicans agree, according to "the new york times" this morning. next fall and colorado, robert on our democratic line in alexandria -- next phone call,
robert on our democratic line. caller: $1 out of every six is used for health care in this country and it will get worse. can you believe your eyes, that is the question. can you believe what is happening to us? the republicans gave us the bankruptcy bill, the health care bill -- i mean, prescription bill, no money allocated for it. they don't believe in the government. so theyç are doing everything possible to destroy the government. i am not saying all the republicans, but the people in the tea party is are basically people who voted against obama and they are democrats and republicans, not all republicans, but these are people who voted against obama and they are upset because the situation is such now that we have to depend on each other and we are not going to be a homogeneous society. host: new jersey on independent
line. caller: what i feel as an independent, i don't feel either party has pointed out to the american people that this health care system will symbolize a two-tiered health care system in this country. one of private market-based system which nancy pelosi says cannot work to keep the insurance companies at bay, which is the federal employee health benefits program, which is basically a private system. and the other, a government controlled system, which will eventually more into it socialized medicine. the premier of newfoundland has come to this country to get open-heart surgery, which is not available to him in canada. i think that is a blatant statement for the failure rate of socialized medicine that obama is trying to put on this country.
host: the other area of possible agreement is the need to emphasize wellness and preventative health. moreñr transparency for price ad quality data for doctors and hospitals. and to speed the approval of lower-cost generic versions. many republicans would also join democrats in requiring insurers to let dependent children stay on the parents policies through a 25 or 26. some areas of agreement between republicans and democrats. south bend, indiana, bob on the republican line. caller: i think republicans should stay away from this, especially if they don't start from scratch. i don't want them to join hands and hand with these democrats and bring us into socialized medicine. you put on a guy from politico, a left-wing organization, and you don't have a counterbalance to that. that is just amazing. i would suggest that c-span said
down and listen to their daily repertoire and seeing what is going on with this outfit. it kind of upsets me my payment to comcast is paying for this outfit. host: i did read from of the " wall st" editorial board. caller: you read something, but you bring on this guy who has just come from msnbc to get an unbiased opinion on what is going on? host: ok -- i guess we lost about. we will move onto am hearst, massachusetts on the democratic line -- amherst, massachusetts. caller: i think politico is pretty far to the right. i don't have a very good expectations for this health care summit because i don't
believe either party is trying to solve the problem. i have been a democrat all my life, and the democrats have really sold us out on this. but people are not understanding what single payer health care is or what socialized medicine is, which is the same thing. it means simply this -- based on what we are paying their, we have to cut health-care payments in half, everybody's payment cut in half, every health-care worker would get 25% raise and everybody would able to go to any doctor or hospital without an appointment anytime they want. that is what single payer health care is and that is what democrats and republicans are trying to block. caller: i think you're doing a great job. as a republican and a physician, i don't think anything will come out of the summit. i don't like the democrats plan but i actually think the republican plan is actually worse.
a couple of days ago they had a piece on people with no insurance and about anything done, 39% -- increase in premiums in california. it will get worse. i agree with the last caller, single payer is the way to go. but without doing anything things will get worse and people need to wake up and see that. host: if you think single payer will never happen, where would there be a compromise between democrats, the white house, and the republicans? caller: there should be compromise on both sides and we will come up with something that is not perfect but better than what we have now. but both sides need to compromise. host: here is what republicans would like to see according to "the new york times." federal money as a war to state to receive specified reductions in premiums or the number without insurance. federal money to states to establish andok expand high risk pools for people with chronic illnesses that cannot find
private insurance at an affordable price. republicans also contend changes in state medical malpractice laws could lower costs and slow the growth of premiums. however, some of the proposals like federal limits on damages for pain and suffering and punitive damages are essentially conflict of the emphasis of federalism and state upon me. steve on independent line. caller: the morning, greta. thank you for getting me on. iç just wanted to say this heah care plan is ridiculous. we should abolish this. i'm just thinking about all of these young kids, 22, 24 years old, that have to pay $100 or $125 a month. they don't want to pay this. they want to put this in a savings account. we are in great danger in america. republicans -- i was a democrat and changed to independent and i voted for obama but i'm really
disappointed in the things that are happening, all the fighting that is going on a repeat -- between the republicans and democrats right now are frustrating -- is frustrating. i am 55. i am unemployed. i was making more money in 1989 than i am today. it is getting worse. i'm very talented. i am a salesperson for all my life. but let us take care of our senior citizens. let us take care of the people who need the health. let us get a plan to the. my social security may not be there in seven years. i doubt it will be. i just want my money that i paid in, hundreds of thousand dollars in social security. where will it go? if i'm 64 and have a health problem, where it is my money that i put into the system? host: the latest college survey found that president obama is losing independents.
44% approve of job performance, 50% said they have a favorable view, 47% say obama is not meeting expectations, with only 42% saying he is, and 45% say the a very angry at government. ç89% of republicans and 61% of democrats say they are angry at the government. 44% would vote for a bomb and a three-day race with sarah palin and mayor bloomberg. kansas city, missouri, on the democrat line. caller: thank you for c-span. yes, i'm a democrat and i just wanted to -- hi, yes. i'm a democrat. i just wanted to say i'm just so sad about the republicans and democrats. if we were on our job and we
acted like this, we would be fired, we would not be on our jobs acting like this. i think both the democrats and republicans need to just told everything down just a little bit. -- tone everything down just a little bit. we need to come to the center. not too far to the right. if you bring government down for your senior citizens, that republicans do want to cut medicare, they do want to cut social security. i also want to really know if they aren't going to try to privatize medicare. thank you. host: it says in "the new york times" --
albuquerque, jeff on the republican line. talking about expectations for the upcoming health care summit -- some of later this month at the blair house between republicans and democrats on capitol hill. caller: my expectations are really low for this thing. i believe it is nothing but smoke and mirrors. they won't get much accomplished. i believe a% of the people in this country would rather see this focus on the economy -- 80%
of the people in this country would rather see them focus on the economy. i don't think it will provide more coverage but frankly i believe they need to start from scratch. i would rather see them focus on the economy. host: maryland on independent line. caller: i feel the same way. i don't expect anything out of them. smoke and mirrors. they just want to sell us on something to try to make them look good. it the one thing i don't understand is, why don't we talk about prescriptions? we are getting robbed on those. the one place will charge you $17 and other place, it is $97 and nobody talks about that. is c-span going to be in there when they have the meeting? i would love to see that. across state lines, single
payer -- and if you remember, george bush told you that you had to get the consumer involved, and that is what you have to do. everybody has a prescription card and they just hand that in, here is my $10 copiague, charge what you will. don't put much faith in to whip. host: the first lady michelle obama unveiled her new obesity initiatives and some proposals that would have to be approved by congress. $400 million in tax credits and other incentives to get groceries stores to move into communities where people did not have access to gross restores and have to rely on corner markets.
the website for this initiative is letsmove.gov. caller: one of the thing a woman to get out the way is political is unbiased. the supposed to be the next meeting obama is having with the republicans and republicans are a little skeptical to be face- to-face with obama because they did not want to be looked at as
flimsy. i question is, where's the plan? pretty much before february 25 gets here, pretty much stress. i am disappointed not one republican will step in and be an american patriot. we before it scott brown -- he should have stepped in last summer when the area -- era of obamaphobes originates. host: if you are interested in the gop proposals i've read several of them from "the new york times" this morning and open "usa today", if you want to read where they differ and agreed. wherever falls on the republican my bed caller: -- river falls on the republican line. caller: year after remember, they tried to run this through in august, the democrats did but they had the majority. they could have run it through. then it was the fall and they cannot get it passed. then they put a great big show
on christmas that they had to get it done before christmas. they got it before christmas. the news media picked up and it was such a big thing because they got it settled and passed. then from massachusetts into the ring and look what happens. all of the sudden chanta pelosi and harry reid -- which are the two writing the bill. obama does not have a thing to do with this bill. he is letting them do it and president obama it is not doing his job. all of a sudden now they have to ask the republicans to come in. i don't think republicans will fall for this. another thing, a quick reading from "the new york times" all the time. that is so far left newspaper -- how about ""washington times" or something like that. host: we have the ball here and we read from all of them. it is not an endorsement of " the new york times." i am just putting information out there for you and let you know what folks here in washington are reading.
massachusetts, barry on independent line. caller: health care. i don't believe this is really credible. iç believe if the administratin is sincere, if they have a thread of sincerity in this, take it back to square one, drop the 9000 special amendments, get this thing up clean, have the negotiations in public, on c- span, and then give it a month for the country to digest it and then put it to a vote up or down, clean, all by itself. this i believe would clearly demonstrate public support. but get it clean, get rid of special-interest. is it health care or special-
interest? host: from twitter.com -- c- spanwj. chicago, terry on the democratic line. caller: i can tell some of your callers are so misinformed. people are going to find out -- i have been watching this process from the beginning on c- span and there are a lot of great ideas in the health care bill and i am very informed. obama has done a great job. he is letting congress do their job. he gave the core principles and that is the bill. people are going to find out --
they are just running to distract or mislead them because no one in their right mind would resist preventing insurance companies from dropping people from preconditions. who in their right mind would not want to curb the cost of health care, because whether you have insurance or not, even people with insurance no de premiums are going. some in a logical things in the bill -- when they find out of a line they have been hearing it will make them look uphold representatives and a whole new light. wall street is just as right as the new york times is left. it is not about democrats or republicans. this is about america and it will help everyone. trust me, if republicans are resisting -- people are going to find out that their bill only covers 3 million people 50 million people dropped from
their insurance plan. çhost: on the front page of ""washington times" the headline -- inside "the wall street journal close code of the opinion page, elizabeth warren, who heads of the congressional oversight panel looking into how the financial crisis happens has a piece this morning, in case you are interested. she says this in her piece -- ç winter haven, florida, charles on the republican line. good morning. good morning. caller: hello? it is my belief that the
republicans are not serious about anything, as far as the health care summit goes. they are not serious about it. therefore nothing will get done. it is also my belief that two months after obama is out of -- is no longer president, the tea party will end. host: the front page of "the wall street journal" has this story about senator robert menendez. prodded fed it to aid ailing bank from home state. if you are interested in reading that story this morning. bellevue, nebraska, marvin of the independent line. caller: i'm looking forward to
getting both sides in a room and getting the ideas flow. t(it is really crazy to me how a lot of people already decided they don't have health care and they need health care but nobody -- would anybody suggest, they are all wrong. we will all get half a loaf. çççwhen you get legislation, legislation can be changed to make it better. look at the prescription drug issueç. they are changing that and making it better. the ndher thing is, i saw the other day on c-span -- i did not catch the name of individuals, president reagan's economists, two arguing and he was discussing the issue about reagan's idea of starting government, starting the beast. he said himself that it didn't work. çhost: go to our website c- span.org and search on their if you're interested in finding
that program you are talking about. washington, d.c., anna of the democratic line. caller: as a registered nurse it really hurts me when people cannot afford quality health care and quality health care. i think those who are crying socialism and saying they don't want everyone to have it, they should exempt themselves from getting help from the fire houses, emergency medical technicians. keep your tax money and if your house is on fire or you have a heart attack, get one of your other republican friends to help you. host: @ in other news, "usa today" with two stories. noaa announces agency to study climate change.
