we have seen and not seen. so we don't see the destruction they continually focuses on short-term job creation instead of laying and economic landscape to cause long-term prosperity. >> thank you very much for an informative talk. [applause] >> is a booktv.org to watch any of the programs we see here online. type the book title in the upper left side of the page and click on search. you can also share anything you see on booktv.org easily by clicking on share in the upper left of the page and selecting the format. booktv streams online every weekend with top nonfiction books and authors. booktv.org. >> 48 hours of authors and books
each weekend on c-span2. here are some of the programs look out for this weekend. in light of the recent sale of "the washington post" to the founder of amazon, we will have an encore presentation of the 1997 book notes interview with katharine graham. this happened during a tenure that spanned 20 years and she died in 2001. tomorrow booktv brings you a collection of programs that discuss the cost of higher education. all of these programs can be viewed at booktv.org or tune in for the topics and more all weekend long here on booktv. for complete schedule, visit booktv.org. >> started now on booktv, robert kaiser across the struggle to pass the dodd-frank bill after the 2008 collapsed. tran-five covers a legislative
process for "the washington post" and talks about the major players who passed the legislation and discusses what he learned about the workings of the u.s. congress. this is about an hour and 40 minutes. >> i think we will get going. i would like to welcome everyone here today. i am a senior fellow here at the brookings institute. we are here to celebrate a great author and a great book and an extraordinary piece of legislation. it is maybe one of the most unusual event in washington today. there are two things that people always talk about. one is the decline of the legislature and this book is actually about a successful attempt to legislate a very important and complicated piece of legislation and the other thing we hear a lot about is the decline of journalism. they don't spend enough time on
substance. well, this book does all of those things and i want to note that the book is on sale outside. one of the most important things is to explain the book and it makes a perfect gift for the holiday. give it to someone for the fourth of july. [laughter] >> we are celebrating the fact that congress actually acted in this important issue and the book tells the story in such wonderful detail. not boring detail, but wonderful detail. for those of you who ever worked as a staffer on capitol hill, you will love this book. there are some real heroes here and before i introduce the audience, i want to introduce senator dodd and the fact that
they appreciate us. we have ed stewart with us. where are you? so i read the book and now i know how important you are and who a senior adviser to senator dodd is we have a whole bunch of people. >> so it is so great to have all of you here. you realize just how important you are. let me introduce our panel, and i will tell you how we will
proceed. i will introduce buffers and he will sort of give you a sense of how he came to like this book and tell you a bit of the story followed by senator dodd, and i really appreciate so much for joining us here today. i also appreciate the fact that senator dodd and barney frank gave bob kaiser full access and the dodd-frank bill, even before it was known as dodd-frank. it is nicely told in the book. then senator dodd will comment followed by my distinguished colleague and bob is an associate editor of "the washington post." he has been there since 1963. he started right after the day of his birth, i think. [laughter] >> he serves as a foreign
correspondent in saigon and in moscow. he is the author of seven books, including the news about the news, so much money, the triumph of lobbying and goshen and transgression of american government and most recently the act of congress. he also wrote a book about vegas and you should also check out. he is a graduate of the college and received this from the london school of economics. and chris dodd is part of the motion picture association of america. it not only guarantees that his book will be made into a movie, but that senator dodd is played by somebody really cool. [laughter] i hope so anyway. [laughter]
>> senator dodd served in the united states congress representing connecticut for 36 years. thirty years in the united states senate. he is also the co-author in areas of education and financial services and foreign policy and election reform. he played a decisive role in writing the health care reform bill and he was co-author of the dodd-frank wall street act, which is what we are talking about today. he is a senior fellow in government studies at the brookings brookings institute and he is director of government studies between 1987 and 1999, before that he was executive director of the american political science association. he is the perfect commentator today because his most recent book is called it is even worse than it looks, how the american constitutional system collided
with extremists. and i cannot wait for him to bring that to bear on us. he and or more recently named among the 100 top global thinkers of 2012. he earned his ba from the university of florida and his phd at the university of michigan. i am utterly biased as a moderator. tom mann is something like a special level of politics. fortunately has never asked me to commit anything and one of the themes of the book is that senator dodd was one of the most popular people in congress. people like him a lot. and i have always been, i suppose i shouldn't compare, but i have always been one of those
people and it is great having here. welcome, thank you for coming. >> thank you. >> there is a photo circulating on the internet, maybe some of you have seen us. it says that can't we just throw congress on the fiscal cliff. [laughter] >> i found this so interesting. >> the approval rating in congress now rings around 10 to 15% and who are the approvers. what is it that they are
proving? it is too easy to joke about it, but it really does matter. as they say in the subtitle of this book. when the institution is broken, the country is not well governed. that is serious. this began with a phone call from barney frank. i met him just the other day in 1951 and we were both student politicians and he was about to start at georgetown prep. i watched his extraordinary career and interestingly i was 18 and he was 21 and we both
knew exactly what we wanted to do and we were both lucky enough to do it. that was it bigger deal in this case because he already knew that he was gay and he argued that that was going to be an impediment to his political ambitions. when he made that phone call he said your next book ought to be about this topic. and he said what he said the crash that is going on. because he had the ability just two years earlier and his daughter talked about it at the same moment. his weight was even longer. but he really had that bug.
for 20 years eight years before becoming a chairman he had experienced. i heard his heartbeat about once an hour. [laughter] [laughter] >> that's a good way to live a long time. [laughter] >> so he said, oh, that is your deposit. and i thought about the fact that both he and dodd had made a response to the great crash. and i realized that we had never
really written a modern book tocqueville was made. suggested how about we talk about those as an insider. you talk to me on a regular basis and let's see what happens. and barney had many things in mind. it is presently understandable and other circumstances. there was a slightly anxious candidate for reelection at this time. and so he said he would cooperate and they asked if he could prove whatever quotations they would use for the book.
so after you have the wisdom to drop out of the reelection campaign, he agreed and he went to school. in the end there was total operation as far as i know. they're a couple of more things that we wanted to find out about which we can talk about later. but it went extremely well. the most important question to me is how does this really work? i have to ask this. it was a question that i knew
had never really done well answered and that was my ambition. even when i set out to do it. through the eyes that were introduced, and many others that were present and they shared their time and their brainpower. i was able to write a real interest story. the nicest thing which we just talked about a minute ago, is you have to pay attention to the leaders that really get caught up in it. they say that this is fun to read. but my ambition was to explain the culture of the modern congress. i wrote a piece about this but
some of you saw and i argue that today's culture on capitol hill is not at all sympathetic to creative problem solving. on the contrary. and so i would like to talk a few minutes about the culture of this congress and we can discuss it later if you'd like to. the modern congress has redefined competitive politics. since 1994 when newt gingrich bursts brought the republicans back to power. every election since has been out of context and we now live in an era of perpetual campaigning and constant political warfare. it costs a lot of money.
