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tv   Headliners  MSNBC  June 23, 2019 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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click, call or visit a store today. you're looking at it. we are on "the road to miami." the first democratic primary debate of the 2020 election this week. ari melber coming to you live here. next hour we have as promised special new stuff. including going deep with experts that you might not see in a typical newscast. the man barack obama and bill clinton relied on for their debate prep, their chief debate roach, robert barnett. he's prepped ten presidential candidates of the democratic party. we've set aside time to go over the strategy and the archives. then a name that you know, i'm
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interviewing for the very first time, author malcolm gland well, weighing in on something politically relevant, choice overload. what do voters do when presented with so many candidates? also the former presidential candidate who interviewed joe biden and other contenders today, al sharpton here live. we begin on wednesday. everyone in the democratic party and beyond getting ready for something that we know will happen. millions of viewers will for the first time really assess the democratic field, which is really his tore nick a lot of measurable ways. it has the oldest candidate, bernie, at 37. the youngest, pete, at 37. six women candidates, the most ever in either party. the first openly gay candidate to run in a presidential race, mayor pete. only two of these candidates have done a nationally televised presidential debate, joe biden and bernie sanders. the rest are taking a turn at a high-stakes rookie challenge, although some have debated at
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lower levels of politics. >> this is the first time i've run for public office. >> i want to be a strong public advocate who can stand up to the mayor. >> we want an attorney general who has a plan. >> it is safer to be on the road and not the sidewalk. >> this is an exciting time to be in our business and no better time to be president. >> i've been very proud to represent vermont. >> unlike some of the folks you saw, unlike warren, de blasio, harris, buttigieg, who all did local debates, other candidates have never done any major political debates. in a typical political era, that would seem like a disadvantage. if we learned anything last cycle, many voters are sick of traditional experience. the man who won the republican nomination had no debate experience let agoen governing experience. while few democrats say anything donald trump does inspires them, he certainly did show that long-shot political novices can go far. something that may be on the minds of several of these less-famous, less-debate-experienced
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candidates you're about to hear from this week. now i'm joined by cecile richards, former president of planned parenthood federation of america, cofounder of super majority, a women's political action group, someone who's dealt with candidates at every level letter her daughter is serving on senator kamala harris' team. and mike murphy, veteran of a whole bunch of republican presidential campaigns. good evening to both of you. >> good evening. >> hello. >> hello. mark, those novices so you underestimate at your peril. it's an exercise in intellectual examine and political humility to see what happens on the debate stage. what do you think of some of the lesser-known candidates' chances on the stage? >> ari, you're right, they're dangerous as they have very little to lose. they're desperate to break out and get noticed. to have a moment that they can hopefully run down the table as this very long process continues. so i think a night one, and this
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will get laughter around the studio in new york, keep an eye on de blasio. he is used to the rough and tumble of new york city media. he can communicate. he's extremely comfortable with progressive politics and speaking that language in the democratic primary. and his expectations are so low, anything is up. keep an eye on him. keep an eye on amy klobuchar, who's got to do something to start her campaign a little bit of energy or else her fund-raising is going to dry up, even though the voter stuff is later. cory booker has had a pretty good week because he's been able to engage biden. i think he's jealous about night two where kamala harris will be on stage with joe biden to give him sensitivity training. elizabeth warren, who gets her own night, but bernie, biden, the biggest opponents at least in the early polling, they're on another night. she gets to be star of the show but she's on a stage full of people trying to get her. keep an eye on de blasio and ryan. >> before i bring in cecile,
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given your experience, those of us who are junkies know exactly how this was picked with these two nights and all that. other years there have been first tier, second tier nights. based on your knowledge of the way sporadic voters tune in is it possible folks will misperceive that one night is supposed to be big than the other? >> sure, but you know, the problem with these debates are we cover every one like the super bowl. there are going to be 12 super bowls at least. so everybody gets another bite at the apple. it's really going to be which i think the second night the biden versus mayor pete versus kamala harris versus bernie show that is going to attract most of the attention afterward. everybody's got something to lose. and maybe some of the smaller candidates will find a way to get up a notch. >> cecile, same question, all the above to you, as well as whatever else you want to add. >> sure, thanks. this is historic, it's so exciting to think we have six women, more people of color, than have ever run for president.
