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The McLaughlin Group

Issues: Hillary Clinton; Marco Rubio; Putin’s Provocations; Senate Iran Deal Bill

Participants:
John McLaughlin, Host
Pat Buchanan, Author and Columnist
Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast
Tom Rogan, National Review/Daily Telegraph
Mort Zuckerman, US News & World Report

Taped: Friday, April 17, 2015
Broadcast: Weekend of April 17-19, 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 Part Deux.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I’m getting ready to do something, too. I’m running for president.

Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): After years of preparation, months of speculation and weeks of prevarication, Hillary Clinton has declared her intention to succeed Barack Obama as the next president of the United States. Mrs. Clinton promised to campaign throughout the nation.

CLINTON: So, I’m hitting the road to earn your vote, because it’s your time, and I hope you’ll join me on this journey.

MCLAUGHLIN: Hillary is the nation’s favorite for 2016.

CLINTON: How are you?

MCLAUGHLIN: Opinion polls currently show her defeating all of her potential Republican and Democratic presidential rivals.

With only Jim Webb, Martin O’Malley, and former Republican Lincoln Chaffee so far having declared interest in the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary does not seem to have much serious competition.

And remember, Hillary is sure to raise a very significant amount of money.

Still, Hillary’s advisers are not taking anything for granted, especially with her history of having committed a number of gaffes, such as claiming that she was broke, after she exited the White House in 2001, and operating a private email server as secretary of State and then deleting its records. She’ll also have to grapple with the oratory of her husband, two-term, eight-year U.S. President Bill Clinton, 1993 to 2001.

In 2008, Mr. Clinton angered many Democrats for his less than favorable remarks about President Obama. But Hillary is also aware that Republicans will link her to Barack Obama, who appointed her as secretary of State. She’ll have to walk a tightrope between respect for President Obama and distancing herself from his less popular decisions, especially on foreign policy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: Question: What does Mrs. Clinton need to do to win the presidency?

Pat Buchanan?

PAT BUCHANAN, AUTHOR & COLUMNIST: The main thing she has to do, John, I think, is avoid a major mistake, because her competition is not strong in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. Secondly, she has an organization and name recognition, all this power that will enable her to overcome a defeat or two. She doesn’t have a Barack Obama on the field against her. But what she has going against her, John, it’s very boring launch. It is unexciting, it is programmed, it lacks spontaneity.

But I think she is on course to win the Democratic nomination, and once you win the Democratic nomination, you are at least even money to win the presidency of the United States because the demography of the country is increasingly in favor of the Democratic Party.

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, the first thing she has to do is to stop dropping in the polls. Back in February, she led most GOP challengers in head to head polling by a comfortable 7 to 10-point margin. In the latest poll, she has dropped to within the margin of error against several GOP challengers.

BUCHANAN: She’s going to be continued down because she’s going to be under incessant attack from the Republicans and a little bit of attack from her opponents of the Democratic Party. The Republicans are going to focus on her for the next 365 days of the coming year.

MCLAUGHLIN: Clinton is at 46, Rubio at 43, within the margin error. Another polling firm has Clinton at 46 to Rand Paul’s 42.

BUCHANAN: This country wants a fresh face.

MCLAUGHLIN: Huh?

BUCHANAN: The country wants a fresh face.

ELEANOR CLIFT, THE DAILY BEAST: The country also wants somebody with leadership skills, who can become president on day one, as the slogan goes.

MCLAUGHLIN: This will make you happy, Eleanor. FOX News has Clinton and Jeb Bush tied at 45 to 45, with Rand Paul running a statistical dead heat against Clinton.

CLIFT: Well, I think Jeb Bush would be the strongest candidate Republicans could put against her. But we’re 18 or 19 months away. Hillary Clinton is virtually certain to win the Democratic nomination, and I think unless the dynamics in the country change radically, she, if you look at the Electoral College, she’s also very likely to be our president.

So, I think she has to worry less about winning the nomination than making that nomination worth something if she gets it. And by that, I mean, she has to lay out a vision in broad sweep, but also in its particulars. She basically has to say, if you elect me, this is what you can expect.

