tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC February 20, 2015 1:00am-2:01am PST
ir. that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, chris. thank you, my friend. >> you bet. >> and thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. we think of texas as a deep red state, where republicans are totally dominant. but like the rest of the south, texas was 100% blue not all that long ago. in the 1960s, when the democratic party embraced the cause of the civil rights movement, texas and other states in the deep south went through this whiplash, right, where they had been lockstep democratic states, but their party loyalty was no match for their hatred for civil rights. and so texas and all these other states started flipping from the solid blue they used to be, to the red that we know them to be today. and the guy who led all of that at the statewide level in texas was a senator tamed john tower. and he led that in the sense that -- in the sense of his election in 1961.
john tower was the first republican elected to be a u.s. senator from texas since the reconstruction era after the civil war. john tower served as a republican in the senate for more than 20 years. he ended up making history after his time in the senate, when he became the only nominee for secretary of defense who has ever been rejected by the united states senate. george h.w. bush, poppy bush, nominated john tower to be defense secretary in january 1989, and the senate, remarkably, said, no. his nomination was basically doomed by multiple reports of alleged inappropriate behavior by him toward both women and alcohol. he told the ngoc times, when the senate rejected him, quote, have i ever drunk to excess? yes. am i alcohol dependent? no. have i always been a good boy? of course not. but had it not been for that
history-making failed nomination to be defense secretary, the senate has only ever rejected nine cabinet nominees in the history of the country, and he is one of them. had it not been for that, what john tower would be most remembered for is what ronald reagan asked him to do after his retirement from the senate, in 1986. in late 1986, this was the front page news all over the country. president reagan, president reagan secretly selling missiles to iran, in a bungled effort to trade american missiles for american hostages. it was a complete screwup. iran actually ended up getting the missiles. we ended up getting none of the hostages. the whole thing was really quite flagrantly illegal and they got caught for it. more than a dozen reagan administration officials ended up getting indicted. and as this was all first coming to light, in late 1986, on december 1st, 1986, ronald
reagan appointed john tower to lead a commission to investigate this scandal in his own administration. two days later, the vice president of the united states at that time, the man who everybody knew wanted to run to succeed president reagan in the next presidential election, two days after reagan appointed john tower to head up the tower commission to look into the iran contra scandal, two days after that commission was formed, vice president george h.w. bush spoke about it for the first time. he emerged from the cocoon of silence he had sealed himself into on this scandal, on this issue, and he made his first-ever public remarks about iran-contra. >> i can tell you that the president is absolutely convince ed that he did not swap arms for hostages. >> president reagan absolutely did swap arms for hostages, even though vice president poppy bush
said he did not. for whatever reason, we have decided as a country that we're just going to let the whole iran-contra scandal thing go. we've just decided to forget about it. forget that about the reagan presidency. in the end, that poppy bush speech, where he had ronald reagan had no idea that happened and that was plainly untrue. in the end, what that iran-contra speech was ultimately remembered for is not what poppy bush is talking about in that speech, which is iran-contra. what he is remembered for in that speech is how he was doing the talking about iran-contra. the turn of phrase that he used when he was deflecting responsibility. that speech forever will always be the mistakes were made speech. >> the matter was further clouded by the way in which the president's goals were executed, specifically allegations about certain allegations of the
national security council staff. clearly, mistakes were made. >> it was that great moment, right? mistakes were -- mistakes were -- was that an apology? it was an acknowledgement that there had been mistakes. but who made those mistakes? mistakes just happened out there anonymously. who knows who did it? that is perhaps the most famous thing that george h.w. bush said while he had the job of being vice president of the united states. because of that, when his son became president, george w. bush, it was almost like an historic alarm bell rang every time he used that same awkward, passive voice, that it wasn't me, non-apology phrasing. >> it's also important for the people of iraq to know that in a democracy, everything is not perfect. that mistakes are made. and he's right, mistakes were made. and i'm frankly not happy about
