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tv   Public Affairs Events  CSPAN  November 9, 2016 2:00am-4:01am EST

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about how always go to the best sources and when you're taking somebody's word, or conduct, you better do some real due diligence to make sure that there's accuracy and corroborated -- historian residents at the residential library in boston. yes, sir. >> when they turned to president -- affiliated with president johnson, did you decide to exclude her. she agreed to do it. so i did not bat a thousand and
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to participate, but nobody and very satisfied lincoln team arrival and absolutely top price and so i feel very good about the caliber about each of the president. understand, look, i did not find a biographer of every american president. if i had found for every american president -- it will be 1,300 pages instead of 500 pages. i identified who i thought --
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and nobody deserved, but nonetheless, he was the president when the great depression hit. and so i found a major -- for every significant president some of the key lincoln, fdr, because it was so weird, had actually two historian chapters -- i thought in 2016, we did not have this deep public fascination for the life of philip. i think many of our presidents were, in fact, insignificant. 500 pages is the length of the book and it's big enough and heavy enough as it is. i will tell those of you who encouraged to keep up the book, read about the presidents of your lifetime, first. you don't have to read this book in particular order. you don't have to start on page one with george washington. read about the president of your lifetime, you know the most about them.
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the questions are going to plug right in. and they'll get you comfort wbl the question, answer format of the book and once you finished those chapters will go read about the presidents who preceded the lifetime. that's my recommendation on how i think you'll enjoy the book the most. >> thank you so much. and thank you to everyone for coming. we have a distinguished member of the audience. and i know you have great taste in history. you, too can be an owner of the book. it has the best cover of any book in publication. thanks to cspan for filming this tonight. thank you all for coming to get the upcoming program, we hope a big surprise in november.
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. we look forward to seeing you on the 26th. he'll have two of us trying to replace her. she's coming back from around and she'll have many stories to tell. so stay home and thank you. come again soon. [ applause ]
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>> talks about her book for fear of an elective king, george washington and the presidential title controversy of 1789. because of concerns that the position will become too much like a mon narc, george
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washington university hosted this event as part of celebration honoring the first president's birthday. . it's about an hour.
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history of washington, d.c., unparalleled. the third verse is that this is the first year that we featured one of the own history phds. this -- claimed study of the presidential title of 1789 the subject of tonight's event. this year george washington lecture is a little different.
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we felt this year, this made more sense, to welcome more audience participation. so, please, have your questions ready, in addition, immediately following the conversation, there will be a reception in the lobby and she'll be signing her book. i brought my copy. if you forgot yours it will be on sale out there. for a few introductions, first our speaker's husband, welcome. >> editor, but also for a couple of reasons, first for participating in the george washington lex in 2012 and also
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for working closely as she was visiting scholar, at the first federal commerce project. finally we welcome, a treasured alone of gw and guest experience of george washington mount vernon. welcome, jamie. >> featured doctor in history of 2010. she's also a visiting scholar of the president. think that mount vernon, organization of -- the daughters of the american revolution and
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while working as chief and information management for the wild life service and as director of fish and game, and california state land commission. >> amazing research tells the story of how actively establishment of the government under the constitution, congress, individual all debated more than 30 titles so that we're a nation. a few that did not make the cut, included his heinous and the favorite, se screen heinous. washington 44. as a mags prepares to lesser successor, to the office of george washington defined 225
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years ago we couldn't be any luckier to have someone with the original. welcome to the stage. >> you know, i love this book. what i really wonder about, why historians for so long have dismissed the controversy, just the curiosity, something that will be a paragraph or something in a book. . i'm interested how you came to
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this topic? >> first of all, they were wondering other historians wondered why spent so much time on it when they could have been working on them the amendment or what we know what they didn't quite realize how important it was -- on what they were going to do. about how washington became. and i came across -- you know, washington's presidency was trapped of the republican
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candidate. -- i didn't believe it. i thought it must have been dynamic also. . and he started talking about controversy and republican gave the idea and happened to mention that they have this multitude material -- the more i thought about it -- so. >> that was the best time. >> great. let's take a step back. it's not often to people today. i think we take it for granted. the presidency. this is something of radical creation. if you can say a little bit the american people have of the presidency, of this new
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executive office -- and place within a popular sovereignty is complicated and the presidency was quite controversial in the beginning. the american nation had just bought a war and years after the end of the war, this new constitution, untried featured a federal single central executive with no term limits and vaguely de defying -- what kind of a president does the country that were worried that the president would turn into all powerful mon narc, too much like what the traditional kind of king would
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be. another group of americans worry about weak executive that would be subject to corruption. -- they would be more interested in a strong title to kind of act this week, this weak president. >> it seems like all sides agreed, though, that the person should be in george washington. >> yes. >> he was the obvious choice. >> yes. he was really -- he was the most trusted man in america, i will say he's the most president in the western world, at that time, really. when you think about it. and so he studied at the end of
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the war -- he and the nation were one, the union. -- people celebrated him, though, with such enthusiasm that he was -- for the presidency, a blessing, as i said, trusted guy that he was, but he was on the kusle for the presidency as well. -- it was almost like a rapture in people at times. the public loved him and they loved to celebrate him. and as a result he brought this rift of monarchy to the presidency just in the wake of
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people celebrated him and that was a problem for the presidency for this office that he was going to be occupying. so, yes, he was a terrific guy and only -- the only choice for a really successful first president because of the trust that people had in him that he could inhabit the presidency, this controversial position and they could trust him in that position. but he brought with him some problems. >> uh-huh. >> question i sometimes get, and you probably do as well, if not washington, who would be the next obvious choice, the answer there wasn't another choice. he was indispensable man at that moment. >> yes. >> that brings us to this question of what to call him, this debate that you write about, you know, the title controversy. i wonder if you can give us a little bit of background to the
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debate -- the constitution says this person will be the president of the united states, why did they feel like they needed something more than that. >> once the senate convened. wa -- he starts making his journey from -- he's coming to new york, the senate is convening. and it's really no surprise that people start wondering what are we going to call him once he arrives. are we going to call him mr., i don't think so. washington had been already addressed as general and your
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excel len si during the revolutionary war. at that time, governors were addressed as your excel len si. the governor of georgia, in the constitution it said that he must be your honor. it actually specifies a title for him. so with washington coming, this person who so celebrated like a king calling him your excel len si which is the highest title along with general that he holds and it's also the same title that's held by all of the state governors and, yet, he's suppose to be the head of this new federal government. the question was, what should we call, not just washington, but what should we call the president. and they merge somewhat because he was so celebrated. your excel len si did not seem
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quite mo jestic enough for him. at the same time, it was already used for state governors and so what are we going to start this new federal officer. wonders what he suppose to do. think he's going to go to the senate. he's the president constitutionally. this was something that he pushed -- one thing i really like about your book, other people just dismiss out of the kind of crazy or kind of ridiculous thing he did. there were reasons. >> right. >> yeah. >> for. >> even though he was a high federalist. adam was more concerned about a weak executive than a strong
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executive. okay. he was concerned that the executive would be corruptible, i think, when he had been in britain as an ambassador, there, perhaps he had seen king george manipulated by his court. so he was worried and richard henry lee the senator from virginia was also very worried about lead executive. so they felt one of the ways to shore up the executive was to give him some tremendous title. and this would somehow help. now the senate majority felt this way. part of the reason that they did was -- was that they really found themselves in a bit of the bind, the senate did. because the people who will most
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cheerful of this executive, those that they thought would be the most manipulative of the executive senate, state. and adam was very afraid that the state elite would over power executive. not so much washington with his incredible authority, but all the presidents to come. so the senate did find itself in a bit of a bind if they didn't give the president a high title, then they would be accused an aris crated body to avert his aauthority. they gave him a high title, they accused of being monarchs. >> you'll have to give us a few titles.
