tv Inside Washington ABC December 22, 2013 9:00am-9:31am EST
what are you guys up to? >> trying to destroy him. if i endorse him, he is dead. tohas he lived up expectations? how has washington changed in the past 25 years? says nancy pelosi is poised to become the first woman speaker of the house. >> there is no wilngness on either side of the aisle to find common ground. >> a word on the quality of our democracy, institutions, and polics. heris charles i in october of 2006. >> when y you lose an election n america, people arare cruel. when you compound it by acting like an idiot afterwards, it is over. >> ♪
>> in 1988, the year in which this program began, ronald reagan was in the white house. william rehnquist was chief justice. republicans nominated vice president george herbert walker bush for president. democrats nominated massachusetts governor michael dukakis. president reagan visited the soviet union. gorbachev visited the united states. barack obama began his studies at harvard law school, hired on as a summer intern in chicago, anmet young lawyer named michelle robinson whom he later married. before he announced his candidacy, mark shields said this on "iide washington." >> i will say this about obama. he is genuine and spontaneous in the e field of teleprompter candidates. >> he has had not take --had to
take a position. when he becomes a cacandidate, they will go after him and take him down. he ought to enjoy this while he can. >> hillary has money and all the organization. he has something nobody else has had, the excitement factor. people go wow. >> that was about three mths before barack obama announced. as he ends is on the job, his poll numbers are plummeting. record numbers of americans disapprove of the way he's doing his job. the affordable care act is apparently in deep trouble. let's begin with our resident presidential historian. how will history treat barack obama? >> not well right now because he is too insular. he still has time left. he has got to get out of his shell and talk to a wider circle of advisers. he has got to be big. he has become small. 2006, on thatof
same progr, you appeared to be open-minded about barack obama. you have been in his company twice since then. whats your take on him now? > at the time, i did notnonow anythingbout him other than he was a charismatic speaker. he made a great speech at the 2004 democratic convention that elecified the count. it was a sign of his promise. i think his problem is he showed at charisma in that speech and in the 2008 campaign. it turns out you cannot govern a couny on charism >> your take seven years in a couple months later? unimportant.s not in theinal analysis, americans judge e presidenents not onn idy but on results. looks at ae presidenent or situation and sas what is right works. most americans are pragmatists and say what works is right.
, tripleeagan cut taxes the debt, and left with 65% approval. though clinton raised taxes, balanced the budget for the first timeme in 40 years, and lt with 65% approval -- after being impeached. inoth cases, ters looked at the results. they thougught the country was better off under each stewardship. that will be the judgment. if health care is working, he will be remembered positively. >> i'm going to say something noncontroversial. i think barack obama will be the most consequential president since franklin delano roosevelt. you look at the congressman's if you- complimiments -- look at his accomplishments alone, ronald reagan's approval ratings stayed low the first year. ll clinton was impeached and look at where he is today. take the long view.
if the affordable care act does ilrve, and i think it that is going to be a major achievement. look at things like energy independence. years, first time in 20 the united states is importing less energy from overseas. the banking industryry has been recapitalized. the auto industry has been saved. you can go down the list of solid accomplishments. historians will look back and say this is a major turning point. we have not even gotten to foreign policy or the wars he has pulled us out of. >> nina? >> the problem at the moment is obama a wonderful speech maker. i think he is also a man of considerable good judgment and a compliment, --.com punishment -- complishment, but his problem
is the doing of and execution of things. the public does not see that going particularly well. he has three more years or two more years plus until he is a total lame duck. he has brought back john podesta to help. outwardn start looking as my colleagues have suggested help,t non-chicicagago mafia people he is not so comfortable with but know what they are succeed in public adadministration in ways he has not at the moment. >> what about his relationship with the congress? >> disaster. >> his fault? >> partly. he's dealing with difficult people in the tea part but he has not made an effort to reach out.. he does not go up there. he does not play golf with them. he has not reached out. he has been too insular. he has withdrawn.
>> he called bob michael -- >> can we talk about the current scandal? >> let's make it clear what he di in 2006 givinga us a history lesson. how has washington chged in the past 25 years? in 1988, he wrote the 100th congress had been one of the most adopted in decades. people.congress has of ability the standard they have set is higher than constituents demand.
they are not content just to hold power. they want to exercise it. compare that to this congress. reid, the majority leader, said congress is as popular as cockroach. i have never seen a cockroach lobby. afterachange occurred 1988 and crystallized in the election of 1994 and people got elected by running against the job. in other words, i hate washington, i hate congress. therefore, likely to congress. it is the equivalent of someone applying to be a babysitter saying i have a masters in child psychology -- i hate children. but that has becomthe formula for getting elected and reelected. you spend less time in washington, not to know your colleagues, and take pride in that. you sleep on the offi couch and do not know anybody else.
