tv PBS News Hour PBS October 26, 2012 5:30pm-6:30pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: new data released today showed a rise in spending by consumers and the pentagon, boosting economic growth in the third quarter. but smaller business ouays and eakness overseas held down overall expansion. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour tonight, we walk through today's report and how it played in the presidential campaign. >> woodruff: then, with microsoft unveiling its own tablet computer, ray suarez examines the company's role in an increasingly mobile world. >> brown: we have a "battleground dispatch" from the critical state of ohio, examining how the auto bailout and energy boom are weighing on voter's minds. > we've had a lot of potiveconic news er theast uple of months.
is it too close to the election to really make an impact on people's votes? or are people still kind of weighing the economic realities of the country and of the state? >> woodruff: plus mark shields and david brooks analyze the week's news. >> brown: and we close with author louise erdrich on the crafting of her new novel, dealing with life-altering violence for one native american family. to talk to me. and i knew once i had written into this, when i got to the words, where is your motr i knew that this was the book. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ ♪
moving our economy f 160 ars. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> and by the bill and melinda gates foundation. dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy, productive life. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. an by ntritionto yr pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brown: an important snapshot of the country's economic growth was released today, a week and a half before the election. with positive, but still slow, improvement, the white house and the romney campaign offered different assessments.
a late boost in consumer spending was a major factor in the economic news from the commerce department. gross domestic oduct-- the broadest gauge of the country's enomic health-- grew at a 2% rate from july through september, slightly better than the 1.8% economists had predicted, and an improvement over the 1.3% growth in the previous quarter. another positive sign today-- a survey from the university of michigan shows consumer confidence this month reached its highest level since september 2007, three months before the recession began. but the gdp growth is still considered by economists to be too weak to bring a quick up-tick in jobs. and othe ump in ames, iowa, today, mitt romney seized on the that aspect of the new report. >> today, we received the latest round of discouraging economic news. last quarter, our economy grew at just 2%. after the stimulus was passed, the white house promised it
would be growing at 4.3%, over twice as fast. slow economic growth means slow job growth and declining take- home pay. that's what four years of president obama's policies has produced. americans are ready for change, for growth, for jobs, for more take home pay, and we're going to bring it to them. >> brown: after two days of intense campaigning, president obama was off the trail today. he did not directly address the new data in a radio interview, but pushed back on romney's criticism. >> the fact of the matter is that governor romney's economic policies are reverting back to the same policies that i inherited, that led us to the slowest job growth in 50 years, record deficits, and the worst economic crisis since the great depression. wt governor romney's offering is a return to picies that have failed us in the past. he's now talking about them as "big changes." they're a repeat... a relapse of
things that haven't worked for american families for over a decade now. >> brown: with both sides promising to revitalize the economy, there's one more important report yet to come: the jobs numbers for october will be released next friday, just four days before voters head to the polls. earlier today, i talked about the new government economic report with hugh johnson, head of an investment and advisory firm in albany, new york. hugh, welcome. first the good news, where is the growth coming from? >> well, you know, there are a lot of places. but i think probably the best news is that, you know, consumer spending is about 70% of our economy. we saw that strengthen in the third quarter. that's very good news. i think there are a couple of really-- parts of that first of all residential real estate or housing, we know the numbers have been getting better. when we look at housing starts or existing home sales, that showed up in the report as well. residenal real estate is imovin and that's, of course,
helping consumer confidence and helping consumer spending so i think those are the two bright spots. the big surprise in this report in my view was the increase in government spending. that was not at the state level that was at the federal level. and that was primarily due to an increase in defense spending. i think that that was the biggest surprise and a pleasant surprise. >> brown: but on the other hand this is still very slow growth, right? >> yes, that's true. when youompare it to the, rt of theind of growth rate you should see for the economy at this stage of a recovery, it should be closer to 3%. we're the 2%. >> it looks as though a new area of weakness was in exports. what's going on there? >> yeah, there was clearly a slowdown, a negative number on expert-- exports. that is primarily due to the fact that we're doing less business with china. the economy of china has slowed. the economy of europe has slowed. and that showed up in the
numbers. >> brown: i'm not going to me yointo a polical ansys but fro where youit does it look like there's something here for both candidates? >> yeah, i think there is something there for both sides. i think on the one side president obama can certainly point to the fact that the economy did better in the third quarter than it did in the second quarter. and that we're sort of on the right trajectory or on the right pathway towards recovery. things are getting a little bit better. at the same times there's no question that governor romney could say well look, we might be headed in the right direction, buthe truth i, tha economic growth is extraordinarily anemic when compared to other postwar recoveries. and not the kind of-- not the kind of numbers or economic growth that we need to really, really make progress or to put a dent in the high unemployment rate and get some people back to work. >> brown: hugh johnson, thanks a lot. >> you're welcome.
>> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: the stakes for microsoft as computing gets more mobile; battleground: ohio; shields and brooks; and novelist louise erdrich. bufirst,he other news of the da here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: hurricane sandy tracked toward the east coast of the u.s. today after leaving at least 40 people dead across the caribbean. it battered the bahamas as a category-one storm today, knocking down trees and power lines as it went. and sandy is already stirring up strong winds and pounding surf along the florida coastline. where exactly the storm lands in the u.s. next week is still a question, but preparations for heavy rains and high winds were underway from the mid-atlantic to new england. forecasters say the hurricane could spawn a "super storm", after colliding with a cold front fm the rth and a winter storm in the west. for more, we turn to jeannette calle of accuweather.com. >> so janth heading into this weekend, what do people on the eastern see board have to be concerned about? >> sandy will continue to
head northward tonight into tomorrow. an area that should be on the lookout over the next 24 hours include northeast florida to coastal georgia, including eastern sections of the carolinas. we're talking squally weather beginning later tonight into tomorrow from jacksonville to the outer banks of north carolina. and we're also talking about wind gusts from 40 to 50 miles per hour in this corridor. and also flooding tides from the outer banks of north carolina to coastal sections of south carolina over the next 24 hours vooez there's also been a lot of talk of this becoming a superstorm as it goes fort northeast what is happening whrx is behind it, what are the forces at work? >> hari, one of the reasons why this storm is so different, so to speak, is because of the time of the year that it is o curling. we're looking at tropical moisture coming in, if the south with sandy colliding with the cooler air coming in from the north and west and that cool air is associated with this jet
stream which is going to dip pretty far south. we also have a blocking high centered over greenland. and this will help to steer sandy towards the eastern seaboard. and this trough will also serve as a magnet that will also help to pull sandy inland as we head into early next week. >> okay so, what are some of the effects that people in that northeast area, where sandy might make landfall, what can they expect? >> hari, it looks like sandy will continue its northward track, potentially heading a little farther east over the next couple of days. but as i mentioned it looks like it will curve farther west as we head into early next week portion tensionly making landfall as a category 1 hurricane late monday night into tuesday, anywhere from the mid-atlantic coast to the southern new england coast. we're talking catastrophic damage here, heavy rainfall which will cause severe flooding, severe beach erosion, a significant storm surge. we're talking upwards of
five feet in some places. and also widespread power outages that could last days, if not even weeks. >> all right, thanks so much for joining us. the death toll in a fungal meningitis outbreak grew to 25 today, when the centers for disease control reported another victim in tennessee. and the total number of cases of people who became ill from tainted pain-killing injections reached 331, spanning 18 states. meanwhile, the food and drug administration released a report today that found the massachusetts pharmacy linked to the outbreak had bacteria and mold growing in supposedly sterile rooms. a four-day cease-fire truce in syria scheduled to start this morning did not appear to hold, with violence happening across the country. the truce between government forces and rebels was slated to last through the muslim holiday of eid al-adha. a powerful car bomb tore through a neighborhood in damascus, killing at least ten people and reducing nearby buildings to rubble. more than 30 people, including children, were wounded. witnesses also reported new shelling in the central city of
homs. a suicide bomb outside a mosque in northern afghanistan killed 41 people today. plumes of smoke rose in front of the mosque as people gathered to celebrate eid. many of the dead were policemen and soldiers. 56 others, including civilians, were wounded. in kabul, afghan president hamid karzai condemned the attack and made this appeal. >> i call on the taliban and other government opposition to stop the destruction of their own country. stop the killing of their people, stop destruction of their mosques, hospitals and schools, and stop working for the aims of foreigners. >> sreenivasan: also today, the taliban claimed responsibility for the killing of two u.s. troops in an insider attack on thursday. a member of the afghan security forces shot the troops and then escaped to join the taliban. the father of a teenage pakistani girl shot by the taliban had encouraging words about his daughter's recovery today. malala yousufzai's family flew from pakistan to britain to be with her at a hospital where she's receiving specialized treatment.
we have a report from penny marshall of independent television news. >> reporter: malala's recovery has astounded her doctors and defied her attackers. above all else, it has bought joy to her family, who'velown to england to be by her side. "smile for the cameras," malala's little brother was told by his father. in the circumstances, that was easy. >> last week when we met her, they were out of happiness, i say, out of happiness. >> reporter: happiness born out of relief. for only three weeks ago, malala was fighting for her life after being shot by taliban extremists. so serious was her condition that, as she arrived in the was u.k., her father was preparing for the worst.
