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The McLaughlin Group

Issues: Possible Martin O’Malley Candidacy; Paying Student Athletes; Possible Carly Fiorina Candidacy

Participants:
John McLaughlin, Host
Pat Buchanan, Author and Columnist
Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast
Tom Rogan, National Review/Daily Telegraph
Paul Glastris, Washington Monthly

Taped: Thursday, April 2, 2015
Broadcast: Weekend of April 3-5, 2015


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ANNOUNCER: From Washington, THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP, the American original. For over three decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, HOST: Issue One: Clinton Versus O’Malley.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN O’MALLEY (D), FORMER MARYLAND GOVERNOR: It means raising the minimum wage, it means raising the threshold for overtime pay, and it means respecting the rights of all workers to organize and bargain collectively.

To make the dream come true again, we must expand Social Security benefits, and not cut Social Security. And to make the dream come true, we must invest more in education, not less, which means universal pre-K, to help all of our children reach their God-given potential.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Fifty-two-year-old former governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, speaking to a gathering of Iowa Democrats on March 20th. O’Malley is actively considering a run for the White House and he’s traveling the nation to make his case with Democratic Party bosses and primary voters.

The governor’s argument is unashamedly liberal. O’Malley favors a higher federal minimum wage and a major expansion of government benefits. And his populist agenda is winning fans on the left.

But Governor O’Malley has a problem he needs to address right away. Many Democrats have no clue as to who he is. Just watch what happened when "Bloomberg News" asked a group of New Hampshire Democrats for their opinion of the former governor.

REPORTER: Does everybody in the room know who Martin O’Malley is?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don’t.

REPORTER: Does anyone in the room know who Martin O’Malley is?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He’s a governor, right, of -- oh, is he the Connecticut governor?

REPORTER: He’s the former governor of Maryland.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is Hillary Clinton’s worst worry right now that Martin O’Malley might challenge her for the Democratic nomination?

Pat Buchanan?

PAT BUCHANAN, AUTHOR & COLUMNIST: She wishes. She’s got a lot more problems than Martin O’Malley and he’s not even a serious one.

But O’Malley has a golden opportunity: there’s no denying it, John, that Hillary Clinton’s got a problem with her emails. He ought to be out there in Iowa and New Hampshire and around the country, answering all those folks who say, who is he, and become the populist liberal progressive candidate who runs a good positive campaign, who’s solid on the issues, who does not attack Hillary, and build himself up as long as he can until she gets in, or maybe somebody gets in to eclipse him.

So, I think that he’s in an excellent position. But as for being a serious threat to Hillary Rodham Clinton, not now and not unless she drops a lot more in the polls than she has, thus far, Eleanor.

ELEANOR CLIFT, THE DAILY BEAST: Right.

MCLAUGHLIN: Well --

CLIFT: He’s channeling Elizabeth Warren and he’s trying to convey that populist rhetoric and arouse that kind of fervor among the voters. He’s not that great a messenger yet, but it’s early in the campaign. You can see him kind of, you know, working on his charisma you might say.

And he is kind of a cool guy. He was a good governor. He really cares about government working.

He got a band, O’Malley’s March. Young people seem to like him. I think he’s got a lot going for him.

And he’s going to spend most of his time in Iowa, because historically, the Clintons are vulnerable in Iowa. You hang around Iowa longtime, you get to know the people, the people get to know you. I mean, that has worked for previous candidates. That’s his strategy, to do better than expected in Iowa, and New Hampshire will then take care of itself.

MCLAUGHLIN: In 2008, a long shot challenger, Barack Obama, a freshman senator with no national experience, beat Hillary Clinton by running to her left in Iowa. It could happen again in 2016.

Do you agree?

TOM ROGAN, NATIONAL REVIEW/DAILY TELEGRAPH: Well, I think you can never rule something that out. I think if Mrs. Clinton continues to have difficulties, they won’t -- it won’t be enough that she continues to have difficulties. She will have to have a major blowup, with a major scandal.

Democrats want her to be the nominee. A lot of Democrats feel that it’s her time. She has the weight of backers, financial and media perception, although it’s becoming more critical, it’s still saturated around her.

