Alex Witt   |  May 26, 2013

Joy-Ann Reid: 'Hard to say' who the next Obama could be

In Part III of this week’s "Office Politics," MSNBC’s Alex Witt sits down with the managing editor of The Grio, Joy-Ann Reid. She talks about the fallout from the Benghazi attacks and whether or not it is justified to call the controversy a scandal. Joy-Ann comments on the continual search for black leaders to follow in the footsteps of President Obama.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> sit down with the managing editor of the grio, joanne reid. we discuss the continuing coverage of the certificate for black leaders to follow in the footsteps of president obama . but first i asked joanne about the fallout from the benghazi attacks and if it's legitimate to call that mess a scandal.

>> if you can't explain the scandal in two lines, it's probably not sustainable. it's sort of like pitching in hollywood. two lines or you're not getting your movie made. the problem republicans are having, they're not able to explain what they're kay accusing the white house of doing. if it's the talking points , that story has been undermined by what happened with jonathan carl. the fact that the smoking gun turns out to have not been factual, the e-mail from ben rhodes out of the white house that was supposed to contain defense of the white house really didn't. unless republicans can explain really clearly and succinctly the average american is not going to understand what the scandal is. i think the white house can sort of sit back and watch this one play out. i'm not sure it's going anywhere.

>> reporter: the president's approval rating in three national polls is up. it is over 50% having increased by at least a couple points in each of them. what do you think is driving that?

>> well, you know, i think in jep the economy is getting better. if you look at the unemployment rate , and we do that here, breaking it down by groups, if you look at white male and female it's in the 60% range. it's really minority unemployment that drags the number. if the majority of americans feel like the economy isn't great but it's getting better, they feel better in their personal situation, that resounds to the benefit of any president.

>> you have a theme right now you're looking at black leadership. where is it going to come from?

>> if you look at the democratic party , some people will ask the question, well, who is the next barack obama ? it's hard to say. the bench from the democratic side has typically come from congress, from the house, where you run in a district so you don't have that statewide experience. okay then, who are the black candidates who have the same experience as barack obama ? there have only been eight black senators ever, like ever, in american history . so where is the next obama going to come from? it's challenging. you do have the attorney general of california who people are looking at, cory booker .

>> apparently very good looking.

>> we're not allowed to say but is quite good looking. and we do have cory booker , obviously, who will run for the senate in new jersey. it's the lack of immediate in rush of other black candidates who can sort of fill in and be the next barack obama . and then the republican side , there's this other kind of challenge. you have e.w. jackson, the reverend, now the lieutenant gubernatorial candidate in virginia nominated in a small convention by a small number of people but he's pretty far out there. alan west from florida who was seen as extreme, herman cain . there is a challenge on the republ republican side of finding viable candidates who can do for the party when they hope a rubio can do with latinos.

>> what are you most proud of? is.

>> i am proud of my team. i think people here are outstanding. we have just some of the best writers. our editors are fierce and intelligence and they've just really grown. and so just watching that growth and being a part of it has been really great.