tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC November 4, 2014 1:00am-2:01am PST
presidents in recent american history. before president obama, there was george w. bush. he, of course, had two terms. bill clinton, of course, ronald reagan. but, before ronald reagan, you have to go all the way back to eisenhower, to get to a president who serves two whole terms. so if you look at these four, the only presidents in the last 30 -- actually, eisenhower should be obama there. if you look at these presidents over the last 30 years to have served two terms, obviously, they're pretty wildly different as presidents. they served in different times. they've been viewed very differently in terms of how they go down in history. but in this rather elite club, these few people who have had two terms, all of them, so far, have had the same thing happen to them at the end of their presidency: they all had to deal with the house and the senate being in control of the opposite
party: bill clinton was a democrat in his second term election, he did not lose the senate majority because it was not theirs to lose, but they stayed in the minority in both the senate and the house. every two-term president of the modern era has had to serve the last two years of his presidency with both houses of congress being controlled by the other party. this is what happens to second term presidencys. every time. at least over the course of my lifetime, this is how it goes. and before, even if you do want to go back further than that, it
was true of eisenhower, as well. this has now proven to be almost a historic inevitability of what happens to presidents when they get to their second term and second midterm election. the other guys in charge of congress. it must be a huge drag if you're president to know that's coming. but even though that is the history, nobody knows for sure if that's going to be president obama in elections, as well. republicans will certainly hold the house. nobody yet knows if they will take the senate. republicans will seem very account e confident that they will take the snats. the republicans. >> in midterm e lerkss, the president's party loses an eave rang of four senate seats in each midterm election. if, however, you focus in on just the second midterms, just the mid temples on a president in his sixth year of office, the number of senate seets loses on average is 5.8, let's round to six.
the historical average levels in tomorrow's election, the republican party tomorrow will take six senate seets from the democrats. seats happens to be the naex e exact number of seets they need to take from the democrats in order to take control of the united states senate. all they have to do is hit the historical eave rang and they will get what they waj e want. e if they don't, they'll have some explaining to do. so far. so that context is not about any one race. that doesn't tell you what's going to happen to any one individual candidate tomorrow or any individual state tomorrow. that's just the historical precedent for what happens in elections like the one we are about to have. and if past is prologue and tomorrow does follow that very clear, historic pattern, well, then, the next thing to consider
is what happens once republicans do have control of the united states senate as well as the united states house of representatives. if they have complete control of congress, what are they going to want to do with it? no idea. texas senator ted cruz dipd a washington post interview whether he said he's already not sure whether he will vote for the majority republicans in the senate. they're already fighting over the booty when they haven't even raided the castle yet. if republicans do meet history's expected tagszs and they do take complete control of congress tomorrow, well, okay. this is the legislative record u the quantitative legislative record of achievemented for what is known as the do-nothing congress. after world war ii, 1948, harry truman branded the congress that year the do-nothing congress. in that famous picture holding up a newspaper, dewey got the
election results wronk. other than that headline, do you remember anything else about tom mass dewey? are you even sure that his first name was tom mass? >> no, nobody remembers anything about thomas dewey. harry trksz ruman didn't everyone bother running against him. he basically ignored the republican candidate. he ran against the do-nothing congress and he won. and that will forever be known as the do-nothing congress. it's the historic benchmark in our nation for the failure of a political institution, right? for the failure to act. that congress did nothing. for comparison's sake, the 112th congress there, that's the legislative record of the last congress we just had. they say there's nothing new
under the sun? bull puckey. we are setting new records for congress doing less than it ever has done before. usa,,e usa. it's officially the least productive congress in the history of congress. and, now, this is the record of the current congress that we're in right now. the current congress, their record so far. we might even beat the record, which we set last year. congress has never done less in the history of the yiet e united states of america than it has done since republicans took control of the house in 2010. if the republican party also takes the senate, though, i think it's reasonable to expected that that record of doing absolutely nothing will change. republicans in control of the two houses of congress will probably find a way to agree with each other enough to pass things. because they will be able to do
it with all republican votes. once they can act in washington without having to deal with the democrats at all, my guess is they probably will start passing stuff. democrats will not be able to stop them in the house or in the senate, barring the filibuster. if the republicans take control of both of thoer parties, democrats will not be able to stop them in congress at all. they will leave it up to president obama himself. president obama alone will be the counter weight to the all-republican congress if the republicans take the senate tomorrow. and that is going to be a lot of fun to cover. when this same thing may happen to president obama tompl happened to jorjs bush in 2006, when the democrats took control in both houses of congress, george w. bush, at that point, had only vetoed one bill over the entire time he had been pet. after 2006, after the opposite party took control, he issued 11 vetoes in his last two years in office.
