Analysis: Edwards’ challengers need to work together to beat him


joining us now is our political analyst
Clancy DuBose thanks for joining us what do you think overall who had the
most at stake tonight they all did because the two Republicans
had to join forces in effect to attack Edwards and try to keep him below 50%
the thrust of all the Republican efforts bringing down Trump’s family the Vice
President the President himself on Friday night it’s all about keeping John
bel Edwards below that magical 50% plus one for Edwards it’s the flip side he
needs to get to 50% plus one it’s a little more complicated between the two
Republicans because they not only need to keep Edwards below 50% but Abraham
and responding each needs to get past the other and that you know the the real
game plan for Republicans in this debate was not to attack each other but the
format plus both of them being kind of close in the polls they couldn’t resist
you saw Paul Dudley story where they went at each other for a little bit over
whether or not Abraham had donated a salary
there was another instance where Abraham asked respond II did you in fact support
common core curriculum in the schools which became very controversial and then
you turned against it were you flip-flopping let’s watch and see how
that one played out and I got a opponent here that keeps going around everywhere
I go and says Eddie respond he still supports Common Core I every time I go
somewhere he still outright lie about it and I’ve been saying this for months and
it goes back years four years ago when they took common carotid system he
didn’t know what common core was two years ago true and Allison you tell me
one thing never let it in in the first place yeah I didn’t let it in you tell
me what you’ve done to stop Jimmy one thing that you’ve done have given the
fuck tell me one thing you don’t run you can’t say it you don’t even know how
many states brought it up look at it just look that’s what you got oh that’s
a political politician trying to start don’t lie about what your brother’s not
alive all right mr. Abraham’s yeah when you need when two candidates
need to be joining forces to attack the third guy and they wind up calling each
other liars that’s not good yeah I mean I guess both of them are trying to get
in the runoff right that’s differentiation Edwards has one job when
outright responds and Abraham each has two jobs get past the other and keep
Edwards below 50% we still have some major things going on in this race
including the president coming to be a part of this why haven’t we heard a lot
do you think from governor Edwards about the fact that Trump’s coming well first
of all the governor does not have a bad personal relationship with the president
plus he has a lot of conservative white support which is basically a Trump voter
and he doesn’t want to alienate them plus the Republicans want to nationalize
this race if the governor starts talking about the president that plays into the
Republican gameplan the governor wants to keep everything focused on Louisiana
and local issues so he doesn’t want to talk good bad or indifferent about the
president or any other national issue all right Clancy we look forward to
hearing from you Saturday night we will have all of our coverage thanks so much
for being here tonight and don’t forget again this Saturday at 8 o’clock join us
on channel 4 with live election results reports from all of the major candidate
headquarters across the stage plus analysis from our political experts
including Clancy Ron Foshay and Greg Rick amore
download our new app so that you can get all of the up-to-the-minute results and
alerts we’re going to be streaming our coverage on wwl-tv comm as well and of
course on our Facebook page

How Trump’s impulses keep undercutting his political agenda


-I get credit. I don’t know if it’s true
or not. But they’re saying I have
good political instinct. Who knows? In fact, some people have said I have the greatest
political instinct in 50 years. I don’t think so.
I don’t think so. -President Trump has
this tendency to engage
with sort of minute things which aren’t necessarily
the most pressing things on his agenda
sort of objectively. -It looked like a million,
million and a half people. Get that son of a bitch
off the field. -That map that you
showed us today, it looked like it almost
had like a Sharpie. -I don’t know, I don’t know.
I don’t know. -He just can’t resist engaging
in those fights, oftentimes because
he seems to think that those fights serve him
well politically, but it tends to obscure the fact
that the administration is trying
to do a lot of other things, and those sort of get pushed
to the background. -Very fine people on both sides.
He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason
why it would be. -Send her back! Send her back!
Send her back! -Often it is simply
that he is incapable, perhaps physically incapable,
of not engaging in fights that he thinks serve him
politically. The default assumption,
we’ve learned over time, is that it is not something
that is being done in a calculated manner,
that it is instead his reacting to what he sees
in particular on Fox News. -The former FBI director’s
personal memos detailing private conversations
with President Trump contained top
secret information. -Closer to potential of
a horrible situation, certainly, with some kind of
military option being exercised. -Democrats like Congressman
Elijah Cummings attack officials, but what about the abandoned
homes, piles of trash, and high murder rate, well, in his own district
of Baltimore? -There’s this theory out there
that what President Trump does is he throws out some new fight in order to distract
from some other issue. And it certainly is the case
that at times Donald Trump recognizes
that he is able to redirect what the media is focused
on away from things that he might
be concerned about. But I think the default
assumption should be that that’s not what he’s doing. He likes to throw shiny balls
and chase shiny balls, and so does the media, and I think that sometimes
works to his advantage. I don’t think, though, that that
is necessarily something that he’s doing
intentionally.

Tamara Keith and Amy Walter on N.C. special election, Trump’s primary challengers