>> i told my brotherly that you should make preparations for her funeral. but i'm thankful to god. >> reporter: malala was targeted by the taliban because of her outspoken support for girl's education. but within da of being injur, she allowed herself to be photographed to send a defiant signal to her attackers. doctors now say her recovery has been miraculous. >> her brought her school books so that she can continue her education from her hospital bed. her answer to the taliban bullets is books. >> the person who attacked her, they wanted to kill her. but i will simply say that she fell temporarily. she will rise again. >> r faly will now remain with her, as her physical strength returns. her moral courage strength, it
appears, never left her. >> sreenivasan: the taliban have vowed to try to kill yousufzai again if she returns to pakistan. but her father has denied reports the family might seek asylum abroad. the former prime minister of italy, silvio berlusconi, was convicted of tax fraud today and sentenced to four years in prison. a court in milan ruled the media mogul and others were behind a scheme to buy the rights to broadcast u.s. movies on berlusconi's tv networks, using offshore companies and avoiding taxes. berlusconi immediately denounced the ruling and vowed to figh it. he'll remain a free man while he goes through the appeals process. in u.s. economic news, stocks finished flat on wall street today. the dow jones industrial average gained more than three points to close at 13,107. the nasdaq rose nearly two points to close just under 2,988. for the week, the dow lost nearly 2%; the nasdaq fell more than half a percent. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: for more than two decades, microsoft has been a dominant force in the worlds of business and technology. but its position has been challenged and, in some ways, surpassed by apple, google and others in recent years.
some question its ability to innovate. now, microsoft is facing a pivotal moment and a crucial test, as ray suarez reports. ( applause ) >> it really is an exciting, exciting day. >> suarez: like other c.e.o.s, microsoft's steve ballmer often tries to generate buzz with his product launches. but the company's big event in new york yesterday had a different vibe. the company's well-known operating system, now called windows 8, is getting its biggest makeover in nearly two decades for the first time, windows' design is built around touch- screen capabilities and utilizes "apps" similar to its competitors that microsoft calls "live tiles." the software went on sale today as part of a global launch in countries like japan and china. the company is aiming directly at the mobile device market. >> what we've done is actually re-imagined windows, and we've re-imagined essentially the whole p.c. industry.
in addition to notebooks and desktops, we introduced the p.c. as tablet, which i think will be phenomenal. >> suarez: microsoft still dominates the p.c. market. its systems are used in nine of every ten computers in the world. but it's trying to compete differently, and showed off its new surface tablet, the latest entry in an increasingly crowded field. on tuesday, apple introduced the ipad mini, a smaller version of its popular predecessor. today, executives at the tech giant said they expect lower profits this holiday season. that sent its stock below $600 a share f the first time since july. also battling for a share of the tablet marketplace, online retailer amazon with its kindle fire, and google is expected to reveal its newest nexus device next week. some deeper context now about what's at stake for microsoft as people increasingly shift away from p.c.s. we're joined by charles golvin, an analyst at forrester
research. he's in los angeles tonight. charles, do these apple, microsoft releases represent a big change in direction for the indtry. not just for microsoft but for other makers? >> absolutely. we have seen a real shift here in the competitive dynamic. it used to be about the pc. and now people are spending more and more time on these mobile devices whether they are tablets or smart phones. and that's really a place where microsoft is extremely weak compared to amazon, google and apple, especially. and so this represents a real shift for microsoft trying to be as relevant in this new computing world as they have been in the past. >> suarez: well, it's the largest single supplier of operating systems in the world. once a player like microsoft decides the future's in touch, does it move some of, have some of of its own momentum that the future's
in touch, that's it? >> well, i think apple has already esblished that that is the case and others have followed. you know, i think microsoft is with the launch of windows 8 not just trying to reimagine the pc as we heard him say, but also to be relevant in that touch wld and deliver the kinds of productivity and other computing experiences where computing has been focused in the past. but today it's all about applications and things that you do on the go, not what you do sitting in front of a desktop. >> suarez: so really are you no longer centered. your computing world is no longer centered on a box on your desk, it's wherever you are? >> it's wherever you are. it's whatever is in your hands. but it's not just about the device. it's also about all the content that you c buy, tv, movies, books, magazines. it's about the cloud
services where all of that content lives. and you can access on any one of these devices. and it's also about your social connections to the people that you care about, and how you can most easily connect with those people. >> suarez: with not only the new operating system but the surface, is microsoft, which has had some pretty rocky product launches in the past, taking a big risk? >> it is a big risk but it is a risk that they have to ake. unfortunately one of their business-- biggest segments that they sell to, that is the business market, the enterprise market is very cautious about this new product. even though i think consumers are maybe more enthusiastic. but when we asked enterprises back in 2009 about whether they were planning to deploy that latest version, windows 7, about two-thirds of them said yes. today when we asked them about windows 8, it's only half as many say they plan to deploy it. >> suarez: people still think of amazon largely as a retailer, google largely as
an on-line service provider, even with the success in cellular and other kinds of handheld computing. what is the thing that they're all converging on? they don't want to be just retailers orion line service providers, do they? >> no, that's true, they don't. they really want to cement customers loyalty across the devices that they use, the content that they buy, where they shop, their social connections to other people. d really fdamentally their loyalty across all of those things. trying to make it so that no matter what the customer wants to do, they're going to come first to them as a service provider, as a device maker, as a provider of connections to the people and the things that they care about. >> so play this out a couple of years down the road. does, does one or another of these big companies become a
