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THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP

HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN

JOINED BY: TONY BLANKLEY, PATRICK BUCHANAN,
ELEANOR CLIFT AND RAFAEL LORENTE

TAPED: THURSDAY, JUNE 26, 2003
BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF JULY 5-6, 2003


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THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT.
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MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue one: Hello, America.

July 4th, Independence Day. It's a time when Americans celebrate who we are as a country.

Who we are has changed since our country's founding 227 years ago. Demographically, in fact, there's a tectonic shift now going on in America, notably Hispanics: 39 million strong, the nation's largest minority group, one-half million more than the former minority leader, African-Americans.

Latinos -- a term used interchangeably with the term "Hispanic" by the U.S. government -- are interwoven into the American landscape, and some very visibly so: Jennifer Lopez, Salma Hayek, Enrique Iglesias, John Leguizamo, Benicio Del Toro, comedian George Lopez. In baseball, Sammy Sosa, Roberto Alomar, Angels owner Arturo Moreno. Hockey: Scott Gomez. Government: New Mexico Governor and former Energy secretary and congressman Bill Richardson, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Robert Menendez, White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales.

The Hispanic vote has been courted by President Bush for over a decade, and it's worked: 35 percent in the 2000 election;

Forty-nine percent of Hispanics are Democrats; 20 percent, Republican; 19 percent, independent.

Difference between the two parties on concern for Latinos? There is none; 40 percent of Latinos so say.

Despite the fact that half of adult Hispanics are Democrats, as a group they take conservative stances. The League of United Latin American Citizens, LULAC, endorses Bush's highly controversial nomination of Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Abortion: unacceptable, say seven out of 10 Latinos. Almost six out of 10 say it should be illegal in most or all cases. Homosexual sex: unacceptable, say two out of three.

Question: Will Hispanics mesh more easily into American culture than do and have African-Americans, Pat Buchanan?

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, John, the older Hispanics who are in this country are already much more assimilated.

But the problem is, you've got enormous -- a million and a half people coming into the country, most of them Hispanics, every year, 500,000 of them legal, a third of them headed for California. They are not assimilating. They are creating their own enclaves, separate. They have their own language, their own culture. What is happening, John -- and they are concentrating in the Southwest -- we are building a nation within a nation.

And quite frankly, given the growth of the Hispanic population in birthrates and in immigration, this country's going to wind up, by 2050, as really a nation -- many nations inside one nation. And all of them, like Yugoslavia and Russia, eventually break up.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Well, this nation within a nation is being embraced in California and in the Southwest. It adds a rich cultural variance to our own cultures that we already have here.

And Hispanics are far from monolithic. I mean, they -- first of all, they don't have the history of slavery, so it's very difficult to compare them to the African-American population.

And their cultural history -- if they come from Cuba, they're coming out a dictatorship, and they're going to be conservative. They're probably going to be aligned with the Republican Party.

If they're coming out of Mexico or Third-World countries, they come here for opportunity. They also want a safety net. They're more inclined to be Democratic.

Whichever party can win the hearts and minds of Hispanics, you know, wins the political mandate far into the future.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: One-fourth of Hispanics say that English is their primary language. Do you think that roots in American culture are weak, or do you think they're strong? After all, the Spaniards were the ones who had the first mission in this country. They're well-known and they're rooted in New Orleans and in the Southwest. What is so new about the Hispanic phenomenon?

MR. BLANKLEY: I think the Hispanic immigration to the United States is very much like the European immigration to the United States 100, 120 years ago. The Pew Charitable Trust study, which you were quoting from -- 3,000 sampled, a huge national sample -- shows that as you move from foreign-born to first-generation-born to second- generation-born, you see a very fast rate of English usage, of self- identified Americans -- they start of calling themselves Mexicans or Guatemalans, not Hispanic or -- they identify by country rather than ethnicity, unlike African-Americans. And then, as you move through the first two generations born in the country, they come along and start calling themselves Americans.

And I think that New York City in 1910, with Little Italy and Chinatown and all of that, would not look dissimilar to what the Southwest looks like right now. I think there's a very good expectation of full Americanization. But that is the issue. If they can't Americanize, it's a problem. But I think we're seeing statistical evidence of very effective integration.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Hispanics don't really have any serious problem with assimilation. Is that your view, Rafael?

