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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 7, 2016 2:00am-6:01am EST

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herself. you remember it that william howard taft was the only person history who was both president and chief justice. he just wanted to be chief justice. but helen had aspirations for the white house. i will have richard tell the story. she personally lobbied theodore roosevelt for her husband's nod to succeed him. without helen taft, there would be no william howard taft in the white house. i will keep going, and you can stop me because i'm not the historian. but without william howard taft, there may not have been a angry theodore roosevelt, that messes a campaign, which put woodrow wilson in the white house. so here we go again. one woman's ambition starting this trajectory. richard: absolutely. an ohioan. she was among other things, one of the founders of the cincinnati symphony.
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cherryh you remember her blossoms, that is not what she focused on. she wanted to build a band show near washington so that people could, and listen to find music. she has a young woman had attended the 25th wedding anniversary party to the white house of rutherford and lucy hayes. she decided she would like to come back one day and spend more time. [laughter] , we talke tragedies about the string of tragedies of helen taft, who really wanted to be first lady. today she would be president. about three months after taft
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became president, she suffered a stroke. with characteristic determination, she had to relearn speech. and she did. but it contributed to the general melancholy of the single taft term, over which hung this cloud called theodore roosevelt. susan dempsey, although she had lobbied to support her husband for the presidency, she had a much better political mind. as far astrusted tr she could throw him. she kept telling her husband not to trust theodore. in the end, in 1912, he turned on taft and ran the boldness. -- the bull moose. she is the first first lady to pass legislation with her name on it.
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legislation to improve working conditions for federal employees. particularly women who are beginning to move into the federal workforce in large numbers. she was ahead of her time in a lot of ways. she was certainly more liberal than her husband. rift: the was in fact the between her husband and theodore roosevelt. richard: tr had kept moving steadily toward the left, left of center. judge.t he was a he had a judicial temperament. no one ever accused tr of having a judicial temperament. [laughter] helen was in between. susan: there is one of the consequence of helen, it was personal. the presidents do not have large
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staff. he spent much of his time with cards, teaching his wife had to read again. he had many other things he should have been worrying about than his own family problems. that's another consequence of how hwe orchestrate white house s. but he had no other advisors to turn to. richard: history might have been different had her health held up. loadusly he was much more to share his burdens with her once she became sick. helen taft should be remembered for another consistent figur ein her life. they had enormous success in the philippines. in no small measure because mrs. taft insisted on abolishing a color barrier.
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the u.s. army, which has governed exclusively up until that time, had reinforced a lot of the racial animosities that they brought with them. helen taft, again ahead of her time, when she became first lady, relaxed the ban on divorced people coming to white house receptions. she opened the place up. again, she is a footnote. she did a lot more than cherry trees, is what i am suggesting. that makes her almost emblematic of this whole series. susan: our next piece is not very long, and echo of 1920. you know the significant of the 1920 election. can anybody tell me? women's vote. first time in history that women could cast the vote. richard: and they elected warren
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harding. [laughter] who was thought to be the most-- i think he would be on your list of those who were not become president without any vicious and talented wife. it started with a small-town newspaper in marion, ohio. she was the brains behind the operation. richard: she was a business manager. harding. liked not everybody liked her. she was known as the duchess. but she did not care. she had executive skills. she had a really rough life. she was disowned by her wealthy father for marrying warren harding. marriage,common-law
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and a son that was born out of wedlock. she wasn't the most maternal of women. the relationship with the sun was difficult enough. -- with her son was difficult enough. her gumption led her first gave into lessons to support herself and her infant. determination, she said her cap on the rising young politician newspaper editor, warren harding. steppingstonese to partisan politics in the days. in 1920, both major party candidates were ohio newspaper editors.
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mrs. harding took a prominent part. she understood, she again was ahead of her time. she understood image making. jolson and mary pickford came to marion one day. she played along with that. she understood the appeal of celebrity. on the one hand, she had a famous waffle recipe. i don't think she ever actually cooked. she made it clear she didn't much care for cooking. but she would play that role for that segment of the electorate that cared about that. she also would go and sit in the senate gallery and take notes during the debate of the league of nations. we also know that she patronized and astrologer u dupont circle. -- astrologer in dupont circle.
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that told her her husband was likely to be elected in 1920. and that he would not survive his term. imagine -- i mean, the mixed emotions she had. on the one hand, like helen taft, she really was pushing. she was the engine of the this genial, not particularly impressive husband. about that. that added to the difficulty in her life. but nevertheless, she pushed him. "i seesame time she said one word written over the future: atrocity." she turned out to be a better astrologer. susan: she also did not server --did not survive her term in
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the white house. richard: she almost died 2 years into the presidency. he died august 1923. she lived almost a lifelong kidney condition, which had almost killed her more than once. it made her a semi-invalid. about florence harding, when they move into the .hite house after world war i the white house has really shut down in part because of security and the president's condition. she ordered that the shades be opened. straff on the remonstrated that it was not the custom during wartime. she said "let them look in, it's their house."
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susan: the film industry was being born in prominent, so we actually have a film of florence harding. this was there front porch campaign. we are in marion, ohio, off their front porch. we will learn more about her political skills. just watch. >> all of the action took place on this porch here. usually during speeches, warren would stand in the middle on the steps. florence right beside him. they would wait to the crowd -- they would wave to the crowds. she is not aware -- not afraid to wait into the crowd. she is in the line shaking hands along with the president to-be. she gave interviews herself to magazines, especially women's
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magazines.she alternated between being the savvy politician to being th e homebody, the wife, the caretaker of the candidate. she knew how politics worked. she knew the different sides of her that would have to be portrayed as part of this campaign in order to make his campaign successful for him. was goingt campaign to be easy for someone in harding's party. but it was difficult for him. the news of his affairs broke. the republican party had actually paid the woman-- richard: there was more than one. now -- the know letters are now available -- harding had a passionate long-standing affair with a woman named carrie phillips, who
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was married to one of his best friends. the two couples would vacation together. [laughter] how would you like to have been on that? anyway, where it gets complicated is that kerry phillips -- carrie phillips was pro-german. she would sometimes blackmail her lover if you went along with this wilsonian war against the country that she looked to as a kind of second home. republican national -- theye sprung decided that phillips would go on a long vacation that coincided neatly with the 1920 campaign. msnbc.hey would be on
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[laughter] one other thing about florence harding, which makes her one of us, she was a very outspoken champion of animal-rights. she understood the power of the press and photographs. for graphs of her dog were transmitted across the country. everybody liked that dog. susan: she really needs credit for opening up the white house. they had sheep a grazing on the white house. there is a wonderful story about florence harding as a senator's wife going cross the white house. it was muddy and she tripped and fell. she said "if i ever get to that
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house, those darn sheep are gone." and she did, so how about that. a lot of wonderful stories to tell between the 1920's and 1950's. we will have to leap forward. our next first lady we have chosen is not one that you think of as being an apparently political. but in fact she was a very important political asset to her husband. you a wonderful piece of video before we start. this was about the rise of television in america. the rise of ad men wanting to craft the presidency. this is where the modern selling of the presidency began. mamie eisenhower was a wonderful avenue to remote good images -- to promote good images of the white house. people loved mamie.
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it's hard to think now, but she was considered a fashion icon in her time. [laughter] one of the great stories we tell bangs were -- those so popular they sold click on bangs. so you too could have your own mamie bangs without needing to go through the pain of growing them. [laughter] a television special, a birthday tribute to mamie. but it wasn't her birth day. it was an important day in the election calendar. >> the women of our country swept eisenhower into office four years ago. they will probably decide the election this time. and they like ike. there's somebody else they like, too. ike's beloved mamie, whose smile and modesty and easy natural charm make her the ideal first lady.
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let's keep our first lady in the white house for four more years. >> i hope that you, the members of our organization and our distinguished guest will enjoy this salute to our first lady. ♪ [laughter]
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richard: you laugh, but bangs were on a roll. there was a craze for mamie fudge, which was the only thing she could make beside mayonnaise. this goddess of the white house was not particularly domestic. but in any event, she was iconic. a public symbol in the 1950's. as jackie kennedy would be in the 1960's. her-- the bangs were to imagine mrs. kennedy sitting still for a tribute like that. [laughter] susan: how the world changed in just eight years. since this discussion of politics, this was the cold war era. they were trying to project a certain image. richard: certainly in 1952, when eisenhower was running against a
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divorced man. only the second time in american history that a major party has nominated a divorced man, james coxe being the first. susan: he got remarried. richard: in 1952, it was seen -- -- was perceived thruman had been in the white house for 8 she was not an activist or an .dvocate i don't think she ever had a press conference. all seen the famous clip of her trying to chris and the ship with the champagne bottle. it won't break.
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was a one person in all the world that harry truman knew he could say anything to. ike and mamie had that kind of relationship. thee is a reason why eisenhower's are associated with the 60's. >> i was amazed to find that there are certain women throughout history that met their future husbands and
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understood that he was going to be something. like mrs. nexen came home from their first date and said he's going to be president someday. ofve all heard the story jobary leaving her plum because bill is going to be president someday. lady bird johnson met lyndon and married him seven weeks later. as a congressional aide who was telling her he had a future in politics. she had a few weeks to make up her mind over he was moving on. one of the great political partnerships in history. she was a business powerhouse. a terrific politician.
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smith: it is interesting that first ladies of both local parties. mrs. bush. they ask for role models. everyone says lady bird. traditionalist who put her husband and children first. and also an activist. environmentalist before the term caught on. something that was banningo pass billboards in 1965. ton it was for helen taft
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upgrade working conditions for federal employees. she was instrumental behind the scenes in head start. we never could come up with a better word than beautification. she didn't care for the word. when extraordinary impact she had. she won the 1960 election. jfk puts lbj on the ticket. evidence of how shrewd both men are. they need each other. kennedy can't win without the south. in the final days the ticket was trailing. they go to dallas.
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had its share of crazies. usually right wing. vehemently anti-kennedy. leaven and mrs. johnson their favorite hotel. across the street. they are set upon by a crowd of angry make wearing republican matrons. carrying hostile signs. lbj understanding this is getting us bushels of votes. slowly.e they walk very
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the television cameras show it. we were a different country in 1960. less course. the thought that the flower of southern womanhood, lady bird johnson, could be treated in such a fashion was offensive. it probably turned the tide in texas. which proved critical for kennedy. it was not known. a friend of the family told me. as long as lady bird was first with a blackveled dress. husband had almost died in
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1955 from heart attack. she worried about his health. the pressures of the job. >> i have three more first ladies. richard has moved to grand and is living in apartments that overlooks president ford's gravesite. betty ford as the next person i want to talk about. she was divorced.
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he was very quiet about his marriage proposal. smith: in 1948 he came back from the war. he had been isolationist. now he was an internationalist. wanted to run for congress. if all in love with betty warren . that was her married name. he told her he wanted to marry her. he couldn't tell her when. only afterwards did she discover that in fact he didn't tell her
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west michigan is heavily dutch. calvinists. he was a three to 100 all going into the race. the front of marrying a divorced woman would've finished them. enough to wait until after he won the primary. to schedule the wedding. he had one black shoe and one brown shoe. they were muddy because he had been milking cows. the was a great love match. the honeymoon, it was married on a saturday.
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this is the middle of october. it is cold in michigan. stadiumin outdoor listening to thomas e dewey giving a speech. they went back to grand rapids. could you make me a sandwich? this was a preview of coming attractions. she got a whole and honeymoons afterwards. >> he was gone a lot.
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she was left at home in alexandria with five kids. actually. that is a terrible price to pay. one they can all the decisions for the family while your husband is out campaigning. i wonder whether that contributed to her depression. smith: she is emblematic of a whole generation of women. there is a physical explanation. in 1964 she tried to raise a window and pulled the nerve. bothered her for the rest of her life. the doctors gave her pills which with even the slightest bit of
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alcohol had a magnifying effect. already gone to a psychiatrist. her husband was climbing the clinical ladder. her children were growing up. dancer the martha graham it wasn't that she resented the role that she was playing. she was asking herself is that there was a primary
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challenge from ronald reagan that he became very active very popular nationally because of her support of the e.r.a. at her outspokenness on her daughters when he lost on election day we usually the concession speech. betty ford: the president asked me to tell you that he telephoned president-elect carter and congratulated him. the president also wants to thank all of those people who and so hard on his behalf to the millions who supported him with their votes.
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honor been the greatest of my husband's life to have during two of the most difficult years in our history. smith: he had lost his voice. that's why he she read the concession. the other half of that campaign was rosalyn carter. she married him at the age of 18. in part to get out of planes georgia. he was the most catchable guy in planes georgia. a naval officer.
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a partnership that endures to this day. she would drive herself during the campaign. but herself for interviews on radio. she was in this completely. >> in the final days of georgia supporters referred to as carter's peanut brigade flew into new hampshire. her schedule was grueling. rosalynn remained a gracious campaigner. havingn carter: everybody know everything you do.
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i tell them that we were born and raised and still live in planes georgia. it has a population of 683. and everybody always know everything i did. no hint of scandal in his life. he can restore that honesty and integrity to government. i think you'll be a great president. >> she sat in on cabinet meetings. smith: she had an office in the west wing. just as abigail adams and sarah the mere fact that she advertiser interest in government led also to criticism. positionn first lady
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professionalized is very likely the legacy of rosalynn carter. the staffing pattern. jobtook this ill-defined and defined it. >> her signature issue was mental health. her greatest disappointment was that she left office before she was able to get legislation passed. she personally lobby congress and testified. smith: the first first lady to testify before congress since eleanor roosevelt. just as gerald ford and jimmy carter became good friends, so did mrs. ford and mrs. carter. they would lobby congress together. mrs. ford on behalf of substance abuse. and mrs. carter mental health.
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they made a formidable team. >> our final one is nancy reagan. this was a different kind of partnership. nancy davis was an actress in hollywood. during the blacklist era. she found her name on a blacklist. she wasn't sure how to clear it. suggested that she should go visit the head of the screen actors guild. that was ronald reagan. dinner andnto a long a romance and ultimately she was aware of his clinical ambitions because she had been in the screen actors guild. the role that she played throughout. she had some early missteps.