space, a feeling, a notion as much as they are a company at mkes stuff, o sells you things? >> well, i think we've already seen this. so you know, apple used to be just a device maker. now they're one of the largest retailers of content. and they're also one of the most profitable physical retailers in the world. in fact, i think the most profitable in terms of revenue per retail square footage. amazon is not just about selling you books, razor blades, and other household goods, butpretty much anything that you wt to buy you can get from amazon. and google really then is providing you that gateway into the on-line world no matter what it might be. but all of those are really becoming one experience as we live our lives on-line, more and more. and so i think as we look to the future, it's all of
these companies are trying to be all of those things to consumers. >> suarez: so where does that leave the companies that are still very much anchored in the world of making thing, the sonies, lonovos, the dells, will they have to page a partnership 59 some point or another with these companies that have bigger ambitions? >> those companies who are really focused around making devices are in a very tough place. because more and more of customers loyalty is being tied to the software, the applications, the services that these larger companies provide. and the device makers are really struggling to differentiate across those devices and make their brands mean more than just a piece of hardware. samsung is trying to sell content as well. sony has a big media business as well. those companies are hedging their bets between multiple bets across these platforms, but also trying to establish
a unique meaning, a unique value proposition to consumers. they're really in a very, very tough space, very challenging dynamics ahead of them. >> suarez: charles golvin, thanks a lot. >> my pleasure. >> brown: if ere is a "first among equals" for battleground states this campaign season, ohio would likely get the nod. certainly, it feels as though one or both of the candidates is there almost daily. todd zwillich of public radio international visited northeast ohio recently to look at how gains in the local economy offer both campaigns a chance to trumpet their policies. his story is part of our new collaboration with public media partners across the country as we bring you reports from areas that will likely determine the outcome of the election in a series we call "battleground dispatches." >> that's the sound of the
economy here in northeast ohio being reborn. at this brand-new manufacturing plant in hubbard, emmitt's oil & gas, construction is booming. >> we've doubled our in-house staff. we have over a hundred people working in our building, that is engineering, project managers, drafters, superintendents, even office help. >> reporter: chris, the company's chief operating officer grew newspaper northeast oo which suffered through decades of economic decline. today he's ace business thrive on a resurgence in energy and auto manufacturing, he's feeling optimistic. >> there's a lot more smiling, a lot more sunshine around here, and we're all enjoying that. >> reporter: it's a far cry from the economic freefall ohio endured years before the recession hit the rest of the nation. losing over 419,000 manufacturing jobs between 1999 and 2009. and this corner of the state was one of the hardest hit. >> i understand there is a lot of people suffering out there. we've been ere. we'veivedhrough that.
but today that is changing. jobs are returning, and the economy here is hammering back. the most recent state employment data show ohio has added more than 52,000 jobs since 2009, and unemployment has fallen below the national average to 6.5%. in an election year centered on jobs and the economy, ohio is now bustling northeast corridor has made the area even more of a focal point than in years past, in this crucial battleground state for both presidential candidates. >> hello, ohio! >> god bless ohio. >> reporter: president obama and mitt romney's campaigns are practically camped out here. and each candidate has made multicity tours of the state just this week. winning ohio is critical for both. but because of the electoral mass, it's much more so for romney. whose victory may well depend on the state's 18 electoral votes. david cohen is a professor of political skoins at the university of ago ron. >> no republican has ever taken the white house
without taking the state of ohio. and only a couple times has a democrat done so. to clearly it is an important state. >> reporter: but also a complex one. the two driving forces of growth here play into the messages of both campaigns. mr. obama points to his administration's auto rescue for saving jobs. and romney emphasizes the need for domestic energy production as an economic engine for the area. >> we've had a lot of positive economic news over the last couple of months. and so the question is, is it too close to the election to really make an impact on people's votes? or are people still kind of weighing the economic realities of the country and of the state. >> reporter: the city of lord's town is home to a sprawling general motors factory, the area's largest employer. once on the verge of collapse, it's become a national symbol of the federal bailout of the auto industry and a center piece of mr. obama's campaign. former president bill clinton who will visit ohio next week with the president
pointed to the plant's success as this summer's democratic party conventions in charlotte. >> the auto industry restructuring worked. it saved-- it saved more than a million jobs, and not just at gm, chrysler and their dealerships, but in auto parts manufacturing all over the country. >> reporter: today the lords town plant churns out the chevrolet cruz, the country's best selling compaq car, to meet demands it's gone from one shift a day to three, and round-the-clock production. dave green is president of the local united auto workers union. >> but the whole economy will benefit from this because our parts suppliers, the people who work there are out shopping at the stores, they are paying tacks, you know, they're investing in their community. >> reporter: the auto industry employs one out of every eight workers in the state. youngstown is the largest city in the region and reaped many of the benefits. it's not just auto breathing new life into northeast ohio. in youngstown, the once
declining steel industry has come back. and the evidence is french-owned bn m-star which makes field tube force natural gas drilling. the company chose youngstown for its $1 billion expansion. you might not think of ohio as an energy powerhouse, but it is on the verge of a natural gas boom of its own. noreast ohio hit on vast shale formations which are rich in gas and oil. advances in hydraulic fracturing known as fracking have put the possibility of extracting that energy within reach. tom waltermire is chairman of team northeast ohio, a nonprofit economic development group. >> the gas drilling that is starting to happen in ohio is just starting to take place. you know, in the last year, maybe a hundred wells have been drilled. and two years from now, over a thousand per year are projected to be drilled. so that's just arting to ramp up. >> for politicians in an election fight the question is who gets the advantage from all the success.
