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THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN PANEL: PATRICK BUCHANAN, MSNBC; ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK; MONICA CROWLEY, SYNDICATED RADIO COMMENTATOR; MICHELLE BERNARD, INDEPENDENT WOMEN'S FORUM TAPED: FRIDAY, JUNE 6, 2008 BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF JUNE 7-8, 2008

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DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: The Big Mo, the Big O.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee): (From videotape.) Tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another -- (cheers, applause) -- a journey that will bring a new and better day to America. Because of you, tonight I can stand here and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for the president of the United States of America. (Cheers, applause.)

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: The epic Democratic presidential nomination race now, alas, appears to be over. Barack triumphed. SEN. OBAMA: (From videotape.) America, this is our moment. (Cheers, applause.) This is our time -- our time to turn the page on the policies of the past.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: On a history-making scale, zero to 10, zero meaning "ho-hum," 10 meaning "wow," how history-making is this moment? Pat Buchanan.

MR. BUCHANAN: If he wins the presidency, it's a 10. I think it's between a nine and a nine and a half right now, John, because it was inevitable that African-Americans, who represent 20 to 25 percent of the entire Democratic Party, would be on a national ticket sometime, and soon. The fact he's an African-American has helped him enormously with that constituency, where Hillary Clinton got Goldwater-level support.

And the second thing it helped him is he's a very articulate anti-war candidate who was against the war in a party whose base is overwhelmingly anti-war. He moved out in front of the other anti-war candidates like Edwards, got into the finals with Hillary, and his abilities as a political athlete and his outstanding organization and planning, they brought him to the nomination. I'd say a nine and a half. If he wins the presidency, it's a 10.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think his organization and he himself brought about this, or do you think it was a failure of Clinton's organization principally?

MS. CLIFT: Oh, I think Hillary Clinton made some mistakes, principally voting for the war in October 2002, which gave him sort of the moral underpinning for his campaign. And then she didn't contest the caucus states, so he built up his lead.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, that's the point. They thought everything was going to stop on Super Tuesday. They built it around Super Tuesday, and that was a mistake, and they had no campaign structure beyond that. Is that true?

MS. CLIFT: Yes. And as we've -- well, they didn't have any money beyond that and they didn't have a plan. And as we've said on this show many times, Obama got more delegates out of Idaho in caucus, in a state that the Democrats will never win, than Hillary got with a big-state victory in New Jersey.

But this is huge historically. I mean, this is a country with an economy that was built on slavery. In my lifetime, black people were attacked with dogs and fire hoses for trying to integrate public facilities. This really represents a generational change. And it's not so much the African-Americans that have made this inevitable within the Democratic Party. It's the young people. And the millennials, 18 to 29, they're gender-blind, race-neutral, and they're excited about Barack Obama like they have not been about any other political figure in some time. DR. MCLAUGHLIN: You make it sound as though this is the first time we've had a black president. (Laughter.)

MS. CLIFT: Well, we have --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Warren G. Harding was a Negro.

MS. CLIFT: Well, we had a black president on television.

MR. BUCHANAN: Warren G. Harding had African-American --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: What?

MR. BUCHANAN: You're right. Warren G. Harding, it was said -- and I think it's probably true -- did have some African-American blood.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: The considered historical opinion today is that he was black --

MR. BUCHANAN: No, he --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- because of the one-ounce rule or the multiple -- you know, multiplication (of that ?).

MR. BUCHANAN: I'm not getting into the one-ounce rule.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: This is Clarence's position.

MR. BUCHANAN: (Laughs.)

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is this history or not? Is it false history?

MS. CLIFT: He didn't identify himself as such.

MS. CROWLEY: No, this is real history. Look, we're all so exhausted from this primary season that it's difficult to remember that this is one history-making run defeating another history-making run in Hillary Clinton. I think that his race, of course, makes this historic.

