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Special Coverage for the Democratic National Convention - Wednesday, August 27

Read the transcript from the special coverage

KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR:  The policy argument was nailed last night, pitch perfect, logic irrefutable, by Hillary Clinton: Those who would vote for her must vote for Barack Obama.  Tonight, two tasks more essential still for the Democrats, the campaign against Republicans, not so much the joie de vivre as the joie de sarcasme assigned to the would-be vice president who 10 months ago destroyed the then GOP frontrunner with just seven words: A noun, a verb, and 9/11.

And then bigger perhaps than policy, bigger perhaps than demonization, the job of making those who have not already done so fall in love with the Democratic nominee, and that charge is given to merely the most charismatic speaker of a political generation, former president Bill Clinton.  Perhaps it was to him that his wife, the senator, was speaking last night when she asked seemingly rhetorically, Were you in it only for me?

From Denver, Colorado, with Andrea Mitchell, Ann Curry and Savannah Guthrie reporting from the convention floor, special correspondent Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams, chief White House correspondent David Gregory, political director Chuck Todd and Joe Scarborough inside the Pepsi Center, chief Washington correspondent Norah O’Donnell, and the panel, Pat Buchanan, Rachel Maddow, Eugene Robinson and Michelle Bernard.  The insiders—Harold Ford and Mike Murphy, Howard Fineman and Richard Wolf of “Newsweek” at the campaign listening post, and youth issues correspondent Luke Russert.

And among our guests, Senator Tester, Representatives Clyburn and Cummmings, Dee Dee Myers and former president Jimmy Carter.  And as former president bill Clinton speaks and Senator Joe Biden accepts his nomination and the always mysterious process of the roll call grows more labyrinthine still, this is MSNBC’s coverage of the 2008 Democratic national convention.


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Whether you voted for me or you voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose.


OLBERMANN:  Hello and welcome to MSNBC’s coverage of day three and night three of the Democratic convention from Denver live.  And that is no ordinary plane on the tarmac at the airport here.  That is Senator Barack Obama’s plane as he returns to the site of the convention and his acceptance speech tonight on a series of history-making days as an African-American is nominated for president by a major party for the first time in this nation’s history.

Alongside Chris Matthews, I’m Keith Olbermann.  And great state of confusion casts 60 votes for—what is going on with the roll call?


CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Well, it’s going to happen and we’re going to see, I think, a bit of a reprise of the good old days, when they used to have conventions to pick nominees.  And it’s going to be kind of like a re-enactment from the Civil War, you know, one of those things?


MATTHEWS:  They’re all wearing the uniforms, but nobody’s getting shot.  It won’t be a real vote.  It will be a bit of opera.  There’ll be a moment of great sentiment as Senator Clinton challenges Barack Obama in what looks like a real fight to the finish.  And then Hillary Clinton will, we’re told, step in in the fight and do something that’s often done at these conventions, ask for a vote of acclamation to support unanimously the nominee of the party, Barack Obama.  It should be a dramatic moment, and I think it’s coming on fairly soon.

OLBERMANN:  And it sounds so logical, as if it were the only possible conclusion.  But the amount of negotiation that went into what you describe...


OLBERMANN:  ... could have solved any world conflict in history, I expect.

MATTHEWS:  And there will be somebody out there with some sort of animal on their head or some sort of statement that will not cheer yes.  Someone will say—I don’t know whether Nancy Pelosi, the chairwoman, will say, And are there any nays, or will they just muffle that one?  But you think there’s got to be some hold-out out there somewhere.

OLBERMANN:  Well, we know...

MATTHEWS:  Perhaps Ed Rendell, (inaudible) Ed Rendell, the governor of Pennsylvania.

OLBERMANN:  He’d be the betting favorite.  But I mean, we already know from today, when Senator Clinton addressed many of the delegates...


OLBERMANN:  ... and said, I am releasing you without instructions, there were moans that when she said she would be voting for Barack Obama personally...


OLBERMANN:  ... there were moans from her supporters so that—I mean, maybe the civil war is the apt analogy.  I hope you’re right about it being merely a reenactment.

MATTHEWS:  Well, how many movies have been made about the guy who didn’t quit at Appomattox, you know, the guy who held onto his rebel uniform?  I think there’s some of that out here.  But that said—this is, a developing story, as one of the old boys would say.  And I think that we’re a lot further along in terms of this party being united than it was the day that Hillary was in the Building Museum in Washington, much further along in her moment last night.

I thought she was spectacular.  She looked like a president, of course.  Could have been the nominee, but most importantly, the leader of the party in many ways, more than Barack.  She was the leader of the party saying, OK, he’s our nominee.  I’ve been around before, I’ll be around again.  This year, he’s our nominee.  Let’s win.


MATTHEWS:  Very effective.

OLBERMANN:  And that rhetorical question, as I suggested at the beginning of our hour here, that that was addressed to many of her supporters, Were you in it just for me?  It may have also been a sort of indirect message to President Clinton sitting there in the stands, Remember what we all have to do tonight.

MATTHEWS:  That is again—you’ve opened up the can of worms.  President Bill Clinton is always fascinating to watch.  Darrell Hammond, you know?  It’s a comic, almost cartoon notion of a face that tells you so much, that’s trying to hide something, but yet always up to something, always a bit of the child in there, something a little bit mischievous, something about self-regard and appetite, something always interesting going on.

OLBERMANN:  You could put him on TV for 60 minutes just reacting and people would watch.

MATTHEWS:  Right.  It would be like “Chelsea Girls,” with Andy Warhol.


MATTHEWS:  Just watch the face, you know, for a couple of hours.  Anyway, for more on that nominating process and the political vote, what’s going to look like, let’s check in with NBC News political director Chuck Todd.

CHUCK TODD, NBC POLITICAL DIRECTOR:  Well, friends, this is my favorite part of every convention because I love the roll call.  This is when you do find out who are the holdouts.  This is when you do find out, what are the true target states.  What’s that one state that they hope to steal because they want to put it in the spotlight at an important time.  There used to be a lot of strategy around the roll call, even when it didn’t actually decide anything.  So this is a fun night.

And for us, it’s going to be a sort of a trip down memory lane of primary nights past.  I mean, we were all together every Tuesday, it seemed like, from January 3 to June 3.  It was a six-month-long Bataan primary death march some days.  But it was just going to be this trip down memory lane, where we’re going to remember that’s when Obama took the delegate lead, and then when we’ll hear stuff like Louisiana, when he ended up putting it away in February, and then the discovery by the Clinton campaign that they didn’t know Texas had a caucus.  So the whole night tonight, when we see the roll call, it’ll be a good, fun trip on how we spent every Tuesday for six straight months.

MATTHEWS:  Well, is there any problem lurking out there tonight?  Is there a possibility that Hillary Clinton will not be able to control her troops?

TODD:  I don’t think so.  I’d be surprised.  Look, I’ll say this.  I would be worried about two moments tonight as far as booing is concerned.  I think number one is when or if Hillary Clinton makes the case to say, I would like to nominate Obama by acclamation.  You might hear some boos by her troops.

And then I’m a little concerned—I know that the Clinton folks are concerned that the president, President Bill Clinton, could get booed when he comes out.  I doubt it.  It’s unlikely, but there is a nervousness among some of Bill Clinton’s closest confidants that he could get booed.  Don’t forget, over half these delegates—we saw Bill Clinton’s favorable ratings rise dramatically among Democrats from January of ‘08 until June of ‘08.

OLBERMANN:  Well, that—perhaps you’re right on that, Chuck, and perhaps they’re right to worry about it.  My suspicion is you boo the guy you really dislike or hate, you don’t boo the guy who disappointed you.  You give him another chance usually.  But it’s—conventions are strange animals, obviously.  This one hasn’t even been that strange.  But give us a little of the mechanics, the nuts and bolts of what we’re going to be expecting in the next hour, hour-and-a-half, in terms of the roll call and where we are right now.  The roll call started in the hotel?

TODD:  Well, some of it did.  I mean, look, the Obama people already have the tally sheets in their hands.  What we’ll see here is a public airing of what the vote is.  The first thing we’re going to see is the nominating speeches.  Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are going to have their names placed in nomination.  There will be nominating speeches and seconding speeches for both of them.  And then we’ll start the roll call.

And some of the states I think you’re going to see favored are states that Hillary Clinton did well with.  There’s going to be some states skipped, including Illinois.  And there is a potential expectation that Illinois is the state used to either put Obama over the top or some sort of motion or choreography between New York and Senator Clinton and Illinois.

The other thing we should be on the lookout for—you showed the plane coming in with Barack Obama.  I have a feeling we may see Barack Obama when this roll call is completed in whatever form it ends up being completed in.

OLBERMANN:  Well, we’re seeing the video of his arrival right now as you say that.  But here’s the other person to watch during that roll call.  Is that expectation actually going to be pulled off?  Is Hillary Clinton herself going to be the one who makes the call for nomination by acclamation?

TODD:  Well, that has been the reporting of Andrea Mitchell and that’s been what we’ve been hearing and rumors.  And we’ll see.  If that’s the case, obviously, she probably feels very good after her speech last night, triumphant in many ways.  So it’s very possible that she will do that so that she can say, I’m casting my vote for Barack Obama, as well.

OLBERMANN:  All right.  Chuck Todd at the Pepsi Center in our first update from him, our political director.  Thank you, Chuck.

Let’s go back inside the convention, the convention floor, in fact, and David Gregory, who has more on this roll call and also more on what we’ll see from President Bill Clinton later on—David.

DAVID GREGORY, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, hi.  For the first time, Keith, let me add to our reporting on what we’ll expect here as this afternoon and evening wears on.  I have heard from Obama advisers, as well, that Senator Clinton is expected to be the one to call off the roll call so that there can be a move to nominate Barack Obama by acclamation, by unanimous consent.  So we look for that.

The Obama advisers—these are the choreographers, don’t forget, of this event—want some dramatic built in and they’re very much hoping that there’s some drama that’s pulled off.  Chuck made allusion to the idea that we might see Senator Obama, as well as Senator Clinton.  So this is a big part of the unity theme that we’re going to see more of as the day rolls on.

A little bit about President Clinton, a couple of things that I’ve heard today.  One is that he personally wrote this speech.  We know Hillary Clinton was very involved in writing her address last night.  I’ve been told he personally wrote the speech.  He also directly dealt Barack Obama on some of the content.  Theme tonight, national security, as we all know.  The former president told Senator Obama, Look, I’ve got to talk about the economy.  It’s something that has to be part of this speech.  That negotiation went on and the former president was apparently successful.  He made an allusion to it, I’m told, in a meeting with some of Senator Clinton’s finance people by saying that, We cannot address national security concerns, America’s place in the world, without addressing how people feel, how secure they feel economically here at home.  So I think that’s the linkage that he’s going to make tonight.

One of the questions has to do with to what extent Bill Clinton, A, communicates whether he’s there emotionally and intellectually in terms of supporting Barack Obama, B, whether his emphasis is on why Democrats should win and what the stakes are for Democrats, or whether he more personally vouches for Barack Obama.

I had (INAUDIBLE) I had Chris in mind, knowing what a lover of the arts he was earlier—do you remember on the stage show, the musical “The King and I,” when Yul Brynner comes out and he’s in character for his curtain call until the very end, when he throws his arms up into the air and gives a big smile.  I was wondering today whether we might get some kind of moment like that from Bill Clinton, where there’s a bit of a catharsis and he sort of lets loose and really supports Barack Obama in a more fulsome way.

MATTHEWS:  (INAUDIBLE) right now (INAUDIBLE) the way in which the Bill Clinton speech has been vetted or met with by the—what kind of reception has the draft gotten from the Obama folk?

GREGORY:  Well, I spoke to somebody late this afternoon who had not personally seen it, who thought there may be some coordination, but they didn’t necessarily expect that the draft would be gone through by Obama advisers.  But we do know from our reporting last night that the Obama team knew about Hillary Clinton’s speech.  So there has to be some level of coordination.  The detail about that I don’t think we know for sure yet.

MATTHEWS:  The reason I’m concerned is because Mark Penn, who was a bit of a bete noir of the Obama people, apparently is having a strong hand in the drafting of the former president’s remarks tonight.  And that must be a cause for some, well, anticipation on the part of the Barack folks.

GREGORY:  Oh, I think it is because I think a lot of that nervousness and some of the consternation has been at that staff level, where they recognize—we’re talking about it today.  The last time that former president Clinton made some remarks about Barack Obama, he said, you know, I don’t know that you can say anybody’s really ready to be president.  Is that the kind of, you know, speech he’s going to give tonight, or it going to be much more fulsome in its support?

So that is a level of concern.  But what I keep hearing from the highest levels of the Obama campaign is that Barack Obama himself and the former president have been talking, negotiating—I alluded to the content of the speech tonight—and that they’re OK.  Whether that translates, then, to what come across on television and on the convention floor, that’s what we’re all waiting for.

OLBERMANN:  All right.  The nominating speeches coming up.  Senator Obama has selected a—thanks to David Gregory on the floor.  Senator Obama is going to be nominated by a Republican veteran from Iraq, a medic.  And that shouldn’t be a surprise, as every possibility, every second of political advantage that can be taken under these circumstances is.  Not an insult, just an observation.

Our special correspondent, Tom Brokaw, has made his way from our location here inside the convention center with thoughts on the roll call process again and the rest of the afternoon and the evening—Tom.

TOM BROKAW, NBC SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT:  Well, Keith, one of the things I’ve been trying to wrack my brain—I heard Chris say earlier all those movies about the last man at Appomattox, and I’m trying to remember all those movies, the titles and the characters that were involved in them.

Look, the roll call process is, at this point, kind of an afterthought.  It’s not going to derail this convention.  Both the Clinton people and the Obama people know that they want to continue what has been up to this moment a very skillfully crafted piece of theater, concluding last night with the speech by Hillary Clinton.

And Bill Clinton is not about to go off the rails on this tonight, whoever is helping him with that speech because he knows that his own personal and political future is at stake.  And so why would he want to come in and rain on the parade that his wife had going in the convention hall last night?  It’s just not going to happen.  If he’s going to do anything, he’s going to try top her, in my judgment, with what he has to say about Barack Obama and the importance of getting him elected as president of the United States.

Both campaigns are working behind the scenes in a pretty agreeable fashion at this point to work it out so that they continue to produce what effectively is an air-tight portrait of a unified Democratic Party, and especially on the night before Senator Obama himself will take stage in that dramatic outdoor setting with 70,000 people in the stadium itself and an untold number of millions looking in on him.

So I think, at this point, we have the choreography pretty skillfully in place.  Now, Chris, what were all those movies about the last guy at Appomattox?

MATTHEWS:  Well, my favorite was “The Searchers,” John Ford’s movie, where John Wayne—he once said, I wasn’t at Appomattox.  He was still fighting the war.

BROKAW:  And what about the others?  There are lots of them, or just that one?

MATTHEWS:  There’s millions of them.  Millions.  I can’t recount them at this time.


MATTHEWS:  Tom, let me ask you about something to look to in the future, the idea of Bill Clinton as a campaigner between now and November for Barack.  I would think that they must be thinking of how exciting and how winning it might be to have Barack and Bill Clinton campaign together through some of these more difficult bits of territory, going out to northern Pennsylvania, going to West Virginia, going to Ohio, campaigning together as almost buddies.  And I must think—they must be thinking how that would be so helpful, where Barack doesn’t have the natural appeal.

BROKAW:  Well, I think you’re absolutely right, Chris.  But it’s a two-step that has to be designed with great care because Barack Obama has to present himself as the new prospective commander-in-chief, as the new chief executive of the United States, as the man in charge.  And as you and I both know very well, a deferential role is not one that Bill Clinton enjoys playing, nor should he because he’s the former president of the United States, elected to two terms.  So that will all have to be worked out with great care.

There are other places that Bill Clinton can go on his own without Barack Obama at his side and do him a lot of good, as well, in Pennsylvania and Indiana, and especially in those working class areas, and in the mid-South, where he still has real standing.

OLBERMANN:  Tom, one more thing before we get out to Nancy Pelosi speaking from the podium.  The one thing that people noted was not in Senator Clinton’s speech last night would have been any kind of emotional appeal.  It probably wouldn’t have been plausible for her to say her buddy, Barack Obama, vote for him.  Do we expect something more personal and emotional from President Clinton tonight in trying to stir up some, for want of a better word, love for the candidate?

BROKAW:  Hard to know.  Somebody raised that with me last night.  I said tonally, I thought that she struck the chord that everyone should have expected from her.  I thought it was well written.  I thought it was skillfully delivered.  She said the right things.  I thought that there was that one paragraph that was so well constructed, in which she said, Were you in this campaign for me, or were you in this campaign for the issues that I have just recited?  If you’re in the campaign for those issues, then you’ve got to support Barack Obama.

That was very skillfully constructed to say to her supporters, look, this is larger than just Barack Obama, than me.  It is about the future of the country.  My guess is that that theme will be played in a slightly different way tonight by Bill Clinton, but, again, with that same emphasis. 

I think it is pretty hard for him to say now, my old buddy Barack Obama, given what they have been through for the last 18 months. 

OLBERMANN:  Well, to—to our—to Tom Brokaw, our thanks.

To the tune of come together, here’s Nancy Pelosi. 


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  ... candidate for the office of president, pursuant to the rules of the convention.  Two candidates have qualified to have their names placed in nomination.  Nominating and seconding speeches will be made on behalf of each candidate. 

Once nominations have closed, the convention shall proceed to a roll call vote by the states. 

The first candidate to be nominated tonight will be Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York. 


PELOSI:  Fellow Democrats, delegates and friends, buenos dias.  We’re now going to hear from Dolores Huerta to make the nominating speech. 

Dolores Huerta.


DOLORES HUERTA, HILLARY CLINTON DELEGATE/LABOR ACTIVIST:  Fellow Democrats, delegates and friends, buenos tardes. 

I am Dolores Huerta from the great state of California...


HUERTA:  ... and the fruit basket of our United States of America, the San Joaquin Valley, and, yes, the great city of Bakersfield. 

I am a proud mother of 11, a grandmother of 14, and a great-grandmother of five.  I am an advocate for working families and immigrants.  And I’m a passionate supporter of Hillary Clinton. 

I am so honored to be here today, representing the diversity of our Democratic Party and the coalition of 18 million people of all walks of life and all backgrounds that stood with Hillary and never gave up. 


HUERTA:  This primary season, the Hispanic community participated in historic number.  And Hispanics will be a pivotal voice in a vote in the election—in the election of our next president.  We Hispanics have made history this year.  And it is only the beginning. 


HUERTA:  Now I want to say a few words in Spanish.  (SPEAKING SPANISH)

I am a fourth-generation American from New Mexico. 


HUERTA:  My father, Juan Fernandez (ph), was a field worker, a miner.  He was a union man, an assemblyman. 

My mother, Alicia Chavez (ph), was a feminist and a small-business owner.  My parents instilled in me that hard work and determination was what we needed to be able to succeed, and, also, that we need to also put our neighbors before ourselves. 

Hillary’s values are the values of my family and the values of our community.  When Tucker Chavez (ph) and I organized farm workers and immigrants 40 years ago, it was not easy, but we persevered, and we made progress. 

We believe those who do backbreaking work for low wages, often in a dangerous workplace, they deserve a champion, someone who will fight for them.  That’s why I love and respect Hillary Clinton. 


HUERTA:  She has stood with hardworking people all of her life.  And she knows how important it is to keep fighting and to keep going.  For many in America, working families are invisible.  For Hillary Clinton, no American is invisible. 


HUERTA:  I stand with Hillary, as she stands with Barack Obama to take our country back!


HUERTA:  And now, Mrs. Chairman, on behalf of all women and all working families, I have the great honor to nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton, my friend, our champion, to be for the presidency of the United States of America. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Jordan Apollo Pazell, one of the youngest delegates and from Colorado, to second the nomination. 



Fellow Democrats, delegates and friends, my name is Apollo Pazell.  And I represent the great state of Utah. 


PAZELL:  I am a proud son, grandson and great grandson, a proud representative of the 723 votes of the great mining town of Copperton, a proud Democrat, and a proud supporter of Hillary Clinton. 


PAZELL:  I am equally proud to be here as the third youngest delegate and a representative of the many young voters who were galvanized to action by Hillary Clinton. 


PAZELL:  I will here because my great-grandmother, Katherine (ph), is a breast cancer survivor who lost her coverage when her husband died last year. 

She is 89 years old and is currently living at home with hospice care, because she cannot afford assisted living facilities on Medicare. 

OLBERMANN:  We are going to continue our coverage of the nominating process and this roll call vote in a moment.

But, on the floor of the Pepsi Center, our correspondent Savannah Guthrie is standing by with Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia.

So, during the seconding, let’s go out to Savannah. 

Hi, Keith. 

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, I found Tim Kaine sitting among the delegates here in Virginia, had a seat next to him. 

First of all, what do you know about the mechanics of this roll call vote? 

GOV. TIM KAINE (D), VIRGINIA:  Savannah, I really haven’t been breached briefed about it.  So—but my—the folks in my delegation are about to give me the drill.  I just got the call earlier today and say, I think we’re going to do the roll call a little earlier, so come on over. 

GUTHRIE:  And, so, if there is a vote by acclamation, since this is an alphabetical process, there’s a chance Virginians may not get to cast their votes.  Do you think your delegates will be OK with that? 

KAINE:  Oh, I—I think so. 

We—we are strongly behind the nomination of Barack Obama as the nominee.  And, with Senator Clinton’s strong message of support for Barack last night, which was very, very strong and very appreciated, we know how this is going to go. 

GUTHRIE:  Are you worried at all about a donnybrook breaking out on the convention floor... 


GUTHRIE:  ... or protests or anything like that?

KAINE:  I’m not worried about it.  I think—I have always thought that would be a little bit overblown.  And Democrats have a way of getting on board and rowing the right way.  We have got to make change in the direction of this country.  And the only way we will be able to do it is if we’re unified.

GUTHRIE:  Well, we have had two nights of the convention, two down to go.  Do you feel the Democrats have been tough enough on John McCain?  Are you satisfied with the tone here? 

KAINE:  I have been satisfied so far.  There’s obviously much more to come.  There was some really strong points in both Mark’s—Mark Warner’s speech last night.  Brian Schweitzer, I think, did a marvelous job.  Senator Clinton really laid out the differences in stark terms.  And I think that will continue tonight and tomorrow. 

GUTHRIE:  I know you’re close to Senator Obama.  Have you talked to him recently, talked to him about his speech tomorrow? 

KAINE:  Not about the speech. 

I mean, he and I have talked recently, but actually not about the speech.  I—I feel very good about—he is in a good place right now.  This is a tough race, but he has got the underdog mentality.  He always has. And in a state like Virginia, which hasn’t been in play for so very long, to be dead-even in the polls right now, is really a remarkable thing.  And it gives us every reason to be real optimistic about November.

GUTHRIE:  And I have said it before.  That’s why we have such a prime seat right here...

KAINE:  Yes. 

GUTHRIE:  ... Virginia really in play.

Why do think that is?  It hasn’t gone blue since, when, LBJ?

KAINE:  Yes, LBJ in ‘64.

Look, we’re close to Washington.  So, we get to see it up close and personal.  And we haven’t liked the last eight years.  The last eight years has been bad for the economy and bad for our national security standing in the world.  And we know we need a change. 

And we have had the fortune of having some pretty good Democratic leaders in Virginia.  I count myself among them, but Mark Warner, Jim Webb.  We have taken the state Senate back.  And you know what?  And then we produce.  We have been named the most business-friendly state in America three years in a row by “Forbes,” most—best governed state in America by “Governing” magazine earlier this year, best state for a child to be born to have a successful life by “Education Week.”

Virginians look at what Democratic leadership brings, and they say, we like what we see.  Give us more results.  That’s what Democrats do.  That is what Barack will do.  And that’s why his candidacy is getting such strong support. 

GUTHRIE:  OK, Governor Tim Kaine, thank you for your time.

KAINE:  All right. 

GUTHRIE:  Keith and Chris, back to you. 

OLBERMANN:  Thank you, Governor.

And, thank you, Savannah Guthrie.

And we will be going now back up to the podium with Speaker Pelosi, as we continue this process by the—the nomination, of course, of Senator Obama.

Here again is Speaker Pelosi. 


PELOSI:  The next candidate to be nominated this evening for president of the United States is Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Please welcome Michael Wilson from Florida, an Air Force medic who served in Iraq, to present the nominating speech. 


And, as a small town Tennessee guy and a registered Republican, I can’t tell you what an honor it is to be here today to nominate Barack Obama...


WILSON:  ... to nominate Barack Obama as the next president of the United States!


WILSON:  The town I grew up in is one of those places with two stoplights, you know, one church, a McDonald’s, and about 600 families who are proud to call it home. 

I first left when I joined the Air Force and served for eight years as a medic, much as my dad did in the Army and my grandfather before him during World War II. 

During my time in the Air Force, I served with the 387th Air Expeditionary Group in northern Iraq, in Kirkuk, where we did our best to treat our comrades who had been wounded by suicide bombs, mortars, IEDs. 

One night, we got a call that a helicopter was bringing in a team of five guys who had been hit by a suicide bomber.  The guy I was working on, all he would ask me was: “Where are my other guys?  Are they OK?”

As a medic, you just looked him in the eye and tell them, let’s get you taken care of first, and we will talk about your buddies later. 

We were able to save two of them.  Three others died. 

I have seen war up close, not as a political slogan or some think tank theory.  I support Barack Obama because America needs a president who has the strength, the wisdom and courage to talk to our enemies and consult with our allies...


WILSON:  ... a president who has the judgment to use war not as a last resort—as a last resort, not as a first resort, a president who can adapt to new situations as things change, instead of being stuck in the past, and a president who will respect our veterans when they get back home, instead of letting them languish without the medical care and services they deserve. 


WILSON:  You know, there is an old saying.  If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got.  America needs new leadership in the White House. 

And that leader is Barack Obama. 


WILSON:  Ladies and gentlemen, it is my distinct honor, as an Iraq war veteran, as a lifelong Republican, and as a proud citizen of this great democracy, to nominate the next president of the United States of America, Barack Obama!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Ladies and gentlemen, to second the nomination, please welcome Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado. 



My fellow Coloradans, my fellow Americans, welcome to our great state of Colorado!


SALAZAR:  Welcome to the West.  Welcome to the West, where we’re building the new Democratic majority. 


SALAZAR:  Over four centuries ago, before the Pilgrims and the Puritans, before Jamestown at Plymouth, my ancestors came to this land and founded the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  They named it Santa Fe, the city of holy faith, because they knew that only faith could secure a brighter future for themselves and for their children. 

For five generations, my family has farmed the same land in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, 250 miles from here.  Together, my parents raised eight children on our farm.  We were poor, but rich in spirit.  And all eight of us became first-generation college graduates. 


SALAZAR:  My parents gave to us the covenant of America, the covenant that binds us together as one nation, that, no matter who you are, no matter where you’re from, anything is possible in our America. 


SALAZAR:  Just 500 miles southeast of here, in El Dorado, Kansas, another mother instilled that same dream in her son, Barack Obama. 


SALAZAR:  Barack Obama’s grandfather defended that dream as a soldier in General Patton’s Army.  Barack Obama’s father followed that dream to an America of freedom and opportunity. 

For Barack Obama, that dream runs deep in his soul. 


SALAZAR:  But for the last eight years, for the last eight years, under the failed policies of George Bush, the American dream has been slipping away. 

For too many American families, no matter how hard you work, how hard you try, you just can’t get ahead.  The White House has turned its back on you.  The rural America I know is an America that has become the forgotten America.  We can’t afford more of the same.  We can’t afford four more years of letting the American dream fade. 

We can’t afford four more years of forgetting the middle class.  We can’t afford four more years of George Bush policies continued with John McCain for four more years. 


SALAZAR:  The time has come for a president who has lived the American dream, who is on our side, a president who will cut our dependence on foreign oil and lead us into the new energy frontier, a president who will make us stronger and safer as Americans, a president who will make health care available to every American...


SALAZAR:  ... a president who will make sure that, no matter who you are, no matter where you’re from, if you work hard, you, too, can live the American dream. 

That is the president that Barack Obama will be. 


SALAZAR:  That is why I am proudly seconding the nomination of Barack Obama as the next president of the United States of America!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida to second the nomination. 


REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D), FLORIDA:  For more than 15 years, I have been proud to serve the people of South Florida, represented here today in a fully seated Florida delegation!


WASSERMAN SCHULTZ:  Like so many Americans, like all Democrats, including all of us who campaigned for Hillary Clinton, whose campaign I was proud to co-chair, I know what is at stake in this election. 

So, don’t be fooled by any political ad from John McCain.  No matter where we stood at the beginning of this campaign, Democrats stand together today. 


WASSERMAN SCHULTZ:  We believe passionately in Barack Obama’s message of changing the direction of our country.  We support enthusiastically his plans to restore the American dream for American families.  And we stand united, proudly in our determination to elect Barack Obama.  And so I second the nomination as the next president of the United States of America. 

OLBERMANN:  A significant symbolic sign of solidarity here among the camps.  We’re going to take, while we have the opportunity, before the roll call actually starts, a quick break.  Our coverage of the nominating process at the Democratic National Convention continues live from Denver after this.


OLBERMANN:  Still, about three, four minutes away from the actual roll call in the nominating process, something of a performance art piece.  We’re seeing Congressman Davis of Alabama, Artur Davis, coming up to give the second of the seconds for Senator Obama.  And as that goes on, until the speaker comes back to begin the roll call process, let’s go back to the floor.  Correspondent Savannah Guthrie standing by with Senator Schumer of New York.  Savannah? 

GUTHRIE:  Senator Schumer and I are in the place to be with the New York delegation.  It’s a mob seen here.  Everybody wondering is Hillary Clinton going to come out and ask for everyone to support Obama. 

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK:  Well, Hillary has already asked our delegation to support Obama, and I think it will be close to universal.  We’re the delegation most pro-Hillary.  It shows you the unity.  We’re hopeful and we believe she will come down here when the roll call is done. 

GUTHRIE:  Thank you very much.  I know you’re being called backstage.  Thank you for your time.  Keith and Chris, back to you. 

OLBERMANN:  Savannah, thank you.  I think that might have given it away.  Thank you, Savannah Guthrie.  That might have given you some indication. 

MATTHEWS:  I like he said almost unanimous. 

OLBERMANN:  Almost universal, better than unanimous. 

MATTHEWS:  He is covering the possibility that there will be some hold-outs.  Interesting. 

OLBERMANN:  Given the nature of this nominating process, which began in our youths, as I recall, I guess that’s a good thing to do, to keep that possibility. 

MATTHEWS:  A little spontaneity, a little rough at the edges here. 

OLBERMANN:  Somebody still holding out in the jungles somewhere, as it were. 

MATTHEWS:  Some cowboy that refuses to accept Appomattox somewhere.

OLBERMANN:  We’ll drop that completely.  Let’s listen in again to the end of Congressman Davis’s second second. 

REP. ARTUR DAVID (D), ALABAMA:  -- ready to take action together.  And ladies and gentlemen, this is the cause for which we stand, an American president named Barack Obama who will lead and inspire the free world.  An American president named Barack Obama who will stand for the rule of law, who will remember that torture is the way of the people who hate us and not our way.  An American president name Barack Obama who will affirm that terrorism can never win unless it warps us and makes us forget who we are and what we are. 

Ladies and gentlemen, 20 years ago, I watched the Democratic convention on a little TV in a tiny motel room in Montgomery, Alabama.  My mother and grandmother and I were forced to live in that room for three weeks because our home had been foreclosed.  The fact that I could go from a foreclosure, and watching this convention on a tiny hotel room, to standing before you and the nation 20 years later, nominating the next president of the United States tells you very little about me, but tells us everything that is right about my country. 

My fellow Democrats, my fellow Americans, I have never seen a moment like this.  I have never seen a sense of urgency like this.  I’m 40 years old and I’ve never seen my country as energized as this.  As our next president has said, from the places in America where people hurt to the places where people dream, our time is now.  Our time is now.  May god bless you, ladies and gentlemen. 

OLBERMANN:  We should be seeing the speaker and the start of the roll call.  Here we are. 

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  -- the nomination for our presidential candidates.  We will now proceed to the roll call of the states to nominate the Democratic party’s candidate for the 44th president of the United States.  Following the roll call, all tally sheets will be collected and all delegate votes will be counted. 

Please welcome Democratic National Convention secretary Alice Travis Germond.  I will now ask our convention secretary to call the roll of the states. 

ALICE TRAVIS GERMOND, DNC SECRETARY:  Thank you, Speaker Pelosi and thank you.  Now, according to the rules, past and now—according to the rules, passed by this convention, following the nominating speeches for president, we proceed immediately to the roll call.  The roll call shall continue until we have a nominee whom I believe will be our next president. 

It is now my honor to begin with the great state of Alabama.  Alabama, you have 60 votes.  How do you cast them? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you Madam Secretary.  The great state of Alabama, one of the most diverse delegations in this hall, a state that is ready to cast the first votes of this convention for the next president of the United States. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The great state of Alabama cast 48 votes for Barack Obama. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Madame secretary, the great state of Alabama casts five votes for Senator Hillary Clinton. 

GERMOND:  Thank you, Alabama.  Alabama cast 48 votes for Senator Obama and five for Senator Clinton.  The next state is Alaska.  You have 18 votes. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Thank you madam secretary.  The great battleground state of Alaska, the frontier state that’s turning blue up and down the ticket—we will be electing Ethan Berkowitz as our next US representative and Mark Begich as our next US Senator.  They will bring you real Alaska energy to Congress.  We proudly cast three votes for the brilliant stateswoman who put those 18 cracks in the ceiling—three votes for Hillary Clinton. 

And we proudly cast 15 votes for the next president of the United States, Barack Obama. 

GERMOND:  Alaska.  Alaska casts 15 --

OLBERMANN:  Chuck Todd, 18 cracks.  I believe that was 18 million cracks.  If counting becomes a problem in this thing, what happened to the other votes in Alabama?  Sixty votes?  They only cast 53? 

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR:  What happened was that means seven people decided to cast votes for somebody else, perhaps John Edwards, perhaps somebody else.  They get counted as present because all that got nominated were Obama and Clinton.  Any additional votes that don’t go to those two go into a third column of present.  Sometimes, you’ll find later in the tally sheet, you know, in Alabama, maybe George Wallace Jr. got a vote.  Or maybe some elder statesman of the party got a vote as a way to say, here, congratulations Haley Smith (ph).  You got a vote at the Democratic convention. 

Sometimes it’s used as a reward for good work in the party. 

OLBERMANN:  Let’s listen to the rest from American Samoa. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  -- armed forces of our nation, and many of her military veterans who fought and died in defense of our nation throughout the world.  Madam secretary, American Samoa proudly casts her nine precious votes and also pays a special tribute to her closest neighboring state, a true friend to our Samoan people, the 50th state, the Aloha state, Hawaii, for producing and nurtured her native born son soon to be the next president of the United States, Barack Obama. 

GERMOND:  Thank you, American Samoa.  American Samoa casts all nine votes for Senator Obama.  Arizona.  Arizona, you have 67 votes.  How do you cast them? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Madame chair, Arizona, the land of endless blue skies—and we’re also turning blue—and on behalf of our great Governor Janet Napolitano, our great attorney general Terry Goddard and the great tribal president of the Navajo Tribe, Joe Shirley, we proudly cast 40 votes for Senator Barack Obama, 27 votes for Senator Hillary Clinton. 

GERMOND:  Thank you, Arizona.  Arizona casts 40 votes for Senator Obama and 27 votes for Senator Clinton.  Arkansas.  Arkansas, you have 47 votes. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  This is Rebecca Gwatney on behalf of the great state of Arkansas, the adopted home of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, a state that provided her with her largest margin, 70 percent in the 2008 Democratic primary.  A state with an admiration for the Clintons that is unmatched throughout this country.  I am proud tonight to follow Senator Clinton’s call for unity and unite behind Senator Barack Obama and elect him the next president of the United States. 

OLBERMANN:  Chuck Todd.  You want to say who that was, why she’s so important in this process? 

TODD:  That was the widow, I believe, of the state chair. 