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known as thes person who had his back. she was called the personnel director. she watched everybody that surrounded the president. made sure h they were loyal to him. smith: she had a thankless role. ronald reagan really was as nice a guy as you here. he was as close to being without guile is any president. he believed the best in people. he did not automatically assume that people have agendas of their own. was admirable traits. it places a particular burden on someone whether the white house toef of staff or a spouse compensate for that.
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i believe when the history books are written we are only beginning to see this mrs. reagan will get even more credit for the enormous role that she played. protecting her husband, sometimes maybe from himself. >> we have one more piece of video. was one of the last interviews she gave, for c-span. she talked about her relationship and her role. reagan: i just had little
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antennas that went up and told me when somebody had their own agenda and not ronald's. i would tell him. he did not always agree with me. it usually worked out. you just know. if you have those antennas. nancy reagan's sixth sense. smith: that may be the ultimate necessary quality weather for first lady or president. >> we are so interested in this topic that we could go on for the next day or so. we will take questions.
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edie mayo is here. smith: she has forgotten more about american first lady's than the rest of us know. she established a four-person advisory board of which richard was one. the smithsonian has a first lady exhibit. that was her baby. smith: it was edith mayo who insisted that it wasn't enough
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to show a room full of dresses. these women were much more than the clothing they wore. their substantive contributions needed to be brought to light. no one has done more to humanize and politicize this office. thank you. [applause] ladiesmany of the first
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consulted mediums or astrologers? smith: who knows? we know nancy reagan did. jane pierce. lincoln had seances. whether the president went is unknown. spiritualism is very much a 19th century phenomenon. she was the ultimate fainting lady. a tragic story.
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her son was on a train with his parents coming from new way to then their white house. the train derailed and many was killed. the president-elect carried the body onto the train. how do you recover from that? she went to the white house and spent the time in the residence writing letters to her dead son. having the white house draped in black. smith: she was a very profound calvinist. she believed that this was god's punishment. and that her husband had lied to her about the extent to which he eventually promoted himself as a .andidate in 1852 it was not a happy presidency.
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>> i really enjoyed the first lady series. it would be nice to run the series again with the presidential series that was wrong in the 90's. what about john quincy adams wife? lobbied for really her husband to be president. i'm not sure that any other wife
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in our history competed like that. that is one of richard's favorite first ladies. we had to leave people on the list. smith: being married to john quincy adams would qualify you for a kind of sainthood. he was a polymath, he spoke six languages. he could write greek with his left hand and latin with his left. he married this remarkable woman. ladynly foreign-born first . she was english. i don't think she ever quite felt totally at home here. noah on his arti
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felt more at home. as the wife of a diplomat in the napoleonic wars, she did heroic things. there is a wonderful new book about her. how she managed to get herself paris in the dead .f winter through the alps an amazing story. long before they ever came home and john quincy became secretary of state and the president. you mentioned her involvement in promoting him. she was a great hostess. one of the ways in which she worked. f street a house on after st
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in washington. she was a great party giver. sadly, this happened with the lincolns, they were partners while climbing the ladder. president, theme job consumed him. there was no obvious role for her. gratification. .he is a famous chocoholic wonderful letters in which she anscribes lying on a div eating chocolate and extolling the medicinal qualities of fudge/
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he was the sourness to man in washington and she took her suites where she could. weets where she could. this new book will provide a lot more attention to louisiana. a. she is being rediscovered. can you talk about lou hoover? smith: she was an extraordinary woman.
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she was a banker's daughter from iowa. always loved the outdoors. he wanted a fishing camp. they found a place out in the blue ridge and she designed the camp. there were 22 buildings. which he paid for out of his own pocket. cabin, she didn't want to cut down a tree. sensitivityout her to nature. she was president of the girl scouts. girl scout cookies are part of her legacy. she was the first woman at stanford to major in geology. that is where she met her husband. he got married at the ripe old age of 25. develop coal mines.
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they arrive for their honeymoon in the middle of the boxer rebellion. letters sayinge you are missing one of the great seizures of the age. she is to sweep the bullets off her front porch. she loved adventure. had offices on three continents. by the time her junior was eight years old he been around the world five times. cradleigned a exclusively for use on board ocean liners. didn't want to waste their time while they were on the ships. they translated a 16th century scholar. a 600 page book.
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he gave the gold medal to lou, saying she did all the work. a remarkable woman. very much in eleanor roosevelt's louow and yet eleanor and very good friends in the 1920's. in 1944 thed president found her desk choked with checks uncashed from strangers who had written to her over the years. she had bothered to cash the checks. >> she fired the social secretary thinking she would need it.
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by that point needing to work the diplomatic side of washington was very important to the president. as a political partner i wouldn't trade her quite so highly. she was the first first lady to welcome an african-american woman socially to the white house. she was the wife of congressman oscar depriest from chicago. over was a huge brouhaha what are we going to do. a lot of congressional lives who are prepared to sit in the same room. the controversy became a nationwide scandal of sorts. a sequel to theodore roosevelt's invitation to booker t. washington. legislature proposed impeachment of the president for filing the white house. lou apologized to the president.
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adding to his clinical burdens. one of the consolations is that it religion provides a hot hell for the texas legislature. >> this is a video that laura bush gave to us for this series. what we expect of our first ladies. only country in the world that demands so much of them full-time commitments. constant scrutiny. the next campaign may change the dynamic greatly. based on the two front runners. whether our expectations should change. bush: the interesting question is not sure they receive a salary or should they
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be able to work for a salary. at their jobs. that they might have already had. that is what will have to come to terms with. for a first gentleman, he might continue to work. whatever.a lawyer or that is the question we should ask. should she have a career during those years? as firston to serving lady. >> something to think about. it presents a conflict ofu interest issues. various amounts of involvement by the candidates. successful,ons are we will have the dynamic completely shifted with the former president in the role as first spouse.
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we'll have to rethink it altogether. thank you. [applause] [applause] doug: edifying and brilliance. the way scholarship has evolved. you can't write great books about a president anymore and not take into account the women in their lives. the first ladies. women's history isn't just sort of happening over here.
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has done a great job. let's give them another round of applause. [applause] my pleasure is to invite you to purchase their book. they will be up here to sign them. you can join me for a cocktail. thank you for coming out tonight. thank everybody who made this evening such a success. is always an embarrassment to say by my book. topan gives all the profits
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c-span education foundation. if you buy it, you are doing a good thing. >> were you within the c-span's first lady series? it's now a book, published by public affairs. looking inside the personal life of every first lady in american his three, -- in american history. learn details of all 45 first ladies that made these women who they were. their lives, ambitions, and unique partnerships with their spouses. ladies", "first
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provides lively stories of these fascinating women who survived the scrutiny of the white house, sometimes at great personal cost while supporting their families and famous husband, and even changed history. c-span's "first ladies" is an illuminating, entertaining, and inspiring read, and is now available as hardcover or e-book. >> coming up next from "washington journal," a look at the effect of political polarization on american politics. then, presidential candidate john kasich campaigns in his home state of ohio with former california governor arnold schwarzenegger. later, the life and legacy of former first lady nancy reagan, who died sunday at the age of 94. you can check out our programming online. we want to welcome professor james thurber.
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book,the author of a new "american gridlock: the sources, character, and impact of political polarization." good morning. guest: good to see you. host: why are we so polarized? guest: there is a variety of reasons. one is that we have sorting going on. it is a phenomenon where people move to where they agree with each other. they stay there. if you live in downtown baltimore, you are african-american. you are around people you agree with. in rural america, you have people that agree with you also. the theory is you move to areas where there are people you agree with. if you don't, you keep your mouth shut when you begin to be like the people around you. redistricting is drawing lines around those things. redistricting is a partisan phenomenon around the united states. redistricting for state legislatures as well as the
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house of representatives creates districts that are pretty safe. there are only 21 seats in the house right now that are estimated to be competitive out of 435. many of the state legislatures are dominated by one party. they are becoming polarized. reinforces this by having people go to places where valuesree with their own and not being challenged. the courts at the lower-level are becoming a bit polarized as well. there is this polarization that goes on that creates a phenomena. the left and the right fighting each other with very few people in the middle. a statistic on that. in 1970's and 1980's, the house of representatives and the senate had a bout a third of its members voting together.
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anything we call common vote analysis when they vote together. a third. that was a governing coalition that created moderation and got things done. today, only 4% of the house and senate vote together. therefore, it is hard to get anything done. you have constituencies out there where the primary is the real election, and they are therefore, it is hard to get anythingreinforcing people sayig extreme things. if you use the term compromise, you get primaried. you get challenged in the primary by her own party. it is hard to win. the voters now are expecting some of this in the presidential election on the left and especially on the right with donald trump. host: you write the following quote. income inequality and immigration have all increased dramatically in the united states over the past three decades.
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guest: yes. that the anger that you see as a result of some of these phenomena like immigration, but also income inequalities expressing itself on the right and left. if you are a moderate, a kasich or establishment republican, you are criticize because you are compromised moving to the middle. bernie sanders look is to the far lef. he was like he will not get the nomination. we write about that in this book. the book is made up of some of the top scholars in the world writing about polarization for the media, the judiciary, the voters, in congress, and state
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legislatures. it is the first time we have all of that together. no one has brought it all together. we do that in this book. host: speaking about state ues write this. guest: we have all kinds of unintended consequences when reform occurs. i think that what is happening overall the state level is the party'she dominant redistricting in a way for state, senate, and house seats to make sure they continue to dominate. until we have another census, we will not see that change. i accuse both parties of doing that. no one is out there saying let us have more competitive districts. by the way, other nations do this.
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canadated kingdom and and new zealand and australia have commissions that do redistricting. they have equal populations compact. they are bringing about more competition. i believe in competition. my colleagues believe in competition. competition will bryn bring more moderation. host: you have been teaching for how many years? guest: i have been there since 1974, but i have been in and out of government in certain impossible reform activities like redistricting and committee reform and campaign finance reform. always failed reforms i have been in and out working on that these years. grader i a top ugh should point out. good morning. caller: good morning. how are you guys doing? host: fine, thank you. caller: please do not cut me off
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here. another useless academic. my mother did not want me to go into academia. you are along with her values. host: why be so direct with a guest the has agreed to come here on a sunday morning? caller: let me get to the point. the reason we are having this incredible gridlock and everything, and this is the reason the tea party arose in the first place, as we have gotten too far away from the constitution. let me give you an example. i just watched the first few episodes of the roosevelts, an intimate history. the ken burns documentary. let me give you an example of when this all started. host: ok. teddy: when tony wa roosevelt filed an indictment from the department of justice without warning against j.p.
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morgan and the northern securities company for being a trust, that came out of nowhere. he invoked the sherman antitrust act to do so. was he within his rights as the president to do so? absolutely, he was. absolutely. he was within his rights. he was exercising his constitutional duty because congress had passed the sherman antitrust act in 1890. host: thanks for the call. you can respond to that. guest: i don't know if i am a worthless academic. i think it is important for young people in america to understand the constitution like this individual and history. what we do is research, but we also teach people about how the system works. i do believe the president was within his right to do that. there is a controversy now
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over using executive order. way, this president has had fewer executive orders on average than almost any president for the last about 70 years. i agreethe questioner, him. he is within the constitutional rights to do that. host: our guest is james thurber. him. hehe has worked for among others senator hubert humphrey, stephenson, congressman david ovi. he is author or editor of now nine books. john from misery is next on the democrats -- missouri is next on the democrats line. caller: good morning. this.d like to address
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thisiggest cause of disintegration of the american political system is rupert murdoch. he devised this country. h-- he divided this country. host: others would argue we are seeing that in the left as well. guest: the media are. it is plural. we have competition among media. there is a particular source of media that gets it wrong, you have other people coming out with other facts. they try to get it early. they tried to get it right. of course, there are biases in the media, but not all media.
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the one thing we have right now especially among millennials and young people is they go to the internet to get their information, and they get it well before fox or other places present the media. the problem there is they go to places where they agree. they also go to places where they want to be entertained. sometimes, entertainment is not the best aspect of presenting material. i think that certainly fox is known to be conservative. murdoch is a conservative person. i don't think he is the reason we have division in america. we have division in america based upon culture, race, and ideology, and the media does not control that. they reflect it to a greater extent. host: this is an editorial. last.s from jonathan it is called storm clouds.
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he makes a couple of points. isdonald trump wins what he calling a republican civil war, it can go the way of goldwater in 1964. is awe are hearing now good signal for the party that we could go to a conservative candidate. we had remnants of that from mitt romney's speech last week. he would open the door for a conservative candidate that would almost assuredly guilty hillary clinton's election in november -- guarantee hillary clinton's election in november. guest: the polarization of voters, and you mentioned goldwater. we had reagan who ran against ford. it came right down to the convention, but he lost as an outside antiestablishment, really at sign northeastern establishment candidate. is -- there are a lot
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of the reason right now, but let us assume from gets the nomination -- assume trump gets the nomination. it is believed he will not do well in the nine battleground states. he has alienated women. he has alienated nonwhites, which make up a significant proportion of the electorate and are leading to the democrats. he has alienated other kinds of populations. he is likely to lose. what happens? the republican party comes together and trusted figure out what happens, and there will be between thoseght that are establishment republicans and those that are these ne tea party people on the far right. i don't know what will come out of that. but if the party wants to
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continue, it has to is all that and reach out to nonwhite americans because the white americans will be a minority soon, and they need to reach out the way george w. bush wanted to do that as an establishment republican. that is what he wanted to do to broaden the base of the party. the party had a very low percentage in terms of already .d.compared -- part i host: here is what a summit the senate democrat leader said. >> donald trump is the republican party's i can start -- party's frankenstein. the republican establishment act like it is surprised by donald trump and his victories across the country. demagogues the
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-- isg vile his winning winning. the act surprised public and voters in our failing -- voters are failing to support their candidate. shock and outrage that republican voters cheer his schoolyard taunts. even if they deny a fair hearing for the supreme court nominee ever, the first time in history. republicans should not be surprised based on eight years laying the groundwork for the rise of donald trump. host: that was a statement of harry reid last wednesday. i want to share with you this editorial from earlier this month from the "wall street journal."
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guest: let's go back to harry reid also. i think he has expressed the democratic position of why this is happening, but it is more complex than that. it is not just that they have been bashing government for all of these years and pushing far right agendas. the party really believes in smaller government. recent polls show 74% of republicans want smaller government. 81% of democrats want larger government. this is part of the division.
