THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
October 22, 2013
Guest: Frank Rich, Cory Booker
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW": Good evening, Chris.
Thank you very much my friend. And thanks to you at home for joining us
this hour. OK. This is one of those nights. This is an amazing story.
You were going to think that I`m making parts of this story up for effect.
But I am not making up any of this. This is the actual story and it ends
in Washington today in a way you`re not going to believe but trust me.
Just sit down in a moment. This is an amazing story. OK.
For a very long time, there was one really annoying down side to buying a
new computer. So on the one hand, you`re getting a new computer. Great.
Getting rid of your old clunker, everything`s going to work faster, on the
other hand though, new computers for a very long time always came with that
freaking terrible preinstalled virus software. McAfee virus scan. Right?
It was always installed in some 30-day free trial, like they were doing you
a favor and you were going to want to pay for it thereafter. It was super
annoying, it would update all the time without giving you any option to opt
out made your computer run really slow, it stopped you from being able to
do things you wanted to do. It didn`t actually prevent me from getting
viruses that I still got -- my computer that I didn`t want it on.
There was no way to get away from it. If you wanted to say no, don`t do
this to me, I reject the 30-day free trial, you kind of were not allowed.
It was just a terrible thing. And some companies will still put that mess
onto their new computers. I think mostly they have grown out of it because
people hate it. It`s just terrible software. It`s pointless. It does not
work. The guy who started that business is named John McAfee. He did
invent the world` first commercial anti-virus software. And whether or not
it was that annoying and pointless when he first invented it or whether it
just slowly became that annoying and pointless over time, regardless, the
reason it is named McAfee is because it`s named after this guy John McAfee.
He sold that company and his name on that software, for something like $100
million in 2004. And thereafter he basically became a full-time gonzo
playboy almost con-manish media figure. He cultivated this very media
friendly idea of being an outlaw eccentric zillionaire. In the mid 2000
days for example, John McAfee got lots of attention from the outdoor
adventure extreme sports world for something that he called his sky
gypsies. Aero trucking, which is basically riding hang gliders with fast
motors attached. It`s very dangerous, it`s John McAfee, he`s an eccentric
John McAfee had bit real estate holdings all over the country, in Colorado,
in Arizona, in Texas, you had a big ranch in New Mexico. A big swathe of
property in Hawaii. He apparently sold all of it or most of it in 2007 or
2008 and he then moved to Belize. All the while doing lots of eccentric
zillionaire interviews to cultivate this image as a fascinating outlaw
character. Mr. McAfee to reports about his epic history of drug use,
cocaine by the ton, way lose, Quaaludes, LSD, a bottle of scotch a night.
Something called DMT. I don`t know what that is.
The drug bragging produced lines like this in a 2012 wired magazine profile
of him, quote, "he would drop acid in the morning and then go to work."
One morning he decided to experiment with another psychedelic called DMT,
he did a line, felt nothing and decided to snort a whole bag and within an
hour my mind was shattered McAfee says. People asked him questions, but he
didn`t understand what they were saying. He ended up behind a garbage can
in downtown St. Louis hearing voices and desperately hoping that nobody
would look at him.
He never went back to work. Part of him believes he`s still on that trip
that everything since one giant hallucination. And that one day, he will
snap out of it and find himself back on his couch in St. Louis listening to
Pink Floyd`s dark side of the moon. It has just been one giant drug trip,
you guys? I swear this ends up back in Washington. Hold on. OK. So John
McAfee would tell the drug stories and all the self aggrandizing eccentric
zillionaire stuff to any magazine reporter who would follow him around long
enough to listen and there were tons of them.
He made himself into an irresistible story. Right? He also insisted to
reporters that would follow him around that he didn`t use drugs anymore.
That part of his life was behind him. Also, he said, the reason he had
moved to Belize is not because he was running from anything or because he
had any self-interested idea down there, but because he was going to invent
a whole new approach to antibiotics which he was working on with a
scientist/waitress/guitar player whom he had met at a local resort. The
fast company profiled Mr. McAfee that run in 2010, followed him around for
a long time in Belize, trying to figure out his Belize rain forest
antibiotic magic business plan.
Fast Company decided ultimately that they think he was just in believe to
shelter his money from all the people who wanted to sue him in America.
Ultimately, in April of last year, Mr. McAfee`s compound in Belize was
raided by local authorities and he was arrested on weapons charges. Him
being arrested sparks a new round of media interest of course which lets
the 66-year-old Mr. McAfee gleefully tell reporters that he was in bed with
his 17-year-old girlfriend and stark naked at the time of his arrest.
Reporters invited down to his compound report that he seems to be living
not just with one 17-year-old girlfriend but with a collection of five
girlfriends, all of whom seem to be teenagers.
