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tv   Up W Steve Kornacki  MSNBC  August 18, 2013 5:00am-7:01am PDT

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on small business saturday and every day to make shopping small huge. this is what membership is. this is what membership does. sflu a tough on crime politics. a thing of the past. >> we'll get to major speech eric holder delivered this week. but to get there we need to start here. >> number two pick in the '86 draft, and the commissioner, david stern. >> the boston celtics select lynn bias of the university of maryland. >> only one college basketball player in the atlantic coast conference who was more dominant than lynn bias in the 1980s,
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michael jordan. bias was a 6'8" forward, killer jump shot. when the defending champion celtics took him with that second pick in the '86 draft, all of boston celebrated. larry bird was starting to get old but with bias on their team now they'd surely extend their reign for another decade. 36 hours after that draft, he was dead. the cause, cardiac arrythmia. the culprit, cocaine. his death stunned the sports world. his only vice, his college coach had said the week before, was ice cream. it shook the whole country. this was the 1980s. crack was moving into cities, violent crime, and americans were moving to suburbia, and they worried that stories like lynn bias' would be playing out in their own neighborhoods. 1986 was an election year which explains why the fear bias'
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death stoked caught the attention of the political class. >> president reagan signed major new anti-drug law, a law that stiffens the penalty for federal drug crimes and prois almost $2 pl for increased drug enforcement and education. at the bill-signing ceremony, mr. reagan said, this marks a major victory in our crusade against drugs. >> the anti-drug abuse act of 1986 was dismissed early in september, nine weeks after lynn bias died. past congress, as you saw, was signed into law by president reagan at the end of october. this was an election year. since the civil unrest of 1960s republicans were painting democrats soft on crime party. democrats were determined to change that narrative. they controlled the house back then and nothing else. speaker tip o'neill had the perfect chance to show americans his party was tough, too. tough is one word you could use
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to describe the 1986 anti-drug act. steep penalties for crimes involving all sorts of drugs, crack, cocaine, heroin, pcp, even marijuana. the triggers were arbitrary as the bill was cobbled together, a bidding war broke out. democrats would say 20 grams should be the threshold. republicans would say, no, we're tougher, make it ten grams. democrats would come back, how about five? this is where the notorious crack powder sentencing disparity came from, setting mandatory sentencing threshold at 1/100th the level. the intent was to crack down on drug traffickers but it would explode federal prisons. this is all a necessary back drop for the speech that eric holder delivered this past monday. >> it's clear as we come together today that too many
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americans go to too many prisons for far too long for truly no good law enforcement reason. it's clear at a very basic level, the 20th century criminal justice solutions are not adequate to overcome our 21st century challenges. again, it is well past time to implement common sense changes that will foster safer communities from coast to coast. >> the main common sense change that holder announced in that speech is an order to federal prosecutors not to specify the quantity of drugs found on certain nonviolent offenders. in other words, to stop triggering harsh automatic sentences spelled out in the anti-drug abuse act of 1986 for low-level offenders. some of the reaction to holder's speech wasn't that surprising. >> you're telling me these thugs on the street deserve our pity, our slack? you're telling me that? >> there was also this after
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holder's speech -- actual conservatives voicing actual support for what eric holder was saying. here's a piece from national review. on behalf of conservatives, governors and lawmakers around the country as well as justice antonin scalia, we hartley welcome mr. holder what may be a trail we can travel together. there's a lot of people on the right talking this way because the prolific of strict mandatory laws have produced soaring incarceration rates, which have come with a price tag, which is why deeply red states like texas have embraced the same kind of approach eric holder talked about this week. why some very conservative politicians in washington, like kentucky's rand paul and utah's mike lee were calling for federal sentencing reform even before holder spoke up. we watched play out this week a break from the norm since barack obama became president. there was knee-jerk reaction but
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support from republicans, and a lot of republicans who said nothing. is it a bigger break than that even. voices in 1986 and for years after 1986 pleading with americans to rethink that law. but there wasn't much room for them in either party. modern republican party was built on being tougher than the liberal softies on the other side. democrats became obsessed with disproving that claim. it's where stiff mandatory sentenci sentencing, three strikes and you're out, where the incarceration of more than 2.4 million americans, it's where it all comes from. the question is whether we've reached a new place, whether the tougher on crime imperative that drove both parties for a generation is giving way to a new consensus, one that doesn't automatically assume that the most punitive response is the best response. one that leaves room for what eric holder called common sense. have the politics of crime changed and have they changed for good? i want to ask my panel. i'm here with eleanor cliff, contributor to "newsweek" and
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daily beast. congressman akeem jeffries from democrat, republican strategist reverend joe watkins, former white house aide to george h.w. bush, and author of "let's get free: a hip-hop theory of justice." thank you for joining us today. you know, what struck me most listening to eric hold ther week, as i said, was you have -- this is a democratic administration, eric holder comes out and embraces themes not too long ago in american politics would not have just been suicidal, my first question is, paul, how significantly have ching things changed? >> a sea change. i saw "the butler," the heroic civil rights movement from lynching, jim crow, if we think about african-americans and
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criminal justice system of 1930s, '40s, '50s, those were the good old days. now disparity is worse. more blacks in the criminal justice system than slaves in 1950s. one out of three black men on his way to prison, so something has got to be done. that's why the attorney general was stepping up. >> i mean, eleanor, thinking back to -- we showed 1986 in there, you can go through bill clinton embracing three strikes and you're out in the 1990s, what has changed culturally and politically to allow this kind of space? >> well, there's an opening there. the republicans have now moved on to tough on terrorism and they're not obsessed with tough on street crime. street crime has plummeted. i know celebrity murders make the news, and chicago has certainly had more than its share of murders, but bill big cities overall are safer than they once were. the political touchstones, 1988, the race, george h.w. bush
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against michael dukakis, that was seared into every big "d" democrat mind. >> willie horton. >> that's right. the tactics we used in that, dukakis and democrat party was portrayed as soft on crime. bill clinton comes along 1992, takes time off the campaign to go back home to preside over the capital punishment of a mentally retarded it -- >> ricky ray -- >> right. who wanted to save his dessert until later. now, clinton in his defense has said he wasn't mentally retarded when he shot -- i think he shot a cop. >> turned the gun on himself. >> then turned the gun on himself. so that was clinton's rationale. that event turned democrats away from soft on crime. now there's a shift. republicans want to save money and they see how this is crippling -- the cost of incarceration is crippling cities and states and the federal government. i think there's a wonderful
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political opening here. you have right and left joining together. in cases people put behind bars for 10, 20 years for reel really minor crimes where they don't hurt anybody, just hurt themselves. it's heartbreaking. >> you mentioned the willie horton event. i want to illustrate for anybody who has forgotten, what the political climate was like just a generation ago. this is the infamous willie horton ad. it wasn't technically the bush ad that ran against dukakis, but it basically was. >> bush and dukakis on crime. bush supports the death penalty for first degree murderers. dukakis allowed first-degree murderers to have weekend passes from prison. one was willie horton who murdered a boy in a robbery, stabbing him 19 times. despite a life sentence horton received ten weekend passes from prison. horton fled, kidnapped a young couple, stabbed the man and repeatedly raping the girlfriend. weekend prison passes, dukakis
