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tv   Capital News Today  CSPAN  September 27, 2010 11:00pm-2:00am EDT

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book. >> we have another question from google in person. >> thanks for taking my question. i want to ask you about it from the standpoint of being a strategy expert and a marketing and messaging expert. candidates are more often at circumventing traditional media. and there are times, well, the white house has is this going to be easier to do, getting your message across without a traditional media? and will that be a good or bad thing for democracy? you and your is a very good question. -- >> you raise a very good question. i was on fox on a sunday, and i think it is healthy to mix it
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up. the president gave a speech at the university of michigan. the question is not where we appear, but they're reading and viewing habits of americans. he said, i hope that people do not just watch the station that affirms their point of view or read the newspaper that affirms their point of view or goes to the website that affirms their point of view. it is healthy to get other opinions, even if you do not fully agree with them. and that is an important part of democracy. one of the concerns i have is that we get so polarized, not just in our politics but our viewing habits, that we simply do not hear other points of view. >> i think that you can. if you have got a good solid argument. >> what if someone who is a friend? >> i see.
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here is the reality. we started on technology, so the reality is that people get information from many different places now. not just from tv stations, but from friends, from social networks -- all whole re a sources -- a whole array of sources. you have to communicate as broadly as possible. for someone like the president or someone on the democratic side, i think there is more of an impetus to do that. the truth is that among conservatives and republicans, fox has consolidated a base and democratic supporters tend to be more diffuse and their viewing habits. we have an inherited even from the standpoint of politics to be as -- we have an imperative that
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even from the standpoint of politics to have avenues of communication. >> had he been expected to go around more than you had? >> i do not know about that. certainly the way that we ran, we were aware that communications had changed dramatically. but you guys can still drive the story. in today's world, some unfiltered piece of information or acomes up on a blocg website can dominate the mainstream media. we live in a new reality and we are aware with that, we deal with it. we also understand that the day when the president of the united states can simply stand in front of a battery of microphones at a press conference or a speech and command the attention of the
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vast majority of voting americans is gone. it is not that simple. yes, you have to work harder to communicate, and that is an imperative. >> of chicago tribune reporter as a consultant. if rahm emanuel runs for mayor chicago, what with his chances bay? what with his outlook be? >> is a formidable person. he would be a very formidable candidate. i am not going to install him before he announces what his intentions are. the thing that makes rahm so formidable as a candidate is that he would never view himself as the front candidate nor would he run as one. he is going to do what he did in congress, go door-to-door, start
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6:00 in the morning and finished at midnight. i expect you will do the same thing again. in chicago, nobody is going to hang you anything, you are going to earn it. ridgy hand you anything. you're going to earn it. -- hand you anything, you're going to have to learn it. people would resent it and they should. but that is not his style or his wit. >> there been a couple of articles that talk about the toll but washington has taken a new personal. -- that washington has taken on you personally. >> i see some of these people in the front cover republicans and democrats. i have met some wonderful people here. the associations that i will buy you for the rest of my life, and
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people who they think are well motivated and are doing this work for the right reasons. i do get frustrated with the group pathology of washington sometimes, who is up and who is down and doing everything for prism of the latest poll. i am not just tearing at you for a reason. -- staring at you for reason. have a bottom line, this is a critical time for the country. we have a lot of challenges and choices to make that will really determine whether we're competitive in a global economy, the kind of lives that our kids will lead. there are serious issues and we should not put everything into a board game of politics. i say what my mother said to me when i was a child. i love you, i just take some of the things that you do. >> what did you learn about washington that you did not know? >> the thing is that i do not -- i did not come in here with any
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illusions. i knew that washington -- there were folks who came to work here to add the capacity to do very positive things and then there were the other aspects of it. i do think that the media environment has evolved over time to the point where you have to spend an awful lot of time dealing with these white hot stories that a week later have faded into the rearview mirror and nobody can remember them. that takes up more energy than you would like. i want to say one thing about washington, though. we ran our campaign on the premise that change begins from the bottom up. and that we wanted to come here and affect some changes that would help people in communities accomplish what they wanted to accomplish. a good example is education
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reform, where arne duncan has done a great race to the top. 48 states, higher standards, not because of a mandate from the federal government but because of competition at the local level. so we tried to keep our eye on the ball and remember what we were upset here. >> when you leave washington, are you optimistic or pessimistic? to i am always optimistic about this country. i am the son of immigrants, and as such, i was -- ingrained in me is the belief that this is the greatest country in the world. and i think we have enormous capacities. i think we are unrivaled in our productivity, in our innovation. i think we need to take advantage of those things in a very challenging century so that my kids can have the same sense of optimism that i did. made thatot
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announcement decision and i should add that i am a little presumptuous because the president has not formally announced his reelection campaign, either. so we will make that decision later. but the argument for doing it there is that there is an element -- one thing you ask me about washington, it is not surprising but it's something i know more than ever, there is a different conversation in this town than you hear at manny's, the deli where i hang out in chicago. at lunch in chicago, they're talking about kids and how they pay their bills and how their businesses are going. the normal things that people care about. it is healthy for a campaign to be rooted in that environment and not in the hothouse of washington. >> you are known for sticking your ipad in the meetings in the white house. >> i think it depends on whether my cubs are playing.
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it is actually very useful because it can keep track of what is going on. well, politico of course. [laughter] and now google things all the time. but i have many -- most of the news organizations, have on there. i do have a few sports applications on there to keep track of that. one thing i have on their that was a bad mistake is pac-man. i was more time than i should, even in meetings as i am listening to people, doing that. i am breaking my personal records all the time. >> david axelrod, thank you for sitting down with us today. >> we continue our innovation in
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democracy program by bringing back mike allen from politico for next interview, with epilepsy, the former chairman of the republican national committee, among many positions. your brother. mike allen, thank you. [inaudible] >> i started out by parking
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cars. >> honest work. >> was in the basement and one of those typical. 18 years later, i was chairman on the top four calling people at home for money for the republican party. in those days, you wanted to make sure that we got more republican support. it was president reagan's agenda. the nature of it is not really change. we've just tack on more zeros. i am trying to help the republican state leaders and committee to help collect candidates around the country. >> and also the attorney general. >> gov. barbara has done a great job.
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i'm a founder of a senate organization. i've been a very good job for deccan out of helping public perceptions relative to the policy debate going on in washington. we need to learn to take a page from their playing " and set that up along with a number of other pollsters on the conservative side. >> you take polls and then what you do it? >> we analyze them and make them public, put them on our website
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, and with the findings available on the internet, with analysis for what we're seeing. where were the first umph spot the move away from obama by independent voters. -- we were the first to spot the move away from obama by independent voters. >> and then your third half is helping to start the american action network. can you explain those? >> i do not want overstated because other folks have done a lot more than i have in that regard. american action network was founded by people who do a fantastic job. and that is largely modeled on the center for american progress. it's helpful in promoting ideas from more liberal sides of the equation. this is from the more conservative side of the equation.
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and then the american crossroads and the american crossroads gps, which is to provide help to launch along with karl rove to counter move, to compete in the political coronet on the way the week and not have on the right. >> what did you the courage to duplicate what democrats are doing? >> set -- democrats successfully move this out of power. they were very good in and that brought together some institutions that help them become more competitive over time, and reinvigorated them, and i fought with us losing the house, the senate, and the white house, that it was time for conservatives and republicans to take a look at that infrastructure that the left had assembled over the course of
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time and see if there were some things that we were duke -- date they were doing that we ought to be doing and we talked about a number of them. >> now we have a tour of the landscape, how sure you about republican chances? >> barre. -- very. it's hard to see how the dynamic and really change in any significant manner. as i am traveling the country and talking to the state house and state senate candidates and releasing the ground game out there in the energies, it is really strong on the republican side. i said this -- a volunteer in virginia, housing back in 2009, between the republican and the voting booth, that will be the case this november. the most dangerous place to be is to be between of republican and the voting booth. we're energize.
