tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC June 25, 2014 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
we will never forget, not your dress, not your unique ways. but how you entertained a world and made us one and understand that life can be better. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton, "hardball" start right now. boehner v. obama. let's play hard ball. good evening, i'm steve kornacki in for chris matthews. leading off a potentially historic legal and political confrontation. reports hinlted that john boehner was considering suing the president of the united states. the charge, that president obama is illegally ignoring congress and abusing his oath of office. and today, boehner made it official.
>> are you planning to initiate a lawsuit against the obama administration and president obama over executive actions? >> i am. the constitution makes it clear that a president's job is to faithfully execute the laws. in my view, the president has not faithfully executed the laws. >> the white house met the news with shock. >> in this case, it seems that republicans have shifted their opposition into a higher gear. frankly, a gear that i didn't know previously existed. the fact that they are considering a taxpayer funded lawsuit against the president of the united states for doing his job, i think it is kind of step that most americans wouldn't support. >> last fall he reluctantly led
the hard race kamikaze kill obamacare. despite his leadership team from the head hots in his party, his top deputy, eric cantor, was just taken down in a historic and unexpected way by virtually unknown tea party challenger in virginia. and now, boehner is suing the president. a professor of law at george washington university who consults regularly with members of congress and constitutional issues and testified on the hill several times on executive overreach. howard fineman, msnbc analyst and from "the huffington post" media group. thank you for joining us, both of you. there are questions that are both legal and political. i want to start with the explicitly political ones. howard, i will ask you, we are a few months before the 2014 mid terms. speaker of the house, republican speaker of the house is going to sue the democratic president. where did this come from? >> let me give you an explicitly
political answer, steve. this is feeding red meat to the hungry people at the base of the tea party branch of the republican party. they already view president obama as a somehow not quite valid, not quite legitimate usurper. someone who doesn't have the str of the americans at heart. someone that doesn't have the capital o that they suspect. this is, we are going to sue the guy, take him to court, and if he doesn't answer, maybe we will do something else. maybe we will try to impeach him. who knows. maybe that's what this is in naked political terms. that's what it is. >> john boehner is adamant today that the goal of this legal challenge is not impeachment. the word you just heard. here is what john boehner said today.
>> it is not about impeachment. this is about his faithfully executing the laws of our country. >> boehner ma i have to convince fellow republicanis of that. >> just absolutely ignoring the constitution and ignoring laws and checks and balances. you know, the problem is, what do you do for those that say impeach him for breaking the laws. could that pass in the house? it probably could. >> in fact, republicans have reached impeachment on nearly every subject imaginable. including last year's debt ceiling negotiations. snrs. >> let's get on the elevator. thank you. >> that would be impeachment of the president. >> do it constantly in talking about benghazi. here is one example there. >> jason, of utah is joining us right now. among other things suggested
that perhaps president obama's handling of the ben ghazi terro attack could be impeached. >> i would say that is in the realm of possibilities. i'm not willing to take that off the table. >> and threatening impeachment over the release of gitmo detainees. >> impossible to h throw prthros out of get know now. without that huge backlash. >> last weekend calling for impeachment. howard, what i think is going on here, tell me if this is a misreading of the situation. but the story of john boehner as speaker of the house has been a speaker who wants to stay one step ahead of the tea party. a tea party constantly looking for the moment when the speaker will sell them out, prove sea rhino. prove they couldn't trust him all along. they will throw him overboard. he is constantly staying one
step ahead. and pro tkt his party institutionally the best he can. this guy recognizes on some level that it is bad politics for the republican party. he knows his base wants it. so he sues the president to stall impeachment. do you think that is the calculation here? >> i think that's quite possible. i think he will still keep that thought about impeachment in the back of his mind and in his rhetoric. if he has to. i think the first part of what you said is absolutely true. which is the john boehner is looking for ways to provide emotional rescue, if you will, emotional comfort to the tea party, which is powerful, wounded, but very important and one that he dares not totally dismiss. sew might be able to do some other deals on some other things. but if he gives them this bone it chew on, they will like him for it and they will pursue it with all their hearts which is
