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tv   The Presidency Reagan Obama - Transitions Inaugurations  CSPAN  February 8, 2021 12:43am-1:28am EST

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that's what i would say. i mean woodrow wilson once again in 1917 prior to entering world war. i that speeches is is certainly a ceremonial speech. it's about principles. it's all so borders on being a persuasive speech because he knows i think at this point in time what's coming and he decides to use that inaugural address to remind americans about the principles of democracy and why they're so important to defend great. well colleen, thank you so much for your presentation today. i learned a lot. i'm sure our audience learned a lot and thank you again for sharing your knowledge on presidential inaugural addresses with us. thank you. you know, it's a very interesting thing. first of all, it seems so many years ago when this took place but as right after the president
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reagan had been elected there had been a something occurred which wasn't predicted to happen. which was he appointed james baker to be the chief of staff ed. meese was expected to become the chief is staff that didn't happen. but ed was put in charge of the overall transition effort and and jim baker was put in charge of the white house transition. so i came together because i knew i knew him from when he managed the president ford campaign effort. i worked in the ford white house at that time. and i knew the white house. i knew the white house structure. i guess better than anybody else. who was there at the moment and so i was drafted into this effort. jim baker stayed away from washington for the majority of the time left at edm used to run the transition, but we had a small team that worked towards
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the planning and it was just by chance, and i guess i knew knew the structure and new where new the offices that i would be put in charge of the planning for the white house piece of it. about this i'm sorry. i didn't hear your question stuart. this chris. i was gonna ask chris the same question. yeah this come to drop in your lab. well in april of 2008 i was then senator obama's legislative director. he was off on the campaign trail trying to win. he was in the middle of a heated primary contest against hillary clinton, but he had the foresight to realize that this was going to be the first post nine eleven transition and since i had been with him from his first day in the senate, i actually am a law school classmate of barack obama's, you know, he said hey, can you start looking into this? how does one planner
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presidential transition? and so i was the the first person because i was the person that was around, you know, it's a funny thing planning presidential transitions. it's kind of a small universe of people that have done it back then i went to talk to the person who had run john kerry's transition in 2004 and al gore's transition in 2000, but of course, none of them had the chance to implement their transition, so there's sort of a difference between planning and actually into execute it, so it was an honor to take it on and you know several months after i began john podesta came on as the chairman of the effort john as all of you know was the white house chief of staff under president clinton. no one knows government better than john and we kind of cobbled together, you know about 100 people working on this effort before before election day and it's it's this funny thing because you could do all the best work in the world planning a transition before election day, but if you're candidate doesn't win you never get to
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carry it out fortunately we did get to carry out that hundred people who are the volunteers then balloon to into about a thousand paid a staff as well as volunteers and then we were often running for 77 days before inauguration day. will you both work for presidents that were two-term presidents? so you began with the transition and an inauguration and then you had a second inaugural? tell us the difference in those two occasions between the first time and the second time chris. yeah, you know a second term transitions kind of an awkward thing because you you certainly hope you don't have to have to do it because you you want to ensure that you're winning but just going backwards a little bit, you know, we in 2009 when president obama came into office. he was very publicly effusive about the cooperation that he had received from the outgoing bush 43 administration, and he
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pledged that when he left office whether it was in four years or eight years he would provide that same level of cooperation to his successor. so yes, we were both planting on trying to figure out how we can win re-election, but also fully understood that if we did not win we would have to turn over and so that was a kind of an odd experience. but again, it's the same types of things. you're asking all the white house offices all the agency to prepare materials for the incoming folks you're kind of thinking about briefings. you want to do you're thinking about continuity of operations, but we yeah did not have to carry that that out until four years later. about john your perspective on the first versus the second. well, and you know for ronald reagan the both of them turned out to be very historical moments first of all in terms of the weather still i think to this day ronald reagan's to
