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The Daily Rundown
updated 6/7/2013 11:48:39 AM ET 2013-06-07T15:48:39

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) says the president’s inexperience coupled with ambition after just four years in the Senate have shown as the White House has battled with lawmakers and scrambled to contain scandals.

Michigan Rep. John Dingell is set to become the longest-serving member of Congress in history on Friday, and during his 57 years on Capitol Hill, he’s served under 11 presidents and 11 speakers of the House.

But according to the dean of the House, President Obama and his staff haven’t grasped the interworking and interplay necessary for success between the White House and Congress.

“He’s a good man, and he will go down in history as a good president,” Dingell said in a wide-ranging interview with The Daily Rundown’s Chuck Todd in the longtime Democrat’s Capitol Hill office.

But, Dingell said, the president’s inexperience coupled with ambition after just four years in the Senate have shown as the White House has battled with lawmakers and scrambled to contain scandals.

“I think he had the smallest rolodex–ever–when he hit town,” said Dingell. “And he had moved so fast, he never had any chance to grow scar tissue, to learn politics, to be hurt, because you’re going to be hurt in this business. Makes you tough, but you’ll learn. And so it’s a very important learning device, getting hurt.”

“He’s had to kind of fight his way up fast without the experience,” Dingell added. “His staff has, quite frankly, I think, tried to shelter him too much. And he hasn’t had the kitchen cabinet that he’s needed.”

We’ll have much more from Dingell’s interview with The Daily Rundown on Friday’s show and on the web.

Video: Longest-serving Congressional member reflects on career

  1. Closed captioning of: Longest-serving Congressional member reflects on career

    >>> on friday michigan democrat john dingell would have served in the u.s. congress longer than any other member in history, house or senate. this week i sat down with him to talk about his career and what's changed over those 57 years. he's served with 11 presidents, by the way also 11 speakers of the house . but i wanted to bring you this little preview of our sitdown interview. here's what he had to say about the current president.

    >> in all fairness to this president, and i say that he's a good man and he's going to go down in history as a good president. i think he had the smallest rolodex ever when he hit town. he moved so fast he never had any chance to build scar tissue, to learn politics, to be hurt. you have to be hurt in this business. so that you're tough and so that you'll learn because that's a very important learning device getting hurt. so he's had to kind of fight his way up fast without the experience. i don't think that he's had the kind of advisers that truman had or that roosevelt had or that johnson had. i don't think he's had the experience that those people had. he moved too fast. now, this hasn't taken away from him. this a good president and a good man.

    >> the dean of the democratic party in the house of representatives . the trivia. whose record did dingell break to become the longest serving member of the house? the answer is jamie whitten of mississippi. congratulations to today's winner, james mills . dingell is breaking the record on robert bird . we'll be

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