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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  December 7, 2012 10:00am-11:00am PST

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yep. the longer you stay with us, the more you save. and when you switch from another company to us, we even reward you for the time you spent there. genius. yeah, genius. you guys must have your own loyalty program, right? well, we have something. show her, tom. huh? you should see november! oh, yeah? giving you more. now that's progressive. call or click today. right now on "andrea mitchell reports" -- now there are two. the president and the speaker. direct talks but only moments ago john boehner says there's no progress. >> the president has adopted a deliberate strategy to slow walk our economy right to the edge of the fiscal cliff. it's time for the president, if he's serious to come back to us with a counter offer.
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>> the president told a virginia family on thursday he won't back down on taxing the rich. >> just to be clear, i'm not going to sign any package that somehow prevents the top rate from going up for folks at the top 2%. but i do remain optimistic that we can get something done that is good for families like this one. >> the rebels gain on assad raising fears he might use chemical weapons. that was enough to frighten the russians into talking with hillary clinton about a political transition. >> the united states stands with the syrian people in insisting that any transition process re -- result in a unified democratic syria in which all citizens are represented. the future of this kind cannot possibly include assad. >> a tragic turn of events in london. the nurse that first transferred
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that prank call to duchess catherine is found dead. david axelrod shaves it all off on "morning joe." >> joe scarborough. >> are your friends at the white house watching? >> laughing, i'm sure. >> laughing. >> his sacrifice is paying off a bet after he and his wife susan raised more than $1 million for epilepsy research, a disorder his daughter suffers from. >> your dollars are going to that research, that's worth a mustache and a lot more. >> and a picture is worth a thousand words. guess what news the president was getting when he took this call. we'll bring you the latest from the white house photo gallery. >> i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. after weeks of bluster and brinksmanship from both sides the negotiations now rest with the two most important players, president obama and house speaker john boehner. joining me for our daily fix, nbc's david gregory moderator of "meet the press" and chris cizilla, msnbc contributor and
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managing editor of post david, you've been on the hill talking to a lot of people. what is your sense? we hear john boehner saying no progress. >> right. >> is this all just a lot of shadow boxing right now? >> i think it's a lot of shadow boxing. i've gotten a clear impression of is that republicans are in a position to give on tax rates, if, and i keep underlining a big if, if they can get the white house to deal on entitlements. they have to get something for their members. enough public sentiment saying give up on the tax breaks to get a bigger deal. the president could muscle through the tax rates on his own. risks on his side. why not force him into a position where they can get sort of a bigger deal. here's what i thought was important. republicans saying to me that, you know, last july when we had the debt debacle, the feeling was don't give the president a success, don't give him a big victory because we want to have a prospect of our own candidate winning the white house. that's gone. so i think some of that is abated. >> and chris cizilla, john
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boehner seems to have more running room. you don't see eric cantor looking over his shoulder quite so much. >> i thought that one of the most fascinating things of the week, the "new york times" story that detailed what you're saying, andrea, that john boehner is in a stronger position than he was after the 2010 election. sort of consolidated his republican conference behind him. david is right, is i think what we know is republicans are willing ultimately, they may not say it today, ultimately before december 31st willing to give, but they have to get something and that something i think winds up being specifics on the entitlement cuts that president obama has laid out or more entitlement cuts, but something. i think john boehner has to go back to his members and say look, president obama won the election, polling suggests we republicans lose if we go over the cliff, and i got this one thing that's going to mitigate your unhappiness over the fact that we're moving up rates on
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the wealthiest americans. he needs the third part to sell the whole package. >> and david, there is a jobs report today which sort of mixed news for everyone. it's a good number, down to 7.7%, unemployment, 146,000 new jobs added but the downside is that fewer people were in the labor force a lot fewer, because people gave up on even trying. >> i think this is one of the more provocative questions and get to it on sunday, which is, are we too focused on the debt. are we not focused enough on what the government can be doing to try to spur job growth? beyond just -- >> there was a stimulus piece in the offer from the white house that was laughed at by the -- >> laughed at but could end up surviving. one of the things about the president's initial offer is it may have sent a bad signal to conservatives but it did have the effect of getting his folks behind him and really solidifying that base it felt in the past he gives too much and doesn't go for big enough in the beginning. this whole question of what, if
