BeachTV In Conversation – Douglas Brinkley

BeachTV In Conversation – Douglas Brinkley


[ MUSIC ] HELLO AND WELCOME
TO IN CONVERSATION. I’M ART LEVINE, PROFESSOR
OF ETHICS AND LEGAL STUDIES IN THE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS
ADMINISTRATION HERE AT CALIFORNIA STATE
UNIVERSITY LONG BEACH. OUR SPECIAL GUEST TONIGHT
IS DOUGLAS BRINKLEY; NOTED HISTORIAN,
AWARD WINNING AUTHOR, AND HISTORY COMMENTATOR
FOR CBC NEWS. PROFESSOR BRINKLEY IS HERE FOR THE CSULB DISTINGUISHED
SPEAKER SERIES. WE ARE INDEED FORTUNATE TO
HAVE HIM AS A GUEST TONIGHT. PROFESSOR, WELCOME TO OUR SHOW
AND WELCOME TO LONG BEACH.>>WELL, THANK YOU. GREAT TO BE HERE.>>WE’RE DELIGHTED THAT YOU’RE
— HAVE COME TO OUR TOWN, AND YOU ARE AN EXPERT
ON PRESIDENTS AND PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP, AND
WE’D LIKE TO DIALOGUE WITH YOU ABOUT WHAT IS IMPORTANT,
AND TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE PRESIDENTS
THAT STAND OUT TO YOU.>>WELL, YOU KNOW
EVERY YEAR A GROUP OF AMERICAN HISTORIAN’S
RANK WHO WAS BEST AND WE ALWAYS PUT
LINCOLN NUMBER ONE BECAUSE NO MATTER HOW BAD
ANOTHER PRESIDENT HAS IT — YOU KNOW, RIGHT NOW BARACK OBAMA
IS HAVING TO DEAL WITH PUTIN AND — YOU KNOW — YOU’VE
GOT PROBLEMS IN SYRIA. NO MATTER HOW BAD IT IS,
LINCOLN HAD IT WORSE. THE FACT THAT HE WAS PRESIDENT WHEN YOU HAD 600,000
AMERICANS DIE IN THE CIVIL WAR, HALF THE COUNTRY LEAVING YOU. AND ALSO, WHAT A — HE REPRESENTS LINCOLN
KIND OF A MORAL EXCELLENCE AND IN HIS WRITTEN DOCUMENTS ARE
ALMOST LIKE FOUNDING DOCUMENTS; THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION,
GETTYSBURG ADDRESS, THE SECOND INAUGURAL
FOR EXAMPLE. SECOND IS USUALLY
GEORGE WASHINGTON, SIMPLY BECAUSE HE SAID, “I’M
NOT GOING TO SEEK ANOTHER TERM.” BY STEPPING DOWN, WASHINGTON
ALLOWED DEMOCRACY REALLY TO TAKE ROOT IN THE COUNTRY. AND THIRD, WHO I’M WRITING ABOUT
RIGHT NOW, IS FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT WHO WON FOUR TIMES;
32 — IN 1932, 36, 40, AND 44 AND GOD YOU JUST
THREW THE GREAT DEPRESSION IN WORLD WAR II.>>AND HOW DOES PRESIDENT
OBAMA FIT INTO THAT PANEL?>>HARD DATA — YOU KNOW, WE
USUALLY DON’T JUDGE THEM, ART, UNTIL 25 YEARS AFTER PRESIDENCY
BECAUSE THAT’S WHEN THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT STARTS
ALLOWING DOCUMENTS TO COME IN AND YOU CAN START KIND OF
SEEING WHAT REALLY HAPPENS. JUST TAKE OBAMA CARE FOR
EXAMPLE; IF A REPUBLICAN WINS IN 2016, THEY’LL GUT IT –>>YEAH.>>– AND IT’LL BE SEEN
AS THE — A FAILURE. IF A DEMOCRAT WINS, SAY HILARY
CLINTON, SHE MIGHT KEEP TRYING TO IMPROVE IT AND IT MIGHT
STAND OUT LIKE SOCIAL SECURITY AS A GREAT AMERICAN SERVICE, BUT
IT’S — IT’S PREMATURE ON HIM. HE HAS A COUPLE THINGS
— BIG MOMENTS. I MEAN IF TWO WOMEN APPOINTED
TO THE SUPREME COURT, KILLING OF OSAMA BIN LADEN, AND LIKE DWIGHT EISENHOWER
GETTING US OUT OF VIETNAM, HE WAS TRYING TO OR HAS GOTTEN
— GOTTEN US OUT OF AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ, BUT IT’S GOING
TO BE HARD TO TELL. USUALLY, IF YOU WIN
REELECTION LIKE OBAMA DID, YOU’D FEEL A LITTLE BETTER EVEN
THOUGH THE SECOND TERM’S MORE DIFFICULT, BUT AT LEAST
YOU’RE NOT BEING REJECTED BY THE VOTERS.>>SECOND TERMS ARE
TRADITIONALLY DIFFICULT FOR — FOR MANY PRESIDENTS.>>A KILLER FOR A LOT
OF THEM IN RECENT TIMES. LOOK AT RICHARD NIXON. I MEAN WHEN — THINK
