MSNBC Live Coverage of Super Tuesday

With Keith Olbermann
February 5, 2008

KEITH OLBERMANN, CO-HOST: And weíre joined by the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean. Governor, thanks for your time tonight.

HOWARD DEAN, DNC CHAIR: Thanks for having me on.

OLBERMANN: The theory thatís being pressed at this point, the early headline writing at this point in the Democratic Party, react to it. Hereís the one sentence. Hillary Clinton held serve*.

DEAN: You know, I think itís much too early to tell who did what. We donít have any idea what the delegate count is. I think thereís been six or 10, maybe 10 states projected. Thereís 21 to come in. So itís an early night, and this is not going to be decided tonight. And this is not going to be decided tonight, this is going to be decided sometime in three or four weeks. And whoever it is, weíll be ready to win, I think. I was interested in hearing Mitt Romneyís press person. One thing I agree with him is Mitt Romney is the candidate of change because heís changed his mind on just about everything you can change your mind on. And weíll see what happens, whether we run into Mitt or McCain or whatever. Honestly, itís just for more years of George Bush. Theyíre all in favor of tax cuts for people who donít need them.

Theyíve all forgotten the middle class. They all supported the presidentís veto of childrenís health insurance. Theyíre all for staying in Iraq, McCain said for 100 years. This is going to be about whether you want a third term for George W. Bush or you want real change in this country, and thatís Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

OLBERMANN: And thereís Governor Dean holding serve. You mentioned Massachusetts. Can you give us an analysis of that with the projections being that Senator Clinton won there. The instant analysis of that has been that this suggests the influence of an endorsement by Senator Kennedy, members of the family, even Governor Patrick there in Massachusetts did not significantly impact the outcome of the primary among the Democrats. Is that your analysis of it?

DEAN: Well, in my own experience in campaigns is that endorsements bring you attention, but they donít necessarily sway voters. Voters make up their own mind, they really do. Endorsements are really helpful because they give you a national platform, but they donít sway voters. Voters are always going to make up their own mind. If you really want to sway voters, itís the people they know very well personally. That has a bigger sway over voters than endorsements.

OLBERMANN: One more posit, and then Iíll turn you over to the tender mercies of Mr. Matthews. That Senator Obama at this point in the evening, to be able to stay he is in no worse position in the campaign, his campaign versus Senator Clinton as ofóthan he was as of this morning, needs to have a major victory outside of the South tonight, needs something in California, needs Connecticut to go his way, needs Missouri. Do you buy that argument?

DEAN: No. What I buy is at the end of this night, which will actually end sometime tomorrow around noon, weíre going to know who got how many delegates. And I think both candidates have focused intensely on the delegates, and obviously now after the fact theyíre going to spin who won what. Itís how many delegates you have. Youíve got to get to 2,025, and whoever gets there first is going to be the next president of the United States.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, CO-HOST: You know, governor, you and I grew up watching a party whoís basically had its base among labor union people, working people, regular people of average income. And what I was stunned by looking at these exit polls across the country, look at these numbers. Iím sure youíll be surprised too.

The percentage of people who voted in the Connecticut Democratic primary, 57 percent were college graduates, 58 percent in New Jersey, 60 percent in New York, 61 percent in Massachusetts

It just seems like the Democratic Party voters seem to have gone upscale. The neighborhood has been gentrified, and the people who are voting are from a very high economic and social echelon. Is that good news for the Democratic Party that itís gotten so gentrified?

DEAN: Obviously, I believe thereís two reasons for those numbers, I think. One is youíre seeing a large number of independents now vote in the Democratic primary where thatís permitted because they believe youíve got to have change and you canít possibly get it with a Republican primary. The other is this is the Northeast, which has the highest education levels of any place in the country. So I donít know what to make of those polls. I never think itís a bad thing to have smart people supporting you but I do think the numbers are skewed as, one, theyíre from the Northeast, and, two, I think there are significant numbers of independents and Republicans voting in the Democratic primary as well.

MATTHEWS: So youíre not worried the college crowd, if you will, gown is overwhelming, and the support for Barack such as it exists isnít the reflection of a skewed electorate?

DEAN: I think every candidate on both sides has particular niches in the electorate that they appeal to, and whoever the nominee is of our partyóand I would say this is true with Republicans as wellóis going to have to broaden their own particular base. And thatís part of my job is to help them do that.

MATTHEWS: You might have it cut out for you based upon these numbers. I just wonder where regular people are in this. The average percentage of this country, unfortunately for the country, doesnít include that many college graduates.

DEAN: No, thatís right. Thatís true.

MATTHEWS: Anyway, Keith?

OLBERMANN: Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Thank you kindly for being with us, sir.

DEAN: Thanks for having me on.

* Hold Serve: A tennis term meaning that the player who is serving, wins the game.
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Transcript originally posted on MSNBC Transcripts.

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