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THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN PANEL: PATRICK BUCHANAN, MSNBC; ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK; MONICA CROWLEY, SYNDICATED RADIO COMMENTATOR; CLARENCE PAGE, THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE TAPED: FRIDAY, MAY 9, 2008 BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF MAY 10-11, 2008

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DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: No Matter How Far.

(Video clips are shown of Senator Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail while "The Impossible Dream" is played.)

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hillary on her quest, following her star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far. So goes the song.

Question: Should Hillary Clinton stay in the presidential race, or should Hillary quit? Let's start with quit; some reasons why Hillary should quit.

One, party unity. The faceoff between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is causing the Democratic bosses to fret. They think the infighting will hurt in the general election. They want Hillary and Barack to join hands and sing "Kumbayah."

Two, racial split. The Clinton-Obama contest appears to be rooted in race. Obama wins nine out of 10 African-American voters, Clinton six out of 10 white voters. This polarization mortifies the Democrats.

Three, money woes. Clinton had $9 million to spend at the start of April, compared to Obama's whopping $42 million. And Hillary has lent her campaign $12 million of her own money. If this keeps up, Hillary and Bill will soon become wards of the state.

Four, arithmetic. Hillary cannot win by reason of the current count of Democratic delegates. A candidate needs 2,025 delegates to win. Hillary is 329 delegates short of that goal, Obama 179 short. The remaining six Democratic contests will yield only 217 pledged delegates. It's practically impossible for Hillary to win all 217 delegates. And even if she did, she'd still be short.

The super-delegates, of course, do have the authority and the power to shift the nomination right up until the time of the November election. But barring another skeleton in Obama's closet, the super- delegates will echo the pledged delegates.

Just to clarify, 2,025 is the number of delegates needed to win the nomination, not including Florida and Michigan. If you include Florida and Michigan, the number of delegates needed is 2,209.

Question: You don't put up another $6.4 million of your own money, now totaling $12 million for the Clintons, without a game plan. What's Hillary's game plan? Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: Hillary's game plan is to slaughter him in West Virginia on Tuesday, whip him in Kentucky, make a tight race in Oregon the same day, and run all over him in Puerto Rico, to get Ickes and the guys at the credentials committee to demand that Florida and Michigan be seated, have a battle over that, take it to the convention, and hope, in the four months between now and then, John, they get a game changer -- a Reverend Wright, a scandal, something that says Hillary can win this election, but Barack Obama, despite the fact he's got more pledged delegates and more delegates, he can't win. It's an improbable course. It is not impossible.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: That's an option that you lay out. But, look, the Clintons know it's over. All you had to look at was the expression on Bill Clinton's face as he stood behind her on the night of the primary this week.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Really? MS. CLIFT: Yes. And what's happening now is she's going to play out the last six contests. She's going to win half of them. She's going to go out on a high. But I believe that she is going to temper her rhetoric. She's going to become the Democratic version of Mike Huckabee. She's going to start attacking John McCain and she's going to be coaxing her supporters, who are quite passionate, towards Barack Obama.

This is the beginning of party unity, because she knows if she follows the option you just laid out, that the stench of playing racial politics will stick to her when she tries to return to Capitol Hill and will damage --

MS. CROWLEY: I totally disagree.

MS. CLIFT: -- the rest of (her career ?).

MS. CROWLEY: (Laughs.) I totally disagree.

MS. CLIFT: She's got to go out on a high note.

MR. BUCHANAN: That is very unfair. She's not running a racist campaign.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat, let Monica in.

MS. CROWLEY: No, I totally disagree with Eleanor on her approach. I think that she has so much invested in this race, she is going to go full out, burn-down-the-barn-and-everything-inside strategy in order to try to win this.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the game plan?

MS. CROWLEY: Well, I think what's going to happen is we've all heard that Barack Obama, on May 20th, when he's expected to get the number of pledged delegates that he needs to get this nomination, he's going to hold a victory rally. I think that Hillary is going to hold a competing rally on that same day. June 3rd comes; it's the last day of the primaries.

