THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
August 13, 2013
Guests: John Eterno, Nick Acocella
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: Of the 1,948 people who have become United
States senators, only eight have been African-Americans. Only three of
them were elected to the Senate by popular vote. Tonight, Cory Booker
seems well seems to his way to being the fourth African-American to be
elected to the United States Senate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Voters are heading to the polls in New Jersey
UNIDENTFIED MALE: Voting to fill New Jersey`s Senate open seat?
CHRIS JANSING, MSNBC ANCHOR: The seat vacated by the death of Frank
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Newark Mayor Cory Booker has been leading the
MAYOR CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: I think we
have the capacity to do extraordinary things.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s now facing some questions about his personal
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`ll see how that affects him as he goes
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no vacation from the crosshairs of the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The budget battles that are going on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s going to be a handful of Senate Republicans
that are going to gum up the work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want to defund Obamacare.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: That`s what everybody wants.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The rhetoric has already begun.
SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: Nobody disagrees with the goal. They
just disagree with the tactics.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We`ve got 435 people
trying to come to an agreement.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Their colleagues can`t seem to find unity.
BOEHNER: Sometimes they get a bit frustrated.
COBURN: The press loves to say there is a division.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re shouting about this.
BOEHNER: Sometimes they get a bit frustrated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that is the situation right now.
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), NEW YORK: I worry for my kids and I
worry for your kids.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Bloomberg, not a happy man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When did you last speak to Bill and Hillary
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A new poll and the new interview for Anthony
ANTHONY WEINER (D), NYC MAYORAL CANDIDATE: I have a lot to prove to
them as well.
CONAN O`BRIEN, COMEDIAN: We live in a 24-hour news cycle. I think
it`s fair to say that.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: The law belongs to the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary Clinton now on the record about the
defensive voting rights.
CLINTON: A phantom epidemic of election fraud.
O`BRIEN: There is so much breaking news, kind of hard to process it
O`DONNELL: We have breaking news from New Jersey tonight in the
special primary election for New Jersey Senate, to replace the seat left
open after the death of Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker has won the Democratic primary. Booker
defeated three opponents, Congressman Rush Holt, Congressman Frank Pallone,
and speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly, Sheila Oliver.
On the Republican side, Tea Party candidate, Steve Lonegan, the former
mayor of Bogota, which is pronounced differently, we`re going to find out
from Kornacki how you do that, Bogota, I think it is, New Jersey, he has
won that one.
The special election for the Senate seat will be held on October 16th,
a month before the November election for New Jersey governor.
Cory Booker said this a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOOKER: It is such an honor to be your nominee, to be your Democratic
nominee for the United States Senate. Thank you.
Everywhere I have gone, have talked about the need to bring people
together -- the need to find a new type of politics in America, the
politics o getting things done. This is our nation`s key hallmark. E
pluribus unum, we are called to come together and build a more perfect
This ideal is critical if we as a nation are going to achieve or
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now, MSNBC`s Steve Kornacki, and Nick Acocella,
editor and publisher, PolitiFax New Jersey.
Steve, first of all, New Jersey pronunciation please on this town that
Lonegan was mayor of?
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: It`s actually option C, Bogota.
OK. Bogota. All right, good, we`re going to come back to that.
Steve, from the time Cory Booker got elected mayor, people have been
looking at him saying, wow, he`s got a big career in front of him. And
when is he going to make his move? He was very patient. There was
speculation about running for governor.
But when he looked at Frank Lautenberg and looked at where he was in
terms of his age and his health, facing what would be possibly a difficult
re-election, he decided to go for the Senate. And since making that
decision, he seems to have executed the move perfectly.
KORNACKI: Well, yes, I say in all fairness, you know, Cory Booker won
this campaign long before this campaign even started. I think there were a
lot of people in New Jersey, and frankly, nationally, who have been waiting
five, 10 years, for a chance to vote for Cory Booker for something,
whatever the office happens to be.
I think he made a smart choice in terms of choosing the Senate race
over the governor`s race. I still not convince he was ever really
seriously interested in the governor`s race. I think he is much better,
sort of naturally fit for the Senate, for sort of a national stage like
that. You could say maybe he was not quite patient enough in that --
O`DONNELL: Steve, we`re going to go to Cory Booker live right now.
