'This Week' Transcript: David Plouffe and Karl Rove




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Arvind (ph), what is the significance of this kind of accomplishment for you this year?

MAHANKALI (PH): It means that I'm retiring on a good note.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you going to do now that you're retired? Just go play golf or what?

MAHANKALI (PH): Oh, I shall spend this summer, maybe the entire day, studying like physics.



STEPHANOPOULOS: That promise to study physics may be a first for ESPN. Congrats to Arvind for that and his victory.

And when we come back, the member of Congress about to make history in our "Sunday Spotlight."


STEPHANOPOULOS: And today's "Sunday Spotlight," the man you see in that vintage photo from the congressional page class of 1939, right there, then elected to Congress in 1955, taking the seat held by his father. He has been there ever since. And soon, John Dingell will make history, becoming the longest-serving member ever on Capitol Hill, 57 years, 5 months and 26 days.

Congressman Dingell, congratulations.

REP. JOHN DINGELL (D), MICH: Thank you, George. It's great to see you again and be back with you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It's great to be with you. And, boy, your brushes with history began so early. When you were a page, back in 1941, you were right there when Franklin Roosevelt gave that "day of infamy" speech.

DINGELL: I was. I was in the gallery, taking care of a very famous newsman who was to wire record Roosevelt. I let him record not just Roosevelt's speech, but the speech that followed, which he was not supposed to do. And that's a little bit of the history that has been preserved for the country about how people actually felt and how they behaved on the dais in the Congress.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And when you got to Congress, you've now cast I think more than 25,000 votes.

When you look at all of them, if you can point out the vote that was most important to you?

DINGELL: I made a lot of important votes. But I have got to tell you, the one of which I'm almost -- of which I'm most proud and which I think was the most important, was the vote I cast on the '64 Civil Rights Bill, that allowed citizens to vote. You'll remember the country was being torn apart by the denial to our people the right to vote.

And, happily, that began a process that cured it, so that a black American citizen is now sitting in the White House.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That must have been an amazing moment for you to see him sworn after being to vote for that civil rights bill.

DINGELL: It was. And it almost cost me the job.


DINGELL: Well, it had a very nasty election over it. And people said -- "The Wall Street Journal" gave me a 1 in 15 chance of winning. And I just went around and told folks, I said, now, please explain to me why it is that a white man should be able to vote and a black man should not?

And the response of my people was fair and decent. And they agreed with me, although at the start of the debate, they really didn't.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congress is a dramatically different institution since when you first came in 1955. What's the biggest change?

DINGELL: Lack of collegiality, refusal to compromise, an absolute reluctance to work together and I think the total loss of the understanding of the traditions.

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