BRIAN LAMB: Julianna Goldman, White House correspondent for Bloomberg News, if you were in front of a college class and you had to define for them what journalism is, what would you say?
JULIANNA GOLDMAN: Storytelling. I think journalism is getting beneath the surface, asking questions, developing a story, and informing the public.
LAMB: How long have you been interested in that?
GOLDMAN: From a very young age. I remember my mom likes to tell stories of when I was young saying this is Julianna Goldman, roving reporter, so even you know on you know days in elementary school, when you come in and say what do you want to be when you grow up; I think I pretty much alternated between being a journalist and being a veterinarian. And then after taking physics, journalism kind of won out.
LAMB: And what was the path for you? Where did it start?
GOLDMAN: So I think well, in looking back so many years, it might be a somewhat unconventional path, but I think in today’s world and what the news industry has become, I don’t know that there really is a conventional path anymore, per se. I wrote for my high school newspaper. I wrote for my college newspaper. I had a number of internships and I was also exposed early on to you know one of the great political families in the U.S.
I had worked for Kerry Kennedy Cuomo and Andrew Cuomo at under when they were in Washington, under the Clinton administration; he was HUD Secretary. And I developed a bug for politics and I it took a while to kind of figure out whether or not I wanted to pursue the political route then or the journalism route and ultimately I decided journalism.
LAMB: What did you do for Andrew Cuomo and it’s his former wife, Kerry Kennedy?
GOLDMAN: Yes, his former wife, Kerry Kennedy. I was a babysitter for them. I took care of their three adorable children and I also worked as a personal assistant for Kerry Kennedy Cuomo at the time she was writing a book on about human rights activists. And then that from there, that transitioned into Andrew Cuomo had been exploring a gubernatorial bid in New York in 2002 and I started working on that campaign in the early days and traveling all around New York, doing a lot of surrogate scheduling, a lot of and I worked in the press shop also.
And I was I was working there then summers during college and I remember them saying to me, we will pay you if you decide to put off your senior year of college and stay on the campaign. And I knew I couldn’t even broach this topic with my parents. They would you know tell me to leave the room and am I crazy. And then it turned out that the first my very first day of classes senior year, I woke up and I turned on 1010 WINS, which a radio station in New York, and they were announcing that Andrew Cuomo was dropping out of the primary that day.
So I thought, whew; wise decision. And that, for me, it was a wonderful learning experience, but I decided after that that I wanted to be on the other side of things.
LAMB: What did you like about what you saw up close in politics and what didn’t you like?
GOLDMAN: I liked seeing the one-on-one connections between a candidate and voters and really seeing how voters react. This is a tangent, but I remember during the Obama campaign Annie Leibovitz, the photographer, we used to travel quite a bit. And you would talk to her about her career and kind of what photographs she looks for. And she would say she was less concerned about the candidate she was photographing and more about the reactions and the facial expressions of the people who were in the audience.
And to me that really struck a chord, because the ability for a candidate to connect and relate to people I think is really in some ways what politics and politicking is about. And so I really I enjoyed that and I enjoyed feeling like you were making a difference for people. I liked working in the field, I liked canvassing, but I also just decided that I’d rather you know you’re exposed to some of the underbelly of campaigning in some ways and I would rather have covered that on the outside.
LAMB: What didn’t you like about it?
GOLDMAN: I think in some ways the same things that you might not like in journalism. You’re up one day; you’re down the next and sometimes you can do so much work and feel like it didn’t really get very far and you pour your heart into something and loss is tough.
LAMB: So what was the moment when you said I’m going to go from politics to journalism and how did you do it?
GOLDMAN: So again, I had worked and written for the Columbia Daily Spectator when I was in college and I decided, again, after Andrew Cuomo dropped out, I thought OK; I’m going to focus on journalism. I’d pursued internships. I had an internship at CNN Headline News when I was living in New York. And then I thought OK, I’m going I’d heard about Bloomberg News. I thought that that would be a neat organization that was obviously a smaller news organization at the time and I had known I wanted to get into politics and I thought OK, here’s a place where I could go and sort of start from the ground up and work my way up.
LAMB: So, what happened?
GOLDMAN: So, well the reason so here’s how I found out about Bloomberg. The summer that I was interning for Andrew Cuomo on the campaign, my roommate at the time, she was interning for Bloomberg on the sales division for the Terminal. And she ...
LAMB: Let me just interrupt here.
LAMB: What’s the Terminal, for those who don’t know it?
GOLDMAN: So Bloomberg L.P.; it is a financial information Mecca and it’s a computer terminal that is a staple on Wall Street and the financial community. It’s data analytics, news and that’s and it’s the firm that Mike Bloomberg founded.
So my roommate at the time; we were both interns, spending all our money on rent that summer in New York City, and she brought home cereal every day, because Bloomberg has if you go to any of the offices all around the world, they have kitchens stocked with wonderful food; packaged food, not the most healthy for you, but you know on the one hand you think this is amazing. What kind of company provides free food like this for its employees?
You know the flip side is if there’s food there for you, you never have to leave the office and so it boosts productivity, but that’s how Bloomberg News and the company kind of got on my radar. And I thought I want to check this company out. And so they were doing they I they were doing a recruitment program on campus and I was debating between that or going to work for my political science professor at Political Science Quarterly.
