tv The Dylan Ratigan Show MSNBC January 30, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
it was a privilege to be invited as a guest. you have been on that it broadcast. he's a wonderful host. he's very funny. it was great. it was a wonderful opportunity to be there. you know what took me aback was the fact that he does watch our broadcast. if he's watching now, i'm glad he is and i'm grateful to him. >> he said your show and mine are his "morning joe" because he wakes up later. >> i understand that. >> i can't think of anybody better to wake up to than you. >> i'm going to be honest to you. i do not share your sentiment. >> completely inappropriate. >> your show starts now. >> it better. good afternoon to you. i'm dylan ratigan.
back in new york. today's big story continues to be 30 million jobs. fresh off the second week of our 30 million jobs tour and the conversation gets louder and bigger as the weeks go on. 27% of americans now reporting that they are either unemployed or underemployed and nearly half of americans say they are struggling or suffering in this economy right now. the dialogue about the compelling need to reform taxes, trade, and banking to drive a culture of investment in this country so we can create the 30 million jobs we need has never been more crucial. later this week, we're off to take the conversation direct to the belly of the beast, washington, d.c. our first guest today one of the few politicians serving in this country aspiring aggressively to engage in this debate. her focus on the manufacturing industry specifically and the so-called american jobs first initiative. it's a package of four pieces of legislation to offer to
strengthen and enforce the simple but incredibly necessary and profound made-in america laws. joining us now, betty sutton. she's coming from ohio. the 13th district, which is one of the places we'll be visiting over the course of the next few months. no one knows the need for jobs more than ohio. brief us on the legislation you're advocating. >> thank you so much, dylan. thank you for taking on this mission. there's much we can do. the american jobs first initiative, as you said, consists of four bills. in a nutshell, they say that when we're using taxpayer money to build our infrastructure, whether it's our bridges or highways or water or sewer infrastructure, we ought to use american-made steel and manufactured goods. because not only that way do we put people to work building the infrastructure, we also put them to work producing the steel and
the iron and those manufactured goods so we get more bang for our buck. the other bill, the foreign manufacturers legal accountability act say when they semithings into our marketplace, we ought to stop them from undercutting us and hold them to the same standards that our guys have to play by. >> the thing that really stunned me when we launched the 30 million jobs tour in california a couple weeks ago and spent a bunch of time around the bay bridge, the choinese won the bidding for the spending of u.s. tax dollars on chinese still to rebuild the bay bridge by underbidding by $400 million. and then only to spend the $400 million they underbid and come in late. it's very difficult to compete with somebody who can make up a number and then come back to it. i want you to listen to the gentleman who was one of the gee
senior executives at oregon iron works where they were outbid. >> the sad part here is the job loss. we lost 3,000 jobs over the course of the last five years of u.s. workers who are not employed at this point in time. these jobs went to china. we lost high-wage jobs, family-wage jobs. jobs that pay health and welfare benefits and pension programs. all of the laws -- it's absurd. it's absurd we have to have this conversation. but we do. what pieces of legislation do you have in front of the congress of the united states to help us resolve this? >> there's no excuse for that having happened to those iron workers or other steel workers across the country. the initiative that i have contains three bills aimed at america. one deals with the water and
sewer infrastructure and simply says when we build it, which we are and we must across this country, we need to use american iron steel and manufactured goods. period. that's the way it needs to be. it will put our people to work. no one produces these goods any better than we do in ohio and the united states. the other bill deals with the process and loopholes that exist in our laws that allow people to avoid complying by issuing waivers. it says that before you issue a waiver, before our government issues a waiver to allow other steel or manufactured goods from foreign countries to be used for our infrastructure, they have to take into account the job loss. the very job loss that we just heard about. it's never in the public interest for us to lose jobs. it increases transparency. and all in all, it closes up the holes that have allowed for some of the skirting of the law to
take place. >> where would the political resistance to a raft of legislation? who would resist this? who is resisting this and how do we in the media better expose them so we better understand maybe the rational components of that resist tense if it's there? >> i don't really know that there's some kind of rational resistan resistance. several of the pieces have been passed through a committee in the past or even past other forms in the house, but never quite made it all the way to the finish line. i think inertia is stand iing i our way. if you can help to raise the issue, if we can get speaker boehner to put it on the house floor, i can't imagine people voting against biamerican laws. i can't imagine people voting against holding them to the same
