MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

METROFOCUS: January 20, 2021

Tonight, Presidential historian and founder of George Washington University’s History News Network Rick Shenkman, President of the Brooklyn NAACP and host of “Sunday Civics” podcast L. Joy Williams, and Republican Strategist, Founder and Chairman of The Conservative Color Coalition and host of Newsmax’s “Saturday Agenda” Joseph Pinion are your guides through this historic inauguration day.

AIRED: January 20, 2021 | 0:28:35
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH

RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND

JENNA FLANAGAN.

"METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA

PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG

AND BY

JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER

JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD

CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN

FAMILY

JUDY AND JOSH WESTON

DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN

FOUNDATION

>>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO

THE SPECIAL INAUGURATION DAY

EDITION OF "METROFOCUS."

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

IN A YEAR WHEN ALMOST EVERY DAY

SEEMED EXTRAORDINARY OR

UNPRECEDENTED, TODAY'S

SWEARING-IN OF PRESIDENT JOE

BIDEN AND VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA

HARRIS WAS TRULY HISTORIC.

THE 46th COMMANDER IN CHIEF, AND

HARRIS, THE FIRST FEMALE VICE

PRESIDENT, THE FIRST BLACK

WOMAN, AND THE FIRST PERSON OF

SOUTH ASIAN DESCENT TO EVER HOLD

THE ROLE, MARKED THEIR FIRST

HOURS IN OFFICE IN A CAPITOL AND

COUNTRY FAR DIFFERENT THAN

INAUGURATION DAY FOUR YEARS AGO.

THE PANDEMIC KEPT MOST

SUPPORTERS AWAY AND ONLINE.

AND THE THREAT OF ARMED RIOTS

STILL HAS SECURITY FORCES ON

HIGH ALERT EVEN TONIGHT.

PRESIDENT TRUMP WAS NOT IN

ATTENDANCE.

THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THE BIDEN

ADMINISTRATION IS INHERITING A

DEEPLY DIVIDED NATION FACING A

ONCE IN A GENERATION THREAT AND

THIS HISTORIC INAUGURATION

WASN'T GOING TO CHANGE THAT.

BUT JUST EXACTLY HOW SHOULD THIS

NEW ADMINISTRATION RESPOND?

WHAT WILL THEIR FIRST 100 DAYS

IN OFFICE LOOK LIKE WITH A

FORMER PRESIDENT OUT OF OFFICE

AND FACING A SECOND SENATE

TRIAL?

AND WHAT CAN REALLY BE

ACCOMPLISHED IN A NATION SO

BITTERLY DIVIDED?

FOR ANSWERS TO HELP GUIDE US

THROUGH TODAY'S HISTORIC EVENT,

I WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME BACK

THREE VERY SPECIAL GUESTS.

FIRST WE HAVE RICK SHENKMAN, A

PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN, FOUNDER

OF GEORGE WASHINGTON

UNIVERSITY'S HISTORY NEWS

NETWORK, AND A "NEW YORK TIMES"

BESTSELLING AUTHOR.

WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM, RICK.

>> THANK YOU, GLAD TO BE HERE.

>> WE'RE ALSO JOINED BY L. JOY

WILLIAMS, PRESIDENT OF THE

BROOKLYN NAACP AND SENIOR

ADVISER FORAY MAGUIRE'S NYC

MAYORAL CAMPAIGN AND A BOARD

MEMBER WHO WORKS FOR THE

POLITICAL POWER OF BLACK WOMEN.

WELCOME, L. JOY.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

>> FINALLY BUT CERTAINLY NOT

LEAST, JOSEPH PINION IS A

REPUBLICAN SPLIT STRATEGIST,

CHAIR OF THE CONSERVATIVE COLOR

COALITION AND HOST OF NEWSMAX'S

"SATURDAY AGENDA."

WELCOME BACK, JOSEPH.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

>> I WANT TO GET EVERYBODY'S

TAKE ON WHAT WAS IT THAT STOOD

OUT TO YOU THE MOST FROM THE

INAUGURATION.

JOSEPH, I'LL START WITH YOU.

WAS IT JOE BIDEN'S SPEECH?

WAS IT KAMALA HARRIS'

SWEARING-IN?

OR WAS IT SOMETHING ELSE THAT

CAUGHT YOUR ATTENTION?

>> I MEAN, LOOK, CLEARLY TAODAY

WAS AN HISTORIC DAY FOR MANY

REASONS.

YOU START OBVIOUSLY WITH KAMALA

HARRIS TAKING THE OATH OF

OFFICE.

I THINK POLITICS ASIDE, FOR

WOMEN ACROSS THE COUNTRY,

PARTICULARLY FOR LITTLE BLACK

GIRLS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, THE

CEILING ON AMBITION HAS BEEN

PERMANENTLY REMOVED IN MANY

WAYS.

IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR EXAMPLES

OF POSSIBILITY IN THE WORLD

AROUND YOU, THAT THAT WILL HAVE

AN IMPACT, THAT WILL REVERBERATE

THROUGH TIME, AND THE TRUE

IMPACT WE ACTUALLY WON'T KNOW

FOR A VERY LONG TIME.

SO I THINK THAT WAS JUST A

POWERFUL MOMENT THAT WE ALL GOT

TO WITNESS.

I THINK PIVOTING TOWARDS JOE

BIDEN, I THINK THE QUESTION FOR

MANY PEOPLE REMAINS, WILL THESE

BE EMPTY PARABLES OF UNITY, OR

IS HE GOING TO LEAN INTO

ENSURING THAT WE BECOME A UNITED

NATION AGAIN?

I THINK YOU HAD SOME POWERFUL

MENTIONS OF THINGS SAYING

POLITICS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A

RAGING FIRE THAT DESTROYS

EVERYTHING IN ITS PATH.

YET WHEN TOMORROW COMES, THE

QUESTION WILL BE WILL WE BE

REACHING FOR THE MOST DIVISIVE

TOOL IN THE POLITICAL ARSENAL TO

CONTINUE THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS

FOR A MAN WHO IS NO LONGER

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

I THINK WHAT IS TO COME IS OF

CONCERN.

BUT I THINK TODAY, WE CAN AS A

NATION BE ABLE TO CELEBRATE THE

HISTORY THAT WAS MADE AND THE

IMPACT THAT THAT WILL HAVE FOR

YEARS TO COME.

>> L. JOY, WHAT DID YOU THINK OF

THE INAUGURATION DAY, AND OF

COURSE THE HISTORY THAT WAS

MADE?

>> YOU KNOW, I CAN'T STOP

SMILING.

I CAN'T TAKE THE GRIN, THE HAPPY

SMILE OFF OF MY FACE.

MY CHAMPAGNE BOTTLE IS ABOUT

HALFWAY NOW.

PARTICULARLY NOT ONLY AS A BLACK

WOMAN AND THE HISTORIC NATURE OF

NOW MADAM VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA

HARRIS, BUT FOR ME PERSONALLY,

OUR ORGANIZATION HAS WORKED WITH

THE VICE PRESIDENT SINCE SHE WAS

ATTORNEY GENERAL IN CALIFORNIA,

HELPED AND WORKED ON THE

CAMPAIGN FOR HER TO BECOME THE

U.S. SENATOR, AND YOU KNOW FOR

MYSELF AND OUR -- ONE OF OUR OWN

CO-FO

CO-FOUNDERS WHO WAS INVOLVED IN

HER PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN IN

SOUTH CAROLINA, TO KNOCK ON

DOORS AND CALL VOTERS, THERE IS

AN IMMENSE PRIDE, BEING ABLE TO

HELP A BLACK WOMAN FROM THE

BEGINNING OF HER CAREER ALL THE

WAY THROUGH TO NOW.

I'M FILLED WITH JOY AND

CELEBRATION.

SOMETHING I'VE ALSO BEEN SAYING

RELATED TO THIS IS WHILE I'M

CERTAINLY IN A CELEBRATORY MOOD,

YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO KNOCK ME

DOWN TODAY, I'M ALSO LOOKING

FORWARD TO HOLDING HER

ACCOUNTABLE, BECAUSE ACCOUNTABLE

IS ALSO LOVE.

TO BE A PART OF HELPING TO

CONTRIBUTE TO THE RISE AS SHE

ASCENDED THE STAIRS AND BECOMING

VICE PRESIDENT, BUT ALSO

CONTINUING IN GOVERNANCE AND

HOLDING AN ADMINISTRATION

ACCOUNTABLE WHO YOU HELPED ELECT

TO MAKE SURE THAT THE ISSUES,

THE POLICIES THAT YOU USE TO GO

OUT TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO VOTE,

TO ENGAGE IN THE POLITICAL

PROCESS, THAT THEY SEE THE

FRUITS OF THEIR LABOR.

SO I'M DEFINITELY LOOKING

FORWARD TO THAT AS WELL.

TODAY, IN ADDITION TO HAVING THE

CELEBRATORY MOOD AND TO HEAR

PRESIDENT BIDEN'S INAUGURATION

SPEECH, TO FOCUS ON PULLING THE

COUNTRY TOGETHER, I REMAIN

HOPEFUL BUT ALSO KNOW FOR A FACT

THAT HISTORY HAS TOLD US THAT

THE DIVIDES THAT EXIST, WHETHER

THEY BE ON POLICY, WHETHER THEY

BE ON POLITICS, OR WHETHER THEY

BE IN OUR INDIVIDUAL FAMILIES

AND OUR COMMUNITIES, WILL STILL

EXIST.

THE QUESTION IS HOW WE OPERATE

TOGETHER EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE

THOSE DIVIDES AND THOSE

DIFFERENT OPINIONS OF HOW THE

COUNTRY SHOULD MOVE FORWARD.

