msnbc | September 22, 2012
>>> all know how the 2000 election ended. the vote was very close. it took the supreme court to decide ginobo decide george w. bush beat al gore . what if it did not end that way and the vice president went on to win the white house , how would things be different today? that's the purpose of a new book, "43 with an asterisk there," an all around good guy, jeff greenfield . what if, fuel for those who live politics like us. in your book, what tips the scale and gets gore into the white house ?
>> very simple. not the recount. eeli elian gonzalez 's mother does not drown. had she survived, the uprising of the cubans won't have happened and if that happened, paul schneider , and others may have cost gore 50,000 votes in florida. in my history i let her survive, takes elian back to cuba quietly and no recount because gore could have never won a recount under any other circumstances given the politics and then al gore becomes president. it's absolutely the butterfly effect .
>> if vice president al gore had been elected, what would this country look like today? what would he focus on in terms of policy?
>> you have to divide before 9/11 and ask would 9/11 have happened? i think he would have faced tremendous resistance from republicans who controlled the house of republicans. the senate was evenly divided, had pressure from the left of the democratic party to spend a lot of money. remember the issue in 2000 is what will we do with all that extra money to show you how far we have come. before 2001 it would have been tough politically. my hypothesis is he would have been much more aware of the al qaeda threat because he would have been there eight years on the national security policy. the bush people really did not understand al qaeda because they had been away eight years and breaks risk adverse and turf protected we know how much the fbi and cia were keeping information to themselves, i play out despite gore's efforts 9/11 happens and even happens worse for a particular reason i'm not going to give away.
>> would bo barack obama have happened without george w. bush ?
>> now, you're beyond. i end mine two years in. i don't have too much inability to forecast the future. the point raised, maybe somebody else would like to raise history. it's clear barack obama wouldn't the nomination and election because of a stir for a comple -- a desire for complete change. there's no way i think a new senator could have won the nomination if you didn't have a popular incumbent and desire to change the mood in washington. one of obama's problems right now people are saying you didn't do what you said. i think without bush in the white house and the mood of dis discontent it would have been almost impossible for obama to win.
>> since you have watched these debates for many years, not to date you, but you have seen a lot of these presidential debates . what's going to be the headline on october 4th , the day after that first presidential debate in denver where they attack domestic policy ? sn>> i'm not great forecasting the futu future. i think a lot of people will resort to cliches.
>> that's what we always do.
>> quote, there were no knockdowns unless one of the guys punches out the other. who is on the defense is the big question. given the current terrain, the question will be, will mitt romney be able to refocus the country and say, you know what, we do want an alternative, he in this debate showed he was up to it. it's always an advantage to a challenger to be on stage with the incumbent president because there's an equality just by the two of them being there. it's also important to remember sometimes debates don't produce a radical change . john kerry got back into the ballgame in 2004 because he probably bested bush in the debate but bush went on to win. i suspect barring a shocking revelation if one goes oops and can't remember his own policy the way rick perry did, you're likely to see a cautious analysis.
>> the book it called "43." we should note it's doing pretty well.
>> this morning, not that i check these things, the number four --
>> number four --
>> i'm up against stephen king and childs. you know why? it's a buck 99. a low risk investment.
>> and morning joe as well.
>> maybe after saturday afternoons on msnbc --
>> john greenfield , always a pleasure, thank you for your time.