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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  June 30, 2012 7:00am-9:00am PDT

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why not, a lot. chase sapphire preferred. this morning put away the guilt. if women are ever going to have it all, we need to redefine what it is. plus, who's the daddy? two men vying to be father of the nation. but is more in the mood for a mommy? and blair underwood is going to take us on a memorable ride on a streetcar named desire. he's right here in nerdland. but first, she smiles broadly and plays to win. the woman who partnered with the president to bring about health care reform. the democratic leader in the house, nancy pelosi.ç good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry.
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severe weather around the country has left more than 2 million people without power. most of them in the washington, d.c. area. so check on your friends, family and neighbors and make sure they're okay. but now to our top political story. after months of anticipation and partisan predictions by democrats and republicans on how the supreme court would rule, we finally got the answer on health care. thursday yielded one of the biggest decisions by the supreme court since 2000. and chief justice john roberts not only saved the individual mandate but may have rescued the highest court in the land from its rapidly sinking favorability ratings. and he handed the democrats a long sought-after victory to bring universal health care to the american people. democratic leader nancy pelosi was a key player in this fight in it for the long haul bringing it finally to reality. should we be surprised? this is the same woman who was the first woman leader of her party and the first woman who
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served as speaker of the house. busting through barriers is in her blood. and in 2010 it's as though she took passing health care reform on her own shoulders saying this. we will go through the gate if the gate is closed we will go over the fence. if the fence is too high, we will pole vault in. if that doesn't work, we will parachute in. but we are going to get health care reform passed. now that it passed and has been deemed constitutional by the supreme court, leader nancy pelosi sat down with me yesterday in her office in the capitolç to talk about this ve sweet victory. in fact, you're even going to hear beeps calling for her to vote during her but interview because a leader's job is never done. i started by asking pelosi how she felt when the decision was announced. you literally through a party. how did it feel at a core level, how did that decision feel to you? >> when we first received the word, i wasn't surprised because i've always said 6-3.
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it was 5-4, but i accept that victory and that decision. and that ruling. we were needing or meeting in caucus when we knew that it was imminent and there were conflicting reports, as you said, for only a moment. and then the hoops went up, hooray. we had our cake and cider to celebrate. >> from costco, right? brownie bites or something. >> exactly. >> what are the things that president obama has done so beautifully through the health care process was to talk about his personal stories, his mother's experience with her health insurance company toward the end of her life and his advisor david axelrod talking about his daughter and her issues with epilepsy. what is your personal story that attaches you so critically to this issue that you have been behind for so many years? >> well, it's a story of all american families.
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if you are a person with a child, with a pre-existing medical condition, and now thaì% it will not be discriminated against. i could go into ever category of age, whether you are talking about a child, whether you are talking about a woman discriminated against on the basis of price, maybe by 40% higher because she's a woman, and i'm a mom, i'm a woman, i'm also a grandmother and i'm also a senior citizen. so in every category of life, there are personal stories as to why patient protections are in this bill and they make a difference in the lives of the families. but my responsibility here is to make the policy that we present relevant to the lives of the american people. we knew there was an urgent need, that the cost of health care was unsustainable to families, to individuals, to businesses, large and small, to
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governments, whether local or state or national where costs were too high, and to our competitiveness as a nation. so starting with a little baby born prematurely and might be banned from getting health care for the rest of his or her life to a senior at the end of life, not the end of life, but later years, being able to buy prescription drugs at a lower cost, have free preventive wellness checkups. all of this comes together around family. >> actually, as you're mentioning that or talking about sort of these questions of family in the beginning of life and moving towards the end of it, it occurs to me as we had the0legal conversation about te individual mandate, so much of the context and the content of the law itself was lost on the american people. so if there are two key provisions or three, what are the things that people do not know enough about that are in this law that is now a constitutional law that will be
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going forward? >> i thought the president laid it out very clearly yesterday, but if you are just asking for two or three, i would say pre-existing medical conditions. if you are sick with a diagnosis, now you can receive health insurance. you cannot be discriminated against. if you're a young person, you can be on your parents' policy until you're 26 years old. and there are no more lifetime mits on coverage. that is very, very vitally important. and it speaks to the economic security of families as well as the health security. because the diagnosis can be an event unless you know there are no lifetime events. and that you, again, can always get insurance, but it's just a question of what price and a price so unaffordable is not accessible. >> it is hard to imagine that an ordinary american can actually access it.
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>> unless you are extraordinarily wealthy you cannot access it. not even middle or high income people have limits to the cost of health care. that's not our main concern here, but the fact is that the cost of health care isç unsustainable at every level. >> so the decision that came in on thursday was truly a legal rendering. it was roberts joining four other members of the court, and he rarely joins in a decision. as you have read or thought about the decision in the few days since it came down, what are the key elements of this itself that shift who we are as a country? >> i believe that the legislation we passed, the act now the law of the land, is transformative for our society. as we go into the fourth of july, we celebrate a freedom for people. it honors the vision of our
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founders of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. a healthier life to pursue and the liberty to pursue your happiness, whether you're going to be creative and paint and sing or be musical in other ways. whether you want to start your own business, be self-employed, whether you want to change jobs, you know how the freedom is to do that now, not because you have a pre-existing condition, but i believe all the time that this bill, we first of all passed when others didn't believe that it would, and secondly that it would be upheld by the courts. and my confidence in it sprang from the readings i had done of statements and writings of chief justice roberts. he has been consistent in how he views the role of the court, and i?xápu as he continued to be consistent, he would have to rule in the constitutionality of this. because when we wrote the bill,
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as we write every bill, what does it mean to people? what does it mean in terms of job creation and in terms of deficit reduction? will it hold up in court? we knew it would hold up in court under a fair reform of constitutionali constitutionality. >> a bit of observers for back on their heels that it was roberts. if he was going to be part of the decision, many predicted it to be a 6-3 decision, but for it to be 5-4 and justice kennedy to bonn the other side, it makes me wonder a bit about -- as you're looking at the supreme court, critics of the citizens united decision and critics of the bush v. gore decision of 12 years ago, how should americans be thinking about the court? aught we rightly invest our sense of responsibility and appreciation for the court or aught we be nervous of the court at this time?