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anything government can do to try to stimulate additional job growth, something that he as president has to be thinking about, even if he believes, and i think he does, the economy is turning around if we can get this debt piece off the table, that it's going to free up more economic activity. but there's still a lot of caution on the part of business. >> and looking down the road, chris cizilla, the president also has a lot of foreign policy challenges, there's a threat of another nuclear weapons test from north korea, you've got chemical weapons threatened in syria as assad is losing ground to the rebels, the russians and possible productive diplomacy with hillary clinton and others on her team, a lot on the president's plate. they have to get this stuff out of the way. >> it's -- the challenge of being president in this modern age, there's so many challenges to being president. i would say -- i mean i think the thing i'm most struck by is syria. it just seems to me, you have the -- what looks likes the
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start of assad preparing the possibility of using chemical weapons as nbc reported yesterday. what do we do? what can we do? senator clinton -- secretary clinton meeting with russia, what can we do and what's the next step if they don't listen. >> it's a complex world the president is going to lead in. >> can i enter, you cover these issues all the time and did a lead story on nightly news on this topic. the question fors the president is ultimately what do you do when your foreign policy has been premised on bringing american troops home, at a time when american power and influence is needed particularly in the middle east, but there are no easy answers. this i think is what sort of calls out for an obama doctrine in a second term. he doesn't seem to have one at the moment which is a big issue. >> and doesn't have a foreign policy team yet. he's still wrestling with those decisions. more on that to come. david gregory, thank you very much. chris cizilla. coming up sunday on "meet the press," the fiscal cliff debate. the latest between house republican whip kevin mccarthy and assistant senate majority
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leader dick durbin, the two men who have been at the table. congress hearing from all sides on the fiscal cliff and heading up a coalition of business and economic leaders in the fix the debt campaign, where do you sense the players are right now in terms of whether they'll go interest a small deal, band-aid approach or grand bargain. >> the good news is while it's a nail biter, that's for sure, we all wish we could solve some of these problems without going to the brink like we do in politics, i think they're going to get this resolved and be able to put in place a plan not just to avert the fiscal cliff, but importantly to really tackle the deficit and debt problems in this country. i am concerned that deal won't be big enough. is it going to be small or medium or big. we need a plan big enough to fix the deficit problems and make sure the debt is no longer growing faster than the economy.
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we're not going to be able to balance the budget in the near future because the fiscal hole is so big. you want to make sure the debt is not growing faster than the economy. that's going to take $4 trillion in savings. you need all parts on the table and constructed in a thoughtful way so that revenues are raised in ways that are good for the economy as possible, and that when we're looking at the spending in the budget, we reform our entitlement programs and reduce spending in way that's thoughtful and good for the economy. it's going to take a lot to get there, but i actually think most of the policy ideas are well known and we're now in this political negotiation where i think there's a lot of support for having them, if they're going to go through all this, have a deal big enough to fix the problem. >> what do you say, two things, first of all, it to those who say that the economy is still sputtering along, weakness in the manufacturing sector, for instance, that this isn't the right time for dramatic cuts and secondly, that the debt ceiling deal will not be averted because the republicans have said that
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is a nonstarter. this could be a negotiating point, but we may be facing another showdown in january. >> well, on the first point it's absolutely true that the economy is not strong enough, it's not as strong as it should be. jobs numbers being what they are. still not on track for nearly as strong a recovery as we would want. i would make two major points. one of the big threats to the economy remains the lack of stability that we currently have. because we know big changes are going to have to happen in the budget. but we don't know what they are. if you talk to a small business owner there is investments they want to make, expansions they might want to do that they can't move ahead on until they know what to expect. i actually think publgts putting in place a big deal that adds stability would be tremendously good for the economy. at the same time i think it's important you don't put all those changes in too quickly. you don't want those spending cuts to hit really abruptly. that's part of the reason we want to avoid the fiscal cliff. it's actually too much deficit reduck sln too quickly in the wrong parts of the budget. you want a more thoughtful,
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thought out plan. on your point about the debt ceiling, we what we need is to have certainty, know where we're headed. not have multiple showdowns but the debt ceiling is only going to be increased significantly if it goes hand in hand with a big enough deal which has real changes in the budget. so the best thing we could do is put in place a balanced plan deals with all parts of the budget and really provides the kind of sense of security that households, small businesses, everybody needs to know so we can start planning for the economy and hopefully getting things growing back again. one of the things you see is that when your debt levels are as high as they are, in this country right now, that's a tamp on economic growth and can harm growth. that's the point we're at. we know that part of a growth strategy will have to be getting control of these deficits and debt and fix the debt as basically saying, we have to work this out and do it in a bipartisan way that's good for the economy and helps adds certainty we haven't had in quite some time. >> thank you very much. and next on at "andrea
