MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann my a surprise visit with David Letterman

This video is from CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, broadcast April 23, 2008.


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Transcript via closed captions

:: dave: okay. our next guest is the host of the nightly msnbc program count down with keith olbermann. here’s the man himself, ladies and gentlemen, keith olbermann.

:: thank you very much. .

:: dave: how are you doing? you’re probably interested, fascinated by the danika patrick racing win in japan, right.

:: oh, absolutely as a retired sports caster of my own show.

:: dave: it is transscentant, it’s not just racing.

:: she’s had as much influence on the whole sport f1 and nascar as did the legendary ned trickle if not more so.

:: dave: ha ha.

:: what is the laughter b you don’t know who dave trickle is.

:: dave: apparently not.

:: wait a minute, a legendary nascar. i’m right about this, it inspires youngsters which is really one of the commitments of being a human, you got to inspire the generation behind you.

:: i think so. anybody — the thing that really she accomplished that’s truly spectacular is if you’re almost the first in a subdivision, demographic subdivision in a sport and you succeed despite the height because the height can kill. that’s the parallel. she’s giving tennis lessons in latvia.

:: dave: good gig, though.

:: well in latvia.

:: dave: keith, seriously. you were all over the pennsylvania primary. tell us, when are we going to get a candidate for the democrats? we’re all sick of it now. the candidates must be sick of it and by the time the convention rolls around they’re going to be staggering around exhausted, what the hell is going on.

:: we’re hoping for sometime after the inauguration.

:: dave: it will wrap up.

:: some of farther thinking democrats, the learned ones are hoping before the election because that would make it easier when it comes time to vote.

:: dave: everybody is saying hillary clinton needs a double-digit victory to continue. she got at least a double-digit victory. does that mean viability for the campaign now.

:: it means they do not start ripping down the banner that says clinton everywhere and selling them for scrap at this point. she has to now win 65% of the remaining votes in the remaining primaries to edge him in delegates by lick one delegate. when you’re in that situation and you need for this to happen, you simply change the criteria by which you decide you’ve won. she now says it’s most votes cast. counting michigan and florida. michigan, which she said previously didn’t count. but now it does count because she won. so it’s really, it’s like, i don’t know, it’s like watching a convention of three card monte dealers. it’s very educational.

:: dave: now, does this victory mean anything other than you’ve expressed a mathematical consequences. but does it mean anything for us politically, culturally?

:: no, nothing. [laughter]

:: it gives us, see one thing in the media, it gives us like six hours to kill almost every tuesday night. this weekend is the first anniversary of the democratic debate as a television show.

:: dave: so it really has been going on at least a year.

:: i think it’s been on longer than some of the shows on msn and nbc. not my own.

:: dave: your estimation is the candidate will be barack obama going into the convention.

:: yeah. you really need to pull off something akin to getting him to move to another country for senator clinton to have sort of this clear path in which all of his supporters say that’s robbery or we hate you. it’s a way for her to get the nomination which unfortunately will make it impossible for her to get the election and that’s a problem because you want to be elected instead of finishing second. that’s a bipartisan principle. .

:: dave: the democrats are not going to put them on the ticket. everybody thinks of that because it’s a dumb guy’s idea. i thought of it.

:: thoughts of people think that would be a great set up. especially hillary’s people because it would mean he would be the vice president. they love that idea because that would sort of end the race right now. he said he has no interest in doing it and there’s no scenario you can vision where she’d want to go back in with bill as sort of the, you know, the renters. the guys who are subletting the rest of the whitehouse from president obama.

:: dave: i had a conversation with a very smart man today and he said that now what this means for barack obama, he needs to raise the level of his campaign two steps. he says people now have heard the rhetoric and what they want now is some substantial information on how we get there, how we can support this, we can win, we can win.

:: yeah. i think they have so gotten into, you said this in 1973. and somebody, your great grandfather knew in the 1750′s was identified briefly, passed in subway car and he didn’t say this and you said that. it’s all the details have gotten lost in the middle of the thing.

:: dave: is it their responsibility or is it the media’s problem? why is it that way. why does it seem to be more of that and less substances.

:: most of us in news are not smart enough to figure out what’s going on.

:: dave: i see.

:: we may pretend we’re doing that but in fact when we look you in the eye on camera we’re really just making it up. [laughter]

:: explain to me how political contributions work. if i see a candidate and i want to give them some money, i found out that the most i could give is 2300 bucks. are there different rules for other people in the world.

:: legally or illegally.

:: legally.

:: we’ll start with legally and then in time we’ll deal with illegally as the candidates do. legally there are different levels for organizations. in other words, your company could probably do something separately. its employees could do something through the company but as an individual person, that’s your maximum.

:: dave: 2300 bucks.

:: that’s it.

:: dave: when we hear the candidates have raised that kind of dough.

:: half billion.

:: dave: did i say billion? i meant billion.

:: i have a lot of wax.

:: dave: can somebody get me dick trickle on the phone, please. the bulk of that money comes from the individuals or from other sources.

:: a little of each. obama is proud of saying he’s raising enormous amounts of money from a million different contributors whose average contribution is $0.39 or something it’s a sense of pride but they’re campaigning on donations and moneys they get from campaign committees and such.

:: dave: when you think about it, when you compare those amounts of money, and i heard this statistic the other day. to maintain, to maintain status quo of world starvation, that means not improve it but just for people to hang on, we need $700 million. and these to have generated more than that already and still people are going hungry.

:: it would be great, and it would be ideal if we paid for everything. the government just sort of said all right we’re going to give each candidate some sort of minimum amount of support, get this much money and gets this much free television time which is what it’s really all about. that’s what happened in pennsylvania where he went from being down by 20 and losing by 10, that’s a pretty good result by spending a lot of money on tv time. if you gave away the television time all the networks would get very upset about that. we are sort of choosing between these two.

:: dave: there ought to be a different way here because i mean, the length of the campaign, you can understand this, but the sums of money required. and at the end of the day we’re just trying to satisfy somebody’s ego when you get right down to it.

:: well that’s all politics. but yeah, i mean that’s absolutely true. it’s a terrible reality and you would i this that somebody would get out there and say all right, instead of spending all on tv time, i’m going to donate the money but you never get the message out because you didn’t buy the t vflt time.

:: dave: thank you very much for coming over ha. i’m always reminded when i see you in person, you’re an enormous man. [laughter]

:: thank you.

:: dave: yeah. [applause].

:: dave: we’ll be right back