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on crime. >> now, joe, i mean, from the bush sr. white house, not from -- >> i was in that campaign, too, although hi nothing to do with that commercial. i was in that campaign. >> talk about what that tapped into back then and the veins if that still exists today? >> i think some still exists today. when it comes to violent crime where people do really heinous things -- mean, that's still -- no matter what color you are, what group from which you come, you are upset when you see people do terrible things to other folks. anybody that murders folks, rapes folks s not well thought of in society and ought to be put away. everybody would agree on that. but we do have a chance to do something together that is republicans and democrats with regards to changing this sentencing, this stiff sentencing for nonviolent offenders, for people who have small amounts of drugs. and it's not just the cost of having 2.3 or 4 million people in prison because it's an own
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russ cost for anybody but it's the cost of lives, human lives. i think so many young people, african-american and latino men whose lives have been shattered forever by virtue of a prison term. if we could save them and help them not go to prison. if we could find some other way to -- some other punitive measure that doesn't put them behind bars and rob them of an education and support their families, that's a good thing. >> congressman, i wonder if you can speak to the legacy of that ad in terms of shaping democratic policy for the last generation because eleanor started to touch on this, too, when you look at what the clinton administration actually achieved in the 1990s, also at the state level, democrat controlled states in the late '80s and '90s, really, enacted these punitive measures because of fear of what happened to michael dukakis happening to them? >> the legacy of what we're dealing with now is overincarceration, overcriminalization came from bipartisan efforts on the left
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and right enacting tough on crime pieces of legislation. perhaps some was fueled by political expediency and fear among some members of the democratic party not to be perceived as soft on crime, given the fact that you had reprehensible ad says such as that to grate political effect in order to advance republican candidates for office. the good news is that the facts on the ground have changed substantially. the crack cocaine epidemic is over. crime throughout big cities all across america has been reduced dramatically. the prison population is clearly unsustainable fiscally. many have come to view it as morally reprehensible. as everyone on the panel has said today, we really have a meaningful opportunity on both the left and the right to come together and do what's right for america. reduce overcriminalization we've been experiencing in this country for decades. >> i want -- >> we'll pick that up after this break. >> all right. ne... boris earns unlimited rewards for his small business. can i get the smith contract, please?
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those who commit crimes should be punished. and those who commit repeated violent crimes should be told, when you commit a third violent crime, you will be put away and put away for good. three strikes and you are out. >> so, the context -- that was bill clinton's 1994 state of the union address, start of his second year in office. people talk about the triangulation of bill clinton. when ultimately signed the bill that included three strikes you're out at the federal level, he positioned himself, there's people on the right, people on the left, i'm in the middle of this. the context of when he signed that, the first date to pass three strikes you're out was washington state, november-a 98, a few months before that. now three strikes you're out law on the books of 26 state.
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majority of the country. some implications -- they would be comical if they weren't so tragic, like in the state of california going to prison for life because of stealing $3 pair of socks. some states have safety valves. when we look at federal prison population increasing by 800% over the last generation or so, state prisons it's even more dramatic. >> i was a federal prosecutor right after these laws got enacted. i loved it. we had all the power. we could charge some guy with three strikes law and he would go to prison for the rest of his life unless he pled guilty. we had more authority than the judge what happened in the case. the problem was it was part of this whole macho ethic of lock them up, throw way the key. we were concerned about public safety but we didn't understand the effect of taking all these nonviolent, victimless guys -- we were locking up guys with marijuana possessions, stealing
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a tv, three strikes, locking them up for life. it didn't make the streets sa r safer. it gave them less respect for federal prison system. >> we have the stat here. you can look at homicide rate historically. you can see that it spikes there in the '70s, '80s, '90s, and that's where a lot of this legislation has gone. it's gone down. congressman, what if somebody looked at it and said, yeah we have a huge incarceration rate but we're safer because we locked up so many bad guys? what's the response to that? >> there's no statistical evidence to show locking up nonviolent drug offenders contributed to the dramatic decline in crime we confronted. crack cocaine epidemic burned itself in in many ways, that was a contributing factor. stronger economy in 1990s, that was a contributing factor.
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stronger police strategies put in place but none have to do with the tough on crime reactionary laws that were passed. we've taken steps forward. that's a good thing. even in congress, the house of representativetiv representativetives, typically not the place for partisan cooperation, we have a task force on overcriminalization that's bipartisan in nature, five democrats, five republicans, conservatives, progressives, taking a real hard look at what we can do to reduce the dramatic impact of the overcriminalization we've seen in america. >> well, i wonder if you could talk a little bit -- we mentioned it at the outset. rand paul, rick perry in texas, the republican party that gave us willie horton ad, is embracing this idea of sentencing reform, what's going on? how widespread in the party is this? >> it's really widespread. it's two-fold. on the one hand the tremendous cost born by having prisons
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overpopulated. why should we be out of proportion with number of people in our society in prison? it doesn't make sense. the cost of that, what you pay, how much it cost to keep somebody in prison, to feed them three times a day and keep them housed, warehoused, doing nothing most of the time, is just -- is just incrimable. it makes good fiscal sense to do something about the sentencing laws. secondly, it's the right thing to do. if you want a society more fair, more balanced, it's the right thing to do. it's fair to say crime is not something that is -- that comes naturally to people of color. it doesn't. and so -- >> is it the fiscal argument driving it on the republican side? we don't want to spend -- >> it's not so much that. it's not a matter of spending money. it's -- what do we do in our society to cause people not to commit crime? that's the bigger question.
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it's not they committed it, now where do we put them? it has to do with jobs, the overall economy and things that can't be legislated like people's hearts. republicans are saying this is the thing to do, a chance to extend an olive branch and work with democrats. we have so much hatred between the parties. it didn't first exist when i got in politics a few decades ago. when i first got into politics my best friends were republicans and democrats. i'm still close to those people. but in today's world, democrats and republicans aren't supposed to talk or like each other. people stop me on the street and they say, i know who you are, you're the black guy on tv that talks about republican politics. i guess we don't agree, but you're a good guy. how do you know you don't agree with me? to be a republican doesn't mean you're the mirror opposite of a democrat. it means maybe there are some things you don't agree on and some things you do agree on. >> there seems to be some common
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ground, even if the motives are different. >> you look at libertarians like rand paul they have an issue of locking up people for nonvictimless crime, you don't hurt anybody, why should it be against the law? faith-based conservatives. george w. bush during the state of the union he would always do some shout out to people who were serving their time and re-entering society because he believed in redemption. if you look at faith-based, fiscal libertarians, it's a big tent for this movement. >> president clinton said three violent crimes. how did that morph to petty crimes, putting people away for life? i'm not quite sure how that turn was made. democrats have changed on this issue as well. you had ted kennedy, senator biden, when he was on capitol hill, all in favor of this tough on crime stuff. and so democrats have had to come off that issue as well. you look now at the states, texas of all states s leading the way. what they're proving is you can
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reduce the prison population and crime does not go up. and they're looking at drug abuse, not as drug criminalization. and they're having alternative sentencing. texas is now one of the most progressive states on this topic, which is kind of unusual. and rick perry is signing that into law. maybe he'll run for president on that. you can never tell. >> he'll say, texas is the most progressive state. make me republican candidate. i want to pick up on what eric holder announced and what that's going to mean and other steps taken after that. [ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good. ♪ [ agent smith ] ge software connects patients to nurses to the right machines while dramatically reducing waiting time. [ telephone ringing ] now a waiting room is just a room.
