Guest: Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Chip Carter, Frank Luntz
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: All right, very excited in Boston. Very excited in Boston. It‘s night two of the Democratic coronation of Boston‘s own Senator John Kerry, as Ted Kennedy, Howard Dean and Teresa Heinz Kerry took the stage in honor of the man they hope will remove George W. Bush from the Oval Office in November‘s election. But the highlight of the night for this Democratic Convention may have come during a speech by a man named Reagan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON REAGAN JR., CO-HOST: Whatever else you do, come November 2, I urge you please, cast a vote for embryonic stem cell research.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REAGAN: Well, that was me, wasn‘t it?
SCARBOROUGH: You know what? The thing is, I cannot believe they edited out the cheers. The cheers were absolutely—what was it like being up there? I mean, it was remarkable. It was so loud. It was like Beatle mania 1964. Again, for a guy named Ronald Reagan at a Democratic Convention.
REAGAN: Well, maybe that was part of the novelty of it maybe is what spurred people on.
SCARBOROUGH: No, no, no, it really was. It was—I thought it was a remarkable moment.
REAGAN: Listen, everybody has been very nice here. And people are saying things like you‘re so brave. I‘m not brave at all. I‘m lucky. I had an opportunity to speak about something that I feel strongly about. And the Democratic Convention gave me that opportunity. I‘m grateful to them for that, but I‘m just a lucky guy.
REAGAN: I feel very fortunate. But now - oh, well you‘ve got to read this. Go ahead.
SCARBOROUGH: Now Ron, let‘s take a look at more of your address at the convention tonight and how you characterize those who actually oppose embryonic stem cell research.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REAGAN: A few of these folks needless to stay are just grinding up a political ax. And they should be ashamed of themselves.
But many—but many, many are well-meaning and sincere. Their belief is just that, an article of faith and they are entitled to it. But it does not follow that the theology of a few should be allowed to forestall the health and well-being of the many.
Surely we can distinguish between these undifferentiated cells, multiplying in a tissue culture and a living, breathing person, a parent, a spouse, a child. The tide of history is with us. Like all generations who have come before ours, we are motivated by a thirst for knowledge and compelled to see others in need as fellow angels on an often difficult path deserving of our compassion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Ron, you were very well received. I got to tell you, you talked about a 13-year-old with Type I diabetes. My son has Type I diabetes.
REAGAN: I didn‘t know that.
SCARBOROUGH: Thirteen-year-old. Very difficult for me. Always been pro-life. It‘s - you know what? And I never debate abortion. It is a matter of faith. It‘s a matter of belief. And I‘m not saying it‘s a matter of faith if you‘re a Christian or a Catholic or an orthodox Jew. I just think you either believe it begins at conception or you don‘t.
But I thought you went after Republicans, possibly George W. Bush, kind of strongly. Was that attack when you talked about the ideology of the few, was that about George W. Bush?
REAGAN: No, no, there are people who sincerely believe as I gather you do, that if you destroy one of these cells, that you are committing a murder in a sense.
Now I would argue that we can make a distinction...
REAGAN: ...between cells and human beings. And I would ask you, given that you have a son that—or child that has Type I diabetes, if the promise of embryonic stem cell therapy is realized and you have a choice that you can take some skin cells, let‘s say, from your child‘s arm and work up some embryonic stem cells, re-inject them into the body, and cure your child‘s disease, will you make that decision...
REAGAN: Or will you stand on principle and say no, we can‘t do that?
SCARBOROUGH: And by the way, we‘re looking right now obviously at you earlier today...
REAGAN: Oh, yes.
SCARBOROUGH: ...getting ready for the speech. Some fascinating behind the scenes footage.
REAGAN: Well, they trot you out there, let you get a feel for the room...
REAGAN: ...and you know, look at the podium, and all of that kind of thing.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes. Yes, exactly.
REAGAN: I never actually used those kind of teleprompters before, those clear, you know, transparent things on either side.
SCARBOROUGH: I know, yes. Remarkable.
REAGAN: They work pretty well.
SCARBOROUGH: They did. They‘re kind of snazzy things. But going back to your question, I actually support embryonic cell research.
But the thing that I resent is people making it out to be a black and white issue. This is a - and I wasn‘t saying you‘re doing that tonight. A congresswoman who was on the floor, though, after you spoke, said oh George Bush, he played to the right wing religious extremists. No, he didn‘t. The right wing religious extremists were angry at George W. Bush for trying to split the baby. The people on the left were angry. People on the right were angry.
You know, and I‘ll be honest with you. It‘s such a complex issue. I don‘t know if he called it right. I don‘t know if you‘ve called it right. It is - and again, I guess because I‘m so personally involved in it and I‘m so conflicted by it, obviously. I want to do whatever I can...
REAGAN: Sounds to me like we both called it right.
REAGAN: And you know, the thing is if you‘re going to make a moral argument, you need to be more consistent. If you‘re going to claim that interfering with the development of one of these embryos is, in fact, murder, then you can‘t allow any of it. And you have to campaign against invitro fertilization clinics. You can‘t say, well, it‘s murder but for these 64 stem cell lines, we‘ll make an exception because in your mind what you‘re doing is killing 64 children. Now how can you do that?