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when it comes to guns, pro-life, gay marriage, the parties are split in almost the same way. we have a clear external threat to the united states adding to your second question. america really likes to have a clear mission, a clear statement of what you will do about it. it may not be very realistic sometimes, but they want a strong leader. they see donald trump is a strong leader. one of the problems i see is we do not know specifics about what he will do as a leader, and then he changes those positions from time to time. he flips back and forth. that will come out in the general election. we will have a debate probably between hillary and trump on this. they are looking for a strong leader. they are not looking for a nuanced leader. they are looking for someone who keeps it simple. he is attractive in the support,n party, great and he has drawn in some
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independents. i am waiting for the data. there is a certain he is bringing in candidates, democrats. i have not seen hard data on that point. host: the most important voting surprise, those who like donald trump like the fact that he says it like it is. it is an issue, of who can win november. hillary clinton doing well among african-american and older voters. bernie sanders doing well among younger voters. let us go to robert in harrison, arkansas. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you. i have not heard one comment about jill stein's thoughts on this issue. nonprofits were designated for exclusively for
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social welfare purposes only. this thing called partisan nonprofits. we see money where their donors do not have to identify themselves. they commit not necessarily speaking for a party, but having a definite background, conservative, liberal, or progressive. they are carrying these messages uth orre basically mistr basic lies. one of the things is bernie sanders, who i did not vote for, but i thought he would have a problem because he is legally socialist. when you look at this -- he is labeled a socialist. when you look at this, nonprofits, all of those that supply insurance to their people get that subsidized through the government. but when we talk about helping a person that is not a part of that group, that becomes
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socialism. host: we will get a response. robert, thank you. guest: he makes a good point. bernie sanders calls himself a democratic socialist. other people say that the social security system, medicare, medicaid, other supplements for people who are retired our socialist programs, progressive socialist programs. he wants to expand that for college students to reduce their education,or their try to bring in minimum wage. it is very attractive because people have been hammered by this economy at one level. he talked about behind what he is saying or the super pac's pouring millions of dollars into these campaigns. let's put it in perspective.
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last time, the cycle, according to all accounts, the last presidential cycle in 2012 had $7 billion spent in the primaries, general elections for the house, senate, and including party money, money from super pac's. this time, it will probably go to $8 billion. one thing that we know is that the outside groups have not had that much impact. in fact, before going into this cycle, we thought oh my gosh, the money will come in and change the agenda. donald trump has shown you can do this without a lot of outside money. it is a problem. people invest in campaigns, not just for democracy. they would like to have certain policies. many times from the super pac's where we do not know who the donors are, we do not know what they are spending until much
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later. they have an impact on the system. in terms of people distrusting what is going on, they cannot coordinate, all they need to coordinate. coordination is illegal. all you have to do is watch tv to coordinate. i think the story so far is money does not make that much difference. look at jeb bush. he had a lot of money, a lot of endorsements, and he barely got about 7% and dropped out in the campaigns. host: $140 million. guest: a lot of money. more than anyone else before he went in. even a little more than hillary at the beginning. trump is not have a lot of outside money. he says he is spending this money himself. will find out a lot more about that later, but it was certainly not because of outside pac's like the koch brothers or
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something supported him. he has done it on his own. he has captured the anger of the people on the far right. host: "time" magazine has the cover story this week looking at donald trump and the split decision in yesterday's primaries and caucuses available on we welcome in james thurber. for listeners on c-span radio next inwe go to thomas holly hills, florida. good morning. caller: good morning. guys haveknow you this book "american gridlock," and i think it when then 2000 republicans figured out a way to steal that 2000 presidential
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election through katherine harris, jeb bush, basically the supreme court. when all is said and done and all the votes were counted, he did not really win that election. started actually -- guest: gridlock started actually in the 1980's. we had fewer and fewer people elected into state legislatures that could be called moderate. a liberal republican and a moderate republican are endangered species. secondly, we used to have blue dog democrats. democrats that were fiscal conservatives. they were voted in the middle with many of their colleagues in the 1970's, 1980's, and they started being redistricted. they lost. they are no longer around.
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about a third of the house and senate voting together in the 1980's to write now about 4%. when you got that, there is no incentive for members to move to the middle and challeng govern . that is reinforced by leaders in the house and senate that keep their group together against the public will. one example of that is the consideration to have a hearing for a nominee for the supreme court. they announced well in advanced in the senate they would not do that. it is an example of reinforcing the base, getting people in the base of the far right to support them. the 2000 election is part of the history of this, of course, as well as the supreme court decisions that allow the growth of super pac's and a lot of
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other things. what is happening basically is the voters are sorting. the parties are reinforcing that. when you get to the general election when more people about, they say we imminent -- vote, they say wait a minute. they are angry. that is more important i think that the 2000 election. by the way, we have a constitutional framework that makes it hard to get anything done. we also have divided party government. we flip% of the time, back and forth since 1980 between the parties and the house dust in the house, senate, in the house,y -- - senate, and presidency. immigration is an example of that.
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we should have had an immigration bill along time ago. both parties are benefiting from not having that the cost at this point. that is more important than the 2000 election. host: barbara is next. massachusetts, democrat line. good morning. you arefirst of all, nothing but the useless academic -- you are a useful academic -- host: we appreciate you joining us. which reminds me, i won you guys at c-span to create the "washington journal 100," the people won't vote and we will tell you who we want to see. we want to put crowns on their hands and we will do step showing their clips over the years. host: ok. thank you for the idea. caller: i heard that are blessed first president, george -- love him -- washington said, watch
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out for the political parties. they will do us in. i wondered the other night listening to trump, who was accused of flip-flopping positions, if what he is actually doing is deliberately unconsciously is a tactic to create a national unified platform on the remaining issues, in other words, he is picking the best sense for both sides. way,m it up in a funny they could beat from looking at the american electoral system and saying, you are fired. thank you. host: thank you. guest: that is a great comment. let's start with the first one and remind the viewers of madison. it is written about how we have republic but we have to worry about it and what it will continue or not and it said, the
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where factions, they will undermine the public interest. the aware of then parties, they will undermine the public interest. specialized interest that will undermine the public interest. the american people sort of believe that. i think trump, to a great extent, and bernie sanders on the left and right are talking about these specialized interest undermining the public interest in their way. 'scannot add to the caller interesting comments about trump very i do not know what is going through trump's mind from day to day because he changes it so much. and sometimesual it is wrong, but it does not make any difference. he goes on the next and changes neversition, so we have seen anything like this in american politics. he is unique. host: let's turn to robert in england. this program carried on the bbc parliament channel. good afternoon. caller: good morning, c-span and
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good morning. guest: good morning. host: thank you. part of the is international example of polarization. you mentioned media polarization earlier, but one of the things that you guys maybe are not u.s. and thehe weight the polarization of the u.k.'s media, about 30% of the u.k.'s media -- [indiscernible] basically, we only have the paste and that is one of the reasons why i think most americans [indiscernible] u.k., we have this referendum which is when the
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most important decisions countries make discussing generations. what has happened is that you have got this conservative media ishe majority of the media held in london, as with the rest of the u.k. does not have the same media boats. what is happening in the american presidential elections major centers of national power, which should be places like atlanta, new york or washington, and you have lots of regional media. oneasically means you have of the cities representing the actual proof of what is told as opposed to journalism. host: i will give our guests the
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chance to respond. thank you. guest: i lived in london and talked at the university of london many years ago, and about the fact that you had multiple papers in london. i did not think about the regional question that you have outlined, but what is happened in the united states is our regional and city papers are hurting. papers generally are hurting. they are relying upon national national issues like "the new york times," "the washington post," "the washington journal," and they're local -- thein national papers that exist. people in the united states watch local tv and they get much more in-depth analysis, sometimes, but the weather and also politics compared to the national broadcast television stations that are really 23
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minute headline news services ads and peopleug the cablef it, television, cnn and others, they watch, but i think more and more, especially on the people, going to the internet for information. they are getting lots of different sources of information but they are going to the places where they agree. to talk about regional coverage in the united states compared to the u.k., we get lots of investigativesis, reporting, and it is a very rich source of information compared to many other nations. host: your expertise on another issue that percolates, and this is what the chairman of the republican national committee said at the cpac conference on friday with regards to potentially look could happen in
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cleveland at the summer convention. [video clip] is of the the nominee party, they will get the full backing and 100% support of the republican party. [applause] process and it is simple. we sat at a process and republicans are voting in a lot of the states, but they bind delegates to the convention and at the convention, obviously, it takes the majority of the delegates to become the nominee. that person joins the republican party. have tried to make this case and it takes a little longer than you have got on a 32nd response on television, but i want to calibrate everyone and remind you what is going on. we have candidates that are competing to be the nominees of the republican party who want to and the republican party
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our convention in cleveland, and when they joined the republican party, obviously, they take in what we have been able to build at the rnc. we do not take sides, regardless of what you may think or read, there is no side that we take at the republican party. , alsojames thurber pointing out that the expects the republican nominee will be decided before the convention. guest: i agree. i think we will know fully after ,arch 15, after several states we won't go through them, but it trump continues to win in those states, he will clearly have enough delegates before he goes to cleveland for the nomination. we may have an, open convention, not a brokered convention like in the old sense where white guys got together with cigars behind closed doors and selected to they would have. after the first ballot where people are required to vote a
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certain way, then you will see -- well, before that, a lot of negotiation behind-the-scenes, and eileen toward conventional wisdom at this point that trump will get the nomination. host: will it be fascinating? guest: last year about this time , i thought this election would bush andzer with hillary going after each other, but this one has been so exciting. it has been too excited. if we have one of those kind of conventions, it will be wonderful for political analyst to analyze. host: let's go to friendship, maine, dale is on the phone. where is that? caller: it is on the coast somewhere near robin. host: are you caucusing this weekend question mark -- weekend? caller: i stay independent. i don't vote in any of them. i have to commit one way or the other.
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basically, my comment is that i am from maine, we are mostly independent thinkers, we went to go back to the way that people fight for community first. donald trump needs to be reminded that when someone [indiscernible] could never run for president of the united states. against theing financial elite. i am living in a state that fosters community, a recipe for success, and most business owners take care of their workers, especially the workers in building companies. fosteredp, they away to build the community without first -- with help first, to build people up.
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kennedy would say, not what can my country do, but what can you do for your country? the country for everyone and not to take cap. host: thank you. guest: first, he is an independent. let me say that i would push a reform tab open primaries, "this is throughout the united states to allow independents to go one havingthe other without to identify that they are democrat or republican. i think we will get better turnouts. i am from oregon, born and raised in oregon, and we used to vote for the best person. my father was republican, but he would vote for way more spending was a democrat and hatfield, a republican, -- fort wayne morris when he was a democrat and
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hatfield, a republican. a lot of people from maine settle in oregon. in the united states these days, we have a lot of people who are not splitting their ticket when they are voting in the general election. if you look at the data, the surveys or academic surveys on 93%, good academic surveys, of the democrats that voted for obama also voted for democratic 80 9% voteds and for senate members and the data are the same for romney and republicans. it is very hard to get people who do what this individual says and for independent, we like to vote for the best person. people are not splitting their ticket and i think that will continue doing this particular administration. in terms of policies they referred to, these are all good points.
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things go the candidates have to take into account, and that is better wages for people and having small businesses create jobs and other issues, as mentioned. host: if you are listening, , -- our guest is james thurber. good morning. caller: good morning, c-span. o outor sanders won tw of three states and their has been no mention on c-span or social media. i think including superdelegates is misleading as to how the vote is going and that paper has hillary clinton, who was mentioned with the superdelegates, and i would like to know how bernie is doing in the actual vote? do you have the numbers? host: we do.
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in fact, they are on their website and we can show you the delegate totals. we are including the superdelegates. here is why -- we get our numbers from "the associated press" on primary and caucus nights and the results are from the "ap," and and a website. the delegates are elected officials and dnc officials who say they will poke for hillary clinton. if they change, our numbers will change and you will see the delegates for senator sanders, including his pledged superdelegates, jeff are fewer than hillary clinton. what about that question mark -- about that? guest: superdelegates are part of the rules of the democratic party, so there is a balance. superdelegates are elected party officials and the delegates you get from caucuses and primaries, but i should mention the senate, hillary has the superdelegate vote their, and she has all of the senators except for senator warren and bernie sanders has
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none at this point, which is telling about what sanders colleagues think about him. criticized roundly his colleagues in the senate, which is something about cruz. host: let's go to cole from new jersey. good morning. caller: good morning. a macro question. i was wondering about whether or not his present state of affairs, to some degree, can be laid at the seeds of our lack of teaching and civics as a core issue and to see the demonstration and public discourse? i think there is a generational part of our country who had that experience, generally older, and understand politics is not the end result but a manifestation of the health and quality of our civic life. as a civics teacher, i was hoping to hear your perspective on that macro approach to the present situation. host: thank you. guest: i agree with that.
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i have been involved with centers for the last 20 years that have been trying to improve the way that we teach civics. at the high school and gradeschool level, in particular, former member of hamilton has been doing this since he has been retired. he has the competition among teachers to be educated at indiana university during the summer to improve the way they do it. he has created interesting online games, so it is the dirksen center in illinois, a variety of congressional centers and presidential libraries and are trying to do this. the foundation world has been worried about this for two decades, and they have pumped millions of dollars into trying to improve this. and i thank you for your comment because i feel like i'm trying mydo this with
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undergraduates and graduate students to do a better job of teaching people about how the system works and to improve it. host: of the question from don who says, does your guest believe this is a realignment election? the realignment the outcome of gridlock? guest: it is like fdr's first election worked a great number of people that will republican shifted and became democrats, and that became the coalition behind the democratic party for one generation, two generations. we have had the regional realignment in the south. it used to be democrats from the 1965 voting rights act and then it became republican. not see trump as a person creating a realignment. i do not see evidence yet. ilike evidence, data, and don't see evidence yet that there was a massive number of democrats and independents. independents are the largest portion the surveys.
