tv Countdown With Keith Olbermann MSNBC September 21, 2010 4:00am-5:00am EDT
which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? ♪ those fingers in the till that will ♪ ♪ that holier than thou shrill, it's witchcraft ♪ >> the newest skeleton, the complaint to the federal election commission, from a second ex-staffer that christine o'donnell turned campaign contributions into household income -- like magic. and she made herself disappear yesterday. >> late friday night, her campaign canceled, saying o'donnell was exhausted and had to return the delaware. >> she canceled on us yesterday. she said she had scheduling don conflicts and couldn't be here. >> and then there is the $1
million moment. >> i dabbled into witchcraft. i never joined a coven. >> she turned him into a newt! and there's hong kong animated news about her, and yes, that is her talking the kid out of choking a chicken. and mice brain video has been found. >> mice with fully functioning human brains. >> so after her, what's next for the tea party? repealing laws protecting gays and ending separation of church and state, what else? the bush recession, it ended june 2009, say economists. not really much comfort at this president's economic town hall today. >> i need you to the help us understand how you can regain the political center, because you're losing the war of sound bites. you're losing the media cycles. it's lady gaga versus mr. magoo over don't ask, don't tell. >> i'm calling to ask the senator to vote with senators harry reid and carl levin to repeal don't ask, don't tell and oppose john mccain's shameless
filibuster. and rudy giuliani goes to the most unfortunately named campaign venue of the year. all the news and commentary now on "countdown"! >> gosh, you think we'd learn. good evening from new york. last week to the values voters summit, she compared tea partiers to the followers of a character from the chronicles of narnia, the lion. and her next news story will about the wardrobe. in our fifth story, or maybe we're talking about the narnia sequel, the silver chair, and how christine o'donnell improperly paid for it with campaign funds. the nonpartisan government ethics watchdog group this
afternoon filing a complaint with the delaware attorney's office and the federal election commission. crew submitting as evidence the sworn affidavit of keegan. keegan, the second former o'donnell campaign official to say so, alleging that she used campaign cash to pay her rent, as gas money, to pay for food, and for a bowling outing. crew was asking for an immediate criminal inquiry and a full audit from the fec. quote, christine donnell is clearly a criminal and like any crook, she should be prosecuted. meanwhile, the democratic senatorial candidate does not name its own candidate, chris coons, instead, they focus on what is considered to be o'donnell's flawed fiscal resume. >> o'donnell spends money she doesn't have, hires employees she didn't pay, stiffed businesses, didn't pay her taxes. one of christine o'donnell's former employees summed it up. we were constantly trying to hold her back from spending. she was financially completely irresponsible. >> and of course, you may have heard something about this witchcraft, witch/satan stuff or the witchy leaks.
never more neatly summarized when bob schieffer had to explain o'donnell had canceled. we're going to play that tape in which she said she once dabbled in witchcraft. i'm serious. that, of course, hbo's program, "realtime." its host, bill maher, revealed the existence of the tape. in october of 1999, as the leader of the anti-masturbation group, o'donnell made an appearance on "politically incorrect" and revealed an experiment that even shocked co-panelist, jamie kennedy. >> i dabbled into witchcraft, i never joined a coven. >> wait a minute, wait a minute. you were a witch? >> i didn't join a coven. >> you used to be a witch? >> i dabbled into witchcraft. i hung around people who were doing these things. >> having fun? >> i'm not making this stuff up. i know what they told me they do.
