tv The Daily Rundown MSNBC August 26, 2011 6:00am-7:00am PDT
>> i learned that we want to be or let me put the exception, we on one side of the line in that expect something from sarah hurricane path. palin sometime in september. they both sound pretty bad to >> certainly sarah palin could me. >> i learned that all the governors on the east coast who jump in. i don't think that would are in the path of hurricane surprise anybody. by and large i think the rest of irene are all prepared and ready the political figures have to go. decided that they're getting in >> i learned two things, or not getting in and it's too governor buddy roemer running late for a lot of these people. for president will come to your house. for sarah palin she can wait because she can raise money fast. >> and everyone knows her the first day she's in the race. and president obama is slated to you don't have to work the iowa make a statement at 11:00 this voters to know who sarah palin morning about 11:30, about the is. >> absolutely. otherwise i think it's pretty conditions, hurricane set other than the weekly conditions, and right now, we're standard trying to throw people going to go back to washington into the mix. >> i'm waiting for the jonathan allen float. for our old pal chris who none of us have been mentioned actually is hosting the "daily yet. >> i would be a terrible rundown" today. chris, take it away. presidential candidate. >> i would say, reporters make bad candidates. >> the ocean is swelling, as powerful hurricane irene pushes fred, we've got some polling, we had some polling from mason towards the densely populated eastern coast. dixon, independent polling firm yesterday in florida. let me just run through a couple 65 million americans lie in its of the numbers. path. the monster storm is expected to the florida republican primary, roar ashore sometime tonight in they have romney, 28, perry 21, north carolina. herman cain 7. we're live there, and up and i think the number more down the east coast this morning interesting as it relates to the with the full details. rick perry question, mitt romney
it's friday, august 26th, 2011, 51 in the general election, and this is "the daily rundown." barack obama, 43. rick perry, 46, barack obama, 45. you know, the layman, i look at of course we'll have the it and i say, well, geez, mitt morning's top political news as well for you this hour. the president is expected to romney looks like a stronger candidate. deliver a statement on hurricane we know '04 is going to be a irene at 11:30 a.m. eastern swing state. i don't want to read too much time. into any one poll, does this let's get right to that big send a signal to some in the story of the day, though. republican party like whoa let's hurricane irene has left the put the breaks on rick perry? bahamas in its wake and is >> i think the chris christie headed straight for the u.s. boomlet, the paul ryan boomlet, coastline. it weakened slightly overnight the jonathan allen boomlet. but could be re-energized in the >> that's for today. warm waters of the atlantic >> the rise of jonathan allen. today. nbc meteorologist bill karins joins us now. >> i think it shows that the bill, what's the latest? >> well, chris, it doesn't matter if it weakened overnight. republicans, republicans aren't this storm is huge sizewise. the incensety is not going to satisfied with the field yet. and there's always someone vary much until it makes better out there. >> chris, let me just interject. landfall. we have about 24 hours before we it feels like in every election start to see the devastating for both parties, there's always winds on the coastline of north someone better out there. carolina. let me show you what the storm i give you wes clark, who, when he got into the race in looks like right now. this black line, by the way, is september of 2003, was where the center of the storm. so if you want to know what rick perry is right now. direction it's heading in. is that a natural phenomenon it's heading due north. that's not going to change much that you always kind of want the until it gets up past new person you can't have? or do you think it's more
england. that's why this is going to rake right along the entire coast. pronounced this time with republicans? >> i think it's more pronounced when i mention the size of this this time with the republicans. storm, i mean we're talking i think what the republican about almost a texas-sized primary poll in florida shows, storm. it makes florida look small down there's two wings of the there in the lower left corner. republican party. the establishment wing, and the all of the bright colors is where all of the thunderstorms tea party wing. and right now, you have bachmann are and the heavy rain. and perry arguably fighting over the storm surge will be a problem in north carolina. the tea party wing. then we're going to deal with the rain. and you know, it's not but the wind field is what's uniform -- the party's not going to cause damage in so many unified yet. locations far away from the and i think the differential coast and well inland. between romney and perry in the this area of orange is over 300 general election, you know, i have this line, sometimes it miles wide. and tropical storm force winds. seems like governor perry is it's very rare to see a storm running for president of texas this wide. and not president of the united i'm not saying intense, but this states. >> right. >> and he's clearly appealing to wide, and this long. in the middle of that is the a certain base of republican voters that hasn't translated yet as romney has to the broad hurricane-force winds. and the most damage of that is going to be eastern north middle. >> okay. we'll be back. we'll be back. carolina into virginia/delaware plenty more in the political coast with hurricane warnings that are up now from just south panel. but first, it's trivia time. of new york city, jersey shore, we asked, atlantic hurricanes, maryland, delaware, down along through virginia beach, norfolk, which traditional had female also down along the north carolina coast. names, were also given male hurricane watches are in effect names for the first time for the 1979 season. along the portions of new what was the first male named england. let me break this down region by storm? the answer is bob. region. i'm going to start from the okay, we didn't say it was south and work my way northward.
