tv PBS News Hour PBS April 13, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight -- on pause -- injections of the johnson and johnson covid vaccine are halted across much of the country following several cases of blood clots. then, minnesota on edge -- another night of unrest follows the police killing of daunte wright as lawyers launch their defense of former officer derek chauvin in the george floyd murder case. going solar -- a small florida community aims for energy independence by harnessing the power of the sun. >> it just makes sense to do it the right way, to live in environment that is clean and sustainable. that's just good for us health-wise so if we're also helping in climate change, we're
all winning. judy: all that and more on toght's "pbs newshour." ♪ announcer: major funding for the "pbs newshour" has been provided by -- >> for 25 years, consumer cellular has been offering no -- consumer cellular's goal has been to provide wireless service to connect. our u.s.-based customer service team can help find a plan that fits you. to learn more, visit consumercellular.tv. announcer: johnson & johnson. bnsf railway. >> the john s. and james l. knight foundation, fostering informed and engaged communities. more at kf.org. announcer: and with the ongoing
support of these individuals and institutions. ♪ this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. judy: on this day with several big news developments, including the aftermath of another police killing in minnesota and president biden's announcement of when u.s. troops will leave afghanistan, we begin with the covid story. a number of vaccination centers have begun suspending the use of the johnson and johnson vaccine after federal health officials recommended the move. the centers for disease control
and the fda said today they are reviewing extremely rare and severe blood clots in 6 women. that's out of nearly 7 million people who've received the vaccine in the u.s. dr. ann schuchat is the principal deputy director of the cdc and she joins us now. for the record, johnson d johnson is a "newshour" funder. welcome back. what can you tell us about these blood clots and how dangerous they are? dr. schuchat: we are taking this very seriously. almost 7 million doses of the j and j vaccine have been administered. right now, we have six reports of serious blood clots including one fatality of unfortunately. there is an unusual pattern to
the blood clots and that there is a very low platelet count. that unusual pattern tipped us off that we needed to take this seriously. we took a pause because we wanted to give the health care community time to recognize, diagnose, and manage this position. if you treat this with the usual treatment for clotting, it can get worse. the second reason was to urge more reporting so we could get a better understanding of the pattern, whether this is limited to women, certain ages, or just how frequent it is. the third reason was to give time for our advisory committee, our group scientific experts to give us their advice. judy: is it certain that there
are six women and there are no more people who have developed these clots? dr. schuchat: we don't know that yet. we are actively urging reporting from clinicians or patients and their families through the vaccine adverse event reporting system, which is how we detected these cases. we are interested in understanding whether there are additional cases or possible cases. it takes a little time to validate, review the records, and so forth. these are a rare set of symptoms, not the usual kind of blood clots or strokes that see. it is unusual enough that we want to get to the bottom of it. judy: i am asking about the number because sometimes the reporting may be delayed. six out of 7 million is such a small number. i think one to be reassured that
it is that small. dr. schuchat: this is an extremely rare event that we are tracking. but because of the unusual treatment, it is different than one collision -- that what clinicians might think of, we wanted to give a pause and let clinicians get up to speed. who will be doing a call with our group of clinicians on thursday about how to recognize, manage, and respond. you are right, this is extremely rare right now. and we have to learn more. i just want to say w important it is to the cdc, fda, and federal government for us to take vaccine safety seriously. we know that we are vaccinating on average over 3 million people a day. mostly with the moderna and pfizer vaccines. those are proving to be very safe and effective. we have not seen this problem of