TODD:  Who got shot a couple weeks ago.  Very sad for Arkansas Democrats.  You heard Hillary Clinton last night, Keith, bring him up Bill Gwatney.  California should be interesting.  This is where we’ve heard the most clashes about Hillary Clinton supporters not wanting to give up their votes.  Be curious to see if Obama ends up with more out of California.  He didn’t during the primaries, but he’s been getting a lot more vote as these have come along. 

OLBERMANN:  Let’s listen to the chairwoman. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:    -- home to a magnificent environment, home to the world’s greatest agricultural, high tech and entertainment community, and home to the brave fire fighters and service members who keep us safe will proudly cast its vote today. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  California passes. 

GERMOND:  Thank you, Chairman Torrez, California passes? 

Colorado.  Thank you Colorado—

TODD:  Looks like California didn’t want to create any of their kurfuffle.  There might be a decision here that any state where Clinton was going to get more votes is going to skip.  I’ll be curious to see if there’s a pattern to this. 

OLBERMANN:  That might be your compromise, Chuck. 

TODD:  We’re told to keep a quick eye, by the way, Olbermann, when we get to the I’s.  Illinois may make a motion to skip ahead to New York.  The drama is building pretty soon.  We are about five minutes from the big moment, maybe. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  -- casts 55 votes for the next president of the United States, Barack Obama, and 15 votes for Senator Hillary Clinton. 

GERMOND:  Thank you madam chairwoman.  Colorado has 55 votes for Senator Obama and 15 votes for Senator Clinton.  Connecticut.  Connecticut, you have 60 votes, how do you cast them? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Good evening madam secretary.  Connecticut, the state which has the first written constitution in North America, thus nicknamed the Constitution State, and the home of the fiercest defender of our constitution, U.S. Senator Christopher J. Dodd, proudly cast 38 votes for Senator Barack Obama and 21 votes for Senator Hillary Clinton. 

GERMOND:  Thank you, Connecticut.  Connecticut proudly casts 38 votes for Senator Obama and 21 votes for Senator Clinton.  The next state is Delaware.  Congratulations, Delaware.  Delaware, you have 23 votes. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Madam secretary, Delaware, the first state in the United States and now the home of the vice president of the United States, casts its vote unanimously and with great pride for the next president of the United States, Barack Obama. 

OLBERMANN:  Let’s see what Florida does, Chuck. 

GERMOND:  Delaware casts 23 votes for Senator Obama. 

TODD:  For folks watching, Alice Germond is the wife of long time legendary political reporter Jack Germond. 

GERMOND:  Democrats abroad, Democrats throughout the world, you have 11 votes.  How do you cast them? 

OLBERMANN:  Fittingly, they are sitting in the back somewhere. 

TODD:  Remember, these were the half votes, Keith.  All of those .5s that drove our boy Sheldon Gaweizer (ph) crazy when he would try to come up with what the delegate number actually was.  Shelly, it’s almost over.

8/27 MSNBC 1800 HOUR


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And we vote in every state across America.  We look to our Democratic leadership to engage with the world because we are stronger when we work together. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You know, the Democrats actually did hold primaries in South America, in Asia, in Europe.  It was really bizarre.  They did a lot of it online.  It was a very frustrating thing to figure out. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And we are proud to cast 8.5 votes for the next president of the United States, Barack Obama. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  There are those cast votes.  Let’s see how we handle it on our ticker. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They’re way too excited about that half-vote count. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You know, it’s the difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.  The Republican Party brings in rounding.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  District of Columbia—District of Columbia, you have 40 votes.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR:  You know, the last time that either party had a roll call that held true suspense was in 1956, when the candidate for president, Adlai Stevenson, said, I don’t want to pick a vice president running mate.  It’s too difficult, politically.  So let’s throw it open to the floor.  And John F. Kennedy lost a very close race for president one afternoon in Chicago, in an actual roll call, when there was suspense. 

And when you listened to it on the radio, as I did, you didn’t know who was going to win.  And that was the last time we had a real one of these things.  But this is a hint of what they looked like when they were real. 

KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR:  And that was Estes Kefauver.

MATTHEWS:  Estes Kefauver.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And—all right.  I’ll go you one deeper.  Estes Kefauver is the last vice president nominee until Joe Biden who had run for president twice previously.  So go ahead and figure that out in your Wikipedia, guys. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  By the way, John McCain, had he gotten the nomination in 2000, was going to do an Adlai Stevenson in ‘56.  Mike Murphy wanted to nominate three vice president candidates and let the convention decide to create drama in the cable age.  It might have been fascinating. 

MATTHEWS:  But how would they have fixed it? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They were going to nominate three that they would have accepted. 

MATTHEWS:  Oh, I see. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They would have nominated him—exactly.  You do the vetting, and it’s a way to test the pro-choice. 

It’s actually a fascinating idea and a way to grip the nation, although now, with these conventions being held so late—we’ve got to sit quiet here.  Let’s see how Florida...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They’ve got a good seat for a controversial primary. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Florida, you have 211 votes. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Full votes now, guys.  Not half. 


Chairwoman Sherman (ph), how do you cast them? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We are the great state of Florida, the Sunshine State, 833 miles of us from sea to shining sea.  And we believe in one vote for one person. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And we have cast those votes for the next president of the United States, Barack Obama, 136.  For Hillary Clinton, 51, and one abstention.

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC POLITICAL DIRECTOR:  Hey, Keith, the pattern is holding.  The only state to pass so far was California.  And I’m guessing that’s because Clinton would have gotten more votes out of California.  They hadn’t—they hadn’t had enough crossovers, because obviously Florida had more delegates in the beginning for Clinton than for Obama.

Did it with Arizona, Arkansas.  But so far, the one state...

OLBERMANN:  Chuck, hold on. 

TODD:  Yes.

OLBERMANN:  We’re going to Andrea Mitchell for some breaking news from the convention center—Andrea.   

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS CHIEF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT:  Keith, we understand from the New York delegation that Hillary Clinton will come to the floor.  She will be introduced by the speaker of the New York State Assembly, Sheldon Silver, and will then declare New York’s vote. 

I’m here with Charlie Rangel. 

As you can see, this is it, isn’t it?

REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D), New York:  This is the big one. 

MITCHELL:  Do you expect to see Hillary Clinton here very shortly? 

RANGEL:  No question about it.  And this is going to end as a seamless group, a family group coming together and bringing victory to our party—it’s been (INAUDIBLE) career. 

MITCHELL:  Well, you started her Senate career by saying she should run.  It’s got to be bittersweet, but right now, what will the New York vote be? 

RANGEL:  I think it’s going to be split because she has encouraged all of the New York delegates to vote for Obama.  And she will be voting for Obama.  But she realizes that there are a lot of people that are dedicated to proving historically that a woman got this far.  And personally, I think they are entitled. 

MITCHELL:  How important is it for her to come and do this herself? 

RANGEL:  Listen, she is such a terrific person, this is just the beginning of the important things that she will be doing to make certain that Barack Obama becomes our next president. 

MITCHELL:  And will Bill Clinton sign, seal and deliver this also, or is he still a little ambivalent when he comes tonight? 

RANGEL:  Listen, they don’t get better than Bill Clinton.  And we can do what we want.  When we can’t find anyone to knock, he’s available.

But the truth of the matter is that it takes a lot of building up of mutual respect.  And no one can do it—bring us together better than Bill Clinton.  At the end of the day, John McCain will keep us together. 

MITCHELL:  OK.  Charlie Rangel.

So let’s take you back to the roll call, but we’ll stand by right here and wait for Hillary Clinton—Keith. 

OLBERMANN:  Well done, Andrea.  That’s big news. 

As we’ve been expecting that it would happen, now we get it confirmed by Andrea Mitchell and Congressman Rangel, Hillary Clinton will be part of that New York announcement. 

Let’s give Guam its due. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  ... Madame Secretary and fellow Democrats, from the island of Guam, where America’s day begins, where we seek self-determination...

TODD:  I love that, “America’s day begins.”

OLBERMANN:  Just going to say the same thing, Chuck.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  ... our delegation proudly casts the following vote: 4 for Senator Barack Obama, 3 for Senator Hillary Clinton. 

Viva Guam!  Viva Democrats! 


May I ask you, would you please repeat your vote?  It’s a little bit loud in the hall, and unfortunately we didn’t quite get it and I want to make sure we get it right. 

OLBERMANN:  Four for Obama, 3 for Clinton.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We Democrats count our votes just right. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Guam casts 4 votes for Senator Barack Obama and 3 votes for Senator Hillary Clinton. 

Thank you very much. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Thank you, Guam.  And thank you for repeating your votes. 

OLBERMANN:  Now one of the home states gets to vote.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Guam casts 4 votes for Senator Barack Obama and three votes for Senator Clinton. 

Hawaii—Hawaii, you have 29 votes.  How do you cast them? 

SEN. DANIEL INOUYE (D), HAWAII:  My fellow Americans, my fellow Democrats...

OLBERMANN:  Senator Inouye.

INOUYE:  ... Hawaii’s the land of aloha and love, the birthplace of our next president of the United States.  We are proud to cast for our native son the following votes... 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We proudly cast 26 votes for the next president of the United States, Senator Barack Obama, and one vote for Senator Hillary Clinton. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Thank you, Hawaii.  Hawaii cast 26 votes for Senator Obama and one vote for Senator Clinton. 


Idaho, you have 23 votes.  How do you count them? 

TODD:  Idaho is a favorite of the Obama campaign because they always like to brag they got more votes out of Idaho than Hillary Clinton did out of New Jersey.  And it really showed—and it really showed the power of that caucus strategy that the Obama campaign took advantage of.  Idaho was also one of the Super Tuesday states. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  ... statement has given stellar Democratic leadership through such elected officials as Senator Frank Church, Governor...

OLBERMANN:  Chuck, remind our viewers of what you think may happen next with Illinois during the Idaho introduction here. 

TODD:  When Illinois gets its chance to cast its votes, it’s possible they may pass that privilege off to New York.  We’ve noticed that there appears to be a Secret Service aisle that was created down there on its way to New York where Hillary Clinton appears to be getting ready to make her way, or going to be making her way pretty soon. 

So this whole thing could be coming together pretty soon.  And by the way, Keith, notice how they are doing this all before 6:30 on the East Coast. 

And why? 

OLBERMANN:  Exactly.

TODD:  There you go.  What’s going to be the lead on our friend Brian Williams’ nightly newscast.  Don’t say these guys don’t know anything about media management. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Proudly cast three votes for Senator Hillary Clinton and 20 votes for our adopted favorite son, the next president of the United States, Barack Obama! 


COLLINS:  Idaho cast 20 votes for Senator Obama and 3 votes for Senator Clinton. 


OLBERMANN:  All right.  Let’s see if it happens in Illinois.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Illinois, you have 185 votes.  How do you cast them? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Illinois will pass. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Illinois passes. 

OLBERMANN:  I think you’re right, Chuck.


TODD:  No, they are going to keep it going though. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Indiana, you have 85 votes.  How do you cast them? 

OLBERMANN:  What was that about clock management, Chuck?

TODD:  I guess not.  We’ll see.  We’ve still got 20 minutes.  Keep (ph) the Indiana primary. 

Remember that night.  That was the night when our late friend, Tim Russert, noted that that was it, it was done.  And it was done that night.  That’s when this thing was over for Clinton, when she couldn’t keep it close in North Carolina nor put Obama away in Indiana.  Very pivotal primary. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Thank you, Indiana. 

Indiana cast 75 votes for Senator Obama and 6 votes for Senator Clinton. 


Iowa, where it all began. 

TODD:  Well, keep an eye on Iowa.  We were told, Keith, that it was going to be a state with an “I,” so maybe it was Iowa instead of Illinois.


I don’t think so.  He’s introducing himself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I stand here today in the same combat boots I wore in Baghdad to honor the brave men and women in uniform. 

Tonight, I represent the great state of Iowa, where it all started for Barack Obama. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Back on a cold winter’s night in January, Iowa’s (INAUDIBLE) for a new field of dreams for America with Barack Obama’s campaign of change.  And now it is an honor and my distinct privilege to announce that the Iowa delegation is united for change with 48 votes for Barack Obama and 9 for Senator Hillary Clinton. 


OLBERMANN:  And let me repeat, Chuck, Andrea Mitchell’s reporting from the floor, and her conversation with Charlie Rangel, that they were prepared for Senator Clinton to come into the New York delegation. 

Chuck was saying he saw a Secret Service security aisle being built there, in a sense.  And we expect Senator Clinton to be involved in some way in the casting of the New York vote, possibly asking for a declaration of unanimity in the nomination of Barack Obama.  But they are stretching the excitement out a little further. 

TODD:  Everybody loves to do the chamber of commerce introduction for their state.  It’s very tough to pick one over the other. 

OLBERMANN:  The problem, of course, arises that there are still 15 states between Kansas and New York.  And they’d have to go at a clip of about one every 40 seconds to be able to make the lead of the nightly news. 

TODD:  Well, the other alternative is to do it in nightly news.  So that way you are covering breaking news in nightly news.  The guidance that we had gotten would be right around 6:30.  So...

OLBERMANN:  Well, don’t go messing with Brian’s rundown, for goodness sakes. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  ... 34 votes for Senator Obama and 6 votes for Senator Clinton. 


TODD:  This will be interesting, to see if our...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Kentucky, you have 60 votes.  How do you cast them?

TODD:  If any state will have...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Madame Secretary, my name is Jennifer Moore (ph), and I’m the youngest chair in the country.  We are working hard every day across the commonwealth to turn the bluegrass blue.  And we’re going to continue to turn it blue this year under the great leadership of our governor, Steve Beshear. 


TODD:  Big Senate race in Kentucky this year, Keith.  Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, is in big trouble. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  ... has captured the world’s attention by hosting... 

OLBERMANN:  It certainly is in the proverbial, the symbolic crosshairs in the Democratic Party. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  ... proudly casts 24 votes for Senator Hillary Clinton.  And on the celebration and anniversary and bicentennial of that great American, Abraham Lincoln, proudly cast 36 votes for the next president of the United States, Barack Obama! 

TODD:  Keith, our pattern has held.  Every state where Hillary Clinton has won in the primary, if Obama ended up with a majority of the votes, they’ve announced it.  The one state that they didn’t do that with was California.  It makes you wonder if there really is some tension in that California delegation. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You have 67 votes.  How do you cast them? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Louisiana, the home of gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish and also shrimp...

TODD:  That doesn’t sound like a 40-second introduction though, does it? 


Where’s our next Clinton victory, Massachusetts? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And here is my colleague, my chair, who will now...

TODD:  It should be—yes, Maine was an Obama state.  Should be Massachusetts. 

OLBERMANN:  Maryland was Obama’s.  So Massachusetts should be next.  We’ll see what happens in Maryland (sic). 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Louisiana, thank you for your votes.  So we may be sure we have an accurate recording, would you please restate your vote count?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Restating our vote, 43 for Obama, 7 for Hillary Clinton. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Thank you so much.

Louisiana casts 43 votes for Senator Obama and 7 votes for Senator Clinton.

Maine—the great state of Maine.

Thirty-two votes.  How do you cast them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Madame Secretary, I’m John Canuchin (ph), chair of the Maine Democratic Party. 

I have with me here Mary Ann Stevens (ph), our vice chair; Congressman Mike Michaud from our second district...

TODD:  Keith, Maine is one of two states that puts up their votes—their electoral votes by electoral district.  And McCain is trying to win over that second congressional district in that state.  Nebraska’s the other one.

And I’ve been waiting for us to potentially have to worry about Omaha, Omaha, Omaha.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And we feel very honored to have that as our singular, whatever, privilege. 


OLBERMANN:  He got lost in that sentence. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  As Maine goes—you’ve heard this before—so goes the nation.  We are the home of Congressman Tom Allen, the man who will take back George Mitchell’s seat in the U.S. Senate. 

TODD:  At least these roll calls serve as a good political history lesson for folks.  Good to hear George Mitchell, the former Senate majority leader from a good 20 years ago.

OLBERMANN:  He celebrated a birthday last week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The great state of Maine proudly casts 8 votes for Senator Hillary Clinton. 

TODD:  Is he still an owner of the Red Sox, a part owner?

OLBERMANN:  He’s on the board of directors, I believe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And 24 votes for Senator Barack Obama, the next president of the United States. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Maine.  And thank you for your wonderful delegation. 

Maine casts 24 votes for Senator Obama and 8 votes for Senator Clinton. 

TODD:  I don’t know, like Alex (ph) was saying, thank you for that very, very long introduction. 


Maryland, you have 100 votes.  How do you cast them? 


TODD:  Maryland, if you remember, Keith, February 12th, Potomac Tuesday, that really catapulted Obama when he swept Virginia, Maryland, D.C.  That put the exclamation point on Super Tuesday for him. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  ... the honorable Congressman Elijah Cummings, to give Maryland’s vote. 

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND:  Madame Chair, the great state of Maryland, the birthplace of our speaker, Nancy Pelosi, the birthplace of Harriet Tubman, and the birthplace of The Star-Spangled Banner, we cast proudly our votes for two great Americans: 6 votes for Hillary Clinton, 94 votes for the next president of the United States of America. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Thank you, Maryland.  Thank you, Governor.  Thank you, Representative.

OLBERMANN:  All right, Chuck.  Let’s see what’s happening in Massachusetts. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Maryland casts 94 votes for Senator Obama and 6 votes for Senator Clinton. 

TODD:  Both senators and the governor control this delegation.  I have a feeling that they might have convinced a few to swap.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Massachusetts, you have 121 votes.  How do you cast them? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The great state of Massachusetts—and I’m joined here by Senator Therese Murray, the first woman president of the Massachusetts...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And I’m joined by my co-chair, our first African-American governor, Deval Patrick. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We are the home of Senator Ted Kennedy...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  ... the home of the winning Boston Red Sox. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The home of the winning Boston Celtics.

TODD:  The first “boos” of the convention.

OLBERMANN:  And out here, too, Chuck. 


TODD:  I was just going to say, it was a whooping there. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We are the birthplace of education.  And we are first in equality and marriage in the United States. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Massachusetts proudly casts this vote: 52 for Hillary Clinton...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And 65 votes for the next president of the United States, Barack Obama. 

TODD:  There you go.  Pattern holds there, Keith. 

OLBERMANN:  Yes, you’re right.  There’s a reason for them not to have passed. 

I’m going to interrupt you, Chuck. 

David Gregory has more on the California pass—David.


I’m with Senator Barbara Boxer here, who just a couple of minutes ago, the California delegation passed.


SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA:  Well, it’s nothing that dramatic.

We have a number of delegates that had to leave.  A big group had to leave because they are state legislatures and they had to get back and vote on the budget.  So now we have to get the alternates, who they have agreed to, and we have to get their votes.  But we’re almost there. 

You know, we have over 400 votes.  We’re a big state. 

GREGORY:  This is a big Hillary Clinton state.  Does she have a lot of support here that’s going to be expressed in this roll call?

BOXER:  It’s a secret ballot, David, so wait and see.  I don’t know what the vote is.  I’m excited to see what it is. 

GREGORY:  All right, Senator Boxer.

A little drama from the California delegation. 

Keith, back to you. 

OLBERMANN:  All right, David. 

Back to the roll call in Michigan.

TODD:  That sure sounded like a story now, didn’t it, Keith?

OLBERMANN:  A plausible and convincing explanation though, Chuck, I think. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Michigan tonight proudly casts 27 votes for Senator Hillary Clinton and proudly casts 125 votes for the next president, Barack Obama! 


TODD:  Thanks to Michigan, Keith, we were able to turn a DNC Rules Committee meeting into a nationally televised event.  Who knew? 

OLBERMANN:  A telethon.  Never mind a televised event.  And they need it very well in Michigan, considering his name wasn’t on the ballot. 


Minnesota, you have 88 votes.  How do you cast them? 

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA:  Madame Chair, Minnesota, the home of the winning college...

TODD:  Former vice president Walter Mondale behind Amy Klobuchar there. 

OLBERMANN:  On the left. 

KLOBUCHAR:  And Minnesota, the state that believes in the power of people and always had the highest voter turnout in the country. 


KLOBUCHAR:  On the 60th anniversary of Minnesota’s own Hubert Humphrey’s electrifying Democratic convention speech in which he challenged our country to seize a historic opportunity, Minnesota is proud to be part of this historic convention of change. 


TODD:  Minnesota...

OLBERMANN:  Very nice to invoke the happy warrior. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Minnesota, which helped launch the Draft Obama movement, and Minnesota, where hundreds of volunteers and citizens came out in a record-setting...

TODD:  Longest Democratic presidential candidate winning streak in Minnesota. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  ... who can bring out the very best in every American, we proudly cast 8 votes for Hillary Clinton and 78 votes for the next president of the United States, Barack Obama! 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Thank you, Minnesota. 

Minnesota casts 78 votes for Senator Obama and 8 votes -- 8 votes for Senator Clinton. 

AUDIENCE:  Yes, we can!  Yes, we can!

OLBERMANN:  Chuck, after Mississippi, it will only be seven states until New York.  I think they might get that done by 7:00 Eastern. 

TODD:  I think they’ll get it done sooner than that.  They seem like they’ve got a little bit of movement here. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Mississippi, you have 41 votes.  How do you cast them? 


MATTHEWS:  ... a Democratic convention in which Humphrey basically caused a walkout by the Dixiecrats when he called for a party platform committed to civil rights.  He said let’s walk into the sunlight of civil rights and out of the darkness of space rights, at which point the Dixie crowd, led by Strom Thurmond, stomped out of the hall and created their own party and ran Strom Thurmond as an alternate party candidate, the fourth party candidate that year, in addition to Henry Wallace, who ran on the left.  So we had four candidates that year because of that speech by Hubert Humphrey 60 years ago. 

OLBERMANN:  The Democrats still won it here. 

TODD:  The first presidential debate is going to be in Oxford, Mississippi.  And I believe it’s going to be on the anniversary of when the University of Mississippi was desegregated. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I stand corrected.  Mississippi casts 33 votes for Senator Obama and 8 votes for Senator Clinton. 

Are we correct this time?  Thank you. 


TODD:  Notice she called it “Missouri.”  That means they want to carry it.

OLBERMANN:  I was going to say, is there a separate Missouri vote later and then a Missouri vote?

TODD:  Apparently.  Well, you say Missouri if you want to win it. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Madame Secretary, the great state of Missouri, the Show Me State, home of Harry Truman, home of Claire McCaskill, home of this united group of congressional members and statewide candidates and statewide office holders, the bellwether state of the United States, we cast 6 votes for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and 82 votes for the next president of the United States, Barack Obama! 


TODD:  Keith, there may have not been a more important victory on Super Tuesday than the Missouri primary for Barack Obama that night.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Missouri casts 82 votes for Senator Obama and 6 votes for Senator Clinton. 


And thank you for that great speech from your governor last night. 


Montana, you have 25 votes.  How do you cast them? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Madame Secretary, I’m Dennis McDonald (ph), chair of the Montana Democratic Party, a cattle rancher from Melville, Montana, attending here my first national convention. 

OLBERMANN:  We are getting some information on what to expect, Chuck. 

New Mexico is going to yield to Illinois.  Mayor Daly will speak, and in turn yield to New York. 

So pencil in, if you’re keeping score at home, Illinois between New York and—New Mexico and New York.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  “The River Runs Through It” goes through my district.  I want you to know that also our great Senator Mike Mansfield from Montana was from Missoula and Butte as well. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Madam secretary, on behalf of the folks of the great state of Montana that stretches from the golden prairies of the—western end—the eastern end of our state to the Rocky Mountains in the West that forms the backbone of the continental divide, from the nations oldest national park, Yellowstone, and the crown jewel of our park system, Glacier Park in the north.  The home of the Janet Rankin first woman elected to the United States Congress.  It’s Big Sky country, the home of sovereign native American tribal government. 

Last, but not least, the home of that great speaker last night, Brian Schweitzer—

OLBERMANN:  Just lost the lead on the “Nightly News.”

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  -- and the home of two of the United State Senate’s finest members, Senator Max Backus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and that long time third generation farmer from Big Sandy, Montana, Senator John Tester. 

TODD:  That was way past your 40 seconds, Keith. 

OLBERMANN:  As I said, it’s now into the second segment of the “Nightly News.” 

TODD:  They’re still going.

MATTHEWS:  You know, guys, Janet Rankin was not only the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.  But she voted against the war in World War I and voted again against World War II.  That’s quite a distinctive history. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  -- with seven of our votes, my friends, Hillary Rodham Clinton, America’s friend, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the senator from New York. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Madam secretary, as a united Montana Democratic Party, we cast 18 votes for the next president of the United States, Senator Barack Obama. 

GERMOND:  Thank you, Montana.  Montana proudly cast 18 votes for Senator Obama and seven votes for Senator Clinton.  Nebraska.  Nebraska, you have 31 votes.  How do you cast them? 

SEN. BEN NELSON (D), NEBRASKA:  Madame chairman, my name is Ben Nelson and I proudly serve in the United States Senate for the great state of Nebraska.  Nebraska, home of that statesman—great statesman William Jennings Bryan, who received the Democratic nomination for president here in Denver exactly 100 years ago, Nebraska, home of the unicameral legislature, leading the way for common sense and bipartisan consensus—

OLBERMANN:  Chuck, I like William Jennings Bryan as much as the next guy, but do you really want to invoke a three time loser in the middle of this roll call? 

TODD:  Doesn’t give seem like the best idea.  It does give me a chance to give a shout out to the U.  William Jennings Bryan a founder of the University of Miami. 

NELSON:  Proudly cast three votes for Senator Clinton and 28 votes for the next president of the United States, Barack Obama. 

GERMOND:  Thank you, Nebraska.  Nebraska cast 28 votes for Senator Obama and three votes for Senator Clinton.  Thank you Senator Nelson.  Nevada.  Nevada, you have 34 votes.  How do you cast them? 

REP. SHELLEY BERKLEY (D), NEVADA:  Thank you madam secretary.  I’m Congresswoman Shelley Berkley from the great state of Nevada.  Nevada, the battle worn state that’s the battleground state in the 2008 presidential election, and home to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  Nevada casts eight votes for Senator Hillary Clinton, 25 votes for Senator Barack Obama, because he has a vision for the west, investing in renewable energy, caring for our veterans and keeping nuclear waste out of Yucca Mountain. 

GERMOND:  Thank you, Congresswoman.  Nevada proudly passed 25 votes for Senator Obama and eight votes for Senator Clinton.  Thank you, Nevada.  New Hampshire.  New Hampshire, you have 30 votes, how do you cast them? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you madam secretary.  The Granite blue state of New Hampshire, home of Governor John Lynch, Congressman Paul Hodes, New Hampshire a leader in electing women, celebrates the election of Congresswoman Carol Porter, House Speaker Terry Norrelli (ph), Senate president Sylvia Larson in the state Senate’s female majority. 

OLBERMANN:  We’re reminding you that we’re two states away from bib business here.  New Mexico is going to yield to Illinois, allowing Mayor Daley of Chicago to speak.  Then, we move on to New York and we expect Senator Clinton to actually, in some sense, deliver the votes to Senator Obama that will clinch this for him. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  In New Hampshire, where unity is more than just a town, we answer Senator Clinton’s call to unite and we fulfill Dr. King’s dream by traveling here from the prodigious hill tops of New Hampshire to proudly cast all 30 votes for the next president of the United States, Barack Obama. 

TODD:  Was that a unanimous from New Hampshire? 

OLBERMANN:  It was, indeed.  I was just going to ask you.  That was the first one, right? 

TODD:  I believe so.  If that doesn’t tell you that they are trying to suck up to Obama to keep that first in the nation status, I don’t know what does.  That’s all about keeping that first in the nation status. 

OLBERMANN:  New Jersey with New Mexico on deck. 

GERMOND:  New Jersey, the state where I grew up.  New Jersey, you have 127 votes, how do you cast them? 

GOV. JOHN CORZINE (D), NEW JERSEY:  Madam secretary, as the proud governor of a great, great state, Garden State, New Jersey, home of the Super Bowl Champion Giants. 

TODD:  Good for him. 

OLBERMANN:  Notice he left out New York. 

CORZINE:  -- where the sun rises on our shores and sets over our green mountains in the west, where our people are industrious, entrepreneurial and, every once in awhile, have an attitude.  We, the Democrats, in one of the most trail blazing progressive states in the nation, providing health care, paid family leave and making sure every child has a quality education—we proudly and unanimously—unanimously, I repeat, vote for the next president of the United States, a person who will lead us to the change this country needs, who will inspire America with hope and progress, a leader who will inspire the world with hope and promise.  We unanimously cast our 127 votes for Barack Obama. 

OLBERMANN:  Two unanimous in a row here from New Hampshire and New Jersey.  Now, the business starts with New Mexico expected, anticipated to yield to Illinois for Mayor Daley’s speech and then Illinois to pass in some way to New York. 

GERMOND:  Thank you, governor.  New Jersey proudly casts all 127 of its votes for Senator Barack Obama.  New Mexico.  New Mexico, you have 38 votes.  How do you cast them? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I’m so sorry.  Madam secretary, our friend, our guest often in the beautiful land of enchantment, madam secretary, the wonderful land of enchantment is here today with our beautiful familia de Muavo Mexico (ph), (SPANISH) 22 Native American tribes, the land where we know the Hispanic vote will make the difference to make sure that New Mexico will be a blue state in ‘08, the land of enchantment, of red and green chili, proudly cast its vote—

But, yes, we are given the distinct honor and privilege, madam secretary, of yielding the floor.  A day that all New Mexicans will remember when we yield to the land of Lincoln. 

OLBERMANN:  Here it comes. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  -- the state that loves and knows our Governor Bill Richardson, the home of Diane B. Bennis (ph), the home of United States Senator Jeff Bingaman and Congressman Udall and the Senator in waiting Tom Udall.  And the youngest Hispanic elected official, Hector Valderez (ph), Attorney General Gary Kean (ph), and state auditor Hector Boderez (ph) and State Treasurer James B. Lewis (ph).  All of us, together, as a family, yield to the beautiful state of Illinois, the home of the next president of the United States, Barack Obama. 

MATTHEWS:  Here it comes.  The choreography about to be executed.

GERMOND:  Thank you, mr. chairman.  New Mexico yields to Illinois.  Illinois you have 185 votes.  How do you cast them? 

RICHARD DALEY (D), MAYOR OF CHICAGO Madam secretary, from the great state of Illinois, Ulysses S. Grant, and the home of our senior Senator Dick Durbin and from the sparkling city—the great city of Chicago, a candidate city for the 2016

OLBERMANN:  On the right, there’s the shot, Senator Clinton moving into place to be involved in the New York casting. 

DALEY:  -- World Series between the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs, hometown—

OLBERMANN:  The mayor just blew that out the door. 

DALEY:  -- home of the next president of the United States, Barack Obama.  We yield to the great state of New York. 

OLBERMANN:  Now, here we go. 

DALEY:  -- home of Hillary Clinton. 

GERMOND:  Thank you, Illinois.  Thank you Mayor Daley. 

OLBERMANN:  There she is, moving into place with the New York delegation to help put Obama over the top.  Symbolic unity?  No, real unity, practical unity.  As we heard earlier from Andrea Mitchell and Congressman Rangel, that this is the way it was, indeed, going to play out. 

GERMOND:  New York.  New York, you have 282 votes.  How do you cast them? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  On behalf of the Empire State, the great state of New York, led by its great new governor, Governor David Patterson, the home of its senior Senator, Senator Joe Schumer, the home of Ways and Means chair of the House, Congressman Charlie Rangel—

MATTHEWS:  That is a New York ticket, Sheldon Silver, Charlie Rangel, Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, David Patterson. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  -- the home of our  great state Democratic chair, June O’Neal (ph), our great Attorney General Andrew Cuomo—

MATTHEWS:  In a country that’s gotten increasingly homogenized with anchorman voices, the presence regional and very identifiable accents continues. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  -- the great Senator from New York to make the following presentation, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. 

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK:  Madam secretary, on behalf of the great state of New York, with appreciation for the spirit and dedication of all who are gathered here, with eyes firmly fixed on the future in the spirit of unity, with the goal of victory, with faith in our party and our country, let’s declare, together, in one voice, right here, right now, that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our president. 

Madam secretary—madam secretary, I move that the convention suspend the procedural rules and suspend the further conduct of the roll call vote.  All votes cast by the delegates will be counted.  And that I move Senator Barack Obama of Illinois be selected by this convention by acclamation as the nominee of the Democratic party for the president of the United States. 


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER:  Thank you, Senator Clinton.  Senator Clinton has moved in the spirit of unity to suspend the rules of the convention and nominate Barack Obama by acclamation as the presidential candidate of the Democratic party.  Is there a second?  All in favor of the motion to suspend the rules and nominate by acclamation Barack Obama as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, please say “I.” 


PELOSI:  All those opposed, say no.  Two thirds of the delegates having voted in the affirmative, the motion is adopted. 

OLBERMANN:  At 4:48 p.m. Mountain Time, the Democrats have their storybook ending, just as we have been hearing all week, Chris, but as I imagine none of us could have thought in the last bitter weeks of the primary, it’s done unanimously.  There’s not even a peep of support against it, if you will, probably, in part, because Speaker Pelosi made sure there wasn’t a comma between her let’s take the vote—there was no vote.  They got all the symbolism they could out of this one. 

MATTHEWS:  I think Senator Clinton was very particular in her call to the chair.  You will notice that not only did she call for the convention to rule by acclamation for the nomination.  But she also asked for a ruling prior to that that all votes be counted.  In other words, there will be a deliberate effort to make sure that, in each case, each delegation will have the Hillary vote counted, as well as the Barack vote counted, so that people, at the end of this convention, people will have their votes fully respected.  That’s very important.

The deal is, somebody wins, somebody loses.  Every vote is respected.  Democrats are especially sensitive, not just in the slight in terms of gender this time around.  They are still burnt.  They are burn victims coming out of Florida in 2000.  They want nothing like the Supreme Court ruling to ever happen in their hands, where the Supreme Court said stop the counting.  They will never stop the counting as long as these people have a memory of what happened in 2000. 

OLBERMANN:  To have Senator Clinton tie it off in that fashion is adding the exclamation point to the idea. 

PELOSI:  I have been asked to inform you that Senator Obama accepts the nomination and will deliver his acceptance speech tomorrow night at the fourth session of the convention to be held at Invesco Field.  Thank you. 

OLBERMANN:  So, that was Speaker Pelosi saying, I guess, in a pro forma fashion that, by the way, Senator Obama has declared that he will accept the nomination. 

MATTHEWS:  The suspense is over. 

OLBERMANN:  There would have been something of a story if his answer been anything but that, I suppose.  Right there, it was not even important enough for the song to be turned down, the P.A. system to be turned down, of anybody to stop the cheering.  I imagine half of that applause and half of that exultation there was relief, more than anything else, that this was all tied together so nicely.  The speaker is waving at us.  We’ll be quiet for a second. 

MATTHEWS:  I think credit has to be given here for the negotiators, Cheryl Mills, Attorney Robert Barnett.  A lot of people on both sides put together this very delicate negotiation that allowed this magic moment to occur. 

PELOSI:  It’s with great pride to announce that Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee for president of the United States by acclamation.  Pursuant to Rule C-8 of the convention rules and procedures, Senator Obama has been invited to make an acceptance speech.  I have been asked to inform you that Senator Obama accepts the nomination and will deliver his acceptance speech tomorrow night at the fourth session of the convention, to be held at Invesco Field. 

OLBERMANN:  This just in, she said it twice. 

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

OLBERMANN:  They didn’t get it done quite to schedule.  Unlike in past years, they got it done relatively close to schedule.  They are about six minutes behind.  Chuck Schumer was supposed to talk at about 47 minutes past the hour.  It’s 53 now.  Let’s go down to the floor of the convention center.  David. 

DAVID GREGORY, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Keith, I’m with Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois.  Senator, you had the moment.  This was not unexpected.  This was highly choreographed.  As political theater, why did this matter?

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS:  It’s a political dream come true.  This convention stood up in one voice for the next president of the United States, Barack Obama.  Four years ago, people were holding these signs on the floor that said Obama.  They didn’t know how to pronounce the name.  Now, he’s the standard bearer for our party.  It’s a great moment in American history. 

GREGORY:  In terms of what you do hear and how that translates, what are your highest hopes, measured against some realities of the difficulties of Hillary Clinton delivering her supporters when it counts. 

