updated 11/9/2012 10:49:53 AM ET 2012-11-09T15:49:53

THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
November 8, 2012

Guests: Robert Reich, Steve Kornacki, Karen Finney, Edith Childs

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: Two days later, and Republicans are still
dazed and confused.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back to business and back on the brink.

CHRIS JANSING, MSNBC ANCHOR: President Obama is dealing with the
looming crisis.

TAMRON HALL, MSNBC ANCHOR: The looming fiscal cliff.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fiscal cliff.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fiscal cliff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That could send the country spiraling back into a
recession.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is the big divisive issue here.

HALL: People are sick of the gridlock.

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANCHOR: Partisan, marathon gridlock.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are not as divided
as our politics suggest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s a wiser president. He`s a more experienced
president.

OBAMA: We can seize this future together.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And which direction is the GOP going to go?

HALL: You`ve got Speaker Boehner.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Let`s rise above the
dysfunction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He doesn`t have a lot of chips to play.

BOEHNER: And do the right thing together for our country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ve got to do this. You understand you`ve got
to do this.

OBAMA: I have never been more hopeful about our future.

CARTOON CHARACTER: I know a lot of you are already on my side.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republicans do have to come him on this one.

CARTOON CHARACTER: For you naysayers, I have two strong words for
you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fiscal cliff.

ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Fiscal cliff.

CARTOON CHARACTER: Come on. Come on!

CARTOON CHARACTERS: Oh, OK. All right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fiscal cliff clock ticks on.

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR: It was the most expensive
political election in history.

HALL: There are a lot of Republicans still licking their wounds.

TODD: What did the billions buy?

WAGNER: A big, fat, zero.

HALL: The donors are pretty unhappy.

TODD: Some soul searching about the future of the party.

MITCHELL: Some Republicans are acting as though they need grief
counseling.

STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: You think I do this night after night for
your amusement?

WAGNER: Money can`t buy you love especially at the ballot box.

COLBERT: How do you repay me? Four more years of hope and change.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: Today, Republicans battled with Republicans over why they
lost an election they were sure they were going to win. And as long as
Republicans keep talking to Republicans about it, we know they`ll never
figure it out.

Today was the president`s first full day at the White House since he
won reelection and outlined this agenda.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: In the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to
reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the
challenges we can only solve together -- reducing our deficit, reforming
our tax code, fixing our immigration system, freeing ourselves from foreign
oil. We`ve got more work to do.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: This morning the president`s senior campaign strategist
David Axelrod told the "MORNING JOE" crew this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID AXELROD, OBAMA CAMPAIGN SENIOR STRATEGIST: On this issue of
particularly the fiscal cliff, you know, one thing -- you know, people --
presidents always say I had a mandate, I had a mandate. That`s a foolish
word and it is generally untrue.

But the president did campaign all over this country. He talked about
it in debates. He talked about it in speeches on the need for balance
deficit reduction that included some new revenues, and he was re-elected by
-- in a significant way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Early today, Republican House Speaker John Boehner said
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: Raising tax rates is unacceptable and, frankly, it couldn`t
even pass the house. What I did yesterday was laid out a reasonable,
responsible way forward to avoid the fiscal cliff. And that`s putting
increased revenues on the table but through reforming our tax code. Now,
it`s time for the White House to begin to lay some path forward as well.

DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS: So, you will talk about it, even if you
believe it`s the wrong approach. You`ll talk about it.

BOEHNER: Of course, we`ll talk about it. We talk about all kinds of
things we may disagree on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Talk about it. That`s enough for Rush Limbaugh to think
John Boehner is a traitor to a noble cause of keeping Rush`s taxes low on
his $50 million of annual income.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The night of the election, what
was Boehner saying? We are the firewall. We are the last stand. There
would be no tax increases. That`s out the window now.

They are making an error, a huge error if they think that demography
did them in. They didn`t get their base out. Three million Republicans at
home, this is not insignificant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Alex Wagner, I felt there wasn`t enough of you in our
opening video. That`s why I need you here as a guest tonight.

WAGNER: I will hog the camera for a long as you like.

O`DONNELL: The camera loves you. That is why you are in there every
night.

Rush is in a panic. He feels there is going to be more bite on his
$50 million he takes home every year.

WAGNER: Yes.

