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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 07/02/15

Guests: Greg McClain

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Chris Hayes, I have a favor to ask. HAYES: Yes. MADDOW: Will you show me where you are? HAYES: Yes, it`s secret. I didn`t know it existed but when I come back next week, I`m going to take you up here. Totally amazing. MADDOW: Thank you. It`s like the best kept secret in the building. Only like the most favored sons of the building are allowed to know where you are. I can`t find it. Thank you, my friend. HAYES: I`m going to show you. MADDOW: Amazing, well done. Seriously, nobody invites me to things like this. I`m not told, other people know how to get outdoors or on the roof. Jackie, do you know? I don`t know. Nobody tells me these things. And it`s not like they are putting out bread crumbs either. They are keeping this to themselves. Someday, I`ll also get the key to the special bathroom, too. Someday. Thanks for being here. Happy Thursday. We have two pieces of really great tape from the news cycle today, both of which we`re going to play tonight, both of which are from the world of politics. One of them is from President Obama. He went to Wisconsin today and he met Republican Governor Scott Walker on the tarmac when he landed, which is nice. The White House for months now I think has been sort of subtly telegraphing they except that Scott Walker is going to be the Republican nominee for president in 2016, President Obama talks about Scott Walker by name, the White House references Scott Walker more than any other candidate, I think. So, it`s interesting today to see President Obama go to Wisconsin to meet with Scott Walker, to shake his hand. But then after he met Scott Walker, he left to go elsewhere in Wisconsin to go just give a barn burning speech in Lacrosse, one of these Obama speeches where he`s celebrating everything that`s going right for administration right now. And even in these moments when he`s celebrating things that are going right, it`s more common to hear this president talk about policy than it is to hear him talk about politics. But this first piece of great tape that we`ve got today, we`ve got two of them -- the first one we got today is President Obama kind of fired up, definitely enjoying himself and what he`s talking about is Republicans as a group. He`s talking about specifically the Republicans who are running for president this year. This was kind of great. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We got some healthy competition in the Democratic Party but I lost count how many Republicans are running for this job. (LAUGHTER) They will have enough for an actual "Hunger Games". (LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE) That is an interesting bunch. I know some of them well. There are good people, it`s just that their ideas are bad. (APPLAUSE) I don`t want to emphasize that -- we`re on one country. We`re all on one team. And so, we`re all one American family. But we go there for Thanksgiving and Uncle Harry starts saying something, and you say, Uncle Harry, that makes no sense at all -- but you still love them. You still remember your family, right? But you got to correct them. You don`t want to put them in charge of stuff. (LAUGHTER) That`s all I`m saying. (APPLAUSE) (ND VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: In related news, some guy named Uncle Harry filed papers to run for the Republican -- actually, that`s not true. Probably. Somebody named Harry piled today, but in addition, Scott Walker did file his papers today. We know Scott Walker, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is due to make his formal out loud announcement that he`s running on July 13th, but today he filed with the FEC to say that he is going to join the race. So even less suspension than there was. We also tonight can do a little more updating on our ginormous chart of the historically unprecedented over large presidential field this year, trademark. All of the people with the red background on our chart, they have all actually formally declared they are running. We have 14 declared major candidates for the Republican nomination already. Anybody who has dotted lines around them, we know when they are going to declare if they are going to declare. So, for example, Scott Walker here, Scott Walker -- where is Scott Walker? Upper right-hand corner. He`s got dotted lines because he`s due to declare on July 19th. We can also finally for the first time take somebody off this list. It is time to poof somebody off this list. Peter King, Peter King, the bombastic Republican congressman from New York state had said he would decide by know whether or not he was going to run, Peter King has just announced that he is not going to run for president. And so, Peter King you become a small number of Republicans who is announcing he`s not running for president and therefore you get poofed off this list, three, two, one, poof. Good-bye Peter King. We haven`t been able to take anybody off the list in a long time. But we do have one further change that we can make to the list tonight, and this is an interesting one. It`s my boyfriend, former governor of Virginia, Jim Gilmore, who`s not really my boyfriend, but he does seem nice. Governor Jim -- I want him