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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 5, 2014 11:00pm-1:01am EST

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once. will that make it harder for mcconnell to move things when you have people that want to make a stand? >> there is no cannier politician in washington than mitch mcconnell. my sense of things not being there, this comes from conversation, mitch has very carefully, very methodically, very much under the radar isolated ted cruz. he is kind of sealed him off like the body puts a sack around some foreign manner. the tea party caucus was formed that was going to be so powerful, we heard about that in utah when mike lee was elected and he said, oh, you're not going to be will to do anything. he said, i'm going to have -- we're are going to take over. by the time they got through, it was ted cruz and jim demint. and jim demint left and rand paul didn't join, marco rubio didn't join, and all of these other people.
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well, maybe we will stay away from this. and mcconnell, i do know some specifics of people who publicly they're saying, he will not be for mcconnell and i know privately that they have had the conversation and now there with mcconnell. and crews will look around and there will not be that many people with him. mcconnell can deal with this. >> we are couple of minutes away from the audience to -- q and a section. there are microphones that you can't stand that if you want to line up. so, a couple of more minutes of conversation and then we will go to the q&a. one more question i had, we can
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talk briefly about health care and if it will get repealed. do you think it is possible that the parties will agree on some smaller part of the affordable care act that might get fixed or repealed? puts people like paul ryan recognize that it is probably not good to have the 59th vote to repeal obamacare in the opening session. most people feel that there are some decent prize to the affordable care act and some really horrible parts, the process was up noxious. it requires that you have buy-in from both parties and in the public buys in. there has to be an alternative, that you cannot just be hell no,
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that you have to say, let's repair and replace. so i think there is the opportunity to do that. i do want to go back to regular order and the appropriations process. the dumbest thing that the house of representatives was to illuminate earmarks when it comes to behaving in regular order. people misunderstand it, i was bought off or bridge or that. that happened a couple times in my 18 years but i will tell you that more often than not if you were on the bubble on a 900 page bill and somebody said to you, well, we can take care of
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something that is important to you, it is logrolling, it is a cost any more money. but senator flake and his crusade to and earmarks i think has done tremendous damage to the ability of the leaders to get their folks in line and legislate. >> can the new congress ring consensus on infrastructure, roads, clean water, safe water, other infrastructure? >> but it might know about that more than anybody. >> the congress better address, those issues have been postponed. we saw a rahal having lost his race. i broke my teeth on that
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committee when i came to the congress. not to belabor the air marks issue but that bill has been part of the surface transportation which has been a hard pill to crack without the issue of earmarks or directed funding in the bill like that. that is a perfect example of a serious piece of legislation that is overdue for bipartisan participation. >> complete abdication of leadership by everybody in washington on the infrastructure question. we have known since we wrote the bill in 2005 at you have to have more money. there are only a couple of ways you get more money, you tax important barrels of oil. the president has been awol, the congress has been awol and no one wants to take the mantle. as a republican, transcontinental railroad, interstate highway system, the republicans are known for building america. we should be ashamed of ourselves. >> i wondered what the panel thought harry reid's approach is going to be in his new job as minority leader. will he be a perfectionist or will he be a dealmaker. >> i served harry when he was in the house. i heard, served with him when he
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was in the house. he is a very able skilled politician. i don't know how he is going to approach things. i think that he understands that it is in the interest of everybody that there be progress on some important issues. he doesn't have a situation that he had in the selection, he and so many if you really try to protect the senators who came from red states and not having to cast a lot of hard votes, that is not the case. he is not in control. mitch mcconnell will not be in control. i am hopeful that harry will find a way. harry and mcconnell are both very capable people and it is just the question of whether they can sit down and work this out in a mutually agreeable way. they are both skilled politicians. >> one person asked an
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interesting question, how does trade including trade promotion authority look as an area for bipartisan cooperation? >> is about issue, the majority of democrats are heavily influenced by my friends in organized labor on trade issue. the republicans will have the votes now that they are in the majority to pass trade legislation, depends on the president's attitude, whether he is really to work with him and agreed to sign it. it will be easier to move trade legislation now that the republicans control the senate but there is no guarantee. >> of the pesto great deal on how much leadership the president decides that he is going to insert. the president has been pro-trade kind of and the divisions in the congress are strong enough that you cannot get it done kind of. you've got to be very firm and
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very solid, i think that if president obama comes out and says, ok, this is what we have to do on the trade issue, and democrats get in line and support me on this, i think you'll get that back. >> probably the best he can do to get a significant minority of democrats to agree and you will not get a majority of democrats on that issue, but if you have enough democrats to join with the president and with the republicans, you have a real chance. >> it happened with nafta and it happened with china. the majority of democratic congress voted no but there were enough democrats willing to vote yes that you can achieve it but we will see. this is a very difficult, tough issue. >> >> what do you think the election portends for what will get done during the lame-duck session.
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>> very little. >> we have all served in lame-duck sessions, they are frustrating and not overly productive, i will speak briefly, i hope they can reach an agreed upon on the bus appropriation bill rather than just pointing this to the next congress but even that remains to be seen. but in 2010 there was a very productive lame-duck session but i would not expect that to take place now. basically, it will be what has to pass at this point between either continuing resolution or omnibus. he did to mid-next year or two the end of the fiscal year. next october and beyond that, maybe the internet tax freedom and several other items, but i doubt this would be productive. >> they will get in and out of
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town as quickly as they can. >> they are anxious to get a shot at some omnibus effort. you have been national defense authorization act which has been passed every year. you got in the lame-duck some serious issues that can be addressed, more funding for ebola, loose ends that inevitably present themselves, will they do a quick in, quick out next week. with a continue into december? >> if i were a republican serving in the senate, i wouldn't want much done in the lame-duck because i would want to do for as many things as i could until my party would be in the majority. institutionally, it will be hard to get things done. >> mcconnell says he wants a clean slate. that is, he would like to get everything put together and passed and done so the
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republicans don't have to deal with a bang hangover of the other congress. and it's interesting that two senators have sent him a formal letter saying they will object and you can guess who the three names are. >> if one objects, then that is it. >> i would like to ask what the actual incentives are for this congress to work together and cooperate because it seems that you had an instruction is congress in the last session and republicans obstructing the legislative process in the senate. what exceptions are there was such a narrow majority and i mean the republicans almost shut
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down the government and they were handed victory. >> wait a minute. the control of the senate was in democratic hands, the person who kept bills from coming to the floor was the democratic majority leader, you have democratic senators, former up in alaska, for example, furious because they cannot get any other legislation even discussed, any of their amendments even raised, so, back to my opening statement, mcconnell is going to open that up. it is not the obstructionist republicans who have shut down the senate, it has been the strategy of harry reid, which i understand, i think you made a mistake, i can understand his motives in going that direction. what will harry be like? harry learns.
