tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 18, 2014 2:00am-4:01am EST
presidency, there was only one erm. lots of people died. it was a pretty gloomy white house. members of the cabinet and others who passed away. then the first lady fell i invite my colleagues to correct me, i tuberculosis but i'm not sure. >> kidney disease. middle of thehe campaign, less than a month before the election and if there factor it didn't translate into votes on election day because harrison lost convincingly. and, of course, the story is that francis cleveland on the day that she carolineake way for harrison told the white house literally outay the door we'll be back in four
years. storiesybe one of those that is too good to investigate, to she knew what she wanted do. >> let me introduce you to a couple of people here as we wrap up the introductions to key staff members involved. yeta who is running camera. she doesn't look like it right now. these days it is done with joysticks and things that look remarkably like ipads. that is that johnny? he spent much of the series giving me cues, telling me to move along when i'm supposed to. the role of floor director and one person who declined to be on camera. terry murphy the vice president none of using and would be doing this if we didn't have his involvement. as we end our project here, end the series, i will turn to each
you and ask so long look across this history of first ladies who are the ones that really made the role asce in change the we know it today? a question we started with early on. let's wrap that way. richard? >> if martha washington would not have been as successful defining what a president and lady was, distinguishing monarchy against which we rebelled, if she had succeeded, we might not be having this series. >> anita? >> abigail adams is one, of course, that fits that mold as well. our founding mothers
really made it possible for us talkingtting here and about the influence that these women leaders could have on our country. absolutely. our would say later on in history, edith roosevelt i think structured the modern first lady's role for the 20th century, and certainly eleanor roosevelt, who is without compare, as you can see from the pole that we had tonight. >> thanks to all three of you for being here tonight. 45 women, 35 shows over the past year. we really couldn't have done it without you and all the others at the table. richard, thank you for being with us from kansas tonight. >> and thanks to the white white house historical association for shining a much-needed light on first lady scholarship. >> terrific. it is important.
>> it has been an important partnership. we will not erase it, it will be there for generations to come, for those who want to research the role of first ladies and for that short term, the twitter feed will continue. those who are talking to one another about first lady's history, have at it, keep the conversation going. thanks to all our viewers, does your project as well, because you have been involved along the way. we will let you listen to modern first lady's in their own words. >> the opening on thanksgiving day of the 22nd annual sale, the from which go toward the work which is being done for of tuberculosis in the united states of america. [bell tolling]
>> thankthank >> this universal of declaration well becomehts may magna carteional everywhere. thank in either category, you. >> a man has to be encouraged. i think i told ike every day that we lived how much i thought hewas, how good i thought was. you know, your ego has to be fed. everything int the white house should be the best. the entertainment that is given here. is an american company that you can help i like to do
that. long as itt, just as is the best. wasrs. kennedy's dress, stained blood. one leg was almost entirely covered with it and her right caked.as that immaculate woman. stay in the wings and don't come out too often. this is unusual for me. i do want to thank all of you for your friendship and youial support. >> the equal rights amendment when ratified will not be an instant solution to women's problems. it will not alter the fabric of womennstitution or force away from their families. knock down those restrictions that have locked women in. in venezuela,g the president said to me that
day speech american and my visit to latin america in opened new paths interamerican relations instead of the patternallism that has the past.zed >> i think i just had little antennas that went up and told when somebody had their own ronnie's and then i would tell him. always agree with me but i would tell him. >> the difference between being president's wife and the president's wife is huge vice president's wife can say anything. nobody cares. one thing asu say president's wife you have made the news. theo some extent expectations and the demands have changed and i'm trying to find my way through it and to figure out how best to be true to myself and how to fulfill my responsibilities to my husband and my daughter and the country.
married to the president of the united states. and here is our typical evening. [laughter] is9:00, mr. excitement here sound asleep. [laughter] watching "desperate housewives." changing.ys the changes given the state of the issues of the country and never know what those are going to be from one day to the next so you have to be flexible and open to evolve. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014]
along with the white house historical association we are offering a special edition of the book "first ladies of the of america." it includes biographies and a portrait of each first lady. for theailable discounted price of $12.95 shipping at c-span.org/products website with a special section welcome to the white house. ladies.c-span.org.
>> the all new c-span.org is now mobile friendly. that means you can access our coverage ofe politics, nonfiction books and american history where you want, when you want, and how you want. responsive design scalescales to fit any of your screens from the monitor of the computer to the laptop, tablet or smartphone. on the officee, or on the go you can watch live coverage of washington, check the program schedules or search the extensive video library whenever and wherever you want. .org makes it easying for you to keep an eye on what is happening in washington. >> next here on c-span, a look at the relationship between american presidents and the popular culture of their time. that is followed by apple wozniak on his
experience working with steve jobs. and later, the connection between religion and politics in the united states. next a look at how u.s. have related to the popular culture of their time. ism washington journal this 40 minutes. we are joined this segment by new troy the author of the book what jefferson read, ike watched and obama treated which takes a look at the connection between presidents and pop culture. thanks for being with us this morning. >> thanks for having me. really interesting topic. what made you decide to tackle it? houseorked in the white in the george w. bush administration and presidential historian and i'm haved by the question of what influences presidents. my first book was on presidents and intellectuals. i started to lineback at the
and found out that throughout the history back to the days of george washington thomas jefferson the culture influencing presidents and now a proliferation of all new media including tv and twitter and radio and everything else and presidents paying attention. >> when you say the culture is influencing presidents give me example of sometime when that maybe had a politic effect? >> go back to the founding heavily read in the works of the enlightenment the ideae classics and that they read in the books again i will say the works of locke helped influence jefferson's writing of the declaration of independence. >> what kind of a pop culture or event maybe had the biggest impact on a president's policy making? >> well, that is a good question.
