updated 1/10/2008 6:49:13 PM ET 2008-01-10T23:49:13

Guests: David Shuster, Craig Crawford, Steven A. Smith, Tucker Carlson, Michael Eric Dyson

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  And now to the HARDBALL late night call.  The betting now on who wins the presidency.  I‘m Chris Matthews and welcome to HARDBALL late night call.  We are back here tonight 11:00 on the east coast looking at the latest international betting odds on the American presidential race.  Some interesting stuff here with Bill Richardson‘s departure from the race.  Tonight only two Democrats are given any real chance of winning this nomination.

Hillary Clinton of course has almost now a 60 percent chance of winning the Democratic nomination this summer.  That means she has three chances in five to win the whole thing according to intrade.com.  Barack Obama has just short of a 40 percent chance of winning the nomination right now based on international betting odds.  He‘s got almost two chances in five in other words to win.  Here‘s the third one.  Not a good shot here.  John Edwards has one chance in 100 of winning the Democratic nomination.

On the Republican betting board, John McCain is now the favorite.  Thanks to New Hampshire with a 34 percent chance of winning his party‘s nomination.  That‘s about a one chance in three.  Rudy Giuliani surprisingly in the international betting has a 28 percent chance of winning the nomination.  About three in ten chance.  There he is.  Huckabee has risen up to 17.  Romney is at 12 percent, Ron Paul and libertarians at 3 percent, and Fred Thompson down at 2 percent.  Looking ahead to South Carolina, one chance in 50.

I‘ve got HARDBALL‘s David Shuster sitting right next to me here without a tie on, along with MSNBC‘s Tucker Carlson without a jacket on.  Joining us in Philadelphia is Steven A. Smith.  He is the sports columnist from my hometown paper, “The Achy” (ph) they call it, the “Philadelphia Inquirer.”  He is also a backer of Barack Obama.  And we‘ve got down in Florida, I believe, I think you are down in Florida, MSNBC political analyst Craig Crawford.

So, gentlemen, let‘s handicap this baby.  Shuster, do you like the fact that Hillary is now a three in five chance?  Do you think just looking at the women support, the whole thing it way it worked out?

DAVID SHUSTER, HARDBALL CORRESPONDENT:  No because I think the reason Hillary won was something more temporary.  That is because the unique circumstances in New Hampshire.  She got a lot of sympathy.  Women were outraged.  That‘s not going to last.  She can‘t count on being a victim every state.  And so why is she the favorite now over Barack Obama?  You know, Chris, the best money right now if I were betting, John Edwards at 1 percent?

CRAIG CRAWFORD, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Just because that she‘s been bad?

SHUSTER:  Yes, I mean, just because that‘s as close as you can expect that sort of drama.

CRAWFORD:  Shuster, Shuster, you need a vacation man.  Take a vacation, David.  Calm down.  You got to be kidding me.

SHUSTER:  Craig, let me in.

(CROSSTALK)

SHUSTER:  Let me take this on.  The reason, Craig, one percent chance?  Just because it‘s Hillary and Bill Clinton at the top there, you got to believe there is at least a better chance than John Edwards could somehow, that the Clinton campaign will implode and then John Edwards is against Barack Obama.

CRAWFORD:  I‘m starting to look at delegates.  I‘m counting delegates, David.  She is already two to one ahead with super delegates as a super delegate.

MATTHEWS:  OK, let me go—let me go to Steven in Philadelphia.  Steve, what do you make of Hillary?  Is she really definitely the prohibited favorite now?  Two to three bet.

STEVEN A. SMITH, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER:  I‘m inclined to say so.  Certainly, again, I would go with Barack Obama from the standpoint that he certainly the person that I would go, you know, likely that I would vote for.  But the reality is that when you consider what transpired in New Hampshire, I mean, you‘re talking about 57 percent of the voters were women and when you consider that and look at Barack Obama really targeting those women to some degree, I just don‘t get the impression.

First, certainly, he was not successful in New Hampshire, but more importantly than anything else, Hillary Rodham Clinton, she has that backing.  That political machine known as the Clintons.  They know what to do when it comes to garnering votes and garnering support.  These people should have cast away a long time ago, but the Clintons they‘ve got tremendous result, they know how to survive.  They just know how to do it.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, MSNBC “TUCKER”:  They are also facing a huge amount of pent up frustration among ordinary Democrats who don‘t want to vote for them.  I mean, that‘s clearly the message of the last two contests.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  I agree completely with David.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Where are they in the national polls, Tucker?

CARLSON:  She is never more—the national polls irrelevant at this point.  She was never more popular.

CRAWFORD:  But you are saying—you are saying most Democrats don‘t want to vote for them, but you don‘t want to look at the national polls?

CARLSON:  I‘m saying in the two contests we have seen so far.  Most Democrats don‘t want to vote for her and most Democrats didn‘t vote for her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Can I add something?

CRAWFORD:  Most didn‘t want to vote for Obama.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON:  Exactly, but you are saying that she is the prohibitive front-runner not by the results we‘ve seen so far.

CRAWFORD:  What is that mean?  Look, if we can do this arithmetic in a number of ways, but I have heard this argument.  Every time Hillary gets in the high 30s and wins something, well she just did it for the first time.  But if she does it continually, she will always have a majority of voter who didn‘t vote for her in that contest.  But if she gets the most every time, isn‘t that enough?