I think at that point, when it becomes totally clear that the super-delegates are gravitating toward him in big numbers publicly, I think she is going to suspend her campaign -- not end it, but suspend it, in order to husband her resources, stop the financial hemorrhaging, and put into place a war plan for the convention based, as Pat said, around Florida and Michigan.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, suppose she wants the super- delegates, as a matter of record, to sign up how they're going to vote. Isn't that going to give her until the convention? And can't she demand that so that she doesn't have to leave the race in June? MS. CROWLEY: Well, with all of the delegates, pledged delegates and super-delegates, they are pledged -- in other words, they are committed to a candidate, but they're not bound, meaning she has that period of time between June 3rd and the convention to get these delegates to switch.

Now, barring some catastrophic event --

MS. CLIFT: The super-delegates are never going to let it get --

MS. CROWLEY: -- blowing up in Barack Obama's face --

MS. CLIFT: The super-delegates are never going to let it get to that point, even though it may be --

MS. CROWLEY: They may not, but if it's up to Hillary --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: She could request -- she could demand --

MS. CROWLEY: -- she will carry it forward.

MS. CLIFT: No way.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: She could demand that they record their vote at the convention.

MR. PAGE: It won't get to the convention.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: And they have to yield to that.

MR. PAGE: It won't get to the convention.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: The credentials committee will see to it that that happens.

MS. CLIFT: It's not going to happen.

MR. PAGE: They won't let it happen.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why wouldn't she do that?

MR. PAGE: They're not going to let it happen. I mean, there's a building amount of rage and impatience with the way the Clintons are playing this right now. The party knows it'll be disastrous to have a big fight at the convention. They want to settle this by early June. And the pressure is --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: So you're writing her obituary too. MR. PAGE: When you saw George McGovern tell her to drop out, you knew it was over. (Laughs.)

MS. CLIFT: That's not an obituary.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, here is Hillary --

MS. CLIFT: It's a graceful exit.

MR. PAGE: Right.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Here is Hillary describing where she's got her winning coalition. "I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on. An Associated Press article found how Senator Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me. There's a pattern emerging here. These are the people you have to win if you're a Democrat, in sufficient numbers, to actually win the election. Everybody knows that," unquote.

Is Hillary right? Does she have the hard-working white Americans, especially whites, who have not completed college? And is Obama's coalition of the young and liberals and African-Americans too narrow to carry the general election? Is she right?

MS. CROWLEY: She is right on the facts. When you take a look at the demographic breakdowns of the voters that have gone for Obama, the voters that, by and large, have gone for her, she is right on the facts.

The problem here is that the subtext of what is being read into her comments is race-baiting. It's essentially saying, "Look, I've gotten all of these white voters. These white voters are not necessarily going to vote for the black guy in November. Therefore, before it's too late, you all had better sign up for me."

MR. BUCHANAN: All right, John --

MS. CROWLEY: Whether that's fair or not, given the fact that the Clintons throughout this campaign have played the race card over and over again, the criticism is --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Which elections has Obama won since Wright appeared on the scene?

MS. CROWLEY: He has won one -- North Carolina.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: And Mississippi.

MS. CROWLEY: North Carolina. DR. MCLAUGHLIN: He won them by getting 90 percent of the black vote --

MR. BUCHANAN: John, what Hillary --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- in both states. So he relies on the blacks.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, let me --

MR. PAGE: Don't forget the moral victory in Indiana.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: What?

MR. PAGE: Don't forget the moral victory in Indiana. I mean, that was within two percentage points.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, what did Hillary do, though? She made the mistake of advancing this idea on gasoline, and he took her to the cleaners for that and he got his own problem with Wright off page one. So Hillary brought that on herself.

MR. PAGE: Yeah, she brought that on herself, and he played it right.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: The fact of the matter is she won Indiana.

MR. PAGE: The fact is --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: She won Texas. She won Ohio. She won Indiana. She won a fourth state. What was it?

