Skip to main content

tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  December 10, 2009 1:00pm-2:00pm EST

1:00 pm
trying to take part in a holy war against u.s. forces. good afternoon. i'm savannah guthrie in washington in for andrea mitchell today. in a few minutes, president obama will be the guest honor at the norway banquet in oslow. he acknowledged the controversy surrounding this award. >> compared to some of the giants of history who have received this prize, sweitzer and king marshall and mandella, my accomplishments are slight. these men and women, some known, some obscure to all except those who help ed more deserving than i. >> they can walk out of their hotel and see a torch light parade in their honor, part of
1:01 pm
the ceremony and festivities for the nobel prize in oslow this evening. live pictures as the president waves to those assembled below. let's bring in nbc news political director chuck todd, john harwood is here, cnbc's chief washington correspondent. i'll get to you in a moment. chuck, the president wanted to set the tone early and often, a tone of humility. how has that speech been accepted there? >> reporter: it's been hard to gauge. we've talked to sort of average norwegians before the speech and all of them had skepticism as to whether president obama deserved this prize as -- i hear the crowd there. but as much skepticism as some in america had. the audience -- one thing i would say, it was striking that there weren't too many applause lines in the speech. it was, indeed, a lecture.
1:02 pm
this is officially called a lecture, his acceptance speech. it was a lecture. it was a lecture about what the president believes is a case, sometimes, for a, quote, unquote, just war. clearly the decision on afghanistan weighed very heavily on his mind as he was writing this speech. he was making asoskal way. this, a philosophical speech as to why nations do go to war when they have to. >> chuck, i was struck by the way the president went out of his way to essentially defend american actions in foreign policy, particularly since so many of his critics have said he's on this worldwide mr. apology tour. let me first play a portion of this speech where he seems to defend u.s. actions. liste listen. >> the united states of america has helped to underwrite global
1:03 pm
security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms. so, yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace. >> chuck, that did, i agree with you, have a tone of almost a lecture for the european audience. >> reporter: right. >> certainly was designed also for domestic consumption. no? >> reporter: i think there certainly is something to be said about -- by that. i've been struck by how empty my e-mail box is from congressional republicans who were regularly able to put out press releases criticizing the president for various speeches he made on foreign soil. not a peep from congressional republicans today. you see backhanded compliments from some long-term critics of the president who say it's about time he did those things or it's about time he said that. or he said it in this speech, too bad he didn't say it in previous speeches. that's as close to praise as
1:04 pm
some on the right are giving him. not hearing a lot of reaction, negative or positive, though, from the left. remember, he did -- it is sort of striking that he went in front of an audience of a peace committee, a committee that is so devoted to the cause for peace that they did not even hand out a peace prize during world war ii. and he was making a case for war. i'm looking for previous speeches by nobel peace prize recipients that made such a strong case for when war is necessary in their acceptance speech. it's pretty striking. >> what's fascinating to watch, nbc's chuck todd. we'll let you go. see you back here tomorrow. thanks for being with us. >> reporter: you've got it, savannah. >> john harwood, let's talk a bit about the tone here. also, the interesting moment that the president is having on the one hand, this is an honor. nobody can take that away from him. one that the white house really seems to want to downplay. >> savannah, your point about
1:05 pm
the speech being tailored for a domestic audience was right on. barack obama knows that all democrats labor under the burden of showing that they are tough enough to conduct american foreign policy, that they can pass the commander in chief's test. even barack obama when he was a state senator in illinois, when he gave that speech in 2002, posing the iraq war, made sure to include the line where he said i don't pose all wars. i pose duoppose dumb wars. he was making a version of that statement today. he had to do it, committing troops to afghanistan and showing people you can both be toasted by europeans, but also have a muscular foreign policy at the same time. he doesn't want the impression to be created that he's running around in tie dyed shirts and birkenstock sandals, having tea with europeans who have their pinkies up in the air. >> chuck todd mentioned this much. newt gingrich, he really did praise the speech today.
