JOHN DICKERSON, CBS HOST: Today on FACE THE NATION: death of a dictator.
And we give thanks to some Americans who help others.
Cuban Americans celebrated in the streets of Miami after communist leader Fidel Castro died Friday at the age of 90. Castro’s five decades of repressive rule spanned 10 U.S. presidents. What impact will his death have?
We will talk to Florida Senator Marco Rubio and get a report from Havana.
Then we will devote time to people we’re grateful for on this holiday weekend.
And our reporters panel will weigh in on how the Trump transition is going.
It’s all ahead on FACE THE NATION.
Good morning, and welcome to FACE THE NATION. I’m John Dickerson.
For the last 60 years, dictator Fidel Castro was America’s most persistent adversary. Although Castro formally handed off to his brother, Raul, eight years ago, the communist leader was a symbolic force in Cuba and around the world.
We begin this morning with CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez, who joins us from Havana.
Manuel, what is the reaction to Castro’s death?
MANUEL BOJORQUEZ, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: John, good morning. The usually busy and bustling streets of Havana are decidedly quiet this morning. Yesterday afternoon, at his alma mater, Havana University, students held a remembrance for their leader. Mourners here will have a first opportunity to publicly pay their respects starting tomorrow with the largest gathering expected on Tuesday at Havana’s Revolution Square, the scene of some of Castro’s most fiery speeches.
His remains will then be taken down a symbolic route from Havana to Santiago, Cuba, essentially retracing in reverse the victory march he took with the revolutionary army in 1959. His funeral will be held next Sunday in Santiago, known as the cradle of Castro’s revolution -- John.
DICKERSON: Manuel Bojorquez for us in Havana, Cuba, thanks, Manuel.
Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio is the son of Cuban immigrants and he joins us from Miami.
Senator , what would you like to see change in U.S.-Cuba relations now?
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Well, I would like to see more of a democratic opening on the island of Cuba, things like, I don’t know, free press, stop putting people in jail because they do not agree with you politically, stop helping countries like North Korea evade U.N. sanctions, don’t invite the Russians to open a military base 90 miles from our shores, allow independent political parties to be able to function, you know, the kinds of things that you find in virtually every country in the Western Hemisphere, except for Cuba and now increasingly Venezuela.
That’s what I would like to see. And I would like to see our foreign policy geared towards accelerating that.
DICKERSON: President-elect Trump has called Fidel Castro a brutal dictator. But then he did not renew his promise to reverse President Obama’s executive order reopening relations. He did not talk about an embargo. So, was that a sufficient response by your lights?
RUBIO: Yes. It’s no different than the one I put out.
Look, I think what we need to do is understand our number one obligation is to act in the national interest of the United States of America. I believe it is in our national interest to see democracy take hold on the island of Cuba. And so we examine our foreign policy, including all the changes that President Obama made, in that lens and through that lens.
DICKERSON: But examine? Why not just reverse?
RUBIO: Well, as I said, there are key elements that are more important than others. So, we will look at all of them. Here is the thing people do not understand. And I have said this repeatedly. I am not against changes in U.S. policy towards Cuba. I just want to make sure that those changes are reciprocal, that they’re reciprocated by the Cuban government. That was not part of what President Obama did.
And I want to make sure that they are the kinds of things that help create a pathway towards democracy in Cuba, because while Fidel Castro was 90 years old, his brother is 85. There is going to be a generational leadership change in Cuba over the next five to 10 years and hopefully sooner.
And we need to ensure that our foreign policy towards Cuba incentivizes and makes it easier for there to be a democratic transition. That is how I would examine our foreign policy towards Cuba.
DICKERSON: Why is this such an important issues for Americans who may not know about the history of American-Cuban relations in the Cold War?
RUBIO: Well, it’s no longer about the Cold War. It’s important for three reasons.
Number one, Cuba continues to be a source of instability in the region. For example, historic numbers of people are fleeing the island of Cuba, putting migratory pressure on the United States. Number two, this Cuban government is anti-American. They sponsor -- they allow the Chinese and the Russians to conduct espionage, electronic espionage and others from the island of Cuba.
Number three, they harbor fugitives of American justice. There are people living on the island of Cuba who have violated American law, including those who have stolen millions of dollars from Medicare fraud in South Florida and have fled to Cuba. Those are three reasons right there to care about what is happening on the island of Cuba, which happens to be 90 miles from our shores, basically a neighboring country.
DICKERSON: Let me step back and look at president-elect Trump.
His position towards countries like Cuba, I want to get your sense of it, because he was asked about the U.S. force overseas, and he said: “Our country has a lot of problems. When the world looks at how bad the United States is and then we go talk about civil liberties, I do not think we are a very good messenger. I don’t know that we have a right to lecture. We are not in a position to be more aggressive. We have to fix our own mess.”
That seems like retreating from dealing with the kinds of problems you just outlined in Cuba. And let’s speak more broadly about Syria, Russia other countries with whom you have disagreements and president-elect Trump does not want to seem to meddle.
