MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue one: Uday and Qusay no more.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: (From videotape.); Two days ago, in the city of Mosul, the careers of two of the regime's chief henchmen came to an end. Saddam Hussein's sons were responsible for torture, for maiming innocent citizens, and for the murder of countless Iraqis.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: To remove doubt in anyone's mind that they might still be alive, the Pentagon on Thursday released the photos of the dead brothers.

This was one reaction in Baghdad: skepticism.

IRAQI MAN: "The pictures were doctored on a computer."

This couple was convinced:

WOMAN: "It looks like them."

In Jordan, this:

JORDANIAN MAN: "They've lied before, many times. I don't believe them."

EGYPTIAN MAN: "They're human beings. I don't like to see these pictures on TV."

And this reaction from Great Britain:

BRITISH MAN: "They should have been arrested, humiliated and appeared before courts and tried in front of people."

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: What's the powerful message that is sent by the deaths of Saddam's two sons?

Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, the death and the pictures, like the death and the picture of Che Guevara back there in 1967, send this message to the Ba'ath Party dissidents and fighters: These guys are gone. They're not coming back. There's a new sheriff in town, and deal with it.

It was an ugly necessity, but I think we had to do it.


MS. CLIFT: But the way they went sends another message. You don't send in a TOW missile if you want to capture them alive. And these are two intelligence assets who could potentially lead us to the weapons of mass destruction. And the fact that the administration really made very little attempt to take them alive -- they wanted to spare themselves the headache of a trial -- but they also surrendered a major opportunity to uncover the real reason we went to war, unless they don't believe those weapons are there.


MR. BLANKLEY: Well, I don't think these psychotics, if they were alive, would be very good tellers of the truth, so I'm -- and one of them probably killed himself. So this is sort of a silly argument.

Yeah, this is wonderful news on a number of fronts. One, being the heirs to the Hussein dynasty, it's like killing off the czar's children; it tells everybody there is no future to this dynasty. Saddam is an old man anyway. So it's wonderful news on that front.

It also suggests we're doing -- we're getting more information from -- help, you know, from the locals. Later, a day or two after that, there was the capture of some of Saddam's guards. General Franks assessed at the end of the week that within 60 days they'll probably get Saddam. So this is a real turning point, a beginning of a turning point for the occupation.


MR. O'DONNELL: Well, the clock is ticking on those 60 days to get Saddam.

I do think it would have been -- I don't mean to second-guess the soldiers who made the decision on the scene, but it would have been better, it seems now, to have gotten them alive to completely eliminate the doubt in Iraq, which is running very, very high. It's very high levels of doubt as to whether or not they are really gone. And so the potency of the message is weakened dramatically by that doubt. I mean, I would agree with Pat that that would be the message if you had certainty in Iraq that they were gone.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think Tony's exactly right. The real power of this message is that the bloodline has been cut off, because they live in a region of continuing dynasties.

MR. O'DONNELL: Well, that's the message to the United States.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: There is no dynasty here.

MR. O'DONNELL: The message to Iraq is, we're not so sure. And that's a problem.

MS. CLIFT: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let us hope, though, that with this distraction of Iraq aside, we can now find out where Osama bin Laden is. You remember him? Any sightings of him lately?

MR. O'DONNELL: I've heard of him.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN (?): Not in Iraq.

MR. BLANKLEY (?): He's got lots of children, too.


MS. CLIFT: And the bloodline may not have been cut off. What if there's a female Saddam Hussein around?


MS. CLIFT: You didn't think of that, did you? (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. More Iraq good news.

Item: Troop rotations at last. After suffering daily temperatures of 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and a year in the desert, troops working 24/7 on Iraq's reconstruction -- not their line of work -- are told they can finally come home.

Item: Clinton affirms Iraq WMD on "Larry King Live" during a phone call with Bob Dole.

WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON (former U.S. president): (From videotape.) But it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted-for stocks of biological and chemical weapons.

Question: Why did Clinton make this statement? Was it on merits or was it on politics, do you think? Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Well, I think he did want to get the message across that presidents aren't perfect, they make mistakes. He didn't read the Democratic National Committee talking points that you're not supposed to be generous to President Bush right now.

But I think the message he was also sending to Democrats is to back off because if you get too far out on events you can't control, you may end up in an embarrassed position. So I think he was telling Democrats to concentrate on the reconstruction and the war of attrition in Iraq.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think he's looking for a shield for himself?. I mean by that, both he and the sitting president will be called before the 9/11 committee, and we want to use anybody in a storm.