romney has made big gains nationally since the first debate. and polls show he's now in a virtual tie with the president. but in ohio, romney has seen much smaller gains. mr. obama has consist enly lead in the polls here and still holds an average of a 2 to 3 point lead. with the resurgence of the auto industry, new steal production and the promise of large natural gas reserves, you can sense the optimm here in northeast ohio. but biguestnnow is whether democratic strongholds like youngstown will give mr. obama enough margin to carry the state and stay in the white house. mr. obama's popularity here is maintained by strong support from autoworkers like union president green. >> in march everything almost came to a halt, right. the contractors we had in the plant were backing off. there were helicopters flying over our plant taking inventory, people walking through our plant with clipboards taking inventory. they were going to liquidate our facility. that's a fact. so mitt romney can air brush
this ll i wants. that's what was happening at the time. the fact that president obama stood up and said i'm going take a bet on the american workers and we're going to invest in this when it wasn't a popular thing to do, absolutely he deserves credit. >> mr. obama needs to persuade more than just his union base that he's the one to continue this success. while the energy boom happened under his watch ohio voters are not all quick to give him the credit. crist of emmitt's oil & gas ved for mr. obama in 200 and says the pside has do a gd job over the last four years. but his business is preparing for the next four years. and he's decided on romney this time around. >> i'm leaning more towards romney in the sense that he is a businessman. he understands what we're going through. he understands the situation that many businessmen have been in, where government can step in and effect what are you trying to do. and that is create jobs. and we believe that he has a strong belief in energy
independence in this country. >> reporter: he is betting on the future of northeast ohio's gas reserves. but for otrs it's already hit home. mel owns a farm in the valley not far from youngstown. he's leased a patch of land once meant for soybeans to console energy which has already begin drilling and he is also bit-- betting that romney approach will serve him best. >> the president has more regulations, he's put more regulations on farmingnd everything. i think i have seen a number, 200 and some regulations that he did by executive order. and plans on doing some more after the election. >> reporter: but the state's good fortune has wound up a complicating factor for romney's argument that things have not improved in the last four years. >> there have been mixed messages. even ohio's republican governor john kasich who was elected in 2010 points to
the state's economic gains, like here at the party's convention in tampa. >> that when we came into office we were 48th in job creation. you know where we are today? we're 4th in america in job creation, and number one in the midwest. both campaigns are focused on getting people to the polls, in large numbers and early. a recent court decision here extended the time allowed to vote before election day and 35% of voters are expected to cast their ballots before november 6th. earlier this week in youngstown voters came in steady streams to the polling station for ohio's county. the campaigns know thief ree early vote locks in support they already have. and it's not just economic issues impacting vters heading toast their ballots. >> still pretty undecide. i also feel mitt romney has a lot of ideas about the economy that would be helpfulment i just don't always agree with his women rights ideas. >> regardless of what is driving voters decisions,
this corner of ohio could be the key to the oval office. >> i think whoever wins ohio will win this election. i am willing to go on record and say that. >> and as the economy here keeps humming, both candidates will be working hard to win ohio and secure their own job for the next four years. >> brown: online, we talk to ohio public radio reporter karen kasler about the mood of voters in the buckeye state. plus, we round up some of the television ads inundating their living rooms so you can take a look. >> woodruff: and to the analysis of shields and brooks-- syndicated columnist mark shields and new york times columnist david brooks. welcome, gentlemen. >> judy. >> woodruff: so we just hered -- heard the professor say whoever wins ohio will win the election s that how you see 1234. >> i never argue with a tenure professor. i think he's absolutery --ly right. >> okay. what do you think, david. >> i often argue with
tenured professors but this one happens to have stumbled upon the truth. no, i do think it's very hard to see mitt romney winning without ohio. it's possible to see obama winning but romney really has to win. and the paradox of the election, one of them is if barack obama does win he should give steve ratner who successfully ran the auto bailout some sort of high level government job or at least a big case of wine to thank him. and the second real ironys mi romney wanted to carry ohio he should have given a lot of money to the environmental groups who were trying to stop fracking. the fact that they were unable to stop fracking means the john growth especially in eastern ohio has been pretty sensational. not only the energy products itself but because of the cheap energy it's generating, you are beginning to seifert lyzer plantings and other things like that. are you getting pretty broad prosperity out of that and more to am come and that is as a result of the shale gas. >> woodruff: mark, you know that state well. does one candidate or the other have more going for it? >> well, judy, i mean this is the year, truly.
