NOW with Alex Wagner | September 06, 2012
>>> the president will describe the road forward, and it's going to be a very positive, uplifting message and one that really builds on a strong middle class , a lows people to move up into the middle class and as president clinton said last night, he's not going to double down on the trickle down.
>> that was white house seen wr senior adviser valerie jarrett this morning giving a preview of what president obama will say tonight. he's expected to speak in broad terms of where he'll take the country over the next four years. the message won't be delivered with the usual pomp and circumstance , citing whether kmps the obama campaign yesterday scrapped plans to hold the speech in the bank of america stadium . in other words, no balloon drop. the move gave republicans an opening to take a jab at the president. a spokesperson for the rnc said, quote, after promising to hold the event at bank of america stadium rain or shine , suddenly team obama is moving inside after questions about enthusiasm for the event. what's the real forecast for the speech in 40% chance of lies and scattered executions. youch. guess those balloons meant a lot to some people. joining the panel now is "time" magazine and msnbc senior political analyst , mark hall halperin. mark?
>> only 40%.
>> hey, not so bad. let's talk about the president and the expectations here. he's had a team of surrogates to tee it up for him tonight. i guess what is your -- how bullish or bearish are you on him closing the deal as it were tonight and really sort of turning a corner in terms of the narrative of this election?
>> they've done remarkably little previewing of the speech. we're left to push and tea leaf read. they feel in tampa governor romney did that put out a specific agenda. if you ask speakers who watch the convention, -- caused them to double down on the notion. the president can present some specifics about a second term, then he'll get credit for people for having a plan and maybe something more memorable. i don't know what those specifics will be. i do know given the competition with president clinton that because there is no balloon drop, he does plan to do balloon animals as part of his speech.
>> what's really more of a crowd pleaser than --
>> wait until you seed poodle.
>> he does an incredible giraffe hat.
>> nicholas kristof in "the new york times" gives president obama an "f" for communication. a president's central job is not policy wonk but national team captain. there obama failed us. nor has he comforted the nation as franklin roosevelt did in his fireside chats . presidents always campaign in poetry and govern in prose but the proesz doesn't have to be chilly latin. what do you make of that?
>> i don't go as far to say "f." think about the gap in what we saw in candidate obama , his oratorical skills and ability to communicate. think about the achievements barack obama has passed. the stimulus. the recovery act, that is. financial regulation . re-regulation. and the health care bill. none of those things are very popular in the country. and the reason they're not popular, largely, or at least part of the reason is, the president has not done a very effective job convincing people they were the right thing to do. we heard more from bill clinton last night about why health care , why obama care, is a good thing and what its benefits are than we've heard from this administration over the course of the last nine months or a year. the stimulus -- the recovery act, we aheard a better case made on the stump by joe biden about why the recovery act kept us out of depression than we ever heard from the president. on those points it's very much true. there's also the fact that bill clinton does so well -- this dichotomy, but, you know, the president has in many cases for a lot of voters not expressed either at various times the degree of empathy or the degree of anger that they feel. and that's -- you don't want him to get outside of what he is. you can't force somebody to be someone they're not. the truth is there are voters who are frustrated because they to expect that kind of emotional connection with the president. they found the president wanting in those areas over the past 3 1/2 years.
>> the other thing, mark, is jobs numbers are coming out on friday. so he could have the speech of his life, the numbers that -- the predictions right now is the numbers may be strong. the dow is surging right now. that will obviously give him extra lift or, you know, depression depending on where the numbers are on friday in terms of, you know, whether this convention is a bump or not.
>> one of my favorite political expressions is, the bounce of a dead cat. but i don't -- i don't know that the unemployment number is going to matter as much this time. and maybe even the last number. i'm a little contrarian on this. i think people right now, it's kind of baked into people's calculation what's the unemployment level? if it's not significantly low or cig csignificantly higher, i don't think it does anything to dilute the message coming out of here. i don't think it matters much because the romney campaign's right, voters care less about the statistics and how they're feeling about the economy in their real lives unless there's a dramatic change in unemployment. i don't think it matters one way or another.
>> the bounce of a dead cat and also balloon animals . we can't ask for more from you.
>> you may call me doolittle.
>> i will. that's been built into every intro for you. the balloon animals are for the women.
>> ask him for the finger puppets, the sword swallowing . he does all of them.
>> i heard you can dance with a bear quite well.