uncle tom's cab bin written in 1850 at a time when of abolitionists were kind depressed. they thought they lost the battle and that slavery was indefinitelyinue tom's cabin changed things and rejuvenated the cause abolitionists. i read those who read that voted lincoln in 1860 and died for him throughout the civil war and lincoln brought harriet beecher stowe into the white house and that he saidory this is the little lady who this big war. we would love to have you join the conversation for republicans. the number is 202-585-3881. democrats, 202-558-5380 and for
independents, 202-58-5382. i want to ask you about the presidency and popular culture. kind of walk us through what you are seeing. the some ofention the president's affinities for certain television shows. >> he is a huge fan of television. he was when he was a kid and in i cited from his memoir when he was in hawaii to school, -- going when he he would come home he says that he would watch cartoons, sitcom reruns and prime time television until it time for bed and at that point would listen to top 40 music and the radio. guested pop culture in when growing up. obviously he didn't become a couch potato. lot of a lot and did a things in between. he still likes tv. i sawwas an article that that he was talking to the chief executive of hbo and asked him advanced copies of the show
ofe detective and of house thrones so that he could watch them on the holiday weekend. talking aboute the president embracing the hbo generationse of all jumping on the bandwagon and watching. have onact does that the president's perception and the month amount that i uses social media? few in the book that in thent obama in useful and 2012 campaign. he citeds pop culture. he also especially he would go media shows. go on "the leno show" or the letterman show or "the view." he wouldn't be talking about heavy policy. talking about pop culture and citing his interests showing that he could connect to audiences and seemed to be a demographic element to it. the news on the
jimmy fallon show to reach out to the younger voters. his knowledge of pop culture to approve smooth in those environments and it was a good way to connect to the american people and bring on the coalition he needed to win the election. >> talk about the way that the president uses twitter and social media? twitterdent obama's feed and is the amazing thing about it. bush probably never heard of twitter while he was president. president obama has 40 million followers. more followers than listened or watched his state of the union address. little more than 30 million uniond the state of the address. does not doama tows not do every tweet for his account. that comesis a tweet directly in president obama it end.he letters b.o. at the and those tend not only to buter interest and retweets
media attention as well. >> go to the calls now. but medi. host: randy is on the line for democrats. caller: good morning. i am a teacher and i taught my students about harry s truman. no tweets, butas when harry s truman decided to carry out the berlin airlift, he basically made it known to the communists in east berlin that america was behind the rest of east germany. he was definitely my favorite president, as well as desegregating the u.s. military, the national school lunch program. so, yeah. guest: i would just say to the presidents, well before president obama was using tweets, were using the media of the time.
the president before harry truman was franklin roosevelt, and he was a skill that the use of radio, and he mastered radio to the extent that obama has mastered twitter today. and not only made him president, but we know about this name is fireside chats -- the famous fireside chats. he was very careful and judicious and only did the 2 or 3 times a year. he wore a special to the to prevent -- a special tooth to prevent a whistle, and he used a special paper that didn't russell when he was speaking on these fireside chats so that people would think he was talking off-the-cuff the cuff instead of reading a prepared script. host: jeanette on the line for independents. caller: hello? host: hey, jeanette, you are on "washington journal." caller: thanks. i'm curious what the gentleman thinks about the huge thing going on between comcast and time warner in the city -- in d.c., and they will control
50% of all the media -- internet, broadband, television, probably radio, too -- i don't know if they are in that are not. thinkch president do you would have objected to this incident just going "oh, heck yeah." guest: [laughs] interesting question. there is a heavily regulatory element to this and it is not reaganic of the day, but got rid of the rules for financial interest in syndication that are vented tv stations from honing their content, and that had a heavy shift in how tv was on and operated and distributed. there are constant changes and flex and what the new media are -- flux in what the new media
art. you were talking about the cable merger, but that article in "the new york times" today talks about the rivalry between hbo and netflix. netflix was a completely new platform. it did not exist when george bush was president, the idea that this streaming content was a new way to exist. and president obama mentioned the lead character from "house of cards," frank -- host: underwood. guest: it just boggles my mind that he was mentioning a character that was on a medium that did not exist 5 years ago. the platforms are changing so fast that i am not worried about anyone grabbing a jewel of everything because there's something new to emerge. "house of cards" spoilers for those who have not seen it yet. a couple of tweets.
these ok, i think both of tweets, which i appreciate, are getting at this question of when you are president, are you supposed to be this heavy, laden with gravitas person who thinks heavy and big thoughts all the time, or are you someone who can connect with the people? this is a tension that recurs through american history. i talk about the election between john quincy adams, who could translate greek and latin very easily and was well read in the class works, and andrew jackson, who is not a very good speller, not much of a reader, but very good at -- capturing the popular imagination. these guys had 2 titanic elections in the 1820's.