MR. O'DONNELL: Well, one reason to say what he said, and this is not always controlling for him, is that it happens to be true. So that's that's important to note.

The timing of it, though, just before the 9/11 report comes out indicating that we had all sorts of problems in our ability to handle this information and process -- get terrorist watch information transferred from CIA to FBI, that's all under Clinton's watch. That's where the problem was.

MR. BUCHANAN; It serves a number of good purposes for him. Frankly, he fired those missiles at him, and he says, "Weapons of mass destruction, we thought they were there." It does provide cover for the president. It's part of this "presidents' club" thing.

And I agree with Eleanor he is sending a message to the Democrats here that, you know, move on; basically, that what's going on in the future in Iraq is where we want to fight the battle, not what went on before.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, the bad news.

MR. BUCHANAN: Good political counsel.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The bad news.

Item: Five U.S. soldiers dead, bringing the Iraq war death toll to 240 since the beginning of the war.

Item: Wolfowitz mea culpa.

PAUL WOLFOWITZ (deputy secretary of Defense): (From videotape.) We often just make mistakes. We do stupid things.

Item: Shi'as militarizing, urged on by young fundamentalist clerics.

IRAQI SHI'AS: (From videotape.) (Chants.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: "America and the Iraq citizen council are infidels," they chant. Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr says it's time for U.S. forces to leave.

Item: Fried Rice. As Condoleezza Rice's claims of innocence on the uranium Niger issue seem to many to ring hollow.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE (national security adviser): (From videotape.) Maybe someone knew down in the bowels of the agency, but no one in our circles knew that there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That was in June. Two weeks ago, she tried to pin the blame on George Tenet.

MS. RICE: (From videotape.) And had there been even a peep that the agency did not want that sentence in or that George Tenet did not want that sentence in, that the director of Central Intelligence did not want it in, it would have been gone.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But this week, her deputy in the White House, Stephen Hadley, took the fall. (Reading.) "The high standards that the president set with his speeches were not met. We had opportunities here to avoid this problem. We didn't take them."

Question: How badly has Dr. Rice's credibility been damaged? And what happened to Robert Joseph, who was also --

MR. O'DONNELL: He has been replaced. He's been recast. Stephen Hadley --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hadley took over? (Laughter.)

MR. O'DONNELL: Yeah. It turns out it was someone else in the office.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They're moving 'em around.

MR. O'DONNELL: Right. But it really all lands on Condi Rice. I think her credibility has been devastated by this. Everything she has said on television has been proven untrue. What she said to Tim Russert on "Meet the Press" is now proven not to be the case, and she knew it. And yes, there was way more than a peep out of the CIA --

(Cross talk.)

MR. BUCHANAN: Reputation has been damaged, but look -- Fleischer said, "Well, we should have taken it out," Hadley says we should have taken it out, Joseph says so, Tenet says so. Who put it in? (Laughter.) Who insisted it stay in? John, that is the key --

(Cross talk.)

MR. BLANKLEY: No, no, let me --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It looks to me like the -- we have a politicization of intelligence, possibly, of the National Security Council.

MR. BLANKLEY: Let me just --

MR. BUCHANAN: But who kept insisting that stay in the president's speech?

MR. BLANKLEY: Let me -- (inaudible).

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Inaudible) -- the National Security Council --

MS. CLIFT: No, I think it goes higher than that. (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- operating under the other smaller intelligence group under Rumsfeld.

MR. BLANKLEY: This is an issue that's more and more about less and less. This is going to be a fading issue that only the cultists are going to be talking about this in a month. (Laughter.) And yes, she's been harmed in her credibility. I think she has to hunker down and reemerge in September.

MS. CLIFT: The 16 words are taking on the aura of the 18-minute gap when -- under a former president.

MR. BLANKLEY: Oh, you dream that that's the case. You think this is Watergate?

MS. CLIFT: Well, you dream that this is going to go away. Condi Rice is a talking points automaton, and I think she has no credibility. But the trail does not end with her, and I would look at Vice President Cheney and the strings are still --

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is an automaton (pronounces it "auto-ma-ton") the same as an automaton (pronounces it "a-tom-a-ton")?

MR. BUCHANAN: It's pretty close. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. We also had other pieces of bad news. Anyone want to give us a comment? Five U.S. soldiers dead, Wolfowitz mea culpa. By the way, the mea culpa was for his acknowledgement of a failure properly to handle the management of the aftermath.