O`DONNELL: This fiscal cliff thing -- Boehner can talk all he wants,
but the president and Democrats don`t have to do anything. Those rates go
up if they do nothing. That`s the nightmare problem for Boehner.

WAGNER: They don`t have many cards to play. And so, poor John
Boehner who really does have the worst job ion American politics is forced
to do this very uncomfortable fan dance over revenue raisers. Wherein, the
day after the election, you say, he`s sort of intimate that they may come
to the table and strike a bargain but then quickly has sort of shuffle back
and be put into the stockade or wherever they keep him in the House and
whipped by the GOP, which is to say, you know, chastised that this may be
tax increased in the grand bargain.

I am of the mind -- look, there is a big conversation that`s happening
inside the Republican Party as to where they go from here. And I have a
hope that they understand if they are going to survive past 2016, they need
to make serious changes, not just in terms of having a brown person on
stage espousing the current policy, but actually really a cultural shift
within the party and that includes being able to bargain and putting taxes
on the table when it comes to the White House.

O`DONNELL: Chris, it couldn`t have gotten worse for the Republicans
in there are going to be -- in January, more Democratic senators, more
Democratic members of the House of Representatives. I don`t see any reason
for the president and the Democrats not to wait until January on doing
anything on this.

CHRIS HAYES, "UP WITH CHRIS HAYES" HOST: I`m with you 1,000 percent
on the off the cliff strategy.

O`DONNELL: I don`t have any off the cliff buttons for you tonight.

(CROSSTALK)

O`DONNELL: I should have -- we got to get Chris an off the cliff
button.

HAYES: I`m 100 percent with you, but here are two things that I would
say. One is that it`s very interesting. Fiscal cliff was a term coined by
Ben Bernanke in describing these two -- the sequester and the tax raises,
right? And he was doing it to try to kick Congress`s butt to do something
about demand, right, to do something stimulative.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

HAYES: But what`s happened is that if people think about it as a
cliff, they don`t understand that you can go off it. It`s actually just a
slope.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

HAYES: It`s not like from day one to day two.

O`DONNELL: It`s a little driveway.

HAYES: It`s a little driveway. So, the point is that I actually
think the rhetoric that has emerged around it is bad for the negotiating
position for the president because it makes seeming going off the cliff
more extreme than it actually is.

O`DONNELL: OK, off the curve.

HAYES: Off the curve, yes. Or like down the slope a little bit.

(CROSSTALK)

O`DONNELL: Because what will happen is if they do it on January 1st,
what will happen is Congress will immediately go into action in the first
week of January, in the first week of January, they`ll go into action, and
anything they legislate can be retroactive to that day so no one below the
top tax rates ends up paying more taxes anyway.

WAGNER: Well, I would also say, independent of the fiscal reality of
going off the curve, as we are going to start calling it.

O`DONNELL: Stepping off the curb.

WAGNER: Stepping off the curb. The president also learned --

O`DONNELL: New buttons.

WAGNER: I think he learned something in his first administration and
specifically during the tax hike which is take to the American public. You
want to get the Republicans at the table. You do not do behind closed
doors. You do not go play golf with them. You do not take them to Camp
David.

You go out there. You take to Twitter. You take to the road and you
say, all right, American public, this is what the GOP is going to do. And
that is almost a greater incentivizer than anything else.

O`DONNELL: We know what the public is thinking based on the exit poll
on taxes -- 13 percent are in favor of an increase of all of the tax
brackets, back to what would be the Clinton brackets, including the lowest
brackets. An increase for the top -- for the $250,000 income earners and
above, that has support of 37 percent.

So, if you add in the 13 percent to that, 60 percent say go ahead and
pull them up on the income earnings at the top.

HAYES: Well, Axelrod was right. I mean, look, if this election was
about anything. There was one thing that was clear that was at stake in
this election, it was the top marginal tax rates for wealthy individuals.
No one who paid any attention, even if you just tuned for one of the
debates, even if you watch a little of the convention coverage.

There is no question that was probably the central domestic policy
issue that was debated and one side one and one side lost. And it`s
reflected in the polling.

So, no one can pretend there is anything but a very clear democratic
judgment rendered on that policy.

O`DONNELL: And the thing about single issue voters, which I don`t
think there`s a really lot, but let`s just say reproductive rights is your
single issue and you are, say, a Republican woman in New Jersey who says
I`m going to vote for the president on this, even though it might hit me on
taxes. You are accepting that package with that vote. You are saying
reproductive rights are important enough to me that I will take the risk of
my taxes going up 4 percentage points.

