updated 11/6/2007 11:21:34 AM ET 2007-11-06T16:21:34

Guests: Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Eleanor Smeal, Josephine Hearn, Bob Franken, Dan Weiss

TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC HOST:  President Bush calls on his counterpart in Pakistan to restore the constitution and proceed with democracy in that chaotic nuclear armed country.  But is that what is best for American interests?

Welcome to the show.  President Pervez Musharraf declared state of emergency in Pakistan on Saturday amid rising and violent opposition to his rule.  In a speech on government television Musharraf spoke to the rest of the world in English.  He argued that his grip on power to essential to maintain stability that will allow his country to become a legitimate democracy at some point.

Under criticism from the Bush administration for having suspended civilian rule Musharraf vowed to relinquish his position as head of the military.  In a moment we‘ll tell you how American interests could be best served during this critical moment in South Asia.

Also today Hillary Clinton may have moved on from last week‘s debate but some of her female supporters have not.  One feminist leader reportedly compared Clinton‘s debate encounter with the questioning of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearing.  Over the top or on the nose, Eleanor Smiel (ph) joins us in a bit to discuss the comparison she made and Clinton‘s rivals for the presidency took their shots, funny and otherwise, at the former first lady.

From Rudy Giuliani‘s unflattering imitation of her to Barack Obama‘s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” we will go to the videotape for the highlights and low lights for he chief political pursuers.

But we begin with Pakistan and the political crisis where a nuclear armed military government presides over the land filled with al Qaeda sympathizers and likely even Osama bin Laden himself.

Joining me now is the vice president of research at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and author “My Year Inside Radical Islam.”  Daveed Gartenstein-Ross joins us now, Daveed, thanks for coming on.


CARLSON:  So the political processes sort of weighed in immediately on this.  All the candidates for president have issued statements pretty much on what has happened.

I want you to take a look at what Barack Obama‘s campaign put up because I think it‘s very telling.  Here it is.  “Senator Obama condemns the decision by President Musharraf to invoke a state of emergency.  It is in the interest of the Pakistani people and the U.S. to see our ally move forward toward democracy as a more authoritarian government will only mean more instability, more discontent, more extremism.  The U.S. must be clear and unequivocal.  President Musharraf should reverse this declaration, respect the decision of the Supreme Court and hold free and fair elections for Parliament in January.  At the same time the U.S. must move beyond the administration‘s failed policies of promoting stability over democracy, which has undercut our efforts to root out terrorists in Pakistan.”

Is the problem that Pakistan doesn‘t have enough democracy?

GARTENSTEIN-ROSS:  Well one of the problems is, clearly that Musharraf is implementing an emergency order that goes against his own interests.  The problem is that he, over the past several years has made number of concessions to militants in the tribal areas that has really fostered al Qaeda‘s re-growth.

But at the same time, now that he‘s actually implementing a crackdown he‘s not cracking down on Islamic militants.  Instead, the people he‘s arresting are Supreme Court chief justice, the members of Beanzir Bhutto‘s party, members of Nawaz Sharif‘s party.  And others who aren‘t trying to kill him and aren‘t trying to kill Bhutto.

CARLSON:  Relatively responsible members of the upper middle class in Pakistan.

GARTENSTEIN-ROSS:  That‘s correct.

CARLSON:  OK.  So, this is no way in defense of Musharraf or defense of authoritarian rule, only an observation that maybe it could be worse than Musharraf, maybe we should not do something that might destabilize him to the point where he‘s replaced by crazies.

GARTENSTEIN-ROSS:  It certainly could be worse than Musharraf.  There are two figures are waiting in the wings, Hamid Goul (ph) and Aslam Beig (ph) who were previously part of Pakistan‘s intelligence apparatus and openly aligned with al Qaeda and the Taliban ideologically.

No Obama‘s statement is about, 50 percent right, 50 percent wrong.  One of the reasons that Musharraf decided to implement emergency rule was essentially a power grab.  The3 Pakistan Supreme Court to due to release an opinion about the constitutionality of the elections that were held last month.

Remember there‘s a potential constitutional problem with the elections in that Musharraf was both running for president and was also the chief of staff of the armed forces at the same time.  Pakistan‘s Constitution could prevent that.  Now if the Supreme Court strikes down the elections, then that opens up another election.

CARLSON:  But wait.  Why do we care about that?  Don‘t we want in the end a pro American, pro Western leader, even if he‘s a strong man, as long as he‘s not Pol Pot, in a country with nuclear weapons and lots of crazies?  Why is that bad for us if it‘s not democratic in Pakistan?

GARTENSTEIN-ROSS:  We certainly want a pro Western president and we‘d rather have, in my view, a pro Western president through non democratic processes than a non-pro Western—sorry.  Let me say that again.  We‘d rather have a non—a pro Western through non democratic processes than a non pro Western one through democratic processes.  Clearly ...

CARLSON:  Is there any indication that, Obama, Hillary, and to a large extent the Bush administration pushing for democracy in Pakistan.  If you threw open the polls and said, let the people of Pakistan decide, would we get a more pro Western leader than Musharraf?  No!

GARTENSTEIN-ROSS:  That‘s an excellent question.  I think that what‘s going on ...

CARLSON:  What are we doing then?

GARTENSTEIN-ROSS:  I think that what we hope is that Bhutto would end up winning and we were very much involved in brokering to give Bhutto immunity so she could return to Pakistan.