every president needs some john quincy adams to govern effectively, and needs some andrew jackson to get elected. chase --all from chevy next call comes from churches, maryland. mary on our line for independents. caller: my favorite president is fdr. i love what you are talking about right now. it is unique idea. i love the way that he created programs but i don't see this resident as creating -- this president as creating grid he is slick and very good at texting and good at words but it is what behind it. i have the idea that if president roosevelt was here today, he would have programs like he had for the youth where he gave them food and places to live. i would love to see the youth of this time go and for 6 years work for land, like they did -- they use -- the youth built,
wey toiled the soil and if took 6 years out of high school and had our youth to do that same thing, turn their phones off, and work for land for this country and bring back our topsoil so that we can have decent food and nutrients, and then give them free college and get rid of the college loan fiasco, that is what fdr would be doing today. he would be creating programs because we are in an economic downturn. guest: couple points on that. first of all, i like that you -- i'm glad that you like appointment fdr. -- like the points on fdr could if you like that, you will love the book. he was very good at maintaining this idea of being an elevated leader but at the same time reaching out and touching the common people. was talking about his speeches on the radio, his fireside chats. he was very careful when he went
through those speeches to take out all the five dollar and $10 words so that he would not be speaking about the people, but to the people. at one point the queen of england came to washington and he made sure that the meals they had in the white house was hot dogs to show the common touch that even the queen of england he would serve that to. in terms of the volunteerism you are talking about, i would love to see more volunteerism taking place in the u.s. when i worked in the bush administration there was an initiative to remote more voluntary active effort to promote a voluntary activity and i think would be a great thing. right now it does not look like a lot of new programs are coming out of commerce and i don't not -- i'm not sure it needs to be a government program. host: michael is on the line for caller: i went to my favorite president is kennedy. one difference between this president and the president --
this is the federal system. they are the same. they need to make it better. for the american people. this system should change. -- thank you. guest: president kennedy was quite really and that using pop culture. father, joseph kennedy, was a studio executive in hollywood. jfkarly as 1952, he told about how important tv was and how he needed to appear in tv. in the 1960 debate between nixon and kennedy, nixon was confident going in. people who listened over the radio that he did well. those who watched on this new medium of television thought that kennedy was the winner. he was handsome and slick. he mopped the floor with nixon from that perspective.
kennedy was in his own way groundbreaking. host: let's talk about netflix. you are involved with the romney campaign. is this newn documentary -- have you had a chance to watch? do you think he would have fared better if he had what we saw in that documentary more than what we saw in the election? guest: i have not seen the documentary yet, though i do plan to. the way that he was depicted was kind of aloof and wealthy. he did not have that common touch. a little bit would to go to romney himself. his use of pop culture or the importance of pop culture. when he made pop-culture references, he made references to "seinfeld" and "ferris bueller's day off." both very funny, but he was not as up-to-date as obama was.
host: next, gordon on the line for republicans. caller: hi. i think ronald reagan was the best president we ever had. i think that barack obama is the worst president. he hasple reason is that given everything away to the poor. he is taking from the working class and the well-to-do. to breakacare is going this country. thank you. guest: not really a pop-culture question, but let me talk about ronald reagan and his use of pop culture. reagan was an actor, obviously. for that reason, quite skilled in the use of pop culture. ande is one story where he nancy were arguing about filming a spot. nancy was telling him what to do. he said no nancy, i have done this before. he knew what he was doing. his people said he always hit his mark. when it came to movies, he was
not that excited or interested. he told the white house projectionist that the golden oldies were the one for him. he liked those from the 30's, 40's, and 50's. he likes the other stuff. host: next call is from anchorage, alaska. frank is on the line for independence. i would like to say that george washington is the best president. he was the president of only two terms. he resisted the urge to take more power. he probably could have had himself installed as king. he did not. most presidents, including our current one, could not have resisted that urge. thank you. host: -- guest: that is a really good point. george washington understood the concept of leadership. i have a book of the theatricality of leadership. he understood that it was important to appear almost regal
on the white horse, resplendent in his military uniform. he had this bearing that just showed that he was a powerful leader. he also knew that he did not want to be king. he did not think our system should have a king. he set a precedent that every president has followed. he also knew how to reach out to the commoners and the people when need be. there was a rebellion or a mutiny within the troops at the time in 1783. washington got up to address them. on and askedasses for forgiveness because he had done a disservice to his country. he reached out to the troops and show that he had made sacrifices and diffused the muni. let me ask you this. using popular culture to their ventures, which president is the best and which ?s the worst
guest: i really have a lot of admiration for bill clinton. he was able to manage both sides in terms of appealing to the common man. he also was wonky and read a lot of serious books that were nonfiction. he was smart about how he highlighted the books that he was reading. he also like to read mysteries. he was not highlighting that. he highlighted the nonfiction books. i thought he did a good job. reagan was very good. kennedy was quite skillful. i think that those were pretty good. i think kennedy had a little bit of mistakes. in an international cellist. the intellectuals came to watch this dinner and kennedy did not know much about classical music. fromd handwritten notes
the social secretary telling him when it was appropriate to clap. avertheless, he got presentation of someone who understood the arts. he really did not. worst, richard nixon certainly had problems. in" to on "laugh humanize himself. his catchphrase was talking to me. he could not even get the phrase right. beach. a suit on the he did not look very beach-y. jimmy carter also had issues. saw 480 movies in one term in the white house. that is 120 a year. he watched a lot of movies. there was a sense that he watched a lot while the country was having severe difficulties. -- thet famous speech malaise speech. it came from a book that had
been on the bestseller list. the speech came from a book. it did not translate well. frederick,in maryland is on the line for democrats. caller: good morning mr. troy. i am excited to buy this book. i am picking it up. i appreciate it. i appreciate you covering our presidents on presidents' day. i would like to learn more if you have upcoming talks or you will do anything -- guest: i will actually be in leesburg tomorrow night. i will be talking about the book tomorrow at 6:00. come out and see me. host: in portsmouth, rhode island, jerry is on the line for democrats. caller: good morning. a comment ono make pop culture and the president clinton. he played his saxophone. he connected with the public. i also like president obama. when he cuts a rug, he is a good dancer.