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independents that are shifting and becomingn -- republicans, so i'll have to watch that. i am skeptical as a researcher until i see the data. it is a good hypothesis, but let's wait and see. i do not think it is a realigned election. host: for the past four decades, a professor and author or editor of nine books, includi >> c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news of policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, paul taylor joins us to talk about his book, the next america. and university of virginia center for politics director larry summits talks about the history of third-party independent candidates in presidential elections. you will also discuss so-called brokerage conventions. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal," beginning
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one of its own clock a.m. eastern this morning. join the discussion. >> during campaign 2016, c-span takes you on the road to the white house as we follow the candidates on c-span, c-span radio, and >> puerto rico held its republican primary sunday, with florida senator marco rubio the declared winner. meanwhile in maine, democrats held their caucuses, choose a democrat bernie sanders over hillary clinton. you can find the results online at >> republican presidential candidate john kasich was in his
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home state of ohio this weekend for a campaign rally in columbus. joining it was accurate or california governor, arnold schwarzenegger. they talked about the presidential campaign moving or word, and also commented on the sudden passing of armor is lady nancy reagan. the ohio primary is a week from tuesday, and it is a winner take all state for the candidate who receives at least 50% of the vote. this is 40 minutes. "thunderstruck" plays] ♪
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>> [chanting "kasich"]
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>> [cheering] >> good afternoon. afterschool all-stars saved my life. i joined in sixth grade and grew up in a single-parent home, watching my older brother
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struggle with gang activity and other problems. after he was shot, i knew i needed to choose another path. ther path. all-stars was the path that changed my life. i am now in my first year of college and i am very grateful for the organization that was founded by arnold schwarzenegger. >> [cheering] >> it is my honor to introduce to you governor arnold schwarzenegger. >> [cheering] gov. schwarzenegger: thank you. much for they wonderful introduction. i'm so proud of you. because you chose the right path. kids canway that our choose the right path is if we give them the opportunity, and
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this is why we started the afterschool program more than 20 years ago, and i have been very passionate about it because it gives kids a chance to have adult supervision after 3:00. more than 70% of kids come from homes where the parents are working, so there is no one there to tutor them and to take them just words fields and train them and help them with their homework. this is why afterschool programs are so important. we are so proud of the wonderful work you are doing, that you are no in college and you will be a genius, we love you. let's give them a big hand. >> [cheering] gov. schwarzenegger: i have to tell you, i love ohio. it is such a wonderful state. in 1970, my love begin here. but before i talk about my love to with ohio, i want
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recognize the passing of nancy reagan today. she was one of the greatest first ladies, an extraordinary human being, and such a wonderful part of her husband, president reagan, who was without any doubt one of the greatest presidents in the history of the united states. i know -- >> [applause] gov. schwarzenegger: i know she would join him now in heaven, and the love between the two of them will start all over again. let's please have a moment of silence for nancy. thank you. now let me talk to you about my love of ohio. in 1970, jim lorimer -- come up here for a second, just come
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over here, jim. it's very important that you see the person that is really responsible with my love affair. give him a they can. this is my partner, jim lorimer. >> [applause] gov. schwarzenegger: jim lorimer ran the world championships in weightlifting and bodybuilding in 1970, and i won that competition, and i told him the competition was so well-run that i will come back after i retire from bodybuilding, and he will be my partner and we will run the world championships in columbus, ohio. that is exactly what happened. fourom 1976 on, fo r decades, we have been running every year the world championships and bodybuilding, right here in columbus, ohio. >> [cheering] gov. schwarzenegger: i just came from there. this weekend is the sports and
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fitness festival. it has grown now to the biggest event in the world. ,000 people are going in watching the event. 56 different sports, 20,000 at each participating. the olympics at 12,000 athletes and we have almost 20,000. this is really the highest success when it comes to sports and fitness, and the promotion of health and fitness is what it is all about. the only way we could have done it is because of the great work and dedication, the passion of the people of ohio, and specifically of columbus. a big hand for all the people who worked so hard to make this happen. >> [applause] [no audio] gov. schwarzenegger: now one day, my friend jim lorimer says to me, arnold, since you are coming for the classic and for
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the sports and spi fitness fest, i want you to meet a guide named john kasich -- a guy named john kasich. this was back in the 80's. i said, ok, i'm coming. i came to the event, i listened to john kasich, and he was extraordinary, what he said. i just love to, and from that point on i was campaigning in fundraising for him, and let me tell you something, when he went to washington, he kicks some serious butt. >> [laughter] gov. schwarzenegger: he was an action hero when he went to washington. >> [applause] gov. schwarzenegger: as the chairman of the house budget theittee, he pushed through first balanced budget, the first balanced budget since a man walked on the moon. think about that for a second. >> [applause] gov. schwarzenegger: so he showed real action. then when he ran for governor, i
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said to him, i'll be back. >> [laughter] gov. schwarzenegger: and he ran and i was there again, doing fundraisers and events. and then he became governor of ohio. and once again, he was the action hero. he went in there, an $8 billion budget deficit, and now there's a $2 billion surplus. >> [cheering] and notwarzenegger: only that, he did this without raising taxes. as a matter of fact, he did the opposite. he reduced taxes by $5 billion. think about that. by $5 billion he reduced taxes. >> [applause] gov. schwarzenegger: and at the same time, he created more than 300,000 jobs. twe always talk about those numbers -- 300,000, the
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percentages. each person goes home proud and says, i can provide for my family. i have a job. i am somebody. it makes you feel good to have a job. that's what it means for each person, each of the 300,000. john, you have done such an extraordinary job. it means so much with those people go to work. this is the kind of action hero he is, and -- he will be like that, if he will be in washington. because right now, we need leadership like that. there is so much work that needs to be done. >> [applause] gov. schwarzenegger: i tell you, i am an immigrant. i came here in 1968 with absolutely nothing. but i was full of dreams. and because this is the land of opportunity, because of america, i could make all of my dreams
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become reality, through hard work and dedication. i was successful in bodybuilding, in show business, in governor of the great state of california. i made a lot of money, all because of america. this is the land of opportunity. it is the greatest nation in the world, no matter what anyone says that there. -- says out there. >> [applause] gov. schwarzenegger: and we need john kasich to now take charge and be at the white house, and this is why i endorse john kasich, our great governor -- >> [cheering] to bechwarzenegger: - t- our republican nominee, and to be thhe next president of the united states of america, the greatest country in the world. ladies and gentlemen, welcome my very good friend, governor john kasich. >> [cheering]
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gov. kasich: thank you, thank you. thank you, everybody. well, let me just say to begin -- by the way, that is the kasich express. it just keeps rolling along. i do want to say a word about nancy reagan. listen, today, my wife is going with you for a couple days on the trail. i'm thrilled that she is going to be with me. my staff is thrilled because they say that she needs me online. -- me in line. i have a sense it was that way with nancy reagan interest, that she worked out -- if you reagan and her husband, that w orked out for him every step of the way -- she didn't do that, sweetie. >> [laughter] gov. kasich: she majored the
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people who were around him were committed to what he believed in, and she was an incredible lady. she was very strong, and a total class act. nowt to tell you, she's with her ronnie and the lord, so god bless them and god bless america for what ronald reagan and nancy reagan did for this country. >> [applause] gov. kasich: i don't know how much you really know about arnold. you know about him as the terminator, as the big actor. he'll be on this new, great show, "the celebrity apprentice." you'll be seeing that soon. he' filled another "terminator." taking the arnold classic global -- they are on all continents now, and it is just amazing what he has enabled to do. governor of california, a great
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businessman, all of that. this young man that was here -- i don't know if you heard what he was saying, he knew tha th t he needed to change his life, because if he didn't change his life, he would probably lose his life. it was a number of years ago when arnold created the afterschool all-stars, and this was a program that takes kids who could very easily join a gang, find themselves in drugs, totally isolated from everyone without being able to realize their god-given potential. and this afterschool all-stars is an incredible program, and it is growing. i went to california when i was in television, and i went to this place where i was going to be.
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himself.100% of because of his commitment to afterschool all-stars and what they have done for children who need to find their way, we'r enow running one of the biggest afterschool all-star programs in any state outside the state of california because it has been his leadership that is fired me to makeat inspired me sure this program is funded and has strong support. -- he and i have been friends for a long, long time. he came here in 2010. governor of california, he flew all the way in, did a fundraiser, flew all the way back, had a terrible schedule and said i want to help you. but when he came in after that long flight, i was whining to hi m about the negative campaigning that was going on in ohio. i was like, arnold, this is
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really not fair. this is not fun. and he looked at me and said some of the best advice i have ever received -- "john, love the beatings. love them." i have been loving them ever since. and it's just great. it's like moguls -- eat up th e moguls. and when i won, he gave me this jacket. and i don't know if you can see it, but i am officially the governator, too. how about that, arnold? the first month, i slept in the jacket. >> [laughter] gov. kasich: with dreams of grandeur. i want to thank you all for coming. and when i talk about the kasich express that just keeps chugging wasg, back in 1977, when i running as a 24-year-old kid, we
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had a little newsletter called "the cas kasich express." it just keeps chugging along. i got into this with my team -- you don't do anything without a team -- because the country really needs help. the country really needs leadership. why arnold reason and i are friends is we both admire great leadership. we talked about ronald reagan. ronald reagan enabled people to play at a much higher level than they would normally play. when we think about great leaders like winston churchill, those people over there, every night they were bombed, every night there was rubble in the street, and every night he went on to a "we will never, ever, ever, ever given." these kinds of leaders allow us to perform and to be able to accomplish real things in our lifetime. when i think about ronald
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reagan, i think about the resurgence of america, but you know what else i really think about? that night when we all watched that berlin wall come tumbling down, and people who jumped on that wall with their little hammers. i'm not sure what they were pounding. maybe they were pounding out their hopes and their dreams and their spite at those security guards that tried to deny them their god-given potential. but leadership can bring about great rings. and do we have challenges and problems today? oh, yes, we do. oh, yeah. there are a lot of people who are worried that their job one day will be there anymore, that some crazy trade deal will somehow hit them up the backside of the head and they they are out of. and you're 52 years old and you don't know what the future is for you. look,are people who --
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they put their money in a bank expecting to get some interest, and over the last number of years, they have got zero, and they watched a lot of people who have wealth be able to buy in the stock market and do well when they were stuck. their wages were not moving. or how about the mom and dad that have hopes and dreams like we have for our daughters? what happens is they are living in the basement after ringing up a big college debt, and not having any sense of the future. or the senior who worries about their social security. young people who believe now that there is a better chance of seeing a ufo than a social security check. i get that. for those who wonder, can we be safe in america? are we a leader of the world anymore? these are real, real issues. you know how i understand them?
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because i grew up in that town. i saw, if the wind blew the runway, people were out of luck, and they were out of work. and many of you have been with me for many, many years. i've never lost, in my mind's sense have never lost the that people who at times feel they have who feel no one to represent them, who feel no one stands up for them, that is what i have been dedicated to -- to creating economic security, opportunity, giving you a voice, people who sometimes feel no one's listening. you see, i know i can go to washington and pull this together . i know that i can go to washington -- >> [applause] -- look, i know how to balance budgets. i know how to build a team of
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people that are willing to get us on a strong fiscal track. and why do we want that? because it's our job creators don't you like a contrast the future, they'll sit on their wallets and we won't get the jobs we want. know how to deal with regulation that has lost common sense, and i know this -- i have no problem with people who work in the government. if they want to make the laws, they should run for public office, not make them sit behind a desk with me or not in touch with the reality of of how we create jobs in this country. >> [applause] gov. kasich: and we know, we know how to cut taxes. we cut taxes more than any governor in america. and you think about this -- your member that first year i was in. you will had to get a seat because you fall out of your chair about everything else happening.
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you reduced taxes and we killed the death tax so a small business person could pass their business onto their kid in they could be successful, and now that we killed the death tax we are working on killing death. we haven't done that well on that one yet, arnold, but we are working on it. and over 400,000 jobs have balanced the budget, the same thing in washington. and the reason is because i take orders from you. i don't take orders from the people who have been vested interest -- i take it from you. and my wife, got bless her, she knows it, and she has become a wonderful partner. the only one i take orders from his her, let's make that clear. but she understands what the stakes are. let me just say a couple more things. i want oto shift power back to where we live. i will just have the programs to run our schools and our school boards, not so far away place in washington. >> [applause]
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want to sendi welfare back here. welfare is not a way of life, but a way of getting out of the ditch, and we are doing that in ohio, and i want to send those programs back. >> [applause] gov. kasich: i want to extend the programs for health care for the poor, because we could do a better job if we were set free, and send back job training and send back transportation. ok, so i am going to send these programs back, all within the first 100 days. but i want to tell you something that i really believe, coming from that little town in pittsburgh. let me tell you something. hero wasle town, our roberto clemente. he was the great athlete. he performed like we all dreamt
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we could. i didn't see my mother cry a lot, but i remember the morning she walked into my room in tears as she said roberto clemente had lost his life trying to help people in nicaragua who had been hit by an earthquake. in that little town, we didn't wait for any president to come galloping and our town. e didn't wait for a politician to solve our problem. the spirit of america in my opinion does not rest and politicians. we need to do our job to get things fixed where we are expected to do our job, what we are paid for, but the spirit of our country rest is in you. it does not rest in a faraway city or a faraway place. >> [applause] gulfport,h: i was in mississippi.
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hurricane katrina came in and level the entire town. there was nothing left, maybe a couple of the seats the banks had. they went and got the cash and they put it in a winnebago and -- people came to get the cash they needed to survive, .u. they wrote them an i.ou and when all was said and done, and all of them were paid back, they lost a total of about $300,000. when the regulators showed up from washington to look at the winnebago bank, the advice was get back in your cars, get out of here, we know what we are doing. these stories are all over the country, of people standing up and fixing things. and the last thing i really want to tell you is this. understand that you
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are made special? do you know that the lord has never made anybody like you and will never make anybody like you again? young man, you have a purpose. part of your purpose you did here today. you stood uper -- did yo here. did you ever think you would be here? no. we all have to discover our god-given purpose. i believe that when we work together we are a great, beautiful mosaic and when we don't discover our purpose, the mosaic is incomplete stop i think when we work together, we need to live a life bigger than ourselves to help heal this world when they give you a couple examples. , you are done at 10:00 at night, but you walk
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back into that room where the family is hitting on the edge of their chairs, worrying about their loved ones. and you take a few more minutes to say, "it's going to be ok." or if you are a teacher and you gave up big salaries, because you believe you are changing the lives of young people, you found your purpose. and if you are a physician and you call that a patient at night because you just can't sleep, you're living your purpose. and sometimes it is not even that complicated. how about the widow who was married for 52 years? no one calls her anymore. and you call her on monday and say, "my spouse and i are going to take you out to dinner on saturday." on thursday, she gets her hair done. on saturday, when you pick her up, she puts on the dress she hasn't worn in six months .