and also this headline in open "usa today" -- nantucket island, massachusetts, of the democratic line. good morning. caller: i listened to your program every day and i listen to these people calling in and i can tell what tv station they are watching, which is fox news live which uses the same tactic that hitler used, keep telling the same lie over and over and people believe it. if people in this country thinks insurance companies are worried about the premiums that we pay, they would not be spending half a billion dollars to defeat the health care program. the lady who called about open
heart surgery in canada -- that is not factual. they listen to fox news and they deserve what they get. thank you so much. host: mentioned at the top, the passing of democrat jack murtha, flags at half staff this morning in washington. a little bit about when he was first elected to the house in 1974. it was in a district with a strong conservative tradition. his victory was taken in part as a rejection of then president richard m. nixon, his campaign slogan was one honest man can make a difference. as many of you know, there were ethics investigations into john murtha. in december of 2009, the office of congressional ethics reported that it saw no reason to continue its investigation of marcel's actions -- his actions and recommended house ethics committee took no action against him as well. if you want to read more about jack murtha, the washington post.
there is a story and "-- ian "" -- "the new york times" a challenge to john mccain. it says john mccain has roughly $5 million in the bank for his race. not sell, rent on the independent line. -- minoxidil, rick on independent line. caller: nothing will come from this summit. expectations are high. i would really like to ask the nation to start doing your homework and stop looking at things from a personal point of view -- what can i get out of this?
you can actually benefit of that better if you think in terms of getting in place a single payer system. if you really want to know what it is all about, the proposal in terms of single payer, reference the fact that we have national health care experts that go outside of this country and go help other countries establish single payer type systems with utilize private insurance -- which utilize private insurance. one representative -- at the last name shiao -- that is the spelling on it. he did an article in "the new york times" on november 3 spelling of the work he did with the government of taiwan establishing their health care system. host: 1 last phone call on the expectations.
florida, the republican line. caller: i believe one of the biggest problems we are going to have with this summit -- i don't expect a lot, however. a lot of people have seen the attitude of harry reid and nancy pelosi and i think over the last year i have been following closely and the republicans have had a plan and they have been turned around -- away each and every time and they should be skeptical. they should be careful about what they are stepping into. thank you very much. host: we will end the discussion but we will continue to address the congressional agenda, what is coming up for the next few weeks, including job legislation. çjohn stanton fromroll call." t(
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prints, and audio recordings, sponsored by c-span and the white house audio association and if you can get to west lafayette see your entire collection on line at the c-span website. host: john stanton as a reporter from "roll call" newspaper. the weather is kind of putting a damper on the schedule this week. what is the latest in the senate and house? guest: for the house, the canceled votes for today. they will be in session and little while in the afternoon, at which time they were supposed announcement for the rest of the week. the expectation is nancy pelosi will probably wrap up the rest of the week and not have votes. in the senate, though, harry reid is still having votes on a couple of nominations. that may change this afternoon if the snow gets bad. it is not entirely clear.
host: what about hearings in the house and the senate? guest: most of the hearings are being cancelled. most appropriations, senate armed services had a hearing that was canceled. it looks like most of those -- host: the senate budget committee, as far as we know, still starting their hearing on the federal budget and we are expecting live coverage for that on c-span2 at 10:00 a.m.. the senate was supposed to yesterday began a vote on jobs legislation. what is the prospect, what is going to happen? guest: the snow this week and will hurt their ability. the others, they are still trying to work out the details between republicans and democrats on it. it is sort of and i think given the partisanship going on with the health care bill. this bill is really -- there is
a lot of bipartisan interest in getting a bill done so both sides are trying not to fight the lease to much in public -- trying to get worked out. host: behind-the-scenes, who in the senate are working together? what senators are working across the aisle? guest: primarily finance chairman max baucus and ranking member chuck grassley. also orrin hatch is pretty much involved. chuck schumer. and senator reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell are both involved. they let their other members take a lead on. host: what is the time line? they wanted to pass this before the february recess which is next week. guest: there is some hope they can still get something done. the thing is if these are behind the scenes, begin work on a deal and have one or two votes on amendments. bacon spoke of something done if
-- keep them here even if there is a star in and hopefully tomorrow or thursday to vote on the bill. but it is getting increasingly unlikely. host: what are some broad outlines what could be in this jobs bill? guest: it would include an insurance -- unemployed insurance benefits, cobra benefits that will be extended, build a merkel bond provisions, tax provisions for small businesses, particularly provisions on job creation, tax credits. there may be some highway trust fund language but it looks like it may be as an amendment. basically all of what people were in the state of the union speech. host: what is on tap for the house if they come back this week and leading up to the recess? guest: it is not totally clear what they will end up doing in
the house. they have been sort of in a waiting pattern, waiting to see what the senate will do, particularly on jobs. the house has passed a larger bill. a lot of progressives in the democratic party went to see the larger bill passed and not see the smaller the amount -- the democrats would like to do a series of smaller bills so they can point to the different steps they have done to create jobs. host: a lot of staffers were not in the building because the federal government was shut down, but what do you hear about reaction from this idea of having a bipartisan health care summit and trying to do this jobs bill, this legislation at the same time? one caller brought up a poll that showed the majority of americans would like congress and the obama administration to focus on jobs and not health care. guest: i think particularly but the moderates in the democratic party and republicans, they favor the idea of moving to jobs.
republicans are fairly skeptical of the summit. the leadership particularly sees it as a potential way for obama to rope them into a process where they ain't -- then he can point and say we tried to be bipartisan and the republicans refused. progressive wing is still dead set trying to get some health care legislation done this year. for them, they would like to say a dual track approach. it is not clear whether and not there is much interest frankly in rank and file doing health care at this point. host: on the senate side, what about the main senators, the moderate senators -- olympia snowe and collins, now being willing to support a health-care bill from the democrats? guest: i think it is still not likely there will end up supporting anything unless there are significant changes to it. senator collins was pretty forceful saying she is not going to agree to a number of the things the democrats were dead set including in the bill.
and senator snowe has been open to negotiations, has been involved in some bipartisan negotiations but unless major changes are made i don't see them coming along. host: first phone call is carl of the democratic line. caller: i would like to talk about the 100 filibuster's from the balkans this year alone and -- republicans alone. you want to clean out corruption? do what ross perot -- five-year waiting period when you leave office to become a lobbyist. host: take a filibuster question. there was a piece in "the washington post" looking at the filibuster and out it has been used. senate majority leader harry reid when he was in the minority did a filibuster for eight consecutive straight hours.
