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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

October 28, 2014

Guest: John Nichols, Carol Robidoux, Jason Noble, Ian Zarate, Glenn
Greenwald, Laith Alkhouri

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Thank you, Rachel. I know you can`t
hear me with all those adoring fans. I`m just going to say thank you. OK.

Well, there are new details tonight about the spacecraft that exploded
on takeoff just hours ago.

But first, new polls give Democrats new hope in their fight for
control of the United States Senate. And one candidate is proud to stand
on the stage tonight with President Obama.


BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: One week from tonight, they`ll be counting
the votes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think I`ve seen a midterm where there`s
many tight races.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten states are closer than five points.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Control of the Senate is at stake.

UNIDENTIFIED FEALE: Could turn the tables here on Capitol Hill.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, the president`s final two years in

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president will visit six states by Sunday.

you get to choose a new governor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: However, all but one of his appearances will be
for Democratic candidates for governor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kind of thread the needle here very carefully.

ready to play.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The vice president was campaigning for Bruce

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None of the candidates want to appear with the

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Indicative of a president whose approval rating is
in the low 40s.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can the Democrats stop a Republican wave?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Democratic message does resonate more in the

OBAMA: The folks on the other side, they are counting on you being
cynical. Cynicism didn`t put anybody on the moon. Cynicism has never
ended a war. Cynicism is a choice and hope is a better choice.


O`DONNELL: In the crucial fight for control of the United States
Senate, Republican Scott Brown is campaigning against not incumbent Senator
Jean Shaheen but President Barack Obama. President Obama`s approval rating
in New Hampshire is 39 percent, but Scott Brown`s rating in New Hampshire
is at 48 percent. Jean Shaheen`s rating in New Hampshire is at 52 percent.

Hillary Clinton will be heading to New Hampshire this weekend to
campaign for Senator Shaheen. Tomorrow, Hillary Clinton will be in Iowa
campaigning for Democrat Ben Braley, who`s running against Republican
Senate candidate Joni Ernst.

Recent polling in the Alaska Senate race has breathed new life into
the campaign of Democratic incumbent Senator Mark Begich. Some Democrats
had given up on Alaska, but three polls now show Senator Begich ahead or
tied. The most recent poll shows Senator Begich ahead of Republican
challenger Dan Sullivan by six points. That is outside the margin of
error. Another poll conducted last week showed Senator Begich with a 10-
point lead.

One candidate who is proud to have President Obama join her on the
campaign trail is Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke,
who has been polling in a virtual tie with Republican Governor Scott Walker
for the last six months. President Obama joined Mary Burke at a rally in
Madison, Wisconsin, tonight.


OBAMA: Cynicism is a choice and hope is a better choice. Hope is
what gives young soldiers the courage to storm a beach. Hope is what gives
young people the strength to march for women`s rights and civil rights and
voting rights and gay rights and immigrants rights. Hope is the belief
that there are better days, that we can build up a middle class and give
back something to our communities and hand down something better for our

Hope is what built America. Not cynicism. And I am telling you
Wisconsin, America`s best days are still ahead.

I believe it. Mary Burke believes it. Now you have to believe it.
Go out there and vote, and go vote for Mary Burke.

Thank you. God bless you. God bless America.


O`DONNELL: We`re going to get live reports in Manchester, New
Hampshire, and Des Moines, Iowa, tonight.

But, also, we`re first going to go to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where John
Nichols, political writer for "The Nation", joins me.

John, how can this have been a tie for six months? Campaigns are
never tied for six months.

JOHN NICHOLS, THE NATION: Well, you`re right except that Wisconsin
has historically been a very closely divided state. Al Gore won this state
by a few thousand votes in 2000. John Kerry won it by a few thousand in

And the reality is that after all that Wisconsin has been through,
these two candidates have essentially wrestled themes to a tie and that`s
one of the reasons why Barack Obama came in today. This is a turnout
fight. And the question is who can enthuse and excite their base.

And if you saw that video of Obama tonight, he was doing a pretty good
job of speaking to a very large, very enthusiastic crowd in Milwaukee,

O`DONNELL: John, quickly, was it a tough call for that campaign to
bring Barack Obama in?

NICHOLS: I think that they -- I know that they wrestled with these
questions, but at the end of the day, they recognized something in the
polls. And that is while the president`s approval rating is quite low in
some states, there have been many polls in Wisconsin this year that has
shown his approval rating in the mid sometimes even higher 40s.