what he is perfectly happy to see them do. as he prepares to be speaker again next term. i don't think he thinks he is going anywhere. and this is a way for him to win some points with people who support he will need inside his own cause. >> that's right. john boehner made it clear he is clear it stick around pass the november elections into the past term. >> let me bring you in now. we cover the expressly political. the speaker of the house is intent on suing the president of the united states. unclear from the remarks john boehner made today from the information they put out exactly what the specific examples they are. they are using here of presidential overreach. executive orders they think sort of undercut congress. but you know and you have been following this, their complaints for the last few years, really. legally speaking, is there any kind of a case here? >> i think there is a case. against the president for exceeding his authority. i happen to agree with the president on many of his priorities and policies. but as i testified in congress,
i think that he has crossed the constitutional laws. >> where has he crossed it? what specific issue has he crossed it on? >> when the president went to congress and said he would go it alone, it raises concern. what he's done, is very problematic. he shifted $454 million of the aca from appropriated purpose to another purpose. he told an agency, he told agencies not to enforce some laws like immigration laws. he has effect you'vely rewritten laws through the active interpretation that i find very problematic. while i agree with him, i voted for him, i think this is a problem. >> so i know you've been involved in a lawsuit with -- trying it sue the president before over libya, i think. so take us through, from a legal standpoint, you think there is a case here, where do they sue? what court is this taking place in? and if they side with republicans, what happens? >> first of all, steve, i think
the most likely court will be the courts of washington, d.c., the d.c. circuit. i represented members of both parties in challenging the libyan war which had some of the same themes. exceeding presidential authority. but the greatest challenge that they face will be standing. the case that we brought for the members in libyan war was dismissed on standing. and what has happened is over the last few decades, courts have made it more and more difficult for not just citizens but congressmen to even be heard in federal courts, to challenge presidential -- alleged presidential misconduct. so the first hurdle will be that standing issue. and it is a high one. it is not necessarily insurmountable. the court never truly closed the door on what is called legislative standing. particularly if it is based on the institution, if the house of representatives empowers the group that litigates this case. >> so howard, we say, political,
legal questions, then the part of the diagram where they merge. let me get to the merging point with you right now. because, from a political standpoint, where does it go? they laugh it off, say republicans are attacking obama for the millionth time. republicans say this is long overdue. privately, when you hear what jonathan just said, someone who agree with the president from a policy standpoint, still trouble from a legal standpoint by what is going on, do you talk to democrats privately who say what jonathan just said? >> yes. but there is not a problem that began in its currentity racing with president obama. it began after 9/11. then president george w. bush. who in the actions that he took to some extent, some might argue, a lot of people argue, in terms of erecting the new security state after 9/11, that he went way beyond congressional authority. way beyond acts of congress and air gated to himself and
executive branch, all kind of power in the national defense that it hadn't had before. and i think that president on the domestic side, on the foreign policy side of the equation, he is pretty much for the most part, kept the powers that george bush took for himself right after 9/11. what happened is on the domestic side, on the affordable care act, on immigration, on other matters, he has played fast and loose with some of the literal language in the laws. as jonathan said. enforcement dates of the affordable care act. some of the appropriations for the affordable care act. but the question is, whether the courts are going to want to get involved in this. because not only do they fear the sort of separation of powers getting confused, it is that the american courts run on a system of cases and controversy where somebody who is harmed comes before the court. and the question would be, can the institution of the congress itself be the harmed party?
