Wednesday, November 3, 2010

'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Wednesday, Nov. 3rd, 2010
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Video via MSNBC: Twitter Report, Oddball
The toss: This business

Guests: Nate Silver, E.J. Dionne, Faiz Shakir



KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST (voice-over): Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow?

GOP co-owns this economy, crazy lady has lost, California not for sale, Bennet staves off Buck, Reid trounces Angle, John of Orange weeps, the Tea Party costs the Republicans the Senate - not bad really.

And one of the Tea Party founders is already making demands of the new speaker presumptive.


MARK MECKLER, TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: The American people have spoken loud and clear, and they're not in a flexible mood. They're not in a mood for compromise.


OLBERMANN: Welcome to the world of having to do something, sir. Have fun storming the castle.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), OHIO: The new majority here in Congress will be the voice of the American people.


OLBERMANN: The president reacts. It's not enough jobs, not fast enough.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Over the last two years, we've made progress. But, clearly, too many Americans haven't felt that progress yet and they told us that yesterday.


OLBERMANN: The plot to keep buying America. The GOP candidates who sold their souls to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce win 35 of 48 races, and the Chamber is here to collect.


RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY SENATOR-ELECT: We all work for rich people or we sell stuff to rich people. So, just punishing rich people is as bad for the economy as punishing anyone.


OLBERMANN: What our corporate overlords want.

And you can't make this stuff up. Michele Bachmann's people can't her sign straight, Carl loses by 25 points but keeps his Louisville slugger. But fortunately -


CHRISTINE O'DONNELL (R), FORMER DELAWARE SENATE NOMINEE: We've got a lot of food. We've got the room all night.


OLBERMANN: No witchcraft, no touching, no dim sum, let the party begin.

All the news and commentary - now on Countdown.


O'DONNELL: We've got so many people who are (INAUDIBLE).




OLBERMANN: Good evening from New York. This is Wednesday, November 3rd, 734 days until the 2012 presidential election.

And though a handful of yesterday's races are yet to be decided, the fate of both House and Senate is clear.

Our fifth story: A Republican rout in the House of Representatives, a rout that profound but not unprecedented scope, a rout that failed to lap over into the U.S. Senate despite a perfect storm of opportunity. The Senate still controlled by the Democrats.

This, however, is what the House of Representatives looks like as of January of next year. The red expanse, of course, distorted slightly by the fact that the Republican districts, less densely populated, take up more space on the map than their Democratic equivalence, but impressive nonetheless. Republicans now controlling a solid majority of 239 seats to 185 for the Democrats with 11 remaining that could bolster the Republican margin even further.

House Republican leader Boehner, the next presumptive next speaker of the House, saying today that he will listen to the American people - but he already knows what they want.


BOEHNER: We recognize this is a time for us to roll up our sleeves

and go to work on the people's priorities - creating jobs, cutting

spending, and reforming the way Congress does its business. It's not what

it's not just what the American people are demanding, it's what they are expecting from us. And the real question now is this: Are we going to listen to the American people?


OLBERMANN: In fact, exit polls showed Americans do not want Republican to cut spending, only 39 percent of voters said reducing the deficit was their top priority, 56 percent said their top priority was either spending more to create jobs or cutting taxes - both of which increase the deficit.

Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, whose failure to become Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, apparently does not count in mandate math, had a similar view of the results.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: This election yesterday was clearly a referendum on the administration and the Democratic majority here in the Congress. Ignoring the voters and their wishes, as you could see during the entire two-year period, produces predictable results.


OLBERMANN: The results were so predictable, in fact, that mathematical models based on past midterm elections and past U.S. economies pretty much dictated and predicted that the Democrats would lose 45 seats.

So, were those additional losses a referendum on President Obama? Not according to the voters. Only 36 percent of whom called their vote an Obama protest.

With government now split, Mr. McConnell suggested to the president that they meet in the middle. You will notice Mr. McConnell only identifies one side which needs to move to reach that middle.


MCCONNELL: So, the question is, you know, which - you know, how do we meet in the middle? And it seems to me, the best strategy for the other side would be to listen to the voters yesterday. They made a clear statement about what they'd like to see done. If the president comes in our direction, obviously, we want to make progress for the country over the next two years.


OLBERMANN: But there is, of course, a third side to the equation now, the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party, a cofounder of that Tea Party Patriots group today outlining a similar portrait of how they are willing to compromise.


MECKLER: The American people have spoken loud and clear and they're not in a flexible mood. They are not in a mood for compromise and they are not in a mood to back away from their values. And we expect anybody who thinks and believes that they are speaking for the American people after last night to stand strong with and for the American people. That's directly to Leader Boehner.


