ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
November 18, 2013
Guest: Tracie Washington, Donna Edwards, Robert Reich, Sarah Silverman,
Lizz Winstead, Josh Barro, Jeff Smith
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
And we begin tonight with a win for President Obama and the uninsured in
the unlikeliest of places. While Republicans grow more convinced by the
day that fighting Obamacare is their ticket to political renaissance, a
surprise victory for health reform in Louisiana this weekend could be a
cautionary tale for anti-Obamacare crusaders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On Saturday night, in front of a cheering mass of
supporters, Vance McAllister became the 5th district`s newest congressman.
HAYES (voice-over): Republican Vance McAllister was elected congressman of
Louisiana`s 5th district. McAllister actually trounced fellow Republican
Neil Riser in a special runoff election, and by all appearances, it was
Riser who should have won.
After all, Riser was endorsed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, NRA,
even FreedomWorks. Riser out-spent McAllister by more than $200,000. So,
how, against those odds, did McAllister pull off the win? Well, he got a
little help from one of the best peers in television.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hallelujah!
HAYES: Yes, the Robertson family of "Duck Dynasty" fame hails from
Louisiana. And one of them is Quackers for Vance McAllister.
WILLIE ROBINSON: Hey, this is Willie Robinson, reminding you to get out
Saturday, November 16th and vote for my good buddy, Vance McAllister.
HAYES: But it wasn`t just the full-bearded endorsement that differentiated
McAllister from his opponent. McAllister was also a truth-teller when it
comes to repealing Obamacare.
REP.-ELECT VANCE MCALLISTER (R), LOUSIANA: I`m not going to stand here and
lie to you and tell you I can repeal it, because I want 435 votes.
HAYES: And make no mistake, health care was a major issue in this
campaign. Riser, the establishment choice, hammered McAllister as a squish
AD NARRATOR: On his campaign Web site, Vance says he`ll fight to repeal
Obamacare, but just recently, Vance McAllister told reporters that
Obamacare is constitutional and, "We`re past the point of repealing it."
Tired of politician double talk? Vote Neil Riser. He`ll shoot you
HAYES: And in the last debate before the election, McAllister dropped the
following bombshell when asked about Obamacare`s Medicaid expansion.
MCALLISTER: I think we have to expand Medicaid.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, so you are in favor of expanding Medicaid?
MCALLISTER: I think we have to.
HAYES: This is a Republican candidate in a district that Mitt Romney won
by more than 20 points, in a state where the Republican governor has flat
out rejected the Medicaid expansion.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: The editorial in your local newspaper, "The Times
Picayune", criticized you this week for refusing to take $16 billion in
aid. "Without the expansion, 242,150 poor Louisiana residents won`t have
access to the insurance offering the Affordable Care Act was designed to
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: We did Medicaid expansion in Louisiana
for every uninsured person covered, more than one person being taken out of
private insurance. Secondly, it would mean 41 percent of our population,
Chris, would be in Medicaid. I think you need more people pulling the cart
than in the cart.
HAYES: The guy who defied his governor and his party on Medicaid expansion
just blew out his conservative Republican opponent in Louisiana`s 5th by
endorsing a major part of Obamacare.
And if you want to know how Vance McAllister won with that position, all
you need to do is look at the numbers. Louisiana`s 5th district has over
10 percent unemployment, almost 20 percent of families live below the
poverty line, and one in five residents is uninsured, the highest rate in
Among those residents is Laura Johnson of Rustin, Louisiana.
REPORTER: Every day, Laura Johnson prays for what she calls a blessing.
Johnson suffers from congestive heart failure, yet with an income of only
$835 a month, she can`t afford the medicine she`s supposed to take.
LAURA JOHNSON, RUSTIN, LOUISIANA RESIDENT: I think it`s very, very
upsetting, because why wouldn`t they want people to get that, you know,
HAYES: We don`t know if Laura Johnson voted for her new representative.
We know her representative won by advocating for her health.
HAYES: Joining me now Tracie Washington, president and CEO of Louisiana
Tracie, how big a surprise was this result for Louisiana`s 5th?
TRACIE WASHINGTON, LOUISIANA JUSTICE INSTITUTE: Well, I think it was a
shocker to most of the Republicans out there. It was hope springs eternal
for all rational Democrats like me, and hopefully, rational Republicans.
HAYES: Do you -- do you think that the Medicaid expansion played a pivotal
role here? How big -- how big a part of the politic conversation has it
been in the state of Louisiana?
WASHINGTON: Well, it`s been huge, frankly, Chris, because Democrats and
Republicans were pushing this governor to accept this money from the
federal government. And at the end of the day, I think what may have
pushed Vance over the top was the fact that, look, folks, this isn`t free
money. You paid for this.
And in his stump speeches, he said, of course, we want to accept this money
from the federal government for Medicaid expansion. It`s our money! Ask
for it back.
And in those stump speeches, where he was appealing to the common sense of
the poor people in his district, at that point, I thought, this guy might
be on to something.