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i think that harry will recognize, ok, i had a strategy, we tried it, it didn't work. i am willing to change. he is also a senator who knows he will not be president of the united states and has great respect for the institution. i think there is a great opportunity here for something moving forward. >> what incentive do they have? >> the public was in a throw the bums out mood. there were more democrats up and republicans. democrats got tossed out in the senate. and if the defendant is able to act, and the republicans would be in a throw the bums out mood in 2016 and a lot of republican senators will suffer. there is a party incentive to try to get things done because they have some new people up in the next election. >> also, both sides have an interest in getting something done, yet the republicans are
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making their own image and also the democrats in the way in which they handled the senate. basically, shut down. also, there was a denial of offering amendments. in fact, they were only allowed to vote on 11 amendments over a year. the amendments are the bridge towards consensus. if you cannot offer amendments, you cannot reach a compromise on any legislative initiative. they were all about messaging and not about solving the problem. that is what is fundamental it difficult and that is what mitch mcconnell was to return to. the opening day in both the house and senate will be critical in terms of the message sent, the roles that are adopted, we have come up with a number of recommendations in that regard on how to institutionally change, a lot of which dovetails with senator mcconnell's proposal. it will be crucial because if you don't have a process, you
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cannot move legislation forward, and that is what has been absent for too long on so many of the issues that the american people care about. if either side becomes obstructionist, they face peril in 2016. that window is very limited in which they can function. so, there is a lot of interest on a mutual basis to be effective and not to be viewed as being obstructionist. >> don't think that the public's love bus for throwing people out of office was satisfied just with the 2014 election and if congress cannot function, there are a lot of people will be in trouble in 2016, so really it is in both parties interest to get some agreement but it is more so in the republicans interest because they have a lot of their people up in the senate in 2016. >> i want to thank my panelists for joining us.
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sorry we did not get to all of your questions. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] likes i want to welcome to the stage jeffrey forbes bill , pierce, senior director of apco worldwide, heather podesta founder and ceo and jennifer higgins partner with chamber of health strategies. the panel will be moderated by the senior writer for the national journal.
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>> first of course i want to thank all of the panelists this morning for coming out to try to help everybody process that has exploded on the scene. the first question i want you to address it seems like an odd one but will this make an appreciable difference in terms of what will be going on or is it just going to be a dysfunction as usual? >> header, do you want to start? >> sure. things are different but very much the same. the hard work of doing this day in and day out, government relations does not change. you will see an administration that is activated by this election and a lot of activity on the regulatory front. we have seen a divided senate
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needs plenty of work for democrats and republicans. it doesn't really matter who is in control. it will be -- i'm excited about this new approach that the senate majority leader and mitch mcconnell is going to take to the senate. i'm interested to see how long that actually lasts. i think that we are in for some interesting times and appetites are big right now and once people remember how politics work and help us and it works and how the institutions work understand that we are still in washington. >> we are in an environment that has a lot of potential. on k. street and capitol hill and at the administration you are
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looking at the potential for activity. and like heather pointed out that there was a window of time that will occur. we have a chance to see whether this administration wants to work with republicans to the store and whether they can in the majority. >> this is basically a full employment program for k. street and so do you pretty much see that as the way that it's going? >> the answer is yes and because there is a possibility that the legislation might be past that is going to create the activity that everybody is going to be worried about their bill and their piece of legislation passing but also the other activity that goes on the matter what is already also looking to the future that maybe we won't do anything the next two years that this might set the groundwork for what could happen in 2016 and beyond. so the activity does continue and in some areas it is going to be lots and lots of smoke that's not much five-year at the end of the day but lots of smoke.
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>> so far this administration and the congressional republicans idea of negotiating and we are going to have to see if both sides continue that road than we've seen what's going to happen. nothing. but if they decide to get together and go out of the house with democratic support, let's not have to worry about the filibuster. let's pass stuff with 60 plus and if obama sits down and negotiate something that we have a great opportunity. i am skeptical frankly but i hope that it works. hairy reed invented the treaty that's been around for a while and i hope that we have an open process and --
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we are going to until we don't. >> change creates uncertainty no matter what. what are your clients looking for? the morning after do you have to do a lot of pan holding or are you getting a lot of phone calls can't how does that work >> it is an understanding of what that meaning. -- what that means. we don't believe of answers. we are at the status quo point where we realize a lot of the work whether it's on the regulatory side or the administration will continue to progress and it may be in the absence so looking at what the opportunity may be on the legislative cited the budget reconciliation over the next couple of weeks and months. please send out a memo to the clients now.
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what happens in the lame-duck. the lame-duck is when everything gets scrambled and crazy. if you are not in the room you may end up with some type of tax paid for. so it is this matter of all right are they going to do a cr, are they going to do an omnibus, or they are going to be policy writers, which tax provisions are going to go forward. are we going to try to throw other tax measures into the mix because the end of the year that he didn't pay for the business tax cuts so it's sort of free money. these are all of the things our clients are asking about now and we are guiding them and making sure that their interests are protected in this very
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tumultuous environment. >> because we knew this result was not is not surprising what may be surprising was the number . and some of the things that happened. people are not necessarily panicked and it makes a good point. it's bigger than we thought what impact what we have on the lame-duck session and will the new members push the old members to not do a lot just to kind of do a minimum, so is it a three-month cr, four month or something longer than that? that is where we are right now. i do healthcare and we can talk about that. , on a bigger problem
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little bit of panic are the folks that lost champions for the cause and the constituent companies. i think that is the only bit of the rights so everyone else is what we thought would happen. >> you had mentioned the possibility of reconciliation. do you want to talk about -- >> absolutely. there is a sense of given where the numbers are good and more favorable than we anticipated. the fact of the matter is looking at next year as we can accomplish in the senate with 51 votes from mitch mcconnell and going through the budget reconciliation process and whether it makes us both through the chambers task is an unlikely proposition but in the short term, but we anticipate its clients like mine are concerned about setting markers for things like medicaid cuts on the tax side so it's an opportunity for
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the lobbyists to engage and it will create a lot of anxiety the next six to seven months. whether or not it takes shape at the front of the conversation the idea being that it will set a marker for the future debates when we get it beyond. >> the biggest marker that will be sent is that we want to make this political from the get-go and if the reconciliation happens, there isn't going to be something obama will find. it just won't have an answer that means the marker is out and we are going to campaign for two more years. >> i think most people assume tax reform, the energy. there is going to be a lot of activity. is that what you are assuming even if it isn't a big bill everybody wants a lovely large solution to tax reform and even if we are just talking rifle shot is if your assumption this activity is going to be trade
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were where do you see the action coming up? >> will there be a move meant maybe, we will see. but there will be a legitimate chance to reform pieces of obamacare. if it is done in a bipartisan manner there is an opportunity for certain pieces to be done on a bipartisan manner i think that would be the focal point. >> and i think that building on what jeff said regarding healthcare, a lot of pressure will be on the congress to repeal it and we may see the bills. but i think that jeff's point about that is it isn't going to work so will we see the piecemeal pieces of legislation to repeal? the challenge by the republicans is doing it in a way that the president won't sign today also
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antagonize the president to your point, michelle, on the other place to be co- pieces they would like the democrats and republicans talk about if the president moves on immigration for the executive branch that would please indulge. they could poison it if both sides do want to work together on health care by sending a stream of things he will not sign and he will veto. we will have to see. >> but we don't know is what road republicans will take. we won't know today or for a couple weeks. the road they could take his messaging, doing everything we can to show that we can't govern and we can't work with this president and therefore we would love to govern but we just can't so let's look to the president and things we can get him to say we are trying. on the flipside you can look at opportunities and to say things like trade, taxes, pension,
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obamacare off ramps, opportunities to look at things you can get 60 votes on the senate and appeal. that takes a lot to have that conversation but again i don't know that we know which path republicans are going to take. they say i wanted to take that track. the political person in me says let's take the other track and wait until 2017. but there will probably be a combination of both of those things in play and i don't know how long it will last. >> then you have the regular pattern of bills that need to be reauthorized. can we work on a higher reauthorization bill and are we going to do a telecom rewrite? transportation infrastructure, these are things where there are opportunities to lead and you can see the movement on them >> if the president is planning
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to move forward without congress because he has expressed his frustration several times and take them out of these equations what does that do in terms of is the focus shift to the regulators and how do you handle that? >> it would be across the ballot as well and i think that that basically is saying i am not really interested in giving it a bipartisan line just going to move forward. something very clear could happen and something happened to all of us up here today to .nd >> it's the president's fourth quarter. he's going to finish strong and he's going to put a mark on this country. he the country. he has the ability to use his agency to change the way that americans live over the course
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of the next two years and i think that you are going to see a much stronger and forceful approach when it comes to issues like climate change on on immigration and other matters , and so congress is going to spend a lot of time going, what is he doing? how can we stop it? the sort ofhen battles begin, but ultimately, right now he has the power to do a lot of things and he's going to use it. >> on the point about regulation, for at least 10 years, probably 20, folks in this business have realized that when you pass legislation and it is signed, that's not even almost half of what we do that is ultimately important. that is the regulatory process. it is ongoing.
