tv Q A CSPAN December 29, 2013 8:00pm-9:01pm EST
tonight on c-span's "q&a" hugh hewitt. that is all by the british parliament review at 9 p.m. >> this week on q&a, network host hugh hewitt discusses his latest book titled the happiest ife. >> hugh hewitt and your latest book the happeniest life, you said it's the first time you've ever discussed your kids. >> yes. >> why. >> early on we had an untournt guy who heard me
talking about my daughter and he threatened her. i've had that debate with a lot of public figures and have said to young people in our business to be careful how much you push your forward children because there are a lot of crazy people in this world who will try to get to you through them. >> how old are they in >> the young zest 22. the others are 25 and 28. >> do they listen to you on the radio ? >> one does and the other two do not. my daughter doesn't care about politics. my sons do but only one of them license. one son loves talk radio , the whole business. >> why do you spend this much time on the radio with all the background, your harvard background? >> i think radio is the longest and best form of media that is left. we're doing hour long conversations. only c-span does long forum
conversation anymore. you and charlie rose are the only guys that read books the way i read books to talk to the author seriously. it's tremendously revealing to talk an author these days because they don't get many people who have read their books. i get a great deal of satisfaction with when an author says that's the best interview i've had on this book tour. just got it from charleston things that matter, his new collection of essays. >> that makes my day. i like radio , three hours is an adone dance of time and i can do so many different things. >> where would we find you sitting every day? >> in irvine california, i have a studio or in california i have a studio. and at washington, d.c. the heritage foundation let's me use the studio. my own studio is a very modest,
probably 1100 square foot, three rooms with a producer in front of me, an engineer on my left. a traditional radio setup. >> what time of day? >> 3:00 to 6:00. >> new york and los angeles are the biggest radio markets in the world. >> how long have you done this? >> i began in 1989. i began my syndicated show in 2,000. i've been doing my sipped kated show for the 14th year now. >> you got a degree at harvard and went to university of michigan to get a law degree. you teach at chatman. how can you do this? >> i treat my life like college. you have a schedule in your head. i'm at the law school on tuesday and thursday. i'm in the studio every afternoon. i'm at my law firm monday,
wednesday and friday and travel a lot and juggle. no one gets to do exactly what they want but i get pretty close. i've been blessed in that regard. i always say to people like the dean of the law school who hired me i'd love to teach here, can we work it into the program terse of my life and they say yes. and the man who founded salem radio network allowed me to build the studio in a way i can teach and practice law. people are accommodating and people usually work around what makes sense for me. >> what kind of law do you practice in >> environmental law which is endangered species and then products liability law is what my partners do and i assist with that. >> do you find yourself getting conflicted? >> no, i've never had a conflict because i keep the worlds very
separate. if i'm talking about something in which m law firm might have an interest on air, i would disclose it immediately to the audience. >> chapman is 100 plus years old. it's more than 100 years old. it was chapman college for 75 of those years. it's located in orange california. 's ranked amongst the most rapidly growing. it's in southern california and the president has it abund dently endowed and supported by a tremendous business community that the dodge film school, the law school of which i am a part, the business school, they are all taking off. so chapman is where u.f.c. was it ears ago and i imagine will be another u.s.c. in a few years. >> what do you teach in >> con law.
