Barbara Boxer (@BarbaraBoxer) served as a United States Senator for California from 1993 to 2017 and in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983 to 1993. She is the co-host (with Nicole Boxer) of podcast Fight Back, and author of The Art of Tough: Fearlessly Facing Politics and Life.
What We Discuss with Barbara Boxer:
- The life experiences that fueled Barbara’s involvement in politics with the passion of an activist.
- How to get tough when the odds are stacked against you and you just want to quit.
- The concept of courage — how it develops and how to summon it when you really need it.
- How to seek common ground and get things done when it seems like you’re never going to see eye to eye with your colleagues.
- How Barbara really feels about the relentless attention of her social media trolls.
- And much more…
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Barbara Boxer saw firsthand the disrespect Jackie Robinson received simply for being the first African American to play in Major League Baseball. She witnessed segregation in the Jim Crow-era south. She protested the Vietnam War. She made her way in traditionally male-dominated fields when such a thing was unheard of. She’s always tried hard to push back against what she’s seen as injustices while also trying to find common ground with her political adversaries over 20 years in the Senate and 10 years in the House.
Whatever your politics, you won’t want to miss this episode with former US senator and representative Barbara Boxer, podcast host of Fight Back with daughter Nicole Boxer and author of The Art of Tough: Fearlessly Facing Politics and Life. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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More About This Show
“Barbara Boxer Gives a Damn” was the slogan for her first congressional run. But it’s clear that even after her retirement from the Senate in 2016, Barbara Boxer still gives a damn. She’s been giving a damn since she was a child, instilled with values she credits to her mother and father.
“My mother would say, if she saw me staring at somebody who may have had a disability, ‘Never stare, honey. Do you know what that feels like for that person?’ And she was stern about it,” says Barbara. “And those kinds of values — about being outraged if somebody did say something mean about somebody else — all of that just comes from the childhood years, really.
“Given my age, I had lived through so many unbelievable times. World War II. The Holocaust. The ’50s. The fight for equal rights by African Americans. Then for women. The environment. And on and on. All those things are baked into my worldview and how I saw life and I always had this sense of outrage inside me.”
Barbara tells us about her father taking her to baseball games in New York, where she’d see Jackie Robinson.
“He said, ‘I want you to watch number 42, Jackie Robinson,'” says Barbara. “‘He’s an amazing player.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I know! Look at the stance! The way he runs! How he steals! All of the energy just wrapped up in his body!’ And my dad said, ‘No, he’s more than that. People boo him and spit at him.’ I said, ‘Why? Why would they do that to Jackie?’ And it still brings tears to me.
“Racism is so stupid. And you could say it in much more eloquent terms — which of course I had to learn how to do being a United States Senator. But that was what I learned at that young age. And then when I was 10 and I went to Florida with my mother, I got up to give somebody a seat on the bus in Miami in 1950 and that somebody happened to be an African American woman and she gave me a look as if, ‘What are you doing getting me in trouble?’ She marched to the back.”
Barbara’s mother gently tried to explain that laws were different there and they had to be careful. But even if they couldn’t offer seats to African Americans in the front, there was no law saying they couldn’t relocate to the back. So they did. It was a small gesture, but one that Barbara still emotionally remembers today.
Listen to this episode in its entirety to learn more about how Barbara finds common ground among those with whom she disagrees and how we can apply these lessons to dealing with family members and old friends on the other side of the current political chasm, what Barbara would change about the modern political climate, how Barbara channels her anger differently now from when she was a child, what drives Barbara to remain an activist in her post-retirement years, and lots more.
THANKS, BARBARA BOXER!
If you enjoyed this session with Barbara Boxer, let her know by clicking on the link below and sending her a quick shout out at Twitter:
Click here to thank Barbara Boxer at Twitter!
Click here to let Jordan know about your number one takeaway from this episode!
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources from This Episode:
- The Art of Tough: Fearlessly Facing Politics and Life by Barbara Boxer
- Fight Back with Barbara Boxer
- PAC for a Change
- Barbara Boxer at Facebook
- Barbara Boxer at Twitter
- After 3 Decades in Congress, Barbara Boxer Still ‘Gives a Damn’, WBUR 2018
- The Man Who Hired Jackie Robinson, The New York Times
- ‘What We Were Suffering For’: Separated, Then Reunited, Immigrant Families Face What Comes Next, The Washington Post
- Recounting a Day of Rage, Hate, Violence and Death: How a Rally of White Nationalists and Supremacists at the University of Virginia Turned into a “Tragic, Tragic Weekend”, The Washington Post
- Helms on Nominee: ‘She’s a Damn Lesbian’, The Washington Post
- Rep. Barbara Boxer Exposes Ridiculous Price of Coffee Maker Used on Lockheed Plane, UPI
- Crying Immigrant Girl: The Truth Behind Iconic Photo, The Mercury News
- Campaign-Finance Reform Can Save the GOP, The Atlantic
- New Emails Show Michigan Republicans Plotting to Gerrymander Maps, The New York Times
- Everything You Need to Know About the Word ‘Suffragette’, Time
Transcript for Barbara Boxer | The Thrill of the Fight Back (Episode 75)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:00] Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. I'm here with my producer, Jason DeFillippo. And today's conversation, we're speaking with former Senator Barbara Boxer, 24 years as a Senator for California, also a decade in the House of Representatives. She is also the host of Fight Back with Barbara and Nicole Boxer on PodcastOne. I got to give her credit, she's done a whole heck of a lot in her time, Jason. The Art of Tough is her book fearlessly facing politics and life, and so long career in government known affectionately I'm sure, as a pain in the you know what by a lot of guys in government, because she is really stuck up for what she's believed in. She's known for her passion on the issues and let me tell you, she's got plenty of that. She was one of the original ladies fighting upward in what was and still largely is a man's world here in politics and government.
[00:00:51] Today, we'll discuss how to get tough when the odds are stacked against you and you just want to quit. We'll discover how to seek common ground when it seems like you're never going to see eye to eye with those around you enough to get anything done. And we'll explore the concept of courage, how it develops and how to summon it when you really need it. There's plenty more like this in the episode as well. She's just a lovely person. I don't care what your politics are. You're going to want to give Barbara Boxer a hug after this. And of course, as usual, we've got the worksheets for today's episodes. You can make sure you solidify your understanding of the key takeaways here from Barbara Boxer. That link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast.
