updated 3/6/2008 1:06:04 PM ET 2008-03-06T18:06:04

High: Hillary Clinton‘s campaign saving Tuesday night leaves the race for the Democratic nomination wide open

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Hillary Clinton‘s campaign saving Tuesday night leaves the race for the Democratic nomination wide open or at least still in progress. 

Welcome to the show. 

Today‘s news has included Mrs. Clinton‘s revived optimism, Barack Obama‘s predictable downplaying of last night‘s results, and fresh speculation on the possibility of an Obama-Clinton or possibly Clinton-Obama ticket as a way out of this stalemate. 

Clinton beat Obama in Ohio by 10 points including an 18-point margin among voters who said they made their choice in the three days leading up to the election.  In other words, she closed well.  In Texas, where Clinton‘s margin was four points, her edge among late deciders was a whopping 21.  How did she do that?  Was it the red phone ad, her pitch as a realistic solution maker to his na‹ve speech giver? 

Whatever she did over the weekend and on Monday, it appeared to have worked.  Senator Clinton‘s senior campaign advisor Kiki McLean joins us in a minute to explain what the Hillary campaign plans to do next. 

As for Obama he spent three critical days, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, defending his foreign policy experience and telling a series of stories, some contradictory, about what conversations his campaign staff did or did not have with the Canadian government about NAFTA. 

Well, today Obama went from defense to offense and from lofty to negative as his campaign attacked Hillary Clinton for, among other things, failing to release her income tax returns. 

How negative will Obama go in the days ahead and how will he shore up public confidence amid increased scrutiny of his qualifications to be president? 

Obama foreign policy advisor Susan Rice joins us in just a moment. 

And under cover of a Democrat dominated news cycle, John McCain not only reached another milestone in his astonishing political comeback by winning the 1,191 convention delegates he needs to become the nominee, he also received the endorsement of his former adversary, President Bush.  That happened today at the White House. 

What affect does President Bush‘s endorsement have?  We‘ll tell you.  We‘ll tell you also the effect of the Democratic fight on John McCain‘s chances in November. 

We begin with Hillary Clinton‘s big Tuesday.  How she did it and where her campaign goes from here.  Joining us now senior advisor to the Clinton campaign Kiki McLean. 

Kiki, I‘m just going to say, pointblank, I‘m impressed.  She‘s tough.  Good for her.  I didn‘t think she would do it, she did it.  My first question, Mark Penn told us the other day, he‘s not the senior advisor to the campaign.  Is he now the senior advisor to the campaign? 

KIKI MCLEAN, CLINTON SENIOR ADVISOR:  What happened last night was clearly a shift in the momentum of this race.  You‘ll have to forgive my voice.  I was so excited.  There was a lot of screaming, happy screaming last night at the headquarters. 

But there was a shift in the momentum of this race because we asked two questions, people clearly answered them, and that was who is best and ready to be commander in chief on day one and be the steward of our economy.  And people voted affirmatively for Hillary Clinton on that. 

You know you mentioned something in your introduction which was interesting.  Out of the exit polls we learned that nearly two-thirds of voters who‘d made the decision in the final three days broke for Hillary Clinton. 

CARLSON:  Right. 

MCLEAN:  And that‘s a big indicator.  That‘s an indicator that it‘s a message about being who‘s ready to be commander in chief, who‘s going to get us through this economy, get this economy to a better place, bring us back from the brink of recession. 

CARLSON:  OK.  She made the sell.  I absolutely with her. 

MCLEAN:  Yes.  She totally did. 

CARLSON:  There‘s no way around that. 

MCLEAN:  She totally did. 

CARLSON:  She‘s not winning the math equation in this however. 

MCLEAN:  Well. 

CARLSON:  The pick up of delegates was negligible.  She‘s going to need to win by one estimate, which I think is right, 59-41 every race, every delegate from here on. 

MCLEAN:  Well, look. 

CARLSON:  .to Puerto Rico.  Do you sincerely believe she can come out ahead in pledge delegates at the end of this? 

MCLEAN:  I believe that she can win the nomination.  And here‘s why and we‘ve talked about. 

CARLSON:  On pledge delegates. 

MCLEAN:  Wait a minute.  But here‘s what we‘ve talked about before, Tucker, and you know this.  Neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton can win this race on pledge delegates.  It‘s not realistic.  Not—they‘re both going to have to win on. 