BOOKER: Stand in the way, because in Newark, we had a simple
philosophy, when it comes to the cause of our people, when it comes to
creating a nation, where every child can have the blessing, to dream bigger
dreams. To have the higher hopes and to get the support to empower them
that no matter what their background, that they can have what it means to
be an American. That we must, as a people, either find a way, or make a
And so, for the road ahead, I won`t care about red or blue. I
wouldn`t care about an insider`s game. I will care about you.
I will care about results for all the people in New Jersey. From the
suburbs to the inner city, from the Palisades, down to Cumberland County,
we have work to do. And it won`t be easy, don`t get me wrong.
The skeptics are right when they say there is a new corrosive type of
politics being played in Washington, a politics that focus on blocking
progress, a misguided, zero sum politics, that denies the glorious
interconnectedness of a common destiny. A type of politics that says
compromise is a dirty word and bipartisanship is as rare as a rainbow at
But I know that`s not New Jersey, and those definitely are not our
values. You see, I now know who my opponent will be in October. And he is
a person of strong beliefs. And I found out already, even stronger
But please know this about me. Those who know me already know my
spirit. Please know this about me -- I will match his negative attacks
with positive vision.
He puts up his fist, I`m going to extend a hand.
He wants to be a flame-thrower. I want to be a bridge-builder.
But don`t get me wrong, I cut my teeth here in Newark. So, I`m
telling you right now in this campaign, if he demeans a woman`s equality, I
will affirm it.
If he seeks to regulate our gay brothers and sisters as second class
citizenship, I will elevate them and everyone.
I will elevate with the truth that God loves all his children, even
those that seeks to deny some folks equality, he loves you, too.
If in this election he attacks our cities and urban spaces I will
defend them, and the people who have never given up on the idea that all of
New Jersey can, should, and must resonate with the hope and the promise of
That we cannot divide this state, north from south, Democrat and
Republican, urban and suburban, all the state has one destiny, because we
are one person and we have one vision that calls us and there`s one way to
be successful and that is together. But just like in Newark, nothing
truly, truly worthwhile can ever be accomplished alone. If we want to get
things done, we all have a part to play.
And so, I`m going to be calling on you. I know there is a lot of
folks here that might be a little weary because we had to work real hard to
get here tonight.
But I`m going to be asking everybody in our state now, regardless of
your party or your path, regardless of where you live or where you work,
I`m asking all of the people of New Jerseyans to come together in this
election sprint and in the larger campaign that goes beyond an election
day, the campaign to get things done for you, for us, for New Jersey.
You see, the great leaders I admire are not the ones that get people
to follow them in reverence and awe, but the ones who roll up their
sleeves, and through service and struggle help us all realize that we, too,
We are the leaders now, who must more than ever join in leading the
fight and the way forward. This is what we need now. And this is our
experience in America, in New Jersey, in Newark. And this is a unique
experience I will bring to Washington, should I be your senator.
Experience forged from --
O`DONNELL: Steve Kornacki, we heard an echo of Barack Obama in there
when he said I won`t care about red or blue, I will care about you.
Also, his anticipation of the tactics of his opponent -- may be
something of a flame-thrower and how he won`t be playing the game quite the
KORNACKI: Yes. So you talk about that opponent and you talk about
Obama in his Boston speech in 2004, and if you remember Barack Obama in
2004 was running for the Senate in Illinois. And he had, you know, he
ended up being a very easy general election because Alan Keyes was his
opponent, and Alan Keyes is flame thrower, whatever there was one.
In the contrast, really, I think really, Obama came out very well in
that contrast. I look at Steve Lonegan, who was going to be Cory Booker`s
opponent here in New Jersey.
There is a lot of Alan Keyes in Steve Lonegan. One of my first
encounters with Steve Lonegan was on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2005,
and he held a press conference on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Newark to
attack affirmative action. That is where Steve Lonegan is coming from. He
rose from national fame and I think the story is now known. You know,
McDonald had a sign in Spanish in his town, you know, sort of railing
against that. So, this is not you know, Steve Lonegan is not going to win
Steve Lonegan is not electable in a state like New Jersey. But he can
certainly say things that will get lots of national attention for all the
wrong reasons from an electability standpoint. And Cory Booker will -- is
well position able to sort of play a heroic role in countering that.
