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The C-SPAN Video Library includes a unique archive of conversation about politics and policy. Here are three author interviews with particular relevance to the 2016 campaign, each in a different way.
Ann Coulter’s interview summarizes her new book, Adios America, which has already impacted the race, and not just by influencing Donald Trump’s campaign. Coulter delves into the sensitive subject of exactly who the “undocumented” are, and whence they came. Her claim is that while past generations arrived legally with ambition and a taste for freedom, we are now being deluged with less productive peasants with an appetite for government benefits.
As always, Coulter is a lively on screen presence. Interviewer Ben Shapiro wisely gets out of her way. Adios America plants a crucial marker on a too often superficially discussed major issue. Candidates should be familiar with its arguments before they step onto the debate stage.
Author and Weekly Standard Senior Editor Andrew Ferguson is a very stylish and entertaining writer, sort of a cross between Tom Wolfe and Mark Twain. In this wide-ranging interview conducted by C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb, Ferguson discusses two 2016 contenders he has profiled, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush. Ferguson’s profiles have in the past have both helped candidates surge, and revealed key concerns – case in point: Mitch Daniels in 2012.
Research for Ferguson’s recent, mostly favorable piece on Jeb Bush’s record in Florida turned up a couple of problematic quotes of the type that opposition researchers salivate over. Watch the entire interview, or jump to 32:40 for an old quote which Ferguson found “shocking and grating.” Ferguson describes another past remark, cue at 34:26, as “crude.” That may be a generous description.
In addition to sparking issues and delineating profiles, video interviews are valuable tools for candidate prep. Authors must digest long books down to the essence, the same kind of shorthand which candidates require. This interview with AEI’s Peter Wallison, about his book Hidden in Plain Sight, opens a window on the causes of the 2008 financial crisis. Democrat and mainstream media mythology about the crisis too often weight the scales against free-market capitalism. Their one-sided perspective has yet to be cogently refuted on the presidential debate stage. Watch it along with a discussion of Wallison’s earlier book, Bad History, Worse Policy: How a False Narrative about the Financial Crisis Led to the Dodd-Frank Act. The two interviews should be required viewing for all candidates.
The five year-old C-SPAN Video Library is a rich historic resource. I encourage Ricochet readers to explore it, and publish your own recommendations.Published in