OLBERMANN: The suggestion that President Obama should come around to the way of the Tea Party stemming, of course, from the stunning success of the Tea Party yesterday, 140 candidates backed by local or national Tea Party groups ran for Congress yesterday, 45 of them won. When the handful of remaining races are tallied, as many as 95 of those Tea Partiers will have lost.

And even some Republicans are saying that if Tea Partiers like Christine O'Donnell had not pulled victory from the GOP's grasp in states like Delaware and Colorado, Republicans would now control the Senate as well. Nevertheless, if Republicans think they can tell the Tea Party, thanks for coming over, but I've got a big meeting in the morning, the Tea Party today had a message for them, too.


MECKLER: We also would like to extend an olive branch as Tea Partiers all across the country, there is no hatred for President Obama. There is a deep distaste for his policies. The American people, Tea Partiers, specifically, are happy to work with President Obama. It's time for him to come around to the way of the Tea Parties.


OLBERMANN: The dilemma now for Mr. Presumed Speaker-to-be Boehner then is how to capitalize on a movement that brought money and energy to races under the radar in the House, but also brought scrutiny to the candidates' specifics in the Senate, which gets more attention. He knows full well the Tea Party will watch what happens after Tea Party House Caucus leader, Michele Bachmann, today said she will pursue a top leadership spot, sending up a showdown with Jeb Hensarling, who just happens to be a favorite of GOP establishment.

With us tonight to pull apart the meaning of the last night's numbers session is Nate Silver, polling guru and contributor to the "FiveThirtyEight" blog of "The New York Times" now.

Good to see you, Nate.


OLBERMANN: Why was much of the Republican turnover inevitable last night and what explains the part that was not inevitable?

SILVER: Well, you talk about the formula based on the economy, the number of seats Democrats hold. They had enough lot of targets because they had large majorities. So, you might expect them to lose 35 or 40 or 50 with an economy like this.

But you have to give Republicans some credit for getting out in the 60s somewhere, it might be one being 62, 63, 64. I think they had a lot of kind of tactical success in targeting the right incumbents and targeting a lot of incumbents, too, not saying we're going to pass on this district. They had a lot of money, as well, both from outside groups and from kind of grassroots groups and it helped them keep a very wide net.

And at the end, Democrats had to kind of cast aside and say, we're giving up on 15 or 20 of these, you know, incumbents. Those guys lost and so did, you know, 40 others.

OLBERMANN: What did America say according to the analysis of this?

Did they say less spending, lower deficit?

SILVER: I think they said not Democrat.


SILVER: Mostly, I think, they said, look, you know, we perceive the economy as still being poor and has not having been fixed in spite of spending lots and lots of money to try to do so, you know? But Democrats actually had a slightly better favorability rating, which was still very bad among the exit polls last night, the Republicans did. So, it was more a not Democrat election than a yes Republican election.

OLBERMANN: How much last night was about who voted? Was it all young people and mama grizzlies?

SILVER: Well, you know, you always have some kind of runoff from the presidential years for Democrats in the midterms, except in 2006. It was an exceptional year in many ways. You don't have as many minorities vote. You don't have as many young people vote in midterms.

But it was pretty across the board from what we can tell, which to me indicates that it was mostly about the economy and the kind of direction of government and so forth, and not about a lot of little issues like you might in a year when the country has been through less kind of pain, I think. Everyone is harmed by the economy, you know, the wealthy and the poor, and women and men. So, it kind of all groups move by roughly the same amount against Democrats.

OLBERMANN: Did any of the models suggest that the Republicans should have taken the Senate under these circumstances as well?

SILVER: Well, you know, we had them with about a 10 percent chance of winning the Senate. It looks though - once they lost that - once Christine O'Donnell won in Delaware, it became a lot harder. They probably should have won a race Nevada where you have the majority leader of the United States Senate who has a 40 percent approval rating on a night when his party lost 65 seats in the House.


SILVER: He should probably lose his seat. And they ran a really good campaign, but, you know, Sharron Angle wasn't the most appropriate GOP nominee.

OLBERMANN: Does the split between the House and Senate, is it complained by radicalism generating energy on these sort of low scrutiny races at the House level, but you have hire scrutiny races that sort of buck up against all that energy in the Senate races?

SILVER: Yes. I think - I mean, you know, if you have the generic Democrat run against the generic Republican, you know, this year the Republican was going to win in most districts, you know? But when Harry Reid made it about Sharron Angle and not the party labels or in Colorado, you know, it's been called for Michael Bennet, you had something similar, it's a different story.

But in House races, people don't know the candidates as well and just kind of look at the party labels. Most of the platforms are pretty standard. And so, you know, when the personalities were less involved, Republicans did very well. And Democrats are fortunate in some ways, you know, not to have lost the Senate.

OLBERMANN: I know you sleep periodically. Have you done anything about 2012? Any of your models been adjusted because of 2012 already?