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>> well, the senate and people, you know, the american people devoted over 30 titles, most with royal over tones, especially various forms of heinous and your majesty, elective majesty, sacred majesty, okay. majesty, washing put forth as denver said, because shouldn't all the other presidents try to be as wonderful as washington was? you know, they should aspire to his -- to the grandness of his name. there was a suggestion that at least for washington, his name should be the delight of humankind. >> there was president general,
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it went on and on. president was one of the suggestions. some people were like, forget all this, let's call him president. there was a large and vocal group. there were a lot of other titles. the senate findingself in this bind as it was. especially with the house being adamantly opposed. the house was always composed, to the title. and in subcommittees when they would try to meet to come up with some other title, the house would not budge. and so eventually what happened in in the end after the three weeks of legislative debate on this issue, during what i call the legislative phase of the
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controversy the senate capitulated completely to the house, went with the simple title of president with no introductory elaborate extra address. however, in that resolution, they begin with the recommendation that the senate felt that his title should be his highness, president of the united states and protector of their liberties. >> that would be a mouthful. president and protector obama. you know, i mean, really, that's what it would have been if the senate would have had their way. >> it's an amazing story. and something that you accomplished, i think, i really admire, how you treat washington in this book. because there's this long tradition suggesting that during this whole debate. somehow washington's in the background cheering for one of these illustrious titles. you show the opposite.
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tell us about washington's role and what you think was on his mind during this period. >> i want to say the title controversy is riffe with gossip and innuendo. my book is filled with catty facebook posts. and yet in all of that. all of that gossip and innuendo, never did i find any evidence that washington supported a title. that's my first argument against it, i have several in the book. one of the big arguments against washington supporting a title is that he wrote in a letter to his son in law, david stewart and a grand confidant.
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a grand friend of his controversy, before he arrived on the scene in new york. he predicted the uproar it would cause. and the harm it was doing to the perceptions of the new federal government. he was from virginia. i think they ratified the constitution by one vote. his neighbors were already going, you're going to be the first president? the last thing he's going to want is anything that will exacerbate negative attitudes toward the new federal government, among his friends and in the larger population.
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also in that letter to david stewart. he expresses specifically his irritation with john adams for pressing for a high title. the other piece of evidence i bring, is that he was not in favor of a high title. is by looking at james madison during this period. i think it's very important for all of us to look at james madison and to listen to what he's saying, to read what he's writing during that first year of washington's administration. during that first year, washington and madison who was a representative from the state of virginia and the house. and in some ways de facto head of the house.
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madison and washington were very close. they were two of the founders that were at the constitutional convention every day in philadelphia. washington and madison, adams was in britain. jefferson was in france. hamilton was there for a while and then he left and went back to new york to run his legal practice. really, it was madison and washington there every day bonding over these arguments for the constitution. and very committed to the constitution's success in the beginning of washington's administration. if you listen to what madison is saying, he argues on the house floor. he speaks basically. on a lot of issues. and he's washington public voice. really i think you can -- what
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you're hearing is washington fields. on the title issue. madison speaks on the house floor. against titles. against in particular, the title of high mightiness, which was the title give tonight state holders in the netherlands. he basically just totally ridicules that title, which is the title which is sometimes erroneously associated with george washington today. he denigrates that title. then he goes on to say in his speech on the house floor, he alludes to washington and says that any title would go against
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the true dignity of the first executive. he refers to washington and washington's displeasure, titles his relief over the outcome of the simple title in letters. to jefferson and several others. >> i think it's very persuasive. it fits with a part of washington that is sometimes lost, and that's that he was a great politician. i think he understood the optics of this, this was bad politics. and we know that in part what happens after the debate in congress, you describe how the controversy becomes a more public controversy. it enters the public sphere. what happens then. when the american people find out what the senate's been doing for the first three weeks of the session, what do they say? >> remember the senate met behind closed doors at this time, so they've been arguing
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about a title for three weeks from april 23rd which was the day when they first started the resolution to come up with a title for the president, former committee. and which happened to be the same day washington arrived in new york. i don't think there's any doubt that it was not a coincidence. washington's arriving. they're like let's get a committee together to figure this out. they don't figure it out. washington goes on to be inaugurated a week later, they're still arguing behind closed doors. on may 14th, 1789, they capitulate to the house formally, it goes into the senate journals. but the senate journals aren't growing to be published right away. they have to be cleaned up and eventually they come out usually
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in the press six months later. the titles of the resolution was leaked to the press almost as soon as the ink was dry. the boston papers get it first, and then the new york papers get it right after that. it's almost word for word. somebody wanted it to know. as soon as the public finds out about this debate, some of the elites already knew. their friends told them it was going on. when the general public finds out about it, it's not like everybody says, oh, great, this is what they're going to do. and yawns, instead, everybody has an opinion about titles. it was like the twitter feed gone viral. for the next three or four months throughout the summer of 1789 and into the fall. it was this cathartic and fierce
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debate that sold lots of newspapers. it was obvious the press was like, oh, my gosh. let's write up some things on titles. and sell more papers. and the public needed to debate this. they had to debate whether the senate had made the right choice, it eventually became obvious that a majority of americans agreed with the senate. that they were happy with what had happened and what came out of this, the reason i call it cathartic is that as a result of this, some of the public's fears about their new government, their congress and their new president were resolved. they gained more trust that the new federal government, that these legislators could argue something as politically
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volatile as they thought a title for the president was, and come up with a solution, and the choice that the people agreed with. it was a good thing. >> yeah, i mean, it really landed upon the small r republican solution of this. i wonder if you could talk about some of the lasting impacts that this controversy had on the office of the president. and then i actually -- i love what you write about the vice presidency. maybe the president first. what does this mean in the long term for the office. >> okay. the simple title gave the people some relief.