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>> i firmly oppose the citizens united decision and think it undermines the constitution and diminishes our democracy, which is intended by our founders to be a government determined by the voice and vote of the many, not the checkbooks of the very, very few. and that's why i have this dare there, disclose. who are these people? i'm nancy pelosi, i approve this ad. i have to say that, why don't ç they? amend to overturn it, amend this to take us back to a greatly reduced role to elect reformers in either party to get the job done. i think it is a very important -- i believe when you increase the role of fidelity in the process and lower the role of money, you'll have more minorities, women and young people elected to public office. that's very wholesome. so their decision flies in the face of that. and i object to that, but each individual is an individual
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decision. chief justice roberts in his decision, and those who read it, will see he's not supporting the legislation. and he say that is very yearly clearly. it is not about the policy but the constitutionality. and he ruled it was constitutional, as is the role of the court. it is not the role of the court to make law. he's been a strong outspoken person saying that this is not the role of the court. and he honored his, what he had said before. >> up next, i asked nancy pelosi if washington has lost all sense of civility. and later, can women have it all? also ahead next hour, how elected a president is kind of like asking, who is the daddy? and the actor, blair underwood is joining me the studio. #dreamy. stay right there. welcome aboard! [ chuckles ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪
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who knew i would get to talk about my favorite screensaver withç democrat nancy pa low zo. i used to have this picture of president obama, vice president biden and speaker nancy pelosi right after the yelling of "you lied" came out. i asked leader pelosi about the decline in civility in our political dialogue and in the past quarter century. >> as part of my 25th anniversary, one of my first celebrations with george herbert walker bush at the bush library at texas a&m. at that time speaking at the bush library, i talked to the
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civility that reigned when president bush was president. kinder, gentler nation. thousand points of life. he changed his position when he saw that the country needed a different decision. and that was then, and it was a very different -- we certainly disagreed on many things, but there was a certain respect for the person and people who sent us here in our respected positions. that changed later in the '90s when they tried to impeach president clinton. that was a departure from any level of civility for reasons that had nothing, were not in the regular order of impeachment. and then you see what isç happening now. yesterday and this week we are i can holder, eric holder, the attorney general.
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so i do think that it is really important that the american people expect and deserve for us to come to the marketplace of ideas to find agreement where we can, to find our common ground, stand our ground. when we can't find common ground, we also need to do so in a respectful way. that has deter rated in the last few yours, unfortunately, and has to be restored in my view. >> i really appreciate your re-reading of the no new taxes moment. i think president bush has been pretty regularly criticized as that evidence of him being a weak leader or playing politics badly. but you just suggested it was about learning, coming to a different position, and that we perhaps as an american public, perhaps has a media, have we made it too hard for a president or for any lead tore say, you know what? i have learned something new and am changing my position? >> i would say in the case of president bush it was a sign of strength. president bush sr. saw it as a
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sign of strength. i don't know that he learned anything he didn't know, but i think the situation changed in the country and in the face of new realities he came to a different conclusion. and that's something everybody has to be ready for to deal with the situation at hand. and thank god for a country that he had the courage to do what he did, but again about the civility, the piece of çit, its that we have goals in mind to increase the number of women in politics. i don't think it is really possible as long as we are playing the field created by others where money, money, money is the currency of the realm that it should be when it should be ideas, ideas, ideas. and the harshness, they suppress and suffocate the system of money and suppress the vote and poison the debate. that's not a good formula for women because women need to have
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a civil conversation. the minute a woman gets tough in a debate, you know what people say about her. so i think let's kick open the door and do things differently and make an environment that enables new people and many more women to represent our country, unleering in every field, whether it is military, corporate america, the politics of our country, health care, any issue or any area that you can name is greatly enhanced by the increased leadership. >> this is critically important because 2010 was sort of dubbed the year of the gop won. who wants to increase the number of women, regardless of what side of the aisle they sit on, bring something valuable. for me the distressing part of the gop year was not that we elected a bunch of women who have to republican who have policies different from my own, but rather we didn't. it was the first time we lost ground on the number of women,
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republican or democrat, in the u.s. congress. how is itç 25 years for you in congress that we are moving backwards? >> we have taken many giant steps forward. we were two dozen women when i came to congress out of 435 people in the house 25 years ago, and not a handful in the senate out of 100. we had made advances. but in my view, not fast enough. and that is what we have to again change the playing field, so that it is a fair, more level one for women. and i'm very excited about it. i'm absolutely certain that we have never been a first woman speaker of the house unless we had the number of women in congress that we did to say, i know everybody's been waiting in line, but the fact is, we've been waiting over 200 years. and this is what it's going to be. >> coming up, i asked nancy
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pelosi to imagine a 25-year-old version of herself today considering her run for office. the future of women in politics. that's next.
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let's do what's best for our students-by investing in our teachers. let's solve this. being one of the most powerful women in washington makes it possible to maintain a balance in life, one might say, so i continue asking leader nancy pelosi how she's working to help other women manage career and family life. take a listen. when you ran the first time, your youngest was out of high school. he made a decision, five children, he raised your children nearly to adulthood. you raised them nearly to adulthood and then ran. the policies that vpu have promoted in your years in congress, and maybe especially in the health care reform act, do they make it possible for a
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25-year-old nancy pelosi in 2012? a young woman who has two or three or four children to run for office now rather than waiting until her children are nearly adults? >> well, i think so. my youngest was a senior in high school when i ran. one more year would have been better. four of them were off in college. and they were very close in age. and what i always wanted, i always said to people, southbound subtract 12 years from my age because that was the time i was raising my kids, so i need that much more time to get my job done here. and one very important part of that in terms of having acceptance of young women with children and all the rest, is for more women to understand that women can do this. and that's why one of my next campaigns is going to be to intensify the efforts we have been making on childcare, affordable, quality health care. because no matter what your income level, whatever it is,
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everybody has a concern when mom goes to work. and if you happen to be running for office, you can be sure you'll be getting that question, it shouldn't be. it is really important for me to make sure that many, and i've brought many young women in early by supporting them early and trying to encourage others not to oppose them, but that women would come in the age that men começ in. so that ten years, they are not as old as i was when they came in, and they have standing line issues, some of international nature, some domestic, all important. that they have seniority on the committees and that they can rise to the top much more quickly. and be on a par with men of the same age. >> obviously one example of that would be new york's senator gillibrand who replaced senator clinton when she went off to become secretary of state.
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i have a thought experiment i like to do, just play along with me, did you ever allow yourself in the context of the health care reform debate to think, what if senator clinton had stayed in the senate after the 2008 campaign and it had been sort of you here in the house and senator clinton in the senate. and there was a bit of a thelma and louis women's leadership. have you ever allowed yourself to play that thought experiment at all? >> i really haven't had time for that experiment, although i have the greatest respect for senator clinton. tifs an honor for me the night we passed the bill she called to say congratulations. really i'm just so proud of all that she does. so proud of her as secretary of state. she's doing such a marvelous job for her country. >> you spoke about senator kennedy, of course, on thursday. and i saw you become a bit emotional as you talked about hymn. what is the moment in that legacy? >> it's a very important moment.
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because this has been a lifetimç work for senator kennedy. as you know, it was the great unfinished business of our country. it's about fairness, really. that it would be health care as a right, not a privilege. really harkening to our founders about life, love and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. going into the fourth of july, we are celebrating again, and i mentioned that in the context of great patriot senator kennedy. what i love about him, many things, but he did write a let tore the president that the president received after the senator passed away. and he said, when i came into office, that would have been many years ago, a new young president was in the white house. and he inspired our nation and gave hope to the world. as i leave another new young president is in the white house inspiring another generation and
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giving hope to our country. and that gave him confidence that president obama would be the president who would sign, well, would help pass and sign the health care bill. and i know it's a source of joy to the kennedy family. i spoke to vicky first thing. as soon as we heard i called vicky. and we cried, we both congratulated and thanked each other and all and just said, teddy left us before the bill was passed, but he went to help us from a higher place. and nowç that the supreme cour has upheld the bill, the act of congress, the law of the land, his work, at least on health care, is done. and he can rest in peace in that regard. but it means so much to families and senator kennedy was all about families.