Bhutto has something which Musharraf doesn‘t.  She has a constituency.  Remember, when she came back and had her triumphant return, there were 150,000 people who were packing the streets of Karachi.  Musharraf would get no such reception.

Now it‘s an open question as to whether Bhutto actually would win.  But I think it‘s our view that Musharraf has been so ineffective that we‘d like to take the gamble see if Bhutto ends up winning.

CARLSON:  That‘s a pretty serious gamble, isn‘t it?

GARTENSTEIN-ROSS:  We‘ve been gambling and losing on a lot of these elections.  There was the Hamas election ...

CARLSON:  Right.  So maybe we should stop doing that right now.  Just go with the guy we know who is imperfect, kind of a creep but in the end but not going to hand over nuclear weapons to Hamad Goul, for instance.

GARTENSTEIN-ROSS:  There is certainly a very good argument and that may well be right.

Look, we have a bad pattern of pushing forward democracy, democracy, elections, elections without considering what the consequences could be.  But here is the flip side of that, Tucker, the flip side is that over the past year Musharraf has been making concession after concession to factions who are aligned with al Qaeda and the Taliban.  The Waziristan Accords, the Bazhir (ph) accords, the Suwat (ph) accords, the Muhman (ph) accords.

All of these gave up territory and basically said that the Pakistani military would not carry out strikes in these areas.  Moreover, when you actually had the Pakistani military attack Musharraf has pattern of going in, talking tough for about a week, mobilizing his forces and then before he achieves any military success backing off and reasserting that the treaties are in place again.  This is of concern to us, because al Qaeda now has a safe haven again in the tribal areas of Pakistan.  It‘s eerily reminiscent of pre 9/11 Afghanistan, and the last few major terrorist plots have al Qaeda‘s fingers in Pakistan all over them.

CARLSON:  I‘m not in any way endorsing the status quo, necessarily.  I‘m just making the obvious point that it could be worse.  Hillary Clinton finally in her statement today said, I‘m quoting, “The failed policies of the Bush administration are part of the reason we‘re in this difficult and dangerous position today.”

Just to recap here in case I‘m forgetting something, wasn‘t it the Clinton administration that sat by allowed Pakistan to get nuclear weapons or am I imagining that?

GARTENSTEIN-ROSS:  I think the answer is, a qualified yes.  The problem is that‘s one of the many—one of the many areas in which we had bad intelligence when it came to weapons of mass destruction.  We didn‘t expect them to be as far along as they were in the WMDs.

CARLSON:  But that was the Clinton administration, wasn‘t it?

GARTENSTEIN-ROSS:  It was under the Clinton administration, yes.

CARLSON:  Good.  Because people have very short memories here in Washington, it seems that I do remember that.  Daveed, thanks very much.  I appreciate it.

Hillary Clinton now says her rivals are attacking her because she‘s the frontrunner not because she‘s a woman.  What do feminists say?  We‘ll talk to an actual feminist coming up.

Plus, Barack Obama played it polite on “Saturday Night Live” this Saturday but he was less kind to Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail.  We‘ve got his laugh line and his new line of attack coming up.


CARLSON:  Hillary Clinton appears to have decided that complaining about sexism is not a winning rhetorical strategy so for the moment she‘s stopped.  Not all of her supporters have given up on the gender card, though.

In describing her reaction to last week‘s presidential debate, Eleanor Smeal spoke of her gut reaction to seeing one woman against six male rivals and two male moderators and according to politico.com compared that moment to the questioning of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings all those years ago.

Here to discuss that comparison and the so-called gender card in the ‘08 presidential race, we welcome Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.  Eleanor Smeal, thanks for coming on.


CARLSON:  How did this remind you of the Thomas hearings?

SMEAL:  Well, what reminded me is that it was the reaction from the audience.  I think that women have gut reaction to seeing all those men then two men as interrogators.

CARLSON:  So women see themselves as victims?

SMEAL:  No.  They don‘t see themselves as victims, they just know how hard it is to crash through the glass ceiling.  And so there‘s a feeling for her in those ...

CARLSON:  Why would it be hard?  Here you have someone who is probably most famous woman in the world, who is smart, who is aggressive, who knows what she thinks, who has more money and more support than any other presidential candidate in the history of the United States.  She‘s the overdog not the underdog.

SMEAL:  Yes, but let‘s face it, she‘s making history.  This will be the first woman.  There‘s no question that women know that this is tough terrain.  They know this is the highest of all glass ceiling, so there‘s no question.

CARLSON:  It‘s interesting, the kind of stereotypical stereotype about women is, oh, they‘re emotional, they use their hearts not their minds, they can‘t control themselves, you know the sort of ugly stereotypes you spent your life combating and yet you‘ve just described them.  You just said this is gut reaction, we can‘t control, she‘s a woman, we‘re women so we empathize.

SMEAL:  No.  No.  No.  Of course empathize but that doesn‘t mean it‘s overemotional.  It‘s the facts of life.  You have for the first time in history a woman leading the race for president.  And so—then you see the whole line up, all men on the panel, two men questioning, and the “I got you” questions.

CARLSON:  They‘re not just men, they‘re Democrats, sensitive, new age men, they‘re NPR listening, Volvo driving, Whole Foods shopping - they‘re the kind of guys who cry during Meg Ryan movies.  They‘re kind of in touch with their feelings.  They‘re not manly men.  They‘re kind of wimpy men.