CARLSON:  (INAUDIBLE) 

MCLEAN:  It doesn‘t matter.  They‘re both going to have to win on superdelegates in the end in terms of getting across the line.  But you have to remember, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Wait.  Wait.  Hold on.  You just said it doesn‘t matter.  I just want to make sure I understand this. 

MCLEAN:  No. 

CARLSON:  You said it doesn‘t matter who has more pledge delegates. 

MCLEAN:  No, it—no, what I mean when I say that is that both will need superdelegates to get across the line. 

CARLSON:  Right. 

MCLEAN:  I do think it matters that this is a close race.  Both candidates have received millions of votes.  And in fact, I believe at this point, Hillary Clinton, when you include the people in Michigan and Florida who voted, has received more votes, popular votes than Barack Obama.  So this is a tight race.  It‘s a close race.  And that‘s why she ought to be in it and why she is in it. 

CARLSON:  Well, listen to what she said last night in her speech. 

MCLEAN:  OK. 

CARLSON:  She said something, I think, went over the heads of a lot of people.  I was amazed by it.  Watch this. 

MCLEAN:  OK. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), ‘08 PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL:  We‘ve won Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, Arkansas, California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Tennessee. 

And today we won Rhode Island. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  She won Florida and Michigan.  Obama‘s name wasn‘t even on the ballot in Michigan.  Florida like Michigan was not a real election. 

MCLEAN:  Well. 

CARLSON:  By saying that, by counting those and going against the spirit, if not the letter of Democratic rules, she‘s telegraphing that she‘s going to try to get those delegates seated? 

MCLEAN:  She‘s not telegraphing, she said it.  We‘ve been on the record before that where she believes and has said publicly for more than a month now, maybe even longer, Tucker, that if she is the nominee, and I believe she will be, she will ask her delegates to seat their colleague delegates from Michigan and Florida. 

CARLSON:  If she is the nominee.  That‘s a very different thing from the question I‘m about to ask, which is. 

MCLEAN:  OK. 

CARLSON:  .in an attempt to become the nominee, will she try to get the delegates from Michigan—remember the allocated in a race in which Barack Obama‘s name was not on the ballot.  Will she try to get those seated in an effort to become the nominee? 

MCLEAN:  Her goal is to—when she‘s the nominee, seat the delegates. 

We‘ve made that very clear. 

CARLSON:  Including the scenario I just explained? 

MCLEAN:  I think she has said and she said it this morning in television that party leadership is going to have to decide how this is handled.  But you cannot deny the fact that millions of Americans in those two states turned out to vote, were part of a Democratic process.  And you know. 

CARLSON:  It wasn‘t a democratic process.  Barack Obama, her main challenger‘s name was not even on the ballot.  As you know, your party agreed that those two states. 

MCLEAN:  Tucker, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  .would not count and now you‘re trying to change the rules. 

MCLEAN:  No, I‘m not trying to change the rules.  She agreed to a pledge not to campaign in those states, and she didn‘t campaign in those states.  But when millions of voters go to the polls and participate in the democratic process and want their voices heard, we ought to listen to what they are saying. 

CARLSON:  All right. 

MCLEAN:  And what she has said is, as the nominee of the party, she will ask her delegates to vote to seat their fellow delegates. 

CARLSON:  She‘s—the Mississippi primary is coming up. 

MCLEAN:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  .very, very soon.  I was just interested to know what you think of this.  This is from Hillary Clinton this fall to the “Des Moines Registry” talking about the state of Mississippi which will sit in judgment of her very soon. 

Quote, “I was shocked when I learned that Iowa and Mississippi have never elected a woman governor, senator or member of Congress.  There has got to be something at work here.  When you look at the numbers, how can Iowa be ranked with Mississippi?  That‘s not what I see.  That‘s not the quality, that‘s not the communitarianism, that‘s not the openness I see in Iowa.” 

In other words, Mississippi retrograde.  It‘s awful. 

MCLEAN:  Retrograde is her word in that quote? 

CARLSON:  She‘s saying that‘s not the communitarianism, that‘s not the openness, that‘s not the quality.  She‘s attacking Mississippi.  She expects to do well in the state she attacks? 

MCLEAN:  I don‘t know.  You know what?  I don‘t know the context of that quote.  I can tell you that. 

CARLSON:  It‘s cynical. 

MCLEAN:  . I have family in Mississippi.  My sister lives on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and is a Katrina survivor.  I‘ve spent a lot of time there since my childhood.  Mississippi is a great place.  I think Hillary Clinton knows Mississippi‘s a great place.  But I think. 

