Broder On Politics

David S. Broder
Washington Post Columnist/Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 18, 2001; 12:00 PM

Journalism and business in Washington and worldwide lost a prominent voice this week. Katharine Graham, 84, chairman of the executive committee of The Washington Post Company, died Tuesday in Boise, Idaho, after suffering head injuries in a fall Saturday.

In the business of politics, the centrist Democratic Leadership Council gathered in Indianapolis this week, criticizing their party's approach to issues including religion and tried to put together a game plan for expanding support. Meanwhile, campaign finance reform stalled in the House last week over a procedural vote, and Senate Democrats are digging in their heels over school spending and other policy issues, plaguing President Bush's education plan.

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist David S. Broder will be online to talk about politics and the legacy of Mrs. Graham on Wednesday, July 18, at noon EDT.

Broder has written extensively about primaries, elections, special interests and the business of politics. His books include "Democracy Derailed: The Initiative Movement & the Power of Money," "Behind the Front Page: A Candid Look at How the News Is Made" and "The System: The American Way of Politics at the Breaking Point."

The transcript follows.

Editor's Note: moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions.


Encino, Calif.: Dave, my keen memory of Kay Graham goes back to late 1970 -- and it involves you. This was before she was the celebrated and sure-footed woman and media mogul she became. I telephoned you to ask if you thought she would entertain the idea of entering the "enemy camp" and accept an invitation to speak at the Republican Governors Conference to be held in Sun Valley in December of that year. I thought that such an "unexpected" invitation to speak to GOP state executives might intrigue her. You replied that she did not ordinarily do appearances like that -- but to call her and ask her. I did. She declined, graciously but shyly saying she would be overwhelmed to take on such an event. The next day she called me, apologizing for making a second call. She explained that she had second thoughts about her declination and she indeed would like to join us at the Reublican Governors Conference! She added, "That is, if it is not too late and you have not already invited someone else!" I told her we would be delighted to have her. As you recall, she indeed did appear on a panel with Henry Luce III and Bill Sheehan of ABC News. She very much enjoyed the social interaction with Republican Governors and she made a wonderful contribution to our media panel. She learned GOP state executives were real people with real human interests -- and Republican Governors learned the publisher of The Washington Post was a real person with real human interests, too. I always felt that Sun Valley platform marked an entry on to a new national stage for her. How ironic that Sun Valley became her exit off of it as well. Regards, Jim Galbraith.

David S. Broder: Jim, thank you for that reminiscence. I wrote about her Sun Valley trip to the RGA in a tribute column this morning. It is available on the Web site. All the best, Dave

____________________ Broder's tribute column: Backbone of The Post


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