tv Smerconish CNN August 31, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PDT
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now the field after the debate. in a seattle park before a crowd her campaign estimated to be 15,000, larger than all but a couple of thousand, hillary clinton demands even after the nomination. warren herself called attention to the significance of the turnout. >> there's a lot a president can do by herself, then the rest of it, we got a full congress here. and to make that happen, you need crowds like this. >> president who has long shown a keen interest in the topic of crowd size took exception towards head count in an interview with fongs newx news . >> i have crowds that are many times what her crowds are. nobody ever talks about them. nobody wants to talk about them. with her, the other day they say she had 15. it's like a madison square
garden. elizabeth warren, it's a big crowd, no, there's a total double standard. >> meanwhile at joe biden's thursday student outreach to historically black college in south carolina, out of an odd dense of 500 mostly white people, mostly young people showed up. we've been hearing a lot about crowd size starting with the launch announcements. kamala harris had 20,000 at oakland. bernie sanders had 13,000 in brooklyn. amy klobuchar got 9,000 to show up in a snowstorm. beto o'rourke 6,000 in el paso the same as pete beauuttigiebut. and 6,000 is what joe biden could muster in philadelphia on a warm day. what does this tell us about their candidacies if anything? let's remember this is an in fact science at best. back when nominees, president
donald trump and barack obama both were able to attract large audiences. obama through 75,000 in may 2008. trump often had more than 20,000 like this event in cleveland in 2016. but don't forget, so did bernie sand here's still lost to hillary clinton despite the fact that she rarely drew crowds that size. and she didn't top 20,000 until enlisting president backe, jon bon vovvy and bruce springsteen. sanders is not alone. many candidates have come up short, despite drawing thousands to rallies. think jesse jackson, 1998. howard dean, 2004, rand paul in 2012. and even after a candidate gets the nomination, historically plenty of huge crowds have shown up for losing causes all the way up to election day. 1972, george mcgovern drew enthusiastic crowds including 25,000 people on election eve in
long beach, california. the next day, he lost every state to richard nixon extend massachusetts and the district of columbia. proving the silent majority did exist. november 1, 1984, walter mondale and geraldine ferraro had 100,000 in the electoral district. reagan beat them. election day 1988, michael dukakis had 15,000 in philadelphia. poppy bush beat him by 7,000 votes and 317 electoral votes. october 2004 john kerry was joined by bill clinton on stage in philadelphia before as many as 100,000 people. but bush/cheney reveiled. 2008, after john mccain chose sarah palin they drew crowds but
couldn't match obama's power. in bucks county, pennsylvania, didn't even win the state. so crowd size alone is not sufficient to win the white house. is it nevertheless a good yard stick? joining me now to discuss is douglas brinkley, a presidential historian, professor of history at rice university, author most recently of "american moonshot: john f. kennedy and the great space race." douglas, put this all in some historical context? >> well, at the beginning of the 20th century, william mckinley who was a two-term president he had what he called his front porch campaign. he would just sit in canton, ohio, and let people come to him and he would be like an oracle in his own backyard. but theodore vos svelte believed that crowd size mattered he would try to get 50,000, 60,000 wherever he went. i think crowds are important. it's called the enthusiasm
factor. and often it comes from a candidate who is offering something new and revolutionary like barry gold waerlt getting big crowds in 1964. george mcgovern in 1972. or bernie sanders and elizabeth warren playing in oakland and seattle, a progressive market, are going to get huge crowds. but it does account for a lot. because in crowds is momentum. and in crowd size are people that are going to vote. if you're willing to get up, do the hassle of go to an arena or stadium for a candidate and cheer, you're very likely to vote. and polling doesn't always do that. you answer the telephone, and you could say, i'm for this person or that person. that's different than getting up and going out early for a candidate. so, this is good news for elizabeth warren that she's generating this kind of enthusiasm. >> listening to your analysis, i think there's a parallel here. tell me if you agree, with yard signs. >> you know, big time. you know, i was up in your neck
of the woods when donald trump was running. i was in scranton to give a talk. and i was stunned at how many trump signs there were, even though people were saying donald trump is not going to win pennsylvania. if you travel the country, you can feel momentum in politics, and who has it and who doesn't. the key now for warren is to keep it up. because if she starts getting smaller crowd sizes, media is going to comment on it. and can they draw crowds, or bernie in places like south carolina, which are crucial. i mean, can a massachusetts senator like warren go in, you know, into charleston, and draw 20,000 people? yet to be seen. >> to steal one of your thought processes, the rolling stones are on tour right now. they're able to sell out stadiums everywhere, not in just one particular location. >> exactly. the big time acts can sell
anywhere. you got to play big in topeka or peoria. otherwise, you can cherry pick crowds, like a great amy klobuchar in minnesota. she's drawn a crowd, that's to be expected. and seattle tends to be generating big crowds for progressives in recent years. so, let's see how warren does in a crowd size in des moines. or if she goes to houston before the debates coming up, whether she can draw as big a crowd in texas. and we'll be talking about the momentum factor. but biden needs to work on getting bigger crowds. his campaign is trying to contain him into these sort of 500-person set pieces. where i think there's, you know, less chance for things to go wrong. i would try, if i were biden, to get out there and draw as big a crowd as he can. and give speeches. everybody likes good oratory.