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for a lot of voters this is the first time they've had a good opportunity to look at these women candidates. i think we're going to -- these are women candidates who have never lost a race. they are absolutely prepared. i think we've seen enormous policies coming out of them and everything. the critical voters in the democratic primary and in the general election are women voters. and women of color. i was just looking at the recent poll from the hill which said 62% of women are not inclined to vote for president trump again. so how women see these candidates, what they do in this primary, is going to be critical. that's where all the energy is right now. and i don't know, i've been so impressed. i just hope we see moderators ask the women and the men the same kinds of questions, because there are a lot of issues on the minds of women voters, economic inequality, equal pay, lack of affordable child care, lack of affordable health care. i hope that they ask all the candidates those questions
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because it's time we start comparing apples to apples. >> well, as you mentioned, joe biden has been running into cross currents that are partly about his extensive experience, which often can be a negative in presidential politics, also about two sets of issues you alluded to, women's issues as well as civil rights. take a listen to him talking about an issue you've worked on, how the federal government is limited in health care that relates to abortion services, specifically the quote-unquote hyde amendment, take a look. >> although the hyde amendment was designed to try to split the difference here to make sure women still had access, you can't have access if, in fact, everyone's covered by a federal policy. and so that's why at the same time i announce that policy, i announce that i can no longer continue to abide by the hyde amendment. >> i'd like to ask you both, cecile then mike, a, briefly, the policy claim there. b, the politics, which is you don't have to be a political
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expert to hear someone saying they're announcing a policy, yada yada. what he's saying is he's changed his position under pressure. cecile? >> yeah, well look, i think -- again, women voters are going to determine this election. they were 54% of the voters in 2018. they will likely be that much or more in 2020. you have to win women. and women are deeply concerned about what's happening with abortion rights in this country. we see alabama, missouri, georgia, you could go down the list. and so where a candidate stands on access to safe and legal abortion, a right that women have had for more than 40 years, is absolutely essential. along with all the access to affordable health care, which i think, again, it was a critical issue in 2018, it's going to be a defining issue in 2020. >> you know, i see it a little differently. on the hyde stumble, it was a bad stumble. it's a problem biden's always going to have because he's been fighting the good fight in the democratic party for four decades and the definition of the good fight has changed over time. so we can relitigate stuff from the mast, and i thought he
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stumbled in how he handled it. but there is a danger in this democratic primary. short-term incentives are to have a race among activists who pay attention early to see who's the most woke. group of women voters are going to have a lot to do with whether donald trump is re-elected or not. i agree he has a problem with women. 1 of 6 voters is a pro-life woman. >> how do you define woke? >> i think it's this race to a combination of liberal economics, populist economics on the left, which is the other side of trump's populism on the right, and then all this identity politics. so my point is, the democrats can run a primary and run up the energy on the left, but if they don't pull votes out of 500, 600 counties and hold trump down a little, which are full of old grumpy white people who ain't so woke, they could have the same
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outcome, still lose the election in the electoral college. it's a heart and minds struggle in the party and that's hard in a primary where everybody's trying to win the election which is 90% progressives. >> cecile's been encouraging moderates to ask everyone the same question. i put the question to her, how do you define woke? what's your response to mike? >> i don't think woke is the issue. i think the issue is that there are basic issues of access to affordable health care, access to affordable wages. two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women in this country. they haven't had a raise for ten years. access to affordable child care, this is the second-highest cause for most families. it's not just a women's issue, on it a family issue, a men's issue as well. these issues on the minds of american women. they are going to be the vast majority of voters in this country, they are never jized, they are active more than ever in our history. they're going to determine the future of this presidential election. i think these issues are