SILVER: There are - there are trading markets. We can look at the chance that Obama be reelected, and they didn't move either way last night.


SILVER: Not a pinch, right, where he's still in about 58 percent or 60 percent, which seems about reasonable to me. And the thought is, hey, you look what happened to Reagan and Clinton, you know, and they both lost pretty badly at the midterms and kind of recovered. You know, the fact that he has a Senate means that they have something to build on in the kind of post-2012 world.

Because, you know, the Senate likely tonight will last through the end Obama's second term if there were to be one.


SILVER: So, the fact that, you now, they can reverse all the losses in the House. In the Senate, they're not so badly beaten up that they could recover and have some kind of working majority in 2012 or 2014.

OLBERMANN: As our old friend Nick Bakay, said the numbers never lie. Nate Silver from "The New York times" blog, "FiveThirtyEight" - always a pleasure, sir. Thanks for coming in..

SILVER: Of course. Thanks, Keith.

OLBERMANN: From the micro to the macro, let's look at now to E.J. Dionne, "The Washington Post" columnist, senior fellow at The Brookings Institution.

Good evening, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE, THE WASHINGTON POST: Good to be with you, Keith.

OLBERMANN: All right. From the macro, we give that assignment. What happened last night?

DIONNE: Well, Mitch McConnell didn't become majority leader which is probably why he looked so unhappy in that clip that showed.

The line that came to me was an old line from a British writer, "The past is another country. They do things differently there." And I was really struck by how different the electorate that came out to vote yesterday was from the electorate that came to vote in 2008. In particular, how much older the electorate was yesterday and also more conservative.

In 2008, voters under 30 were 18 percent of the electorate, voters 65-plus were 16 percent. Yesterday, voters under 30 were only 10 percent, 11 percent of this electorate. The over-65s were 25 percent.

And so, I think one of the things we got to think about in trying to analyze what happened and why the Republicans came to all those House seats is whether a lot of Democrats were asleep or disillusioned or weren't - didn't come out. Now, young people always vote more in presidential elections than they do in midterm elections.

But with young people being so progressive relative to the rest of the electorate, I've started to wonder as have some others if you're dealing now with a two side - you know, two-sided political system, I'm sorry, where you've got one system in the midterms and one system in the presidential elections.

OLBERMANN: What happened to the government? I mean, does anything get accomplished, or how does anything get accomplished if one party holds the House, the other holds the veto pen, and nothing from either side can make it through this now even more coagulated Senate? Is this now suddenly a coalition of the unwilling?

DIONNE: I would think they could name post offices after you, but that would probably get blocked in the House now.

OLBERMANN: Of course they would.


DIONNE: I mean, I think that one of the tests is going to be who is John Boehner. In his gut as a deal maker, he made deals on - with George Miller, one of the most liberal Democrats in the House, on education bills. So, I think that's his instinct.

However, he's got a phalanx of conservatives behind with bayonets who don't want him to make deals.

I was struck by how much more conciliatory he sounded today than McConnell did. But, of course, he is going to be the speaker.

I think the test - I think it's going to be interesting what President Obama does to test the Republicans. I mean, we know, especially from what Mitch McConnell said that the Republicans really are looking to 2012 because they want all the power back.

And does Obama say, right, let's do revenue sharing for the states. You might have call it had stimulus two years ago, but that's a nice Republican name. Do they want to make their Republican governors angry?

What about infrastructure spending? There's supposed to be for that.

And where are there budget cuts that they talked about? I was struck that President Obama said, right, let's see their specifics. I think we're going to hear a lot of that from him.

OLBERMANN: Yes. As we heard last night about discretionary spending and no one could name one single thing that was in that list.

DIONNE: Right.

OLBERMANN: You mentioned the bayonets, they're being held by the Tea Party, which thinks it created this leadership particularly, in the House. What happens when - and they consider, you know, the term treason was used to discover compromise. What happens when a compromise of any kind is brought in front, you now, is handed to the Tea Party?

DIONNE: Well, it's going to be interesting. Boehner has such a big majority. And, by the way, Democrat have fallen under 200 seats. As far as I can tell, only twice in a long time, in 1946 was the last time. And before that, you got to go to the 1928 election.

So, this is a big Republican majority. So, he has a little room to maneuver. But I think it's a real tension in the party. And as you mentioned earlier, they got a real lesson about the downside of the Tea Party. It's like the Tea Party paradox. Yes, they may have mobilized this very conservative electorate, but when they dominate the primaries, they nominate a lot of people who are going to lose. And I'm curious if that weakens their hand a little bit with a leadership, some of whom probably privately wished they would go away or at least be very quiet.

OLBERMANN: One thing they can't do.

"The Washington Post's" E.J. Dionne, proposing a Keith Olbermann post office an idea that will die before the commercial break. Thank you, E.J., for both.

DIONNE: Good to see you.

