John Hickenlooper announces senate run. TRANSCRIPT: 8/22/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O'Donnell.

Guests: Rick Wilson, Renee Graham, Tom Friedman, Charlie Cook, DoloresHuerta

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Rachel.

And wish me luck because I am going to do something I am not good at here. 

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  Oh, OK.

O`DONNELL:  I am going to be interview one of my heroes.  I`m not good at hiding my awe in those situations.  So it`s going to be what it`s going to be.  We`ll see where it goes. 

MADDOW:  Well, do you need like tips?  Like you feel like, you know, you`re --

O`DONNELL:  Well, what`s it like when that happens to you? 

MADDOW:  I leave my body entirely. 

O`DONNELL:  Yes.

MADDOW:  I imagine that I`m somebody else talking to somebody who doesn`t mean that much to me at all and nothing you say could have any affect on me.  I am horrible at it.  That`s what I try.  It doesn`t work. 

O`DONNELL:  Well, I have never detected that.  Everything you describe has never actually happened on screen.  It`s only happened in your head.  And so, maybe we over-worry these things. 

MADDOW:  Maybe we do.  Well, I wish you luck anyway, and break a leg and all those things.  You are going to be fine.  Just leave your body. 

O`DONNELL:  OK.  Thank you, Rachel.

MADDOW:  Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL:  Well, some of the guests who appear on this program might be on their way to the history books, especially the presidential candidates.  There is probably a future president in that group, and a future vice president.  But tonight, we`ll be joined by someone who is already in our history books.  She`s in the one history book that I wrote about the 1968 presidential campaign and many other history books. 

She campaigned for Bobby Kennedy that year and was on the stage when he gave his victory speech in the California primary election in what turned out to be the last night of his life.  President Obama gave her the Medal of Freedom.  To say it`s an honor to have Dolores Huerta stepped out of the history books and joined us here tonight does not begin to convey how feel about being able to have her on the show.  I`m simply in awe of Dolores Huerta, have been for decades.  I have met her a couple of times at events in California. 

And she makes that awe temporarily disappear because she is a person with real warmth, real wit, real kindness.  She instantly feels like an old friend.  Bobby Kennedy thanked Dolores Huerta that night in Los Angeles in what turned out to be his final speech. 

Many people have thanked her before and since then for her help.  People in Fresno, California, are thanking her this week for her help.  Dolores Huerta went to Fresno this week in what is the latest chapter in her lifetime pursuit of justice and she got arrested in Fresno at age 89.  Dolores will join us at the end of this hour to tell us why she got arrested in Fresno this week and in that discussion, I hope we learn something about what it takes to be truly committed to social progress, truly committed to a cause. 

Most of us limit our commitment to social progress to voting and some of us just give up when our candidate loses.  Dolores Huerta saw her candidate in 1968 get shot and killed right before her eyes, and she did not give up. 

We have much to learn from Dolores Huerta.  America has much to learn from Dolores Huerta.  And we will hear from her at the end of this hour in tonight`s last word. 

Alan Bennett`s brilliant play "The Madness of George III" had its premier in London in 1992, 200 years after the rein of England`s truly mad king.  It will not take 200 years for the madness of Donald Trump to be written.  Probably more than 200 of those plays will be written in the next 200 years, and the Trump playwrights will have an easier time of it than Alan Bennett had because they will have the video and the tweets of all of the madness.  The tweets saying Trump is king of Israel, the second coming of god, the video of Trump talking about wanting to buy Greenland, the video of Trump talking about himself as the chosen one.  The video of Trump saying he fell into in love with the murderous North Korean dictator. 

The Trump and Kim Jong-un love affair will be set to music in some versions of the madness of Donald Trump.  In others it will be played with the deadly darkness of Shakespeare`s Richard the III.  And if we are lucky, future audiences watching all of the plays about the madness of Donald Trump will be watching them the way I watched the madness of George III in 1992.  They will be watching something that feels like it happened a long time ago in a crazy moment in history that could never come again. 

If we`re lucky, when future audiences are looking back at it, the madness of Donald Trump will look like a four-year explosion in our politics and culture that came and went within the space of two presidential elections and all of the polling that has come out this week strongly supports the possibility that the Trump presidency will crash into democracy on the next election night and this time lose.  Donald Trump has an approval rating tonight, which if it holds, makes it impossible for him to be re-elected. 