JUDY WOODRUFF: Labor Day is behind us, schools
have started and the political calendar is ramping up. Lisa Desjardins fills in the picture. LISA DESJARDINS: North Carolina is the first
hot spot, hosting President Trump tonight for a campaign rally tonight ahead of a special
congressional election. And Congress is also back, with Democrats
in the House shedding the spotlight on gun violence and impeachment. That’s plenty for our weekly Politics Monday
roundup with Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report and host of public radio’s “Politics
With Amy Walter” and Tamara Keith of NPR and co-host of the “NPR Politics Podcast.” Ladies, it’s Election Day tomorrow, just one
special election, the North Carolina Ninth Congressional District. Let’s look at — there’s two candidates running,
Republican Dan Bishop. He’s a state senator, also fiscal conservative,
running against Dan McCready. He’s a Marine veteran and also a former money
manager. He’s running as more of a moderate. Amy, why are people paying such attention
to this race? What does it tell you? AMY WALTER, The Cook Political Report: And
people, the parties and the outside groups, are also spending a whole lot of money here. It’s over $10 million that outside groups
have spent in this race, you’re right, for one congressional seat. It’s because it’s symbolic. This is a district that the Democrat, Democrat,
Dan McCready, lost very narrowly, but there was vote fraud allegations. The election was thrown out. This is the do-over election with a different
Republican. But, really, it’s about, is Donald Trump still
as strong of a force for Republicans in Republican-leaning districts as he was, let’s say, in 2016? The president there trying to urge Republicans
to turn out in a district that gave him 54 percent. But recent polls from that district show that
the president’s approval rating there is now down to 47 percent. The race is within single digits. If the Democrat were to win here, if Dan McCready
were to win here, it would — it would send a pretty big shockwave, that not only is a
district that the president pretty handily carried in danger, but it would also say to
Democrats, you better put North Carolina in play, and, Trump, you can’t count on winning
North Carolina again. That would be a very big upset. LISA DESJARDINS: And this is a partially suburban
district too around Charlotte. TAMARA KEITH, National Public Radio: Right. It’s partially suburban. It actually — it has — it has a mix of rural
and suburban. And it is a decent test case of a Trump district
and what happens there. In a lot of ways, even though this is the
last vote of 2018, it is the first vote of 2020. And a lot of people are treating it that way,
including the president, who, as you said, is there holding a rally tonight. And although he doesn’t want to put too much
of his political sway on the line, or he doesn’t want to admit that he’s putting a lot into
this, he is putting a lot into this. The most valuable thing that a candidate and
a president have is the president’s time. And he is dedicating his time by going down
there, holding this rally, and hoping that he can declare victory in less than 48 hours. AMY WALTER: The other interesting thing about
this district, if a Democrat should win, it would be one of the most Republican districts
held by Democrats. We know that Democrats won a lot of seats
in 2018. They netted 40 seats, but they were mostly
in districts that Trump narrowly won or narrowly lost. There aren’t many districts that he won by
54 percent or even 53 percent that Democrats hold. So this would be one of the most Republicans. LISA DESJARDINS: To move the line. AMY WALTER: Yes. LISA DESJARDINS: Someone else trying to move
the line, former Congressman and former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, who announced
he is also a candidate for president. Let’s take a listen to what he said, why he’s
doing this. MARK SANFORD (R), Presidential Candidate:
Those people were core to the Republican Party and what it used to stand for. They haven’t been talked to here lately. And the president said those concerns you
have with regard to spending, they’re out the window, we’re not going to worry about
them, the economy is great. But I believe that they’re still there. LISA DESJARDINS: He’s talking about Republicans
who are unhappy with the direction of the party, think this is not the party they recognize. He’s a complicated figure. He’s got a complicated party. But, Amy, is there a possibility of Republicans
who don’t like Trump actually breaking from him, going with someone like Mark Sanford? AMY WALTER: It doesn’t look like there’s any
opportunity — or possibility of Trump losing this nomination, or even any of the three
candidates who are running right now getting much of the vote. This is especially true in South Carolina,
where they actually — the Republican Party canceled the primary there. And there are four other states where the
primary has been canceled on the Republican side. LISA DESJARDINS: Just in the past few days. AMY WALTER: Just in the past few days. Now, in 2004, when George W. Bush was running
— running for reelection, about 10 states canceled their Republican primary. So this isn’t all that new. The interesting — really interesting thing,
though, about Sanford is, he’s running on this fiscal conservatism, right? The debt is too big, the deficit is too high. This is something Republicans, right, we heard
them talk about all the time during the Obama administration. And, in fact, if you look at what priority
Republicans put on the issue of debt and deficit, it peaked at 82 percent in the middle of the
Trump — I’m sorry — the Obama administration. (CROSSTALK) AMY WALTER: The Obama administration. And since then, it’s been going back down. So if you look at like the arc of it, of Republicans’
concern, voter concern with debt and deficit, really high when the Democrat is in office,
pretty low when George W. Bush’s in office, pretty low when Donald Trump’s in office. LISA DESJARDINS: Tam? TAMARA KEITH: Yes. And Bill Weld, and Joe Walsh, and Mark Sanford,
they’re all entering this knowing that they basically have no chance of winning the nomination
and even less of a chance of becoming president of the United States. But that’s not their only goal. Sanford is clearly saying, like, I want to
have a conversation. He doesn’t feel like the Republican Party
has really had an internal debate about who they are since President Trump became president. Mark Sanford tried to have that debate when
he was in Congress, and he started criticizing President Trump. President Trump endorsed his primary opponent,
and then that person won, and then went on to lose in the general election to a Democrat,
which was a pretty big surprise in that district. So all of these candidate in part are either
hoping to have a conversation or they are hoping to damage the incumbent. And incumbent presidents who have had primary
challenges in the past, there is a history there of them going on to — and being denied
a second term. But it is hard to say that these three are
at the same level as a Ted Kennedy or a Ronald Reagan or a Pat Buchanan in 1992. AMY WALTER: Yes. LISA DESJARDINS: So Congress is also back. I feel like we need to take a deep breath. I think things are going to start moving very
quickly. It started today, with House Democrats holding
a news conference on guns. This is issue number one for them. And they invited to that news conference the
mayor of Dayton, Nan Whaley. There she is right there at the U.S. Capitol
today. Last week, you all did a great job of helping
us understand we don’t know where the president is on guns. But let’s talk about Congress a little bit. It seems like there are many members on both
sides trying to coalesce around maybe expanding background checks, perhaps helping states
with red flag laws that give law enforcement more power in emergency and crisis situations. Do either of these stand a chance? They’re very popular in polls with the American
people. TAMARA KEITH: Well, they stand a great chance
in the House of Representatives, where Democrats are in power, and, in fact, well, they have
already passed bills that do these things, essentially. But on the Senate side, it’s much more difficult. And Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said
that he is not going to put up something for a vote that the president won’t sign. And they don’t yet know what the president
will sign. LISA DESJARDINS: Briefly, Amy? AMY WALTER: Yes. I mean, this is one of those issues that,
again, if you’re looking at this, if you’re President Trump, you know suburban women are
going to be very important in this election. This would be an issue to take and support
to win those voters back. But this is a president who’s always been
about his base and keeping them happy. LISA DESJARDINS: We still have a lot to watch. AMY WALTER: That’s right. LISA DESJARDINS: Amy Walter, Tamara Keith,
thank you. TAMARA KEITH: You’re welcome.

Bismarck’s politics during German Unification (1864-1871)


