Dan and Jon answer questions about the midterms, 2020, Never Trump Republicans, Iowa, the Senate, Fox News, the plutocracy, and our favorite Thanksgiving traditions. Then Doris Kearns Goodwin talks to Jon about her new book on presidential leadership.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Welcome to POD save America, I'm John Fabric, I'm Dan Pfeiffer. Later in the episode
you'll hear my interview with Doris Kearns Goodwin, author
of the new book leadership in turbulent times, I spoke to Doris just before the election, and we save this interview just for you for Thanksgiving, exciting stuff. Do you think Doris Kearns Goodwin disappointed that RON Chernow got the
it over her to speak at the White House Response Center this year? I was just telling love it that he should write a comedy speech for RON Chernow just to foil the best laid plans of the White House Correspondents Association. Roger now is a great writer and a great historian, but he doesn't scream find Saturday night to make right was with the why? But I think we should just
up in the whole thing, and he should just tell a bunch of jokes, but first we're going to do our annual
thanksgiving mailbag. This is now our tradition, Dan. The UN
do everything in our second time to sort through, I feel like we might have done it in the you, keep it sixteen hundred days, maybe yeah. I think that's right, but I can't quite remember I
blocked out most of those things like I'm aware, we had a podcast, not sure we said
everything we did make any predictions just wipe it from your mind: people, okay! So let's, let's dig into the mail,
back here. Thank you all by the way for submitting so many questions on Facebook on Twitter on Instagram all over the place,
we will start with Teresa Molina who asks how does John view twenty eight.
Through the lens of the wilderness. What mistakes did Dems repeat? What did they get right did
show evidence of learning lessons and taking a new direction. You've all heard this because we've talked about a million times, but the wilderness is the series
is that I did on the history and future of the Democratic Party yeah. I thought the Democrats learned a lot of lessons since twenty
sixteen and you know a lot of that lesson. Learning happened in the days and weeks after two thousand and sixteen. I think that we recruited some outstanding candidates in twenty eighteen, especially younger candidates, women, people of color. It was a more diverse field. They didn't come from the typical backgrounds,
of your normal candidates that we recruit off, and that was one of the messages out of the wilderness. I think the party had very good message: discipline focusing on health care and pre existing conditions. I think we learned how to be a big tent party. There were folks from you know,
Alexandria, Ocasio Cortez, to Joe Manchin that we ran, and you know there were some debates and fight
played out over the course of two thousand and eighteen, but nothing so bad is to really hurt the party in the fall. I think
We learned to focus more on down ballot races, investing in state party sort of returning the center of power in the Democratic Party back to the grassroots, and I think some candidates, like
so O'Rourke relied more on digital, organizing and less on traditional media. So I thought that was good too. In the mistakes category. I don't know if we made any big mistakes, but I still think we probably need to be less afraid and more confident in our immigration messaging. I think we still need to be talking about a bow
older economic agenda in twenty twenty, and I'm sure you agree on this one. But I'd like to hear more from you on this
still think we probably need a a sharper media strategy, a way to figure out how to break through the clutter of the current media environment and get our message out directly to voters. What do you think Dan? I mean: let's stipulate that the
Kratz did a phenomenal job. We won races up and down the ballot. We picked up more than three to fifteen minutes. Late is he's a bit of coverage if we did agree
job. So the things about to say or not raining on the parade that we should still be having from the election is more to point out the things we have to improve upon too
and in twenty twenty twenty twenty is going to be much harder 'cause, you will be.
Actually running against Trump and the problem it is,
Democrats, as you point out, did a great job with message: discipline by focusing on
care and the republican Tax cut plan and ignoring trump is just
harder to ignore trump when you were running against Trump and when he is on
valid in presidential races drive everything in a presidential year right. How are democratic nominee handles Trump is going to impact, as perhaps as much as anything else, the things that drive given to raise and Senate race in House races. So we really have to figure that peace out and improve upon it
then do it creatively. We should also just recognize that we had a lot of things going in our direction here right. We had the momentum we had. This was the first mid term of a presidential which often goes well for us, and the question for the party is
knowing that the party did a very, very good job. We do recruiting candidates, we did a great job, organizing with a great job funding
candidates. We expanded the playing field and the habit sometime
never Cratic Party is when we were at war at bottom. We do a lot of things right and then one
we get to a better position, we sort of relax. We stop investing in down ballot races. We we return to summer old habits. I think that's kind of what happened in twenty sixteen and the hope
going to make sure that doesn't happen in twenty twenty
and the two areas that I think we really need
focus on are coming up with new tools and new strategies that reflect the modern age of politics.
We won, despite this fact in two thousand and eighteen, but too many of our campaigns. Look just like the campaign for two thousand and sixteen
huge emphasis on television advertising, direct mail. Nana focus on digital advertising, digital organizing and
the candidates that you highlight Beddo obviously has been talked about.
But there are others who did a really good job around digital communications is organizing and we're going to build on that in twenty twenty if we want to have a chance to beat Trump because Trump,
Look he got into this system. Comi got a system, the Russians, he barely wine, but he didn't do all the same things that present or candidates typically. Do
he spent less money on tv. He spent a lot of money on Digital. He he did very clean
for experimentation on Digital, where they were testing doesn't,
not hundreds of messages at a time and then doubling down on the ones that were showing the most response, the pretty clever
things and we're going to have to up our game. If we're going to defeat that
in part, because Trump did that at a financial disadvantage. Last time in in twenty twenty he's going to have a massive financial advantage, because all of those billionaires who say
about two thousand and sixteen because they thought Trump was going to lose now have their giant massive tax cut on the line is going to be pouring money into helping trump. So he will
will have the ability massively aspen the democratic crack them these were. You have to be smarter and more efficient than we've ever been in the past? Yes, yes, we will. So your question comes from Emerson Boettcher, who says with
constant. Let's talk about the Tammy Baldwin and Scott Walker Voters, what's up with that,
Tammy won by a reasonable margin and Scott LAW such a tiny margin, who are those people in the middle
just like incumbents? How do they view Tammy's job differently than Scotts? That is a great
question that we're going to be forced, basically to speculate on, because unless you go back- and
you know, do sort of regression pole and see, get talk to people who actually were those voters, you don't really know, but I will make some guesses
one is it's a dwindling group, but there still are a group of people who go back and forth between parties in between elections any in our split ticket voters right there is a reason
that there is a that there are states with democratic senators, a republican governors and republican governors and democratic senators right and so
that does happen. It's it's fewer and fewer. I think what helped Tammy Baldwin is one and she is very progressive, but she she ran everywhere in G given in the city, was caught
campaign hard in red areas, rural air,
sex urban areas,
but she also had the other reason
some. These voters might have been willing to support Walker, which I can't even fathom that, because I think Scott Walker is terrible. So terribly could even beat JEB Bush Ben Carson and the twenty sixteen probably residents primary, but the argument that you needed to check on Trump is why someone might consider voting for the republican governor, but having a democratic senator, that's interesting. I also think you know incumbency matters lass and, as matter in less with each cycle, but you know: Tammy Baldwin was a more known because
Eddie Van Tony Beavers, who won the governorship. So you could see some people because they recognized him the ball once again, these are like you know, sort of voters who are my
independence. Maybe they don't vote very off,
but they recognize Tammy, Baldwin they've seen her around and maybe they
don't know. Tony is as much as I do. I can come and see probably matters a little bit too and look I mean
in situations like this
other than partisanship and ideology matter to people sometimes candidate quality matters. You know, positions on very
issues matter or in terms of like what those candidates are talking about on the campaign trail. So, like you said, we can't know for sure, but there are a few possible factors at play there. It's worth spending time
understand these voters right. So you also have
a similar situation or higher. You have shared bright people who would for sure Brown for Senate and MIKE to whine for governor right and like
understanding same thing in
in some of these other states. Right, and I mean there are people who were to Santis Nelson Voters and Florida. There were four hundred thousand people in Texas who voted for better or Rourke for Senate and grow
Abbott for governor there, and the reason we need to understand these. These voters is in States
Klay in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan. These are
voters that we need them to be in the democratic column in two thousand and twenty. If we want to win those states to the fact that we lost some of those voters in two thousand, sixteen was one of the major factors can
leading to democratic struggles and traditionally blue midwestern states. Yep next question
and get cell on Instagram said, rely
to the developments with TIM Miller, definers, Facebook, etc. Where do you stand on the view of many particularly on hard left twitter, but also elsewhere, that accommodate
never trump Republicans in general is universally bad. First,
we put out a statement this week on TIM Miller, who's no longer contributing to crooked and, if you're interested, you guys can find that
statement on Cricket Media's twitter feed. On the broader question, I do think it's valuable to hear from never trump Republicans and here's why
we have occurred in media right
company in many ways, and we sort of political activism based company in many ways I don't believe in balance, for the sake of balance like a regular media company. Might I don't think like
Oh, we have five Democrats, and so we need five Republicans to balance it out, and you know you've all heard us shit all over the civility debate many times two. So that's not a big deal from a political perspective. From an activist perspective, I believe that we do need Republicans voting Democrat in order to assemble a progressive governing majority.