"The Associated Press" shows 62 percent disapprove of Donald Trump`s job appearance with 36 percent approving.  There is a worse number in a Monmouth poll, only 39 percent of voters support Donald Trump`s re- election, 57 percent say it`s time for someone new.  That could not be more clear. 

Those numbers have to change dramatically and quickly for Donald Trump to have a reasonable chance to win the next election.  And there is nothing on the political horizon that likely to improve those numbers.  Donald Trump ran for president claiming he would revive manufacturing in America when manufacturing was already doing reasonably well. 

Today, "The Washington Post" reports that thanks to Donald Trump`s trade war, that he is losing.  The U.S. manufacturing purchases index fell to 49.9 in August from 50.4 in July.  That is the first time that that particular closely watched indicator has fallen below 50 since the first year of the Obama presidency. 

American automobile manufacturers have overruled Donald Trump`s misguided softening of emission standards for their fleets and have made a deal with the state of California for stricter regulation than the Trump administration wants nationally.  The state of California is, of course, the largest and most important automobile market in the world, and so no auto manufacturers are going to build a car that cannot be sold in California.  Something Donald Trump did not realize about automobile manufacturing until he learned it the hard way. 

The Trump tariffs are becoming increasing expensive consumers and could cost Americans $1,000 a year per person.  The Trump budget deficit is now $1 trillion a year and going up.  Donald Trump talked about the national debt and the deficit almost every day of his presidential campaign.  Now that he has increased the national debt by trillions of dollars, he no longer says a word about it.  That`s one piece of ammunition he won`t have in his re-election campaign. 

And then there`s Donald Trump`s historic status as the fourth president in history to face the possible of real impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives.  And today, three more members of the House of Representatives came up in support of impeachment. 

Illinois Democrat Brad Schneider issued a written statement saying, after months of relentless stonewalling by the Trump administration, I believe it is necessary to evaluate the various congressional investigations of the president into a formal impeachment inquiry as the only way to ensure the American people have a comprehensive understanding of the facts uncovered by special counsel Robert Mueller`s investigation and hold the president accountable for his actions.  The special counsel made clear that then- candidate Trump and the Trump campaign eagerly welcomed interference in our election. 

The special counsel also lays out that President Trump subsequently acted on numerous occasions to block and obstruct the investing into what occurred.  I previously believed that Congress` oversight and investigative efforts through hearings, subpoenas and lawsuits were the appropriate vehicle to uncover the truth.  Regrettably, it is clear the administration has little regard for the Constitution and is unwilling to provide any information to Congress and is seeking o play out the clock. 

The American people deserve to know the truth about what happened and those who are responsible must be held accountable.  An impeachment inquiry is the only way to do so and I support opening one immediately. 

Massachusetts Democrat Bill Keating announced his view of impeachment this way. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. BILL KEATING (D-MA):  The Mueller report reveals several instances of obstruction of justice, certainly enough to move forward with an impeachment investigation.  Indeed, if that vote were today, I`d support it. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL:  California Democrat Mark Takano said this about impeachment. 

(BERGN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MARK TAKANO (D-CA):  Special Counsel Mueller unequivocally concluded that Russia interfered in our elections in 2016 and that President Trump`s campaign welcomed the help.  And the president committed various acts that amount to obstruction of justice during this investigation in order to prevent it from moving forward.  Contrary to what President Trump, Attorney General Barr and the Trump administration claim, the president was not exonerated of any crimes by special counsel Mueller.  In fact, in his report, the special counsel laid out his findings for Congress to use as a roadmap to hold the president accountable for obstructing justice. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL:  Leading off our discussion tonight, Rick Wilson, a Republican strategist and a contributor to the "Daily Beast".  He`s the author of "Everything Trump Touches Dies".  Also with us, Renee Graham, an associate editor and opinion columnist for "The Boston Globe."

Renee, I want to begin with where the president stands tonight on the eve of his departure tomorrow night for a G7 summit, with the world wondering about the mental health of the president of the United States. 