SMEAL:  Oh.  Come on.

CARLSON:  I‘m not attacking them.  I‘m just saying it‘s not like she‘s surrounded by southern sheriffs, she‘s surrounded by Barack Obama and ...

SMEAL:  Let‘s face it, the questioning, though, was led by Tim Russert.

CARLSON:  Right.

SMEAL:  It was led with by Chris Matthews.  I‘m just saying if you‘re saying what people are feeling I think that women do identify with the woman who is crashing through.

CARLSON:  Don‘t you think as a matter of citizenship and civic engagement that women have moral responsibility to overlook, or look beyond the gender of a candidate.  That‘s like dash should white people vote for a white guy because he‘s white, that‘s disgusting.  Doesn‘t the same thing apply for women?

SMEAL:  Of course it does.  You‘re saying all things being the same and it‘s more than the same.  She‘s obviously very strong, strong debater, strong on issues, a record of fighting for women‘s rights.  So all things being equal you‘re there rooting.  That‘s all the case.

CARLSON:  She‘s so strong why is she whining about sexism?

SMEAL:  She wasn‘t whining about sexism.

CARLSON:  Of course she does.  She got up there said it‘s this all boys club, essentially she‘s saying they‘re being mean because I‘m a girl.

SMEAL:  No.  I don‘t read that Wellesley speech like that at all.  She was identifying with that audience that knows how tough it is to break through the political glass ceiling.  I mean, are we going to kid ourselves?  This has not been an easy feat.  This is tough work.  We‘re only 16 percent of Congress.  It‘s 2007.

CARLSON:  You don‘t sort of look down a little bit on women who vote for her partly because she‘s a woman?  Doesn‘t that ...

SMEAL:  Absolutely not.

CARLSON:  You that is an important legitimate criterion in a candidate, sex, gender?

SMEAL:  I think that—I think all other things being equal, let‘s face it, she‘s very qualified.  But the reality is, you also would like to break this glass ceiling.  You would like to have some representation.  I mean, it‘s embarrassing, Tucker, we‘re 68th in the world for representation of women in our Congress.

CARLSON:  I‘m not embarrassed.  When I get up at baseball game and sing “The Star Spangled Banner” I don‘t hang my head because we don‘t have enough women in Congress.  I‘m not embarrassed by it at all.

SMEAL:  Well, it has nothing to do with your baseball game obviously.

CARLSON:  I‘m just saying.  I don‘t know why that‘s embarrassing.  You could make the counter case most women are so sensible they don‘t want to get involved in something as stupid as politics.  They‘ve got real things to do.

SMEAL:  Give me a break.  They spent all kinds of money you know what‘s happening.  War and peace issues, how much is going to be spent for Social Security and child care.

CARLSON:  Hold on.  Most voters are women.  OK.  That‘s just a fact.  So if women were so anxious to have women in congress, and there were so many great female candidates running why wouldn‘t Congress be 52 percent female?

SMEAL:  Come on, that‘s rather naive, isn‘t it?  We‘ve had two political parties throughout history.  We didn‘t even get to vote until 1920.  We are now beginning to come into our own age but we have not cracked it.  We‘ve only got nine governors.  There‘s a reality that we‘re under represented in this country.  And it‘s time that that changed.  So as long as there‘s been a history of discrimination, gender will be an issue.

CARLSON:  Would you support a federal law to bring equity to politics to sort of affirmative action for women in politics, why not?

SMEAL:  There should be affirmative action in politics.  We‘d be better off for it.

CARLSON:  Do you think Mrs. Clinton agrees with you?  Hillary Clinton agrees with you?

SMEAL:  I don‘t know if she agrees with me.  But I do believe in affirmative action, you know that.

CARLSON:  But for politics ...

SMEAL:  The women‘s movement has always been for affirmative action.

CARLSON:  Absolutely.  One of the reasons I‘ve always opposed it.  Should we hold aside certain number of seat in Congress make this a less embarrassing country.

SMEAL:  We can‘t under the current Constitution do that.

CARLSON:  Right.

SMEAL:  But we‘re not saying that.  But we are saying that there should be gender balance in appointments.  There should be more women running.  It would be—one of the reasons that there‘s now women on the Judiciary Committee and there is still only one in the Senate Judiciary Committee is because of what happened to Anita Hill.  It would be panel if that panel had been integrated.

CARLSON:  All right.  Eleanor Smeal.  I really appreciate you coming on.  Thank you.

SMEAL:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Some Hillary Clinton supporters say all male Democratic field is being mean, will complaints like that help or hurt the Clinton campaign?

Plus, Fred Thompson survives a hash round of questioning by Tim Russert on “Meet the Press” over the weekend.  His campaign is pleased with the appearance.  Is Fred Thompson exceeding expectations about his candidacy and what were those expectations anyway?  We‘ll tell you.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Margaret Thatcher never played the gender card, should Hillary Clinton?  That‘s the question her campaign and supporters wrestle with as Mrs. Clinton seeks to beat an all male field for presidency of the United States.

Joining us now “The Politico‘s” Josephine Hearn and online columnist Bob Franken, a veteran of many campaigns.