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it did give them some relief. as a result of the title -- of this title controversy, happening so quickly, in the earliest part of the washington a administration. as the people gained confidence it allowed them to relax about the presidency. just a little bit. and basically the outcome of the title controversy helped the power of the presidency, helped the presidency fledge its power by not flaunting its power. >> it's a neat idea. this makes the presidency stronger in the end. in a way, adams got what he wanted. >> ironically, yes. you know, we can argue that the
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presidency would have been strong in any case. but my argument is, because the people were more comfortable with the presidency, it was like i said, it could start to spread its wings and they could explore the power of the presidency more easily without the added baggage of a high title attached to it. as far as the vice presidency is concerned. my feeling is very strong that the presidential title controversy is one of the great casualties of the presidential title controversy, is the relationship between the presidency and vice presidency. i feel that because of the vice presidential title controversy, we basically have the diminished
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vice presidency that we see to this day. washington backed away from the extremely unpopular atoms. adams, among his colleagues was called behind his back his rotundaty. that's how they felt about him. among the public he was referred to as the dangerous vice. because of a poem that came out called the dangerous vice, that linked the vice of monarchy and the vice president. only a heartbeat away from the presidency. he was called the spawn of satan in that poem. washington backed away from adams, basically, never to return is the vice president. a member of -- is he a cabinet -- is he a member of washington's cabinet? no, could he have been? i argue washington could have
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done whatever he wanted with that vice presidential position. he basically did nothing. now, on top of washington backing away from the vice presidency. because of adams' unpopularity, adams himself contributed to this. he discounted that role as being just sort of the place holder. if something happened to the president, the vice president was there. adams felt that his main job was to be president of the senate. where he became -- he irtated a lot of the senators by trying to throw his weight around. and admittedly over the years, adams casts a lot of deciding votes when the senate was tied, but his influence within that
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body waned, so the vice presidencies in the legislature diminished. and i think it all starts with the presidential title controversy. >> in the beginning. a lot of people didn't know whether this was an executive branch office or a legislative branch office. >> it became neither. >> your description of the political rhetoric from the 1790s, makes me think of our own rancorous election that's going on. some of you may have heard about that. and i would like to know what you think about -- if washington -- what would he think? you know what? what kind of things could our current presidential candidates learn from washington's example? >> well, washington threw the --
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in this whole presidential title controver controversy, what i learned is that washington really, and the people -- washington and the people developed what i consider to be the first principles of american executive leadership. and this -- these are principles that really help the presidency find no problem with democracy and strength. as i said, it helped the presidency grow stronger. through this whole cathartic controversy over a title. and these -- they developed these first principles. first moddessty and restraint, which the people got by the simple title. that washington supported.
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a sincere nod to the people, a sincere understanding that there exists an interdependence between the presidency and the people. the president and the people are connected. and the people got that by washington supporting the simple title of president which matched the bulk of popular opinion. so restraint and a nod to the people, i feel are these first principles of executive leadership, you see at the beginning of the administration. now, in terms of today, we often here the presidency referred to as the modern presidency. and that modern presidency no longer adheres to these
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particular principles you might argue. at the very least, if you look at the way president dents try so hard to appear like one of us, hating broccoli, playing the saxophone. playing basketball. clearing brush. loving football. in today's parlance, it's often called relatability. i think these could be a
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cautionary tale. restraint, a nod to all of the people of the united states. not just a small minority. that these could be a cautionary tail for those running for the presidency today. >> so a big dose of humility? >> yeah, yeah, i -- because really by doing that, you gain strength is the way. you gain trust, and that trust -- people trust you to go ahead and be the leader that they want you to be. if you don't think that people want a strong leader, they do want a strong leader, they just want someone they can trust. >> watch out, you might get nominated. that's good stuff. there's other people to consider in this story, and there's other titles at the time. and i am dying to know about martha washington. what did people call martha. you say mr. president comes later in the 19th century, and i
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don't think first lady exists, but i don't know -- washington was never addressed as mr. president. don't let anyone tell you he was. he was sir, general, your excellency. and president. to the end of his days. just that washington's name attached to treaties and proclamations helped elevate the title of president. but because he had that kind of gravitas. so mr. president, though. the simple title of president allowed for mr. president to be something that could come along naturally. for the women at the time, among the federal elite they were
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referred to as lady. lady jay. martha washington was called lady washington. she was also called the lady of the president. and she was also called, quite often, more often than you might think, the president's amiable consort. she was -- in a poem, she was addressed as our fabian queen. and in that poem, that poem is dedicated to the amiable consort of the illustrious washington. so lady, lady of the president, amiable consort. >> maybe just mrs. washington. >> and mrs. washington, i'm sure. >> one other note, i think i
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mentioned earlier that john adams had been ambassador to britain. as ambassador to britain, he was called your excellency as was abigail. they were both excellency in britain. i found evidence that when abigail was back in the united states after that, she was still getting correspondence addressed to her excellency. mrs. john adams. so she was still excellency to some of her friends, probably -- her friends in britain. >> i'm going to ask one more question, and then we're going to turn it to the audience opinion please get your questions ready. >> one other thing that's been on my mind with the current presidential election. there's a better chance there will be a woman elected president this year than any other time. if hillary clinton was elected president, will there be a new presidential title controversy. will there be a new debate? or pretty settled what she would be called? >> it's in -- many women are the
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head of organizations, and they're normally called madam president. i would assume she would be called madam president. i don't think there would be a lot of debate about that. i think most other women who would be president, they would be called mr. or if they had a title like dr. or lieutenant they would be called that. they would maybe be called the first gentleman, i can see that happening. and i ask see the first gentleman being used for bill clinton. he's a special case. he was president, he's still president clinton. so the controversy that i can see would be when hillary clinton and bill clinton would be referred to at the same time.
