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CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
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December 12, 2021 1:48 pm

CBS Sunday Morning,

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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December 12, 2021 1:48 pm

On this week's "CBS Sunday Morning, Correspondent Rita Braver visits with First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden for a rare interview at Camp David, and travels with the first lady as she helps promote the administration's work. The 15th Congressional District in New York's South Bronx -- the poorest district in the country -- is represented by Democratic Rep. Ritchie Torres, for whom fighting to support the social safety net isn't partisan; it's personal. CBS's John Dickerson talks with Torres, the first Afro-Latino gay representative, about his journey -- from growing up in public housing to working the halls of Congress. Fran Lebowitz talk, The opinionated essayist and raconteur sits down with correspondent Mo Rocca to discuss the reaction of her parents to her outspoken manner; why she still smokes; and her thoughts on gay marriage.

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Let's partner for all of it. Learn more at edwardjones.com. Good morning. Jane is off this weekend.

I'm Lee Cowan, and this is Sunday Morning. First Lady Jill Biden has spent a fair amount of her first year on the road, serving her country and supporting her husband. Our Rita Braver was recently invited along for the ride. First Lady Jill Biden has already traveled to 35 states this year.

So I feel like I'm walking historic paths. Well, you are really, as she told us during a rare interview at Camp David. Why do you feel like it's important for people to see the first lady out there? I don't care if it's a red state or a blue state. I think, you know, Joe is the president for all Americans.

And the president joins us at the White House later on Sunday morning. Maggie Gyllenhaal is an accomplished actor of stage and screen who's taking on a new role as director on a subject near and dear to her heart. Tony DeCopel has a preview.

For her directorial debut, Maggie Gyllenhaal decided to adapt The Lost Daughter. Sometimes you just can't handle it. A story of motherhood from a different perspective. What do you think that reveals? I can't speak for everybody, obviously, but my identity as a mother is like such a huge part of who I am. Coming up on Sunday morning, the pleasures and realities of motherhood. Yeah. Mo Rocca field slings and arrows from writer Fran Lebowitz, Nancy Giles, pays a visit to Santa Claus, Indiana. John Dickerson profiles an up and coming congressman and more on this Sunday morning for December 12th, 2021. We'll be back in a moment. It's been said author Fran Lebowitz disapproves of just about everything except sleep and cigarettes.

And that's just for starters. She's in conversation with Mo Rocca. Did you have strong opinions as a child? I did, but no one cared about them.

So who did you get them to? Well, I tried to tell them to my parents, but when I was a child, I had to go to sleep. My bedtime was 7 30 till I was like 13. So I once said to my mother, why did you make me go to bed so early when I was like 12 years old? And my mother said, to tell you the truth, by 7 30, I just couldn't listen to anymore.

Most writers write for a living. Fran Lebowitz talks. Yes.

Yes. And at a recent appearance at Connecticut's Ridgefield's Playhouse, she weighed in on everything from marathons. Here's what I would run 26 miles if there was a German soldier behind me with a gun. Two costumes for pets. Dogs don't need clothing.

That's what the fur is. To her own legendary lack of productivity. I am such a slow writer.

I could break my own blood without hurting myself. She's been speaking her mind for half a century. This is my favorite thing to do. This is why I write. From her days writing for Andy Warhol's Interview magazine in the 1970s, to her two best selling collections of comic essays repackaged into a single volume. Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only Fran Lebowitz. To a Netflix series directed by her friend Martin Scorsese. People want to challenge themselves. I find real life challenging enough. Which brought her distinctly analog sensibility to a decidedly digital platform.

Though technology has always sort of baffled her. I was on a plane and the guy sitting next to me was on his phone the whole time and I thought, what is he doing? He was playing a game where it looked to me like he was murdering fruit. A killing fruit. What does he do when he's not doing this?

I'm hoping that one day I'm not wheeled into surgery and this guy is like my surgeon, you know. We met Lebowitz at the famed Argosy bookshop in Manhattan. I never loved Hemingway. There's in my opinion really such a thing as too much. Apart from a children's book in 1994, she hasn't published a volume of new writing in 40 years.

