tv Melissa Harris- Perry MSNBC May 27, 2012 10:00am-12:00pm EDT
good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry and the jelly beans are back. this tuesday, mitt romney will make it official. and he's finally going no get what he always wanted. the republican nomination for president. so currently romney has 1,084 cinderella gates. remember, we've been counting them in the jar? and mitt's delegates are represented by the jelly beans you recognize. he is so close to the 1,044 delegates he needs to cinch the nomination, the red line here. texas will vote on tuesday, so one can assume that romney will get a pretty good portion of those texas jelly beans. once he does, romney will have his 1,144 delegates and that's when he's going to pivot. the pivot we've talked about here before.
he'll have all of the delegates he needs, but now he needs the voters, and the romney machine is in full effect. after his speech to a latino group on wednesday, where he called education the civil rights issue of our era. he then visited a predominantly black charter school in west philadelphia. and that wasn't the romney campaign's only message broadening move. we learned thursday they hired republican tara wall as a senior communications adviser. wall previously worked with president george w. bush had this to say about the romney campaign from a messaging standpoi standpoint, fwheed to be able to communicate and relate to community about how they are impacted by obama's policies. it's the right thing to could and ab important part of the process. not a ploy, not a tactic, part whof we are we have to show up. now, to our colleagues at t thegrio.com. obama campaign doesn't own the black vote. there are folks who want to hear
from the other side. hearing from a candidate and actual voting for a candidate are two entirely different things. it's not always a love affair between african-americans and the democrat party. lincoln and the reconstruction era republicans were a different kind of party as were democrats who barred black p paraskevidekatriaphobparticipat in 1924. the civil rights act of 1964 and voting rights act of 1965, and this attachment and enthusiasm for the democratic party lasted a long time. but as the saying goes, nothing lasts forever, and after reaching a high point during jesse jackson's campaigns in the 1980s, black voters expressed waning emotional attachments and increasingly believe the party was taking their votes for granted in george w. bush's 2004
election campaign, he earned 11% of the vote. he had the racially diverse cabinet of any modern republican and pursued an election strategy that emphasized social issues as a wedge and got more than a little help from john kerry who never quite connected with african-american voters. for a moment, it looked like black voters might be ripe for another, if less dramatic, partisan shift in august 2005, hurricane katrina happened and many frirn african-americans felt just like kanye. >> george bush doesn't care about black people. >> within weeks, president bush's approval ratings among black voters plummeted. and senator john mccain captured only 4% of the black vote, while then senator-obama won 95%. so no matter how many inner city school kids romney visits, i feel confident he won't get a
significant portion of the black vote. that doesn't mean a republican can never get those votes. the shift will have to come from substance, not symbols and if they want a more diverse voter base, they will need a more compelling policy platform, which suggests romney isn't seeking black voters. he might be simply more interested in showing moderate white voters ki be inclusive and game their votes. with me, jelani cobb, and jane jung, bill snyder at third way and back us with by popular demand, margaret cho, who stars in "drop dead diva." welcome to everybody. >> thank you. >> we've got the pander, the pivot, the shift to build a bigger tent. can the republican party get a
more diverse voting coalition in this election? in 2012? >> the short answer is no. he doesn't have a chance of that happening. he wants to send a message to people who have black friends, white voters like to think of themselves as racially progressive. they don't want to vote for someone who has less than exclusive ideas. the other thing here, people don't know a whole lot about the mormon church, but what they do know the is tangled racial history of the mormon church and some of the 19th century racial ideas that joseph smith held and that helps them to the extent he's seen as being inclusive. >> "the new york times" story, the story of an african-american
mormon woman teaching at brigham young, another african-american woman running for congress in utah. and expanding our motion of what constitutes mormon. there is this pushback that simply because is he mormon, that mitt romney would hold racially prejudiceiz izd ideas. >> i was campaigning in philadelphia before president obama was president. we were talking to people who are were so excited about the possibility of a president obama. for romney to go there, that's sort of where everything started, like outside of illinois for obama is phil. such a big deal, and i mean, i think it's so funny. you look so uncomfortable. like, i don't know why he looks way more wooden than normal which is bad. >> sort of shaking their hands, like when you see the first lady, for example, with schoolchildren, it's all warmth and joy, and, in fact, some of
my favorite white house shots are pictures of president obama with african-american kids. some of my favorite pictures. >> touching the hair. >> i can't. it's too much. >> there is a substantive reason why so many african-americans are committed to the democratic party. it's the federal government. the federal government has rescued african-americans from intolerable situations in two occasions, in the 1860s from slavery, in the 1960s from segregation. but the republican party has become more and more antigovernment and when they use their anti government rhetoric, african-americans don't get it. they don't think the federal government is their enemy. >> there is the reality of employment. the african-american middle class is basically built on teachers and postal workers that government jobs are some of the first places where those bar engineers to employment dropped. >> and they don't think
government is their enemy. >> states rights don't quite resonate the same way with african-american voters. >> it is important to note that the federal government put african-americans in peril to begin with. so save them from that was the fact that they were put there in the beginning. leaving that aside, it's important to note that maybe romney's strategy isn't to only go after white voters to show racial tolerance. even a small margin in battleground states with high levels of immigration, for example, virginia, pennsylvania, north carolina, ohio, florida in particular, even a small proportion of african-american votes could make the difference for romney. these are states with high populations of black voters who come in, not from the united states, from the caribbean and africa. 10% of the black population in the u.s. is foreign born, so it may not only be a strategy to appease white voters, but i
would not discount the possibility that this is a sincere level on some level to turn a small number of voters that could make the difference. >> the battle grown states, a small percentage or dampening the enthusiasm, part of what the pivot is it going to be, he needs president obama to galvanize conservatives, the anti obama vote, but wants to tamp down any sort of residual 2008 enthusiasm that brings a lot of folks to the polls. virginia would be a key example. and i just remember, we were talking about philadelphia, that it was that -- it was that great question about pensyl-tucky in the context of the 2008 primary, and the question of what was pennsylvania as a state going to do? w >> yes, where were they going to do i was going with cal penn to little city centers.
obama didn't have to be there we just had to talk about him. and the grow of the people, so thrilled with this possibility. i have never been so excited about politics in any life and so weird he would -- romney would go and? and try to steal some of that thunder. coming up, more in this election. in identity politics, whether it's taking on a whole new meaning, what being an outsider is all about for mitt romney and, and the extent that they will try to woo women voters, don't go away. wanna know the difference between a trader and an elite trader? it's this... the etrade pro platform. fast. beautiful. totally customizable. finds top performing stocks -- in three clicks. quickly scans the market for new trading ideas. it can even match options strategies to your goals and lets you see the potential risk and reward. and, it also comes with a dedicated elite service team.
woop-woop! franklin delano! [ male announcer ] hey! there's oreo creme under that fudge! oreo fudge cremes. indescribably good. [ molly ] wash your paws, mr. man! [ female announcer ] think your kids are getting a dependable clean -in the bathroom? -[ gasps ] [ female announcer ] think again. try charmin ultra strong. for a clean that passes inspection with fewer pieces left behind. its diamondweave texture is soft and more durable versus the ultra rippled brand so it holds up better for a more dependable clean. fewer pieces left behind. now who's the man? [ female announcer ] charmin ultra strong. and now enjoy the go on the go with the sit or squat app. the clean restroom finder from charmin.
