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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  June 5, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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>> we expected to take longer but we're happy it's done now, so, yeah. >> thank you very much. >> all right, rachel, a little bit of sampling. you hear the chanting that will go on for a while and they'll celebrate for a long time nightth into the night. happening a lot quicker than most people thought. but the celebration is under way. >> ron allen at scott walker headquarters. thank you very much, i really appreciate your time tonight, plan. >> we'll be back at midnight. recapping the news from this hour. nbc news has projected that the winner in the gubernatorial recall in wisconsin is the incumbent republican governor scott walker. now time for "the last word" o'. see you at midnight. i plugged in snapshot, and 30 days later, i was saving big on car insurance. i was worried it would be hard to install. but it's really easy. the better i drive, the more i save. i wish our company had something this cool. yeah. you're not... filming this, are you?
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tonight, the really big winner in the wisconsin recall election is -- president obama. >> wisconsin is having just a complete democratic small democratic explosion. >> showdown in wisconsin! >> projecting a pretty high turnout. >> 3700 people in the district, at least 25 to 2600 voting today. >> today's race is finally going to be decided by wisconsinites. >> i've never had to wait close to this time. it's remarkable. >> it comes down to turnout. >> a maximized turnout. >> the seventh time in the past 14 months that voters have gone to the polls. >> we're not conceding any vote
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anywhere. >> our governor is the only governor in this country that has a criminal defense fund. >> the day filled with passion and polarization. >> governor walker wants to make this initial election. >> certainly made this a national issue. >> there's some that want to make it a national election. >> this is really sprawled out into other states. >> learn a lot about tonight. >> this is a big, clear election. >> major implications on the presidential race. >> you know, wisconsin the last few weeks? mitt romney. >> the governor of 47th snt state? job growth. >> clinton found another adjective to describe a romney presidency. >> his plan is to go back to the bush program, except on steroids. >> the romney republican play is austerity and more unemployment now. and blow the lid off later. >> no one better to deliver this message than bill clinton. >> you have to take the facts out there.
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nbc news declares republican governor, scott walker, the projected winner over democratic milwaukee mayor, tom barrett, in the governor's recall election. governor walker will keep his governorship after the most expensive campaign in wisconsin's history and what a difference a supreme court decision made. the citizens united ruling allowed allowed $63 million to be spent in a wisconsin statewide election, double what was spent in the 2010 election, that delivered the governorship to scott walker. here's how all the money breaks down. governor walker has spent $29 million. pro walker outside organizations have spent a total of $16 million, including $6 million from the cook brothers super pac
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americans for prosperity. $250,000 from former gingrich backer aid adelson and $100 from foster freese. and tom barrett that ran against walk her 2010 has spent just $3 million pro barrett outside groups, mostly unions, have spent another $6 million. in 2010, turnout in wisconsin's gubernatorial race was 50%. today, it's predicted to be at the 69% level of the 2008 presidential election. ru republican governor scott walker survive. control of the wisconsin state senate still hangs in the blajs. three republican state senators are up for recall, including the senate majority leader, scott fitzgerald. there's an opened vote for a
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fourth senate seat in the state where the incumbent republican has resigned. the wisconsin senate is currently evenly split, 16 republicans to 16 democrats, thanks to that resignation. democrat tom barrett went into today's election with the endorsement of president obama, who tweeted -- i'm standing by tom barrett. he'd make an outstanding governor. b.o. while scott walker made his own presidential connection with this tweet. president regan died on june 5th, 2004, let's win one for the gipper. joining me now are rachel maddow, host of "the rachel maddow show." and dorian warren, assistant professor of political science at columbia university and fellow at the roosevelt institute in new york. rachel, the exit polls indicated
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this was going to be close. we were being warned we were going to be up very late tonight counting the votes. the decision came in sooner than we expected. what does it mean in national terms and also, what does it mean in terms of the future of wisconsin? >> i think it means more in terms of policy than it does in electoral outcomes. everybody is wondering whether or not wisconsin is going to be a swing state in november. i think a lot of other things are going to affect that in wisconsin, more than this governor's race. but i think it's important in terms of policy and what drove this recall in the first place. and the reason that this all happened in wisconsin, the reason wisconsin became a totally unrecognizable place when compared with its previous politics is because republicans decided to strip union rights in that state. this is absolutely, i think, going to be seen as an undergirding for further policy development in that area from the republicans.
