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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
Is Europe About to be Swept Up in Populist Wave?; Populism and Putin's Newfound Power; Inside the Long Road to the Iran Nuclear Deal; Previewing 'The Legacy of Barack Obama'. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired December 4, 2016 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:35] FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.
We will start today's show with populism. Power to the people. The concept swept Britain, then the United States. Is mainland Europe next?
Italy and Austria go to the polls this week. France and Germany will elect leaders next year. Will the populist wave continue to sweep the West?
I have a terrific panel including "The New York Times'" Tom Friedman.
Then privacy in the age of terror. Should the government see everything you do on the Internet? That is the direction we're moving in.
Also, "The Legacy of Barack Obama." That is the title of my next primetime CNN Special. We will look at everything from race to guns from Obamacare to the Iran deal.
He had extraordinary access to the president and his team. I will give you a sneak preview, actually, two, this hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You never know when history is calling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: But, first, here's my take. As Democrats contemplate their losses in November's election, most have settled on a solution. They believe that the party needs more economically populist policies. But dismisses an essential reality. Most people don't vote on the basis of policies. There is not mountains of excellent research by political scientists and psychologists on why people vote.
The conclusion is clear. As Gabriel Lenz writes in his landmark 2012 book, "Follow the Leader," voters don't choose between politicians based on policy stances, but the voters appear to adopt the policies that their favorite politicians prefer. And how do voters pick their favorite politicians? It turns out it's
a gut decision that is more emotional than rational. Mostly it hinges on whether they identify with the politician in a social and psychological sense.
The problem for the Democratic Party is not that its policies aren't progressive or populist enough. They're already progressive enough and substantially more populist than the Republican Party's along almost every dimension. And yet over the last decade Republicans have swept through state Houses, governor's mansions, the U.S. Congress and now the White House.
The Republican Party has been able to profit electorally at so many levels because it found a way to emotionally identify with working class whites as they watched the country get transformed. Globalization. Automation. Immigration. All generate enormous social change.
Republicans signal that at a gut level they are uncomfortable with this change. They like America the way it was. Partly this is a matter of policy on gun safety. But mostly it's about identity and attachment conveyed through symbols and signals.
In a perceptive essay in the "Harvard Business Review," Joan Williams explains that working class people distrust and disdain professionals and they view the Democratic Party as a party of professionals. Professionals in this view are overeducated urbanites with effete lifestyles with things like organic food and vegan diets and yoga, who have jobs that are about manipulating words and numbers.
On the other hand, Williams notes, working class people love the rich. For example, a real estate developer from Queens who actually builds stuff and retains all his basic appetites in food, decor and such. So when Donald Trump posts a photograph of himself in his plane eating Kentucky Fried Chicken he is saying to his base, I'm just like you, only with lots of money.
If this emotional attachment is the key to getting people to vote for you, what does it mean for the Democrats?
Well, the Democrats have advantages. They begin with a strong base of people who do identify with them. Professionals, working women, minorities, millennials. But Democrats need to reclaim a larger share of working class whites. To do this, they need to of understand the politics of symbolism, not substance.
[10:05:04] Hillary Clinton's campaign, for instance, should have been centered around one simple theme, that she grew up middle class in a town outside of Chicago and lived in Arkansas for two decades. The subliminal message to working class whites would have been simply, I know you. I am you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Let the word trust --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: Bill Clinton's success has a lot to do with the fact that brilliant as he is he can always remind those voters he knows them. Once reassured, they're open to his policy ideas.
Barack Obama is a singularly charismatic politician, but he may have made Democrats forget that the three Democrats elected to the White House prior to his election all came from the rural south. They knew that world. They were off it. So with these insights in mind on the campaign trail, perhaps Clinton and the Democrats should have rallied less with Beyonce and Jay-Z and more with, say, George Strait. And if you don't know who that is, that's part of the problem.
For more go to CNN.com/fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.
First came the Brexit vote which surprised much of the world then came Donald Trump's astonishing electoral victory in the United States. Will upcoming elections in Europe be the third shock to the system?
Let me bring in a great panel to discuss the rise of populism. Thomas Friedman is a Pulitzer Prize winning author who has a brand new book out. "Thank you for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Acceleration." He's also of course a "New York Times" columnist.
Also in the "Times" this weekend is a great piece by my next guest, Ian Buruma. It's called "The End of the Anglo-American Order." He's a professor at Bard College. Melissa Bell, CNN's Paris correspondent. Before that she was the international affairs editor at France 24. And Nadia Urbinati teaches politics at Columbia University.