CARLSON:  In a three-way race, sure.  But again, this is the reason why I think Hillary is over valued, according to Intrade.  Why would Hillary be the favorite simply because she barely squeaks out a victory?  Simply because of women?  Because women are sympathetic to her?  C‘mon.

SMITH:  I can answer that.  Here‘s the deal.  The reality is she is going up against Barack Obama and as it was displayed in the New Hampshire primary, the reality is again, you had a whole bunch of people when they were able to go behind the curtains and stand front and center and have to be held accountable for the votes that they ultimately cast.  At the end of the day, they picked Hillary Rodham Clinton because there is still a hesitancy out there to vote for that black candidate.  I don‘t care what anybody care...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  There‘s no proof for that.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Let me tell you, I wonder how big is that, Steven?  How big is it?

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Now we have been trying to figure this whole out for the last 24 hours.  OK, so there was a falloff in that Barack vote that maybe five or ten.

CRAWFORD:  No, no there wasn‘t.  There was no fallout.  Look at the polls before the balloting, Chris.  The numbers for Barack are not statistically—there is no significant difference between the polling numbers for Barack and the actual balloting numbers.  The difference is, where they got it wrong, is they misstated Hillary‘s vote.  His vote in the polls and in the actual balloting is the same.  In all but one or two of the polls.

MATTHEWS:  But let‘s be more scientific.  I‘m looking at the exit polls.

CRAWFORD:  That is scientific.

MATTHEWS:  The exit polling showed, I got to tell you, I got it late in the evening yesterday that showed Hillary behind.  And they were telling us it was going to get to be a bigger behind.  She was going to fall further behind, so explain that...

(CROSSTALK)

CRAWFORD:  I‘m saying go back and look at the number for Barack in those exit polls and what he actually got.  And you‘re not going to see much difference.  The difference is between what they she said she got in the exit polls and what she got.  What she got, not what he got.  His numbers stayed the same.  So what I‘m saying is if people who told pollsters they were going to vote for Barack did vote for him.  There was no fallout.  The difference was she got higher number.  She got the undecided.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So they were embarrassed to admit that they voted for her.

MATTHEWS:  OK, let‘s try to learn something here with Tom and Steven.

CRAWFORD:  Fine, but that‘s not racism.  That‘s sexism.

MATTHEWS:  OK, I think from now on when I take these polls, since we have a woman in this race and since we have an African American in this race, we better find really good fielders with this poster to try to determine if people really mean what they say.  Do you believe that‘s discernible, Steven, that we can get a better poll in the next election than we are getting now?  Get a better poll in South Carolina than we got in this past one?

SMITH:  I definitely think its past where you can certainly get a better poll, but the reality is that, again if you are Barack Obama, you‘ve got two different things working against you.  On one hand, again you‘ve got the Clinton machine that is Hillary Clinton with her experience, with the support of her husband who happens to be the former president of the United States.  You‘ve got that machine working against you.

And then also you have to take into account, you have an abundance of African American voters out there who really are questioning how viable he was.  At least, up to this point.  That may not be the case now, but it was certainly something that a lot of African Americans were concerned about, because as an African American, I can tell you I was concerned it.  I looked at it and I said to myself, how viable is it that Barack Obama can end up really challenging for the presidency of the United States?  Because I didn‘t want to put somebody as a representative of the Democrats to go up against the Republican that has absolutely no shot of doing it.  That is still an issue to a lot of African-Americans in this country.

I just want to point—I want to make one thing clear.  The Clintons have done very well in New Hampshire over the years.  The present (INAUDIBLE) was extremely like.  The former president is always very popular up there.  Its Bill Clinton country.  His wife only lost by really two—or won by two points.  Barack Obama did really well in an all-white state.

CARLSON:  I think were leaving up the other factor which is the Clintons hit him really hard.  There was the cocaine thing.  There was he involved with crack dealers?  There was the man—Islamic man issue candidate thing.  There were the abortion mailers.  He is not enthusiastic enough about abortion.  That hurt him among women.  I mean, they hit him in a way he didn‘t hit them.  You got to factor that in.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  We‘re looking at—do you think it‘s a good one, 101 bet?

SHUSTER:  Look if somebody gives me a 101 against John Edwards, of course I‘m going to put my money on that.  I will go there, David.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Don‘t waste your money.

SHUSTER:  I will do a week‘s pay.

CARLSON:  He came in third (INAUDIBLE) in two states in a row.  He lost people below 50,000.  No way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  60 percent chance?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, it‘s a bad bet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:   No, I would vote Obama.

MATTHEWS:  Steven, you would bet your heart or your head on this one?

SMITH:  Both lead me in the direction of Obama.  There‘s no question.  I think he is the best candidate.

MATTHEWS:  Craig?

CRAWFORD:  I‘m counting delegates for personal representation, super delegates and establishment wins almost always.  My money is on Hillary.  Maybe a week‘s pay, but not a month‘s pay.  A week‘s pay.

MATTHEWS:  OK, I have been watching the establishment when every fight in the Democratic Party since I was born.  Anyway, let‘s go with the second one.  We‘ll be right back.  Looks like Obama is still in the fight.  Edwards is not quite in the fight unless something gets screwed up a long the way.  Here we have a perfect storm with the Clintons.