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inaugurers were the on the record for the weather the warmest and 1981 at 55 degrees as i recall and then and then also in 1985, it was minus seven degrees and i think it was a wind chill of minus 25 and so we canceled the parade and took the inauguration inside in both of those cases. it was the first president that was inaugurated on the west front of the capitol in 1981. that was basically done more as it cost savings by the congress the congressional inaugural committee that anything else because they didn't have to build basically, you know a large amphitheater because they took advantage of the terraces existed at the time same way in 1985 it all so had a advantage that it was the fifth time that a president was inaugurated actually on a sunday. so we had two ceremonies and i
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think chris this also happened with president obama on the second time that he had this historical thing of happening on a sunday. i think it was a total of seven times that the inauguration day appeared, but some previous presidents refused to be inaugurated on this on that on that sunday's zachary taylor because the very religious man wouldn't do it on a sunday so we had two different weather extremes between those two we had it in two different locations because the second one had to be taking inside to the rotunda so they were too historical in terms of that. so each one was a whole new experience that we hadn't planned for and the second one. i was the general manager of the inaugural and so all the effort that went into planning for it was thrown asunder. you know between overnight basically when we went to the presidency and said listen the instruments are freezing up the kids are going to you know be in really bad shape we have to take
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it inside and we got to cancel the parade and then later we went out to the lithia was the one of the arenas and had an indoor celebration later for all the kids who had come had come to town with their bands. well, john, you mentioned the congressional inaugural committee and that brings to mind the number of players that are involved in coordinating this huge effort in washington dc. and so your candidate is elected in november and is inaugurated in january, and that's a very short window of time to get things done in washington with the inaugural committee the presidential in our committee the congress the military of district of washington to the military district of washington general services administration the city of washington. how do you integrate and coordinate all of those moving parts? well, you have first of all the congressional inaugural committee where there's actual ceremonies taking place that joint committee of both the house and senate and their leadership. they're in charge of that
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ceremony. so you basically have to work with them to adjust any part of the program for the president because it's their program and it's basically there audience their members who are principally there. to in fact the stove the power as the oath is administered and them to witness it so you have to work very carefully with them. i remember in the second inaugural. i worked with john chambers who was a mac. mathias was the chair of the joint committee by the way, john chambers. that's whitaker chambers son. so it was quite a historic moment to be working with him. and so we had a lot of going back and forth in terms of trying to achieve what we wanted to but you're right we had to work with a number of players. i remember that we wanted to have a jet fly over and the secret service strongly objected to it and needless to say and
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chris. i don't know if this ever came up with you, but needless to say they had you know in the end they always get their way and we didn't have any flyover like that. about chris the coordination efforts that you had to undertake and deal with. yeah, you know inaugurations is john just said i mean there's the standard procedure which is what happens around the capital that's planned by the the joint committee and that's pretty much you know set from the ceremony to the seating to the to the congressional lunch. there's so much other things that actually can be adapted again, whether it's the parade whether it's the events that lead into inauguration day whether it's number of balls that you have, you know, we had a much more tone down second term inauguration than the first term the first term had lots of entertainers that we had a big concert on the lincoln memorial. we did a an event the night before as a tribute to a senator
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mccain. i can't remember how many balls we had another girl night. there were a lot but again all of that also cost money as well and you know, and that's a fundraising apparatus that needs to be stood up, you know, and it's hard. there's a little bit of donor fatigue after you've gone through an expensive presidential campaign. we also had to raise money in the first inauguration for a transition. the government does give you some amount of money, but it doesn't cover all your costs. so there's lots of kind of competing concerns, you know, i know we're going to talk a little bit about the current inauguration but a lot of it is, you know, what is the mood of the nation at the time and so there's the coordination there's money and there's just frankly also the mood of the country well, you talk about coordination with these government agencies and those who are involved even before your candidate is elected to office in november, but then comes the matters of protocol and dealing with those who are official and have to be accommodated and then the personal friends and family