SO I'M HOPEFUL AND CELEBRATORY,

BUT ALSO LOOKING FORWARD TO

GETTING TO WORK.

>> WELL, RICK, AS A PRESIDENTIAL

HISTORIAN, I'M WONDERING WHAT

YOUR TAKE IS ON PERHAPS HOW

HISTORY WILL VIEW THIS MOMENT OR

THESE MOMENTS, I SHOULD SAY,

THAT WE'VE JUST BEEN THROUGH,

EVERYTHING THAT'S HAPPENED, AT

LEAST SINCE THE BEGINNING OF

THIS YEAR, THE TRANSITION OF

POWER, THE BUMPY ROAD THAT WE

TOOK TO GET THERE, AND OF COURSE

THEN THE HISTORICAL

SIGNIFICANCE, ESPECIALLY OF THE

SWEARING-IN OF KAMALA HARRIS.

>> OUR LONG NATIONAL NIGHTMARE

ARE OVER, RIGHT?

THAT'S WHAT GERALD FORD SAID

WHEN HE ASSUMED THE OFFICE OF

THE PRESIDENCY AFTER RICHARD

NIXON AND WATERGATE.

WE DIDN'T HEAR THAT KIND OF

GREAT LINE FROM JOE BIDEN TODAY.

BUT I THOUGHT THAT HE MISSED THE

MARK WITH HIS MAIN POINT ABOUT

UNITY.

HE SAID SOME PEOPLE THINK THAT

IT'S A FOOLISH FANTASY TO THINK

WE COULD BE UNIFIED, BUT BY

GOLLY, I THINK WE CAN BE

UNIFIED.

THAT WAS THE RIGHT POINT TO HIT.

THAT MEANT HE WAS GRAPPLING WITH

THE KEY CENTRAL PROBLEM FACING

OUR DEMOCRACY, WHICH IS ENDEMIC

POLARIZATION THE LIKES OF WHICH

WE'VE NOT SEEN SINCE THE CIVIL

WAR, WHICH IS JUST ABSOLUTELY --

IT JUST MAKES ME DESPONDENT.

THE FACT THAT THIS INAUGURATION

TOOK PLACE, I'VE NEVER IN MY 66

YEARS EVER WORRIED THAT AN

INAUGURATION WOULDN'T TAKE

PLACE.

THIS TIME I ACTUALLY WAS

WORRIED.

THE FACT THAT IT JUST WENT OFF

IN ITS NORMAL FUNCTIONING AND

WAS A LITTLE BIT ON THE BORING

SIDE, I WELCOMED IT.

THANK GOODNESS FOR BORING HERE.

TO PUT THIS INTO HISTORICAL

PERSPECTIVE, WE'VE HAD ALL THESE

INAUGURATIONS SINCE GEORGE

WASHINGTON'S.

EACH TIME, WE'VE CELEBRATED THE

REPUBLIC, AND THEN ONCE WE

DECIDED WE WERE REALLY A

DEMOCRACY, WE STARTED CALLING

OURSELVES A DEMOCRACY AND SAID

WE'RE CELEBRATING A DEMOCRACY.

BUT WHAT WE REALLY NEED TO BE

DOING NOW IS COMING TO TERMS

WITH, HOW DID WE GET TO THIS

POINT WHERE WE'RE SO POLARIZED?

THERE ARE STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS

THAT ARE TO BLAME.

BUT IT'S NOT DONALD TRUMP WHO'S

TO BLAME.

IT'S THE PEOPLE.

AND WE HAVE GOT TO GRAPPLE WITH

THAT.

THERE IS A PROBLEM OUT THERE

WITH THE PEOPLE.

YOU HAD MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF

PEOPLE WHO WERE CHEERING ON A

PRESIDENT WHO APPEALED TO I

THINK THE WORST IN US.

AND WE HAVE TO COME TO TERMS

WITH THAT.

AND WE CAN GET INTO THAT A

LITTLE BIT MORE, I DON'T WANT TO

GIVE A COLLEGE LECTURE.

>> WELL, SPEAKING OF COMING TO

TERMS WITH IT, BECAUSE JOSEPH,

YOU DID MENTION AT THE VERY

BEGINNING THAT YOU WERE

CONCERNED ABOUT AN IMPEACHMENT

TRIAL OF A PRESIDENT NO LONGER

IN OFFICE, THAT IT WOULD BE

DIVISIVE.

JOE BIDEN'S INAUGURATION SPEECH

FOCUSED VERY MUCH ON AMERICA

MOVING FORWARD.

HOWEVER THERE ARE A LOT OF

PEOPLE WHO ARE SAYING THAT YOU

CAN'T REALLY MOVE FORWARD, YOU

CAN'T HAVE UNITY WITHOUT

ACCOUNTABILITY.