And they I went to the event and I said I want to work for Bloomberg News. And they said well you’re coming right out of college. We don’t really have any entry level positions on the news side, but we’re starting this program; it’s called global customer support. You come in, you get to know all about the company, you make all these contacts and then after a short period of time, you can kind of go to whatever division in the company you want to go to.
I thought OK, great. I went through a whole interview process, I got the job, I decided OK, this is the route I want to go. Professor Caraley, who was my political science professor; my mentor at Barnard College, I said I’m going to go this go this route and so I got to Bloomberg. I started a few days after I graduated college and I realized that I that global customer support was a glorified call center, which was a fascinating and wonderful learning experience, answering 200 to 300 phone calls a day, sometimes from very angry traders who are calling and saying my machine’s broken; get me on the phone with technical support, and having to just very politely talk them down.
And sometimes people would call and say I remember somebody once called and said hey, what’s the name of the China store underneath the Bloomberg office at 59th and Park. And you know you have to treat every phone call the same way, because you’re constantly being record and in some ways, what I think the experience of working on a political campaign and what somebody once told me is that they look for people who have worked on political campaigns, because you have to do everything yourself.
There’s nobody there who can Xerox for you, fax for you, and you have to multitask. And I think that this also helped me develop skills to be able to kind of do everything on my own; multitask, take very unconventional questions and try and figure them out and these were all lessons that you could apply to journalism.
But then there was a whole nother path from how I got to Bloomberg, from GCUS to the news side of the operation, because I got there and quickly learned that nobody had ever gone from global customer support to the news side of things at Bloomberg.
LAMB: We’re going to come back to that, but I want to run some video from February; the actual date from February the 9th, 2009. It’s East Room in the White House, I believe. Let’s watch it and I’ll get you to explain this.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: All right, Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg.
GOLDMAN: Thank you, Mr. President. Many experts from Nouriel Roubini to Senator Schumer have said that it will cost the government more than a trillion dollars to really fix the financial system. During the campaign, you promised the American people that you won’t just tell them what they want to hear, but what they need to hear. Won’t the government need far more than the $350 billion that’s remaining in the Financial Rescue Funds to really solve the credit crisis?
LAMB: How’d you get there?
GOLDMAN: Woo, coming up with the question or just to that point?
LAMB: Just that whole scene; I mean you had all those grizzled reporters looking at you in that room.
GOLDMAN: Gosh, I felt the butterflies in my stomach come back from that first that was that was a very intimidating and nerve-wracking evening, but looking back, it was pretty awesome. I think just having covered the I think I’m on my five-year anniversary of covering Barack Obama now and seeing him through the campaign and to that moment; that first primetime press conference that he held as President you know coming up with the questions and we spent hours and hours developing that.
LAMB: But how did you get called on? He clearly had your name on there and did you expect him to call on you?
GOLDMAN: I had a sense that I would get called on. I think part of the reason I got called on is because this was if you remember in February of 2009, Geithner, in the over the next few days was going to be announcing the stress tests and the next steps of the financial bailout. It was at the height of the crisis, they were in the middle of the stimulus battles, and so Bloomberg News, for an economic-focused press conference, was a natural place to go for a question.
Also you know I’d been covering them for quite some time and ...
LAMB: Covering the Obama people.
GOLDMAN: ... covering the Obama folks and it was a nice a nice introduction to covering the White House.
LAMB: When did you start covering was it Senator Obama at the time?
GOLDMAN: It was on Senator Obama and it was in July of 2007. The first time I went out was Iowa that over July 4th weekend. And it was you know you talk about opportunities and how you get from point A to point B and that was that was real luck, I think, because I had been I had been working on the TV when I moved to Bloomberg; the news side of the operation at Bloomberg, I was working for Bloomberg Television.
And then I moved down here in to Washington in 2006 and I was working on the TV side, but I wanted to do more reporting and I asked my boss and now mentor, Al Hunt, if I could move to the print side of things at Bloomberg. And so I was more of a general assignment report, covering Congress you know the occasional White House trip or press pool under Bush and then I was somebody who had been covering Senator Obama, left, moved to a different news organization and so there was an opening to cover him.
And I think for a lot of the people who started covering Senator Obama early on and covering his Presidential campaign, I think in some ways we were seen as the green reporters who were being given an opportunity to work for a guy who really didn’t have much of a shot to cover a guy who really didn’t have much of a shot of winning, but this was a way to get your feet wet in preparation for the 2012 campaign.
And so I went out with him and covered that July 4th. It was my first time going out on a Presidential campaign, first time on a bus tour; it might have even been my first time in Iowa.
LAMB: How many people were there reporting, following him?
GOLDMAN: I think there was probably dozen reporters, because there maybe more than about probably a dozen reporters and photographers, but it certainly I mean, in those early days, it was a much smaller group of people and you didn’t have all of the networks covering him 24 hours a day yet. You had more opportunities to jump in and ask him questions and you know you think back to walk he’s going to the Iowa State Fair the next week again and think back to five years ago at the Iowa State Fair and him walking down and being able to jump in and ask him a question. You’d never be able to do that now.
