Episode 77, with guests Mark Leibovich, Adam Rosman and Walter Stahr


Mark Leibovich, Adam Rosman and Walter Stahr are our guests this week.
Show produced by Katherine Caperton.
Original Air Date: October 27, 2012 on SiriusXM “POTUS” Channel 124.
Polioptics airs regularly on POTUS on Saturdays at 6 am, 12 noon and 6 pm.
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Mark Leibovich, Chief National Correspondent of the New York Times Magazine, joins us from a speaking stop at Occidental College, one-time home of a  future president, then known as Barry Obama. Leibo, who had just published a fantastic piece on Paul Ryan (“Paul Ryan Can’t Lose”), reflected on Campaign 1982, his own, for the vice presidency of the Newton South Class of 1983 (he didn’t lose).

He beat another one of our guests, Adam Rosman, former federal prosecutor and Deputy White House Staff Secretary under President Clinton. Rosman’s running mate was yours truly. Because neither of us was willing to take the second spot on the ticket, we ran as “Co-Presidents” with the slogan “No Guts, No Glory.” Our well-financed but otherwise feeble campaign should be remembered under the banner “No Guts, No Glory, No Victory.”

With that NSHS class reunion out of the way, we welcomed to our microphones Walter Stahr, author of Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man. It was a classic Polioptics conversation, focusing on the behind-the-scenes action that tends to shape history in ways that are not immediately discernible. In modern days, Seward’s steering of his friend Lincoln’s maneuvers would quickly be leaked to David Sanger, thus setting the Twitters afire and laying the groundwork for Congressional investigations.

Stahr’s book is a great read. As you recover from multi-year tumult of the Presidential Election on November 6, bring a date to Steven Speilberg’s LINCOLN, debuting on Friday, November 9, at a theater near you. As you watch Seward, played by David Strathairn, and Lincoln’s Team of Rivals help the President summon the will to pass the 13 Amendment through Congress, think about what was required to pass the Affordable Care Act and other controversial legislation of the past four years. Maybe, after the next Presidential Inauguration in January, we will enter a new era when leaders from both sides of the aisle can put aside partisanship for the national good. Or maybe not.

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