The Last Word | November 05, 2012
>> it's my guess that the old fashioned political campaign, in a few years will be as extinct as the dodo. it will all be tv and radio and streamlined nice and easy. mind you i use the tv and radio sometimes, but i also get out into the wards. i speak in fight arenas, armories, street corners, anywhere i can gather a crowd. i even kiss babies. that's the way i've always done it. and i must say it's usually paid off. but there's no use kidding myself about it. it's on its way out.
>> that was spencer tracy in the 1958 film "the last hurrah." it was based on a novel which some say was based on mayor james michael curly of boston. in fact he sued for that and won a very small settlement at the time for it. and then when james michael curley wrote his own biography, entitled "i'd do it again." and richard wolffe when you see a last hurrah as we are about to see tonight with president obama , many times there's nothing more poignant than a politician's last hurrah.
>> it's important to put it in some context. iowa wasn't just another state. back in 2007 , no one gave this guy a chance. he had to build it. not with -- accept for lawrence o'donnell. almost no one gave him a chance. you know, there will be lots of people on the right who will howl and say it was all ads. he had to go garden party to house party to miserable small events. i was with michelle obama in the summer of 2007 sweltering day in the middle of no where, 20 people in that garden party . of those 20 people, 15 of them were people of color . and that was a pattern that was repeated everyone. it wasn't just that she appealed to those people, but honestly people in politics at that time didn't believe they would show up in iowa to vote. now they believe he's going to take them over the top for the second time.
>> that's the president in 2008 in iowa . we all remember where we were the night he gave that victory speech in iowa . were you there, richard?
>> i was there.
>> i was at home watching it, flg an experience like i had never had in a presidential primary victory speech. there was no night like it in our politics.
>> no. and it was historic. it was historic also because leading up to iowa , a lot of people didn't think he would win. but particularly african-americans weren't sold on th fact that this guy could win. because as the saying goes they won't vote for him. the fact that a nearly white state would give their votes and make him the winner of the iowa caucuses was elect trick. it was a thunder bolt through the african-american community and people turned on a dime from supporting senator clinton to supporting barack obama . it was that seismic.
>> people forget, president obama back then did have to convince people, many of whom their hearts were with him but were saying why should i leave supporting this other candidate for someone who can't win.
>> there was some justification for that. the polls didn't put him ahead. they didn't put him ahead until late in the game ahead in iowa . when people scoff, i hear the romney folks scoffing all the time, why is it obama people have so many offices in ohio, that's exactly what the clinton people said in iowa . why do you need to organize like this. why do you put so much resources into having some kid in some small town a year out, what are they going to do? and the answer is you're building relationships, you're doing exactly what spencer tracy was trying to say. meeting face to face , kissing babies , this is what the guy stands for.