So, she will have a manifesto, if you will, or roadmap, when she gets to the White House. I think that’s what people are looking for. And if you look at all of the opponents that she prospectively faces on the Republican side, none of them have really put out any kinds of plan that can compete with Democratic, big D, policies, when it comes to taxes, when it comes to middle class families. So, she’s got the issue agenda on her side.

And this soft launch that Pat isn’t wild about is an attempt to reach people at their heartstrings. She’s a policy person. She’s been criticized as a policy wonk. She needs to connect emotionally, and that’s what she’s trying to do in these early months.

TOM ROGAN, NATIONAL REVIEW/DAILY TELEGRAPH: She does have an issue in the sense that she needs to get away from him. I think one of the things that Secretary of Clinton should try and do is actually kind of relax a little bit, accept that you are going to make some mistakes in the campaign. The problem she’s going to have if she runs this very rigid, very controlled campaign is that it’s going to alienate some people, and it’s going to make it more difficult for her to challenge if she comes up against someone like Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush, who are going to be out there and campaigning very vigorously.

That populist sentiment is important. And again, she knows that better than anyone. In 2008, why did she lose the nomination to Barack Obama? Because Barack Obama was the one who seemed to have the charisma and the energy and the dynamism, and it just shifted. Those polls just became irrelevant. He became the president.

So, she has to relax a bit I think.

MCLAUGHLIN: Tom Edsall cites compelling polling and academic research to conclude that the negative reaction to Obamacare has soured Americans on Hillary’s policy position. And --

BUCHANAN: Look, Obama’s going to be -- he’s got some heavy baggage to carry. And she’s going to have to get herself clear of that. But I do agree with Eleanor. She’s going to have to mean why after six years do we have income inequality and wage stagnation when the Democrats have controlled the White House for six years?

CLIFT: It started with Ronald Reagan 30 years ago, Pat.

BUCHANAN: But Reagan is not running, she is.

CLIFT: Right. Well --

MORT ZUCKERMAN, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT: Yes. Look, I think she is going to be an unusually focused candidate. She’s the first woman who’s going to be representing one of the major parties in a presidential election. That’s going to carry a lot of people to her side, including a lot of women, and that’s perfectly understandable.

I don’t think she’s going to have to bear the burden of Obamacare. He’s going to have to bear that burden.

She’s going to have a chance to make and outline a policy for herself that she’ll feel comfortable with, and I think she’ll be able to do it. So, she’ll be very, very tough to beat.

CLIFT: A footnote on the ‘08 election. Candidate Obama did catch lightning in the battle. He seemed to come from nowhere. But she won all the big states at the end. And if her campaign had competed in the caucus states early on, Obama wouldn’t have built up the lead in delegates.

She didn’t lose that strictly on performance. It was on mechanics.

BUCHANAN: It does show that she’s vulnerable to some strikingly charismatic candidate who catches a wave.

ROGAN: Right.

BUCHANAN: And that’s what she’s got a real problem with. And Rubio is a guy that could catch that wave.

ROGAN: She’s also --

MCLAUGHLIN: You don’t need all that. Public Policy Polling, a Democratic leaning firm, has Clinton versus Rubio at 46-43, within the margin error. Public Policy Polling has Clinton at 46, to Rand Paul’s 42, also a statistical dead heat. And FOX News has Clinton and Jeb Bush tied at 45 to 45.

CLIFT: These are fantasy numbers. These are fantasy numbers.

BUCHANAN: All those Republicans are going to be chopping each other up until the next 12 months.

CLIFT: Right.

BUCHANAN: Blood all over the floor.

ROGAN: One thing that we neglected to mention as well is that foreign policy, Secretary Clinton is going to have a real challenge there, you know that Republican attack ads are already out, what difference does it make? The Russia reset, you know, pressing that button. That stuff is going to come up. She’s going to have to think of a coherent way to challenge that.

CLIFT: She can ask every one of those Republicans, she’ll only have to face one actually come next fall, a year from now.

ROGAN: But they’ll be going for her in the primaries.

CLIFT: She’ll ask them -- she’ll ask them, what would you do instead?

If she has legitimate differences with President Obama and we should hear about them. We -- apparently, she wanted to arm the Syrians. If that’s true, let her run on it. So, you know, let’s hear where she stands. But the Republicans are full of bluster, but they have no specific plans.