OLBERMANN: President Obama's response to all of this, plus his plan B



OLBERMANN: The president says last night was not a personal repudiation and hopes to find room for compromise with the Republic - oh, I can barely say this with a straight face.

The senator-elect explains his new world order. How we are beholden to rich people and Aqua Buddha.

President Bush's memoir, this man represented his first moment in office, not, you know, 9/11 or Iraq or anything.

And swing and a miss. Carl was Christine O'Donnell's part suite and the weeper of the House - ahead on Countdown.


OLBERMANN: And then there is the president, who was expected to keep fighting the good principled fight, but he also expected to absorb a congressional loss and somehow compromise with a party that has shown virtually no willingness to compromise with him over the past two years and has repeatedly implied it has no intention to over the next two years.

In our fourth story: President Obama in a forthright, reflective news conference today, the president said that the election was about the economy, one that seemed to be stuck in neutral. But he also indicated the new imperative of divided government.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think the overwhelming message that I hear from the voters is that we want everybody to act responsibly in Washington. We want you to work harder to arrive at consensus. We want you to focus completely on jobs and the economy and growing it.


OLBERMANN: The president took responsibility for a recovery that is slower than he thinks it needs to be.


OBAMA: I think I have got to take direct responsibility for the fact that we have not made as much progress as we need to make.


OLBERMANN: He also took some responsibility for his party's losses and answered bluntly when asked how it felt.


OBAMA: It feels bad. There are just some terrific members of Congress who took really tough votes because they thought it was the right thing. So, there's not only sadness about seeing them go, but there's also a lot of questioning on my part in terms of could I have done something differently or done something more. And I take responsibility for it in a lot of ways.


OLBERMANN: But the president did not believe that the election was a repudiation of his policies per se. He said the stimulus and bailouts may have been seen perceived as government overreach rather than temporary and necessary responses to a fiscal emergency. In the health care reform, the president said that when he was open to making improvements but that Republicans would have to specify what they would and would not change, including highly popular provisions.

The president also expressed a hope.


OBAMA: I think we'd be misreading the election if we thought the American people want to see us for the next two years re-litigate arguments that we had over the last two years.


OLBERMANN: The president also - like his predecessors - conceded the difficulty of staying in touch with the public once inside the presidential bubble.


OBAMA: And in the rush of activity, sometimes, we lose track of - you know, the ways that we connected with folks that got us here in the first place. Now, I'm not recommending for every future president that they take a shellacking like I did last night. You know, I'm sure there are easier ways to learn these lessons.


OLBERMANN: Let's call in MSNBC political analyst, Richard Wolffe, also the author of "Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House."

Richard, good evening.


OLBERMANN: I mean, I know he's sincere about trying to finding middle ground. Is he sincere about expecting to suddenly find middle ground now, and if he doesn't find it, this time, is there a plan B?

WOLFFE: Well, if you talk to aides to the president, the way they approach and the way he approaches it presumably, is to say they hope for the best and plan for the worst, because they know that there were only a handful of Republican leaders and senior Republicans in the last Congress, the way we're just waving our hands to, who will prepare to negotiate. And going into the next Congress, there'll be even less, especially with the influence of the Tea Party folks, with the presidential campaign already underway on the Republican side.

So, what they've got to do is actually not hope for those people. They're not seriously expecting there to be big legislative compromises in the works. What they want to do is say to independent voters who have flipped way from Democrats, away from Obama, that they are reasonable. They are responsible - to use the president's word.

And then the plan B part of this is to put those tough decisions in front of Republicans and say, especially on the deficit which just happens to be one of the top priorities for independents, OK, you talk about dealing with a deficit, here are your choices, now, make them. And if you're not prepared to deal with taxes, as well as entitlements, as well spending, then you're not being responsible, you're not being serious.

That's the kind of positioning they want to move in the next year.

OLBERMANN: My understanding - I mean, you talked to the White House today. I talked to the White House today. My understanding was that plan B is ready to go on a hair-trigger's notice if they don't get some sort of response of interacting and finding common ground, that they're ready to go a lot faster than the wasted year and a half trying to find compromise with people who would not.

And to that happen point, let me read you just something that moved across the "Associated Press" in the last couple of moments. "The Senate's Republican leader says congressional lawmakers can and should vote to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law repeatedly if necessary. He adds that they should, in fact, cancel funding for its programs. As for the Senate, he says the senators could vote or should vote against what he calls the law's most egregious provisions. These are remarks preparing for a speech tomorrow to the Heritage Foundation. And he says this is part of an effort, McConnell says, to deny Obama a second term in the White House in 2012."

It's not 24 hours since the polls closed and it would seem to me the entire idea of compromise between the Democrats and Republicans was just thrown out of the window by a man who was still the minority leader in the Senate.

What does the president have to compromise with? How can it not be plan B as of tomorrow morning?