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we had a federal prosecutor here. i'm glad because i'm hoping you can explain to me something that's confused me about what eric holder's announcement means. he's talking about instructing prosecutors basically not to go after mandatory sentences for certain low-level offenders. but there is sort of skeptics have been pointing out, 20 years
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ago n 1994, something called the safety valve was put into place that basically says the mandatory sentences aren't going to apply to certain nonviolent offenders. i guess the question is, who is different? who is being protected here who was not previously protected by the safety valve. >> you know, there are harsh mandatory minimums where people get locked up way more in the united states than any other country for relatively minor drug crimes or low-level selling. the first safety valve, back in the '90s said if you meet these conditions, and there are a bunch of lines have you to cross, then a judge maybe could consider not giving you the most time. what eric holder is saying is, you know what, maybe we should broaden that a little, so that if you're maybe a first-time offender, if you're not a member of a gang, if it's a nonviolent crime, then maybe the judge should have the discretion to sentencing you to less. prosecutors, it turns out, don't have to charge the amount that triggers the harsh sentences.
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so, what he's saying remarkably, because usually attorney generals talk about how tough they're going to be on crime, he's actually giving back some power to judges saying he's going to let judges decide individual cases. >> it's still an issue of, this is not a -- you know, being legislatively enacted. so theoretically the next attorney general could come and say, we're going back to the old tough on crime. it talks about how more political space is being made around crime issues. >> this is a step in the right direction but congress has to complete the job. as you indicated, we've got senators on the right, rand paul, mike lee, who have expressed support for reducing mandatory minimums, changing the sentencing disparity, giving federal judges more discretion. as i mentioned on the house judiciary committee, there's a bipartisan task force on overcriminalization, five
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democrats, five republicans, conservatives like gomer, karen vas, i'm privileged to object that task force, charged with the responsibility of looking at excessive laws we have on the book, the explosion of the prison population, also looking at sentencing disparities and coming to a bipartisan consensus. this is what the american people have demanded. whether it's because of the fiscal cost that has resulted as a result of the explosion of the prison population in terms of lost human capital, lost productivity, the christian conservative right has taken an interest in this from a compassionate standpoint. the libertarian strand. and progressives view this as bad for america. so there is a meaningful opportunity to do something legislatively. hopefully this is the first step of president obama reaching out, showing some leadership on this issue and bringing people together in a way that we really haven't seen in washington for the last several years. >> that is a theme we're going
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to pick up, the bipartisanship, in a subsequent segment of the show. i want to get to one other question that comes to my mind here. look back at 194. we showed bill clinton endorsing three strikes you're out in 1994. this is a poll from cbs/"new york times" in 19d 94. what is the top issue faced in the country people were asked, crime, number one, 26%. same question was asked by gallup maybe a week ago. what is the top issue facing the country? i mean, can you see it right there. it's not even registering anymore. to me, that illustrates the political space has been created but also raises the question, what happens if crime starts going back up again, for whatever reason? do we see the same political pressure we saw a generation ago leading to the same punitive reaction? >> you know, i think it has to do also with demographics. i think the baby boom generation aged out of crime and the generation that followed it was smaller, so they were smaller -- smaller number of people that were prone to committing crimes.
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i don't think we're -- millenniums are coming online, but i don't think we'll necessarily see the kind of violent crime. i think we have put in measures that will prevent that. then you've got to deal with the here and now. i think now there is an opening. i wanted to ask the congressman, will we see legislation this fall while eric holder is still in office, while the president still has some clout before we get into election year mad snns what is the timetable? >> i expect to see legislation, if perhaps not this fall but next year. i know congressman bobby scott, congressman sensenbrenner leading the task force, have the charge to come up with legislative proposals that has bipartisan support. again, this is also going on at state level. texas, ohio, pennsylvania, south dakota, georgia, new york, red states, blue states, as eric holder point out. there really is momentum to
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tackle this issue in a way that's good for america. >> sensenbrenner, are you sure he's still a republican? we'll have to check his registration card when we get back to washington but we're thankful for it. >> i want to thank congressman hakeem jeffries for joining us today and paul butler as well. when we come back, we want to talk about the end of the -- potentially, the end of the era of post partisanship. [ male announcer ] how do you get your bounce? i'm, like, totally not down with change. but i had to change to bounce dryer bars. one bar freshens more loads than these two bottles.
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tuesday, he gave a stirring victory speech, speak of unity, and bipartisan cooperation. >> everywhere i've gone, i talked about the need to bring people together. the need to find a new type of politics in america, the politics of getting things done. this is our nation's key hallmark. e plurabus uno. we are called together to build a more perfect union. >> hang on. i think i heard a speech that sounded like that before from another inspiring u.s. dom knee for the u.s. senate. >> there are those preparing to divide us. the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace politics of anything goes. well, i say to them tonight, there is not a liberal america and a conservative america. there is the united states of america.
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>> that mesmerizing 2004 democratic convention speech transformed barack obama from relative obscurity to a national star. in bipartisan or post partisan theme helped him stun hillary clinton and lift him to the white house, and then he met an opposition party that had no interest in across the aisle work. on and on. it's been won confrontation after another, government funding, the debt ceiling, you name it. and it's been matched with overheat party rhetoric. the question is if the experience of the past four plus years of watching barack obama inspire the nation with post partisan rhetoric and then watching washington descend into a state of hyperpolarization anyway has soured the country on the idea of post-partisanship.