BUCHANAN: You watch her -- she’ll come very strongly pro-Israel and she will get this Obama-Netanyahu battle behind her and away from the Democratic Party, and I think the Democrats have to do that, do they not, Mort?

ZUCKERMAN: Well, I certainly think that Obama has lost, shall we say, a lot of support in the Jewish community.

BUCHANAN: What do you mean? She will cause --

CLIFT: She’s not going to walk away from any deal. She’s not going to away from any deal if there is one.

BUCHANAN: She won’t walk away with the Iran deal.

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: No.

ZUCKERMAN: Well, I think the Iran deal is going to have its own natural death in my own belief, but we’ll see what happens, you know?

BUCHANAN: Natural death? Who’s going to kill it? You mean it’s going to die naturally?

ZUCKERMAN: Yes, that’s what I think.

(LAUGHTER)

CLIFT: Well, they haven’t got one yet. But if they get one and I think the chances are good they will.

BUCHANAN: The Republicans are going to run, for two years on We’re going to bomb Iran. I don’t think that’s a winning formula, Mort. Do you?

ZUCKERMAN: No, but I think the presentation and the analysis of what the issue is, is a big issue and it will come out, and I think the Obama administration is going to have to bear that particular burden and --

ROGAN: National security is going to be much more important, as well.

(CROSSTALK)

ROGAN: And we don’t know what’s going to happen. We have to wait and see.

BUCHANAN: She’s secretary of State, and so she will be -- I mean, Benghazi, all this. What did she accomplish as secretary of State?

MCLAUGHLIN: Let’s get out. On a probability scale of zero to 100 --

CLIFT: I can answer that.

MCLAUGHLIN: What are Hillary’s odds of winning the Democratic nomination in Philadelphia this July, zero to 100?

BUCHANAN: I think she’s got -- I would she got --

MCLAUGHLIN: Give me a number.

BUCHANAN: Seventy-five percent winning the Democratic nomination --

MCLAUGHLIN: You’re low, you’re low.

BUCHANAN: --because something can happen and winning the election if she gets the nomination, but 50-50.

CLIFT: I’d put at nine of 10, above 90 percent.

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, your close--

ROGAN: Seventy-five percent.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: You’re not quite there.

CLIFT: Higher than that.

BUCHANAN: I got it right.

ROGAN: I’m copying Pat Buchanan.

MCLAUGHLIN: You are?

ZUCKERMAN: I’m at 86.4 percent.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is 98.

CLIFT: OK.

MCLAUGHLIN: You got it?

BUCHANAN: Ninety-eight? You mean – that means 50-1 -- you would give 50-1 odds? I don’t think so.

MCLAUGHLIN: Hillary’s odds of winning the Democratic nomination of Philadelphia.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: That’s on a political probability scale.

CLIFT: I think the odds are good she’s going to win the nomination.

John, you stumbled into the truth on that one.

MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: Commander-in-Chief Marco Rubio.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That’s why tonight, grounded by the lessons of our history, but inspired by the promise of our future, I announce my candidacy for president of the United States.

(CHEERS)

RUBIO: I regret that my father did not live to see this day in person. He used to tell me all the time, he used to tell us all the time (SPEAKING SPANISH)

(CHEERS)

RUBIO: In this country -- that means, in this country, you will achieve all the things we never could.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Marco Rubio is a 43-year-old Republican senator from Florida. He’s campaigning to be the next president of the United States. Senator Rubio has joined an enlarging field of Republican candidates, one that includes his former mentor, Jeb Bush, who would also compete for GOP primary activists and fundraisers across the country. Senator Rubio is a Cuban-American who was born 40 years ago in Miami. His parents are Cuban immigrants who came to Florida almost 60 years ago and soon became U.S. citizens.

Marco is married to Jeanette Dousdebes. They have four children. He’s a Roman Catholic and holds a BA from the University of Florida, and a JD Law degree from the University of Miami.

Although born and educated in liberal Miami, Senator Rubio himself is no liberal. Rather, he’s a passionate conservative who supports lower taxes and big cuts to federal spending. On foreign policy, Marco is an outspoken critic of President Obama, especially as related to Iran.

