tv Charlie Rose PBS November 12, 2013 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with presidential historian doris kearns goodwin, her new book is called the bully pulpit, they door roosevelt, william howard taft and the golden age of journalism. >> and i would like to think that empathy is what i brought to all of these people. i mean, even with taft, you start off knowing almost nothing about hip except he was a fat and lost the 11 in 12 and won the election in eight and a really decent man, he is not a public leader like teddy, but i felt a sense of understanding where he was coming from, understanding his wife, who he adored and who had a stroke in the beginning of his presidency and suddenly i am feeling so sad for him. and i would like to think that experience with lbj as a historian changed me forever, because i am not judging these people, i am trying to make them come to life. >> rose: we conclude with josef joffe, he is the publisher and editor of "die zeit" his new book is called the myth of america's decline. >> in fact, you are right when
you say a sound economy at home is one of the preconditions for an active role abroad, but what we see in the obama administration is retraction, i am not calling it's population, i am calling it retraction, pulling back from the tra veils of the world, tremendous veils and i don't see anything else who can with housekeeper of the world, doris kearns goodwin and josef joffe, when we continue. additional funding provided by these funders. >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. >> from our studios in new york
city, this is charlie rose. >> the great fundamental issue now before our people, it is are the american people fit to govern themselves to rule themselves, to control themselves? i believe they are. my opponents do not. >> rose: doris kearns goodwin is here, she is a historian, she is an author,? he is so much more, her books have brought to life some of the most fascinating figures in american history and awarded the pulitzer prize, eleanor the home front in world war ii, her 2005 book, teams of rivals of abraham lincoln and leading members of his cabinet was part of the steven spielberg movie lincoln, this tells the story of roosevelt and howard taft, they door roosevelt, william theodore
.. roosevelt. >> william howard taft. >> thank you. >> your red sox did it. >> oh, my god, we were there. the happiest day to be there when they won in that stadium. >> rose: game six at home. >> and that they were winning all the time so i didn't have to run around to the bathroom to be afraid. it was great. >> rose: and good for boston. >> it was great for boston. it really was. and that team was a different kind of team that we usually have, scrappy, no big stars. >> rose: exactly. >> except for big papi and they worked together as a team. >> rose: can you imagine, he hit about 7:30 for the entire series. >> i know. incredible. he is magic. >> certainly was magic in the playoffs and series. the bully pulpit, you came to this, because the last time i really talked to you, you are writing a book about teddy roosevelt, what the hell happened? >> well, you know,. >> rose: you couldn't find enough about teddy roosevelt so you had to pull in others. >> never can i write just about
the person, but the a lot of interest no way could i write about lincoln without including the cabinet. >> so true with teddy, great books have been written on him, wanted to use him and the progressive err are a so i decide i will have a bigger cast of characters, taft i had an extraordinary friendship i didn't know about and the journal lists are essential to the progressive area so i widened my group of people so hopefully it could be a fresh look. >> rose: so it really is about their relationship to these journalists, these enormous steps of lincoln. >> all wrote for one magazine. >> sam mcclure who they consider his magazine mcclure the van gawrd of the progressive movement, fabulous, colorful, kind of like teddy, manic and at times and would be in as asylums at time. they are all at this place, they all are comrades, and they
create enormous impact, because they mobilize the country to allow teddy roosevelt to pressure a reluctant congress to get something done. >> rose: when did -- when did teddy roosevelt and william howard taft first meet?. they first meet when the they are in their thirties in washington, teddy is civil service commissioner and taft is solicitor-general, they lived in the same part of washington, and they had kids the same age, so they walked together to work, i love the image of them walking, taft sort of listening to teddy, teddy -- >> rose: what is the difference in the size of these two men. >> taft would have been then at a slimmer level two, 50, 270, teddy, teddy weighed in the two hundreds but teddy is five-nine, five-10. >> taft is six feet tall but much big store they would have been looked shorter than each other. >> and what happened to the friendship. >> it lasted for a long time. and in fact teddy makes taft his hand picked successor in 1908 when he wasn't running again and runs his campaign, gives him all
the advice in the world, don't play golf, it is a rich man's game you won't look like a working class guy, fight him,. >> rose: william jennings brian. >> right and he is so happy when taft wins, taft will carry out my legacy, i trust no one more, he calls him a beloved person in his letters, teddy then goes to africa and gives him space, comes back and his progressive friends tell him that taft hasn't been as honest to the legacy. >> rose: and is cozing up to ceos. >> and to the regulars in the congress who he needed he thought to get the tariff bill through, it was more complicated than that, he simply didn't know how to be a public leader and he screwed up the things he tried to do to fulfill teddy's legacy and then teddy comes back and he is missing being president and the progressives say we want you so he ends up, of course, running against taft. >> rose: and woodrow wilson wins. >> of course when the two split the vote, actually teddy and taft together, teddy as the third party candidate and taft as the regular republican
