Guest: Dominic Carter, Roger Simon, Pat Buchanan, Mike Barnicle, Andrea Mitchell
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: My colleague, Tim Russert. Some thoughts.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. His whole life was, you might say, a Hail Mary, a going deep forward pass from where he started, all based on faith, his personal faith in our religion, his heroes, his upbringing, his country. When I read his book out back one Sunday afternoon, I came to the part where he got to ride the garbage truck for the first time. It was his summer job, one a kid was lucky to get, a grown-up‘s wage and hard work. What he loved about it was that it was his dad‘s job, Big Russ‘s job. He was working with his father. No better feeling for a kid. How could you not be taken with a kid with such love of the old man, such respect of work? Again, to work is to pray, laborare (ph) estoare (ph). And boy, did Tim Russert honor that faith.
Tim loved to quote Yogi Berra who said wondrously contradictory but meaningful things like, Nobody goes to that restaurant anymore, it‘s too crowded. Well, I feel like that trying to say something memorable about the great Tim Russert after so many memorable things have been said.
I loved his company because he was one of those rare people who would stand out as important even if he hadn‘t (ph) such an important job, done such important things. I thought he was fascinating the first time I saw the guy walking into a bookstore on Capitol Hill. I said to myself, Who the hell is that guy?
I worked with Tim, rooted for him on Sunday mornings, spent precious time with him in those moments when I checked into his little office here in this building to see what he thought about things. So for him, one last Yogi Berra-ism: If you don‘t go to other people‘s funerals, they won‘t go to yours. And for this great man whose life was a Hail Mary, I offer what all of us would want who were raised with the faith. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
MSNBC political analyst Mike Barnicle‘s with me from Boston, and Pat Buchanan‘s with us now.
Michael, you‘re so good at understanding who we are and why we are. And you know, I‘ll start with the religious piece tonight, and this a probably the one night we‘ll ever do it on HARDBALL—about religion, how if drives people, Tim Russert who‘s gone now to heaven. Tim was driven, it seems to me, knowing that his job was to find the truth. There‘s something about maybe the way you and I and Pat were born that had this obsession with trying to find out the truth, to try to catch the bad guys, if you will, but more than that, to try to find out what‘s really going on.
MIKE BARNICLE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, there‘s no question about that, Chris. And you just, you know, referenced, you know, Pat‘s there. You‘re there. I‘m here. Not all of us are Catholic, as Tim was Catholic. None of us, I think, were Catholic because of the pope. We were Catholic because the faith was rooted in us.
Tim‘s faith was rooted in him at home, at his kitchen table, by the nuns. And it was a faith that he brought to the rest of his life that imbued in him the idea to be respectful of others, that charity was a terrific thing to encompass and embody, to look out for those less fortunate than you, to be respectful of people.
And he brought all of those things, I think, to the table of politics. We could see it each and every Sunday morning or each and every tame he was on your program, on HARDBALL, or on “The Nightly News.” Whenever he was dealing with anybody in the business of politics, he had such a love for the game, the profession of politics, he didn‘t come at it yelling. He didn‘t come at it disrespectful of the opposition person there or that person there. And he gave everyone a chance to answer the question.
He had an extraordinary ability that too many younger people, I think, now trying to come into this overly glamorous business of the media, both print and electronic—they don‘t have the ability to listen that Tim had, and that is imbued, as you, Chris, know full well, and Pat, you know full well is imbued in you in parochial school because you better sit there and listen, or else you‘re going to get a rap of the ruler against the knuckles.
MATTHEWS: You know, it‘s interesting, Mike. As you were talking, we were showing what we call B-roll here and we were showing Tim Russert with the vice president. This was obviously right after 9/11. They were out at Camp David, where he got that exclusive interview with the VP. And there was Tim wearing that ribbon, you know?
MATTHEWS: I always like to think being a journalist is one thing, being an American journalist adds a little extra requirement, which is you look out for the truth and try to find the truth that‘s important to your fellow countrymen, stuff we need to know.
BARNICLE: Yes, need to know. Go ahead, Pat.
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: OK. Well, you know, I think, Chris, I think that‘s right. Look, you and I and Mike and Tim were born in a time and a place that I think no longer really exists. I mean, we all went to parochial schools when they were 100 percent nuns. I did. I never had another teacher but a nun. They were all Jesuits in high school, in college almost all Jesuits. And they did imbue in you certain certitudes, beliefs of right and wrong. They were hammered into you.
You got the religion every day. You got the religion every day in high school and you got theology three times a week, and philosophy and all that in college. And I think that creates a certain type a people.
Now, today, you see a lot of what I think are pretty homogenized individuals, you know, come out of a cookie cutter and they‘re almost interchangeable. He was unique, he was sui generis, because he came out of that working class Catholic urban ethnic Buffalo neighborhood, parochial school, church, Sister this. And you‘re respectful. You were obedient. And I think it creates in you a certain type of individual. I don‘t care what side of the party of the political party you‘re on, we are culturally very much the same.