Anyway, the panel is staying with us and when we return the betting odds for the Republicans.  This one is so exciting.  The Republican race, you can bet on I think anyone of three or four guys and baby win this baby.  Anyway HARDBALL‘s late night call continues when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL‘s late night call.  We‘re looking at the latest betting odds right now.  And of course international betting odds, you can‘t place a bet in this country where sports vote for politics.  But it is internationally being recorded by intrade.com.  And you can check it yourself on your computer.  We just talked about the Democrats, let‘s talk about the Republicans right now.

John McCain is the favorite.  He is a one chance in three at 34 percent, coming off of New Hampshire.  That‘s a substantial advantage.  Rudy Giuliani continues to perhaps be over priced here as a bet at 28 percent.  Huckabee is moved up to 17 percent.  Romney is down barely a double-digits and load up with this is Ron Paul, the libertarian and a one chance in 50 Fred Thompson.  I want you to start.  You spent a lot of time with your friend John McCain.  Does he have the likes to go this distance and win this race?

CARLSON:  He can do it.  I mean, you can imagine the scenario is.  You know, he wins in Michigan.  He wins in South Carolina.

MATTHEWS:  Will he?

CARLSON:  I think he could easily.

MATTHEWS:  Against the (INAUDIBLE) Romney.

CARLSON:  Oh yes, I think he could.  We won last time and independent can vote there.  His problem is, John McCain, is deeply uncomfortable in the position of front-runner.  And I think and I say this with great affection for him and great respect for him, he has a tendency to self sabotages in the later parts of races.  If he‘s winning.

MATTHEWS:  Steven, he is the kind of guy that the media like and a lot of Democrats like and he doesn‘t seem to be the kind of person most Republicans end up liking.

SMITH:  Well I have the pleasure of meeting him.  He actually came on my television show about a year ago.  I have a lot of respect for John McCain.  I think he‘s got a lot of potential.  But the guy that I would pick is Huckabee.  I don‘t want to talk about Giuliani.  Please don‘t bring him up.  He‘s the man in New York City we are from.  I think that he is the worst possible candidate imaginable considering the fact that you have a president in George W. Bush in office right now who is considered a bit of a dictator.  Imagine following that up with Giuliani in terms of international relations and foreign relations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That was my pick.

SMITH:  Absolutely.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Believe me give me Giuliani.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  But I like Huckabee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I was going to pick Giuliani.

SHUSTER:  Here‘s why Huckabee is a smart money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  To win the whole thing.

SHUSTER:  Based on these odds, why would you bet on Huckabee right now?  Even though he‘s behind Giuliani and McCain.  Yes, maybe McCain wins Michigan.  Huckabee is leading in South Carolina.  He‘s leading in Florida.  He is leading nationally and yet he is the odds maker, have him behind Rudy Giuliani.  That doesn‘t make any sense to me at all.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hold on, guys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey.

CRAWFORD:  Its time for the Giuliani come back.  The Giuliani comeback.  He‘ll make it.  I mean, I‘ve been down here in Florida.  You know, I like Giuliani because he is treating my home state of Florida here very well.  He‘s down here campaigning.  So I‘m for that.  He is doing a come back.

SHUSTER:  (INAUDIBLE) in these candidates.  This is a party that distinctively refers to the older guy, the guy who has been around, the famous guy, the strong guy, the guy whose turn it is.  That obviously helps McCain on paper.  The problem is McCain needs to run an insurgent campaign.  That‘s his internal narrative.  He is always the outsider attacking the insiders.  Until he sort of puts a new chip in, he will never be that guy.

MATTHEWS:  OK, let me ask you all.  Let‘s lose our hearts, for a second here, to our brains.  And I want to start with this, Craig.  If you are a Republican committee chairman, a county chairman or a state chairman and your biggest concern when you are facing what looks to be a change in likes to were Democrats might win, no matter who they run, you want to hold as many seats and as many of your offices as possible.  You want to be in the protection of your assets.  Who do you want to run to protect most of your assets against the storm of Democratic sport?  Who is your best guy?

CRAWFORD:  First of all, that‘s the perfect question because I think that‘s what a lot of Republicans are going to be asking, because I think a lot of Republicans don‘t think they‘re going to win the White House.  So this is going to be their analysis and I really do think Giuliani is a good choice for that.

CARLSON:  You have got to be kidding.  Are you serious?

(CROSSTALK)

CRAWFORD:  He‘s done his time now.  It‘s time for the Giuliani come back.  Just like McCain got the comeback.  Giuliani is going to get a come back.

CARLSON:  Wait a second.  If you are going into this with the assumption that the Democrats are heavily favored and your real goal is to rehabilitate the brand, which what Republicans are desperately need.  Could you pick someone less able to do that than Rudy Giuliani?

CRAWFORD:  I‘ll tell you what.  If I‘m an evangelical conservatives—let me just say.  If I am an evangelical conservative, I want Giuliani to run and lose, so that I can take over the party after the election.

SMITH:  I think about Huckabee and what he stands for.  I think Huckabee comes across as more honest.  He is constantly preaching about the importance to following the constitution.  I think he represents the values that Republicans try to live off of, where Giuliani certainly doesn‘t do that.  Mitt Romney, you don‘t know whether he is telling the truth from day to day because of that fake smile on his face.  Fred Thompson, he‘s got the picture.  McCain, we love him, but he is a bit older now and you just don‘t know if he has the durability to really do what‘s right over the long road.  I think Huckabee is the obvious choice.