the low platelet counts and blood clots. we want to take time to learn about whether there are more cases and whether they are linked to the vaccine. judy: we know there was a lengthy process before the fda approved the j&j vaccine for emergency authorized use. why wasn't this discovered than? dr. schuchat: as we have wrecked -- as we have retroactively looked back at the trials, at the time, a single episode, it is very difficult to understand what that might be. of course, we have been actively monitoring the safety as the vaccines get even out more
broadly. you can imagine when you have an event that might be as rare as one in a million, that might not show up in a clinical trial even as large as the trials for fda authorization. that is why we take very seriously monitoring safety and effectiveness. you cannot really detect something very rare in vaccine trials even with 50,000 or 60,000 patients. judy: how long do you think this pause may last? and what is the effect on the availability of vaccines overall? dr. schuchat: the good news is that there is a supply of the pfizer and moderna vaccines. we expect not to see a challenge with supply in the short-term future based on this. in fact, we e expecting 28 million doses of those other
vaccines. i can't say exactly how long the pause will go on. we are working closely to get as much information as we can and we are holding the emergency meeting tomorrow. we will get back and update more of the american public on this as we know more. judy: dr. anne schuchat, the principal deputy director of the cdc, thank you very much. the death of george floyd and the trl of former police officer derek chauvin has kept the state of minnesota in the national spotlight. now, the death of daunte wright near minneapolis has led to new protests and re-opened long-standing questions over policing and race. special correspondent fred de
sam lazaro has our report. and a warning -- viewers may find some images disturbing. >> with calls for accountability growing louder in the minneapolis suburb, the police officer who fatally shot 20-year-old daunte wright resigned today. >> i'm hoping this will help bring some calm to the community, although ultimately, -- the community. reporter: the officer was identified as kim potter, a 26-year veteran of the brooklyn center police force. the city's police chief, tim gannon, who also resigned today, described the killing at a traffic stop on sunday as an accidental discharge. the father of daunte wright -- aubrey wright -- said in an interview today he rejects that explanation. >> i lost my son. he is never coming back. i can accept that, a mistake. that does not even sound right.
reporter: cries for justice are reverberating across the community reeling after nights of protests. >> i prayed for mr. wright's mom because i know what she's going through because i lost my son. he was murdered. so i know exactly her pain and what she's going through. >> i am concerned. i am scared. we don't know what is abouto occur. a life has been taken. reporter: frustration over the city's handling was felt at a vigil for wright last nit, marked by emotional moments. hundreds took to the streets for a new round of protests outside the police station. lines of officers in riot gear kept wat as anger built through the night. >> you just killed daunte wright . reporter: looters broke into and vandalized a dollar tree nearby while others set off fireworks outside. police began firing flashbang
grenades and teargas to disperse them. the minnesota state patrol set about 40 people were arrested. >> as business owners in brooklyn center board up their doors, bracing for perhaps one more night of unrest, almost everyone here has an eye also on downtown minneapolis where the trial of derek chauvin entered its 12th day of testimony today. reporter: the death of george floyd at the ends of police continues gripping the nation. today, prosecutors for the state of minnesota wrapped up their case. and chauvin's attorney, eric nelson, kicked off the defense highlighting an incident involving mr. floyd and law enforcement on may 6, 2019, about a year before he died. nelson called retired paramedic michelle moseng, who treated floyd on that day. >> were you able to learn that mr. floyd had consumed some narcotics that day?
>> yes. he had told me that he had been taking multiple, like every 20 minutes. i don't remember if it was oxy or percocet but it was opioid-based. reporter: retired minneapolis police officer scott creighton, who arrested mr. floyd in the 2019 incident, also took the stand. >> did you see the passenger do anything physically with his hands? >> yes. he turned away from me toward the driver seat continually as i was giving him commands to see his hands. reporter: but throughout the day, the prosecution took several opportunities to cross examine. >> you were interacting with mr. floyd, correct? >> yes >> and while you were interacting with mr. floyd he didn't collapse on the ground, correct? >> no. >> and mr. floyd did not dropdead while you were interacting with him, correct?
