"Face the Nation" transcripts January 20, 2013: Plouffe, Rice, inauguration 2013, MLK panel, and the Castro twins

DAVID PLOUFFE: We think we can. It's going to be very, very hard. Obviously, this is a tough issue, as a lot are. But I think if you look at the American people on things like assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition clips, universal background checks, school safety, mental health, huge consensus on these issues. So we're going to have to spend a lot of time on it. But I think post-Newtown things have changed a little bit; you see members of both parties thinking about this little bit differently. And at the very least I think the American people are going to want us to have a debate and a vote on these things, and I'm convinced that, yeah. Are there sixty senators and two hundred eighteen House members for some of these proposals? I think there are.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right, David Plouffe, we want to thank you for coming by this morning.


BOB SCHIEFFER: Best of luck.

DAVID PLOUFFE: Thank you, Sir.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And joining us now, well, everybody knows Condoleezza Rice was President Bush's Secretary of State, but I am very pleased to announce she has a new job. As of today, she is joining CBS News as a contributor. We're honored to have you making your first appearance on CBS here on FACE THE NATION. Also, with us today, Bob Woodward who needs no introduction, he has been in Washington about as long as I have. Plus, two former White House staffers, Peggy Noonan, now-- with the Wall Street Journal, she wrote speeches for Ronald Reagan, was a member, also helped George-- the first George Bush on some of his things; and Dee Dee Myers, now with Vanity Fair, but press secretary to Bill Clinton. Doctor Rice, let me just start. You were there for both of George Bush's inaugurations. What's the difference in the first one and the second one?

CONDOLEEZZA RICE (CBS News Contributor): Well, frankly, the first one is a lot more exciting than the second one. I remember being completely taken with the moment. By the second one, I thought, you know, I really need to get to work. And, so there is a little bit of a sense, it's not really let-down, but you are in the middle-- you-- of your agenda now. And in foreign policy, very often, the actions you have taken, the consequences are now clear whether good or bad. And you either have to make a corrective course for some of the bad consequences or try to solidify some of the gains that you've made. And because you really don't have four years now, it will start to-- to slip away very quickly. You've got to set some priorities, because the President's time, the Secretary of State's time, Secretary of State-- Defense's time is pretty limited. You better know what you want to achieve in this three years or so.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You told me earlier this morning something I had never known. You were the National Security Adviser, one of the President's closest aides during the first term. Then you were nominated to be Secretary of State, and you told me you had to go through a full background check.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: That's right. I remember thinking because they were actually going out and talking to my neighbors again. And I remember thinking didn't we just do this four years ago? You know what I've been doing for the last four years. So, maybe it's a little bit of a sense of the turf wars in-- in Washington between the White House and State Department but it was done all over again.

BOB SCHIEFFER: That-- that's just amazing to me. Bob, you have watched a few of these inaugurations. You heard David Plouffe say this morning he thinks there is massive support for deficit reduction in the country, and massive support for this and that. I'm not sure how-- how massive the support is. It seems to me everybody wants to do something but nobody wants to make-- neither side is ready to make-- bring any compromises here.

BOB WOODWARD: The-- the simple but obvious truth is that governing is a collaboration between the White House and the-- the Congress and let's face it. It's a collaboration that is not working. It is broken. And the President has not found a way to kind of close the deal with the leaders in the Republican Party, and, quite frankly, with his own party. I remember Katharine Graham, the publisher of the Washington Post, used to always say, it's hard to not like someone who says they like you. You talk to Senators and Congressmen, as you know, and they feel Barack Obama doesn't like them or is at least indifferent to them. And so you have all of these conflicts and negotiations. In the end, look, the President has the upper hand now and will for some time, but you know-- and Condi Rice knows so well-- any negotiation you need to leave the opponent with their dignity. And their-- and the President's going out and sticking his finger in their eye.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, you know, Dee Dee, it-- it even goes beyond that, what Bob says that Republicans feel like the President doesn't like them. You hear some people say he-- he really doesn't like the whole process. He didn't like kind of getting his hands dirty with negotiations and stuff. He likes to look at it in a more abstract way. Is that true?

DEE DEE MYERS (Vanity Fair): Well, it certainly-- you know, he-- he is a politician who doesn't love politics, right? And it's not sure he even likes the art of politics and that's a problem.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, how you can be a good politician if you don't like politics?

DEE DEE MYERS: I think it's proved-- I think it's--it's created a lot of challenges for him. He hasn't built the kinds of relationships that sustain other politicians through tough times. And I think Bob made a really great and essential point, which is in any negotiation you have to have-- you have to find the best win-win proposition that you can. You have to let the other guys leave the table saying they got something for their side, because they're giving up-- they are going to give up something big if it's going to be an important deal. And I think that-- that this White House has not done that as successfully as they need to. And I think-- you know, otherwise you end up with Versailles right. You solve the First World War with a treaty that sows the seeds of the second one. And that's not in anybody's interest and this President has not been as good at that as he could be. I was talking to Newt Gingrich recently about what made Clinton a great negotiator and he said he listened all the time to-- to find a piece of common ground where a deal could be built. This is from the Speaker of the House who worked to impeach the President. And all through that period, they were looking for a piece of common ground. And I think this administration will be well served to do that.

BOB SCHIEFFER: So what's missing here, Peggy? I mean-- I mean sometimes I think that maybe nobody knows how to play the game anymore, to paraphrase Casey Stengel when he was managing the Mets.

PEGGY NOONAN (Wall Street Journal): Mm-Hm. Well, it's true on the Hill. Speakers and such don't quite control their conferences and their caucuses as they have, but the most interesting thing that I think is that-- that has been true of-- of the past few weeks, say since the President was reelected is he's playing it in a way different from previous Presidents. Previous Presidents get a win whether it's close or not and then they try to sort of put their arms about everybody and summon them in. We are essentially a fifty-fifty country still. So you would think the President would have spent the past few weeks going forward and saying let's all be together. Instead he has been very sharply, definitively us guys versus you guys by going at the Republicans on the Hill, by speaking in a way that is very sour about why Republicans take the stands they take. He implicitly is speaking about Republicans in the country who are half the country. I think that's a new way to play it, a tough and dicey way to play it.