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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

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Date: May 5, 2015
Guest: Emanuel Cleaver, Todd Yeary, Frank Schaeffer, Dana Milbank,
Clarence Page, Richard Wolffe

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Ed.

And thanks to you for tuning in.

We start with developing news. Attorney General Loretta Lynch
traveling to Baltimore and diving into a national debate over policing.

Today, she met with the family of Freddie Gray. She met with leaders
across the city, including the police commissioner and police officers.
She met with students at the University of Baltimore, and she met with the
mayor, promising to work with the city long after the media spotlight


LORETTA LYNCH, ATTORNEY GENERAL: This is one of my first visits as
attorney general. I`m delighted that it`s here to Baltimore and where we
have such willing partners in the effort to improve this beautiful city.
And I commit to you that that work will not end.


SHARPTON: Now, we`re seeing signs how the death of Freddie Gray may
change how policing is done in this country. A new poll shows 92 percent
favor police body cameras, 92 percent, and we`re seeing the push for change
in the headlines.

Many police departments are rethinking their own traditions about
using force. In New York, retraining efforts are focused on talking
suspects into handcuffs, use force only as a last resorted. And in
Washington, state officers are studying videos of police shootings to learn
how to reduce violence.

This was Mrs. Lynch`s first official trip as attorney general. And
late today, she said that what she`s been seeing in Baltimore has given her


LYNCH: As we all know, Baltimore has come to symbolize a lot of the
issues involving police and community mistrust that plague so many of our
cities, but what I have heard here today is how all the people of
Baltimore, every group that I`ve mentioned and certainly everyone with whom
I was privileged to meet, is committed to making that better.


SHARPTON: Joining me now, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Democrat from
Missouri. He co-sponsored legislation that would help fund body cameras
for police officers, and he recently met with House Speaker John Boehner
about criminal justice reform.

Also with me is Reverend Todd Yeary, noted faith and civil rights
leader in Baltimore and pastor of Douglas Memorial Community Church. He
was in the meeting with the attorney general today, and he`s also the
pastor to the mayor.

We`re also joined by Jim Cavanaugh, retired ATF agent and MSNBC law
enforcement analyst.

Thank you all for being here.


REP. EMANUAL CLEAVER (D), MISSOURI: Good to be with you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Congressman, let me start with you. How important was it
for the new attorney general to travel to Baltimore today?

CLEAVER: I think it was extremely important. Here`s a woman who has
an impeccable background in law enforcement, U.S. attorney in New York, and
I think that it demonstrates to the people in Baltimore and frankly people
who have been adversely affected by the -- by the happenings over the last
couple of weeks that the federal government is in fact going to be
involved, that the federal government is not going to push this under a rug
and that the federal government is going to stand by to worked with the
municipal government of Baltimore.

I think that this was a very, very powerful statement that she made
through her visit to Baltimore, and I think everybody is going to be
pleased on both sides, on any sides and all sides actually.

SHARPTON: Pastor Yeary, last Thursday, the national civil rights
leaders came to Baltimore. You co-chaired our meeting there, the head of
the NAACP, Urban League and myself from NAN. We talked about body cameras
and we talked about a lot. You brought these issues in the meeting with
the attorney general.

What happened in the meeting? Bring us inside.

YEARY: Well, first, the attorney general reasserted her commitment to
support Baltimore in looking at police community relations, reaffirming her
commitment to follow through on the processes that have already begun in
terms of the collaborative reform efforts and the reviews that her
department`s office of civil rights might follow up with.

And so, she reminded us that she is here for the long haul. She is
hopeful that Baltimore will not only recover but will be better, and as you
mentioned earlier would be the template for police reforms across the

What the faith leaders asked for is that she would use the full
arsenal, if you will, of resources at her disposal and not to leave out the
consideration of a pattern and practice investigation because these issues
run deeper than personalities. These are long-standing policies about
urban enforcement and areas that have been under-resourced, and until we
get a change in the policies that support the current law enforcement
structure we`re going to be right back here before we know it.

