tv Discussion on Vice Presidential Candidate Selection Process CSPAN April 25, 2016 2:35am-3:36am EDT
to give over control of the defense of your industry requires that you give up an awful lot of information that a lot of these companies do not want to give up. there was a bill passed last fall in the senate after years of wrangling that now has private industry willing to pass on information to the government. they havefter sanitized it. >> watch the communicators monday night at 8:00 eastern. now, a look at the process for selecting a vice presidential candidate with former campaign stop from the 2008 and 2012 elections. they talk about how someone is fitted for the job and the relationship between a presidential candidate and running mate. this was hosted by the bipartisan policy center.
i am going to have a few minutes here to introduce some people and give the lay of the land of the day and then i will turn it over to our group. we are here today with a product of the working group on vice presidential selection. many of you have it in your hands. those of you who do not, can find it online. it is a group that came together over the last six months, people who have seen up close the vice presidential selection process on both the democratic and republican sides and have some , advice for the campaigns at it today and for the media who will be covering the selection of the -- this election over the next couple of months. our day today, we will begin with the working group as well as the other members. the chair will say a few words. we will have a couple of panels to delve into the recommendations. so, we begin with some introductions. i will save the chairs for last. but, what we have on the panel,
many of us here today. maria cino, the president of the 2008 republican national convention and has been involved in other conventions as well as other campaigns. a.b culvahouse, a partner at o'melveny & myers, advisor of the 2008 mccain campaign. as well as with other candidates going back to howard baker. anita dunn, the managing director at skdknickerbocker, former white house communications director, and the communications director of the 2008 obama campaign. and like everyone else, other campaigns. ben ginsberg, a partner at jones day. a national council for romney for president as well as other candidates. tom perrelli, who is not here with us today, but a former u.s. associate attorney general. scott reed, who is not with us, but a senior political strategist at the u.s. chamber of commerce.
and campaign manager for the 1996 bob dole presidential campaign. matt rhoades, chairman of american rising and campaign manager for the 2012 romney presidential campaign. and manny rouvelas, a partner at k&l gates. a distinguished group. let me introduce the co-chairs who will say a few words and give us highlights. all of the other working group members can come up. the chairs of our commission of our working group are bob bauer. bob is a professor of practice at new york university law school. charlie black who was the chairman of the prime policy group, senior political adviser to 2008 mccain political -- presidential campaign, and
involved in presidential campaigns going out at least to reagan. a wealth of experience. cochairs, bobour and charlie, to come to the podium and the other working group members to assemble, sit, and we will get into the panels after we hear the announcements. thank you. >> thank you very much for your attendance and for those who are viewing we hope that you will , enjoy this experience. we have bipartisan policies and very important projects in order to try to bring our country together and to promote good government. in this case, we know each other, the men and women who
work in politics and presidential campaigns in both the democratic and republican parties know each other. we have a lot in common. we have philosophical differences. sometimes, get into partisan combat. in my experience, everybody who is a professional in either party really wants the government. mr. black: they want their candidates with their viewpoint to win, but they really want the government to be effective. that is what this project was about. with all of our experience in both parties over the last 30 to 40 years, we have seen that vice presidential selections can be done well and sometimes they are , not. sometimes, it is just a matter there is so much going on in the nomination contest, that the process in selecting a vice president has started too late, or not properly planned, and sometimes not properly vetted. so we thought it was important , and appreciated bringing us
the vpc bringing us together to meet and discuss this and try to come up with suggestions of best practices. i think we have some good ones. obviously a consensus between , people in both parties. as john mentioned, we had a leading scholar on the vice presidency and in many respects, a very unusual institution, but it has evolved. an institution about which some skepticism was expressed early. i think daniel webster said something to the effect that he did not propose upon it being suggested. he didn't propose to be buried before he died. [laughter] there were other comments to that effect.
