For this month's Readers' Review: "Drown" -- the debut collection of short stories by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Diaz. Twenty years ago, Diaz published ten heart-breaking tales about a fragmented family from the Dominican Republic finding their way in 1980s America.
Donald Trump is riding high in the Iowa polls but John Kasich gains ground in New Hampshire. Jeb Bush defends his brother’s Iraq war legacy. Hillary Clinton’s plan to reduce college debt is overshadowed as she turns over her private email server to the FBI. Bernie Sanders continues to draws big crowds. The U.S. stock market stabilizes after three straight days of China’s currency devaluation. A state of emergency is extended in Ferguson, Missouri. And former President Jimmy Carter announces he has cancer. A panel of journalists joins Diane for analysis of the week’s top national news stories.
- Chris Cillizza founder of "The Fix", a politics blog for The Washington Post; author of "The Gospel According to The Fix."
- Molly Ball staff writer, The Atlantic.
- Sheryl Gay Stolberg national correspondent, The New York Times.
Video: Will Hillary Clinton's Private Server Hurt Her?
Hillary Clinton agreed this week to turn over a private email server she used during her time as Secretary of State to the FBI.
Will it hurt her? Our panel says yes.
Video: Best Wishes For Jimmy Carter As He Explores Cancer Treatment
Video: Why Haven't More GOP Candidates Reached Out To The Black Community?
MS. DIANE REHMThanks for joining us. I'm Diane Rehm. Jeb Bush says his brother's security mission was accomplished in Iraq. A state of emergency is extended in Ferguson, Missouri, and former President Jimmy Carter announces he has cancer. Joining me for the domestic hour of The Friday News Roundup, Sheryl Gay Stohlberg of the New York Times, Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post and Molly Ball of The Atlantic.
MS. DIANE REHMWe are streaming on video today's first hour of the Friday News Roundup. You can go to drshow.org and click on "watch live." You can call us at 800-433-8850. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow us on Facebook or Twitter. And welcome to all of you.
MR. CHRIS CILLIZZAGood morning, Diane.
MS. SHERYL GAY STOLBERGGood morning.
MS. MOLLY BALLGood morning.
REHMGood to see you all. Sheryl Gay Stohlberg, the state of emergency in Ferguson extended. Tell us what the latest is there.
STOLBERGWell, on the streets, things are relatively calm in Ferguson. The young man who was critically wounded by police, Tyrone Harris...
STOLBERG18-year-old who was shot after police said he fired at them, is still in the hospital, has been upgraded to stable condition from critical condition. So I think there is just a sense of sort of uneasy calm, I would say, in Ferguson nearly a week after the weekend of protests to mark the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, who, as we all know, set off this national conversation that we're having about race and police treatment of black men and women.
REHMAnd who are the protesters, at this point? Who are the Oath Keepers, Molly Ball?
BALLWell, the Oath Keepers are an interesting group. They're a sort of right-wing anti-government group of law enforcement veterans who see themselves as sort of supporting the mission of the police. So they've some to these protests and they are armed, some of them, and they've been -- and there's been a conversation about why are these people showing up at the protest, armed, when, you know, young black men who are carrying guns are seen as suspicious or are fired upon.
BALLWhereas these mostly white protesters are allowed to sort of monitor almost a paramilitary force.
REHMTheir website describes the Oath Keepers as a, quote, "nonpartisan association of current and formerly serving military police and first responders who pledge to fulfill oath of all military and police to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic." And the officials there are not too happy about this.
CILLIZZANo, Diane, and I would think understandably so because it adds -- look, the more armed people you add into what Sheryl has described rightly as sort of a uneasy situation, at best, the more dangerous it is. This is part of something -- and Sheryl rightly noted -- sort of set off a national conversation and this is the -- the Oath Keepers, I think, are sort of the most aggressive, perhaps, element of push back that's come, this idea, well, the cops are being unfairly maligned.
CILLIZZANot necessarily in this situation or in several of these others, but generally the idea that the police are just shooting unarmed black men left and right is inaccurate and that this needs to -- that this is a way to counteract that and stand up for the fact that they do and we all agree on this, that they do risk their lives every day. So this is sort of the counter movement to the movement set off by Michael Brown.
STOLBERGBut it's really creating and adding to the tensions, frankly. I mean, the Black Lives Matter protesters feel that why are these Oath Keepers allowed to, as Molly said, be out after curfew, basically roaming the streets with assault weapons, you know, that if you had a young 18-year-old black man out after curfew roaming the streets with an assault weapon, that would not be tolerated. That person would be arrested.