OK, another heavily debated issue: In 2013, Senator Rubio himself supported a bipartisan Senate effort to comprehensively reform immigration. While his leadership on immigration has won plaudits, it has also fomented the wrath of many conservatives, who ardently oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Of late, Senator Rubio has tried to backtrack from his 2013 position. It remains to be seen whether his immigration voting record will inhibit from claiming the GOP throne.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: Question: What chance does Marco Rubio have of becoming the GOP presidential nominee?

Tom Rogan?

ROGAN: I think he has a good chance. And I think the reason for that, is you know, mentioned him a few weeks ago and I wasn’t really sure at that point, but the dynamism that really defined his campaign announcement, his ability to speak to people from different cultural backgrounds – Spanish is the best example of that, but others -- and, you know, the family. But mainly, the fact that he is clearly intelligent, he is passionate, he is articulate, and he does, you known, again, as Pat said, he represents that new face of politics and I think he could have that same impact that we saw, again, Barack Obama in 2008, having against Hillary Clinton as the new face. He could have that impact against people like Jeb Bush. But time will tell, but I think he has a good chance.

CLIFT: Well, he’s the Republicans’ Barack Obama, one-term senator who thinks he can ride the wave. You would think, though, that a party that’s so detests and distrusts Obama, in large part because they don’t think he had the experience for the position, would think twice before they did the same thing in their own party.

But he’s very facile. I think his positions are eventually going to get him in trouble and I’m not so sure his Cuban credentials will translate to the wider Latino community. But he would make an excellent vice president for everybody in the field, except for Jeb.

And this is a win-win situation for him because the governorship of Florida opens up in 2017, he’s out of the Senate regardless. He can run for governor of Florida. He’d be a strong candidate. Then, he’d be a potential future presidential candidate. I think he has a better future beyond this cycle.

BUCHANAN: But, John, he’s running against -- in his announcement, he talked about yesterday and basically Hillary is yesterday and we are tomorrow, and he is looking to the future, sort of a Kennedy-esque thing. John F. Kennedy talked about generations.

But that is not only targeted at Hillary Rodham Clinton. It’s targeted at Jeb Bush. And the Bush family, maybe it’s an exaggeration, but that’s the Kennebunkport branch of the Corleones. And I’ll tell you, when --

(LAUGHTER)

ROGAN: I like that one.

BUCHANAN: If they would really go after Marco Rubio, and to win this nomination, Marco Rubio has got to shove Jeb Bush aside.

CLIFT: Yes.

BUCHANAN: And that could make for real bad blood inside the Republican Party.

MCLAUGHLIN: OK.

CLIFT: Jeb is being so magnanimous about it, because I think he’s saying, look, you know, this is my protege, we’re like brothers, I can handle this. I’m not like Hillary Clinton, they keep lists, and they do retribution. So, fascinating the way he’s handling it, very generously.

MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Three: Russian Roulette.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARIE HART, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: We’ve certainly made our concerns with the sale of the S-300 system to Iran, known for sometime. This certainly isn’t new. The secretary raised those concerns in a call with Foreign Minister Lavrov this morning. We don’t believe it’s constructive at this time for Russia to move forward with this.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Russian President Vladimir Putin announced this week that Russia will sell its advanced S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Iran. The S-300 is a sophisticated weapon designed to detect and destroy aircraft, will shield Iran against military attack, including conceivably, a preemptive strike on Iranian nuclear sites.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Kerry voiced his concerns to Foreign Minister Lavrov, his Russian counterpart. The secretary’s complaints are part of a chorus in response to recent provocative moves by Russia.

Last week, a Russian SU-27 Flanker jet intercept an American RC135 reconnaissance plane in international airspace, above the Baltic Sea. The Russian pilot flew within 23 feet of the U.S. plane, an aerial encounter the Pentagon formally protested as, quote, "reckless, unsafe, and unprofessional," unquote.

Over the last 12 months, there have been 400 close encounters between NATO and Russian aircraft, from the California and Alaska coast, to England, Scotland and Poland. Russia’s aviation brinksmanship is up 400 percent since the previous year.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Why is Putin playing Russian Roulette with the West?

Mort Zuckerman?

ZUCKERMAN: He has been playing Russian Roulette for a long time on very -- on a whole range of issues and levels. That’s the guy who he is, OK? He’s just an absolutely tough, tough guy, as tough as they get, and he’s just going to continue to push people around and try to push people around.