yocan forget the big apple and forget big it and la, it is janesville, stubinville this is the big casino of this election. i done see how either one of them win was ohio. i will be very blunt about it. and i think that what is interesting about ohio, is it's whiter and older than the country. and that's been the republican vote area, has been among more white and older voters. so it is sort of counterintuitive. ohio has one sixth percentage of latinos or hispanic voters than the country does at large. i mean it doesn't have the minorities that you associate with sort of democratic growth or democratic coalition. and i really do think david's right, steve ratner did a great job but it was barack obama. and mitt romney was wrong. and this, they're still on the defensive about this, at recently as thursday night in defines, ohio, rob
portman, senator from ohio and the surrogate debate substitute for president obama introduced mitt romney saying let's get this straight. mitt romney was the first guy-- barack obama took gm and chrysler through bankruptcy. mitt romney was for guaranteeing loans, and they're still trying to explain it. and he's very much on the defensive. so obama is running better with whites and white males in ohio than he is elsewhere, in large part because of the auto bailout and they've got a great ground game in ohio too. >> we should emphasize it's not a slam-dunk for obama. if you look at the polls it's been ve steady t point advantage. >> uh-huh. >> in the state for obama. and one of the oddities of the race so far is that the national numbers probably a slight romney favorite right now, the state numbers like ohio, and obama favored. and i don't know too many experienced political hands who expect that to continue,
that you get at this junction between the national numbers and some of these swing state numbers. usually they come together. it's possible that if say romney gets a plurality or a majority of 50.6, it's possible to see him losin the electoral college. if he's up over 51 or 52, it's hard to reconcile a two or three point win with an electoral loss. numbers have got to be pretty close. >> because the two are more likely to go in tandem is what you are saying. >> yeah, it's a crazy system. and david and i can have that debate. the electoral college is -- >> we can talk about that next. >> yes, in the off season. but let's understand this. there is a republican advantage in ohio. ohio is more republican than the nation. and internally, this one democratic statewide office holder, demoatic setor share odd brown, all the others are held by republicans. republicans have strong majorities in both houses of the legislature and congressional is 12 to 4, lines are drawn 12 to 4 t
may end is up 11-5 because bette sutton may win a district. but it's a-- s so it's a republican state going in. the irony is for mitt romney, is that john kasich who you saw in the piece, the governor, is extolling all these good news that we just heard. and the romney people don't want to hear that because part of their message is we've got the economic key. and it can't have already happened in ohio under barack obama's watch. >> woodruff: let's broaden it out. you said that you were talking to david about the difference between ohio and the rest of the country, what does it look like across the country right know in the campaign? >> you know, i have read so many very confident people over the last 24 hourx totally confident that obama is going to win or that romney is going to win. i don't think we can know. i think something will happen the last three days, there will be a shift and something will happen. i do think there has been a contrast in how the campaigns are operatng in the last couplef weeks. and romney's trying to go big with big change. paul ryan gave i think quite
a good speech on social mobility and poverty earlier in the week. romney gave what was billed as a major speech on the economy, i'm not sure how new it was but they are trying to go big and talk about big issues. the obama campaign i think is going small and even deeper into microtargeting. they have this linda dunham video targeted it to single women. they've got a series of more tightly targeted. they're doing the binders, still doing the binders for women, much more negave stuff. personally i don't know if it will be effective. personally i like the way the romney campaign is try to be more substantive but romney overwhelmingly negative. >> i come back to the walter monday dale race with gary hart. where's the beef. i have heard romney talk about big change, big change. i know he is large bills but i -- know he was big change. this is just, it's just an adjective and a known. as far as paul ryan's speech on poverty, i mean paul ryan's budget, 62% of the cuts in his budget came from
programs foroor people. i think it's wonderful to talk about social mobility. i think it's great to talk about community. but i mean when the rubber hits 9 road, who's going to pay for it i mean who is going to pay the cost. there wasn't a single pit of burden imposed by paul ryan in his budget on those luckiest, the most advantaged, the most privileged of all of us in this country. so i mean, yes, you can say he is taking on entitlements or whatever else. but you know, let's not talk about poverty when in fact we're cutting t lungs out from those at th very bottom. >> woodruff: so you are saying they are walking away from what they -- >> listen, the obama campaign has been silent on the subject of pov earth. i mean middle class is their mantra. and i think david's point about their single issue is absolutely true. i think that they have been one-dimensional in their approach to women. it's been all about reproductive rights. they haven't talked about
