msnbc | February 12, 2012
>>> asked harry about the economy's impact on the presidential election as well as the motivation behind formidable candidate. what he says is the key to his successful marriage.
>> how about the economy on which we've gotten some better news lately. how much do you think this affects americans psychologically speaking?
>> huge. the numbers point out that if the economy is either at this level of unemployment or at least the unemployment rate is heading in x direction with so much momentum, it's virtually impossible to either get re-elected or not be re-elected.
>> is it the single most important factor upon which the election hinges? we've had a lot of social issues come to the forefront.
>> those things, those fires will continue to go up and down. but in the end of the day , can i get a job, can i put a roof over my head . as i've traveled around the world, people asked me, ha do people have in common? i say the same thing. people want to provide for their families, hope that they can do better for their children than they did themselves. they want to make sure they get an education. make sure -- you know shall mostly people want to be left alone. maybe have a beer at the end of the day . if i can hope that -- if i can see some better life for myself on the horizon, that's a very important part of what -- as america's psyche is tested in early november , it will be interesting to see which politician does the better job of trying to grasp the idea of optimism. reagan was a great optimist. this is going to be a very important question. are they going to spend all of their time and pac money destroying each other or who can say you know what, these are tough times, things are starting to look better and we can grasp this time. the only thing i know for sure about the guys who run for president is, it's mostly about determination. the guys who run, they want to be president. they have to be president. that level -- it's a level of ambition and a level of determination that has very, very few parallels.
>> how about that basketball? when you're playing with the president, you guys were pretty bad at the three-pointers. i'm just going to say.
>> i was horrible. the thing that happens when you're a little bit nervous is your arm get shorter. you're like -- you can't breathe as well. your arms get shorter. i'm trying to shoot this ball. the cameras are on.
>> is this your family?
>> famous local paper. it was called the hammond times. the hammond, indiana times had a sunday supplement and the cover of this sunday supplement had this picture on it. this is my father with five of his six sons. it was for father's day. the caption said, got a nickel? so we all had our hands out like this.
>> which one are you?
>> i'm the baby.
>> you're the baby.
>> i'm about two.
>> good looking family there.
>> handsome folks, right? my oldest brother was missing and the girls were not included. it was -- eight children altogether. it was five of us and my dad. this is a guy who worked two jobs his entire life to provide for those eight children.
>> tell me about andrea. we love achg watching her.
>> with gymnastics or figure skating or the like. do you get to intersect much?
>> maybe that's the key.
>> happy mess.
>> maybe that's the key to success. no. she's been working at nbc sports for a long time now. she loves doing figure skating and loves doing gymnastics and is -- there's a big, what is it, four continents, there's a huge figure skating event going on this weekend.
>> thank you for being with us in office politics .
>> pleasure. pleasure. thank you for allowing me to clean up before you got here.
>> not so much. kind of messy office, but we still love him. you can watch harry smith 's reports on rock center with brian williams on wednesday nights at 9:00 eastern on nbc.