it. >> that's not to say i had anything to do with them. these mistakes just keep passively being made. it's almost like they're making themselves. nearby, but inconclusively, in terms of their relationships to any nearby humans. it must be very frustrating to members of the bush family that these mistakes keep being made near them. >> how do you establish a dialogue with such a phenomenon? >> well, it -- let's go to iraq. there were mistakes made in iraq for sure. >> "there were mistakes made." who made these mistakes? who can say. passive voice. jeb bush has been off the national stage for a long time. he has not been a candidate for any elected office in 13 years. but jeb bush now is back. sounding very much like his brother and his dad. and he now is going full tilt right now, making the case to the country that not only should the country pick a republican
president in 2016, but the country should pick three republican presidents in a row, who are all from the same family. and so far, at this point in the race, at least, he is winning. he's winning both in terms of media coverage and buzz on the republican primary side. most importantly, though, he's winning in terms of money. it was reported with some shock last week that jeb bush raised $4 million in a single night at one new york city dinner fund-raiser. $4 million bucks, for like an hour of his time. that was a shock last week when he did it in new york. he did it again yesterday in chicago, and next week he's expected to not make $4 million, but $5 million at one dinner in coral gables, florida. nobody else has fund-raising numbers anything like this right now. and it is designed is to be intimidating to the other candidates or the other would-be candidates in the race. this is the same playbook his brother used in 2000, when a year out from the election, he raised so much more money than anybody ever had before, that the most viable candidates who
might have run against him never even got into the race. they were so scared by how much money george w. bush had piled up early on. that is what george w. bush did to win the nomination in 2000, and that is what his brother, jeb, is doing to try to win the nomination right now. politico.com reported earlier this week that this juggernaut of jeb bush fund-raising, him raising seven figures every single day, a year out from iowa, that is what pushed mitt romney out of the race for 2016. remember, just a few weeks ago, there was this proud little squawk from mitt romney, telling people in new york that he was going to make a run for it and they should tell all their friends. that squawk lasted about a week, and then he packed it in and said, uh, no, actually, never mind, i'm not going to run. what happened between that squawk and mitt romney taking it back, according to politico.com, is that when he was dialing for dollars, talking to the people who he expected to be ponying up to fund yet another mitt romney for president campaign, he realized that actually he'd been
beaten to it. jeb bush had already tapped all his donors and starting sucking up all the money in the room. mitt romney was too late to try to make another run in 2016. and so now, with anybody who might have been a mitt romney donor, and with the huge network of donors to his father and donors to his brother, jeb bush is building himself a money mountain that nobody else can scale. i mean, financially, he is almost the prohibitive favorite at this point, unless something dramatically changes in the fund-raising on the republican side. and with that happening sort of slightly underneath the surface, now in an increasingly public way, he's starting to do the things that are expected of a top tier presidential candidate. this week, for example, jeb bush decided to do what the last successful candidate for president did when he was running in 2007. just like barack obama did before him, jeb bush, this week, went to the chicago council on global affairs, to give his big i'm running for president
foreign policy speech. >> president obama called isis the junior varsity. four days after they took fallujah, and when they comprised a fighting force of more than 200,000 battle-tested men. >> jeb bush yesterday condemning president obama for not realizing that isis had 200,000 fighters. isis does not have 200,000 fighters. after the speech, jeb bush's staff had to clarify to reporters that he didn't mean that. actually, what he meant to say was 20,000, not 200,000. he was off by a factor of 10. it happens. there was a lot of stuff like that in this speech. >> the problem is perhaps best demonstrated by this administration's approach to iraq. we've had 35 years of experience with iran -- excuse me, iran. 35 years experience with iran's rulers. and, so, look, this is a -- the more i get into this stuff,
there's some things you just go, you know, holy shnikies. the second thing i would say with respect to putin, and the president did this, and it's hard to be out on the road, and i'm just a gladiator these days, so i don't follow every little detail. >> what about the dissolution of sovereign states in the middle east and a return to tribalism? >> i don't have a solution. i've read articles about, whatever, you know, the 1915 kind of breakout of the middle east and how that is no longer a viable deal. as we grow our presence by growing our ability to produce oil and gas, we also make it possible to lessen the dependency that russia now has on top of europe. >> the dependency that russia now has on top of europe. on top of europe -- also on top of old smokey. also, beware the buku. >> we see the rise of non-state terror organizations, like isis, buku haram.