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be there in big numbers to put a check. president obama and this administration and make changes to the policy read congress. >> what you think a range of the possibility? >> i think we will get six- eight, but election day, who knows what is one happened at the end of the day? >> you are skeptical of the i did the republicans will take the senate. >> i do not rule it out. i think that this is an environment -- there is no such thing as a safe democratic seats. i think you're seeing there right now in west virginia among other places. maybe even new york. there is a lot going on on the ground were would not be surprised to see republicans take control of the senate. >> were the ones that looked out of the reach that you could imagine coming in? >> i started -- i believe that
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we will hold all of our opens. we're going to pick up a number of democratic copens as well. certainly north dakota, ohio and when you look around some of the other seats that are in play today that 86 months ago people would not say, republicans may be able to win an election date, and it's a california, wisconsin, connecticut, west virginia, all very much -- i think there is a very good chance that we could be having eight or nine. you could see a lot of money moving from west virginia to conn? >> i read somewhere that there is a buy in west virginia. >> issue organization starting to look at broadening the field? >> my organization, we are broadening the field all over the place in terms of house races in senate races. i think that we will win at
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least 10 legislative chambers around the country, and that is important terms of redistricting. any gains in the house, we're going to win the u.s. house, and we will be have an impact in redistricting to help protect the gains that we made in this election, in 2010. judith how many statehouses to the republicans will now? >> that is a trick question. i should know that and i do not. >> what is the net can do for you? >> if you look at someone like great lakes, pennsylvania, ohio, indiana, michigan, maybe even illinois, we could win the state houses in all of these houses, wisconsin, the state senate we could win. and in the new york state senate, looking at new york, we
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could wind up to eight seeds depending on the night that it is. ohio, therefore, indiana, 34. in the redistricting process in the states, it's important to keeping this. >> we talked about that process and it sounds abstract. what specific mechanical terms can you do to control the state houses when you go to draw the lines? >> in most of the state legislatures, there's some places were redistricting is done by commission, some places the governor has of authority, but in most aids the congressional district lines are drawn by the state legislatures. having the pen in your hand because you have the majority and are the chairman of the committee makes a big difference. being able to draw the district lines in a way that would be more favorable toward your party, which is done on both sides of the aisle, can have an
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effect for five election cycles, for a decade. judy how much money can you expect from republican senate leaders from this? >> i think we would to around 30 mickle -- $30 million this cycle. $15 million from later date. >> and what has been before? >> i think it was $22 million, so about an 18% increase. we also house the republican attorney general association, as well as the republican campaign committee. you have quite an impact. we have a number association's house there. i just ducked out of the
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catholic university board of trustees meeting i just wanted to spend a little time with you. >> this talk about the house. you say you when the house, you need 39 seats. what do you expect? i think that we're looking at 45. depending on how much things continue to go down in november. i would say a minimum of 45 seats. when you get no. 45, is hard to say. it is a dam break at the moment. >> dc data in november? >> i think so. you just look at all the sudden, the seats that are coming into play that were not necessarily being counted on being in play, i do think there is any such thing as a safe democrat today. in any election, i remember
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working for haley barbour after the 1994 cycle, and he would talk about congressman's and congressman jefferson -- congressmen jetsem. >> here is a question from your. the expansion of online communication has caused me to become or partisan toward the left and right. house media partnership -- parnis a ship -- hal has media partisanship of that to the election. the media does the cycles. there was a time in history where in newspapers, the major dailies. decide, if you had the different
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papers and everyone knew. people are picking a site in the on-line community and others have access to a lot of the information. voters are smart enough. they filter route and that information into the places even an ecological slant to it. there are a number of website in the course of the day, and many have a diversified. if you. i like to see what is out there. ,here's incredible information information from the left in the right. and there is not credible information on the left and not credible information on the right. generally the political
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process, it has probably contributed to greater polarization in the political process, but that is not necessarily a bad thing, either. there are reason that there are to too parties. we can disagree civilly, but in terms of the internet, i think it is generally been hugely positive and beneficial to voters, giving people a greater breadth of information and places to go to get it. the >> in the 2004 presidential election, your side had the technological advantage. you're focused on my for targeting the pitch ahead. in 2008, they seem to get the upper hand with technology. how did that happen? >> it is the nature of politics. things leapfrog. the other side, you have to adapt, and react, and then you move ahead. we've seen that time and time again in the political arena and i think we're seeing enough. you talk a little bit about the groups on the right, and in
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2008, this is supported predator obama and his election and down bought from him, beginning with the obama campaign to the dnc to the afl-ceo and the cia you, and other liberal organization, they spent $1.4 billion in expenditures to help elect president obama promoting his point of view. and the conservative side, there were only $634 million spent by the come -- the maintain campaign in the are and say and the people is supported that point of view. a $500 million gap had come about on the three cycles. that pendulum may be swinging back the other way. you have to adapt to the changed circumstances or you're not going to be able to be competitive and be a majority party. i think we're in a position to become majority status, but we
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have to do the process in order to do that. >> u.s. at the party structure, the money's going in to these elections, there clearly is a lot more on your side as well. what you think that is? >> we are on the outside. this all the dynamic when president bush were -- was in the washington -- when president bush was in the white house. u.s. soil get frustrated with your own side for not doing the things you ought think they ought to be doing, and we're seeing that on the left. on the right, it is a lot easier to be unified in opposition to something thin trying to get something done. >> women of the question that came into the google moderator. this is from chicago. yes, what effect would john stuart rally have on election valley havetewert's
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an election date? >> not that much. people get a lot of information from the show but i am not sure how much at the end of the date. >> david axelrod said that one. did -- one. it would be that it gets people excited again, and that is within the. the only drawback is that may take people away from working in turnout. >> i am not so sure. i can understand and thinking that. and not so sure it is could help a significant impact. >> what do you worry about? >> i worry about intensity wining, although i do not see it, and i think actually president obama and the democrats seem to have a double down and try to energize poured
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democratic voters. there's a flip side to that, we can get the core republican voters in response to that. they will fix that themselves. >> the president will be a rally in wisconsin radiant 5000 people to 10,000 people. >> the president unfortunately -- i don't know what. he changed from post partisan to most partisan, i have never seen a president of united states on either side of the aisle engage in the kind of personal attacks against people in congress on the other side, the way the president obama has chosen to do. i don't think it's part of the presidency, and i don't think it's politically affected them. judith if you or hurt -- his counselor, for which is a? >> talk about the issues, talk about -- make a case for your
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health care bill. make a case for your stimulus plan? try to get people to understand why you think that it is better than the alternative, the personal screeds in the attacks against leaders by name, republican leaders in congress, i think his like nails on the top four to republicans, and also puts off independent voters. that is not changing the tone. it is making it worse. when he goes out there and he stomps, i'm sure they did have some short-term energizing affects four democratic voters, but i can assure you it has a very energetic long term of the on conservatives and independence. it drives and further under republican ones. >> he has been talking about the house minority leader, john boehner. what you think was on his mind? >> i do not know.
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>> if you build them up, then you can attack him. is that working? >> i think john owner ought to send the president a box of chocolates. you help me by this box of chocolates as well as a number of other things thank you for elevating the minority leader of the u.s. house of representatives and a way that has never been done in this republic, and thanks for coming on down to my level. i am lost. other than that, when you have got a raging river coming at you, you'll grab for any grants to pull yourself out of it. as near as i can tell, they have pivoted away from that. >> the donors to #these groups, they're not been disclosed. -- to a number read these groups, they've not been disclosed. if these people are so invested
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in the process, if these groups are so positive, why not disclose to the money comes from? >> in one of my birds, we do disclose our donors. they're happy to be disclosed. in the big money on the outside, including others, does not have to be. >> american crossroads does disclosed. the other does not, as is the case on the left. there as if they run, there donors and on them. chuck schumer and then holland have introduced legislation to keep the afl-cio from disclosing. adjourn the point out that there are both sides that have organization. they did not disclose. and they have had a big
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advantage in that, and your turn to change it back. so let me to said. if you look at the history of donors and the right, you get some causes and organizations that have been subject to some vicious attacks from the organized left, there are people who gave to a referendum in california that were given e- mails the nasty in nature, and they had their jobs targeted, because they -- and then there was a candid and minnesota. a lot of these folks who are opposed to more government control of our economy and more government intervention in our economy or already subject to a great deal of government control and intervention and regulation and they have a fear
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retribution. it those who are in control and in power and to seek to further government control of my sector or my company for my own personal life, they will come after me. i do not think that is paranoia on their part. you are not paranoid when there really ought to get you. there are unfortunately instances where we just saw most recently, the news report of a democratic member of congress calling up a company and say, i notice that you were not on my donor form, and you're not given any money to me, but you're giving it the other members of my committee, and have a lot of say over the business in your sector -- i know it is shocking but it happens. and it happens when you show up as a conservative somewhere, you will hear from somebody saying, i see you don't necessarily agree with my agenda. i think have to change the way we do business. >> those big undisclosed checks. do you worry that this could get
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out of hand, that something to happen? >> there's always that possibility and the media i am sure would do a very good job of scrutinizing both sides on the left and right. the five under million dollar window that opens up between the left and right, there was not reporting on that, but now will be much more interesting on this front. >> do you think you're being held to a standard that he feels inappropriate? >> let me posit this. i think it is a different standard that is applied. and're conservative groups liberal groups have been doing this for three cycles, that is the difference. welcome, "new york times," your interest in this area. if you are not disclosing, it's not just that you're fearful of
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retribution and for people who do not support those, but at the same time, the beneficiaries of a do not have any idea of who was participating in the process, either. maybe there is a virtue that is not often noted. >> the of a question for michael moderator, and they asked -- how many issues that are big in this campaign were clear back in 2008? how many of those issues rose spontaneously, and how many did you see coming quarter margin the biggest is the economy. the concern over jobs and the economic growth of the country and the financial markets. that is very prevalent today. i think to a large extent, national security was a issued in 2008 but not as much as 2006. clearly from 2008 going forward,
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the, -- the economy has been de dominant issue. ianna has me a question, are we in the cycle where incumbents won nevertheless? you get republicans in the two- party could turn on them. >> it is hard to extrapolate out from one cycle down the line. every cycle has its own attributes. there is clearly an anti- washington, anti-establishment strong strain in the electorate. i think it is understandable. i think it plays to the republican benefit in a big way this year. but if republicans -- i am right and republicans win control of the house, and we are not responsive to what those voters are looking for a new majority, we will be next and there is no doubt, the previous question
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about the impact of the new media and the internet, the cycles have accelerated. these elections used to be every 40 years and every 20 years, and now they are every quarter years. there is no doubt that that is a factor to it. i would not project a straight line now from this election and say go forward. this administration has been extraordinary in the breadth and depth of government intervention in our economy, and that this field is anti-washington sentiment out there. -- this has fueled anti- washington sentiment out there. if the result of that is the change in control of the house and the result of that is president obama moves more to the center in the way that bill clinton did after using the house in 1994, that could change the dynamic considerably. >> if republicans get the house has you're predicting here, the speaker will be john boehner. his history has not been as a bomb thrower.
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and yet he is going have a lot of very aggressive and emboldened the numbers in his congress -- in his caucus. judy is a very skillful leader and someone i have a lot of respect for and admiration for. i do not think you have to be a bomb for. is also a conservative. this is a guy who's been in congress and for 30 years and never saw an earmarked for his district. he has a good record for taxes and spending and fiscal policy as well as life. office of my head, i would say his aclu has to be -- he is a conservative, and that is what matters most. are you going to hear to the principles and the policy is that we believe -- are you going to adhere to the principles and policies that we believe in which more cheating you think he should work with the white house? judy if the president is willing to work and accommodating fashion with speaker banner,
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which is hard to think they will get off on a great flood hit the president saying what he did over the past few weeks -- >> there has been plenty of tough rhetoric about prisoner on your site. >> there's a distinction here that is important political or in a. if there some areas. there's a chance to work together in the free-trade agreement, i think there would be -- that maybe an area where a republican house and president obama could find some common ground and accommodation, maybe on entitlement reform. the president attacked that way. that would be in the area where they could find some common ground. >> the thinkers out would be willing to give some ground and tie, reform, if the president were to accept some clear long-
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term spending cuts? would you be willing to set tax cruises? >> i don't think there are new republicans out there saying, vote for me, i will increase taxes when i get to washington. >> you might be able to make some sort of deal. >> i will leave this to the policymakers, but to me, entitlement reform means getting control of spending in washington. i'm not sure that there is a revenue problem as much as a spending problem. that is a debate to be had if there is a republican house and the democratic president. didn't say that you have a democratic house, democratic senate, a democratic white house, what will the republicans do? >> there are some areas where you get things done. and you have to fund the government and we saw this with president bush and republican white house and a democratic congress. i would therefore negotiating a
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budget with president bush and si we were able to get accommodation for the budget. nobody got everything that they wanted. to in an aggressive you think house republicans should be on subpoenas, on investigating? >> i don't think that is what people are electing publicans to do. i think they are electing republicans to put the brakes on spending and make sure that we get our fiscal house in order. there is obviously a legitimate oversight role for the congress and it is an important one, to ensure that taxpayers' money is being spent properly, that things are being done -- that the lots are being implemented as congress passed, and that is certainly a legitimate function of the legislative branch. but i do not think the republicans should be to sidetracked by it. the focus needs to be on policy and spending and taxes and getting jobs going.
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>> how much of an opportunity to you think there is for your party in 2012? >> i think that he is very vulnerable right now. in 2012, it is a lifetime away in politics. a lot of it depends on how he reacts to the changed dynamic after this election. president clinton was able to adapt because voters saw him as someone who had moved too far left and was able to come back to the center because he was a new democrat and the third wave. it will be interesting to see a president obama can do that because he did not campaign that way, and i'm not sure how he feels about things. but that said, pendulum swing in politics. 18 months ago, few people would think that there would be a legitimate discussion about the prospect of speaker banneoehner. right now i think is very
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vulnerable to 2012, but right now as well. >> what potential candidates on your side look strong? today i think we will have a great deal. this is always a tough question because you end up making some money mad. -- you end up making some one- man. begot governors. >> go to the ones you say. >> i see governor romney, gov. polity, gov. palin, gov. daniels getting in, a lot of talk about them. out of the senate, senator i thune, former speaker gingrich, former senator santorum -- i think the field is good for republicans, and there could be folks elected now who could all the sudden be in play in discoverer. we have a very interesting field of governors getting elected.