NICK ACOCELLA, POLITIFAX NEW JERSEY: His most recent salvo was that
he was operating under a handicap of being a white guy running in New
Jersey, because that tells you everything you need to know about Steve
Well, you know, I`ve got a stack of quotes here from Steve Lonegan
that confirmed what you guys are both saying. I mean, here`s just one. We
just have time for one on Obamacare. He said, "I will be as callous and
uncaring as you can imagine, I have no interest in paying for your health
care. I`d hate to see you get cancer, but that`s your problem, not mine."
Nick, that`s typical, right?
ACOCELLA: That is absolutely typical. I mean, to call him a flame-
thrower doesn`t do him justice. I mean, he`s (INAUDIBLE) bomber.
He`s really a character. I mean, he ran against Chris Christie in the
2009 Republican primary for governor. So he has had his turn around the
dance floor in the statewide races.
O`DONNELL: So, Steve, this is why Cory Booker looked so happy during
most of the speech tonight. He knows that even with a possibly stronger
Republican opponent, this state votes for Democratic senators.
KORNACKI: Yes, and the fact that Steve Lonegan can have the
Republican nomination tells you how sort of un-seriously Chris Christie
took this election, the only goal here for Chris Christie in scheduling
this election was to not have Cory Booker on the November ballot with him.
Mission accomplished. Beyond that, he doesn`t want -- you know, He is
happy to have no attention on this race. And the rest of the Republican
establishment, they knew that.
Which is why a guy like Lonegan, he would essentially -- he had a sort
of token opponent, to get this nomination unopposed.
O`DONNELL: OK, just in case we do have to pace more attention to the
race, Nick, can you give me the pronunciation of the town again that
Lonegan was the mayor of?
O`DONNELL: Bogota, all right.
Steve Kornacki and Nick Acocella, thank you both very much, with your
New Jersey expertise.
ACOCELLA: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, it`s Tea Party Republicans versus the
Republican leadership over shutting down the government to defund
And later, Hillary Clinton is doing exactly what she should be doing
if she is running for office in 2016.
And in the "Rewrite" tonight, we will show you how President Franklin
Roosevelt had to rewrite his own thinking about economics to lead this
country out of the depression. We can actually show you now a wonderful
clue in his own handwriting about how his thinking changed.
That`s coming up.
O`DONNELL: Today, North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan asked the Justice
Department to review her new law she wrote. She wrote in her letter to
Eric Holder, "I am deeply concerned that the law will restrict the ability
of minorities, senior students, the disabled and low and middle income
citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote."
The Justice Department says it will already challenge Texas` new voter
ID law and has indicated that they would consider taking action in North
Carolina, as well.
Up next, we`ll show you Karl Rove trying to talk sense to the Tea
Party and failing.
O`DONNELL: On Friday, Eric Cantor told this little fib to "The
National Review." "No one is advocating a government shutdown." He meant,
of course, no one except the Republicans in the Senate and House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Why is this the best method at this time in
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: It`s the only method at this time to do
anything, and people want us to stand. I ran on being against Obamacare.
They ask me at every meeting, stand up and defund it. That`s what
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Utah`s first term Senator Mike Lee, who as of now knows
apparently nothing about legislating, thinks he has figured out a way out
of the problem of having to shut down the entire government in order to
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEN. MIKE LEE (R), UTAH: OK, so this is a false choice that we`re
talking about here, the false choice that suggests that somehow we`ve got
to choose between either funding Obamacare on the one hand, or causing a
government shutdown on the other hand. What I`m saying is let`s fund
government, but just not Obamacare. The only reason we`re in this position
to begin with is that Congress has chosen to fund everything at once in one
big huge bucket. Nobody shops like this and Congress shouldn`t spend money
(END AUDIO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Enter Karl Rove who has been forced to play the voice of
reason to Republicans who weren`t paying very much attention in their high
school government classes.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
HANNITY: All spending constitutionally begins with the House. Why
not use the constitutional power that the House has and isolate the payment
KARL ROVE: Because -- Sean, the bill does have to start in the House,
you`re right. But the Senate has the ability to amend it. And the Senate
Democrats have the vote to amend it to send it back to say, OK, we now
approve spending for Obamacare, we took back your exact provisions
regarding Obamacare and we`re sending it back to you.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Apparently, sensing that he was getting nowhere with the
procedural argument, Karl Rove summarized the politics this way.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
ROVE: And who gets blamed? Does anybody think that the Republicans
are going to escape being blamed for our troops not being paid, our prison
guards not getting paid? Our border patrol not being paid? Essential
government services being stopped dead. No, let`s not kid ourselves, we`ll
(END AUDIO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now, MSNBC`s Krystal Ball and Ari Melber, co-
hosts of "THE CYCLE".