DURBIN:  Let me tell you this, Hillary Clinton has been classy through every stage, including her motion to do this by acclamation.  It’s the kind of person she is.  She’s a great person.  She showed it again.  I hope all of her supporters will follow her behind Barack Obama.  We need them.  I think they’ll be there to make sure we have a victory. 

GREGORY:  President Clinton speaks tonight.  What can he say that will be most helpful to Barack Obama? 

DURBIN:  I think he can say, of course, that he’s going to support him, but give us that sharp contrast between America when Bill Clinton as president left office and America, eight years later, after George Bush.  We know how bad things are, how bad our economy is, how week it is, and how much we need change in Washington.  I think Bill Clinton can make that appeal better than anyone. 

GREGORY:  Let me ask you more personally, Barack Obama, a couple of days ago, when he announced Senator Biden, introduced you, said that he loves you.  It was genuine.  You have been his political mentor.  Describe this moment of the past couple days to see him now become the nominee of this party. 

DURBIN:  I don’t take the title mentor, maybe big brother.  When I sat down with him 20 months ago and said Barack, we can do this, he knew that we had a long way to go.  The odds were against us.  It was really not the kind of thing that you think would ever happen.  Look where we are today.  My feeling is that I didn’t do a favor for Barack Obama.  I did a favor for America to give them a chance to let this man lead us into the 21st century. 

GREGORY:  You have unity here on the floor, but there’s still anxiety within the party about his candidacy.  This is a dead even race with John McCain.  What’s the biggest challenge as you come out of here?

DURBIN:  Trust me, this is going to be a close election.  John McCain should be taken very seriously.  He’s a good person, a good candidate.  But there are serious differences between us when it comes to the issues.  We think when people understand that they have a choice to change the Bush policies or keep them, they will want change. 

GREGORY:  Senator Durbin, thanks very much for taking the time. 

DURBIN:  Thank you. 

GREGORY:  Back to you guys. 

MATTHEWS:  OK, let’s go right now to Savannah Guthrie, who has a very emotional delegate with her right now.  Savannah?

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  I have actually more than one, Keith.  We’ll talk to Ruby Tanner (ph).  Ruby, you could not hold back your tears a few moments ago. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I’m trying to hold them back. 

GUTHRIE:  What are you feeling now? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I feel like it’s Christmas because finally this part is over.  I’d like to say to Lover, Texas and all the world, it’s Christmas today.  We are united and it’s over and the new president of these United States is none other than Barack Obama. 

GUTHRIE:  How did you feel standing on this floor for this historic moment? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I’m speechless.  People got together.  Hillary made a wonderful performance.  She has set my soul on fire.  I know, for a fact, all the things she’s done for us women and then Barack Obama—we are united tonight.  I want the world to know that.  I want everyone to know that.  We are united. 

GUTHRIE:  Ruby Tanner, thank you.  I’m going to go over here to a couple more delegates.  Hi, you’re on NBC.  I wanted to ask you how you are feeling.  I know you’re just sitting here crying.  What are you feeling? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I’m just overwhelmed.  Our nation, we need change.  I don’t have anybody in the military, but I want help for our veterans.  We need educations for our children.  We need people.  We need proper pay for our teachers.  I want our seniors to have benefits. 

GUTHRIE:  What is it about that moment and being in this hall with Barack Obama just officially receiving the nomination that brings tears to your eyes? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Just the fact that we all came together, and we unified, and united we stand, and we know we can do it.  We know we can do it.  Yes, we can. 

GUTHRIE:  Thank you, so much.  We appreciate it.  Keith and Chris, as you can see, this is very emotional.  In fact, I’ll walk over.  We have so many delegates in tears.  It’s not hard to find them.  Here’s one.  You’re on NBC.  Why are you in tears?  What are you feeling right now?  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It’s just so overwhelming.  I just remember when I started working for Barack Obama in February of ‘07.  So many people—you know, everyone from people who had been in the Democratic party for years to people on the street were telling us, yeah right, like that’s a possible.  Just working through that and working so hard and so long on electing Barack Obama.  And we’re here today and we did it.  There’s so much hope and there’s so much promise with Barack Obama as our nominee and as our next president. 

GUTHRIE:  Does it feel like a release?  We knew that this would happen.  This is really just an official crowning of Barack Obama as the nominee.  Why are people feeling so emotional, at this moment? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I think it’s just that crowning moment.  As far as the release, no, we have a lot of work to do.  We’re all going home and we’re all hitting the streets and we’re all registering voters and we’re all going to be working incredibly hard to make sure that he gets elected.  This is a happy moment, but we have to go home and hit the streets hard.

GUTHRIE:  Thank you so much for being with us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And we’re all going to be working incredibly hard to make sure that he gets elected.  So this is a happy moment, but we have got to go home and we’ve got to hit the streets hard. 

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, MSBNC CORRESPONDENT:  Thank you so much for being with us.  So, Keith and Chris, I can tell you there are people in tears all around, but a lot more smiles.  And they were actually dancing in the aisles and everybody was holding hands.  And so the Democratic Party at once can now put this behind them.  And you can see a lot of people have a lot of relief on their faces. 

KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Savannah Guthrie on the floor in the Texas delegation.  And somebody that she reached sort of sums this up, it’s Christmas. 

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR:  I think there are some things you can’t see on television.  And it’s the—and maybe the great thing about conventions that still make sense, even when some of this has now become somewhat pro forma, you bust your hump to get elected delegate.  You have got to go out and work for it, you’ve got to spend your hours and hours and hours of going around, canvassing, doing the job, fund-raising.  It’s a big deal to get your foot in the door. 

And then, you look forward to this trip.  And I guess you paid for most of it yourself.  And you get out here to a city like this.  And it’s all hoopla, and everybody likes each other and you stay out late, some people get a little hung over sometimes, and they have a good time. 

And I’ll you, these Democrats have especially good times.  There’s a cultural difference, I’ve got to tell you.  I have been to a lot of conventions.  The Democrats get a lot more loosey-goosey when it comes to these events. 

OLBERMANN:  And there won’t be weeping next week in St. Paul when Mr. McCain is nominated. 

MATTHEWS:  And I know that we have, as journalists, the job of saying, why are you emotional?  Well, duh, they just nominated the person they spent months and month, and in a couple of cases, a couple of years getting nominated.  It has finally happened.  They realize that this war—and it was a war, everybody is saying that we put it up, there was a war going on here. 

It’s settling down to the point where there’s harmony.  And I’ll tell you, I mean, I made some statements over the last couple months that some people don’t like on the Clinton side, fair enough, I’m a commentator.  Some people don’t like anything I say, fair enough.

But nobody has come up to me and said, I don’t like what you say.  Plenty of opportunity, I’ve got to tell you, and so what I think is going on is, you come out here to Denver, and the weather is pretty nice, and you get to blow off your steam.  And then you feel better. 

And then you have a peace treaty, you smoke the peace pipe, and it works.  And that’s what democracy is all about.  It what, by the way, people like Bush think is so easy to teach.  It’s very hard to teach this.  It took the British, what, 200 years to teach it to the Indians.  Everybody has to do it their way.  It’s hard.

OLBERMANN:  But this particular lesson has not been taught before.  The particular person at the end of that story that you just told, which is fitting but somewhat embedded in our history.  This is a new conclusion to that story. 

This is an African-American man nominated by one of the leading parties in the Western world to lead the government of the country.  This has not happened.  We have done this and whether you are going to sit there and vote and do everything you can against Obama’s candidacy or for it, this is the historic moment here as much as anything to come will be historic. 

And so, you know, there’s an extra answer to the duh part.  Yes, it’s relief, it’s achievement.  It’s an achievement larger than the efforts of any of the delegates, an achievement of the process.  And as we were saying last night, we could not have foreseen this moment three years ago, four years ago. 

It was still something to aspire to in the future, that a woman or an African-American or another minority group would be represented at the top of the ticket and with an excellent chance at least to be president of the United States. 

MATTHEWS:  Archbishop Tutu of South Africa went through the hell of the rings of fire and the horror of Apartheid and the effort to bring down Apartheid.  He said something nice that was valuable to us, and he’s an outsider.  He has been to America so many times.  He said when he came to America in the ‘70s for the first time, he couldn’t believe how much frustration there was from African-American men he knew who felt eleven though it was on the books, civil rights, and even though the law said no discrimination, that they were up against reality.

And especially—and women, of course, feel that as much today in many ways.  And so it’s not that we’ve ended the struggle for equality in terms of ethnicity or race or gender, but in the face of the continuing struggle, there has been this achievement.  And it could have been achievement for a woman.  That’s what has happened here. 

Not that an African-American kid in a tough neighborhood right now doesn’t have it really tough, it’s in the face of that reality, this has happened.  And that’s what Tutu said.  And it has not happened anywhere else.  Not in France or Russia or London or any of the—Latin America. 

A guy from a different ethnic group, an African-American in this case, has come on against the current history and has done this.  That’s what’s astounding.  That’s why people are crying. 

OLBERMANN:  It is a singular moment for us as a nation, both those of us who are here and those who went before and those who will come afterwards.  This was a milestone right here.  And moments throughout this campaign seemed ready to sabotage either of the achievements that could have come on this day, whether it had been Senator Clinton winning in the primaries and this had been the first prominent party to nominate a woman in this country, or if it had been, as it turned out, Senator Obama. 

Either way, not only is there one accomplishment, but obviously, with the closeness of the race and the fact that both of these individuals were central—the two central players in this campaign were a woman and an African-American, that one won does not mean the other one lost and the whole cause is gone forever.  That door will come down too. 

There will be a woman president of the United States.  That’s what we saw in addition to the fact there is now an African-American candidate for president of the United States.  Two doors came down that can join those things together in this unity movement that began here in Denver or solidified here in Denver and they hope will carry them to the White House in November. 

MATTHEWS:  As you said last night, that is the condition of victory.  If Barack Obama fails, beginning tomorrow night, to carry the baton of women’s equality forward in a way that Hillary Clinton was carrying it so historically, he will fail to win in November.  Because the deal here is that he comes out of this convention carrying the cause of Hillary Clinton, as well as his own cause, that’s the marriage—I shouldn’t say marriage, that’s the compact that’s coming out of here.  The compact of Denver. 

OLBERMANN:  Right.  Let’s bring our special correspondent, Tom Brokaw, from the Pepsi Center in on this conversation.  And it’s imperative to underscore how important a moment this is.

Is it not, Tom?

TOM BROKAW, NBC SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT:  It really is, Keith.  I just ran into a woman I know outside.  Ann (INAUDIBLE).  She is a very prominent African-American executive.  And she just had a brief emotional meltdown saying, my God, can you believe that this is happening? 

And I said to her, there is a kind of surreal quality about it.  Yet I think we’ll see it more tomorrow night, obviously, when Barack Obama appears at the football stadium before 70, 000 fans and a whole lot of the world tuning in on that, as well.  But it is the commentary, however it turns out and however you feel about his candidacy, about America finally beginning to come to grips with the complexity of the racial issues that have beleaguered us for so long. 

This is a huge step.  It’s a big generational step.  We’ve been talking about it here for some time, the difference between the new generation of young professionals who are out there, who are doctors and lawyers and people who went to Harvard and served in the state legislature, now one of them is a candidate for president of the United States, officially nominated by the Democratic Party 40 years after Dr. King was gunned down in Memphis, Tennessee.  It’s a moment to remember. 

OLBERMANN:  And the senator from Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar, made a great reference, obviously, it’s wonderful to be joining this historically with Martin Luther King’s speech.  But it’s also terrific that she brought in Hubert Humphrey’s name and the fact that 60 years ago... 

BROKAW:  1948.

OLBERMANN:  … when he spoke out for what now looks like just the base minimum of civil rights in this country, set off an—almost an apocalypse in American politics.  I thought it was terrific that Hubert Humphrey’s name was invoked today. 

BROKAW:  Well, it very appropriately should have been, because in fact he did force this party to begin to confront the hypocrisy of racism.  And as you know, when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, it was widely reported he said, there goes the South, but at the same time, he thought the Voting Rights Act would raise the population of African-Americans who would now be able to go to the polls. 

There’s an interesting movement under way by the way, led by Andrew Young called “Why Tuesday,” because he continues to believe, as do a lot of others, that we have now got to change the voting day so that more people who have to work two jobs, for example, can get to the polls if they can’t on Tuesday, why not move it to a weekend and expand it. 

That’s the next thing that we’ll be hearing.  We are in a period of some, I think, significant tectonic plates moving in American politics here tonight. 

MATTHEWS:  Tom, when you look at the delegations out there.  Can you see November?  Can you see where it’s headed?  Tim, our late colleague, used to be so great at identifying ahead of time the key states, the point of conflict, the midnight, the 2:00 in the morning tallies that will decide the election.  Do you get a sense yet of where this is going to end up? 

BROKAW:  Well, Tim and I talked a lot before we lost him about the Rocky Mountain West.  And it wasn’t just because I happen to be inclined towards its geography, but I thought beginning shortly after four years ago, with the enormous transition that this region is undergoing, Colorado is a perfect example of that, so is Nevada, New Mexico is still in play, you’re seeing the investment that Barack Obama is making in Montana. 

Those will come later on election night and they could very well determine who wins this election.  Now, John McCain has got deep roots in the Southwest, beginning in Arizona.  And if he picks Mitt Romney, if he picks Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney who obviously has very strong ties to Utah, but can appeal to those conservative social values of the West as well, I think that this region is going to be in play as it has not been in my lifetime—Chris. 

MATTHEWS:  So it’s New Mexico, it’s Colorado, it’s Nevada, even the state you’re very familiar with, Montana and perhaps even what, North Dakota, is that on the list? 

BROKAW:  It is on the list.  And North Dakota had that interesting political history.  It was a very radical state, as you know, in the 1930s.  It still has two Democratic senators, Dorgan and Conrad.  Barack Obama spent the Fourth of July there.  They feel that they have got a real shot at it.  There was even some talk about my old home state of South Dakota being in play, although the folks that I’m talking to up there say that’s probably a reach for Barack Obama. 

Senator McCain, curiously enough, does not have offices of any significance, I’m told, in Montana.  And the Republican Party in Montana is in—if not in shambles, it’s in kind of disheveled shape.  So I think Barack Obama probably has an opportunity to go there. 

We have to say all of this with the conditioning that we have got a long way to go.  We’re now, of course, in the heat of the moment at the Democratic Convention.  Next week, things will look a lot brighter for the Republicans when we—when they, as we expect that they will, stage their own convention in a convincing fashion. 

OLBERMANN:  Tom Brokaw, many thanks.  We’ll be back to you in a bit.  Let’s just get one piece of business here, in case you are wondering.  Although Barack Obama accepted the nomination, he will not be considered officially the nominee until the conclusion of his acceptance speech.  So he is not—he is in that twilight zone now between being—accepting the nomination and not really being the nominee—Chris. 

MATTHEWS:  We’ll hold our applause.  Let’s go right now to David Gregory.  He’s down on the floor with one of the real heroes from the civil rights movement.  In fact, the last survivor of the great Martin Luther King occasion back in 1963, John Lewis. 

DAVID GREGORY, NBC CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT:  Chris, thanks very much.  And Wednesday, the Georgia delegation with Congressman Lewis. 

Congressman, explain this moment.  As a young man you put your life on the line to get human rights for African-Americans.  And here you stand with an African-American man about to become the nominee of this party.  What is it like? 

REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA:  Well, it’s unreal.  It’s unbelievable.  Today—I cried a little earlier today.  I cried on Monday night.  And I don’t think I have anymore tears.  This is one of the most amazing and unbelievable moments in my life.  I think about the struggle of so many people, those people who stood in unmovable lines, trying to register to vote. 

I think about the young people that were killed in Mississippi in 1964.  Individuals like Martin Luther King Jr. and others, the people who tried to pass your so-called literacy tests.  And all are saying now, it was worth it.  It was worth the struggle.  And what we did tonight is another down payment on the fulfillment of the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. 

GREGORY:  This is political theater.  The outcome was not in doubt, but to have Senator Clinton have this unity movement marked off with such drama, why did this convention and this party need this moment tonight? 

LEWIS:  Well, it was very important for Senator Clinton to do what she did last night and to come back tonight and do it in a much more unbelievable way.  It’s in the strongest possible message to all Democrats we are together and we are going to go out and fight the fight and take the campaign to the people in America. 

GREGORY:  Can you describe your evolution in this campaign as a Clinton supporter, a stalwart ally of the Clintons, and then at some point you sensed that this moment of history that brought you to tears was upon you, when perhaps you didn’t think it was realistic, can you take me through that? 

LEWIS:  Well, I’ve known the Clintons for a long time.  President Clinton has been like a brother.  And I’ve known Hillary Clinton, they are my friends for many, many years.  And they are still friends of mine.  And I supported them in the very beginning. 

And along the way, I saw something happening.  I had what we call an executive session with myself.  And I said what Barack Obama is doing is akin to the movement, what we are fighting for, struggling for.  And I said to myself, I want to be on the right side of history.  And I made the decision to change and commit to Barack Obama. 

GREGORY:  What can Bill Clinton do for Barack Obama tonight that you and others would like to see him do? 

LEWIS:  Well, I think President Clinton must come in here tonight and knock it out of the park, the same way his wife did.  He must come in here and embrace Barack Obama and not only embrace him in the Democratic Party, but say, with Barack Obama you will have the presidency (INAUDIBLE). 

We had economic growth, we had peace during the presidency of Bill Clinton.  He created more than 20 million new jobs.  Barack Obama can do the same.  And President Clinton say that and state it, and get out and campaign with Barack Obama. 

GREGORY:  Finally, for any African-American leader in 2008, to be the heir to all of the good fortune and all of the struggles that you and others have bequeathed to him is a heavy burden.  And yet in this campaign, race is not necessarily central to his candidacy. 

Is that what pleases you most?  Is that what you wanted to have happen? 

LEWIS:  I’m more than gratified, more than happy to see the large number of people, young people, people of middle age, older people that are not African-American, they are white, young white people saying to their fathers and mothers, saying to their grandfathers and grandmothers, you must support Barack Obama. 

Barack Obama is African-American, but he’s not an African-American candidate.  He’s the Democratic nominee for the presidency. 

GREGORY:  And that’s an important distinction. 

LEWIS:  It is very important.  This man is the personification of the best of America.  This can only happen in America. 

GREGORY:  Do you have to think back to moments when you were literally bloodied and your fight for human rights and then look around this floor and see the swaying back and forth and the calls for unity and the raw emotion on the floor to have a woman get 18 million votes and to have an African-American candidate who is the nominee of this party? 

LEWIS:  But you look at the make-up of this convention, we look like America.  We are black, we are white, we are Latinos, Asia Americans, we are Native Americans, we are young, we are old, we are rich, we are poor.  We are America.  And that’s what the struggle was all about, to create one America, one house.  And that’s what Barack Obama can carry to the American people. 

GREGORY:  Now you move on from the convention.  Barack Obama moves on.  With all of this sense of unity, is America ready to elect an African-American as president? 

LEWIS:  America is ready.  As Michelle said the other night, it is time for us to stop doubting and start dreaming.  We must make the dream real.  We must make it real.  I think it will become real. 

GREGORY:  All right.  Congressman Lewis, thank you very much.  We have got to go back outside to Keith. 

OLBERMANN:  David Gregory, Congressman Lewis, greatest thanks. 

We’re going to go back down to the floor.  The instructions are a little garbled here.  Andrea Mitchell I believe is—we’re calling in Andrea on the floor of the convention center—Andrea. 

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Hey, thanks, Keith.  I’m here on the floor in the New York delegation with Chuck Schumer. 

There was just all of the excitement that you saw as Hillary Clinton came here.  You were with her and through this process, how hard was it for her?  She looked like she was really into it.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK:  You know, it’s so hard for her, because look how close she came.  Look how historic it all could have been, and really was anyway.  But Hillary Clinton—and people don’t give her enough credit for this, always does the right thing.

She has—she knew that the right thing to do was not just perfunctorily go through the motions, but be enthusiastically for Barack, and that’s how she feels.    Is there disappointment deep inside her if you did an X-ray?  Of course.  But she’s going to do the right thing.  And it’s not just today, it’s going to be through November 4th

MITCHELL:  Now she obviously has shown that she’s a team player.  Is this partly to ensure her own political future, nobody can say she was a sore loser? 

SCHUMER:  Nobody can say she’s a sore loser simply because she’s not.  And you know, I think lesser people would have pouted or gone part of the way.  She went all the way for Barack. 

MITCHELL:  Speaking of people who have been pouting, what about Bill?  He’s coming tonight.  What do you know about the speech?  We hear all sorts of reports that he wants to redeem himself for his legacy.  He feels he was unfairly portrayed as a racist during the primary campaigns.  How much are we going to hear about John McCain tonight? 

SCHUMER:  I think we are going to hear a lot about John McCain because nobody, nobody, I think in this country is better at pointing out the foibles of the John McCain-Bush policies than Bill Clinton. 

And I will tell you something else.  He knows the best thing that he can do for himself is give a very strong speech.  So I think just as you saw Hillary go the whole way, so will President Clinton.  And people are going to love his speech.  And afterwards I think they’re going to be saying, he really did the job for Barack. 

MITCHELL:  OK.  Thank you very much, Chuck Schumer. 

And, Keith, we talk about history, David just interviewed John Lewis, who is an icon in civil rights history.  This Democratic Party has just nominated the first African-American to be the Democratic nominee, the nominee of a major party.  Can’t talk about more history than that. 

But in New York, they’ve come across.  And Hillary Clinton believes what she did tonight will help bring other women across—other of her women supporters—Chris and Keith. 

OLBERMANN:  Andrea, thank you, from the floor of the convention center. 

We’re going to go to Chris in just a moment, but there’s a little news relating to what Bill Clinton is going to do later in the evening, about 9:00 Eastern time, 10 minutes has been allotted to the former president to speak about Senator Obama.  We’ll see if that deadline is met. 

There’s some guidance from aides to the Clinton campaign saying that in his prime time speech, the former president will argue forcefully that Senator Obama is prepared for the domestic, foreign, and national security challenges that will arise in the coming years. 

In other words, a complete reversal of the Clinton campaign line of early in the primary season that he would not be ready on day one.  Apparently one of the focuses of Bill Clinton’s speech tonight will be that Obama would be ready on day one. 

And with that, let’s go downstairs, Chris Matthews, with Senator Jon Tester of Montana who flew into Denver today with Senator Obama—Chris.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Thank you, Keith. 

Well, tell me about—what was that like coming in with the candidate? 

SEN. JON TESTER (D), MONTANA:  Well, it was great.  Barack was in Montana this morning talking veterans issues.  He spent a lot of time in Montana.  Montana is an important state to him.  He thinks he can win it.  I think he can win it, too.  And I flew into Denver with him.  It was a great flight, something I’m not used to doing. 

MATTHEWS:  OK.  We were talking to Tom Brokaw, because he grew up out there in South Dakota, and he lives in—spends some of his year ever year out in Montana.  Well, you said you think.  Is Montana in play? 

TESTER:  Absolutely.  Montanans are ready for change just like the whole country is.  You know, we’ve seen our economy dip down, which is unusual.  We are natural resource state.  But we have seen the economy dip down recently in the state of Montana. 

And I think Barack brings the kind of vision for this country that we need, and both domestically and from a foreign standpoint.  I think Montanans will react to that positively. 

MATTHEWS:  You know, we all grew up in the last 30, 40 years, it seems like the map never changes.  There’s that giant area of red in your part of the country.  All the Plains states right through the Mountain states, all Republican, Republican automatically.  Are you saying this could be the year that states like yours and perhaps South—North Dakota will switch? 

TESTER:  I think the Inner Mountain West is changing a lot.  And I think the fact, you know, we have had people like Max Baucus and Harry Reid for years and years and years.  But, a couple years ago, a governor you guys heard from last night, Governor Schweitzer, won.


TESTER:  I won in the last…


MATTHEWS:  What’s this with the crew cut out there? 

TESTER:  Well, man…

MATTHEWS:  Come on!

TESTER:  We be stylin’. 

MATTHEWS:  Everybody has got this.  Does this come with a tractor, or what? 

TESTER:  It’s low maintenance. 

MATTHEWS:  You’ve got to wear the CAT hat out there, you know?

TESTER:  It’s low maintenance. 

MATTHEWS:  Now you look—let me, can I do this? 

TESTER:  I charge for it. 

MATTHEWS:  God, that’s great.  Let me ask you again about Montana.  Mike Mansfield was one of my heroes growing up. 

TESTER:  You bet.

MATTHEWS:  A lot of these Irish guys went out there and worked on the silver mines.  Tell me about the culture of that state and what makes it more interesting then some other states in that region, Irish. 

TESTER:  I think, you know, we were built in the late 1800s on copper and the early 1900s.  And we have got a tremendous ag history in the state of Montana, a small business history, a working man history. 

And I think that all of those groups, Barack Obama appeals to.  He really does.  And I think that, come November, you’re going to see Montana in the blue column for Barack Obama. 

MATTHEWS:  Last question, back where I start…


MATTHEWS:  Last question.  Give me the Howard Cosell on this guy, you were with him.

TESTER:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  What was—what kind of feel did he have today?  Was he ready for the fight?  Is he ready for the big speech tomorrow night?  Barack Obama in the flesh, what did it seem like? 

TESTER:  He was absolutely—he was relaxed, he was at ease.  The crowd asked him questions.  He answered them non-scripted from his heart, flew on the plane, he was very much at ease.  I think he’s going to blow the doors off this place tomorrow night. 

MATTHEWS:  Tom Brokaw has got a question for you, Senator. 

Tom, take it away. 

BROKAW:  Well, I was just going to ask whether he got a fresh buzz cut before coming down here.  The second question, a more serious political question, Senator Tester, you were helped in your last race by the presence of a libertarian candidate on the ballot, Ron Paul going to be on the ballot in Montana?  And will that help Senator Obama this fall drain Republican votes?

TESTER:  Well, first of all, Tom, I did get a fresh cut yesterday morning, so thank you for noticing. 


TESTER:  Secondly, I do think that choices are important and I think that both Bob Barr and Ron Paul can help Senator Obama.  But ultimately it’s his vision, it’s Senator Obama’s vision for this country that’s going to win this race in Montana and this country, for making Barack Obama the next president of the United States. 

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Let’s take it.  Thank you very much, Senator Jon Tester…

TESTER:  Thank you, Chris.

MATTHEWS:  … from Montana.  The Big Sky country.  Home of Chet Huntley.  Let’s go back to Keith Olbermann. 

Keith, take it away. 

OLBERMANN:  Thank you, Chris.  Thank you, Senator. 

All right.  Coming up at 9:00 Eastern time, 7:00 out here, Bill Clinton and that speech that is so imperative to the Obama chances.  And then a little after 10:00 Eastern time, we will hear the nomination of vice president nominee, Senator Biden, who will then speak for perhaps as much as 20 minutes.  That’s part of the night schedule ahead here on day three of the Democratic Convention.

Coming up immediately for us, we’ll hear from Norah O’Donnell and our panel.  And in our next hour, former President Jimmy Carter will be our guest.  You’re watching MSNBC’s live coverage of the Democratic National Convention.


OLBERMANN:  From Denver, we rejoin you with MSNBC’s coverage of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.  Former President Bill Clinton set to speak 90 minutes from now to essentially say Senator Obama will be ready on day one.  That’s the word we are hearing from the Clinton aides, quoted.

Right now let’s introduce our panel led by MSNBC’s chief Washington correspondent Norah O’Donnell and featuring Eugene Robinson of the “Washington Post”, MSNBC political analyst Michelle Bernard and MSNBC political analyst, Pat Buchanan.  Norah?

NORAH O’DONNELL, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Keith, thank you very much.  And I think we’re all still soaking in the historic nature of today because when this convention, when this campaign is over, when we’re all old, our kids and everyone is going to remember August 27, 2008 as the day the party nominated a black man to be the nominee of their party.  Eugene?

EUGENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  I’m not sure it has sunk in yet, really.

We knew it was coming.  There was despite the attempt to create drama on the floor.  There wasn’t a lot of drama.  Yet that moment Hillary Clinton said those words “by acclamation.”  You sense something happened.  Something that happened that had never happened in this country before.  That marks a milestone in this country’ nearly 400-year-old attempt to deal with race.

In 1619, the first slaves were brought to the United States, landing at Jamestown.  And since then, we’ve had troubled history with race, yet one that has—we have made progress.  We’ve moved.  And this is a giant step.  No matter what happens in November, obviously, the delegates gathered here in Denver hope that one specific thing happens in November.  But no matter what happens in November we have made history in 2008.

O’DONNELL:  That’s right.  And Michelle, we all love politics in many ways because it is about history.  And today, watching people cry on the floor of this convention and republicans feeling pride in their country about what happened.  Reflect on that.

MICHELLE BERNARD, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  You absolutely cannot watch what happened today without a sense of pride.  I was thinking earlier today about the Kerner Commission report that came out.  We celebrated the 40th anniversary of that report a few months ago.  After the riots that took place after the assassination of Martin Luther King, there was a sense black America was failing miserably.  We would never get to a point to see a black man or black woman compete with whites on their own terms.  That’s what we saw happen in this campaign.  That’s what we’ve seen happen in the Democratic primary process.  And I can understand the tears that I saw.  I have friends who have parents that are in their 80s that lived through Jim Crow and never thought, in a lifetime where you saw segregation and whites only water fountains and it was illegal for a black man and white woman marry one another that we would see a black man nominated as the Democratic presidential nominee of the United States.

O’DONNELL:  I am struck, too, Gene, I have to—tomorrow Barack Obama gives his speech on the 45th anniversary of MLK’s I have a dream speech.  I was just thinking too, in Yeddy Kennedy’s speech, the dream will never die and on Monday, too, the dream lives on.  That language is evoking the moment where we are living the dream in some way.

ROBINSON:  Exactly, we talk about the dream.  It’s insubstantial, it’s distant.  Yet it’s here.  It’s hard to realize it’s here.  But it’s made real in a way.  I think tomorrow night will just be an incredible moment.  I was speaking with John Lewis earlier today and as he sat on the floor, he told me, he was sure he would cry tomorrow actually.  He should have more tears.  And he’s sure they would blow.  When you think of someone like him and the life he led and what he’s seen.  Even in my own lifetime, I remember whites only lunch counters, I remember whites only playgrounds and water fountains.  Growing up in South Carolina.  To see an African American as—not just Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, the Obama kids, the cadre of Ivy League, eminently prepared, successful African American …

NORAH:  What does that do to a country?  Sitting up here, talking about it, what does it do to the country?  Young people looking up and seeing Barack Obama up there?

BERNARD:  It’s interesting because really young children don’t look at race the way we do.  They don’t see things in terms of color.  I don’t think that the race discrimination that people a certain age feel and remember exists with this generation of children today.  In a sense, younger people, I truly believe younger men and women now are getting to a point where they are realizing Martin Luther King’s words when he said he wanted his children judged basis of their character.  On the content of their character, not on the color of their skin.  And I think that this proves that we are moving a long way to get there.

O’DONNELL:  Pat, talk about, too, what happened on the floor today with Hillary Clinton.  As Gene mentioned trying to show a great deal of unity in the party.  Many people even from the floor saying finally, they feel a sense of this party is united.

PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  First, let me say, I go back longer than gene and I remember whites only signs in Washington, DC.  I was in the Lincoln Memorial the day Dr. King gave his address at the Lincoln Memorial.  I had come back as a young journalist, I took my brother.  I said, I think it’s going to be historic.  They started at the Washington Monument.  It was very moving.  And this is a historic day in America.  It’s the end of one of the most exciting campaigns I ever have seen or witnessed or read about.  We were in Iowa where Hillary got beat and she came roaring back in New Hampshire.  And people—Then, you’re on to Nevada and South Carolina where Barack Obama beats her two to one.  Then go on and two for Tuesday.  Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, she beats him by 41 points.  It was so authentic.  Such a great campaign.

Let me put a note in this in, I was disappointed in the way they conducted the roll call.  Why not an authentic roll call that shows Barack Obama winning by about 100 votes going through one state after the other, people cheering for their candidate.  And at the end of that, have Hillary come up and congratulate Barack Obama.  Why have all the whips and party types going to people and saying no, no, you’re not going to be allowed to vote because maybe she will win the delegation.  What happened to honesty?  I remember in ‘76 Reagan came as close to Gerald Ford.  When he lost the count, I walked out in the hall and I was choked up.  I saw hard right winged conservatives crying their eyes out.  It was honest.  I wish this honesty – and it’s in my party now, as well as this party.

Everybody saying, let’s put on a show of unity.  If there’s an honest division, why not show …

ROBINSON:  Because everyone remembers what happened in 1976, Pat.  Ford didn’t win.

BUCHANAN:  I mean—I mean Hillary got beat.  We all know she got beat.  She ran a great campaign.  Why not let her people get up and vote.  They were vote d as delegates to come here.  Let me tell you a story.  In Michigan in 1996, one of my gals came to me and said Pat, she’s in Michigan, they tell me, if I vote for you in this convention, I will never work in the Republican Party again.  So I said, look, don’t destroy your future in the party or anything like that.  And she broke out crying.  She went and voted for me and they threw her out of the party.

These people are coming out – Hillary’s people, Barack, Kucinich probably has ten people that wanted to vote for him for various reasons.  Maybe it’s Abu Ghraib or something.  Why not honesty?

ROBINSON:  We stage manage things these days.  In both parties.

BUCHANAN:  Why do we do it?  Why do we do it?

O’DONNELL:  Because there’s a 24 hour cable news cycle.

BUCHANAN:  We’re responsible.  You may be right.

O’DONNELL:  They were trying to thwart us.  They are trying to thwart us.

BERNARD:  Even with all of the stage craft, and I don’t want to take away from the monumental nature of what happened today, but I think that disunity in the Democratic Party is glaring.  The last day, this afternoon was about appeasing Hillary Clinton.  The supporters there who were waiting for her.  It was very dramatic.  Hillary marching into the Pepsi Center today and the people shouting Hillary, Hillary, Hillary.  It was about Hillary Clinton, it was not about Barack Obama.  It was the same thing that found in terms of faulty stagecraft the night that Hillary Clinton finally decided to suspend her campaign.  It should have been about Barack Obama.  And it’s glaring and the entire world is watching it.

ROBINSON:  I kind of disagree because we had to go through this.  She got nearly half the votes in the primaries.  She deserves a moment.

O’DONNELL:  She didn’t win.

BUCHANAN:  She didn’t get them today.  She didn’t get them today.  We all know, people aren’t going to look at the roll call count from today.

O’DONNELL: All right, team.  We’re going to have more from the panel, Keith.  And I kept thinking here, as everyone was talking, I kept thinking Tim would say on a day like today, he would say what a country.  That was one of his, of course, favorite phrases.


OLBERMANN:  Glad you mentioned him.

Well, Norah.  And he would have added, isn’t this great.

MATTHEWS:  Let’s go down to the convention floor with Andrea Mitchell.

ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Hey, Chris.  I’ve moved from New York to New Jersey to another Hillary Clinton supporter.  Governor Jon Corzine.  You were not surprised that Hillary Clinton sucked it in and came out and did what she did?

GOV. JON CORZINE, (D) NJ:  I have nothing but the greatest admiration for her.  One of the reasons I supported her throughout the primary seasons is I think she’s a woman of character.  She does the right thing.  She knows that making sure we get united and solidly in Barack Obama’s (inaudible) the terms and conditions of the lives of people in the country.  So, she did what she had to do.

MITCHELL:  Bill Clinton was been quoted as saying he doesn’t think Barack Obama can win.

CORZINE:  I think you and I had that conversation before.  I have had private and public appearances with him.  I have heard him say the opposite of that.  This is going to be a tough fight.  He’ll talk about it in the context of people don’t play by Marquess of Queensbury rules on the other side.  It’s going to be a dog fight.  We’re going to win.  I know Bill Clinton believes that.  And what we have to do is make sure we have the enthusiasm and the unity we have here and take it on the road so we unify the country about changing economic policy and foreign policy and energy policy.  All the things that will make a difference in people’s lives.

MITCHELL:  Thank you very much, Jon Corzine.  Thanks a lot.  Back to you, Chris.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Thank you, Andrea.  Let’s go now to Joe Scarborough.  He’s the host of the immensely popular MORNING JOE.  He is inside the Pepsi Center.  Joe, your thoughts tonight?

