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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  April 1, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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body several senators come from state legislatoures. they are used to it rather than coming from the fry it sector -- the private sector. they have developed a thick skin and expense i am not talking the talk about internal development of careers. it isn't interesting and important subject there are more incentives to get involved. you get involved in the process more quickly. given the limited time, i wanted
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to focus on leaving the senate. to me, this is a highly interesting and understudied question in terms of political careers. the first thing we note on this, is in the class of 1959 to 1950 -- to 1960, a substantial number of them left the senate prone. of them left the senate pro and -- [laughter] they buy it. lots of senators died. and so their careers ended with their debt and straightforward motion is fewer centers are
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dying in office, considerably fewer are dying in office. not only that, people who do leave the office are living longer. the life expectancy has risen substantially for someone who is a 65 from the 50's to 2010. so more people are surviving the senate and living longer afterwards. this gets us back to bob dole because and many ways he is the poster boy for a new kind what i would argue is at least possibly a new kind of post senate career. first of all he's made a lot of money. i don't think there is -- bald told has made far more money than he would have ever possibly imagined. here is a guy who lived frugally
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russell kansas, lifetime public servant. and certainly was not seen as a big spender. had good congressional pension and then resign as a presidential candidate and starts appearing in television commercials. [laughter] down, boy. [laughter] >> what kind? >> pepsi i think it was, or maybe something you drink with pepsi. [laughter] second lead, he becomes a highly sought after partner in a prestigious law firms, the rainmaker of the first quarter. so he is rewarded tremendously at the end of the career.
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i don't think he calculated that particularly at all. here is a guy that wanted to be a good leader, desperately wanted to be president. but there he was in 1996. suddenly, bob dole has embarked upon any number of good works, has been a presidential envoy, has worked with bill clinton in europe, raised tens of millions of dollars for the world war ii memorial. and continues to do that. a year ago my interns and i were talking to bob dole in his office and he came in and bad knees, bad hips, didn't look good coming in. sat down and the light went on and for one hour and 15 minutes we were talking about everything
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he kept coming back time and time again to health care because he and tom daschle had just put together a big health care proposal not unlike the one that ended up passing. and was interesting to see the students would ask him a question about x, y, or ze and he would answer it and bring it back to health care, highly engaged, highly interested, and again a model for some of what you can do after congress. finally i would say where we are sitting literally is an indication of what you can do. out of 76 members of the 101st congress, the 1989, 1990 the congress everyone looked at had a broad sense of career there are still quite a number serving but 76 have left the senate.
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out of the 76, 15 have educational institution centers of one sort or another named after them. you have the mitchell senter, liberty university, the helms center. trent lott has a center, fritz hollings interestingly enough has a center on conducting useful. i'm not sure you can even understand him. but in a certain sense the careers have been institutionalized after they have gone. so again, something to look at
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after the senate. so it seems to me that with the longevity has come opportunity. you can do well and make more money or you can do good and honestly you can have fun. for bob dole doing health care was fun. george mitchell worked hard but i think he had a lot of fun at it as well. you see many of these individuals stained with politics but without the pressure of going to bed at three in the morning, getting a put mine in the morning to continue the vote of the last 24 hours. so, the senate may be the acme of most of the senator's political career but it's certainly not the end. and also it raises questions
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about choosing to stay or choosing to leave. if in this congress that we have been talking about surface becomes too burdensome, if running for the reelection not just two years now as they would do it in the 1950's, for years governing and two years on the campaign trail today you are dialing for dollars almost like a house member the moment you win the election the next cycle is beginning. it's a six year cycle but you are also talking sometimes about tens of millions of dollars. the choice to leave because you can see this post senate career in the more attractive terms you are not getting a ball of your power. you're giving up a lot of grief it may well be a question that senators like evan bayh will think through. obviously being a senator means
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powerful pub they are staffed, there are perks but the costs are great so as some other elements of politics we might go back to the notion of exiting, the choice of exit voice or loyalty and i think it is there certainly of ways the individual legislators are certainly there, many are vociferous. loyalty is a crucial part of the senate and party loyalty. but i think that there are costs to loyalty, there are costs to too many voices and exit mabey -- you always have people retire. but they may see retirement in different light. it's a common refrain for senators or congressman but when they retire they say it's not fun anymore and we all kind of chuckle at that like everyone says that. but that doesn't make it on true and particularly for particular purpose vehicle. 1996 to have a raft of really distinguished senators retiring.