RENEE GRAHAM, ASSOCIATE EDITOR & OPINION COLUMNIST, BOSTON GLOBE:  You know, I have to tell you, Lawrence, I can`t help but think if the president were a building, for the sake of public safety, he would be torn down.  You know, what we`ve witnessed these last few days, and these last days have felt like a month, you know, from these sort of delusions of grandeur, of comparing himself to gods, to insulting Jewish voters with this anti- Semitic trope, you know, there`s just no limit. 

But to add to that, the one ace in the hole that Trump has always had, the economy, and the fact that the economy is in trouble, I think it`s really - - I think that`s really weighing on him.  I think part of it is he looking for any distraction he can find to take people`s attention away from what is happening with the economy. 

O`DONNELL:  Rick Wilson, your assessment of where the president stands as he heads off to the G7? 

RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Well, I think that Donald Trump has had a week in which he is proving that this isn`t a 87 dimensional chess game. This isn`t some masterful strategy of communications or persuasion.  This is an old man who is sick and who has problems and who has mental disconnects, and who has aphasias, and who has moments where he doesn`t remember who and where he is. 

And where the things he says that he thinks sound self-aggrandizing instead just sound like he is absolutely, you know, nuts, and absolutely on the edge of some sort of collapse that will be a shocker to people in our politics that the master negotiator, president big brain, all this stuff, you know, is not a stable genius, but is something quite the opposite. 

O`DONNELL:  Well, let`s bring in a professional opinion on this.  Dr. Lance Dodes was a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  He first appeared on this program 30 days into the Trump presidency with another psychiatrist to discuss the mental health of Donald Trump, which to them was already an apparent serious issue for the United States and those psychiatrists at that time decided they would embrace the principle of the duty to warn and go public with their analysis of the president. 

Dr. Dodes was on this program last night after this week of observing the president.  Let`s listen to what he said last night. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LANCE DODES, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHIATRY:  I want to make clear that there are a lot of grandiose people.  There are a lot of people who are narcissistic.  Donald Trump goes way beyond that.  There is a fundamental way in which -- there is something fundamentally different about him from normal people. 

There is -- it`s a psychotic-like state.  The more you press him, the more you see how disorganized and empty he is.  The more he flies into a disorganized rage. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL:  And, Renee, one of the things that it is striking about that is the language is so simple about him being empty and his disorganized rage, and everything that the doctor says is something that anyone can observe in Donald Trump on a daily basis. 

GRAHAM:  You know, I`m not going to diagnosis Donald Trump.  I`m not going to say he is having a mental breakdown or any of those sorts of things. 

What we are seeing, however, is a man who is not used to pressure.  You know, I don`t get the sense that Donald Trump has really had to deal with a lot of stresses in his life.  Now he`s got to deal with gun reform, which he has shown no stomach for.  He is dealing with what`s happening, the situation he created with Greenland, which didn`t have to happen in first place.

You know, he is creating all these situations on top of some very real issues he should be dealing with.  And Donald Trump was never -- he is a man who doesn`t react well when he is desperate.  And he is desperate. 

You know, it was great before he was president and he could be on TV and could be funny and all that.  These are real issues at play now.  And so we`ve gone from having a barely functional presidency to a full-blown tantrum. 

O`DONNELL:  Rick --

GRAHAM:  And I think that`s where we are right now. 

O`DONNELL:  Yes.  And, Rick, it seems to me that this story, this analysis of Donald Trump definitely connects to the impeachment story because when a new Democrat every day and today three come out and say I am in favor of an impeachment inquiry, it`s very hard, even for Republicans to say, what?  How could you possibly be in favor of that impeachment inquiry about this man? 

WILSON:  You know, Lawrence, the only easy day for Donald Trump is yesterday.  They always get worse.  He always causes more trouble than he has to.  He always piles one thing on to another of this large case that he is making against himself and that`s being made against him by others across the spectrum. 

He is morally and mentally unfit.  He is a man who continues to do things that do nothing to advance the interests of the United States or protect the rights of the American people.  These things are adding up. 

