Morning Joe | November 05, 2012
>> a.j. mccarron, great. barnicle now.
>> can we have sunglasses now? the studio's so bright, i gotta wear shades.
>> it is strobe lighting. seriously? it takes halperin back to studio 54 . doing coke with jagger in the basement. okay, so go ahead.
>> i'll try and transition to the more serious news from you idiots. and front page of "the financial times ," the runners. remember the marathon, that controversy that culminated in the kacancellation late on friday. runners took to the streets to help people. i thought it was kind of an interesting, very positive outcome to what was a big disappointment to a lot of people but also really important to those who are hurting badly, that new york doesn't need a party.
>> that's better than having shrapnel thrown at them. you've got to wonder why anybody thought from the beginning to run this marathon. that was tone deaf and stupid.
>> i did get why they were thinking about it, but i also understand why they canceled.
>> anybody that's not a runner doesn't get it. it was stupid and tone deaf and the fact it took them that long while people were out of their house freezing without electricity i think was an embarrassment.
>> at least i got you talking about sandy. let's go to the news. on the eve of the presidential election -- today marks one full week since the hurricane came ashore. and the hurricane, at least at this point, killed at least 110 people. leaving a path of destruction that reshaped entire stretches of the northeast coastline. the cover of "new york " magazine shows the breadth of the impact on manhattan alone. much of the southern half of the island in pitch black . this morning nearly 1 million people in new jersey remain without power or heat. as overnight temperatures dip near freezing. as cold weather sets in, new york city mayor michael bloomberg says as many as 40,000 people may need to find new places to live. that is a daunting task for a city known for its already tight housing market . the announcement set up the potential return of fema trailers like those used in the wake of hurricane katrina . gas lines hours long stretched through the weekend across the tri-state area. in some cases stations are now using gas-powered generators to pump the fuel out of the ground. new york governor andrew cuomo says it could be several more days before the region's fuel shortage is resolved. in new york city , where 145,000 households are still without power, yesterday's marathon, of course, as we mentioned, was canceled for the first time in 40 years. that didn't stop, though, as we mentioned at the top of the show hundreds of runners from showing up where the race was supposed to begin in staten island , hit hard there, instead of a marathon, they literally ran a relief effort. jogging through neighborhoods to help dig out debris and offer supplies. and willie, you spent some time on staten island over the weekend as well.
>> yeah, i went down on saturday. i went over there. i hopped on the staten island ferry , caught the s-78 bus. these are some of the pictures i took. they're not professional. i just took them with my own camera. i noticed two things. one is that television does not do it justice. this was a neighborhood strewn with trash because people have given up on their houses and are now just emptying them out, throwing everything into the street. that was the first thing. you have boats in the street here. houses totally hollowed out. a lot of loss of life in that neighborhood.
>> this is incredible.
>> but also, the neighborhood itself, the way they're treating each other, the way they're working together, they're all doing shifts. there were at least three or four guys working grills, cooking for everybody. people driving around in pickup trucks handing out sandwiches, handing out drinks. and i didn't see a lot of heads hanging. they saw this as a job. okay, we've got to clean up this neighborhood. we've got to rebuild it. but the reality is when they come back from this, they've got to find new places to live, a lot of them. in the immediate future, they have to find somebody to stay with, a shelter or family. that's the football field right there by the beach, the field turf just rolled up like carpeting. it was an eye opener, but i will say, if anyone's thinking about helping, all you have to do --
>> just show up.
>> just go. you don't have to sign up or anything.
>> staten island always seems to be forgotten by people in manhattan . i think there's some people in manhattan that were slow to recognize that.
>> and it's very disturbing. but my gosh, it's devastating. but you say that people aren't hanging their heads.
>> they're really not. they're working together. neighbors are helping neighbors throw stuff out in the street. i will say, if you're thinking about it, just go. and it doesn't have to be staten island . go to the jersey shore , long beach and long island. if you see a guy trying to move something out of his house, walk up to him and help him. very simple.
>> my husband spent the day in the far rockaways. he said it's the same situation. add to that the desperation to people who can't move, older people, people who are in higher buildings. how can they get their medicine? so there is a lot to be done, complete and utter devastation and desperation. how many days now.
>> what did jim find with the attitude out there?