vote. let's take a look back at martin luther king jr. day, where romney was trying to do just that. >> who has got your camera though? who let the dogs out, who, who? >> i mean, in the last segment, margaret was like, yeah, he is a little uncomfortable. that's what it looks like? >> he is so wooden. i feel bad for him. like it makes you feel kind of bad for white people. oh, no, you're representing? oh! >> he saw a group of african-american people, and he couldn't help himself, he started singing "who let the dogs out." >> he couldn't help himself. >> not a good word association. >> let me ask about the optics. i made the claim, we need substancetive policy change on the part of the party. but even if republicans suddenly had a more progressive platform, snuggling up with donald trump, performi ining birtharism, isn'
that just death of possibility that anyone is going to vote for this candidate? >> yeah. my favorite statistic, 1968, richard nixon's worst state was mississippi. in 1968, mississippi was his best state, because the wallace vote got folded in. those voters have been there. >> they had originally been democrats, right? >> yes. wallace was a democrat. >> that party of the party that was sort of constantly creating the agony within congress. >> that was called the southern strategy and it worked. the sought, now the base of the republican party, the white south. >> demographically, the south changing dramatically, lots of latino immigration, we have large populations of african-americans and latinos but vietnamese, a point which
joseph gau was representing a pro predominantly black district? are we looking at a secular change across time? >> demographically, that's true. but there is a time lag between the movement of populations to the south, their naturalization, and their becoming voters. while it's a harbinger of things to come, it may not actually be seen for another few years until naturalization occurs and people become regular voters. >> it's like that feeling of my parents not voting even after they had emigrated for years and years, because they never felt they had a right to. sometimes it takes these immigrant families a while to feel like they have a right to say something. >> i'm wondering, when we start looking at that demographic time lapse, maybe romney won't peel off a lot of voters of color in 2012, particular well african-american voters, i feel
like there are natural alliances on individualism, on a variety of social conservative issues that if i were to look 20 years out, and particularly if you look at the decline of african-american attachment to the democratic party, right? it peeks in the' 80s. not a huge decline, but starts to decline, and pops up with president obama. there may be wiggle room there for the possibility of a republican inrode. >> look what happened on the same-sex marriage issue, most african-americans in california and most states oppose same-sex marriage. many are very religious, and the preacher said don't oppose same-sex marriage. but when president obama came out in favor of same-sex marriage, who did the naacp endorse? same-sex marriage. >> so did colin powell, and so did jay-z. in maryland, a flip in the
polls, where you have a predominance of african-americans supporting same-sex marriage. that's the leadership of president obama not necessarily the democrats. it's hard for me to imagine that john kerry could have led an evolution of same-sex marriage. >> a couple of of points. what will be the ongoing obama effect in this. when we look at when the republicans had the african-american vote was the party of lincoln, a 60-year kind of grace period they get simply from lincoln's emancipation. then when have you franklin roosevelt, another 60 years, the democratic party. they won't be 60 years because of the first african-american president. i think there will be an extended period of time where people looking at the democratic party, they are responsible for putting the first black person in the white house. >> reconstruction was a big deal. 60 years seems reasonable. last year, the story of one man behind bars for possibly the
wrong reasons and his plea for a pardon. now the pressure is building on president obama to help him. the latest developments on clarence ahren's story, when we return. [ male announcer ] if you think tylenol is the pain reliever orthopedic doctors recommend most for arthritis pain, think again. and take aleve. it's the one doctors recommend most for arthritis pain. two pills can last all day. ♪
uncer) pills can last all day. most life insurance companies look at you and just see a policy. at aviva, we do things differently. our wellness for life program rewards you with savings is and it's only from aviva. in here, great food demands a great presentation. so at&t showed corporate caterers how to better collaborate by using a mobile solution, in a whole new way. using real-time photo sharing abilities, they can create and maintain high standards, from kitchen to table. this technology allows us to collaborate with our drivers to make a better experience for our customers. [ male announcer ] it's a network of possibilities -- helping you do what you do... even better. ♪
yoo-hoo. hello. it's water from the drinking fountain at the mall. [ male announcer ] great tasting tap water can come from any faucet anywhere. the brita bottle with the filter inside. [ male announcer ] great tasting tap water can come from any faucet anywhere. it's time to live wider awake. only the beautyrest recharge sleep system combines the comfort of aircool memory foam layered on top of beautyrest pocketed coils to promote proper sleeping posture all night long. the revolutionary recharge sleep system... from beautyrest.
it's you, fully charged. ♪ [ female announcer ] life is full of little tests, but bounty basic can handle them. in this lab demo, bounty basic is stronger than the leading bargain brand. everyday life. bring it with affordably priced bounty basic. lasts weekend, i talk eed about a report of clarence aaron. serving three life sentences for a minor first time drug offense, his clemency request was mishandled by the attorney who heads the u.s. pardons office. within a week's time, it has sparked real increase in attention to the case. pressure being put on president obama and the house to do something about it. joining us now is sam morrison, a former long-time staff attorney at the u.s. pardon
attorneys office who once worked on the clarence aaron case. we asked ronald rogers to join us, but he declined. >> good to see up thank you for having me. >> start by telling us what the pardons office is. not sure everyone knows what this office and is and how the clarence aaron's case came to be under your review. >> i think everybody knows, under the constitution, the president has the opportunity to grant pardons and commutations for offenses against the united states. as a practical matter, given the large number of cases that get filed and the small size of the president's staff, he has to farm that out to somebody else to do investigative leg work. the president doesn't have the resources or time to do that part himself, for more than 100 years, that office has been the office of the pardon attorney which is part of the justice department. this creates a structural
problem that clarence aaron's case illustrates. the president doesn't know anything about these cases except what the justice department chooses to tell him, and no independent way to verify whether he is being told the truth or if there are other facts. he has to trust what he is being told. and, unfortunately, the justice department in my view has a completely partisan view of how this should be handled. and they aren't serving the best interest of the presidency. serving the institutional interests of the justice department, and those aren't necessarily the same thing. >> i know you felt at the time that aaron's three life sentences should by coe commuted you still feel that way. what led you to that conclusion? >> a variety of factors. one is the president was clearly interested in doing something in this case. he had sat on a denial recommendation for about three years.
as was reported in your initial story and sent it back to the justice department with a request to take another look at it. we all knew what that meant. that meant they wanted to us change our position and support the president's desire to grant some relief in this case. i then decided since it had been several years since we had approached the u.s. attorney's office and the sentencing judge to approach them again and see if they had softened their views. >> so this case is beginning get some traction, democratic congressman john conyers, ranking on the house judiciary committee authored a letter to president obama. the first letter is bush, not president obama the letter says if the allegations about the pardon attorney and the allegations are proven, we believe the case warrants your immediate reconsideration in his application for clemency. do you think this could be effective? >> certainly. certainly. if the president didn't know before, and i assume that he didn't, he knows now what the true facts are, i think daphna's
piece speaks for itself. the previous report by the pardon attorney didn't accurately convey the judviews the judge and the u.s. attorney. there is no reason that the president couldn't fix in this afternoon, if he was asking my president, which he's not. since you have been elected to office, mr. president, you have had to make a lot of tough decisions this isn't one of them. no reasonable person believes that clarence aaron deserves to die in prison. >> that's a terrific way to put it. he's made a lot of tough decisions, this is not a hard one. thank you for joining us. >> you're welcome. next, a homecoming with no ticker tape parades, a marketplace with no job openings, and a v.a. with limited resources. the home front, we take a hard look at the numbers, that's up next. 99% of the lead
i can pick up traveling through your pipes, and then... [ click ] it just clicked. get it? it clicked... like the thing...click... ♪ spread a little love my way ♪ ♪ spread a little something to remember ♪ [ female announcer ] fresh milk and real cream makes philadelphia and the moment a little richer. i would not say i'm into it, but let's see where this goes.