And I think, Chris—I mean, I think, Chris, that Tim really reflected that. You could look that that and you could see—you could see where he came from and who he was. And I think...
MATTHEWS: So let me ask you about the ethnic piece of this. Why do Irish Catholics make some great cops, such great Prosecutors? Michael, I mean, they are.
BARNICLE: Yes, I...
MATTHEWS: They were born to it, to try to catch the bad guys, but also, as prosecutors, to try to do what Tim did every Sunday, you know, in that depositional manner in which he would try to use documentary evidence to get people to admit to the truth. It was almost like “Perry Mason” with documents.
BARNICLE: I think it begins—as just Pat referenced, I think it begins with so many Irish Catholics of a certain age, of a certain generation, with their parochial school education, and they come to life later on with a missionary zeal for the truth because it begins in parochial school. Who is God? Why did God make me? And the interrogation during the Baltimore Catechism years of you in religion class five days a week, you had better have those questions answered. You better be able to answer them. And that—you bring that along through the years. It follows you through the years. No matter if you‘re a lapsed Catholic and leave the church, those roots are so strong, so deep that you‘re still doing that on “Meet the Press” on Sunday 50 years later.
BUCHANAN: I think that—I think that Baltimore Catechism—I mean, we have studied that, memorized every single question and answer in that (INAUDIBLE) I was on radio shows on who could do the...
BUCHANAN: I remember every single word.
BARNICLE: ... part of our religion.
MATTHEWS: I liked the other part, guys. You guys are giving me all 1950s stuff. You know, Tim was younger than us. Let me tell you, I liked the questioning part of it, the Jesuitical part. What‘s going on here? What‘s the essential element here? You watched Russert on “Meet the Press” -- what‘s the essential question here? Not the accidental stuff. I‘m not here to trip you up. I‘m here to find out what really matters.
BUCHANAN: (INAUDIBLE) but Russert, what he got it from, is we were tested and tested and tested and tested and tested every day, and all the time. You better get it right. You better know your answer. You saw him. I came over here on Saturdays, Chris...
MATTHEWS: ... working the pope.
MATTHEWS: I mean, I—that‘s the picture (INAUDIBLE) there‘s Tim with Pope John Paul...
MATTHEWS: ... beautiful Maureen, his wife, talking—there he is.
He gave her a pat.
BUCHANAN: Right. But it...
MATTHEWS: You get to meet the pope. It‘s something else.
BUCHANAN: You get your idea that you‘ve got the right answers. And look, Pat Moynihan once—what‘d he tell me? He said, You know, the Fordham guys are graduated to keep on eye on Harvard guys.
BUCHANAN: You know, all the traitors (ph) are up at Harvard and these good Catholic FBI agents...
BUCHANAN: Let me say—he did tell me—I was having—let me tell you. I was having breakfast with the head of Catholic University. We were talking about these grants to Catholic schools. And so Moynihan says to the guy, the head of Catholic University, What has Fordham produced but a long gray line of FBI agents?
BUCHANAN: I almost fell on the floor, even though it was an insult!
MATTHEWS: The FBI—the Irish are good at this kind of...
MATTHEWS: ... spooking out the enemy. Let me ask you about this thing because Tim‘s—his recent legacy is always seeming to look ahead to the next election and figuring out the essential battleground, whether it was Florida in 2000 or it was going to be Ohio in 2004. And let‘s take a look at what he predicted now, looking forward. And this, believe it or not, was three years ago, looking ahead to—I‘m sorry—three years ago to what‘s happening now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM RUSSERT, HOST, “MEET THE PRESS”: I think looking out of 2008, Chris, the states we have to look out—and this is risky, but I really do believe that New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona are going to be primary indicators of which way the country‘s going. They have the potential of being so-called red states that could go blue because of, particularly, immigration patterns and other demographic changes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: And Michael, that‘s exactly what we read in the paper today. Barack Obama‘s campaign is focusing on those states in the West the Democrats usually lose and Republican win, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, throw in Montana, perhaps North Dakota. Is that because we know that Barack Obama has problems in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, some of the more basic states?
BARNICLE: Well, that—I assume so. I don‘t know. But back to your reference point about, you know, the Jesuit aspect of Catholic education, the search for the truth. Tim is telling you that in 2005, Chris, I would submit, because his constant search for the truth in politics involved readings of history, current history, present day history, immigration patterns, religion. Who lives in Arizona? Who lives in New Mexico and Colorado? And that would lead him to be able to say that three years ago to the truth of what we are witnessing today.
MATTHEWS: There is an Irish obsession with politics, too.
BUCHANAN: Well, there is.
MATTHEWS: And it‘s so interesting, people like Tim and the late Kirk O‘Donnell, who was friends of ours, and so many—it seems to—Tip O‘Neill and Curley. It‘s not just Boston, either.