MATTHEWS:  In a million years, could Huckabee carry Pennsylvania?

SMITH:  No.

MATTHEWS:  What states in the east coast could he carry?

SMITH:  You know, I think he had a shot in New York City.  I think he had a shot at New York personally.  I really do.  I really do.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Here‘s the issue here with Republicans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  If this election comes down to personality.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He could do it.

MATTHEWS:  That‘s a good find.  I think we learned a lot about everybody here anyway.  David Shuster, Tucker Carlson, Steven A. Smith of the “Philadelphia Inquirer, Craig Crawford of MSNBC, when we see you all again, I will be more formal here.  Next the HARDBALL big numbers coming up.  It underscores how wide open this Republican race still is.  You are watching HARDBALL on the MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.  So what else is new out there?  Well, the big question right now is whether or not Howard Wolfson‘s sweater helped Hillary win last night.  When I got a look at that sweater, I thought he was wearing a poncho or a blanket.

In the midst of all this exciting presidential stuff, by the way, look at that sweater.  Let‘s not forget our good friend Senator Larry Craig.  In the new appeals brief to the court, Craig‘s lawyers argued that he is not guilty of disorderly conduct because his actions didn‘t involve multiple victims.  They say the law explicitly requires that the conduct alarm or anger others, plural.  So let‘s get the arithmetic figure here.

To be guilty of disorderly conduct, you have to attempt to interfere, in this case with someone in the next stall, but there has to be more than one person in the next stall in order to be charged with disorderly conduct.  So I guess the man with the self-proclaimed wide stance walks.

And now its time for the HARDBALL big numbers tonight.  Iowa is behind us.  New Hampshire is behind us.  And the bottom line is that this presidential race is getting wide open.  Anything can happen.  So many candidates have at least now some chance of winning the White House.  Clinton certainly in the running, up in the lead in fact.  Obama, Edwards, Huckabee, McCain and Romney, Giuliani and Thompson as well.  We think they are all in the running right now.  None of them were out of this race right now.  Eight candidates still in the fight.  Eight candidates in real contention to replace George W. Bush.  Tonight‘s big number.

Coming up, see how did the polls get New Hampshire so wrong?  Did voters tell polls choose one thing and then do another in the voting booth?  You are watching HARDBALL late night call only on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MILISSA REHBERGER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Hi, everyone, I‘m Milissa Rehberger.  Here‘s what‘s happening.  After a two fourth place finish in a row, aid say Democrat Bill Richardson will dropout of the presidential race tomorrow.

The military says nine American soldiers have been killed in an offense against al Qaeda in Iraq that began yesterday north of Baghdad.  They include six who died in an explosion in a booby trapped house.  Official say the Pentagon plans to send an additional 3200 troops—marines rather to Afghanistan by April that is to combat resurgence by the Taliban and a 40 percent increase in overall attacks there.  Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to approve the plan on Friday.

President Bush is in Jerusalem, the first stop on his eight-day Middle East peace trip.  He met today with Israel‘s prime minister and travels to the West Bank in a few hours to the Palestinian leaders.  Meanwhile, the president warned Iran today of serious consequences if they meddles again with U.S. warships.  The Pentagon says five Iranian gun boats threatened three navy ships on Sunday.  Now back to HARDBALL.

MATTHEWS:  I like to know more about personally what went wrong with the polling up in New Hampshire last night, but I don‘t want to take anything away from the (INAUDIBLE) of Hillary Clinton.  She showed in the last days of the campaign something special about herself.  I saw two of her performances and they showed a tremendous nerve and out right courage on her part.  There were people out there dancing for her scout.  She knew it, but she kept on making her case, trying and retrying to find the right words to bring enough voters to her side to win the primary.  It was a gutsy, as I said extremely impressive performance.

Now to our guests and to the debate—to the debates of which I love to be a part.  Dee Dee Meyers is the former White House press secretary.  She was press secretary for President Bill Clinton.  Michael Eric Dyson is a professor at George Town University and an Obama supporter and Patrick Jay Buchanan is an MSNBC political analysis and a Pat Buchanan supporter.

Let me start with Michael Eric Dyson.  We have seen an astounding upset of the polls.  If you look at the polls on the eve of the election, the polls had Obama ahead between 5 and 13 points.  He lost to Hillary Clinton by three.  The average of the polls going in was eight points for him and people were talking about double-digits if you look at the internal polls.  Low and behold, we watched all night long a consistent lead for Hillary Clinton, about three points throughout the evening.  There wasn‘t anything tricky about that voter list.  They‘ve voted about the same throughout the state all night.  How do we explain it?

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GEORGE TOWN UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR:  Well, several things. The crying game as they made a film may have had an impact.  Not the intent of Hillary Clinton.  I think that was a sincere expression of her emotions.

MATTHEWS:  So you are being saying sarcastic by being gain, you don‘t mean gain?

DYSON:  It connected to voters in a serious way.  Number two, I think the reality is that she worked her behind off, so to speak, to really get those votes out.  Thirdly, we can‘t deny the Tom Bradley effect.  Ad you know, Tom Bradley was the mayor ...

MATTHEWS:  Start at the beginning.  Who was Tom Bradley?

DYSON:  He was the mayor of Los Angeles running for national office.

MYERS:  Governor.