LAMB: Your second question that we found was in July of 2009 in the White House. Let’s watch that one.
Thank you, Mr. President. You’ve said that recent bank profits indicate that there’s been no sense of remorse on Wall Street for risky behavior; that we haven’t seen a change in culture there. Would do you think that your administration needs to be taking a harder line on Wall with Wall Street? And also, would you consider going a step further than your regulatory reform proposals and supporting a fee on risky activities that go beyond traditional lending?
LAMB: How did you get to that question? What leads up to it, for those that just tune and see it? How much work do you have to do?
GOLDMAN: Well the first thing I’m thinking is I’m wearing the same exact outfit now that I was wearing then, so. There’s an enormous amount of work that goes into preparing for a Presidential press conference. I mean when you contrast that with the daily White House briefing with Jay Carney or Robert Gibbs, there really is no comparison.
What we do at Bloomberg is you know we decide who’s going to be going to the press conference and then you put a list of questions together. You usually someone from Bloomberg is going to be financially or economic-focused. And we have meetings and we drill through certain topics, refine the questions. Can you ask it a different way? Can you ask it more simply?
I mean looking back at the question, in an ideal world, I wouldn’t have stumbled and looked down at my notes, but you want to be able to ask the question as quickly and succinctly as possible.
LAMB: So it was written out.
GOLDMAN: Yes. The way that I the way I prepare is you know we have we have the meetings, we go through the questions, we finalize the questions, and then I write it write it out, have my legal pad, have my paper, so in there ; sort of like a security blanket, but there in case I need to look down and read it.
LAMB: You can see in the eyes of those sitting around you, some well known folks ...
LAMB: But they’re looking at you as if to say why is she getting those questions? Why wasn’t it me? Now did you expect to be called on the second time?
GOLDMAN: I don’t remember if I expected to be called on. I think you always have to expect that you’re going to be called on. You know you hear these horror stories about you know tales of White House correspondents saying yes, I showed up to this surprise press conference and the President called on me and I had no idea what I was saying or you know stories of somebody once hiding because they got called on and weren’t expecting it.
So you always need to be prepared. You always need to go into these assuming that you are going to get called on. And so sometimes you know you say OK, the preparation; that’s three hours of my life I’ll never get back, but when you do get called on, it’s all worth it.
LAMB: You know that a lot of people outside of Washington look at those press conferences and say there’s nothing happening there; that the White House press corps are lapdogs of the President, that there’s lots of criticism about the daily briefings. Where do you come from on all this?
GOLDMAN: I think that’s probably in some ways unfair. I can appreciate looking in and thinking that. I think our job is not to ask got-you questions; it’s not to try and trick the President. But it is trying to get fair answers out of him and that’s how I approach my job. I’m not looking to catch you know when Jay Carney does a press briefing, I’m not looking to necessarily catch him in a ah well that’s not what you said the other day. It’s really just trying to get information to inform people with.
I think back to this week and you know part of the prep part of the preparation for me for when I go to the daily briefing is mostly just kind of looking and seeing what the headlines are at the moment as we’re heading in and seeing what the White House should be commenting on. So for example, this week we saw stocks rallying and in part because of some optimism that Europe might be getting its act together.
You know behind the scenes the President is playing a pretty significant role in talking to European leaders, working behind the scenes to bring to bring sides together, obviously because the U.S. economy is largely you know getting things right in Europe is going to mean the difference for the U.S. recovery. And so the an appropriate I think at that time was to ask you know does the U.S. have the same sense of does the White House have the same sense of optimism that the markets seem to have right now.
You know and Jay Carney; it’s not like he gave a different answer that what he would have given a week ago when you asked him about Europe. You kind of know what you’re going to get, but it’s still important to be asking those questions.
LAMB: The audience should know that this is being recorded in mid-August, so that they don’t get confused ...
GOLDMAN: Oh yes.
LAMB: ... as to whatever happened the week that this runs.
LAMB: But it’s really a program about your life and how you got to this job and what it’s like to be a White House correspondent. We’ve got another clip of you. This moves up to 2010 and it’s April 27th. Let’s watch this and explain this to us.
GOLDMAN: Thank you, Mr. President.
GOLDMAN: We’re learning today that oil that oil has been gushing as much as five times the initial estimates. What does that tell you and the American people the about the extent to which BP can be trusted on any of the information that it’s providing, whether the events leading up to the spill; any of their information?
LAMB: You didn’t look at your notes much this time.
GOLDMAN: You can see I started to get better at this as time went on.
LAMB: Do you are you less nervous as you the more times you do this?
GOLDMAN: Yes, definitely. I think in part because of a comfort level that you have with the President as well. And I just yes. And practice, I wouldn’t say makes perfect in this situation, but you know the more you practice the more comfortable it becomes.
LAMB: One of the criticisms of the White House news conferences is that the reporters who want to get requested and they want to get their question in go soft on the President.
GOLDMAN: Well I look back and I the first clip that we showed, when I asked the President about the banks and you know and telling sort of being straight up with the American public whether taxpayers would need to be on the hook for more bailout you know the President, as a candidate who constantly said I’m not just going to tell you what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. And I think that’s a fair way of posing question to him, saying OK; this is what you’ve said. How are you going to tell the American people now, not just what they want to hear, but what they need to hear?