this is what i'm going to call exciting. bob. the region of north carolina and we'll be right back. you're watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc.etwork virginia. mostly the coastal areas, . slightly inland. the impact is going to begin for excuse me? you it looks like right around my grandfather was born in this village. 6:00 to 11:00 tonight. [ automated voice speaks foreign language ] that's pretty early. the tropical storm force winds [ male announcer ] in here, everyone speaks the same language. will arrive along with the rain. the storm will peak for you in ♪ north carolina and virginia. saturday, about 4:00 a.m. until in here, forklifts drive themselves. 11:00 p.m. i'm going to give you the no, he doesn't have it. yeah, we'll look on that. all-clear. that's important. when are we all-clear? [ male announcer ] in here, friends leave you messages written in the air. about sunday, 8:00 a.m. the storm surge, six to ten that's it right there. feet. [ male announcer ] it's the at&t network. rain fall up to a foot. also talking max winds of 100 to and what's possible in here is almost impossible to say. 120. i'm calling it extensive damage in coastal north carolina and and i saw another store's ad virginia. the next zone, delaware, for these crayons at a lower price. no problem -- i can match that right here. maryland and new jersey. oops -- i don't have the ad. again extensive damage expected you don't need it. in this area. oh, what about a coupon for these pens? i'm going to say the worst impacts for you are going to be yeah. easy. saturday from 8:00 p.m. during why does the glue not stick to the glue stick? the overnight hours, into sunday well, it's very complicated, but it has to do with oxygen. at 8:00 a.m. i'll give you the all-clear at about 2:00 p.m. on sunday. i knew that. [ male announcer ] we're so confident in our low prices storm surge four to eight, about every day on everything for back to school, we back it with our easy ad match guarantee. ten inch max rain fall and the get this graphing calculator for just $95. winds up to 100 miles per hour. as we go throughout the morning save money. live better. walmart.
i'll be breaking down the other regions including up in new england and new york city. i think everyone gets the idea here. we're looking at a storm that's about 36 hours, chris, of damaging wind and rain and surge from the carolinas northward. >> huge storm. thanks, bill, thanks for the update. the coast of north carolina will be irene's first u.s. victim. nbc's mark potter is in nags head, north carolina, and joins us now. mark? >> well, hi, chris. this morning it's pretty calm here actually, we want a little bit of cloud cover. the waves are up slightly. a little bit of wind. we don't have very much right now. but we're expecting to startgating rain later this afternoon into tonight and then we'll start feeling the bigger effects of the storm overnight and tomorrow. the very worst of the storm, we are told, will be upon us probably late tomorrow afternoon. it will be an event all day tomorrow, and into tomorrow night here. one of the biggest concerns, beside the wind and the effects of that are the storm surges. i use that plural for a reason, both from the atlantic side to
my left, but also to the sound, which aren't very far away to my right. the albemarle sound. if the storm comes up on the west side of where i'm standing now that could push water from the sound toward this direction, flooding roads, and houses on that side. plus the counterclockwise flow of the storm could bring the atlantic waters in so they could be sandwiching the area where we are now, chris. >> mark, thanks for bringing that to us. much more later. while individual states up and down the east coast make their preparations, fema is preparing for a federal response to irene. we're joined now on the phone by fema administrator craig fugate. craig, thanks for joining us. where are you guys sending your people right now? >> from north carolina all the way through to maine. we have teams in north carolina, teams going in to the mid-atlantic states, teams going in to the new england states. so we've been getting folks ahead of the storm, and also sending supplies in ahead of the storm. >> what are you telling people? obviously the story always goes some people just don't want to leave. they want to stay no matter the
danger. how serious do people need to know this storm is, and why do they need to go if they're in the evacuated areas? >> well, it's the storm surge, which, for a lot of people, is hard to explain. but think about this. it's not just the initial think about a tide with big blast from hurricane irene that waves coming in that doesn't go out and those waves are pounding forecasters are worried about. the slow moving storm threatens everything in its path. that's the problem in the to soak regions already dealing low-lying areas, that storm with an unusually wet summer. surge can be deadly. you don't get a second chance if nbc meteorologist bill karins is it's too late. back. and that's why you need to go bill, give us the latest on the early. and again we know there's going to be a lot of traffic and congestion as you evacuate these coastal communities. leave early and don't wait. if conditions deteriorate and storm's path and what that fallout might look like. you're