DYSON:  He was the mayor of Los Angeles, running for governor of California.  People said by an overwhelming majority, yes we‘re going to vote for him, yes, everybody predicted he would win.  And then when they went into the polls, into the booths, they did not vote for him.  Here I think was Obama.  The possibility.  I‘m not saying it‘s a necessity, I‘m not even saying it‘s a probability, but a possibility that New Hampshire voters after seeing Obama‘s swagger so to speak from his confidence because of his Iowa victory may have rejected him or at least had second thoughts and become skeptical about pulling the lever, so to speak, for a black man.

MATTHEWS:  Last night Chuck Todd was explaining the fact that the only time you see a complete displacement of numbers where there is a lack of connection between what we are looking at in scientific polling and a completely different result, there is usually an ethnic factor.

I want to go over that race.  In 1982, the California governor‘s race, Tom Bradley, I‘m sure you knew about the African American mayor of Los Angeles.  He had been a pretty conservative tough police chief.  He was no liberal by most standards.  He was running seven points ready of Republican candidate for governor George Deukmejian.  Forty nine to 42.  But on election night Bradley lost by a point.

We saw the same thing down here in ‘89 in the New York mayor‘s race.  In New York the pre-election poll had David Dinkins ahead of Giuliani by 14 points and he won by two points.  In Virginia, I will never forget this race.  Doug was a favorite of about, God, 11 points and he won by one.  In North Carolina, Harvey Gant, another favorite to beat Jesse Helms.  He lost surprisingly.

Pat Buchanan, what do you make of the exception when the polls are completely wrong.  You‘re in the business.  You discount race as a factor where you didn‘t want to tell pollsters they weren‘t going to vote for the African-American candidate.

BUCHANAN:  I don‘t totally discount it, but there is a lot of special pleading going on right now.  All those races you mentioned were general election races.  This was a race inside a Democratic Party.  Hillary Clinton benefited from a surge of women to her candidacy.  Edwards collapsed.  The Bradley effect cannot explain why Edwards did so poorly when the pollsters said he was going to beat Hillary Clinton.

I think the piling on by the media and the gloating over her tears and all this people thing coming out of Iowa that you are supposed to coronate Barack Obama caused a tremendous backlash among New Hampshire Democrats and independents.  They said you are not going to impose your fellow on us.  We will choose our own.  And the women said we‘re going to go in there and pick up Hillary Rodham Clinton and stop what‘s being done to her.

MATTHEWS:  You sound like Alan Alda, Pat.  Where is this new sensitivity towards women‘s aspirations?

DYSON:  All that can be true ...

MATTHEWS:  Go ahead, Pat.

BUCHANAN:  I think that the Obama spinners and the media are trying to explain away why they got egg on their face and by doing this, you are tarnishing Hillary‘s victory and you are tarnishing the Democratic Party.

MATTHEWS:  That is not what I‘m doing.  I am trying to explain why the pollsters ...

BUCHANAN:  Whoever said it was racism is tarnishing the Democratic Party and Hillary‘s victory.

MATTHEWS:  We will see a future like elections.  First of all, everything we are talking about right now will be tested in future elections.  Because we are going to have a lot of primaries and caucuses.  Dee Dee, talk about this.  You remember the Tom Bradley campaign.  Talk.  Whatever you think.

MYERS:  There is no question that people went in.  They were embarrassed to tell pollsters they wouldn‘t vote for an African American, they were uncomfortable doing that so there was this giant disparity between what the campaign expected and what actually happened.  I think Pat makes a good point.  This is a Democratic primary and a different universe.  I don‘t know.  We hope against hope that is not true in a Democratic primary, I don‘t think we know yet and I think it‘s something we have to be conscious of it.

I think Pat is right on the money.  Women stood up and even women who weren‘t for her two days ago and who were lukewarm toward her saw what they saw as a piling on.  People were enjoying dancing prematurely on her political grave and women said enough.  Not now and not like this.  Fifty percent of Democratic voters yesterday were women and 50 percent voted for Hillary Clinton.  She got more votes from women than the other three candidates combined.

DYSON:  But that presupposes two things.  First of all God forbid within the Democratic Party that we love and admire, they could foster certain ambitions and racist ...

MYERS:  That is not yet - of course.

DYSON:  Number two, women themselves in the competition between race and God forbid that it should come down to that.  Because life is more complex than that and we live life simultaneously and not in succession.

But here is the point, I think with that overwhelming lead that Barack Obama took into New Hampshire, all of these other factors are critical.  I don‘t think race could be discounted.  We hope that‘s not the central defining moment here.  But Pat Buchanan trying to dismiss it is the reassertion of the perspective that discounts at all the reality that race can play a role.  He never acknowledges that race could play a role in shaping the viewpoints of people about this great candidate.

BUCHANAN:  Professor, you are working your theme and I understand.  I was up in New Hampshire with my wife and sister who wrote an anti-Hillary book.  And we talked about how horrible it was and the beating Hillary was taking and how offensive it was.  And Edwards was saying she was not tough enough.  That was their reaction.  Two very conservative women and none would vote for Hillary.  If they are reacting that way, I can imagine how the women who kind of like Hillary in the Democratic Party reaction, it doesn‘t surprise me.

You saw that figure on women.  That is what did it.  You are trying to tarnish her victory and get, frankly, the media off the hook because they got egg all over its face by attributing it to racism.