it has had enormous impact on congress. today's members have to spend at least a day or two every week on the telephone calling people, mostly strangers, to ask for money. senator dodd can tell us more about this. i think he missed those phone calls. the thing that james were made those calls? you think howard baker would have? richard bowling? money has changed and we have a lot more wealthy members and a lot of people who don't mind begging for money from strangers.
this includes an institution composed of politicians but if you leave your family home, spent only three or four days a week in washington and your main preoccupation is that you don't make friends across the aisle. loyalty now runs to party and not institutions. fear is a great motivator and congress and we understand this case. christie's produces fear. the great crash produced a great crisis and a lot of fear in congress. for most members the greatest fear is being blamed for the crisis. it is probably the first reflects on capitol hill. but a genuine crisis increases
the political risks of inaction to the point that they appear even greater than the risk of doing so. even if it proves to be imperfect. even if reality helps dodd-frank. congress is a reactive institution and typically we act with the modern age to propose this for the executive branch. rather than taking positions into its own. this is not what the founding fathers expected. but it is part of normal procedure. i was a little naïve about this. i really expected dodd-frank to be much more of an initiator then it turned out to be. he tried about this. initially he made quite a radical proposal, including abolishing all the existing banking regulators and the new regulatory agency. his colleagues without exception all dumped upon these ideas.
and so he had to follow frank's lead accept the administration's framework of the template or form. i realized that it's easier by the general decline of the expertise and policy experience in congress. the triumph of politics over policy as was described to me. we thought that this happened in the early 1980s and by now the policy is obvious. his financial regulatory reform and there were two dozen other sophisticated and understanding people of the policy issues covered by the dodd-frank bill.
because both dodd-frank argonne and their successors have been chairman to the committees and are not remotely their equals. now members do a pretty poor job processing legislation. in this case, a huge piece of legislation with fundamental consequences with the largest sector of the american economy has to the house and senate without being carefully dissected or debated. it never held a proper market for such a bill. the house financial services consist of mostly rhetorical issue of political posture.
in the end, it seemed to me the most members have only a small notion about what was in it. and as usual, all but a handful voted on party lines. in this case many republicans now. another characteristic is weak members and power stats. ted kennedy revealed this in his memoir. so he gave way to state secret. and that 95% of the nitty-gritty work is done by this. my story apart from dodd-frank personal income personally, the people who did the most work and had the most influence on the legislation for women that
washington has not heard of. they presided over the careful line by line vetting of legislation that members avoided. spreading literally thousands of hours on this, hearing of the pleadings of lobbyists and experts. insulting the administration and others, considering the political implications of various policy options and more. in this case, i think they may have done more than 95%. another charactercharacter istic may seem counterintuitive. the fact that most members on different policy and weak on
substance and ineffective at legislating doesn't seem to matter. as politics has degenerated, realities of budgets and tax policies and global warming and foreign military adventures in such often make an appearance in the one arena that politicians still really care about. elections today almost never resolved on the basis of serious policy. slogans and emotions and tv spots are much more important. even the smart and serious numbers, and there are quite a few. many campaign themselves on the issues and they have to vote again. here is the most fundamental
reality of congress and i think that we have discovered. this is an utterly human institution that reflects a diverse human society. united states of america. congress' representative in every sense of the word. represents materialism and corruption as well as the qualities of the electorate. you don't have the house and senate any better than we are. in this case i think the country was lucky. dodd-frank managed to bring home an important issue. crucial to the success of the book and i am grateful. but of course neither of them will be around for us next time.
thank you very much. >> thank you. [applause] [applause] >> sewer revenge for his theory that it's been all downhill since her first elected in 1974 is, to reveal how much was made up by bob. >> i love your response. >> thank you for inviting me to be here at brookings. it's a great thrill. it is so nice to come back to be with this very distinguished panel. i have known tom for years and years. we got to know each other over the past couple of years and you
are right. there are some risks in doing this. i have been around long enough to know that this bill did not become law, as we all know, the chairman of the banking committee talks about getting the build on. and there's obviously a lot of authors. at first i was not enthusiastic about having my name on the bill. and i think it describes as legislation with two names on it with so many more people involved. when we were just finishing up the conference report on the spell, he made a motion to call this the frank dodd villa. and barney is always saying that you can't do that, they will think it is one person.
[laughter] and i said no, barney, don't try to pull the wool over my eyes. no one ever remembered his name. in that particular trade legislation that was decades ago. the reason i say this, it is kind of interesting. it is in this area of law that names are associated with bills. to go back to glass-steagall and you go back over history. a lot of bills that have names on them. but i do think that it doesn't serve up well, except for the purposes of identifying the legislation. in bob's book, let me say that there was some unease going forward and what was going to be a very precarious journey. people have been talking about reforming this for decades.
so it was not a new idea and i typically don't disagree with bob's analysis. they don't normally say let's look at the landscape. whether or not it's on the public's mind or not. that is the history of the institution. so prior to the events of 2007 and 2008, there have been people talking about reforming the financial structure of the country, but there was never that engine of urgency that the crisis brings to this issue. particularly 2008 and he never could've written this bill in 2006 or 2007 and you couldn't write it today because of where the energy is in the attention is a nervous moment arrived after the type legislation.
