Monday, September 22, 2008

Better than Brokaw w/ Paulson: Berkowitz w/ Obama, Speaker Mike, Emil Jones, McCain, Gingrich, Edgar, Watson, Durkin, Scully, King,Williams and Cantor

Tonight's City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs airs at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 tonight throughout the City of Chicago and also tonight on cable in Aurora and surrounding areas at 7:30 pm on ACTV-10. The Aurora station, Aurora Community Television, Comcast Cable Ch. 10, reaches all of Aurora, Bristol, Big Rock and parts of Oswego, Sandwich, Sugar Grove and Montgomery.

You can also watch the show on your computer. For more about tonight's show, go here.
A partial transcript of tonight's show is included, below.

Jeff Berkowitz: What’s your assessment of Louis Farrakhan? Is he still, in your view, a leader?

State Senator Barack Obama: Well, you know, I think that he has a following…
State Senator Barack Obama: …and if we are doing that, then we shouldn’t be didactic or ideological about how to best deliver that [educational services].

Jeff Berkowitz: So, I take that to mean, under the right circumstances, you, Barack Obama, possible U. S. Senate candidate from the state of Illinois, could support school vouchers and could even do so in your role as a state senator in the Illinois legislature.

Barack Obama: No, what you can take to mean is that I am willing to listen to these arguments and see if…

From “Public Affairs,” June 27, 2002
Barack Obama: Finally…on the drive back, I offered to buy her [Michelle] ice cream, that is what put her over the top. That’s when she said, ‘This guy knows how to treat a woman.”

From a film shown at the Democratic Convention in Denver, Colorado on August 25, 2008
Jeff Berkowitz…We hear some rumblings coming out of the Illinois delegation indicating some disunity between the Clinton supporters and the Obama supporters, what do you think?

Speaker Mike Madigan: Oh, I think that’s to be expected today. I think before we close the convention that will be resolved because we all want to leave Denver united prepared for the November election. We simply cannot tolerate four more years of…
Jeff Berkowitz…That ticket, Obama-Biden, Biden has been in Washington as a U. S. Senator for thirty-six years. How can that ticket be about change?

Speaker Madigan: Well, because the President is Obama, the President is not Biden…Biden will bring…

Jeff Berkowitz: This rivalry going on back in Illinois between you and Rod Blagojevich. It seems to have been going on for—

Speaker Madigan: Between who? The Governor?

Jeff Berkowitz: Yes. The last six years—

Speaker Madigan: Again, it is more differences among Democrats and relative to myself and the Governor, it only relates to issues. I was not in favor of the Gross Receipts tax on Illinoisans, I was not in favor of… those are issue differences, they are not personality differences…
Jeff Berkowitz: Do you trust the Governor?

Speaker Madigan: I like to trust everyone, including you (and the Speaker starts to move away, suggesting our time was up).

Jeff Berkowitz: All right, thank you so much Speaker Madigan.

Speaker Madigan: Take care, right.

From outside the Pepsi Center, Denver, August 25, 2008 [the interview was interrupted briefly as former Commerce Secretary and
Chicago Mayoral brother, Billy Daley, walked by, exchanging pleasantries with Speaker Madigan, and making a cameo appearance on tonight’s show].
Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago); Well, I have known Barack Obama for about twenty-five years and he’s a very smart, intelligent young man…

Jeff Berkowitz: He said you made him the U. S. Senator, is that right?

Well, he said I did, but—

Jeff Berkowitz: McCain says that [the Surge] was the right decision. He says we’re going to win in Iraq.

Emil Jones: it was not the right decision for us to invade Iraq.

Jeff Berkowitz: But, is the surge working?

Emil Jones; it was not the right decision for us to invade Iraq. Two wrongs do not make a right.

From the Marriott Hotel, Denver, Colorado, August 23, 2008
Jeff Berkowitz: …Apparently, she [Sarah Palin] has no foreign policy experience. There is no evidence she is conversant with foreign policy issues. Does that concern you?

Cong. Eric Cantor (R-Va): Well, I think that’s the case for any governor that is hoisted onto a national ticket. I think Bill Clinton certainly had that issue, as well, when—

Jeff Berkowitz: Coming out of Yale Law School, don’t you think people thought…

From the floor at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN Sep. 2, 2008
Jeff Berkowitz: …people say that Sarah Palin energizes the base of the Republican Party. Do you agree and …what is it about her that energizes the base, if it does.

Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar (R-Charleston, 1990-1998): …Energy just kind of comes out of her…I don’t think it is an ideology thing, although… some from the far right might say, “Gee, this is good.” Republicans I have talked to, particularly women Republicans, who were for McCain, who are not ideologues-- they maybe weren’t enthusiastic [before], they’re enthusiastic, now…. I’ve learned a long time ago that in Illinois politics if you can get the Republican women motivated, you’re going to win.