the big crowds in american history have been people like william jennings bryan who could just fill up the place because he's a silver-tongued orator. obama was a great orator. or a frequent factor, sarah palin entering the mccain race. people wanted to see sarah palin. she was a new product being introduced in a very high-octane way. >> douglas, that was excellent. thank you as always. >> thank you. what are your thoughts? tweet me @smerconish. i will read responses during the course of the program. this comes from facebook, i think. what do we have? crowd size was that trump's favor in the last go around. i don't know if it's that clear. kathleen, it certainly was versus the primary field. he was able to outdraw everybody running against him in the republican primary. you compare what trump was drawing in 2016 compared to what bernie was drawing in 2016, i
think there are a lot of parallels. it speaks to passion but not necessarily the debt of support you have. up ahead, i will bring you the latest on the path and forecast of major hurricane dorian the category 4 storm bearing down on the carolinas later this week. >> plus, is it cruel and unusual public shment punishment to not allow homeless people sleep in places. plus, joe biden did indeed pin a medal on a soldier who said he didn't deserve. biden has been telling the story many different ways, getting the facts wrong. is that a problem? i want you to go to the question to answer, examination of joe biden's shifting war story. a benign misstatement of facts? or evidence of decline and/or deceit." >> mr. vice president, i don't want the medal.
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the southeastern united states bracing for impact from hurricane dorian that is still strengthening as a category 4 hurricane and still currently churning in the atlantic ocean. the hurricane now has wind up to 145 miles per hour. the latest model shows the storm's path shifting to the east now making landfall to the carolinas later in the week. however, meteorologists say the storm's path is still very uncertain. landfall along florida's eastern coast is still a possibility. president trump has approved a state of emergency declaration for florida which allocates extra resources to the state. experts are warning even if the storm does not make landfall as a major hurricane, it's expected to be close enough to the coast to cause life-threatening conditions of strong winds, storm surge and dangerous flo flooding rains. we'll continue to bring you updates throughout the course of the hour. now, was joe biden's false war story an act of decline or deceit or faulty memory?
i can remember personally, peoples d disremember things. biden has been telling a story for years about a very emotional encounter he had with a soldier that culminates with him pinning a medal on the man's chest. and the man saying, i don't want it, sir, because he died, meaningcomrade. this week, "the washington post" showed a different story, from a new hampshire town hall, showing multiple and inflating details. >> this guy climbed down a ravine. carried this guy up on his back under fire. and the general wanted me to pin a silver star on me. i got up there, this is god's truth, my word as a biden. he stood at attention, i went to pin him. he said, sir, i do not want the damn thing, do not pin it on me, please, sir, do not do that. he died. he died.