>> no. reporter: the defense brought minneapolis park police officer peter chang to the stand. chang was the fifth officer to arrive on scene may 25, 2020 -- the day mr. floyd died. >> did you notice any changes in the area? >> there was a crowd. the crowd became i guess loud and aggressive. concern for the officers. >> the defense homed in on its arguments that a hostile crowd distracted officers and that health factors, like a pre-existing condition or drug use, led to floyd's death. judy: yamiche alcindor has reaction now from two people directly involved in both of these cases. yamiche: judy, the killings of daunte wright and george floyd continue to reveberate not only in minnesota, but around the country when it comes to policing, use of force and race.
our two guests are personally involved with all of this. philonise floyd is george floyd's younger brother and took the witness stand yesterday. benjamin crump is an attorney represening the floyd family and daunte wright's mother. thank you both so much for being here. you took the stand yesterday. what was that experience like for you and what has been the hardest part of the last 24 hours? >> taking the stand was pretty much a relief to me. the narrative was already painted that they wanted to say my brother was this, he was that. he was the one that was tortured to death on camera. he is the one i had to see over and over again, murdered on camera. so when i had the opportunity to be able to speak about my brother, the things that he shared with us, it was a blessing, especially when i
think about how he used to pick her up when she became handicapped, and he used to dance with her. it made me melt when i watched because it was just so unique watching them dance and things like that. for the last 24 hours, i have been kind of excited but at the same time, i have been down because i am thinking about what is going on with daunte and his family, how they are grieving. i would not want that on any other family. that is why i stand and support them. yamiche: you talk about daunte, i want to ask you about an in a minute. convicting officers is very rare in this country. what you think about how the trial is gone and how confident are you in this system of justice? >> i am confident in what the world witnessed. the world saw my brothers life extinguished in front of all.
i am confident that these officers will be convicted. you have too many protesters around the world marching nationwide and everyone is yelling "i can't breathe." people want to see change, they want to see justice. what happened in that video was wrong. these police officers have to be held accountable or this will continue to happen over and over again and you will see mr. crump everywhere, all across the world, trying to help these families grieve and get through this process. yamiche: ben, you have been all across the world. representing different families. what do you make of the cases and what faith do you have that the system will deliver justice for your clients? >> i believe keith ellison, the attorney general, the first african-american attorney
general of the state of minnesota, who has a track record as a champion for human rights, he and his prosecutors are making a compelling case that derek chauvin should be criminally liable for the killing of george floyd. but, despite what i may think, as far as optimism, faith is rubbing off on me. i do believe in my heart that based on this video that has been seen 50 million times on the internet alone, that in my heart, we are going to get a conviction america has broken my heart in the past. yamiche: there are a lot of people who are feeling heartbroken. philando castile was killed before your brother in minnesota. now we have daunte wright killed
during this trial for this officer what do you make of this latest killing, and how is it making you possibly relive your own trauma? >> it was terrible. i woke up in the morning to find out that a young african-american child had passed away. he was still a kid. he did not come from a broken family. he had a mom, a dad. he had everything that you could imagine that a lot of kids grew up in the african-american community, we don't have. just to see how that mom was grieving, it was devastating watching her, watching the -- she showed what these families are going through. a lot these people that you meet , they don't know how to process this information. they don't know how to process
what is going on. she was just outspoken, letting you know who he was, that he still should be here, just like his name is daunte wright, he should still be right here, right now. unfortunately, we have to go through this trouble. the world is going through this again. we have to stand with daunte and his family. yamiche: ben crump, you representing the family of daunte wright, his mother. what can you tell us about that case, whether or not the officer will be charged, and what do you make of the fact that this is happening during this trial? >> i believe that the police officer will be charged with some level of manslaughter. the fact that she was a 26-year police veteran, training people
on that day. there are a lot of suspicions. they are looking into whether or not they even should have been stopping people for expired license tags. the dmv had beeshut down and backlogged since the covid-19 pandemic. there was a directive sent out, don't stopping people for having expired tags. it may be they have not been able to get an appointment. i say all that to say, it seems like even for minor traffic events, black people end up dead in some of the most unusual ways. think about george floyd, the $20 counterfeit dill. that is a misdemeanor. he could have been given a ticket. they had the discretion to do that.