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i think that can be catastrophic in electoral terms for the democratic party in the long run. if they essentially eliminate public sector unions the democrats will lose one of their most important and strongest allies they have in any election. so i think the republicans are going to be emboldened by this. with wisconsin, we'll have to watch to see what happens with the state senate races. four on the bubble tonight and that could have a real impact in terms of what happens next in terms of wisconsin's policy. >> this will be close in the end. how does one take a mandate for governor walker's policies? it seems like he's going to squeak by. >> i think people take mandates when they want to take mandates. >> yes, they do. >> they don't extrapolate from their real numbers. they decide whether or not they want to act in a bold way and then call it a mandate. so i think walker is likely to keep pursuing the agenda he has. i don't think he'll be a uniteder not a divider.
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no conciliatory approach, especially if the national republicans respond by trying to make him a cause celeb in a way that extends i don't understand the recall. if there's talk about scott walker running with mitt romney and as ed said earlier the bro expect of him having a prominent speaking role at the convention that's every incentive for him to continue being as radical as he's been and more. >> john, at the top of the show i said president obama was the big winner tonight because in the exit polls we saw today they were asked who would you vote for president today? 53% in wisconsin, 53% say president obama. only 42% say mitt romney. that is, if not the recall outcome, that outcome for president obama with has to be very encouraging. >> very encouraging, lawrence and something the campaign in chicago sent out as a news release as soon as the earliest exit polls showing the president with the lead came through.
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they think that wisconsin is a state that's pretty solid for them. it's been blue for a long time. it's a state that not only barack obama won by 13 or 14 points last time around but also, was won narrowly by john kerry and al gore in 2000 and won by bill clinton in 1996 and 1992 so it's been a long time since the state has been republican. the romney people are not spending money there. there's one electoral affect is that in a hotly contested state election where to some extent it was about a contest between outside money and on-the -- boots on the ground grassroots organizing on the other side, money won. if you think about the army of republican multimillionaires and billionaires who are think about writing big checks to super pacs they look at him and say our dollars helped to keep scott walk her his job. we can beat the ground game where it's close and they'll be all the more likely to write
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checks and that's bad news. >> dorian, john's right. money won at a 7-1 spending ratio. more than the democrats to win this thing. and citizens united allowed them to do it. >> that's right. remember, president obama, vice president biden spent no time in the state campaigning for barrett, the mayor of milwaukee, in this race. so remember, we're going to see a lot more action from them closer to the election psyche in to win the state. but barrett, presumably loss without their support being outspent 7-1 as you pointed out. i think rachel is right. i think this will embolden the republican governors across the country to keep going after especially sector unions because that's the last remaining source of money for ground troops of the democratic party. >> if i was a republican governor and saw what happened to walker i would say, i'm not doing it. i just barely survive and i have
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to raise all that money. rachel, i want to go to another exit poll indicating good news for president obama. a complete failure of the romney message. who would do a better job improving the economy. 44% say president obama. 36% say mitt romney. >> it is amazing to see that eight-point spread on that critical, critical economy question and as you point out, an 11-point margin of theoretical victory pore president obama over mitt romney. among the electorate that just decided to keep scott walker. we think about, i think, part sa partizanship being much more homogeneous. they have different levels of government when they make their decisions. so to have an electorate return
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scott walk her which is was and be so pro obama, i think john is right to talk about the fact that overall in wisconsin it's not likely that wisconsin will be an uphill battle for obama/biden in the fall. if republicans want to fight i'm sure the democrats would to see them spend lots of resources going for it but they did, in fact, vote for kerry and clinton both times and they voted for obama by something like 12, 13, 14-point margin. so it's going to be hard to see this as a bad night for obama. even though it was a bad night for tom barrett. >> john, there's sure to be a lot of second-guessing. should the president have gone to wisconsin. could he have tipped the balance. when you look at the exit poll i think you see what the conservative political call was to stay out of there. the president comes out of the exit poll, as rachel said, 53% among voters who voted to keep scott walker. on electorate that votes to keep scott walker.