SCARBOROUGH: Now obviously, Ron, what a lot of people would say, and I don‘t want to make this whole program about this one issue, but it was such a remarkable moment tonight. I do want to talk about the other side of it. What a lot of people tell me, when I tell them hey I‘m pro-life, but you know what? I support this. I see my son taking four shots of insulin a day. I see him checking his blood sugar seven, eight, nine times a day. The promise would be remarkable. It would be transforming.
But at the same time, what they tell me is they‘re afraid of the slippery slope. OK, of course, and they‘re afraid of the harvesting of this. And pretty soon that you‘re going to have people that are in the business of harvesting embryos just for this type of research.
REAGAN: As understand the science, and I‘m not a scientist, so I‘m not...
SCARBOROUGH: No, you play one...
REAGAN: I play one on TV.
REAGAN: I can‘t go as deeply into it as some could certainly. But we‘re talking about the ability to take cells from your own body or your child‘s body and generate stem cells from your own cells. We‘re not talking about harvesting somebody else‘s fetus. In fact, you don‘t want to do that.
What you want to do is use your own cells because it‘ll have your own DNA. And then there‘s no chance of tissue rejection.
REAGAN: And that‘s where the future of this thing is going. And how can you argue that you can‘t use your own cells to create embryonic stem cells and cure disease?
SCARBOROUGH: Right. And you know, what‘s so remarkable about this is I spoke yesterday with the head of Emily‘s list. And I said, you know, science, technology is presenting your side, some very real challenges, not only the 3-D imagery of ultrasounds, but also the fact that the viability date keeps moving back more and more, if you look at the language of Roe v. Wade obviously.
But just like that, just like with abortion, technology on this issue is going to continue evolving, continue presenting some very fascinating challenges.
But tonight wasn‘t about science or technology. It was about you speaking from your heart. It was a remarkable speech. And I commend you for it.
REAGAN: Well, thank you.
SCARBOROUGH: I want to go to Lawrence.
Lawrence, let‘s talk generally about what happened tonight. Obviously, there was a “Washington Post” poll out today. A lot of Democrats are talking about, hoping that it‘s not accurate, talking about George Bush being up to 50 percent now, with an approval rating on the war on terror for some reason, a couple of days after that 9/11 report was published, which reads like a horror story for the Bush administration, Bush‘s approval ratings on the war on terror, way up. John Kerry‘s down.
This is the million dollar question. Did tonight help John Kerry move towards what he has to do on Thursday night to deliver the speech that‘s going to give him that five, six, seven, eight-point jump that he‘s got to have leaving Boston?
LAWRENCE O‘DONNELL, MSNBC SR. POL. ANALYST: Yes, it did in a bunch of ways. First of all, Barack Obama, a star is born tonight for the Democratic party. That was the speech that was beyond anyone‘s expectation. I actually had kind of a middling expectation from him. And he just went way beyond.
I was on the floor for that one. That‘s - that was a vibration that was not on the floor for any other speech including Bill Clinton‘s. People were coming away from the Barack Obama speech, saying this is our future. This guy‘s going to be on this ticket much sooner than anybody expected. And so that has given the room a lift that wasn‘t really there before.
Clinton fulfilled expectations. Obama went way beyond it.
Ron Reagan helped to emotionalize what the Democrats believe their campaign is about in a very, very important way.
Teresa Heinz came out there and she showed people that this is someone who you can be comfortable with. What‘s actually most important about the Teresa Heinz speech is that the swing voters aren‘t going to really see it tonight because it was not on the broadcast networks. They‘re going to see it on the “Today” show this morning—tomorrow morning. They‘re going to see it on their local news in clips.
Some people are saying she talked too long. She didn‘t talk too long because the local news is going to use 30 seconds. It‘s going to use 45 seconds.
“Today Show” is going to use a couple of minutes. They‘re all going to be very, very effective minutes. And it is ramping it up for John Kerry to go in there and work that Celtics home crowd in that arena.
SCARBOROUGH: Oh down, boy.
O‘DONNELL: Let me tell you, I‘m from this town. That arena is building itself up to help John Kerry when he comes out onto that platform.
SCARBOROUGH: You know what I‘ve noticed today? It‘s remarkable. Yesterday, the crowds were OK around here. Today, about noon, 1:00, 2:00, or 3:00, you just noticed a rise of intensity.
SCARBOROUGH: And it‘s like this slow building up for the hometown boy that a lot of people in the hometown may not like, may not have warmed up to. But it seems like it‘s slowly building up.
SCARBOROUGH: And you can feel the drama building.
O‘DONNELL: Well Ron, you felt it tonight. You feel what that crowd—you come out and you have something to deliver. They had something to give back to you. And what they‘re going to have Thursday night after the build-up they get from you tonight, from Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and then John Edwards tomorrow night, when John Kerry comes on to that stage, they are going to give him a surge before he opens his mouth, that he has literally never felt in his political career.
And listen, I‘ve seen every campaign he‘s run, from his first campaign for Congress here. I‘ve watched every one of them. When there is a moment in a Kerry campaign, and Joe can talk about Iowa, when there‘s a moment in a Kerry campaign when he must deliver, he has always delivered. And Thursday night‘s that moment. I actually have a very high expectation for the way he‘s going to deliver.
SCARBOROUGH: Always, always. John Kerry is always better when his back is against the wall. Always better when the Celtics are down by 10 in the fourth quarter against the Lakers than when they‘re guarding a lead.
Anyway, coming up, we‘re going to introduce our panel. They‘re going to get their thoughts on the woman and some say the cash behind the man. The performance tonight of Teresa Heinz Kerry.