I think Renee is right.  There is a pressure building on him and he feels the economic pressure coming from underneath, the political pressure, the fear of exposure of his taxes and business records, the fear of impeachment.  All of these things have ground up slowly and made a man who is already kind of a delicate little flower who is kind of a guy who lived in a tower his whole life, never done a hard day`s work, never taken a punch in his life, and he is this spoiled little brat who is now in the White House and he is feeling this pressure growing on him by the minute and he hates it. 

He really -- he is lashing out.  Of course, because he is so -- look, the honest truth is Donald Trump is not a super bright man, but he is very feral kind of player.  He recognizes risks when they are approaching him.  He feels risk approaching from all directions right now. 

That`s why he is lashing out at everyone and everything and that`s why these cognitive deficits that are so in our face are the time are coming to the fore.  That pressure on every president has reached the point to where it`s breaking him. 

O`DONNELL:  Rene, to the question of impeachment, one -- any real advisor of Donald Trump would say as soon as there are rumblings of impeachment, as soon as the independent counsel -- special prosecutor investigation him, that he should behave as presidential as possible, behave in a way that at least his behavior would be something that people could respect, that people could, you know, could see something presidential in.  But he has no idea how to do that. 

And so, when even as impeachment, the impeachment number gets higher and higher in the House of Representatives, his behavior just gets wilder and wilder. 

GRAHAM:  He has no capacity to behave like an adult, let alone presidential.  You know, it`s not going to happen.  Anyone who is in the White House who might have been able to keep him on a short leash is gone.  And even those people failed at it. 

So who has the president`s ear now?  Stephen Miller.  That`s what Donald Trump is getting.  So there is really no chance anything is going to change. 

O`DONNELL:  Yes.  And Stephen Miller does not have any ideas about what to do about any shakiness in the economy right now. 

WILSON:  No.  And this idea that Donald Trump had that he is going to browbeat the Fed into doing what he wants or unilaterally change the tax code, you know, I`m sorry.  I know that constitution is an inconvenience from time to time, but all these things that are fantasy based in his mind.  And the people who are left around him, Renee is exactly right, they are the Steven Millers, the ones that are the boot liquors, they`re the one that say, you know, your fart smell like honey suckle. 

He`s -- they`re the ones who absolutely will never say no to this man.  He loves that no matter how bad it is for the country or for his administration. 

O`DONNELL:  Rick Wilson and Renee Graham, TThank you both very much.  Really appreciate you being here. 

WILSON:  Thanks, Lawrence. 

O`DONNELL:  Thank you.

And when we come back, U.S. allies are now just as concerned about President Trump`s mental health, as the psychiatrists who are publicly diagnosing him here in the United States.  "New York Times" foreign affairs columnist Tom Friedman will join us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL:  There is a very deep crisis of democracy.  Those are the words of French President Emmanuel Macron.  He is hosting this week`s meeting of the G7 in France, a group Donald Trump is hoping to make the G8 again by restoring Russia`s membership.  Russia was expelled after invading Ukraine. 

Yesterday, Donald Trump blamed Vladimir Putin`s invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea on, who else?  President Barack Obama. 

Donald Trump presumably blames Hitler`s invasion of France on President Roosevelt.  But no reporter has asked him about that one yet. 

G7 style summits have been occurring since 1975, and every summit has ended with a joint agreed upon statement issued by all the countries involved.  As the host of this weekend`s G7 summit, President Macron has decided to abandon that policy because of what he calls, quote, a very deep crisis of democracy. 

To consider the dimensions of that crisis, we are joined now by Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign affairs columnist for "The New York Times" and author of the bestselling book, "Thank You For Being Late."

Tom Friedman, thank you very much for joining us tonight.  I really appreciate it. 

And on the eve of a summit like this, we want to hear from you.  What is your reaction to this first time in history declaring ahead of time, there is no sense even trying to form an agreed-upon joint statement? 

TOM FRIEDMAN, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES:  Well, it`s sad, Lawrence, because the Atlantic alliance, the G7, which is not exactly part of the Atlantic alliance, but the Atlantic alliance has been so critical for sharing American values and building global institutions that are in our interest since World War II.  And I`m a big believer that these institutions really matter.  The world is the way it is because they exist. 

