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Nation Books author and former green jobs advisor to the Obama White House Van Jones was interviewed on CNN's Situation Room after the second presidential debate on Tuesday. Jones called the president "passionate" and "focused," saying that Obama's defense of his handling of the terrorist attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya, was a "moment that will go down in debate history." 

Jones, who Time magazine called one of the 100 most influential people in the world, is the author of Rebuild the Dream, in which he reflects on his journey from grassroots outsider to White House insider, shares intimate details of his time in government, and proposes a powerful game plan to restore hope, fix our democracy, and renew the American Dream. 

In this pre-debate panel, Jones said his advice to the President would be to "defend his green jobs record." Plus "Obama has been good for Ohio," Jones said

In this segment below, Jones discusses the Republicans' VP pick, Paul Ryan.

According to the popular blog Crooks and Liars

Van Jones hit the nail on the head in this short segment during his CNN commentary about the debate. His remark was simple and straightforward. Speaking to the overall debate and issues at hand, Jones said, "One of the things I think is difficult about the media is that we focus on the horse race aspect of this. There's a horserace aspect, but there's also a history aspect." He expanded that thought by saying, "This guy could be President. Paul Ryan could be President." There's a scary thought, no? The man who thinks Supreme Court decisions are the whim of unelected judges and therefore not legitimate could ascend to the presidency.

Meanwhile, John Nichols was interviewed on MSNBC's the Ed Show earlier this week about the ramifications of money in politics. Nichols also discussed the legality of company bosses being able to tell their employees who to vote for in the upcoming election. Nichols criticized Mitt Romney for making a personal call to a group of independent business owners and urging them to convince their employees to vote a certain way. Click here to watch. 

Nichols, whose book Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, From Madison to Wall Street was published this February by Nation Books, is the Washington correspondent for the Nation and a contributing writer for the Progressive and In These Times. His forthcoming book, Dollarocracy: How Billionaires Are Buying Our Democracy and What We Can Do About Italso from Nation Books, is co-authored by Robert McChesney and will be out next spring. Don't miss Nichols' regular blog for the Nation.com, here.

While Nichols has been writing recently about right-wing leaders, Nation Books author Peter Dreier has been focusing more on progressive movements in history. The author of The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame was recently featured on the Tavis Smiley show on PBS. Dreier said:

If you think about back in 1900, and the things that were concidered radical back then: social security, women's right to vote, the dismantling of Jim Crow, poll taxes...the minimum wage, laws protecting consumers and the environment, and laws giving workers the right to unionize. Those are all things that were once considered radical and now they are considered common sense...a lot of people don't realize how hard it was to win these gains. And if we remind people that it takes struggle, it takes protest...then people will realize they need to be out in the streets. 

Peter Dreier is E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics and Director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College. The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century looks at the ways we all stand on the shoulders of the earlier generations of radicals and reformers who challenged the status quo of their day. 

And if you missed it, stay tuned for video of a recent event at Demos in which Dreier was interviewed by the inimitable Bill Moyers. 

Tags: barack obama, election, election 2012, john nichols, mitt romney, paul ryan, peter dreier, rebuild the dream, van jones

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