MR. BLANKLEY: Let me talk about Wolfowitz.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Shi'as militarizing -- Shi'as militarizing is probably the most important, but quickly on Wolfowitz.

MR. BLANKLEY: Let me -- Wolfowitz -- I think this is a good sign.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean contrition?

MS. CLIFT: (Laughs.)

MR. BLANKLEY: Because obviously, the initial plans were not the ones that we're going to be able to be successful with.


MR. BLANKLEY: And the sooner the tough guy starts saying, "Look, we've got to fix it. We've got to experiment," like Roosevelt used to do: If one thing doesn't work, we'll try something else. And I'm delighted to hear that hubris has not got in the way --

MS. CLIFT: Oh! (Laughs.)

MR. BLANKLEY: -- of making an assessment and being rational.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. Contrition is one thing. What about purpose of amendment, if this is going to be true confession, according to good Catholic doctrine?

MR. BLANKLEY: Well, I was just talking generally about hubris --

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you talk about purpose of amendment there? (Laughter.)

MR. BUCHANAN: Let me talk about -- I don't think so with Wolfowitz. (Laughter.)

Look, let me talk about the Shi'as, though. Tony's been talking about them. They are docile. They're not -- (word inaudible) -- right now. Let me tell you what they're up to. They're watching the Americans finish off that Ba'ath Party, rip up the Sunnis, but as soon as the Americans try to put together a government which denies them the autonomy they want and the power they want, that is when the problem is going to come with the Shi'as.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think Bremer made a second mistake -- besides this missing the Iraqi army and putting 400,000 people on the street, do you think he made a second mistake by not -- by rejecting all Ba'ath Party candidates to run the government?

MR. BLANKLEY: I think he corrected it. He corrected it.

MR. BUCHANAN: I think he's terrific. He's correcting what --

MS. CLIFT: I think --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: To what extent?

MR. BUCHANAN: By moving to this council and moving much more rapidly to bring the Iraqis into power.

MS. CLIFT: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How serious is the Shi'a problem, Pat Buchanan?

MR. BUCHANAN: The Shi'a problem, if it explodes, is enormous.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: It's enormous.

MS. CLIFT: It's the -- it's the --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's all we need is one more problem in Baghdad.

On balance, was this a good week for Bush in Iraq or a bad week?


MR. BUCHANAN: Good week: ace of hearts he caught, ace of clubs, and they're after the ace of spades.


MS. CLIFT: It's never a good week when you have Americans dying over there and you have an open-ended commitment that is deepening.


MR. BLANKLEY: Not withstanding the regrettable deaths of any American soldiers, this was not only a good week, it was a pivotal week.


MR. BLANKLEY: Because I believe that we're going to start seeing more good news happening. I believe that we're now beginning to get a practical assessment of the problems and beginning to deal with them and --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know that the five new deaths over there occurred within 36 hours after we killed the two brothers?

MR. BLANKLEY: And the same way in the Middle East peace process. Anytime you make a peace effort, unfortunately, some people are going to get killed.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, how do you read good news into it, then, if that's the sequel to our action?

MR. BLANKLEY: I'm not looking at it as the individual -- there are individual tragedies for the men and their families, but as far as the process is concerned, it seems to me a lot of rationality is being brought to bear, and I think this is good news.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Good week or bad week, Lawrence?

MR. O'DONNELL: In perception terms, domestically here, it was a good week in getting, you know, the two Hussein brothers. But really other than that, nothing's changed in the continuing quagmire-like conditions of Iraq.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So what is this?

MR. O'DONNELL: So history will tell us how important this week is. It may turn out not to have been a turning point, but --

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: History may -- history may -- (laughter) --

(Cross talk.)

MR. O'DONNELL: But remember the 60-day clock they set ticking on getting Saddam. If those 60 days go by, if it will turn into 100, you've got a big problem.

MR. BLANKLEY: That was retired General Frank (sic). That was retired General Frank (sic) who said that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We don't hire you here to announce a draw. (Laughs, laughter.) We want one side or the other. We don't want -- we don't want the philosophy of history here.

MR. O'DONNELL: You want history written right here.

MS. CLIFT: (Inaudible) -- need help on this one. (Laughs.)

MR. BUCHANAN: Looks like you have to wait for history to get the result. (Laughs.)

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is it was basically a good week, but there are real dangers ahead.

When we come back, could 9/11 have been prevented?


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue two: 9/11 revisited.

SEN. BOB GRAHAM (D-FL): (From videotape.) "The attacks of September the 11th could have been prevented.