And if we can`t agree on a simple statement like, hey, we should be working against climate change at a time when, you know, the polar ice caps are melting, and we are seeing terrible forest fires that are blotting out major cities in Brazil, that`s really unfortunate.  But that`s the Trump era. 

O`DONNELL:  And President Macron didn`t go into detail about the deep crisis of democracy, presumably because everyone knows what he is talking about.  Those are -- seems to me, everyone -- he believes everyone just knows those are words that mean Donald Trump? 

FRIEDMAN:  You know, Lawrence, I don`t mind having Putin back in the G7, make it the G8 again if he were to actually take steps to reverse his violent seizure of Crimea.  I think it`s better to have him in rather than out. 

But the question Trump wants -- in to do what?  In to fight climate change more effectively?  In to reach agreement on non-interference in different countries` elections? 

For what purpose does he want him in?  And Trump never says. 

O`DONNELL:  What do we know about how the leaders of other countries see Donald Trump at this stage in their dealings with him, especially this weekend when it comes at the end of a week in which they`ve heard him call himself the king of Israel?  They have heard him say he is the chosen one.  They have heard all the crazy things that everyone here has heard the president say. 

FRIEDMAN:  Well, I think there is a general consensus that you are dealing with an America that they have never had before, an America that really doesn`t want to lead, an America that looks at something like the European Union as if it`s a Benetton Store in a Trump Hotel that`s not paying enough rent.  And I think this is tragic. 

It`s my feeling, Lawrence, that both Russia`s Putin and China`s Xi will be voting for Trump in 2020 for this reason, because they know as long as Trump is president of the United States, we will be an internal turmoil and chaos and America will have a leader who will never be able to build a global coalition against Russia and China.  Have no doubt about it.  Both Putin and Xi will be voting Trump in 2020. 

O`DONNELL:  So, Tom, even China, even facing the Trump tariffs, they would rather deal with the Trump tariffs because they see the whole regime, the whole governing regime of Donald Trump as weakening America? 

FRIEDMAN:  Right, as a time when China is focused on building A.I. and quantum computing.  They want an America that basically can never build a coalition around them, and that basically also can`t build a high-speed rail between New York and Washington, D.C., you know?  It`s rather -- it`s rather sad, but I think that`s what they want.  They know Democrats are anti-trade, too, so there will be no bargain even. 

O`DONNELL:  And the G7, they are just holding their breath for 18 months hoping that election night changes everything in America? 

FRIEDMAN:  Yes.  I think that basically they understand that this America, they hope it`s an aberration and they hope it`s only a four-year diversion from an America that believes that these global institutions like the G7 are more important than ever at a time when we faced a whole set of global issues that require global governance like managing all these global technology platforms now or combating climate change.  All these issues that require global governance, but there is no global government, all there is are institutions like the G7, like the E.U., like the G20, like the Atlantic Alliance. 

And when they don`t work for four years at a critical moment in history, we will suffer in the long run. 

O`DONNELL:  What would you imagine it would mean to the G7, to NATO, to the United Nations if a new president is sworn in in the next Inauguration Day?  What would it mean to their next meetings after that? 

FRIEDMAN:  Well, you know, it`s really hard to know.  Obviously, they`d rather have a more traditional president like a George W. Bush or a Barack Obama. 

But the fact is, look, this is part of a larger dilemma we have.  I think we are going into a world where just as average as over for every worker, average is over for every country now.  It`s going to be a real struggle going forward to produce inclusive growth in all of these countries, and it can only be done through global collaboration. 

All of us smarter than one of us, and I think the need for global collaboration going forward is going to be more intense than ever.  So, having an America that is ready to play in that game again will be essential for all these countries. 

O`DONNELL:  Tom Friedman, thank you very much for joining us again tonight.  Really appreciate it. 

FRIEDMAN:  Thank you, Lawrence. 

O`DONNELL:  Coming up, Mitch McConnell seems to be terrified that Democrats are going to win control of the United States senate, so terrified that he has gone so far as to warn the Democrats not to get rid of the filibuster when they do take control of the United States Senate. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: It was at this hour last Wednesday night that drama suddenly broke out on the show when we first brought you the news that Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper was dropping out of the Democratic Presidential primary campaign.