guest: filibuster is an interesting thing. both parties love to hate it when they are in charge. and then when they are in the minority they love to defend it. republicans have been very good with changing to a certain degree -- since they lost power in 2006. at that point the basically said on everything we will require a 60-vote majority. their argument is it has always been that way and technically it has been but not on the regular basis and has been since then. so it is a cause i-filibuster -- quasi-filibuster. but it is not like you see in the movies where you have jimmie stored on the floor of the senate for days on end talking. but they have done i think we -- a remarkable job stymieing harry reid on bills and nomination
using legislative processes that allow them to filibuster host: senator shelby had a hold on all of president obama boston -- he said he will lift some of them. guest: it sounds like he is allowing them to go forward. it does not necessarily mean all of them will get through without having another filibuster in place. other members have holds on other members, individuals on that list. his was a little extraordinary in that it was a blanket hold on allç the nominees. i think he came under a fair amount of pressure from republicans and democrats to lift it. and he sort of said, he got the attention to the issues he wanted so he can lift it. host: did he went out on the issues? did he get what he wanted? guest: i don't think he got what he wanted. he got closer to what he wanted. often members would use it for that purpose. olympia snowe has used holmes in
order to force an agency to give her information about something, to explain a policy, or promise things to her. she is one of the more bipartisan minded members of the senate. it is a fairly common practice. host: florida, stephen of independent line. caller: thank you for c-span for knowledge instead of opinion. earlier in your statement, john, usec @ to live with this jobs bill -- you said that with this jobs bill we would see more concerted effort from both parties to get something passed unlike the health care bill. i just wanted to point out the fact that we are not talking about the senate push it with a service, excellent talking about these politicians getting earmarks and money for the states to put through jobs in the next 10 months and look back and tell their constituents, look what i brought to you. it is a little bit different from what we have had -- we are
excellent talking about something rather than a service, but talking about real cash money to bring home. guest: actually a good point. one of the big pieces of the bill that a lot of members would like would be the highway extension, which is sort of specific projects in the state they can point to to say these are dollars i brought home, an election year for a lot of these guys. some of them are still service related. cobra, unemployment insurance. but the caller is right, these are the kinds of projects everyone likes except for some of the budget hawks. host: the highway funding, is that already done and wrapped up? or could that be something where additional projects are at it here and there to get more votes? it could be what is called in this town a christmas tree. guest: they could do that. i think the experience harry reid had with ben nelson with
the cornhuskers kickback, what everyone called it, could probably cut it down a little bit, especially if it becomes more controversial. but they know what these projects are going to be at this point. it is still a little unclear when they will conclude that. i've been -- i think they may do it as an amendment because the number of republican budget hawks don't like it. host: carroll on the republican line. caller: i am a republican from the chicago land. but i am ashamed that the republicans are saying chicago land style politics in this area, because there are a lot of different kinds of people and when the box us into -- we respect our officeholders around here and we don't like to be boxed in. i am very " ended at the republicans, that they would use my area to try to make my
government look bad and i welcome any jobs -- even a prison in this area. it would welcome jobs. they have to be careful what they are insinuating. host: any thoughts? guest: my family is from chicago. my grandfather was managing editor for "chicago daily news" and my father was a reporter for a while. i understand the frustration. the caller can take solace that when people are talking about chicago style, that talk about democrats, the party machine that had been operating in chicago for 34 years so she said take some solace from that. host: danny from savannah, georgia. guest: why can't we have a pinocchio law where if they say something wrong or repeat something intentionally to put people off track, why can't we have a pinocchio law and the
united states and charged than $10,000 and make it go toward the deficit? wouldn't that help our deficit out quite a bit? [laughter] host: tallahassee, florida, on independent line. caller: in reference to the health care summit, i just think it is just another photo op and i agree with your guest -- you know, nobody wants to work with us. we really don't want this back of goodies they want to put out there. i agree with the previous caller, i say scrap it and start all over again and that is all see it, practice it in one state and see how it works. if we don't like it, we don't keep it. number two -- i kind of resent the fact that they keep calling this a jobs bill when it is just another stimulus bill, it is disingenuous of everyone. they are not telling the truth. that will be a good place for the pinocchio law. they know the american people don't like that word anymore.
releases that we got this from the stimulus. then taking credit for it. guest: democrats have been pretty livid about that. those who voted against the stimulus have been bashing the administration, that the democrats are doing all the spending. it has definitely been a frustration for democrats. host: new york city. joseph on the democratic line. caller: my problem is lawmakers, no matter where they are, they represent the people of the united states, but it does not seem to be that way. it seems to be about what the party is doing. until that stops, we are not going to get anywhere. i am a former superintendent. i could never build a building
like that. they are representing all the country, not just their own states. host: maryland. nathan on the republican line. caller: good morning. i have a comment. as far as this health care summit, and in seeing some narrow thinking here. every approach seems to go to war have to pay for expense cares as opposed to making health care affordable a i see very little in lowering health- care costs. we pay more for health care in this country than any other country. the next country per capita is
half, switzerland. host: what proposals from republicans or democrats do you see that would lower the cost? caller: almost none. host: so you do not agree with republicans to say if you take on medical malpractice, that would lower premiums? caller: it would help a little bit. think of time the box. how about instead of covering insurance for individuals, how about going for malpractice insurance? when you look at health care costs, most of this has to do with chronic conditions, things that require maintenance drugs. at the same time, we are living in an exciting time.
there are a lot of things -- stem cell. they hear during kantor's. -- curing cancers. host: we are going to leave it there. john, i know health care is not your beat, but are you hearing where or if there could be a middle ground between gop and democrat bill analyst -- proposals on health care? guest: not really. the problem is, the politics has gotten to a point where the parties have had a difficult time coming together. republicans do not see much of vantage, frankly, would agree to anything that the democrats have. my ribs have been pretty bruised -- moderates have been
pretty bruised, and they feel like the leadership has done done enough for them. more than anything else, that is keeping them from agreeing on anything. host: how does this energize a health care summit? does that help or hurt both party's bases when it comes to enter judging them for the election? guest: if the summit goes off and away is supposed to, and could hurt both sides. it would be much more difficult to use the issue for either side to get their base al. both parties are depending on health care as an argument against the other one. democrats will say republican wanted socialized medicine. -- republicans will say democrats wanted socialized
medicine. host: colorado. gail on the unemployment -- independent line. caller: this is about unemployment. i know that all the attention is on the jobs bill. it has been in the house for about four months. i heard that it would be cut down to two months. we do not hear too much about the unemployment insurance. if you are not employed, it is stressful going two months, then you do not know if it will be extended beyond that. there was a company who did a report and they said one of the top three things that would stimulate the country would be to extend unemployment insurance and to increase unemployment insurance. i wonder if you have any
information about that. host: are you unemployed? have you had a situation where they have run help before they were renewed? caller: no, fortunately, i just came upon one year. at the end of december, and did not know if i was going to go from tier one to tier 2. host: how did you plan for the possibility that you would not see the bridge there? caller: you cannot. well, you just hold your breath and hope that the government will recognize all of this. rather than two months, this is going to be with us for a long time. i am trying hard to find a job. host: what is the job search
like? how often are you going to interviews? caller: i have sent out many, many times. it is hard. hopefully, something will come about in. i just cut in interview on friday. host: what is your profession? caller: accounts management. guest: the unemployment insurance benefits is something that has to pass. for folks like gail, there always wait until the end, and then they pass a short-term extension. my understanding is this extension would be a year-long extension, to get them past the
election. i am not sure if it will end up doing that. for budgetary reasons, they may have to do some different things to make it look as if it is not a big hit. everybody supports the extension. even if the jobs bill collapses, they will find some mechanism to pass that. host: democrat line, ohio. caller: i would like your thoughts on how we can get our government back working for the american people. we have a law called the rico at, where if people get together to conspire against the public, they would be arrested and prosecuted. the leader of the republican party stood in front of the house and told them, do not work with these people, do not vote
with them, do everything to block them. as an american citizen, i see that as a violation of the rico act. we need to prosecute these people and get them back on our side. host: there was a piece about mcconnell's plans, the line and conquered. -- divide and conquer. that would be their strategy against the democrats. guest: their plan has been fairly static, they have made some changes, but they stick together as much as they can. they use the floor, messaging operations to pick apart the democratic message and to create divisions in the party.
they have been very successful in that, with guantanamo, k. ism, health care -- ksm, health care. it is kind of this classic minority strategy. you cannot control the schedule, so you find ways to pick apart their agenda. host: woodbridge, virginia. pete on the republican line. caller: when you are on hold, you tend to listen to the other people calling in. if you look at this from the outside in the, and this had been a major part of the conversation, any time i listen to c-span, radio talk show is, it is about us and them. on the hill, it is 80/20. i do not even think it is that
even. we can manipulate into everything to make change, but it never happened until it is 80% working for the people, 20 percent time bickering. -- 20% bickering. the focus should be on the people of the country, not them. if we can get that straight, then we can make other things happen. host: you who have covered the senate and house. what about the culture? guest: i have been doing this for 13 years. i have never seen it quite as partisan. i think the caller is right that there is a growing sense in the public that politicians are not focusing on the issues. i think the tea party movement is an expression of that.
it is not necessarily the republican movement. it is portrayed that way, but these folks are just frustrated, they do not like how things are are operating. both parties are struggling with how to transition out of standard, partisan politics. maybe they need to figure out how to do things together so that they do not always seem to be fighting with each other. host: d u c some democrats who are scared about this anti- incumbency movement? guest: definitely. republicans are hoping to tap into the tea party movement, this broader discontent. privately, they are nervous as well. they do not know for sure that this movement will turn on
income the wholesale -- on incumbents wholesale. host: kevin on the independent line. liverpool, new york. caller: i have been held up work for roughly 6.5 months, transportation management. that was my number one concern but me and my wife, we looked at our insurance. it went up 21% for no reason. now the discussion goes back to health care. until we get this health care fixed, we are running with the snowball. i am excited about this summit. you have your people on the left, your people on the right.
the ones on the left are ideologues. what i like about this is is " to put both of them in front of the nation and they will not be able to lie anymore. if you have a bill, show america the bill. host: talking points? guest: i think they are pretty skilled in getting their talking point to help there. i think these types of foreign to do give the opportunity for the public to scrutinize what is going on and to question them. that is potentially and uncomfortable detained for both sides. republicans had to acknowledge some things that they do not like to. you do get glimpses at the reality behind the front that the two parties are putting up. the best hope for this thing is
that that is what ultimately comes from it. host: illinois. jimmy on the in them -- independent line. caller: not too long ago jim demint said that health care would be obama's waterloo. it was pretty clear from the beginning that this was going to be their strategy. i do not remember mass of legislation in the bush administration to stop progress in terms of health care. it appeared when democrats get in office, there is this strong effort to do something with health care. on the other side, republicans find a way to stop it. when they have been leaders in the executive branch, they have not articulated a policy to help that. and they just appear to be a
party of no. host: there is an article in the newspaper this morning, talking to former clinton aide to are part of the first-round of health care reform. they fear if president obama does not exceed -- succeed on this, then no other democratic president will touch this in the future. what do you think? caller: i think that is dead on. talking about health care is not good politics. it is not about politics, it is taught about helping the average person. unfortunately, you can disagree with it, you can parse every issue. this is easy to say that this is socialism and big government. that is an ambiguous phrase. guest: i think health care is one of the few issues where you
see the real division between the parties. democrats believe there is a major role for the government to play in bringing health care costs down. it to be an active participant in the interim process -- in syringe -- insurance process. and they have done some things. there was the medicare part the reforms. and they did schip. that is sort of the approach that republicans would take, narrow approaches that do not have all lot of government involvement. although they have started to come together on other issues, they are still divided on health care. host: do provisions piecemeal?