HAYES: Let`s keep in mind -- this was a weird election in so far as
we knew there was going to be this big budget conversation the day after
the election. You know, cast your mind back to 2004. George W. Bush
doesn`t mention Social Security on the campaign trail, comes out after --
you know, in the second term and says, hey, let`s privatize Social
Security. That`s not what`s going on here. This is all we talked about.

O`DONNELL: Well, he did have a sentence about it in his convention
speech. One sentence.

WAGNER: But, you know, Joel Benenson, Obama`s pollster, has an op-ed
in today`s "Times" and he argued --

O`DONNELL: I happen to have it right here.

WAGNER: Do you? Do you, Lawrence?

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, quote it, I`ll tell you if you are right.

(LAUGHTER)

WAGNER: He put forward the idea that this election was not just about
demographic and the get out the vote.

O`DONNELL: He said it was a triumph of vision.

WAGNER: He said it was a triumph of vision, and while Americans said
Mitt Romney had a technical understanding of the economy, this was about
trusting someone. Someone who you felt would fight for your ideals and
would fight for a better economic future for your children. And that is a
huge take away. I mean, that is buying in wholesale to the vision of Obama
is putting forward.

O`DONNELL: He said that 52 percent agreed with President Obama`s
views, 44 percent agreed with Romney`s views. That`s not a demographic
win.

HAYES: Right.

WAGNER: Also, you can`t just sell people nothing. I mean, you may
win over Latinos and women and Asians and African Americans, but it`s not
with nothing. You can`t just get their vote apropos of the fact that they
are brown and you are brown.

HAYES: This is a key point. I think the discussion has gotten sort
of worryingly reductive. I mean, people who are Latino or Asian also think
about policy and whether they want their taxes to go up or down or what
their vision for the future is, or clean energy, right?

They are just like every other voter in that way. And so, there is no
question that there was ideological ratification that happened in this
election.

O`DONNELL: What I love about Republican talking with each other about
these losses, they are never going to turn to policy. They`re never going
to go, hey, what about pro-choice? Maybe we should open up to that. Maybe
we should open up to tax rates. They`re never going to get to policy.

WAGNER: Well, it`s amazing that Rush Limbaugh is saying, like less
than 48 hours after what is officially termed a whomping in this race. I
mean, they cannot take a few days to really actually think substantively
about where they want to go.

O`DONNELL: Rush never ceases to amaze, as you know.

Alex Wagner of "NOW WITH ALEX WAGNER", which is on weekdays at 12:00
noon on this network.

WAGNER: It is.

Chris Hayes of "UP WITH CHRIS HAYES," Saturday and Sunday mornings at
8:00 am.

Thank you both for joining me tonight.

WAGNER: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Karl Rove says Democrats suppressed the vote.
That`s Karl Rove. That`s his excuse. David Corn and Robert Reich will
join me on that one.

And, how the race was won. The details of how team Obama actually did
it, with Steve Kornacki and Karen Finney.

And a LAST WORD exclusive: the woman responsible for fired up and
ready to go.

And in the "Rewrite" tonight, I don`t want you to watch unless you
have been elected to the United States Senate, because I want to have words
with newly elected senators for a few Senate secrets that they need to know
right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Twelve of you out there and you know who you are, are
members of the incoming freshman class in the United States Senate. And
I`m here to tell you what your colleagues are thinking about you but won`t
tell you. What new senators have to know about their new jobs is in
tonight`s "Rewrite."

And up next, Karl Rove`s excuse for massive failures of his super PAC
spending: Democrats suppressed the vote. Seriously.

Robert Reich and David Corn will join me.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: Crossroads, which you helped found, spent,
what, $325 million. And we have ended up with the same president and the
same Democratic majority in the Senate and the same Republican majority in
the House. Was it worth it?

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. Look, if groups like
Crossroads were not active, this race would have been over a long time ago.
President Obama came out of the box on May 15th with $250 million of
advertising over a 2 1/2-month period designed to demonize Mitt Romney.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was Karl Rove just an hour after the president was
re-elected. "Politico" reported today that Karl Rove called his donors
directly to explain his gigantic failure. The Obama campaign held its own
conference call today.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

DAVID AXELROD, OBAMA CAMPAIGN: As we sit here today, the president is
re-elected. The Senate is more Democratic. There are more Democrats in
the House and, you know, if I were one of those billionaires who are
funding Crossroads and those organizations, I`d be wanting to talk to
someone and ask where my refund is because they didn`t get much for their
money.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now, David Corn, Washington bureau chief for
"Mother Jones" and MSNBC political analyst and Robert Reich, former labor
secretary under President Clinton and now a professor of economics at the
University of California, Berkeley.

