Meet the Press   |  January 26, 2014

Motive Still Unclear in Mall Shooting

A roundtable talks about the mall shooting in Columbia, Md., the discussion over gun control and the president's upcoming State of the Union speech.

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

>> difference a year makes. this awful incident in columbia. a year ago at the state of the union it was all about gun control. a different story this year.

>> it is. the key word the white house is trying to put out there is opportunity, a word borrowed from the clinton years. it used to be an obsession particularly in the second term of bill clinton . it's interesting "the new york times" this morning previews the state of the union and says it's going to be a modest state of the union which is exactly what the white house fears people will view it as, this is a modest moment. they see it actually as their last state of the union that can have an impact. when you look at the next two, 2015 and 2016 , we're going to be in the middle of a presidential campaign . everybody's going to be looking ahead. they believe this state of the union is their last one to get something done. it is modest as far as what they're going to ask congress to do, but they know this is maybe their last opportunity to have an impact.

>> what do we think? how much persuasive power does he have left?

>> this is like the shot clock, the last one. i think there's been a lot of quiet tension over the last month or two as they plan this between the political hacks very worried about the midterm elections , the president's numbers are very low, harry reid is probably going crazy every day. and then you've got the president thinking it would be nice to have some legacy other than my rather disappointing outcome with obamacare. there are some openings to the republicans, maybe legal status, things like that. i'll be interested to see how they thread the needle. when in doubt, politics will win.

>> i don't think so at all. every single day of his presidency to look forward to. i remember when i was the national chair for the democratic party under clinton and the gore political season going on. and president clinton was working so hard. i know because we were out there and we were with the people. i said to him, don't you ever get tired? because we would go till 3:00, 4:00 in the morning campaigning. he said loretta, i'm going to sleep the day after i leave the presidency.

>> i don't know if that's president obama though.

>> there was work to be done. i still think, when i look at immigration reform which i believe we'll see something happen this year, at least an effort to try to move it forward on the floor, small things, the debt ceiling we've got to get past right now, we've got tax reform . my michigan colleague, the chair of the ways and means , david camp is anxious to do this, bacchus is anxious to do this.

>> let me interject. pure politics here. this is also a chance for him to say this is what democrats are for, you know, income inequality raising the minimum wage. he's going to be thinking about helping democrats.

>> absolutely. he's thinking about the senate midterms which the outcome of those races is far more important than the speech. but just to take issue with the idea, the question is whether does obama still command the stage. you have at least some people in the political world including his own party seem to be moving beyond the obama era. you have this kind of remarkable stampede of it people signing up to be part of the 2016 hillary clinton election campaign and the president has three years left. so the question is, is he still relevant, can he command the stage, can he move