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tv   After Words Sen. Tammy Duckworth D-IL Every Day Is a Gift  CSPAN  April 12, 2021 3:01am-4:02am EDT

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>> the world changed in an instance. but internet traffic soared and we never slowed down. schools and businesses went first and we powered up a new reality. because of media, we are able to keep you ahead. a. >> along with these television companies supporting booktv on c-span2 and the public service. with booktv "after words" democratic senator tammy duckworth of illinois talks about her life and career as a military and u.s. senate. interviewed by politico congressional editor sure. >> thank you for joining us
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today, senator, to discuss your book. >> thank you for having me. i am excited to be here. >> i wanted to start, your entire life story is incredibly moving and has so many emotional moments. as a congressional editor, i loved the portion of the book where you say people tell me i'm the first senator to have a baby while in office. no, i'm the first to give birth while in office. senators have been having babies for years. so, the passages in the book are fantastic but i'm hoping you and i can have a counted conversation with that would look like on a personal level. we all know, more than others, it is a very tradition bound institution. how awkward was that talking through i think you actually used the phrase on the senate
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floor. >> as soon as i became pregnant, we began having the conversations because again, remember the senate even then when democrats were the minority, we were pretty evenly divided and i knew that we would need every single vote, so i couldn't take maternity leave and by the way the senate rule says i can't take maternity leave because if i do i can't introduce legislation, i can't vote or do anything. i couldn't even give birth in illinois where i wanted because if i was in illinois -- you couldn't take a newborn baby on an airplane so even for the beginning i knew we would have to work through a lot of issues including the senate rules. there's no way for me to get on the floor to vote with my baby unless they change the rules and
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there was a long process of negotiation with my chief of staff going back and forth first with, you know, orrin hatch who was the rules committee chair man and then roy blunt when he took over. >> what did that experience show and tell you about how far washington and the hill has to go to be feminist in terms of its ability to represent the concerns as you point out others raise children, tomac. a. >> exactly. one thing i learned is you can find allies in unexpected places. once the senators knew that i was having these conversations and negotiating, they were very traditional. orrin hatch was at the forefront of that as the rules committee chair man and we ask questions like where is the dress code going to be. and as a mom like are you
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seriously asking me whether a newborn baby is going to adhere to a senate dress code, arms covered, no hats. let's wear shoes and have a blazer. okay she wears a beanie. i'm not going to take that off. she will be in the 40 pajamas -- i have members that come up to me and say somebody that i've hardly ever agreed with on a number of things come up to me and say i'm with you. i will speak up for you and i wish i could have brought my kids to the floor and he understood we need to change the ways this is crazy and roy blunt said i'm going to be the next chair man. i'm going to change the rules because i remember when i was in the house how great it was to bring my children to the floor and literally within the same
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week she changed the rule for me. >> that is fascinating. another question that i had, i consider the photograph of you entering the building to vote, pretty iconic, holding your baby daughter. you've been in the public eye for so long. what extent did that feel so much different because it is now you as a public figure but also in the public eye. >> i am very jealous of guarding my daughter's privacy. when you see pictures of them, you will rarely see pictures where you can see their full face. sometimes you will see where the media has captured that but i almost never post pictures so you can see my children's faces because they deserve their privacy and they can decide whether they want to post pictures of themselves and on social media. but it was important for me to be seen going onto the floor as
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a working mom because we are fighting for working moms everywhere so it was about me and my daughter and iconic for all that work in the country as well to see the breakdown of that barrier so that i could show they have to fight to bring them to the floor to do the job. >> absolutely. and speaking of the common experiences women don't often talk about, you were candid in the book about ivf and how tough that was. that's something a lot of women are starting to share more and more and get rid of the unnecessary shame attached to it. i loved the way you talked about it very matter-of-fact and about your initial experience with a doctor in a catholic hospital who didn't give you your full options. you discuss in the book and i hope you can walk through sort of what that shows as somebody active in helping the policy to be more inclusive of the fertility options.
