Morning Joe | November 06, 2012
>> tad bit contrived.
>> democracy plaza.
>>> all right. time now for the must-read opinion pages. we've got this incredible shot that we're coming in on. joining us now while we're still sort of getting ourselves together here. you know what? i think they're all drunk, actually. msnbc political analyst and visiting professor at nyu harold ford jr . you're all put together, of course. pulitzer prize winning historian jon meacham . i'm scared to talk to him. and washington anchor for bbc world news america katty kay joins us.
>> can we set the table really quick.
>> set the table.
>> jon meacham put this in historical perspective for us today.
>> since world war ii , only --
>> you're making this up, aren't you?
>> i am, i am.
>> go ahead.
>> three incumbents have lost competitive races like this out of 11, i think. so we tend to rehire. the three who lost for president, ford, president bush , and who am i missing? president carter.
>> so it's -- history would tend to suggest that the president's going to win. i think one of the things that is different this time is that no one has used the word mandate at all. at this point. to my mind, there's a question about the day after.
>> and campaign katty kay , as mika said long ago, the seinfeld campaign about nothing.
>> the campaign conducted at a low level , a depressing level, but incredibly important for america which faces huge challenges, needs to get things done. and the priority of whoever comes out of this as the next president of the united states has got to be to make america governable again. and if they can do that, it's going to depend partly on how voters come out of this feeling and whether they're in the mood and their congressmen and women are in the mood to cooperate with the other side.
>> while neither candidate you could argue has been incredibly specific about the next four years, it's not like you don't have a sense of the direction of the country between the two candidates, there is a clear choice here. is there not for voters who were tuned in?
>> i think so. the vision's laid out. really in the last month we saw them articulated and forcefully laid out. i do think one big difference in this lame duck and the beginning of next year which has been touched on the year before, i think you will see a massive and robust corporate ceo, financial services ceos, nonfinancial services ceos who will work at a much harder and more focused way than they did over a year ago when we saw our credit rating downgraded. they want it avoided for the obvious reasons that we're becoming more competitive around the globe, the u.s. economy is growing in areas and u.s. manufacturing is because of energy expiration and production here in the united states . so i think the conditions are ripe just for a different kind of participation, regardless if it's romney or obama from the corporate community.
>> we've been looking for the past couple of weeks at polls and there have been certain bets being placed on this election --
>> mustaches --
>> grow a mustache --
>> please don't. i beg you.
>> that look you had yesterday --
>> let us hope. let us hope.
>> let's hope not.
>> romney wins pennsylvania so axelrod has to come on the air and shave his mustache.
>> oh, that would be something. all right. here's from the washington post , empty measurements. on the eve of the election, nate silver placed president obama 's chances of returning to office at 86.3%, not 86.1%, not 87.8%, at 86.3%. silver's prediction is not an innovation, it's trend taken to its absurd extreme. his work is better summarized as an 83.6% confident that the state polls are correct. the main problem with this approach to politics is that it's trivial and election is not a mathematical equation , it's a nation making a decision. people are weighing the priorities of their society and the quality of their leaders. those views at any given moment can be roughly measured but spread sheets don't add up to a political community. in a democracy, the convictions of the public ultimately depend on persuasion, which resists quantification. and he goes on to write at the closing here, and so at the election's close, we talk of a statistical turnout in cuyahoga county , ohio, and talk little about sociability and unsustainable debt. the nearer this campaign has come to the end, the more devoid of substance it has become. this is not the advance of scientific riggor. ouch.
>> well --
>> mike was not having a good day.
>> he was sick of it all.
>> yeah. the polls and figuring all this stuff out. there's been a great debate going all over about the polls and some people about nate silver . but at the end of the day , it's a spread sheet . it's an excel spread sheet and it's not about agreeing with math or not. you could set up your excel spread sheet at a home and the bottom line isn't -- nate silver even says it today. if the state polls are wrong, he's wrong. if the state polls are right, he's right. it's just an averaging of the state polls. what's the big deal ?
>> there are great people in both parties whose voices need to be louder than some of the other voices that have been loud in this cycle. mike gerson cares about this country, the election, not as sport or spread sheet but as the big choices we have to face. and he is somebody who, again, there are people just like this in the democratic party , as well, who understand that politics is not about spread sheets, but about the flesh and bo blood choices we have to make. and i'm glad you're reading that one because he and people on the other side who are serious need to have big voices. today but also after this election to bring the country together.
>> and there's no doubt also that when you try to reduce politics to an equation, when you try to reduce governing to an equation, a math equation, then you overlook some of the great moments in history. and i'm reading right now manchester's biography on churchill. and in 1940 right now, and churchill himself was really a man that no one foresaw as stepping up to leading great britain through the most momentous year in 1940 . and dunkirk, if you would have played the odds with reagan, you would have lost. if you would have played the odds with barack obama in december of 2007 , you would have lost.
>> bill clinton , '92.
>> bill clinton in '92. there's a lot more heart than scientific formula or mathematical formula in politics.
>> and the big choices will be made today. we'll talk about the senate races, as well. up next, chris matthews and tom brokaw . stay with us. hello. is this where we do that bundling thing? let's see what you got. rv -- covered. why would you pay for a hotel? i never do. motorcycles -- check. atv. i ride those. do you? no. boat. house. hello, hello. hello. oh! check it -- [ loud r&b on car radio ] i'm going on break! the more you bundle, the more you save.
>>> joining us in the next hour, andrea mitchell and host of pbs's "need to know" jeff greenefield, but first, tom brokaw and host of "hardball" chris matthews .
>> he's smiling. oh, i was worried.
>> oh, my goodness. i can't afford to ignore our retirement savings,