O`DONNELL: John Nichols, thank you very much for joining us.

Joining me now, Carol Robidoux, a correspondent for the "Boston Globe"
who is in Manchester, New Hampshire, covering that Senate race.

Carol, is there an issue now, an actual governing issue that is the
primary one between these two candidates as they go to the finish line? Or
is it all just vote for or against President Obama?

question, because I think this has become a race where Obama, as we just
heard in Wisconsin is going to be -- a make it or break it tie-on for Jean
Shaheen. Scott Brown is doing his best in every turn. Last week, or over
the weekend, in Londonderry, he actually told the crowd that Jean Shaheen
votes with Obama more than 100 percent of the time. So, it`s gotten to
that fever pitch where his message is clear, a vote for Shaheen is a vote
for Obama.

Meanwhile, Jeanne Shaheen continues to try to run a campaign. This is
her -- this is her home turf. She`s been running campaigns here for a long
time. And she`s a strong candidate on her own two feet. But the Obama
factor, that might drag her down.

O`DONNELL: She has that polling oddity of having a higher approval
rating than she has an actual score in the electoral version of the poll of
who are you actually going to vote for. So it seems there are some poll
respondents who approve of her job but have not yet decided to vote for

ROBIDOUX: Well, and that`s New Hampshire for you. I mean, when it
comes right down to it, you can look at every poll there is, but
ultimately, it`s all about what happens on Election Day. And New Hampshire
voters will make their decision at the poll at Election Day.

And there`s really no way to predict what`s going to happen in this
race. As close as it`s become, it`s a two-point race at this point, and I
think that it could -- it could get really even closer over the weekend.
We have a big debate here at Saint Anselm College on Thursday between
Senator Shaheen and Scott Brown.

That`s much anticipated. I think people are waiting for a last look
here. And then they`re going to make their decision.

O`DONNELL: Carol Robidoux, thank you very much for joining us from
New Hampshire tonight.

Joining me now is Jason Noble who covers the Iowa statehouse politics
for the "Des Moines Register."

Jason, you want to say all eyes are on Iowa. All eyes are on Alaska,
they`re on New Hampshire, Kansas, all these states. But you have one of
the most colorful candidates in the country running, Joni Ernst, as she
skipped the editorial board meeting with the "Des Moines Register."

What have been the ramifications of that? It`s well known in the
state now that she just didn`t show up for it.

JASON NOBLE, DES MOINES REGISTER: Well, you know, I think there`s
been a lot of chatter about that among the political classes. I`m not sure
how much that filters down to actual voters.

My newspaper did release its endorsement over the weekend and endorsed
Bruce Braley. I`m not sure how much that was driven by her decision to not
sit down with us or not.

O`DONNELL: And what was the basis of your paper`s endorsement of the

NOBLE: I think they looked at his record in Congress and the issues
he`s talking about, raising the minimum wage, protecting Social Security.
And their criticism of Joni Ernst I think has revolved around kind of some
of the issue positions that she`s taken on the minimum wage, on shutting
down federal department, on women`s health issues.

O`DONNELL: Are you getting any voter reaction about the saturation TV
advertising that`s going on? Not just -- this is going on in these Senate
campaigns all around the country, but Iowa is certainly drowning in these

NOBLE: Yes, I think the voters are certainly tired of it or maybe a
little turned off by it. But, you know, one thing about Iowa is that we
have a very long early voting period, and so, it`s probably all the more
frustrating for a lot of these voters out here, maybe 35 percent to 40
percent of the electorate who have already cast a ballot and their TV is
still dominated by these ads.

O`DONNELL: Jason Noble, thanks very much for joining us from Iowa
tonight. Thank you.

NOBLE: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, a spacecraft carrying supplies for the
international space station exploded six seconds after liftoff tonight.

And Canadian officials call the recent attacks on Canadian soldiers
terrorist attacks, but Glenn Greenwald says they are acts of war. Glen
Greenwald will join me.

And in "The Rewrite" tonight, Elizabeth Warren versus Chris Christie.


O`DONNELL: Today, the president said the United States should not do
anything to discourage health care workers traveling to countries dealing
with the Ebola crisis because American health care workers are making
progress now in West Africa. The president said he will meet tomorrow with
doctors and public health workers who have returned from treating Ebola
patients in West Africa. And with some who are about to go there.


