is heading to arizona at this hour where he is expected to meet with the families of the shooting victims. before ahending tonight's memorial.
is the author of "the bridge" the
rise and fall
. the bridge just out in paper back. congratulations, david, it's an extraordinary book. the epilogue updates it with a new interview with the president. he said in terms of communication, speaking of tonight that tonight's speech is going to be pivotal for the president. why?
well, remember why the public that did like
and does like
kind of liked him in the first place. it had to do with his
, it also had to do with a demeanor, with a sense of how political dialogue should be carried on, and a sense of propriety, a sense of calm and cool. i think we have seen replayed the last couple of days pivotal speeches by
in the wake of tragedy and
in the wake of the
oklahoma city bombing
and this is
's moment and i think that he will rise to it. and i think he will not court controversy. i don't think he'll take on in any full throated way the discussion about a toxic political atmosphere. i think he knows well that to join those two subjects where you basically have somebody who's incredibly sick, carrying out a horrendous, brutal act and then joining it automatically and to automatically to the political atmosphere which is admittedly toxic courts not only political danger, but a kind of ethical danger.
you've been surprised at his failure to communicate more effectively in his first two years in office, especially considering all the skills that he showed during the campaign.
i think also considering his achievements. i think his achievements have been really considerable, beginning but not only
, despite whatever compromises he had to make. look at this last run of achievements, legislative achievements in the
lame duck session
. i love all of it. i certainly didn't love the maintaining tax breaks for the rich. but by any measure, that was a very successful run and in many ways, the first two years was successful largely in the aversion of worst disaster, economic and otherwise and his ability to sell those achievements to gain political credit for them has been not what we might have imagined when we remember the communicator of the campaign.
what do you think about
's statement today. it looked official, the flag and very carefully scripted. in that context, having put so much effort into it, waited for self-days, come out with this video brilliantly timed some would say to draw an inevitable comparison with the president, why use the phrase
is something that anybody with a knowledge of
knows the deep and terrible meaning this has. i don't know why she would use that phrase, ignorance may be the best, but not a particularly satisfying explanation for it. that said and i am no fan of
, and i think she's a politician that began her national career with the enunciation of all kinds of toxic things including palling around with terrorists and all the kind of rhetoric we remember very well from the campaign, which has never really stopped. i think to associate her in a very direct way with this
is wrong. i just do.
and what do you think of her presentation on the video?
well, any time you have a presentation where you use the crucial phrase becomes
, i think you've made a terrible mistake and that mistake is going to be contrasted with a very eloquent and composed presentation tonight by the president and a deeply felt one and i don't think he's capable of that kind of rhetorical misstep.
thank you very much david.
and stay with us for special live coverage of course of tonight's memorial beginning at