In the 19th century there was one European
Statesman that towered above all others, contrary to the expectation of both his friends and
foes. Otto von Bismarck as a person managed to captivate
my imagination and historical curiosity ever since my first year of university. One of his curiosities, and certainly his
greatest achievement, was the unification of Germany under the King of Prussia. Now, what stands out in terms of this achievement
is the near universal consensus that Bismarck was a practitioner of Realpolitik. The fact that he is so well known, and such
a historical anomaly due to his Realpolitik, made me wonder if his practice was observable,
and why it was seemingly rare in history. So, well, I decided to research it. Since this is a long one, timestamps, as always,
will be in the description. Before we start, in order to sketch Bismarck’s
character, I feel this short paragraph by Jonathan Steinberg describes him very well:
(p. 184) -intro- Background Bismarck
managed to unify Germany through several wars, without upsetting the European equilibrium
all too much. The Schleswig war and Bruderkrieg were two
crucial wars Prussia fought, and won, in order to accomplish German unification with the
Franco-German war of 1870. Many biographies have been written about Bismarck,
and fortunately for us he left an incredible amount of written letters, diaries and notes. Generations after him read his memoires in
order to shape their political thought. Fact of the matter is that Bismarck is a historical
anomaly and a complex person. I believe this complexity makes it even more
interesting to attempt to understand his politics. The wars fought during the 60s offer an insight
in the strategist and politicians Bismarck. Most biographers refer to him as one of the
few shining examples of Realpolitik; I mean, thanks to his pursuit of Realpolitik he managed
to accomplish German unification. The amount of conflicts he embarked upon,
could hint at a superficial, aggressive yearning for expansion. So why wasn’t Bismarck an ordinary expansionist,
but a deliberate statesman and loyal advisor to his King, Wilhelm I of Prussia? It is exactly Bismarck’s relationship with
his colleagues, peers and King Wilhelm I that stand central in this analysis. I’ll tell you why: while Bismarck often
had conflict with his adversaries, his peers, and especially the King, ought to have pursued
the same objectives, don’t you think? All of them wanted a more powerful Prussia. The more you’ll read about Bismarck, the
more you’ll realize Bismarck was in constant conflict with these entities: the ones that
pursued the same goal as he did. Why were these conflicts present? And what does that tell us about the possibility
of Realpolitik? In order to attempt to answer these questions
I’ll firstly try to conceptualize Realpolitik: what does it really mean? Secondly, what was Bismarck’s personal political
vision, his thoughts on the Prussian monarchy and the possibility of a German Unification. Lastly, the Schleswig war and Bruderkrieg
are elaborated upon: not so much the chronology of the wars, but what happened behind the
scenes during the war and in its aftermath. What did Bismarck’s peers, colleagues and
King Wilhelm I think of the policy Bismarck was propagating? Well, that’s certainly enough room for an
analysis I’d say, so let’s delve into it. Realpolitik: the exception or the rule? The term Realpolitik was thought up by the
German liberal journalist August Ludwig von Rochau in 1853. Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’ is often
seen as one of the first documents, drenched with a spirit of empiricism, describes the
political tactics of Realpolitik. The word Realpolitik is used frequently, yet
many political scientists and historians agree the word is poorly understood. There’s a reason for this: there is barely
any agreed upon explicit description of the term. While there is no central definition, there
are several elements that are often at the forefront of practitioners of Realpolitik. Henry Emery describes a Realpolitiker as ‘a
statesman that only lets current events and needs influence his course of action’. The necessity to apply political methods that
aren’t always… ethical, since that’s often the accusation of Realpolitik, has to
be understood in light of the frame of society and the geopolitical sphere. This geopolitical sphere often consists of
material and structural constraints for states. Power in a crucial element: thanks to power,
policy can be carried out, disregarding the aforementioned constraints. Realpolitik operates on the basis of pursuing
power in a rational way, maintaining power, and applying power. As Bismarck ascended as Prime Minister of
Prussia, it was the fifth Greatest Power on the continent, cowering between a bigger Russia,
France, Britain and Austria. There certainly were material and structural
constraints when operating on the basis of Prussian interest. In order to maximize the potential of Prussia,
the logical consequence would be that many Realpolitiker seated in positions of power. I’ll quote the prominent political theorist
Hans Morgenthau on this: “Rationality, and as such Realpolitik, tends to be the exception
rather than the rule”. This statement is also applicable to Prussia. Centred in Realpolitik are utilitarian and
pragmatic considerations. In order to apply this to Bismarck it ought
to be emphasized that Prussian conservatives developed a romantic view of transnational
solidarity against liberalism and its idea of a “Rechtsstaat”, or state of law. The German liberals were, in their turn, preoccupied
with the idea of this Rechtsstaat and how to realize it. Bismarck wasn’t preoccupied with these ideals,
but with the actuality. Just like Machivalli he realized: power is
the essence of politics, or in his words: “Macht geht vor Recht”. To deal with power in this respect it assumes
a rational thought process. This rationality detaches current events from
emotions, ideologies and, to a certain degree, even morality. Friedrich Meinecke, a historian, claims that
a realist has to detach himself from his emotions, personal preferences and aversions. He ought to pursue the safeguarding of the
common good. As such, a Realpolitiker has to have an objectieve
view of the current situation. One of the many examples that underline this
phenomenon in Bismarck was said by his contemporary, Henrich von Treitschke, a politician and idol
among German professors. Treitschke belonged to a small group of liberals
that were converted to conservatism by Bismarck. In Treitschke’s words: “I think it is
horrible the most important Prussian Minister of Foreign Affairs (Bismarck) has been the
most hated man of German.” Yet, after Treitschke had met Bismarck, he
recounted: “Of all moral powers in the world, Bismarck does not even hold the smallest whim”. … Bismarck generally did not let himself
be influenced by emotions, moral considerations or ideologies. The two components of realpolitik I’ll apply
to Bismarck’s politics during the German unification are the sober consciousness of
oneself (as a state) on the international playing field and the capacity to envision
the near, and far future in order to create cost-benefit analysis and create a policy
that will be the most beneficial to the state. And, well, Bismarck certainly pursued that
type of politics. Bismarck the Politician One of Bismarck’s famous sayings goes like
this: “A statesman does not create the stream of time, he floats on it and tries to steer”. His conviction that power was the most important
asset in politics is often seen in his sayings as well: “Those that stand weakest in war,
are most prone to give up. Tohse that isolate themselves, lose influence,
especially as the weakest of the Great Powers (Prussia in this case)”. On the 30th of September 1862, Bismarck gave
his first speech to the Reichstag. In it, he said the great questions of their
time would not be decided by majority decisions and debate, but – ‘Sondern durch Eisen und
Blut’, or by iron and blood. The Revolutions nearly 15 years prior of 1848
made a great impression on Bismarck. In order to understand Bismarck as a politician
I want to look at his personal idea of objectivity, his loyalties, German ‘nationalism’ and
his ultimate goal. The Natural Scientist Bismarck In 1874, 3 years after German unification,
Bismarck spoke to the Reichstag in a very telling speech. He told the Reichstag: “I am a disciplined
statesman that subordinates himself fully to the needs and demands of the state, all
in light for peace and prosperity of my country”. There are more speeches and diary entries
by Bismarck where he convinces the reader that Prussia’s monarchy, or his conviction
the world is steered by a divine power, are not up to scrutiny in his world. It’s nearly altruistic, don’t you think? He’s convinced he sacrifices himself for
a greater good. Footnotes should be drawn, as plenty historians
agree Bismarck was projecting his own ambitions and desires onto the Prussian state and ‘God’s
will’. It relieved him of any shame or guilt in his
ruthless mission to power. He was always able to justify it to the public:
he fought for the Prussian monarchy, and later the German nation. That footnote isn’t to say Bismarck didn’t
attempt to be as objective and realistic as possible. He often compared himself to a natural scientist. To a colleague, he wrote: “I try my best
to approach my official tasks with the greatest possible objectivity and correctness”. He concluded: “To achieve the greatest political
gain, it ought to be pursued with the greatest possible objectivity. To the statesman, as well as the natural scientist,
the only trustworthy guide is rationality.” He certainly suppressed his own convictions
and emotions, as in his words: “Even the king does not have the right to subordinate
the interests of the country to his own personal feelings of hatred or love.” So… there isn’t a set political strategy
Bismarck pursued, more something that resembles a general political technique that Bismarck
adhered to in order to maximize his gains in the dangerous game of politics. In essence, at all times Bismarck held multiple
irons in the fire. He ensured political flexibility, the option
to always choose a different path if it suited him better. A contemporary from Bavaria managed to put
it into words: “In major domestic and foreign affairs and questions Prince Bismarck likes
to provide himself with an alternative in order to be able to decide the same in one
of two opposed directions.” Bismarck was continuously aware of the changing
circumstances around him, and managed to display great flexibility in adjusting to these situations. Bismarck’s Realpolitik: Schleswig War (1864) So… It took a while but we have arrived at the
wars that Bismarck became famous for. In 1864 the Danish King Frederick the 7th,
against the Protocols of London, attempted to push a new constitution to the domains
of Schleswig and Holstein. Considering the majority of the population
was German, a nationalist reaction from, mainly the smaller German states, erupted. The suppressed Germans within these 2 domains
had the right to self-determination. After all, the Protocols of London said they
could. Bismarck approached this event with the intention
to annex both provinces. While annexing them didn’t have the absolute
priority, it was the “best result could come from this dispute.” Now here’s where we get to the first glimpse
of Bismarck’s Realpolitik. Characteristic for this event was the resistance,
from noble convictions, that Bismarck experienced among his colleagues and peers after he told
them of his proposed approach. During a meeting of the crown, Wilhelm I “lifted
his arms up as if he was doubting my sanity”, Bismarck later reminisced. Prussian did not have a rightful claim over
these duchies, which was made very clear to Bismarck by Wilhelm. The King stuck to his ‘romantic ideal’
of conservative solidarity and sovereignty of the government of both duchies. Bismarck’s proposals were controversial