He has wired magazine shoot portraits of him and some of his various
girlfriends and shows off his collection of the whole sort of group of
girlfriends he lives with, plus his body guards, plus some of the weapons,
plus some of his dogs, and the dogs end up being key to what happens next
in the John McAfee story. His neighbor in Belize is an American citizen
named Greg Fall. Mr. Fall had filed a formal complaint about aggression
and noise from Mr. McAfee`s 11 dogs who apparently roamed free. The same
week, that complaint about the dogs was filed with the town, John McAfee
told an American reporters that somebody had poisoned his dogs.
Also that same week, the neighbor who filed the complaint against him was
found dead. He had been shot dead. He had been shot once at the back of
the head and a casing from a nine-millimeter handgun was reportedly found
nearby. In December, police in Belize announced that John McAfee was a
prison of interests in that shooting, they wanted to question him. John
McAfee took off. Blogging all the way about how he was fleeing the
country. So there`s not only the record of his blog posts about it and his
selfie photos of him on the run, there`s also footage, there`s video
footage about what was going on, about what life was like for him while he
was fleeing that murder inquiry in Belize.
And the reason that footage of this is because he have reporters for Vice
magazine with him while he was fleeing from justice. Because, why not?
And so because of that, we know for example which of his teenage
girlfriends he chose to bring him on his flight from justice. We also know
that he did things like pretending to be a spokesman for himself, calling
reporters and lying about what country this John McAfee character was in
and whether or not he had been arrested.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN MCAFEE, MCAFEE FOUNDER: Mr. McAfee has been arrested just across the
border of Belize in the country of Mexico. Write that down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was him speaking about himself in the third person. And that
was a lie. But he likes lying. He always said, he likes lying, he thinks
of himself as a trickster, as part of the eccentric charm. So he lies even
when he`s fleeing law enforcement from a murder inquiry. Ultimately, Mr.
McAfee did get arrested in Guatemala, and after a brief effort to try to
get asylum somewhere, he got deported to his native country which is the
United States and he still had not been formally charged in conjunction
with that murder of a U.S. citizen in Belize and because he hasn`t been
charged, he therefore is free to do more talking to the press.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCAFEE: So is McAfee a successful entrepreneur who went mad while living
in the jungle and surrounded himself by guns and became paranoid and killed
his neighbor? Or is he the potential savior of America or did he just act
out the greatest mind (bleep) of all times.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was from a BBC profile which ran earlier this year and the
BBC sent somebody to John McAfee`s house in Portland, Oregon to talk to him
about where he is and what he`s been doing since the murder and everything.
John McAfee however had other things that he wanted to talk to the BBC
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Time and time again, I tried to ask him what happened.
But McAfee kept reverting to his number one talking, his sexual prowess.
MCAFEE: People ask me, did you really sleep with ten 17-year-old girls and
you`re a 67-year-old man? Yes, I did. No sense in saying no. No sense in
trying to dance around it. You have to tell the truth now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: And this is where the House Republicans come in. OK. So, that`s
the story of John McAfee, meanwhile in Washington, Republican in Congress
just of course organize a big government shutdown, that was very unpopular,
the new Washington Post polling just out today on the shutdown is just
terrible, terrible for the Republicans by a huge margin the country blames
them for the shutdown. Has a lower opinion of the Republican Party than
has ever been measured before.
Has a lower opinion of the Tea Party than has everybody been measured
before. And when you ask Americans what they think of the government
shutdown, that`s they blame on Republicans, 80 percent of Americans think
it was a terrible idea. A majority of Democrats say, they hate it. A
majority of independents say, they hate it. A majority of Republicans say,
they hate it, even a majority of people identify with the Tea Party say
they hate it. Even the Tea Party is against it. So yes, Ted Cruz has
found rooms in Texas in which he can get standing ovations.
And on FOX News, Republicans are telling each other that this all went
great. The provocateur pundit Ann Coulter told Sean Hannity on the FOX
News Channel last night that the shutdown was, and I quote, "magnificent."
But back on earth, most Republicans even realized that what they just did
was really bad. And they`ve got a big problem because of it. It seems
like Republicans are making about what to do next in Washington, it seems
like their idea is to try to retroactively refocus the shutdown on
ObamaCare, after the fact. I mean, in reality, once they shut down the
government and they were going to hit the debt ceiling.