to come on the show. Governor Jim Gilmore has been a maybe on our list this whole time. Governor Gilmore ran for president in 2008. He was up there on the debate stage. He didn`t win any states or anything. But he ran in 2008. He`s been keeping cards close to the vest as to whether or not he would run again this year. Well, Jim Gilmore`s office told us today that Governor Gilmore will make his decision about whether or not he is running on or about August 6th and if that date is in your mind for another run, it`s because August 6th, Jim Gilmore is waiting for the first day of the presidential debate to decide whether or not he is running. Which I guess mean if that debate goes off the rails like everybody expects it to because of the format and what they are letting in and who they`re excluding, he may jump in and save the day and claimed the Republican presidential nomination that is obviously and rightfully his. But we got a dotted line around Jim Gilmore now August 6th. We know that Scott Walker is getting in and Peter King is not running, very sad. Still stuff happening on the Republican side of the field even at this late date. On the Democratic side of the field, though, there is also some action. We had a little heads up yesterday that this might happen. Here is how that went at our news meeting yesterday for this show. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CORY GNAZZO, TRMS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Jim Webb says he`s going to decide in few days. (LAUGHTER) MADDOW: I got to go get on the air. (LAUGHTER) (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: That was yesterday. Jim Webb saying he would announce in a few days whether or not he was going to run for president. But he didn`t wait a few days. Today he announced boom, throw yourself into the closet. Get on the air. That was not an earthquake. That was the Webb-mentum. Jim Webb is now declared as of a blog post on his web page and so, now, we know the character of the Democratic field? Right? Republican field still taking shape. We know the debate stage on the Democratic side is going to be this group of these five friendly older white people who could all fit in a family sedan. Jim Webb is the fifth one to declare, probably the last one to declare. If you`re intrigued by the Jim Webb announcement today, though, and you were looking today to find out more information about him, this Jim Webb who`s going to run for president, you might have run into trouble finding the information because the way information about him is organized on the Internet machine. If you go to, what you`ll find is a very nicely organized, very well-designed website for a man named Jim Webb, who is not the same Jim Webb who is running for president. This Jim Webb, in fact, does Web site design and very well. If you decided to get more specific and put in, that Web site is apparently nothing. That`s a Go Daddy holder page. So, then, if you really want to get very, very literal and you want to go to, that was my next guess, it turns out redirects to, which my work -- I kid you not, my work computer will not allow me to visit, much like the garden rooftop setting where Chris Hayes was tonight. I`m not allowed to go. So, I had to actually go to this redirect site,, I had to go on my phone. Now I`m afraid to use my phone to call my mother. So, that is not great for Jim Webb, right? All the obvious things you would choose as your campaign Web site go either nowhere or to an unrelated business or to Maybe not as quite as going to the a gay rights discussion website set up by CJ and Charlie, the cute tech pairs from Portland, Oregon, who we had as a guest on this show. That`s Jim Webb`s predicament is probably not as bad as, which still to this day reads support President Obama immigration reform now. That`s But going to is right up there. is right up there. The other thing going on that`s of real interest right now on both sides of the aisle in the race is the money situation, Hillary Clinton announcing yesterday she`s raised $45 million for her presidential campaign in the second quarter of this year, which just ended and that`s a lot of money. The pro-Hillary folks said today if you combine the $45 million in campaign money with the PAC money she`s raised, it`s more like $70 million she`s raised in the last quarter. It`s interesting, though. Everybody has the same deadlines in both parties, right? Everybody knows what their second quarter totals were. Hillary Clinton announced hers right away. But on the Republican side, the candidates have been really, really slow to announce how much any of them have raised. They know, they just haven`t said so publicly. The only Republican candidate, the on one so far who said what he raised in the second quarter is Ben Carson. And it seems like maybe Dr. Carson is first out of the gate as a Republican in explaining numbers because he`s got a lot to be proud of in those numbers. Ben Carson didn`t get close to Hillary Clinton, but he did raise over $8 million in the last quarter. What his campaign was particularly proud of, though, and it`s important metric, what he`s particularly proud of is how many different people sent Ben Carson money last quarter. His campaign spokesperson telling the "AP" today that no other campaign will come even close to the number of donors that the Ben Carson campaign was able to tap for money in this past quarter. No other campaign will come even close, they say, because more than 150,000 people gave money to Ben Carson in the last quarter. That was a huge number. When I read that quote from the Carson campaign, I thought they are definitely right. Nobody will say they got 150,000 different people to donate to their candidate. I would never guess that anybody else in the race could match that let alone beat it. That`s a huge number of donors. But once again, guess who is surprising everyone. Hi, Bernie. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders seen here last night addressing the crowd of roughly 10,000 people in Madison, Wisconsin. Today, Bernie Sanders campaign announced its fundraising totals for the last quarter and actually, it`s not even for the last quarter because he declared at the end of April. So, he`s not even declaring numbers for the whole quarter. He`s only declaring for two months instead of three months. But in that two-month period, Bernie Sanders raised $15 million for his campaign, a number that "The New York Times" today calls surprisingly large for a fundraising effort that has been primarily from small donors. But even more surprising than the amount of money Bernie Sanders has raised, more surprising than the total number is the number of people who gave him that money. I mean, Ben Carson is bragging rightfully so, bragging about the fact he had 150,000 people give him money last quarter. Ben Carson campaign said no other campaign will come close to the 150,000 donors. Turns out Bernie Sanders had 250,000 donors. So, the 2016 campaign is fascinating. It`s honestly as a person in this job, it really fun to cover. It`s so freaking unpredictable on a day to day basis. But I think sort of this far into it, you`re starting to see it`s operating at a few different levels and day like today, today`s news you could see fascinating to watch what is happening in this giant Republican field and that gets most coverage, right? I mean, today, another major company dropped the business association with Donald Trump. Serta Mattress dropped him because of the racist and demeaning things he said about Mexican immigrants. Today, published a prominent conservative columnist saying that Donald Trump is right what he says about Mexicans. So, the Republican Party has been grappling with what everybody is calling their Donald Trump problem. They`ve been grappling with it quietly for awhile. And now, they are figuring out whether they`re going to embrace these positions that he`s got that are horrifying the rest of the country, but now, he`s one of them and he`s polling really well. So, maybe they have to get on board with it. Really interesting, right? There is news like that every day. Today, this incredibly counterintuitive news is coming out from the fundraising numbers. Ben Carson with huge numbers, right, and all the other Republicans not saying -- there is this fascinating stuff every day. There`s this kinetic day to day, breaking news, every day, about what is already an amazing presidential race, and who is in, who is out, what they are trying to get away with, and what people are not letting them get away with. It`s just rollicking, it`s great. That`s at this level. At a deeper level just below that, though, there is this legitimate manifest real enthusiasm, which defies all beltway explanation. It defies all pundit explanation, this huge enthusiasm for the really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really liberal guy in the race, for Bernie Sanders. If you ask about that, they do not get it at all, but day after day the Bernie Sanders campaign keeps proving it. They continue to turn out people by the thousands. They continue to show up every other campaign by almost every metric, and the Beltway just is choosing not to believe it. You almost have to watch the local news in the places where Bernie Sanders is appearing to see it happening but it is really happening. So there is the fascinating stuff, sort of happening at the beltway press level, all that, you know, kinetic day in, day out stuff. At the level deeper than that, there is this stuff that`s happening with the Bernie Sanders campaign, which the Beltway doesn`t get and which is fascinating. But I said at the start here, that there are two great pieces of tape about the news for politics. And one of those pieces of tape was President Obama having such a great time talking about Uncle Harry and the Republican field and enjoying himself in the politics of this moment today in Wisconsin, all right, in the face of the guy who the White House is going to be the Republican nominee. That was great to see. That was one of two pieces of tape today. The other piece of tape today, though, is from a totally different level at which nobody is talking about politics at all. And it`s from actually one of those Republican candidates for president, who the president talked about today and it is the most non-partisan thing you can possibly imagine in your life. It`s one of the most human things I`ve seen a politician do, certainly that I ever seen a politician allow himself to do while being filmed. This is happening at a level of political discourse I think we`re very uncomfortable with as a country, but is amazing and actually