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does a message like cory booker tauted, does it ring or is it post-post partisanship? i'm interested in your reaction from the clips we heard from cory booker. obviously, he's not the first politician from barack obama to be stressing these themes. but i don't think since barack obama in 2004 has there been more of a celebrated or pending celebration of cory booker. i wonder if the experience of the last four-plus year, does it ring true to you at all, eleanor? >> i think this is still the message people want to hear, even if they have less trust that can be delivered on. a couple years ago cory booker spoke at the gridiron dinner, this roasting of politicians in washington, and he went through this very funny riff on how he was basically exactly like obama. newark is the new hawaii. and i think he is -- he is
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modeling himself after the president. and i think he's betting that the tea party is just going to wear itself out. that if the senate elections shape up as they now seem to be, with the tea party primarying candidates and producing candidates so far to the right, democrats may be able to hang onto the senate that the tea party will be spent by the time cory booker will run for president, because that's in his game plan, there will be more of an appetite to bring people together. if you look at '08, hillary clinton's message was, i know the republicans, they've thrown everything at me, i'm still standing and i know how to fight them. obama said, we're all going to get along. what is hillary clinton going to run as? is she going to be this, you know, red and blue, we're all getting along, we're purple. >> yeah. and i think -- i am pretty sure,
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unless this is a senior moment here, i forgot to introduce new members of our panel. in sort of the world of democratic politics, the democratic party that embraced that barack obama message in 2008 that said no to the hillary clinton message, how is the message cory booker selling right now, how does that go over? democrats say, oh, again? or, yes, we can? >> these are very new coalitions that have gone around democratic -- quote/unquote, democratic institutions. remember that barack ran against bobby rush and lost because bobby was a party guy. cory booker ran against sharp james, who was a party guy, an old-school party guy. in order for them to win, they had to develop these new coalitions. a lot of younger voters, more affluent voters, that are not necessarily tied to party politics. i think you're right. it works for them, but that's in
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some respects why sometimes they can't get a lot done because the people that are used to these traditional political pathways sort of don't trust these new coalitions. >> let me give one more proper introduction, a little belated, jonathan miller, former treasury of kentucky, you're the founder of a group no label, a group very much founded on the principles cory booker was talking about, that barack obama was talking about in 2004. i wonder, you know, you guys, no label, started in the obama era. i've always been curious about it because to me watching what's played out the last four years, at least nationally, i know it can be different, like in a state like kentucky, but nationally watching it played out has told me there's no room for a group like no labels. you have an opposition republican party right now that says no to everything because the goal is to deny the appearance of bipartisanship. >> the last couple years have been aiwful for the country but
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great for no labels. what's happening is proving our thesis, which is not a post-partisan world. those that loved obama's message at that point have been more realistic and realized there's no thing as post-partisanship. partisanship is very good. the problem no labels has is hyperpartisanship. cory booker's message is a little different than obama '04 where he's saying, i'm a proud democrat and there will be certain issues, whether it's marriage equality or choice, we're not going to find a compromise on. we'll take our stand and let the people decide. then on other issues like the budget or jobs or the debt that we need to be able to work with the other side and find common ground. >> that's where i think the last four-plus years have been demoralizing, when you get to other issues like the budget. i have seen a republican party that's been so interested in denying bipartisanship and in not giving the president any big
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victories on those issues they continually move the goalpost. john boehner will spend months in negotiation with the white house, like the grand bargain, the president will put on the table like cpi and at the end of the day john boehner has to walk away for it because his own party won't vote for that. i look at that and say, if it's asmet rick, if this polarization is asmeertic, how can you have no labels? >> the congressmen are afraid, they go back and their base is dominated by the extremes in their party. in some years past it was similar to democrats. never to this degree -- >> they have to work with their caucuses. that's the other side. >> we want a grassroots movement, not from the center, people from the left and the right, to encourage people to work together. we have a group of problem solvers now, 80 members of
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congress have joined us. some tea party folks, liberal democrats and folks in the middle. compromise isn't a dirty work. we need to be able to put aside our labels on occasion and do right for the country. hopefully as we build a grassroots movement, we have thousands, if we get it into the millions, no longer can congressmen get away by saying, we're not going to talk to the other side, we'll punish them at the ballot box. we're not there yet. >> we have a voice and a face from that opposition party. i want to talk to him after this of what you make about this. f-f-f-f-f-f-f. lac-lac-lac. he's an actor who's known for his voice. but his accident took that away. thankfully, he's got aflac. they're gonna give him cash to help pay his bills so he can just focus on getting better. we're taking it one day at a time. one day at a time.
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some have said it was indelicate of me to suggest that our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny president obama a second term. but the fact is, if our primary legislative goals are to repeal and replace the health spending
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bill, to end the bailouts, cut spending, and shrink the size and scope of government, the only way to do all of those things is to put someone in the white house who won't veto any of these things. >> so, joe, that was mitch mcconnell's defense saying the top priority for republicans should be to make barack obama a one-term president. they obviously failed to do that. but i think the problem with that, that i've always had, is the strategy they decided on to do that was not so much rooted in just, you know, philosophically want to get a conservative in there, but the way to deny him that second term is deny him bipartisanship. to make everything look controversial, everything look like a heavy-handed power grab by democrats to drive down the approval rating as fast as possible. if the republican party is committed to that, any opposition party is committed to that, that's a recipe for nothing getting done and they blame it on the incumbent. has the republican party learned anything -- but for trying that for four years and failing to
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get the president out? >> there have been a lot of do nothing congresses. this one with low marks isn't the first one. think about when harry truman was president in the late 1940ed up to '52, that congress was labeled a do nothing congress. politics 101 says if you're the party out of power then you attack the party in power, attack the presidency. that's what they tend to do, attack the sitting president to get the seat for themselves. doesn't always work to the advantage of americans. and there's no good reason why americans, whether republicans or democrats, can't work together. certainly the country suffers when we don't. the problems we face are not conservative problems or liberal problems. they're problems. there's a right answer to fix them and we need to find the right answer, do it together and get it done for the sake of the american people. with and we need new leadership. i think if the republican party doesn't broaden its tent in 2016 it will be another losing year in the presidential race. >> that's sort of the issue, right, because right now in the republican universe as it's
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constituted, just the idea of a republican office holder being associated with president obama in any way, i mean, you look at right now, the whole dispute about chris christie's electability in the presidential race as well, he said nice things about barack obama once. granted, it was the week before election. do we want to line up with this guy? the average republican member of the house faces -- the minute he betrays the tribe and votes with obama. >> most elected members think that's what would happen. at the end of the day human beings respect those who are honest and who stand up for what's right. when the president does something right and republicans stand up with him, why can't any republican stand up and say, he's right? likewise, if he does something you don't agree with, you can say the president is trying his best, but he's wrong on this issue or i adisagree on this issue, and move forward. but to roundly criticize him
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because he's a democrat or won't stand with him because he's a democrat is wrong for the american people. i think what will happen in the 2016 cycle is we may have an opportunity to see some different people come to the forefront as candidates. and the people who end up as, perhaps, the person who maybe ends up as our standard bearer in 2016 are maybe somebody folks don't expect today? >> going back to cory booker, the reason it will be an incredible challenge for him, when he gets to senate, he'll be one of 100 and he has to be a member of the caucus and he has to defend the president's policies throughout his tenure. so, the question is, how much of that -- how much does he sort of taut nonpartisanship when he has to be partisan to just get things done? >> it's so much easier running a city, for instance, or running a state or being part of a state legislature. the party lines and divisions between the parties are not
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nearly as exact. jonathan coming from kentucky, kentucky voted for mitt romney by 22, 23 points and 26 constitutional officers in kentucky are democrat. there's a lot more room when you get away from the federal level. >> what's interesting about the mcconnell thing back in kentucky is the monster he's helped create might be coming to deny him him sixth term. republicans in kentucky, the tea party folks and the folks who are so fed up with washington, are looking at mcconnell, sometimes they think they did -- he was too friendly with obama. we might have -- i don't know if matthew beavan beats him in the primary but weakens him for what we hope is a victory in the fall. >> the senate tried to impeach hillary clinton's husband. they didn't vote to convict. she went up there and she quickly made alliances with john
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mccain and others. so, democrats see that as a model for success. very unlike the republican side. but mcconnell, is he a savage political player, as you know. he will do whatever it takes to win. and after president obama was elected, that strategy worked in 2010 republicans took back the house. they gained seats. and it worked. now i think he's really caught, as you point out. he's ineffectively out of the leadership on the hill, so he's filling that vacuum. >> you mentioned the experience of hillary clinton and democrats. there was more cooperation when democrats were minority and george w. bush was president. i want to talk why that is and pick up on i will another's point. ♪ and there's nothing good around ♪ ♪ turn around barry ♪ i finally found the right snack ♪ ♪
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and basel, reverend joe watkins and jonathan miller. i managed to actually introduce everybody to start this segment. i'm finally waking up no now and getting going here. i sort of teased this at the end of the last segment, the idea -- we talked about the dynamic that prevailed in washington since obama became president, when it was the reverse in 2001 when you had a republican president, and democrats controlled the senate back then, democrats, i found, in the first part of bush's term were a lot more willing to cooperate than republicans were in the first part of obama's term. and i asked a former republican congressman about this once. bob engless, south carolina republican who strayed from the flock on a few things and he lost his primary in 20 10, the big tea party year, by 40 point. i asked him about that difference and he said he thought it was because ultimately at the end of the day, the democratic party, philosophy behind democratic party, they want government to work, they want government to
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solve problems. given a republican president willing to talk about no child left behind, for instance, medicare, on the republican side -- jonathan, maybe you can speak to this a little bit, but on the republican side if you're talking about an anti-government message, then you can just say, we're going to say no to everything. if it results in government shutdown, results in choking off funding for things it's fine because we're the anti-government party. there's much more incentive for democrats to cooperate than republicans. >> that's a great point. i think you see at the grassroots, and this was mentioned earlier, such a distaste for congress. congressional approval is at such lows that i think you're going to see even among democrats, particularly if we lose the presidency in 2016, we could see the same kind of rebound where a republican president gets the same sort of hyperpartisan treatment from a democratic congress.