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critically important. >> i define it as being -- mike, hold on, i've got to get something important here. i define it as the state of being awake or not asleep. >> if you define it as being awake and not asleep, that's where women are. women, again, we've had more people march, resist, protest this president -- >> you see what she did there, mike? i feel i'm talking to two skilled, politically rhetorical strategists. they're telling me out of time but i did interrupt, mike, if you want to add anything. >> no, the numbers in the general election say it's about more than any one voter group. it's about taking votes away from trump, not reinforcing the messages you have. if it was about that, hillary clinton would have won in those states. >> she did get more votes. >> but the question being, where? >> not where it counted. >> not where it counted. i don't think that's in dispute anymore. look, this is interesting, i appreciate you both speaking
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across the proverbial aisle that separates you. an interesting civil sunday night conversation. cecile and mike, thanks to both of you. >> thanks, ari. >> thanks for having me. we have a lot going on. coming up, this is our very special second hour guest who helped ten different candidates prepare for presidential debates. he's a big shot and he's on the hour tonight. first live, reverend al sharpton, his interviews with 2020 candidates and some of the big controversies. later, the one and only author malcolm glad well talking about how what to do when you have too many choices, even in politics? how the brain reacts to choice overload as our hour continues. you're watching "the road to miami." nice. but, uh... what's up with your... partner? not again. limu that's your reflection. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪
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as promised i'm back with a special guest fresh from the b.e.t. awards in los angeles, my colleague the reverend al sharpton live from l.a., keeping busy because he was in south carolina interviewing a bunch of top 2020 candidates. >> i do understand the consequence of the word "boy" but it wasn't said in any of that context at all. >> but you understand -- >> no, no, no, no. >> he would never call me "son." >> the way he said it caused a lot of hurt and harm in communities like the one i live in saying, this avowed racist called me son. didn't call me boy. >> we have institutionalist and
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systemic racism across the board. >> when we talk about raising the minimum cage to at least 15 bucks an hour, you're talking about all low-income workers in america, predominantly african-american and latino. >> we need to rebuild some form of relationship between law enforcement and the communities they're meant to serve. >> that's what a good set of 2020 bookings looked lie. rev has firsthand experience on the stage in presidential debates. 2004, a bigger rev on a bigger stage, memorable moments ainged at howard dean after the iowa scream. >> i wanted to say to governor dean, don't be hard on yourself about hooting and hollering. if i had spent the money you did and got 18%, i'd still be in iowa hollering. >> there it is. rev al, good on several issues. before we get into all the politics, as mentioned you're in
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los angeles for the b.e.t. awards. what were you presenting? and who won? >> i presented the gospel award. and the winner was snoop dogg. he wasn't there so i had to present it and accept it. but i was glad to be part of the younger demographic awards show with b.e.t. and doing the gospel award tonight in l.a. >> fantastic, i love some gospel. i won't ask if in addition to accepting on his behalf, whether you celebrated on his behalf. >> i did not. >> good. that's interesting, we wanted to mention that. so folks know where you are. before i get into details i want to ask you, you obviously are a colleague, but a former candidate. what is it like when you step out on the big stage? is it different than other interviews and other appearances? is there an adrenaline factor? >> yeah, it's a -- it's much different. and it's a lot of adrenaline. because one, you're on the big stage. you're running for president. and you know that the whole nation you feel is looking at
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you. and you're up against people that you do not know what they're going to do. all of the research teams, all of the policy wongs that you have in your campaign, they can't walk out there with you. you've got to come out, you've got to be prepared policy-wise. but you also have to come out and show your authenticity. and a lot of it is how you prepare yourself to know what to do, when to do it. and to prepare yourself in case you are attacked or sideswiped by somebody. like the boxer mike tyson used to say, everybody has a strategy until they get hit in the face. and you got to be -- >> or until they get their ear bitten off. >> that's it. the boxer ari melber said that mike didn't say that. >> no one would mistake me for a boxer under any circumstances. delving into your time, who surprised you as being better than you expected on that stage? how much of your material did you use, meaning stuff you
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prepared versus you had to just go live? >> i was very surprised how good john kerry was. john kerry i thought was a lot stiffer. he was very good on the debate stage. and i was surprised by that. i also thought for the time that he was in the race that governor bob graham of florida was good. so it was like seven, eight of us. but i used maybe 30%, 35% of what the policy guys gave me. a lot of it is instinct, gave and take. know when to come in, when to be witty but make your point, and not be so serious that people will not listen to what you have to say. >> interesting. so now let's jump ahead to how busy you were, we showed the viewers. what did you glean from the interviews you did today? and where do you think joe biden is at as of 10:20 p.m. here on the east coast, sunday night, after a couple of days where by