Once the government was shut down, they kind of forgot it was all about
ObamaCare and they tried to make it about all sorts of things. They now
want everybody to go back to thinking it was about ObamaCare. And to
disliking ObamaCare, they want to refocus on that. So, this week,
Republicans in the House are convening oversight hearings on the health
reform roll out in the ObamaCare website. And this is where the stories
come together. Because CNBC obtained e-mails today from the stuff of that
Republican led oversight committee in the House. E-mails from them,
soliciting an expert, a computer machine expert to come to Washington and
advise the committee. The expert they invited to Washington to tell them
what`s wrong with ObamaCare and how to fix it, is seriously, yes, I swear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCAFEE: People ask me, did you really sleep with ten 17-year-old girls and
you`re a 67-year-old man? Yes, I did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: And the Republicans in the House Energy and Commerce Committee
would like to talk to you about that, sir, you are their chosen expert. On
October 14th, the staff for the Republican led Energy in Commerce Committee
in the house wrote to John McAfee`s lawyer asking if Mr. McAfee was please
available to come to Washington in person for the committee`s ObamaCare
hearings, to, quote, "Guide our oversight and review of the federal
Quote, "This would hopefully not be a heavy lift for him. What advice
generally does he have?" Ta-dah, Mr. McAfee gleefully provided those e-
mails to CNBC. Also letting the network know that he`d be happy to come to
Washington and help and this is not yet worked out for him to make a trip
to Washington as Republicans tried to salvage some kind of win from the
ashes of the shutdown, they tried to discredits the whole Democratic Party
based on how that party handled ObamaCare. This is how Republicans would
be handling ObamaCare.
Joining us now is Frank Rich, his writer at-large from New York Magazine.
Mr. Rich, it is wonderful to have you here, thank you for being here.
FRANK RICH, NEW YORK MAGAZINE WRITER AT-LARGE: Good to see you as always.
MADDOW: You`ve been writing about the fever of ObamaCare and the fever of
the attempted ObamaCare defunding repeal shutdown. Did the theater just
RICH: What amazes me about John McAfee is why he didn`t run for president.
Last year, he would have fit rig in with Trump and Cain and all the rest of
MADDOW: Various times. Various times.
RICH: It is kind of insane, you know, Congress, you were talking about how
bad the Republican approval ratings are. And Congress as a whole is down
to 12 percent. Which I think is the worst in history.
MADDOW: After the 95 shutdown, people talk about how legendarily they were
hated. It was over 30 percent then.
RICH: Exactly. So, we`re now a third of that poor level. This could get
-- if he came, it would give people an excuse to tune it and I guess a lot
of 17-year-old women would be enrolled in ObamaCare very fast if he was in
RICH: But let me ask you about the sort of -- the two different parts of
America in terms of viewing how the shutdown went. Actually, the reason
why I included the, you know, Ann Coulter line from Hannity last night is
because there is a burble in which the shutdown was a success and ObamaCare
is so hated that America is cheering for the Ted Cruzs of the world for
having shut it down. And if you live in that bubble, I have to show you,
this is John McAfee has been on the FOX News Channel recently as a cited
FOX News expert on the issue of ObamaCare. I just want to show you this
little clip. Go for it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRETCHEN CARLSON, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You could even lose your life savings
if you do sign up. John McAfee is a computer programmer and founder of the
McAfee computer software security company and he`s my guest, good to see
you Mr. McAfee.
MCAFEE: Good to see you Gretchen.
CARLSON: So, how does somebody lose their life savings by signing up for
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Let`s ask him.
MADDOW: I mean, is it possible that you just don`t Google the guy, you see
him on FOX, and you assume, well, in my universe he`s an expert, let`s
bring him to Washington.
RICH: Of course you don`t Google him. You`re in the bubble of FOX and the
companion if not directly affiliated radio talk show hosts during the day,
you can put together a whole day, just as you put together a whole day of
watching sports you can just do a whole day of listening to the same stuff
over and over again, often angrier than it even is on FOX. Furthermore
you`re probably in most cases represented in Congress, man or woman who is
in a safe district and says the same stuff and feels heroic about shutting
the government down because the whole point of this movement is they`re
against the government. So, of course they want to shut it down, and they
think this is patriotic, you know, we`re upholding the federal -- to get
off our back.
MADDOW: We have been talking about that parallel, the parallel, existences
that really on the right there isn`t a parallel on the left. You can`t
live entirely in a left media bubble. You can`t watch MSNBC all day and
see a lot of liberals on TV. But there isn`t a liberal talk radio universe
that is hived off from the rest of the world in the way the conservatives
are. We have been talking about that for a long time now, for four or five
years now. I just wonder if the shutdown now puts more pressure on the
bubble than has ever been put on it before because the disapproval of what
happens is so great that the bubble can`t possibly with stand knowledge of
that for long.
RICH: I`m not sure about that, because I think it`s sort of a liberal
belief or a hope that maybe these rebel revolutionaries or whatever you
want to call them, the radical right will learn from humiliating defeats
that the shutdown was, but look at the Goldwater campaign in 1964.
