updated 11/6/2012 11:29:34 AM ET 2012-11-06T16:29:34

THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
November 5, 2012


Guest: Michael Moore

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Just eight hours until the polls open on
the East Coast. And in this hour, we expect to see the last campaign event
for President Barack Obama. He will be joined by First Lady Michelle Obama
and you`ll see it here live.

It will be the president`s last speech in what has been a very, very long
campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC ANCHOR: Twenty-four hours to go.

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANCHOR: Only one day left.

MARTIN BASHIR, MSNBC ANCHOR: It is here. And it is on.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, (R) MINNESOTA: Oh, my goodness! Yes!

TODD: Where does this race stand?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I mean what I say and I say
what I mean.

MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Talk is cheap. Look to the record.

B. OBAMA: I said I`d end the war in Iraq, I ended it. I said I`d pass
health care reform, I`d passed it. I said I`d repeal "don`t ask, don`t
tell". We repealed it.

ROMNEY: Talk is cheap. Look to the record.

B. OBAMA: Welcome home.

Now is the time to deliver on health care.

All men and women are created equal.

Same sex couples should be able to get married.

ROMNEY: Talk is cheap. Look to the record.

Corporations are people, my friend.

I like to be able to fire people who provide services to me.

I was a severely conservative Republican governor.

Ten thousand bucks --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The optics are bad, the sound is even worse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He can`t help it, he was born with a silver foot in
his mouth.

TODD: A razor tight race. A challenger who doesn`t quite made the final
sale.

BASHIR: We`re still trying to understand who Mitt Romney is.

ANN ROMNEY, MITT ROMNEY`S WIFE: We`ve given all people need to know.

BASHIR: Do you know who Mitt Romney is?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We know he doesn`t want to answer.

(LAUGHTER)

STEVE SCHMIDT, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: There`s going to be a civil war in
the Republican Party.

RICK SANTORUM, (R) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He is the worst
Republican in the country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you calling Mitt Romney a liar?

NEWT GINGRICH, (R) FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: Yes.

JON HUNTSMAN, (R) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think there is an issue
on the flip flops.

SANTORUM: Pick any other Republican in the country.

BACHMANN: No, he can`t beat Obama.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Republicans are talking about excuses.

(LAUGHTER)

ANN COULTER, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST: Well I`ll put it in a nutshell. If
we don`t run Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee and we`ll lose.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: In this final day of campaigning, President Obama began the day
in Madison, Wisconsin, where he spoke before an estimated crowd of 18,000.
Then he headed to Columbus, Ohio, where he spoke before an estimated crowd
of over 15,000. Within the hour, the president will make his final
campaign speech of his career as a candidate in Des Moines, Iowa.

We will bring that to you live as well as First Lady Michelle Obama`s
introduction of the president. That will be later in this hour.

Today in Ohio, President Obama ran on his record.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

B. OBAMA: Today, our businesses have created nearly 5.5 million new jobs.
The American auto industry has come roaring back. Home values are on the
rise.

Because of the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform,
the war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan is ending. Al Qaeda is on
the path to defeat. Osama bin Laden is dead.

We`ve made progress these last four years. And you know I will fight for
you and your family every single day as hard as I know how.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And the president presented his vision of the next four years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

B. OBAMA: Now is the time to keep pushing forward to educate all our kids,
to train all our workers, to create new jobs, rebuild our infrastructure,
bring our troops home, care for our veterans, broaden opportunity, restore
our democracy, build the middle class, make sure that in this country, no
matter who you are, no matter where you come from, no matter how you got
started, here in America you can make it if you try. That`s why I`m asking
for your vote. Let`s go vote. Let`s go do this!

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: This morning, Mitt Romney campaigned in Florida before heading
to Virginia this afternoon. Then, Columbus, Ohio, this evening.

Later tonight, Mitt Romney will campaign in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Here is Mitt Romney today in Ohio.

(BEGIN VDIEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: If the president were to be re-elected, he still won`t be able to
work with the people in congress, of course, because he`s ignored them,
he`s attacked them, he`s blamed them. The debt ceiling will come up again
and then there will be a threat of shutdown or defaults. And if that
happens, the economy will become frozen and we`ll have a harder time with
jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: President Obama will spend Election Day in Chicago where he
will observe his Election Day ritual of playing basketball, according to
"The Washington Post". Mitt Romney will continue to campaign in Cleveland,
Ohio, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, tomorrow.

As of this hour, Nate Silver of the "New York Times" "FiveThirtyEight" blog
predicts that President Obama will win 314 Electoral College votes, and
Mitt Romney will win 227. Nate Silver gives President Obama a 91 percent
chance of winning reelection.

Krystal, the Nate Silver formula has increased the odds in favor of the
president even more. I have very little faith in any of that, in any of
the polling. It just feels and is in fact too close too call.

KRYSTAL BALL, "THE CYCLE" CO-HOST: It is very close. But the president
has held a significant -- small but significant lead in the key
battleground states. And it is hard to see how Mitt Romney pieces together
enough states to get to 270.

If you look at Ohio, if you look at Wisconsin, if you look at Nevada, if
you look at Iowa, the president has been consistently in the lead there.
And Romney basically has to run the table to even have a shot.

O`DONNELL: But the Republican argument, Ari, which was the John Kerry
argument, which has always been the argument in these situations, is when
the incumbent polls below 50, the incumbent is in danger no matter what the
other number is. So if the incumbent is at 48, the challenger is at 46,
the challenger is probably in a better position, most of the time.

ARI MELBER, THE NATION: Right.

O`DONNELL: However, we`re making new mathematical history in these
campaigns all the time. And I really -- I can see that argument, because
it`s an old argument. It`s been around a while. It didn`t work for John
Kerry and it`s hard to say what`s going to happen now.

MELBER: Yes. I mean, I spent over a year working seven days a week for
John Kerry so I`m familiar with that argument, I remember that argument.

I think the critical question then as now is whether the challenger has
been viewed to be credible by Election Day. If you look at polling of a
generic Republican versus Obama, that imaginary generic Republican through
most of this year when polled does better than Mitt Romney.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

MELBER: The fact that Mitt Romney is a flip flopper was bad. The fact
that now in these closing weeks in Ohio, he`s a liar and a liar who gets
busted and keeps lying I think has hurt him in a very severe way and really
scrambles some of those rules that you`re talking about.

O`DONNELL: The number that I do think is in other meaningful is the Gallup
approval rating. The president has an approval rating now of 52 and a
disapproval of 49. There have been times when the president`s approval
number has not had a 5 as a first digit. That is more worrying, I would
think if it wasn`t where it is right now.

BALL: Yes, I would take that poll with a grain of salt. They`ve sort of
been all over the board. They had Romney up six now, they`ve closed it up
to Romney just one.

But I think you`re right. That approval number at 52 percent has to be
encouraging.

The other thing that I would say is there`s been for a while this gap
between the national polls and the state polls, where it looked like the
president had an Electoral College lead, but in the popular vote was
trailing 20 Mitt Romney. Now, those two sets of polls have converged so it
does like the president has a slight lead nationally and a slight lead at
the state level. That was kind of the last hope of Republicans. I mean,
they`re making up other stuff now.

But the hope was that the state polls would converge towards the national
picture. The opposite has happened.

