tv The Chris Matthews Show NBC July 24, 2011 4:30pm-5:00pm PDT
>> this is "the chris matthews show." >> ask not what your country can do for you. >> tear down this wall. >> i can hear you. >> the time for change has come. >> fat my of victory. to win next year, barack obama needs to repeat old triumphs, rewu those key group that's got him to the white house but are not completely with him this time. ok. how are the geniuses going to do it? can they get it all together again? >> what a difference a year makes. both sides have a little over a year. who will use it best, the republicans who have pledged to make obama a one-term president or the president, who's determined to prove them wrong? finally, keep your sunny side up. look at who wins elections.
it's the candidate out there in the country breathing hope and optimism. f.d.r., jfk and reagan. can obama beat the debbie downers by doing it again? i'm chris matthews. welcome to the show. with us "new york "is magazine john heilemann, glory borier, nbc's kelly o'donnell and "time" magazine's joe klein. first up, president obama faced critical decisions on the debt and afghanistan the last few weeks and all the while the geniuses who ran his 2008 campaign have been huddled with their maps and polls, figuring out how to put together a repeat victory. what's the anatomy of a re-election win for obama. he has 4-5, 81% of the people who voted for him last night according to a june nbc poll. what happened to the other 20% of obama's 2008 voters and how does he win them back? let's look at three skenl elements in the anatomy of the obama electorate. in the 2008 exit polls, obama got 66% of voters under 30. now he has just 56% of the under
30's. good? maybe not good enough. another key in the anatomy, suburban voters. any 08 exit polls, 50% of suburbanites went for obama. now he's down to 141%. final will laveragee pin in the obama win n '08 he had 52% of independents. now he has just 43% of independents. john, you wrote game changer about how he did it last time. how do they put, the geniuses out there in chicago and washington, humenty dumpty together again? >> they will be happy to hear you calling them geniuses for sure. the place to start this conversation is with the fact there is i think a widespread agreement in the obama world that the election that's about to happen is going to be closer than the election that happened in 2008. they don't expect barack obama to win 53% of the popular vote this time. they're looking at a investigatery that looks much more like -- and a map that looks like the kerry/bush 2004 race. a lot of states they won before that were swing states they
might not win again. it will be very, very close election. so all of those categories year talking about where there's been a decline worry them a lot. there's a fourth category that they look at being also extremely important. they have to try to rebuild in all of the areas you talked about but also hispanic voters, where the president still has very, very high support but because of the growth in that population if they do well there, it could offset some of the losses and some of the other key demographics. >> certain categories? >> sure do. state by state and in those categories. >> joe? >> the most important step of rebuilding the enthusiasm is getting a republican candidate. as soon as they have someone to fire at, they can build up the base. but like youth, the beggest problem is whether they're going to be enthusiastic enough to go back and vote at the same historic level that they did last time. >> let's get kelly on that. it seems like i'm getting a lot -- i get put on one of these lists. i don't know how i get on.
it's like a personal e-mail from somebody in chicago, from one of the guys -- >> dear chris -- >> some dowry. i don't know who it's from. social media, is that a part of it, technology of going out and constantly cheering people up? >> they've been expert at that. the hardest part of the magic what was 2008 for young people, can't put that in the bottle. t-shirts they wore back then faded. hard to get them as excited. doesn't mean they won't be supportive of the president but in the numbers joe talked about. >> the turnout -- >> gloria, come election we're scombroketting next november, yeah, something else. i have to do my laundry today. they could never get away with that back in 2008. >> they couldn't. so i think they will not duplicate the enthusiasm or turnout numbers. i think they still will probably win with younger voters. >> and you get to run against a real right winger who makes the issue of the president ethnicity and background or birther issue. or they raise the sexual orientation issues, gay rights issue of the doma brings that back.