RUBIO: Well, I don’t know when he made that statement. I can say to you that, as I would with any other president, number one, he has been elected. I want to give him a chance to succeed. If I agree with him on a foreign policy matter, I look forward to working with his administration. If I do not agree with him on a foreign policy matter, be they a Republican or a Democrat, I will disagree and try to offer an alternative and hopefully do what we want from the Senate to change and influence our foreign policy.
DICKERSON: In your list of objections to Cuba, you mentioned meddling in American affairs. U.S. intelligence says that the Russians attempted to interfere in the United States election.
What is your assessment of Russia efforts in the U.S. election?
RUBIO: Well, if you recall, during the election, I was up for reelection, and I did not or would not talk about WikiLeaks during that period of time because I do not -- as I said, I believe it is the work of a foreign intelligence agency. I believe Americans need to know.
I do not believe that they changed the outcome of the election. I want to be clear about that. But I do think that it is very -- some of the things we saw are very reminiscent of the active measures that Russian intelligence and before that Soviet intelligence agencies used to try to undermine the government or individual politicians in foreign countries.
DICKERSON: Should the U.S. retaliate if there is evidence the Russians were involved?
RUBIO: Well, again, I’m not going to speak to specifics of what the U.S. should do in response, because it’s an intelligence matter.
All I would say is that if, in fact, there is evidence that these were active measures on the part of the Russian government, the American people deserve to know. But I want to be clear. I do not believe that in any way what they did ultimately changed the outcome of the election.
But the American people need to be made aware if in fact there’s evidence that a foreign government tried to interfere with or influence the direction of our politics.
DICKERSON: Donald Trump is looking at his secretary of state picks. Without getting into the personalities, what attributes should he look for in a secretary of state?
RUBIO: Well, first of all, someone who is capable, someone who is capable of being the chief diplomat of the United States, hopefully someone who has a deep-rooted commitment in human rights and a strong national security on the part of our country, who has an understanding of the complex complexities of world today, and someone who understands that the United -- that the world is a better place when America plays a leading role in leading the free world in confronting the challenges of the 21st century. I think he has a bevy of people to pick from. Ultimately, he has to choose someone that he is comfortable with, because he won this election. He has a right to pick someone as his secretary of state that he feels comfortable with. And I think there are a number of qualified candidates that could fit the bill.
DICKERSON: Senator Marco Rubio, thanks so much for being with us.
RUBIO: Thank you.
DICKERSON: For some analysis on the Cuba situation, we turn to Julia Sweig, a senior research fellow at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the author of “Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know.” She is also a CBS News Cuba analyst and has been advising American companies doing business in Cuba.
We’re also joined by Jeffrey Goldberg, editor of “The Atlantic” and the last American journalist to interview Fidel Castro.
So, you both were with Fidel Castro.
Jeffrey, I want to start with you. What was that like? This was in 2010, right?
JEFFREY GOLDBERG, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, “THE ATLANTIC”: It was very, very strange.
You know, he still -- he was in retirement, but he still functioned as sort of the maximum leader, if you will. He called me down to Cuba to discuss an issue that was of concern to him, the Iranian nuclear program and the threat of nuclear war in the Middle East.
And so having a conversation with one of the most incendiary area figures of the Cuban Missile Crisis was one of the more interesting moments of my life. I had Julia with me on this trip.
The key memory or one of the key memories of this is when I asked him if he regrets asking Khrushchev in 1962 to annihilate the United States with nuclear weapons. And he paused and he said -- in essence, he said, that was probably a bit too much.
It continued that entire week to be a very, very strange week.
Julia, did he mellow with old age?
JULIA SWEIG, CBS NEWS CUBA ANALYST: Considerably.
With Jeff and then a couple days later into that week, I spent a day with him talking about the history of the 1950s. And I found him to be conversational, which was not his style when he was in power.
Subsequently after 2010, as he became a bit weaker, he certainly did mellow. And he was pointedly -- at least directly -- stayed out of his brother’s way, as his brother, Raul, advanced a modest reform process.
GOLDBERG: He mellowed, but not to the degree that he seemed to be very happy with Barack Obama’s opening to Cuba.
Fidel Castro, for 50-plus years, needed the confrontation with the United States in order to -- that was his reason for living in a kind of way. And Obama subverted in a very obvious sort of way the Fidel Castro narrative.
And Raul, who was in power, who is in power, changed in a more pragmatic way.
DICKERSON: Subverted by taking away the boogeyman of the United States?
GOLDBERG: Taking away the boogeyman, yes. Yes.
DICKERSON: Julia, what is -- let’s historically look back at the full career of Fidel Castro. Where do you -- what should history think of him?
SWEIG: Well, it is a long and complex career.
There is the analysis that will say, look, this guy took power, shut down speech, put people in prison, had a human rights legacy that was quite challenging and difficult for many people who were on the other end of it.
On the other hand, he rewrote the social contract in Cuba in a small island nation in which he put health care, education, culture, and the capacity for Cuba to have an independent foreign policy front and center as part of his legacy.
And in Cuba -- and I think we have to understand that there are 11 million people in Cuba -- that legacy will be digested as giving Cuba a place on the world stage.
GOLDBERG: But there are three things that Cubans will say Castro did well, health care, education and culture.
But the joke is that there are three things that Fidel Castro did not do well for the Cuban people, which was breakfast, lunch and dinner. And so you are looking at a guy who impoverished -- or kept his country in an impoverished state because he refused to open up to capitalist reforms.