Plus, we‘re expecting a surprise appearance from John Kerry‘s number two man on the convention floor. We‘ll get to that when AFTER HOURS returns with some really snazzy music and a hyped up crowd. All right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERESA HEINZ KERRY: My husband will not fear disagreement or dissent. He believes that our voices, yours and mine, must be the voices of freedom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, it‘s AFTER HOURS on night two of the Democratic National Convention. You know what? It may be late, but we‘ve still got a good crowd with us here on the outside of Boston‘s Faneuil Hall. Some people talking about free speech. Other people talking about how excited they are that I‘ve got thousands and thousands of electrical currents shooting through me.
And we‘ve got some screamers over here. Whoa, listen to this. We‘ve got First Amendment people screaming here. Anyway, we had a fantastic night on the floor for John Kerry. Let‘s talk around to some people here. You wanted to talk. Ask your question, go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My question is, is that I live in Boston. I watch politics every day. And I have yet to see a single picture of the free speech zone down in Boston. And my question is, is why is the media not covering different opinions? And I happen to be a liberal person, but your opinion is a conservative opinion. And I want to know why you‘re not fighting to help them get their opinions out?
SCARBOROUGH: To fight who?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are not free opinions being supported here? Why is the free speech zone not being covered?
SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, the funny thing is, the amazing thing that I found is, hold it, ma‘am.
OK. If we can talk—we‘re talking about free speech, this gentleman‘s asking questions. The thing is...
Excuse me. So anyway—this is free speech. This is a free speech we‘re talking about.
Anyway - so...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about Lori? What about Lori?
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about Lori?
SCARBOROUGH: Speaking about free speech, we have actually free speech. It‘s a wonderful thing. You know what the good thing about free speech is, though? Good thing about free speech is, you respect other people‘s right to talk also. You ask me a question, I answer it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why have I not seen a single picture of the free speech zone in Boston? Not a single one. Not on NBC, not on CBS, not on ABC.
SCARBOROUGH: You know what the problem is?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My question is why is the media not covering the free speech zone? This is important.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the ‘60‘s, we saw protests.
SCARBOROUGH: We saw them out on the streets. Obviously 1968.
One of the more dramatic moments in presidential history, when, of course, Chicago, ‘68, you had the riots in the street. I know all of you want to see riots. You enjoy people screaming like this.
But here‘s the deal, though. You know what the press is calling that? The press is calling that the freedom cage. Obviously, an oxymoron because what they‘ve done is they‘ve put up a pen. I think it‘s absolutely ridiculous that you don‘t have a chance to get people out there. You know what, though? The problem is, when you have...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...towards the media. And why is the media not covering it because I haven‘t seep a single camera down there. I haven‘t seen a single picture on the front page of a newspaper.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you may have...
SCARBOROUGH: You know what? OK, OK. You‘ve asked the question. Let me answer it. OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go ahead.
SCARBOROUGH: Before we even came to Boston, we showed a picture of the freedom cage, you know, and we laughed about it. We said, you know what? Nobody‘s going to go in there. Nobody‘s going to protest in there. And what‘s going to - yes, because it is godforsaken. They‘ve got it. It‘s a cage. It‘s cement. Who want to go in there?
So yes, I think what‘s happened is, because it was set up for whatever reason, it was set up to be as inhospitable as possible, so nobody wanted to go down there. I mean, yes, so I certainly hope in New York, I certainly hope—hold on...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the media is where they‘re going to be heard. And yes, people can walk around with a billboard, but unless a camera is watching, it‘s not—it doesn‘t get the national address that it ought to.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, and it‘s certainly not, but we have—have you seen it on TV?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I have. I have seen it on TV. And I‘ve seen the cage. And yes, they are in caged but I have seen them. But...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a percentage, how much would you say you‘ve seen like on the nightly news?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I see it every night. I see it every night. I‘ve been watching the news every night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Network news?
SCARBOROUGH: All right, one final question. What‘s your name?
ANDREW: My name is Andrew.
SCARBOROUGH: And where are you from?
ANDREW: I‘m from Wakefield, Mass.
SCARBOROUGH: Wakefield, Mass. Are you supporting John Kerry?
ANDREW: I‘m supporting George Bush.
SCARBOROUGH: George Bush?
ANDREW: Absolutely. Absolutely. I feel during this time we need to support somebody that‘s going to be strong in defense and economy wise. I mean even though, yes, we have lost a lot of jobs during the Clinton recession...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right!
ANDREW: ...not during the George Bush recession, a lot of jobs are starting to come back up. The spending, we‘re in a war time. Spending, we‘re in a war time right now. You need to spend during a war time.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, you know what? We‘re going to continue with this debate. Obviously, a lot of opinions out here. That‘s a great thing about America. I tell you what. That‘s actually what I love about these conventions is you get people coming from all across the country, expressing their beliefs. And that‘s what America is about.
Let‘s throw it back up to Ron Reagan—Ron?
REAGAN: Thank you, Joe. Now let me introduce the panel properly. We have from “The Nation”, of course, Katrina Vanden Heuvel...
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, “THE NATION”: Thank you.
REAGAN: And as usual, Joe Trippi and also MSNBC senior political analyst Lawrence O‘Donnell. And—oh, and former presidential candidate and MSNBC analyst Pat Buchanan, covering from the usual place, Pat. How are you doing?