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president clinton. president clinton. they'll have to work that out. maybe they'll always have to identify hillary and bill by their first names or madam. i'm not quite sure how the press -- how newspapers and writers would deal with that. but they're -- the presidents clinton? i'm not sure. i could see where there would be confusion. because of this -- still to this day, just like back then, you get a title and it follows you forever. >> you're the person they might ask, be ready just in case. >> it's right. maybe i'll get another npr question. >> we love to have questions from the audience, we have a microphone at the back of the room, if you want to walk back there to the microphone, just tell us your name, what you do.
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and any question on your mind. >> hi, i'm larry ross, i'm the librarian here at the law school. was there concern that by not giving the president of the united states, especially the ones following washington, a grand title, that that would put them in a position of weakness when dealing with foreign ambassadors and dignitaries. >> absolutely. this is a big problem, a big concern for -- you start to see in the literature people are worried about this, they're worried about who will follow washington.
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i mean, in one note, they were worried that first there's washington. but the next president might be slushing ton. just this bear -- a shadow of what washington is. and so he needs this high title. but as the -- as you read the literature on it, what you see is that people start to say, you know, washington got all of his accolades, and all of his reverence and respect without a title. he didn't need a high title along the way to get our respect. so what we need to do is to have these other people try to rise to the top, show what they are, without the noise and confusion that a title could bring. that is sort of the way that argument eventually turned out.
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>> thank you. that was a terrific question. i think we have another question. >> i'm wondering what influence the events in france at this point are having on what's going on. things are sort of unraveling in france. >> of course, the events in france, the revolution is -- the news of it is happening slowly. over to america. it's starting to arrive in the summer of 1785. it really doesn't affect the legislative phase. you don't see anything in the newspapers or in their conversations about it, during their time of april and may. by july things have changed. news is coming and people first what you see in the press is a
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lot of excitement that france has gone the way of the congress went. getting rid of titles, throwing titles away, so even though the violence that accompanies the french revolution, people start to distance themselves from the french revolution a little bit in the papers as they start to hear about the violence. the fact that they have tossed away titles and basically submerged the aristocrisy. the american example is part of that, it really does help to squelch strong title commentary. so at that point france is on the side of angels.
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you do see that in some of the commentary. this helps our -- this helps our position. and it throws away any arguments in favor of a high title. >> thanks. >> so another question i had, you mentioned the modern presidency. the caller also referred to the presidency today. the imperial presidency. physical george washington comes and sees the presidency today. what does he recognize. what's completely foreign to him. is it totally different? >> i want to say on this whole imperial presidency concern, that crops up periodically, i view it as just part of this --
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this protectiveness toward the presidency that really started with the ratification of the con sti tugs. there's among all of this gossip, innuendo on both sides. what you see is that all sides are very protective toward the office they want their leader to succeeds. they're protective about the office of the presidency. about the imperial presidency, it's part of that tradition of protectiveness toward the office.
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what would washington -- how would washington view the. i think he would be relieved there was an amendment that made the four-year term. he would be appalled when a president served 16 years, i don't think he would be happy about that at all. you couldn't have convinced him it was a good idea just because we were at war, for example. i think he might be a little alarmed to see so many executive orders going-forward. but the veto was a power that was very strong from the very beginning. was something that was discussed in -- during the time in the summer of 1789 it was already being discussed. congress was making their decisions about an executive veto.
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that's not something he would be surprised to see. i know -- i don't know if he had the right to name a supreme court justice in the last year of his term, i don't think there's any doubt he would feel it's his duty and his right within the power of the presidency to make that choice and make that nomination and send it to the senate. he would expect the senate to act. >> well, i think it's amazing how closely he followed the constitution, we know this from the copy of his constitution. >> that's fabulous. >> it's washington's library in mt. vernon, he actually wrote in the margins about what he was supposed to do. how powers require a president. i think that's the definition of constitutional governance, right? you can't imagine a innapoleon
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does the same thing. it really did obey the limits. yeah, i think as it got further along in his administration, there's more and more controversy about some of the choices he's making, i don't go into that in my book. this is something that i'm very interested in, is the evolution of executive powers in the -- in the time that he was president. it's obvious to me with the title controversy. a sincere respect for their opinion. and i think a lot of it is because he was a virginia.
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the virginia ans were suspicious of the constitution. washington and his good friend george mason basically became estranged over their differences of opinion about the constitution. so he lost a friend during that period. as a result, he was always concerned about following the constitution, doing the right thing, not alarming the people. what i would like to see is explore more. during the rest of his administrati administration. how much of the majority did he take into account. there's letters that show you stuff about the title controversy. i'm not sure whether he is open enough in some of his other
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decisions later on. but that's something that i'd like to explore. >> we think of public opinion as such a new thing, it's there at the very beginning. i mean, he's having his friends and associates go out and talk to the people. and he wants to know what's on their minds. >> david stewart didn't just write to him by happenstance and say, oh, how do you feel about the title controversy? washington had told stewart you need to write to me and tell me what's going on in virginia. i want to know what's going on in virginia, you're going to be my ears on the ground. he's writing back to stewart, a part of the reason. he wants stewart to spread the word of what he's saying, he wants to hear, he tells stewart in another letter, he tells him, you know, i want to hear what the people are thinking, what the people of virginia are thinking, because if i've made a decision, they don't agree with,
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he actually says i will reconsider. i will reconsider what i've done. and affect a solution. if i need to. >> that's great. the last present day thing i've been thinking about is political parties, they're so important today to our system of government. i wonder if you could say a little bit about that, why didn't washington detest political parties so much. >> well, you know, now when i realize when you say this, i realize that one of the things would washington recognize today. really the president is the leader of the political party that he's associated with today. and a president's legacy, part
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of his legacy is how strong he leaves his party at the end of his administration. and so i think washington would not be happy with that, he thought that parties brought -- and factions, brought too much self-interest. >> they were in it for themselves, not the country. >> yes. >> that he really -- he really wanted to try to keep the government on a republican sort of a -- a disinterested civic virtue kind of footing. and he wanted to keep the constitution as free of politics as it could be. and so he really did view parties as just self-interested
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opportunities for mischief. and in his presidential -- in his first inaugural address. he encourages harmony. and he encourages no factionalism. and harmony among the house and the senate. and in the title controversies in the senate's final resolution on titles, one of the things in there, besides the recommendation of the high title but the total ka pit tu lace in favor of the president. in there, among the wording, the senate actually says at one point, to keep harmony with the house we're going to agree with them. so that's not something you see today any more. and i think that washington would say that part of the reason for that, is the self-interest that comes with
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parties. >> well, thank you so much. you've given us so much to think about during the election season. it's really fantastic. we really appreciate it. we have a small gift from your alma matter. a token of our appreciation. appropriate for the occasion, a bust of george washington. >> oh, terrific. >> again, thank you so much. >> hello there, george. >> thank you so much. >> i appreciate it very much. i really do. >> thank you for this. >> thank you for coming tonight. i appreciate this.