AND THERE IS ALSO SOME

INDICATIONS THAT THERE MIGHT BE

SOME SENATORS, FOR EXAMPLE

SENATOR McCONNELL HAS NOT

INDICATED WHICH WAY HE'S GOING

TO VOTE, AND AS OPPOSED TO THE

LAST SENATE TRIAL THAT PRESIDENT

TRUMP HAD, IT SEEMED VERY CLEAR

GOING IN THAT NO REPUBLICANS

WERE GOING TO VOTE TO CONVICT.

SO I GUESS I WANT YOU TO EXPAND

ON WHY HAVING A SENATE TRIAL

FROM YOUR OPINION MIGHT BE THE

WRONG STEP FOR AMERICAN UNITY.

>> WELL, LOOK, IN MY FAMILY WE

HAVE A SAYING, FORGIVENESS

REQUIRES ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND

LOVE DEMANDS ACCOUNTABILITY.

THE REALITY WE FACE RIGHT NOW IS

IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR

ACCOUNTABILITY FOR ANY AND

EVERYTHING YOU BELIEVE PRESIDENT

TRUMP HAS DONE INCORRECTLY,

IMPEACHMENT IS NOT THE PROPER

VENUE.

THAT IS NOT JUST MY OPINION,

IT'S THE OPINION OF LEGAL

SCHOLARS.

THERE IS DEBATE ON THAT ISSUE.

THE REALITY IS WE HAVE A FEDERAL

COURT SYSTEM, WE HAVE A STATE

COURT SYSTEM, WE HAVE A CIVIL

COURT SYSTEM.

WE HAVE U.S. ATTORNEYS FOR THE

SOUTHERN DISTRICT.

WE HAVE STATE ATTORNEY GENERALS

IN NEW YORK AND CALIFORNIA, ALL

OF WHOM HAVE INDICATED THEY'RE

LOOKING INTO THE ACTIVITIES OF

PRESIDENT TRUMP THAT EITHER

PREDATE HIS PRESIDENCY OR FOR

ACTIONS HE TOOK DURING HIS

PRESIDENCY.

BUT IF YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT HOW

DO WE COME TOGETHER AS A NATION,

WHEN JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT BIDEN

NOW, IS FACING THE SLIMMEST

MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE SINCE

WORLD WAR II, WHERE THE SENATE

IS DEALING WITH A 50/50 SPLIT,

DEALING WITH A POWER BROKER

AGREEMENT THAT HAS TO BE REACHED

BETWEEN MITCH McCONNELL AND

CHUCK SCHUMER, THAT HASN'T

HAPPENED SINCE 2001.

IF YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT 74

MILLION PEOPLE WHO WHETHER YOU

BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE RIGHT OR

NOT, FEEL AS IF THEY ARE

DISENFRANCHISED, YOU CANNOT HAVE

UNITY IN A NATION OF 350 MILLION

PLUS SOULS AND THINK THAT YOU'RE

GOING TO EXCLUDE THE NEEDS,

CONCERNS, BE THEY RATIONAL OR

NOT, OF 74 MILLION AMERICANS.

SO I THINK JOE BIDEN'S

SUPERPOWER HAS ALWAYS BEEN HIS

ABILITY TO EMPATHIZE.

I THINK THAT'S WHAT EVERYONE

KNOWS ABOUT JOE, WHEN JIM

CLYBURN SAYS WE KNOW JOE, THAT'S

WHAT YOU KNOW.

AND SO THE ISSUE BECOMES, IF HE

HAS ONE JOB, HIS JOB IS TO HEAL

A BROKEN NATION.

THAT IS WHY HE WAS ELECTED.

IT'S NOT ABOUT POLICY BECAUSE

HIS POLICIES WERE NOT ANYTHING

TO WRITE HOME ABOUT, IN MANY

WAYS OUT OF STEP WITH HIS BASE.

HE WAS ELECTED TO HEAL THIS

NATION.

AND YOU CANNOT DOUBLE DOWN ON

DIVISION WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO

UNITE A PEOPLE.

AND IMPEACHMENT IS BY FAR AND

AWAY THE MOST DIVISIVE TACTIC

THAT WE HAVE IN AMERICAN

POLITICS AND AS IT CURRENTLY

STANDS, THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF

IMPEACHMENT IS TO REMOVE A

PRESIDENT THAT HAS DONE THE

UNIMAGINABLE AND THE PRESIDENT

IN QUESTION IS DOWN IN FLORIDA

RIGHT NOW, A PRIVATE CITIZEN.

>> RICK, I JUST WANT TO GET YOUR

TAKE ON WHAT JOSEPH WAS JUST

SAYING ABOUT THE FACT THAT THIS

ISN'T NECESSARILY NECESSARY

RIGHT NOW.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY, ESPECIALLY

AS A PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN?

>> WELL, I BELIEVE THAT IT IS

NECESSARY.