heading into tomorrow's elections, president obama, so far, in this presidency, has only vetoed two pieces of legislation. neither of which are things that anybody remembers. one of them was basically a typo. congress passed a stock e stopped gap thing because they thought they were not going to be able to pass a spending bill. but then they passed a spending bill, too. it was just kind of a screw up. it was a non-event. only one of those things could be lost. the headline in the new york times today, president obama issued his very first veto as president is this. veto from obama does not stop presses. it's not the most important thing. the only other thing he has ve e vetoed had to do with who -- i'm kidding you -- i'm not kidding you. it had 20 do with who is allowed to notarize your mort gant e gang documents. now, no offense to notaries or mortgage documents, but that
veto was not exactly an earth h e-shattering political move. all of the politics and the kimpblt e different types of political excitement that we have had during the obama years, we have had pree precisely zero excitement over presidential vetoes. it has only happened twice so far and neither time did et e it even make the frount e front section of the pam e paper when he did it. but if his ri is right about what's going to happen in tomorrow's election, that whole veto thing is about to get a lot more exciting. we're about to have a whole big new thing to be controversial and kbieting in our politics. looking ahead to how tomorrow's election may or may not change your life if you are interested in politics, you are about to have a lot more barack obama in your politics if they can get it together to as e pass legislation through the house and senate. president obama's desk is going to become a much more sblis e interesting place than it has been. that is an exciting pros pekt.
the other thing that we know is going to happen after tomorrow's election is that president obama is planning on doing stuff without congress. felt president obama has said that he will take executive action without congress on the issue of immigration. if you want to know what else is going to happen, if history is right and the republicans have a great day tomorrow, if you want to know what else that is going to mean in your life and as a political life as a nation, our friends at fox news are already so excited about the pros pekt of president obama acting on the issue of em e immigration what they're going to do if republicans get control of both house of congress starting tomorrow. they're already talking about what they're going to do in response. i don't want to give it away, but itsd initials are impeople e peachment. they're already talking about impeachment.
>> white house has basically said he's going to, right after the election,the midterms, he is going to issue abe an executive action in his talk. there was a big thing in the wall street journal this weekend that, in effect, would not give legal slaigs eization to up to 4 million people. i promise you, if he does that, if he, by executive action, goes goes against congress and legalizes 4 million people. you're going to see calls for impeachment. >> impeachment. they're already calling ffr e for it. they're already planning on it. >> if the republicans do capture the senate, there's no more excuses about impeachment. see what we've heard so far is we can't do that because we can never get it through the senate. the house can impeach him, but the senate would never convict. it would just be a waste of time. >> well, if they have control of the senate, it won't be.
we'll see how they deal with this e e, post-election, if they happen to win control of the senate. >> that's tony perkins from the family research council. over at world net daily, your source for where's the birth certificate. it's our olt friend roma daily banging the drum for impeoplement there u as well. >> so on fox news, they've already got it in motion as best as they can. tomorrow, they take the senate. the day after that, they start working to waerd impeachment. remember the summer republicans in the house came up with a plan that was supposed to drain some of the energy away from the calls on the right to start impeaching pet obama from something? house peep e speaker joan boehner said he would file a laut against president obama instead of filing impeachment proceedings.
this is supposed to day vert energies into this lawsuit against president obama, instead. since then, that supposed lauts has never been filed. two different law firms have now kwit after being hired by the house speaker to bring that case. they just didn't ever bring nick with it. and the fire on the right, and in the conservative media and on fox news to impeople r peach president obama for something, sm e sometime soon, that fire on the right is burning hotter than i think the beltway realizes right now. nobody knows fr sure in e if republicans are going to take the senate tomorrow. history suggests that they will. as you can see tonight, i'm at a different desk, we're at the big new deszing. we're at big, new set. lots of head room. we're set up for election night tomorrow night. the best we can tell from this vantage point is that the next two years are going to be not
just a big deal, they're probably going to be a big mess, which makes this business a very fun place to work. joining us now is an dree ya mitchell here on msnbc. great to see you. >> great to be here. >> nice -- >> i don't think i get to keep them. this election might go until january. >> i feel a little bit like heading into these elections, that there's two interesting things i can't get my head around. one of them feels like it's very close. you look at things like the jeller in generic. it seems like they're very close. history tells us it won't be close. how do you approach something like this. >> very, very cautiously. it is close. akording to all of the polling. polling can be wrong. but in every place we look, all the data show that it's very close, we don't tee e see signs of this republican wave.
