ANNOUNCER: This is the Washington Week Webcast Extra.
MS. RADDATZ: I’m Martha Raddatz from ABC News, in for Gwen tonight, and I’m joined around the table by Carol Lee of The Wall Street Journal, Eamon Javers of CNBC, Doyle McManus of The Los Angeles Times, and Dan Balz of The Washington Post.
Dan, freshly back from your travels to Hollywood, Florida, with the RNC, talk to us about the mood down there and what was going on.
MR. BALZ: I think it’s a – it’s a little bit of clear nervousness, I think more and more, the people who were down there. And these are – these are state party leaders, basically. Believe that Donald Trump is likely to be their nominee, but at the same time they have to be ready for a contested convention and they have to figure out a way to put on that convention so that a world that will be watching believes that the outcome is fair.
This is likely to be a party that comes out of that convention divided, split. How badly that is depends in part on how events go down there. But as you talk to people privately, they clearly were struck by what Trump was able to do in New York. I think they believe that, one way or another, he’s going to get there, whether it’s, you know, on a tough first ballot, or that he arrives at the convention clearly with more than the 1,237.
MS. RADDATZ: And, Doyle, we talked about the Democratic side. We talked about Bernie Sanders, the uphill climb. What about the movement that he starts – that he started? What about his supporters?
MR. MCMANUS: Yeah, well, and it was always clear from the beginning of Bernie Sanders’ campaign that the campaign was both an attempt to get the nomination and a vehicle for building a movement. Bernie Sanders constantly said this is a political revolution, a piece of rhetoric that, you know, you don’t usually hear in American campaign. He always said just winning the presidency isn’t going to do it; we have to create a huge grassroots movement. OK.
He’s actually done extraordinarily well when it comes to building a huge grassroots movement. He has a list of donors –
MS. RADDATZ: And pretty fired-up supporters.
MR. MCMANUS: Fired-up supporters. Twenty-seven dollars average donation, as we’ve heard now and then. Seven million – is it 7 million or more of those donors?
MR. BALZ: Seven million contributions.
MR. MCMANUS: Seven million contributions, OK. We don’t know exactly how many – how many donors, but OK. That’s incredibly valuable because that’s the core of an organization that you can take forward.
But we’ve heard this song before. Howard Dean, after he lost the nomination and was the great progressive hope that year in 2004, put together an organization called Democracy for America. It didn’t quite take over the Democratic Party. Barack Obama, out of his very successful campaign in 2008, put together an organization called Obama for America that was supposed to be a grassroots movement that would keep going forward. It hasn’t actually taken the country by storm. So this is – this is harder than it looks.
But in a sense, it’s the key to figuring out the question we talked about on the show: What does Bernie want? He wants to figure out a way for this set of people to have a real impact after – if he doesn’t win the nomination.
MS. RADDATZ: OK. Now, the current president started his overseas journey with a stop in Saudi Arabia. There’s some lingering tension there, not just because of recent relations with the Saudis but dating back – redacted material from the 9/11 Commission Report.
FORMER SENATOR BOB GRAHAM (D-FL): (From video.) Literally thousands of documents that provide some insight as to the Saudis’ role in 9/11. And my position is all that information should be made available to the public.
MS. RADDATZ: Carol, tell us a little bit more about these 28 pages. I know you haven’t seen them, but – (laughter) –
MS. LEE: Yes, I have not.
MS. RADDATZ: – what we don’t know.
MS. LEE: They’re classified and holed up in a basement in the Capitol.
So it’s 28 pages that will shed some light, presumably, on the Saudis and whatever role they had in the 9/11 attacks. It’s classified. The 9/11 families want it declassified. Obviously, Senator Graham wants it declassified. The Director of National Intelligence is currently combing through the 28 pages and – to make the determination of what can be declassified based on what, if any, parts of it will have – cause problems or create a national security threat, either here or overseas.
MS. RADDATZ: It’s taken a long, long time to –
MS. LEE: It’s taken a very long time, and the president’s under a lot of pressure, although he’s trying to distance himself from it. But he was asked this week, and he said that he expects that – this process that’s happening at the Director of National Intelligence to be completed soon.
MS. RADDATZ: OK, thanks for that.
Finally, we shift to the death of Prince. Eamon, you found yourself having to explain to your son who he is and his music.
MR. JAVERS: Yeah, such a generation gap here. You know, kids today, you know, I guess parents always rant about kids today –
MS. RADDATZ: Come on, we don’t want to sound like geezers here, all right? (Laughter.)
MR. JAVERS: The best moment I had last night was explaining to my 5-year-old who Prince was. And I had pulled up the iPad and was showing him a group picture of a bunch of people onstage, and he says, which one is King? Which one is King? (Laughter.) I said, no, Prince. He said, oh, OK, OK, I got it, I got it.
But, look, I mean, what a cultural moment here.
MS. RADDATZ: An extraordinary loss.
MR. JAVERS: You know, you saw David Bowie and Prince dying in the same year. Feels like the ’80s are over definitively. And, you know, Prince was an artist who captured so much because he crossed so many boundaries – African-American music, white pop music, a gender-bending image. You know, so much that he did resonated with so many people, and that’s why there was so much shock when we saw this news yesterday.
MS. RADDATZ: And lived in Minneapolis all those – yeah.
MR. BALZ: Lived quietly in a Minneapolis suburb. You know, there are a handful of artists who, when they pass, expectedly or unexpectedly, and particularly like this, that it’s like there is a coming together in the country. I mean, you know, it happened when Elvis died many, many years ago.
MS. RADDATZ: And now we have social media. I mean, it’s a real –
MR. BALZ: Or Michael Jackson. And now we have this and, you know, we talk about the divided America and the two Americas, and red and blue America. Yesterday it was purple America.
MS. LEE: And everybody was doing the same thing, which was listening to Prince – including President Obama, who turned it on before he went to have lunch with the queen, and dance around the ambassador’s residence.
MR. JAVERS: And Prince may have been a little bit more purple than we know in this red and blue divided America. I looked up today his political contributions. He only made two in his life.
MS. RADDATZ: Of course you did. (Laughs.)
MR. JAVERS: Right, it’s a Washington thing to do. (Laughter.) He only made two in his life, and they were to the Minnesota Republican senator who was ultimately defeated by Paul Wellstone. So Prince made two Republican campaign contributions in his lifetime, a guy who not many people would see as an icon of Republicanism in this country.
MS. RADDATZ: Things you learn on the webcast.
MR. JAVERS: That’s right. (Laughter.)
MS. RADDATZ: And that will have to wrap it up for now. But be sure to check out our Washington Week-ly Quiz and test your knowledge of the week’s events. That’s at PBS.org/WashingtonWeek.
I’m Martha Raddatz from ABC News. Be sure to join us on the next Washington Week Webcast Extra.