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST:  Only one word you can attach to this and it is history.  A lot of people are focusing on the fact we have the first African American major party candidate to get the nomination.  I think two remarkable things happened tonight.  Hillary Clinton turned that over to Barack Obama and we saw an evolution of Hillary Clinton, a woman who in New Hampshire saved her candidacy in part by appealing to women.  And that victory was a victory based primarily on gender.  But as she moved forward.  As she fought on, as she persevered through Ohio and Texas and West Virginia, it stopped being a candidacy about a woman.  It started being a candidacy about a political force.

Hillary Clinton found her voice half way through the campaign, by the end of spring, was a force in her own right and was being judged as a political figure first, and as a woman, second.  I’m struck, sitting here talking to Tom Brokaw beforehand thinking about when I lived in Atlanta, Georgia as a young kid, he was reporting for WSV on the civil rights movement.  A few years later I moved to Meridian, Mississippi, we lived out in the country, and my parents sent us to a school and it was 1969, it was the first year that school had been integrated.  I started first grade in a class that was 50 percent black and 50 percent white.  I thank God for that blessing.  In a school that was about 45 miles from Philadelphia, Mississippi because I spent my entire life, I think about as colorblind, my generation, at least, as any generation.  So when I see Barack Obama winning this nomination tonight, I’m not moved so much by tears, I think it’s great for the country, but my attitude is, what took so long?  What’s the big deal?

Barack Obama is a political force in his own right.  He created a grassroots campaign that no white or black politician has ever created.  He raised more money, used it more effectively.  Invested in a grassroots organization with efficiency that no other political candidate has done.

And I think that’s the real victory for this country tonight.  America is a stronger country tonight because a woman that was judged as a political force first and as a woman second, passed the nomination over to an African American.  I have got to tell you, people who are 45, 46, 47 and younger don’t look at a primarily as an African American, but as a political force who may really be the next president of the United States.  It’s just like the British, in their time of need in 1979, they picked Margaret Thatcher, not because she was a woman, but because they thought she was the toughest leader for Great Britain at that time.  They believed she could turn that country around.  She did.

And perhaps in America Barack Obama can.  And when he does that, nobody will look back and say isn’t it great an African American did that?  They will say isn’t it great America found a leader who can do that.  It’s truly, Chris, truly a historic achievement and it’s a wonderful night tonight because of that.  No affirmative action here in this hall or in the snows of Iowa or New Hampshire or South Carolina or even states that followed.  This was a campaign won based on merit and the strongest man won.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Joe Scarborough starts tonight.  We’ll see you tomorrow morning on MORNING JOE.

Up next, Luke Russert with reaction to Obama’s nomination from younger delegates out on the floor.  Luke is going onto the floor to talk to them.  This is MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Denver.


MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to Denver and MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic convention.  History made tonight, of course, as Barack Obama has become the first African American ever nominated by a major political party in just about any major country.

OLBERMANN:  Luke Russert is inside the Pepsi Center.  He has been talking to the younger delegates about Obama’s nomination.  And that mix here, Luke, of the new age and the new delegates.  It must be pretty impressive.

LUKE RUSSERT, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Keith, we often talk about the youth vote, but not quite this young.  Here on the floor, next to me is 17-year-old David Gilbert-Pederson, the youngest delegate here at the convention.  David, how are you doing?

DAVID GILBERT-PEDERSON, DELEGATE:  Doing really well, how are you doing?

RUSSERT:  Being a delegate is a lot of work.  You’re only 17, what inspired you to do it?

GILBERT-PEDERSON:  I’ve been interning with the campaign, Obama’s campaign, since September of ‘07 and volunteered since January of ‘07.  I just felt like I wanted to be here at the beginning and this feels like a good middle marker and I hope I’m there at the end as well when we elect the first African American president and a man who will really bring change to our nation.

RUSSERT:  Also here is Sarah Keene (ph), 20 years old from Colorado, Sarah, you go to Colorado at Boulder, you’ve been organizing a lot and Colorado is a swing state, are you guys going to turn this for Barack Obama?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  This is the first time Colorado is going to go blue in a long time.  I’m excited about it.  This is my first time to vote in a presidential election in America and we’re completely fired up and ready to go, especially in Boulder.

RUSSERT:  Now, I want to get both of you guys on this.  President Clinton is going to address the convention hall tonight, what advice would you give President Clinton for his speech tonight?  You start first, Dave.

GILBERT-PEDERSON:  I don’t think I’m in any place to give the former president any advice on anything, but I think he is going to do a great job firing up the delegates here and he is get us ready to go out after, after the convention and win an election for Senator Obama and also for the congressional candidates and the Senate candidates across country.

RUSSERT:  How about, you, too.  What do you want to hear them talk about?  What advice do you have for them?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I think the message any Democrat needs to spread right now is unity and just like Dave said earlier, this is the middle mark and we’re in the home stretch right now and if everyone isn’t completely onboard and completely ready to do the work necessary to get this done, we’re not going to see the change that Senator Obama promises.  And so, spread the message of unity and now let’s get this done.

RUSSERT:  David, I have to ask you, your friends think you’re weird at all.  Seventeen years old and doing this much stuff in politics already.

GILBERT-PEDERSON:  Part of it is – partially yes and partially no and partially they think I’m weird for other reasons but, I’ve met a lot of great young people like Sarah and other people throughout the country who are delegates involved in the campaign and interning with the campaign and most, I guess most people would think I’m a bit of an anomaly but there are some youth that are really involved and you’re seeing that more and more in 2008 and it’s been an increasing trend over the years and we hope this year we can push it over the top.

RUSSERT:  Sarah, were you ever involved in politics before Senator Obama?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Not really.  This is my first election and I got involved working for the campaign and volunteering and a year and a half ago we started the students for Obama group up at CU and I really just wanted to become as involved as I could and help this guy get elected and into the white house because I really believe in what he says.

RUSSERT:  Well, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, you hear it from the youngest delegate at the entire convention and one who is organizing the entire State of Colorado, important swing state.  Back up to you guys, Keith and Chris.

OLBERMANN:  Some think he’s strange, some think he’s not strange and some think he’s strange for other reasons.  What a great answer.  Luke Russert at the Pepsi Center, thank you.  Now also in the Pepsi Center, Congressman Keith Ellison has been kind enough to join us for a few minutes.  Congressman, thank you for your time this evening.

REP. KEITH ELLISON, (D) MN:  How you doing there?  Good to be on.

OLBERMANN:  This, this evening, this aftermath of the moment that this becomes real that Barack Obama is the nominee of the Democratic Party, obviously, he gets the title tomorrow but in the books now.  Give me, just give me a round up of your feelings at this moment.

ELLISON:  You know, I really feel that our country has overcome tremendous history and walked into a whole new sunlight.  We see America truly living up to the promise, dream, a more perfect union.  It’s one of those transcendent moments for me and i found myself dancing in my seat and I’m all excited.

OLBERMANN:  There’s—is there much to be done in terms of still even with this event today and with Senator Clinton’s speech last night, is there still much to be done by President Clinton in his address in little over an hour or have things been cleared up already?

ELLISON:  Well, I think that President Clinton’s opinion on things and his views are going to weigh heavily on people’s minds.  The fact is, we all know about this drive for unity.  Hillary Clinton set the foundation for it, but I’m afraid the country is looking for President Clinton to really sort of put the icing on the cake.  I think a lot of people realize that he, maybe took her, her defeat harder than she did.  It was tough for him to watch and just watching his facial expressions during her speech the other day, you could tell that he’s really, really emotionally connected to this thing.

MATTHEWS:  Congressman, let me read you some words you may recognize being from Minnesota.  “To those who say, my friends, to those who say we’re rushing this issue of civil rights, I say to them, we’re 172 years late.  To those who say, to those who say that this civil rights program is an infringement on civil rights, on states rights, I say this, the time has arrived in America for the Democratic Party to get out of the shadow of states rights and walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights.”

Tell us the pedigree of those words, sir, the gentleman from Minnesota.

ELLISON:  1948 Democratic Convention, Hubert H. Humphrey spoke those words and they ring in my ears every time I drive by the City Council building in the city of Minneapolis.  His statue is there, Hubert Horatio Humphrey is alive in Minneapolis and his words, I believe, were brought to a full extent tonight and they’re going to be, but there’s more to do, but I’m so proud of my country, I’m so proud to be a Minnesotan when you cite the words of Hubert H. Humphrey.  It’s really an amazing day.

OLBERMANN:  Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota at sunset almost of the amazing day.  Thank you, kindly, for your time, sir.

ELLISON:  Great to be here.  Thanks a lot.

OLBERMANN:  When Chris Matthews and I return from Denver, former President Jimmy Carter will join us and coming up in one hour the speech from former President Bill Clinton and more after this.


CHRIS MATTHEWS, CO-HOST:  Welcome back to MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic convention where history was made here tonight in Denver.  Senator Barack Obama, is now the first American—African-American candidate to earn a major party nomination for president.  Senator Hillary Clinton stopped the roll call vote so Obama could be nominated by acclimation.


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) NEW YORK:  Let’s declare together in one voice right here, right now, that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our president.


CLINTON:  Madam Secretary, I move that the convention suspend the procedural rules and suspend the further conduct of the roll call vote.  All votes cast by the delegates will be counted and that I move, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois be selected by this convention by acclimation as the nominee of the Democratic Party for president of the United States.




MATTHEWS:  An hour from now, of course, we’re going to see if the Democratic unity continues when former President Bill Clinton takes to the stand, to the stage, I should say, there’s the slip.

I’m Chris Matthews alongside Keith Olbermann.

KEITH OLBERMANN, CO-HOST:  We have a special guest, did you notice?

MATTHEWS:  I notice the button he’s got on, too, the former president.

OLBERMANN:  President Jimmy Carter is with us.  Welcome.


OLBERMANN:  We’ve been—every time we think we have gotten a measure of how meaningful what we saw today at the Pepsi Center was.  What a landmark this is in American history.  It seems like it echoes back across the land and hits us freshly, once again.

Tell me your thoughts today now that there’s an African-American nominated by a major party for the president of the United States.

CARTER:  I doubt there is a white person in America that has more deep, personal relationships with that question, and I think, I’m the world’s foremost expert on divided parties.  I grew up in a community; I didn’t have any white neighbors.  All of my play mates were African-American, black children, all the people with whom I work in the field were black.  I was raised in the black culture.  I lived there until I was 16 years old and went off to the navy and to college.

I saw the devastating plight of millstone around our necks with racial segregation, which was legal then.  I went into the Navy and the first sign I saw of an easing of this, of this tragedy was when Harry Truman unilaterally as commander-in-chief, ordained racial discrimination was over in the military forces.  And when I was a midshipman, the first black midshipman was entered into the Naval Academy, I had to defend him against some of the attacks.

And so, to me, this is a momentous event for America and, I think, has a prospect of being a momentous event for the entire world.  My wife and I have been in about 125 countries since I left the White House and we see the excitement all over the globe with the rise of Barack Obama as a potential Democratic nominee and, obviously, as a potential president.  So, it means a lot to me.

When he made his speech in Philadelphia, I wept because he expressed the essence of racial discrimination clearly.  And I’ve lived in a state that has been blighted with racial discrimination ever since, I would say, 1974 when Lyndon Johnson was a hero for civil rights and didn’t even come into Georgia because it was hopeless.  And since then, the Deep South has been dominated by the Republican Party using the race issue as a subtle and sometimes overt mechanism to gain a majority.

Our last governor’s election, for instance, was decided on a Confederate flag issue, and I remember that when my opponent in 1980 opened his campaign, Ronald Reagan, it was in the little town in Mississippi where the three civil rights workers were buried in a dam.

So, I’ve seen it in the South, subtle sometimes, but I think that’s over now and, I think, the indirect answer would be what’s happening in Georgia this year.  When Barack Obama prevailed, got a majority of the votes against two very attractive white candidates, John Edwards, our next door neighbor, and Hillary Clinton.  He carried Georgia.  He carried Plains, Georgia, which only has 180 votes.

So, I think that’s extremely important in my life and for this country.  And I believe that we’ll see that he has put an end to the problem in our country ever since the Civil War began in 1861.  I think this is a—there’s still be some people that won’t vote for him because he happens to be African-American, but I think that number is dwindling every year.

MATTHEWS:  Mr. President, let me ask you about next week’s Republican convention, it may be a perfect storm not just metaphorically with hurricane Gustav heading up through the gulf.  You have—I was—and a small part in your administration, as you know, a very small part when you created FEMA.  You’ve said in the recent hours, I believe, that FEMA’s not up to the job.  Are we going to have another Katrina next week in the midst of the Republican convention in St. Paul?

CARTER:  Well, I hope not, for the benefit of the Republicans, but primarily for the benefit of the people that might be struck.  As you may remember, you were there with me in the administration when I organized and established FEMA by executive order.  I didn’t want to have to go through the Congress, I thought it was very important.  So, we brought in 33 agencies into FEMA with three basic characteristics.  One, it was completely independent and reported only to the president.  Secondly, it was fully funded.  And, third, it was headed by a professional in dealing with national catastrophes.

Well, all three of those things were abolished before Katrina struck.  It was buried deep within Homeland Security, remotely from the White House.  It was not adequately funded and it was headed by Brownie, who was congratulated on doing a wonderful job by President Bush.  So, all of those things were wiped out.

I believe now, though, this sense of catastrophe in the Katrina area that FEMA has reconstituted itself, at least with professional guidance.  So, I believe that next time if a disaster hits, that people will be much better qualified.

OLBERMANN:  President Carter, it’s about 50 minutes from now that a fellow former president, it’s not a big club, goes in front of a political convention in which his wife was the runner-up and is now going there to do the last bit of knitting together of the unity idea here.

CARTER:  We’re doing that.

OLBERMANN:  Yes, I know.  I know you have.  I’m just wondering, if you have—to what degree is a former president constrained politically, even within his own party, under these circumstances—what should President Clinton not do or what should he do to achieve this unity and maintain the whatever status there is of a former president?

CARTER:  Well, three things, I think, that President Clinton should do.  One is to put out his administration, how good it was and how much it will be changed adversely if John McCain’s elected.  Those are the two things.

The other one is to express his full confidence in Barack Obama as the next president.  I think that is something that would be the most important.  Let there be no doubt that the follow up on what Hillary has done so well, in my opinion, that Bill Clinton will also say, “I stand by my wife and having full support and full confidence in Barack Obama and Joe Biden as the next team to hit our nation.”

OLBERMANN:  There is some early reporting on those who have seen President Clinton’s speech that he may, in fact, turn around what we’ve heard in the primary season and make some sort of statement that, at least, means if not his exact words that he will be ready to go on day one.  I’ve always wondered if any president –

CARTER:  That Obama will be ready.


CARTER:  I understand.

OLBERMANN:  The question of experience—when you hear of somebody running for president has experience or no experience.  You’ve never been president before, I imagine there’s no experience like it in the world that prepares you for it, is there?

CARTER:  No.  I think if I’m not mistaken that John Kennedy is the last president elected in 1960 that came directly out of the Congress.  And, of course, Lyndon Johnson was a former congressman and others—but he was vice president first.  So, Obama has much more experience in foreign affairs from a national level than I did or, obviously, George Bush did, or Clinton did when he was elected.

And I think the fact that he’s been in Washington, he served on the Armed Services Committee, working side by side with Joe Biden, gives him a great insight into global affairs from the perspective of the federal government, much more than most presidents have had in the recent 50 years.  So, I think that’s a very weak argument against Obama.  If there were and if some have doubted that, since he’s only been there a short time, to have Joe Biden at his side now, having spent 35 years there in as head of the foreign relations committee, a lot of that time, I think, it’s a very good displacement of any concern it might be existing now.

MATTHEWS:  One more question.  When you look at this, you’ve been through a few presidential elections—you think this looks good for the Democrats?  I mean, give me a tough reading on November right now.  Is the race factor going to stop him from making it?  Is he going to overcome it?  When you look at old cities in the north, not just in the south, is it doable right now?

CARTER:  Well, this is my 10th convention.  My first one was as a novice governor, I made the nominating speech for Scoop Jackson in Miami.  He was governor, too.  And then I went through obviously ‘76 and ‘80. 

And I’ve seen parties divided.  I was elected perhaps because the Republicans were divided in 1976 when Ronald Reagan challenged Gerald Ford, the incumbent president and never did yield and they went through the convention with a horrible split.  And it was months after that before Reagan supporters were reluctant and they came back and voted for Ford.  I still got a majority of the votes.

But I think I also lost to some degree in 1980 because the Democratic Party was split.  I think that by the end of the convention tomorrow night, we will have a completely united party and I think that will overcome any sort of detriment that might accrue from the fact that a vestige of racism still exists in America and a vestige of racism exists in almost every country of the world.  But I think we’ve proven already that the termination of racial discrimination or racism is basically over in this country, and I think we’ll prove that in November.

MATTHEWS:  Do you see a difference between racial discrimination as it continues in the north as opposed to racial attitudes in the south?  You’ve been all over the country.  Is there a difference in the way people are progressing, different speeds, different advances, different resistances?

CARTER:  Well, I think there’s a little of that racial discrimination or pride in one’s own race maybe (inaudible) but never would like to express it—all over the country, as you’ve said, all over the world, in fact.  But the Republican Party’s strength based on the race issue has obviously been most dominant in the South.  And I carried every state in the South, except Virginia.  But others have had a very difficult time carrying.  In fact, I’m the last person, Democrat who carried North Carolina, and I think that this time we’re going to see a change in that, Chris.

I really believe that the recent votes we’ve seen in the primary between Obama and very attractive white candidates in the southern state is a good omen, a prediction of what’s going to happen in November.  I think that racism is going to fade into the remote past.

MATTHEWS:  Thanks very much, Mr. President.

OLBERMANN:  What a great outcome that would be.  Thank you, President Carter, a pleasure, sir.

CARTER:  Thank you, stick with us.

OLBERMANN:  Thank you, sir.

All right.  Former President Bill Clinton will speak about 47 minutes from now.  Let’s turn to “Newsweek’s” Richard Wolffe with the campaign listening post with new information on President Clinton’s speech—Richard.

RICHARD WOLFFE, NEWSWEEK:  Yes, indeed, Keith.  I can tell you that for all the talk about President Clinton’s speech being heavily vetted and edited by the Obama campaign, the Obama campaign according to a senior Obama adviser only just saw the speech maybe an hour ago.  This speech was late in coming in, not uncharacteristic for President Clinton.

Senior Clinton aides told me they were frozen after the process, even his long-time speech writer was out of it.  This is a speech that was personally crafted by President Clinton and it’s likely to run much longer than the 10 minutes he’s currently expected to.

What we’re also hearing is that President Clinton is going to mention Barack Obama’s name after about 10 words into the speech.  So, for all of those of us with our antenna up, looking for the shout-out, looking for the commentary on Barack Obama’s qualifications to be president and commander-in-chief—that reference is going to come very early.

And the other aspect of this speech, I’m told again from Clinton folks who’ve only just seen this speech in the last hour or so, President Clinton is going to be talking extensively about restoring America’s position in the world, the damage done to America’s reputation through the course of the Bush administration.  So, that’s the early insight that I’m getting from my sources here inside the Pepsi Center.

Back to you, Chris.

MATTHEWS:  So, bottom line, Richard, we’re going to walk out of this convention hall watching tonight with a sense that Bill Clinton has really endorsed Barack Obama as the next—let me ask this specifically—the next commander-in-chief?

WOLFFE:  That’s exactly what the Obama campaign is expecting.  That he will directly address his own experience as commander-in-chief—the tests, the demands on a commander-in-chief.  He can speak with authority about that and the question then becomes: What does he say about Obama’s credentials?  Again, I’m told early on he’ll be saying that Barack Obama is the right man to be the next commander-in-chief.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Thank you very much, Richard Wolffe, down on the floor.

Coming up: Our insiders will be with us—former U.S. Congressman Harold Ford and Republican strategist Mike Murphy.

You’re watching MSNBC’s live coverage of the Democratic National Convention.


MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to MSNBC coverage of the Democratic National Convention live from Denver.  Former President Clinton is coming up live on the floor of the convention in 42 minutes now.

OLBERMANN:  And what a speech that should be based on what we’re hearing the reporting on it from Richard Wolffe and others about how he is going to address, basically try to roll back that idea that Senator Obama would not be ready on day one.

MATTHEWS:  This is the most sensitive, I think, everyone has reported this.  No one knows what’s in anyone’s heart, but the grand reporting of this convention is that Hillary Clinton has been the professional.  She’s stepped up to the plate and it’s taking her a couple of months but she recognizes her role in history now.

Bill Clinton, we don’t know, obviously, from the evidence, but the reporting is that it’s still a sensitive point with him, that he has to play this particular role endorsing a candidate who defeated his spouse.  It’s not an easy role for anyone.

OLBERMANN:  And it will be a dramatic event if it comes through as we’re expecting it to be.  Tammy Duckworth, the Iraq war veteran, director of the Illinois Veterans Affairs Department, joins us now from the Pepsi Center.  A pleasure to talk with you.


OLBERMANN:  All right, do you think this is all now knitted back together again that whatever there was out there between Senator Clinton’s speech last night and the acclimation vote this afternoon and the anticipation of President Clinton’s speech tonight, do you think this is all, all back in one piece?

DUCKWORTH:  You know, I was on the floor last night and we were all shouting and screaming for Senator Clinton and by the end of the tonight, we, as the delegation we’re just thrilled.  You know, she’s from Illinois as well and we’re thrilled that she did what we needed for her to do which is to unite the party.  And I’m sure by the time this convention ends tomorrow, we’re going to be a fully united party.

OLBERMANN:  Give me your assessment of where Senator Obama stands and where the party stands right now on an issue that is so critical to so many and so personal for so many, including yourself—ending the war in Iraq?

DUCKWORTH:  Well, you know, Senator Obama has actually a strategy for ending the war in Iraq that is more than just a surge.  He understands that anywhere you put American troops, they’re going to be successful, especially if you put another 30,000 troops.  But it takes more than just the troops on the ground, it takes a diplomatic effort and it takes also the Iraqi government stepping up and doing their part.

And so, I think, this is why I support Senator Obama, because he has that complete that complete plan for what we need to do to get out of Iraq.  You know, John McCain, on the other hand, thinks that we can just keep the surge going for another 50 to 100 years and that is simply something that we cannot do as a nation.

MATTHEWS:  Tammy, how important is the Iraq issue this November?

DUCKWORTH:  You know, Chris, I think the Iraq issue is very important.  I think that the people watching and, you know, one of the things I want to bring up is the fact that four years ago, I was watching this convention from Iraq and I was then hoping and praying the country would make the right decision, and eight days after November 4th of 2004, I was blown up.

We should remember that the troops are watching right now, everything that we do and we say and they need to know that Barack Obama is supporting them and, in fact, he actually has six times the number of contributions from deployed service members than John McCain.  So, the troops are behind him, they support his plan and actually he’s got a five-time over John McCain in terms of total veterans.  So, the issue is very important, especially to those in the military.

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about that because we don’t hear much about that.  When you’re in the ranks under fire in a dangerous situation, is there much political scuttlebutt and is it open ended?  Are you allowed to take an anti-war position or a critical position in the ranks when you’re having scuttlebutt?

DUCKWORTH:  You know, when you’re fighting and the bullets are flying, all you’re worried about is completing the mission and taking care of you and your buddies and that’s all our troops are worried about and that’s all they should have to worry about.

One of the things that Americans don’t realize is that the troops have opinions.  But when they get the privilege of wearing the uniform of this great country, they give up their freedom of speech, they can’t speak out.  That doesn’t mean they don’t have opinions.

And I’ll tell you, over the last three, four years I had more and more of my buddies come up to me and say, “You know what, Tammy, you were right all along.  We were not supposed to go into Iraq.  That was the wrong the thing to do.  We should be crushing al Qaeda and Afghanistan.”  And that is what Barack Obama—that’s part of his plan, is that we need to get back to the fight in Afghanistan and destroy the enemies who attacked us on 9/11.  And the troops believe that.

OLBERMANN:  Tammy, one last question and it pertains to a lot of answers that have come from Senator McCain to a lot of different questions—which his judgment has been questioned, which some of his conduct has been questioned and how many homes he has has been questioned and answers have come back that have pertained to his period of time as a prisoner of war.

Given your service and your sacrifice to this country, what is—what is the political entitlement, if you will—what political benefit of the doubt should be given to a former disabled service person or an imprisoned ex-POW service person, how far does it go and at what point is it no longer relevant?

DUCKWORTH:  Well, I think the point is when you look at exactly how both he and Senator Obama have conducted themselves in the Senate.  Frankly, I think a good example is a G.I. bill—the new G.I. bill for the 21st century which is the first biggest—most major increase in veterans benefits since the Vietnam era.  And when the time came to cast a vote, Barack Obama was there, he co-sponsored it, he voted for it.

John McCain, when it came time for him to support the troops and support the veterans, ducked the vote, said it was too expensive and went to a fundraiser, instead.  I think the proof is in the voting record and the proof is in how they conducted themselves.

Barack Obama wants to end means testing for the V.A.  He wants to assure funding for the V.A.  And John McCain, on the other hand, wants to privatize it.  It comes right down to, you know—are you walking the walk or you just talking the talk?

OLBERMANN:  Tammy Duckworth, the director of the Illinois Veterans Affairs who will address the convention this evening—great thanks for your service and great thanks for your time tonight.

DUCKWORTH:  Thank you, Keith.  Thank you, Chris.

OLBERMAN:   Ann Curry is on the podium now at the Pepsi Center with the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid—Ann.

ANN CURRY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Thank you so much, Keith.

Let me ask you, Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid, you just watched Hillary Clinton launch this convention into a historic moment, nominating the first African-American person as president of the United States.  What would it for you watching that moment?

SEN. HARRY REID, (D) SENATOR MAJORITY LEADER:  Well, for me, a dream come true to think that this man, this young man who is really lived the “American Dream,” who is one of us, he doesn’t have seven homes, he had to borrow money to go to school.  He made it on the fact that he had a loving mother and some grandparent that sacrificed a great deal for him.  I just, and keep in mind, he’s going to not only change our country, he’s going to change the world for the better.

CURRY:  What struck you about that moment and has Hillary done enough to prevent a political insurgency in your party?

REID:  I came up—I came into the building a little while ago.  Hillary and I were there.  We hugged, talked a little bit, told each other how much we loved one another.

Hillary Clinton came up in the ninth inning with the bases loaded.  She’s the only batter and she knocked one out of the park.  She did what we knew she would do.  She’s a wonderful woman and I can’t express enough how proud I am of her and how America’s proud of this woman.

CURRY:  But has she done enough to convince her supporters to go Obama?

REID:  She’s told them she’s voting for Barack Obama here and on November 4th.

CURRY:  So, you’re convinced, they’re convinced that they’re going to vote, they’re going to stay home?

REID:  Oh, yes.  We got a poll out of Nevada today.  For the first time, we’re ahead by five points—the CNN Poll.  That’s a battleground state and we’re going to win it.

CURRY:  You have worked very closely with the Clintons.  What does Bill Clinton have to do tonight?  What does he have to say here tonight to satisfy the party?

REID:  None of us have to worry about Bill Clinton.  Bill Clinton is going to comes out here and does what he always does, mesmerize the audience.  We’re going to be talking about his speech for a long time to come.

CURRY:  What do you think he’s going to say?  Do you know what he’s going to say?

REID:  Oh, I have no idea.  But I guarantee you, he’s going to say, “We cannot elect John McCain, he’s wrong, he doesn’t have the temperament to be president, he’s wrong on the war, he’s wrong on the economy, he’s not good for this country.”

CURRY:  Obviously, you’re fired up.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, thank you so much for speaking to us and congratulations on your speech tonight.

All right, Chris, Keith, back to you.

OLBERMANN:  All right, Ann Curry.  He doesn’t have the temperament, not the first time that we’ve heard that from a Democratic leader as one of the new themes being rolled out by the Democratic Party about McCain—he doesn’t have the temperament.  Patrick Leahy said it the other day, too.

We’re going to have our—first a visit with our insiders next.  Later on, we’ll be joined by former President Clinton’s press secretary, Dee Dee Myers as we get closer to his big speech at the top of the hour.  And as we go to break here, you’ll be seeing videotape of the Melissa Etheridge performance at the convention center.  (INAUDIBLE)



MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to Denver on day three of the Democratic National Convention.  We’re joined by the insiders, long-time and much-respected Republican strategist Mike Murphy, and former U.S. Congressman from Tennessee Harold Ford Jr.  Gentlemen, I want to ask you a very pointed question, politically speaking—politically speaking, is this convention achieving the goal of uniting the Clinton forces with the Obama forces with the purpose of winning an election?  Mike Murphy? 

MIKE MURPHY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  No, I give it a B, not an A.  It’s a solid convention, but so far not a remarkable one.  It had high points, a little flatness.  I was surprised.  I felt a little better about it, but I wandered around some of the hotels today, met a couple of delegates, met some very seasoned politicians from the swing states who have known a long time, who pulled me inside and said, you know, this thing doesn’t feel as good as it should. 

I will put a big parenthetical on that.  It’s only been the wind up.  Now it’s going to be Barack Obama’s show tomorrow and I think Bill Clinton can do some good tonight.  I’m going to be watching to see if they can change the channel after Clinton’s speech and make this convention really about Barack Obama, because he’s what this election boils down to for the Democrats.  They got to sell him.  He’ll have his shot tomorrow.  We’ll see how he does. 

MATTHEWS:  Herald Ford, your assessment.  Give it a grade. 

HAROLD FORD JR., DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  I give it a B plus.  I think it can rise—I agree with Mike to a large extent that tonight Senator Biden’s comments will be very, very important.  But this convention always belonged—any convention belongs to the nominee.  Barack will have to perform on Thursday night.  I think expectations have been raised pretty dog gone high, but he has proven when the pitch has to be hit, and the ball has to be connected with hard, he has done it. 

I do think Bill Clinton tonight is going to do what Bill Clinton does so well.  He’s going to lay out in concrete, specific and hard-hitting ways why John McCain is not fit to be president.  We can speculate, day in and day out, about whether Hillary and Bill Clinton have aligned themselves with Barack Obama.  Remember, elections—campaigns are about winning.  Hillary Clinton, last night, I think exceeded expectations.  Bill Clinton tonight, as he did eight years ago, where he defined compassionate conservatism for Democrats as being nothing more than great, flowery, soft, lovely language, but when it came to action, there wouldn’t be much.  He will do a similar thing this evening.  And I anticipate he will do it well. 

MATTHEWS:  Mike, the winner of an NBA game or any contest goes to the team that really wants it, often times, the team you can see really wants the final game.  Do the Republicans, this time, want it as much as the Democrats?  I want a real tough assessment here? 

MURPHY:  No, I think both want is it a lot.  The Republicans have been pretty demoralized during the primary, watching the Obama phenomenon, but now I think the feeling is it’s flattened out.  I think Obama has had a problem, for all his great skills, pivoting from a primary oriented message to a general election message.  He’s got time, but the Republicans are sensing a shock in a bad Republican year, because they have a guy McCain who, in the best scenario—and we’ll see how his convention works out, open question—can run as a different kind of Republican. 

So Barack could under-perform, McCain could over-perform.  That could give McCain an upset win.  Barack has the advantage.  McCain is in the hunt. 

MATTHEWS:  Harold, it’s hard for me to believe that.  I talk to Republicans.  They will go along with McCain.  It’s not a love affair.  Barack Obama has the love of at least a majority of the Democrats.  What do you think? 

FORD:  Chris, you said it better the other night than anyone has said it.  Enthusiasm when you walk in the voting booth is irrelevant.  A vote counts the same if you go in hyper-excited or kind of excited.  Anyone that believes that John McCain is not excited, won’t be motivated, is not going to work hard is kidding themselves.  If there’s anyone in the Obama campaign and or anyone—which I don’t believe there is—if there is anyone that believes this guy is not going to come out and give 110 percent. 

I traveled to Iraq with John McCain.  We got out of the helicopter on a border in Israel and he had blood gushing down his face.  It turned out he had hit his head on top of a nail in the helicopter.  He got stitched up in the back of an SUV and we continued the day.  The guy was in his late 60s.  I know a lot of guys in their 20s who would have said we’ve got to call it a day.  This guy is tough.  Barack knows that.  His campaign knows that.

I know that coming out of the Republican convention, Barack and Joe Biden—there’s no tougher candidate in the Senate than Joe Biden—I think they know what they’re up against. 

MATTHEWS:  Mike Murphy, as an Irish American, let me put to you a tough ethnic question.  Back in 1928, the country wasn’t ready to elect a Catholic, certainly not a New Yorker, with a New York accent and manner.  In 1960, they were ready to elect a rather aristocratic Irish Catholic, who didn’t wear his religion on his sleeve.  Are we in ‘60 or in ‘28 when it comes to race relations and race politics in this country? 

MURPHY:  Well, I think the Irish will always lead the way to justice.  But I do think—here is Barack’s problem at the beginning, really, of this campaign: you’ve got over 50 percent of the people say they want a Democrat.  You’ve got less than that, 45 percent or so, saying Barack.  He has a gap.  He’s got Democrats or Democrat-leaning voters who are not sold on him.  And Hillary Clinton can’t deliver them.  They’re about Hillary Clinton.  They’re about not liking Barack. 

Only Barack can close the deal.  If he runs a smart campaign, he might.  But that is the question.  And the racial aspect is there.  It’s unfortunate.  We don’t know how it will turn out. 

FORD:  Here’s the advantage he has, Chris, and this is the one point I disagree with Mike fervently.  Of that 12 to 15 percent of undecided voters, they have one common characteristic.  They cannot stand the performance of this country over the last eight years.  They believe George Bush has mismanaged the country.  And if Barack and Joe Biden, which Biden did so well last Saturday, are able to tie McCain to Bush and make the case that Hillary Clinton made last night, that we can’t afford four more of the last eight years, they will win an overwhelming majority of that independent and undecided vote, and even allow that Hillary vote, who will come to learn that John McCain will appoint jurists to the bench who don’t agree with them, who will pass an education plan that doesn’t agree with them, and might leave us in Iraq for several decades. 

MURPHY:  I would say, some of those voters, those Catholic, blue collar white voters who are older, high school educated, are culturally conservative.  Barack’s got to be careful about alienating them.  They’re in Macomb County, Michigan, Cayahoga County, Ohio.  They will decide the election.  He has to be very careful politically. 

FORD:  Anyone who has a subprime loan, anyone that’s worried about their jobs and their health care are going to take a hard look at Barack Obama.  If he can make the case, he will win this race. 

MATTHEWS:  Mike Murphy, you were quick to assign a grade to this convention.  Assign a grade to this presidency? 

MURPHY:  I’m sorry, Chris, couldn’t hear. 

MATTHEWS:  I know you don’t want to hear it.  Assign a grade to this presidency, the Bush presidency.  Give it a grade, you, Mike Murphy, with your name on it. 


MATTHEWS:  Thank you very much, a C for this administration from Mike Murphy. 


MURPHY:  Hey, I tell the truth. 

MATTHEWS:  An honest man.  Thanks Mike Murphy.  Thank you to the insider—the other insider, Harold Ford.  Twenty five minutes away right now from the scheduled start of the big speech of the night, certainly the first big one, Bill Clinton, the former president, about to weigh in.  He’s a heavy weight.  When we return, his former White House press secretary, our colleague, Dee Dee Myers. 

By the way, there’s Michelle Obama up there.  You’re watching it, all the coverage.  MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention live from Denver. 


OLBERMANN:  Senator Clinton taking her place inside the Pepsi Center.  Her husband will give one of the most important speeches of the entire Democratic pre-campaign campaign, as the stitching is—last stitching is put back into place in the party, done so marvelously by her last night and again this afternoon in moving for the vote by acclimation of Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for 2008. 

Later tonight, after Bill Clinton’s speech, the speech from vice presidential nominee Joe Biden. 

MATTHEWS:  As we await President Clinton’s speech, we’re joined by former Clinton White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers.  I’m sure, Dee Dee, many a night in the White House, you went through scurrying that went into that last-minute drafting process.  What do you think it’s like in the suite of the Clintons right now? 