But even beyond that really striking thing about this is that it took a black candidate, and a very talented black candidate, to finally finish off the Clintons. There were plenty of talented white candidates in this race -- John Edwards, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd. None of them could ever gain any traction against Hillary and Bill Clinton. It took this black candidate, who comes from a different generation, goes out representing a different kind of politics, to finally put us all out of the Clintonian misery. Look, the Clintons would have --

MS. CLIFT: You know, Monica -- DR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'm not clear on --

MS. CLIFT: -- the Clintons aren't going away.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you saying --

MS. CROWLEY: I agree with you. I agree with you.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you saying because he was black, he won the race?

MS. CROWLEY: I'm saying that that was an extraordinary representation. It was an extraordinary characteristic that he brought to the table.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: You don't see his inherent political talent, his astuteness, his intelligence?

MS. CROWLEY: I said both of those things.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, a white candidate could not have done it.

MS. CROWLEY: Both of those things -- that's correct. Both of those things worked to his enormous advantage here. Look, the Clinton war machine has bulldozed everybody and everything in its path for 20 years.

It took an extraordinary black candidate to finally stop that.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: I don't like the tone of this.

MS. CLIFT: It took an extraordinary candidate, race aside.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: I don't like the tone of letting his --

MS. CROWLEY: There were plenty of extraordinary candidates.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: I don't like the statements of laying this up to the fact that he's a black man. Do you agree with me?

MS. BERNARD: I agree with you. I respectfully disagree with anyone who will ever say that a white candidate could not have done this.

MS. CLIFT: I agree.

MS. BERNARD: You've got to think about this. This is really absolutely amazing what we have witnessed. Barack Obama had everything going against him. No one had ever heard of him before. He has a name that most people don't understand. They don't know where it comes from. It's not like Pat or John or Jeffrey.

Yes, you know, he has been the beneficiary of a fantastic, you know, college education, law education. But no one knew who he was. We are a nation whose original sin was slavery. This guy has come. He has worked hard. He has made a name for himself. He knocked the Clintons out of the box. And quite frankly, what most people don't talk about is the dirty little secret is that the Clintons had the African-American vote completely tied up. I had African-American --

MS. CROWLEY: That's making my point.

MS. BERNARD: But this an important point to make.

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah, but are you --

MS. BERNARD: I had African-Americans of your generation who would say to me, "Forget Barack Obama. He's a spoiler. He's taking this race away from Hillary Clinton, and he can't possibly make it." MR. BUCHANAN: Are you telling me that if he were white, he would have beaten Hillary Clinton with 92 percent of the black vote in Philadelphia? That's ridiculous.

MS. BERNARD: Hillary Clinton had 92 percent of the black vote and she lost it.

MR. BUCHANAN: But why? (Laughs.)

MS. BERNARD: She lost it because -- well, South Carolina was the beginning of the end. When her husband tied Barack Obama to Jesse Jackson, it was the beginning of the end of her campaign.

MR. BUCHANAN: He got 75 percent of the black vote in South Carolina.

MS. CROWLEY: He won 92 percent of the black vote --

MS. BERNARD: Well, how do you -- but why do you diminish the importance of all the white votes he got in Iowa?

MR. BUCHANAN: I'm not. I'm saying if it weren't for the black vote, and, of course, what Hillary says, the youth and the energized people -- they brought it together -- he would not have won.

MS. BERNARD: Sure. And all of them -- (inaudible) -- white people who click on the Internet to Obama.com, and they keep giving him money. That's not all black people.

MS. CLIFT: Yes. And his vote --

MS. CROWLEY: We're not saying that.

MR. BUCHANAN: Nobody's saying that.

MS. CLIFT: His vote against the war, his eloquence, his ability to assemble a movement in the country, which Howard Dean did to some extent in 2004, all of these things taken together --

MR. BUCHANAN: But one of them is the African-American vote, isn't it?

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but Hillary had white women. I mean, every candidate has their --

MR. BUCHANAN: I'm not saying it's a bad thing.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. The investigators --

MS. CLIFT: It's not necessarily determinative.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: The investigative press on the case. (Begin videotaped segment.)

BRIAN WILLIAMS (NBC News): What's your biggest hurdle, as you view it, from the perch of less than 24 hours as the presumed nominee of your party?

