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September 28th, 2012
10:37 AM ET

Historian Ted Widmer on “Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of JFK”

Fifty years since John F. Kennedy was president, details of his presidency are still unfolding. In July of 1962, President JFK installed hidden recording systems in the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room to record conversations between him and cabinet leaders on national and international issues. These newly released secret tapes from inside the Oval Office and some private conversations offer a revealing look inside his presidency and a personal glimpse of the man as well. Historian Ted Widmer wrote about these 265 hours of recordings in “Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of JFK.”

Widmer describes the recordings as highly sophisticated and clandestine. “It was a very closely held secret,” Widmer says. “A tiny number of people knew. Most of his top advisers had no idea.”

Widmer credits JFK with knowing their value, though JFK never said what his goal was for recording them. “I think it was for history,” Widmer says. “I think he was getting ready to write his memoirs, for that long into the future day when he wouldn’t be president anymore. And he just wanted to capture the raw stuff of what was happening.”

Widmer explains that the recordings demonstrate JFK’s true character and personality as president. “Throughout a capacity to learn, he was a decisive president, and you get that feeling. But he was also evolving, in the way we hope our presidents do. On civil rights, there was a lot of movement,” he says.

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Filed under: Book
September 28th, 2012
10:28 AM ET

Israeli Prime Minister's spokesman on preventing Iran from acheiving a nuclear bomb: 'Our position and the United States’ position are almost identical'

On Friday, President Obama is expected to make a very important phone call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The phone call follows a week of heavy criticism against the president for not meeting with Netanyahu in person and yet making time for several TV appearances and campaign stops. Thursday, the Israeli Prime Minister met with Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton for more than an hour, which included an "in depth discussion on Iran." That meeting followed Netanyahu’s blistering speech to the United Nations General Assembly where he made it clear Israel would demand a "red line" to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon - literally drawing that line in front of the audience. Mark Regev is the spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and joins “Starting Point” today to discuss

Regev says the American position has been consistent with Israel calls to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. “Our position and the United States’ position are almost identical and we have to continue talking to see what we can do to prevent the Iranians from achieving a nuclear bomb.”

On Tuesday, a top Israeli official wrote in The Times of Israel article that while Fmr. President Clinton “made us feel like he had our back…President Obama doesn’t give us the same sense that he’d be there.” Regev disagrees – saying, “I don’t believe that’s an official who’s in the loop with what’s going on between Jerusalem and Washington today.” Regev adds, “I think there’s a common understanding that the Iranian regime simply can not be allowed to achieve a nuclear weapon.”

The spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister says despite the fact Obama chose not to meet with Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister did not feel insulted. “We came here to New York… because of the Jewish holidays we only arrived yesterday. The President was here only at the beginning of the week. We’ve got a good dialogue. We will continue to discuss the issue and the most important things to stop Iranian nuclear enrichment.”

Filed under: Iran • Israel • United Nations General Assembly
September 28th, 2012
10:05 AM ET

Get Real: Akin back in the spotlight

 Misouri Senator Todd Akin told the Kansas City Star that his Democratic opponent Claire McCaskill was much more "ladylike" in her 2006 race. Akin described her as a "wildcat" this time around.



Filed under: Get Real
September 28th, 2012
09:37 AM ET

Tough Call: Beer and the election

Does the beer you drink tell which way you will vote?

Our tough call sees how much truth there is in a survey that says that Sam Adams' drinkers tend to vote Republican and Heineken drinkers are strongly Democrat.

Filed under: Tough Call
September 27th, 2012
02:44 PM ET

Former FDIC Chairman discusses details of new book on 2008 financial crisis

"Bull by the Horns: Fighting to Save Main Street from Wall Street," author Shelia Bair blames the US government for rescuing big banks over helping struggling homeowners. The former FDIC chairman talks to Christine about her new book about the 2008 financial collapse and points out where she thinks the major mistakes were.

Filed under: Uncategorized
September 27th, 2012
02:32 PM ET

Tough Call: Is the sexy geisha outfit offensive?

Out panelists Richard Socarides, Suzy Welch, and Ryan Lizza debate whether Victoria's Secret's new sexy little geisha outfit is offensive or not.

Filed under: Tough Call
September 27th, 2012
02:18 PM ET

J.K Rowling's new adult book has no wizards or magic

After selling a staggering 450 million Harry Potter books worldwide, J.K. Rowling is trying her hand at a novel for adults. Already selling a million copies in advance, Newsweek and Daily Beast writer Malcolm Jones has read an advanced copy and discusses it with John and Christine.

Filed under: Uncategorized
September 27th, 2012
02:12 PM ET

President Obama and Mitt Romney show a lighter side in appearances

With President Obama and Mitt Romney working the talk show and late night circuit, The Daily Beast contributors discuss the benefits.

Filed under: Politics
September 27th, 2012
02:04 PM ET

Romney faces tough poll numbers

Both President Obama and Mitt Romney are campaigning in critical swing states Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia today. Current polling numbers show Romney is still behind.

Romney campaign Communication Adviser Tara Wall tells our panel why it's time for a businessman to fix what the community organizer could not.

Filed under: 2012 Race • Politics
September 27th, 2012
01:36 PM ET

Veteran NFL referee talks end of NFL lockout

Two days after the hail mary pass that started an uproar, millions of football fans' prayers have been answered. The NFL and the officials' union have reached an 8 year collective agreement.

Forty year veteran NFL referee Red Cashion talks to John and Christine about the benefits that resulted from the lockout.

Filed under: Sports
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