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>> prior to becoming a congresswoman, i was at the va and i also go for my healthcare. at the time they still had limited services. the hospital i go to happens to be a catholic institution that i didn't ever think about. i went for mammograms and things like that. when they referred me for maternity services, the doctor there didn't even examine me or take me to the clinics, just in a meeting room said you're 43-years-old, you're too old. fertility services won't work for you. you have less than a 3% chance of getting pregnant, so the best you can do is go home and enjoy your husband and send me on my
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way. not knowing anything about fertility treatments, i believed her. this is a doctor in a hospital i received excellent care at and it never occurred to me. i believed i was too old to get pregnant and i had been trying for ten years. i went home and of course my husband talked about going home and it wasn't until two or three years later i was speaking at a women in leadership seminar when a woman who was there, a question was asked how do you manage your work life balance and i said i try but i regret that i was never able to have children because i put off having children until my mid-30s and i struggled and couldn't get pregnant and now i'm too old. at this point i'm 44, 45 and a woman in the audience came up to me and said you're not too old. you're going to go to this doctor at northwestern hospital
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in chicago. he's talked to every single woman over 40 in chicago. you need to go to him. i sort of didn't believe her and was very polite but she continued to pester me every month so finally i went and when i went he's like if you work with me we will go through the process. there's always a way you can. he examined and walked me through the process. eighteen months to the day i was pregnant and write about this openly in the book because i don't want anybody to be misled the way that i was. i said i thought i couldn't get pregnant and i was too old. he said where did you go and he said that's typical of catholic institutions because the catholic church doesn't support in vitro fertilization techniques, ivf specifically because fertilization of an egg outside of the human body. he said that happens a lot.
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i included this in the book because i wanted other women, other families trying to start a family to know they have options. it is a struggle but it's worth it. anything is possible. >> incredible. i encourage all viewers to go read the book. but i'm wondering how you contextualize this recent story. there are very few members even some of the female senators that have experience in these choices. do you think about this as you are working or kind of separate from your work life? >> everything i've experienced i bring to work with me because it makes me a better public
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servant. i also tell my staff members as they go through their life and have experiences that they also should bring that with them. what's the point of being a united states senator if you seu can't work on your what i call passion projects. i've been working very hard on reproductive rights not just as a democratic woman that i've brought people's attention including many republican colleagues to the fact that if you support the personhood amendments where a fertilized egg is considered to be a person like many of the laws, you will make ivf in possible. my own dr. said to me if this passes i could be convicted of manslaughter when i put these fertilized eggs in you knowing probably two of them are not going to take because they are human beings with rights, so think about what you are doing when you pass legislation on
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reproductive access for women. so i bring that to the table and i wrote about it and i speak up often times it's not just about choice in terms of abortion but the choice to want to have children and it was beyond my grasp because of these laws that have unseen consequences most people don't even think about. >> you raised this issue and had a discussion about it during the confirmation process and i wonder if as you mentioned senators that were allies and access on the floor. are you finding more have been open to talking about that? >> i think so. it's happened time and again when we talk about the need to preserve and support the postal service, i get my medications through the mail and so it's one
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thing for the mail to be a couple days late but when it is three weeks late and it's my pain medication, veterans are suffering when we don't support the u.s. postal service. i talked about the mama act i introduced talking about the high maternal mortality rates of african-american women in particular and we need to support mothers of color who often times are not listened to in the childbirth process. i introduced the act talking about families who can't afford diapers or even to their children in day care not because they don't have access to daycare but they don't have access to diapers and they are choosing between buying food or diapers. many daycare is when you drop your child off you have to drop off diapers and if you can't then you don't get to daycare and then you don't go to work.