not out of there, people >> i got some different maps for may not be able to get you. you, chris, to give you different perspective on when is 911 calls will get answered but happening with this storm system. this shows the sea surface you may not have a rescue temperatures over the atlantic because it's too dangerous for teams to try to reach you. ocean. hurricanes need temperatures >> craig, you briefed president obama on hurricane irene above 80 degrees to get bigger yesterday. what did you tell him? and stronger. we have 80 degree water >> well, his questions were, you know, what were we doing to get ready? temperature in the orange, all basically we talked about the the way to virginia beach. the storm only has until about virginia beach to strengthen. whole federal team, not just after that, it goes over cooler water, it would weaken. the water temperatures off the ocean city, maryland are in the fema, with secretary napolitano. 70s. off of areas of new england, in the emphasis was to make sure
some cases, temperatures in the we're staying pro-active to this 60s. the carolinas will get hit by storm, getting things in place most likely a category 3 or very and ready to support the states when we get the impacts. strong 2. >> and one more thing, craig, we you can see the black center just had bill karins, nbc line. meteorologist just on talking it is really weakening until it about the sheer size of this gets past ocean city, maryland, storm. north carolina to maine. that's why we're expecting a devastating blow to the coast how big a challenge when there there. now, as far as the wave goes, are that many large population the wave action is going to be centers being affected by it, how big a challenge is that for incredible with this storm, such a big storm, so much mass and so fema and how are you guys working to handle that? >> just fema would be much potential energy that will be tossed into the waves. overwhelming. we have 18-foot waves now off but it's not just fema. we're talking about a lot of the coast of south carolina. local officials. state teams, national guard, 14 just off of wilmington. throughout this area. all working together. 10 foot waves off of cape hatteras as the storm nears, that's why it's so important for the public to get ready and get those big huge waves will be crashing on shore and that's prepared. because power is going to go out where we'll get our beach in a lot of areas. erosion. at the time of high tide, we'll and if people haven't gotten ready that's going to put more see that surge. strain on the system and it's we're starting to get our numbers in for accumulated going to divert attention to the most critical rescues and the rainfall. this is only out through sunday morning. but that purple area in eastern most critical, most vulnerable population. so this is really about a team effort. north carolina, norfolk, chris, from the federal family, we're we're talking the possibility of norfolk up to 10 inches of rain all working together to support our governors and their teams. in a short period of time. but the public can help by we will have historic flooding getting ready and go to in some cases in the eastern ready.gov or on their phones shores right along virginia, north carolina, right up to southern new england.
m.fema.gov and take the steps >> thanks, bill. now. time is running out but they can let's bring back our panel. still get ready. >> all right. michelle bernard, jonathan alan fema administrator craig fugate, thanks for taking a few minutes and fred yang. these sorts of natural on what we know is a very busy day for you. >> thank you very much. >> the jersey shore in new york city has seen direct hits from disasters, hurricanes, snowstorms, leadership is always hurricanes very few times over a big issue. the past century. i want to highlight one thing, there was a pew poll out this week, presidential leadership, but that's exactly what they're president obama able to get preparing for as irene barrels things done. up the coast. now 44%, that's down 11% from may. >> yeah. >> from a flooding perspective, >> how concerning is that for this could be a 100-year event. the white house? >> it is not insurmountable, but it is a big concern. if you look at the pew numbers so, people should not -- should in more detail, the only numbers that stayed about the same or not take this lightly. didn't decrease significantly >> the national weather service is now predicting that new were do we like you, do we think yorkers will begin to feel the you understand people like us, effects of irene in the early do we think you're a good hours of sunday morning, and communicator? the president has to definitely based on the latest forecast, it look at these numbers and understand that just because will be a category 1 storm. people like him, it doesn't mean what we have to do is assume the they're going to re-elect him. worst, prepare for that, and hope for the best. the country is hurting, but then again, you know, the election is >> nbc's lester holt joins us a far away off. the numbers are not now from brooklyn, new york. insurmountable. >> we haven't mentioned the good morning, lester. economy at all in this whole >> chris, good morning. hour. that's the new york that most people around the world and the how much is he able to get things done with the economy?