SHARPTON: Did you specifically talk about pattern and practice or
body cameras in that meeting?

YEARY: We specifically asked for a pattern and practice investigation
by the Department of Justice. She heard the request. She did not make a
formal commitment one way or the other. But we are on the record now with
the United States attorney general that we are requesting a pattern and
practice investigation of the Baltimore City Police Department.

SHARPTON: Congressman, they are making that formal request to the
attorney general, is in itself a new development and something that I think
that we`re seeing all over the country where it cries for a national
solution. You just met with the speaker of the House John Boehner. Can we
say we`re moving anywhere near towards legislation that can be bipartisan
and address on a national level these concerns that are going over various
cities around the country?

CLEAVER: I think so, Reverend. Congressman Al Green from Texas and I
met with Speaker Boehner on this past Friday. We had a very good meeting

The speaker said that he thought something needed to be done. He
wanted to go through the task force chaired by Representative Goodlatte,
and I think John Conyers from Michigan is working on that task force. He
thinks we need a comprehensive plan put forth as opposed to him dictating
what should happen.

When Congressman Green and I walked out of the meeting with the
speaker, we both turned to each other and said that wasn`t a bad meeting.
I don`t want to overstate my optimism, but for the first time since all
this began since frankly Trayvon Martin, which you brought the attention to
the world, I think that we may be moving congressionally towards some kind
of legislation that will dramatically impact what`s been happening with
police minorities in this country.

SHARPTON: Now, Congressman, the Rialto, California Police Department
did a landmark study on police body cameras. It found a 60 percent decline
in the use of force by police and an 88 percent decline in the amount of
citizen complaints about police.

How big a difference would body cameras make to policing across the

CLEAVER: A significant difference. Keep in mind that all of the good
police, 99 percent of them, they want body cameras because they don`t want
to end up being tarred by the conduct of the very few bad cops, so when --
when you think about the fact that everything you do while you`re on duty,
while you`re at work is going to be recorded, I think that can change

Maybe we can`t change the attitude. We can change behavior with bad
cops, because I think when you see police being indicted for misconduct as
they have been in the last two big cases and then the body cameras are
revealing things to the public, I think that this is going to transform
community, police relations all over the country.

SHARPTON: Jim Cavanaugh, police are protected by body cameras. The
congressman says most of them want it. What do you think? You`ve been in
law enforcement as serious as anyone.

a uniformed officer and as a federal agent for more than 33 years and a
commander and I`m 1,000 percent for body cameras, and would I have love to
have had a body camera.

You know, most police were for cameras in their vehicle. So, I don`t
see the objection to have a camera on your person. It`s going to help the
officers, as Congressman Cleaver said. It`s going to not be -- the good
cops are not going to fight against it. It shows up the bad cops. That`s
what we`re seeing on the videos across the country, and it does change the
behavior of the citizens and the officers. It`s a real positive.

But the congressman is doing some action here.


CAVANAUGH: You know what? I think the president said in his remarks,
a little less talk and a lot more action -- that`s what we need to see, and
his bill is action. He wants to do something concrete. That`s what we`ve
got to do.

We`ve got to train in more, restraint the police. You know, Reverend,
I was a negotiator, and I like to do things a little more smoother and
easier and little more maneuver. We need to train that more to our patrol
officers, our techniques in there. And so, that`s a great move on the
cameras. We can move towards more restraint and training, and we can get
some jobs in these areas --

SHARPTON: We need action. We need action.

Pastor Yeary, led the me go back to you. The attorney general met
with the Baltimore police and talked about the national attention they are
receiving. Listen to this.


LYNCH: You really have become the face of law enforcement. Now, some
-- you may say that`s for good or for ill, I know, but we don`t always
choose moments. Sometimes they choose us, and how we live with that and
how we go through with that determines what kind of officers we all are.


SHARPTON: Pastor Yeary, do police in Baltimore and elsewhere sense
they have an opportunity right now to redefine policing in America?

