msnbc | February 07, 2013
>>> just minutes away from history making event. williams "mo" cowan will be sworn in as the next democratic senator representing the state of massachusetts . he will join republican senator tim scott of south carolina marking the first time in history that two african- americans will serve simultaneously in the senate. so it's 2013 and you have to ask, why is this the case? why did congress get to this point through appointment? with me to sound off is joy reid. it makes you scratch your head when we show a stunning set of pictures display how far we haven't come if we can show where the country is in electing black senators. before tim scott was appointed last month, there were just six in u.s. history . now we have newark mayor corey blocker who is planning to run in new jersey. is it possible in an age of the re-election of president barack obama that we don't have more african-american senators and mo cowan is just a placeholder. he doesn't want to throw his head in the rang.
>> governor of massachusetts who has been seen as a potential senate candidate but doesn't want to run, he appointed him for a temporary position. there will be a special election in june. if you look at the history of african- americans in the senate, it is pretty stunning in the entire history of the country, you have two from mississippi right after reconstruction. you had three of them from illinois, barack obama , who up until now was the last elected black senator. and, of course, the guy who temporarily replaced him when president obama was elected. we just haven't had a lot of african- americans in the bull pen to run statewide in a lot of these races. ed brooke , he was elected 35 years ago. 35 years ago. so there's a long gap.
>> there is a long gap. when we look at new jersey though and cory booker taking on, you know, lautenberg , primariying him from the left, do you think that's going to be the case?
>> well, you know, there's some other issues with the other senator from new jersey, bob menendez . it's really unclear. but the lautenberg people have dug in their heels. it doesn't seem lautenberg wants to step ahead. the problem goes keeper than whether or not cory booker should primary this senator. you don't have a lot of african- americans who have statewide electoral experience. most black elected officials are congress people who represent mostly black districts. so you have to really go to republicans like tim scott who are, frankly, used to crossing over and being elected by mostly white constituencies.
>> progressives are going to say on the front end of things, you know, what governor of massachusetts did, a good thing. putting in a placeholder. behind closed doors they will say why didn't you put in somebody that's going to get some traction and take some heat?
>> ed markey is already set up to run. it's already in place that he's going to be the guy. this is a temporary measure and what could he really realistically get done before june? it's sort of a temporary solve to a much broader problem.
>> it's a weird part of our democracy. joy ann reid, great to have you here.