msnbc | December 01, 2012
>>> office politics we talk with "today" show co-host and msnbc's willie geist . he told me how hard it was to walk away from the show he launched "way too early" and whether he's a bad boy wanna-be. but i began asking willie about the daily experience of covering the presidential election with morning joe .
>> well, we actually had fun. we went back and calculated. mitt romney declared his candidacy, june 2rd, 2011 . so by the time we got to november 2012 , it was 17 months we'd been covering this campaign every day. so certainly there were days where it was slow. but i mean, if you love politics, and your show is about politics, and you become the place to be for politics, how could you not love that? the letdown comes the day after, i think. obviously we had a lot of things to talk about now but you feel like, god, we've just been through this war and we've got to turn it around and get up for the game again the next week. but i enjoy it. a lot of people said it was long. it was probably too long. but they're always too long.
>> it always feels like a week or two too long. maybe it's the anticipation, the eagerness, just get it done.
>> right. and that's kind of become the cliche, thank god it's all over.
>> but, it's the way we pick our presidents now. and we get depressed afterwards.
>> how do you keep your neutrality? because you're on with morning joe and we've got a couple of hosts that have very different points of view, and then there's you.
>> i think that's why i can keep my neutrality because we have all those points. i'm independent and it's the way i think and i do see both sides of it. when we're having a debate that's swaying one way or the other way i think what's the other side of this argument? hopefully that's helpful in some way. we don't become a run away train one way or the other.
>> you're kind of playing devil's advocate at times.
>> yeah, probably. probably. yeah. i think but not just for the sake of doing it, i think i have genuine questions. i mean i have my beliefs. but, i also, you know, i'm interested in hearing the other side. so i like having that debate. and that's the beauty of morning joe is we've created a place where that can happen. and we encourage it to happen and we don't have food fights and this guy's on the right and he's on the left and they go at it. we have real conversations.
>> in the commercials that's when the fighting begins.
>> that's when it gets personal. it gets ugly. talking about each other's moms.
>> we don't like to talk about that right now. we do have to walk about "way too early" this is a show that you created. such great style about it. but you've left it. how does that feel?
>> it's a little bit like giving up your baby. there's no question about it. i mean, we had such a small group of people who conceived of that and economic outed it every day. john power , alex corson the executive producer dan norwick, small group of producers who were here. the ones who came before that. i was there for 3 1/2 years. the last show was hard. and again mainly because of everybody in that control room . you know, you do it every day. you're truly nothing without all those people.
>> as i look around here i'm looking at two musicians on the wall. you have keith richards and johnny cash .
>> and jay z .
>> okay, wait a second. all three of these guys are kind of bad ass in their respective worlds. are these your alter egos, willie geist on the wall?
>> pop psychology , i like it. no, i'm so not a bad ass .
>> oh, come on. how about a wanna-be?
>> maybe, yeah. see, five years ago, i had a child, and i got on a show that started at 5:30 in the morning.
>> you have no time --
>> so any bad boyness was sort of sucked out of me.
>> how about the lucy and george thing, do they -- do they kind of like yo, dad, can we play, climbing all over you? come on, they're little.
>> they are. the good thing about my job, i've always said this, is working so early in the morning , i get home in the afternoon, and i still do get home in the late afternoon, and i can see them for dinner, so i mean there are times, yes, when i'm on my laptop, in my room trying to get something done and my 3-year-old george will just come in with like a flying knee drop, and just get you right under the chin. then he puts the bubble guppies on the computer. they understand a little bit what i do for a living. they're just not interested. at all. in what i do. and i take no offense to that. i want them to know that.
>> more of our conversation today at 12:00 noon. we're going to talk about willie's new official gig on "today" and his sports reporting. plus he's on a mission to mention his alma mater on tv as much as possible. we'll explain all that at noon.