YEARY: Reverend, if they don`t, they should, and they are going to
miss a tremendous opportunity to re-establish the confidence of the mission
of police that we`ve come to know as protect and serve as opposed to arrest
and enforce. And so, one of the things that the good officers. We keep
hearing over and over and over again that there`s a relatively small
minority of bad officers that are bringing this notion of dishonor upon
police forces around the country.

If that is the case, then every good officer must seize this moment to
recreate the law enforcement professional image and practice to make sure
that those that need to be weeded out get weeded out so that the police
community relationships can be what we all want them to be.

SHARPTON: Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Reverend Todd Yeary and Jim
Cavanagh, thank you all for your time tonight.

CAVANAUGH: Thanks, Reverend.

YEARY: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Straight ahead, breaking news coming from Baltimore. State
attorney on the Freddie Gray case regarding her charges.

Also tonight, our exclusive report from Baltimore on the emotional
stories of rebuilding and hope in the name of Freddie Gray.

Plus, here comes Mike Huckabee. He`s a real threat to the GOP field,
but a lot has changed since he ran last time. Will the cultural warrior
still work in 2016?

And President Obama`s final appearance on "Letterman." We`ll look at
Letterman`s impact on politics.

Please stay with us.


you and me, we could play some dominoes together.

DAVID LETTERMAN, TV HOST: Dominoes. All right.


OBAMA: Yes. We can -- we can, you know, go to the local Starbucks,
you know, swap stories.



SHARPTON: Breaking news: Baltimore state attorney Marilyn Mosby is
responding to criticism of her charges against six police officers in the
death of Freddie Gray. Some critics had said the charges were too tough.

One op-ed in her hometown paper even said the charges were, quote,
"incompetent and not backed up by the evidence." But Mosby issued a
statement saying, quote, "While the evidence we have obtained through our
independent investigation does substantiate the elements of the charges
filed, I refuse to litigate this case through the media."

She also says, quote, "I strongly condemn anyone in law enforcement
with access to trial evidence who has or continues to leak information
prior to the resolution of this case. These unethical disclosures are only
damaging our ability to conduct a fair and impartial process."

Up next, we`ll go live to Baltimore to see how the community is
starting to recover and rebuild.


SHARPTON: Attorney General Loretta Lynch was in Baltimore today. She
talked about the people coming together to reclaim their city, and she
vowed to stay through the rebuilding.

Joining -- joining me from Baltimore is my colleague, MSNBC national
correspondent Joy Reid.

Joy, first, let me say you`ve been doing a tremendous work on the
ground for us.

The attorney general talked about rebuilding today. You are focusing
on stories of hope, rebuilding and Freddie Gray`s legacy. What did you

that compliment, Rev. I really appreciate it.

So, as you said, Attorney General Loretta Lynch came to this town to
meet both with members of the community, the faith community, the civic
leadership of this city, as well as with young people, and the entire focus
was on moving forward, on listening to the ideas of young Baltimore
residents about what they felt could be done to move this city forward.

But there`s also a lot of actual physical rebuilding moving forward as
people try to bring this city back together. The local pastor, who as you
well know, had a senior center that was burnt to the ground last week
Monday. They are already starting to revive, and we spoke with him.

And we also spoke with a local artist who is using -- who has found a
unique way to honor Freddie Gray.


REID (voice-over): For Baltimore street artist Justin Netherkut (ph),
Freddie Gray`s legacy is part of the civil rights movement from Martin
Luther King to Black Lives Matter. And his story, which now includes rare
indictments against police officers in his death holds the key to the
city`s renewal. That`s the message in a mural Netherkut who goes by Nether
began painting on Sunday on a building on the corner where gray was
arrested April 12th.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a catalyst right here.

REID: The large three-panel mural depicts Gray between scenes of
1960s civil rights marches and Baltimore that transfixed a nation last

NETHER, STREET ARTIST: It`s just a wall, but it shows that all the
people stood up together and what they did was representing the same type
of struggle that Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement fought

REID: Across town, a different kind of renewal is under way. The $16
million 61-unit Mary Harvin Center for low-income seniors being built by
Southern Baptist Church burned to the ground last Monday. As fires and
looting overtook the city prompting a week-long curfew.

