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'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Read the transcript to the Saturday show

Date: January 3, 2015
Guest: Blake Zeff, Nan Hayworth, Sahil Kapur, Ray Flynn, Simone Campbell,
Terry Golway, Nancy Giles, Dave Itzkoff


STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: Will he survive the scandal?

All right. Good morning, thanks for getting UP with this on this. The
first Saturday of the year 2015. People waking up this morning to some
tragic news but also in a way an incredible story out of Kentucky. A 7-
year-old girl not only surviving a plane crash last night she actually
walked away from it. She showed up on the doorstep of a resident in the
local woods nearby asking for help. The local police sergeant reporting,
quote, "This girl came out of the wreckage herself and found the closest
residence and reported the plane crash." Kentucky resident who opened his
door to the 7-year-old survivor spoke this morning to MSNBC`s Frances


LARRY WILKINS, KENTUCKY RESIDENT: She`d walked about three-quarters of a
mile through a terrible terrain, in woods that in 2008 we had an ice storm
here and knocked down a lot of trees and this wood had never been cleaned
up. I wouldn`t want to walk through that woods after dark.


KORNACKI: Now, unfortunately the four other people who were on board that
plane were killed. That were the girl`s parents, her sister and also a
cousin. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board in
Federal Aviation Administration are expected at the crash site this

To bring you more on this plane crash as we learn all the details this
morning. On the condition of that little girl as well as we learn more.

There is also a big development this morning in the search for the wreckage
of that AirAsia crash in the Java Sea. We`ll have a live update from
Indonesia, that`s for you in just a little bit.

But for now we want to start this morning with the continuing fallout from
the week`s biggest story in politics that speech that the third ranking
republican in the House gave to a group of white supremacist. The
controversy of Steve Scalise`s 2002 speech is just came to light this week,
this hanging over the capitol as law makers prepare to return there this
week for the new session. Republicans are now in full control of both
chambers on Capitol Hill. Many democrats and even some republicans are
calling on Scalise to give up his leadership post or to be forced out but
House Speaker John Boehner among other republicans is standing by Scalise
who insists that he had no idea about the European American unity rights
organization`s racial views or its connections to David Duke when he spoke
before it and he simply delivered his standard stump speech about state
budget issues when he gave that speech.

Boehner says, it was, quote, "An error in judgment on Scalise`s part and
ads that Scalise`s quote, "A man of high integrity and good character."
Gene Robinson of "The Washington Post" calls the response, a familiar page
out of the GOP quoting Eugene Robinson here, "whatever Scalise`s might have
in the deepest recesses of his heart, Scalise was simply following the
well-thumbed republican playbook by signaling to avowed racist that he
welcomed their support."

Joining me to talk about all of this, we have Blake Zeff, he`s the
columnist and politics editor at Salon. Former New York Congresswoman
republican Nan Hayworth and Sahil Kapur is the senior Congressional
reporter at Talking Points Memo.

So, you would think this is the slowest week in politics every week the
week between Christmas and New Year`s but here we have a genuine
controversy, you might call it a scandal, it comes justice, Congress is
getting ready to come back. And I just want to talk about the
circumstances of this Scalise speech in 2002. The story he`s telling and
I`m just curious what you guys make of it because his version of event is
basically, look, I was a state legislator back in 2002. I didn`t
necessarily have, you know, this sort of army of staffers around me to
check invitations and things. I was going to any group that would invite
me to talk about the state budget. I had this presentation to give to
every group. I got this invitation to these, you know, days in or whatever
I was down in Suburban, Louisiana. I went, I had no idea what the nature
of the group was. Now, I find out, my God, this is terrible. Do we buys
this? Do you buy that explanation, Nan?

FMR. REP. NAN HAYWORTH (R), NEW YORK: Well, you know, I know Steve Scalise
personally. He is a friend. I admire Steve. I think he`s been a great
public servant in the House of Representatives. I never heard and, you
know, I`ve been behind the scenes with Steve Scalise. I was there for two
years. Never heard a hint of any indication that he would harbor a
philosophy that would be close to those that we all do. We reject any
racist argument, racist rhetoric. And certainly if he -- I feel that if
Steve had been truly aware of what this group apparently was about and if
he actually spoke with them, there was some question I know whether or not,
in fact, that was the group with which he spoke. There was some question
about whether or not there was a different meeting at the same venue.

KORNACKI: Yes. I mean, the reporting from "The Times" said there was --
there was a main conference of this group that was being held in Europe at
the time and David Duke was at this main conference and this was sort of a
satellite thing and it was a workshop --


KORNACKI: -- for organizers but it still was very connected at least
according to the reporting at the time.

HAYWORTH: Yes. You know, I think more details obviously remain to be
revealed. But certainly I have no reason not to believe Steve when he
says, look, I didn`t know who this group was or what they were about. I
talked about issues that I talk about with anybody. I didn`t endorse or
explicitly endorse any philosophy. I`ve seen no indication throughout his
term in Congress that he`s been anything other than a fine servant to
everybody he serves.

BLAKE ZEFF, SALON POLITICS EDITOR: My theory is a bit different. I think
that it`s hard to imagine that someone in Louisiana politics at that time
didn`t know who David Duke was. I think most people following national
politics outside of Louisiana knew who David Duke was and what he was
about. But I do agree with the Congresswoman was that, I think it`s highly
unlikely that Steve Scalise gave a speech to, you know, this group because
he shares every view that they have. That`s not the argument that I think
most people are making so I think he knew what he was doing. Probably was
fully unaware of the political circumstances and ramifications that come
from doing that. Keep in mind he`s from a very, very conservative part of
Louisiana. Let`s be honest, you know, the Republican Party has made -- has
relied on white voters very much, very conservative white voters as part of
their appeals. If you reach out to these voters by direct mail instead of
going to speak at their event, is that`s much different from this? I
suppose it is. But there are gradations to all of this. Right?

KORNACKI: Well, right. And that`s part of this story, too, it`s
fascinating to look back at that period in Louisiana politics and David
Duke`s role in it. Like you said, he beat a sitting governor in a primary,
in 1991 to run for governor. He`d run for Congress just three years before
this speech in 2002. He missed the runoff in that by 3,700 votes and the
republican governor in Louisiana in the 1990s Mike Foster actually paid for
-- I think he paid like $150,000 or something to have the David Duke
mailing list. So David Duke had a constituency of voters in Louisiana who
if you were an ambitious politician particularly a republican politician
whatever you thought of David Duke these voters were important to you.

SAHIL KAPUR, TALKING POINTS MEMO: I think that`s exactly the context that
you have to look at this in. Twelve years ago, the startling part of that
12 years ago, David Duke was a major player in Louisiana politics. Think
about how much things have changed. And I`m skeptical that Steve Scalise
didn`t really know what the impact of it was. I agree with Blake that, you
know, he didn`t share the views of that organization. But he`s from -- now
represents the most conservative district in Louisiana, we`re talking
really, really Deep South. I`m sure he knew the impact of what he was
doing and it suggests a change in context of, you know, of how Louisiana
has changed and national politics have changed and at this point this is
utterly unacceptable to do right now. The dilemma I would just add for the
republican leadership is whether they force him, whether they let him stay.
There`s no win for them unless the story goes away. As long as you keep
talking about this, it`s a bad situation. So, I think their calculus is
that they force them out, the story is going to continue, it`s going to be
a prolonged embarrassment.

KORNACKI: So, this is easier thing politically. It`s just, make your
statement now, get it over with and hope --


KAPUR: Right. And they need him. Remember, he was brought into
leadership for two reasons. One is, there was a lot of demand in the House
republican conference for a solid red state member in leadership. All the
other are from blue states that President Obama won twice. The second
reason is that Speaker Boehner wanted a liaison to the ultraconservative
wing of the party. And Steve Scalise, you know, he understands them, he`s
voted with them many times. And he`s been successful on this front in
counting votes, getting messaging bills like the border bill and August
through and the CRomnibus in December despite long odds.

KORNACKI: The other thing I just want to get up here. This was David
Duke, I mean, my God, it`s been 15 years since he`s even in the news
probably for good reason. But he actually spoke to "Fusion" this week as
he got involved in all of this. And his quote was if Scalise is going to
be crucified, republicans want to throw Steve Scalise to the woods then a
lot of them better be looking over their shoulders and he added that he
wasn`t afraid to release a list of names of politicians he has connected
to. So, here`s David Duke basically saying, hey, there`s more Steve
Scalises out there.

ZEFF: Wouldn`t it be funny if David Vitter was on that list too in terms
of trying to survive all these other things? But the one thing I wanted to
say about all this is that I do think that there`s a bit of, a lot of this
is about optics and theater. Because let`s be honest about it, the
Republican Party particularly in Louisiana and the very conservative
district that Scalise serves in, this is part of who you reach out to.
There are people who are on -- these white people on the fringe, they do
vote. These are people who are being appealed to. And so, again, I make
this point he spoke to this group and we all, you know, there`s a big
backlash as there should be but there are all these other appeals being
made to these voters. And so, you have to sort of wonder where`s the line,
you know, where it becomes unacceptable to do some of these things and
where is the line --

KORNACKI: Well, I mean, if somebody, I mean, where is it morally if
somebody is on a David Duke mailing list, you know, somebody on a David
Duke or supporter list. I mean, if somebody is willing to put their name
behind somebody who is the grand wizard of the knights of the Ku Klux Klan,
the U.S. politician, politically sure, there`s a big mailing list, I want
the votes. But on the other hand I don`t want those votes. At some point
there`s a line there, right?

KAPUR: I think that`s a big lesson from all of this, how much things have
changed. In 2002 in 2014, in 2002, he obviously thought I think, you know,
assuming that he understood what he was doing I think he thought it would
be a net benefit to him, now it`s clearly not. Now, it`s working.