But again, O’Malley has the opportunity to go, as Eleanor and Pat said, to make that populist case. What does he have to lose? He simply goes out there, presents his message. You saw the reaction in Scott County there in Iowa, that the people were excited by him.

So, there’s an opportunity. What does he have to lose?

MCLAUGHLIN: Do you share that view, Paul?

PAUL GLASTRIS, WASHINGTON MONTHLY: I agree that he’s got nothing to lose for running, and I don’t think Hillary has anything to lose by him running. She doesn’t want to have a perfectly clear field such that it looks like she’s been given the nomination. He was -- endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2008. They’re actually quite close.

If he’s got a problem, it’s that the populism doesn’t really sit well with his record. This is a guy who was close to the DLC, the centrist wing of the Democratic Party, and sort of like Howard Dean discovered his left-leaning-ness when he ran for president, Martin O’Malley’s great accomplishments are on the managerial side. My magazine, "The Washington Monthly", called him the most skilled manager in government. He’s very, very practical and skilled at the running of bureaucracies and running them very efficiently. That’s not something that necessarily endears him to the left or anybody else, not that he’s not a perfectly liberal guy.

MCLAUGHLIN: Let’s see how devious Hillary can be if she wants to be. Will Hilary Clinton tried to preempt O’Malley in Iowa by campaigning as a pseudo-liberal, a pseudo-progressive?

CLIFT: She’s not a pseudo -- she’s not a pseudo-progressive or a pseudo-liberal. Over her career, she’s been criticized for being too liberal. She’s now considered centrist, but I don’t see any of the issues that O’Malley is championing that she would disagree with. And --

BUCHANAN: You know, I think what Hillary wants, I think, if I were Hillary, I would not only want O’Malley in there, I’d like to see Bernie Sanders in there.

CLIFT: Right.

BUCHANAN: Get a lot of little liberals in there, splitting up that progressive vote. But you’re right, John, she has got to be somewhat progressive in the primaries, the income inequality is a red hot issues, the fact that wages have not risen. Everybody believes that’s a problem.

And so, she’s going to have to be there. But if she had Obama in and she had, as I say, Bernie in there, a good socialist in there, that would be excellent.

GLASTRIS: And, you know, remember, the Democratic Party is not predominantly liberal. If it’s anything, it’s predominantly moderate. Actually, the moderates and liberals split about evenly.

What Hillary or any successful primary candidate has to do is keep both -- come up with ideas that are acceptable to both camps. And, you know, the Clintons have always been very good at that.

BUCHANAN: Clinton is going to have a tough time on foreign policy, I will tell you, because of this Israeli situation and the real conflict inside the Democratic Party over Netanyahu and the Iran thing. I think that’s going to be very big and very hard.

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: She was a senator --

BUCHANAN: There’s a hard left wing inside the Democratic Party on that issue, which she’s going to have to deal with.

CLIFT: Yes, but she was a senator from New York, and, you know, Democrats are not suicidal. They’re not going to walk away from Israel in an internal party spat.

BUCHANAN: What about the Iran deal?

CLIFT: I think the Iran deal is something that Democrats are going to applaud.

ROGAN: It is going to be interesting --

CLIFT: It doesn’t involve walking away from Israel. That involves working --

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: Let Tom in.

ROGAN: Well, I was going to say, I think it’s going to be interesting. O’Malley obviously is bringing on the experience of the governor. As Paul notes, you know, he does have that managerial record. And I think, you know, for the Democratic Party, regardless of who people decide to go for, the benefit of that brings to the table in terms of having a senator with foreign policy experience, a governor, you know, you would at least want --

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: He wasn’t all that popular. I mean, Maryland, which is one of the five most Democratic states in the nation, turned to a Republican governor after O’Malley left.

So, I’m not sure -- he’s known a huge taxer inside the Republican Party.

ROGAN: Right.

BUCHANAN: Justifiably so. And I think Republicans would be delighted to see him as a nominee.

CLIFT: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think O’Malley has a possibility of drying up her money?

CLIFT: No!

BUCHANAN: No!

MCLAUGHLIN: No way?

BUCHANAN: He’ll be lucky. He’ll be scratching –

(CROSS TALK)

CLIFT: He’ll be in the couch. He’ll be in the couch looking for nickels, before this is over.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: Do you want to add anything?