when it is black people in america, they always engage in doing the most, the most infuriating manner, to use excessive force against us. i think about the sergeant in virginia who was putting his hands out the window, being very reasonable. and i think about daunte, this young man who was probably not making the best decision. but he did not in harm's way. he was trying to get away from them on a traffic citation and they shoot and kill him right in the midst of the derek chauvin trial regarding george floyd's killer. which i believe is the civil-rights case. that you would have a police officer kill an unarmed young
man within 10 miles from the courthouse. yamiche: ben crump, we have talked about black people and policing for a long time, what is the disconnect? >> it is implicit bias. they don't give marginalized majority -- marginalized minorities the benefit of professionalism. that is why you see them doing the most trying to use their discretion to de-escalate matters. they de-escalate a just fine on january 6, 2021, when white nationalists stormed the capital. it is not that they can't de-escalate. i believe it is implicit bias training that they don't respect black people in america enough to make sure that we get the benefit of our constitutional rights. yamiche: thank you so much.
condolences to your family, i am so sorry for your loss. thank you for joining us. benjamin crump, thank you for being here. judy: president biden plans to announce tomorrow that all 2,500 u.s. troops in afghanistan will leave by september 11. the "newshour" confirmed the decision today. it's 4 months later than the previous deadline. top republicans immediately criticized the move. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell called it "a grave mistake". here with some background on the decision is amna nawaz. phyllis and on what we know about this decision. amna: it is a huge announcement from the white house. you mentioned president biden now plans to begin withdrawing
-- begin withdrawing u.s. troops from afghanistan. we should point out that the bided administration essentially inherited an exit plan from the trump administration, a deal they negotiated with the taliban last year. the taliban said we will stop attacking u.s. troops, cut ties with al qaeda. there is anywhere from about 2500 to 3500 u.s. troops on the ground iafghanistan. that is why they have been working to develop their own plan. more details tomorrow. but for now, this is a very big announcement. it is 20 years after the attacks that led the u.s. to launch that work in the first place. trillions of dollars later, more than 2000 u.s. troops dead, over 100,000 civilians dead. judy: we know that when this war begin, there was broad
bipartisan support for the u.s. going in. tell us more about the reaction this afternoon. amna: we have heard republicans criticizing the plan. others like chuck schumer said they want to be briefed on it. some have said, we support this plan because it is time. a white house senior official who briefed some reporters said that the mission in afghanistan was twofold, one to disrupt the terror network there. the threat has not gone away. when you look at the taliban today, they are stronger than ever. they have been resurgent since the drawdown of u.s. forces in 2011. today, they control or contest more territory across afghanistan than at any time in recent history. that is why the u.s. is
negotiating with them about an exit plan and not with the afghan president. the taliban have stopped attacking u.s. forces but they are attacking more afghan forces and afghan civilians. they are poised now to take over once again. when the u.s. troops leave, when the last of those u.s. troops leave afghanistan by september 11 of this year, they will essentially be handing the keys right back to the same forces they have been fighting for 20 years. judy: a lot of concern. we will be watching for the president's announcement tomorrow and of course watching to what happens in september and after. ♪ stephanie: we will return to judy and the full program after the latest headlin.