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he wants all 06 those 53% which include people that voted to keep scott walk her his job. i get the feeling he didn't want to go to wisconsin and tell those voters they were wrong about that because that could all natd for him in. >> i think that's right. the president's political team is conservative with a small "c." very pragmatic. one of their resources are financial. others of their resources include the president's prestige. they looked at the race and saw the writing on the wall. >> let me interrupt, we're getting the word that the republican lieutenant governor survived her recall election, too. she's going to hang on and stay in her office. go ahead, john. >> i think the president's teaming saw the writing on the wall and they thought that governor walker was likely to hang on. i think they look at the state as we -- rachel and i and others have been saying, it's a pretty safe state for the president. if wisconsin is in peril in november barack obama has much
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bigger problems wisconsin is the least of his problems. i think they wanted to keep the president's nose out of it. it was not a bold decision but they're playing to win and winning in this case means trying to be careful to, as you said, not alienate parts of the electorate that may have had problems with the notion of a recall at all and thought that this was an improper -- this election should have never happened. some of those people who voted for walker first time around voted for president obama in 2008, and look at this as all of an illegitimate exercise the president didn't want to alienate anybody that would put this race into place. i think he wanted to make the safe call here. and a lot of democrats might be upset with him but it was the prudent call. >> thanks, lawrence. just a repeat. nbc news is projecting the lieutenant governor will also hold on to her seat in wisconsin. we'll keep you abreast of all of the latest developments in the wisconsin recall election
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nbc news is projecting that the rupp governor and lieutenant governor of wisconsin have both survivored the recall campaign against them. they are the projected winners tonight in the election in wisconsin. we'll have all of the wisconsin election results coming up. we'll also talk about why bill clinton is the 2012 weapon of choice for the democrats. that's next. in high school, i had a physics teacher by the name of mr. davies. he made physics more than theoretical, he made it real for me.
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we built a guitar, we did things with electronics and mother boards. that's where the interest in engineering came from. so now, as an engineer, i have a career that speaks to that passion. thank you, mr. davies. our cloud is made of bedrock. concrete. and steel. our cloud is the smartest brains combating the latest security threats. it spans oceans, stretches continents. and is scalable as far as the mind can see. our cloud is the cloud other clouds look up to. welcome to the uppernet. >> i don't think it's important to re-elect the president. i think it is essential to
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re-elect the president if we want this country to have the kind of future that our children and 2k3wr57bd children deserve. >> that was bill clinton at one of three fundraisers forepresident obama last night. no question the former president isity major asset to the current president's re-election campaign. in just one night, bill clinton helped the obama campaign raise more than $3 million. but the media is still hanging on bill clinton's every word to see if they can find any gap, any room between a bill clinton sentence and a obama campaign policy and the media think they found it again today when bill clinton said this about the bush tax rates. >> i don't have any problem with extending all of it now, but the real issue is not whether they should be extended for another few months.
