tv Washington Week PBS October 1, 2010 7:00pm-7:30pm PST
gwen: washington hates uncertainty. but that's all we've got right now. uncertainty as congress leaves up to to campaign and uncertainty as a washington upheaval begins. we explain why on "washington week." >> there better not be an enthuse yism gap, people! >> our memberings left congress last night very confident in the majority. . >> i don't think the democrats will pick up a single seat from republicans. >> republicans and democrats singing from their song books. gwen: the midtown election begins in ernest.
also going home to campaign but different, white house staff rahm emanuel. >> welcome to the least suspenseful announcement of all time. >> taking his position is peat ralph. >> the good news for him is that we plenty of problems to solve. >> faced with a critical month ahead how is washington going to cope? joining us is gloria borger of cnn. christi parsons of 2 "chicago tribune." gloria borger of cnn and jeff zeleny of "new york times." >> live from our nation's capital. this is "washington week" with gwen ifill. funding is provided by --
>> what if you could just be you? what if you had your last bad date? what if she's out there? what if he's out there? what if you could be loved for exactly who you are. -- who you are? you can. funding for washington week is also provided by boeing, exxonmobil, the epics in excellence journalism foundation, the an nenburg foundation. the corporation for public broadcasting and from contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. once again, live from washington, moderator gwen
ifill. gwen: good evening. that echo you hear, that sound is the sound of washington when congress leaves town. naturally the two parties didn't see their hastey exit exactly the same way. >> and the public didn't like the stimulus. the public didn't like the health care bill. the public didn't know what the wall street bill was about. and the blick is -- the public is deeply concerned that we are spending too much and too many washington takeovers. i think what we can say about our friends on the other side of the aisle, they are a unified union to leave. >> it's a political strategy with one goal in mind, november. >> when mitch mcconnell and
harry reid goes home, things got noisier with campaign ads and newcomers all trying to breakthrough leading up to election day. the president is trying to breakthrough as well. >> it is good to see this crowd so fired up! [cheers] >> i need you to be fired up. i need you to stay fired up! all the way until november 2nd. all the way to november 2nd. because november 2nd is going to say a lot about your future. a lot about your individual future but also about the future of our country. gwen: our panelists have been digging deep on capitol hill and the white house to get to the heart of the uncertainty that's driving the rhythm of the heart and senate races, the governor's races and white
house staff upheaval. tonight a sense of what they're seeing starting jeff and gloria who have been in ohio, always a swing state never more so than now. what have you been sighing on the ground? >> i think what i found is that the democratic voters that i spoke with, didn't have any sense of the states in this election that the president is talking about and that the democratic leadership and the continuing is talking about. i did a little jay leno thing. i went around with a microphone. democrats, self-identified democrats, what's the message of the democratic party. and they're like -- i don't really know. and then i asked them what the message of the republican party. and they could tell kwlue the republican message is is that there's too much government intervention in your life that we've got too much debt. so it's very clear to me that whatever message they're trying to get across coming out of for the democrats isn't working and
that has to do a lot with your enthusiasm gap. >> jeff, i'm curious whether you heard the same thing. and is it harder to fix this thing that you're against. and the party out of power always has the most poe tenlt message? >> it's why president obama did so well in ohio because he was against republican message. i think there is a lot of that. this is -- i mean, it is easier to be gheans' happening in washington. one other thing i've found talking to voters and i've been going back to ohio for the past several months, maybe economic conditions that are so dire. in some countys the unemployment rate is 27%, a lot of factory closing. you spent sop time with robert strickland.