the circumstances changed dramatically. the vice presidency is an extraordinary example of a high governmental constitutional office that has evolved dramatically into a very substantive and significant role for which the president of the united states is accountable. in the end, a presidential nominee has ordinary authority -- extraordinary authority under our system to direct the selection of the nominee. it is a highly personal choice as well as a political choice as well as a governmental choice. and so our report looks at what , this entirely privatized, but highly significant vice presidential selection process needs in the way of structure. as you will hear, and i won't go into great detail because the panels will explore it, we talk first and foremost about the importance of timing. as processes go later in the year, it becomes essential that the process be structured in a timely fashion so there is ample time to do what is properly called "the vetting."
also, for the presidential candidates for an office that require so much trust to be effective to get to know the vice presidential nominees from among whom the choice will be made. we talk about the structure of the vetting process. how the role of the vice presidential nominee might be structured and basic questions be addressed that the public will have about the criteria that the presidential candidate ed andnd -- weigh ultimately decided the election upon. so, we walk through all of this in these recommendations, and i just want to echo as i close, it is always a pleasure to be in a room of people with whom you might be in somewhat regular political combat.
but across the table, they care about u.s. politics in a thoroughgoing lee --thoroughgoingly non-bipartisan sense. we are deeply appreciative that we received at the bipartisan center. without their ongoing efforts to organize and keep the process running, this exercise would not have been possible. on behalf of the entire group assembled and on behalf of the cochairs charlie and myself, we want to thank them. -- we want to thank vpc. >> i think i am here, and we just moved down the road here. so, we are all here and we heard a little bit from bob and charlie. mr. fortier: i am going to start with how this exercise came together. i remember sitting with bob
bauer and saying i have been thinking about this for a while. you want to tell a little bit about the story about why you thought the story was necessary? what brought you to thinking that more substantive thinking about how selecting a vice president should be done? mr. bauer: it is an unusual selection process. here you have the second highest , constitutional office who is going to step into the role of president, should it become necessary, and is increasingly expected to have a very senior role in the government. the second-most important role in the government as an advisor, a troubleshooter and somebody who is a full partner in the it -- in a governmental administration. the person who, decide to that will be is the nominee of the party. granted, convention some have some role. in the past, conventions have made it clear that somebody who
is on the mind of a presidential candidate might not pass muster. that is not usually the case. it is a personalized process and a privatized process. everything that is done in the selection of the vice presidential nominee is done essentially behind closed doors. vetting process by which the nominee is examined and scrutinized takes place closed doors. some of that has to take place behind closed doors, but nonetheless, it raises fundamental questions about preparation and democratic accountability. and so i have been button -holing people on this topic. i remember, i wore down a guest at a wedding party. [laughter] in order to escape me, he promised he would write about it. i buttonholed the right person. mr. fortier: i turned to charlie. i have two questions for you. you got this was
something that needed a bipartisan look. not just one party. tell us a little bit about what you thought it was necessary or something from your experience that made you think it was necessary. i want to get into one thing you said that you said early on about getting to know the vice president. start with the general, and then i will move to that. involved: i have been at least on the fringes of vp selection. i have observed what the democratic party has done. it seemed to me that we want -- we weren't always vetting properly. the nominee was making a decision without all the background information they needed. secondly, on occasion they are someking at a list of
people they have never met, or they are looking just shake their hand. if you don't know them pretty well, it is not good. also, i would like for both parties to perform well and have the issues debated. your sort of forced to cover the issues and not chase personal scandals and things. i would like for both parties to do it well. in fact bob and i talked about , this, we were involved in another bipartisan mission before and we started talking about it, and he was right in what he said. so thanks to you again for , pulling our group together in the vpc in order to discuss this and pull this report. i noticed in both parties, sometimes a selection that looked good on paper and might be good politically, at least on
the surface, and parenthetically, vice president's don't usually decide the election no matter who you , pick. the last time the choice of a running mate made a difference was in 1960. if kennedy had not picked lbj, lbj would not have sent john conley down south to steal -- to south texas is the on of votes. -- to steal enough of votes. [laughter] nevertheless, it is very important and has an important role in the government. you want somebody who will not only be in sync with the president's policies, but the president's style and method of operation, and the way of doing business. i think if you put more focus on the process of getting to know people and getting to see how much they think alike and can work together it is going to be , that much better when you get into the government.
