Doris Kearns Goodwin

  • Aired:  11/03/10
  •  | Views: 27,327

After the Republican victories in the midterm election, Doris Kearns Goodwin thinks Barack Obama has to figure out how to laugh at himself. (6:58)

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

PLEASE.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, MY GUEST

TONIGHT IS A PRESIDENTIAL

HISTORIAN, WHICH IS PERFECT

BECAUSE THIS PRESIDENT IS

HISTORY.

PLEASE WELCOME DORIS KERNS

GOODWIN.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING

BACK.

LOVELY TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

>> GOOD TO SEE YOU, TOO.

>> ALL RIGHT.

MADAM.

>> YES, SIR.

>> Stephen: PUT THIS IN SOME

SORT OF PERSPECTIVE FOR US.

IF THE REPUBLICANS HAVE 60

SEATS, THIS ENORMOUS...

>> HUGE.

>> Stephen: WAVE THAT HAS

ROLLED INTO THE AMERICAN

CONGRESS YESTERDAY, DOES THE

PRESIDENT HAVE TO NOW CAPITULATE

TO THEIR DEMANDS?

HAVEN'T THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

SPOKEN?

>> I THINK WHAT THE AMERICAN

PEOPLE HAVE SAID IS A PLAYING ON

BOTH YOUR HOUSES.

LOOK, TWO YEARS AGO WE THOUGHT

THIS WAS THIS HUGE WAVE, TO USE

YOUR MOVEMENT, AND...

>> Stephen: GO AHEAD.

>> OKAY.

AND WE THOUGHT A PROGRESSIVE ERA

WAS STARTING AND THAT EVERYTHING

WAS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT, AND

NOW TWO YEARS LATER WE'VE

DECIDED A HUGE CONSERVATIVE

MOVEMENT IS COMING IN.

IT'S NOT THAT AT ALL.

PEOPLE ARE JUST PISSED OFF AT

WHAT'S BEEN GOING ON AND THEY

WANT CHANGE, AND THEY DON'T LIKE

EITHER PARTY RIGHT NOW.

IN FACT, YOU REMEMBER THAT MOVIE

BY ROBIN WILLIAMS WHERE HE SAID,

"POLITICIANS ARE LIKE A BABY'S

DIAPER, YOU HAVE TO CHANGE THEM

A LOT AND FOR THE SAME REASON."

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

I SORT OF THINK THAT.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

SO NOW WE HAVE... HAS THIS

HAPPENED BEFORE THAT THERE WAS A

SORT OF INSURGENT PARTY WITHIN A

PARTY, THE TEA PARTY WAS AN

INSURGENT PARTY WITHIN A PARTY.

WHEN THEY GET INTO OFFICE, LIKE

YOUR RAND PAULS, WHEN THEY GET

INTO OFFICE, TRADITIONALLY DO

THOSE GUYS CAPITULATE AND PLAY

BALL WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT, OR

DO THEY JUST SHUT THINGS DOWN?

>> WELL, IT DEPENDS.

IF YOU'RE WILLING TO GO BACK TO

1912.

>> I AM NOT.

>> Stephen: YOU HAVE TO COME

THERE.

LYIVE WITH DEAD PRESIDENTS.

YOU HAVE TO COME BACK TO 1912.

I WAKE UP WITH THEM IN THE

MORNING.

I THINK ABOUT THEM AT NIGHT.

>> Stephen: YOU'RE LIKE "THE

SIXTH SENSE."

>> THE ONE I'M LIVING WITH NOW

IS TEDDY ROOSEVELT.

IN 1912 HE HAD AN INSURGENT

PARTY AGAINST THE ESTABLISHED

REPUBLICAN PARTY.

THEY WERE CALLED THE PROGRESSIVE

MOVEMENT.

HE COMES FLOATING INTO THE

CONVENTION.

HE LOSES TO TAFT, 300-POUND

TAFT, GET ON A RAFT WITH TAFT,

THAT GUY, AND HE GETS...

>> Stephen: TAFT WAS THE RAFT

ACTUALLY.

>> AND HE GETS SO SAD, SO MAD

THAT HE LEAST THAT HE BOLTS THE

PARTY, CREATES A THIRD PARTY.

>> Stephen: BULL MOOSE.

>> HEY, YOU DO KNOW HISTORY.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

>> Stephen: I BONE UP WHEN BIG

SHOTS LIKE YOU COME ON.

>> THEY DIVIDE THE PARTY AND THE

DEMOCRATS WIN.

THE DANGER IS THE TEA PARTY

PEOPLE DON'T SOUND LIKE THEY'RE

READY TO COMPROMISE.

>> Stephen: WHY SHOULD THEY

COMPROMISE?

WHY SHOULD THEY COMPROMISE?

THEY ARE ANGRY AND ANGER IS

ALWAYS THE BEST WAY TO SOLVE

THINGS.

>> FEAR.

>> Stephen: FEAR AND ANGER.

HISTORICALLY, WHAT WOULD YOU

COMPARE THIS TO, AND DON'T GO

BACK ANY FURTHER THAN 2009

BECAUSE I DON'T LIKE HISTORY.

BUT ANYWHERE IN AMERICAN

HISTORY, HAS WILL THERE BEEN

THIS KIND OF SWEEP OF ANGER THAT

CHANGES THE CONGRESS?

>> WELL, WHAT HAPPENED IN 1946,

I'M FLOATING BACK TO THERE RIGHT

NOW, IS PEOPLE WERE RALLY UPSET

WITH HARRY TRUMAN.

HE DIDN'T SEEM TO FIT INTO THE

SHOES OF F.D.R., THEIR BELOVED

PRESIDENT WHO DIED.

A HUGE SWEEP IN THE CONGRESS.