[00:01:31] All right, here's Barbara Boxer. I found it funny that your first election, your slogan was Barbara Boxer gives a damn. So even back then, actually caring was like a differentiator.
Barbara Boxer: [00:01:43] Yeah, I mean it was so interesting. First of all, it scared me to death as I thought back on taking such a risk with a slogan using the word damn, oh my God! Today, you couldn't get away with it. But what happened was ,I had a very hard primary race with a wonderful woman, and she and I were very much alike on the issues, but we had a different style. I was more, shall we say, “activist.” And she was more slow and deliberate, and Ronald Reagan was president and he was destroying the environment, he was against the ERA and all those take away a woman's right to choose and all that kind of thing. And so my campaign manager came in and he said, “Do you know Barbara said, I have an idea.” “So what is it” He said, “Louise, she was my opponent. She gives it darn, but Barbara, you give a damn.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:35] there you are.
Barbara Boxer: [00:02:35] And I said, “That's true.” But then when we saw it up out a poster. I panic, but we did it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:42] You panicked? You thought how am I going to get away with this?
Barbara Boxer: [00:02:42] And we won, while I was nervous. I thought, did it go too far? But I've always told people who I am, and it so always work well.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:52] Where did the caring come from for you?
Barbara Boxer: [00:02:54] As most of us, we learn our values as kids. And I mean, I grew up in New York in the inner city and certain things, I absolutely remember, my mother. More than anything my mother who never graduated from high school. My mother would say if she saw me staring at somebody who may have had a disability, “Never stare, honey. Do you know what that feels like for that person? Never stare.” And she was stern about it and those kind of values about being outrageous. If somebody did say something mean about somebody else, I mean all of that just it comes from the childhood years really.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:39] I know you saw Jackie Robinson played baseball and that made a quite the impression on you and your book as well.
Barbara Boxer: [00:03:45] Oh God, yes. When I sat down to write the book, your memoirs, which by the way, I hope everyone will do it. It doesn't matter how old you are, you have a story to tell and you have many stories to tell. You know, I realized that, of course, given my age, I had lived through so many unbelievable times. The World War II, the Holocaust, the ‘50s, the fight for equal rates by African-Americans, then for women, the environment, and on and on, and all those things are baked into my, my worldview and how I saw life and I always had this sense of outrage inside me. And it was interesting that you probe that because I always said, “If I lose that, I'm just going to stop doing my work,” which I'm still doing by the way, even though I'm not in the Senate. I still have the outreach. I pour it out in my podcast and my guests helped me deal with it. But to me, there's right and wrong.
[00:04:48] Now Jackie Robinson, my father would take me to games, my dad, and he was the only one of nine kids born in America. So baseball was really the American thing to do, you know, this was going to make our family really American. So I became a baseball fan and he said, “I want you to watch number 42, Jackie Robinson.” “I will.” And he said, “He's an amazing player.” I said, “Yeah, I know. God, looked the stance, look the way he runs, I was steals,” and he just, all the energy just wrapped up in his body. You could see when he played. And my dad said, “No, it's more than that.” He said, “People boo him and spit at him.” And I said, “Why? Why would they do that to Jackie?” And it still brings tears to me. And he said, “Because he's a Negro,” which is the weight you defined people who are African-American then. And at that moment I thought, “How stupid is that?” It's stupid, and racism is so stupid.
[00:05:50] And you know, you could say it in much more eloquent terms, which of course I had to learn how to do being a United States Senator. But that was what I learned at that young age. And then when I was 10, and I went to Florida with my mother, and I also write about this in my memoir, which is called The Art of Tough. I got up to give somebody a seat in the bus in Florida, in Miami in 1950. And somebody happened to be African-American women, and she gave me a look as if, “What are you doing? Getting me in trouble?” She marched the back, and my mother, again, not educated, just had the best heart in the world and the best values. She said, “Honey, don't offer her your seat. I said, “Well, why not? You always taught me when I saw someone older, so she must've been, you know, 50 the time, and I was 10.
She said, “This is Florida and this is the South and there's segregation.” “What does that mean?” “Well, that they say black people have to go to the back of the bus.” And I was so upset and she said, “Do you want to go to the back of the bus?” I said, “Yes.” And so we did, and we stood and my mother rubbed my neck, which is what she did when she saw it was concerned.
[00:07:13] And I looked at the woman and she kind of looked away, and look, that's how you learn your values and how proud I was in later years when I sat down to write the book about my mother who really took a chance in a way, because you know, my father was the educated one. She had worked so that he could go to college and then he went to law school, but she had the values, you know.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:36] If you saw crying, I'm going to start crying, just so you know.
Barbara Boxer: [00:07:38] No, I can't help it. It just brings back so much emotion. And that's why what's happening today when I see how much my mother and my father meant to me, everything. And 99 percent of us know that and had that, some of us don't have the good fortune. I don’t know that statistics maybe, more than that don't have it. But the thought about being separated from your parents is like cutting off your arm or your leg. It's no different.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:10] It's very apropos right now. I assume that's why you brought that up right now, because we're looking at this literally today in the news yesterday, all week. This has been the biggest issue. It's been quite confusing because I'll read something that's like, “Oh, this isn't even happening.” And then I'll read another source that's like, “If Jeff Sessions is talking about it and he's admitting it, then I don't think we have to look too far. I mean, it's clearly this is really happening. So it's a lot of dialogue that says, “Oh, all these kids, they came on their own,” and it's just not true. It seems very traumatizing. And as a country, a lot of people, even ultra conservative people seem to be quite outraged by this because nobody wants to see kids traumatized. Collateral damage, especially when it's completely avoidable like this is not acceptable to our values as a country. Speaking of values.
Barbara Boxer: [00:09:03] It's has nothing to do with politics. You’re right, I mean the basic building blocks of a society and when you rip children away from their parents. But you know, the only reason it's confusing is frankly in my view, and I have an opinion, that's why I have a podcast called Fight Back, that I do with my daughter, that explores these issues in depth. But basically what you have is a circumstance where people are fleeing from South American, Central America. They are fleeing some of the most horrific violence perpetrated on them by the gangs. Sometimes there's abuse by say a husband toward a child and a mother. And so in our nation of laws, we do have a law that says if you make it to US soil, you can apply for asylum. If you're a phony and it's not, so you know, a judge will throw you back out. And that's it.