to the degree that Wilhelm ordered to have them erased from the minutes of the meeting. After all, Bismarck certainly wouldn’t want
to have the world know about his preposterous ideas. The contrary turned out to be true: Bismarck
personally made sure his utterings were replaced. With great skill and dexterity Bismarck manipulated
the situation. Eventually, the crown council agreed to a
war. Bismarck saw this diplomatic campaign as his
magnum opus: regardless of the complex relation with the Austrian empire, he managed to goad
them into an alliance so both great powers could wage war on the much smaller Denmark. The Schleswig war was a fact. It didn’t take too much effort for Prussia
and Austria to crush Denmark. Following their victory, Bismarck managed
to place the duchies under both Austrian Habsburg and Prussian Hohenzollern control. Prussia received Schleswig, and Austria received
Holstein: a duchy that was far removed from its territory, isolated by Prussia. Friction between Austria and Prussia over
these duchies allowed Bismarck with a new trump card. A situation could be created where Austrian
interference in the small German kingdoms, and certainly Prussia, could forever be removed. Bismarck was one of the few men that wanted
to exploit this opening. His colleagues weren’t supportive of his
plan. Bismarck started pressuring his colleagues
in the crown council, and Wilhelm himself, to annex both dutchies, as this would ensure
the “definitive consolidation of Prussian territory”. It would lead to an inevitable war with Austria. Bismarck’s primary goal was to push back Austria
that had interfered in political issues among the German states for centuries, by establishing
a Northern German Bund. Creating this Bund, or confederation, meant
dethroning, or at least curtailing the power of many German princes and kings. As for the Catholic southern German states,
they weren’t too eager to join a Germany united under Prussia. As you can imagine, there was fierce resistance
against Bismarck’s plans. Even from his colleagues, and the King himself. King Wilhelm was extremely fierce in his resistance:
“There is no talk yet of war, let alone of dethroning German princes”. Bismarck tactfully used diplomacy, or rather
lack thereof, to bait Austria into a war. Eventually, two mistakes by the Austrian Minister
of Foreign Affairs, Count Alexander von Mensdorff, led to the direct reason for Wilhelm to declare
war on the Austrian Empire. The Crown Prince of Prussia opposed the war
as well, considering it ‘fratricide’. Hence the name Bruderkrieg, for the war that,
in my opinion, perfectly shows Bismarck’s cunning political genius and Realpolitik approach. Bismarck’s Realpolitik: The Bruderkrieg
(1866) So, when 2 years after the Schleswig war the
Brudgerkrieg between Austria and Germany erupted, Bismarck wrote to the commander of Prussian
forces, General Helmuth von Moltke: “The goal is to have Austria agree with the new
German constitution we want to install. Containing ourselves to Northern Germany allows
for understanding from southern German states, mainly Bavaria, as well.” Austria didn’t adhere to the Gastein Convention
that had been agreed upon in the wake of the Schleswig war: it allowed Holstein’s diet
to convene. Finally, King Wilhelm was convinced of the
necessity of war: Austria didn’t adhere to its agreements. In his words “Treachery by Austria is followed
with lies, and lies are followed with the violation of good faith. So, had Bismarck steered towards a war with
Austria from the moment the Schleswig war was over? After all, he wanted to push Austria out of
Prussian, and German, affairs. Well, he had undoubtedly realized the potential
of a war with Austria. Yet, early in his career Bismarck was in favour
of an agreement with Austria, where Germany would be divided by the Main. A north and south Germany, if you will. Bismarck considered this possibility far after
tensions between Prussia and Austria reached a near boiling point. Even in May 1866, as war with Austria seemed
inevitable, Bismarck repeated his offer to Ludwig von Gablenz, an Austrian general. Until the very last moment, when the troops
finally clashed in battle, Bismarck retained this trump card, in the event of king Wilhelm
not willing to wage war, or if French intervention would make war with Austria too risky. Yet again, Bismarck had multiple irons in
the fire. The chronology and events of the Bruderkrieg
is fascinating, I mean, Austria got crushed within 7 weeks and it featured the battle
of Königgratz that certainly speaks to the imagination. But the fascinating aspect for this analysis
is what happened behind the scenes in its aftermath. After Prussia had, unexpectedly might I add,
defeated the Austrian empire, the only question that remained was ‘how far will it go to
demand concessions from Austria?’ In Berlin there was speculation about the
absolute necessity of annexing Saxony and Bavaria, two southern German states. Let alone other alluring annexations. Some politicians even wanted to push through
to Vienna and perhaps Hungary. Prussia had won, after all, and should exploit
this victory. A basic assumption about Realpolitik would
assume that the logical result of such a landslide victory would mean exploiting it to the greatest
extent. And here’s where Bismarck truly shines:
he did exactly the opposite. He used strategic restraint. And mind you, literally no one at the Prussian
court was happy he did so. Lothar Gall describes Bismarck’s actions
as “Retreating at the moment of victory”. Previously I mentioned how part of Realpolitik
is an awareness of oneself on the international playing field, and the ability to foresee
both the short- and long term future. Bismarck was very well aware of all elements
and how his actions would be perceived by other countries. If King Wilhelm and the Prussian military
command got what they wanted, the Prussian army would end up taking Vienna, or enter
Hungary even. Such a frontal assault would certainly disturb
Europe’s equilibrium and would have resulted in hostile climates in Paris, Moscow and London,
if not immediately a foreign intervention. Bismarck was aware of this, and thus whilst
he aggressively pursued the war, he now had Austria where he wanted them, and showed restraint. King Wilhelm, the Prussian Military high command
and Prussian ambassadors had other plans, however. Ambassadors in Paris and München complained
about the fact Bismarck didn’t want to consolidate the unification of Germany. Whilst some argue about military inferiority,
it becomes pretty evident when reading about this that the Prussian high command was fully
convinced of their military superiority. Paul Kennedy nuances this by stating that
several mistakes were made, yet the Prussian victory was incredible for the morale. Many of Bismarck’s colleagues were led by
their emotions – a swift victory led to impulsive, short-sighted and dangerous ambition. Jonathan Steinberg describes Bismarck’s
worries during this time: “he felt as if he was playing cards with a million Frank,
that wasn’t really his money.” Bismarck’s ‘card game’ had played out
great so far, now it was his mission to ensure Prussia wouldn’t outplay itself. Why wasn’t Austria invaded? So Bismarck didn’t follow the King and military
high command in their wish for concessions. But why? As a vassal of the Prussian king and a monarchist
if any, wasn’t his priority the expansion of Prussia? Bismarck realized Austria should become an
ally instead of an enemy. If Prussia alienated Austria, it could enter
an alliance with the much hated France, or even more hated Russia, a former partner Austria
had horribly betrayed during the Crimean war. In his memoires, written in 1890, Bismarck
reflects on the situation: “I attempted to make clear one cannot lethally wound someone
when he has to live with them in the future.” King Wilhelm responded: “My first minister
(Bismarck) is a deserter in the eyes of the enemy, and he forces me into this humiliating
peace”. This exchange of words between Wilhelm and
Bismarck were the most serious during their relationship. Eventually, after Bismarck threatened to resign
as Prussia’s prime minister, and the subsequent intervention of the Crown prince, King Wilhelm
accepted the peace Bismarck proposed. The Southern German states of Bavaria, Baden
and Württemberg remained independent but had to sign a treaty of alliance. When the representative of Bavaria was told
of these very mild demands, it is said he burst into tears and hugged Bismarck. Peace with Austria was established, without
annexations and without a victory parade. According to Steinberg this was Bismarck’s
pinnacle in human and diplomacy terms. In a letter Bismarck wrote to his wife, six
days after the victory, he wrote: “I have the thankless task of reminding people we’re
not on our own in Europe, but with three other great powers that hate us and are jealous
of us”. In his memoires, he reminisces: “I had the
greatest possible difficulty with getting the King into Bohemia, and the greatest possible
difficulty getting him out again.” This sentence certainly describes this precarious
situation and it makes it all the more commendable he was able to, and foresaw Austria was a
crucial ally in the war that would follow with France, 4 years later. The aftermath of the Bruderkrieg highlights
Bismarck’s Realpolitik sentiment. Previously, people could have argued Bismarck
was an expansionist which is why he was fighting with his colleagues. All doubt is now removed: his cost-benefit
analysis was on another level than most of his colleagues. The irony is in the fact he pursued an aggressive
policy in attempting to get Prussia into this war, and once it was won, to restrain it. The Franco-German War & Epilogue The battle for German reign was nearly finished. The question now posed itself: who was superior
in Western Europe. Was it Prussia, or an increasingly nervous
and suspicious France? Nearing the end of the 1860s both countries
were weighing their chances. France seemed the strongest: its population
was larger and the French army had the best rifle available at that moment: the Chassepot
and mitrailleuse. Its navy outmatched Prussia by a lot. Not just that, but it was very likely Austro-Hungary,
as it was now called, and Italy would come to France’s aid if war were to break out. When in July 1870 the conflict reached its
boiling point and war seemed inevitable, few French doubted the outcome of the war. The swift victory of Prussia ended this fantasy. On the 4th of september the French army surrendered
at Sedan and Napoleon III became a prisoner of war. In Paris, the imperial army was overthrown. Prussia had now truly established itself as
a European great power: ‘Europe had lost a mistress and gained a master’, in Kennedy’s
words. The consequence of this war was, among other
things, the unification of Germany in the Kleindeutsche staat and annexation of Alsace-Lorraine. Bismarck pushed Prussian King Wilhelm to be
crowned in the Hall of Mirrors of Versailles as the Kaiser of the new German Reich. The annexation and coronation of Wilhelm were
the reason for French revanchism, which would be one of the reasons for the First World
War. Realpolitik and Bismarck’s neutral and objective
vision seems to be completely absent. There is a reason why many historians refer
to Bismarck’s decisions over here as the ‘single greatest mistake of his lengthy
political career’. I don’t think they’re all too wrong. Nevertheless, in the words of Hans Morgenthau:
Rationality is the exception, rather than the rule. Perhaps even for Bismarck. Thank you for watching this video, I hope
you found it interesting! This was based on a paper I wrote in university. It was extremely interesting to research this
topic again. Prussian and German history provides such
a fruitful ground for fascinating political analysis and historical research that it is
something you’ll see much more on this channel. I’ll see you next week, don’t forget to
subscribe, see you next time!