[ buzzer ] do you like to travel? i'm all about "free travel," babe. that's what i do. [ buzzer ] balance transfers -- you up for that? well... too soon? [ female announcer ] fortunately, there's an easier way with creditcards.com. compare hundreds of cards from every major bank, and find the one that's right for you. creditcards.com. it's simple. search, compare, and apply. creditcards.com. it's simple. morning, boys. so, i'm working on a cistern intake valve, and the guy hands me a locknut wrench. no way! i'm like, what is this, a drainpipe slipknot? wherever your business takes you, nobody keeps you on the road like progressive commercial auto. [ flo speaking japanese ] [ shouting in japanese ] we work wherever you work. now, that's progressive. call or click today.
of how a shipping giant can befriend a forest may seem like the stuff of fairy tales. but if you take away the faces on the trees... take away the pixie dust. take away the singing animals, and the storybook narrator... [ man ] you're left with more electric trucks. more recycled shipping materials... and a growing number of lower emissions planes... which still makes for a pretty enchanted tale. ♪ la la la [ man ] whoops, forgot one... [ male announcer ] sustainable solutions. fedex. solutions that matter.
monday is the first memorial day since the end of the iraq war, and when we think about honoring veterans, many of us, including me, think of the iconic photo of the sailor coming back from war, or the ticker tape parades after the end of world war ii. vietnam veterans came home to a conflicted. today, how do we honor our veterans? soldiers coming home from afghanistan or iraq, with pro tablgted endly state of war. it's a little more than an interlude between tours of duty. more than 900,000 of service members have been deployed multiple times. when our soldiers do come home, it is not to huge parades, but often to a personalized and heart warming family embrace made for the youtube generation.
>> oh, my god! ", my god! >> dad! >> the burden of our current international conflict is actually borne by a relative few while the rest of us are asked to make little sacrifice at all on the home front. with a smaller population of us in the military, fewer of us are touched. we may notice the end of these wars or notice the veterans they produced. as president obama announces the post draw down, what kind of veterans comb home? we have a case manager from service women's action network and we have a senior fellow at iraq and afghanistan veterans of
america. and bill snyder of third way. thank you for being here. okay. what is the picture. when veterans coming home, what kind of america are they facing? what are the main challenges? >> increasing sense of isolation, unlike previous generations, less than one-half of one 1% of americans have served in the military. they face huge unemployment numbers, as is knust most of the country. 12% in 2011, of iraq and afghanistan reported unemployment and ida membership survey puts that closer to 17%. >> we were looking at the veterans unemployment numbers, veterans of all wars, dampened, closer to the -- to the sort of -- excuse me, 8% average. it's among african-americans, up
to 11% and if you broke that out to recent war veterans, a much higher number that you talk about. >> absolutely of. on top of that, when you look at it further to male veterans, age 18 to 24, the number jumps to 30%. that's a heavy percentage. >> when we think about how we imagine what a post war america is, you think world war ii, all the people who made home front sacrifices, rosy the river -- riveter, our vision of what wartime and peacetime is like. folks move out and make room for veterans. it's no longer what we are facing on the home front. >> no, it's very challenging coming back, and when you look at it from a gender perspective. there are different challenges men and women face. women come home to families and children, and, you have mental health issues for both men and
women. and a lot of times, a sense of isolation, that i'm not sure what i am supposed to do now that i'm back. if you stay in the military, you do multiple deployments, if you are in the guard or reserves, you try to reintegrate into the community. sometimes it's very difficult for people. >> when people are redeploying, mostly out of choice? as veterans coming home, and they say i don't know what to do next, it that they are heading back by choice? >> there certainly are individuals that redeploy for economic reasons. there are ones that want to continue to serve and view that as the best way possible. really, though, with iraq over and afghanistan winding down this is an opportunity for america to say we support the troops and to prove it by hiring
them, talking to the kid down the street. it's time for the rest of america to put their money where their mouth is. >> it feels like one of the last bipartisan spaces is this notion that we all support our troops. if we have the kind of ticker tape parades, then we have our failures in the post vietnam era, a sense that we never want to again treat returning veterans the way we did in that moment. it feels like -- not as though we fixed it. almost ignoring it, as though all veterans aren't coming home. >> they are smaller and we don't have a draft anymore. that's important. a lot of americans used to have military experience when the country went to war. a lot of americans join the military for opportunity. it's in many cases a way up, a way to get a skill, get a job. and they come back and discover there aren't you any jobs, economic opportunities are very
limited. that's intensely frustrating. >> war has changed. when we say war today or front lines, a different kind of war. what does that mean about how veterans have changed? particularly on the skills question. where there isn't that skills used to be more trfrtable from war time to private business in, you know, at an earlier time is that's what's happening here? >> i don't think it's changed. many stills are still transferrable. what our members have run into is a language gap. maybe an employer doesn't care that they went on 400 combat patrols, but they will care at 21 years old, they were managing $750,000 worth of equipment. another issue we run into, is the lack of training, transferring over into the civilian world. if a medic served as a combat medic 15 months in iraq with an infantry platoon, he can probably be an emt in his hometown, but some of the skills skills and training should
transfer over, rather than having him or her to start at the base level. >> so, nertsds, folks who have skilled like being a medic have to walk back into civilian life although none of those stills are transferrable. start as though that training or segment is. >> u.s. a waste of time, training and money. >> are there policy ways to impact that? you say americans need to do better. are there actual policies that we can change that would influence the ability to make those skills more transferrable? >> president obama recently signed into law the how to hire heroes act that aims to address many of these things. it's early to see how it will shake out. policymakers are trying. >> trying to create some sort of incenti incentive. coming up, a chilling epidemic among troops. more american soldiers commit suicide that die in combat. where are we failing our men and women in uniform? that's next.
[ male announcer ] this one goes out to all the allergy muddlers. you know who you are. you can part a crowd, without saying a word. you have yet to master the quiet sneeze. you stash tissues like a squirrel stashes nuts. well, muddlers, muddle no more. try zyrtec®. it gives you powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because zyrtec® starts working at hour 1 on the first day you take it. claritin® doesn't start working until hour 3. zyrtec®. love the air.
the calcium they take because they don't take it with food. switch to citracal maximum plus d. it's the only calcium supplement that can be taken with or without food. that's why my doctor recommends citracal maximum. it's all about absorption. with the touch of a button ? droid does. does it post it instantly to facebook with sound ? droid does. droid with color for facebook. it's the ultimate status update. get a droid razr maxx by motorola for only $199.99. thought they were dead. [ laughter ] [ grunting ] huh? [ male announcer ] should've used roundup. america's number one weed killer.
it kills weeds to the root, so they don't come back. guaranteed. weeds won't play dead, they'll stay dead. roundup. no root. no weed. no problem. weeds won't play dead, they'll stay dead. (female announcer) most life insurance companies look at you and just see a policy. at aviva, we do things differently. we're bringing humanity back to life insurance. that's why only aviva rewards you with savings for getting a check-up. it's our wellness for life program, with online access to mayo clinic. see the difference at avivausa.com.
welcome back. we are honoring those who gave their life and their service to our military. unfortunately, many of our men and women in uniform are dying not on the battle field, but at their own hands. the department of veteran affairs estimates that about 18 veterans kill themselves every day. the number of u.s. soldiers who committed suicide is estimated to be greater than the number who died in combat in afghanistan and iraq. those statistics make me think we're not doing nearly enough. apparently our veterans think the same thing. about 52% of veterans are currently saying that they think that the help they are getting from government is not enough.
