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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 10/22/13

Guests: Frank Rich, Cory Booker

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW": Good evening, Chris. Thank you very much my friend. And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. OK. This is one of those nights. This is an amazing story. You were going to think that I`m making parts of this story up for effect. But I am not making up any of this. This is the actual story and it ends in Washington today in a way you`re not going to believe but trust me. Just sit down in a moment. This is an amazing story. OK. For a very long time, there was one really annoying down side to buying a new computer. So on the one hand, you`re getting a new computer. Great. Getting rid of your old clunker, everything`s going to work faster, on the other hand though, new computers for a very long time always came with that freaking terrible preinstalled virus software. McAfee virus scan. Right? It was always installed in some 30-day free trial, like they were doing you a favor and you were going to want to pay for it thereafter. It was super annoying, it would update all the time without giving you any option to opt out made your computer run really slow, it stopped you from being able to do things you wanted to do. It didn`t actually prevent me from getting viruses that I still got -- my computer that I didn`t want it on. There was no way to get away from it. If you wanted to say no, don`t do this to me, I reject the 30-day free trial, you kind of were not allowed. It was just a terrible thing. And some companies will still put that mess onto their new computers. I think mostly they have grown out of it because people hate it. It`s just terrible software. It`s pointless. It does not work. The guy who started that business is named John McAfee. He did invent the world` first commercial anti-virus software. And whether or not it was that annoying and pointless when he first invented it or whether it just slowly became that annoying and pointless over time, regardless, the reason it is named McAfee is because it`s named after this guy John McAfee. He sold that company and his name on that software, for something like $100 million in 2004. And thereafter he basically became a full-time gonzo playboy almost con-manish media figure. He cultivated this very media friendly idea of being an outlaw eccentric zillionaire. In the mid 2000 days for example, John McAfee got lots of attention from the outdoor adventure extreme sports world for something that he called his sky gypsies. Aero trucking, which is basically riding hang gliders with fast motors attached. It`s very dangerous, it`s John McAfee, he`s an eccentric zillionaire. John McAfee had bit real estate holdings all over the country, in Colorado, in Arizona, in Texas, you had a big ranch in New Mexico. A big swathe of property in Hawaii. He apparently sold all of it or most of it in 2007 or 2008 and he then moved to Belize. All the while doing lots of eccentric zillionaire interviews to cultivate this image as a fascinating outlaw character. Mr. McAfee to reports about his epic history of drug use, cocaine by the ton, way lose, Quaaludes, LSD, a bottle of scotch a night. Something called DMT. I don`t know what that is. The drug bragging produced lines like this in a 2012 wired magazine profile of him, quote, "he would drop acid in the morning and then go to work." One morning he decided to experiment with another psychedelic called DMT, he did a line, felt nothing and decided to snort a whole bag and within an hour my mind was shattered McAfee says. People asked him questions, but he didn`t understand what they were saying. He ended up behind a garbage can in downtown St. Louis hearing voices and desperately hoping that nobody would look at him. He never went back to work. Part of him believes he`s still on that trip that everything since one giant hallucination. And that one day, he will snap out of it and find himself back on his couch in St. Louis listening to Pink Floyd`s dark side of the moon. It has just been one giant drug trip, you guys? I swear this ends up back in Washington. Hold on. OK. So John McAfee would tell the drug stories and all the self aggrandizing eccentric zillionaire stuff to any magazine reporter who would follow him around long enough to listen and there were tons of them. He made himself into an irresistible story. Right? He also insisted to reporters that would follow him around that he didn`t use drugs anymore. That part of his life was behind him. Also, he said, the reason he had moved to Belize is not because he was running from anything or because he had any self-interested idea down there, but because he was going to invent a whole new approach to antibiotics which he was working on with a scientist/waitress/guitar player whom he had met at a local resort. The fast company profiled Mr. McAfee that run in 2010, followed him around for a long time in Belize, trying to figure out his Belize rain forest antibiotic magic business plan. Fast Company decided ultimately that they think he was just in believe to shelter his money from all the people who wanted to sue him in America. Ultimately, in April of last year, Mr. McAfee`s compound in Belize was raided by local authorities and he was arrested on weapons charges. Him being arrested sparks a new round of media interest of course which lets the 66-year-old Mr. McAfee gleefully tell reporters that he was in bed with his 17-year-old girlfriend and stark naked at the time of his arrest. Reporters invited down to his compound report that he seems to be living not just with one 17-year-old girlfriend but with a collection of five girlfriends, all of whom seem to be teenagers. He has wired magazine shoot portraits of him and some of his various girlfriends and shows off his collection of the whole sort of group of girlfriends he