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after i came up with this idea, this is definitely the case with a lot of pieces that will be done for this competition. mental illness especially. it's a complicated issue, it's not black and white. i had to research to get a base knowledge of what i wanted to talk about in this piece. and obviously there was a lot of -- it's so complicated i can't talk about it all in five to seven minutes. >> before i started moving to my parents. before i -- i researched this topic. i talked to the pharmacist there. i talked to my mom and her colleagues and co-workers. and i did a lot of internet research. and went to the library. >> a lot of internet research to find more facts and data and
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statistics about employment of those with developmental disabilities. to see really what was going on. most of the information i got off of the internet came from government founded websites. that's how i knew most of the information i was getting was legitimate. >> what's the most urgent issue for congress in 2017, our competition is open to all middle school and high school students grades 6 through 12. students can work alone or in a group of up to 3 to produce a 5 to 7 minute documentary on the issues selected. include some c-span programming and explore opposing opinions. the $100,000 in cash prizes. the grand prize, $5,000 will go to the student or team with the best overall injury.
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>> this year's deadline is january 20th, 2017. help us spread the word to student filmmakers. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, y-span was created as a public service washington and subsequent leaders of the u.s. all of this tonight on american history tv on c-span3. next, ronald reagan's election night victory speech from 1980 when he defeated jimmy carter with 51% of the popular vote to president carter's 41%. this coverage is from nbc news. [ cheers ]
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>> thank you very much. thank you. thanks very much. thank you. you know, here we are. this is -- [ cheers ] you know, we're all here but one n now. it's way past his bedtime. but let me -- let me just say first, let me just say first of all, this has been -- well, there's never been a more humbling moment in my life.
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i would have been -- [ applause ] not only humbled by the extent of what has happened tonight, even if it had been the cliffhanger that all of us, i think, were expecting, it would have been the same way. but just to have had the support of the people of this country. i consider the trust that you have placed in me sacred, and i give you my sacred oath that i will do my utmost to justify your faith. [ cheers and applause ] earlier this evening, i spoke on the phone with president carter. he called.
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john anderson called, but the president pledged the utmost in cooperation in the transition that will take place in these coming months. i offered him my own cooperation. he graciously said that he wanted this to be the -- >> governor reagan, we just wanted to show you what the map of the united states looks like as of 8:00 tonight. >> all righty. when that began to slide, i thought that maybe the world was going out just as i was getting in. but, anyway, as i say, the president was most gracious about this. and now all across america,
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there are some people that i owe a great debt of thanks to. there they are. they are meeting tonight in our national headquarters in arlington, virginia. the national committee people, the dedicated professionals who have made the campaign run. and in every state in the counties, the cities and the precin precincts, to all of them who worked so tirelessly, literally hundreds of thousands of volunteers. and i've seen them at work throughout the country on this campaign. i just owe them an immeasurable debt of thanks. to george and barbara bush -- [ cheers and applause ] our running mates down in texas, no one has worked harder than they have. we only crossed paths a few times on this campaign and had to go out of our way to do it
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because their schedule was so heavy. and i can tell you that we're going to have a true partnership and a true friendship in the white house. and now, as i said before, my family. i'm so grateful to them for the love, for their support and for the hard work because they were out on the campaign trail easily as much as nancy and i were. speaking of nancy, she's going to have a new title in a couple of months. [ applause ] and it isn't really new because she's been the first lady in my life for a long time.
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now we share that a little bit in the future. you know, abe lincoln, the day after his election to the presidency, gathered in his office the newsmen who had been covering his campaign. and he said to them, well, boys, your troubles are over now. mine have just begun. i think i know what he meant. lincoln may have been concerned in the troubled times in which he became president, but i don't think he was afraid. he was ready to confront the problems, the troubles of a still youthful country. determined to seize the historic opportunity to change things. and i am not frightened by what lies ahead, and i don't believe
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the american people are frightened by what lies ahead. together -- together we're going to do what has to be done. we're going to put america back to work again. you know, there are -- trying to tap that great american spirit that opened up this completely undeveloped continent from coast to coast and made it a great nation, survived several wars, survived a great depression, and will survive the problems that we face right now.
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when i accepted your nomination for president, i hesitatingly, but i asked for your prayers at that moment. i won't ask them for this in particular moment, but i will just say, i would be very happy to have them in the days ahead. all i can say to all of you is, thank you, and thank you for more than just george bush and myself. thank you because if the trend continues, we may very well control one house of the congress for the first time in a quarter of a century.
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we have already -- we have picked up some governorships and bill brock told me on the phone just a few minutes ago, that it looks like in a number of states, we have turn the state legislatures around, and for the first time, they are major iity. you did it. i have one message that i have to give before i leave. i've been upstairs on the phone trying to get a hold two of celebrations, two parties that are going on. one in tampico, illinois, where i was born and one in dixon, illinois, where i grew up. i've got two hometowns. and finally, we managed to get the radio station in that area, and they told us they would
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broadcast my message into the two parties going on there. so thank you all. >> ladies and gentlemen, president-elect ronald reagan! [ cheers and applause ] ♪ this is american history tv's road to the white house rewind. now incumbent president jimmy carter's concession speech from election night in 1980. he lost re-election to republican challenger ronald reagan. this coverage is from nbc news.