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mitchell reports" the threat of chemical war fair in syria. what are the military options? former assistant secretary william cohen joins us. >> three, two, one. >> president obama joins the first family in a star-studded lineup last night to light the national christmas tree. ♪ santa claus is coming to town ♪ music is a universal language. but when i was in an accident... i was worried the health care system spoke a language all its own with unitedhealthcare, i got help that fit my life. information on my phone. connection to doctors who get where i'm from. and tools to estimate what my care may cost. so i never missed a beat. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
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some diplomats saying a chemical threat from syria could be imminent. secretary of state hillary clinton repeated syria's president assad must go in any political arrangement and warned though she and russia's foreign
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minister are working together on a political solution they remain far from a breakthrough. joining me is former defense secretary william cohen, thanks so much for joining us. >> good to be this you. >> russia sounded a few different signals this week. putin in turkey, making some suggestions perhaps they would not be sticking with assad as strongly as they have been in the past. then this is the first time that foreign minister met with hillary clinton on assad, met with the u.n. mediator and we're being cautioned this is no break through but there will be follow-up meeting. seems some u.s. officials russia is hedging its bets or beginning to see a future without assad. >> i think that's the case. we've talked about this before, but there is a russian card to be played, to be played by russia itself. they have influence with president assad, they have interests in syria, and i think that they can see the handwriting on the wall that assad is eventually going to go,
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whether it's in the near term, long term, eventually he's going. you can see the shift in momentum as far as the rebels now starting to gain much greater military success than they have in the past. they've been weapons that have been able to take some helicopters out of the air, shoulder-fired missiles, et cetera. i think they can see the shift taking place and want to be in a position to help negotiate some sort of an acceptable ending to this where they can play the role of a peacemaker. so i think not with standing their hedging or appearing to hedge their bets this ink that ir' going to play a positive role here to bring about an end to the assad regime and hopefully try to structure some sort of transitional government where you don't see the country just break apart and fragment into various sectarian enclaves. that's a danger we're facing now. >> a couple other points. the russian's foreign minister told hillary clinton in ireland they do not want to take him in. they're not offering him exile.
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he's not going to find something outside of moscow. whether he goes to latin america or doesn't get out of his country alive that's another question. the meeting between hillary clinton and the russians sends a signal to some of his insiders, some of the defense officials, the military, that perhaps defection might be a safer option. i want to ask you about the chemical weapons. as the rebels gain ground there has been a concern y, you saw leon panetta warning assad should not use his chemical weapons or else. what is the military option? the caution that i'm hearing and you know far better than i as a former defense secretary, we don't really short of ground troops, 75,000 ground troops, we don't have a military option. you can't take a cruise missile and go after those depots without risking contamination. >> there are two issues involved with chemical weapons. number one, whether assad himself would choose to use sarin gas, mustard gas or other
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chemical or biological agent to try to defeat the rebel forces. that's threat number one. threat number two would be if the rebel forces take over the country, there are elements in the rebel forces -- the u.n. and we and other countries don't want to see this take place. that's why it's important that we try to join forces with russia, turkey, other countries in the region to make sure we can bring about a quicker resolution than waiting it out for the rebels to take over and the possibility as i mentioned of practicing mentation taking place. there is no real military option. striking these chemical weapon facilities, that would release a plume that could affect not only the syrian people but neighboring jordanians and other countries killing thousands of innocent people. shooting at the military
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facility is not going to be successful. putting people on the ground that raises another issue altogether. who would they be? the united states. we're not going to put massive forces on the ground in syriap. it would have to be an international coalition. the russians have to be part of it. other countries have to play a role to secure the sites to make sure they don't fall into the hands of the wrong people. it's complicated but going to require russia and the united states all of the gulf states, it turkey and others, to really try to bring about a reasonable solution that will have a transitional government that will maintain the security of those sites until we can find out what kind of government is actually going to be established, is it going to be more democratic in nature, and promote the values that we all treasure. it's going to be a tough time. very tough time. >> it is a very tough time, indeed. thank you very much. former defense secretary william cohen. >> in our political briefing who's on the short list to replace jim demint?