lives with, plus his body guards, plus some of the weapons, plus some of his dogs, and the dogs end up being key to what happens next in the John McAfee story. His neighbor in Belize is an American citizen named Greg Fall. Mr. Fall had filed a formal complaint about aggression and noise from Mr. McAfee`s 11 dogs who apparently roamed free. The same week, that complaint about the dogs was filed with the town, John McAfee told an American reporters that somebody had poisoned his dogs. Also that same week, the neighbor who filed the complaint against him was found dead. He had been shot dead. He had been shot once at the back of the head and a casing from a nine-millimeter handgun was reportedly found nearby. In December, police in Belize announced that John McAfee was a prison of interests in that shooting, they wanted to question him. John McAfee took off. Blogging all the way about how he was fleeing the country. So there`s not only the record of his blog posts about it and his selfie photos of him on the run, there`s also footage, there`s video footage about what was going on, about what life was like for him while he was fleeing that murder inquiry in Belize. And the reason that footage of this is because he have reporters for Vice magazine with him while he was fleeing from justice. Because, why not? And so because of that, we know for example which of his teenage girlfriends he chose to bring him on his flight from justice. We also know that he did things like pretending to be a spokesman for himself, calling reporters and lying about what country this John McAfee character was in and whether or not he had been arrested. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN MCAFEE, MCAFEE FOUNDER: Mr. McAfee has been arrested just across the border of Belize in the country of Mexico. Write that down. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That was him speaking about himself in the third person. And that was a lie. But he likes lying. He always said, he likes lying, he thinks of himself as a trickster, as part of the eccentric charm. So he lies even when he`s fleeing law enforcement from a murder inquiry. Ultimately, Mr. McAfee did get arrested in Guatemala, and after a brief effort to try to get asylum somewhere, he got deported to his native country which is the United States and he still had not been formally charged in conjunction with that murder of a U.S. citizen in Belize and because he hasn`t been charged, he therefore is free to do more talking to the press. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MCAFEE: So is McAfee a successful entrepreneur who went mad while living in the jungle and surrounded himself by guns and became paranoid and killed his neighbor? Or is he the potential savior of America or did he just act out the greatest mind (bleep) of all times. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That was from a BBC profile which ran earlier this year and the BBC sent somebody to John McAfee`s house in Portland, Oregon to talk to him about where he is and what he`s been doing since the murder and everything. John McAfee however had other things that he wanted to talk to the BBC about. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Time and time again, I tried to ask him what happened. But McAfee kept reverting to his number one talking, his sexual prowess. MCAFEE: People ask me, did you really sleep with ten 17-year-old girls and you`re a 67-year-old man? Yes, I did. No sense in saying no. No sense in trying to dance around it. You have to tell the truth now. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: And this is where the House Republicans come in. OK. So, that`s the story of John McAfee, meanwhile in Washington, Republican in Congress just of course organize a big government shutdown, that was very unpopular, the new Washington Post polling just out today on the shutdown is just terrible, terrible for the Republicans by a huge margin the country blames them for the shutdown. Has a lower opinion of the Republican Party than has ever been measured before. Has a lower opinion of the Tea Party than has everybody been measured before. And when you ask Americans what they think of the government shutdown, that`s they blame on Republicans, 80 percent of Americans think it was a terrible idea. A majority of Democrats say, they hate it. A majority of independents say, they hate it. A majority of Republicans say, they hate it, even a majority of people identify with the Tea Party say they hate it. Even the Tea Party is against it. So yes, Ted Cruz has found rooms in Texas in which he can get standing ovations. And on FOX News, Republicans are telling each other that this all went great. The provocateur pundit Ann Coulter told Sean Hannity on the FOX News Channel last night that the shutdown was, and I quote, "magnificent." But back on earth, most Republicans even realized that what they just did was really bad. And they`ve got a big problem because of it. It seems like Republicans are making about what to do next in Washington, it seems like their idea is to try to retroactively refocus the shutdown on ObamaCare, after the fact. I mean, in reality, once they shut down the government and they were going to hit the debt ceiling. Once the government was shut down, they kind of forgot it was all about ObamaCare and they tried to make it about all sorts of things. They now want everybody to go back to thinking it was about ObamaCare. And to disliking ObamaCare, they want to refocus on that. So, this week, Republicans in the House are convening oversight hearings on the health reform roll out in the ObamaCare website. And this is where the stories come together. Because CNBC obtained e-mails today from the stuff of that Republican led oversight committee in the House. E-mails from them, soliciting an expert, a computer machine expert to come to Washington and advise the committee. The expert they invited to Washington to tell them what`s wrong with ObamaCare and how to fix it, is seriously, yes, I swear. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MCAFEE: People ask me, did you really sleep with ten 17-year-old girls and you`re a 67-year-old man? Yes, I did. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: And the Republicans in the House Energy and Commerce Committee would like to talk to you about that, sir, you are their chosen expert. On October 14th, the staff for the Republican led Energy in Commerce Committee in the house wrote to John McAfee`s lawyer asking if Mr. McAfee was please available to come to Washington in person for the committee`s ObamaCare hearings, to, quote, "Guide our oversight and review of the federal program." Quote, "This would hopefully not be a heavy lift for him. What advice generally does he have?" Ta-dah, Mr. McAfee gleefully provided those e- mails to CNBC. Also letting the network know that he`d be happy to come to Washington and help and this is not yet worked out for him to make a trip to Washington as Republicans tried to salvage some kind of win from the ashes of the shutdown, they tried to discredits the whole Democratic Party based on how that party handled ObamaCare. This is how Republicans would be handling ObamaCare. Joining us now is Frank Rich, his writer at-large from New York Magazine. Mr. Rich, it is wonderful to have you here, thank you for being here. FRANK RICH, NEW YORK MAGAZINE WRITER AT-LARGE: Good to see you as always. MADDOW: You`ve been writing about the fever of ObamaCare and the fever of the attempted ObamaCare defunding repeal shutdown. Did the theater just become PG-13? (LAUGHTER) RICH: What amazes me about John McAfee is why he didn`t run for president. Last year, he would have fit rig in with Trump and Cain and all the rest of -- MADDOW: Various times. Various times. (LAUGHTER) RICH: It is kind of insane, you know, Congress, you were talking about how bad the Republican approval ratings are. And Congress as a whole is down to 12 percent. Which I think is the worst in history. MADDOW: After the 95 shutdown, people talk about how legendarily they were hated. It was over 30 percent then. RICH: Exactly. So, we`re now a third of that poor level. This could get -- if he came, it would give people an excuse to tune it and I guess a lot of 17-year-old women would be enrolled in ObamaCare very fast if he was in charge. MADDOW: Oh! RICH: But let me ask you about the sort of -- the two different parts of America in terms of viewing how the shutdown went. Actually, the reason why I included the, you know, Ann Coulter line from Hannity last night is because there is a burble in which the shutdown was a success and ObamaCare is so hated that America is cheering for the Ted Cruzs of the world for having shut it down. And if you live in that bubble, I have to show you, this is John McAfee has been on the FOX News Channel recently as a cited FOX News expert on the issue of ObamaCare. I just want to show you this little clip. Go for it. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GRETCHEN CARLSON, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You could even lose your life savings if you do sign up. John McAfee is a computer programmer and founder of the McAfee computer software security company and he`s my guest, good to see you Mr. McAfee. MCAFEE: Good to see you Gretchen. CARLSON: So, how does somebody lose their life savings by signing up for ObamaCare? (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Let`s ask him. (LAUGHTER) MADDOW: I mean, is it possible that you just don`t Google the guy, you see him on FOX, and you assume, well, in my universe he`s an expert, let`s bring him to Washington. RICH: Of course you don`t Google him. You`re in the bubble of FOX and the companion if not directly affiliated radio talk show hosts during the day, you can put together a whole day, just as you put together a whole day of watching sports you can just do a whole day of listening to the same stuff over and over again, often angrier than it even is on FOX. Furthermore you`re probably in most cases represented in Congress, man or woman who is in a safe district and says the same stuff and feels heroic about shutting the government down because the whole point of this movement is they`re against the government. So, of course they want to shut it down, and they think this is patriotic, you know, we`re upholding the federal -- to get off our back. MADDOW: We have been talking about that parallel, the parallel, existences that really on the right there isn`t a parallel on the left. You can`t live entirely in a left media bubble. You can`t watch MSNBC all day and see a lot of liberals on TV. But there isn`t a liberal talk radio universe that is hived off from the rest of the world in the way the conservatives are. We have been talking about that for a long time now, for four or five years now. I just wonder if the shutdown now puts more pressure on the bubble than has ever been put on it before because the disapproval of what happens is so great that the bubble can`t possibly with stand knowledge of that for long. RICH: I`m not sure about that, because I think it`s sort of a liberal belief or a hope that maybe these rebel revolutionaries or whatever you want to call them, the radical right will learn from humiliating defeats that the shutdown was, but look at the Goldwater campaign in 1964. Everyone thought the Republican Party was dead, it was the biggest land slide defeat in history and yet two years later, Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California and the bubble just kept going in a different media atmosphere than we have now. I think this is why Ted Cruz can go to Texas and be cheered and hear what he wants to hear and he`s, you know, he`s in Washington, you would think he would hear something else. But I think he`s confident that his cohort will remain faithful and not be penetrated