And obviously, on the political front, we will remember him in America as a guy who suppressed freedom. There is no way around the fact that it is a single-party communist state, and remains so.
DICKERSON: What now does U.S. policy look like towards Cuba, Jeffrey?
GOLDBERG: Well, we’re at a really pivotal moment. What the Obama administration is trying to do is lock in some of the changes before it’s too late, before Donald Trump comes in
And he has threatened obviously to reverse some of these changes. So I think what the Obama administration right now is trying to do is make sure that these openings continue. Their best ally in this of course is American business. A lot of American businesses are very interested in turning Cuba into sort of Bahamas on steroids.
It is a separate issue that is worrisome to Cubans, but there are a lot of people in the Chamber of Commerce universe who would like to keep this opening going.
DICKERSON: Julia, last word to you on this policy. Where do you see it going and how does it play out?
SWEIG: Well, look, president-elect Trump is a hotel guy. He’s a business guy. When he takes the White House, he will hear from a number of American companies that are now flying commercial planes starting this week to Cuba, building hotels on the island, American people, universities, museums across the board, Cuban Americans themselves investing in their family’s businesses on the island, voting with their feet, Even Marco Rubio’s constituents on the island taking advantage of the Obama opening.
President-elect Trump has a choice to make. Does he want to go back to the Cold War and pick a fight and punish 11 million people for the trespasses of two guys named Castro, or does he want to take the opportunity coming in 2018, when Raul Castro says he will step down, to really shape the direction of the two countries’ relationship?
DICKERSON: All right, we’re going to have -- 10 seconds.
GOLDBERG: No, no, I would just not be surprised if, 10 years from now, there is a Trump golf course at the Bay of Pigs. Just mark my words.
DICKERSON: All right. Thanks to you. We will be back in 10 years to check on that.
When we come back, we will set aside politics for a moment and take a look at some people we are grateful for this Thanksgiving weekend.
DICKERSON: As Americans celebrated Thanksgiving this week, we wanted to take a little break from politics to show our appreciation and present the work of those who devote their lives to helping others. We begin with a report from CBS News foreign correspondent Holly Williams, who spent Thanksgiving with U.S. troops in Irbil, Iraq.
HOLLY WILLIAMS, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They have spent months away from home, aiding in the against ISIS on the other side of the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy Thanksgiving. How are you?
WILLIAMS: Their Thanksgiving lunch was not shared with family, but with their brothers and sisters in the armed forces.
And when we asked some of the roughly 6,000 U.S. service members currently in Iraq what they are thankful for, many of them spoke of their loved ones.
Major Rebecca Demiro White (ph) and Captain Jeremy White (ph) were grateful just to be together for a few hours at Thanksgiving, meeting up at a military staging area around 10 miles east of Mosul. They have only been married five months.
(on camera): So you are intentionally together here in Iraq. This was the only place you could be together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, kind of.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somewhat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somewhat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just worked out that way.
WILLIAMS: At Camp Swift, where the U.S. military shares a command center with the Iraqi army, launching airstrikes against ISIS, Major Steven Bryant (ph) serves as a chaplain, ministering to the spiritual needs of soldiers of all religions. But on his third tour of duty in Iraq, he is thankful for something rather practical: cell phones.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think what is different this time is communications. So, it’s giving me the opportunity to express that to my girls and to my wife and to my mom and dad and different family members more frequently, that I miss them and I love them and I certainly appreciate their support.
WILLIAMS: Others waxed poetic, like Private 1st Class Omay Bean (ph) from Fontana, Southern California.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I’m 19. I turn 20 in January. And I will turn 20 in Iraq. Yes.
WILLIAMS: Private Bean told us he had never been outside of California until he enlisted around a year ago. Now he is a perimeter guard at Camp Swift in a country that could not be any more foreign.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a humbling experience, out here, being humbly -- the experience to be able to, like, come and be humbled and see how other people live, buy the stuff that people think they need back in the states.
Kids, this is -- they grow up. This is all they know, so, no socks, no shoes just running around playing soccer. Just it’s crazy. But that’s what I’m thankful for.
WILLIAMS: He’s right, of course. No country will ever be perfect. And America will always have its problems, but in a world where there are 60 million people who have been forced from their homes, those of us who don’t live in despair can count ourselves lucky.
Specialist Monique Frank (ph) from Goldsboro, North Carolina, has the kind of relentless optimism that is infectious. One of a team of three cooks, she feeds 150 soldiers every day from this minuscule kitchen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It’s something I love, something I’m very passionate about. Food tells a story like nothing else can. Like, your put your emotions in it. I love it.
DICKERSON: Our Holly Williams in Iraq.
Vin Scully spent 67 years as the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VIN SCULLY, LOS ANGELES DODGERS BROADCASTER: It’s time for Dodger baseball.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: Before he retired this year.
Last week, the president awarded him the Medal of Freedom.
And we caught up with him outside the White House.
DICKERSON: What is the trick to calling a game, or what is the -- if you had to teach me how do it, what would you do?
SCULLY: I would quote Laurence Olivier, because I have lived by his quote.