i think in the spring of 2007, the blueprint was released in the administration released a white paper on this. and most of the major provisions of the bill came out of the hearing process or other conversations with the exception of the volcker rule and a couple of other things in the bill itself. and that was the moment in which we decided to move forward. we have a health care bill coming up between them again to do a hearing process. we have started the process and in 2006 senator jack reed actually had hearings on the residential mortgage crisis and no one paid any attention to it in 2006. when i became chairman, i love bob telling the story, sitting next to him, joe biden and other
committees for 20 years, never got close to being the chairman. you either have to outlive or hope your colleagues get defeated. and all of a sudden there were some 90 hearings on the residential mortgage crisis. we had a very slim majority. forty-nine republicans in january 2007. the margin of moving forward. almost no interest in the residential mortgage crisis. the witness said there might be too many foreclosures and he was ridiculed the next day in the media for being engaging on the magnitude of the problem. knowing that this was a hyperbole and there were many other foreclosures. and then we come to the weekend
of st. patrick's day and you have the failure of bear stearns. most argue it was a one-off problem. not of any great seriousness. it was six months later to the day when you have the aig class, lehman brothers, and of course the most critical meeting of all. that occurred about 7:00 p.m. in the conference room of the speaker of the house, nancy closely. about 15 of us in the room and then ben bernanke proceeds to say the following almost verbatim, that he turned to the 15 of us in the room and said unless you act in a matter of days, a good part of the world will melt down. needless to say it left the room. whether or not you agree with that analysis, this was not just some speech given by a casual observer that the most important central bank in the world, telling leadership of the
congress of the united states what he felt would happen if we did not act. as a result we formed a very bipartisan group of people like bob bennett and chuck schumer and myself and jack reed and others and wrote the type legislation. far more comprehensive than the 2.5 pages it makes sense at 130 in the morning. no regulator could intervene. that was the beginning of the bipartisanship on what became the dodd-frank legislation. the senate passed it 75 to 24. about 40 days before the national election. i asked members to vote from their chairs and i thought that it was not significant of the moment. when senators vote from their chairs. i went around the chamber to various members that night were up for reelection and 40 days. and i told him that i had the
votes necessary to pass this legislation. but i also saw many of them losers see if they voted for it. i will never forget gordon smith. he had the votes and if you want to vote otherwise, i would never mention his name in the process and i would understand the politics of it. i think these stories don't get told enough. he said it's a great offer and i appreciate it. i have to face a constituent tomorrow. and i said, we have to see in the morning, and his answer was, he said, i have to see the mayor. because i happen to believe that this is the right thing to do for the country. so he voted for it and lost his election 40 days later. i was stories like that were more repeated often because it's the job that obviously reports about planes that don't apply in everyday are ones that do in the
congress of the united states, rarely celebrating and yet they happen all the time. the drafting of the bill, and again, very appreciative of boggling through this because it is an important store on how a bill as complicated as this works its way through and it is difficult. i had a herculean job of producing 66% of the votes in the united states senate and i had numbers to work with and it's a huge number to try to get to on something this complicated. the safest vote is always no. you can identify those issues if you want. so we went forward and here's the point i would like to make. we had an incredible staff. so many others, so many people did a remarkable job pulling us together. it is also a member driven process we did it on the health care bill. we did it with the banking bill
and that was to divide the labor between democrats and republicans. i announced that responsibility was assigned and i asked chuck schumer to work with mike crapo on the corporate governance part of the bill. i asked him to work on too big to sell and they divided it up and begins work on us. as one member involvement is critical and they became co-authors, if they could. the white house produced this, but something else is they had made a series of 20 recommendations that they felt were necessary for global rules in the financial services sector and i felt very strongly that it was important that we try to develop harmonization and the united states ought to leave. but we also want to set this
aside. this is hard to do. because you are dealing with europe and the united states. the next crisis will involve more than just europe and the united states. it could be almost impossible to put the genie back in the bible when it comes to harmonization of financial rules. that was a guiding view of mine is really afford in drafting the legislation. so i will be eternally grateful to democrats and republicans on the committee. bob corker has stepped up and decided that we wanted to be part of the efforts i have my own views and ideas, but it would be better to hear from him
and why he decided not to necessarily be a constructive part of the crafting of the bill. bob bennett who sat next to him had done a remarkable job. very conservative member of the senate. he was being threatened with the bipartisan bill. he had his own view on financial services and then you have mike crapo and we are putting together a working group and bob corker dead and i'm grateful to him. so that was very much a part of what we move forward with. we had 60 amendments on the floor of the house and senate, went on for about 10 days. this wasn't just about that, but serious amendments were adopted
and there were some 10 republicans who contributed. not every idea was incorporated. but the things that the federal oversight and general stability oversight came out of a hearing. the whole idea of the fdic to do the resolution authority was objected to by the administration because she will bear had difficulties. the idea that it would be constructed the way it was, it was again a republican idea and we also had disagreements with the administration over that. down the line. the office of financial resources was again, it was an idea that came out of this. so too big to fail was the shelby and dodd amendment i got
90 votes. so a lot of this bill, sam brownback, dick lugar, i'll wrote major parts of this bill. who voted for it and yet who is involved in crafting it is far more reflective of the effort when you look at the names who voted yes and those who voted no. it's important to note. it is labor intensive. bob points out it is spending time with people i spend countless hours with colleagues. including what they have to make it work. many who say we didn't go far enough, putting together 60 votes in the senate. when you have 535 members of
congress and administration regulators and the media stakeholders. it requires a great deal of effort and you don't get to have your way. you end with one anecdote here. especially why we ended up with this. i feel it's a very important moment and again a very significant outcry. we get the best economist to sit down and talk about this soon can you explain the 3%? >> the point was proprietary trading, this is what gambling had to do with the money. and paul thought that this was something that ought to be reformed. the president agreed with him and so we are trying to fix this. there were those that felt that
the volcker rule couldn't be changed at all. many thought that the resources should not be a allowed to be adjusted or others felt that zero was part of it. i could get 60 votes. when you are trying to write a bill, you have to keep that in mind. had i decided to make it zero or 10, i might have lost one vote. that's all i had to lose was one vote of the 60 votes. sitting down, talking about what might've been and having spent the time and watching members over the years it makes a difference. so the 3%, that is where that came from. it tolerates as we wrote it and the regulators will be working with this, obviously. it's taking a long time to get this done. but it is a complex provision in
allowing an institution to hedge against certain things that interest rates and so forth. there is a debate about where the number should be is ongoing. on the issue of how many members understand these issues, financial services historically has not been a comfortable area for most people. it is not an exciting area of law to get involved with. we started talking about derivatives and swaps and all sorts of proprietary trading and so forth. this normally does not attract a large following. they are legislators. in the states in 2009 and 2010, he pointed out we were dealing with financial reform and i was involved in a two-year period. i managed the mental health parity bill. i wrote the legislation over tobacco products in the iran
sanctions legislation, the daniel pearl legislation. as well as after senator kennedy got sick. i'm not claiming that i was a great expert on india or mental health issues or the like, but you get responsible jobs to try to manage pieces of legislation for the process. members of congress do their very best. the best ones carveout areas where they develop a real expertise even if the issue is not the most important issue of the day. invariably these matters come up. sam nunn on defense issues comes to mind, teddy kennedy also on health issues and related matters. something that i offer any lessons, it would be to do that. one more point. i disagree. i want to just take issue.