DEE DEE MYERS, FMR. CLINTON PRESS SECRETARY:  Well, you know, I just saw a motorcade pull up from the balcony.  And I assume it was President Clinton arriving just a couple minutes ago here at the Pepsi Center.  I remember—I mean, Bill Clinton never finished a speech until he absolutely had to.  I know that’s still his pattern.  I’m sure he was making notes, scribbling notes onto his text as he drove here, and asking some poor aide to enter them into the computer so they could show up on the prompter five minutes from now. 

It was always a hair raising experience to see he liked to do that, how he was comfortable with it.  Somehow, he almost always managed to pull it off. 

MATTHEWS:  I’m sure it was like those scenes from the movie “Broadcast News” with Joan Cusack racing along, putting a tape in the machine. 

MYERS:  Very much like that. 

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about what it was like watching the former president watch Mrs. Clinton or Senator Clinton last night.  What was that like?  You know all the Clinton story.  You know it all. 

MYERS:  Well, I lived a couple chapters of it.  I’m not sure I know it all.  But it was moving to watch him watch her.  You could see the tears in his eyes and you could sort of feel the emotion and kind of imagine what he was going through.  This race was very tough on—losing it was very tough on Hillary Clinton, but I think, in many ways, Bill Clinton has taken it harder.  I think it’s hard to lose, but it’s harder to watch somebody you love sometimes go through—lose a race that you believe they should have won. 

But I thought Hillary Clinton really did a terrific job last night.  She just nailed it.  She delivered that line about, I ask you, why did you get into this?  Did you get into it for me or did you get into it for them?  I don’t think anybody could walk out of here, any of those delegates, not knowing what she clearly wanted them to do, which was to work to elect Barack Obama. 

We’ll see what President Clinton has to say tonight.  The one thing I think we’re all sure of is this will not be a ten-minute speech, even though he has a ten-minute slot. 

OLBERMANN:  That’s going out on a limb, isn’t it? 

MYERS:  Hey, I’m confident, not brave. 

OLBERMANN:  Now, every bit of reporting from Richard Wolffe through the Associated Press to Andrea Mitchell, everybody who has heard anything about what’s in this speech has agreed there is going to be some attempt to roll back specifically the he’s not ready to be commander in chief meme from the primary season.  How good do you have to be to roll back what was one of the two or three corner stones of the primary campaign against this man?  How good do you have to be?  What magic do you have to summon? 

MYERS:  Well, look, I don’t think he has to convince everybody the first time he utters the words.  I think the most important thing he has to do is come out and make a credible case that he believes it, that he believes that Barack Obama has grown in his role as a candidate, that he has the judgment and experience to be president, to be a good commander in chief, that he’s made some tough calls, that he’s made the right calls. 

Look, I think if he can do that, that will be a terrific end to the Clinton chapter of this convention.  Look, the Clinton piece has been a very big piece of this so far.  Hillary pulled hers off with aplomb.  I’m not sure everybody in the NBC broadcast booth believed Hillary Clinton when she said she wanted her name put into a roll call to be cathartic.  I think it was absolutely cathartic here this afternoon. 

When you saw Nancy Pelosi ask the delegates to acclaim Obama as the nominee, and the enthusiasm with which this room said I, it was remarkable.  I think it—it was a testament to her judgment that that’s what her delegates need.  We’re now past that. 

The piece that remains to be seen is how does Bill Clinton put the exclamation point on the end of the Clinton story here in Denver. 

OLBERMANN:  And the motive issue.  We talked about this all day yesterday.  I had a minority opinion.  I’m not going to boast about being right, because I think it was just common sense.  It wasn’t any kind of insight.  But bottom line here, the bottom line of bottom lines for both of these Clintons is that they have to live in this country for the next four years, as well.  Never mind the 2012 nomination and never mind the 20 -- we are just hoping we can get this country to 2012.  Is that Bill Clinton’s bottom line of bottom lines? 

MYERS:  Yes.  And I think when Hillary Clinton last night talked about the soldier who couldn’t get health care and, you know, the single mother with children fighting cancer and, you know, all the people who feel invisible, I think she reminded people that she went into the country and connected with those people and she got into this races, and I believe it, because she cared about those people.  How can she turn her back on what’s in their best interest, because she didn’t win the nomination?  I think, after November, we’ll see what happens.  But between now and November, I really believe that Hillary Clinton and I hope Bill Clinton will be very much focused on getting Barack Obama elected, because I know they believe that’s in the country’s best interest. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, Dee Dee, I know you think I’m recalcitrant, but I do believe what you say now.  I now believe what you said before.  I now believe that this whole convention is—has been to use your word, cathartic.  I do believe people want to be visible that were invisible.  I do believe that people that feel, and still feel to some extent they are lacking in the respect they deserve, want more of it.  So, you’re right.  Dee Dee Myers, thank you. 

MYERS:  Thank you. 

OLBERMANN:  Up next, Norah O’Donnell and our panel.  And we get ready for President Clinton’s speech, coming at the top of the hour.  This is MSNBC’s continuing coverage of the Democratic Convention live from Denver. 


OLBERMANN:  The scene at the Pepsi Center in the minutes before Bill Clinton’s speech.  On the left of your screen, Chelsea and Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama was in the right half of that screen, taking a little break just beforehand.  We rejoin you from Denver with MSNBC’s coverage of day three of the Democratic convention.  Former President Clinton due to speak at the top of the hour. 

MATTHEWS:  And let’s check back in with Norah O’Donnell and the panel.

O’DONNELL:  All right, Chris and Keith, thank you.  Now, Rachel Maddow joins us.  Great to have you on.  And the clock is ticking, like eight minutes now until we hear from President Bill Clinton.  We’re not going to try to psycho-analyze too much, Rachel.  What does he need to say tonight? 

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  I frankly feel the unity issue, surprisingly enough, was settled last night.  When Bill Clinton speaks tonight, what we’re going to be waiting to find out is not whether or not the issues between the Clinton camp and the Obama camp have been settled.  I feel like, and it’s surprised me maybe more than anybody, that that issue was done, as of last night, or at least as of this morning when all the delegations met to talk about their plans for today. 

So the question is, how senator—how President Clinton will signal the choice between Barack Obama and John McCain to the rest of the country.  He is an elder statesman.  He does represent the Democratic party more than anybody else in this country, other than Senator Obama right now.  And people are going to be waiting to find out how he sees that choice. 

Bill Clinton is always a wildcard.  We’re all going to be on the edge of our seats. 

O’DONNELL:  Pat, what does Bill Clinton need to say in terms of experience?  Does he need to come out and say, essentially, that Barack Obama is ready on day one? 

BUCHANAN:  He needs to validate Barack Obama.  There’s no question about it.  The first thing he needs to do is make sure that you cannot get that piece of rice paper between him and Barack Obama.  So he’s going to endorse him right up front. 

Secondly, I think he will defend, justifiably, his economic record that, which was excellent.  And he’s going to answer that I was a transformational president.  I think he’s going to go after John McCain.  I think he’s going to do it on the economy.  I think he’ll do it—I think he’ll do it—he will do it better than Hillary Clinton did it. 

O’DONNELL:  Two key questions.  Will he keep it to ten minutes, which he is supposed to? 

ROBINSON:  No, that’s easy.  But I think what he will do, and it’s very important, is the validation Pat was talking about, answering the 3:00 a.m. question, saying this man is ready it be president on day one.  That’s what Bill Clinton, I think, will do tonight and I think it’s the most helpful thing he can do for the Obama campaign.   

O’DONNELL:  As we await for President Bill Clinton to take the stage and make this speech tonight, I think one of the things we have talked about too is his competitive spirit.  The reviews were good for Hillary Clinton’s speech.  You called it a turning point.  We’re going to have much more.  I’m going to send it back to Chris and Keith, because Bill Clinton is expected to address this Democratic party.  Back to you guys. 

OLBERMANN:  When we come back, former president Bill Clinton. 


OLBERMANN:  Back in Denver and night three of the Democratic National Convention.  And the room is abuzz again.  Former President Bill Clinton will be taking to that podium in a matter of minutes, at most.  Keith Olbermann, alongside Chris Matthews, here in Denver.  It’s hard it imagine how he’ll do this.  And, yet, I suspect he will. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, it could be ten minutes to rock the world, because, let’s face it, this has been the big question, can the party unite?  Can Bill and Hillary Clinton bring it together?  No one thought—and do think today that Barack Obama can do it by himself.  He can appeal for unity, but he’s the one that needs it.  He’s the supplicant.  Someone has to offer it up.  Someone has to deliver it.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, CO-HOST:  No one thought and do think today that Barack Obama can do it by himself.  He can appeal for unity but he’s the one that needs it.  He’s the supplicate.  Someone has to offer it up, someone has to deliver it.

KEITH OLBERMANN, CO-HOST:  There you see Senator Clinton who did it last night and her daughter, now the introduction of President Clinton.

REP. KENDRICK MEEK, (D) FLORIDA:  Hello, my name is Kendrick Meek and I’m proud to represent south Florida in the U.S. Congress.  I’m also proud to introduce my good friend, the 42nd president of the United States—Bill Clinton.


MEEK:  His two terms as president show that when a Democrat is in-charge of our country and what America can accomplish when a Democrat is in the White House is a wonderful thing.  President Clinton presided over the longest economic expansion in U.S. history—more than 22 million new jobs, the lowest unemployment rate in 40 years, the lowest poverty rate in 20 years, the lowest crime rate in 26 years, and the highest homeownership in U.S. history.

He did all of this, while inheriting a deficit from the previous president and leaving a record surplus for the president we have now.

As commander-in-chief, President Bill Clinton presided over the military to be able to prepare it to be able to win wars.  At the same time, making the feat in Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and he left a legacy of national strength and common national purpose on which President Barack Obama is going to rebuild.


MEEK:  My fellow Americans, I give you one of the greatest presidents of the United States of America, William Jefferson Clinton.



WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Thank you.


CLINTON:  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you very much  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.


CLINTON:  Ladies and gentlemen –


CLINTON:  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Thank you.

You all sit down, we have to get on with the show here.  Come on.


CLINTON:  Thank you.  Ladies and gentlemen, I am honored to be here tonight.  Sit down.


CLINTON:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  I am honored to be here tonight –


CLINTON:  I appreciate it.  Thank you.  Please sit.  Please sit.  You know, I—I love this.  I thank you.  But we have important work to do here tonight.  I am here, first, to support Barack Obama.


CLINTON:  And, second—and, second, I’m here to warm up the crowd for Joe Biden.


CLINTON:  So, as you will soon see, he doesn’t need any help from me.  I love Joe Biden.  And America will, too.

What a year we Democrats have had.  The primary began with an all-star lineup and came down to two remarkable Americans, locked in a hard-fought contest, right to the very end.  That campaign generated so much heat, it increased global warming.


CLINTON:  Now, in the end, my candidate didn’t win.  But I’m really proud of the campaign she ran.


CLINTON:  I am proud that she never quit on the people she stood up for, on the changes she pushed for, on the future she wanted for all our children.  And I’m grateful for the chance Chelsea and I had to go all over America to tell people about the person we know and love.  Now, I am not so grateful for the chance to speak in the wake of Hillary’s magnificent speech last night, but I’ll do the best I can.

Last night, Hillary told us to no uncertain terms that she is going to do everything she can to elect Barack Obama.


CLINTON:  That makes two of us.


CLINTON:  Actually, that makes 18 million of us.


CLINTON:  Because, like Hillary, I want all of you who supported her to vote for Barack Obama in November.  And here’s why.  And I have the privilege of speaking here, thanks to you, from a perspective that no other American Democrat except President Carter can offer.  Our nation is in trouble—on two fronts.

The “American Dream” is under siege at home and America’s leadership in the world has been weakened.  Middle class and low-income Americans are hurting, with incomes declining, job losses, poverty, and inequality rising, mortgage and foreclosures, and credit debt increasing, healthcare coverage disappearing and a very big spike in the cost of food, utilities, and gasoline.

And our position in the world has been weakened, by too much unilateralism and too little cooperation.


CLINTON:  By a perilous dependence on imported oil, by a refusal to lead on global warming, by a growing indebtedness and a dependence on foreign lenders, by a severely burdened military, by a backsliding on global nonproliferation and arms control agreements, and by a failure to consistently use the power of diplomacy—from the Middle East to Africa to Latin America to central and eastern Europe.


CLINTON:  Clearly, the job of the next president is to rebuild the “American Dream” and to restore American leadership in the world.


CLINTON:  And here’s what I have to say about that.  Everything I learned in my eight years as president and in the work I have done since in America and across the globe, has convinced me that Barack Obama is the man for this job.


CLINTON:  Thank you.  Now, he has a remarkable ability to inspire people, to raise our hopes and rally us to high purpose.  He has the intelligence and curiosity every successful president needs.  His policies on the economy, on taxes, on healthcare, on energy are far superior to the Republican alternative.  He has shown—he has shown a clear grasp of foreign policy and national security challenges, and a firm commitment to rebuild our badly-strained military.

His family heritage and his life experiences have given him a unique capacity to lead our increasingly diverse nation and an ever more interdependent world.


CLINTON:  The long, hard primary tested and strengthened him.  And in his first presidential decision—the selection of a running mate, he hit it out of the park.


CLINTON:  With Joe Biden’s experience and wisdom supporting Barack Obama’s proven understanding, instincts and insight, America will have the national security leadership we need.  And so, my fellow Democrats, I say to you, Barack Obama is ready to lead America and to restore American leadership in the world.


CLINTON:  Barack Obama is ready to honor the oath “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”


CLINTON:  Barack Obama is ready to be president of the United States.


CLINTON:  As president, he will work for an America with more partners and fewer adversaries.  He will rebuild our frayed alliances and revitalize the international institutions which help share the cost of the world’s problems and to leverage the power of our influence.  He will put us back in the forefront of the world’s fight against global warming, and the fight to reduce nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

He will continue and enhance our nation’s commendable global leadership in an area in which I am deeply involved—the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria including –


CLINTON:  Including—and this is very important—a renewal of the battle against HIV and AIDS here at home.


CLINTON:  A president Obama will choose diplomacy first and military force as a last resort.


CLINTON:  But, in a world troubled by terror, by trafficking in weapons, drugs and people, by human rights abuses of the most awful kind, by other threats to our security, our interests and our values.  When he cannot convert adversaries into partners, he will stand up to them.


CLINTON:  Barack Obama also will not allow the world’s problems to obscure its opportunities.  Everywhere, in rich and poor countries alike, hard-working people need good jobs, secure affordable healthcare, food and energy, quality education for their children and economically beneficial ways to fight global warming.  These challenges cry out for American ideas and American innovation.  When Barack Obama unleashes them, America will save lives, win new allies, open new markets, and create wonderful new jobs for our own people.


CLINTON:  Most important of all, Barack Obama knows that America cannot be strong abroad unless we are first strong at home.


CLINTON:  People, the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power.


CLINTON:  Look—look at the example the Republicans have set.


CLINTON:  In this decade, American workers have consistently given us rising productivity.  That means year after year they work harder and produce more.  Now, what did they get in return?  Declining wages, less than ¼ as many new jobs as in the previous eight years, smaller healthcare and pension benefits, rising poverty, and the biggest increase in income in equality since the 1920s.


CLINTON:  American families by the millions are struggling with soaring healthcare costs and declining coverage.  I will never forget the parents of children with autism and other serious conditions who told me on the campaign trail that they couldn’t afford healthcare and couldn’t qualify their children for Medicaid unless they quit work and starved or got a divorce.  Are these the family values the Republicans are so proud of?

What about the military families pushed to the breaking point by multiple, multiple deployments?  What about the assault on science and the defense of torture?  What about the war on unions and the unlimited favors for the well-connected?


CLINTON:  And what about Katrina and cronyism?


CLINTON:  My fellow Democrats, America can do better than that.


CLINTON:  And Barack Obama will do better than that.


CLINTON:  But first –


CLINTON:  Yes, he can.  But, first, we have to elect him.


CLINTON:  The choice is clear, the Republicans in a few days will nominate a good man, who has served our country heroically and who suffered terribly in a Vietnamese prison camp.  He loves his country every bit as much as we do.  As a senator, he has shown his independence of right-wing orthodox beyond some very important issues.

But on the two great questions of this election: How to rebuild the “American Dream” and how to restore America’s leadership in the world—he still embraces the extreme philosophy that has defined his party for more than 25 years.

And it is—to be fair to all the Americans who aren’t as hard core Democrats as we—it’s a philosophy the American people never actually had a chance to see in action fully until 2001, when the Republicans finally gained control of both the White House and the Congress.  Then we saw what would happen to America.

If the policies they had talked about for decades actually were implemented.  And look what happened—they took us from record surpluses to an exploding debt, from over 22 million new jobs to just 5 million, from increasing working families incomes to nearly $7,500 a year to a decline of more than $2,000 a year, from almost 8 million Americans lifted out of poverty to more than 5.5 million driven in to poverty and millions more losing their health insurance.

Now, in spite of all this evidence, their candidate is actually promising more of the same.


CLINTON:  Think about it.  More tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that will swell the deficit, increase inequality and weaken the economy.  More Band-Aids for healthcare that will enrich insurance company, impoverish families, and increase the uninsured.  More going it alone in the world instead of building the share of responsibilities and shared opportunities necessary to advance our security and restore our influence.  They actually want us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more.

Now, let’s send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America—a simple message: “Thanks, but no thanks.”


CLINTON:  In this case—in this case, the third time is not the charm.


CLINTON:  My fellow Democrats, 16 years ago, you gave me the profound honor to lead our party to victory and to lead our nation to a new era of peace and broadly shared prosperity.  Together, we prevailed in a hard campaign in which the Republicans said I was too young and too inexperienced to be commander-in-chief.


CLINTON:  Sound familiar?  It didn’t work in 1992 because we were on the right side of history.  And it will not work in 2008 because Barack Obama is on the right side of history.


CLINTON:  Now, Senator Obama’s life is a 21st century incarnation of the old-fashioned “American Dream.”  His achievements are proof of our continuing progress toward the more perfect union of our founder’s dreams.  The values of freedom and equal opportunity, which have given him his historic chance, will drive him as president to give all Americans, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability, their chance to build a decent life and to show our humanity, as well as our strength to the world.

We see that humanity, that strength and our nation’s future in Barack and Michelle Obama and their beautiful children.  We see them reinforce by the partnership with Joe Biden, his fabulous wife, Jill, a wonderful teacher and their family.  Barack Obama will lead us away from the division and fear of the last eight years back to unity and hope.

So, if, like me, you believe America must always be a place called “Hope,” and join Hillary and Chelsea and me in making Barack Obama the next president of the United States.  Thank you and God bless you.  Thank you.



OLBERMANN:  President Bill Clinton and the “Ready, ready, ready” speech.  If anybody could roll back that theme from the primary season, he could do it.  I think he just did.

MATTHEWS:  The speech had snap and I thought the best line was the one that had the most snap, which was “Hillary told us in no uncertain terms that she will do everything she can to elect Barack Obama and that makes two of us.”

OLBERMANN:  And adding then to it, “Actually, that makes 18 million of us.”  Again, reinforcing last night’s message, that if you supported—if you supported his wife in the primary season, if you were ready to cast your vote for her to be president of the United States, it follows as the night to day, you must cast your vote for Obama.

And to hear him say it and to hear him say it with conviction and with 100 percent of the fastball –


OLBERMANN:  For all the commentaries, the most disturbing part of the last eight months have not been what he said, but a sense that maybe he didn’t have that full grasp of the political spear any more.  I think he put that to bed tonight.  I think he buried that premise.  That was a superb speech, again, superbly delivered.

Remember, we were worried or the Obama camp and the Clinton camp were both worried he might be booed coming out.


OLBERMANN:  Instead, he got 3 ½ minutes of applause before they let him talk.

MATTHEWS:  And I think he gave the keynote point here.  Again, I believe politics must be aggressive to be successful and must be negative in many cases, especially when you’re trying to take power back, which is what they’re trying to do.

Listen to this line, this is the Republican, this is his description of the other team: “They want us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more, let’s send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America.  Thanks, but no thanks.  In this case, the third time is not the charm.”

That’s what people like to hear, like they like to hear last night about the twin cities, and the fact that McCain and Bush are twins.  They love that line that you liked, as well, about the sidekick, not the maverick.

OLBERMANN:  Yes.  Senator Bob Casey said it.

MATTHEWS:  I think I agree with Pat Buchanan on this one point, this convention needs more of that spark, more of that snap beginning to get it.

OLBERMANN:  And please notice also that in there amid the snappy lines, the ones that you correctly assess are necessary and useful and you’ll carry away, there was also at least one shot towards John McCain’s solar plexus: “On the two great questions of this election, how to rebuild the “American Dream” and how to restore America’s leadership in the world, he, McCain, still embraces the extreme philosophy, which has defined his party for more than 25 years.”

He called John McCain and the Republicans extremists.  And as we sit around saying, “Where is the red meat?”  It was hidden in there, but that’s kind of the attitude that is reflective of much of the Democratic campaign at the grassroots level and that’s what they wanted to hear and they heard it from the man who had been perceived until recently as being perhaps not fully engaged in this.


OLBERMANN:  And again, I think, he put that as far to bed as it was possible to be put.

Let’s go into the Pepsi Center, two people who saw this firsthand without the intervention of television—our special correspondent, Tom Brokaw, and our political director, Chuck Todd.

Tom, overall picture on the ark of this speech?

TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT:  Elvis was back in the hall tonight.  It was probably not his greatest performance in terms of sheer poetry; it was kind of painting by the numbers by Bill Clinton standards.  He knew all the markers that he had to hit and he hit them repeatedly.  As you indicated, Keith, I think, with such great insight.

And the fact is that the theme here was, “He’s ready, he’s ready, he’s ready to be commander-in-chief.  They said the same thing about me and it worked out fine for the eight years I was there.”  I was not surprised by this performance tonight.  I don’t think Chuck was, either.

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC POLITICAL DIRECTOR:  No.  He definitely seemed to embrace his role as being the patriarch of the Democratic Party.  He was almost as if he’s saying, “Look, let me tell you about my disciple, Barack Obama.”  The only thing I think Republicans will jump on, I thought, was when he said, “With Joe Biden’s experience and wisdom, supporting Barack Obama’s proven understanding,” this has been a theme the Republicans have been trying to jump on, which is Obama is trying to borrow Biden’s experience in order to sell himself.  And in some ways, this is the only line, I thought, that jumped out at me that said, all right.  The McCain campaign is going to use that line to say, “This is more proof.  Even Bill Clinton thinks that Obama’s trying to borrow somebody else’s experience and doesn’t have the experience on his own.” 

But I’ll say the most powerful graph I think was when he compared himself in 1992 to Obama in ‘08.  And what I find interesting about it is Bill Clinton was repeatedly asked this question about ‘92 because Bill Clinton is actually younger — was younger in ‘92 than Barack Obama is now.  And at the time when he was asked that, “Oh, no, no, no.  I was governor for over a decade.  I had dealt with all these things.”  So, you can just tell time heals all wounds and past statements are past statements. 

OLBERMANN:  But one point you made is vitally important about the references to Biden, Chuck.  There has to be a rationale.  If you’re Bill Clinton and you want people to believe that this is what you believe, you can’t just come out and say, “Hey, I changed my mind.  Vote for him.”  There has to be some evolution that you saw in him that you can then say created this evolution in your chain of thought. 

And maybe it was worth the sacrifice of putting that out there for the Republicans to chew on, if it’s necessary.  To be able to say the primary tested him and the Biden choice was his first presidential decision and he hit it out of the park.  You’ve got to provide the rationale.  Was that not the rationale?

TODD:  No, doubt.  I think that was a very interesting way to look at it, absolutely.  He was making that case and was almost prosecutorial in sort of laying out the argument as to how Bill Clinton got to the decision that he was comfortable with Barack Obama as president. 

But still, that will be the line that I think they’ll use to try to tweak Obama here a little bit.  But overall, again, it was, it was a patriarchal speech and I think Tom is right.  He didn’t try to overshadow Hillary and he didn’t try to make it a stem winder.  He just sort of enjoyed the moment. 

BROKAW:  I would also suggest, Keith, that there may be a counterpunch coming from the Democrats because all the indications are, at this point, at least, that Sen. McCain will try to pick somebody who can help him with the economy.  So, they’ll come back to him on that and say, “What’s more important to you?”  What Bill Clinton did here was point out understanding, as he put it, with the skills in the national security area.  They’ve got John McCain on the record saying, “I don’t know much about the economy.”  And if he goes to somebody like Mitt Romney, all the obvious conclusions will be, he had to go there because he just doesn’t know enough about the economy, which still registers with the American voters as the number one issue.  

TODD:  And Keith, we are 48 hours from McCain doing this pick.  “The New York Times” already out with the story this morning saying that the short list is what we think it is — Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and maybe Joe Lieberman and a fourth name that is being thrown out there, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas as sort of a surprise possibility.  But then again, a lot of folks knocking it down already.  Hutchison and McCain never have been two senators that have gotten along.  But, again, the idea of McCain picking a woman because of the popularity of Hillary Clinton has to be tempting to some Republicans and that may be why that rumor’s out there. 

MATTHEWS:  Tom, first, what did you make of the acknowledgment of the service of John McCain in very glowing terms? 

BROKAW:  Well, look, for Bill Clinton and for anyone in the Democratic Party, for that matter, it’s a very tricky case taking on John McCain and trying to rough him up.  When John McCain was sitting in a prison in Hanoi, Bill Clinton was writing letters to his ROTC commander and trying to get out of the draft, which he did successfully.  It was an issue that he was really able to manage when he was running for president.  But at the same time, that’s still a very short fuse in America, as you know, Chris. 

And also a real fondness between the McCain and the Clintons.  You can’t forget that.  Sen. Clinton and Sen. McCain made a number of overseas trips together and very famously were doing shots together when they were up working at icebergs in Norway somewhere. 

But I think especially you have to be careful about how you go after John McCain because of that Vietnam experience.  Jim Webb has written in his latest book, “A Time to Fight” and repeated to me again just yesterday the Democratic Party still has a long way to go to win the confidence of Vietnam veterans and they don’t want to squander that here in the big hall. 

OLBERMANN:  Tom Brokaw, Chuck Todd inside that big hall.  Thank you both.  

Coming up, the reaction from our own Rachel Maddow.  Plus, David Gregory and Andrea Mitchell on the convention floor.  We now await Joe Biden’s speech about an hour from now.  Bill Clinton is in the book.  Barack Obama is ready to lead America and restore America’s leadership in the world, ready to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States.  Barack Obama is ready to be president of the United States.  You’re watching MSNBC’s live coverage of the Democratic National Convention.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  And we must use all the weapons in our arsenal, above all, our values.  President Obama and Vice President Biden will—


KERRY:  I have known and been friends with John McCain for almost 22 years.  But every day now, I learn something new about candidate McCain.  To those who still believe in the myth of a maverick instead of the reality of a politician, I say, let’s compare Sen. McCain to candidate McCain.  Candidate McCain now supports the very war-time tax cuts that Sen. McCain once called irresponsible.  Candidate McCain criticizes Sen. McCain’s own climate change bill.  Candidate McCain says he would vote against the immigration bill that Senator McCain wrote.  Are you kidding me, folks?  Talk about being for it before you’re against it. 

Let me tell you — let me tell you, before he ever debates Barack Obama, John McCain should finish the debate with himself.  And what’s more, Sen. McCain, who once railed against the smears of Karl Rove when he was the target has morphed into candidate McCain who is using the same Rove tactics, the same Rove staff, the same old politics of fear and smear — well, not this year, not this time.  The Rove-McCain tactics are old and outworn and America will reject them in 2008. 

OLBERMANN:  The mot juste coming from John Kerry, perhaps a little late for his own candidacy.  But, indeed, perhaps in time for Barack Obama.  That was moments ago as he addressed the Democratic Convention and got one of the loudest cheers throughout the entire event so far. 

We rejoin you from Denver.  Rachel Maddow host of our new 9:00 p.m. Eastern hour on MSNBC joins us now.  And a grateful nation says howdy. 

MADDOW:  I’m actually related to all of these people. 

OLBERMANN:  That’s very good.  All right.  Apparently, they want to hear what you have to say about this.  So tell me what you have to say about President Clinton’s speech and its relative effect?

MADDOW:  We knew that Bill Clinton would offer a full-throated endorsement of Barack Obama and he did.  When he said, “Everything I learned in my eight years as president and in the work I’ve done since in America and across the globe has convinced me that Barack Obama is the man for this job.”  You kind of can’t get any more full-throated than that. 

But what he did tonight beyond that is that he reminded every Democrat in the country that Bill Clinton knows how to beat Republicans in elections.  And if you were looking for red meat, it does not get more rarer than this.  Finally, somebody stood up there at that podium and said torture — Katrina, cronyism, the most unequal America we’ve had since the 1920s — to finally nail the Bush legacy of the past eight years. 

And sure he has the right to compare us to the eight years that preceded it.  But to go there over and over and over again, to make them the red meat that red here shows, I think — he’s starting to lead by example here trying to say “This is how you’ll beat these guys.” 

OLBERMANN:  What about the war on unions and the unlimited favors for the well-connected which got a rousing response from the crowd there and the one here?  And the point being of all this, I suppose, that there seems to be something of a thematic threat going through the entire convention starting with Teddy Kennedy on Monday night and passing all the way through Hillary Clinton last night, Sen. Clinton tonight and Joe Biden coming up after the top of the hour, where we’re expecting some serious body work with the punching against John McCain. 

They seem to be building towards a big, giant nose-thumbing to be polite about it towards the Republicans.  Is it satisfactory — is it enough to galvanize the anger in the country towards the Bush administration and focus it against the McCain candidacy?

MADDOW:  Well, I think it’s an attempt to connect with the country that already feels that way.  I mean, 80 percent of the country thinks we’re on the wrong track.  George Bush’s approval ratings are so low they’re approaching Cheney’s and that’s bad.  If the Democrats can identify themselves as the people who get what Americans are so mad about, the party that understands that what has been going on is wrong.  It’s not the future of America; it is the past that we need to repair and move on from, then Barack Obama as the standard-bearer is important and is nice, but the Democratic Party also brands itself as the party of a very dissatisfied country. 

So, that’s why you can be negative.  When the country feels this negative, it’s not discordant for a party convention to have a lot of negative words coming from the podium.  It actually ought to resonate with the American public if you believe the polls about what the American people say.

MATTHEWS:  Rachel, let’s talk about the campaign from now on involving former President Clinton.  It seems to me, I know I’m not in this business, but if I were to choreograph it now, I would put those two men on the road together, Barack and the former president.  I’d get them out there almost like a buddy film.  I’d get them going around even kidding with each other, showing they’re comfortable with each other, the white guy and the black guy, if you will, the Hillary guy and the Barack guy and show them out them there comfortably.  Because I think it’s so important for Barack to reach people he can’t reach, which are the people in the rural areas, the white people, the people that culturally are more conservative. 

MADDOW:  I think that that’s a strategy that they’re going to be trying to pursue.  We don’t know in terms of the characters and personalities involved here how much they’re going to want to be out there.  We don’t know if there is going to be resentment about spotlight-stealing among these huge characters.  Not shared huge characters like that on the Republican side that they have to fight about.  Nobody’s going to expect George Bush to be out there campaigning for them. 

I mean, I can imagine Sen. Clinton and Joe Biden doing a huge event in Scranton.  You know, I can imagine President Clinton and Barack Obama going anywhere in the world together and it being almost overwhelming in terms of its political impact.  We don’t know.  We’re so fascinated with the interpersonal drama here.  We don’t really know what limits they might have set, you know, personally.  But I think in terms of political effectiveness, the unity question is settled.  It’s just strategy now.  

OLBERMANN:  I have a question that pertains more to the man who is speaking right now, John Kerry, than it does to Bill Clinton.  John Kerry just got off maybe one of the best lines of the convention here.  He talked about being for it before you were against it, turning that phrase from 2004 back on the Republicans.  We saw Al Gore in the years after his campaign succeed by being absolute and fervent and himself. 

Kerry seems to have been entirely a different person than he was in 2004.  Is there instruction between those two men and what we just heard Bill Clinton say?  Is there instruction for how and how far Barack Obama should go about his campaign?

MADDOW:  I think there is specific instruction about how to talk about John McCain in a way that the country will not rebel against because of what John McCain’s POW service means to — for his political definition.  You can acknowledge his service.  You cannot talk about his personal life in a way that is slimier or that’s going to turn people off from you. 

But you can also talk about, I mean, as Joe Biden or John Kerry can do, having spent decades in the senate with this man and having seen the guy who they thought was an honorable politician, an honorable American leader turn into an almost unrecognizable John McCain in the candidate that he is today.  The way John McCain is running his campaign, who he’s got surrounding him and the flip-flop on all the major — on so many of the major positions that defined him as a popular Republican in the country at large — those are gone. 

And those — that’s the way to go after McCain.  And actually, that’s one of the great reasons that Biden is a good pick.  Sure, Biden takes away the ability of the Obama campaign to say, “Oh, John McCain he’s been in Washington for 26 years.”  You can’t really say that when Biden’s been there longer.  But Biden can say, “I used to know John McCain.  I don’t know him anymore.  I don’t recognize candidate McCain and the guy who has been my friend for decades.”  You heard John Kerry say some of that tonight.  I don’t think that can be taken on.  It’s all over. 

OLBERMANN:  All right.  I know John McCain and you, sir, are not John McCain any more.  

MADDOW:  That would work. 

OLBERMANN:  Rachel Maddow at T-Minus 12 days.  Thank you, Rachel. 

MADDOW:  Thank you.

MATTHEWS:  David Gregory joins us from the convention floor inside the Pepsi Center.  David?

DAVID GREGORY, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Thanks, Chris.  I’m here with Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois.  As a senator from Illinois, it’s an important night for you to have Barack Obama be almost officially the nominee. 

Let’s talk about President Clinton.  What strikes me about it is that at its core, it was an attempt to respond, not to the attacks of Obama’s Republican critics, but the attacks that came from Bill and Hillary Clinton that electing Barack Obama would be a roll of the dice, that effectively, he wasn’t ready to be president.  Was this speech enough to walk those criticisms back?

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL):  I think it was.  I think it was strong and unconditional and many of the same arguments in the primary that didn’t work are being resurrected again by the McCain campaign.  I think what Bill Clinton did today was not only make it clear he is supporting Barack Obama, but he believes that those charges being thrown by him by the Republicans are not going to resonate.  The American people can see in the success of Bill Clinton’s presidency that the charges of youth and inexperience don’t go too far. 

GREGORY:  And it was an intensely personal moment for Bill Clinton to adopt the argument that indeed Barack Obama has used which is that they used to say the same things about Bill Clinton. 

DURBIN:  Exactly.

GREGORY:  He spoke about Barack Obama in a more personal way.  He talked about his instincts, his understanding, his incisiveness, frankly, even more personally than Hillary Clinton did last night.  

DURBIN:  Well, I think it’s an interesting thing to try to analyze the Clintons and their approach. 

GREGORY:  But let’s do. 

DURBIN:  Well, let’s hear it for a minute.  And I will just tell you as a strong supporter of Barack Obama, one of the earliest, and as a good friend of Hillary Clinton, we couldn’t have asked for more last night.  And there was a question tonight, well, how far will Bill Clinton go? 

We couldn’t have asked for more from Bill Clinton.  He made it clear that when it comes to the choice in this election, it’s a clear choice.  And what I think what he did toward the end there was go through the expected litany of what has happened in the last eight years from what he left behind of the eight years of his presidency.

GREGORY:  But senator, it is one thing to rally the faithful here and say, “OK, I’m on board.  I’m going to give fulsome support to Sen. Obama.”  It is another thing for Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton to say to their supporters, white working class voters in important parts of this country, independent voters in the Rocky Mountain West in Colorado and beyond, “Hey, Barack Obama’s OK.”  Because a lot of the questions will be, “Well, what makes you all of a sudden comfortable with him when it was so clear that you were not in a tough primary battle that was in many ways like a real bad argument between friends or family.  You can say certain things that are not so easy to take back.  

DURBIN:  But I can tell you that the history, the past, the politics of the last several months, were really not going to, I think, determine what’s going to happen in the next two months.  In the next two months, we’re going to focus on the real campaign issues.  And a reminder, too, we’re political animals — you on the media side and me on the political side.  And most people aren’t.  You know, they focus their lives on the ordinary course of events, getting the kids ready for school, paying for gasoline.  Now, they have to focus on politics.  I don’t think the arguments of the past primaries are really going to decide their votes.  