WOLFFE: Well, he's got to actually point that. It's not self-evident. I think one of the - although it sounds like it's self evident to you and me, most voters do not pay attention to speeches in the Heritage Foundation. So, the president actually has to do what the other side is doing, which is campaigning. The next campaign has already begun.

And so, you know, you got voters who clearly have voted for divided government, in fact, they voted for a divided Congress. The president has to go out there and say, you wanted us to compromise, you wanted us to be reasonable, but it's not reasonable spending the next two years trying to get me out of office. That is the kind of confrontational language and approach that we didn't see in the first year because he still held out hopes of being this compromiser. And also, he had delegated authority to congressional Democrat who also thought, some of them, that there were grounds to compromise. It's a very different world today.

OLBERMANN: How much of health care reform could be defunded without the issue of a House that doesn't enough Republicans in it to override presidential vetoes?

WOLFFE: Not much. What they can do is vote on it. They can have the legislation out there and then blame the White House for doing nothing. So, you're going to have both sides saying each other it's the party of no, which will turn off voters no end.

OLBERMANN: We've already been told that there's no plan of a shake-up inside the White House, that any staff changes that were going to happen were already been happening or there might be a few others to follow, nothing wholesale. What is to follow? Do we know of anything?

WOLFFE: Yes, I was speaking to aides to the president today who said, look, there's going to be organic change, they've got to set up re-election and many things are in the works already. The most important change, the one that has been flagged up already is the return of David Plouffe, known to many viewers as the manager of the campaign, a man also famous for his strategic discipline. That's an important signal both to the party and important message to folks internally, inside the administration that this is going to be a more disciplined, more robust approach.

But again, those are in the works. The stories are out that there's going to be a shake up. Remember, the chief of staff is already changed. So, the idea that you could get rid of some unknown figure and that's going to change things for voters, I think it's maybe a little too hopeful.

OLBERMANN: Will Mr. Plouffe going to the messaging issue of how to deal with Mitch McConnell and the instant attack on health care reform?

WOLFFE: Traditionally, David Plouffe has dealt with strategic issues, both at the messaging and the operational ground game kind of level. And remember, this is a guy who worked for Dick Gephardt for many years. He's been in Congress. He was there through the '90s. He saw what happened to Bill Clinton and was part of the effort to defend Bill Clinton.

So, he's fully aware of the battles that take place in politics.

OLBERMANN: MSNBC political analyst, Richard Wolffe, on the night we declared compromise dead. Thank you, Richard.

WOLFFE: Thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN: Now that they bought the House and some of the Senate, what the dark forces behind the U.S. Chamber of Commerce also expect from the entrapped souls of the living dead.


OLBERMANN: All you need is cash; the plot to keep buying America, as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce starts collecting from the senators and congressmen for whom they purchased seats last night. First the sanity break and the Tweet of the day. I think this is a first. Two in a row from the same winner, Marnus3 - that's Joseph J. Santorsa (ph) - "Cheer up, people. When you're handed an orange speaker, make Orange-Aid."

Sharron Angle may be gone, but her influence on our serene political discourse lingers onward. Let's play Oddball.

We begin in beautiful downtown Lackawana, New York, where there are animals on the lamb. Heard of sheep escaping from the local sleepies, possibly a slaughterhouse. Wait, a slaughterhouse? Run. After a few hours, about 100 were rounded up and herded back to their pen. The owner of the slaughterhouse is not sure how the animals escaped. But police on the lookout for one pair, one called Carly, and the other with electronic red eyes, known only by the name FCINO.

Uberhausen, Germany, guntentag (ph). Good news, everyone. Paul the Prognosticating Octopus is back. No, this is not a case of a zombie octopus. Instead, it's a new and improved octopus put into Paul's old tank and given the lofty mantle of Paul II. The aquarium has not yet decided whether to left Paul II attempt to predict soccer matches, as his predecessor famously did. In fact, the aquarium is giving out very few details about this Paul. What is known is that, like his namesake in Kentucky, he's a devout follower of Aqua Buddha.

Finally, to San Jose de Fragua (ph), which is located in Colombia, where we enter the Corino de Toros (ph). Down goes the terraro. The shame of being knocked down not enough here. This matador also appears to have had a wardrobe malfunction. To avoid further embarrassment, he grabbed something to cover himself, a dress. Ignoring the fact that he's wearing white after Labor Day, this seems to do the job.

Not meeting the standard flamboyance, the matador makes one last change to floral shorts. He managed to finish the contest in his island attire, but the bull will now never be able attend a Caribbean wedding again.

Time marches on.

Now the Republicans - for the Republicans who made themselves available for purchase by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce comes the reckoning. Next with Faiz Shakir of Think Progress.