David, $325 million wasted. There is actually nothing on the
scoreboard to show for it. Karl Rove says, no, no, no it was a good thing
that we spent that.

DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: Five minutes of revenue at Sheldon Adelson
casinos.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

CORN: Actually, I have a little bit of countervailing view to this.
I mean, it is a waste and they didn`t get any obvious returns that they
wanted on the investment, all these venting billionaires, I call them
"villionaires".

But what I think they did do was they tilted the playing field and
they made it harder for Barack Obama and Democrats like Sherrod Brown and
elsewhere, where they flooded with money. Can you imagine what the final
results might have been without that money, if Sherrod Brown didn`t have to
worry about an extra $20 million, $30 million, $40 million, hey, he could
have been doing more work on the Senate floor, and would have had a greater
win in Ohio. I think the president might have picked up an extra point or
two without all those negative ads like groups like Karl Rove ran when Mitt
Romney didn`t have the money.

Listen, if you look at this at the populist point of view, Barack
Obama was able to raise a lot of money from people across, big donors but a
lot of small donors. Mitt Romney couldn`t do that. So the playing field
should have been this way but that money got it closer to even. So, I
think it jiggered, but still, Obama and the Democrats came through.

O`DONNELL: Robert Reich, the Democrats won, they won more seats in
the Senate. They won more seats in the House. Does it matter how much
their winning percentage was?

ROBERT REICH, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY: Well, of course it does matter.
It`s going to be difficult for President Obama to do much in his second
term, even with some additional Democrats because the Republicans are going
to hold pack in the House. He doesn`t quite have a filibuster proof
majority, beyond the majority in the Senate. Of course it does matter.

And had their not been all this Republican money in the races, he
might have had a larger majority. Look, you know, the investors, I`m going
to call investors -- they are not really donors. The investors in
Crossroads and all of the -- and the Chamber of Commerce, and all of the
other super PACs, the Republican super PACs and the social welfare
organizations so called, they`re not going to go away. I mean, their
investments were very, very small relative to the potential.

If they had one big, their investments would have paid 500 to 1,000
times in terms of tax breaks that they would have got and regulatory
relief. They`re going to come back in 2014, 2016 with larger amounts of
money that they are going to invest in these things. I mean, don`t give up
the need for fundamental campaign finance reform, reversing Citizens
United. This has just begun.

CORN: You know, on the issue of Citizens United, one point here is
that, you know, the critics of the critics, and people who wrote the
opinion, people back the opinion like Scalia, said that money doesn`t
determine things. And they`re going to use this election to justify
Citizens United. See all these people who are worried about big money in
politics, you know, it didn`t have a big impact right? So we are going to
let it keep going.

And I think what the secretary said is right. But it`s going to be
harder now for people to make the case that we have to cut back in Citizens
United. I think next time around, the venting billionaires may be a little
bit more of a show me perspective when it comes to Karl Rove when he knocks
the door, and the money may come in, but maybe later in the cycle, after
the Republicans have proven that they have do a better job with it, then
maybe this time.

O`DONNELL: Karl Rove now -- go ahead.

REICH: Also, if I can just say, don`t forget, the Koch brothers and
others have also poured a huge amount of money into state and local
election and to all sorts of initiative drives. I mean, the evil that this
big money has done is still not fully clear on the radar screen. So,
again, the fight is just beginning against big money in politics.

O`DONNELL: Now, of course, there has been a lot of talk of
Republicans trying to suppress the vote this year. And Republican
secretaries of state around the country and legislators around the country
trying to create these laws and suppress the vote. So, of course, Karl
Rove says the Democrats suppressed the vote.

How did they suppress the vote in the Karl Rove theory? They
suppressed the vote by advertising against Mitt Romney and making people
not want to vote for him. That is Rove`s new description of how the
Democrats suppressed the vote. But let`s listen to what else Rove said
today on FOX News Business blaming the Romney campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROVE: The first group to respond to the attacks on Bain Capital were
not the Romney campaign, it was American Crossroads with an ad in July.
And we don`t do defense all that well. It`s better to have the candidates.