will that drive out the younger votes? >> it might drive out the younger voters. overall if you do that, chris, in every category you show where voters are looking for is somebody who is reassuring, having been in a bad economy, somebody who's kind of a safer candidate, if you start bringing out all of the culture issues, people -- that's not what people are concerned about. >> ok. >> suburbanites won't go for that. >> but the most important thing can we just say -- jobs. jobs. chris: while you raise interest of suburban voters serksd category. talk about younger voters. suburbanites seem want to to hear not whose fault the last four years were but what's your plan? inspire them. you're not regular democrat or party voters. here's whey will do the next four years. doesn't he have to say that? >> suburbanites have kind of become -- how do we split this up between suburbanites and independents? chris: tell me. >> i see them as more poll ue
lift chris: more croubs. let's start with the suburbanites. >> they want to see fiscal discipline and they're also very liberal on social issue. >> they have mortgages. >> all of these guys are going to be really happy, i they, with his foreign policy because the troops will be coming back from afghanistan. will he have gotten osama bin laden. he's been a really responsible moderate leader. >> barack obama in his state of the union talked about winning the future. i think if you're a suburban voter right now and you have a republican candidate. say it's mitt romney out there. he's not going to say, ok, this is about winning the future. this is about right now. this is about getting jobs today. >> how are you -- >> let's not forget suburban voters are paying $5 a gas too. >> the other thing is how are you going to get my grown up college educated son or daughter out of my house? >> somebody reporting here. tell me what you think about this. let's go to independents. we were kidding. this whole question of
difference between suburbanites and independents. independents we think of ross perot and a person who's turned off politics to some extent. >> i think there's a cross. the specific things they can do across the specific groups but to me the core difference between 2008 and 2012 is going to be politics of hope we saw in 2008 versus politics of fear in 2012. they won't call it that but so much of this campaign in terms of driving turnout, amongst all of these group lbs about making the republican alternative totally aun acceptable and they will have a billion dollars. you will see a negative, onslaught of negative advertising. we have never seen -- chris: you just split the story. if the story is hope for obama, how does he build up that -- >> it's fear this time. 2012 it's fear of the alternative. and it's $500 million of negative ads run against mitt romney or jon huntsman or michele bachmann. chris: and trashing his opponent? >> the public may not want to see it but they will get it.
in the past even though they say they don't want to see it, it worked in the past. >> the very same democratic campaign running against republican extremism. chris: let me ask you, john, i think the voter doesn't want to be told you have no choice. stuck with an incumbent who's dead in the water, who's not moving the economy. by the way, you can't pick this other guy. doesn't that make voters say i'm voting for reagan. i'm voting -- >> the message it sends is stay home. >> independents often don't want the same candidate twice. they are the most moveable group. chris: really? that's the history. >> the question is as opposed to whom, right? they're 10% to 12% of the electorate that sort of holds back and says it depends -- chris: catholics. they usually wait until the last minute. >> if it's mitt romney and he seems kinds of safe, then he might be the candidate for them. chris: i think you're right. looking for something better than they got. may be obama but it has to be better than the first term. we put it to the regulars, including all four of you be
you, what's the best 2012 re-election strategy for the president, double down on progressive initiatives or zip over to the center politically? we'll ask the analyst that scrares me who says the smartest strategy is to be in the center. i'm not sure. on the issue of jobs the center means the status quo. >> that's a good point. but certainly on some of the heartfelt liberal issues, they will go with him. the alternative will not bring them close tore some of those things. that's where my center idea comes from. it's that reasonableness he's trying to harness in difficult times. when we talk about the president trying to take a high road, whether that's a good place to be or not, center seems to be a better path for him. chris: you start with a depressing thing for the democrats watching which is he will not do as well as 53%, which he got last time. is there any new parts to the body politic? is he going to pick up a little better than any community than he did last time? >> i think there's a chance he could do better among hispanics. i think that's going to be a lot of their effort. chris: what did he get? >> 62%, 63%.