STOLBERGWe've also seen questions this week about, actually, arrests of reporters. A year ago, during the Michael Brown -- the uprising after Michael Brown's death, reporters for The Washington Post and one for Huffington Post were arrested. This week, it was announced that both were being charged with trespassing and some are saying, you know, don't the authorities in Ferguson have enough to do without charging news reporters with trespassing?
REHMAnd tell me about the group Black Lives Matter. They're publically confronting presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders and now Jeb Bush.
BALLWell, this is a group that -- I would say Ferguson was one of many catalysts for this movement, but it's a group of mostly online activists who have come together around these issues of the marginalization of black communities, around racial justice, around all of these confrontations across the country. And this has really become a national movement. It's sort of loosely organized.
BALLIt doesn't have, you know, a real hierarchy of leaders. But they have been. They actually shut down a Bernie Sanders event in Seattle this past week.
BALLBecause they accuse him of not giving enough attention to issues of racial justice, as separate from economic justice. You know, I've spoken to Bernie Sanders about issues of racial justice and when you ask him what will you do about the sort of systematic inequalities that African-Americans face, he says, well, I would make sure everybody gets jobs. I would have this trillion dollar jobs program.
BALLAnd to a lot of racial justice advocates, that's not enough because it isn't just an economic issue. It's not a color blind issue that everybody should have the same opportunities when one group, they feel, is systematically discriminated against. I think Bernie Sanders has sort of gotten with the program. He's updated his rhetoric since I had that conversation with him and he started speaking about these things more, but, you know, these activists, I think, also feel that even though he's the candidate who's probably closest to their agenda, he's the one that they have the most opportunity with because he is the one who is most sympathetic to their...
REHMDidn't he say all lives matter and therefore, that got him into some little bit of trouble with the Black Lives Matter group?
BALLThat's right. That was about a month ago at the Netroots Convention...
STOLBERGAnd Martin O'Malley.
REHMAnd Martin O'Malley said the same thing.
CILLIZZAWas forced to apologize. And I think what Molly's getting at is that it's really about Bernie Sanders saying that the root of everything here, the root of inequality is economic. And these people are saying, no. The root of everything is racial. The racial inequality is sort of the first brick upon which this broader inequality is built. That is a different thing because, honestly, Molly rightly points out, Bernie Sanders is plenty liberal.
CILLIZZAIt's not an issue of sort of his political positioning. It's an issue of emphasis, sort of where do -- what's the prime mover to address what everyone agrees, on that side of the aisle, is a sort of inequality in the country.
REHMAnd how did Jeb Bush handle the situation, Sheryl?
STOLBERGBy walking out. Jeb Bush was confronted in Nevada this week by Black Lives Matter protesters after he was asked about questions of racial justice and he talked about inequities in the criminal justice system. Activists felt that his answers were vague and they started chanting "black lives matter, black lives matter," and he exited the stage. And I think it was a very interesting moment for the movement because it was the first time the Black Lives Matter movement has confronted a Republican.
STOLBERGAnd as Chris and Molly have said, you know, I think what we're seeing is a really interesting shift in the political debate in this country. For a long time, we've talked -- and Democrats, especially, and Republicans have talked about class and economic inequality and we've had these discussions around issues like Affirmative Action and, you know, should we be talking about race or should we be talking about class?
STOLBERGAnd there's been a whole shift away from race. But since the Michael Ferguson shooting and the other incidents, Eric Garner and Sandra Bland and all the others, we are now pushing back toward a conversation about race and this Black Lives Matter movement is forcing this conversation and forcing it on now both side of the aisle as Republicans, too, want to expand their tent and reach out to minority voters.
BALLI don't disagree with any of that, but this is mostly a Democratic civil war and what we are seeing now is in a only lightly-contested Democratic primary, really, there are a lot of voices on the left that are shouting to be heard because they have been sort of forced to fall in line for the eight years of the Obama presidency. Everybody sort of had to stay in the tent and support the president against the common enemy that was the Republicans, but there's really a lot of disagreement within the Democratic party.
BALLThere's a lot of disagreement about economic issues. There's a lot of disagreement about racial issues. There's a lot of disagreement, as Chris said, just about sort of what you emphasize and how you see the problem, whether it's the sort of Elizabeth Warren thesis that the whole system is rigged or whether it's more of the sort of Hillary Clinton view that all you need to do is sort of pragmatically target government spending in the right directions.
STOLBERGIf I could just add quickly, President Obama, himself, actually came in...
STOLBERG...with this approach of the rising tide lifts all boats. I'm not the president of black people. My plan for black social justice is to create economic justice and to create jobs. That was his message when he first came into office. We are seeing...
REHMBut he told Steve Inskeep on NPR's "Morning Edition" the other day, he really does feel very strongly about these issues.
STOLBERGYeah, well, we've seen, I think, a real evolution in President Obama probably shaped by events and also shaped by the fact that he's not running for reelection again. He's freer to say what he thinks and to talk honestly about how he feels about race.