Sometimes, the most effective response in politics is to respond
directly to the charge and then flip the argument back to your overall
narrative. And in retrospect, these things hurt. They hurt deeply.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CORN: Reality sometimes bites. But can I tell you -- it wasn`t the
Obama campaign that began the Bain attacks. It was the Newt Gingrich
campaign.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

CORN: The Rick Santorum campaign, the Rick Perry campaign. They were
calling him a vulture capitalist back in the early part of this year. And
Romney didn`t have an effective response.

And when the president picked up on it and people like myself started
reporting on some of his overseas investments and outsourcing, they kind of
kept ducking the issue like they did with taxes. And then we started with
the 47 percent tape which sort of ratified in his own words what some of
these attacks had sort of laid out. It took them two weeks to say, I was
wrong.

So, I mean, Karl Rove can justify this anyway he likes, but it was
essentially part of his campaign and Mitt Romney screwed it up.

O`DONNELL: Sheldon Adelson was the single largest donor, spending
about $60 million and he is not going to have a Romney chosen attorney
general to make sure that the Justice Department doesn`t get too curious
about how he does business.

Robert Reich and David Corn -- thank you both for joining me tonight.

CORN: Sure thing.

REICH: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up: how the Obama campaign`s ground game will
change presidential campaigning forever. Karen Finney and Steve Kornacki
are here.

And the one thing every newly elected senator needs to know right now
is going to be in tonight`s "Rewrite".

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DICK MORRIS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Hi, I thought Obama would be
buried in a landslide. Instead I`ve been in a bit of a mudslide on my
face.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(APPLAUSE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All right. Let`s get
busy. We got to round up the votes. We got to round up the votes.

All right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: In the Spotlight tonight, how the race was won. On
election day, Team Obama had more than 109,000 people canvassing and
knocking on doors and more than 200,000 people working the phones,
including, for a short time, the president himself.

And on election day, President Obama won at least 303 electoral votes
from at least 26 states, including Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado,
Virginia, Nevada. Florida is still outstanding. But the president is
leading Mitt Romney there. And if that lead holds, Team Obama will have
one all but two of the nine battleground states that went for George W.
Bush in 2004 and for President Obama in 2008.

Mitt Romney was left, quote, "shell shocked." Senior advisers on Team
Romney told CBS, "we wept into the evening confident we had a good path to
victory. I don`t think there was one person who saw this coming. Romney
was shell shocked."

Those people just don`t watch enough MSNBC and have obviously never
heard of Nate Silver. Team Obama was not shocked by Tuesday`s result.

On a conference call today, campaign manager Jim Messina, who recently
won a bear hug from the president for his efforts, said it all came down to
a laser focus on the battleground states.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM MESSINA, OBAMA CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Across battleground states, our
margin over the Republicans declined about 3.7 percent compared to `08. In
non-battleground states, it was 5.3, showing our advantage in the
battleground states.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: So how did the Obama campaign manage to keep much better
margins in the battleground states? "Time Magazine" got the inside scoop
on November 4th from Team Obama`s masterminds, on the condition that "Time"
not use names and publish anything until after election day.

"In the past month, said one official, the analytics team had polling
data from about 29,000 people in Ohio alone, a whopping sample that
composed nearly half of one percent of all voters, allowing for deep dives
into exactly where each demographic and regional group was trending at any
given moment.

"This was a huge advantage. When polls started to slip after the
first debate, they could check to see which voters were changing sides and
which were not."

Joining me now are Karen Finney, former DNC communications director,
and MSNBC`s Steve Kornacki.

Steve, campaigning shall never be the same.

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, and you know what, as
somebody who received I`m going to say 1,800 different e-mails from the
Obama campaign, disguised as it`s from Joe Biden, it`s from Barack Obama,
it`s from Michelle Obama -- I think I stopped falling for that trick pretty
early on.

But I kind of shutter because this worked. That means this is going
to be something that Democrats and Republicans and anybody running for
office anywhere is going to try to replicate now in the years ahead.