The dramatic part being that it seemed very likely that his next step would be what Senate Democrats were hoping he would do, run for United States Senate in Colorado in a campaign to unseat the current Republican Senator Cory Gardner. That step became official today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN HICKENLOOPER, FORMER GOVERNOR OF COLORADO: I`ve always said Washington was a lousy place for a guy like me who wants to get things done, but this is no time to walk away from the table. I know changing Washington is hard, but I want to give it a shot. I`m John Hickenlooper, candidate for United States Senate. I approve this message and I hope you`ll join me in this campaign.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And he is ahead already. A new poll shows John Hickenlooper leading incumbent Republican Senator Cory Gardner 53 percent to 40 percent. If the Democrats pick up Colorado, they will only need two more wins to take control of the United States Senate and knock Mitch McConnell out of the majority leader`s job.

Charlie Cook of the invaluable Cook Political Report is out with new analysis this week on the upcoming Presidential election and it all boils down to this. A lot can and will happen over the next 15 months, and things can certainly change.

But at this point this looks to be an uphill climb for the President`s re- election. Charlie Cook has the numbers that explain how steep that climb is and Charlie Cook will join us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HICKENLOOPER: I don`t think Cory Gardner understands that the games he is playing with Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are hurting the people of Colorado. We ought to be working together to move this country forward and stop the political nonsense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now, Charlie Cook Editor and Publisher of The Cook Political Report and Columnist for "The National Journal" Charlie thank you very much for joining us tonight. I want to start with your President Presidential analysis.

And you are talking about it`s an uphill climb for Donald Trump in re- election. What are the most important numbers that viewers should be looking at in Presidential polling now?

CHARLIE COOK, NATIONAL JOURNAL COULUMNIST: If you look at it, when was the last time you saw a national, a credible national poll that President Trump was ahead of Joe Biden? Name one. I can`t even remember one. They are tied, tied with Biden in Florida and behind inner every other swing state.

Think about that. Now, of course Biden may not win the nomination. Somebody else might. The thing is, Biden is the clear leader right now and he has got a lead in every national poll, oftentimes double digits, and double digits in many of the swing states.

So this looks really pretty tough for the President when you look at his core is about 35 percent is going to vote with him no matter what. 45 percent is going to vote against him no matter what. And that 20 percent in the middle, he is not even talking to them.

O`DONNELL: And what about the numbers we are seeing that where people are saying definitely? The question of I definitely will not vote for Donald Trump? That`s one of the stronger indicators in polling because people tend not to use that world definitely very lightly.

COOK: Exactly. You see somewhere between 32 percent and 35 percent or 36 percent that just say definitely they will not do it and then maybe there another three, four, five that are sort of leaning that general direction.

But these are tough, tough, tough numbers. And this is with an economy that has been pretty good, but now it looks like it`s slowing down. I don`t think there will be a recession between now and November of next year. The thing is very little question the economy is going to be slowing down.

What will that do to those swing voters, that 20 percent or so in the middle that`s malleable the ones that are going to determine pretty much the outcome of this election?

O`DONNELL: I just want to throw up the NBC poll on the question of definitely, combines definitely and probably. Definitely/probably vote for Trump is 40 percent. Definitely/probably vote for the Democrat is 52 percent and, Charlie, for an incumbent that strikes me as a very troublesome number.

COOK: Oh, absolutely. No question about it. Now, the thing is could there be another split decision election where the popular vote goes one way and the Electoral College goes the other? Sure, that could happen. But rather than a two-point gap, even if it`s a three or four-point gap, you know, at some point these are really hard numbers in terms of the Electoral College. So against someone other than Hillary Clinton, this - I mean, I think that probably that a lot more to do in 2016 than anything else.

O`DONNELL: Charlie, the United States Senate where Mitch McConnell is out there writing an op-ed in "The New York Times" talking about the glories of the filibuster and why the Democrats should absolutely not get rid of the filibuster, which is something they can only do if they have control of the United States Senate, which I guess seems to be on Mitch McConnell`s mind these days.

COOK: Well, yes. But remember in his piece in "The New York Times" this morning McConnell had warned Democrats, you will - on the Senate floor, you will regret the day that you get rid of the 60-vote requirement for nominations. Guess what? They did. They do regret that.