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real issue is whether the price the republican house will put on that extension is the permanent extension of the tax cuts which i think is an error. >> of course, the obama campaign position is that the bush tax rates should not be extended for all brackets. they should not be extended for the top income tax brackets and, tonight, bill clinton's spokesperson issued this clarification. as president bill clinton has said many times before, he supported extending all of the cuts in 2010 as part of the budget agreement, but does not believe the tax cuts for the wealthiest americans should be extended again. in the interview he simply said that he doubted that a lernl agreement on spending cuts and revenues would be reached until after the election. this one comes after last week's media frenzy over one word, one adjective that bill clinton used
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when discussing mitt romney's experience and qualifications for the presidency. >> no question that in terms of getting up and goes to the office and, you know, basically, performing the essential functions of the office, a man who's been governor and had a sterling business career eyeses the qualification threshold. >> joining me now quarterback karen finny, former communications director and current msnbc political expert. and anna marie cox. my position is, this is all a frenzy around what clinton is saying is media frenzy. he's speaking and one word come into his head and it sounds like it's at some variance with the obama campaign. what could you make of the clinton controversies? >> well, they are exactly that, lawrence. a media frenzy and i'm sure clinton himself, probably enjoys
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it. >> yes. >> and part of me wonders if he doesn't do it on purpose. there's really no doubt that he supports obama's re-election. i think that some of the things that have happened in the recent past do highlight the fact that clinton is a really good surrogate for clinton. and i do mean himself and not necessarily his wife. he's not such a great surrogate for obama. a great fundraiser and incredible in that department. but he doesn't automatically transfer all of the people that voted for him or all of his characteristic, his charm and savvy to obama but endorsing him. >> karen finny, i believe there's a tension that lives inside every president's brain while they're president, that is ultracareful about every single word they speak. and as soon as they're no longerment, there's a certain relaxization that comes in that allows certain words to yeep out here and there. before you get into this, karen,
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i want to listening to bill clinton's response to what he really meant to say. his clarification of what he was really trying to say last week about mitt romney's business record. >> if point i was trying to make the other day is that, you have examples of private equity doing good and bad things over the last decade. i think the president was on stronger ground, i thought, when he went after what he disagreed with in governor romney's record as governor. because that's something that's out there in the public domain. we don't have to dig for the facts or wonder what the the case was. i don't know enough about the other thing to have a judgment one way or the other. >> karen, bill clinton clearly is going to be, i think, anna marie is right, as long as he's in the campaign he'll say things here and there that he'll have to go back and do some back pfi on like he did there.
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>> after working for bill and hillary clinton for a long time, i don't know that he's enjoying this. i imagine the reaction was, that's not what i said. i can't believe they think i said that. if you had a million to invest, absolutely, mitt romney was your guy. he had a sterling business reputation as a vulture capta capitalist. that's not capitalism. democrats are being attacked for attacking capitalism. the point about the bane record, the business endeavors he engaged in was about return on investment for million-dollar investors. that doesn't necessarily make someone a good president. it may mean you're qualified to run for president. but that -- the president has to worry about all those people in that 22% they talk about that lost everything at the time when romney and his investors were making money. i agree with you but i think
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people are trying to find some -- i also think that there may be places where they disagree. i personally don't ever think we should see the ground when there may be some disagreement on things at the same time, president clinton is very clearly supporting obama to the point that the romney team knows what an asset clinton is. they ripped off the clinton "putting people first" and their new tag line is "putting jobs first." so clearly they think clinton is potent. >> in if famous "sterling" quote i saw it before it became controversial and when i saw it i didn't think there was anything out of tune with the obama campaign. the media had to tell me how t outrageous it was. let's listen to what bill clinton said about the problems that president obama has faced as president. >> and he's had to get all this
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done while people as recently as last week were still saying he wasn't born in america. he's had to get all this done with a house of representatives that had one of the tea party members claim that 78 to 81 members of the democratic caucus were members of the communist party and neither the presidential nominee or any of the leaders rebuked him for saying that. this is not the 1950s. at least. mccarthy could skate on the fact that there was one or two living communists walking around. nobody's seen a communist in over a decade. >> anna marie, that's the bill clinton that the obama campaign wants out there? >> yeah. i was listen doing that thinking exactly. that's bill clinton at his best. that's him communicating in a very real way. some things that people kind of think but want to hear from someone like bill clinton. he says that stuff really well. he says it in some ways, better than obama can. obviously, obama can't really say all the struggles he's up
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against. it makes him sound like he's complaining but bill clinton can and that's the exact amessage that the obama campaign wants. >> thank you both very much for going me tonight. coming up, the latest on tonight's vote in wisconsin. governor scott walker and lieutenant governor rebecca klefish, both rupps, have held on to their seats. [ male announcer ] this is corporate caterers, miami, florida.