[00:10:05] So these people are coming over seeking asylum and for the first time ever, their children are being torn out of their arms. Now, this is different from minor children coming over on their own. That's a whole other thing that happens. But this is a mother or father bringing a child and seeking asylum, and so they've grabbed the kids away instead of keeping them together. This really, in a time of such political divisiveness, this seems to be an issue that reached a vast majority of people and they're saying, “No, no, no, no, no, this is inhumane.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:47] Yeah, I think a lot of people are having their Jackie Robinson moment kind of right now. Where they're thinking, “All right, maybe I don't love the idea of all this. Maybe this is causing a lot of problems, but really we're going to scrape the bottom of our sort of moral barrel on this one.”
Barbara Boxer: [00:11:04] You know, here's the other thing. If you were to ask a question of your audience, how many of you come from immigrant ancestors? Unless you have a huge Native American audience, which you might.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:18] I might, I don't know.
Barbara Boxer: [00:11:19] You could, you could.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:21] I have, not on our survey so far.
Barbara Boxer: [00:11:22] Okay, so if you don't have any Native Americans listening.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:26] It’s close to a 100 percent.
Barbara Boxer: [00:11:27] If you don't, it's 100 percent. So let's be clear here. There has to be, and I think there is, a vast majority in our nation who say “This is wrong.” Frankly, if we don't have that then we're all in trouble, in my view, because we’ll have lost the idea of America.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:11:48] You're listening to the Jordan harbinger show with our guests, former Senator Barbara Boxer. Stick around and we'll right back to Barbara after these important messages from our sponsors.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:34] When you travel more, which I assume you travel a ton, but when you travel more, when I started traveling, I started to think much differently because when you get people who really don't agree with you because they don't have any dog in the patriotism fight for the United States, you start to feel a little bit, not quite guilty, but you start to look at yourself in a different mirror that's a little more maybe honest than the one you have hanging on the wall at home. And you start to go, “Oh, this isn't okay.” And we're kind of the only people that think that this is okay. Depending on what -- it could be any type of behavior at all. And I think this is one of those things where people look at us and we can't say, “Well, look at all we've done for you.” And they're like, “What are you talking about?” You know, you're doing all these other things inside your own country. It's really hard to call out other countries on their behavior, North Korea, Libya, Syria. They can just go, “We'll look at this other crappy thing going.”
Barbara Boxer: [00:15:28] And they do.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:28] And they do, yeah.
Barbara Boxer: [0 0:15:29] and they did it Charlottesville. So, you know, for the leader of the free world, this is what our country has been, to rip kids away from their families, maybe forever, and visit that type of trauma on little babies. This is -- no, this can't hold.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:50] Well, I don't think it's -- hopefully it's not going to happen for very long because there's a lot of pressure on that. I'd love to go back. We can talk about this all day, but you'll discuss it more on Fight Back with your daughter, which I think is kind of a cool idea. I hope my kids want to do shows with me at someday at some level.
Barbara Boxer: [00:16:03] Oh, could I just say for you and your wife, it's the best thing because after they get older and they think, “Well, my parents, they're all right.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:12] They’re all right. They're not a bunch of idiots.
Barbara Boxer: [00:16:14] But then if they work with you. They have to call you.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:17] Oh yeah.
Barbara Boxer: [00:16:17] So you have to stay in touch. I always kid my kids, I said, “Thank God, we do this together,” because I do some projects with my son and my daughter, and I feel, “Oh my life is so full because it's wonderful.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:30] You're not the last thing on that -- you're a day to day thing, not just call them right now.
Barbara Boxer: [00:16:35] Or at least a couple of times a week thing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:38] You went from stockbroker to Senator, which seems like a really big pivot. And when I was drafting this question based on your book, I thought, “Oh well stockbroker back then, yeah, that must have been mostly a man's job at the time.” And then now I realize, I think every job was probably a man’s job at that time.
Barbara Boxer: [00:16:57] Every job except secretary, nurse. Let's see what else?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:02] Teacher?
Barbara Boxer: [00:17:03] Welfare worker, teacher. Yeah, that was pretty much the choice when -- well I didn't go from stockbroker to Senator. I had 10 years in the House of Representatives and six years on the Board of Supervisors.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:15] I should have said to government.
Barbara Boxer: [00:17:16] I did pivot, but I pivoted for a very good reason. You know, I always was interested in economics, and my dad was always interested in the stock market, and so I decided to be an economics major in college. I loved it so much, and I was going to go to business school and I said, “You know what? I'll just go to Wall Street, get a job. It's going to be great.” So I go to Wall Street. This is -- I gave you the year, it was 1962, okay? So I go, and I walk in the door of a very big old line firm and I say “Hi,” I was married at the time. I got married at 21. I said, “And my husband was going to law school and I have to support him.” So I said, “Hi, I've got my economics degree. I got a very good grade in school, da, da, da. I'm ready, I’m very interested, and I have a bunch of people who would like to open up accounts small, but it would be great.” And they said, “Women don't do that.” Swear to God.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:16] Oh my gosh!
Barbara Boxer: [00:18:17] It wasn't even disguised. It was “Women don't do that.” I said, “Well, what do you mean women don't that?” Well, know every single firm on Wall Street has what they call customers man. That's what it was called. “To be a stockbroker, you had to be customers man. And women don't do that.” And I said, “Well, really? I have to pass the test. Can I at least sit in on the training and pass it?” to “No, no, you can't.”
Jordan Harbinger: [0 0:18:47] Oh, wow!
Barbara Boxer: [00:18:48] Now, that is shocking. But what is more shocking is I accepted it. It's not like I even thought about it. I just came home and I said to my husband, “I have to study for the tests on my own because they don't let women in.” And we didn't even -- we weren't shocked. This is the worst part of it. I'm the biggest feminist. It didn't start then, trust me.
