Inside the world's most exclusive club
Former presidents stay close to action
- Duration 5:07
- Date Apr 15, 2012
Former presidents stay close to action
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Welcome back it's the most exclusive fraternity in the country club that only has one requirement it's a simple one you have to have been the leader of the free world pretty simple.
Joining us now -- an inside look is the author of this new fantastic book called the president's club.
Nancy Gibbs it's out on Tuesday a tweeted a picture of -- yesterday in our viewers said I can't buy it yet.
Why did you -- it it is a fascinating read and I can't put the -- down why did you come up with this idea for the president's club who among us -- -- even existed.
You know we certainly didn't we talked about initially metaphorically of these guys -- -- president is actually called it -- that's a word they use with one another.
There is a physical clubhouse.
In Washington across the street from the White House.
That only four men are allowed to check into you call the White House to get reservations it's not -- townhouse for -- use when they are.
Unbelievable they're visiting.
-- the club has souvenirs it has rituals it has sort of feast days it's something that they are very conscious of because once you have been the -- United States.
You were bound to the other presidents by an experience that really no one else can understand.
In truly -- units talk about one senior advisor to three presidents at one point were calling watching the faces of these presidents is they learn all my god what have I gotten myself into.
That their faces the almost start to realize that on the campaign trail these guys know they have no idea when they get that first briefing everything changed.
If President Bush the first President Bush told us that you think you know your campaigning you think you know it means -- president.
The day you get your first intelligence -- everything changes when we're now you realize not just the weight of the responsibility you carry.
But the fact that until you were in that position you know you can never judge a president without knowing what -- this is -- what it is that he knows the basis of sufficient amounts of some fascinating relationships emerged.
Reagan and Clinton.
This is a fascinating one who among us knew that this was a unique club where they would have phone calls and conversations tell us about this you know this is one -- a transition between one of the oldest he had been -- have been -- oldest President Clinton won at the youngest.
After the election Clinton went to visit Reagan in his office in Los Angeles.
Just to get some advice which is something new presidents typically do it and Reagan had two pieces of advice -- -- -- first well -- Camp David.
It's very important that you rest the -- a killer second.
You need to learn how to salute -- -- this is you know Reagan the former actor.
Understood about performing the job of president and he could -- each of the campaign the Clinton -- not a performer.
But a decent military -- they practiced it in his office to -- that's amazing and I remember him being mocked for not knowing how to salute also.
Another set of presidents Hoover and Truman of course this is where the club kind of started actually between Hoover and -- correct.
And and the most unlikely pair -- couldn't be more different politically and personally but when Truman suddenly finds himself in office.
He's facing a disaster in Europe a humanitarian disaster and Herbert Hoover -- was an engineer before he was president was very good at solving complex puzzles.
And so Truman called him and he had not stepped foot in the White House since he left office thirteen years before -- -- -- that I need your help.
And -- are.
As we saw again and again and again he does not care that they current president as a Democrat Republican.
If it is about serving the country Hoover knew that there were things that he could do to help true.
He started to cry in his presence at least that one of the stories he cried being thankful that he was being brought back into the fold.
Because of this humanitarian food crisis it -- -- frustrating for him not to be able to help when he knew that he had the relationships overseas that could help make a difference.
And we have another group of presidents as well and remind me who.
The first President Bush and a relationship that he had tell us about this.
Well you know the extraordinary one of course is to have a father and son in the White House are close together.
What's does a lot of people -- at the time doctoral dissertation have been written about this about how.
The father son relationship affected the presidency.
What we you're interested in was how.
Bush forty -- presidency affected the father son relationship he understood the president has many many many advisors you only have one -- right.
And what was really important and what they both talk about is how.
It was the unconditional love of a father that no one else could provide it wasn't a matter of the senior President Bush giving advice to the younger.
What is -- select in the book you mentioned Thomas Jefferson calling the president.
-- the presidency a splendid misery and how presidents Eisenhower was mocked for playing a lot of golf while he was president.
But other presidents Truman said you know what.
Misery follows you around on the golf course all the president's problems always follow them around so anyone who's not been an office.
Don't -- the golf plane could you really have no idea what you're talking about.
It's it's really -- they there are many ways in which they tend to defend one another and one of them is don't criticize the president for taking vacations don't criticize him for playing around a golf.
You have no idea what that job just you and we want our presidents.
To -- to get to replenish themselves it is really important.
As Reagan said go to Camp David you'll need the rest Nancy Gibbs the book is absolutely fascinating it is out on Tuesday -- pre order now on Amazon of course.
It is fascinating walk through American history thanks so much for joining us thank you.