Welcome to you all. Ian, at the end of the Cold War, it seemed as though we had arrived at this kind of consensus that Francis Fukuyama called the end of history and that, you know, the big political debates were settled and now we see this wave of change. So what happened?
IAN BURUMA, AUTHOR, "THE END OF THE ANGLO-AMERICAN ORDER": Well, the end of the Cold War Happened in the first place and I think it was when America's prestige was probably at its height and everybody thought, as you say, that the end of history was there.
I think one reason for this wave of right-wing populism all over the world is not just the rise of the right, it's also the demise of the left. That the social democratic left has lost its voice everywhere all the way from Japan to Netherlands. And that had something to do with the end of the Cold War because the fall of the Soviet empire, which we all applauded, in many ways also tainted everything else to do with the left. And it undercut the kind of opposition we now need against this right-wing populist.
ZAKARIA: What I'm sure, Tom, is everywhere you see it, you see immigration. And that was, of course, Trump's first issue.
THOMAS FRIEDMAN, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, you know, I think that we're in the middle of this argument, three accelerations and one in technology, one in globalization and one in environment. And what it's doing is it's all feeding together. So more climate change drives more immigration.
I was just in Africa a couple of months ago, you can trace what's going on in Senegal. Small-scale farming is collapsing because of climate change and population growth. Technology gives people cell phones where they can hit the road. Which app allows them to create huge smuggler networks. And they don't want a Live Aid concert from Europe, they want to come to Europe. All right?
And so this is now creating a giant stream of people. We think this about the Middle East, Syria and Afghanistan. It's not. This is an African phenomenon. They're coming from the arid zones of Africa.
ZAKARIA: Three-quarters of immigration of Europe is from Africa.
FRIEDMAN: Exactly. And it's not going to stop. And so I think we're just at the beginning of it. So what it's doing is it's really together, this surge and acceleration technology, climate change and globalization. Think about it. You know, I go to the grocery store now in my hometown, whether it's in Italy, or France, or in America. There is someone speaking a different language there and they're wearing their head covering that's not a baseball cap.
OK. And so I feel like, somewhat odd. Then I go to the men's room and there's someone who actually looks like a different gender there. I happen to embrace all that. I am so glad we have those rights. But that came really fast for a lot of people. Then I go to work, and now there's a robot sitting next to me and he seems to be studying my job. And so if you think of the things that anchor us in the world, our community and our work, whether it's in Italy, or France or in America, they're both being disrupted and there are a lot of people today feeling, "I'm worried."
[10:10:01] ZAKARIA: So if Tom is right and this isn't going to stop, and particularly the flow of people isn't going to stop, Melissa, well, it seems to me it's also the backlash isn't going to stop. And you see it in France where Francois Fillon, this conservative politician, seems to have essentially won their primary and it was basically by outflanking everybody on immigration, right?
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Immigration was absolutely the heart of what he was saying, but fundamentally he is a sign of rupture. He's not a populist. And he wasn't expected until about two weeks ago when he suddenly came from nowhere to win this primary, then Maria Le Pen would be the next in that road that you've said on the beginning of the program, Fareed.
In fact, by this very clever message that he sent, not as a populist, he sat right on economic matters, he wants rupture, but enough rupture to answer that profound need for change and there are sort of dog whistle messages that he also sends out on things like immigration. He is a Catholic. He's a social conservative and represents a real backlash, a return to those values that many people still hold dear, even if the sort of elites in Paris had long imagined that they had been forgotten.
And I think there is that sense that we'd stopped paying attention, I think, to the kind of things you were just talking about. The fears.
BELL: That people have.
ZAKARIA: Nostalgia is a large part of this. Make America great again. The British reclaiming their sovereignty. Somehow it's all about going back to where the way things were in some idealized way.
BURUMA: Yes. And the people who have that nostalgia, of course, are often people who are not in their daily lives actually confronted by immigrants, strange people in men's room and that kind of thing. I mean, a lot of the voters behind Brexit and Trump and other populist leaders never seen an immigrant. They live in provincial areas. And so it's the idea of a world that is somehow reducing their status, whether it's racial, ethnic or national. The idea that they're reacting against as much as the reality because after all London voted largely to remain in the EU and London is the city -- is a completely cosmopolitan city.
ZAKARIA: Final thought?