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i think it makes a legislator a better legislator if they've had these life experiences and bring it with them. my colleagues have their own experiences. there are doctors and mom's as well at the table that are helpful to them. >> fascinating. let's switch gears and go back to the earlier chapters you describe in the book. reading the review of this they had the thought that i had reading it that there were some parallels to dreams of my father, a biracial speaker. your style of writing is very difficult in a way that i found enjoyable. i like that you got down to it and describe what that was like. if you could just discuss who your influences were because you are so candid about growing up and having this decision and you
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get really personal. >> the book i really enjoyed was treva noel, one of crime. his book was my inspiration because i thought the title was amazing, very deeply personal about being born biracial in south africa and the fact his parents got together and had him and in fact when my parents met each other and fell in love and had me, my dad in his home state of virginia couldn't have married my mother because in virginia it hadn't passed. i learned so much about apartheid and experience to the individual both on the black side of the equation and the wide side of the equation from
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trevor noah's book and i wanted to do the same thing for the experience of growing up biracial in asia and teach the reader a little bit about what it was like to grow up in southeast asia post-vietnam but also why to this day i still believe america is worth it, america is worth fighting for. my 6-year-old daughter, abigail, asked me that question. mommy, you don't have legs. she wants to learn how to write her -- ride her bike but i can't run alongside of her and push her bike so she is like why couldn't somebody else's mommy or daddy have gone to iraq and lost their legs. why did it have to be you. i wanted to be upfront to show that america is worth it, this democracy is worth it. it began with me growing up in southeast asia revering america
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and understanding what a privilege it was that i was an american and i could because i had that american passport and a lot of other children could not because they had been abandoned by their fathers the way that i had not been abandoned by mine. >> speaking of your father and his experience in the va system was a chapter you your self continued later on as somebody grappling with trying to make it better. can you tell me whether that was painful with the personal and political how the system can fail? >> my dad did what a lot of veterans do which is they don't go to the va to get the care and the support that they need because they think that they are okay and they are saving the care for their bodies.
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my dad time and again lied to the va. he would say i'm fine i don't need anything. take care of the other guys which is what you learn to do in the service, you learn to care for your buddies and they take that to the extreme form. i write this in the book in illinois when i was the director of the state department of veterans affairs, the federal va said that there were 800,000 veterans in illinois that i knew there were at least 1.2 million because that's how many individual veterans had applied for license plates with the secretary of the state so the va is undercounting 400,000 veterans in illinois which means when they go to build a new hospital they look at all the states and go there's only 800,000, they don't need that additional hospital we are going to build and that needs illinois doesn't get those hospitals and when those other veterans that are not being counted to need to go for help, the health isn't there, it's gone somewhere else
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so i spend a lot of time telling veterans even if you don't plan to use it, sign up so they know you're there. the best way you can take care of your buddies is not to not enroll but to enroll so they know you're there. but i run into this all the time. they are in that mode of taking care of the buddies and sacrificing for the team instead of watching out for themselves and it ends up hurting the team when they do not go in and get the care that they need. >> you eloquently say this in the book maybe it isn't a system failure but the culture of taking care of veterans. is it telling your story that can help make that happen? >> i hope so. all the stories in the book about me growing up in asia and revering america and being so lucky or talking about being hungry when i was in my teens and my dad lost his job and was
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unemployed when he was in his 50s, i told these stories because i know that there are people that have lost a job and can't get another one and are behind on their rent and are a day away from homelessness and they are scraping by whatever they can and choosing between do i feed my kid were take my medicine. i've been telling these stories and i put them together in the book to show you're not alone. and there are people like me who are in positions of color that they see you and are trying to solve the problems but despite all that, the safety nets were there for me. the safety nets were there. i did get the food stamps when i needed. i could go to a public school i could graduate from. i could graduate college with relatively low debt. i have my bachelors degree. all of that was available to join the army and become a u.s.
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senator one day and i want to make sure those safety nets are there for other people. >> another question i had about your inspiration and the current situation with anti-asian hate crimes frankly when a terrifying moment for a lot of asian americans, i know you're working on legislation that can address this. i imagine whether that entered into your mind being discriminated because i was half
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white it didn't fit in with the asian community and then i talked about being later on in life and that happened after the coronavirus hit and so i hope people take away from that and understand this is a universal experience among the pacific islanders in the united states. we are the ones after some of our ancestors fight for the north and the civil war added taken away from them they had it taken away due to the chinese exclusion act. we are the only population that had our family put into internment camps in the middle of the war and fought for the country even as our family members were living behind barbed wire because they were of japanese descent or looked like they might be of japanese descent. so, i have had people come up to
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me and say i was wearing the uniform of my nation. but okay where are you really from. that isn't really your name, it's your husband's name? >> no, we've been here since before the revolution. so, i want to explain that. this past year has been really hard on the community, now to be the target of hate crimes that is just exploding and part of it is because the president of the united states was using hate speech, saying things like the kung flu virus and the people's republic of china over 150% in the major cities with over 3,000 cases of recorded hate crimes
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against api. >> i do wonder if you got the chance to reopen your book now is there anything more to how you address the institution? >> i would spend a little bit more time talking about how it mattered in my helicopter on that day i talked at length about the shootdown if you are rich or poor, black or white or asian or hispanic i've been part of helicopter groups.