>> the story morphed in these foretelling us from a two-star general to a bronze star to a navy captain. as the post reported in the space of three minutes, biden got the time period, the heroic act, the type of the metal, the military branch and the rank of the recipient wrong, as well as his own role in the ceremony. when asked about it, biden didn't get why this is even an issue. >> i was making a point how correspourageous these people a. now incredible they are. this generation of warriors, these fallen angels we've lost. so i don't know what the problem is. what is it that i said wrong? >> biden's story is rooted in an actual event. in july, the president did pin a medal on a staff sergeant chad
workman. he said he didn't want the medal. the post reached workman who corroborated that he told biden he didn't want the award. and then added that biden told him, i know you don't. quote, he has that look where his eyes could see into your eyes, workman said, i felt like he really understood. so benign statement of facts or act of deceit. go there to answer the question. julia shaw, from the author of "memory illusion, remembering and forgetting a false memory." i enjoyed your talk. you said think of memories as stories. explain. >> yeah, memories are incredibly fallible, they're incredibly slippery. that's because we create these narratives, these stories we want to share. and the story gets better each
time it's told. that's true for the memory as well. that's because the network that comprise the brain, are quick and detail other bits and memories of experiences that we've had and create a patchwork version of a memory that didn't actually happen, even though it feels incredibly real to us. >> you tell an interesting story about your mother, unfortunately, being the victim of a physical attack. repeating that story to your aunt. and by a year later, when your aunt tells the story, she places herself in the backseat of the car as an eyewitness which just wasn't the case. >> yeah. it's an interesting phenomenon that happens. we see it in families quite often. where you'll see someone tell a story and they'll say, that didn't happen to you, it happened to me. and the term for this is actually being a memory thief. you've stole than memory from somebody else. it can seem like the person is self- self-aggrandizing, like making
themselves more important than they actually are. what's happening, that person has multiple sensory details. they've had it described what it feels like, almost like what it smelled like to be there. once they've had that level of sensation, you can adopt that memory. the next time you talk about it, you feel like you're actually there. from my aunt, she felt like he was in the backseat even though she wasn't in the country. when you conpeop peoplfront peoy aunt and say this couldn't have happens, and she goes, no. this feels so real. even were with evidence that shows it's impossible we trust our memories generally better than anyone else's. >> so lacking your expertise, lacking your credentials. here's my assessment of biden. there was no puffery to make himself better. if he conflated the story that we thought he was more heroic. i felt it was deceitful but
that's not what we see taking place. what's your bottom line about this? >> i think to me this has the classic signs of a false memory that's developed over time. you can see pieces of real events that he's learned about and put them together in a way that's never happened. when it happens to us as individuals, usually, we don't have a fact checker to look it up to say, oh, this is how your story has changed over time. i think it's a valuable lesson to show how flexible memories are even in vital events. >> the final question, how are we in the public, especially until a political context to discern between deceit and miss remembering? >> that's a great question. lies and false memories unfortunately can look the same to other individuals. but to the person themselves, one feels real and one feels like the truth and one doesn't. one is intentional manipulation. i guess one thing i want to add to that, there are some things such as dementia and ageing are
responsible for more memory errors but false memories can happen to any brain at any age. we see it all time. do not conflate ageing with just healthy brains and ultimately false memories are the same process that allows us to have creativity and flexibility and problem solving for our networks in the brains to recombine in new ways and allow us to be human. >> dr. shaw, nicely done. thank you. >> thank you. let's see what you're saying on my smerconish twitter and facebook pages. this comes from twitter. let's face it another man lying like trump to make himself look better to those voters. he totally made up the story and no one died. totally deceitful. valerie, that's the exact opposite of what i take from it. this is not him saying i was in a humvee or a helicopter and we were under fire. you know, the underlying story is accurate.
he pinned the medal on a chest of a guy who thought himself undeserving. that was the point of the story. i've got to say something else to the former veep's advantage. whether the number was 26, 28, 30, you know, or 52 visits to that war zone, to me, the point was, the guy's been over there a hell of a lot. i want to remind to you go to my website it's smerconish.com. and answer the survey question of the week. i think it's an interesting one. examination of joe biden's shifting war story: a benign misstatement of facts, or evidence of decline and or deceit. up ahead, is president trump in danger of causing fatigue even among his most ardent supporters? and with homeless living in tents automat s all across amer legal right to do so could be
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boise, a town of 250,000 has also been dealing with its own growing number of homeless sleeping in public spaces. last "s" september in martin v. boise, boise cannot prevent the homeless from sleeping in public spaces if there aren't enough available shelters now boise has asked the supreme court to review that decision and joining me now is the lawyer working to get scotus to review the case. counsel, thanks for being here. is this more about the privatization of public property. or the eighth amendment, cruel and unusual punishment? >> this case is about ensuring that cities have the tools they need to protect public health and safety, we're seeing a growing crisis in our cities from los angeles to boise and
across the nine states of the ninth circuit, as well as the of the country. and cities need to have the tools available to deal with the health and safety consequences of this problem. >> so, let me play devil's advocate. if they are homeless, and the only place they have to go is to sleep on a city street and now you say, well, you can't do that either, why is that not cruel and usual punishment? >> this is a complex problem. and cities need to debate solutions by hearing from mental health experts. substance abuse experts. housing experts. there's no one size fits all solution. but the ninth circuit has taken that debate off the table. it has ruled that cities can't prevent anyone from camping until they have enough beds for everyone. that ties a city's hands. it's unworkable. and we're seeing the sequences
of this problem. and right now, we have the spread of diseases like hepatitis, typhus and tuberculosis. and cities need to address that. there's rising crime and violence. and people living on the street, victims of crimes. in los angeles alone last year, nearly 1,000 homeless people died on the street it's. >> what if you're unsuccessful in getting scotus to take up the case? frankly, i'm an attorney, and i had to be reminded that idaho is in the ninth circuit. the ninth circuit is enormous. so what would that mean for all of the states that comprise the ninth circuit? >> it would be unworkable. if cities aren't allowed to deal with consequences of growing encampments then we're only going to see the problem worsen. it's a tragic situation. and the ninth circuit situation
actual eye harms those that it aims to protect. no other court in the country has ever ahead that the eighth amendment prohibits cities from protecting public spaces and protecting the health and safety of everyone. and by creating a constitutional right to camp on the streets, the decision is only going to make things so much worse. >> i hope that there are solutions. when i was in los angeles, when i was last week, where you are now, i was distressed at some of the comments portraying this as a red state/blue state ideological battle, to the extent there's conservative solutions that are available, i didn't hear them. i just know it's heartbreaking and third worldish. you get the final word. >> absolutely. this is not a political issue. this is a humanitarian crisis. and cities need to have the ability to deal with it. and we hope that the supreme court will take this case to address this issue. >> theeane, thank you so much.