Josie Hearn, here is the kind of amazing response by, we saw today amazing response in the “L.A. Times” to this question of whether Hillary Clinton is playing the gender card too much.  And Kate Michaelman, formerly of NARAL, went after her basically made the point, you know, you‘re comfortable with men, you‘re happy in your all boys club until someone criticizes you, at which point you sort of say, you can‘t hit me aim a girl.  That‘s a double standard.  Amazing.  I found myself agreeing with Kate Michaelman for the first time ever.

JOSEPHINE HEARN, “THE POLITICO”:  You know, I‘m not sure how it rates on feminist scale of, whether it was the right thing to do.  But from a political perspective it was good.  I mean, she knows where her bread is buttered and it‘s with women.

CARLSON:  Hillary Clinton.

HEARN:  Yeah, Hillary Clinton.  She as an enormous amount of support there.  I don‘t see this line of—I don‘t see this line necessarily backfiring with them.  And I mean, really, it could be considered pandering it‘s kind of smart pandering.  Not like a Rudy Giuliani saying he‘s for the Red Sox.  It‘s smart pandering not dumb pandering.

CARLSON:  I think you‘re probably right.  Oprah is the top show because women‘s attitudes in this country and Hillary is pandering to those attitudes.  However, I wonder if Hillary Clinton‘s greatest strength is in her strength.  The thing I like, only thing I like about Hillary Clinton is she‘s tough.  If she seems weak that doesn‘t help her in the end.

BOB FRANKEN, ONLINE JOURNALIST:  Are you saying - I guess this is the question, that toughness and being a woman are mutually exclusive.

CARLSON:  They‘re not.

FRANKEN:  No, they‘re not.

CARLSON:  But whining about sexism and being tough are mutually exclusive.

FRANKEN:  She didn‘t particularly.  What she did was, first of all I can‘t say that Hillary Clinton decided to take the high road and that she assigned surrogates to do the complaining about this.  I can‘t say that.  But that is an old political game, and neither Hillary nor her handlers are just falling off the turnip truck.  So one can suspect that was exactly what was happening.

CARLSON:  Well, we sort of know that.

FRANKEN:  So she was trying to have it both ways.

CARLSON:  We sort of know it because it was either “The Hill” or “Roll Call,” I think it was “The Hill” got in on the morning conference call and Mark Penn was basically saying this is going to help us with women because they‘re going to see Hillary as the victim.  So they were consciously using this.

FRANKEN:  The question is, this is a race for the presidency.  This is not a Title IX track meet or anything like that.

And I suspect that there could be some sort of boomerang affect.  In addition to that, I‘m not sure that you can treat women as monolithic group.

CARLSON:  That‘s right.

FRANKEN:  But let us not forget there is history involved here.  This is a woman running for president who stands a chance of winning everything, it‘s going against the prejudices of the United States for that matter prejudices since the beginning of time.  So it is remarkable.

But I‘m not quite sure that she‘s going to be able to get much strength out of complaining every time that the guys, quote, pile on.

HEARN:  Not every time.  But I think that—every woman out there has had instances where you think, hmm, did they treat me differently because I‘m a woman?

So I think that she identifies with basically every woman by doing this.  And I‘m not sure anyone‘s really going to fault her for doing it.  Maybe they might say, well, I don‘t think it was the case in this instance.  I think in the case they‘re just—in this instance they‘re going after because she‘s the front runner.  Not because she‘s ...

CARLSON:  I fault her for it.

HEARN:  I don‘t think that women do.

CARLSON:  I think—I would be so impressed if Hillary Clinton from the very first moment had said, you know, I will never play the gender card, I‘m above that, I‘m tougher than that, I‘m stronger than that, I‘m a winner, that‘s a loser‘s game.  Whining about discrimination.  I am going to win because I‘m the smartest, toughest most experienced person in this race and that‘s it.

FRANKEN:  But she‘s a woman.

CARLSON:  That‘s what—But Barack Obama has never played the race card.  Barack Obama has never said you‘re being mean because I‘m black.

FRANKEN:  Has anybody been mean to him?

CARLSON:  I don‘t know.  People are always mean during campaigns.  I think he understands that it would be instant death if did he that.

HEARN:  If he were the front runner maybe he would.

CARLSON:  I don‘t think so.  Because then you alienate—the majority of the country is white.  They hate that.  You know what I mean?  She can only do that because the majority of voters are female.

HEARN:  Do you think they alienate men by doing that?  Do you think she risks alienating men by doing that?

FRANKEN:  I do think that.

CARLSON:  Oh my God.

FRANKEN:  Absolutely.  I think that that is a decision that they‘ve made, the biggest bulk right now is the woman voter.  And therefore they‘re going to go after that.  It would seem to me that that is the card that they‘re playing.  But we have long way to go and the dynamics of this are going to change if she becomes the nominee.  People are faced with the probability or the possibility that we‘re going to have a woman president.  This is not a country I‘m convinced that‘s ready for that.

CARLSON:  Look, if alienating men, they‘re already alienated.  If only men could vote Jim Webb would be the only Democrat in Congress.  I‘m serious.

FRANKEN:  Would you like to talk about it?

CARLSON:  I‘m just saying.  She‘s not going to win, I don‘t care under no circumstance Dennis Kucinich switches parties and gets the Republican nomination, she‘s not going to win men.

FRANKEN:  And he‘s going after the alien vote.

CARLSON:  He‘s already won that.  The entire town of Roswell, New Mexico is turning out.  I love Dennis.

Even the Republicans are quote, “piling on” Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani criticizes her question - to a question about driver‘s licenses for illegal aliens, calling her the ultimate flip flopper.