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did you change the world? i think you did. you see, i'll take care of these things in washington. if i need help, i will call you, ok? i will call you. back here, we need to pull our communities together. we need to destroy the curse of drugs. need to rebuild our schools. we need to fight poverty. we need to connect with one another, because that is the spirit of america. that is where america lives, in our neighborhoods, in our families, in are communities. [cheering and applause] we're coming up to an election, and election is on tuesday. i asked urban meyer to lay down -- let him win yesterday in basketball. we're going to do well.
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we're going to do well. and then we are coming here. we're coming here. >> [cheering and applause] it'skasich: i think important that in ohio, we not only send the message to the country, but we send a message to the world that positive efforts in politics and not name-calling, or suggestions about how you will fix things, that a positive message in raising the bar our kids will win, will win in this country, and will move america forward. thank you all very much and god bless y'all. thank you. >> [cheering and applause]
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015]
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[indistinct chatter]
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>> thank you. >> thank you. >> keep plugging. ♪ chatter]ct kasich: thank you, thank you so much all of you.
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>> good luck. mr. kasich: hank you. thank you. [indistinct chatter] >> thank you. thanks for being here.
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>> mr. kasich, i just want to say -- [laughter] >> thank you, mr. kasich. >> thank you. mr. kasich: here you go. >> look at his shirt!
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remember? can we take a picture? wait, i don't have it yet. mr. kasich: thank you. >> governor, i have one more question. >> good luck, governor. >> thank you, thank you, thank you! [indistinct conversations] >> can i get a picture of you
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real quick? mr. kasich: i've got a keep moving. we will take one row quick, come on. >> thanks, sir. >> good luck! >> oh, that's awesome. >> that is so nice. >> here you go. >> see, that is the most impactful thing out politician can do. >> awesome! >> governor! >> mckees rocks, buddy.
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[indistinct conversation] >> can i get your picture real quick? >> can i get your autograph? >> right here. mr. kasich: what is your name, kid? what is your name? m-a-t-t-h-e-w. >> glad to be of service, governor. mr. kasich: one more. there you go. >> there you go.
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>> awesome. mr. kasich: it did to see you good to seeon -- you! >> ready? three-to-one. what is it going to take for you to break through? mr. kasich: we have already broken through. get that thing off, don't break it again, ok? [laughter] >> thank you, governor. >> hi, how are you. kasich: thank you all. >> hi.
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governor kasich: where's your mom? >> my mom is selling girl scout cookies, she wanted to know if you wanted any. [chuckling] >> you got one sleeping on your shoulders, too. >> see you in indiana. mr. kasich: thank you. >> hey there. governor kasich: how are you? >> good, how are you. >> good luck, governor. >> go get him. >> john! mr. kasich: don't not me over. >> governor kasich, do you believe --
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[applause] ♪ announcer: more road to the coverage coverage today with senator bernie sanders. live at 2:30 p.m. eastern here on c-span. later, hillary clinton campaigns in detroit. att is scheduled to begin 7:45 p.m., again here on c-span. ♪ years students cam competition was one of our biggest yet as students produced documentaries using our road to the white house theme.
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they mostwhat did want to see covered. education, and immigration were top issues. during to tune in washington journal when we will announce the winners. watch live on c-span and announcer: former first lady nancy reagan died sunday at her home in los angeles. she and her husband ronald reagan entered the white house in 1981. she was well known for taking on the issues of drug abuse among teenagers with her "just say no" campaign. she was 94-years-old. in 2014, she was featured in our series "first ladies." we will take a look at that here next on c-span. ♪
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nancy reagan: to all of you, thank you for all of your support. and to the kids, thank you for just saying no. my hope is that the women of the future will feel truly free to follow whatever paths their talents and natures take them. >> i think they thought the white house was so glamorous and your role was so glamorous, your life was so glamorous. and all they saw were the parties and meeting people and, -- and i have got to tell you, i have never worked harder in my life.
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>> nancy reagan served as longtime political partner and caretaker for president ronald reagan. an active first lady, she was active in key staff decisions and policymaking and in campaigning. she made drug use her signature campaign. good evening and welcome to "first ladies." tonight we will tell you the story of the and francis robbins, known as nancy reagan. let me introduced our two guests. co-managing editor and co-anchor of news hour. she covered the reagan white house for nbc. later on, she co-produced a documentary about the first lady. our other guest is a california who has been covering national politics since 1984. we will start this a little bit differently. we looked at hundreds of hours of video about the reagan
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presidency and decided to close with -- start with the closing chapter. this is footage from the reagan , when mrs. reagan said goodbye to her husband a of so many years. we thought it symbolized the partnership that you both covered. [video clip]
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>> hard to believe it was 10 years ago. as we look at that, especially in the 20th century, many of the first ladies were political partners with their husbands. was this a special political partnership? >> it was. from the sacramento days, from the hollywood days. the partnership we see on display there -- it is heartbreaking. every night, it was like losing him again. i think, judy can talk to this got aut i think nancy rough start in this town. she got a rough start in sacramento. but she won everybody over the 10 years he had alzheimer's and she
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took care of him. >> she called it the longest goodbye. maybe she did not, but people around them did. it was 1994 when ronald reagan wrote that letter, announcing to the world that he had alzheimer's. of course then, no one knew what it meant. there was no way of knowing how long he would live. he would live another 10 years. but out of public view. but she was with him. their home in bel air in los angeles and the closeness was with him right until the end. you see that in the video. >> the christening of the uss ronald reagan happened in 2001. nancy came out to newport news. it was a cold, blustery day in a row. there were parties afterwards. he is agitated when i am not in
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the house. she really was his caretaker. susan: let's have you both talk a little bit about what the partnership meant in terms of national politics. what did each one of them bring to the table politically to make it successful? talk a long time about that because it was a remarkable partnership. they loved each other deeply. it was very much a working partnership in that, once it became clear that ronald reagan andinterest did in politic it all started with that general electric when he traveled all around. i think it was 1954 or 19 empty 1955, somewhere in there, and from that moment on, and when the friends they made decided that ronald reagan would be a great
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candidate for governor, and went on to be elected governor, that she was the person -- people i talked to call her the personnel director. because she made sure that the people around her husband had his best interest at heart. that was one of the principal thing she brought to the relationship. always having his act. his back.having susan: we are going to show a brief clip from "role of a lifetime" the cbs documentary, and she talks about what she brings to the relationship in terms of looking out for him. mrs. reagan: no i see the first lady as another means to keep the president from being isolated. i talk to people. they tell me things. and if something is going to be a problem, i am not above calling a staff person. i make no apologies for looking out for his personal and political welfare.
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susan: your thoughts on the partnership? >> judy said she was the personnel director. in september of 1980, when they started to hit a rocky road, and the campaign was in a little bit of trouble, it was nancy who said where stu spencer? he was only back in the campaign because nancy had helped bring about. stuart spencer, when he worked for ronald reagan at the 1980 convention, he asked one hurts ok and that was nancy. how is nancy with this? and he said it was her idea. >> we will have more time to talk about the white house years. we are going to go back and talk about the nancy reagan biography. before that we will talk about how you can be involved.
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if you have been watching this series, you now your questions make it so much more interesting for us so we can take the conversation in the direction of your interest. you can see us on facebook and find c-span's page. there is already a discussion going. you can also tweet us at firstladies. you can also use the good old phone. we will get the calls and probably about 10 minutes or so. let's go back to where she was born, in 1981. -- 1921 in new york city. but her early days were not easy. >> it was not the smoothest childhood. her mother was an actress. her father was a salesman. she was born in new york city. the marriage between edith and kenneth did not last long. nancy was around two years old
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when they divorced. her mother really wanted her acting career, and she wanted a safe place for nancy. so she had nancy, until she was remarried, with nancy's aunt outside of washington. her mother sister, right outside of bethesda, maryland. nancy lived in what was then a suburban neighborhood. the woman who was described as very different from her mother. her mother was very outgoing, was the life of the party, was in the middle of every conversation. her aunt was much more quiet. the rules were fairly strict. a tough time, nancy herself talk about it. she talked in the interview in the documentary about how she missed her mother, and she would so it was rocky for a few years.
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susan: what changed for nancy when her mother remarried to a chicago physician? rl: there was money. he was successful. she went to smith college. he was the doting parent she had lacked. for most of her life, that is the man she called her father. they gave her an idea of what a family could be. from that day forward, she had an idea of what she would like to be, and what she wanted out of life. and she wanted to build a family that was the family she didn't have. that was something that she and reagan had in common. she went to hollywood. she went to the theater, and then she went back to hollywood. she was typecast. she was cast as the steady woman. and that is what she was. >> did nancy reagan and barbara bush know each other as students at smith college?
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>> i would have to ask. carl, do you know? i think nancy was leaving as barbara bush was coming in. carl: barbara bush did not graduate, she was only there a year or two, so i don't think so. that is a good question. judy: we know that nancy went to new york to try acting right out of smith. she was in new york for two years before she went to hollywood. she had a contract at mgm studios. susan: a question about her stepfather and the influence on her politics. dr. davis was very active in conservative politics. did that influence her?
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carl: he was a republican. i think that did influence her. she married ronald reagan, and on their first date, reagan was discussing politics. and he's talking about communism. he didn't like communism. she was receptive to ronnie's message, as she called him. >> how did they meet? >> it is an interesting story. this is hollywood in the late 1940's when there was the communist scare. it was after the end of world war ii. people were named for being somehow associated with the communist party. nancy davis, which was her name at the time, showed up on a "blacklist." them was as if she had something to do the communist party. she knew that was not who she is.
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and she asked someone how to get her name off. she told her good friend, who i believe was a producer, she said how can i get this done? they said ronald reagan as the president of the screen actors guild. she said, as soon as i knew that, i knew who ronald reagan was. i said, absolutely, call him up. and i would be glad to meet with him. he said he would be glad to talk to her about this. and then one thing led to another. there was a meeting. then it became dinner. she really tells a funny story about how they both agreed to go to dinner but insisted it had to be an early evening because they had an early call, which neither one of the actually did. carl: it's an old hollywood ruse, if the date doesn't work out, you can ended in a civil way, right?
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but they didn't end it early because they didn't have anywhere to be the next morning. >> that was 1941. >> when did they marry? >> 1952. >> so they had a three-year courtship. you will be seeing some video of people telling the story of nancy and ronald reagan. this is about their early relationship and the love letters they shared. >> nancy was asked if it was love at first sight. she said, it might not have been, but it was pretty darn close. she was a very sentimental woman. over the years, she kept mementos of the relationship. from letters to wedding bouquets. all of the artifacts are on display in the museum, and a document how important they were to each other. one of the things that we have in here, which is very symbolic of their intense relationship, is a letter the president reagan wrote to his wife in 1953 when he was in new york, and he wrote a very charming letter to her.
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he wrote it as if she had actually joined him at dinner. you can see how creative you -- he was. the final page of the letter is very touching. let's take a look at that page, along with some of the other artifacts in the collection. this is that fourth page of the letter. it is where president reagan expresses his heartfelt feelings to his wife. this was written in 1953, about 1.5 years after they were married. he says, i suppose some people would find it unusual that you and i can so easily span 3000 miles. but in truth, it comes very naturally. man cannot live without a heart, and you are my heart. you are the nicest thing about me and so very necessary. there would be no life without you, nor would i want anybody.
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i love you. signed, the eastern half of us. recently, mrs. reagan given us this little box that held precious keepsakes of hers. when nancy reagan received her own dressing room when she was under contract to mgm, ronald reagan went to a jeweler and had a special key made for her. a key for that dressing room. and it had an image of a thespian on the front and on the back. she thought that was such a nice idea that two years later, after they were married and they bought their first home, she had keys made for their first home. and there is little house on the top. and they're both engraved with their initials. mrs. reagan's initials and mr. on his, initials, but
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says "ourinitials it first." >> what were the early married years like? judy: they were married in 1952, and their daughter was born in 1952. she'd been getting some roles fairly steadily. and his career was the one that was stalling out at that point. then the ge offer came along. she became a homemaker. she did a few television roles in the first decade of the marriage. but mainly she devoted herself to being his wife, and the mother of patty, and i think about six years later, ron junior was born. her family was her life, and she devoted all of her time to that. there is great story that once
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he went to work for g.e., g.e. had an all electric house built for them, which had every imaginable special feature in it. drape closures. the kind of things that we wouldn't think was a big deal today. but it was a big deal then. she became much closer to the wives who were influential. >> and ronald reagan brought two children to the marriage, maureen and michael reagan. by the time they came onto the national stage, first as governor of california, and then, of course, in the white house years, there were tensions between the kids.
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one of our viewers refers to this. they ask, what is the relationship between the kids and stepson now? we have a documentary that talks about the reagan partnership and the effect on children. let's listen to ron reagan talk about life inside the ronald reagan household from his perspective. in then we will come back to you, carl. >> we were conscious, i think, growing up. i was. there were really two sets of people, to definite and distinct sets of people involved in the family. there was my mother and father, and there was everybody else. and while we were all part of the family, when push came to shove, there was a distinction to be made. it wasn't like, be seen and not heard, but it was -- you know, we were expected to put ourselves in second place to whatever they were doing.
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>> what can you add to this part of the story? carl: ron reagan junior, the family calls him skipper, and he tells the story about emotional distance. fathers, two kinds of there's the kind to looks out the window and sees his kid playing football and has to go and join him. and then there's the kind that goes back to his work. he said his dad was a kind to always came out and laid with the kids. you find yourself wondering, what was there beef? you keep hearing about this emotional distance that reagan had with his children. he taught those kids to swim and ride, he played ball with all of them. he was very involved. in his own mind he was a family man first.
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he separated hollywood people into those who had multiple marriages and family people. he did not they give himself like that. jane wyman left him. he did not want to be a divorced dad. michael writes about it years later when michael admits he was abused by camp counselor. reagan's eyes kind of glazed over. there was this emotional distance that was subtle that everybody talks about. even nancy talks about it. sometimes people would blame nancy. but nancy, she once told my dad, after they left the white house, you can get so far with ronnie, and then something happens. it took him a long time to trust me. reagan is this guy everybody loves and he loves people, but there is at some way a place you cannot go with him.