i think i might be a little better. he did a good job. that is my comment. guest: clinton and the saxophone is iconic. what he did was go on the arsenio hall show. obama is the first president to go on a late night comedy talk show as president. nixon did his perfect or months before he was president. , putsn goes on the show on sunglasses and plays the saxophone. then he sat down and talked. that was even more groundbreaking. some would say more surprising. people forget that aspect of it. in terms of obama dancing, i have a whole chapter about music and how rock music and popular music was seen as subversive for a long time. you would not have resident embrace it. you think about the famous moment in the 1950's, on the ed sullivan show. you could not show gyrating hips.
you have to show him from the chest. there is something worrisome about popular music, especially rock is it. clinton helped to bring it into the mainstream. embraced fleetwood mac, that was a crucial moment for rock music and the presidency. you mentioned president obama dancing. there was a moment when president and mrs. ford danced. there was a lot of talking in the press about that. now it seems like we are be on that. to alexandria, virginia. michael is on the line for democrats. caller: thank you for giving me the opportunity. the influence of tv is showing in our streets every day. the role model is established by tv. you scan and dial shows -- shooting, shooting, shooting. it is incredible that we do not
connect this with the actual murders of innocent people. also, ronald reagan was the one who promoted the export of jobs payment to $160,000 any company that wanted to go to a symposium on how to export jobs. when they did export jobs, they got $250,000. it disputes with the previous caller said about reagan. thank you. guest: let's talk about the issue of tv violence. it is a really good question. culture iss that pop not all positive. there are aspects that are worrisome. presidents have to be wary. in the 1992 campaign, there was a song that was an early rap song.
george h.w. bush was very critical of that song. he was critical of that approach and his campaign. the attack line from the republicans is one of the reasons that bill clinton engaged in what was known as the sister soul moment. ulja andd out sister so she talked about having a week where we kill white people. this should be president called her out in front of jesse jackson. jesse jackson was annoyed that clinton had done them. that moment has become a famous moment. a moment where you take on elements of your party and show you can be independent. that was developed as a result of this issue and pop culture. the president embraces tv shows, they have to be aware of the message they're sending. president obama loves "mcgwire." he said his favorite character was omar.
he is a fascinating character. he is also a multiple murderer. he is a violent character. he has said i do not embrace everything he has done. you have to be wary when you're talking about pop culture that there are certain shows with problematic messages. you could be called on the carpet for embracing shows. host: your book goes into detail about relationships with popular culture. give us one of your favorite lesser-known antidotes? ulysses s. grant was asked about music. he said i only know two songs. one is yankee doodle and the other is not. he apparently was not a huge fan of music. another is about woodrow wilson. , one otheresident person ran with a phd -- he is the only phd president. a huge fan of theater. about 250 performances while he was president.
bonneville was his favorite genre. not excepted from a phd president. host: our guest is ted troy. number is 202-585-388 1. 585-3880., 202- he said he worked in the white house under the bush administration. talk to me about how president bush has used popular culture. guest: they were very different. george h w and was not a people person. he did not seem to be a huge fan of tv. he watched some movies and there was a book about how he wanted a new movie to come to the white house. he was not a huge reader.
to kennebunkport on vacation and while he was there, he said that he plans to do a lot of golf and tennis and boating. a lot of horseshoes. a little bit of reading. i throw that out for the intellectuals out there. not a huge reader. in contrast, george w. bush is a huge reader. when year, he read over 90 books. because he kept track and had a contest with karl rove to see who could read more. nevertheless, he suffered from an image of someone who was not a reader. one reporter said that he is a graduate of harvard and yale and never open any books. it is not true. journalistic malpractice if you ask me. he was a big reader and not a big fan of tv. he said there is an off button for a reason. he did watch some sports. you would not have him be able to talk easily about network tv
shows. his colts roll mode of choice was reading. host: andy in maryland is on the line for independents. caller: i would like to mention, i did not get in on favorite presidents. the pastte from islington. now it is obama. one of the things people do not see is that our new president has not only been able to connect with people, but he has also made it easier for kids to at the samenerds time. our culture has dumbed down our kids with songs. here comes a president who dresses well and speaks well and can still connect with kids. be kids know, if you want to smart, you can also be cool. thank you. guest: that is an important message.
i think president obama may watch a little too much tv for that. should not that kids watch dumb reality shows. i think that is a good message. i mentioned the point about president bush saying to turn it off. they should highlight the importance of reading. host: casper, wyoming is on the line for republicans. caller: good morning. troy, i would just like to ask a question. do you think it is easier for a president with today's media or is it making his job more difficult? guest: great question. it is a two-sided answer. it is easier to get your message out there. no doubt about it. president obama has 40 million twitter followers. there are so many ways to convey his ideas.
