tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 23, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PST
>> thank you both for joining me tonight. >> thank you. d-day for the aca. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm michael smerconish in for chris matthews. leading off tonight, it's deadline time for the affordable care act. tonight at midnight was supposed to be the last moment to sign up for health care coverage on the federal exchanges in order to get it by january 1st. this afternoon, however, a slight delay was announced by the white house. the new deadline will be tomorrow at midnight. the white house said the move was to accommodate high demand. on friday the president announced the number of people signing up for health care plans has dramatically ticked up this month.
half a million people signed up on the federal exchange in the first three weeks of december alone. hundreds of thousands more signed up in state exchanges. and we found out today one of those people was the president himself. the white house announced over the weekend president obama enrolled in a health care plan through the washington, d.c. market place. the move is largely symbolic, because as president, his health care is provided by military doctors. this all comes as a new cnn poll out today shows support for the law is at an all time low with the public. and over the weekend republicans continued hammering away at the law as an unworkable, unfixable mess. will that message sell during next year's midterm elections. john allen for politico and jonathan alter. jonathan, let me begin with you. some said at politico this is more or less an election for the president. if the deadline was an election, i want to know, did he win or
did he lose? >> i guess i would disagree with the, you know, with the basic premise of that. because if he loses the election and let's say fewer people sign up or the system crashes again temporarily or all kinds of things go wrong, they still have at least a few months, you know, to get it together and get more people enrolled. whereas the big election, the 2012 election, if he'd lost that there would be no obama care. so this is something in this notion as david axelrod puts it where in washington every day is election day, it's really kind of false. because there's this sense that somehow this is all going to go away if it's done wrong. it's going to go south on the president. it's a done deal, michael. the republicans do not have the votes to repeal this or even cripple it. he has the veto pen.
so these are all various bumps in the road of one size or another. >> jonathan allen, do you buy into that? and what are the optics of yet another delay? >> i think in terms of comparing it to an election, i think this is something the white house has been saying today the real comparison here is by doing this delay, it's like people being in line to vote, if they get in line in time they'll get put through the system. i think the white house sees there's been high traffic. they want to make sure they're not cutting people off who might be signing up. but if they learned they didn't make this deadline suddenly wouldn't. as far as the importance of it, the problem is that there have been so many delays, so many tweaks to this law that each one feels like another dripping drop. in this case, there's not really a big downside for consumers. i can't see anybody being particularly upset. maybe some insurance companies a bit. but getting more people into the system and getting them the opportunity to get health insurance by january 1st which they wouldn't if they didn't sign up by today or now tomorrow
i think is generally a positive. >> the country's sharply divided when it comes to the new health care law. a new gallup poll out today illustrates that. what was the president's greatest achievement? the affordable care act, 22%. but asked what was his biggest failure? also the affordable care act with 36% of americans. meanwhile, a new cnn/orc poll out today shows that the law remains unpopular. only 35% said they support it. that versus 62% who say they're opposed. of course not all that opposition is from people who say the law goes too far or is too liberal. 15% of the opposition comes from people who say that the law isn't liberal enough. in fact, half the country says they either support the law as it is or want it to be more liberal. only 43% say they oppose it because it's too liberal. jonathan alter, what do you take away from those numbers?
>> yeah, i think there's always been a majority for the law or didn't think it didn't go far enough. and also when you see the numbers oppose the law, a lot of those people oppose it because it's been implemented in an incompetent fashion. which is different than opposing the idea behind the law. so i think this is an example of the polling. but keep in mind the polls don't really matter. if they can get the technology together, if they can get the implementation together in the next six months, it's going to be fine. if they can't, if there is this drip drip drip as jonathan calls it that continues, then the thing could start to unwind in the latter part of 2014 ahead of the midterms. >> jonathan allen, i've lived this whole experience. because for eight weeks i was
stymied in trying to get access to healthcare.gov. finally when that log jam was broken, i was looking at 24 different options for my family and me. and just a couple days ago pulled the trigger on one of them. when you go through the processing with and i'm in a state that didn't set up its own exchange, now you're almost overwhelmed with change which i guess is a good thing. and one of my takeaways is it focuses you more on the costs of health care. because no longer is your only question am i covered. now in order to pick a plan, you need to get knee deep in the world of deductibles and you need to decide do i want to write a check now or do i potentially want to write a check later. i guess my point is it's a whole new world when you finally are looking at essentially the orbits for health care. >> this is a complicated matter but an important one. more than they have in the past, people are looking at the costs
of the benefits and risks. look, it's a lot easier to watch an episode of "duck dynasty," but it might not be as good as your health. >> senator joe manchin represents west virginia and as you know is seen as a bellwether for democrats in red states. which means people pay attention to what he has to say on the affordable care act. this weekend he was certainly sounding bearish on the new law. >> if it's so much more expensive than what we anticipated and that the coverage is not as good as what we've had, you've got a complete meltdown at that time. >> as i listen to him say those words, i said to myself one of the points to be made is we need to be focused on not only how many have enrolled but who they are. because if in fact it's skewing older and we don't have the young invincibles in that pool, ultimately it could drive everybody's costs higher. >> that's true. and that's an extraordinarily important part of this whole mix.