>> hurting. people hurting. and sleeping in their cars, waiting for gasoline. sleeping in their cars because their homes are gone. and it's just -- you know, you go a couple miles left or a couple miles right, and it changes like drastically from an untouched neighborhood to a neighborhood that is completely devastated where the people are still shellshocked and don't know what to do. they don't know what to do. so even, as you said, showing up and lending a hand, putting your arm around someone, listening to them is half the battle sometimes to help someone get through the day. but then there are a lot of people who are elderly or infirmed in some ways, and they can't get to their medicine. they were not prepared at all. and there are potentially worse situations to come. this is going to drag out.
>> it is. and of course, mika, all of this comes right on the heels -- right before the presidential election . we're 24 hours away before voting begins. there is also a political dynamic to this.
>> and i'm sure --
>> a timing dynamic politically as well to be honest.
>> there's a timing dynamic as well. and mark halperin , i have heard from republicans that are very close to mitt romney that are tied in that campaign. and some have actually said it publicly that this election froze in place their momentum two, three days. you heard haley barbour say that publicly. i think karl may have said something as well. got a lot of people close to him inside that were saying this on friday, saying, you know, our internals just. soed.
>> the crowds are huge.
>> their crowds are huge. you followed romney and said the crowds -- you told me what everybody else is telling me, romney 's crowds are absolutely electric.
>> i saw the president in ohio and governor romney in ohio over the weekend. and there's no question that governor romney 's crowds are big. the president's drew some big crowds this weekend, too, including saturday night in virginia with bill clinton , but there's no question that one of the things the romney people can seize on is the potential that they have more enthusiasm. plenty of enthusiasm for the president, too. but there's a lot of enthusiasm for mitt romney and for beating the president on that side.
>> and people get upset when you say this, but i get to talk to a reporter, jeff zellny said it yesterday, "new york times," great reporter talked about how the energy is on the side of romney . i think that may be the challenger versus the incumbent, but you don't have that excitement from everybody that's been out there, that the president's rally. this past weekend, at least.
>> i mean, saturday, you know, keep my dates straight, saturday midday in cleveland suburb, one of the swing counties in cleveland , the president did an event in a high school gym, great event, but it wasn't what i would have expected the last weekend in cleveland , the last time he goes to cleveland for him to do. the president's team has plenty of enthusiasm. they clearly have a strong turnout operation. they're microtargeting efforts are much more sophisticated than i think they've led us to believe so far. we'll find out later. but if you're a republican and you want something to hang this on, the enthusiasm. if you go to the storm, you're right. there are plenty of republicans close to the romney campaign who are saying basically if we lose this, it will be because of the storm. we'll never know. there's no way to tease that out, but there are plenty of them who believe that that could have been the moment in which the election was decided. by blotting out their momentum.
>> they started fretting about it when they saw the polls, the movement stop, on thursday, friday. the president was seen with chris christie doing a great job. mike barnicle , the president, i think, one of his great failures over the past four years, even if partisans don't like hearing it right now, is effectively being able to reach out to the other side, for whatever reason, and americans saw the president and chris christie on the jersey shore coming together to get things done. the way politicians used to get things done.
>> and it helped.
>> it's probably one more -- i think maybe more than helps, it's probably one more item that we will never be able to get to post-election if governor romney wins, the christie factor, the storm factor, the christie factor. what it did was it gave the president the platform to appear in front of the country. not just here in this battered area as the president of the united states , as a leader, someone who's going to get something --
>> not as a guy running 30-second commercials and snotty romney versus obama. suddenly it was president obama and governor christie . and politically, for the president, it happened in a state where you had one of the preeminent republicans making that an even more poignant moment when they embraced.
>> even his -- even governor christie 's statement yesterday while he was -- that he was going to vote for governor romney was a powerful statement in and of itself in what he said about the president of the united states .
>> no question. and look, more basic than just that, we said from the beginning, every day the topic is not the president's economic record. it was a good day for the president. and we weren't talking about tax returns or bain capital , but we were talking about something besides obama's -- president obama 's record on the economy. and that was not the way the romney campaign wanted to close.
>> and mika, the romney people expected, and i think i expected, i think a lot of other republicans expected, and a lot of pundits and pollsters expected this thing to really tighten up and romney to move ahead in some of the swing states . that just hasn't happened. you look at swing state polls that have come out, there's some that are tight. there's a pennsylvania one that's tight, a michigan one that's tight. but overall, the president's up -- i mean, the president is stubbornly holding on, to paraphrase him, he's clinging to gods, guns and a two-point lead in every swing state poll. every swing state poll.