Brokaw on Politics & Pot

By Chris Ariens Comment

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Last night on her Sirius radio show, Barbara Walters talked with her former NBC News colleague Tom Brokaw. The conversation ranged from the 2008 Presidential election to Brokaw’s book “Boom! Voices of the Sixties.” A partial transcript is after the jump. But here’s the Reader’s Digest version:

• Brokaw on Bill Clinton on Barack Obama: “I think his most graceless and gratuitous remark came after the results were in from South Carolina…he compared [Obama’s win] to what Jesse Jackson did there in ’84 and ’88, that was an entirely different set of circumstances.”

• Brokaw on Obama & Hillary Clinton: “I think that they both have done extraordinarily well up to this point.”

• Brokaw on smoking pot: “…what I did was experiment with a little marijuana like a lot of other people and walked away…”
Brokaw_1.29.jpgWalters_1.29.jpg

Last night on her Sirius radio show, Barbara Walters talked with her former NBC News colleague Tom Brokaw. The conversation ranged from the 2008 Presidential election to Brokaw’s book “Boom! Voices of the Sixties.” A partial transcript is after the jump. But here’s the Reader’s Digest version:

• Brokaw on Bill Clinton on Barack Obama: “I think his most graceless and gratuitous remark came after the results were in from South Carolina…he compared [Obama’s win] to what Jesse Jackson did there in ’84 and ’88, that was an entirely different set of circumstances.”

• Brokaw on Obama & Hillary Clinton: “I think that they both have done extraordinarily well up to this point.”

• Brokaw on smoking pot: “…what I did was experiment with a little marijuana like a lot of other people and walked away…”


BARBARA WALTERS: …Has Bill Clinton done his wife…harm…and what does it mean the Kennedy’s endorsements for Obama.

TOM BROKAW: Well lets begin with that, that’s a very very important endorsement for them; in part because we’re moving west next week in Super Tuesday and the Latinos, the Hispanic, wherever you are, depends on what nomenclature you use, they have been very much in the Clinton camp. But the Kennedy family, they are religious icons for the Hispanic voters in this country….Going back to the Farm Workers Union and Bobby Kennedy in 1968, there is a very strong bond there. Now, how that will play out, because the clock is running very fast, hard to know. Next Tuesday is going to be one of the most memorable days in the 45 years I’ve been covering American politics…it really will be. It could determine who the candidate will be. We have an epic year with great challenges before us, the country is paying attention more than…anytime since 1968.

BARBARA WALTERS: …So now is Bill Clinton doing her [Hillary] harm by being so outspoken and making it look like two-for-one and he’ll be the Vice President even…if he isn’t in reality. What do you think?

TOM BROKAW: I think he may have gone a bit too far in South Carolina. But you know, politics ain’t bean bag, he knew what he was doing.

BARBARA WALTERS: Did he?

TOM BROKAW: Sure. And I think his most graceless and gratuitous remark came after the results were in from South Carolina. He was not very generous in his congratulations to Senator Obama and then he compared it to what Jesse Jackson did there in ’84 and ’88, that was an entirely different set of circumstances.

BARBARA WALTERS: Is this a racist, sexist election?

TOM BROKAW: Not entirely. It plays around the fringes. A lot of people have said to me, is this country prepared to elect a woman? Is this country prepared to elect a black man? And my line has been, if either of them don’t get elected, it will be for issues other than race or gender which I really believe that. I think that they both have done extraordinarily well up to this point; both of them. And race and gender has not had a whole lot to do with it. Race did come into play in South Carolina. I was down there the Monday before and a lot of my young, African American friends, and I do have several in South Carolina, said to me: It’s kind of a generational split going on here. The older folks are worried that if they vote for him he won’t be able to win next fall because he’s a black man. And I looked around at the Martin Luther King rally and I thought, I don’t care what age you are, if you live in South Carolina and you’re an African American and you can go into the voting booth tomorrow and vote for a credible African American presidential candidate forty years after the death of Dr. King, you’re going to do that and with good reason.

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BARBARA WALTERS: …Has Bill Clinton done his wife…harm…and what does it mean the Kennedy’s endorsements for Obama.

TOM BROKAW: Well lets begin with that, that’s a very very important endorsement for them; in part because we’re moving west next week in Super Tuesday and the Latinos, the Hispanic, wherever you are, depends on what nomenclature you use, they have been very much in the Clinton camp. But the Kennedy family, they are religious icons for the Hispanic voters in this country….Going back to the Farm Workers Union and Bobby Kennedy in 1968, there is a very strong bond there. Now, how that will play out, because the clock is running very fast, hard to know. Next Tuesday is going to be one of the most memorable days in the 45 years I’ve been covering American politics…it really will be. It could determine who the candidate will be. We have an epic year with great challenges before us, the country is paying attention more than…anytime since 1968.

BARBARA WALTERS: …So now is Bill Clinton doing her [Hillary] harm by being so outspoken and making it look like two-for-one and he’ll be the Vice President even…if he isn’t in reality. What do you think?

TOM BROKAW: I think he may have gone a bit too far in South Carolina. But you know, politics ain’t bean bag, he knew what he was doing.

BARBARA WALTERS: Did he?

TOM BROKAW: Sure. And I think his most graceless and gratuitous remark came after the results were in from South Carolina. He was not very generous in his congratulations to Senator Obama and then he compared it to what Jesse Jackson did there in ’84 and ’88, that was an entirely different set of circumstances.

BARBARA WALTERS: Is this a racist, sexist election?

TOM BROKAW: Not entirely. It plays around the fringes. A lot of people have said to me, is this country prepared to elect a woman? Is this country prepared to elect a black man? And my line has been, if either of them don’t get elected, it will be for issues other than race or gender which I really believe that. I think that they both have done extraordinarily well up to this point; both of them. And race and gender has not had a whole lot to do with it. Race did come into play in South Carolina. I was down there the Monday before and a lot of my young, African American friends, and I do have several in South Carolina, said to me: It’s kind of a generational split going on here. The older folks are worried that if they vote for him he won’t be able to win next fall because he’s a black man. And I looked around at the Martin Luther King rally and I thought, I don’t care what age you are, if you live in South Carolina and you’re an African American and you can go into the voting booth tomorrow and vote for a credible African American presidential candidate forty years after the death of Dr. King, you’re going to do that and with good reason.

—————

BARBARA WALTERS: Did you inhale [marijuana]?

TOM BROKAW: Sure.

BARBARA WALTERS: OK, well, dumb question, Barbara…well how could you not in those days right?

BARBARA WALTERS: …What about coke?

TOM BROKAW: Never did it. Not interested in it….what I did was experiment with a little marijuana like a lot of other people and walked away…

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