candidate get more than 50 percent of the vote, but they split it and of course the democrat wins and wins the congress and wins the senate. >> rose: and then world war i and that's the way history happens. >> that's the way history happens. >> rose: so but more about the friendship, i mean they were very different men, one loved the public eye, didn't like the public eye, taft was much more cerebral would you say. >> yes, deliberate if the. >> rose: deliberate if the would be a better word. >> i think part of sit opposites attracting that teddy was so outdoorsy and taft except for golf hardly wanted to walk, roosevelt tried to drag him on these expeditions where you climb over rocks and mountains and he would just stay home but they a third from early on, they were new reform in other words the early corrupt age of the 18 nineties, 1900s, early gilded age they both wanted to see politics out of civil service, they both wanted to see regulation of government, and they were considered new men, so that is what they shared as young people, against the
establishment of the republican party. >> rose: it is often said teddy roosevelt resided in a transition over america's public life. >> before teddy roosevelt nothing really had been done to help the social and economic problems of the industrial age, you had this huge gap between the rich and the poor, so many echoes like today, it takes me so long to write this the echoes come back, the middle class is being squeezed out, you have got monopolies that are forming and not doing fairly by people, and you have tenements and slums and they thought then before teddy roosevelt that government had nothing to do with that, indeed if it interfered with the economy you would screw up the whole economy, so he begins to be the modern president as a steward of the people and senses through public pressure to get congress to the first regulation of meat packing, the first regulation of labor situations, antitrust suits, it is the modern world that is beginning, modern regulatory world. >> rose: and correlation zero today's world as we have gone to a new age which i assume you
call the. >> like. >> it is really incredible because what happens in the 1900s because of ten inventions, the telephone, the telegraph is coming, everything is speeded up, they talk about nervous disorder at the turn of the 20th century because the pace of life is so much more, you are not writing letters but telegramming and you are moving to the city and you miss the so las of the country. if that is considered speeding up the internet speeded up our life exponentially. >> and there is a basic question what is the role of the government? >> that's right. >> rose: which is a still a big we looking at the healthcare debate. >> it was debated philosophically then, laissez-faire was almost a religious fervor, not, the overwhelming majority of people in politics and the people believed you would hurt the prosperous economy if you got too involved that's why you had
to used the bully pulpit, he defind the national platform a real estate has unlike any other political figure to educate the country as to why government had to be important in that lives, it is a big deal what he did. >> rose: they was the first person who used the bully pulpit of the white house. indeed was the word and used used the bully pulpit, he loved reporters, if you were a tv guy or a radio guy or a print guy and having his hour saying, you would be in there taking pictures while the barber is trying to keep touch of his moving head. >> rose: and he never feared the press. he basically felt they were necessary. >> it is better that he thought they were necessary, he was a o he respected them and he knew that as long as he could accept their criticism, they would step his criticism because he got mad at them if they wrote things that he thought they were stupid and instead of breaking the friendship it kept going. >> rose: john kennedy was a bit like that, we talk about kennedy on the 50th anniversary.
>> it means you have enough confidence in yourself and enough stebs sense of swagger that i need the public so i need the press, i mean the press is the channel to the public. >> rose: lyndon johnson never got that? >> no. i mean maybe in the early days he did when he was being treated well, and he liked to think, but after a while, once the press became neck, you know, then the friendship would be broken, that is a very different kind of thing. >> rose: because -- i thought it happened earlier because of the kennedy, kennedy was so charismatic and he felt they loved him more than they will ever love me and never give me a fair shake. >> the johnson was so interesting, nobody is more colorful, except my guy teddy roosevelt. >> rose: you think more colorful than lyndon johnson? >> well, i will say i didn't know teddy roosevelt when i was 24 years old and didn't go down to his ranch, so johnson wins in that regard. >> rose: have you written everything you are going to write about that? >> i don't know, i feel so strongly still about lbj and,
you know, i think maybe as i get older i would like to think about it, not as a 30-year old when i wrote it, right after knowing him, and feeling that sense of friendship, but as a historian, so many years later, yeah i think so-so. >> rose: you really should, i don't know, if any 24 years old had a relationship with a president in terms of how he actually -- he was crazy about you because of your brain and experience and -- >> , no it was my physical being. (laughter.) >> rose: i was hoping you would say that. (laughter.). >> rose: i wanted you to lead me into that. >> squabble i did that. >> rose: i am so lucky. jack welch wait until this moment. >> anyway -- >> rose: you can't get out now. >> i will always be grateful to lbj, i think what happened then, i saw him in a vulnerable stage in his life. >> rose: exactly. >> when he needed so las and i developed and empathy for him and i would like to think that empathy is what i brought to all of these people. even with taft, you start off knowing almost nothing about him
except he was fat and lost the 11 election in 12 and won in eight an he is a decent man, not a public leader like teddy but i sense a is, i felt a sense of understanding him and his wife, who he adored and had a stroke in the beginning of his presidency and i am feeling so sad for him and i would like to think that experience with lbj as a historian changed me forever because it meant i am not judging these people, i am trying to make them come to life. >> i could talk strolls about, this i mean, it is such and extraordinary opportunity and you wrote the, you need to write the book and soon. >> uh-oh. >> rose: no. do it thousand, because really, it is really the perspective of someone -- i mean to have, with someone as larger than life as linton johnson, everybody says that, to know him at a point in which he is thinking about this life. >> right. >> rose: like .. unparalleled, no one had that access. >> it was very special.