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thehave to be involved in regulatory process. if you're not, you're going to miss a lot. i do health care and there is so much that is still to be done on the affordable care act, from a regulatory perspective. were getting far enough away from passage that some of the original -- some the original regulation is starting to come around again. incredibly important to pay attention to the regulation and what more needs to be done. going to bet is aggressive across the board when it comes to regulation, whether it's regulation that he has the to pushwer over, a or the envelope. having also served in the administration, you have a huge amount of power and discretion when it comes to regulation and congress. it's much more difficult for congress to actually do something to stop or change regulations.
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click staying on health care just for a second, he mentioned -- you mentioned there will be votes to repeal. once we moved past that, what are you most optimistic in terms , medicaleaking devices, little stuff like that? >> the opportunity for actual -- does will depend on the white house say bring it on, let's move past it and then get down to doing what we need to do, or whether that activity has poisoned the well and the president gets really ticked off. and whether the pressure on leadership is so great to not compromise at all, to just continue with these votes. point, we don't know. is,he other thing about it everyone assumes were going to go to dynamic scoring.
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how does that affect all of us, and does it all of a sudden -- what sort of role does that play? >> dynamic scoring is basically magic at the end of the day. it is a slow walk in terms of opportunity people have talked about. i think it takes a lot longer to use that as an effective mechanism. if i'm a democrat, i would demand that republicans pass with any repeal that they also have ready to go a replacement bill. i think that's going to be a cousin scoring and all the other things, extremely difficult for republicans to produce the legislation that they agree on
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that catches all the people who are currently having insurance as a result of the law. how are we going to make sure they don't fall through with the replacement? that's the huge challenge. the notion of being realistic when it comes to putting the toothpaste back in the tube when it comes to health care. i think leadership has realize they have to be able to talk about the four or five things that could really catch the president i in terms of rings he would be willing to do, things ,ike the 30 hour workweek opportunities were there could be changes that would not necessarily damage the integrity of the affordable care act.
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>> as everyone knows, today is not just the day after the election, it is the first day unofficially of 2016. you have a very short window before everything is about 2016. does this mean a lot of your acts are completely frontloaded? do you feel the pressure to move early? >> we will see. eventss a big tsunami of . if they all are acted on, after that the campaign starts and we will see. what role does it have on the highway bill reauthorization? will they try to do something permanent? is all of it just moved to the summer to give more time to work on it?
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this odd year is going to be a big year. >> we also have the dynamic of -- it will play a tremendous role in putting pressure on something they're not quite ready to do. >> i think the assumption is that there are about three that we can count on having a 2016 agenda in mind. does this make your life that much more complicated? >> i think for republican they're going to see what is actually achievable in this congress and in then it will pretty much be set in terms
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of what is doable on the agenda by next august. does that change the work that we do day in and day out? no, that is just sort of persistent. before have 734 days 2016. it's a lot of noise. it's a large distraction. it's something for the commentators to talk about, but in terms of setting public policy day in and day out in washington, that will continue to move forward. bake we have two democrats and two republicans up there. how difficult is it when the other team winds up in charge? >> does it affect the agenda? sure. but you need republicans to pass anything.
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it really doesn't affect much. we have become a bipartisan shop, so it really hasn't affected us much at all. at the same time, i like to be part of a team that sets the agenda and i'm disappointed that we are not anymore. >> you talked about losing champions, but just in general, do you foresee -- there are a lot of changes in the senate. it is really musical chairs and where people land, it's going to be interesting. held thes have never gavel before and our earnest public policy folks and are excited about the opportunity. others are far more political. this is why we love what we do. no matter what we predict our project will happen, something
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wild and crazy will happen because politics is always stranger than fiction. you are dealing with human beings and they do very human things. i never cease to be amazed that you think something is going one direction and you can have a u-turn. >> just ask anthony brown in maryland. that was the one race i said that if something crazy is going to happen, it is here. by over 100,000 votes. it was amazing. interesting will be in the house is not due to the election but due to the term limits, it is erol issa and the term limits committee -- darrell issa. then what does the senate to? today follow that pattern?
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this is where republicans could exercise a good deal of in a potentially good way or bad way. they can do real oversight investigation. perfect, it never is. having someone look over your shoulder is not a bad idea. is purely- but if it political in nature and doesn't seem to have a purpose, then it is annoying and not productive it will be interesting to see where that goes. >> a sort of expect that under republican leadership they're going to shine a very right light on the administration and implementation of dodd-frank and , andffordable care act really highlight issues. i think we can expect that democrats will be equally as activated only instead of focusing on the administration
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they're going to shine a light on industry. senator edo see markey, senator blumenthal, hyper engaged and sending letters and suggesting investigations into different business practices. an increasingly what we have senator using their convening power to change corporate behavior. i think we will see this only .row in the months come >> we have less than two minutes here, so if you have questions, we have mics up and i will be looking at twitter. we talked about how this depends leadership and also the president. is there anything you're looking for in today's press conference
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that's going to make you nervous or that you're hoping for when obama gets up there later today? earlier, it'sying like a time of great grace. don't have to actually do anything for at least the next couple of weeks. that theying to hear say all the things we want to hear about getting along and trying to work together. again, i think that even if we may have different interests in what we want to get accomplished among clients, we do want progress. governing anda of i would like to see our congress in the white house govern. that's what i'm listening for, or is the fight going to start tomorrow? that's what i'm listening for. >> i'm hopeful that we will see mutual decency and thoughtfulness and respect.
