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tv   The Chris Matthews Show  NBC  April 8, 2012 11:00am-11:30am EDT

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[captioning made possible by nbc universal] >> ask not what your country can do for you -- >> tear down this wall. >> the change has come. chris: too soon to change? approximate obama's had just four years, after eight years of republicans. history says it's too soon to switch to the -- from the democrats after going to them. and the closer to 4% economic growth the better for the president? and finally, good, hillary, go. she's been first lady, secretary of state, senator
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from new york. does she end her career at third base? hi, i'm chris matthews. welcome to the show. with us today, dan rather from hd net, pete williams -- jon harris from politico, kathleen parker and dan "hendo" henderson. we're going to look at three historic predictors today. when the white house changes hands as it did when barack obama took over from george bush, that's a strong predictor for re-election. if president obama lost he would be only the second to lose in 12 -- 100 years after the electorate had switched parties. the only other one? jimmy carter. >> well, i'm not much of a
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believer in these kind of prep addictors, but if one is, what's different about this time around is, jimmy carter was a case of the electorate was faces with a charismatic new republican on the scene. now, there's a lot good to be said about mitt romney, but for many people he has the charisma of a carrot. [laughter] so he may develop it as the campaign goes along, but the other thing, why i think president obama is particularly vulnerable is the extreme distaste to put it mildly that so many people have for him. republicans and people on the right. and that may bleed over into the independents and swing voters who are going to decide this election in the fall. right now i would put president obama as no better than even money and if the republican candidate is mitt romney he will be very tough to beat. >> when they switch parties it's always because whatever has happened has been so adom
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inable that -- abominable that they've got to switch and change direction. the next candidate is always the opposite of the one before. you couldn't find a more different candidate from george bush than president obama. so whether romney can present that stark contrast -- if the president's numbers are low, below 50%, i think he's got a problem the chris: what do you think of this audio that we don't just like divide power, we like rotating every few years? >> i'm with dan. i'm a skeptic. up can't look at politics as a mathematical exercise. the reason you have these trends that it's hard to knock out an incumbent or in your state, pennsylvania, where they tend to change every eight. years, doesn't have to do with mechanical formulas.
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it's human nature. people have the tendency, all things being equal, to give the president the beven the doubt. the only time they don't is when they give a d. or f to the person and what's more, i think the alternative is better. it takes that to overcome the basic human nature of look, give the guy a chance. chris: and if you say don't give him a chance it's like saying i made a mistake personally last time in voting? >> and you have seen this about obama has been a failure but it will come down to the independents. in some ways the white house -- there has been a shift in 2010 when the republicans came in, the tea party came in and they had their shot and that will bring up the specter of george bush too. chris: something really solid, the power of the economy.
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nathan silver, the new hot hand at the "new york times," came up with this rule that looks at presidential polls a year before the election. he looked at 2012, gross domestic product as the variable. the strength and size of the economy. if g.d.p. is just zero this year, flat economy, silver gives obama a 17% chance of re-election. if it goes up 4% he gives him a landslide victory over 60%. it's not a mechanical exercise you can 34r09 on the x and x axis. you can't do it. voters have -- the economy is very important to their judgments but they base it for amypressionisticy on -- impressionistically on how do you feel about it? what's the direction of the country? >> if they're not feeling it in their personal lives -- >> pb more people buying
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clothes or cars, that's more the indicators. chris: here's the third. the gallup job predictor. it says that presidents with job approval over 50% in the june of the election year usually get second terms and those under 50% do not. nia, maybe that's definitional but 50 pirs is the rule we use in politics. if this candidate, incumbent, ain't got 50% going into, he's in trouble. >> if he won the election by 53% i think they very much know it's going to be a very close election and in all likelihood wouldn't be a blowout. he won 22 of -- 22 to 28 states last time. chris: george bush did -- broke a lot of rules about getting re-elect in his second term. only 48% approval going into june. >> and as it turned out he had
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a weaker than expected opponent. if you want to see it from president obama's viewpoint, even below 50%, mitt romney's standion is very low for a leading republican candidate at this stage. you said a very important word -- the direction of the country. the country senses how it's going and american presidential elections are about where the country is good, not where the country has basketball. if the republicans keep attacking where we've been in terms of president obama, that will leave him an opportunity to take a reaganesque role of be being optimistic. the future shall that's where this battle ground is going to be. that's one way to look at the electorate itself. how the country feels about the direction. not so much whether the unemployment figures are this or that or the g.d.p.. i defy you to put 10 people under you astritelight in milwaukee -- a streetlight in
