Mark Shriver

  • Aired:  08/07/12
  •  | Views: 6,241

The VP of Save the Children's U.S. Programs, Mark Shriver, talks about his father's civic contributions, the War on Poverty, and the importance of investing in kids. (5:32)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT HAS WRITTEN A BOOK THAT IS A GLOWING PORTRAIT OF HIS FATHER.

ARE YOU LISTENING, KIDS?

PLEASE WELCOME MARDI GRAS SHRIVER.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: THANKS FOR COMING ON NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Stephen: YOU ARE THE VICE PRESIDENT OF U.S. PROGRAMS AT SAVE THE CHILDREN.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: YOU ARE A SHRIVER AND A KENNEDY.

YOUR FATHER WAS SERGEANT SHRIVER, A GIANT IN HIS OWN TIME AND YOU HAVE NOW WRITTEN A BOOK

ABOUT YOUR FATHER CALLED "A GOOD MAN, REDISCOVERING MY FATHER SARGENT SHRIVER."

WHY GOOD MAN?

WHY NOT GREAT MAN.

HE'S YOUR DAD.

WHY ARE YOU PULLING THE PUNCHS?

>> I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE WATCHING THAT THINK

THEY'RE GREAT MEN OR GREAT WOMEN BUT WHEN THE LIGHTS ARE TURNED

OFF THEY'RE NOT GOOD PEOPLE AND I THINK THAT WHEN I HEARD FROM SO MANY FOLKS AFTER HE DIED WAS

THAT HE WAS A GOOD MAN.

AND I THINK IT'S A NICE THING THAT PEOPLE SAY TO YOU WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR FATHER, I REALIZED IT

MEANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

I HEARD IT FROM THE WAITRESSES AT HIS FAVORITE RESTAURANT AND THE GUY AT THE HAIR COUNTER AT

THE NATIONAL AIRPORT.

DAD WAS GOOD TO EVERYONE,

WHETHER YOU ARE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, CARDINAL OR TRASH COLLECTOR.

THAT'S WHAT I WANTED TO FIGURE OUT.

HOW HE COULD DO THAT AND DO IT JOYFULLY.

>> Stephen: YOUR FATHER HAD AN IMPRESSIVE IF ALBEIT EXTREMELY LIBERAL BENT.

FOUNDER OF THE PEACE CORPS, HEAD START, JOB CORPS, VISTA, LEGAL SERVICES.

DID HE EVER REVENT HIS LIBERALISM?

(LAUGHTER) BECAUSE HE DID ALL THAT STUFF WHEN PEOPLE SAID YEAH,

LIBERALISM HAS A PLACE IN AMERICA.

>> HE WAS VERY PROUD OF IT.

HE REACHED ACROSS THE AISLE TO PEOPLE LIKE ORRIN HATCH WHO SUPPORTED JOB CORPS.

>> Stephen: BUT TODAY IF YOU REACHED ACROSS THE AISLE TO SOMEBODY LIKE ORRIN HATCH HE'D

PULL BACK A BLOODY STUMP.

(LAUGHTER)

>> IN THE TIME... HE BELIEVED THIS WAS A GREATEST COUNTRY ON EARTH AND HE BELIEVED WHAT

BROUGHT US TOGETHER.

>> Stephen: LET'S TALK ABOUT THE GREAT MAN GOOD PERSON DICHOTOMY

THERE BECAUSE ASER JUST SAYING WE WERE TALKING ABOUT VICE PRESIDENTIAL CHOICES OVER THERE.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: YOUR DAD IN 1972 RAN AS THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE WITH GEORGE McGOVERN

AND THEY WERE NICE GUYS!

>> THEY WERE.

>> Stephen: PRETTY MUCH UNIVERSALLY HERALDED AS MAYBE TWO OF THE NICEST GUYS IN MY

LIFETIME WHO RAN FOR PRESIDENT AND THEY GOT THEIR ASSES HANDED TO THEM.

(LAUGHTER) IN A HISTORIC CRUSHING.

BY RICHARD NIXON AND SPIRO AGNEW TWO MEN WHO EVEN THEIR SUPPORTERS THOUGHT WERE COMPLETE BASTARDS.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) DOES BEING A GOOD GUY GET YOU AHEAD IN THE WORLD OF GREAT MEN?

>> WELL, I THINK MY FAVORITE LINE FROM THAT CAMPAIGN WAS WHAT MY DAD SAID TO GEORGE McGOVERN

AFTER THEY LOST.

HE SAID "WE MAY HAVE LOST THE ELECTION BUT WE DIDN'T LOSE OUR SOULS."

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) MY FATHER DIED AT 95 YEARS OF AGE AFTER BATTLING ALZEHIMER'S

DISEASE FOR TEN YEARS,

SURROUNDED BY HIS 19 GRANDCHILDREN AND FIVE KIDS ALL OF WHOM LOVED HIM.

HIS IN LAWS.

GEORGE McGOVERN CELEBRATED HIS 90th BIRTHDAY IN WASHINGTON SURROUNDED BY HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE

IN WASHINGTON, D.C. I THINK WE KNOW WHO WON THAT ELECTION IN THE LONG TERM.

(LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: YOUR FATHER WAS ONE OF THE CHAMPIONS OF SOCIAL JUSTICE.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: SOCIAL JUSTICE LED TO THINGS LIKE THE WAR ON POVERTY.

45 YEARS ON WE ARE APPROACHING THE SAME LEVEL OF POVERTY AS WHEN THE WAR ON POVERTY STARTED.

HAVEN'T WE PROVE THAN ALL THOSE SOCIAL SERVICES, RELIANCE ON THE

GOVERNMENT, THAT THAT ACTUALLY HAS FAILED AND IT'S EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF?

I GOT MINE, JACK, LET'S LET IT TRICKLE DOWN.

(LAUGHTER)

>> WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE STATISTICS IN 1965, THE SENIOR CITIZEN RATE OF POVERTY AND KID

RATE OF POVERTY WAS ABOUT THE SAME, TEN YEARS LATER AFTER THE WAR ON POVERTY STARTED UP THEY

BOTH DROPPED TEN POINTS IN 1975.

NOW THE ADULTERATE IS DOWN UNDER 9% AND THE KID RATE IS BACK UP TO 25%.

AND THE BOTTOM LINE IS BECAUSE WE INVESTED IN TAKING CARE OF OUR SENIOR CITIZENS.

IF WE MAKE THE INVESTMENT AND PUT THE POLITICAL WILL BEHIND IT WE CAN HELP TO GIVE KIDS THE

OPPORTUNITY TO REALIZE THEIR GOALS AND DREAMS

>>

>> ULTIMATELY WHY DO YOU THINK YOUR FATHER DID THIS STUFF?

WHAT WAS HIS ANG?

WAS IT MEDIA OPTIC?

DID HE HAVE A GOOD PUBLICIST?

(LAUGHTER) WHY HELPING OTHER PEOPLE BECAUSE I DON'T SEE THE GAIN THERE.

(LAUGHTER)

>> AS CORNY AS IT SOUNDS HE WENT TO MASS EVERYDAY OF HIS LIFE AND HE WAS A CATHOLIC.

>> Stephen: I'M A CATHOLIC, TOO.

>> I UNDERSTAND.

>>.

>> Stephen: IF IT'S A CONTEST,

IT'S A TIE.

(LAUGHTER) MARK, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME.

MARK SHRIVER.

THE BOOK IS "A GOOD MAN." WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.