I must have all of these books. But audiences don't seem to mind. And yes, she's got something to say about audiences. Every single thing there's standing ovation. There is overenthusiasm on the part of the audience, you know, who has absolutely no way to judge the thing to begin with. I went to the ballet maybe now 10 years ago and I was shocked by the audience.

So the second the first dancer put their foot on the stage, the audience erupted in cheers. I was shocked by this. Okay. It used to be if Baryshnikov managed to hang in the air for maybe say a full 15 minutes, they'd be like.

Okay. So the audience is, you know, who are they applauding? Themselves. Lebowitz grew up in Morristown, New Jersey, where the reception to her wasn't exactly warm. Our parents did not pay the kind of attention to us that people pay attention to their children now.

They felt that their job was to instruct us. Like I would say to my mother, can I please have an apple? My mother would say, may I please have an apple? Well, she was right. I would say, may I please have an apple? She would say no.

Okay. So that was child to the 1950s, not just mine. Lebowitz's scholastic record was not without its blemishes. I was expelled from high school. For what?

The headmaster sent a letter and the letter just basically said she is a bad influence on the other girls and is usurping my power. Perhaps a certain revolutionary wardrobe choice was to blame. There was a Halloween party, you know, where you would wear a costume. And I had a friend who, I don't know where they got it, they had a Castro mask and it was really good. It really looked like Fidel Castro. And I went with a cigar to this girl school for Halloween, dressed as Fidel Castro in the 60s and was suspended for this.

In fact, Lebowitz, who is gay, has never been particularly radical. Sometimes kids come up to me in the street and say, thank you, thank you for fighting for a right. I didn't fight for your rights. I didn't fight for my rights. I just tried to avoid these problems.

That's what I did. You know, I didn't, thank you for fighting for gay marriage. I never fought for gay marriage. We never heard of it.

Like it's these two words together didn't exist and who wanted it? Not me. You know, I'm not against it.

I'm glad you have it if you want it, but no thanks. Lebowitz has been a vocal advocate for rights of a different sort. Fran Lebowitz is a writer and a diehard defender of the right to smoke. I know that cigarette smoke annoys people. Other people's cigarette smoke annoys me, but there are no other laws in this country about annoyance.

I mean, this is supposed to be, you know, you're not entitled not to be annoyed. Here's the thing. It's an addiction. It is not, however, a character flaw. It is not a sign of immorality.

It is just a bad habit. Fact is it's a vice that gives Fran Lebowitz pleasure. Speaking of which, are people having enough pleasure these days? You know, I don't know, but I will tell you this. If you're not having fun now, you will never have fun.

So if you're not having fun in your twenties, by the time you're my age, I will be a long debt, you know, but try to remember that Fran said I should have had fun in my twenties. Tis the season for Letters to Santa, and Nancy Giles takes us to a town far south of the North Pole, where it's Christmas all year round. In Southern Indiana, in a town of just over 2,500 people, one name stands out everywhere you look. On the hardware store, community center, even the fire department, with trucks named after some familiar reindeer. But the town's most important distinction? Here you go, sir.

Thank you. It has the only post office bearing Santa Claus's name. For more than 90 years, letters from around the world have found their way here, to Santa Claus, Indiana. For Christmas, I would like socks. Ho, ho, ho monkeys.

Pat Cook. Socks and monkeys. Along with her self-styled, team of elves, do not busy themselves with making toys. We don't ever promise, ever, ever a present. For them, it's all about keeping up with Santa's mail. That is our ministry, is getting a letter to the child. It was in 1930 that Ripley's Believe It or Not had a cartoon saying, if you write to this little town in Indiana, you're going to have to write a letter to the child. And that's when Indiana, you'll get a letter, and the postmaster received over a hundred thousand letters. It all began in 1856, when the town's application for a post office, under the name Santa Fee, was rejected. Santa Fee was deemed too similar to Santa Fe, another Indiana town. So the postmaster suggested Santa Claus, and the name stuck.