Plus, want to check out records from Bill and Hillary‘s eight years in the White House?  Good luck.  Less than one percent of the 78 million pages of documents and 20 million e-mails are now public.  Will Recordgate be issue on this campaign trail, should it be, what‘s the truth.  We‘ve got it.  We‘ll be right back.




RUDY GIULIANI ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Don‘t pick on me by asking that question.  That‘s a gotcha question.  Do not pick on me for asking that question.  Let me see what I think.  Let me see, first put up your hands and tell me what you think.  then I‘ll you.  What do you think?  Are you for it or against it?  OK, you‘re not going to tell me, so I‘m for it.  I‘m for it.  I‘m against it.  I‘m for it and against it.  And I want to be your president. 


CARLSON:  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, except maybe when it‘s as unflattering as Rudy Giuliani‘s Hillary Clinton schtick.  Mr. Giuliani delivered that impression in New Hampshire on Friday night.  Does the mocking mimicry show Giuliani‘s confidence or his concern that Mrs. Clinton is dominating the 2008 conversation? 

Back with us, the “Politico‘s” Josephine Hearn and online columnist Bob Franken.  What is it Bob?  Is that Giuliani cowering in fear before the specter of the Hillary onslaught? 

FRANKEN:  The Democrats are making the point, if I can plagiarize here, that to do the Rudy Giuliani imitation would be 9/11, 9/11, 9/11.  Or of course, you talking to me?  I mean, everybody can play that game. 

CARLSON:  Or Joe Biden said, your average Giuliani sentence is a noun, a verb and 9/11. 

FRANKEN:  So I think just about anybody happily is available for satire.  He was just doing a pretty good imitation. 

CARLSON:  Is this the narrative? 

HEARN:  I think they‘re testing out the message here.  They‘re seeing what kind of response is he getting from this crowd.  And you saw it there, they‘re laughing uproariously.  I think it went over very well.  This could be a big general election issue, some of the gaffs she made in this recent debate.  I think he‘s just testing the water, see how big a problem this is going to be for her. 

CARLSON:  Isn‘t this so different that what it was?  I mean, ten years ago the caricature of Hillary Clinton was Stalin in a dress, a hard left ideologue who had plans for you.  Now it‘s, she‘s her husband.  She doesn‘t have a core.  She focus groups everything.

FRANKEN:  She doesn‘t inhale. 

CARLSON:  Exactly. 

FRANKEN:  Let us not forget that the same people who ran Bill Clinton‘s campaign are running Hillary Clinton‘s campaign.  They learned some lesson in the interim and now they‘re applying them.  I think the big campaign issue is going to be, whether she is so calculated—whether she has a heart, whether she has a soul, or whether she‘s just a sound byte.  And you can trip up on that, as it happened the other night in the debate.  Forgetting whether they were piling on or not, some of her answers were subject to ridicule, like her answer on Governor Spitzer and driver‘s license. 

CARLSON:  Very complex, to put it mildly.  Barack Obama made oblique reference to that this weekend on “Saturday Night Live.”  Here is something you may have seen already.  Here is Barack Obama. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Great Obama mask. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Well, who is that under there? 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Nice to see you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Nice to see you, Barack.  So you dressed as yourself. 

OBAMA:  Well, you know, Hillary I have nothing to hide.  I enjoy being myself.  I‘m not going to change who I am just because it‘s Halloween. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Well, that‘s—that‘s great.  


CARLSON:  Pretty good. 

HEARN:  Fantastic.  I mean, I think this is a coup for Obama.  It wasn‘t on his schedule.  He goes up there secretly.  He‘s had input into the script, clearly.  He goes there and he reaches an audience that he doesn‘t usually reach, late night TV viewers.  We know lots of people get their news from that kind of TV.  And lot of people who don‘t—haven‘t been following the dynamics of the campaign.  Here he‘s just given them his narrative, which is, Hillary is a phony; I‘m for real.  Vote for me.  I think it was very effective. 

CARLSON:  It‘s interesting how hung up on authenticity Americans are.  It‘s one of the reasons Bush was elected in 2000, maybe the main reason.  I‘m the authentic guy.  I don‘t want it that much.  Why do they care more about authenticity or the appearance of it than about policies they agree with? 

FRANKEN:  There‘s a wonderful line by George Burns, the late George Burns, who said the key to success in show business—translate politics—key to success is sincerity.  If you can fake that, you‘ve got it made.  That‘s what I think that we see here.  Now Barack Obama, even in that appearance, is never going to impress anybody as comedian.  He is still, I thought, a little bit stiff.  So was Richard Nixon way back when, when he did “Laugh In.”

CARLSON:  Sock it to me.  So, Josie, there‘s really nothing we want more for Christmas than an actual race here in media world.  We desperately want Barack Obama to rise up and smote Hillary Clinton and make this a nail biter. 

HEARN:  Everybody is waiting.  They wanted to see—they‘re waiting for so long to see the politics of hope just become politics. 

CARLSON:  When are we going to see that.  I can put up on the screen—I‘m not going to, because it‘s just depressing—but basically the bottom line, Hillary in the latest “Newsweek” poll 20 points ahead of Barack Obama.  We haven‘t seen, at least reflected in national polls, any kind of resurgence.  When are we going to see it? 