guest: there is some talk of that for a reconciliation package. that is unlikely, given what is happening in the senate. there is talk about doing some small things, like with the jobs bill. there is not much support for that in the republican party. it might be difficult for leadership to find the votes. host: rick on the independent line. middletown, new york. caller: instead of the rico act, they need to look at the logan act. that is a crime in itself. with the tea parties, it was collected by the ron paul
revolution. now we have hillary clinton and looking at bans in the u.n. host: we are going to leave it there. joan in nashville. caller: i want to let you know that you are doing a fine job. when people say that you are leaning too far to the left, they are usually conservative, to whom balance means all conservatives. do not worry about them. i wanted to speak to the health care situation.
people are saying if obama passes this health care bill in will be socialized medicine, that it will be three tiered. well, the complaints they are already putting forward already exist. if you do not get insurance and your are set, and you go to the emergency room, that is a large medical bills. who pays for that? those who have health insurance. that is socialism. if you do not have money, you cannot go to the doctors. it is as simple as that. as far as the democrats not passing this health care bill, if they do not pass it, they deserve to be a of power. this is ridiculous. -- out of power. guest: the caller brings up an interesting point. republicans do not like the idea
of government bureaucrats running health care. of course, the irony is that right now and it is a bunch of private aircraft to run your health care. again, this difference in ideology. they believe the private sector is better suited to run these sorts of things, rather than the government. democrats feel the opposite way. as far as the caller's frustration about a lack of a bill, that weighs heavily on the minds of nancy pelosi, harry reid, and barack obama. they are concerned there base voters will be discussed and if they cannot pass anything and walk away. host: lafayette, louisiana. good morning. caller: i have a comment and a question. the republican party asks for something, and when they have a
chance to have it, they put their hands behind their back. they wanted a panel to look into spending in the government. they got that, and then they walked away. they are acting like a child. the first were to come out of their mouth is no. my question is, do you think we should revisit the public option? also, do you think the president should look at drug free importation? if the president adds that into reconciliation, i guarantee a lot of americans would jump on the bandwagon with his health care option. guest: i think the public option is probably dead at this point. people continue to talk about it. the administration makes some noises about wanting it, but i
do not see anyone pursuing a bid aggressively. on drug ring importation, that does not necessarily split along party lines. it depends on who you are, where you are from. there are a number of republicans and democrats who want it, others who don't. host: a few more phone calls. maryland. pat on the independent line. caller: my concern is the american people need to take control. one of the things that is happening here is we have insurance companies that are bogart and the public. a look at what happened in california. it is happening here in maryland but we have a commissioner who is in denial about what they have to do. also, there are providers here saying, not just pay me?
we need to cut out the middleman. we can get together and pay for our own insurance. that would get the attention of all these people. lastly, to the gentleman, what is going on when one person can hold up 70 nominations? if this is supposed to be in democratic government, then these people need to start acting like it. guest: on the filibuster, the rules of the senate were created so that when a bill would pass through the house, it would be stalled in the senate, people might lose their passion and then look at it in a more rational light. that is the way it is designed. it is frustrating for folks when they support nomination, when one member is blocking, but the rules are set up in order to do that. it is within their right. it is one of the weird intricacies of the senate.
even people in the house complained about that. that is sort of the way it works. host: on the republican side. nelson in georgia. caller: i would like to know why the congress, senate are proposing the plan for americans but they do not have the same plan? how come foreigners who are illegal, they get better care that americans? guest: members of congress get great health care. some of the plans put forward by both democrats and republicans would actually require -- create a system similar to the plan that members of congress have. and they have private insurance but it is a negotiated,
controlled by the government. those plans do not get a lot of bipartisan support because of the insurance industry. it is unlikely that americans will see that type of health care any time soon. host: john stanton with roll call, thank you. when we come back, the future of afghanistan with mark moyar. >> c-span offer is the new
classroom.org and that made it more useful for you. you can find the most watched the video clips, organized by subject and topics. the latest in education news, and the chance to connect with other c-span teachers. sign up at the new c-span2 us from -- c-span classroom. american presidents, life portraits. now on display at purdue university at west lafayette, indiana, through february 21. the exhibit looks at the 43 men who have held the office. spontoon by c-span and the white house -- sponsored by c-span and the white house presidential election.
host: mark moyar is the author of the book "a question of command." he is also a national security professor at the marine corps university. you are in afghanistan for 10 days, returned, were invited by the military. why? guest: they wanted me to speak as part of a new leadership initiative set up by william caldwell who has been in charge of training. they are focusing on the leadership side of the afghan to cure the forces. that is one piece that we have sort of neglected. we have focused more on producing afghan to cure the forces, and they are looking at ways to fix the leadership problem. although we produce big numbers, we have not had a performance that we would like the general is looking at ways
that we can fix these leadership problems. since i had just written a book on counterinsurgency leadership, they thought it would be useful for me to see what was going on and to speak to the afghans about their leadership issues. host: what did you find? guest: on the afghan side, the military is doing well with their new officers. there military academy in very impressive. they have good recruitment systems. they also have an ocs that that has been struggling a bit, officer candidate school. they have had problems with that because a lot of the instructors were not troubling up. -- showing up. on the police side, they are struggling. they are sort of taking anyone
that they can get, but we are improving now. i think we will see some success, although there is some dispute about the defense contract, dynacore, who has been there and has not been doing as well as we would like. you may recall, they have also been doing work in iraq. there were some problems there as well. that could be something that we need to keep an eye on. a lot of the problems we have seen in the past, in iraq and afghanistan, have unfortunately, been the result of the state department that is understaffed. i think in afghanistan, after eight years, we are finally moving in the right direction. host: what are some of the challenges that you found?
guest: one of the big things is getting enough people on the nato side. they are still several thousand short. host: these are nato security official that would be training afghan officials? guest: that is right. there is a military force in italy that is helping helout. some of the nato countries have still not ponied up the people. there are some diplomatic efforts going on right now to get them to live up to their commitments. host: what about literacy rates in the afghan ranks? guest: they are getting enough, for the most part, in leadership ranks, but below that, that is an issue. especially with the police, where they are trying to get
them to do the administrative work. you have few people that are literate, they end up getting tied down with the paperwork instead of doing the leadership job today are supposed to. host: part of their training is teaching them to read basic things, like a map, instructions for a gun. guest: that is right. in the rush to create people, we are shortening the training cycle we had people coming out of training who did not know how to read a map. that is a challenge. they are expanding on the leadership side. up until recently, the state department put together an eight-week program, and they were making people police leaders, and that is far too short. host: who did you meet one of you were over there?
guest: i got to meet with general colin l. andal lot of the nato officers. -- caldwell and a lot of the nato officers. general mcchrystal. we met with some afghan defense ministers. as well, some of the commanders in the field. host: did he meet with these top officials before or after you saw what was going on? guest: it was some of each. it will spread out over the period. they are very much on top of these problems, and fully recognize what the challenges are ahead. we still had a lot of problems that we have to work through with the afghans with, and in the past, we have said too much that they can do things as they please. i think we recognize that they need more help, especially in
terms of leadership. host: what are some of the comparison you can draw between iraq and afghanistan? cast, i spoke to the military academies, police trainers, and we focus on leadership stories. they are a culture that likes narratives. we went through a variety of case studies, also some of our own. we do not want to come across as being holier than thou. we showed some examples of where things went well, where things did not go well. there was one example where a general appointed all of his friends, did not give them much responsibility, proper orders. then someone else comes in to fix all these problems of corruption.
we focused on all lot of cases to show them that this was not a unique problem to afghanistan and this is how other countries have dealt with it. we looked at the philippines. you had a corrupt government, and they were not doing well against the insurgency. then you had the president, and and got rid of officers who were not doing their job and insisted that they respected the population, insisted nepotism would no longer be tolerated. host: you wrote this book "a question of command" and from what we understand, it has caused quite a stir in military leadership. were you surprised? guest: a little bit. i think it depends on which service you look at. i work with the marine corps,
studied the army allowed, but i think the marine corps traditionally met here to a position less dependent on doctrine. sometimes we get caught up on the doctrine and it is much more about the individual commander. historically, the marines have done that. the army is moving to that. general petraeus is leading that charge. one of the things and i tried to fight against is standardization. even with the counterinsurgency manual, there are some good things, but people took that and try to apply a checklist approach to the things that you have to do. i have found that that does not really get you far. it is good to learn basics, but when you alton and look at 1 counterinsurgency succeeded, it
is ultimately a function of leadership. host: is it the leadership of the u.s., the iraqi officials, in this case, afghani officials? guest: it is both. right now, we have the americans doing a lot of counterinsurgency work, and they are partnering with afghans and providing some leadership. so they are very important. long term is what is important. turning things over to them. we are getting their police and military leaders up to speed. it really comes down to local politics. can they provide security? can they provide governance in a way that does not abuse the population? time and again, you find it is the mistreatment of the individual, not some ideological
cause. most of times it is because the police beat up my son, or something. they stole the public funds. trying to get at those problems goes down to the character of individual leaders. host: we are speaking with mark moyar, the author of a counterinsurgency book. first phone call from barbara, democrat line. caller: good morning. i wanted to talk about health care, but i can talk about this. i retired in 2003 and i have seen everything on tv that has come up. i read "hostile takeover." you have halliburton, all these people making lots of money, and they do not have to pay anything back.