back with me, afghanistan war veteran, and matt gallagher and political analyst bill schneider. talk to me about tchallenges yo see our veterans facing? >> it's really hard when we come bang, see the different systems you are having to navigate. a lot of times veterans claim for veterans for post traumatic stress and a lot of women face sexual trauma, and only 32% of those claims pass as opposed to 53% from combat trauma claims. a disparity there, and you can't get benefits, you can't get care, mental health care, can't get what you need, and it -- it turns into this downward spiral of mental health disability of substance abuse, of homelessness, we talked about unemployment and so you get to this point where you just kind of hit rock bottom and there is not enough people out there that understand these systems that
understand the gender component brought to the table that a lot of these women and men face. it's overwhelming for someone who has ptsd to look at a form that needs to be filled out. they don't know what to do, and nobody understands what they have been through, i don't want to walk through a v.a. full of men when i've been sexually assaulted by those in the military with. so many overwhelming challenges. >> we've talked about this issue of sexual abuse of women, rape, sexual violation, and then the way the chain of command operates, there is legislation between brrr congress to change this. it's not being overly emotional about a rape survivor. real issues about the chain of command and the possibility of ever getting any kind of justice. add onto that wartime and try to get some sort of help on the other side. i think we don't quite get as americans how difficult it is
for our veterans to get basic health care coverage. much less psychological coverage, in education assistance and job training. we must take care of them on the other side. >> a lot of people assume, you can go to the v.a., get care. if you are an iraq or afghanistan veteran, you can get care. but if you don't get disability claim approved after that, you are out of luck. we have looked at the disparity between military sexual violence and combat trauma, and that has to be recommend knee deed. when one out of three military sexual violence survivors aren't getting benefits, that's a huge problem. >> and i feel like there is -- a sense somehow that if we just -- you know, if we sort of tie the yellow ribbon around the old oak tree, that's enough to demonstrate our support and i
worry on one hand, even as we talk about the challenges that folks say, particularly the psychological challenges, we make worse the economic concerns we were just talking about. we need to fundamentally address the psychological, the physical challenges of someone coming home from war, without someone saying, employers, you will be getting damaged goods. how do we strike the right balance there? >> the time is now. the opportunity for all of these returning veterans coming back now, when they are young, when they can directly apply the skills they picked up in the military to new civilian job or education, is a tremendous opportunity for the country as a whole. much in the same way world war ii veterans came home in 1945, and helped lead the greatest economic rival in american history. the long-term effects that veterans historically face such as homelessness, long-term
mental health issues need to be nipped in the bud now, and the potential that iraq and afghanistan veterans have can be fully tapped into. >> neither our current president or his challenger have combat experience, been in the military so there might be a gap of understanding, interesting to me that vice president biden, at a survivor's seminar in arlington, virginia, talked about the issue of grief and suicide, that certainly he is not himself a veteran, but an interesting kind of sense of empathy, i thought we would listen for a moment to that. >> the black hole you feel in your chest, like are you being sucked back into it. looking at your kids or most of have you kids here. it was the first time in my career, my life, and i realized that someone could go out -- i
probably wouldn't say that with the press here. but it's more important. you're more important. for the first time in my life, i could understand how someone could consciously decide to commit suicide. >> he was talking about the death of his wife and daughters, but that sense of empathy was very important. >> it was a terrible experience for him. for a while he to be convinced to take his senate seat from delaware. a personal tragedy and trying to relate to him what happened to him personally, to the experience the veterans have. one condition has to be noted. the war in iraq was nots a popular war. it wasn't like world war ii or operation desert storm. americans don't celebrate a great victory in iraq. afgh aft afghanistan started out as a popular war, it went off the charts for five years and then it came back. a lot of people think that we're fighting a war to save a
government that steals elections. how much sense does ha make? these are wars that have drawn a lot of protests. >> we'll come back on this topic. i want to talk a bit about the vote. how in an election year, the issue of veterans and veterans as voters will make a difference. can president obama undo a republican tradition this november and actually manage to get the veterans' vote. i'll have that, when we come back.
yoo-hoo. hello. it's water from the drinking fountain at the mall. [ male announcer ] great tasting tap water can come from any faucet anywhere. the brita bottle with the filter inside. [ female announcer ] letting her home be turned into a training facility? ♪ this olympian's mom has been doing it for years. she's got bounty. in this lab demo, one sheet of new bounty leaves this surface cleaner than two sheets of the leading ordinary brand. bounty has trap and lock technology to soak up big spills and lock them in. let the spills begin. p&g. proud sponsor of the olympic games.
this memorial day, president obama will be visiting with veterans and military families to thank them for service and offer support. come november, he is hoping for support of the ballot box. the military bloc is very much on the mind of the obama reelection team, normally because they make up a sizable portion of the electorate in key swing states.
while the president is leading among all registered voter as cording to the latest "wall street journal" nbc news poll, can the come manner in chief win the support of electoral troops. he is there a veteran's vote, a set of choices that veterans make choices differently at the vote. >> absolutely. you vote what you need. when we come back, it's great to have the support of people, parades, having the welcome home. but those don't fix the problems everything, what fixes the problems is legislation designed to fix and the needs that everyone has. there has to be concentrated efforts, concentrated legislation that specifically addresses the issues. thank you is great, but it doesn't fix anything.
>> real policy initiatives or efforts on the parts of the president could actually move this generally pretty republican group of voters over? >> absolutely. >> okay. >> yeah, i think how the withdrawal of afghanistan plays out will have a huge impact. it will directly a service member's life. that will be probably the strongest chance that the obama campaign has in terms of moving that bloc of voters over. >> i asked my staff, where are veterans? i had been in virginia recently talking to folks in the tidewater area and suddenly you saw the military presence, we found a veterans populationcrdy seat coast, but virginia, ohio, and florida, places, bill, that have real electoral consequences have a significant veteran population. is this a time with an election
coming up where veterans might be able to push to get interest and concerns met? >> yes it is, and most are interested concerns are going to have to be met by government. the reason you see romney with an edge among veterans, one word, men. veterans are disproportionately male, still are. and men tend to vote republican. this is a male voting edge. to the extent they are conscious of issues just talking about and want help from government which they desperately need, that's where obama can make inroads. >> they have served their government, served their nation and they need the nation to respond back. we have a few moments left. it's memorial day, what would be the one take home that ordinary folks at home ought to know what we should be doing on memorial day to think about veterans. >> while people are at the beach, while people are shopping for cheaper mattresses, take a
moment. iva is having a go silent campaign. at 12:01 p.m. tomorrow on memorial day, take a pause and remember the fallen, whether you know them personally or not. because whether you supported the wars or not, these men and women are serving you, and it would be nice if you could take a moment for them. >> to remember. would you agree? >> yes. and educate yourself. a lot of these issues, so far from the general population's psyche. we need to understand what veterans' issues are. >> i appreciate both of you helping to us understand a little better. 12:01 i will undoubtedly take a pause, as will all of nerdland. bill is sticking around. coming up, president obama is known by some as the first asian american president. he might be counting on that nickname come november as asian american voters are proving to be among the most sought after
voting blocs. are they even a block? we'll dig into that, right after the break. [ male announcer ] this is genco services -- mcallen, texas. in here, heavy rental equipment in the middle of nowhere, is always headed somewhere. to give it a sense of direction, at&t created a mobile asset solution to protect and track everything. so every piece of equipment knows where it is, how it's doing or where it goes next. ♪ this is the bell on the cat. [ male announcer ] it's a network of possibilities -- helping you do what you do... even better.