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howard curd any of them to get elected governor and then run for president. -- i would not encourage any of them to get elected governor and then run for president. we have some women governors that actually could end up on a short list for vice president, certainly. i did not know. i do not want to get any trouble, and i'm throwing out their names. it is a very fluid situation on the republican side. i think that the party is up point at time were they are open to new faces, new ideas, new energy, and that is good for us. that will be helpful. >>. can hit it on your side has got a lot of attention, christine o'donnell. >> i think that she is a clear reflection of people's desire for change, people in the
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republican primary shaking things up. i hope that dish wins. i know that the polls numbers showed that that former congressman castle had better chances for delaware. i do not dispute that but i also say that i do not count that seek out at all. i think that christine o'donnell has been pretty effectively. let us say, there is no such thing as a safe democratic seats in this election year. >> how interested those video clips been? >> i am not sure. this environment is such where someone is out there with a very clear, resonant message that, you send me to washington, i'll put the brakes on spending, all major we do not raise taxes, i'm going to try to get control of this out of control data. i think that it's heard over and above 20-year-old takes about witchcraft. >> david axelrod tell us about
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his ipad. what is your 20s as? >> i have an ipad but i have not learned yet. i have not learned yet to turn on for one thing. >> google it. >> i am hoping to get a chance to learn how to do that. >> what are your devices? >> i just use my laptop and a blackberry, that is pretty much dead. >> where you go for news? >> certainly i go to google and politico. [laughter] the daily caller, and huff post, check out what is going on on the kos. i like to know what is going to be in a "new york times" tomorrow. >> thank you for sitting down with us.
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>> i am delighted to be here. this is been fascinating so far. and now live like to introduce a senior writer at the weekly standard. he lived to tell about it. before joining the weekly standard, he was a senior writer for "national journal," and others. welcome, stephen. [applause] i met her in the ladies' room which is how all good meetings began. she is the founder of "campaign solutions." she was the first or raise money on the internet for political campaign. she has raised money -- more
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money than any other company, and she has helped the john campaign campaign making about $100 million online. [applause] and the walter is the new political director at abc news and she also provides on-air analysis for abc news programs. she had a background at the national journal and the senior editor of a rap -- she had a reputation as a tough handicapper. [applause] nate silver is the founder of
11:50 pm, winning the award for best political coverage on line, and he has been made one of time magazine's 100 most influential people, and has been called a scratch see psyche -- scratch sheet psychic. welcome. but mr. with something that david axelrod said. it said that there is a crime of court pathology in washington, which is why he looks forward to decamping in chicago. what -- how you deal with the group pathology and change what is covered in washington and it does not reflect what is happening or what is being talked about in real america?
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>> i live in new york and there is no policy there at all. [laughter] -- no pathology there at all. its net not a lot easier to do in washington, but the joke that ed was making about reading the daily kos, it's important to readblogs on all sides of the spectrum. that seems so essential, watch fox news and in a speed -- in his n -- msnbc. maybe people who are not online to not have as much as a voice. but you can know what the local paper in topeka is saying about a house race, and should make things a lot easier. >> i employ the mother-in-law
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role. if i cannot explain it to her, then whichever side is making that argument is not winning. i found that on health care. she kept saying -- and i will stop right now, that these are my in-laws, they are both republican-leaning. they live in texas, a place not known for having -- they're not sitting in the level of -- a liberal bastion. but they are very thoughtful. and they're looking for explanations. i did this talking to them and other family members, other folks who do not do what i do every day, and what we all do every day. they do not read the blogs, or watch the news channels, and and and have strongly held opinions on the most important issues going on. if you can have something break through to them, then the odds are that it does not matter if
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it the ride is all fired up for the left is all fired up, it is not one to move the regular voters. that is about common sense. we forget about that here. we get caught up in some of the details. every teeny bit of legislation. >> a lot of what is happening right now is not about common- sense, but fear mongering. we see a new spate of political ads, a lot of them playing on fears which happens in every election cycle. is it true here is the way to go -- fear is the way to go? >> we have to have someone fall in love with our candidates are be deathly afraid of the opposition. it is one of the other. working exclusively on the
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internet, we think that we had a special seats. we see first what the trends are. we know if our money goes up, if our signups go up, if the information boxes full of people yelling at us, we are on the front line. if you go and ask them the chance that they're seeing today, that is going to be dominant a few days later. >> knew of actually dunn an interesting video which was innovative -- you have actually done an interesting video which was in a fetid. >> everything changes so fast on line, what we're doing today will be passe year from now. the whole convergence of media is something we've been talking about for a while. and it is happening. television sets or computers or movie theaters, it is all crossing over. google has been and enable our
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of all the interesting and cold things, so we did something for the michelle kaufman campaign. -- michelle bachman campaign, all centered on the minnesota state fair. they have the most fried food, fried spaghetti -- anyway. they've tried everything. her team did this ad that said basically michelle's opponent one attacks the food at the minnesota state fair. ad.was a great dad >> did she want to do that? >> you would have the fact checkmate. but what had -- what google had done with new innovations, if they allow us to draw a circle
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around the minnesota state fair and stream ads into the people that are only inside the fair grounds, to their smartphones, and 2200 people that afternoon watched an ad inside the. grounds about her opponent trying to tax their corn dog at the fair. we are really able talking communicate across all kinds of levels. >> is that a problem in terms of what we just talked about for a second, what did this was the factual ladder not? doesn't that really matter a lot, win you have a huge breakdown of trust and the public just as not trust anybody at the moment? how -- are you feeding that mistrust if you put something out and you do not really care whether it is factual or not? >> i am the only political consultant up here.
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all kidding aside, we do work for very honorable people and we have a standard of ethics that we adhere to. we were very involved in our professional trade association that does have a standard of content. it begins with us telling the truth all the time. >> what is the media need to do? >> one of the up side of the proliferation of information sources that you can go places and find out whether in addis truth or not. local reporters have teamed up with the national media outlets that are fact checking these things on an almost real time basis. really interested voters are keeping up with all of this information and taking the to different sources and get in many cases an authoritative up or down, yes sir know, this is true or is not, scoring of these kinds of bats. if it is one of the reasons that having this kind of
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information technology, whether on a smartphone or whether you , it changes the way that you are operating on a minute by minute basis. >> you think we're going to be less willing to put something out there and hope that last until the election? >> i think that they will. ultimately it is a free market. if you put that information out there that follows bad, if you cannot deny 5 blatantly misleading political ads, and call them on and, i think that people will learn that it does not pay to run those kinds of ads. maybe i'm hopelessly naive about that. it would not be the first time people said that about me, but i do believe that. if you provide people with good information and places to get good information, they will ultimately use them. >> steve, we were talking in the green room about your feeling
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that the way that tea party is portrayed in the york and washington is a very innocuous portrayal. >> it's interesting. i was struck earlier by what david axelrod said when you talk about the t party. the first thing that he did was turn to this "new yorker" piece about the funding of the two- party and the koch brothers. to me, it was emblematic begin he's not here to defend himself -- emblematic of the problem with the way the washington sees the tea party. there is a huge growth of our rage. in most places -- probably outrage rather than anger -- that has grown to love the country. everyone knows the story of the 2010 election cycle. when you look at the "new yorker," and focusing on the funding and the apparatus of the tea party, the story for
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reporters that are based in washington and new york is all about billionaires' and how they are raising money. that is not the story of the tea party moment. -- movement. the idea that what we are seeing on the grass-roots level as some hon manipulated by these two brothers throwing money at it from washington is a total misunderstanding from the way then tea parties have come to be. >> it is not just the tea partiers that are angry, but everybody is angry. >> they hate everybody. any institution right now is viewed skeptically. that is what makes it so hard with the attack ads.
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in 2006, republicans said they would hold the house because they would run these attack ads. we have so much stuff and we cannot wait to start. and they did. the people did not buy it. they were searched -- already so frustrated with the status quo, that unless he said this person is cloning aliens and their basement that will come out and take over the earth and we have pictures of those people, even then, it might not have worked. that could be going on hbo next week. we are now seeing that coming back to democrats. we are going to run these campaigns, give people a choice. people are not buying it. it is because there is a lack of trust of any of the messengers. if you do not trust the messenger, you will not trust the message. i tried talking about a good third party messenger right now. not that you would want tiger woods in your ad.
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i am a successful ceo, maybe not. hey, i made a lot of money on wall street. nope, don't want you, either. i used this example a lot, and we are starting to see some candidates do this, but and humility ankle can work a little bit as well as an acknowledgement that things are broken and i get it. it was last year. dumb as did those ads. -- domino's did those ads. it started out with a focus group. instead, the domino's guy came up and said, we suck. we know we did. we are sorry. we will go out and give your
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pizza and when you back. and that kind of acknowledgement is what voters have been looking for. the problem is now that every single person that is associated at all with politics is viewed so skeptically that i do not think it can break through today. >> use of a store yesterday about the -- the homes that have been foreclosed, and the public is looking at them sympathetically, because at least they get it. is that what we are in for. we want candidates that the public can identify with. >> i agree with stephen's point that most folks have not really keyed in on who these folks are. they are washed -- awash in these ads.