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>> leader pelosi, i appreciate so much that you took the time to join us on melissa harris-perry, particularly at this critical, historic moment. >> thank you. we are very proud of you and what you do. young woman, young mom. thank you for visiting us in the capitol. >> i'll have more from my interview with leader nancy pelosi on tomorrow's show. but up next, what i think we've learned about the supreme court after this week. and later this hour, can women havet all and why are we even asking? stay with us. t... want to hop in the back and get weird? no. no. ♪ ugh, no! [ sighs ] we can have hotdogs for dinner?! yes. [ male announcer ] it's nice to finally say "yes." new oscar mayer selects. it's yes food. every communications ] provider is different say "yes." but centurylink is committed to being a different kind of communications company. ♪ we link people and fortune 500 companies nationwide
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matter. the court is essentially passive. awaiting issues large and small to be presented. it's role is not to be the agent but rather the final ash arbitor. and we'll recall this as another moment in the central timeline determining the course of the nation. we go back to the 19th century when a slave named dread scott sued for hisç freedom. in 1857 the supreme court ruled dred scott was not entitled to due process because people of african ancestry were not citizens. now black citizens faced a new challenge of jim krow descending. melville fuller decided separate but equal was the law of the land giving southern states and private companies free reign to discriminate and to separate. the misguided practice continued
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for decades until a social movement brought the challenge before the court again. it was in 1954 that chief justice earl warren east court forced integration with all deliberate speed. we cannot forget chief justice warren's court in the roe v. wade decision. that court made clear that a woman does have a constitutional right to privacy. these decisions serve as markers in our nation's progress in both their determination and at times their indelible rhetoric. court rulings become the telling points of our history. there may be little flare when chief justice john roberts wrote, because the constitution permits such a tax and it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or
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fairness. no literary flare, but the decision will reverberateç in history. change has come to america and the nation's final arbitor has said it is so. up next, the 1973 roe v. wade decision i mentioned that paved the way for another decision, one that many women make every day, how to balance work and motherhood, whether they strive to be super mom. i'll takele that after the break. the president from interview: i talk to folks on rope lines and in coffee shops. people who have been out of work. you can tell it wears on them. narrator: he's fought to pull us out of economic crisis for three years. and he still is. president obama's plan keeps taxes down for the middle class, invests in education and asks the wealthy to pay their fair share. mitt romney and his billionaire allies can spend milions to distort the president's words. but they're not interested in rebuilding the middle class. he is. i'm barack obama and i approved this me you know how hard if yit can be to breathedo, and what that feels like.
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lot more. >> i love my producers for finding stuff like that. because, you know, doing a whole lot more, that's what working mothers do. in the past decades, women have had to fight to enter the world of work beyond home, and there were practical considerations, including supporting the family, but for middle class homes they hope to find fulfillment and meaning in their paid labor. the movements said economic necessity and changing laws needed to make room for women in the workforce, but they never freed them from keeping the windows sparkling at home. so as women keep doing and giving more at work and home, the perennial question keeps arising, can we have it all? and specifically for those women who have the liberty to ask such a question, this debate has been stirred up again by a recent cover story for the atlantic and marieç slaughter, the first female director of policy planning at the state department. and why women still can't have
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it all. she explains her struggle to get to the tom of her career and balancing parenting duties and working under hillary clinton. her conclusion? repeating you can have it all is simply air brushing reality. for such a high achieving mother of two like slaughter to step back from her influential position in favor of her family, and her job at an ivy league university, it did invoke a firestorm of responses. and for me slaughter's question begs two more, who are the women she's imagining and what is the all we are supposed to want to have? with me here is a panel of working women identify been having fun with already, political blogger joanne bammer, the author of "mother's intention" and the editor, joe reed. comedian and social commentator nancy giles and rebecca who is the author of "big girls don't cry." thank you, ladies, so appreciative of you being here. i don't know if i hate this
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conversation or love it. people ask me this all the time, why are we still having this conversation. >> love the conversation, be credit call of both how it is framed and who it is addressing and including. that's -- i think it is important to have the conversation. i'll always in favor of having the conversation. and i think slaughter's piece, she's an unusual woman. a member of a generation and a sector of a generation that was able to take advantage of a lot of the second wave feminismsç victories. and she, still a small number of women, got to a place of extreme power. so her personal experience, her tale of how that felt and what happened and what the limitations were both in the dplesic sphere and the workplace expectations, totally valuable. we need to, my mind, question a lot of things about that then, starting perhaps, this is my beef, with the framing. i don't know if anybody saw the cover of the atlantic, but the story of the woman being torn between this high-powered job and her two teenager sons.
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it was sold to us. no woman's face was on the cover. it was a disembodied woman's legs and black pantyhose next to the plaintiff face of a little girl baby and a briefcase. there was no girl baby in this story, by the way. >> there's no baby in the story at all! when she talks about going back, she's going back to a teenager. and i've got to say, i love the personal stories, they matter, by but i did sort of feel like your teenager probably doesn't want you at home. i get he's having angst, but that could just be because he's a teenager. >> being single and not having children, i felt like there's this whole other underlying tragic story, almost like the tragic molatto, but revisiting the tranlgsic woman who is heartless for being powerful and the top. meaning along the way she needs to sacrifice never having children or a relationship. you know, number one, sometimes it doesn't just work out that way. i would have liked to have kids, but it is such a personal thing
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and there's this idea that if a woman doesn't have children or if that'sç not in the mix, tha that's somehow making her incomplete. and that just drives me crazy. >> it's the sotomayor story, two women offend to the supreme court of the united states, neither of whom are moms. and so the question is, is that the only pathway? >> yeah. >> i sort of agree with you guys. i feel like when reading this, this is a high-class problem to have. my 14-year-old is having angst and i'm not there to deal with. in the real world, most women don't have the choice to determine work very life balance. you have or don't have a lot of choices. most women have to make it work. they don't have the options she does. so i felt like she was sort of crying foul about something that for most women would be a luxury to have a life she does. >> and the fact we can be having this conversation is a true luxury. a lot of women online have been
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talking about that, but the thing that's interesting to me is that we are still having the conversation. and it is still selling magazines so much. i saw this was like the biggest selling or biggest clicked on story for the "atlantic" in years. so many women we talk to online say why are we having this conversation, i thought we were done with that. >> it is 18 pages long. that's why. >> that's why we are talking about it. that in and of itself throws the balance off. >> she's an academic -- she writes long, but i do want to talk about sort of what it means to be a regular mom who doesn't have the choices. on the other hand, i think ref((prj point is an important one, it's important for us not to just wave our hands and say, if you have money and health insurance and a helpful husband, then if you're not fulfilled, it is all your fault. there's something about this problem that has not been emerging for this group of women. >> no one is asking this about men. no one has this discussion about
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fathers. we still don't have a lot of stay-at-home dads and they are in the sail position saying, no one is asking us about this. why do we still ask it for women? >> we don't put men to the same touchy-feely tests about whether their success or ability to function in the world is measured by, are they having an easy time of it? do they feel happy and satisfied? do they worry about falling short? we always do the happiness tests for women. are won unhappy or feel more stressed out? >> or are they a bad parent because they are focusing on their work. we do the tests and poke and prod and take temperatures of women and use it as a backlash thing. see, it is impossible for women. if you applied the same poking and prodding and thermometer to men, you would find all the same kinds of -- >> right, it would be -- i was reading my "time" magazine today on the treadmill on my way to try to do it all. and i was reading this piece,
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susan rice, they are asking her about her role as u.n. ambassador. i'm thinking a good interview, but then i hear you have to work on a day to day basis about genocide, policy, libya, that's intense. then what about your kid's homework? then i was like, did this just happen? sure enough she çsays, the kid are job one. i'm thinking, i appreciate that you're a great parent, that's terrific. but seriously, if libya and syria and genocide are -- your kids homework, less important to me. >> i think there's a bigger point here that i have always just been annoyed by. this whole concept of having it all. what is this all? and i remember when first starting out as an actress, i won't name who this is, but i was impressed by a performer who said, i can play anything, it was a female performer, i can play anything from a man to a speck of dust. i remember thinking, oh my god, i want to be that. you know what? no. find something you do and love and it's okay to focus on one thing and not be all over the
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place with your whole life out of balance. >> we have got so much more on this. when we come baa back, we'll talk more. we could take the rest of the show for this. up next, what being a mom actually means by the numbers. and then insert or answer this trivia question. of the 178 countries around the world that mandate paid leave for new mothers, most offer at least 14 weeks off paid. where does the u.s. rank among them? that's after the break. stay in the moment sanya focus lolo, focus let's do this i am from baltimore south carolina... bloomington, california... austin, texas... we are all here to represent the country we love this is for everyone back home it's go time. across america, we're all committed to team usa.