that's sort of the mental leak that you have to make here. >> when you talk about the deferred action on the, you know, young undocumented, you are not talking about people who were harmed, you are talking about people who helped. >> that's a very good way to put it. so you know, yes, i think there are plenty of people watching who are concerned over about the last 12 or 13 years of presidential overreach. of course, i would also say that congress has brought a lot of this on itself by its partisan gridlock, by refusal to try to make deals with the president. and i think to some extent the republicans have brought a lot of this on themselves. and new they go to the court and complain about it. i wouldn't put anything past the roberts court, okay? the supreme court. but i think it is highly unlikely that the courts are going to give the congress standing in this matter. i think it is very unlikely and i think most of the american people in the meantime will view it as kind of political ploy to satisfy the base of the republican party that it really
is. >> and one late development this afternoon. fox's neil ka vooto went after michele bachmann who has been a proponent of taking legal action against president obama. >> what is very important is the president trying to establish lawlessness in the united states. that's a big issue. >> democrats said george bush did the same, congresswoman. i'm just saying, waste of time. waste of time. >> what we need to do, so what we need to do is defund the executive branch, none one within then impeach the executive -- >> from the executive branch, if -- congresswoman, if democrats said, we will defund president bush, you would have laughed. and so you should have then. democrats would be in their right behind to laugh you out now. defund them. >> what we can do further is impeach the elected officials that -- >> oh, man oh, man oh, man. >> wow. >> thank you, jonathan tourry and howard fineman.
after the tea party have a stunning victory over eric cantor in virginia. tea party stuns again, this time gi losing in mississippi. what it means for the senate map this november and for right wing in other upcoming primaries. plus, recent verbal stumbles are well documented. but could it be she is smart to work out the kinks now. her opponents doing on the job explaining training. how do you define a in, minute, the time it takes between chris christie put awning a softball uniform and david letterman making a joke. finally, let me finish tonight with art imitating life imitating life. two lions roaring for the last time. ups is a global company, but most of our employees
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comcast business. built for business. welcome back to "hardball." yesterday was supposed to be vendcation for the tea party. the right wing radio host who forced long time incumbent thad docker to a run-off in mississippi didn't happen. cochran stunned the pundit class by edging out mcdaniel. one by weigh they did it is by reaching out to voters not typically courted by anyone. they voted in the run-off for mcdaniel. that didn't sit well with dock
ran. >> there is something a bit strange, it there is something a bit unusual about a republican primary that's decide bid liberal democrats. so much for bold colors. so much for principle. i guess they can take some consolation in the fact that they did something tonight. by once again compromising. by once again reaching across the aisle. by once again abandoning the conservative movement. now it is our job to make sure that sanctity of the vote is jun held. before this race ends we have to be absolutely certain that the republican primary was won by republican voters. >> today? a statement mccann dwrel. >> today in a statement mcdaniel said they are looking into irregularities. david corn, and eugene
robertson, both are msnbc political analysts, david, unbecoming of the party of ronald reagan. same ronald reagan we name the reagan democrats after because he cultivated all that support when he ran for president. clearly mcdaniel got caught off goo guard by this. i don't think they thought this would happen. there is a bit of a wild card here. at the speech where he refused to concede, the crowd is chanting, write in, write in, write in. i can't read mcdaniel from afar but he could still cause serious headaches for republicans this fall if he really wants to fight this thing. i guess the question is, does he want it fight it or stay and fight it another day. >> he looked like he was the martyr ready to run another crusade. and you know, i would be happy to tell the tea party people who are mad at cochran, the best
thing to do is vote democratic in the fall and pay him back. but i don't think that will happen. two interesting things here, steve, is that you know, the republican party has been trying to get black people to vote for it for a long time. fine when when it happens the tea partiers get upset. more importantly, there is a real reason why black voters in mississippi turned out to vote for thad cochran, to defeat chris mcdaniel at mother jones and other places. we reported on lots of statement that were made, and this is a guy who went to events sponsored by neoconfederate groups that think that wrong side won the civil war. and he also voted against civil rights museum. so tea partiers always talk about citizens taking back the government and voting their principles. here are a bunch of people in mississippi who saw this guy heading towards the halls in washington and they realized they could stop them and they did. >> they did. although, it does raise the