Now, backed by promises of help from national civil rights leaders,
Hickman is vowing to rebuild.

later, we are already engaged in the process of rebuilding the center by
the spring of 2016. The city is about to condemn and knock down, demolish,
the existing structures so that we can clear the site and start all over

REID: Meanwhile, CVS, whose West Baltimore store was one of 235 local
businesses, looted, damaged or burned on Monday is vowing to rebuild.

A statement from the company this week reads, "We have a long history
of serving inner city communities and are 100 percent committed to serving
our patients and customers in Baltimore. We are working diligently to
formulate our rebuilding plans."

Joe Brown is one of several contractors contacted by CVS to bid on the

JE BROWN, CONTRACTOR: I think it`s extremely important for the whole
environment, once they see it being rebuilt. I think the entire
neighborhood will feel -- feel the rebirth.

REID: Pastor Hickman says East Baltimore will rebuild, too, and he
believes the entire Baltimore community will emerge stronger from the
turmoil of the last week.

HICKMAN: Baltimore has a true grit about itself. We`ve overcome so
many obstacles in the past, and all it takes is one person to say, hey, we
can rise from the ashes.

REID: It`s all part of Baltimore`s quest to return to a new normal
and a better normal that many here hope will be the true legacy of Freddie


REID: And, Rev, I can tell you that these are just three stories of
many that we heard that show that the spirit of renewal has definitely
taken hold in Baltimore. There`s a long way to go, but this is definitely
a beginning -- Rev.

SHARPTON: And, Joy, let me ask you before you go. What have you
noticed from the community over the last few days?

REID: Well, I`ll tell you, Rev, I think this is an incredibly unified
community. Obviously, there are incredible economic disparities,
particularly when you talk about the neighborhood where Freddie Gray lived
and also East Baltimore. People are struggling. People are suffering and
people really do have deep-seeded mistrust of law enforcement here.
There`s a big gulf between the two.

But this is a community that united behind this movement for Freddie
Gray, and they are still united, and there`s a lot of hope and positivity.
The people you talk to here love this city, they love Baltimore, and they
want to see it move forward.

SHARPTON: Well, we`re looking for that rebuilding. We had committed
at the national civil rights summit to have a youth forum. I`m coming in.
We`re going to do that next week and keep hope moving.

Joy Reid, thank you for your reporting tonight, and, again, great work
that you`ve been doing on the ground in Baltimore.

Still ahead --

REID: Thank you, Rev. Appreciate it.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, how Mike Huckabee would turn the GOP
presidential race upside down. He`s in and it`s definitely not good news
for some big-name candidates.

Also, Hillary Clinton`s plan to fight back against the Benghazi hype

But, first, some Republicans are convinced that President Obama is out
to get your ceiling fans. It`s tonight`s gotcha.


SHARPTON: For some in the GOP, it`s Barack Obama`s nanny state, and
we`re just living in it. For years, Republicans were on a mission to save
the country from the tyranny of the Obama administration`s energy-efficient
light bulbs.

Former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann led the way in shining a light
on this conspiracy.


Bulb Freedom of Choice Act.

And I think darn well, you New Hampshirites, if you want to buy Thomas
Edison`s wonderful invention, you should be able to.

President Bachmann will allow you buy any light bulb you want.


SHARPTON: Unfortunately, President Bachmann failed in her bid to save
our light bulbs.

But now, Republicans have turned their attention to another vital
appliance. Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn is exposing the nefarious Obama
plot to take away our ceiling fans.


REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: The Department of Energy is so
determined to redesign the ceiling fan just like stretching their tentacles
into light bulbs and so many other areas of our home. What they are doing
is pricing people out of the ceiling fan market.


SHARPTON: Now, the Obama administration claims the goal is to make
ceiling fans more energy efficient, but what`s next? Where will it stop?
Will President Obama try to take our clock radios?

What about our toasters? Could they? Would they even banish the

Wait a minute. I`ve got a bright idea. Maybe Republicans should stop
spinning out these crazy conspiracy theories and start focusing on real
issues that matter to real people. But until then, it`s lights out for the
right wing attacks because we gotcha.