REHMSheryl Gay Stohlberg of the New York Times, Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post and Molly Ball, she's a staff writer at The Atlantic. We see that in Cuba, the U.S. flag is about to be raised and Secretary of State Kerry is about to speak. Stay with us.
REHMAnd welcome back. Here in the studio for the Domestic Hour of the Friday News Roundup: Molly Ball of the Atlantic, Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post, Sheryl Gay Stolberg of The New York Times. Let's turn now to Hillary Clinton and her email, Molly Ball. She has decided to turn over her private server to the Department of Justice, after a lot of haggling back and forth about that. She had said, initially, she was not going to do it. What changed her mind?
BALLThat's right. Six months ago, when this saga first began, she said she would absolutely not turn over the server. And, as you said, there's been these negotiations. The FBI, I believe, went and picked up the server yesterday.
BALLAnd they are saying now that there appear to be two emails that contained classified material. Neither of them were sent by Hillary, so these were emails sent to Hillary containing some conversations about drones and about some other -- they say it was information that pointed to classified information. So I think, as a political problem for Hillary, this looks like something that was really badly mishandled. She could have sort of ripped off the band-aid by turning it over six months ago. But this has continued to contribute to the perception that she has something to hide, that she has done something, you know, that she has put the nation's secrets at risk. I mean, she really could have prevented all this by not using a personal email server to begin with.
REHMBut wait a minute. In all fairness, we're talking about thousands and thousands and thousands of emails. If the Justice Department has come up with two that were sent to her, not from her, and now all the people who were against her are saying, "Well, look. She really did violate what she said she was going to do."
CILLIZZAYou are right in terms of the bulk. We're talking about roughly 62,000 total emails. Now a little under half of those are the ones that Hillary Clinton and her lawyers decided were professional and turned over to the State Department.
CILLIZZAThe others have been deleted. The one thing I will say about that two number, Diane, we're really dealing with only a much smaller batch, which is 40 that the State Department has turned over to the intelligence community's inspector general. So out of those 40, it's two. Now it could wind up being two out of the 30,000, we don't know.
CILLIZZABut I would just caution that. Right now, we're dealing with a pretty small sample. The State Department has been very resistant to turning over large batches, which they now have. They had them before. They now have them on the server as well.
REHMThey've turned over everything. Yeah.
CILLIZZABut turning over everything to the inspector general, just as a bit of comment.
STOLBERGYou know, I think when you set aside the question of whether or not there was classified information on the server or not, it's still a perception problem for Hillary Clinton. Because, look, most Americans don't have access to a private email server. And most Americans expect that when a government official goes to work, that government official is going to use the government's server.
REHMOf course. Of course.
STOLBERGSo it creates and feeds into this narrative about the Clintons and Mrs. Clinton that the rules are different for them, that she's not one of us.
REHMSo how much do you think this hurts her?
STOLBERGI do think it hurts her. Because I think it's, as I said, it feeds an existing perception that she is somehow different, that they play by a separate set of rules, that the normal standards don't apply. And that just stems from the very existence of the server -- the private server, regardless of what is discovered on it.
REHMSo you think it's going to dog her all the way through?
CILLIZZAGosh, Diane, I wouldn’t -- Molly put saga right -- she said six months and I thought in my head, "Oh, it hasn't been that long." Then I did the math and it has been that long...
REHMYeah. Of course.
CILLIZZA...which really is just to never doubt Molly Ball.
CILLIZZABut, yes, and I think it will be -- for two reasons. One, because of exactly what Sheryl talked about. This reminds people -- to the extent people didn't like the sort of Clintons in the presidency -- this reminds them of the things they don't like, the secretiveness, the paranoia, the sort of distrust. And I would add one thing onto that, which is the -- not surrounding yourself with someone who says, "Hey, we should probably also set up a State Department email, right?" So I think it's that. And then I also think it just -- it feeds the perception that she is a candidate of the past. Do you really want to go back to this? Do you want -- yes, the Clintons bring many good things. But do they -- they also bring this sort of baggage, this stuff that always follows them.
CILLIZZAAnd she has not effectively dealt with this. We're in month six of this thing and it's not going to get better now that she has been forced to turn the server over to the federal government. This will continue to be sort of a drip, drip, drip kind of story.
BALLAnd we see that in her poll numbers, which continue to decline. She continues to be seen as less and less trustworthy as this sort of miasma of scandal gets kicked up around her, partly through her own doing. Because there is not -- because the Republican field is in complete melt-down chaos and there are so many candidates, and because Hillary Clinton is all but running a general election campaign at this point, she is really running against herself and running against the perception of her. So there's the perception of Hillary that she would like to create, which is this sort of earnest, hardworking, the fighter for everyday Americans, the person who is rolling out these very substantive policy proposals on a weekly basis.