Partly for some of the reasons we just talked about, like the reason that Orange County is blue.
Right now is now
because a bunch of Democrats vote in a bunch republican state home. It's because, yes, the counties in Jenner
became younger and more diverse and Democrats turned out like they never have before. All that happened all that super important, but a whole bunch of Republicans who are
You know they believe in the Republican Party or at least what the Republican Party used to be their conservative by nature, but they hate Donald Trump and they decided to vote for them.
Rats and by the way we also one.
Some voters in this last midterm election who voted for Trump in twenty sixteen,
and then decided to come back to the Democratic Party in twenty eighteen or vote for Democrats for the first time. So I
leave believe that we need to persuade Republicans to vote Democrat. I don't think we should do that by changing
positions on issues moderating pursuing
centrism any of that garbage, but I do believe that if you have a few Republicans
thinking about voting Democrat and they can hear from another Republican who says, you know what
I didn't like Donald Trump and I don't want to vote for him and by the way, I think, a lot of what my party
for right. Now, it's garbage and it's changed. I think if you hear someone like that in Europe,
who's, not sure who you're voting for you
be more likely to vote for a Democrat, and that to me is important, and
that's why you know that's why in the first place, we wanted to have him on this on to contribute a few times here, and there and again we didn't have me-
but all of time is the only one and it's
he came out and talked about all of his conservative views that we disagree with, but I think when people,
hear from a Republican who says I don't like Trump. I don't like what the republican parties become and here's why I think that helps Democrats build a progressive majority. I agree with that. I think the important word to focus on that question is accommodate yeah right, like there are some people
out there in sort of democratic establishment world who have chosen to celebrate some of these. Never trumpers right is.
If they are more
voices for american democracy right, let's reckon
is bill. Kristol has been full of shit all of his life and
he just now happens to like he. He he
he is to media coverage like what I'm off to a flame. It just happen
right now. The best way for him to get media coverage is this shit on Donald Trump. I'm sure he doesn't actually like Donald Trump, but it is useful to him to do that. This is
I do not celebrate Bill Kristol. I do not. If democratic power Ellen think they should give
still a job, he should know presidential medal of freedom, but I do think to your point that the hardest thing right now is
and political communications is to pierce information. Filter bubbles
compelling message about Trump that you
and I could say to the cow's- came home former President Barack Obama could say to them. Till the cows came home,
wouldn't mean anything. It's immediately dismiss 'cause, it's like Obama, hacks or Obama, or the fake New York Times, whatever else, but
Dick Cheney's, former chief of staff. You know that is
interesting title or John Mccain
former campaign manager,
and so to the extent that we can take the messages that never traverse, use and communicate them to solve for public or independent voters as ways to use break up parts of the term collisions a Democrat's gonna pay
I'm all for that in the second, we have power and they come after us will be back at battle. I don't want to have drinks with them,
want to hang out with them. I don't want to golf with them, but if they can help us win elections by using the things they are saying,
to persuade voters, and I am more than willing to do that. Yeah and again, it's like I come to this from a purely tactical political perspective.
If you can show me math that gets us a democratic president, a democratic Senate at a democratic house with one hundred
sent democratic voters or democratic leaning independence. Great show me that map show me the math show me the strategy, but
what I've seen over the last couple years is that you need at least some not many uh
thinking amount frankly, but you need some Republicans it independently and Republicans to join that coalition in order to have a working governing in progress, a majority and I'm interested in figuring out how to get to those voters without sacrificing any of our values, are changing our position on any of the issues that we hold dear. I'm interested in that, and I think it's important you know the point that I am sympathetic to
that undergirds some of this criticism is there. Is this sort of culture in Washington of we're going to do battle on the campaign trail and then
you're going to try to destroy everything? I believe in and takedown a person I care about, but then afterwards we're going to take off the gloves and we're going to go
the beer and then we're going to get corporate clients together. Right, like that is bullshit and people have every right to think. That's bullshit, because
if you can think about it that way, then you're
life is going so well that politics is just a game and you don't have any actual stake in what's happening and
this mean you have to punch the first Republican you see, but there
is this sense of where it the
it's just like you're playing, pickup, basketball and you're like Java.
At each other, or you get into an argument, and then it's over with your politics is much more serious than that
and I had I do understand- the frustration that a lot of people are particularly on the left about sort of the cozy relationships between democratic and republican political operatives that are usually centered around making money together, yeah
No, that makes sense and and well I I treat Republicans that I'm friends with and have a family with. Like you know, you just don't talk about politics. That much because, like you said, politics is
it is more serious, and so you know it's not fun to argue it all the time, but it's also not like you're, going to just pretend that the differences don't exist and that they only exist in the public sphere. Ok Nicole Morris asks: how will the passage
amendment four in Florida change. The electorate are the now eligible voters likely Democrats or Republicans also, how likely are they to vote just for some context here in twenty? Sixteen more than four
the eighteen thousand African Americans out of a voting age pop
vision of more than two point: three million or seventeen point: nine percent of the, but
black voters in Florida had finished sentences, but couldn't vote due to a felony record. According to the sentencing project,
and Mark Meredith of the universe
Pennsylvania and Michael Morissette Yell and Harvard they did some work on this and they wrote for VOX, had all ex felon
eligible to vote in Florida in twenty sixteen. We estimate that this would have generated about one hundred and two thousand additional votes for Democrats in about fifty four thousand additional votes for Republicans, with about an additional forty thousand votes that could be cast on behalf of either party, so that adds up to about forty. Eight thousand votes on net for Democrats. What do you think about this? Damn huge? Obviously, it's first of all, it's one of the best things that happened on election night, just because it's the right thing to have happened, whether these people have been formally incarcerated, vote, Democrat or Republic
fact that they have the right to vote. Now is just a good thing, and it is the right thing to do, but beyond that, obviously there are political implications. There are a lot of people running around saying now this man as past Florida's, a blue state, and that is dangerously naive. In my view. Certainly there is a slightly larger pool of potential democratic voters that newly potential republican voters there's some
who are available in Florida is a state that is deciding elections right now by less than you know, half of one percent, so everything can be decisive right, and so, if Democrats are successful in turning out this new population potential democratic voters at a rate
that it's somewhat nearest how well they're turning on other voters then-
that were the case now than Andrew, given the governor and build also and still be in the Senate, and so I think it it it
matters. We need every little bit of help. We can it's going to take a lot of work to get these people registered and turned out, and the
idea that it somehow is going to fundamentally change the direction of politics in Florida. I think overstates the case yeah, although, as we thought, you know
the margins that we remember the margins that we saw on Tuesday, it won't change the overall direction of politics, but it certainly matters in close race.