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the most charitable accounts he had an unforced error, by less charitable accounts, he really demeaned or did a disservice to the importance of civil rights progress that the country and the party has made? >> i thought that yesterday, as i did the interviews at the south carolina democratic convention, i thought that kamala harris had a great day. she talked with joy reid. she had a good speech. as did many of the rest. i thought cory booker had a good week, as mike said in the segment before me. he was very passionate in our interview. but i really think that we've got to watch tim ryan. i think he's going to try to come down a centrist lane that is going to be open on that first night's debate. i agree bill de blasio should not be underestimated because he's run and debated several times. he has everything to gain trying to be the runner-up of the
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progressive lane with liz warren. liz warren is the established front-runner in the first night, which means if you're going to try to be the runner-up and be in the realm of i'm the new progressive leader, or at least i should be considered along with liz warren and bernie sanders, de blasio has to do that wednesday night. i would watch de blasio, i would watch where he goes, i would also watch tim ryan. because tim ryan, without biden on that stage, he could be the centrist that comes in and carves out a niche. >> that's interesting. i haven't heard that name as much. tonight we got to go from snoop dogg to mike tyson to tim ryan. just another day's work with the hardest-working reverend at msnbc. al sharpton, thanks for staying up with us tonight. >> thank you. >> thank you, sir. as always, catch "politics nation" weekends 5:00 p.m. eastern, also on msnbc.
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now we turn to something that i'm excited about. it's a special treat. it's bob barnett, barack obama's debate coach, along with ten other presidential candidates, hillary clinton as well, president clinton, our exclusive guest on this special when we come back. cancer is the ugliest disease mankind has ever faced. we got the idea that if we took two dimensional patient imaging and put it in holographic displays, we could dissect around the tumor so we can safely remove it. when we first started, we felt like this might just not be possible but verizon 5g ultra wideband will give us the ability to do this. ♪
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debates are crucial for democratic candidates. how do they prepare? for the past several decades a presidential democratic nominee almost always turns to one debate expert and attorney as part of debate prep. campaign managers come and go but the field of debate prep so is specialized it almost always involves robert barnett, one of the foremost debate experts in the world, known for representing presidents, leaders including presidents clinton and obama. when it comes to debates, he is all-in for the democrats. barnett has advised 10 presidential campaigns and played a key role in debate prep, 10 of the last 11 cycles, including applying his courtroom skills to play the rows of president bush, dick cheney in presidential debates. the perfect expert for this
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discussion. i'm thrilled you're doing this. >> thank you for having me. i'm pleased to be here. >> it's great to have you. you are the guy. and before i play some of these amazing moments that you have insights on, walk us through what it means for these candidates to prepare for such a large debate field. >> i've had the opportunity to work on multi-candidate debates, particularly in '08, when we had the democratic side starting with nine, 10, 11 candidates. in '16 when we started originally with five. it's very different than preparing for a general election debate where it's usually one on one, in the case of '92 with perot in there, it was three. i think that these candidates must start with defining what are their goals and what is their strategy? because if you go in there ad hoc, it's always going to be problematic what is your goal when you're up against nine other people? >> exactly. for some of these people, they aren't known. they're known to you and me because we follow this every day. you broadcast about it every day. >> some of them are known to
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msnbc viewers but this is their chance to get to millions more. >> much broader. so some people it will just be to take that five, six, seven minutes, which is all they're going to have, to introduce themselves. for others, i think they're going to decide to go after, not probably in a hard way, but in a tough way, the people who are in their lane. because there are lanes here. and people want to knock out the people in their lanes. others -- >> if you're elizabeth warren, bernie sanders, sooner or later you're going to be competing over some similar voters. >> you might well decide to go after that person in your lane. for other people the wise decision would be to basically ignore the other people on the stage and take it to the president. because you want to demonstrate that you have the ability to do that. >> i want to press you on how you prepare people for what have to be often unexpected or even organic moments. it almost at a time sounds like telling someone they have to