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that's why i love the army because it didn't matter who i was. it only mattered if i could shoot straight and if i was willing to carry the load. just from the meritocracy. >> interesting. >> i don't like to consume much pop culture about the war because it is a little bit emotional. i watch that replayed on the screen. how hard was it to put all of this on paper? >> it was hard. i did it all in one a single
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setting. it was very cathartic in a way but i did have to go back and talk to a lot of people because i don't have a lot of memory of what happened past. so when the pilot led the aircraft and i reached up for the emergency shutdown to present a fire, i passed that out and i came to later on in the hour and i had lots of conversations with people but i don't remember that because the doctors and nurses at the emergency room gave me a drug to sedate me. they knew that it would be to wipe my short-term memory and coming through as an act of learning and i'm grateful that i had to go find the doctors and nurses and talk to them and hear what happened. i found it incredibly rewarding because i was told of things i said and did that i'm very proud of. i wasn't a hero that day. i didn't land and aircraft or
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carry anybody to safety but i was watching out for my crew and as a soldier and an army officer, that ultimately was an indication for who i was at my core, watching out until the very end. >> that is a remarkable experience having to have those conversations. where there are others helping you peace all of this together? >> it was a group project. the nurse in charge of the emergency room had said i know who you are. he gave me his name and i was able to track down the medic and
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he would be in touch with other folks. it ended up being a little facebook group unit where they all think of a snowball going down the hill getting bigger and bigger and there were all sorts of folks reaching out talking to each other and it became very healing for the others because many of them ever saw what happened to the patient is. they don't know if they died or survived or what, for many of them it was closure. for some of them they said i haunted him for 15 years [inaudible] he thanked me for letting him know that i was okay.
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i should have died in that. the only reason i survived the
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title would experience a lot of trauma in your life is it hard to settle on that? he's a triple amputee from vietnam. we thought of all sorts of things. one day when i was talking, as i was writing this to the publisher and collaborator and i was talking about the shootdown and i said every day in my life -- they asked what it was and they said you had a tough day. i said but every day i have is
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one that i'm surprised i have. carrying out the feud in iraq and then okay what do i need to do today to live up to what they did for me on that day? >> the title out loud. i love that story. ..
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i just sat and i wrote there. i would write bits and pieces and put it together. once i had the book deal and a duet at the book deal in december. i was due august of 2020 i knew i had to get this thing done. so i hunkered down and wrote. it's about making sure even ten minutes writing down a paragraph. and is just a process. i had a great collaborator who works with me and help me along. i had a lot of good proofreaders. dick durbin my senior senator i talked about how he found me in that hospital gave me a new mission encouraged me to it run. i sent him copy contract copies to read.
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i met big fan of his writing and a shot process. his wife is the "new york times" is a best-selling author. i sent here there they gave me feedback. i have lots of people helping me along the way. >> i love that all of them helping out to that's great detail. hosey hardest part of this book to write i assume that maybe there's another part you found? >> actually the early childhood was the hardest part. there's not an accident was intentional and he landed the bird. no, no, no it's fine not on me pelting the command of the aircraft did a remarkable peace that's what we are all live. i want to honor his expertise
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he received a distinguished flying cross for his actions on that day. it's always good to say it's not a crash at the landing he didn't amazing effort. [screaming] want to make sure the shootdown thank you. no problem. the early childhood self as per the hardest to write. i saw a lot of that in the struggle of reliving poverty in hawaii what it was like. i only started talking about in recent years as the nation has been more of a recession and talked about it more i was very ashamed of being on food stamps for a long time. in my early 20s and 30s i thought that was a failure. it's only until i got later that was success. we never gave up as a family. to this date do not get between me and a penny on the ground i will roll over you in
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my wheelchair to pick that penny up because none of the value of a penny. that's not a reason to be embarrassed or ashamed of this event to be proud of would pick ourselves up with the american people's help with the food stands with the school lunch program we should be more open about that. there are other families that are food insecure right now who needs to know there is hope. >> while that makes sense although i would not have expected you to choose that part. you talk about that same interview of the "new york times" i referenced earlier he also talked about other books like white race which is a book you reference reading recently the legacy of the president rated. i wish i could ask you what book would you have anybody working on the hill reporter or staffer read? >> you know, i would rather