and this very complicated goldberg contraption that is the affordable care act. when senator manchin says people are paying more, if they're getting less, then it's going to be a fiasco. that's a big if. that's saying if there are more losers under this law than winners, then it will unwind. but all indications are that most people will be ahead of the game. and so the newspapers most recently "the new york times" have focused on some of the losers. some people in the $100,000 annual income range, you know, who might be paying more. but apparently that is less than 10% of the universe of people we're talking about. and the vast majority, over 90%, will get insurance for less. and that's the bottom line on this. that there'd be more winners than losers. the reason it's unpopular now is we don't yet know that.
because the whole thing is just being rolled out. and when it has a little more time to mature and take root, i think the fact there are more winners than losers will become public knowledge. >> jonathan allen, when it comes to the affordable care act, the republican strategy remains to rip it apart and promote repealing the whole thing. that doesn't seem to be waning at all. here was tom coburn this weekend on "meet the press." >> obama care right now causes people to spend more money, have less choice, have a higher deductible, and have less freedom what i would say is we need to change health care. but what they've done, you can't fix this mess. >> and meanwhile, rand paul this weekend spoke about the new health care law as a rallying issue for the right next year. here's what he had to say. >> it's looking to be a juggernaut in 2014 mainly because obama care, i think, is not fixable, continuing to get worse.
i think by next summer not only will there be millions of people who have lost their insurance because of obama care, there'll also be hundreds of thousands that have signed up and now gotten sticker shock this is a lot more expensive than what they used to have. >> prognosticate. let's look forward. will this be the issue of the 2014 midterm election? >> i think it probably will be. we're already seeing it. i don't anticipate that the president's party, the democrats are going to be able to get out from under this. the reason is this. even if the health care law is up and running and is more popular next november, you still have a question of the competence in the rollout and the honesty of the president and of members of his party, senators, members of the house who repeated some of the thing he is said that didn't turn out to be true. and those are going to be campaign ads against democratic members of congress and against candidates in november of next year regardless of how the health care law is doing.
>> thanks to both of you as always. coming up, mike huckabee is now trying to drag president obama into the "duck dynasty" debate saying the president had the same opinions on gay marriage in 2008 as the "duck dynasty" patriarch phil robertson. never mind he said african-americans were better off before civil rights. plus what makes rand paul think he can broaden the gop tent? something the republicans have been unable to do in the last six elections. and they flood our mailboxes and mantles, those impersonal holiday greeting cards. tonight we'll meet someone who's had enough. finally, let me finish with something you might want to talk about over christmas dinner. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] this duracell truck has some very special power. ♪
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there's one republican who could give a race. let's check the "hardball" score board. against chris christie, hillary clinton has a slim one-point edge. clinton 44, christie 43. but from there all down hill for republicans. rand paul trailed by 12 points. native son rick santorum, he trails by 13 points. 51-38. clinton leads jeb bush in pennsylvania by 16. 52% to 36%. and the worst performing, ted cruz. he's down 18 points. 54-36. we'll be right back. [knock] no one was at home, but on the kitchen table sat three insurance policies. the first had lots of coverage. the second, only a little. but the third was... just right! bear: hi! yeah, we love visitors.