>> what do they do? >> in one of my dates -- >> wait, wait, wait. i want to hear about this. >> one of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic alter and i didn't know it. there was a little blood there. >> your first date was a satanic altar? >> we went to a movie and had a little midnight picnic on a satanic alter. >> are you now or have you ever been a witch? mr. march says there's more where that came from. as for o'donnell, after the clip aired wab scheduling conflict popped up and she was forced to cancel her sunday appearance on "face the nation" on cbs. the candidate was so exhausted, she couldn't even speak through fox news sunday, or something. >> late friday night, her campaign canceled. saying o'donnell was exhausted and had to return to delaware. saturday morning, o'donnell called me and said this. "i got triple booked. i had been invited to go to church and then a picnic. i have to keep my priorities to delaware voters." >> national tv, picnic? picnic, national tv?
so with no guest, fox news went in house. karl rove addressed the witch problem instead. >> in southern delaware, where there are a lot of church-going people, they're probably going to want to know, what was that all about? my view is, she can't simply ignore it. she's got to deal with it and explain it and put it in its most sympathetic light and move on. >> sarah palin also tweeting in to help o'donnell. "see o'donnell's strategy, times limited, use it to connect with local voters whom you'll be serving vs appeasing nat'l media." maybe you'll remember this sermon. >> in the name of jesus, in the name of jesus, every form of witchcraft, in the name of jesus. >> and somewhere christine o'donnell got a hangnail.
back on sunday, it was o'donnell's turn to rebuke every form of witchcraft herself. the candidate gave her excuse for dabbling. >> that witchcraft comment on bill maher, i was in high school! how many of you didn't hang out with questionable folks in high school? but, no, there's been no witchcraft since. if there was, karl rove would be a supporter now. so let's put that to rest. >> we all hung out with questionable witches in high school. what will not rest are the other comments and tapes of comments that have come to light. gregg sergeant pointing out her views on homosexuality in 2006. from the wilmington news journal, she said, people are created in god's image. homosexuality is an identity adopted through societal factors. it's an identity disorder.
and then there's the trouble with being a cable news pundit. they keep tapes of this stuff, you know. even this stuff, behold. a 2002 episode of "donahue" on msnbc. >> the salt is a christian organization, but i'm biting my tongue. >> tell us what yowant us to know. >> first of all, the abortion lobby and the gay rights lobby had a much greater influence over bill clinton than any conservatives have over bush yet critics weren't whining when -- whining about presidents catering to a base when the base was the atheistic left, but when it doesn't meet their agenda, they do. second of all, about president bush's stand against condoms, condoms will not protect you from aids. >> the centers for disease control have the opposite opinion, and of course, facts with which to back it up. finally, what once seemed so bizarre but now is almost an afterthought here, the missing tape of the o'donnell statement then had been considered the
most ludicrous to date. scientists having created mice with fully functioning human brains. someone has released a bootleg version of the tape, the o'riley factor doesn't want you to see. >> they are doing that here in the united states. american scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains. >> and guess who gets to follow that? alex wagner, the white house correspondent for politics daily. good to see you. >> good to see you too, keith. >> we'll start with the serious part about this. the ethics allegations made by crew. are they, indeed, serious and could they have anything to do with what we see in november? >> i think they're very serious. i think the timing on them is a little irrelevant. we're not going to see christine o'donnell behind bars before november 2nd. but it says in plain language, christine o'donnell is clearly a criminal. they call her crook, an embezzler. these are not things you want said about you six weeks before an election.
>> you've got crew, the democratic senatorial committee, karl rove, and now two members of her old campaign staff going after her on the subject of finances. how do voters even in the tea party era or year whistle past that graveyard? >> it's a fairly large tombstone. you know, we know from polling and -- well, if you've been under a rock, then you don't know this, but the economy is the number one issue for voters going into this election season. the president spent hours today doing a town hall and talking about the economy. for a candidate who, at best, has had reckless spending in her history, who's never had held a steady job and who's financial record is spotty, i think these are -- this is dubious, for voters who care about the economy and who care about financial responsibility, i'm not quite sure christine o'donnell is their candidate. >> but given how willing people are to forgive when they want the candidate to be a success the --
>> sure. >> vitter, john ensign, whoever you want to name, anybody on the right, particularly, where it's like, oh, you don't do that anymore, we'll take your word for it. if she was just saying, i was doing what we all need to do in this economic crisis. creative means. pull yourself up by your britches kind of -- somebody would fall for that. >> well, i think crew is seizing this moment and say, it can't just be about the battle of rhetoric. we're going to bring justice into the equation. we're going to bring in an actual -- we're going to mount evidence, we have signed affidavits from former campaign staff. those are actual facts i mean, a criminal record is a very serious allegation. >> does she need the state gop at this point after the chairman now said that they've endorsed her "whether i like it or not" with and jim demint's pac is going to say they're going to give her $250,000 to spend in delaware. has she circumrouted them and does that say something to all the republican state committees, like, you can be hijacked by the tea party, whether you like it or not? >> absolutely.