ABOUT NIXON. HE WINS BIG IN 68 OVER
HUMPHREY AND GEORGE WALLACE. 72, THE BIGGEST LANDSLIDE
EVER ON THE GOVERNOR, AND THEN WATERGATE KICKS IN
— IN 73, AND HE’S GONE BY 74. REAGAN SURVIVED HIS BIG
CRISIS WITH IRAN-CONTRA ON A FAMOUS ADDRESS OF GRABBING
THE MICROPHONE AND TALKING TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND EXPLAINING THE SITUATION
GOT A BALANCE IN THE POLLS. BUT SECOND TERMS ARE DIFFICULT BECAUSE LOOK PEOPLE FIGURE
YOUR CLOCKS RUNNING OUT AND THEY’RE NOT GOING TO
STAKE THE FUTURE ON YOU.>>YOU’RE FROM TEXAS —
THEN WE HAD, OF COURSE, PRESIDENT BUSH SENIOR
AND GEORGE W. FROM TEXAS. HOW DO THEY FIT IN?>>AND DWIGHT EISENHOWER,
BORN IN TEXAS.>>REALLY?>>NOT MANY PEOPLE
DO REALIZE IT. YEAH. 41 IS GOING
TO GO DOWN AS A — AS A ABOVE AVERAGE
PRESIDENT, BUSH THE ELDER BECAUSE WHEN HE WAS PRESIDENT
THE BERLIN WALL CAME DOWN, HE OVERSAW THE BREAKUP
OF THE SOVIET UNION, GERMAN REUNIFICATION,
DELIBERATION OF KUWAIT, APPREHENSION OF NORIEGA
IN PANAMA. A VERY BIG FOUR YEARS IN
AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY. BUT HE, OF COURSE,
DIDN’T GET REELECTED. BUT USUALLY, WHAT WE DO,
I’M NOTICING IN OUR COUNTRY, WE POUND ON PRESIDENTS WHETHER
IT’S GEORGE W. BUSH OR OBAMA. IT DOESN’T MATTER
[INAUDIBLE] WITH IMPEACHMENT. AND THEN WHEN THEY GET OLDER
OR PARTICULARLY WHEN THEY DIE, WE DO THESE CORONATIONS
OF THEM AGAIN –>>YEAH.>>– FOR LIKE A WEEK OF –>>THAT’S TRUE.>>– FANTASTIC THEY WERE–>>– WITH HUMAN
BEINGS GENERALLY DO.>>– YES IT IS.>>BUT BUSH 41 WAS A
TRUE NATIONAL HERO. VOLUNTEERED –>>YEAH.>>– IN THE WAR AS A
YOUNGEST PILOT I THINK, HEAD OF THE CIA, UN AMBASSADOR. I MEAN, HE WAS THE REAL THING.>>REAL THING.>>AND A REAL CLASS
ACT AND HIS SON, DIFFERENT, BUT VERY LIKABLE.>>LIKABLE. ALSO, WAS ABLE TO WIN TWO TERMS
WHERE HIS FATHER WASN’T ABLE.>>THAT’S RIGHT.>>BUT THE INTERIM
— YOU KNOW — I THINK IS BULLHORN MOMENT
IN 9/11 WAS QUITE ICONIC.>>IT WAS.>>BUT SHOULD WE HAVE
GONE INTO IRAQ AND GONE AFTER SADDAM HUSSEIN FROM
AN ECONOMIC POINT OF VIEW, WAS IT WORTH THAT
BECOMING THE BIG ISSUE IN THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY? RIGHT NOW, PEOPLE FEEL NO. HE’S NOT RANKED VERY HIGH,
BUT LOOK, TIME CHANGES THINGS.>>YEAH.>>AS I MENTIONED, WHEN MORE
DOCUMENTS ARE OUT, WHAT — IN THE AGE OF TERROR THAT WE
LIVE IN NOW, IT’S SORT OF — IT’S HARD TO SAY, BUT IF YOU’RE
GEORGE W. BUSH YOU COULDN’T SAY IT UNTIL THE END, BUT AFTER 9/11
AMERICA WASN’T — WASN’T HIT.>>YOU KNOW — WHETHER YOU’RE
A REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT, HE AND HIS ADMINISTRATION
DID KEEP US SAFE. I MEAN THE ODDS OF US NOT
BEING HIT AGAIN AFTER 9/11 — EVERYONE WAS WAITING AND
YET IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. NOW I DON’T KNOW
WAS — WERE WE LUCKY OR BECAUSE OF THE STAND HE TOOK.>>HOMELAND — THE DEPARTMENT OF
HOMELAND SECURITY GETS CREATED, WE STARTED REALLY GET ALL OF THE
INCONVENIENCES OF OUR AIRPORTS, WHICH REALLY ISN’T THAT BAD.>>YEAH.>>WE ALL COMPLAIN ABOUT — I TRAVEL A LOT, BUT THAT
TIGHTENING UP OF SECURITY IN AMERICA REALLY HAPPENED
UNDER GEORGE W. BUSH, BUT AGAIN THAT —
IRAQ AND THEN THE FACT THAT THE ECONOMY
TANKED ON HIM –>>YEAH.>>– IN HIS LAST MONTHS IN
OFFICE IS GOING TO MAKE IT HARD FOR HIM TO REHABILITATE
HIMSELF, I THINK, TOO HIGH.>>BUT YOU MENTIONED THAT