GLASTRIS: No, no. It’s very well-said.

MCLAUGHLIN: Good. Pleased with everything.

GLASTRIS: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: How about the sales of that magazine?

GLASTRIS: Doing well.

MCLAUGHLIN: This is the exit question: On a scale of zero to 10, zero being the probability of escaping the event horizon of a black hole, 10 being metaphysical certitude, what’s the likelihood of Governor O’Malley winning the Democratic presidential nominations? Zero to 10?

Pat Buchanan?

BUCHANAN: Little less than one, John. But it’s all contingent upon what happens to Hillary in the coming days.

CLIFT: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

CLIFT: I’d give it a two. It would take a total collapse of the Clinton candidacy for him to have any real shot at the nomination.

ROGAN: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: Tom?

ROGAN: I think it would be about three. You know, if Hillary Clinton, those emails come out and she’s engaged on some conspiracy with Vladimir Putin, then maybe he has a chance to jump in. But I think it’s very unlikely.

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, you hit it right on the nose.

ROGAN: Three?

MCLAUGHLIN: It is a three.

Paul?

BUCHANAN: Three percent.

GLASTRIS: I’ll give it a two just because showing up and running puts you in the race and he’s a serious person who, one can look at his record and his demeanor and say, yes, he could be president.

MCLAUGHLIN: OK. Don’t forget, the McLaughlin has its own Web site, and you can watch this program or earlier programs on the Web anywhere in the universe, even black holes, at McLaughlin.com. Could anything be easier -- McLaughlin.com -- or more life-enhancing?

Issue Two: No Pay NCAA.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN OLIVER, HBO: Everything about this tournament is branded, even the finest moment when players cut down the net.

SPORTS ANNOUNCER: Warner Ladder proud to donate to the general scholarship fund of every school in this year’s Final Four. Warner, the official ladder of the NCAA basketball championships.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): That’s how HBO’s John Oliver recently parodied the business interests of today’s National Collegiate Athletic Association, also known as the NCAA.

Mr. Oliver has a point. Today, the NCAA’s annual revenue is estimated at around $1 billion. Most of this income is from TV networks that pay the NCAA for the rights to show its annual basketball tournament. But the lavish salaries of the NCAA are attracting increasing attention.

Whereas NCAA president Mark Emmert made $1.7 million in the 2011 calendar year, his athletes are treated quite differently. And in recent years, the NCAA’s unpaid athletes had been penalized for signing autographs, receiving discount services, and even for eating free food.

So, today, a rising tide of voices is arguing that collegiate athletes must be compensated beyond their educational scholarships.

Here’s how ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas explains the argument.

JAY BILAS, EPSN BASKETBALL ANALYST: Why would we deny athletes the right to fair market value and compensation in this multibillion dollar business when no other student is restricted from being compensated, let alone coaches and administrators? They’re all getting their fair market value, based upon this multibillion dollar enterprise. And my thing is that they’re old enough to sell -- and we are selling them like crazy, they’re old enough to be paid for it.

MCLAUGHLIN: Others disagree. For one, Barack Obama, a longtime basketball fan. The president believes that paying student athletes to lead, quote-unquote, "bidding wars" for players. Yet, the president also said this to "The Huffington Post."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does frustrate me is where I see coaches getting paid millions of dollars, athletic directors getting paid millions of dollars, the NCAA making huge amounts of money, and then some kid gets a tattoo or gets a free use of a car, and suddenly, they’re banished. That’s not fair.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Should student athletes be paid for their performances?

Eleanor?

CLIFT: Well, I’m with the president. I agree that these minor infringements shouldn’t be treated like serious crimes. They need to have a better formula for that.

But I don’t think they should get paid while they’re in school. The theory is they get these lucrative scholarships. But the problem is, they don’t really get the worth of those scholarships. The scandals about the lack -- the poor education that many of these athletes receives is really terrible.

But what should happen is some sort of a fund after they graduate where they get compensated, because of these young people are not going to go on to professional careers in sports. Their days on – in the public eye are going to be over once they leave college. They have a substandard degree in many cases, and I think they should just share in the profits of the money that they have brought to the colleges. So, there’s a way to do this without adding to the corrupting influence of big money in college campuses.