question of we have seen examples elsewhere and both parties have done this, where they have a right to go into the primary and get the weaker candidate. and it is rare that the democrat has the chance to win a race for the u.s. and mississippi. it is arguable whether the travis chilleders, democratic nominee would have had a shot against mcdaniel. he certainly would have add better shot against mcdaniel than cochran. did they shoot them self in the foot by not nominating a candidate that would have won in mississippi. >> no, i never believed that the republican nominee in mississippi, whoever he might have been, was in serious danger of losing. i thought in the end that even mcdaniel would probably win. but he won't now because of african-american voters in mississippi did something that i just have to find kind of delicious. they availed themselves of the democratic process. they voted. in counties and communities
where you used it see hardly any votes in the republican primary, all of a sudden there were a bunch of them. and you know, chris mcdaniel will have to deal with that. and his tea party patrons, the ted cruz's and sarah palin's of the world can pile back into the clown car and i guess drive off to the next state. >> the thing is, steve, it is possible -- i don't know if chris mcdaniel can pull this off, but if he does decide to run as write-in candidate, that might give the democrat an open ppg. >> that's what i'm wund aring about. how will he do that in the next few days, next few weeks. >> as we saw from thad cochran, this guy might literally fall asleep during a campaign event. so he is not a strong candidate. though any republican should hold that seat. so i -- you know, the way -- you're right, the way mcdaniel was talking last night, looks like he wants the fight. the civil war and republican
party, no better place to fight that out than perhaps in mississippi. >> mcdaniel's supporters cried foul. sarah palin calling it questionable. and calling for an investigation. and rush limbaugh suggesting their slogan should have been uncle toms for thad. >> insider republicans in the senate bought 9 percentage point be, 8 or 9 percentage points, from the black uncle tom voters in mississippi. well, isn't that what they call clarence thomas? condoleezza rice? call them uncle toms? they are republican hes. these guys voted for him. uncle toms for thad. >> oh, steve, steve. >> what is your reaction to that. >> gene, take it away. >> here is my reaction. let him keep saying that. you want to see black voters come out in the fall election.
let him keep saying that. play that loop over and over again. make chris mcdaniel want to take that up. i would love to hear him talk about uncle tom voters. >> and somebody was pointing out earlier, this is the same rush limbaugh who in 2008, in the democratic primary between hill roy and obama was urging operation chaos, republicans flood the democratic primary. but there is a question, david, about the bigger picture implications. if they aren't getting their candidate in mississippi, i'm watching this reaction. limbaugh has the most over the top reaction. but i'm hearing this from so many last night and today. is this the thing they will point to for years to come? ultimate betrayalal of the establishment. that's how much they fear us. is this a rallying cry for the tea party? >> i would encourage them to take that perspective. i think that would be great. stabbed in the back, you know, maimed, lasts forever. the gift that keeps on giving. in your first segments tonight,
have you john boehner doing their work. they got a government shutdown. got a debt ceiling crisis. 57,000 votes for the repeal of obama ca obamacare in the house. they have brat beating cantor. yet, it is never good enough. if you watch that mcdaniel speech, he said, look, there they go again, compromising, being reasonable, working across the aisle. they just can't suffer anything other than full power to destroy the government as we know it. >> and what i'm curious about here, look, the rules are the rules. cochran's campaign as far as i'm concerned are brilliant. they won this thing, found the rule that worked for them and exploited those rules. good for them. but there are other states where the rules don't exist. where it is not open primary. how outraged and angry they are at the establishment and heading into tennessee and kansas and if you don't have democrats that can vote there, did the base take it out maybe on lamar
alexander there. take it out on pat roberts. we are out of time here unfortunately. thank you. up next, it doesn't take long after chris christie dons a softball uniform nor david letterman to start cracking jokes. this is "hardball," a place for politics. so i get invited to quite a few family gatherings. heck, i saved judith here a fortune with discounts like safe driver, multi-car, paperless. you make a mighty fine missus, m'lady. i'm not saying mark's thrifty. let's just say,
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>> time now for the side show. only matter of time before david letterman got his hands on that video. true to form, pushing the envelope as only he could. next up, here something you don't see everyday. john bainer with be harry reid mitch mcconnell, nancy pelosi in what appears to be a rare moment of unity on capitol hill. ♪ ♪ no, they haven't suddenly buried the hatchet that is not kumbaya they are singing either. they are singing "we shallover come", f come". lover come".lover come". finally, bill clinton came to his wife's defense yesterday. hillary claiming that she and bill were dead broke when they left the white house in 2000. the exaggeration struck many.