Tamara Keith and Joshua Johnson on Trump and recession fears, gun safety momentum


And that brings us to Politics Monday. I’m here with Tamara Keith from NPR. She also co-hosts “The NPR Politics Podcast.” And Joshua Johnson, also from NPR, he’s the
host of “1A.” Welcome to you both, Politics Monday. It’s nice to have the public media gang around
the table here. (LAUGHTER) JOSHUA JOHNSON, National Public Radio: The
way it should be. Power to public media. (LAUGHTER) WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Joshua, let’s talk about
— we saw some of the leading candidates and what they were up to this past weekend. But there are still a dozen-plus candidates
who are trying to break out, to get their head above water, to get their name known. What do you make of the different efforts
that these candidates are trying out? JOSHUA JOHNSON: Well, it is kind of hard for
me to draw comparisons, because 2020 is going to be so different from 2016. You have got these debates, which have already
started to have a little bit of a built-in attrition effect, where fund-raising and individual
campaign contributions are going to play a factor. So we will see some attrition from that, if
people just aren’t able to marshal enough grassroots support. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Right. JOSHUA JOHNSON: Also, we’re in a different
calendar. Iowa, New Hampshire are typically important,
but California is part of Super Tuesday. And as a former San Franciscan, and I’m really
interested to see if people on the West Coast are able to say, uh-uh, we want to pull the
party in this direction, and blow the whole field up with one set of votes. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Right. That would be huge, California. JOSHUA JOHNSON: It would be. And, also, the Democrats are trying to learn
the lesson of 2016 and make sure every single demographic that they have an inroads in shows
up to the polls. The last thing they want is to have a series
of edge cases in 2020 that allowed Donald Trump to be reelected. So, part of it, it’s just retail stuff politics
of trying to get people to like me. And I think part of it is also just getting
Democrats to say, no matter who the nominee is, I will show up in November. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Tam, we saw a couple of
big proposals out of Bernie and, to a lesser degree, Elizabeth Warren over the weekend. Again, issues — they seem to be wanting to
make this an issue-driven campaign. Is that really the strategy? TAMARA KEITH, National Public Radio: Certainly
for the primary. All the candidates — almost all of them have
a lot of plans. If even — you go to Andrew Yang’s Web site,
he has, like, 100 different proposals on different things. Elizabeth Warren, her campaign slogan is essentially
she’s got a plan for that. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Right. TAMARA KEITH: Bernie Sanders, of course, had
this criminal justice plan that he came out with. And so, yes, this is a campaign where, in
the primary, they are talking about plans. But here’s the thing about the general election. President Trump has shown virtually no interest
in policy details at any point in his presidency, and certainly in his campaign. So the idea that there could be a debate where
they would stand up there and really trade ideas… WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Hash the complexities of
climate change or something. TAMARA KEITH: It’s not going to happen that
way. But in terms of sending a signal about what
you care about in the Democratic primary field, a way to send a signal to voters that you
care, that you feel what they’re feeling is to have a plan for that. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Joshua, one of the things
that the president seems to be signaling too is that he does seem to be nervous that an
economic downturn could imperil his chances. I think, at a rally last week, he said something
like, if you all don’t reelect me, the economy is going to go in the toilet. JOSHUA JOHNSON: Your 401(k)s are going to
go belly up. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Exactly. JOSHUA JOHNSON: Yes. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That is the axiom of politics,
that the economy determines who wins the presidency. Do you still believe that that’s true? JOSHUA JOHNSON: Well, kind of. It’s not just the economy. And I agree with Kai Ryssdal that the stock
market is not the economy. It’s the way that institutional investors
view the economy. I think it’s more about prosperity. Remember what Donald Trump’s whole ethos,
his whole image was in 2016: I’m a billionaire. I’m a businessman. I know how to get stuff done. I’m going to make deals for the American people. My prosperity becomes your prosperity. Make America great again. So, insofar as his base feels like it is yet
prosperous under a Trump administration and can continue to prosper, regardless of the
tariffs and the negotiations with China, everything else, he’s probably still OK. I think it has more to do with sentiment. Abraham Lincoln once said, with public — with
public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed. So, as long as the sentiment is there, as
long as the feeling that, we’re still going to be prosperous, yes, he tweets too much,
yes, I wish he wouldn’t spar with the media so much, but I’m still doing OK economically,
he may be just fine, despite all of these indicators. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Is that your sense about
this too, Tam? TAMARA KEITH: Yes, a lot of Trump voters I
talk to say that very thing. Like, he could tweet less. I don’t like some of the things he says. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Soften the edges a little. TAMARA KEITH: But look at my 401(k). Well, if your 401(k) — if you looked at your
401(k) last Thursday, the same day that he had that rally that I covered, then you might
be a little bit concerned. And if there is really a recession coming
— and there’s no way at this very moment to know that — and at the moment there’s
historically low unemployment and all these other things — that is a real — a recession
is an incredibly hard thing to run on. And that is why he is concerned. That is why a White House official told me
that they are — the official didn’t say that this is why they are doing it, but a White
House official did say that they are considering other potential tax cuts. And that — the reason the president is badgering
his own Fed chairman on Twitter demanding a rate cut and quantitative easing is because
the president is concerned about what a potential economic downturn, slowdown or recession could
do for his reelection chances. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: I want to turn to the issue
of guns. We’re just two weeks after El Paso and Dayton. In the immediate aftermath of those tragedies,
as we have seen so many times, there was talk of background checks and red flag laws, and
let’s take those high-capacity magazines out of circulation. But now it already seems, 14 days out, that
that talk is starting to dissipate. The president was asked about this just the
other day. Let’s take a listen to what he had to say. DONALD TRUMP: Congress is working on that. They have bipartisan committees working on
background checks and various other things. And we will see. I don’t want people to forget that this is
a mental health problem. But just remember this, big mental problem. And we do have a lot of background checks
right now. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Joshua, it seems like we’re
already moving to sort of sequester this as not an issue that we’re really going to worry
about, or talk about, or legislate anything about. JOSHUA JOHNSON: Well, this — we have come
to this before. I mean, remember the mass shooting in Las
Vegas, and we talked about banning bump stocks. There are also a few different factors here. One is that the students from Parkland are
not quiet about this at all. They’re still working behind the scenes. So I think the grassroots piece of this may
manifest. Two is the fact that there was such a strong
racially hateful component to the El Paso shooting, which brings up all these other
cultural fault lines that also have to do with the president and his rhetoric. So that makes this a little bit hotter. The third one is the mental health component. There’s no evidence to substantiate that people
with any kind of mental health issue are more likely to commit murder. And then, when we talk about mental health,
where’s the threshold? Are you talking about someone who’s been diagnosed,
who’s being treated, who’s being medicated? For what medication? Are you going to screen people beforehand? Does that mean they can buy certain kinds
of guns? What kinds of guns? Do you take the ones they have? I mean, I don’t talk about this much, but
I take medication for anxiety and depression and have since the beginning of the year. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Right. Should you be denied access to a gun? JOSHUA JOHNSON: Right. Am I not allowed to own a firearm because
I take Klonopin and Wellbutrin? And then why? And then how do I appeal it? It just — it begins to become a rabbit hole
that may have legitimate policy answers. But is that really where we want to go? And is that where the debate falls apart? If you are a strong supporter of the Second
Amendment, is that the hole you want to end up in? Or do you want to focus on your right to own
a firearm? It just feels like it has the potential to
degenerate into details, and then everyone ignores gun violence again, until someone
else dies. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Joshua Johnson, Tamara Keith,
thank you both. TAMARA KEITH: You’re welcome. JOSHUA JOHNSON: You got it.