MR. LORENTE: In the short term, yeah, there is some problems with assimilation. But in the long term, no. I think you could argue that people said the same thing about Italians at the turn of the century, or other groups -- the Irish. I think Hispanics will do fine, and I don't think they will stay concentrated in California and Florida and other places. I think if you look around the country, they've already moved --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me ask you this: To what extent will the size of the Hispanic population in this country, greater than that of the African-American population, displace political items and human items, like the demand for reparations on the part of black Americans? Do you see any of that in the Hispanic population? Do you see any victimhood in the Spanish -- Hispanic population?

MR. LORENTE: It depends where you go. If you go to some barrios in California, you will see some of that. If you --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Will you see anything of the scale that has taken place, owing to, and understandably so, the history of slavery in this country? Is there anything of the momentum, of the size, of the force?

MR. LORENTE: No, no. We don't --

MR. BUCHANAN: John, we are into racial and ethnic and --

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I want to hear his answer, Pat.

MR. LORENTE: Hispanics don't bring slavery. You can't compare that, so --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I understand that. I want to know -- therefore, what follows (for them ?)?

MR. BUCHANAN: We are into, John -- we are entering a period of racial and ethnic entitlements. July 4th, nonsense. Hispanics in California celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

MS. CLIFT: So what?

MR. BUCHANAN: Puerto Rico Day is the big day in New York. There is a decomposition going on in America. The idea of assimilation is dying. Multiculturalism is on the rise. The elites are preaching multiculturalism in this country --

MS. CLIFT: Pat, there is nothing wrong -- there is nothing wrong with celebrating the holidays that belong to your ethnic history. And I would imagine you growing up --

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, what is their ethnic history -- (inaudible)?

MS. CLIFT: -- might have celebrated some Irish moments, perhaps, or --

MR. BLANKLEY: St. Patrick's Day.

MS. CLIFT: Right! St. Patrick's Day!

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right. Pat, Pat, Pat. Maybe it's a watershed of exactly the opposite kind. This watershed is not based on race. These people identify themselves in terms of their culture and their language.

MR. BUCHANAN: And their country! Mexico, they have --

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now, when you have --

MR. BUCHANAN: They root for Mexico against the United States in L.A. Coliseum.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What I'm saying is that you are once again misperceiving reality through the lens of race, whereas --

MR. BUCHANAN: John, look at the young -- go to colleges.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- whereas this suggests that there is a melting pot going on, that is true, because there is no racial -- the racial division doesn't arise here.

MR. BUCHANAN: Look. Colleges have graduations for Asian students, Hispanic students now, African students and white students. It is --

MS. CLIFT: And they also have a joint -- and they also have a joint ceremony.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me hear from Tony.

MR. BLANKLEY: Let me make a point that is partially supportive of Pat's position. The difference between now and a hundred years ago isn't so much the immigrants as it is the attitude of the existing Americans. We encouraged the melting pot, an Americanization policy, a hundred years ago, 80 years ago. Now, unfortunately, the elite in this country is encouraging multicultural --

MS. CLIFT: I disagree completely.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I want to talk to Rafael.

MS. CLIFT: I disagree.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, can I talk to Rafael?

MR. BLANKLEY: -- (inaudible) -- your point. That's going to slow down --

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but you got to shut him off first. (Laughs.)

MR. BLANKLEY: That's going to slow down the assimilating process.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can you talk about cultural roots and common history, to put Pat's mind at rest?

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MR. LORENTE: Actually, I would --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The cultural roots of the Hispanic population are rooted in America by reason of the Spanish involvement early. Correct?

MR. LORENTE: Absolutely. And I would urge you to look not at the people cheering at the L.A. Coliseum; I would urge you to look at people fleeing Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, because of political instability. Those people are bringing money, they're bringing education, they're bringing capital, and they are opening --

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, they're like the first-generation Cubans; they're upper class. The Mexicans coming in are the poorest of the poor, John.

MR. LORENTE: These are social conservatives, opening businesses.

MS. CLIFT: Right.

MR. BUCHANAN: Oh, I know -- look, I know --

MR. LORENTE: They will become Republicans.

