Often on Kentucky Tonight, I ask our guests to have clearly defined positions on the topic under discussion. I want them to explain, in detail, the reasoning that brought them to their opinions, and then be prepared to defend their thinking. I encourage them to be enthusiastic and passionate about the viewpoint they have so very carefully studied.
It doesn’t always work out that way. The show is sometimes more successful when the guests discuss rather than debate – when the dialogue is more reasoned than raucous.
Last night, our conversation began with a question about how the political wrangling of the past few weeks might shape the American system of government in the future. Did the 16-day shutdown irreparably harm Washington and the country?
Was Senator Mitch McConnell, who joined Harry Reid to craft the deal that reopened the government and temporarily raised the debt ceiling, correct when he said on Face the Nation that divided government provides an opportunity to tackle important legislation?
Will the threat of another federal shutdown and debt-ceiling showdown early next year change how this Congress and president operate?
David Gergen is someone you’d like to meet early in the morning for coffee – and then spend all day talking with him. His stories about working in the White House and his insights on today’s political scene are fascinating.
Gergen is a senior political analyst for CNN, and his commentary draws upon his vast experience working in the administrations of Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton. In fact, he was a 27-year-old employee in the White House communications office when he was given the task of writing Nixon’s resignation letter. As challenging as that may seem, Gergen says it wasn’t that complicated. You can hear him tell the story in our conversation on One to One, Sunday at 1 p.m. on KET.
Gergen is also Professor of Public Service and Director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He loves working with young people and speaks fondly about their passion for the future of America.
I talked with Gergen during his recent visit to Louisville. He enjoys learning about local political races and is interested in Kentucky’s 2014 Senate race. We talked about incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell’s role in Washington and his prospects for re-election.
McConnell and fellow Senatorial candidates Matt Bevin, Alison Lundergan Grimes, and Ed Marksberry are among the politicians appearing at this year’s Fancy Farm picnic in Graves County. Renee Shaw and I will anchor live coverage of the speeches this Saturday starting at 2:30 p.m. on KET and online at KET.org/live. I hope you can join us.
Note from Bill Goodman:In this final installment of our special One to One series with Kentucky’s federal delegation, my colleague Renee Shaw provides the highlights of tonight’s One to One interview with Rep. Andy Barr which airs on KET tonight at 6:30 ET.
A proponent for spending restraints and national debt reduction, Kentucky’s 6th District Rep. Andy Barr pledged support in January for a “No Budget No Pay” proposal that would require the House and Senate members to pass a budget as a condition of receiving their salaries.
During a spring hearing of the Financial Services Committee, he relayed complaints from community banks that Washington regulations are too burdensome, complex, and counterproductive.
Also in mid-April, the Lexington Republican reserved an hour of time on the floor of the U.S. House to lead what is known as a Special Order on the “Importance of America’s Coal Industry.” He and 10 others of the same and different political stripes bragged on coal’s ability to produce affordable energy and create jobs. Barr co-sponsors the “Coal Jobs Protection Act” introduced earlier this month. He says at least 36 mining permits in Kentucky are being held up by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The measure would ensure timely action on permit applications, and a companion version is being championed in the Senate by Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
And, just last week, Barr introduced the “Live by the Laws You Write Act” in the U.S. House of Representatives. According to a press release from May 16th, the two-page legislation aims to close Obamacare’s congressional loophole and ensure that Congress and its staff are not exempt from the laws that it writes. Barr was quoted in the release as saying, “It is wrong for the people who wrote Obamacare to have exempted themselves, so today we are fixing that to ensure that there is no special treatment for the people who wrote this legislation.”
In the last installment of congressional interviews from Washington D.C. with host Bill Goodman, Barr discusses his perception that “Washington policies are creating economic uncertainty.”
The 39-year-old attorney talks with Goodman tonight at 6:30 ET about transitioning to Beltway politics. In 2004, Barr worked in the Republican gubernatorial administration of Governor Ernie Fletcher and at one time served as Fletcher’s deputy general counsel.