HAYES: Well, what I found so interesting is everything about this race
seems like it`s from another planet, politically, because not only was --
do you have a Republican advocating for Medicaid expansion, but he was
actually leaning into it. I mean, this wasn`t something he sort of threw
Down the stretch, it was something fairly pivotal in how he was making the
case, and it`s been hard to make that case successfully in a lot of
Republican jurisdictions in the country.
WASHINGTON: Well, you know what I found interesting, particularly after,
when we look at these things nationally. Look at how Kasich`s getting his
numbers in Ohio.
WASHINGTON: Look at what Chris Christie did in New Jersey.
These are common sense guys. Look, we don`t -- I`m a Democrat, dyed in the
wool. I don`t have to agree with him on everything, but the one thing we
do know about those politicians is that they are, quote, "ride or die" for
their constituents. What`s good for their constituents, they`re going to
And I think that`s what the appeal was with Vance is that he said, look, I
have a poor district.
WASHINGTON: You showed the numbers. We need Medicaid expansion here for
these folks to be covered, and they`re working poor. That`s the thing.
They`re not drags of society. These people work every day.
HAYES: Well, that`s what I thought was interesting about the Bobby Jindal
quote about more people pulling the cart than in the cart, because the
presumption there, of course, is that the people that are getting the
Medicaid expansion are essentially loafers.
WASHINGTON: You know, Bobby`s been in the cart all his life.
WASHINGTON: When he made that statement, I was really, really? Come on,
You know, we`ve got a state -- we`re a hospitality state. In all
seriousness, when you`ve got people making $10, $11 an hour, that`s poverty
wages, but they get up and they go to work every day. They fall in that
So, we need Medicaid expansion here because those are the people who are
not being insured, 400,000 in Louisiana.
HAYES: I want to bring in Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Democrat from
And, Congresswoman Edwards, we`ve got 30 states that are governed by
Republicans with Republican governors, and we`ve got about eight of those
in which they`ve accepted the Medicaid expansion, two in which it`s still
contested, and the rest are basically turning it down.
Does this continue to be surprising to you? Because I think if you went in
a time machine and talked to Democrats two, three years ago, they would
have said, of course, everyone`s going to take it. How can you turn this
REP. DONNA EDWARDS (D), MARYLAND: Well, I think this is actually the
unfold story of the difficulty, the complication of implementing the
Affordable Care Act, and it is that you have all of these governors,
Republican governors across the country, who not only didn`t accept the
Medicaid expansion, they also refused to implement the marketplaces, the
exchanges that were designed to be, you know, sort of governed by the
states, and that has actually complicated the implementation.
You know, that said, I think if you look at the population in Louisiana`s
5th district as a perfect example, where you have a lot of people who go to
work every single day, but they are, you know, too poor for traditional --
or not poor enough for traditional Medicare and too poor to pay for health
care through the marketplaces on their own. And so, they need that
And yet, these are governors who are refusing to do what`s right by the
citizens in their state who are getting up every day and going to work.
HAYES: You know, Louisiana has its own distinct political culture, Tracie,
and this goes back to the fact, you know, it`s legal regime is based on
civil law as opposed to common law.
You`ve got a non-partisan election situation in which a bunch of people,
around the top two vote-getters, have a runoff. And so, one of the other
interesting dynamics here, you`ve got two Republicans running. And so,
rather than competing to out-flank each other to the right, which is what
you would anticipate in a special election, there were actually a lot of
Democratic votes on the table for one of those candidates to go after.
WASHINGTON: It was -- it was a very interesting dynamic because you had,
for a change, Republicans eating their young and Democrats being able to
watch. I mean, with all seriousness, I think what you had with Vance was
he had to appeal to that segment of his constituency, of the people he was
hoping to represent, that he knew needed health care.
And again, just as Representative Edwards says, these are working poor
WASHINGTON: And the crazy thing about this, Chris, is that if you look
back five years ago, this is the exact policy Bobby Jindal was pushing,
HAYES: Yes, yes!
WASHINGTON: I`m like, wait, Bobby, hold up.
HAYES: Bobby Jindal rocketed to national attention as the secretary of the
version of HHS in the state of Louisiana at the age, I believe, of 28,
HAYES: And he was actually one of these kind of compassionate
conservatives, talking about the social safety net, talking about the
efficiencies of this kind of thing.
And, Congresswoman, when you see that kind of turn-around, we`ve seen turn-
around like that across the board, everything from the fact the ACA itself
is based on the Heritage plan. Do you think there`s much good faith left
in your Republican colleagues to be able to do the kinds of governing that
has been the norm in Congress for several decades?
EDWARDS: The short answer, no. I mean, this is really just crass
politics. I mean, what you have here, especially with Governor Jindal, is
that, you know, he`s not even willing to put the needs of the poor people
in his state ahead of his own politics and political ambition.