moving to see. This is honestly moving. It`s great. It`s from a Republican candidate for president, I`ve never seen anything like it, and that`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: A reporter named Scott Conroy who works at "The Huffington Post" just did an interview in the backseat of a moving car with a Republican candidate who`s running for president this year. Now, I said at the top of the show tonight that there are two amazing pieces of tape from today`s news, from today`s politics news. One of them was President Obama having an awesome time speaking today in Wisconsin. The president enjoying himself talking about the presidential field in 2016 and how big the Republican field is and how you shouldn`t put your crazy Uncle Harry in charge of stuff even if you like him. It`s very funny. It was sort of vintage happy Obama. It was great. The other piece of tape today that you really have to see -- I have never really seen anything like this -- is this tape today from Scott Conroy at the "Huffington Post." It`s him as a reporter talking with South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. It`s really emotional. And what they are talking about is Vice President Joe Biden. Vice President Biden, obviously, a Democrat, and Lindsey Graham, a Republican, and now a Republican candidate for president. But Vice President Biden and Lindsey Graham are friends. And you know that happens in Washington, and you hear about that happening in Washington but you rarely hear somebody, particularly when they are presidential candidate, you very rarely hear somebody talk about it in terms this human and honestly this moving. I think this is just incredible. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: If you can`t admire Joe Biden as a person, then probably you got a problem. (LAUGHTER) GRAHAM: You need to do some self-evaluation because what`s not to like? Here`s what I can tell you. That life can change just like that. Don`t take it for granted. Don`t take relationships for granted. I called him after Beau died, and he basically said, well, Beau was my soul. We talked for a long time. He came to my ceremony and said some of the most incredibly heart-felt things that anybody could ever say to me, and he`s the nicest person I think I`ve ever met in politics. SCOTT CONROY, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Is that right? GRAHAM: He is as good a man as God ever created and we don`t agree on much but I think he`s been dealt a really gut blow. I think he focuses on what he`s got to do, not what he lost. His heart has been ripped out, but he`s going to make sure the other members of his family is well taken care of and he started talking about his grandkids, more worried about them than anything. We just talked about the future. CONROY: Yes. GRAHAM: He started talking about the future, the future of his family. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: Remarkable taped interview with South Carolina senator and presidential candidate, Lindsey Graham, talking about his friendship with Joe Biden. Joining us now is long time Washington reporter, MSNBC analyst and all around good guy David Corn, D.C. bureau chief from "Mother Jones". David, it`s great to see you. Thanks for being here. DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: Good evening and happy Fourth of July early. MADDOW: Thank you. Do you love Lindsey Graham now watching that tape? I kind of love Lindsey Graham now watching him talk that way. CORN: Well, it`s very moving. The thing is that, you know, those of us who are fortunate or unfortunate to spend most of our adult lives in Washington realize a lot of people, politicians who you may not agree with often are good folks and you kind of wish that they could sort of take some of that positive character traits they have and apply it to the debates they wage when they disagree with you or somebody else. I mean, I can point out a number of times Lindsey Graham said stuff that wasn`t a good way of having a debate in this town. He made jabs against Susan Rice or others, they were unfair, and I kind of wish that, you know, for all the decency he showed there, I don`t want to just pick on Lindsey Graham here, that sort of decency would inform all the debates and agreements we have. I mean, Chris Christie today is quoted in "The Washington Post" saying the problem with President Obama is that he doesn`t like being president and that he just doesn`t like people. Now, does Chris Christie, talk about liking people. Let`s put that aside with Chris Christie. But my question is, does Chris Christie really actually believe that Obama doesn`t like people? And that`s something to say? I mean, it`s just silly name calling and from a guy who used to hug Obama when they were working together on Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. So why does he say crap like that? I don`t really get it. I don`t know. It`s not necessary. MADDOW: I feel like the field being so big and predictable because of how flat it is and the size of the field, I feel like anything might break out at any minute. And so, some of that is going to be nasty and some of it is going to be ugly and some will be fact challenge. I`m starting to wonder if decency or surprising, you know, rising of partisanship may be something to break out. Maybe that`s because