And that`s what makes the Senate - the Senate, as opposed to the House of Representatives, and that you are supposed to get more broadly acceptable nominations. So the thing is, I think Harry Reid and Democrats made a huge mistake back, what, six years ago when they lowered the bar for below the Supreme Court level, and I think McConnell is putting them on notice. This is one time where - I think they probably should have listened to him the last time.

O`DONNELL: I think every Democrat in the Senate would tell you McConnell it himself if the Democrats didn`t do it when they did it. What do you make of the Hickenlooper news? What does that do to Colorado?

COOK: Colorado was already going to be one of the top two Senate targets for Democrats. They were going to be going after Martha McSally in Arizona and Cory Gardner in Colorado. Both of those were going to be top-tier races no matter what.

I think it certainly helps Democrats to have Hickenlooper rather than a lesser known candidate. Those were going to be top targets anyway. Gardner`s numbers were already fairly soft, even against less known candidates than John Hickenlooper.

O`DONNELL: And the Arizona most recent poll, Democrat Mark Kelly running ahead of Martha McSally. For the Democrats, pretty much all of the polls I`m looking at for the Senate have good news for the Democrats.

COOK: Yes, although we haven`t seen a lot of numbers out of Alabama. As you pointed out, Democrats need a three-seat net gain to get up to 50/50 with the new Vice President breaking the tie if they win the White House, but what about Alabama? Doug Jones.

There is a pretty good chance that Democrats are going to lose that. So what that means is that Democrats need to win four seats, gross four seats to net three. So let`s say they get Arizona. Let`s say they get Colorado. I`m sitting in Portland, Maine, where they are going after Susan Collins. That`s probably the third target.

But after that, particularly if they lose Alabama, that means they`ve got to pick up one someplace else is it going to be David Perdue in Georgia or Tom Tillis in North Carolina or Joanie Earnest in Iowa? They have to come up with one in some place, particularly if they`re going to lose Alabama, which is a pretty good chance of that happening.

O`DONNELL: What about Montana and what about the possibility of Bullock dropping out of the Presidential race as Hickenlooper did following that pattern into the Senate race in Montana?

COOK: Bullock case is one where he says, look, I`m an executive. I`m not a legislator. This is one case where I actually believe him, where this is a guy that really doesn`t want to join a debating society. Over the past - I`ve been in Washington since 1972 and around the Hill since 1973. The most unhappy people in the U.S. Senate are the Former Governors because they`ve had real power before and now they are in a debating society.

O`DONNELL: Charlie Cook, thank you very much for joining us tonight. We really appreciate it.

COOK: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Here is Bobby Kennedy in 1968 celebrating the greatest victory of his political career in Los Angeles at the Ambassador hotel on the night that he won the California Democratic Presidential Primary.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOBBY KENNEDY, FORMER UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: I want to thank Cesar Chavez, who was here a little earlier.

(APPLAUSE)

KENNEDY: And Corona, who also worked with him and all of those Mexican- Americans who were such a supporters of mine and Dolores Huerta, who is an old friend of mine who has worked with the union to thank her and tell her how much I appreciate her coming tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Minutes later an assassin shot and killed Bobby Kennedy as he was leaving the hotel ballroom. No one in that room that night has done more to advance the kind of social progress and social justice that Bobby Kennedy was talking about in his Presidential campaign than Dolores Huerta, who is now 89 years old, and still added.

It all began when she was 25 years old and she helped to create a community service organization in her hometown of Stockton California. In 1960 she cofounded the Agriculture Workers Association. And in 1962 she cofounded with Caesar Chavez the National Farm Workers Association.

She was the first recipient in 1998 of the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for human rights from President Bill Clinton. Four elementary schools and one middle school in California are named after Dolores Huerta so is one elementary school in Texas and a high school in Colorado. President Barack Obama gave Dolores Huerta the Medal of Honor in 2012.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: When Caesar Chavez said Dolores Huerta down at his kitchen table and told her they should start a union she thought he was joking. She was a single mother of seven children so she obviously didn`t have a lot of free time.

