NOW with Alex Wagner | November 02, 2012
>>> with less than 100 hours until the presidential election , the candidates have booked travel to make their closing arguments. romney is in wisconsin today and over the next three days, will head to ohio , new hampshire, colorado , iowa, virginia, and pennsylvania. paul ryan will also be in pennsylvania on sunday trying to bring the state back into play before tuesday. meanwhile, president obama will spend the entire day today in ohio . he'll hit wisconsin, iowa, virginia, new hampshire, florida and colorado in the coming days. the president will close his campaign by calling on two of his most bold-faced surrogates, jay-z and bruce springsteen . they will perform in ohio on monday. but if team o has the boss to close the deal romney land has meat loaf and ricky skaggs .
>> i want to thank ricky skrags -- skrugs rather -- skrags, can't get it right -- for entertaining.
>> ricky skaggs . batting for the president, sober minded political figures including colin powell and michael bloomberg and for romney , sober minded political figures including the donald. that said both candidates have tinseltown on their side. for obama , eva longoria , george clooney , sarah jessica parker . and for mitt romney , clint eastwood and mr. burns.
>> mitt strapped his mutt to the roof of the car for a 350 mile jaunt. we will explain why mitt is once again [ inaudible ]. what's that? you like being tied to the roof of the car? because it allowed you to see more of the great land of ours and its wonderful natural resources ripe for drilling and mining and exploiting?
>> the lineup may be set, but which team will more americans choose. joining us from washington, is new york magazine's jonathan chaits. we love to give you a bump in with simpson sound because nothing feels more commitly weighty -- politically weighty.
>> a launching pad to get on to the simpsons. that's my career plan.
>> i see it. someone call. jonathan , you have made the case for the president and against mitt romney and the pages and annals of "new york " magazine and this week has seen other folks making the case in so far as there are new endorsements colin powell and yesterday michael bloomberg . is it even worth discussing who has the stronger bench?
>> the stronger bench. yeah, you know, you didn't mention the economists came out for obama . that was a little interesting. of course you also had the des moines register endorse obama -- i'm sorry endorse romney and a lot was made of that. you know, with bloomberg , i thought that was sort of an interesting endorsement because he's basically torn between the fact that he personally despises obama according to all reports but agrees with him on every policy issue except the fact that he wishes obama would be more ob see kwees you to rich people . he managed to like -- like reconcile i agree with him on everything politically but don't like him and said all right i'll support him.
>> i don't think being more ob see kwees you to rich people was in the endorsement but frank, i ask you, as a new york kingpin, the bloomberg endorsement was interesting and we'll focus on the climate change piece a little bit later. a lot of other stuff in that endorsement including --
>> the most qualified endorsement i've read. he went through all the problems he has with the president but in the end he said there's just a couple issues where the president is on the right side, right side of gay marriage , choice and climate change . i thought it was fascinating reading to boil it down to that. three things we know about these two guys and i'm going with the other guy.
>> it felt like i'm not going to shoot you in the heart, i'll shoot you in the arm and that's an endorsement. wasn't exactly a glowing endorsement necessarily.
>> but it was on the flip side a pretty damming nonendorsement of mitt romney . as you talk about the cases to be made for each man, bloomberg singles out the fact that mitt romney would have been the one he could have voted for in 1994 or 2002 but sold all of his values up the river and he does sort of attack the president on not being more centrist, finding greater bipartisan consensus on things, resorting to redistribution which i guess is not being ob see kwees you enough to rich people in layman's terms.
>> you talk about your sort of why you like the president, why he's your man for 2012 , and i'll read an excerpt to you because i find that weird and uncomfortable and good for conversation. to quote you, what makes the agenda radical -- take it away.
>> i couldn't have said it better myself.
>> no but you do lay the case that fact that the president has been ideologically consistent, shown the temperament of someone who has true leadership qualities, refute something of the things that mayor bloomberg has put out there.