And frankly, across the country, I think the reason the president is really
pressing forward on this is because he knows that if we don`t move forward
on the Affordable Care Act, it still will leave millions and millions of
people not covered. And the fact is, I think McAllister recognized this,
that the Affordable Care Act isn`t going anywhere. It`s the law, it`s
constitutional, it`s not going to be repealed.
The thing that makes the most sense is for Republicans to figure out how to
make it work for people in their districts.
HAYES: My big question for 2014, and there`s going to be so many things
that determine the outcomes there, but the big question I think from the
perspective of progressives is will there be an electoral price to pay at
the polls for those Republicans who refused the Medicaid expansion in those
Right now, we`ve seen two elections. This special election in the
Louisiana 5th, we saw an election in Virginia, which Medicaid expansion was
on the ballot and Medicaid expansion won, and I think it is a sleeper
issue. I think you just talk to any average voter about the fact that you
can get people covered for zero dollars out of your pocket or taxes, and it
is hard to imagine why you wouldn`t want that.
Tracie Washington for Louisiana Justice Institute and Congresswoman Donna
Edwards, thank you both.
EDWARDS: Thank you.
WASHINGTON: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This year, your butterball turkey`s so juicy, people
swear you just stepped off the Mayflower. Yes, you Plymouth rock to this
dinner because you went to Wal-Mart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There`s a transition for you. But this is the one everyone is
talking about today. A little window into what the Wal-Mart economy really
looks like this holiday season. That is coming up.
Plus, Sarah Silverman, that`s right!
HAYES: Perhaps you`ve heard the Cheney family is embroiled in a massive
feud right now. Liz Cheney, who`s running for Senate in Wyoming, just
essentially disavowed her gay sister`s marriage. Yikes! What an awkward
Thanksgiving dinner that would be.
Now, imagine you`re there. No, really. My question for you tonight is, if
you were a guest at a theoretical Cheney Thanksgiving dinner this year,
what would you say to break up the awkwardness?
Tweet your answers to @allinwithchris or post at
Facebook.com/allinwithchris. I will share a couple at the end of the show
when we talk about it.
So, stay tuned. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: In today`s headline worthy of "The Onion", we get this from a Wal-
Mart in Canton, Ohio, where that store is conducting a Thanksgiving dinner
food drive for their own employees. This picture says it all, "Please
donate food items here so associates in need can enjoy Thanksgiving
When asked about it by a Cleveland newspaper, a company spokesperson had
this so say, "This is part of the company`s culture, to rally around
associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardships."
In other words, Wal-Mart cares about their employees, apparently not enough
to pay them a decent salary so that running a food drive for their own
employees wasn`t something they had to do in the first place.
And this is a Wal-Mart problem writ large. The company claims that average
salary nationally for their full-time associates is around $25,000 a year.
Analysis by the advocacy group OUR Walmart puts that salary at roughly
between $15,000 and $20,000 a year. Countless number of Wal-Mart workers
are dependent upon the social safety net because their wages are
insignificant or insufficient for them to survive without making use of
government antipoverty programs.
According to a study by House Democrats, low wages at just one Wal-Mart
store in Wisconsin alone cost the government as much as $900,000 a year.
Now, we focus on Wal-Mart, and deservedly so, but Wal-Mart is just part of
the much bigger problem.
According to data from the Social Security Administration -- get this -- 40
percent of all U.S. workers, 40 percent of all U.S. workers made less than
$20,000 last year. And those are the people who have jobs in an economy
six years since the Great Recession with more than 11 million people still
unemployed, and those that have been out of work for more than six months,
the long-term unemployed, that has more than doubled since 2007.
Unless Congress gets their act together in the next two weeks, get this, it
is only going to get worse, because emergency unemployment insurance for
many of those folks is set to run out, which means between Christmas and
New Year`s -- happy holidays -- 1.3 million people getting unemployment
benefits immediately will be cut off.
That number jumps to more than 2 million by the end of March. With
unemployment still above 7 percent, Washington in general, the Republican
Party in particular, seems to feel absolutely no urgency over the still
unfolding economic crisis that is grinding tens of millions of Americans
into dust. The Great Recession has given way to the great slump, and the
fact that almost no one in power seems to care remains for me the most
shocking aspect of our national politics.
Joining me now is former secretary of labor in the Clinton administration,
Robert Reich. He`s now professor of public policy at University of
California-Berkeley, stars in a film based on his work called "Inequality
For All." And it`s out in theaters now.
What is it about Washington right now that they cannot seem to get their
act together or focus on the most driving concern for the majority of
voters, Republican, Democrat, independent, which is the fact there are not
enough jobs and wages are stagnating?
ROBERT REICH, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY: Well, Chris, I think most of
Washington is very sensitive to the richest 10 percent of Americans who,
not incidentally, own about 80 percent of all of the outstanding shares of
stock in America. The stock market, in case you did not notice, reached a
new record today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average bumped through 16,000.