but i think, you know, i don't know that she needs the money from the state gop, but i think she needs the veneer of acceptance. and i think, you know, that's -- the gop is kind of coming around to this slowly but surely, karl rove even gave her a donation and an endorsement. i think it's sort of, fall in line, gop, because we have to get behind her. >> okay, the witchcraft stuff. glenn beck called this admission creepy, and that's a man who knows his creepy. does this actually do any damage to her, or is rove wrong again? and once again, the forgiveness factor on the right, if you say, i'm a recovering witchaholic, do they say, well, there's no zealot like a convert? >> well, halloween is coming up. it's sweet timing. look, i think sarah palin, as you showed, had dabbled in pentecostalism. so did john ashcroft. we've had fringe religions in terms of candidates practicing them, but going on a first date
to satanic altar with blood is definitely out there. this is a -- the tea party has a very solid christian base and we'll see if they accept, you know, wiccan practices. >> halloween could be one giant gift in kind if everyone dresses up as a witch. but even the wiches today are upset with o'donnell, because they say they don't believe in satan. there would have been no blood on any alter connected with any real witch. she even got the witch stuff wrong? >> if she loses the witches, she's going to be dependent on the wizards. and as we all know, wizards don't show up at the polls in midterm elections. >> or at playoff times. alex wagner, the white house correspondent for politics daily, great thanks for bearing with us through all this. of course, christine o'donnell's final seal of approval or something could only come from one place. apple daily animated news. the newspapers are in hong kong, the computers are in taiwan. warning, the following animation shows simulated scenes of simulated chickens being simulated choked.
and free hoveround delivery to your home. go to hoveround.com or call the number on your screen. the president got the recession to end in june of 2009, which is not much helping the unemployed in september of 2010. it's gaga versus mccain over don't ask, don't tell. could they have found a better name for the place he's going to be campaigning on wednesday? and the kingmaker's quote, "i think the slate of candidates we have for the senate is as representative of america as we've seen in a long time." that would be an ex-witchcraft dabbler living off her campaign funds, the anti-civil rights nonboard certified ophthalmologist, the god will help the pregnant girl raped by her father candidate, and the dude with don johnson's 5:00 shadow.
christine o'donnell is the future of the republican party, what does the past of the republican party have to say about it? in our fourth story tonight, the pillars of gop moderation came out tonight against the tea partization of the gop, but as always, not in any way that might actually do something about it. senator jim demint, who helped both o'donnell and fellow tea partier jim miller of alaska help upset mainstream members of congress in this year's primaries took his victory lap on cnn yesterday, and pointing out, correctly, that his party ran up the deficit the last time they were in power, he reiterated his decision that he would rather have a tea party minority in congress than the republican majority made up of mainstream republicans, like, you know, him. >> will you take any responsibility if the republicans don't take control of the senate?