[00:19:10] So then I studied and I passed the test on my own. In the meantime, I was working basically as an assistant, to a woman who was an expert in municipal bonds and she put out a newsletter every week on Wall Street called the municipal bond blue report. It was kind of Xeroxed on blue paper, and no one knew she was a she. Because she signed at E.E. Cook, and it was Elizabeth Ellsworth Cook, but E.E. Cook. Everyone thought she was a man and she was kind of a hippie, and she didn't really care either. She just wanted to get it out there. So they kept her under wraps that she was a woman. I was an assistant to her, and I learned so much at her side, and I passed the test. So once I passed the test, I went to the boss. I said, “I have great news. Can I have my own little business on the side while I worked for Elizabeth?” And he said, “No.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:12] Oh gosh. You can’t just [indiscernible] [00:20:13]
Barbara Boxer: [00:20:14] So that I really got mad, and I that I went out and I finally found a place where I could be an assistant to one of the partners and have a business on the side, but this is nuts. And that's why when you ask where the passion comes from, it comes from my own lens. I saw what they did to black people on the bus and to Jackie Robinson. I saw what they did to me, a woman. All I wanted to do is help the company get customers. So you know, when you see all that, and you see the oil spills that happened and the dead birds, when you see kids being mistreated, all of that adds up to passion I would hope in most of us. And to me, it led me then to pivot. I pivoted when I decided to run for office because of the war in Vietnam, because that was -- by then I had two kids. I thought the world that the war would never end. It took a long time and a lot of lives. So I said, “I don't want to do this Wall Street thing. I want to do something bigger.” So I got involved supporting other candidates, blah, blah, blah. Then I ran for office. The rest is history.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:25] Well, the first time you ran though, you didn't think you had a chance, right? Weren’t you going to quit?
Barbara Boxer: [00:21:28] Well, the first time I ran for the Senate, I did quit.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:31] You did quit.
Barbara Boxer: [00:21:31] For 24 hours, but no one knew it, but my family, and they hijack the whole quitting thing and said, my daughter in particular said, “You can't do this, Mom! Just because you're embarrassed about your checks, because they had this big quote unquote “scandal” where there was a bank at the House of Representatives, but it really wasn't a bank, it was kind of like a -- they just kept your checks, I can't describe it. It became a scandal because they had no overdraft protection so they would pay you, I didn't pay any attention to my checkbook, which I hate to tell you was one of my big false, but I admit it. I would get paid. I thought I got paid on the first. I never looked at anything. It was terrible.
[00:22:17] Don't follow what I'm saying, any of the listeners please, this is bad. And then I would write all my checks, and I thought everything was fine. What I didn't know is the bank was so behind. They didn't really credit me till the fifth or the sixth, so by then I had written my rent, my this, my mother's check, whatever I had to do to help family. And I wound up with these overdrafts, which were then covered in my next paycheck. But no one ever told you until the scandal broke. I was so humiliated, and so embarrassed.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:45] So basically, you just look like you're writing bad checks all over San Francisco.
Barbara Boxer: [00:22:48] It was horrible. What happened was I never wrote a bad check that was always covered.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:54] Oh, okay.So what’s the scandal?
Barbara Boxer: [00:22:54] But I didn’t pay overdraft protection was a scandal to the bank.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:59] Oh, I gotcha.
Barbara Boxer: [00:23:00] And that is scandalous. But I never knew because I didn't pay. Let's be clear, this is not my forte. I was focused on other things. I was so embarrassed how I ever got elected, I don't know. But what I did was I was totally honest with the people and I said, “Here's the deal. I admit it. I didn't pay enough attention to my checkbook. I admit it. I admit it. I have no excuse.” However, take a pad, because in those years didn't have tablets. Take a yellow pad and put a line down the center. And on the left side say bad things about Barbara Boxer, and on the right side say good things. And on the left, believe me, you can say, “Did not pay enough attention to her checkbook.” I was embarrassed by the scandal. “Cleared of any wrongdoing on the right side of the paper,” which I was.
[00:23:49] And then what I've done for kids, what I've done for the environment, what I've done for healthcare, what I've done for housing, blah, blah, blah. And I hope that exercise will say, “Okay, I'll vote for her. She sure not perfect.” And there's a lesson in that in life, you got to own up to your stupid mistakes and we all make them with dumb. None of us is perfectly least of all me. And one of the lines I had it, as this thing went on is, I admitted I wasn't good with my checkbook, I was sloppy and my closets are not neat either. I definitely have things that aren't perfect, but on the bright side, I was in this for the right reasons to make life better for people.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:31] I think he probably had to stand up for yourself a lot. And a lot of the examples that I've read in old news stories and in your book, The Art of Tough, when I was researching you, and in prepping for this show was, you do recall your mother's advice all the time. What did she say? Sometimes you have to tell someone to go to hell.
Barbara Boxer: [00:24:47] But do it in such a nice way that they'll say thank you.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:50] How does that work in politics?
Barbara Boxer: [00:24:52] I'll tell you how it works. Let's say you're on the floor of the Senate and let's say it's this immigration debate that we just talked about, and let's say the guy on the other side or the gal is standing up and defending separation of families. Now you could do -- you could stand up there and say in debate, the Senator on the other side of the aisle, he's spewing lies in [venomen] [00:25:16] how can he sleep at night? You could do that, and sometimes you have to.
[00:25:23] The other way to do to say, “Look, I know my friend on the other side of the aisle, I know what a good father he is. I know that he'd do anything for his kid. I've seen it. I've seen him protect his kids. I know he talks about -- he shows me pictures of his child all the time.” So therefore this just a disconnect here with my friend. Then on the other hand, where he would hold his child to his chest and not let anyone harm him. He's allowing someone else to lose your child. Why? Just because they come from a different country. Come on, there's got to be some common ground, that's telling someone to go to hell, and hopefully he'll say, “Thank you so much for telling people what a good dad I was.” That's the one example.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:10] You mentioned also in the book that men don't easily give up, which I think is largely true, but women kind of take it personally and they tend to back off a little bit more. I was surprised to read that in The Art of Tough, because I thought, well, okay, you don't really seem to do that. Is this something you noticed just throughout a long political career?
Barbara Boxer: [00:26:29] Let me tell you what happened after I lost my first race for County Supervisor. So this goes – I was very young, I was in my 30s. And I came very, very close, and it was heartbreaking because the big then was the environment.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:45] Back then it was the environment still?
Barbara Boxer: [00:26:47] It was the environment at those early stages, yes, in our County. And also after school care, they were a couple of other things, but mostly it was protecting the environment because a County Supervisor draws the countywide plan, and there were moves to really destroy the part of the County that was near the ocean. And it was very important to push forward so that that wouldn't happen, and we'd preserve that area and not overdevelop it so that people could see its beauty. And it still is by the way, quite beautiful.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:17] Yeah. Marine County.
Barbara Boxer: [00:27:18] So it's quite beautiful. But it took a lot of fighting, a lot of planning. And so I lost that race and I was despondent, because I really wanted to make a difference. And by the way, after I did that, I was offered a job to help a local Congressman, John Burton, and that was terrific. So it all turned out fine. But at the moment, I don't want to be a Pollyanna and tell you, “Oh I said I don't take it personally.” I did take it personally. It was so sad, because at the end of the day, the other guy got more votes. So even though I had won the primary, I came at first in the general, I lost by a little bit.