And that top 10 percent -- it`s not just the top 1 percent -- the top 10
percent is politically vocal, they account for most of the campaign
contributions. Now, I don`t mean to create a kind of false equivalence
between Democrats and Republicans -- Republicans are obviously far worse --
but the culture of Washington, the discussions of Washington, the people
who inhabit Washington in terms of official Washington, they do not see
most of America.
HAYES: And the discussion about these emergency unemployment benefits
running out is a perfect example. Annie Lowrey of "The New York Times" had
a fantastic piece today about the cost of long-term unemployment.
I mean, it is basically taking people`s lives and lighting them on fire for
no reason. I mean, these are people who have skills, who could be
productive members of a society, an economy, and we are just saying, we
REICH: Well, it`s worse than that, Chris. Not only are we saying we don`t
care with regard to unemployment insurance and also, don`t forget food
stamps, cuts in food stamps, but these are also programs that traditionally
have helped stimulate the economy --
REICH: -- overall. That is, the better off in America would be even
better off if we had a thriving economy.
This is the most anemic recovery in history, at least in recorded history,
since we`ve been following these things. And one of the reasons it is so
anemic is that almost all of the economic gains have gone to the very top,
while at the same time, we are cutting the social safety net so average
people and working-class people and poor people don`t have enough money to
turn around and keep the economy going.
HAYES: Is there a problem with -- when there is a certain line of
progressive attack on places like Wal-Mart now, which ends up being about
them using, essentially, the social safety net as a kind of back-door
subsidy for low wages. And I`m curious as someone who`s been a strong
advocate of things like the earned income tax credit and food stamps and a
variety of programs that actually function as wage subsidies, they function
as transfer programs for the working poor.
Is there something dangerous about the line of attack the progressives have
been using to go after Wal-Mart as essentially a welfare case because its
employees are using the social safety net in this way?
REICH: I don`t think so. Remember, Wal-Mart is the number one largest
employer in the United States. As the largest employer in the United
States, it has a huge impact in terms of a ripple effect of its low-wage
policy on the rest of the economy.
Now, there is no inconsistency at all in progressives saying -- and it
shouldn`t be just progressives, it should be Democrats, it should be
Republicans -- saying, look, we need a safety net for the working people of
this country if they`re not going to make enough money, and we also need
responsible corporations, particularly big employers who are treating their
employees as if they are fungible, basically, invisible pieces of
And Wal-Mart needs to wake up to the fact that Wal-Mart itself would do
better if Wal-Mart paid its workers, and thereby, set a higher prevailing
low wage for most employers in America and most employees in America, who
could then turn around and buy more at places like Wal-Mart.
HAYES: Finally, Janet Yellen, who looks like she`s likely to be confirmed
as the chair of e Federal Reserve, first woman in history to hold that
post, she expressed some concerns in February that what we are seeing is a
cyclical slump, that is to say, a recession, and you know, we go through
business cycles, is turning into something structural, is turning into
something long term. Do you worry that we are seeing some shift in the
economy towards an economy that is permanently has higher elevated levels
REICH: Chris, I`m not -- yes, I think we are seeing permanently higher
elevated levels of unemployment. We have 4 million people who have been
unemployed for six months or more, but that`s only half of the story. We
are also seeing that the new jobs created since the so-called recovery
began in 2009 are paying on average lower wages than the jobs we lost so
that the median household, the typical American household, when you adjust
for inflation, it`s actually on a downward escalator, earning less than
that household earned at the start of the recovery.
HAYES: Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, always a pleasure. Thank
you so much.
REICH: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: If you tried to go to YouTube around 5:30 p.m. Eastern today, this
is what you saw.
YouTube is back up now, but who cares, there is something way better to
watch online tonight. Sarah Silverman and Lizz Winstead are here to tell
us about it, next.
HAYES: In season four of "Friday Night Lights," the incredible show about
high school football life in a small Texas town, one of the main
characters, a teenager, gets pregnant. She decides to terminate the
pregnancy, and her mother takes her to the doctor. This is what happens.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Texas law requires that I inform you of the probable
gestational age of your pregnancy at the time that we plan to do the
procedure. Now, you can estimate the age by counting the days --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We get it, doctor, all right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This isn`t necessary. You don`t have to go through
the whole procedural options, blah, blah, blah. She`s not having a baby,
she`s having an abortion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand. I just, this is state-mandated,
everything that I`m saying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was based on actual Texas law in which doctors are required to
read that script to women contemplating an abortion.
But the situation in Texas is now far worse, thanks to SB-2, the stringent
antiabortion law that State Representative Wendy Davis filibustered before
it was ultimately passed and signed into law by Governor Rick Perry.
When a federal appeals panel reinstated the antiabortion law after a lower
court had ruled part of it unconstitutional, many of the state`s clinics
were forced to close. Three of the five clinics ran by Whole Women`s
Health in Texas closed. Planned Parenthood had to stop abortion services
in four of its Texas clinics and says that one-third of all abortion
providers in Texas were affected by the law.