else specially in the nbc news wall street journal poll. which show e now shows it neck-in-neck with people who say we want a democratic congress and a republican congress. our best thinking, in looking at this is that people are so upset. so turned off by the deadlock, the gridlock, the argment, the commercials, the plun that's been spent. they are angry at the e incouple bents and they really right-hand turn decided or haven't decided up until now which way too express that anger. do they stay home, in which case it basically advantages the people who are committed voters and midterms that often more older voters or does it inspire the space e base. democrats getting angry enough
and fearful enough about what they say will happen if the republicans take over if the young people will come out. and we've got ermly voting and key-state kroe kro, which is mail-in voting. for the first time. >> for the first time we deent nope in a really important, close election in north carolina, what kind of voter intimidation is going to take place. that's been ground zero, as you have reported, more important ly than anyone else. >> i feel like looking ahead. i feel like else specially looking at previous, two-term presidents, they all had to deal with congress having control by the opposite party. that's part of what makes it feel like a historic inevitability. is there any way to look ahead toward what changes in washington, if the republicans do take control? i mean, policy-making, no policy is being made in congress, anyway. presumably, no policy made in congress controlled on both sides because president obama will veto anything that they bant to pass that he wants to disagree with.
is there nigd based on what those last two years would be like and how they'd be different? >> if you look at ronald reagan, both of whom were struggling in their second terms with scan dalt. one impeachment, the sex scandal. the other iran contra. bad scandals. the presidency was almost going down. it was saved by houf aerd baker and other people who came in as new chiefs of staff. but if you look at them, they didn't have to deal with an obama e opposition party which is controlled by the wings as this republican party. it was pre-tea party. it was pre-ted cruz. and there was an accommodation by the opposition party and the second term pet, ronald reagan got stuff done. bill clinton got important stuff done. and they were able to work across -- >> even poesz-scandal. even without e with opposite party control in the congress.
>> exactly. so the question is which republican party is going to be in charge. you already saw ted cruz saying todd in alaska, i'm not sure i would vote for mitch mcconnell. does mitch mcconnell have to deal with president shl candidates among his colleagues taking shots from all sides. is ill e it going to be rand paul who said he thinks things can be done. is it going to be the acomet dags who might try to reach a mill and do something on tax reform, do something on trade policy that, ironically, president obama has tried to do but democrats have stopped him. or is it going to be a divided republican party in three parts. candidates, very right-wing tea party, members who are not running for pet and more moderate people who want to prove that republicans can get
something done, can govern to position themselves for 2016. >> this is going to be fascinating. seeing them fight over the spoils before they've attained them. >> and one key thing, take a look at the chairman ships that. is the key. joan mccain is going to take over armed services. >> greatest hoax every perpetrated on mankind, he says. >> so you've got a very interesting agenda. >> an droo ya mitchell, weekdays another noon's tern here on msnbc. i can't wait to help cover this with you. >> and ill have a big guest tomorrow on my show. >> who do you have? >> oh, rachel maddow. >> i'll have to get up in time to see. >> all right, just a few hours away now, for wall-to-wall coverage tomorrow night, msnbc is lucky enough to retain the services of the great steve r
choose to go the same way. washington, d.c. will vote on it tomorrow. but there's also the prospect e pekt that congress will overrule because citizens of the district of columbia are second class citizens who are not allowed to make decisions like other people are in every other part of the contiguous united states. in florida, they will be voting on marijuana tomorrow. in florida,it's not for recreational use. it's for medicinal use. and, as such, under florida law, it will actually take a vote of 60% in favor. 60% of the population instead of a simple majority would be needed to pass that medical marijuana initiative tomorrow in florida. overall, it's a really interesting question. because americans love pot so much, it's an interesting
question as to what that marijuana ballot initiative might do to the election overall. florida governor is very too kroes to call. and, same question for alaska. in alaska, both the senate race and the governor's race are super, super-tight. tomorrow x they're voting for legalizing it for recreational use. everybody expecteds that to be of great interest to alaska voters. nationwide polling has nearly 4 in 10 americans saying they would be much more likely to vote if legalization is on the ballot. now, that's nationwide. will it drive turnout up above where it might other wise be if voters didn't have the chance to
vote in those states on pot. which we love. as a country. like mom and apple pie. if you're mom or apple pie, also made you want to eat funions and watch cartoons. nobody knows the answer. there's a lot of speculation about it. also, the same question and the same potential dynamic in work but in a more pronounced fashion, in these states, because in these four states tomorrow, they're voting on something that is even more documented in terms of people supporting it and it has an everyone clearer track record. that is not the issue of pot. it's the issue of money. it's the issue of raising the minimum wage. alaska, arkansas, nk e nebraska, second degree zed, they're all red states. they're all places where there's no way the republican legislatures are going to boost the wage in the states. raising the minimum wage is
really, really popular. they are their top of the ticket races that are really close. the minimum wage vote is not close. in arkansas, the ballot measure is leading by nearly 3-to-1. in south dakota, their measure to raise the minimum wage, leading by nearly 2-to-1. in alaska, in that generally red, lib e libertarianish state is up by 20 points. raising the min e minimum wage is a really, really popular idea. yes, we like pot as a country. we love pot as a country. but we also like the idea of giving a wage that's the lowest by law. the red state folks who live in those places, they support that wage.