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but there is always that he's an american politics. you want somebody that can relate to you. if you are in washington whether you have been here for 20 years or 20 minutes, voters are out to get you out. >> does that mean that we are in for continual electoral reversal. whoever is in power will be the next target of all the anger, the fact that government is not working and solutions coming out of washington are not working. and then the next guy as ws wile in power. >> i think and that is the most likely scenario. if you look recessions' following fiscal crises, they have long-term effects -- three, five, seven years. it will be a long time before unemployment gets down to 6.5%. >> how long? >> i am not an economist. it seems like, you know, and
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also, one thing about unemployment is that it does not always go down to 4%. sometimes you only get down to 6.5% and that is as good as you can do an expansion. but there are enough problems with the deficit and the environment and foreign entanglements we have. you know, i do not want to talk too much about is this the beginning of the end of american hegemony? these are questions my generation has to face, and it will beat -- not be as easy to be an american president appeared in our lifetimes, i am sure will have a couple of great presidents. but there will be presidents with difficult times. and majority leader's and congressmen and senators to have even a more difficult time. at some point, at the economy will improve. whoever happens to be in power will benefit from it. republicans in 2011 looks to come in with a seven seat majority in the house. the senate has does it -- is
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decided by joe lieberman, anyway. no one is getting anything done that. they are still having infighting within their party. it is not a great situation for them, exactly, when people expect them to repeal healthcare. some of their voters will. and obama has the veto pen. they get themselves in trouble by 2012. it is good for me. if you like messy, complicated, hard to predict campaigns, which of several of those. but i do not think we will have some resolution. your nose? talking about third-party alternatives a little bit -- who knows? a ross perot figure, someone could say that both parties are such damage the brand. i am the one with credibility. >> it will be really bad for the
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country. so, given this scenario you put forward and is really going to be very dangerous for the country, where do you see the possibilities for turning things around? >> can i challenge your assumption? why do you collectively think it is going to be bad for the country? >> i think we have some long- term structural problems -- the debt, the environment. and if politics behaves as it has in the last couple of cycles, as powerful as america is right now, we have some debt- default issues. i think it is a real risk. >> even if unemployment stays at the level and is now for a long time, would you not stay that is
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a problem? >> this change back-and-forth between political parties. i think this is great for the country. the more intense that kind of fighting, it is much more -- much more likely to surface the kinds of issues we are talking about. >> do you really think that will help? i just keep hoping -- maybe i am naive -- that in a major crisis like right now, that is when leaders lead. it is easy to be in politics when we are not at war, but this should of been a time when we saw people say, we will work together. and next year,, too. we will talk about entitlement reform. will they do it? >> we may not agree on the outcome of these ideas, but when you have somebody like paul ryan who is making a campaign -- you can disagree with his
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prescriptions -- but he is saying, this will work. cbo scored it. and let's have an argument. >> even republicans will not go along. even his own party is pushing back. >> some of them, i think. you are seeing this on early presidential discussions with mitch daniels. he says, we need to consider raising the retirement age on social security. i am not getting overly excited that we will have this great debate about entitlements and the next six weeks or the next two years, but it is one of the first times in recent memory you have heard people addressing this. >> we are having a dialogue. that is just it. the whole tea party movement. most of those people are concerned about taxes being too high, government not working. they want to talk about issues. they want to explore things instead of having two blanda
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candidates with great or lousy television campaigns to go on. >> it doesn't work. >> dialogue is good. >> no. they come here and all those -- >> then they will go again. people in america want change. they thought they voted for in 2008. they think they are voting for in 2010. if whoever is does not come here and change things, that will let people will make things change. >> change the way they do business, change the way washington works is different than the paspecific prescriptions of taxes. this is a different debate. the debate the country really wants to have is not in washington. even in these last two years, despite the fact the obama administration came in wanting to change things, but if you
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look at the polls, i don't think the anger is about the size of government. it is about how incompetent government has spent. it is about the bailout and the fact that we bail out wall street and main street is still suffering. >> something like the wall street bailout was not going to be one of the most popular policies in american history. people do not see the upside, right? i am somebody who thinks that if you go talk to a lot of economists, but they say, if we had not done this, we could have had 20% unemployment now. it helps me understand the bush argument about how to prevent another terrorist attack. people do not see the worse outcome. there are a lot of things that
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aligned bed late for this white house. but i think they also made a lot of mistakes, too. when people are unhappy, they tend to be unhappy about a lot of things. i am not really sure that we are seeing some kind of jeffersonian uprising, independent from the strain the economy has put the nation under for quite awhile now. it has been a tough decade, going back to 9/11. it has been a tough kind of time for this country. >> a going to a question from the google moderator. it is a question from ryan. why is it that republicans have a spine and no-braine? why is it democrats have a brain and no spine? >> it's really kind of dorky,
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writing in. and athink we have brains spine. >> can you give us an example? >> me? no. >> i think he is right. he is a right -- he is right in the sense that he views these two parties and makes the point about third parties. you think now will be the time were more and more people will move outside. usuale more tthan identifying themselves as independent voters. that is a sign that people are feeling this way. i want to go back to the point about how people view government. you saw an "national journal" poll saying is that 1/3 of the
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people say that government is the problem, 1/3 think we need more active government, and another 1/3 say they want government to have overall, but i do not trust they are doing it effectively. but that is the heart of where we need to be going when we are talking about how politicians need to address this stuff, to talk to those people who really do want to see something moving beyond just right and left politics. the way the media -- they present something as right versus left on everything? i am amazed. on afghanistan, there are some conservatives that oppose what is going on in afghanistan. george will, joe scarborough, and not to mention the cato institute. this is not the standard left- right debate. yet, the media reflexively
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presented that way. >> but they are all part of the media and they have platforms to make their case. george will make his case persuasively, i think. i do not find him persuasive. he made a very strong case in the pages of the washington post. to a certain extent, they do have their case, but your broader point, with respect to data to a politics, is certainly true. it is a function of a two-party system. if we see the emergence of a serious third-party candidate, it will not feel as comfortable to have these right-left assumptions that guide the thinking on these issues. basically, i think our day-to- day politics are run by those kind of basic assumption. >> but do not think it makes it harder to have these larger itbates -- don't you think makes it harder to have these
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larger debates? with capitalism. you have many of the capitalist to sleep with a copy of any rand's "fountainhead" under their pillow. with the bailout. you bail the companies that took excessive risks. it does not seem to make economic sense. it is impossible to have that debate, because it is left and right. do you find that at abc, where you read stuff, where the left is that? the right is that? >> i would never do that. we set that up brilliantly, looking for the nuance. bottom line -- you have a lot of democrats and republicans of vote for the bailout. in the middle of a presidential campaign. that is still pretty powerful stuff. and so, in some way, it is worrisome because what it says
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is you have to get to that cliff before you can get both sides to hold hands. in this case, hold hands and then jump and many of those people are not coming back to congress partly because of that vote. it also seems to be a truly american thing, to sort of wait until it gets really, really bad. this is to american optimism. it was always get better. because it does. we always come out of these things. we do not have to do these crazy things they do in europe and other places because we know we can pull ourselves out. it is only when we see the cliff that we will do something about it. >> let's go to one more question. wikileaks the future of news? how is the fact checking being
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met by new media? >> you want me to start? obviously, it is hard to give a lot of information in 140 characters. but the fact of the matter is, that is how we are talking to people these days. the whole fairness or fact checking, when bloggers started, there were very good at policing themselves and checking their facts. i think we have fallen out of that a little bit, with there being so much information that hopefully, we go back to that self policing. in essence, there is so much media out there that people are customizing what they get an filtering the contents they want to receive it. there was a larger discussion earlier about the president talking about looking at other sides of the issue, while i
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personally think that that is a good idea, the fact of the matter is that people are looking for what interests them or mirrors what they believe and pulling in this information rather than going to other places where it is served to them. >> but how do you see the preponderant of social media in the campaign cycle, facebook, twitter, how do you see that affecting it? sarah palin can bypass all the mainstream media. she can get her message out about the death penalty or anything else on facebook. >> the filter and a piece of it is a great point. when you are not trusting any institution to tell you the truth, you really are looking to those people you trust the most, which usually are your friends
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or your family are people you have attached onto saying, this person is trustworthy. i get, for work purposes, i have a twitter feed that is narrow. they are people that i note that i trust what they are writing. i trust what they are saying. and if they do have an agenda, i know what it is and they are upfront about what is. that is where i will get all my information. you are totally right. i am not going out to get any more. that is the real change. now i open my computer and go right to twitter. that is where i am getting my news first thing in the morning . >> we have some television news that is becoming more and more republican. it is the four to one ratio, a few years ago. that is dangerous. i am not saying the people -- in the fairness doctrine, peoples
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should consume what every want -- if people only here the way don't know.six - it -- it i say we should not lose sight of our real community, which are probably more diverse than our virtual communities in 99% of all cases. >> what can we do to strengthen our real communities, then? this is a problem. i find that what is happening on-line is strengthening real communities. there is an enormous amount of self organizing online. >> if you are twittering of forwarding things to someone in the same room. i lead a very bizarre life.
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>> but if you go on-line, ec's sights like re-- you see sites like then solution sites. projectboundback. it is about solutions, about sharing stories of struggle online. but it does not get into the mainstream media. >> it does not mean people are not reading it, because they are considering that. they are just doing it in a different path. >> and not in enough numbers to make a difference to the real communities. >> i do not know. i think it is better. if he think about the olden days, the place where you are getting information from what was basically people that you could physically see. now you get a chance to get
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opinions and information from a braziliagazillion people. what are the odds that your next turn neighbor knew about medicine? really? have you gone to medical school? >> i do not agree with that. i feel very optimistic about what is happening on-line around solutions. the reason i raise the point is because i believe the mainstream media, including big sites -- we are trying to do a better job of covering that, than others will learn about them. it is a matter of how we cover what people are doing around creating their own sites are using facebook and twitter. it is really the next stage. twitter started as fun. what you are eating, what you are doing. in iran, it showed us how
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incredibly important it could be p. now they are trying for humanity. that is still aspirational, but it shows the next wave. have you seen that example all been house social media are dealing with ways that are positive that are countervailing of the processes of division that we are seeing? >> i think there are as many good things happening with his social media and with the way people are using internet as bad things. we tend to hear more about the sensational, crazy things that are going on than the everyday connections between people. and it is a virtual, and to people might be in the same room, but they are still connecting and talking to each other and sharing opinions. i have a lot more interaction
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with people since the advent of facebook than i did before. i see this as a positive. being older, i do get concerned how much information people share about themselves, but that has become the cultural norm. so that is just the way it is. >> let's take one more question from the google moderator. in view of the supreme court ruling and citizens united, what will prevent foreign governments and international corporations routing money through u.s. corp'orations? would you like to answer the question, ben? >> no. [inaudible] there is no difference before or
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after. >> would you like to channel him. >> i think ben it's ok. everything will be ok. >> i was talking to somebody the other day who has been a non- partisan academic studies campaign finance reform. i said, are we seeing a flood of republican fund-raising into third-party groups? there is a cause and effect between citizens united and how much money they are raising. to me, it seems as if it is really generated by the enthusiasm out there for republicans versus the lack of enthusiasm for democrats. that was his point as well. a lot of what you are seeing out there is more about enthusiasm. it is more about the fact you have a lot of people with money who want to affect the elections, just as you had a lot of people in 2008 who had money
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as democrats who saw themselves impacting the elections. republicans have always complained that their folks are much less successful in doing third-party groups than democrats. they always looked to groups like act in 2004 and the labor groups as much better, better funded, smarter than the republican groups. now you are seeing more republican groups sprout up. part of it is that when you flip control of the house and senate, that its money into your coffers. and at second, you learn a lot of lessons from the groups that have already done it. >> most of the money is not coming in from large donors. this is truly a grass-roots uprising. there are people with their contributions of $20. there are just a lot of them. so we are feeling it from the
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grassroots. >> you are also doing carly campaign. do you find that even for wealthy candidates, you're able to get smaller campaigns? >> the average donation is less than $100. these are regular, everyday people who are giving to her. we sense the help of a campaign it as to who is giving and how much they a giving. -- are giving. carly is taking off. >> how much has she raised online? >> i am not allowed to say that. they will report in a couple weeks. a lot. they are very healthy. >> we won't tell anybody. >> people like her.
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>> we are not questioning that. we're just asking how much. we will find out. steve, you just did a major piece on senator -- and the fact that he may be a presidential candidate in 2012. what are the impacts of all of the different people that are likely presidential candidates on the republican side? >> i think you have seen them out and about in the country trying to raise money for republicans in 2010. there has been an interesting delay. jonathan martin it had a piece about this a couple weeks ago and it is reflected in conversations i have had with political types in iowa, south carolina, who say that the on the ground activity they are seeing is at a much slower rate than it has been in the past. on the republican side, that is
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largely due to the fact that major candidates that do not want to be seen out there pumping up themselves when they really want to be seen as raising money into doing things for the party. the focus they think should be on 2010, not on 2012. i think you see people pullback and not be quite as active as they have been. in the past. >> of course, that famous endorsement that made a big difference in the primary. >> that speeds the broader perception that she is helping these candidates. there is a raging debate on the right about how much influence she has had and has it led to elections? basically what she has done is take people that were not as well-known and make them well known. she endorses somebody and a candidate whom nobody has heard about, particularly in the national media, up to that point, they have to stop and say, that person is interesting.