KORNACKI: Now, I`m sure he used to feel that way.

HAYWORTH: It`s both sides of the aisle and, you know, number one, we also
don`t know what did Steve Scalise say to this group, you know, did he --


HAYWORTH: You know, did he address anything other than --

KORNACKI: Right. He says it`s just the budget.

HAYWORTH: Right. You know, and also he contends that he really didn`t
know exactly what they were about, that if he`s not being truthful about
that and, you know, Steve has always been an honest guy in my experience,
he`s not being truthful about that, that`s going to be bad. But look at
what happened with President Obama with Jeremiah Wright, I mean, there was
legitimate controversy there about whether or not he was implicitly
endorsing very divisive form of rhetoric from the Reverend Wright because
he attended that congregation for many years, you know, not just one
session with them but repeatedly over and over. And, you know, these are
things that we do need to address as a nation, you know, there is a
difference between propounding a line of rhetoric that is divisive, that is
hateful, that all of us should reject and to -- listening to the national
debate including, you know, all its aspects because, of course, we do have
a first amendment and everybody is allowed to have a voice. So it`s
healthy that we`re having this discussion. It`s a very good discussion to

KORNACKI: Yes. It`s also one of the interesting things it happens in 2002
and it ends up taking things to the wonders of the internet, somebody finds
an archive from 2002, and it becomes a story in 2014.

HAYWORTH: Yes, we can`t hide these things.

KORNACKI: All right. Turning now to other stories. We have the latest
from Jeb Bush, we`re going to be hearing a lot of that in 2015. I think
he`s declined now, this is interesting, an invitation from Congressman
Steve King to speak at this month`s Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines.
That`s an event sponsored by the right wing immigration -- Congressman
Steve King, the republican gathering is still scheduled to include everyone
from Chris Christie to Donald Trump as you may have heard. Jeb Bush has
also resigned all of his corporate and nonprofit board memberships, that`s
something he`d probably need to do if he wanted to run for president. So,
this Steve King thing is interesting. Because, Steve King is about this
far right and pretty divisive as it comes when it comes in the issue of

Everything we talked about it in 2012 about the Republican Parties supposed
problems on immigration, problems reaching out to -- voters Steve King,
whatever think of them embodies those problems I think electorally. And
Jeb Bush make a comment a few weeks ago, he said, if you want to run for
President you have to be willing to lose the primary to win the general
election. And so, what exactly does that mean? I think this is an example
of that. This is the kind of thing you turn down at your own peril in the
primary to make a bigger statement.


ZEFF: Sure. I think the other thing though, to think about here with Jeb
Bush is that if you look at what his sort of route of victory potentially
is. He`s the pick of the establishment, big business, big donors, right?
These are the people that are going to power him through and help him last
for a long time during this marathon as you go through all the various
states. Well, those people are actually a pretty pro-immigration reform
constituency. So for him to then go back and buck one of his big
constituencies here by spouting some far right immigration stuff that he
doesn`t believe in could be politically detrimental to him as well. So, I
agree with you that there`s some sort of moral principle at stake here that
he`s exercising. There`s also is a political calculation --

KORNACKI: Yes. I mean, I`m saying more, it`s a political calculation than
to make a bigger statement --

KAPUR: He`s making a rational, a logical decision about who he wants to
win over, he realized that he can`t -- Jeb Bush realizes that he can`t win
every constituency. He`s not really playing for the Tea Party. His
numbers with the Tea Party right now are worse than Mitt Romney`s I think
comparable. So, you know, he realizes that he`s going to have to be pro-
immigration to win a general election and he`s not going to be able to
compete with Ted Cruz, with Rand Paul, with Rick Perry or, you know, in

HAYWORTH: But look at the story we were just talking about with Steve
Scalise. Governor Bush it seems is looking into the future and saying, you
know what? If we are to be judged by those with whom we associate in any
form, I am not going to be part of this gathering because there is nothing
that I will gain from this. I implicitly and inherently disagree with the
host. And whatever the exchange may be I`m not going to be associated with

KORNACKI: It`s interesting because, I mean, that was one of the things
that people took from the Romney experience in 2012, the republicans said
was that in the primary, he was so nervous about being outflanked on his
right. There wasn`t anything he wouldn`t do to try to convince the right
wing, you know, it`s okay, be with me. This is not the kind of step that
Mitt Romney would have taken in 2012. And it`s interesting that Jeb Bush
may be politically learning that lesson. Anyway, we`ll be back with the
panel after this.

There`s another funeral for one of the slain NYPD officers today and of
course, all the politics that have come in to that as well. The question
of, will the officers turn their backs on or boo, the mayor who will be
there as well. We`ll have a preview of that. We`ll talk that over when we
come back.


KORNACKI: Later today New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will pay his
respects to the second NYPD officer who were shot and killed last month in
Brooklyn. He and New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton will
attend a viewing for Detective Wenjian Liu. Both men will also be at
Detective Liu`s funeral tomorrow and Bratton has asked NYPD officers who
will also be there not to turn their backs when the mayor appears. This
was the scene one week ago when hundreds of officers turned their backs on
the mayor as he appeared that the funeral for the other NYPD officer who
was killed in that Brooklyn shooting, Rafael Ramos. The gesture
illustrated the growing tension between de Blasio and the NYPD, many
officers angry at the mayor`s response to protest over the Eric Garner

Meanwhile, those protesters may be having another effect on the Police
Department. According to "The New York Post" arrests have fallen by 66
percent in the week after lie and Ramos` deaths. This compared to the same
week last year. That sharp decline was mostly for minor offenses. The
apparent work action that`s what those statistics suggest is bringing some
blowback to the NYPD including from "The New York Post" which is normally a
fierce advocate for the police. "The Post" writing in an editorial that,
quote, "To ignore crime even low-level offenses only encourages disorders
and invites a return to the bad old days. People of New York have a right
to expect their city police and their laws enforced." So a lot going on

Start with this basic question of the relationship between de Blasio and
the police. The night of these shootings now, you know, two weeks ago
obviously you had the union chief of the police saying blood on the hands
of the mayor, you had the police turning their backs on the mayor when he
went to the hospital. You had the scenes at the funeral last week. What`s
our sense heading into this weekend? Are things calming down a little bit
now? Now you have the police commissioner saying don`t do this, do we
think it`s going to calm down and be a little bit different or same story?

ZEFF: Well, I mean, I think it`s important to step back and look at the
history of this because before these terrible shootings happened there was
still tremendous tension between the Police Department and de Blasio. He
ran on reforming the stop and frisk policy which is actually a lot of the
rank-and-file officers were fine with. But it was kind of explicitly a, we
need to reform the NYPD campaign, he ran against Ray Kelly, you know,
metaphorically. So, it`s a lot of that kind of tension, if you remember,
when New York was trying to get the DNC, the Democratic National convention
bid, a lot of the police, one of the police unions took out an ad, a full
page ad saying, the bad old days are coming back, don`t come and do your
DNC here in New York and that was part of an effort to negotiate a better
contract with De Blasio. There`s a lot of stuff going on here beyond just
the tragic shootings and so I think to say that, you know, this is going to
calm down really quickly or anytime soon kind of belies the fact that
there`s a lot going on here.

Now, in terms of the next kind of steps, what`s coming up, I do think that
the NYPD risks overplaying their hand a little bit. To the extent you have
"The New York Post" and the "Daily News" tabloids who for year have been
very, very pro-cop in almost, any dispute dating back to the Giuliani days,
Bloomberg, all that kind of stuff, that suggests to me that this work
slowdown which ironically is basically exactly what the protesters wanted.
The slowdown where you have these low-level offenses not being, you know,
not having arrests for that is actually just what the protesters want. So
there`s a lot of weird politics going on but to get to the point of your
question de Blasio has met with the unions in recent days. I think that`s
the start to trying to, you know, get this conversation going but this is
not going to be an easy thing that just magically gets solved.

KORNACKI: What do you think of the mayor in all this, Nan? I mean,
obviously, the relationship as Blake says, between the mayor and the police
there`s a lot of history to this before all of this is playing out now but
in terms of how he`s handling it right now and what he should be doing
right now, what`s your read on it?

HAYWORTH: Well, I think the mayor`s initial response did set up,
unfortunately, an opportunity for this kind of adversarial dialogue. His
job really is to understand that the public has to be served by its police
force and the Police Department in turn has to be respected for the risk
that they do undertake every day to enforce laws that they may indeed find
to be laws with which they would not necessarily agree. I mean, Eric
Garner, God rest the man`s soul, was selling loose cigarettes. You know,
that`s not something probably that the NYPD would like to focus its efforts
on. But it`s the mayor`s job to be that moral leader in the dialogue. And
his comments immediately following the -- the grand jury`s failure to bring
an indictment and the -- and, of course, you know, the terrible death of
Mr. Garner to begin with, implied that he was perhaps seeing an adversarial
relationship where there is not one.

KORNACKI: Well, I think what Blake says about the history feeds the news
so much. There`s so many built-in sensitivities on both sides of this.
Everybody I think certainly on the police side is listening to the mayor
very carefully when he says these things and maybe they see thinks that he
doesn`t intend and he says things that they don`t intend and that sort of,
when there`s that history, anything can cost something in a spillover like
this. We`ll see how it plays out this weekend, obviously hopefully there`s
some progress from where things were last weekend. We`ll see Blake Zeff,
Nan Hayworth and Sahil Kapur, thanks for joining us. And the panel we`ll
all see, although later on this show as well.

Lots more ahead this hour including the next move from the very outspoken
and maybe even controversial Pope Francis. We`ll have all the details on

Later 2014 was a very good year for Stephen Colbert with an even promising
very different 12 months ahead. We`ll head over to the big board to see if
we can find out what 2015 holds for him and other potential newsmakers for
the year 2015.