♪ you walk into a conventional mattress store, it's really not about you. they say, "well, if you wanted a firm bed you can lie on one of those. if you want a soft bed you can lie on one of those." we provide the exact individualization that your body needs. welcome to the sleep number memorial day sale. where you can celebrate our 25-year commitment to a single mission: better sleep for both of you. this is your body there. you can see a little more pressure in the hips. take it up one notch. oh gosh, yes. when you're playing around with that remote, you get that moment where you go, "oh yeah" oh, yeah! ... and it's perfect. they had no idea that when they came to a sleep number store, we were going to diagnose their problems and help them sleep better. and right now, you can save 40% on our innovative sleep number silver edition bed-for a limited time. plus receive special financing on selected beds through memorial day. once you experience it, there's no going back. wow. hurry in to the sleep number memorial day sale only at the sleep number store, where queen
mattresses start at just $699. of single mile credit cards. battle speech right? may i? [ horse neighs ] for too long, people have settled for single miles. with the capital one venture card, you'll earn double miles on every purchase, every day! [ visigoths cheer ] hawaii, here we come. [ alec ] so sign up today for a venture card at capitalone.com. and start earning double. [ all ] double miles! [ brays ] what's in your wallet?
can you play games on that? not on the runway. no. here in nerdland, we made a point of saying before, we don't like to put people into boxes, especially one size fits all boxes for voter who's happen to share the same racial or ethnic identity. political expedestrian iency bo people in anyway. president obama attended a fund raiser for asian american business leaders. it was closed to the press, but you can bet he got more mileage out of the speech he delivered two weeks ago. >> all of you hold a special place in my heart. when i think about asian
americans and pacific islanders, i think about my family, about honolu honolulu, the years in indonesia, coming here feels a little bit like home. >> so we felt compelled to take a look inside the so-callooid i american voter box. this is one political hopefuls ignore at their peril. over the last decade, ace an americans, the fastest growing population of all groups. they have been largely overlooked by both parties. only 23% say they had been contacted by the democratic party in two years. more than half who identify as independents ripe for the political picking have not been contacted by either party in the last two years. reaching out to asian american voters mean reaching out to all who call themselves asian american. chinese, filipino, and indian
americans, to vietnam americans, asia is a big continent, you get the big picture, can the political potential be mobilized into a single bloc? with me, actress and comedian margaret cho, and bill snyder, and jane junn and jelani cobb. thank you to everyone for being here. i am excited about the idea that finally we may start talking in media about asian american voters in the way we have long talked about black american voters. is that the wrong way to think about it? >> think after jeremy lin after everything counts. we're all finally in the game. superexciting. i don't know. i think for my family in particular, we talked about this before, so hard for them to take
ownership of political power and to vote, that they felt like they belonged in this country. when my parents came here, i was born in the '60s, my father was deported. my mother would push me forward, like, she's white. i was supposed to be the generation to take on the political power, and nah empowerment, my parents are uncomfortable with it. and that's the thing and asian american voters don't have a group identity. they have so many diverse identities within asian american. there is an unwillingness to identify as the same over here. >> it feels in that way similar to latino voters, you talked about jeremy lin moment, the sonja sotomayor moment was one in which here have you a puerto rican, to be the first latina on
the supreme court it didn't make a lot of difference to mexican americans who were quite thrilled to have sotomayor appointed to the court, despite the fact that puerto rico and mexico different sorts of background. >> latino population is diverse, but overwhelmingly mexican american and do speak spanish overwhelmingly. asians enormously diverse. >> including linguistically. >> they have different language, different religions. the idea of being asian doesn't exist except for the united states. they come as filipinos, and japanese and in the united states they say, hey, i'm asian, i never knew that. >> it feels like in the west some of sort of the asian american political power is finally being demonstrated. i found the san francisco mayor's race. six asian americans running, including jeff adoci, who is my sister's boss in the san
francisco public defender's office. this notion that there was a real power play by mayoral candidates, maybe the west is beginning do this work? >> it's only a matter of time, stands to reason given the size of the population in california. hawaii and california, the two states with the largest asian american populations as diverse as it is across the country. nevertheless, california's population is almost three times the size of the african-american population. staggering from an east coast perspective. similarly, hawaii is the only state that's a majority of asian american in mix as well as single race. >> does that make president obama the first asian american president? it's a bit like calling bill clinton the first black president. maybe more of a claim given hawaii and indonesia, that sort of thing. >> i think it does. he claims sort of the same way tiger woods is asian american,
that sort of like we're going to lay claim on it, and hawaii to me is asian america in a nutshell. get like spam used to be in the 7-eleven. that's so exotic. i love it. >> this is so interesting. when we look at the 1965 voting rights act and what it did with african-americans and vastly increasing the number of black voters in the system, it is somehow like a new group, immigrant group coming in and coming into the political system. what's important, look at the voting rights act has evolved and is key to mobilizing the asian american vote. one other provision says a population over 5% in a particular area, you have to have ballot materials in the indigenous language. without the voting rights act, you would not have that provision, we see a generation later that will have that
parallel. >> we insisted in the first hour that african-american voting needed to be policy based and not just identity based and so i'm wondering, we're talking a little on the identity politics piece here for asian american voters, is president obama the first asian american voter? what are the policies like. with linguistics difference, are there discernible differences in what asian american voters are looking for a candidate? >> definitely more democratic, and we know this after systematic public opinion surveys. many of the interviews having to be done in language. jelani noted 40% of asian american who's conducted surveys that have conducted surveys have done it in their knave language. that's because 8 out of 10 are foreign born. most comfortable speaking to interviewers in their own language. we find issues that animate -- political issues are the same that animate all americans.
not necessarily different in that way. >> economic. >> economic, jobs, economy. all important issues. the war in iraq very important. health care as well. what we see emerging overtime, a consensus toward the democratic party. in part because of the nature of the inclusiveness and the language of inclusiveness to the democratic party. you are a democratic and immigrant and to find a party embracing immigrants is apparent to the affect. >> that's part yf i found it shocking when we dug up numbers that the parties aren't contacting. we know this from political sbs research. the attitude and opinions is one thing, but what turns them into votes is mobilization. someone calling up, saying i want your vote, need your vote. let me tell you what dale daye
the election is. >> they contact asian american leaders for money. remember al gore in the buddhist temple fund-raising. they do contribute money to political campaigns. they haven't become a major voting force. last couple of elections, only 2%, but keep in mind they there are sources of political support. chinese americans, vietnamese americans and they stle experience with communists and many of them come over, the first generation, are very republican. >> free enterprise, anti commune up. >> coming up, to win a voting bloc, you need a star politician to represent that group. who the asian american idol is, after the break. ♪ ♪ i can do anything ♪ i can do anything today ♪ i can go anywhere
but they haven't experienced extra strength bayer advanced aspirin. in fact, in a recent survey, 92% of people who tried it said they would buy it again. visit fastreliefchallenge.com today for a special trial offer. [ female announcer ] letting her home be turned into a training facility? ♪ this olympian's mom has been doing it for years. she's got bounty. in this lab demo, one sheet of new bounty leaves this surface cleaner than two sheets of the leading ordinary brand. bounty has trap and lock technology to soak up big spills and lock them in. let the spills begin. p&g. proud sponsor of the olympic games.
great! tyler here will show you everything. check out our new mobile app. now you can use your phone to scan your car's vin or take a picture of your license. it's an easy way to start a quote. watch this -- flo, can i see your license? no. well, all right. thanks. okay, here we go. whoa! no one said "cheese." progressive mobile -- insurance has never been easier. get a free quote today.