>> rose: what was it about you he loved so much? i am serious now, other than your physical presence. >> where you know what? i think because i listened to him. he told stories, half of them weren't true, it didn't matter, i listened, i mean, i would listen and i loved it, i mean, i love history, right. >> rose: yeah. >> he knows i love history so how could it not be fun to have a 24-year-old thinking about history and looking at this guy and he is telling stories and he is saying yeah, tell me more. >> yes and a food listener can make you much more willing to talk. >> i think so. >> rose: there is a sense of you don't want to talk to the wall you want to talk to somebody who says, that is fascinating. and then asks questions like, and maybe precipitate answers or thoughts you would not have otherwise if the question hadn't been there. >> i think that's right. what i find myself do which any of these other people i talk to them anyway but they don't talk back to me. >> rose: i think also he is certainly sort of a harvard ph.d. stuff too, didn't he. >> and the anti-war stuff too. >> rose: and it was like two
people who could not be more different. >> right, right. >> rose: sitting in a room having a conversation about big ideas. >> big. >> rose: about war, about politics, about the country, about change, all of that. >> rose: i want you to go back today and write this book. but now this guy. >> yes, sir. this guy is almost as interesting. >> rose: that's not true. is it really? >> yes, yes. >> rose: okay. make the case. >> okay. he was interested in 1,000 things. if he read an article one day and it could be about bushwhacking or about birds, it could be about a syria he would have a person to lunch the next day, now wait just be quiet and then he wrote 40 books, he had manic energy, that's the one who gave maxwell good to the very last drop, he was physical extraordinary, right, he had asthma as a kid, somebody says to him at one point you are
becoming an invalid you have to do manager to make your body, i know your mind is great but your body has to be there for the mind so he comes out this exercise maniac. >> rose: and he -- >> think of what happened to him. not only does he have the life threatening asthma, his father dies when he is at harvard his beloved father and his wife who is young dies in childbirth on the same day that his mother dies in the same house and then he goes to the badlands. >> rose: that's right. he went to the badlands after --. on the same day his wife and mother. >> his mother had gotten typhoid fever and died a week later, the depression was such he went to the badlands because he thought constant activity would prevent over thought and he could finally sleep at night as he rounded up the ranch hand guys for 200 miles a day, and then he comes back, finally, and sees again the young girl, he dirt car row his best friend as a kid and loved him all his life and finally manny ramirez irs her and loved him with a passion of a girl.
>> rose: did he love her with the same passion? >> i think he loved her not with that kind of romantic passion he had for the first one, for alice but a much deeper love, a sustaining love that lasted the rest of his life, he really loved her and she became his wife, she had a very disordered childhood, her father had been very wealthy man and lost his money and became an alcoholic so all she wanted when she married him was a home, a sanctuary, an anchor and given the energy he had he could always refresh himself at home. that is what is so interesting about these people, nellie taft grows up unconventional and wants to be something and wants to teach and she decides she will never get married and meets taft and respects and adores her and wants her independence and makes her his partner and she is his political advisor and helps them to become president he never would have run if it hadn't been for her and she tragically, eight weeks or so after his presidency starts, has a stroke, had been healthy all the way up until then could
never speak connected language again and you wonder why his presidency facility erred, not just because he couldn't be a public leader and didn't understand things and he shouldn't have been a politician, this overshadowed everything so that is what interests me, these people, that's how you look ever netcally it doesn't mean you say sea great leader because of it it is just you feel is a sad. >> rose: was there a bounty ofs, letters, correspondence, trends who recorded and wrote memoirs about each of -- >> well, the great thing was that they had 400 letters they eckersley exchange with each other over a period of time, handwritten, later some of them typed and they really talked, that's the way people communicated them then but then there is this other great character archie butt. >> i love him he is the military aid to roosevelt and taft. >> rose: they both loved him. >> and he loved both of them and wrote daily letters to the family and they are a treasure because they are gossipy and tell a[ telephone ringing ] yout each person is feeling, he was
so concerned when teddy was thinking of running against taft, that he didn't know what to do. do, can i leave taft because i love teddy so much he knew he could never leave taft because he glue to love him too, so he needs to take a vacation. >> rose: don't they insist on it too. >> it is so sad, so anyway he is going to europe, and the day teddy announces he decides i can't leave taft now h he he wil need me more than anything so he canceled the reservation and taft says you go on and he comes back and it goes down and devastated taft again. >> they both cried, taft probably more. >> rose: and you. >> that person, you know. >> rose: that woman who keeps -- so really amazing story. >> it really is. i mean, what i think history is about is stories, you tell a series of connected stories, so here i am telling a series of stories about taft and teddy and