he can go up on that. >> maybe. medicare -- >> there will be more. state like arizona, for example, might be a completely different race with john mccain out of it. this will be a more technical election. you will see him emphasize issues like immigration, which is a real -- chris: how much has the demographic changed more people of color and spem of spanish background? >> it's a slowly rising tide. chris: before we break, barack obama ran last time as the optimist. historically that's the ticket to the white house. back in the depths of the great depression, optimism was franklin roosevelt's theme. in fact, it was also his theme song, "happy days are here again." americans soong it and believed -- sang it and believed it. ♪ happy days are here again the skies above are clear again let us sing a song of cheer again happy days are here again ♪ chris: that's a jaunty one. democrats found a new upbeat
theme in 1960 thanks to frank sinatra, who wrote a second version of the 1959 hit "high hopes" for his pal jack kennedy. the song became a mainstay on the campaign trail. ♪ i've got high hopes he keeps american strong yes, there goes the opposition oops there goes the opposition curve oops there goes the opposition curve, kerr plunk ♪ >> ihink milwaukee, polish community event. ronald reagan turned the optimism note to a patriotic message. it was 9 hit song "god bless the u.s.a." by lee greenwood. ♪ i'm proud to be an american where at least i know i'm free and i won't forget the men who
died who gave that right to me and i gladly stand up ♪ chris: bill clinton and al gore's optimistic theme was all about their bridge to the future message. ♪ don't stop thinking about tomorrow don't stop it will soon be here ♪ chris: another winner. but what about theme song that's bombed? because they didn't marry an optimistic note with the candidate that looked optimistic. there was, of course, michael dukakis. ♪ around the world they're coming to america every time that flag unfurled ♪ >> and john kerry's didn't exactly work for him either. ♪ it's a beautiful day don't let it get away ♪ but the grandaddy of all bad theme songs, when ross perot was
combating his image as a loose cannon he chose this theme -- >> here we go. ♪ crazy i'm crazy for feeling so lonely i'm crazy ♪ chris: the great patsy clivene. when we come back, we'll talk about optimism. barack obama ran as the optimist last time. but tough times. should it be more in sync with the story lines?
of every generation when that spirit of hope has to come through. when we -- we shed the fear and the doubt and we don't settle for what the cynics tell us we have to accept but we reach for what we know is possible. chris: winners are the optimists, the ones with the sun in their face and usually the ones who are outside, wind blown, not desk bound. both roosevelts, teddy, f.d.r., and even j.f.k. and george w. bush, opposed to al gore. obama upbeat and optimistic from the stunning crystal clear announcement in springfield, illinois, back in 2007. and then all the way. kelly, the problem the president has is these have been difficult times. these are his advertisements f. you will. how does he say things will be a lot better than what you see? >> patience is a very tough argument. he can still have an imagery, benefit for optimist. michelle obama's prominence, the children f he can talk about doing better and give some of those examples, whether it comes
from what he's done pulling out of the wars and osama bin laden and all of that kind of thing, that can help in an area where he might have been otherwise weak. if he can talk about these increment am improvements in the economy maybe. but increments are hard to sell. chris: has he gotten stuck in washington? watching all of this dead fight all of these weeks, i wonder if hasn't gotten caught behind the desk? >> i think he's been playing on the republican field throughout on this debt fight. the playing field he wants to be on is jobs, the economy. and he wants to be hitting wall street a little harder. chris: as an outsider. >> as an outsider because they're very unpopular in the rest of the country. the bankers. >> presidents' incumbents always try to find a way to run against washington. ronald reagan did it effectively. chris: he never moved to washington. always was out west. >> and barack obama will find a way to do that. he will also, i believe, try to talk about the tough choices that he has made, whether it's on afghanistan wlfment it's on the debt. whether it's on health care