if, for instance, they should lose in delaware, someone you backed? >> i'll tell you this, the only reason we have a chance at a majority now is a large part for the candidates i've been supporting. if the republican party in the senate was now characterized by arlen specter and charlie crist, we would not have the energy behind our candidates anywhere in the country. >> mr. bush's former political adviser, mr. rove, however, added to speculation that o'donnell's primary win could cost the gop that seat in november by adding that in the case of alaska, demint's support of miller's victory over incumbent senator lisa murkowski has led murkowski to launch her write-in campaign which could, in turn, split republican voters, and thereby benefit the democrats. of course, some tea partiers want more than just tax cuts. they want right-wing victories on social issues as well. senator judd gregg telling "the new york times" that launching into social issues, quote, will be overplaying our hand. cue overplaying the hand. congressman joseph pitts telling
the newspaper "the hill," gop leaders have assured him abortion will be part of the republican wish list to be released later this month. social conservatives are pushing for anti-gay measures as well and more government endorsement of christianity. let's bring in msnbc contributor, dave weigel, also political reporter for slate.com. dave, good evening. >> good evening. >> senator demint claims the energy that his candidates are going to bring will make up for whatever support they lose from the moderates and the independents. is there any evidence for or against that yet? >> well, you just presented some of the evidence against that. the thing that irritates some people about what demint's doing, and let's give him some credit, i mean, flip the script. how much happier -- how unhappy are democrats with joe lieberman? how unhappy would republicans be with a senator mike castle? the problem republicans have with demint is, they don't know how much research he put into these candidates and these states and these races before jumping in. in delaware, i know that he talked to christine o'donnell a couple of times, but, you know, he didn't seem to understand or
care about the reality on the ground there. and that's happened with -- the tea party express and demint, palin to a lesser extent have kind of dive-bombed into states without much regard for what voters there might actually want to elect. that's why some of these tea party candidates are doing well, but they're doing worse than the moderates they beat were doing. alaska's a great example. >> to that point, susan collins of maine told "the times," it is a new and shocking development to have a member of our conference, and she means senator demint, opposing incumbent republicans. is it, in fact, shocking at this point, or is it mostly shocking to her, because now it might be hitting close to home? >> the shock should have come in may, when bob bennett went down to utah. that wasn't a secret. and that was a safer situation, though. republicans like her were not quite as worried about utah, because that didn't endanger their risk of taking the senate. someone like olympia snowe, someone like susan collins stand some chance of power in the new
senate and they're going to lose it if delaware goes or alaska goes to murkowski and she caucuses the wrong away or if it goes to crist and he caucuses the wrong way. and it is unusual. i mean, democrats may be have a little bit -- for all their messiness, have a little bit more ideological discipline. the dnc spent a lot of money propping up ben nelson during the health care debate. they don't want to eat their young. they're going to spend a lot of money defending blue dog democrats. i think she's shocked at the way the republican party has shifted in the past few years, because she came out -- you know, she was elected, snowe, in the '94 sweep. she was elected as one of these candidates in that year that republicans thought they had to nominate to have a chance. she's not used to this new reality where you need to check out ten points on a list to be credible to these voters. >> what happens, both to him, and more generally to that side of the political football if senator demint is proved wrong? what if the tea party candidates, at least to a majority, take a shellacking in november? >> well, it doesn't look likely right now and they're riding on
a big wave of optimism. ralph reid has tended to jump into the tea party movement. his organization, the faith and freedom coalition, maybe he's being optimistic, but he points out what demint points out. you get more excited voters, you're able to expand, possibly, the base of people who turn out. so as far as they're concerned, they might end up winning with all these people. the question is, what happens in the senate if they end up winning? if there's a slight democratic majority or a slight republican majority and really rock-solid republicans who don't want to compromise on anything, the senate's not really built for that. i mean, democrats discovered that. a 59-seat senate majority is not enough to get simple nominations through. and the country doesn't quite get that. i mean, some of these tea party candidates who would otherwise be losing are going to be elected by voters who just wish washington would work better. they want people to come to the table. they want stuff done. that's not what these ideological candidates are doing. i mean, it's blowing up the way the senate works in a really unprecedented way.