This, I mean April 27th, it was more than two weeks of the BP oil spill beginning and that was as the White House was starting to really, I think, fully appreciate just how much the damage that this was causing. And we were the question of who how much blame should we be assigning to BP right now was in some ways a tough question for a President because it’s asking him to wade in and make a judgment call on a corporation, which is you know he has to handle it delicately too.
LAMB: How much do you trust the White House, the President, Jay Carney and the kind of information they’re giving you?
GOLDMAN: That’s a good that’s an interesting question. I think as a general rule, you I think if we didn’t trust them and the information that they were giving us, it would a miserable, miserable beat to be covering. But that’s not to say that you should take everything on face value. And I think continuing to ask questions and get them to expand upon statements that they’ve made; I don’t I don’t think the two are necessarily I think the two go hand in hand.
LAMB: How big, from when you are involved in this, do you feel that the Bloomberg audience is? And how many different places can people see what you do or read what you do?
GOLDMAN: So sometimes I mean I’ll be honest; sometimes that can be that can be difficult and it can be one of the times during this job when you’re saying so who is seeing what I’m doing? I mean there are so many different platforms, though, for Bloomberg. You have the Terminal as we talked about and that is in some ways that is very local news. We were talking the other day in the office, because I guess it was Goldman Sachs CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, who was in town.
He was testifying on the Hill and we got word that he was going to the White House to meet with Chief of Staff Jack Lew. And within an hour it was one of the most read stories. And so there’s kind of an element a local news element where local banker you know goes to see the President. Well, Lloyd Blankfein, who’s you know you know a titan on Wall Street goes to the White House and it’s huge news for Bloomberg.
So you have that outlet there. We also have Bloomberg Television and we also have the Web site. We’ve also just launched a new blog at Bloomberg called Political Capital, which is loaded with data, television packages, interviews, (bloggie) type stories, and also our own stories. And then social media; Twitter, Facebook. I mean there have been times where I tweet something and then it’s tweeted to you know somebody else who has infinitely more followers than I do; tweets it out and then you know who knows how many people are seeing that. So it just kind of depends on the story and the day.
LAMB: I just had somebody, older person, been watching the Olympics, went into kind of snit about Twitter and said I wish they’d shut that stupid thing down because of what people were saying about the NBC coverage of the Olympics or the Olympic champions; whatever.
Explain Twitter to someone that’s not on it and what is the value?
GOLDMAN: The way I see the value of Twitter and is it’s sort of I use it as a news wire. I use it to follow people who I respect or who I’d want to hear from or who could be making news, so that you can stay up to date and it’s the latest happenings.
LAMB: Can you give us an example of somebody you follow that matters to you?
GOLDMAN: Well I’ll do a plug for Bloomberg. Mike Tackett, who is one of the executive editors at Bloomberg; he will tweet out every major headline from Bloomberg and that’s who I follow, so I can know what is happening on our wire and our own political coverage.
LAMB: How do you know when you’ve got a tweet?
GOLDMAN: So I keep other and I will admit, I am not the greatest Twitter user of the Twitter-verse. So there are all sorts of different people who utilize it probably far more better than I do. But I usually just keep up keep it up on my computer screen and just follow it that way. I also have Twitter app on my iPhone that I’ll follow also on BlackBerry.
LAMB: What do you think the impact of Twitter is? On maybe either on the news business or on the society?
GOLDMAN: I actually think that it’s had it there are positives and negatives. There the positive impact is I think it helps you stay more informed; more up to date on what’s going on. There are more outlets you know I don’t necessarily have if I covering the White House, we’re always in the press pool. So we’ll we have access to the President and see him interacting with voters. We see him in Afghanistan; we’re on those trips.
So you have a very unique view and lens into the President that others don’t have. And so a value of that is to be able to tweet to you’re there watching and you can tweet as real you know real-time, as things are happening.
I think the negative is that it has you know the 20 the idea of a 24-hour news cycle, in some ways it’s you know 24-hour plus news cycle. There’s just so much cycling through and so it can be hard to distinguish you know if you think of bouquet; you have your roses and then you have the filler and so it can be tough to distinguish the roses from the filler. But as a journalist, I think it forces you to refine your news judgment and to have a keener eye for that.
LAMB: You mentioned trips. You’ve been on some international trips with the President.
LAMB: Have you flown on Air Force One?
GOLDMAN: Yes. And I it sounds I don’t know how many times I’ve flown on Air Force One. It’s just part of it’s part of my job.
LAMB: Where have you been?
GOLDMAN: Oof, all over the world. It’s been one of the most rewarding experiences over the last several years; all over Asia with the President. Went to Oslo for him to accept the Nobel Peace prize, his first trip to China, Israel when he was a candidate, Egypt for the Cairo speech, South Korea.
LAMB: Did you go to Afghanistan?
GOLDMAN: I’ve been to Afghanistan; yes, twice.
LAMB: There’s a picture that I’ve seen. I don’t know that this is I don’t know whether it was labeled or not, but it shows the President bringing some cake back to you.
LAMB: What’s going on here?
GOLDMAN: It was my birthday and it was ...