about tar bell, there is another person, a great journalist, she makes another decision as a woman, a young woman at 14, she praise that she will never get mar recognize. >> rose: praise? >> because she feels the frustration of her mother who had talent and wanted to do nothing and never gets married but becomes the most famous journalist of her era, think we can have those things together that no one of these three women thought they could have. it is good. >> rose: it is good. times have changed. i was thinking about your son who went to iraq and all of that, the wonderful sons you have and so proud of. >> we were here together, you and me -- >> rose: i remember. so then there is the campaign, was it mean? >> it was so mean spirited i think eventually the only way that teddy could justify his feelings of going against taft was really exaggerate what taft had done and what he was so he really came to believe that taft betrayed him and called him a fathead with a guinea pig brain and a puzzle whitt and taft
thinking he is going for a third term and going for this radical proposal if it didn't like a popular decision, it could recall it, for taft that was way over the edge so he thought a dictatorship might occur or a popular member side, when taft got mean to teddy, teddy loved the fight, of course, and eventually, though, what makes a good ending, finally, is that i felt sad wondering what could have happened to the two of them after 1912, when they run against each other, and people tried to bring them together, in 1914, 1916, but it was almost like an armed neutrality, they were mad at each other. >> they never talked? >> not, never, never during that time, well they met but very coldly, and then finally, in 1918, about the year before teddy dies he is in the hospital with an illness that taft had once had, so taft just wrote him a note saying i know what you going through it is painful because i went through it. >> and teddy answered it but
they still hadn't a seen each other but 1919 months before ted die dies, no 1918, taft goes to the blackstone hotel in chicago, and he is going uh up the elevator and the elevator operator says to him, oh, mr. roosevelt is in the dining room eating alone, i will go back down. >> there is a reporter there, thank god to record this, he goes in the room and 100 diners there, the wait staff is all there and he goes over to teddy, hello, throws his arm around him, teddy says sit down, the entire restaurant collapse they know this means the friendship has come together. it is so great and the reporter then. >> rose: that makes you crazy. >> and says to the reporter thank god this happens, i am so thad we are trends again and some months later, teddy dies and taft is an honored guest at the funeral and he says to teddy's sister i don't know what we would have done if we hadn't come back together again i would have mourned it all my life, it is emotional. >> rose: so wha what happened to
taft after that. >> the great thing that happens to taft, all he wants to do is be a justice on the supreme court, teddy offers it to him three times and doesn't take it either a of the three times, he is in the ill philippines and thinks he can't leave his duty so, so, and finally in 1921 he gets appointed supreme court chief justice. he is happy, the last decade of his life, he said in is the happiest day of my life when he became supreme court justice. >> rose: what age. >> he would have been in his sixties then and he lives until the end -- he is almost there for a decade until he dies. and the incredible thing about his weight, is that it goes up and down his whole life depending on his happiness so he is 250 at yale and then when he is happy at yale and 350 in the presidency and he is back to 250 again when he is on the supreme court. when he didn't need to be thin because he had a robe. >> rose: and he loved that work. >> he loved that work. he was, his father was a judge, he loved being a judge, i mean he probably meant it when he said if it hadn't been for
nellie my wife i still would have been a judge in cincinnati but he said i got to see a world, my kids could always say their father had been president and i don't think he regretted it but i think he was very happy -- >> rose: how many preatz have we had that became supreme court justices. >> nobody else, not chief justice, charles evan hughes had been a justice and ran for real estate but lost, so he would have been the other one had he won. >> rose: amazing and so how was roosevelt when he died. >> only 60 so he probably hurt himself when he went on that trip on the river of doubt and had fevers left in him but he wasn't feeling well the last month or so of his life but went back to sycamore hill and seemed to be getting better and that night he spent the whole day with edith and it was at their beloved home and he went to sleep and he had an embolism and died in his sleep, as the vice president of the time said death, this is is the only way he could have died, death had to take him sleeping or he would have put up a fight, so 60 years old, i mean, so young. >> rose: i have always heard,
and maybe read as well that he, when he was in the badlands, he wasn't that great of a cowboy. >> right. >> rose: but he loved it and he wanted to do it and the idea of trying it was what was at his essence. >> that is -- you got it, he once said about himself, i am an ordinary man with extraordinary perseverance, i don't have great eyesight but a good bird he, not a great shot but i have done wide wild game, i was about great rancher but i could do it, i am not a great writer but i wrote 40 books, it is his essence he tried. >> rose: that's what i love, love, love. >> that's what we can follow, you can't be a genius if you are not a genius but you can be him, as a did he said he was very timid so he wills himself to not be afraid of things and then of course in the rough riders he takes that horse and mounts it, when he gets shot in the middle of the campaign in 1912, you know, right in the chest, and he inment assists on giving a speech as the running is uning underneath the shirt, it was
will, not temperamental that's a nice way you can will things. >> rose: he is a reminder to people that history is replete with that people willed themselves to be something and they became that thing. >> right, absolutely. >> rose: and in every way they said i want to be this man and they become that man. >> right. >> rose: in terms of every way. i think in some ways he was probably in love with the presidency, that's part of the reason why he ran in 1912, he knew that being that man, being in the center of decision making he never hate add minute of it, zero miserable presidency for him. >> rose: right. >> he loved the people, when he would go out on the mean and, train and speak to people he spoke for months at a time he knew how to speak their language, people may say i am not speaking like a harvard guy i am speaking in folksy language, the square deal, speak softly but carry a big stick, the people loved it and he was happy because he was saying when you exercise your talents to the fullest he said in a job that is worth wild worthwhile that is