>> yeah, but then again, tea party senators would work with the opposition, republican senators. dave weigel, msnbc contributor, also slate.com, of course, great thanks, dave. >> thank you. the president and the public on the economy and the aftermath of good economic news that does not immediately help anybody. and nice name for that campaign stop, rudy giuliani.
this afternoon about it. first, the sanity break. and once again for the tweet of the day, we turn to carlton farmer, complete with illustration. christine o'donnell, yes, wiccan. the wiccans, of course, are completely and correctly offended. still, it was that or another "touch yourself" joke. though she is getting quite a lot of buzz lately. let's play "oddball." we begin in brussel, where over 100 waiters and waitresses who have gathered for the 23rd annual fastest waiter race. contestants had to run, or actually, walk at a strong pace over a mile and a half course. each was given three glasses of pinot to carry. the first person to finish with the glasses still full was the winner, and this year, just like last year, david bone finished first. he gets to take home the 380 euro prize plus tip. dateline, barion county, michigan.
another guy who thinks they can outrun the police. i'm not sure what kind of car this is, but the driver thinks it's a dodge ram. apparently once was not enough so this female driver pulls up and slams into the officer yet again. deciding not to stop and exchange insurance information. the driver then turns around and attempts to hit the cop car head-on. eventually, the chase continues with the wannabe demolition derby driver again ramming the police car, this time from the back. the perpette was eventually tracked down and captured. she'll have plenty of time to learn better defensive driving skills. yep, that's it. good night, everybody. in the big house! russia, hello! and we travel deep under the bike lake, where for some reason a group of divers a racing bikes underwater. they don't seem to be moving very quickly or even staying on the bikes, but they're still trying. and say hello to underwater skiing.
i don't think this kind of skiing will become more popular than the surface version, but underwater biking is already the most popular form for people over the age of 12. and time marches on! verification that good economic news does not a good economic town hall make. and rudy giuliani shows you why you never, ever accept an you never, ever accept an invion to a campaign rally before hearing the name of the place first.
the good news for president obama is that the great recession ended in june of 2009. the bad news for president obama is that the great recession has been over since june 2009. and that, in our third story tonight, was the quandary the president was wrestling with at today's town hall. the national bureau of economic research, the people who call the shots on these things, announced today its finding that the recession that started in december of 2007 did not come to an end until june of last year. at 18 months, it was the longest since world war ii. mr. obama's problem, of course, is that just as in the bush era, economic growth does not mean the middle class is growing too. unemployment continues to hover just below 10%. yesterday, obama endorser colin powell, bush's secretary of
state, said the president had overwhelmed americans by trying to do too much. at his town hall today, the president defended his record by pointing out how much of what he has done protects americans from really being overwhelmed. >> if you have a mortgage or a credit card or any kind of financial dealings out there, as a consequence of the changes we made, the credit card companies can't increase your interest rate without notifying you, and they can't increase your rate on your previous balances. in terms of getting a mortgage, you can't have a mortgage broker steer you to a mortgage that ultimately is going to cost you more money, because maybe they're getting a financial incentive to do so. those things are now against the law. so there are a whole host of protections in there. you are a parent who has children. if your children, heaven forbid, had a pre-existing condition -- before i took office, you were out of luck in terms of being able to get health insurance for that child. now insurance companies have to give you health insurance for
that child. and by the way, that health insurance company can't drop you if you get sick. so there are a whole host of things that we've put in place that do make your life better. >> listening to the real people asking today -- questions at today's town hall, though, seemed to suggest that for many obama supporters, the problem is he hasn't done enough. >> i'm one of your middle class americans, and quite frankly, i'm exhausted. i'm exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that i voted for, and deeply disappointed with where we are right now. i have been told that i voted for a man who said he was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class. i'm one of those people, and i'm waiting sir, i'm waiting. i don't feel it yet. >> i was really inspired by you and your campaign and the message that you brought and that inspiration is dying away. it feels like the american dream is not attainable to a lot of us.