MS. CLIFT: I want -- I want to get in. I want to speak --

MR. BLANKLEY: Give Eleanor a chance.

MS. CLIFT: I want to speak --

MR. BLANKLEY: Give Eleanor a chance.

MS. CLIFT: I want to speak on behalf of the elites because I think when Tony was talking about the elites encouraging non- assimilization, he's probably referring to me.

I celebrate people being able to mark all of the things that make them different, but what accelerates assimilation in this country is economic opportunity. You can't make it in the society if you can't speak English, if you can't learn the skills. And so, you know, the economics of making a living in this country will always drive people to becoming American.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Our culture from the very beginning has been a combination of Anglo and Hispanic.

MR. BUCHANAN: Oh, John.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's true.

MR. BUCHANAN: Ninety-nine percent of our population was --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The first settlement in the United States was Spanish.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, look, that wasn't part of the United States or the first America. Ninety-nine percent of Americans at the time of our Revolution, I believe, were Protestants from Northwest Europe. So our roots are not Hispanic.

MS. CLIFT: What about the Native Americans?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The first settlement was at Pensacola, Pat. The Southwest has been Spanish.

MR. BUCHANAN: We didn't get Pensacola until Jackson went in there in 1818, John. I'm telling you, the United States -- in 1950, 1 percent or so of our population was Hispanic.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why are you continuing to define the United States in European terms when it's obvious that it does not stand up to any historical facts?

MR. BUCHANAN: You got to have a majority to assimilate to. We're going to be a nation of minorities in 2050.

MS. CLIFT: So what?

MR. BUCHANAN: We'll be Balkanized.

MS. CLIFT: So what?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think you can see it exactly the opposite way. I think you can maintain a certain amount of ethnic pride.

MS. CLIFT: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now, to be an Hispanic is a combination of different ancestries, it's not defined as a race, but whatever it is, that pride is there. That can be sustained. At the same time -- you definitely feel American, do you not?

MR. LORENTE: Absolutely.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And the people -- go ahead.

MR. LORENTE: And Hispanics are no more similar to each other than various European groups that have battled in this country for supremacy politically and economically in Boston and New York and other places for decades. You're going to see people move around the country, and they will assimilate in their own ways.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Will, clearly, you've got people like Pat Buchanan, who lament the evaporation of the majority status of non -- of whites, because in about 2050, within your lifetime, you will see a majority of non -- of people of color being in the majority in the United States.

MR. BLANKLEY: Let me just suggest that pretty soon, if not already, the burrito will be as American as the pizza and the bagel.

MR. LORENTE: Exactly.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me observe that Hispanics fit into the American population just like apple pie.

Exit: Does the emergence of the Hispanic minority as America's largest minority mean the beginning of a color-blind America? Yes or no? Pat Buchanan?

MR. BUCHANAN: No, it's the complete opposite, John. We're headed for a period, as I said, we're a number of nations inside a nation.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think, Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Oh, I think between intermarriage and the growth of various minorities, that we are in the right direction towards a color-blindness. It's going to take a while, though.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?

MR. BLANKLEY: Well, color-blindness arguably started with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1963 and it is hardly complete yet. I do think that Pat has some elements of -- I do think we're going to see a lot of back and forthing that will exacerbate problems, but I think the long-term path is towards color-blindness.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Rafael?

MR. LORENTE: I think we're heading in the right direction. And my wife makes me celebrate St. Patrick's Day. So you never know.

MR. BUCHANAN: Good for her! (Laughter.)

MR. LORENTE: (Inaudible.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think minority status and majority status are becoming obsolete. And we will also jettison the idea of reparations and victimhood.

Issue two: Washington, we have a problem. Airport security.

Time warp backwards. Remember the days when checking in at the airport meant buying a ticket and getting on a plane? No wand scans on babies or grandmothers in wheelchairs. No confiscation of nail clippers or eyelash curlers. No "Extend your arms, empty your pockets, open your briefcase, take off your shoes."

Can we get beyond today's primitive security systems and technology, with its indignities and its irritants?

How about biometrics? Biometric technology scans the retina of an eye or scans a fingerprint to make sure that a person really is who he or she claims to be. It's almost impossible to fake, because it's based on the unique physical characteristics of a retina or a fingerprint. The images of the retina and fingerprint are stored in a microchip on a card. The card can be lost, but it cannot be used, except by you.