>> managing to muscle to get things done. things always happening in our country, and before people run and decide that it's never going to get better, it's the worst time ever in a sense, remind ourselves there's other periods, and they come back. each generation has to discover how it operates and functions in its time in a sense, dealing today with the modern technology that exists and information, and they are dreadful responsibility of raising money that you have to to get elected or reelected, but be careful rushing to judgment too quickly. there's remarkably good new members, in my view, democrats and republicans in the senate,
and i think begin the opportunities and circumstances will rise to the occasion, just as other generations have. up fortunately, living in a time where the franchise of public service is on an hourly basis, hard to get anyone to say anything positive about it at all, and nothing more infuriating to me is someone watching the institution to see the demeaning process. we ought to be celebrating people regardless of the politics. if they are willing to be involvedded in the public discourse and debate of the country and not enough of that happens, in my view. i do see the institution made up of quality members coming back under circumstances to make a difference. while i accept, certainly, the critical observations about this, i think you need to have a deeper, longer historical view about the institution, see the quality of the members that exist today there and recognize they, too, will find their moment and come back. they just did it on immigration or about to in my view and other issues.
what schumer did with hatch and others, i find that compromise going forward, i think there's better days. i want to end on a positive note that i'm not as done on the institution, and i realize all of the things that have been said about it, but ales believe this membership has significant moments with significant legislation as we did on the financial reform. >> thank you very much. >> yeah, yeah. [applause] i think senator dodd just took the most unpopular position in the building defending the congress of the united states. thank you very much. [laughter] this is a treat, certainly for me to listen to bob and chris, and it's a treat for you. there is a lot here that is of
importance and relevance, and i want to throw in a couple pieces to see it didn't whip by you. what i think of bob's book, and i read it, believe it or not, on vacation, not a novel, i read his book in arizona, and as soon as i finished, i got out my computer and wrote an e-mail to him that said "act of congress" is the best book on congress i read in decades. it is a stupendous achievement, richly informative, a pleasure to read, wise in its assessments
of why dodd-frank was able to be the exception to the rule in these difficult governing times and ended by saying "generation of students will find it their favorite and most rewarding assigned reading in classes. " bob, who -- [laughter] bob's book reads like a novel, and let me tell you, he knows what novels read like. it's much more interesting than the hearings dodd and frank had to sit through and the difficult documents to get through, but by conveying the richness of the
interactions and the participants come away, and congressional scholars who never get that close come away with a new and appreciated understanding of this institution and the broader process, but the book also contains a serious institution to stand up in political context, and that's important. the last chapter's called "still broken," and that's where he develops this notion of the problem is the culture of congress, and now here, i want to make an argument that his emphasis on the culture of congress turns eyes away from other things that he says that i think are more consequential and important. just remember the culture of congress didn't change between
the 111th and 11 # -- 112th congress, but it's day and night because the context was dominating the republican house making it impossible for anything to happen. i would argue the culture is more a symptom of what -- of what's going on and with it comes a whole set of problematics and consequences, but it's clear what is driving the culture that he's talking about in the book is the e emergence of polarization which came after that great period of the golden senate that chris dodd referred to in which there was no overlap that a leader could work with in the other party because everyone was
absolutely apart. secondly, during that period of time, the democrats were in control, big time, large majority. the house and senate democrats had been in control since eisenhower's first term, first congress, and, frankly, republicans were tame. they realized if they were going to get anything done, they had to do business with democrats and a lot of them, a class of problem solving conservatives or moderate senate democrats made a huge difference, and there were a good number in the house as well, republicans, excuse me, but when we got the parody, first with the senate, with the 19 # -- 1980 election when chris was elected and the 1994 election, suddenly either party could win a majority, and that's what turned, i think, members of
congress many of them from being problem solvers and legislatures to politicians. they were under such pressure saying, well, this one piece of legislation, this one could determine whether we're in the majority or not, and the final, which bob talks about, but didn't say a word of in the presentation here, i will quote from kyeser in the washington post, "the biggest change in american politics in my lifetime has been the transformation of the republican party." he says that in great detail, a reality to face up to, and it's enormously complicates the task of governing, so i don't disagree with any of -- certainly bob's rich description or analysis. it's all there. i just think he slightly under
emphasized some of it by talking about the culture of congress which is safe in the world of the press today because then you don't seem to be imbalanced in your treatment. now, bob is not like that, many of the colleagues at the washington post and "new york times" do that. now, let me turn to chris here. chris dodd is genuinely a man of the senate. he leads on immewization, day care, a whole host of issues that he's worked at, and he's in the area of foreign policy and early banking activities that we
talked about so we have to remain optimistic. he's been a part of getting things done, and he even got something done since congress changed and the senate changed in really such a fundamental way, but i kept asking myself did chris really believe he could cut a deal with shell by and make it stick when mitch mcconnell had anowdges -- announced at the beginning of the year, forget it. we, republicans, are not playing ball. they did good work, but not a single one of them voted for the final bill. sure, if they can have a hands in influencing a bill but walk away from it, if you had not managed to put together the
three republicans that you did from the northeast and did the work, i'm not quite as bullish on the republicans as chris is. it is a tough job in this environment when the filibusters, which used to be the exception then became a little more frequent, and then it took off like a rocket in 2009, and everything was subject to a 60-vote threshold, and many things that got done in earlier times wouldn't have happened under this environment, and it's why some big things managed to happen in the 111th that had no chance in the 112th or 13th and all of the reporting about what
obama did or didn't do was largely irrelevant to the realities that the context has changed. we got the stimulus, affordable care act, dodd-frank, the 111th, the pseudocrisis under the debt ceiling and public downgrade of our debt in the 112th and the sequester in the 113th. i sort of rest my case. what i want to say is i agree with -- with chris over bob on stats. that is to say strong members who are serious about legislating need really good facts, and one of -- you tell that story, and you say it that one of the real, real tales of this is the extraordinary work
done by senate staff, but members wouldn't have been able to make use of that fashion, and then to work it into the broader process, so, yeah, i'm saying if we have a lot of members who are not informed, and we do, and if we have a lot of silly talk on the floor that is pure sound bites and prepared lines, repeated again and again, thank god we have some able people who care about the constitution. i'm just worrieded we don't substitute that aims to have a shot at it. thank you. >> thank you.