BUCHANAN: Well, they said the Irish showed up, instead of going into business, they went in to make money in politics!
MATTHEWS: You are so negative tonight! You are so negative. You want to go back to 1953 and the old embarrassing part of our legacy. You had to bring it back.
MATTHEWS: They‘re clean now. The Irish pols are clean now.
MATTHEWS: Mike, aren‘t they clean? Haven‘t the Irish pols gotten away from their old ways? Come on! They‘re not crooks.
MATTHEWS: They‘re not like Curley.
BUCHANAN: No, they‘re not.
MATTHEWS: Kennedy was clean. Curley wasn‘t.
BUCHANAN: ... lace curtains!
BARNICLE: Chris, today, I mean, too many—unfortunately, one of the greatest Irish politicians today is Ed Rendell, and he‘s a Jew from Pennsylvania.
MATTHEWS: I know.
BUCHANAN: He knows how to do it.
MATTHEWS: How did you know? He was the Jewish Brian Dennehy.
BUCHANAN: Well, that is the turkey and the (INAUDIBLE) that are delivered. You know, they...
MATTHEWS: I know all this. I grew up with this.
BUCHANAN: I know it. That‘s why...
MATTHEWS: My mother would say—she‘d say the Meehan machine in Philadelphia that (INAUDIBLE) Republicans, at least they brought the turkey at Christmastime before they got thrown out, you know?
BUCHANAN: Well, that‘s what they did, I mean, because it was—frankly, they‘re an immigrant community. They had to rely on each other. They had strong priests. And even when the families were broken apart in the 19th century, they had their parochial schools. It was our own ghetto that they came out of. Everybody‘s got to take care of everybody else.
MATTHEWS: OK, so...
BUCHANAN: ... politics, I‘m going to take care of my own.
MATTHEWS: I‘m trying to sum this up, Pat. I know you just want to go
I know you want to do (INAUDIBLE) the world‘s coming to an end. Things were so much better at Gonzaga in 1958. I mean, the world does get better. The Irish pols are cleaner than they used to be.
BUCHANAN: Well, you know, Chris, they used to say about, you know, nepotism—a guy in Baltimore was put on trial, and he said, Look, he said, of course, I hired my nephew and my sister. Jesus, Mary and Joseph would have come after me if I hadn‘t hired my own people.
MATTHEWS: I like Richard Daley in the old says. He said, Am I supposed to hire strangers?
MATTHEWS: Why am I getting into a Jewish accent here?
MATTHEWS: I do not understand this conversation. Barnicle...
BARNICLE: Hey, Chris...
MATTHEWS: ... you started it. You confused this with...
BUCHANAN: We should remember—we should remember that Tim worked for one of the greatest, the most honorable Irish Catholic politicians of all time, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who to sort of sum it up, because Tim arrived in Pat Moynihan‘s office with a gilt-edged parochial school education—he was a triple Catholic education. And he was surrounded by Mensa members there, Yale law, the London School of Economics. And Pat Moynihan knew that he was perhaps a bit intimidated and told Tim, Tim, remember one thing, that what they know, you can learn, but what you know, Tim, they can never learn. And that was because he was Irish and Catholic and just had that knowledge.
MATTHEWS: That‘s what Tip said to me—What I know, you can someday learn, Chris.
Anyway, Michael, you‘re the best. Take care of yourself this week. And you, Pat, you will always take care of yourself. Good luck with that book. What is that book? World War II was wrong again?
BUCHANAN: “Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War.”
MATTHEWS: If you believe that, I‘ll...
BUCHANAN: Two weeks in a row on the...
MATTHEWS: ... I‘ll see you the Brooklyn Bridge.
BUCHANAN: Two weeks in a row, Chris.
MATTHEWS: OK. I know. There‘s a—there‘s...
BUCHANAN: An audience for that sort of thing!
MATTHEWS: You and Ann Coulter can sell anything.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, Pat Buchanan, Mike Barnicle.
We‘ll have more memories of Tim Russert ahead. It‘s getting too jocular for this week.
Up next, Barack Obama talks about what it means to be a father—by the way, it was Father‘s Day yesterday—with a stern message to African-American dads. But who‘s he also talking to? Interesting politics here. Obama‘s Father‘s Day speech and much more on Tim Russert when we come back.
You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSSERT: In light of not finding the weapons of mass destruction, do you believe the war in Iraq is a war of choice or a war of necessity?
GEORGE WALKER BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it‘s—that‘s an interesting question. Please elaborate on that a little bit, a war of choice or a war of necessity? It‘s a war of necessity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me. How do I make it in the world? How do I become successful? How do I get the things I want? But now my life resolves around my two little girls.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. That‘s, of course, Barack Obama, the senator from Illinois, talking about the responsibility of fatherhood yesterday on Father‘s Day.
