directly ahead of his own political
interest and you know he his great
regret is saying read my lips
Dukakis told me a great story about
their post-election courtesy call and
he’s there standing there talking and
Bush says well I certainly can’t raise
taxes in the first year and Dukakis is
like this guy just kicked my ass saying
he never raised taxes and he’s talking
about in the first year you know it was
it was an amazing moment but I think he
redeemed himself at every point and he
knew in some ways talking about ninety
two after the budget deal after the
triumphs of the first Gulf War he he had
a sense that the work of his presidency
if that up to that point was over yeah I
think the work of his life was over if
you look at it I mean biographically you
23:50else he wanted to go to the UN Nixonwanted him to work for Haldeman he sendsbut Bush brilliantly intuitively againappealed to Nixon’s class anxieties andsaid well mr. president I’ll do what youwant but nobody up in New York is makinga case for you and I could go up there Iknow that world I can do it so here’sthe son of a failed grocer from YorbaLinda being told by the son of a Polishsenator from Connecticut that he can goup and represent Richard Nixon in thiszip codethat appealed to Nixon Bush understoodhow to reach Nixon so Nixon thoughtabout it while Bush was off getting hisoffice calls him back in and says noyou’re going to the UN the next job wasbeing Republican National Chairmanduring Watergate what second prize buthe and that’s the origin if you want todraw a line to the wimp factor becauseNixon decided Bush wasn’t really toughenough because Bush wasn’t willing to goout and cut every Nixon enemy throat andso and he talks about he says he thinksI’m not oh he thinks I’m not a killeryou clearly admire President Bush youknow really admires you was there anymoment as you’re working on this andyou’re writing this where you cringethat’s it boy I wish I didn’t know thatyeah I wish he had I think he committeda sin of pride in picking Dan Quayle itwas his first executive decision to bemade totally on his own since he went onthe ticket with Reagan he never sat downwith Jim Baker and Atwater and ales andmossbacher and Nick Brady and said hereare the choices what do you think hewanted to surprise them because hedidn’t want to be handled and I justthink yeah vice president Quayle wasvery kind to me in this project he’s alovely man more prepared than peoplegave him credit for at the time althoughwas better allowed it will to call thata bad roll out like calling the secondworld war and unpleasantnessJesus God listened to youyou really have gone GMA is a big
Thomas Jefferson hated confrontation, and yet his understanding of power and of human nature enabled him to move men and to marshal ideas, to learn from his mistakes, and to prevail. Passionate about many things—women, his family, books, science, architecture, gardens, friends, Monticello, Paris—Jefferson loved America most, and he strove again and again, despite fierce opposition, to realize his vision: the creation, survival, and success of popular government in America. Jon Meacham lets us see Jefferson’s world as Jefferson himself saw it, and to appreciate how Jefferson found the means to endure and win in the face of partisan division, economic uncertainty, and external threat. Drawing on archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished Jefferson presidential papers, Meacham presents Jefferson as the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history.
Is there some place where digital democracy can
contribute to the good as opposed to what I think it
tends to do now, which is reinforce preexisting biases.
I’m speaking in vastly oversimplified terms.
But one of the things that the digital revolution has made
You can make yourself heard anyway, whether it’s in
comment sections, or Twitter, or Facebook, whatever it is.
Every man is a pundit now.
And that’s great.
But with power comes responsibility.
And so as FDR once said, simply screaming from the
rooftops doesn’t help us a whole lot.
So is there a way to harness this amazing tool to create,
what one would argue, could be a more
constructive political dialogue?
I would hope so.
And I think we’re not even halfway through this, right?
These are the first moments of this.
And so I think you all–
I don’t mean to preach at you– but you all have a hell
of a responsibility here.
I mean, this is Google.
Some guy last night in Seattle asked me where he could find a
particular letter of Jefferson’s, and I thought he
meant the idea.
No, he meant the letter, the actual one he’d written.
And so I said, well, I don’t have the date off
the top of my head.
He said, well, do I have to Google it?
I said, well, if you have to ask, then yes you do.
That’s a key thing.
So you’re a verb.
So you’re one of the key cultural landmarks of the age.
So I think that there’s an enormous responsibility there
to try to figure out how do you use this immense sea?
How do you channel it into productive ways?
So I should be asking you all this, is my point.
Arguably, that moment proved a precursor to this one as conservatives angry at his apostasy, led by a onetime backbench congressman from Georgia named Newt Gingrich, rose to power within the Republican Party and toppled the old establishment. The harder-edged Gingrich revolution in some ways foreshadowed Mr. Trump’s extraordinary takeover of the party.
Mr. Meacham said the current world of cable talk and relentless partisanship took shape during Mr. Bush’s era. “He saw it all coming, and he didn’t like it,” he said.
Mark K. Updegrove, the author of “The Last Republicans,” about the two Bush presidencies, said, “In so many ways, Bush was the antithesis of the Republican leadership we see today.” He embodied, Mr. Updegrove added, “the
- civility and
of the best of the World War II generation. He played tough but fair, making friends on both sides of the aisle and rejecting the notion of politics as a zero-sum game.”
.. For all of the condolences and tributes pouring in to the Bush home in Houston from every corner of the world on Saturday, Mr. Trump’s very presidency stands as a rebuke to Mr. Bush. Never a proponent of “kinder and gentler” politics, Mr. Trump prefers a brawl, even with his own party. The “new world order” of free-trade, alliance-building internationalism that Mr. Bush championed has been replaced by Mr. Trump’s “America First” defiance of globalism.
.. Mr. Trump has demonstrated that he sees the go-along-to-get-along style that defined Mr. Bush’s presidency as inadequate to advance the nation in a hostile world. Gentility and dignity, hallmarks of Mr. Bush, are signs of weakness to Mr. Trump. In his view, Mr. Bush’s version of leadership left the United States exploited by allies and adversaries, whether on economics or security.
.. Mr. Bush was, in effect, president of the presidents’ club, the father of one other commander in chief and the father figure to another, Bill Clinton. Jimmy Carter always appreciated that Mr. Bush’s administration treated him better than Ronald Reagan’s or Mr. Clinton’s, while Barack Obama expressed admiration for the elder Mr. Bush when he ran for the White House.
.. Mr. Obama was among the last people to see Mr. Bush alive.
.. “What the hell was that, by the way, thousand points of light?” Mr. Trump asked scornfully at a campaign rally in Great Falls, Mont., in July. “What did that mean? Does anyone know? I know one thing: Make America great again, we understand. Putting America first, we understand. Thousand points of light, I never quite got that one.”
.. “It’s so easy to be presidential,” Mr. Trump said at a campaign rally in Wheeling, W.Va. “But instead of having 10,000 people outside trying to get into this packed arena, we’d have about 200 people standing right there. O.K.? It’s so easy to be presidential. All I have to do is ‘Thank you very much for being here, ladies and gentlemen. It’s great to see you off — you’re great Americans. Thousand points of light.’ Which nobody has really figured out.”
.. In 1988, when Mr. Bush was seeking the presidency, Mr. Trump offered himself as a running mate. Mr. Bush never took the idea seriously, deeming it “strange and unbelievable,”
.. “I don’t know much about him, but I know he’s a blowhard. And I’m not too excited about him being a leader.” Rather than being motivated by public service, Mr. Bush said, Mr. Trump seemed to be driven by “a certain ego.”