HAYES: Now, activists have appropriated the infamous "Friday Night Lights"
clear eyes, full hearts motto for tonight`s telethon to help Texas women
trying to survive the onslaught of right wing deprivation, their right to
Joining me now, comedians Sarah Silverman and Lizz Winstead.
It`s great to have you here.
And, Sarah, why did you get involved in this? Why are you - why are you a
part of this undertaking?
SARAH SILVERMAN, COMEDIAN: I believe in a woman`s right to choose. I`m
frightened by the politics that are going on, much like the voters --
HAYES: Looks like we lost Sarah Silverman and Lizz Winstead, who are
standing outside the site in which they are running that live telethon that
is streaming right there, clear eyes, full hearts can choose. You can
check that out at "Lady Parts Justice" this evening. We are trying to get
the shot back. We will be right back.
HAYES: After technical difficulty, we are back with comedian Sarah
Silverman and Lizz Winstead. Thank you both for not bailing on me. I am
sorry about that. And Sarah, I was asking you why you feel so passionately
about this? Why you were moved to get involved with tonight`s telethon.
SILVERMAN: I believe in a woman`s right to choose. I feel much like the
voter`s suppression. It is very quietly. Our rights are being chipped
away state by state, sometimes more loudly than others, but also some real
down under stuff. I also, much like much of the pro-lifers. I believe in
protecting the child, you know, when she has being forced to have a baby at
HAYES: Yes. Lizz, you did this amazing tour with Planned Parenthood
through a whole bunch of states. And, I wanted to ask you, one of the
risks of this kind of event, right, is that it looks like outsider, like
New York City liberals are condescendingly rallying to Texas`s side and
that the folks of Texas who are a proud lot. I think it is fair to say,
will kind of get their backs up about that. Do you worry about that image
that this issue becomes polarized along these kind of geographic lines?
LIZZ WINSTEAD, AMERICAN COMEDIAN AND TELEVISION PERSONALITY: Well,
actually, tonight, three of the greatest Texas allies who were Sarah
Slayman who was the woman thrown out of the Texas leg, is speaking tonight
at our event along with Jessica Luther and Heather Busby, who is the head
of NARAL Texas.
We do not consider it that we are trying to help Texas women do anything.
They are on their own, but what anybody needs is cash. And, when you look
at the ramifications of HB-2 and how far women have to drive now, and the
fact that October 31st, whole women`s health was actually calling,
canceling appointments to women, where 11,000 women were, like, "Where am I
going to go tomorrow?"
And, the numbers add up to where, all of a sudden, maybe you could scrape
together money to afford the procedure, but now you have to find child care
and travel. We are taking a cue from these women, and it is also a cue,
too, Chris, that when Wendy Davis happened, we all watched in awe of Texas
women and Wendy Davis. And, one thing that did not really happen is that
we did not look in our own backyards.
WINSTEAD: So, not only is this a money-raising for Texas women. It is a
wake-up call for all women to say I need to check in with my local
legislature and now my local city council to see what laws are being
proposed against me.
HAYES: Sarah --
SILVERMAN: We are watching you.
HAYES: Sarah -- are you the hype woman for this routine? I remember, you
had a very --
HAYES: -- you had a very fun joke about waiting periods for abortion in
the movie that was a sort of expended special. And, I remember, that joke
is still stuck with me, and the reason it is stuck with me I think is
because abortion is such a taboo topic. It is something we talk about in
the abstract a lot politically, but the actual intimacy and for many
people, anguish of what that moment can be in a million different
directions. Do you think there is a way in which comedy breaks taboos in a
fashion that is politically productive, that breaks down things that keep
us repressed about things that are important to talk about?
SILVERMAN: I could not hear you. You said, does comedy break down big
HAYES: Yes, I guess, like --
SILVERMAN: Yes, I think so.
HAYES: I think abortion is so taboo, and it seems like that taboo is part
of what enforces the very repressive politics on the issue.
SILVERMAN: Yes. I think vaginas really, really scare people, honestly.
And, I think it is just -- I forgot. I am so distracted by everything that
is happening. Lizz, take over.
WINSTEAD: I mean, it is been -- I think that when you use humor to talk
about big issues, I think what it does, sometimes it breaks it down. It
also can engage people who might not be that like us, who pay attention to
every single thing that happens.
I think that when people hear in plain speak, and usually through humor,
"Wow, that is really going on?" I mean, Todd Akin was made a national hero
because he was mocked by really, really funny people.
And, so, I think when you -- the abortion issue itself, you know, the
players in it have become so comical that you can talk about the issues
because the ludicrousness of the anti-science crowd who are legislating
this crowd are absolutely comedy gold.
SILVERMAN: And, the people of New York have made it clear that they do not
like to be told what to do with their bodies when it comes to taking away
their 20-ounce cokes.
HAYES: That is right. They made a strong stand on behalf of that.
WINSTEAD: Exactly right.
HAYES: Comedian Sarah Silverman --
WINSTEAD: Make sense.