[00:27:57] So the bottom line of this story is I read an article in Ms. Magazine at the time, and it talked about all of this. I think I discussed it in my book. How if you look at Abe Lincoln, if you look at Richard Nixon, if you look at all the men who went to very high levels, they lost maybe twice, three times, four times, and it didn't impact their confidence in being able to try again. But that women took it personally and the reason I mentioned it is, you know when you do these podcasts like you do, when you give people thoughts and ideas about how to incorporate these ideas in their lives, you make a difference.
[00:28:36] This magazine made a difference. It said, “Don't give up.” You may have been a woman who A, you’re woman and people are prejudice. B, that we'll get better in time. B, you may be ahead of the curve with your issues. You may be way ahead of where people are and they need to catch up with you. Don't give up. Now I read that and I thought, “Okay, I can do it. I can do it one more time.” I wasn't going to lose twice and keep going because that's a little bit crazy, but some people could. So I learned then not to take things personally and how to develop a thick skin. I still have people trolling me all over Twitter can you believe?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:15] Oh yeah.
Barbara Boxer: [00:29:16] And it cracks me up, and people say, “How does it make you feel?” And I say, “Relevant. Keep it coming, keep it coming.” I don't care about that. And the way I view life in the political world or anywhere out in the public, whether it's you doing what you do or me doing what I do, giving speeches, getting out there, supporting candidates, being very bold about what I think. You know, I just think that if you're not making a difference, no one will A, even care. And so if you have a bunch of people who are after you, you must be still effective. That's kind of how I look at it. Last point I make on this for women who are listening to your show, there were a group of psychologists who did a little study on women in the House of Representatives in the years when we were only like 28 out of 435, and I was there. And what did we have in common was we had what she called inner applause. What's inner applause? It's inside you.
[00:30:20] Even though people could be booing you in a room, and I've been there, and I've been booed. Believe me, plenty of times. You kind of smile, because inside you feel, I'm doing the right thing, and it comes from your parents. It comes from your family, your my husband, my children, my grandchildren, my supporters, it comes from that circle, your teachers, your whoever you rely on. And that inner applause is, is good regardless of what you do. Because somebody's always going to try to shut you up or shut you down. I don't care what you do, even if it's at the office, you know, meeting.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:57] So instead of taking it personally, have that in -- what do you call it?
Barbara Boxer: [00:31:00] Inner applause.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:01] Inner applause.
Barbara Boxer: [00:31:02] You feel it inside.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:04] I like that.
Barbara Boxer: [00:31:04] Isn't it a nice?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:05] I think it's good to have that internal locus of control instead of giving it to Twitter trolls.
Barbara Boxer: [00:31:11] That’s way better way to put it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:12] Yeah. Inner applause works too. It's easier to remember, that's for sure.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:31:17] We'll be right back with more of our amazing interview from former Senator Barbara Boxer after these brief messages from our sponsors.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:23] This episode is also sponsored by Indochino. This is a cool idea, Jason. It's a suit company, or I should say men's wear company that we'll create a custom suit. But they figured out how to make it scalable and they figured out how to do it for a very reasonable price. You can roll in and with our code you get a custom suit for just 379 bucks, which is pretty amazing. You go in custom suit, you can get custom accessories made for it, and I'm talking about custom down, not just like, “Hey, we tailored the pants for you.” I mean like “I want purple button holes at the top, but not at the bottom. I want my name and company embroidered on the inside. I want pockets on the inside. I don't want pockets on the inside. I want a ticket pocket on the outside.” You get the idea. And you can really change a lot of the elements of the suit and make it your own.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:11] Also everybody, don't forget about the Six-Minute Networking course that I created for you. I should say we, but I look, I sat there and did a lot of this, all right? Took forever. Six-Minute Networking, what this is, is everything I wish I knew about networking, relationship development, well, I shouldn't say everything. A lot of the things I wish I knew about networking and relationship development over the last 10, 15 years, and I created a bunch of drills and exercises for you based on that. And a one of them for example, is every morning in the coffee line or over your coffee, if you're making your coffee at home, scroll all the way down to the bottom of your text messages and text the last five people. You know the ones where it's like, “Oh, I sent this in February of 2016,” and I've got scripts for you and I've got ways to make sure that people respond engaging old and weak and dormant ties in your network and strengthening those relationships, and I just have a dozen plus drills like that that have really moved the needle for me, but don't take more than a few minutes per day, even a few minutes per week, and that is the Six-Minute Networking course. It is free. A lot of people are like, “Oh, I didn't know it was free.” It is free, of course, that's the whole idea. I'm trying to get you guys to get off your duffs and move the needle and see that you can actually do the networking and relationship development thing. It's at jordanharbinger.com/course. Jordanharbinger.com/course, and this is the stuff that -- one thing I want to mention, a lot of people go, “Well, I don't have time right now because I'm doing another online course.” You cannot make up for lost time when it comes to networking and relationship development. A lot of small business people, even people we know, Jason, are learning that the hard way right now. You can't just take over someone's Rolodex. You can't just go, “Oh, it's been so long, but now I'm launching a product. I got to re-engage my network.” It doesn't work like that. That is suboptimal. The idea, it's like fitness, right? Getting into shape, hard, Staying in shape, that's reasonable after you've done it for a long time, not nearly as hard, because this is about habit change. So don't try to get it all down when you need it. It's too late to dig the well when you're thirsty. Jordanharbinger.com/course is where that's at, and I'd love feedback on this because I'm busy making LevelTwo right now as well.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:35:24] Thanks again for supporting the show. Checking out the sponsors is what keeps us on the air. And for a list of all the discount codes and links, visit jordanharbinger.com/advertisers, and if you have an Amazon Alexa, check out our Alexa Skill. You get clips from previous shows in your daily briefing. It's completely free. So just go to jordanharbinger.com/alexa, or search for Jordan Harbinger in the Alexa App. Now, back to the show with the amazing Barbara Boxer.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:50] You're known for getting along with people on the other side of the aisle. How do you recommend people do that, whether it's politics or any other field? A lot of people can't do that.