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what to do the polls say? she has an uneven record. brian murphy lost in maryland, who was a sarah palin endorsed candidate. and christine o'donnell one in delaware. -- won in delaware. what she is doing is out there making yourself busy in helping republicans win in 2010. i think democrats are doing the same with probably not as much as fair a nfare. >> any big thoughts you have not yet shared? nate, your predictions? >> i think this election is a little bit less in the bag for republicans than people are assuming, on the house side, for example. they have cases where the u.n.
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y will win 70 seats. some local districts have good polling for democrats. some have terrible polling for democrats. if a democrat can narrow the enthusiasm gap a little bit, then they might save the house. the question is whether they want to or not. would you rather have three seats majority it in the house or a six seat minority? i do not know. as a hard election to forecast. there are so many districts in play at the house level. 100 seats. we're not quite sure how it will turn out. we will be up late counting it. the night before, we will have somewhat of a better idea appeared but it -- but there will be a few more twists and turns, i think. >> i like the thought of twists and turns current campaign will nev. the campaign will never end.
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nate brings up a good point. we saw this in 2006. ebbe things to do 10 ttend to and flow. the real question is where independent voters are. in so many of the distance, if you are losing independence 60% to 40%, you cannot win, even if you get the democrats out. >> for the first time in four years, it is great to be republicans. be bigger than everyone is talking about. people were talking about the tea party as a small group of people that are really pissed off. the enthusiasm gap we have seen has been growing and building on the republican side. and i did not crunch the numbers. i will never abe as smart as
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nate is. my gut tells me this will be bigger than 1994. >> the tea party was a leading indicator back in april of 2009 when obama still had the approval ratings and democrats had missed it. they dismissed it and made fun of it. there are things you can criticize, of course, but then when they had purchased in 200 cities, i counted local restaurants from local papers from the turnout, and they were all tiny. 500 people or 200 or 1,000, mabye. bye. ybe. it was kind of spontaneous.
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when the democrats have a rally, they have the big rally in washington or new york. that was a sign that people were not just upset. they were upset enough to go out and rap with their neighbors about it. democrats -- maybe there was something they could have done. but that was a warning sign, i think. >> my prediction that we are moving from -- looking to washington and looking to politicians to solve problems to looking to communities. i think the social media and the activity online around that is fascinating and underreported, and the same way that you are saying we are taken aback by the tea party growing. i think we will be taken aback by all the platoons can collect
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a big movement. people are taking matters in their own hands and, for the good, turning things around. we can avoid the other forces that are distracting. they will not be named. thank you also much. >> mike allen from politico is going to be here and a few minutes, but before i talk to him wrapping up today's events, i will talk to this find young lady. she is the head of google's elections team. >> yes. >> let me ask the question differently. what do you make of everything we have heard today. >> i think we are a lot of the trends we are seeing already. first i will say that we just celebrated the eighth
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anniversary of google news, and the top story in the last eight years was president obama of getting elected. think what we are seeing and understand that more and more people are hungry for direct access to information about politics and the news about the elections on line, on their mobile phones, wherever they are. >> we should also point out that's 12th if you go on the homepage, you get the birthday cake. >> it is a great way to celebrate. >> apparently is. let me ask you. you're talking about obama's elections been the big thing for google news. folks like me are used to paying for information like this. personally, as a journalist who
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picks up the phone and called people enhanced to fund and find the idea that it -- the idea that my own mother to get on the computer and get the same information i can, it is unnerving. where i have to pick up the phone, making just do it from anywhere. >> where ever they are. what is interesting -- two things about the cycle. we have already seen 170% growth in the number of people looking for political news on their mobile devices. we expect that number to go up. wherever they are, they are getting constant, real time information. it is also becoming localizing. there has also been an 800% increase in local campaigns. they do not have a campaign office on line, it is as if they do not exist in their local communities. this shift is much more local,
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much more real time, and free and open for anyone to access. >> we have heard how candidates can use youtube, they could use a facebook. maybe i am a little slow or just hungry and have lunch, but how can candidates utilize google in a way that a candidate would utilize a facebook? >> company we have a couple ways. they can target their advertisements in local areas. i think we heard earlier who talked about candidates who are using advertising on desktops and also to mobile platforms. we also have a variety of ways that we can insure that when people go online to search for candidates, it shows up in search results. >> you saw explosive growth in
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2008. you are seeing no with this election. what are your projections for 2012 -- you are seeing it now in with this election. >> everything we are seeing, mobile technology, everything is moving up words. and more local, relevant real time ways. >> everybody has been asked the crystal ball question. so crystal ball, 2012? we are goingthinmk to see in terms of political campaigns and how they are using social media and google? answer that question. then i will ask another question. >> in 2012, it will be very easy for them to receive advertisements directly from candidates and a fact check that information directly. receive the latest relevant
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tweets from the candidates themselves, whether they have just had a campaign stop on the street or are coming next week. people are going to be able to control what information they want to receive from candidates and the news sources they try. >> so how many people are we actually talking about here? because not everybody is linked to the internet. not everyone is wired. i guess the question is, how much room is there for you to grow up? it sounds to me like there is -- there is a finite number of people -- >> half of americans are turning on line and then to their mobile devices to get news. that leaves another 50% during the frequency with which they are receiving that information
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will increase. whether it is platforms like moderator which we use today to allow campaigns to directly have a dialogue with their supporters and communities. it will not just be about receiving information but actually participating. >> this is been great. thank you very much for sharing with us google moderator and the platform today. i want to bring up mike allen from politico. we h avave big stuff to talk about. >> great job. >> thank you very much. good job to you. york to an abuse. -- your two interviews. november 2 is election day. your interviews with david axelrod and ed gillespie, do you believe either of them? you h ave gillespie who is gung
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republicans taking the house? which one is right? >> they made it clear that the conversation around the country in the states and in the district is different from what is going on here. so our assumptions are one way or the other, they are probably too extreme. history will tell us that as we come into the closing days, the races will be close. there will be a little bit more drama. i think ed gillespie is right to be bullish, but david axelrod is right to recognize that there will be surprises and that the gaps are not as dramatic. >> nate silver told arianna huffington that he thinks the enthusiasm of their republicans taking the house is over a long. -- a bit overblown.
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do you think nate is right? >> nate is always right. >> good answer. >> i will not argue figures with nate. the reason you are right to be cautious is that republicans need 40 pickups in the house. you can get to 35, 36, 37, 38. we cannot sit here and right on the 40le product what flips would be. but in 1994, you could not to that, either. republicans are counting on this wave to carry in a few people they cannot be sure appeared some of the seats come in clumps. if you get to 36, you'll probably get to 38. if you get to 38, you'll probably get to 45.
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if you get to 45, you'll probably get to 50. that is why we cannot sit here and forecasted. but it is prudent to say we cannot say exactly how these big numbers that people will talk about would be. >> i thought it was a leading question that you have for david axelrod when you ask him if there is a raise the democrats could win that could be surprising? is there a race that you think democrats could win that nobody is paying attention to? >> yes. everybody is wondering who is the oliver north of this cycle. in 1994, a huge republican year, he was the one prominent candidate who lost. who is the big republican who will lose this year? people look at the senate race in delaware, christine o'donnell. that might be one of them. polls are big right now.
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what you are also seeing in polls is that there is a real opportunity for republicans looking to 2012. just today, george washington university had a poll out. shows that only 38% of people are certainly want to reelect barack obama. there will be an opportunity there. that may change. you are seeing a number of republicans saying, this nomination may be worth having. that is why i was very interested in a very long list then ed gillespie went through of potential republican candidate. >> let me ask you really quickly this question of the voters and polls asking if they would vote for obama is the election were held today?
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the thing that question is helpful? -- do you think that question is helpful? i can lead the witness. >> you have obvious skepticism. what is your skepticism? >> do not ask the question. we are focusing on the folks on the ballot in 2010. here is my final question for you. the president is going off to wisconsin, going to college campuses, trying to gin up those first-generation voters. do you think the president has any other option but to do this? and two. do you think it will be successful? will he get them out in numbers and not as they came up and to designate, but at least a point or two above where they work -- they came out in 2008, but at least a point or two above where
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they were? >> the drama is ed gillespie's contention that this revs up the republican base. the president's in these appearances around the country, these big rallies, they are clearly going to have an impact. the question is who will draw the more? that will be the story for us to watch in the next month or so. >> the president has revved up and will rev up the gop base. >> he will get more of his people out. get them out to work, get them out to the polls. ed gillespie's contention it is that it will also remind republicans to go out. job.t very smooth. this is a great audience. >> thanks to google and
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politico. a big thanks to arianna huffington for the lively panel discussion. thanks to david axelrod anda ed gillespie for sharing. all the interviews will be uploaded to youtube, and the entire program will be applauded as well. thank you for participating in this google, youtube jam borie election preview. contentn's local vehicles are traveling the country, visiting local districts as we look at some of the most closely contested districts leading up to the midterm elections. >> the second congressional
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district in virginia is in the far southeast corner of the state. it takes in a virginia beach, which is the largest city in virginia, and parts of norfolk, virginia and hampton and an area known as the eastern shore, that are primarily farmers and tourism. domenik industries are the navy and tourism. -- its dominant industries are the navy and tourism. the u.s. navy and related military enterprises is its largest business. this particular congressional race is of high interest to republicans and democrats. when glenn nye, republicans fought very hard to keep the incumbent in office. since his election, he has been subject to a steady stream of
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blogs, reaching out to the public or media blasting almost everything he does. because he is a freshman, legislative experts will tell you that the best time to unseat an incumbent is a during the first term because they have not established themselves yet. they see him as a vulnerable. the republicans want to take back the house of representatives. this is one of those districts where they say they haven't in to do that. >> i am left with two clear impressions. i am confident in our military forces and our civilian forces to successfully run a counterinsurgency program in afghanistan. i am also left with a very serious concern about the fact that our success here is largely dependent on what happened on the other side of the border in pakistan, where our civilian, and to a large extent, our military forces are not really present heard >> in this year's
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congressional election, glenn nye is facing scott rigell, a republican, who has been active in the republican party, but this is his first time running for office. he is a self-made multi millionaire who owns car dealerships. the third candidate is golden, who has all long career in the military and who is also making his first bid for election. he grew up in norfolk. he spent a great deal of his adult life working overseas and the foreign service. the democrats gave him choice spots on the foreign affairs come of veteran affairs, and small business communities. all these committees could have a direct impact on this area, in terms of veteran issues and on the military.