HEARN:  Well, it‘s only a few weeks that they have really been going after.  You saw in the debate, that was really the first time we saw her off her game.  We saw lots of people going after her at the same time.  Clearly front runner, do or die time for the other candidates.  I think it takes a little bit of time for that to register, if it will register at all.  She has been fairly immune to anything so far.  That‘s been a solid 20 points for a long time. 

CARLSON:  Are we going to see it? 

FRANKEN:  First of all, we always have to add this disclaimer, that in Iowa, it‘s much closer.  And the whole campaign strategy has to do with Iowa and/or New Hampshire being spring boards.  So until we see what happens there, we can‘t really complete the picture. 

CARLSON:  We can‘t.  But my strong sense is that it‘s much more a national race than ever before, because of the Internet, because the country is just more integrated than it‘s ever been, because of technology.  You don‘t find these anomalous states like you used to.  In other words, people have the same conventional wisdom in Iowa that they have in New Hampshire, that they have in South Carolina and Nevada and Michigan and every other state. 

FRANKEN:  That‘s going to surprise the candidates, because they‘re talking about the same old Ethanol concerns and—

CARLSON:  They are. 

FRANKEN:  The howdy neighbor news, all of that kind of thing that‘s supposed to play in the Midwest.  You can‘t get over the fact that these first two states are Lily White states, and don‘t really represent the country.  But they have what many people would consider an inordinate influence, a distorted influence on the national will. 

CARLSON:  Of course they have an inordinate influence, yes.  I would say that, too. 

HEARN:  If you knock her off her game in one of these states, then she‘s on the defensive.  I don‘t think that Clinton does the defensive very well.  She comes across—I think can come across as kind of being nasty when she‘s put into auto corner like that.  And so I think she does a much better job kind of riding above the fray as the front runner.  If she‘s not seen as that, I think she may face more trouble. 

CARLSON:  I think that‘s a really deep point.  She comes across best—that‘s what I was saying about the not whining about sexism.  She comes across best when she says, you know, I‘m completely comfortable with myself.  I‘m happy where I am.  You can‘t hurt my feelings.  She comes across very poorly when she snarls.  Maybe we all do. 

FRANKEN:  OK, but you‘re talking about somebody who is comfortable in his or her own skin, which is I think key to somebody winning, which is why Al Gore lost, why John Kerry lost, et cetera, and why George W. Bush had such an advantage, because he looked comfortable in his own skin.  Name a candidate who you believe appears to be comfortable in his own skin, besides Mike Huckabee. 

CARLSON:  Well, I would say, Fred Thompson would be the top of my list of candidates who might be comfortable with themselves.  He was on “Meet The Press” this weekend.  He had bunch of interesting answers.  This I thought was the most interesting.  I want to play it and tell me if you can pick out what exactly he means.  This is Fred Thompson on Roe v. Wade and abortion.  Listen. 


FRED THOMPSON ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I thought Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided.  I think this platform originally came out as a response, particularly Roe v. Wade, because of that.  Before Roe v. Wade states made those decisions.  I think people ought to be free at state and local levels to make decisions that even Fred Thompson disagrees with.  That‘s what freedom is all about. 

And I think the diversity we have among the states, the system of federalism we have, where power is divided between the state and federal government has served us very, very well.  I think that‘s true of abortion.  I think Roe v. Wade hopefully one day will be overturned and we can go back to the pre-Roe v. Wade days. 


CARLSON:  Fred Thompson‘s pro choice.  That‘s what he just said.  He said, I think people ought to be free to make decisions even Fred Thompson disagrees with.  That‘s what freedom is all about.  We should overturn Roe, but we shouldn‘t have a ban an abortion.  That‘s a pro-choice position.  I wasn‘t aware that Fred Thompson was pro choice.  He lobbied for an abortion group.  But other than that, this is news.  Is nobody noticing this? 

FRANKEN:  Well, Fred Thompson hasn‘t really broken out yet.  As a matter of fact, the polls are showing that nobody has broken out among the Republicans.  Fred Thompson, if he ever does become the man, is going to have some problems with some inconsistency in positions then and now. 

CARLSON:  Are you going to break out among Evangelicals if you are saying, no, I would not criminalize something you believe ought to be criminalized. 

HEARN:  No, it‘s more of a general election answer than it is a primary election answer.  I think, yes, he may have some trouble because he didn‘t go harder on that than he could have.  But again I think maybe in this case he‘s just looking at the general election. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t know.  That‘s a pretty clear answer.  Decisions even Fred Thompson disagrees with—first of all, that‘s a third person reference.  Unless you‘re Fidel Castro, that should not be allowed.  But he did he it anyway.  That‘s what freedom is all about.  I don‘t think you can articulate it clearer.  That‘s like saying, it ought to be safe, legal and rare.  I‘m against it, but it ought to be allowed.  That‘s the Giuliani position.

FRANKEN:  That‘s a fundamental Republican position.  That‘s the tenth amendment position, which is that the power should be vested in the states, states‘ rights, whatever you want to call it.  So maybe he is sort of hoping to take refuge behind that. 

CARLSON:  I believe the Republican position is, abortion is the taking of a human life—this is what it says in the platform—and killing people who haven‘t done anything is immoral and ought to be banned. 

FRANKEN:  You take platforms literally? 

CARLSON:  No, I‘m just—I‘m just saying—also statehood for Puerto Rico is in the Republican platform.  No, nobody even reads the platform.  I‘ve covered it twice.  I‘ve had to.  The point is, that‘s not the Republican platform position.  I guess nobody cares.  It‘s interesting to see if he‘ll get Evangelical support after saying that. 

