Thomas Roberts | December 02, 2013
>>> is hillary clinton president obama 's, quote, natural successor come 2016 ? and then does the republican party really think racism is over? an rnc tweet sparking a lot of controversy this morning. those are the topics for our agenda panel. we have corey dade joining us, molly ball, national political reporter for the atlantic and victoria defrancesco soto, an msnbc and nbc latino contributor. gang, happy monday to you. molly, i want to start with you on this because it was in an interview with democratic mega donor, long time hillary clinton backer, ian saban describing a growing consensus that hillary is obama 's natural successor. he said that he'd pitch in with his full might if she launches a 2016 campaign. is this hillary clinton has already decided and big donors know it or big donors are trying to get her to decide?
>> i think it's the latter. i don't think that even behind the scenes she has made a decision but she has notably not said no, so there is a feel that if she wanted to tamp all this down, she could. she's not doing that. she's clearly at the very least keeping her options open. meanwhile this juggernaut is forming behind her. you have saban, a lot of other big donors getting on board. you've got the super pac that is forming behind her. and so the democrats really want to ensure that when or if she does get in, it is hard to imagine her saying no now, now that all this stuff has been built or that is the hope of the people building it.
>> victoria , people speculate if hillary clinton puts her hat in the ring and then joe biden decides, it puts the president in a tough spot. politico has an article on how the 2016 fever is testing the hillary clinton / obama bond. obama needs the party's attention devoted to helping him salvage the final three years of his administration but democratic donors and activists say the growing anticipation around a possible clinton administration three years out could accelerate the president's arrival at lame duck status. the more obama is viewed as a has been, the harder it could be to rally the party to fight for his agenda. do you agree with that analysis, victoria ?
>> you know, thomas, i think all of this talk about hillary might be a moot point come 2016 . right now she is the candidate to beat. but we don't know what the mood of the american public is going to be in the next three years. a lot of that is going to depend on how we view the trust in government. it's near an all-time low. the pew study showed only 19% of us believe that washington is doing the right thing. so if we come to that spot and americans want someone who knows washington, then we're going to naturally see hillary emerge. if we want another outsider, then hillary is going to fall off so i think it's way too soon to say hillary will be the public's choice.
>> meanwhile we saw the president sit down with barbara walters of abc to talk about trust in the government and recognizing his low poll numbers. take a look.
>> every president in their second term is, you know, mindful that you've only got a limited amount of time left and you want to make sure that you are squeezing every last ounce of energy that you have to try to deliver on the commitments you made to the american people .
>> limited amount of time here, corey . so the president recognizes he only has a little bit of time left before the party does need to ramp up to figure out who could potentially take the white house after him, who is best suited to do that. so how does he maneuver the hillary speculation with his own agenda?
>> i think he's going to stay as far from the hillary speculation as he can, because we have joe biden , the vice president of course, who's considering a run. but he's going to try to keep this democratic coalition together in his party for as long as possible, because when it starts to thin out and members of the democratic party establishment start to pick which candidates they are going to get behind, that means the attention shifts away from the president's agenda and he can't afford that. he has immigration, he still has probably future fixes to obama care that they'll have to deal with. to the extent that he can keep that coalition together as long as possible into 2015 , it not only helps his legacy but it also helps the democratic brand.
>> all right, guys, i want to switch gears to talk about branding and the gop for that matter because the republican efforts to reach out to minorities and enhance their brand hit another snag yesterday. about 10:00 a.m . the republican national committee tweeted a photo of rosa parks marking the 58th anniversary of her refusal to give up her seat on a bus in montgomery, alabama. the caption on that said today we remember rosa parks ' bold stand and her role in ending racism. then about three hours later the rnc clarified saying it should have read today we remember rosa parks ' bold stand and her role in fighting to end racism. this morning the rnc pointed out to us that their statement released by reince priebus says we remember and honor rosa parks today for the role she played in fighting racism and ending segregation. so, molly, this is -- i mean obviously they wanted to be thoughtful in making remarks, but it seems as if they're trying to clean up a little too much over making that thoughtful remark.
>> well, you know, the republicans know and they have said multiple times in things like their autopsy report that they have got to make the party more appealing to minorities, and they are clearly trying. the original tweet was an attempt to show that they are trying. and then they sort of stepped in it. i think it's clear, number one, that they don't know how to talk about race. there's a sort of cluelessness every time they step out into this arena. i think that that's a byproduct of the fact that there's clearly not enough diversity in the republican ranks to have had someone at the controls before that tweet went out who could have spotted that problem and said, hey wait, this doesn't reflect this lovely and constructive statement that we have made, let's make this more nuanced.
>> so that tweet set off a firestorm spawning a #racism ended when. the democratic national campaign committee got in on the tweeting saying racism ended when republicans stopped congress from fixing the voting rights act . so corey , let me ask you, first, is racism over? and if so is the gop branding issue not a problem?
>> you know, maybe it was an honest mistake, but i might create my own new hash tag called #can't get right. i think they can't get race right and the reason they can't is part of their ideology is based on the notion that racism doesn't exist in the proportions that people of color and liberals sort of suggest that it does. so the reason why they have a problem addressing issues important to people of color is because, you know, it is what they do. it is a tiny issue, this tweet, but it really speaks volumes about the fact that they are hamstrung for the next perceptible future.
>> victoria , this goes into -- it has, you know, reaches into all areas of diversity for the gop when they're looking at and they are consciously aware of the fact that they are lacking when it comes to the african-american community, the latino community and lbgt community because they have cornered themselves in on certain positions that aren't palatable to equality.
>> absolutely, thomas. and what we're seeing is not necessarily an end of racism regrettably, we're seeing a different type of racism. we're going from a more explicit type to implicit type. and also because our society has changed where multi ethnic, multi racial society so we're seeing the manifestations of racism and anti-group affect toward lbgt communities, toward foreigners, especially after 9/11, and toward latinos and undocumented people. sadly, it's not an end, it's just a change.
>> gang, we'll leave it there, thanks so much. the root's corey dade, molly ball and victoria defrancesco soto. you can