Everyone thought the Republican Party was dead, it was the biggest land
slide defeat in history and yet two years later, Ronald Reagan was elected
governor of California and the bubble just kept going in a different media
atmosphere than we have now. I think this is why Ted Cruz can go to Texas
and be cheered and hear what he wants to hear and he`s, you know, he`s in
Washington, you would think he would hear something else. But I think he`s
confident that his cohort will remain faithful and not be penetrated by
MADDOW: The criticism has been made from the right of the right that it is
a party that only wants to be in the minority, it`s a party that actually
resents it`s majority status in the house, prefers to be an insurgency so
they can be pure without actually having to take the sort of responsibility
that you have to take for being in charge of something. I wonder if they
actually would sort of bask in a Goldwateresque defeat. Because they could
be perfect and uncompromising.
RICH: Yes. I think so, I think that we have seen it in reaction to the
Romney defeat. I think that it`s made the far right of the party, it is
really in my view the majority of the party. Even though, people say it`s
just a fringe, it`s not a fringe. That is the base of the Republican
Party. And their reaction to Romney`s defeat was oh, he wasn`t the right
wing enough. He was too moderates, he was the problem, they`re not the
MADDOW: It`s amazing. Frank Rich, writer-at-large from the New York
Magazine. Frank, thank you very much for being here.
RICH: Thanks for having me.
MADDOW: All right. We have a big city mayor, and a U.S. senator here
tonight. And it`s the same person. It`s Cory Booker. The interview is
coming up. Stay with us.
MADDOW: This show has been on the air for a little more than five years,
which means we are currently entering into our terrible sixes. When the
show first started, we launched in the middle of an absolutely crazy news
cycle. Our first show, the first ever Rachel Maddow show was less than two
months before the biggest and most riveting presidential election in modern
memory. We launched in September 2008 just right in the middle of the
whirlwind fight between then Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain
Honestly, I have no memory of any of those shows that we did. Because
covering that race every single night was like being in the front car on a
roller coaster with no seat belt. Thank you Governor Palin. But when
Barack Obama won on election night, when he and Joe Biden beat John McCain
and Sarah Palin and the new president elect, gave that historic speech in
Grant Park in Chicago, I knew exactly who I wanted to talk to first on this
show after that election. My first guest, the night after the 2008
presidential election was not a national political figure, but rather a
mayor. The mayor of the largest city in New Jersey.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: We know for sure that Barack Obama is good at winning things. We
don`t see that in action. The question is, how was he going to lead? Does
he spend this massive political capitol in order to show that he knows how
to do that or is this the time for caution and for restraint?
MAYOR CORY BOOKER (D), NEWARK: I think this is the time to get aggressive
frankly and it`s not a time to spend political capital it`s time to put
politics aside and reach out to the nation. If people think that we can
just elect the president and he`s going to solve a lot of problems they`re
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: And of course Newark Mayor Cory Booker. I think I`m wearing the
same shirt tonight that I was wearing in that clip. A little weird. I
should go shopping more. I wanted to talk to Cory Booker before I talked
to anybody else that first night after that election. Because that `08
presidential election victory for Barack Obama obviously a moment for the
country, that was a moment for history. But it was also an important
moment for the Democratic Party. Remember, after eight years of Bush and
Cheney, Democrats have not just win the White House that night in 2008.
They also won huge majorities and both the House and of the Senate, they
totally took over Washington. So, I wanted to talk to Cory Booker as this
young up and coming future star democratic politician about what that meant
for him, what that meant for the party and whether that signaled that some
sort of larger shift in our country`s politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOOKER: Even in my state, I met Republicans who were so excited about
voting for Barack Obama not because he was a Democrat, not because he was a
black guy, but because they thought that he was going to bring something,
he was going to lift our country finally above his particular concern to
our highest aspirations for ourselves. I think Obama has a pragmatism
about him that he will explain ideas to the American people not using the
tired old liberal or conservative parlance. He will be explaining to
people in a way that touches people`s hearts and compels them to act and
work with us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Just a few months later, even before Barack Obama was sworn in as
president, Republicans in Washington decided that they would not work with
him on anything during his presidency. Nothing, no matter what. They
voted unanimously against the president`s first big initiative, the
stimulus package which ultimately pulled the nation back from the brink of
depression. They voted almost unanimously against Wall Street reform in
the House and in the Senate. They voted almost unanimously against the
fair pay act for women, because that`s a terrible thing. They voted on
mass against the health reform bill. They were so against that one that
they are still fighting him on it today five years later. They shut down
and brought us to the brink of the debt ceiling over it. So the optimism
that was expressed by Newark Mayor Corey Booker that night in 2008, the
night after the election, that optimism about a pragmatism that could reach
people in a way that could defy partisan instincts. The pragmatism that
could change Washington. That optimism ran headlong into the -- that his
Congressional Republicans in Washington.