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I‘m a junior analyst to Lawrence.
REAGAN: Anything - well, we‘ve got you there Pat, anything stand out for you tonight? I‘m sure there must have been something?
BUCHANAN: Well, I thought you did—I obviously don‘t agree with your position, but it was very well expressed.
But let me say this, Ron. Teresa Kerry, I was very impressed. You know, I talked last night. I thought Hillary Clinton was almost shrill and she had a single tone. This is a woman who knows how to speak from a podium, who is a woman of parts. I think she‘s a formidable lady. She is very much on the left, but I think she gave a very impressive address.
She is an interesting speaker. And she speaks somewhat softly. So you lean in and listen to her. And I thought it was effective. And I think Lawrence is right. When they take 30 or 45-second clips, it will be impressive as a performance. She‘s got humor about herself. She said, as you know, I‘m opinionated and I‘m a woman who likes to get my views across. Made fun of her own comment. I thought it was very well done for her purposes.
REAGAN: Pat, let me ask you something. I heard someone recently, somebody you know—actually, it was Bob Novak—talking about Teresa Heinz Kerry. And he used the words “scary, train wreck, out of control.” Do you think that‘s appropriate language to use about her?
BUCHANAN: Well, I do think this. When we saw that phrase “shove it,” and you read “The Boston Herald” that she speaks her mind and she cuts loose on Kennedy and others, I will say this, and I said just about two days ago after I saw that, you have a real possibility, once you get down the road in a campaign, if something like that happens in a 50-50 race and a country is nervous about having folks who are first generation or someone from Mozambique as First Lady, you could have a problem.
I don‘t - Novak‘s a far better reporter than I am. So he might know something I don‘t, but I‘ve met Teresa Heinz when she was married to the senator I‘ll bet 30 or 35 years ago. And she was an impressive young woman then.
REAGAN: You didn‘t—she didn‘t strike you as a scary train wreck then?
BUCHANAN: She didn‘t frighten me in Georgetown, no.
SCARBOROUGH: You know what, though, Ron? I mean, I‘ve talked to some people in the Kerry campaign who, like John Kerry, want John Kerry to win.
I tell you what, they‘re scared. They believe that this woman is very independent, that the American political process and Joe Trippi, I mean, let‘s ask you because you worked with the guy. Not exactly homogenized. You know? And the system has a way of rounding off the rough edges.
I mean, Teresa Heinz Kerry can‘t afford to have a Howard Dean type moment in, let‘s say, late October, can she?
JOE TRIPPI, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, I don‘t think that‘s right at all. I mean I think, you know, she‘s who she is, and what‘s - and just is who she really is, let‘s the American people see that. She‘s going to be just fine.
I mean, the whole thing about this family stuff is just crazy to me. I mean, Howard Dean‘s family, for instance, was the most normal political family I had ever been around. I mean, this was a loving and caring family. He believed in his wife‘s career as much as she believed in his. And the press wanted to know...
SCARBOROUGH: And he got skewered because he didn‘t—they didn‘t play to that stereotype, right?
TRIPPI: No, right, because the press wanted a Stepford family that was all polished and glowing.
SCARBOROUGH: But you know, for better or worse, if that‘s what the press wants, unfortunately, they jump on somebody that doesn‘t fit into that little box. I‘m not saying it‘s right or wrong, but that it‘s that reality?
VANDEN HEUVEL: But you know, the American people aren‘t voting for John Kerry‘s wife. They‘re going to vote for John Kerry and then John Edwards. And then they‘re going to look at Teresa Heinz Kerry.
I thought tonight she humanized herself. I think there was an expectation that it might be tricky after this ridiculous obsession with how she said “shove off.” What about our vice president? What about what he‘s saying on the floor of the Senate? Shouldn‘t people be more concerned about that?
SCARBOROUGH: All right, you know what? Oh, look, we want to go right now inside the convention hall, where John Edwards is making a surprise appearance. We‘ve got MSNBC‘s Tommy Llamas on the scene.
Tommy, what can you tell us about Edwards‘ walk through and who‘s with him right now?
TOMMY LLAMAS, MSNBC CAMPAIGN REPORTER: Hey, Joe, well as you can see right now, Senator Edwards is up on the podium with his wife Elizabeth. And basically what they‘re doing is a walk through. Like you said, this was a surprise to us in the media. It was planned for tomorrow morning, but Edwards decided sometime today he wanted to do it tonight.
And as you can see, if we pan out a little bit, you can see the amount of media that‘s covering him right now. And this is kind of a little taste, so it might actually work for them tomorrow. This will run on all the newscasts tomorrow morning and previewing his speech tomorrow night, which he‘ll deliver here to the party - Joe?
REAGAN: Tony, this is Ron Reagan. Are any delegates left in the hall or is this just a media scrum?
TOM LLAMAS: It‘s mainly a media scrum. There are some delegates walking around and some other people that are involved with the DNC, but it‘s mainly the media. And as you can see, when we pan out a little bit, there‘s tons of media here. You have still photographers, you have newspaper reporters, TV‘s here. And this was an off-the-record kind of event at first. But as soon as we got here, I mean, everyone just turned the cameras on. And we just started.
And as you can see, they‘re kind of lowering and raising the podium right now. And Edwards I guess is just kind of getting a feel for where he‘ll deliver the speech tomorrow night.