people can find him. at the same time, if there is problem or something goes wrong, or if there is a scandal -- we can talk about monica lewinsky, you cannot get away from it. it is pervasive. during that scandal, president clinton and mrs. clinton and terry mcauliffe, who is now the governor of virginia, wanted to get away. he went on medication together. they were trying to watch tv. hillary was clicking through the channels. every channel had something about the scandal. she was getting more frustrated. she ended up going to espn. they were not talking about the scandal. host: our next call is entrée. he is in new jersey. on the line for democrats. caller: yes. host: go ahead. i particularly like president clinton and president
barack obama. the way they used pop-culture. they related to people. they did not speak about people's heads. used -- they came across as genuine. that youtellectuals cannot reach. like the way they really did to the common folk. the common people. raises an caller interesting point about bill clinton and obama as authentic and nonintellectual. ,linton went to foreign service obama went to columbia and then went to harvard law school. reagan hast since gone -- every president has gone
to harvard or yale or both. one went to both, surprisingly george w. bush. every president has a graduate degree. we have an increasing a meritocracy in terms of our president. at the same time, you have to be able to relate to the people. i thought clinton was particularly skillful at that. he found ways to show that he related to people. his origins certainly helped. at the same time, we should not forget that he was a smart guy. host: you mentioned sports. can you talk about the relationship between residents and sports and have a use them to their advantage? guest: sports as one of the few common connectors that we have. the super bowl is a couple of weeks ago. it was watched by more americans than any show in history. 110 million americans. i mentioned that president obama's state of the union was watched by 30 million.
on o'reilly and probably got more viewers. viewersted and got more than he gets ordinarily. sports is a common connector. you have presidents bringing sports teams to the white house to highlight their championships. as a way to connect to anmunities and show understanding of what is going on in the culture. i do not talk that much about sports because there is not much intellectual content in sports. it is not scripted entertainment. i am talking about what messages entertainers are creating, whether on tv or in books or movies. i think the message aspect that sports does not add to these things. i think it is important. i talk about babe ruth, because he was one of the biggest stars.
one of the biggest stars in america. he was aned that national correspondent with every president from woodrow wilson, to harry truman. he also famously took a picture with george h w when he was captain of the elbe baseball team. movies and did state stuff and had a newspaper column. troy, theguest is ted author of "what jefferson read..." the numbers to call and are on your screen. i want to ask you a little bit about, you talked about rating. are there any things that the president have read the shock to you? guest: i was surprised by how
much presidents have read. teddy roosevelt, he was a huge reader. sometimes read 2-3 books per night. if you came to visit him, he would open a book and reading. at one point, he disappeared on a train. outside of the bathroom, trying to hold a book to the light. he wanted to catch those last rays of light. that was a good thing. that is what he did. i thought that was interesting. i was surprised that george h.w. bush was not a bigger reader. i was priced that ronald reagan was more of a reader than people thought. secretary came to him one time and saw that he was reading a serious book and said can we put this out there? no, i do not think we need to do that. host: all right.
our next call comes from bethlehem, pennsylvania. on the line for democrats. caller: i would like to mention howthey are talking about presidents alter the history. organizations like fox news are always showing ronald reagan saying tear down the wall. that statement was made one year after the election. wall came down in 1990, when mr. bush was president. look it up. today -- that did not happen. this is what happens all the time. altering the fact. they give very much. guest: i do not think that is an alteration of fact. he did say tear down this wall. under his successor, the wall did come down. they do not think there is any implication that that should make --
that said, iconic images are very important. berline the images in where john f. kennedy said -- some thought it may have meant a jelly donut. people knew what he meant. i was i stand with berlin. people who are skillful with this, they make images that appear powerful and strong. reagan and kennedy were good at that. host: let's get a question from twitter. do you think that a president shapes pop-culture or does pop-culture shaper president? guest: great question. there is a line that says when you are president, you are tv. you show up on the green. like the story about clinton. everything they see on the
screen is a result of what president clinton was going through. images inee certain shows like the west wing. producers consciously say that they are trying to combine kennedy and clinton and take away the foibles and shenanigans. they make what they saw as the perfect democratic leader. that was a case where the president shapes culture. also, we see that many presidents are influenced by the culture. president obama, i talked about how much tv he watched. bill clinton talks about how he got his first tv in 1956. one of the first things he watched was the democratic convention. he saw stevenson, modestly , theting the second term second straight nomination as president. he lost both times.
he seems reluctant. clinton writes in his memoirs that he understands how someone could be reluctant to take on the nomination to be president. here is a guy who is shaped early by watching a politician on tv. host: technology and pop culture have also affected. how do you think the role will be different? guest: it is a good question. you say that pop-culture revolves quickly. think about the first hundred years. there was not much change. by the time roosevelt was president, there were only two options. you start to see the beginnings of radio, they were not first broadcasting film. it developed slowly until it developed quickly. now what is happening so fast that i recently saw an article about rand paul getting on snap chat.
people never anticipated that facebook would be big in 2008 or that twitter would be big in 2012. people do not know what the technology will be in 2016. i do not know if snap chat will be the new technology. what we do know is that presidents and candidates deal with various media and the shape how they are perceived. hopefully snap chat is not the new technology. talk us briefly through how you came about this book. it is really in doubt with a lot of great information. said, i told the story in my training -- i have a whole collection of presidential biographies in my home. that is where i started. looking at the biographies and trying to get an idea of their interest. i quickly realized that the way to do this was to break it down by media. i started with the founders. there is a lot of material.
theater, which was the medium of the 19th century. presidents would go from area to area and it would appear to be on good will. see and be seen. there was a lot of good material out there. there is archival stuff it i have stuff from presidential biographies and libraries. so, i just found a ton of research and put it together. it took over a year. it was a rewarding process. host: we have enjoyed this segment with ted troy. thank you for being with us tonight. gu>> "washington >> we are joined by robert watson. he is the author of the wives reassessing
the office of first lady. ." thank you for joining us this morning. guest: my pleasure. about the roles that the first lady plays in the presidency. the first lady plays a very important role. first off, the presidents have all been married. all that one. james buchanan surf right before the civil war. bachelor.ifelong most have had a wife with them in the white house. a few were widowers. most first ladies have been very assertive and active. i think it covers the broad gamut. for example, in recent years, we take public opinion polls. we have seen that most first ladies enjoy higher approval ratings than their husbands. they often times help with the image factor.