standards that our workers undergo. we just need to raise consciousness. this doesn't add some significant cost. it's common sense and can make a real difference for our people. >> and behind all of this is still the unresolved nature of our trade relationships more broadly specifically with china. they tax imports at 25% as you surely know. we tax imparts at 2.5%. they continue to massively rig their currency relative to ours to what extent can pieces of legislation like yours that are the tip of the spear on this issue provide more clearance and more momentum for broader trade reform? >> i think that that's a great question. i think we get these bills rolling and we get them passed. we open up the door for the currency manipulation bill that we passed in the house in the last congress. the senate has already acted on. it passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. all we need to do is get it to
the floor. we just need to get congress to act. we hear a lot of talk about bipartisanship. we hear a lot of talk about the need for jobs. now it's time to see that action. we heard about how members of congress, republicans and democrats, sat together during the state of the union. but we need to see people acting together to pass these common sense reforms. >> as bo biden was talking about, it's time for action. it's not time for talking. we appreciate your engaging in that regard. thank you so much. betty sutton from the 13th district in ohio. and watch out, washington, d.c. or be joyful perhaps. our 30 million jobs is heading your way this wednesday. we will deliver three action-packed shows from the belly of the beast. and then we're off to austin, texas, february 8th where we'll
get into significant issues of energy independence before we head to three colleges. we'll take a look at what's in store for students graduating in the class of 2012 in this job market. the hint to mom and dad, don't turn the bedroom into a rec room yet. next a special report starting today going all week on what bought government is costing us. we're uncovering the corruption that's taking money out of our wallets because of how d.c. runs. plus what outspending your opponent will buy you in a primary. the answer is a big boost in the polls. and later, who is calling you a moocher? our specialist says we have become a nation of moochers. [ male announcer ] yep that's your mouth. and it's surprising what it goes through in the course of a day. but what's even more surprising is that brushing alone isn't enough to keep it clean.
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as we say a lot on the show, greedy bastard behavior is wherever. we're unvailing the new acronym to keep track of it all. welcome to the world of bought. these the industries that have taken our government. banks we all know. oil and energy, we understand. education will put through the for profit. but the whole university system is out of whack. the government itself obviously for sale. health we have been through. we had the rude education of the health insurance month nopolies that long ago. all of these areas where greedy bastard behavior is exploiting their leverage with drawing or putting up campaign finance for the self-preservation of their
industry at the expense of our country. the rest of us be dammed. >> it might look different 2ke7ding on -- depending on the industry. it looks sweet on the outside. but bite in and buried inside is the slim but inevitable chance something terrible is going to happen. in banks, we saw it with the housing bubble and bust. homeowners offered an unbeatable deal with long-term risks buried inside for all of us. that's why so many people bought and later lost homes they couldn't afford. not to mention the u.s. taxpayer providing a $3030 trillion bail out for the banks themselves. in oil, the greedy bastards makes it look like cheap energy because we don't see the costs up front. what you don't see are the costs
of the wars we wage to secure our energy interests, not to mention environmental costs. factor those in, and the institute says the cost jumps to $14 a gallon. in universities, it's a debt for diploma system. it's paid back over decades while crippling our young professionals. americans are collectively $830 billion in student loan debt while the universities simply value their prestige over the actual experimentation necessary for true learning. colleges have the pricing power and are driven by greedy bastard behavior to charge more. passing the cost on to students who believe a higher education is their only way out. in our government, it's the unholy alliance that's holding washington hostage to lobbyists and special interest money. that's why we need the 28th amendment to get money out. in health care, we find the greedy bastards paradise. the industry's goal isn't to get
you healthy, but to get you paying for sickness treatment. it's a fee for service system that treats disease rather than health. in trade, the greedy bastard behavior drives a host of unfair tax policies. those policies making it more profitable for u.s. businesses to export our jobs and our investments overseas. because for the shareholders, the bottom line in quarterly profits are all that matter. to sum it up, america has been bought. banks, oil, universities, government, health, and trade. and it is our job to fix it. so we start today with the b for banks in the high price we are paying for this corrupt bought financial system. here to help us is paul blumenthal and collaborating with us along with a bunch of folks at t"the huffington post"
to bring this coverage to air. connect the dots for us, paul. where do you see the most direct impact on the average american of the banks corrupting influence on the way policy is made in washington? >> when we look at the influence of the banks, we have to look at how much they are spending to influence. we are talking about $6.8 they have spent on lobbying and campaign contributions. that's just far and away more than any other industry in any economic sector. and the kind of policies that everybody knows about from the bailouts and the trillions of dollars lent from the fed and the foreclosures, people know about that story. but a lot of what they don't hear about are the policies that don't get enacted. things like lower atm fees. things like lower interest rates on your credit card bills. and also the ability for judges to provide a way out for homeowners to be able to settle their mortgage without going into foreclosure.