>> jeb bush's big debut policy speech had its awkward moments. jeb bush delivered a nervous, uncertain speech on national security on wednesday, full of errors and confusion. jeb bungles facts and pronunciation in his big national security speech, trying to sound presidential. bush, instead, came off as a confused former governor. vox rounded up the top cringe-worthy moments from jeb bush's foreign policy speech at "the washington post," dana milbank wrote that governor bush combined his father's awkward oratory with his brother's mangled syntax. because he's never been involved in foreign policy before, it is sort of to be expected at this point in his candidacy. the main thrust of the speech, though, and the thing that got all the headlines about his
speech, by design, the thing he wanted people to take away from this speech was clearly a much simpler thing than some idea that he'd mastered all the details. it was not about his ability to pronounce boko haram and know it was ukraine and not the ukraine, yes, he screwed all that up. but the one thing he was sure to get across, the one big idea was this. >> as you might know, i've also been fortunate to have a father and a brother who helped shape america's foreign policy from the oval office. i recognize that as a result, my views will often be held up in comparison to theirs. i love my brother, i love my dad. i actually love my mother as well. hope that's okay. and i admire their service to the nation and the difficult decisions that they had to make. but i'm my own man, and my views are shaped by my own thinking and my own experiences. >> i'm my own man. whatever else he asserted, whatever else he got right or wrong in his debut foreign
policy speech, this was the main point. yes, i want to be the third republican president in a row from my family. right, yes. i want to be the third president bush in a generation. but i'm my own man. i'm not my father, i'm not my brother, i love them, but i'm not them. i'm jeb bush. i'm a different kind of bush. don't see me as an outgrowth of the other two members of my family who have recently been president, i am my own man. and here's what went wrong. here's what went wrong about that, as a campaigning for president screwup, right? while the press was absorbing the jeb bush foreign policy address and his declaration that he is his own man and different from his father and his brother, they were also given by the jeb bush for president folks a handout, a list of foreign policy advisers that jeb bush was taking council from or had endorsements from in his soon-to-be run for the presidency. they gave out a list of 21 names. of those 21 names, 13 of those people worked on foreign policy issues for jeb bush's brother,
george w. bush. two of them worked on foreign policy issues for his father, poppy bush. and four of them worked on foreign policy for both his brother and his dad in their administrations. and then one of them is george schultz, who's now 94. he was secretary of state when his -- jeb bush's father was vice president. so of the 21 names that jeb bush released to the press as his foreign policy advisers, as he was trying to make the case that his his own man and he should not be conflated with his dad or his brother, of those 21 names, 20 of them worked for his dad or his brother. "the washington post" put it together in this handy venn diagram, showing the overlap between the poppy bush names and the george w. bush names. the other circle in the upper right is the reagan administration, to encompass george schultz. and whatever you think of the prospect of continuing the foreign policy of the other bush presidencies, mostly the george w. bush presidency, whatever young of that substantively, and whether that's a good idea for the nation to go back to the
george w. bush foreign policy, this is also just a gaffe. this is a running for president screwup. you can't put out this list saying, this is who's going to advise george bush on foreign policy, and you can have jeb bush giving a speech saying, i'm not the same as my father and my brother, i'm my own man. don't conflate me with them, particularly on foreign policy. but you cannot do both of those things on the same day. it's like the scheduler was tasked with rolling things out for jeb bush's campaign, right? and decided, oh, well, you know, wednesday's going to be foreign policy day. so everything on foreign policy, let's truck it out there. everything on foreign policy, including the directly contradictory things, let's put them all out on the sam day, without anybody noticing that those contradictory things would be the headlines right next to each other. i'm my own man! foreign policy team, eerily familiar. this is a screwup. but this is also a time, as a country, when we desperately need to start having a smarter debate about real challenges and
foreign policy. isis, iraq, syria, afghanistan, ukraine, russia, iran, boko haram, even the big reset with cuba. i mean, holy shnikies is kind of right. there's a lot going on. the last presidential campaign in 2012 basically ignored foreign policy on the republican side. neither the republican presidential candidate or the vice presidential candidate had really anything to say on foreign policy. mitt romney gave his acceptance speech for the nomination in 2012 without even mentioning that we were actively at war. not even a platitude in that direction. never occurred to him. not his forte. presidential elections, for all their nonsense, they really are a great big quadrenial occasion for having the fights we need to have as a country and about our country's role in the world. we have an undeclared air war rages in the middle of a civil war in syria. we have a war that will not end in afghanistan.