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>> in wisconsin tonight, the governor and the lieutenant governor have survived the recall campaign but there's very, very bad news in the exit polls for mitt romney. he would lose that state badly if the election were held today, to president obama. that's why mitt romney will say anything. anything, to get elected. we'll look next in the next
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he's always looking for someone tolles blame for the features i just told you and, of course, president george w. bush was at the white house for the unveiling of his painting last week and that was an -- he's always an easy target. and so he's blamed. >> okay. i get it. so you can't refer to how bad things were when you took office. that's the romney rule. so, how does romney senior adviser, ed gillespie explain the romney job creation record in massachusetts? >> you take the first year which is a low-base year when the governor came in and took office and they averaging out over the four years so they're bringing down the gains of his fourth year in office which shows the real impact of his policies and diluting it with the first year in office when he came in and it was 50th in job creation. >> these same people blame the president for job losses that occurred in january of 2009.
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the very month he was inaugurated and months before any of his policies took place. the hypocrisy is breathtaking, even for romney. >> joining they now is msnbc crystal ball. i disagree with stephanie. it is not breathtaking for romney. it is exactly what the romney campaign does every day, all the time. it's entirely predictable. >> you're not shocked and surprised by this, lawrence? >> no. >> your jaw isn't dropping? >> no. >> it reminds me of what he tried to do with his capital record, too. same deal. they want to take credit for all of the jobs' gains from bane from the time he was there to eternity. but the losses tint happen while he was there. so it's this very selective cherry-picking of the facts. that's actually the best that they do is when they're cherry-picking facts. other times when he's talking about obama going around apologizing for america or
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taking a bad situation of the recession and making it worse, they're not even cherry-picking. they're straight-up lying. o'so at least on this one there's is? what of a basis for a talking point. >> ari unearthed an e-mail that creates a problem for mitt romney. early drafts of an op ed that then governor romney wrote for them in 2006. that very carefully defended and explained the individual mandate in what they call now "romney care" in massachusetts. it said, either the individual pays or the taxpayers pay, a free ride on government is not libertarian. that was a line -- that's what the published op ed stated. in a line that didn't make the edited version, romney added an uno o this what he added that didn't make the cut. an uninsured libertarian might
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counter he could refuse the free care but under law, that's impossible and inhumane. that's good old liberal mitt romney, delivering, working on, just pencilling around his op ed piece for the "wall street journal." >> this report shows the thinking process that the then governor romney himself was going through. he even wrote in an e-mail because the journal posted several of them. i was tooling around with it this morning. i'm not sure if it's cerebral enough for the journal but this is where i come down. he wrote that to his aides. you can draw a dreekt line from that exchange to that infamous moment the republican debate when the arguments were being made and you had congressman paul say, sometimes you have to let people die without health care and you had that reaction from at least some republican members of the crowd acting as
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if it were a good thing. that's how far the republican party has mofrd. if you are to believe mitt romney's writings to his inner most aides at the time, what we know is that he had the rebuttal ready. he thought it was, as you said, inhumane. the other point i'll flag is for folks that are really interested you can see more of the e-mails on the journal's website. romney signs offer and says, i want to know you thoughts on the op op ed. and as always, praise is welcome. my best, mitt. you get a feeling that some of those e-mails are legit. >> crystal, let's hold on. more breaking news from wisconsin. that's in the recall of state senator scott fitzgerald. he's the senate majority leader in wisconsin and nbc news is projecting that state -- senate majority leader scott fitzgerald will survive the recall