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have a reading list. i gently put white rage on there. we talked with the pendulum swing internation every time we've had major civil rights movement and are stepping forward. there's been this back lash of the history. i think that's one that should be read. people should understand those in the military and that experience here at the war i always wanted that is a good book about the iraq war and afghanistan as well. in my generation of troops were thinking after not been at war for well over ten years. with that coming of age story is or middle military men and women. i would have a whole long list of things. you want to hear about apartheid in south africa it's really good perspective that's fair reading list is probably
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fair. another book question i had reading the book i'm so struck about the political memoir. often time written by members who have your tongue is very simple story is a book for everyone had no idea if you you from another state? >> this book was written for my daughters. i want them to read and understand america is worth it. one thing to read and understand the struggles that i went through. and that america provided me with privilege and with help all along the way. and america is worth it. truly wrote this for my girl but also for others to understand this democracy is worth fighting for and to maybe give people a perspective as to why i believe in the programs that i believe in and why i support things like more food stamps like more money to public
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education. why i support the policies that i do and how i got to these positions based on my experiences. when i help people get that as well. it's a love letter to my nation but to my daughter so they would understand why i was willing to compromise their life. my daughter is happy for me to it teach a bike that was a cost to her that i made a decision before she was even born and i would still do it again if i was facing the same position. because our democracy and this less-than-perfect unit is worth the struggle to become a more perfect union. specs speaking of your daughter one person did make me laugh out loud a metal box the paraphrase when asked when her daughters what his daddy's image has daddy and was mommy's aim she says that perfect tammy duckworth.
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i cracked up. was it a tough decision to talk about your car situation because you want to have your daughters maintain their privacy? how did you wrestle with that? >> if you would ask me about it when i first ran for office i would not have talked about it. but after having had my two girls, after having gone through a senate campaign will ivf trying to get pregnant having a miscarriage i decided i had to talk about it for other moms who work outside the home. for other women who are struggling with fertility issues. because people would come up to me and then have this idea of heroic and vip treatment. i want people to know there is no such as work life balance it is a lie.
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that's a lie that gets perpetuated that hurts our nation it hurts our families in the long run. because there is no work life balance you must pass thing like universal family leave, paid family leave. we need to have it. here's why. the fact that military women, this is my first start in 2014 for example military women had to report back duty six weeks after giving birth. even if they had a necessary part even if that was afghanistan they would have to do that. that is wrong. i got into that portion was deeply personal as a mom because i wanted to, i struggle with it i see your struggle sitting on a toilet stall. no place to express broke and jim breastmilk is trying to the best of my infant daughter. the system is not set up to support a mom who works outside of the home.
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i felt to have left it out would've been a disservice. >> as you mentioned not even as the senate as a workplace is set up to support that. now that this book is out, we are talking i imagine you're in quite a bit of other public experiences. to what extent do you want the other female leadership figures to start counting stories like this getting personal to help start that. >> i hope more people i understand and to step forward and take charge often. sometimes you just too exhausted can't take charge you have to set up boundaries but i want to be realistic about that. i get called all the time by women who want to run for office. younger women who have younger
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children. and i tell them if you read the story where broke down the campaign and i had a huge temper tantrum partners with my campaign i was with my baby daughter and west with a baby daughter is feeling the campaign. falco's feeling of everything. even as the world saw me as a senate candidate who had it all together i want more women who actually do achieve success to be upfront about the fact there's a struggle and it's not always you just have to work harder for it i was working as hard as i possibly could as barely hold it together. but i did it and i did make it you can make it. but it is hard. it is not easy but it is worth it in the end. >> absolutely. and part of all of that we are
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now seeing or seeing a baby bust in the country. so the age of motherhood. her grow. u.s. summit who became a mom at 50, is there anything anything you surprised you wondering if they can do it i feel younger because of my daughter maybe if i had been a mom and my mid 20s i may not appreciate it. i am a child or mother more patient. gave me a usefulness my get on the swing with my kids go to the aquarium the other day with my girls and my 3-year-old has us great and she's running from fish tank to fish tank laughing. vomit fish.