Dominic Carter is the senior political reporter for New York 1. Dominic, it‘s a tricky subject. I‘m a white guy, so I‘m sitting here, interviewing you, an African-American, about a topic that technically affects the sociology of the African-American American family, and yet we have to look at it in its political context because this is a speech that was just given in the middle of a political campaign.
What‘s your overall assessment of what Barack Obama was talking about, the substance and the politics?
DOMINIC CARTER, NEW YORK 1: Well, first of all, Chris, it‘s nice to see you. It depends on which hat we‘re looking at in terms of how we assess the speech that Senator Obama delivered. One, as a political reporter, we‘re always cynical about everything. You surely know that, Chris.
But here‘s the point I‘m trying to make. Senator Obama—this not the first time that he has taken on this topic. Now, one could say, Look, he‘s trying to build on his family values credentials. One could say the campaign is hoping that this will resonate with white social conservatives that are up for grabs in the election. But here‘s the bottom line, Chris - he delivered a speech that black America needs to hear. This is a big problem in the black community. It‘s a big problem in America, in terms of fathers that are not in the household.
And when you look at Senator Obama‘s background, in terms of him being a community activist when he arrived in Chicago, you know, sometimes, a person means exactly what they say.
CARTER: And I believe this is the case in this scenario, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Let‘s get a bigger bite of it, what he had to say yesterday on Father‘s Day in Chicago at that church.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, we need more jobs and more job training and more opportunity in our communities.
We know all that. That‘s why I‘m running for president of the United States.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: He‘s really doing a pull-up-your-bootstraps kind of approach to the African-American community. He‘s saying, yes, you need more help, more opportunity, more fairness in our society, less discrimination. But, in the end, you have got to look out for your kids. You have got to stay at home. You have got to be a man, not a boy.
And having sex with a woman is not being a man enough. You have got to take care of that kid who is the result of it.
CARTER: What is amazing about this situation, Chris—and this speech is being analyzed, and folks are looking into it and so on—but, as a country, we have been down this road before. Let‘s be honest.
Senator Pat Moynihan—I was watching the last segment. His name came up. Senator Moynihan took on this topic, and he was called a racist for doing so.
CARTER: We have watched comedian Bill Cosby take on this issue, and tell the black community that enough is enough.
But here‘s the point. Senator Obama is someone who has tremendous goodwill in communities of color. And perhaps—perhaps, Chris, he is the one that can make this case that enough is enough in terms of the single-parent households and black America, again, a problem in all America, but a huge problem in black communities around this great country of ours.
MATTHEWS: Let‘s dissect this thing.
You know, growing up, I have heard the arguments why the African-American family faces unique, unique stresses. First of all, going back through history, we know that, when the slave families were brought over here, they were broken up. The owners of slaves and they treated them like property, chattel—they just sold the husband here, the wife there. They didn‘t care who they—what they were doing to the family.
So, you had that whole breakup that none of the other groups that came to America had to go through. Most people that came to America came and—as families and stayed as families. The African family was broken up when it got here.
The other thing was that women could get jobs as domestic service. The men had a hard time getting jobs. And then you had the welfare system, which has always been accused of basically privileging people who were dumped, basically. And the husband stuck around the house, and there was no advantage to that, in terms of the welfare system.
Are those arguments still valid as to why there is a problem with men accepting their husband responsibilities and fatherly responsibilities?
CARTER: Chris, some say they are still valid arguments. Others of us say that they‘re nothing but excuses at this point, that it‘s time to move forward.
Yes, there‘s a history, but you can‘t continue—and I think this was the point of Senator Obama‘s speech—you can‘t continue to complain your entire life and use those reasons as an excuse for why you are not successful.
Now, if this was the first time that Senator Obama had delivered this speech, perhaps I would say that there are some political motives behind it.
CARTER: But the fact of the matter is, he‘s a prominent African-American. He has the credibility to the deliver the speech.
And I‘m sure that there are many middle-class African-Americans that at least—it doesn‘t matter if you‘re supporting Obama or Senator McCain. But, on this issue, they say, you go, Senator Obama, because you‘re telling the truth.
And these are real issues, Chris. I can‘t begin to tell you—I have no problem admitting to you, Chris, I‘m one of the kids in New York City growing up that Senator Obama was talking about in his speech.
CARTER: I grew up on welfare in our great country. I‘m not embarrassed about it. I grew up in a fatherless household. I‘m one of those kids, just like Senator Obama.
But the fact of the matter is, he‘s right. The excuses must stop. And that‘s why I think, if you talk to any middle-class African-American, they will say, his speech was on point.
Well, thank you very much for that assessment, Dominic Carter of New York 1.
When we return, I will have some thoughts about Tim Russert. We lost him this weekend.
You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM RUSSERT, NBC WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF: It‘s Gore 249, Bush 246 right now.
TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS: Right.
RUSSERT: With Florida, Oregon, and Wisconsin outstanding. But Oregon and Wisconsin are only 18 electoral votes.
BROKAW: They need Florida.