O`DONNELL: Karen Finney, if you do a really big poll in a state like
Iowa, a really big one. You will have a sample of maybe 1,400 people.
Here is the Obama team with 29,000 people, a sample of 29,000 telling them
how they are reacting to different events in the course of the campaign,
including debate reaction

KAREN FINNEY, FORMER DNC CHAIR: Yes. You know, not that long
actually after the 2004, 2005 campaign, I mean, a lot of what both sides
were really looking at is how do you import some of those tactics. I mean,
this is basically like commercial data, right? I mean, this is like the
same kind of thing that advertisers do.

Sorry. So we really are screwed, in terms of we`re going to have more
advertising than ever before. But it is really understanding -- you know,
micro targeting those lists, understanding exactly who your voters are,
where ere they are and what they care about. What issue, very
specifically, is it going to take to either keep or are they pursuable?
What is it going to take to persuade them and hold them?

As they said in the piece, by knowing that 29,000, they were able to
figure out when those shifts were happening, why were they were happening,
how do we stop it. It is a very strategic, scientific way to campaign.
And it starts, as I think the piece also pointed out, a year in advance.
Because you start with a much larger swath of data to try to understand
exactly who and where your voters are, so that you can then build up these
profiles on each of those individuals.

O`DONNELL: There`s wonderful piece of information we learned in
"Politico," where Jim Messina told "Politico" the signature moment of the
campaign came when he ran into a middle-aged woman during a visit to a
Columbus, Ohio, field office, six weeks before election day. "I know
everybody in my neighborhood, the ones that will always vote, the ones who
don`t, and what it takes to get them to vote, the woman, a committed Obama
volunteer since 2007, told him. She added, with a chuckle, they just
shipped in a Romney staffer a couple of weeks ago. Who do you think is
going to win around here?"

Steve, that is the story.

KORNACKI: Yes, and that`s -- a lot of this optimism that Republicans
were having -- you have that quote from the Romney campaign saying we
didn`t see this coming. A lot of it was there was an assumption on the
Republican side that they had an enthusiasm advantage because that was
showing up in the polls.

The average Republican was slightly more likely to say they`re going
to vote than the average Democrat. But what the Romney campaign didn`t
have was the kind of organizational infrastructure in place to bring that
into a -- make that a reality. Part of it is, you know, they were bogged
down in a primary for so much of the year. They could only start planning
for the general election at a very late date.

And part of it, too, is I think that`s the nature of Republican
politics. They tend to rely more on sort of outside Republican aligned
groups, religious groups, whatever different sort of community and grass
roots groups. And they hope -- and they sort of outsource the GOTV to
groups like that. It just cannot match what the Democrats were able to do
this year.

FINNEY: I`m actually surprised, Steve, because I`ve got to tell you,
when Governor Dean became chairman in 2005, part of what we tried to do is
model -- I mean, Karl Rove really -- he used this methodology. Don`t you
guys remember the 72 hour strategy, and if you`re a gin drinker, we know
how you`re going to vote.

And what we did, essentially was to build some of the underpinnings
that then became a lot of what the Obama campaign then just blew out and
did very effectively. And one of the things that is so important about the
quote that that woman made, that I want to mention, is that to this day,
the most effective way to get a vote is a person to person contact, which
is part of why that ground operation not only knew where all those voters
were, but knew who needed to contact that person in order to try to sway
their vote, whether that was a neighbor.

They also had different ways that if you were a veteran, you could
call veterans and talk to veterans, or a nurse or a teacher. So again,
this very personalized contact with voters on the issues that they care
about, knowing where they are, knowing who they are.

But at the end of the day, going back to the simplest, most old
fashioned thing, which is talking to people, just talking to them. And
somehow the Republicans completely forgot all of that, and just assumed
that if I have people putting up yard signs, that is a sign of enthusiasm
and that`s going to transfer into votes. That is not true in modern
campaigned anymore.

O`DONNELL: But when that Ohio Obama volunteer goes and talks to her
neighbors, she has to give them a reason to vote for President Obama and
President Obama had to be giving them that reason at the same time.

Karen Finney and Steve Kornacki, thank you both very much for joining
me tonight.

Coming up, Elizabeth Warren and the rest of the senators elect need to
listen to the one piece of advice I have for them. They need to know the
trick of getting along with their Senate colleagues, and the trick to
getting re-elected. That is coming up. And it is just for senators elect.
So no one else should watch this. I just want to have a couple of minutes
with them alone. OK? That`s coming up in the Rewrite.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: If you`re not a senator elect, then you really don`t have
to listen to what I`m about to say. In fact, I don`t really want you to.
I need to talk to the newly elected senators about how they handle the
media. And since that involves how they present themselves to you, why
don`t you just go grab a snack or walk the dog or something, while the
senators elect and I have this little chat.