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members and those that are close to the the president-elect. how do you balance all of those relationships and in terms of seating and tickets and making and keeping everybody happy? john thoughts on that well, it's oh chris have you experience? it's a very difficult and the one thing i learned about presidential inaugurals is to stay away from women's fur coats at the ball because invariably somebody's code is going to get turned up missing. so i i don't have fond memories of the aspects of of that but the seating becomes a back and forth. between trying to get the people the president wants to make sure that are there which are usually his family and his friends and the other competing interests that you have particularly when you have you know, a new staff that's joining him and as you can imagine a large as our government is there's lots of people who think that they have
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to absolutely be there as witnesses to it. so it's a lot of it's a lot of give and take hmm, you know when i the first obama inauguration i had been the executive director of the transition and then i had been i i had been appointed as the white house cabinet secretary. so in charge of the cabinet starting on day one of the administration and i remember sitting in the transition office. couple weeks before inauguration day and the inaugural people dropped off like boxes full of inauguration tickets and there were all color-coded and i was supposed to figure out how to distribute all of these tickets to the incoming cabinet the incoming agency staff all of their friends and family and and i was just basically given the seating charts okay orange goes here at blue goes here red goes here and you had to figure out
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how to divide this up and it was it was the nuttiest experience and you all may remember there was this infamous thing in 2009 called the purple tunnel of doom like the people who had the purple seats were routed by the police into the third street tunnel on i-395 and they couldn't get out of the tunnel and they were just stuck in this tunnel for for most of the swearing in certain money so these are still things that we all laugh about and kind of dread happening but yeah i it is um it's it's it's donors that need to be. can care of its member it's members of congress get their own seats, but it's also other dignitaries governors mayors cabinet, you know, and there's a protocol to all of this and so it's it's a good skill to learn both from the protocol and the logistics standpoint because it serves you well later on all through government to get this right. security is always a significant concern john mentioned the coordination of the secret
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service and their concern about a flyover but look at what's happening now, and what's your successors are dealing with and preparations for tomorrow. can you relate to that and are there any insights and stories that you can talk about that will help people understand the the complexity of security arrangements for an event like this. john thoughts well, you know listen they inaugurations i was involved in were different. period of time in our country's history. it's obvious that on a progressive basis the security concerns of gotten more and more complexed and perhaps necessary, but i always fear that as we go through this process we continue to actually push the people further away from their government and their leaders and some of the steps that we go
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through where the you know the trip from the capital to the white house and both ways actually you know the complexity now that's associated with that movement is really quite amazing. and i've thought a lot about whether or not there's other ways to do this that you know, don't require so much of this sign of security that would you know be able to have the opportunity for people to see the process and share in it and and participate in it and chris mentioned the balls and i think the pauls are parties become more of a way to have activity because it's really sort of after the after the effect of the day and and depending of the you know, the president makes their their trips around to the different balls. it's you know short order the security is, you know, somewhat limited comparatively speaking or at least after the president
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leaves, but we've made it much more complicated and you know a in this world and i think chris mentioned earlier about nine eleven and i'm sure at all are considerations from that point on it's just been a different layer of security when we did previous to that. yeah, you know all ad is again as i said the 2009 2008 2009 excuse me transition was the first post 9/11 transition and and the potential security risks that the inauguration were something that we were keenly aware of at the time. i was not aware of this but there's been subsequent reporting that there was a credible threat against against you inauguration about something that would potentially happen at the swearing in and so it has since been reported that that required extensive cooperation between the outgoing secretary
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of state between condoleezza rice and the incoming secretary of state hillary clinton and and there was kind of a managing of that and it's one of the historical reasons the anomalies as to why all but two outgoing bush cabinet members resigned before inauguration day, january 20th. 2009 one was bob gates who stayed on to service secretary of defense under president obama. the other one was mike chardoff the homeland security secretary. he was asked to stand for one extra day in case something happened and so fortunately nothing happened, but that does speak to the importance of the outgoing and the incoming administrations being hand in glove in terms of their cooperation, and it's something that you know, frankly is concerning to me about what has happened over this transition that that level of collaboration hasn't happened because it's this is not about it's not a person thing. this is wanting to ensure that