i have also been around the administration's when they wished they could move the vice president's office over to the new executive office building just to keep them from butting in on things. that is not the way it should be. we should have a good debate, and win or lose we should have a good team running the government. mr. fortier: i promised i would follow up on a specific recommendation. it is likely to your favorite -- it is like picking your favorite child. two, thetimeline, and presidential nominee has to really get to know the vice presidential choices, the people in the small circle he might pick. you brought this up and it is a very simple point. tell us what you mean by that. why is it so important? sometimes a choice has been made whether is not a lot of knowledge between the two people and not a whole lot of understanding.
mr. bauer: i can give you good examples and bad examples. i prefer to focus on the good and matt continue how mitt romney got to know paul ryan well by campaigning with him. mr. black: he also had others that were potential running mate campaigning with him. so that the chemistry was there. on the other hand, you know, a couple of vice president had to -- vice presidents had to sort of get to know the nominee after their selection, and that was in a time when they are campaigning in different directions, and maybe they are together once a week. if you do win, you get to the white house, and there is a sort of time to get acquainted. it is better to have someone you know and trust from the beginning. mr. fortier: i was going to turn to matt because you described the ways in which the mitt romney campaign went out and try
-- tried to build those relationships among top choices. tell us what worked and what you recommend to others. mr. bauer: first of all, i want to thank bob and charlie of being a part of this panel. it was a real honor. it is probably the first bipartisan thing i have ever done in my life. [laughter] mr. rhoades: if you look at the report, i think there are three important things that going to selecting a vice presidential nominee. i have been on both sides were i -- where i have been a part of the team defending the pick, and then, i have been a part of the team trying to undermine the pick in 2004, i was the research director on the bush/cheney campaign. i think, obviously -- mr. fortier: undermined by the other party. mr. rhoades: turns out i was right. thank you. obviously, the person has been qualified to be president. they have to pass through the
vetting process to get to the next panel. i think chemistry is absolutely critical. and charlie is right. i was exposed to it. congressman ryan ended up endorsing governor romney during our long slog primary process, as we were leading into the wisconsin primary. it was probably march, i think, of the two of them had met 2012. i events.at ae but they did not have a real relationship. they had talked a few times. i did not have the chance to be on the road because i was chained to my desk in boston running the campaign. but immediately when they , started campaigning together, i started getting reports back team, like,from our oh my god you have to see these , guys together. and mitt is on stage doing town halls. it was so obvious right out of
the gate that they was chemistry and a partnership was already forming. and i used to have, because i was in boston and not on the road as much, i have 15 minutes at least every day set aside every day for governor romney and myself to talk and go over things. during the lead up to the wisconsin primary, it was like talking to your buddy in high school who just met a girl he is smitten with. [laughter] all he was talking about was paul this, paul that. paul things this, paul things that. it was just so obvious that that chemistry existed and the partnership was forming. it is so important because not only is this going to be a political partnership at the top, it is going to be a partnership between teams. and in the end, the ultimate goal is to form a partnership that will create a good government. i think chemistry is incredibly important. like you said, there is a lot to pull out of here. that is one area i would highlight. mr. fortier: my question to you
is implicit in the group. we brought together a group of people who have been political people involved in the political campaigns at a high level. we could have had a bunch of the good government people come and say, your vegetables, pick a vice presidential candidate who would be a good vp, and maybe it would not have been as believable. maybe you can give us a sense of presidential campaigns and how they are balancing these things and how a good process might bring in more focus on picking someone who actually is ready to govern as a vice president, not just a political type. first of all to share -- and thank you for bringing this group together. i was exposed to the early rantings of bob bauer on this process. [laughter] i can only say that the fact that he has this platform to communicate is a very good
thing. [laughter] you know, john, it is an interesting question. i think we all agree across the board somebody who is qualified to be president is now the absolute first thing that needs to be taken into account. ms. dunn: but it is a political process. it is a political primary process. some of the considerations that traditionally people thought were important politically, really aren't. i think the group agreed on this. vice presidents don't bring their states with them. they are voting for president, not vice president. we have numerous examples -- lloyd bentsen was reelected as michael to caucus was losing substantially with lloyd benson on the ticket. obviously, john edwards did not bring north carolina with him. you could look at many of these examples. they are not going to bring a state, except under unusual