SEN. OBAMA: I think that, so far, at least, what we've been seeing from the Republicans is the attempt to paint me as a very risky choice as president, partly around national security, but partly around cultural issues, and, you know, "He's got a funny name and we don't know where he's coming from; you know, he may be not sufficiently patriotic." I think that's going to be the race they run.

(End videotaped segment.)

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: When asked what's his biggest hurdle, Obama recited, as you just heard, a laundry list of Republican negative attacks that could be brought against him. Is this smart politics? I ask you, Monica.

MS. CROWLEY: Yeah. He's trying to co-opt it. He's trying to neutralize it by laying it all out there, saying --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is it good politics?

MS. CROWLEY: -- saying he recognizes what the Republicans are going to come at him with, and he's trying to neutralize it to the extent he can. I think his biggest hurdle going into this race is essentially none of those things, but it's the idea that he is a liberal; the most liberal member of the United States Senate is going to undermine him to a greater extent than any of those things.

MS. CLIFT: You know, if you equate liberalism with Democrats, conservatism then gets associated with Republicans. And Tom Davis, Virginia Republican, just wrote a memo to party leaders saying that the Republican brand has been so damaged, if it were dog food, they'd take it off the shelves. (Laughter.) The country is liberal when it --

MS. CROWLEY: It is not, Eleanor.

MS. CLIFT: -- comes to wanting to end the war in Vietnam (sic). They're liberal when they want health care.

MR. BUCHANAN: John, his problem --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: There is another point that can be made.

MR. BUCHANAN: John -- DR. MCLAUGHLIN: There is another point that can be made here. There was a Republican in this face-off, and that Republican, de facto, was Hillary Clinton. She assumed more and more of the profile of a Republican. Yes or no?

MR. BUCHANAN: Yes, you're right.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes or no?

MR. BUCHANAN: Yes, you're right to this extent. But Barack Obama is right in sort of elevating what they're going to do, and that is what they're going to do. What they're going to do is ideologically, socially, culturally, they're going to paint him as a man of the untrustworthy McGovernite left --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: There's something else.

MR. BUCHANAN: -- and someone who can't handle foreign policy.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: There is something else.

MR. BUCHANAN: What is it? What is it?

MS. CLIFT: Nobody remembers George McGovern except you, Pat Buchanan. (Laughter.) That's an old --

MR. BUCHANAN: They did Dukakis too. (Laughs.)

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, we've got to get out. We've got to get out. There's something else that he did not mention when he was listing his hurdles.

This is the way the list of the hurdles ran. Which obvious hurdle did he omit, did he not include, Pat Buchanan?

MR. BUCHANAN: Did he not include? He's a man of the left culturally, socially, ideologically, politically, every way. Well, he didn't omit the race thing. He says Republicans are going to do the Barack Obama -- the Hussein Obama thing. I don't think Republicans are going to do that; maybe the 527s.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did he omit the experience factor? He's never held an executive position.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, no, he said that he doesn't know enough about foreign policy. That's the experience thing.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Foreign policy. That's the experience factor.

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: But it was veiled, was it not?

MS. CLIFT: I don't think he said --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's a big thing that he left out.

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah. You can't trust him. He's too young and inexperienced.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Could that do him in, the fact that his resume is slender?

MS. CLIFT: No, because there is so much disgust and disappointment with all the long Washington resumes that haven't delivered. The country is ready to do something different. And he is addressing these issues head-on. When he went before AIPAC, which is the powerhouse Jewish lobby, he basically said, "You know that guy you read about on the Internet? If I bumped up into him, I'd find him pretty scary too." I think he's going to address these things. And again --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: He didn't. MS. CLIFT: -- there's a new politics struggling to be born here. Pat Buchanan's old politics will be played out there. (Laughter.) But I think the American people --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: He didn't save himself with AIPAC. Hillary saved him with AIPAC.

MR. BUCHANAN: No, no. He --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hillary said, "I am certain that he is a great friend of Israel."

MR. BUCHANAN: John, he sounded like --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes or no? Yes or no?

MS. CROWLEY: That is true. Here is where his lack of experience is going to trip him up. It's not going to be because the Republicans are going to come screaming, saying his resume is thin gruel. He is going to trip himself up. He's already done that on talking to terrorists without preconditions; now he's willing to set preconditions. On the status of undivided Jerusalem, now he's backtracking from that. His lack of experience is going to undermine him.