>> we do have a scholar just on the panel --a psychologist on the panel. how would you characterize that? >> increasing medication perhaps. it is a classic trope to measure congress by how much it passes and the size of the bills. by that measure, the obama legislation is the most successful in history because it can sink a ship if you put all the pages on it. if you are the opposition and believe the administration is running the country in the wrong way, for example, imposing obamare when youou see it is going to be a train wreck -- that is a success of the congress. that i is not a failure. >> there are people who voted for regulation of the financial industry who then went a about trying to not enforce the law they just voted for. i think the root of much of this is money. we do not seem to have a way to
limit the amounts of money, who gives the money, how it is routed through congress, through various power centers, through outside groups who are increasingly not disclosed. that weecome such a web have billions of dollars that go into our campaigns. we do not know wherre it is from and we do not know how it is being used. it has some very unforeseen, to most people, consequences. >> citizens united, supreme court. >> stop looking for devils. we are the devils. the problem is tnspancy. now we have 24/7 new cycle. everything that is done is kwn instantly. if the passage of social security and medicare d been subjected to the same kind of news coverage we are giving the affordable care act act, we
would see the same kind of rollout problems. time when we had conferences on the hill, closed conferences. members could get together across party lines and work out things. now they cannot do that. thiss our business. we have covered this place like a blanket. we have put t these individuals and politicians into bes. they cannot get out because ofof the y we cover them. >> he is saying we have seen the enemy, and he is us. >> we have contributed to something that has hurt washington. that is the sense of moral superiority. people feel morally supeor to their fo n now. there was less of it. people were more willing to get together and not posture that they were morally superior. i think it has been almost fatal to w washington. of,he early era you spoke
to bone meal, the democratic speaker of the house, played golf course with bob michael, the republican leader othe house. the democratic speaker of the house, played golf with bob michael, the republican leader. money is pervasive and corrective. the agricultural leader r said when both parties take from the same sources financially it becomes difficult to distinguish any fferences in their policies. >> assessing
congress has passed just 57 bis this year. the 100th congress in session in 1988hen ththis program began past over 1000. republicans once considered staunch conservatives are leaving. the heritage foundation considered them less conservative than other housuse members. frank wolf less conservative? i do not t get it >> what you have had over the last 30 years is andeological polarirization of the country. there are fewer liberal or moderate republicans. there are fewer conservative democrats. in the 1970's there was the coalition for a democratic who were conservatives among democrats. there were liberals among republicans who have been n wipd out. parties are more ideological, polarized. we are seeing the reresult of tt on the hill. i would argue it is because
government has grown to a huge extent tweak aes in even a , that the so high size and scope of gernment is the central issue. the country is terribly split on that issue. >> is there a place that could come together? for example, this new report on the nsa. people on that panel are saying ey are poking in places they not need to. >> we're talking about tw different kind of problems. the reason we are seeing grlock is not so much the cause of the ideological divide. i think political redistricting has made this problem very apparent. whwhen state legislatures are making it ssible for districts to reflect an ideological perspective, that is what you're
going to get. the nsa business is something else. i think the genesis of that kind of problem is the same kind of thing we had after the cold war. the cold war led to the kind of behavior in government that ended up with oudemocracy being under real threat because of the lawwe passed t trying to get at the work of commusm. 9/11 has produced what we aree seeing now with the nsa. this is not to say is things are necessily wrong. but we are talkingng about respononses to external threats. in both cases, we have seen excesses. >> i am torn on this nsa thing. it sounds like they are doing too much. but we do t know the nature of the threat. i still do not know if they have successfully been able to shut down terrorist threats or if they do not really exist. >> do you want to take that chance, charles? >> is a balance. i i think it ought to be decided in congress.
we do not know some of the stuff people in congress know. i would rather have it decided by people in congress reesenting us than have judges rule one way or the other. i think if it is in congress, there will be some kind of compromise. >> that is probably true. but what has happedince 9/11 as technology has oututstripped even our wildest dreams of what we cou do. it does things we did not anticipate right after 9/11. we're going to have to comeo grips with that and what we want to do and not. >> we will wrap up 25 years
the minute ts came out, tip o'neill called -- the minute they f found out. the minute they found out there have been allegations. let me finish. >> there you are. spreading enlightenment several years ago. question, no hedging. who will be e next president? >> i do not want to answer that because i do not think there is anyway to answer that. what are you going to do? fire me? it is a little late. i want to say something to our viewers. it has been a wonderful time. when the presidential campaign was heating up with gennifer flowers in 1992,hat is when i began on "inside washington" when a guy named gordon peterson took a risk on me and made me "the girl." i have had such a wonderful time with my brothers and crime here. i assume this is not the last time i will be on television.
but i feel a special connection to the viewers so i wanted to use my time here to say that i wish you all the best in this wonderful new year. >> if we're going to get sentimental, i want to interrupt you. >> what else is new? >> gordon is one of the great anchors in this town. he has been one of the most wonderful hosts of the show you could have. i want to say all those times i savagely attacked you for bias and twisng the news -- i stand by every single one. [laughter] because the democrats -- >> he is answering my question! >> because a democratic nominee will never be able to replicate what barack obama has done. that is not a matter of preference. that is a matter of analysis. to my colleaes and the "inside washington" familily, i want to
leave you with these words. you are going from me, but in my memory ♪ -- weou will always be will always be together ♪ >> i have no idea who the next president is going to be. i do not sing. i know i will miss coming here talking to my friends about interesting stuff. >> mark? >> i am not quite as sanguine about president obama as colby. nyan government will announce officially on tueay they have a conclusively established barack obama was born in hawaii. rather than say one of the great anchors of washington, i will save the tracendent anchor. some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. marines do not have that
problem. gordon peterson is a marine. >> you were the best. >> thank you. let me say what a great privilege it has been to bring "inside washington" to you for the past 25 years and what an honor it has been to work with these five extraordinary, gifted, and wickedly funny and dedicated americans for the past several years. my eternal gratitude to them and my thanks to our audience for watching. here i how the political prize- winning cartoonist sees us. i want to thank matt for giving me a full head of hair. here are some of the folks who have made this possie over the years. our terrificoss, our great producers, our production manager, our