>> why? > i had a unique experience. my judge on the d.c. circuit became ill and when he was ill the other judges took his two clerks and they swapped us around for a few weeks in each chammer. i got to work for bork, scalia i can't and a judge named spots robinson and they were compelling individuals. i just loved the business of being around the constitution when you have people who know what they are doing wit. i like to teach it and i love the fact that everything that happens in america can be taught in con law. there is not anything that doesn't come through the court and anything that doesn't show up in opinion that is interesting for my students. >> what do you most remember
from justice ginsberg. >> she was very careful and precise. i am not great spelling or terrific on the punk situation side. .udge ginsberg was very precise judge borg was at intimidating an individual as you might know for a 25-year-old guy. >> what did you know about -- >> we shared a office on the first floor. the 17th street side was used and the counsel's office was the back right corner of that office. we had a terrific office. i was succeeded by chris cox. the chief justice was there from the beginning until i think he went to the sliss ter general's office in 1986. fred fielding it was boss. he came back subsequent and
served president bush as his chief counsel. and one of the chief counsel for boeing was our deputy counsel. the secretary of the navy was in that office. i was the bottle washer, the briefcase carryer. the tough stuff they gave to the chief justice. >> what year? >> 1985. >> the most candid you can be about john roberts? >> he cannot shoot a jump shot. we were 0-10. i wrought in ringers. we couldn't win for the life of us. peter robinson was next door to us and he was on the team as well. we were terrible. i can be candid about that. i sent the chief justice upon his confirmation a caller: of this. we were together on the v-toes
and we challenge team did pretty good. i don't know if they still run the nike 5-k up here but we were a pretty good team. >> how surprised were you when job roberts became the chief justice? >> the most interesting thing is they were close friends. mike sl the general counsel on the fourth circuit and i had no idea whom the president would pick because they are so smart and they are the same person and i think they would rule the same way. i was pleased for the country that either of them would be the chief justice. i thought perhaps it would be ludding because it would be perceived that michael would be more conservative than the chief justice is. in the southeast big use
decision i think his genius showed. people watching will think i'm out of my mind. they were disappoint when had the obama care decision came down but now that it's a train wreck and the end game of lib ralism people will be able to study that for a hundred years and they will say what he did was right for the court, the country and ultimately the office course correction we're on. so it's a pretty brilliant piece of work. >> how much involvement were you in the romney campaign? >> i had no involvement in the campaign. when the governor wrote his book and he wrote his campaign book he asked if i would do a soft edit on it and i ran through it and he had some tick that is most writers would see, over use of the clon or semiclon. so i did a light edit on it. i had to cover the campaign so i
stayed officially away from it. i was pulling for him and was disappointed when he lost. >> did you speak for him? >> no, i did not speak for him or campaign for him except on the radio . everyday i would urge please go out and do it. in 2008 when he was seeking the nomination i did campaign for him. in 2012 he got it so quickly there was no campaigning to be done. >> don't talk show host make a mockery out of the law that says you can only give so much money to a candidate? >> that law is no longer a law because of citizen united. you could argue that talk show hosts make unlimited contributions by being on the side of someone. i have a list of candidates at my website. i say i want to you support, i have a long list. and i think that is terrific.
and i this if "the new york times" want to do the same thing hey should be able to do it. i would point to the fact yes i do make a contribution with words every day but that's what the framers intended. >> we still have you can only give so much money per candidate per race. >> you can only give to a capped dat but i can give as much time and money as i want to a cause or to a 527. corporations have no restraint whatsoever and as an individual negotiate do i. right now we've got the guy running around from the west coast who is very green. he intervened in the virginia race and he writes big billion dollars checks to people. mayor broorg writes big checks.
luckily talk shows exist so you don't have to have that kind of wallet to make that kind of impact. you can bring a lot of ideas to the public's attention without having to buy the air time. >> what about salem. ? >> it's a publicly traded company on the new york stock exchange. originally with the intention of doing christian programming but it grew organically because they are together something of a jean use at spotting under used signals and developing them into full blown signals. it has 100 stations and a division online and internet and music programming. so it's a fully to respect communications company lineup now. fiveazi anytime -- we have
syndicated host. together we represent the best, strongest and most able lineup of talk show hosts in the business although we are friends with all and enemies of none. i have many friends in the business who don't work for salem. >> we compete against each other in the same time frame but we are friends and that is what is nice about our business. >> explain why in the last five years or so on some talk shows and you can tell us what your own philosophy is you'll tune in and barack obama at the very beginning of the show will be something negative will be said about him and it will go for three hours every day no mat whear decision he makes almost all circumstances he has made a bad decision, he's a bad guy, he's a socialist a communist go down the list. what is that all about?