AND IF YOU DON'T IMPEACH ON WHAT

DONALD TRUMP JUST DID, THEN WHAT

YOU'RE TELLING EVERY FUTURE

PRESIDENT, IN THE FINAL WEEKS OR

MONTHS OF YOUR PRESIDENCY, YOU

CAN LIE, YOU CAN TELL THE BIG

LIE THAT YOU WON AN ELECTION

THAT YOU ACTUALLY LOST BY 7

MILLION VOTES, AND THEN YOU CAN

ORGANIZE AN INSURRECTION, AND

THAT'S OKAY, BECAUSE IT'S COMING

IN THE FINAL WEEKS OR MONTHS OF

YOUR PRESIDENCY AND BY THE TIME

WE CAN ACTUALLY HAVE THE HOUSE

OF REPRESENTATIVES IMPEACH YOU

AND HOLD A TRIAL, YOU'RE OUT OF

OFFICE.

WELL, I THINK THAT'S THE WRONG

MESSAGE TO TELL THE FUTURE

HOLDERS OF THIS OFFICE.

>> L. JOY, WITHOUT FOCUSING TOO

MUCH ON THE PREVIOUS PRESIDENT,

BECAUSE WE DO HAVE A NEW

PRESIDENT NOW, AGAIN, IT SEEMS

LIKE THE ONE QUESTION IS HOW DO

WE MOVE FORWARD NOW.

AND BASED ON WHAT YOU JUST HEARD

FROM THE OTHER TWO GUESTS, I'M

WONDERING WHAT IT IS THAT YOU

SEE AS THE MOST NECESSARY THING

THAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN FOR AMERICA

TO START TAKING STEPS FORWARD.

>> CERTAINLY YOU HAVE TO

ACKNOWLEDGE THE HARM BEFORE YOU

CAN MOVE FORWARD.

THAT'S PART OF THE REASON, I

MEAN, WE CAN GO THROUGH A WHOLE

CONVERSATION ABOUT REPARATIONS,

BUT ACKNOWLEDGING HARMS AND

ACKNOWLEDGING WHAT HAPPENED.

AND I AGREE WITH RICK, IT'S NOT

ONLY SAYING TO FUTURE PRESIDENTS

WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE, BUT IF YOU

KNOW ANYTHING, NOT ONLY ABOUT

OUR COURT SYSTEM, NOT ONLY ABOUT

CONGRESS, THE U.S. GOVERNMENT

OVERALL, THE PRESIDENT HAS A

HUGE IMPACT ON WHAT WILL HAPPEN

IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF HISTORY.

CERTAINLY MOVING FORWARD WITH

IMPEACHMENT, EVEN THOUGH OUR EX,

AS I CALL HIM, IS GONE NOW, IT

SETS A PRECEDENT AS TO WHAT

HAPPENS GOING FORWARD IF WE FIND

OURSELVES IN THAT POSITION

AGAIN.

WE FIND THAT IN A NUMBER OF

DIFFERENT CASES IN OUR

DEMOCRACY.

BUT IN TERMS OF GOING FORWARD,

ACKNOWLEDGING HARM, HOLDING

PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE, WHETHER

THEY'RE STILL IN OFFICE OR NOT.

AND WE'RE FORGETTING ALSO THIS

IS A ROLE OF CONGRESS, RIGHT?

CONGRESS, AND EVEN AS JOSEPH

MENTIONED ALL THE OTHER ENTITIES

THAT EXIST FOR ACCOUNTABILITY

MEASURES, AND I AGREE THERE ARE

ALL DIFFERENT ENTITIES, CONGRESS

HAS THIS ROLE.

AND CONGRESS ALSO NEEDS TO

RESPOND.

AND THAT'S SOMETHING, YOU KNOW,

THAT WE EVEN THROUGHOUT THE LAST

FOUR YEARS, FOLKS HAVE BEEN

PRESSING FOR THEM TO DO, TO

RESPOND TO THESE ISSUES.

SO IT'S NOT ONLY ACKNOWLEDGING

HARM BUT GOING FORWARD, YOU

KNOW, WHICH I BELIEVE IN, AS

JOSEPH MENTIONED, THAT JOE BIDEN

HAD FELT BECAUSE HE EMBODIES IT,

IN TERMS OF HIS EMPATHY, IN

TERMS OF BEING ABLE TO NEGOTIATE

AND HAVE CONVERSATIONS BUT ALSO

MAKE DECISIONS THAT IMPACT THE

GREATER SOCIETY, HE WILL LEAD

THAT WAY.

THIS ADMINISTRATION WILL LEAD

THAT WAY.

AND SO YOU CAN DO BOTH THINGS.

YOU CAN HOLD ACCOUNTABLE, SET A

PRECEDENT OF WHAT WE WILL STAND

FOR GOING FORWARD SO WE CAN

LEARN FROM THESE PAST FOUR YEARS

AND ENSURE THAT WE HAVE

MECHANISMS IN PLACE TO ADDRESS

IT IF IT EVER ARISES AGAIN,

WHILE AT THE SAME TIME BRINGING

THE NATION FORWARD.