NADIA URBINATI, POLITICS PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Yes, I think this is a very good interpretation because also a phenomenon of anti- immigration movements like in northeast Italy recently in smaller towns. They've never seen actual immigrants until recently. And in very short and smaller numbers. So it is imaginary that is going to change -- because of the media perhaps, because of the dis- intermediation of our societies which we get directly to the media without professional media producers and we become the media producer.
And this is disconnections between ours and reality through our means of mediation communication makes us post-truth, all of us. So it's a situation in which we created the truth in which we then believe in and we are scared of.
ZAKARIA: We searched through these new media forms for the news that we --
URBINATI: We want.
ZAKARIA: We want to hear. That scares us about these immigrants. I mean, that's what Breitbart does so much of the time.
All right. When we come back we will talk about the winner of many of these elections around the world and that appears to be the decidedly undemocractic leader of Russia. Why is Vladimir Putin doing so well out of all this?
We'll try to answer that when we come back.
[10:17:41] ZAKARIA: And we are back with Tom Friedman, Melissa Bell, Ian Buruma and Nadia Urbinati.
Tom, one of the things that I think has not been remarked upon enough despite the fact that we talked about this election so much is the extraordinary victory in a sense for a Russian black ops cyber-war in the United States but, of course, it's happened in other places.
FRIEDMAN: Yes. I mean, it's actually terrifying. I mean, Putin voted in our election. He voted through WikiLeaks and that damaged Hillary Clinton. But you know, Fareed, Putin is a guy who's always looking for dignity in all the wrong places. OK. By taking a bite out of this neighbor or that neighbor. At the end of the day to thrive in the 21st century it's all about how well you nurture your own human capital.
And so, obviously, he influenced our election. I feel, I'm deeply upset and worried about it because he did it for a reason. Because he thought Trump was incapable of leading the Western alliance and this would lead to the breakup of the Western alliance. But if you're a Russian, you know, living in -- you know, in St. Petersburg that and 10 cents will buy you a cup of coffee.
I mean, at the end of the day it's all about him looking for dignity in what I call all the wrong places. I think, though, to go back just for a second to our previous conversation, what's also upsetting people is not just the cultural thing. It's something broader. You know, in my book I quote a Minnesota congressman. He talked about growing up in Minnesota. You know, an average worker in Minnesota in the '60s and '70s. He said to me an average worker in Minnesota, white, blue collar worker, you needed a plan to fail.
There was so much updraft of blue-collar work and even white collar work for average educated. You actually needed a plan to fail. Today you need a plan to succeed and you have to update it every six months and that is too fast and too demanding for a lot of people, and that's also what that again is about.
ZAKARIA: So when you see somebody like Fillon win in France, again, I'm struck by the fact that he's got this strange collection of views as you say but one of them is he is very pro-Russian. He says, why does the European Union have to have sanctions against Russia? Why can't we get along, unite -- combine with Russia and fight Islamic -- terrorists, just what Trump said?
BELL: He has this old friendship with Vladimir Putin that goes back to the time when they were both prime ministers. They actually got on. And more profoundly, yes, ideologically, he believes that it is time to look back to Moscow to build bridges to help it in Syria with all kinds of extraordinary ideas like helping Hezbollah on the ground. I mean, he goes that far.
[10:20:15] And you see this extraordinary thing where, in fact, the power to which the left turns throughout the 20th century despite human rights abuses is now the power to which the right turns, despite human rights abuses and its dictatorial nature. It's an extraordinary shift and I think one that we haven't quite seen coming.
Francois Fillon will be the next in that line and suddenly you're going to have a Security Council that is decidedly pro-Russian.
ZAKARIA: And, you know, this is happening in the context of a new ideology almost. You have, you know, the leader of Hungary, leaders in Poland, all talking about illiberal democracy. You know, when we talked about the end of history, who would have thought that the new challenge to liberal democracy would be a kind of populist, quasi authoritarianism and that Russia would in some sense be the originator of this new ideology.
BURUMA: Well, I wonder if it's Russia because I think the real winner in all this is not Putin. Because Russia is a pretty rubbishy economy really. It's China. And the great thing about China which made China so different from the Soviet Union is that it's ultra totalitarianism that works. In a capitalistic sense. I mean, airports, provincial airports in China make JFK looked like some place in Africa.