ICONIC MOMENT IN NEW YORK CITY WITH THE FIREFIGHTER
IN THAT PIT. I MEAN I THOUGHT
HE WAS AT HIS BEST; THE SPEECH AT THE CATHEDRAL, THE
WHOLE COUNTRY WAS BEHIND HIM. WE WENT INTO AFGHANISTAN, WE — WE ROUTED THEM, WE GOT
THE TALIBAN OUT, AND THEN, FOR WHATEVER REASON, WENT INTO
IRAQ AND THERE ARE DOCUMENTS, I BELIEVE, THAT INDICATE
THAT FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE ADMINISTRATION,
LONG BEFORE 9/11, THEY WANTED REGIME
CHANGE IN IRAQ.>>WELL, THAT’S RIGHT. AND COLIN POWELL USED TO — IT’S
CALLED THE POWELL DOCTRINE — AND SAID, “IF YOU
BREAK IT, YOU OWN IT.” WITH A GREAT MILITARY LIKE WE
HAVE, YOU CAN GO INTO A PLACE LIKE IRAQ, YOU CAN BREAK
IT, BUT THEN YOU GOT TO BUILD A DEMOCRACY THERE
IN THAT PART OF THE WORLD AND WE STRUGGLE WITH THAT. THAT WAS SOMETHING WE DIDN’T
DO WELL IN VIETNAM FOR EXAMPLE. SO IT — IT’S — IT WAS A
TOUGH CALL BY GEORGE W. BUSH, BUT HE’S ALSO GOING UP A
LITTLE BIT IN THE POLLS AND…>>YEAH.>>…HE SPENDS A LOT OF TIME
WITH THE WOUNDED WARRIORS AND ALIKE, BUT YOU’RE RIGHT, WE HAVE THREE PRESIDENTIAL
LIBRARIES IN TEXAS [LAUGHTER];
THE JOHNSON ONE…>>YEAH.>>LINDEN.>>I’VE BEEN THERE.>>AND THAT’S — AND THEN
AT SOUTHERN METHODIST, THE GEORGE W. BUSH LIBRARY AND
GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH IS –>>YEAH.>>– IN COLLEGE STATION.>>WELL, NOW — YET UNSPOKEN
ARE OF COURSE THE CLINTONS AND BILL CLINTON REELECTED
PEACE AND PROSPERITY, THE ECONOMIES BOOMING, FOREIGN
POLICY WITH A FEW EXCEPTIONS, AND BOSNIA RELATIVELY CLEAN,
AND THEN TURNS IT OVER TO GORE AND GORE KEEPS HIM AWAY
FROM THE CAMPAIGN AND LOSES. WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT?>>WELL, IT WAS — IT WAS CALLED
A FOOLISH MOVE BY AL GORE. I MEAN, BILL CLINTON’S STILL
AT HIGH PUBLIC APPROVAL RATINGS IN — I — IF HE WOULD’VE
SIMPLY UNLEASHED BILL CLINTON IN FLORIDA, GORE
WOULD’VE BEEN PRESIDENT, THE CLIMATE CHANGE WOULD’VE
BEEN A DIFFERENT KIND OF ISSUE THAN IT’S SORT OF, NOBODY NOW
REALLY WANTS TO DEAL WITH IT. BUT THAT’S WHEN HISTORY
IS BY A WHISKER. BILL CLINTON LOOKS
BETTER AND BETTER NOW BECAUSE HIS BIGGEST
ACCOMPLISHMENT IS THAT BUDGET SURPLUS. AT THE TIME, WE HAD
WON THE COLD WAR. THE COLD WAR SEEMED
TO BE OVER AND — AND IT’S LIKE, WELL
WHAT DID HE DO SO GREAT. WHEN ARE GOING TO RUSH TO LITTLE
ROCK TO THE CLINTON LIBRARY AND SEE THE [LAUGHTER]
NAFTA PIN UNDER GLASS. YOU KNOW, WHAT DID HE DO
— AND THEN YOU HAD THE –>>WELL, WELFARE REFORM.>>– WELFARE REFORM. THERE’S A LOT THERE. IT WASN’T BIG HEROIC
STUFF, BUT BOY IN THIS DAY AND TIME WHEN WE’RE –>>WE TAKE IT.>>– WE TAKE THAT
BALANCE BUDGET AND THE FACT THAT HE WAS ABLE TO WORK WITH
CONGRESS AND GET THAT DONE.>>AND OF COURSE NOW, IT
SEEMS TO BE HILARY’S TURN.>>WELL — I — HILARY
IS JUST — I’VE NEVER SEEN A PERSON
SO PREPARED AS BILL AND HILARY CLINTON ARE. THEIR FRIENDS THAT THEY’VE
DEVELOPED IN THEIR NETWORKING AND EVERY BRANCH
OF AMERICAN LIFE, AND IT WILL BE QUITE A HISTORIC
TIME IF YOU GET THE FIRST — FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT AND THE
THOUGHT OF BILL CLINTON BACK IN THE WHITE HOUSE AND IT WILL IN MANY WAYS TRUMP
THE BUSH DUAL LEGACY AND OBAMA BEING THE FIRST
AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRESIDENT.>>I MENTIONED, BEFORE WE
WENT ON-AIR, THAT WE — WE SAW HILARY AND BILL