OLBERMANN: By our count, last night, nearly three-quarters of all Republican congressional candidates backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce won their bids for office. For perspective, Sarah Palin endorsees only batted around 500. The difference, in our third story, between the Chamber's chosen and the Palin picks is that, unlike in the case of Ms Palin, big business will be looking for a handsome financial return on its multi-million dollar investment.

Christmas for corporate America comes in Januarsy, when the 112th Congress is seated. According to today's "Wall Street Journal," CEOs are already writing letters it Santa. "Corporate chieftains and small business owners have compiled long wish lists for the wave of Republicans entering Congress, amid uncertainty about where a full roster of incoming conservatives stands on key business issues."

The country's biggest lobbyists on behalf of those businesses, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, last night releasing a victory speech of its own. Chamber President Tom Donohue, always happy to fly below the radar, calling for bipartisan support of behalf of legislation that will help his members.


TOM DONOHUE, PRESIDENT, U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: We agree with voters across the nation who clearly stated that a strong and vibrant private sector is critical to reviving our economy, creating jobs and putting us on a path to long-term growth.

This was a hard-fought election, but let's not forget how fortunate we are to live in a democratic country where everyone has a right to be heard.


OLBERMANN: Everyone, especially anonymous millionaires and billionaires. The Journal also reporting that the Business Roundtable, a lobbying group with members like IBM, Merck, and Caterpillar, is slightly wary of the corporate commitment of Tea Party Republicans. The Chamber, on the other hand, finds that lack of faith disturbing. Looking at their final spending figures, according to the "Washington Post," of the 30 million plus the Chamber spent this election cycle, two million in Florida against Charlie Crist so Tea Partier Marco Rubio could win, 1.2 million in Kentucky to defeat Jack Conway and elect Tea Partier Rand Paul.

Last night, on another network, Senator Elect Paul put any Tea Party big business doubts to rest. His message? Leave rich people alone.


RAND PAUL (R), SENATOR ELECT: We all either work for rich people or we sell stuff to rich people, so just punishing rich people is as bad for the economy as punishing anyone. Let's not punish anyone.

The thing is we're all interconnected. There are no rich. There are no middle class. There are no poor. We all are interconnected in the economy.


OLBERMANN: Or, as they put in the movie "Network," there are no nations, there are no peoples, there are no Russians, there are no Arabs, there are no third worlds, there's no West. There's only one holistic system of systems, one vast and inane interwoven, interacting multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars.

Joining us once again, the editor in chief of, Faiz Shakir. Good evening, Faiz.


OLBERMANN: Your website chronicled the Chamber's efforts better than anybody else has, probably possibly could. What can you tell us about the results last night?

SHAKIR: To use a little bit of corporate lingo, Keith, I think what you saw last night was a major merger and acquisition between the Republican party and corporate America. I think you had some of the largest corporations of America, Goldman Sachs, Wellpoint and some of their corporate front groups like the Chamber and Americans for Prosperity, buy a huge stake in the new Congress through the Republican party. I think they're going to expect results.

By our count, we saw about 30 million dollars of ad spending by the Chamber in House and Senate races. Of those, 60 percent - at least 60 percent of those were won by the Chamber. And they defeated at least 20 incumbent Democrats. That's a good night for the Chamber.

OLBERMANN: You saw that Tom Donohue speech from the Chamber, the head of the Chamber, about his group's election victories. It sounded cartoonish and it sounded kind of like why would you want to boast about these things? Stay under the table. But clearly money is the great leveler in this. And what does the organization now, having bought all these members of the House and the Senate - what does it expect to have happen on its behalf?

SHAKIR: It has expectations. I think number one is the Bush tax cuts for the rich. I think number two is they want to preserve their ability to ship jobs overseas, make profits on those overseas jobs, and then keep the profits on those profits low - keep the taxes on those profits low.

I think also they're looking to defund and do away with the Wall Street regulatory reform bill. I think the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, derivatives trading, those are all parts of the Wall Street reform bill that they would like to do away with.

I think, lastly, they want to beat up on unions. I think they want to beat up on unions' ability to organize labor. But also, they fear the unions' ability to organize as a political force. That's their agenda.

OLBERMANN: We mentioned the speech that Mitch McConnell is going to give tomorrow. According to the Associated Press, he's going to say that the House and the Senate should keep passing bills that try to repeal health care reform and defund it, if necessary. If they can't override a veto, just keep pounding at this until there's nothing left. Is the Chamber involved in any of that stuff, too?

SHAKIR: I assume that the Chamber is involved, but I think that it's going to be naive for the Chamber to expect that it is going to get a lot of return from the investment at the outset. I think what - the way I refer to this is the Boehner Conundrum. John Boehner's been elected. He's got to deal with two issues. One is whether he represents the people who actually made him speaker or the profits of the corporations that made him speaker. I think he's got to balance the two because they're competing head on.