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>> the splendid president. >> i promised you -- i promised you four years ago that i would never lie to you so i can't say that it doesn't hurt. the people of the united states have made the choice and, of course, i accept that decision. but i have to admit, not with the same enthusiasm that i accepted the decision four years
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ago. i might say -- [ applause ] i have a deep appreciation of the system, however, that lets people make the free choice about who will lead them for the next four years. about an hour ago, i called governor reagan in california, and i told him that i congratulated him for a fine victory. i look forward to working closely with him during the next few weeks. we'll have a very fine transition period. i told him i wanted the best one in history, and i then sent him this telegram. i'll read it to you. it's apparently american people have chosen you as the next president. i congratulate you and pledge to you our fullest support and cooperation in bringing about an orderly transition of government in the weeks ahead.
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my best wishes are with you and your family as you undertake the responsibilities that lie before you, and i signed it, jimmy carter. [ applause ] >> i have been blessed as only a few people ever have to help share the destiny of this
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nation. in that effort, i have had your faithful support. in some ways, i've been the most fortunate of all presidents because i've had the daily aid of a wise man and a good man at my side. in my judgment, the best vice president anybody ever had. [ applause ] i've not achieved all i set out to do, perhaps no one ever does, but we have faced the tough issues. we've stood for n fought for and achieved some very important goals for our country. these efforts will not end with this administration. the effort must go on. nor will the progress that we have made be lost when we leave
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office. the great principles that have guided this nation since its founding will continue to guide america to the challenges of the future. this has been a long and hard-fought campaign, as you well know. but we must now come together as a united and a unified people to solve the problems that are still before us. to meet the challenges of a new decade. and i urge all of you to join in with me in a sincere and fruitful effort to support my successor when he undertakes this great responsibility as president of the greatest nation on earth.
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we have a special country because our vast economic and military strength give us a special responsibility for seeking solutions to the problems that confront the world. but our influence will always be greater when we live up to those principles of freedom, of justice, of human rights for all people. god has been good to me, and god has been good to this country. and i'm truly thankful. i'm thankful for having been able to serve you in this capacity. thankful for the successes that we have had. thankful that to the end, you were with me and every good thing that i tried to do. there's an old yiddish proverb i've often thought of in the days and months i've held this office. god gives burdens, also shoulders. and all the days and months when i have served you and served this country, you have readily given me your shoulders.
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your faith and your prayers, no man could ask any more of his friends. i wanted to serve as president because i love this country and because i love the people of this nation. [ applause ] finally -- finally, let me say that i am disappointed tonight, but i have not lost either love. thank you very much. ♪
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[ applause ] wednesday night on american history tv, highlights from the annual international churchill conference in washington, d.c., with discussions about the british prime minister's relationships with american presidents. the monarchy and european leaders. part of american history tv in primetime each night this week at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning, we're starting an hour earlier at 6:00 a.m. eastern getting your reaction post election day, breaking down the results.
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join the conversation with your phone calls, e-mails and tweets. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 6:00 a.m. eastern wednesday morning. road to the white house rewind continues with bill clinton's victory speech from 1992. this was recorded outside the old statehouse in little rock, arkansas. it's about 15 minutes. >> my fellow americans -- [ cheers and applause ] on this day, with high hopes and brave hearts in massive numbers, the american people have voted to make a new beginning.
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this election is a clairion call for our country to face the challenges of the end of the cold war and the beginning of the next century. to restore growth to our country and opportunity to our people. to empower our own people so they can take more responsibility for their own lives. to face problems too long ignored from aids to the environment to the conversion of our economy from the defense to an economic giant. and perhaps most important of all, to bring our people together as never before so that our diversity can be a source of strength in a world that is ever smaller. where everyone counts and everyone is a part of america's family.
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i want to begin this night by thanking my family. my wife, without whom i would not be here tonight. and who i will be -- i believe will be one of the greatest first ladies in the history of this republic. >> hillary! hillary! hillary! >> you can cheer for her. i also want to say a special word of thanks to our daughter
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for putting up with our absence, for supporting our effort, for being brave in the face of adversity and for reminding us every day about what this election is really all about. i want to thank my mother, my brother, my stepfather, my mother-in law and father-in law, my brothers-in law and my sister-in-law who carried this campaign across this country and stuck up for me when others were trying to put it down. i love them, and i thank them. i want to thank the people of this wonderful, small state.
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time after time, when this campaign was about to be counted out, the arkansas travelers exploded out of this state around the country to tell people the truth about what we had done here together. how we had pulled together. what we believed in and what we could do as a nation. i had the best staff and cabinet you can imagine. they kept this state together, and even when we weren't here, we continued to lead the country in job growth and keeping taxes and spending down and in pulling the people of arkansas together to show what we could do if the nation pulled together and moved forward, too. i want to thank the people who were in that infamous group, the fobs, the friends of bill and the friends of hillary.