Barbara Boxer: [00:35:57] Well, it's kind of comes from my mom again. If you don't agree with someone, it's not right to let things go by, if they said something that offended you. But if you really want to have a relationship and there are differences and it doesn't have to be political differences could be any kind of difference, right? What I found, if a person is close to you in proximity, let's say we were just friends, we were having a big disagreement and I didn't want to lose our friendship, but it was a pretty important point. Don't do something that's going to cut off the relationship. That's not a good idea. And I'll give you an example. I give speeches all over the country. CAA is my agent, and I go out and I speak to young groups. I speak to people who are interested in health care, lots of different things. And in this time of politics that are so divisive, I'll always have a young person, maybe age 25, 26, 22, raise their hand. What is it? I almost know what they're going to say, “Senator, I don't know how to talk to my father.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:03] Oh yeah.
Barbara Boxer: [00:37:03] “I can't talk to my mother. I can't talk to my grandpa. What should I do?” And I say, “Don't give up. Don't give up. You go over to them. You put your hand on their shoulder because this is not worth losing love forever.” So, and you say, “Look grandpa, I know how you feel and I know I can't change your mind, but I want you to respect how I feel because you lived through different years. I lived through different years, so why don't we decide this, just to make it -- so that we can see each other and keep loving each other.” A, let's avoid hot button issues, but if we want to go there, let's do it in a setting where we have certain rules and let's not let it break up our family, but “Grandpa, I'm not going to change how I feel about this or that.” That's kind of how you can do it. It doesn't always work and it could still be traumatic, but it beats losing contact with people that you love deep down inside.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:07] It also sounds like you're playing a little bit of the long game instead of the short game. So knowing that you're going to be together with your colleagues in the Senate, for example, for years and years.
Barbara Boxer: [00:38:17] Yes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:18] It's just not worth the day. You can win the battle and lose the war.
Barbara Boxer: [00:38:21] Without a doubt. And to take it even further because the Senate is such strange place. One person in the Senate can really screw you up and put a hold on one of your bills forever, if you step over that line. there's actually a rule in the Senate that you can't call another Senator a certain name. Once I said about Jesse Helms, he was against a woman because she was a lesbian, and she was the first lesbian nominated for a sub-cabinet position, but she needed confirmation as assistant secretary for housing where Berta Achtenberg. She was a very public person and she's terrific. She still is terrific. She was a member of the board of supervisors and he called her off the floor of the Senate, that damn lesbian.
[00:39:09] So I went down on the floor of the Senate and tried to stick with the rules, and I read into the record, an editorial from the San Francisco Chronicle that call Jesse Helms out and was not polite. Jesse Helms, and they made me take down my words. They said, I said, “I didn't say it. I was just reading the newspaper, because my friend will address the committee says, “Can't do it.” So I couldn't do it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:37] Yeah, yeah, they wanted to close that loophole. But regardless of that, you are also well-known for being able to persuade instead of just convince. And one of the examples, I can't remember if this is from your book or just from news articles, but you held up something like a -- it was like a toilet seat or pot or something, coffee makers like 7600 dollars.
Barbara Boxer: [00:39:57] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:57] And this was the, “Hey, we're wasting a lot of money in government.” That's one thing. But if you hold up a toilet seat, and you said this was 700 dollars.
Barbara Boxer: [00:40:04] It was a coffee pot.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:06] Okay, a coffee pot.
Barbara Boxer: [00:40:07] 7600 dollars or something, it was ridiculous, whatever it was. It was ridiculous. It was a picture of a coffee pot that they were putting in a cargo plane and you could have bought her for a few bucks, and here it was hundreds if not thousands of dollars. And the reason why, they weren't bidding out the contracts for the spare parts. They were doing it all from a single source contractor. So yes, I was able to convince my colleagues, this was a waste of money and we got it fixed and we've saved billions because of it. So I think there are ways to find the common ground without losing your core center of who you are. And that's key in life, I think. You know, find the common ground with the person and it feels good to make that incremental progress.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:56] Do you generally use those kinds of visual persuasion or something like that instead of saying, look at the spreadsheet with all these numbers on we're getting killed here.
Barbara Boxer: [00:41:04] I was kind of known as the chart lady. You had a few of us who use charts and there was a guy, Kent Conrad, great guy, great Senator, brilliant on the finance side. He became the master of the chart and a picture's worth a thousand words, just tying it back to this horrific refugee crisis we were struggling through. The photo that the photographer took it, this little child in a red sweater, it's become an iconic photo. This child looking at her baby, two and a half, three years old looking at her mother being patted down and they wouldn't let the mother hold the child, and the child knows something is rotten and is crying. I mean, so yes, that photo, you can use those in politics. You can use those in life. You can use those to convince people. A picture's worth a thousand words. It's colloquialism, but it's truism.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:58] If you could change one thing about the modern political system, what would it be? Because it does seem like it's so hard to get anything done, but then again, maybe it's supposed to be hard to make sweeping changes in a government that controls the lives of 300 million people just locally in the United States.
Barbara Boxer: [00:42:16] What's happening is people are going into their corners, and they're not meeting in the middle. And I think one of the reasons that has happened, is the money and politics, the big money. You always have to have some money in politics, but it's a battle that I don't think we will win, maybe years and years and years out. But the reason is that people get the money from the special interests and then they're so afraid they'll lose their reelection. They don't want to talk to you unless they're carrying out the philosophy and the desires of these wealthy donors. That would be one obvious change to make. The system itself just unfortunately doesn't work well. The redistricting doesn't work right. I would secondly take away redistricting from all these legislatures.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:14] The gerrymandering type thing.
Barbara Boxer: [00:43:16] It’s gerrymandered, this seats are gerrymandered. And in California, we changed it. We have totally objective, honorable people, a commission without any politics drawing the lines. And I think that's another thing if we did that. Now obviously for Senate, you run statewide, that doesn't matter. But for the house and all the other state lines, it would be better to have those drawn objectively. So that -- with the guidelines we have set forth where you have to respect minority populations, you have to make sure you give them enough power, et cetera, et cetera. But those are the two things, getting rid of the gerrymandering and getting rid of the big money. I think it would go a long way to making people accountable to the people as opposed to the special interests.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:03] When you were a kid, I don't know how old you are, but you stabbed a kid named Albert with a pencil.
Barbara Boxer: [0 0:44:08] Oh, I surely did.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:09] Yeah. Have you, I mean, I know you've learned to channel your anger differently since then. How do you channel your anger instead of just becoming enraged by everything? Because it would be easy, especially in your position to be like, “What the heck's going on here? Everybody's crazy. Where's my pencil,” Right?