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milwaukee and get them to define gfmentd or even around this table! [laughter] chris: and is he was -- as weak as john kerry was after the blitzkrieg of the swiftboating against him? >> weak in many ways in that all the things he thought he was going to run on were turned into liabilities. romney, we're seeing that with him. pime are seeing him as callous to the human condition. we thought he was a solid, attractive guy. well, he looks like a game show host. he has to regain control of hits narrative. chris: does history after -- offer a guide or is it a phenomenal situation here? >> i wouldn't say phenomenal but certainly unique, as every presidential race is. but let's don't forget race will be a factor in this presidential campaign. yes, the person -- the country
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can feel good about we elected a person of color, which i did not expect to see in my lifetime. but the economy is in this strange position that it seems to be doing better but everyone has a sense it's more volatile, fragile than we know. and in the end, i'm a great believer that people vote their pocket books. >> i disappoint know that i see race as a factor because those people who would vote against president obama because he's african-american were going to vote against him anyway. >> i think you're right. the people who don't like obama because he's block -- black or they think he's not a legitimate president, he's the other, they're not going to support him. i think if super pacs, fox news, if they hint at that sort of language i think it's going to turn independents off from republicans. that's the danger that republicans and people from the far right have.
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it's going to be a blowback. women especially do take some pride i think in the idea that their kids are growing up in this country with an african-american. chris: sob interesting how the gender thing works. there rps a fairness thing too. john? >> it will be a long time before race is not a sub text in any national election. but obama has a record now and how people respond to that record will be the factor. chris: imagine how much trouble he might have been in now if he had been vulnerable on national secure. will hillary run for president next time? hard to predict. hard to imagine democratic politics without the clintons in it. here's how "saturday night live" envisioned their staying power. >> good evening, my fellow
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americans. a lot -- little more than a year from now, you the american people will go to the polls and elect me president of the united states. [laughter] i want you to know i will be humbled and honor approximated by the trust you will have placed in me. now in 2016 when i will have completed my second term as president and will thus be ineligible to run again, unless of course the law is changed and is really is a strange law -- [laughter] >> i totally agree. [laughter] that law makes absolutely no sense in the 21st century. >> bill? >> what? i'm agreeing. [laughter] chris: it's unbelievable. those two. anyway, when we come back, we'll look at hillary's stake in this election. would it be better for her in 2016 for obama to win or to lose?
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what that day rifes and a woman takes the oath of office as our president, we will all stand taller, proud of the values of our nation, proud that every little girl can dream big and that her dreams can come true in america. chris: welcome back. that was of course hillary clinton and her concession to barack obama four years ago. her standout job as secretary of state has set her up for a run next time, of course, but is she better off or -- if obama loses or wins this fall? >> some predictors say yes,
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belter off if he loses. kathleen, this is a question that just have come to the minds of the clintons as they considered these questions? >> gosh, do you think? [laughter] >> the you think hillary would be more likely to run and win both if he is re-elected. >> if he's re-elected, will she have a chance of winning better? ing hillary clinton, first of all i want so much for her to have a nice little break and cap much on her rest because she's done a fantastic job. if she ran today against mitt romney, she would win. i can't tell you how many people on both sides would rally for her. they like herks admire her, respect her and would put her in. chris: 2016? >> she's going to be 68 years old. i don't know if she would want to run then. we clearly have a different standard for men and women.
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chris: younger than reagan though when he ran. let's go to this though because they would be the first woman president if she ran and won? >> she could be -- would be butty derek fisher i do think campaigns are about the future, not the past and nobody embodies the past more than hillary clinton. i think she's better off if obama isn't re-elect. but i do think, 68, she doesn't look like a person who wants to go through the gauntlet of running for national office. and remember, she didn't run a fantastic campaign. chris: how many people have been set up in american politics, senator from new york, secretary of state, first lady and then say i don't want it? >> not many people do. hillary clinton was on the cover of "look" magazine. you guys will remember it. many in the audience won't.