the smallest one he's been to is a couple new employees. but he's trying to talk about that it's improving. they about neck and neck about 43-42. that is good news. he thinks that he can hold on. it's really a -- i mean, the economic conditions they are very bad and across the midwest. gwen: this is what it sounds like from the ground. when members of congress fled this week a little early to get campaigning started, what are they most worried about? >> i think one of the things they're most worried about is they did all of this stuff and they're not getting any credit over it. one of the things i think is
most interesting is the heal care bill, obviously a monumental bill. there's not a single person in the house or senate saying i voted for the health care by. they're saying health care? is there really a health care bill. the only people you see them talking about it is the republican candidates. and they're losing everything. then we say at the white house have decided that enthusiasm is good. he says this is no time to sit on the sidelines. but here's like a couple of weeks late? >> one thing i don't really get why this message hasn't penetrated more. health care is an issue that just fired the whole o bama campaign. that was a big sell. i guess the economy is more
important to people. and i think that's clearly on the way. but you have to wonder about the message that the white house have been delivering it. it's very hard to try and solve a message saying, look, if we haven't been here, thing would have been worse. some people can't see. they can't feel. they say unemployment is still high. there are some sayings that have taken effect recently. but stimulus they didn't see it as much as they saw it. gwen: even though there are no reports talking about how it is a lot lesswe have seen republic
was flowing into this election, we should have done this six months ago. >> how could they not know it? >> they didn't want to extend. any of your capital. >> nancy pelosi kept using the word tattoo. she said we're going to tattoo the republican special interest money being sent into this supreme courts case. we're going to tattoo it to every single republican candidate because we have to let people know that the republicans are bought by federal interest. >> at the end of the day, i'm not sure that voters care much. you're raising the question. president obama came in with
this pure approach. i'm not sure if he took great for that. so democrats are sort of boxed in if you will. and they are not contributing because they feel that they been the villains. >> unions are still -- but not as far as before. you know the boot's on the ground, big deal but not as much money as before. it's a problem when you're being spent 8-1. so looking back, this is what each party wants to do, they want to dem nice it for either party. nancy pelosi on the democratsic side. if they go back to campaign we saw both of them trying to go and get their tattoo on the story. let's listen first to nancy pelosi.
>> nothing less is at stake than the choice to going back to the exact agenda of the bush administration or moving america forward. >> that was her interview with my colleague. she was making the point which democrats love to make that this is about the bush administration. we're going to relitigate that now we'll go to john boehner and the way he decided to describe what the issues are. >> the house finds themselveses in a state of emergency. the intuition does not have a break. and seems incapable of acting on the level of it. there's no accountsbility. there's no cons questions. >> i find it interesting neither one of them is being as
honest as they could be about exactly what the situation is. but let's start with the nnsy pelosi part. the republicans have decided they can use as a battering ram to help get republicans effected. is it working? >> they have a little bit more of an edge on things. the difference is no one knows who he is. he's starting to hit his position. nancy pelosi is known. the national committee, they pull her in all of our commen active raises. in every competitive race, not only is she well know but a wall street negative. only 50% of americans said they have a negative impression
ever. if you do it comparable to that in september 1997 she was also well known. his negativity rating was 38%. >> and they tried to attach. >> that doesn't work in the election. she's aware of it. you're. yeah. it's not only republicans attacking her. she's fine with that. gwen: who is distancing themselves with her. today i raised the case of conkman waltman of idaho, a democrat a colleague of mine at cnn. she said i don't know that i would support as nancy pelosi as speaker. she's a go for it. it's not about me. i want to win this election. she's a grown up. she gets it and it's the
democrats that need to distance themselves. they're going to make sure john boehner is and they know that they're going to use him a way to tie the party. >> you heard his name a lot. like every time you turned around someone at the white house of whether or not. >> instead what you're hearing now is more republican bashing. the president with his generalized mention of owing everything and slipping the slur pee as well. the democrats are trying to pull out of this opportunity. it doesn't matter. it breaks down. when he really gets on that mode i've noticed on the
campaign trail layly. he gets a lot of feedback. you know, as he's trying to energize the bay that, is a message works for me. is he persuading them or firing them up? >> it doesn't sound like it's about independence rollers. >> i think they yole out. well, but they need some. so it's a delicate balance because you don't want to get them angry. you're trying to get your base out. think about the races we're following. and your independent voters would go. anymore flay there is the race. not doing that well is an independent. >> he's not because he sort of now has incoming. the democrat, we could say reminding the voters of florida
that she was braising jason thick. then you have marco rupe yo who's the republicans to go out charlie crist if he needs to. marco revealed that he is pullinging arace. s will space for -- if governor has not answered the question who he would caucus with in washington. people get that. you can be independent. but you have to pick sides. >> so when the president says as he did this week that democrats can't afford to be on the sidelines and the vice president says they've got to stop wining. how is that received? is that received well? certainly not received well amongst the base. i think you saw people in washington immediately react when the president says you can't be lazy and sit this one out. i think it kind of angers them.