>> that's a great question. i don't think he's an evil man. i think he is completely incompetent and way above his head when it comes to the office. and i watched reagan up close and worked for richard nixon so i know what it's like to scrub the presidency. it's impossible to do job unless your eisenhower. but president obama has purr seed a politics that is as devissive as anybody i've ever seen. passing obama care without a republican vote put us on the course we have today. i'll have on the show ewe value liven and levin has a new book out on where left and right came from. i'm looking forward to reading this on the airplane tomorrow. president obama is a genuine man of the left. he is not bill clinton or michael did you cack kiss or
jimmy carter. he is a man of the left. he's a law professor and i live with law professors. when we get into faculty debates about things we go at it as academics do. when i talk land use with property professors they don't have much of an idea what they are talking about about the actual building of houses and the planning of parks and streets. and i think president obama is really professor obama and politics has become extremely polarized. not as bad as in the country before. the 1920's were terrible, those were rock throwing, name calling terrible times. the segregation years. the country has been through worse than this but in terms of pure i had logical argument this is as vigorous as it's ever been. nobody ever cared this much. >> the question what your
opinion is of the president but why is it that these talk show hosts and maybe you're one of them although i listen to you and i don't remember you doing this this way but they start at the beginning and it goes on for three hours. it's a constant negative. >> i don't do that because i'm bored by that. that would bore me. >> does it work? >> it does work. there is a market for it. hy is msnbc programmed the way it is? i can't watch it. i can't watch it but there is obviously a market for it. i watch chris matthews because i think he's funny and worth watching. there is a market for everything in america. and rush who invented the format is a radio jean use. rutch and oprah have built the
largest audiences for the longest period of time of anybody in america. oprah targeted her audience of middle age women and built a program for them. rush built a program for center right america now increasingly right america that had never been served by broadcast before. he was non-l.a. when i went on and he was predicted to fail. when the fairness doctrine ended rush was first. alot of programmers said they won't work. if it's not local nobody is going to listen tony:. it blew up. he's the anchor of every radio store in america. every radio station is the mall d they have specialty stores and some nordstrom.
i'm big but i'm not nordstrom. i've got 200 stations and rush has 600 stations. who does he serve? he serves people who do not believe that in washington, d.c. there is anybody who listens to them. and rush listens to them and he listens to them very carefully and he's also very funny. shawn has beenty has done very well. he's a gentleman. people will tell you he's the nicest man in radio . he is. he blew up because he is the nicest guy in radio and he asks questions that ordinary people want asked of important people and he muscles it up with them. mark is brilliant. mark is explosive but how did he sell all those books? it's about the constitution. i write books about the constitution, i'm lucky if they sell 5,000 copies because they are about the constitution.
the te 200,000 copies of liberty movement. they do sometimes start mad and stay mad but these are important times and big issues. and obama care and i use that because the president uses it. if he called it the healthcare act but he calls it obama care. i'm careful about the presidency. i call it president obama. the office is important to me. i think he's a wonderful father, a terrific husband. he's just a terrible president. a transformative president. he's either really right or really wrong. the ing to talk with deputy -- dr. troy will be on with me today. he writes at the beginning oist it hadn't come out yet, i got the advanced caller:.
conservatives will not be able to see fit works or liberals if it fails they are so emotionally invested. either waits going to be the biggest success or biggest failure in american politics ever. that's why it's that tense. that's why that market is out there. >> going back to what i was getting at though on the talk show stuff, how much people in america do not ever listen. >> i run into people that say i would not listen under any circumstances? >> lots. my guess is 75% never listen to talk radio . what is great about being a radio talk show host nobody knows who i am. i walk around the streets of washington, d.c. >> you did television for a long time. >> in california they know who i am because i did news for pbs but radio talk show host are not recognized instantly. rush is often able to move anonymously through the world as
opposed to brett or anyone on television, they won't have any privacy. radio people have privacy and even my voice, one out of ten people will recognize my voice in public because they don't hear it. they hear rush. shawn is one of the most recognizable people in the world. a lot of people don't listen tony: and they should give it a try. i'll tell you why. dennis who you know and have interviewed is among the most thoughtful men in america. he thinks all the time. they think and puzzle and try to get to the right answer. dennis wrote a book still the best hope about america going forward in which he talks about secular absolutism and it's war on faith and traditionalism. it's a beautiful book. he talks to interesting people. if they turn on my show they