BALLAnd then there is the perception that her opponents are trying to create, with some success -- again, aided and abetted by her own mistakes -- and that is the image of the Clinton years as this time of constant scandal and trouble and strife. And, as Chris said, do you really want to go back to that sort of rolling national crisis?
REHMAnd, of course, that part of it overshadowed her rolling out this talk about how to pay for college, how to keep debt down and so on.
BALLThat's right. She rolled out her plan on student debt this week. And this is an issue that the left has really been pushing to get on candidates' radar, talking -- you know, Bernie Sanders talks about debt-free college. Hillary put out a number of proposals that were praised by a lot of people. But the attention has been focused much more on the email issue this week.
STOLBERGAnd, Diane, just wait until fall, when we have the spectacle on October 22 of Mrs. Clinton testifying on Capitol Hill, as she has said she would, about this issue. And, you know, I think this will sort of hark back to, you know, hearings and it will -- you know, it's going to put her in the position of being a witness and, you know, again, taking away from the message that she wants to deliver in her presidential campaign.
CILLIZZAAnd just one quick thing to add, Diane. You'll see this again, you've already seen it many times, the at-this-point-what-difference-does-it-make line that she had, that, talking about Benghazi. That was on -- during a congressional committee hearing. Republicans will use that, you know, whether it's in a primary or a general election.
REHMAgain and again.
CILLIZZASo Sheryl's right. Every time she is a witness at a hearing, it is -- I always watch these things because it's literally, okay, what ad can be -- what 20 seconds of footage can be clipped or 3 seconds of footage can be clipped and made into an ad? And it just gets her away from what she wants to be talking about, which is the future, right?
CILLIZZAThe more that this is a choice of the past, it's problematic for her.
REHMSo in terms of what else is happening in the campaign, Bernie Sanders is drawing enormous crowds.
STOLBERGYes, he is. He, you know, in a way maybe not surprising. Because, as Molly talked about, the thinness of the Democratic presidential field, there's basically Hillary and pretty much no one else. Martin O'Malley is a tiny, little blip -- Jim Webb, you know? But Bernie Sanders has a real message and it's a message that many progressives really wanted to hear. Frankly, they wanted to hear it from Elizabeth Warren, you know, months ago. She didn't run. But this is his -- you know, he's got a strong populous, leftist, progressive, economic message that has been very appealing. He appeals to young people. He's had huge crowds.
STOLBERGI think he had something like 12,000 in Seattle over the weekend at the university there, after the smaller rally that the Black Lives Matter protesters took his microphone away at. He had, I think, 19,000 or so in Portland. So very big crowds. Whether or not that translates into a victory, hard to say. He is leading in the polls in New Hampshire over Mrs. Clinton.
REHMNow -- and while I was away, it was said -- reported that Vice President Biden was considering a run. Yesterday, we heard he was talking to his innermost circle about that. What do you think?
CILLIZZAYeah. And Sheryl's colleagues -- including a friend of mine, Jonathan Martin -- had a really nice story today about the fact that he had been on the phone with Dick Harpootlian, who is sort of -- if you are a reporter, you know him because he's probably the single most-quotable human being on earth and is willing to say things...
STOLBERGAfter Joe Biden.
CILLIZZA...after Joe Biden, directly -- a perfect -- it's a match made in heaven in that regard. Who -- former chairman, South Carolina Chairman of the Democratic Party -- to talk about the possibility. And I think what Joe Biden is doing right now is not deciding. I think he's essentially allowing people who want him to run to begin to put things in place -- and, honestly, you can make the argument, this needed to happen far sooner -- but to begin to put things in place that, if, at the end of this period, which we think is the end of the summer, but who knows, I mean, he just lost his son, you know, I mean, there's a lot of calculations here -- but if, at the end of this, he says, "Go," that there is an ability to sort of press a switch and to get some of the apparatus going.
CILLIZZAPeople think, "Well, of course he can start in August, the first vote won't be until February." I always say to people, this is a hugely -- it's a massive financial and organizational challenge that takes months and months and months and, in many cases, years and years to build. You can't just sort of decide you're running and then the next day be in first in polls, unless, of course, your name is Donald J. Trump.
REHMAnd he's off, that is, Biden is off to Kiawah for a vacation in South Carolina.
BALLThat's right. We had a very interesting story on Atlantic.com this week by a freelancer in South Carolina, noting that Joe Biden vacations in South Carolina. He's got Dick Harpootlian and other South Carolina notables -- a lot of people think that that could be his stronghold, the early primary in South Carolina. He's got a lot of support there. There is no clear philosophical or ideological rationale for a Joe Biden candidacy. He doesn't offer a clear contrast to Hillary in terms of policy. But there is a lot of personal loyalty. And to the extent that the elites of the Democratic Party are dissatisfied with Hillary's campaign, he is someone that they could pretty seamlessly shift to.