they help to present the president as the ideal american father, husband, the sort of patriarch of the country. it helps with image. on the other hand, there are more difficult areas. and of these presidents first ladies have been married for years, if not decades, before they enter the presidency or the white house. very few presidential aides can say that they knew the president. well before he even got into his political career. the first ladies have served as a sounding board, confidant, a counselor, and i interviewed betty ford wants. she talked about this role. i asked her about jerry ford's counselor. regrets that she her president did not appoint more women to the bench. she said i regret not lobbying him harder. like ase, this is
grandmother giving you the birds and bees talk. i did not know what to say. i thought it was cute. it goes to this notion of influence. lastirst lady is the person the presidencies before he goes to bed at night and the first person he sees in the morning. let's hope so. with the marriage comes an intimate role that transcends that of the chief of staff or the president's most senior aides and advisers. there is a broad spectrum of roles that we expect. host: how is that role evolving over the years? we say it is the modern era of the presidency. guest: good. -- first lady is not always it is an extraconstitutional office. the constitution does not mention the first lady. article two talks about the president, but not the first lady.
the framers did not contemplate a role for the first lady. there is not a statutory authority. she does not have a particular profile or set of roles. what has happened is that the first ladyship has evolved. through precedents and the action of some of the previous first ladies. if you look at the older ones, there were three in particular that helped to shape a set of full sun duties for the first lady. even going into the modern times. that is martha washington, a public figure. people called her lady washington. the soldiers left her. there was a military unit named in her honor. lady washington's dragon. she was once in philadelphia and her carriage had to stop off because of the crowds. the onlookers came out to see her. she was quite surprised. she even said in one of her letters that it is as if i was a great somebody.
she waved in formally and said some words. i was probably the first time she gave a speech. martha washington was a public figure. she would get the 21 gun salute. she was also a hostess. she hosted weekly get-togethers and functions to represent her husband and the country. that role has stayed with the first lady ever since. i think that also comes with a history of sexism or sexual norms. it was felt that the wife was responsible for the message of hosting and all things in washington or all things in the white house. abigail adams was the second first lady. she was an associate president and political partner to her husband. john adams trusted his wife's advice. unhappily for them, fortunately for us, they spent a lot of time apart. they wrote a lot of letters. this letter survived. correspondencely
is rich with detail. john adams thought her counsel on all things. one of the problems with members of congress is that they might've said this or that, but then he would say, what do you think? he took her advice. she was going to give her demise. she was a well read and gifted woman. we have seen since then this partnership kind of role. she is a policy advisor or counselor. then we bring in dolly madison, james madison's wife. the fourth president. she was the third first lady. thomas jefferson, his wife had passed away 19 years before his presidency. they madison or merges as great hostess in the history of the country. had a wide arrange of activities and roles. she helped thomas jefferson during his roles.
since his wife is deceased, she helps to host for him. she hosted or her husbands to terms. james monroe, his wife suffered from poor health. dolly madison hosted for him. she was a great hostess. a political powerhouse. a public figure. i think we have seen these roles and responsibilities of the first lady -- in recent times, first ladies have been expected to appear on the cover of magazines. grant interviews and conduct what some people call pet projects. i see it as social activism. everything from barbara bush advocating family literacy to lady bird johnson advocating beautification. or what we would call conservation. cutt ladies have had projects and social advocacy issues that they have championed. of everye the cover magazine. they are in front of the media and they travel around the
country. we have seen the expansion of the social advocacy and this project role. is robertguest watson, the author of "the presidents'wives." join ouruld like to conversation, the numbers are on your screen. i want to ask you technically about the office of the first lady. how much staff is there and what the budget is like? guest: good. the first lady that hired someone was john tyler second wife, julia, back in the 1840's. she was very young. one of the youngest in the history. she was only 24 when she married the widowed president. she was very elegant and popular.
she was a hostess in the mold of dolly madison. her events were so well attended that she hired a journalist to come in and help her write catchy lines, something that she could say in a toast or a greeting. that was the first informal higher. the first first lady it really had a staffer with teddy roosevelt's wife. edith. shortly after coming into office in 1901, she was so popular and teddy roosevelt was so popular. a charismatic person. the press could not get enough. mrs. roosevelt founders also inundated with letters and requests that she simply could not get to them in a full day. they've reassigned a clerk from the war department by the name james, onhagner salary, and reassigned her to
work for the first lady. that was the first staffer to work for the first lady. --t we see in terms of staff the advent was really under jackie kennedy. jackie kennedy decided early on that she was going to restore or renovate the white house. she did a magnificent job. it was a historic renovation. iturning the white house to historic western grandeur circa 1820, the monroe years. the wonderful federalist decor that we see today. roughly 40edy had people at anyone one time working with her or for her. art historians, architects, a variety of scholars to help restore and renovate the white house. since jackie kennedy's time, what we have seen is that first ladies have had between 12 -- that was barbara bush, on the low-end -- to betty ford had
about 24. all first ladies have been between 12 and 24 since then. or 17.ush had 16 hillary clinton around 19. michelle obama, maybe 22. they have been in that range. the consistent since then. they have offices or staff -- like a chief of deputy chief of staff, to help with scheduling. a press secretary, a speechwriter. betty ford, in the 1970's, was the first to create a role of project director. first ladies have all had that to help them with their special projects. hired a carter even management consultant to help her with the structure and make efficient effects of structure for the first lady ship. benefits --dy also all first of -- all of her staff is associated -- her folks will
coordinate with the president's staff. her chief of staff will coordinate with the president's chief of staff. the budget authority comes to the president's chief of staff. they are rather tightlipped about how much money they spend on the first lady's staff. no one wants a story saying how much money is spent on the first lady. that would seem to appear to be frivolous. the irony is there is a catch 22. criticized as is she is to active and she is criticized and she is not active enough. we expect her to appear everywhere and assist the president and promote projects. for that, one needs a staff. we have seen that in the east wing offices of the first lady ever since jackie kennedy. host: in rhode island, jim is on the line for democrats. caller: hello, how are you doing? enjoying the program.
