About C-SPAN Video Library

The C-SPAN Archives records, indexes, and archives all C-SPAN programming for historical, educational, research, and archival uses. Every C-SPAN program aired since 1987, now totaling over 160,000 hours, is contained in the C-SPAN Archives and immediately accessible through the database and electronic archival systems developed and maintained by the C-SPAN Archives. More Info

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Who First Used Obamacare?

June 13, 2013

The New York Times (June 13, 2013) profile of Anthony Weiner’s congressional career contains this statement: “Mr. Weiner gave in, and went on to fight for Obamacare — ‘a term, by the way, that I coined,’ he said.” We are not the first to write about the origin of Obamacare. A Google search turns up lots of references including another New York Times article with a timeline of the use of the word. They quote a lobbyist’s use in a health care publication in 2007 and Mitt Romney using it in campaign speech in 2008. The first congressional use they cite is a July 9, 2009 insertion in the Congressional Record from a Wall Street Journal editorial.

Here at the C-SPAN Video Library we like spoken references over insertions because we record what congress members say every day. If they don’t say, there is no video record. Interestingly, the first spoken references begin later that month on July 21, 2009 when Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), a medical doctor, says “We have a proposal that I call ObamaCare that’s being debated here in the Halls of Congress.” It began to be used everyday on the House floor by Republicans in the following days.

Our first Romney reference is February 18, 2010 when he appeared with Senator Scott Brown (R-MA). It was shortly after that President Obama used the term in the healthcare summit on February 25, 2010.

Democrats did not start using the term until much later since it was being used pejoratively by Republicans. Interestingly on Washington Journal, the host reads an article from Donald Lambro of the Washington Times calling the not yet enacted plan Obamacare, but the guest Rep. Weiner does not use the term in his answer or anytime in the program. The first congressional floor reference to Obamacare by Rep. Weiner is on May 24, 2011 when he said when he said, “We didn’t go this way in the Obamacare plan, which I proudly call that.”

Reporters and journalist can use the C-SPAN Video Library for fact checking of the public record. It contains so many public events, including all congressional sessions, that it provides an invaluable research resource.

200,000 Hours of Digital Programming

June 10, 2013

The C-SPAN Video Library is approaching 200,000 hours of digital programming. This makes the C-SPAN Video Library the largest, accessible political collection in the world. Every hour – all 200,000 of them – are searchable, clippable, and shareable. No other collection can boast of such accessibility. No other network makes the entirety of its broadcast day available in digital form immediately after it is telecast. In addition, C-SPAN has reached back to its earliest programming and indexed and digitized this programming.

Explore the video library find programming of the last week that you missed or programming of the last quarter century that you never saw. You can use people, or keyword, or text searching to find what public officials have said in many public forums. It has been called a treasure trove of politics.

Vice President Biden Eulogies

June 5, 2013

The eulogy delivered by Vice President Joe Biden for Senator Frank Lautenberg was just the latest of sixteen total eulogies he has delivered as senator and vice president. While Biden was a senator from 1973 to 2009, he gave his first recorded eulogy in 2003 for fellow Senator Strom Thurmond. As senator, he delivered eulogies for former Delaware Senator William Roth, Representative Tom Lantos, and Senator Claiborne Pell.

As vice president he has been particularly active in going to funerals. Of the ones we have covered, he has spoken for Senator Kennedy, his mother Jean Biden, Senator Mathias, Rep. Murtha, Senator Byrd, Senator Stevens, Journalist David Broder, Rep. Donald Payne, Senator George McGovern, Senator Warren Rudman, and Senator Inouye.

C-SPAN covers many funerals and memorial services of public figures at which other political leaders speaks. Try searching memorials and funerals to see what you can find in the C-SPAN Video Library.

Senator Frank Lautenberg, 1924-2013

June 3, 2013

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) passed away this week. He served in the Senate from 1982-2001. He subsequently served again from 2003 until his death. His second service was when Senator Torricelli dropped out of the race because of scandal and Lautenberg was tapped late in the race. He has over 800 appearances in the C-SPAN Video Library. Here is last speech when he retired from the Senate in 2000.

In keeping with Senate tradition, flowers were placed on the desk of Senator Lautenberg following his death.

James Comey on C-SPAN

May 30, 2013

James Comey, reportedly the nominee for FBI director, has twenty-one appearances on C-SPAN. One timely one is a 2007 forum in which he discusses the process and issues of media subpoenas. Here is a clip of his remarks.

Use the C-SPAN Video Library to research other Comey appearances.