MR. BUCHANAN: Look, he is --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Michelle.

MS. BERNARD: It will be -- his experience will be difficult. And I think what we will see Obama do is he will continue to turn the argument to the economy, and John McCain is going to focus on foreign policy. That's the Republican strength. That's the Democratic strength we're going to keep hearing -- Iran, Iran, Iran and Iraq.

MR. BUCHANAN: The Republican attack groups will stay off foreign policy and the economy, and they're going to go after Obama, because this election is about Barack Obama. They want the Republicans out. The question is, "Do we want this guy who seems inexperienced, has got these kooky friends?" It's the Reagan question. If he's prepared and they've got confidence in him, the Republicans will go out and he'll go in.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: We've got to get out.

MS. CLIFT: Or do we want to take a chance with this guy with his kooky friends, or do we want to go for a third term of Bush-Cheney?

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you talking about John "McSane"? (Laughter.)

We've got to get out. We've got to get out. He's got two concerns. One is his qualifications on the basis of his experience. And second, he may have the problem with appearing to be a closet radical.

When we come back, can Hillary still become the Democratic presidential nominee? What are the odds?

(Announcements.)

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: What Hillary Wants.

Hillary's endorsement of Barack and her other commitments to him do not change what Hillary really wants -- the presidency. For that reversal of fortune, she needs four things.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY): (From videotape.) "What does Hillary want? What does she want?" Well --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hillary wants, number one, count the popular vote, not just the delegate vote. Clinton leads the popular vote by a 200,000-vote margin. Harold Ickes, Hillary's senior adviser, says the super-delegates who control the convention three months from now should give Hillary the popular dominant place in their final nomination decision.

HAROLD ICKES (Clinton adviser and Democratic Party Rules and Bylaws Committee member): (From videotape.) We think the popular vote is a very, very strong measure.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Number two, Hillary wants super-delegates to understand that they do have the discretion to include the popular vote in the final Democratic nomination.

MR. ICKES: (From videotape.) The popular vote should be weighed heavily by the remaining super-delegates in making the final decision.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Number three, Hillary wants the super-delegates and everybody else to realize that the August 27th date, almost three months from now, is the official decision-making time for who the Democratic candidate will be.

Number four, electability. It's another factor that super- delegates should include in that August convention decision-making. Electability is a stronger suit for Hillary than Barack, not because Hillary will rise in the polls, but because Barack may well sink in the polls.

Question: What is the chance of Hillary getting a reversal of fortune? I ask you, Monica.

MS. CROWLEY: Slim; getting slimmer every day. But, you know, when I think of Hillary Clinton, she reminds me of the black knight in Monty Python's quest for the Holy Grail. His opponent slices off one arm and he says, "'Tis not a problem." The other arm goes off, both legs sliced off. The black knight is a mere stump and he says, "'Tis but a scratch," and he carries on.

Hillary is a mere stump. She appears to be suspending, as I predicted, not ending her campaign, which allows her to stop the financial hemorrhaging and try to get her act together here. She may be actively trying to undermine Obama's campaign in the three months before the convention, or she may be hoping that some political IED blows up in his face. She's actually suspending her campaign, but she's not suspending her candidacy.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Michelle.

MS. BERNARD: I completely agree with Monica. I think Hillary Clinton is going to keep on going. I think behind the scenes we will see Bill Clinton continuing to call super-delegates and explain to them, for all the reasons that we just saw; particularly I think he's going to hone in on electability. And we will continue to hear behind the scenes, "Hard-working white Americans will vote for my wife. They will not vote for Barack Obama.

"

MS. CLIFT: Respectfully --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think there is persuasability of the super-delegates?

MS. BERNARD: No, I don't think that they will be persuaded by that argument, but I think that is the argument that will continue to be made.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think this could become McGovern of 1972?

MS. BERNARD: No.

MS. CLIFT: Respectfully, ladies of the right, Hillary Clinton is not a stump. She is a towering figure in the Democratic Party. And she knows she's got to do the right thing. Her candidacy is over. The super-delegates have shut it down.