HAYES: -- whose HBO Special "We Are Miracles" airs this Saturday, and Lizz
Winstead. Thank you so much. Good luck with the telethon.
WINSTEAD: Thank`s Chris.
HAYES: We will be right back.
HAYES: Thanksgiving is just a little over a week away, and for one family,
it is going to be pretty awkward this year. The Cheneys, where over the
weekend, one sister sold the other one out on national T.V., and then the
parents today took sides. That story is ahead.
But, first I want to share the three awesomest things on the internet
today. We begin in Toronto with the latest adventure of North America`s
sweetheart. Rob ford doing what any other mayor would rightly do in a city
council chamber, bull-rushing an elder councilwoman who holds on to ford
like an action hero would hang on to the bottom part of a helicopter.
It turns out, Ford was running to intervene in an altercation his brother
was having with spectators, but as we can see here, Ford was clearly not
done engaging with his antagonizers. That is of course the universal sign
for, "You are a drunk and you crashed your car." Clearly, it is time for
everyone in Toronto to mellow out a little bit. Thankfully, an effects
house in New York took the Jean-Claude Van Damme Volvo video and gave it a
bizarre Rob Ford twist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEAN CLAUDE VAN DAMME, HOLLYWOOD ACTOR: I have had my ups and downs, my
fair share of bumpy roads and heavy winds. That is what made me what I am
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Is it a metaphor? Does the split represent Rob Ford`s inner
turmoil? Who knows?! But, the mystery of it`s meaning perfectly captures
the enigma that is Rob Ford.
The second awesomest thing on the internet today, kicking old rules out the
window. This is Kevin Kelly, coach of the Pulaski Academy football team in
Little Rock, Arkansas, and his team never punts. They do not kick punts,
they do not field punts. They only perform onside kicks, and they have
three state titles to show for this unorthodox style.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the things we do not do is we do not punt. It
is numbers. It is numbers. There are so many reasons why going for it on
fourth down statistically helps you win games. Fourth and nine, fourth and
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In this great Grantland video, Kelly shows the logic behind his
numerical approach to field position. The former accounting student took
his lead from books like "Freakonomics" and the "Tipping Point" to come up
with his winning no-punt philosophy. He is a fascinating guy, and after
you watch the 6-minute profile in Grantlin, I urge you check out his
interview on Slate`s "Hang Up and Listen" podcast even if you are not a
HAYES: The third awesomest thing on the internet today, new entrance into
the hall of fame of heckling. This player from UNC basketball team is
about to attempt a free throw. He wants to make it. A fan of the Belmont
Bruins has other plans. Listen closely to the voice from the stands.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has made his mark for U.S.A. basketball and some of
those under 17 -- 16 or 17 teams
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yes that was a fan singing Miley Cyrus`s "Wrecking Ball" at the top
of his lungs. Belmont went on to win the game. I am not saying the
singing was responsible. I am not saying it wasn`t responsible. And,
then, there are fans from Michigan State, pay attention to the shot clock
while you listen to chants from the crowd.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Patience has been a virtue all night for these Columbia
Lions. They wait for the shot, but they do not have a lot of time here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are not going to get it off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he had no idea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yes, the crowd used a fake countdown to mess up the team from
Columbia, and then they did it again!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should we tell him you have five to shoot? One to
shoot and it runs out on him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May be you would better tell Rosenberg.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A word to the Columbia team, this is a shot clock. It is your
friend. Use it. You can find all the links for tonight`s "Click 3" on our
website, allinwithchris.com. We will be right back.
HAYES: Dick Cheney`s daughter, Liz Cheney, is running for senate in her
adopted home state of Wyoming, and the question you have got to be asking
yourself today is, is there anything she would not do to get elected?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK CHENEY, U.S. 46TH VICE PRESIDENT: I have been asked if that nickname
bothers me, and the answer is no. After all, Darth Vader`s one of the
nicer things I have been called recently.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): There is a strong case that dick Cheney is America`s
foremost political villain of the past decade, but there was one issue that
he had integrity on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHENEY: With respect to the question of gay marriage, Lynn and I have a
gay daughter, so it is an issue that our family is very familiar with.
Freedom means freedom for everyone.
I think freedom means freedom for everybody. Freedom means freedom for
everyone. People ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): Like so many other people across the country who have
come to the side of equality on gay rights, it is because of a personal
connection on the issue. Dick Cheney`s daughter, Mary, has been her
father`s political adviser and is openly gay.
She is married with two children living in the Northern Virginia suburbs.
And, as the "New York Times" reported this weekend, Mary Cheney and her
wife, Heather, were home watching "Fox News Sunday" when one guest in
particular really left them speechless.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE: You talk about your position against same-sex marriage.
Your sister, Mary, who is married to a woman, put out this post. She said,
"For the record, I love my sister -- you -- but she is dead wrong on the
issue of marriage."