And now five years later, Cory Booker is on his way to join those
constitutional Republicans in Washington. Last week, New Jersey voters
sent Mr. Booker to the United States Senate. He won an overwhelming
victory over Tea Party Republican candidate Steve Lonegan. When you`re as
optimistic a guy as Cory Booker is, what sort of Washington do you expect
to find when you get there? What he learned from watching Congress operate
in the era of Barack Obama that night helped guide him once he`s there? Is
anybody good at what they do there? What have you learned from being mayor
of the biggest city in his state that can help him get stuff done there in
the city that now more than ever seems unable to get anything done that
isn`t just about itself? Let`s ask him, he`s here for the interview, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOOKER: I heard a lot of people asked me during the campaign, what can one
senator do? I have no lucent about what one senator can do. So, just no,
I`m going to Washington to join with Senator Menendez to stand in the
traditional others like Bill Bradley and Frank Lautenberg. I`m going down
to make the Senate more accessible to all of us, I will bring more voice to
the voices too often ignored in our state. I will be dogged and determined
relentless and unfaltering in my sense of service for all of New Jersey.
If you voted for me. I will make you proud. If you didn`t --
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
If you didn`t vote for me, I will work every single day to earn your trust.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Joining us now for the interview is New Jersey senator-elect Cory
Booker, the mayor of Newark for another hot second.
Senator-elect, congratulations. It is good to see you.
BOOKER: It is good to see you, too.
MADDOW: How far you have come.
BOOKER: I love looking that old paper from you and I.
MADDOW: Yes. I really am wearing the same shirt that I was wearing that
BOOKER: I love that.
MADDOW: I have had it since high school, you know.
BOOKER: You have comfort clothes.
MADDOW: Your life is about to change a lot. You get sworn in next week?
BOOKER: Probably someday next week, yes.
MADDOW: OK. And that`s when you will cease being the mayor of Newark.
BOOKER: Exactly. I will issue my resignation.
MADDOW: So, you have been in-charge, at least nominally in Newark since
2006, seven years now. You are now leaving that to be the 100th least
senior member of the 100 person body that is the Senate. Is that daunting
for you to go from being in charge to being a (INAUDIBLE)?
BOOKER: No. It is humbling to me. And frankly, more because -- off
because of where I stand in seniority, because this is an entirely new
body. And there are a lot of rules and rhythms and a lot to learn in a
very short period of time. So, you go down there with this understanding
that hey, I talked to Senator Mendez who was my senior senator. I was
junior. He was line at the senate, the head of foreign relations committee
and just said look, I need to learn as much as I can from you and your team
as quickly as possible. And I have had calls from lots of Senators calls
who said who understand what it`s like to be the new kid on the block and
are willing to help me. Some guys have been offering me incredible,
incredible sort of avenues of support. And so, I will be digging in very,
very quickly to learn as much as I can?
MADDOW: Do you think there are models, either current models or models
from history of Senators who have done a great job from the starting gate.
I have been thinking about this because there is a number of very junior
senators right now who are very much using the Senate to make a play for
president, to build a national profile, you know. They`re almost all on
the Republican side. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and all these guys.
On the Republican side, you can be very famous, the first day you`re in the
Senate as long as you`re tearing down your own party and being really
confrontational. Doesn`t seem like Democrats do that. So, I`m wondering
what sort of models you are thinking about that.
BOOKER: Well, I think the key, first of all, is to learn as much as you
can from people who have done it well. I think Elizabeth Warren did it
very well. I think Hillary Clinton is a great model. I think Al Franklin
is great model.
But the key is, I understand, New Jersey voters didn`t elect me to be
Elizabeth Warren or Ted Cruz. They elected me to be Cory Booker. And at
the end of the day it`s very critical that you hold on to your authenticity
and find your own way to go.
I have very unique experience since I joined with a lot of other really
brilliant people. But I know I`m the 21st mayor in American history to go
straight from being mayor to being United States senator. At least going
to do some research (INAUDIBLE). So, I know I have different experiences.
And I also know that power is not about position, it`s about purpose, it`s
about what you bring to that title. You know, the titles don`t make
people. People make titles.
And so, a lot of the creativity I did as mayor and all the things we were
able to accomplish had nothing to do with my statutory duties. And I hope
that the sort of creativity and innovation I can bring to the Senate job is
stems yes, from my constitutional power, but also from my creativity in and
around New Jersey.
And a great example is look, in Newark we found out that we were having a
tough time getting illegal guns off of our streets. By the way, we were
getting no help from Congress in comments of background checks. But we
decided to create what we now think is the most lucrative sort of tip
lines. If you`re in Newarkan (ph) and you think somebody is carrying an
illegal weapon. You call back, you get four digits, half of a code. If
you call back and we have actually recovered that gun off of a criminal,
you get a second four digits and you can go to a number of ATMs and get
$1,000 no questions asked.