egypt wants us back in another war with them and libya. diplomacy and the cease-fire agreements are not working with russia and ukraine. there's a lot going on in the world that deserves a great debate between at least two great sides, right? two sides that are both making good, solid arguments, among people who know what they're talking about and who are taking it seriously. instead, on the right, the tenner on foreign policy is this kind of stuff. scott walker, sitting there last night in new york, while rudy giuliani gets up and says what you need to know about foreign policy right now is that president obama doesn't love america. scott walker sitting right there, today refusing to say whether he agreed with that or not. another 2016 candidate, bobby jindal, volunteering today before anyone asked, volunteering today that he did agree with rudy giuliani about that. and that's what he believes is wrong with our foreign policy right now. president obama doesn't love america. on the right-wing blog world, they have uncovered the scandal,
evidenced in this damning photo that you see on the left here. see what president obama is doing there with the finger raised. the right-wing blog world, they have discovered that he is there in that picture giving a secret muslim gang sign. he's not just pointing, wagging his finger at somebody. no, he's giving a secret muslim gang sign, and that's why those other guys, those other leaders from africa are smiling at him in that picture, because he's telling them, he's in the secret muslim gang with them. every other leader who has also ever been seen pointing in the course of their lifetimes, don't know if they're in the secret muslim gang too, but we're checking. this is what it's all about on the right right now. look, he's a muslim, he pointed president. bush/cheney era, their foreign policy was what brought us the iraq war and all the rest of us. widely seen as the worst foreign policy disaster since vietnam and maybe even worse than that. what the country needs substantively is a good fight, a quality fight, a serious argument, well fought, between
two competing, good ideas on foreign policy. it's been seven years now since bush and cheney left office that we've been waiting to find out what the post-bush/cheney republican idea is going to be on foreign policy. what they're going to contribute to the debate. so far, it's president obama's a muslim! he doesn't love the country! awesome! or if you prefer, it's jeb bush running away with the nomination at this point and promising that we aren't gonna get a post bush/cheney idea from the republican party. we'll just go back to that one, bring back the old one. a presidential election year is a good opportunity to have constructive arguments about the u.s.' role in the world. the prospect of that happening does not seem bright. mistakes will be made.
i bring the gift of the name your price tool to help you find a price that fits your budget. uh-oh. the name your price tool. she's not to be trusted. kill her. flo: it will save you money! the name your price tool isn't witchcraft! and i didn't turn your daughter into a rooster. she just looks like that. burn the witch! the name your price tool a dangerously progressive idea. you wouldn't do half of your daily routine. so why treat your mouth any differently? complete the job with listerine®. kill up to 99 percent of germs. and prevent plaque, early gum disease and bad breath. sfx: ahhh listerine®. power to your mouth™!
update. we got word late this evening that the president's nominee to be the next attorney general of the united states, loretta lynch, will finally be getting a vote. she has been president obama's pick for attorney general since november. she sailed through her confirmation hearings, nary a peep against her. inexplicably, after those confirmation hearings, they decided to delay a vote. now they have scheduled a vote on her, it will be a week from today. thursday, february 26th. that's the day loretta lynch will get a vote. that had seemed like smooth sailing from the beginning, then the republicans inexplicably got a little wobbly on her. there's still no clear indication that she has enough republican votes to be confirmed, but now at least we know when the vote will be. a week from today. stay with us.
we finally have a date now for a vote on president obama's nominee to be attorney general, loretta lynch. no substantiative objections have been raised about her or her record or anything raised in her confirmation hearings. nevertheless, it is no longer clear that she has enough support from republicans in the senate to be confirmed. but at least we've got a date for a vote. also, we don't yet have a date, but we do finally have some noise about some day, maybe starting to have a debate about the war u.s. troops are already waging against isis in iraq and syria. they've been waging that war for more than six months now, without really any political noise about it from washington whatsoever.