1:06 pm
take a listen. >> he clearly understood that he had been given the prize prematurely, but he used it as an occasion to remind people, first of all, as he said, that there is evil in the world. and i think having a liberal president who goes to oslow on behalf of a peace prize and reminds the committee that they would not be free, they wouldn't be able to have a peace prize without having force, i thought in some ways it's a very historic speech. >> another word that could be used to describe it, john, a patriotic speech. i wonder if he had independents in mind. >> well, look, i think annuity beg -- newt gingrich's statement is right for this reason. if the president of the united states does not feel and communicate that the united states is a force for good in the world, even a president on left, he is in deep political trouble and wouldn't become the president in the first place. barack obama felt the need to say and remind the nobel
1:07 pm
committee, we realize america gets kicked around, around the world on a constant basis but has to be sure not to be seen as apologizing for the united states. and the underlying moral mission of the united states. i think that's what he was expressing today. >> john harwood, stick around. we're coming back to you in a few minutes. thanks very much. senate democrats are aiming to cast a final vote on the health care legislation before christmas. many are rallying around an alternative to the public option. some liberals are disappointed by this latest deal. harry reid says the public option compromise moves him closer to the 60 votes he will need to pass this bill. kelly o'donnell covers capitol hill and is right here with me. nice to see you in person. >> exactly. >> rare we're both here, not at our beats. first of all, i know we don't have a lot of details other than this broad framework, but do we know whether or not senator reid has the 60 votes he needs at this point? >> we don't.
1:08 pm
there are encouraging signs. we don't know the specifics, because they wanted to hold that back until the congressional budget office, nonpartisan number crunchers, look at this and give them a number. the number will help to determine, especially some of the moderate democrats who are concerned about the fiscal issues, if they can get on board. what has gotten some momentum in a way is that there are some ideas here that appeal to two ends of the democratic spectrum, the more liberal and the more conservative. that's why this is getting some traction. it might have momentum. the calendar is weighing in on this as well. if we can get some movement, that might be what they need to sort of push it. there's also criticism that harry reid will not have them working this weekend, which is kind of a surprise. >> you mentioned momentum. timing is certainly part of this. some have said if it were so easy to come together and have this deal on the public option, they managed to negotiate this in a matter of days, what were all these months about within the democratic caucus being so
1:09 pm
fractured over the public option? some people are second guessing why it took so long to come to this conclusion. >> conclusion might be too soon. what we're hearing from people is that they couldn't really go any farther until they knew the number. we sort of reached an impasse, but one that both could claim some, perhaps, progress about. now, are they going -- we're talking about for people who haven't paid attention. medicare being available for purchase if you're 55 years or older. buy the premiums and get coverage there. that creates a whole other set of questions. on the other side, trying to mirror what federal employees already have in terms of their insurance. it would be a plan where, again, you buy into it. it would be administered by the government but not backed financially by the government. you have private plans, public plan under medicare and a way to increase numbers. doesn't cover everyone. it might be more sellable but we don't have a detail yet. >> democrats want to move this along quickly. it's hard to know.
1:10 pm
it is probably mathematically possible with all their procedures to get it done. there are so many ways that there can be a bump along the road. christmas is the goal. we'll see. >> we've seen bumps earlier. nbc's kelly o'donnell, thanks. nice to see you. coming up, will major attacks in iraq delay plans to draw down u.s. forces there? defense secretary robert gates takes on that and more as he makes a surprise stop in baghdad. public support for president obama's afghan war plan is shifting in his favor. that, next on "andrea mitchell reports."
1:11 pm
1:12 pm
okay, class, our special guest is here -- ellen page. hi, ellen! hi, ellen! hi, ellen! hi, ellen! we're going on a field trip to china! wow. [ chuckles ] when i was a kid, we -- we would just go to the -- the farm. [ cow moos ] [ laughter ] no, seriously, where are you guys going? ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! ni hao! [ female announcer ] the new classroom. see it. live it. share it. on the human network.
1:13 pm
we all intend to be your partners for a long time into the future. we recognize the challenges you have and the sacrifices that have already been made by the
1:14 pm
afghan national army and police, and our troops have made sacrifices also. so, this is a relationship forged in blood. >> that's defense secretary robert gates this morning in afghanistan and new video just in to msnbc shows gates in baghdad now, a second unannounced visit. went to iraq to meet with officials. jim miklaszewski is with us now and new york times and cnbc's chief correspondent john harwood joins us again. jim, i'll start with you. making clear, really wanting to send the message that despite these delayed elections and this new violence we saw this week in iraq that they're on track to withdraw on schedule, combat forces, by next august. is there any reason to doubt that time line? >> reporter: you know, we got it from the horse's mouth earlier this week, general ray odierno, who has been very covetous of his fourses.
