NOW with Alex Wagner | March 05, 2013
>>> gun safety reform, and talking to eric cantor . is joe biden the atlas of the democratic party ? it's tuesday, march 5th , and this is "now."
>>> joining me today msnbc political analyst and former dnc communications director karen finney, editor of the "new york times" book review , sam tenne northeast haus, host of the economist msnbc show martin bashir and chairman of the slate group, the most powerful person on this panel, quite clearly, jacob weisberg .
>> tallest dwarf.
>> for the first time in his second term president obama huddled with his cabinet on monday afternoon. their to do list is long.
>> one of the things that i have instructed not just my white house , but every agency is to make sure that regardless of some of the challenges that they may face because of sequestration, we're not going to stop bork.
>> leading the charge on one of the president's top priorities is the veep, joe biden , who has been tasked with gun safety reform, but there are other signs that the scranton scrapper may have considerably larger role in the coming seasons. a white house aide hinted as much last week. he will be more important in the second term. he has proven to be invaluable to the president. biden has indeed been invaluable and at times encourageable as the principle closer, deal maker, and wing man. during the campaign, biden was the president's ambassador to blue collar voters and the rust belt , following the president's less than awesome debate performance in early october, bideern took his turn on the stage prompting jonathan alter to declare joe biden may have saved barack obama . months later captain biden swooped in to save the fiscal cliff deal. newspapers crowned the hero, joe biden and mitch mcconnell saved america from fiscal cliff.
>> i feel good.
>> look at those two thumbs up.
>> junior mints joe bailed out secretary of state john kerry as the syrian op sfligs leader threatened to boycott a meeting during kerry's first diplomatic trip abroad. it was joe biden to the rescue. the "new york times" reported mr. biden sealed the deal with a follow-up call. this afternoon the veep is sure to dispense a few pearls of wisdom to former colleague and incoming secretary of defense chuck hagel , and yesterday at apac the vice president worked to ease tension between the white house and israel ahead of president obama 's first official trip to the country. speaking before prime minister benjamin netanyahu , biden mounted a strong defense.
>> let me make clear what that commitment is. it is to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, period. period. end of discussion. period. president barack obama is not bluffing.
>> though he remains second in command without a doubt, biden has played the lead role in cajoling, deal make says, and sweet talking. perhaps richard ben cramer talked about bazooka joe . when joe biden gets going on a deal, he'll talk that deal until it's shimmering before your eyes in god's holy light , like the tauj ma hall. where do i sign? martin, it's just fun to run through all the stuff joe biden has done in the last year. do you think it's good to put a lot of this work on the vice president?
>> i don't think he has a choice because joe biden has played the role of military advance guard . he looks for the opposition, prepares for attacks against the agenda, but he also plays backup, so when the most scourilous attacks on the president, joe biden comes in behind and says he is not bluffing on iran. he is not bluffing. in a sense, joe biden 's role has been defined not by joe biden , but by the way the president has been attacked and undermined, particularly scurilously by republicans. that's why joe biden has to play that role.
>> do you think there's an issue when joe biden says it, the world knows america means business and that the president -- i mean, that the same sort of sense of authority is not conferred upon --
>> no, i don't think that applies outside of this country, but i think internally that's the fundamental problem. that's why joe biden has the role that he has.
>> caryn, let's talk about the hill because that seems to be -- i mean, really biden 's baileywick, not surprising given his history there. you know, i think we talk about the divide between republicans and republicans and republicans and republicans and democrats. the relationship between joe biden and republican leadership is pretty profound. we're outta here. [ engine revs ] ten hut! you up for the challenge suds-maker? i'm gonna need more than that to get through the rest of these dishes! i want more suds! dawn? you won't last. [ female announcer ] a drop of dawn has active suds that stay stronger longer, so you can clean 2x more greasy dishes. to get the job done. you're full of suds after all. now drop and give me twenty spaghetti bowls! [ female announcer ] dawn does more. [ sponge ] so it's not a chore. at optionsxpress we're all about options trading . we create easy to use, powerful trading tools for all. look at these streaming charts! they're totally customizable and they let you visualize what might happen next. that's genius! strategies, chains, positions. we put 'em all on one screen! could we make placing a trade any easier? mmmm...could we? open an account today and get a free 13-month e ibd* subscription when you call
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>>> jeb bush is making waves , but this time it is not as the moderate warning the gop about it is demographic crisis. he is taking a tougher stance on immigration, and in an interview with nbc's chuck todd , sounding a lot like a guy running for president.
>> you are being much more open about considering national office