SHARPTON: The GOP 2016 race just got a whole lot more interesting.
Today former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee went to his hometown of Hope,
Arkansas, and said it`s time to send another man from Hope to the White


perfectly fitting that it would be here that I announce that I am a
candidate for president of the United States of America!



SHARPTON: He`s in, and he could have a real impact. When Huckabee
ran in 2008, he won the Iowa caucus and seven other primaries. He was the
last man standing against John McCain. Huckabee could drag more moderate
candidates further right or split the conservative vote because with all
this talk about Uncle Sugar and criticizing Beyonce, Mike Huckabee made it
clear he`s still all about the culture wars.


HUCKABEE: We are now threatening the foundation of religious liberty
by criminalizing Christianity and demanding that we abandon principles of
natural marriage. The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Court being, and
they cannot overturn the laws of nature or of nature`s God.


SHARPTON: That line went over well today, but it wouldn`t nationwide.
When Mike Huckabee ran for president in 2008 just 38 percent of Americans
supported same-sex marriage. Today more than half the country does. Mike
Huckabee`s a serious contender, but if he wants to win in 2016 running his
2008 campaign all over again won`t be enough.

Joining me now is Frank Schaeffer, a former evangelical turned
progressive and author of "Why I Am An Atheist Who Believes In God." How
to give love, create beauty and find peace. And also with me is Dana
Milbank of "The Washington Post." Thank you both for being HERE.

DANA MILBANK, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Good evening, Reverend.

Hey, thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Frank, Huckabee is someone that can make some noise, a big
evangelical following. How will it be different for him this time as
opposed to 2008?

SCHAEFFER: Well, there`s a big difference, and that is after the
hobby lobby decision that brought this whole idea that religious civil
liberties demand that Christians be treated differently, and that case
allowed to prevent women from getting contraceptive coverage through their
insurance plan, the landscape has changed so Huckabee has a new issue, and
his issue is going to be all about protecting religious civil liberties by
which he means taking away the rights of gay people for instance to marry,
women to get contraceptives if they work for an evangelical school like
Wheaton College that also got a ruling from the Supreme Court.

So, we`ve got a new direction here, it`s a new tactic, and what`s
really happening is that as I write about in the book, "Why I`m An Atheist
Who Believes In God" we have a country where an evangelical majority, that
through the Tea Party and others has controlled both houses of congress,
put President Bush in the White House, has been acting increasingly like a
minority of persecuted people, and so this is a tactic and it`s what I call
victimology, and that`s where we`re at.

SHARPTON: Now, Dana, it wasn`t an accident that Huckabee`s
announcement was made from Bill Clinton`s hometown of Hope, Arkansas. What
did you make of that?

MILBANK: Well, I mean, it`s his hometown, too, but I think what --
what Governor Huckabee was doing today was really making a populist appeal
and that is what sets him apart within the Republican Party today. He was
against trade deals, defending Social Security and Medicare, talking about
bringing manufacturing back to America, so he`s sort of the guy standing up
for the little guy.

SHARPTON: Yes. Let me -- let me show something and I`ll let you
finish your point.


SHARPTON: Because today he tried to widen his appeal. Listen to more
of this announcement that relates directly to what you`re saying.


HUCKABEE: Power and money and political influence have left a lot of
Americans lagging behind. I don`t have a global foundation or a taxpayer-
funded paycheck to live off of. I don`t come from a family dynasty but a
working family. I grew up blue collar, not blue blood.


SHARPTON: I mean, he`s going in a more populist direction it seems.


SHARPTON: Dana, and he`s already getting in his digs at Clinton and
his fellow republicans, but can he widen his base of support?