GREGORY:  I know it’s been a night of a lot of personal pride for you because of your support of Sen. Obama.  Thanks for spending time with us. 

DURBIN:  Good to be with you.

GREGORY:  OK.  Back to you guys outside.  

OLBERMANN:  David Gregory, many thanks, with Sen. Dick Durbin on the floor of the Pepsi Center.  When we come back, we’ll begin the countdown to the speech from the vice presidential nominee, in fact, see the nomination.  Joe Biden for vice president of the United States, as our coverage continues live from Denver, Colorado. 


OLBERMANN:  At dusk, sunset in Denver, Colorado.  After Bill Clinton’s speech, let’s go inside the Pepsi Center.  Andrea Mitchell on the floor of the delegation with reaction.  Andrea?

ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  I’m here with Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the congresswoman who was a strong Clinton supporter and gave one of the seconding nominating speeches of Barack Obama as glasnost breaks out all over the floor. 

Here we are.  Bill Clinton tonight — did he do enough to bring all those reluctant voters and all those Clinton supporters over?

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL), CLINTON SUPPORTER:  He did.  He laid out just how much is at stake and helped lay the groundwork for the vision that Barack Obama will talk about to the country tomorrow night.  He left absolutely no doubt about where he would be.  Hillary did the same thing last night.  And we’re going to be fired up and ready to go for the rest of the general election cycle. 

MITCHELL:  Does this make it easier for you in selling your people back home?

SCHULTZ:  It really does.  We have President Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, all of whom are wildly popular in my home state.  And they’re going to be a one, two, three punch all across our state to make sure we can turn Florida blue.  

MITCHELL:  Briefly, can Barack Obama win Florida?

SCHULTZ:  Barack Obama will win Florida.  It’s one of the 18 battleground states.  They’re going to have an unprecedented amount of resources in our states, grassroots, second to none.  We are going to win Florida on November 4th

MITCHELL:  Debbie Wasserman Schultz, one of the rising stars of the Democratic Party, thank you very much.  Back to you, Keith. 

OLBERMANN:  Andrea Mitchell inside the Pepsi Center.  Thank you very much. 

All right.  In the next hour, the final big speech of this third night of the Democratic Convention.  As the vice presidential nominee is nominated, Joe Biden will take to the stage and has, we believe, some very strong words for the Republican Party and some very strong words, of course, on behalf of Barack Obama.  Our coverage of the third night of the Democratic National Convention 2008 continues from Denver right after this.



BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Last night, Hillary told us in no uncertain terms that she is going to do everything she can to elect Barack Obama. 



CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: “That makes two of us” was the next line.

Welcome back to MSNBC’s continuing coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. 


MATTHEWS:  President Clinton working his crowd into a frenzy, setting the stage, of course, for Joe Biden’s big speech as the vice presidential nominee, coming up in just about 20 minutes. 

I’m Chris Matthews, alongside Keith Olbermann. 


MATTHEWS:  Let’s go right now to the insiders, of course, Former U.S. Congressman from Tennessee Harold Ford Jr. and the longtime Republican strategist Mike Murphy. 

First to you, Mike, and then to Harold.

It seems to me the Republican ad writers, in all their zeal, are now composing an ad comparing Bill Clinton’s remarks favorable to Barack Obama tonight and those equally in 180 degrees unfavorable to him previous.  Do you expect that’s going on right now? 

MIKE MURPHY, REPUBLICAN MEDIA STRATEGIST:  Yes.  Yes, probably, it will be a miniseries. 

I mean, here’s what I—I would say about this speech.  I enjoyed the irony of it.  I think, first, Bill Clinton—it was a strong speech, effective.  He did what Hillary Clinton didn’t do last night, which was make a direct personal endorsement of Barack Obama. 

But I had to feel the irony, and I was chuckling at it.  I tried to look at it through the lens of Hillary Clinton, sitting there in the audience, thinking, you know, there is kind of the good Bill Clinton and the bad Bill Clinton.  For a year, Bill Clinton has screwed up his wife’s campaign.  Now the good Bill Clinton shows up to hit a strong triple for Barack Obama. 

The irony in that is tremendous, I think.

He was effective.  I will give him that.  But he ain’t running.  Barack Obama is.  And I’m waiting to see him come close the deal.  It has been all Clinton all the time.  Barack is going to hold his thing in another building.  And we will see how he does.       


What do you think of that, Harold Ford?  Do you think it’s OK, smart—John F. Kennedy did it, of course, at the Coliseum back in 1960, very dramatically going to another setting, a much larger venue, at the football stadium.  Is it smart to do that again? 

HAROLD FORD, MSNBC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR:  It’s bold, dramatic, and not too many people can pull it off.  Perhaps he can.  And I hope—I believe he will. 

Let me say one thing about this speech, about Bill Clinton’s remarks tonight.  He essentially answered the two or three big questions, I think, that McCain and that team will raise.  If you’re managing John McCain’s team, you would have to raise age and experience and say that, four years ago, Barack Obama was in the state Senate. 

But Bill Clinton walked through, the only—there are only two people—one was on this show tonight—Democrats, living presidents, who can give us a true sense of what qualities and characteristics and abilities you need as a president. 

He reminded us, Bill Clinton, that he was younger than Barack Obama 16 years ago, when he ran the first time and won.  He reminded us, with just his presence, that he had been—he was elected and reelected, the only Democrat in some 60 years, 67 years, to enjoy that distinction. 

So, to hear him lay out that Barack Obama is ready, that we can’t afford the four more years, he hit on the two themes that, if Mike Murphy were managing this speech tonight, I think he would have to agree.

And I don’t fault McCain for wanting to go after Barack the way he is going after him.  But what Clinton did tonight was to give Joe Biden and Barack Obama, I think, a good sense how to run this campaign forward. 

MURPHY:  But I think one footnote to that is, Bill Clinton had done a lot more when he was the young candidate running.  He had been a multi-term successful governor, been a leader in the party in the South and trying to move it to the center.


MURPHY:  Barack Obama is still relatively new and relatively inexperienced. 

You line those two guys up, and the fact is—sorry, partisan, one-note crowd—that there is a big experience gap. 

FORD:  Look, I don’t—I don’t doubt—I don’t that to be the case...


MURPHY:  Look at this.  I’m at a campaign rally, instead of doing a TV show.

FORD:  ... that there are many who will make the case of the inexperience.

But what Bill Clinton didn’t have that Barack Obama had, Barack Obama’s been into the war zone that we’re facing right now.  Barack Obama serves on the—on various committees in the Senate with responsibility for armed services. 

So, I think that the questions...


FORD:  The questions will be raised.  But what Bill Clinton did tonight, he helped unite this party.  He said to Clinton supporters that, “I’m not only OK with this; I’m ready for Obama’s presidency.”

The next several weeks, that will be the question.

MURPHY:  Yes.  Look, I will agree with you on that.

I think Bill and Hillary Clinton are the happiest people in town, because they came, they both crushed in good speeches, and they left.  And now they can go do what I would bet money they’re going to do, which is quietly vote for John S. McCain. 

FORD:  And...



MURPHY:  I believe that. 


MURPHY:  I believe it.  I believe it. 

FORD:  Mike wants to rattle this crowd, I think, and rattle us here on set. 

But the reality is this.  You now have to get out and get what—get to the issues.  I think Dick Durbin said it very well with the David Gregory interview.  It is now about taxes.  It’s about foreign policy.  It’s about energy.  It’s about infrastructure. 

And the questions now for Senator Obama—what the Clintons did for him, I think, in these last few day was to try to settle all of this intraparty stuff and the feuding.  It is now time to get out and talk about the issues. 

And if Barack Obama does that well, we will be getting ready to swear him in, in January. 


FORD:  If not, he won’t win the race.  I would agree with there. 

MURPHY:  It’s going to be very close.  It’s going to be very close. 

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you, Mike, are we to place the credibility of you as a pundit on your belief, which you have just asserted, that the Clintons will vote for John McCain? 

MURPHY:  Absolutely. 

I really believe Hillary Clinton will vote for McCain. 

Look, they’re friends.


MURPHY:  All right, come on.  Don’t shout me down.  Let me talk. 


MURPHY:  I mean, come on, this is—you guys are so in the tank, we ought to be filming this on a submarine. 

The fact is, Barack Obama, to his credit, has moved closer to Hillary Clinton and John McCain on foreign policy.  Hillary and John McCain are friends.  They have worked together well.

MATTHEWS:  Wait.  That’s an argument.  Mike, that’s not what I’m asking you. 


MATTHEWS:  Let me get back to the question. 

KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Let’s wrap him up, all right? 



MATTHEWS:  ... this question, Mike.  In what—you say the audience out there is biased.  Let me ask you a question. 

MURPHY:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  Where would you find an audience in sane America that would agree with you? 


MURPHY:  I believe it.  I believe that John McCain is a different kind of Republican.  And Hillary Clinton, who is a smart, tough, pragmatic Democrat, are a lot more common on most foreign policy questions. 

And, so, I just believe that.  And I think a lot of smart money people do.  A lot of reporters joke around about it.  I can’t know.  I can’t prove it. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, that’s ad copy.  Let me go—let’s ad copy, Mike.

Let’s go over to Harold Ford. 

That’s ad copy for Republican ad campaign.

Harold Ford, let me ask you this.  Do you really believe that, coming out of this experience, watching it tonight, which you can objectively observe, in watching the performance of the two Clintons, watching how they put their heart into this recommendation of their followers to vote for the man they got beaten by with all their hearts tonight, it was—how could they go from that performance and wish evil on this candidate? 

I’m asking you. 

FORD:  Well, I don’t—I don’t think that they can. 

I think—I disagree with Mike.  Mike’s entitled to his position.  And we have got to respect that.  He said in the last segment that he graded President Bush with a C.  And I don’t think is going to make him very popular with any of his Republican friends, especially those named Bush. 

That being said, what the Clintons did this last 48 hours, last 24 hours, is what Barack Obama needed.  We must not forget, primaries often produce this outcome.  As a matter of fact, they do every time.  You have a winner and you have a set of losers. 

Eight years ago, John McCain had to suck it up and go to the Republican Convention and say nice things about George Bush, after the Bush campaign had said those terrible things about him in South Carolina and everywhere else.  So, these things happen in primaries. 

This one here was unique, because you had a woman, an African-American.  You had all this money raised.  And they rang a long campaign.  This convention now gets ready for Joe Biden to speak this evening.  He will deliver what we hope will be an inspiring—and I happen to believe—an inspiring set of remarks. 

And, then, tomorrow, the big dance, what we have all been waiting for, the Super Bowl.



FORD:  The champion of the party will deliver his remarks tomorrow and help lay where we go. 

And then, come Friday morning, Chris and Keith...

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

FORD:  ... John McCain will select his V.P. nominee.  Then the question for my party at that point is, how do we sustain some of this momentum?  Because a lot of attention will shift to what John McCain and his V.P. nominee will do. 

MURPHY:  Right.  We have got a convention, too.  It will be a fair fight. 

And, by the way, I’m not saying the Clintons aren’t doing what they can to unite the party.  I thought they were two strong speeches.  I have been saying that for a couple days.  I just think, in the privacy of the ballot box, that’s what I’m predicting. 



MURPHY:  At least for Hillary.  I don’t know about Bill.

MATTHEWS:  Thank you very much, Harold Ford, Mike Murphy.

And now a news bulletin based upon that interview for CNN, for FOX television.  Mike Murphy, the Republican strategist of great renown, has given the Bush administration a C for its performance the last eight years. 

Let’s go now to former DNC chairman David Wilhelm.  

David, let me ask you, what did you make of Mike Murphy’s pronunciamento, his declaration that the party that he loves has achieved a mediocrity of success the last eight years? 

DAVID WILHELM, FORMER CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN MANAGER:  That is some serious grade inflation.  I mean, that—this administration has been an F in just about every other area—every possible area. 

And the notion that the Clintons and—and Senator Clinton would somehow want to vote for John McCain is a bunch of bunk.  I mean, her whole mission in her career is to bring health care to those who don’t have it.  John McCain has nothing when it comes to health care. 

She transferred the mission of her campaign to the candidacy of Barack Obama.  That has been a huge deal.  We’re going to come out of this convention united, fired up, and ready to go. 

MATTHEWS:  David, what is the job description of Joe Biden tonight in the next hour?  As he gets up there in the next couple minutes, what is it?  Give me a verb for it.  What does he have to do? 

WILHELM:  Well, I think a couple of things. 

I think he—he gets to introduce himself to the American people.  I think he can speak from—from the heart about what it is that he sees in Barack Obama that makes him a compelling candidate for the—for the presidency. 

But I also think it is important for him to raise the stakes of this election and to draw a—a stark contrast in both the areas of national security and the bread-and-butter issues that are most on the minds of the American people, the stark contrasts between Barack Obama and John McCain.  And he will do that in his speech tonight. 

MATTHEWS:  Thank you very much, David Wilhelm, former DNC chair. 

WILHELM:  Thanks for having me. 

OLBERMANN:  Coming up: the nomination of Joe Biden for vice president, and then Biden’s speech. 

You’re watching MSNBC’s continuing live coverage of the Democratic National Convention




OLBERMANN:  We rejoin you with MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention live from Denver, Colorado, where, in about five minutes, the process will begin that will result with Joe Biden being nominated as the Democrats’ choice for vice president. 

MATTHEWS:  As we await for that, let’s go to Norah O’Donnell and the panel. 




O’DONNELL:  The dream team is back, as we talked about these A-listers who spoke tonight, Bill Clinton.  Joe Biden, we’re expecting to see any minute from the convention. 

Rachel, Bill Clinton’s speech tonight, it seemed to me, in going back over it again, it was more about an embrace of Barack Obama.  He will do everything he can to elect Barack Obama.  Obama is the man for the job.  He said, ready to lead, ready to preserve, protect, and defend, ready to be president. 


O’DONNELL:  Will the gutting of John McCain be left to John Kerry, as it was earlier, and Joe Biden? 

MADDOW:  Well, I think the—I do think that there was a lot of red meat in Clinton’s speech. 

I think that, when Clinton talked about, as I said, you know, Katrina, torture, cronyism, the most unequal America we have had since the 1920s...


MADDOW:  ... he’s talking about the Bush legacy.  He’s putting it right on McCain. 

And, certainly, there’s way to go at it more directly.  John Kerry, speaking earlier today, was brutal.  Kerry said, “When John McCain stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier three months after 9/11 and pronounced, next up, Baghdad, Barack Obama thought, even then an occupation of undetermined length, undetermined cost, undetermined consequences, that would only fan the flames in the Middle East.  Well, guess what?” Kerry said, “mission accomplished.”


MADDOW:  That’s sort of—that’s sort of going right at him, not saying the Bush legacy, but going right after McCain, and what he’s done wrong.  We will get more of that tonight. 

O’DONNELL:  What about that, Pat?

PAT BUCHANAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  McCain has skated free this entire convention, in my judgment. 

O’DONNELL:  Skated free? 

BUCHANAN:  Skated free.  He certainly has.

Look, Bill Clinton started off tonight.  That crowd was ready to rock and roll.  It was cheering for five minutes.  He had to silence them.  And it was a fairly listless response at the end. 

And, look, as Rachel says, he mentioned, just touched on Katrina, torture, cronyism, and the crowd started rising.  And, yet, they have never given them anything, the red meat they want.  Has anybody heard the word Guantanamo mentioned this entire convention? 

They’re not doing the job that they ought to be doing for their party.  What happened to the fighting liberalism of yesterday? 


O’DONNELL:  Yes, but John Kerry talked about his—his changing on tax cuts and climate change and all of that. 

We are going to talk more about that. 

BUCHANAN:  Well, what did I say about...


O’DONNELL:  Beau Biden is coming to the stage now to introduce his father. 

So, I want to send it back to Chris and Keith for all of that—back to you guys upstairs. 

OLBERMANN:  All right. 

Let’s go directly out to the floor of the Pepsi Center.  I think that’s the easiest way to do it Norah.  Let’s go out to the Pepsi Center right now.

Go ahead. 



Violence against women often happens in the shadows, out of public view.  Since that time, I have devoted my life to bringing it into the light. 


LUCAS:  But I realize that, sometimes, to change lives, you have to change the law. 

Joe Biden understands. 


LUCAS:  In 1994, he wrote the Violence Against Women Act, so every woman would have a place to turn for support. 

He’s constantly making sure it has the funding it needs.  And, today, countless women get a second chance at life because of Joe Biden. 


LUCAS:  So, in memory of my sister, and in the name of women of—all across this country, I am proud to place into nomination the name of Joe Biden to be our next vice president.


LUCAS:  Yes!  Yes!  Thank you. 



OLBERMANN:  All right, she is Quincy Lucas. 

She’s a schoolteacher from Delaware who gave the—we did not know the name of the person who was to nominate Joe Biden.  The—there will be a seconding speech as well.  And then Senator Biden will be introduced by his own son, Beau Biden, the attorney general of Delaware. 

Here is Speaker Pelosi. 


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  The name of Joe Biden of Delaware has been placed in nomination as the Democratic Party’s vice presidential candidate.  Is there a second? 



PELOSI:  The chair will entertain a motion to suspend the rules and to nominate by acclamation Joe Biden as the Democratic Party’s vice presidential candidate. 


PELOSI:  Is there a second? 


PELOSI:  All those in favor to suspend the rules and nominate Joe Biden by acclamation, please say, aye. 


PELOSI:  Opposed no. 

The ayes have it.  Joe Biden has been selected by nomination...


PELOSI:  ... to be the Democratic nominee for the United States of America.


PELOSI:  Pursuant to Rule C-11 of the convention’s rules of procedure, Senator Biden has been invited to make an acceptance speech. 


PELOSI:  I have been asked to inform you that Senator Biden has accepted the nomination. 



SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), DELAWARE:  My dad used to have an expression.  You don’t measure success on whether or not you have been knocked down.  It’s how quickly you get back up, because everybody gets knocked down.  The measure is getting back up.  That’s the story of this country.  It has never failed to get back up. 

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Joe is the salt of the earth.  He’s somebody who hasn’t forgotten the people in those communities where he grew up. 

JOSEPH BIDEN:  People in my neighborhood don’t like the phrase working-class.  The guys I grew up with, their mothers mostly didn’t work back in those days, and their fathers didn’t go to college, but they were proud.  And, if you asked them what they were, they were middle-class. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  My dad tells it like it is.  From the time he was a kid in Scranton who people made fun of because he stuttered, to a young man who gets elected to the United States Senate when he was 29 years old, starts a campaign no one thought they could win. 

JOSEPH BIDEN:  The thing that I’m proudest of is the fact that the people in the state of Delaware have elected me six times in a row because I think they believe I haven’t lost their voice. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  My dad experienced great triumph, along with my family, but also great tragedy.  Losing my mom and my sister in an automobile accident, and my brother and I survived.  What my dad did then was, he came to my bedside and my brother’s.  And he’s never left it. 

JILL BIDEN, WIFE OF SENATOR JOSEPH BIDEN:  When Joe was just elected, he made the commitment to take the train every single day to be home with the children.  And, no matter where he is or what he’s doing, if one of the children call, he stops and takes the call. 

JOSEPH BIDEN:  I had four children.  I lost one.  But I have three lovely children.  They’re each other’s best friends. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He’s a wonderful father.  He’s an exceptional grandfather.  And that’s really what it’s about for him. 

OBAMA:  There are very few people who have the depth of experience of Joe Biden, not only as the head of the Judiciary Committee, as the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but he’s also been at the forefront on critical legislation. 

JOSEPH BIDEN:  The things I’m most proud of, of my career are writing and passing the Violence Against Women Act.  We brought down violent crime with the crime bill that I drafted.

OBAMA:  Joe has unequaled foreign policy credentials.  He’s consulted with presidents, has personal relationships with many world leaders.  He’s somebody who, on the Iraq war, was willing to speak out when he saw that the Bush administration wasn’t using that authority properly. 

JOSEPH BIDEN:  When you see the abuse of power, you have got to speak, whether it’s a parent slapping around a child or a president taking a nation to war that cost lives that was not a necessary war.  That’s abuse of power. 

JILL BIDEN:  Joe is truly a leader.  And I think he has such strength of character.  I think people know that they can believe in him.  They know that he wants change.  And I think they know that the country will change with Barack Obama and Joe Biden. 

OBAMA:  The most important thing that—that Joe offers is his honesty.  And I can’t imagine a more effective advocate in the vice presidency to bring about the changes that we need here in America. 

JOSEPH BIDEN:  The middle class of this country has never been as unsure of their future, and we have never been as isolated.  And, if we don’t change that in the next four years, we’re locked in for a decade.  And Barack Obama has been very explicit about how he’s going to level the playing field for the firemen and the cops and the linemen and the salespersons and the nurses to improve their circumstance, so their next generation is better off than they were. 

I think Barack and I will work as a team great.  I can hardly wait to help him turn this country around. 



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Delaware Attorney General Captain Beau Biden. 


I’m Beau Biden.  And Joe Biden is my dad. 


B. BIDEN:  Many of you know him as a distinguished and accomplished senator.  I know him as an incredible father and a loving grandfather, a man who hustled home to Delaware after the last vote, so he wouldn’t miss me and my brother’s games, who, after returning from some war-torn region of the world, would tiptoe literally into our rooms and kiss us good night, who turns down some fancy cocktail party in Washington, so he won’t miss my daughter Natalie’s birthday. 


B. BIDEN:  The truth is, he almost wasn’t a senator at all. 

In 1972, shortly after his improbable victory, but before he took the oath of office, my father went to Washington to look at his new office space.  My mom took us to go buy a Christmas tree.  On the way home, we were in an automobile accident. 

My mom, Neilia, and my sister, Naomi, were killed.  My brother, Hunter, and I were seriously injured and hospitalized for weeks.  I was just short of 4 years old.  One of my earliest memories was being in that hospital, my dad always at our side. 

We, my brother and I, not the Senate, were all that he cared about.  He decided not to take the oath of office.  He said then, Delaware can get another senator, but my boys can’t get another father. 


B. BIDEN:  However—however, great men—great men, like Ted Kennedy, Mike Mansfield, Hubert Humphrey, men who have been tested in their own right...


B. BIDEN:  convinced him to share—to serve.  He was sworn in, in the hospital at my bedside. 

As a single parent, he decided to be there, to put us to bed when we—to be there when we woke up from a bad dream, to make us breakfast.  So, he traveled to and from Washington four hours a day. 

Five years later, we, my brother, dad and I, married my mom, Jill. 


B. BIDEN:  And they, together, rebuilt our family.  And, 36 years later, he still makes that trip. 

So, even though dad worked in Washington, he’s never been part of Washington.  He always sounded like the kid from Scranton, Pennsylvania, that he is.  And even that is a story of overcoming. 

Now, some people poke fun at my dad talking too much. 


B. BIDEN:  What a lot of people don’t know, though, is that, when he was a young man—young boy, he had a severe stutter.  The kids called him “Dash,” not because he was fast on the football field, which he was, but like a dash at the end of a sentence you can’t finish. 

But now he speaks with a clear—a clear and strong voice. 


B. BIDEN:  He says—he says—he says what needs to be said and he does what needs to be done. 

When domestic violence was often a dark secret, dad wrote the Violence Against Women Act, which gave countless women...


B. BIDEN:  ... which gave countless women the protection—and support and protection and a new chance at life. 

When crime was spiking in our communities, dad wrote the crime bill that put 100,000 cops on our streets, and led...


B. BIDEN:  ... to an eight-year drop in the crime across America. 

And when Serbian thugs were committing genocide in the Balkans, dad didn’t hesitate to call Slobodan Milosevic a war criminal to his face...


B. BIDEN:  ... and to convince Congress and our allies to act. 

He’s willing to speak truth to power, to the White House, and to world leaders. 

I know my father will be a great vice president. 


B. BIDEN:  As I mentioned, my dad has always been there for me, my brother, and my sister every day.  But, because of other duties, it won’t be possible for me to be here this fall to stand by him, the way he stood by me. 

So, I have something to ask of you.  Be there for my dad, like he was for me. 


B. BIDEN:  Be there for Barack Obama, because our country needs him. 


B. BIDEN:  Be there for both of them, because millions of families need to know that their best days aren’t behind them, but are ahead of them. 

Be there for both of them, because millions of people are trying to overcome, just like my dad overcame.  Be there.  Be there, because Barack Obama and Joe Biden will deliver America the change we so desperately need. 

Please join me in welcoming my friend, my father, my hero, the next vice president of the United States, Joe Biden. 



OLBERMANN:  Amid rumors Senator Obama will make an unannounced cameo after Senator Biden’s acceptance speech, which we will bring you in a second, this was the scene about 23 minutes past the hour right here at our MSNBC headquarters.  Senator Obama in one of the—that vehicle right there, headed in the general direction of the Pepsi Center.  Those rumors may have just been given great credibility. 

We take you now back to the Pepsi Center and Senator Biden’s vice presidential nominating acceptance speech. 



BIDEN:  Thank you. 


BIDEN:  Thank you. 


BIDEN:  Thank you.


BIDEN:  Thank you very much. 


BIDEN:  Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

And thank you, John Kerry. 

Ladies, gentlemen, thank you. 


BIDEN:  Thank you.  Thank you, thank you.  Thanks.  Thank you.  I appreciate it.  Thank you very much. 

You know, folks, my dad used to have an expression, he’d say, a father knows he’s a success when he turns and looks at his son or daughter and know that they turned out better than he did.  I’m a success.  I’m a hell of a success. 

Beauie (ph), I love you, I’m so proud of you.  I’m so proud of the son you’ve become.  I’m so proud of the father you are.  And I’m also so proud of my son Hunter and my daughter Ashley.  And my wife Jill. 


BIDEN:  The only one who leaves me both breathless and speechless at the same time. 



BIDEN:  It’s an honor to share this day tonight with President Clinton, a man who I think brought this country so far along that I only pray we do it again.


BIDEN:  And last night, and last night it was moving to watch Hillary.  One of our great leaders, a great leader of this party, a woman who has made history and will continue to make history. 


BIDEN:  A colleague, my friend, Senator Hillary Clinton. 


BIDEN:  And I am truly honored, I am truly honored to live in a country with the bravest warriors in the world. 


BIDEN:  And I’m honored to represent the First State, my state, the state of Delaware. 


BIDEN:  Since I’ve never been called a man of few words, let me say this simply as I can.  Yes.  Yes, I accept your nomination to run and serve with Barack Obama, the next president of the United States of America. 


BIDEN:  Let me make this pledge to you right here and now.  For every American who is trying to do the right thing, for all those people in government who are honoring the pledge to uphold the law and honor the Constitution, no longer will you hear the eight most dreaded words in the English language, “the vice president’s office is on the phone.” 



BIDEN:  Barack and I took very different journeys to this destination.  But we share a common story.  Mine began in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and then Wilmington, Delaware. 

My dad, my dad who fell on hard times, always told me, though, champ, when you get knocked down, get up.  Get up.  I was taught, I was taught that by my dad.  And God, I wish my dad was here tonight.  But I thank God and I’m grateful that my mom Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden is here tonight. 

Mom, I love you. 


BIDEN:  You know, my mom taught her children, all the children who flocked to our house, that you are defined by your sense of honor and you’re redeemed by your loyalty.  She believes that bravery lives in every heart, and her expectation is that it will be summoned. 

Failure, failure at some point in your life is inevitable.  But giving up is unforgivable.  As a child, as a child I stuttered, and she lovingly would look at me and tell me, Joey, it’s because you’re so bright you can’t get the thoughts out quickly enough. 



BIDEN:  When I was not as well dressed as the other kids, she’d look at me and say, Joey, oh, you’re so handsome, honey, you’re so handsome. 


BIDEN:  And when I got knocked down by guys bigger than me, and this is the God’s truth, she sent me back out and said, bloody their nose so you can walk down the street the next day.  And that’s what I did. 


BIDEN:  You know—and after the accident, she told me, she said, Joey, God sends no cross that you cannot bear.  And when I triumphed, my mother was quick to remind me it was because of others.  My mother’s creed is the American creed.  No one is better than you.  Everyone is your equal.  And everyone is equal to you. 


BIDEN:  My parents taught us, my parents taught us to live our faith and to treasure our families.  We learned the dignity of work and we were told that anyone can make it if they just try hard enough.  That was America’s promise.  And for those of us who grew up in middle class neighborhoods like Scranton and Wilmington, that was the American dream. 

Ladies and gentlemen, but today, today that American dream feels like it’s slowly slipping away.  I don’t have to tell you that.  You feel it every single day in your own lives.  I’ve never seen a time when Washington has watched so many people get knocked down without doing anything to help them get back up. 


BIDEN:  Almost every single night, almost every single night I take the train home to Wilmington, Delaware.  Sometimes very late.  As I sit there in my seat and I look out that window, I see those flickering lights of the homes that pass by, I can almost hear the conversation they’re having at their kitchen tables after they put their kids to bed. 

Like millions of Americans, they’re asking questions as ordinary as they are profound.  Questions they never, ever thought they’d have to ask themselves.  Should mom move in with us now, now that dad’s gone?  Fifty, $60, $70 just to fill up the gas tank.  How in God’s name with winter coming, how are we going to heat the home? 

Another year, no raise.  Did you hear, did you hear they may be cutting our health care at the company?  Now, now we owe more money on our home than our home is worth.  How in God’s name are we going to send the kids to college?  How are we going to retire, Joe? 

You know, folks, that’s the America that George Bush has left us.  And that’s the America we’ll continue to get if George—excuse me, if John McCain is elected president of the United States of America. 



BIDEN:  Freudian slip.  Freudian slip. 


BIDEN:  And folks, these are not isolated discussions among families down on their luck.  These are common stories among middle class people who worked hard their whole life, played by the rules, on the promise that their tomorrows would be better than their yesterdays. 

That promise is the promise of America.  It defines who we are as a people.  And now, and now it’s in jeopardy.  I know it, you know it, but John McCain doesn’t seem to get it.  Barack Obama gets it, though. 

Like many of us in this room, like many of us in this hall, Barack Obama has worked his way up.  He is the great American story.  You know, I believe the measure of a man is not the road he travels but the choices he makes along that road. 

And ladies and gentlemen, Barack Obama could have done anything after he graduated from college.  With all his talent and promise, he could have written his own ticket to Wall Street.  But what did he choose to do? 

He chose to go to Chicago, the South Side of Chicago.  There, there in the South Side he met women and men who had lost their jobs, their neighborhood was devastated when the local steel plant closed.  Their dreams had to be deferred, their self-esteem was gone, and ladies and gentlemen, he made their lives the work of his life. 

That’s what you do when you’re raised by a single mom who worked, went to school and raised two kids on her own.  That’s how you come to believe to the very core of your being that work is more than a paycheck.  It’s dignity.  It’s respect.  It’s about whether or not you can look your child in the eye and say, we’re going to be all right. 


BIDEN:  Because Barack Obama made that choice, 150 more children and parents have health care in Illinois.  He fought to make that happen.  And because Barack Obama made that choice, working families in Illinois pay less taxes and more people have moved from welfare to the dignity of work.  And he got it done. 


BIDEN:  And when he came to Washington, when it came to Washington, John and I watched with amazement how he hit the ground running, leading the fight to pass the most sweeping ethics reform in a generation. 

He reached across party lines to pass a law that helped keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists.  And then he moved Congress and the president to give our wonderful wounded warriors the care and dignity they deserve. 


BIDEN:  You know, you can learn a lot about a man campaigning with him, debating him, seeing how he reacts under pressure.  You learn about the strength of his mind, but even more importantly, you learn about the quality of his heart. 

I watched how Barack touched people, how he inspired them, and I realized he had tapped into the oldest belief in America.  We don’t have to accept the situation we cannot bear, we have the power to change it. 


BIDEN:  And change it and change it is exactly what Barack Obama will do.  That’s what he’ll do for this country. 

You know, John McCain is my friend, and I know you hear that phrase used all the time in politics, I mean it.  John McCain is my friend.  We’ve traveled the world together.  It’s a friendship that goes beyond politics, and the personal courage and heroism demonstrated by John still amazes me. 


But I profoundly, I profoundly disagree with the direction John wants to take this country from Afghanistan to Iraq.  From Amtrak to veterans.  You know, John, thinks—John thinks that during the Bush years, quote, “we’ve made great economic progress.” 

I think it has been abysmal!  And in the Senate, John has voted with President Bush 95 percent.  And that is very hard to believe.  And when John McCain proposes $200 million in new taxes for corporate America, $1 billion alone for the largest companies in the nation, but no, none, no relief for 100 million American families, that’s not change, that’s more of the same. 


BIDEN:  Even today as oil companies post the biggest profits in history, nearly a half a trillion dollars in the last five years, John wants to give them another $4 billion in tax breaks.  That’s not change.  That’s the same.  And during the same time John voted again and again against renewable energy, solar, wind, biofuels, that’s not change.  That’s more of the same. 

Millions of Americans have seen their jobs go offshore, yet John continues to support tax breaks for corporations that send them there.  That’s not change.  That’s more of the same. 

He voted 19 times against the minimum wage for people who are struggling just to make it to the next day.  That’s not change.  That’s more of the same.  And when he says he’ll continue to spend $10 billion a month when the Iraqis have a surplus of nearly $80 billion, that’s not change.  That’s more of the same. 

The choice in the election is clear.  These times the require more than a good soldier.  They require a wise leader.  A leader who can change, change, the change that everybody knows we need. 

Barack Obama is going to deliver that change because I want to tell you, Barack Obama will reform our tax code.  He will cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people who draw a paycheck.  That’s the change we need. 


BIDEN:  Barack Obama, Barack Obama will transform the economy by making alternative energy a national priority, and in the process creating 5 million new jobs.  And finally, finally freeing us from the grip of foreign oil.  That’s the change we need. 


BIDEN:  Barack Obama knows that any country that out-teaches us today will out-compete us tomorrow.  That’s why he’ll invest in the next generation of teachers and why he’ll make college more affordable.  That’s the change we need. 


BIDEN:  Barack Obama, Barack Obama will bring down health care costs by $2,500 for the average family and at long last deliver affordable, accessible health care for every American. 


BIDEN:  That’s the change we need.  Barack will put more cops on the street, put security back in Social Security.  And he’ll never, ever, ever give up until we achieve equal pay for women. 


BIDEN:  That’s the change we need.  As we gather here tonight, our country is less secure and more isolated than it has been any time in recent history.  The Bush foreign policy has dug us into a very deep hole, with very few friends to help us climb out. 

And for the last seven years, the administration has failed to face the biggest, the biggest forces shaping this century.  The emergence of Russia, China, and India as great powers.  The spread of lethal weapons.  The shortage of secure supplies of energy, food and water.  The challenge of climate change.  And the resurgence of fundamentalist in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the real central front in the war on terror. 

Ladies and gentlemen, recent years and in recent days, we’ve once again seen the consequences of the neglect, of this neglect, with Russia challenging the very freedom of a new democratic country of Georgia. 

Barack and I will end that neglect.  We will hold Russia accountable for its actions and we will help the people of Georgia rebuild. 


BIDEN:  I’ve been on the ground in Georgia, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and I can tell you in no uncertain terms, this administration’s policy has been an abysmal failure.  America cannot afford four more years of this failure. 

And now, now, despite being complicit in this catastrophic foreign policy, John McCain says Barack Obama, Barack Obama is not ready to protect our national security.  Now, let me ask you this, whose judgment do you trust? 

Should you trust the judgment of John McCain when he said only three years ago, Afghanistan, we don’t read about it any more in papers because it succeeded.  Or should you believe Barack Obama who said a year ago, we need to send two more combat battalions to Afghanistan? 


BIDEN:  The fact of the matter is, al Qaeda and the Taliban, the people who actually attacked us on 9/11, they’ve regrouped in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan and they are plotting new attacks. 

And the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has echoed Barack’s call for more troops.  John McCain was wrong and Barack Obama was right. 


BIDEN:  Should we trust John McCain’s judgment when he rejected talking with Iran, and then asked, what is there to talk about?  Or Barack Obama, who said, we must talk and make clear to Iran that it must change. 