you have dick cheney, george bush involved. it is terrible. if you would get rid of the poppy seed, we would cut have to protect them. number two, you cannot have an army of people who do not have an education. host: take that last point. can you have an effective leadership without education? guest: you do need to have educated leadership. that is crucial. there are enough afghans with the education levels that we need. unfortunately, we are trying to get a lot of them into the government, and that can be problematic. at the basic level, we are bringing people from high school, now going after the top graduates and afghan high schools. i can there is enough of an educated population there to
provide the necessary leadership. you are not going to have every policemen reading, but the taliban, a lot of them cannot read but they are doing pretty well. i do not see that as an obstacle we cannot overcome. host: what about offering money to afghanis to invest? specifically, these top graduates? are they being paid a higher amount of money? guest: they are now, and that is the point of contention. physicians are being paid less than people in the security force, unfortunately. we have had to do that because the taliban pays well. there is also the question of, can we pay the entire tribes to join our side, as we did in iraq? in some cases, yes. unfortunately, in some cases we
pay a warlord to join our side, but they end up doing things to other tribes that force them to go to the other side. host: what is the tactic of having these tribes come together in afghanistan, under one roof? guest: there is still allowed no discussion. people say we need to focus on tried to. others say we have to focus on individual villages. i think when we are starting to see bluis in need to be handledn a provincial structure. i think it will be handled on an ad hoc, individual basis. host: cal on the republican line. caller: i think that woman on
the democrat line forgot about what the war is about. this is a real war. two airplane to the world trade center. that hit us financially. the third plan that had the pentagon, that was meant to destroy our military. the third airplane that crashed in pennsylvania bus to go to the white house. this is a war. this is no different than when the japanese had pearl harbor. i think we have to remember that. what we want to do is make sure that we are still a free country, too. host: any thoughts? guest: that is a good point. that is kind of why we have been able to sustain a certain amount of support for afghanistan, that memory of 9/11. it is interesting, some people seem to forget that. i think the christmas day bomber
was a wake-up call and has bought back to many americans the reality that there are these terrorists plotting against us. if they have safe haven where they can go, that is to their advantage, and they will be able to get through security systems. in this case, we are fortunate that there bomb did not work as intended. host: philadelphia. bob on the independent line. caller: mr. moyar, how is it that the afghan army, that we are paying for and training, how come we have a difficult time getting quality recruits? the insurgency does the team to have quality individuals. who is training the insurgency? how come they are so darn good?
is this because we have a bunch of paid mercenaries who have no self-respect? guest: that is a good question. one of the things i looked at, how can we look at the taliban and see how they recruit their leaders? they have some good people on their side. one part that need to be looked at further it is the role of foreigners in their leadership. they are certainly a significant element in terms of leadership and training. at the junior levels, we are seeing some good afghan officers. there are problems at the middle and upper levels. part of the problem was there was a gap in 1990 and after 2001 where there was no professional education. the generation before that was trained by the soviets with some
very centralized models that do not work well. and unfortunately, we have seen quite a bit of nepotism and cronyism in health officials are selected. that is something that we are finally, belatedly beginning to tackle. at the lower levels, we are starting to see some good people. police recruiting has not been a very good, and that is something that is now being fixed. host: what grade would you give the counterinsurgency effort in afghanistan? guest: right now, it is hard to say. certainly, -- you really have to look at different pieces of it. the afghan police, right now, has been a c, d effort. we are start earlstarting to fi.
host: how long? guest: we said that we would start to turn things over in july 2011. president karzai put out a timeline that i think is more realistic to when we get the police moving. it takes awhile to produce leaders. we have tried to mass-produced these leaders quickly and we have found it takes time. to fix the police, maybe five years. an afghan national army has been more of a b. on the u.s. side, there are some units that are a +. there are others that are doing a terrific job in helmand province. others in the b, c range. again, it comes down to the commanders. we do not have anyone that is
really awful, but some are not as innovative, do not take the initiative. i think risk aversion has been one of the problem that we have had. people are afraid to take risks so they rely too much on armored vehicles, stay behind last wallace, as opposed to being held in the population host. host: phoenix. republican line. caller: i recently read "war and peace" and read a lot about recent military efforts. there is sort of this secret x factor that is not always equipment or strategy, tactics, generals, or even the number of forces that we have, but it is the spirit of the force that is fighting. with the deployment of this
land, i wonder about the spirit of our military forces and whether the most critical factor cannot help but be blamed. guest: it is certainly an important consideration. based on my time spent over there, and teaching, i think we have been surprisingly resilient. it has taken some wear on our military, and unfortunately, we have a small group of people that are going through this again and again. people talk a lot about morale but often do not look at the sources of morale. i have found it often comes down to leadership. if you have a good captain,
lieutenant-colonel, the morale in that unit will be very high typically, even if they know they have been there for a long time, and will be for awhile. especially on the afghan side. the number one cause of desertion on the afghan side is that leadership. -- bad leadership. if they have good leaders, they will have a fighting spirit. this is why we need to help the afghans get more of the dedicated fighters into their leadership ranks and remove some of the people who do not deserve to be there. host: hagerstown, maryland. rich on the republican line. caller: you are all right. democrats, republicans. i am a real american.
it has to come from leadership. we had a bush, now we have president obama. the thing is, everyone is blaming bush. you have to understand, my opinion, when bush took office, clinton was in charge, right? i indicated now because my kids are going to college. thank god for that. obama's said he inherited all this. he inherited the united states of america. isn't that wonderful? that is what he inherited. when clinton was in office, he balanced the budget, but he took all the money out of the military. there was no war. i am a senior citizen and i am really getting educated now. i have all lot of time to read.
i do not want to say too much, but obama needs to lead. guest: this is my opinion, not the of the government, but i think is important for the president to get out there and keep stating the reason we are fighting in afghanistan. we saw that in december. but i think more of that would be helpful to keep the people aware of why we are fighting. i have written a couple of books on vietnam we solve this problem -- books on vietnam. we solve this problem where they did not go up to the people to get them motivated to stay for the long haul. that ultimately came back to haunt us because people did not understand my we were there, they did not see the need for sacrifice.
hopefully, we will see more comments coming from the white house in terms of explaining our commitment and rounding people around the cause. host: louisiana. teddy on the independent line. caller: you have not gotten in right in eight years, and he won five more? you have not gotten anything right. 9/11, you say? what are you going to do when you find out that seven of the alleged hijackers from 9/11 were interviewed on bbc and our allies. what are you going to do when i saw the testimony, on c-span, the christmas day bomber was allowed by our intelligence agencies to get on that airplane. did they know he had a bomb on him when our government allowed him to get on the airplane?
host: what about his sentiment. you said you agree with the president of afghanistan's assessment that it is more like five more years. how do the american people get behind that after eight years? guest: that is a tough question. the president sent his that people's patients -- aptiencpat. i think we will still have a major presence. i think everyone in the government acknowledges that we are going to have a large presence there five years from now. again, a lot of it requires the president and senior leaders explain to the american people why this is going to work and emphasizing -- it is a good
question. we have been there for a long time, we have not succeeded, so what will it be different? i think we are taking some positive steps down to finally fixed afghanistan's leadership problems. also by sending additional troops, we can cover more territory. up until now we go to one area, the taliban fleas, we come back, and -- flees, we go away, then they come back. there is one town in helmand province, this is their big sanctuary area. we are going to stop them from using the sort of centuries. host: there is an "washington post" article talking about the strategy in afghanistan with the fifth striker brigade combat team, to burn your freedom of
movement on the highways. -- to further freedom of movement on the highways. it says not everyone is sold on the protect the population mantra. your thoughts on those two different approaches? guest: i think you do have to combine offense and defense. that is one of the problems i found with a lot of our counterinsurgency doctrines. probably one of the reasons why the book has attracted attention. there are two major thoughts on counterinsurgency. one where you focus on the population, and governance, local economic development.
then the other where you go after the enemy, even when there are not near the population. i argue that you have to do both. the theory that i bring up is a leader-centric theory that says it is not so much which you focus on, but the quality of your leaders. it is very much a case to case basis. you will have to do some population control, because if not, insurgents will get support. at the same time, you have to go after the enemy, ostensibly, because if they -- ostensibly, because if you do not, they will be able to attack you. even people like general petraeus, i do not think it is well recognized, they did population control, but they also did offensive operations. they hunted the enemy down.
in addition to inflicting casualties, they kept the enemy on the run. insurgents, when we came after them, they had to move every 24 hours, we could not rest and recuperate so there needs to be a combination of that. host: marty on the democrat line. caller: a lot of people do not look at history. one issue i see is you cannot go into some of these countries, as the u.s. did, like when we fought with the russians. you expect to get the best of people when you do something like this. that is why you give the insurgents who are the best fighters to justify what we have done. another thing that makes sense is that you have to work with the infrastructure and get the people to see that this is for
their benefit. that is what i think we need to look at, the history of what goes on in these countries and why these problems start wars. you promise people one thing and then you take it away. host: could you shed some light on history? guest: there is a fair amount of resentment that we abandoned afghanistan after the war with the soviets. . .