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dale bumpers, alan simpson, bill bradley, paul simon among others. bob dole was a part of that group resigned in somewhat different circumstances. and i think that you can look back on this they had pretty good lives after the senate. simpson back on the stage in his late seventies for the deficit commission. and there's a fine irony here. if you go back to the careers in the 50's they were framed by these norms that erich talked about. and the notion of the intercom all of its revolving around reciprocity in one form or another, trading apprentice should now for influence leader. being able to hussein willing to work hard so you would have the -- you would see the fruits of
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that labour. i was trying to think about if you could be a maverick today the way paul douglas or william proxmire was in the 1950's what would be a maverick if you don't have a very strong norms, how can you differ from the norms. and in many ways the senate -- we will talk about more until tomorrow -- but the one that alvan sets off as a highly polarized partisan center and the final irony may be that a person who tries to work across party lines, lindsey graham for example who really has systematically on various issues, not all issues, but systematically on a variety of issues sought out partners, tried to work against cross party lines. he's often vilified when he tries to do this by not so much as fellow republicans in the
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senate but certainly ideological conservatives on the outside. lindsey graham, he is a rhino, public -- pond come on. he's ambitious but also in vicious to get things done. and so in a sense, the very person who was -- would have been the potential strong member of the club in the 1950's is now seem as a great exception. and i think that tells a lot about the differences in serving today and 50 years ago. so -- >> maybe you should briefly think the speakers. [applause] >> welcome so i think the theme of today and tomorrow is
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certainly change. i think eric did a good job telling us where we started as to where we are today and any one that follows the senate today seedier are vast differences but the change is slow and as each speaker today and each speaker to marlo talks about a particular area of change i think will become clear the changes are interrelated. any of the individual changes we talk about through the elections or different motivations and career paths of senators, the way that change can't be viewed alone we have to look at the norms and how those changes systematically as well and that none of us can be isolated completely. we have to think of everything together. so with that in mind i just had a few questions for all of you trying to help me be interrelated each of the discussions you had, i mean all of you be limited to this already but some questions in that vein so the current
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senators know how well bob dole has done after his career, so how has a current senator howell is my view of normal and behavior in the chamber change when i am looking at a future, what do i do differently? do i still specialize, dwight over specialize? is this part of the puzzle why we see members working less to get their? is there a fall of the future that changes their behavior? similarly, eric spoke a lot about mavericks thinking of what it means to be a maverick in today's legislature and the senate, how does the electorate play into this. the norms alone certainly are not stopping the behavior from changing over time, so how do the elect the flip side of that question,
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how do changing norms affect the electorate? do you see the present fight over health care, will there be a backlash over the procedure they accused as being unfair or overtly acrimonious or will anybody remember? i hope that question ties in together what we did here. >> i think with people looking at not just bob dole but others, you were talking about leaders but there are other more rank and file members who have done just fine over time. we have been able to have -- them serve as an ambassador and come back. a fair number of ambassadors come out of the ranks of retired
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senators. they have had interesting lives, often meaningful, and have made a lot of money. the first question is how does that affect your choice of not running again. that i can still do things i am interested in and have an impact, maybe not quite as much, but it still have a very good life in a variety of ways. the other question you asked is pretty interesting. i think it may focus a little more on the house than the senate. ng. i think it may focus a little more on the house than the senate if you look at registering lobbyists for example a very few senators are registering lobbyists as i see right now that the data are not complete but name more of them are like bob dole, daschle who make phone calls but will not be part of the lobbying process. but what strikes me is that
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often for someone like daschle who is highly interested in health care when he's in the senate gets involved in health care after and you must start thinking also again i think it is a little more common for house members who specialize more still, that what i do in the senate will lead me to this job. billy from louisiana is the poster boy for this, but there are a number of others but i think a little more in the house. in the senate side because you are more generalist you are likely and more connected in a variety of ways to have a big enterprise of staff, whatever, that you are probably thinking not so much quite in specialization but as you see many staff leave to go to lobbying firms okay now i've got people here and there, not only
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do i have connections inside of the congress but a lot of connections outside of the congress and certainly the balto enterprises are famous for the linkages over time. so again i think there is a model their. >> either of you? >> i would say that as far as how the public response to the sort of procedures that are being used a and things like filibusters and demon path when that was under consideration my sense is that generally i think substance trump's procedure and the people are going to respond primarily based on their opinions of the policy itself. on an issue like health care in particular where people do have pretty well formed opinions not necessarily the details of the legislation but about the general question of the role of
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government i think that's going to be -- that is what we are seeing already in the the immediate aftermath of the first polls indicate that once again the public is divided along party lines and it is evaluation of this. now, the polls generally show that there is a negative perception of congress and people don't like this partisan bickering and when you ask people do you think there should be more bipartisanship they say yes there should be more bipartisanship. the question is then when you follow up and ask people if you're a democrat or republican what does that mean to you and what usually it actually means to most people is that of course bipartisanship means the other party should admit that it's wrong and it should agree to what my party is proposing. [laughter] that would be by partisanship and that of course reflects these divisions in the public.