Now, after seven years of denial, even the Bush administration recognizes that we should talk to Iran because that’s the best way to ensure our security.  Again and again John McCain has been wrong and Barack Obama is right. 

Should we trust John McCain’s judgment when he says we can’t have no timeline to draw down our troops from Iraq, that we must stay indefinitely?  Or should we listen to Barack Obama who says shift the responsibility to the Iraqis and set a time to bring our combat troops home? 

Now after six long years, the administration and the Iraqi government are on the verge of setting a date to bring our troops home.  John McCain was wrong and Barack Obama was right.


BIDEN:  Again, again and again, on the most important national security issues of our time, John McCain was wrong and Barack Obama has been proven right. 

Folks, remember when the world used to trust us, when they looked to us for leadership?  With Barack Obama as our president, they’ll look at us again, they’ll trust us again and we’ll be able to lead again. 

Folks, Jill and I are truly honored to join Barack and Michelle on this journey.  When I look at their young children, when I look at my grandchildren, I know why I’m here.  I’m here for their future.  I’m here for everyone that I grew up with in Scranton and Wilmington. 

I’m here for the cops and the firefighters, the teachers and the assembly line workers, the folks whose lives are the very measure of whether the American dream endures. 

Our greatest presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Franklin Roosevelt to John Kennedy, they all challenged us to embrace change.  Now it is our responsibility to meet that challenge.  Millions of Americans have been knocked down.  And this is a time, as Americans together, we get back up, back up together. 


BIDEN:  Our debt to our parents and our grandparents is too great.  Our obligation to our children is too sacred.  These are extraordinary times.  This is an extraordinary election.  The American people are ready.  I am ready.  Barack is ready.  This is his time.  This is our time.  This is America’s time. 

God bless America and may God protect our troops!  Thank you very much! 


BIDEN:  Thank you. 


OLBERMANN:  All right.  Stand by for what we expect will happen here shortly after we saw Senator Obama speeding in the general direction of that building about 25, 30 minutes ago.  A cap for the night after Joe Biden spent eight-and-a-half minutes, roughly, of his acceptance speech talking about the flaws in John McCain. 

He had many things in the script that made great impact.  He had many, many statements that seem to be the red meat that had been supposedly lacking throughout the first three days and nights of this convention. 

But perhaps the thing that resonated the best was a Freudian slip, as he described it, when he—and I think it was truly inadvertent, referred to the future that George—rather, John McCain will give us.  Best Freudian slip he ever made. 


JILL BIDEN, WIFE OF JOE BIDEN:  Tonight, we have a very special surprise guest. 

BIDEN:  Who? 





OBAMA:  I just wanted to come out here for a little something to say. 



OBAMA:  I want everybody to now understand why I am so proud to have Joe Biden and Jill Biden and Beau Biden and Mama Biden and the whole Biden family with me on this journey to take America back! 


OBAMA:  I think the convention has gone pretty well so far.  What do you think? 


OBAMA:  I think Michelle Obama kicked it off pretty well, don’t you think? 


OBAMA:  If I’m not mistaken, Hillary Clinton rocked the house last night! 


OBAMA:  And just in case you were wondering, I think President Bill Clinton reminded us of what it’s like when you’ve got a president who actually puts people first. 

Thank you, President Clinton! 


OBAMA:  Now, we are going to be moving to Mile High Stadium tomorrow. 


OBAMA:  And I want to let you know why.  At the start of this campaign, we had a very simple idea, which is change in America doesn’t start from the top up—the top down, it starts from the bottom up. 

That change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.  And so we want to open up this convention to make sure that everybody who wants to come can join in the party and join in the effort to take America back. 

I thing we are going to have a great night tomorrow night.  And I look forward to seeing you there. 

God bless you!  God bless America!



KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR:  It occurs only slightly after the fact that we might have said to you that we had a spoiler alert when we said we saw Senator Obama drive right past our MSNBC headquarters here. 


OLBERMANN:  So, if we spoiled it for you, we apologize.  It was unintentional. 

The—the—the structure of being able to pull off a couple of celebrations, or a sequence of escalating celebrations throughout the course of a convention, is a really dicey proposition.  You can overdo it. 

They didn’t take anything away from tomorrow by doing this tonight, did they, Chris? 


And I think the people watching tonight are smart enough to know the difference between choreography and spontaneity.  And what caught me tonight—and I’m sure a lot of people that grew up like me and live like me—was Jill Biden tonight looking up to her husband with such pride. 

I think a lot of people have talked about it—we have—about the—really, the new experience of having an African-American candidate of a major party, and almost having the first woman.  But, in my little way, this is first time we have had a regular guy from the neighborhood, a Northeastern regular guy, Catholic, familiar to me, whose parents wanted life to be better for him. 

And, when he talked about that, I think a lot of people from the Northeast who grew up like I did said, I know that mother.  I had a mother like that.  He is lucky to still have his mother alive.  My mom was like that. 

And it’s very real to a lot of people, this family scene here. 

OLBERMANN:  And—and...


MATTHEWS:  This family has been through tragedy.

OLBERMANN:  Indeed, it has. 

MATTHEWS:  And they have made up for it.

OLBERMANN:  And even if it’s not personally familiar to you, it, at minimum, has the advantage and the benefit of being a whole lot of them out there. 


OLBERMANN:  It’s a big, happy, boisterous, exuberant family led by that guy right there. 

And, as much as it might risk taking a little of the edge off tomorrow, or perhaps creating a—an overshadowing effect, that the speech that he gave, which was so much of what politically was lacking in this convention from the Democrats’ point of view up to this point, it’s—it—obviously, these images, these pictures are worth the proverbial thousand words and more. 

MATTHEWS:  I think the—the party we’re watching tonight—we will see the other party next week—may have an advantage here that is very deep in the American experience. 

And, fairly or not—I think it may be fair—we will see—the sense that the American people are different than other people.  They don’t believe that the way things are is the way they have to be.  There’s something essential in that American belief.  As he expressed it, your mother’s belief as you grew up, the way things are in your family, your economic status, your social status, is not the way it has to be.  You can change it.  That’s so American. 

And I think the idea of changing the administration is so much a part of this convention here. 

OLBERMANN: “I realize,” Biden said of Obama, “he has tapped into the oldest American belief of all.  We don’t have to accept a situation we cannot bear.  We have the power to change it.”

So, officially, at least, the third night of the Democratic Convention is closed.  The—the—the gathering will take place—at least for the big event here of the night, the two big events of the night, it’s closed.  And, tomorrow, at—and, please note, if you think Barack Obama’s sports fandom is a pose, only a veteran NFL fan would refuse to call the stadium he will speak in tomorrow—or accidentally not call it by its corporate name, Invesco, and refer to it the way they still like to call it here in Denver, Mile High Stadium. 


OLBERMANN:  We begin “Football Night in America” in two weeks. 

OK.  Enough of that. 

Let’s bring in Rachel Maddow, who is here. 


OLBERMANN:  All right, let’s go back to what we saw...


OLBERMANN:  ... from Joe Biden. 

Again, maybe the most impactful thing here was a—was a typo, was a verbal...


OLBERMANN:  And the irony of that being that that’s what he’s so renowned for, if you will. 

MADDOW:  Right.             

OLBERMANN:  And, this time, it worked to his advantage. 

What else worked to his advantage or disadvantage? 

MADDOW:  Well, Joe Biden is an—is an emotional guy. 

And when he got up there and he talked about how proud he was of his son, and you—he didn’t—he didn’t start crying, but you saw the emotion in his face.  You heard it in his voice.  When he described his mother and talked about his mother and looked at his mother in the stands, you saw the emotion there.  He’s an emotional guy.  It’s part of what makes him salt of the earth.  It’s part of what makes him likable. 

This wasn’t a very emotional speech, even coming from an emotional guy.  Ultimately, it was an indictment of John McCain.  And he was doing the work that the campaign needs to do there, in—in order to do right by this ticket. 

I think Obama coming on at the end—before this week, nobody would have thought of Joe Biden and Barack Obama as a team.  You think of them as allies, maybe.  But Biden didn’t come out for Obama during the primary process.  You didn’t get the sense they didn’t like each other, but we didn’t think of them as a team. 

Seeing the families sort of merge there together, seeing how much he’s on board with the whole Biden clan, it is a—it is a cementing of the bond of these two.  It’s an absorption of the Biden family into the Obama family and vice versa. 

To see Michelle Obama crying, along with the introduction that Beau Biden gave his father, it’s—it’s—it’s an emotional bond that can’t be doubted now. 

OLBERMANN:  The—the role of Joe Biden in this campaign, we saw it a little bit on Saturday.  We saw the beginning of it, that there were references to McCain, again, always prefaced by this, I think, sincere description of the two as friends. 

But these are, again, some extraordinary words.  And the quotes—I mean, perhaps the delivery here was not what it might have been.  But to say, “This administration’s policy has been an abysmal failure; America cannot afford four more years of this; now, despite being complicit in this catastrophic foreign policy, John McCain says Barack Obama isn’t ready to protect our national security,” it seems to me that they can use that and evolve that and make it spin out for the next 69 days to great effect. 

MADDOW:  Well, when is the last time that you heard it hollered in a full-throated way from the Democratic side at John McCain: “John McCain was wrong; Barack Obama was right again and again.  On the most important national security issues of our time, John McCain was wrong, and Barack Obama was proven right,” to say, “You know what, John McCain’s big weakness here is national security, and it is Barack Obama’s strength”?

That has been a pundit point.  That’s been a point that commentators have made.  That’s been a critics’ point.  That hasn’t been the campaign’s point until this point. 

MATTHEWS:  You know, I think, Rachel, respond to this.  There’s a couple lines, I agree, that weren’t as powerfully delivered as they were written.  And, of course, it is very hard to hit every nail. 

This line, he said—he talked about, if we get elected—the Democrats in this case—you won’t ever hear this phrase in the English language:  The vice president’s office is on the phone, the enforcer.  This is the first time in our history that we have had a vice president with so much enormous power over intel, over foreign policy, over war-making, to the point where you wonder—in fact, most people who have studied it wondered if we would have gone to war in Iraq had we had a different vice president. 

That’s the kind of power that is scary. 

The second point, this one here, I love that it wasn’t delivered well by the candidate.  It was very pointedly and well written.  “Do you remember—do you remember when America was trusted?”

OLBERMANN:  Mm-hmm. 

MADDOW:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  That’s a very tough question. 

MADDOW:  Folks, remember when the world used to trust us? 

MATTHEWS:  I wish he had slowed that down...

MADDOW:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  ... and indicted that with more power. 

MADDOW:  And, you know, on the first point, Chris, to have had Cheney not come up very much in this convention is pretty remarkable given what low-hanging fruit he is for a Democratic... 


MADDOW:  Exactly. 

MATTHEWS:  They don’t even talk about Guantanamo... 




But what—I think that, for all of the targeting of McCain that we saw from Biden in the speech, he pulled that Cheney punch.  It is making a joke about how scary Cheney is.  It’s not using Cheney’s name.

You have to know a lot about, you know, David Addington making calls from Cheney’s office and what that might mean for your job in the Justice Department in order to get that joke.  He didn’t go right at Cheney. 

And I don’t know why the Democrats are still pulling some punches.  And if it wasn’t going to happen tonight, I don’t know that we should expect that it will happen tomorrow.  If it’s only happens from the down-ticket speeches that don’t get on prime time, it may ultimately be a missed opportunity.

MATTHEWS:  How about—here is a question, a call from the vice president’s office.  We don’t have enough intel to take us to war.  Come up with something, to the—to the CIA. 

MADDOW:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  That’s a call that’s probably been made a few times:  Come up with tougher evidence.  I want this war. 

MADDOW:  Well, you know, Beau Biden introduced his father and said, my father had the courage to tell Slobodan Milosevic to his face that he was a war criminal.  You know what?  Americans want to talk about having been lied into war and how we can make sure this never happens again in this country. 

There hasn’t been accountability.  Nobody got fired for 9/11.  Nobody—one guy got fired for Katrina, and he was the Arabian horse guy. 


MADDOW:  Nobody got fired for leading—for lying us into war in Iraq.  George Tenet got the Medal of Freedom.  Americans are mad about this stuff.  And they want to hear that the Democratic Party gets it and is mad, too, and is going to fix it. 



OLBERMANN:  The one observation about talking on these topics is, Democrats have been so slow to do this, generally speaking, for the last two years.  And, thus, if you’re measuring progress on this in eyedroppers, the fact that Biden said, for every American who is trying to do the right thing, for all those people in government who are honoring their pledge to uphold the law  and respect our Constitution—that’s the preface to the line you quoted, which I also circled here—no longer will the eight most dreaded words in the English language be, the vice president’s office is on the phone. 

It was in the fourth paragraph of the speech...

MADDOW:  Yes. 

OLBERMANN:  ... after the thank-yous and after the, “Yes, I want to serve with Obama.”  The next thing was, we have a damn Constitution here, and we intend to enforce it. 

MADDOW:  Yes. 


OLBERMANN:  Now, you need to bring it out a little at a time, better than not bringing it out at all. 

MADDOW:  Yes. 

OLBERMANN:  All right. 

Stay with us.  David Gregory is now back with us in the floor of the Pepsi Center with former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle—David.

DAVID GREGORY, HOST, “RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE”:  Keith, thanks very much.

Senator Daschle, this week, in many ways, is about inching Barack Obama up the presidential scale, as some have said.  Describe for me, in your view, how tonight an independent-minded voter in South Dakota or in Nevada or here in Colorado was persuaded that Obama inched up that scale? 

TOM DASCHLE (D), FORMER SENATE MINORITY LEADER:  Well, I think he was persuaded tonight, he or she, by the sincerity that you saw. 

Joe Biden spoke from his heart.  He spoke about his family.  He spoke about his own trials and tribulations, and overcoming them.  He talked about the need for change in ways that they really could understand from their hearts, too.  So, this was a very, very heartfelt speech tonight that resonated, not only in this audience, but across the country. 

GREGORY:  But that’s the personal side.  And I want to come back to that, because I think it’s significant with regard to Obama. 

But the notion that a former president would stand up here who has specifically criticized Barack Obama, and said, it is a roll of the dice to make him the president, has been very tepid before tonight about whether he was prepared to be president, for a former president to say, yes, this guy has the goods, he can do the job, is it persuasive? 

DASCHLE:  David, I thought tonight was really sort of an answer to the critics from last night.  I thought Hillary Clinton gave the speech of her life last night. 

But, all through the day, I heard some comment about, well, you know, she could have said a little bit more about Barack Obama personally.  Tonight, Bill Clinton hit it out of the park.  He talked about the caliber and the qualities and the extraordinary leadership capacity of a Barack Obama, in a way that only a former president could understand. 

So, he was exactly on the mark in talking about the very concerns that others have raised in the past.  This was a home run tonight. 

GREGORY:  So, what is the challenge?  As somebody near and dear to both of us, Tom Brokaw, talks about, voters closing their eyes and imagining some—a president in the Oval Office when a crisis strikes. 

So, tonight, in—Senator Biden’s speech was about—speech was about the contrast between and judgment of McCain and Senator Obama.  What, in your view, was accomplished through that? 

DASCHLE:  Well, you know, David, I think, tonight, what I really liked about President Clinton’s speech was that he reminded everybody that he was subject to many of the same concerns in 2000 -- in 1992. 

People said, you know, he’s not had experience.  He doesn’t really know Washington.  He doesn’t—he doesn’t really have the kind of people around him.  But he proved them wrong.  He proved to be a very successful president.  And, so, he reminded everybody tonight that Barack Obama comes with many of the same concerns, but he allayed those fears, those concerns tonight, in a way that, again, only a former president can do. 

GREGORY:  Tactically now—put your political analyst hat on—if unity has been achieved in the course of this convention and this week, both on the floor here and behind the scenes between the Obamas and the Clintons, how does he use them in this campaign in a way that can go as far as possible toward Hillary Clinton delivering her base of support, not just women, but working-class voters, to Obama by the fall?

DASCHLE:  Well, I think that both the Clintons can bring immense credibility to our—to our message about change and about the importance of moving this country in a different direction. 

And they can do so by speaking to the 18 million people, first of all, that were supporters of Hillary Clinton throughout the primary process, but, also, given the vast reservoir of goodwill they have with people around the country, say it in a way that’s entirely believable, and further augment the ability that Barack and Joe are going to have to say it themselves. 

GREGORY:  All right. 

Senator Daschle, thanks for stopping by and waiting.... 

DASCHLE:  My pleasure. 

GREGORY:  ... while we got to you.

Thanks very much.  Appreciate it. 

DASCHLE:  Have a good night, David.

GREGORY:  Gentlemen, back to you.

OLBERMANN:  David Gregory, thank you. 

We can now report Senator Biden has left the building, because, once again, sitting where we are, he just shot past in that direction with a motorcade. 

Coming up, Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw join us, plus Chuck Todd and our panel.

You’re watching MSNBC’s continuing live coverage, night three of the Democratic National Convention



SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  Let me say it as simply as I can:  Yes.  Yes, I accept your nomination to run and serve with Barack Obama, the next president of the United States of America!




OLBERMANN:  Good evening again from Denver, where, moments ago, the Democratic ticket appeared together on the convention stage for the first time, Barack Obama with an unplanned appearance, after Joe Biden’s acceptance speech. 

Let’s turn now to “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams, along with Tom Brokaw and Chuck Todd, all three of our friends inside the Pepsi Center.

And, Brian, give me the—the vibe of that group hug out there on the stage a few moments ago.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, ANCHOR, “NBC NIGHTLY NEWS”:  Well, first of all, I was thinking of Dick Durbin from Illinois, the senior senator, who played, I think, a larger role than he’s letting on, perhaps being too modest by half, in—in coaxing this ticket into being. 

He had at least two substantial meetings with Barack Obama in the last days and weeks leading up to this election, and provided an of-counsel role to the candidate. 

As, second, as I said to Tom on the network as we were wrapping up our coverage tonight, after all the mishegoss over the Clintons and Senator Clinton’s speech last night, and—and putting the nomination out tonight, and President Clinton’s speech tonight, when Barack Obama rounded that corner tonight, John McCain will have this moment next week in Saint Paul. 

You come around the corner, you see all these people.  You get it.  It’s your convention.  That’s your name on all those signs.  That’s what this is supposed to do.  This was the first full-throated moment he’s been able to enjoy of this convention thus far, having just arrived in Denver this afternoon. 

TOM BROKAW, NBC SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT:  Keith, I would suggest that perhaps the more important speech tonight than Joe Biden’s was Bill Clinton’s. 

Joe Biden and Bill Clinton both gave a kind of painting-by-the-numbers speech, in terms of the craftsmanship.  But it was far more important for the former president of the United States, the last two-term sitting president of the Democratic Party in anyone’s memory, to come out and say all the right things about Barack Obama. 

Joe Biden’s great value will be in the debates and on the campaign trail, and because of the heft that he will bring to this ticket, given his experience in international affairs.  He has been to the war zones, both Afghanistan and Iraq, probably more than any other senator. 

And I was also thinking about the contrast between a former president or an outgoing president and the incoming candidate, and the dilemma that John McCain faces next week. 

Far better for Barack Obama to get the warm embrace of Bill Clinton here tonight, and far more difficult for John McCain to get that same kind of an embrace from George Bush next week in Saint Paul. 

OLBERMANN:  Chuck Todd, on the subject of embraces, again to that final tableau painted out on that stage there with the—as Rachel Maddow put it, the Biden and the Obama families merging, this may be the—sort of the thematic point of the entire convention.

One of the side thoughts here, though, has been, where has the red meat been?  There was a lot—eight-and-a-half minutes as we—by our clocks here, of stuff about McCain in the Biden speech.  Is the actual throwing of the red meat, the last gesture of conciliation and unification of the Democrats in a common purpose against something, is that being left to Barack Obama?  Is it possible he will be the one out there actually throwing the darts at the other candidate? 

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR:  It would be hard to imagine that Obama would take on that role so strongly. 

But I have to say, it is a good thing Obama came out here tonight, because you could sense that it was a good energy level for Biden’s speech, but Obama provided a charge, because Biden’s speech didn’t really do that. 

It’s my understanding, you know, he was working with a new speechwriter that the campaign provided.  He brought in his own speechwriters.  And, when you look at it—and I can actually tell by how you and Chris were dissecting it—you could tell that it was—he wasn’t comfortable with the text. 

He was—he—all of the points he wanted to make were in there, but it wasn’t fiery Biden.  It wasn’t as emotional as he can be.  And—and Tom brought up a good point.  Biden will be stronger on the stump, because he’s—he’s better off the cuff. 

He seemed restrained a bit tonight.  And I think that had to do with just the fact he had a lot of probably—probably too much input on a speech like this.  But it was—it just felt a little disjointed.  He just didn’t seem comfortable with the text. 

MATTHEWS:  Chuck, let me ask you about the—the calibration of these attacks.  It seems to me—you check me on this—that there has been something of a muted—a decision to mute some of the charges. 

If you look back at the beginning of this campaign, the focus on the war in Iraq, the focus on the kind of a very stark critique of this administration on torture, on Abu Ghraib, on Guantanamo, on the whole array of issues that seem to drive, well, liberals and Democrats particularly to the polling places, is there a decision somewhere in the mechanics of this convention not to go after Dick Cheney as hard as you could, not to go after Guantanamo, not to hit the bad intel that took us into Iraq? 

TODD:  Well, look, clearly, this convention wasn’t as much red meat as—as I think that they promised, probably a little bit rawer meat than what was four years ago, but not a lot. 

And I think the problem is, look, Obama—this goes back to the primaries.  Obama has always put himself a bit in a box.  It’s a new kind of politics.  So, he can go negative, but it always had to be sort of negative within a specific framework, which you got that sense tonight:  “You know, John McCain’s my friend, but...”—you know, even the John Kerry speech on McCain, which, frankly, had a little more red meat to it than Joe Biden’s, I—I—you know, it’s interesting. 

I almost wonder, Joe Biden might have delivered the John Kerry speech with a lot more fire than—than John Kerry, and it might have potentially been more effective.  I don’t know. 

OLBERMANN:  So, Chuck, was this the senator—in trying to analyze this text and not turning it into a history lesson here, but it seemed to me there was a lot of stuff that had been reworked from the Saturday acceptance speech in—in—in the first gathering of the—of the Biden and Obama ticket. 

There was a lot of stuff that had been reworked in its second form here tonight.  Were there elements here?  Was that bit about the joke about Cheney and the phone call and—and supporters of the Constitution in the fourth paragraph to see what people’s reaction was, and that then—if there was no recoil, and, oh, you can’t say that about the vice president of the United States, if that then comes out as a, you know, all-guns-blazing serious point on the—in the next 69 days of the campaign? 

TODD:  Well, I’m not sure about that.  The line wasn’t delivered very well.  So, I don’t know if it’s even fair to judge it.  He kind of—he kind of misspoke it.  He kind of flubbed it.  So, we don’t even know what the full impact of the line would be. 

But, again, you saw there was sort of the—you know, he had the repeat, the audience refrain stuff.  And he had it in two different ways, two different places.  Again, it just felt like you had a lot of speechwriters and a lot of ideas trying to be brought together. 

And—and that’s what happens when you bring a new person onto the team.  And, right now, Biden is still the new guy.  And he’s—and you can kind of see that he’s got sort of the new guy—new guy problems that you have sometimes when you bring him in. 

OLBERMANN:  Tom, the—the whole evening and the whole progression of the—of this event, we were talking, Chris and I before, about what a—what a dicey proposition it is to try to spread a theme throughout an entire convention, and build to the accurate note of crescendo at the end. 

Are the Democrats in danger of not doing that?  Do they—do they seem to have done it for the first three nights?  You have been to so many of these things and seen that rhythm and ebb and flow.  What do you think of this, compared to other conventions? 

BROKAW:  Well, if I were to put this on a graph, I suppose, I would say, Monday, Tuesday, and then a little dip tonight.  And then, of course, that sets the stage for Barack Obama. 

It all depends on him tomorrow night, given the venue that he’s chosen, given his reputation for making the big speech, given the assignment that he knows that he has, that he has to reintroduce himself to America as a more fully formed candidate, who is now the official nominee, who is prepared to sit in the Oval Office, and take those telephone calls, dare I say it, at 3:00 in the morning, and make the correct decisions, and deal with his opposition. 

So, that speech tomorrow night will really define this convention, in the final analysis.  Up to this point, they have accomplished most of what they would like to do.  Conventions are often not just about sending everybody out of here energized, but also do no harm. 

The Republicans have gotten themselves in trouble in the past few years, you know, with some of the more strident speeches that have been made at their conventions.  Both parties now are very careful in how they vet every speech that’s made, every phrase.  They control the delegations,.

In the final analysis, it depends on what the candidate has to say.

You will remember that, four years ago, John Kerry had very good vibes as he left Boston, got on that bus, and went to Scranton, Pennsylvania.  You will remember, as well, that Michael Dukakis, when he left in 1988 from Atlanta, and then returned, with a 17-point lead, to Boston, Massachusetts, and spent the month of August worrying about civic affairs in Springfield, Mass., how that dwindled away from him. 

So, tomorrow night is going to be the important one.  And then it’s a launch from here. 

OLBERMANN:  Brian, let me ask you one thing.  And I’m going to try to take as much of the charge about this, and just ask you about campaign strategy from one side to the other. 

If one candidate were to be officially nominated and give his acceptance speech in front of 80,000 people at what he still calls Mile High Stadium—and I’m not saying this is one particular party’s candidate, but, if one were to do that tomorrow, and he was a significantly different figure than other presidential nominees have been in the past, for some demographic purposes, would it behoove the other campaign from the other major party to leak out the vice presidential identity for its own ticket a day in advance of the formal announcement on Friday? 

Would you think that might be possible? 

WILLIAMS:  Perhaps you have been on the interwebs tonight.  Perhaps that motivates your carefully calculated question, having taken any of the political sting out of it for me.  And thank you very much, Keith. 


WILLIAMS:  One—if one were trying to blunt such an outdoor speech in front of, say, columns, one would potentially start to spool out the excitement over maybe an 11:00 a.m. Friday morning announcement.  By the way, with a Cat-3 hurricane heading to points unknown in the Gulf of Mexico and Chuck Todd has been, to his everlasting credit, even though he used the word “roar” on television tone, and I’m surprised by that, I’ll talk to him later, he has been banging this drum for the past three days that we could be in a split screen America next week, and let’s hope these predictions are wrong about this storm for the Republicans’ big party. 

To your point about moving outdoors tomorrow night, the microphone is gone.  It’s in a briefcase.  This venue is in effect over.  And, of course, it sounds like that old song about packing up after the concert, our men and women are working all through the night to get us over to the outdoor venue where we’ll continue this tomorrow. 

MATTHEWS:  A question for the managing editor of the “NIGHTLY NEWS,” if you have to put together a news budget early next week or midweek and you have to choose in the lede—the lead item between a Category 4 hurricane named Gustav coming up from the Gulf and the selection of Governor Pawlenty as the vice presidential nominee of the Republican Party, what would come in first? 

WILLIAMS:  Well, it looks like as the calendar’s going to have it, we’re going to have the second answer first.  We’re going to have a veep, and then we’re going to have landfall either late in the weekend or early next week.  So Mother Nature will take care of that. 

You’ve got to put—I suppose, at the end of the day, and we’re all in hypothetical land here, you’ve got to put humans before politics, but you’ve also got to exert a whole lot of fairness and make sure all of our coverage, as you well know, is even-steven. 

So, boy, are we heading into an interesting week.  Again, let’s hope all of these weather models are wrong and the mountains of Haiti have shredded this storm beyond repair.  But this a dangerous season in more ways than one. 

OLBERMANN:  Well, Brian Williams, Tom Brokaw, and meteorologist Chuck Todd, great thanks to all three of you over there inside the Pepsi Center.  We’ll let them come over and pack you guys up as well.  Thanks, gentlemen.

Still ahead, Norah O’Donnell and our panel.  Plus, a critical supporter of Senator Obama’s, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill.  You’re watching MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic Convention live from here in Denver, Colorado.


SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Barack Obama gets it, though.  Like many of us in this room, like many of us in this hall, Barack Obama has worked his way up.  He is the great American story.



OLBERMANN:  Here in Denver on the third night of the Democratic National Convention, one Clinton, Senator Hillary Clinton, paving the way for the Democratic Party’s nomination of Barack Obama for president.  Another Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, endorsing Obama as a leader prepared for any challenge.  All that and a surprise appearance from the presumptive but not for much longer nominee, Senator Obama, to boot. 

The 2008 Democratic ticket together on stage in the convention hall tonight, even though it was not on the schedule.  Senator Biden in his acceptance speech, taking on the traditional running mate role of attacking the other guy. 


BIDEN:  Again and again on the most important national security issues of our time, John McCain was wrong and Barack Obama had been proven right. 


OLBERMANN:  Earlier, his wife having suspended the roll call, asking for the nomination of the man who defeated her in the primaries by acclamation, President Clinton making clear their work on Senator Obama’s behalf was not done then. 


BILL CLINTON, 42ND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Hillary told us in no uncertain terms that she’s going to do everything she can to elect Barack Obama. 


B. CLINTON:  That makes two of us. 



OLBERMANN:  And he added in fact, that makes 18 million of us.  Once he took the stage, the Democratic Party’s official pick, just one in a very large crowd. 


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I want everybody to now understand why I am so proud to have Joe Biden and Jill Biden and Beau Biden and Mama Biden and the whole Biden family with me on this journey to take America back! 



OLBERMANN:  And good evening again from Denver, Colorado, and the Democratic National Convention. 


OLBERMANN:  Alongside Chris Matthews, I’m Keith Olbermann.  They’ll cheer anything here. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, they’re in the mood.  Let’s go to Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, who, of course, was a very early backer of Senator Obama. 

Let me ask you about the role of the vice president—the current vice president in this campaign.  We saw a very strong attack line here.  I should say in a velvet glove a bit here, referring to the fact that the most dreaded words in the English language—the eight most dreaded words are, “the vice president’s office is on the phone.”

I’m just looking at here a report of the Senate Intelligence Committee this summer, fresh information that the intelligence which led us into the war in Iraq was distorted at the top and the word here in particularly by the vice president of the United States. 

How come this indictment is so muted against the vice president if he, in fact, did put his thumb on the scale and take us into a war against our best interests, against the best intelligence at hand at the time?  If those are the facts, why are they not a big part of the message of the Democratic Party in insisting on change? 

SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI:  Well, I think there is a big message in the Democratic Party about this president and vice president.  You heard over and over again tonight, Chris, about the change in foreign policy.  You heard President Clinton talk about the restoring the luster to our Constitution. 

Believe me, everyone in America understands that this presidency and this president and vice president trampled our Constitution and misled the American people. 

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about the internals out there on the floor.  You took a strong position on behalf of Senator Barack.  You’re a woman member of the United States Senate, a colleague of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.  How are the intramurals working out now? 

On the surface it looks very good, it looks harmonious.  It seems to be a united party, especially if you count the delegates.  How about among the heavy hitters in the U.S. Senate?  Are you all getting along better than you were two months ago? 

MCCASKILL:  You know, it is not just a picture of unity.  It is real unity.  And we are all getting along.  I’m looking around this building tonight and I see so many long faces.  And it is all the media, because we’re about to close a chapter on one of the most interesting political contests in American history. 

And I know it’s hard to give it up, guys, but we’re going to have to move on.  We’re united.  Barack Obama is the nominee, and the Clintons are going to campaign hard for him, and we’re all getting along. 

MATTHEWS:  Are you saying that the media tries to do a good job in covering human conflict? 

MCCASKILL:  I’m saying the media has a human nature that loved this race, for all the right reasons, Chris.  Everyone was interested in it.  We had the first viable woman candidate, the first viable black candidate.  We had unprecedented participation.  We had a 50-state primary and caucus process. 

I mean, what’s not to love about that kind of democracy?  And of course, everybody wants to write about it and kind of wants it to keep going because it was so interesting.  But it is time now.  It’s time now to quit talking about it, move on and be focused on the very simple question.  Do you like how it is right now?  If you do, John McCain is your guy. 

MATTHEWS:  Is Missouri the “Show Me State”? 

MCCASKILL:  Yes.  Yes, it is.  Missouri is the “Show Me State.”

MATTHEWS:  Has it been shown—has it been shown tonight and this week by your party?  Have you made the case to carry Missouri? 

MCCASKILL:  I don’t think we’ve finished making the case.  We have a lot more work to do, especially in rural America.  You know, we’ve been on defense in rural America on some of the social issues.  We need to be on offense. 

This man, John McCain, has been no friend to the farmer.  He has been no friend to rural America.  He doesn’t understand that the small communities in America have been hit even harder by his policies of just worrying about Wall Street and big oil.  And we’ve got to take it to these rural communities and make sure they understand this election is about their pocketbook, their wallets, and their checkbook. 

OLBERMANN:  Senator McCaskill, the idea of the Democrats being on defense might apply to a point that Chris was making earlier and Rachel Maddow and I have been making that there is such anger and deep—a deep sense of personally-inflicted pain by so many in the electorate. 

Do you think—and this doesn’t—I’m not criticizing you in saying this, but do you think that Democrats in the public eye, the forefront of the party have done enough with enough pointed language and with enough, frankly, anger in their voices to make the difference clear between electing another Republican and in the simplest terms not electing another Republican president? 

MCCASKILL:  Well, I think that we are following our leader, which is Barack Obama.  And you know what he’s going to be?  He’s going to be authentic.  And this is not a red meat attack dog politician old school style. 

Now, there will be many of us that will draw sharp contrasts between now and November.  But what Barack Obama is going to do, it is not just words to him about a different kind of politics.  He is going to continue to try to lift people up, particularly bubbling up from the bottom instead of all the people in Washington dictating. 

And he’s going to try to run a campaign that inspires people.  And I hope he continues to do that because that’s who he is.  And he needs to be authentic. 

OLBERMANN:  Is there a risk, as inspiring as he is, as obviously charismatic and personable and filled with ideas that he is, that it’s not enough to be merely inspiring at a time like this in American history? 

MCCASKILL:  Listen, I don’t think there’s a risk ever to being inspiring.  I mean, look at what he has done.  He has mobilized thousands and millions of new voters.  He has got my kids and all of the kids their age across the country out there working and really hustling for him.  It is a wonderful thing to see. 

So I think there’s nothing that Barack Obama is doing wrong.  What we just have to do is continue to communicate clearly to people that John McCain is George Bush.  And especially talk about his economic policies that are going to continue to pummel the middle class in this country.  And if we are good at that, if we are sure that we get that message out there, we’re going to win in November. 

MATTHEWS:  Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, thank you for joining us tonight. 

MCCASKILL:  Thank you, guys. 


OLBERMANN:  Up next, Newsweek’s Richard Wolffe in our campaign “Listening Post,” the latest scuttlebutt from the campaign and “The Insiders.” Plus, Norah O’Donnell and our panel reaction to tonight’s speeches and what’s at stake for Obama in his acceptance speech at Mile High Stadium tomorrow night. 


OLBERMANN:  This is MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic Convention, live from Denver.




BIDEN:  These are common stories among middle class people who have worked hard their whole life, played by the rules, on the promise that their tomorrows will be better than their yesterdays.  That promise is the promise of America.  It defines who we are as a people. 

And now, and now it’s in jeopardy.  I know it.  You know it.  But John McCain doesn’t seem to get it. 



OLBERMANN:  We rejoin you with MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic Convention live from Denver.  Night number three, nearing an end.  Newsweek’s Richard Wolffe at our campaign “Listening Post” joins us now. 

Richard, good evening. 

RICHARD WOLFFE, NEWSWEEK:  Good evening, Keith. 

OLBERMANN:  All right.  So the Obama camp had a series of vitally important speeches totally out of their own control in this first three days of the convention.  Obviously the acceptance speech will not be the case by any stretch of the imagination tomorrow.  What was their assessment of what they got from Bill Clinton tonight after the great performance from Hillary Clinton last night? 

WOLFFE:  Well, remember, this—as I said earlier, this was not a speech that they vetted, controlled, or even saw until about 19 minutes before it was delivered.  And they were delighted with President Clinton’s approach, his tone, not just obviously talking about himself and his record, but the way he talked about Barack Obama being ready to be commander-in-chief. 