LAMB: Was this your 30th birthday?
GOLDMAN: Thirty-first birthday.
LAMB: Thirty-first; wow. I missed it.
GOLDMAN: Thirtieth was last year; I was in the White House basement covering the Bin Laden announcement. But this was my 31st birthday, which actually technically lasted two days because we were in Afghanistan and because of the time zone I landed back in the afternoon and it was still my birthday.
But that was pretty I you know I think covering the White House and in journalism in general, you need to sometimes remain a detached observer. And this was one of those trips and moments where I allowed myself to really enjoy that experience. We were coming back from Afghanistan. We had just we were on the second leg of the trip back.
We had stopped for refueling and we were, I think just about 30-45 minutes from landing back at Andrews and I was writing I was in the middle of writing a story on a first-person account of the Afghanistan trip and I was wearing a sweat shirt and was not expecting the President to come back there. And I had coffee and all the sudden he comes back with a with a piece of coffee cake and a candle, singing Happy Birthday.
And I was sort of in I have Bloomberg has a window seat on Air Force One and so I was sort of trapped in there and trying to thank him and blow out the candle and not knock my coffee or my computer over, so it was a little a little awkward.
LAMB: Well, again, though, the hard-bitten politico sitting out, watching this say she’s getting trapped. You know those that want you to be tough; what do you say how do you stay independent? Because you’ve got Air Force One, you get to ask questions at the briefings.
LAMB: Here he is, the President of the United States, giving you cake on your birthday.
GOLDMAN: Right. I think that’s a fair a fair question. And if you know an observer could look in and say oh, well now she’s skewed. She’s you know she’s in the tank for Obama. I also think you know at a certain point, everybody is human and you have to be able to step back and you know the same way I mean I can’t I can’t say how should I phrase this?
I don’t I think it does affect my ability to cover him, ask tough questions and to cover him and this administration objectively, just because he brings back cake. It’s a nice thing to do and I and it was a wonderful, wonderful gesture. But you also have to have that kind of personable relationship and interaction with the people who you cover and the people who cover you.
LAMB: One last question. This is in this year, 2011 and it was February 15th of this year; another question. Let’s watch.(VIDEO BEGINS)
OBAMA: Julianna Goldman. There you are
GOLDMAN: Thank you, Mr. President. Your budget relies on revenue from tax increases to multinational corporations that ship jobs overseas and on increases on oil and gas industry. You’ve been calling on this for years. And if you couldn’t get it through a Democratic Congress, why do you think you’ll be able to get it through now? And also, doesn’t it blunt your push for deficit neutral corporate tax reform?
LAMB: It looked like it was the Eisenhower Building?
LAMB: You know over your shoulder there, I saw a man named John Gizzi who’s with Human Events.
LAMB: I wondered, does he ever get a question in at one of those news conferences; conservative?
GOLDMAN: At the news conferences; no. I haven’t heard him get a question before. The news conferences tend to be wires, print and the networks.
LAMB: So what’s your you know again, you’re talking not just to me. You’re talking to a college class and you’re explaining to them, does the President have control in that room and does he only call on people that at least are not going to disagree with him?
GOLDMAN: No, I don’t think so. I think I don’t think he’s not I don’t think he goes into those press conferences and says I’m not going to call on somebody who disagrees with me. I think that there are so many people who are in the press conferences that you know they approach it and think OK, we are going to call on the networks, the print organizations and the wires because there’s just a limited amount of time. And these are the people who cover us day in and day out and they’re I guess more maybe more steeped not necessarily more steeped in the issues, but just there day in and day out.
The President, I think he it’s not that he has control over the press, but he comes in there and for the most part, he has a list of people who he’s going to be calling on. You don’t necessarily know ahead of time if you’re on that list. But again, we do have to be prepared.
LAMB: Go back to when you were taking consumer calls at Bloomberg, in New York City.
LAMB: And you wanted to move into journalism; how’d you do it?
GOLDMAN: So one of the things that we had been told being in global customer support is because you are transferring calls to people all over the company, you’ll get to know people and you should take advantage of opportunities to shadow. One of the things I learned, again, not just that nobody had ever moved from global customer support to the news side of things, but most people went and took a path of going to the analytics side of the Terminal, where you could analyze data, help clients, help with programming and information to then selling the Terminal to outside clients.
LAMB: Let me just because I was there when it happened, the current mayor of New York; I think he used to work for Goldman Sachs or ...
LAMB: Yes, Salomon Brothers. Anyway, he left there, maybe even got fired, but started this company and it’s an actual terminal that sits in business offices ...
LAMB: ... where you can call up data ...
LAMB: And you pay X number of dollars a year and all of that has led, if the last figure is accurate, to what; being worth about $18 billion.
GOLDMAN: I’m not yes, I don’t know.
LAMB: Well that what I saw I saw published.
LAMB: I don’t know if it’s true or not. So this has been a huge success financially.
GOLDMAN: Yes. This is I mean Bloomberg L.P. has founded I mean has been founded on this terminal and Bloomberg News in some ways provides the content for that terminal.
LAMB: Television network, radio stations, wire service ...
GOLDMAN: Television, radio, wire, Bloomberg Government here in Washington, Bloomberg Web Bloomberg.com as well.