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campaign, like governor scott walker and lieutenant governor rebecca klefish. he, too, holding on to his office and survives the recall campaign. is now the third republican of the night to survive in wisconsin. what's your take on how things are playing out in wisconsin? >> my take is this. i think tonight, you can't say anything other than that big money won. and it's incredibly unfortunate. i think this election in wisconsin, where you had tons of outside money flooding in to push actually, the american legislative exchange council, extreme corporatist agenda. a very sad statement that these efforts to recall scott walker and his republican allies have failed. but now is the time to recognize that this is the playing field. this is the world we're living in. we have to recommit and reengage
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and be inspired and ready to fight for this november. this is what's going on. not just in wisconsin but across the country. so that's my take-away. we shouldn't be discouraged. it's the results are disappointing. but given the financial advantage, it's no big surprise. and i think what we need to take from this is how important it is to raise our voices as ordinary citizens and get involved and take back that power. >> ari, what do you make of the mixed result in both the polling that kept scott walker in his job, but in the exit pollingi g that says even more people in wisconsin want president obama to be re-elected? >> i think you have a state where there's a strong affinity for the president. it is a state, as well, that's often been a dream of republicans but not a reality in recent presidential cycles. and i think on the ground what you saw is, 48% of the exit poll respondents said that they did
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disapprove of governor walker's approach to collective bargaining. but not all of those people, only, went against him either. so i think it is possible, you know. we simplify sometimes when we look at the electorate and it's possible despite everything that's gone down in that state some people like president obama, are concerned about the governor's collective bargaining approach. and his aproperty, perhaps, to a lot of public servants but didn't feel that was reason to recall him. let's not forget, recall is an extraordinary step. it's not just a no-vote. it's for some voters that feels like an impeachment or higher-level bar. we underestimate the voter sophistication. they may disagree with you ultimately decide to let him finish out his term. >> thanks so much for joining me, both of you. still ahead, the latest voting results in the wisconsin recall vote. and later, if you want to know why governing is wicked hot
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puck chinese takeout taco truck free range chicken pancake stack baked alaska 5% cash back. right now, get 5% cash back at restaurants. it pays to discover. in tonight's "rewrite" the letter that rewrites your future. remember when you got your college acceptance letter. remember what it felt like to open it and then what it felt like to read it? did you make it all the way through the first time you started the read it? how many times did you read it in the next few days? this is the season for college acceptance letters and rejection letters. you already know that if you have a high school senior in your family, as i do. you've seen the jumping up and down, the shouts and screams of joy. and you've seen the tears. you've seen a 17-year-old instantly relieved of the four years of academic pressure that
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has built and built and built to this moment, to this tidal wave of emotion that hits when it all comes down to the words on that piece of paper. we have a high school senior in the bronx, the first in her family to apply to college. she was guided in that process by the college-bound initiative of college access programs serving nearly 9,000 low-income students in more than a dozen new york city and philadelphia public high schools. the college-bound initiative places fulltime college counselors in high-need schools to guide students in the college application process. her parents came to the bronx from the small east african country shortly before she was born, in 1993. her parents are divorced now and
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she lives with her mother, a hotel housekeeper. her father is a cab driver. gettysburg college, which began sending acceptance letters 30 years before the civil war battle of gettysburg was to take place, beside the campus, sent one of those letters this year. >> congratulations! congratulations! don't cry! >> is this real? is this real?
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>> can you read it? >> it is my pleasure that you have been admitted for academic year 2012. your academic record -- >> your academic record and scholastic achievements clearly identify you as the type of student we would be pleased to have at gettysburg. your acceptance is a significant accomplishment and we congratulate you on this important milestone. [ woman ] for the london olympic games, our town had a "brilliant" idea. support team usa and show our olympic spirit right in our own backyard. so we combined our citi thankyou points to make it happen.