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this hand over of power which is really unique in the world happens as seamlessly as possible. and to that point chris, i think people may not realize that at noon on an inauguration day all the white house badge holders from the previous administration their badges are deactivated and the new ones are activated and so it just becomes an immediate handoff. how do you really functionally bridge from the old and to the new to the new white house staff or they waiting at the gate at 12:00 to go in and again their jobs? yeah, you know i mean look this is an oddity in in the political dynamics around the world. i mean, just think about this every four or eight years 4,000 some political pointies more or less leave their jobs and then several hundred new ones come in throughout the entire government and and that takeover is happening regarding the us government which is you know,
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the largest most powerful entity in the world. um, yeah, you would not run any company that way you would run any non profit that way we're on at one time everyone leaves and the fact that we pull this off every four eight years as both the testament to this idea of a peaceful transfer power, but it's also a testament to the great career officials that keep all of the trains running while this is happening. what makes that transfer more difficult than the white house is by and large the white house staff is all political staff. so there's no one that stays over. so i remember walking into the west wing probably around two two pm on inauguration day 2009. it was empty. i mean like all of the jumbo photos been taken off the walls, you know, the offices were being cleaned. they had computers they had chairs, but there was really like there was no papers there. i mean everything kind of walks out with the outgoing
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administration. so again speaks the importance of really planning in advance because there's not a lot of career stuff in the white house who can help you with that and so you have to sort of get your white house a point staff appointed early. make sure they understand what the roles are and start to create those processes to make decisions because there's no lag time before you have to hit the ground running. same with you john and the reagan administration. yeah, and you know, it's very similar, you know at the time and i don't really know the degree the staffing of the white house today, but there were people who are careers certainly the residents 90 some people that are there and continue on and then there were at that time operating units that worked and the mailroom that worked in the records office that worked in the travel office that worked in a series of different. places that had a they served to the pleasure of any president, but they had been there for years.
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so you have to rely on the continuity? of a lot of these people to do it, you know when the 20th amendment was approved in 33 and we collapsed the transition period from march till january. it becomes even more critical of what chris is speaking about. you have to be able to immediately start that transition and i think you know, the history books will prove out those presidents that had the best transitions and and that is to chris's point the furtherance of our continuity and and our government so it's always in the interest to do this and to do it as well as we can and accommodate incoming administration as much as possible the president may be president until 12 noon, but it's a matter of of our own national security and proper governance that that happens as smoothly as we can make it. i have one more question before
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we turn to some questions that we've received from our audience and you both work for the president elect of the united states or the president of the united states, but president obama and president reagan had very strong first. ladies. is there a story behind the scenes about working with mrs. obama or mrs. reagan and anticipation of the inauguration and how involved were they in that planning chris? so i didn't have as much dealings with mrs. obama, but you know, what was notable is having young children in the white house again, and and i know that you know, just a couple of small things. we you know, there was a kind of jungle gym swing set that was put on the the south lawn for for the girls. i know that mrs. obama really appreciated the courtesies from mrs. bush as well as the bush girls and helping that transitioned, you know, but it
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it's just the whole different dynamic it requires, you know, scoping out schools making sure that the security for the girls is robust, but also not obtrusive it is trying to ensure that when you're scheduling for the president you're mindful of the fact that you know, this was a president who wanted president obama wanted to have breakfast with his kids in the morning and dinner with them in the evening. he would continue working well after that but also understanding, you know, how many evening functions you could do. what what was available on weekend time? so so while i did not deal with mrs. obama on a lot of those things the family priorities were really kind of central in a lot of the decisions that we made around the white house. and john was mrs. reagan central to the decisions made around the white house. well, she was very involved in
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the decisions i think about who would be the chief of staff and who would be best positioned. so there was back and forth. definitely and she was quite a guardian of her husband, you know, it was a very hard fought campaign and but mrs. carter was very gracious about setting up a time to do it interestingly enough because the president carter had a view about the energy level that the white house was, you know, basically heated at about 65 degrees. so the tour was cut short pretty quickly because it was just too cold for dancing to see the two floors and so they had their meeting but they, you know stayed in touch they were part of this ongoing union first ladies and rosalinder was there at the funeral nancy reagan and california came all that way. so these tradition versions are