KORNACKI: When President Obama announced a major shift in America`s
relationship with Cuba just before Christmas, among the first people he
thanked was a religious leader.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: In particular, I want to thank his
holiness Pope Francis whose moral example shows us the importance of
pursuing the world as it should be rather than simply settling for the
world as it is.


KORNACKI: This is only the latest example of the out-size influence Pope
Francis is been playing in global politics. It`s something he`s apparently
going to be stepping up in this New Year. "The Guardian" newspaper
reporting that climate change will be one of the Pope`s major points of
emphasis in 2015 with a rare letter directly to the world`s bishops and
priests on the importance of the issue as well as meetings with faith
leaders and politicians from around the world when the U.N. general
assembly meets this coming September. Pope Francis is transforming how
millions of Americans particularly liberal Americans look at the church in
his New Year`s mass, he began the year with a powerful condemnation of
slavery and human trafficking. In April he tweeted about income disparity,
quote, "inequality is the root of social evil." In October Francis seemed
to nudge the church toward more acceptance of gay people and their children
not to mention unmarried couples and people who have divorced.

The Pope`s politics might also be changing how conservatives look at the
church. The headline in a story this week, "The Hill" newspaper declared,
quote, "Pope Francis drives a wedge between the Catholic Church and the
GOP." Pope Francis says he wants to visit the United States this year.
How will he be received if he does that by the left and by the right?

Joining me from Boston this morning is Ray Flynn. He`s the former mayor of
Boston, also the former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. And in Washington
Sister Simone Campbell, she`s the executive director at NETWORK, that`s a
national Catholic social justice lobby. Mayor Flynn, Mr. Ambassador, let
me start with you. You know, it`s been more than a year now. I mean,
obviously the end of 2014 comes with the Pope playing this major role on
the issue of Cuba, and the issue is sort of been opening between the United
States and Cuba. I guess my big-picture question about the pope, has this
been surprising to you? Has this been surprising that this pope, who
obviously very few people knew much about, say two years ago, he has been
this active and this influential in global politics?

RAY FLYNN, FORMER MAYOR, BOSTON: Well, he brings a unique perspective to
the papacy of -- he`s a very humble man and he`s not afraid to speak out
and he has a skill in communicating with people and his availability.
Those are all good trademarks that make a good communicator. But in your
summary of Pope Francis` year, Steve, I think it`s very important to point
out that Pope Francis is neither conservative nor liberal. And I know that
politicians and the media try to make something of that to define him. But
his policies are traditional Catholic social teaching. His position on
inequality, income inequality, is consistent with the Catholic Church. His
position in fighting for social and economic justice is consistent with the
Catholic Church. So, really, nothing has changed except that he has a
unique and a great ability to communicate and he`s not afraid to speak out.
But contrary to a lot of opinion there`s not going to be significant
changes in traditional Catholic teaching. It`s a -- it`s a way he goes
about it that makes people feel comfortable and people feel that they`re
engaged, they`re involved, that they`re welcome back into the Catholic

KORNACKI: That`s an interesting point. And, Sister Simone, I wonder what
you make of that. Because obviously to judge by the political reaction
that the pope has sort of engendered in the United States there are
certainly many liberals who have spoken up and said, wow, you know, maybe
I`m a lapsed Catholic or I had a negative opinion of the church and that`s
changed and I`ve also seen, you know, plenty of conservatives who have
spoken up and said, wow, this pope maybe isn`t what I`m expecting. Do you
agree with what Ambassador Flynn is saying, though?

SISTER SIMONE CAMPBELL, NETWORK: Oh, he`s absolutely correct. It has been
this what Cardinal Bernadine of Chicago about two decades ago called the
seamless garment. But I think what`s really important here is that Pope
Francis, one, comes from the western hemisphere so he knew the Cuban
reality. He had connections with the hierarchy in Cuba, so he had a
different entree into that situation. And the second thing is he`s
extremely clear that government has a positive role to play in protecting
the least and the most vulnerable and he`s really challenging governments
to stand up and to do the hard work that they`re called to do. That is
using Catholic social teaching which we usually keep on a shelf. It`s
putting it front and center and saying, we need to do hard work of taking
care of those who are left out. That`s the change and emphasis I think.

KORNACKI: I`m curious, too, about, you know, the Pope sort of called this
conference late in the year, late last year, ambassador, on the family in
Rome. And made some news in terms of it seemed he was trying to nudge the
church on issues of acceptance of homosexuality, sort of the status of
divorced Catholics. It seemed that he was sort of nudging the church
towards more acceptance there. Is that something you expect to see more of
in 2015?

FLYNN: Steve, I think sister`s absolutely right in terms of his consistent
commitment for social and economic justice and for poverty and income
inequality. The other thing is, Steve, I think we should take note of the
fact that the world -- the world -- is in turmoil in many cases. Not just
politically but culturally as well, so these are all just look at the
Middle East. The persecution of Christians there. The killing and
onslaught of Christians in the Middle East. The relationship among
nations. Even racially right here in the United States. The Pope is going
to come to the United States in a few months and he`s going to be dealing
with -- he`s going to be addressing these kind of issues, I`m certain. So,
the world is in turmoil, in chaos. And so these issues are on his table.
I don`t think the world has been experiencing this kind of turmoil since
the Second World War.

I would even include the Vietnam War. But that`s why he`s making such
profound statements that get a lot of media attention. Particularly when
you don`t have -- when you see -- neither party, neither political party in
the United States, has a solid position on a lot of these issues. They`re
indecisive. But Pope Francis speaks with a moral tone. Not a political
tone necessarily. Sometimes that gets confused. But it`s a moral tone
that makes him unique in the world. And, look, he has a great relationship
with religious leaders, Jewish leaders and people across the world. That
is very, very welcome. And it`s absolutely necessary. I think that holds
the key. Uniting the religious leaders of the world to bring about peace
in the world.

KORNACKI: On that issue, though, sister, of social change in the church,
status of divorced, Catholics, status of gay Catholics. The Pope made some
news as I was saying in a second ago, late in the year, do you expect
changed on that in 2015?

CAMPBELL: Well, I think the changes already happening. What the Pope is
really focusing on is dialogue and welcoming. That all are welcomed at the
table and I think that shift is really important. There will be less
legislative changes but in the second session of the Synod in the fall I
would really expect some furthering of the welcoming. He says that
dialogue is key and that if you don`t have everyone at the table, then you
can never create peace. And I think that`s exactly what he`s trying to do
here, get everyone to the table. All of those, all of us, have some flaws,
some sin, and so we`re welcomed together to create a community. That`s
what he`s about.

KORNACKI: All right, my thanks to former Boston mayor and former
ambassador to the Vatican Ray Flynn and Sister Simone Campbell, I
appreciate you both getting up this morning.

And still head, what could be the big break for the search for the wreckage
of that AirAsia plane crash, the latest from Indonesia. That is next.

And later, we`re going to try to find out if a really good burger can feed
more than just your appetite. Can it also feed your bank accounts? So,
stay with us.


KORNACKI: Well, a major development just moments ago when the search for
the missing AirAsia jetliner. NBC`s Kelly Cobiella is in Surabaya,
Indonesia this morning and has the latest.

KELLY COBIELLA, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Steve, search and rescue officials
announced today they found four large objections on the seafloor. They`re
about 90 feet down. They`ve been battling high waves to operate a couple
of remote cameras under water trying to get a better look at these objects.
One of them is 30 feet long and 15 feet wide. Now, the head of search and
rescue for Indonesia said he`s confident all four of these pieces of
wreckage are, in fact, from the AirAsia plane although it`s not clear which
part of the plane they`re looking at just yet. Searchers did recover --
bring more bodies to shore, however, did not recover any bodies today. The
total stands at 30 with four people identified. The CEO and founder of
AirAsia Tony Fernandes attended the funeral for one of those people a
flight attendant who worked for his company for just under two years. At
the same time his airline is coming under scrutiny, again, all flights from
Surabaya to Singapore have been grounded, all AirAsia flights, that is,
because of some sort of permitting issue. The Indonesian government says
they`re looking in to all of the scheduled flights for AirAsia out of
Surabaya to Singapore at this point. AirAsia said they`re aware of these
groundings and they are cooperating with the investigation. Steve, back to

KORNACKI: All right, NBC`s Kelly Cobiella in Surabaya, Indonesia, thanks
for that report.

Another full hour and a half of news and politics still ahead this morning
including names you may not be thinking of as potential newsmakers in 2015.
Names you may hear a lot about this year.

Plus, the man who could have been Barack Obama before Barack Obama was
Barack Obama. Stay with us.


KORNACKI: All right. New Year, same big board. We thought we`d put it to
use to start off 2015 by looking at some of the people, some of the
newsmakers, who we expect are going to be making a lot of news in 2015.
Some obvious names here, maybe some not so obvious names here. We thought
we would give you a preview of 2015 big board style. So, let`s get right
to it here. Who do we have? George and Amal Clooney. This new sort of
Hollywood power cup who got married this year. Why do we think they`re
going to be making a lot of news this year? Not just for supermarket
tabloid stuff, but because George, you know, Amal Clooney, human rights
activist represents Julian Assange, a lot of sort of political activism
there. George Clooney of course very outspoken with the Sony issue at the
end of last year. So, you put these two together. This isn`t just tabloid
news, they`re going to be making I think a lot of real news in 2015. So,
that`s a couple of names to keep an eye and how about this? Larry Wilmore,
Stephen Colbert, you know their faces obviously. Wilmore going to be
taking over for Colbert.