I`m in a good mood because I`m a liberal and it`s been a good week for liberals. But I am actually wondering if the field is so big that it might be weird enough that some good comes of it. CORN: You are being very optimistic. (LAUGHTER) CORN: My political analysis is that the grass roots, the base, the voting base of the Republican Party is still very much in a we want to vent mode. They hate Obama. They believe he is a secret socialist who wants to destroy America, someone social conservatives do believe that the Supreme Court decision is akin to 9/11 or Pearl Harbor and they are out for blood. And they pulled the Republican Party far to the right. They are the tail that wags the dog, and you see this across the board with candidates who are trying to figure out how to win votes if that`s the audience, if that`s the pool you swim in and that doesn`t seem to allow for a lot of decency. We saw this with Mitt Romney last time around. I know people who work for Mitt, Bain Capital and elsewhere, and they always said he was a descent fellow. Yet, he got out there and said lots of things he knew weren`t true. He said he kept trying to make the president seem like he didn`t believe in America, wasn`t exceptional. He kept playing with that sort of bither notion, without accepting it. And why would a decent fellow who has helped neighbors and his colleagues so often play that game? Because he thought it would get him votes. MADDOW: Right. CORN: And I still think that drives a lot of fellows, Lindsey Graham, at 1 percent in the poll may have more opportunity to be decent than a lot of these other guys. MADDOW: The idea you can out-flank somebody with surprising and heart-felt decency would make for the best sort of beltway political headlines I can possibly imagine. David Corn, D.C. bureau chief for "Mother Jones", thank you talking to me about this. It`s great to see you. CORN: Thank you, Rachel. MADDOW: Thanks. All right. Ahead, a news cliffhanger resolved with a xylophone, a real xylophone. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Clarity. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Become a teacher, it will give you the power to lead one kid at a time. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: The More You Know, NBC`s brilliant PSA campaign that`s been around for decades. It`s perfect in every way. We have developed our own cheap cable version to describe a thing that happens in the news cycle when a big news story ends on a cliff hanger. You know it started, you think you might know how it ends but you don`t know until you finally do, until -- you know more now. Thank you, Nick. On last night`s show, we reported Alabama Governor Robert Bentley had said he was going to make a major announcement today, this afternoon. And at the time we did not know what it was going to be about, but we reported it was happening, maybe how the state would handle the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, maybe it would be about how the state was going to handle continuing controversy over Confederate flags, who knows? Well, now, today, we know. That major announcement actually had nothing to do with same-sex marriage, nothing to do with the flag. Instead, it had to do with the largest oil spill in the history of the United States. The Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 people and spilled almost 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Today, Governor Bentley announced that this state, Alabama, along with Louisiana and Mississippi, Texas and Florida, and the federal government, they have all agreed to settle with BP over the legal claims stemming from that giant spill, and it`s the largest settlement any corporation ever paid for anything ever, $18.7 billion. And undoubtedly, BP is probably relieved to at least know how much they are on the hook for, this is one step closer to closure for them when it comes to figuring out what their ultimate liability is for that massive and disgusting disaster. On the other hand, this is the biggest fine any company paid for anything ever, and if you add to it what BP already paid toward legal and cleanup cost, BP is on the hook for more profit than they made in the past four years combined. What they agreed to today, what they announced today, this is such a big fine that some analysts say BP might not actually survive it intact. There is some thinking this settlement makes BP ripe for being acquired by some other company entirely, which means thanks to the Deepwater Horizon spill, BP would basically seize to exist. So yesterday, we didn`t know what that press conference was going to be. Now -- you know more. Thank you, Nick. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: I have covered a lot of disasters and a lot of crashes and a lot of spills of dangerous things. But before today, I can never remember covering one that required detailed local reporting on antidote kits for cyanide gas. A serious disaster is unfolding, still burning tonight in one state. That story is next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: The Great Smoky Mountains run along the Tennessee/North Carolina border, one of America`s treasures. That mountain range is a UNESCO world heritage site. Great Smoky Mountains are beautiful. At the foot of the Smoky Mountains is a place called Maryville, Tennessee, just south of Knoxville. It`s population of about 27,000 people. Late last night, a CSX tanker train was making its way through Maryville, Tennessee. That train started in Ohio on its way to Georgia but just outside, one car derailed off one of the main highways there. Apparently, one of the tank cars on that train broke an axle and that punctured the car, sparked a huge fire that happened around midnight. Late into the evening tonight, that train car was still burning from midnight last night and that`s not because this is some inaccessible spot. This is right off the highway outside town, easy to get to. They can get to it. They just couldn`t stay close enough to it to put it out, because the car that was burning and eight other cars on that train, they were carrying something called acrylanitrile. And acrylanitrile is a very toxic used in making plastics. It`s toxic. It`s highly flammable, and when it burns, it releases a highly toxic byproduct that you have heard of. It releases cyanide gas. Exposure to cyanide gas can cause dizziness and headache and nausea and vomiting, but enough exposure to cyanide gas can kill you. And that`s why nobody has wanted to come near that burning train all day today. They realized soon after the derailment, they needed to evacuate a two-mile radius around the burning train car. That meant evacuating 5,000 people in that part of Tennessee in the dead of night, and into this morning, 5,000 people. But what that burning car is giving off, that cyanide gas, it`s so toxic, so potent, that ten law enforcement officers who are going door to door, getting people out of their homes, 10 law enforcement officers themselves had to be hospitalized for chemical exposure, including those ten officers, a total after 52 people have been sent to the hospital so far because of exposure to the toxic fumes, about half of them, 25 people have been admitted to the hospital now for ongoing treatment. Because of that risk of cyanide gas exposure, local officials at one point today issued a region-wide request for these. They are called cyanokits. Cyanokits are specialized medical kits for treating cyanide poisoning. It`s about a 4x10 little kit. They hold a chemical that you administer intravenously to basically act as an antidote to the cyanide, to force the cyanide out of your system. One neighboring county apparently passed along four of the cyanokits that they had on hand. But officials in Maryville say that they are still looking for more. There are on going concerns about these toxic fumes from the fire, ongoing concerns about drinking water in the vicinity of the spill and local officials have reportedly told the evacuees tonight, these 5,000 people, that they should not to plan to be going home tonight. Don`t know when they`re going home yet. Joining us now from Maryville is the city manager, Greg McClain. Mr. McClain, I know this is an incredibly difficult day. Thank you so much for making time for us. GREG MCCLAIN, MARYVILLE, TN CITY MANAGER: Well, thank you very having us. MADDOW: I understand, I`m told the train car did finally burn out and did finally stop burning tonight. Is that true? MCCLAIN: That is correct. Probably three or four hours ago it finally extinguished. MADDOW: There does seem to be some question at least we can`t tell from here, as to how much of the 24,000 gallons in that tanker burned or spilled in the surrounding area. Do you have a handle on that yet? MCCLAIN: Well, the fact that the product was burning was probably a really good thing. It`s very flammable and it burns at a very high temperature so most of the product was probably burned up, sent into the sky and vapor and very little of it probably got into the ground. No doubt there will be some residue, some tankers just went through now, and other heavy equipment that`s going to be digging up through the night evaluating how deep, how far that may have spread. But the vast majority of the product will burn. MADDOW: In terms of what did burn, obviously this worry about those fumes and we know a number of people are sick and gone to the hospital. Are you satisfied that everybody in the surrounding area is out of danger in terms of inhalation of the fumes? MCCLAIN: Yes, we think at this point it`s pretty much just wrapping up. We`ve done air monitoring, EPA and other haves been with us from the beginning doing air monitoring and what we found that most of the fumes have gone upward. All of the monitoring around it has shown roughly background traces of the chemicals you would expect in this product as it burns. So we`ve been lucky in that regard. It rained much of the day and helped to knock that plume down and probably didn`t go as far. Fortune has it, it`s burned all the product up and as we are now, it`s just a matter of mopping up. MADDOW: Maryville city manager, Greg McClain -- incredibly difficult circumstances for your town today. Good luck to you, sir. Thanks for being with us. MCCLAIN: Thank you so much. Thanks for having us. MADDOW: Thanks. Really big evacuation there. Really scary chemical spill, just remarkable. All right. Next I`m going to attempt to contain my excitement for something that is due to happen this weekend -- I`m going to fail at containing that excitement. I`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Tonight, we mad two pieces of news about