pure happiness and i think that is true. >> rose: and something along the excellence but the same thing you just said, use all of your talents in the pursuit of excellence. >> something that is worthy. >> rose: something that is worthy and that's the good life. >> right. >> rose: that's the definition of the good life. >> which i think made him probably one of the happiest arrest we have ever had. >> rose: yes. he loved the job. >> he loved the job and he led during a period where there was great progress and he felt good about it. >> rose: did taft blame him for the defeat, basically saying i would have been president if you hadn't? >> , no i don't think so, to be honest i wish the two sat down together and taft could have said to him, you know, i don't really want to be president again, he felt he owed it to the dignity -- >> rose: i want to be on the property. >> exactly, that's deal lyndon johnson would have made that deal. what is funny. this is a sideline but you know that washington national baseball team mascot, this year they added taft to the mascot so a taft and teddy mascot and they
are huge so i had my picture taken in the middle of them bringing them together. i look like this midget, it is a great picture. >> rose: that is great. >> that is my dream, i said, look, taft you want to go to the supreme court you want to be president, the reason taft ran he owed it to the dignity of the presidency that presidents should be able to be nominated again, he didn't worry if he lost the election because that would be a rejection of the party and he knew the republican party had been in office a long time and probably due for a change, but he was so unhappy, he would have been so happy being on the supreme court, even then and he would have been really happy being president in 1912, he would have been world war i guy's possibly, i don't know -- but if he waited to 1916, he would have won, i mean, charles evan hughes almost won against wilson so this guy would have won and he would have led us into world war i. >> rose: wilson not only led us into world war i but sick half the time, badly sick. >> right. the this is where the history roads -- >> rose: does wilson fascinate you at all or too something? >> well i shouldn't say he is
cerebral and academic because that's what i said about -- >> rose: he is not a mann of action so to speak. >> not like this guy. >> rose: but scott burns writes about him. >> scott burns is a great guy, sea rend of mine, it is sadder than mine, maybe not, maybe not, a little thinner than lincoln, by the way. >> rose: this is as great book because it is also about the golden age of journalism, what makes it the golden age of journalism? >> because these journalists felt they had a mission and call to make the country better and what happened is at mcclure's and other magazines followed suit, anna tar bell and ray baker were given two years of research and complete staff reporting salary to do the do the kind of story telling that could mobilize the could, when wrote about rockefeller and, it made the trusts understandable, oh by god this is what they are doing to us and they were willing to regulate corporations to the first time, when ray baker wrote about railroads this is unfair what they are doing to
us so they regulate railroad, lincoln stefns writes about corruption in the city, mayors get thrown out and fors go go to jail as a result in the state and later in life they all met, this is another one of those epilogue things they would all meet for mcclure's birthday because he eventually lost his magazine and gave his money to his writers and never made a profit because he just loved what he was doing and as a result failed eventually but they would go back on his birthday to celebrate it so in the that 1930s and 1940s they lived long and looked back on this period by far as the best period of their life with such nostalgia because they knew their reports changed the country to allow the teddy roosevelt to change the country and he just hopes a new generation of journalist accounts come along with the mission and call to make the country closer to its ancient ideals. >> that is. >> rose: that is another great aspiration for journalists coming today. >> and so much harder today, i think, given the attention span
being so fragmented, are people anywhere resourcing journalists to expense spend two years time. >> rose: and giving the news so fragmented in terms of the capacity to have your only little megaphone. >> right. >> rose: through a blog, everybody is -- >> it is almost like. >> rose: a zillion opinions out there and less reporting. >> i think that is right. i think there is much more information object through but less understanding. >> rose: and reporting more. >> exactly. in fact, the bully pulpit, the word bully, everybody has a little bully pulpit now, just lick you say the meg money comes back. >> rose: megaphone comes back. >> rose: back to you, my dear. >> how about you, mr. charlie. >> rose: boring. (laughter.). >> rose: so does anybody interest you who is not either president or associated with presidents? >> i hope some daily get past these dead presidents. >> rose: no, no, i think you should, by the way. >> me too. >> rose: i think -- you know, being your mentor -- >> i will listen. the only thing is, at this stage of my life, i don't know that, i
mean, seven years, franklin, lincoln was ten, so i have to choose carefully, i can't make a mistake this time, well i haven't made a mistake, i really don't think i have chosen anybody i wish i hadn't. >> rose: i free. >> i want to make sure this will be right so i don't know yet. i am still living with these guys. >> rose: i am really interesting also by doris kearns goodwin, team of rivals, wait until next year, a memoir. >> baseball. >> rose: baseball. not ordinary time, franklin eleanor roosevelt, the home front in world war ii, fitzgeralds and the kennedys, lyndon johnson and the american dream, to be continued. >> i hope so. >> rose: so there is also this. i mean, are you ever intrigued by like somebody like libbed berg, lindbergh? would that be interesting to you ..? or de gaulle or somebody who is not part of american history?