Yeah, like if someone had also everything matters like if someone of in Broward County could design a
now that made sense bill. Nelson
will be in the Senate. This is
it's not as if ballot design issues have never happened in Florida before since ballot
find issues are why George W Bush became president there's just no excuse for that looks so I know that each state runs their own. You know election system, but
is there a way to like someone could introduce our proposed sort of like I
universal ballot, design for the whole country? That's easy and simple. That may be states that, like it can all adopt like it is, and that's something we can do. I don't know there are federal recommendations on how you doing this. I am told, unfortunately, Brower
County choose to to do in a very weird way and sadly, the Florida crack forty signed off on the ballot as it is, I believe so: cool cool, that's not great. Okay, M, B ha
Como two asks: how do we prevent the democratic presidential field in twenty twenty? From being like the Republicans in twenty sixteen or
Is there not an equivalent of trump on the left to worry about what you think Dan
There is not a could on the left to worry about. I I take a different view:
Thank you baby. I think you and I predict the same view but different view than a lot of people in democratic politics. Right now who are sort of
King, about this site, the size of the field? And it's part?
that is based on looking at the
we can process, two thousand sixteen it let had a thousand.
It's a lead to Trump and
the democratic process in two thousand, sixteen, which was a long and at times brutal primary that had bad feelings that lingered for a long time. I worry about everything,
they do not ever Democrats. It was about everything I don't tell people not to it anymore. I say worry about everything, panic about nothing, and I don't worry about this too much
because I think a big field will engender the best debate.
We as a party to have on policy message and strategy. I do too. I also don't think there is an equivalent of trump on the left that we have to worry about,
Trump is also one of the ways that Trump was unique. Is that even
so he was sort of laughed off at the beginning by us by many people in the early months of
campaign he's also someone with you know almost
universal name id
everyone knew who he was. He
is the billionaire, so
start with a set of advantage. In addition to being a complete asshole, which he has turned out to be, he has he has kept that promise,
you know he was also in a billionaire or you know. Who knows how rich is, who is famous and
so far knock on wood? We haven't had any truly
asshole famous billionaires on the left like Trump who
decided to throw their had the ring. Maybe that changes, maybe that changes
it for now. When you look at the field, you don't see any trump like figures with that kind of recognition.
The completely ass backwards way in which most people in politics view the twenty sixteen republican presidential primaries at this giant field,
many many candidates, all qualified
The leading lights republic right. This giant field allowed this up and Comer
who come out of nowhere and win the election. That is portion. As you point
Trump had one percent name id he
leading in the polls when he got in the race and in pub
in private, pulling back in two thousand eleven when he was on his birth crusade,
he was leading the republican primary then for the
eventually decided not to get into so he has been a someone they were.
Can party basis has been interested in being their standard bearer for a very long time, and so
problem wasn't that there were a lot of republicans running that allowed Trump to win. The problem is the Republicans running were terrible at running campaign
and therefore troubles able to well Amber Larson asks.
Why is Iowa so important? You said it many times in the pod
I would love more information. Happy thanksgiving friends, happy thanksgiving to you Amber. I is important because it is the first states that holds primary contest is a caucus in Iowa and traditionally because it gets so much
tension, because every candidate goes there and you know many of them visit all ninety nine counties and they get to meet voters up close and the voters get to sort of Obama's used to say
kick the tires a little bit on all the candidates, there's all
as drama around the Iowa caucuses. So that way,
and whoever wins, and often the people who come in second candidate to come in. Second as well get this huge boost of momentum
headed into the New Hampshire primary, which is usually the next contest, and also incredibly important. So because there's some
media attention on Iowa and then New Hampshire, the winners of those contests, especially in a crowded field, get
enough attention. Momentum
fundraising, all this kind of stuff that, as we start going on to all the other primary contests, it starts to usually winnow down the
old of candidates. Although you know this could be changed, do you think? Do you think that's changing it all down? No
the Democrat who has won the Iowa caucuses has become the nominee
every recent election other than one thousand nine hundred and ninety two when Iowa was not competitive, because then I was Senator Tom Harkin was running for president. So all the candidates decided to take an ass on it.
Al Gore one broke a bomb one. Hillary Clinton, one John Kerry won. All of those candidates went on to be the nominee. I think the
I think that will remain true.
So it's a little more complicated now, because California has moved up in the presidential primary process and that's a
we chunky delegates to any Kennedy who can win that by a decent margin, but the
the thing about Iowa is it's a caucus, not a primary in
so you're, not asking you dot org,
I think, I'm going vote for you, you, organizing someone to go to a gym or church.
Her community center on a weeknight where it is freezing fucking, cold and
usually snowing and to stay in that gym for two to three hours and engage not just to vote for you, but to engage in a public debate about who they are supporting
till the delegates for that caucus site are allocated it's a very complicated process and because
so that it is therefore a gigantic test of a campaign's ability to organize and run a real campaign, and so it does.
Separate, the wheat from the chaff when it comes to who's, running a real campaign and who's running sort of a bullshit publicity
Yeah- and it also sort of we knew
so in two thousand and seven when we were like one thousand five hundred and twenty points behind Hillary in the national polls that we still had a chance to win the nomination.
Because if Obama could just focus on Iowa and when Iowa, then all these national polls showing him ten points behind Hillary, wouldn't matter as much, because he would get so much momentum from winning Iowa that it would take care of the rest, which is
exactly what happened. So I also like gives candidates a chance who might not have the
nization the money, the endorsements of the front runner, to really
pause. America's brought you by the upcoming film, the front runner from Oscar.
Creative director Jason Reitman, who brought us. Thank you for smoking, Juno and up in the air front runners based in,
shocking. True events that change the path of a nation Oscar nominee, Hugh Jackman, plays Gary Hart. The charismatic politician overwhelming frontrunner for the nineteen eighty eight presidential election, guys what a story, what a tale yeah Gary Hart's head in the polls, then there's a scandal he's on a boat called monkey business
yep, and that person is not his wife sat on his lap. Yep picture was snapped and the rest is history. So it's a book which we love written by Matt by it's now become. The movie is really about how this was the first time in politics when a personal scandal made headlines and sort of drove the outcome of a race or you had to come. That hadn't happened before it's a it's a great story, and if
the book kind of looks at this question as to whether or not we given up something when politicians no longer had privacy. They started also being less willing to share important information about policy. They were less accessible and I kind of think
it's true but the about Gary Hart, is it wasn't as if he was brought down by scandal, because, like Bill Clinton, few years later, was not brought down by scandal. He also just really miss handle that right. He tells he tells about Europe.