Vice President Joe Biden. First though is that remarkable tape from Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham talking about his love for Joe Biden as a friend, just amazing. But we also just got word from the vice president`s office about a surprise trip that Vice President Biden is going to be taking this weekend. It`s a previously unannounced but really high-profile trip, and that`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Here is an update on your Fourth of July weekend plans. You`re planning on watching the women`s World Cup final on Sunday night at 7:00 Eastern. I know you`re planning on it. The U.S. national team is in the World Cup final. You`re already planning on watching that, I know. The American team has an incredible defense this year. The American team only let one goal be scored against them during the entire world cup tournament. The U.S. national team is amazing. They`re going to be playing in the final against Japan on Sunday. And because of that, this is the most important question in the whole sport now in the whole world, the most important question now is the Japanese offense good enough to score against the Americans amazing defense on Sunday night for the world title? Now last night on the show it was breaking news, it was mind-bendingly exciting breaking news when Japan beat England in order to get into the final against the U.S. Japan won that game last night, not by their own team, their own offense scoring a goal against England -- no, Japan won that game last night because England accidently scored on themselves. The English player, player in white here kicked the ball into her own team`s goal accidently and that is how England lost and Japan won, and that`s how we got this U.S. versus Japan final that`s going to be played this Sunday night, 7:00. USA, USA. If that is not enough to make you interested in that game, this will do it, because the organization that runs the World Cup for the world, all right, that organization is called FIFA. FIFA had worldwide executives arrested on corruption and bribery and match fixing charges, just terrible. The head of FIFA hasn`t been charged or not been charged yet, but he did have to announce his resignation from FIFA after pretty much his whole inner circle got sent to the crowbar hotel. In terms of women`s game specifically, that head of FIFA, his name is Sepp Blatter. He`s famous for saying that what he would do to improve the game is make the women wear tighter shorts. So, that`s nice. Well, one of the really, really awesome things about the World Cup final this Sunday -- USA, USA -- is that not only is the American team awesome and going to the final of the world cup, but the head of FIFA, Mr. Tight Shorts, he will not be going to the final. He technically still runs the World Cup but will not be going to the World Cup final on Sunday. He says it`s for, quote, "personal reasons". But you know there is also this worry about the vast number of countries around the world in which Sepp Blatter could face arrest the moment he crosses a border into that country or steps off a plane into a tarmac. So, three things about why you are watching the World Cup find on Sunday night, number one, amazing defense versus the luckiest offense on earth. Number two, the biggest villain in international sports corruption and sexism. This is supposed to be his big moment, right? But he won`t actually be able to go because he might get arrested if he shows up. That`s awesome. But number three, obviously, is just USA, USA, USA. That`s the other reason. Also, Joe Biden is going to be there. I know. World Cup final Sunday night. Watch parties have been scheduled in places like Lincoln Park in Chicago and Civic Center in San Francisco. No matter where you are watching it from on Sunday night, you will be watching it on Sunday night. Your country needs you. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Regular people sometimes make history. If you are a regular person and you find yourself in the middle of something where you realize that what you do is really going to make history. When you realize that you personally are about to become an important part of the historical record, how do you handle that? How do you comport yourself? How do you behave? Because when we think of the historical record, we not only think about, you know, famous people in history, we also think of the drama of how history is presented, right? Like Washington crossing the Delaware. Our first president when he was still just a heroic revolutionary general. George Washington making that dramatic dangerous charge across the icy Delaware River, crossing the Delaware to the sleeping British forces. Morning after Christmas. People make a point to see this painting in person at some point during their lifetimes, right? And the vividness of the color in this picture is part of what is so striking for this as history, because for us as a country this is as close as we get to ancient history, right? I mean, this is the founding of the United States of America. When it comes to the historical record, it`s an interesting thing, that the further you go back, the more likely it is there is vivid color in the portrayals of what happened, a really, really long time ago. I mean, the history that we have before cameras, the history people had