MR. PAGE: We're talking about Democratic primary voters, though.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, let me get in here. Look --

MS. CLIFT: Right. If she were running for the Republican nomination, she'd be doing great. (Laughs.)

MR. BUCHANAN: John, here is exactly what she's saying. "I have a coalition of the white working class and the lower-income folks and the Catholics and the ethnics," who are the Reagan Democrats, who go Democratic in some elections, Republican in others. Obama's vote, which is African-American, the elites, the eggheads, the young, the energized, MoveOn.org, they were always Democratic. She's got a very valid political case. It's the same case I've been making.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but, first of all --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let him finish. Go ahead.

MS. CLIFT: (Inaudible.)

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let him finish. Let him finish. MR. BUCHANAN: What she's saying is, "I can win the swing voters, and he can't."

MR. PAGE: Obama --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: I want to hear Eleanor.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Inaudible) -- argument.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let Eleanor in.

MS. CLIFT: First of all, if you're one of the Hillary Democrats you've been talking about all over television and you vote for her, it doesn't necessarily mean you're not going to vote for Obama. It also doesn't necessarily mean that you would vote for her in the fall.

MR. BUCHANAN: You're right.

MS. CLIFT: You might vote for McCain.

MR. BUCHANAN: You're right. I'm saying you're right.

MS. CLIFT: But Barack Obama --

MR. BUCHANAN: What I'm saying is she's got an argument, Eleanor, and she's got a right to make it.

MS. CLIFT: Yes, but so does he. So does he.

MR. BUCHANAN: But you said it's (racist ?).

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me try this on.

MR. PAGE: You didn't say it was racist.

MS. CLIFT: If you'd let me finish my statement, I would like to do that. Look, Barack Obama has not paid enough attention to seniors and to working-class whites, and he needs to do better in that area. But he's not --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: So it's a failure of attention.

MS. CLIFT: Yes. And he will --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: If he can show that attention, he'll win them over. MS. CLIFT: That is the electorate of yesterday. He is building the electorate of tomorrow. And it is built more on young people --

MS. CROWLEY: Here's why --

MS. CLIFT: But I'm not saying anybody is necessarily racist here, but they are exploiting racial fears in the Democratic primaries --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, come, come. They're simply doing a tally of who's on which side.

MR. PAGE: It's only racial if you exploit it.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Go ahead.

MS. CROWLEY: You can interpret Hillary's comments any way you see fit, but the reason it has particular power attracting Reagan Democrats and so on is because the alternative on the Republican side is John McCain, who has enormous draw and appeal to moderates and independents. That is the basis of her argument.

MS. CLIFT: Reagan Democrats are not moderates and independents, and that's where Barack Obama does well.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me pull this together.

MS. CROWLEY: No, but they will vote for --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let me pull it together. Excuse me.

(Cross-talk.)

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Excuse me. These are the reasons why she should stay in the race: Electability; experience; 366 delegates; a possible October surprise regarding Obama. We know all about Hillary. I mean, her record has been public for years, and all of her shortcomings. Her husband Bill brings a lot to the ticket, particularly in healing the relationships of Americans around the world. Those are what she can boast about.

Exit question: What is the net here? The net. Is it possible for Hillary or is it a net impossible?

MR. BUCHANAN: No, it is not impossible. But as I said, it is improbable. She can do all the things I said and run a perfect course, but something else has to intervene, whether it's a scandal or Rezko or Reverend Wright's cousin coming out of the closet. She needs something else that's a game changer.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about the idea of experience, that this will emerge? MR. BUCHANAN: Look, she's -- no, no. Look, all her arguments have been made, and she's done very well, and she's headed for a close second-place finish unless something intervenes, a game changer.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: A debate. A debate.

MR. BUCHANAN: A couple of debates which he lost might help. I don't think that would do it.