LIZ CHENEY, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Listen, I love Mary very much. I
love her family very much. This is just an issue on which we disagree.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): That was Dick Cheney`s other daughter, Liz. She is
taking a big political gamble by running for senate in Wyoming. A state
she moved to a little over a year ago, and challenging three-term
Republican Senator Mike Enzi. Her campaign has not gotten off to a good
start. She is upset the state`s political establishment by running against
She got fined for making a false statement on a fishing license
application, and now she is selling out her own flesh and blood on national
T.V. That last part did not sit well with Mary Cheney`s wife, who
addressed Liz`s remarks and jabbed her relocation efforts on Facebook. "I
can`t help but wonder how Liz would feel if, as she moved from state to
state, she discovered that her family was protected in one but not the
"Yes, Liz," she added, "In 15 states and the district of Columbia, you are
my sister-in-law." Mary Cheney also took to social media to tell her
sister she is, quote, "On the wrong side of history" and agreed to an
interview with "The New York Times." "What amazes me is that she says
she`s running to be a new generation of leader.
I am not sure how sticking to the positions of the last 20 or 30 years is
the best way to do that." The whole thing has to be kind of awkward for
dear old dad and mom, who today defended their elder daughter. "Liz has
always believed in the traditional definition of marriage."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIZ CHENEY: I do believe it is an issue that is got to be left up to the
states. I do believe in the traditional definition of marriage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): And so, the battle lines are drawn. The Cheney clan
gets together in Wyoming for Christmas, but Mary says of her sister Liz "I
will not be seeing her." And, what all this reminds us is, campaigns are a
test of character. Win or lose, you`re going to have to live with yourself
and also your family.
HAYES: Joining me now, former democratic Missouri State Senator Jeff
Smith, who is now an assistant professor of politics and advocacy at the
new school; he ran against now former Congressman Russ Carnahan, 2004.
Carnahan`s family is a dynasty in Missouri politics. Smith went to federal
prison for campaign violations during that campaign. Also, joining me is
Josh Barro, politics editor for "Business Insider."
I cannot believe what has unfolded in the last 36 hours with this story. I
want to read Dan Savage tweet, "Odds that Mary is pretending to be angry to
help Liz get elected? Mary`s anger makes Liz`s opposition with concierge,
it seem costly."
JOSH BARRO, POLITICAL EDITOR FOR "BUSINESS INSIDER": I do not buy it. I
do not buy for a couple of reasons.
HAYES: By the way, this is represented -- a lot of people in the last two
days are like, "Oh, you cannot trust the Cheneys. This is all scripted,
blah, blah, blah.
BARRO: Including from Chris Barron, who is the former head of GOProud, the
republican gay group. So, it is not just lefties. But, I do not buy it
for a couple of reasons. One, is like, Mary and her wife seem really
genuinely angry, at least from how I read it, but I then the other thing is
I do not think this helps Liz Cheney.
BARRO: Because if anything like -- it is not like this makes her look like
a serious opponent of gay marriage. It makes her look like someone who has
been on both sides of the issue and then really irritated her family and
had this kind of ugly public episode with her family. In 2009, Liz was
using the same freedom means freedom for everybody line that Dick Cheney
HAYES: That Dick Cheney used -- right.
BARRO: When Dick Cheney says that, he means he is for gay marriage. I do
not know what Liz meant when she said that in 2009, but if this is a
strategy to help her campaign, it is a bad strategy, but then since she is
running this race in which she is down somewhere between 30 and 50 points,
depending on the poll you believe, maybe she does have really dumb
strategies that she is using.
HAYES: Wyoming on marriage equality, people believe should same-sex
marriage be legal? Yes 32%. No, 57%. She is running in a Republican
Primary. So , it is not rocket science what the winning issue is there.
JEFF SMITH, FORMER DEMOCRATIC MISSOURI STATE SENATOR: But, I think it is
important to remember that it is not just what this says about her
character. The Republican Party has long been sort of a coalition of Wall
Street, Main Street and easy street. Easy street meaning the west,
SMITH: And, whereas Wall Street wants tax cuts and Main Street is
culturally conservative. The west wants the government out of their life.
Property values, gun rights, what have you. And, so, I don`t think this is
necessarily -- you know Wyoming is a very libertarian place and I do not
think this is necessarily helpful in a republican primary.
HAYES: I also just think that you are saying, I think in the year 2013,
even if people really think that, you know, marriage is between a man and
woman and they do not like marriage equality, selling your sister out on
national television, it is not -- you know, it does not take some, you
know, sophisticated political analysis to look at a person who`s running
for office who says, "I want to be senator so badly that the people that
are dearest to me, the people I love most in life, I will just throw them
off the boat as deep 6 feet.
BARRO: Yes, and I think it fits in with much of the rest of what we have
seen in her campaign.
HAYES: Oh, my God, it is the most desperate, ridiculous undertaking.
BARRO: Right. Or the Cheneys have had this falling out with Alan Simpson
who was the long-time republican senator and elder statesman in the state
and a longtime family friend of the Cheneys, and they have annoyed
everybody by acting like Liz is basically entitled to this senate seat
because she is Dick Cheney`s daughter.