Krystal Ball, the Republicans are having trouble now with this Tea
Party caucus that they`ve got there. But what do you think is the ultimate
player here, that the Rand Paul side of the world will cast some sort of
symbolic vote but the Republican leadership will get passed them on this?
KRYSTAL BALL, THE CYCLE: It`s going to have to be something like
that, because the Rand Pauls of the world, the Mike Lees of the world, the
Ted Cruzs of the world, they are too invested in their future of placating
and pandering to the Tea Party, to totally back down on this. So, they`re
going to have to do something.
It`s also worth talking about the Republicans are coming to their
senses, the leadership doesn`t want to go over the edge, they don`t want to
But it`s all a debate over tactics, not strategy. Ultimately, they`re
not bothered by the idea of shutting down the government. They`re bothered
by the idea it would cause them to lose and it would bother them
politically. They`re still just as committed to try to defund and stop and
repeal health care reform without any sort of meaningful suggestions of
their own on the other side.
O`DONNELL: Ari, every time I hear the Republican senators and
congressmen who tend to be the junior ones, talking about shutting down the
government or their constituents in some of those town hall meetings, I
feel like I`m really hearing them is say they believe they can shut down
all the parts of the government that they don`t like. But that, in fact,
you know, the troops will continue to be paid, and the veteran`s hospitals
will function flawlessly, and they don`t even seem to think of the stuff
that they like the government doing, as government.
ARI MELBER, THE CYCLE: Yes, I mean, between John Boehner and his Tea
Party caucus is sort of like the old saying, you know, fool me once, shame
on you. Fool me 39 times over Obamacare, you`re a caucus full of
irresponsible babies. And everybody knows that expression.
It is this repetition of, as you say, Lawrence, this selective idea of
funding. The truth is, anyone who`s worked on the Hill knows there are a
lot of votes people don`t like because when you deal with the package, when
you deal what they called the continuing resolution, often to keep things
funded on an ad hoc basis, you fund some stuff you like, you fund some
stuff you don`t like, and sometimes, you don`t get the funding you want
That is just the nature of government. What I do think is important
here, I`m really glad you`re covering it, because some people want to say,
oh, we shouldn`t even look at this. We should absolutely look at this
because it is actually a mirror image of their problem on sequester over
the long-term, which is that they cannot stand by the type of rhetorical
hatred that they offer of the government.
When you actually work it out, what you find is they don`t want the
sequester to apply necessarily to their military base or their programs in
their base -- district. And they definitely don`t want, I don`t think, to
shut down the whole government here, because they`ll remind everybody why
we need government.
O`DONNELL: All right, let`s listen to what Rand Paul had to tell Sean
Hannity how he thinks this can work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: I may not be able to guarantee victory, but I guarantee I will
stand up, if the House were to defund it, the Senate probably won`t. So
the ultimate compromise is, we take it away from Obama`s agenda and back
towards ours, which may not be de-funding it. But you start out with de-
funding it in order to get to maybe a delay or maybe to get to where the
individual idea goes away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Krystal, translation, Rand Paul understands they`re not
going to win this one.
BALL: Yes, absolutely. And as Ari is pointing out, they don`t have a
governing philosophy, they have a rhetorical philosophical approach that
does not work in the real world. I mean, they are only going to have five
of 12 appropriations bills passed. They have only passed five of 12.
Prior to August recess, they can`t even perform the basic functions of
government that normally get no attention. That`s how dysfunctional this
caucus is right now.
O`DONNELL: And, Ari, Byron York who`s got good sources on the
Republican side, saying that there are some whispers going on in the
Republican side now that they can`t be completely confident about
continuing to control the House after this next congressional election.
MELBER: I think that is absolutely right. I mean, less incompetent,
I think you have a speaker who is constantly worried about losing his
leadership job. You Senator McConnell worried about losing his whole job,
with the primary, and that`s unfortunate.
BALL: And with the general.
MELBER: Yes, and potentially the general. And I don`t wish a lesson
learned here, because I don`t think that is good for people. I don`t think
it`s good for the air traffic controllers and the people who get snapped
and the people who get the funding. But ultimately I think if there is a
real crash, I do think it would teach them how bad this is politically,
that`s why Karl Rove has been warning them.