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no person who ever sought this office was more aided by the friends of lifetime and i will never forget you. i want to thank the people in the new democratic party headed by our chairman, ron brown. the new members of congress, the new blood, the new direction that we are going. and finally, i want to thank the members of my brilliant, aggressive, unconventional but always winning campaign staff who were unbelievable. and they have earned this. i want to say, if i might, a special word of thanks to two people who lost their lives in the course of this campaign
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without whom we might not be here tonight. our friends paul tulley and dick razor. our prayers are with them. they're looking down on us tonight, and they're awfully happy. i received a telephone call from president bush. it was a generous and forthcoming telephone call of real congratulations, and an offer to work with me in keeping our democracy running in an effective and important transition. i want all of you to join with me tonight in expressing our gratitude to president bush for his lifetime of public service, for the effort he made from the time he was a young soldier in world war ii to helping bring about an end to the cold war to our victory in the gulf war to the grace with which he conceded the results of this election tonight in the finest american
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tradition. let's give mr. bush and his family a hand. [ applause ] i heard tonight mr. perot's remarks and his offers to work with us. of all the things he said, perhaps the most important that we understand here in the heartland of arkansas is the need to reform the political system, to reduce the influence of special interest and get more influence back to the kind of people in this crowd tonightor the tens of thousands, and i will work with him to do that. and finally, let me say how profoundly indebted i am tonight. beyond the folks at home, beyond the wonderful people who worked in this administration, the lieutenant governor and others to keep our government going,
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beyond all the others, i have to say a special word of thanks to my magnificent running mate, senator al gore and his family. [ applause ] give him a round. i want to thank -- i want to tell you that al and tipper, hillary and i have become friends. i admire them for what they stand for. they are enjoyable to be with. they believe in our country. al gore is a man of almost unparalleled combination of intelligence, commitment, compassion and concern to the people of this country, to our obliigation to preserve our
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environment, to our duty to promote freedom and peace in the world, and together, we're going to do our best to give you a new partnership for a new america. i want to thank al's children, his brother-in-law and wonderful parents. i think we carried every state that senator and mrs. gore campaigned in. their percentage was the best of all. i want to say that we have established a partnership in this campaign that we will continue into this new administration. for if we've learned anything in the world today, it's that we can accomplish more by teamwork, working together, bringing out the best in all the people that we see, and we will seek the best and most able and most commitmented people throughout this country to be a part of our team. we'll ask the democrats who believe in our cause to come
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forward, but we'll look to, among the ranks of independents and republicans who are willing to roll up their sleeves, be a part of a new partnership and get on with the business of dealing with this nation's problems. i remind you again tonight, this victory was more than a victory of party but a vuctry for the people that work hard and play by the rules. people who feel left out and left behind but want to do better. a victory for the people ready to compete and win in a global economy but who need a government that offers a hand up, not a handout. that is what we offer, and that is what tomorrow we will begin to work to provide to all of you. today, the steel worker and stenographer, the teacher and the nurse had as much power in the mystery of our democracy as the president, the billionaire and the governor. you all spoke with equal voices for change. and tomorrow, we will try to
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give you that. you can trust us to wake up every day, remembering the people we saw on the bus trips. the people we saw in the town meetings. the people who never voted before. the people who never voted for a democrat. the people who had given up hope. all of them together are saying we want our future back and i intend to help give it to you. i say to all those who voted for us, this was a remarkable coalition for change. many of you had to put aside this or that personal ambition to be a part of a broad, deep commitment to change this country. i ask you to keep that commitment as we move from election to governing. we need more than ever for those of you who said let's put the
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public interest over personal interest to keep it right there for four years so we can turn this country around. i say to all those who voted for mr. bush or mr. perot, those who voted for the president, those who voted for ross perot, you love your country, too. i ask you to listen to the voice of your leaders. i ask you to join with us and creating a reunited states. a united country with a new sense of patriotism to face the challenges of this new time. we need your help, too, and we will do our best to serve it. deserve it. when we seek to offer young people the opportunity to borrow the money they need to go to college and the challenge to pay it back through national service, when we challenge the insurance companies, the drug companies, the providers and the consumers, the government to give us a new health care system, when we offer those on welfare new opportunity and the
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challenge to move to work, when we ask companies to take the incentives we offer to put american people to work and export american products, not american jobs, all of this is a part of a new patriotism to lift our people up and enable all of us to live up to the fullest of our potential. i accept tonight the responsibility that you have given me to be the leader of this, the greatest country in human history. i accept it with a full heart and a joyous spirit. i ask you to be americans again, too. to be interested not just in getting but in giving. not just in placing blame but now in assuming responsibility. not just in looking out for yourself, but in looking out for others, too. in this very place, one year and
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one month ago today, i said we need more than new laws, new promises or new programs. we need a new spirit of community. a sense that we're all in this together. if we have no sense of community, the american dream will continue to wither. our destiny is bound up with the destiny of every american. we're all in this together, and we will rise or fall together. that has been my message to the american people for the past 13 months, and it will be my message for the next four years. together we can do it. together we can make the country that we love, everything it was meant to be. i still believe in a place called hope. god bless america. thank you all. this is american history tv on c-span3.
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road to the white house rewind continues with the concession speech from president george h.w. bush in november 1992. he lost to bill clinton. this was reported in houston. it's about ten minutes. >> thank you very much. hey listen, you guys -- >> thank you, george! thank you, george! >> thank you so much. here's the way i see it. here's the way we see it and the country should see it that the people have spoken, and we respect the majesty of the democratic system. i just called governor clinton over in little rock and offered my congratulations. he did run a strong campaign. i wish him well in the white house, and i want the country to know that our entire
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administration will work closely with his team to ensure the smooth transition of power. there is important work to be done, and america must always come first so we will get behind this new president and wish him well. and to all who voted for us, voted for me, here -- especially here but all across the country, thank you for your support. and we have fought the good fight, and we've kept the faith. and i believe i have upheld the honor of the presidency of the united states. now -- and now i ask that we stand behind our new president, and regardless of our differences, all americans share the same purpose to make this the world's greatest nation more safe and more secure and to
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guarantee every american a shot at the american dream. and i would like to thank so many of you who have worked beside me to improve america and to literally change the world. let me thank our great vice president, dan quayle. [ cheers and applause ] in the face of a tremendous pounding, he stood for what he believes in, and he will always have my profound gratitude and certainly my respect. and i would like to salute so many that did special work. rich bond up at the rnc, bob teeter who ran the campaign, bob mossbacker, our entire campaign team. and they've run a valiant effort in a very, very difficult year. and i also want to salute the members of the cabinet, all of whom -- who have served this nation with honor, with
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integrity and with great distinction. and i would like to single out two leaders who represent the ideal in public service. together they've helped lead the world through a period of unprecedented transition. i'm talking, of course, about my national security adviser, brent scowcroft and jim baker. [ applause ] and my good friend and fellow texan, our secretary of state, jim baker. finally, of course, i want to thank my entire family with a special emphasis on a woman named barbara. [ cheers and applause ]
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she's inspired this entire nation, and i think the country will always be grateful. but tonight is really not a night for speeches. but i want to share a special message with the young people of america. i am absolutely -- you see, i remain absolutely convinced that we are a rising nation. we have been in an extraordinarily difficult period, but do not be deterred, kept away from public service by the smoke and fire of a campaign year or the ugliness of politics. as for me, i plan to get -- i'm going to serve and try to find ways to help people. but i plan to get very active in the grandchild business.