and all of these policies were proposed and all blocked in washington. >> and the united republic, which is the anticorruption group we collaborated with in regard to getting money out of politics and also the anticorruption group working with "the huffington post" to work on this series of into graphics for each of these issues. they say they identify the problem of $2.4 trillion in lost property value since 2008. this is all from united republic. $774 million spent fighting aid. zero aid to homeowners while banks were paid out and politicians kept their jobs. and the effect on all of us is a 50% increase on average debt. as we become more aware that it's the corrupt influence of the purchasing of politicians,
how much more difficult does it become for the banks or special interests to do this? in other words, how valuable is the work that everybody is doing in this country to make people more aware of these things? >> i think not only do we need to be made more aware, but if people are going to try to change how their congressman or senators vote, they need to engage with them on these subjects. we saw that when the sopa debate happened. you saw a lot of these companies organize a lot of people online to start getting in touch about certain legislation. you're going to see a lot more of that, i believe, as people pay more attention to the influence of money on all of these issues that affect them. >> there's also a news item that warrants our conversation. fannie mae and freddie mac, the two major housing agencies that the american taxpayer and government has empowered to provide financing to homeowners
for years and a participate of vehicle for the inflation of the housing bubble itself, one that we have bailed out along with the banks, now disclosed today that they have financial bets that profit, if the american homeowner can't resolve the mortgage. explain how it is that a tax-payer funded agency that we have bailed out is kurnltly legally betting on our inability to solve our housing crisis. >> i think that's a good question for people to ask and to ask their congressman and white house about is how they can let something like that happen. it's a -- they are allowed to make these bets. we have seen it with goldman sachs where they bet against the housing market. we continue to see that with freddie mac. >> i almost feel like freddie
mac having a short position betting on the failure of the american housing market is as offensive as the legalized insider trading in our congress. it's one of those things you wouldn't think would be plausible, and yet there it is. paul, thank you so much. check out paul's work at "the huffington post" and also his newsletter. they are having week-long coverage of auction 2012 in this special series beginning with banks today. oil tomorrow. a five-part series. as you know, we here at the show, returned from florida. it's a prime example of how to purchase an election. the primaries are tomorrow. already more than $24 million has been spent on political ads. mitt romney and the super pacs that support him outspent newt gingrich four to one. and speaking of bought, all the cash has bought romney ar more
turn to the mega panel. sam, you have to be offended not just by the money, but by the existence of secret undisclosed money. the fact that we're allowing the use of money that you don't even know whose money it is, it's beyond the pale. >> kennedy was wrong when he cast that vote. there would be transparency. when the laws get executed and translated, you can fund these super pacs. you don't have to reveal until after the election who has been dumping the money in. and so it's a problem. the people of florida don't know who it is that are funding the millions of dollars of ads. so the idea of transparency out the window. justice kennedy should be
feeling pretty bad now. >> the republicans have said when it comes to money in politics, we need to have transparency. the democrats for years said when it comes to money in policy, we need regulations. now we have no regulations and no transparency. do you think that we could see a political sort of force develop this year, at least around getting transparency and forget the amendment and money out of politics in the short-term. >> the problem is that there isn't a push broadly for transparency. i'm all for transparency. but i also don't have a problem with corporations or whoever spending money to communicate to voters. that's what they are doing now. i have an issue with them doing it secretly, but what they are doing now is trying to convince voters to vote one way or another. that's nowhere near as problematic as the revolving door. when you're focusing on corporations are people too -- >> let's not get distracted.