LAMB: And by the way, does it have any impact on you that the mayor of New York is the owner of this outfit or the ...
LAMB: ... primary owner.
LAMB: Doesn’t it ?
GOLDMAN: The only thing you have to do is if there’s a story that involves that you’re covering that involves the mayor, you add the disclaimer that says he’s the you know founder of Bloomberg L.P.
LAMB: So who did you who did you ask for a job on the print side?
GOLDMAN: So, well ...
LAMB: Or the television ?
GOLDMAN: So what happened was I was answering phone calls and it was in the middle of the day and I got a call from somebody saying hey, I know this sounds crazy, but I was stranded on the side of the road the other night and some guy named Andrew from news helped me and I just wanted to call and thank him because I never got his information.
And so I tried to figure out who, by process of elimination, who’s name is Andrew who worked in the news division and I called and e-mailed a couple of people, kept her on hold, and I found this guy who was who turned out to be the assignment editor for Bloomberg Television. And he said yes, that’s me and I put the two in touch and then followed up with him.
And I said hey, by the way, I’m really interested in the news side of things over here. Could I come and shadow Bloomberg Television. And he said sure and I went over there and they were looking to hire a production assistant. And that was my opportunity to then move onto the news side of things.
And then and I so that meant I had been in global customer support for eight months. Most people stayed in it for three months, so I, again, going back to now, whenever I call and speak to a customer service representative, I can fully appreciate what they have to do.
LAMB: In that last clip, I suggested it was this year; it was last year, 2011, because here’s a clip with you and your mentor, Al Hunt, on a program called Political ...
LAMB: ... Capital on the Bloomberg Network. (VIDEO BEGINS)
AL HUNT , BLOOMBERG NEWS: Julianna, speaking of depression, whether it’s you know two blocks away at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or Chicago ...
GOLDMAN: Or out in Ohio where the President is?
HUNT: This number must have really, really depressed Obama.
GOLDMAN: You know heading into the number the line from the White House was if it stays the same at 8.2 percent, it doesn’t fundamentally change the dynamic of the race. But the fact is the trends need to be going in the right direction. Mitt Romney wants to make this a referendum on Obama’s handling of the economy and every month now, the gift seems to be for the Romney campaign that they get some sort of referendum on Obama’s handling of the economy and if the job picture isn’t improving then that is good for Mitt Romney.
LAMB: You have a lot of old-timers over there at Bloomberg. Al Hunt used to be at the Wall Street Journal and is Andy Lack still running the news side?
GOLDMAN: Yes, Andy Lack is the head of the Bloomberg Media Operation.
LAMB: Mike Tackett, you mentioned, from the Chicago Tribune ...
LAMB: ... and others. Is it your what is your sense about how Bloomberg is inserting itself in the mainstream of American news thought?
GOLDMAN: Just look at our Washington bureau and over the last several years, how it has expanded. We have the largest bureau of any news organization in Washington; more than the New York Times, more than Wall Street Journal, 250 reporters, editors and producers. We are, in covering the White House even, being in the press pool all the time; we are there for every breaking news event, every moment of this presidency and that has an impact.
And you know I think I know it’s company-wide, but it does make us one of the most influential news organizations and I don’t think that look, I’ve covered this White House and I’ve covered the Obama guys for a really long time, but I don’t think that they would necessarily be calling on me at press conferences if I wasn’t representing a news organization like Bloomberg that has the you know respectability and the credibility behind its journalists.
LAMB: Where’d you grow up?
GOLDMAN: I grew up here in the Washington area, in Bethesda, Maryland.
LAMB: Where’d you go to school?
GOLDMAN: I went to the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville.
LAMB: For how many years?
GOLDMAN: Thirteen, kindergarten through 12th grade.
LAMB: What do Mom and Dad do or what did they do when you were growing up?
GOLDMAN: My father’s an attorney and my mother is has an employment agency.
LAMB: And she’s I’ve read is involved in politics.
GOLDMAN: Yes, she dabbles in it.
LAMB: What’s she do?
GOLDMAN: So she was very active in Montgomery County Housing. Affordable housing is sort of her passion and now she dabbles a bit on the Jewish outreach.
LAMB: We have a picture I think of we put it up on the screen of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who’s the head of the Democratic Party and Mama’s on the right?
LAMB: Who’s on the left; do you know?
LAMB: Now what impact did that have as you were growing up? Was she active in politics when you were younger?
GOLDMAN: Not really. I mean my mom I mean when I think of my mom’s political activities, I think of it more in growing up as her working for working and doing housing issues. And so it was less political and more community service almost and I think that’s why that’s why that passion is there.
LAMB: Brothers and sisters?
GOLDMAN: I have two younger sisters; three girls in my family. My middle sister, Samantha works at Citigroup and my youngest sister, Arielle is pursuing a masters at Tisch.
LAMB: So you shadowed the producer at Bloomberg. When did they hire you and what was your first job?
GOLDMAN: So my first job was a production assistant at Bloomberg Television and I started there in the fall, I think; in the fall of 2004, summer-fall of 2004, so just before the ’04 election. And then they were developing a program called Money in Politics and that was based out of New York and they asked they knew that I was interested in politics and they asked me if I wanted to be a producer on that.