MILBANK: Well, I think it`s very difficult, Reverend, because if you
look at where, you know, where the power is right now, big money is
controlling politics in general and controlling the republican primary
process in particular, so you`ve got these billionaires and multi-
millionaires funneling money into various contestants in the race.
Unlikely that that money is going to be going to Huckabee so it`s going to
be hard for him to have the staying power and that was also his problem in
2008. The additional problem for Huckabee right now is, yes, he`s going
for that religious conservative vote, but, you know what? There`s a whole
battalion of cultural warriors in the republican field right now and he`s
going to have to compete with Ted Cruz, with Ben Carson and a whole bunch
of others. He doesn`t really have that to himself anymore. It`s hard to
see how he breaks free from the pack this time because he has so many
similar contestants in the race.

SHARPTON: Frank, let me go there with you. There`s a lot of
republicans who are either running or thinking about running trying to
court the evangelical vote. They are all socially conservative, anti-
choice, anti-same-sex marriage. How might this play out, Frank?

SCHAEFFER: Well, actually I think Huckabee may not have a chance to
be President of the United States, but he has a chance to move the entire
race to the right on the republican side. Look, he`s the genuine article.
This guy is not a flake. He`s a true believer, and evangelicals and right
wing Christian folks know this. He goes back as a pastor. He goes back
before that. In fact, my dad who was an evangelical leader, Mike Huckabee
quotes his books all the time like how should we then live and whatever
happened to the human race as his favored books. He has a dyed in the
culture warrior going all the way back to the Reconstructionist movement
that wants to apply Old Testament law to America.

So, he is fringe when it comes to people like the Koch Brothers, et
cetera, but he has the power to make people like Jeb Bush and the others
moved their rhetoric to the right. This has now become a more polarized
race. So, we all know that the primaries are where this business is done.
When it gets into the general election it`s another story, but in the
primary race watch Mike Huckabee as the guy who moves it off even further
into the fringe loony right.

SHARPTON: So then, Dana, Mike Huckabee must be taking seriously
because he can move the debate and the discussions to the right, Frank is
saying. What does that do to Jeb Bush or the other assumed front runners
who may have to be more moderate for the general election?

MILBANK: Right. Well, I mean, certainly his tendency would be to
pull things to the right, but it`s already so far to the right that it`s
almost like they will going to come around full circle and wind up on the
Left or something. There`s only so far he can pull that party. In an
interesting way it may split the religious conservatives and the -- those
who are out there on the fringe and leave more room for a candidate such as
a Jeb Bush, assuming he can break away from a guy like Scott Walker who
seems to be able to straddle the mainstream and the conservative side, but
certainly all of the weight in the primary is on -- is among the religious
conservatives and others within the conservatives.

SHARPTON: I`m out of time, but let me ask you this. Today, DNC
announced that there will be six official primary debates. Hillary Clinton
tweeted while GOP debates the same failed policies democrats will debate
how to help families get ahead. Looking forward to a real conversation.
Bernie Sanders also said, of course, he`d commit to the six debates. Will
these help or hurt Clinton in your opinion, Dana?

MILBANK: I think this can only help Clinton, Reverend. She needs a
challenge. I mean, Bernie Sanders, it`s a token challenge, Martin
O`Malley is a token challenge but she needs somebody to keep her in
practice and get her out there on the issues, so this is actually good news
for Hillary Clinton.

SHARPTON: Frank Schaeffer, Dana Milbank, thank you both for your time

MILBANK: Thanks, reverend.

SCHAEFFER: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, he`s got a lot more work to do, but over the
last few day we`re learning more about President Obama`s plans post-White
House. And David Letterman gets ready to retire after over 30 years in
late night. We`ll look back on his impact on politics. Please stay with



DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "LATE NIGHT": What will you do when you`re not

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Well, I was thinking you and
me, we could play some dominoes together.

LETTERMAN: Dominoes. All right.

OBAMA: We can, you know, go -- go to the local Starbucks and swap


SHARPTON: President Obama joking with David Letterman about what
he`ll do when he leaves the White House in 2017. Since news broke last
week that the Obama library will be based in Chicago, there`s been a lot of
speculation about the President`s plans for his own retirement. Last night
he told Letterman he`ll focus on working with military families, on climate
change and on helping disadvantaged youth. Yesterday he announced he was
expanding his My Brother`s Keeper Initiative, promising to help close the
opportunity gaps faced by young men of color.