Big story in 2015 is the big late night shuffle that`s playing out. We`ll
going to talk about it a little bit more in the show but who will Stephen
Colbert be now that he`s not going to be the Stephen Colbert character
anymore and Larry Wilmore sliding into that Colbert slot, what kind of
political show is he going to be doing in that 11:30 slot. That`s
something obviously big to be looking for this year. How about Joni Ernst,
do you remember her very well from the election, the candidate who won in
Iowa, the Senate race out there, well, she`s going to be a big player in
2015 because every republican who wants to be president of the United
States is going to be out in Iowa. A lot in 2015 and she`s probably going
to be the most coveted endorsement any republican presidential candidate
could have. So Joni Ernst will be a very powerful figure in 2015. A very
prominent figure in 2015 in her home state and in Washington. How about
this guy?

Anyone know who this is? This is Mr. Paul Fishman. Paul fish man is the
United States attorney for New Jersey. United States attorney for New
Jersey could be very big in the news in 2015 because of Bridgegate. There
was a report from the WNBC reporter Brian Thompson, we had him on this show
just a few weeks ago, his report was the indictments could be coming, maybe
six indictments, maybe more than six indictments. Indictments in that lane
closure scheme on the George Washington Bridge in late 2013. Those
indictments he said could be coming in January of 2015. Well, ladies and
gentlemen, it`s January of 2015. So let`s keep a close eye on Paul Fishman
and his office this month. Ruth Bader Ginsburg obviously a very big story
because one of the oldest member of the Supreme Court right now. A liberal
member of the Supreme Court. If President Obama were to be replaced by a
republican in 2016, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were then to retire, there`s
the potential of the Supreme Court seat slipping to a conservative so
democrats very worried about, you know, when is she going to retire. If
it`s in this year, if it`s in the next two years, how will the new
republican Senate handle it?

So, obviously this is not a news story necessarily, this is a continuation.
But Ruth Bader Ginsburg very much in the news. How about this? This is
not a person. This is a group of people. Internet hackers we`re talking
about here and obviously internet hackers were the story of December with
"The Interview" with Sony, with all those threats. Was it North Korea
obviously the United States government thinks it was North Korea that was
behind it. But this, of course, the real story there is that could be the
preview of the kind of interference, the kind of disruption that internet
hackers could be wreaking in the years ahead and certainly in 2015. So,
keep an eye on that. How about LeBron James? LeBron James previously just
a major NBA superstar. He got a little bit more political in the year
2014. LeBron James, of course, he had the I can`t breathe t-shirt in
December after that decision not to indict the officer in the Garner death.
Also he vowed to boycott the NBA if Donald Stern were to hold on to his
ownership of the Clippers that was earlier in the year. LeBron James is
also made a very powerful statement by going back to his hometown of
Cleveland. He`d gone to Miami. He went home to Cleveland.

Unfortunately it`s not working out that great right now. The Cavs are
struggling. LeBron is going to be sidelined for the first part of 2015,
but LeBron James getting Politico, makes him a little bit more of an
interesting figure going forward. I think for our purposes. Mitch
McConnell, you know all about Mitch McConnell as republicans taking over
the Senate. This is his lifelong dream to be the majority leader of the
Senate. He`s 72 years old and he gets to realize his dream. He says he`s
going to make the Senate work again. He`s been building his whole career
for this. Let`s see. He`s got his majority, he`s got his chance, let`s
see if Mitch McConnell can make that happen. And, of course, Vladimir
Putin, you know all about Vladimir Putin, all of the sort of trouble he`s
gotten himself into. The controversy he stirred, but Vladimir Putin
himself getting into a bit of trouble on the domestic front in Russia the
economy suddenly in big trouble out there.

Those sanctions may be having an effect. The question of, can his
popularity in Russia survive. What`s going on right now? So that`s --
and, of course, one more name we want to give you for 2015, Ban Ki-moon,
secretary-general of the U.N. 2015 is going to be a big year for an issue
that matters. A lot to him and that is climate change. He scheduled you
can see there`s that big climate change conference that he scheduled for
later this year. We`ll hear a lot about that as it approaches, climate
change, Ban Ki-moon and the U.N. obviously something big to keep an eye on
in 2015. So, that`s our unofficial tour of big newsmakers for 2015. We
thought we would take you through it. Lots more still ahead this morning
including why John Boehner shouldn`t necessarily get to comfortable as he
starts his third term as speaker this week.

And later, we`ll be catching a ride to the world of investing. Could Uber
be answer to patting my bank account? Ron Insana from CNBC is going to be
here to help me out. So, stay with us.


KORNACKI: As we discussed at the top of the show, House Speaker John
Boehner already dealing with his first big headache of the year, majority
whip Steve Scalise, that`s the third ranking republican in the House
admitted that he once spoke to a white supremacist group. On Tuesday John
Boehner stood up for Scalise but there may be something else at play here,
too. At the start of the new session next week, Boehner needs to worry
about his hold on the republican conference especially when since two years
ago when a surprising number of conservatives withheld their votes from him
on the floor in the election for speaker. It turned out there actually
been a full-fledged coup attempt, one that fell apart near hours before the
vote. This time around, Boehner seems to have a lot more breathing room
but that threat is always going to be there. And as for Scalise he has a
lot of allies who are suspicious of Boehner in the first place, allies on
the right. So, the question is, by absolving Scalise and offering him his
full support, the John Boehner helped protect himself too.

Back now here at the table to discuss, we have Nan Hayworth, former
republican congressman from New York. Sahil Kapur, senior Congressional
reporter at Talking Points Memo. So, Sahil, Let me start with you. As we
reporting on this day to day, I don`t get the sense that John Boehner is
seriously in trouble of losing the vote for speaker this week but at the
same time there were all those defections two years ago. We talked about
this at the top of the show. You were saying, you know, a lot of these
Scalise is sort of the face of the base in the leadership, so he has to be
extra delicate in how he handles somebody who is important to the base. I
guess in a way maybe this is a preview of what he`s got -- of sort of the
balancing act he has to have for the next two years.

KAPUR: That`s right. He`s not in trouble for the speakership election, we
should be clear about that. But he is constantly, you know, looking over
his shoulder to make sure that he`s in the clear. At this point he has
more breathing room than last time as you talked about. I think there is
room for 29 defections in the republican Congress. They`ll going to have
their largest majority since I think 1931. So what Speaker Boehner, the
rumors are on Capitol Hill, they`re not confirmed that the rumors are, that
there have been conversations between leadership and other members making
clear that if there is a, you know, sort of embarrassment on the floor last
time for Speaker Boehner, that some members will be relinquished of that
their committee slots. And that there will be some punishments. So, the
leadership has kind of made -- efforts, behind-the-scenes efforts to kind
of tamp down on that kind of embarrassment this time and I suspect they`ll
succeed with that. To your point I think it`s really important though,
Scalise standing by him will definitely help Speaker Boehner with the right

KORNACKI: Nan, you`ve been there, and I`m just curious, the behind the
scenes. Because obviously the republican conference, the democratic
caucus, they are diverse places in terms of like the agendas that different
people bring and it seems to me on the republican side and you could speak
to this because you know these people. There`s a fair number of
republicans who when John Boehner became speaker in 2011 they said this is
a rhino. This is a guy we don`t thrust. He`s too establishment. He`s not
a true believer.


KORNACKI: What do those people tell you when they talk to them sort of,
you know, privately?

HAYWORTH: The speaker does have a situation which is sort of, like, be
careful what you wish for and he is -- I can tell you from that personal
experience and from those observations, he is deeply principled
conservative. He is pragmatic. He is someone who as a person, his style,
and he has expressed it, is to let the housework its will. He wanted to
listen to every member of the conference. He wanted to listen to democrats
when the 112th Congress started at the beginning of 2011, four years ago,
the rules changed so that many more amendments could be brought to the
floor from democrats and republicans. That was a very different situation,
by the way, from the -- Nancy Pelosi.

KORNACKI: But there, I mean, there`s a faction of conservatives that don`t
like what you`re describing, that don`t like that style.

HAYWORTH: You know, I can`t say they don`t like that style but what they
want to see is a muscular expression of what their constituents elected
them to do, so there is passion there. And it is the job of the speaker
and I think Speaker Boehner`s well positioned to do that, to make sure that
we can turn that passion into practical progress for the sake of all the
American people, you know, he really does want to serve all the American
people. And in fairness, the members of that conference also want to serve
the American people. And I was one of the members who certainly very
quickly came to the position that I wanted to help the speaker advance as
fast as we could. That did didn`t mean we were going to get the touchdown
but if we could get, you know, a few yards that was better than getting
nothing at all and that`s where the conflicts come in.

KORNACKI: So, well, it will be, as you say, the formal vote for the
speaker will be on the floor of this week. It sounds interesting from what
Sahil is saying, there`s an actual threats here, a little bit of hardball
from the speaker`s side like --

HAYWORTH: Which is something he didn`t want to do.

KORNACKI: Yes. But they didn`t see that coming last time. It would be
interesting to see, very quickly --

KAPUR: The rebels don`t have a candidate this time. It`s not even clear
who they`re going to put up.


KAPUR: So, it`s very disorganized.

KORNACKI: So, in that case with those threats it`s maybe not worth it of
them. But we will see what happens this week. But also, as we say for the
next two years, that round three of John Boehner as a speaker. Let`s see
how goes this time. Thanks as always to Sahil Kapur and Nan Hayworth. I
appreciate you both. Actually, we`ll see you in the next hour. Excuse me.
I`m saying good-bye to you but you`re coming back. Stick around. Another
full hour of news and politics, that`s ahead.


KORNACKI: He was Barack Obama before Barack Obama.


KORNACKI: All right. Thanks for staying with us this Saturday morning.

The city of New York is preparing to bury Officer Wenjian Liu this weekend.
Police commissioner was asking his rank-and-file officers to show respect
to everyone who attends, including Mayor Bill de Blasio. A live report on
that is still ahead.

We want to begin this hour, though, with the man whose story could have
begun just like this.