THEY LOST MORE SEATS THAN THE

DEMOCRATS LAST LOST LAST NIGHT,

BUT HARRY WAS THEN FREE TO BE

HIMSELF AND HE BECAME... WHAT'S

THAT EYEBROW GOING UP?

HE BECAME GIVE 'EM HELL HARRY.

>> Stephen: PEOPLE EVENTUALLY

LIKED HIM.

>> HE CAME OUT OF IT, TRUMAN

FACED THIS.

TRUMAN CAME OUT OF THIS SMELLING

LIKE A ROSE.

WHAT DOES OBAMA SMELL LIKE RIGHT

NOW?

>> I THINK HE'S GOT TO SMELL

MORE.

THAT'S THE PROBLEM.

>> Stephen: REALLY?

HE'S TOO STERILE?

>> I THINK WE NEED TO SEE HIM

SWEATING.

THERE IS A CERTAIN THING, TRUMAN

WAS A FIGHTER.

YOU WANT THE GUY FIGHTING.

WHEN YOU FIGHT, YOU MAY HAVE

SWEAT AND SMELL.

THAT MAY BE GOOD RIGHT NOW.

>> HE WAS FACING HUGE OPPOSITION

FROM THE REPUBLICANS WHEN HIS

PARTY CONTROLLED CONGRESS.

NOW THAT THE DEMOCRATS HAVE LOST

THE HOUSE, WHAT IS THE BEST

THING FOR OBAMA TO BE DOING FOR

NEXT TWO YEARS, LIKE LEARNING

LIKE TO KNIT OR JIM SHAW OR

SOMETHING?

WHAT'S THE BEST USE OF HIS TIME

BECAUSE HE'S NOT GOING TO GET

ANYTHING PASSED, IS HE?

>> IT'S NOT THE BEST USE OF HIS

TIME.

IT'S THE COUNTRY'S TIME.

IT'S RIDICULOUS WE'RE ALREADY

TALKING ABOUT 2012 AND WE'RE NOT

WORRIED ABOUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN

TO THIS COUNTRY IN THE NEXT TWO

YEARS.

WE HAVE TO MAKE AMERICA NUMBER

ONE IN THE WORLD.

WE HAVE TO BEAT CHINA AND FIGURE

OUT HOW TO BECOME THE GREAT

ECONOMY.

ROOSEVELT DID THAT.

IN 1940 HE SHIFTED GEARS.

HE KNEW THE WAR WAS OUT THERE.

HE SAID, I HAVE TO MAKE MY PEACE

WITH THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY.

HE GAVE THEM EVERYTHING HE NEED,

BUT HE PROTECTED UNIONS AND

PENSIONS.

IF HE GOES TO THEM AND SAYS,

WHAT DO YOU WANT, ACCELERATED

DEPRECIATION, INVESTMENT TAX

CREDITS, YOU CLAIM THAT WILL

CREATE JOBS, I'LL GIVE IT TO

YOU, BUT YOU'RE NOT GOING TO DO

IT ON THE BACKS OF THE PEOPLE.

I THINK THAT WOULD WORK.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

>> Stephen: WOULDN'T A SMART

PLAY FOR THE REPUBLICANS BE,

REALLY GET NOTHING DONE BECAUSE

IF OBAMA'S POLICIES, WHICH ARE

IN PLACE RIGHT NOW, DON'T WORK,

THEN IT WAS RIGHT FOR THEM TO

HAVE SWEPT INTO POWER?

AND IF OBAMA'S POLICIES ARE THE

CORRECT POLICIES, THEN THE

REPUBLICANS WILL GET THE CREDIT

FOR THE IMPROVEMENT IN THE

ECONOMY OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS,

SO SHOULDN'T THEY JUST SIT ON

THEIR HANDS AND SAY THE

DEMOCRATS KEEP STOPPING US?

>> THIS SOUNDS LIKE ONE OF THOSE

MATHEMATICAL ANALOGIES.

>> Stephen: A TRAIN LEAVES

CHICAGO GOING 60mph AND

MITCH McCONNELL DERAILS IT

NEAR CLEVELAND.

SO YOU FAMOUSLY WROTE ABOUT HOW

LINCOLN FACED... HE SURROUNDED

HIMSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO WERE

ESSENTIALLY HOSTILE TO HIM AND

YET WORKED WITH THEM TO GET

THINGS DONE, AND IT WAS A GREAT

PRESIDENT.

>> A GREAT PRESIDENT.

>> NOW, DOES OBAMA HAVE A SHOT

AT BEING AN EVEN GREATER

PRESIDENT NOW THAT HE IS

SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE WHO TRULY,

TRULY WISH HIM ILL?

>> YOU KNOW WHAT, ACTUALLY

THAT'S NOT A CRAZY QUESTION

BECAUSE ADVERSITY SOMETIMES

MAKES A PERSON GREAT.

IF ROOSEVELT HAD NOT HAD HIS

POLIO, THEY SAID HE PROBABLY

WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN ABLE TO

CONNECT TO PEOPLE WHO FATE HAD

ALSO DEALT AN UNKIND HAND.

THIS GUY HAS BEEN HUMBLED NOW.

HE'S INCREDIBLY SERENE, POISED

AND CONFIDENT.

HE'S GOING TO HAVE TO FIGURE OUT

WHAT DIDN'T GO RIGHT AND WHAT AM

I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT.

A LITTLE SELF-DEPRECATING HUMOR

WOULD HELP NOW.

HE HAS TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO BE

FUNNY AND LAUGH.

SOMEBODY SAID TO LINCOLN AT ONE

POINT, YOU'RE TWO-FACED,

MR. LINCOLN.

HE SAID, "IF I HAD TWO FACES, DO

YOU THINK I'D BE WEARING THIS

FACE?"

THAT'S THE KIND OF

Loading...