All we have to do is look at Penn State, and the money that was floating around there that led them to suppress years of child pedoracy (ph), whatever the word is.

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: Not good. Pedophiles, that’s better.

GLASTRIS: I agree with both the president and Eleanor. I’m not sure paying market rates for these 18-year-olds while they’re playing makes a lot of sense. I think some compensation during the time they’re there, maybe it’s deferred.

Here’s the thing: when you’ve got 100 NCAA coaches making over $1 million, there’s a reason that they’re making that kind of money, and that’s because they’ve got free labor. The money has to go somewhere. These are non-profit, ultimately, institutions. So, they don’t -- the profits don’t go to shareholders. They get sucked by the salaries of the people who work there.

BUCHANAN: Right. Here’s the thing, these athletes, they get room. They get board. They get a great deal. They get a full scholarship. They can study what they want and they get fame and fortune. They’re big heroes on campus.

Some of them could probably make a million bucks a year, the quarterback for Alabama and things like that. But for those other guys, they’ve got a great start in life if they want to use it. But this, I do agree with this idea that if you get a fund, that at graduation -- but how would you pay it out? Would you pay, look, the guy who scored the most touchdowns, is he the guy that gets it as he gets to the pros or something like that? So, I’m a little -- but their amateurism is really dying out in America, no doubt about it.

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: Somebody can figure out how to make that money equitably distributed, because most of those people -- again, they’re not going to go the pros.

(CROSSTALK)

ROGAN: They do need a grant program for those athletes, the vast majority, who are not going to go on to play professionally, so that afterwards, maybe that’s to come get more education or to pursue a career and development, you know, training to be a coach or --

BUCHANAN: That’s a good idea. Graduates --

ROGAN: Compensate them or something else.

BUCHANAN: A graduate school scholarship would be a great idea.

ROGAN: But one of the big things is that, as Eleanor notes, you have to have a situation where the colleges, the sports teams are not allowed to manipulate the students’ right to that scholarship program of academics, that the sport has a major impact in terms of what they’re spending their time doing, but the academics is the key priority, and that has to be enforced much more toughly.

BUCHANAN: But even this fund, if you get it there -- look, Alabama, or you take Kentucky’s basketball team, they’ll get an enormous amount of money to spread around, and some of these other schools that are already got a disadvantage, it’s going to be even more so. So, you’ll get to semi-professional teams in one league, as it were, SEC, and you’ll get the regular schools were guys go there for the scholarship, like Harvard and Yale, what are -- they still play football, but it’s not in the same level.

MCLAUGHLIN: The NCAA Division 1 gave out more than $2 billion in sports scholarships in 2013. Male players on average got $13,821, female players on average got $14,660. But the averages are misleading because some players get full scholarships, some partial scholarships, and some players receive no aid. That’s a tidy little sum, isn’t it?

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: There’s walk-ons at Notre Dame, guys that got no scholarship, but they can try out for a team and then they’re on a team.

GLASTRIS: But every kid gets scholarships, right? They’re handing out merit scholarships left and right. I don’t know what, you know, if they would have not played -- remember, these basketball players and football players, they’re holding down two jobs. Being a college athlete in Division 1 is a 40-hour-a-week minimum job and they’re trying to study for college. It’s really not a sensible system at all.

ROGAN: Right. The blanket issue is that ultimately, to some degree, the sport has to become less of a priority and probably has to suffer to some degree, so the academics become important (ph), because a lot of kids’ lives are being --

(CROSSTALK)

ROGAN: Is that going to happen against all the money? I don’t know.

BUCHANAN: But some of them will become -- you know, that will be it. If you’re at the University of Alabama, that’s it. And it’s more than a job, you better be number one in the country, or --

MCLAUGHLIN: All right.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: Some other schools, they don’t care that much. It’s a game still.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: All right. Let’s --

CLIFT: And they’re exploited in many ways.

MCLAUGHLIN: Let’s pull the pieces together. Question: Which would you rather have -- a $14,000 a year athletic scholarship or an academic degree and $30,000 in student loan debt?

Paul Glastris?

GLASTRIS: I wouldn’t -- I would rather have fair pay for the time that I spent. And remember, coaches 100 years ago were not paid, and it was a big scandal, and eventually, they were, and so will athletes.