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before the break i asked you where the u.s. ranks among 178 countries around the world that mandate paid leave for new mothers. the answer is the u.s. is not one of them. we are the great outliar and give new moms 12 weeks of unpaid
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leave. i don't know if you have seen a 12-week-old, but seriously, 12 weeks of unpaidç leave. and that affects the 85.4 million women in america who have children. one in eight of whom are single mothers who take care of children 18 years or younger. and about half of them, 5.2 million single mothers were due child support. the median income for female head of households is only $32,000. when we are talking ability working mothers who can have it all, many of them don't even have enough. with me at the table is joanne of, and we were talking about the kind of having it all, i always have to say, did slave mothers have it all? did immigrant mothers working in sweat shops have it all because they had both? >> my mother was a single mother raising three kids and did not have it all. she still had to come home at 9:00 p.m., kids had to make our
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own dinner, this was a single mother that had to do it that way, didn't have a choice. at the same time, did i feel deprived because my mother was not there after school? no. we are forgetting children are resilient and children benefit from seeing their mothers happy and fulfilled. that's the part we don't put in. >> that was never the promise we hear so much about, oh, feminism said you can have it all. that was never the promise, but somehow we've got on the a place where we are in a construct where, yes, we can be what we want to be, but all the mothering and the parenting, all the traditional woman things are still going to be on you. >> i do think that feminists use that phrase. this is one thing, i hated that phrase for a long time. it hated it for a long time and talked about how much i hated it. at one point it was useful for a particular, to send a particular message. but very quickly, after the sort of second wave, and i think when people began to use the phrase, as a signal of promise that there could be more for more women, i think it quickly became
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an anti-feminist phrase, because it set an anti-feminist trap. because it substituted what is supposed to fundamentally be a struggle toward greater opportunity and equality. it recasted as a kind of completist mission, as if them feminist promises was to have it all. it recaptures the inquisitiveness of it all. >> it made it so competitive, if you were not working ten pistons at the same time, there was something wrong with you. i won't lie, i was listening to the chatter in the makeup room and was starting to feel like, i don't have a book. i'm working on a book, she's got a book, i don't have a book. and i didn't work out. i didn't work out this morning and you were talking about working out. >> part of what ignores the idea, when it is cast as solely the individual, it ignores that actually the economy needed women to work. so even our notion of sort of what constitutes a middle class
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norm with stagnant wages in order to support a family, my grandfather, my mother's side supported a wife who didn't work outside the home and five kids. and he was like a used car salesman andç drove a bakery truck for a while. you couldn't -- they lived in the middle class home, that's not possible. literally bold people must work in order to maintain that kind of status. let me ask you a question on the standards, why we assume we mother so intensely. this helicopter mothering that your kid needs you at every second. isn't part of having it all if we did a little less on the mom side? >> that's the backlash. as soon as women started gaining more power and depending on what kind of women and what kind of power, as soon as we started to gain power, they had largely been kept away from, they became threatening. one of the messages that gets created, and i'm not saying there's men out there creating this, but it's a systemic issue
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that suddenly over the past few decades you get post-feminist decades, you get the pressure to make motherhood equivalent to career. there are a lot of reasons for this. it's also for people who choose not to have careers and want to justify the worth of the time that they are spending with their kids. and you get a culture of parenting. and it's absolutely related to women beginning to get more power than they historically have in the public world. >> we are going to stay on this. we have another segment on this, and when we do, i do want to stick on the question, what is really the point of having it all? what is the all anyway? and also n our next hour, how the president of the united states is kind of like a father figure. we are talking mommies, we'll talk daddies. then we'll talk to blair underwood. star on stage andç on the scre, he is joining us in nerdland. don't go away. i brought your stuff. you don't have to do this. yes i do.