>> thank you so much for having me, michael. let's check in on your tweets and facebook comments. this one from facebook. what do we have. i keep wondering with these homeless, do they realize there are parts of this country where you could go live comfortably on minimum wage? they're gravitating toward the coast. you know, it's complicated. but part of the reason is climate. and once they're there, there's such a lack of housing on the west coast that there's nowhere for them to go. but don't -- here's another observation i have having been on skid row last week, not that i'm fashioning myself as an expert. but you're assuming with that facebook comment that if you could only tee up a job opportunity for these folks that they would be able to function. and many that i saw are incapable of functioning. what i'm trying to say nicely is i think we have a mental health crisis that is a large part of this problem. still to come, president trump has compared his
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piece "mr. trump fatigue bite him in 2020?" he's also the author of the upcoming book "the case for national lift how is made us powerful and free." trump reportedly told aides before taking office that they should think of each presidential day as an episode in a tv show of goal that turns out to be too modest. trump acts like he need to produce enough programming to fill a 24-hour news network with outrages, internal melodrama, and legal fights and endless plot twists that are indisputably ratings gold." how can there be fatigue? >> it's what we talk about every day. we read columns about. we talk on tv about. the question is what i'm saying in the column, i think trump derangement syndrome which is a
real think that mostly afflicts his opposition can't really hurt him. right, you had a host on a rival network going for a single source, a russian conspiracy story had to retract. it didn't hurt him, it actually helps him that he's a martyr for the cause or unfairly treated. i think the threat is trump fatigue. i don't mean fatigue on the part of those who follow this every single minute. it's that there are swing voters out there, the question is when they get this choice in november 2020, do they want the show to go on? have they gotten used to it? are they entertained by it, despite what they might tell pollsters? or are they tired of it and want to go into another gear? the big question, do they want return to relative boredom which is what joe biden would be offering if he's the nominee? >> but to the president's
observation, he only cares if the base is fatigued. the sort of things that gives other fatigue, greenland, fighting with the fed chief. or fighting with one half of the squad over israel. his base eats that stuff up. >> no bet. >> it's the consternation of his opponents, and i think it kind of helps him. >> no doubt. well, there's this balance. the base loves it. they're entertained by it. they're convinced that trump is fighting every day. they're convinced this is what makes him different and shows how anti-establishment he. but there are swing voters out there, michael. the famous obama to trump voters. mostly working class. they were with a democrat, and then a republican. and then there are suburban republicans, especially women. just enough of them came back to trump, came home at the end of the 2016 to help put him off the tom. they swung radically in 2018, went with the republicans. one reason the republicans took such a bath in the congressional
races. the question is you should do they regard this? clearly at some level, they're repulsed by it but are they repulsed enough to go with a democrat in 2020. i don't think trump should be anyone else besides who he is. his persona is a big reason that it is where he is now. i do think it would help him, tone it down 20%, 30%. and he's not just tweeting impuli impulsiv impulsively. >> that is just not going to happen. i'm one of those who has wondered when does it change? i get the answer, never. >> thanks. appreciate you being here. let us check in on your tweets and facebook comments. what do we have. 45 fatigue is real. he has worn me down so that i cannot even watch the evening news any longer. well, paul, thank you for watching here. the question i would ask is, did you vote for him in the first go
round? rich makes a good point that independents have to be a concern to the president. i just don't -- what was the last event he had, we covered it? was it new hampshire? after what was presumably the last two weeks and he set an attendance record. i hope you're answering the survey question at smerconish.com this hour. here it is, examination of joe biden's shifting war story: a benign misstatement of facts or evidence of decline and/or deceit? still ahead, thousands of homes have video door wells for security. now partnering with ring, might customers be used to spy on their neighbors? coughing, aching, the dayti, stuffy-head, fever, sore throat, power through your day, medicine.