iran warned it will begin enriching urium to 60 percent purity, the highest level yet, but still short of weapons-grade. the announcement follows an attack that damaged the natanz nuclear facility, which tehran blames on israel. the iranian foreign minister insisted today that his government won't be deterre >> i assure you that natanz will definitely, in the near future, progress with more advanced centrifuges and if israel thought they can prevent iran and the iranian people from pursuing the lifting of the u.s. sanctions, they've played a very bad gamble. stephanie: the warning came hours before informal talks in vienna on the u.s. rejoining the iran nuclear accord. the bided administration is moving ahead with the sale of weapons including the f 35 fighter jet to the united arab emirates. the trump administration approved the deal in september after the uae agreed to
normalize relations with israel. some have criticized the sale because of the uae's involvement in the war in yemen. a slain u.s. capitol police officer, william "billy" evans, was honored by the nation's leaders. the 18-year veteran died this month when a man rammed his car into him and another officer outside the capitol. today, he was remembered in a gathering at the capitol rotunda. president biden spoke directly to evans' widow and 2 young children. pres. biden: you're going to make it by holding each other together, most importantly by holding logan and abigail as tightly as you can. because as long as you have them, you got billy, as long as you have them. stephanie: president biden is expected to give his first address to a joint session of congress on april 20. presidents have typically addressed congress soon after inauguration button the bided
administration -- administration but the biden administration said they wod wait until making progress on the pandemic. more than 300 businesses including apple, google, and coca-cola are urging the president to reduce emissions to at least half of 2005 levels by 2030. dozens of european lawmakers, executives and union leaders made a similar appeal today. the president is nominating the first person of color to lead the u.s. census bureau. robert santos is mexican-american and currently runs the "american statistical association". the census bureau is now working on data from the 2020 count that will be used in redrawing congressional districts. still to come on the newshour, tensions rise as russia mobilizes troops along its border with ukraine. a small florida community works
toward energy independence with a massive array of solar panels. a new biography underlines the influence of former first lady nancy reagan. plus much more. ♪ >> this is the "pbs newshour," from wbt studios in washington and from the west from the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: after months of simmering conflict, thousands of russian troops have massed on the border of ukraine. it is the largest buildup of troops since russia's annexation of crimea in 2014. amna nawaz is back now with that. amna: russia-backed separatists have been fighting against ukrainian forces since 2014. but this year, ukraine says russia has gathered nearly eighty thousand troops at its border. russia has deployed troops in russian-annexed crimea in the south, and along the border with ukraine's donbas region in the
east. the russian government says it is a reaction to what it claimed are nato plans to push troops closer to russia's borders. during a meeting with his ukrainian counterpart today, secretary of state antony blinken voiced his support. >> the united stands firmly behind the sovereignty and territorial integrity of ukraine. and i'm here to reaffirm that with the foreign minister today. and that's particularly important at a time when we're seeing, unfortunately, russia take very provocative actions when it comes to ukraine. amna: president biden also spoke today with russian president vladimir putin to press that message. joining me now to discuss what all of this means is former u.s. ambassador to ukraine bill taylor. thank you for making the time. let me start with what your understanding is on what is driving this escalation and in
particular, russia's framing. >> no one can get inside the head of mr. putin. he surprised the world when he invaded his neighbor in 2014. it is hard to say. it is clearly not what he put out in terms of nato pushing toward the russian border. that is ludicrous. there may be some concern on mr. putin's part that his popularity, support among russians is declining and he needs some way to boost that. he may also be trying to put pressure on ukraine. that is clearly happening. he may also be trying to put some pressure on the new biden administration, just to put them to a test early on. there is nothing that would have prompted this from the ukrainian side. amna: i wanted to ask you about
what we have been seeing inside ukraine. have there been actions from president zelensky to take this kind of escalation right now? >> president zelensky has been pushing back against russian oriented ukrainians, in particular russian oriented ukrainian oligarchs. and he has also pushed back and closed down some russian tv stations. three tv stations that broadcast disinformation from the kremlin. the other thing president zelensky has done is made it clear his intent in the ukrainian constitution to move toward nato. this is the sovereign right to
make these decisions. amna: for years, ukraine has had support. have those four years helped lead to this moment. >> it shifted to some degree over the past four years but only at the very top of the u.s. administration. it was only at the very top that there was any question about the support for ukraine. the state department, defense department, national security council, and the congress, they have continued to support ukraine. it was just this weird dichotomy between most of the government and the very top. yes, confuse people. i think the new administration has made it very clear that, as you indicated, they have unwavering support. amna: we have heard secretary
blinken say the u.s. stands with ukraine. we have heard president biden reiterate that call with president putin. should u.s. forces be willing to put their lives on the line? >> i don't think the ukrainians are interested to having u.s. combat forces on their territory. i am sure that the indications of support from the united states in terms of naval forces moving toward the plexi, in terms of overflights in terms of identifying the kind of movements the russians are taking right now. the other thing we should be doing moving forward as coordinating with european allies for those increased sanctions. if the russians know that more severe sanctions are already cooked, between the americans and europeans, that could also act as a deterrent.