same-sex marriage and said he did so because he was a christian and did so because of his biblical views. if that position was okay in 2008, how come it isn't okay in 2013 or 2014? >> welcome back to "hardball." phil robertson's anti-gay comments in gq magazine and his suspension from a&e ignited a fire storm. here's what then-candidate barack obama said in 2008 during a campaign event with pastor rick warren. >> i believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. now, for me as a christian, it's also a sacred union. god's in the mix. >> would you support is constitutional amendment with
that definition? >> historically we have not defined marriage in our constitution. it's been a matter of state law that has been our tradition. i'm not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage, but i do believe in civil unions. i think my faith is strong enough and my marriage is strong enough that i can afford those civil rights to others even if i have a different perspective or a different view. >> phil robertson's not exactly on the same page as the president. in the qq article the star also said we never, ever judge someone who's going to heaven or hell. we just love them, give them the good news about jesus. homosexuals, drunks, terrorists all in one breath. with us now ellis henekin and zerlina maxwell. ellis, distinguish what you
heard from the president in that rick warren forum and what the "duck dynasty" star has said more recently. because a lot of people on the right are saying they're indistinguishable. >> i was listening very closely to the president. i didn't hear him compare a gay lifestyle to bestiality or promiscuity. and i didn't hear him saying that those negroes back in the jim crow day had a happy time. they were singing and dancing all the time. completely different things. he's right to this extent, america's views on gay america have shifted over the last few years. but there's no comparison to what barack obama said in the first campaign and what papa phil was saying to gq. >> i took a look at the magazine itself. it's the way he lumps homosexuals, drunks, terrorists.
if you're gay in this country, you're at the same level as al qaeda and those who killed thousands of innocent americans? >> right. i think that the problem with these types of remarks is that, yes, in 2008 president obama was against marriage equality. but as america has evolved and the president has evolved, most americans, younger americans in particular feel that people should be able to love whoever they want to. and tolerance does not mean silent acceptance of offensive views. it means you can say and think whatever you want, but you are not free from consequences. and we are able to speak up. those who are historically marginalized. able to say what you said is not okay. and maybe you shouldn't be able to have a television show and make millions of dollars in cable news. or on a cable channel. >> let's talk about the politics of this. i'm not surprised by some of
those who have rallied to the "duck dynasty" cause. i was a bit surprised that governor huckabee was in that group. is this the sign he really is running for president in 2016? >> well, it's a hint. it's a real big country out there. there is always an audience for people who want to say nasty stuff about gay people or black people. so i'm not saying it's even ineffective pandering. because there are people who like hearing that stuff. but, you know, the danger i think for huckabee and republicans broadly is while that kind of language appeals to the base, phil robertson is exactly the wrong kind of mascot for the republican party. he's this back woodsy, long beard, ignorant seeming -- if republicans think they're going to broaden the tent by embracing people like phil, that's exactly the wrong way for them to go. it may please a few folks. >> i guess this is your point. it fires up the base, but it doesn't expand into the middle.
the "duck dynasty" comments produced a wave of reaction from the right. and here are some of the highlights. >> to me this is an issue about religious liberty, an issue about freedom of expression. it's about the fact that the left says they're about tolerance except for people that disagree with him. it's surprising to me miley cyrus would still be on tv and phil gets kicked off. >> sarah palin also weighed in. >> this is all about freedom, free speech. so many american families have spilled blood and treasure to guarantee phil robertson and everybody else's right to voice their personal opinions. and once that freedom is lost, sean, everything is lost in our country. >> and texas senator ted cruz weighed in with this statement. quote, the reason that so many americans love "duck dynasty" is because it represents the america usually ignored or mocked by liberal elites. in a free society, anyone is free to disagree with him, but the mainstream media should not
behave as the thought police censoring the views in which they disagree. take that statement on from senator cruz. >> i think this is not censorship. republicans like to cite the constitution and the bible. and they don't understand either of those. the constitution does not say you are free to say anything and then we all need to accept your intolerance and not say anything about that. it says the government should not censor you. so i'm able to say what phil robertson and sarah palin said is discriminatory. that's what the first amendment allows me to do as well as a citizen. >> should the man lose his job for this? can the market sort it out? i bring this up aware of the fact cracker barrel maybe the ultimate red state restaurant, i think of whole foods as being the grocer to the blue states and cracker barrel as feeding the red states. cracker barrel did an about face. initially they weren't going to sell the "duck dynasty" gear.
then they apologized to their constituency and said they are going to sell it. i'm wondering should the mark just take care of all the bad behavior that's out there and let people judge accordingly? >> i think i'm okay with that. first of all, i am always one breath away from saying something totally stupid. okay? >> me too. >> i think anybody who operates in live and public sphere recognizes we all say dumb stuff. and we all don't want to be one syllable away from being fired for the next stupid thing we say. and in the end, you know, people have a right to express opinions. if a television network can make a ton of money as a&e is with phil and his kin, you know, is it any worse than, you know, the mafia wives or 50 other shows on tv right now? >> well, zerlina, there was a pr executive that sent out an appalling tweet this week concerning aids in south africa. i thought it was despicable.