Apparently, some actor asked him about his success. And he said: “My success comes from a humility to prepare and a confidence to bring it off.”
And I think, the more you prepare, the more confidence you have, and they go hand in hand. That is the best of all.
DICKERSON: You also have a sense of joy in what you do and wonder.
DICKERSON: How do you get that every time? You have watched so many games.
SCULLY: I have a secret.
When I was about 8 years old, we had a big radio, four-legged radio, crosspiece underneath. I would get a pillow, crawl under the radio. And the loudspeaker would be right over my head. And I would be listening to Tennessee-Alabama, which meant nothing to a little kid in New York.
But what I loved was the roar of the crowd. And so, when I do the game, my philosophy is, do it quickly, call the play accurately, and then shut up. And for a little while, when that crowd is roaring, I am 8 years old.
DICKERSON: When Hank Aaron hit that famous home run, you called that.
SCULLY: Yes. I was...
DICKERSON: What -- remember that for us. What was that like?
SCULLY: Well, it was building up, of course, all year long.
And now here we are in Atlanta. And our left-hander, Henry Aaron, is batting against Al Downing. And, of course, you are wondering about the home run. But I did not want to prepare anything. I did not want to think of all the home runs he hit or how many against the Dodgers or -- and so, when he hit the home run, I did what I really do best. I shut up.
And I went back to the booth, and the crowd was roaring. It was magnificent. And while I stood there, it suddenly dawned on me. So, when I went back to the microphone, I said:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCULLY: What a marvelous moment for baseball. What a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia. What a marvelous moment for the country and the world. A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCULLY: And to me, of all the home runs, that is the most important one I ever saw.
DICKERSON: And you hadn’t thought about that connection before?
SCULLY: No, no, not at all.
DICKERSON: You were quiet, you said nothing, I think, for a minute and 44 seconds.
SCULLY: I’m good at that.
DICKERSON: And that was you getting out of the way of the moment?
SCULLY: I did not want to get near it.
DICKERSON: What speaks baseball to you more, the crack of the bat or the snap of the glove?
SCULLY: The roar of the crowd. I have been in love with that ever since I was a little boy.
DICKERSON: What would you tell that little boy? He is under the radio. He’s 8 years old. What would you tell him now with the award you have just received? What would you tell him?
SCULLY: I would tell him, don’t be afraid to dream.
DICKERSON: What are you grateful for?
SCULLY: I am grateful for God’s grace to allow me to do what I have done for 67 years.
I’m grateful for my wife, my 16 grandchildren, my three great- grandchildren, for a life that has been beyond fulfillment of a dream. Yes, I am deeply thankful.
DICKERSON: You wrote in your farewell letter to fans, you said you would miss the fans.
Some people might think, well, wouldn’t you miss the game and the excitement? Why the fans?
SCULLY: Well, again, we get back to, when they roar, I get goose bumps. And that is why I have kept young, I believe, because every time they roar, I go back to being 8 years old. I don’t have a painting, like Dorian Gray, on the wall, but the crowd fulfills everything for me.
DICKERSON: Is there any other moment from your career that, when you look back, you say -- the Hank Aaron home run would obviously be one. Is there another moment where you say, that -- boy, that was a great moment?
SCULLY: I will be very brief.
I was in high school at the time sitting in the back of the auditorium with the best athlete on campus. And we were chatting. And he said, what would you like to do when you get out? And I said, I would love to be a baseball announcer. He said, I would love to be a baseball player. I said, wouldn’t it be amazing if I became a baseball announcer and you become a Major League player?
It happened. Three years into my career, he came up to bat. I was on the air. And he hit a home run. And I had to call my friend’s home run in the big leagues. And that is why I would always say to kids, don’t be afraid to dream, because it can happen.
DICKERSON: Vin Scully, this was a pleasure. Thank you. And happy Thanksgiving.
SCULLY: John, and the very same to you and yours.
DICKERSON: And we’re back with another thing we’re thankful for, teachers.
Jahana Hayes is a history teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, Connecticut, and was recognized this year as America’s teacher of the year.
We just heard Vin Scully talk about what brings him joy. What brings you joy?
JAHANA HAYES, NATIONAL TEACHER OF THE YEAR: That is easy: my students.
I meet them at 14, when they are not really sure who they are and the impact that they can have. So, helping them find their gift and using it to improve the human condition to help others, I think that is what brings me joy.
DICKERSON: And what is the secret to that? So many different kinds of students.
HAYES: Relationships, just showing kids that you care about them, showing them that you value them as people, and making them believe that they have the ability to do anything that they set their mind to and work hard at.
All right, that’s the beginning of our conversation.
DICKERSON: But we’re going to be back on the other side of the break.
DICKERSON: And then we will talk a little bit more with Jahana Hayes. We will be right back. Stay with us.
DICKERSON: Some of our CBS stations are leaving us now, but, for most of you, we will be right back with a lot more FACE THE NATION.
Stay with us.
DICKERSON: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. I’m John Dickerson.
We continue our conversations with people we are grateful for, including 2016 Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes.
We -- you were talking about students before. You said there is no benefit to anyone if a student achieves high grades if they have no desire or knowledge of how to help others. What does that mean?