by reality. MADDOW: The criticism has been made from the right of the right that it is a party that only wants to be in the minority, it`s a party that actually resents it`s majority status in the house, prefers to be an insurgency so they can be pure without actually having to take the sort of responsibility that you have to take for being in charge of something. I wonder if they actually would sort of bask in a Goldwateresque defeat. Because they could be perfect and uncompromising. RICH: Yes. I think so, I think that we have seen it in reaction to the Romney defeat. I think that it`s made the far right of the party, it is really in my view the majority of the party. Even though, people say it`s just a fringe, it`s not a fringe. That is the base of the Republican Party. And their reaction to Romney`s defeat was oh, he wasn`t the right wing enough. He was too moderates, he was the problem, they`re not the problem. MADDOW: It`s amazing. Frank Rich, writer-at-large from the New York Magazine. Frank, thank you very much for being here. RICH: Thanks for having me. MADDOW: All right. We have a big city mayor, and a U.S. senator here tonight. And it`s the same person. It`s Cory Booker. The interview is coming up. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: This show has been on the air for a little more than five years, which means we are currently entering into our terrible sixes. When the show first started, we launched in the middle of an absolutely crazy news cycle. Our first show, the first ever Rachel Maddow show was less than two months before the biggest and most riveting presidential election in modern memory. We launched in September 2008 just right in the middle of the whirlwind fight between then Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain of Arizona. Honestly, I have no memory of any of those shows that we did. Because covering that race every single night was like being in the front car on a roller coaster with no seat belt. Thank you Governor Palin. But when Barack Obama won on election night, when he and Joe Biden beat John McCain and Sarah Palin and the new president elect, gave that historic speech in Grant Park in Chicago, I knew exactly who I wanted to talk to first on this show after that election. My first guest, the night after the 2008 presidential election was not a national political figure, but rather a mayor. The mayor of the largest city in New Jersey. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: We know for sure that Barack Obama is good at winning things. We don`t see that in action. The question is, how was he going to lead? Does he spend this massive political capitol in order to show that he knows how to do that or is this the time for caution and for restraint? MAYOR CORY BOOKER (D), NEWARK: I think this is the time to get aggressive frankly and it`s not a time to spend political capital it`s time to put politics aside and reach out to the nation. If people think that we can just elect the president and he`s going to solve a lot of problems they`re wrong. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: And of course Newark Mayor Cory Booker. I think I`m wearing the same shirt tonight that I was wearing in that clip. A little weird. I should go shopping more. I wanted to talk to Cory Booker before I talked to anybody else that first night after that election. Because that `08 presidential election victory for Barack Obama obviously a moment for the country, that was a moment for history. But it was also an important moment for the Democratic Party. Remember, after eight years of Bush and Cheney, Democrats have not just win the White House that night in 2008. They also won huge majorities and both the House and of the Senate, they totally took over Washington. So, I wanted to talk to Cory Booker as this young up and coming future star democratic politician about what that meant for him, what that meant for the party and whether that signaled that some sort of larger shift in our country`s politics. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BOOKER: Even in my state, I met Republicans who were so excited about voting for Barack Obama not because he was a Democrat, not because he was a black guy, but because they thought that he was going to bring something, he was going to lift our country finally above his particular concern to our highest aspirations for ourselves. I think Obama has a pragmatism about him that he will explain ideas to the American people not using the tired old liberal or conservative parlance. He will be explaining to people in a way that touches people`s hearts and compels them to act and work with us. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Just a few months later, even before Barack Obama was sworn in as president, Republicans in Washington decided that they would not work with him on anything during his presidency. Nothing, no matter what. They voted unanimously against the president`s first big initiative, the stimulus package which ultimately pulled the nation back from the brink of depression. They voted almost unanimously against Wall Street reform in the House and in the Senate. They voted almost unanimously against the fair pay act for women, because that`s a terrible thing. They voted on mass against the health reform bill. They were so against that one that they are still fighting him on it today five years later. They shut down and brought us to the brink of the debt ceiling over it. So the optimism that was expressed by Newark Mayor Corey Booker that night in 2008, the night after the election, that optimism about a pragmatism that could reach people in a way that could defy partisan instincts. The pragmatism that could change Washington. That optimism ran headlong into the -- that his Congressional Republicans in Washington. And now five years later, Cory Booker is on his way to join those constitutional Republicans in Washington. Last