O`DONNELL: Krystal Ball and Ari Melber, thanks for joining me
BALL: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, Joy Reid and a former New York city police
captain will join us to discuss NYPD`s stop and frisk policy. And we`ll
also hear what the mayoral candidates from New York had to say about that
O`DONNELL: In the spotlight tonight, the future of stop and frisk.
Tonight, the Democratic candidates for New York City mayor all agreed --
Judge Shira Scheindlin was correct in her ruling that stop and frisk
violates the Constitution.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
CHRISTINE QUINN (D), NYC MAYORAL CANDIDATE: When I`m mayor,
unconstitutional stops will end.
ANTHONY WEINER (D), NYC MAYORAL CANDIDATE: Right now, too many people
are being stopped who did nothing wrong, the court said it. It is obvious
to those people. And I`ve got specific ideas on how to change it.
BILL THOMPSON (D), NYC MAYORAL CANDIDATE: The judge`s decision
yesterday basically confirmed so many of the things that I`ve been saying
for years. The stop and frisk has been misused and abused, and people have
been targeted because of the color of their skin. Blacks and Latinos have
been stopped only because they have been profiled. So the judge`s decision
is right. It is time to reform stop and frisk.
JOHN LIU (D), NYC MAYORAL CANDIDATE: I have been surprised to be the
only candidate, Republican or Democrat who has long called for an end to
stop and frisk.
BILL DE BLASIO (D), NYC MAYORAL CANDIDATE: Let`s be clear: we need a
ban n racial profiling. We need that to be a matter of city law.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
O`DONNELL: In a new Quinnipiac poll, Bill de Blasio is the new
frontrunner in that race, having apparently benefit the most from Anthony
Weiner`s collapse in the polls. De Blasio wins 30 percent of the vote now,
a 15-point increase in just three weeks. City Council Speaker Christine
Quinn follows behind at 24 percent, Bill Thompson now at 22 percent,
Anthony Weiner is down to 10 percent, a 16- percent drop since July 24th.
Bill De Blasio`s lead may be due in part to his stance on Stop-and-Frisk.
Among voters who are critical of Stop-and-Frisk, 34 percent support de
Blasio, 24 percent support Thompson and 22 percent support Quinn.
Joining me now, John Eterno former NYPD captain and the author of "the
Crime Numbers Game" and MSNBC`s Joy Reid.
John, could you tell us what the NYPD`s rationale is for Stop-and-
Frisk and what is left of it now after this federal court ruling?
JOHN ETERNO, FORMER NYPD CAPTAIN: Well, certainly, their rationale
behind this case really is they feel it is bringing down crime. That is
the key to the entire thing is stopping violence. But unfortunately, their
position on this is totally misguided.
They are completely wrong, and all the statistics indicate they are
wrong on this, and why they continue to push this is just untenable. There
is just no reason for them to continue. In 2002, when police Commissioner
Kelly came into office, crime was already down 63 percent. So to claim
that somehow a 600 percent increase in Stop-and-Frisk is causing a crime
decrease is just lunacy. It is just completely wrong.
O`DONNELL: And John, the NYPD became a statistics-driven department
over the last several years on everything. And under Bill Bratten, when he
was running it. And for them to -- can you explain to me why these
statistics don`t impress them the way they impressed the judge, which is
since the Stop-and-Frisk program is about ultimately the -- the ultimate
target of it is getting weapons. In exactly one percent of the African-
Americans who were stopped and frisked, one percent produced a weapon
through that search. Of Hispanics, it was 1.1 percent. And then of White
people it was the highest. It was 1.4 percent. And those numbers were
very important to the judge. But those numbers don`t seem to have any
effect on the way the NYPD has been running Stop-and-Frisk.
ETERNO: You`re right. And that is a very sad testament to them.
They have not looked at the statistics in this regard. They are looking at
them only in one way and that is that they want to bring down crime. And
policing in a democracy is far more complicated than simply bringing down
crime. You know, anyone can really bring down crime. We simply disrespect
people`s rights and we can bring down crime. We can chop people`s hands
off, for example, but who wants to live in such a society like that? The
key in a democracy is to bring down crime while at the same time respecting
basic rights. And that is the key that Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner
Kelly seem to miss. This flip side of respecting people`s basic rights.