AND LOOK, LET'S BE REALISTIC.

HEALING DOES NOT MEAN THAT 100%

OF THE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO AGREE

WITH 100% OF THE THINGS THAT ARE

GOING TO HAPPEN.

I THINK THERE ARE VERY FEW TIMES

THAT WE CAN EXPECT THAT TO

HAPPEN.

AND SO MOVING FORWARD WITH A

POLICY AGENDA THAT NOT ONLY THE

BASE BUT ALSO THE GREATER

AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT TO SEE, WE

WANT TO SEE AN ECONOMY

ADDRESSED, WE WANT TO SEE

GREATER FOCUS AND MORE COHESIVE

FOCUS ON ADDRESSING THIS VIRUS,

AND THEN HOW DO WE REBUILD OUT

OF THIS AS A STRONGER NATION.

AND THAT IS WHAT I BELIEVE THIS

ADMINISTRATION WILL DO.

>> RICK, IT SEEMS KIND OF

RIDICULOUS TO SAY THAT WE DON'T

WANT TO FOCUS TOO MUCH ON THIS

PENDING SENATE TRIAL BECAUSE OF

COURSE THAT WILL BE A BIG DEAL.

BUT BY ALL ACCOUNTS THE BIDEN

ADMINISTRATION IS DEFINITELY

PLANNING ON HITTING THE GROUND

RUNNING.

THERE ARE SEVERAL EXECUTIVE

ORDERS THAT ARE EXPECTED TO BE

SIGNED BY THE END OF THE DAY

TODAY.

AGAIN, WE ARE TAPING EARLIER IN

THE DAY.

BUT I'M WONDERING WHAT IT IS

THAT YOU THINK IS GOING TO BE

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR THE

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION TO ADDRESS

IN ITS FIRST 100 DAYS.

>> I THINK IT'S GOT TO ADDRESS

THE ISSUES THAT THE AMERICAN

PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT.

SO THAT'S COVID AND THAT'S THE

ECONOMY.

SO THEY'VE GOT TO LASER FOCUS ON

THOSE TWO THINGS.

I WANT TO GO BACK TO A LITTLE

BIT OF WHAT WE WERE JUST TALKING

ABOUT, THOUGH, AND JUST PUT IT

OUT THERE, THAT WHAT WE HAVE IN

THIS COUNTRY IS A GOP PROBLEM.

AND IF WE DON'T FACE THAT, WE

ARE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO MOVE

FORWARD.

WHEN RICHARD NIXON LEFT OFFICE,

HE WAS AT A VERY LOW LEVEL OF

APPROVAL IN HIS OWN PARTY.

AT THE BEGINNING OF 1973, HE HAD

91% APPROVAL OF HIS PARTY.

BY A YEAR LATER, HE WAS DOWN TO

50%.

AND THEN BY THE TIME HE LEFT THE

OFFICE, HE WAS DOWN TO 20, 30%.

SO OUR PROBLEM IS THAT THE

OUTGOING PRESIDENT STILL RETAINS

THE SUPPORT OF 80, 90% OF HIS

PARTY.

WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE GOING

FORWARD AS A UNIFIED COUNTRY OR

ANYTHING APPROACHING THAT UNLESS

WE CAN SOLVE THAT PROBLEM.

AND THERE'S SEVERAL THINGS THAT

HAVE TO HAPPEN HERE.

THE GOP HAS TO FIGURE OUT IF

THIS IS THE WAY THEY'RE GOING TO

GO FORWARD.

ARE THEY GOING TO GO AND BE THE

TRUMPY PARTY OF THE LAST FOUR

YEARS GOING FORWARD, OR IS THAT

A PATH TO FAILURE?

AND MY GUESS IS IF THEY REACH

THE CONCLUSION THAT THAT'S A

PATH TO FAILURE AND IT SEEMS TO

HAVE BEEN A PATH TO FAILURE OVER

THE PAST TWO YEARS, WHERE THEY

LOST THE HOUSE, THE SENATE, AND

THEN THEY LOST A BUNCH OF

GOVERNORSHIPS, IF THEY CONCLUDE

IT'S FAILURE, THEN THEY WILL

CHANGE.

BUT THEY WILL ONLY CHANGE WHEN

THEY HAVE CONVINCED THEMSELVES

THAT THAT WAY LIES DISASTER.

>> OKAY.

WELL, OBVIOUSLY, JOSEPH, I

DEFINITELY WANT TO GIVE YOU THE

FLOOR TO RESPOND TO THAT.

BUT SO JUST TO BE CLEAR, RICK,

YOUR ANSWER TO THE FIRST 100

DAYS IS THEY HAVE TO ADDRESS THE

ECONOMY, THEY HAVE TO ADDRESS

COVID?

>> EXACTLY.

>> JOSEPH, I DO WANT TO GIVE YOU

THE FLOOR.

>> LOOK, A FEW THINGS HERE.