i have a scenario that we all know, which may play out in 2016. suppose hillary clinton runs and get selected. how will the role change of being married to the president and you are a former president and would mr. clinton, bill clinton, president clinton, have to take less of a role because of his history? your thoughts? guest: that is a great question. women have been elected all around the world. our closest allies, like england and israel and canada, have all had women at the helm. all over the world, europe has had multiple women. women have been running for the presidency in this country cents the 1800s. 1872, victoria woodhall. more recent years, elizabeth dole, sarah palin, geraldine gferraro were right
presidential nominees. part of this book is president.ng madame it is not a matter of if, it is when. at some point, we will elect a woman who is married. we have not thought what the title would be for the husband. thed he be the first gent? first guy? sarah palin joked about the first dude. we are not sure about the title. but we can be sure, because of sexual norms, the husband is not asked to do all of the things that are first lady is asked to do. a first lady is expected to accurate white house. she is a white house manager. this is the people's house. it is a spectacular museum. rests with the first lady to make sure it stays that way. i do not think the first man
would be responsible for that. the first lady is expected to greet heads of state and help the president with that custom. i do think the first gentleman would be expected to do that. we could see him doing that. i do not see bill clinton are doing -- or any first husband serving scones. think because of sexual norms that we would expect him to do that. we have even seen an ivy league educated lawyer, like hillary clinton, or an ivy league educated lawyer like michelle obama serving cookies. first man to a participate in social projects. he would play a role in the easter egg roll. he would probably help welcome guests to the white house. the other thing we can be sure of, if you look around the world, women have served as head of government. we have had governors in this
country. the husband has not had to do a lot. we have also allowed the husband to have his own job or career. first ladies have not had a career while serving as first lady. elizabeth dole, when she briefly ,an for president in 1999-2000 bob dole is a longtime senator and republican nominee -- elizabeth dole said that in respect to what her first ladyship would look like, she said she suspected she would continue working. this is a former two-time cabinet officer. she served as secretary of transportation and other roles. she said she would continue working. i remember several folks in the media had a big fit. a big over that. i think that the first man would be able to go out and play golf much of the day. i think he would not be able to keep his job, but he would play some role.
in the white house is it is such an enormous response ability. we have seen the way that presidents have aged and the stress on the wife and the first kids. as bill clinton said in 1992, speaking of hillary, you buy one, you get one free. two for the price of one. we have been doing that since george and martha. in new york city when the country was founded. i think there would be a role for the first man, but clearly it would change. it is highly gendered. there are feminine parameters for the first lady. referencea bush made to the idea of the first man when she was asked about the role of the first lady. let listen to what she had to say. then i went to get your take. [video clip] >> there are plenty of perks. believe me. a chef, i was really great. i miss the chef. i do not think that.
the interesting question is not should they receive a salary, but should they be able to work for a salary at their job erie it that they might have artie had. i think that is what we will have to come to terms with. certainly, for a first gentleman, they might continue to work at whatever he'd said. if he was a lawyer or whatever. that is the question. duringshe have a career those years that her husband is president? in addition to serving as first lady. host: your take, robert watson? guest: i had a wonderful opportunity last spring at a gala for the presidential museum that was hosted by laura and barbara bush. i had a chance to participate in that and speak out it. she was saying the same sort of thing then. she raises a great issue. we have a conflict of interest
concern. spouse if a president's is working for a defense contractor. the contractor would have been on a contract that provides the military with tanks. they were to get that contract. there's always conflict of interest concerns. they do have to be taken into account, in the case of a spouse of the president, man or woman, continuing to work. i do not think that we will get to the point where we will pay the president's spouse for what they do. i say this the most difficult unpaid job in the world. and appointed,, unpaid, but they are expected to have a job. i do not think we will get to that extent. there are a few legal parameters. one was called the bobby kennedy role. his younger hired brother, bobby, to serve as his attorney general. some lawsuit and concern about the parameters of
nepotism and hiring a direct family member. wase was a lawsuit that brought by physicians who were opposed to health care reform under bill clinton and hillary clinton in 1993 when clinton was pushing health care reform. hillary clinton was nominally be cochair of that task force. people said that she was, as a first lady, this was a conflict of interest and she should not be in such a role. the court supported mrs. clinton, and i think rightly so. they recognized the long history of service from first lady to our asked to sacrifice greatly to live in what is basically a public fishbowl. the whole world watches your every move in the white house. they have done this sort of thing. that it is not if, but when we will have a female and a working age has been. we will have to cross that threshold limit get there. i suspect he will be allowed to job.