OBAMA: Not only to say thank you to them and give them encouragement,
but to make sure we`re getting input from them based on the science, based
on the facts, based on the experiences, about how the battle to deal with
Ebola are going and how our policies can support the incredible heroism
that they are showing.


O`DONNELL: And Elizabeth Warren had a few things to tell Chris
Christie today about science and Ebola. That`s coming up in the "Rewrite".



ANNOUNCER: And we have lift off of Antares, (INAUDIBLE) on its third
mission to the ISIS. Main engine at 108 percent --


ANNOUNCER: And launching launch team be advised. Stay at your
consoles. Everyone in LCC maintain your positions in your consoles --


O`DONNELL: That was at 6:22 p.m. Eastern Time tonight.

An unmanned spacecraft bound for the International Space Station
exploded six seconds after liftoff from a facility in Wallops Island,
Virginia. NASA confirmed there were no injuries in the explosion.

This is how it looked to people watching the launch on the ground and
in the air.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, wow. Holy cow! Holy crap! Oh my God!


O`DONNELL: The Antares rocket that exploded was supplied to NASA by
contractor Orbital Sciences and was intended to propel a cargo ship loaded
with over 5,000 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station.
This would have been the fourth space station delivery by Orbital Sciences.

The spacecraft was supposed to launch last night, but that flight was
scrubbed due to a boat in vicinity of the launch site.

Joining me now on the phone is Ian Zarate. He witnessed the explosion
tonight from an observation area, a few miles from the launch pad.

Also joining me is NBC News space analyst Jim Oberg. He`s a former
NASA mission control operator.

Jim Oberg, do we have any notion yet as to the cause of this

JIM OBERG, NBC NEWS SPACE ANALYST: Lawrence, we can see what
happened, but the investigators are saying it`s best not to speculate on
why. And the reason is you don`t want to feed your mind, some kind of
subconscious bias when you`re looking at all the data.

But we can see clearly something happens six seconds into flight. The
thrusting stops, the rocket settles back down, appears to explode as it
hits the ground. That`s all going to be checked out. But at this point,
it`s not just premature, but it`s actually unwise to start formulating
explanations for it because it can really bias the investigation.

O`DONNELL: Ian Zarate, you were watching from one of the viewing
positions that people are invited to watch this. What was that experience
like when the launch started and then within seconds, seeing that

very exciting, from the countdown when you can actually see all the flames
coming out. And then once all the smoke came out, there`s a big explosion.
By that time, everybody knew something happened, something was wrong.

O`DONNELL: And from the distance where you were, Ian, was there a
physical sensation to that explosion? Could you feel the earth shaking?

ZARATE: Oh, yes. It was probably about 15 seconds into it. And it
just rippled through your body. I mean, it was a big boom.

O`DONNELL: Jim Oberg, what kind of investigation starts now and who
is involved?

OBERG: Well, Lawrence, what we heard on the air to ground -- sorry,
we heard on the intercom that the first thing is to sit in place, don`t
speculate, lock down all your data, keep notes don`t talk to anyone, much
less the press. But you don`t want to lose your impressions, because
somewhere in people`s memories, there are probably clues that in the end,
there will be a way you unravel this. And that`s what they`re doing right
now, is writing down everything that they saw, everything they felt,
collecting all the data. And tomorrow, they`ll start fresh and see where
it leads.

O`DONNELL: And, Ian Zarate, you and other spectators who are gathered
there in that viewing position, where you allowed to leave right away? Or
did many of you stay? What was the reaction of the visitors there watching
this after the explosion?

ZARATE: Yes, it was probably a minute and a half after the actual
takeoff and everybody was sitting down trying to take pictures. All of a
sudden, a security guy comes up and starts evacuating everybody. Everybody
get up and leave as soon as they could.

O`DONNELL: And, Jim Oberg, what would be your guess as to the time
line on an investigation to get at what happened here?

OBERG: Well, that`s a good question because we`re looking at the rest
of the schedule. There are people on station right now that are down point
for the six-person crew. They`ll launch three more people at the end of
November. In a couple of hours, it`s actually a supply ship coming from
the Russian are being launched.

In December, a supply ship from another private corporation that NASA
has contracted.