MR. PAGE: We keep waiting for game changers.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: The only way she wins is if Barack Obama implodes. And if she is holding the fuse and lights the match, there's no way that she gets up to pick up the pieces if that does happen.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: What does that --

MS. CLIFT: But she should stay in the race and she should change her tone, which I believe she will. She needs Barack Obama to do well for her own reputation, and he needs both Bill and Hillary in the fall to win. And I think they're all smart enough and grown enough and political enough --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's the answer to the question?

MS. CLIFT: -- to come to this.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: A net impossible?

MS. CLIFT: Net impossible. I think we answered it, you know.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you say net impossible?

MS. CLIFT: An act almost of God would have to intervene.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: She says it's not possible.

MR. BUCHANAN: Improbable but not impossible.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: What is it?

MS. CROWLEY: Nothing in American politics is impossible. It is a net difficult for her. I think the incline of the mountain that she's climbing just got a whole lot steeper. But, look, anything could happen. Anything could hit Obama, which is why I believe she is going to stay in this --

MS. CLIFT: She will look ridiculous if she stays too long.

MR. PAGE: You know, you're waiting around till the Rezko string is played out, Reverend Wright string is played out. Obama was not hurt badly by -- in Indiana and North Carolina he came out very well. The negotiating process has already begun. Obama may even help pay off some of Hillary's debts. They're going to come to a deal on the delegates from Florida and Michigan. Democrats are going to show remarkably miraculous coming together, like in 1992 at the New York convention.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: You don't think his base is too narrow?

MR. PAGE: Who, Obama's base?

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah.

MR. PAGE: You know, we're talking about Democratic primary voters. Where are they going to go in the general? Obama has brought in so many new swing voters, young voters. Those are the kind of folks that the party does not want to lose in November. He does have to reach out to older people. There's a great argument for him to ask her to be his running mate.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: She's talking about her strength is in the white working male and female.

MR. PAGE: You know, Obama does pretty good --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: There are a lot of those out there.

MR. PAGE: Obama was doing pretty good with working-class white folks before Reverend Wright came along -- (inaudible). And I think he --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: It didn't help him that much in Mississippi. It didn't help him that much in North Carolina.

MR. PAGE: In North Carolina it was about, what, four to one, Hillary won white working-class voters. Indiana was about three to two.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: She was also --

MR. PAGE: I think he's got a possibility here. He's got a lot more room to work with.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: She was eating into also the young affluent. She ate into that --

MR. BUCHANAN: In Pennsylvania. MR. PAGE: Pennsylvania, yeah.

MR. BUCHANAN: She took Bucks County and Montgomery County in Pennsylvania.

MR. PAGE: Right. She didn't do as well in Indiana as in Pennsylvania.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, he's got a problem and he's got to solve it.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is it's a net possible.

Issue Two: Medvedev for Putin.

Vladimir Putin out as Russia's president; Dmitry Medvedev in. Medvedev is Russia's new president. He hinted this week that the authoritarianism of the Putin era may become thawed.

At his Kremlin inauguration, Medvedev pledged to fulfill his five principal campaign commitments: One, to modernize Russia's economy; two, to encourage the growth of the middle class; three, to renew Russia's crumbling infrastructure; four, to establish the rule of law; and five, to call on the nation to overcome the legal nihilism which has hurt Russia.

As for Vladimir Putin, the former president was nominated by Medvedev immediately after Medvedev was sworn in by Putin. Medvedev nominated Putin to become Russia's prime minister. Putin was then overwhelmingly confirmed by the Duma, the Russian congress.

The first challenge to President Medvedev is whether Putin, as prime minister, will still actually retain the lion's share of Russia's state power.

Question: Will Medvedev be his own man, or will Putin be the puppeteer? Monica Crowley.

MS. CROWLEY: Well, I think there's no question that Medvedev was his hand-picked successor and he will be his absolute puppet, and therefore will continue and extend the policies of the Putin government.

Let's not forget that the Cold War never ended in large part because of Putin's foreign policies. Every single hostile threat that the United States faces in the world is somehow derived out of Russian support. And here I'm talking about the Russians support the Iranian nuclear program; the Russians support China and propping up North Korea and its nuclear program. They extort Eastern Europe on its oil supply. They've been wholly unhelpful in the Middle East. And, you know, domestically the Russians now, they've completely gone back to authoritarianism of the kind that we saw under the jack boot of Soviet totalitarianism. DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, come, come, come.

