Jansing and Co | March 08, 2013
>>> today a fascinating set of debates are suddenly a growing part of the political conversation. debates that have little or nothing to do with the economy. here's a case in point. some controversial ads around new york city highlight the problems of teen pregnancy . one shows a baby crying "i'm twice as likely not to graduate high school , because you had me as a teen." there are some teen moms upset about that. on the social issues front, abortion rights groups are pledging to challenge the most restrictive abortion law just passed in arc sauce. and in michigan, a judge says he won't rule on whether that state's ban on same-sex marriage is constitutional until he seeing what the supreme court does on two pending cases. all of it begging the question, is it still really all about the economy as we head into 2014 ? joining me from washington, democratic strategist and president of american bridge 21st century , and msnbc contributor and former adviser to president bush robert traynham . good to see both of you. so rodle, in a lot of individual races could anything and everything from abortion to gale marriage, to some of these issues actually make a difference in individual races?
>> well, listen, i think as of right now still still going to be the economy, but what we found through time is that the better the economy gets, the most likely that some of these social issues that people are actually willing to look at these social issues as factors of who they're going to vote for.
>> robert , if we learned one lesson from 2012 , that the women's vote again matters, the largest gender gap , 20 points helped get barack obama back into the white house , so if the abortion debate continues to be fueled by laws like the one in arkansas, will it be a tricky set of mine fields for the republicans?
>> it's a tricky minefield, but it depends on how you frame the issue, but also keep in mind two things. it's a bread and butter issue. i mean, this is quite frankly what the state should be doing is legislating at the local level. i do think strongly, quite frankly , this is an issue that motivates a lot of voters to come out to the polls, both on the left and the right. at the end of the day this is a grass-roots social policy issue, as it should be. yes, it is a tricky minefield for republicans, if you will, but also very tricky on the democratic side as well, so it depends quite frankly on your ideological mind-set going into this.
>> you also have these conversations going on about gale marriage. we heard from former president bill clinton rodell, he wrote an op-ed and wrote this -- he himself signed it into law, i should say -- i know now that, even worse than providing an execute for discrimination, the law is itself discriminatory. it should be overturned. will that be pretty much settled, do you think, or still part of the conversation when we're heading into these congressional elections?
>> i think that it is. i think what you're looking at is over the last 17 years, voters' minds on this has changed dramatically, and with it political leaders , which is why when you look at the brief in support of overturns the defense of marriage act sent to the supreme court , there are many republicans on that as well as democrats. so maybe in a few districts here and there this might still be something that resonates, but i think overall this would be settled.
>> you're nodding, robert ?
>> i agree. two things, as a gale american, i never thought this was a constitutional issue or law, so i applaud president clinton and others, including many republicans who have come out and said this is discriminatory, i'm going to slightly contradict myselves here, this is a states' issue, at the end of the day states and people should decide what's best for them. however selfishly i doi believe it should be turned over at the federal level .
>> we're going to hear more from cory booker coming up in this half hour. he's part of this initiative, the first lady's initiative to get kids moving, anti-obesity programs, but nobody personifies this whole kind of movement in areas that haven't traditionally been so political as michael bloombe bloomberg. now he has these ads causing a lot of controversy about teen pregnancy , but i mean, look el he also just announced plans for a social media campaign to get teenagers to turn down the volumes on the headphones. he calorie counts to menus, banned ks. obviously, robert , he doesn't have to worry about reelection, but what do you think is going on here?
>> well, you know, again i'm going to sound contradictory. he cares. no question that he cares about the overall well-being of his fellow americans. however, you know, there is a slippery slope . for example, are you going to ban pizza? are you going to ban ice cream ?
>> you're not going to ban pizza in new york, i'll tell you that much.
>> but it really does ask a philosophical thought thing. where do you stop? when do you have to police yourself and say, you know what? no, no, i should not get an extra-large, but a small. instead of two scoops, get one scoop. the question becomes what about self-responsibility here, and is it the government's role either at the state or federal level to police they things?
>> i think this is part of the bigger discussion that's being had in places like new york city , and i think you'll hear a bit of that from mayor cory booker , who's part of this first lady's initiative. as mayors, the health and well-being of our citizens is our business.
>> i think that some of it -- it's a bit of a mommy state, but that doesn't mean that mayor bloomberg is not right on some of these issues, just as i believe that mayor booker is right on some of these issues as well. i look at the turning the music down, mayor bloomberg is right. whether or not you should be spending money on a public education campaign is a completely different story, but he is actually right on that.
>> rodell, robert , have a good weekend.
>> thank you, happy friday.
>> thank you.