msnbc | November 20, 2009
consider this: powering a smile.
>>> republican governors from across the country met in austin, texas, this week. their annual conference . party members are padding themselves on the back and at least they picked up two new governors new jersey and virginia calling it the start of the republican party 's comeback. the governors say that americans are fed up with washington's overspending and taxes and attendies are feeling pretty confident about republican prospects in next year's midterms.
>>> but, of course, it looks like the republican governors are losing one high-profile 2010 candidate. republican heavyweight rudy giuliani appears to be leaning towards a run for the u.s. senate if he runs for another office. a lot of new york governors not for the new york governor's race but america's mayor might just have political muscle needed to try to get into hillary clinton 's old seat and flip that from blue to red. here now is david gregory , moderator of "meet the press" and mark whittaker . first of all, rudy out. doesn't seem like he wants to take on andrew quoemo who is ahead in that democratic race, but the numbers would show, david , that kirsten gillibrand and the numbers show 54 to 40% rudy would be her head-to-head.
>> a real problem for the democrat physical he does try to challenge her in the senate and no question that she appears more vulnerable at this point if he wants to get back into politics.
>> but, mark whittaker , when we're talking about the republicans. got to play you a little bit of what hayly barber, the head of the republican governors had to say when asked if sarah palin . i know you had him on "meet the press" and last night after the rollout of the book and the whole book tour, chris matthews on "hardball" asked him whether sarah palin is qualified to be president. let's watch.
>> does she qualify to be president?
>> well, constitutionally she sure is.
>> the latest " washington post "/abc poll say 60% of the people say she's not qualified to be president. are you with the 60 or 38 who say she is?
>> well, i've been in the minority a lot in my life. i don't know anything that disqualifies her from being president.
>> is governor palin qualified to be president? i won't ask it again. this is the last time.
>> and the last time i answer will be this. i don't know of anything that disqualifies her from being president.
>> so, the best that hayly barber would give her is that she's constitutionally qualified. born in the united states and old enough to be president. but, mark whittaker you wrote online on msnbc.com about the palin phenomenon. the widespread suggestion that palin simply isn't qualified enough to to be considered a viable presidential candidate is ridiculous. for male politicians it's always been a rule of thumb in politics and the media that once you were on a presidential ticket, you were automatically elevated on to the short list of contenders for future races. why wouldn't she be qualified in the candidate pool for the next time?
>> she has every right to run if that's what she is going to do and i think based on history, every time a vice president runs, even if the ticket is unsuccessful, generally they get put on the short list of people , candidates for future races. but it is a very interesting question. we really had two stories this week. one was the palin phenomenon, which you were out in michigan covering which really sort of is about this disaffective hard, conservative base even some people who are off the political grid who are her base. meanwhile, you have the republican governors meeting in texas saying, look, the back to power back for us in 2010 and 37 governor races and then in 2012 is not by talking about the hot button social issues but focusing on kitchen table, bread and butter economic issues.
>> i think there is an intersection here, david . you interviewed tim geithner recently and interviewed all these politicians and the anger and, you know, whether it's rational or not seen at that house hearing. here's a populous fervor out there i saw in the big box stores where she was selling the book. in michigan, indiana, people are so angry about the economy and they see something in her that can fix all these problems.
>> on both the left and the right you have this angry populism that is fueling to tim geithner or the economic policies of the administration. the qualification question with her is real because everything we know objectively about the choice was not about her being the best person to be vice president and within reach of being the president. there were other reasons. there were political reasons energizing the base. she accomplished all that. tremendous approval in that narrow band, around 31%. whether it's barber or newt gingrich or other republicans do not necessarily believe she is the most qualified. yes, is she on that short list and in the game and energize? she can do all those things. she's not necessarily qualified in the view of those folks and she represents a brand of conservativism that hayly barber and the conservatives want to run away from.
>> he could be a real candidate himself. let me ask you about another female former politician, former quotation marks diplomat. the "vogue" magazine story this month entitled "her brilliant career." with annie leave vits picture with former rivals there in the white house . beautifully photographed. you could not ask for more. this story describes hillary clinton as radiant and her coming out of the water swimming in cape verde in the africa trip and she's coming out by herself. she's prettier in person says the writer. this is the most glowing review of her conduct of secretary of state with all the praise she earned, this is probably as good as you get and as beautifully photographed. david and mark, what is that all about in terms of political future of hillary clinton ?
>> hillary clinton is someone who is used to being in the spotlight and still surouned by loyal and capable aides who make it their business to keep her in the spotlight and every time you have one of those stories it raises questions about is she restless and is this job big enough and what is her relationship with the president? i think we saw this week in her accompanying the president to asia and then flying by herself to afghanistan to be there at the inauguration of president karzai the benefit that the president gets from having her in the cabinet. it's a political benefit because there isn't, there isn't all this speculation about a rivalry and so forth. but, it's also a policy benefit because she has star power , she can go to afghanistan , karzai can say, okay, if the president can't be here, that's good enough and all indications are that she has a personal relationship with him that is going to be very effective if we're going to get some real reform in that government in pushing karzai in that direction.
>> good cop, bad cop . she plays good cop and, david gregory , on "meet the press" you have a star studded panel coming out of this crucial senate vote on saturday.
>> that's right. right on top of the news on health care with senators durbin and lieberman and hutchison and feinstein to talk about the 9/11 trials and afghanistan and all the issues the president steps back into now that he's back from asia.
>> and nancy brinker and dr. nancy snider 00. all bases covered. if it's sunday --
>> it's meet the press. thank you.
>>> up next, finding an end