So, it is actually, if the public part of partnership that helps us have
had some of our biggest gun recoveries and why does Camden have that? Why
doesn`t Trenton have that?
So, I got a lot of ideas that now I`m a state Senate --
MADDOW: Well, now in the Senate, it`s why doesn`t Houston have that? Now,
you got to start thinking -- you`re talking about federal policy now?
BOOKER: Well, I`m talking about one and first and foremost, New Jersey
elected me and I`m going to be running around our state finding very
substantive pragmatic ways to make change. And there are implications to
And so, you know, take for example, New Jersey does not do a great job
collecting its earned income tax credit money. Now, this is a federal
program that I`m going to be fighting for, that I have experienced in
Newark significantly increasing the EITC collections by doing public-
private partnerships with local grassroots activists to set up free tax
center. In fact, we set one up in the basement of city hall.
And so, as a mayor, I know the urgencies of the moment and how it reflects
to changing federal policies, whether it is common sense background checks,
whether is if how program like the EITC or child tax care credits actually
make a difference for working families.
MADDOW: And how the details of those things make a big difference in terms
of their effect.
BOOKER: Absolutely. I`ll give you another great example. You know, we
brought KIVA into Newark, which as you probably know is a technological
platform. People will have stop (INAUDIBLE) banks anymore. This is way
small businesses. We start off with Latina businesswomen who could not get
a $5,000 loan from a traditional bank who didn`t seem credit worthy.
But through an online platform, where people as you and I, going to that
platform, that helps us to expand businesses in our city. And by the way,
their repayment rates are as good or better than people that think banks
are great. These are the things we can expand. But it actually has
federal implications, well, how can we better start small businesses around
our country. How can we go in creative ways to get access to capital in
this bad economy.
So, from technology innovations to innovations around everything from
education to health care, things we have done in Newark, I hope to help
inform federal policy. But from day one, I want to be helping folks around
New Jersey in very pragmatic ways to get the support they need to start a
business, to go to college, to make their neighborhood safer.
MADDOW: Cory Booker, currently the mayor of NEWARK, New Jersey and soon to
be the next U.S. Senator from New jersey.
Cory, do not be a stranger once you`re up there. I know it`s going to be
harder to get you, but do not be a stranger.
BOOKER: That is not true. You and I, you`ve been a friend for a very long
time and your show, frankly, has been a source of sustenance and
inspirational one. So, I hope we will continue --
MADDOW: We will get you everywhere.
Thank you, man. Good luck. We`re all counting on you.
BOOKER: I`m grateful.
MADDOW: All right. We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: The Ken Cuccinelli tea party Republican campaign for governor in
Virginia has been having a hard time lately. Last week, we highlighted the
trouble that happened on camera at a Ken Cuccinelli campaign event when
they tried to highlight Mr. Cuccinelli support from a reality show family
that`s famous for having 19 children.
Now, the great Andy Kean (ph) has realized that that moment was not
actually just a microcosmic (INAUDIBLE) for the overall failure of Ken
Cuccinelli`s campaign for governor, no. It turns out that moment was a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s such a stark contrast between Ken Cuccinelli
and his opponent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Cuccinelli campaign has been criticized for this
performance. They should be proud.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s try that again. There`s such a stark contrast
between Ken Cuccinelli and his opponent. Yes, let me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Run news footage shows that Cuccinelli message machine
had it work behind the scenes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just a second here. OK, Terry -- How do you say that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: McAuliffe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: McAuliffe. There`s such a -- let me try again.
There`s such a stark contrast between -- let me try it again. I`m getting
tongue twisted here, had a long day. All right, there`s such a stark
contrast between -- let me try again. There`s such a stark contrast
between Ken Cuccinelli and his opponent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nailed it. Congrats to the whole campaign. There`s
such a stark contrast between Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: But wait, there` more, the Virginia governor`s race actually gets
getting better and better and better with each passing day and that story
MADDOW: Sometimes when you`re losing badly enough in a political race, you
become political Kerrying (PH). Something that was alive but is now no
longer viable. And when you are that dead in a campaign, you ultimately
will get picked apart by vultures.
Remember Rick Santorum`s campaign posters when he ran for president in
2012? Contextually, I`m certain that what was supposed to be soaring
through the zero and 2012 was an American bald eagle. I`m a big fan of
bald eagle. There is one that stalks me every weekend in (INAUDIBLE) when
I fish the dear field river.
But that particular bird silhouette that the Santorum campaign chose for
their posters in 2012, it`s just happen to look less like an eagle and more
like a vulture. I mean, the look was supposed to be vote for me and we`ll
soar among the clouds. It ended up being more scavenger, more vote for me
and we will feast together on the carcass of the federal government.