it's a historical, proven winner. so far, where ever the question of raising the minimum wage has appeared on the ballot, people have always said yes. and by very large margins. just speaking in historic terms, raising the minimum wage has been undefeetble. and, historically, it also drives upturnout. people come out to vote for raising the minimum wage even if they wouldn't turn out to vote in that minimum election at all e all. and the scandal around the republican senate where everybody thought was going to be a shoe in. putting pot on the ballot and raising the minimum wage on the ballot have the potential to change the elector rat. alaska is doing both of them at the same time.
and nobody knows what that's going to mean. nobody knows. there's a lot of speculation as to what that's going to mean. but nobody knows. a lot of what's going to happen in tomorrow's elections is pretty certain already. but a lot of it is completely, really, really high up there in the air. hold that thought.
this week, president obama campaigned for dan maloy, one of the few campaign events that the president has asked to take part in late in this election sierkle. facing a republican challenger, he's also facing an independent candidate on the ballot named joseph visconti. dan maloy has benefitted from the fact that he's had two candidates. if anything, he's been siphoning off support that's been good news for democrat dan maloy. or at least it was good news right up until this weekend when e when this happened. >> a political earth quake today as independent democratic kbov nor suspended. he pledged his support to challenger, tom foley. >> it wasn't about me. it was, really, about how we were going to take the state back. i had to make the call and pull the trigger.
>> joe tells me to decide came saturday afternoon after seeing a public policy polling poll showing democratic governor ahead of him by three percentage points. >> the two men in private sard, he's not asking for anything in return for the endorsemented. >> did you say mother's house? yes, mom's house. the independent in the race called the opponent over to his mother's house. my mom says you're okay. the independent guy cannot drop out of this race completely, but he's instrukted his supporters to, instead, vote for the republican challenger.
this has been one of those weird election cycles where we have lots and lots and lots of tie races all over the country. a lot of the top-tiered races are too close to call. it's remarkable, or uninteresting or unviable third party candidates, suddenly, are imbued with the power to change these very important elections. steve, thank you very much for being here. can you take us through some of these parts where there's a third party role? >> there's some really interesting races for a viert of reasons. you mentioned connecticut dwov nor's race. let eelg e's take a look at a libertarian. his name is adrian wiley. this is the third candidate in florida. this is charlie kryst runing
against rick skoet. it looks like he's pulling more votes. why is that? what seems to be happening is voters who have turned down rick scott and don't want to re-elect him. they're using this as their protest vehicle. that's why he seems to be doing so well. >> now, take a look at this. here's the polling average in north carolina.
one of these razor-thin areas in north carolina. this e this is a race where the liberer eartarian had confers on the right. a tea party opponent in the primary who was endorszed by rand paul. he had some serious problems in the primary. here's shawn ha. that could with significant. this is amanda swafford. the key here is it triggers that runoff which wouldn't be held until january. the key to whether they get to
50% or not is amanda swafford. the expectation is more of this 3.2% goes to purdue than nunn. >> the important thing is you might not only have the libertarian candidate going to a runoff. you also have the libertarian candidate being a king maker if they decide to manipulate their support in whatever way they can. >> thank you so much. i should tell you in terms of our coverage form night,lots more steve and our coverage
starts tomorrow night at 6:00's tern time e time. i'll be here alongside steve matthews plus a cast of thousands. it's tomorrow starting at 6:00 eastern. i couldn't be more excited. we've got lots more ahead tonight. including a little more election news. stay with us. that's ahead. stay with us. you want i fix this mess? a mess? i don't think -- what's that? snapshot from progressive. plug it in, and you can save on car insurance based on your good driving. you sell to me? no, it's free. you want to try?