A lot of these Tea Party activists, they don't want corporations receiving more special favors. But, on the other hand, corporations want special favors. So how John Boehner deals with this particular conundrum is going to be interesting.

OLBERMANN: Well, who will give him the bigger retirement fund?

Probably the corporations, not the people who won't vote for him next. There may be no remedy to this particular strain of special interest money before next cycle. Do you have any sense what impact this will have in 2012?

SHAKIR: I think that certainly the Chamber is going to be involved.

They already have the Supreme Court. They have one House now of Congress. They're encroaching on a second house. And they're going for the presidency. Certainly in 2012, the money is going to be flowing.

I think the Democrats' big failure was not being able to pass the Disclose Act. They passed it in the House. They didn't get it in the Senate. It would be smart, I think, to bring it back up, because in 2012, the Chamber is coming to the fight with the best weapons money can buy.

OLBERMANN: Which is more money. Faiz Shakir of Think Progress, thanks for all of your work on this.

SHAKIR: Thank you, Keith.

OLBERMANN: Hidden in the midterm headlines, this activist legislator has managed to usurp three state Supreme Court judges in Iowa who had ruled in favor of same sex marriage, two of them appoint by a Republican governor.

Yogi says it's never over until it's over. Carl says it ain't over even then. Did you say that, Carl? What a guy.

When Rachel joins you at the top of the hour, she will show you why this was not a change election, because that would imply the Republicans would be changing what they've been doing.


OLBERMANN: A victory and a setback for progressives, as voters weigh in on climate change and marriage equality. Meanwhile, a decision on legalizing pot, just in time for the first excerpts from the new Bush memoir. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Our number two story, the jaw droppers you did not hear in last night's election coverage. Starting in Iowa, where three state Supreme Court justices were voted out. The reason? Last year's unanimous court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. Out of state money, right wing coalitions and religious groups efforting the defeat. Congressman Steve King even embarking on a bus tour to rally no voters.

Internet, radio and TV ads painting the justices as liberal activists, even though two of them were originally appointed by Iowa's longest serving governor, Republican Terry Branstad. Branstad won yet another term last night.

In California, a defeat for big oil. Prop 23, the ballot initiative devised by Texas oil companies to kill the California climate change law, voted down by more than 20 points. Sometimes money does not win out.

Voters also rejected a different kind of smoke stack thing, Prop 19, a measure that would legalized recreational marijuana. Speaking of high, new insight into George W. Bush's upcoming memoir, "Decision Points." Mr. Bush revealing what he perceives as the single worst moment of his presidency. Not 9/11, not going to war with faulty intelligence, not the administration's failure to act during Katrina, not the collapse of the economy.

It was Kanye West. Mr. Bush really didn't appreciate the rapper declaring on a TV fundraiser "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

Mr. Bush sits down with Matt Lauer of "The Today Show" to discuss the book, set to air, this interview, next week. Lauer asked whether he was concerned about getting heat over that revelation. Mr. Bush's response, don't care.

Lauer pressed on, "you're not saying that the worst moment in your presidency was watching the misery in Louisiana. You're saying it was when someone insulted you because of that."

Mr. Bush's response, "No, and I also make it clear that the misery in Louisiana affected me deeply as well. There's a lot of tough moments in the book."

I'll bet. Now one election postscript, a prediction from another network on just how last night's election coverage would end on this network.


BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I am going to issue a viewer warning right now for children not to watch MSNBC, because some people may commit suicide. All right, they may set themselves on fire over there. It would be gruesome to watch that.


OLBERMANN: Still here. Unlike your humanity. Great news, you've just been invited to a party. Lots of food and the hostess is expecting you to stay there with her all night. Unfortunately, she's Christine O'Donnell. I'll just sit in the bus station, thanks.


OLBERMANN: Can you imagine the mix of mirth (ph) and merriment from the right if a newly crowned Democratic speaker of the House presumptive had wept during his or especially her first speech? The rage bordering on citizen arrest if a losing liberal had suddenly produced and brandished a baseball bat during his concession? Or if the campaign of a top Democratic congressman had tried to punk Fox News with a sign about the various thrills and chills of Bill O'Reilly?

Our number one story on the Countdown, why try to imagine all that when we had the real thing last night, only courtesy of the conservatives, not the Dems. Until last night, Richard Nixon's was the most combative farewell, the "you won't have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore" adieus, following his loss to Jerry Brown's father in the 1962 gubernatorial race in California. But now the bat has been put into combative.


CARL PALADINO, DEFEATED CANDIDATE FOR NEW YORK GOVENROR: I promise to bring a baseball bat to Albany. Well, here it is.


OLBERMANN: Holy crap. To quote him, he is going to take somebody out.