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since he has won, he has positioned himself as a moderate in congress. he voted for the stimulus plan in 2009 but voted against the democratic health care plan. he also voted against capt trade legislation. he voted against the federal budget legislation because he said it was too expensive. those views were consistent with how the campaign. he drew some fire island -- from democrats on health care. scott rigell has not run for office before, but he has been a very strong donor to the party. he has the resources to do it financially. he has backed many candidates with significant contributions. among his personal friends is the current governor of the state, bob mcdonnell, who campaigned with him early in the primary. scott rigell, before he could run in the general election, had to run a primary against five
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candidates. he has been campaigning since a year ago. he set aside his dealerships. and that has been his job since then it is on the campaign trail. he has also invested some of his own wealth in this. he has contributed more than $1 million in direct donations to his campaign. his staff has said that he will not be outspent by his opponents. >> we ran the primary with everything that we own it in trailer.aul i had the privilege to start a business in a recession. we laid down some solid principles in our business, leadership by example. i started barking out in the gravel parking lot to show leadership by example, to show a servant mindset. that was the same principle i learned in 1978 at paris island.
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it's all-inclusive. you get off the bus. they have it all planned for, the next three months. >> scott rigell is a conservative, both economically and on social issues. on health care, he said he would join efforts to repeal it if elected. he is very much -- he would like to have the business community unleashed from a lot of regulations. he believes that will help the economy grow. she wants to lower taxes, particular taxes on capital gains. like nye, he is a very strong supporter of the military and of veterans' issues, which in this district you must be whether democrat or republican. the third candidate, kenny golden, started out as a republican. he ran in the primary but dropped out months earlier to run as an independent candidate.
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before he was even in a candidate, he had been active in the local republican party. he was at one point head of the republican party in virginia beach. he is a running on his decades of service in the u.s. navy. he has been very active in local politics, knows a lot of people. he does not have a lot of funds, but he is actively campaigning and he has a group of people that are working pretty hard for him. while he does not have the funds, he is running full time for the office. he says he does not want to be a spoiler. he wants to win. by stepping away from the republican party, he has upset some republicans who feel that he should not be doing this. he should check their candidate. by the same token, he has his own supporters, many of whom are republicans, who feel like he has the right to run. >> to show i am ian ex- republican, this is the last
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message of the republican party. and i kept this because this is a republican symbol from south africa that my friends from south africa broadly backed this. so this is the only vestige i kept. and i did keep one of these, which is the poster we had made up for mccain and palin in 2008, and these were made up for $1 apiece. we have 1500 of them made up, and they went in a couple of hours. they were gone and we are actually one -- we actually won for mccain and palin here in virginia beach. >> both parties, depending end of this election goes, would it is -- would proceed at about president obama.
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he carried this district. it is in his policies that are caring this debate. even though glenn nye did not vote for the health care bill, people on the republican side wants to use that against him. in some ways, is viewed as a referendum on the president's policies. as this election turns out, it may say something about obama's chances in virginia in 2012. >> tonight and c-span, a forum on the gulf of mexico oil spill in the future of offshore drilling. coming up, we will hear from retired admiral thad allen and epa administrator lisa jackson. after that, president obama signs a small business package into law. then david axelrod and republican strategist ed gillespie talk about the 2010 midterm elections. on tomorrow's "washington
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journal", we will talk to retired admiral james loy about the wars in iraq and afghanistan. after that, the president of rock the vote on the dissipation of young people in the elections. later, susanna goodman of common cause discusses the effect of state election laws on this year's elections. "washington journal" each morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. last month, robert gates announced several budget initiatives to reduce military costs. one of the proposals would eliminate the joint forces command, headquartered in norfolk, virginia. later in the morning, the senate armed services committee will examine that proposal. live coverage begins at 10:00 a.m. eastern. >> the c-span network. we provide coverage of politics, public affairs, a nonfiction books, and american history. it is all available to you on television, radio, online, and
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on social media networking si tes. and we take c-span on the road with our digital bus local content vehicle. it is washington your way. the c-span networks -- our available in more than 100 million homes. created by cable, provided as a public service request the person who oversaw the federal response to the bp oil spill said earlier that government officials should have been better prepared for the disaster. thad allen testified before the national commission on the bp >> good morning. i am elena melkert from the department of energy. i have been appointed by the
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designated federal officer, christopher smith, to serve as the designated federal officer. i will continue as the designated federal officer. i now come to order this meeting of the commission on the bp oil spill and offshore drilling. the president established this bipartisan commission to examine the root causes of the bp deepwater horizon oil disaster, to provide recommendations on how our future accident could be prevented, and recommendations on how to mitigate the impact it an accident should happen again. the president appointed to cochairs -- two co-chairs to lead this commission.
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the commission has been rounded out by five other distinguished americans who were selected based on their extensive scientific, legal, engineering, and environmental expertise and their knowledge of issues pertaining to offshore operations. they are frances feinike, dawn bosch, terry garcia, executive vice president, national geographic society, dr. cherry and fran ulmer, from the university of alaska at anchorage. the act sets a high standard for openness and transparency.
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today's hearing is being held in this public forum and is being broadcast live via video feed. before hand control of the meeting over, i will review today's agenda. our first panel will begin focusing on decision making within the unified command. we will have five panelists. after a short break, at 11:15 a.m., a panel member to will focus on the amount and state of the oil with five panelists. we will take a short break for lunch and at 1:30 p.m., we reconvened with panel 3 on the use of dispersants with three panelists. add to 30 5:00 p.m., panel four will focus on the future of onshore drilling, and we will have three panelists there.
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at 335 pm, panel 5 lil 0 -- focus on the response in the arctic. we will have five panelists. after a short break, we convene at 5:00 p.m. to begin the public comment period, and at 5:30 p.m., we will adjourn. any member of the public would like to submit a comment made do so via the web site at we have a full agenda and we respect everyone's time. we asked all the panelists to please stay within the time limits in order to allow ample time for the commissioners to ask questions. there is a timekeeper right here in front who will monitor the time. we ask the panelists to please begin to summarize their remarks when they reach the
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timekeeper's one minute mark. i give control of the meeting to our cochairs, senator bob graham and the honorable william reilly. >> thank you. winston churchill described in event as not being the end or the beginning of the end, but perhaps the end of the beginning. today, i would describe the commission as an ending the first phase of our work. we have been in an information gathering mode, hearing from people of the gulf, government officials, scholars, and experts from industry, nonprofits, and academia. next, we will turn to presenting our findings and beginning our deliberations. in early november, our chief counsel will give a detailed presentation about what
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happened on the deepwater horizon rig and provide this but we trust will be the most comprehensive, clear, and impartial accounting that the american people have received. but for today, and tomorrow, the end of the beginning, we will be learning about a very crucial issues that we will in form -- that will inform future offshore drilling efforts. the response to spills and the restoration of damaged ecosystems. we have learned in the course of the investigation about the enormous transformation and how we exploit our domestic energy resources. the growth of drilling in the deep water off the coast has been rapid and with profound implications for energy supply and the integrity of the fragile environments in which
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that exploitation occurs. in our meetings last month, it was clear that our regulatory approach did not adapt to the new reality. i remain concerned that scientists -- science does not have an appropriate place at the table. we live in a world of rapidly changing technology. not just in terms of energy, but in many other areas. in finance, cyber security, in food production, and weapons of mass destruction, and many others. if we're not vigilant, our laws and response capabilities will not keep pace with changes in technology. we ignore science and what it can tell us about how we manage risk and respond to it at our peril. five years ago, just five years
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after the gulf suffer the devastation of hurricane katrina, many have the same question about whether the government moved quickly enough and was effective enough in its activity, it's communication, and its partnership with state and local governments. we need to look at this response in the broader context of how our federal, state, and local government mobilized against disasters. much was done well in responding to this bill. -- spill. other things, not so. i look forward to hearing our panelists, getting their thoughts about what we have learned and where we go from here. the end of the beginning to the end. thank you. >> thank you. good morning. since our inception, this commission has been intensely engaged in examining the causes, including direct cause of the catastrophe of the macabre welland blow up. we have interviewed officials at the highest levels.
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we have had an extensive -- we have had extensive interviews and briefings from industry. we have completed one phase of information gathering and we will continue to gather information in the weeks ahead. we have as many of you know, a very abbreviated schedule. it is probably the shortest of any commission that has had the mission of investigating a disaster. in this case, if we had suffered the peculiar consequence of investigating a disaster that was ongoing, even as we researched it. we spent a good deal of time at the last hearings examining the role of industry and particularly reflecting on the way in which the experience and research that we had developed suggested a profound need for reform of the culture of
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industry, and for better 10 -- attention to process safety, particularly as industry explores in what is the most promising area of development, the very deep water. that poses more risks and more challenges than previous drilling in shallow water ever did. we have considered industry culture and the tenses -- attention to press the safety. we turn to the government itself, to its priorities and processes of the quality of its primary regulatory entity for overseeing safety and for it -- enforcement of environmental laws in the offshore to permit, which is the department of the
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interior. the effectiveness of the response to the spill at its more than the interior department. that involves many agencies of the government, several of which will be presented this morning and many of whose officials we have talked to already. i have to say that as someone intimately familiar with the experience in prince william sound after exxon valdez, i continued to be amazed and disappointed at the failure of the technology response to revolve war that has. particularly in view of the tremendous advances made in the technology of drilling itself. the skimmers, we are informed by noaa, i saw a flotilla of them when i flew out to the raid, succeeded in gathering up 33%. dispersants got that up to about 13. given the amount -- the enormous effort, it seems to me a very disappointing results, frankly.
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the consequence of a lot of things, one of which is the failure of technology. the skimmers, the booms, the dispersants to be involved and developed. we will raise some of those questions today. we will consider the use of dispersants, and we will discuss how and why they were employed in the gulf. in such quantities [unintelligible] both of which represent novel uses of dispersants and suggest there was enormous confidence placed in dispersants, more confidence than i allowed in prince william sound where the dispersants were more troublesome and more toxic than they are today. we will learn more about that. looking at the quality of specific decisions, i think it is important and this is what is a fundamental question.
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how did we get here? how did we get into a situation where the need to improvise was so great? in many cases, the response demonstrated a tremendous dedication and ingenuity that is a credit to the many thousands, tens of thousands of people who participated in this cleanup. from where i said, it is difficult to make the case that we were well-prepared. oil exploration continues in frontier in vermins and -- environments. how would we respond if a similar situation occurred under the sea ice in the arctic today or tomorrow? the blowout and its consequences created a situation where the party responsible for the spill had, by necessity, to play a central role in responding to it. we should be happy that they did, and had, and are.
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this uneasy partnership between the government and the responsible party raises important questions about decision making power about the flow of information, and proper oversight. in our political system, there is also a partnership, sometimes uneasy, between the federal government and the states and communities. we're all aware of the issues and the aftermath of this bill, concerned about the speed of the response -- of the spill, concerned about the speed of the response and the efforts. looking back, i think we need to learn from this spill, and that is part of what this commission is about.