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election ishis about one thing, it's about the economic insecurities that americans feel. one out of two people still think we are in a recession. figuring out ways to work isether to address that going to be key moving forward. i am more focused on friday's meeting at the white house, having a dialogue with the president. i harken back to the grand bargain days of 2011 when we all had little bit of optimism that these folks would all be in a room and come to an agreement on something sort of significant. went, know how that story it fell apart for a lot of different reasons. what is interesting to me is whether that meeting there's the fruit of real dialogue between republicans and democrats.
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it's something we will have to wait and see. think folks in this administration have been prepared for this for some time. they have known it was going to happen in some number. i think we will hear very good tone out of this. the question is what happens when the extremes of both parties collide. out toill put it questions that anybody may have out there. i have the very helpful twitter feed. somebody has asked about infrastructure with legislation, may be tied to tax reform. are you pretty optimistic about that? >> that will be the first vehicle. it marks, that's the deadline and that will be the first
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vehicle. the question is will it become the catchall vehicle. there is no doubt that there's great bipartisan support for making sure we passed the highway bill. what about trade, as far as what is the best possibility for some kind of trade agreement moving forward? does anybody have a sense of that? >> that is definitely a place where you're going to have to thread the needle and find the middle and pass something significant on both sides of the aisle, in both chambers. >> i think the house republicans
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are going to need to do some real soul-searching in terms of what they want their trade that the tea in party has been somewhat divided, presidenthey give the -- i don't know, not without significant restrictions, and what does that look like? quick someone was asking about tax extenders. is that a lot of what you're going to be looking at instead of a huge, grand bill or whatever?
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>> is this something that's going to be a big focus? goal, the everyone's question is, can we get to it? everyone is going to be focused on it and people really want to get it done. it's a great opportunity in a bipartisan way. >> where do you find a half trillion dollars though? duckdea of that lame conversation is the hope is , beingould be a dialogue able to pick and choose which ones should be made permanent and which one should be thrown away. i think the house started that process and the senate went forward in their own direction. retroactive are going forward
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until we have that dialogue. flurry anyone foresee a of senate confirmations in the lame duck? >> if we can get it done, yes. push nk there will be a big by majority leader reid to get as many nominations done as , as it only gets harder. that means for time will be consumed with nominations, and it makes it difficult to work on other issues. >> yes, a nomination to some degree expresses a policy position or whatnot, but ultimately these are people the president wants working for him, whatever the job is. unless there's something really
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awful, i think the senate should essentially pass most of the president pause nominations on. it could be assigned if they're willing to say... go ahead and vote on them. >> were going to do a live and in person question. >> someone in the first panel talked about the disconnect with , in leadership and education policies, especially k-12. elections in common core issues in particular. do you see congress working on , specifically can you talk about the house bills that passed with bipartisan support and whether it has any
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chance in this environment? >> i think there is a real opportunity for education reform in this environment. the last time we did no child it took ad, bipartisan approach. with k-12, it takes years and years and years, several congresses, to rewrite and get authorizing legislation. i'm hopeful that we make progress on this point. not only k-12 but also higher ed. were going to have a chair of help in patty murray who will be an advocate and will really want to get something good done and get it done in a bipartisan way. >> i think the alexander murray
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will be helpful not only in education but also tensions. >> i think what's interesting about the election is for the first time in history, the congress has 100 women in it. republicans and see the challenges they face in the war on women, there are real to engage on familieske working that are relatable on the labor front. >> we are out of time and we must released our panelists. but thank you so much again. [applause] >> more on tuesday's election results from the national journal. next we will hear from charlie cook of the cook political report.
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[applause] >> that was the shortest introduction i've had in a while. i've walked -- of always wanted someone to say, charlie cook is someone who needs no introduction. i am teasing. thank you very much to all the great people at united technologies who have had a chance to do a bunch of -- i've had a chance to do a bunch of events for them and they are a great company. i long for the day when i can with ano have a house elevator and my own helicopter. not in this lifetime, but i can always wish. i'm trying to figure out how to do this. you are all observers of an experiment in sleep deprivation.
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i finished up in new york at 10, 40 -- 10:45 this morning and drafted my column for national journal friday and then showered, shaved, and packed and i've been up here since friday. then i took the 6:00 train down. so i have had a 15 minute nap. columninished up the while i was on the train. so we will see if i have any coherence whatsoever. so this is stream of consciousness, this is not the whole polished or ration i'll be giving it up you weeks. we have been talking for some time, a couple of months, really, that what we were seeing democrats is the equivalent of a perfect storm. was thet important
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numerical exposure. least of senate democrats problems. geography, and you are a wired in group of people, the democrats had seven seats up in romney's seat and republicans only had one seat up in an obama state. six of those democrats in romney pointswere carried by 14 are more. third is the turnout. increasingly in presidential elections, the turnout is big, broad, diverse, it looks pretty much like the country. but in midterm elections, the turnout seen -- tends to be older, whiter, more republican, more conservative. maybe the older fifth in this room, when we were growing up,
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the seniors, people 65 and older were pretty democratic voting group. they grew up in the great depression, the new deal and all that. 65 and older now are a lot more likely to remember the rather unfortunate years under president carter and eight somewhat better years during president reagan. to remembere likely those 12 years than the 12 years under franklin roosevelt. seniors vote more often than anybody else. this gap between what happens in presidential elections, it's getting wider and wider. that republicans will always do well in all midterm elections, because that's not the case.
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between hurricane katrina and the war in iraq being so unpopular, of course they can have a bad election. so there is the turnout dynamic. and the obvious one is the political environment. numbers beinga's lousy, the six-year itch thing, these factors coming together. knew theain extent, we republicans were going to have some pretty real, significant gains in this election. then how far was this going to go? to be honest, i thought this was going to be at the bottom in four or five, at the higher end, six or seven. , it looks seeing now like a pretty good chance they will get eight or even nine,
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depending on the finish of the count in alaska where all the dog sleds have to bring the ballot boxes in. it takes them a while to do that. i'm teasing about the dog sleds. but alaska is a small town state. and then what happens on december 6 in the louisiana. these statesok at and say montana, south dakota, west virginia, those were the three democratic open seats that everybody knew where those were going. then you have three more democratic seats that were also in these romney plus 14 states. big edge in alaska, prior in arkansas, landrieu in louisiana. so four of their games so far have been in romney plus 14 states.
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that in the for purple states that we are all watching -- and my thought was, ok, for this to be away, for republicans to pretty much win six out of six or five out of six of those romney plus 14 states, then they would need to win three out of four or four out of four of the purple states, which they have done, , utah, andcolorado hagan in north carolina, the one lived away with new hampshire. republicans, i kind of figured they could lose one in a way here or they could lose two. they held onto all three of their vulnerable seats, with mitch mcconnell in kentucky that ended up as a blowout. obviously nobody knew it was
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going to be a blowout. obviously there was some doubt, but it blew itself out. then you had the other two with kansas. roberts, his numbers were awful. as long as that race was about thad roberts, he was in deep trouble. republicanswhen sort of switched gears and shifted from trying to paint reg warm as an evil human being, he's going to vote with democrats. that's when robert came back in and it got really close. i think they ought to skip the studio and just put a camera in the green room or out in the hallway.