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extraordinarily important. and you think not having those take place the meeting between president trump and president-elect biden and mrs. trump and dr. biden. is that more symbolic or is there real substance and importance that that will be missing because those meetings did not take place. yes, i think it's very important. they give the sense. it's all a matter of an assurance about who we are as americans and how we come together to advance the interest of america and these, you know, we're our countries made up of symbols and rituals. that's why the desecration that occurred at the capital is so disturbing because it was an attack on both of those things the symbolism of the capital and the ritual that was going on at that time. these things are also part of that and we're we're robbed of that. so i find it to be very unfortunate. you know, i i could not agree with john moore. i mean look. dr. biden does not need to be
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shown the second floor residents of the white house. she's been there multiple times when the obama's were there. but it's the symbolism. it's the symbolism of bitter rivals coming together for the good of the nation and it's important to understand we have done presidential transitions for 200 plus years. during the war during depression. even after bitterly fought presidential campaigns, so it's symbolic. but i don't minimize the symbolism the symbolism is what makes our country great and shows that our democracy is bigger than either the two people who competed for the office. questions from our audience our members who are watching today brandon from durham north carolina asked for an explanation of the transfer of the military apparatus specifically the nuclear codes, but how does the entire military shift on a dime from one commander in chief the other
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commander in chief? chris any thoughts on that it's complicated arm. look, let's say this. i mean, i i'm not i'm not the expert on this by understanding is there that there's not just one nuclear football. there's it's a series of you know codes instructions and you know it is with it will be with president trump until 12 pm, and then it will move it. you know, his props will be deactivated or taking away from him another set will be given to president biden at 12pm, but it is complicated because you know as we've talked about all of this even leaving aside what's happening right now in washington dc even in the best circumstances, there's big security considerations. there's not only it this taxes the secret service which has to defend and protect both the president and the president
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elect their military assets with, you know, traditionally when when the out present leaves they fly on what is it is air force one until he is no longer the president, but still a military plane with military personnel and he'll be greeted on the other end by military personnel, and then you have military personnel. that will be staffing the incoming presence. so it is it taxes a lot of resources. but again we have done this every four or eight years so we know how to do it. john any thoughts on the military transition but i think chris covered it quite succinctly and i think they're quite prepared to know exactly what to do. now. remember that, you know when presidents die in their funerals are held it's a military funeral because it's an honor of him being commander in chief the courtesy that it's extended and most cases by the new president to the outgoing president and then the military's honors as they depart no longer as chris
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as air force one no longer the commander in chief, but nonetheless giving them to do respect that they receive it's always been the case and this particular case as i understand it and we're not close to it. but as i understand it, they'll just they'll just be a transfer that happens. he'll be you know, he'll be commander in chief until he's not wherever he is if that's florida and then that military aid with the football as they call it will end that duty it's chris said and then there will be another one who's at the capitol with the new president. next question a sally from des moines says with all the stress and responsibility that you have to execute these events and pull them off. do you actually get to enjoy them and feel the meaning of them and you have any special memories of your own from those times john? yeah, i'm sure because you know your interact with people. i think my my favorite memory
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with a 1985 was with frank sinatra and we got to sing, you know, just a group in my office saying happy birthday to it to him because it was his birthday and it just in advance of the inauguration and and as he said to me i should keep my day job. so that's that was that was a fun moment. so sure there's an interacting with the team to get something done or then when you witness it and you see it happening. yeah, you take a lot of pride in that. chris any special memories. yeah, i mean it it was a whirlwind and i remember because there were a couple of black tie events around obviously around the inauguration and i was still running the transition. so i think i kept my tuxedo in my transition office, you know, i'd work from you know from from dawn to dust put put a tuxedo on call my wife and say hey i'll meet you at the at x, you know museum or whatever the event was held and we'll meet on the you know in the front door.