Orders famously to follow him around and they do follow around year. Repeating am
no more what see conspiracy quote occured long before that the Monkey Business Incident
He says follow me around and then they do and then they find him with ladies
the book. I read the book loft I'm going from Matt by Trust, not buying. Here's the at sea, the movie yeah, stop listening us.
Contrarian. So he doesn't like the you know, I'm sorry! I just don't think we should be keeping JFK secrets or Lyndon Johnson secrets or Donald Trump Secret. Radical transparency ask love it anything get involved, not the president, don't
the shit! What do you want to know? I have a longstanding funded business, golf,
the name Ronan. What else is there to know? That's it text frontrunner to two thousand six hundred and seventy nine
Even once in awhile I get stoned, I go to escape room, that's my life that could happen messaging date,
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Fogarty asks if
Meadow doesn't run in twenty twenty. Does he risk falling into the Chris Christie TRAP of losing momentum? Chris Christie? Yes, better! If you do not run for president, you will find yourself in just a few years. Fetching Mcdonald's for some person who does
not like you and is really publicly mean to you so think so, as you ponder the fear
his path your life, could take in the coming months. Consid
the example of Chris Christie or
time for some traffic in El Paso who chew
not to run for president two thousand and twelve, and then he
such a national laughingstock that he lost his own home state to Donald Trump
and Marga Rubio could be last seen. Tweeting sixty eight times about how democratic lawyers were trying to steal an election in Florida, look look what he's been reduced to now, but yeah. I mean to be serious about this. I don't think
better or ever runs the risk of becoming Chris Christie, but I do think in all seriousness. There is
a moment there is a window for each candidate to run for president and like. I know that at least I believe that in two thousand and eight Barack Obama
really at least when I get to the Senate in two thousand and five. He Jenny.
He didn't think he would run for president in two thousand and eight at least, and as he was
make that decision and figure out whether he did want to run two thousand and eight as two thousand and six two thousand and seven rolled around. You know, I think one of the peace
the advice he got was people are looking to you right now you
a lot of popularity right now and
There is a moment there's a window for you to run this election, and if you miss that window, it may not happen again. I one hundred percent agree with that, and presidential campaigns are about a match between a person in the moment, and there are a lot of reasons to believe that this could be better. This moment, yeah and the political landscape is filled with the carcasses of politicians who passed up erase beak
so they didn't know when their moment was- and you know, I think, back a lot about something that Michelle Obama would tell undecided voters in Iowa at the very end of the caucuses. At the end of every event, they would gather undecided caucusgoers to meet with the soon to be First Lady, United States, and
out of these islands. They really liked Obama. They were fired up by him. They were inspired by him, but they didn't
We have now was Obama's time, you know, and they also really like. Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden are other people running and they'd say to MRS Obama. I want to vote for Barack for President one day right, but
you know. Maybe I can support Hillary now and then support Barack for eight years from now, and Michelle would say to them that this is Brooks
but it will not be the same for eight years from now will be for eight years from
from our lives is very normal. People will be full.
Years, more part of some sort of political establishment that this is the moment for Brock and
the enthusiasm that you see for better O'Rourke, that fueled his campaign that you see in the anticipation, among a lot of people in the groceries bottoming for Prez
There is no reason to believe that it will be there in
for eight years and there's a lot of reasonably almost certainly won't be there in four eight years yeah. Now I remember the speech is she would give
you say, were normal now we're still normal 'cause. We haven't lived in
can for that lock and
the longer in Washington, less normal. You become an
no Beto, even though he's been at three term congressman now he still has that sort of normalcy that comes with not having spent a ton of time in Washington, Stacey Abrams has the same thing. Andrew Gillum has the same thing a lot of the other candidates,
so I think that is something to consider Tom chain. Weylin asks what can be done to take Mitch Mcconnell seat in two thousand and twenty, our friend
which is up in twenty twenty. What do we do well couple things here.
One less stimulates Kentucky, so this will be hard, no doubt but super hard, but.
But Kentucky in in a presidential
here is different than Kentucky in a midterm year when Mcconnell one last and in the time in and since Mcconnell last face the ballot, he has become the face of everything that is wrong. American politics
and you know if my imaginary, but very well funded super where to become real one of the things
start doing as you would start advertising shortly and at two year,
read to try to inform the people of Kentucky about all the things Mitch. Mcconnell is done that hurt the people of Kentucky, whether it is the things he's done to sabotage the affordable care act, which is work very, very well in Kentucky at least two Republicans got in charge of that state. The dramatic implications of the tax
for working class, middle class, Americans, the various scandals and corruption that he has helped cover up, because he has this
as he is the leader of a conservative state that is existing within both a local media bubble and a conservative media bubble that doesn't allow a lot of
racing to get so you'd want to start trying to soften him up now,
start organizing now there are pockets of
Should voters in Kentucky that we can get the state has never been organized in the modern political era by Democrats in in any real aggressive way, and so
it's something worth doing, and even if we were to try and fail making Mitch Mcconnell,
sweat and having to focus on his own reelection instead of his daily
to destroying America. Would be a benefit to the republic
you Amy Mcgrath go for it.
A tow Joe Mama one to one you one, a good.
So maybe I should say that I think Eliza just sent me this, so I could just fade.
It's a lie. Just burn given given
The that the Democrats have had in winning rural state Senate seats. Is it feasible to win a majority in the Senate in twenty twenty without some drastic
measures like turning the Dakotas into whole novel, nothing, novel suggestion or state
for Puerto Rico. What do you think, then? It is possible to win the majority in twenty twenty we're going to have a lot of things, go our way:
and, unfortunately, for us you know it would have been easier. Had we been able to hang onto a couple more of those democratic Senate seats in of critically Florida, and
you either Missouri or Indiana. That would just
math easier, but yes of drawing inside straight two twenty to do it, but
even if we are you so just so. People know what the hello the so we probably end up with Republicans will have fifty three seats unless you know, of course, there's a chance. We were Mississippi netted fifty two seats, but let's say for argument's sake. It's fifty three said that they have. If Democrats win the presidency and twenty twenty, we need to flip three seats, because
then, if it's tied vice president break the tie, if we don't win the presidency, we need to split four seats, but on the presidency we have bigger problems than flipping four seats, the targets
twenty twenty Colorado, that's probably the best target, since it was it's trending democratic.
Iowa North Carolina main outside shots, Arizona, Georgia, Texas again, but
We also have to hold onto Doug Jones as he Alabama, which should be really tricky. So that's
sort of an overview of the map. Sorry go ahead.
Even if we were to draw that inside straight and have a great twenty twenty, which twenty, which is possible
The twenty twenty two map is actually pretty,
good for us as well, because we left some critical Senate seats on the table in twenty. Sixteen shockingly enough in states like Wisconsin in Pennsylvania, where we had other problems
yeah. But there is a larger point here, which is demographic trends in population movement. Trends in this country make life hard for the Democrats in the long run in the Senate. Is more young people move to urban areas? In larger states,
it just becomes hard to ever even sniff the sixty seats. We briefly have beginning of the Obama presidency and
so there we do. We have a very the Senate is a huge problem for the Democrats over the long term
any situation in which Wyoming has as
power as California or Idaho as much power is New York, we're going to be in big trouble, which is why I have been an advocate for a while.