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that was 1969, three years before they -- she met bill clinton. my point is hillary clinton was ambitious. she had a sense of her trajectory and other people who looked at her similarly had a sense of her tragedy ect roye and destiny decades ago. somebody like that i don't think gets to a certain age and says, you know what? i'm done. time to coast. if she sees an opportunity she will dick -- take it. ing chris: paut -- put it all together would you say take a year off? relax, get in shape, enjoy life, get all this office out of your head and then zipe -- decide? >> yes. i suspect that's what she has in mind. chris: dan? >> one, i don't think it's better for hillary clinton's chances if she wants to run in 2016 if obama loses. i will think an obama victory would be better for her. belter for her taking on an
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incumbent republican president, wouldn't like her chances. too, i do think she probably doesn't know herself whether they wants to one. -- run. but we haven't played out this election year yet. if things are close in august, does barack obama work out some arrangement where he says i want you to run on the ticket with me? i'm not predicting that will happen but strange things happen in politics. she can't campaign for him as secretary of state. her time is not up until jafpblet does she get a request to help campaign? all these are out there. one, i think she would like to be president. two, all things being epping equal i think she will run in 2016. i don't think it would be to her benefit for barack obama to lose. chris: let's go to the big guy, bubba. does bill clinton wand her to
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-- want her to run and end the clinton era with her in? >> i think he does want her to run and it would transform the clinton legacy. instead of a colorful, flamboyant figure from the 1990's you would instead look at the clinton as a dynasty that had had two pillars. chris: when we come back, scoops and predixs out of the notebooks of these top reporters. notebooks of these top reporters. tell me something i don't know.
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chris: welcome back. dan, something different this week. we're looking at the political future as we've done the whole program. let's talk now about rising stars we've seen out there. somebody who is a democrat and somebody who is a republican you have spotted for the future? >> martin o'maly, the governor of maryland is certainly someone for the future. mark udall out in colorado, great family name. keep an eye on him. on the republican side, scott brown in massachusetts if he wins this senate race. he's not often mentioned about, --, but why not? mark ob rubio in florida. >> brian sand oval -- sandoval. he's mexico. he may make the short list for
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v.p. and harris, the attorney general out in california. chris: i met her on a plane ride. she's great. >> speak of the 2016 election yeah, we have, the rental party has a very deep bench. a lot of rising stars. ing chris: i agree. more so than the democrats. >> margo rubio is one he mentioned. nikki haley, governor of south carolina. boggy -- bobby jindal, he had that horrible experience with the response to the state of the union but he's a bright guy and he's young. then chris christy. there are a lot of republicans coming up. chris: christie has the northeast attitude that works with people. jon harris? >> paul ryan fascinates me because he speaks with credibility to both wings of the republican party, president tea party and the establishment wings and can help them make a
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generational shift. which they badly need to do. on. other side, mark warner, who has real credibility at the center if he ever comes back to washington. chris: is he presidential? his own right? >> oh, no question. chris: when we come back, will be americans decide tore barack obama or mitt romney well ahead of election day or at the last minute? of election day or at the last minute? be right back.
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chris: welcome back. this week's big question for us, will voters decide between barack obama and mitt romney well ahead of. election or that last weekend? >> dan rather? >> i'm a believer in the shift over the lasted weekend and even election day. that's when people are inclined to make up their minds. >> i think 10 or 15% will go down to the last minute. i think it will look close but you will have some movement on the end but not a lot. >> i believe in the last minute. the independenting --
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independents primarily will be looking at circumstances that last week and make their decisions -- chris: that's good for us. keep them guessing! john? >> first of the three fall debates will essentially bake it in, in the absence of something really big happening. chris: i'm one who is absolutely convinced mitt romney can win one of the debates. anyway, thanks for a great doctor great roundtable. that's the show. thanks for watching and see you that's the show. thanks for watching and see you back here next week.
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