would hear peter baker from the "new york times" talking about his book or they would hear jonathan alter talking about his books. they would hear a lot of liberal voices. lot of smart lefties. great terrific radio guests. they will hear voices they wouldn't otherwise here at length. we have commercial interruptions. i have 30 broadcast minutes in an hour you have 60. but talk radio is the last place in america you will hear an extended conversation other than c-span that will go longer than 10 minutes. >> if you had to listen to a liberal talk show host in america who would you pick? >> do i get to invent they have a show because they don't have any. if i could i would get peter
from the new republic who used to be on my show a lot but now he's hard to book. peter would make a terrific talk show host. he's very engaging. jonathan alter would make a terrific talk show host. but they don't have the time. they don't live their life in one place long enough. you are anchored to a studio. in our business you can't be off the air for longer than a week or two unless it's december or the fourth of july. december we can all go away. >> in your book you eluded to a moment in history when newt gingrich became speaker and you ot a call suggesting that -- what i'm getting at is you mentioned n.p.r. has all the liberal talk show host. >> phil was the president of
kcet which used to be no longer affiliated with pbs but used to be the flag ship and we had a nightly show sitting around doing what they do on c-span yammering about the news. i was the only conservative in the entire system. when newt gring rich won phil got a call, you got a conservative don't you? yes, his name is hugh hewitt. >> they had on liberals all the time. if you watch the news hour it was unbalanced and remains to a certain extent unbalanced. david brooks is their conservative. he's a conservative but he's not a conservatives conservative. he's like me, a center right
guy. they gave me a show and i did a show about religion and it changed my life and got me interested in writing about and broadcasting about religion. pbs was very unbalanced and n.p.r. is very unbalanced. it was the one thing i would have gone to bat for to cut out of the budget as a symbolic thing because it does not represent well the broad spectrum of american opinion that funds it. this show is very fair and c-span is very fair but not n.p.r. n.p.r. is i had logically criven. all their listeners are listening to n.p.r. >> it's popular though. >> it's great product. it's subherb quality. >> they say very little of the money that comes from the feds a percent and a half they say?
>> that's true and that's why they shouldn't be unwilling to part with it. i used to be a pledge for p.b.s. and beg people for money with ed. ed gave me a wedge ji once when we were doing a pledge because he is a way left wing guy but he's a funny and engaging guy. i don't think the taxpayer should be obliged to pay for that. they never hear themselves mirrored, ever do they hear themselves. >> i want you to watch some videotape of someone you had on your program 70 times. watch for a moment and get your reaction to what he says. >> people i think are becoming fed up being pushed around by ordinary mammals who think they are better than us because they have god on their side. enough with this.
it's very insulting and very threatening and very stupid and it's becoming now we have the hance that the apocalyptic weaponry will fall into states or organizations, arm geden type forces. clear and present danger. >> did you ever believe in god? >> no. >> did your parents? >> yes. they must have at some point. i think my father must have. i don't know this. i always have this doubt about people who affirm they believe in god. do they believe in it all the time? do they believe anytime all the time? do they have crisis of faith? why do they keep going to church to prove they believe? >> what would you say to him? >> i talked to christopher 70 times on the air and several times off. i introduced him at lectures. i loved the guy. i miss him a great deal.
his brother is a devout man of faith and he and his brother would debate about this. what i would say to him is what i always said to him is one of us is right and we will both find out because i think i'm right. i think he never had the conversion experience. i didn't talk to him for the last two months of his life. i did a three-hour interview with him about his book which was such a terrific book as he was weakening. and i wouldn't push him on god because it wasn't appropriate for me to preach to a man who knew he was in the last days of his life. you have faith or you don't. i'm not a calvinnist. i believe you got to be open to it and ask the right questions and pursue honestly how this world is. i asked charles about this on the air this past week what's your belief of god and he has
the ion sign the view. it's so complex and so organized and wonderful. if you have to go about trying to understand him in the right way. there are secular text. some are right, some are wrong. the dollar llama has a different approach. chuck colson, but, interviewed for the religion series. everybody has a different approach. which iw, catholics, of am one, are deeply conflicted over pope francis, even though he is saying exactly what benedict and john paul ii had to say. but he is saying it in a different way and it has unnerved a lot of people. i think anyone who studies that man, francis, will see the genuine person of christ revealed quite elegantly. just as they did in the suffering of john paul ii. the intellect of god is in benedict.
i like to say, john paul ii rebuilt the house, benedict decorated it, and francis is opening it up and asking everyone to come in. francis is really quite a remarkable individual. >> how do you become an evangelical roman catholic presbyterian? >> that is what i call. you were born a catholic and you have a devout -- to have a real encounter with god, you go to catholic school and harvard. the bishop start sending you letters. i did a very human thing. i got angry with the bishops when they would send us letters on nuclear weapons and economics that made no sense at all. they were signed by a fellow named bishop walsh. bishop walsh was a wonderful man who could not play bingo without being told how to spell go. he was a great priest, but he was not intellectual. writing us dumb letters about war and peace and economics.