O`DONNELL: Now, a leading Republican poll watcher has a different view
than Nate Silver. Now, admittedly, Rush Limbaugh doesn`t work the numbers
quite as hard.

BALL: More of a gut guy, gut feeling.

O`DONNELL: He doesn`t actually ever work the number. But he`s got an
opinion. Let`s listen to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: All of my thinking says Romney big.
All of my feeling, if you -- all of my feeling is where my concern is. But
my thoughts, my intellectual analysis of this, factoring everything I see
plus the polling data, not even close -- 300-plus electoral votes for
Romney.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Ari, Rush`s intellectual analysis.

MELBER: Lawrence, I want to zero in on the core of the argument there
which is Romney big.

O`DONNELL: Yes, Romney big.

MELBER: This is the caveman political level view. Obama bad, Mitt good.
Romney big. I mean, that`s the level of analysis you get from Rush
Limbaugh.

I think the problem for Republicans and this is where it`s really evident
that they are concerned, which doesn`t mean they`re going to lose because
they, like everyone else, is looking at things around making strategic
judgments. But they clearly are concerned about a perception that Mitt
Romney is a loser who`s going to lose tomorrow, and that`s why I think
they`ve dialed it up as they always do, there`s a lot of projections and a
lot of bluster and they`re trying to say that not only is it not close. I
mean, you just said you think it`s close.

They`re behind by most indicia that matter, which I look to as early
voting, the ballots that we can count, and the state poll over national at
this point. They`re down all that and they`re talking about big
landslides.

O`DONNELL: And, you know, Larry Sabato has been at this a long time,
director of University of Virginia`s Center for Politics, he`s predicting
290 electoral votes for President Obama.

There`s a "Huffington Post" story tonight about Chris Christie refusing to
campaign with Mitt Romney. It says, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
turned down a request by Mitt Romney to appear with him at a rally on
Sunday night in Pennsylvania. "The Huffington Post" has learned Romney
rally was held at a farm not more than 20 minutes from Trenton, the New
Jersey capital. "You can`t tell me he couldn`t have gone over there for a
night rally," a Romney campaign source told "Huffington Post".

Now, there`s been some pushback. Romney people pushing back with other
news outlets about whether that ever really happened as an invitation.
But, of course, Chris Christie couldn`t leave his state for a minute --

BALL: He`s a little busy right now.

O`DONNELL: Those Romney people don`t understand that?

BALL: If they actually asked him to come to a rally, it`s unbelievable to
think that he could possibly say yes. I mean, besides the fact that he
genuinely has his hands full, is working day and night, 24 hours a day, has
made it quite clear that he is not interested in wading into presidential
politics at this point.

But can you imagine what New Jersey residents would do? Christie went out
stumping for Romney. It would be insane. I mean, I just -- I can`t
believe that they would think that was a reasonable possibility.

MELBER: Right. It shows again, this is not where you want to be. You
want to be in the closing argument. You want to be talking about the
economy. You want to be talking about the future.

When you`re talking about the sort of frenemy politics of the disjointed
Republican Party, that`s not the kind of closing you want.

O`DONNELL: Krystal Ball and Ari Melber, thank you both for joining me
tonight.

BALL: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, we`ll have live coverage of President Obama`s last
campaign event where he will be joined by First Lady Michelle Obama in Des
Moines, Iowa.

And later, a look at the difficulties people are having voting. Joy Reid
and Richard Wolffe will join me with a look at the Republican attempts at
voter suppression.

And up next, Michael Moore is here to talk about Mitt Romney`s big lie
about the automobile industry -- the lie that may have destroyed any chance
of Mitt Romney winning Ohio.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The final campaign event for President Barack Obama is about to
begin in Des Moines, Iowa. We will take you there live when the president
and the First Lady speak. Up next, Michael Moore is here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: When Jeep said it wasn`t so, they
kept making the charge. When Chrysler said it wasn`t so, they kept making
the charge. Even General Motors said this is not true, and they pointed
out that Jeep is owned by Chrysler is owned by Fiat, you know?

So then, the charge became the president is working with the Italians to
move jobs to China. Now we`re laughing. But it`s absurd.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And so Mitt Romney has told one lie too many. Everyone in Ohio
knows that Mitt Romney is lying about Chrysler sending jobs to China, which
puts Ohio Republican governor and Romney supporter in a very difficult spot
when Norah O`Donnell asked him about it this morning on CBS.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NORAH O`DONNELL, CBS: Is Jeep creating more jobs in Ohio or are they
sending them to China?

GOV. JOHN KASICH, (R) OHIO: Chrysler has -- Chrysler is the one automaker
that has increased employment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Michael Moore, I guess that settles it. I mean, there`s John
Kasich --

MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: Yes.

O`DONNELL: He`s a big Romney supporter. He`s asked basically. I mean,
Norah put it straight. But the real question is, so Romney is lying about
this, right? And his answer is yes, he`s lying about it.

MOORE: You know what gets me about that whole thing is with the Jeep thing
is that Romney and his big donors, all his money people, they actually --
they purchased, helped to purchase Delphi, which used to be Delco, A.C.
sparkplug, which is where my dad worked at a factory at G.M. And then they
were kind of cut off from G.M. and they bought them.

And they sold like, closed down 24 factories, they moved 25,000 jobs to
China and then took auto money bailout, the bailout that he opposed, he
took this money, he and his buddies. And Romney himself made about a $15
million profit. I think it was a 4,000 percent gain on his investment,
what he put into it.

There`s a story in "The Nation" last week about it. It`s just absolutely -
-

O`DONNELL: I think that sounds like more than your father made working
there, right? I mean --

MOORE: Yes, a little bit. But I mean, so we`re very conscious of this in
Michigan.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

MOORE: We know what he and Bain Capital did. You know, I actually live in
a little town up north in Michigan, and we had -- the only town -- the only
department store in town was owned by the company called Stage Department
Stores.

And sure enough, you know, a decade and a half ago, Bain Capital bought out
Stage, closed down, I don`t know, dozens and dozens of stores through the
Midwest and, of course, and then our little downtown had this --

O`DONNELL: Is there any chance of Bain Capital buying out and closing you
down? They seem to be surrounding you, Bain Capital, in your --

MOORE: Yes. Well, again, I`m very optimistic about the vote tomorrow in
Michigan. And I certainly think Romney has cooked his goose in Ohio.

O`DONNELL: My theory of the case now is if we are reporting an Obama win
tonight and I think we will be. I mean, it`s close but I think we will be.
I think the place where Romney absolutely sealed off victory is in this lie
about the auto industry.

MOORE: Yes.

O`DONNELL: Not this hurricane. I don`t believe that the hurricane changed
what was happening here, which is what Republicans are going to want to
say. They`re going to want to say, oh, well you know the storm damage, the
president managed to go out there for a couple of days, the campaign shut
down, Chris Christie did his thing and we lost it that way.

No, no. I think you lost it on what you were talking about.

MOORE: That`s right. In Ohio, in Michigan and Wisconsin, I would predict,
I`m not one of these prediction pundits, but I would predict tomorrow that
President Obama is going to do better with the white male voter, blue
collar voter, than he did in 2008. I agree.

Romney, I think that should be seen, if he does lose -- hopefully he does -
- as the main reason, why in the end he couldn`t get those three or four
states in the Midwest that he needed to win.