HAYES: It means I think that the purpose of education is more than just graduating students who get good grades. I think that they need to be compelled to help out in their communities, to improve society. And that’s really how I focus my teaching. I want my students to feel connected to their communities, to improve the places where they live, you know, to use what they’ve learned in school to help out. And I think that’s what all teachers should do. You know, that students should know that it’s a privilege to be able to give, and not everyone can do it. So I really bring my students out and try to get them involved in their community.
DICKERSON: And what does that mean? How does -- how do you do that?
HAYES: Oh, wow, we do all kinds of community service projects. We are actively involved in Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, the -- autism. We do homeless awareness, cancer awareness, food drives. I just want my students to know that they have the ability to improve the things in our country and in our world that they see as challenges. You know, no matter how young they are, they still can make an impact.
DICKERSON: And if -- what does the student need to bring to you? What’s the key quality that a student needs to learn?
HAYES: Just -- actually, I have so many students who come to me and they don’t see anything in themselves. They don’t realize that they have the capacity, you know, to achieve anything. And I try to help them discover that.
DICKERSON: Why do they feel that way?
HAYES: There’s a lack of self-efficacy. You know, they’ve heard all the reasons why they can’t do things. And I just try to remind them that you can do anything. You know, students, young people in general, kind of see the world from exactly where they are, the position that they’re in today. They can’t see, you know, the future. And I think that teachers have the ability to lead student. We see so much far beyond, you know, today or tomorrow. We look into the future and see the possibility that students bring.
DICKERSON: Why should someone become a teacher?
HAYES: Oh, because it’s the best job ever. I think that I am uniquely positioned to impact the world, the future. You know, I have a front row seat to all the promise that we have. You know, I believe in what teachers do. You know, I know that the world would be better -- things will be better because I see students in front of me every day who have the ability to make those changes. So, I consider myself very lucky.
DICKERSON: All right. Well, Jahana Hayes, thanks so much for being with us.
HAYES: Thank you for having me.
DICKERSON: Next, we turn to Brandon Stanton, a photographer and blogger behind Humans of New York. It started as a personal photography project six years ago. Since then, the presentation of simple but powerful personal reflections has grown into a social media phenomenon and two best-selling books. In our political season of division, his work was a constant reminder of our shared humanity.
Brandon, I want to thank you for being here.
You’ve interviewed thousands of people. When you took that first photograph, what did you set out to do?
BRANDON STANTON, HUMANS OF NEW YORK: Well, the process of discovering Humans of New York was very incremental. I lost my job. I was working in Chicago. And I just knew I wanted to be a photographer. I loved taking photos. And I started kind of naturally falling into taking pictures of people. And then, after that, I would start stopping people on the streets and taking their photo.
And I had only been photographing for about a month or two at that time. So I knew if I wanted to be a photographer, I probably didn’t have a good chance of being the best photographer in the world. But I thought, maybe I had a chance of being one of the best people in the world at stopping random strangers and taking their photographs.
So that’s how it began and it grew from that into much more of a storytelling project where I actually interviewed these random people that I stop on the streets.
DICKERSON: Why did you change to interviewing them? What --
STANTON: I -- you know, I think it was just more interesting because I -- I had done it thousands of times, just stopped random people to take their photo, and I realized what was so interesting about my photography is that people were very curious about strangers around them. And I had developed this skill where I could walk up to any random stranger and enter into a conversation with them to take their photograph. And I knew if what made my work interesting was the aspect of interacting with a stranger, why not take that a step further and learn about this person.
DICKERSON: And what have you learned overall all of those interviews you’ve done?
STANTON: Wow. You know, I -- I like to, instead of trying to draw similarities between everybody, you know, I -- I think my goal was to find something different about everybody. And you know one thing that I find is that we share so many philosophies. We share so many opinions. But the one thing that we have that is truly unique and makes us truly ourselves is our stories. And so when I interview somebody, my questions tend to follow the lines of trying to find out a story about this person that I have not heard from the other 10,000 people I’ve talked to.
DICKERSON: And those stories, as I’ve looked in on Instagram and seen them, they are so powerful because they are so personal.
STANTON: Thank you.
DICKERSON: One recently, you were in Macomb County and there was a couple, a husband and a wife, his wife has dementia. Tell us that story.
STANTON: Right. And this is one that was kind of outside the box of what I normally do because I was in Macomb, stopping random people on the street, and I had a fan of the website send me an e-mail and he said, you know, my father-in-law has been taking care of my mother-in- law who has severe dementia. And would you go visit them? And so I did.
And I got there and there was this man in this chair with his wife who he said he has -- he doesn’t have her mentally, but he has her. And I sat down with them for about an hour-and-a-half, learned the story of how they met and they kind of fell in love and then learned the story about how her Alzheimer’s progressed. And spent some time, you know, talking to this man about the difficulties and if you would ask him the joys -- he’s a very joyful man -- of watching his wife deteriorate and stepping in to a relationship of caretaker, where the relationship to husband and wife kind of subsided, but the relationship of caretaker to someone being cared for came up. And, you know, it was a -- it was a very powerful conversation.
DICKERSON: You went to Macomb County and photographed a lot of people, didn’t mention their politics. Why did you do that?