Santa Claus receives about 30,000 letters. You know, here's the thing, you can't just walk in off the street and do this. I found that out the hard way. This is Dylan, who wanted to ask for a robot that has a button to make it dance. All right. Dear little friend, Dylan. You know what, that's not how Dylan spelled his name. Oh, okay. I already messed up.

Okay. 90-year-old Pat Cook has been one of Santa's helpers ever since she was a child. My father brought letters home and we put them on the dining room table. And that was when I learned that letters were really important and that I as a little girl could help. Her dad embraced the role, dressing up to look like Santa and leading teams of letter writers. He visited the postmaster down in the town and saw that he was getting all these letters and said, he needs help. This needs to be taken care of.

They need to be organized. There are do's and don'ts when replying to the children of the world, especially because they ask a lot of questions. You cannot believe how kids were so concerned about Santa getting COVID. Very, very concerned. Oh my goodness. And they didn't know if he could come visit and if Mrs. Claus was okay. It was almost heartbreaking.

So how did you answer those kind of letters? Santa was fine. Santa had gotten vaccinated and Santa would be okay. These elves always have ready answers. Santa's favorite cookie is chocolate chip. Reindeers love carrots.

Mrs. Claus is always fine. And the question is, how did the reindeer fly? It's simple. It's magic. End of story.

Yes. For kids who are being told by their friends there's no Santa Claus, what's your response to something like that? Absolutely, positively, there is a Santa Claus.

Santa Claus brings joy and happiness to people and that will always be. And it's that kind of Christmas spirit Pat Cook and the rest of the town's elves have tried to carry on one letter at a time. I know you've answered so many letters over the years but are there some for you that stand out? I remember especially one letter that I will never forget. They found this house key attached. He said, this is the key to the front door, we don't have a chimney and I want you to be able to get in. At Christmas, remember, Santa knows all because there are elves who listen. And that's what's wonderful about children writing letters is they really do just tell you and you know we cry, we laugh, we share.

I think it's good for them and good for us. Maggie Gyllenhaal has done it all. The Broadway stage, the big screen, the small one too.

Tony DeCopel tells us Gyllenhaal is also checking out the view from behind the camera. What do you like over here? I think I, I think I'm actually going to come and see that. Wild at heart.

I haven't seen it in a long time. Maggie Gyllenhaal is more than your typical movie buff. We watch 24 movies in less than two weeks. Wow. And not only because you probably know her as an actress.

I have never had a job before but I can assure you that I am very excited about this opportunity. In blockbusters like The Dark Knight. Well, you look nervous.

Is it the scars? Bingeable TV shows like The Deuce. Look at you. Look at us. Who would have thought, right?

And a long list of bold, even gritty roles including an Academy Award-nominated performance in Crazy Heart. Everything is not okay. He's four years old. He's scared half to death. No, I wouldn't do anything to hurt that boy.

Well, you did do something to hurt him. Just you and every other, every other man in my life. She also happens to be part of a mini Hollywood dynasty. The daughter of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner.

Not to mention big sister to Jake. But what really sets Gyllenhaal apart as a cinephile is that after all these years in and around the movies. No, I didn't steal from the government. I just didn't pay you.

I just didn't pay you entirely. Her love for them is still growing. I want to see movies more now than I ever wanted to see movies before. I've seen like almost every movie that's out this year. That now includes her own movie The Lost Daughter. Gyllenhaal's first as a screenwriter and as a director. Miss Caruso, welcome.

Thank you. It's out in theaters and streaming on Netflix later this month after what Gyllenhaal says was an exciting if also excruciating premiere overseas. I felt like I was giving birth or something really. So you've been there as an actor seeing a film for the first time.

Oh at the at the Venice or at any place. I mean for for an actor it's a moment to see what the director is way more intense as a director. Like I mean a hundred thousand times more intense. Why? I don't know maybe because this movie is everything I meant for it to be. It's all my offering. Like I have to stand behind all of it.