REAGAN: Tom, let me apologize for calling you Tony. That‘s probably not the first time you‘ve been named after a cowboy boot, but it‘s Tom Llamas. Tom, what else did Edwards do today?
LLAMAS: Well, really, he just kind of—he did give a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in his campaign plane, which was off camera. But he said that he‘s feeling good. There was some concern about his voice yesterday because it sounded kind of raspy. But today, he sounded fine.
He spoke to us for about 10 minutes. He went for a run, five to six miles. And he says he‘s feeling great. He‘s really looking forward to giving this speech tomorrow. He‘ll be introduced by his wife Elizabeth Edwards. And he‘s really going to hit three themes. He‘s going to hit own biography. He‘s going to talk about Senator Kerry‘s service in Vietnam. And he‘s also going to talk about how the two have a plan to change the direction of the country.
The phrase two Americas, which he made very popular during the primaries, talking about the have‘s and have not‘s of this country, will also be incorporated into the speech. It‘ll probably run around 25 minutes with applause. And he says if you listen to it, you‘ll definitely think it‘s positive. Ron?
SCARBOROUGH: All right, hey, thanks a lot, Tom. We greatly appreciate it.
Lawrence O‘Donnell, what should we expect tomorrow from John Edwards? Just an absolutely electric speaker.
O‘DONNELL: Well, there‘s a crowd who‘s desperately eager to hear him come on and be strong and give them what they‘ve been waiting to hear. He‘s going to deliver that, Joe. He‘s a trial lawyer. He‘s had very big tense moments on his feet as a speaker long before he got into politics. You know what that kind of pressure is like. It‘s actually more intense than politics.
This guy is going to come into that hall tomorrow night. And he‘s going to just clear the bases. He‘s going to just hit a grand slam. He‘s going to go through the litany of what they want to hear, the basic platform of this campaign. And the crowd is going to give him everything he needs as a performer on that stage.
It‘s—and listen, I‘m not doing these campaigns any favors because I do have high expectations of what this place that I call Boston Garden, I refuse to call it the Fleet Center.
SCARBOROUGH: It‘s not the Fleet Center.
O‘DONNELL: I‘m from here. I‘m not giving that commercial here. What that crowd is going to deliver in there is what they‘ve always delivered when the home team comes out. And the Democratic party is the home team here. These guys are going to be lifted on that stage. Edwards is going to be great.
REAGAN: Lawrence, the central theme of John Edwards has been this two Americas, which is essentially a class argument, which is very difficult to make in the United States. It makes people uncomfortable. How effective...
O‘DONNELL: I think you‘re going to see the adjustment toward the middle of that argument. His speech, and I‘d like to hear Joe‘s reaction to this, I found his speeches in Iowa and New Hampshire on the two Americas to be incredibly simplistic. In fact, passe, if you really listen to the text of them.
It was the performance of them that was so good. This is his moment where he has to move that speech into the middle, into that swing voters hearing zone, where it makes sense to them.
So it‘ll be about college tuition. It will not be as much about racial discrimination and those kinds of things as it will be about how do you afford college? What are the middle class needs as much as more than, say, the poverty population‘s needs.
SCARBOROUGH: Joe Trippi, and you obviously in Iowa, you had to go up against this guy. What are his strengths that we should be looking for tomorrow?
TRIPPI: Well, look, this guy, unlike Kerry, who put $6.4 million on the table in Iowa, and moved this entire campaign there, this guy got to 32 percent on just sheer personality, performance, the way he talked. And I don‘t think it was necessarily the message of the two Americas. It was the way he talked. I mean he was—he came to be one of them. And people really responded to that.
Women in particular. And we just saw, I mean, the numbers go through the roof. I‘ve been making a joke about this, but I do think, I mean, he‘s going to have a hard time standing up to Dick Cheney‘s animal charisma.
SCARBOROUGH: You know...
TRIPPI: And it‘s—I think the juxtapositioning...
SCARBOROUGH: You know, I‘ve got to tell you about women really quickly. My mother lied to my father about voting for Richard Nixon in the 1960‘s. She said I voted for J.F.K. I couldn‘t tell—my wife? I‘m afraid my wife is going to vote for John Edwards because she keeps saying, oh, my gosh.
I mean, Katrina, does that offend you that they may vote for this boyish good look?
VANDER HEUVEL: Well, I think women are crucial. And Joe could tell you, women are a crucial vote in this election. Single women are going to make the difference. The gender gap for Kerry and Edwards. Edwards will help. I‘m attracted to Edwards because of his two Americas theme. I think that has given him this gravitas.
And he‘s going to be great in the debates with Cheney, because he speaks as someone who is taking on the powerful interests. And Dick Cheney is a powerful interest masquerading as the vice president.
SCARBOROUGH: It‘s going to be remarkable.
REAGAN: We‘ve got to back to some images here of the - of Edwards at the convention center.
And we‘ll be right back with more AFTER HOURS in just a moment.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, very good.
SCARBOROUGH: And we‘re here from outside Faneuil Hall. A very excited crowd because John Kerry is coming to town on Thursday night. But right now, we‘re going to get the latest headlines from the MSNBC News desk.
All right. You know what? We‘re not going to do that. Right now, let‘s go ahead and go down to Ron Reagan. Ron, are you there?
REAGAN: Joining me now, someone who has had, like me, the unique experience of being a child of a president, Chip Carter, President Jimmy Carter‘s son. Thanks for being here, Chip. We really appreciate it.