DYSON:  Not at all.  But I‘m glad Pat Buchanan is coming to the defense of those who are battered.  Because enough minorities, women and African Americans, Latinos and Hispanics, and a bunch of other Arabs in this country and Jews and Italians and Poles have been better.  The reality is this.  In a particular race for a heated debate over a very powerful victory like the presidency certainly race comes into play.  I‘m not suggesting that it is the central line here, but I‘m suggesting it plays a role and despite the fact that women—I agree Hillary was being pounced on in a severe fashion, and women identified with her but that doesn‘t mean women who identified with Hillary Clinton are not also motivated by racial consideration.  It‘s not either or.

BUCHANAN:  Professor, would you not agree that racial considerations have entered the equation to make Barack Obama so beloved in and heroic.  He is our savior and all this other nonsense.

DYSON:  No, no.

BUCHANAN:  It has nothing to do with that?

DYSON:  Barack Obama has overcome despite the racial realities.

BUCHANAN:  Cut it out.

DYSON:  Barack Obama has to walk into the room proving he is highly intelligent, highly literate and capable of transcending any tribal loyalties to articulate a transcendent vision that speaks to the universe of political reality.

BUCHANAN:  Tell me why he would get 95 percent of the black vote in a Republican-Democratic election.  Race has got nothing to do with that?

DYSON:  No, no, no.  Barack Obama has not been running as a race man.  Barack Obama has been running as a candidate of the Democratic Party who is concerned about the American polity.

BUCHANAN:  Professor, you cannot blind yourself to reality.  He has not been running as a race man.  He has done a good job, he stayed away from the Jena nonsense and has done well.

DYSON:  So he is not running as a race man?

BUCHANAN:  But people are supporting him because he is a black American.

MATTHEWS:  I want to ask - we all tried - let‘s look at the polling and talk about the women‘s piece of this thing.  Not just the race but the gender and the sex part.  If you look at the polling, it was taken through Monday and what happened on Monday was a moment where Hillary got verklempt.

Let‘s take a look at this.  Now, this event occurred at the end of most of the polling.  So in the end we could argue the polling is not in conflict with what happened here.  Let‘s watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) NY:  ... passionately believe it was the right thing to do.  I have so many opportunities from this country I just don‘t want to see us fall backwards.

This is very personal for me.  It‘s not just political.  It‘s not just public.  I see what‘s happening and we have to reverse it and some people think elections are a game.  They think it‘s whose up or down.  It‘s about our country.  It‘s about our kids‘ futures and all of us together.  Some of us put ourselves out there and do this against some pretty difficult ...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DYSON:  Excuse me for saying this.  It may be obvious to many, but let‘s just put it on the table.  With Bill Clinton saying that Barack Obama is the biggest fairy tale to come along in a long time, saying you‘re quote, “rolling the dice” when you vote for him and Hillary Clinton filling in her noblesse oblige implying that some people get it right and some get it wrong through her tears.  She is really expressing a horrendous viewpoint.  She has a copyright on what the goodness of the country should be and therefore Barack Obama somehow is ...

MYERS:  You are conflating two issues here.  What happened was people watched that and one of the realities of technology is that you can go on YouTube and the thing gets repeated.

People saw it for themselves and they judge for themselves.  And what they judged was that that was a genuine moment.  She is tired and she is under a lot of pressure.  Women don‘t like watching people be mean to other people and they said to themselves, I‘m going to take a stand on this.  I‘m going to take a stand and say this doesn‘t end.  Not like this, not now.  And they voted for her.

DYSON:  Dee Dee, I‘m not denying that.

MYERS:  I don‘t think it was anti-Obama.

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s not argue past ourselves.  You are not denying that the last day a lot of women, maybe older women, just a minute, decided that this one was getting beat the heck out of and you don‘t deny that?

DYSON:  Not at all.

MATTHEWS:  Pat, do you deny there men or women who were embarrassed to tell a pollster they were not going to vote for an African American?

BUCHANAN:  Sure.  And there will people will vote for him for the same reason.  Race helps Obama.

MATTHEWS:  In other words you can‘t trust people.  Ethnicity is a hard thing for people to admit.

MYERS:  Here‘s something.  I think the expectation, I think the sense of fait accompli hurt Obama in many ways.

MATTHEWS:  That it was over.

MYERS:  That it was over.  So I think one thing that happened was that we saw more independents voting for McCain than might have done so.  And I think a lot of people said wait a minute, this is too soon we need to step back.  This race needs to go on.

MATTHEWS:  Just as everybody at home has a different point of view.  We are, certainly.  They are trying to figure out what went wrong with the polling.  As Pat says, egg on our face.  Because we rely on the polls.  By the way, every local TV station does, every candidate does, every marking company does.  We rely on polls and we decide how much money we make.  We rely on ratings.  OK?

Older women showed up in unusually high numbers.  Older women tended to vote for Hillary Clinton.  Unusually high numbers.  Some say it was the weather and Dee Dee has a much more poignant point.  Solidarity and compassion.

MYERS:  I think there is no question about it.

MATTHEWS:  A lot of this happened, the key event we are talking about, Hillary‘s verklempt moment which I believe was honest.  It may have been about her own predicament.  Which was she is facing hell and humiliation occurred so late in the polling that the polling didn‘t pick it up.  I didn‘t pick up the impact - because let‘s face it.  Right before you go to vote, you watch TV that night.  You‘d have to be a numskull not to watch the news the night before the election so you‘re going to vote and see what‘s the latest news.  The latest is Hillary got emotional.  That obviously struck at the heart of a lot of women and they voted the next day.