it is deterring military action that we need to do. it is not with u.s. combat forces. it is with diplomacy, security assistance, and economic threats. amna: bill taylor, former ambassador to ukraine, thank you for joining us. judy: florida is no stranger to the damaging effects of climate change. miles o'brien visited a community billed as the country's first solar-powered town. it's the latest report in our ongoing covera about climate change and its consequences. and part of a major jounalism collaborative called "covering climate now". reporter: it's first light and one of the largest solar arrays in the sunshine state is starting another 150 megawatt day. >> we spent eight years working to make this happen.
reporter: developer syd kitson showed me the crown jewel of his sustainable town that could signal the dawn of a new era in the fight against the climate change crisis. >> is 700,000 panels on about 800 acres of land. it is a very large solar field. reporter: it is called babcock ranch, the first solar powered town in the country. so, you know, when you look out here, is is this our future? >> it is the future. it's a piece of the puzzle and it's a good piece of the puzzle. reporter: the puzzle pieces are falling into place 25 miles north of fort myers at what was a huge cattle ranch. here, kitson and partners are developing a master plan community of nearly 20 thousand homes with a population of 50 so far about 2300 are here in thousand. 900 homes. and it already feels like a town with a main street, a green with
a bandshell, shops and offices, nearly all the amenities are planned. it will all eventually connected by autonomous electric shuttles. for now, golf carts and electric scooters are the preferred means of mobility. >> we want them to stay here to be comfortable here, to have the shopping, to have the entertainment that they want. i want to be able to work here and obviously live their lives here. reporter: kitson has been a developer for more than 35 years . before that, he was a lineman for the green bay packers and dallas cowboys in the 80's. now he hopes to write a new playbook for developers to go on offense against the climate emergency. >> when people hear the word developer, it has a certain connotation that might not necessarily be all that positive. it just makes sense to do it the right way to live in an environment that is clean and sustainable. that's just good for us
health-wise. so if we are also helping in climate change, we're all winning. reporter: the utility that built and operates the solar arrays, florida power & light, agrees. it was one of the company's first big forays into solar power. >> it's really our showcase working with babcock ranch to highlight all the things that we're doing in one spot. reporter: matt valle is fpl's vice president of development. since the installation of these arrays at babcock ranch in 2016 , the company has gone big on lar power. statewide, it has installed about 11 million solar panels , generating nearly 9 percent of what it puts into the grid. the big driver is economics. solar panels are now 80% cheaper than they were a decade ago. >> every time we make a forecast for what we think solar is going to be in a few years, when we get to that point in time, the actual cost of solar is much lower than we were forecasting. >> it's the only thing in our generation plan going forward for the next 10 years.
reporter: fpl has built 10 megawatts of lithium battery storage here, but it's not nearly enough to power babcock ranch through the night -- a natural gas plant fills the gap. grid-level energy storage ideas remain in their infancy. but some babcock ranch residents aren't willing to wait for that. they have solar panels on the roof and tesla battery walls in the garage. >> so that at any one time, we're getting electricity, either from the batteries, from the roof itself or the solar panels we have up there, or from the grid. reporter: tom and lisa hall have lived here for a year. >> i've heard people say we're living in the city of the future, but we're living here already. everybody moves here are really pioneers. people feel a certain sense of they're taking part in a real experiment and they're part of it. and they love being part of it. reporter: syd kitso's definition of sustainability extends far beyond renewable energy.