And this is what makes policing such a high calling. It is far more
difficult to bring down crime while respecting rights. They don`t want to
do it the hard way. They want to do it the easy way and just walk all over
people. And that is what makes this such a terrible calamity, especially
in a minority neighborhood.
O`DONNELL: Joy, this was a boiling issue in the campaign, and it
seems it took the judge`s ruling to make it a number one issue. As "The
New York Times" anyway was tracking this case, it started to become pretty
obvious last week and before that, that the judge was going to rule this
JOY-ANN REID, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, absolutely, and you
started to see Kennedy sort of adjust their positions on Stop-and-Frisk as
it became more imminent and that`s the case pushed toward a conclusion. I
mean you had Bill Thompson a couple of weeks ago in a Black church declare
that he was against Stop-and-Frisk when that was the position he sort
morphed to. His position was a little more nuanced.
Christine Quinn, you know, her statement tonight in the debate must
have come as quite a surprise to the New Yorkers who have been following
the race. She has not been against Stop-and-Frisk, this is a new position
for her. And the reason you see Bill de Blasio, who was really not even a
contender, now, moving to front-runner state because he is now picking up a
lot of the African-American support from Anthony Weiner, and in a large
part because he has been the most consistently in addition to Mr. Lu,
oppose the Stop-and-Frisk. It has been from the beginning, has put
advertising behind it, has stated it very clearly. So, he is benefitting.
Christine Quinn has really not done the outreach in the African-
American community, and she is now coming to this position because, really,
she has no choice. Because now, Stop-and-Frisk is becoming a top drawer
issue in the mayoral campaign.
O`DONNELL: Joy, just a note in the dynamics of the race, throughout
this whole Weiner section of the campaign, Christine Quinn has stayed in
the same place. Her numbers basically not really moving. She is at 24
tonight. And the others are all moving as a result of the Anthony Weiner
collapse. That is just in the dynamics of the polling that is a very bad
sign for Quinn.
REID: It is a very bad sign for her. She has been stuck at around
25, 26 percent, really throughout. That was her quote-unquote "frontrunner
status." She really has not gone beyond that. And I think that is because
Christine Quinn has solidify the base among the more affluent parts of the
city. She definitely has the Wall Street base. She sort of has that
locked down, but the dynamic and moving part of the electorate in the New
York City mayoral race is the African-American vote. It comprises about 28
percent of the total electorate. And it is in motion. It is in flop. So,
it was really moving toward Anthony Weiner, and then has now begin to
awfully between Bill Thompson and de Blasio. I think Thompson and de
Blasio are the two that have the potential to break away if one of them can
start to really consolidate the black vote. And the Stop-and-Frisk is
going to be a big reason why one of them is going to pull ahead -- is going
to pull away.
O`DONNELL: John Eterno, quickly before we go, when you were in the
NYPD and now, in the training for Stop-and-Frisk, it is included in the
training the just hard fact that the overwhelming majority of the people
who will be stopped and frisked are innocent citizens who should be treated
with dignity, and although there is no dignified way to initiate a Stop-
and-Frisk necessarily, there are training methods you could bring to it
about how you end a Stop-and-Frisk that emphasizes in as much as possible
the officers handing the dignity back to these people who they just
interfered with, this way?
ETERNO: You know, you`re absolutely right. Training can always be
improved. The issue as I see it, in New York City anyway, is the rookies,
the people just coming out of the police academy and impact units are being
given quotas on Stop-and-Frisk.
Now, my experience, as with many others, once you get out of the
police academy you really are very raw, you really don`t have a full
understanding of a seasoned veteran on the police department. Those
seasoned veterans can recognize individualized, reasonable suspicion which
is what is necessary in order to legally do a Stop-and-Frisk. So, putting
these pressures on these officers who really have very little understanding
of what the job is like is simply untenable.
The police department simply should not be doing this. In fact their
training at that level, of these rookies is continuing. They need to
continue that. In the survey that I did with professor Eli Silverman, we
found that officers had only slight pressure using a pre-concept period as
a base line. Very little pressure on them. You know, nine percent, 10
percent pressures to do Stop-and-Frisk. This has skyrocketed under Mr.
Kelly and Mr. Bloomberg to over 36 percent. This is just absolutely
O`DONNELL: Former New York City police captain, John Eterno and Joy
Reid, thank you both for joining me.