STANTON: Sometimes I did. I didn’t look for it. I think that’s the -- that’s the key point of the work is that, you know, I think what makes Humans of New York unique is -- is the randomness of it. You know, I’ve traveled to Iran, I’ve traveled to Pakistan. These are countries that have very strong narratives told about them in the media. Whether they’re related to the nuclear deal or whether they’re related to terrorism. And so what you have, is you have people being asked about their thoughts and their opinions on things such like -- as that. And what I do, and the same thing I did in Macomb County, is I just stopped people randomly and I asked what their greatest struggles are. And you find that -- and Macomb County was a very important swing county. You know, it’s being talked about a lot. And every time it’s being talked about, it’s being talked about in relation to the election. What’s your opinion of Trump? You know, why did you vote for Hillary? And we’re framing these people based on their political affiliations.
But if you actually stop these people and say, what is your greatest struggle right now? It’s about their wife’s dementia, their son’s alcoholism, and you find that they don’t identify themselves in the way that we’re identifying them. They see themselves as fathers or husbands. And I think Humans of New York, by stooping people randomly and giving them a chance to express their stories, shows more of the identities that people see themselves as.
DICKERSON: All right, Brandon Stanton, thanks so much for your work and thanks for being here.
STANTON: Thank you.
DICKERSON: And we’ll be right back.
DICKERSON: Earlier this month the surgeon general issued a report saying that one in seven Americans is expected to develop a substance abuse disorder at some points in their lives. John Shinholser and Honesty Liller of The McShin Foundation in Virginia are on the frontlines of this epidemic.
Honesty, I want to start with you.
What does it look like in -- in terms of the uptick in -- in -- with opioid abuse and -- that you see?
HONESTY LILLER, MCSHIN FOUNDATION: Right. Well, at McShin, about 80 percent of our participants in our program are recovering from opioid addiction. It’s all around the country. It’s a huge spike. And lots of opiates, you know, prescription pain meds, along with the heroin. The heroin is cheaper after you’re done with the prescription pain meds, so it’s more and more people getting addicted. And, to be honest with you, at a very younger age than on average. And that’s all around the nation, not just in Richmond.
DICKERSON: Tell me about your personal story.
LILLER: Well, I’m a person in long-term recovery from my SUD. I’ve been drug and alcohol free for over nine-and-a-half years. The last -- I started using when I was 12 years old. I stopped when I was 26. The last nine years of my active addiction was opioids and heroin. And I came to the McShin Foundation when I was 26 years old with nothing, same day service. John and Carroll, his wife, the Mc in McShin, took me in. I had nothing. I had a couple bags of clothes. I didn’t have custody of my daughter. And I was practically living out of my Jeep.
Now, today, my life is amazing, nine-and-a-half years later because of recovery and John and Carroll taking a chance on me. I own a home. I’m a taxpayer. I -- I can vote. I’m a mommy. I’m a wife. And I’m the CEO of McShin. So I get to be surrounded by people that I love and I get to be able to see people change and their lives change because of the recovery. That peer to peer, been there, done that, this is what life was, this is what life is today. So be able to help these people and save their lives and heal their families.
DICKERSON: John, what is the most important thing a people needs who needs help?
JOHN SHINHOLSER, MCSHIN FOUNDATION: Well, I think the most important thing is, that if you have an addiction, there is help out there, that anybody can stop using drugs, find a new way to live and lose that desire. All you’ve got to do is ask for it and hopefully you’ll find a right doorway to go through and they’ll be smart enough to give you the help the same day you ask for it. Hopefully that’s what it will look like.
DICKERSON: But a lot of people have trouble asking for help. A lot of people don’t get it.
SHINHOLSER: Oh, my God, it’s the hardest thing in the individual is for an individual to come to grips with an addiction and say, look, I -- I need help. What do I do? And -- and a lot of times they reach out for help just to get their hands slapped. So we have to start that as a nation. We’ve got to start helping people. The day they ask for help, we’ve got to give it to them instead of turning back out in our community.
DICKERSON: What do you mean by getting their hand slapped?
SHINHOLSER: Well, a lot of times somebody will come in and ask for help from like a service provider and they’ll say like, come back in a week or two or three and the next thing you know you go back out in the Target or Wal-Mart and then you’re a public safety threat at that point. Then the sheriff gets you. So we’ve got to stop streeting (ph) people and help them the day they ask for it, to include emergency rooms in America. All across America, people are going up in these emergency rooms, a place where they’re supposed to get help for a medical condition, just to be told to get out of here. So we’ve got to stop that as a country. We know better. We’ve got to do better.
DICKERSON: Honesty, what -- you -- the most important thing you mentioned was that, you know, when you’re talking to somebody you can say, I was there with you. What about as a large -- as a larger culture, what do we -- what does the rest of us -- what can the rest of us do?
LILLER: Just be a voice. It’s not just those that are addicted to drugs and alcohol, it’s the family members and the people in the community that have been affected. You know, anyone can be able to help someone, you know, that has a struggling issue. I think it’s really important to -- continually to talk about it. And if you have a voice in your local community with a policy maker, like give them our number. Like, we’re really good at what we do in the advocacy piece because it’s not just, OK, help that individual. Like, how do we help them? It’s healing a whole entire community and that’s the nation at large.
