John recently hosted an interesting interview session with former Secretary of State James Baker on April 24 of this year. The interview at first focused on a 2006 Iraq study group that Baker was a part of, then delved into stories in Baker’s new book “Work Hard, Study…and Keep Out of Politics!”
The interview was part of the Kentucky Author Forum held at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts in Louisville and was aired by the local PBS station KET back in May. Since then, it has aired on several other PBS stations across the country but was never made available via the internet until recently. KET released the interview on its website and can be seen in it’s entirety here.
There were actually quite a few funny moments throughout, making it an enjoyable exchange to watch, especially when Baker was speaking candidly about Reagan’s trademark sense of humor. There were also some humorous reflections about the 1988 campaign and Dan Quayle’s over-exuberance on camera at being a Vice-Presidential nominee!
It was truly enjoyable to watch John pose intelligent and insightful questions, which often led to some candid and very funny reponses.
Throughout the interview, John asked questions on a variety of topics and touched on several issues, among them:
The 2006 Iraq focus group;
The Fall Of The Berlin Wall;
The Cold War;
Dick Cheney’s early years as White House Chief of Staff and Secretary of Defense;
George W. Bush’s years in Midland Texas;
Ronald Reagan’s keen sense of humor;
Reagan’s assassination attempt;
How technology has changed the way political news stories are broadcast;
Baker’s influence in several presidential campaigns;
Reagan’s decision to select Bush as his VPOTUS;
The selection of Dan Quayle as Bush’s VPOTUS and Quayle’s pubic image;
John’s recollections of the 1988 Presidential campaign;
Death penalty issues;
The Willie Horton case and how it became part of negative campaigning in the 1988 Presidential election season;
At one point Baker quipped, “It’s hard to campaign on competence” which drew gales laughter from the audience.
And oh yeah, you’ve also got to have a palate for exotic foods when you are a Secretary of State, just in case you are ever served sheep eyeballs at an official state dinner in a foreign country!!
Who knew so much could be discussed in one short hour?
p.s. In previous posts about unusual foods I dug up pictures of fried twinkies, fried oreos, etc. This time, I think I will pass on trying to google for a photograph of sheep eyeballs on a platter. lol!