What we`ve learned from this station like this, Lawrence, is that
having multiple access, and multiple nations, and a closure capabilities,
kind of robustness, this kind of project, this kind of hazardous endeavor

So, they`ll work on this particular system. And they have their own
launch of this next rocket in the series in April. That may be delayed.
They have time until then to figure out what`s wrong with their system.
Meantime, other systems can take up the slack.

O`DONNELL: Jim, just expand on that point you made, the dynamic of
having more than one entity involved in these kinds of launches actually
improves the quality of information. So, I think some people intuitively
might think, well, if there was one group like NASA in complete control,
without subcontracting any of it, if there wasn`t another country involved
in the space station, that if it was one kind of dictatorial control over
the program, it might be safer.

OBERG: That`s an excellent point, because you think a single
leadership could get everyone marching in unison. The problem that we run
into, we`ve seen, and I saw it when I worked in the shuttle program is a
single entity enforces its own culture. And sometimes it`s a culture of
carelessness and a culture that led to both shuttle disasters. Those
weren`t accidents. Those were consequences of bad management decisions.

And if you have only a single culture involved, it can`t self-judge

It`s sloppy to have the Russians involved, the Japanese, the
Europeans, and private groups. It`s sloppy, but it`s -- it handles
trouble, it handles unexpected contingencies a lot better. It may cost a
little more to have them all involved. It does cost more. But in the end,
I`ve become a convert to the idea that it actually works better to have a
multiple group of people, whereas one system is out like this one, is now
down for a few months.

Other systems are also available with different designs, different
philosophies, but they still give you the same basic supply. Now, crew
access coming up for you soon.

So, it is sloppy, but it seems to work. It seems to be the best way
of doing it.

O`DONNELL: Jim Oberg and Ian Zarate, thank you both very much on
joining me tonight on this breaking news story.

Coming up, Glenn Greenwald joins me to discuss terrorism in Canada.

And later, Ari Melber will join us after just returning from Texas
with a report on how the new voter ID law there will affect next week`s



JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: I have come here to Ottawa today as a
friend in a time of mourning, representing a nation that is grateful each
day that Canada is our neighbor. Clearly, anybody who walks up in a
premeditative way with a rifle and attacks somebody in uniform and then
purposefully goes to parliament is conducting -- committing, by common
sense standards, a terrorist act.


O`DONNELL: That was Secretary of State John Kerry today, after the
funeral for Canadian Army Corporal Nathan Cirillo who was shot and killed
last week, while on duty at Canada`s National War Memorial.

In the spotlight tonight: defining terrorism. Today, the head of the
Department of Homeland Security, saying, quote, "We are taking this action
as a precautionary step to safeguard U.S. government personnel and
facilities and the visitors to those facilities. The reasons for this
action are self-evident. The continued public calls by terrorist
organizations for attacks on the homeland and elsewhere."

Two days before, a lone gunman who recently converted to Islam killed
Corporal Cirillo and attacked the Canadian parliament, another Canadian
citizen who also converted to Islam hit two Canadian soldiers with his car,
killing one of them. That man was then shot and killed by police.

Reacting to that attack by automobile on Canadian soldiers, Glenn
Greenwald posted an article on "The Intercept" entitled, "Canada at war for
13 years, shocked that a terrorist attacked its soldiers."

Glenn Greenwald wrote, "In what conceivable sense can this incident be
called a terrorist attack. Terrorism t includes the deliberate or wholly
reckless targeting of civilians with violence for political ends. But in
this case, in Canada, it wasn`t civilians who were targeted. If one
believes the government`s accounts of the incident, the driver waited two
hours until he saw a soldier in uniform. In other words, he seems to have
deliberately avoided attacking civilians and targeted a soldier instead, a
member of a military that is currently fighting a war."

Joining me now from Rio de Janeiro is journalist and writer for "The
Intercept", Glenn Greenwald. Also joining me on set is terrorism expert
and senior analyst at Flashpoint Global Partners, Laith Alkhouri.

Glenn, as you know, there will be a little bit of a delay here on the
satellite between New York and Rio. I wanted you to make your case for not
using the word terrorist in the -- and let`s confine it for a moment to
that first incident involving the automobile, because I know the article
you wrote was written before the gunman went after the parliament. And I
want to discuss the parliament case separately and see whether that fits
what would be your definition of terrorism.