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in blueberry/pomegranate and peach. the decision on who will replace demint falls to south carolina governor and friend of the show nikki haley. who will she pick? you want somebody young, somebody conservative, somebody from south carolina, maybe somebody who had a super pac. wait a second. [ applause ] >> today, governor haley has responded on her facebook page. pointing out that colbert once, in fact, failed to remember the south carolina state drink, it's milk. as the governor ponders who to appoint, which is his resignation have to say about the balance of power in washington. joining me is politico reporter maggie haberman. great to see you. let's talk about this. why is it more powerful to be the head of heritage, we know it pays better why is it better for
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a conservative to be in charge of the heritage foundation than to be a senator from south carolina. >> i think the point you made, it's not unimportant number one, but my colleagues at politico have a terrific story about why it is that jim demint would do this. it is because, you know, his power has been political and this organic leader of the tea party movement. he has done very well in terms of the candidates he has backed, a force in that moment and he will be in a stronger position from the outside to put pressure on legislators, to influence primaries and so forth much in the way we've seen a lot of outside groups do than he was a player inside the senate. >> and in fact, he's had a mixed record with the people he supported for some of those senate races have actually cost the republicans potential seats. let's talk about his potential
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replacement, nikki haley might be considering. you have very strong contender in representative tim scott, nick mulvaney, barrett, nathan valentine, haley's deputy chief of staff pits. what do you think is the current horse race here? >> it's tough because nikki haley marches to the beat of her own drum and could throw a curveball. with that, conservatives, a number have made clear that they prefer tim scott. he has a very strong story to tell. he would be fective and i think that, you know, this is a topic of discussion throughout the day, senators who are appointed and then try to get elected, don't always have the greatest level of success. i don't think that would be the case here. i think tim scott would do well and get elected. but there are other options. i think it is going to -- a couple competing forces. there's senator lindsey graham who would love to see his
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primary be avoided, nikki haley could buy herself political help with what she does. those will be the main factors. >> thank you so much, maggie haberman. massive protests as the political crisis gross in egypt today. we're live in cairo next. plus, tragic news out of london from the hospital where the duchess of cambridge had been treated. send me your thoughts on facebook and twitte twitter @mitchellreports. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. [ metal rattling ] ♪ boo! i am the ghost of meals past. when you don't use new pam, this is what you get. residue. [ female announcer ] bargain brand cooking spray leaves annoying residue. that's why there's new pam.
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jacintha was a first-class nurse who care ed diligently for hundreds of patients during her time with us. >> terribly sad story. nbc's keir simmons joins us. what do we knee about the circumstances of this and what could have led to this? >> well, look jacintha saldanha was well respected and liked the hospital said. she had been at the hospital around four years. we think she was the nurse who took a call from an australian radio station, a prank call, where the radio hosts were pretending to be the queen and prince charles and got put through to the ward where kate middleton was. now the radio station has just issued a statement, andrea, saying that their deepest sympathies go to jacintha's family and it says chief executive officer has spoken with the host and presenters and they are both deeply shocked and at this time have agreed not to comment on the circumstances. it says the hosts have died they
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will not return to their radio show until further notice for respect of what can only be described as a tragedy. it does have people very upset around the world, in particular, though, of course, kate and william and they have issued a statement in which they say the duke and duchess of cambridge are deep ly prayers are with he family and friends and colleagues at this very sad time. look, i can tell you that kate and william will be quite devastated by this and william in particular, i think, will view this as another example of a media that he has to deal with, but at the same time are difficult to deal with and that goes back, of course, all the way back to his mother and how he feels his mother was treated. you know, he's good at dealing with the media but at the same time he will see this as an example of an invasion of
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privacy, frankly, that was over the top. now we don't know, you know, what led to jacintha's death, but at the same time, clearly this has led to many people quite appalled by what happened. >> just appalling. so sad. thank you very much. tens of thousands of protesters in cairo have broken through a military barricade on the main streets adjacent to the presidential palace. with the main opposition coalition rejecting an offer from egypt's president for dialog, the turmoil continues. ayman mohyeldin is in cairo. ayman, president obama also called or talked to president morsi yesterday and was calling for more dialog but morsi gave a speech he's really not backing down and the protests will continue. what is going to happen next is. >> that's correct. well, in fact, let me start with breaking news that we're learning here at nbc, president morsi and the vice president have confirmed actually that