that may change, soon. might not, but might. we also now have the debut foreign policy speech for the guy who appears to be the front-runner for the republican nomination, at least when it comes to dollars cast and checks written. he's proposing to bring back basically the entire foreign policy iraq war hive mind from the presidency of george w. bush. the homeland security department is due to run out of money this time next week. as yet, there's apparently no plan to find a way to keep it from shutting down this time next week. our politics was kind of a freaking mess, even before we started in on the 2016 presidential race. but now that we have started in on the 2016 presidential race, does that make it more likely or less likely that the stuff that needs getting done in washington is actually going to get done? now that the republicans have started their presidential primary process and the democrats have not, is our political and policy making
dysfunction as a country about to get worse or could it get better? joining us now is a man who, in theory, seems like he really should be in the democratic presidential primary race right now, if such a thing existed. he's the democratic senator from swing state, ohio, who karl rove's crossroads group spent $6 million trying to unseat in 2012, without success. senator sherrod brown of ohio, so good to have you here. >> rachel, good to be back. >> does it annoy you to raise the presidential prospect -- >> it doesn't annoy me, it just doesn't affect me. i have zero interest. i many wife is in the studio. she -- she doesn't like the idea, i don't like the idea. i love being in the senate. that's what i'm going to keep doing. >> connie, is that true? you don't want him to run? >> yes! >> you concur, you don't want him to run? >> she does -- >> if he did, would you veto it? >> yes! >> a republican senator from vermont a few years ago said the only cure for the presidential virus in the united states senate is embalming fluid. once you get that feeling, you can't get rid of it. so i don't have that feel.
but thank you, rachel, for your comment. >> there are some people who think that running for president is not necessarily a great way to get elected president, but a great way to get ideas out there. and the ideas being discussed in a presidential year, in a presidential primary context end up shaping the agenda in a way that's constructive. as a progressive, as somebody who people like in the senate, somebody who's shown the ability to win in swing state ohio and all the different things you've done, are you optimistic right now in terms of the conversations that we're having as a country? are we doing anything constructive? >> i'm optimistic that democrats will do better in 2016. that's not your question, i understand. i'm not optimistic that we're going to solve some of the problems, but i am optimistic that the debate will be joined. i think the way you laid it out tonight, that these candidates, whoever they are, and both sides need to have discussions about big issues, and that doesn't mean bringing back old advisers from former races and doesn't mean winning the money race or
the money chase, it means talking about big issues. it means the president gave his best state of the union address he'd given this past january, when he talked about building the economy from the middle class out. he talked about middle class economics, understanding the trickle down economics brought us no job growth during the bush years, building the middle class, building the economy from the middle out in the clinton years, brought us 20 million private sector jobs. a job net increase, and during the -- since the auto rescue, we've had job growth for 58, 59 months in a row, since 2010. so we know what works, we know what doesn't. we need to make that contrast much more strongly than we have and when republicans accuse democrats of class warfare, we should just continue to talk, because it's so important that that's the way -- because that's the way the economy grows. >> so do you -- if the economic strength we're seeing right now continues throughout this year, as presidential politics heats up, if we end up having a
national domestic political fight that's essentially a referendum on obama economics and a referendum on what we've done as a country since the great recession, to try to come back, you think that would be a healthy thing in terms of us defining the right way to grow? >> yeah, i think it will empower democrats who generally shy away from making strong contrasts on economic issues, who are generally not afraid -- democrats who are not afraid to take strong positions on these issues, i think it will embolden them. i think it will embolden hillary clinton, if she's, as expected, the nominee, so she does make these contrasts and show that, here's what democrats stood for in building an economy. here's what republicans have stood for. it's still -- we still haven't answered very well the questions of -- the question of stagnant wages. that to me is -- it's so important for people's lives, now. it's so important for building their retirement security. we're not doing either very well, but i think that this growing economy now gives us an