circumstances. bob graham would have made up 532 votes. in 2000, for al gore. we will never know the answer to that. by and large, they do not bring states with them. they can serve to address and balance out some of the concerns that may be present around a presidential candidate. so for example, in 2008, when , barack obama was winning the nomination, there were concerns around experience level, but certainly something that republicans had been attacking senator obama on, that john mccain was signaling a clear argument that he would be making in the general election against obama that he did not have the experience, particularly in world affairs. joe biden who always a had a , huge amount of experience in world affairs and as a chairman of formulations who had dealt
with these issues for years helped to reassure voters. , voters can be reassured about experiences if they feel-like -- feels like somebody is going to be putting good people around to advise them. mr. fortier: one other small thing i want to touch on. i saw a prominent poster in the ster in our audience here. people want overenthusiastic that he would provide a lot of information. not so much about what the public thought about that in terms of governing. do you want to say more about why we were all skeptical? >> campaigning is a ford
forward-leaning exercise. the idea that a poll could predict whether a vice presidential candidate at the end of the day is going to help or hurt you, it is interesting, but it is not just positive. a lot of vice presidential nominees aren't well-known. a lot of the people running for president right now were not well known at the beginning of this campaign. part of the vice presidential process is, is that person getting known in being introduced to the public? a poll which gives you hypothetical argument is simply not going to be a good predictor, and ken give you a false positive -- and can give you a false positive. >> one of the recommendations is if you don't know the person you are going to pick, you have to spend time getting to know the group. the other big one is the timeline. in fact, we have in the report, a useful graphic which shows, not only does it take time and it is always important, but this year, one of them is we have earlier conventions, and we don't have mathematically determined nominees, that the
time is short. i want to talk about the timeline. bob, can you tell us a little bit about what the core elements of the timeline are? why you can't just wing it at the last minute? bob: we thought there was an absolute minimum that would be very, very difficult to operate on a schedule less than eight weeks. that was high because you're talking about identifying an appropriate candidate and funding opportunities, assuming the presidential nominee does not know all the candidates. the vetting process is not a predictable process. it takes it a while to put it together. it is a truly privatized
process. the government does not lay a hand here. there have been times in the past, 1956 was one where the fbi provided information into the vetting process. they don't do that anymore. you have a process that has to be structured to do a complete review, and you don't know in the course of that process if issues don't develop. i can think of an example a number of years ago where a medical issue arose. it required an adjustment. this is a weighty responsibility and a cannot be rushed. we look at the possibility that the parties might find one or the other in a position that the nominating procedures would be in doubt all the way through to the convention and a hurried last-minute process for selecting a nominee is fraught with the potential of disaster.
given the recommendations we made for the well structured components of the process. >> the other thing out there, and this may be an unusual year. our recommendations are that all the campaigns need to get going. there needs to be some amendment depending on the circumstances of being several candidates out there and the possibility of a contested convention. it is ideal to start now. if there are problems, just get something going now. >> i have recommended through the media and through this presentation, that all of the
candidates in both parties start right now with the creation of a process on how they're going to select a running mate, and begin the process now. what you really have to do, like in our party, where we have a real tough, three-way race which is likely to go to a contested convention and multiple ballots, they have to pick people they can set aside from the day-to-day campaign activities, who can work full-time on this. the candidate has to devote some time to it. the candidate has to have a long list in mind, and they have to develop it down to a short list. the eight weeks is really after you have developed the short list and gotten permission from people to vet them.
i hope everybody will start now and do it the right way. it is fine if we nominate someone at the last minute on wednesday night and they pick the running mate on thursday morning. [laughter] it think all been vetted properly. and you have to remind them all to show at the convention i john fortier: a couple of recommended issues relate to the sensitive nature of the information you are getting from these candidates. you are getting the most personal questions. we thought about how to deal with it. also, thinking about the role of the vice president. did i can start with matt. campaigns have to really think about who gets to see it and how highly this is held, i want to do with the information afterwards. do you want to speak to that?