And what a lot of it there is. The film is a psychological thriller and drama. The story of a woman who does something almost unimaginable amid all too real flashbacks to her life as a young parent. I'm just gonna close my eyes for a few seconds baby okay.

I can't tell you how many people have been like I shouldn't say this but I have fallen asleep on the floor while I was taking care of my kids. So many people have said that to me and I like that. Like it's like a dirty terrible secret. Secrets or at least things left unsaid are a big part of what drew Gyllenhaal to the project which is based on a novel by Elena Ferrante the mega best-selling Italian writer known only by her pen name. People spend a lot of time and energy trying to figure out who she is not me. I'm like she has to be anonymous let her be anonymous you know. I've never spoken to her I've never met her.

All of my interaction with her has been through email and there's something amazing about her being anonymous because she's been so supportive. In fact after Gyllenhaal wrote a long letter to Ferrante requesting rights to her story Ferrante agreed on one condition. She wrote me back and she said yes you can have the rights but the contract is void unless you direct it. She also offered Gyllenhaal an unexpected gift. She said she thinks it's really important that the movie be good and she knows it will only be good if I make it mine and so she wanted to offer me freedom.

Ferrante has since said of the finished movie I like the whole film calling it true cinema. Stop it enough stop enough stop acting like this let me move. One of the book's big truths now brought to the screen by Gyllenhaal is that motherhood even when it's a choice and a joy is not always a pleasure. Sometimes you just can't handle it. I know. I had to say it delicately. Yeah yeah but it's funny like you have to say it delicately.

It's very complicated and I think what I think is that it's it's just that the spectrum of feelings about it are huge and somehow our culture says if you feel ambivalent or terrified or all these dark things included in all the light ones that somehow there's something wrong with you or that it's abnormal. Gyllenhaal grew up in Southern California but she was born in New York and she's raising two daughters of her own here with husband and fellow actor Peter Sarsgaard. How old are your kids now?

15 and 9. So you're kind of out of the worst of it in terms of the most intensive they need you. I think so I think so I don't think I could have made this movie with toddlers but I was certainly thinking about it with toddlers. After nearly three decades on screen Gyllenhaal is also realizing she has a whole new kind of career ahead of her. There are a lot of people that don't like actors with ideas. I think that I just got tired of that.

It takes a lot of energy. I think probably looking back on it now that I have directed this film which I love I think probably I was always a director and I just didn't feel entitled to even know that I wanted that. Your name Leda it's very provocative.

You're thinking about the Yeats. The Lost Daughter is already an award winner taking among other honors best screenplay at the Venice Film Festival and the 44 year old Gyllenhaal says beyond the movie's ensemble of stars which includes her husband she sees a simple reason for the film's success. You know sometimes when you tell the truth about something that nobody's been talking about I think it can feel really invigorating and exciting and good you know like almost like an electric shock through you to hear the truth spoken out loud you're like oh I agree you know. And just in case you're wondering there's a lot more to the movie than motherhood just like there's a lot more to being a woman that rarely makes it into movies and that above all else is what Maggie Gyllenhaal the director is most excited to change.

I'm just trying to be honest that's really all I'm doing because for so much of my life I saw my experience portrayed in ways that weren't totally honest and I wondered is there like something wrong with me because this whole others like the edges of my experience the nooks and crannies of my experience I rarely see and I think we can get confused if we don't see reflections of our experience portrayed back at us. So here's the world's most obvious question are you gonna do it again? Yes yes yes yes yes totally yes.

Now streaming. I used to believe in progress that no matter what we do we just end up back at the start. We're in crazy time. The Paramount Plus original series The Good Fight returns for its final season. The point isn't the end.

The point is winning. There are bad people in the world. The best way to protect the good people is to convict the bad. So here's to us.