So anyone can be a voice for anything. It’s just important to be educated on, you know, what you’re talking about and being -- been there, done that, that lived experience we have. It’s not just us in recovery, but the family members that have been affected by this disease that are speaking up and going to the general assembly and doing what they have to do as well to fight for those that, a, don’t even know about recovery, and those that are, you know, changing their lives.
DICKERSON: All right, Honesty and John, we really appreciate you being here.
SHINHOLSER: Thank you so much for having us.
LILLER: Thank you very much. This is amazing. Thank you.
DICKERSON: Thanks for what you do.
SHINHOLSER: Thank you.
DICKERSON: And we’ll be right back in a moment.
DICKERSON: And now back to politics and our political panel. Joining us today is Molly Ball of “The Atlantic,” Ed O’Keefe of “The Washington Post”, his colleague Ruth Marcus is a columnist and deputy editorial page editor at “The Post,” and Ramesh Ponnuru is senior editor at “The National Review.”
Ramesh, I want to start with you.
Let’s -- Donald Trump has made some staff picks. He’s thinking about some others. Do you have a unified theory of -- of -- of what he’s doing? Is there a clear message to the picks he’s made?
RAMESH PONNURU, “NATIONAL REVIEW”: I don’t have a unified theory. I’m not sure he has a unified theory either. But I would say that the transition is going much better than one might have expected a couple of weeks ago when there was all this breathless coverage about what a disaster it was turning out to be.
The interesting things going on in the transition right now is this very public fight going on about who is going to be the secretary of state in a Trump administration, where you have top Trump advisers like Kellyanne Conway really blasting the idea that Mitt Romney might be that person.
DICKERSON: I’m going to hold off on the secretary of state drama because it is fascinating to watch in public. But, Ruth, I just wanted to get a -- on some of the names that have already been made. I was interested that on the one hand you had Donald Trump in his interview with “The New York Times” say Kelly Ayotte, former senator from New Hampshire, was never going to get anything because she had said that he, Donald Trump, was not a role model for her children. Then Nikki Haley, the former -- the governor of South Carolina, who had been very critical of Donald Trump, is now the ambassador to the U.N. So what do you make of those two different decisions?
RUTH MARCUS, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: Well, sometimes he can be more magnanimous than others.
I do have to say to Ramesh, if this transition is going well, I would really like to see one that’s going poorly. Because, let’s be clear, and I’m going to just channel Tolstoy (ph) here, all transitions are chaotic but they’re each chaotic in their own unique way. This one is crazy.
First of all, we’re having a transition by Twitter, right? He’s communicating with us. Normal president-elects have press conferences. This one has a Twitter account, with peevish (ph) tweets. That he’s picking people that in the most haphazard way. Usually you submit your national security team and then your domestic policy team. It’s just kind of random people. You pick your U.N. ambassador before you pick your secretary of state.
And, finally, on this remarkable -- I know we’re not getting to it yet, this remarkable public dissent we can’t stop talking about.
DICKERSON: Well, let -- Molly, do you sign up for that? Because Jeff Sessions, Senator Jeff Sessions, that was an obvious pick. Mike Flynn for the national security adviser. These are loyalists who were in the Trump camp. That seems like a --
MOLLY BALL, “THE ATLANTIC”: So I do have a grand unified theory, which is that Donald Trump is running the transition exactly the way he ran his campaign, which was exactly the way he’s always run his business. He creates competing power centers and pits them against one another. He likes to have underlings squabbling for his favor. It’s always very clear that he is the one in charge and he bestows his favor sort of arbitrarily and capriciously and haphazardly. So everyone is always kept on their toes. Nobody ever knows quite where they stand with him. His is his style personnel wise and always has been.
Now, there is no ideological consistency, right? Someone like a Jeff Sessions, you know, someone like a Steve Bannon, who is not a traditional Republican, paired with someone like a Reince Priebus, who is. Someone like a Jeff Sessions, who’s been at odds with many other Republicans in the Senate, pared with someone like a Nikki Haley, who is much more of a traditional conservative. And I don’t think we should expect there to be any ideological consistency because Trump himself has very little ideological consistency. He’s much more interested in personality and the way he seems to be making these choices, the vetting process seems to be, you know, come to my tower and I shall evaluate you. And he’s making choices on that basis.
DICKERSON: Ed, what Molly describes is actually what some people described FDR’s management --
ED O’KEEFE, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: Sure.
DICKERSON: Battles and fights --
DICKERSON: And then see how it goes. So there is a tradition of this. What do you make of it, Ed, and now finally we can -- we can talk to the secretary of state point, which is this public debate going on between whether he’s going to pick Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney --
O’KEEFE: Or somebody else.
DICKERSON: Or maybe Bob Corker, senator from Tennessee, or maybe a player to be named later.
O’KEEFE: Yes. I mean, look, everyone that’s exasperated by all this needs to get over it. This is the way it’s going to be. This is the way he is. And -- and I just think, you know, this is -- this is the new normal in essence for -- for presidential management, the idea that it has to be done a certain way I -- I think is foolhardy because he hasn’t done anything the normal way and he won. And so don’t be surprised by any of this is -- is sort of what I’ve been telling aggrieved relatives and exasperated colleagues and everyone else.