And on that same card is your background, codified in detail and greatly minified:

Financial information: spending habits, credit history, assets, bank accounts, debt, loans.

Travels abroad: number of trips and length, and where.

Marital history: number of times married, number of times divorced.

Criminal records: arrests, convictions, FBI and police dossiers.

Professional licenses.

Social Security number.

Drivers license.

Gun registrations.

Mail order purchases.

Military service file.

Employment history, et cetera.

Also on the card: a personal risk rating, your personal risk rating, as determined by the government.

Is this science fiction? Not at all. Similar technology is already being used in immigration, notably in Australia, and will be used in all EU passports next year.

Here in the U.S., almost two years have gone by since 9/11, and we're still putting up with airport screeners with criminal records, air marshals with criminal records, insufferable delays, little under- carriage baggage screening, an airline industry $25 billion in debt and facing possible nationalization, and incredibly primitive screening technology.

Question: Why don't we move forward with the technology we have to improve the passenger screening and boarding process, Eleanor Clift?

MS. CLIFT: Well, as an airline passenger who poses no risk as a terrorist, I would love this, because I could get to the front of the line. But as a citizen worried about civil liberties, I think there are serious issues involved here. I don't think they're going to do a background check on every American to see who's safe to fly and who isn't. I'm afraid it's going to be one of those situations: if you're white, you're right, and if you're not, you're not. I think it's another form of racial profiling, and I think that's the danger.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why can't they do -- isn't this whole -- it would involve ethnic profiling, but that could favor the individual who is being profiled, whether he's Yemenese, or whether he's from Saudi Arabia or wherever, because if it's a student, there will be information on him that will vindicate him, except -- and the stereotype would dissipate.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, John --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: There's no reason why this can't be done.

MR. BUCHANAN: It won't work.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But there is one reason. That's the political reason.

MR. BUCHANAN: It won't work, John.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That if you go with ethnic profiling, you're going to alienate a voting population that politicians don't want to give up.

MS. CLIFT: Which population is that? (Laughs.)

MR. BUCHANAN: John, John, it won't work.

MS. CLIFT: Right.

MR. BUCHANAN: Look, if you got explosives in your shoes, what is your little card going to do for you? You know what happened? This set-up is a result of you being strip-searched at National Airport, isn't it?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, of course not. (Laughter.)

MR. BUCHANAN: Listen -- look, but the point is, John --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But they don't wave me through. They don't wave grandmothers 75 years old in a --

MR. BUCHANAN: But they -- even if you've got the card --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I saw a wand being used on a person who was an invalid, and then beyond that.

MR. BLANKLEY: So you thought they were an invalid.

MS. CLIFT: (Chuckles.) Right.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, they know you and me at airports, and they --

MS. CLIFT: Yeah.

MR. BUCHANAN: -- you give them the card, but they still got to take off your shoes.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat --

MR. BUCHANAN: They set things off. That's not going to save you from all those screeners, because citizens, honorable people, can sometimes bring explosives on planes. It's not going to slow it down. It's not going to help. As Eleanor said, it's a massive invasion of privacy for no reason.

MS. CLIFT: Well --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat, look, there -- all people are not created equal when it comes to risk, of course. Some are riskier than others. We ought to face up to that. It's common sense.

MR. BLANKLEY: Right.

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We ought to have homeland security judgment made that we go with the biometric card. All of this information is available -- that I listed on the screen -- on the Internet. You can hire Internet operators who will get you any of that piece of information or all of it. Admiral Poindexter is doing what now?

MR. BUCHANAN: Admiral Poindexter's over at DARPA. (Chuckles.) He's creating --

MS. CLIFT: I wouldn't --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's it called? What's it called? Total --

MR. BUCHANAN: Information Awareness.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- Information Awareness, at the Pentagon.

MR. BLANKLEY: No --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: On everybody.

MR. BLANKLEY: It's now called "Terrorist Information" --

MR. LORENTE: They've changed the name. It sounds better now.

(Cross talk.)

MS. CLIFT: Right. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, it sounds better, but I think they see everybody as the -- obviously, the airports do -- as a potential terrorist.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but --

MR. LORENTE: I'd still rather save my fingerprints for when I get arrested. I don't want anybody collecting all this stuff.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why?