>> you're the one getting distracted. >> i'm saying we have to deal with the lack of transparency. >> in some municipalities, if you give to a campaign, there's instant disclosure. >> that's fine. >> let's get that on the federal level. >> 2012 transparent si, are these people drunk? >> they are probably drunk indeed. i have to say the whole thing that's going on with the boston senate race, you have scott brown and elizabeth warren. they have signed this pledge to say they don't want money in the race. but if negative ads aired, they would have to give money to a charity of their rival's choice. actually during 2012, i don't know. >> every day i check to see if i can see scott brown's campaign finance disclosure. they could have put that up. 30 days later, i still don't know what they got in the fourth
quarter. >> the market in that instance seemed to have failed. self-regulation once again fails. >> this is one of the lowest hanging in american politics today. >> citizens united hitch ed on it. kennedy thought there would be transparency, and there clearly is not. >> but there could be if the legislature went for it. >> the panel stays, our specialist argues we have become a nation of moochers. maybe it's a lack of transparency that let that happen. he's not talking about extra change. he joins us on the mega panel after this. i love that my daughter's part fish.
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answer is yes we have. from the multitrillion-dollar ongoing bank bailouts or the free money we give them at the federal reserve to the tax breaks we give away to everybody from health to oil, to entitlement expectations across the entire population. our next guest says there are a lot more takers than makers in this country now and it's time we all start investing in and paying for our fair share. and he does mean all. our specialist today is charles sii -- sykes. charles, this is an interesting political football. it either ends up being seen as a way to attack the large corporations with their tax breaks and oil subsidies and bank bailouts, or as a way to attack the entitlement culture in social security and medicare and all the rest of it.
how do you have this conversation in a way that doesn't become either a leftist agenda or a rightist's agenda but goes to the distinction between those who are making or taking on a larger scale. they are required to take more because they are more powerful. >> yeah. unfortunately, we have become this culture where there's so many people lined up at the trough. there's so many people that regard the taxpayers' pockets as piggy banks. hard to make a distinction. if you're bailing out goldman sachs and the farmers and the people with the beach houses, how do you say no to any other group in society? we have what is described as the coalitions and they are all basically moving around figuring how can we get our access to other peoples' money?
i think part of it is that we're going to have to start backing off from the trough and start making very tough decision about what our priorities are and what our needs are versus our wants. >> sam, go ahead. >> who are the other groups you're talking about? people who get food stamps? are you talking about people who get tax credits because they are too poor to pay for income tax? social security people? are you talking about the takers you prefer to as government workers? do you not think they do any work? >> okay. there's a lot there. if you paid into social security, no. recipients are not the takers. but let's talk about food stamps right thousanow. the free lunches in schools. i'm all in favor of feeding people who are hungry. if you are poor and you cannot put a meal on your table, absolutely we feed you. but if we start expanding this into the middle class, what are we doing? we are extending that
expectation that you're going to get something for nothing. and frankly shs i don't think that's the right direction to go. >> i'm sorry. are we expanding food stamps to people who don't need them? are there people who are getting food stamps who don't need them? >> yes. >> yes, i do. just like i think, for example, that we have expanded the number of kids who get free lunches. if a kid is hungry, absolutely. you take care of that kid. but we have redefined things that we want into things that we need. and i think, again, you have this blizzard of dollars going back and forth where everybody is saying, you know what, if something else is getting a free bee, i want a free bee. >> it's a vicious cycle. >> don't get me wrong. it does become a vicious cycle. >> i believe in your book you have an abbreviated history of mooching. you talk about mooching and so forth. it's been around forever. how do we get rid o of it? >> well, that's it. it has been around forever.