O`DONNELL: And let`s look at the other decisive thing in the Romney
campaign. And that is -- and by the way the MVP of all of campaign
coverage is not some men in makeup on television. It`s this anonymous
person at that fundraiser who secretly pressed record.

MOORE: Oh, yes, absolutely.

O`DONNELL: Let`s take a look at that again.

MOORE: One more time.

O`DONNELL: Yes, one more time.

MOORE: That`s good.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president
no matter what. There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent
upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the
government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe they`re
entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. So, my job
is not to worry about those people. I`ll never convince them that they
should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: I`ve never been at a Republican high dollar fundraiser, but now
I feel like I have.

MOORE: I have secretly filmed them. I have been there.

Well, of course, this tape and God bless "Mother Jones" for getting it out
there.

O`DONNELL: But let`s just one second, whoever did that, whoever recorded
that -- there`s a reason to suspect it`s somebody in the working staff of
the event who did that, that was a brilliant choice for history, for this
country, an invaluable contribution.

MOORE: I hope after the election that person comes forward because we have
a medal that we would like to give them. But Romney is cooked at that
moment. Because how does he come out of that? He tried to come out saying
I didn`t mean 47 percent. I`m for 100 percent of the people.

But it`s like how insane really to just dismiss 47 percent of the people.
It would be like me saying, you know, there`s a hidden camera where I`m at
the bar or something, and saying 47 percent of the people who go to my
movies are a bunch of idiots. You know, it`s like, if you actually have
that attitude, well, then you deserve to lose.

And the -- if you think the 47 percent is that stupid that they`re going to
go vote for you tomorrow, what does that say what you think about the
American public? You really must think we`re a bunch of idiots.

O`DONNELL: And he was including that anybody who takes anything from the
government, any form of support at all. You know, I spent a lot of time
this weekend out on Staten Island with people who may not have been in that
47 percent that Romney was talking about two weeks ago, but they are now.
They need it. And they need a lot of help and they`re getting that help,
luckily.

But he could not have comprehended from where he lives in the world who he
really was actually talking about when he was saying that.

MOORE: Right, right. As Bill Maher says, he lives in a bubble. He`s
completely removed from the real world.

O`DONNELL: Quickly, are you worried about voter suppression coming up
here? There are so many moves that they`ve tried to pull on this.

MOORE: Yes, I am. Let me --

O`DONNELL: In Ohio and elsewhere.

MOORE: Let me say this because I don`t think this has really been pointed
out. Voter suppression was one of the founding principles of this country.
Our Founding Fathers suppressed the vote by saying only white male property
owners could vote.

And through the 200-plus years, we`ve chipped away at voter suppression.
Blacks could vote. Women could vote. And the blacks (ph) said, we have to
have civil rights laws, it`s -- there`s been voter suppression since the
beginning.

So my plea to the 90 million people that are expected not to vote tomorrow,
according to "USA Today" poll, my plea to them if they`re watching is to
please -- so many people fought for this right. It was so hard because we
have fought voter suppression for 200-plus years of this country.

Exercise that right. Go the polls. Don`t stay home. Don`t sit -- it`s
only 20 minutes and it`s free.

It`s your country. And selfishly I`m saying it too because the same poll
said they asked the nonvoters if you did vote, how many of you would vote
for Obama, how many for Romney? Forty-three percent for Obama, 18 percent
for Romney.

So, clearly, there`s a goldmine there of people that could vote for
President Obama and I`m encouraging people on my Web site and Twitter and
all that. I want to get a million people to the polls tomorrow that
otherwise wouldn`t have gone --

O`DONNELL: Well, we all know them --

(CROSSTALK)

MOORE: We all know somebody and make it your mission tomorrow to take that
person out to vote. Take them to lunch, take them to the bar afterwards,
do whatever you have to do that`s legal to get them to the polls.

And they`ll feel good that they did this, and they`ll maybe vote again next
time. So I think that`s really important.

And I say too, just finally to -- just before coming in here, I heard the
same thing, Nate Silver, 91 percent chance of Obama winning.

Please, folks, don`t do the end zone dance tonight. This is not safe.
You`re going to look like -- what`s the Dallas Cowboys guy`s name?

O`DONNELL: Sorry, it`s sports. I know nothing about it.

MOORE: In `93, he did the end zone dance three yards out.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

MOORE: And the Buffalo Bills -- Don Beebe from the Buffalo Bills came up
and knocked the ball out of his hand while he was doing the dance and he
wasn`t even in the end zone.

Let`s not look like that tomorrow. That`s why I said earlier, Nate`s been
saying 70 percent, 80 percent, now it`s 90 percent. Let`s say it`s 70
percent chance, OK, that sounds good. But that means there`s a 30 percent
chance he isn`t.

And when you hear in the weather tonight that there`s a 30 percent chance
of rain tomorrow, what do you think? It`s going to rain tomorrow, right?

O`DONNELL: The very successful baseball hitters there are only successful
30 percent of the time.

MOORE: Cabrera from my time the Tigers, 30 percent is all he -- and yet
he`s considered the greatest.

O`DONNELL: That`s right.

MOORE: But he only hit 30 percent. Don`t trust that this is in the bag.
Don`t do the end zone dance tonight.

Everybody up in the morning, get out and vote, and get up there and get
people to vote, because that other side, they`re going to be out there.
They`re going to be out there. Believe me, Republicans they are organized,
they are disciplined, they are up at 5:00 in the morning.

We`re never up at 5:00 in the morning, Lawrence, unless we`ve been partying
all night.

O`DONNELL: Well, you heard it from Michael Moore, no dancing tonight.
Michael Moore, thank you very much for joining me.

MOORE: Thanks.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, voter suppression attempts in how early voting is
going across the country. Joy Reid is going to join us on that, with
Richard Wolffe.

And we`re waiting for President Obama and the First Lady, they are about to
appear at the final campaign event before tomorrow`s election, the last
time he will ever speak to a big crowd as a candidate. They will both
speak in Des Moines, Iowa. We`ll bring you that live.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: I spent some time on Staten Island this weekend, some sad time
on Staten Island. You can go to our website to see some of the video that
we shot out there and for information on how to contribute to relief for
hurricane victims.

Coming up, the lines have been long for early voting. And so has the fight
over the right to vote early. Joy Reid and Richard Wolffe will join me
next.

And you`re looking at the president`s last campaign event. He will speak
shortly with the First Lady in Des Moines. And you`ll see it here live.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, (D) NEW YORK: I`m signing an executive order today that
will allow affidavit voting, where you can go to any polling place -- if
you`re displaced, go to any polling place, sign an affidavit and you can
vote in that polling place. But I think of it this way. Compared to what
we have had to deal with the past week, this will be a walk in the park,
going out and voting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: While New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made it a bit easier for
Hurricane Sandy-affected residents to vote tomorrow, similar efforts in New
Jersey are causing some security concerns. In additional to being able to
cast a provisional ballot from any polling place in the state, New Jersey
voters can also download a ballot and return their vote by fax or e-mail.

Reports of some form of voter irregularity are already happening in key
battleground states. In Florida, lawyers for the Florida Democratic Party
settled a lawsuit today in three south Florida counties it had sued to
extend early voting. Voters waited in record long lines, up to eight
hours, prompting law suit. Officials in those three counties have agreed
to allow voters to cast in person absentee ballots at elections
supervisors` offices throughout election day.