MR. LORENTE: Because it's going to get misused.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you not want them to know?

MR. LORENTE: Nothing. I don't want them to know anything! It's my life.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They know it anyway. They know it anyway.

MR. LORENTE: John, let me make --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You have your Social Security number. You don't even need the driver's -- the Social Security number can lead you everywhere -- your bank assets, whatever.

MR. LORENTE: But with a little practice, anybody can get through the airport.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yes.

MR. LORENTE: My 4-year-old has gone through the wand --

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This technology and this whole behavior is so primitive. It's not necessary. It's absolutely -- it's just being delayed.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MR. BLANKLEY: John, let me make a point. And I think it's virtually inevitable that we are going to go down this path. And the point that you were getting to -- it's odd that everybody can have this information except the government, because all this stuff is available in the private sector.

All you're saying -- and I tend to agree with you -- is, let the government have access to the same information that the corporations and the credit bureaus and all the other people in the private sector have, and use it to secure us and make it more efficient. So I agree.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can -- you also can make the case that it renders the entire situation much more secure.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now that's a separate program, and we'll devote another segment to it on a future program, as needed. (Laughter.)

MS. CLIFT: But using that information to determine whether you're safe to fly in an airplane -- what? If you bounced checks? If you declared bankruptcy at some point? If you got three divorces?

MR. BLANKLEY: You can always --

MS. CLIFT: I mean, what would the measurement be?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, it's called a coalescence of indicators, and there are degrees of risk.

MR. BLANKLEY: Look, it's just separating your --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now you, with your impeccable background, of course -- you would be five-star --

MS. CLIFT: Right, front of the line! (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Send her right through.

MS. CLIFT: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Don't even send her through the steel detection.

MR. BLANKLEY: It only -- it doesn't mean you can't get on the plane. It just means you get in the long line, as opposed to the short line. That makes --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit: Would it be helpful if President Bush, Vice President Cheney and members of the Cabinet were to make their next trips on commercial airline and be treated like the rest of us, so that they can reevaluate their negative attitudes towards smart cards and racial and ethnic and other sensitive profiling? Yes or no? And don't tell me the Secret Service can't handle it, because the Secret Service could handle it, in a limited number of trips. What's the answer to my question?

MR. BUCHANAN: I think it's a good idea.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think?

MS. CLIFT: I'd like to see them use an ATM machine, go through a supermarket line. The principle that they are too divorced from regular life and they make the policies the rest of us live by --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You'd like to see it. You're a populist. Right?

MR. BLANKLEY: No, I'm not. I'm an elitist. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Look at the way you're dressed. This is the 4th of July right here. (Laughter.)

MR. BLANKLEY: That's right. Look, look, it's a lovely idea. But the reality is -- and the whole nation's going to know that any time the president gets on a plane, even if he's purportedly standing in line, that's going to be the most secure plane on the planet. It doesn't prove anything.

MR. LORENTE: Well, I don't know about the president, but I was on two commercial planes with Senator Bob Graham. He went through all the security, didn't complain, actually ran from one gate to another and did very well.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, what do you conclude from that?

MR. LORENTE: So --

MR. BLANKLEY: There was a reporter around! (Laughter.)

MR. LORENTE: There was a reporter around. Right. Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That he'd make a fine president?

MR. LORENTE: No, no, I'm not going there.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Chuckles.)

MS. CLIFT: (Chuckles.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think when you get inside that bubble, though, you have illusions of grandeur. And it would be good to get out of that bubble and just see what's going on now, and feel it, feel it. Wait in the long line.

MR. LORENTE: If you're going to cover --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Delayed flight.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, but you don't -- when I was a candidate, you went right through the side line, Secret Service setting off all these buzzers with their guns, and they'd run up there and put you right in the front of the plane. It's -- John, the president of the United States is not going to go through the line. (Laughs.)

MS. CLIFT: So everybody gets a Secret Service agent!

MR. BUCHANAN: Exactly. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, we haven't mentioned here that it might help the American aviation industry to save itself.

Issue three: Hillary helping the GOP?