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susan: on twitter there is this question, today's hollywood is decidedly liberal. was ronald and nancy's conservatism unusual in 1950's hollywood? judy: i do not know that i am the right person to ask. there were other conservative women in the community. but those that supported ronald reagan and in his candidacy, were people not in the movie industry per se. carl: there was jimmy stewart and people like that. judy: i would not say that the conservatives were necessarily in the extreme minority, but they probably were not the majority. carl: most of the people in
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hollywood now are democrat. but there is an interesting story about that. when reagan runs against pat brown, a popular two-term governor, pat thought it would be wise to run. he would say, he is an actor, the way he would say, he's an idiot. people would say, why is this a winning strategy? my dad, like so many other things, had this figured out. but the people were from northern california. but in southern california people were proud of the movie industry. there were a telethon in which the democrats ran in which people were criticizing him for being an actor, and jack palance was there. he walked off the stage. they said, you can criticize this guy, but don't make fun of them because he is an actor. they said, he is one of us. and they were proud of him. susan: we will take phone calls and then learn more about the governor's mansion in
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california. phil is watching in northern hollywood, ca. you are our first caller tonight. >> i was at the reagan library, and i recommend it to everybody, whether you agree with their politics or not. i was struck by the omission. i was wondering what the dynamic was between the reagans and jane. i thought it was odd that there was one little line. it said, oh, yes, jane wyman, he was married to. and very little else. how, just wondering obviously, mrs. was in control of the presidential library. i was wondering if you had any insight on that. i really appreciate the program. >> thank you so much. judy: i do not think we know
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very much about that. jane wyman was his first wife. they had a two children and those children were part of the reagan family after ronald and jane wyman divorced. but there was never any discussion that i heard of jane wyman. carl, what about you? reagan felt hurt by what it happened in a marriage. but jane wyman never gave interviews. i think she was just as well to not be made a spectacle of. she was not part of reagans or nancy's political story. she was part of their personal story. >> keith is in illinois. hi, keith. you are on. >> thank you for taking my call. i heard somewhere that nancy was really into astrology, and things of that sort. is it true that she held seances in the white house?
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susan: carl? carl: that would be mary todd lincoln. our caller made the same mistake. but nancy did consult an astrologer after ronald reagan was shot. she did so because she was desperate for anything, anything she could have. she did not have much to control of the schedule, so she consulted an astrologer. this came out in don's book, and that came out. he rode a kiss and tell book like bob gates has done. it was a mild embarrassment. many people thought that she was so traumatized that if she wanted to consult astrologer she was well within her rights. susan: we will talk a little bit more about that later on.
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jordan is in pennsylvania. hi, jordan. >> my grandmother has the same birth day as nancy reagan. she was born july 6, 1920. she was one of my favorite first ladies. did her mother live to be almost 100 when she was in the white house? judy: her mother lived to be elderly, but i do not know how old her mother was when she died. susan: do you remember of she was around for the inauguration? i think she was actually one year older. susan 1921 was actually her : birth date. sorry to pop your balloon there. judy: i am looking it up.
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susan: this helps us with the transition from the ge years, to politics, and ultimately, to the governorship of california. did nancy personally like politics, or did she learn to like it is she loved ronnie? carl: she did not love politics, and she was not built for politics. it was on the job training, and it wasn't always easy. she didn't like the town, and the town reciprocated. she was asked to move into the governor's mansion, which was a dilapidated victorian structure downtown, if i remember. i think it was 16th street. nancy will -- nancy properly called it a fire trap which offended some of the city others. it was the second floor bedroom, and the screen was rusted shut. how does he get out in case of fire? the protocol was there was a dresser and he was supposed to ram a dresser into the window, pop up the screen, and climbed on a rope ladder. he was 8. nancy decided they were going to
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-- not going to live there and they moved to ease sacramento. >> i have an answer to jordan's question. edith died in 1987, shoes to was alive for most of that time , so she was alive for most of that time in the white house. susan: when i was looking at the california governor years and her role of first lady, i wrote a couple bullet points down. she was criticized for not wanting to live in the governor's mansion. she was openly critical from time to time of governor reagan's staff. she was criticized by the press for her glamorous friends and expensive lifestyle. she was active in a number of issues including veterans. those were many of the same things.
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judy: interesting, isn't it? she developed a thick skin during those years. she didn't like the criticism. she especially didn't like the criticism of her husband, and she talked about that. she knew it was not going to be easy, but she underestimated how much the press -- and it does everywhere going to be critical of politicians everywhere. she had to develop an even thicker skin. and then when the press when after her, she had to develop an even thicker skin. children, shee and the press had a testy relationship. carl: she shopped in beverly hills, and sacramento did not have stores like that. she was used to cool breezes. sacramento gets hot. and mostly, she hated the "sacramento bee." it was the dominant newspaper
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and it was a very democratic newspaper. they were relentless in their criticism of reagan. she canceled the subscription. people asked reagan about this. he said, it is ok, i get it in my office. anti-did, he read it in his office. i think the sacramento years were, reagan took care of her. she took care of him in washington. in those years, she was a little bit brittle. there was a very her story that made fun of the gaze, you know we all talked about that. it was an adoring gaze that she gave reagan. joan didion wrote about it, she thought it was phony. we learned over the years that it was not phony. it might've been annoying, but it was genuine. reagan protected her in this time. you have mentioned the stapp. one of the things, she treated the staff like servants. all of these things, i think, in those years, she had the rough edges. reagan had to smooth them off.
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>> that was a time when she really learned how to be a political spouse. she learned that there were great moments when you feel terrific and appreciated. then there are the really tough moments. i think that is what helped prepare her for the presidency. about themore thing sacramento years. she also had these causes. carl anthony did this lecture series. i guess it was in 1994. i watched it recently. he found her interested in drugs and youth as early as 1967. you mentioned veterans. she helped get reagan interested in pows. that led to john mccain. the at non-families. -- vietnam families. the other thing about sacramento that you notice were the crowds that came up in washington. >> she had to do it a lot
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because the children and grandchildren of her friends were starting to have these issues, and she saw that when her husband was governor of california. and then she carried it on because drug abuse became a bigger issue. susan: we have answered that question. let's move to a phone call. this is duncan in ohio. >> thank you. ronald reagan was a member of the bohemian grove. did nancy reagan express any feelings about that? susan: do you know what the bohemian club is? carl: yes, it was a club in san francisco. george schultz belonged to it. susan: it is men only. we should say that. carl: they walk in the redwoods
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naked, and did all kinds of things. there was a call between nancy and schultz, and the papers are being released. many more conversations, alliances between them that we knew. scholz was part of the bohemian grove, so i am inferring that she didn't mind. susan swain: now, there's a much too long and complicated political story to be told about ronald reagan's career from leaving the governorship in '75 and mounting his first presidential challenge one later -- one year later in 1976. but let's look at it from the first lady's perspective. what was nancy's role in encouraging ronald reagan to seek the challenge against gerald ford in 1976? judy woodruff: there was a group of influential, wealthy republican men, mostly men, and nancy was very close friends with their wives. and it was -- i'm simplifying it to some extent, because clearly it was a larger circle of people. it wasn't just this group of men who had their eye on ronald reagan. there were people around the country who thought he had been
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such an effective spokesperson for the conservative cause as the g.e. spokesman. we remember that when barry goldwater ran for president, ronald reagan gave a much-commented-on speech. carl m. cannon: the speech. judy: it you can argue, the coming-out speech for ronald reagan. judy woodruff: the -- in fact it was the -- that's right, that was the coming -- you can argue the coming-out speech for ronald reagan. and all of those forces, those disparate forces came together while he was still in the governor's office.
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and they gelled, more or less, in that year after, so that in -- when gerald ford was running for election -- he, of course, succeeded richard nixon -- in 1976, ronald reagan popped on the public consciousness as a very appealing, conservative potential challenger for gerald ford. carl m. cannon: well, remember, he'd already run in 1968 for president. i have a story about nancy in the earliest presidential conversation. maureen reagan is writing her dad letters, and they communicated. they wrote all these letters back and forth, and she's trying to encourage him to run for governor. and she says she doesn't really know kind of how far down the road he is with this political thing, because she said, you know, you could be governor. and he writes back, he says, well, mermie -- that was the family name for her -- if we want to talk about what i could be, i could be president. carl m. cannon: so then maureen goes to the house and she thinks, well -- this is 1964, '65. he hasn't run for anything. and so they're going to do this intervention, and nancy is on the side of her stepdaughter, and they both are telling him to run for governor first. and reagan says something like, well, i see it's -- you know, everybody's -- it's two against one, or it's a whole conference against me, but that's how involved nancy was in the earliest conversations about politics. susan swain: so the challenge ultimately was unsuccessful. there was a discussion of a co-presidency that went nowhere
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in kansas city in 1976. how did they spend the next four years, until the '80 campaign? judy woodruff: well, organizing for the real -- that one popped up pretty quickly. it wasn't completely spontaneous. but after '76, when ronald reagan showed that he had the kind of substantial support in the republican party, from then on, it was an all-out effort to win the nomination in 1980 and to go on to win the white house. that doesn't mean that he was a shoo-in. there were other republicans running. there were still people arguing that he was too conservative, that he was, quote, unquote, a "warmonger," he was known to have very strong anti-soviet views. know, i remember people -- i covered the carter white house during those years, and reagan's name would come up, and the critic would say, well, he's the one who's got his finger on the bomb. and so there was a lot of this
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rhetoric flying around. so this was by no means a walk-in for him. but when the time came, he had the people, he had the money, and. carl: well, they were out in california living, and it was like he was the nominee-in-waiting for four years. it was a very interesting -- the only thing that even remotely is like it in my -- in the whole time i've been covering politics is like what's going on right now with hillary clinton, to be honest with you. now, she's going to have to win the nomination. they're not going to just hand it to her. but she -- he had the money, he had the support. the republican party was in transition, and it was going to be ronald reagan's party. and there were people in the east who didn't realize that, but that's how it proved -- but nancy sure thought it was true, and she turned out to be right. susan: and in 1980 -- we're going to have to fast-forward here though -- through a lot of history.
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carl: are we going to slow? [laughter] susan swain: we've got a lot of history to cover. ultimately, it was a landslide against the incumbent president, jimmy carter, 489 to 49 electoral college votes for the sitting president, and much of that was colored by the iranian hostage situation, and that was coming to a culmination right on inauguration day. would you spend just a minute and talk about that really unbelievable inauguration day, when the country had been waiting for the hostages to come home, and it happened just as the president was being sworn in? judy woodruff: well, it was an extraordinary time. and i tell this from the perspective of the carter white house, because i was covering jimmy carter, and they had had a very painful final year of his presidency, for all the world to see the hostages had been taken at the u.s. embassy in tehran. they were being held by iranian extremists. judy woodruff: and jimmy carter and his administration did everything they could, including -- you know, we know among other things about the failed rescue mission, where a helicopter went down, and it was a humiliating episode in the carter
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presidency. and no doubt it wasn't the only reason jimmy carter lost re-election, but it certainly was a big factor. susan swain: and what was the mood in this country about the change in leadership? carl: well, on inauguration day, reagan and deaver came up with a plan, and the plan was -- remember, the hostages were being released, and if they were being released while reagan was still speaking. judy woodruff: and by the way, this was being done deliberately by the iranians to spite jimmy carter. carl m. cannon: to spite jimmy carter. but there was some thought that they would be outside of iranian airspace while reagan was still speaking after he'd taken the oath of office. and reagan -- the plan that reagan and deaver agreed on is that reagan would call carter up to the lectern, and wouldn't that have been a -- to the podium? that would've been the most dramatic moment, but only if the hostages were released and announce it together. it didn't happen. carl m. cannon: but i asked mike deaver before he died to tell me the story, and i asked him what -- well, what did nancy think of this? because she had a pretty good theatrical sense, too, and he
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said she was all for it and that this would've been a great moment. it didn't happen, but it wasn't carter or reagan's fault. susan swain: well, just 69 days into this new presidency, and we've already heard a caller that asked about it. john hinckley attempted ronald reagan's life at the washington hilton. we have an interview with nancy reagan in 1999. she took us around the reagan library, and she spoke to us about that day. let's listen. [video clip] nancy reagan we got downstairs, we got reagan: downstairs, and he kept saying i am not going to the hospital. i said, "i'm going to the hospital." and he said, "it's not necessary. he hasn't been hurt. they're on -- it's not necessary". and i said, "george, you either
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get the car or i'm going to walk." and we got to the hospital, and mike deaver met me at the hospital and said he has been shot. and there were police all around, and a lot of noise, and they put me in a little small room. there was one desk and one chair. that was it. and i kept wanting to see ronnie. and they kept saying, "well, he's all right, but you can't see him." and i kept saying, "well, if he's all right, why can't i see him?" and, finally, they let me see him. he was lying there with that thing on his face to help him breathe. and he lifted it up, and that's when he said, "honey, i forgot to duck."
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[end video clip] susan swain: how did this assassination attempt change a brand-new presidency? judy woodruff: and by the way, i was there the day that ronald reagan was shot. i was a part of the press pool that day. it was, of course, a time when -- i'll never, ever forget. it made her much more protective. she was already completely focused on him and his safety, but after this, it was her -- you could argue her sole focus. i mean, she -- i think at one point she said something like, when he left to go somewhere, she said, i didn't even -- i wasn't even able to breathe deeply until he came back. carl m. cannon: and that was in your movie. judy woodruff: and that's right. it was in -- it was something she said in the documentary to us. it made her much more -- you know, carl, you've spoken about the astrology. she was looking for any which way she could to keep him safe. of course, he was president, and he was going to be out and around, but she was grilling people around him to make sure that he was always doing
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whatever was the safest possible thing. and it just made her even more determined to keep him healthy. carl m. cannon: susan, just one comment about that line, "honey, i forgot to duck," that nancy said that. for americans of their generation, that was a famous line. it's the line that jack dempsey used after he lost to gene tunney, he lost the heavyweight championship of the world. and dempsey's wife came to see him, and his face was all battered, and she says, "ginsberg, what happened?" that was her pet name for dempsey. and he says, "honey, i forgot to duck." and the line was reported in the newspapers at the time, and it made dempsey the hero he had not been in the public's mind until that time. he was really bigger when he lost, because of this bravado. and i think the same thing is true of reagan. that line was, of course, reported in the press here, and americans really admired reagan for it, because they realized what he was trying to do, which was reassure his wife.