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red flags for privacy add row indicates. ring which is owned by amazon will partner with 355 police departments across the country by using what they are calling the neighbors portal which is an extension of the app for police. the neighbors app allows people to post safety information and view and comment on public posts. users can also upload videos from their ring doorbells. the neighbors portal will allow those to submit requests for certain investigations. ring will then send an automated email to all users in that area. the company says customers can decline the request or even opt out from receiving such requests. ring emphasized that the program does not give officials access to such devices, account information or device location. but privacy experts say this could amount to surveillance systems. with me is nick gillespie.
nick, any concerns on your part, as a libertarian, assuaged by the idea it's opt-in? >> yeah, that actually is helpful. the kind of early reports or early discussions of this talked about it more as if the police had access to live streams of everything that's going on. it's not that. that's a good thing. but it's also important to think about it's not just ring, it's kind of a cavalcade of internet of things where we're leaving more digital traces all over the place in a way that shows everything that we do. the police -- there's a digital record now, something globally, only 8% of transactions are done with cash. the rest are done with electronic payment systems that also leave a trail. we need to have a serious conversation about the implications of this, especially for privacy. because we tend to think of privacy as something -- i like to talk about it, we think of it as the grand canyon, it's something that's discovered in part of nature.
but in fact, it's like a city. it's a work in progress. but what we combine as privacy and interaction with law enforcement changes over time because of technology, process of political considerations and cultural changes. so, i'm glad we're having this conversation. and aussie civil libertarian, it does freak me out to a certain degree that there's a soft pressure to share more and more information willingly with police. because police have a bad track record of abusing their access to people's private records. >> well, i get what you're saying, in so far as now if i'm somebody who has a ring video doorbell and maybe i don't feel like participating. but now, i have to say to myself, oh, geez, i don't want the local police to think i'm not a good citizen. >> exactly. ring is an incredible technology. this kind of stuff is only going to start growing becaus it does add to the convenience and productivity and efficiency and comfort of everyday life. those ring doorbells.
they can city pretty far away. the idea is, it's protecting your own property, but there are reports you can see across the street. you actually be kind of putting a surveillance camera not only on your own property, but your neighbor's property. >> i was thinking if the gi gillespie house decides i'm going to do it. and i come out in the morning in my boxer shorts, all of a sudden, i'm captured in that same thing although i should have no expectation of privacy in the public domain. >> well, this is the crux of the matter, even the expectation if privacy is under most aspects of federal law is what governs whether or not police need certain court orders or subpoena or preferably a warrant to get information. that expectation of privacy changes. the classic cases, that for a long time, telephone calls were considered -- you had no expectation of privacy while making a telephone call for a variety of reasons.
that changed. and now you have an expectation of privacy while you're making a phone call. so, the police have to get a warrant. or, you know, to tap your phone and things like that. that might change again in the future. and that's also in your papers and property in your house. now that we have cell phones that carry more information with us and also leave a digital trace because every time you walk around a city with your cell phone you're pinging off of different cell phone towers where police can get records and basically figure out everywhere you've been. they may not know who you talked to or whether you went into a building or not, but they can get this information, and that changes the way that we need to be talking and thinking about privacy and safeguarding things. justice roberts last year in an important case said we do not lose fourth amendment rights or an expectation to be safe and secure, you know, we don't give up our fourth amendment rights when we enter the public sphere. that also includes going out on
our porch in our boxer shorts to get a paper if the neighbor across the street has a camera that can pick us up. i don't think there's a hard and fast rule that can be articulated because we're at the beginning of this phase of a whole new suite of technologies, but we need to be talking about it, and we need to, again, from a civil libertarian point of view, from a libertarian point of view, the police and law enforcement in general have a terrible track record of abusing their ability to surveil people. we wouldn't like it if police every time you got out of your house and you drove down the street and a cop car just follows behind you. they're not doing anything, but you know, you get nervous. are you going to make a traffic violation, and then that gives the police the right to ask a lot of other questions and invade your privacy. these are the kinds of concerns and analogies we need to be working through. >> understood. by the same token, we want to give them the tools to do the job to the best of their ability. i'm sure this conversation will continue at reason.com. thank you for being here, nick.
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