But first, that distinction about what you saw in the automobile

GLENN GREENWALD, THE INTERCEPT: Well, the first point to make,
Lawrence, is if you talk to actual terrorism scholar, as opposed to people
who work for companies that get lots of money from the federal government,
what they`ll tell you is that there really is no settled definition of the
word "terrorism", which is why things happened like Nelson Mandela being on
our list, the U.S. list of terrorism until 2007, or Saddam Hussein going on
and off whenever we`re friends with him or enemies with him.

It`s a malleable word that means whenever we want it to mean at any
given moment. But if it means anything, it`s supposed to mean the
targeting of civilians.

And as you just indicated in that Quebec case, at least by the
government`s own explanation, the driver clearly seemed to avoid violence
aimed at civilians. And, instead, targeted a soldier of a military that
not only is fighting multiple wars but just joined a new war in Iraq two
weeks ago.

And so, that`s certainly -- if that`s terrorism, then the word has no

O`DONNELL: And, Glenn, quickly, do you see a difference between that
one and the incident that also involved not just shooting a soldier but
then an attack on the parliament where, surely, there civilians and non-
combatants present.

GREENWALD: Sure, although, yes, yes, of course, for that exact
reason. Although, I think that the consensus is that the shooter was
suffering from serious mental illness.

Although he did leave a tape saying that he was doing it in protest of
Canadian foreign policy as well. But I think that, a lot of times, mental
illness --


-- plays the predominant role in a lot of these cases. And that, too,
would negate a finding of terrorism.

O`DONNELL: Laith Alkhouri, how important is it that we get this --


-- labeling correctly. Is this just a semantic argument.

LAITH ALKHOURI, TERRORISM EXPERT: I don`t think it`s only just a
semantic argument. Listen, those were indeed soldiers but they were non-
combatants at the same time.

These soldiers were not brandishing arms, targeting civilians at a
different country. These were crossing in a mall and they were ran over by
a car.

So, that puts the non-combatant term there. He obviously did it for a
political gain, which is included in the definition of terrorism.

O`DONNELL: But isn`t it -- on the political part, isn`t all war aimed
at a political outcome. Isn`t every participant in every war aiming for a
political outcome.

ALKHOURI: Indeed. But when it`s carried out or it`s influenced by a
clandestine group or a non-conventional militia that aims at gaining that
kind of political power from a conventional government, then it is an act
of terrorism.

O`DONNELL: Glenn, what`s your reaction to that.

GREENWALD: I mean note what he`s saying, "Oh, terrorism is something
that only non-government groups can do," which means we`ve conveniently
excluded ourselves and our allies like Israel from the definition.

We target with drones and missiles and bombs all the time. People who
aren`t deployed sleeping in their homes, riding in cars with their kids,
Israel bombs houses of Hamas police officers.

This kind of warfare is extremely common in terms of how we fight.
And we also have support group around the world that target people who
aren`t being deployed as well.

So, I think it`s very important to not exclude ourselves from this
definition because it is such a powerful word.

O`DONNELL: I want to read more of what you had -- what you wrote,
Glenn. And, again, I just want to stress, this was before the shooting at
the parliament.

This was in reaction to the automobile homicide that occurred there in
Canada. Glenn wrote --


-- "The most common functional definition of terrorism in western
discourse is quite clear. At this point, it means little more than
violence directed at westerners by Muslims when not used to mean violence
by Muslims. It usually just means violence the state dislikes."


Like do you think that`s a fair description of the way it`s used now?

ALKHOURI: In a way, you know. I think if we look at a predecessor to
jihadist terrorism today, something like the anarchist terrorism of the
late 18th and early 19th Century -- you know, Emil Henry, who bombed a
Paris cafe, --

O`DONNELL: Uh-hmm.

ALKHOURI: -- you know, he was an anarchist. He did not believe in
Islamic ideology and yet, he committed an act of terrorism for that kind of

So, you know, I think, in many different ways, we have to look at how
ideology has evolved. And that each ideology has its own grievances and
its own political gains.

And it`s not all the same. But, terrorism, generally speaking,
remains. Generally speaking, there`s a consensus of what terrorism
actually means.

O`DONNELL: Glenn, why is it important -- the use of this word,
"terrorist." What is it about the way John Kerry used it today or the way
it`s used commonly by politicians and by the news media.

What`s wrong with it. What is it about it that you just can`t let it

GREENWALD: It`s a really powerful word, Lawrence, that, by design,
shuts off rational faculties. You know, as you know, Lawrence, I`ve been
writing about things like torture and surveillance and putting people in
prison with no charges, and drones and warfare.