Barbara Boxer: [00:44:27] Right. Well, again, my mother came into it. She taught after I lost control. This kid was just chasing me all over the place, I stabbed them. Then later I had such anxiety and pain about it, and fear that I had really killed him or something. I mean, I talk about in the book, the funny part of the book, but it's a great lesson. You pay for anger, you pay a big price for anger, because you don't know where it's actually going to lead. You could hurt someone physically, not me, I'm too little to do that, but you could. You could hurt someone mentally so that you know you went over the line, you could hurt someone in so many ways. So anger is terrible.
[00:45:10] Now having said that, it's also natural and it's also appropriate in certain circumstances to get angry. So I'm not a shrink, but the way I deal with things is when I feel anger, I will deal with the anger but not outside my family. I guess it was Rachel Manor who once had a period on her show where she said, “Talk me down,” and just talk me down and then lay out a way to deal with it in a smart, smart way. So it's really a question of getting control, because when you're out of control you don't do well. I'm sorry.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:48] Gone tilt, yeah.
Barbara Boxer: [00:45:50] It doesn't work. You just don't do well. I mean, it may be for a moment, you feel good, but at the end of the day, you haven't changed anything, you haven't solved anything. And then you take that anger and then you dissect it, you know why and what, and then have a plan on how you're going to deal with the problem.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:08] You go rational first, talk yourself down or have someone else to.
Barbara Boxer: [00:46:11] I'm not saying I'm rational first. If somebody says something horrible on the phone to me, let's just say, I won't scream back at them. I'll just say something calmly. And then when I hang up the phone, you know, I'll go for it. I'll call a best friend, I’ll grabbed my husband, who now is -- we've been married 56 years. Can you believe that?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:31] Congratulations.
Barbara Boxer: [00:46:31] And he -- yeah, I know. I say we both deserve that congratulations. But you know, I say to him, “Am I crazy?” Am I, because he's very fair, and he always gives me good advice and I'll say, “No, you're right.” Or he'll say, “No, you're wrong.” And I'll say, “Well, why am I wrong?” And I get mad at him for a while, and then he'll, you know, but you definitely have to deal with the anger. Why did you get angry, and then do something about it, but do the right thing and think it through. It's hard. It's not easy. I'm not saying it's easy.
[00:47:10] And by the way, if something happens and you must act, if you see somebody hurting somebody in front of you, don't have time to talk to yourself down. I saw something in the supermarket. One of the managers was talking so badly to him, a mentally challenged, employee who was, you know, they have -- it's a wonderful, where they work in the supermarket bagging, and started berating this woman who is at least 60 years old, and she was berating her. “You're not supposed to wear those shoes here. You can't. You could trip and then we'll have to pay the price.” And you know, “They're not tied.” Well, obviously the woman has a hard time tying shoes.
[00:47:51] And I went over to her and I said, “What's happening over there? Can you tell me?” She had no idea I was a Senator. And she said, “Oh, I'm very worried that she could hurt herself.” And I said, “Well, I was wondering because the way you were talking with her, I think you frightened her.” You didn't mean to frighten her. And I was very, very calm, but inside my heart was beating. Because I have a brother-in-law who's mentally challenged and I know, and he worked in a supermarket once. So I was butting in, without doubt, and she could've told me off. She didn't because I was calm, but she knew that I knew. And I think that may have changed her attitude about doing that to this woman, at least on the floor of the store. I don't know what happens in the back of the store. So I'm not saying you just never do anything at the moment, but think it through.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:48] Yeah, I think that's important to remember. I've myself definitely often need to take a breath. And then of course, Jen -- I do the same thing as you, “Am I right about this?” “No!” “Well, you know what? I came to you for support.” So I'm going to go sulk in my room now.
Barbara Boxer: [00:49:02] Oh no, of course. Well guys tend to do that more than women.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:05] Yeah, I think you’re right.
Barbara Boxer: [00:49:06] Although I have to admit I'm not the best at criticism. Just asked my family, they'll say, “Mom, no, you're always get the last word.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:16] Yeah. I suppose, I suppose that's probably the case often enough. What advice would you give someone who wants to make social change in this country? It can't be easy, especially now.
Barbara Boxer: [00:49:26] Okay. What we needed especially now? So if you're out there and you're thinking of making social change, this is the moment, you don't get into something when everything is going fine, when it's not smooth. So if something touches you inside, this is the driving force to make you authentic, it's driving force and to keep you at it. And you know, again, as we discussed, if you're trying to make social change, you're going to run into people who don't want to make social change. Who like the status quo, who are going to try to shut you down and shut you up. And what you have to have is that inner applause that maybe you get for listening to this show or you know, other things that you do to know that you have to be true to yourself. And you know a lot -- when I speak to young audiences, young peoples, “I want to be a Senator like you, or I want to be president.” I said, “Don't want to be something, want to do something.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:24] You tell them, “Women don't do that.”
Barbara Boxer: [00:50:25] If you want to share -- very cute, if you want to do something, that's great. Don't start by wanting to be something, because if you want to do something, you'll be something you know. But if you start from a place of “I want to be a Senator,” no one's going to follow you there. Why would they? Because you have to look at them and say, “I'm running for office. Because when this happened, it broke my heart.” And I looked around and I thought, “You know, I don't see a lot of people giving up their life for this, but I'm going to.” And whether that leads you to a classroom first or to a nonprofit first or to working for a candidate, there's so many ways to get there to the place where eventually people will say, “How about you?” You want to be the one to be our face, you know, but it takes determination.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:16] Where does that determination come from for you? I mean, you were early on to the women's movement.
Barbara Boxer: [00:51:21] No!
Jordan Harbinger: [0 0:51:22] No.
Barbara Boxer: [00:51:22] The beginning was 1918, and I wasn't even born yet.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:26] Okay, so like the women's suffrage movement or something like that.
Barbara Boxer: [00:51:27] Thank you very much.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:29] No, that’s not what I meant.