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economic crisis for three years. and he still is. president obama's plan keeps taxes down for the middle class, invests in education and asks the wealthy to pay their fair share. mitt romney and his billionaire allies can spend milions to distort the president's words. but they're not interested in rebuilding the middle class. he is. i'm barack obama and i approved this me recently, students from 31 countries took part in a science test. the top academic performers surprised some people. so did the country that came in 17th place. let's raise the bar and elevate our academic standards. let's do what's best for our students-by investing in our teachers. let's solve this. when the bill comes into
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effect, being a woman will no longer be aç pre-existing medil condition. it's a great victory for women. >> welcome back. that was democratic leader nancy pelosi celebrating the news that the nation's highest court upheld the affordable health care act as constitutional. for the american women trying to do it all for their families and jobs, the affordable act is something to celebrate because insurance companies can no longer deny women and children coverage based on pre-existing conditions. or charge women more simply because they are women. and it makes sure that maternity benefits are provided in all individual health care plans. it also expands insured benefits for children like dental and vision needs. and older children can stay insured on their parents plans until the age of 26. and for the benefit of family planning, all insurance companies will have to cover birth control. without a co pay. these things are good for mothers parenting with a partner and very good for mothers who are the heads of households
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without a partner. and it insures their illnesses or those of their children won't bankrupt the family. maybe having it all got a little bit easier, but is having it all the point? the question suggests that women should always be giving more to their work or to their families, more to anyone, but themselves. so when we debate if women can have it all, we should start by asking if it is even the right question. with me is joanne of, msnbc contributor joy reid of, political commentatorç nancy joan, and rebecca is here with us as well. part of me as i was reading this piece, to be fair about slaughter's piece, she said we need policy change that is will make things better. she works at princeton university, a place i once
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worked, the president of princeton university has an extraordinary vision on this. this is a woman who came up through the ranks as sangle mom, rose to the level of a tenure professor, rose to the level of president, and if you were a junior faculty member and had a kid, male or female, you had to take a year of leave and that way you had to take a year of leave. there was terrific health insurance and all these sorts of things. if the issue is just really we need policies that make it possible for people to be able, men and women, to balance in a reasonable way the realities of our real lives and work lives. >> what you just started with, go ahead. >> that's exactly what we need. that's the conversation we are not having. if only we wrote an 18-page article in "the atlantic" about that. that's what women want, but by the same token there's a lot of conversation online about why are we still having the conversation about having it all and why is it that we are not having the policy conversation? what's the deeper underlying
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issue and how much of that has to do with what you were talking about earlier, rebecca, about really sort of the setback of women and trying to put women back into a more traditional motherhood role. >> just talking about what you opened the segment before with the paid issue, as a country that's shameful. just a piece of billioncy like that to make women's lives easier and give people more options. not just for men but for families. >> it's the defense of the very privileged situation she's writing about that i wish had been made more explicit in her piece. because one of the things that you find, if you talk to anybody who pays attention to how people vote, is that women, at the top of institutions, particularly in places like washington where policy gets made, are going to be more likely to make policy that does have an effect about minimum wage, health care, family leave, and that if, in fact, this very high-powered world is inhospitable to women, and if that's the point she's
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trying to make, it is not her simple individual story, but a story of women getting a harder position to make policy. and i wish that had been more explicitly -- >> that's what you talked to nancy pelosi in her interview earlier and her trying to make that happen. >> we talk about government, that's the policy end, but what you were talking about is the business end. this is a university, so it is different, but the economics right now, businesses are struggling because of all the health care costs. there are always additional costs. how does business respond to the idea that you want more leave? how does business respond to the ideas, especially with more women in the workplace, this was a male recession. men lost more jobs than women. women are in the workplace fighting it out and businesses are trying to respond on minimum wage and these other things. we also need a broader conversation about how we get the economy going because if we had a '90sç economy, you could have a better broader conversation about this. >> you can as a worker make demands, but i have wondering why we have not thought of the recession as a moment to rethink
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work. like it's not something about women having it all, it is about women giving it all, right? we should give more hours of work and more hours to kids. no one writes the article, well, they probably write it on your blog, but the article is, what i need time for is a bath. >> exactly. >> and a vacation and doing less. literally, when i'm reading, i'm on the treadmill. i do not allow myself to read unless i'm also doing some other activity. >> this is happening for men. the whole idea of men going to the spa and men doing me time. men are having this moment where they are now saying, focus on you. focus on your pretty, focus on the things that matter to you. >> as if they aren't focusing on themselves to start with, but yeah. >> this is where i get driven crazy again about if you're not doing three things at once. the word multitasking should be eliminated. it means doing more than one thing at the same time and not doing either one well. it just takes -- having less, doing less. taking time to breathe. taking time to look inward.
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that's something that is just lost for everyone. >> we have not judged male leader who is have been bad parents in the same way. it is really hard for me to hear, for example, the idea that martin luther king jr. was a great father. i mean, he was an amazing human being and an incredible civil rights leader, but he was probably a pretty absent-minded dad. after all, it's okay because he changed the world. >> we asked all kinds of questions about sarah palin and very few about barack obama. >> or john mccain who abandoned his family, right? and he left his family just as newt gingrich did. we don't like to talk about it. ronald reagan, the guys walk away from the family and we don't have the conversation. >> one of the things i love about your book is you're reading sarah palin, because on the show before, i certainly don't agree with her politically -- >> nor do i. >> but it is interesting the reading i do of her as a parent.
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to the exception she got wealthy, she doesn't have four nannies or something. it is a very all hands-on-deck parenting. >> yes, back when levi was in the picture, this was a great profile done of the family with sarah palin teaching levi how to marinate a roast beef or something. i disagree with every word that emerges from sarah palin's mouth, i want to say that, but this was really speaking to something that a lot of people -- which is the true equal assumptions about who does what around the house. >> that resonated with a lot of women, a lot of voters, regardless of whether they agree with sarah palin, but the picture of her doing it all and towing the little ones along. >> and the husband still doing his part. >> that really annoyed me because again it was like, wow, she's able to do all of this and she's a mom. >> but she also felt like she had to ask todd policy
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questions. the part where sheç seeded to r husband was on her actual job, and that was really disturbing to me about sarah palin. >> that's one thing to ask him to do his part in marinating the chicken. >> i will say, i've often had the position that first ladies, and this is part of how hillary clinton ran, that she was a meaningful adviser to her husband. we often understood women at the helpmate of the powerful man, but a whom woman who is potentially equally as smart, she asks her male partner, oh, she's just giving it away. >> it's not always that way. >> right? >> yes! >> thank you. the rest of you are coming back. what if i told you the best way to predict who will win the white house is to ask who brings out your little kid? we'll test the theory and let a guy join the table. he might be afraid, but we'll let him come to the table.
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we have been talking about the personal choices that women make the balance career and family. and it got us to thinking more broadly about the political choices that voters make because of families. or at least the way they seem themselves as members of the american family. put on your nerd hats because we are going to talk political theory. george lacoff, a linguist at the university of california berkeley theorizes that because parents are generally our first experience with a central thorlt, that the model of the family is also the model that informs the way we think about other decision-making authority in our live[. i.e., the government. the conservative understanding of that family positions the father as the head of the household, the kind of father
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knows best. in the paternal family model, children need strict rules to division right from wrong so the reproductive freedom you think you want, let daddy make the decision for you for your own good. and that person of the same sex that you're choosing to marry, listen to daddy. he knows this person is just not right for you. the father wants to raise you to be self-sufficient, not to depend on him for help, so that government assistance you applied for to feed your family, daddy wants to cut you off so that you can learn to fend for yourself. on the other hand, voters sometimes want their leader to be a maternal figure, the one that will slip you a few extra bucks to help you during the hard times. this kind of governing authority is based in empathy. think bill clinton, feeling your pain. the maternal leader understands the children's struggles and takes responsibility for making sure that they are going to be all right. right now we have two people vying to be the head of the american family. and the question for swing voters who historically have had a hand in choosing one parent
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over the other is which one should get their love in 2012? still with me at the table, joanne, joy, nancy and joining us is a guy, republican consultant, hayden dawson. all right, so this is the notion, that sometimes swing voters are looking for a daddy, sometimes they are looking for a mommy. when we look at mitt romney and president barack obama, is one of them better at sort of doing this or are they@ daddy? what's happening here in this election? >> i feel like barack obama definitely has a dad vibe going, but when i was thinking about this question, i realized that i think that women are actually the daddy. it is all confusing. women in my humble opinion, we run the show. we are the men. i mean, by the structure and the way things are set up, women are men, women are fathers. >> i was actually thinking the same thing. >> in our house it is like, if you ask my daughter, i'm the disciplinarian and i bring down
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the hammer and she runs to dad, can i have something? there is a die conmy over who is the hard core parent. >> when you go to your construction of it, when i was thinking about this question, i think mitt romney is the ceo dad who is never around and later on in therapy you sort of complain that he never helped you. and barack obama is a dad, too, but he's like the cool dad on the block that all the kids come around to. so to me they are like two dads in a same sex marriage. how about that? >> oh, wow. >> we'll make it modern in 21st century. >> it does seem to me -- let's take the health care reform, because that's the big news of the week. ill feels like there's a mom framing this and a dad framing this. and the mom framing is you need help, let me kiss your boo-boo, and the dad version is you need to be individually responsible. you need to buy health insurance, we are going to set down a rule, and so as daddy i'm letting you know that you have to do this.