And so that's a very attractive model to people who are drawn to ultra totalitarianism, who are very distrustful of liberal institutions, thinks it's messy and decisions don't get made and so on. So the Chinese model of a strong man who can make things happen is dangerously attractive and Putin is sort of part of that, too, but he's much less successful. And, therefore, in the end, I think much less of a challenge.
ZAKARIA: Yascha Mounk, this researcher at Harvard, has this data which shows, he asked in Western countries, I mean, people have been asking, do you think it's a good -- it's vitally important that you live in a democracy? I mean, it's gone from something like 65 percent in the United States to 25 percent.
URBINATI: This is also the condition of Europe in my view because it is not simply -- it's not simply the issues. It is a conception of the political -- the better political way of living together. It's not necessarily democracy for many unfortunately. They don't dare to say so because we don't even have the courage to say openly that perhaps democracy is dysfunctional, we need something better or a better way of being democratic. Pluralistic, it's horizontal, more selective, more based on competition and really define separated from the people. So there is these oligarchy interpretation of democracy more and more.
ZAKARIA: So is this the end of the West as a political civilizational entity?
FRIEDMAN: You know, I wouldn't dare hazard or guess that big, Fareed. But what I do believe is that it's the end of all the political parties that we've known as Western politics. I think they're all going to blow up because they were basically designed to respond to the industrial revolution, the new deal, the early IT revolution and civil rights.
I believe what the parties have to respond to today are the acceleration and technology, the acceleration of globalization and the acceleration of climate. How we get the best out of them and cushion the worst. Therefore the right answer to the -- you know, that Melissa described for a liberal, and I'm here selling my own politics, is to be to the left of Bernie Sanders on some issues.
I'm for single payer health care. I mean -- I think we're going to need to strengthen the safety net but to be at the right of the "Wall Street Journal" editorial page at the same time. To be radically entrepreneurial so that we can afford that safety net.
Bernie Sanders was selling a safety net that we couldn't possibly afford and that people want radical entrepreneurialism don't understand how many people have been unmoored and actually going to be more of a safety net. And I think the candidate who synthesizes the two, Fareed, is going to be the successful party in the future.
ZAKARIA: And be Tom Friedman.
FRIEDMAN: I get my aggravation --
ZAKARIA: From a small town in Minnesota.
FRIEDMAN: I get my aggravation playing golf.
ZAKARIA: Thank you, all, very much.
Next on GPS did Edward Snowden's revelations make you think the U.S. had turned into a surveillance state? You want to take a look at the new sweeping, snooping powers that just became law of the land in Great Britain. It's remarkable what the government now has the right to do there.
[10:28:20] ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment. Imagine a world where everything you do online is monitored. Every single Web site you visit, the apps you use all recorded by your government. Not only that, encrypted data like e-mails, text messages, even your location can be deciphered with an easily obtainable warrant.
This is not science fiction. This will soon be a reality in the United Kingdom. The investigatory powers bill dubbed the snooper's charter passed both Houses of parliament with little opposition and was ratified by royal assent on Tuesday. It is a sweeping piece of legislation that forces telecom companies to store everybody's data. Your calls, texts, location data, Web activity for a year. It also empowers law enforcement allowing them to legally hack into people's devices without them knowing.
Sounds extreme? It is. This law set to be enforced at the beginning of 2017 will give the government vast powers to essentially spy on its citizens by their online activities. The U.S. whistleblower and fugitive Edward Snowden describes it as the most extreme surveillance in the history of Western democracy. It goes further than many autocracies he says.
The inventor of the worldwide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, told the BBC that such a law had no place in a modern democracy, adding it undermines our fundamental rights online. And the corporate world has weighed in with tech giants like Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google all highly critical.
They argued that the bill has been rushed through parliament without proper scrutiny and includes vague measures that could essentially be used by the government to force tech companies to do whatever they ask.
[10:30:00] Furthermore, the bill is believed to pose a direct threat to freedom of the press, as journalists and their sources will not be protected from the U.K.'s government surveillance.
The government argues it needs these measures to ensure national security. It says the bill will help fight crime from child abuse to trafficking to terrorism. But who will ensure the government doesn't abuse these broad powers?
The bill says it will introduce a powerful new investigatory powers commissioner to oversee how the powers are used. But it is unclear how the commissioner will operate and who he or she will answer to. Any requests the government makes to tech companies will be private, accompanied by a gagging law to keep it that way. So the public will be in the dark.
And how does this differentiate the U.K. from non-democratic governments like China that routinely spy on their citizens and censor news?