matt: it is a balance. you need to have people with a political background, a political antenna to go through the information. and beth certainly had that. there is sensitive information that is included. for example, i was mitt romney's campaign manager and i recused myself from looking at that information. i suggested governor romney identify any flag that would disqualify someone from the event. it was really easy to do in the reason i didn't at the time was, i thoughtears-old and that i wouldhance look at the campaign again and i just didn't think it was proper for me to look through the vetting reports of all these people who may inevitably run
for president themselves. as it turns out, many of the people on our list have and will in the future. that is important striking that balance. it is easy to recuse yourself. i did it. i don't think it impacted my ability. it is a very personal choice. it is not about political operatives. it is about the person at the top who makes it. >> anita, you can speak to that. i want to focus you on the last set of recommendations, which is thinking about the vice president announcement is the beginning of the rollout of the fall campaign. how it relates to the convention? how do you do it? what sort of pitfalls to avoid? anita dunn: thank you, john. we discussed size presidential selection and i think it is the first step of the presidency. it is an incredibly important decision. it is a governing decision much more so than a political campaign decision. it tells you something about what kind of president that nominee is going to be by who they pick and by the process by which they have chosen this person.
the rollout, the announcement, of who the choices is the opportunity for that nominee to really communicate with the american people what were the important things he or she looked for? what is important to me when i think about this from a governing perspective? what was the process that they used to give people a sense of how they are going to approach important decisions of their presidency? this is the first presidential level decision and needs to be communicated to the public in that context. there have been a lot over the years that have changed about presidential rollouts.
it has to serve a dual purpose of communicating something important about the nominee and introducing the vice presidential nominee in a very different light if they are well known, or if they are not well-known. it is the opportunity to introduce them to the american public. a few pitfalls -- even if they were extraordinarily experienced officials and running for president in that cycle and have the opportunity to participate in debates against the eventual nominee, they don't know the nominee's position. they go from a principal speaking as a record of themselves, what i believe, what i vote for, to be an effective spokesperson for the nominee. it takes a little time to get up to speed. traditionally, you don't want that person to have to be out answering a zillion questions right away. they have to get used to the idea that they are not just speaking about their record, their belief, what they have done, but they are speaking on behalf of a ticket. they become high-level spokespeople, which is a different role that most elected officials are used to playing.
>> to add to that. that is another reason why chemistry is so important. the partnership begins immediately. after that two individuals familiar with each other, have had time to think about each other's ideas. mitt and paul certainly did on campaign buses and throughout the country. it matters. the element of surprise is important.
we were able to pull that off in 2012. i know it was incredibly important that scott reed could not be here. for senator bob dole, senator dole love surprises when he picked the secretary, he pulled it off. this was a guy who knew everybody. he could successfully pull that off and have the surprise there because he had built-in chemistry. sometimes it was not always good. >> i want to add to that, in fact, dole and kemp knew each other very well and did not particularly like each other. but, in a series of meetings that scott was able to manage and talk at length for hours without it getting out to the press, jack was able to say, i know who is in charge if we get elected, and i will below to your agenda. i hope you will be open-minded to consider some of my ideas. dole rejected the goal standard immediately, by the way. [laughter] charles black: just kidding. but they not only developed a way to work together. jack was a tremendous asset to the ticket. the turnout with the economy being so good and bill clinton
being such a great candidate, there was no way dole was going to win. but he was positive for the ticket. he was capable of governing if he got to be president. there is more than one way to get chemistry. the other thing, they probably had never gotten together in their history before jack was on the ticket after the election, all the way up until jack's death, they got together frequently. anita: the next panel will going to the issue of vetting. in addition to the private vetting process, the political consultant that should also not see. and that political consultants also should not see because they
might end up doing races against these people at some points of the should not know these negative things. but there is a public vetting process that goes on in a parallel track that the campaign can do and that the research and communication offices will undertake, which is to go through that public record. in the case of joe biden, that was a public record that began when he was elected to the senate in the early 1970's. that is a lot of votes. to go through that record and to start looking at those differences in issue positions, start thinking about how the campaign is going to answer those questions and identify some common themes. there is a kind of research process that goes on at the same time this intensely personal private vetting process is taking place.