While some may think that the Republicans are fed up with the media blitz surrounding Hillary Clinton and her book, in fact it's quite the opposite. Let's ask the chief Republican fundraiser in the Congress, the chairman of the Senate Campaign Committee, Senator George Allen. What has been the impact of Hillary Clinton's book, Senator Allen?

SENATOR GEORGE ALLEN (R-VA): (From videotape.) It does remind people of that administration. You compare that to George W. Bush and Laura Bush. And I tell you, as a father, it's nice to be able to have the TV on at night and talk about the president without having to change station.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is this new version of Hillary- bashing a bunch of bunk?

I ask you, Eleanor Clift.

MS. CLIFT: Well, I guess Senator Allen wants to fight the culture wars again. But I think a lot of people out there would like to be reminded of eight years of peace and prosperity, with a war in Iraq turning sour and continuing violence and an economy that's still very soft. I say, you know, let's remember the Clintons! That was the heyday.

MR. BLANKLEY: Eight years when we didn't get Osama bin Laden, when we let the terrorists run -- go deeper into the well. But look --

MR. LORENTE: We still don't have Osama bin Laden!

(Cross talk.)

MR. BLANKLEY: We're looking for him this time. (Laughter.) There's a larger point, and I don't -- Allen was close to getting it. It's not that it reminds people of the '80s -- '90s, good or bad, it's that they sucked -- the Clintons sucked the air out of the news for the other Democrats. They're bigger than life. They're bigger than Kerry and Lieberman and the lot. And they make it harder and harder -- and frankly, you have to wonder whether the Clintons are doing this in order to sabotage the Democrats and ensure the presidency in 2008 for her.

MR. LORENTE: John, John --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Senator Allen's argument is that when you contrast the value system of Hillary Clinton and the Bushes, that Clinton loses. Is that empirically sound?

MR. LORENTE: I don't think that's what people are going to be looking at. I think some people might be wondering why their 401(k)s looked better in 1998 than they do today. I don't think it works.

MR. BUCHANAN: It's not peace and prosperity, John, it is Bill and Hillary. The country doesn't want what they represent. They're a minority point of view. Hillary will never be elected president. She eats up all the oxygen, as Tony says. She rattles the cages of the right. Every right-wing talk show host loves this stuff. And she has replaced Teddy Kennedy as the biggest fundraiser on the right.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, she's so -- (laughs) --

MR. BUCHANAN: You put her name in a letter, and the money rolls in.

MS. CLIFT: Absolutely! But it rolls --

MR. BUCHANAN: All you've got to say is: Stop Hillary, send money! -- (laughter) -- and you're golden.

MS. CLIFT: -- it rolls into the Democrats, as well. And she sold almost 800,000 books --

(Cross talk.)

-- and there are two parties, and let's duke it out!

MR. BUCHANAN: Ann Coulter's running her right out of Amazon.com! (Laughter.)

MS. CLIFT: Bill Clinton lied to the country about sex, and we have a president now who may have lied to the country about weapons of mass destruction. (Laughter.)

MR. BLANKLEY: You don't really believe that, do you?

MS. CLIFT: Which is the greater sin?

MR. BLANKLEY: You don't believe he lied.

MS. CLIFT: I don't say what I don't believe.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In 1990 --

MR. BLANKLEY: You do think the president lied?

MS. CLIFT: I said he is a president who may have lied.

MR. BUCHANAN: I don't believe he did.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hey, she was denounced in 1992.

MS. CLIFT: Let's have an investigation; we'll find out.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We saw what happened in that election vis-a-vis the --

MR. BLANKLEY: She was scandalous!

MR. BUCHANAN: (Inaudible) -- convention, she was denounced by me. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: She was denounced again in 1996. We saw what happened then.

MR. BUCHANAN: She can win New York. She cannot win this country. She will not carry a Southern state.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Forced prediction: Will Howard Dean get the Democratic presidential nomination?

MR. BUCHANAN: No, it's still Kerry or Gephardt.

MS. CLIFT: He's got a good shot, but he doesn't have a lock on it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No? Deductive no?

MS. CLIFT: That's not a no, but it's not a yes! (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly!

MR. BLANKLEY: Maybe.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Maybe?

MR. LORENTE: No.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The answer's no.

Bye-bye! ####

END