THEN-U.S. SENATOR BARACK OBAMA (D), ILLINOIS: There is not a liberal
America or a conservative America. There is the United States of America.
There is not a black America, and a white America, and Latino America, an
Asian America. There`s the United States of America.


KORNACKI: Before Barack Obama stepped up to the podium at the 2004
Democratic National Convention, almost no one had ever heard of him. And
that was a speech that made him a political rock star overnight, though,
and it proved to be a launching pad to the presidency, just four years

But this wasn`t actually the first time a previously unknown convention
keynote speaker turned himself into an overnight political folk hero,
someone millions of people begged to run for president.

Twenty years before that Obama speech at the Democratic Convention in San
Francisco, a little-known first-term governor from New York said this --


THEN-GOV. MARIO CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: And it`s a story, ladies and
gentlemen, that I didn`t read in a book or learn in a classroom. I saw it
and lived it like many of you. I watched a small man with thick calluses
on both his hands work 15 and 16 hours a day. I saw him once literally
bleed from the bottoms of his feet. A man who came here uneducated, alone,
unable to speak the language who taught me all I needed to know about faith
and hard work by the simple eloquence of his example. I learned about hour
kind of democracy from my father. And I learned about our obligation to
each other from him and my mother. They asked only for a chance to work
and to make the world better for their children.



KORNACKI: And that speech made Mario Cuomo a hero to millions of
Democrats. A voice for liberalism for the great New Deal tradition at the
height of the Reagan era, at the darkest hours American liberalism has ever

Mario Cuomo could have done what Barack Obama did. He could have turned
around and run for president in 1988, but he didn`t, and he almost did jump
in the race in 1992. He famously left a chartered plane idling at the
Albany airport on the day of the New Hampshire primary filing deadline.

Mario Cuomo died on New Year`s Day at the age of 82. He leaves behind a
political legacy, one of the most eloquent Democrats in political history.
He leaves behind a political heir as well. His eldest son Andrew who`s
just starting his second term as governor of New York state.

He also leaves behind a mystery for the ages. What would have happened if
he`d gotten on the plane, if he flown to New Hampshire and why didn`t he?

Joining us from D.C. this morning is E.J. Dionne. He`s an MSNBC
contributor and columnist with "The Washington Post". E.J., first began
reporting on Governor Mario Cuomo during his failed run for New York City
mayor back in 1977. And here in studio, we have Terry Golway, he`s another
veteran New York reporter and now director of the Kean University Center
for History, Politics and Policy.

E.J., let me start with you. The simple question, the plane was idling.
The field was wide open. The polls showed if Mario Cuomo got in that race,
he leaves Bill Clinton in the dust. He leaves Jerry Brown in the dust.
The nomination looks like it`s his.

Why didn`t he do it? Did we ever -- did we ever find out?

E.J. DIONNE, THE WASHINGTON POST: You know, there has been a mystery at
the heart of that decision ever since he made it. There`s all kinds of
speculation, you know, some folks say there was something back there he
didn`t want to come out. I don`t -- I personally don`t believe that`s the

I always thought that there was a piece of Mario Cuomo -- and he`s somebody
I had -- I got -- I confessed -- confessed in a column coming that`s out on
Monday. I had an affection for him pretty much from the moment I started
covering him back in 1977, but I always think there was a piece of him that
wondered, am I someone for the national stage?

He once said I have always wanted to believe in something larger --
something better than myself. And there was this curious mixture of
assertiveness and humility in the guy. He always did think of himself --
and this was one of his great political assets, it`s why he could reach a
lot of people. He thought of himself as an ethnic neighborhood guy and he
always spoke up for the ethnic neighborhood folks. And you wondered, what
was it that held him back? Was it a certain self-doubt?

And I guess I lean toward that odd psychiatric help the doctor is in,
remember Lucy and the Peanuts column, I lean a bit toward that, but we will
never know unless Andrew tells us someday.

KORNACKI: Maybe he will.

But here`s -- let me play this. This was actually -- so, when he made the
decision not to run, he sat down, he held a press conference, you know, he
never really wavered from the script in the next 23 years.

But this was Mario Cuomo talking about disappointment not getting to run in
`92. Let`s just play that.


CUOMO: I regard myself personally as highly privileged to serve the 18
million people of my state as governor for a third term. I would be less
than honest if I did not admit to you my regret by not having the chance to
run for president. At the same time, I recognize that there already in the
field a number of excellent candidates that can move this nation toward a
more inclusive, more progressive, more intelligent course.


KORNACKI: So, Terry, obviously, the rest is history. Bill Clinton becomes
the Democratic candidate. Bill Clinton wins the presidency.

But you got a glimpse, obviously, more than a glimpse, of Mario Cuomo up
close running New York state. What would have Mario Cuomo been like as a

TERRY GOLWAY, KEAN UNIVERSITY: He would not have been the great liberal
icon that many people have portrayed him to be in death. He certainly
spoke the liberal language, at that great speech in San Francisco and in
other speeches, including his inaugural address in 1983 when he was first
elected governor -- wonderful documents.

But as governor, he actually governed more like Bill Clinton than the Mario
Cuomo that we`re hearing about lionized as a great liberal icon. In my
view, he was at heart a liberal, a progressive. He actually hated the term
liberal, he preferred a progressive pragmatist. And that is actually how
he governed. He governed from the center, not from the left.

So, I think it`s certainly possible we would have gotten an administration
somewhat similar to Clinton except, of course, that Cuomo opposed the death
penalty, one of his great principled stands. And I don`t think that Cuomo
would have ever signed welfare reform.

KORNACKI: Welfare reform, yes, a difference.

DIONNE: To pick on that, Steve.

KORNACKI: Yes, go ahead.

DIONNE: Yes, I think Terry is absolutely right on that. One of the most
famous Mario Cuomo lines that I think we`ll get into lots of books of
quotations is: we campaign in poetry but we govern in prose. And if you
looked at his time as governor as opposed to the period, you know, the
speeches, the great declaration of liberal principles, he was in a broad
sense a progressive. Progressive pragmatist, that term he liked to use, is
a good description of him.

But he didn`t overturn things in Albany. And one of his great regrets as
governor is that he took office at a time of soaring crime rates. His
biggest building monument in New York was building more prisons than anyone
else. And he talked about that ruefully after -- you know, during his time
in office and afterwards.

So, but I do think Terry`s right. The death penalty was something very
important to him. Although it`s very interesting, in that last race that
he ran in 1994, that he lost, at one point he proposed a referendum on the
death penalty, which some took as political opportunism and there was a
little bit of that in there, but he wanted it set up against life without
parole and his view was, if we went to the voters, gave them this
alternative choice that put people away forever, we could actually beat the
death penalty.

I always wished he got -- he had tried -- had had a chance to push that
because I think there`s a shot of beating the death penalty when that`s the

KORNACKI: You know, when we talk about politicians and leaders who sort of
attain a certain immortality, Lloyd Benson got that one line off in the
debate against Dan Quayle, you`re no Jack Kennedy. And it will always be
remembered through the ages because of that.

Mario Cuomo did something that`s so rare in politics, right? I mean, he
gave a speech now 30 years ago in San Francisco and that speech is still
being played today. It`s still remembered today. It`s a speech against
which all future convention speeches have been measured.

I mean, he made a lasting contribution with his words.

GOLWAY: He did, yes. At a time, of course, when people thought that image
was everything, you know, this was as you pointed out, this is the age of
Ronald Reagan. It`s not only the age of American conservatism at its
height, it`s also the age of image, right? Reagan was an image-conscious

But, interestingly enough, Cuomo was very old fashioned. We often
portrayed him as the last New Dealer. He was also old fashioned because he
believed that words meant something and that you could move people with
words and not just images. Of course, we have a president today who is
president because of a speech that he gave, but I would argue that I don`t
think there`s been an American president since Reagan who was able to move
people in the way that Mario Cuomo did, and that would include the current

KORNACKI: And it`s interesting, E.J., when you talk about the context of
that speech in 1984, it was a defense of the New Deal. It was given as
Ronald Reagan was winning 49 states. And, of course, the context to me
that always jumps out is, Reagan himself a former FDR Democrat, a former
New Dealer. Ronald Reagan sort of symbolized how the old New Deal
coalition had been split off and moved to the Republicans for all sorts of
different reasons and there was Mario Cuomo saying basically, you know,
hey, don`t forget where you came from.

DIONNE: I think one of the reasons Ronald Reagan was so successful is he
never forgot the lessons he learned as an FDR Democrat. I always like to
say that FDR stole optimism from FDR and Bill Clinton stole it back from
Ronald Reagan.

But I think one of the things that Cuomo oddly was the anti-image image
politician. If you listened to that speech he gave in 1984, it is very
Reagan-esque not in its politics but in the very concrete, down-to-earth
imagery he used.

The example you showed earlier talking about his father`s feet bleeding.
That was a rhetoric and a set of stories that could reach a lot of people
who weren`t liberal ideologues and I think the power of that speech it was
a case for liberalism aimed at people who weren`t necessarily liberals just
as Reagan was arguing for conservatism to people who weren`t necessarily

KORNACKI: Quick question. Do you think he regretted going for the fourth
term and going out on a loss?

GOLWAY: Oh, I`m sure he did.

DIONNE: I wish he had taken the court nomination.

KORNACKI: And that`s the other great what-if, 1993, Clinton offers it to
him and Ruth Bader Ginsburg ends up on the Supreme Court.

Anyway, my thanks to "Washington Post`s" E.J. Dionne, Terry Golway from
Kean University, I appreciate you both being here.

We look ahead, next to the future of the Democratic Party.

And later, what New York police commissioner is asking its officers not to
do this weekend. We`ll go live to the scene of today`s wake for one of
those slain NYPD officers.