OK, senators elect. And I so especially mean you, Elizabeth Warren.
You have to immediately rewrite your rules about how you handle the
political media. And rule number one is no national media, none. That is
right.

I`m telling you not to do my show or any other national TV show. The
coverage you get from your local TV stations is much more important to your
re-election campaign, which by the way, starts now.

You are all being invited on national shows now, which is a first for
some of you. But you must resist. Your local media will get very jealous
very quickly when they see you doing national TV and turning down a local
TV interview in Indianapolis or Honolulu. And your voters will quickly
notice that you enjoy the national spotlight more than tending to their
local concerns.

The current master of the no national media rule is Senator Al
Franken, who is no longer a freshman. He is in his 4th year in the Senate.
And he has not volunteered one word to the national media. He has not
given a single quote to the "New York Times." He has been begged to come
on every national news show, every Sunday morning show. And he remains the
hardest get in Washington, the impossible get.

But Senator Franken is always available to local Minnesota media. And
he will surely pick up more editorial endorsements in Minnesota for his
reelection than he did for his first campaign. Senator Franken is also
highly respected by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle, because he
does not fight for his place in the national media spotlight.

He is known by both Democrat and Republican senators as a studious,
hard-working committee member, a serious senator. That is right. The only
stand-up comedian in Senate history is regarded by his colleagues as a
serious man, a serious man of the Senate.

And Minnesota voters now know that Al Franken did not want to be a
senator just so he could get on TV more. The people of Minnesota now know
Al Franken is serious about representing their interests in Washington.
And I have no doubt that they are going to reward him for that when he runs
for re-election.

Al Franken was laboring under a rare burden when he became a freshman
senator. He was already more famous than almost every senator there.
Imagine how much better he was able to get along with his colleagues when
they all realized he was never going to take their seat on "Meet the Press"
or any other show that they desperately wanted to be on.

By the time I privately advised Senator elect Franken on the no
national media rule, he didn`t need my advise, because he`d already been
practicing it as a Senate candidate. The special burden on freshman
senators who are already famous has been handled well by most of them.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan had been on the cover of "Time Magazine" twice
before being elected to the Senate from New York. He had enough experience
working for presidents and as ambassador to the United Nations to know that
his new Senate colleagues feared he would steal their national media
spotlights.

Senator Moynihan made press conferences with local New York media a
weekly ritual long before becoming a regular on "Meet the Press." In fact,
in the seven years that I worked for Senator Moynihan in the Senate, in the
middle of his Senate career, I saw Senator Moynihan turn down many, many,
many more national media requests than he actually accepted.

Bill Bradley, who was an NBA all star back when the Knicks were
winning championships, became a United States senator from New Jersey and
quickly showed his colleagues that he was there to work, not bask in the
media lime light.

When Hillary Clinton took Senator Moynihan`s seat upon his retirement,
she too followed the Moynihan rule and paid more attention to local media
than national media, and was rewarded for that in her very, very easy re-
election victory.

So Senator elect Elizabeth Warren, you don`t just have the burden of
being a freshman senator. You have the burden that Ted Kennedy had. You
are more famous than most of your colleagues on day one. And they are not
exactly cool with that.

You don`t need the national media anymore. You don`t need to do
national media appearances to stay famous. You are going to be on
everyone`s short list for at least the vice presidential nomination next
time around, even if you follow what is now the Franken rule and do no
national media.

But remember -- remember how Scott Brown ran against you, that theme
that he tried to drive home, that you weren`t one of us. Us born and bred
Massachusetts people. The way to bury that imagery forever is to spend
your weekends in Springfield and Lowell and Worcester, instead of doing
national media appearances.

Have Sunday bunch at the Ashmont Grill instead of having a greenroom
bagel in a Washington TV studio. Now, Senator elect Warren, if you are
going to do national TV, I strongly urge you to do it with someone who
understands your constituents and is related to, I don`t know, like
hundreds of them, or someone who actually is a constituent of yours, like
Rachel.

Even though I have given you this advice, don`t think for a minute
that I won`t try to ambush you with a camera crew like I did to the master
of the no national media rule this year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Al Franken, sorry for ambushing you. I know you`re not
looking for national media attention. But thank you for doing your first
national interview with us.