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it was hectic. it was tiring. we had particularly that first inauguration. there was a lot more sort of star-studded events that were just kind of a lot of fun, but you were just kind of running on fumes and i i think for me just the biggest like moment it kind of hit me was as i said inauguration day i was at the inauguration and then they took us we obviously we didn't go to the congressional lunch. we weren't invited the senior ohio staff, but they basically loaded us on a bus that had been parked by the supreme court and you know while all the dignitaries they're having lunch. they drove us down, pennsylvania avenue along the parade route that hadn't started yet drove us into west exact dropped us off between the white house eob checked us in and then basically showed us to our offices. and so i was as i said, i was sitting in my office in the west
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wing about two hours or hour and a half after the president inaugurated like that was for me the fun part and getting a chance to kind of just wander around the west wing on day one and you know, the jumbo photos aren't up the secret service are very lenient. they're like, oh sure go into the oval office walk around because tomorrow you won't be able to do this. i mean that to me was fun because literally the next day it was a much different white house security was everywhere. buttoned up and we were kind of you know. going to work, but for that first day sort of just being able to wander around the west wing was a once in a lifetime experience. but i'd love to ask this question of actual presidents but since we don't have those with us today ask it a view i want to know what's their feeling when they come into the white house for the first time as president of the united states. and what about you when you come in in the first time in your roles, do you feel a sense of continuity of history that you're part of something larger than your role or is it just the
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immediate pressure of the moment to get down to work john? what was your feeling? well in 19981 and 1981 when the the inauguration was taking place. and the ceremony was happening that i was watching basically on a television now remember, this is 1981. so there's no cell phones except for a gigantic brick that i had there was no, you know computer systems of any kind really in the white house. so when the stroke, you know 12 happened it was just the motorcade that was coming from the transition office into the white house where we just brought everything in and we brought in everything including all the the files the background files that it already started on all the people who are going to be joining the white house and and we had to get the security operates done, but you go into the oval office and as chris said i was there by myself and i
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was in charge and by the way, you make decisions and chris. you probably saw this you make decisions and then they they sort of stick. i mean wherever the allocation of offices by function you're telling everybody where they're going where they're going to be. it's all laid out and then you end up living that of course for the next few years and i thought about this tour in relationship to the east wing because you know, this is why you have to really think about from administration to administration. you know, i made a decision that we were going to put people the legislative affairs people back into the east wing that president carter had moved out of the east wing that stock for the whole eight years. it never was repeated. so and all these things that happen, you know stick with you, so i'm hoping that president obama thinks about this i mean a president biden thinks about
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this plan about what to do with the east wing before just jumping in and changing your mind because you live with it you just live with it outcomes. yeah for a long time yeah, i will tell you i mean certainly the weight of the job was very apparent to me the when i walked into the west wing i am i am the child of immigrants. my parents came here to the country in the late 50s early 60s and so in one generation for my family being, you know students here a trying to assimilate into new country to have their son worked in the west wing, you know the weight of that the import of that was very apparent to me when i walked in up. it is sort of funny. um, seeing the the incoming part the new president the new vice president because you know, there are clearly odd by the experience. they're still trying to get their feet wet. they're trying to learn process. i i probably did one of the
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first briefings of vice president biden as vice president the day after inauguration day. so january 21st, we were swearing in new members of the cabinet and i think john others may know this the president can't swear in people the vice president can so i i was asked to come to the vice president's office tell him what he needed to do and mind you i had never presided over swearing in ceremony. i barely knew what the oath of office and i actually had to google it. i printed it out. i doubled and triple checked it with the like clerk's office to make sure i got the right oath of office because god forbid the vice president would improperly swear somebody in but you know, i did i you know, i very commonly said mr. vice president. here's the run of show. here's what you do. he's taking it all in neither of us are sort of grant neither of us will admit this is we have no idea what we're doing. we're kind of making this up as we go along. um, but with each one of these moments you kind of, you know grow into the role a little bit