the problem is we created new mechanisms for mooching. we created new mechanisms. we have just multiplied the ways in which to do it. and as more of these distributional coalitions convince the public, give us something, it creates that it dynamic for others to be able to do it. i'm listening to your discussion about what we have done to the american free enterprise system. we have so many businesses that decided rather than provide a good-quality product or develop something or be competitive, we're going to put a couple lawyers and lobbyists on a gulf stream jet and a couple limousines and send them to congress. we're going to get some congressmen to vote some pork or a special benefit. >> or a tax break. >> and --
>> i share the same concerns. but my main frustration is when i start criticizing bailout recipients or the corporations taking the welfare, the response i get from a lot of my fellow free market and conservative types is, you can't blame the businesses. they are just rationally pursuing their own profit. don't we need to start blaming the guys who are the subsidy suck lers? >> i like that. >> i want to use that. it's the next book. good. go ahead, charles. >> if that's the way the system works, it's rational to get money. on the other hand, when you go go to a cocktail party and run into an executive who brags and you say it's a moocher. call it what it is. i absolutely agree with you. the free market is not about who has the most suckage in
washington. the free market is not about taking risks, being reckless, blowing your money and then running to the fed or to the united states government to bail you out. the free market is about if you take a risk, you'll have to have a market discipline. that's what we have lost in the bailout and that's what we lose in the mad rush for special privileges. >> the other thing that drove me in writing "greedy bastards" is when i look in as somebody who comes from an investment background and a real strong belief in the integrity of markets and their ability to drive investment into solving our problems, if we allow the relationship between corporations, oil, health, education, that go to our government to breach the price integrity we depend on for the market to function, imagine if the real price of oil was being felt? what would the transition be if the price at the pump was the
actual price, which is $14 a gallon. there's something disingenuous in those that parade around claiming free markets while they pay the government to breech the very price of the market they are in. >> well, what we have done is bludgeoned the concept of moral hazard when you can behave the way some of the corporations have behaved. and then find a way to get bailed out. understand i think that there are drilks coalitions that are not business. i think the power of the public employee unions. we have two americas here. i think at some point, we'll have to address that. we can't have a class structure because -- and part of the division is. we had the roving gangs out there. the roving gangs looking for access to taxpayer money. this is not a kinder and gentler society. >> the only thing is to have the proportionality to understand which is taking the most money
out and doing the the most damage and confront them in that order. charles, a pleasure. nice to see you. "a nation of moochers." this week as we mentioned, we're off to d.c. talking about our book, "greedy bastards," and the techniques they use. join us wednesday night at the historic 6th and i synagogue for a conversation about the system that's prevailed over the government. what those giant coils of bubble wrap say about our future and how we can relieve some stress. americans believe they should be in charge of their own future.
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one of the big stories we found during our trip to florida is that crime indeed does pay for some political individuals and prison operators. lawmakers are fast tracking a bill to privatize 26 florida prisons to become for profit, which means they benefit from stricter drug laws. 10% of the state's inmates already housed in similar private facilities, but the new legislation would add another 16,000 inmates to the private prison roles, making it the largest expansion of private prisons in america. and this in a state with prison undercrowding because crime rates have been declining in florida. in fact, there are not enough prisoners currently to fill up the available beds in that state. 10,000 beds have sat empty during the past three years as the number of arrests, thank
goodness, has plummeted 11%. but instead of consolidating prisons and prisoners to save cash, florida is looking to expand private-sector clontrol f prisons. and when it comes to privatization in florida, no one stands more to gain than the gee owe group, which coincidentally contributed $800,000 to political candidates in florida during the last election cycle. this story is dripping with greedy bastardism. it's written all over it. we're breaking it down with senator mike fisano. >> dylan, you make a good point. our inmate population continues to drop. there's no reason why we should be privatizing or expanding the
prisons statewide as we see the inmate population drop in florida. >> it's hard not to look at a situation like this and even if cynical in connecting the dots from the campaign donations to those making policies in florida. and then the decision not only to privatize them, but also the decision defend some of the three strikes laws and some of the other minor drug offense laws that put a huge percentage of people in prison. are the people that watch this show, are we being too cynical? >> not at all. this is all about the ability or the legislation that's being pushed to give more profits to two companies. one, you mention ed gee owe. another company that runs private prisons. i have never seen in my 17 years as a legislator in the florida legislature a bill being pushed so quickly in lightning speed,