Florida, Florida, Florida. Let me show you one more time, Tom. This is it right here, Florida, Florida, Florida.
BROKAW: Florida, Florida, Florida.
RUSSERT: It‘s that kind of night—or morning.
BROKAW: It is, indeed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: I would like to give you now something that I said on my Sunday show about Tim Russert.
He was a character right from Mark Twain, you know, the first kid to go barefoot in the summer, the first to wear shoes in the winter. He was a colleague, a role model—and let‘s be honest this day—a rival.
You couldn‘t keep up with the guy. He heard it first—better yet, saw it first, saw what it meant, saw the path where this new bit of news led.
Like Huck Finn, Tim Russert knew things about life that were in nobody‘s notebook. He got the story first because he just got it. That‘s how he exposed David Duke as a racist, by simply asking him to name the leading employers in the state of Louisiana. The guy had been trying to say his campaign for governor was about economics.
He saw that Clarence Thomas would make it past the confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court because his accuser, Anita Hill, testified in the afternoon, and Thomas got to testify before the much larger national audience in prime time.
He knew, that horrid morning of 9/11, that the hijackers had grabbed the transcontinental flights because they‘d have enough fuel to melt the girders of the World Trade towers.
He was like that other Mark Twain character, Tom Sawyer. He got us to think it was fun to whitewash the fence because he was having so much fun doing it. As a newsman, Tim managed to make Sunday morning a hot news spot. As a fan, he made Buffalo cool.
He was, of course, Irish. And being Irish, he tended and fought for his turf, always with pride, whether his hometown team or his show. If it‘s Sunday, it‘s “Meet the Press.” You can‘t do better than that.
And, more than that, he defended his country. It was something watching him catch the pretense behind the pander, the trace of charlatan that graces the best, as well as the worst, of our politicians. And because he could, we could see the truth behind that well-guarded hedge.
People ask me, and they will now ask me as long as I live, what was he like?
And, to them, to you right now, I say: Trust your instincts. He was the guy you saw: tough, regular, hardworking, delighted with what he was doing, and something else you probably figured—great company.
We will miss him, this man of sterner stuff.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
John McCain continues to speak glowingly of Hillary Clinton, in an obvious effort to court Hillary Clinton‘s supporters.
But are Clinton—Clinton‘s women voters so disillusioned by their Democratic candidate‘s loss, that they‘re willing to desert their party and go vote for Republican John McCain instead?
Heidi Harris is a radio talk show host in Las Vegas, and Amy Goodman is a radio talk show host for “Democracy Now.” Her book is called “Standing Up to the Madness.”
It‘s good to have you both on today, although it‘s a sad week around here.
I want to start with some poll numbers here. The latest NBC News/”Wall Street Journal” poll has Senator Obama beating Senator McCain among women by 19 points, among white women by seven points. But McCain leads among suburban women by six.
You first, Heidi.
What way is this going?
HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, I think it‘s going a be interesting to see.
And, to me, the biggest issue is going be, on the Election Day, how many people don‘t show up to the polls? In other words, Barack Obama appeals to younger women, but will they show up on Election Day? That‘s going to be the big question mark for him.
And John McCain is going to have to work really hard to get some of those women over who are Hillary supporters to his side.
MATTHEWS: Amy Goodman, your sense of which way it‘s going with these most voters are women. overwhelmingly, most Democratic voters are women. Obviously, there‘s a gender issue—I mean, an age issue. But let‘s talk about gender. Will most Democratic women vote Democratic?
AMY GOODMAN, HOST, “DEMOCRACY NOW”: Well, first, Chris, condolences on the loss of Tim Russert.
MATTHEWS: Thank you.
GOODMAN: And, on this issue, we‘re interesting talking today, Monday, which was the scheduled fund-raiser for John McCain at the home of the Texas oilman Clayton Williams, who is famous for having compared rape to weather, saying—bad weather—saying, you just have to lay back and enjoy it.
He‘s also the guy who ran against Ann Richards in 1990 in Texas, and compared her to a cow, saying, you have got to—What was it—head her, hoof her, and then drag her through the dirt?
GOODMAN: Yes, they canceled the fund-raiser, but it‘s very significant. He‘s very well-known for making these comments.
So, when you asked that question about who women will vote for, that might tell us something.
Also, don‘t forget, Hillary Clinton has yet to go out on the campaign trail for Barack Obama. And that‘s going to change a lot of things, because the women that were saying that they were only going to vote for her, well, then the question becomes, who will they vote for, John McCain or Barack Obama?
I think all the figures show right now they are leaning toward Barack Obama. And I think the most important issue is war. And women tend to be overwhelmingly opposed to war.
MATTHEWS: You talked about turnout, Heidi. And I know that‘s always been the old complaint about young voters, male and female. They will wear the T-shirts, they might go to the rallies, but they don‘t show up on Election Day.
But, after this year of all this excitement, why do you think they may not vote?