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find their true self, but then perform. because we all know throughout even different eras of media, it's the moments from these debates that crystallized. two big moments people remember, whether you can prepare for that, take a look. >> i will not make age an issue of this campaign. i am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience. >> i have as much experience in the congress as jack kennedy did. >> i served with jack kennedy. i knew jack kennedy. jack kennedy was a friend of mine. senator, you're no jack kennedy. >> let's take them one at a time. the first one was unfortunately used against my dear friend and my original political mentor, the first person i worked for in politics, walter mondale. it was a brilliant statement by ronald reagan to defuse an issue which had come up in the prior
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debate when he kind of wandered down highway 1 in california and the "wall street journal" wrote a front-page story about what his mental state was. it was brilliant, it was successful, and it even made walter mondale laugh. that was not practiced on our side. it certainly was practiced very carefully on his side. with respect to the other, the quayle/benson, i was in the benson rehearsals and that was to a degree practiced and was ready. nobody expected dan quayle would throw that softball up there, but when he did, benson knocked it out of the park. let me make this point -- >> when you say nobody expected, how do you prepare for that? >> if you're dan quayle? you hopefully have somebody on your team who's going to tell you this might come your way if you say jfk. obviously that didn't happen. >> there's the role of moderators which we know around here, great colleagues doing this work. the questions that are teed up can also have a big impact on
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the debates and what the candidates sound like, what they're pressed on. let's look at this famous moment with dukakis. >> governor, if kitty dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer? >> no, i don't, bernard, and i think you know i've opposed the death penalty during all of my life. i don't see any evidence that it's a deterrent. i think there are better and more effective ways to deal with violent crime. >> one question was, was he so overprepared for a policy answer he almost didn't hear what normal voters heard, which was they're talking about your wife. >> that was what we call the death penalty -- i worked on that prep, that was what we call the death penalty answer. not only had he prepared it, but he used it in a speech, i think it was at bates college a couple of nights before. the way bernie asked it you would hope would have had the candidate respond in an
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emotional, almost outraged way. because bernie got some criticism for the question. but instead, michael gave a policy answer. it was his position and it was accurate. but it didn't reflect the emotion that you needed to reflect when that kind of question was asked at that time. >> but this is what's interesting about it. when we sit here, it sounds easy, almost. well, of course you should be emotional for the emotional question. what do you do to prepare newer candidates, and we have some that are going to be speaking next week who haven't done much of this, what do you do to prepare them for why it actually is so much hard where you get out on that same under the lights with potentially over 10 million people watching? >> you have to devise a process that will fit the needs of the candidate. when hillary clinton first debated in the senate race against rick lazio, the famous one where he handed her the piece of paper to sign, believe it or not she had never done a political debate. you think of her now, i've done 42 debates with her. >> she'd been on the public stage but you're saying that
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environment -- >> she'd never done this. >> lazio famously stepped to her, in her personal space. >> yes. >> gore was at times looming over george w. bush. he had his way of dismissing it. when you were advising hillary clinton we also saw that head game of getting in physical space. what's that all about? >> there's a lot of games man ship that goes on in these things. sometimes by their side, sometimes by our side. and you have to think that through and you have to be prepared for it. take the hillary clinton one. she's spoken about the fact and written about the fact that she faced a difficult choice. when he was looming behind her, she could have continued on as she did, answered the questions, in the way she did. and stayed cool, calm, and professional. or she could have turned around and went nuts on him. she made a decision. i think in hindsight, in foresight, it was the right decision. but there are those people who say that was her opportunity to punch him. you know, everybody has a different view. each candidate has to perform as