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we learned from exxon valdez that tanker operations were safer than they were 20 years ago. the pollution act of 1990 has been criticized for having -- a response to the last war. it is my hope that the lessons we learned from the response this time did not just fix what went wrong in the past, but creative culture that eliminates complacency. in industry, and in government. thank you. >> thank you. we commence with panel one, decision making within unified command. we are pleased to have as our first witness today admiral thad allen, a national incident commander for the unified
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command. when he completes his introductory statement, our lead questioner will be frances ulmer. >> your remarks are spot on. it is my pleasure to be here and have this discussion with you. i did not submit a statement for the record. there has been a lot of information provided to you. i would make this officer -- this offer. we started developing a strategy for the doctrinal changes that were being made as we improvised and adapted to this bill. -- this spill. i collected this information and updated it several weeks into an inversion. that will be the seminal record. i have version 4.0. it has become a rather voluminous document. 5.0 will be 500 pages. i ask that we be able to submit
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that for the commission to use for the record, and we will do that when the next version is published. i would like to talk about four things this morning in the opening statement. i would be glad to take questions. i would like to go for the rationale by which the national incident command was established. to talk about some of the challenges you have noted, some of the successes we did enjoy, and i think the implications for the future is we take a look at current oil spill doctrine and what we need to do to position for the next war, if you will. i would subscribe to your concept that the open idea of implementation was tanker- centric. it is an achievement in tanker safety. when we develop protocols on dispersant use at the area level, deep water drilling moved offshore. we stopped funding research and
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development, interagency process is to do that and move forward. it became the nine. by the time the middle 1990's ground, what was anticipated to be a robust research and development interagency process was shepherding meager amounts of money amount -- around the agencies. we need to look at r&d and what we're doing in relation to the technologies that will be employed in the future. when i was designated as the national incident commander, i sat down with a small group of folks who became my cadre and senior staff. i wanted to focus on what needed to be done about the universe -- above the unified level that had been established.
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i wanted to focus on those things that were distracting unified area command from doing their job. working enter agency issues in washington and dealing with the governmental structures, congress and so forth, and not duplicate or the some tactical control from washington. i was a 39-year veteran of the coast guard. the last thing we want is the 3,000 mile screwdriver. we would leave tactical control as close to the problem as we could. we would try to prevent -- develop awareness in washington and staff and myself would travel weekly. not only to -- see what was going on but to take care of extraordinary amounts of data that led to the various levels of government and deal with the media. i would like to characterize the national incident command as a thin client. to use a software term. necessary to integrate but no
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more than what is necessary and without adding layers of bureaucracy. the incident command system that was established in new orleans was the basis for the of coronation of command. -- to the coronation of command. that is a sound system. incident command is one of the ways to approach these spills. if we look at what transpired, we need to know what the basic doctrine says against the reality of what we found on the ground, which was not a large, monolithic oil spill that we experienced with exxon valdez. oil that came to the surface under different conditions each day, different wind and current. we did not have a large, monolithic oil spill. we had hundreds of thousands of
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patches of oil that moved in different directions over time that moved beyond the geographical area that was contemplated in any response plan, putting the entire coast at risk. that required resources above the plan. it required coordination across state boundaries and federal regional boundaries for the team. those other types of issues i think that were generated in this spill that set it apart from the spill's we have dealt with since the world pollution act of 1990 was an act. -- was passed. the act has served well. we have worked on smaller spills with state and local
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governments with smaller -- responsible parties. some of the anomalies associated with this spill that challenged the doctrine need to be looked at in detail for constructive changes to the contingency plan which should remain in place, and how we need to manage large, and, as evidence in the future that defy the traditional parameters of the incident command system. if i can go over a couple of those in terms of challenges, that would be useful. first, i think we need greater clarity moving forward on what the responsible parties, who they are, what they do, and how they interact with the contingency plan. we have worked with the responsible parties for over 20 years, very effectively managing oil spills. with the enormity of this spill, and the end -- they determine that -- indeterminate nature of it, without a plan [unintelligible] trying to explain that to the public and national leaders became a challenging. there were two basic issues that were not well understood by most of the people of the u.s. and political leaders. there would be a constructive
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role for the entity that was attributed to causing the event. that created concern that could not be explained away. even though we had worked effectively in that construct in responding to oil spills. the second is the fiduciary link between the representative of the responsible party and unified command and their shareholders. there are legal requirements for documenting costs which you have to carry on a balance sheet that they cannot sever. the second notion was difficult for the people of this country to understand and our political leaders was ultimately, there is a fiduciary link between the responsible party and shareholders which would bring into question whether or not a decision should have been made based on the environment and the response itself. as it stated in the national contingency plan and by statute, the responsible party is to resource the response and the federal government is to oversee their response. greeting -- in greeting the act of 1990, we greeted an industry of responders and the presumption was that responsible party would bring
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resources to respond to the spill under the supervision of the federal government. that is what occurred, but as you look at the enormity of this response, and the local implication, the isolated geographical areas where access is an issue, where logistical support for this type of response is an issue, a lot of the details that are carried out by those contractors that are brought to the scene are done in a contractual obligation basis with the responsible party under the general supervision of the federal government, and partially -- part way through this spill, we employed additional state and local personnel, provide a local supervision to make decision making closer to where the oil was that and the response to feedback, too much of that was being made locally by local contractors. there is a discussion about what constitutes a authority to take action, the day-to-day
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supervision of workers. how the gets interpreted in terms of feedback and the effects you are trying to achieve. there is a couple of things we need to do. we need to look at the contingency plan and think about what we need by the concept of responsible party and how we want that to look in the future. something we might want to consider is the creation of a qualified individual that would represent the industry, who has access to resources and will be a firewall by any fiduciary link to the shareholders, almost putting the resources in trust and executed by an industry expert. the issue of r&d has to be addressed. we cannot be doing r&d in the middle of a spill response. those things have to be proven when we need them. i believe a certain number of delegations could be made in the law that would allow us to have greater access to the spill trust fund, to replenish
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it when we need to, and to kick in when the spill was declared. i would be glad to take any questions you have for me. >> thank you, admiral. ms. ulmer. >> i would like to thank you for serving as the national incident commander and the many hours you've put into doing your very best. through you, i would like to thank the men and women of the united states coast guard to do an amazing job in many different ways. in alaska from fisheries management to an emergency response, the coast guard is very important -- a very important way in which we stay safe and manage our resources. thank you for resources. >> thank you on behalf of the men and women of the coast guard. >> i am concerned about two things. i will ask you to address them. one is the resources of the
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united states coast guard. not only all of the things that have been for many years, the responsibility of the coast guard, but after 9/11, the additional national security issues, and in emergencies like the gulf of mexico oil spill, the need to staff up quickly and deploy or worse -- deploy resources, sometimes resources you do not have. i am concerned about the implications for alaska and if you have the kind of efforts that will be necessary moving forward. that is one concern. the second, you addressed the relationship between the national incident command and the responsible party. i would like you to read -- address the relationship between federal, state, and local participants. there seem to be a fair amount
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of -- seems to be a fair amount of misunderstanding and lict in those relationships. to a certain extent, perhaps because of the scale of this incident and its duration. perhaps also because of the system we use. i am wondering if you could recommend any changes that might reduce that kind of lack of coordination and cooperation that got in the way. >> thank you for the questions. first, let me provide one caveat. admiral bob patt is the commandant. the views expressed here are those of thad allen, a u.s. coast guard to retire. the genius of the coast guard has always been that we're a multi-mission service. so are our people. you do not have to have five vessels or five people to do a mission because they're capable of doing different things. that brings into a risk- management structure because you cannot do 05 things at once with one vessel.
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there is a resource allocation process by which the coast guard allocates resources to mission, and it has always been the proposition for the country. the challenge we deal with on resource allocation. we will allocate what resources we have to the highest need. the more resources we have, the more contingencies and activities we can cover with greater capacity to a greater extent. you can make legitimate conclusions from that we never have resources, but we have all the resources we need. this is the proposition we presented. do we have -- need anymore? i would say yes. especially when we talk about oversight in an oil spill like this where is the presumption -- there is a perception were you need coastguard and the response linked to contractors. it would be operated because of the circumstances.
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we're read to do that. -- ready to do that. there is going to be a serious issue related to the coast guard. all federal issues will be -- agencies will be involved. it is a significant -- illegitimate question. let me start out by comparing and contrasting with the states are used to sing and working with and what happened. usually, the responsible party [unintelligible] is in and the coast guard overseas this. when you involve multiple municipalities, states and across an entire region, it starts to become somewhat confusing for the state and local governments, because there is a presumptions that the oil pollution act and the
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national contingency plan [unintelligible] i would compare and contrast to that of the stafford act. that is how we support state and local governments. the presumption is the responders are the state and local governments. the resources are provided to them to execute their mission and achieve what it is they're trying to do. because of the uniqueness of oil and chemical spills, multiple jurisdictions, beyond state waters, there was a presumption in the act that the federal government would coordinate this. that is not what the cities and counties and locales of the gulf have been used to for -- for large bill. there used to the stafford act where resources are provided to them and execute them. there was a reconciliation that had to be carried up between the assumption of the role of the state as far as executing response and the responsibilities we had under the law to execute the national contingency plan and our fiduciary responsibilities.
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i do not think that was anticipated when the national contingency plan was constructed. we have a very large spill, -- one we have a large spills, [unintelligible] i had a meeting with parish presidents and we had a frank conversation about this. there are things that we can do to partner and that is what we want to do and we will up to may's our performance and effectiveness. -- will optimize our performance and effectiveness. i cannot ignore my responsibilities. that is something that is a matter of law. it is a matter of policy and imbedded in legislation. we need to talk about that moving forward if we think that is an issue. the real problem at the local
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government, you will hear from the parish presidents in a little bit. the fact you need to be flexible, agile, and responsive, and we can press decision making authority down, but if they assumption is we're doing this through subcontractors to the responsible party, we will have to rationalize that process and over the course of this spill, we did that. we shifted resources down to a lower level. we established liaisons' in mississippi, alabama, and florida and we learned that because of the size of this bill and the difference between that and the stafford act response it would take more interaction and partnering to achieve those effects we needed to achieve. was the response of? >> very much so. thank you. >> any questions?
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>> i would like to ask a question. my question is, there was a requirement of various levels of government having response plans ready to be brought into use when the emergency occurred. what was your evaluation of the adequacy of those response plans, and you have any suggestions as to how they can be improved? >> thank you. another excellent question. let me take you back to the spring of 2002. i was the national incident commander for a spill. we held it in the superdome in new orleans. simulated a well blowout 80 miles to the west of where this incident occurred. you would think that a national exercise program, that would have prepared us for an event like this. to some extent, it did. >> when did that take place? >> april, 2002. i was the magic -- atlantic area commander. i thought it went well. looking back on it, there was some artificiality build in that we could not anticipate that led directly for me to
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believe we had to change area contingency plans. that entire exercise was conducted with louisiana and there were no parish presidents present. we know now to act with state and local responders at a local level. as part of the planning process, the designation of sensitive areas. the negotiation of protocols for dispersant use and burning. that has to be taken at a local government level where the interaction is. we cannot always rely on the fact this will be integrated at the state level. the state will speak with all -- one voice for the political
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interests of the state. for area contingency plans, we need to look at the parish annexes. the layout of how you interact with the perished during a response. mississippi will be at the county level and alabama and florida as well. we need to understand how we will designate sensitive areas. the areas that are identified have been developed for the last 20 years, they focus on national resources. sensitive marsh areas, areas where juvenile species are born and raised and the seafood industry is supported. after this spill, you know this well, the economic impact of beach closures is significant, but there is a presumption in response doctrine that you will push oil to a beach because it can be recovered there.