i suspect he will be concerned about potential conflict of interest. that could blow up on the president. primary know for our viewers. tonight is the wrapup of the first lady's series. as at 9:00 eastern. if you have missed out or want to take a look at that, you could see the whole series on our website at firs tladies.cspan.org. let's take a call now from arkansas. mike is on the line for independents. caller: thank you. i drive ea pension. i think that the wealthier people in this country are out of ted. let me tell you why. i live in a rural area. my neighbors are elderly people. they are trying to raise a garden and they are unable to do
it. they are too old. they are on food stamps. they are on medicare and medicaid. these people are starting. president'slect any family. we elected the president. the family should have no political aspiration. to dore not appointed anything other than be the wife of the president. why should we pay? for her to hire a staff -- we have people that are starving. touch- we are so out of with the american people. it saddens me. it makes me disgusted. i thought for my country. i am -- i'm sorry. i'm sorry that i went over there. this is not the country that iphone 4.
i did not fight for people to drop dead like they are now. guest: first off, thank you for your service. we should congratulate and recognize veterans who served. many presidents or veterans. recently, george h to leave a was a naval aviator in world war ii. many presidents have served this country. harry truman was a veteran. first families, many of them have recognized and remembered veterans. the current first lady, michelle obama, one of her projects is beenating -- she has tireless in her advocacy for military families. making sure the military housing is improved. better body armor for soldiers in afghanistan. support for military families. george h w bush, when he was president, ran the department of veterans affairs. you see all the way back to martha washington, when veterans
would come to the white house. this was before social security and medicare. before food stamp programs. these programs would make sure that there is a social safety net and that individuals in this country do not slip through the cracks. of course, there are cases of strife in arkansas and elsewhere, where folks do -- we can always do a better job. we need to do a better job. a lot of times, it is coordination at the local level where it is not getting through. the federal government is funding these programs. it is where the rubber meets the road. veterans would come to george washington -- the great general. martha would give them money. she hated to see a veteran who have lost a limb and had no means for supporting his family. as they said, the day an age before social services. martha washington personally give the money. struggledlincoln right alongside her husband with the pain of the civil war. losing thousands and thousands
of men in the north and south. mary todd lincoln would take donations and provide them to soldiers. she would organize donations for former slaves and runaways then moved to washington and were living an abysmal conditions. before there was public housing and things like that. i am sympathetic to your concern. i have always been an ardent advocate of veterans affair. medicare, social security programs. childhood vaccinations and things that make sure that all americans have a decent quality of life. , i do not know if the words help or not, but i can assure you that we have multiple first lady's who have been champions. roosevelt, as much as anyone, visited soldiers in combat zones. independent of her husband, who is wheelchair-bound and unable to travel. she was the eyes and ears. she visited soldiers and hospitals.
she took great concern. at great personal attention to this issue. host: now to providence, rhode island. jaclyn on the line for democrats. caller: hi. extent with certain the gentleman from arkansas. my heart goes out to him. i worked on wall street for over 30 years. i know this to be so. unfortunately, it does not matter who gets in the white house. either republican or democrat. i worked for these people as a wealthy -- iized, am financially well, international financial elite that is immensely wealthy. they pretty much call the shots. a lot of people do not realize
that the previous democratic administration -- a lot of the money, most of it actually, went to the democratic body. i am a democrat. i think one third of it went to the republican party. it was two thirds, one third. i could be wrong. it went to these two parties. example, hillary clinton, she is very close to wall street. though clinton is very close to wall street. i do not think he will be the nominee. -- he is closeie to wall street. someone like brian schweitzer would be a good man. he is very bright. not that connected to wall street. you never know. the influence could jump on him to. have a nice day. guest: i like brian schweitzer. a former governor of montana. a real advocate for the common man. an accomplished individual.
a rugged individualism. qued of a reagan-es personality. strong individual. on the one hand, i would agree. all presidents do have connected interests. i do not want to sound flippant. we know how powerful these moneyed interest are. they have support for wall street that benefits them more than the average american. in a way, they need to have connections to wall street. we need to make sure the stock market is strong and a business hires. we need to support american businesses and exports. when they cross the line and become -- that is another problem. guest: i would strongly disagree , i spent 25 years researching
and writing about american presidents and american history, if you take somebody like harry truman, there was strong advocacy for veterans and integrating the armed forces in 1948. he supported african-american enjoyrs who could not quality uniforms despite their contributions world war ii. japaneseted the soldiers even though we had japanese internment during the war. who aremerican soldiers captured by the knots is it they might not enjoy the same support. into graded the military. he fought for jewish emigration. this is extraordinary. out of the anybody would agree or suggest that they would've done all that. fdr's leadership during the
second world war and the great depression is extraordinary. not know if another person would've cut taxes to the extent of ronald reagan or restored america's image around the world. presidents of both parties have mattered one way or the other. i don't think anybody would defend a war in harding's presidency, which was disastrous. it does matter who is office. ae first lady does not have formal authority. she cannot introduce a bill in congress. what we do see is whether you are the wife of a general or a ceo or a mayor or the husband of any one of those, your spouse is going to consult to. i do not make an important decision without talking to my wife and asking for her feedback. we all do this.
there is an informal influence the comes. it is impossible to guess or suspect or to require that a first lady not exercise that influence. outpublic wants her to be reading to school kids and advocating on behalf of veterans and helping with nutrition and diet for america's children. we want her to do this. she does need a staff. i want to see the staff any