Long lines also persisted in Ohio today, where the number of early voting
weekends were reduced from five to just one. Ohio Secretary of State John
Husted issued a directive last Friday requiring voters to complete the
identification section on provisional ballots rather than poll workers. If
the form is not filled out correctly, then the ballot is not counted.

Democrats countered with an emergency motion. A federal judge in Ohio will
hold a hearing on the matter Wednesday, the morning after the election.
And in Pennsylvania, civil rights and other community groups have sent a
letter to assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez alleging that the
Pennsylvania Republican Party and Pittsburgh Tea Party are targeting
predominantly African-American precincts in Pittsburgh under the guise of
combating alleged voter fraud.

In the letter, they say -- they call upon the Justice Department monitors
to make every effort to ensure that voters at these targeted locations are
able to cast their ballots freely and fairly.

Joining me now, MSNBC`s Richard Wolffe, and from Orlando, Florida, Joy
Reid. Joy, what is the latest in Florida?

JOY REID, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It`s a mess, Lawrence, to put it very
succinctly. I actually just got the phone a little while ago with a friend
of mine who works on campaigns down in South Florida, in the Miami area.
People are actually still in line at the lone place where you can now
absentee early vote, meaning you can fill out an absentee ballot, actually
request one on the spot.

And people are fully taking advantage of it. And it is proof that Florida
really needed those 14 days. The lines have been extraordinary throughout
the state. Five counties now out of 67 went ahead and allowed absentee
voting on the spot, which means that in five counties, you had more early
vote time than you did in the other 62 counties. That in and of itself it
is unfair. And in Miami, it is utter chaos.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Steve Schmidt told Chuck Todd this
morning, explaining Republican fervor about this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE SCHMIDT, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I think one of the things that you
always want to be for, whether you`re a Democrat or Republican, is you want
everybody who is eligible to vote to vote. And that`s how you want to win
elections.

And so I think that all of the stuff that has transpired over the last two
years is in search of a solution to a problem, voting fraud, that doesn`t
really exist, when you look deeply at the question.

(CROSS TALK)

SCHMIDT: Part of the mythology now in the Republican party that there`s
wide spread voter from across the country. In fact, there`s not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Richard Wolffe, it seems like more than mythology. It seems
like, OK, some mythology and then an active, willful attempt at voter
suppression.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC.COM EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Look, whether it`s suppression
or extreme restriction, it varies state by state. How ever you want to
call it, the net effect is to deny people the chance, the opportunity to
vote in the way they want it.

When people are lining up for eight hours, they desperately want to vote.
And Steve Schmidt -- look, I was with him this morning on the set of
"MORNING JOE." His heart says Mitt Romney is going to win this election.
He believes in his gut that that`s going to happen, even though his head is
telling him something else.

He is a partisan figure. And he knows, as a reasonable man, that it`s
right, in this country, the world`s greatest democracy, that more people
should vote than less. So why certain governors, certain state election
officials would want to put these restrictions in place is a hard thing to
get to other than to notice that it`s happening in so many places, and so
many of these officials are Republican, if not all of them.

There is a pattern here and it`s a very troubling one.

O`DONNELL: Joy, it is a battleground state Republican pattern that we`re
looking at. These Republican officials in Florida, Republican officials in
Ohio, where they know they control the outcome of this election.

REID: No, absolutely. And I agree with Richard. It`s incredibly
insidious -- it`s disingenuous of anyone to say that it`s mythology. It`s
not mythology. It`s tactics.

If you look in Ohio, for example, Lawrence, you have had about 45,000
people vote earlier this year. That`s 11,000 fewer than voted early in
2008. That`s despite the fact that in Ohio, as in Florida, you have had
lines literally wrapped around the block.

Why is it fewer? Because there`ve been fewer days. John Husted, the
Secretary of State in Oho, has tried everything. He`s tried getting rid of
early voting. He`s tried restrictions. He`s tried shifting the ballot.
This guy is doing everything he can to not let people vote. That`s the
opposite of his job.

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid and Richard Wolffe, thank you both for joining us
tonight.

REID: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, we`re waiting for the First Lady and President Obama
to take the stage in Des Moines, Iowa, for his last campaign event. We`ll
take you there live when that happens.

And it`s been 27 days since Mitt Romney answered a question from a
reporter. Tonight, someone got him to answer questions. We`ll tell you
who did it and what Mitt said. That`s coming up.

And tomorrow night, we`ll have complete election coverage right here
beginning at 6:00 p.m.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Mitt Romney made his closing argument to football fans tonight,
which is why I wasn`t watching.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS BERMAN, ESPN ANCHOR: Do you have a favorite team?

ROMNEY: Well, it is the New England Patriots. I have lived in
Massachusetts now 40 years. And I take personal full responsibility for
their two Super Bowl wins, as well as the Red Sox winning the World Series.
Hey look, as a governor, you get blamed for everything that goes wrong.
You might as well get the credit for what goes right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: President Obama appeared in the same halftime show before Mitt
Romney, and said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

B. OBAMA: The truth is that, just like in sports, in politics, we`re all
human. We make mistakes. The key is to just stay focused on what it is
that you`re doing. In sports, it`s about winning championships.
Interesting, in politics, it`s not about winning elections. It`s making
sure that you`re delivering for the folks who sent you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: So Jonathan Capehart, a guy who takes responsibility for the
auto bailout and had opposed to it, should that guy be joking about taking
full responsibility for Superbowl wins of the Patriots?

JONATHAN CAPEHART, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Because he`s going to get blamed
for the bad things that happened when he was governor --

O`DONNELL: As the football correspondent for THE LAST WORD, you were
assigned to -- to watch this thing so -- because I couldn`t bear it. Also
it was occurring during this show.

CAPEHART: Also luckily, both interviews were about three minutes long.
They were very quick. Four questions, very fast. And I could actually
understand everything.

The thing about -- the thing about what Governor Romney said, it just sort
of highlighted his penchant for expediency. Like ask him a question, he`ll
just take credit for it.

With the president, his big line was stay -- the line was you need to stay
focused and don`t get distracted by your own hype or your own critics.
It`s seems as though Governor Romney pays more attention to his own hype
and couldn`t care less -- couldn`t care less about his critics.

O`DONNELL: So basically neither one of them said anything?

CAPEHART: Yeah, that`s about right.

O`DONNELL: But Romney thought Romney was really funny. I noticed Romney
really laughing at Romney there.

CAPEHART: Right, but Romney always laughs at Romney`s jokes. That`s what
he does. And he -- he tickles himself. I`m such a card, but he`s not
terribly funny. And he`s not terribly -- he`s not relatable in the way
that the president is.

O`DONNELL: But the real moment for the president tonight is coming up. We
see Bruce Springsteen on the stage there in Iowa. This is going to be
President Obama`s last Harrah. This is going to be his last campaign
speech, the last campaign event. It`s the last one of his political
career. His political career ends tonight.

CAPEHART: Right. And he`s a very young guy.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

CAPEHART: I was talking to some people who said yes, well, of course, you
can`t just be president of the United States and then just walk off the
stage after four or eight years. Of course he`s going to run again. You -
- if you`ve watched this man and you`ve gotten to know who he is, you know
that what you`re about to see tonight will be his last political rally.