>> i am not sure to be honest. i would love to have a woman. >> rose: there you go. >> who is a part of american history. i don't think i can live abroad at this point and i studied french for eight years but i can't speak a word of it so that is the end of de gaulle. i am not good with languages, i studied russian. >> rose: that would be good. >> degaulle is an interesting character. >> who i would love to have done is winston churchill. can you imagine living with winston churchill? that would be the best, if i were 20 years old. >> and this is william manchester who wrote about -- >> also the death of a president, his stuff on churchill is fabulous, i am not sure that would prevent it being done and i can see speaking in england and i can speak the language so -- we will see. >> rose: i mean it would be interesting to think any of somebody who was a cultural figure, just for the diversity of it. >> i agree. >> rose: but you are not building on your experience you are going out and taking a risk, aren't you? >> you would be, that's one
benefit you feel like you have a foundation under you on each one, i no he these other presidents so i can think of how he led compared to others. but i thought maybe of writing about leadership, leadership lessons from the white house. >> rose: that is really, really good. >> because you know all of these business books on leadership but i want to tell stories and just use my guys and i don't want them to be too fat so i don't have to broaden the spectrum but lbj and taft, why did he not work, why did roosevelt work and eleanor. >> and illustrate the universal traits that leaders share that would be fun fun. >> rose: what would lyndon johnson be telling president obama right now? >> i think obviously in the beginning he would have been telling him just get those guys over to the white house, you know, i know they may not be fun, i know you would rather have dinner with your family, but i did it every day, when he first took over that office, i think he had groups of congressmen coming almost every other night, 30 at a time, he would have ladybird show them
the white house while he would have cigars and drinks until every congressman was there, every senator was there but that was his world, that's the only world he knew, and he knew how to deal with them. and there was a different political culture then, they were trends across party lines, he and dirk son had been friend before he needed him on the civil rights bill it doesn't happen that way anymore, they are not in washington on the week weekends they are going home to raise money, i think he might tell him, you know, that something has to break this -- whatever is happening in washington anemone is the poison of the system, and i don't know if lbj would have seen that but i think so, i think the amount of time they have to spend raising money to stay in office means they go home on the weeks so they are in special interests, they are not talking to each other, they have special constituencies and now we have to redistrict the country, somebody, we can do these things, you know, fdr once a said these are human problems created by men and can be solved by men and we think w we can't o anything about it or my guy
mcclure said in an editorial there is no one left but all of us, everybody is so upset with what is going on in washington, what are we doing about it? >> rose: do you think it is a failure of the president? >> i think he has to lead us to do something. we are not doing much either and i think on some of the issues where he tried on gun control, there he did lead a common conversation, it looked like the cub wanted some background checks, and he did, i think he used the bully pulpit and the then still nothing happened. it is the power of the special interests was strong enough and what happened? we are on to some other subject and have for gotten about it. >> rose: though -- >> we never had one for a little while -- >> we had one every year -- >> rose: and richard reeves said about the president, obama, he said he is more professor than he is leader. and judgment is something that does not come from -- it is not a cerebral experience, it is something else, i guess, experience. >> i am not sure that judgment
-- i am not sure that judgment is what is lacking. i think he has judgment. i think he has made certain decisions about international things, about where to go on certain issues. the question that people don't understand still is he was such a great communicator during campaigns and is it a different communication when you are just in the tell graph and in the telephone, or vice versa you are in the oval office. >> rose: you need to get out of 1912. >> you have a teleprompter in front of you is what i meant, and when he doesn't have an audience, he is an pdr when he did his radio chat he would have people sitting there so he could feel the energy and it seems when president president obama is with people he gets energy and he responds to it, when he is in front of a teleprompter, of course reagan didn't have because that is what he is used to, he needs to figure out how to get out of the white house more. this guy teddy took these train rips to renew himself as well as to understand the country. >> rose: and he also appreciated the fact that having
the press there but a good thing because that way the message would be at large. >> exactly. the press could give the megaphone to use your word again, he needed his communication skills and the press. so i don't know if wrote qusay to the press come in more, i need more press conferences i would say yes, teddy had two press conference as week and with them every day, although they are pains in the neck you need them and they need you. >> rose: back to what you wrote, about the time, there are a handful of time in the history of our country where there occurred a transformation so remarkable that a moat seems to take place and a new country he memories at such a time. >> that's why i love this time. i always want to live in my mind in the times that are the most interesting and i can't dramatic like pdr saying in the 40s and 30s we have a rendezvous with destiny. >> rose: i love that. >> so did these people. this generation felt, pot just even the politicians and the journalists, there were people in churches, there were people
in trade associations there were people in businesses they all were part of this larger social movement, the jane adams of the world, they are changing the nature of the government and the people and the country, and that is a pretty heady feeling i would much rather live then than in the twenties or the seventies or the eighties, i would choose those times, obviously the civil war, the new deal and world war ii, and the sixties are a time where you felt you could change the country, it may be an illusion but people feeling it, coming together can make something happen. >> rose: how do you think lbj would feel about the packet it took four volumes by one of our great his stoarps historians? >> he would be glad. >> he would probably say only power? >> exactly where is the rest? >> in fact i have this recurring nightmare there will be in the afterlife a panel of older presidents i ever studied and each one will tell me everything i got wrong and the first person will be how come the book on the kennedy it is twice as long as the book you wrote about me? so