Understanding the Primaries: Delegates, Democracy, and America’s Nonstop Political Party


Good morning, Hank. It’s Tuesday. and I have strep throat which I rate 0/10 not recommended. so your video about the political situation in Brazil made me think about the political situation here in the United States specifically the tortuously long, Kafka-esque process through which the two major political parties in the United States determine their nominees for President. delving deeply into the whole sorted affair would take like a month so today we’re just going to look at one state: Missouri last week the people of Missouri voted in their presidential primaries and on the Republican side, Donald Trump beat Ted Cruz statewide by about .19 percent And on the democratic side, Hilary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders by a similar margin But what actually matters for becoming your party’s nominee is not how many votes
you get but how many delegates are pledged to you because the nominees are
not actually chosen by voters. They are chosen by delegates at the party’s national
conventions in July. The Republicans are meeting in Cleveland the Democrats in
Philadelphia. On the Republican side there will be 2473 of these delegates voting at the
convention and on the Democratic side there will be 4765-ish. It depends a little bit on if anybody dies. Right, so despite
only winning the statewide primary by point two percent Hilary Clinton
emerged from Missouri with 47 delegates to Bernie Sanders’ 35. In fact, she would have won more delegates
than Sanders even if she lost by .2 percent because the Missouri Democratic
Party has named 13 so-called super delegates who can support whomever they
want at the convention and most of them have endorsed Clinton. Missouri’s
super-delegates include the state’s governor Jay Nixon, Senator Claire
McCaskill, and like other prominent members of the state’s Democratic Party. Then there are the 71 delegates who actually represent Missouri’s Democratic
primary voters. By state party rule, their votes are split proportionately according to
the results, so if Clinton had gotten a hundred percent of the vote, she would have
gotten all 71 delegates, but she just barely beat Sanders, so instead she got
36 delegates to his 35. This year in Missouri there were about 8,800 democratic votes for each of these
71 pledged delegates. Which means that at the party’s convention in Philadelphia Governor Jay
Nixon will have, you know, around 8800 times more power than the
average Democratic voter in Missouri, and not to belabor the obvious or anything,
that’s not a power distribution generally associated with the word
democracy. But wait, there’s more! Over on the Republican side Donald Trump beat Ted Cruz very narrowly statewide, but emerged with 37 delegates to Cruz’s 15.
And John Kasich, who got ten percent of the vote, won no delegates at all. But it
wasn’t all bad news for Kasich, because on the same day in Ohio, he got 47
percent of the Republican vote but all of the state’s 66 delegates.That’s because the
rules of the Republican state party in Ohio dictate that whoever gets the most
votes gets all the delegates, whereas the rules created by the State party in
Missouri dictate that if no one gets 50 percent, the winner gets twelve delegates, and then
five delegates go to the winner of each of Missouri’s eight congressional
districts. Trump won the state and five of the congressional districts ergo 37
delegates. Alright, this is going to get a little complicated: bit of context for
non-Americans: there are 435 congressional districts in the United States. Each of
these districts elects a congressperson every two years who goes to Washington and
fails to pass a budget. Presumably they also do other things but the main thing is to
make sure that we don’t accidentally pass a budget. Each state gets a certain
number of congressional districts based on their population, and after the 2010
census it was determined that a smaller percentage of Americans lived in
Missouri so they lost a congressional district. While fast growing states like Arizona
and Florida gain districts but this losing a district offered the state of
Missouri an opportunity to redraw its congressional boundaries. Back in 2010 there
were six congressional districts represented by Republicans and 3
represented by Democrats. If one of those had to go, the Republicans obviously
wanted it to be a majority Democratic district which is what happened because
1- they control the state legislature and 2 – one of the democratic congress people
helped them because in that process his district became even more democratic. You know, now he’s less likely to lose his job. Today congressional districts in
Missouri are drawn mostly in a way that makes the elections within them extremely
lopsided. Like in 2014 the first congressional district of Missouri voted
73 percent to 21 percent for the Democrat. The third district meanwhile
voted 68 percent to 27 percent for the Republican, et cetera. But per Republican state party rules, no matter which
district you win you get the same five delegates. Like in Missouri’s 1st congressional district
about 34,000 republican votes were cast in the 7th district it was closer to
150,000. So just by virtue of living in the first district instead of the seventh, your
Republican primary vote is five times more powerful. In short Hank, all of this is
extremely complicated and none of it is particularly democratic, at least not in
a straightforward way we usually imagine democracy. Political
parties are weird institutions in the United States, like, they’re simultaneously
public organizations and private clubs. They make their own rules, the rules are
constantly changing, but in many cases the rules are regulated by the states.
And political parties are powerful, but only insofar as their supporters allow
them to have power. Also they don’t really have card-carrying members, but almost
every national elected figure belongs to one of them. Now some of this is a legacy from
a time when the United States was openly suspicious of what we now call voting
rights. I mean, for most of American history, most adults couldn’t vote and
political parties served partly as a check against revolution or radical
change. In fact, the nominating process has become much more democratic over time. Like as
recently as 1968 only 34 percent of Republican delegates were chosen by
primaries, and only 38 percent of Democratic delegates. And for the last 10 election cycles,
in both parties, the person with the most overall primary and caucus support has
also been the eventual nominee. But that may not be the case this year, and it
remains to be seen who will actually wield the power when the party and the
people disagree. Hank, I’ll see you on Friday.