He`s this strange bird -- and strange in a good way, where he got into
politics not for power or for grandeur, but to actually help people.
Remember, he was a community organizer. He could have gone to big law
firms, big business. But instead he went back into the community to help
people.

And so for him, being President of the United States, great job, the
ultimate platform to help people, to help a nation. And once his time is
done on that stage, he will walk off the stage and be perfectly fine with
that.

O`DONNELL: We`re awaiting the president and First Lady at their last
campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa. The First Lady will speak first,
followed by the president. You`ll see it here live.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, SINGER: I stood with President Obama four years ago.
And I`m proud to be --

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SPENCER TRACY, ACTOR: It`s my guess that the old fashioned political
campaign, in a few years, will be as extinct as the dodo. It will all be
TV and radio. It will all be streamlined and nice and easy.

Mind you, I use the TV and the radio sometimes. But I also get out into
the wards. I speak in fight arenas, armories, street corners, anywhere I
can gather a crowd.

I even kiss babies. That`s the way I`ve always done it. And I must say
it`s usually paid off. But there`s no use kidding myself about it. It`s
on its way out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was Spencer Tracy as Mayor Frank Skeffington (ph) in the
1958 film "The Last Hurrah." It was based on Edwin O`Connor`s 1956 novel
"The Last Hurrah," which some say was based on Mayor James Michael Curley
of Boston. In fact, James Michael Curley sued the -- Edwin O`Connor for
that and won a very small settlement at the time for it.

And then when James Michael Curley wrote his own autobiography, he titled
it, "I`d Do It Again." This was a politician who found himself in jail
during one campaign. That`s how colorful things were in those days.

And Richard Wolffe, when you see a last hurrah, as we are about to see
tonight with President Obama, one of the points of Edwin O`Connor`s novel
that I think we`ve seen many times is that there`s just nothing more
poignant than a politician`s last hurrah. This is it tonight.

WOLFFE: It`s important to put in to some context. Iowa isn`t just another
state. It wasn`t just the start. Back in 2007, no one gave this guy a
chance. He had to build it. Not with -- except for Lawrence O`Donnell,
almost no one gave him a chance.

You know, there will be lots of people on the right who will howl and say,
no, it was all ads. No, it wasn`t. He had to go garden party to house
party to miserable small events. I was with Michelle Obama in the summer
of 2007, a sweltering day in the middle of no where, 20 people in that
garden party. Of those 20 people, 15 of them were people of color.

And that was a pattern that was repeated everyone. It wasn`t just that she
appealed to those people, but honestly most people in politics at that time
didn`t believe there were any people of color who would show up to vote in
a place like Iowa.

They didn`t it in Iowa. They built it early. They built it face to face,
not just with the candidates, but with all the ground people around them,
the ground game, that now they believe is going to take them over the top
for the second time.

O`DONNELL: That`s the president in 2008 in Iowa now, we`re showing. We
all remember where we were the night he gave that victory speech in Iowa.
Were you there, Richard?

WOLFFE: I was there.

O`DONNELL: I was at home watching it, having an experience like I had
never had in a presidential primary victory speech. There was no night
like it in our politics.

CAPEHART: No, right. And it was historic. It was historic also because
leading up to Iowa, a lot of people didn`t think he would win. But
particularly African-Americans weren`t sold on the fact that this guy could
actually win, because, as the saying would go, well, they won`t vote for
him.

The fact that a nearly white state would give their votes and make him the
winner of the Iowa caucuses was electric. It was a thunder bolt through
the African-American community. And people turned on a dime from
supporting Senator Clinton to supporting Barack Obama. It was that seismic
when Iowa went for Senator Obama.

O`DONNELL: People forget, President Obama back then did have to convince
people, many of whom their hearts were with him but their heads were
saying, wait a minute, why should I leave Hillary Clinton -- why should I
leave supporting this other candidate for someone who can`t win.

WOLFFE: Right, and by the way, the polls -- there was some justification
for that. The polls didn`t put him ahead. They didn`t put him ahead
nationally. They didn`t even put him ahead until really late in the game
ahead in Iowa. And I`ve got to tell you, when people scoff -- I hear the
Romney folks scoffing all the time, why is it the Obama people have so many
offices in Ohio, right? Why do you need that many offices?

That`s exactly what the Clinton people said in Iowa. Why do you need to
organize like this. Why do you put so much resources into having some kid
in some small town, a year out -- what are they going to do? And the
answer is you`re building relationships. You`re doing exactly what Spencer
Tracy was trying to say, face to face, kissing babies, meeting people,
saying to people all the time, this is what the guy stands for.

O`DONNELL: Michelle Obama has just been introduced at what will be the
Obama campaign`s last event of this campaign. It will be her final speech
of this campaign. She will introduce her husband, the President of the
United States for what will be his final campaign speech as a candidate.
This is history.

(BEGIN LIVE FEED)

(APPLAUSE)

CROWD: We love Michelle, we love Michelle, we love Michelle.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: And I love you. I love
you, from the bottom of my heart. And I am beyond thrilled to be here with
all of you.

But we have to give some love up for Bruce Springsteen.

(APPLAUSE)

M. OBAMA: For months I have heard his songs played at our rallies, but I
have to say there`s nothing like seeing the Boss in person.

(APPLAUSE)

M. OBAMA: He has just been tremendous. He and his family and his team,
they`ve just been amazing. So we want to thank Bruce for everything that
he`s done for us. And more than anything else.

I want to thank you all for being here tonight. I mean, as you know, this
is a pretty emotional time for us, because this is the final event of my
husband`s final campaign.

(APPLAUSE)

M. OBAMA: So this is the last time that he and I will be on stage together
at a campaign rally.

(APPLAUSE)

M. OBAMA: And that`s why we wanted to come here to Iowa tonight.

(APPLAUSE)

M. OBAMA: Because truly, this is where it all began, right here. And I
have so many fond memories of this state, the house parties in Sioux City
and Cedar Rapids, celebrating Malia`s birthday in Pella --

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

M. OBAMA: -- and seeing my husband`s face carved in butter.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

M. OBAMA: Believe me, we still talk about that at Christmas. But I will
never forget the kindness and warmth and the love that you all showed me
and my family, especially our girls. That is truly what made the
difference back in those early days, when I wasn`t so sure about this whole
process, back when I was still wondering what it would mean for our girls
and our family if Barack got the chance to serve as president.

But the truth is, while I had my worries and my fears, I also realized that
this decision affected not only me as a wife and a mother, but as a voter,
as an American. And I started envisioning the kind of person that I wanted
to lead our lead our country. And I knew that I wanted a president with a
steady character, with deep compassion and strong convictions.

I wanted a president who was smart.

(APPLAUSE)

O`DONNELL (voice-over): You`re watching President Obama`s final campaign
rally in Des Moines, Iowa. Our cover of this speech continues now on
MSNBC.

M. OBAMA: Someone who would always, always tell us the truth even when
it`s hard. And I wanted a president driven not by politics or which way
the wind is blowing, but by the struggles, hopes and dreams of all
Americans.