week, New Jersey voters sent Mr. Booker to the United States Senate. He won an overwhelming victory over Tea Party Republican candidate Steve Lonegan. When you`re as optimistic a guy as Cory Booker is, what sort of Washington do you expect to find when you get there? What he learned from watching Congress operate in the era of Barack Obama that night helped guide him once he`s there? Is anybody good at what they do there? What have you learned from being mayor of the biggest city in his state that can help him get stuff done there in the city that now more than ever seems unable to get anything done that isn`t just about itself? Let`s ask him, he`s here for the interview, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BOOKER: I heard a lot of people asked me during the campaign, what can one senator do? I have no lucent about what one senator can do. So, just no, I`m going to Washington to join with Senator Menendez to stand in the traditional others like Bill Bradley and Frank Lautenberg. I`m going down to make the Senate more accessible to all of us, I will bring more voice to the voices too often ignored in our state. I will be dogged and determined relentless and unfaltering in my sense of service for all of New Jersey. If you voted for me. I will make you proud. If you didn`t -- (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) If you didn`t vote for me, I will work every single day to earn your trust. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Joining us now for the interview is New Jersey senator-elect Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark for another hot second. Senator-elect, congratulations. It is good to see you. BOOKER: It is good to see you, too. MADDOW: How far you have come. BOOKER: I love looking that old paper from you and I. MADDOW: Yes. I really am wearing the same shirt that I was wearing that night. BOOKER: I love that. MADDOW: I have had it since high school, you know. BOOKER: You have comfort clothes. MADDOW: Your life is about to change a lot. You get sworn in next week? BOOKER: Probably someday next week, yes. MADDOW: OK. And that`s when you will cease being the mayor of Newark. BOOKER: Exactly. I will issue my resignation. MADDOW: So, you have been in-charge, at least nominally in Newark since 2006, seven years now. You are now leaving that to be the 100th least senior member of the 100 person body that is the Senate. Is that daunting for you to go from being in charge to being a (INAUDIBLE)? BOOKER: No. It is humbling to me. And frankly, more because -- off because of where I stand in seniority, because this is an entirely new body. And there are a lot of rules and rhythms and a lot to learn in a very short period of time. So, you go down there with this understanding that hey, I talked to Senator Mendez who was my senior senator. I was junior. He was line at the senate, the head of foreign relations committee and just said look, I need to learn as much as I can from you and your team as quickly as possible. And I have had calls from lots of Senators calls who said who understand what it`s like to be the new kid on the block and are willing to help me. Some guys have been offering me incredible, incredible sort of avenues of support. And so, I will be digging in very, very quickly to learn as much as I can? MADDOW: Do you think there are models, either current models or models from history of Senators who have done a great job from the starting gate. I have been thinking about this because there is a number of very junior senators right now who are very much using the Senate to make a play for president, to build a national profile, you know. They`re almost all on the Republican side. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and all these guys. On the Republican side, you can be very famous, the first day you`re in the Senate as long as you`re tearing down your own party and being really confrontational. Doesn`t seem like Democrats do that. So, I`m wondering what sort of models you are thinking about that. BOOKER: Well, I think the key, first of all, is to learn as much as you can from people who have done it well. I think Elizabeth Warren did it very well. I think Hillary Clinton is a great model. I think Al Franklin is great model. But the key is, I understand, New Jersey voters didn`t elect me to be Elizabeth Warren or Ted Cruz. They elected me to be Cory Booker. And at the end of the day it`s very critical that you hold on to your authenticity and find your own way to go. I have very unique experience since I joined with a lot of other really brilliant people. But I know I`m the 21st mayor in American history to go straight from being mayor to being United States senator. At least going to do some research (INAUDIBLE). So, I know I have different experiences. And I also know that power is not about position, it`s about purpose, it`s about what you bring to that title. You know, the titles don`t make people. People make titles. And so, a lot of the creativity I did as mayor and all the things we were able to accomplish had nothing to do with my statutory duties. And I hope that the sort of creativity and innovation I can bring to the Senate job is stems yes, from my constitutional power, but also from my creativity in and around New Jersey. And a great example is look, in Newark we found out that we were having a tough time getting illegal guns off of our streets. By the way, we were getting no help from Congress in comments of background checks. But we decided to create what we now think is the most lucrative sort of tip lines. If you`re in Newarkan (ph) and you think somebody is carrying an illegal weapon. You call back, you get four digits, half of a code. If you call back and we have actually recovered that gun off of a criminal, you get a second four digits and you can go to a number of ATMs and get $1,000 no questions asked. So, it is actually, if the public part of partnership that