1:15 pm
they've been there for some time. general odierno wanted to keep those forces in iraq through the elections, which have been delayed, as we know, because he was afraid there would be an uptick in violence. he has been reluctant to let those troops go. even he said this week despite the most recent bombings, blamed on al qaeda in iraq and which ray odierno calls an anomaly to the overall reduction of violence in iraq, even he said the u.s. troop withdrawal from iraq will proceed on schedule shortly after the first of the year, savannah. >> mick, let's talk about the secretary's visit to afghanistan. he talked about the timetable for withdrawing u.s. forces, beginning of a withdrawal there, there was something of a shocker, perhaps, from hamid karzai, the afghan president, saying the u.s. would be on the hook for security costs for perhaps 15 years. let's listen to secretary gates with nbc's matt lauer yesterday on this subject.
1:16 pm
>> during and after your meet ing he made the comment it could take up to 15 years for afghanistan to afford the new and improved, larger military that the u.s. is helping to train. did that timetable surprise you and in some way is it saying you can begin leaving in 18 months but leave your wallet? >> to be honest, it did surprise me a little bit. but the reality is, as their forces expand and ours begin to draw down, the costs for us will decline. and the truth of the matter is, they will begin to assume a greater proportion of this. this is all sort of a gradual transfer, if you will, that will take place over time. >> mick, putting you on the spot a little bit here, do you think the u.s. message to karzai was no way, don't count on us footing the bill for the next 15 years? >> reporter: no, i don't think that at all. i think what set secretary gates back was that hamid karzai, for a change, was probably speaking
1:17 pm
reality, the truth in that the u.s. is going to be involved. not necessarily in combat, with combat forces, but there's no question that u.s. military forces will be on the ground in afghanistan for years to come. again, not necessarily involved in combat. and the u.s. is going to be pouring foreign aid into that country for 15, 20 years. i haven't found anybody who is willing to push back on that, actually. >> let me move to john. "the new york times" has a new poll out with fascinating numbers with regard to president obama's handling of afghanistan. let me show you this. there's been a 10% increase since a month ago. 48% now approve of the president's handling of afghanistan versus one month ago and then if we have another one to show you, a slim majority supporting the president's plan to send his additional 30,000 troops, 51% now approving. john, does this surprise you or
1:18 pm
was this expected, given that once the president comes out, puts his stamp of approval on something that has to do with military affairs and u.s. troops that naturally there would be a bounce in the polls? >> it surprises me a little bit. a lot of that boost comes from republicans and independents. in the polarized politics we have right now it's difficult for a president of one party to get support from the other party for almost anything. now the president has completed his review, come out and stated his policy, which is pretty close to what general mccrystal had requested, republicans being true to their own sense of what the course of events ought to be on this war are increasing their support for the president, but the entire country is very concerned about the long-term commitment. mick just nailed it a couple of minutes ago. hamid karzai committed one of those gafs that occurs in politics, where people actually tell the truth.
1:19 pm
everybody knows that the american government is going to be financing u.s. military activity, training activity, whatever it is, in afghanistan for quite a long time because this president has sort of doubled down that bet. >> cnbc's john harwood, thank you so much. >> you bet. >> jim miklaszewski at the pentagon, thank you. lifting the debt ceiling. politico's john martin explains why that risky strategy could spell backlash for democrats during next year's mid term elections. it has more cargo space than pilot. and traverse beats honda on highway gas mileage too. more fuel efficient and 30% more room. maybe traverse can carry that stuff too. ow during the chevy red tag event, get an '09 traverse with 0 percent apr for 72 months. see red and save green. now at your local chevy dealer. yeah.
1:20 pm
would you like a pony ? ye ! ( cluck, cluck, cluck ) oh, wowww ! that's fun ! you didn't say could have a real one. well, you didn't ask. even kids know when it's wrong to hold out on somebody. why don't banks ? we're ally, a new bank that alerts you when your money could be worki harder d earning more. it's just the right thing to do. could be worki harder d earning more. is that little cup really enough? try it!! [ female announcer ] when something's so good... now, that's what i'm talking about!! [ female announcer ] ...you only need so much. the same is true with bath tissue too. that's why there's charmin ultra soft. its ultra soft design is soft and absorbent. it has so much absorbency you can use 7 sheets versus 28 of the leading value brand. so your family can get more out of less. smooooooth. [ female announcer ] charmin ultra soft. america's softest bath tissue. the sparkly flakes. the honey-baked bunches!