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i was talking to david axelrod and he was making the argument that clearly republicans are having a really, really good night. for so inconsistent republicans to have that good a night and to drop an incumbent in a state that ought to be there's, kansas. i remember thinking, these are just unique circumstances with , and itrts situation turned out axelrod was exactly right. i lost my train of thought. georgia, where we knew there was a possibility that somebody could win without a runoff, but i think most people assumed there was going to be a runoff. and for tom purdue to win without a runoff, that was a big surprise.
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so clearly it's a wave. the question is, is it a tsunami? yes, but whenve, you think of 1990, when you think of 1980, the reagan landslide. 1994, the the newt gingrich landslide. of 2006, thec wave republican wave of 2010, the hallmark of these kind of races is that upsets occur. me, my test was going to be do republicans win someplace where they are not supposed to win? , if ed gillespie had , and obviouslyer it still being counted. against alarlane
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or monica minnesota, webb b against jeff merkley in oregon, that would have been the certifiable great big huge wave thomas senomyx, whatever metaphor you want to use. some of this was expected. when you look at some of the other races, particularly in the when things are going on that we didn't expect, we knew the republicans would likely a turnout advantage. what we saw was a significant drop off. there were a heckuva lot of democratic voters that for whatever reason chose not to vote. whether they were upset with wasident obama, whatever it , our house editor was looking at the accounts last night.
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huge problems for democrats in upstate new york, all the way over to california. you had some democratic losses or near losses in five or six districts out there, where the democratic vote was just really loud. something was going on with the democratic side. obviously there is more than but there were just some weak tickets. for example, how many of you live in maryland? did anybody here think john delaney was going to have a really tough race? i kind of heard that there was a race going on and he was having , but it wase money really close.
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he was behind for a good part of the evening. think in maryland, and it gets .o the maryland governor's race to me the maryland governor's race was one. we knew that anthea brown was we , and thank god for the internet or we can change our ratings late. i think that larry hogan was going to actually win? no, but i thought he was going to make it pretty close. and he won. why was that? there were two reasons. there was a general lack of effectasm for what in was a third martin o'malley term. i think maybe that was the start of it. , the democratic nominee was given exactly one thing to do as lieutenant governor, and that was the
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maryland health care website. that got screwed up so badly, i think those two things together, but that was really something. virginia, maryland, up through new york, something weird was happening. we're going to be sifting through mountains of election results and exit polls for the next couple of weeks. we will kind of figure out what happened. one, republicans, if it stays at seven, which i don't think it will, it will be 52 seats. eight, they are going to need every bit 2016at for holding on in -- where ismember
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my cheat sheet. this is where the sleep deprivation is kicking in. there were are 21 republican seats up. i'm trying to read upside down here. before ie statistic was sleep deprived. only 10 democratic seats up. seats those republican are up in obama states. so they needed a cushion going into 2016. but even between now and then, think about, let's take the middle number. let's say republicans are at 53. let's see. we've got potentially marco paul, ted cruz, rand running around the country running for president, and not therefore some votes. then you are going to have some
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that areme republicans in some pretty challenging situations for 2016. there is probably a limit to what they can sign up for. illinois, there he is in a state that president obama carried by 17 points. how conservative education -- legislation will he be willing to sign on? kelly ayotte, new hampshire, where obama won by six. obama won ohio by three points. limited bynd of a how far out there those folks are going to go. ok, speaker hastert has his work cut out for him
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with so many exotic and potentially problematic members of his conference with the hast or rule, so that only things that have the support of the -- so stuff coming out of the house almost by necessity is going to be may be very conservative. in comes over to the senate, where you might have up to three or more missing members, and thesehese moderates or toughmembers in districts, that's another obstacle in terms of getting things through. harry reid and the democrats are going to just play dead and let things roll through? gosh, i don't think so.
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i would just assume that because republicans have gotten a majority by a couple of c that congress is suddenly going to start becoming a productive entity. this afternoon the president is having a news conference and meetings later in the week or on friday. it will be interesting to see what the president does. remember right after the 1994 whenratic as astor, president clinton sort of basically said there is a new way, i'm going in a different direction and reconfigured the direction, his whole strategy, and started moving towards the center. i'm not going to hold my breath for this one. part of it is i don't think the president feels any culpability, any responsibility whatsoever for what happened. he deserves a
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heckuva lot of it, but i don't think he thinks so. for him to say i need to do things differently, i'm not sure that is in his dna. so you had that sort of going on. will there be a shakeup? a moderatelyll be small shakeup in the white house. but again, i think the president has people that he is comfortable with, very comfortable with. maybe too comfortable with. i don't think he's going to be teaching a bunch of people out the door. so there might not be nearly as much change as there ought to be. i think the next couple of years ago on to be really, really interesting, to see how much patience that mitch mcconnell has with harry reid and democrats. i would've thought that democrats would be may be considering some changes in
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leadership, but you know, we are hearing some people say no, schumer is on board, walked in. ok, a little surprise, but ok. , do think that on the one hand playedeid, the super pac a huge part of the financial advertising apparatus for democrats. you can say that he didn't do everything he could in that respect, but i also think the argument we've heard for the last week or so that senator protecting, shielding his members from casting tough votes, that he may have done them a disservice. that mark pryor, mark begich,
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mary landrieu, kay hagan could have used some opportunities to split with the president on some big-ticket high-profile items. that would have helped them out. in my column for tuesday, -- a friend of mine reminded me of a quote from the who democratic congressman said something to the effect of, if you don't want to run into a burning building, don't become a fireman. as for the job of being a member of congress is taking tough votes. on the one hand, the democratic -- nothing particularly contentious came up. that policy hand,
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wasn't happening. we've got big problems facing this country and let's face it, -- it looks like democrats are going to stay right there. we are going to be sifting through this for a while, trying to figure out what the heck happened. anybody that has one simple explanation for what happened, i'm sorry, these things are bigger and more complicated. it's going to take some time to do that. i'm supposed to take some questions, and i'm also supposed to look at this ipad. where did it go? what i should do is raffle off this national journal ipad, but they didn't tell me i could. we are supposed to have some questions here. i am not a technology person. i have an ipad, but let's see. this is nice.