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and in finding ways to help others. but i urge you, the young people of this country, to participate in the political process. it needs your idealism. it needs your drive. it needs your conviction. and again, my thanks, my congratulations to governor clinton, to his running mate, senator gore, and a special thanks to each and every one of you, many of you who have been at my side in every political battle. may god bless -- may god bless the united states of america. thank you very, very much. thank you so much. [ applause ]
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this is american huistory t on c-span3. road to the white house re wind continues with the concession speech from independent presidential candidate ross perot. he lost the election to democratic nominee bill clinton. this was recorded in dallas. it's about ten minutes. >> now wait just a minute. first thing we want to do, we'll be talking about this in a minute. first thing we want to do is all team up together and try to make it work now, right? absolutely. you're not too happy, we can make some changes in '94, right? the main thing is time is precious. let's try to make it work. and texas all working together to make it work. i'll be talking about that in a minute. so we've got work to do starting right away because our country
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needs all of our help. i want to thank all of you who are here tonight, and all the people who have come together across the nation. starting last february, you did something that everybody said couldn't be done. millions of you came together to take your country back. you gave washington a laser-like message to listen to the people. you have done an incredible job of getting this country turned back around to the tight country
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our founders established. a country that came from the people. and you have changed this country through your massive efforts. and i compliment you for it. and it was brilliant the way you did it. as i have said on a number of occasions, my role in life is that of a grain of sand to the oyster. it irstates the oyster and out comes the pearl. i have been your grain of sand that you chose. it's been an honor to be your grain of sand in this process. and we will continue to work together to make pearls as necessary in the future. fair enough? [ applause ] the american people have spoken. they have chosen governor
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clinton. congratulations. [ booing ] >> whoa, no, nose. wait a minute. the only way we're going to make it work is if we all team up together. so let's give governor clinton a big round of applause. [ applause ] thank you. forget the election. forget the election. it's behind us. the hard work is in front of us. and we must all work together to rebuild our great country. you, the american people, are the greatest people on the face of the earth. if we'd just put aside our differences and work together, we can rebuild our job base. we can eliminate the deficit. we can eliminate the debt and, most importantly, we can pass on the american dream to our children, right?
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and on the way, we can reform our government and get rid of some of these problems so damaging to us. now to the millions of volunteers who asked me to serve as your candidate, as long as i live, one of the happiest memories of my life will be the memory of working with you. that memory will never dim. it's the nicest honor i've received in my life. thank you very much. [ applause ]
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there are people here tonight, and there are people across the country who literally gave it everything they had seven days a week since last february to take this country back and give it to the people to pay its debts, to pass the american dream on to our children, and i want you to know how proud i am of you, and how much all of us owe you for the tremendous effort you made. so god bless you, and thank you very much. [ applause ] now it's just the beginning, but the next step is we need to take all of our energy and harness it
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and -- see, time is not our friend. time is our enemy. these problems our country faces need to be solved immediately. we need to all work together and work with the new administration and give it a world class best effort to get these problems solved now. because if we do, you benefit. the country benefits. your children benefits, and everybody wins. we've got to do it. spend about ten minutes getting frustrated that your candidate didn't win then take all this creativity that you displayed and let's make it work at the national, state, county, local and neighborhood level and at every single school across the country, right?
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absolutely! now the fact that we will go anywhere any time and do anything that's good for our country to help the administration as an organization does not mean that we will compromise our principles or integrity in terms of what this organization stands for. [ applause ] we will never change that one filter that everything has to go through in united we stand america. and that is, is it good for our country, right? is it good for the country? if it gets to that, then we'll back it hard and use all the enormous ability that you have to get things done for the
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benefit of our people and our country. now the main thing, the main thing is don't lose your enthusiasm. don't lose your idealism. don't lose your great love for this country. and please don't feel, gee, i'm powerless again. as long as we're together, nationwide, you have enormous voice in this country. so we will stay together and you will be a force for good for our country and our children. thank you. you remember, the little children that are here tonight, the college students that have
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been at all the rallies all across the country, when you look at them, you are looking at tomorrow. and we must give them a brighter tomorrow than any other generation has ever had in our country. if we keep it that simple and that pure and that clean, then we can make an enormous contribution and that's what we must do. we will have our organization establish -- we have a nationwide network, a state by state network, a community by community network, and we will keep it intact to be a force for constructive good throughout our country. tnchts best is in front of us. believe me.
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this is now time to get discouraged or though in the towel and this is time to redouble our efforts and work with the new administration to make sure that our country is a beacon to the rest of the world. to make sure that our cities undimmed by human tears and to make sure that every little child across america is only limited by his or her dreams and their willingness to pay the price and make the effort to make those treatments come true. that's what america is all about. and that's what you're all
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about. god bless you. we love you. i want you to know that our love for you and my love for you is permanent and i will carry the memory of the past few months with me for the rest of my life and i am available to you any time, any place, anywhere as long as i'm around. god bless you. thank you very much. >> wednesday night on american history tv highlights from the annual international churchill conference in washington d.c. with discussions about the british prime minister's relationships with american presidents the monarchy and european leaders. part of american history tv in primetime each night this week. at 8:00 p.m. eastern on cspan 3.
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>> after i came up with this idea i did research information and this is definitely the case with a lot of pieces that will be done for this competition but mental illness especially it's a complicated issue. it's not black and white and it's so multifaceted that i had to research to get a base knowledge of what i wanted to talk about in this piece. it's so complicated that i couldn't talk about it in 5 to 7 minutes. >> it's a broad topic and i thought it would be nice to have a vocal point i wanted to po cuss on so before i start interviewing my parents and before i got close and before i started shooting i researched this topic extensively. >> this is my dad's pharmacy and talked to the pharmacists there. i talked to my mom and her colleagues and co-workers and did a lot of internet research and i went to the library. >> a lot of internet research to find more facts and data and
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statistics. and to see what was going on. >> most of the information that i got off of the internet came from government founded websites so that's how i knew that the information i was getting is legitimate. >> this year's theme your message to washington defendant c. what was the most urgent issue for the new president and congress to address in 2017. our competition is open to all middle school or high school students grades 6 through 12. with $100,000 awarded with prices. students with work alone or in a group of up to 3 to produce a 5 to 7 minute documentary on the issues selected. also exmother opposing opinions. the $100,000 in cash prizes will be awarded and shared between 150 students and 53 teachers and the grand prize, $5,000 will go to the student or


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