The Good Fight the final season now streaming exclusively on Paramount Plus. First lady Jill Biden has her work cut out for her at the college where she teaches and at the White House where her duties take her far and wide. A few days ago she invited our Rita Braver to tag along. You're waiting to get your shots or you got them? We are all vaccinated.

Oh my goodness. When you watch first lady Jill Biden out on the road in Philadelphia pushing the administration's efforts to get Americans vaccinated and it's up to us to keep them safe. You get a sense of how seriously she takes her role. I mean I told you Rita a long time ago I think that I would never waste my platform and if I can help in any way with this pandemic if I can help to heal this nation I want to be in. I want to do this.

Wants to do it so much that at age 70 she will then fly two and a half hours to the solid red state of Oklahoma one of 35 states she's visited this year where she meets with the republican governor and his wife then drives another hour and a quarter to show the president's support for members of the Cherokee Nation and their efforts to preserve their native language. You are not alone in this endeavor. You are out there shaking hands with kids hugging them talking to them. What do you get from it? I feel excitement and I'm so happy that they're happy to meet someone who cares about them. I see Ashley Biden over there.

What's it like? And the Biden's daughter who usually keeps a low profile was along for the trip. She's so excited because when I said I was coming to Cherokee Nation she said just like I said mom can I go and I said of course you can go.

And aboard an air force plane as she traveled back east late that Friday night. You keep asking me why do I keep going? I do keep asking you that because I'm exhausted. Because of days like today like how can you not keep pushing forward every day to try to make a difference and change people's lives right? So I feel like I'm walking historic paths.

Well you are really. And her energy never seemed to flag when she met us the very next day. It's really just I think cozy and comfortable for a rare visit to Camp David the rustic presidential retreat in rural Maryland and a conversation in Rosebud Cottage. Do you come up here a lot with president?

Well we've come I think 12 times now. To talk about the way she sees her role. Were you prepared for what it's like to be the first lady?

I think what you know I was I think it's a little harder than I imagined. It's not like a job that you do. It's a lifestyle that you live. It's 24 hours a day.

Dr. Biden the first president's wife in history to work outside the residence is still teaching in-person classes two days a week at Northern Virginia Community College. I know for example that you came home from giving a final exam, changed your clothes, and went to the Christmas tree lighting. Yes I did. And I think some people would say hey you've earned it you've proven it it's okay you can hang up your textbooks now.

Why haven't you done that? Because teaching really is who I am. It's a part of life for me and when I go into the classroom people accept me for being their English teacher and that's a gift. That's a gift.

I mean that's a gift they give to me. But though Jill Biden is a long-time advocate for free community college the president has now dropped it from his Build Back Better bill. So was that hard for you to hear? Did you say to him Joe this is not the last you're going to hear of it?

No I understand compromise and I knew this was not the right moment for it but that doesn't mean it might not get passed somewhere down the future. Over the years a lot of people close to the president have described you as one of his most important advisors and I wondered how that's played out in the White House. I listen to him, he listens to me. It's a marriage and you know we talk about what's going on every day and what's going on with our lives and but I'm not his advisor. I'm his spouse. I'm his wife. You've seen the president's poll numbers drop.

Does that bother you? You know I look at it a little differently Rita. During the campaign Joe made certain promises, things that he would do and we were going through a pandemic which no one could have anticipated. So he did come in and rescue America with the American Rescue Plan and millions of families got money because they were desperate.

We have vaccines for kids ages five and up and now with the infrastructure plan we're going to have better roads and better buildings that don't have asbestos, better drinking water. So do you figure once the public kind of comprehends this things will turn around? I do. I do.

And one more question on that on the polls because there have been some recent polls that show that quite a few Americans have some questions about the president's current mental fitness. As somebody who spends, I can see you shaking your head. Yes. So what's your response to that?

I think that's ridiculous. We got to observe the bond between the Bidens when we traveled aboard Air Force One with them just a few days before Thanksgiving to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where she introduced him. And Joe and I feel like you know you're family to us and we cannot thank you enough. And the two dished up dinner to servicemen and women. With their late son Bo, an Iraq war veteran, the Bidens have long been dedicated to supporting military families.