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let's go down, i'm looking for a question here. i did see some interesting comments. there are microphones here and here. >> when you don't nominate nuts, you don't give squirrels anything to be. ?id steve really say that no wonder the tea party guys hate his guts. anyway, let's go here. [indiscernible]
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>> move over six inches. the onlyt was incumbent republican governor who lost. massachusetts, arkansas, illinois, and maryland. the post said a couple of days they were indicating republicans would pick up a number of state legislative seats and they need to take control of a couple more chambers. what is your view? do you think this is showing now more of a trend at the state level for republicans to be more successful than historically they have been? >> good question. governor andon the before we go over to the state house thing, each of these situations were different. we talked about marilyn, , martha coakley
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screwing up her second and presumably final bid. in pennsylvania with governor corbett, it goes to show how, we can lock from washington or anywhere. we can watch senate races, house races, and the dynamics in these races, there is some linkage across state lines, regions and things. i think we did pretty good at figuring out what is generally likely to happen. the governor races are so difficult because of indigenous, local issues. all aret know what they or how to weigh them. a lot of times governors, a new governor will come in and there will be some -- they will do some tough, unpopular things. the numbers go in the toilet, and then starts going back up and they get reelected. that happens a lot. sortith corbett, they just
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of went down and stay down. friends from pennsylvania say maybe it was the penn state hang. -- thing. thought he didn't do enough early enough as attorney general. outthe heck do you figure how much to weigh these things? i've gotten e-mails from the republican legislative leadership group. it was a really, really good night. but this is where that timing i talked about comes in. because there are far more state legislative seats up and governorships up in the midterm election cycle, which is the good cycle for republicans, it really puts democrats at a disadvantage because they are their good
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presidential years, they are not as much up. whatyou think about happened this past time where republicans had horrific nights in 2006 and 2008, republicans were in deep trouble coming out of 2008. but if you ever want to have a good election, the best election year to have is one that ends in a zero, because that leaves in the redistricting, and republicans got a huge boost in 2010. so they were able to do to democrats what democrats have been doing to them for generations. obviously there's more to it than redistricting because there are population patterns and all that. but we are seeing a pattern where democrats have some real problems in midterm elections. enthusiastice most democratic voting groups are disinclined to vote in midterm
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elections, so it is a feast and famine type situation, presidential midterms. so democrats have a real problem on the gubernatorial level which has huge congressional implications. the point is very well taken. it's going to take a few days before we know exactly, but it's safe to say they had a heckuva night on that level. when you're having a good night, if no captures were partisan dog, then democratic catchers would've had a really bad night. never been toe washington on a school trip got sucked in because of what republicans are doing to democrats in washington. good question. upholsterer talked about how hard it is for party to win the white house three times in a row. how do you see the atmosphere in 2016, given with obamas
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unpopularity, on the other hand the demographic advantages the democrats seem to have been residential years. >> that we throw out a couple of things. you are absolutely right. times since the end of world war ii a party has had the white house for two consecutive terms. president reagan's approval ratings back in 1988 were very good. democrats in their infinite wisdom nominated michael dukakis, and the rest is history. for 2016, there are couple of things we don't know. history argues that republicans ought to win the presidency in 2016. but the big question is, will they have repaired their plan -- their brand? will they have repaired some
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their problems with minority voters, young voters, women voters, self-described moderate voters? that some of those groups just basically stayed home. it will be interesting to watch to see whether latino turnout dropped disproportionally, for , being upset that immigration hasn't gone through and all that. so if republicans address their brand challenges, it will obviously make a difference. obviously also whoever the republican nominee will be. on the other hand, what kind of shape is the democratic brand in? with president obama's job approval ratings in the summer and fall of 2016, how is the affordable care act, is it up rather than
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upside down where it has been? what is the economy looking like? not just that, but how do people feel the economy is doing? technically speaking, unemployment is down below 6%, and at the same time, for a lot of people, as far as they are concerned, their personal economy has turned around. all of these are things that are going to establish what kind of shape the democratic rant is in. and one weat point will all enjoy chewing over for the next two years. it's obviously an important question. over here. it is easy to pivot to 2016, but we have two years. we have not seen a lot of action and commonalities.
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speaking of the premise that the president is unlikely to express any element of culpability for , he's going to need to try to get something done to 2016,ome achievements in if nothing else to break up the boredom of doing nothing. where do you see the issues with the president and the democratic senate, the minority that he has, is willing to give, work, achieved, so it doesn't wind up being more of the same do-nothing? >> we were talking beforehand about mitch mcconnell's victory speech, which didn't sound like a victory speech as much as it actually sounded like the election hadn't been held yet, in the sense that it was sort of what republicans need to do and look for things to work together and all that.
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we will see how serious he is about that. look for some of the common denominator things, like infrastructure, which is obviously huge. that could begs divisive, but at the same time, the big ones, they really are. reform, theity egghead say he can do that in an afternoon. it's very painful to do that, but medicare, that's a lot more complicated. i just say that stuff is not going to happen. in the the publicans long-term interest of the party desperately need to fix their problems with latino voters and they desperately need to
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reposition themselves somewhat on immigration. if i were a republican strategist, i would have wished the democrats had done it this past time. the best case for republicans is, immigration reform happens and they don't have to vote for andnd picked off the base, start working on increasing those numbers. in 2004, in the exit polls, president george w. bush got 44% of the latino vote. thinkolitical scientist the exit polls were off and it was closer to 40%, but that's a heck of a lot better than 27% that mitt romney got. that's a question i need to take up with more sleep am a but i think were going to hear more about it.
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and it will be, what are they willing to do, and do the more conservative elements of the party -- can they come to terms with the infrastructure, capital ,pending is not big government it's just sort of something that kind of needs to happen that nobody else is going to do. they need to get past that point. i have known that guy forever. are the democrats -- is the democratic get out the vote atrotion after freeing -- phying?
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>> back in the old days the prehistoric campaign-finance numbers. first, i don't think the democratic it out the vote atrophied.has acre-fee i think republicans have closed the gap. i think it's just republicans getting back in the game. the other thing is, there has always been a rule of phone, i don't think it's ever been proven in academic research, but there is a good field operation, they need to percentage points. whether it's two or three or four or whatever. is, youthing about it have to be within that range for the ground game to pull you over the top. think democrats were in a
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deeper hole than that, so that the field was just simply not able to save them, no matter what they do. take colorado with mark udall. he put together this amazing operation in 2010 when he was up for his first election. he had been appointed before that, you remember. amazing operation. is, there's no reason whatsoever, and then it is ncc, you have to assume that mark udall had a fabulous ground game. i have no reason to think it wasn't. i think they had other problems, other issues. was, maybe there was
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some strategic miscalculation about being overly dependent on women's and reproductive issues to the exclusion of other issues. and the democrats would certainly say he talked about a lot of other issues and they ran ads -- they ran ads on other things other than reproductive issues. , implicitabout it is in the dependence that democrats have had off late on that women's constellation of issues, it almost implies that that's all that women are interested in. well, no. republican -- if the shoe is on the other foot, i think you'd probably say that republicans were condescending to women in thinking of them in such a narrow vein.
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so there were some issues there. but the tipoff that udall was going to have a really tough ken bock screwed up the last senate race when he was running on -- it looked like he was going to be the nominee against mark udall. republicans did a it wasto cory gardner, clearly a superior candidate yto bock. i am not looking forward to meeting him at a reception someplace. anyway, that was a sign that udall had some real problems. always more than
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one or two things there. i would argue that colorado, the last few years, if you were going to put the most republican state to the most democratic state, colorado was straddling the 50 yard line more than any other state in the union. if democrats are having a bomber year, that is a technical bummeral science term, a colorado would drift over that way. i'm sorry? which half? i would say the last half of the tv money. the question was, which half of the money was wasted. let's face it, in television advertising, there is a law of diminishing returns. -- i'm makingseen
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up this number, but once a voter by, onen 300 ads for, behalf of a candidate, how much more persuasive will the next 100 be? the answer is generally not that much. what we are seeing now is candidates -- campaigns that are spending way more than they need optimal, on than is television. at the same time, some of this other spending is on kind of an embryonic level. they are trying to figure out how to do it effectively. the example i like to use is my 2012 was living in cleveland. ohio was like ground zero for presidential races. no cable television, no
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-- whatever was apple tv is, she had that. whatever the hell that is. she wase to work and either listening to npr or listening to music on her i- whatever. advertise, to television, radio, you weren't getting her. digital was basically one of the only ways. -- again, i'm talking way out of my level here --there is only that much are you still over there? no? there is a word, sort of like content. inventory. there is not much inventory
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available of digital advertising weket opportunities, and so are sort of not there yet. a lot of this tv is way over the top. -- well, in of just terms of quantity, but also quality. i think the quality of television political ads is way down from 15, 20 years ago. mediak there are a lot of consultants in both parties -- i think a positive ad is much harder, and effective positive ad is a lot harder to do than a negative ad. there are folks that couldn't do a positive ad if their lives depended on it. they are not filmmakers, they don't have a background in terms of constructing a narrative, being persuasive. it is just slash and burn.