Of making DC estate state? Because I fucking promise you that if
DC voted by you Mitch, Mcconnell kind of made it a state. The second Donald Trump won the presidency and
the people of Puerto Rico, that might you got Michael Martinez here, just cheering again, he texted me. While we were talking, he said last minute, quest
for Dan from Michael in LOS Angeles, who lived in DC for a really long time and then
if the people of Puerto Rico were to choose,
eight heard as in as path former opera Rico. Then we should do that immediately as well. But in my mind they get, they should choose whether it is independent statehood or whatever path they want to test me to DC, should figure out for Porter Rico. Proficient figured out DC should execute it. Yeah yeah, I am, of course, of the people of DC should figure the suburbs of West, and we talked about this by the way we talked about this in the political context. Some people said to us. You know it's not just to get democratic votes like there's people who live
if in both DC importer Rico, who just do not have the type of representation that other american citizens have and that in its own right, it's critically important to address aside from the pickle political context- and my answer to that is yes, of course,
and that's why I, like you said it's it's up to the people of the District of Columbia and Porter Rico, to decide this for themselves. You know, but if they want to become states than they should become states, yeah, I'm trying to light a fire under the democratic
sorry to do this because the moral Catan substantive case for making DC a state has been around for a long fucking time and we haven't done anything so I'm trying a different tack, but that is the exact reason. I say that is often on twenty year resident of wash
tear down I live in Australia in here voting is mandatory and we also have a preferential system and I'm interested in people's thoughts for that type of system
I was talking to
someone who is going to work for and recently elected Democrat they're, asking me for what the
like what would be your boldest idea to improve democracy, and my answer was mandatory- that
I guess I haven't really thought too much.
A mandatory voting like I love
idea that everyone's automatically registered and everyone gets a ballot in the mail so
that it is the easiest thing possible. I can't tell
how I feel about going the extra step of forcing people to sort of exercise. What is a right and a freedom where there's some responsibility attached,
you know like I just I don't know. I don't know how I feel about that, but I mean I'm, I'm certainly for every single step to make voting as easy as humanly possible national
Holiday Day autumn,
voter registration for everyone, eighteen or older. You know back
it's to come in the mail, so it's easier to vote all that kind of stuff, I'm not sure about mandatory about the. Let me
let me answer this question to you. Is it mandatory that you pay taxes? It is this? Is
sure is that you're in exchange for the benefits that you get for being.
Did this in United States you're required to give a portion of your income to the federal and state and city governments, United States, correct, yeah,
Yes, I am so it doesn't seem that crazy that we should ask you to once.
years or so too. I would to fill out a
piece of paper that we mailed to your house telling us your prayer.
This is for elected officials and policies in this country. Now I think,
you do this? You have to
and the only way to do it is to ensure that there is a none of the above option because you shouldn't be forced to
between three candidates if you don't like three cancer for cancer to whatever it is right
so, you should be able to say none of the above or right someone in, but I think that there is a. I think there would be
looking very healthy for democracy. If people believed that, if, if
add to engage in it right. It was
a choice to engage in it and you had actually had to have it wouldn't take very much time, and I
not fully explored this issue. I'd like to hear the counter arguments other than yeah.
You're kidding- and I like I like to hear the counter arguments are other than by just people screaming false flags and big government like what's the actual right reason against it, and I think you, I think it is interesting. It is working on his worked in Australia, as I understand it up perfectly, but it has worked and
and I'd love to see a state experimented with it and to do it, you have to allow there to be none of the above,
in two you have to make it
easily is easy as humanly possible. You can't force someone to take a day off work to do it, no, no, no to find child
for their children or whatever the reason that made that we make voting so hard this country. But if everyone could do it, you know it with the mail in ballot Aren'T- and this sounds great actually suggest that we get our heads around voting on the internet from your phone to carry with you every day and put all kinds of terribly our personal compromise information into, but like make it super easy for people, and it would to see what see what it would do for not just turn out, obviously, which would go up by how Peter sort of at people's engagement in
our government writ large yeah. Okay, well tell us your thoughts on this I'd like to hear more. You make good points in Q, Scully asked what policies can Democrats pursue to help tame a growing plutocracy and deal with the diminishing of middle class careers available
to american workers? What does a 21st century
new deal really look like.
Fifteen dollars minimum wage job guarantee green new deal where you put people to work, building energy, efficient infrastructure,
take care for all universal skills and education program, debt, free college, breaking up and uh,
please the monopolies of this day and age. What else you got, then you answered that question better than every
single. That is a version of the question we have asked almost every single democratic politician who was been on the podcast.
Well. Let me tell you about the challenges of globalization, forces of automation and globalization that are undermining the middle class bargain American. They just go
where blah my priority is the middle class
Give me some policies guys give us
intangible policy. They want some ideas,
all those things are right. I think this is what has to be a
major centerpiece of the conversation around the democratic presidential primary. Let's have a debate, let's, let's have people put forward, really creative ideas and, frankly,
in the run up to the inner cratic presidential primary
Elizabeth Warren Cory, Booker and calmly heris acres of children of all put forth. Some really interesting policy rolls around come to me and to reform that I think our heads move the ball forward and hope we keep that process up until we have a standard bearer, yeah know for sure. They've done a great job, though the people you mentioned and and putting for new policies and there's an episode of the wilderness, all about this, about a big economic policies and Blake
you know the ones I just mentioned it they're all on sort of the the boulder, the bigger bolder side of the spectrum, and I realize that, as I just said that, but I do think and, like you said you know, people can do
get back and they can debate. Can we afford this can be, for that. Does this really work? But I think that we should start from a place where we are thinking as big and bold as possible and then work from there as opposed to starting from a place where we
talking about peace, mail, incremental stuff and worrying about whether we can get it past, let's think big first
and then figure out how to get it done. Once we get power.
Jeremy Levine asks Jon Lovitz
all the time, but Fox NEWS is a propaganda apparatus. What options do we
have to actually combat Fox NEWS? Is there a way to
mental it limited somehow, or do we just have to continue to saturate the media market? With our message,
I have been curious about
deal not with Fox NEWS specifically but to deal with corporate monopolies in media.
I don't know the answer to that, but I'm sort of trying to explore those 'cause, I'm very curious.
Out the regulatory changes have been made in the last two decades and then how that is contributed to things like Sinclair or being able to own large portions of american television market San pump propaganda into them. So I'm very
there's, about that there's not a world in which Fox just disappears or something we can do to stop it. I probably put three things that we can be doing. First is uh
We should continue to do what the folks at sleeping giants, have been doing and put
pressure on the corporations that advertise on Fox NEWS right, so
these many these corporations have made. They have
men's, promoting diversity and fighting racism and all of these things and yet they're take.
Where dollars in they're spending them on what you know what
Who is the White Nationals variety hour in the evening, and I think that the
There's some opportunity to get some of these corporations fuel pressure, at least for doing that. That's one two Democrats
to come up with communication strategies. To you know is this person the question saturate those markets like
I think, there's a role in which Democrats can use Fox to reach Fox viewers,
but we have to find ways to reach Fox years that go around Fox and I think that is primarily be done through
both digital advertising and using in a form of digital or
nice thing where you build new tools to empower people to share content and messaging with people in their social networks. You know either in their contact list or on their facebook feed or whatever else
so that, like we know that you're not going to pierce the Fox news bubble by an ad from
Democrat, necessarily or video of Barack Obama,
speaking or even something from the New York Times or seeing that you're going to do that by taking a piece of content having shared by a trusted member of their existing information,
and so there's a lot of really important work that I think is starting but needs to advance quickly about how we do that, because you know
as we said before. Fox is the most insidious force in american politics in the last twenty years and is responsible for most of what is wrong with me in american politics, because it is created
alternative propaganda apparatus. That is try to divide Americans around racial lines. Yeah and look. We have to build up a progressive media ecosystem of our own
It would probably yell at me for saying this, but more cricket media is out there
like right. Now. It's us- and you know the young Turks.