Stay with us for that.


KORNACKI: This time next year, the voting will begin. Iowa voters will
have the first say in choosing our country`s next president. When it comes
to picking the Democratic nominee, will there be much of a choice to make
at all?

Well, that all depends on whether the year ahead, 2015, brings a heated
race for the Democratic nomination or more of a coronation for Hillary
Clinton. Recent polling has Clinton up by 50 points at least over
potential Democratic contenders. There`s still some hunger at least for a
progressive challenger among the party`s liberal base. Massachusetts
Senator Elizabeth Warren says she isn`t running, but liberal activists are
doing their best to convince her otherwise.

Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is hinting that he might try to
fill that void. He`s not yet a Democrat officially but he has visited Iowa
four times, he did last year and says he`ll decide by March whether he`ll
make a run for the presidency and whether he`ll do so as a Democrat.

In November, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb became the first person in
either party to announce an exploratory committee.

Vice President Joe Biden said last month that he would make a decision
about running in the spring or early summer.

And Maryland Governor Martin O`Malley is looking at a similar timeline.
"The Washington Post" reporting that O`Malley and his supporters now think
their best shot is to sit back and see how Clinton is received.

So, who is actually going to run against Hillary, anyone? And will 2015
bring a real race on the Democratic side or a dud?

Back with me in the studio is Blake Zeff. He`s a columnist and politics
editor at "Salon". And in Washington, Perry Bacon Jr., senior political
reporter with NBC News.

So, Perry, let me -- let me put it to you this way. Let`s just stipulate
that Hillary Clinton is running.

OK. You got Jim Webb, Martin O`Malley, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden. We`ll
put Warren aside for a minute. Of those four, who is most likely to step
up and run against Hillary Clinton?

likely to see from what I`ve heard so far Jim Webb and Bernie Sanders, from
my impression, they don`t see themselves sitting in the Oval Office two
years from now. They`re trying to run campaign to talk about issues.
Bernie Sanders is talking about income inequality, Webb is talking about
income inequality and talk about his view of the Democratic Party is too
close to Wall Street, and too pro-war.

So, you can see those two candidates running kind of what I would say
issue-based campaigns, the way Ron Paul has ran for the Republican Party
for a long time. Ron not Rand, of course. So, I think you can see that.

Biden and O`Malley are people who want to run if they can win, and Hillary
Clinton right now is sufficiently strong that they are unlikely to do so I
think unless they have a sense that she can`t -- they can somehow defeat
her. O`Malley, the question for him, can he, though?

The Warren group is pretty strong being pro-Warren. She keeps saying she`s
not running. At some point, do Move On, people like that, decide, hey,
Warren is not running, let`s find somebody else and maybe O`Malley who had
a pretty strong liberal record as governor of Maryland could be their

KORNACKI: So, Blake, let`s -- take it from what Perry is saying here. If
it`s Hillary, if it`s Sanders, Sanders becomes a Democrat, and if it`s Jim
Webb -- I mean, that`s a race. But is that a real race or is it Hillary
Clinton ahead by 50 points all year and that`s it?

ZEFF: I think Hillary Clinton is ahead by a lot in that race, but it will
be a race. There are -- look, Hillary Clinton has a very big lead on the
Democratic side, but there are two groups that don`t want her to coast to
this. One are kind of liberals the economic populist, and there is the
media -- that includes you, Steve.

Those people --

KORNACKI: I have no agenda.

ZEFF: You have no agenda.

So, because you have the two groups, right, you got the liberals who are
going to keep pushing, I don`t think Elizabeth Warren ultimately is going
to run, but you have a lot of agitation to try to get her to run or someone
who represents her type of agenda, that`s going to go on for a while. The
other thing, though, is if you are left with a field as Clinton, Bernie
Sanders and Jim Webb -- well, Sanders and Webb, if and when they lob
attacks on Hillary Clinton, the media is going to be there to cover it and
cover it they will. They want a race, there should be a race.

And so, I think Hillary is a big, big, big favorite in that scenario, but
it won`t be the kind of thing where, you know, she`s not getting attacked
and having to answer questions all the time.

KORNACKI: Perry, you are drawing an interesting line. When I look at
Sanders and when I look at Webb, yes, there`s nothing for either one of
them to lose. If they can get some free publicity, if they can have a good
experience, media attention, that`s all good for him.

When you look at Biden, you`re looking at a sitting vice president, and
that`s to get in a race like this and risk getting clobbered -- I imagine
you start thinking about your legacy and almost your sense of dignity.

Same thing with O`Malley, I mean, you are talking about a two-term governor
from a big state to get in here and just get pounded. That`s got to be a
consideration for him as well. That it`s interesting that his people are
now apparently sending out this -- the word that, hey, maybe they`re
sitting back for a little bit.

BACON: Because realistically if you wanted to defeat Hillary Clinton, you
should have been in Iowa yesterday and maybe tomorrow, it has to start
earlier. Remember, Obama started running in January, February, 2007.
Hillary was very strong, you have to start early. O`Malley saying I`m
waiting until April as a sign of weakness, not strength. It`s a sign that
there`s no support for him right now, and he hasn`t found any.

You have the point where Barbara Mikulski, the senator from Maryland, and
Ben Cardin as well, both have endorsed Hillary already. When you can`t get
your own state to be for you, that`s a really big problem.

Biden, the same problem, also because Biden and Hillary are very close on
most of the issues. They`re also very close friends from my understanding.
It`s hard to see how Biden is going to get out there and beat Clinton
because he`s not going to win the Elizabeth Warren vote.

To get to what Blake said, I sort of feel the real race in a lot of ways in
the next few months is going to be Hillary Clinton versus the shadow
Elizabeth Warren. Like Elizabeth Warren is going to be in the Congress
raising real issues from the left and the reporters on the trail who want
to sort of push Hillary will ask her what do you think about what Warren
said about income equality? Do you agree with this stance? Do you agree
with this stance?

So, I think Hillary`s real opposition in a lot of ways will be Warren and
the idea of Warren running and why Hillary is not, you know, as left as
Warren or as pure as Warren to the left.

KORNACKI: Yes. And I`m wondering, too. I mean, every primary season we
have 68 gazillion debates. They start, you know, March or April or
something like that. If it`s Bernie Sanders and Jim Webb challenging
Hillary Clinton of dozens of debates, I`m wondering, how many does she say
yes to, and, you know, do we won in October or something?

Anyway, this is a very unusual race when a sitting vice president is
running 50 points behind a -- you know, Hillary Clinton or anybody else. I
mean, that is -- that shows you how different it is.

Anyway, my thanks to "Salon`s" Blake Zeff, who`ll be back at the end of
this hour, of course, to NBC`s Perry Bacon Jr., we`ll be seeing a lot of
him in 2015 as well -- I make that prediction, too.

Up next, the NYPD prepares to lay to rest -- to rest, excuse me, the second
officer killed two weeks ago. Will they show respect to everyone who
attends, including the mayor? We will go live to Brooklyn. That`s next.


KORNACKI: Today, New York City`s mayor and police commissioner will pay
their respects to an NYPD officer who was shot and killed last month.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Commissioner Bill Bratton will attend a viewing
for Detective Wenjian Liu. His funeral will be held tomorrow. Detective
Liu and his partner, Detective Rafael Ramos were shot and killed two weeks
ago today in Brooklyn.

MSNBC`s Adam Reiss is live in Brooklyn now, where that wake will begin a
few hours from now.

And, Adam, I understand Commissioner Bratton has made a request from the
officers who are going to be at that funeral tomorrow.


That`s right. Commissioner Bratton has asked officers not to turn their
backs on the mayor when he gives his eulogy tomorrow. He says this is
about grieving and not grievance.

Now, relations between the officer and the mayor have been strained for the
past couple weeks. Efforts to repair that have gone nowhere. A meeting
this week between the union and the mayor just ended up in more finger-

Now, the wake begins here today at 1:00. It will last until 9:00. The
funeral`s tomorrow at 11:00. Both ceremonies will be infused with Buddhist
traditions, like the burning of ceremonial money.

Now, Officer Liu`s wife was a newlywed, just two weeks ago. Today she is a
widow preparing to bury her husband. Officer Liu, 32 years old, a seven-
year veteran of the force. He`s the first Chinese officer to be killed in
the line of duty here in New York City.

Now, Officers Ramos and Liu will have two streets named after them here in
New York. And they will both be promoted to detective posthumously --

KORNACKI: All right. My thanks to Adam Reiss live for us in Brooklyn.
Appreciate that update.

And up next, we`re going to follow through on what my New Year`s
resolutions. Stay with us.


KORNACKI: So, it`s a New Year and at the insistence of the UP team, I`ve
agreed to learn more about a few topics that I know pretty much nothing

So, when we saw a story declaring that the folks behind what many consider
to be the best fast food burger in New York, Shake Shack, that they`re
going to be going public, as well as whispers about another cultural
phenomenon, the transportation service Uber also going public, it seemed
we`d arrived at a logical starting place for our experiment, knowing more
about IPOs. Apparently, that`s the shorthand for "initial public
offerings" whatever the heck that means.

Investing is supposed to be a smart thing to do, but mostly I get confused
when I think about it. But all the Shake Shack talk has me wondering,
should I be buying in?

What is an IPO in the first place? What does it mean to any amateur
investor out there?

To help me understand this strange and mysterious new world to me is CNBC
contributor Rob Insana. He`s the editor of Insana`s Market Intelligence.

So, Ron, I know I should be investing. I get excited. I know what Shake
Shack is. I`ve eaten it. It`s delicious.

RON INSANA, CNBC: So, you make it $7 million a year and you got to put the
money somewhere, right?

KORNACKI: Well, yes, MSNBC, right.