It's something I think about every single day. So it's so great to feel welcome just to you know have dinner with people and hear their stories. And we saw that Biden family spirit at the White House this past Monday. Where Dr. Biden's holiday decorations have drawn rave reviews. A gingerbread house honors America's essential workers. It looks amazing. Was it fun to do?

It was fun to do. You know the central theme, gifts from the heart. What's the gift that we're celebrating in this room? So this is the gift of peace and unity.

And you can see that by all the doves that encircled this tree. But as President Joe Biden joined us. So thank you so much Mr. President for giving us your time. Are you kidding? It was clear that both Bidens understand that unity is an elusive goal. This has been a hard year.

I mean we're in the middle of a pandemic. You know that various things that you've done have gotten a lot of criticism. You've had a hard time getting the other side to work with you. You know don't you ever feel discouraged about this? No. And doesn't the criticism get to you?

And how does Dr. B help you through that? Well you know I guess it should get to me more. But look one of the things we did decide and I mean this my word is a Biden. I know what I'm willing to lose over. If we walk away from the middle class. If we walk away from trying to unify people.

If we start to engage in the same kind of politics that the last four years has done. I'm willing to lose over that. You mean you're willing to lose your presidency?

My presidency. Because you're going to stick with it. That's right because I'm going to stick with it. There's so many things that I'm going to lose over my presidency. Because you're going to stick with it.

That's right because I'm going to stick with it. There's certain things that are just like for example Afghanistan. Well I've been against that war in Afghanistan from the very beginning. We're spending 300 million dollars a week in Afghanistan over 20 years. Now how do you know everybody says you could have gotten out without any anybody being hurt.

No one's come up with a way to ever indicate to me how to get out. And so there are certain things that are just so important. As for what it's like for him to have his wife of 44 years at his side through all of this. Every time my helicopter lands when I when we get out and when I come home from wherever I am she's standing on the balcony. And I'm serious. You're a lucky man. I am.

I am a lucky man. Smile. She says Joe you're too emotional.

You get too emotional and she's right. But look well I am. I am. I am.

I am. And you know it's Jill is the life of my love and the love of my life. I mean but it's just a matter of just be straight with one another and and and and it makes it a lot easier when you start off from the same perspective. And from the perspective of First Lady Jill Biden.

No matter where I travel across this country a lot of people say to me Jill I feel like I can breathe again. Thank you. Please tell the president thank you for what he's doing. Being a freshman congressman isn't always easy but Richie Torres seems to hold tight to his roots. John Dickerson talks with the New York congressman. The 15th congressional district in New York's South Bronx has a number of distinctions. It's home to Yankee Stadium and the Bronx Zoo.

It's one of the most democratic districts in the country. Good to see you. How are you? How's everything?

Good to see you. And something else. This is the poorest district in the country.

What does that mean? More than half the residents in the South Bronx pay more than half their income toward their rent. And that's before you factor in the cost of food and transportation and utilities and prescription drugs. At just 33 years old Richie Torres represents the 15th in Congress. We can deliver real people results that are going to affect their lives. For him the issues that Joe Biden has staked his presidency on reducing inequality overhauling the social safety net are not as abstract as the build back better term used to describe them.

For Torres they're personal. Apartment 2a and so the second that second floor window. So that's the window you looked out of. And what are you looking out that window thinking when you're grown up?

Thinking that there's a whole world of opportunities waiting for me. And that might seem like a bold thought given that Torres grew up in chronically underfunded public housing in the Bronx. I'm someone who grew up with a whole range of challenges right.

I've had family members entangled with the criminal justice system. I've had to face housing insecurity and food insecurity. But the one constant that I had in my life was a stable affordable home. Richie Torres and his sister and twin brother were raised by their single mother.