Around for a long time and you've got some hosts
on MSNBC the whole whole save not because it's certainly not the whole network. You know our Chris Hayes our version of Fox NEWS. It showed Hugh Hewitt's slept with the right yeah. We basically have like Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow, and I guess sometimes Chris Matthews and markets Hurts- and
you know they all do great works. But again, even the purpose of their shows is not explicitly activist or partisan.
It so I would love more folks out there in the progressive media ecosystem, okay D, Charles
now that the midterms are over. How can people get stay involved and work towards change in twenty twenty? Obviously, everyone
he focused on the presidential campaign- and you know you should get excited about that too- and figure out which candidate that you support and go work for that Canada or volunteer for that candidate. But I just want people to remember like let's not
make the mistake that we made all through the Obama years and focus only on the top of the ticket or focus too much on the top of the ticket and not remember
We have you know an entire house of representatives up for reelection again in two years, and we have the Senate race,
we just mentioned it again. We have down ballot races, state legislatures state houses, to flip Secretary of state races in these states which are hugely important.
So there are so many campaigns and places to.
Vault and is also going to be issues to get in
all around ballot referendum. So there are no shortage of places to get involved. What do you? What do you think that yeah, that is, that
checking right like we won an election and that is awesome and
we probably saved american democracy from imploding on itself, because it's Republicans had been able to keep power. Who knows what the fuck? What happened? But, let's not forget
Trump and Mitch. Mcconnell are still going to spend every waking moment. They have trying to fuck up America and
they're gonna be big fights just like there were the first two years. The Trump presidency to you know push,
back on the Muslim ban or to try to save Daca or to save the affordable care act. I would play some
money that we're going to do some real activism work to save the mall investigation in the coming months. Trump is going to try
for transgendered Americans. They are going to try to you know just like, for example, Betsy Devos.
Just put in place new rules that make it harder for victims of sexual assault to come forward on college campuses, and so there, like,
horrible things happening. We're going have to Marshall, the energy that we put behind the midterms to fight back on, and it is going to keep
I mean I know it's tiring and everyone gets this week off and then we had to get back to it next week with
MIKE Espy selection, the runoff in Georgia for the Secretary
States race, where, if John Barrow wins that race, the Democrats think about that it'll, be
instead of having someone like Brian Kemp running away,
is putting in place the Jim Crow era. Voter suppression policy
you would have a Democrat who was trying to expand the vote to make it so that everyone has the right to vote. What a difference. I would make an essay that's going to winning and losing that might have the potential to move Georgia very quickly into into the purple column and give us a chance to win that or when that
let's see where they're going to be one hundred battles. That matter and we had a very important win on Tuesday last Tuesday, but we have a lot more work to do. There, gonna be all kinds of places to get involved, both in elections in two thousand and nineteen president in twenty nineteen and activism, to push back on Trump's policy atrocities in twenty nineteen
absolutely Alex Greenberg had Hillary won in twenty sixteen. Would there be a cricket media? What the hell would
I'll be doing these days and secondly, would
Have you ever work on another campaign or White House great question? I don't know if there would be a Krooked media. I hope
it would be. I do know that I was getting tired of not being in politics and so even before Trump won. I was thinking that I'd missed politics. I was spending all my time in my other.
On Twitter as I do today, and so I figured if I'm going to be on twitter all day and paying attention politics all day. I might as well make it a job and for
long time, as you've heard on this podcast, all of us have had critiques of the way political media operate
today. So we've always had that critique and always hope that there would be some progressive alternative to the way the media, the political media,
it's so maybe we would have, but I don't know,
would any of you ever work, another campaign or the White House boy. I don't think so. I mean it is just
I don't? I don't know what it would take, but I think right now, I'm I'm I'm very happy here at Ecr comedian. I think that we could play a helpful role to the next democratic presidential, candidate and all other democratic candidates. So I think we play a good role helpful role from here, but I don't know what you think that this is a really hard question, because this is sort of the
all gave everything we care about. Is this twenty twenty election and yeah? I generally think the campaigns are best served by hiring people who are up and coming and new and UN burdened by the experience of being in politics for a long time. I think you we benefit. We agree greatly in two thousand eight that most of us were at the early stages for career, and we were. We were the upstarts, not the establishment, and so I suspect that the best presenter he made his way to winning the people are going to have the next day the plot, the next Alyssa Master Monaco, the next chance after a
working for them and not the current Jon Favreau, either you or the iron. But you know if there was ever a way in which we know more likely in the White House in a campaign could be health
so. If you found the right person that you believed in who you could make a true difference and fix this fucking mess that we are currently in, I think you got at least think about it. Yeah yeah. I hear that
it's tough, because you can you never know now until it actually, the opportunity presents itself
bjc. One other thing about the cricket media question sure you
turn out that we have a critique of the media that we've had. Yes, my new thing for two thousand and nineteen is going to be my critique of the critique of the media. Wow meta yeah, it's very it's very matter, but I've come around. I have a whole new view on this. That we
discuss in a in a different pod. But ok, I'll take your thing. I think I figured out that the best strategy for Democrats to win the White House is not to send as many tweets at New York Times reporters as possible. I completely agree with that. I do and look. This is, like you know, Self Pub
thing here, but it's with them. I do it as a subscriber hi subscribers subscriber will guide is a democratic governor if a democratic can't
wait for President sat down with me was like what advice
on media. Would you give me I'd be like ignore all the bullshit like stay off twitter? Get your staff to stay off twitter like don't
worry about these fucking daily crises that disappear
after a couple hours and the fighting that's going on
Washington in the sky, like just I mean we talked about this last episode- we talked about sort of like a candidate who can command a media ecosystem that is separate from Donald Trump's, but it's not just ever from Donald Trump to sort of set
it from the sort of political media landscape that we have ecosystem, that we have right now, like you, somehow get got to get outside of that and get your
directly to voters by meeting them by talking to them through different social media platforms like they're, just
to be a way to avoid the freak show. As we talked about last week, okay,
Mary, Jane Pfeiffer. Any relationship: how do you spell
It's c I a r here, that's PH, I f e r. So now this is a much simpler way of doing it. Yeah. That is, that is a much me
pumpkin or pecan pie stuffing or dressing best table game to play after the meal go stuffing pumpkin pie and what's a table game, I guess just a game that you play after Thanksgiving. What's your favorite game to play after Thanksgiving
these? We watch football? Okay, I don't know who place is that I think people do like. Is my family just and and I've been deprived, my whole life yeah, we yeah, we always play games. What do you play so the
this game to play now that I am married to Emily is salad bowl which Emily taught us it.
Emily's family tradition.