having americans working more with afghans now has actually helped prevent some of the abuses of power that we have seen. the past is an impediment, but most of the afghans are more focused on, what have you done for me lately? host: you wrote in a "new york times" piece about judging versus intuitive thinking. what the differences? guest: their personality types from the myers briggs personality test. there are 16 different groups
of personalities. four fall into each of those categories. if we look at large organizations, a lot of people say that it is in the business world, not necessarily the military world, but two main types of personalities dominate. one is sensing judging, and people are focused on the concrete. they like to do things by the book. they like to do things the way things have always been done. they tend to work pretty well when you have a standardized activity, something that is going to be the same next year as it was this year. they're good at getting things done in that situation, not as good as when you get into an environment where things are changing quickly. a high-tech company, computer software changes are rapid. that is where you get the intuitive-thinking people who really exile. they rely on intuition. they get the split second inside. they are willing to think
outside the box and do things in ways they have not been done before. they tend to be more risk- taking. what i have argued is that in the 1990's when we have a standard as military, we were focusing on our warfare and the sensing judging people came in and dominate the leadership by much of the army. as a result of that, you have people who are not going to innovate as much. they will not take the same kind of risks. they now embracwd the conferene and should see a doctor in,ñr bt it was meant to be adapted -- they now embrace the counterinsurgency doctrine, but that was meant to be adapted. they're not able to handle the changing environment. the biggest problem is the risk- aversion. i did a survey, and it was that the battalion in company levels, the most important demand levels. does your service promote risk-
taking? in the army, only 20% said yes and 58% said no. that is shocking. 58% in the marine corps said service did promote risk-taking. again, this leads to moving around in very large groups, which cuts your ability to do anything. traveling in armored vehicles which prevents you from talking to the population. that is a big hurdle. there is a struggle within the army right now. petraeus is more on the intuitive thinking said, pushing for this type of leadership. a lot of the old card -- old guard in the judgment. i think we will see that play out in the next years and i hope the intuitive-thinking side will prevail. host: florida, republican line. caller: i am calling to see if you have read greg martin son's
boat "3 cups of tea?" guest: yes, i have. caller: what did you think of that in his approach to establishing schools? guest: i think it is very good. another case of an individual showing leadership and making a big difference. one thing i would caution is that sometimes we think that if we just build the schools, all the other problems are going to go away. unfortunately, what we have seen in many cases is you have an effort like this, and the insurgents are recognize it is a threat, and they come in and kill all the schoolteachers. so you have to have the security component to go along with that. in the long term, it is very important to have the education peace because that is where you're going to educate your leaders of the future. and what they're doing in terms of education is a very good.
that is something that will take 10 to 15 years to bear fruit. so we need to support that. but at the same time, recognize we have to focus in the shorter term on building and security forces, building up local administration. host: florida, independent line. caller: hello. if these people in the bush administration had understood in the lessons of history, we would not have been in afghanistan on the ground, and we would not have been in iraq on the ground. iraq and iran were so busy fighting each other, they were not worried about us. all we did was undercut the rocks ability to keep iran in check. i do not know when washington is going to understand the lessons of vietnam. you do not invade a country to win their hearts and mind. if can and invaded the united states, all of the democrats
would have been other to protect george bush. and so would have all the independents. it is not make a difference. you did not win hearts and minds that way. you do not win hearts and minds by paying people. we are a democracy, and we're supposed to be promoting it around the world. but you have to pay people to fight and spread around freedom? guest: there is a major difference in that regard between iraq and afghanistan. the case for afghanistan was more compelling because of 9/11. i do think they did try more so in afghanistan and iraq to pay attention to history. the lesson they took away was that you do not want to have a big foreign presence, as the soviets did. you'll in your the population. so we helped bring karzai to power. initially we were going to have a very small presence there. we were going to rely on afghans
to deal with security, and we empower these tribal warlords which seems to be the best people to do that. unfortunately, it has not worked out. we had several years that were relatively peaceful. when everyone thought things were going great. things deteriorated since 2005. mostly because of failures in the afghan government. so we're now stepping in there. certainly not ideal conditions, but at the same time, and think few americans would be willing to get out of afghanistan if it meant a return to things like 9/11. it is problematic, and we have a lot of other vulnerabilities. >> detroit, democratic line. caller: good morning. i would like to ask a quick question about what the pipeline
is going to the afghanistan mountains, how that affects our presence there. i would like to comment about the common thinking from conservatives or right-winger is that clinton tore down the military. that is not true factually. the military budget was set by congress which was controlled by republicans. i think dick cheney voted for the decrease in military spending. to the contrary, clinton was trying to get through the counter-terrorism bill which republicans stripped down. it is, in the thinking -- it is, and the -- it is common thinking. why did we send 10,000 soldiers to afghanistan when that is where osama bin laden was and wasn't 160,000 men into iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11?
guest: new mentioned the logistics pipeline. there are areas in afghanistan where we are paying off warlords who are paying the taliban or people affiliated with the taliban to preserve our logistical lines, because we're very dependent on fuel and food and all sorts of stuff coming through. there's probably, in the short term, that is necessary because we cannot do without those. unfortunately, we are assisting the local taliban. ultimately, we want to put an end to that. as the go along, we're starting to destroy the sanctuaries. and the others sanctuary areas will ultimately have to go into and squelch those as well. host: georgia, republican line.
caller: how are you doing? host: good morning. caller: the idea behind the money. where is this money coming from for the taliban? hostguest: are you talking aboue money paid to protect our logistical line? hoscaller: for the taliban. we're talking about paying them. guest: we're talking about paying them with u.s. money. they also have their own money cercis through poppy. part of what we're going to helmand province is to cut out some of the poppy revenue. but again, you have to be very careful because some of these people will say they are going to support us, and then it will take our money and continue the things they were doing. and certainly, in casesñiñr that
can more,ñi as it worked in ira, it is a province-by-province. ñihost: this is our last phone call, from maryland. caller:ñi hello. good morning. i have a question for you, mark. one of the ultimatums that afghanistan's government had as far as osama bin laden was that pretty much is the u.s. wanted a national hero of theirs to pretty much shows prove that he has done these names that you does accuse them of, then we will turn him over. we pretty much refused and said we're gong to come in. what will we not just that -- why did we just not show them the proof that he did commit these things, which would have kind of averted this war that we're going through but yet, we
kinda said no and we will go in anyways? guest: you're talking about in 2001 when we ask them to turn over bin laden, i think. i mean, i think we had a pretty compelling case at that time, and i think we did make some effort to get them to turn over osama bin laden. there were not willing to go along with that. there's a lot of talk today now about how,ñi well, maybe taliban and al qaeda are not really close. we can split them off from one another. but clearly, the top levels, senior taliban leaders are still very close to al qaedaçóçóñii]we çóso maybe if they're not a lare a cut a presence in afghanistan -- now, if you saw the taliban retake power, i think then we would see a return of the taliban and al qaeda. host: mark moyar, thank you for
your time. coming next, just in time for presidents day, c-span has abated and republished its book, a tour of presidential grave sites. it has contributions from richard norton smith and douglas brinkley. we will talk with richard norton smith, coming right up. ♪ >> c-span offer is the new c- span classroom website. it has been redesigned to be more useful for teachers with the most current and timely seas than videos for use in your classroom.
you can find the most watched the video clips, organized by subjects and topics. the latest and education news and the chance to connect with others c-span classroom teachers, and it is all free. sign up but the new web site. it is the only collection of american presidential portraits painted by one artist. american presidents, a life portraits, by a renowned painter and sculptor. now on display a per duke university in indiana through february 21. ehrlick said the lives of the 43 men who have held the office through paintings, photographs, prints, and audio recordings, sponsored by c-span and the white house historical association. if you can i get to west lafayette, see the collection on-line at c-span's website, americanpresidents.org. >> "washington journal" continues. host: richard norton smith has had his book republished and
updated. what is new? guest: celeste addition, we have lost presidents ronald reagan and ford. their new chapters on each of them. i also revised and updated my introduction, which is more like a prologue, a lengthy document in and of itself. beyond that, it is basically the original concept, which is it is a guide book, a travelogue, if you will. but it is also, this small history work of biography of each of these presidents. let's face it, you can tell a lot about people of the end of their lives. i have said people are most themselves at weddings and funerals. i suppose it goes for the corpses well as anyone else. host: what did you find out about president nixon? guest: i have a theory which is, as you may know, i work for bob dole for a number of years. he and president nixon were
quite close. this interesting. richard nixon was a great admirer of bob dole and pete. there probably is candidates for the republican nomination in 1996. each had spoken at mr. nixon's funeral in june of 1993. and when president nixon died a year later, there were both brought back. i believe sincerely that richard nixon knew bob dole, knew him better than most people did, and knew that the motions in senator dole quite close to the surface. that is not a side of him a lot of the public had seen. richard nixon also knew, because he had seen this, that senator dole would probably of trouble getting all the way through an emotional eulogy of his friend, and he certainly regarded him as a friend, without displaying those notions -- those emotions.
however uncomfortable in my be for bob dole, and might be politically advantageous. it is almost as if richard nixon, from the grave, was acting as bob dole's campaign manager for 1996. host: that was written about, more about nixon manipulated from the grave. we have a clip from bob dole's eulogy. >> to know the secret of richard nixon's relationship with the american people, you need only to listen to his own words. you must never be satisfied with success, he told us. and you should never be discouraged by phil year. failure can be sad, but the greatest sadness is not to try and fail but to fail to try. in the end what matters is that you have always lived life to the hilt. strong, brave, unafraid of
controversy, unyielding in his convictions, living every day of his love to the hilt, the largest figure of our time, whose influence will be timeless. that was richard nixon. how american. may god bless richard nixon, and may god bless the united states. [pcries] host: what is your reaction? guest: there was always this interesting emotional bond, i think a cultural affinity between bob dole and richard nixon. bob dole came from a small town. a family without any means in defied himself through the great depression. in some ways was not a natural. richard nixon always said about himself, i am and introvert in an extrovert's profession.
i think they often felt this kind of cultural bond. the silent majority that richard nixon talked about was a very much bob dole's americans. he was not only berrying in a friend, but he was saying goodbye to a mentor and in some ways the culture. host: what else did we learn about president nixon when he passed away and at his funeral? guest: it is interesting because richard nixon, i have always believed, one of his great heroes was charles duvall. there is no one key that will unlock a figure like nixon. but if you see him as a great admirer of de gaulle, including his exit strategy from the algerian war, but it even came down to the funeral. de gaulle had said during his so-called wilderness years,
before he ever became president, that when he died, he did not want state service in paris. if the people of france and other countries wish to do me honor, they make marks behind my casket in a little french village where he lives. in some ways, that is what happened in yorba linda. nixon did not wish to have a state ceremony here in washington. instead, everything thwas done n california. if there is any place in america that really reflects nixon's america, that is it. host: compare what we learn from nixon passing to when ronald reagan passed in the proceedings for his funeral. guest: that is interesting because there is a great contrast. bob dole talked about the second half of the 20th century being the age of nixon. you can argue that there is an age of ronald reagan, and we're still in it in some ways. ronald reagan was a successful
two-term president, very popular, but he made enormous historical differences. in some ways as we see today, unlike most presidents, he is also the head of a movement. so his funeral, i think, became a cathartic event for americans in a way that perhaps nothing since john kennedy's death. ironically, one of the and this president's and the oldest president and yet, i remember standing in line outside capital that night for five and a half hours to go through the rotunda. and it was a young crowd. it was amazing. there were young couples with strollers. there were members of the military. there were people who had driven from all over the country to be here. there was an intensity. there was an emotional commitment really to ronald reagan and his america. it was larger than one man. it was a cultural and political movement.