MS. CROWLEY: The right thing? Eleanor, come on.

MS. CLIFT: Let me finish. The super-delegates have shut it down. Barack Obama has the nomination. She's now going to lobby to get her name put into nomination on the floor of the convention to honor the almost 18 million votes she's got.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Has Barack bought her? Has he bought her? What is he offering her? Is he offering the vice presidency?

MS. BERNARD: No, he's not offering her anything.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is he offering her a Cabinet secretary? HHS, Health and Human Services?

MS. CLIFT: She's not going to be on the ticket. She's going to be in your faces for the next four or eight years.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can she be bought?

MS. CLIFT: She -- MR. BUCHANAN: Yes.

MS. BERNARD: Of course.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can she be bought?

MR. BUCHANAN: Yes.

MS. BERNARD: Yes.

MS. CLIFT: Her candidacy is over. She does not have to be bought. She has --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, or HHS.

MS. BERNARD: HHS.

MS. CLIFT: She has to campaign for him enthusiastically because it's in her own best interest. And the same goes for Bill Clinton.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, come, come, come, come.

MS. CLIFT: Call me naive. That's what's going on.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: That sounds like such pious twaddle. (Laughter.)

MR. BUCHANAN: She wants to --

MS. CLIFT: Yours is the twaddle argument.

MR. BUCHANAN: She wants to be president of the United States. She's not going to get the nomination. The arguments are persuasive, I think, but they're not going to convince. And to be president of the United States, the best way to go is to get the vice presidential nomination if you don't get the presidential nomination. I think she wants that. I don't think she'll get it unless Barack Obama is down, say, by 8 or 10 going into his convention and he desperately needs her. I think that's what she wants.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Assuming the status quo is kept by Obama and no big problems like Reznick (sic) -- what's his name?

MS. BERNARD: Rezko. Tony Rezko.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Rezko -- trying to cut a deal on his 10 years in jail when he has a wife and three kids.

MR. BUCHANAN: Right.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's coming along. There are things coming along -- MR. BUCHANAN: There are other --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- that could upset the apple cart.

MR. BUCHANAN: There are --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that Barack is electable?

MR. BUCHANAN: I think --

MS. CLIFT: Yes.

MR. BUCHANAN: -- yes.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Careful, now, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: I would say yes if he can solve this problem -- his persona puts him in the middle, but he's got an awful lot of things that are pulling him to the left. And Republicans will paint him red.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, yeah. We know all that. Is he electable?

MR. BUCHANAN: I think he can -- he can be elected, but --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: He's got three months to go.

MR. BUCHANAN: Right now he would not be.

MS. CLIFT: This is not a left-right election. And I'll quote no less authority than Rupert Murdoch, who's predicting a landslide victory by Barack Obama --

MR. BUCHANAN: Well --

MS. CLIFT: -- which is possible.

MR. BUCHANAN: -- when was the last time you quoted Rupert? (Laughter.)

MS. CLIFT: It was negative the last time.

MS. CROWLEY: Eleanor --

MS. CLIFT: I take the quotes wherever they lead me.

MS. CROWLEY: You may be right that this is not a -- Eleanor, you --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: "Throw me a quote; it makes no difference where it comes from." (Laughter.) Quickly.

MS. CROWLEY: Eleanor, you may be right that this is not going to be a right-left election. But Barack Obama has some serious problems with core Democratic constituencies -- women, Hispanics, Jews, white working-class voters. And he's got a lot of work to do within his base --

MS. CLIFT: And those women are going to look at John McCain's record on choice and they're going to decide --

MS. CROWLEY: They're going to look for --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, ladies, let Michelle in.

Michelle, assuming everything stays more or less the same between these two candidates, do you think Barack -- that is, poll-wise -- do you think Barack is electable?

MS. BERNARD: I do. I think Barack Obama is absolutely electable. I think that there are -- the policy differences between Barack Obama and John McCain are not enormous. They are both going to be going after Reagan Democrats. They're both going to be going after independents. I think John McCain is making a bid for the African- American vote. Some of my colleagues think that's a joke, but I'm watching it. He's trying.