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at no labels we want to stop the nuclear proliferation. stop it now and try to create a way for democrats and republicans to work here. that's our problem solvers group and that's why we're building our army -- >> maybe they could endorse the whole idea of term limits. this is something we were talking about during the break. i believe one of the biggest problems we have to any kind of working together or bipartisanship in congress is self-interest. at the end of the day people say, i know it's right but i want to get re-elected. in order to get re-elected i have to do what's good for me. if i do something that doesn't help the american people or my district move forward but it's if politically expedient or helps me, i can't do that. when people left their job, served for a few years in public service, served their fellow citizens in the congress and went back home after two or three years. if we had that, if folks knew
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their term of service in government was coming to an end, they might be inclined to do the right thing, at least toward the end of the time. >> you hit on it earlier, and proposed a good solution, i don't know if there's a way to broaden the base of the parties. it seemed both parties were broader, culturally, geographically, in their appeal. when you had these big tent parties it left room -- think of reagan came in, it's an example when reagan came in in 1981, big tax cut bill, tip o'neil and democrats controlled the house. reagan was able to get something done then. right now the polarization has reached a point where there's no democratic member in the house who represents a district romney won, and almost no republican member that represents a district obama won. that basic incentive to compromise isn't there because -- >> well, reagan got then called
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the bull weasels. i men when newt gingrich was the only republican. pretty soon almost all the state delegation, with the exception of john lewis, is all republican. >> and the entire south. >> and the whole south. but president bush, in fairness, he really courted ted kennedy when he came in because he really wanted an ally. he was looking to duplicate bob bulluck in texas legislature, who was like a republican but a big democrat. and bush was looking for those kind much alliancof alliance. i don't think president obama worked to try to establish those relationships. maybe they would have been difficult. i don't know who i would put at the top of the list. i thought briefly after the '08 election maybe john mccain could be the elder statesman, they could form this partnership. i think that would have been
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truly historic. >> but in the last few months i will say mccain and a senate in general -- there's a pocket in the senate that seems to be softening. >> the president really needs to work that. he is obviously a wonderful and gifted speaker and he does wonders when he goes out on the stump and speaks to americans but his time would be so well spent working on those members in senate who would likely work with him before his second term ends. i think this is where he needs to spend time, behind closed doors with those members. >> we have someone who knows hillary clinton so well. i cannot resist. eleanor alluded to it earlier, but in 2008 when hillary clinton was running against obama in this bipartisan/post-partisan message in the '08 campaign. >> i could stand up here and say, let's get everybody together, let's get unified, the
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sky will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect. maybe i've just lived a little long, but i have no aleutians about how hard this is going to be. you are not going to wave a magic wand and have the special interests disappear. >> that is something -- it is like -- you know, there's a song, you hate it as a kid and then you listen to it and you're like, that's not that bad. i listen to it now and it's like that makes a lot more sense now than it did at the time. >> i'm here to serve him. yes. i mean, tone and -- tone aside, she was right on the merits. and she was there. she had been there longer than barack had been there. she was qualified. you touched on it earlier. qualified to talk about the culture of d.c.
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and i think what she was arguing is, look, we can talk about how we want to work together, but this culture existed long before we all got there and it will exist long after. i mean, if you go back and think about it, madison wrote in the federalist papers that partisanship was going to destroy government. and 15 years later, we were running -- we had two major political parties. it has been around for a very long time. you can't just get rid of it. >> eleanor raised the question earlier and i wonder what you think. hillary clinton, let's say she runs in 2016, given the -- given what she said in '08 and given the experience of the last four, five years, how do you think she would present herself? >> i think she has to do a little of both. number one, i think she probably has to go and get a different campaign team. i think she also has to -- you know, the president was very, very good at using technology, facebook and those metrics, to be able to hone into very, very specific voters and talk to them in a very, very direct way,
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whereas the hillary campaign was -- going back to what i was saying before -- that old school democratic politics through democratic institutions. she's going to have to blend both. >> but do you think that same message, that, hey, i'm seasoned, i'm tough, i know how to beat those republicans? >> i think it will work because we -- i think she has to use that and it will work because we're very tired of the partisanship, but people will also respond to the fact that she has been there, she is seasoned and they will respect the fact she went to work for the guy she was running against. >> to add onto that, she's not only able to talk about being able to beat republicans, going back to the cory booker message, of working with them. she has great relationships with mccain and many other republican senators. as eleanor spoke about earlier, unlike obama's outreach, when hillary clinton was in the senate, she started working on those.
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>> it's true. i remember john kerry had a great relationship with john mccain, and then he ran for president. democratic political basil smikle, jonathan miller. remembering the long past to correcting a wrong. from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i can tell you - safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge technology, like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all drilling activity twenty-four-seven. and we're sharing what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. our commitment has never been stronger. what are you guys doing? having some fiber! with new phillips' fiber good gummies. they're fruity delicious! just two gummies have 4 grams of fiber! to help support regularity! i want some... [ woman ] hop on over! [ marge ] fiber the fun way, from phillips'.