the bishop's counsel became very left-wing. lefthurch went left, and i . i put myself under the care of a very, very smart evangelical pastor by the name of mark roberts, the theologian in residence in texas, but at the time he was pastor in california. he began -- i began to read deeply in evangelical theory, and loved the preaching and the theology, but eventually the archbishop of philadelphia, then of denver, got a hold of me and talk to me common sense. you are a roman catholic. read this. a very good book. he should be a cardinal along with dolan when the rules are right. you have to have a certain time. be cardinale will after a while. tremendous intellect with a great heart. i went back to confession, back
to mass. now i go to mass on saturday night and presbyterian church on sunday. i tell people i am covered. i got it both ways. >> did you have a particular moment when you became an evangelical? >> in 1991 i was on a retreat and i thought to myself, this is not only correct, this is deeply true in a way -- some would call it a point-again experience. i would not, because i already committed my life to christ when i was very young. but just a moment of intense awareness of god. >> do you ever have a moment in your work, especially on the air or when you are speaking, where people don't want you to make the -- mix the two? >> yes. it happened yesterday at a law firm when i was talking to a lawyer with whom i did some work. i asked him what he believes. he said, nobody ever asked me that before. i said, i am a journalist. if i was interviewing you, i would go into your faith life.
the most important thing you can find out about some undersides, they happily married, are the children well, what you believe about god? that is the most important question. the best interviews i have ever done, hitchens for example, his mother committed suicide and he was called to recognize and pick up the body. that is a terrible thing to have to do. we talked about that, and that has something to do with his lack of, i think, believe in god. anything that awful, how could anything that awful allow you to believe in a benevolent, good force of the center of the universe? one of my guests, the president of -- president of world vision at the time. it is awfully hard to believe in god when you are in in aids camp in africa surrounded by thousands of children dying of aids. pain and suffering is very difficult to get through for some people if you have a very limited conception of time.
you have to get infinite to understand it. it is so much better -- i spent a lot of time studying theology for pbs, then to read my book about romney. the mormons' view of time, they teach about infinity, which makes them much more devout. the best catholics, there is an old catholic teaching that you should begin every day thinking about for things -- four t hings. death, judgment, heaven, and hell. if you begin every day that way -- my friend who lives across the river taught me that. you will have a very good perspective on the day's events. say you don't particularly care for sam harris? >> i don't. >> let's watch sam harris and get your reaction to this. >> this would all be accomplished if we treated everyone who spoke about god on the floor of the senate as though they had just spoke about poseidon. imagine.
we would have all these hurricanes in the gulf and some senator gets into his head that we should really be praying to poseidon. this, after all, is his jurisdiction. [laughter] the ocean is reclaiming our cities. clearly that would be the end of that person's political career. not like someone discovered in the third century that the biblical god exists but poseidon does not. these claims have exactly the same status. >> that shtick, the difference between sam and christopher hitchens is one of intellect. hitchens' for middle, deep learning across a wide array of abilities and fields, and he was fearless. he would go to beirut and get into fist fights with the syrian nazis and almost get kidnapped. he would earn the right to be
cavalier about everything, and to be as abrupt and abrasive as he wanted to, because he was orwell. the true man of freedom. sam harris is a promoter of sam harris. so to be provocative that way with that which is most important people without the book learning and without the thinking and without the world experience, i think, is cavalier and trite. >> what if people said that about you? >> they can and have and will. "the happiest life" i try to put on display how to live my life, how i have done. i had this conversation yesterday with three young "washingtonom the free beacon." 20-town is now lousy with year-olds with opinions. i was not published until i was 28, and not really publish until i was 35. by that time i had had a few jobs in the government and had gone to law school and clerk for some smart people. i began to have opinions.
