tv With All Due Respect Bloomberg May 20, 2015 11:00pm-11:31pm EDT
john: i am john heilemann. mark: and i am mark halperin. with all due respect to the late-night hosts, it will be impossible to fill david letterman's shoes. ♪ mark: on the show tonight, mary matalin throws some shade. plus, we will unveil a look at our focus groups -- the ohio democrats, -- iowa democrats but first, the wall street journal. here is a headline that hit brooklyn in the gut. hillary clinton's staff kept a tight rein on records, and keystone pipeline records were held back.
bill clinton's speaking engagements were also withheld and freedom of information act requests continually routed through staff. john, is this story an incremental or seismic development? john: it is either incrementally seismic or seismically incremental. it has not radically changed the context, but it is important and it is important because it gets to something we have known for a while. the state department has been the worst at responding to employee requests. they now tie in someone who is with the clintons in that story. mark: it was a real target on cheryl mills' back, and there were leaks in that story stating that people at the state department who were clearly unhappy with how they were treated, and cheryl mills and hillary clinton did a lot of political things in the
and -- political things and preservationist things and this might have been stuff that would have escaped attention, and it will now get attention. john: how they view this story has kind of gone back and forth. they have been somewhat helpful, sometimes less than helpful -- this story, not helpful at all. mark: it seems like these sources are not political. john: i will michael jackson this one and moonwalk into it. first, the question -- who are sidney blumenthal and cheryl mills? you have probably heard their names banded about, and for those youngsters in the audience who do not know their history, sup millenials, let's bring out the review. bring out the dossier and the projector and let's do it right now. first up, that is sidney blumenthal, a.k.a. grassy knoll, named that by rahm emanuel for his conspiracy -- his love of conspiracy carries.
his occupation was competent -- his occupation was complicated. and let's get the next slide. here is that new york times story that has everyone talking. recent activity for sidney blumenthal. clinton's friends memos on libya draws scrutiny to politics and business. this is sidney blumenthal e-mailing with hillary clinton and talking about libya, where he also had business dealings. that is shady, complicated, and a little problematic. now, number three. boom. there it is. this is the 1990's. that is bill clinton. you know him. that is sidney blumenthal during clinton's impeachment situation with monica lewinsky. sydney was working behind the scenes to impugn her reputation and earning him a pretty dark reputation in the process. now, let's get cheryl mills up, there she is. occupation, lawyer. a former clinton advisor, a chief of staff, and clinton's 2008 general counsel, loyal to hillary clinton to a fault. smart and speaks honestly. number two, and here we go, her
recent activity. hillary clinton's state department staff kept a tight rein on records. and number three. that is a picture of her in the 1990's, cheryl mills, when she was defending bill clinton in that impeachment investigation back on capitol hill, earning a reputation with republicans for that. mark, tell me. these are characters both of some controversy, so are they net positive or net negative for her? mark: cheryl mills is a top advisor, and sidney blumenthal also. they have been through controversies and have dealt with the legal aspects of being associated with the clintons and they are now in the crosshairs of the benghazi committee. i think they will both be caught -- called to testify, and it will be interesting to see how they handled the public spotlight on them. they are both extraordinarily smart and extraordinarily combative. john: these are tough people
who fashion themselves as tough people, who have been through a lot of things, but they are both controversial. even people who like the clintons sometimes worry about the influence of both of them, for different reasons. mark: here is the danger for them. if the story about cheryl mills is right, and if the new york times article is right about sidney blumenthal, and they both seem to be solidly reported stories, look at what they have alleged to have done. a lot of democrats look at this and say, you know what, they should not have done that. john: these are the kinds of people and things the obama people rightly or wrongly hold themselves as being morally superior to, these kinds of people being dragged into the spotlight, will exacerbate some
of that sniping going on in the party and it will not be helpful to her politically going forward. mark: what is going on in the minds of the young people who support clinton who are familiar with history, and you can get -- that is if you are associated with hillary clinton, you can get dragged into stuff. all right, we will have more on hillary clinton when we look at our iowa focus group, but before that break, everyone will be watching david letterman's last show on cbs. john, after letterman leaves who is best positioned to have the caps on which prominent politicians come and sit? john: i think it is stephen colbert. he has interviewed a lot of politicians and has a penchant for irony. mark: i think he is a bit of a wild card, because we do not know how he will host the show. he's not going to be in character. i think jimmy, and you know which jimmy i mean. fallon.