quick, name a rising asian american political star in the democratic party? take your time. come up with anyone? yeah, me neither. now name an asian american rising star in the republican party. i can name two fast, nikki haley, and louisiana governor bobby jindal. both names i wouldn't be surprised to see as gop presidential contenders in 2016, assuming president obama wins the election, still with me at the table, margaret cho, bill schneider, jane junn and jelani cobb. a record number of asian americans running for congress this year, something like 25 asian american candidates running in 11 states. 21 of them democrats. only four republicans, what that map looks like in terms of folks running. as we were sitting around
nerdland trying to figure out how will the democratic party take advantage of having an asian american star out front, we couldn't name folks the way we could with nikki haley and bobby jindal. >> in the democratic party, there are a number of important representatives. and in addition, two members of congress asian american democrats from california. mike handa, representing san jose, and judy chu, my member of congress in the san gabriel valley. >> there is a little cultivation of talent? >> there's starting to. there is more competition and in the republican party, there is less competition. >> they want us so bad. >> i get called for shows, we only have white people and black people. and they call me, and it covers everything. if you have more of ran eye to
ambition than policy, you would probably do very well as an ace an american in the republican party. these people are very self seeking and flashy. more about themselves than they are about their policy or their work they are doing for their jurisdictions. >> i want to follow up, they called me for the show. it feels like part of how we diversify our public sphere is both in popular culture and politics, we get used to the idea of a woman president before we vote for one. get used to a black president, even if it's a meteor to hit the earth before we vote one. do you think there is an absence in the political world view, but part of what's going on in popular culture? >> i think so. as a woman of culture, i can credit sides in any way and nobody wants to come up against my asianness or feminism, too many minority status to deal
with. so they are like, okay, foltd. >> you are intersectionality like sitting in the chair. >> it's real jedi, you know. but you get -- if you experience all these different prejudices, you get to sort of have like the status, oh, well, i'm really oppre oppressed, therefore, my opinion is more important than anybody else's. >> i love the oppression as a weapon. on that topic, as i was thinking about the ways in which african-americans have often read birth-arism as this anti black aspect. thinking about memorial day and thinking of challenges to japanese royalty, i am wondering if i maybe missed the way in which this might have resonance? thinking of it as a sort of black folks showing their parent papers, but i hasn't thought about the asian american aspect.
>> that's absolutely true. nativism is one of the son stant things. a little know non kind of footnotes is that at the beginning of 20th century, a great deal of sympathy between african-americans and japan. a historical nerdland note here, the japanese/russian war, 1905, the japanese defeated russia, and african-americans saw this as people of color finally winning one. there is that kind of history of every group coming here and going through the same kind of edeal, even with asian americans in louisiana, about whether or not they should be classified adds black and segregated with black people or classified as white and not confined to colored only sections. >> a foreign policy question on this you made the point about having an experience with
communist regimes may leave asian voters more likely to side with the republican party. china is coming, scary, scary china if that rhetoric, which feels like it's purr have aive on both sides of the aisle, might it be alienating to chinese american voters? >> i have heard that. a lot of taiwanese origins, so i'm not sure there is a close association. but one distinctive thing about asian americans as a constituency. they have not relied on politics to get ahead, as many other disadvantaged groupeds have done. african-americans have faced terrible disadvantage in in country. asian americans have certainly faced disdiscrimination.
they managed to get ahead in businesses, professions, science, popular culture. look at margaret cho, a woman of great talent, and she has gotten ahead with determination. they have done it themselves, not relying on politics. >> you create urban party machines, italian-americans and irish americans. i wonder if it plays to the model minority americans. >> we're the other white people. >> we're like the other whites. because we're almost white, kind of white, not really white. that's always sort of like how i felt, while there is a sense of, you know, we have some sense of privilege and status, but at the same time, we are not too. we are still the other. >> an interesting conversation, i appreciate you helping me think through it. up next, some shocking
allegations against prison guards sexually assaulting inmates at a women's prison in alabama and it made its way to the justice department this week, i'll bring you details after the break. with the spark cash card from capital one, olaf's pizza palace gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! pizza!!!!! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! put it on my spark card! [ high-pitched ] nice doin' business with you! [ garth ] why settle for less? great businesses deserve the most rewards! awesome!!! [ 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? yoo-hoo. hello.
it's water from the drinking fountain at the mall. [ male announcer ] great tasting tap water can come from any faucet anywhere. the brita bottle with the filter inside. i've been fortunate to win on golf's biggest stages. but when joint pain and stiffness from psoriatic arthritis hit, even the smallest things became difficult. i finally understood what serious joint pain is like. i talked to my rheumatologist and he prescribed enbrel. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, and stop joint damage. because enbrel, etanercept, suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure,
wanted to provide better employee benefits while balancing the company's bottom line, their very first word was... [ to the tune of "lullaby and good night" ] ♪ af-lac ♪ aflac [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] ...forbusiness.com. [ yawning sound ] rape of women in moprison, rampant at that, is at the core of a complaint. claiming officials with a prison for women in the alabama department of corrections, received dozens of complaints of sexual misconduct involving male staff and woman prisoners between 2004 and 2011. numerous women became pregnant while incarcerated and from 2006 to 2011, several were sexually assaulted by male correctional staff. sometimes with another male officer serving as a lookout. the rate for sexual assault on inmates is among the worst. a 2007 report found tutwilor had
the highest rate of sexual assault in the u.s. among correctional facilities for women. joining me now from ft. lauderdale, brian stevenson, thank you for being here. >> i'm happy to be here. >> you filed this report with the department of justice earlier this week. what is the responsibilities been and what has the state of alabama done or not done? >> well, we just filed the report on tuesday. we have heard from the justice department they are reviewing the complaint, the department of corrections did issue a statement, indicating they don't tolerate sexual aabuse and misconduct. but the report shows things have been bad quite a while and things have gotten worst in the last few years with overcrowding, less training. >> they fairly obviously tolerate it.
it's clear there are at least two pregnancies that resulted in live births and, therefore, dna testing that make it completely clear that these are women that had babies of their rapists who were prison guards. >> that's right. i don't think there is any confusion about the fact that this is a very serious problem. it's been a problem for quite a while. one of the difficulties is that when officers are found to have harassed or assaulted women, the building consequences for these officers are pretty mild. six people who were referred for criminal prosecution in the last two years, including the man who was charged with this rape, and none of these people served more than five days in jail. and the message that that sends i think to many of these staff is that you can get away with sexual violence against these women with impunity. >> i'm sorry. they served five days? and, again, when i'm reading your report, apparently the
consequences for women who report the sexual assault, are actually quite enormous, being put into solitary, that sort of thing? >> well, that's right. there are several policies that have made this problem worse. when women complain about being the victims of sexual harassment or abuse. they are put in segregation and punished for making this kind of report there are other policies, male guards can go into the showers and do. and many of the women have complained about guards coming in there, verbally harassing them, making commentary. they are basically taking advantage of the vulnerability of these women, and these are the kinds of things that are not consistent with a zero tolerance against sexual abuse and misconduct. congress passed in 2003 the prison rape elimination act which calls on the justice department to eliminate these kinds of problems, we haven't seen much evidence of that at tutwiler.
>> is there reason to think that tutweiler is an outliar, or this may be happening in lots of other places in the country? >> i think it doesn't have to happen. it may be happening in other places, because we haven't really paid much attention to the security and safety of incarcerated people. you know, women who are incarcerated have been condemned, they are powerless, they don't have many resources and they are very vulnerability, and some people want to exploit that vulnerability, and that's one of the reasons we feel so strongly about this issue. no woman, no person, should have to fear being the target of sexual harassment or sexual abuse. some people see the powerlessness and try to exploit that. i don't think that's unique to tutweiler. it's very extreme, which is why there is an urgent need for the justice department to intervene. >> your point about the
vulnerability of women, we've talked about so many women incarcerated were already sexually assaulted, were already vulnerable women before they end up incarcerated. the idea that they are being taken advantage of within the system is appalling. >> thank you. coming up, what's the key to a woman's heart if she is a voter? republicans think they have an answer. are they right? after the break. think again. and take aleve. it's the one doctors recommend most for arthritis pain. two pills can last all day. ♪ you know who you are. you can part a crowd, without saying a word. you have yet to master the quiet sneeze. you stash tissues like a squirrel stashes nuts. well, muddlers, muddle no more. try zyrtec®. it gives you powerful allergy relief.
and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because zyrtec® starts working at hour 1 on the first day you take it. claritin® doesn't start working until hour 3. zyrtec®. love the air. and then treats day after day... who gets heartburn. well, shoot, that's like checking on your burgers after they're burnt! [ male announcer ] treat your frequent heartburn by blocking the acid with prilosec otc. and don't get heartburn in the first place! [ male announcer ] one pill a day. 24 hours. zero heartburn.