And so far, he’s done --

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: He’s getting tough with us, Mort, because he believes that the United States and NATO have been treating Russia with outright contempt. We’ve been -- you know, doing these color-coded revolutions. We’ve moved NATO onto his doorstep.

And what’s he’s saying in every way he can in Ukraine is, look, if you push me in here, that is my red line. And I think the Russians, if we try to dump -- try to dump over the rebels in there, or if the United States tries to bring Ukraine into NATO, I think the Russians will fight.

CLIFT: That may be his red line. But the Obama administration has put forth their red line. And if they go into any NATO country, that will force a retaliation.

The president addressed --

BUCHANAN: What retaliation?

CLIFT: Excuse me. A military retaliation by NATO. Excuse me --

BUCHANAN: We’re talking about nuclear weapons in Russia.

CLIFT: The president addressed this in his press conference with the Italian leader on Friday and he said, the deal for them to sell this defensive weapon to Iran was in the works when this administration took office. They requested the Russians to hold off. He said -- the president said, I’m surprised the deal held this long, with their economy under stress, they need the money.

And he used it as an evidence to bolster the fact that the deal with Iran, if it doesn’t go through, it should be, because the Iranians won’t make the commitment. It should not be because the Congress and the U.S. walks away with it, because the sanctions that buttress the deal will not hold, and the sale of these weapons are sort of example number one of what can happen.

MCLAUGHLIN: Mort?

ZUCKERMAN: There’s another basic issue here, right? Oil prices have collapsed. This has wreaked havoc with the Russian balance of payments and with the Russian economy. You look at all the statistics on it, they’re really having troubles.

So, they’re not going to give up any chance to --

ROGAN: But the problem here as well is that, you know, American credibility, Eleanor mentions red lines, but this is a significant fact, that because of Syria 2013, that has had ramifications. Because of our staggered approach towards Ukraine, a lack of consistency, that has encouraged President Putin. He’s threatening these things because he believes to be malleable and that is a danger.

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: He’s doing it because it helps him --

BUCHANAN: If we sends those weapons in there, John, if we send weapons into Ukraine, we’re going to have a real confrontation, and I think the Europeans will not be with us.

CLIFT: Well --

ROGAN: I think financial lockout is the way to go. I have to agree with you on that.

MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Four: Advise and Consent.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSE: The question as the motion to approve S615, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Act of 2015 as amended, the clerk would call the roll.

CLERK: Mr. Cardin?

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D), MARYLAND: Aye.

CLERK: Mrs. Boxer?

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: Aye.

CLERK: Mr. Menendez?

SEN. BOB MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: Aye.

CLERK: Mrs. Shaheen?

SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D), NEW HAMSPHIRE: Aye.

CLERK: Mr. Coons?

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D), DELAWARE: Aye.

CLERK: Mr. Udall?

SEN. TOM UDALL (D), NEW MEXICO: Aye.

CLERK: Mr. Murphy?

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: Aye.

CORKER: Thank you. My --

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: All 19 Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted this week for a congressional review of President Obama’s pending nuclear agreement with Iran. This over the vehement opposition of President Obama and Secretary Kerry, who had both lobbied against the bill until the 11th hour.

Committee chairman, Republican Bob Corker, lined up a veto-proof majority in the Senate. Mr. Corker’s adroit maneuvering forced Mr. Obama to retract his previous threat to veto any congressional oversight of the deal. President Obama now says he will sign the law when it passes Congress, thereby giving Congress 30 days in which to approve or reject any final, nuclear agreement with Iran.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN: Question: How big a win is this for Congress?

Mort Zuckerman?

ZUCKERMAN: I think it’s a major victor for Congress, frankly. I think this was a critical issue that this country was facing. There was a great deal of dissatisfaction with the way the president handled it. It’s not easy to get everybody together to go against he president. But they did it. And I think this is going to have a positive impact on what we should be doing in that particular issue.

CLIFT: Well, Senator Corker --

MCLAUGHLIN: So institutionally, it was a milestone.

ZUCKERMAN: Absolutely.

CLIFT: No, no, no. Senator Corker did a good job. But Senator Ben Cardin, Maryland Democrat, engineered the compromise at the end, which brought all the Democrats onboard.