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egypt's election commission has delayed the vote for expatriate egyptians living abroad on the constitutional national referendum scheduled to start tomorrow for three days in countries all around the world at egyptian embassies around the world. we'll learned the government here has instructed the delay in that vote. why that's so important is because it is, perhaps, an indication what could come here in the coming days. one of the main demands of the protesters outside the presidential palace and tahrir square the president delay the vote on the constitution that was scheduled for december 15th. they've been arguing that the constitution does not represent all egyptians and, in fact, it was a constitution that favored isl islamists over secular forces. what we're learning is perhaps there could be a break-through in delaying that vote and meeting one of the demands. the president is expected to hold meetings on saturday with some of the opposition forces. not the main opposition forces, but several smaller parties and perhaps we'll be learning in the
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coming hours whether or not the demantsdss of the protesters, including rescinding a decree that gave the president nearly absolute powers and a vote on december 15th will be delayed. we expect that to be happening as you mentioned, though, tens of thousands of protesters have breached a military barricade outside the walls of the presidential palace, they have not entered the presidential grounds but it is an indication of how driven these protesters are, andrea. >> thank you so much. ayman mohyeldin with the breaking news out of cairo. egypt, syria, potential crisis in north korea, in fact, and that's even before we get to all the domestic politics, the fiscal cliff. are we ever going to be able to enjoy a holiday season in washington? joining me for a look at the week that was, susan page, "usa today's" washington bureau craze, chris freights, congressional correspondent for the national journal and the white house correspondent for npr. thanks to all of you. susan, first to you, you've been watching all the body language from the speaker and the president. now at least they're in direct
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talks. could we get the grand bargain that was aborted a year ago? >> i'm not sure we're going to get the grand bargain, the one with the big pieces that kind of get us on a path so we don't have to revisit these issues in this way, but i think it looks more likely we're going to get a deal that will prevent us from going off the fiscal cliff and probably going to be a deal that the white house will be happy with. i think it's increasingly clear that the white house has the upper hand, they're better off if -- they're better off than republicans if we go over the fiscal cliff. they have leverage from the campaign. that's the directionion -- speaker boehner today kept the door open to raising rates on the wealthy as part of a negotiating plan. >> at the white house, what are you hearing as to how much flexibility the president thinks he has? >> it's interesting. i had an interesting conversation yesterday with senator sheldon, white house democrat from rhode island, on the senate budget committee, he said look if we go through january 1st without a deal, it's not the end of the world. it will be the end of the world if they never get resolved.
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if they don't get resolved until mid january or february we'll be okay. from the white house and democrats we want a deal but not afraid to go past this deadline without a deal as susan said, they know they have the upper hand and waiting for republicans to bend. >> you've been looking at this from the per spective the wise men who used to be in leadership and take a look at what happened you wrote about mitch mcconnell and his attempt basically calling for a filibuster of his own debt ceiling bill. how does that happen? >> big misstep by the senate republican leader on the floor. republicans have often brought up pieces of legislation that they know democrats won't vote for. the president's budget is an example. the day before mcconnell brought up the president's plan that secretary quiter in brought to republicans and harry would have put it on the floor. he took the debt limit and put that on the floor and harry reid said i'm going to take a look at it and get back to you. few hours he said hey, mitch,
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let's do it. and we have the votes let's put it on the floor and mitch mcconnell said only if there's a 60 vote thresh hold and republicans lost a lot of leverage there. this -- remember the debt ceiling limit was something republicans thought they could deal on going forward and that they could maybe get some spending cuts and agreement to raise the debt limit. >> they thought they had the upper hand. mitch mcconnell sort of blew his own leverage. dick gephardt and the others you've spoken to say about the way the current leadership is handling this. >> they're optimistic. when i talk to the former house majority leader gephardt yesterday, he said i feel like there's a rhythm to these things and we're in a rhythm now where the principles, the president and speaker are talking and not leaking those calls. if you saw both the white house was very cagey about the call yesterday between the two men, speaker boehner wouldn't talk about the -- what the conversation was, and so there's
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some feelings and progress but what gephardt did say was this is really hard because people are going to lose their seats if they vote for this and that, when you that kind of self-preservation it's very difficult and the public needs to get on board and support any kind of deal, not their preferred deal, but any kind of deal to help the leaders get there. >> i want to ask all of you, ari and susan and chris, about the cabinet decisions. we're told the president's still not decided about susan rice versus john kerry, and now there are a number of other players because this is a domino bit of business, where if susan rice goes to the senate department instead of john kerry, it would mean that someone else, probably tom donna lin will remain as chief of -- as national security adviser. it would open up the u.n. ambassador's job for samantha power. look at some of the players in play here. you have a team being weighed and balanced.