now the town is full of 25-year- old to know what is wrong with it, and i'm amazed and amused. i think people really should be over 30 before they start to opine on that which could impact people's lives. they should have children, they should be married. if they don't have children, they should be on goals and on aunts and be responsible. >> but you can be a congressman when you're 25. >> that is because of the time of your -- the constitution your lifespan was less. >> joe biden was elected when he was 29. >> i rest my case. not change in washington. he is the same as he was. remand or when he was elected at 29? was electedwhen he at 29? with jerry brown in 1978. jerry brown is married to a woman with whom i went to law
school. she is the smartest person in california. i hope she is running the state. they have a right to their opinion. they have lived a lot. reagan had been governor and actor and thought communists in the screen deal. they were not 25-year-olds. president obama, by contrast, sam harris, they showed up. they had not really lived through crises. they had not been in this city for long enough to be compared to do what they are asked to do. sam harris has no experience. president obama at least had two years in the senate. >> president obama got a congress with the clintons could not get accomplished by the -- getting the health care bill. >> actually, george w. bush passed the health care bill when elections so008 badly. when the financial crisis happened on his watch. people forget senator mccain was
ahead when the financial crisis occurred, and that was a panic. not really the result of w's policies. panics occur in our history. we will have another one. you can blame it on greenspan more than bush. a super-swept in majority. that is very rare in american politics. the framers did not intend that to happen. they wrote this super-bad bill and it will take a super- majority in the opposite direction or the court to strike it down. it is fundamentally unworkable, , i saidnd i think earlier that i think the side alias decision --sibelius decision was appropriate because people have to see how bad this is. there is a limit to what government can do. >> this work, you refer to "the happiest life, a secret to genuine success." when you do get the idea, and what is the message? >> generosity underscores almost every happy person i know.
people. very successful three people i think to be effectively genius. richard nixon, john roberts, and mitt romney. i thought they were all at a level so far about other people that i knew. >> how do you measure that? >> intuitive grasp of facts and the ability to retain so much information that they know everything before you tell them. romney, what is the most frustrating thing about your dad? he already knows everything i want to tell him. he is constantly reading. genius is the ability to absorb information, organize it, and act on it in a successful, systematic way. it is not physics. not natural signs genius. it is political genius. those three were political geniuses. >> how much time did you spend around richard nixon? >> a lot for two years, 1978 to 1980, and quite a lot from 1988 to 1990 when the library was being built. >> what did he do at the
library? >> i was executive director overseeing construction in yorba linda, california, when he was organizing jersey its contents. i was organizing its construction, back and forth. i was one of his writing staff. >> what did that cost? >> the nixon library was $22 million, privately raise. >> where did the money come from? >> it was not one gift larger than $2 million. one donor gave $2 million, but i would have to check. -- and bill simon, former treasury secretary, was the chairman. >> why did you do that? >> because the president had been very good to me. >> how question mark >> the best boss i ever had. he would spend an endless amount of time answering questions. i was not a very good writer when i started. i was a very good writer when i finish. the president, who wrote everything out longhand, great
editor. he taught me how to read, what to read. he invested a lot of time and young people were still around. taylor, who is now an episcopal priest in california. of course, monica crowley on fox. he would hire young people and invest a lot of time in them. a terrific boss. it is after the fall. we are in isolation in san clemente and he was just beginning to emerge. i came on staff after frank gannon and dan sawyer in the -- diane sawyer and the frost-nixon staff left. he is an amazing guy. what a life. >> what role did diane sawyer by in those days? >> she was the principal research editorial assistant. frank gannon was the principal in the of chapters memoirs.
is an incredible, prolific writer. he and nixon were the lead authors. a great book. en wereawyer and k backups. >> was there a moment around richard nixon you had that you never talked about? >> i have told the story of couple times. my mom and dad came to in 1978.a i said, can i bring my parents to meet you? this is a big deal for a midwestern couple. my dad was a small-town lawyer at the same firm for 50 years. they had seen him a great, but they were going to, me a president. it was awkward. as we sat down in the nixon office overlooking the pacific. into my mom, god bless her, said, what do you think is going to happen with china? two hours later.