SEN. AL FRANKEN (D), MINNESOTA: As long as it is with the Minnesota
delegation, I`m very proud to be here.

O`DONNELL: As long as you`re with the Minnesota delegation, we know
where to find you. Al Franken, thank you very much.

FRANKEN: Thank you. Lawrence, right?

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

EDITH CHILDS, INSPIRED "FIRED UP, READY TO GO" CHANT: I`m Edith S.
Childs (ph) from Greenwood, South Carolina. And I`m the one that got
Barack Obama fired up.

OBAMA: Everybody is saying fired up and ready to go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fired up.

CROWD: Fired up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ready to go.

CROWD: Ready to go.

OBAMA: It shows you what one voice can do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: President Obama wanted Edith Childs at his final campaign
appearance as a candidate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We knew we were coming back to Des Moines for the last
campaign rally I will ever do for me. And so, you know, we were getting
kind of sentimental and we called up Edith Childs.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: And we said why don`t you come on up.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: 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 all good time`s sake. It is like getting the band back together again.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: And you know what she 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.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: I don`t have time. I have to knock on some doors.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: I have to turn out the vote. I`m still fired up and I got
work to do.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: We`re happy to say that with her election work done, Edith
Childs said yes to us and joins us now in this exclusive interview from
Columbia, South Carolina. Edith Childs, it was quite a story the president
told the other night, in his final campaign speech, about inviting you
along and you wanted to stay out there knocking on those doors for him.

I have never heard anything like it. It was really amazing.

CHILDS: Well, um, you have to do what you have to do some times.

O`DONNELL: And you remember that time when President Obama first
heard you talk about that phrase of yours that he credits you with, fired
up and ready to go?

CHILDS: Yes.

O`DONNELL: He told that story the other night in his final special.
Let`s listen to how he described what you taught him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Suddenly I hear this voice cry out behind me, fired up.

And I`m startled and I don`t know what`s going on. But everybody in
the room -- this is a small room. They act like this normal. I turn
around. There is this small woman. She`s about 60 years old. Looks like
she just came from church. She`s got a big church hat.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: And she`s looking at me, kind of peering at me. And she is
grinning, smiling, looking happy. For the next few minutes, she just keeps
on saying fired up.

CROWD: Fired up.

OBAMA: And everybody says fired up. And she says ready to go and
everybody says ready to go. And I`m thinking this woman is showing me up.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: This is my meeting. I`m running for president. And she is
dominating the room.

Here is the thing, Iowa. After a few minutes, I`m feeling kind of
fired up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Edith, you got him fired up and ready to go. And you got
him fired up and ready to go for another campaign this time around also.
Did you ever expect that in that meeting with that candidate that night,
where you taught him that little chant, that it would go this far?

CHILDS: No, I had no idea that those five little words would have
gone as far as they have gone. But it is an honor.

O`DONNELL: And inspired not just that candidate, but he used them to
inspire his supporters throughout both of these campaigns. What happens
for you whenever you hear the president out there in one of these giant
rallies using that phrase?

CHILDS: Well, I just -- Lawrence, I just kind of sit back and just
smile and just think about how awesome it is that five little words can
mean so much to the nation.

O`DONNELL: And where were you when you discovered on Tuesday night
that the president had been re-elected?

CHILDS: Well, I was home sitting in front of my TV.

O`DONNELL: And this was something you had worked on now for what is
at least five years, counting both campaigned, knowing that you created the
chant that led both of those campaigns. You have to feel a sense of
accomplishment here don`t you?

CHILDS: Yes, it is quite an accomplishment. But Lawrence, again,
sometimes you have to do what you have to do. And that was something that
I wanted to do and really felt good about it. And the president felt good
about it. And I`m happy about it now.

O`DONNELL: Edith, THE LAST WORD that we have to hear from you tonight
is, of course, your signature phrase. We got to hear it before we go.

CHILDS: OK, that would be fine. Are you ready?

O`DONNELL: We`re ready.

CHILDS: OK. Fired up. Ready to go. Fired up. Ready to go. Fired
up. Ready to go. Fired up. Ready to go. Fired up. Ready to go. Fired
up. Ready to go.

O`DONNELL: Edith Childs gives us tonight`s LAST WORD. Thank you very
much, Edith.

CHILDS: Thank you for having me.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. "THE ED SHOW" is up next.

END

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