As for secretary of state, look, my only question is, how can a Republican-controlled Senate confirm someone like Rudy Giuliani given his business practices over the last few years when you’ve spent the last several years prosecuting Hillary Clinton for doing similar things? He’s been a consultant to world leaders, some of questionable degree. He’s been giving speeches all over the world. It can argue that, you know, it gives him vast experiencing, which was the same argument in some respects that the Clintons were making, that they had these connections around the world. But, you know, I do not see how certain Republican lawmakers can have spent the last few years doing what they did and saying what they said about her and then turn around and confirm him when he was doing much the same.
DICKERSON: And --
MARCUS: But --
DICKERSON: Go ahead.
MARCUS: The thing we need to talk about is the remarkable spectacle of his own campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, publically differing with him on Twitter and on -- and in public interviews about the wisdom of Romney as secretary of state.
DICKERSON: Let me just --
MARCUS: If anybody has any precedent for this, I’d like to hear it.
DICKERSON: So I’ll read you, Kellyanne Conway tweeted, “receiving deluge of social media and private comms,” communications, “Ray (ph) Romney, some Trump loyalists warn against Romney as secretary of state.”
And, so, Ramesh, some people see that as the former campaign manager arguing with her boss through Twitter, not, you know, in -- in the boardroom?
PONNURU: Well, she -- she says that she’s given the same advice privately. And it’s certainly true that this has not been done before. But I assume that she’s doing it knowing that Trump doesn’t mind her doing it. That he may even like this kind of drama. And so she figures, why not?
I think some of the points she’s making are actually reasonable ones. It is perfectly reasonable for an incoming president to want cabinet members who are loyal to him, who will not make a big resignation in principle that hurts the administration. And given their history together, one has to worry about that if you’re a Donald Trump about Mitt Romney.
BALL: It’s also interesting that -- that Kellyanne Conway is positioning herself as speaking for the grassroots, speaking for Donald Trump’s supporters, saying this is -- and -- and, you know, I think there may be a personal side to it for her as well, but it is true that, you know, she is his connection in a way to the millions of people out there in America who are not part of any other political party or movement, but who are loyal to Trump. And if she is indeed sounding a signal that he doesn’t want to turn against those people, you know, there would not be another voice in his ear or in his administration that would be speaking for those people. And presumably that’s important to him.
DICKERSON: Ed, I want to get to this question of Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest. He’s got businesses all over the world. As you mention, a lot of this campaign was about the conflicts between the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton secretary of state. Where are we on the question of Donald Trump’s private interests and Donald Trump’s presidency?
O’KEEFE: Well, he so far embraces the fact that he is a global businessman and has made no publicly apparent moves to really divest himself of it all. It’s a complicated thing, but I think what we need to remember is that current federal law would allow him to continue doing this. And I think the question is, will the country want somebody who is potentially a part-time president, who is also a part- time CEO of some degree. And if not, how will the public react? I think, you know, if there’s evidence that he or his family is ingratiating themselves of the presidency while other things aren’t getting fixed as he promised, then we’ll see a reaction. But this is unchartered waters and we’ll have to see.
DICKERSON: Ruth, he told “The New York Times” essentially that presidents can’t have conflicts of interest.
MARCUS: Well, let me tell you this, they can and he does. The federal law does not cover this, but there’s obviously the emoluments clause of the Constitution and there is the way presidents behaved in the past. This is a very dangerous road he’s going down. It’s totally obvious that somebody with his massive holdings is going to have a problem. He should have planned for this. He was remarkably unprepared for this and has been remarkably obtuse since being elected about the need, even if you’re not going to divest your holdings, to separate his business life from his presidential life, instead of separating his piling conflict on conflict, inviting his children into both the government and the business.
DICKERSON: Ramesh, what do you think other Republicans should -- should other Republicans care about this? Is it going to get in the way of business congressional Republicans want to get done, do you think?
PONNURU: Well, there’s no -- there’s no statutory problem that he’s got right now. I don’t think he’s got a political problem in the sense of his supporters in the polls --
PONNURU: Turning against him. But I do think he’s creating trouble for himself and his administration and for Republicans down the line because there is the potential for any number of scandals. There’s the potential that otherwise reasonable decisions get second- guessed because people wonder, is there some private interest of the Trump company that is biasing our decisions? I think they’d be better off taking steps to prevent those sorts of conflicts.
DICKERSON: Molly, 15 seconds, any immediate steps they could take?
BALL: Well, he could get rid of his business, but he doesn’t want to do that. You know, this while campaign for Donald Trump was about shattering norms, refusing to accept, for example, that the tradition of candidates releasing their tax returns. He feels that he got away with it. He feels that he was vindicated. I think he therefore feels that he doesn’t have to do the traditional things that presidents have done. We shall see if he gets away with it when it becomes about basically massive state corruption.
DICKERSON: All right, we’ll end on that. Thanks to all of you for the brisk panel.
And we’ll be right back in a moment.
DICKERSON: Today for FACE THE NATION, I’m John Dickerson.