CARLSON:  She‘s saying it‘s sexist. 

MCLEAN:  I think she‘s talking about the fact she is breaking ground, being a woman who‘s running very competitively to receive the nomination of the Democratic Party and potentially—has great potential to be president of the United States. 

CARLSON:  OK. 

MCLEAN:  We‘re breaking feelings. 

CARLSON:  I got an e-mail from Clinton campaign today saying the Obama people are hitting us on this tax return business. 

MCLEAN:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  We‘re going to release returns on or about April 15th

MCLEAN:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  Why don‘t just release them now? 

MCLEAN:  Well, I have not been a part of their personal financial records.  They may not quite be ready.  Are your taxes done yet? 

CARLSON:  My taxes—we‘re talking—we‘re not talking about this year.  We‘re talking about her previous tax returns. 

MCLEAN:  But are your taxes done yet? 

CARLSON:  For this year, they‘re not.  But we‘re not talking about this year. 

MCLEAN:  Mine aren‘t done either.  We‘ve made it very clear. 

CARLSON:  But no, that‘s not. 

MCLEAN:  Tucker, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  Hold on.  You‘re not answering the question. 

MCLEAN:  Howard Wolfson answered this question on Sunday morning on a television show.

CARLSON:  What did he say? 

MCLEAN:  He said that the tax returns will be ready to be released on or about April 15th.  It‘s pretty clear.  I think you‘re trying to make something out of nothing.  Not to mention. 

CARLSON:  I just want to know why.  I mean I don‘t know. 

MCLEAN:  Not to mention the fact that the Clintons have had their financial disclosure report, she is a senator out publicly for a long time, which by the way. 

CARLSON:  Which is not very specific.  It tells us nothing about where the $5 million came from. 

MCLEAN:  Which, by the way, is a little different from the Obama campaign who hasn‘t put out any of their information on financial dealings with Rezko. 

CARLSON:  Well, I think they should.  And I agree with you there. 

MCLEAN:  Good for you.  Good for you. 

CARLSON:  I just wish I could get a straight answer. 

MCLEAN:  Good for you. 

CARLSON:  .and not be patronized. 

Thank you so much. 

MCLEAN:  I never patronize you, always respect you, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  I appreciate that. 

Barack Obama‘s winning streak ends at 12.  He loses in Rhode Island, Ohio and Texas, and while the math still looks good for him, he isn‘t ending—it is an ending when he hoped it would. 

Will Obama strike back?  And if so, how hard?  And if he does, will it undermine his essential Obamaness. 

Plus John McCain clinches the Republican nomination and picks up an endorsement from the president.  Will that help? 

You‘re watching MSNBC. 

ANNOUNCER:  TUCKER is brought to you by. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Barack Obama attributes his losses in Ohio and Texas to criticism from Hillary Clinton.  The problem is that criticism is not going to stop between now and Pennsylvania‘s primary seven weeks from now.  What‘s he going to do about it?  We‘ll tell you in a minute. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), ‘08 PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL:  It‘s the same course that continues to divide the isolate America from world by substituting bluster and bullying for direct diplomacy, by ignoring our allies and refusing to talk to our enemies, even though presidents from Kennedy to Reagan have done just that, because strong countries and strong leaders aren‘t afraid to tell hard truths to petty dictators. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Barack Obama continues to defend his policy of engaging our enemies.  But after last night‘s win for Hillary Clinton, has Mrs. Clinton finally found his Achilles heel?  Could it be the freshman senator is more vulnerable than we thought on the question of foreign policy?

Joining us now is senior foreign policy advisor to the Obama campaign, Susan Rice. 

Susan, thanks a lot for coming—for coming on. 

SUSAN RICE, OBAMA SR. FOREIGN POLICY ADVISOR:  Good to be with you again. 

CARLSON:  So Hillary Clinton runs this ad, the famous red phone ad, that says when the phone rings at 3:00 in the morning, you know, who do you trust to make those snap decisions that could hold all of our lives in the balance?  And the Obama campaign, I thought very wisely, came back and said, name one that you—you know name a situation where you‘ve judged a foreign policy crisis, and she couldn‘t. 

I‘m going to ask the same question to you.  Where has—Barack Obama been in a position where he has to make those kinds of decisions? 