host: and the funeral proceedings were here in washington. but you also had the ceremony guest:t: in california that is right. the military district of washington plans these things. at about 30 to 40 years ago, the hedge take into consideration the fact that america has two coasts. and there is a state of california, and we might have presidents from california. the eisenhower funeral began the role model for every presidential funeral since including the national cathedral. the fact that you could fly from california to the east coast, it basically uses of the day. all the logistics of the be rolled in. originally, ron reagan, like eisenhower, was going to lie in repose in the up 1 at capital at washington cathedral overnight before the main ceremonies began. however, the crowds were so large and wished to pay their respects that the wisely
decided to write to the capital to extend the time of public viewing. host: the new chapters include a chapter on gerald ford. what did we learn about him? guest: again, he was more trumanesque than the reagan esque. he did not want to case on mr. the streets of washington. he wanted it to be much more of, if you will, of family occasion. there are all sorts of personal touches added. instead of going of the main staircase of the capitol and into the rotunda, the went into the house side, reflecting the 25 years he had spent on the house. they brought a hearst through his old neighborhood. there were hundreds of people on a saturday night standing up on this street. of course, they stop at the world war ii memorial,
reflecting his service in the war. the military district of washington gives you the basics. then it is up to the presidential families and friends to custom design which follows host: we're talking with richard norton smith, a contributor to the updated end republished book "who is buried in grant's tomb?" why should americans care about presidential websitegrave sites? guest: it is a wonderful way to humanize and personalize the past. to take even this and movements that otherwise might seem impossibly remote. there is something universal about the fact that we're all going to one day be on our deathbed. we are all going to face growing old. we all have to wrestle with questions of immortality and mortality.
i mean, those are some of the themes that run through all of this. but it is also, frankly, and entertaining book. there are a lot of stories and anecdotes and designed to humanize all of these people. host: give as one of your favorites. guest: james garfield was only president for six months. he spent half of it on his back because he was shot at a train station in washington, d.c. for a number of reasons, he was on a diet of oatmeal and limewater, which made him rather snappish, understandably. one. he was informed that a chieftain was taken prisoner and was stabbing himself in protest. and guard field snapped. then he said wait a minute, send him my old mail. host: we're talking about the updated c-span boat. it is also available on your
kindle. eureka, california, democratic line. first phone call. caller: thank you so much. thank you, c-span. it is my birthday, so i think that is why i got through. i just wanted to reiterate how important these stories are, and it is a pleasure to listen to mr. smith about history. there is just so much to learn, so much we have to reremember. the snippet about richard nixon speaking from the gray of about bob dole, i mean, i remember watching that on the news, on the tv, and it is so important to keep these books going. i just want to thank him and thank c-span again. i have one recommendation.
i think all the books that comes through c-span and stuff should all be routed to gov. palin. all these books on history are very, very important. she should read all of them, for heaven's sakes. thank you again and have a lovely day. guest: happy birthday. host: what goes into planning these funerals? guest: that is a great question. the military district of washington and are basically responsible for putting together the inauguration, and they are the people who are tasked with planning for presidential funerals. now the plan, needless to say, goes through many permutations. i think once a president puts his hand down on the bible it takes the oath of office, there is the plan in the vaults. obviously, over time.
both presidents reagan and ford lived well beyond 90 years of age. so they had an opportunity to reassess their plans and make them more personal, if you will. and one of the sad things is -- an example. president ford felt strongly he wanted a journalist among his eulogists. he wanted to send a signal that in this town, a president and journals could be adversarial without saying each other's as enemies. he asked his friend to deliver the eulogy at washington cathedral. then he passed away. it is something when you outlive your eulogists. so tom brokaw was the perfect replacement and actually worked in the ford white house. he stepped in and did a beautiful job. host: is there a living
president that has his funeral arrangements choreographed and organized? host: i am sure they all have plans -- guest: i am sure they all have plans. host: is is something they have to do when they're sworn into office? guest: it is really not a matter of their choosing. ultimately, it is a matter of their design. but the fact is the president belongs to us. it is the office, in effect, that we are honoring as well as the document. so for the sake of continuity, the mdw would be derelict in their duty if they did not have a host: plan do we know about these living president's funeral plans? is the public able to read about them? guest: that is a good question. i do not know. i know several years ago, the plans did become public.
i do not know what the venue was. but i will always say in passing that because you saw a plan several years ago, it does not necessarily mean it is even relevant today. i knew that after the fourth funeral, other former presidents and their families were sufficiently impressed with the intimacy of these services. -- that was after the fourtrd funeral. it is the nature of the office. there is the official said of the presidency, the grandiosity, if you will. but of the same time, it is a human being. that is what is in this book, the human side of the presidency. their fathers and husbands and friends. you want to reflect that personal side. host: the subtitle is "a tour of
presidential crates." you give it tors. guest: yes, i do. host: your planning one right now. guest: people ask why it did not do the original new england and new york trip again. we're going to do it one more time in october. we go to nine president for grave sites and eight other presidential homes, libraries, the adams, the canada dairy -- the kennedy library, both roosevelts. anyway, it is nine days, a boston to new york, with new england fall foliage hopefully at its peak. if people want some information about that, they can call in number. 202-621-7250. 202-621-7250. then get an itinerary and find out when and how much everything is. host: linda, republican line, new york.
caller: thank you for c-span. i have enjoyed this the very, very much. i am wondering if you will remind us some information about george washington and the time of his funeral. guest: that is interesting. george washington set the precedent. it is interesting, washington had a very modest funeral. it was at mount vernon with a band i believe from alexandria. mrs. washington did not attend the services, which was a custom in those days. there was not a capital in which he could lie in state. interesting enough, in subsequent years, the capital was designed originally to house and george washington's remains. he was to be buried under the rotunda. and it never happened.
washington belongs at mount vernon. in 1831, 32 years after he died, the provision in his goal was carried out. the new tomb was built. if the good to mount vernon today, as many people do every year, you can see the new tomb and the old tomb not far away. host: what happened? was the back and forth that he was not buried in the capital? guest: inertia took over is my hunch. basically, with the passage of time, mrs. washington died in 1802. so that was gone. i do not think the descendants felt it was inappropriate for him to be moved from mount vernon, which really was the place he loved most in all the world. host: florida, independent line. good morning. caller: richard nixon was a rockefeller attorney with john
mitchell and highly involved with organized crime, including the kennedy assassination, which was code-named operation north woods. which is the same as the trade center bombing, another rockefeller deal. but nixon, kissinger, who, you know, how many young men went to their deaths, the killing of john kennedy who took us of the so-called federal reserve to silver certificate of treasury notes. and it is still covered up, but the secret service driver turns around and fires. blank -- fighters into kennedy and the secret service cover-up everything. guest: that was about four
conspiracies in one call. that is close to a record. host: we are encouraging everybody to call in, including democrats ands democrats. we're getting a lot of republican calls. -- including democrats and independents. which president was afraid of being buried alive and guest: why george washington. the first lady was as well, eleanor roosevelt. she had this irrational fear of being buried alive from childbirth. that humanizes president's in a way. there may be a number of people and the evidence you have the same fear. host: what was george washington stipulation to make sure he was not buried alive? guest: he just expressed a fear. he said do not put me in the tomb in less than three days. the irony, of course, i
discovered a friend of his who is the co architect of the original capital. he rushed to mount vernon and thought he could resurrect the dead washington by robbinubbings body vigorously in putting him in warm water. mrs. washington put a stop to that. maybe he was onto something. host: next call. caller: i was intrigued by the comment of how poor and the presidency is. i want to mention a book that came out in 1984 called " presidents of both parties." is the study of the first six presidents and how they believe in a non-partisan presidency. i think we're coming back to the time or it is probably needed now, in the age of hyper partisanship.
i want to know if you are familiar with the book. >> i am. i would certainly recommend it. who was the seventh president? andrew jackson. andrew jackson represents a lot of things. most historians think andrew jackson represents the broadening of democracy, more inclusive electorate. four times as many people voted, and they chose andrew jackson and john quincy adams four years earlier. those first six presidents, four from virginia, two from massachusetts -- it was a very different office. i think a lot of people would argue that it was less a democrat office. host: which president was buried with the flag under his head and a copy of the constitution? guest: andrew johnson. he worshipped the constitution, but it was the pre-war constitution. i am sorry to say, i have a bone
to pick with andrew johnson. i think that andrew johnson, in many ways, he was not interested in reconstruction, leveling protecting the rights of the newly freed slaves. he wanted restoration. because of andrew johnson and the way he squandered the northern victory in the civil war, it took 100 years for another southern president named johnson to finally make good on the promises that abraham lincoln understood better than anybody else for african- americans who had been enslaved for most of american history. host: democratic line. caller: i just learned about that in my history class not too long ago. that was good stuff you just said about andrew johnson. i am wondering if any president has never regretted their presidency on their deathbed? guest: that is a great question.