MS. CROWLEY: Putin has cracked down on press briefings and political --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: He's got an 80 percent positive rating from the public.

MS. CROWLEY: Well, there is a drive in Russia for that kind of authoritarianism.

MS. CLIFT: Medvedev is another generation from Putin. He's a post-Cold War baby, if you will. He was born after the Stalin years. If you read his remarks that he made in his inauguration, he talks a lot about restoring civil institutions. He does want to bring the old Soviet Union and Russia into the modern age, and he knows that he has to move closer to the West.

So, I mean, I think Putin is still very powerful. This is obviously his hand-picked successor. But this is a new president, a new generation, with his own ideas.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: He can't be that far distant in his thinking from Putin. Putin picked him as his successor.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but he's got a lot of oil wealth to play with, and I think that he wants to bring Russia to the next level, as we put it, in strategic plans.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: I disagree entirely with Monica. I think the United States is, in large part, responsible for the renewal of the Cold War by moving NATO into their face, by cutting them out of oil revenues and things like that, by moving those missiles in there.

What the United States should do, John, is this. Split these two guys. Bring Medvedev over here, treat him like the president of Russia, take him to Camp David, talk to him. Let's see if he's going to be an independent guy. There are some people who think Putin -- if Medvedev does well, Putin will give it up.

Our natural ally in this world right now with regard to China as the rising power is Russia. And Reagan -- Nixon split those two up. Reagan turned it from the evil empire into a place where they're slapping him on the back on Red Square. And if we had real leadership, that's exactly what we'd do again. And the idea of kicking them out of the G-8 is one of the stupidest ideas that's out on the table.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's hear Clarence. MR. PAGE: You know, Pat and I have so much agreement here, it's frightening. (Laughter.) But it's true. Medvedev does come from a different generation. He does not come out of the old secret police the way that Putin did. He does tend to think in terms of international capitalism. He's a guy we could -- I don't know if I'd go as far as Margaret Thatcher and say we can deal with him, but we can certainly talk to him. We can do business with him. But maybe we can do business with him. I think it's something --

MS. CROWLEY: The -- (inaudible) -- argument is so naive.

Just because --

MR. PAGE: The way to tell if he's a sock puppet or not is to see what he does feel about Iran, how he does feel about the --

MS. CROWLEY: Just because --

MR. PAGE: -- (inaudible) -- North Korea.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is that Putin will provide checks and balances, but Putin will not be the puppeteer. Medvedev will emerge on his own.

Issue Three: U.S. Code, Title 36.

The American flag is more than a star-spangled banner. It's an icon, and we are taught to revere it. In fact, U.S. law requires that we do so. Here's the law. United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 7, Section 171, says, quote, "All present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag, with the right hand over the heart. Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should render the military salute at the first note of the anthem and retain this position until the last note. When the flag is not displayed, those present should face towards the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed there," unquote.

While former presidential contenders Governor Bill Richardson and Obama's current rival Hillary follow this flag code, Obama clearly does not.

Question: Will the Republicans be able to exploit Obama's lack of respect for the national anthem? Clarence Page.

MR. PAGE: Those visuals were September 2007, I would point out, and Obama has been seen putting his hand over his heart, believe it or not. So I don't think that --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Since September?

MR. PAGE: Yes. DR. MCLAUGHLIN: For the past eight months.

MR. PAGE: Yes. It is a -- well, there is, though, a -- (inaudible) -- Internet campaign that's been going on for months showing that still shot of him not with his hand over his heart. And this reinforces the false rumors of him being a secret Muslim and heaven knows what else out there. So I think the patriotism question has been raised in regard to the flag pin. He's the only candidate who gets asked about that, not Clinton or McCain.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, the whole Republican strategy will be to paint Obama outside of the mainstream of American politics as an exotic, someone who looks down his nose at traditional patriotism, who's got this crazy preacher and whose wife is not proud to be an American. If they can move him out of the center of politics, Republicans think it's their only chance to beat him.

