msnbc | November 04, 2012
>>> day. in today's office politics , tom brokaw expresses his hopes for election night and gives advice for anxious americans waiting the results.
>> here's what worries me. if one candidate or the other wins the popular vote but loses the electoral vote , then the other side will say it's an ill legit ma mat mpresidency. it has to be clear that one or the other got elected president. and the next morning both sides have to say we have to move forward together here. and we can't have these partisan bickerings going on all the time. democrats, republicans, libertarians, they say why can't we work together? we do it on main street . why can't they in washington ?
>> it seems those on capitol hill forget that we are all in this together and we are all americans and it is for the greater good. is that because of money? special interests , trying to hang on to job security ? why is that?
>> it's a combination of a lot of things. money has a lot to do with it. money is a mother's milk of politics. people who give money give it to advance their personal interests. it may be their economic interest, their cultural interest of some kind, now they have the instrumentation of the internet and blogging to enforce their points of view. so if a congressman or a senator strays a little bit, they can unleash a kind of jihad against them. now that drains whatever courage was left in that congressman or senator. and we're left with what we've got. the country is deeply divided philosophically, there's no question that. the tea party plays by the rules. they angry and they stayed on message. when i have people complain to me about them, i say if you want to be at the tea party , you have to kpla by the rules. you have to have more people who see it your way and take them on. but in the meantime, we're divided up into so many parts that were left in the hole and that's what troubles me. i worked in washington during watergate. that was a very divisive time. but when the sun went down, i knew republican senators and democrat senators got together to have a drink to say, what do we do if nixon is guilty? or how do we e draw this war to a close to retain national security interests and don't isolate southeast asia entirely? they were constantly thinking about working together. contrast that with an experience i had in washington . two young men came up to me in the capital and they were brightone said t o me, i'm a republican, he's a democrat, he's my best friend , we go to georgetown and argue politics late at night . e we come back to work. he works for a republican, i work for a democrat. his boss won't talk to my boss, my boss won't to his boss. was it always like that? i said, no.
>> do you get a sense of how long a night this will be?
>> it's going to be long. i hope the machinery works. i hope that we don't have polling places that have to be shut down or that people can get to the polls wherever they need to. that's a big issue. you've got to be careful about the exit polls . we learned that in 2000 . i can't remember how many times i called for either al gore or for governor bush at that point. i'm at a point i say to everyone, take a deep breath, if e we don't have a call by 2:00 in the morning, it's not going to alter the future of the country. we need to make sure that the system works, that everybody's vote got counted and at the end of the cycle, we know clearly who is the new president of the united states . and then we egoforward from there as a country. and we go forward together as best as we can. doesn't mean we give up our individual interests or our philosophies, but we have to find a way to keep us going in the same direction. that's the real definition of a political system .
>> i want to thank tom brokaw for his time. it was such a pleasure talking to him. next week's guest, eugene robinson . he's going to