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that is basically the way that i see the public opinion responding to the health care for most of the other issues of the day. >> do the changes in the electorate allow us to see more or less maverick behavior? >> in building on burdett's point about lindsey graham you could argue today that would be one form of maverick behavior is to be disloyal to your party or not stick with the message consistently, whereas in the 1940's and 50's if you looked at the voting behavior and positions on key issues on the core issues for the party they were in the line with of the party's majority position so in the partisan polarized senate one way to be a maverick is to work with the other side. that exposes you to a much different problem than the maverick in 1950's which is to have to go and get elected in a primary and the primary especially is where the folks alan is talking about are going
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to be the most active, and if you are a maverick today you better inoculate yourself as john mccain is seriously trying to do today by adopting the basis of you on august the central issues now and not being too much of an african so i think that is one change. within the parties to be a maverick you also need a different things in the minority and majority party today. whereas if you use to think of being a maverick is using all of your prerogative thousands of amendments holding things up, well, you know if you are in the minority that's fine. that's one of the -- in the majority there's a lot more pressure especially when you see the minority to in this coordinated effort. so that is one of the points in the paper francis has tomorrow you see that the talk of individualism in the senate is right at one level but it's also combined with this partisan teamwork there is a real problem being a maverick against but.
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you really face a lot more sanctions and just disapproval of you were going to do that today. and so i think it is a different -- the political meaning of it is really much different now. >> i would like to open it up to the audience we have someone i think that is going to have a microphone so if i could recognize you. >> one thing that seems to be unique with the current senate and the house in the uproar go-between 1950 and the present day is the evidence that there is such a thing now has party lines which is seriously enforced in and of the republican instance in the senate and also in the house and that seems to me to be
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absolutely unique. there has been party coherence in the past but have only one person from maine to cross the line is extraordinary is and it? is and it? i can't think of a single instance when it you had anything like that. you always have a certain number of people who were crossing the line during that entire period so it's unique and i would like to hear your explanation for this. >> there's been less and less overtime. the culmination of the trend that we have been seeing over time toward increased party unity. so it has reached me -- may be a
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new level of the republican side on some of these big boats where they've been able to get their virtually unanimously. on the democratic side there have been some defections. but it's really not new. i did we have seen this developing over a period of time. >> isn't new but the number of people whose craft the number of unanimous votes where one party votes unanimously in the majority votes the other way and it used to be in the house i actually had a graph like this in the paper, don't remember the exact -- if you left out electing the speaker you may get one or to wear as it became a bye starting in the mid 90's it really starts to grow and it's continuing since you are getting the dozens and dozens in the house and senate and that is new and when you think of it from olympia snowe's view the one vote she voted for it in committee, and so even in that case -- you just think about it
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from the standpoint of if you are going to be the one person that is an awfully difficult place to be and especially when the message is you give them on one vote and this is a bipartisan bill we go together and we are really able to detect this as a party grabbed that is a powerful appeal especially in the world people see majority control up for grabs so you're fighting over that. so i think it is just a world in which you have 20 moderates versus a world which have three moderates is different. >> in the house where the public republicans put tremendous pressure on this one guy the one a republican who represents overwhelmingly democratic district in the louisianan got elected just by chance. [laughter] when the incumbent is caught with money in the freezer. but you think if anyone would,
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you know, i mean across party lines because he represents such a democratic district but they put tremendous pressure on him not that it would have made any difference in the outcome but the symbolism. so it is becoming more like the house of commons. it really is except in the senate of course you have all of these antimajoritarian rules. >> and i think it's fascinating to watch the campaigns for the 2010 said when you have people with a moderate like mark kirk that will be the nominee of illinois immediately responded with a party line of repeal of the health care. charlie crist in florida is being challenged by the status. the speaker of the house and they are very conservative and he was challenged to come out for repeal and 15 seconds later he cannot for repeal and he probably got a tweet.
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i would like to put one counter argument. on some issues recent jobs bills for example there was crossing of the all and i do think that privately at least i would be interested to see if we get public manifestation but privately there are a fair number of republican senators who have to be questioning this absolute no. now with a that manifests itself in any systematic behaviour i don't know my guess is there are some people who democrat and republican who would on a given issue try to bring something up and work together. but that is by far the exception rather than the rule. >> and if the -- again will depend on the outcome of the midterm elections and if republicans do well on the midterm elections, you know,
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then that is way to reinforce the strategy and the conclusion they are going to reach is this is working and if they are still on the minority then they continue doing this now. if they get a majority i don't know what they do with that. >> other questions? >> seeking about the idea of polarization as well as you mentioned the apprentice shop helm letcher those affected by the 24 hour news cycle talk-radio and the polar opposite to the stations further polarizing the public? which can first? the media or the politician? >> well i think there's no question the media today are reinforcing this polarization that when you have -- i actually think fox news plays a unique
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role in this and they have really played a huge role in deciding and promoting this tea party movement if you want to call with a movement. but certainly in general the media are much more polarized now than they were 40 or 50 years ago. people are getting different messages depending what media they are turning into and that is true. cable tv, talk radio and the internet, which can cause and effect is really hard to say but it certainly plays into the height and position. >> another question? >> i would like to have any or all respond to what they think

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