"The report makes clear that we should have known that potential terrorists were living among us."

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Senator Bob Graham was the co-chairman of this bipartisan congressional investigation into the al Qaeda terrorist plot that killed 300 Americans. Graham is a presidential candidate, and he made his disturbing conclusion this week at Congress' release of an 800-page scathing report that encompasses the findings of nine public hearings and 500 interviews.

Question: How damaging is this report politically to this administration, do you think?

Lawrence O'Donnell?

MR. O'DONNELL: It should not be damaging to this administration. And this is something that happened nine months into the reign of this administration. And you're talking about real behavioral and infrastructure problems between the CIA and FBI, human failure. I agree with Bob Graham completely, it could have been prevented if we did everything right in those human institutions that are filled with human failure.

MS. CLIFT: What's more --

MR. BUCHANAN: Let me -- I basically agree with Larry. But let me say this. The key thing -- one of the key things in there that's going to be a big problem is there are 28 redacted pages which deal with Saudi Arabia. And already folks like Schumer are jumping on it. And I had one folks -- some of the folks on television were saying the Saudis -- I said were they negligent or complicit, and they were using "maybe complicit." This is going to be used, I think, to undercut the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: On the Saudis, the Saudis responded late yesterday -- excuse me, they responded late Thursday, and they said the 28 pages that have been blacked out allegedly for us, turn them out, put them out, publish them.

What do you think of that?

MR. BUCHANAN: Oh, I'm very impressed by that, if they say that, quite frankly. Then the -- it's obviously the administration feels it would somehow be used to damage the relationship with the Saudis. That's the only thing I can think of for leaving them out.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, the administration appears to be hiding its own embarrassment. There was really nothing dramatically new in this report. But they have suppressed its publication for seven months. They have refused to allow the president's daily briefings to be made available to the Intelligence Committees. And they've redacted -- blackened out all of these pages. So it raises questions about the president's credibility at a time when his credibility is already under a cloud.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: One of the justifications for the Iraq war was an alleged al Qaeda-Iraq link. The administration repeated this claim many times.

Right, Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Absolutely.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Leading up to the war, polling showed a majority of Americans believed Iraq was involved in -- with al Qaeda. Now, the new report says there's no link between al Qaeda and Iraq. That's number one.

And of course, Max Cleland had some very serious things to say. Now, he was a senator. He's a Vietnam veteran. You know Max. He says, "The administration sold a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda to scare the pants off the American people and justify the war. What you've seen here is the manipulation of intelligence for political ends."

MR. BLANKLEY: Let me make two points. First of all, regarding any possible connections with al Qaeda, we won't know until deeper into the occupation, probably around the time we find the weapons of mass destruction.

MS. CLIFT: (Laughs.)

MR. O'DONNELL: You're going to wait for history on that one?

MR. BLANKLEY: On that one, I'm going to wait for history. (Laughter.)

But -- but regarding the report -- regarding the report, there were two functions. One is kind of finger-pointing and laying blame; the other is lessons learned. And I hope that this report is used by our government to learn better the lessons they haven't yet learned well enough about coordinating --

MR. BUCHANAN: I think --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We've got to get out. A quick answer to this question: Was this a failure at the mid-level of the national security bureaucracy or was this a failure at the commanding heights? We've been talking here about Condoleezza Rice, the National Security Council.

MR. BUCHANAN: The failure was --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN; But if you are concerned to find out what were the causes or could it have been prevented, 9/11, isn't that a commanding-heights level of responsibility and expression?

MR. BUCHANAN: -- mid-level failure, for which, quite frankly, Louie Freeh bears a measure of responsibility at the FBI, as does the CIA, when they are not communicating below them.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, what do you think, Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Well, it was a bureaucratic failure, but the bureaucrats also didn't get the support they wanted in terms of money from the Congress or the Justice Department. But it's also a high- level failure in the sense of not having the vision to put this country on the war footing that it should have been put on.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Quickly. Quickly.

MR. BLANKLEY: Well, look. Yeah, fundamentally a bureaucratic failure, but of course the president is always responsible for overseeing his bureaucracy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Give me a quick answer to this. Do you think the Democrats are going to be able to use this and say there was a level here, and that's the commanding level, that commanding heights should be involved in this?

MR. O'DONNELL: Yeah, but that doesn't tarnish the Bush administration. The directors of CIA and FBI should have created an atmosphere that made terrorism their number-one priority before September 11th, thereby allowing that heroic FBI agent in Arizona who tracked them taking flying lessons to get this report all the way up.