MR. BUCHANAN: It is a joke.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think Michelle --

MS. BERNARD: I'm not saying he's going to get it, but he's trying.

MR. BUCHANAN: But why?

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is Michelle a plus for him?

MS. BERNARD: For Senator Obama? Well, time will tell. (Laughter.)

MR. BUCHANAN: John, the decisive votes --

MS. BERNARD: She is a strong woman.

MR. BUCHANAN: The decisive vote in this election is the Hillary Democrats. If Barack Obama wins 90 percent of them, he wins the election. McCain, if he can get 25 percent, he wins.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is Michelle a radical liberal?

MS. BERNARD: No, I don't think -- I mean, I don't think so. I don't know. I don't know Michelle Obama personally. I don't know Barack Obama personally. I think that Obama is going to move to the center. And if he's going to win, he has to stay there.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: We'll be right back with predictions.

(Announcements.)

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Will Hillary be on the ticket?

MR. BUCHANAN: Perhaps.

MS. CLIFT: No.

MS. CROWLEY: No.

MS. BERNARD: No.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is it's too close to call. (Laughter.)

Bye-bye.



END.

UCHANAN: Did he not include? He's a man of the left culturally, socially, ideologically, politically, every way. Well, he didn't omit the race thing. He says Republicans are going to do the Barack Obama -- the Hussein Obama thing. I don't think Republicans are going to do that; maybe the 527s.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did he omit the experience factor? He's never held an executive position.

MR. BUCHANAN: Well, no, he said that he doesn't know enough about foreign policy. That's the experience thing.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Foreign policy. That's the experience factor.

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: But it was veiled, was it not?

MS. CLIFT: I don't think he said --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's a big thing that he left out.

MR. BUCHANAN: Yeah. You can't trust him. He's too young and inexperienced.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Could that do him in, the fact that his resume is slender?

MS. CLIFT: No, because there is so much disgust and disappointment with all the long Washington resumes that haven't delivered. The country is ready to do something different. And he is addressing these issues head-on. When he went before AIPAC, which is the powerhouse Jewish lobby, he basically said, "You know that guy you read about on the Internet? If I bumped up into him, I'd find him pretty scary too." I think he's going to address these things. And again --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: He didn't. MS. CLIFT: -- there's a new politics struggling to be born here. Pat Buchanan's old politics will be played out there. (Laughter.) But I think the American people --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: He didn't save himself with AIPAC. Hillary saved him with AIPAC.

MR. BUCHANAN: No, no. He --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hillary said, "I am certain that he is a great friend of Israel."

MR. BUCHANAN: John, he sounded like --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes or no? Yes or no?

MS. CROWLEY: That is true. Here is where his lack of experience is going to trip him up. It's not going to be because the Republicans are going to come screaming, saying his resume is thin gruel. He is going to trip himself up. He's already done that on talking to terrorists without preconditions; now he's willing to set preconditions. On the status of undivided Jerusalem, now he's backtracking from that. His lack of experience is going to undermine him.

MR. BUCHANAN: Look, he is --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Michelle.

MS. BERNARD: It will be -- his experience will be difficult. And I think what we will see Obama do is he will continue to turn the argument to the economy, and John McCain is going to focus on foreign policy. That's the Republican strength. That's the Democratic strength we're going to keep hearing -- Iran, Iran, Iran and Iraq.

MR. BUCHANAN: The Republican attack groups will stay off foreign policy and the economy, and they're going to go after Obama, because this election is about Barack Obama. They want the Republicans out. The question is, "Do we want this guy who seems inexperienced, has got these kooky friends?" It's the Reagan question. If he's prepared and they've got confidence in him, the Republicans will go out and he'll go in.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: We've got to get out.

MS. CLIFT: Or do we want to take a chance with this guy with his kooky friends, or do we want to go for a third term of Bush-Cheney?

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you talking about John "McSane"? (Laughter.)

We've got to get out. We've got to get out. He's got two concerns. One is his qualifications on the basis of his experience. And second, he may have the problem with appearing to be a closet radical.