RICE:  He hasn‘t and he hasn‘t claimed that he‘s been in a position to have to answer the phone at 3:00 in the morning in a crisis situation.  That‘s the difference between the two of them.  Hillary Clinton hasn‘t had to answer the phone at 3:00 in the morning.  And yet she attacked Barack Obama for not being ready.  They‘re both not ready to have that 3:00 a.m.  phone call. 

The questions is and what Barack Obama raised is, when that phone call is received for each of them for the first time, who‘s going to make the right judgment?  Who is going to make the right decision? 

On the critical foreign policy issues of the day, whether it was a decision to go to war in Iraq or the decision to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt and beat the drums of war with Iran, Hillary Clinton has made the same wrong judgment as John McCain and George W. Bush.  Barack Obama has made a very different judgment. 

So neither one of them, and nor John McCain for that matter, have had that 3:00 phone call that others have had.  And I think we have to be honest about that. 

CARLSON:  Well, good for you for saying that.  I mean I‘ve asked that question of Hillary Clinton supporters and they—rather than just saying she hasn‘t, they‘ve come up with less believable right. 

RICE:  They‘ve come up—but Tucker, let‘s go into. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t want to pile on. 

RICE:  .what they said. 

CARLSON:  I know what they said.  I mean. 

RICE:  They said, you know, oh she—first of all, as you pointed out, they said, you know, nothing for several, almost 20 seconds. 

CARLSON:  Well, she went to the 1995 Beijing. 

RICE:  And then she went to the Beijing women‘s conference which, of course, is a crisis.  And then she claimed that she played an instrumental role in negotiating the Northern Ireland peace agreement.  George Mitchell who was the negotiator said she not directly involved.  She claimed she went to Kosovo and opened the border with Macedonia, and yet the border opened the day before she arrived on that trip through no direct involvement of her own. 

CARLSON:  They knew she was coming and they opened it up. 

RICE:  Well, you know. 

CARLSON:  That—such is the power of Hillary Clinton. 

RICE:  Well, there you go. 

CARLSON:  So here‘s something that I think I may be one of four people who noticed this.  But it really struck me.  So Barack Obama has held pretty, in a steadfast way, to this policy of meeting with our enemies.  They may hate us but we can‘t make it better until we talked to them.  He said that in the face of a lot of criticisms.  Meet the heads of state of Iran, North Korea, Cuba, people who really hate us.  Then he comes out and says, and I‘m quoting now, he‘s not going to meet with Hamas, democratically elected Hamas. 

Quote, “You can‘t negotiate with somebody who doesn‘t recognize the right of a country to exist.” 

Is that the criterion now? 

RICE:  Well, let‘s be clear.  What he said was that after due preparation and in order to advance our interest, he would be more than willing to consider meeting with the heads of states of countries with which we had adversarial relationships as a way of trying to see, if through negotiations and other forms of pressure, we can‘t get the desired result. 

CARLSON:  Right. 

RICE:  Hamas is a different case.  Hamas is a terrorist organization. 

Hamas is determined to affect Israel‘s destruction.  Hamas is not a state. 

Hamas is not a head of state.  And so. 

CARLSON:  OK.  So you‘re—they are terrorist organization, but the -

government of Iran, which we think bankrolled the 1993 barracks bombings in Beirut killing all those U.S. Marines. 

RICE:  They are a government that has been a state by (INAUDIBLE) 

CARLSON:  Absolutely.  The same with North Korea. 

RICE:  Yes, that‘s right. 

CARLSON:  . peddling methamphetamine throughout Europe. 

RICE:  Same with the government of Sudan. 

CARLSON:  Well, there you go. 

RICE:  But this government has. 

CARLSON:  There you go but we don‘t have a problem with them, but Hamas. 

RICE:  Hamas is not a state.  Hamas is not a state actor. 

CARLSON:  Not a state actor?  I thought Hamas was kind of in control in Gaza, no? 

RICE:  No, they‘re controlling Gaza.  Gaza is not a state.  They are a non-state actor that is controlling territory which acquired through force. 

So here‘s the deal.  Yes, we have to recognize reality.  There are states on this planet with which we have adversarial relationships and which we had real problem.  The question is, do we isolate them and take the view that negotiating with them is somehow a reward?  Or do we go back to a policy that has served this country well under. 

CARLSON:  Right.  You know, I get. 

RICE:  .Ronald Reagan and others to negotiate. 

CARLSON:  Look, I get it.  I don‘t think he should meet with Hamas. 

RICE:  Hamas is different. 