he has worked hard to ensure babcock ranch has sustainable demographics, a mix of incomes and ages. and that's why one of the one of the first things he built was this charter school, with a project-based learning curriculum. >> i walk into these rooms and think, man, these guys are going to be world changers. they truly are. reporter: shannon treece is the principal. the school filled up almost instantly and has lured many families with school age kids to babcock ranch. >> we want to breed that innovation mindset, that growth mindset that you're neverou're never done learning. and if we're going to solve big world problems, you've got to have a skill set to do that. reporter: you're growing sustainable humans, essentially, right? >> i hope so. that's the goal. reporter: but is this idea an interesting one off or something that can be replicated? >> i think the jury's still out on babcock ranch. reporter: ellen dunham jones is a professor of architecture at
the georgia institute of technology. her research is focused on retrofitting existing suburbs to make them more sustainable. she says babcock ranch is a shining example of so-called new urbanist design principles, but -- >> it's not dealing enough with really the bigger challenges that we have to deal with, it's doing good things but i want to see the lessons learned from that that we can really apply to, i think this just much bigger challenge, which is all the existing places. reporter: and that is happening. she says many developers are transforming dead shopping malls and office parks in the suburbs into more pedestrian-friendly town centers. it's a back to the future approach to development which syd kitson has embraced. the old babcock ranch property was 90,000 acres. but his development will sit on only a fifth of it. he sold the rest back to the state to be set aside.
and in some cases, brought the land back to its natural state. this wetland had been drained for agriculture. >> you look at this beautiful wetland now, knowing that just literally a couple of years ago, it was dry, arid and not good for anything. now it's flourishing. reporter: a developer who has created some swampland in florida, go figure. the land here is thirty feet above sea level. in the state with the most to lose as the climate changes, babcock ranch is sitting pretty indeed. for the pbs newshour i'm miles o'brien in babcock ranch, florida. judy: during her more than 50 year marriage, nancy reagan was also the most trusted adviser to her husband, president ronald reagan. washington post columnist karen tumulty is out with a new book
about her and her influence, titled, "the triumph of nancy reagan." i spoke with karen yesterday. welcome to the newshour. you paint such a vivid portrait of nancy reagan. the reader almost feels as if we are living alongside her. give us a view of the research that goes on in this book. >> i started out thinking i would be writing about a first lady, about a marriage, obviously a love story. the deeper i got into the research, the more i realized that nancy reagan is a different window into the entire reagan presidency and actually, an entire entry point in history. judy: you spend a lot of time
talking about her family, her mother, her relationship with her stepfather. how did all of that shape who she became? >> nancy reagan was born nancy robbins company product of an unsuccessful marriage. her parents essentially split up as soon as she was born. her mother decides that she is going to continue to pursue her active career and busy social life, and essentially abandons nancy reagan to live with relatives for the next six years. that really casts a shadow on her spirit that i think last for the rest of her life. she is truly wary, anxious, perpetually convinced that no matter how successful she is, no matter how good things are, that life is just a trapdoor and
everything good disappear in an instant. two months after her husband's inauguration, all of that seems to be confirmed when she almost loses him to a would-be assassin 's bullet. judy: you write about their relationship, that is through the entire book. a love story for the ages but also complicated in that she was a take no prisoners not just supporter of his but she paid attention to every single aspect of his life to make sure it was successful. >> this really was a partnership, without which he would never have become governor of california or president. she loves him, she believes in his greatness. but she also is fully aware of his vulnerabilities and weaknesses. she has skills that he does not
she is shrewder about people, she essentially has a better, more fine tuned radar than he does about the people around him , who is serving their own interests and agendas versus who is there for him. judy: where did she make the most difference? >> she would say, i don't deal with policy, i just deal with people. anybody who has been in washington five minutes knows that people issues are policy issues. i opened the book on something george shultz told me, a moment where she arranges a little dinner for four, the two couples. the all-purpose of the dinner is to get george shultz away from her husband's hard-line, hawkish