country know, manhattan. it's big, maybe 2 million people >> i think a lot of it has to do there. but it's only a part of this with the economy. we should remember that some city, made up of five boroughs. people don't like it when the president gets things done. all of them have lots of so not -- an inability to get waterfront, lots of exposed, things done may not necessarily vulnerable waterfront, and so the storm surge is the worst be a bad thing. fear of officials here. it is a question that is and it really strains the imprecise, that said you got to planning. what's going on today is the look at the economy, got to look city has identified various at unemployment and understand people are unhappy with the parts of the city as "a," "b" president's policies even if they like them. and "c" zones. >> fred, how do you deal with "a" zone, those low-lying areas that? you're a pollster. you look at the numbers. most vulnerable to the storm surge, already the mayor has ordered evacuations of nursing how do you deal with it? the blatant reality, the homes in those "a" zone areas. political reality, we know this is the president, gets too much -- too much blame when the they're being completed by 8:00 economy is good, too much credit when the economy is good, too tonight. shelter is being put in place. much blame when it is bad. the issue of mandatory evacuations still on hold. what do you advise a candidate if you're looking at numbers that call may be made saturday like that? >> we advise them to improve. morning. the mayor had two news number two, look, i think conferences yesterday, outlining everything michelle and jonathan the planning here. said are true. we have to look at this in one of the big question marks is perspective. mass transit. this happened after the debt this is a city where a lot of ceiling debacle. people don't have cars. they get around on subways and commuter trains. where the economy almost collapsed. and it is not just the the head of the transportation president's numbers that have authority here says once gone down. it is congress. sustained winds hit 39 miles per congress another 12%.
hour, they can't guarantee that you continue to run the trains. so this is up, the president is they may start shutting them in charge. down. it would take eight hours to shut the entire system down. >> very quickly, michelle that could be the wild card for bernard. a lot of folks making their >> shameless plug, september planning as they watch this storm march northward. as to when to make their move. 15th, the ark at washington, when, perhaps, to evacuate. now when we talk about d.c., a town hall meeting on evacuations in new york city, we're not talking about all 8 childhood obesity, free admission, free food for the million people. whole community. roughly it's about 250,000 >> shoutout to my wife who is 8 1/2 months pregnant. people who live in these she continues to amaze me. low-lying areas. >> hard to top that. lower part of manhattan behind >> he did his wife, i'll do my me, staten island, brooklyn and three girls, all got basketball queens going to long island. awards at their basketball camp those 250,000 people may be three weeks ago. subject to mandatory evacuations >> let me give my shameless plug once they are called. the city right now is in high gear, making all kinds of contingency plans. to chuck todd for letting me the mayor says they are planning for the worst case, and we'll keep his chair warm. all see what happens over the chuck is back on monday and he's next 48 hours. back to you, chris. got quassim reed. >> thanks, lester. say with nbc for nonstop the nation's capital is also coverage of hurricane irene. expecting a strong encounter we'll be here throughout the with hurricane irene. weekend bringing you live the storm's impending arrival updates as the powerful storm already forcing the cancellation treks up the eastern seaboard. of this weekend's dedication of up next on msnbc, chris the martin luther king jr. jansing & co. memorial.