I mean, if I get a few extra dollars and I want to invest I put it on the
Patriots and sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn`t. But I know
it`s not a good long-term strategy. So, let`s say --


INSANA: -- be killing them next year.

KORNACKI: Not for the last ten years, though, but -- and not without a
coach right now.

So, Shake Shack, what does it mean? Honestly, layman`s term, what does IPO
even mean?

INSANA: Initial public offering means that a company that has been private
is going to sell its shares to the public so average individuals can
purchase a stake in the company, and in this case hamburger steak, but
nonetheless, you are buying a piece of the company which entitles you to a
couple of things. You have to a certain extent a say in management because
you can vote as a shareholder about certain corporate developments. You
are also entitled to sharing profits in the company and they should in fact
offer a dividend, get paid that dividend on a quarterly basis, and if the
stock goes up you get to share in the appreciation and the value of the
company as it grows.

So, the real intent of an IPO when a company goes public is to raise
additional capital to expand the business, which is what Shake Shack wants
to do. They have currently roughly 88 stores worldwide, 50 -- more than 50
are in the New York area, 27 are outside the country.

KORNACKI: Is it a good -- like, I know what Shake Shack is as a consumer
and I like it. Is that a good reason when there`s an IPO to buy in because
you like the product or --

INSANA: Yes, absolutely. In fact, Peter Lynch which was very famous
mutual fund manager in the 1990s, he ran Fidelity`s Magellan Fund, which
was one of the biggest mutual funds in the world, wrote an entire book
about buying what you know.

So, if, Steve, you are going to buy what you know and you go to Shake Shack
and you get a shake, you`ll buy one share --


INSANA: -- or let`s say two shares. We`ll each buy two shares of Shake
Shack. This represents small shares.

KORNACKI: I got two shares of Shake Shack.

INSANA: Let`s say it goes public at $10. That`s not the price. We don`t
know what the price will be. So, you now own two shares for $20, and
you`re going to hope that Shake Shack goes to $20 a share and you double
your money.


INSANA: Now, there`s the risk that it goes to zero. There`s the risk that
they go out of business. There`s a risk they expand too fast and blow up.
These risks exist with every company not just Shake Shack.

But you`re hoping their brand of burger and their brand of shake is going
to disrupt McDonald`s business, disrupt Chipotle`s business and if they`re
going to use the proceeds to expand and attack all those markets where
their competitors exist, whether it`s Five Guys, whether it`s any other,
you know, Zen Burger or anybody else in the same space.

KORNACKI: When do you -- when is the time to sell? Because my instinct if
I bought at $10 and it`s $11 get me out of here. I got a little extra

INSANA: Yes, you just made 10 percent and you`re happy and if you did it
in a couple of days and you annualize that return, that`s a lot of money.
But if you bought McDonald`s in 1971, you have outperformed in the, what is
that, 43 years, 44 years, since it went public. So, sometimes you don`t

Now, there are times particularly in the restaurant business where much of
the growth in the stock comes when they`re adding new stores. And so,
Shake Shack wants to expand from its current 80-plus up to 450 stores.
When they max out on the number of stores, they`re going to have sometimes
restaurants in particular retailers also run into some turbulence. That`s
probably when you sell. When the story stops, when the growth story stops
is when you sell the stock.

KORNACKI: So, you -- oh, that`s interesting. It`s liking the product but
you got to know a little bit about the industry, too.

INSANA: Yes, absolutely.

KORNACKI: In terms of these are the usual growth patterns or whatever.

INSANA: Yes. And listen, if they continue to grow and, you know, they`re
posting growth rates that are in excess of expectations, you hang on to the
stock. And there is a company that will be the next McDonald`s. I mean,
if you knew Starbucks 40 years ago was going to be Starbucks, you would
have gotten involved in that.

So, you know, some stocks you flip. Now, as an average investor, you`re
not going to get that opportunity. Usually big institutions when a company
is coming public will buy the stock at the IPO price, let`s say, $10, and
if it goes to $12 or $13 or $14 in the first day of trading, they may flip
out of it and make their 20 percent, or 30 percent or 40 percent in a
single day or in a single minute, right?

Longer term, average investors will want to hold it for an extended period
of time and see if it lives up to its expectations.

KORNACKI: I have one investment story, the veteran of Wall Street, my
grandmother when I turned 21, gave me $300 on the condition that I invest
it in a stock. She had me called her broker, I called the guy, it was
like, there was a thing like Northeast utility or something. So, I got
$300 into it. And it was a month into it -- I was 18 years old. I was a
month into college, I was broke, so I called him up, I said, how much is it
worth now? He said, $267. I lost $33. But --

INSANA: That`s what you don`t do. One of the things that investing, not
trading, requires is patience. So, if you`re a trader and you take that
$30 haircut, okay, maybe you`re out and you live to fight another day and
you put $267 back in a stock that`s going to be hotter in the short run.

If you`re an investor particularly in a company like a utility, which tends
to have a long life and pays rather hefty dividends, when you look at the
compounded rate of return or total return, which is the appreciation of the
stock and the very generous dividend payments that you get, over time if,
let`s say, it pays an 8 percent dividend, your money will double in nine

KORNACKI: If I`d just hung in there --

INSANA: You wouldn`t be working right now.

KORNACKI: No, I could buy Shake Shack right now. Instead, 9:00 in the
morning, here we are.

Ron Insana, though, thank you for setting me straight a little bit. I
appreciate all the information.

And still ahead, what to watch out for this year quite literally.

Plus, we`ll have an update on the little girl that walked away from the
plane crash overnight in Kentucky. More on that. Stay with us.


KORNACKI: All right. Welcome back.

We want to bring you up to speed on the story everyone`s been talking about
this morning. The small plane crash in rural Kentucky, a crash that a 7-
year-old girl not only survived but walked away from. She walked away and
sought help.

Doctors say that she`s OK. Unfortunately, the four other people on board,
that`s her parents, her older sister and her cousin, they were all killed
in the crash.

We`ve learned that the victims were from southern Illinois. They were
flying home to Illinois from Key West, Florida, when their plane went down.
The NTSB is investigating.

And stay with MSNBC throughout the day for updates as we learn more about
this story.

For now, though, we`ve been looking ahead to the rest of 2015 in a lot of
different ways today, mostly about politics. Now, though, time for some

2015 is the year that Stephen Colbert will finally get to be himself, at
least maybe. This after David Letterman steps aside in May. Letterman`s
retirement prompting a major shake-up in late night TV.

Jon Stewart`s contract, that is also up this year. We`re not sure what
he`ll do next. We`ll be eager to find out what he decides, especially now
that he`s a movie director.

And this is a year in which the geekiest movie of all-time "Star Wars" is
coming back. The Internet collectively freaking out when the first trailer
hit the web a couple weeks ago.

So, what else can we expect from the year ahead in culture from movies and
late night television and every other way? We`re going to decide what the
coolest and can`t-miss way that people will be doing it this year. For
instance, is this the year that even your grandmother starts listening to
podcasts? Or even me, I don`t listen to them.

Here to answer those questions: Nancy Giles, a contributor to "CBS Sunday
Morning", Dave Itzkoff, a culture reporter with "The New York Times".

There`s a lot I wanted to get through here in terms of television, in terms
of movie this year. Let me start with this one, though. We teed it up a
little bit earlier -- the big late night shake-up, the big late night
changes that are playing out this year.

So, Colbert has had his last show. Letterman is going away in May.
Colbert is coming in for Letterman. We have Larry Wilmore taking Colbert`s
place. You have James Corden who`s taking over for Craig Ferguson. I
actually really liked Craig Ferguson all these years.

NANCY GILES, CBS SUNDAY MORNING: I did, too. I felt bad he got knocked

KORNACKI: It was a quiet ten-year run. So, let me start with this one,
though. I guess let`s start with Letterman leaving, because it`s such a
long run -- television without David letterman.

GILES: I can`t imagine it and I`m crushed because I never got to sit in
the chair next to him for what, I don`t know.

DAVE ITZKOFF, THE NEW YORK TIMES: You still have time. It`s May, it can

GILES: I got to do something really outrageous, you`ll help me and we`ll
talk about it backstage.

What I worry about is the minute they said they hired Stephen Colbert, the
next thing out of everybody`s mouth that I knew and the networks was, oh,
he`s not going to do that character anymore, and I was bummed about that,
too, because I loved that entity that he has.

KORNACKI: We`ve never really seen Stephen Colbert when he`s not the
character Stephen Colbert.

GILES: Right.

ITZKOFF: I think the character has already kind of letting us know the
person that he is. I mean, yes, it was very arch and it was mocking a
specific kind of TV broadcaster, but he`s also just a very quick wit and
you could see that in the way that he comported himself on the show. And I
think that`s the kind of host that we`re going to get, is somebody who is
just, you know, really on the ball and very lively.

KORNACKI: Is he going to do -- I mean, the traditional late night format,
the topical monologue, it`s so hot in New York today. I can`t picture him
doing that, though, right?

ITZKOFF: There are certain elements of the format you have to keep. I
mean, that monologue, it`s the monologist of the show. That`s what
everything is built around. But I`ll bet you`ll see more innovative
segments in terms of utilizing the celebrity guest story that Jimmy Fallon
has kind of figured out.

GILES: I hope so because he does -- Colbert does do all these different
kind of things and he`s not the traditional guy with tie that the other
guys are so I hope to see that.

KORNACKI: Other stuff happening this year, always talking about the sort
of continuing migration to Netflix and "House of Cards" is going to have a
new season. Tina Fey has a new show coming out of Netflix this year.
Anything with Tina Fe, I`m interested in.

There we go, "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt". This is Tina Fey`s is
creating this series for Netflix. This is a trend, though, right? Less
and less about what the networks are debuting on the fall and more and more
the individual shows.