When we come back, can Hillary still become the Democratic presidential nominee? What are the odds?

(Announcements.)

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue Two: What Hillary Wants.

Hillary's endorsement of Barack and her other commitments to him do not change what Hillary really wants -- the presidency. For that reversal of fortune, she needs four things.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY): (From videotape.) "What does Hillary want? What does she want?" Well --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hillary wants, number one, count the popular vote, not just the delegate vote. Clinton leads the popular vote by a 200,000-vote margin. Harold Ickes, Hillary's senior adviser, says the super-delegates who control the convention three months from now should give Hillary the popular dominant place in their final nomination decision.

HAROLD ICKES (Clinton adviser and Democratic Party Rules and Bylaws Committee member): (From videotape.) We think the popular vote is a very, very strong measure.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Number two, Hillary wants super-delegates to understand that they do have the discretion to include the popular vote in the final Democratic nomination.

MR. ICKES: (From videotape.) The popular vote should be weighed heavily by the remaining super-delegates in making the final decision.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Number three, Hillary wants the super-delegates and everybody else to realize that the August 27th date, almost three months from now, is the official decision-making time for who the Democratic candidate will be.

Number four, electability. It's another factor that super- delegates should include in that August convention decision-making. Electability is a stronger suit for Hillary than Barack, not because Hillary will rise in the polls, but because Barack may well sink in the polls.

Question: What is the chance of Hillary getting a reversal of fortune? I ask you, Monica.

MS. CROWLEY: Slim; getting slimmer every day. But, you know, when I think of Hillary Clinton, she reminds me of the black knight in Monty Python's quest for the Holy Grail. His opponent slices off one arm and he says, "'Tis not a problem." The other arm goes off, both legs sliced off. The black knight is a mere stump and he says, "'Tis but a scratch," and he carries on.

Hillary is a mere stump. She appears to be suspending, as I predicted, not ending her campaign, which allows her to stop the financial hemorrhaging and try to get her act together here. She may be actively trying to undermine Obama's campaign in the three months before the convention, or she may be hoping that some political IED blows up in his face. She's actually suspending her campaign, but she's not suspending her candidacy.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Michelle.

MS. BERNARD: I completely agree with Monica. I think Hillary Clinton is going to keep on going. I think behind the scenes we will see Bill Clinton continuing to call super-delegates and explain to them, for all the reasons that we just saw; particularly I think he's going to hone in on electability. And we will continue to hear behind the scenes, "Hard-working white Americans will vote for my wife. They will not vote for Barack Obama.

"

MS. CLIFT: Respectfully --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think there is persuasability of the super-delegates?

MS. BERNARD: No, I don't think that they will be persuaded by that argument, but I think that is the argument that will continue to be made.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think this could become McGovern of 1972?

MS. BERNARD: No.

MS. CLIFT: Respectfully, ladies of the right, Hillary Clinton is not a stump. She is a towering figure in the Democratic Party. And she knows she's got to do the right thing. Her candidacy is over. The super-delegates have shut it down.

MS. CROWLEY: The right thing? Eleanor, come on.

MS. CLIFT: Let me finish. The super-delegates have shut it down. Barack Obama has the nomination. She's now going to lobby to get her name put into nomination on the floor of the convention to honor the almost 18 million votes she's got.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Has Barack bought her? Has he bought her? What is he offering her? Is he offering the vice presidency?

MS. BERNARD: No, he's not offering her anything.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is he offering her a Cabinet secretary? HHS, Health and Human Services?

MS. CLIFT: She's not going to be on the ticket. She's going to be in your faces for the next four or eight years.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can she be bought?

MS. CLIFT: She -- MR. BUCHANAN: Yes.

MS. BERNARD: Of course.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can she be bought?

MR. BUCHANAN: Yes.

MS. BERNARD: Yes.

MS. CLIFT: Her candidacy is over. She does not have to be bought. She has --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, or HHS.

MS. BERNARD: HHS.

MS. CLIFT: She has to campaign for him enthusiastically because it's in her own best interest. And the same goes for Bill Clinton.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, come, come, come, come.

MS. CLIFT: Call me naive. That's what's going on.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: That sounds like such pious twaddle. (Laughter.)