We can go. Look it up, but you you right
birds on little pieces of paper? You put them in a bowl, there's three rounds. The first round you get people to guess by giving all kinds of verbal clues that aren't the word. The second round is charades in the third
Sound is password, so you only can say one word to get people to guess the word. It's it's a lot of fun!
and I wouldn't even know that was a thing that people played games yeah. You know weird stuffing for Maine for sure stuffing
my favorite side, dish and pecan pie, big fan of that alright last one Carl Minor,
Please just run through like ten,
really positive things that we can be thankful for this year. So much yuck. Yes, Carl. There has been a lot of yuck
things to be thankful for we saved Obamacare many states expanded Medicaid. The Democrats won the house, we won seventeen
governorships turn out among young people was up and the mall,
even among young people and people all the way up to forty swung hugely democratic amendment. Four passed in floor
so one point: five million people who were formerly incarcerated have the right to vote what else a lot of the
candidates who won friends of the pod, especially people who were all the first
sure is David Lucy make bath for she had to leave L Hon, Omar Abby thinking our Christie who hand Katie Porter Minimum Wage
test in Missouri, the bed
Abrams and Gilham campaigns Dan. What else? What am I missing?
I will say we talk about friends of the pod. I was walking. I was in Miami doing book event with our friend Ben Rhodes yesterday
and I was walking through the hotel on Sunday morning and I looked up at the tv,
and I saw Chrissy Houlihan being interviewed by Jake Tapper
on the Sunday shows, and I felt like a real moment of pride. That's my friend Chrissy and she she wanted she's going to Congress and now she's on the Sunday shows. It's really cool just to end on
it's like I'm, also incredibly grateful to all of you. You know in the
easiest moments of this election when my anxiety was high, which had often is because I worry about everything, though I do panic about nothing when eh,
I would be annoyed by something on twitter or some pole or worried about this or that or Trump every time. People who listen to this podcast tweet at us sent
pictures of themselves, knocking on doors,
organizing telling us that they were going.
But uh, you know knock on doors for the first time make phone calls. You know it lifted my spirits and
I know that for a lot of friends of the pod they've made friends
other friends at the pod. So I'm very grateful for this community of people who
who tell us when we're wrong, push us to do better and have decided to participate in politics. You've all made an incredible difference this year and you should be very proud of that and very thankful. So that's how island you saved America, at least for the time being, and that would not have happened without
people who listen to our podcast, who got involved for the first time who knock doors who ran for office. You know it's really were very lucky and you know people sometimes say to us
pod. Save America helps keeps us saying, and I always point but that it
Actually, it's a two way st because being able to talk about politics with all of you keeps us saying to that is absolutely correct. All right, then,
we come back. You will hear my interview with Doris Kearns good.
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you're going to make some money and you're going to donate some money. Hey Christopher Andrews, think you're sending me a dollar for my trump hair thing that I said the other day, I'm going to refund you now your refunded, you refunded bad luck for the other people
also send me dark. I can't go through and refund everybody when I get to spend all day doing this on the pod. Today we have Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of,
a new book leadership in turbulent times my good friend,
It's good to see you, I'm so glad to see you again hey. I know we used to hang
the Obama White House status
long long ago days ago. This is a good old days, so this book he wrote, is about it's about leadership. It draws from the stories of four men.
You've got to know really well over the years, Abraham, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt Franklin, Delano, Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson, the President, you once worked for what drew you to their stories and what were the kind of questions you are most interested in
boring with this book? Well, first of all, they are the guys I knew the best. I do call the my guys sometimes because I lived with him for so many years, and I realize that normally I moved from one president to another and I have to
of all of the books from the previous guy out of the room, and I felt like I was somehow betraying an old boyfriend so, instead of finding some new character to live with for ten years, I figured what,
if I just look at my guys through the lens of leadership and I've always been interested in leadership. Even when I was in graduate school we'd sit around at night sounding very nerdy, you know asking
questions. Where does ambition come from? You know. How do you recognize yourself as a leader? Is a leader
inborn qualities, or do you make yourself a leader, so I figured I'll just look at them that way, study them again and bring
all together. So I didn't have to remove anyone from my room well and so
what are some lessons you took from sort of examining all of their leadership style.
What are some sort of common attributes of leaders,
Well, I think, as I say them, they may cast a light on today, even though there's not a word about the current administration in the book notice, the absence of these kind of qualities, I think maybe noted for one
humility with the ability to acknowledge, Eris and learn from mistakes?
important empathy. You know the
standing of other people's point of view and the ability to understand the feelings that they have and then resilience. They all went through really hard adversity and somehow came
stronger on the other end, there's a great quote from Ernest
why everyone is broken by life, but afterwards so much stronger in the broken places they all were able to control their negative emotions. They were all able.
Keep their word to the people. They all were able to relax and find time to think and replenish their energies, and they had the courage
our convictions. So that's a group
family resemblance of traits. Also, I heard you just talk about leadership, either being born
I'll be there in a beautiful being made
you're, obviously in the made camp,
Yes, I'm definitely in the making Teddy Roosevelt. Do you think it's adversity that sort of adversity helps it, but I mean I think you have born with certain qualities in Lincoln was born with empathy I mean even as a little kid he
worry when his friends were pudding hot coals, on turtles to make them wriggle and he'd go and tell them that's wrong.
Teddy Roosevelt was born with curiosity and a photo
big memory. Fdr
and with this optimistic temperament, an LBJ just has unbounded enerji an yet most of the qualities you develop is just too hard work
and that's what Teddy said, there's two kinds of success. Somebody was a talent that no one else can equal a poet, for example, but most of it is when you take ordinary qualities. You develop
into an extraordinary degree through hard work.
So you mentioned that the context of what we're going through today obviously shaped
you thinking when you're writing this book. How is it that someone without all of these qualities ends up because
president and leading up country three hundred plus million people.
Now. You know, I think what happened. It reminds me in some ways of what happened at the turn of the 20th century, when we had the gilded age, because the
dust Real Revolution, then had shaken up the economy? Much as the tech revolution and globalization have. Today there was a first time a gap between the rich and the poor. Immigrants were coming in new inventions were there, so a lot of people felt that country was moving too fast in new ways, and that was
located in this last few years, the rural areas feeling cut off from the cities an some
now candidate Trump provided a story for those people that made
and feel that he would restore, perhaps in earlier America and
managed somehow, as we know, maybe how is the question we don't know to become a spokes
for them enough to win the electoral college. Have we seen
how many presidents, in your view, that come close to Trump
not really. To be honest, I mean, I think it's not just that he didn't have presidential or political experience.
Is that he wasn't a leader beforehand, so none of these develop qualities. I mean he wasn't leading a big company where he had to have a team that you figured out how to make the tea.
Strong and go toward a common purpose. You know
It's interesting. There was recently and historians pole on the worst presidents and
Always in that poll. James Buchanan was at the bottom and and sort of rightfully so because in the eighteen fifties he helped to exacerbate the divisions of the eighteen fifties that led to the civil war, but in this last polled Mr Trump was at the bottom. So the story I read in the paper was that the B Cannon family was celebrating they're no longer a bottom,
and is that is quite a victory. One thing
I always wonder, is we're sort of going through this period is what is what it is? Uniquely bad.
That's happening right now and what is something that may seem awful right now, but really in history, we've seen things
this before, that's a really good question I mean, I think, what is uniquely bad is that there's no shared political truth now and we have had it happened before in the 1850s. You read
partisan, newspaper and you'd read alternative facts if you were democrat or Republican, but that didn't
not so well in the civil war. But now we've got alternative facts. We've got half truths, we've got a sir
consider repeated three times as if they were true and there
just a sense of people living in a silos even more than before. I think you know that they
look at one another, as the other I mean Teddy rose
outside the way democracy would found her was if people have different.