CARLSON:  I think Hamas is repulsive.  I don‘t think he should meet with him. 

RICE:  It is indeed. 

CARLSON:  Good for him.  But the only difference is, is a political one. 

RICE:  No. 

CARLSON:  He‘s under fire for his views on Israel that will be politically unacceptable. 

RICE:  No, no, wait.  Wrong. 

CARLSON:  .to say he‘s going to meet with. 

RICE:  Wrong.  Tucker.. 

CARLSON:  Come on, you know that‘s true, Susan. 

RICE:  No.  He has been very clear on this point for the entirety of. 

CARLSON:  Of course, he has.  He‘s not stupid.  You can‘t. 

RICE:  And that is—there is a distinction between meeting with any terrorist organization that is out to destroy our critical ally versus meeting with the government. 

CARLSON:  What about out to destroy us?  North Korea and Iran are out, you can‘t argue, to destroy us. 

RICE:  Well, George Bush has negotiated with North Korea and he‘s opened diplomatic channels to Iran. 

CARLSON:  I‘m not—but I‘m not defending Bush.  I‘m just saying by that measure. 

RICE:  The fact is when you are a state, when you control a territory, when you are—like it or not, a member of the international community, that is a very different status from being a terrorist organization that is a non-state actor determined to destroy one of your critical ally.  So what Barack Obama has said about Hamas is that Hamas should be isolated.  It should not be part of a negotiation until it renounced its terrorism, recognizes Israel, and accepts to be bound by all the agreements that the PLO had. 

CARLSON:  Should we have—I want to ask you about NAFTA but I‘m so interested in this I can‘t control myself.  Should we—Barack Obama, like George W. Bush and the neocons, is always out there extolling the virtues of democracy and dealing with the people and empowering them, et cetera.  Should we have backed an election, as we did, in which Hamas had the opportunity to become democratically elected? 

RICE:  Well, I think that was a very questionable decision on the part of the United States. 

CARLSON:  But if you‘re committed to the idea of democracy. 

RICE:  You know what? 

CARLSON:  .as the highest good, how can you not? 

RICE:  It‘s a very—it was a mistake.  Look what happened. 

CARLSON:  So you recognize. 

RICE:  No. 

CARLSON:  .and Mr. Obama recognizes that democracy is not the end. 

RICE:  No, democracy is the beginning.  Democracy is what you need to have a capable state that is willing to behaved responsibility in the international community. 

CARLSON:  But democracy empowered Hamas. 

RICE:  And that‘s why the policy of the Bush administration. 

CARLSON:  So maybe democracy is not always good. 

RICE:  Democracy needs to be built from the bottom up.  It‘s not just about an election.  It‘s about democratic institutions.  It‘s about civil society, free press.  And that—it was woefully absent in the case of the Palestinian elections.  We got Hamas and we now have the consequences. 

CARLSON:  Very quickly, just very quickly.  Your campaign has said, nobody—and you have said nobody from the Obama campaign met with the Canadian campaign to talk NAFTA.  That has turned out to be untrue.  What happened? 

RICE:  I gave you the best answer I had at the time. 

CARLSON:  Oh I believe you. 

RICE:  I‘m sorry that it‘s turned out to be incomplete. 

Here‘s what happened.  The—there was a pressure port that you cited last week when we spoke. 

CARLSON:  Right.

RICE:  .that the—two people from the Obama campaign initiated and had a meeting with the Canadian ambassador to tell the Canadian ambassador that don‘t believe what Barack Obama is saying on the campaign trail.  He‘s really not serious about NAFTA. 

That never happened.  There was no such meeting.  It was never initiated by the Obama campaign and that message was never delivered.  What have we learned subsequently is that there was a low-level meeting in Chicago initiated by the Canadian consulate with Austan Goolsbee who is an economic advisor to Barack Obama. 

They had a discussion.  No point did Austan Goolsbee say anything different from what Barack Obama has said in public. 

CARLSON:  OK. 

RICE:  He said we have to open NAFTA to ensure that environmental labor standards are in the core agreement.  The summary of that message written by somebody else was leaked by the Canadian government and it distorted what the actual body of the message. 

CARLSON:  So at no point. 

RICE:  And the Canadian government has apologized.  They have said that that characterization was inaccurate, and today the prime minister of Canada has called for an investigation to the whole incident. 

CARLSON:  And when Canadians investigate, step back.  Watch out.  They don‘t mess around.