MR. BUCHANAN: She wants to --

MS. CLIFT: Yours is the twaddle argument.

MR. BUCHANAN: She wants to be president of the United States. She's not going to get the nomination. The arguments are persuasive, I think, but they're not going to convince. And to be president of the United States, the best way to go is to get the vice presidential nomination if you don't get the presidential nomination. I think she wants that. I don't think she'll get it unless Barack Obama is down, say, by 8 or 10 going into his convention and he desperately needs her. I think that's what she wants.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Assuming the status quo is kept by Obama and no big problems like Reznick (sic) -- what's his name?

MS. BERNARD: Rezko. Tony Rezko.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Rezko -- trying to cut a deal on his 10 years in jail when he has a wife and three kids.

MR. BUCHANAN: Right.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's coming along. There are things coming along -- MR. BUCHANAN: There are other --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- that could upset the apple cart.

MR. BUCHANAN: There are --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that Barack is electable?

MR. BUCHANAN: I think --

MS. CLIFT: Yes.

MR. BUCHANAN: -- yes.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Careful, now, Pat.

MR. BUCHANAN: I would say yes if he can solve this problem -- his persona puts him in the middle, but he's got an awful lot of things that are pulling him to the left. And Republicans will paint him red.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, yeah. We know all that. Is he electable?

MR. BUCHANAN: I think he can -- he can be elected, but --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: He's got three months to go.

MR. BUCHANAN: Right now he would not be.

MS. CLIFT: This is not a left-right election. And I'll quote no less authority than Rupert Murdoch, who's predicting a landslide victory by Barack Obama --

MR. BUCHANAN: Well --

MS. CLIFT: -- which is possible.

MR. BUCHANAN: -- when was the last time you quoted Rupert? (Laughter.)

MS. CLIFT: It was negative the last time.

MS. CROWLEY: Eleanor --

MS. CLIFT: I take the quotes wherever they lead me.

MS. CROWLEY: You may be right that this is not a -- Eleanor, you --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: "Throw me a quote; it makes no difference where it comes from." (Laughter.) Quickly.

MS. CROWLEY: Eleanor, you may be right that this is not going to be a right-left election. But Barack Obama has some serious problems with core Democratic constituencies -- women, Hispanics, Jews, white working-class voters. And he's got a lot of work to do within his base --

MS. CLIFT: And those women are going to look at John McCain's record on choice and they're going to decide --

MS. CROWLEY: They're going to look for --

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right, ladies, let Michelle in.

Michelle, assuming everything stays more or less the same between these two candidates, do you think Barack -- that is, poll-wise -- do you think Barack is electable?

MS. BERNARD: I do. I think Barack Obama is absolutely electable. I think that there are -- the policy differences between Barack Obama and John McCain are not enormous. They are both going to be going after Reagan Democrats. They're both going to be going after independents. I think John McCain is making a bid for the African- American vote. Some of my colleagues think that's a joke, but I'm watching it. He's trying.

MR. BUCHANAN: It is a joke.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think Michelle --

MS. BERNARD: I'm not saying he's going to get it, but he's trying.

MR. BUCHANAN: But why?

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is Michelle a plus for him?

MS. BERNARD: For Senator Obama? Well, time will tell. (Laughter.)

MR. BUCHANAN: John, the decisive votes --

MS. BERNARD: She is a strong woman.

MR. BUCHANAN: The decisive vote in this election is the Hillary Democrats. If Barack Obama wins 90 percent of them, he wins the election. McCain, if he can get 25 percent, he wins.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is Michelle a radical liberal?

MS. BERNARD: No, I don't think -- I mean, I don't think so. I don't know. I don't know Michelle Obama personally. I don't know Barack Obama personally. I think that Obama is going to move to the center. And if he's going to win, he has to stay there.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: We'll be right back with predictions.

(Announcements.)

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: Will Hillary be on the ticket?

MR. BUCHANAN: Perhaps.

MS. CLIFT: No.

MS. CROWLEY: No.

MS. BERNARD: No.

DR. MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is it's too close to call. (Laughter.)

Bye-bye.



END.