and what i'm really hoping to hear from you is several concrete steps that you're going to take moving forward that will be able to reignite my generation, reignite the youth who are beset by student loans. >> we thought we were well beyond the hot dogs and beans area of our lives, but quite frankly, it's starting to knock on our door and ring true that that might be where we're headed again. and mr. president, i need you to answer this honestly. is this my new reality? >> is the american dream dead for me? >> let's turn to msnbc political analyst, richard wolffe, and author of "renegade: the making of a president." good evening. how do you run a political campaign in a country that seems to be polarized between, for god's sakes, stop, and for god's sakes, get going? >> that's a good question. and one thing you hear is, not just how tough the recession was, but how hard it can be to run politics after a recession. ask the first president bush,
ask president clinton in the first few years of his term. it's the memory of the pain is so real that people don't see what's happened to the economy, how far it's traveled. what you have to do, in the start of your question, is how do you campaign -- not how do you govern in that situation. and there's a scenario that many of obama's supporters won't want to think about, but it is vel relevant here. but in 2004 president bush was faced with a very big decision. what did he do, he demonized the other side. he made john kerry absolutely incompatible with the american dream, the american spirit. he was unacceptable as an alternative and that's where some democrats are taking this midterm election now, saying the other side is totally unacceptable, even if you're unhappy with what you've got right now. >> the president's own answer about his accomplishment, it amounted to, as it amounted to more than a year, i protected you from things that did not happen.
this is something akin to someone walking away saying he keeps the tigers away and you should keep him on the job doing so. that approach works. ask president bush how he protected you from things that didn't happen. but even if he does keep the tigers away, if most americans never saw the tiger in the jungle or don't believe there was a tiger, how do you make that pitch? >> well, i think people actually saw the tigers. these weren't fake tigers, okay? these are real people who really lost their jobs. and i bet you that most of the people watching the show tonight will know of people who are unemployed, who have struggled between jobs, who cannot find work right now. so this is a real lived problem. it's not fake. it's not some threat that you never see. and what the administration hasn't done and what it likes to think it has done is tell the stories of the people who have been saved. and part of the problem is there's stimulus money that was spent, $800 billion, a huge amount of money was really devoted to people who were on
the front lines, who saved their jobs in public schools, the firefighters, the police officers, the state governors are basking in the glory of that, or they're not telling the story at all, that the administration has not rolled out those people and said, these people would not be working were it not for our policies. there's no human face to this. there's a president who's talking about his policies in a rather abstract, intellectual way. and that's why it's not connecting. >> from the politics of it to the actual policy and the continuing attempt to resuscitate the economy to full strength, most americans don't have a grasp of how widespread the economic stagnation was during the bush administration. that was the first time in decades that the next generation actually was expected to be less well off than its predecessor. if this president can only claim to have stopped things from getting worse, does he have a chance now of not just making things better, but of starting to reverse that stagnation from the bush administration? >> it's going to take a very long time. and we have to realize that there are structural shifts in
this economy that has been going on through western economies for many decades, and they've finally caught up with us. so if you look at the administration's projections, high unemployment is here through the next election, and well into the president's term, should he get one. a second term, should he get one. so i hear a lot of revisionists from the bush people who say that things were a lot better than this situation. they sort of air brush out their own recessions, but when you look at it, look at the kind of hole that we got into here, it's going to take a very, very long time, keith. >> msnbc contributor, richard wolffe. as always, richard, great thank you. >> thank you, keith. lady gaga campaigns against don't ask, don't tell in a state with two wavering senators, one of whom tonight says she wants more debate and more time. governor jan brewer of arizona must now -- i apologize for that. governor jan brewer of arizona has now lies in interviews in two different languages. "worst persons" ahead. and when rachel joins you at the top of the hour, a look at what christine o'donnell's website does not tell you. i hear bells.