opportunity to do it. >> on that wage issue, obviously, that is, it sounds like a really specific economic concern. it's everything in terms of the -- working families, and in terms of economic inequality that we've got that's so unprecedented right now. there's news today that walmart is raising wages in a very small way for its very large number of private sector employees. they're doing that for their own private sector concerns. president obama has not been able to get a federal wage increase. republicans don't seem like they're going to bend on that at all. at least it doesn't seem that way to me. do you think that he's been effective and that democrats have been effective at basically making the case to the private sector that businesses ought to raise wages on their own, that it's good business, it's good for the country, it's actually a patriotic move. >> i don't think any of us have made the case strongly enough and well enough. but there have been a few companies that have done that. etna insurance is raising its lowest paid -- i'm not sure of these numbers, i believe, from 12 to 15 or $16 an hour, its lowest wage workers, which also means people slightly above that
will get raises and don't forget that on the minimum wage, if we can raise the minimum wage $3 an hour, it means people making right above the minimum wage will get pushed up too and it will mean significant wage increases. we also need to do things like expanding the earned income tax credit, which rewards people for work. if you're making $40,000 a year, you have a couple of children, you can get $2,000 or $3,000 tax credit, real dollars, refundable tax credit, real dollars in a collect, in the mail, in february or march when you file your taxes. so all of those things we should do, in addition to just generally pro-growth policies aimed at the middle. >> i feel -- i feel a little more depressed about the prospect of what can get done. you talking in such specific terms about what not only ought to be done, but could be done, makes me feel a little better. >> it's why i came tonight. thank you, rachel. >> my personal antidepressant in the form of senator sherrod brown of ohio. >> good to be back. >> good to see you, connie. thanks for coming. see you soon.
we'll be right back. i'm like a big bear and he's my little cub. this little guy is non-stop. he's always hanging out with his friends. you've got to be prepared to sit at the edge of your seat and be ready to get up. there's no "deep couch sitting." definitely not good for my back. this is the part i really don't like right here. (doorbell) what's that? a package! it's a swiffer wetjet. it almost feels like it's moving itself. this is kind of fun. that comes from my floor? eww! this is deep couch sitting. [jerry bell iii] deep couch sitting!
he's out there. there's a guy out there whose making a name for himself in a sport where your name and maybe a number are what define you. somewhere in that pack is a driver that can intimidate the intimidator, a guy that can take the king's 7 and make it 8. heck, maybe even 9. make no mistake about it they're out there. i guarantee it. welcome to the nascar xfinity series. okay. if anybody's keeping track at home, here's my track record so far on figuring out democrats maybe giving hillary clinton a primary for the 2016 presidential run. elizabeth warren told me no, just like she told everybody else no. sherrod brown, right here, just told me no, and his wife, connie schultz also said no and said even if he wanted to, she would veto that decision in their family. senator amy klobuchar told me no, but honestly, she seemed
persuadable. and senator claire mccaskill of missouri didn't even exactly say no. she said, in hillary clinton didn't run, then she probably wouldn't consider running either, but she phrased it like that. she seemed persuadable too. i know nobody apparently believes there's going to be a democratic presidential primary. i don't either. but if there is going to be one, i think we might have started it right here on this show.
in 2012, republicans pulled off a neat trick. less than half of voters chose a republican to represent them in the u.s. house of representatives. and yet, republicans came out of that election with a 33-seat majority in that chamber. democrats got over 1.7 million more votes nationwide, but republicans won 33 more seats. how'd they do that? a big part of it was something called red map. every ten years, states redraw their election districts based on the latest census data, and in most states, that re-drawing of districts is done by the legislature. and in general, the party in power in the legislature draws those districts in the way that is most electorally advantageous to them. so if you're a republican, for example, you want as many
republican-safe districts drawn as possible, and you want to cram all the democratic voters in your state into as few as districts as possible. so red map aimed for republicans to control as much of the redistricting as possible after the 2010 census, and it was a hugely successful effort. republicans took over 20 legislative chambers in 2010. and in 2011, those republican legislatures got to work redistricting. and the results for those states' congressional delegations were staggering. in michigan last year, only 49% of voters chose a republican to represent them in the u.s. house. and yet, the state's house delegation is 2-1 republican. in pennsylvania, republicans got 56% of the vote, but with that vote, they got nearly 75% of the seats in the u.s. house. in ohio, republicans won 60% of the votes for the u.s. house and well done to them, but they sent three times as many members of congress to washington as the democrats did.