helps us have had some of our biggest gun recoveries and why does Camden have that? Why doesn`t Trenton have that? So, I got a lot of ideas that now I`m a state Senate -- MADDOW: Well, now in the Senate, it`s why doesn`t Houston have that? Now, you got to start thinking -- you`re talking about federal policy now? BOOKER: Well, I`m talking about one and first and foremost, New Jersey elected me and I`m going to be running around our state finding very substantive pragmatic ways to make change. And there are implications to federal policy. And so, you know, take for example, New Jersey does not do a great job collecting its earned income tax credit money. Now, this is a federal program that I`m going to be fighting for, that I have experienced in Newark significantly increasing the EITC collections by doing public- private partnerships with local grassroots activists to set up free tax center. In fact, we set one up in the basement of city hall. And so, as a mayor, I know the urgencies of the moment and how it reflects to changing federal policies, whether it is common sense background checks, whether is if how program like the EITC or child tax care credits actually make a difference for working families. MADDOW: And how the details of those things make a big difference in terms of their effect. BOOKER: Absolutely. I`ll give you another great example. You know, we brought KIVA into Newark, which as you probably know is a technological platform. People will have stop (INAUDIBLE) banks anymore. This is way small businesses. We start off with Latina businesswomen who could not get a $5,000 loan from a traditional bank who didn`t seem credit worthy. But through an online platform, where people as you and I, going to that platform, that helps us to expand businesses in our city. And by the way, their repayment rates are as good or better than people that think banks are great. These are the things we can expand. But it actually has federal implications, well, how can we better start small businesses around our country. How can we go in creative ways to get access to capital in this bad economy. So, from technology innovations to innovations around everything from education to health care, things we have done in Newark, I hope to help inform federal policy. But from day one, I want to be helping folks around New Jersey in very pragmatic ways to get the support they need to start a business, to go to college, to make their neighborhood safer. MADDOW: Cory Booker, currently the mayor of NEWARK, New Jersey and soon to be the next U.S. Senator from New jersey. Cory, do not be a stranger once you`re up there. I know it`s going to be harder to get you, but do not be a stranger. BOOKER: That is not true. You and I, you`ve been a friend for a very long time and your show, frankly, has been a source of sustenance and inspirational one. So, I hope we will continue -- MADDOW: We will get you everywhere. Thank you, man. Good luck. We`re all counting on you. BOOKER: I`m grateful. MADDOW: All right. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: The Ken Cuccinelli tea party Republican campaign for governor in Virginia has been having a hard time lately. Last week, we highlighted the trouble that happened on camera at a Ken Cuccinelli campaign event when they tried to highlight Mr. Cuccinelli support from a reality show family that`s famous for having 19 children. Now, the great Andy Kean (ph) has realized that that moment was not actually just a microcosmic (INAUDIBLE) for the overall failure of Ken Cuccinelli`s campaign for governor, no. It turns out that moment was a triumph. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s such a stark contrast between Ken Cuccinelli and his opponent. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Cuccinelli campaign has been criticized for this performance. They should be proud. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s try that again. There`s such a stark contrast between Ken Cuccinelli and his opponent. Yes, let me. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Run news footage shows that Cuccinelli message machine had it work behind the scenes. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just a second here. OK, Terry -- How do you say that? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: McAuliffe. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: McAuliffe. There`s such a -- let me try again. There`s such a stark contrast between -- let me try it again. I`m getting tongue twisted here, had a long day. All right, there`s such a stark contrast between -- let me try again. There`s such a stark contrast between Ken Cuccinelli and his opponent. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nailed it. Congrats to the whole campaign. There`s such a stark contrast between Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: But wait, there` more, the Virginia governor`s race actually gets getting better and better and better with each passing day and that story is ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Sometimes when you`re losing badly enough in a political race, you become political Kerrying (PH). Something that was alive but is now no longer viable. And when you are that dead in a campaign, you ultimately will get picked apart by vultures. Remember Rick Santorum`s campaign posters when he ran for president in 2012? Contextually, I`m certain that what was supposed to be soaring through the zero and 2012 was an American bald eagle. I`m a big fan of bald eagle. There is one that stalks me every weekend in (INAUDIBLE) when I fish the dear field river. But that particular bird silhouette that the Santorum campaign chose for their posters in 2012, it`s just happen to look less like an eagle and more like a vulture. I mean, the look was supposed to be vote for me and we`ll soar among the clouds. It ended up being more scavenger, more vote for me and we will feast together on the