CLIFT: Yes, $14,000 --

BUCHANAN: I take the scholarship, John, because I’m not going to turn pro.

CLIFT: A $14,000 a year scholarship barely covers, you know, books and room and board. College tuition is up to -- over 60 grand.

MCLAUGHLIN: Absolutely.

Also, a little Friday night recreation, things like that.

CLIFT: Right.

MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: Considering the size of the scholarships, are student athletes, (a), undercompensated, (b), overcompensated, (c), appropriately compensated?

Pat Buchanan?

BUCHANAN: I accept the free market, so fairly. They’re fairly compensated.

CLIFT: They’re mostly exploited or we wouldn’t be talking about this.

ROGAN: Yes. I would say, (a), and I would say that the free market is not operating as a free market because the regulations in terms of students supposed to be doing academics are being broken blanket across the nation. So, that reality does not conform with the states of reality.

MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?

GLASTRIS: I think it’s not at all free market. You have a captured market and with monopoly power by the NCAA. And it’s an outrage.

BUCHANAN: They can go somewhere else.

MCLAUGHLIN: I see here reason to believe that it’s overcompensated. If our college and universities put the same $3 billion annually in its academic scholarships, it will give the country a competitive edge on much more than the sports field. Do you understand that?

Issue Three: Carly Fiorina, U.S. President?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARLY FIORINA, FORMER HP CEO: Like Mrs. Clinton, I too have traveled the globe. Unlike Mrs. Clinton, I know that flying is an activity, not an accomplishment.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

I have met -- I have met Vladimir Putin and I know that his ambition will not be deterred by a gimmicky red reset button.

Mrs. Clinton, please name an accomplishment.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And in the meantime, please accept and explain why we should accept that the millions and millions of dollars that have flowed into the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments do not represent a conflict of interest?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Carly Fiorina, here speaking to a gathering of conservative activists.

In recent weeks, Mrs. Fiorina has been gaining more and more attention from Republicans for her fiery criticism of Hillary Clinton and her rebukes of President Obama’s foreign policy.

And thus far, Mrs. Fiorina is the only female Republican considering a run for the presidency.

So, who is Carly Fiorina?

Born in Austin, Texas, Ms. Fiorina is 60 years old. She’s married to a retired AT&T executive, Frank Fiorina. Prior to entering politics, Mrs. Fiorina served as CEO of Hewlett Packard. But in 2009, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and was forced to undergo a double mastectomy.

After making a full recovery, in 2010, Mrs. Fiorina ran for the U.S. Senate as a Republican candidate in California. She was defeated by Senator Barbara Boxer. Today, although some Republicans are unsure about Mrs. Fiorina for her moderate conservative opinions, and the fact that she has never held elective office, her business experience is regarded by many as a positive for the Republican Party.

Indeed in 2008, then-GOP presidential nominee John McCain defended Carly Fiorina’s record as a business leader.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I know that she was a very successful businesswoman, started out as a part-time secretary and made her way to the top of the corporate ladder, as one of the biggest CEOs in the United States of America.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Could Mrs. Fiorina defeat Hillary Clinton in a presidential election?

Eleanor?

CLIFT: Well, I think she’s smart in going after Hillary Clinton. All of the male candidates on the Republican side are busy attacking Barack Obama. He’s not going to be on the ballot again, Hillary likely is.

So, I think it’s a smart strategy. And I think she’s auditioning to be the vice president on a Republican ticket that may feel the need to have a woman on the ticket going up against a Clinton ticket.

So, I think she sees a pathway. But when she assails Hillary Clinton for not having any accomplishments, I would turn the question back on Carly Fiorina. She was a fired CEO of Hewlett Packard, and she lost a Senate race in California in 2010. That’s not much of a record to run on.

MCLAUGHLIN: Last November, "The Washington Post" ran an in-depth article about Fiorina’s preparations for a presidential bid. She’s lining up key campaign staff, stumping in Iowa and New Hampshire and otherwise, appearing serious.

What are your own impressions of Mrs. Fiorina?