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it's just a day of laughter. i say go for it. it's that old line you can either be a 50-year-old with kid or a 50-year-old without kilts wishing you had some when you talk to someone who 65 and wants to go back to college and why do you do that? in four years will be 69 anyway you might as will be a 69 of the college degree than what without soap to it. >> very, very good point. you mentioned you were in the conversation. your with senator durbin. he played arguably a role in your political career. i wonder if you had conversations with him that shape that part of the book of this any notable dialogue about this as you wrote? >> when he wrote the first half of the book i shared it with him. it's an army writing style.
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the army teaches you fact checked writing you get the point keep your subjects short. you do it. that is how i write because that's how the army taught me and i'm plainspoken because i spent 23 years in the army. is it tammy is very moving i learned a lot about your experience as a child. i can see why you are the way are now. you may decry it with your passage about tammy turn down the army languishes a little bit? i don't think that's good be good for your future career to have that much on. he cannot even say f bombs he said i that i don't think you should do it. i laughed i gave him a copy of the book the other day i said i did tone it down. said yeah thought you would. [laughter] oh my gosh that's really funny. >> is always watching out for
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me he is my mentor. you have to be true to yourself. only in private that i do it. i am very much myself in the book. >> absolutely. going back to the conversation did anybody read this given some adjectives and give me some color or just be you right in the army style >> everybody said be me. i think i have adventures i did a good job of describing things. i remember my early childhood memory sitting in a car with a warm french bread been a french there's a lot of description in the book. it was a description and my style of writing and talking. i needed to be true to myself. >> absolutely absolutely.
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one 100%. one portion of the book i'm wondering is when you're going to fertility treatments that's an incredibly tough thing to go through the process the lenoir on a political campaign. did you consider sink more about that? was there more you could put into words? you talk a lot about the other portions then us after a lot of failures, how did you navigate that? >> i wanted to address it but about can only be so long. you have constraints in terms of how many pages for a did not want to write a 500 page i wanted to write a book people could read and get through. and that was enjoyable. i'm sure some people cry when they read the portions about the shootdown and they feel about my buddies but hope there's left out loud moments as well part i was upfront about it.
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in my own life i don't dwell on things for long time. that is just how i am pretty went through that it was tough comets oxford-have a chapter. [laughter] it's an army philosophy, socks and i own and now i'm moving on. i'm addressing the second being a working mom of two girls under the age of six and trying to be a good center of the same time. i'm always moving out the next phase part i acknowledge what happened i don't shield away from it. but i can't dwell on it because i just don't have the time. after this interview i still have to go buy everything for an easter basket and i haven't done yet and what are we like 48 hours away. [laughter] easter egg hunt time i don't have the time to spend dwelling on the past but >> absolutely. [laughter] is a fantastic job by the way. [laughter] i am wondering how constituent
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shape this at all. if you had any conversations with people but your personal life that ended up certain chapters in the book >> and definitely my constituents are why i was able to write this book. because overall the last years for use in the house and on my four years in the senate as i've talked with stick constituents i've been promptitude tell stories of never told before. i never told people that my dad was out of a job for five years and that we were struggling and i was the only one putting food on the table for our family for a time there. i only started talking about that because i went and met folks at a steel mill that have been laid off. it was people said jan 52 years old what am i going to do? and it hit me and i do start talk about my dad in that meeting. and i've never spoken about him being out of work before
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and people like i did not know that about you. is the fact that after i had my two girls i search on ivf and remembered collectively on my gosh thank you for talking to me. i fed more than one person and said because ago when tried ivf nonpregnant and could have a baby. it made me comfortable to try to relate to them to understand them and hear them i have been able to share experiences with them and that's got me to the place where i am now able to write this book because i've been able to open up my self insure the stories. i learned to recognize it. these are not uniquely my stories for these are stories that people have gone through and i hope people see themselves in my story. whether they are the first person to go to college like i was, whether they have been asked, even though they are americans whether they have
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had to fight to try to get some support at work for being a working mom i hope they see themselves in this book. >> that is really beautiful. you know, i wonder also if writing it help to think about your future in different ways. we sometimes see members step away to spend more time with their family. you have a young family. have you reevaluate that at all? >> you know what i've gotta pay for college, you kidding me? i'm not retiring anytime soon if got a six children thrilled i've got college tuition coming up or i cannot stop work for another 18 years at least. [laughter] that is a real problem you know. my oldest daughter will get my husband's g.i. bill but i use mine it for my phd. i have got to be hustling. no, being a senator is an