There were moments when we could not afford to have three meals a day. You know my mother would lurch from one low wage job to the next and so our income varied widely. And what kind of jobs did she have? Mechanic, food server, just a whole range of low wage jobs.

Mechanic, car mechanic? Yeah. The motivations that would drive a future congressman were all around him. As a teenager he helped care for his grandmother after she was widowed and in declining health. But he learned he could only do so much. What was that experience like?

Painful. It's painful to see people you love who are the leaders of your family. The strong matriarchs of your family struggle in their final years and become shadows of their former selves and it's part of the reason I feel so strongly about home care.

I want for every elder in America what I would want for my own grandmother. In high school he was captain of the law team leading his school to win New York City's moot court championship. He entered New York University full of promise but faced a personal crisis that cut his studies short. I was hoping that I would graduate and go on to law school or go on to become a teacher. But during the latter years of my high school time and then during my early college years I came to struggle with depression and so I dropped out.

There were moments when I thought of taking my own life because I felt as if the world around me had collapsed. Torres sought therapy, started taking an antidepressant and found his way back by immersing himself in local politics. He ran for the New York City council despite calling himself an introvert.

I would have to drink one glass of wine before every speech. He won becoming the youngest member ever to win a city council seat. After six years Torres ran for congress becoming the first gay afro-latino representative.

The most important lesson that my mother taught me is never forget where you come from. He has the idealism of youth but recognizes politics has limits. Some moral debates for example are the ones that are the ones that are the ones that are the ones that are the most important. So I'm a democratic candidate out there somewhere and my republican opponent is mischaracterizing critical race theory. Do I answer those mischaracterizations or do I talk about prescription drug costs with the bulk of my remarks?

I would focus on prescription drug costs because if you conduct your campaign on the terms set by your opponents then you're going to lose. Moderates must win or democrats will lose the majority. I'm in a deep blue district. I'm in one of the most democratic districts in America and so I'm respectful and mindful of the perspectives of members who are on the front lines who are in purple districts and who have a feel for swing voters much more than I do. Let's rebuild America.

We talk about it a lot. And half a loaf is better than no loaf which might mean whittling down social policy legislation to win the vote of moderate democratic senator Joe Manchin. As a progressive why put all this blood sweat and tears into electing democrats and marching and speaking passionately about these issues if a West Virginia senator is going to call the tune for what the party believes in? I refuse to allow progressive purity to be the enemy of progress in the real world.

Happy Thanksgiving. And for me and for the district that I represent, an expanded child tax credit, home care, affordable prescription drugs, child care, all of these represent progress. Torres will be able to see the results when he visits his mom who still lives in the apartment of his youth. How will the lives of the people who live here improve if President Biden's legislation gets signed? We're finally going to have the opportunity to bring public housing into a state of good repair. So none of it is sexy.

None of this is. But we're going to replace elevators so that disabled residents are no longer prisoners in their own homes. We're going to replace boilers so that people have consistent heat and hot water in the winter. We're going to bring people closer to the ideal of safety and affordable housing. For Richie Torres, it's key to giving the next kid like him some reason to look out the window and hope. When people ask me how my mother raised three children on minimum wage, I describe it as mission impossible. But there are mothers who pull it off, who manage to remain hopeful in the face of real deprivation. And it's, in some sense, a miracle.

And it's that triumph of hope that inspires me and sustains me every day. I'm Lee Cowan. Thank you for listening, and please join us again next Sunday morning. Hi, podcast peeps. It's me, Drew Barrymore.

Oh my goodness. I want to tell you about our new show. It's the Drew's News podcast. And in each episode, me and a weekly guest are going to cover all the quirky, fun, inspiring, and informative stories that exist out in the world because, well, I need it. And maybe you do too, from the newest interior design trend, Barbie Corps, to the right and wrong way to wash your armpits. Also, we're going to get into things that you just kind of won't believe and were not able to do in daytime television. So watch out. Listen to Drew's News wherever you get your podcasts. It's your good news on the go.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-29 11:25:35 / 2023-01-29 11:40:23 / 15

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