we'll get the latest on the mid-atlantic storm preparations next with maryland governor martin o'malley. and still ahead, inside the eye of the storm. nbc's peter alexander takes us on a once in a lifetime ride i'm meteorologist bill with the hurricane hunters. karins and the weekend forecast is all about hurricane irene. you're watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. a monster storm, approaching the coastline of north carolina. we expect that landfall sometime either early in the afternoon on saturday or possibly late saturday morning and all that rain and wind is going to spread up the eastern seaboard. be prepared saturday night and sunday on the east coast. just one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day every time a local business opens its doors or creates another laptop bag
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we know that. talk about how handling a hurricane, a snowstorm, some other natural disaster, has impacted people in the past, politically, and what we think about this one. >> obviously we're all concerned with what could happen here on the most coast and where the touchdown of irene actually could come in. there have been, though, the political consequences for people who, you know, and how they've handled these situations. some politicians have been able to shine. and others, it's really hurt them. so this is something that we've seen through the years. >> you know what's a fascinating thing, the last ten years or so, ever since bill clinton declared the era of big government is over, it feels like people tend to like less government, except in these situations when they want their government to do things for them. they want their government to be active. >> right. >> bobby jindal is an example. >> we saw that with joplin, missouri. we saw that, obviously, you know, with the whole other set of -- i mean the snowstorm in new york and new jersey. you know, where mike bloomberg saw his approval ratings drop,
chris christie being criticized for being in disney world at the time. so, you know -- >> that iconic image, that iconic image we've talked about of george bush kind of looking down out of the plane at hurricane katrina. that in some ways kind of encapsulated for people -- >> that's why you're going to see president obama talk about this today. he has to show that he's in front of something. >> be active. >> yes. >> let's turn to a little bit more raw politics here. we'll get into that a little bit. we'll talk a lot more about the hurricane in the show. mitt romney, maybe the worst week, certainly the worst week in recent memory or mitt romney. saw himself passed by rick perry is polling. what's your readout on mitt romney this week? i mean he had a tough week. mitt romney really had a tough week. in addition to the fact that national polls showed him starting to be behind rick perry. not even by a little. bit was 12 points. i mean, that's a lot in the gallup poll, down 29-17 to rick perry. >> that's outside the statistical margin of error. >> absolutely. >> it's a national. . >> and mitt romney still has a
sizable lead in a place like new hampshire. people shouldn't be sounding the warning bells yet. it's not over. he has to -- he has to -- he has to do well in new hampshire. if we see suddenly there's a downtick in his ratings in new hampshi hampshire, then we say oh, ring the alarm bells. but national polls really don't indicate much as far as the primaries go. but it does show some slippage and it has to concern them. >> i want to play something. i feel like this kind of encapsulated mitt romney's week. he did a couple of town halls. one of them got a little contentious. let's play that sound bite. >> you had your turn, madam. let me have mine. i've -- let me have mine. listen, i'll give you the microphone in a moment. but let me complete. i'm sorry, it's my turn. look, let me speak, then you get to speak. okay? >> first of all, the thing that always strikes me a little bit about romney is that awkwardness. let me complete. >> right. >> who says that? >> right. >> that's kind of a side bar. just a little bit of an
awkwardness. but in some ways this is a guy who's been relatively unchallenged as a front-runner. we thought health care was going to be a problem. it's not that big a problem. is he having to change strategy? are we seeing a change in mitt romney? >> a lot of these things taken by themselves aren't that big a deal. but in aggregate you start to see narratives that he plays into. the biggest weakness is the authenticity issue. people talk about health care. the authenticity stuff is really his biggest liability. and, you know, part of -- jill lawrence wrote about this in the daily beast, "newsweek" earlier this week, rapping some of the awkwardness from the trail. but with this town hall, sure in the greater context of it, this was a woman who was going on. she was clearly not a reporter. and he was trying to move on. >> move on. >> right. but the problem is, there are easier says to defuse a situation like this. and good politicians know how to take someone like that and, you know, kind of pacify. >> thanks for your thoughts.
>> yeah. >> talking points. >> that's part of the problem when you, you know, people are going to ask, is that really who mitt romney is? yes, chris christie made his youtube moment for yelling at people at town halls. >> romney, chris christie. we're going to go back, we have governor o'malley. thank you, as with us for your time. and always make sure you read first read every morning. states between north carolina and maine are all preparing for the worst from hurricane irene. in maryland up to 150,000 residents and visitors have been asked to leave the popular vacation destination of ocean city. we're now joined by the state's governor martin o'malley on the phone. governor o'malley thanks for joining us. tell us the latest in maryland and how your state is preparing for this oncoming hurricane? >> well, chris, as you mentioned, we are preparing for this category 2 to give us a real blow to the side there. in ocean city. and really, across our state as it passes by. it's a category 2. it's a killer storm. it is a very, very dangerous storm.