new jersey governor chris christie has spent a third of his second term out thurping. he's spending his election day eve making it count in four new england states with an additional detour to the midwest. it turns out to be a pretty interesting one, the democrat is facing backlash from leading lip e liberals over our controversial decision to restructure the state's system. the second stop was new
hampshire. chris christie has gone to new hampshire five times since june to stump. after new hampshire, chris christie headed to e connecticut. and that was before the independent e dent in that race was dropping out and who drove his support behind tom foles y. then it was off to maine for governor chris christie. cutle rurks has been running a distant third. with him half in and half out, nobody's quite sure what's going to happen in the main governor's race. but chris christie was there tonight to try to make it happen for republican incumbent paula page. busy day in new edge labd e land.
chris christie did not make an appearance in vermont vermont today. that would be futile. but what about mae ma? no chris christie trip to try to help charlie baker. in a state like massachusetts, why is that governor ship potentially in a state as blue as massachusetts is. mar thae cokley has lost a big lead over charlie baker. yes, in mae ma. and new england, maybe tomorrow,
before your gloomy introduction. >> i'll look at the races tonight. i see five of them, five out of six, in reach for the republicans. why is this happening in such a democratic part of the country. >> i think it may be with due respect, you're paying more atex to tension to polls than what's happening on the ground. we've got a really strong grass roots organization and have been working them really hard for the last weeks and months. and we have to execute tourm. we're not taking anything for granted. but people beat money and advertising and pollser time. in terms of the mae ma race, fliert one of them has won in the past. what acounts for the democrats starting off this race before
the republican primary, right? starting off this race with such a big advantage. and then seeing it get so close. how do you explain the massachusetts appetite? >> well, the first thing i would say to you is we have more unenrolled ind pen dents than republicans combined. it's not what people expected of us, but, in fact, we're quiet discerning about who our leadership is in all of our statewide races. we have 16 years of republican
governors before i became governor eight years ago. and i think the contrast of what we've been able to produce in the laes agt years, where we've had a series of governors more interested in having the job than doing it. you mentioned that governor christie hasn't been here in massachusetts recently, bud e but his money has been. in fact, the republican governor's association spent more money in the last week here than martha cokley has spent in the last year. it's all been about tearing her down. that's where the grass roots is going to come in handy and raise its righteous head and vote for goef that's about them, about people and not about money. >> if you were return e running for re-election this year, it seems to me you'd be running away with it. what do you want to do next? what do you see as your political future?
>> you're very kind. it's been a great, fulfilling, challenging eight years. i'm proud of the fact that we lead the nation in student achievemented and veter ran services and energy efficiency, that we're at a 25-year high in employment. our budgets are balanced and you can marry any knowledge in the state that jowl wish. but this is the first and only elected office i had. i promszed my wife after eight years we'd get acquainted again. so i'm looking forward to doing something in the private sector. these are both candidates who have run for high profile races
like oregon election or iowa weather forecast. and all the news that comes in under that topic gets filed under that generic head line. here's something thaw don't want to be a whole category of news. nuclear missteps. that's a whole category that the ap has had to create in order to keep track of all the news about nuclear missteps in our country. tonight they put that on late breaking news that another two air force commanders in charge of nuclear weapons have been fired. there are three units that maintain our intergalactic missiles. late tonight the air force has announced it's firing the commander of the missile squadron.
that's late-breaking news about the air force. if it sounds familiar, it's because nuclear mishaps are a thing now, they keep happening. nine were fired for their role in a cheating scandal. hundreds cheating on proficiency exams. cheating on illegal drug use. what could go wrong? the number two officer in charge of all nuclear weapons being arrested for using counterfeit chips at a gambling casino? getting fired for drunken antics on a trip to russia. and it wasn't all that long that the air force accidentally flew six armed missiles from minot in north dakota to barksdale, before anybody realized they were missing. but tonight we have another message in the nuclear category.
two were relieved of duty tonight, reported by the associated press. there are only three bases that handle them in this country. it's unusual to have disciplinary action taken simultaneously at two of those three bases, but that does appear to be what happened. until we learn more, we will let you know. until then you can file it under "oops."
coverage tomorrow night for as long as it takes, but it will probably take a long time and we'll see you there starting at 6:00 eastern time. it is election day in america. on first look 90 million pal lots will be cast. control of the senate will shift forcing president obama to work with them forcing him to build his legacy. you're looking at a live picture of the u.s. capitol where the balance of power is in the hands of the voters. it's midterm madness. the races are tight and the stakes high and the amount of money being spent on politics is record levels. this election map is all we have to say. ten key toss up races could toss democrats right out of power.
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