john fortier: i'm going to get a warning to the microphone in the room we are going to open up for audience questions shortly. i want to get bob and charlie such as to say something about the report, and we will turn to audience questions. when you take questions, please identify yourself. robert bauer: i want to stress what he just said, other than the part about my ranting, about governing decisions. one of the other points to be made about the partnership between the president and vice president that have governing consequences is the message it sends to the staff. it reduces the likelihood that you are going to have friction within the west wing and old executive office vying for visibility and control and for access to policy. the principles have made it clear what the role of the vice president is. and the the vice president and president are unified in their vision.
i think it's extraordinarily important. i would underscore that a lot of the attention paid to the political significance of the pick, the message we are communicating, this is an extraordinarily privatized behind closed doors choice that has massive governmental consequences. in many respects, the process by which those consequences are prepared for in addressed have been outpaced by in evolution in the office. our hope would be to help campaigns think constructively and thoroughly about how this can be done. charles black: last point i would emphasize is the privacy point about information that is gained in the vetting, it's critically important. but also the more private you can keep the process, you and there is good people when they don't get it.
everyone has to develop a short list to make a decision. the more private you can be and fewer embarrassments you get, the better. john fortier: i know we have a mic on one side of the room. we will call on you in the audience and you should identify yourself. why don't we start right here? >> don with bpc. i think you all agree it doesn't matter which state the vice presidential candidate is from. what about other factors, like religion, social economic background, things that maybe will resonate more with voters? does that make any difference in the selection? >> it is not a choice without political dimensions. it indicates not just about the candidate's governing choice, but what they think is politically important. you would think of circumstances like in mondale's choice in 1984, where there is a statement about what kind of candidate he wants.
there is a decision made. that's an example where questions were raised about how the vetting process worked, and whether it yielded the best possible result. i happen to be a very of geraldine ferraro. that became the controversy. i don't think anyone is suggesting there isn't some political element to communication, to the choice. you can put your finger on a few. yeah, i would not put to millionaires on there. in fact, i am against putting one on there.
[laughter] charles black: no, the fact is that there are a lot of appeal to the people that are self-made. joe biden, his blue-collar background, and the fact that he has never been a person who sought wealth for became wealthy. it does allow him to relate very well to a lot of average americans. i think that is been an asset to the president. sure, you take that into consideration, but it's the total sum of the man or woman in that chemistry that matters the most. dunn: i would just add that yes, of course it's important. the religion piece, again, if you're trying to make a statement -- what is important is, what are you saying to people with this joint ticket? for instance, in 1992, bill clinton picked a very unconventional choice in al gore. they were from the same region of the country, for example. they were both pretty much from the same part of the party, the more centrist part of the democratic party. but it was a very generational message that included them together. their chemistry was quite good. gore was quite good and had qualified before, which was a huge asset for anybody entering the process.
when john mccain picked sarah palin in 2008, she had a reputation, certainly in alaska of being a reformer. being a maverick, similar to mccain's profile. probably from a messaging perspective, that was part of that consideration, that she was someone that stood up to special interests and had taken on tough issues in her state. you think about what are you are communicating. that is as much a part of it, what are we saying that this ticket, about where we want to govern? it is a political process too. rhoades: bob is right.
there is a political dimension to every choice you make on a campaign. recent history shows that candidates that look at qualifications and chemistry selected the individuals that were most successful vice presidential running mate. >> okay, why don't we go back here in the blue striped tie? >> hi, i'm a first year law student interested in election law. rather than talk about the impact of a person on the process, could you talk a little about how technology could play a role in the process of selecting a vice president? i know in the 2008 election cycle, the idea was to announce the v.p. candidate via text message. a way of maximizing this through a different process might have an impact on the election.