and with the chesapeake bay, there is a tremendous amount of likelihood between the flooding, and the tidal surge, that a lot of the lower lying coastal areas, especially in the lower bay, will be inundated. so, this is a big event. we have never in modern times evacuated in a mandatory way ocean city. that evacuation is under way. several of the hundreds of the seasonal workers, sort of the kids here on student visas, have been evacuated for the last 24 hours. we hope by 5:00 p.m. tonight to have everybody out of ocean city, and it is a mandatory evacuation. >> governor, two things on that, one are you getting ju r want t st, don't think it's all that serious? and, two, where are the folks who are mandatoryly being evacuated from ocean city, where are they going? >> most of them, as far as the
vis to visitors, they're going home. we've also been able to, because of just what a huge event this is for the nation, i mean that has gotten the word out to people that may have been booking their upcoming week to begin sunday. they're holding off and their not coming in to the town. fortunately there are two bridges that control access to the city. and most people are leaving. and most people are understanding that they need to do the right and prudent thing for their families. i think the most selfish act that anyone could undertake at this point is staying put in ocean city. it puts a strain on the emergency services and people need to heed this mandatory evacuation order. so we'll be going through the town all day and also at 5:00 p.m. tonight, we hope to have everybody off the island. >> and governor, quickly, i know ocean city, a big focus. but what are you guys doing in the rest of the state, both to get the word out and to prepare
for what's coming? >> well, we're fully mobilized, chris. the main -- the main message to people throughout our state, because hey, the width of this storm is going to stretch from fredrick in western maryland all the way to the ocean. so this is going to take up probably 80% of the population of our state. and the message is this. look, the first 72 are on you. in other words, every family needs to be prepared to weather 72 hours. in the dark. without electricity. there will be electrical outages. and they will be so widespread that it will take us quite awhile to get to them. so every family needs to do their part to help our state, whether by protecting their family family with provisions to last 72 hours on their own. >> governor o'malley. thanks for the -- joining us on what i know is a very busy day for you. >> thank you, chris. >> while the east coast keeps a close eye on hurricane irene, wall street is keeping a close
eye on what ben bernanke will say today in jackson hole. we'll get a check on what's moving the markets ahead of the opening bell. but first, today's trivia question, atlantic hurricanes, which traditionally had female names, were given male names for the first time during the 1979 season. what was the first male named storm? you can tweet up @dailyrundown. the first correct answerer gets a follow-up friday from us. that answer and more on "the daily rundown." ♪ i like dat
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while the east coast is closely watching hurricane irene, wall street also has an eye on the rockies. fed chair ben bernanke is set to deliver a highly anticipated speech today in jackson hole, wyoming. let's bring in cnbc's michelle caruso-cabrera. michelle, what are the markets looking for from bernanke's speech? >> they want to hear if he's going to offer up any more kind
of stimulus. and when we talk about stimulus when it comes to the federal reserve, it's very different than when we talk about stimulus from the federal government. when the federal government talks about stimulus, we want to hear if there's going to be monetary stimulus, which would mean lower interest rates, or promises of much lower interest rates for a very long time. things to keep money pumping through the system. that speech is going to happen at 10:00 eastern time. we're going to get through that. and then we'll really see how trading is going to go. the other thing that we're watching very closely is what is going on in europe. the german market is down sharply again. down more than 24% in the month of august alone. and we're not done with august yet. so there's increasing concerns that maybe the situation in europe is worsening, and could that spill over to here. back to you. >> thanks, michelle. hurricane irene, threatening to stir up trouble for some 65 million people on the eastern sea board. and for the mid-atlantic, the severe storm comes on the heels of this week's rare earthquake.