reform and the sort of leadership issue. and one thing he can't do, though, is what he did in 2010 with the democrats tried to do, which is say things would have been worse if i had not been here. that doesn't go over well. >> what's real important about this guy, he came to power on a tidal wave. he didn't have to be that much of a politician. really great politicians, as we all know, get up every morning and they see what they're opponent said and they say hey, wouldn't it be cool if i try going that way? we don't know whether that's something barack obama likes to do or is capable of doing. chris: and attacked with the wind going the wrong way. >> he will run against you. trumanesque element or do-nothing congress. that's one of the things we see coming out of the debt creting and deficit battle is the ability to attack republicans who control congress as being intransigent and not will be to make compromises with him. and on the republican side, he's going to have a foil, which is the republican has been for most
his four years quite angry. barry bonds has not been angry over the last four years. chris: can romney be the upbeat optimist? i'm not sure he has that much personality to be optimistic or pessimistic. i can't tell the difference with him. does he have that feature? >> he has this goofy sense of hume area that doesn't always work. i mean, you know, he isn't as cardboard as he actually come as cross probably. chris: he seems a guy in the hall of the president. his character. stand up hi. i'm abraham lincoln. >> but he is able to kind of face down an opponent with a smile. we saw that with the republicans. >> he does have reaganesque head moves, but -- he does. but the real question is going to be with him, how strong he is? he has turned tail on every tough issue he's confronted. is he going to be able to tell
his base -- chris: that is can he be consistently optimistic? when we come back, scoops and predictions. -dad, why are you getting that? -that's my cereal. is there a prize in there? oh, there's a prize, all right. is it a robot? no. is it a jet plane? nope. is it a dinosaur?] [ male announcer ] inside every box of heart healthy cheerios are those great tasting little o's made from carefully selected oats that c help lower cholesterol.
chris: welcome back. john, tell me something i don't know. >> the president and his team raised an extraordinary amount of money over the earlier part of this year and people have been talking about how the obama money machine, i mentioned earlier, ungodly amount of money to spend. there is no republican candidate who will raise anything like
that amount of money. but in the end when all is said and done, if count up all of the outside money that comes in, i predict you will have something close to parody between republicans and democrats in the general election going in 2012. chris: gloria? >> speaking of money, one republican who can raise money is not yet in the race and that is the texas republican -- chris: is he going to run? >> rick perry. i think he's going to run. i was told he's trying to hold off until around labor day if he can possibly do that. his fund-raisers are likely to come from the camp of rudy giuliani. chris: don't think he should run. >> when i sat down with michele bachmann, i asked her about how she uses the fact she had foster children, she and her husband raised 23. would any come forward and they're now adults to sort of campaign for her? she interestingly said no, we will keep that private. we will respect that. i find that interesting since she uses that characteristic -- chris: joe? >> chris, i'm sick of politics.
i want to go to the beach. if you're going to beach, you should read the most wonderful novel i have read in years, "a visit from the goon squad" by jennifer egan. it won the pulitzer prize this year. and it's beautifully written. chris: summer reading from joe klein. when we come back, big question of the week, with this president so vulnerable, are big-time republicans kicking themselves ning? whoever said that "less is more"
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more. [ female announcer ] more room. complimentary drinks. free breakfast. embassy suites hotels. chris: welcome back. president obama's no better than even money for re-election according to most analysts which brings us to this week's big question, are any of the big-time republicans who passed up a run for president regretting it? >> one definitely is. mitch daniels, governor of indiana who wanted to run. only reason he didn't run was because of his family who held him back. to this day he's thinking, i can get in this race and win it. chris: gloria? >> i actually went to indianapolis and spoke with mr.
daniels about it. he says no regrets but i'm sure there are. i wonder if jeb bush is thinking about it right now? maybe there was enough distance between himself and his brother to possibly give it a run. chris: kelly? >> since they've taken two great answers i will say how about haley barbour to have a southerner if we don't get rick perry. chris: i don't know the reason why he's not running. i interviewed him last week. he's very sharp on all of the issues. >> we're in the middle of the doldrums and tim pawlenty is wondering -- chris: that's a regret for you. thanks to a great round taken. -- round table. that's the show. thank you for watching. see you back here next week.