NUMBER ONE, AMERICA DOESN'T HAVE

A GOP PROBLEM.

AMERICA HAS AN APATHY PROBLEM.

THAT PROBLEM HAS PERMEATED BOTH

PARTIES.

IT'S A REVOLVING DOOR THAT GOES

BETWEEN BOTH PARTIES AND THAT

EXTENDS TO THE ORIGINS OF THIS

NATION WHEN PEOPLE WHO LOOKED

LIKE ME WERE DEEMED THREE FIFTHS

OF A HUMAN BEING.

THE FACT THAT WE TEND TO VIEW

AMERICA THROUGH A PARTISAN PRISM

PREVENTS US FROM SOLVING

PROBLEMS INHERENT IN AMERICA

TODAY.

IF WE WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE

FIRST 100 DAYS, LET'S BE CLEAR,

JOE BIDEN IS DOWN TO HIS FIRST

79 DAYS BECAUSE IF YOU PERSIST

IN HAVING AN IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

THAT PREVENTS JOE BIDEN FROM GET

TO GO THE BUSINESS OF GOVERNING,

GET TO GO THE BUSINESS OF

HEALING THIS COUNTRY AND IN THE

PROCESS ACTUALLY EVISCERATES THE

GOODWILL THAT WILL BE REQUIRED

FOR JOE BIDEN TO GOVERN

EFFECTIVELY WHEN HE IS DEALING

WITH THE SMALLEST HOUSE MAJORITY

SINCE WORLD WAR II, WHEN HE IS

DEALING WITH AN EVENLY DIVIDED

SENATE, NOW VICE PRESIDENT

KAMALA HARRIS WILL BE

EFFECTIVELILY THE 101st SENATOR.

IF WE'RE GOING TO HEAL AMERICA

WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE FACT

THAT YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO FIND

COMPROMISE, TO BROKER

COMPROMISE.

THAT REQUIRES PEOPLE ON THE

OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE.

AND DEEMING THAT THEY ARE

DEFICIENT IN THEIR AMERICANISM

OR SOMEHOW THE PROBLEM WITH

AMERICA WRIT LARGE IS PROBABLY A

REALLY BAD WAY TO START A VERY

IMPORTANT CONVERSATION.

AND SO I THINK IF WE'RE JUST

REALLY GOING TO BE HONEST ABOUT

MOVING FORWARD, I DO RECOGNIZE

THE FACT THAT, AGAIN, THERE ARE

AMPLE ARGUMENTS TO BE SAID THAT

THE PURVIEW OF CONGRESS IS

IMPEACHMENT, THAT IS WHERE IT

LIES.

BUT CONGRESS DID ITS JOB,

CONGRESS HAS ALREADY IMPEACHED

PRESIDENT TRUMP, CONGRESS CAN

NOW ALSO DISSOLVE THOSE ARTICLES

OF IMPEACHMENT.

THERE IS ALSO PRECEDENT TO DO

THAT, BY SAYING THAT THE THREAT

HAS BEEN REMOVED, HE IS NO

LONGER PRESIDENT, AND IF THERE

ARE CRIMINAL CHARGES TO BE

BROUGHT, THEY SHOULD BE BROUGHT

IN A CRIMINAL COURT.

IF THERE ARE FEDERAL LAWS THAT

HAVE BEEN BROKEN, THAT THERE ARE

FEDERAL CHARGES THAT SHOULD BE

BROUGHT.

AND IF THERE ARE STATE LAWS THAT

ARE BROKEN, THEY SHOULD BE

BROUGHT IN STATE COURTS.

THERE ARE NO SHORTAGE OF

DISTRICT ATTORNEYS, U.S.

ATTORNEYS, THAT ARE WILLING TO

DO THAT AND HAVE INDICATED THAT

THEY ARE LOOKING TO DO THAT.

SO I JUST THINK THAT OVERALL,

YES, I THINK ALL OF THIS IS

IMPORTANT, ALL OF THIS ARE

THINGS THAT WE SHOULD TALK

ABOUT.

BUT IF WE ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF

MOVING FORWARD, AND TO BE CLEAR,

MAYBE WE'RE NOT, MAYBE WE'RE NOT

READY TO MOVE FORWARD, MAYBE

WE'RE STILL GOING TO DOUBLE DOWN

ON THE POLITICS OF DIVISION AND

VALIDATION AND VITRIOL, BUT IF

WE ARE ACTUALLY IN THE BUSINESS

OF TRYING TO SEEK A BROKER EED

PEACE, THEN WE HAVE TO DISPENSE

WITH THE TYPE OF BEHAVIOR AND

THE ANTICS THAT LED TO US WHERE

WE CURRENTLY ARE IN IN THE FIRST

PLACE.