welcome back to "the daily rundown." i'm chris cillizza in for chuck todd. even before the storm hits, the impact of hurricane irene is already being felt up and down the east coast. millions of people from north carolina to new york are bracing for the worst. airlines are paring back flights, and major events are being put on hold. nbc's luke russert is live in washington, d.c. luke, what can you tell us? >> well, good morning, chris. the airlines have already taken the steps to cancel a lot of
flights that originated in the northeast going down to the carolinas, as well as around new england. so far we're seeing a lot of airlines offer fee-free changes. meaning if you were scheduled to fly into an area affected by the storm, essentially south carolina up through new england, you will have an opportunity to not only get a refund, but if you want to switch your fight, get it free of charge. also, we have some delays in terms of amtrak. service below washington, d.c. has now been suspended. they're going to look at anything that's in the low-lying area where track could be submerged, chris. that is something that travelers have to pay attention on tonight and tomorrow throughout the weekend. essentially if you're looking to travel between north carolina and new england, between today and sunday, keep an eye on what those airlines are saying. keep an eye on what amtrak are saying, because there are going to be a lot of cancellations, and a lot of opportunity, rather, to get a refund for your money. now in washington, d.c., chris, you've been a resident here for awhile. you remember 2003, hurricane isabel. i spoke to one hurricane official here in the district who said it's very similar to
preparations going on here. there's distribution of free sandbags here in washington, d.c. it's very important things are pft, power, flad and trees. that's going to be the main effect in our area right now. there have already been some massive cancellations that affected washington. primarily the martin luther king ceremony for the dedication of the memorial has been postponed indefinitely. no ideas whether that will be rescheduled. however, if you were already in washington planning to come down and see it the memorial itself is open, just won't be any service with the president to speak at to commemorate. if you're here, it's open, check it out. but d.c. is hunkering down. even to my right, workers putting sandbags over metro grates. that's not something you see every day in washington. >> one quick follow-up, is the federal government, obviously we expect this storm to hit the d.c. area over the weekend. we've got hundreds of thousands of federal workers here. how are they handling that in terms of aftermath of the storm? have we got any indication about where the federal government comes in terms of closures, early dismissal, that sort of thing on monday? or are we waiting until monday to talk about that?
>> essentially, waiting until monday. as of right now, it's a work day, normal work day right now. and we're going to see, my guess, very similar to what you had during the earthquake, which is that option to telecommute if you'd like to. also on top of that, they'll have nonessential employees, essential employees, those needed for emergency preparedness. right now there is a state of emergency declared in practically every state on the eastern sea board from south carolina up and through massachusetts. so there will be a lot of federal employees, security personnel, who are essential, who must be working. and my guess is in d.c. literally you'll see a lot of cancellations if the flooding is as bad as most folks presume. >> thanks, luke. congressman donna edwards is a democrat from maryland and represents an area around the nation's capital. congressman, thank you for coming in. i know very busy and hectic day. let's start with hurricane irene. what are you hearing from your constituents? what do they want to know and what are you trying to help them find out or figure out? >> not quite yet. people say we don't do weather here in washington.
but we've had three blizzards, an earthquake and now a hurricane just in the last two years. so a bad rap. i think our governor martin o'malley has declared a state of emergency. people are preparing on the coastline of maryland. and here in the washington, d.c. area, in the metropolitan area we've got a lot of trees. and very often when we get these kind of storms, like we did with isabel, it causes power outages. i think people are preparing for that. i know i'm cleaning my gutters out, making sure that i'm ready and that the house doesn't get any kind of water damage. >> now, luke mentioned the martin luther king memorial dedication was set for sunday. it's been postponed indefinitely. you got a chance to go down there, it is open to the public. you got a chance to go down there with your mom. what was that like? >> it was a fantastic experience. we went down by walking, byay m. so it was a reminder of the tough economic times during the depression, and then to the king memorial. and i think it just, you know, it was just so impressive. one, walking into the memorial
itself, and it sits between the lincoln memorial and the jefferson memorial. and looks down on the tidal basin, and there was dr. king and it didn't look anything like i thought from the television cameras. and, in fact, was so much more impressive and i urged everyone to go see it. the inscriptions along the wallways, it's a really, you know, beautiful memorial. >> do you have any indication of when that ceremony might be rescheduled? obviously a lot of disappointment. people understand why it was postponed, but do we have any indication when that might be -- we might get the actual dedication? >> well, people are really disappointed. i mean, this also was the weekend of the anniversary of the march on washington. >> right. >> and so, there was that -- >> a lot of significance. >> a lot of significance. and i think that we're going to hear from organizers, they suggested yesterday that it could be perhaps in october, and whenever it happens, visitors should come to washington, they should enjoy an experience the memorial as i did with my mom.