The more I thought about it, the more I knew in my heart that I was
describing Barack. I knew he could be that president, and for four years
that`s exactly what he`s done. He has stayed true to himself and, with
your help, he`s worked day after day to make this country better to move it
forward. He`s rescued our economy from the brink of collapse, saved the
auto industry. He`s passed historic health reform, ended the war in Iraq.
He`s fought so women get equal pay and students can afford college. He`s
fought for our seniors so they can retire with dignity and our veterans so
that they can get the benefits they earned and the respect they deserve.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

For four years, Barack has been fighting to give every single one of us a
fair shot at that great American dream, no matter what we look like or
where we come from or who we love. For four years we have all seen what
I`ve seen for the past 23 years. We`ve seen a man of honor and integrity
who knows what he believes and stays true to his values. I`m so proud of
my husband. We have seen an honest man who knows the facts and always
gives it to us straight. We`ve seen man who`s strength and resolve to
build a better tomorrow has never wavered, never.

And that`s why I`m so thrilled to be here in Iowa tonight.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Because long before most people even knew his name, you all saw what I saw.
You did all this crazy stuff. You showed up at campaign offices here in
Des Moines and offices all over the state. More importantly, you opened
your homes, you held caucus training. You marched with us at the Jefferson
Jackson dinner. And then on a cold January night, you stood up for Barack,
because you knew that he would stand up for you.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And over these past four years our family has been truly blessed, truly
blessed, by all of the love and support and prayers that we have received
from every corner of this country. And Barack has been truly blessed to
have all of you by his side as we have worked together to bring that change
we can believe in.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve this nation. Just know that. And
tomorrow, we get the chance to finish what we started here.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

CROWD: (CHANTING "FOUR MORE YEARS")

M. OBAMA: Tomorrow, all across this state, we will line up and vote in
libraries and community centers and school gyms, we`re going to knock on
doors until our fingers are numb. We`re going to make calls until our
voices are hoarse and we won`t stop until every voice and every last vote
is counted. We will do it. We will do it because while we have come so
far, we know that there`s so much more to do. And what we really, truly
know is that we cannot turn back now. We need to keep moving this country
forward.

So that means that we need to reelect the man who has been fighting for us
every single day: my husband, the love of my life, the President of the
United States, Barack Obama.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

CROWD: (CHANTING "FOUR MORE YEARS")

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hello, Iowa. Tomorrow,
tomorrow, Iowa. Tomorrow, from the granite of New Hampshire, to the
Rockies of Colorado, from the coastlines of Florida to Virginia`s rolling
hills, from the valleys of Ohio to these Iowa fields, we will keep America
moving forward.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

I`ve come back to Iowa one more time to ask for your vote. I came back to
ask you to help us finish what we`ve started because this is where our
movement for change began. Right here. Right here. Right behind these
bleachers is the building that was home to our Iowa headquarters in 2008.
I was just inside and it brought back a lot of memories. This is where
some of the first young people who joined our campaign set up shop, willing
to work for little pay and less sleep because they believed that people who
love their country can change it.

This is where so many of you who shared that belief came to help. You
know, when the heat didn`t work for the first week or so, some of you
brought hats and gloves for the staff. These poor kids, they weren`t
prepared. When the walls inside were bare, one of you painted a mural to
lift everybody`s spirits. When we had a steak fry to march to, when we had
a JJ dinner to fire up, you brought your neighbors and you made homemade
signs. When we had calls to make, teachers and nurses showed up after work
already bone tired but staying anyway late into the night.

And you welcomed me and Michelle into your homes. You picked us up when we
needed a lift. And your faces gave me new hope for this country`s future.
And your stories filled me with resolve to fight for you every single day I
set foot in the Oval Office. You inspired us. I want to take this
opportunity to say one thing to all the young people and not so young
people who have given so much to this campaign over the years: those of you
who haven`t done this just for me but for each other, for a laid off family
member, for a sick child, for a fallen friend. For all you have that live
and breathe the hard work of change, I want to thank you. You took this
campaign and you made it your own and you organized yourself block by
block, neighborhood by neighborhood, county by county, starting a movement
that spread across the country. A movement made up of young and old and
rich and poor and black and white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay or
straight.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

We believe we all have a shot at our own American dream. When the Senate
said we couldn`t, you said, "Yes, we can." You said, "Yes, we can," and we
did. Against all odds, we did. We didn`t know what challenges would come
when we began this journey. We didn`t know how deep the crisis would turn
out. But we knew we would get through those challenges the same way this
nation always does -- with that determined, unconquerable American spirit
that says no matter how bad the storm gets, no matter how tough times are,
we`re all in this together. We rise or fall as one nation and as one
people. That`s the spirit that carried us through the trials and
tribulations of the last four years.

In 2008, we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis
since the Great Depression. And today our businesses have created nearly
five and a half million new jobs. The America auto industry is back. Home
values are on the rise. We`re less dependent on foreign oil than any time
in the last 20 years. We`ve doubled the production of clean energy.
Because of the service and sacrifice from our brave men and women in
uniform, the war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan is ending. Al
Qaeda is on the run. Osama bin Laden is dead.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

We`ve made real progress these past four years. But Iowa, we`re here
tonight because we got more work to do. We`re not done yet on this
journey. We got more road to travel. As long as there`s a single American
who wants a job but can`t find one, as long as there are families that are
working harder but still falling behind, as long as there`s a child
anywhere in Des Moines, anywhere in Iowa, anywhere in this country
languishing in poverty, barred from opportunity, our work isn`t done.

Our fight for change goes on because we know this nation cannot succeed
without a growing, driving middle class and sturdy ladders for everybody
that`s willing to work to get into that middle class. Our fight goes on
because America`s always done best when everybody`s got a fair shot and
everybody`s doing their fair share and everybody plays by the same rules.
The people of Iowa understand that. That`s what we believe. That`s why
you elected me in 2008. And, Iowa, that`s why I`m running for a second
term as President of the United States.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

CROWD: (CHANTING "FOUR MORE YEARS")

B. OBAMA: The choice you make tomorrow and you understand -- as Iowans,
you guys pay attention -- the choice you make is not just between two
candidates or parties. It`s a choice between two different visions of
America: who we are, what we believe, what we care about. The choice
between going back to the top-down policies that caused the mess we`ve been
fighting out of for four years or moving forward to a future that`s built
on a strong and growing middle class.

Iowa, you know me as well as anybody. You`ve seen a lot of me these last
six years. You know what, you may not agree with every decision I`ve made
-- Michelle doesn`t. There may be times where you`ve been frustrated at
the pace of change. I promise you, so have I. But I tell you what, you
know what I believe. You know where I stand. You know I tell the truth.
You know I`ll fight for you and your families every single day as long as I
know how.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And that`s why when we talk about change, we know what real change looks
like because we fought for it. We`ve got the scars to prove it. I`ve got
the gray hair to show it. I wasn`t this gray when I first showed up in
Iowa. Sometimes it`s been hard. Sometimes it`s been frustrating. We
understand that. What we also know is that when we decide to make a
difference, when Americans come together determined to bring about change,
nobody can stop us. We cannot be stopped. After all we`ve been through
together, after all that we fought through together we cannot give up on
change now.

We know what real change looks like. Change is a country where every
American has a shot at a great education, where we recruit new teachers,
train new workers, bring down tuition so that no one in this country is
forced to give up a dream of college education. Change comes from when we
live up to this country`s legacy of innovation by investing in the next
generation of technology and manufacturing. Instead of subsidized oil
company profits, I want to support energy jobs of tomorrow. And Iowa knows
about clean energy and biodiesel and wind turbines that will free this
country from the grip of foreign oil. I don`t want a tax code that rewards
companies for creating jobs overseas; I want to reward companies that
create jobs right here in America. That`s what change is all about.