Tamara Keith and Amy Walter on Biden’s outlook, House Democratic divisions


JUDY WOODRUFF: And it’s time for Politics
Monday. I’m back with our regular team, Amy Walter
of The Cook Political Report and the host of “Politics With Amy Walter” on WNYC Radio. And Tamara Keith of NPR, she also co-hosts
the “NPR Politics” podcast. Hello to both of you, Politics Monday. So let’s talk about Joe Biden first of all,
Tam. And that is his apology, as we reported, some
days after he made the reference. And then, in the debate, he was confronted
by Kamala Harris. Is it working, is it going to work for him
at this stage to say, I made a mistake? TAMARA KEITH, National Public Radio: He has
dominated the news cycle of the Democratic primary for three weeks, and not necessarily
in the way you want to dominate the news cycle, because, as you say, first, it was his comments
about the segregationists. Now, he said that he found them despicable,
but that he could work with them. But then the debate and then the aftermath
of the debate. So with this speech, he wasn’t just apologizing. He was also trying to get out ahead of something
where he has been behind for weeks. And he was trying to paint a broader picture
about his record related to criminal justice and other issues of race, trying to get ahead
of it. It is not clear yet whether it will work. Clearly, his opponents in the Democratic race
see an opportunity. And they are taking it. JUDY WOODRUFF: Does it look like a successful
strategy to you? AMY WALTER, The Cook Political Report: Well,
I agree with Tam that when — the classic line in politics is, when you are explaining,
you are losing, right? And so he spent a lot of time explaining. And that has really been the question about
Joe Biden from the very beginning, which is, how much explaining for his 40-year record
is he going to have to do during this campaign? Can he make one sort of blanket statement
and move on? And he tried to do a little bit in that South
Carolina speech, which is to say, look, when I came to the Senate, I was 29 years old. A lot has changed in this country over those
last many years. A lot has changed within the Democratic Party. I have changed too. He said, I have witnessed incredible change. And I have changed also. I have grown, and that is a good thing. But the challenge wasn’t so much his voting
record. It was how he characterized working with segregationists. And, also, his theory of the case in this
race is — is difficult, right? What he’s counting on is that there is a bigger
constituency in the Democratic Party for somebody who’s willing to work across the aisle, for
someone who’s willing to be a compromiser, for somebody who’s willing to sort of stick
within the system, rather than trying to blow up the system. And African-American voters are a key, key
element to his success. It’s why he’s the front-runner right now. But we’re starting to see that vote splinter
away. JUDY WOODRUFF: And that’s what I want to ask
you all about, because, as we just showed, and as we just heard in Yamiche’s report,
Tam, you had a parade of a number of candidates talking about home — homeownership, talking
about ways to redress economic disparity in the African-American community. Is that the way they win over voters, by talking
about these substantive issues? TAMARA KEITH: It’s certainly one way. But the other thing that African-American
voters and all voters in the Democratic primary continue to be looking for is, who’s the one
who can win? Who’s the one who can beat President Trump? And that has been such a critical part of
Joe Biden’s case, where, even in the debate, he was the — all of the candidates were asked,
what’s the first thing you will do as president? And he says, beat Donald Trump. And so part of what has happened with this
three weeks is that the idea of Biden as the most electable candidate is starting to erode. And if you go back to 2008, Hillary Clinton
had the African-American vote, until she didn’t, until it became clear to those voters that
Barack Obama, now President Obama, former President Obama, could be the one who could
go all the way. AMY WALTER: Yes. And I agree with that. And I also think the challenge right now if
you’re Joe Biden, in terms of holding onto those voters, policy becomes important. And I think — I remember right after a conference
that was held for African-American women, talking to people who hosted that conference,
folks who were in the audience that said, part of the reason that Elizabeth Warren did
so well with this audience is because she was so well-versed on the policy and the issues. But, yes, beating Donald Trump number one,
but also being in touch with and seeming well-prepared for questions about the lives and the concerns
of a very, very important constituency. JUDY WOODRUFF: Which — and Elizabeth Warren
was, as we see, going into a lot of detail on these things this weekend. AMY WALTER: That’s right. That’s right. JUDY WOODRUFF: The other thing that’s going
on among Democrats — or you should say between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez,
Tam, is — I don’t know what you call it. It’s not a feud, but it is certainly, shall
we say, an expression of different views on what the Democratic Party stands for. And you have the — Nancy Pelosi gave an interview
to Maureen Dowd of The New York Times in which, among other things, she was somewhat dismissive
of the younger and more progressive liberal members of her caucus. Is this a split that we should take seriously? Is it just a momentary disagreement, blip? How should we see this? TAMARA KEITH: Well, there is an expression
about herding cats. And Democrats are often like herding cats. They have a lot of different views. And Nancy Pelosi, as the speaker, has had
this role where she has tried to herd the cats. And one of the challenges here is that Pelosi
is thinking about the entire Democratic Caucus, conference in the House. She’s thinking about all those people who
were just elected in 2018 in districts that were held by Republicans before. And then the more progressive Democrats who
are frustrated with this, they were elected in really safe Democratic seats. They have different — they have different
equities. They have different things that they’re worried
about. AMY WALTER: Yes, the majorities are built
on moderates and swing seats, and Republicans lost control last year by losing those swing
districts. Democrats lost control in 2010 by losing those
swing districts. It’s also the reality now that we, as we’re
watching American voters become more partisan and more polarized, it’s happening in Congress,
too. There used to be a time when, for both parties,
there would be folks within their party that represented districts that were very different
from the majority of people in that conference. But they all found a way to get along. And they were even willing to work with the
other party to pass legislation. (CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: We remember that. AMY WALTER: I am old enough to even remember
those days. TAMARA KEITH: And I remember that. AMY WALTER: But that doesn’t happen anymore. And so the challenge, I think, that Pelosi
and Biden — they’re both in this category of, the system can only work if we compromise,
the system can only work if we stay closer to the middle. That does — that sounds really out of touch
to a generation that grew up seeing only division. And if you grew up only watching President
Obama, who said, I can do this, I can heal the wounds, I can bring the country together,
bring the fever down, well, that didn’t work very well. And it’s certainly not working for Donald
Trump either. JUDY WOODRUFF: And it’s the generation that
says, we have got the energy, and we have got the firepower, and we’re the ones who
are going to turn people out to vote. AMY WALTER: That’s right. That’s right. That’s right, absolutely. JUDY WOODRUFF: Amy Walter, Tamara Keith, thank
you both. AMY WALTER: You’re welcome. TAMARA KEITH: You’re welcome.