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japanese planes and submarines could depart. in an hour and five minutes battleship arizona was destroyed. >> the day that will live in infamy, december 7, 1941 when japan attacked pearl harbor and pulled united states into world war ii. brought out the best of the country. everyone mobilized for an
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unprecedented war effort that saved the world from hitler and fascism and brought out the worst which took the form of something called executive order 9066 issued by fdr three months after pearl harbor. a preemptive measure against espionage. that's how it was billed. we know it by a different name, internme internment. 77,000 citizens, legal and illegal resident aliens, 120,000 people total, almost all of them japanese descent, were given a week to settle their affairs and then shipped off to camps in remote deserted areas and lived with barest necessities until the end of the war, in 1945, when they were sent home without jobs, without property and without ever being charged without anything. some were given limited compensation but most received nothing. that's a story you probably know about. but this month marks an important anniversary of the rest of that story. because it was in august of
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1988, 25 years ago this month, more than four decades after the last of those camps closed that the president of the united states finally dropped years of resistance on both his part and the parts of the united states government and apologized. momentum for this came from political representation of asian-americans. there weren't any in congress when world war ii broke out but there were in the 1980s and they pushed a commission to study how internment came about and to document the toll it took on its victims. and they came up with a compensation package and an apology. there was fierce resistance. it took for years for the house to pass it. when it did the reagan white house promised to veto it. the battle moved to the senate 25 years ago this summer with hawaii, a decorated combat veteran of world war ii recounting the shame in the camps. >> it's also recorded,
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mr. president, elderly veteran of world war i committed suicide because he was so sa shamed of being branded as disloyal to the united states. indeed the stigma of disloyalty has haunted japanese-americans for the past 45 years. >> as matsunaga lost his composure, his friend ted stevens came to his aid. >> i think anyone who lived through that period of time, who had personal friends that literally disappeared, and then came back after the war to find out what happened to them, i can only be appalled. >> as we said, there was opposition. if you want to know what it sounded like, here's jesse helms. >> no fund shall be appropriated
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under this title. until the government of japan has fairly compensated the families of the men and women who were killed as a result of the japanese bombing of pearl harbor on december 7, 1941. >> the package did survive the senate, though, and then reagan changed his tune and put his signature on a bill that contained a formal apology and $20,000 for any surviving internment victims. >> no payment can make up for those last years, so what is most important in this bill has less to do with property than honor. for here we admit a wrong. here we reaffirm our commitment as a nation to equal justice under the law. >> and that was 25 years ago this month. when fdr signed his executive order, public opinion was on his side. but four decades later public opinion was so strong in the other direction that reagan had
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no choice but to sign the apology and issue that statement. it's a reminder the judgment of history is always evolving. we lost a legend in political reporting this week, jack germond. we'll talk about what else we lost with him. i had my reality check when i'd be sitting there with my friends who had their verizon phones and i'd be sitting there like "mine's still loading!" i couldn't get email. i couldn't stream movies. i couldn't upload any of our music. that's when i decided to switch. now that i'm on verizon, everything moves fast. with verizon, i have that reliability. i'm completely happy with verizon. verizon's 4g lte is the most reliable and in more places than any other 4g network. period. that's powerful. verizon. get the nokia lumia 928 for free. at, we offer our users... guaranteed upfront savings. the result? truecar users save... over $3,000... on average. save time, save money, and never overpay. visit
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♪ school's out
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[ male announcer ] from the last day of school, back to the first. they're gonna write a lot. so make sure they've got somewhere to write it. this week only get composition books for a dime. staples has it. staples. that was easy. are times i'll buy a book because of its title. i have no interest in reading it but something about the title is catchy, weird, so absurd that i want to put it on my shelf for everybody to see. i usually do this as a used book story so i don't waste too much money and most are from a genre, celebrity memoir. this is how i became the proud owner of "don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining, and i also have "power, pasta and politics." look at that. i love the picture on the cover there. and, of course, "don't hassel
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the hoff" by david hasselhoff. this is why ten years ago when i was at a bookstore and saw a memoir by a political journalist i had to have called "fat man in a middle seat" by jack germond. i knew who he was. i grew up watching him and watching the chris farley version of him on is the nl, and teamed up with jules whit to right about presidential campaigns. these were part of my self-education in american politics. while the title first attracted me to "fat man in a middle seat" i also wanted to read the book. it didn't disappoint. germond who passed away this week at age 85 was a throwback character. a political writer who loved horse races, political and real ones. he imbibed reporting before twitter when reporters could get closer to politicians than they could dream of today, proximity that could produce invaluable
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insight and unhealthy coziness. he didn't hide his political views. he was a democrat. his passion was politics. political campaigns, learning who wanted to run, figuring out who was going to win and understanding why. he had no problem with horse race journalism as long as it was good horse race journalism. jack germond's world has given way to a radically different political media landscape. politicians face more scrutiny and account act than they did before but the fear of an unguarded moment going viral on youtube or twitter have walled off politicians to the public like never before. the intimacy like jack germond is largely a thing of the past. in many ways the quality of political coverage today is better than it's ever been. yes, we remember the goold good oel days as being better than they were but germond's passing is a reminder that something
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real and meaningful has been lost. we to want talk about that era he embodied, what was good about it, what wasn't and we want to talk about how politics are covered today, what's good about it and what isn't. we have a panel here that can speak to both jack germond's rare and today. bob franken, syndicated columnist and former cnn correspondent, msnbc contributor perry bacon jr. who covered the last three presidential elections for "time," washington post and nbc sister site, and eleanor clift, the daily beast who has covered every presidential campaign since 1996 and appears on the mclaughlin group with jack germond. your credentials just dwarf mine all, but that's perfect. i want to hear from you guys. wolf, i'll start with you because you knew jack germond so
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personally. i want to know if you can talk about jack germond the reporter, his approach to politics, what he was like as a reporter. >> well, the first thing about jack is, he loved reporting, he loved people, he was fun to be around. and as a reporter, his idea was you had to start at the bottom. if you went into a state chasing a candidate, yeah, you'd cover the candidate but jack would be on the phone talking to precinct committee men and county chairman. he had his hand on politics in virtually every state. and he did it in -- grass voots a cliche -- but bottom up. by the time you get to a presidential race he probably knew more about the state than his advisers or the candidate himself. >> we've got the book. i love the title of this "fat man in the middle" but he has
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great stories in here about things he would witness but he wouldn't report. there was a certain -- there were certain code, i guess, that existed back then, conventions of the era. he witnessed nelson rockefeller, famously left his wife, happy rockefeller, took up with another woman. he knew this was happening and he didn't report it. others didn't report it. can you talk about the trade-off that existed like not reporting something like that and not getting access today, what was gained from that. >> i differed a bit with the people that said that there was a code that said, you won't report this. there's a big difference between what you hear and what you know as reportable facts. you heard a whole lot of things. what you report needs to be provable. you can't just take the rumor and go with it. i think that's one of the big things that's changed over the years since jack and jules and i and others were chasing around
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on the bus. things we would not have felt comfortable writing or felt professional writing make their way into the mainstream by the way of internet, by tweets, things that didn't exist in our area. >> it was more of a contained media world back then where today something can get on twitter or youtube a lot more easily and can leak. a lot more people can figure things out and put even a shred of truth out there and then it's for the whole world to sigh. >> i was thinking of that when you held up the book. out there these days you have a generation of people with their tablets saying, what's a book, that kind of thing. . speaks to what i think has been a driving force of all the change, that's technology. i should point out i started when we were just getting morse code but we've had beepers, blackberries, to the very, very small cameras, tv with live shots. everything is very, very, very
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quick. you don't even have a whole day to reflect on anything. famously in the book by tim krause it talks about -- it talks about -- >> "the boys on the bus". >> right. and every day they would turn to the ap reporter and say, what's the lead? you know, this kind of thing. so, you sort of drove the political agenda back then. >> i tried. i don't know that i drove it, but -- >> well -- >> but it was. today, you know, i sit there and say, i can't even picture -- i did, but i can't even picture functioning in a media world without twitter because twirtd has exposed all these blind spots i didn't even know i had that happens in the news every day but in pre-social network area, reporters set the agenda -- >> tried. >> try a reporting world without cell phones. i mean, we made a lot of noise when we walked because of all the coins in our pockets because we had to run for the pay phone. >> remember when the first trash 80s came out from radio shack with these cups and you would
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attach them to the phone. that was really new technology. but jack germond was one of the first if not the first print reporter to make it on television as a pundit. and it wasn't because of his leading man looks. i mean, he really was a character. >> he was the anti-pundit, too. >> yes. the chair that he sat on, the chair is still there, and many other people have sat in it. it leans to one side because jack always leaned to one side. but he had such reverence for the written word. when i first started doing the mclachlan group, he would say, this is just television. it doesn't have the power of the written word. it just out there and breaks into a million pieces. when people would sit in the green room and prepping, or as jack would say, working on their spontaneous one-liners, he would be there with the racing form or crossword puzzle as if to say, this is barely worth my time. but it was that kind of antagonism to the medium. everybody loved him.