in if you will, to get it passed and to the governor's desk. we have been only in session for three weeks. we have several weeks to go. but this bill moves quickly without, in my opinion, getting adequate hearings and public testimony. >> as you know, we're in the middle of this winter. and i suspect all year and a few years to come, of advocating for all sorts of solutions for 30 million jobs. prerequisite being a culture of investment in entrepreneurialism. really the coalition of compassion that is teaching and nursing and health professionals. how is it that we have fallen so far that we view job creation through the lens of putting people in jail? >> well, i mean, people do break the law. they go into jail. the problem that it i have is when you privatize public
safety. i'm not against privatizing some entities within government, but you can't privatize public safety. this piece of legislation, if passed and becomes law, would privatize 27 state prisons in 18 counties. it would put 4,000 correctional officers and their families at risk of not having a job by the end of this year. florida has an unemployment rate of up to 10%. we should be encouraging people to create jobs. we should not be putting people out of work just to allow two major companies to privatize prisons. not only that, dylan, the prisons that geo will be privatizing have been paid for by the taxpayers of the state of florida. hundreds of millions of dollars have been paid with tax-payer dollars to build these correctional facilities. now this legislation returned those facilities to continue to
make a profit. >> i have to tell you, senator. i was inspired when i saw the gerrymandering legislation that was passed in florida with the amendments that basically -- i think it puts florida in a leadership position in this country on the issue of electoral reform. clearly, florida is ready to come to play by addressing something like gerrymandering. the other issue is money in politics. this is a classic example of that. do you think you could -- you're a republican. this is not a republican or democratic issue. this is a justice issue in america. these issues go to the justice of who we are as americans. do you think that the same coalition that's addressing gerrymandering could provide leadership on money in politics? >> absolutely. you spelled it out early. the amount of money that was contributed by these two companies to the campaigns and
political parties sadly shows what money can buy in tallahassee at times. this is a bad policy at the wrong time. and i'm hoping that many of my colleagues, and as you pointed out, this is not a republican or democratic issue, although our governor is pushing this issue big time. i'm hoping republicans will join me over the next 48 hours and kill this proposal and move on with more important issues that the state has to deal with. >> if you had friends that controlled the internet, i would tell you to shut the internet off. that worked well with sopa. that's the best legislative tool i have seen in this country. if only every piece of legislation was so easy to address. senator fasano, thank you very much. >> thank you, sir. >> coming up on "hardball," mitt romney out to destroy newt gingrich in florida. but newt vows he will go all the way to the convention. the 2012 race getting personal.
tonight chris live in miami, but first the daily rant. we call it "inherit the mitt." or world-class service for you today ? we gave people right off the street a script and had them read it. no, sorry, i can't help you with that. i'm not authorized to access that transaction. that's not in our policy. i will transfer you now. my supervisor is currently not available. would you like to hold ? that department is currently closed. have i helped you with everything you needed ? if your bank doesn't give you knowledgeable customer service 24/7, you need an ally. ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense. [ female announcer ] nature valley granola bars, rich dark chocolate, toasted oats. perfect combinations of nature's delicious ingredients, from nature valley. ♪ nature valley granola bars, nature at its most delicious.
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"i didn't inherit." mitt romney is uncomfortable discussing his health. and the issue has weighed him down. his campaign believes they have found him a life preserver. in recent interviews in the last debate in florida, romney said he didn't inherit his wealth but earned it. i guess that depends on how you define inherit. has "the new york times" noted, he received an inheritance from his father. they donated it to charity. his father, former governor george romney, passed away when his son was 50. but when his son was younger, the elder romney helped he with the purchase of their home. he provided him with an education at one of the finishing schools of both political parties. harvard. these may sound like small purr
ks. romney may not have gotten a blank check from his dad, but it's arguable he inherited something more valuable. a name that opened up doors and spared him the trouble of searching for the the door in the first place. that's the romney problem. our country has elected rich men before. president bush and president kennedy. but it's worth noting that president bush avoided the disconnect label. kennedy and his family came across wealthy who were interested in helping those who weren't at their level of privilege. john kerry couldn't get with those of us who don't go pair saili sailing. mitt romney comes across the same way. with polls showing class and quality resinating with voters, if the phrase i didn't inherit continues, his own presidential dream might end like kerry's
did. on the losing side. >> it's not about whether the man is rich or poor or anything like that. i believe fundamentally, and you hit it, that romney is a strange guy who doesn't relate that well to people. has nothing to do with rich or poor. george bush was a relatable guy who got along well with human bein beings. we get lost in it's because mitt romney is rich and not relatable. i think it's more whether it's john kerry or mitt romney, they are weird guys. than happen to be rich, but they are not relatable as people. and whether it's kennedy or george bush, it's more relatable as humans. i think we mix up the money with the actual social attributes of the men. >> your theory might be on to something. i wonder if the label he's gotten might play into that. everyone knows he was born wealthy. >>