BARRO: And, it is not working at all.
HAYES: OK. So, you ran for office. And, the reason I wanted to have you
on, you ran for office, you were this rising star, you had this violation
of federal campaign finance law. You ended up going to prison for it. In
my humble editorializing opinion, I do not think it was worth prison time,
but that is another thing.
This moment to me was a reminder that when you run for office, it is like
the New Testament, where the devil takes Jesus up and he says, all this
could be yours, and he gestures to the valley below. He says all this
could be yours if, you know, swear your frailty to me. You are constantly
finding these tests of your own character. Will you be doing to say "X."
Would you be willing to do "Y"? Would you be willing to have a meeting
with Mr. So-and-so? If it means you`ll get elected and there are a million
ways to justify that in the end.
SMITH: That is well said. You know, one thing we have in common is we
both played basketball and I have played my whole life and coached a long
time. And, my signature event in politics was a 3-on-3 basketball
Now, one day, someone who was very high up in Missouri politics said, "Hey,
you have got to do something that white people in your district can relate
to. Why do not you have a soccer tournament or a tennis tournament or
something in the white part of your district, when I was in the State
Senate. And, I said, because it would not be me.
SMITH: And I do not think I could live with myself if I did that. And
just think there are some things --
HAYES: Wait, so you didn`t do that in that moment. That was like a
compromise too far?
SMITH: Well, I just always -- my test -- you know, everyone`s got their
own litmus test in life, and mine was, would I do it, if I were never
running for office? And, the answer is no. And, when I asked myself --
HAYES: But, that cannot be the test. That cannot be the test. Would I do
it if I was not running for office, because there is a million -- would I
call up random rich people and say, give me money if I was not running for
office. No. That would be a waste of all your time and there is a million
things you would do. And, that is why it is so insidious, right? Because,
there is so many things, you are doing to run for office that there is only
this marginal little -- like you are already doing all these things, will
you just sell your sister out on national television?
SMITH: I guess where I drew the line was like a hobby or an avocation.
Would I pretend to shoot a gun, you know, or would I pretend to play
something that wasn`t natural?
BARRO: And, I think what probably drives Mary Cheney crazy about this is
Mary is a political operator, too.
HAYES: Yes, absolutely, yes.
BARRO: And she understands the need --
HAYES: A very close political adviser to Dick Cheney. I mean she is not
like she has nothing to do with politics, she is some naive who does not
understand this world.
BARRO: And, she has supported candidates before who are opposed to gay
marriage. This is not necessarily a litmus test issue for her. I think
what she sees is her father in 2004 as a national republican candidate
refusing to take an antigay marriage position at some political cost to
Dick Cheney. In 2013, Liz cannot even do that. I think that Mary views
this as an unnecessary political compromise. She is selling out for no
HAYES: And, part of this also is the fact that when you survey the
national political scene, it is unbelievable how dynastic our politics are
and are becoming. I mean, everything Jeb Bush does gets tons of headlines.
Of course, Hillary Clinton is often thought of as the, you know,
presumptive front-runner. If you look, this is just the senate; this is
senate dynasty, senate candidates 2014, Begich, Cheney, Landrieu, Pryor,
Udall and Udall --
SMITH: And Nun, too.
HAYES: Right. Then in Georgia, you got Nun and Carter.
HAYES: And part oft happens when you get dynastic politics is you get
family feuds in front of the whole counter.
SMITH: You do. But, I think, you know, another thing that is important
for us to remember is that Americans like brand names.
SMITH: And, when you go to the grocery store --
HAYES: Familiarity, yes.
SMITH: When you go to the grocery store, you have a choice between 7-Up
and Super-Up and those people just instinctively choose 7-Up, because it`s
a known quantity. And, political voters are not very well informed, and so
the short-hand cue is, "Hey, I recognize that name. I know the family."
It gives a false sense of security.
BARRO: And that is precisely what fooled Liz Cheney into --
HAYES: -- into entering this race.
SMITH: Right. But, I thought, I want to partially defend dynasty politics
because I think like -- if you look at politics -- as someone who came into
something from, industry my father`s in, but if you look at Andrew Cuomo,
for example, I think he is a really talented. I think he is a good
governor, but he is also a really talented political operator and I think
he does a lot of things that he learned at his father`s knee, from his
father`s successes and his father`s failures. And, I think that can work
really well if you put the time and energy in, which I do not think Liz
Cheney has done.
HAYES: We are about to go through a pop culture celebration, remembrance
and mourning for the Kennedy assassination, and all the Kennedys mean.
And, there are some aspects of dynasty that can concur some advantages
without all cost. Former democratic Missouri State, Jeff Smith and Josh
Barro from Business Insider, thank you gentlemen. That is "All In" for
this evening. "The Rachel Maddow Show" starts right now. Good evening,
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thank you, my friends.
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