1:21 pm
the magic's in the mix. my favorite part? eating it. honey bunches of oats. taste the joy we put in every spoonful. honey bunches of oats. we call the bunches in honey bunches of oats the prize in the box. well, now there's a prize inside the prize. pecans! pecans! baked into crunchy oat bunches. taste the delicious surprise in every spoonful. new honey bunches of oats with pecan bunches. beautiful. like she was drifting away. we wanted to be there for her... to hold on to her. mom's doctor said his symptoms were signs of alzheimer's, a type of dementia, and that prescription aricept could help. it's thought aricept may reduce the breakdown of a vital chemical in the brain. studies showed aricept slows the progression of alzheimer's symptoms. it improves cognition and slows the decline of overall function. (announcer) aricept is well tolerated but not for everyone. people at risk for stomach ulcers
1:22 pm
or who take certain other medicines should tell their doctors because serious stomach problems such as bleeding, may get worse. some people may experience fainting. some people may have nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bruising, or not sleep well. some people may have muscle cramps or loss of appetite or may feel tired. in studies these were usually mild and temporary. (woman) if it helps mom be more like herself longer, that's everything to us. (announcer) don't wait. talk to your doctor about aricept. congress is getting ready to lift the federal borrowing limit by as much as $1.8 trillion by the end of the year. it appears to be a strategic move so democrats can defend their majority in mid-term elections. jonathan martin, senior political reporter from politico joins us now. let's do the mechanics first, timing second. for those who don't know, sxh
1:23 pm
explain bhwhat the debt ceilings and why it needs to be lifted. >> i don't want to lose too many of your viewers too fast. but there are certain rules in congress where the federal debt can only go to a certain amount. it's lifted almost every year to accommodate new spending. obviously, trying to get health care down, trying to pass even the appropriations bill to fund the government, you have to raise that limit. they're anticipating even more spending next year, largely for that second stimulus, second jobs bill. it's got to go up and the strategy here is do it now before the holidays, before the 2010 cycle kicks off in earnest and you're trying to sneak it past customs, if you will. >> i was going to ask you about timing. i think he said, quote, it is december. we don't really have a choice. the bill has already been run up. the credit card has already been used. when you ge the bill in the mail, you need to pay it. does this seem like a winning
1:24 pm
strategy, to do it now and everyone will forget about it next fall? >> i will it will exacerbate democratic narrative problem of too much spending coming out of washington. their hope is that it is december 2009, folks are focused on the holidays. come fall 2010, larger issues to focus on, beyond that debt ceiling that was increased. so that's what they're hoping to try to do it now. it won't be as much an issue down the road. there's no question it will hurt them in a sense that it gives the gop more fodder to say these folks are spending like drunken sailors and now have a big bulging number to point to. $1.8 trillion ain't chicken feed. >> no, it isn't. john boehner at his weekly reading had this to say. >> i think it's very credible to oppose the increase in the debt ceiling. you'll see republicans vote against it. while i understand the political games that get played around
1:25 pm
here, it will be an opportunity for us to point out the excessive spending that's gone on in this congress. >> okay. but democrats have their way around this, too. apparently there's some amendment to attach it to a military spending bill. >> right. >> which might make it harder for republicans to vote no. >> interesting strategy. by attaching to the proipthss bill that fu -- appropriations bill that funds the troops in iraq and the pentagon, they're saying we dare you, republican, vote against a spending bill for the military. if you do that, we can hit you in campaign ads next year saying how can you speak out against national security when you opposed the bill to fund the troops in the field? it's a bit of hardball. that's how the games are played on capitol hill. >> let me ask you real quickly on sent at side, there's some momentum for this task force on the deficit. is that something you think will be found with favor over there? >> i think they'll have to do
1:26 pm
something. and i think a task force sounds very, very washington. >> yeah. >> they probably will, in fact, be what happens. democrats have a problem on the spending issue. in these next few months, they have to be seen as responding to this narrative. it's definitely a looming issue out there. >> jonathan martin from politico, thank you very much. i think the viewers were fascinated by this conversation on the debt ceiling. >> absolutely. >> yes, very excited. >> 2010. >> all right. >> thanks, savannah. up next, the latest on the arrest of five u.s. students in pakistan and reports of their possible link to al qaeda. plus, sarah palin fires back at al gore after he criticizes her view on climate change. michelle obama and president obama are greeting well wishers at a torch lit parade. this is andrea mitchell reports
1:27 pm
only on msnbc. so many arthritis pain relievers -- i just want fewer pills and relief that lasts all day. take 2 extra strength tylenol every 4 to 6 hours?!? taking 8 pills a day... and if i take it for 10 days -- that's 80 pills. just 2 aleve can last all day. perfect. choose aleve and you can be taking four times... fewer pills than extra strength tylenol. just 2 aleve have the strength to relieve arthritis pain all day. ( cracking, crash ) that was delivered fast! it's not delivery and we'd like it back. new digiorno ultimate toppings pepperoni, with 50% more pepperoni. taste. believe.