OBAMA: The good news is it doesn`t have to be this way. We can have
the courage to change. We can make a difference. We can remember that
these kids are our kids. I notice we don`t always get a lot of reporting
on this issue when there`s not a crisis in some neighborhood, but we`re
just going to keep on plugging away, and this will remain a mission for me
hand for me and for Michelle, not just for the rest of my presidency but
for the rest of my life.



SHARPTON: President Obama laying the groundwork for his legacy and to
making a difference for long after he leaves the White House.

Joining me now are Clarence Page of "The Chicago Tribune." And
Richard Wolffe, executive editor of and author of "The Message,
The Reselling of President Obama." Thank you, both for being here this



SHARPTON: So, Richard, helping disadvantaged youth. How important
will that be to his life and his legacy after the White House?

WOLFFE: I think it`s essential to it, and I think it always has been.
When I wrote my first book, another book plug in "Renegade," you know, he
told me back in 2007 that this is what he wanted to commit himself to.
This is not a short-term thinker. He`s always had a plan and that plan has
focused on something for a long time. In his post-presidency for the kind
of impact that he could have, and it was always on young African-American
men, always.


WOLFFE: And he would talk about, well, maybe when I`m president I can
go down to Ana Kostya and I could talk to them about how to get their lives
on track and what kind of opportunities they have for them. A lot of the
calculation around whether he should run for president or what kind of
impact would it have on dreams and aspirations of what people could achieve
as a young African-American man, and so I think this is a natural
extension. I think it`s always been there. I`m kind of surprised it`s
taken this long into his presidency to start getting down to the policy
mechanics of what he can do while he`s still in office.

SHARPTON: You know, Clarence, you`re in Chicago. You`re from
Chicago, and the President spoke to a group of students last week about
what he planned to do when he left the White House. Listen to what he told


OBAMA: I`ll be done being president in a couple years, and I`ll still
be a pretty young man, so I`ll go back to doing the kinds of work that I
was doing before, just trying to find ways to help young people get
educations and help people get jobs and try to, you know, bring businesses
into neighborhoods that don`t have enough businesses, you know. That`s the
kind of work that I really love to do.


SHARPTON: I mentioned Chicago, Clarence, because is the President
talking about going back to being a community organizer though on a much
broader, larger scale?

PAGE: He did joke with some kids about maybe I`ll go back to being a
community organizer, but I think you look at where Obama`s going, the best
way to guess is to look at where he`s been. He came from community
organizing, he came from public service really. He fell into community
organizing after coming to Chicago when it was a city where he saw from
dynamism going on back in the days of Harold Washington when he first
arrived there and he got brought into the world of Saul Alinsky and
community organizing, and he still sees public service as being a primary
mission of his, but he wants to do it in his own way. That`s why he hasn`t
been all that specific about what he`s going to do beyond "My Brother`s
Keeper" which he has expanded this week on the foundation level and on the
activism level, but -- and we know his library is going to be in Chicago
which I think is where it belongs after all, it`s a city where he came of
age politically and all.

SHARPTON: Well, the decision has been made, Clarence. The decision
has been made. It will be in Chicago. You don`t have to keep campaigning.


But let me take it back to you, Richard, because as I said at the
event yesterday in the Bronx where the President expanded and announced the
expansion, there`s a clear need for the work that "My Brother`s Keeper"
does in inner cities across the country. Only 52 percent, 52 percent of
black males graduate from high school on time. Forty nine percent of young
black males have been arrested, and black teen unemployment is 38 percent.
So we`re not just talking about some legacy removed from a reality of
really needing to focus on some very substantive challenges.

WOLFFE: Right, and this is at a time when the economy is improving
and unemployment rates have been falling and yet, you see this through
every cycle. These numbers stay stubbornly high. You just picked up three
things, three very separate issues but who has the convening powers to
bring in reforms to education, reforms to the criminal justice system and
the private sector, too, and that`s not a small thing. Who has the power
to convene all of that? Well, an ex-president does, actually a current
president does, so you need someone of that stature to be able to do that
public/private partnership which has been part of the work of people like
Valerie Jarrett before she went into the administration.