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susan swain: so ronald reagan really endeared himself to the american public by his reaction, his strength during the shooting, but nancy reagan's first year in the white house was a difficult one, some folks suggested as a disastrous debut for the first lady. at the end of the year, her approval ratings were 26 %, the president's much, much higher. what were some of the reasons that was a challenging first year for her? judy woodruff: well, as in california, where she found a governor's home, a governor's mansion that she felt was unsafe and not up to the standards of what a governor's home should be, she felt the white house was practically in disrepair. she felt that there were repairs -- not only repairs that needed to be done, she felt the furnishings were shabby, and she really -- she wanted a complete renovation, refurbishing of the white house, new drapes, new upholstery on the furniture. she raised private money to get this done.
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she wanted -- she thought the china -- she said often, i loved entertaining. i thought that was an important part of being in the white house. it's a way to connect with people, but she said, "we didn't even have a full set of china for a state dinner." so she raised the money to go and buy a new set of china. she also was very interested in style and fashion. she's always been a woman who cared about her appearance. and combined the efforts to redecorate the white house, the new set of china, and then the publicity about her interest in clothes, you put it all together, and it was the image of a woman who cared more about things that really didn't matter, and it did not go over well with the washington press corps. they jumped, and i think that contributed -- there's no question that contributed to the public's perception. susan swain: i have a question for you, carl cannon. carl m. cannon: yes. susan swain: what is the difference between jacqueline kennedy coming in, wearing fashionable, european-designed clothes, and redoing the white
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house, and nancy reagan doing it not that long after? carl m. cannon: you know, that's a fair question. i mean, for nancy, she came here, and she thought it would be a fresh start, and for her, it's deja vu all over again. it's sacramento. she expects washington to be a little more sophisticated. it isn't, in her mind. designer dresses, they're criticizing her. they criticize her for going shopping at bloomingdale's. well, her friend was betsy bloomingdale. of course they're going to shop at bloomingdale's. but, look, jackie was a special case. there's an edgy website -- i don't frequent it very often -- it's called it's mostly about sex and younger people stuff. but i was on it recently in preparation for this program to see how they ranked the sexiest first ladies in history, and you'd be surprised -- i was -- that nancy reagan ranks very high. i'm not surprised that people thought that. i was surprised that this hip young website thought that. but jackie kennedy is number one. and they don't even feel the need to explain it. they just show her picture. she's this glamorous young woman, and jackie could do
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things that no one else could do. she's probably sui generis. susan swain: do you have any comments on the difference? judy woodruff: oh, just that i think it was a different time. the 1960s, it was camelot, it was coming off the eisenhower presidency, and there was a difference in age and a difference in appearance, and people were -- a lot of people were -- obviously, a very divisive elections between john f. kennedy and richard nixon, but that was a time i think when the country was -- a lot of americans were excited. i think the reagan president was a different time. it was 20 years later. the country was probably getting a little cynical. they'd have been through watergate and certainly been through vietnam. they weren't as willing -- they, the american people, certainly the press corps -- was not as willing to just swallow, accept whatever it was that the president and the first lady were doing. susan swain: we'll take a call next from michael in mont clare, pennsylvania. michael, you are on. welcome. michael: yes, thank you.
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this was a great show. susan swain: thank you. michael: my question is, politically, was there a position or ideology that they sometimes disagreed upon or that the staff disagreed upon? susan swain: ok, thank you. were there any issues that the reagans did not see eye-to-eye on? carl: well, not that i know of, but the staff, absolutely, and there was open warfare on many issues, the most important issue, iran-contra, dealing with the soviet union, and nancy would push -- and nancy had a point of view and she would push on the soviet union. she thought -- she believed strongly in negotiating with mikhail gorbachev, and she pushed -- she didn't push reagan, because they saw eye-to-eye, but she pushed back against staffers who she thought didn't have his agenda at heart.
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now, you have to think about this. there's differences in the reagan administration over armament talks with the soviet union. there's not a difference of opinion in the reagan family. nancy knew where reagan was. he was there in '76, the campaign that judy was talking about. gerald ford calls reagan up to the stage and gives an impromptu speech. what does he talk about? he talks about nuclear war, armageddon, and how that can't be our legacy. so nancy knew that's what reagan wanted, and she pushed in that direction, but she didn't push against reagan. she pushed against aides that she thought didn't know what reagan really wanted. judy woodruff: i think she was a moderating influence on him. and i think she wanted for him the best possible -- she wanted him to be the best president he could be and to have the best legacy. and she felt the best legacy was a legacy of moderation. in some ways, you're right, they didn't disagree. i think she wanted no daylight between the two of them, certainly in public, but there's no question that she worked very hard behind the scenes, especially with george shultz and others, who had been secretary of state, to make sure that president reagan was listening to those who argued we need detente, rather than the opposite.
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carl: well, to judy's point about the moderating influence, aids is an issue that has come up. and on aids, there were people in the white house who that reagan should speak out about it early on. there were people who did not want him speaking out. nancy was on the side of the people that wanted reagan to talk about it. it is not true, as you see, he never mentioned it until 1987. he talked about it in 1985 and 1986. but in 1987 he gave a speech's, and nancy did not trust that the white house policy shot would say what he wanted to say. so she sent for landon pardon. he had been a white house speechwriter, and he came back, and he gets pushed back, and
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he says, this is how she wants it. "she" meant nancy reagan, and that was the end of the conversation. susan swain: so the first lady was having trouble with her image in the press corps. and there were approaches to help change that. one of those came in 1982, with an event in washington dc. an annual press dinner called the press iron club. nancy reagan appeared before the skits and parodies, and it was a game changer. we are going to listen to her talking about that in a 1988 interview with journalist hedrick smith. she will talk about her parody and why she approached the issue of her popularity this way. [video clip] secondhand: ♪ clothes, secondhand clothes, they are all the rage at the spring fashion shows. even my two new trenchcoats with a further caller fur collar
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ronnie bought for $0.10 on the dollar. second hand gowns. old hand-me-downs. the china is the only thing that is new. even though they tell me i'm no longer queen, did ronnie have to buy me the new sewing machine? secondhand clothes, secondhand clothes i sure hope he sews. [laughter] mrs. reagan: i guess i came around thinking, well, all right, we will try. it could not be worse than it already was. and so she said, originally they thought that i would make fun of the press. and i said, no. no, no. i am not going to do that. the only way we can do this is if i make fun of myself, if i make fun of myself. then maybe i will have a 50-50 chance here.
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as you well know, that first year was not, nobody was really crazy about me. [laughter] mrs. reagan: and i don't think i would have been crazy about me, reading what i did about me. >> the press was rough. nancy reagan: the press was rough. and i really don't know why, because it started before i ever got here. they did not know me. i never did quite figure out why. but anyway, i didn't know, until i read in your book, that they were having meetings about me over the west wing, that i was a liability and everything like that. i guess, maybe i was. i was pretty gun shy. it had been rough. and your inclination is to run and hide in a closet and lock yourself in.
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you know, you tend to pull back. i do, anyway, when it is that rough. which is the wrong thing to do. you shouldn't do that, but i do. [end video clip] susan swain: seems very self-aware with what was happening there. joyce woodruff: her instincts were right on. she had self-deprecating humor. she made fun of her self. the press ate it up. the city, it turned an important corner for her. susan swain: carl cannon, another thing that nancy reagan did was the same thing she had done in california, which was the anti-drug campaign, which became the "just say no" campaign. how political was this? carl cannon: well, first ladies are supposed to have a signature issue, and this was something she actually cared about and knew about. and this was a phrase that was in the movement, the anti- drug movement among psychologists, just say no. they are always trying to think
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of ways to reach new people. nancy seized on it. and popularized it. she was criticized for being simplistic. her answer was disarming, and she says if it saves one child's life, it is worth it. susan swain: and the numbers suggested over the eight years in the white house, drug use amongst young people did decline. i do not know if it was a result of this campaign. but she also had other recognition. she was invited to speak before the united nations. she was the first first lady to do that. also because of this effort, she was the first first lady recognized by the president in a state of the union address as he was leaving. in 1986, the two of them, this was another first, sat down to talk about the antidrug effort. we are going to watch a clip from that next and say how they used to television to connect to the american public. let's watch. [video clip]
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young peopleto watching or listening i have a personal message for you. there is a big, wonderful world out there for you that belongs to you. it is exciting and stimulating. and rewarding. don't cheat yourself out of this promise. our country needs you, but it needs you to be clear eyed and clear minded. i recently read one teenager's story. she is now determined to stay clean, but was once strung out on several drugs. what she remembered was clearly during her recovery is the time she was in recovery, everything appeared in shades of gray while she was on drugs. after her treatment, she was able to see colors again. to my young friends out there, life can be great, but not when you can't see it. so open your eyes to life. to see it in the vivid colors
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that god gave us as a precious gift to his children to enjoy life to the fullest and to make it count. say yes to your life. and when it comes to drugs and alcohol, just say no. ronald reagan: i think you can see why nancy has been such a positive influence on what we are trying to do. the job ahead of us is clear. nancy's personal crusade, like that of so many wonderful individuals, should become our national crusade. [end video clip] susan swain: another interesting seen throughout this 200 years of history has been how the white house uses the media. in this case, we had two people who had acting within their profession, and television was in its ascendancy as a political force. how did they use it? carl: think about this, people talked about reagan was an actor, but she was an actor too. she was on the stage. she had 12 feature films. in comfort level of these two
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behind the camera, it is the envy of every political couple. they used it as easily as you or i would pick up the telephone and call friends. that is what they showed. even the little things, she is talking about color, and she is wearing a red dress. they understand the lighting, how the message should go to the pictures. they really got it all, it was almost second nature to them both. susan swain: i want to move to the second term in the white house. again, full of so many issues. in brief, the soviet arms treaty, the explosion of the challenger -- many of us remember that day well -- and the iran-contra affair. and how nancy was involved in that, and there was the iran-iraq war. she overcame the criticism, did she become a positive political force in the white house in the second term? joyce woodruff: it was different. she was burned by the first year and
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she came out of that, and really was always very careful in her dealings with the press. very sparing in the interviews she gave. by carl said, she has her presence about her, her poise. she was able to communicate in a way that was helpful to the white house. and i think for the second term, it was very different from the first term in that way. by then, they both had learned a lot. but it was awful rough. as we know, presidents second terms can be rough. the problems came, and you listened to some of them. susan swain: lucy is watching us in wisconsin. question for us? caller: it goes back to the caller: it goes back to the jacqueline kennedy-nancy reagan episode. both of them pretty much having the same interest, in changing the white house. i sense such a double standard with the press. i have no problem with the press reporting. i have a problem with the press shaping the image they gave. and i cared a lot about the
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kennedys, i truly did, but they gave them a free pass on many issues. they kind of just ripped nancy reagan apart and i felt that was a bit unfair. i don't know if that will ever change. it doesn't seem to be in my lifetime anyway. i just wanted to know if you could address that. joyce woodruff: lucy, i do think it was a different time. we talked about this a few minutes ago, but i do believe in the 1960's, the country and the press corps was just more accepting of politicians, presidents. look at what we now know jack kennedy, at least part of the time, was doing in his private life. the press completely did not report on that. but 20 years later, we had been, the country had been through watergate, had been through
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vietnam. just many more questions about whether our leaders were telling the truth, and i think there was a much greater reluctance to believe our eyes. i don't mean me, but i mean the press's eyes. i think that reflected the way the country felt as well. susan swain: there were some criticisms we talked about, about the sense of style and fashion she brought to the white house and whether that was appropriate for the time. they did use the white house to promote the political agenda as most presidents have over the course of history. we are going to show you about how the reagan library was like her style. [video clip] >> as first lady of california, nancy reagan knew how important it was for her to dress appropriately. this gold gown is from the second inaugural. there was a matching dress underneath and it was designed from one of her favorite
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designers that designed for her during her white house years. this peach dress is mrs. reagan's lucky dress. she wore this when she attended the national republican convention in 1980 when her husband was nominated to become president of the united states. she always loved it. it was designed by adolfo. it was her favorite color. she wore it quite a bit. it was one of her favorites. in 1985, president reagan flew to geneva to meet with gorbachev. their first meeting, their first summit. mrs. reagan wore this suit to that meeting. this suit was designed by james colona. one of the truly, most classic dresses that she wore and the colors that she wore exemplified in this portrait dress. she wore it for her official
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portrait, but she also wore it to a number of other events. it is quite elegant and very stunning. susan swain: from her style, i want to do ask about the use of the white house for entertaining. there were lots of state dinners during the reagan years. how did they use them? joyce woodruff: they used them strategically. number one, they liked entertaining. having come from hollywood, the social life was important to them. but nancy reagan herself talks about this and when i interviewed her. she said, this is an opportunity to play host to a visiting head of state. she said, you invite, any people will come, and whoever the hollywood stars at the time were, from frank sinatra to elizabeth taylor. you were invited and you came. that is true today for any president, but the reagans were
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very conscious of that and conscious that they could make a splash, impress their guests. she also said, you could get business done on these occasions. yes, they were social but there was also business. susan swain: when you talk briefly about the gorbachev relationship? we have learned is so often on the diplomatic stage, personal relationships could have very important effects on outcome. what was important to note about these two couples and their relationship? carl cannon: well, reagan thought he could do business with gorbachev. that is the phrase he used to his aides. he brought his number one ally to the summit. the speeches kept getting changed. in the white house speechwriting shop. alita black, who has been on this show credits nancy for helping reagan push back.