PALADINO: I have a message for Andrew Cuomo, the next governor of New York. I have always said my baseball bat is a metaphor for the people who want to take their government back. But this isn't my bat, after all. As our next governor, you can grab this handle and bring the people with you to Albany. Or you can leave it untouched and run the risk of having it wielded against you. Because make no mistake, you have not heard the last of Carl Paladino.


OLBERMANN: Yeah, but why am I thinking the next time we hear about him, it may include the words police allege? If there's no baseball in governors races, we are reminded there is no crying in baseball. But apparently it is the new thing in politics. There was a time, ask the late Ed Muskie, that this would end your aspirations for high office. It had the right pointing and questioning Hillary Clinton's fitness for the presidency. And, not to overdo this, but this was set against the context of a Republican campaign filled with demands from conservatives about manliness and be a man, and the infamous man up.

Ladies and gentlemen, the new weeper of the House. You get a pass for this. It was a big night. Unless you turned it into a franchise. Mr. Boehner, about Iraq in 2007.

Mr. Boehner demanding Republicans vote for the Tarp bailout in 2008.

Mr. Boehner crying at the unveiling of a statue of Ronald Reagan.

If there were liberal equivalent of John Boehner, town crier, what name would today's conservatives have called him?

Then there was also this attempted punking. This is, in theory, conservative revenge against something Chris once said, which they warped from a feeling of pride in hearing a story of the American dream into something physical or sloppy. As you see, the gag itself is both physical and sloppy.

How tough is it to get your sign in the right place? There's only the one camera and nobody is trying to stop you from your sophomoric humor. Well, there's your problem right there. Probably easier for your candidate if you don't hold the giant six-foot sign with her name on it upside-down.

It was observed in our newsroom this afternoon that perhaps it was being held like that so God could read it.


CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Congresswoman Bachmann, are you hypnotized tonight? Has someone hypnotized you?

OLBERMANN: We'll resume the discussion of the role of hypnotode (ph) in this campaign in a moment.


OLBERMANN: On at least two occasions last night, you would have needed the patience and insight of a deity, or at least of hypnotode, to get a straight answer from one of our Republican friends.

Did you see Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee explaining how to cut the deficit? First, you take 93 percent of the federal budget and declare it off limits from any cutting.


REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: Across the board spending cuts.

And every -

MATTHEWS: And Social Security, Medicare, cut all those? Cut defense? you said across the board.

BLACKBURN: You start with discretionary across the board.

MATTHEWS: OK, defense, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid.

BLACKBURN: No, that is not what I said. That's not what I said. I said you start with discretionary spending.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: Do you believe that defense spending is discretionary spending?

BLACKBURN: No, I think that what you can - you have to fund the efforts of the military, and we all know that.

MADDOW: What does discretionary mean?

BLACKBURN: Discretionary spending is what you have in a lot of our federal programs in different departments.


OLBERMANN: You know, people spending discretely. Maybe that was just the evasiveness or lack of smarts seen in a Republican back bencher. Surely the would-be majority whip could give us something other than a series of talking points about, say, raising the debt ceiling.


REP. ERIC CANTOR (R), VIRGINIA: Right now, what the people are saying, including the folks in the Tea Party, is get your business straight, Washington. Start listening to us, and start demonstrating the kind of fiscal discipline.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: I'm not hearing an answer.

CANTOR: I'm going to give you an answer. And start demonstrating the fiscal discipline that we expect of our federal government and most especially the Republican party.

O'DONNELL: You won't answer any questions about the debt ceiling until one minute to midnight when you have to raise it?

CANTOR: Listen, once again, the message we heard tonight was Washington, start listening to us.


OLBERMANN: Washington, start listening to us, a feeling we knew all too well last night. Still, as I suggested nearly an hour ago, the Republicans now co-own the economy, the crazy ladies lost, California is not for sale, Bennett staved off Buck, Reid cornered Angle, and the Tea Party cost the Republicans the Senate.

Let's celebrate, but where? .



got a lot of food. We have the room all night. So God bless you. So let's party.


OLBERMANN: No sex. No chicken chow mein. No showing off of diplomas. And especially no magic, because, no, she's not a witch. And she's not a senator either.

That's November 3rd, one day since Republicans took control of the House. Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs? I'm Keith Olbermann, good night and good luck.

Now, to discuss why the more things change, the more the Republicans stay the same, ladies and gentlemen, here is Rachel Maddow. Good evening, Rachel.

MADDOW: Keith, where do you think that we are next going to see Christine O'Donnell? Do you think she will just continue running for Senate? Or do you think it's straight to video.

OLBERMANN: I think a midday shift works best for her. You think there's something other than television in her future?

MADDOW: No, no, no. I think it's either continuing to run for office, as she has done professionally for five years, or it is TV show.

OLBERMANN: I wouldn't want to be the current host of "Fox and Friends," the female host of "Fox and Friends" right now.