[applause] i know there's a lot of people in the audience with real questions, and i want to report what i learned about the new organization about in the book, and only in washington, d.c. do we have the coalition for derivatives and users which bob described, and, in fact, i never expected a book to make the battle over derivatives look like a cliff hanger affair. it's a really fascinating story. it really, truly is. don't take my word for it, read the book. bob and i have a long standing argument which i don't want to get into, which i'm kind of temperamental against that, and george in the 40s, late 40s, 1950 attacked his opponent for
having a sister who was a these peian, yes, she was an actress, and matriculated in college. >> yes. >> it was a vicious campaign. i think we had -- and so -- [laughter] i don't want to get into that, but i do want to -- but i just want to put that out there because, and if bob wants to defend the golden age theory, i'll let him, but i wanted to ask, sort of related questions to bob and senator dodd that when you look at this story and examine various compromises that were made, i'd love you to talk a little bit about where you think the bill was harmed, if you will, by necessary compromises. you're talking about the 3% rule, 3% was the lowest to go and still hold scott browne's vote on the derivatives, so i'd like you to reflect on that, and senator dodd, i want to ask you
a similar question. two questions really. one is how different would this bill have been if you're going to pass it with 51 votes? do you have some thoughts, like, you know, a couple of champs of what you might have done differently, but just how would that process have been different? would it have been better or worse? have you changedded your mind, at all, about the filibuster? you have up until now been a defender of the existing rule, and bob suggests in the book that you were getting pretty impatient with it, and that was before the last year, so i'd like to ask you the two questions, but, bob, talk about going through all of this, and where did you see the necessary compromises potentially doing damage to the bill? >> let me say first, i, too, don't believe in golden ages. i believe in more golden, less golden. [laughter] we're in the less golden one at
the moment. you know, this question raises what, for me, has been a tricky problem throughout. i am not and never have been an expert on financial regulation. i've had wonderful teachers, many of them in this room who helped me understand the issues here, but i really don't know to this day with one exception that i'm going to mention, where there's a weak spot on the bill or whether something that's really wrong, and i think as chris said to me in different ways, we're really only going to know for sure when we have another crisis and see what works because a lot of these provisions are taking on hypothetical problems that have never actually arrisen. the one really interesting egregious case, and i'd like to hear chris talk about it since i didn't press him on it before,
was the compromise he felt he had to make that was never a compromise, nothing ever happened, and that was the compromise. it was a blanched lincoln. it was running for reelection, and democrats successfully wanted to help in every way they could for the obviously reason they needed every seat they could get, and because of this some really bad language on derivatives is still in the bill. who taught me all this is in the third row here. >> making you a real hero. i finished the book last night and wanted to meet you. [laughter] >> julie was driven to distractions by this because she knew what was wrong, and nothing could be done about it, and they kept hoping that this instance, that this instance maybe in the conference committee there would be a chance to fix it, and then there never was, and so i'm sure
that critical analysis of the text, the worst provision is the derivatives provision, and it's because of this political accident. the other compromises that i know about and wrote about all seem to be justifiable. this question of 3%, 10%, nobody has any idea, and there was a wonderful line, "proprietary trading -- " meaning a bank with its own money, "is hard to define, but i know it when i see it." [laughter] that's the whole clip, frankly. it's, in fact, extremely difficult to say this action is proprietary, and this one is not. that's what they struggle with now, trying to write the rule as a functioning regulation.
it was a complomtion. it was not what he wanted, but accepted it, and, you know, it's fine. i think it's okay. the biggest compromise which i write about, but don't dwell on, both chris and barney, for their own reasons, deciding at the outset they were not interested in the revolutionary reconstruction of the financial sector, i think. now, they were not interested in breaking up the big banks. they were not interested in restoring glass stege l. there's not an open and shut case in my opinion for restoring. they did something the liberal activists, it was a cop out, which they defend articulately, and chris will, if he wants to, but it was a big, big
compromise, not to do what fdr and ben cohen and that gang decided to do, which was really shake up existing realities, make a difference, and they were. they built on those that existed, did not transform, it is different now, less profitable than it was, but it's recognizably the same system. i think that was the product of the politicians of the situation and the product of the administration and chairman. everyone was on the same page on that one. that's all for that. >> well, a couple of points, an awful lot said there. regarding big banks, the last point, in fact, when we established the board, we gave them extraordinary power that never existed. part of this was my thinking on this was that came up in the hearing process that they made
the suggestion, developed the idea with the staff working on this proposal, was that there's nothing in the legislation that prohibits the next crisis. they will happen. the question is, request we -- can we get a tourniquet on the problem before it ma -- ma tas sizes? this would have been a crisis, but far less of one that emerged as a result of failing to address the problem when the opportunity existed, 10 the idea of the -- sod idea of the federal oversight is, obviously, to have an organization made up of the treasury and various other regulatory bodies that meet regularly, and, again, there was upset reactions of treasury when they were not going to necessarily chair that, and there was a disagreement we had, but, to me, periodically, and look over the lines and see what's occurring out there. are institutions taking on greater risk than they ought to? are there product lines emerging which could pose significant
risk and the like, and you can begin to react to them rather than waiting for something to actually grow to such a larger problem that all of the sudden you are faced with dreadful alternatives that we were in the fall of 2008. , and so it was very, very important in my view we have the capacity, and that was an example of that ability. the -- the -- all 60 amendments with the exception of one on the floor of the senate, i insisted everyone be accepted or rejected on a 50-vote margin, and everyone was other than one, which was $60 -- 60 votes, and that carried with the amendment, the 60 volts did, and the reason it did, i let people talk in the senate unless they got in the process, then i called them on it. i rarely called anyone on it, but we could prove you can take a major bill, debate it in a
full throated way, and that you can then vote up or down with 50 votes on it. the final bill required a 60-vote margin to pass the legislation, unfortunately, so the question of what would have happened if it was 51 votes. if i had five, four or five, six, seven, eight republicans decide they wanted to work on the bill, not to rewrite the bill, but work on the bill itself, do a little more freedom than given by the leadership, then i think the bill might have been different in the derivatives area, for instance, a little bit, maybe in the rule a little bit, here and there, hard to say exactly where the changes would have occurred. it was disappointing too, and i tried to reach out to amendments to people, and to our credit, susan coal lips wanted provisions in the bill, cared enough about it, incorporated her, and snowe cared about small business, had provisions in that, worked those into the bill, and she supported the bill. sam brownback had amendments dealing with the congo, and
lugar dealt with extractive industries and so fort. you can argue nonetheless, but he didn't support it in the end. i mentioned earlier provisions as well with corporate ideas. normally in a process, being through in over the years, you get provisions in the bill, significant ones, you don't like anything else, but your inclinations are supportive that a major idea of yours was incorporated. that didn't happen. i regret it didn't happen. i think it's important when talking about the history of the legislation, that there are significant provisions in that bill that were crafted and written by the minority, and that's not insignificant, in my view. now, the filibuster, and i'll be quick on this one. i served under every imaginable configuration that you can in congress and the white house in 30 years, every imaginable one, where i was in the majority, the minority, house, majority, presidents, republicans,
democrats, and you move in every possible configuration, i served on it at one time or another, and i'm a great believer that the bicameral idea, which was created by two wonderful senators from connecticut, oliver sherman and ells you know worth that saved the constitutional convention in the 18th century had the idea that they reserve the rights of the majority. i served there, great believer in that. the brilliant idea that down the hall there's another body that would have equal representation of all states, and where the rights of the minority, including a minority of one could be -- think about things before the tyranny in the majority. it can happen. serving under all configurations, i find it interesting that those in the majority want to get rid of the filibuster and get the ideas done. spend a few years in the minority and tell me you want
rid of it when ideas come along that are dreadful and do great damage to the country. this is a rough period we're in, and i agree with that 6789 i don't disagree, saddens me to watch it, but as i said earlier, i have confidence, it can come back. when it does, i hope you don't confront the united states senate basically so neuters in the process is looks like a uni regime cam rail process here, just a mere reflection of the house of representatives. the senate operates on unanimous concept. with the rules you have, it's the left laneness of the members of the institution to make it work, and right now, what you have three times in the 20th and early part of the 2 # 1 #st century, 1948, saw again in 1981, and you're seeing it now, where you have almost super majorities made up of first term senators that happened in 48, between 44 and 48, happened between 76 and 81, and it's happening today. next year, next congress comes, automatically, there's 54 senators in the first term.