And every single time any of those policies are raised, the government
has a one-word answer for all of it, which is "terrorism." And I was in
Canada for the week and I saw how powerful the word is.

It really does -- it`s intended to be fear-mongering, to link things
to 9/11, which is a heinous crime. And it really -- more than anything
else that I find most disturbing about it is it prevents us from looking at
our own actions.

I mean, under President Obama alone, we`ve dropped bombs on seven
different, predominantly Muslim, countries. And so, when we call these
other people terrorists and make ourselves seem the victim, I think it very
much creates this misleading idea that we`re just the victims of violence
and not the perpetrators.

And, often, the violence we do is very similar and kind to what we
call "terrorism."

O`DONNELL: Laith, it also seems that when you use the word
"terrorist," the suggestion in America is whoever you apply that to has no
mission other than death -- that they don`t have any mission.

And, in fact, American politicians are saying this about the Islamic
State, which is actually very clear about having a mission other than
death. It wants to create a new country, which is a very common rebel

ALKHOURI: Well, I don`t think it`s only death. I think, if not
death, then intimidation. And intimidation that aims at changing the
policies of enemy countries.

I mean, this is really one of the main purposes of this sort of
terrorism, which is changing the course of American foreign policy --
influencing public opinion so it can change the acts of the government.

But, you know, I think when we cast judgment that is kind of
insensitive and say that the word "terrorism" has generally become
malleable and, generally speaking, kind of useless, I think what that does
is that next time the government claims there is a legitimate terrorist
attack, that we don`t believe it anymore.

I think we would go too far by saying the word "terrorism" doesn`t
serve a purpose.

All right. Well, we`ve opened the discussion here tonight. I wish we
had more time.

Glen Greenwald, thank you very much for joining us from Rio. Laith
Alkhouri, thank you very much for coming into the studio.

ALKHOURI: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: You can read Glenn`s piece at the "Intercept." Coming up,
Elizabeth Warren has changed her answer to the big question, "Will you run
for president."

And she had a few words for Chris Christie who, of course, is already
running for president. That`s in the "Rewrite."


In tonight`s episode of "Fantasy Football," Elizabeth Warren runs
against Chris Christie for president. That`s next in the "Rewrite."



DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Are you going to run for president.


MUIR: There`s nothing that could change your mind?

WARREN: David, like I said, I`m not running for president.


O`DONNELL: And, now, Elizabeth Warren has rewritten her answer to
that question. In an interview with "People" magazine last week, Senator
Warren`s answer to the big question was --


-- "I don`t think so. If there`s any lesson I`ve learned in the last
five years, it`s don`t be so sure about what lies ahead. There are amazing
doors that could open."

Changing "I`m not running" to "I don`t think so" and "There are
amazing doors that could open," did exactly what Senator Warren knew those
amazing doors would do -- create a bunch of headlines like this --


"Did Elizabeth Warren just change her tune on running for president?"

And "Warren cracks open door on White House run."

Now, even if Senator Warren knows tonight that she`s absolutely not
running for president, and she also knows that the constant conversation
about her running for president and the request by many Democrats that she
run for president has its own unique political value, former New York
Governor Mario Cuomo knew this when he waited until the absolute last
minute to announce he wasn`t running for president in 1988, and then did it
again in 1992.

FORMER GOV. MARIO CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: The places where you have to
go to be a candidate, I`m not going. And I`m not going to be a candidate.
And I`m not going to enter into the primaries.

It forces what is, by accident or whatever, say, "Mario, this is your
obligation. You must do it." Of course, I would do it. That`s why I`m a
politician. It`s to try to help people.

O`DONNELL: Not saying he wasn`t running for president made Mario
Cuomo a political star. And General Colin Powell knew that it could --
what it could do for his book sales to keep the possibility of running for
president alive during his national book tour in 1995.

haven`t decided. I never intended to be a politician.

When the book tour is over, I will have to sit and reflect and see if
I -- if the fire is there. I have a passion for -- potentially, I have a
passion for contributing to this country, in serving the country in some
way. I just don`t know if politics is the best way for me.


O`DONNELL: Colin Powell, a very good student of Mario Cuomo`s "not
running for president" game. Elizabeth Warren appeared on CBS this morning
where she showed what a Warren campaign for president might look like when
she went after Governor Chris Christie who is definitely and hopelessly
running for president.