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he had the highest what they called q rating. and everybody wanted to have a drink with him. he was fun but he was very grumpy. >> he was professionally grumpy. >> right. >> the grumpy -- >> didn't bother him. >> grumpy in an endearing way. i watched the mclachlan group growing up but he was compelling -- >> let me tell you a point eleanor made. jack never seemed to be somewhat frustrated that his fame came from television. >> that's right. >> he used to say, i wrote 10,000 stories and nobody heard of me. i go on television and people want autographs. >> i wonder if there's a difference, too, because when you're writing for the bags mother sun, back in the era when we didn't have internet, you were writing the hard copy of the baltimore sun.
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now if he was writing for "the baltimore sun" or anybody, he puts his link up on twitter, if there's something juicy, it's out there very fast. maybe someone in this era would be a little more famous. >> you have people today that work at small places, the new republic writers, small place, national review writers who i read every day, who i know what they think, that's one of the key differences we made much differences. used to be ap, washington post, new york post, everyone read them. now you have a much more diffuse thing. and you have this notion, you're on the road -- i went to the official 2016 launch, i think, hillary clinton gave a speech about voting rights which i think was the first event of the campaign, for real. and everyone there was tweeting out their quotes. i beat the ap reporter myself pulling out the most important parts and that wouldn't have happened four years ago.
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>> i'll read this, a passage from "fat man" and jack germond talking about being a political reporter on the road. n tweeters are tweeting. and 900 million dollars are changing hands online. that's why hp built a new kind of server. one that's 80% smaller. uses 89% less energy. and costs 77% less. it's called hp moonshot. and it's giving the internet the room it needs to grow. this&is gonna be big. hp moonshot. it's time to build a better enterprise. together.
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beneful is awarding a $500,000 dog park makeover... in the 2013 dream dog park contest. enter now. this is a passage i want to read of jack germond from "fat man in the middle seat" talking about contrasting the era, in his prime covering campaigns with the new era. he says the next generation of leading political reporters are every bit as good as we were as reporters but their lifestyles are more disciplined. tend to drink white wine or beer rather than irish whisky and they carry cell phones so they can talk to their offices more than the once or twice a day i considered adequate. they go out running early in the morning and a lot of them eat salads from room service, believe it or pnt. reading this made they >> mike: think i would have loved being on the road covering
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campaigns when jack germond. >> correction. on the bus, some wouldn't be old enough to drink white wine, beer or whisky. as a matter of fact, i really decided i wanted to be a reporter after i got to be on a campaign bus when i was in college. and i looked around and i saw all these characters throwing out great one-liners after another. i thought, this is for me, that kind of thing. it's a real special world. it's a world of camaraderie, at least it was when i was doing it, and you're hermetically sealed with a group of people so you have to get along with them, sort of like a baseball clubhouse, like that. >> it was very much a man's world. i will point that out. >> some of the most aggressive reporting was done, in timothy krause's book, by the female reporters there who didn't have any skin in the game. >> whom there were very few. >> they were the tough ones. >> boys on the bus are now, in
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many cases, women on the bus and leaders of 2012, "the new york times," the reporter covering mitt rommie was a lady, and that's the shift to eating salads. we shouldn't romanticize the news press corps, they're more diverse, compared to the old press corps. >> what was it like trying to -- in a profession that was, as you say, a boys club, breaking into it. >> my first presidential campaign was '76. i was assigned to cover jimmy carter who the editors figured, a, a southern baptist peanut farmer with this heavy accent was never going to win so it was okay to assign the junior reporter. there was some concern on my part, and i think on their part, could i, you know, crack it with the drinking at night, which is when the assumption was, that's when you got the really good stuff, when jody powell, press
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secretary, hung out in the bar. i didn't keep up with that. but i did okay. i forged my own contacts. but i think after that you began to see the breaking down of that sort of drinking culture that seemed to be really part of how people gathered the news. and some of it had to do with more women coming in and also this new healthy lifestyle, the drinking -- >> and i imagine -- >> the drink of choice after a while. >> the discipline of campaigns, too, i mean f you're running a campaign f you're a candidate, you don't want your press secretary down in the bar at midnight having a few too many drinks and spilling state secrets. >> it wasn't state secrets, really, but you did get more of a feeling for the candidates and for the people around them. not necessarily jimmy carter, who was kind of -- >> he was not in the bar. >> he was not in the bar. but, you know, you look at jack, i mean, he drank, he smoked, he ate pretty much what he pleased, and he lived to be 85 years old. so -- >> we should all be so lucky. >> we should all be so lucky. >> walter, there are some an,
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dotes in his book about the proximity he enjoyed when it came to major candidates for national office, rockefeller, for example. how close could you get previously to a presidential candidate versus today? >> well, presidential or down on lower levels of the ballot, the difference, i think, is that we were adversary without being enemies. i mean, we were on different sides much the story. we want stuff that the politicians, be they managers or candidates, didn't necessarily want out. but at the same time, we didn't go into it with an accusatory attitude. we didn't believe all politicians were necessarily bad people. and, you know, i don't -- i'm not saying that today's generation feels that way, but you get the impression, as you look at the coverage, that part of it is going into the story as
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a prosecutor rather than an interrogator. >> that's what the campaigns see in you and every reporter, this is the prosecutor, we have to be careful here. >> another big difference from that day to this, there could be off the record times, you could have a drink with the candidate late at night, man or woman, and you could talk and you could, you know, share information and you could get a feel for the person that i think is lacking in a lot of what happens -- >> have you been able to drink at night with a candidate? >> i've had drinks with hillary clinton with a group. i wouldn't say -- i'm talking about '08. i think it happened in 2012 not with mitt romney but with some other candidates that people covered as well. i was on the road a lot in '08, not as much in '12. i know hillary clinton talked to people off the record, barack obama did at times. mike huckabee did. i don't think all of that is gone. the president talks to white house reporters occasionally in
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an off the record sitting. that's more frowned upon. used to be, when you had off the record, only reporters there knew about it. but quickly someone finds out about it, it's on twitter. your editor is like, why did you go to an off the reported? no, more things happened on the bus or plane reserved for that group, increasingly known by the broader world and commented on by the broader world. even if you want to get to know the conditiandidate, it's harde how we cover -- >> everything that spills out of that causes the campaign -- >> causing them to clamp down. >> there's the mentality, you're for us or against us these days. very little understanding of the fact that i'm basically everybody's skeptic, everybody's adversary. to some degree that's been brought on by media, yes, including msnbc, certainly by fox. it's also brought on how you