AT OUR LAW SCHOOL REUNION AND SHE GOT THE HIGHEST
AWARE FROM OUR LAW SCHOOL, AND SHE JUST LOOKED POISED, AND
READ, AND GROUNDED, AND RADIANT, AND — YOU THINK
SHE’S GOING TO –>>AND UNFLAPPABLE.>>YES.>>YOU KNOW — I THINK HER
ONLY CHALLENGE IS GOING TO BE IF SHE’S NOT — DOESN’T HAVE A
OPPONENT AND JUST GETS CORONETED AS THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE. IT MIGHT MEAN A LOT OF THE
MEDIA ENERGY IS GETTING EXCITED ABOUT WHOEVER IT IS. GOVERNOR KASICH OF OHIO, OR
RAND PAUL, OR RICK PERRY, OR — YOU KNOW — JEB BUSH
OR WHATEVER, BUT RIGHT NOW I THINK —
I’VE TALKED TO A LOT OF WOMEN THAT DECLARE THEMSELVES
INDEPENDENCE AND THEY, “LOOK, I EVEN VOTE FOR REPUBLICAN,
BUT I’LL VOTE FOR HILARY BECAUSE THE TIME FOR
A WOMAN IS UPON US.”>>AND IN THE LAST CAMPAIGN
WHEN SHE RAN AGAINST OBAMA, THE FIRST HALF OF HER
CAMPAIGN WASN’T ALL THE STRONG AND BY SOME — HIS GIFT OF
SPEECH KIND OF KNOCKED HER DOWN A BIT, BUT I THINK A LOT OF
PEOPLE RESPECTED HOW SHE STAYED WITH IT IN THE SECOND
HALF OF THE CAMPAIGN. IT WAS TOO LATE AND — BUT — BUT SHE GREW IN THAT
SECOND HALF OF THE CAMPAIGN.>>WELL — AND YOU’RE TOUCHING
ON WHAT MIGHT BE A WEAKNESS. SHE’S GOING TO HAVE
TO BE A LITTLE LOOSER AND A LITTLE MORE CANDID. YOU REMEMBER — I DON’T KNOW
IF YOU RECALL BACK IN ’08, BUT THEY WERE GIVING HER
TRAINING ON HOW TO SMILE AND HOW TO RELAX A LITTLE MORE.>>OH MY GOD.>>NOW I DON’T BLAME HER. IT’S TOUCH ON THOSE DEBATE
FORUMS AND YOU’RE LIKE — AND YOU — BECAUSE IF YOU SAY
ONE THING WRONG, YOU’RE GOING TO GET HAMMERED, BUT
SHE’S GOING TO HAVE TO BE A LITTLE MORE FLUID IN — WHEN THE DEBATES COME
AROUND THAN SHE WAS IN ’08.>>DID OBAMA BECOME
VICTORIOUS IN THAT BECAUSE OF HIS INCREDIBLE
VERBAL SKILLS AND INTELLIGENCE? HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?>>PART OF IT, BUT ALSO THERE
WAS BUSH FATIGUE AND ONCE IN A WHILE WE JUST GET SICK
OF ALL THE COMMON PLACED NAMES AND HERE WAS SUCH A FRESH
FACE COMING OUT OF ILLINOIS, PEOPLE WERE — RECOGNIZED
THIS WILL BE VERY HISTORIC THAT WE’D BE ABLE TO ELECT
SOMEBODY LIKE BARACK OBAMA. HIS INAUGURATION IS ONE OF THE GREAT MOMENTS
IN AMERICAN HISTORY.>>YES.>>I HAVE THREE KIDS
AND WE HAVE A PLACEMAT OF ALL THESE WHITE
PRESIDENTS — YOU KNOW — [LAUGHTER] WHERE WE GO JAMES
MADISON, MONROE, AND ALL — AND THEN IT’S BARACK OBAMA.>>WOW!>>YEAH — AND IT WAS — IT WAS
— HE SHATTERED A GLASS CEILING.>>DID HE USE MAYBE A LITTLE
BIT OF GUILT IN WHITE AMERICA AS A SAFE BLACK CANDIDATE
THAT YOU COULD VOTE FOR AND?>>WELL — YOU KNOW
— CERTAINLY THAT — THERE WAS A FEELING THAT CIVIL
RIGHTS HAD BEEN A BIG PART OF OUR TIME.>>YEAH.>>WE HAD MARTIN
LUTHER KING DAY. SOME OF THE ORIGINAL GUILT IN
AMERICA IS ABOUT SLAVERY AND –>>SURE.>>– AND — AND HERE —
IT MADE PEOPLE FEEL GOOD THAT WAIT LOOK –>>YEAH.>>– WE — WE AREN’T
— WE CAN DO THIS. AND THE WHOLE WORLD FELT THAT. I MEAN HE ENDED UP GETTING A
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE SIMPLY REALLY FOR GETTING ELECTED — YOU KNOW.>>FOR GETTING ELECTED, YEAH. OKAY [BACKGROUND
MUSIC] WE’LL BE THIS — CONTINUE THIS GREAT DISCUSSION AFTER WE PAUSE FOR
THESE MESSAGES.>>AT THE BEACH, SCIENCE
IS A HANDS-ON AFFAIR. NEW SCIENCE BUILDERS WITH STATE
OF THE ART LABORATORIES COMBINED WITH OUR STANDING FACULTY
MENTORS ARE ENGAGING STUDENTS IN CUTTING EDGE RESEARCH AND PROVIDING AN UNMATCHED