north carolina has more than three times as many republican representatives as democrats in the u.s. house, even though a full 44% of that state's voters opted for a democrat. the redistricting of republican gains in 2010 and 2012 and 2014 created a steep hill for democrats to climb. the only way for democrats to turn winning vote totals into actual control of the house is to level the playing field. they've got to take state legislatures back by the end of the 2020 census, in order to do some redistricting of their own. well, the democrats actually created an operation to do just that. it's called advantage 2020. they created it last summer. and 2020 is very different than 2010 was. 2020 will be a presidential election year. and presidential election years, more democrats to turn out to vote -- tend to turn out to vote than in midterm election years like in 2010. today, the democrats announced that they're gearing up to put
real money behind this 2020 effort, launching a super pac that aims to raise $70 million to spend over the next three elections. their goal is to flip some of those state legislatures back to the democratic column. the group's new director is former michigan congressman, democratic gubernatorial candidate, mike shower, who knows a little something about redistricting. he lost his congressional seat in 2010 after just one term when he saw his district redrawn without his home county in it. joining us now is former michigan congressman, mark shower. he's director of the dlcc's super pac advantage 2020. congressman shower, thanks for joining us tonight. >> thank you, rachel. it's great to be with you. >> so you have experienced gerrymandering in your own political career. it kind of felt like a knife, i imagine. what happened in michigan? what do you think has been the effect on the state, because of the way gerrymandering worked in your state? >> well, as a member of the legislature in 2001, the republicans controlled the state senate and governor's offices
and saw the consequences. the kind of numbers you just showed are exactly what we've seen in michigan and key states around the country, where voters choose democrats, but end up with republican majorities in the state legislatures and in the state capitals. and we've seen the associated policy attacks on women's health, on voting rights, on collective bargaining and workers' rights, immigrants and minorities, and they are playing their agendas out in state capitals, but also, as you noted, in 36 states, the legislatures draw congressional maps. and those 36 states draw districts for 300 in 36 congressional seats. these key states you mentioned are early targets for us in advantage 2020. and what's unique is the democratic-led campaign committee is taking a long-term three-cycle view. starting actually in 2015 in virginia and in the 2016
election cycle, but in short, legislatures matter. and that is our focus. and we're going to do what the dlcc has done incredibly well, and that's win and create fair districts and the better policy outcomes that result from that. >> so what is a national political party effort look like to win legislative seats? i mean, state rep seats tend to be, you know, districts that are small, that are -- have very local concerns, that tend to be pretty low-profile races. how do you avoid bigfooting that in a way that makes you effective? >> well, the dlcc is a strategic partner with state legislative leaders. i've experienced it firsthand in michigan. they work in looking at demographic trends, data, the kind of analysis that sets the stage for winning elections, candidate recruitment, and providing financial support to win elections.
in 2012, again, after a republican wave election, the democratic legislative campaign committee helped eight states win back legislative chambers. we know how to do this work, and it will be on all hands on deck strategy, where we engage state leaders, other democratic committees, that share a vested interest, progressive groups, labor and environmental groups, to develop specific state-by-state strategies, to win over the next three election cycles, so come 2021, when the redistricting pins are out, democrats control that pin or a substantial portion of that, so we draw a fair districts. because we know how to win, and this is about that level playing field you talked about, and all democrats need are fair districts and we're providing the important national leadership to make this happen. >> former congressman mark schauer, trying to turn around
it's a two-step process. step one, male legislator tells female legislator that women are lesser cuts of meat. step two, step two is really good. that story is ahead. stay with us. the listerine® 21 day challenge. use listerine® and over 21 days you'll experience a transformation. take the listerine® 21 day challenge and start your transformation today.
doug, we have the results, in our house, we do just about everything online. and our old internet just wasn't cutting it. so i switched us from u-verse to xfinity. they have the fastest, most reliable internet. which is perfect for me, because i think everything should just work. works? works. works! works? works. works.