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charlie, i want to ask you a question about your favorite state. a louisianans say, let's send senior senator back to have some clout to fight for our issues or do they just help republicans run up the scores? >> that is a great question. i will take both sides of the issue. does mary landrieu have a heck of a challenge? of course she does. where does she pick up votes in a runoff between cassidy and rob manus, the tea party guy? with cassidy getting a lot closer than a lot of us thought would happen, she has got her work cut out for her. no question about it. madenk that a case can be that for landrieu, the
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worst-case scenario was if the senate were right on the edge and this would become a red-blue vote versus, who do you want to represent louisiana. arguably, she may be advantaged by that. i think there is a devious path to winning if you are landrieu. hell.he senate democrats, this is what i would do. i would have somebody set up some baloney organization called louisianans for conservative values or whatever. cassidy, he is not that is notative, and he
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nearly as conservative as a lot of louisiana republicans would like him to be. time,t -- i know i'm over but i will tell you the story anyway. in down in louisiana back march speaking at the school of mass communications at lsu. anyway, i give a talk and speak to some classes. this young man comes up to me afterwards and waits until all the other students have drifted away. , i'm volunteering for the cassidy campaign. he's practically whispering. it wasn't with a loud voice. was confessing having herpes or something. i asked him, why are you whispering? he said, conservatives have a he's not --
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conservative enough for most republicans down here. i'm thinking, that is why he has an excellent chance of winning. because he's not over the top. if i were senate democrats, i would create all kinds of mischief, pulling various things to show that he's not one of us, he's not conservative enough. conservatives say this, but when you saw -- and this is different but tells you how this stuff can work effectively -- you saw senate democrats effectively -- in indiana, yeah missouri, i mean. todd akin, thank you.
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this is where the sleep deprivation is kicking in. .hey ran tv ads todd akin is too conservative for missouri. , theyepublican primary effectively moved the nomination away from the two republicans that might very well have beaten claire mccaskill and pulled it over here where they affected the outcome of the primary. that shows how sometimes parties can be very effective in doing some interesting little jujitsu things. she has an uphill fight. cassidy has got a 70% chance of winning that runoff. but i kind of thing she is better off not having the senate on the line. , that would have just been a party vote.
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i'm getting the hook. it says wrap up. anyway, on the way out the door, much forank you very sponsoring this. and thank you all for participating. you had an impressive panel. we had some really great people here all morning. thank you very much for coming to hear us. [applause] >> thank you, charlie. we were glad to have you all here this morning. thank you so much for joining us. i want to thank paul pomerantz and the american society of anesthesiologists for making today possible. i hope you all have a wonderful day. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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>> president obama and incoming senate majority leader mitch mcconnell held news conferences wednesday. we will hear from the president and senator mcconnell tonight on c-span. later, more postelection analysis from the national journal. >> on the next washington journal, more election analysis and look ahead to the lame-duck session and the new congress. gail russell chaddock and jackie kucinich will join us. plus we will take your phone calls, facebook comments and tweets. washington journal is live each morning at 7:00 eastern on c-span. weekend, friday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span, more reaction to the midterm elections. saturday night, a debate on the future of the internet. sunday evening, author and smiley on host tavis
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his latest book. friday night at 8:00, on c-span 2, ronald runs bottom on german occupied paris during world war ii. saturday night, author jeff chang on racial progress in america. wilson,ight, edward winner of two pulitzer prizes on what makes us human. friday night on c-span 3, medal of honor recipients reflect on their service in world war ii, vietnam and afghanistan. saturday, the social prejudice immigrants faced during the 1800s. sunday night, the 25th anniversary of the fall of the berlin wall. find our television schedule at and let us know what you think about the programs you are watching.
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>> president obama said at a news conference that he understands the frustration of voters who gave control of the senate to republicans. he was asked whether the election was a repudiation of his policy. from the east room, this is one hour and 10 minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. have a seat. today, i had a chance to speak with john boehner and congratulated mitch mcconnell on becoming the next senate
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majority leader. i told them both that i look forward to finishing up this congress's business and then working together for the next two years to advance american business. look forward to the prospect of working together. i look forward to hosting the entire republican and democratic leadership at the white house on friday to chart a new course forward. republicans had a good night. they deserve credit for their campaigns. i will leave it to all of you that's what stands out to me is the american people send a message. one they have sent for several elections. they expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do and expect us to focus on their ambitions and not ours. they want us to get the job done. all of us in both parties have a responsibility to address that sentiment. still, as president, i have a unique responsibility to try to make this town work.
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i hear you. we had to give americans more reason to feel that the ground is stable beneath their feet. the future is secure. there is a path for young people to succeed. and folks here in washington are concerned about them. i plan on spending every moment of the next two years doing my job the best i can to keep this country safe and make sure that more americans share in its prosperity. this country has made real progress since the crisis six years ago. the fact is more americans are working. unemployment has come down. more americans have health insurance. manufacturing has grown. our deficits have shrunk. our dependences on foreign oil is down, as are gas prices.
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our graduation rates are up. businesses aren't just creating jobs at the fastest pace since the 1990's, our economy is outpacing most of the world. but we just got to keep at it until every american feels the gains of a growing economy where it matters most, and that is in their own lives. obviously much of this will take action from congress. i'm eager to work with the new congress to make the next two years as productive as possible. i measure ideas not whether they are from democrats or republicans, but whether they work for the american people. that is not to say that we won't disagree over some issues that we are passionate about, we will. congress will pass some bills i cannot sign. i'm pretty sure i'll take some actions that some in congress will not like. that is natural.