BALLAnd, you know, we also heard yesterday, there's a trial balloon being floated for Al Gore. So there's clearly some agitation in the top ranks of the Democratic Party and they're casting about -- not necessarily looking to jump ship, but just looking at what the possible alternatives are.
REHMDisconcerted about Hillary or worried about Hillary and whether, you know, these problems are going to continue to escalate?
CILLIZZASo I think the thinness of the field and the fact that there isn't a really at this point really robust primary. Was a decision made, you know, six or twelve months ago by sort of the establishment who looked at Hillary and thought, "Okay, this is her time. This is our best chance by far. There's not a Barack Obama figure out there. Sure Bernie Sanders might run, sure Martin O'Malley might run. But we're going to get behind her and we're going to do everything we can to -- it's not a coronation, but we'd like her to spend the primary raising money and getting her image better."
CILLIZZAWhen you take all of those eggs, Diane, and you put them in one basket, the -- you are guaranteeing -- even if Hillary was running a pitch-perfect campaign, which she's not -- you are guaranteeing a level of stress and angina because there's no alternative. You have staked all -- it's pushing -- I'm using about 50 mixed metaphors -- you have pushed all your chips onto her. And it's almost -- I'm skeptical of Joe Biden, because I think it's almost too late to change horses.
REHMDo you agree?
STOLBERGWell, I was going to say, two points: One, Hillary Clinton is running around with a big target on her back and there are 17 Republicans firing at it, right? So the disparity between the fields. And the other point about Joe Biden, though, I think should be made is some people close to Joe Biden are very concerned about the fact that he might run. They fear that his propensity for gaffs would not stand him in good stead on the campaign trail, that he wouldn't do well and that he has a legacy right now of a very -- having been a very effective vice president...
STOLBERG...and a very beloved vice president. And with the death of his son especially, if he wasn't a sympathetic figure before, he is certainly a sympathetic figure now. And the fear is that he will ruin or impinge on his legacy if a campaign goes awry.
REHMSheryl Gay Stolberg of The New York Times. And you're listening to "The Diane Rehm Show." Turning from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump. Molly Ball, he's topping the polls after last week's GOP debate, even though he disparaged one of the people on that panel, Megyn Kelly, after he made just really outrageous remarks.
BALLThere doesn't seem to be anything that can stop Donald Trump. Now there's a number of important caveats here, right? First of all, there hasn't been a large-scale, credible national poll since the Republican debate. There have been polls in the early states that show him hanging onto first place. He is not gaining. Other candidates are slipping back and the other -- the rest of the field is churning a little bit.
REHMAnd Kasich is coming up in New Hampshire.
BALLKasich is coming up, nationally and in New Hampshire. We saw, Ben Carson seemed to get a bump out of the debate. Rubio seemed to get some attention. And Scott Walker seemed to slip in a lot of the polls, including in Iowa, where he's been seen as the front-runner. But, you know, Trump's people are impervious to any kind of criticism. There doesn't seem to be a line that he can cross that would offend them because part of what they like about him is that he doesn't care about manners and niceties and propriety. So when he can -- he can insult anyone with impunity because he's not one of the Washington establishment, the people who feel that they have to respect the so-called rules of political discourse. He's not politically correct.
REHMAnd how are the other candidates reacting to him, Sheryl?
STOLBERGWell, it's very interesting to see. So Rand Paul put out a video this week, you know, attacking Donald Trump. And Trump just sort of swatted it away, basically said, "Well, you know, I've played golf with Rand Paul and I beat him on the golf course. I'm going to beat him in politics, too." Kasich, I thought had a very interesting response, a very clever response. He said, "Thank God for Donald Trump. Twenty-four-million people tuned in -- meaning to the debate, which of course elevated John Kasich's exposure.
STOLBERGAnd I think Carly Fiorina is an interesting one to watch. The only woman in the Republican field and she said to Jake Tapper on CNN this week, "Women understood." And she said, "I, myself, have been," you know, "have felt as though men felt that I wasn't competent. I've experienced that." And so I think if anyone has handled it well and has been able to sort of push back at Trump effectively, it's been Carly Fiorina. The others, as Molly said, you know, you can't fight the man. He's like a Hydra. Every time Republicans try to cut off his hear, you know, two more grow back. He attacked John McCain and said he wasn't a war hero and his poll numbers went up.
CILLIZZAAnd to the...
STOLBERGYou know, every time we think he's dead, he rises again.