LEVEL OF SCIENCE EDUCATION. MORE CSULB STUDENTS GO ON TO
EARN DOCTORAL DEGREES IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY THAN FROM
ANY OTHER UNIVERSITY OF ITS KIND IN THE NATION. TO LEARN MORE, VISIT
US ON THE WEB. SCIENCE AT THE BEACH, EDUCATING
STUDENTS THROUGH RESEARCH.>>THERE’S A WORLD OF
OPPORTUNITY AVAILABLE THROUGH THE COLLEGE
OF CONTINUING AND PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION
AT CAL STATE LONG BEACH. HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT
ABOUT A CAREER IN MANAGING SPORTS TEAMS
OR SPORTS FACILITIES? YOU CAN GET STARTED BY
TAKING THE GRADUATE PROGRAM IN SPORT MANAGEMENT. LEARN WHAT IT TAKES TO BECOME
PART OF THIS EXCITING FIELD FROM PROMINENT INSTRUCTORS WHO
ARE WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT
THE COLLEGE OF CONTINUING AND PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION
AT CAL STATE LONG BEACH.>>WELCOME BACK TO
IN CONVERSATION WITH OUR SPECIAL GUEST, DOUGLAS
BRINKLEY, NOTED HISTORIAN AND BEST-SELLING AUTHOR. PRESIDENT EISENHOWER
— I LIKE IKE. I JUST GOT ONE OF THOSE BUTTONS
FROM HIS GREAT-GRANDDAUGHTER FOR SENDING A MODEST
CONTRIBUTION TO THE EISENHOWER LIBRARY, BUT
HE WAS A HERO OF WORLD WAR II, LED THE COALITION,
TWICE ELECTED PRESIDENT AGAINST THE VERY STRONG
OPPONENT ADLAI STEVENSON WHO WAS A GREAT RESUME,
BUT IKE JUST WIPED HIM OUT.>>WELL EISENHOWER IS HAVING
A GREAT REVISIONISM RIGHT NOW. PEOPLE ARE THINKING HE WAS
A MUCH BETTER PRESIDENT. IT GETS BACK TO THAT WHEN
DOCUMENTS START COMING OUT. WE NOW SEE THAT HE
WAS VERY HANDS ON. MANY PEOPLE THOUGHT JOHN FOSTER
DULLES WAS RUNNING THE FOREIGN POLICY AND NIXON, WHO WAS
VICE-PRESIDENT, HAD A ROLE. NOW WE’RE SEEING IKE WAS
THE MASTERMIND OF EVERYTHING AND IT WAS A GREAT DECADE, THE
’50S OF PEACE AND PROSPERITY.>>YEAH.>>HE PULLED US OUT OF KOREA
AND IN RESPONSE TO SOMETHING LIKE SPUTNIK WHEN
THE SOVIETS WERE — LOOKED LIKE THEY ARE GETTING THE
EDGE IN SPACE, HE FOUNDED NASA. EVEN HIS FAREWELL ADDRESS ABOUT THE INDUSTRIAL MILITARY
COMPLEX IS BECOMING ONE OF WHICH –>>THE OPPRESSIONS, REALLY.>>– THE OPPRESSION
IN SO MANY WAYS. SO EISENHOWER IS BEING
ADMIRED BY LIBERALS TODAY, WHICH IS ASTONISHING
TO SAY THE LEAST.>>AND I GIVE HIM CREDIT FOR
SOMETHING THAT HE DIDN’T DO. THERE WAS A LOT OF PRESSURE
TO GO INTO TO BAIL THE FRENCH OUT IN VIETNAM WHEN THEY LOST
DIêN BIêN PHU AND HE SAID, “NO, WE DON’T WANT
TO GET INVOLVED.” HE KEPT US OUT OF WHAT LATER
BECAME THE VIETNAM WAR.>>EXCELLENT POINT AND THAT’S
A BIG REASON I THINK A LOT OF THE LEFT OF THE
ANTI-VIETNAM WAR LEFT IS SAYING, “LOOK, IKE WAS SMART ENOUGH. IT REALLY WAS KENNEDY
AND JOHNSON’S WAR.” AND CERTAINLY NIXON FELT THAT. I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO
THE NIXON TAPES RECENTLY.>>OH, YES.>>I’M DOING A PIECE ON THEM
FOR VANITY FAIR THIS SUMMER AND IT’S A — IT’S REMARKABLE
HOW HE’S BLAMING NIXON, KENNEDY, AND JOHNSON, “LOOK I — I’M
INHERITING THIS VIETNAM WAR AND EISENHOWER NEVER WOULD’VE
GOTTEN US INTO THIS MESS.”>>YEAH. AND JOHNSON, AFTER
THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION, FELT THAT HE COULD NOT BE THE
FIRST DEMOCRAT TO LOSE A WAR AND HE — HE GOT STUCK IN THAT
AND I DON’T THINK HIS HEART WAS IN IT BECAUSE HIS REAL
PASSION WAS THE GREAT SOCIETY, BUT HE WASN’T GOING TO ALLOW