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more. um, and you know after a week, it's just like you've always worked there but it is it's it's hard not to be awestruck when you you work in the white house. last question from an audience member one of our members is from william in fort wayne and he he asked about the british transitions when they go from prime minister to prime minister and it's such a short period and there's not a lot of ceremony why why is our so different but i think perhaps with a monarch the next coronation. there will be a big ceremony. so i guess my question following from william is what makes this inauguration of our president of the united states so important to us, what does it say to the world about american freedom and democracy and our systems and about our election and peaceful transition of power. chris yeah i mean i i know a little bit about the the british system i mean they're a couple things that distinguish it one it's the parliamentary system
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and my understanding is that most of the agents most of the people that work in the british ministries are career civil servants there's only a very small number of people at the top that actually change over and it changed administration plus because the parliamentary system you kind of have this shadow government the shadow cabinet of people who are ready to take over but it does there is a large question as to why the transition is as long as it is and this january 20th date is is a relatively not recent but it's you know 80 some years it used to be in march and now it's in january 20th you know one could make the argument that given modern technology it should be even shortened up but i do think more broadly and as you know john so eloquently said he it's a symbol. um this transfer power is as simple and we could we could minimize it and simply say it's a symbol but really our country it's a symbol of our democracy
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and it shows kind of the stability of our government that it doesn't matter which party controls it doesn't matter how bitterly fought the campaign is we all come together for our democracy and and that's why this symbol matters and it's why you know presidents who have fought bitterly during a campaign come together. they go through this rituals of having coffee of writing together of being there. it's one of the reasons why all you know, the former presidents who are physically able to travel show up. it's why the outgoing cabinet shows up and incoming cabinet shows up members of congress on both sides come. um, this is our us government and and this is an important simple and and and why these traditions matter. john will give you the last word. you know listen to the british system. it's a monarch. all ceremonies are tied from the monarch the government speaks in the form of the monarch. we don't have a monarchy and we
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have a president. they serve for very short periods of time, you know, two terms by any standard and governing that's a pretty short period of time but it gives a degree of transparency to our government. i i would fear the day which i i have to say right now. i think we're at that moment that we end up adopting a sort of parliamentary type government to where one administration changes the next one comes in and there's just a wholesale removal of everything and a transfer of everything. it is in the continuity of our government that holds things that i think are most sacred americans and i for one believe, you know the ability for americans to come together and work together particularly across party lines is paramount to this democracy and we will only hold together if we hold these special things, you know, this is not the first time a president didn't show up to and
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it's newly elected presidents, but that hasn't happened in modern time for a long time that sense john adams and john quincy adams this is what we need to do and particularly at this time. we need this kind of thing. and i you know, i i am so happy the former presidents are coming who can travel to this inauguration. i'm happy that they will be participants in this because they carry with them. those traditions and while we're not meeting what should be met. by the outgoing president nonetheless we will have that with those former presidents there the continuity will be spoken for while john rogers and chris lew i want to thank you on of the association and are those viewing today for your significant contributions to leadership in the white house for the presidency with whom you worked and also in your ongoing work to share these stories you both are a significant part of white house history and it's our
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honor as an association john as you know, being our vice chair that our role and responsibilities are exactly the same from president to president. we were founded by first lady jacqueline kennedy 60 years ago to be the private partner to the white house and it's our privilege to do so, and we've already begun working with dr. biden and her team. we look forward to the next four years of doing the exact same thing that we've done for the past 60 on behalf of the american people as mrs. kennedy famously said the white house belongs to the american people. i'd like to thank our members and guests who have watched us this program today. it's your generosity and support that make these programs and all of our work possible if you're not yet a member of the association would like to come more involved. please reach out through our website white house or give us a call at the association and myself or one of our colleagues will be happy to speak with you. i'll have a good evening. enjoy watching the inauguration tomorrow and here's wishing you all a safe and healthy and happy
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new year. thank you john. thank you chris very much. from george washington to george w bush every sunday at 8pm at midnight eastern we feature the presidency our weekly series exploring the presidents their politics policies and legacy. you're watching american history tv all weekend every weekend on c-span 3 visit c-span's new online store at to check out the new c-span products and with the 170th congress in session. we're taking pre-orders for the congressional directory every c-span shop purchase helps support c-span's non profit operations shop today at the c-span cities tour travels the country exploring the american story since 2011. we've been to more than 200 communities across the nation.


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