And then in 2006, that show and it was an hour-long show. There were three or four of us who worked on it, putting it together every single day, with guests based out of Washington. And in 2006, they were moving the show down to Washington and they asked me to come down here and so that’s how I got to Washington.
LAMB: How do you stay informed every day? What do you use? Besides Bloomberg.
GOLDMAN: Besides Bloomberg. Twitter; I have different I have the New York Times app; I have the Washington Post app. Like I said, with Twitter, it’s like a newswire, so constantly going through, checking to see what the headlines are. You have generally, because of who I’m who I follow, you can see when things are starting to pick up some buzz and so you know what’s becoming part of the political conversation of the day.
LAMB: What did you study at Barnard?
GOLDMAN: I studied political science and I minored in history.
LAMB: So if you had to name people in history, people in politics that you’ve always admired, or people in the media.
LAMB: Besides your mentors, who would they be?
GOLDMAN: Politics, I think and it’s not just because I worked for them, but obviously the Kennedy family is you know the value on public service was something that, having worked for Kerry, was something that I really, I think learned to respect and appreciate even more, to just see how this family you know in generations and generations just has that instilled and engrained in them. Mario Cuomo I think is a he’s a wonderful person, beautiful orator and he’s also been a mentor to me as well, growing up and pursuing a career path.
In terms of reporters who I look to, Diane Sawyer is a woman who I look to. I think Charlie Rose is an amazing interviewer and storyteller. And of course Al Hunt I think has taught me how to how to cover Washington, how to ask the right kind of questions, and sort of and the right way to frame how I approach.
LAMB: Here you are with Charlie Rose. (VIDEO BEGINS)
GOLDMAN: Well, what they’re saying is that this is a domino effect that we’re seeing unfold in the Middle East, but it’s not monolithic. You have to take each country by country and the leverage that the United States has is different with each country. So for example, the relationship with Mubarak, the relationship with Egypt; the U.S. had more leverage there. There was military aid that the U.S. was giving to Egypt. In Bahrain it’s different also. It houses the Fifth Fleet.
In Yemen and Libya though now, what we’re seeing is a different situation play out. The U.S. does not have the kind of leverage over Kaddafi that it had with other leaders. It doesn’t have the aid, so the kinds of things that we’re talking about are economic sanctions right now that can be imposed unilaterally, while then working with the international community to impose some of the kinds of things that you were talking about, potentially multilaterally.
LAMB: When did you have to start doing things like that?
GOLDMAN: I once a few months into the beginning of the Obama administration, some of the bosses at Bloomberg came to me and other colleagues to say hey, what we want to do is we want you guys to cover the White House, but we also want you to do more TV. And so they said you know you’ll sort of alternate. One week you’ll be print and work for the newswire and the other week you will work for Bloomberg Television.
And so I think that was in I remember; where was I? I was on a foreign trip and they called me to tell me that. It was I think the foreign trip of the Cairo speech. And the and so the exposure on Bloomberg Television really helped I mean TV’s not necessarily in some ways, it’s out of my comfort zone. I like being able to type and hit delete and so TV; you don’t have that ability. And so once I started doing more TV, there were more opportunities to do those kinds of appearences.
LAMB: But in 2011, here you are in a debate situation and you were there with how many other Bloomberg people?
GOLDMAN: So the debate, it was I was representing Bloomberg and Charlie Rose was the chief moderator and Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post was there as well.
LAMB: And this was a Republican primary debate.
GOLDMAN: This is yes, yes.
LAMB: Where was it located?
GOLDMAN: At Dartmouth College.
LAMB: All right; let’s watch.
GOLDMAN: OK.(VIDEO BEGINS)
It’s 2013 and the European debt crisis has worsened, countries are defaulting, Europe’s largest banks are on the verge of bankruptcy, contagion has spread to the U.S. and the global financial system is on the brink. What would you do differently than what President Bush, Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke did in 2008?
MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well you’re talking about a scenario that’s obviously very difficult to imagine and ...
GOLDMAN: But it’s but it’s not a hypothetical, because ...
ROMNEY: It is it is ...
GOLDMAN: ... for the past ...
ROMNEY: I’m afraid it is a hypothetical.
GOLDMAN: It’s not Governor, it’s not a ...
ROMNEY: If you want to explain why it’s not a hypothetical?
GOLDMAN: Because more than half the country believes that a financial meltdown is likely in the next several years and the U.S. banks have at least $700 billion in exposure to Europe, so it’s a very real threat and voters want to know what you would do differently.
ROMNEY: There it’s still a hypothetical as to what’s precisely happened in the future. I’m not very good at being omniscient, but I can tell you this; that I’m not going to have to call up Timothy Geithner and say how does the economy work.
GOLDMAN: So would or would you not be open to another Wall Street bailout?
ROMNEY: No one likes the idea of a Wall Street bailout; I certainly don’t. That’s a fact ...
GOLDMAN: But you said in 2008 that it prevented the collapse of the financial ...
ROMNEY: There’s no question but that the action that President Bush and that Secretary Paulson took was designed to keep, not just a collapse of individual banking institutions.