but i'm not so sure she should have l lost her job for that. i'm not sure the "duck dynasty" guy should lose his job for what he had to say. let people vote with their feet and wallets. does that make sense to you? >> it definitely makes sense. i think nobody has the right to a cable show and it's up to the executives at a&e also it was up to the company to decide the tweet wasn't okay to send out. >> it showed she's ill suited for her job as a pr executive. if she thinks that's appropriate for her to send out. >> right. >> thank you zerlina maxwell, we appreciate your time. up next, "duck dynasty" meets "saturday night live." if you want to follow me on twitter, you just need to know how to spell smerconish. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ female announcer ] from your first breath,
this week we learned you can judge a book by its cover. a large number of conservatives on thursday criticized a&e for suspending phil robertson. especially by the gop few known as dork dynasty. >> that was "snl" on the fallout over phil robertson's suspension from "duck dynasty." it was a star studded saturday night as they were joined by jimmy fallon and bloomberg. >> what's next for you mayor bloomberg? >> i'll be fulfilling a life long dream of enjoying a soda on a smoking beach.
>> you have another job lined up? >> i applied to speech spanish at a few universities. but i'm told that my accent isn't quite bueno. >> next up, in an interview that aired friday with steve harvey, president obama spoke candidly about family life in the white house. here he was describing one of the perks of office when it comes to raising his daughters. >> my daughters are a little bit different because i got to keep her occupied. because, see, this dating thing is a concern. it's just a real concern. >> is that something you're nervous about? >> yeah. very much. you? >> well, two things. one is malia and sasha are very sensible. i trust them to make good decisions. and the second thing is i've got men with guns following them around all the time. so that kind of makes me a
little less nervous. >> can i use them? what i got to do to get some of these? >> this is the main reason i ran for re-election. up next, republicans have been losing young people and minorities for years. what makes rand paul think he can change all that? you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. i was having trouble getting out of bed in the morning because my back hurt so bad. the sleep number bed conforms to you. i wake up in the morning with no back pain. i can adjust it if i need to...if my back's a little more sore. and by the time i get up in the morning, i feel great! if you have back pain, toss and turn at night or wake up tired with no energy, the sleep number bed could be your solution. the sleep number bed's secret is it's air chambers which provide ideal support and put you in control of the firmness. and the bed is perfect for couples because each side adjusts independently to their unique sleep number. here's what clinical research has found: 93% of participants experienced back-pain relief 90% reported reduced aches and pains
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♪ welcome back to "hardball." the republican party has lost the poplar vote in five of the last six elections. and rand paul is looking to change that. he talks about the need for the republican party to attract younger voters and minorities into the fold without alienating the white conservative voters they need in their corner to win. and he's trying to do it with the same libertarian message that made his father a star. in an article this weekend in politico, katie gluic writes rand paul cracks jokes about smoking pot. he says the gop needs to bring minorities and people with ponytails into the fold. the kentucky senator doesn't back gay marriage, but he's not out beating the drums against it either. and he's advocating cutting defense spending. will it work? john feehery is a republican
strategist. nick gillespie is with the libertarian reason magazine. what becomes of them on the campus once they leave their educational training? it seems there's great fervor for libertarian thought that dissipates after leaving the college environment. >> i don't think that's true. i think people in general are very libertarian. most americans if you ask them, they favor fiscal responsibility from the government. they want a government that doesn't spend more than it takes in on a regular basis. and they're also socially tolerant. so they -- you know, they have a live and let live ethos. that's really the basic core of libertarianism. on top of that increasingly americans are against the idea of having a shoot first and ask questions later foreign policy. which, again, goes along very well with libertarian beliefs and rand paul. what the real problem is libertarians haven't had a kind of outlet in political discourse or rather in partisan politics,
electoral politics. the democrats are terrible on economic issues. increasingly they're terrible on free speech issues. and they're terrible on wars. i mean, barack obama is not only surveilling every american all of the time, but he's also trying to invade or bomb libya and then bomb syria. if it wasn't for somebody like rand paul, we would have been bombing syria. so on the -- >> john feehery, is the ticket for the republican side rand paul? >> it could be. i find rand paul to be intriguing. i think sometimes the retreat to isolationism can be offputting to a lot of the defense hawks out there, a lot of the people who care about having a strong footprint in the rest of the world. but i think that rand paul is doing some of the right things. i'm very intrigued by him going to african-american audiences and talking about how we have to reform our drug laws which i think it's about time we take a fresh look at that.