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. let's solve this. when karl rove's conservative superpac announces a $9 million superad, you might be anticipating an attack ad searing through your screen with a visual assault on president obama. instead, the ad which debuted on wednesday is entitled basketball. >> i always loved watching the kids play basketball. i still do, even though things
have changed. it's funny, they can't find jobs to get their career started and i can't afford to retire. and now we're all living together again. >> soft music and a sad, rapidly aging mom, sharing a home with her unemployed adult kids, the latest move on the part of republicans to convince women voters that they come in peace, not war and chip off their old chunk of the women's voting bloc. on monday, 24 republican congresswomen announced the formation of the women's policy committee, and their mission is "raising the pro file of gop women in their roles as lawmakers, highlighting their diverse achievements and providing a unique voice on a wide range of critically important issues." i would like to say voting against the violence against women act. voting to refrikt birth control, and opposing the lilly ledbetter
fair pay act, all among the greatest hits for women's policy committee members. who cares have you a record of voting against women's rights when you have two "x" chromo zoems, right? okay, so, again, this feels like base level identity politics, we have women too in the party. >> you know, you think about women in the gop, all i think about is sarah palin, how much -- i feel like if john mccain had that many voters, were they voting for sarah palin? what are women getting out of the gop? i always question that. i always wonder. this is a party so against our rights, our reproductive rights what do we get from them?
>> and it feels like it's really amped up more recently. women, like anyone else, can fall on either side of the aisle, the very fact that 2010 would be the year of the republican women, you have interesting women challenging the sarah palin moment, but it actually turned out that we had the -- for the first time in more than 30 years, a decrease in the number of women serving in the u.s. congress in what was meant to be the year of the republican woman. does this mean women don't really have a place in the republican party? >> in terms of voters, an often cited statistic between women and men and their request for women candidates, a seven-point gender gap in 2008. white women still overwhelmingly support the republican party by a margin of seven points. so while white men supported mccain, white women supported
mccain as well. so white women are still voting more republican than democratic. >> when we see that 1 -point gender gap, it's driven by women of color. >> yes. >> that strikes me explanatory for that basketball video, which women they are going for there. >> the gender gap began in 1980, and persisted ever since then. in every election, women vote for democratic than men do. and men elected george w. bush and women voted for al gore. there is a reason for that. and i think it has to do with the word -- the phrase safety net. women count on the safety net provided by government. much more than men do. men believe government interferes with them. women believe government is there to protect them and only gone gone begun to achieve economic
independence. it's the safety net, because at the risk appeals sounding stereo up typical. women are more risk averse than men are george bush is a risktaker, came from the world of sports and business, where risk taking is rewarded. women are worried about risk. 97% of the prisoners in america are men. because men are stupid and take stupid risks. >> it may not be about the chrome somal differences. you may end up being the single parent with two kids. i guess even though that comment surprises me as i think about the commercial. there is the mom and she's got the kids at home and aging apparently very rapidly. you think -- you know, you would think she would want her social safety net. surprising to say that's the commercial for let's cut your
health care reform and all of that sort of thing. >> i guess it's never a good thing to say you are getting old, you should vote for us. >> maybe that's what it is. >> but if we rook at it, 1992, 1996, 2000, republicans lost the women vote. closest they came was 2004 with george w. bush, and losing again in 2008. one of the things democrats have to do, specifically the obama campaign if we have this discussion around the economy, the first bill he signed is the lilly ledbetter equal pay act, that needs to be up front. in the difficult economy, we're on the way back, whatever it is. that equality. guarantee of equality of pay becomes much more important. >> they are going to get in trouble as we have been digging around. senate democrats actually pay
their women staffers less than male staffers and there may be lots of reasons for that everything to do with seniority and all of that other thing. but it's a bad metric. if you are going to run on lilly ledbetter, i had encourage senate democrats to get some pay equity going right away before the 2012 november elections. that said, i wonder for republican women who have been office holders, there seems to be some pushing out. the first woman i think of when i think of woman republicans, i think of sarah palin, it must make christine todd whitman hot. are all of the women laying the ground work, have they disappeared? >> i think they have disappeared because social issues and women are such a huge thing. women in the gop are looking for an identity and that's why sarah
palin's appearance was so exciting for them. because here is somebody who is really kind of like a show piece for all of our conservative views and somebody who legitimizes what is about women's rights. these women wouldn't exist, wouldn't exist without feminism, yet she tries to beat it down every chance she gets. >> the one part she likes is title 9. going back to basketball. i'm a risktaker, she's got in certain ways, one of the things i liked about sarah positively p palin, she acts like a man politician. >> two republican women. look at the contrast. sarah palin, olympia snowe. olympia snowe getting out of politics, because she says there is no place for a moderate
anymore. sarah palin is a star, because she has accommodated to the party's terms. unone of them. >> olympia snowe was an elected official and kept her job. sarah palin, although having been elected governor, didn't seem interested in gov kniernor. >> before we go to break, i need to make note of something that just happened across the river. this weekend is beyonce's first back on stage appearance since having her baby. just across the river last night in atlantic city. she had a very special audience member. first lady michelle obama speaking about wedging a woman, i am feeling excluded. if those two want to get together, studio 3a. come hang out in nerdlands. ♪
[ female announcer ] letting her home be turned into a training facility? ♪ this olympian's mom has been doing it for years. she's got bounty. in this lab demo, one sheet of new bounty leaves this surface cleaner than two sheets of the leading ordinary brand. bounty has trap and lock technology to soak up big spills and lock them in. let the spills begin. p&g. proud sponsor of the olympic games. thought they were dead. [ laughter ] [ grunting ] huh? [ male announcer ] should've used roundup. america's number one weed killer. it kills weeds to the root, so they don't come back. guaranteed. weeds won't play dead, they'll stay dead. roundup. no root. no weed. no problem.
weeds won't play dead, they'll stay dead. every communications provider is different but centurylink is committed to being a different kind of communications company. ♪ we link people and fortune 500 companies nationwide and around the world. and we will continue to free you to do more and focus on what matters.
you won't just find us online, you'll also find us in person, with dedicated support teams at over 500 branches nationwide. so when you call or visit, you can ask for a name you know. because personal service starts with a real person. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start. our support teams are nearby, ready to help. it's no wonder so many investors are saying... [ all ] i'm with scottrade.
among all the republican efforts to woo women voters, the most watched may be the space right below mitt romney's name on the presidential ticket. will romney try a game changer of his own and fill that space with one of the republican party female stars. with me, margaret cho, bill shid schneider, jane junn and jelani cobb. >> sarah palin didn't work out so well for mccain. he doesn't want to take a risk. he's a businessman, and he wants to take very calculated risks. so most guessing is he he will pick someone -- after what mccain did, he will pick someone relatively safe. >> it didn't work. mccain lost, but it did undoubtedly shift that media focus. i remember the dnc, everybody was talking about the obama
moment, that denver speech. and obama, who, what? had the election been held in n before the crash, who knows? maybe it would be a crash. if a double dip recession, why not get a relatively unknown woman governor and change the game? >> it can did shift the fork to us reproductive rights and the idea of kind of adding glamor to the women of the gop which they didn't have before, so i mean, i think in a lot of ways it was a smart move for mccain to pick sarah palin. >> glamor and a little quirk. a woman candidate, but is a woman with a large family, a young child still in arms, and a pregnancy unmarried teen. for me, the coolest part of the republican convention last time, republicans walking around with caps on that said we support teen moms. i'm thinking, really? never in your policy have you
supported teen moms. what you think think of march tina, i keep saying that, no-no, she's really declined, not going to happen. >> the vice president running mate nor mitt romney has to be considered in the context of who he is appealing to. independent voters and democrats, doesn't milwaukee a difference. when you look at when women run for office, women don't run for women -- or vote for women just because they are women. they vote for women candidates if they are democrats. running a female candidate on the ticket doesn't help you across the board it might help you mobilize your base, but for a romney ticket with a woman candidate it would have to be someone that fit the bill, without just being female. >> one additional point. romney has a really bad track record with women voters, going back to massachusetts, to his time as governor.
