Morning Joe | November 13, 2012
>>> the first tax rates expire on december 31st . rates are going up for everyone if nothing happens. if you think republicans can win a showdown on preserving all the tax rates against a president who was just elected on raising rates on billionaires, well, good luck. i prefer this as a policy outcome, i don't think it's winnable. i think at the end, republicans will cave. what were the four fastest years of economic growth? '83 to '86, what were the top marginal tax rates ? 50%. obviously 39% by itself is not going to cripple the economy.
>> welcome back to " morning joe ," beautiful look at the white house at 27 past the hour. joining the table, tina brown .
>> good morning.
>> " newsweek 's" latest issue on the obama conquest. with us from washington, managing editor of the hill bob cusack who is here to discuss two of their big front page stories, as well. bob, good to have you onboard.
>> good morning.
>> why don't we start with the key advisers poised to leave team obama . fill us in.
>> yeah, team obama looks to be breaking up. a lot of president obama 's senior advisers are expected to depart, david plouffe , jim messina , as well as david axelrod going back to chicago to work on politics institute. so the president's going to have a new team. and a lot of people say that's healthy just because, you know, second terms, especially recently have had basically some jinxes. so you want to bring people some fresh people on. also jack lui could be moving over to the treasury department to replace tim geithner. so the president's going to have a new team and a lot of people will say that is a good thing because you need some fresh. these guys are so tired.
>> all right. the other hill headline, norquist pledge takes election hit. i consider that good news. is it good news for republicans , actually?
>> well, that's part of what the gop is going through. the soul searching of thinking about the glove pledge hasn't helped them. and obviously now, it's such a different position for republicans after president obama 's victory in 2009 , republicans fought. they fought the stimulus, fought the health care . now it's a more conciliatory tone with this fiscal cliff. and the grover pledge republicans say privately gets in the way of that. now a majority of the congress has not signed the pledge because of republican losses as well as we talk to some incoming republicans in the house and they haven't signed it. they don't want to be tied down. and these aren't centrists, incoming members, these are conservatives. grover says eventually some of these guys will sign it after they've served in congress, but it's part of the republican party kind of reassessing things.
>> i'll ask you to overgeneralize, we had speaker gingrich who says things aren't so bad, we just need to recalibrate a little bit. as you talk to republicans , capitol hill , strategists and big thinkers , are there more people saying we need some tweaks or more people saying we need to rebuild from the ground up?
>> i think it's more of a significant revamp. especially when you're talking about immigration reform . i mean, you talk about the dream act , scale back bill that was voted on in the house in 2010 . only eight republicans voted iffifor the dream act and only two of them serve in congress, and now republicans are talking about doing comprehensive immigration reform as well as rethinking this tax pledge. i think it goes right at their core. i think they're seeing a significant redirection of the party.
>> all right. let's go to tina brown now. i'll give you a choice, the obama conquest, lucky general or master of the game ? you want to answer the question? or should we talk about general petraeus ?
>> how can we resist talking about general petraeus . you know, this whole thing has turned into the most wild steamy complex soap opera that it's just unbelievable. i mean every day a fresh detail, you know, emerges. now we have general allen in the mix. it's almost -- you've got these two women, the brunette bombshell of the high command kelley and the well-toned paula broadwell , with the counterinsurgent smile. it's becoming insane by the minute. i think it's a tragedy to lose petraeus , i do. i think the guy's so stellar and so honorable and so, you know, so important right now.
>> it's also a tragedy for all of the families involved. and i wonder would the reporters you have working on " newsweek " and "the daily beast ," has anything come across your desk that really questions national security ? that really brings this to the forefront beyond salaciousness?