What does it say about the state of the world that individual citizens can no longer expect the basic right of privacy?
Everyone wants to prevent crime and heinous terrorist acts, but I wonder whether the unprecedented costs to our individual civil liberties is worth it in this case. I would argue it is not. Every citizen should have the right to a basic level of privacy where the state cannot interfere without clear evidence of wrongdoing or strong judicial oversight. That should be enshrined as a basic human right. The idea of bulk-collecting data now and finding criminals later is a flawed one at best and certainly undemocratic.
Next on GPS, I'll tell you the inside story of the road to the nuclear deal with Iran. It all might have started with an off-the-cuff answer from then-Senator Obama in a 2007 debate. It's part of my upcoming documentary "The Legacy of Barack Obama." I'll tell you about the deal and the doc, when we come back.
ZAKARIA: OK, please set your DVR or send yourself a Meeting Maker or write it in your calendar, whatever you need to do. On Wednesday night, December 7 at 9 p.m. Eastern, CNN will premiere my new documentary. It is a two-hour program called "THE LEGACY OF BARACK OBAMA." I'll take you through the big bets that Obama took on many, many issues, many of which were successful, many of which could unravel entirely on January 20th when President Trump moves into the White House. I will give you two exclusive sneak peeks. First, one of the bets that paid off and now seems to be in grave danger, the nuclear deal with Iran. How did America get there? Take a look.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR AND DEBATE MODERATOR: Good evening, and welcome. And thank you very much.
ZAKARIA (voice over): It was the answer heard around the world.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would.
ZAKARIA: Then-Senator Obama had been thrown an unexpected question from an ordinary American.
COOPER: This is the CNN YouTube debate.
ZAKARIA: Would he meet, without preconditions, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea?
OBAMA: I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them, which has been...
... the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration is ridiculous. But if we tell...
COOPER: Thanks very much, everyone. Good night.
ZAKARIA: Viewed today, the statement might not seem extraordinary, but in 2007, it was practically revolutionary to say that an American president would speak to strong men like Iran's Ahmadinejad and North Korea's Kim...
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... constitute an axis of evil.
ZAKARIA: ... two-thirds of then-President Bush's axis of evil.
HILLARY CLINTON, THEN-SECRETARY OF STATE: Certainly we're not going to just have our president meet with...
ZAKARIA: Hillary Clinton poked holes in Obama's argument on stage that night, and the reviews were pretty unanimous. Obama's answer was naive.
FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY, R-MASS.: Are you kidding me? Those are the last people I'd meet with in my first year. I'd never meet with those guys.
ZAKARIA: But Obama strategist David Axelrod says that the future president was adamant on a phone call with staff. Obama told them... DAVID AXELROD, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: We're not backing off at all. I actually think that was the moment when he found his voice in that campaign because he realized that he was bringing a point of view that nobody else was going to bring.
ZAKARIA: That voice continued when he was inaugurated.
OBAMA: We will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
ZAKARIA: Iran in 2009 was a nation with a very tightly clenched fist.
OBAMA: This is a country that had been hostile towards us and we had been hostile towards for decades.
ZAKARIA: But after just two months in office, Obama decided to try something new on this old enemy.
OBAMA: Today I want to extend my very best wishes to all who are celebrating Nowruz around the world.
ZAKARIA: Nowruz is the Persian new year.
OBAMA: For nearly three decades, relations between our nations have been strained. But at this holiday we are reminded of the common humanity that binds us together.
ZAKARIA: Veteran Middle East reporter Robin Wright was in Iran when Obama's message was delivered.
ROBIN WRIGHT, REPORTER: It was electrifying, the impact it had on people who believed that, for the first time, maybe the Americans were really serious about a dialogue.
ZAKARIA: Those hopes for a dialogue became fears about a confrontation just six months later.
OBAMA: Good morning.
ZAKARIA: Obama, along with France's Nicolas Sarkozy and the U.K.'s Gordon Brown, made a stunning announcement. Iran had been keeping an explosive secret.
OBAMA: The Islamic Republic of Iran has been building a covert uranium enrichment facility near Qom for several years.
WRIGHT: This was one of those "gotcha" moments. And it was a worrying sign because it indicated Iran had a much more advanced program.
ZAKARIA: The crisis had an upside. It brought the world's most powerful nations together. The United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and China and Russia were now all determined to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
There were fits and starts, talks and negotiations, but little progress to show until 2013, an auspicious year, the year the team that would crack the toughest issue in world politics all came together.