quick calendar note for you. tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in federal court in richmond, virginia, sentencing will begin in for maureen mcdonald. prosecutors are asking that she get 18 months in federal prison. her defense team asked for instead 4,000 hours of community service and no jail time at all. just over a month ago, her husband, former virginia governor bob mcdonnell, was in the same courtroom facing the same judge for sentencing on his corruption convictions. prosecutors asked for the former governor to get between 10 and 1 years in prison, but the leadup to his sentencing including 400 letters of public support. 11 character witnesses took the stand in his defense.
in the end, the former governor didn't get 10 or 12 years, he got two years, and prosecutors were furious his sentence was so light. for his wife, there has not been the same kind of upwelling of support. there have been some letters sent once her behalf, but those letters for her are not being made public the way they were for bob. we don't know yet if maureen mcdonnell will speak on her own behalf. ten character witnesses are scheduled to take the stand tomorrow. bob mcdonnell is expected to be in the courtroom. we'll find out for sure tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.
she's state legislator in south carolina, a republican senator from the lexington area. even though she's only been in the senate a few years, she's earned an odd distinction. this is the list of every member of the south carolina state senate. you may notice something going on here. thomas, alexander, carl, shawn, lee, kevin, paul, george, raymond, creighton, they're all men. all men except for katrina. there are 46 members of the south carolina state senate and she's the only woman. i know what you're thinking, you're thinking about nicky setzler right above her? turns out nicky is a guy. there's a nicky that is the governor of south carolina, she's a woman. so she is the only woman in the south carolina state senate. she's even named herself the chair of the south carolina women's caucus. south carolina's one woman
senator found herself in a firestorm this week when one of her fellow republican senators, the guy on the right here, made comments to her and about her that made news. see? south carolina senator, women are a lesser cut of meat. this republican state senator said to his only female colleague that women, like for example her, are a lesser cut of meat. that's nice. she told the local press that the comments went too far, that women deserve respect. and then she went on the senate floor in south carolina and she made like a super hero. >> the women and ladies in this chamber today, you will experience roadblocks and challenges. don't be discouraged. and don't give up. and don't you dare let anyone tell you that you're less than what you are.
>> so yeah, the guy who called her a lesser cut of meat, he apologized. and because he's classy, he said he was sorry she chose to be offended and make such a big deal out of this. maybe the lesson is that south carolina should maybe have more than one female state senator out of 46. not only because it might cut down on the lesser cuts of meat jokes, but also because it turns out women make better legislators. don't take it from me. this is a website called quorum run by harvard students. they crunch all that data and come up with reports. what they have found has to do with the women of the united states senate. there are currently 20 women in the senate. this data crunching website looked at senate productivity over the last seven years, and they found, to their surprise,
that the women of the senate are just better at their jobs in terms of the sheer number of bills introduced, the women on average were more productive. they introduced more bills than the men did. women senators had a greater percentage of their bills passed out of committee. of those passed out of committee, a greater percentage were enacted into law. just in terms of turning bills into law, women, over the last seven years, have done it better than men in washington. according to the data, women are better at cutting bipartisan deals. the average female senator co-sponsored 171 bills with a member oh of the opposite party, a much higher number than the average number for men. and by the way, women are better at convincing their senators to co-sponsor their bills, as well. and you know you often hear this from women in the senate. you often hear women in the senate say if there were only more of us around, something might actually get done around
here. that appears quantitatively to now be provably true. lesser cut of meat or not. we'll see you again tomorrow. or not. "first look" is up next. good morning. right now on "first look" the coldest day of the entire winter is likely today and that means hunker down, bundle up and by all means if you are on the roads stay vigilant. is america one step closer to sendings u.s. ground troops into iraq in the fight against isis? rudy giuliani doubles down on his obama doesn't love america comments. the ucla superbug is worse than we thought. nascar gets ugly ahead of this weekend's daytona 500. the dose of cuteness right here to warm you up on a friday morning. a cold one at it. i'm betty nguyen. thanks for joining us. speaking of the cold today could be the coldest d