CILLIZZATo the extent that people do attack him -- Rick Perry, Rand Paul -- you know, I don't want to directly correlate these things, but they then, relatively quickly, fall off. So it's not even as though -- Molly's 100 percent right -- there's literally nothing that slows him at this point. But it's also -- if you attack him, it bounces back on you. It is something that I've literally never -- his poll numbers, the reversal in them and how he can say whatever he likes whenever he likes about whomever he likes and not be drastically hurt by it, is something I've literally never seen.
BALLWell, what Donald Trump has done is he has consolidated the angry fringe of the Republican Party. So this is only 20 to 25 percent. But no one else has managed to consolidate that large a chunk and there are so many candidates that he continues to hold first.
REHMMolly Ball of The Atlantic. And as we speak, the American flag is being raised at the opening of the American Embassy in Cuba.
REHMAnd welcome back to the domestic hour of the Friday News Roundup. As most of you know by now, the US flag has been raised at the new US embassy in Havana. Secretary of State John Kerry is there and was there when the flag was raised. I misspoke earlier when I said that Bernie Sanders said all lives matter. It was simply Martin O'Malley.
CILLIZZAThat's right. And it was at the same conference. This was at the Net Roots Nation Conference and annual gathering of sort of progressives. Martin O'Malley famously/infamously did in response to black lives matter said all lives matter. I think he then went on to say white lives matter, black lives matter. He was then, he then very quickly issued an apology.
CILLIZZASaying that, you know, he understood that what black lives matter is about, sort of, racial inequality, and putting that at the core of a campaign.
CILLIZZASo, that was the exact quote.
REHMOkay. We talked about Donald Trump. I want to ask you, Molly, about Jeb Bush, because he defended his brother's record in Iraq. Saying mission accomplished.
BALLMore or less. This is a continuing issue for Jeb Bush. We remember when he was first asked about it in the campaign. He says he misspoke when he said that knowing what we know now, he still would have authorized the invasion. And then he said he misunderstood the question and that that was not the case. He's trying, he tried, this week, to go on offense, by giving a big foreign policy speech, trying to turn the issue around, trying to turn a weakness into a strength and say, this is all Obama and Hillary's fault.
BALLThe chaos that we're seeing now and the rise of ISIS. The problem with that is, anyone who has been alive for the last 10 years is going to say, okay, but wait a minute. Where did this problem start? And while a lot of experts on the region agree that the Obama administration has mishandled the situation, and helped cause the chaos that's arisen, it is also the case that the root of all this is the Iraq War, which was started by George W. Bush and which Jeb Bush still has not, you know, come up with a clear position on.
STOLBERGYeah, this is, I think this is a very difficult balancing act for Jeb Bush, because most Americans still believe that the Iraq War was not a war that we should have gotten into. And his earlier stumbles over questions about whether or not he would have supported it, saying, I guess, or I don't know, come back to haunt him as he is trying to take on Hillary Clinton and basically accuse her of laying the foundation for the rise of ISIS.
REHMExactly. And accuse Obama of laying the foundation for ISIS. Both.
STOLBERGYes. Although, but of course, you know, the suggestion is that he may be running against Hillary Clinton, so he's trying to pull her in. Many experts have, as Molly said, complained or said that ISIS has grown stronger because of missteps by the administration. Jeb Bush is trying to tie Hillary Clinton to those missteps through her tender as Secretary of State.
REHMAnd then, Chris, you have Perry, who can no longer pay his staff.
CILLIZZARight. Rick Perry, who, almost four years ago today, I think it was four years ago yesterday, entered the 2012 race as its co-favorite or maybe its favorite. With the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, decided he wanted to run again after what, it's hard to say, it's kind to describe something as a disaster, but his 2012 campaign was kindly described as a disaster. He decided he wanted to run again, I think, in part, because he wanted to reclaim, sort of, his own image.
CILLIZZASheryl was mentioning earlier about Joe Biden, you know, that he's had a nice run as Vice President. Does he really want to run for President and sort of potentially tarnish that image? Rick Perry, I think, thought that he came across in a way that he was not comfortable with leaving as an impression on the national stage, but there's been very little logic for his candidacy this time around from the start. He didn't make it in the top 10 in the Fox News Debate, which meant he was at the five 'o clock time slot.
CILLIZZAHe was not good, even in that debate. The next day, he stopped paying his staff. Now, he will continue to live on for some period of time, because Citizens United has given us the world of super PACs, and super PACs, he has a super PAC that has 17, or, a series of super PACs that have 17 million dollars in it. They will probably take over, virtually all of the jobs that the campaign...
CILLIZZA...would do organizationally. But look, Rick Perry was not super relevant to the Presidential campaign a week ago, and I think he continues to be less relevant.