that is no one else is defeated in the process, could be more depending on the election. with that distortion, with so many new members and fewer members who have been around longer, it's the discipline of the institution that moderates behavior of the new members in some ways so that you have a flow of new and old members coming in. i'm not suggesting longevity in every case, but you get a flow, a certain amount of members around for a while, and new members come in. you learn the rhythms of the institution. it's not governedded by rules per se, but rather the willingness of the 100 people to sit together to achieve some common point of view and then drive it effectively to get there. i take some great pride in the last few weeks that i was in the senate, there was a survey done, not for me, and it asked members of the senate who is the most partisan member of the senate and the most bipartisan. i won both polls. [laughter] go figure. [laughter] i don't object to the outcome in some ways because i believe that some of the best senators,
historically, were people who believed deeply what they cared about and willing to fights for it, but you have to have a compromise to get it done in a way, and 10 i know this airs a temptation in the frustrations with the nominations. look at who gets con confirmati. i wonder if you need confirmation of ambassadors and other things today, and you can community kate with each other on cell phones minute by minute with the state department, and you look at how you might reduce the number of senate cop fir mageses and reduce the number of filibusters that occur, but i urge people not to be caught up in the moment that you are willing to fundamentally alter what's a critically important institution where the rights of the minority, the debate that occur, and thinking carefully about what we are about to do. frustrating as it is, changing it, as some suggest, is a great loss. >> i wanted numbers on just this question. bob notes that as recently as the congress of 1969-70, fewer
than 15 cloture motions were filed in the senate. >> yep. >> in the 80s, they never exceeded 60 in one congress. after the democrats regained control in 2007-2008, they shot up to 139 in the 110th congress and 137. hasn't this changed already? in other words, you like the way the senate works, but the senate doesn't work like it did anyway. in other words, this is a wholly new world. >> and i want to -- >> i wanted to ask bob on the filibuster, but you first. >> i can't argue with the numbers. i understand them, but what you're asking me to accept is because we're going through this, and the numbers are dreadful, you're going to take an institution that's begin us the protections against very bad ideas historically because there was a place where you had to think twice about what you were doing. to me, you give that up, and you lose a great deal. i said it, it depends on where you sit and whether or not you think these are great rules.
because of them, i think, are terrible. again, the leadership and the ability of people to know each other, something you or bob pointed out, which i find one of the worst conditions, and that is, you got a staggering number of people now arriving here on monday night, tuesday morningings, leave thursday night or friday mornings, don't know each other at all. no institution, public or private, survives where there is not the kind of social interaction, critical for its success, and what's happening here is the only thing people know about each other is what party they belong to or what ideology embrace. they don't know what they care about, what their kids care about, their hobbies, all basic things that any institution needs if you're going to be successful, and, to me, that does an awful lot of damage to the process that people don't know each other. when i arrived -- i think i'm about right, you can check on it, but the united states government paid for two round trip tickets a year to your state, and after that, if you want to go home, pay for it out of your own pocket.
there's a value in that. you got elected to congress, not to city council back in the town you're from, and you're supposed to come here, spend the time here, and instead of going back, but youssef mejri go back, if there's a reason to see three people with a public purpose on a saturday morning, the federal government will pay your round trip air ticket to do it in a sense. that's crazy, in my view here. you need to say to people, you want to go home and do that? use your campaign account or pay for it personally if that's what you want to do, but people have to spend time here. there's 70 to 80 house members who live in the office and don't bring the families to town. many can't afford to. i realize it's expensive, but just that alone could have a fundamental alteration on those numbers you're talking about. >> bob, i want to go to the audience. do you have thoughts on the filibuster at the end of this? >> a quick thought. chris said the key thing. the senate operated when it operated well on the unanimous consent rule because of a shared loyalty to the institution.
i'm afraid that's loss. >> i agree. >> the loyalty is to party, not the institution, as i said, and the difference is profound, and, therefore, i'm more sympathetic -- i have not seen the perfect solution yet or if it can be changed. >> thank you. >> please identify yourself, thank you, sir. >> garret mitchell, and i write the mitchell report. i want to push on the point where i think we are now, and that is as i look on the stage and the points of view articulated from bob talking about the greatest change has been in his time in watching congress is the change in the character of the modern republican party, and tom and norm's book about it's worse than it looks and senator dodd's
point about calling it the baby in bath water argument is all good and well, but going back to potter stuart's notion about, i don't know what it is, but i, you know, i know it when i see it, i suspect every one of us sees it. my question is to either/or, if we could agree that it ain't working, and it ain't working because it is -- that too many changes have taken place so that the character of the senate that your father knew and you knew when you came in as an example is gone, what nominations would we make from this panel of changes that could be made, and
that in either the house or the senate that would make some difference that would nudge us towards, if not a golden era, a less corrosive one? i'm just interested to know, you know, what's the realm of the possible here because it seems to me that the -- that this is not a time to follow ronald reagan's, you know, don't just stand there, do nothing, whatever the hell it is, so, anyway, that's my point. >> thank you. [laughter] >> you mentioned reagan, and that's, for me, that's where this starts is reagan's first inaugural. the government is not the problem. is not the solution, the government is the problem. we have cultivated, over the last 40 years a hostility in government in our culture. it's never been absent. it's been there from the
beginning, but its intensity increased dramatically in modern times, and the result is that, really, a majority of the new members of the 112th and 113th congress is, i think, don't believe in the ethics of government. they think government is something only to be slunk, and that they see no good coming from it. this is a perfectly acceptable philosophical proposition, but if that's the membership of the governing legislature, you're not going to get good government, and that's where we are, so i think, unfortunately, i'm asked this everywhere on my book tour now, how do we solve this? what's -- the only real solution i can recommend with a straight face is that we have got to, again, develop the sense of citizen involvement in public life in the country that has been ab sent for quite a while. why do people put up with the money issue?