carcass of the federal government. Because there, Santorum did not win in 2012. Rick Santorum`s accidental vulture iconography from that campaign is now gone. But in one important way, I proposed that he has not abandoned the vulture idea. As you know, things are getting down right primal in the Virginia governor`s race. The tea party Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli is now showing self new signs of political life that Rick Santorum has flown in, wings spread wide to pick -- I mean, to help him. Mr. Santorum`s pack, patriot voices is now calling on the conservative masses across the country to freak out over what looks to be are Cuccinelli`s impending loss in the governor`s race. Mr. Santorum is e- mailing all his Rick Santorum supporters to sound the alarm about Cuccinelli`s campaign, to tell them that they can help in the last few weeks of the campaign. Dear social conservative, conserve that Ken Cuccinelli is about to lose this race. It`s two weeks out. But you can help him win. Send last minute donations, send money, and make sure you send that money to Rick Santorum. What? You`re worried about Ken Cuccineli losing, send Rick Santorum your money. Not to be weird but if you wanted to help Ken Cuccinelli in his campaign, wouldn`t you second Ken Cuccinelli your money? I`m not in the business of giving political as I spent -- Oh, my God, Rick Santorum, you`re a vulture. You`re trying to pry one last cent for yourselves out of the dying spasms of that poor man`s campaign. You`re rifling the dead guy`s pocket to see if he still had his wallet on him when he croaked. Amazing. With friends like those, it is clearly getting rough out there for Ken Cuccinelli. It is pretty much result now to just trying to fire up his social conservative base in the last few days before the election. So, he`s doing events with Mike Huckabee, for example, as you see here at the Jerry Fall Well College at Liberty University. He has been doing campaign events with the Dooger (ph) family there in evangelical family of activists about whom there`s a reality show because they have had 19 children and they say they want to have more. When Planned Parenthood started running this ad today in Virginia that says that Ken Cuccinelli would force a survivor of rape or incest in Virginia to carry pregnancy caused by her attacker, the Cuccinelli campaign decided to knock challenge and even claims made in the ad even with "the Washington Post" called and asked them about it. That`s maybe because, well, his base already knows and likes that he would force a survivor of rape or incest in Virginia to carry a pregnancy caused by her attacker. His base seems to see that as a plus not a minus. So, he can`t really deny it. Even with Virginia papers endorsing none of the above in this race or endorsing a guy who isn`t even running for governor because they dislike both major candidates so much. The dye really does seem to be cast against Ken Cuccinelli and the Republicans here, so much so that the national journal is reporting that the Republican party has all but given up on his race and they are instead moving campaign funds down in the ballot to try to save at least one statewide race in Virginia so that Democrats do not win a sweep. And all of this is happening against the backdrop of the scandal involving the current Republican governor, governor ultrasound, Bob McDonald, the most reliable thing in Virginia politics this year has been the steady drip of scandals surrounding Governor Bob McDonald. And whether or not he did anything in exchange for the tens of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts that he and his family took from a Virginia CEO who was seeking all kinds of access to the Virginia state government. The latest reporting from "the Richmond-Times Dispatch" fills in a whole bunch of stuff we did not know before. They report that Governor McDonald`s legal team and his wife`s legal team, those are two separate groups, met with federal prosecutors again last week to try to talk prosecutor out of a criminal indictment against the governor. "The Times Dispatch" reporting that if there is going to be a criminal indictment of the governor, it is expected sometime after Election Day but before thanksgiving. There is new reporting on the character of the case against Governor Bob McDonald and what his defense is. Apparently central to his defense is his claim that he had no idea that his wife took $50,000 from that Virginia businessman. The governor says he is not responsible for that gift, or any quid pro quo related to the gift because he didn`t know that his wife took that money. She took it without telling him. She did. Not me. She did. The man who wrote the $50,000 check to the governor`s wife, however, reportedly told prosecutors the governor did so know about it because the two men met and talked about it ahead of the check being delivered. The Virginia CEO says he met with the governor one-on-one ahead of giving the $50,000 to let him know the check was coming. The governor denies that and says he didn`t know about the money. He says his wife lied about it. She did it. Not me. Oh, family values. Protecting marriage from the evil gay people who want to sully that divine institution. And so, governor and Mrs. Governor have separate legal defense teams. Meeting with federal prosecutors to try to talk them out of a bribery indictment. And it is two weeks to go until Election Day in Virginia. Cue the vultures. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Best new thing in the world today. OK. The city of Washington, D.C., not the federal government, not the beltway, but the city itself, Washington, District of Columbia. It is kind of a low slung place. Most of the buildings in Washington, D.C. are short by law because D.C. is governed by the U.S. congress. The law in D.C. that says buildings in D.C. have to be short buildings, is a law that was passed not by the city itself but by Congress. In 1910, an act to regulate the height of buildings in the district of Columbia. 