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they think best. interestingly, hillary clinton by any scientific poll, not by the call-in stuff, but any scientific poll, won all three debates but ultimately lost the election. >> you of course are a totally unbiased and neutral assessor of that, right? >> i'm a totally unbiased assessor of these debates. the big question i have to you you is one that hangs over not only these debates this week but this whole year and this race. which is, how much does trump change the way things work, or is it a mistake to overreact to trump and lose sight of the way you operate and your own goals and strategies, whatever they may be? i leave that for your consideration as we look at the way donald trump acted in debates which, before this happened, most people would not have thought this would be any kind of winning strategy in primary or general election debates, take a look. >> don't worry about it, little marco. i've given my answer, lyin' ted.
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you are the biggest liar, you probably are worse than jeb bush. she has tremendous hate in her heart, and i was so surprised to see him sign on with the devil. >> are there any democrats walking up that stage you would say, yeah, lean into the schoolyard taunts or the nicknames? or is that not the turf to play on? >> donald trump took over the stage and demeaned his opponents and it worked for him. knowing most all of our candidates, not all but most all of them, i don't see any of our people behaving that way. i just don't see it happening. and i think it would be a mistake. i don't think it would work. >> you as we've explained, you are the guy, the expert. you could not advise any of them to do that? >> no. i would advise, if you're going to criticize someone, do it on substance. >> we talked about the way popular culture also understands the moments. there's a story which i'm not asking you to comment on, but a famous story that al gore, who you advised, was feeling mixed reaction from his first debate
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performance. and that president clinton, who you advised, called him and said -- didn't say, listen to bob more, allegedly. didn't say, try harder. he said, "watch the "snl" impression of yourself to see what people are thinking." i know these are your clients. i'm not asking you to weigh in on the sacred and private process. let's look at some of the ways "snl" spoofs people, and this includes some of the people you've played in debate prep. >> stay the course. we're on track. a thousand points of light. thank you very much. >> we find ourselves once again engaged in a deadly game. and i think you know what i'm talking about. will david letterman leave cbs? >> i'm not fancy. i'm not the elite. i put on my pants just like all of you. i sit on the edge of the bed and jane pulls them up for me. >> here's how i feel about that. >> go ahead. >> there is nothing you can do to influence how lorne michaels
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is going to portray you that saturday. >> final question for those watching these debates this week. what do you as a debate adviser and maestro what do you advise people to actually focus on? >> i think the best -- again, some people have to introduce themselves, some people are going to attack their lane, some people are going to take it to the president. the key piece of advice we always give, and i'm not the only one in this club, there are a lot of us who help the democratic candidates over the years, including some great people. be yourself. because if you're anything other than yourself, the camera recognizes that. "saturday night live" recognizes it. you're going to pay a heavy penalty for it. number two, if you can, try to have fun. try to interject humor. it's not easy. self-deprecating humor, that's a big home run. >> bob, i'm writing my notes here. you're one of the most established lawyers in washington. i'm concerned that your notes of debate prep sound a little bit
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like what parents tell their kids before school or summer camp. be yourself, have fun. >> when i told my daughter that and my parents told me that, they were telling me the right thing. >> bob barnett, debate maestro, thank you so much for doing this. >> thank you. >> our first-ever interview, bob barnett. as part of our debate special. and we will be right back. ly. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. nice. but, uh... what's up with your... partner? not again. limu that's your reflection. they were telling me the right liberty, liberty ♪
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but i can tell you liberty mutual customized my car insurance so i only pay for what i need. oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no... only pay for what you need. liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ as democrats debate the best person to take on donald trump,
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does it ever feel like there are too many choices in the first place? choice is supposed to be a good thing. in commerce it can be a luxury in and of itself. the abundance of dozens of tomato sauces can feel like our supermarkets are winning. a point that the icon clastic author malcolm glad well has cited. >> today if you go to the supermarket, you look at how many ragus there are, do you know how many? 36. in six varieties. cheese, lite, robusto, rich and hearty, old world traditional, extra chunky garden. >> gladwell has famously challenged common premises about how we make decision and why certain things catch on. what would he say about the democrats' predictiament of so many choices to take on one of the most controversial presidents ever? let's ask him.