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susan, what are you hearing as to which way the president might go? >> you know, i think that you would have to talk -- the true answer is i don't know which way the president is going to go. i think he's in a box. he's gotten himself in a pickle here. it seems clear his preference is susan rice for state and that's buying an argument he knows that's buying a fight with the senate for confirmation. if he goes with her he's going to spend political capital there. if he doesn't go for her now, does it indicate he's backing off in the face of opposition which might send a signal. i think this was handled in a way that has put him -- made the situation harder for him. >> you've also got the -- the deputy national security adviser, dennis mcdonna and the possibility he might step up and become chief of staff. >> chief of staff. >> if jack lew goes to treasury. jack lew by all accounts the frontrunner for treasury? >> that's what i've heard. i think what we see in the balloon floated about, dennis going up to possibly be chief of
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staff is a shift in focus in president obama's second term. you know, bringing jack lew on as chief of staff, showed a strong emphasis on economic issues. if he were to bring dennis mcdonna on it would affirm that in this second term, issues from syria to egypt to the middle east conflict between the israelis and palestinians will be on the front burner. he may want someone whose expertise is national security instead of economic issues. >> when he makes the decisions among these players, what's remarkable is they're all inside players. these are all the people who helped elect him four years ago. he's not reaching out as far as we know to business leaders and other foreign policy experts. talk of chuck hagel. we believe he's been vetted. possibly for the pentagon or cia. we don't know how serious that is. so far, it's all the same circle. >> that's right. >> musical chairs. >> musical chairs. the knock a lot of people in washington give to the obama
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white house it is too insular and he doesn't pull the kinds of expertise he needs into this white house. there's an opportunity in this second term for him to shake things up a little bit. you know, maybe to bring in new players, new faces who have been there from the clinton white house, and kind of help the dynamic and help the governing because a lot of people on capitol hill even democrats will tell you, he's not good at governing and building coalitions. maybe if he brought some folks in who knew how to do that there would be more give and take on the fiscal cliff issue, on the tax reform and entitlement reforms that we get next year, and there is a sense he really could use a bit of some fresh blood to make things a little easier going forward. >> chris, susan, and ari, thank you very much for all joining us. and the jobs report, more jobs are added in november than was predicted. what does it all mean for the economy? we'll have our own reality check next. first, new jersey governor chris christie stops by "the daily show" to chat with jon stewart about his run-in with the boss.
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>> and he came up and put his hand out and i shook his hand. i tried to be cool. >> sure. >> i wasn't. >> no. >> and then he said, come on, give me a hug. and i said all right. and i hugged him. >> did he go, come on stop, let me go? >> no. i was -- that's always hard to judge, when do you stop the man hug? that's hard. >> did you give had him -- you got to give also this the pat or just go slow dance? >> i went slow dance. >> you have to be kidding me. >> i went slow dance. >> no pat. i went slow dance. >> oh. >> but -- but then, he said the most amazing thing to me. he said, it's official, we're friends. >> oh, wow. that's nice. five succulent entr, like our tender snow crab paired with savory garlic shrimp. just $12.99. come into red lobster and sea food differently. and introducing 7 lunch choices for just $7.99.