i think he's a very intriguing figure. i think the big problem for him is outliving or becoming a bigger figure than his father who casts a pretty wide shadow. always been seen as a political figure. >> you know, i think there's -- >> nick, what are the politics of rand paul in comparison to dad? and first of all, maybe distinguish between where father and son stand relative to their platforms. i think we all think we know rand paul because we do know ron paul so well. >> yeah. and i don't know that -- you know, i don't think the apple falls all that far from the tree. on the key issue of defense or on military engagement, rand paul is pointedly not an isolationist. i think that's a fair description of his father. his father talked about bringing all the troops home and maintaining a minimal defense posture. rand paul, he gave a big speech at the heritage foundation this year that was having intriguing and nuances. it was about engaging radical
islam by trade. and so what rand paul is saying and i hope that the republican party if they want a future, they have to get rid of the hawks. we've had, you know, a dozen years of neocon interventions both under republicans and the democrats. it's been a huge failure. and it's cost a lot of money. >> john, do you think the party is ready saying every time we respond to a hot spot by opening a base, we're actually making ourselves less safe, not more safe. are they ready for that kind of conversation? >> i don't think so. i think that we have to have foreign policy that understands we have to be careful on having the process when we go and bomb people. but since 9/11, when we got attacked, there hasn't been a major attack on our soil because we've been aggressive at fighting the terrorists where they are. and i think a big chunk of the republican party, the national
security party of that that's a three legged stool is still an important part of our team. and we have to be careful about alienating them. >> yeah. i don't disagree with that, but it's worth pointing out that rand paul became a national figure when he stood up and said no to drone attacks. when barack obama said he had the right to kill americans that he deemed a national security risk. in august he stood up and said if you want to bomb syria, president obama, you have to go to congress. congress has to authorize this activity. and i think he's making a good faith effort saying he wants an america that's not a sitting duck for anybody to attack but by the same token the 21st century shows the failure of a neocon hawkish foreign policy. he wants to engage the islamic or muslim world with trade and cultural exchange. >> senator paul may have a potent issue to run on among young voters.
that's privacy. said i think a bunch of young people who are very liberal are angry about the nsa. but are they going to switch to a registered republican candidate or are they just going to stay out of politics? john feehery, what's the answer to that question? >> you know, young people don't like privacy -- or want their privacy protected and they go off on twitter and facebook and instagram and show their whole lives. so i don't think you want to base it off all the young people. they become older people and then they vote. now, ron paul did a very good job of attracting kind of a loyal cohort of young people on college campuses. but that doesn't necessarily translate into young people coming out and voting in waves. that being said, i do think privacy is an important issue. but we have to balance that with national security to make sure
that we don't get so hung up on privacy that we let terrorists do whatever they want in our society. >> i think that rand paul is -- >> senator paul has also spoken about past uses of smoking pot, i've asked you this before on my radio program, is america ready for a conversation about casual drug use? >> absolutely. we're looking at a country that is something like 58% of people in the country now say that pot should be legalized. rand paul, a lot of this is generational. and rand paul much more -- even though he's the same age really as barack obama, he's much younger in temperament and tone. he's much more easy going. when he talks about young people reacting to privacy, what they're talking about is they don't want the government looking after them. rand paul is delivering a principled message like his father which is you should be allowed to do what you want without worrying about the government getting in your way. whether you're talking about starting the next facebook or
having conversations with people about drug use or about foreign policy or whatever. and i think what we're seeing here, young people are not democrats or republicans in the way their parents were. that kind of brand loyalty whether it's to automobiles or radios or tv stations or political parties is over. and what people are looking for -- >> gentlemen, thank you. >> they want freedom. >> thank you nick gillespie and john feehery. up next, is it time to stop the impersonal holiday greeting cards that we all seem to get at this time of year? this is "hardball," the place for politics. my mother and my grandmother are very old fashioned.
i think we both are clean freaks. i used to scrub the floor on my knees. [ daughter ] i've mastered the art of foot cleaning. oh, boy. oh, boy. oh, boy. [ carmel ] that drives me nuts. it gives me anxiety just thinking about how crazy they get. [ doorbell rings ] [ daughter ] oh, wow. [ carmel ] swiffer wetjet. you guys should try this.