Issue three.

We don't have to wait for history on that one, right?

Issue three: Name the accuser.

KOBE BRYANT (Los Angeles Lakers basketball player): (From videotape.) Furious at myself, disgusted at myself. I'm so sorry for having to put you through this and having to put our family through this. I'm innocent. You know? I didn't force her to do anything against her will.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant admitted to adultery but denied the sexual assault charges against him by the 19- year-old woman, an Eagle, Colorado, resort concierge. Bryant will appear in court on August 6. His case has been hotly debated in a media circus that was beginning to look much like that of another famous LA sports figure, O.J. Simpson. Then on Thursday, the judge in Eagle issued a gag order barring individuals involved in the case from speaking to the media.

But people are speaking up on another, related issue, the name of the accuser: Who is she? Her name should be made public. The former editor of the Des Moines Register and journalism commentator Geneva Overholser, has long argued for this, in this case and for standardizing it. "Details about the Kobe Bryant accuser are being bandied about by shock jocks and on the Net netherworld. Mainstream media stick to an outdated policy, which has turned into a conceit. The responsible course for responsible media today is this: Treat the woman who charges rape as we would any other adult victim of crime; name her, and deal with her respectfully, and leave the trial to the courtroom."

Los Angeles radio talk show host Tom Leykis agrees. He believes Bryant is innocent and began identifying the concierge during his afternoon drive-time program.

TOM LEYKIS (Los Angeles talk show host): (From tape.) I don't believe you can possibly have a fair trial when you reveal the name of the alleged aggressor and you hide the name of the person making the allegation. It's not fair.

Question: Why is the media reluctant to identify a rape victim by name?

Eleanor Clift.

MS. CLIFT: Well, because a rape victim is considered a victim of a particular heinous crime and should be given some anonymity. But that is somewhat of an outdated notion, because we've learned that rape is not a crime of sex, it's a crime of violence. And so therefore the stigma should be removed. But with this woman -- this young woman, there's no way her name could be concealed when you're dealing with a celebrity of this magnitude. And I like the part where she should be dealt with respectfully, but I don't even know if that's possible, because the details we know about her suggest she's an unstable woman.


MS. CLIFT: And he's -- he's definitely winning the case in the media so far. And I'm agnostic as to what happened.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can you tell me whether you agree with Geneva Overholser or not, that as a matter of --

MS. CLIFT: I agree -- I agree in general -- I agree in general, but especially when you're dealing with somebody making a charge against a celebrity figure when it's a he-said/she-said --

MR. BUCHANAN: I think that's outrageous, John.

MS. CLIFT: -- but -- but I think --


MS. CLIFT: -- I think --


MS. CLIFT: I think with ordinary people, that there should be some choice involved as to whether their names should be released.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, this is a horrible stigma, rape, whether we like it or not. In Bosnia and places like that, women hung themselves after they had been raped. And to use their name and throw it out there for no reason is to stigmatize them nationwide a second time. It is an awful thing to do. This young lady is 19 years old. There is no evidence that she's a gold-digger or anything like that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So you're --

MR. BUCHANAN: If there were, I might agree with you. But as of now, she is a victim, pure and simple.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, what is the harm of keeping it -- trying to keep it secret?

MR. O'DONNELL: The reason this developed, that we keep these names secret, is to help encourage women who have been victimized to come forward with the feeling that their whole lives won't be taken apart publicly. Now, that's not working in this case. This girl's whole life is being taken part publicly already whether we know her name or not, and in that small town, where the embarrassment lives, everyone knows exactly who she is.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You think -- so you think these cases should be resolved on an individual basis, whether the name becomes public or not?

MR. O'DONNELL: I'm very -- I'm very torn on this.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You think in this case that it should be made public --

MR. O'DONNELL: No, in this case --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- for reasons of --

MR. O'DONNELL: -- in this case, there's really no reason.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- for reasons of --

(Cross talk.)

MR. BLANKLEY: No, look -- all right, let me get on quick thought. I think we -- I completely agree with Pat. There's never a good reason to release it. Sometimes, unfortunately, despite that good rule, the woman in question is going to get her name out and be disparaged and all the rest. But I don't see any reason to change the rule that's now a timeless protection for -- (inaudible.)

MR. O'DONNELL: Well --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Go ahead. We've got to get out now. I think that the social stigma is a relic of a bygone era when it was thought that good girls don't get raped.