i don't think their going to stay home and they enjoy the fight right now. >> she said, i'm the base on the democratic party. i'm am dibral democrat. and whenever i was chair or person of the party in california. i was always disappointed of what everybody was doing. and so she's practical. >> her hope is that the base will be pragmatic once shay though is -- the voter as stark choice. >> isn't it something of a guilty trip? if you don't come out and vote, just trying to dish mean. you may be agitated with the president's words.
gwen: here's the question. people keep saying is that they're concerned about the economy. and their concerned about their livings. when john boehner glive as speek speech and talks about i'm going to make sure that the votes about the appropriates committee work a different way. nancy pelosi says go ahead. bash me up. i don't care. any of economic issued that people are concerned about. do we hear about that? >> the only way i would contradict that. process is starting to matter. particularly interested in process during health care and how they move the bill and read the bill and a lot of that conversationtial point poet. when he says to voters in that con ser active tea party
movement. and it's like they say it, we're with it. rahm emanuel the least best kept secret is leaving the white house. haseft as of tonight. left the white house and is going to to hear this. >> mr. president, i thought i was tough. but as someone saw firsthand and what you had to do to put america back on track. i want to thank you for being the toughest leader in any president has ever faced in the toughest times. >> chrisie gets to if tell us how consequencetial is it that rahm emanuel is leaving this white house and running for mail. so or it is something that
comes from that. there was a story about his move towards chicago. the clip that you played was about a president and the work er. >> the other thing felt some sort of an impact. i think it's significant. because no one has been a bigger play gler the white house than rahm emanuel except for the president himself. he bare as lot of responsibility for what's happened. that said, this is not a huge surprise. they've got, you know, the sber interim chief of staff. he's someone i can trusted. he's so low key that most people don't know. >> tell us about him. >> he has been on this side. he was his first tire. he was the chief 06 staff to
the former democratic leader tom daschle. so he decides to higher the saviest person if the summit. should have been a sign. but steve ralph has played a certain roll until his presidential campaign. at the white house he has been a problem solver. if someone expanded the attention the expansion stan of rahm emanuel, pete ralphs would get this he would be a sign the portfolio of guantanamo bay. i think he is a strong chief of staff >>. we call it interim. >> he had a big presence. on the house side pete rouse on
the snath side. are people sad to see rahm emanuel? >> i think so. i think the difference is that his relationship was the member to member. and i think pete ralph's strength is well known among people. he does bring to that beyond the member level just an institutional know-how. and i think this also tills you something about the president. which is that he went for comfort zone. there was a lot of talk. ok. it's after two years. this is a very insular white house. and he wept for somebody he's known for years. he's been with him since day one. who coach just transitionsed. could he get him elected?
>> yeah. there you are. i think this is somebody who's been there once during the election and he'll be there again. i think it's important for the president to be comfortable with the person he sees first thing in the morning. >> there will be an actual election. not a core nations. i'm not taking any sides. everyone. now everybody get back on the road. you can keep up with what they're rying and what we have to say in our exclusive washington week web cast extra if you flog ant pbs.org. we'll catch with us you again next week on "washington week." good night. >> funding for "washington week" is provided by --
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