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cover a beat, like the pentagon or state department. if you stay too far from the course, you'll be frozen out. that's the case in any white house. i think that's permeated that relationship between journalists and newsmaker and i think it's unhealthy. >> we have to pick it up after this break. with the spark miles card from capital one,
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relationship, i don't want to have to say off the record every time. you have to protect me. that was a deal i happily made. he was very irrelevant -- >> what does that look like? >> what that looks like is you don't blow up an ongoing relationship of a guy in the white house, who knows everything that's going on, for some quip that he makes deriding some member of congress, che did often. >> did you ever feel he took advantage of the relationship and -- >> no, no, no. >> that's the other key. if you enter into a relationship with a source, you want to make sure -- >> he had a bad boy reputation but he was very smart, knew everything that was going on. he was a really good guy, and in the life after he left the white house, he passed away much too early from cancer, showed what he was made of. that was a deal, if you will, that i was perfectly happy to make. >> well, no, i mean, the whole idea of the relationship with
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sources, a favorite story is we were working on a budget and republicans and democrats in the white house were all crazed about their positions and all that. so they finally decided that they wanted to keep things from the public so they would go out to andrews air base and meet in secret so there won't be leaks or anything like that. my phone was constantly busy with leakers from all sides, which is of course the way it works. one of the leakers called a news conference after he got back to decry the leaking because he knew the background, so there was not a word i say or anything like that, you know. and, of course, i had to be true to my word. even to this day, i'm not going to tell you which one it is. >> we'll find out off the air. one minute left. walter, jack germond, you knew him so well, do you have a favorite jack germond story? >> one story that kind of epitomizes his determination to get the story. i mean, i have 100 -- 1,000 jack
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germond stories. we traveled together for so many years. he went down to montgomery, alabama, to do an interview with george wallace. jack was a gourmet. he loved fine food. you didn't see any room service salad on his expense accounts. and so, he went to lunch with wallace. they had lunch with steaks. george wallace douses everything he eats with ketchup. took the bottle, pour it on. jack looked across the table, saw wallace cover his steak with ketchup, gritted his teeth, put ketchup on his steak, and after that he could do nothing wrong. >> anything for a scoop. steak with a ketchup.
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gaffes down under. tony abbott leads the australian liberal party. don't let the name fool you, they are actually the conservatives in australia. tony used a speech to members of his party to criticize his rival kevin rudd for making decisions without consulting each other. >> however well educated, experience is the suppository of all wisdom. i believe we will be a much better government because we have onvery strong team. >> abbott probably meant to say repository instead of medical term suppository or maybe australian politics are more vicious than we realized. we should know joe biden could be having a lasting impact on the language. the vice president punctuating every single one of his sentences with the word "literally." now that practice is gaining
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acceptance. this week the website motive discovered google added a second definition for literally acknowledging it is obvious used for emphasis or to express strong feeling. miriam webster and cambridge dictionaries added this usage. when it comes to shaping the english language this makes biden a more accomplished vice president than at least one of his predecessors. we should know the final remaining embers of formal gay marriage in california were snuffed out this week. on wednesday the california supreme court denied an effort to revive proposition eight which banned gay marriage in the state and which a federal court deemed unconstitutional, a decision the u.s. supreme court allowed to stand in june. this week challenge came from prop 8's spoerns. with the supreme court, a period on the end of the sentence of protracted legal battle over gay marriage at least in america's largest state. finally we should know a zoo in china tried to pass off a dog
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as a lion will. a cage marked african lion contained a tibetan mastiff. the chicanery unraveled when they heard the counterfeit lion barking. this makes it the zoo logical hit of the movie "dave" unscrupulous and power hungry white house aides that replaced the real president who had a massive coronary episode with kevin kline. this is the anniversary of "dave" which makes it a good idea to dust off the old sequel, "dave 2, the revenge." start with you eleanor. by the way, eleanor was in the movie, i will be pitching my idea to you afterwards. >> that's right. it was a cameo appearance of mclaughlin group. they fed us lines to read and we were so stilted it was awful.
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finally the director explained the plot and talked about it. at the end he threw up his arms and said, who needs reality. following joe biden, he will be joining the president next week on a bus tour in upstate new york talking about college affordability and so forth. it's a way to remind us joe biden is still there, still thinking about running for president. >> okay. walter. >> on our general subject over the past few minutes, whether it's done with typewriters or twitter or e-mail, whatever, there's nothing more important than the micro scene and political reporting done well. i think it's to me it's one of the high calling in all of journalism and i respect the people who do it now, and i miss the people who did it all those years. >> a good sentiment. >> first of all, walter, that's really profound and i mean that literally. mine is going to have to do with
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the kepler spacecraft you've heard is malfunctioning, won't be able to look at other worlds. the story of the week is that it's going to be turned around to earth and turned to the national security agency so it can continue spying on america. >> we now know hillary clinton doesn't like voter id laws. her first speech was about voter id laws. she talked about the north carolina law there as greatest hits of voter suppression. it tells you how big -- five years talking about voting laws, big controversy in america. now it's one of the central issues of the democratic party. how do we make it easier for people, particularly min ors. the fact she gave her first speech about that tells you how big an issue it is. >> hillary on voting rights, biden's bus tour, feeling like 2016. want to thank my guests, bob frankieing, perry bacon, jr., thank you for getting up and for
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joining us. back here next weekend saturday and sunday 8:00 a.m. eastern time. guests will be lizz winstead. joey reed sid sitting in today. melissa harris-perry with joey reid coming up next and we'll see you next week here on "up." go ahead of him and win fifty thousand dollars. congratulations you are our one millionth customer. nobody likes to miss out. that's why ally treats all their customers the same. whether you're the first or the millionth. if your bank doesn't think you're special anymore, you need an ally. ally bank. your money needs an ally.
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