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the "new yorker" journalist and author of five huge best-sellers including "the tipping point" is here. >> thank you, ari, glad to be here. where did you find that? that's so long ago, that's a different hair era. >> which hair era? your extra chunky garden period. >> a better hair era. >> anyone with a strong avenue row looks confident. >> yeah, i would say that. >> no matter what you're doing. >> yeah, yeah. >> you could be gardening or giving a speech. >> i was channeling my inner shaft, i believe, in that. >> the shaft movie is coming out, maybe you bring it back. we'll call sam ewe jackson for you. we're curious what you think. because so much of your writing and study has been about, whatever you can't to call it, decision-maki decision-making. what does it mean for democrats, yes, of course everyone has the right to run. when there's so many choices? >> yeah, so the -- i thought i'd give you a very simple analogy which comes from the world of
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psych metrics. imagine i lined up a series -- infinite series, 20 glasses of water with sugar in them. each glass has a different amount of sugar in it. so one glass is half sugar, one's 40%, one's all the way down the line. and i asked you to drink them all and rank them in order of their sugar concentration. right? rank them sweet toast nonsweetest. can you do that accurately if i give you 20 choices? the answer is, well -- >> the answer is no. this is like the starburst test. when i used to do long road trips, you can distinguish between the cherry and the strawberry if they're your first two. but after 15 starbursts, you can't. >> so there's a natural limit. somewhere between five and seven. where almost all human beings start to break down and they can no longer reliably distinguish
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between two competing choices. so you can -- if i gave you six of those glasses, you could probably rank them in order. you start to make errors at seven. if i give you ten, basically you throw your hands up. >> this is a brain fact? >> this is a brain fact. so saying it's true for sounds, it give you a series of tones. ♪ do do do do do do how accurately can you distinguish them? at a certain point it starts to break down. here i'm making the kind of ludicrous, uncalled for leap for which i'm famous. i'm going to suggest that maybe there's an analogy here with the lineup of democratic candidates. >> are you dubbing yourself an intellectual long jumper? >> well, you know. after a certain point when you hear that you have made leaps that are uncalled for often enough, you start to believe it. >> you have to just hang out with more rappers. you know, they say, davey says thank you, you know you're doing something right when they hate
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you. >> they don't hate -- >> you have some haters. you've sold a lot of books, you have no haters? >> no one hates me, no one hates me. my point is i wonder at a certain point whether if i asked you to rank how many? >> 23. >> it changes by the day. >> right. 23. you're saying, here's a glass of sugar water with universal prek. here's a glass of sugar water with universal prek if a state program matches the funds. at a certain point even the people who want to drink that sugar water have a hard time telling it apart? >> yes. i don't think anyone outside of some kind of uber politics in other words can actually rank these 23 people in order of their own preference. it's just impossible. so there has to be some -- so what happens when you do get people -- give people too many choices, when you they'd those natural limits? they start to make bad decisions. >> this is interesting. you're saying this from a position of analyzing the numerical challenge, which is
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fundamentally different than the way we as voters and citizens and journalists typically look at the field. we keep look at the field as if we're in an under seven situation. and we're comparing them. you're saying that you think the science you've studied shows when you're over seven or ten -- >> you get overwhelmed. i'm not saying -- all of us have a favorite, probably. but if you're thinking about this from a purely rational perspective and you would legitimately like to know who is the best candidate, who is the canned did it who best matches your own sense of where the country ought to be going? it is all but impossible with a field this large. so i happen to be a huge fan of john hickenlooper, but i imagine many voters cannot reliably distinguish john hickenlooper from michael bennet. >> i preferred him -- >> is it michael bennet? >> yeah. >> see? >> i preferred governor hicken hooper in his big afro era. >> did he have a big afro as well?
