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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  October 3, 2010 5:00pm-5:30pm PST

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>> production assistance for "inside washington" was provided by allbritton communications and "politico," reporting on the legislative, executive, and political arena. >> this is tough, the work that they do. they have been at it for two years. >> this week on "inside washington," president obama's chief of staff quits to run for mayor of chicago. faced with widespread voter discontent, president obama tries to fire up his base. >> we cannot let this country fall backward because some of us did not care enough to fight. >> congress leaves town without dealing with tax cuts. >> the democrats leave town
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without stopping these tax increases, and are turning their back on the american people. >> jon stewart and stephen colbert the rally in washington the weekend before the election. does this mean trouble for democrats? >> oh, my god! [applause] captioned by the national captioning institute >> white house chief of staff rahm emanuel is leaving washington to chase his dream -- he wants to be the next mayor of chicago. the people who have been renting his chicago house are not leaving. also leaving, economic tell the director barrlarry summers, and peter orszag is already gone, as well as the chair of
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the council of economic adviser, christina romer what impact will rahm emanuel's departure have on the white house? >> it is an interesting proposition, because pete rouse is a different kind of person. >> the new chief of staff. >> at least the interim chief of staff. rahm emanuel was an enforcer and had great political instincts. but he was ruthless not just to his enemies, he was ruthless to people in the white made for a very difficult situation at times. >> what do you think, mark? >> pete rouse is in the historical for staff in his passion for anonymity and no personal agenda. obama chose rahm emanuel, and he, quite frankly, was chief of staff and devoted time and effort and energy to it, but he
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always had a public persona. you will not see pete rouse doing "charlie rose do." >> colby, what do you think? >> he was a lightning rod for a lot of issues. it is probably a good move for president obama to get somebody who is less trouble than rahm emanuel was. >> charles? >> it will make no difference. the buck stops with the oval office and the president's chair. it will be a more passive two years. he is a guy who can handle passivity. i am not sure rahm is a guy who could have. >> tell us about pete rouse.
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>> worked for tom daschle, has widespread respect. but submerged his own ego. that was the historic pattern for staff people. peter orszag and rahm emanuel were entirely different. you mentioned peter orszag leaving. his first public move after leaving was to write a column pulling the rug out from under his former boss on the tax issue. the question of putting people in positions of power on the staff when they have their own ambitions and agendas will come at some point in conflict. >> we want see pete rouse on sunday talk shows. >> no, we won't. this is inside, but i think it got bush in trouble initially to have it tight group of people around him.
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it is already getting obama into trouble. it is not a question of getting an outsider as chief of staff. it is making sure you have contact with a lot of other people. i don't mean the political sense. i mean actually talking to them and doing a few less media interviews and a few more talks with business leaders who you really disagree with on some things. >> colby, with all of them gone, will there be a change and economic policy? >> the times will dictate some kind of change. politically, there will have to be changed in the economic policy. for example, tax policy. we are going to talk about this later in the show, but it is clear that the democrats had no consistent view on tax policy. president obama is going to have
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to compromise. >> john boehner, house minority leader, said that cha, charles, the president ought to get rid of tim geithner,. >> he is a guy who work for the bush administration, particularly in 2008 in tariq alston and bernanke and tim geithner -- with henry paulson and bernanke and tim geithner a trio on economic policy. we just got the report on tarp, which is that it is going to lose by less hundreds of billions than anyone expected and it might turn a profit. he is a guy who was kind of middle of the road and i don't see why you would want to jettison him. the real issue is is obama committed to keynesian economics or not? i think he is and will not have
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any change in policy. >> john kennedy said that there are two things are real, got, folly, and laughter. -since we have no control over the first two, we have to of the -- after have the third. that is something that is missing in a town that wants desperately, for barack obama and his administration to succeed. >> it starts at the top it is a description of obama. >> i don't think obama is without humor -- >> have you seen him be self- deprecating? >> yes, i have. >> i think some of this is irrelevant. the problem is lack of success.