From the floor at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN Sep. 4, 2008
Jeff Berkowitz: Speaker Gingrich, just give me a quick thought about Sarah Palin:

Speaker Gingrich; I thought it was an extraordinary speech and I think she will be a national figure for many years.

Berkowitz: Do you think she has the foreign policy experience she needs?

Speaker Gingrich:

From the floor at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN Sep. 4, 2008
Jeff Berkowitz; Do you think this means that conservatives who were concerned about Supreme Court appointments can [now] trust John McCain to appoint somebody like Justice Alito or Justice Roberts? They weren’t so sure before [Palin was selected], can they trust him now?

Senate Republican Leader Watson: Well, I’m not so sure it’s all about the Supreme Court appointments that energize everyone about Sarah Palin, but I do believe that Sarah Palin would be someone who will be a conservative voice in this administration.

From the floor at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Sep. 4, 2008
Jeff Berkowitz: How does it feel, Jim?

State Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs): A little nervous, but… it was great.

Berkowitz: So, you ready for the gubernatorial run now…you gonna announce right here? you running in 2010 for Governor?

State Rep. Jim Durkin: I’m looking forward to going to the swearing in--in January, then I’ll talk to you, Jeff.

State Rep. Jim Durkin, interviewed just after he cast Illinois’ votes for John McCain. From the floor at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN Sep. 4, 2008
When you’ve lived in a box, your life is about keeping others from having to endure that box, you shout, you push, you lead; you left long ago the shallow of self and put your people first, your country first, John McCain.

The narrator introducing John McCain to the crowd at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN on Sep. 4, 2008
Jeff Berkowitz: What about the Commander-in-Chief issue? Commander-in Chief issue, everybody heard that tonight [Sep. 4]. McCain could be the Commander-in-Chief. Could Barack Obama?

John King [CNN]: That’s up to the American people. That’s not up to me. That’s why we have elections.

Jeff Berkowitz: What’s your opinion?

John King [CNN]: I don’t have an opinion. I cover politics. I don’t have an opinion.

From the floor at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN on Sep. 4, 2008

[To read more of this transcript, go here].
Juan Williams [Fox and NPR]: …this is a time when 80 per cent of Americans say the country is on the wrong track. We need strong leadership and I think there are going to be judgments made about Sarah Palin as a leader.

Jeff Berkowitz: It looks like the Republicans are trying to steal Obama’s saying…this is change you can believe in…they’re saying… she [Palin] is the reformer, McCain’s the reformer—not Obama, you know in Chicago, John Kass, the Chicago Tribune columnist, says Barack Obama is a product of the Daley machine.

Williams: He is a product of [Daley machine]—no question.

Berkowitz: Well, if he is, how can he stand for reform, what has he ever done to reform [things]? Sarah Palin took on the bad guys in Alaska and basically beat up on them; she beat up on an incumbent governor [Murkowski] running in the Republican Primary, doesn’t she have a lead over these folks in terms of reform and two, she’s got two years of executive experience—how much does Obama have, how much does Biden have, indeed, how much does McCain have? They don’t have any executive experience.

Juan Williams; Well, you know, this is apples and oranges. What you got is a situation where you have a young man in Barack Obama who has run a campaign that has taken on the juggernaut of the Clintons and taken on all the money…

From the floor at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN on
Sep. 4, 2008.
Jeff Berkowitz: Does it come down to Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida or are there going to be other states in the mix.

Steve Scully [C-Span Political Editor]: …I really think the winner of this election will be based on who wins Virginia, who wins Pennsylvania, maybe who wins Colorado and maybe throw in New Hampshire as kind of a swing state that will determine [things]…

From the floor at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on MN on Sep. 3, 2008
"Public Affairs," is a weekly political interview show airing in Chicago on CANTV, in the Chicago metro area and in Aurora on Comcast and also often on the Illinois Channel. You can watch the shows, including archived shows going back to 2005, here. You can often read Berkowitz's political interviews, analysis and commentary at the Chicago Daily Observer ].
Recently posted shows on the Public Affairs YouTube page now include two shows featuring clips and interviews, primarily from the Democratic and Republican National Party conventions, and shows with Cook County Cmsr. and Obama Media Team Member Forrest Claypool, State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) and State Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago), 8th CD Republican Nominee Steve Greenberg, our show with Senator Obama (D-IL), Gov. Sebelius (D-KS), DLC Chairman Harold Ford, Cong. Rahm Emanuel (D-Chicago), Attorney General Madigan, WTTW's Carol Marin, Real Clear Politics' Tom Bevan, Sun-Times Abdon Pallasch and much more.