Because there, Santorum did not win in 2012. Rick Santorum`s accidental
vulture iconography from that campaign is now gone.
But in one important way, I proposed that he has not abandoned the vulture
idea. As you know, things are getting down right primal in the Virginia
governor`s race. The tea party Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli is now
showing self new signs of political life that Rick Santorum has flown in,
wings spread wide to pick -- I mean, to help him.
Mr. Santorum`s pack, patriot voices is now calling on the conservative
masses across the country to freak out over what looks to be are
Cuccinelli`s impending loss in the governor`s race. Mr. Santorum is e-
mailing all his Rick Santorum supporters to sound the alarm about
Cuccinelli`s campaign, to tell them that they can help in the last few
weeks of the campaign.
Dear social conservative, conserve that Ken Cuccinelli is about to lose
this race. It`s two weeks out. But you can help him win. Send last
minute donations, send money, and make sure you send that money to Rick
What? You`re worried about Ken Cuccineli losing, send Rick Santorum your
Not to be weird but if you wanted to help Ken Cuccinelli in his campaign,
wouldn`t you second Ken Cuccinelli your money? I`m not in the business of
giving political as I spent -- Oh, my God, Rick Santorum, you`re a vulture.
You`re trying to pry one last cent for yourselves out of the dying spasms
of that poor man`s campaign. You`re rifling the dead guy`s pocket to see
if he still had his wallet on him when he croaked. Amazing.
With friends like those, it is clearly getting rough out there for Ken
Cuccinelli. It is pretty much result now to just trying to fire up his
social conservative base in the last few days before the election. So,
he`s doing events with Mike Huckabee, for example, as you see here at the
Jerry Fall Well College at Liberty University. He has been doing campaign
events with the Dooger (ph) family there in evangelical family of activists
about whom there`s a reality show because they have had 19 children and
they say they want to have more.
When Planned Parenthood started running this ad today in Virginia that says
that Ken Cuccinelli would force a survivor of rape or incest in Virginia to
carry pregnancy caused by her attacker, the Cuccinelli campaign decided to
knock challenge and even claims made in the ad even with "the Washington
Post" called and asked them about it. That`s maybe because, well, his base
already knows and likes that he would force a survivor of rape or incest in
Virginia to carry a pregnancy caused by her attacker.
His base seems to see that as a plus not a minus. So, he can`t really deny
it. Even with Virginia papers endorsing none of the above in this race or
endorsing a guy who isn`t even running for governor because they dislike
both major candidates so much. The dye really does seem to be cast against
Ken Cuccinelli and the Republicans here, so much so that the national
journal is reporting that the Republican party has all but given up on his
race and they are instead moving campaign funds down in the ballot to try
to save at least one statewide race in Virginia so that Democrats do not
win a sweep.
And all of this is happening against the backdrop of the scandal involving
the current Republican governor, governor ultrasound, Bob McDonald, the
most reliable thing in Virginia politics this year has been the steady drip
of scandals surrounding Governor Bob McDonald. And whether or not he did
anything in exchange for the tens of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts
that he and his family took from a Virginia CEO who was seeking all kinds
of access to the Virginia state government.
The latest reporting from "the Richmond-Times Dispatch" fills in a whole
bunch of stuff we did not know before. They report that Governor
McDonald`s legal team and his wife`s legal team, those are two separate
groups, met with federal prosecutors again last week to try to talk
prosecutor out of a criminal indictment against the governor. "The Times
Dispatch" reporting that if there is going to be a criminal indictment of
the governor, it is expected sometime after Election Day but before
There is new reporting on the character of the case against Governor Bob
McDonald and what his defense is. Apparently central to his defense is his
claim that he had no idea that his wife took $50,000 from that Virginia
businessman. The governor says he is not responsible for that gift, or any
quid pro quo related to the gift because he didn`t know that his wife took
that money. She took it without telling him. She did. Not me. She did.
The man who wrote the $50,000 check to the governor`s wife, however,
reportedly told prosecutors the governor did so know about it because the
two men met and talked about it ahead of the check being delivered.
The Virginia CEO says he met with the governor one-on-one ahead of giving
the $50,000 to let him know the check was coming. The governor denies that
and says he didn`t know about the money. He says his wife lied about it.
She did it. Not me. Oh, family values. Protecting marriage from the evil
gay people who want to sully that divine institution.
And so, governor and Mrs. Governor have separate legal defense teams.
Meeting with federal prosecutors to try to talk them out of a bribery
indictment. And it is two weeks to go until Election Day in Virginia. Cue
MADDOW: Best new thing in the world today.