HARRIS: Well, they did in Iowa, but they didn‘t I do it in New Hampshire. The same group of people did not turn out for Obama in New Hampshire.
And the fact is, a lot of young people, they just get lazy about it. Maybe it‘s their first election. They‘re just not that engaged. And they may not bother. We‘re talking about the follow-through. And that‘s going to be essential to Barack Obama.
And the same goes for John McCain, by the way. Conservatives like me are not entirely thrilled. He was not my first choice. So, a lot of conservatives may stay home and say, look, I just can‘t get excited about John McCain. So, on both sides, I think the numbers are going to be a big, big—a big deal this year.
MATTHEWS: Is there a part of you, Heidi—I don‘t know you that well, except working together with you—is there a part of you that says:
“You know, in a football team, when they get to flip the coin, and the team says, all right, it‘s a muddy day; let the other team have the ball; they‘re not going to go very far with it; let the other team have the next lousy four years; everything is going to be bad. The dollar‘s weak. Trade‘s off. We‘re in big trouble with oil prices. It‘s going to a horrendous time to rule this country. Let them have their four years. Let Barack have it. And we will come back like gangbusters”?
HARRIS: No, there‘s no part of me that says that.
Let John McCain have it four years. You know he is not going to run for a second term. And Barack will still be young. So, you will still have hope.
GOODMAN: I think we won‘t have hope if you have policies—policies like John McCain just advocated on Friday.
When the Supreme Court came down with their decision saying prisoners must be able to have their day in a civilian court, John McCain, he said he thought it was one of the worst decisions in history. That‘s very sad.
But I also think Barack Obama has to be very careful, when he criticizes Hillary Clinton for being on the board of Wal-Mart, and then brings on to his campaign one of the chief proponents of Wal-Mart, the NYU scholar who talked about it being a progressive company, when we‘re talking about some of the lowest wages that a large corporation has in this country. Women also are—the largest number of people in poverty are women, and people care about the poor, women, particularly. So Barack Obama has to be very clear on where he stands around Social Security, where he stands around poverty. And also offer a timetable on withdrawal from Iraq.
HARRIS: I‘d love to hear about Social Security. I haven‘t heard a word about that in this entire campaign. I would love to know what‘s going to happen, because I don‘t expect to see a dime of my Social Security.
MATTHEWS: Why do you think most women vote Democrat, Heidi, and have for years?
HARRIS: Most women? I don‘t know. I think, sadly, a lot of women are very emotional and they tend to think with their hearts and not with their minds about some of these issue. They tend to feel more of these things than think it through. I hate to say it, but it‘s true.
MATTHEWS: You mean, it‘s not hard issues like abortion rights, Social Security, minimum wage, logical reasons?
HARRIS: I don‘t think that most women under 50 care about abortion rights. Here‘s why, because women at that age—Roe v. Wade was passed in ‘73, as you know. All the women growing up my generation, the women 10, 15 years younger than I, it‘s always been legal. I don‘t think that 30-year-old women have any concept of what it‘s like not to have that right. Whether you stand left or right on it, it doesn‘t really matter to most women because they can‘t conceive of it.
MATTHEWS: Shouldn‘t they have a concept of it, if the Supreme Court moves further right and there is no more right to have an abortion?
HARRIS: I don‘t think it‘s going to change. I don‘t think, no matter who‘s on the Supreme Court it‘s going a be overturned. The women who are complaining about it the most are too darn old to get pregnant. I don‘t think it‘s a big issue for young women.
GOODMAN: I think it‘s a very important issue. When people learn, as they don‘t know right now, but especially when women learn about John McCain‘s record on reproductive right, that he‘s 100 percent opposed to abortion, for example, they are going to be deeply concerned that their records aren‘t comparable.
MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Heidi. I have a sense a lot of people grinding their teeth over this issue, mostly women trying to figure out what is in their interest when this whole thing is over with this November.
Up next, a look back at some of the great moments of the career of Tim Russert. Andrea Mitchell‘s going to join us. We‘re going to do some detailed work her on things like the David Duke campaign, the Thomas hearings, things like that, 9/11, and see what good journalism can do. Andrea Mitchell, Mike Barnicle and the Politico‘s Roger Simon are going to be here to talk about what we do for a living here when we do it right. HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.
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RUSSERT: Senator Clinton, what about a World Series, Yankees and Cubs?
CLINTON: I have worried about that. I think given the Cub‘s record, which I hope it happens. It could very well be a sign of the coming apocalypse were that ever to occur. It would be so out of history that you would have the Cubs versus the Yankees, then I‘d really be in trouble.
RUSSERT: Who would you be for?
CLINTON: I would probably have to alternate sides.
RUSSERT: Spoken like a true sports fan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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RUSSERT: John McCain thanks for joining us and sharing your views.
MCCAIN: I haven‘t had so much fun since my last interpretation.