1:28 pm
1:29 pm
- 29 degrees. - i knew it was a little high. and there's no better place to do just that than walgreens -- where you can get vitamins, supplements, cold remedies, as well as helpful advice from friendly pharmacists. i've got a little stiffness in my wrist. aisle 4. new express refills from walgreens.com. refill prescriptions online from wherever you are. walgreens. there's a way to find your joy. ♪
1:30 pm
five students from the washington, d.c. area are under arrest in pakistan for reportedly seeking jiha d-training. pakistani officials say the group met twice with militants but jihadists rejected them because of their lack of training and good references. they were tipped off by the students' own families, reported the young men missing after finding what's being described as a farewell video. pete williams joins us now. pete, there's a lot of conflicting information coming from the families, from a muslim group here, from pakistan. i'm going to ask you the basic question, what do we know? what happened? >> the broad outlines of this are clear now. the details have yet to be filled in. the broad outlines are that these five, i'm told they're all american students, from the washington, d.c., were corresponding by e-mail with a person they believe to be a
1:31 pm
militant jihadist in pakistan. they arranged to meet that person and flew to the pakistan area in late november, arriving just around the first of december. but their efforts to join these jihadists group were unsuccessful because the jihadists basically didn't trust them. they came, in essence, without portfolio, no training, they didn't have the right kind of contacts. one of the things we've seen since 9/11, these overseas gr p groups becoming increasingly concerned about penetration by the government, law enforcement groups and they were too suspicious of these young people and ultimately they didn't get anywhere. and local pakistani residents in the area where they were in a house, staying in a house got suspicious, called the police and they were detained. n now, those are the broad outlines. it may be, for example, that all five were not equally in on this, that they were not all five as enthusiastic. they certainly all five went to
1:32 pm
pakistan. whether they were all equally committed is something the u.s. has yet to work out. the pakistani officials have been quite open in talking about what they believe the case was. the problem here was that the u.s., the fbi, while it has talked to some of them, has not yet done detailed sborg eed ints of all five. there's not a full picture here of what happened. >> that raises the question of what the likely course may be. would these individuals stay in pakistan or would the u.s. want them to come home and face justice here? >> you were seeing a map there, i should explain, of sargodha, where they were arrested. the pakistanis could pursue their own legal options or could be turned over to the u.s. once charges are filed. it may be that the pakistanis want to hand this off to the
1:33 pm
u.s. or pursue this on their own. that has yet to be worked out. >> nbc's pete williams on the case for us. thank you so much. >> you bet. in washington and abroad, there's ongoing reaction to the president's nobel peace prize speech. with me now to talk about that and more, david bonyer, former democrat democratic senator. i've noticed in particular it seems like republicans mostly have been muted if not outright complimentary of this speech. do you think it was a good speech? >> most republicans i talk to think it was a good speech, he did not shy away from the fact that we are at war in afghanistan and in areas of pakistan and that this is -- he rose again to talk about the fact that this is the role in a world that sees democracy, that we must all come together sometimes and do things we think we don't want to do in order to provide safety for the future. most of us, it was a difficult place to make that speech, while
1:34 pm
you're receiving a nobel peace pri prize, an audience largely against any war any time. he stood his ground. for the first time in a long time, republicans were saying good job. >> do you think it would diminish oft criticism from the republicans while he was on a so-called apology tour. >> i think that is exactly right. he did not apologize for the united states and where he is taking the united states with the surge in afghanistan. and i think republicans, in particular, are very pleased to see that. >> david, what about this? so much spectacle with the nobel peace prize, seems like the white house was trying to downplay it, not necessarily thinking this is the best moment for him to be a toast of european capital. >> he was in a difficult position, obviously having an additional 30,000 plus troops going there, bringing our troop level up to 100,000 in afghanistan and then receiving the award. he was in the process of trying to figure out what he was going
1:35 pm
to do in afghanistan when the award was announced. i would say this. i haven't seen the speech but read reports on it. he seemed to be self efacing, humble, he gave the speech that sometimes war is necessary, the second world war being the most obvious. not having seen this in reports, he may have said this and if that's the case i'm wrong. he did not make the case on the underlying problems of why we are at war in afghanistan or why we haven't solved the problem with the palestinians. the question for palestinian rights and kashmiri rights, he needs to address that. we're sending in 100,000 of our young people to fight this war, tremendous toll on them. a third of them come back with serious mental health problems,
1:36 pm
devastating. and the country doesn't feel the need for the sacrifice. we're not paying for this war with additional resources of taxes. we don't have a draft. so, a lot of our young people aren't involved in this. there's a real disconnect here. there's a lot of work to be done to try to lend that and get that resolved. >> let me move on to another topic. climate change. former vice president al gore and former alaska governor sarah palin had a little bit of an exchange after she wrote an editorial in "the washington post" calling climate change junk science. former vice president gore had this to say. >> global warming deniers persist in this era of unreality. after all, the entire north polar ice cap, which has been there for most of the last 3 million years, is disappearing before our eyes. 40% is already gone. the rest is expected to go completely within the next
1:37 pm
decade. what do they think is causing this? it's not a question of debate. it's like gravity. it exists. >> okay. and there ensued a response on twitter from governor palin saying amazing to see al gore's denial of the controversy. it is like denying gravity. susan, do you think palin's position on climate change should be the position of the republican party? >> it's hard for me to say what i think the position of the republican party should be overall on climate change. i do believe that there is climate change that is taking place. i think the republican party should be having debate about the climate e-mails. we need to make sure we have checks and balances in our media and national leaders who support climate change, that this doesn't happen again, that the truth is told to american people. the republicans are missing an opportunity to continue to talk about an overwhelming concern on climate change which is what do we do about it with regard to jobs? and how do we handle it?