he would be very happy, the longer the better, the fatter the better. >> rose: now, when will you decide what you are going to do next? >> probably after christmas. >> rose: what do you it is an active pursuit by you? >> i am obsessed with the importance of story, i he it is the way we learn from our parents and grandparents and the way we pass knowledge on, it is what history is all about, we have to learn from the struggles and try uchs of these people before an i just have been reading about that oral story tradition, when you sat around the fire on the, before the printed age and the elders told you stories and that's where everything came from before the age of print so i would like to think about story telling and how important that can be in our lives but somewhere in story telling leadership world something will emerge. >> rose: somebody said to me we have been doing this table for 22 years what are you doing i said you, i have been doing only one thing, telling stories, that's all that is happening at this table, is telling stories. >> absolutely, stories have the
beginning, filled and end and people can remember them because we are wired astor i are telling animals, i read a book about story telling animals, our brains are wired from the time we are, why do kids love stories and have fantasies in something has meaning in a story and that's why lincoln was such a great storyteller, that was his main patea, and that's why he was a great politician and i have lived with some pretty good guys. >> rose: yes, you have. the bully pulpit is doris kearns goodwin's most recent book, teddy radios strelt, william howard taft and the golden age of journalism, stay with us we will be back in, we will be back in a moment. >> -- among prepared is not work at all, that's what i said in june when he was in berlin, in july, and also yesterday on the phone. and this is in the interest of the german citizens, this is not about me specifically. >> rose: yo is here he is senior fellow at stanford university, he is also the
publisher and editor of the german weekly "die zeit", newspaper's latest edition examines a falling out between the united states and germany, revelations that the nsa tapped german merkel's phone have strained relations between berlin and washington, yo is also the author of of a new book, the myth of america's decline, politics, economics and a half century of false prophecies, it argues america's vital, death of america's vitality is greatly exaggerated and and i am happy to have him k at this table. >> >> thank you. >> we will get to the myth of america's decline let's talk about the relationship between germany and the united states. >> yes. >> the. >> she has said it is a question of trust. how serious is it and what do they have to do to get it back on track, the relationship? >> . first of all, everybody spies on everybody else, the problem is, that the united states is a lot better at it than the germans or
the french or the brits. having said -- and by the way, one of the problems -- one of the robs of any stronger reaction on the part of merkel is that there is a very interesting relationship within the german services and the msa, both profitable to both. the rule is you don't get caught and the u.s. did get caught, and so then all the issues damaged this. so i would add, you know, to anybody, to president obama or whoever, it is not worth it. it is not worth it. but let me tell you something about the past. there is a wonderful story about previous helmut kohl whose drivers always had a jar of coins with him so when he needed to make a sensitive phone call they would drive outside of the city of bonn, the old capital and find a secluded telephone booth and that's where he made his phone calls, the other
chancellor, hellmuth smith i just talked to him the other day, oh, i was absolutely sure every single one of my phone calls was listened in to. the point i am trying to make is, this is happening, but the issue is don't get caught. first rule in spying. >> rose: so tell me about the german economy, tell me about the recent election of the chancellor, tell me about the new coalition, tell me what she wants to do. >> in the american terms, i can hardly was that comparison if you had a government of democrats and republicans, it is unimaginable under american circumstances, certainly the way the congress operates now, but, you know, by coalition is something that is very popular in europe, it gives you a sense of stability, it also tells you the citizen voter, nothing much can happen in this government to
me, because the forces will balance each other out. >> rose: the german my is built on export. >> yes. >> will that continue? >> will global demand go down? >> germany is the china of europe. >> rose: yes indeed. >> it is trying to change. >> it is very hard, by the way, culturally to change, how do you make a nation like the chinese who save almost 50 percent of their gdp, save it, how do you make them spend more? the jerry mains save around 18 percent one of the highest ratios in the world, how do you get them so get them to stop? it is not that easy. so i think the germans are -- look so good because the others are so bad. they are no not that great. >> rose: meaning the french and the italians. >> yes, the germans have held back wages to modernize and loosen up labor markets and the
others haven't, so relative to them they look great but they have their own problems. >> rose: are you spliefd the euro zone came out and did not collapse as some predicted it might? you know, this remind me of a famous french diplomat who came to nato and said this works in practice but it could never work in theory. the euro could never work in theory, because you can't have a monetary union without a political union. but everybody is obsessively trying to save the euro. >> rose: including angela merkel. >> including angela merkel, who profited enormously from the euro. they have at this veteraned the releapt less devaluations pressures on their mark and it is the underpinning of an enormous export performance, so everybody is obsessively trying to save it. >> rose: let me talk about
your book because that's why you came here. the myth of america's decline, politics, economics in a half century what is your argument to the fact america is not going to decline and 21st century might not necessarily be asia's century? >> first of all, because there is nobody else to be housekeeper of the world. admittedly the u.s. is not being very skillful these days, but, in running the world and admittedly obama's america is doing it worse to retract from the world, obama is nation building at home but what wit wt we seed in the what we see in the obama administration is retraction, not isolationism, retraction, pulling back from the travails of the world and i don't see anybody else who can be housekeeper of the world. >> rose: you are not saying policeman but housekeeper. >> i think housekeeper has a nicer ring, doesn't it? >> rose: i don't know.