1910, Congress passed that. More than a century is a long time to have your city stay short while the rest of the world is putting up skyscrapers. That in D.C. that century old decision by Congress created a city skyline like no other. One where you can see great federal monuments of our nation from a long ways away, because there are no tall buildings in the way blocking your view. I don`t know why they did it in the first place back in 1910, but the overall effect after all these years of those height restrictions is kind of an architecturally democratizing thing. Nothing stands between anyone in D.C. and say, the Washington monument. Rich people have the view. Poor people have the view. And it isn`t something to trade on because D.C. height restrictions are permanent. They have been there for more than a century. So, nobody was ever going to take away that view. Two years ago, in August 2011, a rare east coast earthquake rattled the Washington monument. So hard that they had to close it off from visitors ever since. The earthquake cracked the marble on the Washington monument. You can see sun light from inside. Then came torrential rain, wind from hurricane Irene that same month. The rain got in. Left pools of Walter inside the monument. Teams of people who are way braver than I am, rappelled down the sides of the Washington monument to survey the damage after the earthquake. They found four separate big cracks. That needed repairing. This is going to take a while. First had to make a plan. Then, they had figure out how to pay for it. Then it took them four months just to get the scaffolding in place. But here is the thing. When the national park service finished the scaffolding part of the job back in July, when they finish, the 6,000 pieces of metal rigged to stand as scaffolding around the monument without touching it and they lit up the scaffolding with 500 lights. When they hit the lights that showed off the scaffolding around the monument and the way the monument looks while its wrapped up in the scaffolding, it was kind of unexpectedly awesome in its own right. Yes, we have this beautiful monument. But now, just for a while, we have this beautiful monument wearing a really nice dress. Some people in Washington have even argued the scaffolding looks so good on the Washington monument, we should make it permanent. Senior editor at architect magazine argued in "the Washington Post" that the monument quote "hasn`t looked so good in years." Lit up like a spectral tower. And now, it has the a new civic purpose. Because Americans broadly agree that governance in the nation is broken there is a casual elegance to the symbolism of a monument to a national unity under construction. We are a work in progress, the cracked memorial remind us. Our union is not perfected. Reinvention is like that. You get to see an old thing in a new way for a while. And no. they`re not planning on making the scaffolding permanent on the Washington monument. Sometime next spring, they will finish the work on Washington`s old public, we will get our plain old white marble monument back without a fancy dress on. But just today, best new thing in world. Today, we got news of another chance for reinvention in our national capital. This is the U.S. capitol dome. The huge ornate cast iron dome that covers and somehow constrains the uncontainable U.S. congress. The capitol dome has the not been renovated in more than 50 years. And as a result it is rusting out. Iron gets rusty. The capitol dome is rusty. They said they found 1,300 cracks so far that they know about. And in some cases, it is letting water seep into the building. Our Capitol dome looks great from a distance, but up close, it is cracking. We have big chunk of it falling apart and rusting out that risk of falling off, Today, they announced that the work to make this right is about to begin. And in order to start the work, the architect of the capitol will start next month wrapping the dome in scaffolding. The capitol dome its getting its party dress, too. And gets to wear it all lit up for two years. And so, hooray. This is overdue. Desperately needed work could finally get going. So, the U.S. capitol building doesn`t literally fall in on itself and kill people. And if the Washington monument is anything to go by there is a chance that the process of the capitol getting its new up-do, might itself be cool. Might be a very pretty process. The capitol is going to be reinvented for us while the work goes on. And if there is any place in America that need reinventing and reimaging more than this place in America. I don`t know of it. What is broken does not have to stay that way. Reinvention is possible. And you might enjoy the process and be newly inspired along the way. Best new thing in the world today. Now time for "the Last Word with Lawrence O`Donnell." Thanks for joining us tonight. Have a good night. LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR, THE LAST WORD: There is another rough day for Affordable Care Act here in Washington. But a great day for the affordable care act in Ohio. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: The final thing we have to do is win the argument. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- his owned idea. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never tell the truth and always say you are winning. CRUZ: Win the argument with them scan people that Obamacare isn`t working. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This will be the biggest job killer. MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It has killed jobs. CRUZ: It is the number one job killer in this country. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s not showing up in the day. (END VIDEO CLIP) THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END