it's so easy. oh, my. [ gasps ] i just washed this floor. if i didn't see it i wouldn't believe it. [ carmel ] it did my heart good to see you cleaning. [ regina ] yeah, your generation has all the good stuff. [ daughter ] oh, yeah. gay marriage is continuing in utah among the reddest of the red states after a federal judge denied a request from the state to stop same-sex weddings during the appeals process. robert shelby ruled friday the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. the state asked him to stay his decision so the appeals process could play out. and today he refused. utah lawyers will now ask the court of appeals in denver to stop the process. the county clerk in salt lake city has begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after friday's ruling. hundreds are lined up to now get married. we'll be right back.
we're back. has the long standing transition of sending christmas cards lost a personal touch in today's age? when you turn over the glossy photo on the front, what do you see on the back? or is there a lack of greeting at all? eric hoover from the chronicle of higher education wrote in the "washington post" recently now that our lives involve sharing an abundance of pictures we once kept to ourselves, snapshots of parties we attended, meals devoured, it makes sense that photos dominate the paper cards in our mailboxes. but these prefabricated greetings seem as empty as a stocking someone forgot to stuff. are they meant as warm wishes or self-advertisements?
does it matter when you see a holiday card without a personal greeting or you simply elated to see one in the first place? eric hoover, senior writer for the chronicle of higher education joins me now and dean obeidallah. your personal litmus test is what? ink? you need to see ink on the card for it to be legitimate? >> sure. call me old fashioned, but i turn these cards over looking for a smidgen of ink and there's none. i guess i just feel like, you know, i've gone to a party, someone handed me a cup of eggnog. i can taste the eggs and milk and sugar, but someone forgot to put the essential ingredient in it. so yeah, ink. >> you're hammering my personal card. you're hammering the card that we sent out as a family this year. a lot of thought went into it. a lot of creativity went into it. but my wife works. i work. we're juggling all sorts of responsibilities. we don't have time to send you that personal note. >> yeah.
i think about it. all the people we know in the universe and i ask myself how many of them aren't busy. i can't come up with a long list of folks that aren't busy in some way. i know retirees who are busy. and i think it's just a matter of what we choose to spend our time on. some of the busiest folks i know somehow manage to squeeze out the time a few minutes here and there to write personal notes whether it's at the holidays or just throughout the year. and so i think, yeah, sure, we're all busy. but some of us are busy, oh, posting on facebook two or three or ten times a day. >> that's not me. dean, bail he out here. defend my holiday card. >> i'm happy to get any card. i will appreciate it. eric is just a bit more demanding here. it's got a have a personal touch on it. i'll be honest. i'm happy to get a manufactured card or a handwritten one. in fact, my friends that send me handwritten ones, i can't read their handwriting.
i have to hold it up to the light like i'm looking for a secret message in a treasure map. i appreciate it because it means someone thought of you. that's really what it's about. i'm kidding eric a little bit, but seriously, that's what it's about. >> well, if you brought up the -- >> you know, this is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season is when i get to sit there, and i'll do it within the next 48 hours, and go through all the cards sent to us. i may forget that you have kids, but i love getting that letter inside that tells me they made the honor roll. i get a real kick out of it, whether it's signed or unsigned. >> so you like to read the brag sheet, the curriculum of the family? >> i really do. i mean, because i'm communicating all year long in 140-character tweets, and finally, i get those long sheets that tell me where you went on your vacation, who made the honor roll, if the dog died, and yeah, it's a good way of catching up. >> well, it can be depressing because you read accomplishments and you look back at your own life for the year and you say it wasn't that great. so, sometimes the personal cards
are hurtful on that. you're like, oh that was bad. but i like any card. i think it's a great thing. i got a card from the white house this year. i know the president didn't sign it but somebody thought of me at the white house, just like one of my friends thought of me and sent me a card, and i think it's a nice gesture. >> eric hoover, what about those like the president who send out a boatload of cards? you let them have some slack, i imagine? >> sure, he's the president, but i think we all know people who send out 100, 200, 300 christmas cards. i have friends who say they send cards out to people they don't know and haven't even met, so essentially playing the roll of ll bean. here's our catalog, human, you exist. here you go, look at all these pictures. and there's nothing wrong with that and i think there's something to the idea that, hey, sending a card, whatever kind of card it is, a cold fish of a card that is impersonal and has no ink on it hey, maybe that's better than no card at all.