But Dolores said then an elementary school teacher and remembered seeing children come to school hungry and without shoes so in the end she agreed. And workers everywhere are glad that she did. Without any negotiating experience Dolores helped lead a worldwide great boycott that forced growers to agree to some of the country`s first Farm Worker Contracts.

And ever since she`s fought to give more people a seat at the table. Don`t wait to be invited, she says. Step in there. And on a personal note that Dolores was very gracious when I told her I`d stolen her slogan, she said, yes, we can.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dolores Huerta has never lost faith in the power of community organizing and through the Dolores Huerta Foundation she continues to train and mentor new activists to walk the streets through history.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Dolores Huerta got arrested on Tuesday in Fresno California after this break she will tell us why.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The always busy Dolores Huerta just left an event in San Francisco at City Hall where she was introducing Nancy Pelosi and making her way out of that event took so long with so many people trying to talk to her, that we are going to be able to reach her only in the car on the way to the TV studio where she was going to join us.

We`re going to reach Dolores by phone in that car. And joining us now is Dolores Huerta, the Cofounder of the United Farm Workers and Founder of The Dolores Huerta Foundation. Dolores, thank you for joining us tonight by phone, and we`ll get you on camera next time.

DOLORES HUERTA, AMERICAN LABOR LEADER: Thank you very much, Lawrence. It is so wonderful to see you.

O`DONNELL: It`s great to hear your voice. Tell us, the audience, why you got arrested once again this week, this time in Fresno?

HUERTA: Well, I was there with home care workers who are not getting a living wage. They have been trying for three years to get a contract with the Fresno County Board of Supervisors and in their last negotiations they offered them a 10 cent raise.

And they do such hard work caring for people that are disabled, taking care of people that are seniors. They have to cook for them they have to bathe them they have to be with them 24/7. And to think that the Board of Supervisors would not even give them any kind of living wage.

They were only asking for a $1 an hour increase and it that range is these supervisors will makeover $100,000 a year in their salaries would not give these home care workers any of kind of a wage.

They`ve been negotiating for three years and could not get a contract. So the workers decided to get arrested, and initially I was not going to get arrested but one of the Deputy Sheriffs grabbed one of the leaders of that union - I know he was a young man, grabbed him by the neck and started choking him.

And I just got so outraged and so angry not only that the way that these home care workers were treated but the way that they were physically assaulting the leader of the union. So when it came time to get arrested, I said I`m going to also get arrested with them.

And it`s a shame that workers have to go through these lengths to get their voices heard, to make people do the right thing. And, you know, by taking care of people in their homes, these home care workers are actually saving the County over $55,000 a year, but they`re not respected.

So many of these home care workers you know they`re people of color, ex- farm workers, people that need to be respected. You know, and I think Lawrence and I know you are there, you always been there but the working people of our country need to be respected, they need to be getting paid a living wage and we`ve got to embrace the inequity we have in term of income wages in our country.

O`DONNELL: Dolores, we only have about a minute left and I just want to get from you to our viewers how you deal with the frustration? How you deal with the discouragement when things don`t go your way and how you`ve just been able to keep it at it despite discouragement and setbacks along the way?

HUERTA: We know that everything that`s happening in our country right now, that we`ve all got to move to action, we`ve all got to become activists, we`ve all got to stand up and get involved because we can`t make our country any better unless we are the ones to do it nobody`s going to do it for us.

O`DONNELL: But everyone thinks that, and then when they suffer a few setbacks in activism or their candidate loses, it`s very easy for people to get discouraged. What do you say to them?

HUERTA: Well, we can`t afford to get discouraged. As Caesar Chavez used to say the only time that we lose is when we quit and that is what Caesar Slogan is about it`s about individual commitment to action and by the collective commitment to action. And we know that if we keep on working and this problem - as they said, they can cut all the flowers but they can`t hold back the spring. And we are the spring, we are the gardeners that have to sow the seeds of justice and they will bloom, they will flourish and we will happen.

O`DONNELL:  Dolores Huerta, gets tonight`s last word.  Dolores, thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.

HUERTA:  Thank you very much.

O`DONNELL:  That is tonight`s LAST WORD.  "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams starts now.

  THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END