HEARN:  It‘s a safe answer.  It‘s consistent for him.  And I think that it‘s typical of the entire interview which was, he had fairly low expectations going in, and he met them.   

FRANKEN:  No, frankly I thought that sometimes his answers were so convoluted as to be indecipherable during that interview on “Meet The Press.”  I did.

HEARN:  But no major gaffs. 

FRANKEN:  No major gaffs, in that he didn‘t really end up saying anything.  I think a question that needs to be asked, when all is said and done, is how much influence are the Evangelicals going to have on this election.  I believe that‘s an open question. 

CARLSON:  I agree with you completely.  Less than people say.  That‘s just my guess right now.  Josie, Bob, thank you very much. 

HEARN:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  Could climate change be a threat to our national security.  A new study out today suggests that yes, it could.  We‘ll take a look at what‘s really at stake in just a minute. 

Plus, Mrs. Tom Cruise makes surprise run to the Big Apple, and our senior celeb sighter Bill Wolff reveals what she is running from, or rather towards. 


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  A new study says global climate change could be one of the greatest national security challenges ever faced by the U.S.  The report is called “The Age of Consequences.”  In it, a panel of security and climate specialists say that potentially catastrophic results of global climate change are comparable to the Cold War doomsday scenarios of a nuclear Holocaust. 

Joining me for his take on what catastrophes may lie ahead is Dan Weiss, senior fellow and the director of Climate Strategy at the Center for American Progress.  Dan, thanks for coming on. 


CARLSON:  Comparable to nuclear Holocaust, holy smokes.  Shouldn‘t we dial it back a little bit? 

WEISS:  Well, here‘s why people are so concerned, because there is a feed back mechanism that if the Earth starts really thawing quickly and heating up, a lot of permanent areas that were frozen, like in Siberia, will start to release global warming pollution. Then it will just really speed up. 

Even if that doesn‘t happen, we‘re facing more droughts, hurricanes, floods, potentially famine, tropical diseases in places that never had them.  A lot of really bad stuff is going to happen with global warming. 

CARLSON:  So there‘s no upside to the globe getting warmer. 

WEISS:  It‘s hard to see what that is. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t know.  What about, huge areas of land that weren‘t arable before? 

WEISS:  Well, here is the difficulty with that; is that a lot of places that are most vulnerable for changes from global warming are some of the most poor or impoverished areas.  With sea level rise, you could have 150 million people living in coastal Africa flooding to the internal part of the country.  That‘s why so many generals and admirals who are out of the military now are really concerned about the consequences of global warming. 

CARLSON:  All upper middle class Americans are scared to death of global warming.  The no doubt.  The country‘s in a total panic about global warming.  I‘m not saying it shouldn‘t be.  I‘m merely saying, all kinds of scenarios don‘t come true.  When I was little, it was global cooling, the coming Ice Age, was the great fear.  That turned out to be crap.  Maybe we should approach this with a little more humility?  No?

WEISS:  Here‘s the difference between what you learned about 30 years ago and now; global warming has been studied by more prestigious scientists around the world than any other problem we‘ve ever had.  They have concluded—thousands of scientists have concluded the planet is heating up.  It‘s already started to take affect.  And we‘re going to see these horrible consequences, even if we begin to reduce emissions. 

The only question is do we reduce them in time to avoid even the worst consequences. 

CARLSON:  Here is what I buy—obviously the climate has heated up.  A lot of smart people working on this.  They seem concerned about it, worth being concerned about, seems to me.  They can‘t predict with accuracy the consequences.  That‘s a lie.  They can‘t predict the weather tomorrow.  Shouldn‘t we go into it saying, this is what might happen?  But to go into it saying, this is what is going to happen, run for your lives, is irresponsible.  Isn‘t it? 

WEISS:  Here is why scientists are so worried; things that they predicted would happen 30 years from now are happening today, like the melting of the Greenland ice sheets, like the amount of carbon dioxide that‘s in the atmosphere at much higher levels than what they thought and what their models predicted.  So you‘re right.  Any predictions are going to be wrong.  But so far, they‘re happening faster than we thought, not more slowly. 

CARLSON:  This is a pretty good argument then for just sealing the borders, isn‘t it?  This report predicts massive population shifts.  If the United States is going protect itself, shouldn‘t it protect its territorial integrity, erect a wall, and seal the borders right now. 

WEISS:  Here is why we need to be concerned and why sealing our borders won‘t quite do it; and that‘s because a lot of the instability that could occur under global warming could occur in places that we care about a lot, like the Middle East.  For example, only four countries control the water in the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria.  At least two of those are fairly hostile to the U.S.  Let‘s say there‘s higher drought there because of global warming.  Iran could have a choke hold on the whole Middle East water supply.  That could have impact on our oil supply.  That could affect our economy. 

So we can put up all the fences you want and if there‘s a serious drought in the Middle East and ends up being a water war, confrontation over water, it‘s going to have serious impacts. 

CARLSON:  Absolutely.  That‘s interesting.  I still think we should build a fence, but that‘s interesting.  Dan, thanks very much.  I appreciate it. 

WEISS:  Thank you for having me. 