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when you listen to president obama speak about this or listen to mitt romney,ç do you hear tm framing the notion of health care in the maternal/paternal ways? >> i don't. i think back to your point, your dad says this is what you need to do and your mother makes you pay for it. that's really what happens here. i think the whole context of what's going on in the health care debate and whether it's a father figure or not, the romneys are nice people and so are the obamas. the romneys have five boys, 16 grandchildren, they are wonderful families. this race is going to come down a referendum on whether people are and where the swing voters are we just talked about. 9 million swing voters in 10 states, the base just got moved yesterday. both the liberal and conservative base just got moved. there's a lot of energy in both places right now, and this is going to be an election, it was much about jimmy carter and george bush. i think what the president missed yesterday is george bush 41 got kicked out because he
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raised taxes, and this became a tax increase yesterday. i know the temperature was raised just then. >> let's talk about george bush 43 because he runs initially as the mom ma. let's listen to him on his compassionate conservativism for a moment. >> government cannot solve every problem. but it can encourage people and communities to help themselves and to help one another. often the truest kind of compassion is to help citizens build lives of their own. i call myç philosophy an approh compassionate conservativism. >> that's maternal. >> there he's compassionate conservativism. after september 11th happens, he's like i'm the daddy to lock the doors for everybody. >> if you look at the iraq
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perspective. he was telling them, if you don't remove your dictator, momma will come and take care of it for you. >> those are two different timeframes, george w. bush the passionate conservativism before being elected. then after taking office he becomes more of the disciplinarian. you saw that with barack obama, too. he was much more hope and change before he was elected. and when you get into the presidency, the realities change. so is there sort of a morphing from what you have to campaign on versus how you govern it. >> and i'll give both presidents credit now, i heard george bush tell us when the rnc meets without his notes that whoever is going to be elected president gets the book that he had every morning. president obama got that book and read it and has done what he's supposed to do to protect the country. i'll give him kuddos, but that did change. 9/11 changed the world as we ever knew it. i think it is a fair statement to say he certainly did change. and i think george bush, i'm proud that i was for him and
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still proud that i was for him, to tell you that, but at the end of the day the country is going to judge this iraq situation out of decisions both the presidents made. >> and it is possible that the presidents like the daddy role better, particularly on foreign policy as the place where they have powerç to use unilaterall rather than talking to congress. up next, we'll talk more about why you elect a president to help kiss your boo-boo and make it better or whether or not you want one to set the limits. and president obama's constitutional health care reform plays into this. and later, actor blair underwood is joining me right near the studio. who is the daddy, indeed. ♪ why not try someplace different every morning? get two times the points on dining in restaurants with chase sapphire preferred. high schools in six states enrolled in the national math and science initiative...
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good afternoon. chase sapphire. (push button tone) this is stacy from springfield. oh woah. hello? yes. i didn't realize i'd be talking to an actual person. you don't need to press "0" i'm here. reach a person, not a prompt whenever you call chase sapphire. okay. if swing voters decide that now is the sometime for a father figure to give them tough love
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with rules and restrictions on how they live, or are they going to see mitt romney as the guy they want to call big papa. but figuring out who is the daddy is a bit more come split complicated. take president obama's health care plan, for instance. some people feel fine to get by without health insurance, but your father knows unexpected things happen and he wants you to be covered just in case. in fact, he insists and you'll get punished with a penalty if you don't. still with me, joanne, joy, nancy and kate dawson. don't dads take a lot of joy and pride in providing for children and families. the father who can get the big wedding for the daughter, not because she needs it, but because it is kind of a demonstration or his manhood to do so. isn't it possible that being able to say, i cover all of my citizens, all my people are able to go to see a physician.
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it would be a point of pride for the daddy president? >> you would think so and you would think mitt romney would step up to that since heç did that in massachusetts and now he's saying, no, i have changed my mind. >> it's weird in massachusetts it is working well. 98% of the people in massachusetts have health insurance. and like it! >> and like it. >> people in massachusetts did decide that. that was one of mitt romney's -- massachusetts decided that's what they wanted, not the federal government. >> but when you get away from the semantics, it worked. >> it is odd to say, i think my one kid over here who says, i really do want to go to school, that you would send that one to school, but the other one was like, dad, i'm not so much on it so you don't second that kid. if health care is good for the people of massachusetts and drives down costs in massachusetts, if people like it in massachusetts, then why should their neighbors in virginia or in california or in louisiana -- >> that's why we have different states. i know in south carolina our
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governor hailey said we know what to do with federal medicaid because we live closer to the people. >> but the only reason we have states is because of slavely. let's back up, the real reason we have states is because we could not decide if everyone was a free citizen or not. we worked out federalism and that's fine, now we have it within that framework, but we don't have states because we thought the people of south carolina were fundamentally different than the people of florida. >> but the states are claiming they want to just do their thing are typically the poorest states with the biggest basketcases in terms of impoverished citizens but they refuse to participate in a system to help the impoverished citizens because we make thisç a tenth amendment issue. bobby jindal is a bad daddy. if he's so smart, why are his citizens so poor? >> what i liked about the president's explanation of health care this time and what this program will provide, is it was simple and to the point. and it reminded me of a scene, i
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think it was on the pilot of the cosby show, when bill cosby's son was going to live on his own. i don't need to work or go to college, and he sat him down and said, okay, let's say you make this much money, what's going to cost what? he got out the monopoly money and all the money was gone. i like that in terms of i will teach you, i'm your father, here is the simple reality of what's going on. if you decide that you don't get insurance, that means someone else has to pay for it? that doesn't seem right. so to me it is no different than having car insurance. >> there's a policy -- there's the political question, did he overmommy on selling the affordable care act initially by having the town hall meetings and making it democratic, let everybody talk about it, then the language of death panels and the tea party movement. i'm wondering if the problem was he should have been more mitt romney. we are going to have -- >> i think what the president does is a big idea, big bold
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initiatives. and what happened with that one was, i think it is like the sausage baking process. it got called up and nancy pelosi heard it. i watched the interview earlier when she said, we'll let you read it later. we are finding out people really don't know what we have. what they doe do know is they called it a taxç increase. >> they didn't call it a tax increase. they said that under the taxes power of -- >> got it. but i'm telling you what i know the voter heard, okay? >> yes, that's what your party is telling you. >> and we are going to do our job. >> you are good about staying on message. you must have good daddies. >> but i promise you, we listen to our mothers. mine is watching today right now and is 80-something years old. she looks like she's 60, but my wife and daughter who live in new york are watching too. i can assure you that we know when the decisions are made and we know there are going to be more women making this decision
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than men. >> that's part of the point, what leader pelosi was saying when he first words were saying, let me say how this is good for women. this is good for her particular passion, but it is also as you point out politically important. if women are going to be making the choices, she's saying health care reform, my friends, is good for you. >> so many women online are talking about that and saying they are so excited that now their families are covered in comment after comment on my bloog and other blog saying this means x, y and z for my family. >> that brings me back to bill cosby. when bill cosby told theo, who is going to pay for it. what i'm finding is what is it going to cost me personally? >> i think we are already paying for that. >> i know that. >> we are paying for services terribly we don't get very well. >> the biggest mistake that the president and the democrats made once they passed health care reform was they never explained itç and allowed -- dawson is right, it is scary in there.