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if obama was succeeding with the policies he wants, he could be as dour as he wants to be everybody would still cheer him. it is not his personality, is the way he is executing policy in this city. it's not just the health care debate, but on things like afghanistan, the weight tax policies -- it is hard to find a consistent theme in the obama administration. >> the third year of ronald reagan's administration, in the midst of cold war tensions and a bad economy, gallup found that american optimism was at its highest point in years, since 1959. bill clinton was able to generate a sense of optimism and of little bit of happiness. i think the president really is, and the white house in
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particular, it sets the tone to some degree it indirectly for the nation. >> i am telling you because we are bringing about change, and progress is going to come. but you have to stick with me. you cannot lose heart. >> how bad could it be for democrats? >> there is a train coming. we don't know if it will be class 1, class 3, are classified. but and down the hatches, it is going to be a long night. >> democratic pollster peter hart. the latest poll numbers tell us 71% of republicans are thinking happy thoughts about the tea party, meaning they will run, not walk, to the polls. the president tells "rolling stone," "it is inexcusable for any democrat to stand on the sidelines. people sitting on their hands
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are just irresponsible." who is he talking to, mark? >> i guess what was once referred to as the professional left. vice-president biden encouraged democrats to stop whining. that always gets a good response whenever it is used by a parent to child. "stop whining." "ok, i will. >> have you seen at the left blogosphere? it is windi. -- it is whining. [laughter] >> the president as an unbelievably thin skin. left or right. his obsession with fox is a good example of that could look at where he delivered that clip, the university of wisconsin. it is a sign of how trmuch trouble he is. where does he get this nice reception?
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probably the most liberal college in america. this presidency is in trouble because it had a president two years ago who inspired and out he hector's. he actually said, "if you don't, and you were not sincere in the first place." that is not a way to win hearts and minds. >> university of wisconsin was an excellent choice. this is a stop on the presidential campaign and he got an enthusiastic response -- >> surprise. >> he is trying -- to trying -- he is trying to generate -- >> excitement. >> he had a similar event with young democrats, because that is what he has to do. >> madison, wisconsin, is as
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close as you get in america -- >> oh, come on. >> russ feingold, the incumbent senator, is in trouble. he is behind in the polls. >> he is in trouble. i don't know how bad the trouble is, he has to get out that vote in wisconsin -- but he has to get out and vote in wisconsin. i've seen a variety of polls. some he is leading, others he is very behind. mark may know better than i about this. >> 7 points in the most recent survey he is trailing, russ feingold. >> the guy he is posing as a newcomer. -- he is opposing is a newcomer. >> absolute newcomer, self-
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funded. charles' point about fox news. fox news is the only news organization in the history of the country that has on its payroll four presidential candidates. rick santorum, newt gingrich, sarah palin, and mike huckabee are all on their payroll. i would say -- >> and -- >> fox is the new virginia, the birthplace of presidents. [laughter] >> what a stable. >> washington, jefferson, madison, everybody except adams. >> and they give money to republican candidates. >> pennsylvania, colorado. >> tossups.
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connecticut is a tossup. reid's seats in nevada, tossup at best. patty murray -- >> washington state. >> west virginia. >> in west virginia, the governor has a 70% approval rating. he is running for the senate and suddenly looks like he is in trouble. this is weird. >> he is running with the administration's liabilities but that is what they have done. they have tied him to washington and the administration. everything else being equal, when you are the candidate of an unpopular national administration, as republicans learned in 2006 and 2008, in a close race you will probably lose. >> to my colleagues it looks weird. this is the result of two years of democratic governance. that is what is a tossup. >> but they know joe manchin,
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they know what have governor he is. >> the house, 38 toss of seats, 37 democrats. >> we don't know if it is a class 3 a or class 5. back in down the hatches. tax cuts? what tax cuts? >> congress campaign to save their own jobs while doing nothing to save the jobs of working americans. >> that is congressman mike pence of indiana, chair of the house republican conference. the house passed a to rebuild its the government running through november -- but passed a temporary bill keeping the government running through november. why did they do that? >> sheer incompetence. you will have the issues of congress under control of democrats and sheer incompetence. no budget for the first time in a quarter-century.