GILES: In a way, I really love it because it`s more platforms and
opportunities for people to bring projects, but there`s this part of me,
yes, but the people who are getting to bring the projects still celebrities
and the same people that do network things.

So, on the one hand, you think there`s opportunities that some new voices
are getting heard but some aren`t. And there is a little piece of me that
still misses when there were just three networks and when a really great
show happened, everybody got to see it, because now, it`s so fractured.

KORNACKI: As a kid, the fall preview episode of "TV Guide" 200 pages.

GILES: I collected those.


KORNACKI: Even the last weeks, right?

GILES: And the same time, you saw the same actors Kate Jackson, how many
different shows was she in? I loved that.

KORNACKI: I remember something, Sister Kate the nut house. We`re
indulging ourselves.

Here`s a show that I`m excited about, a little bit more traditional, but
it`s the spinoff from "Breaking Bad." The lawyer from that show getting a
-- he was sort of the comic relief in "Breaking Bad." Now, he has his own

ITZKOFF: Right. That`s Bob Odenkirk, who people might not even know
started out as a sketch comedian, an alternate comedian in "Mr. Show" on
HBO back in the day. And it will be an interesting trial balloon for AMC.
This is a network that really started off first with "Madman" and with
"Breaking Bad." "Mad Man" is going away at the end of the current season.

And it`s going to start to see -- can they start to hand these shows off
to, you know, spinoffs or just will other -- other shows kind of rise to
take their place or, you know, was it just kind of a lucky break that they
started off with these two great serialized narratives.

KORNACKI: What about we mentioned the podcasts and -- I don`t listen to
podcasts. I don`t know. They sound fascinating.

GILES: I know. I`m glad you said that because it made me feel less
nervous. I don`t really either but I started because I knew we would be
doing this segment. And so, last night for three hours, that I should have
been asleep I listened to "Serial" which is fabulous.

KORNACKI: Everybody tells me, it`s the best thing ever.

GILES: It`s almost like old-time radio, hearing old radio drama only it`s
true, you know? And I have a friend who does really cool podcasts called
"The 51 Percent", Sandi Klein, who`s a radio reporter. And her podcasts
are about creative women because, you know, women don`t get in the mix that
much for these podcasts. I`m trying. But, golly Moses, there`s so much
stuff. I don`t know when do you have time to do all this stuff.


ITZKOFF: Yes. I mean, what "Serial" illustrates it is so much about word
of mouth. I mean, podcasting as a phenomenon or format is not that new.
It`s not like it just came out this year. But this was the one the first
one to really kind of reach a critical mass, that it really does seem -- I
mean, when "Saturday Night Live" is parodying it, you know it hit a certain

GILES: Oh, it did? When did they do that, last week?

ITZKOFF: The most recent episode they did a satire of it.

But what will be interesting not only to see if podcasts come on, but even
if "Serial" can they still be "Serial", can they come up with a second
season with a narrative that`s as engrossing as the one they started with.

Can they even reduplicate what they did?

KORNACKI: Duplicating, too, we don`t have time for this but obviously a
lot of movie franchises "Jurassic Park", another "Star Wars" this year.

And do you know what? Everybody loves the comic book movies and I`m so
sick of it, come on. It doesn`t need to be a franchise for me. It doesn`t
need to be a sequel.

GILES: Something new. I know.

ITZKOFF: A 12-year-old boy in me is very excited, but unfortunately I`m
now 39 years old. I kind of missed my window by about 27 years.

GILES: I don`t want to say anything.

KORNACKI: I used to work at the box office.

Thanks to Nancy Giles, Dave Itzkoff, it`s always fun having both of you.

GILES: Thank you.

KORNACKI: How do 2015, to talk about some of the stuff as it comes out.
What will the political landscape look like throughout the next year?
Maybe not what you`d expect. Maybe it is. Predictions though from our
panel, that`s next.


KORNACKI: Always expect the unexpected. That`s good life advice, or at
least it`s a cliche. But can we apply it to the world of politics?

We certainly had a few surprises last year, including everything that
happened after some time for some traffic problems in Ft. Lee email became
public. It`s also Eric Cantor`s stunning loss to his primary challenger in
Virginia, Republican Dave Brat. Almost no one saw Defense Secretary Chuck
Hagel`s resignation coming either. How about Bob McDonnell and his wife
being found guilty of multiple counts of public corruption, with the
federal sentencing recommendation of ten years for the governor of

What are going to be the surprises in 2015? Who are going to be the front-
runners leading into the, first, presidential primaries? Is President
Obama`s approval going to rise? Let`s not only expect the unexpected in
2015. Let`s do the impossible by trying to predict the unexpected.

So, let`s do this in a few different ways. We have the panel here. We`ve
got predictions for the year 2015. At this time next year, 365 days from
now, we`ll basically be on the eve of the Iowa caucuses, New Hampshire is
going to come right after that.

We talked a little bit earlier about what the Democratic field might look
like, the Republican field, very crowded, very unpredictable.

But, Blake, what do you think? A year from now, put -- take the crystal
ball out. Who are we talking about a year from now? It`s like, who are
the front-runners going into this thing next year?

ZEFF: OK, this is not going to make a ton of news, I don`t think. But I
think Hillary Clinton looks good on the Democratic side. We can discuss
that if you want.

But I think the more interesting thing to talk about is the Republican
side. There`s a lot of volatility there. The person I really have my eye
on here is Rand Paul. Not necessarily saying he`s going to have this
wrapped up at the end of the year, or even if he`ll be doing well.

But to me, he`s interesting for the following reason -- I think that
there`s so many that you need to please on the GOP side at this point. I
think there`s going to be mainstream establishment type, whether that`s a
Christie or a Jeb Bush who has the money, that can propel, the big business
community likes. Then, you got the movement conservative group. And
there`s a whole lot of people from Ted Cruz onward who are interested in

The interesting thing about Paul is he`s trying to kind of have himself on
all camps and do interesting things to scramble the calculus entirely.
He`s going to try to reach out to younger voters, maybe independents,
maintains sort of that Tea Party connection, but also try to show the
establishment not to be too frightened of him. He`s not Ted Cruz.

So, Paul is the one I`m really looking at because I think he has a chance
to kind of scramble that calculus.

KORNACKI: How about you, Nan? Let`s stipulate Hillary for the Democrats.
Who do you think is leading on the Republican side this time next year?

HAYWORTH: Well, clearly, the field is broad and deep. It`s exciting. Jeb
Bush obviously has a tremendous advantage going into this because he can
raise money. He`s definitely got the biggest fund raising potential out

He is, to those who say, he`s not sufficiently conservative, I say
nonsense. He was a very successful two-term governor in our fourth largest
state. He cut $19 billion of taxes.

KORNACKI: Sounds like you`re ready for Jeb.

HAYWORTH: Well, you know, these are important arguments that have to be
made on the Republican side, because, you know, we`re going to talk about
conservative bona fides. Well, I`d like to see someone in the debate who
can propound those crucial decisions so that we can actually bring the 99
percent up to where the 1 percent is.

And if we have a leader who will cut the size of government appropriately,
cut taxes, have appropriate compassion and pragmatic approach on

KORNACKI: Is Jeb your candidate?

HAYWORTH: I would be happy to support Jeb Bush or Governor Christie, or --


KORNACKI: OK. I`m just wondering if we were going to make a little news
there with your endorsement.

So, Sahil, who do you think is going to be next year at this time? What
are we talking about?

KAPUR: I think a toss-up between Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, and mainly
for the reasons that Republicans historically have always nominated the
sort of winnable, electable candidate who can win over big business, who
can win over the establishment wings of the party.

And having said that, I would not count out Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, because
I think they`re very strong with certain segments, especially in the early

KORNACKI: Yes. I -- you make a good point on Paul. I`ll tell you, I`m
not sold on Bush right now. When you look at what he`s supposed to
represent, the theory behind Bush and match it with the poll numbers, I`m
not seeing -- I`m seeing resistance among Republicans to the Bush names.
I`m wondering if Republicans are looking pragmatically and saying, do we
want to put another Bush up there? Is there too many Bushes for the

The one I keep coming back to, and I know people might roll their eyes on
this. I want to keep coming back to is Chris Christie. The thing I`ve
always noticed about Chris Christie covering him in New Jersey and trying
to imagine this nationally, and a lot of people say the Jersey thing won`t
play in Iowa. It won`t play outside of New Jersey. But I`m picturing him
up on that debate stage. I`m picturing them coming after him.

I`m remembering how much somebody like Mitt Romney struggled in the
debates, how Rick Perry struggled in the debate. Chris Christie is such a
natural in those settings. And I think there could be -- look, there could
be explosive moments where he ticks people off and it backfires. I think
he could create moments in the course of this year that change a lot of
people`s expectations about how he`ll do in this race.

You know, I`ll tell you what, if I had to pick them now and guess a year
from now, I would say Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie. That`d be my --

HAYWORTH: And he works with Democrats.


KORNACKI: He has -- listen, he has -- you can`t win in New Jersey without
appealing across party lines. At least he did before.

So, any other -- somebody make a big bold prediction for 2015. Anything?
Who will win the super bowl this year? I`ll tell you Patriots. Anybody
want to argue otherwise?

HAYWORTH: Tax reform!

KORNACKI: Tax reform and the Patriots, there we go.

Sahil`s got one more.

KAPUR: I would also add Republicans are going to decide it`s in their
interest, in their political interest to maintain gridlock over the next
two years and nothing big is going to happen, because voters always blame
the president.

KORNACKI: Well, that`s a downer. Thank you for that, Sahil Kapur. You
may be right anyway.

Blake Zeff and Nan Hayworth, appreciate you all getting up this morning.

Thank you for joining us today for UP. For even more UP stuff, check out
our webpage,

Coming up next is "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY".

We will see you right here tomorrow at 8:00 Eastern. Thanks for getting


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