anita dunn: in 2008, the obama campaign announced we would let supporters hear who the vice president shall nominate was rather than giving it to the press first, which was consistent with an approach we had in the campaign of communicating directly with supporters, building a basic community of grassroots supporters. it didn't quite work because a network based on a faulty airline reported it. part of this was organizational, we wanted to get people's cell phones so we could communicate with them on an ongoing basis in the campaign. clearly, there are two things that campaigns will continue to do. the sanders campaign in particular has done an extraordinary job, building a strong community using technology to allow them to communicate directly with voters in a way that used to be done by political parties at the grassroots level. very specifically with local leaders communicating things. i think technology will continue to play that role. i also think that technology can be used, as we have seen in congress, to bring pressure on nominees. a huge online effort to petition to take this online presser. in 1984, there was a lot of public pressure from women's groups that the democratic party needed a woman as vice president
nominee, to signify that women had arrived in the political process. that is a most online in a powerful way. john fortier: do you want to say a little bit about some recommendation about social media, not being anything that we have to look at? matt rhoades: we talked about technology, it is certainly going to impact the vet.
right now there is some young man or woman that is leaving his social media footprint as we speak that 20, 30 years from now, they are probably going to regret. [laughter] anita dunn: i think we have a frontrunning candidate for president that leaves a social media footprint that is something-- [laughter] matt rhoades: there will definitely be regrets. people have to be cognizant of that. it will certainly play into the vetting and how the rollout is perceived because of the footprint left behind. anita dunn: thinking about the children of potential candidates, as the vetting process, how can we include them in a much more comprehensive way? anybody under the age of 30 has been living in a social media world that their parents grow up in or inhabit and has a footprint that you don't necessarily want coming out before the poor kid is under the lights, having to answer for everything they have ever done on social media.
john fortier: a question in the back, the bow tie. the mic is right here. >> i'm leon with with the peace group. following up on this line question and answer, givien the eagleton event, what procedures are in place to avoid having that type of event occur? >> for our younger audience members-- [laughter] >> i will let you take the. -- take that. >> the gist of it was, eagleton was a very well received vice presidential choice ,a southern senator from missouri. highly articulate and very well-liked in the senate. it turned out that post election, it was discovered that he had undergone shock treatment and other therapy for depression. we are in a different world now, arguably. then this was the trigger for an immediate outcry that he couldn't be a suitable candidate
for the vice presidency, and couldn't be one heart beat away from the presidency. eventually eagleton had to resign. he was replaced by sergeant shriver, a cousin by marriage of president john kennedy, selected by the dnc. what had apparently happened, he had been at the all-inclusive, is there anything else you want to tell us? question. and he chose not to disclose this. >> now you have to get everybody's medical record. >> if they are questions, they have to be run down. a lot of people don't remember this episode particularly well.
a lot of people don't remember this episode particularly well. it is dyed into the fabric of the vetting process, the candidates will always be asked the omnibus question. the open-ended question, is there anything you want to tell us that we haven't thought to ask you? to the extent that there is a path to trust and verify, and medical histories-- anita dunn: for the political junkies in the room, the 1972 convention in which eagleton was nominated for vice president helps to define chaotic convention. it was one in which the nominee
did not make his acceptance speech until 2:00 in the morning. this is one of the examples one would use as why you don't want to rush these things. it was a contested nomination on the way into the convention. will clean up as much time spent --probably not as much time spent on this in retrospect as they wished. john fortier: we will hear more from the second panel, but this is the timeframe where the vetting becomes more serious starting in 1976. in theory, there could be cases where the party has to come back and pick someone else. in this case, the party leadership. robert bauer: once again, the candidate drove the election process. they looked to mcgovern the second time around, who would you like to run with? by the way, you can also imagine that was later in the process. the number of those raising their hands to be grandfathered in the general election had diminished significantly.
