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Coming up on Hardball...

Go big or go home!

Go big or go home! In today’s Washington Post, columnist Eugene Robinson offers some advice for President Obama ahead of his Labor Day jobs plan announcement: the plan “needs to be unrealistic and unreasonable, at the very least. If he can crank it all the way up to unimaginable, that would be even better.” Is that the way to go? Should Obama shelf his “Great Compromiser” image in favor of advancing democratic values and keeping his base? And can he capture the nation’s attention while unemployment’s hovering above nine percent? We’ll ask Robinson and the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman.


Next: We’ll take you inside the Dick Cheney memoir, which hit shelves today. In it, the former V.P. defends the “enhanced interrogation” techniques used by the Bush administration on detainees, claiming that they were lawful and that they worked. Fact or fiction? Cliff May, President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, defends Cheney’s record. And Bob Baer, former CIA operative and TIME columnist, is calling his bluff.  Make sure you don’t miss The Hardball Debate tonight!

Then: We’ll take a close look at President Obama’s standing among his core supporters, union members and African Americans. Both groups got hit especially hard in the economic downturn. How significant is the risk that the base won’t head to the polls on election day? And what can he say in his jobs speech to lock in their support? We’ll ask msnbc’s Ed Schultz, host of “The Ed Show,” and Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA).


Plus: Gov. Rick Perry is sailing ahead of the GOP 2012 pack, but he’s leaving a rough wake. Will his recent comments on Social Security being a “Ponzi scheme” and avocation for Texas succession make him easy prey, or energize the base? And Sarah Palin is speaking at a Tea Party event in Iowa this weekend. The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza writes about “Why Mitt Romney needs Sarah Palin"...we’ll ask him why, tonight, with msnbc Political Analyst Jonathan Alter.