NORAH O`DONNELL, CBS ANCHOR: First, on the issue of Ebola, Governor
Chris Christie said this morning, he doesn`t think his policy of
involuntary quarantine is draconian. He says that CDC has been behind on

WARREN: Well, he should bring out his scientists who are advising him
on that because we know that we want to be led by the science. That`s
what`s going to keep people safe -- science, not politics.


O`DONNELL: Today, Amber Vinson, the second of only two people in
history to be infected with Ebola while in the United States, was declared
Ebola-free at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, and joined her
caregivers and fellow medical professionals in making that announcement.


AMBER VINSON, NURSE CURED OF EBOLA: I want to sincerely thank the
professionals who have contributed to my care here at Emory Healthcare and
at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

As a nurse and, now, as someone who has experienced what it`s like to
be cared for through a life-threatening illness, I`m so appreciative and
grateful for your exceptional skill, warmth and care.

HOSPITAL: And I think the message we would like to get across is that,
again, this is a new virus for the American shores. This is a virus,
however, which is well-known, unfortunately, in Africa where they have
about 40 years of experience dealing with it.

We know the modes of transmission. This is not a virus which is very
easy to acquire through casual contact or through the air. It requires
exposure to blood and body fluids and close exposure.

And, again, as we look at measures in the United States to potentially
control additional exposures that might occur, we need to keep the science
in mind.

O`DONNEL: Now, if that press conference occurred in New Jersey today,
according to Chris Christie`s unlawful and unscientific rules, every person
on that stage would be quarantined by Chris Christie for the next 21 days,
except the one woman on that stage who actually had Ebola and was cured by
the treatment of the medical professionals standing with her today and
hugging her.

The Chris Christie principle is to quarantine every doctor and nurse
who treats an Ebola patient. Chris Christie is just --


-- doing what he thinks Republican presidential primary voters want
him to do and say. He couldn`t care less about the science.

He might understand the science, he might not. We`ll never know. The
way to keep New Jersey safe from Ebola is to stop Ebola at its source in
West Africa.

And one of the ways to do that is to encourage medical professionals
from New Jersey, and everywhere else in the United States, to go to West
Africa and fight that virus knowing that they will be welcomed back to this
country as heroes and thanked for helping the people of West Africa.

And thanked for defending the United States of America against this
deadly virus.

Now, imagine, if you will, that Chris Christie and Elizabeth Warren
were presidential candidates today. These would be their sound bites today


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Looks like you`re going to have to defend
this in court.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Well, whatever. Get in line.
I`ve been sued lots of times before. Get in line. I`m happy to take it

WARREN: We know that we want to be led by the science. That`s what`s
going to keep people safe -- science, not politics.


O`DONNELL: Ah, we will never have the fun of the Christie versus
Warren presidential campaign because Chris Christie will never come close
to getting the Republican nomination for president.

But the Democratic nomination for president is one of those amazing
doors that could open for Elizabeth Warren if she ever decides to knock on
that particular amazing door.


Next week, voters in seven states will be required to show photo
identification in order to cast their votes, including voters in Texas.

Earlier this month, the federal judge struck down the Texas law. Ten
days ago, the Supreme Court ruled that the law can stay in place through
next week`s election, pending the outcome of an appeal.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg disagreed, saying the law, quote, --


-- "may prevent more than 600,000 registered Texas voters, about 4.5
percent of all registered voters, from voting in person for lack of
compliant identification. A sharply disproportionate percentage of those
voters are African-American or Hispanic." Joining me now --


-- is Ari Melber, co-host of MSNBC`s "THE CYCLE." Ari, you were down
in Texas, seeing how this law is going to work.

We actually want to go to your video package, as they say in the
business, of your report. From there, I`m going to -- we`ll come back and
talk about it. Let`s look at that.



If you came to praise God, my Bible says, "Make a joyful noise unto the


ARI MELBUR, MSNBC HOST (off-camera): It`s Sunday morning at
Friendship-West Baptist Church in Southwestern Dallas. Pastor Frederick
Douglas Haynes is getting his 12,000-member congregation ready to worship.


CONGREGATION MEMBERS: We declare, we declare. You can`t compare, you
can`t compare.

MELBUR: And ready to vote.