>> not yet. not yet. and in fact, michael daily today has a reading on some of those e-mails from broadwell to kelley. and actually, they're not even really sexual in nature. much more about, hey, you, stop going around the base, take it down a notch. and the notion this kind of stuff is really impacting on something as important as the director of the cia is really incredibly awful. but one of the things i think is some people aren't thinking about with regard to the tragedy for families and so on too of all of this. heroes summit, which we're hosting tomorrow in washington where we're having an extraordinary group of national security people and military vets discussing issues of character and courage and so on, is the impact on families, of long-term deployment. and that is actually true of the high command as well as it is of the, you know --
>> here was petraeus deployed for so many years, and i think it's very difficult for marriages to kind of, you know, stay really, really intact when --
>> and that is the honest conversation, actually. when it comes to stories like this which i know have caused a lot of people to crack jokes and caused for a lot of crazy headlines, but not only is this a tragedy for the families involved, for the kids involved, for everybody involved because it's not just the generals at this point. it's the women involved and their families, as well. but also the impact of these long-term and repeat tours of duty on marriages.
>> and the men come home and they're very dislocated and they're very, you know, out of sync with their families and out of sync with their wives and marriages and i'm sure that has played a role in general petraeus ' affair with broadwell . he was away a long time. and that couldn't have helped issues at all. and the same is true of general allen. you know, it's really a tragic business, the whole thing. i hope that petraeus , you know, has a short penance and returns in some big situation. we can't lose him in this way. you and you keep seeing the icons bite the dust. and it's like these alpha people are just suddenly kind of swept out of the arena of their, you know, terrific competence. and i think that's a tragedy.
>> all right. also in " newsweek ," the question about whether president obama 's the lucky general or master of the game and explain to us the focus of the story.
>> sort of moving from the unlucky general --
>> yes, who knew that generals wither going to be such an issue this week. really examines that charge in a sense that obama 's always been about luck. he even became a senator in illinois out of luck because his opponent was mad in scandal. there have been many times when it seems as if obama has been saved by the gaunt. he was in a bad trajectory after the debate and hurricane sandy happened and suddenly he was thrust into a very presidential spotlight that made him look better. but what concludes at the end, yes, he has had elements of luck in his career, but this is really about opportunity meeting preparation. and you have to make your luck, you know. willing to be lucky. obama is very, very brilliant, i think, at making his own luck by preparation and as you saw that with osama bin laden , that was long, long in the preparation. long in the preparation. and as we saw in the analysis of the campaign which he writes about. the fact they were able to destroy in a sense romney's reputation early on that they put that money early on -- that was a great campaign strategy for them and it worked.
>> bob cusack , how is the hill looking at the president's win?
>> well, i think it's interesting that the president, you know, after he won his first term, he went to republicans when they were getting into a dispute behind closed doors and he said i won. it was a pushback at republicans at the time. you're not seeing that tone now. obviously they've got to strike a deal on the fiscal cliff. and i think that is of note. and republicans have noticed that. and that's why we're actually seeing some unity for be any kind of deal this week as congress comes back, but as we get into december and the markets get jittery, possibly, you'll see some type of deal on the fiscal cliff.
>> do you imagine a deal that doesn't include both sides getting in the way, both have been publicly flogged for not giving over the past few years.
>> it's true, i think obama now holds a better poker hand . a much better poker hand . and he's -- you know the voters have spoken and he's not saying -- he's not giving. here we have people like bob corker of tennessee going on fox news on sunday no less saying he cannot imagine giveback on taxes at this minute is really extraordinary. you're seeing a cracking in a sense of that party line . and why are we going to go to the map over taxes for a bunch of people who many of whom voted for obama anyway and are millionaires that we don't care. so it's very interesting to see that change in mood.
>> all right. as tina mentioned earlier, "the daily beast " and " newsweek " will be launching the hero summit later this week.
>> we have aaron sorkin --
>> not bad.
>> you're just a little busy, tina. for more information, go to the dailybeast.com. and the new issue of " newsweek " on the obama conquest is out now. thank you, tina brown , great to see you. bob cusack , we'll be reading your top stories online at thehill.com.
>> u.s. congresswoman from florida and chair of the democratic national committee debbie wasserman schultz . keep it right here on "morning