the issues of equal pay. they haven't talked about our daughters rights. i mean who might be flying a helicopter never afghanistan re b a special education teacher. >> woodruff: why do you think they're doing this? >> i think they are very much in the segmentation of the electorate. i means that's-- they were going to assemble a majority this way. and i think to me, you know f it wins, then i guess it's a successful strategy. but the problem it is, judy, when dow win what have you won? i don't think either of these campaigns have been constructed, if they do win, they're going have any kind of mandate they can point to. >> i agree with some of mark's criticism of e paul ry speech. t at leasit w sot of a substantive speech. i went back, i said am i managing the way old campaigns used to be. i lensed to the 1980 speeches in the debates, jimmy carter versus ronald reagan. they prul actually were talking about the major issues in the day, stagflation, the major issues of the day, wide everyoning inequality that
has not been talked about. wage stagnation that has barely been talked about. global warming, go down the list of the big issues of the day. and this campaign i think more even that real life campaigns, not managing some play time campaign, even more than recent campaigns have ignored a lot of those issues. >> woodruff: why do you think that is? >> because the consultants have taken over. and i think both of the candidates are not particularly sincere, especially mitt romney. and so they're not running on things that sort of motivate you to get into public life. they've decided they have strategies of how to do it and the candidates are play acting out those strategies. >> i challenge either one 6 them to tell -- president obama doesn't have grandchildren but tell his daughters what he is proud about in this campaign. >> mitt romney that huge andsome this is what grandpa stood for. in 2012. judy, whatever you say about ronald reagan and i said a lot. but he ran a double defense budget, cut taxes by a third so when he won in 1980 there
was a mandate to do it. and i don't see any mandate coming out of this election unless i'm missing. >> one of the things that occurred to me this week is (obama running an ad i think in ohio that ends with mitt romney, he's not one of us. and that's an old code language. and you know, just as a sense of principles you just don't run that ad with that sort of slogan. so it is part of -- >> we saw the debate on monday night. we saw its old mitt, iraq war, i was for t i support it then, i support it now. and monday night we don't want another iraq. i'm not dick cheney or george w. bush. peace, peace, peace, the new mitt, would have the new nixon in 68y. i mean the new improved mitt, he did the same thing on iran sanctions. he was talking about an aerial strike, he was talking about an invasion, attk un ian a recently as months ago. and now he is saying oh i'm
all for sauntions. we have to do it peacefully and diplomatically. so i mean who is this man. you know, that is -- >> i feel like we're coming to the end of this campaign with the two large questions unanswered, crucial questions. would mitt romney buff the republican party at any time if he were elected president. and secondly, does barack obama have sort of a second wind, a second burst of policy creative. >> woodruff: he did put out this 20 page. >> but that was a rehash statement of his. if y go to what he ote in 2007, i bet most of those things are in that 2007 book. and so they're fine. you know, community colleges, more math and science teachers and all that stuff. but it's not exactly a huge agenda. so you are a voter. you are trying to imagine what is the next four years going to look like. i think it's very hard because the big questions have been unasked. >> woodruff: well, i guess only ten days to go after this. i was going to ask you about the ground game and all kinds of other things. but this has been better than that, better than the ground game. >> it's important for us to
vent emotional. >> woodruff: mark shields, david brooks, thank you both. there is more politics talk with mark, david, and hari on the "doubleheader", recorded in our newsroom. that will be posted at the top of the rundown later tonight. >> brown: finally tonight, a woman is attacked and the life of her 13-year-old son, joe, is altered forever, along with his family. that's the dramatic outline of the new novel "the round house" by louise erdrich, which has been nominated for a national book award. the story is set on a native american reservation in north dakota, and it explores clashes of culture and law between tribal and state jurisdictions in investigating a crime. i talked with louise erdrich recently and asked her how she came to write the book. >> i was really haunted for years by the background, the political background. but i didn't want to write a
political diatribe of any sort. so i waited and waited to have some character come to me and speak to me abou this situation. >> so if it started with this issue, then let's explain the issue. because, and it's not giving away much of the move told say there is this jurisdictional problem, right, of law, who is a native, who has jurisdiction over crimes. but what is it that you wanted to explore. explain the problem. >> well, i'm-- there's a legacy of violence ainst native women that has gotten worse and worse over time. d historically the underpinnings lien the complex nature of land tenure on native reservations. each piece of land has a different jurisdictional authority. a lot of this, there's attempts to solve this. one of the most recent was sponsored by senator patrick
lehy of the senate judicial committee. and their recommendation was in terms of violence against women, the reauthorization act 2012. so there have been attempts. t the is a kind of fear of restoring some pieces of sovereignty to native tribes. and the statistics are that one in three native women are raped. about 67% of those rapes fall under federal jurisdiction and are not prosecuted. something like 88% are believed to be committed by nonnatives. and the tribes have no jurisdiction over nonnative. so partf e fix is to restore some sovereignty, some jurisdiction over nonnative people only in these situations. >> so this started with the