A DEMOCRAT TO LOSE A WAR AND THEY KEPT DOUBLING
DOWN UNTIL — UNTIL WALTER CRONKITE [LAUGHTER] WHO YOU MOST RECENTLY
WROTE A BOOK ON AND CRONKITE FINALLY
SAID, “IT’S NOT WORKING.” AND I THINK JOHNSON
FAMOUSLY SAID, “WELL, IF I’VE LOST CRONKITE,
I’VE LOST THE COUNTRY.”>>WELL, LOOK, THE VIETNAM
WAS SUCH A DIFFICULT SITUATION AND — AND CBS NEWS OPENED
UP A BUREAU IN VIETNAM AND MORELY SAFER DID A BIG
STORY ABOUT OUR MARINES THAT WERE THE BAD
GUYS BURNING HUTS DOWN AND JOHNSON GOT INFURIATED
BY THIS AND SO YOU START GETTING THE
MEDIA BEING CRITICAL OF VIETNAM, BUT IN 1968 WHEN
CRONKITE HAD ENOUGH WAS WHEN THE TET OFFENSIVE
CAME AND IT SHOWED THAT THE NORTH VIETNAMESE AND VIET CONG STILL HAD
A LOT OF FIGHT IN THEM. AND SO IT ENDED UP
— CRONKITE ENDED UP PLAYING QUITE
A ROLE THAT YEAR. I NOTICED AFTER —
SO THE NEXT YEAR ’69, HE HAD WON EVERY AWARD — ALL THAT EDWARD R. MURROW
KIND OF AWARDS FOR –>>YES.>>– BROADCASTING.>>THIS WAS YOUR
MOST RECENT BOOK. TELL US WHY YOU CHOSE TO WRITE
A BOOK ON — ON WALTER CRONKITE.>>WELL — YOU KNOW — I MEET
A LOT OF PEOPLE AND THEY SAY, “OH I REMEMBER THE
KENNEDY ASSASSINATION.” AS IF THEY WERE THERE. WHAT THEY REMEMBER IS
WALTER CRONKITE TELLING THEM ABOUT KENNEDY’S DEATH. CRONKITE COVERING
MARTIN LUTHER KING. CRONKITE COVERING VIETNAM. AND HIS PAPERS THAT JUST OPENED
UP AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS IN AUSTIN AND HE WAS A
VOLUMINOUS PACKRAT KIND OF CHARACTER — YOU KNOW. SO THERE WAS A LOT OF JOURNALS,
PHOTOS, DIARIES, AND ALL. THEN IT WAS SO VISUAL, I ALMOST
WANTED TO DO THE BOOK AS A KIND OF AN ONLINE BOOK BECAUSE –>>YES.>>– YOU CAN USE THAT
FOOTAGE AND ALL — IN A WAY I JUST DIDN’T
HAVE THE RESOURCES TO DO THAT SORT OF THING. AND ALSO, I’VE KNOWN CRONKITE A
LITTLE BIT AND THAT GENERATION THAT WERE GETTING
ELDERLY AND I GOT TO INTERVIEW A LOT OF PEOPLE. I MENTIONED MORLEY SAFER,
BUT A WHOLE GROUP OF PEOPLE LIKE ANDY ROONEY WAS HIS BEST –>>OH SURE.>>– FRIEND IN WORLD
WAR II, HE’S GONE NOW, BUT I GOT TO INTERVIEW THEM
JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME.>>AND CRONKITE WAS THE
MOST TRUSTED MAN IN AMERICA AND CBS THEN WAS THE BLUE-CHIP
NETWORK, CBS NEWS TOWARD OVER EVERYTHING,
UNLIMITED BUDGET, 60 MINUTES WAS RIDING HIGH,
AND THIS WAS THE PLACE TO BE AND WALTER CRONKITE WAS THE MAN.>>WELL, THAT’S RIGHT, ART. AND I ARGUE IN THE BOOK
THAT WHEN CRONKITE STARTS ON TELEVISION IN 1950 AND
THEN HE STEPS DOWN HIS ANCHOR IN 1981, THAT WAS THE — THE REAL TIME WHEN
CBS JUST DOMINATED. I MEAN, THEY — BECAUSE SOME
PLACES ONLY GOT NBC AND CBS AND SOME RURAL AREAS
ONLY GOT CBS. ABC WAS JUST A LITTLE UPSTART. WHEN CRONKITE LEAVES IN ’81,
IT ALMOST EXACTLY COINCIDES WITH THE INTERNET REVOLUTION IN
JOURNALISM AND CABLE TV NEWS. SO I DOUBT EVER AGAIN
THERE’LL BE LIKE THIS CRONKITE-LIKE FIGURE
THAT EVERYBODY TURNS INTO. I MENTIONED KENNEDY
BEING KILLED. WELL, A LOT OF COUNTRIES
WHEN A PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
GETS THEIR — THEIR HEAD BLOWN OFF AND THEIR
BRAINS IN THE LAP OF HIS WIFE, AND SUCH A HEINOUS MOMENT,
THERE’LL BE RIOTS IN THE STREET.>>YEAH.>>IN AMERICAN WE ALL
TURNED ON CRONKITE –>>YES.>>– WHO BECAME LIKE A PASTOR
OR A RABBI OR GRIEF COUNSELOR, AS WELL AS A JOURNALIST.>>WELL I CAN REMEMBER