OBAMA: ... so help me God.
(UNKNOWN): Congratulations, Mr. President.
ZAKARIA: It was the year that President Obama was inaugurated for the second time.
REPORTER: ... your thoughts at this point?
ZAKARIA: And John Kerry, a Vietnam war vet and advocate of diplomacy, took office as the new secretary of state.
It was the year that the relatively moderate Hassan Rouhani was elected the seventh president of Iran...
HASSAN ROUHANI, PRESIDENT OF IRAN: We are all endowed with free will.
ZAKARIA: ... and named the American-educated Mohammad Javad Zarif as Kerry's counterpart.
WRIGHT: The credentials, the personal history of these four men was pivotal in pulling it off. It is doubtful that, if any of the four had been different, that we really would have gotten to this point.
ZAKARIA: The importance of that chemistry began to be clear in September 2013. It was the annual meeting of world leaders at the United Nations in New York. Secretary of State John Kerry.
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: The United States and Iran had not had their secretaries of state or foreign ministers talk in decades.
ZAKARIA: But that was soon to change. After a multilateral meeting where Kerry and Zarif sat next to each other, the two diplomats went to another room at the U.N. for what was supposed to be just a meet and greet.
KERRY: A little room on the side of the Security Council, no windows, you know, just the two of us in a very small space, I think taking stock of each other and of the situation.
ZAKARIA: It turned into much more.
KERRY: I have just met with him now on a side meeting.
ZARIF: We stressed on the need to continue these discussions, to give it the political impetus that it requires.
ZAKARIA: These were the highest-level talks between the United States and Iran in decades. But that record didn't last long.
(UNKNOWN): It was just a 15-minute phone call, but one that was 34 years in the making.
JUDY WOODRUFF, PBS ANCHOR: ... the highest-level conversation between the two nations since 1979.
ZAKARIA: An historic conversation, as Obama picked up the phone and called Rouhani, the first dialogue between an American president and an Iranian leader since Jimmy Carter spoke to the last Shah of Iran.
OBAMA: I believe we can reach a comprehensive solution.
ZAKARIA: President Obama was right. Iran and the world powers did reach a comprehensive solution, but the road there was filled with twists and turns and much controversy in Iran, in the United States and around the world.
On Wednesday night at 9 p.m. Eastern we will take you all the way to the finish line. The deal has now been in effect for almost a year, but it seems to be in jeopardy, if you believe the promises of President-elect Donald J. Trump. What would it mean for the world if the United States pulled out of the deal?
Tune in Wednesday night.
Next on GPS, more from the special, including a conversation between a then-little-known senator from Illinois and a very well-known senator from Massachusetts, the chat that will go down in history. Back in a moment.
ZAKARIA: For my new documentary "THE LEGACY OF BARACK OBAMA," we conducted 18 interviews, capturing somewhere north of 20 hours on tape. And the documentary will run about two hours, actually less if you take out all the ads. So you do the math. There are extraordinary stories that we couldn't fit into the documentary, and I wanted to show you a few of those stories now. You'll hear one from the president himself in just a moment, but to begin, the first major hire Obama made after he was elected was Rahm Emanuel.
ZAKARIA: What do you think it says about him as a person that he wanted to swing for the fences?
MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL, D-CHICAGO: I have a -- I hope you -- this is true about every one of the presidents, OK? They all want to swing for the fences. I have a theory that I wish you could -- I'm saying this in humor, OK, so please don't edit this in a way that it doesn't come across -- wrong, OK? You leave the East Wing and you make it down the stairs and you walk over through --to the Oval Office. You pass about -- I'm doing this by memory, like, two pictures of Jefferson, three of Washington, two of both Roosevelts, you know. You know, you have a room next to your Oval called the Roosevelt. They have the Nobel Peace Prize. You know, can't we just put a Tyler in there?
Can't we put a Pierce in there? You know, you walk by all these oil paintings...
ZAKARIA: Of the great.
EMANUEL: Of the great, the icons. What president doesn't want to swing for the fences? I think what may make him slightly different is what personal political price he's willing to pay for that public -- what he believes is a policy priority, where other people would -- not that they wouldn't do it, but they would then decide maybe we're going to go X percent.
And so I think swinging for the fences, every president, every one of us in public life share that ambition. And I say that in a -- I say that in a very positive way. They want to leave their thumb mark. That's -- that's part of life.