This is classes and sections began to see each other as the other, without common interests as Americans and its cultural, as well as
little has been developing for awhile and he's exploiting
that division. That's that's the hardest thing. When Teddy Roosevelt came in a similar situation, as I was saying, he was able to chat.
All of that populist enerji into reform
a square deal for the rich and the poor. You know he approached
is a person you know cap
and the wage worker, and now those those divisions are just being exacerbated, as there
the time in history, where we sort of walked up to the precipice with those divisions and then sort of pulled back and sort of healed, those division
I mean. Obviously, the most of time in the country's history was the civil,
or but beyond that their periods
Think of all you know, when you think about the nineteen twenties, there was a lot of division about what to do about the depression. I mean there. There was a sense that government shouldn't be involved at all in healing the people who didn't have jobs or changing the economic structure, and somehow
Franklin Roosevelt was able to come in and gather
bipartisan support in that first hundred days for a lot of the systemic changes in the economy that took place. What you think of
the divisions in the late 50s and early 60s about civil rights and
divided the country was on what to do about the civil rights movement and yet, when,
Bj gets in and the Civil Rights ACT passed in the Voting Rights ACT passed and it seem
like some of those, racial divisions had been healed, so we have to look back
those times. That's part of the argument, my book, in that we we went through a lot worse times before depression, civil war right. You know world war two, but somehow we had leaders there. But, most importantly, what we had were citizens who were active,
so that the anti slavery movement was the foundation for Lincoln. He said they call me a liberator, it's the anti slavery people that did it all
the progressive movement there was there even before Teddy Roosevelt people having settlement houses. So
it's getting active to help with the immigrants who are coming in from abroad and that progress
when underlay FDR and, of course, the civil rights Movement Underlay Lyndon Johnson. So the answer is what you guys are talking about: activism on citizens. That's what's always been there. Underneath
and then you can channel a leader that can direct those forces and that's when you get
social justice? That's fascinating! I was just about to ask you know, there's sort long running debate about how much leadership in and
visual leadership matters versus movements,
Ben Rhodes, my former colleague when he just wrote his book. He said that he and Obama sort of had this running debate. Sometimes an Obama would say that the movements matter more
and then we're trying to say well, no, it's leadership which is funny for the president, take the side of the movement. But what do you think about that? Well, I think there's no question has to be a combination. 'cause, you need the leadership if the lead
chip is in Washington to direct, what's going to happen in the Congress to be able to mobilize the
desires into laws. For example. If that's what's happening, I mean
about what happened with Lyndon Johnson and civil rights rights without Selma demonstrations without
the civil rights movement was doing. It wouldn't have been that momentum, but then you needed Lyndon Johnson, uniquely placed there in the Congress.
To be able to mobilize every senator every congressman by force by charmed by will vote for that and vote for civil rights. At the same time, earlier, you told Obama once at the greatest gift your father ever gave. You was his optimism. What makes you
You optimistic today.
In these turbulent times I mean I still feel
we've seen these worst moments before and history can tell us that it's not just hope.
Somehow something rose up among the citizenry to get through
civil war me by the end of the civil war, when
Lincoln was still there before he died. He was already talking about reconciliation. He was able to
imagine a different country where the north and south would be different, and you think about how
I felt during the early days of the depression, people are
taking their money out of banks, banks are collapsing, people don't have jobs, this hungry than people in the streets, and somehow that leadership was able to mobilize the the resources of the
entry to not make the people feel. It was their fault that this has happened, but it was the system's fault. So I think what makes me optimistic, as we've
we've seen these times before, if you just go back and look at history history,
can really be a momentous tool right now. I think for us and
our country that somehow rises to challenges, this is a huge challenge right now, I think it's as big
a crisis of eyes, I've seen in my lifetime, our
political culture is so unhealthy right now and
answers to it. That's what we've got to figure out? What the answers are we going to have targets for what we do? What kind
qualities do you think are required in the next leader to take this country through this moment of great economic and
cultural transformation? Probably the most important quality right now is for them. Whoever the leader is to be able or the leaders that tries to understand other peoples. Point
you, I mean to be able to not see it as something against a group of people, but to be able to figure
How can we make the people who now are against progressive movements to realize
is in their interest to move forward rather than to go backward in the interesting thing about Teddy Roosevelt, for example, is that he he uh?
stood that he developed empathy not as a child. He came from a very privileged background and when he
just got into the state. Legislature is sort of had a swelled head, as he admitted he was arrogant and he was pounding the desk against his opponents and he didn't
into politics to help other people. He said he conceded he went in for the adventure of it but
he got in when he saw the tenements when he went into the cigar factories when he saw child labor. It began to
Bella, pin him this fellow feeling, and he wanted
do something I mean in some ways. I think he'd be an ideal leader to take on Mister Trump today, because he could be the center of attention just like trump people would follow him wherever he went. They said about him that he wanted to be the baby at the baptism and the bride at the wedding in the corps at the funeral, but he also could he could match
sure the twitter world today, because he had all those short saying, speak softly and carry a big stick and you know don't hit until you have to and then hit hard. He would be able to
the translate thought into immediate twitter tweets
thought. The Democrats should sort of handle think
and where the country is obviously divide it. As you said, the next leader needs to be able to understand other people's point of view, and yet we're facing a party in the pub
party that is not a healthy party. That is a party that has sort of given into the base instincts of some of the worst instincts of people around the country, and I always think to myself. Ok, I still hope that we can reach
republican voters independent voters out there, even without giving up anything with with our base yet
republican politicians I have very little hope for. I don't think that you know I don't think they're representing anyone. Well, how do
the Democrats handle this. You know new
need to be bold and show leadership at the same time healed. The division in the country it seems like,
but the Democrats have to do, is to provide a story. They need a narrative so that it's not just arguing about health care. Then I think the next challenge
is, how do we expand that base, because the Republicans are not expanding their base right now? That's the one thing, that's I think a hopeful thing I mean in fact
doesn't go to any place that he didn't already win. He's not trying to do that where Teddy Roosevelt went around the country on a train and he would be
talking to the states he lost, as well as the states he won and Lincoln is meeting ordinary people every day in the in the White House and just hearing their stories so eventually
to hear all those stories, but we have
have a narrative for what it is that we want to take the country to an inclusive, different kind of country, then we're experiencing right now, yeah. I know I mean I, it doesn't seem like we're getting anyone who's going to the mag rallies, but it does seem. Like you know, most people in this country aren't voters most people, don't pay close attention to politics and you think you're,
what kind of a leader could stand up and you know tell a story about the country sort of brings in people who
we usually vote. I mean that's the key and it means that you have to have a fiery personality. I think you have to somebody who believes so passionately. It can't be
just somebody who you know is just quoting what
policies are that we need. They have to tell us that America is moving in a direction. That could really be part
actually damaging unless it moves in this other direction and why it is that we need an inclusive America, why it is that we have to deal with mobility, why it
is that in equities really undo that whole promise of America, we need those law
for themes underneath that really
people will respond to and they have to become citizens rather than spectators. They can't let the country be taken from them right now. Right,
good. When the book is leadership in turbulent times, every
go its fascinating book as all your books are. Thank you for joining us. I'm positive
I'm so glad. Thank you. You're! Welcome. Alright, then thanks Doris Kearns Goodwin for joining us. Thanks to all of you for your questions, happy thanksgiving, go play your game or watch some poop.
Happy thanksgiving everyone by
Transcript generated on 2019-10-12.