lady gaga tries to vince olympia snowe and susan collins to vote for the bill that also repeals don't ask, don't tell. senator snowe asks for more time. that's next. first, time for tonight's "worst persons" in the world. to whoever doing rudy giuliani's scheduling for him, he'll be appearing day after tomorrow with an upstate new york congressional candidate on castleton in hudson. the name of the place he'll be visiting, total tool. i mean, can't you try to make this difficult for me? the runner-up, republican and tea party new york gubernatorial candidate, carl "mr. happy" paladino. he sent democratic favorite andrew cuomo another letter today, challenging him to debates. it includes that memorable typo. "you want to cut out the black candidate, the woman candidate, and i imagine you don't want the green party candidate their
too." i'm assuming he means t-h-e-r-e there and not t-h-e-i-r there. he also questions cuomo's cronies, "so andrew, for the first time in your life, be a man. come out and debate like a man." because like a real man, he sends e-mail out with porno out in it, and pictures of dames mating with horses. but our winner, governor jan brewer of arizona. when you got a winner, stick with it. in an interview of jorge ramos, she continued to say a number of immigrants are drug mules. "i think that it has increased, if you're coming across with the drug cartels and you're hauling drugs, then you are, and they're probably not doing it willingly. they are probably not doing it willingly." as to her other thigh slapper, that headless bodies were
showing up in the desert, "i did and i apologized for that. i apologized for that, and i did that immediately." 78 days. she said it first on june 17th and apologized for it on september 3rd. immediately. if i completed this farce by saying governor brewer also told mr. ramos that she has many hispanic friends whom she loves from the bottom of her heart, you'd probably think i was making it up, but i'm not. she said that too. governor jan brewer of arizona, today's worst person in the world. ♪ ♪ check your email messages ♪ check the money in the bank ♪ check the gas in the tank ♪ check the flava from your shirt ♪ ♪ make sure your pits don't stank ♪ ♪ check the new hairdo, check the mic one two ♪ ♪ 'cause i'm about to drop some knowledge right on top of you ♪ ♪ you check a lot of things already why not add one more ♪ ♪ that can help your situation for sure ♪ ♪ check your credit score ♪ free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ free-credit-score
don't ask, don't tell, john mccain went silent. on the eve of a crucial senate vote, lady gaga takes her equality show on the road to maine, targeting two more republican senators to repeal the policy, which is folded into a larger defense authorization bill will go to the senate floor tomorrow for a vote. as of now, the democrats do not have the 60 votes need to begin debate, which is where senators collins and snowe come in. collins has not indicated how she will vote tomorrow. today senator snowe says she wants more time, echoing the senate from mcconnell, let's wait until the military releases its review of the policy, which just happens to be after the midterm elections. "given that the law implementing the don't ask, don't tell policy has been in place for nearly 17 years," senator snowe said "i agree it's overdue for a thorough review. the question is whether we should be voting on this issue before we have the benefit of the comprehensive review that president obama's secretary of defense ordered," which is where lady gaga come in.
the singer has been drumming up support for the repeal, tweeting in support of majority leader reid's move to bring the bill for a vote and encouraging her fans to call their senators and urging them to vote for repeal. >> my name is stephanie joann angelina germanada, also known as lady gaga. i'm asking senators to vote with harry reid and carl levin to repeal don't ask, don't tell. we're not asking you to agree with or approve the moral implications of homosexuality, we're asking you to do your job. to protect the constitution. >> like this afternoon, alongside the service members legal defense fund, gaga spoke at a rally in portland, maine, in an effort to pressure collins and snowe. she called them out, she called mccain out, and told soldiers who continue to serve with prejudice to go home. gaga explaining that equality is the prime rib of american and everyone should have the right to wear the same meat dress.