he talked for two hours about the world with my mom and dad. he was very generous that way. i saw him do that again and americans ordinary who were asking important questions. he was terrible at smalltalk, if you said to him, what will happen with brazil, you would be in the office forever. this was before he was back in new york, in d.c. occasionally. bill walton showed up. people would show up in san clemente to talk to him, and he would spend hours with them. it was a fascinating time. robert, sam -- they read a book about that. nixon people won't write books about it. we will tell a few stories about it, but that is up to julie and tricia if they want to write the book. he had a fascinating post- presidency, in the way that w is
having a fascinating post- presidency. though clinton is doing it different from any other president. eisenhower lived quietly. nixon was in disgrace and then he slowly emerged and played a world role. bill clinton never stopped being president. it is fascinating. he may be back in the white house again. father wrote a piece for "fortune" magazine, how to be an ex-president. he has followed the rules exactly. disappear, raise a lot of money for people, and be good to the folks who were good for you. >> back to the radio show you did. what got you interested in radio, and how did you get a national three-hour a day talk show? >> i am the luckiest guy in broadcast, because i was giving press conferences at the nixon library and the program director a kfi in los angeles had
reporter who said, this kid, i was 32, was pretty good in his speech. i got a call out of the blue from the radio program director, never happens in a major market, offering me a weekend talk show. so i went over there and went to work with kfi on saturday, along with people who became -- bill mornings the biggest drive guy in america in los angeles. all weekend shows, that is what talk radio used to do. that until the local pbs station heard me on the radio and said, you want to do television? i said sure and went over started to do television. awonderful man offered me guest slot on k abc in the morning one time when morning host ron vacation, and that is when they heard me. he had a fellow who had been following me around, and they
recruited me for a show. never look for a job. jobs have always found me. >> if i was your producer and i first came to work for you, what would you tell me as your producer that your own rules are about how to have a good show? >> we must find the most interesting people who will be as honest as possible, who won't give us talking points. peopleular guests, the we have on again and again and again, have to be very smart, funny, and witty. we have done one thing every week for 14 years. -- the dean of university of california irvine law school and the dean of chapman. a man on the left, a man on the right, they like each other. mark steyn may be the funniest
man in america. he is hilarious and brilliant and knows everything about everything. before him, michael kelly was everyone's favorite guest. the late michael kelly. i talked with him not long before he went to iraq and died when his vehicle flipped over. , 70 timesr hitchens he came on. he never failed to entertain because he was authentic and funny. i am not smart enough or good enough or funny enough to be three hours of interest, but there are a lot of smart, funny people. him.e would really like he is very thoughtful, thought- provoking. >> make kristof from "the new york times" >> he is very thought-provoking, but they don't like the format too much because they will become very aggressive. not angry, but i will push. mark leibovitz, a great guest. michael shear.
duane would do more to tell me how to do the show. he was in radio production before i became a radio host. >> what rules you have -- for instance, i will not do that? >> i will not do profane people. vulgais no fogarty -- rity. i stay away from that. i stay away from the salacious. there is blue radio out there for people who want to do titillating subjects. it is not me. it is volcker. coverthan that, i will any story interesting to my audience. the audience should win, because if they don't they will go to somebody else. you have to bring your a game. i five segmentsds -- of day. i have been doing that for 14 years. there are enough interesting people to do that.
how many years have you done? >> i don't know. >> i think i have done more than 25,000. i know i have done 10,000 interviews. >> going back to your schedule, how do you maintain -- how do you keep your mind open? how do you have time to research? you are traveling, you are speaking, you have a roadshow you do. >> it is very funny. >> had you keep track of all this? >> i was blessed with the capacity to remember things. when i read a book, i can't remember it and take copious notes. i am a very fast reader. i will read a book on the plane tomorrow, on the way back, so i will have four and a half hours. it is about a 300-page book. >> you call your wife the fetching mrs. hewitt. how do you keep her happy you are running around? >> she comes with me.