HAYNES: When I say "Freedom Sunday," I need you to clap like you are
appreciative of the fact that you have the right to vote.

MELBUR: Several churches across Texas are headed from the pews to the
polls, and invoking the 1964 Freedom Summer Campaign for a new Freedom
Sunday to counter Texas` strict new voter ID law.

People in this community, from what you`ve been doing, and people
you`ve been talking to, they feel that these voter ID laws are targeting

HAYNES: Oh, without question. There`s no question. Because
disproportionately, black, brown and poor people find themselves without
the I.D. that the state now requires.

Even college student -- there`s something wrong, OK -- "My gun license
is OK but not my college identification."

MELBUR: Just weeks before the election, a lower court threw out
Texas` Voter I.D. Rule but the Supreme Court reinstated it while the case
is on appeal.

Dissenting to that ruling, Justice Ginsberg said the law was likely an
unconstitutional poll tax.

And it may prevent up to 600,000 registered Texans from voting.
Bishop T.D. Jakes who leas a congregation of 30,000 in Dallas agrees.

that there were very few people who had violated the rights to vote through
inappropriate, fraudulent behavior. And so, it`s a needless law.

MELBER: Mimi Marziani wants a Democratic Voter Protection in the
state. And she says her organizers field calls all day and are ready for
the new law.

We have assembled and built this Voter Protection Program. It is the
largest, most coordinated in Texas` history, to make sure that every
eligible voter is going to be able to cast a ballot that counts.

MELBER: Others say Texas has made voting too hard.

OLESTER MCGRITT, VOTER: And I`ve gone twice to get the voter I.D.
card. She comes back, "We`re out. You`re going to have to wait until next

MELBER: There`s no way to determine how many others face similar
problems and Texas isn`t counting. Congressman Joaquin Castro wants the
feds to audit the impact.

REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D), TEXAS: How many people were turned away from
the polls or discouraged from voting because of the new requirements.

MELBER: Yet, others, including Vincent Hall, a 56-year-old who voted
Sunday in Dallas say G.O.P. efforts at voter suppression could have the
opposite effect.

VINCENT HALL, VOTER: It`s just something about being told you can`t
that makes you want to get out and do it, you know. It`s just that rebel
in you.



O`DONNELL: OK, Ari, the most shocking thing for me in that is the guy
who says to you, he went to go get the card. And when he went, they had
ran out of them.

And that`s that. They just turned him away.

MELBER: Yes. He went to DPS. He had all the right materials, proper
documentation, his birth certificate.

He told me he`s been voting, in fact, his whole life. And they just
said, "Well, we ran out. You`ve got to come back."

And we`ve seen those kind of hurdles repeatedly -- folks who have the
right material and are being barred from voting or getting half an answer
that doesn`t allow them to go to the polls.

O`DONNELL: And what`s your guess about how this affects the election
next week.

MELBER: I think it`s very hard to say. You see that voter turnout
there is very high. And nearly about 19 percent of folks from the last
midterm universe have already turned out early.

And as I saw Sunday, a lot of folks in the church community and the
black community are saying this makes them want to go out and vote.

But it is also possible that, in a lot of places, folks would just
feel like, "You know, I`ve heard a lot. --


-- I`m confused. I don`t necessarily trust it. I`m not going to go
out," or they try and are turned back.

This is the most stringent and unfair Voter I.D. Law in the country
that`s why Eric Holder targeted with the Voting Rights lawsuit, which -- as
we showed there, which they won.

But the Supreme Court said, "Well, until we figure this whole thing
out, we`re just going to apply it," which is very controversial. But this
is the place where the case could go back all the way to the Supreme Court
on the merits.

And you get a test on whether you could have this kind of unfair set
of rules.

O`DONNELL: Is there any provision on this law for, if I don`t have
the right I.D., for casting a provisional ballot and having some time to
get that certified.

MELBER: There is a provisional ballot rule but it requires you to
come back with the I.D. if you`ve already gotten it. So, you have to have
it in time to have it counted.

So, again, the idea that you have to make two, three trips or, as the
lower court found, --


-- "Folks in rural areas who don`t drive have, sometimes, a two to
three-hour trip to get this I.D. Voting is not supposed to be hard in

O`DONNELL: Ari Melber, our man in Texas. Where are the cowboy boots.


MELBER: I didn`t bring any back.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Ari.

MELBER: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is, as you know, up next.


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