LAMB: There you’re a little more combative. How did you what’d you think of that?
GOLDMAN: You know I think, in looking back and you talk about lessons and for young people interested in journalism; to me the preparation for that I think I think shows. I think any time I wasn’t asking Mitt Romney a hypothetical question, but you have a sense of the way you know that a politician can easily respond to a question and say it’s a hypothetical. And so knowing what he said in the past, if he comes back to you and says it’s a hypothetical, to be able to have all the necessary talking points and information at your fingertips to be able to come back with.
LAMB: Were you surprised at yourself there? Because ...
GOLDMAN: In retrospect, looking back, I’m a little I was a little surprised.
GOLDMAN: Because it was combative. Not necessarily combative, but I had never been in that kind of situation before, where you did need to have that back and forth and be able to come back with that kind of information. And I had never really interviewed Mitt Romney or spoken with him before.
LAMB: Could you do that with the President, do you think?
GOLDMAN: I think so. I think in you know the opportunities now that you have to interact with the President are more through press conference settings that we’ve been looking at. In the interviews that I I’ve conducted a couple of interviews with him and you can have that kind of back and forth.
LAMB: Where do you it’s a bad way to ask it hang out during the daytime in the White House?
GOLDMAN: So we have when you look at the White House, you see the West Wing and you see the residence there. And in the middle is where the press shop is and in the basement, which you can see there; that is our it’s kind of an OSHA hazard, but it’s these two little desks right next to each other and that’s our that’s our booth.
LAMB: How much time do you spend there?
GOLDMAN: It just depends. You know now, as the campaign has been heating up, the action; there isn’t much to cover at the White House every day. It’s really on the road and wherever the President is. So when there’s a lot happening in the White House, I might spend most of the day there; the night ...
LAMB: Do you do you have to edit your own pieces? In other words, do you do any video editing there on your computer?
GOLDMAN: No. That’s all down at our bureau.
LAMB: We have a piece of tape from it’s not tape, but we have recorded with Ed Henry, of Fox News and he used to be at CNN, interacting with Jay Carney.
GOLDMAN: Yes. (VIDEO BEGINS)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This President, as that operation demonstrates, finds the use of the kinds of information that is protected in our national security environment highly important. He has to make life and death decisions based on that information all the time and he thinks it is extremely important that that information be safeguarded.
ED HENRY, FOX NEWS: One of Governor Romney’s advisors yesterday, Richard Williamson, flat out accused the National Security Advisor, Tom Donilon, of leaking information ...
CARNEY: Right . He accused him he made that accusation based on rumors he said he’d heard in the journalistic community. That same person called Russia the Soviet Union on multiple occasions. He called Governor Romney Governor Reagan on several occasions, and could not, in my that I could tell, accurately or intelligently or coherently state a foreign policy difference between this President and the Governor. So I would let the investigations take place.
LAMB: Were you there that day?
GOLDMAN: No, I was not there.
LAMB: Question though about the overall briefings.
LAMB: Something that we’ve covered since they’ve been on television; are we getting our money’s worth? Should we do this?
GOLDMAN: I think so, because it forces, in some ways, the White House to answer questions on the record and to have a spokesperson’s face, voice and image be attached to a statement. Some ways I think the White House is a little too quick sometimes to speak in an unattributed basis and so yes, you can ask what purpose the briefings serve. I think for networks, it’s for their evening newscasts and the morning newscasts, it’s an opportunity to have that sound bite of Jay Carney reacting to the story.
And one thing Jay Carney has made a point of doing, and this I think is a result of his own experience as a White House correspondent you know he doesn’t just call on the first two rows of the briefing room. He makes sure to get to you asked about some of the blogs and other news organizations and he makes a point of calling on a variety of organizations.
LAMB: We when we started this, you said that you grew up as a little girl saying well on your microphone saying this is Julianna ...
GOLDMAN: Roving reporter; yes.
LAMB: ... Goldman, roving reporter. Has this worked out the way you thought it would? And are you I mean 31 years old, White House correspondent, Bloomberg News; 310 million television sets around the world can get, supposedly, Bloomberg News. Is this what you thought would happen? And what would you say to somebody was the ingredient that made it happen for you?
GOLDMAN: For me, I think the ingredient was walking through open doors and finding internships and just trying a variety of different experiences. Again, I go back to the work on the campaign trail; internship. It’s all kind of come together and I can look back and say oh yes; sure, this path this path makes sense.
I think also the importance of having a mentor can’t be can’t be overstated. To have somebody who is who believes in you to give you those opportunities. You know there was I think when it became apparent that Barack Obama was going to go on to win the primary, some people some of the more seasoned reporters who had covered Hillary Clinton, because you know everyone had expected her to win, went on to cover Obama and so you know the fact that Al and my news organization believed in me and my ability to keep covering Barack Obama you know that is why I’m covering the White House today.
LAMB: When did Al Hunt become your mentor?
GOLDMAN: So he came to Bloomberg, I believe in 2004 and then when I moved down in 2006, I would say from the moment I started in print, in the spring of in the spring of 2007.
LAMB: Julianna Goldman, we’re out of time; White House correspondent for Bloomberg, thank you very much for coming .
GOLDMAN: Thank you so much for having me.