DYSON:  I agree with all that.  I agree with everything you said.  All I‘m suggesting is that even through her tears, I‘m saying the sentiment being expressed because of her tiredness of verklempt moment that you talked about was also the articulation of an idea that I find troublesome.  That is to suggest that I am the only person.  I am going to get it right and he is going to get it wrong and there is a racial subtext.  There is a racial subtext there.  Don‘t let a black man run this country ...

MATTHEWS:  Is that what she‘s saying?

DYSON:  Not her.

MYERS:  It could have been John Edwards.  She would have said the same thing about Edwards and that‘s one of the things people do not like about Mrs. Clinton.  I don‘t think that was directed exclusively at Barack.

DYSON:  Rolling the dice, playing loose and fast.  I‘m suggesting those are code words that black people are used to when people are trying to suggest something to somebody that they are not able to step up to the plate.  I‘m not saying it was ...

MATTHEWS:  A lot of people watch this argue am and say why are you arguing about this?  Because in American life we are still arguing over role models for men and women in this country.  We‘re talking about a woman being president for the first time and race sits on us.  OK.  If we can get off our face someday, fine.  It sits on us.  I‘m with Michael and I think it‘s a big part of the way we think.  You don‘t, Pat, because you are a liberal kind of guy.  You sort of Alan Alda of women‘s issues.  You‘re beyond on this.

BUCHANAN:  I‘m with Dee Dee.  The sisterhood beat the brotherhood.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  You may well be right.  What a great discussion.  It is so American, unfortunately.  Anyway, Dee Dee Myers and Michael Eric Dyson.

DYSON:  And you‘re crossing ideological lines.

MATTHEWS:  Patrick J. Buchanan.

Up next, one day after New Hampshire and with both races wide open, we‘ve got your politics fix on what happened last night and where things are headed in the next week or so.  This is HARDBALL only on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.  Well, Iowa has said Obama and Huckabee and now New Hampshire said Clinton just last night McCain.  Are we in for a long fight?  Let‘s bring in the roundtable.

Roger Simon, one of the top political columnists around.  He is with Politico.  Jonathan Capehart writes editorials for the “Washington Post” here in town and Jennifer Donahue, a senior advisor for the New Hampshire Institute of Politics up at St. Anselm‘s.

Jennifer, I want to start with you.  And I‘m wide open on this.  I have no preconceptions.  Because like everyone else I was stunned.  I was passed a piece of paper for guidance that told me that Barack Obama was going to win a significant victory.  This was based upon the polling of people coming out of the booths.  Having voted.

Everybody said we got egg on our face.  Let me tell you something.  Garbage in, garbage out.  If people don‘t give the right answers, we are not know anything.  There is a possibility of a mistake, that they didn‘t estimate correctly the number of older women and other groups.  What do you make of the predictions that went wrong in the predictions last night?

JENNIFER DONAHUE, NEW HAMPSHIRE INSTITUTE OF POLITICS:  I think it reflects what happened with the polls taken leading up till Tuesday.  Done by every, every organization which is that the bottom line is in New Hampshire the vote is taken so seriously and I‘m really not exaggerating.

The responsibility is huge.  I saw people I know at my polling place who took an hour or over an hour in that polling place making a final decision and if people had looked closely at the final polls leading up to the people‘s vote.  They would have seen that 40 percent of Democrats were still undecided.  So people were misreading the polls.  They weren‘t looking at the so key number we know is historically accurate.

MATTHEWS:  What about the number of people who were polled coming out of the booths.

DONAHUE:  We knew people hadn‘t made the final decision.

MATTHEWS:  I‘m talking about the poll of people coming out of the booths.

DONAHUE:  Yes.  I saw the kids polling people coming out of the booths.  They were all over the place.  They were like people handing out flyers Chris.  They were not organize, they were not disciplined.  They were not professionals, they were not experts.  I think these exit polls are a bit misleading.

MATTHEWS:  Roger?

ROGER SIMON, THE POLITICO:  I think the takeaway is we should stop letting the coverage be driven by polls.  They get it wrong more than we would like to admit.  The fact is, examine what an exit poll is.  You‘ve waited on line ...

MATTHEWS:  The Republican polling was absolutely on target.  The Iowa polling was on target.

SIMON:  So why was this off?

MATTHEWS:  That‘s what I‘m trying to find out from you.

DONAHUE:  It is off.

MATTHEWS:  Was it gender?  Was there some surprising that the fact that people are not honest when they were polled?

SIMON:  I‘m not buying the whole race argument.  I have been going to New Hampshire for 30 years and it‘s not a racist, it‘s not a Klan state.  It‘s not a skin head state.  The people there are no more racist than the people in Iowa where Barack Obama won by eight percentage points.  Lying, as you say to a pollster, is not a felony.  You waited in line an hour and it‘s a secret ballot in America.  And a guy sticks a piece of paper in your face and says reveal your secret.  Who did you vote for?

Maybe you tell him the opposite of what you did because it‘s none of his business who you voted for.

MATTHEWS:  I got you.  I like this.