REHMAll right. I'm going to open the phones first to Ferguson, Missouri. Doug, you're on the air.
DOUGHi Diane. Thank you for taking my call this morning.
DOUGHow are you doing?
DOUGDiane, my thing about Ferguson is Ferguson has not learned their lesson. These oath keepers are nothing more than self-proclaimed vigilantes. They have no law enforcement training. They are some sort of para-military group. And if you want to see Ferguson erupt again, let one of these people shoot and hurt or kill an unarmed black person. The other question I would like to ask is why have none of the Republican candidates tried to reach out to the black community? They're going to need their vote.
DOUGWe talk about how unemployment is almost five to eight times the national average in the black community. Education, income inequality. Where have people like a Jeb Bush, a Marco Rubio, a Scott Walker been at? I mean, they're just...
REHMOkay, thanks for your call. Molly.
BALLYeah, I think the caller makes a couple of good points. I think, as we look back on the -- on Ferguson from a year ago, a lot of the takeaway is that not much has changed, especially on the local level. There was a commission that put together recommendations for the Missouri legislature. They acted on almost none of them. There was some change to the city council in Ferguson, which previously had been all white for a majority black city. They did get some African Americans elected, but so far, a lot of the policy roots of this crisis, that were talked about, have not been addressed.
BALLAnd so, there is a feeling, and with the reporters being charged a year later, there's a feeling that the law enforcement in Ferguson should have been ashamed of arresting reporters. Instead, they've sort of doubled down by bringing these charges a year later. To the second point, there have been some Republican candidates talking about reaching out to the black community. Rand Paul has been very aggressively reaching out to the black community, and has been outspoken on police militarization specifically.
BALLJeb Bush has talked a lot about taking his campaign to non-traditional places for a Republican, going to inner cities, talking about issues like education and inequality. And John Kasich has courted the black vote in Ohio pretty successfully. So, you do have some candidates talking about it. It's not a central part of the Republican primary conversation, because those aren't Republican primary voters.
STOLBERGWorth noting, there is a black candidate, too. Dr. Ben Carson.
REHMYes. That's true. Fort Meyers, Florida. Pat, you're on the air.
PATHi, thank you. My comment is I take exception. I forgot which female interviewer said that 25 percent of the fringe Republican Party backs Donald Trump. I'm not a Republican. I don't want Donald Trump to run for President. But using words like the fringe of the Republican Party, it -- that's not fair. And there are things that Donald Trump has said that touch me.
REHMI understand. I don't know who said it.
BALLI said that. And I did not say that the Republican Party was a fringe movement. I said that we shouldn't blow this out of proportion, because only a small segment of -- small subset of the Republican Party, which is, itself, only about 25 percent of the American electorate, is on board with Donald Trump. So, we shouldn't see this as some kind of mass popular movement. It's not the majority of the Republican Party. And I do stand by the characterization of it as an angry fringe.
BALLI do think that the voters who are gravitating to Trump, largely are, you know, outraged by what's going on, and that's okay. But they don't represent the mainstream of the party.
REHMOkay, I'd like to ask you about the lobbying going on on Capitol Hill on the Iran deal. And Chuck Schumer is very much at the center of this, Sheryl.
STOLBERGRight. Chuck Schumer is a very important figure. First of all, he's going to be the next Democratic Senate leader, so one would think that he would want to embrace the President's plan for Iraq, for Iran. But in fact, he's announced that he's going to vote against it. This has outraged many of his liberal supporters. As a leading Jewish Democrat on Capitol Hill, he's under a lot of pressure from both sides. And is the target of a lot of these donors. There are donors, both on the left, like George Soros, and on the right, like Sheldon Adelson, who feel very, very passionately about either scuttling this Iran nuclear deal or seeing it go through.
STOLBERGAnd so, we're going to see a ramping up of ads and of money as this vote draws closer. And Schumer is really in the cross hairs over this.
CILLIZZATwo things. One, I was stunned by how the former Obama aids, including David Plouffe, who was the renowned campaign manager of Obama in 2008, came out, of course, via Twitter, and attacked Chuck Schumer. And said, oh, what a big surprise. I mean, there is not a huge amount of love lost between Chuck Schumer and the Obama administration, but the public airing of it when he decided he was going to go against the President struck me. The other thing is, one of the folks who works with me is doing a -- is keeping a tally of where we are on the vote.
CILLIZZAObviously, it won't happen until September. But Al Franken came out yesterday, in support of President Obama. So, at this point, there are 30 yes or leaning yes votes in support of President Obama on the Iran Deal. The vote language is a little complicated.