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that is how a democracy works. we will find ways to work on issues where there is broad commitment among the american people. i will offer my idea. i will offer areas where you can respond together to economic needs. take one example. we all agree on the need to create more jobs to pay well. both parties have been for jobs, recreating the infrastructure. roads, bridges, ports, waterways. we can hone in on a way to pay for it through tax reform that closes loopholes. we could also work together to grow our exports and open new markets for our manufacturers to sell more american made goods through the rest of the world. we share the same aspirations for our young people and i was encouraged that this year
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republicans agreed to investments that expanded early childhood education. i think we have a chance to do more on that front. we have some common ideas to help more young people afford college and graduate without crippling debt so they have the freedom to fill the good jobs of tomorrow and buy their first homes and start a family. and in the five states where a minimum wage increase is on the ballot voters went 5-5 to increase it. that will give about 325,000 americans a raise in states where republican candidates prevailed. so that should give us new reason to get it done for everybody with a national increase in the minimum wage. so those are some areas where i think we have some real opportunities to cooperate. i'm eager to hear republican ideas for what they think we can do together the next couple of years. there is still business that needs attention this year. there are things we can work on
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before the congress wraps up for the holidays. i'm submitting a request for funding to ensure that doctors, scientists, and troops have resources they need to combat the spread of ebola in africa and to increase our preparedness for future cases here at home. second, i will begin engaging congress over a new authorization to use military force against isil. the world needs to know we are united behind this effort and the men and women of our military deserve our clear and unified support. third, back in september congress passed short-term legislation to keep the government open and operating into december. that gives congress five weeks to pass a budget for the rest of the fiscal year. when our companies are steadily creating jobs which they are we
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don't want to inject any new uncertainty into the world and the american economy. the point is, it is time for us to take care of business. there are things this country has to do that can't wait another two years or another four years. there are plans the country has to put in place for our future. and the truth is i'm optimistic about our future. i have good reason to be. i meet americans across the country who are determined and big hearted and ask what they can do and never give up. and overcome obstacles. and they inspire me every single day. so, the fact is i still believe in what i said when i was first elected six years ago last night. all of the maps plastered across the tv screens today and for all of the cynics who say otherwise. i believe we are more than a collection of red and blue states. we are the united states.
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and whether it is immigration or climate change or making sure our kids are going to the best possible schools to making sure that our communities are creating jobs, whether it is stopping the spread of terror and disease, to opening up doors of opportunity to everybody who is willing to work hard and take responsibility, the united states has big things to do. we can and we will make progress if we do it together. and i look forward to the work ahead. so with that, let me take some questions. i think that our team got my list and we will start with julie at associated press. >> thank you, mr. president. you said during this election that while your name wasn't on the ballot your policies were. and despite the optimism that you are expressing here, last night was a devastating night for your party. do you feel a responsibility to recalibrate your agenda and what
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changes do you need to make to address the concerns that voters expressed with your administration? >> well, as i said in my opening remarks, the american people overwhelmingly believe that this town doesn't work well and it is not attentive to their needs. as president, they rightly hold me accountable to do more to make it work properly. i'm the guy who is elected by everybody, not just from a particular state or a particular district, and they want me to push hard to close some of these divisions, break through some of the gridlock and get stuff done. so the most important thing i can do is just get stuff done and help congress get some things done. in terms of agenda items, julie, if you look -- as i just mentioned, to a minimum wage increase, for example, that is something i talked about a lot during the campaign where voters
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had a chance to vote directly on that agenda item they voted for it. and so i think it would be hard to suggest that people aren't supportive of it. we know that the surveys consistently say they want to see that happen. the key is to find areas where the agenda that i put forward one that i believe will help strengthen the middle class and create more ladders of opportunity into the middle class and improve our schools and make college more affordable to young people and make sure that we are growing faster as an economy, the key is to make sure that the ideas that i have overlap somewhere with the ideas that that the republicans have. there will be some ideas that i have got that i think the evidence backs up would be good for the economy. and republicans disagree. they are not going to support those ideas, but i will keep on arguing for them because i think they are the right thing for the
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country to do. there are going to be some ideas that they have got that they believe that will improve the economy or create jobs that from my perspective isn't going to help middle class families improve their economic situation. so i probably won't support theirs. but i do think there will be areas where we do agree on infrastructure and making sure that we are boosting american exports. and part of my task then is to reach out to republicans, make sure that i'm listening to them. i'm looking forward to them putting forward a very specific agenda in terms of what they would like to accomplish. let's compare notes in terms of what i'm looking at and what they are looking at. and let's get started on those things where we agree. even if we don't agree 100%, let's get started on those things where we agree 70%, 80%, 90%.
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and if we can do that and build up some trust and improve how processes work in washington, then i think that is going to give the american people a little bit more confidence that in fact their government is looking after them. [inaudible question from the gallery] >> julie, i think -- every single day i'm looking for how can we do what we need to do better. whether that is delivering basic services the government provides to the american people, whether that is our capacity to work with congress so that they are passing legislation, whether it is how we communicate with the american people about what our priorities and vision is, we are constantly asking ourselves questions about, you know, how
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do we make sure that we are doing a better job. that is not going to stop. every election is a moment for reflection, and i think that everybody in the white house is going to look and say all right, what do we need to do differently. but the principles that we are fighting for, the things that motivate me every single day and my staff every single day, those things aren't going to change. there will be a consistent focus on how do we deliver more opportunity to more people in the country. how do we grow the economy faster. how do we put more people back to work. and i maybe have a naive confidence that if we continue to focus on the american people and not on our own ambitions or image or various concerns like
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that, that at the end of the day when i look back i will be able to say the american people are better off than they were before i was president. and that is my most important goal. so, but the other thing i just want to emphasize is i have said this before and i want to reiterate it, if there are ideas that the republicans have that i have confidence will make things better for ordinary americans, the fact that the republicans suggesting it as opposed to a democrat, that will be irrelevant to me. i want to see what works. some things like rebuilding the infrastructure or early childhood education that we know works. i'm hoping that the kind of attitude and approach that mitch mcconnell and john boehner expressed, their desire to get
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things done, allows us to find some common ground. jeff mason? >> thank you, mr. president. in 2010 you called the results of the midterm election a shellacking. what do you call this? and can you give us an update on your feelings about the immigration executive order and result in the aftermath of the election? does the election affect your plans to release it? is it likely to come out before the lame duck session is over, and how do you reduce the scope to just a million people? >> as i said in the opening statement, no doubt that the republicans had a good night. we will make sure what we do is to reach out to mitch mcconnell and john boehner who are now running both chambers in congress and find out what their agenda is. and my hope is that they have got some specific things they want to do that correspond with some things that we want to get done. what is most important to the american people right now, the resounding message not just of
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this election but basically the last several is get stuff done. don't worry about the next election. don't worry about party affiliation. do worry about our concerns. worry about the fact that i'm a single mom and at the end of the month it is hard for me to pay the bills in part because i have these huge childcare costs. worry about the fact that i'm a young person qualified to go to college but i'm worried about taking $50,000 a year out in debt and i don't know how i will pay that back. do worry about the fact that i'm a construction worker who has been working all my life and there is construction work that should be done but for some reason projects are stalled. if we are thinking about those folks, i think we will hopefully be able to get some stuff done. in terms of immigration, i have consistently said it is my
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preference to see congress act on a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would strengthen our borders, would streamline our legal immigration system so that it works and we are attracting the best and brightest from around the world and that we give an opportunity for folks who live here in many cases for a very long time, may have kids who are u.s. citizens, but aren't properly documented. give them a chance to pay their back taxes, get in the back of the line but get through a process that allows them to get legal. the senate on a bipartisan basis passed a good bill. it wasn't perfect. it wasn't exactly what i wanted but it was a sound, smart piece of legislation that really would greatly improve not just our immigration system but our


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