all i'm saying is there is a difference when you get a card, and it may not even be a long note. it probably isn't a long note, but two or three lines that were meant for you that are personalized that make you think, you know, someone on the other end thought about me for 48 seconds, and hey, especially because we're tweeting and instagraming our way through life now, those 48 seconds worth of thought, a complete sentence or two written in your honor? hey, that feels pretty good to me. >> the one thing i want to say -- >> dan, make sure you e-mail me your mailing address because i'm not sure about eric hoover, but i'm adding you to my list for next year, for sure. >> please do. i'm very happy to get it. the big e-mail blast would be, i'm on your side, eric. that's an e-mail blast, but a personal card takes more work. >> it definitely takes work, but i -- >> only 30 seconds left, eric. what reaction did you get to your piece in the "post"? >> i've received over 100 e-mails from around the world and to my surprise, i would say 90% of the responses were very, very positive. i was bracing for more hate mail, but i guess there is a
lesson to be learned there. if you want to express your hatred, and certainly many people have done so online, you go to the backwater of american discourse, which is the anonymous comment board on any newspaper's website. but most of the responses i received were touching. >> thank you both. >> thank you. >> happy holidays. >> thank you, eric hoover, thank you, dean obidala. you would neeh of those to clean this mess. [ kc ] you're probably right. hi, cascade kitchen counselor. 1 pac of cascade complete cleans tough food better than 6 pacs of the bargain brand combined. cascade. beyond clean and shine. every time.
"let me finish" tonight with a suggestion for your christmas eve dinner table. i have advice if you're wishing for a way to obscure the red state/blue state divide at your holiday gathering or seeking to steer conversation away from obamacare. maybe you're anxious not to antagonize the in-laws. fear not, help has arrived in the form of this year's college application essay questions. the current subject of angst for american high school seniors might provide the fodder that you need. some of the essays, they're great conversation-starters. take the university of virginia, which this year is asking "to tweet or not to tweet?" that's not a bad first course. during dinner, if you're looking to spark story-telling, well, you can offer one of stanford's inquiries, like, "what were your favorite events," meaning performances, exhibits, sporting events, et cetera, "this past year?" or "what historic moment or event do you wish that you could have witnessed?" holy cross has a great one for the grandparents -- "what's the best advice you've ever received?"
if those sound too backward-looking and you're looking to include younger folks at your holiday gathering, why not invoke penn state's schrire's honors college who says "tell us a few of the things that might be on your bucket list and explain why you want to accomplish them." if you're more high-brow, there's tufts. "the ancient romans started when it they coined the phrase carpe deem. jonathan larson proclaimed no day like today, and most recently, drake explained you only live once, yolo. have you ever seized the day, lived like there was no tomorrow, or perhaps you plan to shout yolo while jumping into something in the future? what does #yolo mean to you?" m.i.t. notified its early applicants at 12:14 p.m. on 12/14 as to their fate. these are the same individuals who as part of their application process had to answer this -- "we know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. tell us about something you do
simply for the pleasure of it." another winner, berkeley's school of business. "if you could choose one song that expresses who you are, what is it and why?" i'd recommend that you save the university of chicago's fair for dessert. the windy city's home for academia has earned a reputation for producing provocative essay questions, and this year's were inspired by newly admitted or current students who have run their gauntlet successfully. chelsea fine from the class of 2016 suggests this -- "winston churchill believed a joke is a very serious thing. from off-off campus's improvisations to the shady dealer humor magazine to the renowned latke-hamantash debate, we take humor very seriously here at the university of chicago and we have since 1959, when our alums helped found the renowned comedy theater the second city. so, tell us your favorite joke and try to explain the joke without ruining it."
not bad for a school often tagged with the reputation of "where fun comes to die." so, good luck and merry christmas. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. there you are. i'm chris hayes. thanks for joining us tonight for a very special show. >> welcome to the first annual "all in all awards show special." >> you know it's special when we order up special animation. 2013 is coming to a close with the president of the united states signing up for the care that bears his name, obamacare, by the d.c. exchange. the white house announcing it was extending the deadline to enroll in coverage that will be effective january 1st to midnight tomorrow night. that extension coming because of the overwhelming surge in demand. beltway consensus is that this has been a bad year for president barack obama, his worst ever, in fact. but while the politics of th