why do -- why is there no popular revulsion against the obvious buying of our political system by the rich and the powerful? you can't debate that. that's happened. where is the uproar? where's the revolt? until we see one, we're in trouble. >> well, i mentioned a couple things. the money issue, bob articulated, and having been through it over through eight elections, and over the yearses, nine elections actually, it is -- there is a corrosive policy to it. it's not so much i worry about people becoming wholly bought subsidiaries whoever runs the campaign, but it's the amount of time spent more than anything else. i worry more about that. we really have the botchy members going day after day taking calls to raise the money. that is so debilitating in my view. let me mention a couple things i think would have value. one, you already see change in california and iowa, for
instance, going back to the notion of the reapportionment and drawing lines, jerry mannerring process going back to the 18th century, but, to me, it got to the point where there's 40 house seats that you can actually call competitive in the sense where you have a democrat or republican to win on argument. the rest is, are you worried about the primary, and that's it, there's a tendency to have the opposite effect of what should be happening and force people to the extremes rather than bringing people closer. i regreet to some degree the new modern campaigns, seen in the last one, can be so scientific that when you go to elm street to go door-to-door, you not only go to two or three doors because you know the rest are for you or against you, and you never have to listen to them, so you go to those who might vote for you issue and i think it's valuable
to open a door, knock on a door, and have someone open it up and tell you how wrong you think you are. i think that's very valuable in the political process, and if you eliminate that to a large extent, if you don't have to listen to what other people think about an idea because you're only talking to yourself or your own audience, i think we suffered, so readjusting the lines can do a tremendous amount, and the money question as well, i think, is critically, critically important. then, again, just this notion of i don't know if you falsely build into the institution, the comrade creating happy hours and so forth. there's a phone yiness to that -- phoneyness to that has to happen legitimately. there's antedotes in a way. my first week in the united states senate, and there was a lunchroom, unfortunately, in the last years of the senate, i took the new members down to show
them the room where we had lunch every day, a table for the democrats, a table for the republicans, no one religiously lived by the two tables. you mixed it up. you couldn't bring staff or family, just members. i walk in there the first week, and i go to the democratic table, and there's pat and scoop jackson and kennedy all around, a variety of us, and all sitting around at the table, others of giants in the senate, and i looked around, and the only seat at the table was the chair at the head of the table, and i got my tray in the hand, and i go, i'm not walking up to that table. there's no other chairs at the table: i sit there, i look stupid what seemed like an hour, but ten seconds, i decided just to sit in the chair at the table. they are not talking. it was quiet for some reason. i go over to sit down in the chair, and the entire table goes, are you -- you can't sit in that chair, what are you thinking of? don't you know whose chair that is? my hands rattling, they said,
who's it? it belongs to eastland. i said, he died, and they said, i know, he may come back. then they roared laughing. they waited all afternoon for me to do that. that's boy school stuff, but it was a reflection of how it functioned, and that table, for the next eight to ten years was like a ph.d. in politics because was ribbing going on, story telling, and also you got thatted why, i got this one, and ways of doing things, and like any other institution, if you can magically bring some of that back, and you do so by eliminating the subsidized return trips to people. spend time with each other. i had one senator, on the day i left, he came up to me on the floor of the senate, i'm leaving, what's your advice?
you're a freshman in the minority, nobody pays attention to you in the first year. pick out 20 people on this side of the aisle you think are the most ideological opposites, invite them to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. you'll like them more than ever imagined. two, you'll agree with them on far more than you imagine, and that frightens you, but it's the case. as a result of the first two, you do things together here making the job enjoyable and the country's counting on that activity. i don't know whrp he did it or not, but to me, that's the critical component in many ways deciding. john ashcroft was my sponsor on lifting the travel restrictions to cuba. how did i do it? i asked him. i made an argument, thought it made sense, and he said put me on the bill. i said, were you impressed by the brilliance of the argument? he said, no, i have rice farmers in southern missouri who want to sell rice in cuba. that's why. [laughter] again, i never would have famed the answer had you not talked to him and have the confidence and
relationship with each other to have that conversation. it's labor intensive, but all the new technology, it still is member-to-member, and you have to spend time with each other to get to know them. >> tom, hold off for a sec. we have the senate up here, and we're close to the time, and, in fact, about past. i want to bring in several voices at once. this gentleman, that gentleman, folks over there, and sorry about the others. tom -- just go down the panel. we have to end at a reasonably, timely way. >> thank you. professor wayne glass from the school of international relations, university of southern california, former soon your policy adviser to senator jeff bingham and close to the action, gentlemen. rules etched in stone changed over time, and senator introduced reform efforts to change the filibuster rule requiring those who choose to filibuster to bill buster to make it more difficult for those
who choose to do it. from outside the beltway, congress is broken because we won't even debate the major issues of the day. your stats were instructive in that regard. what are the chances of any reform, or is the culture such there's no reform and continues to go in the same direction we've been going? thank you. >> hold the thought. i want to bring in all people at once. this young man at the front, right over here. if you don't mind being called a young man. i'd love it. >> thank you, good afternoon, i'm james reid, a student at george washington university. make it quick. there's a deficit of financial literal sigh in the country. does the bill address that, key players in congress that dealt with that, or if anyone during the bill's drafting have dealt with that? >> good question. >> that gentleman on the aisle, and then i think there was one -- and then that lady. >> thank you, larry checker, checker communications.