ETERNO: You`re welcome.
REID: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up in the rewrite, how President Roosevelt got his
own oval economics tutorial from the world`s leading economist at the time,
And how we wish he was still around to drop in on Paul Ryan.
And later, Anthony Weiner causing an incident for team Clinton.
O`DONNELL: In Ohio, a man was shot in the arm during a gun safety
class by the instructor. The Columbus dispatch reports that the teacher
didn`t know the 38 caliber handgun was loaded when it accidentally went off
and hit the student in the arm. The student is expected to make a full
recovery. The teacher will not be charged. The Rewrite is next.
O`DONNELL: Thanks to Mike Konczal at the new deal -- the next new
deal which is a blog at the Roosevelt Institute, we now have a fascinating
little bit of evidence in the story of how Franklin Delano Roosevelt
rewrote his opinion about how to get this country out of the depression.
In 1928, when he was running for governor of New York, when
unemployment was a manageable 4.4 percent, FDR read a book entitled "the
road to plenty" in which the co-authors made a point for government
spending to pull the economy back up whenever we hit a downturn in what
they then called the business cycle.
After digesting the book`s argument that we could spend our way out of
a recession, FDR wrote in his own hand a very short review on the book`s
cover page, and here it is. Look at this.
Too good to be true, you can`t get something for nothing.
But, by the time Roosevelt took the oath of office as president in
1933, he had, in effect, become a Keynesian follower of the most prominent
advocate of government spending during a recession, or in this case, a
depression, the British economist.
When FDR entered the White House, the unemployment rate was 23.6
percent. A full-fledged depression was under way. Professor Keynes had
written a long piece for "the Atlantic" during the presidential campaign
year entitled "the world`s economic outlook," a piece that was studied by
Roosevelt`s economic advisers. Roosevelt`s call for a so-called new deal
was pure Keynesian economics. The government would put people to work by
hiring them directly and by creating private sector jobs, by funding
massive infrastructure spending programs and in a variety of ways. Here is
FDR at his inauguration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our
primary task is to put people in to work. This is no unsolvable problem if
we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished by the direct
recruiting by the government itself treating the task as we would treat the
emergency of the war. But at the same time, improving employment,
accomplishing greatly need projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of
our great natural resources.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And it worked. Unemployment went down. So you would
think lesson learned. Keynes was right. And it was a lesson learned for
people who lived through that era, including Republican president Richard
Nixon who had no problem saying in 1971, I am now a Keynesian in economics.
Those were his words.
When Nixon said that, he knew that Keynes had been accurately labeled
as something of a socialist in his day. And so, Nixon knew that admitting
to being a Keynesian economics was admitting to a lot for a Republican, but
it was completely non-controversial at that time when he said that.
Conservatives favored economist of that era Milton Freedman (ph) had said
years before Nixon, we are all Keynesians now. It was just a matter of
fact like that moment when we all realized that our planet was round, it
seemed there was no going back on this. But then this happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is not your
ordinary run-of-the mill recession. We are going through the worst
economic crisis since the great depression. Most economists almost
unanimously recognize that even if philosophically you`re weary of
government intervening in the economy, when you have the kind of problem we
have right now, what started on Wall Street goes to Main Street. Suddenly,
businesses can`t get credit. They start to tear down their investments.
They start laying off workers. Workers start pulling back in terms of
spending. That when you have that situation that government is an
important element of introducing some additional demand into the economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: It seems that all it took for Republicans to all join the
flatter society of economic was the election to the presidency of Barack
Obama. Prior to that, Republicans were happy to deficit fund all sorts of
things like wars and new Medicare prescription drug benefits. But once
Barack Obama proposed the tried and true years of Keynesians use of
economics to confront out recessions, Republicans were unanimously opposed.
At no point during his presidency has Barack Obama gone on record on the
matter of the planet earth being round. So Republicans have not yet been
forced to change their minds about that.
President Roosevelt was lucky enough to get a personal tutorial on
Keynesian economics, by the man himself, John Maynard Keynes. FDR
secretary of labor, Francis Perkins was not in the room but she got a
firsthand report from both the president and Keynes afterward and she
presented it in her memoir this way.
Keynes visited Roosevelt in 1934, rather briefly and talked lofty
economics theory. Roosevelt told me afterwards, I saw your friend, Keynes.