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that is not universally agreed with in the gulf. as far as area contingency plans, we need to do a couple of things. they have to have granular be that takes it down to the local government level, will be responsible for according with first responders. -- coordinating with first responders. the have to come up with critical resources. we need to take a look of economic -- take a look at economic impact. those other areas that would benefit in the future. >> could you tell us how the low flow estimates impact to the response? instead of being told that there were 1,000 barrels or 5,000
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barrels a day to my we're told there are 26,000 or 30,000 barrels. would you have done anything different? >> the answer is no. we assumed at the outset this could be a catastrophic event. i was the commandant at coast guard. i was called when the explosion occurred. we started moving quickly to put folks that have knowledge of marine salvage operations as well as the spill at the rig. we had several thousand gallons of diesel fuel. it was dwarfed by the spill today. we started moving every piece of equipment that was identified in the response plan for the raid. when those estimates came out, i noted them, but there were not consequential in any decision i made. we knew this thing had the potential to be larger than it was. we never at any point relied on the 1000 or 5,000 barrels a day. when that became an issue of what the flow was, i established a separate group to look at this from an independent standpoint. we brought in academicians and other folks in government to assess that ourselves. part of the problem with flow
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rate was the lack of access to the spill site. the fact that everything we know or do about that side we learned from remotely operated vehicles, remote sensing traded took awhile for the event to reveal itself in what was -- in terms of information. we would deal with flow rate in the meaningful way, we had to have high resolution video and do some scientific analysis to develop parameters of oil, gas, water, and sediment. that did not impact my decision making early on. >> who is operating the rov's? >> i can give you list. >> was a the responsible party? >> they were some grantors' -- subcontractors to bp. >> you view one of the challenges as being more than just that of appearance or the government to articulate the role of the responsible party. there is a substantive problem that needs to be addressed in all instances, or just those cases where you have a spill of national significance? >> the public's tolerance for a responsible party is inversely proportionate to the size of this bill.
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-- the spill. it may be more perception than reality. once the perception is so great it starts to entered in the response, you need to do with it. for that reason, i have been trying to come out with alternative notions of how you can accomplish the same effect but do away with some of those perception problems. when you have what i would call the social and political nullification of the national contingency plan based on the perception of the rp, [unintelligible] >> do you feel you had adequate
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resources and expertise to evaluate the information that was being provided to you by the responsible party? >> i think resources in the spill are an issue we need to look at closely. i never lacked funding. it was converting funding into equipment and getting it there in a timely manner. the notion of supply of boom and skimmers was never an issue of funding. there was enough money. it was producing it and getting it where it needs to be. there are a significant number of issues in this spill that did not recognize -- exist in 1990. access to data and being able to analyze it by technical teams that were established by the federal government. there were never presaged in the act of 1990. those are our issues. >> thank you.
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the phrase that you used, the social nullification of the contingency plan, i am uncertain whether the cause was primarily public perception issue and you suggested that was part of it. was also a consequence of the involvement by high-level officials in the administration who had differentiated responsibilities, never identified a plan but assumed under the pressure of the catastrophe? >> that is a good point. i do not want to attribute motives. they ought to be consulted in
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that regard. two things happen. there was not an overall sufficient knowledge of the national contingency plan, how it was structured. including the relationship between the rp and the on scene coordinator. to make someone -- the last time to make someone smart in an organization is this event. because of the unavailable principles, people who might have learned most were not report -- were not participating. absent that, you get a this reaction to the into the responsible being there on briefings and being actively involved in the response. that creates cognitive dissonance. as i said, it becomes a barrier to the response. you need to understand that ahead of time and clearly understand the rules of the responsible party and the government would have been helpful.
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>> did the involved in -- involvement of high-level officials complicate things? >> i believe everyone had different goals and effects there were trying to achieve, and some of those exceeded the statutory week -- authority we have. i believe the country and the political leaders expected the government response. you can always achieve that by executing the provisions of the oil pollution act of 1990 and the regulations issued pursuant to a. there are things that do not fall within your ability to carry out actions or to fund them. things like seafood sampling, behavioral health issues, some of the social and economic issues were almost on addressable in terms of the
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statutes and the money. how you could use the appropriated funds. command created several entities that had never existed. the interagency solutions group that took these problems on, including dealing with the states and the claims processing with bp, issues about whether the national guard could be used. a number of expectations are not covered in current law or doctrine. those are the things that had to be developed as we moved through. there were a number of those, and i mentioned a few. >> your recommendation that the fiduciary responsible party be created in the event of a significant spill in the future who has the authority to overrule or disregard the mutual fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders. is that an implicit conclusion that bp was too slow to lay out funds to support activities and get involved adequately in a way that involved serious money? did you direct -- that you directed them to do?
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>> i think any delay in carrying out response activities was not related. i attribute it to the enormity of this response and the fact that we have a unified area command in the region. incident commanders -- the minority of this challenge the command system. it was an efficiency issue. any intention related to minimizing costs or [unintelligible] the reason i believe we may want to consider an independent qualified individual is due to the perception of the american people and our leaders that this is not working and if perception is that strong, we should do something about it. >> one of your officers characterized the nature of the bp response as highly successful wholesale, not so successful retail. by which he seemed to mean that the organization of people to do beach cleanup and skimmers was much more challenging.
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is that your perception? how would you characterize the response? >> that was my ". -- quote. i can explain. >> i do not think the admiral is attributed to you. >> i have had this discussion with tony hayward and others and i have been open. you need to be frank about the issues you're dealing with. bp is a global oil exploration company and they do wholesale very well. one of the firms that is capable of taking this technology and extracting however -- hydrocarbons. we deal with point end transactions. local folks that are involved in catering services or whatever. it is difficult to write the specifications and outsourced corporate values, compassion, and empathy to a second and third party. a lot of issues down there relate to the events that have taken place in the gulf. the stress these folks often put under, and try to understand and do that while you are
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accomplishing these contractual actions does not translate into bedside manner. we dealt with that by putting more people in more parts of the organization, trying to flatten the organization and moved down decision making. i do believe that it is very hard to translate corporate intent through second and third tier contractors, if you're trying to create the face of the response for the organization, because the lens by which the people in the gulf see this response is in those individual transactions. >> would be better addressed if fema were the organizer on the ground? >> any discussion of seema involvement has to start with
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the difference between the staff of the act, including federal preeminence and how the money flows and how those resources are applied to achieve perfect. functionally, fema acts through contractors as well. >> they have a habit of working with the local government. >> they can provide the resources and local government has the freedom and autonomy and discretion on how the resources are developed. that is true. if we believe that is where we want to go, that will require a fundamental rethinking of public policy embedded in the pollution act. >> thank you for what you have done to lead this effort.
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>> thank you, admiral. thank you for your long career at and service to america. -- in service to america. we will hear from lisa jackson. one hour. >> it is my pleasure to [inaudible] that is right. we are pleased to have you with us this morning. we're interested in hearing your presentation and some other issues as well. >> good afternoon and thank you.
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it is lovely to be here. thank you for inviting me to testify about the use of dispersants and epa's role in responding to the rig explosion. please permit me to begin by expressing my condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the explosion now five months ago. the well is sealed and we are focused on scientific and science-based monitoring and investigation, as well as on long-term recovery and restoration of the gulf of mexico's people and its ecosystem. over the course of the response, i personally travelled to the region, the region i
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group in -- grew up in and spent 21 days on site. engineers, contractors, and -- >> could you pull the microphone closer? >> even closer? we set up a process of testing and monitoring of air quality and sediment and made the data public every day. in court nation, we monitored for the presence of dispersants in the water column. one of our top priorities was application of these dispersants. dispersants are chemicals that are applied to spill oil to break it down into smaller drops on and below the surface. it mixes into the water column and is diluted and degraded by bacteria and other organisms. we know that dispersants are
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generally less toxic than oil. we know they decrease the risk to the shoreline and to organize a -- organisms at the surface and they biodegrade over days and weeks and not years, as oil sometimes does. all the unknown long-term effects of the dispersant application on aquatics life and the unprecedented volume applied in this response, almost 1.8 million gallons, certainly warrant caution. epa was asked by bp to authorize unlimited use. underwater, at the source of the league. the goal in evaluating this request was to maximize the degradation of the oil before it came close to the shoreline. -- the shoreline, estuaries, and marine nurseries. epa requested data from bp to
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prove that such use of the dispersants was indeed effective. after the data showed this approach was working, epa required the implementation of a rigorous monitoring system to ensure that underwater application would continue to be effective and also to track measurable environmental impacts through monitoring of dissolved oxygen and toxicity. on may 14, two weeks later, epa granted authorization for underwater use after was made clear to the companies and the public that epa reserved the right to halt the use of subsurface dispersant if we concluded at any time the impact to the environment outweigh the benefits of chemically dispersing the oil.
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we did not see significant short-term impacts of using dispersants. we did not and continue to not see a diminished level of levels of oxygen. this is an indicator of overall aquatics health and we found normal levels in testing locations near the site, where subsurface dispersants were applied. we saw no significant toxic effects on rotifers, which are sensitive organisms that act as the canary in the coal mine for water health. water monitoring continues to indicate dispersant was not found in waters on or near the shoreline. of the 2000 noaa-generated samples and epa symbols, there
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have been to detections but well below health limits. these detections were caused by problems with the testing devices themselves, most likely. they were investigated as if they were a real detection. they were we-sample. follow-up testing indicated a non-detecting of dispersants. our monitoring continues and will in order to ensure that potential impacts are identified immediately. from the early stages of the response, we recognize the need for epa to be vigilant and cautious with the use of dispersants. that is why along with the coast guard, we ordered bp to use less toxic dispersants and to limit use and volume of dispersants. specifically, epa and coast guard issued a directive on may 26, instructing them to scale back the subsurface use of dispersants to only what was needed to be effective, and to halt use of surface disbursements -- dispersants. we saw use fall. some data showed increased use. the decreasing trend line was undeniable. epa conducted testing on the toxicity of the dispersants that were authorized. our analysis found all the dispersants that were tested one test alone could be categorized as practically non- toxic to slightly toxic.
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the oil, when tested alone, was generally moderately toxic. mixtures of oil and dispersants were no more toxic than the oil alone. that would mean moderately toxic. we would make an investment into the scientific research of this person. congress has appropriated $2 million to begin a study. these funds will help support research on the short and long- term environmental and human health impacts associated with the oil spill. we were in a position with no perfect solution.
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-- animal carcasses or other debris. in communities that are low income or minority communities. that is in the gulf region. i know that you have given high priority to environmental justices. is this something that has risen to your level of concern? do you have a sense of how serious that issue is? the disposal of waste from any disaster always becomes an issue of concern. it becomes part of the discussion as it should. it is not always environmental issues. it goes back to


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