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and here is a democratic party with control of the house and senate and white house and cannot tell americans what the tax rates are going on january 1. it is not just the engine tax. it is capital gains -- it is not just the income tax. as capital gains and others. sheer incompetence. >> what is going on overall in the house and senate, more in the senate, is a demonstration of what the concerted minority can do, pick to yo witr rules. the money for haiti is being held up. many are being held by some members of the senate. >> i with of the said that it is -- i would love to say that it
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is those dastardly republicans doing this but unfortunately, on the question of tax cuts, democrats said, "we cannot wait to have this debate before the election, and we are going to extend tax cuts for the middle- class and cut out the tax cuts for the wealthy people. we are going to do it." >> and then they didn't trad. >> so they pointed. of course republicans are having a field day with this. >> listen to what nina just said. no wonder people are angry. >> no question about it, and anger is institutional, geographical, against washington, congress, government in general. as far as tax cuts are concerned, just a word in defense of house democrats, who cast all the tough votes. chiles said there is no
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legislative record. there is a hell of a legislative record. the question is, is it popular? it is not popular now. will it be popular a generation from now? we don't know. they will walk the plank again invokeand a vote to raise taxesr let them expire for the most well-off, the millionaires and hedge fund people, the people that charles wants in. the deserving rich. they stood up, and democrats in the senate could not do it. and republicans were absolutely united, saying, we will kill it. they are going to balance the budget and cut taxes for the g -- cut taxes further. >> but those arguments are what
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democrats should have done, and they did not do it. the failure lies with them. it is an obstructionist group of republicans, but if the democrats -- >> there was a letter by 31 democratic members of congress to nancy pelosi opposing her position on tax cuts. that is why it did not happen. it was a rebellion inside. mark is talking about the world- the source of democrats of hundred -- world-historic stuff democrats have died. i am talking about sheer competence. just hold on a separate appropriations, nothing. no budget, -- just hold on a second. a preparations, nothing to know budget, in an era of huge deficits. you have no idea what taxes are to be january 1. now you make i -- now you may.
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>> when a party has a huge majority, it has sued diversity. -- has a huge diversity. >> you interrupted to say that? >> all right. >> tonight i announce "rally to restore sanity." >> a lot of people think it is a great idea, people who are not comfortable with the glenn beck- sarah palin politics but what you think, colby? >> i am not big on stephen colbert because my name is colbert and it is pronounced colbert. when the white colberts purchase my ancestors from people who were called -- >> you cannot hang that on stephen colbert. >> but it has always been the
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white colberts and black colberts announcing it that way. >> let me say something in defense of jon stewart. i am a dubai tea of the program because it is -- devotee of the program because it's fun. >> i have never watched it. >> he has been pretty savage about obama and democrats, too. i kind of like the idea. >> is it good for democrats, mark? >> no. what is the message we of just heard from the president and vice-president? it is important and the stakes are high. what are we doing the last weekend? laughed and giggled and trivialize the thing. >> i am joining the rally. i believe in a restoration of sanity, and we will get to election day. -- that it election day.
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-- get it election day. >> colbert says america was built on a freedom, liberty, and fear. why is this bad for democrats? >> it reminds them of the 1964 republican race, between nelson rockefeller and barry goldwater . the del -- he left his wife to marry happy rockefeller and they delivered a son and it said, that was the guy who walked out on his wife. you want people thinking tuesday, november 2, about
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giggles, that was fun, or to you on to say, that was an important election? >> is it possible that the opposite would happen, that it fires people up? >> if you look at his appearance before the congressional committee, he mocked congress and they were close, and they did not understand that was exactly what was going on. -- they were clueless, they did not understand what was going hundred o -- g oing on. if you add that all the things the democrats of not succeeded -- have not succeeded in doing, and a mockery and idiocy of the colbert hearing, it seems very unserious in a serious time. >> i think you could have better
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kinds of rallies, but in the last analysis, i think it will not have a huge effect. >> these guys are comedians. >> these guys are comedians, comedians i don't watch, by the way, but that is irrelevant. >> you are culturally illiterate. >> thank you. i had no idea until you said that we have -- i had no idea to use that. you have five senate seats that are leaning republican, kentucky, pennsylvania, wisconsin -- that is the situation, and these guys are going to come to town and not the whole thing? -- mock the whole thing? >> people should be knocking on people's doors and they are not doing it.
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they are coming down here. >> i think they will make a point. it is a serious point. at to get my fire up a lot of people -- i think it might fire up a lot of people to feel the love. i am not superior. i just watch what people younger than me watch. >> is this rally going to be covered? are you kidding me? jon stewart and stephen colbert, however you feel about them, and i think they are enormously talented, our pop culture icons. they will lead the evening news on saturday and sunday, and that is not the message of the democrats when you talk about people suffering and hurting and going back to people crew were irresponsible in the six -- years -- people who were six irresponsible in the six
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years they were in power. >> it is clearly a product of the vast right-wing conspiracy. >> how can you make fun of this? how can you do it? >> the question remains unanswered. last word. see you next week. for a transcript of this broadcast, log on to
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