newt grinning rich used a creative metaphor of his own yesterday on cnn, explaining the political dynamic between hillary and bill clinton. >> hillary is to politics what freds stair is to dancing. automatically amazing. he want to have a ginger rogers out there dancing as fred astair did. kind of like watching kim kardashian getting kicked off the set by prince because she couldn't dance. >> pop culture references. coming up, hillary clinton making publicized missteps in the past few weeks. why that might be a good thing. that's next. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. she keeps you on your toes.
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witt. here is what is happening. john kerry is warning other countries not to take action against insurgence in iraq. he said it could exacerbate the sectarian turmoil. lebanon a suicide bomber blew up part after hotel. the third bombing to hit the country in less than a week. authorities believe the activities linked to isis the militant group destabilizing iraq. asking dealers to stop filling new and used 2013 and 2014 chevy cruz models due to potential air bag issues. now back to "hardball" here on msnbc. welcome back it "hardball." former secretary of state hillary clinton full blown book tour rolls on, pointing out on vox.com, writing, clinton's string of highly public vaguely embarrassing interviews speak to one of her real advantages. she can spend the next two years learning how to rerun a campaign, her competitors can't.
diane sawyer reported she and her husband were dead broke when they left the white house. she talked about gay marriage with terry gross could be a test run and clinton could be stronger for it. clinton's book tour it the media version of an iron man race for one of the most recognizable paem p. people alive. could she be more popular thanks to the iron man book tour she has taken on? so, susan, let's treat this as what it is. this is some kind after warm-up act for 2016. you know she is not allowed to really talk about that and probably can't for a while. but let's say that's what it is. the hillary clinton you are see thong book tour, hillary clinton who talked about who are wealth made in an inartful way, compare that to the hillary clinton of 2008 who lost in the democratic primaries to barack obama. are you seeing a different hillary clinton? did hillary clinton learn lessons from that? anything new this time around? >> one thing we saw toward the
end of that 2008 campaign by hillary clinton is what a great campaigner she became. you know, the point she was losing, she kept fighting. really connecting with audiences. and that's been a long time. you know, that was in 2008. it is 2014 now. now she is rusty. not that she learned lessons from them. i this i she forgot some of the muscle memory that you need have in a campaign. so maybe this is useful. it gets her back out there. answering the kind of questions you answer as a candidate that you don't necessarily have to answer when you are secretary of state. >> so margaret, yes, but those kinds of questions, you look at the approval rating that hillary clinton racked up as secretary of state, and through the roof, one of the reasons she is a front-runner like we've never seen before. part of that is she was kind ref moved from politics. not giving interviews to somebody asking her very sort of critical questions about her positions on domestic policy. she was removed from that. she got a pass. that's what happens when you're secretary of state. do you think she is surprised?
she lived through it for 15 years before but do you think she lived when you don't have to answer it everyday and the critical questions have been a surprise to her? >> that's right. when you talk about policy instead of politics it puts new a much different trajectory. you are held to a different standard. the challenge for her is going to be can she take that sort of, you know, excellent rise she had in terms of treatment by the media and in terms of how the public saw her as secretary of state and translate that in another presidential run a and just as much as it may help her to have this dry run, it also helps potential opponents, not only republicans, what they have in a epelection but any democrats still waiting to see how she performed as they make their final decisions. >> yesterday, "meet the press" moderator david gregory asked about secretary clinton's comment on their wealth. >> you understand some people have been critical of mrs.