advisors, and give him an opportunity to speak to ronald reagan directly. it is at that moment, schulz told me, that he began to realize that for all of ronald reagan's anti-communist rhetoric, despite the fact that he w presiding over the biggest peacetime military buildup in history, this is a guy who wants to reach out to the soviet union. certainly, nancy reagan believed they should be her husband's place in history, as a peacemaker and not a warmonger. judy: of course, that is what went on to happen. at the time, we did not realize it but she was very active behind the scenes. >> what people don't realize about ronald reagan, as affable and amiable, as gifted as he was connecting with the american people, that he was actually a solitary figure. given his druthers, he would have been out pounding
fenceposts on his land. it is really nancy reagan who builds and cultivates the network around her husband. she was an incredibly valuable ally to those among her husband's advisors who recognized her power, who could get her on board a policy or position. people who were not on her good side tended not to last for very long. judy: she is hardly a feminist, does not want anything to do with feminism. but, through her power, she ends up having in his influence. it is a different kind of woman's influence, if you will. >> her power is the fact that she is quite literally the only person in the world to ronald reagan is truly close. starting in sacramento, she begins to get much more
sophisticated about her own influence, our own power, and really her own role in his success. judy: remarkable compound nancy reagan. "the triumph of nancy reagan." thank you very much. >> thank you, judy. tonight's brief but spectacular comes from eric, worked in the bill clinton white house. he offers his tank -- his take on why he is still hopeful democracy can work for everyone. his latest book is called "become america." i think people have a misconception that democracy is about voting. show up, cast your ballot. i think the deeper thing is that you exercise the full breadth of
your power every other day. all i have done is to have the dumb luck to be born here. my parents had done the heavy lifting. they made the choice, the sacrifice, come to the united states and start this new life. the question was always, how can i be useful? i remember vividly went they became naturalized u.s. citizens in 1977, the joint things, they showed up for things. they became leaders and members of the hudson cnese-american association. they realized that to live in society is to try to be part of something greater than yourself i think one of the best ways to teach children about civic engagement is just to weave it into a mindful approach to everyday life. let's walk around a neighborhood and ask questions about what we see. do you notice that there does not seem to be a bus stop?
do you notice that there were only fast food stores? all the streets are well paved and the sidewalks are nice but once you cross this block, everything is kind of falling apar everything we see is the external deposit of a a lot of internalized choices about power, responsibility, and what we are supposed to do to create a healthy and thriving community. we are a country bound together by nothing but a creed. you have got to be able to maintain regularly as a matter of ritual to reckon th that creed and ask, how will i close the gap bween that creed and our deeds? look at the way that these treat black people look at the ways we educate our children. look at the ways we deal with public health. how can i show up to close that gap? we are having this conversation the aftermath of the presidential election. how i feel right now is determined. it is the deep game, the game up
beneath the visible game of prison politics, vote counting, jockeying for control of the senate or what have you. there is a deep game of our values, our willingness to take responsibility. are we willing to humanize each other across partisan and other lines of difference? it just means understanding, how did you come to this worldview? what pain, what hope, what trauma, what triumph lead you to see the world this way? and how might i find some avenue in to say, ok, i get that. it does not take 300 million of us to decide, we will live like citizens this way. majority rule is always driven by minority will. a critical mass of us would like to show up over and over again to rekindle belief that this democracy can work for all of us
, that is all it takes. i see a great civic awakening especially for young people across the ideological spectrum and geography of our country. my name is eric liu and this is my brief and spectacular take on living like a citizen. judy: provocative. something to think about. join us again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, please stay safe and we will see you soon. announcer: major funding for the "pbs newshour" has been provided by -- consumer cellular. johnson & johnson. bnsf railway. carnegie corporation of new york, supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement
of international peace and security. at carnegie.org. and with the ongoing support of these institutions. this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ this is pbs newshour west. from our bureau at the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.]
>> pati narrates: today it's all about the classics. american classics. but i'm gonna "mex" them up, i'm taking 3 beloved american dishes and giving them a new twist. first, maryland lump crab meat dip with roasted chiles. ooh, you can see how cheesy it is! then alan is helping me with an outrageous crunchy sweet and spicy southern fried chicken. oh my gosh, look at this! for dessert, chocolate pecan pie with a mexican favorite - dulce de leche caramel. and nothing makes me happier than sharing new recipes with my three boys. >> i'll wait, i'll wait. >> you'll wait? since when do we wait? >> yeah, we don't wait. ♪ ♪