1:38 pm
how is it scaled at a time when our unemployment tops 10 and, in some cases, 15% in some states. how do we have an overall national and international conversation while we're also trying to secure jobs and balance our economy? >> speaking of jobs, republicans gave a memoo from chairman michael steele, outlining how to attack the 2010 mid terms and health care. this memo essentially concludes the real vulnerability for democrats is jobs. i can read you a portion of it from michael steele. the longer president obama and congressional democrats don't listen, the more frustrated americans will become with them. it's not hard to find damning statements from democrats who will be exceptionally vulnerable to this message. it really boils down to, from the republican strategist, how can we be doing health care when we have unemployment over 10%? isn't this an area where democrats are vulnerable? >> you can't say we're not going to do health care because we
1:39 pm
have an unemployment crisis that was brought on -- >> maybe it's just not time. we're going to do both. we're getting close to health care and i suspect it will be finished by the state of the union address and great strides are made this week with the expansion of medicare down to 55 years of age, moving in the right direction for many democrats believe. i think the country believes and i think the solution they came up with to deal with the question of those who won't be getting the public option, having them through the office of personnel management, having negotiated contracts and then having the private sector administer them was a very good compromise. on the job front, we'll have a robust jobs bill, capital gains and other tax benefits to small business where the engine is. climate piece, we just talked about climate. a lot of those jobs, as susan mentioned, will come from climate change piece that we are going to be engaged in seriously if we're going to survive as a
1:40 pm
planet. that's going to create jobs. and then there's going to be a lot of public works jobs and, you know, more than half of those jobs in the last round of stimulus package haven't gone into effect yet. >> we certainly have come to agreement on that. stimulus jobs haven't come around yet. >> actually, the money hasn't been spent yet, and that will kick in early in 2010. i think you'll see a change in the numbers. >> let's talk about political tone and the loss of bipartisanship or a lot of people feel it's a lost art here in washington. i'll show you an exchange i had with robert gibbs yesterday in the white house press briefing room and we'll talk about it. >> hasn't the president been part of that blame game too? he took a partisan swipe yesterday in that speech. even here, talked about how there's failed stewardship on -- this administration doesn't miss an opportunity to blame the past administration. >> i appreciate the ability to do anything before we got here.