Barbara Boxer: [00:51:29] But I sit on those shoulders, and I think, you know, it's interesting that you said that because the women's movement before it actually came into modern times, which you're right, was the ‘60s and the ‘70s, really was a lonely hard road. And I don't think it's actually appreciate enough. We don't have enough time to go into it all. But I would say suffragettes were spat upon. They were forced fed in jail. They were arrested by a democratic president named Woodrow Wilson who said “He was a friend,” but then he had World War I, and he said, “I don't have time for you.” And the women said, “Excuse us, it's our sons.” I get the chills when I tell that story. So if you go there, what you'll see is the fight was unbelievable. And women waited in line, you know, after African-American men. They waited in line and then they got the vote. So we didn't get the vote till the 20th century, and men of property were voting in the 1700. It's been a long, hard climb just to get the vote, forget about anything eslse. And then after the war, in the war years of World War ll, women proved that they could work and all these places. But after the war society said and literally said, “Women go back to the house, you cannot work. There's too many jobs for the men. And if you want to work, there's something wrong with you.” And women were given, I'm not kidding. Pills, if they wanted to work.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:01] What were the pills?
Barbara Boxer: [00:53:02] Antianxiety pills.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:03] Oh, they have -- I mean I don't know they had those back then.
Barbara Boxer: [00:53:05] Oh, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:06] Oh, you have too much energy take this pill.
Barbara Boxer: [00:53:07] It's called Valley of the Dolls. They was written about that years ago. And so yes, they gave you those pills. I can't remember the names of those pills. But anyway, everyone listening knows those pills to calm you down. So bottom line, honestly, this is what happened to women. So then when women started to wake up in the ‘60s, after the happy days of the ‘50s, and say, “You know what? It's great if women want to stay home with kids and they have fulfilled -- this is good. But if women want to go to the workplace to help their families, they ought to be able to, and it started. And I was a young, it's again the matter of time and place.
[00:53:45] I was fortunate that at that period of time I was a newlywed. I had done my thing on Wall Street, gotten shunned. So I knew when they was saying these things, that they were telling the truth, that there was so much prejudice, and I started to watch it, watch it, watch it, and then I started to get very involved in a National Women's Political Caucus, NOW, all of that kind of thing. The right to choose, a woman's right to choose in the early ‘70s became an issue. 1973 was Roe v Wade. So I got caught up in it all. I already had my family and my motivation for getting into office was I get these two little kids and I want the world to be okay. I don't want Vietnam war. I don't want any war. I don't want the oceans to be despoiled. I don't want my daughter not to have equal opportunity. So it kind of is the values of the family that I experienced, just being a young mom, and my experience of being harassed and other things.
[00:54:49] I was fortunate I lost the one race, but after then I won every race ever since, 11 races. And if you count all the primaries, like 24 races, primaries and generals. So I was on my feet as a successful leader in the women's movement, the environmental movement, the peace movement already in the ‘70s.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:11] What keeps you going now? You don't need to keep working. What the heck?
Barbara Boxer: [00:55:14] Oh God, you’re right I don't -- thank you for reminding me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:16] You’re welcome.
Barbara Boxer: [00:55:17] What keeps me going is I'm still outraged inside. You know, I told you that in the beginning of the show, the sense of outrage that you feel when things are not going right. So I'm doing my work in different venues. I'm helping other people through my Political Action Committee called PAC For A Change, and everyone can find out about it just by going up to barbaraboxer.com, and I'm helping people. I'm going to -- not only raising money but going to their districts if they want me to, to help them. The podcast is great. The Speechify, I've debated Karl Rove, who is a leader of the Republican Party. One time, we're going to do another one in San Antonio soon.
[00:55:58] I've debated Newt Gingrich twice, so I'm still out there with my voice. I do a lot of MSNBC, and the podcast as you know, it's a great opportunity to talk to people who are still in the arena, whether it's in politics or in writing. I had one great interview with [AJ D] [0:56:19] [Owen] who's a very famous political columnist. And the thing I wanted to with the podcast, and I know you know what you want to do, you know what drove you, my thing was first of all, doing it with my daughter. So we have a generational gap, so we can have our disagreements and we do our little sparring in the beginning.
[00:56:37] And then I get to interview people that I just respect and admire either they're senators, former senators, members of the press, actors, comedians, whoever they are. And it's a chance for people listening to see what my life was like when I was a Senator and had all these people helping me, when I had thoughts and ideas. And then my daughter, she's been featuring hot race of the week, who's running? So it's the only mother-daughter political podcast that I know of.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:09] Yeah, I think you might be right there. I don't know how the mother-daughter political podcast genre is quite small.
Barbara Boxer: [00:57:15] Well, you know, it's very small, yes. And so we've risen to the top immediately.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:20] Congratulations on that. Barbara, thank you so much.
Barbara Boxer: [00:57:23] Thank you. I've enjoyed it so very much. Thanks.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:28] Well, there we go. I'm waiting for the inevitable negative review like, “Oh, why you had someone on whom I disagree with politically, and I didn't really listen to the episode but I wanted to write something about it.” So I'm bracing myself for that, but I think no matter what side of the aisle you're on, you got to kind of respect somebody who has dug in their heels and fought for what they believed in for so long.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:57:49] I met Barbara back in 1996, because I worked with their son, Doug. And then again, right when Barack Obama had announced that he was running for president, and she is just an amazing person, just so personable. But you can tell, you do not want to mess with Barbara at all. I mean she's a tough cookie for sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:08] Yeah, you can really tell that she isn't and she's also very sweet, so I think she's got really good soft skills, which is why one reason why she is such a great fit for the show, because clearly anybody who's had that long of a career, that successful of a career knows how to navigate pretty much every sort of situation that you might imagine coming at you, especially in a world where they're like, “All right, honey, take a seat.” You know, that kind of situation that she dealt with for, I'm sure the majority of her political careers. So she's got the appropriate mixture of tough and sweet, which is was really nice to see and experience up close and personal.
[00:58:43] Great big thank you to Barbara Boxer. Her book title is The Art of Tough: Fearlessly Facing Politics and Life, and a was a fun read to see how she was kind of raised in a dichotomy that she had to deal with the whole time. If you enjoyed this one, don't forget to thank Barbara on Twitter, and tweet at me your number one takeaway from Barbara Boxer. I'm @jordanharbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. And don't forget, if you want to learn how to apply everything you heard from Barbara Boxer, make sure you go grab the worksheets also in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast.
[00:59:16] This episode was produced and edited by Jason DeFillippo. Show notes by Robert Fogarty. Booking back office and last minute miracles by Jen Harbinger. And I'm your host, Jordan harbinger. The fee for this show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful, which should be in every episode. So please share the show with those you love and even those you don't. We've got a lot more like this in the pipeline and we're excited to bring it to you. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
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