VIVIDLY TO THIS MOMENT, EXACTLY WHAT I WAS DOING WHEN I
HEARD THE NEWS AND THEN WATCHING FOR THREE DAYS NONSTOP. THIS WAS BEFORE 24-HOUR
NEWS CYCLES, BUT — AND IT WAS CBS I WAS WATCHING.>>AND HE BECAME LIKE THE IRON
MAN BECAUSE HE’D KEEP GOING ON AND IT WASN’T JUST REPORTING
LIKE HE DID THAT — YOU KNOW — THE PRESIDENT’S BEEN SHOT IN
DALLAS AND THEN KENNEDY’S DEATH, BUT WHO KILLED KENNEDY, THEN
WHO IS LEE HARVEY OSWALD, WHO’S JACK RUBY, WHERE
IS THE FIRST LADY, HAS THERE BEEN AN AUTOPSY,
WHERE’S KENNEDY GOING TO BE BURIED HYANNIS
PORT OR ARLINGTON, WHAT WORLD LEADERS ARE
COMING, WHAT’S HAPPENED TO THE KENNEDY KIDS,
ON AND ON AND ON, AND EVERYBODY LEANED
FORWARD, THE WHOLE COUNTRY, TO FIND OUT THE DRAMA
AND THE TRAGEDY OF THAT NOVEMBER OF 1963.>>AND THE AWESOME SOLEMNIZE
AND IN A STRANGE WAY THE BEAUTY OF — OF THAT FUNERAL PRECESSION
AND THE RESPECT AND THE HORSE WITHOUT THE RIDER
AND THE CARRIAGE. JACKIE PLANNED IT AND
I THINK SHE USED — SHE MODELED IT AFTER LINCOLN.>>IT WAS DONE —
DONE BY HER AND — WITH GRACE, AND IN A
FLAWLESS WAY LIKE YOU SUGGEST. I THINK THERE ARE THESE
50TH ANNIVERSARIES WE’RE ALL HITTING NOW.>>YES.>>AND THOSE ARE A BIG MARKER. SO WE HAD 50 YEARS AT
KENNEDY’S ASSASSINATION AND — AND 2014 IT’S REALLY 50
YEARS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF LINDEN JOHNSON,
BUT IT — IT’S NOT — THE NEXT BIG ONE IS GOING
TO BE MARTIN LUTHER KING, 50 YEARS OF HIS DEATH AND BOBBY
KENNEDY’S DEATH ’68 IN 2018, BUT THEN NEIL ARMSTRONG
GOING TO THE MOON IN — AND I THINK THE MOON SHOT WAS
THE OTHER TIME BESIDES THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION
WHEN EVERYBODY JUST SORT OF TUNED INTO AN EVENT.>>THAT WAS IN 1969 I THINK AND
WE WERE WATCHING IT IN JULY — ONE STEP FOR MANKIND
AND BY SOME — LOT OF PEOPLE DIDN’T BELIEVE
HE ACTUALLY GOT TO THE MOON, THEY THOUGHT IT WAS
A TV STUDIO — THERE WAS A MOVIE OUT
WITH THAT THESIS AND — AND YET, WE HAVEN’T —
WELL WE HAVE GONE PAST IT, BUT THERE WAS A BIT OF A
SLOWDOWN IN THE SPACE PROGRAM.>>WELL A HUGE SLOWDOWN BECAUSE
ONCE WE ADD APOLLO 11 WHEN — AND NEIL ARMSTRONG AND
BUZZ ALDRIN DID THE WALK THAN OTHERS STARTED GOING
AND GOING AND PEOPLE SAID, “OH IT’S ANOTHER MOONWALK.” IT HURT NASA A GREAT DEAL AND THEN YOU HAD THE
CHALLENGER DISASTER.>>YES.>>NOW, WE’RE KIND OF BROKE AND NASAS GETTING CRIPPLED ALL
THE TIME AND CHINA IS MOVING SO — SO QUICKLY INTO SPACE
AND WE WERE TRYING TO WORK WITH RUSSIA FOR A WHILE. SO IT’S KIND OF OPEN IF
A PRESIDENT WOULD STEP UP AND MAYBE UNITED STATES AND
CHINA ENGAGE ON GOING TO MARS. ALL OF THE FORMER ASTRONAUTS THAT ARE STILL ALIVE ARE
ADVOCATING MARS EXPLORATION. NOT JUST TO GO TO MARS,
BUT — BUT BY TRYING TO, ALL THESE NEW TECHNOLOGIES
GET DEVELOPED.>>AND IF CHINA BECOMES MORE
PROMINENT IN OUR FOREIGN POLICY, HERE IN LONG BEACH WE
HAVE A WORLD-CLASS PORT — WE DO ALREADY — SO TO MAKE A
[INAUDIBLE] TRAINING WITH CHINA THAT CAN ONLY BE VERY
ECONOMICALLY BENEFICIAL.>>WELL, I WAS MENTIONING
THE NIXON TAPES AND FOR ALL OF HIS FOUL LANGUAGE
AND WATERGATE IN ALL, THERE ARE THESE BRILLIANT
PARTS OF THE TAPES WHEN HE’S — HE’S BEING A GLOBAL STRATEGIST
AND HE’S SAYING BY THE 20 — MID 21ST CENTURY, THERE ARE
GOING TO BE TWO SUPER POWERS, THE UNITED STATES AND CHINA
AND WE BETTER FACE IT NOW. AND THERE IS SOME GOODWILL BETWEEN THE UNITED