CILLIZZABut essentially, there are 30 leaning yes. There are 57 no or leaning no. The key thing to remember here is they don't need 50. They need 34. They essentially need to be able to -- they need 34 yes votes. Essentially, 34 votes in support of President Obama and the Iran deal. Because the deal will fail on its first vote in Congress. It will go to the President. He will veto that failure. It will then go back. And if one of the two chambers does not have the two thirds majority to override that veto...
CILLIZZA...it will then be law. That's its -- again, an arcane body in Congress going its most arcane, but that's the key. So, I think Schumer's calculation, I don't know for sure, but I think Schumer's calculation was I need to be against this, but I'm not going to be the one vote that torpedoes it. That it's probably going to get there, not by a lot, but probably going to get there, so it's a win for me. Because ultimately, for my politics, I need to do this.
REHMI have done this.
CILLIZZAAnd I'm not kyboshing or torpedoing the sort of foreign policy legacy of this President.
BALLBut at the same time, a lot of people in the White House feel, if that was his calculation, he could have waited longer. He could have waited until it was more clear that the votes were in place. Because as we see, this is a very fluid situation. The administration doesn't have the votes it needs yet, and because of Schumer's leadership in the Democratic Party and in the Jewish community, he could really point the way for a lot of other Democrats who are on the fence and under very intense pressure from both sides.
STOLBERGBut instead, he's, in effect, given license to other Democrats and Jewish Democrats, in particular, to vote against the President on this deal.
REHMAll right. Let's go to Falls Church, Virginia. Vivian, go right ahead.
VIVIANThanks, Diane. On August 2nd in the Sunday Opinion, Washington Post, Tom Blanton, who's Director of the National Security Archive, I'm sure you're familiar with him, at George Washington University, wrote a piece called Classification Mania. And here's something that you don't usually hear or read. Quote, thank goodness she, Hillary Clinton, used a private email server when she was Secretary of State. If she had used the State Department's system, practically none of her email would survive.
VIVIANThat's how bad states electronic archiving was then. Unquote. And, you know, his interest is, of course, in openness and he refers to Securocrats. I guess that's like those Inspectors General, who think that everything should be classified. Also, you know, this week, we had Secretary Kerry on the CBS Evening News say that he assumes that Russians or Chinese are reading his dot gov emails. You know, so he acts accordingly, or whatever.
CILLIZZAI understand that sort of explanation for Secretary Clinton's decision to use a private email server, which, by the way, made her the first Secretary of State, ever, to use exclusively a private email server. Now, I will say, obviously, email didn't exist 60 years ago. So, it's not that long of a history. But, go back to the reason that she gave for why she used a private email server. It was not transparency. It was, in her words, convenience. She didn't want to carry around a bunch of devices. She wanted all of her email on one device.
CILLIZZASo, all we can do, and I know lots of people blame reporters for doing this, but all we can do is sort of go off her explanation. If she said, I thought it would be more transparent in the long run or safer, fine. But she didn't say that.
REHMAnd you're listening to The Diane Rehm Show. And I can tell you now that the state of emergency has been lifted in Ferguson. Want to ask you all about Jimmy Carter. He announced this week that he does have cancer. There is a history of pancreatic cancer in his family. However, they have not been clear about what kind of cancer he has. It was discovered when he had an operation on his liver, Sheryl.
STOLBERGIt was discovered when he had an operation on his liver. And he has said it spread through his body, and sort of the word from Atlanta is that it's not, you know, there's a great deal of concern about Jimmy Carter. And I would say a couple of things about Jimmy Carter. Aside from him being such an incredible, vigorous 90-year old. Someone who has traveled...
REHMWho was just in here two weeks ago.
STOLBERGWho was just here in your studio promoting his memoir. He's traveled the world, you know, eradicating, you know, guinea worm and addressing, you know, monitoring elections. But he has also been such an incredibly accessible ex-President. Any person can go down to Plains, Georgia, as I did last year, and on any given Sunday, when he is in town, which is many Sundays, go to the Marinatha Baptist Church, and hear Jimmy Carter give a Sunday school lesson.
STOLBERGYou can go through a receiving line afterwards and have a photograph taken with him and Mrs. Carter. You can see them go down to the little cafeteria in town and stand in line, just like everybody else, for their, you know, cornbread and vegetables. And it's truly an extraordinary thing. The way he has made himself so accessible. So I think, regardless of his politics, which frankly, remain controversial this far after his Presidency, many people feel very sad to hear this news.
REHMAs do I. He was on my program for the 11th time. We had an absolutely wonderful conversation. I hope that the country does not become premature in offering eulogies. I, myself, am going to offer my prayers and my best wishes that whatever it is that's going on, perhaps they can find some treatment for him. I want to thank you all for being here today. Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times. Molly Ball of The Atlantic, and Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post. And good luck, President Carter. Thanks all for listening. I'm Diane Rehm.
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