>> L. JOY, YOU KNOW WHAT I'M

REALLY GETTING FROM THIS

CONVERSATION IS THAT EVEN THOUGH

WE NOW HAVE A BRAND-NEW

PRESIDENT, AN HISTORICAL,

HISTORIC VICE PRESIDENT IN

OFFICE, THE CONVERSATION IS

STILL ABOUT THE PAST PRESIDENT,

PRESIDENT TRUMP.

HE STILL SEEMS TO BE TAKING UP A

LOT OF THE OXYGEN.

AND SO FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE,

ONE, DO YOU SEE THAT AS WHAT

MIGHT ACTUALLY BE PRESIDENT

BIDEN'S REAL CHALLENGE, IS

SHARING THE NEWS CYCLE THAT'S

GOING TO INCLUDE PRESIDENT

TRUMP, OR IS IT POSSIBLE FOR HIM

TO BREAK AWAY FROM THAT AND SORT

OF ESTABLISH SOMETHING ON HIS

OWN WITHOUT DEALING WITH

PRESIDENT TRUMP AS AT LEAST 84

MILLION AMERICANS SEEM TO BE

READY TO DO?

>> WE CAN DO BOTH AT THE SAME

TIME.

AND THERE HAS BEEN INDICATIONS

NOT ONLY FROM SENATORS AND

OTHERS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE MOVE

FORWARD AT THE SAME TIME OF

DOING THE IMPEACHMENT,

CONFIRMING WHO WE NEED TO

CONFIRM AND ALSO ADDRESSING THE

ISSUES OF THE ECONOMY,

ADDRESSING COVID AND ALSO

ADDRESSING ON THE SOCIAL JUSTICE

ISSUES THAT HAVE BEEN PREVALENT

IN THIS COUNTRY OVER A NUMBER OF

DECADES.

AND I WILL SAY, YOU KNOW, IT IS

NOT DIVISION TO ADDRESS

ACCOUNTABILITY AND HOLD PEOPLE

ACCOUNTABLE.

AND IT'S NOT -- I AGREE IT'S NOT

A PARTISAN PROBLEM.

IT IS A PROBLEM WE COLLECTIVELY

HAVE TO DEAL WITH, AND THAT'S

THE CONFRONTATION, RIGHT?

IT IS NOT SOMEBODY ELSE

INSTALLED THIS PREVIOUS

PRESIDENT.

THERE WAS A COHESIVE

PARTICIPATION THAT HAPPENED.

AND SO WE ALL HAVE TO ADDRESS

OUR PART IN THAT SPACE.

AND IT IS NOT DIVISIVE, IT IS

NOT POLITICS AS USUAL TO SUGGEST

THAT MOVING FORWARD WITH

IMPEACHMENT AND HOLDING

ACCOUNTABLE AND BRINGING TO THE

TABLE ALL OF THOSE ISSUES, THAT

IS NOT DIVISIVE, THAT IS THE

BUSINESS WHAT HAVE WE ARE

SUPPOSED TO DO.

AND AT THE SAME TIME, WE CAN

ADDRESS A VIRUS THAT HAS TAKEN

MILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN THIS

COUNTRY.

WE CAN ADDRESS AN ECONOMY THAT

HAS MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AND

MILLIONS OF CHILDREN AT THE

POVERTY LINE OR BELOW.

WE CAN DO ALL OF THAT TOGETHER.

AND I BELIEVE WE WILL.

>> WELL, LISTEN, I WANT TO TAKE

THE TIME NOW TO THANK ALL THREE

OF MY GUESTS FOR JOINING ME.

RICK SHENKMAN, PRESIDENTIAL

HISTORIAN, FOUNDER OF GEORGE

WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY'S HISTORY

NEWS NETWORK AND "NEW YORK

TIMES" BESTSELLING AUTHOR.

RICK, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

I ALSO WANT TO THANK L. JOY

WILLIAMS, PRESIDENT OF THE

BROOKLYN NAACP, A SENIOR ADVISER

FORAY MAGUIRE'S NEW YORK CITY

MAYORAL CAMPAIGN AND HOST OF THE

SUNDAY CIVICS CAMPAIGN.

AND OF COURSE I WOULD ALSO LIKE

TO JOIN OUR RETURNING GUEST

JOSEPH PINION, A REPUBLICAN

POLITICAL STRATEGIST, CHAIR OF

THE CONSERVATIVE COLOR COALITION

AND HOSS OF NEWSMAX'S "SATURDAY

AGENDA."

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR

JOINING US.

THIS IS A CONVERSATION WE ARE

DEFINITELY GOING TO HAVE TO

CONTINUE, ESPECIALLY SEEING WHAT

HAPPENS WITH THE SENATE AND OF

COURSE WITH THIS NEW

ADMINISTRATION AS IT GETS ITS

FEET UNDERNEATH IT IN ITS FIRST

100 DAYS.

THANK YOU ALL FOR JOINING ME.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE

POSSIBLE BY

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PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG

JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER

JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD

CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN

FAMILY

JUDY AND JOSH WESTON

DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN

FOUNDATION