i think jimmy fallon has assumed more of the leno role, which is safe, not edgy, so i think he is going to end up getting more folks at rock center that people are going to get at the ed sullivan theater. that is my guess. john: ok, coming up, our very revealing focus group in iowa and what they really think about hillary clinton. we will be right back. ♪
♪ ♪ mark: our guests tonight are all iowa democrats, and john and i went to iowa to talk about what hillary clinton calls everyday americans. we went to drake university and did a pair of focus groups along with our partners at purple strategies, and tonight, the democratic session. we asked about the controversies that surround hillary clinton and what they think is the one thing that will stop her past -- past -- path, and how do they
feel about her? >> i would say she is a very ambitious person, obviously, and she wants to be president. she feels that she is supposed to be president. i think she has felt like that for a long time. obviously, to run for president, you have to be pretty egotistical already. mark: bill, what are your impressions? bill: there are some trust issues, but like it's been said, her record speaks for itself. she is uniquely qualified to run the country, and i think she will probably do a good job. mark: what is the thing you like most about her? bill: her experience, being secretary. that is going to be a real key problem in the next four years. mark: what did she accomplish that you consider significant as secretary of state? >> i really cannot think of anything off the top of my head. mark: how about you? >> give me a minute. mark: i understand. can you think of something that impresses you, anything important?
>> no. mark: amanda, anything you would point to and say this is a good credential? >> i can't say i could follow along with everything that was going on. mark: what do you think of her personally? >> i think she is a better woman than i am. she survived the monica lewinsky scandal among many other things that they have been through over the years, all of the different things, her e-mails recently even. >> you know, her experience. bill clinton had a lot of policies, and they stayed married. they have to have something in common to make it through everything that happened. mark: someone said they did not think hillary clinton would have a scandal because she has been so smart. some of the things have been caused not by hillary clinton but by bill clinton. bill, your namesake, what about
a scandal involving bill clinton coming out and hurting her chances of winning? bill: i do not think that is going to be a big issue. he is a pretty savvy guy. of course, with the monica thing he did get caught. mark: do you have a concern that bill clinton can pose a problem for her? >> i was a watching my favorite show, "scandal," i think they -- -- going by what they do i think he will play a big part and they will try to attack them. because people will see them as one. they will not see hillary and bill. they will see the clintons. hillary, she is more laid back, to herself, and bill is a little more out there, so i think they will try to attack him more to get to her. mark: amanda, do you think a bill clinton scandal can be a problem for hillary?
amanda: they might be able to dig something up, and they will be able to use it. all it takes is one mis-said thing here or there, a word in the wrong place, and a huge scandal. and it is all blown out of proportion. >> look at the scandal he survived though. to get over cheating on your wife in the oval office, his popularity soared after he was impeached. mark: so if i understand john correctly, he is saying that there is no scandal too big for bill clinton to overcome. [laughter] >> i actually think bill clinton will support his wife. i do not expect there to be a bill clinton scandal until the second term, because the second term, it does not matter. come after me, bro. mark: did she seem like the same person? >> she is not running against an unbeatable candidate this time. who had any doubt that obama would get the nomination? >> it was just a phenomenal
campaign he ran. even though she was probably the first woman to stand a chance at getting elected during that -- i mean, it just, you know, his oratorical skills, the way he made people feel, charisma, so i think she is a lot more comfortable in this campaign. >> the last time she ran, she ran with an air of inevitability, and that put off a lot of people. i think she is less abrasive now. >> last time she was running for the nomination. this time, she is running for president. >> i think that is the way to say it. she is not going against anyone right now. she is just being herself and talking about what she intends to do. >> she is getting my support. she has moved to the left on a lot of issues i really care
about. i think with timing, we need to see what her stances are going to be on a few issues, because it is still not out there. it has been a while since she voted on a bill. but she does have us excited. she has a lot of people my age excited, i know that, and she is doing a lot of organizing that she learned from obama such as digital organizing using social media, using different channels to drum up enthusiasm. mark: ginger, what is the single thing you like most about her? ginger to put it short, she is a : bad mama jama. she is strong and confident. she knows what she is doing. she is not afraid to step up. she is not afraid to take advice, and she is not afraid to say, no, i do not want to do it that way. i want to do it this way. mark: do other people like the fact that she is tough? that's my paraphrase for bad mama jama.
>> she is very capable. mark: is there anything you don't like? >> i don't think there's really anything. >> why doesn't she come out and talk more about benghazi? she hid behind it and did not discuss it. i would really like to see the next president be more forthright and actually be more outspoken. we made a mistake. this is where we went wrong, and just completely own it, but we do not have politicians like that anymore. mark: what is the thing that gives you the most concern about her as a potential candidate? >> i guess it would be her honesty. like you were talking about. benghazi, this whole e-mail thing that she supposedly deleted the e-mails. she is a very closed, closeted person, and i think that is one of her downsides. >> there are some questions about her, but i think most of the questions of honesty and stuff are overblown.