MS. CLIFT: I think he has stood up to some of those scurrilous charges. And I think the American voters understand the difference between faux patriotism and somebody who truly loves his country. And I think he is talking more about how he has benefited from this country and how much he loves this country.

And I think you saw the recent week or so his children were on the campaign trail; ways to tell Americans, "I am just like you. I am not some exotic (creature ?) -- (inaudible)." (Laughter.) And I think he has a fine, fine intelligence and a sense of grace. I think he'll pull it off.

MS. CROWLEY: He started to do that, though, after these kinds of images started bubbling up and it became a real problem for him. I think Pat is right that the Republicans are going to try -- well, and they don't need a lot of help here, because he's the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate -- that he is on the far left wing of the Democratic Party, meaning the radical left, meaning the far left of the American voting public.

And you know what they're going to do? They're going to say, look, all this stuff in isolation doesn't really mean much -- the flag pin, not putting the hand over the heart. But when you put it together with the associations with Wright and Ayers and Rezko, there's this idea that he's not particularly connected to America.

MS. CLIFT: Oh, please.

MS. CROWLEY: And that is something that he's going to have to --

MR. PAGE: You know, so far McCain's been getting a free ride. And, believe me, people are going to work on him. He's going to have a great fight -- (inaudible) -- war going on here.

MS. CLIFT: (Inaudible) -- not particularly connected to America. MS. CROWLEY: That's right. And that description has stuck, Eleanor. That's why he's bringing his kids on the campaign trail.

MS. CLIFT: He went to one of our finest universities. He was elected from one of our major states.

(Cross-talk.)

MS. CROWLEY: He's on the far left, where America is the villain.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think she put her finger right on it. The Harvard intelligentsia somehow thinks that saluting the flag is redneck.

MR. BUCHANAN: The National Journal said he's --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you know any academics at Harvard that like salute the flag?

MR. BUCHANAN: No, no --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do they wear the pin and the --

MR. BUCHANAN: They veto the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag up there, John, and that's --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean, Dukakis did it in 1988, didn't he?

MR. BUCHANAN: The guy's got a voting record in the Senate to the left of Bernie Sanders, the socialist.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: So you don't have to go any further except Harvard as far as Obama is concerned.

MR. BUCHANAN: That's part of it. That's part of it.

MS. CLIFT: (Inaudible) -- in the sense of what he has received in this country, and he is grateful for it, and he is letting us know that. And in terms of his liberalism, the country is liberal. The country wants out of --

MR. BUCHANAN: No --

MS. CLIFT: The country wants universal health care. He is on the right side of the issues.

MR. BUCHANAN: Let him declare himself a liberal and he's gone.

MR. PAGE: Look, (you don't ?) need to be put on the defensive about this.

MS. CLIFT: You're the one calling names. MR. PAGE: You know, he has the attributes --

MR. BUCHANAN: Why is it a name? (Laughs.)

MR. PAGE: -- that conservatives want to see young black men become, except a Republican. That's the only thing that he lacks.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about Lawrence Summers' series of articles -- he wrote a couple for the Financial Times -- in which he described globalism as the new shibboleth and credo, and there is a stateless elite that only regards a global commitment?

MR. BUCHANAN: Exactly. That's --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is that part of this too?

MR. PAGE: That sounds like Pat Buchanan, doesn't it?

MR. BUCHANAN: Look, this is populism -- John, the great enemy of populism today and conservatism and traditionalism is globalism.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Forced prediction: Who will McCain pick as his running mate?

MR. BUCHANAN: Mitt Romney.

MS. CLIFT: Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

MS. CROWLEY: Charlie Crist, Florida governor.

MR. PAGE: Condoleezza Rice.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Buchanan is right. It will be Mitt Romney.

Happy Mother's Day. Bye-bye.

END.