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>> this is a big idea. and every day we are talking about this as a day for the president. we are not talking about people out of work and the price of gasoline. >> it is a win for the president rather than for mitt romney. thank you to all of you. you guys are great. joanne, joy, nancy and keaton dawson, we have been asking who is the american family of the daddy? i am going to enjoy asking, who is your daddy to blair underwood. hey, daddy. [ male announcer ] wouldn't it be cool if we took the nissan altima and reimagined nearly everything in it? gave it greater horsepower and best in class 38 mpg highway... ...advanced headlights... ...and zero gravity seats? yeah, that would be cool. ♪
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what if streetcar is not just about class but also about race and that baffling deeply rooted divide between the elite creoles of color and new orleans black working class. we are now finding out. the latest broadway incarnation of streetcar showcases an extraordinary multicultural cast of characters including former guest nicole arie-parker in a breathtaking performance. and the limited run ends on july 22nd, but before the final ovation, we have to hear from its star, blair underwood, who interpreés stanley, and the visionary, emily mann. thank you for being here. i have been teasing this whole thing like, blair underwood is here, that's fabulous, but the fact is it really was this performance that i fell in love with. i mean, i live in new orleans, the play is obviously critically about the city, about the cultures, but how did this project come to you? how did you decide to take on a
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role this intense? >> thank you for having us, first of all. thank you for coming to the play three times. >> three times i have been. >> i'm a tennessee williams fan. and the producer did this four years ago and i wanted to be a part of that, it didn't work out, but i said i have an interest in "streetcar." here we are. to step in the shoes of stanley, even though i don't use that name because i'm not polish, but to step in the shoes because of the marlon brando production. and the 1947 film, it was challenging but almost the most exhilarating and gratifying thing i have done creatively in my career. >> emily -- >> nice to hear.
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wow. >> i have seen "streetcar" many times and read it many times, but to see this performance changed my understanding of what the play was about. there's something çabout, mayb it is being in new orleans and living in the seventh ward, but the creoles of color, they have a french ancestry background who own a big plantation. there's a moment when stella shows blanch the picture of stanley and says, look at this picture and there's horror and shock immediately on blanch's face. and it makes perfect sense to me in the context of the anxieties of creoles of color. that moment makes sense in a way it never could have in another play. why take this on in this way? this is a tough one to do with the multicultural cast. >> are you asking me that question because i would love to answer it. >> yes! >> if you know new orleans, and you know it so well, and if you know your american history, it
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is a very obvious way to look at this play. in fact, some people have said that at one point tennessee had thought about having at least a stanley of color. but his first image in the play is a black woman and a white woman sitting on the stoop talking. his stage director says it's a park in new orleans where the races intermingle freely, and just being the daughter of a historian, i began to look into all of this. and i ran ann rice's book, and for the last 20-plus years i thought this is the way to look at the play fresh. it would be southern, because you know you look at the iconic movie and it is not a southern piece. where is marlon brando from? poland maybe. it is a gorgeous performance withóu,ñ southern feel it to. as soon as you get class cast color in, it makes perfect sense. and if you know the few people
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of color history, it is true that you can have that. >> we met the cast members and my girlfriend is a historian named blair who wrote a book talking about the free people of color. and there on the wall of your dressing room was, in fact, the image of the free people of color and the folks who run it. and it made me sense this was not just a performance but a historical rendering, if talk to me about the work you did preparing for this. >> that's critical. it is a historical rendering rooted in the foundation of history, so there's authenticity. it is not just let's see what happens when you put people of color in this story. this is historically accurate. it just hasn't been done on
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broadway. this has been done in 1956, but it is one of the things we talked about in the first rehearsal. how do we make this unique and specific to new orleans and louisiana and how do we make it rich and breathe new life into it? >> does the audience have trouble watching it, because our expectations of what happens with black bodies on stage tends to be more comedic? again, i have seen it three times with evening audiences and with daytime audiences, and i wonder in part because there's huge popularity for the tyler perry plays on stage, or even some of the musicals that are extremely popularç on broadway. there were moments when there was laughter or kind of an inability to quite capture, like the intensity that was being portrayed by the actors, but i wonder if the black bodies are also distracting because we think somehow that they aught to be comedic rather than dramatic in the way that they are. >> well, there are two sides to that. one is there are some laughs that we just don't like and we work hard to discourage. but tennessee himself said there is humor in this play. and i think it's one of the revelations of the production, is that people do laugh.
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they have found the humor in it. once you have the sound of the southern language, the humor comes out. and you have a mixed audience and people are going off of each other. some days it is absolutely silent. >> absolutely silent. >> and some days there are lots of humor. >> culturally, when people insult each other, your momma is so fat, this and that, those are the dozens. as an actor upon the stage, it can be. and you have seen this, it can be frustrating because when you are being dramatic and when stanley is abusing blanch, it is one of the things that brando talked about in 1947 and tennessee williams hated the fact there was cheering and celebration in the demise of branch. that said, this 2012 audience, sometimes culturally we respond to insulting each other. we look at how we grew up, the sitcoms, the jeffersons, tyler perry today, a lot of the shows were insulting each other with lafter in that.
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it can be frustrating.ç when stanley is insultding and ultimately raping his wife's sister and beating his wife, there's no comedy in that. that's another conversation to have. where do we as a culture oftentimes put that anxiety, put that pain, put those real life issue that is a lot of people have gone through. >> we'll talk more about that and part of broadway and the audience broadway has. i have a question for you that we will answer on the next side. it's this. why is broadway nicknamed the great white way? that's after the break. i don't spend money on gasoline. i don't have to use gas. i am probably going to the gas station about once a month. drive around town all the time doing errands and never ever have to fill up gas in the city. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt. last time i was at a gas station was about...i would say... two months ago.
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the last time i went to the gas station must have been about three months ago. i go to the gas station such a small amount that i forget how to put gas in my car. ♪ if you made a list of countries from around the world... that i forget how to put gas in my car. ...with the best math scores. ...the united states would be on that list. in 25th place. let's raise academic standards across the nation. let's get back to the head of the class. let's solve this.