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>> no. >> see, the point, i can't keep it straight. >> is there an implication here? i know you didn't sign up to help the political parties rewrite their -- >> you know i can't vote, i'm ka da -- canadian. >> we don't hold it against you. the political party rules make distinctions. when the democrats dealt with the revolt in their party to make certain states more important, it had pros and cons. iowa first. we're all living in that world. now you have rules about debate. this fits with the political culture of the democratic party, have erred on the side of very wide early debate stage. many people like that for choice. does your analysis here suggest that eventually it would be better for the voters to narrow that in some way if you wanted to write the rules that way? >> from a serious perspective, the first thing to think about with large fields is change the way that we vote. so you should go to some kind of limited ranked voting. in other words, i need to give my fird, second, third, fourth,
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fifth choice. i wouldn't go beyond five. because it's so clear that if you just vote for one person, we're going to have this kind of crazy -- what we're really interested in is finding those acceptable to the largest number of voters. . you don't do that using a conventional system. i want to know someone's second and third choice. >> i hear you saying the original system devised thousands of years ago to pick one out of two based on what we have learned is is poorly applied apply ed today. >> it doesn't work when you have 23. you have to think of more innovative and frivolous note, perhaps we should be creative on how to whittle the field down. we could have duals. we could play basketball. my personal would be a 5k race. how interesting would that be? i would be favorably disposed to the candidate who won the 5 k
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race. >> what would that tell you? >> how abomination of desolationly badly they itment the job. some degree of strategy. who would win a 5 k? i'm a runner so i'm aware that he's slow. >> if i were guessing and i'm outside of my expertise here, i would guess klobuchar and buttigieg would be pretty good. >> he looks like the a runner and he was military. >> john mccain would be a good runner late into life. >> i'm notten happy with those two choices. >> luckily, you didn't have to make 23 of them. so interesting to have you here for this. we have one more thing on our special road to miami when we come back. l road to miamwhi en come back. scover card. hi, do you have a travel card? we do! the discover it® miles card. earn unlimited 1.5 miles on every purchase,
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we did it together. two hours on the road to miami. and a lot of excitement as we head towards these debates. i want to thank our special guests tonight previewing what is sure to be best we know the
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most important week in the democratic presidential race to tat. now the moderators are our colleagues are prepping for this big night. and candidates on wednesday night includebooker and klobuchar. i'll be back tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. eastern. thanks for watching msnbc. the lexus es... ♪ ...every curve, every innovation, every feeling... ...a product of mastery. lease the 2019 es 350 for $379/month for 36 months. experience amazing at your lexus dealer.
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one women, two men, her husband the air force captain. and the staff sergeant. her rendezvous man. >> he was a playboy, himself. >> one man too many. until suddenly there was one man left. >> it wasn't like bang, bang, bang. it was like bang, pause, bang, pause. >> which sounds more like what? execution? >> you could take it that way, yes. >> a cold-blooded killing. who pulled the trigger? did jealousy drive someone to


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