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MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. We‘re back with NBC‘s Andrea Mitchell, Politico‘s Roger Simon, and MSNBC political analyst, back by popular demand, I think it‘s fair to say, Pat Buchanan, sir. We were talking about the culture we grew up in. Let‘s take a look at some interesting things here, because a lot of words about Tim Russert, but I think the best legacy to show, tonight, on HARDBALL is what he did.
Here‘s a crucial moment in this year‘s presidential election. It began in October. We know how long this fight has gone on for the nomination. Here he is at the 30th Democratic presidential debate back on October 30th, rather.
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RUSSERT: Senator Clinton, governor of New York Eliot Spitzer has proposed giving driver‘s licenses to illegal immigrants. You told the Nashua New Hampshire editorial board it makes a lot of sense. Why does it make a lot of sense to give an illegal immigrant a driver‘s license?
CLINTON: What Spitzer is trying to do is fill the vacuum left by the failure of this administration to bring about comprehensive immigration.
I just want to add, I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do it. We have failed. We have failed.
CHRIS DODD (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, no, no. You said yes.
You thought it made sense to do it.
CLINTON: No, I didn‘t, Chris.
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MATTHEWS: You know, I think—I think the one thing journalists can do in these debates is not just stand there and play umpire, but to raise issues that neither candidate is comfortable raising to the benefit of the public, Roger, and he did that. He raised an issue that showed Hillary Clinton trying to deal with the loyalty to the governor of her state, trying to deal with the constituency of Latinos and also to the larger Democratic population, which is really mixed on the issue of illegal immigration.
ROGER SIMON, POLITICO: What separates good journalists from great journalists is the follow up question, is listening and analyzing on your feet during a live debate which is not easy. It only looks easy because the people who do it are very, very good. To be thinking while that person is answering, to ask the deft, pertinent question, and to not look like a bully. I mean, politicians have learned how to be victims now and how to play the victim.
MATTHEWS: I want Andrea to take a look at this. We haven‘t looked at this one together. Here‘s Tim Russert. Here‘s one of my golden oldies, first time I saw Tim earn his bones on television, the David Duke interview. You can say her earned his spurs. I like the Mafia one, made his bones. Here he is going after David Duke, the racist, whatever you want to call him, Nazi party leader when he was running and almost got elected governor of Louisiana back in ‘91.
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RUSSERT: Who are—what manufacturers are the three biggest employers in the state of Louisiana?
DAVID DUKE, CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR: We have a number of employers in our state.
RUSSERT: Who are the three biggest employers in the state of Louisiana?
DUKE: I couldn‘t give you the name right off, sir.
RUSSERT: You don‘t know who the biggest employers in the state of Louisiana are?
DUKE: I don‘t have the statistics.
RUSSERT: Sir, you‘re talking about economic development and don‘t know—Mr. Duke. Let me get—
DUKE: I couldn‘t give the exact rank.
RUSSERT: I‘m not asking for rank. I‘m asking you for any three names of the large employers.
How many people in your state live below the poverty line?
DUKE: A great percentage, sir. We have the highest per capita percentage in the country, just about, about the last five states in the country.
RUSSERT: How many?
DUKE: I don‘t have the exact numbers in front of me, sir. I don‘t carry around an almanac with me.
RUSSERT: If I told you it was 25 percent of your state lived below the poverty line, would you believe me.
DUKE: I could believe you, yes sir.
RUSSERT: Are these the kind of things the governor should know, who the largest employers are, how many people live below the poverty line.
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MATTHEWS: What do you think of that? That was the rubber hose, wasn‘t it?
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: He was brilliant. He didn‘t go after him on race. He didn‘t try to wiggle out and say I didn‘t mean that. He went after him on exactly what a governor needs to know who is running on a platform of improving the economic lives of Louisianians. It killed him. It removed him from contention.
MATTHEWS: Pat, before that, he had challenged David Duke on why he was running. Are you running on race? He said no, I‘m running on economics. Then Time said, like he always did when he opened up that manila folder, OK, economics, I‘m glad you raised that. Let‘s see what you know about it. It was tough questioning, what do you think? Was that grilling, bullying? Was that great journalism?
BUCHANAN: Chris, if you don‘t know the three top industries in your state—you might only get three of the first seven, but you ought to know that. What he exposed was the very fact that David Duke had a very narrow appeal and he was working the racial vein and white folks being discriminated against and all of that. That‘s what he knew. But he was running for governor of the state of Louisiana.
It was a very valid question. I saw someone do it to my old friend, Governor Wallace, one time when he was running for president. They asked him how he was going to fix out monetary policy. He said he was going to appoint a commission to handle that problem for him. So, I think what Tim exposed was the lack of depth of this candidate who pretended to be seriously running for governor when he was running that vein.
MITCHELL: The one thing Tim really hated was when people did not take “Meet the Press,” the holy temple of journalism on Sunday mornings, seriously and they came unprepared.