we are heading uptown tomorrow. she did not, in a one-day trip -- come on a one-day trip. southernmostly in california. even though i will do one or two day trips. i go to denver a lot. it is probably my larger share of any radio market in america. phoenix is a close second. i try to go to those places often. or i go to ohio, where cleveland and columbus are big markets for me. louisville, kentucky, new york city. faces that matter a great deal i try and get to. but they are one-day or two-day trips. she will come with me. she is a present every day. >> you have been married how long? >> 32 years. >> where did you meet her? >> a fundraiser on san diego bay for pete wilson. i always thank governor wilson
for that. >> what was she doing? >> also attending as a college republican. i was 22, she was 22. she is the daughter of a marine core -- green core kernel. >> you go back to chapman university. if you listen to talk radio, especially the conservatives, you hear constant advertising for hillsdale college. is chapman the hillsdale of the west coast? >> no. chapman is not conservative. chapman is very diverse. a lot of the faculty is at least 50% very liberal. john eastman and i at the palace school of law are conservative, and that is about it. are semi- conservative. a classic liberal factory -- faculty. the business goal is quite conservative. but it is a normal liberal arts college. hillsboro is a great book
school. different colleges need different kinds of leaders. hillsdale is -- i call the lantern of the north. it is conservatism's great beacon of enduring ideas, and it turns that generation after generation of leaders of the future. it is extraordinary. the kirby center, not far from here, is now or hillsdale is running its kids through washington, d.c. militaryuce many, many officers. many, many scholars. many, many high school teachers. there are some others, like thomas aquinas college in california. loyola university. houston baptist. john mark reynolds is turning it into a lighthouse institution. colorado christian university, for which i will teach this summer, is becoming a lighthouse in solution. >> bill armstrong, former senator? >> a terrific university. theeaction largely to
proliferation of mediocrity at many universities, chapman not among them, chapman has maintained its standards, but the proliferation of mediocrity at many places, these elite conservative institutions are bringing up -- springing up to say, come here, it will be rigorous, it will be hard. this will be very hard if you come to hillsdale. hour class on aristotle. the hardest work in the world. they are turning out incredible people. >> speaking of books, this book is how many for you? >> 14. of, a guide to christian ambition. some people told me that as their favorite book that you wrote. >> it is clearly the most significant book i read. more people come to me at about that book and say, i read your book in high school or college and took your advice. asked by aof, i get
lot of people, i am sure you do as well -- how do i get to do what you do? what -- i got lucky enough to be sort of george will. i get to be a pundit. a lot of people would say, i want to be in broadcasting, be a commentator. i wrote down what you had to do in my view to do that. a lot of it is practical. a lot of it is about books you need to read, people that -- you ask questions and be curious and engaging. everyone has a story. everyone has a fascinating story to tell if you can just kind of get it out of them. question myou write >> on airplanes, in the middle of the night. i don't sleep much. i have always been super- energetic. i look for in guests is energy. you can fake it, but some people have super-abundant energy. i happen to be one with that skill. >> energy, enthusiasm, empathy, good humor, graciousness, gratitude -- which one is the
most important? >> gratitude. >> why? here, --d be sitting everyone has mom and dad, at least most lucky people. some people only have one. some people don't have either. it is important to recognize. but we all, any of us which even the amount of happiness of that -- owe that to a long line of people. there is a chapter on teachers. i often had to go toe to toe against the teachers unions who want to do bad things. i am very ambivalent about common core, but i had terrific high school teachers. all, because i had terrific high school teachers in war and -- warren, ohio. in every town of america, there are teachers. can you name your best high school teachers? i am grateful to them, but i would not be here but for those people. it is important to be very open about gratitude. >> there is some advice you have here. a lot of advice. but one that i underlined was
thanksgiving dinner. how to quickly break up thanksgiving dinner with a shouting-level argument. how do you do that? >> you can bring up sarah palin. she divides a room or quickly than anyone else in america. i do an annual show about how to get thanksgiving over. in that same chapter, i encourage everyone to grade their relationships with their in-laws. if they are under a 2.0, try to bring up the average by cutting someone from the team. it is not worth ruining your holidays. cracks in our remaining 30 seconds, if someone doesn't have hugh hewitt in their town, can they listen on the internet? >> everyday, on any of 100 different affiliates that carry it over the air. >> you have a podcast? >> the universe, it is a script and -- subversion service. >> what is in the universe? >> every minute of every hour of every radio show i have ever done. >> from the beginning?
>> from the syndicated beginning, 2000 forward. >> the latest book is called "the happiest life -- the secret a genuine success" we thank you, hugh hewitt, for joining us. >> thank you. i am honored. ♪ for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit us at q-and-a .org. programs are available at c-span podcasts. >> coming up next, bbc parliament's westminster review. after that, presidential historian richard norton smith talks about president obama's remaining second term. also, some of the issues that
other second term presidents faced while in office. later, another opportunity to see "q&a" with radio talkshow host hugh hewiit. >> the world is on fire. things are moving extremely fast. my education expires after five to 10 years. everything is new, the cloud is new, facebook is new. , new of new things programming that wages. historically what we have done is replace human life into four slices or five slices. phase, a resting phase afterwards. eventually, dying. what i think we should do is lay, we should learn, we should work and rest at the same time. the world moves so fast today, we can't really afford anymore. we have to stay up-to-date. >> new year's day on c-