he has never really done well with women voters, the one caveat on the other side, they may feel like they need a boost here. >> just to give wimp something on that. >> people don't vote for women for vice president. i can prove it with two words. dan quayle. the vice presidency is like the last cookie on the plate, nobody wants it, but somebody always takes it. >> joe biden looked like the happiest vice presidential nominee i have ever seen in my life. his level of enthusiasm extremely high. president obama, joe biden, no woman on that ticket, but i've always thought thewise of those women -- of those men are particularly good surrogates. romney got in trouble by saying he would go to his wife for-to-hear about women. but when first lady michelle
obama. to what extent does flotus, first lady obama play a role in consolidating women? >> we've talked about this before, she's metaphorical in some ways. in 2008, african-american women had the highest voter turnout of any group, any voter category. michelle obama reinforces the reasons why black women voters like barack obama. i don't think they vote because of her, because she is a reminder of the things that people do like about him. >> i'm going to pause, because it's my show. she got to go see beyonce last night. >> you seem to be dwelling on that. >> because i haven't had the show very long, but the cunning thing i keep begging for, both first lady obama and beyonce
coming on the show. i'm so for them sending love twees to each other, singing to each other, but i wish they cou would do it here. >> we'll start a petition. one last thing to take away for both parties on thinking about putting together a coalition that includes women, what's the one thing? >> what do women voters want? >> they want a strong safety net. they want to know that if they fail, get in trouble economically, the government will be there to support them. be there to bail them out. because they feel very vulnerable. >> i'm down for we would like reproductive rights, even if we won't exercise them all the time. we just like having them. makes us feel nice and equal in a moment, why the people defending our country at war are sometimes the last folks you would expect to do so. first, a preview for "weekends
with al ex-witt alexwitt." we'll bring you the latest on the developing storm in the southeast. it could hit parts of the u.s. tonight in a big way. and the story of this heartbreaking image are you about to see. its significance on this memorial day, even years after it was snapped. another tale of memorial day. one of remembrance at an slice america on this holiday weekend. both president obama and mitt romney will be making memorial day appearances tomorrow. however, the fight for the white house took on new intensity today on the sunday morning talk circuit. the gloves are off, melissa, some of that happening in the studio downstairs from where i am on "meet the press." >> surely none of them were watching that because they were watching this. >> they can watch that at 2:00 p.m. >> catch it on the replay. >> exactly. >> thanks alex. up next, my footnote on what this holiday is really all about. no!
but, i'm about to change that. ♪ every little baby wants 50% more cash... ♪ phhht! fine, you try. [ strings breaking, wood splintering ] ha ha. [ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card. the card for people who want 50% more cash. ♪ what's in your wallet? ♪ what's in your...your... yoo-hoo. hello. it's water from the drinking fountain at the mall. [ male announcer ] great tasting tap water can come from any faucet anywhere. the brita bottle with the filter inside. cleaning better, doesn't have to take longer. i'm done. i'm going to... drink this...
on the porch! ♪ give me just a little more time ♪ [ female announcer ] mops can be a hassle, but swiffer wetjet's spray cleaner and absorbent pads can clean better in half the time so you don't miss a thing. swiffer. better clean in half the time. or your money back. and for dry messes big and small try swiffer sweeper vac. and for dry messes big and small morning, boys. so, i'm working on a cistern intake valve, and the guy hands me a locknut wrench. no way!
remember our fallen and our veterans. the women and men who service has secured the freedoms and privileges we've come to expect as americans. which is why i want to highlight those who serve even when they don't have access to the freedoms they're sacrificing to protect. the 179,000 black men who fought for the union during the civil war. including the 54th regiment of massachusetts who lost more than half their troops during the july 1863 assault on fort wag anywhere, south carolina. these men went to work to preserve the united states, even though slavery was the law of the land. the 18,000 second generation japanese american who is fought in the all-japanese 442nd regimental combat team and the 100th infantry battalion during world war ii. they suffered the highest casualty rate in the army and became the most highly decorated unit in u.s. military history. these men went to war for the united states, even as many of their families were incarcerated
in government internment camps for the crime of being japanese. the more than 15,000 muslim-americans serving in the u.s. military since the september 11th attacks, launched our protracted and multi-front war on terror. it's a war whose enemy is ill-defined, but exists in the america popular imagination as vaguely muslim it may be decades before we understand the extent and value of their sacrifices in the last ten years. but in the heat of 2008s presidential election, colin powell drew attention to it because of one soldier. powell, the first black man to serve as the chairman of the joints chief of staff asked is there something wrong with being muslim in america? no, that's not america. for decades gay men and lesbians served op our battlefields, despite being forced into
silence by a military who accepted their service, but not their identity. today, tens of thousands of women serve on the front lines without equal access to the professional merits of a official combat duty. we remember and thank all of our troops. but it is with special awe that i honor those who because of their race, their origins, their faith, their gender or their sexual identity has served abroad even when they are second-class citizens at home. when asked to explain why the second-class citizen should join the war -- he wrote -- and that is our show for today. thank you to margaret cho, big snyder, for sticking around, thanks to you for watching.
i'll see you next saturday at 10:00 a.m.hen historian doug brinkley joins us at the table and sunday when former governor doug wilder is here, coming up, "weekends with alex witt." [ woman ] for the london olympic games, our town had a "brilliant" idea. support team usa and show our olympic spirit right in our own backyard. so we combined our citi thankyou points to make it happen. tom chipped in 10,000 points. karen kicked in 20,000. and by pooling more thankyou points from folks all over town, we were able to watch team usa... [ cheering ] in true london fashion. [ male announcer ] now citi thankyou visa card holders can combine the thankyou points they've earned and get even greater rewards. ♪ ♪ i hear you... ♪ rocky mountain high ♪ rocky, rocky mountain high ♪ ♪ all my exes live in texas ♪ ♪ born on the bayou [ female announcer ] the perfect song for everywhere
can be downloaded almost anywhere. ♪ i'm back, back in the new york groove ♪ [ male announcer ] the nation's largest 4g network. covering 2,000 more 4g cities and towns than verizon. rethink possible. covering 2,000 more 4g cities and towns than verizon. 11 years playing the outfield, and i got no plans to retire. [ female announcer ] aging may slow a dog down, but iams helps keep dogs playing year after year with our age-specific nutrition. and now, even for dogs 11 and older with new iams senior plus. it helps boost the immune response to that of an adult dog and helps fight signs of aging. [ dog ] i'll never be a bench-warmer. [ female announcer ] new iams senior plus. see the iams difference or your money back. [ dog ] i am an iams dog for life.
they'll come from people. delta people. who made us one of the biggest airlines in the world. and then decided that wasn't enough. hello, everyone, high noon here in the east. 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome to "weekends with alex witt" live in d.c. today. here are the first five stories trending on the web. memorial day storm threat. new tips on missing student. face book investors plot their next move. memorial day sales rush. and lady gaga and beyonce both big, trending for different reasons. you'll hear those stories throughout the hour. but first -- a brand-new advisory on subtropical storm beryl released within the past hour. the storm is expected to make landfall later today on tonight. right now, beryl is heading w