issue, political issue. >> it started with the background but i didn't know who was going to talk to mement and i was digging little frees out of the foundation of my own parent's house. and as i drove away and left, this voice started to talk to me. and i kneonce i had written into this, when i got to those words, where is your mother, i knew that this was book. i knew hi the book. >> so you saw this decidedly nonfiction, huge problem. >> it's a big tangle. the way i'm explaining it. it's like you start unraveling it. >> but you had to find a way in as a novelist. >> i had to find a way to go straight in and joe gave me the in with the innocence and heart and-- well, he's not all that innocent. he's a 13-year-old kid. >> brown: jay. >> but he's so protective of his mother. and so ambivalent at a
13-year-old about both his mother and his father. soes's growing up in a tremendously short time over the course of a summer. >> brown: and i know in others of your works you like to have multiple voices, sort of explaining the story. this one really is focused on this young 134-year-old joe. -- 13-year-old, joe, it was hard to get there voice right and why did you just focus in on one voice? >> i didn't really decide it just happened to me. i was so interested in writing in his voice that it really took over i feel now that i see that book sitting at your he would bow that i sort of want it back. i want to be writing in that voice again. >> brown: you want the book back. >> and i want joe back, he was mine. now he's out there. but i loved-- . >> brown: does that always happen, i mean you can't have hymn, right, because he's ours, right. is that normal for to you feel after you have finished a book. >> somewhat. but in this case it's very special because joe just took me through this entire
book, asou saidis voice is the major voice in the book. >> now this sense of place, you know, it talked to a lot of writers, some have it and really feel and others, you know, they could be writing about anyplace. with you, it's often a specific place. and it's often a culture that is otherwise not much written about in our culture. is that important to you. is that part of what you are doing or is that just where you are from and what you know. >> it's who i am. you know, a grew up in north dakotah and i didn't lea until i was 18. and i have kept goingbac my parents still live there. my family works in the indian health service and in the school system. and north dakota really, the red river valley specifically, and the turtle mountain chippewa reservation is really what i am-- where i am from and what i know. so that is all i'm doing. >> brown: is there a sense,
even the name, the round house t is a sacred place on the reservation. >> yes, exactly. >> brown: and i'm wondering in writing about this ctures the a fearof losing some of those tradition, losing that culture? >> well, i think this is what is the heart of the book. the round house is a sacred place on many reservations. there's a kiva or there is a sweat lodge, round places, the teepee is round. this is the circle that depicts the turn of the earth itself. and to have this violated does speak tohe violation of aulture. buwhat thnkhappens and what i think the book talks about is also the resilience of the culture. >> brown: and the book can help preserve it, i suppose, or at least let the rest of the culture know about it. >> i'm hoping this particular issue gets-- becomes more widely understood. it's very complicated. >> brown: all right, the new book is "the round house",
louise erdrich, thanks some of. >> pleasure. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: the latest snapshot of the u.s. economy showed positive growth, hurricane sandy left at least 40 people dead across the caribbean as it tracked toward the east coast of the u.s. and a suicide bomb outside a mosque in northern afghanistan killed 41 people. who better to ask about inefficiencies in the u.s. health care system than the patients it serves, you? hari sreenivasan explains. >> sreenivasan: we asked for your first-hand accounts of the ways you've experiend waeful practices in medical care. find those stories, plus all our healthcare reporting this week on our health page. gwen ifill counts down to election day with some interesting campaign numbers,
like how many people have already voted. that's gwen's take. find the latest satellite image of hurricane sandy as it whirls up the east coast, plus a slide show of images from the storm so far. on tonight's "need to know", rick karr examines the controversy over new voting rules in the battleground state of florida. >> reporter: that's interstate four down there. the highway cuts the state of florida in half. to the north of it, a majority of floridians vote republican. on the other side, to the south of it, a majority vote democratic. so the balance of political power in florida is here in orlando and in the counties along i-4. you can think of them as being the swing counties in a swing state that could determine the outcome of the election. >> sreenivasan: you can see all of rick karr's story later tonight. look for "need to know" on your pbs station. judy. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on monday, we'll look at just how much the campaigns ow about you, taken from your online life. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown.
"washington week" can be seen later this evening on most pbs stations. we'll see you online, and again here monday evening. have a nice weekend. thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: bnsf carnegie corp >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you.