The White House really didn’t give away anything here, and it does bring Congress in to the process. They want to feel like they’re involved, but the chances of the way this is constructed of actually torpedoing any deal is very -- is minimal, almost nonexistent.

BUCHANAN: Exactly, Tom. I mean, John.

Look, what Corker and the Democrats, everybody did, is say, we in the Congress have a role to play on this agreement. So, they all agreed on that. But here’s what’s coming up, John, is when we get that final deal, that committee in the Senate and Congress, is going to decide whether or not the president is authorized to lift the congressional sanctions. Secondly, whether or not this is a good deal and should be rejected. On that vote, when you get to that, I don’t think the opponents of the Iran deal have the 67 votes in the Senate you would need to override a presidential veto, which would save the Iran deal.

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I’m not hearing what I wanted to hear.

ROGAN: What?

MCLAUGHLIN: I want to hear what else makes this congressional development institutionally noteworthy. And I want to ask you.

ROGAN: And what makes it institute -- well, I would say, what you see from Corker is a challenge to the Cotton line of argument, which was sending that letter to Khamenei. So, what Corker has done here is kind of go a different path for the Republican Party, to build bipartisan compromise. And this does, I have to say, this does put pressure on the president to get a good deal. The Iranians are already playing games about the inspections protocols, which is critical.

CLIFT: It intervenes --

ROGAN: No, but it’s going to be very important, but yes, it has the ability to have a serious consensus at the end.

CLIFT: To answer your question, it interferes with the executive’s power to make political international arrangements. Congress does not have veto of that. This is not an official treaty.

ROGAN: That’s a toughconstitutional interpretation.

CLIFT: And it intrudes on that. And again, I think that’s what you were asking, and the president addressed that in his press conference on Friday.

BUCHANAN: The Congress has refused to provide an authorization for the use of military force for the United States against ISIS, completely gutless, won’t stand up to that, but they do interfere with presidential deals on weapons.

CLIFT: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Here’s a comment that deserves -- here’s a comment that deserves review. Institutionally, this is a milestone. Congress is reasserting itself in foreign policy, pushing back against Obama’s imperial presidency. This is a shift towards rebalancing the relative powers of Congress and the presidency.

I’m surprised you didn’t spot that.

ROGAN: Well, but this happens now and again -- I mean, look, the Congress did in 2006 was trying to get the U.S. out of Iraq. What is different here is there’s consensus. There is consensus across the chamber that this better a good deal.

CLIFT: This is awash. This particular is eyewash.

ZUCKERMAN: I don’t think --

CLIFT: Everybody feels good about it. It will have no impact on the final deal.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, the vote was unanimous.

ZUCKERMAN: Yes.

CLIFT: I agree.

ZUCKERMAN: I don’t think it’s eyewash, OK?

CLIFT: It makes everybody feel good.

ZUCKERMAN: You don’t support the vote. I don’t think it was eyewash.

CLIFT: I think the vote is fine. I don’t have a problem with the vote at all.

ZUCKERMAN: I thought it was a tremendous step forward in terms of dealing with an issue that a lot of people in the Congress feel that was an absolute abject failure on the part of the president.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

BUCHANAN: (Inaudible) conduct the war in Yemen.

MCLAUGHLIN: This is the sound of gridlock breaking.

CLIFT: On this and on a couple of other issues, and I think that’s good.

MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions, Pat?

BUCHANAN: I think Greek -- Greece will be leaving the Eurozone, this -- by the time we reach summertime.

CLIFT: Polling will reveal that Jeb Bush will be a greater draw in the Hispanic community than Marco Rubio.

MCLAUGHLIN: Tom?

ROGAN: The Islamic State is going to continue its press on to Ramadi, the capital of al Anbar province. And that poses a major threat to Baghdad, which is about 50 miles away.

MCLAUGHLIN: Mort?

ZUCKERMAN: The American economy is going to continue to be very weak going into the next year, and I think that’s going to have a huge effect on all of our politics.

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, take this under consideration, Mort. I predict the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates before the end of the year. Recent weakness in the U.S. economy and the ongoing doldrums in Europe and other U.S. export markets point to another year of lackluster growth.

Bye-bye!

END