CARLSON:  It‘s an unveiling 85 years in the making; what secrets were hiding in King Tut‘s tomb.  Bill Wolff unmasks the famous boy pharaoh.  You‘re watching MSNBC.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Now for a round up of all the important news going on in the world, MSNBC vice president for prime time Bill Wolff from headquarters.  Bill?

BILL WOLFF, MSNBC VICE PRESIDENT:  Tucker, Bill Wolff is glad to be here. 

CARLSON:  Thank you, Fidel. 

WOLFF:  You got it.  First up, Tucker, divorce news or divorce gossip, which is actually better than news.  MSNBC.com‘s Courtney Hazelett (ph) author of the revitalized “The Scoop” reports that Paul McCartney, the leader of the band Wings, and his ex-wife, the currently weepy Heather Mills, are closer than before, whenever that was, to a divorce settlement.  McCartney has approximately eight gazillion dollars at last count.  His last offer to his ex was 100 million dollars, plus a gag order about their marriage. 

Mills said, pish-posh, then went on TV to complain about how poorly she‘s treated by the public.  Now, according to Courtney Hazlett, who is never wrong, there was a new push over the weekend to end it officially.  The current sticking point appears to be that Miss Mills wants Sir Paul to say publicly, Tucker, that she is not a gold digger. 

What do you think about that? 

CARLSON:  I hope he holds out.  I hope he hires a hundred new lawyers.  I hope he never gives in.  She is the single most annoying person I‘ve seen on television in the last ten years. 

WOLFF:  Wait a minute.  So if he said she wasn‘t a gold digger, you wouldn‘t be convinced

CARLSON:  I don‘t have words, Bill. 

WOLFF:  I must say I don‘t speak for the whole American public, but in terms of the gold digger rap, that bell has rung.  And it ain‘t un-ringing any time soon.  Tucker, a rare burst of mummy news to report tonight.  The mummy of boy pharaoh King Tut was removed Sunday from its sarcophagus to be removed to environmentally controlled environment to prevent deterioration.  The result, the world gets a look at King Tut‘s face for the first time since he was embalmed and buried about 3,300 years ago, after meeting his last reward at the age of 19. 

Now, without casting aspersions on the progress of western medicine, I must say, the old guy looks pretty good relative to today‘s plastic surgery devotees.  Have we really come—He looks good.  He was 19 when he died.  He‘s 3,300 years old today.  Basically recognizable. 

CARLSON:  You know what, having been to Boca recently, I can vouch for your point. 

WOLFF:  Seriously. 

CARLSON:  You know, absolutely.  Looks a lot better than a lot of people on the plane.  No doubt.

WOLFF:  No doubt.  You look at the people on the plane, they can‘t move their faces either.  get all botoxed up and then suddenly it‘s, hello, I am happy.  I am so sad.  No difference in the face. 

From ancient culture, Tucker, to modern American male culture.  Two boys, eight year old twin brothers Gerald and Justin Saravich (ph) have developed wedgey-proof underpants.  There they are.  These third graders from Columbus, Ohio, brain-stormed the idea, then constructed the Rip Away 1,000, an underpant, which includes velcro strips to prevent the painful and potentially damming affect of the old fashioned wedgey, or grundy, as it was known where I came from. 

The invention got these boys to the finals of a central Ohio invention competition this year, and got them an invitation to the Ellen Degeneres Show, Tucker.  Technology improves lives. 

CARLSON:  I‘m sorry, if you buy a pair of wedgey-proof under shorts, you‘re putting a sign on your face in pen, I am a dork. 

WOLFF:  Well, I‘ve wasted the eight bucks because I went out and did it, Tucker.  Around the office, wedgeys run a little more rampant.  I must share this; there is something worse than a wedgey and it‘s called a western.  You get the wedgey, and then they hook your toe into the waist band behind you.  I have seen it done.  Now, it‘s been about 35 years since I saw it.  But I saw a Western.  When they invent the Western proof underpants, there‘s going to be a run on them, buddy. 

CARLSON:  What happens to the person so afflicted. 

WOLFF:  The camp counselor came around and said who did this, and everybody denied it.  Then they pulled him off the hook on the wall they were hanging from.  It was bad.  I don‘t know what happened to them.  I‘m glad I‘m never saw them again. 

CARLSON:  Abu ghraib comes to summer camp.  That‘s awesome. 

WOLFF:  Kind of.  Finally, celebrity masochist news, Tucker.  They ran the New York City Marathon Sunday, and by they I mean people who run a run 26 miles all at same time with no breaks in between.  Among those people, Mrs. Tom Cruise herself, Katie Holmes.  Yes, the former “Dawson‘s Creek” star and current wife of Tom Cruise, and mother of Suri Cruise, hoofed it through all five boroughs in five hours, 29 minutes and 58 seconds. 

She was greeted for the home stretch by Tom Cruise himself, who gave her a kiss and cheered her on.  But, in a rare moment of sanity, did not run the race himself.  Congratulations, Katie Holmes. 

CARLSON:  How many body guards or Scientologists ran with her on that? 

WOLFF:  I‘m going to be honest, I am not—this is not first hand reporting.  I do not know the answer.  I would not want to get that fact wrong. 

CARLSON:  Good for you, Bill.  That‘s your watch word, no speculation. 

WOLFF:  Not me.

CARLSON:  Thanks, Bill. 

WOLFF:  You got it. 

CARLSON:  That does it for us.  Thanks for watching.  Up next, a live “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews.  See you tomorrow.



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