NOW with Alex Wagner | November 07, 2012
>>> i'll work with anyone, and i really do mean that. democrat, republican, independent, libertarian, contrarian, vegetarian, i don't care.
>> that was newly-elected massachusetts senator elizabeth warren on " morning joe " today talking about how far across the aisle she will reach. last night's elections left congress looking much the same as it did before voters went to the polls. at this hour, republicans still control the house. while democrats remain at the helm of the senate after a very good night during which they picked up two seats. in indiana joe donnelly beat richard mourdock in the race to replace dick lugar , massachusetts, elizabeth warren won a showdown against scott brown . the first signs of how the police congress will govern might come this afternoon when house speaker john boehner discusses the looming fiscal cliff. last night boehner struck a tone saying quote --
>> but he also seemed to indicate that compromise will only go so far.
>> with this vote the american people have also made clear that there's no mandate for raising tax rates.
>> that appeared to be the message from senator mitch mcconnell who has to work with a president he vowed to only give one time and said last night --
>> joining us now from washington is chief national correspondent for "the new york times" magazine, mark leibovich. mark leibovich, what we know and what we don't know.
>> hi, alex.
>> what we don't know is how this congress works. what we know is the upper chamber may be even fyhrier -- fierier -- you're the man of words. it's cruz will be legislating alongside elizabeth warren as a denison of washington , d.c., politics, what do you think the implications of that are?
>> well, i mean, look, every senate and every congress has its own sort of ecosystem and its own personality. granted mitch mcconnell and harry reid will still be in charge but i think that calculus of one president obama not being an incumbent anymore and also mitch mcconnell having another four years removed from his initial are imperative to defeat the president will be different. there's always going to be ideological divides, you know, among specific members, whether it's ted cruz or elizabeth warren or jesse helms and ted kennedy but i think the larger personality of the senate will be dictated to some degree by the leadership again but also from the white house and what kind of tone is struck between congress and president obama going forward. i think there are some real chances just because of the calendar and also because of the results last night to maybe do some things in the first year or so that might not be there after the mid terms.
>> mark, you had a great piece a while back about terry mcauliffe and haley barbour , for a lack of a better term good old boys network, they all got along, enjoyed the game of politics. we saw a pretty deep hemorrhaging of moderates from the senate . the old guys who used to like -- and ladies who liked to make deals are not so much there anymore. i wonder, you know, what that means in terms of dealmaking on whole, while the president may work more closely with the senate if the senate can't get its cats herded into the same wheel da wheelbarrow -- i'm going for it -- how does anything get done?
>> essentially the mcauliffe/barbour model is different because they're both out of office and businessmen now. the larger point of that story is washington is a bipartisan place when it comes to business dealings, when it comes to frankly making money out of office. i think, you know, the more relevant and frankly more sort of obsolete model is the ted kennedy jshs john mccain , ted kennedy / orrin hatch , very, very powerful lawmakers in office who actually would make deals. i mean i think the last big one you would see would have been the immigration deal of i guess that was 2006 , which never passed. again, that took some moderates, that took some real leadership across the aisle from the ideological polls to actually get something done. i just don't -- i think those people are very much disappearing. a lot has been centered again on the sort of gridlock leadership environment and the dealmakers aren't there anymore and john mccain was a classic dealmaker until he sort of stopped being one after 2008 . so we're going to see who's going to emerge, if there will be anyone.
>> jody, in terms of the president and how he negotiates the new congress , which, you know, in terms of balance of power is not radically shifted but getting his priorities through, mark mentioned immigration reform , talked about that, climate change put sort of front and center in the bloomberg endorsement, what's your feeling on how he approaches the second term and his relationship which has been frosty with republican leadership?
>> he has two things on his side now. he has much more washington experience than he did four years ago and he also has a better result really than anybody expected. today especially when we look at what happened in the senate . it really does seem like americans did send a message. the question that people in washington ask is, will he reach out more? it's become almost this perennial lament. you can hear it on any street corner in washington . will the president be warmer? will he invite people in? will he spend more casual time with members of congress to start to defrost the ice.
>> i mean, my assumption, mark, maybe this is me just, i don't know, spitballing, but he does some -- there is some gesture in the immediate weeks following his re-election, that he does -- not necessarily the grand bargain, but that there is a concerted outreach to republican leadership given how much he was beating the drum of a united states of america , that he knows how much the gridlock is not serving anybody well.
>> he has a legacy of how he conducted himself with limited outreach to republicans and democrats. you could say have the baners and mcdonnells up to camp david one weekend soon. it's going to take more sustained contact than just a few symbolic things. and it's not something he's been willing to do up to now and not clear that he's -- he feels he needs to do it. now there's talk of jack lube going from chief of staff to treasury secretary. he's a good deal maker and has decent relationships on the hill. he needs either a new chief of staff if jack moves or new treasury secretary if it's someone else, a true ambassador that can do a lot of the heavy lifting that neither the president or vice president can do day in and day out to get the thing moving on the basis of trust and respect.
>> do you think democrats and specifically the white house will say what can we do to make it better, how can we circle the wagons and emerge stronger?
>> i don't think the obama administration really believes very much in gesture or the invitations to camp david or wherever will do a lot, but i think both parties by nare tour of elections will go through some process where they feel like there is some reconciliation that's necessary and figure out a way do it. we'll see.
>> maybe a beer summit. thank you to "the new york times" magazines mark leibovich, thanks as always, sir.
>>> coming up, americans are about to get another four years of president obama , so what will they get policy wise? perhaps second term agendas of the past can be a guide. we will climb into the way back machine ahead on "now." what makes the