Susan Rice, thank you very much. 

RICE:  Thank you. 

CARLSON:  John McCain picked up an endorsement today from the president of the United States.  He says he‘ll hit the campaign trail from the just-clinched presumptive nominee.  Will that help McCain in the end? 

Plus Barack Obama‘s winning streak comes to an end with Hillary Clinton‘s Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island victories.  What will it take for Obama to get his momentum back?  Does he even need momentum?  Will he win on math alone?  That‘s coming up. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  The good news about our candidate is there will be a new president, a man of character and courage, but he‘s not going to change when it comes to taking on the enemy.  He understands this is a dangerous world. 

John McCain will find out when he takes the oath of office his most important responsibility is to protect the American people from harm.  And there‘s still an enemy that lurks, an enemy that wants to strike us.  And this country better have somebody in that oval office who understands the stakes.  And John McCain understands those stakes. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Formal rivals, President Bush and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain are now friends, at least in public.  It‘s not the most comfortable moment today but it was a significant one.  The torch has been passed.  The question is: will it burn John McCain? 

Joining us now associate editor of “The Hill A.B. Stoddard and Democratic strategist Peter Fenn. 

A.B., that was an uncomfortable moment.  I wasn‘t expecting it to be as uncomfortable as it was.  And it seemed to me in some way, but I can‘t quite articulate, it diminished John McCain, maybe because Bush seemed to need to answer every question and kind of hovered around him like a nervous mom. 

Did you think that? 

A.B. STODDARD, “THE HILL”:  Yes.  I think when Bush is not comfortable

I mean we really—John McCain needed it to go sort of smoothly today, and when Bush is awkward, it makes it awkward.  Everybody knows that they‘re former rivals.  Everybody knows it‘s awkward.  Everyone wonders what they talked about at lunch.  But for McCain. 

CARLSON:  McCain was not as articulate as Bush, I thought. 

STODDARD:  Because it‘s awkward, and John McCain knows that this is a day that he needed to do, as we all question, if Barack Obama was the nominee today after winning Texas and Ohio, would Bush—would John McCain have gone to the White House.  But for him, this is the day that he needs to go to the White House, be endorsed, consolidate his base, and then make plans to run away from this day in the next three months.  He does. 

PETER FENN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  The best thing I think about this day was probably when John McCain was in the car and he looked in his rearview mirror and he saw Bush waving goodbye. 

CARLSON:  But the way it appeared there‘s got to be some value in saying to Republicans, the one group that doesn‘t like John McCain very much, you know, the head Republican has passed on his seal of approval.  I mean. 

FENN:  You‘ve (INAUDIBLE) the head Republican with a 28 percent approval rating.  I mean. 

CARLSON:  Yes, but it‘s the 28 percent you need to win.  I mean you got to have those. 

FENN:  And talking about—but you think about enemies lurking, I think that the lurking was going on right there.  I—you know, look, I think the problem that McCain is going to have in this campaign is what to do with the elephant in the middle of the room.  Elephant being George Bush.  You prefer to put him in a closet.  I mean you don‘t want this guy out doing much campaigning for you, you can make his cameo appearance at the convention.  You know, he can be. 

CARLSON: Wait, but hold on. 

FENN:  He‘s not going cut ads for you. 

CARLSON:  No, but Bush. 

FENN:  And the other thing he can do for you. 

CARLSON:  He can‘t control himself. 

FENN:  Bush can‘t control himself? 

CARLSON:  He can‘t control himself. 

FENN:  No.  No.  His middle name. 

CARLSON:  He‘s not going to be running on (INAUDIBLE) 

FENN:  His—you‘re talking about awkward?  No, no, no.  You‘re talking about awkward.  His middle name is awkward. 

CARLSON:  Yes, he‘s awkward. 

FENN:  I mean, and. 

CARLSON:  But he‘s not a desperately needy ego maniac who‘s going to be cornering reporters and giving them his side. 

STODDARD:  It‘s very important. 

CARLSON:  I just don‘t see it.  Maybe I‘m wrong. 

FENN:  The best thing he can do actually right now. 

CARLSON:  Right. 

FENN:  The best thing?  Give a little Democratic advice to a Republican, raise as much money as he possible can for the RNC and for him quietly. 

CARLSON:  He‘s good at that. 

We‘ll be back in just a moment. 