STATES AND CHINA. I MEAN IF YOU GO BACK TO
THE 1890S WHEN ALL OF EUROPE AND EVERYBODY WAS
TRYING TO CUT-UP CHINA, THE UNITED STATES CALLED FOR THE
TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY OF CHINA AND IT — SO I RECENTLY WAS IN
SUNNY LANDS IN PALM SPRINGS.>>I’VE BEEN THERE.>>I HAD NEVER GONE. I BROUGHT MY WIFE
AND KIDS TO SEE, REALLY THE DESERT GARDEN THERE
MORE, BUT BUSLOADS OF PEOPLE FROM CHINA WAS GOING — SO FRIENDLY AND SO
GLAD TO MEET AMERICANS. I –>>YEAH.>>– YOU DON’T FEEL RUSSIANS
COMING OVER HERE [LAUGHTER] AND GREETING YOU WITH
THAT KIND OF WARMTH. SO THERE MAY BE SOMETHING
THAT WE CAN REALLY DEVELOP — WE BETTER IN THE NEXT DECADES.>>AND NIXON TO HIS
GREAT CREDIT, NO MATTER WHAT YOU VIEW
HIS ULTIMATE PRESIDENCY, DID THE OPENING WITH
KISSINGER TO CHINA AND ONLY DEVOUT ANTICOMMUNIST LIKE NIXON COULD’VE
DARED TAKE THAT RISK.>>THAT WAS THE BIG POINT. YEAH, HE HAD THE ANTICOMMUNIST
CREDENTIALS TO DO IT AND THAT WAS A BIG GAME
CHANGER IN 1972 WHEN –>>YEAH.>>– HE — HE REALLY WAS
ABLE TO DO BUSINESS WITH MAO AND CHAYEN LI AND — YOU KNOW —
THAT LEGACY OF NIXON AND CHINA, I THINKS GOING TO LOOK — LOOK BIGGER IN HISTORY
AS THE DECADE — AS WATERGATE GETS
MORE REMOTE AND LOOKS LIKE A NICKLE AND DIME BURGLARY.>>LET ME ASK YOU —
AS WE COME TO THE END OF THIS WONDERFUL
HALF HOUR TOGETHER — LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE, WHAT — WHAT CHALLENGE DO YOU
THINK WE ARE GOING TO FACE IN OUR NEXT PRESIDENT OR
PRESIDENTS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO FACE THAT WE’RE NOT
REALLY YET ANTICIPATING?>>WELL — I’M JUST NOT QUITE
SURE, AND NONE OF US ARE, HOW TO GRAB CLIMATE CHANGE
BY THE SCRUFF OF THE NECK. BUT — YOU KNOW — ARE WE REALLY
DEALING WITH THE TIME OF A LOT OF INCREASED DISASTERS; MORE
DROUGHT, MORE HURRICANES. I MEAN, PRESIDENT OBAMA WHO
HAS ALL THE NASA AND NOAA, AND ALL THIS INFORMATION
IS CONNECTED HURRICANE — CORRECTED — CONNECTED
SANDY IN THE SMASHING OF NEW YORK TO CLIMATE CHANGE. THAT CLIMATE ISSUE’S ONE I THINK
WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO FIND OUT WHETHER PEOPLE STOP, LIKE
MOVE INLAND A LITTLE BIT, ARE THERE GOING TO BE
ZONES, AND IT MAY BE THAT WATER BECOMES THE NEW
OIL, AND THAT YOU’LL SEE IN A COMING 50 YEARS,
MORE PEOPLE MOVING TO THE GREAT LAKES REGION.>>WELL, THEY SAY
THEY FIGHT OVER GOLD, BUT THEY KILL OVER WATER. WATER IS — AND OF
COURSE HERE IN LOS ANGELES WITHOUT THE AQUEDUCT SYSTEM
AND EVERYTHING, NO LA.>>THAT’S RIGHT AND
YOU — YOU’VE GOT IT. AND I HAVE A FEELING WE’LL BE
ABLE TO ALWAYS HAVE PIPELINES FOR WATER IN SOME DEGREES.>>YEAH.>>BUT NEVERTHELESS, I’M VERY
BULLISH ABOUT THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE OF OUR NORTHERN BORDER
WITH CANADA AND IF YOU LOOK AT THE NATURAL RESOURCES THE
UNITED STATES AND CANADA SHARE, INCLUDING THE GREAT LAKES
AND ALL THAT FRESH WATER, WE’RE BIG PLAYERS
IN THE 21ST CENTURY.>>WELL ON THAT POSITIVE NOTE,
DOUG BRINKLEY, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US HERE
ON IN CONVERSATION.>>I REALLY ENJOYED IT, THANKS.>>OKAY. AND THANK YOU AT
HOME FOR BEING OUR GUEST. THIS IS ART LEVINE SAYING
GOODNIGHT FROM THE CAMPUS OF CALIFORNIA STATE
UNIVERSITY LONG BEACH. THANK YOU SIR THAT WAS
— THAT WAS MARVELOUS.>>YEAH. [ MUSIC ]

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