i wanted to know if there's awareness on capitol hill how frustrated and angry the population is, the voters are, while we're waiting for 535 men to go from adolescence to maturity. while they debate, there's millions and millions of people suffering out here. thank you. >> this lady over here. by the way, there's more women now in the 535. >> hi, i'm a law student at american university, and my question was to you, senator, if you can give advice on folks trying to lobby congress, i'm new in the career, but interested in learning and helping congress understand the other side to middle east and muslim issues. >> good, good for you. >> thanks. >> that's great. here's what i'm going to do. we've got the filibuster again,
financial literacy, do members of congress understand how frustrated people are, you can tell the great story of visiting ted kennedy's grave at the end, how you made your decision. it's my moment for academy award winning moment in the movie of the book, and do lessons in lobbying, can i go down the panel, and, also, you can all sort of take the questions in any direction you want, and let me start with tom who just has tom senator and bob. >> two congress on the filibuster. prospects for change, not good right now. reid still doesn't have the 51 votes he would need in cooperation with the chair of -- sitting in the chair of the vice president to in effect create a new precedent, and the senate would allow some alterations in the way nominations are handled,
so i think the pressure of coming from the bright young new democrats who are really unhappy about how their institution is working, but the one change that would be good is not making them filibuster, but it's making the filibustering party produce 41 votes and not forcing the other party, trying to do business to produce 60 votes on a recurring basis. that would make a huge difference, and there is a chance at that. sir, one last comment. bob and chris have wise things to say about money and noncompetitive seats, redistricting, and other things, and i'm a proreformer on things, but my view is for the
foreseeable future, the best route of change, if i'm correct, that a large -- a majority of americans do not support a dramatic constriction in their lives. if i'm correct in that, the root is with them being led by cruz, rand paul, and likely, the republicans decline, if will not regain the senate, but lose the next presidential election, and they will lose the house at some point. the majorities may be large enough for democrats to govern, even in the senate, and even in the circumstances. if that happens, some republicans will feel obliged to do business with them, and you'll begin to try to set a new dynamic, which will allow new voices more problem solving,
moderate conservative voices to emerge in the party to get us back, but it's either a dominant one-party democratic system to get some things done, or slowly or quickly a situation in which the republican party returns to its sanity and to a position of problem solving. >> jeff is a great member, a wonderful, wonderful united states senate, good friend. glad you are here today. the ideas, alexander worked with schumer and others making suggestions, for instance, on motion to proceed, having the filibuster, ridiculous in my view, getting to the substance of the bill and so forth, and various things, i think, make sense in reform hears that were suggested. i think the idea of having to get up there and talk, and the majority can make you do that as
well too. the idea you let people off the hook by when they say they filibuster, you all of the sudden shut it down on a qowrm call in my view is you ought to make people then do it in a sense to have a debate or listen to an argument people have to make on the case, so i think some of those ideas made some sense. with regard to financial literacy, a great question, and senator akaka of hawaii, no longer with us, made the argument many times, and we had the debate in the case. i'm the only guy to get mail from aarp and diaper services. my two little girls -- [laughter] i don't see any reason why they couldn't be learning financial services in their math classes on how to balance a checkbook, all sorts of things to i were corporate. that goes to the point not just do members understand this, but does the general public understand what's going on? it's a god point, and one that we talked a lot about it, has been, i think, some resolutions on it, but nothing in a meaningful way to require along
the process. getting angry at constituencies, if you don't have to really face the opposition, it's the old knocking on the door, having the door bang in your nose, not a bad thing to happen in your view. they don't like having that happen, it's uncomfortable, but it's healthy, but today begin the mechanics of politics, you can avoid actually meeting anybody who is angry. you can just see your own folks if you want to in the process, and i think we all suffer as a result of that a little bit and the political debate and discussion. i do think people get it and pick it up, and the level of anger of people who sensed it. we saw it in august of 2009 with the town hall meetings that exploded, occupy wall street as well, and most americans don't fit in either group, will not scream at the congressman, but they are frustrated by things not works, and i think again,
based on conversationings, had a few of them, people seem to get it. lastly, on your point here, and, first of all, thank you for raising the issue. i happen -- i'm sorry that the word "lobby" is a pa senior -- pejorative. the first amendment insists you petition government. there's lobbyists who are well-paid and take advantage of the situation, but i think you're well served if you have enough sense to listen to one, good lobbyists give you good, accurate information. they have a point of view, but the ones that i always were willing to listen to i found helpful. what we did in the financial reform be, is eddy's made the point to me, former staff director, every person thatmented to see the -- that wanted to see the committee during that year and a half to bring up a point, we made sure they had a chance to get to the office to talk. i didn't meet with them all because it would have been endless, but ed and julie and staff did on countless occasions, all aspects of the derivative, julie melt with them
all, and i felt strongly people had the right to be heard, and not everyone is a witness in a congressional hearing, and 10 i believe that lobbying is an important point that people ought to be able to express themselves, raise important facts to you along the way, and so i'd urge you to keep the facts straight, be accurate when you get in there. don't take a long time to make the points, there's only so much time, and find ways to lobby back in a person's district or state. you have to remember what they tell you on home turf than they are in the office here, and so getting people in the district or senator east state, involve and care about issues you do, that leaves an impression with them than one with a long list of people on a busy day, but be accurate, make sure your information is good. the one way i never let anyone back in the office again is if they were not honest and didn't have information that i could cowcht -- count on being accurate.
people are good information, factually correct, a point of view different than mine, i welcome them back any time to come to the office, but i'm upset we don't understand or lose our appreciation of the value of doing exactly what you just described you'd like to do to talk about an issue you care deeply about. >> yeah. thank you. bob, closing remarks. >> well, i want to say something about what we talked about quoted by ed and tommy about the transformation of the republican party being the biggest transformation in my lifetime, and the second is the growth of the number of americans who refuse to identify with either party. we have a real central independent group now in the electorat who don't want to be called republicans or democrat, and there's a number of good commentators from the left
including d.j. and tom who are sioux soft -- too soft on the democratic party and its corruption and a great many of ordinary americans don't see enough of a difference in between the two parties in their attitudes about money and politics particularly, but a lot of other things too. not policy issues, but so much as procedure issues, and the nature of politics. i think this is a big price that the democrats are now paying, and that they have to face up to it. >> i have to say, you know, i should have said it in the outset, and i apologize. i was bless the in the whole process of having a partner named barney frank. barnny brought many great qualities to this, and one thing he understands is you don't get it in the house, but is understanding the senate, not an easy thing to do. barnny was an inseparateble and
incredible partner, never could have done this without him, and so i don't want this gathering to conclude without me at least giving the opportunity in a public setting for the first time to say to gene and to his staff, to dave, and others, particularly, to barney, that without his cooperation, support, we'd never got all the way through this, so my hat's off to barney. sorry he's not here today to join in on the discussion, but he was a great ali in this process, and, thank you, gene, and, amy, obviously, eddy as well, my staff, and gene remiss not to mention you and barney, and i thank you. >> two quick appointments, barney was invited, wanted to come, but couldn't. i love bob so much i won't reply to the last shot. we'll deal with it afterwards, and i will still recommend that you buy the book. [laughter] i want to -- that's loyalty or foolishness on my part.
i do want to read one paragraph before you go out and buy the book. the paragraph reads, "a final curiosity about dodd-frank. the big substantial and consequential new law really never penetrated the public consciousness and it was not well understood by those in the house or senate who voted against it. all the complex provisions were not dissected in the house or senate hearings or by the popular news media. you don't have to be one of those people. you can go out and buy bob's book right now. i want to thank our distinguished panel, tom, chris dodd, and bob, and thank you, all, for coming. enjoyed it, bob. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> we'd like to hear from you, tweet us your feedback, twitter.com/booktv. here's a look at the best