MATTHEWS: I think David Duke was generally unprepared.
MITCHELL: On a lot of levels.
SIMON: Politicians might disagree, but it‘s not that he made politicians look bad, he let them make themselves look bad. He didn‘t destroy David Duke. David Duke‘s ignorance made him look bad.
MATTHEWS: What I liked is he would do these things all the time, I‘d ask him something and then he‘d tell me. I‘d say, god, you put it together. I didn‘t even know it and you put it together so fast, before I even knew it. We were watching the Clarence Thomas hearings, and during the day, Anita Hill was a very effective testifier, very strong witness, very strong witness, going after him and his behavior as the employer.
Tim said to me, some time during the day—or I heard him say on the air—must have been said on the air—Clarence is going to get to testify in prime time, reaching a much bigger audience, after this build up during the day. He‘ll end up winning this fight, not because he‘s right or wrong, just because he‘s on at night and Anita was on in the daytime. That kind of instant analysis, I don‘t know—you‘re the TV person here.
MITCHELL: I was there that. It was clear the Senate was pulling. They decided by the next morning, by Sunday morning that they did not even want to permit the polygraph test to be referred to in testimony. They didn‘t want the next witness, another—
MATTHEWS: Because he had done so well.
MITCHELL: Because the American people have voted with their response.
MATTHEWS: They were watching in prime time when he got to talk.
Always, if you get a chance to testify, testify when everybody‘s watching.
We‘ll be right back with Andrea Mitchell, Pat Buchanan and Roger Simon.
You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.
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RUSSERT: Buffalo Sabers, nice job. Ten in a row. Make me proud.
Go Bills, squish the fish. Hold the e-mail, I know dolphins are mammals, but, you know, squish the fish. If it‘s Sunday, it‘s “Meet the Press.” And, oh, yes, go Bills.
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MATTHEWS: We‘re back with Andrea Mitchell, Roger Simon and Pat Buchanan. I want to talk some new politics tonight. I think it‘s fascinating that Barack Obama is trying to do everything he can to win back Hillary supporters who are loyal Democrats. Pat, Roger, and Andrea. And yet the thing he did today astounds me. We all know during the Hillary Clinton campaign when she shook down her campaign and she changed leadership, she got rid of Patty Solis Doyle. They got rid of the top person, sacked her, basically, over time. Barack Obama‘s now named the person that Hillary Clinton sacked running her campaign to be chief of staff for the campaign of the vice presidential running mate he‘s going to name, Roger. This is like putting a reverse welcome mat out. I‘m having somebody here running the campaign that you sacked, saying to Hillary Clinton, excuse me, I‘m not really thinking of you for VP. Roger?
SIMON: I think it does says exactly that. I don‘t think Senator Clinton and Patty Solis Doyle have been talking a lot. Secondly, unless Barack Obama picks somebody who is totally nonpolitical with their own staff, a business person, a member of the military, that person is going to have a chief of staff in place, and going to bring that person with them.
MATTHEWS: That‘s how it works. You pick a running mate. You tell the running mate who is going to run their campaign for them.
SIMON: That‘s Chicago headquarters person keeping an eye on the running mate. The running mate is going to bring someone with him or her.
MATTHEWS: When they picked up Quayle, the last Bush picked up Quayle in ‘88, they put Steve Spencer in charge. They just put the guy in charge, because they needed a handler.
MITCHELL: Which Quayle resented deeply.
MATTHEWS: Did he?
MITCHELL: Yes, because it was a Jim Baker person.
MATTHEWS: Don‘t you think Barack Obama is going to keep an eye on his running mate, especially if it‘s Hillary Clinton. Can‘t you enjoy the beauty of this, that they name the chief of staff that she sacked to run her campaign, if she gets put on the ticket? Pat, you know you find this delicious.
BUCHANAN: This is the calculated insult to Hillary. I think it‘s a signal that Hillary is not going to picked. I do agree, if Hillary is picked, Patty Doyle is gone. I don‘t think—I mean, if she‘s picked, she won‘t be telling Hillary what to do. That will be over very, very fast, Chris.
MITCHELL: He would not be the nominee if he had not won Iowa. He won Iowa, a lot of people would argue, because Patty Doyle was running Clinton‘s campaign pain in Iowa.
MATTHEWS: This is the kind of thing that Tim used to do, try to figure out what this means for the next move, what the real signal here is. In my own feeble way, I‘m trying to do it. Patty Solis Doyle is not a welcome mat for Hillary Clinton as a running mate.
MITCHELL: She has connections in the Hispanic community. She was basically Hillary Clinton‘s scheduler in the White House. She didn‘t do a great job running the campaign, according to the Clinton people. So it is a calculated step.
MATTHEWS: Roger Simon, Pat Buchanan, Andrea Mitchell, join us again tomorrow night at 5:00 and 7:00 Eastern for more HARDBALL. Right now it‘s time for RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE with David Gregory.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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