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there was another man, matlock, who was a soviet expert. reagan kept saying, i can do business with this guy. i don't want to be calling him names. and so nancy, he took nancy there as an ally to show the world that two couples could get along and maybe the two countries could get along. susan swain: we are talking about entertaining. she continued the tradition of live events from the white house from a cultural stage, introducing the public to some of the musicians and other cultural events. joyce woodruff: that is a tradition that continues to this day, in performance at the white house. not long ago, the obamas hosted one of these. it has become a regular. carl cannon: i think jackie kennedy started this. susan swain: another connection between the two first ladies. floyd is in california. are you there? caller: yeah, i had a question
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about how did the reagans interact with prince charles and princess diana when they went to visit the white house in 1985? thank you. susan swain: we just saw some video from that. joyce woodruff: i wasn't covering the white house then, so i don't remember. it was everybody in the world who wanted to be at the white house probably wanted to be at that state dinner. susan swain: let's move on, because our time is going short, to an event that became very important and the ultimate disposition of the white house. again, from the perspective of the first lady, this was a real crisis in confidence for the presidency. what was nancy reagan's role in counseling the a president on how to approach this? carl cannon: she thought it was a threat. she did two things. she doubled down on the negotiation on getting reagan to
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negotiate with gorbachev. she encouraged that because she thought that would be a better way to change the conversation. and the other thing she did, and obviously i haven't mentioned him a lot on this show, but i should, my father who was reagan's biographer. susan swain: the one and only lou cannon. carl cannon: he told me recently in the green room that he thought the most important contribution nancy made was pushing on reagan to make the apology on iran-contra. it may have saved his presidency. susan swain: figured it out in front of the story. joyce woodruff: he had that funny speech. susan swain: it took him a while. joyce woodruff: it was an agonizing period when the president did not want to recognize this was taking place. ultimately what he said was, it happened and i didn't -- i can't believe it happened.
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it was a sort of a convoluted explanation, but he did say that, in essence, it was a mistake and that broke the ice and the american people turned at that point. susan swain: i want to underscore this. we are talking about the image and influence of the first ladies. if i was a biographer, this was a key moment. carl cannon: this was an important contribution. and she had many of them. we were talking earlier about the dinner in 1982 but people forget, by the second term, by 1986, reagan at the white house correspondents dinner is joking about nancy's influence. he says don regan and nancy had a lunch and they each brought their tasters. and so, by the second term, nancy's influence is acknowledged on the staff and on policy.
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joyce woodruff: she is never acknowledged as much as others did, but it was very much there. susan swain: in 1987, nancy reagan was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. she decided to go public with this. joyce woodruff: she did, she talked about it and handled it with grace. this was another, i think, event that drew the public to her because she was able to talk about it. she had a mastectomy and made it. by no means was this something that was easy to go through with, but the fact that she could talk about it at a time where it was still hush hush. betty ford had been through her own episode, but i think for nancy reagan to do this -- susan swain: we are going to hear one last piece of nancy reagan in her own voice looking
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at her role as a guardian of ronald reagan and the white house. this is her talking about her political antenna. let's watch. [video clip] nancy reagan: i have little antennas that went up totally and someone had their own agenda, and not ronnie's. and then i would tell him. he wouldn't always agree with me, but i would tell him. and it worked out. >> what was the first thing you noticed when somebody had their own agenda? nancy reagan: you just know. i can't say. you just know. you have those antennas. [laughter] susan swain: visible antennas were probably directed to don regan who ultimately lost his job and some of that was over the disagreement over the iran-contra affair. we call this a phone book. what did we learn about their relationship through that?
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carl cannon: he wanted to get back at her, and the astrology thing was a poisonous arrow in the quiver. but you know, they had different ideas about what reagan ought to have been doing. nancy said she had an antenna. she was a careful listener. she tried to get george h.w. bush to help her get rid of don regan, and he told her, "it's not my job." and she said, "it is your job." she was talking to the vice president of the united states. later, when bush was running for president in his own right, he said he would promise a kinder and gentler country. and nancy's aside to a friend is kinder and gentler to whom? nancy paid attention to what was said. joyce woodruff: but don regan won the first. she was instrumental earlier in the presidency in the removal of william clark because she felt he took took hard a line against the soviets.
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she wasn't the only one, but she played a big role. susan swain: she starts to really demonstrate her medical antenna on behalf of her husband and her influence inside that white house. joyce woodruff: it is that we said earlier about her being the personnel director. human resources director and personnel director for the president. susan swain: january 1989, they turned over the white house to reagan's vice president. george h.w. bush. we have about 15 minutes to talk about a very long post-presidency. as we said at the beginning, that was marked fairly soon with the announcement of president reagan's alzheimer's. before that, in very short order, his memoir came out. this was in 1989, so clearly she was working on it during the latter part of the white house years. "my turn" is the name of it. her turn at what? how did she use this book? carl cannon: she used it, she
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talked about some of these aides. she told her side of the story, but the book does not have any surprising revelations in it. not really, if you knew about nancy. she talks about how she supported the president. she supported reagan. you might say she wanted it both ways. she was very powerful, but if you crossed her, you would feel that, but if you said she was powerful, she would think you were dissing reagan. and she would push back on you. susan swain: and during the time of the opening of the reagan library, how did the reagans raise the money for the library and how did they use the library? joyce woodruff: they you it, they went to their friends, many of whom gave a lot of money. also through other foundations. they worked very hard through mrs. reagan and initially to the president before he became ill. this was a way of not only telling ronald reagan story, but
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today it is seen as a way of maintaining ronald reagan's legacy. we know in the republican party today, ronald reagan is still very much a revered figure as is nancy reagan. and the library is part of, not only, again, telling what ronald reagan did as president, what he believed in, but also perpetuating some of those views. they hold seminars, they hold speeches. they host, speakers, and talk about causes. it is a beautiful setting right there on the california coast. susan swain: philip is watching us in brooklyn. caller: yes, thank you. wonderful program i love it. let me say at the outset, i just love mrs. reagan. first i have to say i watch every episode of this series and how nice it was to find out that nancy was not the first lady --
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the first first lady that wanted to bring new china into the white house. i was very happy to hear there were other ladies that wanted to do that as well. and speaking about the china, and i mention it because, it didn't go on for weeks or months. it went on for almost a year. that china story. the media really went after her. i have to mention, one of nancy's good friends, who was an expert at protocol, such an expert that the queen of england went to her for consultation. nancy had friends like her that were poised and grace, and i think nancy -- when you have that much poise and grace, you are a perfect size fits, you are going to have some enemies. every white house administration has a very close-knit circle of friends, but it seems like the reagans had many, many fierce, loyal supporters, and i was
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wondering how did mrs. reagan and gender and cultivate all of those people that were so loyal to her and her husband? susan swain: thank you very much. good question. and what size? joyce woodruffn: she was a perfect size two, for the record. or zero. susan swain: let's focun on her importance in keeping that circle of advisors together. so guided. carl cannon: it was a little different for reagan and nancy. he was a beloved conservative leader. conservatives have been waiting for a guy like this generation, and the are still waiting a generation later. a guy like that comes along -- he is like roosevelt in that respect. people love what he stands for. nancy's situation was a little different. people love her. she has these lifelong friends and she cultivates them and she treat them well. i think, in that sense, if she was never in politics, she
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would've been an admirable person the way she kept friends. susan swain: how many good years did they have through the white house until the illness was a launched -- announced? joyce woodruff: well, they left the white house in january 1989 and it was five years later in 1994 that he announced that he had alzheimer's. so, i think there was a period of years, that is five years, and you can add a few years after that when he was communicating and recognizing her. but the point came in the late 1990's when she was telling people he did not recognize her. she was open about that. and then he died in 2004. carl cannon: in 1991, at the 80th birthday of reagan, it was at this library, margaret thatcher came, and reagan got up and spoke. he spoke glowingly about thatcher. he turned to nancy and he said his life began when he met her
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and it was rich and full ever since. there was a time when they left the white house that it was magical for them. susan swain: and this tour that mrs. reagan did to c-span of the library in 1991, she talked about alzheimer's and the effect on her. [video clip] >> what have you learned about this disease? nancy reagan: it is probably the worst disease you can ever have. >> why? nancy reagan: because you lose contact, and you are unable to share, and in this case unable to share all those wonderful memories that we have. we had, we had a wonderful life. >> can you have a conversation that makes sense to you? nancy reagan: not now. no. >> the letter itself, what were the circumstances in which he
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wrote the letter? are you with him? nancy reagan: we were in the library, i was with him and we were in the library. he sat down and wrote it. that was it. >> first draft? nancy reagan: first draft. he crossed out one or two words in there. i think it was one or two. i don't know what that was. but only ronnie could write a letter like that. susan swain: so as carl cannon told us earlier, she devoted, once his illness became debilitating, she devoted her life to being his caretaker. but occasionally she would make a foray into the public arena. one of this was for the bush debate. you stayed in touch with her. you did this documentary recently. what is her own explanation of how she used these post-white house years and when she decided to become public about issues and candidates that mattered to her?
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joyce woodruff: mainly, it was all about pushing and preserving her husband's legacy. it was all about ronald reagan, the man that was at the center of her life for 55 years until his death. her interests -- i think you were going to bring this up -- in stem cell research, even when it was not a popular thing in the republican party, was all about its connection to alzheimer's. and then she had friends who had children with juvenile diabetes. it was believed, and scientist argued, we need to do much more with stem cell research than the united states had been doing. she lobbied president george w. bush in the early 2000's when this was an issue. and again, went against the party, she called members of congress. she was a fierce advocate. she made speeches for it. you could trace, i think, everything she has done since then, it is something that has to do either with what her
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husband did or alzheimer's. susan swain: in terms of party politics, in 1996, she was at the republican convention in san diego. she got involved in the mccain presidential efforts by endorsing him. when had she chosen to be involved with the republican party politics and why? carl cannon: well, she knew john mccain. she was there when he came back out of vietnam. the reagans are one of the first couples that mccain went to. i tend to think of that as an old friend, another one of nancy's friendships in which she was loyal. she would not be now if you are entering the arena, we would not think of her as a right winger of the republican party. we would think of her as a moderate republican. were there any other social issues she was interested in? joyce woodruff: it was mainly stem cell. she was very strategic about it.
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she works with a team of people who are very involved in this issue. they planned way ahead about where can we use nancy, where can she go to make a speech, who can she call if she wanted to get it done? she was effective. susan swain: kim is in california. hi kim, you are on. caller: i love your show. i watch every week. i was wondering what charities or groups is nancy reagan part of at this time? joyce woodruff: you know, i can say, and i is already shared this with susan carlyle, she spoke with mrs. reagan on the telephone today. we are fortunate to be able to speak with her. she is every bit as sharp as she has been. she is in very good spirits, but she does not get around as much as he used to. i think her ability to get out in public and do the kinds of things that she did for many
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years, that is something that is very limited. she still can get out and does, but it is not as much. she is 92 years old, and she is not as active in public, but she still follows what is going on. she follows the news. she may be even watching this tonight. she is an avid follower of what is going on in american politics and american life. susan swain: just last week, her office released a statement about the passing of the reagan spokesman. he also had alzheimer's. we just showed a picture of nancy reagan with michelle obama. were there first ladies that she had a special relationship with? do we know? carl cannon: i don't. joyce woodruff: she certainly overlapped with barbara bush, because they were vice president and president at the same time. but so, you know, the reagans left washington after.
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they were not around in washington during the bush presidency, and then before that, they were not in washington. she has been available to other first ladies. you just saw her there photographed with michelle obama. i know that laura, president george w. bush and laura bush, saw her from time to time. she has very much been focused on her husband when he was alive, and since then on her life in california. susan swain: justin is in indiana. you are on. caller: thank you for taking my call. this has been an excellent episode, i really enjoyed it. you kind of touched on it earlier about the special relationship between margaret thatcher and ronald reagan. i wanted to know what was nancy's relationship to the thatchers, both margaret and her husband dennis. i also want to know about the time when we will have a woman president in our country. susan swain: do you know anything about this? carl cannon: i know that she invited margaret thatcher to the
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birthday party of reagan. he asked about a woman president? susan swain: it was a statement. carl cannon: he may not have to wait that long. susan swain: and and we will do a very short series on first gentleman. we have about four minutes left, and it is important for us to put a cap on this 90 minute conversation. what is important, do you think, to know about nancy reagan in the role of first lady and her contributions to the reagan presidency? joyce woodruff: i think it is what we have been saying. that she, you know, first ladies have long been, especially in the modern era, close to their husbands, have paid close attention to politics. i think nancy reagan took that to a new level. because it wasn't so much she
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wanted to be sitting in cabinet meetings or policymaking meetings. she didn't do that. but she was very aware of her husband and wanted him to be successful and was ready to act. to make sure of that, to make sure that the people around him were serving his best interests and letting him be the best person that he could be. and in that way, she exerted enormous influence, because she would move a mountain to make sure her husband was protected. susan swain: you called president reagan a movement president. how should the public view nancy reagan's term as first lady, first to terms of first lady? carl cannon: she was the personnel chief. ok, but no personnel chief has ever slept with the president. but this one did, she had more influence. she had a new kind of influence. she was a very modern first lady in that sense.
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ronald reagan, their son told judy in the excellent film that pbs did, that she did her best to make sure he could do his best. i was thinking about that this morning. she once said that she, that reagan preferred heights to valleys. and so she would make sure they would go up to the mountains. there is nothing for her to do a fair, but she majored she could be up there with him as often. she went with him and did it metaphorically. she was a height, not a valley. she lightened his mood. she helped him make a mark on the country that needed marking up. susan swain: as we are close here, we are actually going to listen to president reagan's answer to that question. in a 1988 tribute to nancy reagan that happened in conjunction with the gop convention in that year, he talked about her and that is how we are going to close our program. and since we are closing with
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video, let me say thanks to both of you for being here tonight to tell the story of nancy reagan. we appreciate it. joyce woodruff: thank you, susan. carl cannon: it has been a pleasure. susan swain: and now, president reagan in his own words about nancy reagan. [video clip] ronald reagan: what do you say about someone who gives your life meaning? what do you say about someone who is always there with support and understanding? someone who make sacrifices so that your life will be easier and more successful? what you say is that you love that person and you treasure her. [applause] ronald reagan: i simply can't imagine the last eight years without nancy. the presidency would not have been the joy it has been for me without her there beside me. that second floor living quarters in the white house
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would've seen a big and lonely spot without her waiting for me everyday at the end of the day. she once said that a president has all kinds of advisers and experts who look after his interests when it comes to foreign policy or the economy or whatever. but no one who looks after me with the needs of a human being. well, nancy has done that for me. for me through recuperation's and crises. every president should be so lucky. i think -- [applause] ronald reagan: i think it is all too common in marriages that no matter how much partners love each other, they don't thank each other enough. i suppose i don't thank nancy enough for all that she does for me. so nancy, in front of all your
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friends here today, let me say thank you for all that you do. thank you for your love and thank you for just being you. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] ♪