clinton, secretary clinton, who initially had to talk about being dead broke coming out of white house. >> i might understand it differently than you do. >> it is factually true that we were several million dollars in debt. everybody now assumes that what happens in the intervening years was automatic. i'm shocked that it has happened. i'm shocked people still want me to come give talks. i'm grateful. >> when you say you pay ordinary taxes, other people who are well off who pay taxes maybe off capital gains. can you understand that might strike people as being out of touch? >> yeah, but she's not out of touch. and she advocated and worked as a senator for things that were good for ordinary people app and before that, all her life, and the people asking her questions, should put this into some sort of context. >> and today, pbs news hour asked secretary clinton about her husband's comments?
>> the clinton global initiative conference meeting here, your husband was forced to defend you at his own conference. he was asked about this idea that you are now, there a caricature forming of you because after if you things you said, that you are wealthy and out of touch. is it your fault that the conversation turned to that? >> i shouldn't have said that i think five or so words that i said. but you know, my inartful use of those few words doesn't change who i am, what i stood for my entire life. what i stand for today. >> and secretary clinton alsoed? an interview, my husband was very sweet today. i don't need anyone to defend my record, i think my record speaks for itself. we know that bill clinton is defending the records of others. that's what he did for president obama in charlotte at the 2012 convention. we know in 2008 when hillary was running, he had his own issish s
issues on the campaign trail. what role do you think he will play in the campaign for hillary clinton? >> we flr are in a different place. hillary clinton has been out of fofrs a couple more years. maybe the flaws we remember to well have fadeed. hillary clinton has much more independent stature now than last time around. last time she had to establish she was candidate in her own right and not just the wife of bill clinton. even though she served in the senate. that is not a factor now. she is much more able to accept some help from bill clinton than she was. and i think in this case, bill clinton is a total positive. when she says it is sweet for him to defend me but i don't need it. on an issue like this, bill clinton cannot defend her. she needs to make her own case in a nondefense you've way about what she meant. now that she is really rich and continues to have a connection with americans who weren't.
>> quickly, i want to get to the current president. we talk about the former president. the role that current president, barack obama would play in hillary clinton campaign. the one thing that jumped out at me at this tour is hillary clinton found way to distance herself from the house on syria, on the central american children crossing the boarder. seems to me like hillary is positioning ahead to the general election versus the democratic prima primary. >> and for president obama, this is very much about legacy building. he will be much in the same position that bill clinton was as he was leaving office. to say, what is my legacy for helping other democrats. he has begun to lay the ground work, endorsing the hillary campaign recently at white house correspondents association dinner. it is a different question than what you are asking, how much does she want it? how close will she be to him? >> thank you. up next, a pastor defrocked for officiating at his gay son's
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"hardball" back in december describing why he officiated at his son's gay wedding in 2007. a day after thattant view he was officially defrocked from the church for refusing to uphold the church's ban on performing same-sex marriages going forward. shafer spent the last few months appealing the decision and yesterday he claimed victory. >> i am reinstated as an ordained minister of the united methodist church. yes. >> his reinstatement led to a rift within the church prompting calls from more conservative methodists to break away. reverend ron renfro, president of good news, united methodist org nie zigs that opposes same-sex marriage says this is quote confirmation for traditionalists that we are deeply divided and may not be able it live together. when we have people who are not
only disobedient but who find way to not have to keep the covenant they have made with the rest of the church it helps us see that with maybe we are atti shifting so much. have you seen since this whole issue started with you today. has there been a shift in your church that accounted for this reversal. >> well, absolutely, i -- you know, this has been going on ever since my trial and a little bit before that. there has been definitely talk about schism, and the rift has become more denounced between conservatives. i believe that the decision that we heard that was made by the appeals committee is significant. and i think it may contribute to more retention. but in my book, that's not a bad thing, because i celebrate the