Tamara Keith and Amy Walter on Biden's outlook, House Democratic divisions



JUDY WOODRUFF: And it's time for Politics
Monday. I'm back with our regular team, Amy Walter
of The Cook Political Report and the host of "Politics With Amy Walter" on WNYC Radio. And Tamara Keith of NPR, she also co-hosts
the "NPR Politics" podcast. Hello to both of you, Politics Monday. So let's talk about Joe Biden first of all,
Tam. And that is his apology, as we reported, some
days after he made the reference. And then, in the debate, he was confronted
by Kamala Harris. Is it working, is it going to work for him
at this stage to say, I made a mistake? TAMARA KEITH, National Public Radio: He has
dominated the news cycle of the Democratic primary for three weeks, and not necessarily
in the way you want to dominate the news cycle, because, as you say, first, it was his comments
about the segregationists. Now, he said that he found them despicable,
but that he could work with them. But then the debate and then the aftermath
of the debate. So with this speech, he wasn't just apologizing. He was also trying to get out ahead of something
where he has been behind for weeks. And he was trying to paint a broader picture
about his record related to criminal justice and other issues of race, trying to get ahead
of it. It is not clear yet whether it will work. Clearly, his opponents in the Democratic race
see an opportunity. And they are taking it. JUDY WOODRUFF: Does it look like a successful
strategy to you? AMY WALTER, The Cook Political Report: Well,
I agree with Tam that when — the classic line in politics is, when you are explaining,
you are losing, right? And so he spent a lot of time explaining. And that has really been the question about
Joe Biden from the very beginning, which is, how much explaining for his 40-year record
is he going to have to do during this campaign? Can he make one sort of blanket statement
and move on? And he tried to do a little bit in that South
Carolina speech, which is to say, look, when I came to the Senate, I was 29 years old. A lot has changed in this country over those
last many years. A lot has changed within the Democratic Party. I have changed too. He said, I have witnessed incredible change. And I have changed also. I have grown, and that is a good thing. But the challenge wasn't so much his voting
record. It was how he characterized working with segregationists. And, also, his theory of the case in this
race is — is difficult, right? What he's counting on is that there is a bigger
constituency in the Democratic Party for somebody who's willing to work across the aisle, for
someone who's willing to be a compromiser, for somebody who's willing to sort of stick
within the system, rather than trying to blow up the system. And African-American voters are a key, key
element to his success. It's why he's the front-runner right now. But we're starting to see that vote splinter
away. JUDY WOODRUFF: And that's what I want to ask
you all about, because, as we just showed, and as we just heard in Yamiche's report,
Tam, you had a parade of a number of candidates talking about home — homeownership, talking
about ways to redress economic disparity in the African-American community. Is that the way they win over voters, by talking
about these substantive issues? TAMARA KEITH: It's certainly one way. But the other thing that African-American
voters and all voters in the Democratic primary continue to be looking for is, who's the one
who can win? Who's the one who can beat President Trump? And that has been such a critical part of
Joe Biden's case, where, even in the debate, he was the — all of the candidates were asked,
what's the first thing you will do as president? And he says, beat Donald Trump. And so part of what has happened with this
three weeks is that the idea of Biden as the most electable candidate is starting to erode. And if you go back to 2008, Hillary Clinton
had the African-American vote, until she didn't, until it became clear to those voters that
Barack Obama, now President Obama, former President Obama, could be the one who could
go all the way. AMY WALTER: Yes. And I agree with that. And I also think the challenge right now if
you're Joe Biden, in terms of holding onto those voters, policy becomes important. And I think — I remember right after a conference
that was held for African-American women, talking to people who hosted that conference,
folks who were in the audience that said, part of the reason that Elizabeth Warren did
so well with this audience is because she was so well-versed on the policy and the issues. But, yes, beating Donald Trump number one,
but also being in touch with and seeming well-prepared for questions about the lives and the concerns
of a very, very important constituency. JUDY WOODRUFF: Which — and Elizabeth Warren
was, as we see, going into a lot of detail on these things this weekend. AMY WALTER: That's right. That's right. JUDY WOODRUFF: The other thing that's going
on among Democrats — or you should say between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez,
Tam, is — I don't know what you call it. It's not a feud, but it is certainly, shall
we say, an expression of different views on what the Democratic Party stands for. And you have the — Nancy Pelosi gave an interview
to Maureen Dowd of The New York Times in which, among other things, she was somewhat dismissive
of the younger and more progressive liberal members of her caucus. Is this a split that we should take seriously? Is it just a momentary disagreement, blip? How should we see this? TAMARA KEITH: Well, there is an expression
about herding cats. And Democrats are often like herding cats. They have a lot of different views. And Nancy Pelosi, as the speaker, has had
this role where she has tried to herd the cats. And one of the challenges here is that Pelosi
is thinking about the entire Democratic Caucus, conference in the House. She's thinking about all those people who
were just elected in 2018 in districts that were held by Republicans before. And then the more progressive Democrats who
are frustrated with this, they were elected in really safe Democratic seats. They have different — they have different
equities. They have different things that they're worried
about. AMY WALTER: Yes, the majorities are built
on moderates and swing seats, and Republicans lost control last year by losing those swing
districts. Democrats lost control in 2010 by losing those
swing districts. It's also the reality now that we, as we're
watching American voters become more partisan and more polarized, it's happening in Congress,
too. There used to be a time when, for both parties,
there would be folks within their party that represented districts that were very different
from the majority of people in that conference. But they all found a way to get along. And they were even willing to work with the
other party to pass legislation. (CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: We remember that. AMY WALTER: I am old enough to even remember
those days. TAMARA KEITH: And I remember that. AMY WALTER: But that doesn't happen anymore. And so the challenge, I think, that Pelosi
and Biden — they're both in this category of, the system can only work if we compromise,
the system can only work if we stay closer to the middle. That does — that sounds really out of touch
to a generation that grew up seeing only division. And if you grew up only watching President
Obama, who said, I can do this, I can heal the wounds, I can bring the country together,
bring the fever down, well, that didn't work very well. And it's certainly not working for Donald
Trump either. JUDY WOODRUFF: And it's the generation that
says, we have got the energy, and we have got the firepower, and we're the ones who
are going to turn people out to vote. AMY WALTER: That's right. That's right. That's right, absolutely. JUDY WOODRUFF: Amy Walter, Tamara Keith, thank
you both. AMY WALTER: You're welcome. TAMARA KEITH: You're welcome.