Bill Clinton, 2012, Ohio discussed on Commonwealth Club
Raised in Ohio. He's the second of 12 Children, and he started working at his family's bar at a very young age. And was the first person in his family to attend college. He served as an Ohio State representative and spent nearly 25 years and Congress and during his tenure, he served as the House minority leader and the House majority leader before being elected speaker in 2011. Now in his new book on the House, a Washington memoir. This is a colorful reflection on his years of public service and presidents and the politicians that he encountered along the way, both in Washington, D. C and on. Numerous golf courses. And now without further ado, allow me to welcome to the Commonwealth Club Speaker John Boehner. Well, more so thank you and good afternoon to you and to all over Tunisia. I'm looking forward to, uh, this discussion today and I, uh, writing books was dying by post not what I do. But over the years after I retired, I thought you might have been a pretty interesting life. Very interesting career. I think, uh, I think I could write a book to be pretty interesting. And so once. It's not about doing it, the filing out. Finished on, dear, We are that so well that Melissa far away well, so I looked at some of the reviews. Your book's doing very well. It's been reviewed and sort of all the fancy publications and the one that I thought I did. A really good job of sort of summarizing was from the L A times where they wrote Quote Reading. John Boehner's political memoir is probably a lot like just sitting down next to an old timer at the bar where he used to work growing up in Ohio. There's a lot of talk about the way Things used to be. And before you know it, you have had one too many. And you're not sure just how you're going to get home. So it is a very conversational book. Right? It is that was that when you set out to do it really feels like you're sitting with someone just telling his stories. Can you talk about your process and what you meant to do here? Well, well, I was attempting to do Woz want to be me on? You know, I'm known for being camp it. Sometimes we have plenty being straightforward on by one of the book to sound like me. Trust me. It sounds like May I wanted it to be interesting. I brother enough political memoirs and my life. On realized I did not want to write a book like all those other ones, so that red and so I wanted T o. I wanted it to sound conversational. I really did not want to have to record my own deal book. You know, I was just a lot of work now. I just I really don't wanna do it. But my friends and my staff have beat on me to no end and and so it was. That was really hard to do, But it's the same thing there. I wanted it to sound like I was having a conversation. With the person listening. Don't not worked out. Fine. Thankfully. Yeah, I mean it really It really is. It's a very I found myself, you know, finishing it far too early. I'd set aside a certain amount of time I flew right through because it's just it just moves along so well and a number of stories sort of take place on golf courses, of course. And especially with a certain former senator Joe Biden, and you talk pretty pretty positively about President Biden and about your friendship with him. You talk a little bit about that. And how do you think he's doing as president? Well, Joe Biden did. I have been friends for 30 years. Eyes a traditional Democrat. I would describe myself as a traditional Republican, but, you know, we're both Roman Catholic growth grew up and kind of the same guys circumstances. And, uh, well, we seem to understand the trouble. On During the five years on his finger. He was vice president. On. There were a number of times that on behalf of the Biden or Obama administration, hey, stepped in and be the negotiator between the White House and the Congress. So we have two more times that we get to spend with each other. But you know, every year or sometimes waste here, there'd be a joint session of Congress where the president would speak. And Joe Biden as president of the Senate would join me on the diets and we set behind President Obama. So, you know, While we're waiting for the festivities to start on the president finally be introduced. We spend ample time Upon the diets by ourselves. All right. One year I was 2011 or 2012. I was talking to him about the golf game. I played the previous summer, right shot by shot, even par. That's got a problem and I was telling Joel Vala on. Finally my staff came running over. To say it's all alive. And here, the president's might. His microphone was picking up our entire conversation. Thank goodness we were talking about girls feel like that's what you guys were talking about that a lot of other things, but It was just go. Well, it was great that you you talked about what It's like to be the speaker and to sit. You have to sit there without Moving a single muscle while the president gives his speech. It's the president tonight on anything, I would have done. What I've got me in trouble. And so I decided early on. I wasn't I'd see another speaker sit up there and Do things that they shouldn't have done. Andre got extortion, hated by the press over it, And so I I decide I'm losing my stare in the back of President Obama's head. Not make one facial expression. The only thing that was ever reported about me in the state of the union was that some reporter suggested I looked bored, but weren't you though? A little bit. I want to go. What the hell are you talking about? I'm gonna do all the negative things wrong right down the million things, but I didn't do any of them. I just sat there and behave myself. I always wondered what it goes through the mind of the people have to sit there on camera for three and sort of endure this speech. You were right about President Clinton and Obama and you both sort of and you say about both of them it in different ways that they had run a samad aerate or sort of as a sort of post partisan President, and then you sort of tact left when they got into office for Bill Clinton. It was with e. You know, the health care? Well, actually, both of them. It was really health care reform. Um, How is Joe Biden falling into that same pattern? Or do you think he's um He's sticking with what he what he ran on. What do you make of his is 10 years so far. We've got 50 50 house essentially and 50 50 Senate. Joe Biden won the presidential election frankly narrow, which is a prescription for divided government and, frankly, the way things are going to get done, we're going to get done in a bipartisan fashion on so but I've watched from the beginning of the year and When push comes to shove Joe's always trying to keep this party together, and it was kind of lean to the left. The progressive Caucus is is breathing down his neck on. There's been this skirmish underway, Frankly, since election Day on every time he kind of moves to the left. Keep The progressives in the party. It's kind of a backhand to Republicans, and as a result, it's hard to do a bipartisan deal when there was that bipartisanship s so it's gonna be interesting here in the coming months to see how this plays out because there's an example is infrastructure Bill's not gonna happen on a partisan basis. I don't think the Democrats have the votes to do it on a partisan basis. You know, Joseph thus far I have long end of the day for him. Or, frankly, anybody who serves in the office of president. It's the toughest job in the country on..