they actually defend their presidencies. i will tell you one thing, grover cleveland's last words were, i have tried so hard to do right. the do not think that is an expression of regret but maybe a prospective that i would hope all of us would have at that moment. host: the presidents try to incorporate themes from the presidency's in their funeral proceedings? guest: bly, -- boy, yes and no. truman signed off on a washington ceremony. he said to the planners, it will be a great show, to bet i will not be around to see it. in the end, it was in january. mrs. truman was quite advanced in age, and the family decided to scrap all the washington ceremonies. so everything took place in independence, missouri. paradoxically, it turned out to
be much more authentic in moving in some ways because it was independent. it was on a smaller scale. but without the trappings that somehow became a much more intimate truman askesque experie for the country. host: do we know who had the most expensive funeral? guest: i do not. i suspected is on an exponential basis in terms of the planning and military aspects. host: pennsylvania, david, independent line. caller: it is a pleasure to talk to mr. smith. i wonder if you have ever read a book about george washington, " the indispensable man," and a book by thomas frank, "and the wrecking crew" which defines written -- which defines nixon,
reagan, in the republican party. i want to know what you thought of those. thank you. >> i am aware of the frank book. he is even better known for his book "what is the matter with kansas?" it has a real resonance. "the indispensable man" is four volumes in a biography. i know it sounds like a lot. jamefour volumes condensed intos one volume. the writer was an art historian. he has a keen eye for detail. that is wonderful and a biographer in terms of recreating a very distant era and culture. four volumes is a lot, but if anyone deserves it, george washington does.
host: chicago, republican line. caller: this is with respect to president franklin roosevelt who allegedly died in warm springs, georgia, and was buried in hyde park. all of his medical records disappeared after his death in georgia. and his coffin was always closed. it was never opened. the question is, there has been a mystery as to why it was close and whether or not roosevelt was in fact buried in hyde park. guest: franklin d. roosevelt is buried, as he requested, in his mother's rose garden at springwood, the ancestral home on the banks of the hudson. that is where his life began and where the story ended. the question as to why the casket was not open, first of all, in a number of cases caskets are not open. beyond that, i think it is safe to say that president roosevelt died of a massive cerebral
hemorrhage, and i have read accounts that suggest that mrs. roosevelt did not feel comfortable having an open casket, that the effects of the stroke were very apparent in her husband's continents and facial expressions. kind of reticence which we seem to have lost today, i think probably characterized her decision. host: chicago, republican line. caller: yes, in the same vein. hello, mr. smith. i met you down in springfield. there is something going on with the library for linkedcoln. and the request and nancy reagan did not want the body to be returned to washington, d.c., and that was just an and the
casket that came and went back to california because of the situation that his entire presidency was a smaller government, and he did not really care for the washington area. guest: you know, we have a lot of empty casket's this morning. if you believe that, that he had such an aversion that she shared, then i do not think you'd have ronald reagan's name on a national airports, and she would not have come back to washington for the dedication and the ronald reagan building on pennsylvania avenue. so i think that might be another urban legend hos. host: does this book and address so-called urban legends? guest: there are conspiracy theories, but that is the first
i have heard that one. host: san antonio, democratic line. caller: good morning. have you ever read a book called "b hold a pale white horse"? it is about government guest: conspiracies it is not ring a bell. hoscaller: it brings to the poit of all the different presidential -- what you think of it deferred conspiracy theories throughout the years, especially since kennedy was assassinated, and now you think of the current president will have any conspiracy swansea is done? if you look at bush, at their summit conspiracy theories about 911 against him. guest: is an interesting field. i'd think it tells us much more about us than it does about any of these individual presidents. i think it does you a lot about
parts of the media which allows sensationalizing. and to exploit rather than explain things. host: which state has the most presidential gravesides? guest: virginia. because it had the most presidents. i think ohio is second. they each fight over the title mother of presidents. va has washington, jefferson. ohio has garfield and mckinley. probably. the virginia. host: when did it become custom or is a custom that presidents lie in state guest: first of all, the assassinated president all lie in state beginning with abraham lincoln. in terms of what we call the modern era, the president of dead in his bed of old age began with taft in 1930. and then for only 90 minutes in
the rotunda. most but not all the president's sense of been accorded that honor. host: why did they start this tradition then? what was the rationale? guest: that is a good question. i think taft was -- it was something. even then, yet media and radio. but in the presidency began to be more versatile institution. presidents come into our homes now on a 24/7 basis. but earlier in the 20th century, radio began the transformation of the office. so president's funeral is almost like a family funeral ho. host: we're talking about a newly republished and updated c- span book. we have richard norton smith. sales go to the education foundation. you could also get the book on your e-reader if you have one.
i happen to have the kindle here. we're going to the next phone call which is chicago, republican side. caller: my other question was about the funding of the linkedin grave site -- the abraham lincoln graveside in the library there and how that is going on. do you have any comments about it? thank you. guest: i am not sure what he is referring to. i have been the first directorate the abraham lincoln library museum in springfield and left that job about four years ago. i know the state of illinois is effectively broke end by some accounts as a $13 billion in unpaid bill. i assume that is probably affecting the historic preservation agency, which runs those sites. beyond that, i do not know. host: which was the first
incumbent president to die in office and guest: how william henry harrison. he was president for 30 days. this story is that he spoke for almost two hours during an inclement inauguration day. he was the oldest man to the president to that point, and he died of pneumonia and months later. he was no master of the sound bite. had he been a little bit less verbose, he might have been president a lot longer. host: nancy, independent line. >> thank you, c-span. thank you for being there. what an honor you have to interview this man. you will remember this. he is wonderful. mr. smith, i always wanted to ask in this story in this. george washington, in his day, he was born in virginia.
i do not know if he was born there, but he spent his boyhood days there. i visited. did he speak with an english accent? have you read any accounts of his speech or voice? guest: that is a great question. actually, he spoke with a slight southern accent. he is from rural virginia. you mention that he hated speechmaking. he was very uncomfortable. he and thomas jefferson had this in common. jefferson cannot be heard beyond the second row. washington and adams delivered would recall that the state of the union address. jefferson dropped that custom, and it went out of fashion for 100 years. then there was a great orator. jefferson cannot be heard, and he did not like your deal of public speaking. washington was actually much like him. but his accent was what you'd
recognize in that part of virginia today. host: ohio, democratic line. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you so very much. i am 82 years old and a veteran of world war ii. at the the president's and the 20th-century, president roosevelt and they got for social security. his successor, harry truman. thank god for the atomic bomb the said the lot of americans and japanese. going to kennedy, it going democratic right now. we got the trip to the moon and what have you. we're moving on into eisenhower as a republican. i think he was a pretty good president. a great general and a pretty
good president. we can move on in. i am thinking about president obama now. this is great. i think he is going to be a great president. i would like to see it go to a nonpartisan presidency. you have this same amount of senators and congressmen, and everybody could go and the vote, and it would be no responsibility to the republican party or the democratic party and a lot less argument and more work. guest: i understand that. i have to tell you that the bombing have to pick his with the founders. they created this job in which they combine the function of head of state. we do not have a clean it like
great britain. we have the president who is both a ceremonial and necessarily political leaders. governed by the very nature involves the political process. i think abraham lincoln is probably the greatest president in american history because he was the greatest politician ever to occupy the white house. like it or not, it is a political job. the most successful presidents understand that and can make it work for them. even if it temporarily polarizes the country. host: next phone call from california, republican line. caller: good morning. there has been a lot of talk about the jackie taylor, that he might have been poisoned. the official story was the fourth of july and he was eating cherries, i think, in frozen
milk or something like that. he got some kind of stomach problems and died. i ran across something, abraham lincoln -- there was a very dr. robert cook that worked in a white house, and abraham lincoln would not eat his food because he is the same one that was supposed to have done the poisoning. is it true that abraham lincoln actually made an arrest warrant for the chief justice of the united states? guest: i do not think abraham lincoln ever tried to arrest the chief justice. although he was not wild about either one of them. it was his first term. he nominated his rival and cabinet. zachary taylor -- several years ago, more than that now, an
academic in florida was writing a book which said that there was the poisoning. and descendants of taylor went along with exhuming our 12th president. once again, zachary was reintroduced to the american people. tests were conducted. they did not find arsenic. so the basic conspiracy theory. in some ways, almost 200 years old which i think as been effectively disproved. host: was talk about the story about the title behind the boat. guest: i used to tell brian that i wanted to call it "deadman talking, an underground history of the presidency." we came up with this because it is a famous line, volvo. groucho marx appropriated it. i suspected was an old generation, a generation for
whom they do not know who groucho marx is. host: next phone call, boston, caller: independent line good morning. this is a great subject. i have a question for mr. smith. back in 1989, i delivered construction is to a home in a gated community. they told me that the house was built for president eisenhower, but he never lived there because the secret service cannot protect it because ithe area it was in. can you verify guest: that i cannot verify that. i am not denying it either. i used to go to newport, rhode island, and it might be relevant. he would go to newport to get away from washington, and he would go to the naval base there. and it afforded all kinds of security.
maybe there's a connection between those two host: philadelphia -- maybe there's a connection. host: philadelphia, democratic line. caller: this is a great topic. i find it entertaining, conversations about the founding fathers of the nation. they are honorable, glorious men. most of these people were slaveholders. thomas jefferson was not just a slaveholder, he was also a pedophile. there was a girl that was 11 years old, and he was 34. i know people will say that slavery was legal during that time, but so was the holocaust according to hitler. i would like to know if you will ever write a book about the truth on who these people were? guest: that is a large subject, and truth is ironically a relative thing, i suppose. but i will agree with this.
i think it is a healthy thing in recent years, post-1960's and the civil rights revolution, that we have discovered not only african-americans, native americans, the disabled, women, gay people, a whole host of our fellow citizens who are not even in the history books. they were on the margins of society. needless to say, a lot of revision has taken place as a result. and some of it is overdue and very helpful. host: who pays for presidential funerals guest: it is a combination. mostly the government. the federal government. most of these and military components. in some cases, thend