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you can't argue with nutrition you can see. great grains. search great grains and see for yourself. for multi grain flakes that are an excellent source of fiber try great grains banana nut crunch and cranberry almond crunch. before the break i asked you why is broadway nicknamed the great white way? the answer is because of the millions of lights in the marquees and billboards that have hit up the area since the
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1980s. the most popular headline was in 1902. i welcome back the star and the production -- when we think about sort of who, we were talking about the audiences, who is out there in your audience? by the way, you have two shows today. a show in an hour and one tonight. so who do you think is out there, and when you're performing, are you aware of who the audience? >> broadway is for everyone. not historically for everybody, but more african-americans are going to broadway. i think now 70% of the people that come to broadway are tourists from all over the world. but it is for everybody. different showsç like this, that's why i love the producers, i think when puff daddy did "raise in the sun" a few years ago, the community was upset about that.
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puff daddy doing "raising the son." the audiences have overturned. throughout the years they have brought a black audience but -- >> so let me sort of, actually, i want to do a rare blair underwood moment. i want to tell the world as we were doing all our research, there's this great piece by jodi cantor back in 2007 about president obama and dead center in the middle of the article is a point that apparently when mr. underwood was preparing for his role in "l.a. law" he went to hang out at harvard with this guy, barack obama. which really just cracked us up. and it made it perfectly reasonable for you to be on a saturday morning news and politics show. because apparently you're beloved character -- >> what a great segway. >> because apparently your
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beloved character on "l.a. law" is built on the man who became president, barack obama. that is pretty cool. >> it was ironic because my president was the president of the board of review. it was a coincidence how that worked out. >> sorry, that was a random shoutout. i am sorry, iç went to a whole different place, but we were just talking about tv and your "l.a. law" role and the way television encourages us to think about carters in one way. i'm wondering if part of what broadway is for is for the intensity of physically being in the room with the action. if there's something that happens in our understanding of human interactions of history, of these stories, when we are in the room with it rather than being mediated through television. >> and that's also why we know one show is like another show. each one is unique because it is a conversation between what's going on on stage and who is in the audience. we have all experienced those
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quiet audiences and there's one laughter. and then other pockets might start. that's a different experience than a totally quiet show or as what harris says, the laughter olympics, which sometimes we have as well. how you experience the play is very much being in a live experience with a community. >> and can we generate greater empathy for the arts, the empathy and the civility we are missing in our political world, if we are engaging in our artistic world in a different way, could it generate a human empathy to slop over from our broadway stage into our congressional actions? >> i absolutely think it can. and it's a great start in starting with the arts. i mean, this production, you know, we, as you know, have had some pushback from small pockets. because we are on a political show, i really do see whatever small resistance we got from a vocal minority is opposed to the birthers. they are there.
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>> you can'tç be stanley becau your body is not the body i imagine when i imagine stanley. >> well that and there are people who very vocally said, john lauer from "the new yorker" came on and said, this is published, that he wanted no more inferno all black cast so i can have my equal infolly. for someone to say that publicly and not get push back from the theatrical community, i said, where are your colleagues? you know you are preaching to a choir. so that's where there was a certain resentment in resistance to a multicultural cast taking on tennessee williams. it is just like to the president, i have to say, we've got a lot of great reviews, some were not so great i'm told, i don't read the reviews, but that's fine. that's people's opinions.
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the bigger picture is when walking into a climate and people are predisposed to saying, i don't want to see this. their critique is suspect because they don't want to see it initially. but it can't start in the arts, to answer your question. >> that said, i loved it. i was thrilled to have you all here. folks in the new york area should absolutely see it. >> we only have three more weeks, so maybe we are done. >> maybe we'll take the whole staff. if poor blanch had universal health care, she wouldn't have had to go stay with stanley in the first place. in just a moment, nerdland goes disney, but first here'sç preview of "weekends with alex witt" hosted by richard lou. a heat wave stormed power outages from the midwest to the nation's capital. the worst of it, people with no power in 100-plus degree heat. and more fallout from the health care supreme court decision. we'll talk to one of justice
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roberts' former clerks. and reaction from the young man at president's side win he signed the historic law into law. and dan rather talking about how this plays out in rather al. we'll talk to you, melissa, about your intensive, lengthy interview with nancy pelosi and the right's desire to overturn the health care bill. what a cartoon can do for universal health care. that's up next. tell it wears on them. narrator: he's fought to pull us out of economic crisis for three years. and he still is. president obama's plan keeps taxes down for the middle class, invests in education and asks the wealthy to pay their fair share. mitt romney and his billionaire allies can spend milions to distort the president's words. but they're not interested in
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rebuilding the middle class. he is. i'm barack obama and i sven's home security gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! how does this thing work? oh, i like it! [ garth ] sven's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! woo-hoo!!! so that's ten security gators, right? put them on my spark card! why settle for less? testing hot tar... great businesses deserve the most rewards! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet? here's your invoice.
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sometimes because of some of the subjects we discuss, i may suggest you send any children present out of the room. but today i'm dog the opposite. if there are any kids around, call them back into the room right now. because they are very likely to
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be the experts on this week's "foot soldier." yesterday when we were in washington, d.c., waiting to interview nancy pelosi. my daughter parker pitched me an idea. she had a good news hook, this week's historic supreme court ruling. who was her suggestion? dottie dock mcstuffens. i know it's a little more than unconventionaldq= honor a fictional character. young dr. mcstuchbs is a 6-year-old whose smother a real doctor. dottie is treating her toys which come alive when she puts on her pink stethoscope. and as doc mcstuffens likes to say, she hasn't lost a patient yet. here she is giving a windup mermaid some triage. >> jiggle now! gone it.
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my prescription is to get a few winds on your winder upper. >> let me help you. >> my tail is flapping! >> now you should be able to swim. >> the young doctor whose show airs weekday mornings on the disney channel is voiced by this young lady, kiara muhammad. i couldn't resist doc mcstuffins on a day where nancy pelosi shatter shattered barriers, when we muse on can women have it all and how black women are changing broadway. then there's this reason, my daughter saying, there's a black girl doctor and you don't see many black girl doctors. that's really cool. so she may be a cartoon, but doc mcstuffins represents a little girl talking about where she can go in life. because she has a mother as her role model, she can dream big.
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so can those who watch tv. she's inspiring black girls who have grown up to be doctors. this isç mei eesh sha taylor, doctor who watches this tv with her daughter. they see the value in doc mcstuffins because they know how lonely their people can be. in nearly 1 million doctors in the u.s., out of 300,000 female physicians black women is only 18,000. that number can change in this culture historic iconic moment as we think how this 5-4 supreme court decision, we're also hoping we'll have a network of providers just as diverse as our population throughout the country are. now we have doc mcstuffins to
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help us imagine what that next generation may see. and that is our show for today. thank you to blair underwood and emi emilymann sticking around. i'll see you tomorrow morning when conviwe have the conversat. coming up, "weekends with alex wi witt." with chase sapphire prefe.
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with chase sapphire prefe. high schools in six states enrolled in the national math and science initiative... ...which helped students and teachers get better results in ap courses. together, they raised ap test scores 138%. just imagine our potential... ...if the other states joined them. let's raise our scores. let's invest in our teachers and inspire our students.


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