who lived under segregation. >> remarkable. >> it's was really profound to experience that with her. i can't wait for all of our young people and for visitors from around the world to come and experience what we -- >> to your point, nice to go and see it in person. television can only get you so far. i hate to see that being on television, but go there, be in person, go stop by. a really meaningful part of american history. >> absolutely. >> thank you so much for joining us. when it comes to hurricanes, accurate forecasts can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. that's where a special group of air force pilots come into play. nbc's peter alexander is in biloxi, mississippi. so, peter, you got and up and close look at hurricane irene. >> yeah, chris, we did. we were on board one of these hurricane hunter flights for 11 hours. arriving back just after sunset late yesterday. another flight went out. it's just come back with new readings, as well. what they are, as you can behind me is roughly a sophisticated weather laboratory in the sky. they're helping produce
forecasts that are now more precise than ever. this is an inside look at the ferocious storm tens of millions of americans now fear. irene, a massive hurricane, churning its way up the east coast. >> should be pretty close. >> reporter: at 10,000 feet, the veteran crew of the u.s. air force reserves 53rd weather reconnaissance squad rant is heading right into the eye of the storm. >> it looks like it's going to be pretty close to abico island. >> reporter: the flight plan, fly through the eye wall four times. >> are we there yet? >> reporter: their mission, to collect data for the computer models that predict a hurricane's path and its intensity. constantly sending their results to the national hurricane center in miami. john talbott, the squadron's chief meteorologist has flown into more than 150 eye walls over 26 years. >> the most critical element in that plane is the geographic position of the center of the storm. if you don't know where it is starting you don't know where it's going to finish.
>> reporter: during the 11-hour flight researchers released nearly a dozen highly sensitive probes called dropsons with gps built in. they call toward the ocean with a tiny parachute, relaying back vital information, including humidity, pressure, wind speed, and temperature. up front, the flight's commander, shane devlin, guides us through blinding clouds. >> everything you learn as a pilot, as an aviator out there, is to leave bad weather. and we do just the opposite. here in the cockpit we're go to show you something very pew feel ever see up close the hurricane's eye wall. we're now three minutes away, 15 miles from there. the wind speeds outside this aircraft are more than 100 miles per hour. minutes later, we finally enter the eye, and get our first glimpse of blue. below, those white capped waves are more than 30 feet high. the storm itself more than 200 miles long. >> they come in all shapes and sizes and this is a big one. this is a large wind field.
so, you know, this is going to affect a huge area. >> reporter: by sunset we head home. another set of hurricane hunters already en route to meet irene, and help detail the next forecast. and the work here the hurricane hunters work really is critical. they're able to shrink down that cone of uncertainty. make it more accurate by about 30%. they will be flying around the clock, 24/7, until this hurricane irene makes landfall. one of the ways they get those great readings is from the dropsons that we showed you in the piece. basically the size of a cardboard paper towel roll. this is the little parachute, dropping down, producing sort of a vertical x-ray of the sky every step of the way. chris? >> peter, you're a much braver man than i. thanks for that great report. we're tracking irene, it's a poorful category 2 storm churns toward the east coast. we'll get a check on the latest storm forecast coming up. plus is rick perry electable? conservative minds are buzzing
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with rick perry surging in the polls, established republicans are privately and publicly asking, is perry electable? perry responded on lawyer are ingram's radio show to republicans who think he's too wild west to be president. >> i speak plainly. i call it like i see it. look, i'm not an establishment figure. never have been, and frankly, i don't want to be. i dislike washington. i think it's a seedy place. >> michelle bernard is an msnbc
political analyst. jonathan allen is a senior congressional reporter for political and fred yang is a democratic pollster with the guerin hart gang research group. michelle, rick perry, not apologizing. rick perry kind of doubling down on i call it like i see it. >> i think for the republican party in general, particularly if we don't think about the primary but we think about the general election, rick perry is probably a huge problem for the republican party. what this tells me, quite frankly, is that it is still open. republicans, in particular, are still searching for the perfect candidate. a lot of people thought that when rick perry jumped in the race that would change. i think people are still going to be continuing to look for somebody else. >> we've seen even this week, paul ryan had to put out a statement. just to reiterate. >> i'm not running. >> just a strange media world we live in. chris christie. we've seen people's names mentioned. is the field we currently have today the field that will head into the iowa caucuses?