[laughter] charles black: the importance of the decision cannot be overstressed. this reflected very badly on the -- on mcgovern as a leader. he wasn't going to win anyhow, but he did not need a distraction. you think a good place president -- good vice presidential nominee, and you don't want distractions. two days after the rollout of the v.p., if you see the vice presidential candidate on national news, it's bad news. >> i'm a retired department of labor employee. do you think the electorate would be ready for an all-female ticket?
charles black: it depends on who it is. i absolutely don't think there are very many voters that would vote based on the gender of the ticket. if you put somebody on their that is otherwise not popular, or doesn't vet well, and become a distraction, it would be a problem. but again these voters, 98% vote for the top of the two. the v.p. does not make much difference. if they become a distraction or a negative, yeah, it makes a difference. matt rhoades: having in her primary aren't because she's a woman, it's because people find her dishonest and distrust for
-- and distrust her. i think on the shortlist, there will be quite a few women. i think senator elizabeth woman will be on secretary clinton's shortlist as she gets cold more and more to the left. -- gets pulled more and more to the left. including senator jeanne shaheen and new hampshire. anita dunn: i would say it is actually, from a woman's perspective, a great election-year in which one candidate who in both parties as seen as most qualified and experienced, the one most prepared, who has the best credentials to be the president, is the woman of the 5. public polling has been very clear. who is qualified and who has the right experience? it's the woman this time. it would depend if you thought it was a choice that was because it was a qualified person ready
to be president. then i think people would be happy to accept that choice. if it was seen as a political plate, people would be, skeptical like anybody else. >> i think we have time for one more question. >> yes, if a vice presidential nominee is not well-known, it is on the campaign to lay the groundwork to introducing this person to the nomination. i am young and only have had six elections. in my life, the person who is the marquee example is sarah palin. how much do you think media played a role in introducing sarah palin to the country? i ask that because i feel that a lot of people's first impressions of sarah palin was tina fey on saturday night live. if they look at her through the rest of the election as more of a comical unfit, unintelligent person, as was played by tina fey, that could affect people's perceptions of the ticket, and mccain is a whole. how much do you think media plays a role in shaping the view of the vice president?
>> they play a huge role, which is why you want to get these things correct. you can look at public polling and coverage. this was a very well received nomination initially. if you look at the coverage for the two weeks after the republican convention, the race was never closer than during that period. as the obama communications director, i was getting these messages, oh, you are going to lose the women's vote, which we didn't think, because underlying we thought it was a weak choice. tina fey didn't invent those problems, okay? [laughter] [applause] anita dunn: i mean, the vice presidential nominee, sarah palin, her interviews and in her public appearances, said things that gave tina fey the material to create an extraordinary impression of her. i would only refer you to her
interview with katie couric. that all came right out of her mouth. what newspapers do you read? it's a gotcha question. the media doesn't invent these things, candidates actually give them the material to do it. it's why the public piece of it, in addition to the private setting, the public piece is so critically important. you don't want to put someone out there that is not prepared, or this will happen. in 1988, the report touches on this. dan quayle. he was a united states senator, pretty well-liked by his colleagues. had been around for a while, but was totally unprepared. there is a different level of attention you get when you are a candidate for national office.
charles black: if you get people on a shortlist, you spend time with them, not just the candidate, but the staff. you can drill them and debate them, making sure they are willing to take advice. in governor palin's defense, she was picked, and probably had two hours of the kind of briefing before she rolled out. later in the election, she had a very good debate against joe biden, which is not easy to do. debater. is sgreat the staff spent a week with her, practicing and drilling and training. she had a great debate, but it was too late to recover from the tina fey stuff. on sunday night, september 14, the mccain campaign tracking had us 3 points ahead. in other words, in the margin of error with senator obama. the next day, lehman brothers went other, the great financial crisis started. we were 12 points down, which had nothing to do with mccain.
luck of the draw. fortier: i know there are more questions, but we are going to wrap up this panel. we won't break the room. we will have a quick change of people on stage. i want to thank all of you here for all the task force people for a great report. thank you. [applause] >> welcome back. this is our second panel on the day of releasing the report on advice for presidential candidates. i have announced the members of the working group in the beginning it we