fact that -- not only that i'm reinstated and that i'm a rev rant again, which is personally, of course, something to be celebrated. but i celebrate this decision because it's saying to our lgbt brothers and sisters in the church, that change is coming. that we no longer -- >> go ahead. >> these conversations, though, i'm curious in the last few months, when you're talking to traditionalists in the church. you're talking as -- you're talking about as a father here, this is sort of the most fundamental thing. you're a parent, it's your kid. what do you hear from the traditionalists in the church who on a policy ground oppose in? what do they say back to you? >> well, they say things like, well, i can certainly understand that you love your son. the scriptures give us guidelines and give us limits
and even our love and who we love has limits that are very clear in the bible, and so they think that i should actually have disciplined my son. i should have set limits to my son and said, this is not okay. it's not okay to be homosexual, or it's not okay to act on that, and to actually practice your homosexuality. that's the response i've gotten. >> what is the split like in the church. the national polling has finally gone over 50% of support for same sex marriage. where is that split in the methodist church? where is the number if you had to guess, in terms of support for gay marriage? >> i think it's pretty even. it probably is in step with the national poll. the pugh organization had its own polling main line
denominations, and the results were very similar, so i believe that there is a majority in the united methodist church that believes that gay marriage is okay. >> in terms of that threat of a split, is that something that you're worried about? is there really a threat here of basically two methodist churches emerging from this? >> i think the threat is real. that's definitely a possibility. there might be a lot of talk involved when one side doesn't like things that are happening in the church, you know, there are -- they're quick to threaten, sjhism or whatever. it may be a lot of talk too. it's a real possibility if nothing changes at the next general conference in 2016. >> pastor frank shaffer, thank you for taking the time. congratulations on your reinstatement. we'll be back with the last
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finally, let me finish tonight with a classic story i found myself thinking back to last night when the primary results came in. it became clear that thad cochran and charlie rangel were both going to defy father time and win one more time. the last hoorah also made into a movie starring spencer tracy in the 1950s. it's about an aging big city
mayor about frank sceffington. he was a fictional character in a city never named. though everyone knew it was boston. he served four terms as the mayor of boston, four in congress, one as governor and two in prison. he's 72 years old and the world around him is changing. the ethnic politics he's mastered are going out of style. the machine that fueled him are looking the other way. frank sceffington cannot give it up. he sets out to run one final time, to stare down his young reformer opponent, to hold on to the power, the relevance, the action that gives his life meaning. his wife has passed his son is a disappointment. there's nothing for him to do. this is the only thing that's
real to him and it's ripped away. he runs the campaign of his life. he tries all his old tricks. they don't work in this new world. last hoorah is filled with sadness and lonelinesloneliness. you could argue that cochran and rangel won empirical primaries last night. he's probably not going to have much influence in the republican party going-forward. and there's rangel. he couldn't even crack 50% in his own primary last night, just to survive. he had to promise voters that this was it, he would never run again after this. when he gets back to washington, he will be in the minority party in the house. barack obama wanted nothing to do with him in this race. you could argue that the joke is on cochran, rangel, sure, they won, but what this can do now? that misses the point.
in their own ways, they're both like frank sceffington, this is who they are, what they do. last night, unlike frank sceffington, they both won their last hoorahs. that's "hardball" for now. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes, we have a big show for you tonight. the supreme court has issued a unanimous ruling on the side of common sense, we will pop open the champagne later in the show. tonight we begin in mississippi, where failed tea party insurgent chris mcdaniel has yet to concede in the republican primary for u.s. senate. after losing the runoff election last night, in a surprise upset victory for incumbent thad cochran who's political life appears to be saved by a last ditch effort on part of his campaign to