a lot of the fact is made that oh, she is so ambitious. well, you know what? if you're going to be a politician, if you are going to set yourself up to be elected to any office, you have to be ambitious. you have to have one big ego and if you're going for higher offices, you have to have an absolutely huge ego, and sometimes that rubs people the wrong way. mark: one thing people have expressed concern about her for is her ties to wall street. are any of you concerned about that? >> no. >> no. >> name one candidate who does not have ties to wall street. probably sanders. >> they all ties to something. >> but you know, how can you get anywhere without having some ties to wall street or to the business community? mark: charlie, it was reported the other day, you may have heard, that the clintons, bill and hillary together, have made $30 million in speaking fees some from overseas interests.
does that trouble you at all? charlie: no, it doesn't. of course they have. he is an ex-president. they make a lot of money. so do the bushes. so do a lot of politicians. would i feel a little bit more comfortable if they had more common person's experience? yes, i would, but is it in the top 30 of issues that i care about? no. it is really not that important to me. >> i mean, it seems pretty silly to me that she thought using a gmail account was acceptable for diplomatic stuff, but, really, i don't care. i have got e-mails i do not want people reading. not because there is bad stuff in there, but that is my personal stuff. mark: if something stops hillary clinton from being president what will it be?
>> probably some scandal that they try to drum up, but i really do not see what else they can do. mark: ok, bill, what could stop her? bill: i do not see what could stop them. they have gone from benghazi to these e-mails, and everything is just washing off. mark: but is there something else? >> there may be another scandal, yes. >> she is not perfect, but she is been in the eye for a long time in the public's eye, but she has great policies, and she knows how to get stuff done. mark: all interesting, and tomorrow, our republican focus group, but we will be right back with a republican sitting right here, our friend mary matalin
mary matalin: what's going on? john: there was this long chunk of video about this focus group, and i know you heard about that. as a political strategist, as a republican, looking at that focus group, what do you take away from it? mary matalin: i thought it was interesting. there is a great grasp of process and personality, but no substance. the only substance raised, the only issues raised were benghazi and e-mail and the issue of trust, so they all love her and think she is great, but compared to what? in the land of the blind, she is the one eyed giant. if we have anything to run against, we're going to have another campaign of personality here, and this is a cycle of --
none of process, but of policies. mark: republican candidate said -- would say what's mine is mine, and what yours is yours. where is she vulnerable? what issues is she vulnerable on, to try to poach some votes? mary matalin: she is the smartest woman in the room, but none of those political junkies in that room could name one smart thing or single accomplishment that she has done. why the republican field is so strong this year is because it is running on policy and philosophy, which has been absent in the last several cycles. i love that she is running left. because the republican party has been going in tangent with the democrats. the democrats have been moving left, and we have been moving left, so now we will have a very stark contrast, so where can she lose democrats as she moves left? if you look at support, more
precisely objection to the policies in the obama era, the numbers are against the policies, and the policies are affecting their life. we just have to stay on policies. john: but you have a bunch of democrats who, as you just said, mary, cannot name any of her accomplishments at the state department and who think she might be embroiled in another scandal, but they say i am for her, not because i am for her, but because we must stop a republican. what does a republican, in that circumstance, have to do to lay those fears? mary matalin: what they have to do is what they failed to do for the last several cycles, which is to avoid that exact strategy. the strategy for victory that is predicated on people voting against the opponent, that is a very weak, specious strategy.
what they have to do is in the , case of the government, who have records, speak to them. as an welker and jets case -- scott walker and jeb bush's case. and having a constitutional foundation, they have to speak to that. frankly, they have to not answer the kinds of questions that come up in a political arena, but say what they have to say, and so far, they have been good. so we have to be who we are, which we have not done, and she is just what she's been. she will get what she has got and no more. mark: jeb bush is up in new hampshire talking about his family, who you know well. there is still a lot of concern and bush world about how he deals with the family issue. what are the elements of effectively dealing with that? mary matalin: i have to say i am surprised that the dynasty issue is as deep as it is.
i think it has as much to do with the frustration of republicans not running as conservatives, not getting a clarion call for free markets. the best thing that jeb can do is to keep being out there. they think they know jeb. the larger electorate does not know jeb as they knew george w. jeb is different from george w. george w. is very different from h.w. we know them all, and they are completely different people with different records, temperaments, and philosophies. john: we will be right back with a rand paul time lapse. ♪
emily: salesforce is raising its forecast. we will tell you what we are learning about potential takeover talks. ♪ i am emily chang. this is "bloomberg west." coming up, jeff reseau's -- jeff bezos has a new partner, and it's a woman. we will tell you what it means for the future of amazon. spotify adding video and podcasts to take on google and fend off apple. you may want to keep an eye on your robotics engineer if uber is around. it seems the company won't stop at anything to build its own self driving cars. all that ahead. we begin with breaking news.