Change is turning the page on a decade of war so we can do some nation-
building here at home, repairing our roads and our bridges, making our
schools state of the art, putting our veterans back to work because nobody
who fights for this country`s freedom should have to fight for a job or a
roof over their heads when they come home. That`s what we`re fighting for.
That`s why we`re not done.

Change is a future where we reduce our deficit by asking the wealthiest
Americans to go back to the tax rates they paid when Bill Clinton was in
office. We`ll cut out spending we don`t need. As long as I`m president,
we`re not going to turn Medicare into a voucher just to pay for another
millionaire`s tax cut. We`re not going to take a kid off of head start
just to pay for a millionaire`s tax cut.

Because our budget reflects our priorities and our values and we know what
our future requires. We know what real change is. You helped teach me
that here in Iowa. What you also know is that change isn`t easy.
Remember, a lot of you showed up at town hall meetings back in 2007 and
2008. I used to talk about change but I also said I`m not just talking
about changing presidents. I`m not just talking about changing parties.
I`m talking about changing our politics. I told you I ran because your
voices had been shut out of our democracy for way too long by special
interests and politicians who will do whatever it takes to keep things just
the way they are. And we`ve seen over the last four years the status quo
in Washington -- they are powerful and they have fought us every step of
the way.

When we tried and succeed in reforming our health care system, they spent
millions trying to stop us. When we tried and succeed in reforming Wall
Street, they spent millions to push us back. We kept on going but those
were tough fights. And what the protectors of the status quo in Washington
are counting on now is that you`ll get worn down by all the squabble.
You`ll get fed up with the dysfunction. You`ll give up on the change we
fought for. You`ll walk away and leave them to make decisions that affect
every American.

In other words, their bet is on cynicism. But Iowa, you taught me to bet
on you. You taught me to bet on hope. I`ll work with anybody of any party
to move this country forward. If you want to break the gridlock in
Congress, you`ll vote for leaders who feel the same way whether they`re
Democrats or Republicans or Independents -- the kind of Iowa leaders you`ve
always had. Tom and Christie Vilsack, Tom Harkin, (INAUDIBLE). My great
friends, Tom Miller and Mike Fitzgerald.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

But there`s some principles you got to fight for. There are times where
you got to take a stand. If the price of peace in Washington is cutting
deals to kick students off of financial aid, get rid of funding for Planned
Parenthood, let insurance companies discriminate against kids with
preexisting conditions, eliminate healthcare for millions on Medicaid who
are poor or elderly or disabled -- I won`t pay that price. That`s not a
deal I will make. That`s not bipartisanship. That`s not change. That`s
surrender to the same forces of the status quo that have squeezed middle
class families for way too long.

Iowa, I`m not ready to give up on the fight. I`ve got a lot more fight
left in me. But to wage that fight on behalf of American families, I need
you to still have some fight in you too. You know, the folks at the top of
the this country, it turns out they don`t need another champion in
Washington. They`ll always have a seat at the table. They`ll always have
access and influence.

The people who need a champion are the Americans whose letters I read late
at night after a long day at the office. The men and women I meet on the
campaign trail every day. The laid off furniture worker who is retraining
at the age of 55 for a new career at a community college. She needs a
champion. The restaurant owner who needs a new loan to expand; he`s got
great food but the bank turned him down. He needs help. He needs a
champion. The cooks and the waiters and cleaning staff working overtime at
a hotel in Des Moines or Vegas trying to save enough to buy a first home or
send their kid to college. They need a champion. The auto worker who was
laid off and thought the plant would never reopen and is now back on the
job filled with pride and dignity, building a great car, building America -
- he needs champion. The teacher in the overcrowded classroom with
outdated schoolbooks digging in her own pocket to buy school supplies, not
always feeling like she`s got the support she needs but showing up every
day because she knows this might be the day she`s got a breakthrough and
makes a difference in one child`s life. She needs a champion.

All those kids in inner cities, small farm towns, kids dreaming of becoming
scientists or doctors, engineers or entrepreneurs, diplomats or even a
president, they need a champion in Washington because the future will never
have as many lobbyists as the status quo. Children don`t have lobbyists
the way oil companies or banks do, but it`s the dreams of those children
that will be our saving grace. That`s what we fight for.

That`s why I need you, Iowa, to make sure their voices are heard, to make
sure your voices are heard. That`s why we`ve come too far to turn back
now. We`ve come too far to let our hearts grow faint. Now is the time to
keep pushing forward, to educate all our kids and train all our workers and
to create new jobs and rebuild our roads and bring back our troops and care
for our veterans and broaden opportunity and grow our middle class and
restore democracy and make sure no matter who you are or where you come
from or how you started out, what you look like, who you love, or what your
last name is, here in America you can make it if you try.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Iowa, after all the months of campaigning, after all the rallies, after the
millions of dollars of ads, it all comes down to you. It`s out of my hands
now. It`s in yours. All of it depends on what you do when you step into
that voting booth tomorrow. It`s just a remarkable thing the way our
democracy works. And at a certain point, all this effort and all these
campaign rallies and then it just comes down to each of us as citizens. It
all depends on you bringing your friend or your neighbor or your coworker,
your mom, your dad, your wife, your husband to the polls. That`s how our
democracy is supposed to be.

The single most powerful force in our democracy is you. Moving this
country forward begins with you. Don`t ever let anybody tell you your vote
doesn`t matter. Don`t let anybody tell you your voice can`t make a
difference. It makes a difference. I got a powerful reminder of this
myself on our last campaign. Folks in Iowa, I know you may have heard this
story. It was early in the primaries. We were still way down in the
polls. I think this office just finally gotten the heat turned on and at
the time I was still competing in South Carolina. It was one of the early
primary states. I really wanted the endorsement of the state
representative down there. I met her at some function where nobody knew
me. Nobody could pronounce my name. They`re wondering what`s he thinking.
So I asked her for an endorsement and she said, I tell you what, Obama,
I`ll give you my endorsement if you come to my hometown of Greenwood, South
Carolina. And I think I had a little bit of wine during dinner because
right away I said OK.

So it`s about a month later and I`m traveling back to South Carolina. We
flew in late at night. I think we were coming from Iowa. We had been
campaigning nonstop traveling all through towns the and having town hall
meetings, shaking hands and in between I`m making phone calls asking people
for support. So we land in Greenville, South Carolina at around midnight.
We get to the hotel about 1:00 in the morning. I am wiped out. I`m
exhausted. I`m dragging my bags to my room. Back then we didn`t fly on
Air Force One. The accommodations were a little different. Just as I`m
about to walk into the room, one of my staff taps me on the shoulder and
said, "Excuse me, Senator." I was a senator back then. "We`re going to
have to wake up and be on the road at 6:30 in the morning." I asked,
"What? Why?" "Well, you made this promise to go to Greenwood and it`s
several hours away."