ROGAN: I think she’s a credible candidate. I think she’s obviously attracting a lot of attention from conservative activists, partly because she’s a woman who’s taking on Hillary Clinton, and partly because of her business background, which I think quite a lot of Republicans are excited about, because this shows a sort of new generation of relatively unknown faces coming into the race.

But I do agree with Eleanor. I think Carly Fiorina is more looking towards the prospect of a vice presidential slot. I think she would be even more aggressive now taking on some of the front runner Republicans if she was seriously looking for that top ticket place. I think that’s quite telling.

So -- but in that regard, I think she has a -- you know, a very good chance of being a potential vice presidential nominee.

MCLAUGHLIN: Guess what a Republican prominent lady is hosting a Republican fundraiser for her to make a run?

BUCHANAN: Tell me.

MCLAUGHLIN: Guess who it is.

BUCHANAN: Tell me. I don’t know.

MCLAUGHLIN: Mosbacher.

BUCHANAN: Oh, Georgette?

CLIFT: Georgette Mosbacher, right.

MCLAUGHLIN: Georgette Mosbacher.

BUCHANAN: Good for her. Look, this is an able and accomplished woman, John. But -- let’s go into the Iowa caucuses -- as we used to say at the others, there’s three tickets out of Iowa. There’s first class, coach, and Greyhound. And she’s going to be hitchhiking out of Iowa.

It’s going to be all over for her in Iowa. She can’t make -- she doesn’t have government experience, doesn’t have political experience, doesn’t have foreign policy knowledge or experience. And I don’t think you could put someone like that on the vice president – to bevice president of the United States of America.

CLIFT: But if she runs --

BUCHANAN: I mean, Miss -- you know, the lady from Alaska had more experience in government than she did.

CLIFT: Sarah Palin was the name. But -- of the lady from Alaska.

But if she runs credibly, first female treasury in a Republican administration, she too has nothing to lose.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

BUCHANAN: But Sarah had been a local official and she’d been a tough governor and she’d taken on Exxon, and she could light up a room, like nobody else did in that convention. And with due respect to Carly Fiorina, she doesn’t do it.

CLIFT: She said silly things and Carly Fiorina does not say silly things.

MCLAUGHLIN: Also, Mosbacher has a reputation for picking winners, as I just said earlier.

ROGAN: Fiorina appeals, though, to the donors. And she -- she’s at CPAC as well. She was -- she did generate, you know --

BUCHANAN: Well, she goes after Hillary, which is a good thing to do.

CLIFT: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions, Pat?

BUCHANAN: John, the Saudis have intervened in Yemen with airpower. They’re bringing in the Gulf council as well. They may have the Egyptians going in there. I predict there’s going to be very, very serious blowback from this thing. The Houthi rebels in Yemen are indigenous. They’re tough, they’re brave, the Egyptians went into Yemen in 1960s and got a really bloody nose. And I think that’s what’s going to happen again and I hope the United States does not involve itself in Yemen.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

CLIFT: Hillary Clinton has gotten a lot of criticism for not yet coming up with a rationale for her candidacy. But it is emerging. She’s trying to make amends with the press. She joked with the media at a dinner last week, saying, you know, it’s time for something new, time for a new email account, new grandchild, new haircut, new relationship with the press.

But she’s going to run -- really it’s not unlike the way she ran in ‘08. She’s going to run as a fighter, not a conciliator. She’s going to talk about how she’s on the side of working Americans. You’re going to think, sometimes, you’re listening to Elizabeth Warren.

MCLAUGHLIN: Tom? Quickly – I give you five seconds.

ROGAN: Yes. Extension of Pat’s, I’m going to say that the Iranians are going to be conducting international terrorism attempts in an effort to deter the Sunni Arab monarchies and Egypt and Pakistan who are putting pressure on them now in Yemen.

MCLAUGHLIN: Paul, can you work with three?

GLASTRIS: One of the sleeper issues of the summer and fall would be chemical -- reform of our chemical safety laws, and you’re going to see Barbara Boxer, who is retiring, being the kingmaker.

MCLAUGHLIN: Well-stated, Paul.

I predict Hillary Clinton will formally announce her candidacy for the Democratic nomination this month. She will reinvent herself as an economic populist to stave off progressive challenges to her left.

Happy Easter. Blessed Passover.

Bye-bye!

END