CHIP CARTER, SON OF JIMMY CARTER: Glad to be here.
REAGAN: What are you doing here?
CARTER: I‘m a Democrat. This is my ninth convention and I‘m here to elect John Kerry.
REAGAN: All right. Now what has life been like for you after the White House?
REAGAN: It‘s a letdown. And the biggest thing you ever do is live in the White House.
REAGAN: Did you actually live there?
CARTER: Oh, the four years, yes.
REAGAN: Yes, see, I never lived there. Yes, I was married. Yes.
CARTER: I was divorced in the White House, so I had a better time than you did.
REAGAN: And—sorry about that. I hope it didn‘t have anything to do with, you know, the White House.
CARTER: No, it had a lot to do with the campaign, though.
CARTER: I had too good of a time. It was all my fault.
CARTER: But I‘ve been working, doing some consulting and been around in Africa with a nonprofit organization that places people in people‘s homes across the world.
REAGAN: So you‘re sort of following in your father‘s footsteps doing good works around the world. He‘s often called one of the most successful ex-presidents we‘ve ever had. What do you think of that?
CARTER: I believe he was a very successful president also, but he‘s certainly has taken the ex-presidency to a new level, I believe. He‘s used it to do things that nobody else will do. He looks after the people in the world that are the poorest of the poor. 1.2 billion people on earth live on less than $1 per day. And more than half the people there live on less than $2 per day. And those are the kind of people that he tries to help.
REAGAN: Yes. Do you have any advice for someone, let‘s say, an Alex Kerry or somebody like that, you know, who may soon find herself in a position that you and I have shared to some extent? What do you think about that? What would you advise her and the other Kerry kids? Chris Heinz?
CARTER: Actually, you just got to be yourself. You know, you can‘t be what the press wants you to be. And you can‘t be what your parents keep telling you. You got to be yourself. And as long as you do that, you‘ll get through it OK.
CARTER: You know, but if you really try to live up to what everybody else‘s expectations are, there‘s no way to do it.
REAGAN: Yes. Well, this is what your father, a Nobel peace prize winner, said last night about America‘s standing in the world today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY CARTER, FMR. PRESIDENT: In just 34 months, we have watched with deep concern as all of this good will has been squandered by virtually unbroken series of mistakes and miscalculations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REAGAN: Well, Chip, I want to thank you for being here. And listen, I hope you don‘t hold it against me that my dad gave your dad a shellacking in 1980?
CARTER: I don‘t hold it against you.
It‘s a very unique consulting group of people that have been through this. The campaigns plus presidencies.
So you know, I defended your sister on TV the other night. And she and I have never voted for the same person, but she worked her butt off during this whole presidency. And she needs to have that kind of credit. And I think all of these kids do that turn out there and been through that stuff.
REAGAN: Thank you very much for coming by.
Oh, we‘re going to Joe now. Oh, we‘re joined now by MSNBC correspondent David Shuster live from a tribute to Ted Kennedy at Boston Symphony Hall. What‘s been going on there tonight, David?
DAVID SHUSTER, MSNBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ron, as you mentioned, a salute to Ted Kennedy. And first of all, I‘ve got to say great job tonight. You are absolutely terrific. And we‘re all so proud of you.
REAGAN: Thanks, David.
SHUSTER: Another person here, of course, that stands up for his ideals, Ted Kennedy. A huge salute for him tonight at the symphony hall. We have a little minor problem. If there‘s anything anybody can do about it. If not, that‘s how it goes.
But anyway, a whole cast of characters tonight from Bono to Glenn Close, to in fact, the Boston Pops. And in fact, there‘s one nightmare scene for Joe Scarborough. And that is the image of Ted Kennedy leading an ensemble of any kind. Watch this.
Joe? He‘s really enjoying himself in Boston 2004. This is David.
He really is. He had a great time tonight. There were songs, there were tributes, there were poems. It was clearly, and also sort of the Boston establishment that was out supporting Ted Kennedy, at least the Democratic establishment.
And on a serious note, Joe, one thing that was sort of interesting to all of us, as you saw all the Kennedy family members arrive, Maria Shriver, all the sons of Ted Kennedy, it was fascinating because it was happening at the very time Teresa Heinz was giving her speech. And people here could have cared less about Teresa Heinz. And maybe that gets to the whole sort of disconnect between Ted Kennedy and Teresa Heinz, based on her first marriage to Don Heinz, Republican Senator of Pennsylvania, who unfortunately said tonight, look, we‘re going to have four years, possibly eight years to listen to Teresa Heinz. This is a night when Boston‘s Democratic establishment can all gather and thank Ted Kennedy for 42 years of public service. And they had a whale of a time here tonight.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, David Shuster, thanks so much. And I tell you what. Even if John Kerry is elected and is in the White House for eight years, this will always be the Kennedy‘s home court.
Now coming up next, pollster Frank Luntz is going to break down tonight‘s speeches. How do the Democrats play in Peoria? We‘re going to have that coming up when we return from Faneuil Hall in Boston. So don‘t go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNEDY: America needs a genuine uniter, not a divider who only claims to be a uniter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: We‘re back with an all star AFTER HOURS panel. With me now, though, we‘ve got pollster Frank Luntz. And we‘ll allow you in on our all star panel. You‘re sort of the A rod that we landed in Boston. Talk—let‘s talk about the speeches tonight. How are they going to play in Peoria?