He left the whole (INAUDIBLE) of figures. He must be a mathematician
rather than a politically economist. Coming into my office after his
interview with Roosevelt, Keynes repeated his admiration for the actions
Roosevelt had take but said cautiously that he had supposed the president
was more literate, economically speaking. He pointed out once more that a
dollar spent on relief by the government was a dollar given by the grocer,
by the grocer to the wholesaler, and by the wholesaler to the farm in
payment of supplies with one dollar paid out. For relief for public works
or anything else, you have created four dollars worth of national income.
I wish he had been as concrete when he talked to Roosevelt instead of
treating him as though he belonged to the higher echelons of economic
And we can only wish that Professor Keynes was still with us to help
straighten out Republicans like Paul Ryan who mistakenly believe that they
belong to the higher echelons of economic knowledge.
O`DONNELL: Anthony Weiner finally provoked a reaction from team
Clinton. That is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Still working on the campaign --
WEINER: She is helping out every day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Is -- do you know what her role in
Hillary Clinton`s 2016 campaign will be?
WEINER: I do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What will it be?
WEINER: I`m not telling you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: In a statement to "the Last Word" responding to what you
just heard Anthony Weiner say, a Clinton spokesperson said we absolutely no
clue what he was talking about, maybe his campaign does. Doubt it, though.
After the New York City mayoral debate tonight, Anthony Weiner tried
to clarify his remarks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEINER: If you read the transcript, the question was, Do I know what
is my wife doing, and you heard me say yes, and it was a joke. You know,
when you heard it sometimes people say that is if I tell you, I have to
kill you. It was a joke, everybody laughed. It was a joke.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Hillary Clinton, for her part, is following the standard
playbook for not yet announced presidential candidates, announcing she will
deliver a series of policy speeches over the few months focusing on issues
including national transparency and security, and the first of those. And
last night, Hillary Clinton Supreme Court on the topic of voter
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: We have seen a sweeping
effort across our country to obstruct new obstacles of voting, often under
the cover of election fraud. Not every obstacle is related to race, but
anyone who says that racial discrimination is no longer a problem in
American elections must not be paying attention.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now, MSNBC contributor and "Washington Post"
columnist, E. J. Dionne.
E.J., with political friends like Anthony Weiner, I don`t even know
how to finish that. He couldn`t make things more awkward for the Clintons
E.J. DIONNE, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: No. I mean, he is
collapsing in the polls and he can`t collapse fast enough. And for the
Clintons, they don`t want her continually linked to the Weiner story. But
I think that story is going to away. And I think her move in attacking
voter suppression and all these laws like the one in North Carolina is a
very good move.
A, she writes substantively. The right to vote is under attack. B,
this is very important too. The segment of the Democratic Party that
didn`t vote for her in 2008, which is the African-American community. And
so, I think this idea of giving a series of speeches and starting with
voter suppression speaks right to the heart of the Democratic Party.
O`DONNELL: And she has unhindered access to all those Democratic
voters who voted for President Obama back in 2008 in those primaries. And
that I think people have forgotten that that is actually a case she needs
to make, even though she is very strong in the polls she needs to
strengthen that part of her support.
DIONNE: Right, and think that started happening with Bill Clinton`s
efforts on behalf of Barack Obama last year. I mean, I think that made a
big difference in the minds of African-Americans. She starts this race
presumably with most of the votes she got the last time.
But I think that was not the case of voters liking one candidate and
hating the other. There were a lot of Obama voters who kind of wanted to
vote for Clinton. And so they`re looking forward to the chance of voting
for her this time. But she is making it easier for them to do that right
O`DONNELL: Yes, that is a very good point, E. J. I know a lot of
people anecdotally who started off with Hillary Clinton, including women
voters, who then gradually moved to candidate Obama by the time the
candidate came to their state and it was time to vote.
DIONNE: Right, and there were some who felt a little guilty about it
so they like to chance to vote for Clinton the next time. And the other
thing is, it is hard to see anybody out there right now who is strong
enough to challenge her. The only possibility is Joe Biden, and I am not
sure if he will run if she runs.
O`DONNELL: No. He is making some of the standard minor moves going
awhile with things like that, but it is almost seems to be just in case
somehow, Hillary backs out of this thing.
E.J. Dionne, thank you very much for joining me tonight.
DIONNE: Good to be with you.
O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.
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