1:41 pm
the president didn't -- the president inherited an economic downturn. he inherited a massive budget deficit. >> the context of that was robert gibbs saying republicans were playing the blame game and i was pointing out, frankly, they played the blame game too. do you think there's any statute of limitations on how long the white house, administration and president himself talks about the mess they inherited? is there any point at which that argument falls flat? >> over time, it does fall flat. i don't think it's there yet. i think the real answer to all of this is how they conduct themselves and how -- the results that they get. we're in charge now. we're responsible at getting those numbers down and putting people back to work. you inherited the mess and all of this now he has to resolve it. i think they've got a decent plan to get there. >> on the flip side, susan, proposals in the job initiatives to capital gains tax cuts for small business, are the darlings
1:42 pm
of most republicans. >> absolutely. >> yet they do oppose the president here. >> on some issues. they oppose the president with regard to increased spending, and with regards to increasing the deficit. those are issues i think republicans want to have a sit-down conversation to figure out how to continue a lot of those bush cuts that continue to stimulate, if they were to go away, would have a devastating impact on the economy. how are we going to deal with that in light of the increased spending, increased deficits? we're trying to find out -- today, there is an agreement on health care. we don't know how cbo will score it. everybody needs to calm down and talk about it very real serious problem we're faced with in the united states which the president will own after this year. >> susan molinari and david, thank you so much. who is the cabinet member who has impressed both parties? . a art attack caused by a clot, one that could be fatal. but plavix helpsave lives. plixtaken with other heart medicines goes beyond what other heart medicines do alone to provide greater protection
1:43 pm
against heart attack or stroke and even death by helping to keep blood platelets from sticking togeer and forming clots. ask your doctor about plavix, protection tt helps save lives. (female announcer) if you havstomach ulcer or other condition that causes bleeding, you should not use plavix. taking plavix alone or with some other medicines including aspirin, tell your doctor before planning surgery or taking aspirin or other medicines with plavix, especially if you've had a stroke. some medicines that are used to treat heartburn may affect how plavix works, so tell your docr if you are taking other medices if fever, unexplained weakness or confusion develops, tell your doctor promptly. a rare but potentially life-threatening condition reported sometimes less than two weeks after starting plavix. other rare but serious side effects may occur. (male announcer) if you take plavix with oer hearmedicines continuing to do so will help incrse protection against a future heart attack or stroke. feeling better doesn't mean not at risk. stay with plav.
1:44 pm
okay, now this is the lastime alright? thanks, you know we don't deliver anything like this. this crispy flatbread. mmmm. mmmmm! introducing the taste that's never been delivered. digiorno crispy flatbread pizza. it's not delivery, it's digiorno. sometimes, the little things in life feel like our biggest enemies.
1:45 pm
they can be damaged... they can be stolen. happily, there's the american express charge card. if something you recently bought with the card breaks, it can be repaired, replaced or your account can be credited. you'll even get membepship rewards points with each purchase. and peace of mind when you travel. can your card say that? when it comes to politics, who are your favorite players? an exclusive poll in the national journal reveals who leading national and political
1:46 pm
insiders say are the most influential political leaders at the top of their games this year. this was really interesting to see what, frankly, insiders think about those they work with every day. and what really stood out to you from these poll numbers in terms of who are the people that seemed to be most beloved at this moment? >> well, of course, the powerful. it's the powerful and the people who may gain power a little down the road. that's one thing that crosses party lines in terms of people who are powerful. also, i think, a sense of individuals who aren't always the show horses, pu people who are the steady, productive, keep your heads down kind of plow ahead workhorses. >> let's go through some of the poll numbers. first one we have is which senator do you most admire of the democrats? durbin at the top. let's show republicans too.
1:47 pm
we see something going on here, too, don't we? both picking senator thune. you don't see the leaders of the party in the senate being named here. what do you make of that? >> probably running the united states senate is the hardest job in washington. >> that's what harry reid keeps telling us. >> well you've got to go 60 votes. you can't command the kind of results that nancy pelosi does in the house. so, i think that people look at reid's and mcconnell's shortcomings and say gee the grass is greener. they look to dick durbin, number two, very stable guy. i think what's really interesting on the republican side, mitch mcconnell doesn't make the top of the list, nor does john mccain. the party standard bearer in 2008. and i think what that says about the republicans is they're really looking to the future. >> yeah. let's talk about cabinet secretaries. this was interesting. both democrats and republicans
1:48 pm
were asked which cabinet secretaries impressed you most this year? a democrat they would have to vote for. >> right. >> it was interesting to see hillary clinton top the list for congressional insiders. >> what you get the sense is there, also sort of think back with senator clinton and, of course, bob gates being the -- also very high among the republicans, here were the two people after president obama gave his big speech on afghanistan and west point, who were the two cabinet secretaries who went up and did the work and answered the questions and, you know, really provided a lot of the details? it was secretary gates and secretary clinton. i think about secretary clinton, what's interesting is here is somebody who sought the leadership, sought the presidency of her party. she lost. it's always tough to fail in public like that. here, she has come back, really focused on being secretary of state and is really seen as a team player. >> and this is consistent with what you had your observations