FRANK LUNTZ, POLLSTER: It was a little bit different. You know, last night I was very favorable towards what the Democrats had done. Their language was softer, it was gentler, it transcended ideology and partnership.
Tonight was a little bit different. There was some high notes and low notes. And I believe we‘ve got a segment that‘s been pulled from Ted Kennedy that I thought was particularly divisive when he talked about fear. And he talked about—it was more than just an attack. It was actually trying to get subliminal. And hopefully we can roll that segment now.
SCARBOROUGH: That‘s roll that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNEDY: ...he knows that a true leader inspires hope and vanquishes fear. This administration does neither. Instead it brings fear. Fear of rising cost for healthcare and for college. Fear of higher unemployment and lesser pay. Fear for the future of Social Security and Medicare. Fear of greater bigotry. Fear of four more years of dreams denied and promises unfulfilled and progress rolled back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Frank, I understand what you‘re saying, but Ted Kennedy could have read the sermon on the mount tonight and he still would have ticked them off in Peoria. So why not let Ted Kennedy come out and be Ted Kennedy?
LUNTZ: And it was interesting that they put him so early in the evening. You know, you had a chance to speak primetime. That was a very beautiful oratory. It was very impressive. They put Ted Kennedy early so that he would not be divisive, but there‘s a difference between Kennedy today and Hillary Clinton yesterday. Hillary Clinton, one could argue, gave one of the most transcendental speeches of her entire career, whereas Ted was about as blunt and direct as he possibly could be.
And there‘s one other line. “They believe they can‘t win unless the rest of us lose. We reject that shameful view.” That is as direct, as partisan, as blunt as you get in one of these conventions.
REAGAN: And what is wrong with that? I mean, I‘ve been around a lot of campaigns. And I just watched that clip. I didn‘t get to hear him when he actually gave the speech, so I‘m sort of hearing this for the first time. I was busy earlier in the evening. And you know, are we going milquetoast or something? I mean, what is the deal when you can‘t say the other guys are wrong and we‘re right?
LUNTZ: Right, but I‘m being a strategist here. I‘m not saying that you can‘t do - there‘s nothing wrong with being direct, but if you‘re trying to win the swing voters, which is what we‘re going to be looking at tomorrow night in Ohio, if you are trying to win them, and you are that in your face and that direct, it is going to turn them off.
REAGAN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) direct and in your face. I mean, come on here.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Ted Kennedy plays a certain role at this convention. He speaks to the base. You know the value of energizing your base.
LUNTZ: But your base is energized.
VANDEN HEUVEL: There‘s a Democratic base. But let me just—this man, this man, I thought was as tough as Ted Kennedy. He put out there the stakes in this election. You can choose between the future and the past, between reason and ignorance, between truth and passion and their mere ideology. To me, Ron Reagan, Jr. saying that is far more effective than Ted Kennedy saying what he said with all due respect.
LUNTZ: We actually agree.
VANDEN HEUVEL: With all due respect.
LUNTZ: And I don‘t understand why Ted Kennedy would deliver such a speech like that.
SCARBOROUGH: I want to ask Lawrence a question, because I‘ve been fascinated by Ted Kennedy. You know, Ted Kennedy, of course, very controversial figure in American politics, but he got married back I guess it was the early ‘90‘s. He entered the era of being an elder statesman. Possibly if you just look at legislation, the most effective senator in the history of the United States Senate.
But the past year or so, he‘s become extraordinarily divisive. He said that George W. Bush launched this war, hold on a second...
VANDEN HEUVEL: But he did launch this war.
SCARBOROUGH: Katrina, let me finish, if you will, OK? You remember the speech where he said George W. Bush hatched this as a war in Texas. And they did it to get votes. He then went on the floor of the Senate after Abu Ghraib. He said that basically compared U.S. troops with Saddam‘s thugs, I mean statements that were very, very offensive to me personally. And I know—and I‘m a guy that doesn‘t get offended by a lot because I know, you know, the give-and-take of politics.
I mean, but what‘s happened over the past year, is he doing this as a favor to John Kerry? Or is he doing it because he‘s an elder statesman that can say whatever the hell he wants to say?
O‘DONNELL: There are two parts of it. First of all, he is speaking his mind, which he decided to do very clearly. But primarily, what he was doing when he started doing this, was advancing the Kerry cause with the Dean side of the party.
SCARBOROUGH: Oh, OK.
O‘DONNELL: He was endorsing Kerry as one of us for the Howard Dean voters. It was extremely effective. He was an extremely effective campaigner.
SCARBOROUGH: They are basically saying don‘t talk about Howard Dean being the man of the base.
SCARBOROUGH: My guy, John Kerry, that‘s what that was all about?
O‘DONNELL: That‘s right. And you know, Frank‘s analysis, his professional analysis of that speech, I believe, is correct. But let me go back to my earlier point. Ted did not even play in primetime of cable tonight, OK? He is not going to be (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
SCARBOROUGH: Oh, my God.
O‘DONNELL: There were three big speeches tonight. And Ted‘s was the fourth. The big one was Barack Obama. That‘s the new star.
O‘DONNELL: Ron Reagan is going to have more clips of his speech tomorrow on local news and on shows like the “Today Show” than Ted Kennedy. He‘s not going to have any. The other one‘s Teresa Heinz. Ted‘s speech is not going to emerge. It‘s not going to reach anyone in Peoria tonight. So it can‘t do any damage in Peoria.