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amazing job and i love it. only thing with this job as company commander i'm happy to be a company commander happy to be united states center. i think my job makes me a better mom. i'm so plan on doing this for long time to come. >> a wonderful, do you plan a may be writing another book? >> oh my god. [laughter] let's see how this one goes. let's see if it's well received. as i said i did not write this book just to tell my story. i wrote this book to tell america's story. mine is just an example of an american story. she really answered my daughter's question. if you read it there's a letter to my daughter that hank other moms and dads might recognize speak to your child as an adult from your current experience. i fight write another book all
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the visitors i talk with there are such characters there both of whom korean or veterans both of whom is an amputee she's a physical therapist in their 80s become these taught couple for the amputees because they are so upfront about what life is like into the milkshake demand the vietnam veteran who lost both of his legs paid out of his own pocket for literally years to help support the troops. i would love to tell the stories in more detail. that is a fantastic book idea. [laughter] sub fastening conversation thank you so much for your time. hope all of you go out read
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the guess and happen testing books. >> thank you. >> "after words" is available as a podcast. to listen visit c -- or surge c-span "after words" on your app and watch this and all previous "after words" interviews that put pre-just click the "after words" button in the top of the page. macbook tv on c-span2, every week and with the latest nonfiction books and authors. funding for book tv comes from these television companies and more. including comcast. that create students in low income families can find with they need to be ready for anything. comcast along with these television companies support book tv on cspan2 as a public service.
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here is a look at some of the books currently on the "new york times" nonfiction bestseller list. first the code breaker by aspen institute ceo jennifer devens invention and dna editing. after that it's greenlight a memoir by academy award-winning actor matthew mcconaughey. exes pulitzer prize winning author about what she calls a hidden system in the united states. then in the beauty of living twice actress sharon stone reflects on her life. in wrapping up our look at some of the best-selling books according to the "new york times" is activists untamed. some of these authors have appeared on book tv. you can watch their a >> are author interview program "after words", but was
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book about the loss of his two brothers during the war in afghanistan joined by co-author tom salerno here's a portion of the program. >> beau and i met her pretty unique set of circumstances. i had started about ten years ago writing a blog and then a syndicated column about fallen heroes and veterans. one of the fallen heroes or wrote about was name staff sgt jesse williams. he was killed in iraq. but beforehand he had served with rosa brother and on an infantry. so i got connected with jesse's wife sonja almost a decade earlier. but when i did stumble on the wife's family story and obviously wanted to know more about it was sonja who put me in touch with ben's widow tracy and then tracy and i talked. and she put me in touch with beau. it went on from there i'm
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honored to be playing a small part in helping beau tell the story. >> one of my favorite and least sick favorite things about telling stories is that when you're working with someone is been through atraumatic experience, there are times when your heart is breaking as they tell the story but at the same time you're wanting to help and just tell the story like if you are leading them through something. i'm going to give the things you did intentionally to help guide both of the trauma of telling the story? >> sure, i've had the honor of interviewing more than 100 goldstar family members. the most important thing i try
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to do go to each story without preconceived notions whatsoever. everyone grieves differently. everybody handles it differently. but with beau, when we first met i flew to oklahoma, we sat down and talked. right away i think things clicked. there were times when beau said hey man, this is just too much i need to step back. the minute he said that i said i got it. i took over and is happy to do it. i was honored to do it. marina goldstar brother being willing to open these wounds and explore and learn more about his brothers and tell the world about them i've so much admiration for the courage she showing by doing
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this. >> in both kind of the reverse question if you are working through your brother's death in the moment you did not want to do this anymore? is it more helpful for you? >> that was the moment words absolutely set in stone that i absently got the right co-author. i kind of hated doing that to him. i thought this farmer to keep fighting it. i knew we had to get through this preserve jeremy's legacy. her moments when i did not were needed to grieve to
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myself alone with my wife or whatever, dealing with green berets and navy seals and sometimes the information would come would come to an abrupt stop. sometimes they would just pour out. you would feel tapped emotionally. having someone like tom to work with was a lifesaver. even though i did not like doing that to him i had to just step away. >> to watch the rest of this interview visit our website click on the "after words" tap to find this along with all previous episodes. >> welcome everyone to the aei official book launch. a search for common ground. super excited when rick and peter asked me to it host this conversation pray for those who do not know me i am stephanie i'm the chief of global policy

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