>> that's right. and i think i also tried to discuss how he dealt with the republican opposition which was so manic and deliberately decided at the outset of his presidency, that to give him bipartisan cover would make him popular and with would help him get re-elected and close off their want avenue for regaining power which was absolutely true. and what you're seeing with a lot of these endorsements, is people trying to grapple with this reality. you know, be you have bloomberg upset that obama was unable to get the republicans to sign on to a strategy which would be signing their own doom. whereas the " des moines register " essentially blamed obama for the republican strategy and then sort of indulged the fantasy that the mitt that you see is not the real mitt it's a secret mitt is the real mitt that existed in massachusetts long before.
>> even if you look at mitt romney 's record in massachusetts it doesn't exactly speak to bipartisan consensus, used the line item veto , 750, 800 times. the myth making around his middle of the roadness has been extraordinary.
>> you're right. a big law on health care and not much else. but that was a big thing.
>> jonathan chaits, i'm going to echo him but not quote from him. if you look on facebook, jonathan endorsed an argument really took off. i think that's partly because people who do lean one way or in a place now where they're paying attention and want to hear the right argument. i dodge think mayor bloomberg is going to persuade a lot of people in the close here, but for people leaning towards obama it is mobilizing. that is really the point at this phase in an election. i mean we talked about jay-z being on obama 's side and to quote jay-z, we are in a love me or leave me alone moment in a mobilizing phase.
>> do you think we're in that moment or did you just want to drop jay-z?
>> i really do. what i mean is, i really don't believe endorsements, "new york times" endorsed barack obama , i don't think that people are waking up in the morning reading that and going now i'm going to vote. but i do think --
>> given --
>> wait. but just to finish the point i don't think a british policy journal, however influential in the media will move people in ohio . what i think happens is, the endorsement is --
>> [ inaudible ].
>> i think the endorsement does excite people who were leaning and so the best one that mitt romney has is in colorado got john elway , a big famous football quarterback. i don't think that moves people in colorado who hadn't made up their minds but people who heard about it, gets them excited. that's what happens at this point today.
>> i would say i think the bloomberg endorsement may have an extra effect because it comes after the christie imagery and in the closing phase, mitt romney was very much plugging the i'm going to go there and be able to be bipartisan in a way that barack obama hasn't been and he's doing this on a week you have chris christie hugging him and mayor bloomberg endorsing him. that gives the bloomberg endorsement a little bit more effect than it otherwise has.
>> it does speak briefly a little bit to some of the businessmen, the rich folks who feel like obama 's turned their back on him. there was that tone of like, oh, okay, yeah but we have to be with him. i don't like everything he's about done but on a couple things we have to be with him.
>> significant things. he brought up the supreme court appointments that the next president will make and support for the health care law which is a plank of the president's first administration. maybe only one. i don't know. we'll see november 7th . jonathan chaits, in terms of the prognostication in terms of these sur locates, the week that was, the fact that as frank mention judd chris christie -- you ask chris christie and colin powell and now mayor bloomberg when we talk about this stiff, yo stuff, does this move anybody or just a slap in the face for mitt romney ?
>> maybe a tiny bit. obama is kind of closing on a strong note. some of the stuff does signal the people that leads people who are just partisan democrats okay with obama , obama is not scary, he's not alienating, you know, people up for grabs a little bit, he's closing on a slightly strong note. i think frank bruni is right on the margins this can shape the tone of the last week of coverage a little bit.
>> it has been an extraordinary week, extraordinary week. thank you to new york magazine's jonathan chaits as ari said, his writings have caught fire on the internet and everyone should check out the endorsement. a programming note with the election days away , live this week, live this weekend, planned parenthood president cease seal richards and others among our guests do not miss the special edition of "now" saturday at the hour of 5:00 p.m . on the east coast . after the break, halloween may be over, but donald trump is still dressed up as a lunatic birther with money to burn. his year-round costume, next. [