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tom chipped in 10,000 points. karen kicked in 20,000. and by pooling more thankyou points from folks all over town, we were able to watch team usa... [ cheering ] in true london fashion. [ male announcer ] now citi thankyou visa card holders can combine the thankyou points they've earned and get even greater rewards. ♪ trouble with a car insurance claim. [ voice of dennis ] switch to allstate. their claim service is so good, now it's guaranteed. [ normal voice ] so i can trust 'em. unlike randy. are you in good hands?
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the best that can be hoped for right now is gridlock. bring a stop to everything that obama wants. >> this is just a design for failure and if there's uncertainty in the marketplace
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and there is, by the way, it's because it is uncertain and becoming increasingly clear that congress won't get the job done. >> ultimately, gridlock is not good for the markets. >> we were sent here to serve the american people. and they deserve better than gridlock and games. >> so let's take a moment to consider. what if gridlock is not the republicans fault? what if gridlock is not the democrats' fault? what if gridlock is not rush limbaugh's fault? what if gridlock is the fault of the founding fathers? joining me now is ut austin and law government professor, sanford levinson, author of "the new york times" op-ed piece recently entitled "our imbecilic constitution." and "framed, america's 51 constitutions and the crisis of governance." sanford levinson, you say in your piece that elections are
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increasingly meaningless, in terms of producing results commensurate with the challenges facing the country. and you blame the constitution. >> yes. 2010 is a good example. actually, the election going back many years, are good examples, that unless you're lucky enough and it really happens, that you capture the presidency and significant majorities in house and senate, really the last time that happened was lyndon johnson and that was in 1964. then it is very likely that one of the two houses of congress will end up, in esk, vetoing bills passed by the other, or if they don't -- if they agree, it's always possible that with the stroke of a pen, a president can veto legislation passed by the house and congress and the odds are overwhelming that the
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veto will be upheld. >> it seems to me that if you want activist government, this constitution is not the one to give it to you. and it was written by people very much concerned with how to describe the limits of government, possibly, more than anything else. >> that's certainly true. one of the recurrent themes of the federalist papers is, first of all, distrust of popular government. distrust of the "we the people" in whose name the constitution was written. and secondly and you're absolutely right, a distrust of anything that we might, today, call activist government. i point out, incidentally, that even though obviously admirers of your show with whom i won, usually think of liberal activist government. i also think that one of the things that explains the current, roughly, 10% approval
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rate of congress is that there's a lot of conservatives who are equally frustrated, they thought they won some elections. and they discovered that they aren't able to get their policies adopted. i think that if you look at the country today, you find massive alienation from government. and a feeling that whatever your particular issues are, congress just isn't responding. >> you point out a couple of anti-democratic things in the constitution including the electoral college and the united states senate where i worked for eight years. you can't work in the senate without developing an institutional affection for it and without realizing how profoundly undemocratic that institution is. >> yes. back in 1787, the ratio between the smallest state, which was then delaware, and the largest state, if you count the slaves well, which was virginia, was, i think, around 17-1.
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that was enough for james madison to describe the senate as an evil. he said it was a lesser evil. the greater evil would have been no constitution at all so he was ultimately willing to compromise with delaware. but if you look at wyoming and california, the smallest and the largest states respectively, the ratio is roughly 70-1. so that's about four times, three to four times the ratio of delaware and virginia back in 1787. >> the senate, basically, represents land more than it represents people. and, yet, controls the outcome of governing in a, allegedly, democratically constituted government. >> and the way i describe the senate is that it is the most
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important affirmative action program in american politics. and -- >> yes, it is. >> and the people being benefitted are the residents of small states. it's not even that you can make the argument that if you could before the 17th amendment, that the senate might have had something to do with preserving a distinctive sort of american federalism because senators used to be chosen by state legislatures and there are members of the tea party who would like to repeal the 17th amendment. one you have popular election of senators, then you get rid of any link between the senate and the institutions of state government. and it really is nothing more than this remarkable affirmative action program. >> and you make the point that the worst thing about the constitution, is that it is