ZAKARIA: That was Rahm Emanuel, now mayor of Chicago, of course.
Next I want to play you a bit of my interview with the president. Listen in.
ZAKARIA: Was there a moment or a period that you remember thinking to yourself, with that background, with that name, with the way you look, I could -- the American people could elect me president?
OBAMA: I'm not sure that there was a particular moment. Certainly, when I won the U.S. Senate race in Illinois resoundingly, I thought this indicated that my basic belief that I could connect with people from all walks of life had been vindicated. Because Illinois is a pretty representative state. In fact, I think demographers looked to see what's the state that actually captures best the diversity of the United States? And Illinois is a pretty good example. Not only is it black, white, Latino, Asian, but it's also urban; it's rural; it's -- southern Illinois is closer to Southern culture. Northern Illinois is much more like a Northern state.
And, you know, I got 70 percent of the vote and then remained 70 percent approval, I think, for most of the time that I was in the Senate. So that gave me a sense that I could reach just about anybody and that our message had resonance. Believing that, after only two years in the Senate, it was time for me to throw my hat in the ring, that was, I think, a more -- more difficult process.
And I still remember having a conversation with Ted Kennedy, who ended up becoming a dear friend and somebody who I think was one of the giants of American politics for decades. And he had gotten wind that some people were asking me about whether I should run or not, and he called me into his office. And Teddy was always telling stories and pointing out pictures of people that he had spent time with. And, you know, he never, kind of, goes straight to the point.
And we sat there for a while talking. And then I remember him looking at me and he said, "You know, you never know when -- when history is calling. You never know exactly when the right moment is, but when it's there, you've got to seize it. You've got to at least take a chance, because you don't know if it's going to come again."
And I figured, if -- and he -- he hadn't endorsed me at that point, and it wouldn't be for quite some time before he did, but I thought it was a reminder for me that I might have a chance to do something important and to kick down some doors that had been closed previously, but also, more importantly, to push America in a -- in the kind of inclusive, progressive direction that I had been working towards most of my life.
ZAKARIA: Don't miss "The Legacy of Barack Obama," Wednesday night at 9 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.
Next on GPS, hand over your driver's license and I will give you some ramen. That's what Japan is saying to a certain segment of its population. Just who is getting this noodle deal? Find out when we come back.
ZAKARIA: Last week the parliament of Kazakhstan voted unanimously to rename the capital city to Nazarbayev, the last name of the 76-year- old president. The current name, Astana, literally means just "capital" in Kazakh. And it brings me to my question.
Which of the following countries has a capital city that, like Astana, simply means "capital": Tajikistan, Iceland, South Korea, or North Korea?
Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer.
This week's book of the week is Tom Friedman's new book "Thank You For Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations."
I have to be honest. I've just started the book, but I am already enjoying it. Agree or disagree with Friedman, he reports on fascinating companies and countries, notices new trends in technologies and always writes with passion. And he always makes me think.
Now for the last look. Taking away an elderly person's driver's license can mean a loss of freedom. But in one country, it could mean a gain of something else, ramen noodles. Let me explain.
Japan's National Police says there were nearly 5 million licensed drivers over the age of 75 in that country last year. That's more than double the number a decade ago. And there's been a spike in the number of accidents for that aging population of drivers. And according to The Guardian, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pushed his government to reverse that trend.
Well, last week police in central Japan launched a novel idea with a restaurant chain. Older citizens can now exchange their driver's licenses for discounted meals of ramen, rice and salad at more than 175 eateries in the area. This is just one of several incentives, discounts on taxi fares and even bath facilities that have been offered for driver's license trade-ins.
These accidents are a problem that could keep getting worse in the world's oldest country. By 2040 more than a third of Japan's population will be 65 or older, according to McKinsey. And here in the United States, roughly 20 percent of the population will be that age by then. So I say, for this reason, maybe bring on the driverless cars.
The correct answer to the GPS challenge question is C. Seoul originates from an ancient Korean word meaning "capital." Tajikistan's capital city means "Monday." Reykjavik means "smoky bay" in Icelandic, while the capital of North Korea, Pyongyang, literally means "flat land." Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan declined his parliament's offer to rename Astana, according to Reuters. So it looks as though maps will not need to be reprinted. The same cannot be said for that country's currency. A portrait of Nazarbayev appeared on the currency for the first time this week.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week, and I will see you next week.