to paint in order to remember, that history comes to us in vivid color. Whether it was a painting of a scene like Washington crossing the Delaware or whether it portraits, where painters picked up a brush and the subject sitting for the portrait sat as still as he or she could and the great figures of our history -- they presented themselves for all time for us for whenever we might come along, right? We see the historical figures from way, way back. We see them in color. Then, we got the camera. At first, after a long time, we only had black and white film, or black and white photographic processes, and it was tricky processes for a long time. You had to sit there for a long period of time while the exposure happened long enough that in big group portraits, sometimes people would start at one with end of the group and run to the other side of the group so they could be in the picture twice. But mostly the style of the time was to sit somberly, to sit, not just still but serious. So, history might record you both unblurred and also as a person of heft, serious person in serious times. In a long period between the invention of the camera and the invention and popularizing of color film, our history comes to us in black and white as though the world itself had no color. It is funny, right? There`s no black and white photos of George Washington because there are no photos George Washington. George Washington got painted for history so he is a four-color president. But FDR in our memory he is in black and white. Washington and FDR obviously both ate apples that are red and walked on grass that was green, but we with see them the way they were recorded in color or black and white for history. Well, today, painting is for art and photography is for art, too but for most of us it is free for nothing. Today, we take more pictures of ourselves than we could possibly catalog or need or maybe even look at. Pictures now aren`t just a dime a dozen. They are truly ephemeral. We take pictures we intend to exist for the milliseconds that somebody might view on them before they disappear. We take all those pictures of ourselves in particular and they`re the most transient thing imaginable. Photography now -- photography now is ubiquitous, right? Posing is basically a form of looking in the mirror. No longer posing for the sake of history -- except in those rare moments when we are. There`s a woman named Barbara Dunn. Barbara Dunn is the long-time clerk in Hinds County, Mississippi. Hinds County, Mississippi, is where the capital city of Jackson, Mississippi, is. For the past two years, Barbara Dunn has been in the position of saying no to people who wanted to get married. Because of her job, she personally has been recorded for history over and over again as the face of the law in Mississippi as the person who would not and could not give gay couples marriage licenses when they asked but in Mississippi at that county clerk`s office, they kept asking over and over. (BEGIN VIDOI CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`d like to apply for a marriage license. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you have that bond with someone you know the feeling and what it is like to want that. UNIENTIFIED MALE: Ii love you. BARBARA DUNN: Statute states that we`ll take your application, but we will not issue the license. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love each other so much. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We know that life is short and we want to be protected. DUNN: I understand. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: She says "I understand" there at the end. That video is from two summers ago from July 2013. It is from the Campaign for Southern Equality. Well, less than a week ago on Friday, the Supreme Court established marriage as a fundamental right in all 50 states. And so, this week, history was able to record the marriages of people who have been waiting a very long time to get married. People who have been trying and trying and getting told no. People had been told getting told no sometimes by clerk and local officials who were happy to say no all of these years, but, you know, some local officials clearly broke their own hearts to have to say no to these folks because the law would not let them say yes. Until now. Now the law says, and all of these county clerks offices, across the country and the deep south, they can say yes. When they started marrying couples in Barbara Dunn`s office in Hinds County, Mississippi, the newlyweds stopped by for a photo before they left. So did Barbara Dunn. Look at this. Look at this photo. Look at her. She wore the brightest pink for the occasion. Right? History in full color. You can see she smiled a little bit but not too much. Future generations will want to know this moment mattered. All over the country, now all over the Deep South, the last federal courts still being used as an excuse to not follow the Supreme Court`s rulings, those courts as of today have now ruled in Louisiana, and Kentucky, and Alabama, in Hinds County, Mississippi, it`s done. It`s history. It is bright, serious, very personal history. It`s done. It`s been a big week. That does it for us tonight. Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL." THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END