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of 2008. numbers can be misleading and bring in our expert greg, u.s. economics editor for the economist. good news, bad news? >> kind of mixed news. the number was a lot stronger than wall street was expecting because wall street thought that hurricane in the northeast would have taken a big chung out of hiring. the bureau of labor statistics when they released that number they couldn't find much hurricane impact on the number. 146,000 a decent number but in line with what the job growth has been doing. it's very close to its average for the past year. and taking a little bit of the team steam out of the number the government revised down the number of jobs created in the prior two months. the picture a little weaker than we might have expected. >> troubling news from the participation rate that more people were giving up or not part of the work force? >> that's right. so the unemployment rate did go down to 7.7%, lowest since the end of 2008, but the unemployment rate can go down
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for good reasons, more are working, or bad reasons, because fewer people are looking for work. this appears to be one of the month where it went down for bad reasons. the number of people in the work force are working or want to work dropped again. that gives us a very low what we call a participation rate and has been low all year and dropping for the last few years. it's a trend that most people had expected to turn around by now as the economy picked up, a lot of these discouraged workers would come back looking for work and hasn't happened yet. it's beginning to look like it may be a permanent phenomenon. maybe a lot of discouraged workers have retired, gone on disability, maybe never coming back. >> there are so many other things in play when we talk about these budget talks. the potential of a debt ceiling crisis again in january, as soon as january, the fiscal cliff, the payroll tax extension, the unemployment, long-term unemployment benefits which woulds also expire if they do nothing, they will do something, but there's so much uncertainty, a lot of pent up demand and hiring that could give us a real
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spurt if this thing gets resolved in a good way? >> i think there is. in fact, there's a few interesting signs inside this report of exactly that. if you look at the industries that sell mostly to consumers like retail trade, like leisure and hospitality, they had very big gains in jobs in last month and the month before that. that suggests that consumers themselves are not thinking much about the fiscal cliff or letting it affect their plans. but the industries that deal a lot with businesses, those, for example, that produce machinery, other long lived durable goods, those in construction, might be building houses or office buildings, they're laying people off. if we end up going over the cliff it's hard to believe that consumer confidence will hang in there and we'll see those other consumer industries shed jobs as well. >> great for the reality check. great to see you. >> thanks. >> which political story will make headlines in the next 24 hours, that's next right here on "andrea mitchell reports." welcome to chevy's year-end event.
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which political story will make headlines in the next 24 hours. chris is back with us. we have new pictures released from the white house. they're not new, but they're nus to all of us. the first one is intriguinintri. this is the president taking a phone call on november 6th in his hotel room in chicago. so, chris, what do you think he's -- who do you think is on the other end of that line? >> that date rings a vague bell, andrea. november 6th? i had it circled for four years on my calendar. that is actual concession call from mitt romney to barack obama. i love these photos. you very rarely get this semi candid look into the white house and the president. >> and, again, when we've talked about ohio and all the other key states, but iowa was stuch an important state. look at this next photo, and this is the president greeting
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michelle obama as she arrives in iowa before the election. that's a great picture. just the anticipation. >> you know, andrea, too, with that one, i think what's fascinating about it is both their relationship, which i think really did help frankly president obama in this election from his wife's speech at the xwengs all the way to the fact people liked him even if they didn't like his policies, they liked him as a husband and father. iowa is a place with an emotional hold for the obamas. that was the place where his campaign first won the iowa caucuses and began it all. >> this next picture is superstorm sandy. the president with mike bloomberg and janet napolitano touring the damage. you can just imagine how grim that tom donlon -- i'm not sure if tom is also in the picture. you can see what they're looking at. >> right. you know, the one that -- he's
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not in this picture, but what jumps in my mind is the criticism that chris christie got over saying nice things when president obama went up to new jersey to tour the devastation. i just think the seriousness that's conveyed in this picture, i almost never say this. there are things in which politics takes a very far back seat. this is one of them. >> take a look at the next picture. we were talking a few minutes ago about possible cabinet choices. there's dennis mcdone noug on the right and jack lou is if he's the treasury secretary and tom lon lan, the national security adviser. the president is so comfortable with these insiders. these are great pictures by pete suza. look at air force one. the president is in marine one coming in behind. there's air force one that's a wonderful picture. finally, cabinet secretaries
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signing their own pictures. leon panetta and secretary chu and hillary clinton signing cabinet photos. thanks so much. chris, before you go, there's one great other story in the next 24 hours and that is a love story. so happy anniversary to my parents, 72 years tomorrow is their wedding anniversary. that does it for us. thank you for subbing for me yesterday. monday on the show former white house chief of staff william daly. follow the show online and on twitter. craig melvin has a look at what's next on "news nation." >> in the next hour we follow the latest on the back and forth in the fiscal cliff blame game. speaker boehner said the white house wasted another week in negotiations, but pelosi says all republicans have offered so far is an empty letter. we'll get reaction from deborah wasserman schultz and tragic news out of london where a nurse
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duped by a radio talk show host has been found dead. we'll get a live reports and new comments from the palace as well. all that and a lot more straight ahead. wanted to provide better employee benefits while balancing the company's bottom line, their very first word was... [ to the tune of "lullaby and good night" ] ♪ af-lac ♪ aflac [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] [ yawning sound ]
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