By Matthew Keck —

Bob Woodward, who reported on the Watergate scandal, came to Louisville on Oct. 16 to receive the 2019 Brandeis Medal.

“The Brandeis Medal is awarded to people whose lives reflect a commitment to individual liberty, concern for the disadvantaged and public service,” according the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law.

More than 200 people registered for this award ceremony and presentation with Woodward.

Before receiving this award Woodward sat down with Howard Fineman, journalist and U of L Law graduate, for a jovial discussion of politics. The main theme of their discussion centered around President Donald Trump and how he has compared to past presidents that Woodward has covered.

Woodward began the conversation saying, “He [President Trump] does not know how to govern.” He went on to say that the President doesn’t care about governing either, which is what a good leader should be doing.

“I worry he does not understand the consequences of going to war,” Woodward said. “We forget that he almost went to war with Iran.”

This lead to Fineman asking about Trump’s current impeachment proceeding. In response Woodward said he felt that Trump’s phone call with Ukraine was too narrow of an issue for the Democratic party to start the impeachment process.

Throughout his talk with Fineman, Woodward reiterated that an impeachment proceeding on Trump should be aggressive and in-depth. “Something happens, and then it gets soon preceded by something more off the rails and we forget,” Woodward said.

Although Woodward was critical of Trump, he said he would rather have a President in office who just talks and doesn’t act upon what he says. He touched on Trump wanting to have Joe Biden and his son investigated saying, “Those are just words. Would you rather have a President who’s going to do something like that?”

Woodward closed their discussion with a quote from an interview with Trump, “Real power is fear.” He said that was Trump’s response when he asked him what real power is. This was the inspiration for Woodward’s 2019 book “Fear: Trump in the White House”.

Woodward joins a short list of recipients who have been awarded the Brandeis Medal.

Photo By Matthew Keck // The Louisville Cardinal