You know, Iowa, I try to keep my promises, so a few hours later I wake up
and I feel terrible. I think a cold is coming on. And I open up the
curtains the try to get some light but it`s pouring down raining, terrible
storm. I take a shower and get some coffee and I open up the newspaper and
there`s a bad story about me in "The New York Times". I was much more
sensitive at that time to bad stories. I`ve become more accustomed to
these now. And finally, I get dressed, I go downstairs and I`m walking out
to the car and my umbrella blows open and I`m soaked. So by the time I`m
in the car, I`m wet and I`m mad and I`m still kind of sleepy and it turns
out that Greenwood is several hours away from every place else.

So we drive and we drive and we drive and we drive and finally we get to
Greenwood, although you don`t know you`re in Greenwood right away because
there`s not a lot of tall buildings. We pull up to a small field house and
I walk in and I`m looking around. I don`t hear a lot going on. The state
representative said she was going to organize a little meeting for us and
we walk in and there are about 20 people there. And they`re all kind of
wet too. They don`t look very excited to see me. You know, I`m running
for president so I do what I`m supposed to do, and I`m shaking hands and I
say, "How do you do? Nice to meet you."

I`m making my way around the room and suddenly I hear this voice cry out
behind me, "Fired up." I`m startled. I don`t know what`s going on.
Everybody in the room, this is a small room, they act like this is normal.
When a voice said, "Fired up," they all say, "Ready to go." Once again, I
hear the voice, "Fired up." They say, "Ready to go. Ready to go." I look
around, I turn around -- there`s this small woman. She`s about 60 years
old. Looks like she just came from church, she got a big church hat. And
she`s looking at me, kind of peering at me, and she`s grinning. Smiling.
Looking happy.

Turns out she`s a city councilwoman from Greenwood who also moonlights as a
private detective. I`m not making this up. This is true. And it turns
out she`s famous throughout the area. When she goes to football games and
when she goes to rallies and she goes to community events, she does this
chant of hers. She does it wherever she goes. So for the next few minutes
she just keeps on saying, "Fired up." And everybody says, "Fired up," and
she says, "Ready to go," and everybody says, "Ready to go."

And I`m thinking, you know, this woman is showing me up. This is my
meeting. I`m running for president and she`s dominating the room. I look
at my staff and they just shrug their shoulders. They don`t know what to
do. So this goes on for a few minutes. Now here`s the thing, Iowa. After
a few minutes, I`m feeling kind of fired up. I`m feeling like I`m ready to
go. So I start joining in the chant. My staff starts joining in the
chant. Suddenly, I feel pretty good.

And we go onto talk about the lives of the people in the room and their
families and their struggles and their hopes for their kids and grandkids.
We drive out and it`s still raining but it doesn`t seem so bad. We go to
our next stop and for the rest of the day, even after we left Greenwood,
even though we still weren`t getting any big crowds any place, even though
people still couldn`t pronounce my name, I felt good. I`d see my staff and
I`d say, "Are you fired up?" They`d say, "Fired up." I`d say, "Are you
ready to go?" They`d say, "We`re ready to go."

And we brought that to Iowa. During our rallies, this became a chant.
We`d have signs saying "Fired up. Ready to go." The woman, her name was
Edith Child, she became a celebrity. She was written up in "The Wall
Street Journal" and folks did news stories on her. This became one of the
anthems of our campaign back in 2008.

Now here`s the end of the story, though. We knew we were coming back to
Des Moines for the last campaign rally I`ll ever do, for me, and so we were
getting kind of sentimental and we called up Edith Child. And we said,
"Why don`t you come on up?" Listen to this. We said why don`t you come on
up. We`ll fly you up from South Carolina and you can do this chant one
more time just for old good times` sake. It`s like getting the band back
together again. And you know what Edith said? She said I`d love to see
you, but I think we can still win North Carolina, so I`m taking a crew into
North Carolina to knock on doors on Election Day. I don`t have time to be
talking about it. I`ve got to knock on some doors. I`m going to turn out
the vote. I`m still fired up, but I got work to do.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And that shows you what one voice can do. One voice can change a room.
And if it can change a room, it can change a city. And if it can change a
city, it can change a state. And if it can change a state, it can change a
nation. And if it can change a nation, it can change the world.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Iowa, in 2008, your voice changed the world. Edith Child asked me to ask
you that if you`re willing to still stand with me tomorrow, you`re willing
to get your friends and neighbors and coworkers to the polls tomorrow, if
you`re willing to make sure we finish what we started, she`s pretty sure
we`ll win Iowa. She`s pretty sure we`ll win this election. She just had
one question for you, and that is: "Are you fired up?

CROWD: Ready to go!

B. OBAMA: Are you fired up?

CROWD: Ready to go!

B. OBAMA: Are you fired up?

CROWD: Ready to go!

B. OBAMA: Are you fired up?

CROWD: Ready to go!

B. OBAMA: Iowa, tomorrow, let`s remind the world why the United States of
America is the greatest nation on earth. I love you. Let`s keep moving.
God bless you and god bless the United States of America.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END LIVE FEED)

O`DONNELL: He was born in the first year of the Kennedy presidency. He
graduated from college in the middle of the Reagan presidency. He
graduated from law school when Bill Clinton began running for president.
In 1995, he filed his candidacy papers to run for Illinois State Senate
seat. A year later, he won that election and four years later, in 200, he
ran for Congress and lost. The only campaign he has ever lost.

He kept his seat in the Illinois Senate after losing the congressional race
and four years later, he aimed higher, the United States Senate. He took
the oath of office as United States Senator in January of 2005 and only
four years later, in January of 2009, he took the oath of office as
President of the United States. You have just witnessed the final moment
of Barack Obama`s 17-year political career. His career in government may
continue for another four years but his career in politics as a candidate
just ended.

When he gave his first speech as a candidate 17 years ago, very, very few
people were listening. Tonight, the whole world is watching. And so
Barack Obama has given his last speech as a candidate, waved to his last
adoring crowd as a candidate, heard his last encouraging cheer as a
candidate. He has had his last hurrah and now he must simply wait. Wait
with the rest of us to find out this time tomorrow night whether he will
continue to be President of the United States for four more years.

Jonathan Capehart, the president said, "It`s out of my hands now."

CAPEHART: You know, for 30 minutes, from the time the First Lady
introduced him until 11:35, we`ve just been sitting here enraptured by this
man, President of the United States, who literally closed the loop on his
presidential candidacy, going back to Iowa where it started, telling the
story of "Fired up, ready to go" before a crowd of 20,000 people there in
Iowa.

Richard and I were remarking at one point at one point that at first I
thought I heard the president`s voice crack but wasn`t sure. But then
Richard and I both noticed when the president did this, flicked a tear away
from his left eye. That`s when we knew, that`s when I knew, that this was
hitting the president hard, the momentous occasion that he was a part of.

O`DONNELL: Of course he felt it. Richard.

WOLFFE: I`ve been e-mailing and texting through that speech with people
who were there in Iowa, people who are close to the president. This was an
emotional speech for them, for him. And the premise of the story is it
comes down to individuals. He needed to be fired up. He didn`t believe in
his candidacy. His wife didn`t believe in his candidacy. But the
supporters made it happen, the people who showed up to vote in Iowa and
elsewhere and that`s not a bad closing message in an election that`s one
point, two points apart.

O`DONNELL: And that concludes our live coverage of President Obama`s final
campaign speech. MSNBC now resumes regularly scheduled programming.

END


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