MS. CLIFT: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And I think -- I think the trend is to -- is for revelation, and I'm in fundamental agreement with Overholser on this.

We'll be right back with predictions.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I misspoke about the number of victims of 9/11. Not 300, of course, but 3,000.

Pat, you got a quick prediction, quickly?

MR. BUCHANAN: China will revalue its currency upward.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Dynamite. Bye-bye.

(End regular segment. Begin PBS segment.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Four: Davis Recalled.

MR. KEVIN SHELLEY, CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE: (From videotape.) It is my duty today to certify the first recall election of a governor in California history. As of today, my office has received over 1.6 million total signatures. Of these, more than 1.3 million have been found to be valid. We have now received more than 110 percent of the required signatures. Therefore, the recall is deemed to immediately qualify.


MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: With $3,500 dollars and 65 signatures, anybody can get on the ballot.

Tony Blankley, why don't you get out your beads, your crystals, your sandals --

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- and head for California and make the run for governor? Why don't you?

MR. BLANKLEY: I don't think I could take the tabloids data dump on my background! (Laughter.) Scandalous there, I was an actor when I was --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is that the only reason? You know it's in your DNA, don't you? (Laughter.) And you come from out there. Weren't you assistant attorney general?

MR. BLANKLEY: Deputy attorney general.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Deputy attorney general.

MR. BLANKLEY: It's lower than assistant.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So you've already got name recognition.

MR. BLANKLEY: (Laughs) About 12 --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And after this show --

MR. BLANKLEY: With 12 people, yeah.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- you're street known.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, I mean, but you raise a serious point in that anybody can get on the ballot and we have no way of handicapping the race until we find out who decides to get on the ballot, and anybody can do it. I mean, we could all go out there on a drunken weekend and do it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who have we got, Dick Riordan?

MR. O'DONNELL: He's thinking about it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We've got Simon -- Bill Simon is back. We've got Schwarzenegger. Who else do we have? Oh, of course Issa.

MR. O'DONNELL: Simon is the only one who's really very likely to do it.

Darrell Issa has -- you know, you know, we talk about buying elections in this country. He literally purchased an election.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What, $1 million?

MR. O'DONNELL: One-point-seven-million dollars to get, a dollar a signature. That's how they created this election. He will definitely be on the ballot.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Of those four, which one would win?

MR. O'DONNELL: Probably -- probably Issa because he will have the money to run the kind of campaign --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, do you think Schwarzenegger is short on dough?

MR. O'DONNELL: I don't think Schwarzenegger is going to get in, and I don't think he has the kind of money you need to --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is Schwarzenegger the most popular one of those four?

MR. O'DONNELL: On paper, before you start to do negative advertising about them.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you sure of that?



MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the negative advertising -- what form is that going to take?

MR. O'DONNELL: Oh, there's all sorts of personal life stuff and all. It's been in magazines over the years here and there.

MS. CLIFT: Right.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about Dianne Feinstein, if she decided to run?

MR. O'DONNELL: She will not do it. She announced she won't.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: If she were to, would she automatically win?

MR. BLANKLEY: She's not going to run.

MR. O'DONNELL: Well, you know, if Ronald Reagan decides -- you know, it's not going to happen.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why would she not want to run? Who wants to inherit that dumpster, that huge dumpster that's as big as California.

MR. BUCHANAN: Two reasons. If she gets in, she would stab him in the back, which would be a terrible thing for Democrats. Secondly, if she wants to be governor, why not wait till 2006?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about -- what about the point that it would be inheriting an absolute --

MR. BUCHANAN: That's basically it. Why would you want a $38 billion deficit and go in there and take care of that?

MS. CLIFT: Yeah.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is it true that the -- even the Democrats don't want to put anybody in -- a lot them don't want to put anybody in the race.

MR. BUCHANAN: They're going to have to, John.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And secondly, they do want him recalled because they want to saddle this on a Republican. Is that true?

MR. O'DONNELL: They don't want the recall.


MS. CLIFT: Well, they're 1,000 percent Gray Davis right now, but that could change by the deadline of August 9.

But listen, I would not count out Gray Davis. He's a street fighter. And I think one of the reasons Schwarzenegger is not going to get in, because he knows his personal life would be bared by Gray Davis.

MR. BUCHANAN: Look for -- (inaudible) -- they may push a Democrat onto that ticket as insurance --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think Davis has any possible chance?


MR. BLANKLEY: Yes, I think --


MR. O'DONNELL: He has a chance. But Leon Panetta has a much better idea.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I don't think Davis has a chance. ####