1:49 pm
about people loving power. in fact, most people would say that clinton and gates are the most powerful, influential of the president's cabinet members? >> absolutely. >> this was one of the more fun questions you had. which voice in your party would you most like to mute? another fascinating consistency here on both sides. democrats say joe lieberman and republicans said sarah palin. >> absolutely. neither one of these people are -- both are known for speaking their own minds. when you say about the vice presidential candidates it reminds me, i remember after the 2000 campaign, you know, joe lieberman was question iing, di the gore people, did the gore managers -- did we give up too soon on ohio, right? and certainly former governor palin this time around has practically been at war with a lot of the mccain advisers. so, what's the common thread there? they're both kind of second
1:50 pm
guessers and i think insiders say that's bad say that's kind form, you know. you should just go ahead and pursue your own agenda without being a second-guesser. >> the deal that ronald reagan ruled out, shout not criticizes. >> the final thing, the political figure that impressed you most. democrats said barack obama. that's not surprising. republicans surprising me, bob mcdonnell. >> here is a guy. this isn't somebody that authored or enacted or implemented a new law, forced something to the national consciousness, this is a guy who won an election. where and how? he won in virginia, a swing state obama won last year. in winning he carried two to one independents plus the party base. that's the formula that republicans hope they can take
1:51 pm
into the 2010 midterm elections. so once again you see republican insiders looking forward trying to move forward away from the past. i think that's why they gravitated towards a figure like mcdonnell. >> really interesting poll. jim barnes from "national journal" thank you for being with us. what will make headlines in the next hour. "andrea mitchell reports" next on msnbc. it's soft and more a, so you can use 7 sheets versus 28. charmin ultra soft. america's softest bath tissue. this is jim. he returns everything. keep your friends close and your receipts closer. and this is his new chevy, what sold you? i can return it. of course, now on top of chevy's 5-year/100,000
1:52 pm
mile powertrain warranty, they're offering their 60-day satisfaction guarantee. now, when i buy a new chevy i can return it within 60 days if i'm not thrilled. just one problem... what's that? i'm thrilled. change is good jim. the 60-day satisfaction guarantee. from chevy. right now 1.2 mlion people are on sprint mobile broadband. 31 are streaming a sales conference from the road. 154 are tracking shipments on a train. 33 are iming on a ferry. and 1300 are secretly checking email on a vacation. that's happening now. america's most dependable 3g network. bringing you the first and only wireless 4g network. right now get a free 3g/4g device for your laptop. sprint. the now network.
1:53 pm
1:54 pm
these are pictures just in to msnbc, the president in oslo norway with the first lady attend ag banquet in their honor. part of the nobel peace prize ceremonies this evening after the president's speech this morning. which political story will be making the headlines in the next 24 hours. white house reporter and author of the blog "the fix" on the washingtonpost.com. do you think we'll still be talking about that speech? >> thank you for the segue with
1:55 pm
pictures of the president and first lady in oslo. i think the president knew the whole world would be paying attention to it. obviously someone given a nobel peace prize very early in his tenure in office, also the actual award ceremony happening after he announced putting more troops into a war zone in afghanistan, sort of an odd juxtaposition. his speech, he spent a lot of time talking about just war, when it is right to pursue armed conflict. i think we'll look back on that for the next 24 hours but probably the next week or two to see how he justifies moving forward in a difficult political conflict in afghanistan. >> thank you. of course, everyone knows this, you can read more about chris and from chris on his blog at
1:56 pm
washingtonpost.com/the fix. >> the check is in the mail. >> contessa brewer and melissa francis pick up next with "it's the economy." let the all-new campbellskitchen.com help bring your family to the table this holiday. from timeless favorites like campbell's green bean casserole to new classics like swanson herb roasted turkey with pan gravy and pepperidge farm holiday brie en croute even clever ideas that give leftovers a full makeover. for inspiration, family pleasing recipes and 15 dollars in valuable coupons, explore the all-new campbellskitchen.com for a very happy holiday.
1:57 pm
[ female announcer ] trying to be smart with the family budget? here goes the good old steam. [ pfffft! ] whooa!!!! [ female announcer ] let bounty help... because it cleans the mess with less than the bargain brands. it's thick and absorbent. and really durable. in lab tests bounty absorbs twice as much as the bargain brand. [ steam hisses ] why use more when you can use less? bring it. with bounty. the thick quicker picker-upper. and try bounty napkins. now with new prints.
1:58 pm
1:59 pm
right now a drilling for geithner, the treasury secretary tries to explain why he wants to take the t.a.r.p. into next october. citibank trust raise the money to pay back billions in bailout money. looks like citibank has been getting a free ride. big stories in the nation's newspapers. why are some banks too big to punish. why didn't s.e.c. make bad banks face consequences of their actions. so many people struggling to pay credit card bills. what happens when the company that promise to help actually take customers for a ride. carmen joins us to explain. good grief, turn it down already. notice that tv commercials get