So you know, it was good for the room. It wasn‘t much good outside of the room, but it didn‘t play outside the room.
REAGAN: I still think we‘re going soft. I remember in 1980 that Jimmy Carter essentially accused my father of being a racist and a war monger. Not in so many words...
SCARBOROUGH: And he lost.
REAGAN: Well, he lost...
SCARBOROUGH: You know, he got a flack for that.
LUNTZ: But times change. But Ron, times do change. Just - that was the public. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) It just seems all you have to do is go with me to Ohio. I know it‘s a little far from Boston, but come with me and listen to what they‘re looking for.
And what they really want is a rejection of partisanship, a rejection of politics. All they want to hear from them is a difference. It‘s OK to compare and contrast. Just don‘t hit the guy over the head.
VANDEN HEUVEL: But then it was a winning night for the Democrats between Ron Reagan Jr. and Barack Obama. Barack Obama spoke as a unifier saying these people...
LUNTZ: I don‘t disagree with that.
SCARBOROUGH: That‘s great stuff.
LUNTZ: I don‘t disagree with that.
SCARBOROUGH: But the thing is, when you have Ted Kennedy come out, and really, I think this started happening in 2000, when we became such a down the middle, divided nation, where you have what, maybe 5,000, 10,000 people in West Virginia...
SCARBOROUGH: ...that may decide who the election‘s going to be.
VANDEN HEUVEL: But Joe, you know, it‘s the problem of our political system, our electoral system. It‘s not really a 50-50 nation. It‘s a 50-50-50, because let‘s remember, the majority party is the party that doesn‘t vote.
VANDEN HEUVEL: So how do you get those out? Maybe part of a strategy. Howard Dean and others are thinking about it very seriously.
REAGAN: Well, coming up, more of our unconventional convention coverage. We want to hear from you, so give us a call at 1-888-MSNBC-USA. We‘re taking your live calls next.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, you know what, we‘re back. It‘s AFTER HOURS at the convention. It‘s raining. We‘ve got hardy souls that are still out in the rain. Look at them. God bless them. And of course, there are thousands of others streaming right behind them, running back to us.
But right now, we‘re going to go to the phone. We‘ve got Scott from Imperial Beach, California. Scott, I want to ask you, what did you think about tonight‘s speakers?
SCOTT: Well, let me tell you a thing. First of all, between last night and tonight, both the convention and MSNBC are batting two for two. And I just, you know...
SCARBOROUGH: Very good. A transcendental performance, wouldn‘t you say?
SCOTT: Well, I just want to say that Mr. Reagan and state Senator Obama really did a service to the people and also to the convention and what the convention‘s up to. And that is to put a human face on abstract situations.
And that‘s something that you know both parties, the Republicans especially, have not had a real good track record in doing. I have a dog in the fight in terms of the stem cell research because I have a damage 15 years ago, creating a disabling condition that could very likely be cured if this science is moved forward. So I have a dog in the fight. I have a stake in it.
SCARBOROUGH: You know...
REAGAN: Hang on there, because help is on the way.
SCARBOROUGH: ...hearing him say that, I always laughed at liberals that would talk about how dumb your dad was. I said Ronald Reagan is able to take the most complex issue and put a human face on it so people like me that went to the University of Alabama can understand it. I‘m hearing the same thing from this caller who‘s saying you‘re putting a human face on a very complex issue. That is so important.
REAGAN: And Barack Obama, let‘s give him credit.
REAGAN: Now next call, Melissa from Chapel Hill, North Carolina has some thoughts on how Teresa Heinz Kerry will play in Peoria? Melissa?
MELISSA: Hi, how are you?
REAGAN: You‘re on.
MELISSA: Mr. Reagan...
MELISSA: Excellent speech.
REAGAN: Thank you.
MELISSA: And I just want to say, I don‘t know how she‘ll play in Peoria, but she made really well in Chapel Hill, North Carolina tonight.
REAGAN: Was there anything about her speech that appealed to you there in Chapel Hill in particular?
MELISSA: Actually, I think it was just the quiet grace that she brought to the stage tonight, that she just stood firm and her presence there, as far as just - just - and just let that - you know, let her mind just kind of roll over that conference. I mean, just to me, it just seemed like she was just elegant. She was an eloquent. I really think that she would be an addition to the team as far as if they were elected to the White House.
REAGAN: I‘m sorry, I didn‘t mean to interrupt you.
MELISSA: Go ahead.
REAGAN: I wondered how her kind of internationalism plays there in Chapel Hill.
MELISSA: It would be perfect here. I mean, this is an international community. I mean, I‘m not far from the Research Triangle park area, which is an international community. You know, we hear didn‘t languages every day on the street here in this little sleepy town. You know, we‘re a university community.
But also, too, surrounding our area are the little small towns and villages. And I think that she connected with that as well, with just looking at her constant stand on the environment.
REAGAN: Now are you suggesting...
SCARBOROUGH: All right, you know.
REAGAN: I‘m sorry, we have to wrap it up.
SCARBOROUGH: Thanks so much for the call.
REAGAN: Thank you very much, Chapel Hill.
SCARBOROUGH: We want you to stay with MSNBC. There‘s going to be a lot more of our continuing coverage of the Democratic National Convention live from Boston. Coming up, the fun has just begun for us here at Faneuil Hall. Stick around. We‘ll be right back.
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