>> if the senate and the president are not going to repeal this don't ask, don't tell policy, perhaps they should be more clear with us about who the military is fighting for. who our tax dollars are supporting. and ultimately, how much does the prime rib cost? because i thought this was an all you can eat buffet. this equality stuff, i thought equality meant everyone. >> here with us now, former special assistant to president bill clinton and the senior white house adviser on gay rights from 1997 to 1999, richard socrates. thank you for your time. what happens if the democrats don't get enough votes tomorrow? >> they're very close. this is the closest we've ever been. we have 59 votes for repeal
tomorrow, we need probably just one more. but the concern, of course, is that with the political dynamic so fluid and with the midterms coming up that if we don't get it through tomorrow, that the math will change and it will be much harder after the midterms, if not impossible and this law may be around for a lot longer than anybody had hoped. >> president clinton was for open service and don't ask, don't tell was considered a compromise. where did it go wrong? >> well, you're absolutely right. and he wanted open service and this was the compromise that he thought he could get with colin powell and with sam nunn. i think the problem was that the military didn't live up to their end of the bargain. the deal was that if you were private about your private life, you were going to be allowed to serve, even if you were gay or lesbian. and you know, i wasn't in the room, but reportedly, colin powell, who was then chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, told bill clinton that you could go to a gay rights rally and still serve in the military, as long as when you went to work, when you were in your service
capacity, that you were private about your sexual orientation. and they didn't live up to that bargain. what they did instead was started these witch hunts against people. >> so if the pentagon support of the repeal is one of the predicates of getting the repeal, and it has been in the slow introduction of this process by president obama, once again, are the politicians relying on the promises of the warriors to do this correctly and to live up to their word on the subject? >> well, i think it's been a very delicate balance. i mean, you know, the thinking has been that secretary gates and admiral mullen actually do support a slow transition to open service. but right underneath them with the service chiefs and some of the other senior officers of the pentagon, these very entrenched interests have been fighting against this policy. and they know they can't win, because almost 80% of the public support repeal of this law. but i think the thinking has been, and they've been very clever about this, if they stall, if they delay, if they wait to see if the political environment changes, if the composition of congress changes,
that maybe they can stave this off. if they're able to accomplish this, it will be a horrific fraud on the american people, and really a massive failure of leadership at the pentagon, at congress, and even at the white house, because they waited too long. >> is it interesting to you, apart from any investment in this, that one place that there has not been a failure of leadership would be somebody who would -- entered into this as the least likely of public figures, not necessarily to take on this issue, but to be credible and forceful and obviously damned serious about it in lady gaga. i mean, it sounds in congress, but it seems to be, she really gets the "a" plus on the whole scoreboard. >> she does. and there's that line about president obama, where's our fierce advocate? because he said he would be a fierce advocate for gay rights and the advocate magazine wrote about her, we have found our fierce advocate. she has lent the power of her celebrity to this cause. i think americans, americans who care about this and her fans have been very grateful because
i think she's made a difference. >> i understand she had a conversation with senator gillibrand this afternoon and does her pressure seem to have having any impact on particularly snowe and collins in maine? >> and senator gillibrand has been one of the leaders of repeal. she's been really terrific, really out there. washington is a strange place. i worked there for ten years, before that, i worked in the white house, and before that i worked in congress. it shines a light on what is happening. it shines a bright light, makes it much more transparent on what's happening. but collins and snowe, who say they're for repeal of don't ask, don't tell, will probably vote against repeal tomorrow so they can vote with their leadership. and that's what she's shining a light on, that's what she's exposing. this horrible fraud that's happening tomorrow -- that looks like it may happen tomorrow in the american public. >> so if they don't have the votes tomorrow, do you think the democrats would actually pull this out of the defense authorization act? is that where it's going to go? >> it's probably -- tomorrow is the last best chance for this.
if it doesn't happen tomorrow, it's going to go away until after the election. we're going to see what the new composition of congress is. the president is -- president obama, since he was -- became president, has had the ability to stop these discharges by either d.o.d. regulation or by executive order, and i think if this does not go through tomorrow, the pressure on him will mount to do that before the election and i would urge him t through tomorrow, the pressure on him to do that before the election, and i would urge him to do that. i think it's very important that we take that stand for nondiscrimination. 80% of americans support it. most republicans support it. it's now getting lost leading up to the midterms. things aren't going to get any worse for him. >> it would probably help him in the elections. >> thanks. that's september 20th. it's the 2699th day since president bush declared misch policed, the 154th day of the deep water horizon disaster