OK. The city of Washington, D.C., not the federal government, not the
beltway, but the city itself, Washington, District of Columbia. It is kind
of a low slung place. Most of the buildings in Washington, D.C. are short
by law because D.C. is governed by the U.S. congress. The law in D.C. that
says buildings in D.C. have to be short buildings, is a law that was passed
not by the city itself but by Congress. In 1910, an act to regulate the
height of buildings in the district of Columbia. 1910, Congress passed
More than a century is a long time to have your city stay short while the
rest of the world is putting up skyscrapers. That in D.C. that century old
decision by Congress created a city skyline like no other. One where you
can see great federal monuments of our nation from a long ways away,
because there are no tall buildings in the way blocking your view.
I don`t know why they did it in the first place back in 1910, but the
overall effect after all these years of those height restrictions is kind
of an architecturally democratizing thing. Nothing stands between anyone
in D.C. and say, the Washington monument. Rich people have the view. Poor
people have the view. And it isn`t something to trade on because D.C.
height restrictions are permanent. They have been there for more than a
century. So, nobody was ever going to take away that view.
Two years ago, in August 2011, a rare east coast earthquake rattled the
Washington monument. So hard that they had to close it off from visitors
ever since. The earthquake cracked the marble on the Washington monument.
You can see sun light from inside. Then came torrential rain, wind from
hurricane Irene that same month. The rain got in. Left pools of Walter
inside the monument.
Teams of people who are way braver than I am, rappelled down the sides of
the Washington monument to survey the damage after the earthquake. They
found four separate big cracks. That needed repairing. This is going to
take a while. First had to make a plan. Then, they had figure out how to
pay for it. Then it took them four months just to get the scaffolding in
But here is the thing. When the national park service finished the
scaffolding part of the job back in July, when they finish, the 6,000
pieces of metal rigged to stand as scaffolding around the monument without
touching it and they lit up the scaffolding with 500 lights. When they hit
the lights that showed off the scaffolding around the monument and the way
the monument looks while its wrapped up in the scaffolding, it was kind of
unexpectedly awesome in its own right.
Yes, we have this beautiful monument. But now, just for a while, we have
this beautiful monument wearing a really nice dress. Some people in
Washington have even argued the scaffolding looks so good on the Washington
monument, we should make it permanent. Senior editor at architect magazine
argued in "the Washington Post" that the monument quote "hasn`t looked so
good in years." Lit up like a spectral tower. And now, it has the a new
Because Americans broadly agree that governance in the nation is broken
there is a casual elegance to the symbolism of a monument to a national
unity under construction. We are a work in progress, the cracked memorial
remind us. Our union is not perfected.
Reinvention is like that. You get to see an old thing in a new way for a
while. And no. they`re not planning on making the scaffolding permanent on
the Washington monument. Sometime next spring, they will finish the work
on Washington`s old public, we will get our plain old white marble monument
back without a fancy dress on.
But just today, best new thing in world. Today, we got news of another
chance for reinvention in our national capital. This is the U.S. capitol
dome. The huge ornate cast iron dome that covers and somehow constrains
the uncontainable U.S. congress. The capitol dome has the not been
renovated in more than 50 years. And as a result it is rusting out. Iron
gets rusty. The capitol dome is rusty. They said they found 1,300 cracks
so far that they know about. And in some cases, it is letting water seep
into the building.
Our Capitol dome looks great from a distance, but up close, it is cracking.
We have big chunk of it falling apart and rusting out that risk of falling
off, Today, they announced that the work to make this right is about to
begin. And in order to start the work, the architect of the capitol will
start next month wrapping the dome in scaffolding.
The capitol dome its getting its party dress, too. And gets to wear it all
lit up for two years. And so, hooray. This is overdue. Desperately
needed work could finally get going. So, the U.S. capitol building doesn`t
literally fall in on itself and kill people.
And if the Washington monument is anything to go by there is a chance that
the process of the capitol getting its new up-do, might itself be cool.
Might be a very pretty process. The capitol is going to be reinvented for
us while the work goes on. And if there is any place in America that need
reinventing and reimaging more than this place in America. I don`t know of
What is broken does not have to stay that way. Reinvention is possible.
And you might enjoy the process and be newly inspired along the way. Best
new thing in the world today.
Now time for "the Last Word with Lawrence O`Donnell."
Thanks for joining us tonight. Have a good night.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR, THE LAST WORD: There is another rough
day for Affordable Care Act here in Washington. But a great day for the
affordable care act in Ohio.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: The final thing we have to do is win the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- his owned idea.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never tell the truth and always say you are winning.
CRUZ: Win the argument with them scan people that Obamacare isn`t working.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This will be the biggest job killer.
MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It has killed jobs.
CRUZ: It is the number one job killer in this country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s not showing up in the day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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