DONAHUE:  Roger has it dead on.  People consider it an insult.  It‘s considered an insult up here, Chris.  It‘s considered an insult in New Hampshire to ask who someone voted for.

MATTHEWS:  We have to learn the social mores of New Hampshire.  I didn‘t know we were Margaret Mead.

DONAHUE:  Listen.  They don‘t reveal their votes.  They don‘t talk about who they voted for.  They talk about the process.

MATTHEWS:  Why don‘t we keep the secret of who won the primary.

SIMON:  Why don‘t we wait for the votes to be counted?

MATTHEWS:  Because Americans like to know who is going to win the Superbowl and who has the healthy quarterback and the game plan?  We are a country ...

SIMON:  Americans are willing to wait for the votes to be counted.

MATTHEWS:  Have you polled them?

DONAHUE:  Can I throw out another idea?

MATTHEWS:  Can I go with the ethnic thing here?  One more round on the ethnic factor here.  We have seen history ...

JONATHAN CAPEHART, “THE WASHINGTON POST”:  No, Chris, I don‘t think race was a big issue.

MATTHEWS:  It‘s not another Tom Bradley race, it‘s not another Doug Wilder race, not another Harvey Gant race.  Right?

CAPEHART:  I don‘t think so.

MATTHEWS:  Why?

CAPEHART:  I think there a lot of other issues going on.  As we said before, when people went into the vote, one of the last polls, 40 percent of the people were undecided before they cast their vote.  Also we found out that women went for Hillary.  That‘s what put her over the top.

MATTHEWS:  Why did people—why were the polls taken of people coming out of the booths so off?

CAPEHART:  I don‘t know.  I think Joe had that, but I do not buy this snap judgment that race was the issue that the polls were off.  I don‘t buy it.  If we were four or five ...

MATTHEWS:  Just to be fair to those who have maintained - I checked with people who do this for a living, as early as 1:30 in the morning last night, checking with the people to find out what explains the discrepancy.  That was the explanation.  I got that again last night on the air.  I am trying to find out the answer.  This is dramatic.  We are not talk about that after tonight.  But I tell you, if we start seeing problems with polling that we haven‘t seen before, I am going to be looking for culprits.

SIMON:  Can I tell you one other caveat.  If the exit polls got the result wrong, why did they get the demographics right.  The fact is we don‘t know how many women voted for Hillary and we don‘t know how late deciders voted for Barack, we don‘t know how many young people voted for whoever.  The fact is we don‘t know and we will never know.

MATTHEWS:  The Republican polling was dead-on because there were no women in the race and there was no African Americans in the race.

DONAHUE:  Chris, you are on to something.

MATTHEWS:  Yes?

DONAHUE:  You are on to something and it‘s valid to question it.  I think what you are poking at, we have to look at this.  Is why are polling organizations over reaching in the way that they reflect the results?  I don‘t think there is a vast conspiracy about the exit pollsters except that they looked really young to me.  What‘s going on with these exit poll folks?  I was analyzing for MUR, the ABC affiliate down the street, they were delaying the projected winner from their own, but we saw an AP through what we could get through the exit polling.  I was looking at where the college cities would go.  Those were the bases for Barack Obama.  That was who was supposed to turn out.  Those kids are still on break because the other states forced us to have the primaries three days early.  They are not back and neither are the professors and neither is the staff.

And that really affected the out come for Barack Obama.  What you need to look at is why did AP do that?  Why aren‘t the polling mechanisms themselves being honest?

MATTHEWS:  If the University of New Hampshire had been in school.  Barack might have won.  We will be back with roundtable with more politics and the other side where there wasn‘t this discrepancy.  The white man‘s Republican Party had no such problem.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  You are watching HARDBALL only on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  We are back with a roundtable for the politics.  We only have a minute and a half.  I want to talk about the Republicans.  Jonathan, this is so tough.  Can you see as the grand vizier here of the editorial page, can you see at least a couple of front-runners down the road.  Who is likely to project himself into the lead in the next couple of weeks?

CAPEHART:  Look, we saw Huckabee win Iowa and McCain win New Hampshire.  Maybe we‘ll see Romney will win Michigan and maybe we‘ll see McCain or Thompson win South Carolina and Rudy‘s grand strategy of winning Florida and having everyone focus on him.  That might work.  I don‘t know.  Not even the magic eight-ball knows.  That‘s what makes this so much fun.

SIMON:  The winner will be the least unacceptable of them in a field where all have major problems with the base vote of the Republican Party.

MATTHEWS:  Jennifer, did New Hampshire pick a winner?

DONAHUE:  I think they believe in John McCain.  I think he finally got the voters here and it took him until six weeks ago to close the deal in New Hampshire.  But he took more than his fair share and took too many independents out of the race and Hillary Clinton won with the base and not many independents left.  If other states do that, look at the other states coming up.  Some of those have indies in their races and they will want to play on the Democratic side.  You are going to continue to see a suppressed and low Republican base going one way or the other.  Probably with fewer independents than here.

MATTHEWS:  He got enough indies last night.  Anyway, thank you very much.  Roger Simon, Jonathan Capehart and Jennifer Donahue.  COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN starts right now.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

END   

Copy: Content and programming copyright 2007 MSNBC.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2007 Voxant, Inc. (www.voxant.com) ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon MSNBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

transcript

Watch Hardball each weeknight at 5 & 7 p.m. ET

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,