>> >> it is really hard to figure out who could be. i would call the united states, a default power. >> rose: because china doesn't want to? >> well, i don't think they are culturally equipped to do that. it is a country whic which has t thousands of years in total isolation. i think it takes a liberal empire like the brits and americans to be good housekeepers:to the authoritarian regimes are not very good at this. they try but not very good at it. but having said that the issue about the united states is that everybody was always mesmerized since the days of sputnik in the fifties and the russians, that somebody else, the russians, the europeans, the japanese, remember the japan hype of the eighties, were brogue faster and would ultimately overtake the united states and leave the united states in the dust, and
these things i am trying to look at here, i am looking at this asian growth model, japan, taiwan, now china, they all follow the same model and they all went to very -- from very rapid double digit growth to either no growth, as the japanese, or south korea to four percent growth. and you are seeing that same phenom on in the chinese case too. one of the points i am trying to make is, do not mistake rapid rise at the beginning for endless growth that you can project. >> rose: well, double digit to seven, the chinese, but the japanese economy is coming back, do you think the japanese will offer a challenge to the chinese. >> the chinese are very mixed mind. on the one hand, they thought lay was great under the american umbrella. now, they are not so sure whether that umbrella will always be there or whether it will hold and what we are seeing
now, the japanese a very subtle game on the one hand there is this solid old japan, peaceful and cooperative and on the other hand, they require, i think, the third largest surface navy in the world. very subtle, and i think it is very important that the united states keep providing that umbrella so that countries like japan will remain in the american polled. >> rose: are you impressed by prime minister abei. >> yes, because he is trying to put some fire under the ketable, but when i look kettle but when i look at the .. economic policies, it is macro, more spending, more government spending how often can you pave the same road over and over again? the problems of the country is rapid aging. >> rose: right. >> they can't do anything about it. the problem of the country is microeconomics, the way the markets are organized, the way they constrain competition, for
instance, and so abei cannot take on those dispensations and vested interests that have a kind of -- just slow down almost paralyze the japanese economy. >> rose: what is your assessment of president obama in terms of foreign policy? >> these who believe that it is the end of the american century should take close notice of the way the u.s. starting with the bushes, by the way, and continuing with the obama administration, have organized sanctions that have proved to be extremely powerful and extremely hurtful to the iranian economy, that is a quite a diplomatic feat i must say so that is the key reason why the new government is at least pretending if not actually being cooperative. whether that country will give
up nuclear weapons, which by the way were started by our good friend the shah in the seventies. >> rose: and we supported that. >> and we supported that because he was our guy, right? a country that has done that 40 years, all odds against, all pressure, it is at least not immediately evident to me that they would express this. now the question is, their game is to get rid of the sanctions. can we reinstall the sanctions if they don't give up the nukes that is a big, open question. >> rose: syria. >> rose: russia gets in says maybe we should try this. >> yes. >> rose: and have influence with assad? a. yes.>> i think if you don't k he will give up his chemicals weapons so-so far he has taken -- he has done what they expected and, expected him to do so far. >> uh-huh. >> rose: the president's
supporters say, you know, he is doing what w we want him to do, get rid of chemical weapons without having to attack and therefore risk unforeseen consequences. >> yes. >> rose: is that wise on the part of the president? >> first of all, i in us say this is, this is one of the smartest moves of russian diplomacy in a long time. >> rose: they put them in an important place as a central figure. >> and also dribbling out the snowden information as needed. i mean, that is brilliant. i mean, telling the world that the u.s. is listening in on the chancellor. >> rose: how are they -- do you believe that snowden has told them everything he knows and shown them everything he has? >> i would be not surprised if that were the case and also not be surprised if he were being choreographed and advised and helped in what has been an extremely successful game of
dribbling out stuff by bit by bit, keeping the fires roaring. this has done enormous damage to the united states and you have to assume this was not something that putin didn't know about. so score two for putin. >> rose: okay. then comes the saudis and saudis say you can't trust those americans. >> >> so there is no significance to this business about the wall street journal to other people saying, you know -- >> they have been writing this stuff for the last 20 years and the saudis are the fence sitters -- >> rose: so much to do about nothing. >> rose: much to do about nothing? >> no. they will never commit. the saudis have invented fence sitting. so i would not take that to -- i would take putin seriously because he scored two big ones against me if i were the
president. >> rose: mean giving asylum to snowden is one? >> yes and parceling this out in a very strategic matter. snowden, i can't -- this is so beautifully choreographed, maybe snowden has been doing it all by himself, i don't think so. so my admiration for putin has grown a little bit over the last several months. >> rose: as a very -- i mean sea man with a strategy? >> you got it. you got it. >> rose: and america's decline, josef joffe, a pleasure. >> thank you. >> rose:. >> rose: thank you for joining us, see you next time. the myth of america's decline, politics, economics, and a half century of false prophecies. joseph joffe, a pleasure. >> thank you.
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