WOLFFE: You`ve got to bring partners in because there are too many
partners there to be solved just with one thing. It`s not going to be
school standards on their own. It has to be all of those things together.

SHARPTON: And as you said, Clarence, to see where he`s going and see
where he`s been, that was his passion when he was in Chicago at first.

PAGE: Indeed it was, and he made a lot of very important friends and
associates and supporters around Chicago, and certainly learned to carve a
centrist path. It`s a lot easier as a Chicago lawmaker to work across
party lines. He found out compared to Washington`s polarization, but he
can go back into the private sector now, and he`s already got a great
lineup of stars and CEOs and star CEOs for that matter to work with and
support him on this mission which is a very important one. Everybody

SHARPTON: All right. Clarence Page and Richard Wolffe, thank you
both for your time this evening.

PAGE: Thank you, Rev.

WOLFFE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, how David Letterman redefined how you can talk
about politics on late-night TV. It was revolutionary and very, very

Also, why this video of a Baltimore police officer is going viral
today. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: It`s almost the end of an era, before "The Daily Show,"
before "Fallon" or "Kimmel," there was David Letterman. Last night marked
the President Obama`s eight and final appearance on the "Late Show" and his
third as president. As Dave`s 30 plus year career on Late Night TV comes
to an end later this month, the guy known for stupid human tricks and
throwing things off the roof also became a key stop for our nation`s
political leaders, whether it was a top ten list or an interview at the
desk. Letterman was always on his game and politicians had to step it up,




BUSH: Make sure the White House library has lots of books with big
print and pictures.



LETTERMAN: I`ve made jokes about you, not just one or two, not just
ongoing here and there, intermittent, but --


Number nine.

It`s the mi double tizzle.


LETTERMAN: No, it`s not, no, it`s not. Number eight.

OBAMA: Appoint Mitt Romney secretary of looking good.


Wow. Wow.

years that you have had a few things to say about my pant suits, and -- and
how about the time you said you can tell it`s summer. Today Hillary
Clinton hit the beach in a one-piece pant suit. An and, now --



SHARPTON: Always fun to look back on those. As the President said
last night, the country try has grown up with Dave, and he`s a part of all
of us.


SHARPTON: Breaking news. Just moments ago Hillary Clinton announcing
she supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. She`s speaking
at a roundtable in Las Vegas. She also said that if she were elected
president, she would do everything she could under the law to help qualify
immigrants stay in the country.

And now, let me go back to Attorney General Loretta Lynch talking
about meeting with Freddie Gray`s family today in Baltimore. She also
spoke directly to members of the Police Department, thanking them for their
service during difficult times.


difficulties. I know that we have struggles, and we are here to help you
work through those struggles in a way that will hopefully be the best and
most productive way for this department, but to all of you who are on the
front lines, I just want to say thank you.


SHARPTON: The police and the community must all work together, we all
know it, and the mayor of Baltimore made that point today as well.


I believe that the relationship between the police and the community, it`s
like a marriage, and separation is not an option. Divorce is not an
option. We have to figure out how we`re going to make this marriage work.


SHARPTON: We must make it work. Fifty six percent of Americans think
tensions between police and the community led to the unrest in Baltimore.
We need to ease some of those tensions, and that`s why videos like this are
striking a nerve. Watch this Baltimore police officer making an emotional
statement about her role in the community this weekend.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: This is my city. Hear what I`m saying to you.
Can you not think that all police are bad? You have to know that some of
us are here. We come out here away from our kids and away from our
families and I`m here for you. Like you can look me in my face and treat
me like I`m somebody that`s not getting up this day fighting this fight --



SHARPTON: A sense of respect, mutual respect, mutual regard. We need
to hear each other and have one standard of justice. We need real peace,
not quiet. Quiet is to keep things like they are and bring down the noise.
Peace is bringing people together fairly.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.


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