And also taking the attack to the Republicans.  This was a night when they really tried to ramp up the attacks.  In the words of one senior Obama aide, they were trying to take the wood to John McCain.  They felt they did it tonight.  And criticism aside about how comfortable Joe Biden was with his own speech, they thought they hit the mark more than they have on other nights. 

OLBERMANN:  Does this suggest if they were comfortable with what—particularly, with what Biden did and certainly President Clinton did, some of this what Biden did, the eight-and-a-half minutes worth of at least, more than half of his speech was about John McCain. 

Phrasing like: “this administration’s policy has been in a dismal failure, America cannot afford four more years of this, now despite being complicit,” which is a war crimes terms, “complicit in this catastrophic foreign policy, John McCain says Barack Obama isn’t ready to protect our national security.” 

When they—if they think that was taking the wood to McCain, does this mean that we’re going to see—now we’re hearkening back to the 2004 debates, we’re going to see some more wood? 

WOLFFE:  I think that’s Joe Biden’s role here.  You heard two things from Joe Biden today.  And really they weren’t focused on what we all reported on when he was first picked, the foreign policy piece of this.  We heard about his family story.  Clearly his mother very important there.  The family tragedy that he overcame.  A very compelling piece.  And, of course, about his own childhood, growing up of very modest means. 

And then we heard the extensive, repeated, sustained attacks on John McCain.  That is Joe Biden’s role to do those two things in the Rust Belt states.  That’s what the campaign is promising. 

OLBERMANN:  And we’ll see if he amps up the volume a little bit on that in different circumstances, because as Chris and Rachel pointed out, he’s so much better in small groups. 

Richard Wolffe of Newsweek, at the campaign “Listening Post” inside the Pepsi Center, thank you, Richard. 

Let’s check back in now with Norah O’Donnell and our panel—Norah. 


NORAH O’DONNELL, MSNBC CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT:  All right.  Keith, thank you very much. 

And, of course, after Barack Obama surprised that convention crowd tonight, he took a trip across town over to Mile High Stadium to get a walk-through of the field, to get a sense of where he will be making his speech tomorrow night, accepting the Democratic nomination and also speaking on the 45th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King. 

Very interesting, he gave a couple of interviews today where he said the speech tomorrow night is going to be more workman-like.  He’s not aiming for a lot of high rhetoric, that he really wants people to understand how he would help middle-class families. 

And at the same time, he’s saying that he wants to connect with people in this speech, Republicans are already making the argument that the setting shows that he’s elitist.  They’re calling it the “Temple of Doom” because of the setting. 


O’DONNELL:  What about that, Eugene? 

EUGENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Well, they’re calling it that because there are some columns, apparently, set up where he’s going to speak.

O’DONNELL:  But it looks like a miniature Greek temple. 

ROBINSON:  Well, it kind of looks like where George Bush accepted his nomination in 2004, was also like a temple with columns.  So it’s kind of a difficult criticism to make. 

I also think if I were Barack Obama, I’d be careful about dialing back the rhetoric too far.  Look where it has gotten him.  Look at how he has connected with people, from Iowa to—you know, to now, by reaching them with words that paint a vision of a better country and a better future.  And…

O’DONNELL:  But, Rachel, why is it that he’s sitting there…

ROBINSON:  … why would you not do that if you can do it? 

O’DONNELL:  Yes, but it’s interesting though, why is he saying that, though, that he needs a more workman-like speech? 

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  He’s trying to dial back expectations.  If he says, I’m going to go for the high notes, I’m really going to try to inspire America, then, you know, all it takes is malapropism and everybody considers it a failure.  I think he is trying to dial back expectations.

But right now, you know, Democrats, after Joe Biden’s speech, which did go after McCain, but was not as brutal as it could have been, we’ve got one day left of the convention, and right now maybe the expectations that matter is that Democrats want to hear John McCain taken apart. 

And it’s hard for the nominee himself to be the guy who does that. 

O’DONNELL:  Right.

MADDOW:  But I think that expectation is on the speech. 

O’DONNELL:  Well, don’t forget, we’re going to hear from Al Gore tomorrow night, who is not shy. 


O’DONNELL:  Who is not shy about, as Pat Buchanan says, gutting someone. 


PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Right.  You can expect that from Al Gore, I think.  But thus far, I think you find in Rush Limbaugh far more savage attacks…


BUCHANAN:  … on John McCain than you heard from the Democratic Party.  How many times tonight—here’s a Democratic Party in convention assembled, consists of true believers, ideologues, people who believe we are the angels of light, we’re fighting the angels of darkness.  They want to get up and cheer the condemnation of the other side. 

How many times did we see this crowd waiting to be drawn up to its feet, cheering and roaring for minutes on end?  How many times did it rise? 

ROBINSON:  I think this…

BUCHANAN:  Tomorrow night—wait a minute, let me talk about tomorrow night, Barack Obama cannot do this kind of work.  He is supposed to—the others were supposed to show the forces of darkness.  He’s supposed to show the inspiration, the sunny uplift.  That’s where we’re headed. 

He’s dialing it back.  I’ll tell you why.  They’re reacting to the Republican criticism of Berlin, and all that, the grandiloquence, “The One,” Moses, all of those things.  He has got a very, very tough job tomorrow. 

You had better hope—I do think Al Gore could do the job we have not seen done tonight. 

ROBINSON:  You know, I think, as Barack Obama has shown, he can give a good speech.  He can pitch a speech correctly, pitch a speech to the occasion.  Here’s what I think Democrats might really want to think about. 

When we get to the Republican Convention next week, I can pretty much guarantee you that we’re going to hear much tougher attacks on Barack Obama.  We’re not going to hear reserve…

BUCHANAN:  Question…


ROBINSON:  They’re going to try their best to take him apart. 

O’DONNELL:  The question that we’ve debated on this panel from day one, has this Democratic Party in some ways failed to win over the swing voters that Barack Obama will need?  Or was that not the aim of this convention? 



BUCHANAN:  I think it has not—I generally believe it has not reached the ones they need to reach and moved which are working class folks and folks like that who want to hear the case made. 

Let me tell you something, you will not hear—every single speaker gets up, talks about John McCain, what a wonderful guy, my friend, terrific fellow.  You’re not going to hear a nice word about Barack Obama’s history at the Republican Convention. 


ROBINSON:  No, you’re not.  What they’re trying to do is reach the independents and the “Obamacans” who might think that John McCain is a nice guy, but have some issues with his positions.

O’DONNELL:  And we will be watching for that.  And we will be watching for that tomorrow night.  Clearly a big speech. 

Keith, I’m going to send it back to you. 

OLBERMANN:  All right.  Norah and our panel, great thanks.  We’ll check back in with you in the next hour. 


OLBERMANN:  Three days nearly behind us here in Denver.  Has the stage been set for Senator Obama’s speech tomorrow night and how?  This is MSNBC’s continuing coverage of the Democratic Convention, live from Denver.




BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Last night, Hillary told us in no uncertain terms that she is going to do everything she can to elect Barack Obama. 




CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Well, three days down and one more to go, this historic primary battle drawing to a close with an acclamation of support for Barack Obama’s candidacy this evening inside the Pepsi Center.

Strong speeches tonight by President Clinton and vice presidential nominee Joe Biden, setting the stage for Obama’s big speech at Mile High Stadium tomorrow night. 

I’m Chris Matthews, alongside Keith Olbermann.  And we’re live here, up here in the tower. 

Let’s bring in MSNBC political analyst Michelle. 

Michelle, everyone’s talked to me today about what you said last night about the...


MATTHEWS:  ... well, the challenges facing women in America, including professional women like yourself, and what last night meant.  What did tonight mean to you, in terms of those two families, apparently bonding, in the words of Rachel Maddow, coming together?  Tell me about your—your view of the whole thing tonight. 

MICHELLE BERNARD, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Well, you know, the words that really resonated with me tonight were—was when Joe Biden was talking about America’s promise. 

And it left me sitting back thinking, what exactly is America’s promise?  And—and I do believe, fundamentally, that Democrats or Republicans want the best for the country.  And, right now, what our country needs to figure out is who’s going to do the best job of getting us there. 


BERNARD:  It was wonderful to see Joe Biden speaks so emotionally in terms of his family, the wife that he lost, the daughter that he lost. 

To look up and see Michelle Obama brought to tears in hearing Joe Biden’s story, looking out at momma Biden, as I think I heard somebody call her, earlier today, and the theme that we have been hearing from the Democratic Party all week long is about children and really about health care. 

The other thing I thought about was, we keep hearing health care, health care, health care, health care.  And I’m wondering if, at least for Democrats, if health care is the next civil rights issue for our nation. 

MATTHEWS:  What do you think about—well, there are so many new frontiers being passed and crossed tonight.  Here, you have the vice presidential running mate, a white guy, an African-American guy coming in as his senior partner at the end of the night’s program. 

He spoke in support of the senior member of the partnership, a middle-class guy.  I mean, I’m very familiar with his background.  It’s like my own.  It just struck me in a different way. 

But tell me how it struck you, this—this partnership here, this new partnership. 

BERNARD:  I like the partnership. 

I have got to tell you a quick story.  I went to an event a few years ago, a book-signing, with one of my colleagues who is a white woman author.  And I heard two elderly women speaking—it was right after Katrina—two elderly speaking from the South.  And one of the women says to a girlfriend of hers, “Oh, does Michelle work for Charlotte?” 

And the lady said, “No, Charlotte works for her.”

And the other lady said, “My, things really have changed.”

And that’s what I thought when I saw Biden and Obama tonight.  The country has changed.  If Barack Obama is elected president of the United States, it will be something that we have never seen in our nation’s history.  And I think most people, Republicans or Democrats, are going to rally around the next president.  And if it is Barack Obama, we will be a model for the world. 


MATTHEWS:  Tell me about the spouses, in this case, the wives.  I mean, I was overwhelmed by Jill Biden tonight. 

BERNARD:  Absolutely.  Absolutely.

MATTHEWS:  This is obviously a very attractive, very accomplished person.  She has her Ph.D. in education.  She’s a very serious educator. 

But, just as a spouse, I was overwhelmed, and, then, of course, of course, Michelle Obama.  Tell me about that from your perspective. 

BERNARD:  Well, you know, you just think about a mother’s love.  She married Joe Biden when he had two children, you know, from his previous marriage.  And she—they’re obviously a close-knit family. 

After the end of everything, and—and when Senator Obama came out to speak, I was struck, because their mikes were still on.  And I could hear Mrs. Biden saying, “Where’s Beau?  Where’s Beau?  Get Beau.”

I mean, this is clearly a mother/son relationship.  I loved when the son said that he and his brother and his father married Jill.  It was just a very touching moment.  And, again, it kept making me think about Joe Biden saying America’s promise.  And I would imagine that most Americans tonight are thinking, what is America’s promise? 

We always talk about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  And the big question tonight is, how do we get there?  Will the Republicans get there, or will the Democrats get us there?  And I think that Joe Biden made a—made a very important impact tonight on getting us setting on—set on the right path to think about what’s the next step in our nation’s evolution. 

MATTHEWS:  You know, I thought another picture tonight that grabbed me, perhaps another derivative of this, was watching former President Clinton and—and Senator Clinton standing in a kind of a supportive role to this other couple of couples. 


MATTHEWS:  What did you think watching them in the stands, basically, watching this?  I was very taken with the fact they stayed, they watched, they supported, they rooted for what was happening. 

BERNARD:  Yes, I thought that was very impressive.

You know, frankly, watching Senators Obama and Biden and their families on the stage reminded me of the Gores and the Clintons on stage when—when President Clinton was first elected to the White House.  It was a young, happy couple, and it was nice to just see them there together tonight.

Both of them—you know, Mrs. Clinton hit the ball out of the park last night in her speech.  I think that President Clinton did a fantastic job tonight.  And I think that the fact that they were there together, as a team, with their daughter, another American family in support of these two American families, is a great story of, you know, American success. 

MATTHEWS:  What are people saying to you, Michelle?  I mean, this is a big time for you.  I know you have been a big part of all of this television of the last week and of this last year.  Are people coming up to you and asking you about your role now? 

BERNARD:  No, not really asking me about my role.  Mostly, people have been walking up to me and just—and asking about some of the analysis that they have seen on the air, and really just talking about the future of the nation and how proud—I’m hearing a lot from people, particularly African-Americans and so many of the people that are here watching tonight with us, about how proud they are of where our nation has come, and about this feeling of—you know, of change, and that our time has finally come. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, I have to tell you, every time I interview you, I’m taken within the novelty.  I am always trying to figure you out politically and trying to figure out where to put you, but I can’t do it.  That’s a success on your part. 

Thank you very much, Michelle Bernard...

BERNARD:  Thank you. 

MATTHEWS:  ... for joining us tonight.

KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR:  I have got a Jill Biden story for you.  You were talking about Jill Biden?

MATTHEWS:  Jill Biden, yes.

OLBERMANN:  Jill Biden.

This is a story from last August.  Remember the AFL/CIO forum in Chicago? 


OLBERMANN:  All right.  I moderated that thing.  It was...


MATTHEWS:  Soldier Field. 

OLBERMANN:  Right.  And it was about 900, 950 degrees, something like that, in the middle of August, and we’re all dressed up in suits. 

There was a woman there was who sitting—and I was reminded of this by one of our producers, Elan Riley (ph) -- was sitting next to her and standing next to her on stage throughout this entire debate, because she kept going out during the breaks, during the commercial breaks, to visit with Joe Biden. 

And none of us knew who she was.  And a couple of us thought, well, OK, she must be like the makeup artist or the... 

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

OLBERMANN:  It was Jill Biden.  She never identified herself to anybody as the wife of the candidate. 

She just wanted to be out there, so she could go out and suggest something to him or be a little supportive, get him a glass of water, whatever it was.

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

OLBERMANN:  She was out there, almost anonymously, as the support for her husband. 

MATTHEWS:  Backing up the point of how game she was to help her spouse, we were out there for Lance Armstrong and that race they do out there, the famous race they held in Iowa, blazing out there in the summer.  There she was in full bike-riding togs, just one of the people racing just because it might, in some small way, help the cause.

OLBERMANN:  And “The New York Times” had reported about Jill Biden over the weekend that, when her students would ask her if she—“Senator Biden, your—Dr. Biden, what’s that all about?” she usually tells them that they’re related to each other, because she doesn’t want them to think of her as anything but their English teacher. 

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Can I top it? 

OLBERMANN:  Sure.  Go ahead. 

MATTHEWS:  I’m in Ocean City, New Jersey, where I spent my summers growing up with my brother, my great Republican brother, Jim.  And we’re over there having a breakfast.  You know how guys like to have this little breakfast alone at the diner...

OLBERMANN:  Absolutely.

MATTHEWS:  ... at 7:30 in the morning?

We go in there.  And there’s very few people around.  The regulars are there.  And we’re talking politics.  And we say hello to the waitress who is taking the orders.  She’s a very nice lady.  And we talk—we’re talking politics.  She said, hi, I’m Joe Biden’s sister-in-law.  It’s Jill’s sister. 


MATTHEWS:  These are regular people. 


MATTHEWS:  And, when Joe Biden gets out—it comes out this week that his entire net worth, after a lifetime—and he’s in his 60s, mid-60s—a lifetime of achievement, and his entire net worth is $150,000, total, including, what, the value he has on the house, he’s a regular guy.  He has a sister-in-law who’s a waitress.  These are—these are not pretending-to-be-regular people.  These are. 

OLBERMANN:  And think in terms of trying to set this up as Obama as the product of a very hard-working group of middle- -- lower-middle-class, middle-class people.

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

OLBERMANN:  Biden in that group, still upper-middle-class, I guess would be where he is, and a man who takes the train home every night, because he’s been...


OLBERMANN:  How American is that?  That’s the America of the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s.  Dad is coming home on the train.  Now, that’s another one.  That is another...


MATTHEWS:  It’s Dagwood.

OLBERMANN:  It almost is.


OLBERMANN:  All right.  This was the night the Democrats got tough with John McCain, in their opinion, certainly tough enough. 

When we return, highlights from one of the toughest speeches of the night from Senator John Kerry.


little bit You’re watching MSNBC’s continuing live coverage of the Democratic National Convention



CLINTON:  I am here first to support Barack Obama. 


CLINTON:  And, second—and, second, I’m here to warm up the crowd for Joe Biden...





SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  John McCain is my friend.  And I know you hear that phrase used all the time in politics.  I mean it.  John McCain is my friend. 

We’ve traveled the world together.  It’s a friendship that goes beyond politics.  And the personal courage and heroism demonstrated by John still amazes me. 


BIDEN:  But I profoundly—I profoundly disagree with the direction John wants to take this country, from Afghanistan to Iraq.



OLBERMANN:  Chris just made a wonderful rhetorical question there.  How many times will we hear John McCain or anybody else say that about any Democrat, let alone Joe Biden, next week in Saint Paul?  The over/under on that is—one? 

Perhaps lost in the shuffle among the speeches from Bill Clinton and Joe Biden tonight, the two headliners, an extraordinarily tough indictment of John McCain from the 2004 Democratic nominee, John Kerry, who pulled a couple of turnarounds on things that happened to him and used them against McCain. 


SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS:  When we choose a commander in chief this November, we are electing judgment and character, not years in the Senate or years on this earth. 

Time and again, Barack Obama has seen farther and listened harder, and listened better, and thought harder.  And, time and again, Barack Obama has proven right.

John McCain stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier just three months after 9/11, and he proclaimed, next stop, Baghdad.  The judgment immediately from Barack Obama was to see an occupation of undetermined length, undermined consequences, undetermined cost that, in his words, would only fan the flames of the Middle East.

Well, guess what?  Mission accomplished.


KERRY:  So—so, who can we trust to keep America safe?

AUDIENCE:  Barack Obama!

KERRY:  When Barack Obama promised to honor the best traditions of both parties and talk to our enemies, John McCain scoffed.  George Bush called it the false comfort of appeasement.  But, today, Bush’s diplomats are doing exactly what Obama said, talking with Iran.


KERRY:  So, who can we trust to keep America safe?

AUDIENCE:  Barack Obama!

KERRY:  When democracy rolled out of Russia—and Russia—and the tanks rolled into Georgia, we saw John McCain immediately respond with outdated thinking of the Cold War.  Barack Obama responded like a true friend of Georgia and a statesman of the 21st century.

So, who can we trust to keep America safe?

AUDIENCE:  Barack Obama!

KERRY:  When Democrats called for a timetable to make Iraqis stand up for Iraq and bring our heroes home, John McCain called it cut-and-run.  But, today, even President Bush has seen the light, and he and Prime Minister Maliki agree on—guess what? -- a timetable.

So, who can we trust to keep America safe?

AUDIENCE:  Barack Obama!

KERRY:  The McCain-Bush Republicans have been wrong again and again and again.  And they know they will lose on the issues.  So, a candidate who once campaigned on the promise of a campaign of ideas, not insults, now has nothing left but personal attacks.

How—how insulting to suggest that those who question the mission question the troops.  How pathetic to suggest that those who question a failed policy doubt America itself.  How desperate to tell the son of a single mother who chose community service over money and privilege that he doesn’t put America first. 

No one...


KERRY:  No one can question Barack—no one can question Barack Obama’s patriotism. 

Like all of us, like all of us, he was taught what it means to be an American by his family—his grandmother, who worked on a bomber assembly line in World War II, his grandfather, who marched in Patton’s army, and his great-uncle, who enlisted in the Army right out of high school at the height of the war. 

And, on a spring day in 1945, that great-uncle helped liberate one of the concentration camps at Buchenwald.

Ladies and gentlemen, Barack Obama’s uncle is here with us tonight. 

Please join me in saluting this American hero, Charlie Payne.


KERRY:  Charlie, your nephew Barack Obama will end this politics of distortion and division.  He will be a president who seeks not to perfect the lies of swift-boating, but to end them once and for all.


KERRY:  This election—this election is a chance for America to tell the merchants of fear and division, you don’t decide who loves this country.  You don’t decide who is a patriot.  You don’t decide whose service counts and whose doesn’t.


OLBERMANN:  Senator John Kerry earlier tonight, words that would have served him well in 2004, but may yet serve Barack Obama very well in 2008 -- Chris. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, the results of our latest text survey questionnaire are in right now. 

We asked—quote—“Is it important for the Democratic National Convention to, A, define Barack Obama, or, B, to attack John McCain?”  Well, this is about 50/50.  It couldn’t be much closer.  Fifty-two percent of those who were surveyed and text in said the Democrats need to define Barack Obama.  And 48 percent said the need is to attack John McCain. 

So, that’s not very decisive. 

But here’s one that is.  Earlier today, we asked—quote—“Did Hillary Clinton’s speech last night help unite the party?”

Well, here’s a division.  Eighty-seven percent of those who participated said yes.  Just 13 percent said no. 


MATTHEWS:  Keith and I will be back from Denver—after this. 





And, as a small town Tennessee guy and a registered Republican, I can’t tell you what an honor it is to be here today to nominate Barack Obama...


WILSON:  ... to nominate Barack Obama as the next president of the United States!




OLBERMANN:  A registered Republican vet, we might add.

We rejoin you with MSNBC’s coverage of the Democratic Convention, night number three, live from Denver. 

MATTHEWS:  Let’s go back to Norah O’Donnell and the panel—Norah.


And, as Barack Obama prepares to make this big speech at Mile High Stadium, there is the possible scenario that John McCain’s running mate will be leaked out tomorrow.  According to “The Politico,” they are reporting that John McCain has selected his running mate, that they will likely campaign together, that this announcement will be made on Friday morning. 

Rachel, what do you make of this? 

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Well, to try—if they do it, if they allow it to leak deliberately...


MADDOW:  ... it’s slightly low-road, right?

But I do find it incredible that the official announcement is going to come on Friday.  Friday is the anniversary of Katrina making landfall in New Orleans.  And when Katrina made landfall in New Orleans, where was John McCain?  He was standing on an airport tarmac with President Bush, cutting into his own happy John McCain birthday cake.  That’s where he was when Katrina made landfall. 

John McCain went on to vote against the investigation of the government’s response to Katrina.  John McCain—when Congress was considering how to respond to it, he cautioned Congress against overreacting. 

Now we have got Hurricane Gustav...

O’DONNELL:  Gustav.

MADDOW:  ... churning off the coast, potentially with a bead on New Orleans again, and the regional levee director in New Orleans says, well, we have gotten some stuff done on the levees.  We think we could withstand a 30-year storm.  Hurricane Katrina was a 396-year storm.  We haven’t done it.  We haven’t fixed it.

Katrina is the strongest symbol in this country of how bad Republicans have been at governing, other than Jack Abramoff’s prison uniform.



O’DONNELL:  Given what Rachel just laid out, is the perfect storm brewing for the Democrats?

ROBINSON:  Well, it’s a storm that could have political impact. 

I mean, look, no one can root for Gustav.  I covered Katrina.  And the devastation that it wrought in New Orleans was just horrible.  I saw—I ran into Mayor Ray Nagin today at the Pepsi Center.  And he was very concerned about the possibility of another flood, and questioning what has the Army Corps of Engineers done to prevent another disaster like the one we saw, and—and will the government respond, if it has to respond, in a way that’s, you know, in any way more professional and more life-saving than it did the first time. 

O’DONNELL:  Pat, how does that not then seep into the coverage about competence, because that’s ultimate what about the George Bush administration that many people challenged with Katrina, and not only the Iraq war, but then whether John McCain has the competence to be commander in chief?

PAT BUCHANAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Well, I don’t think it—I really don’t think it affects John McCain. 

I mean, certainly, Katrina will be a big reminder of the Bush administration, its greatest domestic failure.  But you asked about the vice president, did you not? 

I think that what has happened is...

O’DONNELL:  Yes, but Rachel brought up the other...



BUCHANAN:  We will do the hurricane later for you, Rachel. 

Look, but here’s the thing.  The Biden selection, I think, should point, to me, more to a Romney thing, because Biden helps in those collar counties, moves Pennsylvania out of reach.  And you could counter that if you could pick up Michigan. 

And, also, Biden will be excellent in debate on foreign policy. 

O’DONNELL:  Absolutely. 

BUCHANAN:  And I have been a fan of Sarah Palin in Alaska, because I think she’s just too young and too inexperienced to put into a contest there, whereas Mitt has done a great job.

However, I do hear this.  I hear that McCain’s leaning toward Pawlenty for personal reasons of the two, and that a lot of people are pushing.  I think the Bushes are pushing for Mitt Romney. 

Now, let me give my personal preference.  I like Mitt.  I just met him today over at “MORNING JOE.”  We had a great time.  My sister worked for him. 

I think he would be the better choice.  I like the guy personally.  But I think it’s a—I think it’s really a tossup right now.  It won’t be—it won’t be Lieberman.  If it’s Lieberman, I will be going to the convention early for other purposes. 


ROBINSON:  You know, I—I have always thought that Romney was the best choice for McCain, from his point of view.  And I think that’s the most likely choice.

MADDOW:  Imagine picking the man who was governor of Minnesota during the Minneapolis bridge collapse on the date that is the anniversary of Katrina making landfall in New Orleans, and making that the case for... 


BUCHANAN:  He’s responsible for a bridge collapse? 

MADDOW:  No, but, Pat..


BUCHANAN:  You have got to be kidding.  This is kooky.

MADDOW:  Picking the anniversary isn’t saying I want it all to happen again. 


BUCHANAN:  But if we’re talking about...

MADDOW:  Acknowledge the symbolic power of choosing that date, that setting, and that guy. 

BUCHANAN:  You’re telling me the date a bridge collapsed on a federal highway is something nationally important? 



BUCHANAN:  It may be here, I agree. 




MADDOW:  I mean, you talked earlier about how important it is politically to divide Americans. 

I think that Americans right now, that—that you—that it’s not necessarily driving a wedge between different parts of America and calling one side bad, one side good. 

I think what’s politically salient right now is recognizing how mad Americans are about the fact that our infrastructure is Third World rate, and declining, that we’re at—that nobody’s ever been held accountable for the war.  The country is unified around this stuff.  It’s just—it’s a question of which political party will be smart enough to capitalize on it.

O’DONNELL:  But, Eugene, is Governor Pawlenty responsible for that? 

ROBINSON:  Well, no, he’s not responsible for the bridge. 

He, however, happens to be a Republican.  And the Republican administration, I think, can rightly be—be blamed for the—the deterioration, a lot of deterioration of infrastructure, at least the failure to fix it, and for the inadequate and shameful response to—to Katrina.

And it’s—we’re talking about the anniversary of Katrina, not of the bridge collapse. 


MADDOW:  Right. 

ROBINSON:  You know, look, here’s my question.

Mitt Romney...

BUCHANAN:  Right. 

ROBINSON:  ... I think he’s a—by far, the better campaigner. 

BUCHANAN:  Right. 

ROBINSON:  I think he would be a—but I don’t think he gets in Michigan. 

BUCHANAN:  You’re right. 


ROBINSON:  He was governor a long time ago.  The Romney name doesn’t have what it used to have. 

O’DONNELL:  But, what I heard from Republicans is it’s down to Pawlenty and Ridge.  Well listen, John McCain has supposedly already made his choice, but those were the final two candidates.  What about, Governor Ridge who had more appeal to perhaps more Americans because he’s an independent, probably to some of maybe those Hillary Clinton supporters who say that they don’t trust Barack Obama. 

BUCHANAN:  Ridge would be an automatic choice if he were not pro-choice.  But, he’s trouble with the—he’s got trouble with the Catholic clergy up there.  And then have you to take the Evangelicals.  What do they think of a Catholic that’s pro-choice?  And so this has always been the problem.  I agree, if he were pro-life, Ridge would be in like Flynn.

O’DONNELL:  But, those same Evangelicals also have some issues with Mitt Romney? 

BUCHANAN:  Well, yeah they do because of the Mormonism.  Yeah, but I basically thing they will go along with Mitt Romney if Barack Obama is the alternative.  I do think he doesn’t give you Michigan, not automatically, but it gives you claim on the states, because there’s a lot of Democratic problems up there the in city of Detroit that Rachel can tell us about it, because her friends up there got a little social problem, don’t they? 

O’DONNELL:  Well, we have go a fascinating...

MADDOW:  Wait a minute. 


ROBINSON:  Are you talking about Kwame Kilpatrick? 

BUCHANAN:  I’m talking about Kwame, the economy, the complete scandalous mess in Detroit.  That gives Republicans more of reach in there than they got in some other states. 

ROBINSON:  If you think...

MADDOW:  I think just found my social problem. 

ROBINSON:  If you think Detroit’s about to become a Republican city, it’s time to take a break.

O’DONNELL:  All right, we are getting set up for a fascinating day tomorrow, not only because of Barack Obama, but because John McCain has apparently made his decision about who his vice president.  That person will be informed tomorrow. 

BUCHANAN:  What’s your guess?  Come on, put it on the line here, Norah. 

O’DONNELL:  You know, I’m still a reporter, you know, not a (INAUDIBLE).  I reported earlier—I heard that it was down to Pawlenty and Ridge, that’s what I was told. 

BUCHANAN:  If you had to bet, who would you say?

O’DONNELL:  Let me remind you what I reminded you last night, I lead the panel, Pat.  I ask the questions. 




O’DONNELL:  I love you. 

ROBINSON:  Thank you, boss lady.

MADDOW:  We’ll have a group hug in a minute.

O’DONNELL:  And I’m getting the wrap, and with that, Keith, I’m sending it up to you, buddy.

OLBERMANN:  Boy, oh boy, oh boy, Rachel’s a bad influence on you, Norah.  I got to tell you.  Thanks Norah, thanks Rachel, thanks Pat, thanks Gene. 

Listen, while we’re talking about the vice presidential choice and the prospect of it being leaked out to sort of blunt the Obama’s acceptance speech tomorrow, Chris and I were sitting here talking about this.  And I though you made an excellent point, it’s great to leak that out if it’s going to be a wow moment. 

MATTHEWS:  Yeah, would be news...


OLBERMANN:  Joe Lieberman or... 

MATTHEWS:  A Democrat who’s pro-choice, who agrees with you on the war in Iraq, but disagrees on other things.  But, to pick a Tim Pawlenty is like two little puddles of water coming together.  There is no splash.  There is no news.  Tim Pawlenty, the name itself suggests not interesting. 

OLBERMANN:  It sounds like something you order on the side with a dinner.

MATTHEWS:  No, it’s like—remember Mario Cuomo used to talk about “polenta?” You know, it’s some sort of basic food that’s somewhat substantive, but has no bite to it.  I really think the news would be, obviously Kay Bailey Hutchison, that would be... 

OLBERMANN:  Out of nowhere, yeah.

MATTHEWS:  ...a woman who many believer—and I think she’s an a really impressive public figure, could be easily the next governor of Texas, but not necessarily pro-life in a very dramatic way, a little bit murky, there.  I think that’s the way she wants it. 

If you pick Joe Lieberman it would be the first time since, what?  -- Andrew Johnson when you’d have the split ticket, when you’d have someone from the other party, Johnson was Democrat, a pro-northern Democrat.  But, to pick someone because you couldn’t pick anyone else, because no one else came to mind in a state you will not carry, Minnesota, is this to help defeat Al Franken?  Is this the goal?  We’re putting everything into defeating Al Franken. 

OLBERMANN:  Because Tom Ridge was too edgy. 

MATTHEWS:  Yeah, I know.  Ridge, again, another spectacular choice if you want spectacle, but again, pat is probably right, knowing the Republican Party, you would have the Tony Perkins’ of the world and the focus on the family people and he knows the whole list of those people who would immediately rebel.  It would be like the Dixiecrats walking out, to make an unfortunate reference.

OLBERMANN:  So, there are a lot of Democrats having had a big night saying:  pick Lieberman, pick Ridge.

MATTHEWS:  But think, if it’s Mitt Romney or it’s Pawlenty, it’s not interesting, because the—I think Norah’s right if it’s—but I think saying it’s narrowed down to Ridge, I would guess  is to try to make Ridge feel better and to help Pennsylvania for the next 24 hours, but after that it won’t do much good. 

OLBERMANN:  Fortunately, they’re not voting in the next 24 hours, so that’s not going to have an issue.  Well, obviously we’re going to spend a week with the Republicans in talking about that next week in Minnesota.  And there’s still so much more to come here, obviously tomorrow at INVESCO Field, the Mile High Stadium, plus more of the sights and sounds of this night.  You’re watching MSNBC’s coverage of night-three of the Democratic convention, live in Denver. 



BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We want to open up this convention to make sure that everyone who wants to come can join in the party and join in the effort to take America back.  I think we’re going to have a great night tomorrow night and I look forward to seeing you there. 


OLBERMANN:  And we continue with MSNBC’s continuing coverage, that’s why we call it continuing at the Democratic convention.  After an entire summer of handwringing over unity among the Democratic Party—amid the Democratic Party, today came the big test, the moment that had been negotiated for weeks and now seems years ago.  Exactly how would Barack Obama win the nomination while respecting and pleasing the supporters of Hillary Clinton? 

Both Clinton and Obama’s names were entered into nomination tonight, the roll call vote ensued and then about halfway through it, Senator Clinton dramatically joined the New York delegation to bring that roll call to an end.  Here is how that history was made:


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Madam Secretary, on behalf of the great state of New York, with appreciation for the spirit and dedication of all who are gathered here, with eyes firmly fixed on the future, in the spirit of unity, with the goal of victory, with faith in our party and our country, let’s declare, together, in one voice right here, right now that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our president.


Madam Secretary—Madam Secretary, I move that the convention suspend the procedural rules and suspend the further conduct of the roll call vote, all votes passed by the delegates will be counted and that I move Senator Barack Obama of Illinois be selected by this convention, by acclamation as the nominee of the Democratic Party for president of the United States. 


NANCY PELOSI, HOUSE SPEAKER OF REPRESENTATIVES:  Senator Clinton has moved in the spirit of unity to suspend the rules of the convention and to nominate Barack Obama by acclamation as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party.  Is there a second?


All in favor to suspend the rules and nominate by acclamation Barack Obama as the Democratic parties presidential candidate, please say Aye.

CROWD:  Aye.

PELOSI:  All those opposed please say no.  Two-thirds of the delegates having voted in the affirmative, the motion is adopted.


OLBERMANN:  The fastest gavel in the west.  Hours after Senator Clinton’s motion to nominate Senator Obama by acclamation; her husband took to the podium to make the case that Senator Obama is ready to be commander-in-chief on day-one.  Here’s some of what former president Bill Clinton said this evening:


BILL CLINTON (D), FMR U.S. PRESIDENT:  Everything I learned in my eight years as president, and in the work I have done since in America and across the globe, has convinced me that Barack Obama is the man for this job.


Now, he has a remarkable ability to inspire people, to raise our hopes and rally us to high purpose.  He has the intelligence and curiosity every successful president needs.  His policies on the economy, on taxes, on healthcare, on energy are far superior to the Republican alternatives.

He has shown a clear grasp of foreign policy and national security challenges and a firm commitment to rebuild our badly strained military.

His family heritage and his life experiences have given him a unique capacity to lead our increasingly diverse nation in an ever more interdependent world.

The long, hard primary tested and strengthened him.  And in his first presidential decision, the selection of a running mate, he hit it out of the park.


With Joe Biden’s experience and wisdom, supporting Barack Obama’s proven understanding, instincts, and insight, America will have the national security leadership we need.

And so, my fellow Democrats, I say to you:  Barack Obama is ready to lead America and to restore American leadership in the world.

Barack Obama is ready to honor the oath, to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.


Barack Obama is ready to be president of the United States. 


OLBERMANN:  The ready, ready, ready speech in which Senator Clinton showed you he “hit it out of the park.” And we’re showing you this, those lights in the distance, Coors Field, the home of the Colorado Rockies baseball team, where we’re told at this hour, about 1,000 Clinton administration and campaign alumni are gathered at Coors Field awaiting the arrival, at 10:45 Mountain Time, tonight, the arrival of President Clinton for a reunion, and an alumni meeting.  The senator will not be attending, but President Clinton will be and that’s why the lights are on and there are people home at a baseball stadium at quarter to 11:00 Local Time. 

All right, to our crowd here, after their crowd there, let’s go to Chris Matthews and our lovely audience—Chris. 

MATTHEWS:  Thank you, Keith.  All right, now, look, we’re going to have—I want everybody to give everybody a chance to talk.  OK?  Now, a little respect, here. 



MATTHEWS:  Why are you for John McCain?