Hillary Clinton pulls off wins in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island.  Don‘t forget Rhode Island, just like her campaign predicted she would.  But they didn‘t really mean it.  Barack Obama loses momentum.  The question is how does Hillary capitalize on what could be a very narrow window of opportunity. 

Plus a few weeks ago Bill Clinton told voters his wife needed their help and they responded.  Did Bill make the difference last night? 

You‘re watching MSNBC. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MARKET REPORT)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON:  For everyone here in Ohio and across America who has ever been counted out, but refused to be knocked out, and for everyone who has stumbled but stood right back up, and for everyone who works hard and never gives up, this one is for you. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Whoever it was for, Hillary Clinton‘s three wins, especially wins in Ohio and in Texas, did a lot for her.  She regathered the coalition of middle and lower income voters and women, who proved her significant wins on Tuesday, 11 primaries ago.  Barack Obama lost three primaries, including another two big states, and he lost the public relations battle quite badly. 

However, his lead among pledged delegates survived practically intact.  He‘s got the math sowed up.  That didn‘t change.  So what happens now?  Do both campaigns descend into attack mode.  Will there be some sort of a brokered reconciliation.  Are we going to go through three more months like this.  We can only pray to god for that. 

Back with us, associate editor of “The Hill,” A.B. Stoddard, and Democratic strategist Peter Fenn.  It‘s the journalism for employment act and I‘m on the record as for it.  I‘m for it.  I don‘t care, without apology.  Let it go on.  It‘s good for America and it‘s good for us.  It‘s perfect. 

I think Obama blew it.  It wasn‘t just that Hillary sealed the deal, which she did, obviously.  But Obama had everything going for him.  What happened? 

STODDARD:  Let‘s beat him up.  I have a list.  He had every paper—every big endorsement in a newspaper in Texas.  He had MoveOn.org down there.  He had the Teamsters in Ohio.  He had SCIU.  He had the money.  He had the momentum.  He had erased these massive leads in both states. 

I don‘t know if it‘s the NAFTA dustup.  I don‘t know if people like a fight.  I don‘t know if it‘s 3:00 a.m. ad.  It‘s a blend of some intangibles also.  But it was still, even though the momentum in the last 24 to 36 hours was tilting Hillary‘s way, and we were told to believe she was making a comeback, it was still a surprise. 

CARLSON:  Do you think it was Obama‘s missteps or Hillary‘s forward steps? 

FENN:  I think it was definitely both.  The one problem with these kind of analysis is everybody wants a silver bullet that caused it to happen.  Of course, there wasn‘t one.  Look, the 3:00 a.m. ad hit home.  They had to respond to it.  It went back and forth on that. 

CARLSON:  Don‘t you think the press fell down on that.  If you‘re going to run an ad, saying I‘m the one that can handle a crisis at 3:00 a.m., shouldn‘t you be able to provide at least one example of a single crisis you‘ve handled in your whole life. 

FENN:  You‘ve got 35 years of experience. 

CARLSON:  What does that mean? 

FENN:  Here is my point on all this; you had this sense that the Clinton campaign this last week had things, A, going in their favor with things they couldn‘t control, like Rezko, but they made the most of it.  They ran a great campaign.  And they got outspent.  That‘s the other big issue.  Three to four, which should be on your list. 

STODDARD:  I said he had the money. 

FENN:  Big time money, three to four times on TV.  You know, if you look at the union households, one out of three households in Ohio union households, they went two to one for Hillary Clinton.  The NAFTA debate was big for them. 

I think it hearkens back to the Clinton administration, too.  I think they said, you know, these guys know how to handle the economy.  They know how to do that. 

CARLSON:  All those union endorsements that A.B. just mentioned didn‘t matter. 

(CROSS TALK) 

CARLSON:  He had, I think, the preponderance of endorsements.  He had the Kennedys.  Somebody e-mailed to Mike Allen of “The Politico” this morning from the Hillary campaign pointed out, the whole Kennedy family, most of them have gone for Obama.  Ted Kennedy for Massachusetts, Hillary.  Patrick Kennedy, Rhode Island, Hillary.  Maria Shriver, California, Hillary. 

STODDARD:  It‘s not good.

FENN:  If you‘re a Clinton campaign, you put Kennedys in all these states. 

CARLSON:  We‘re learning that all the conventional markers of success in politics, money, endorsements, doesn‘t add up to squat really. 

STODDARD:  No. 

CARLSON:  Why do we pay so much attention?  How dumb are we? 

FENN:  This is interesting to me.  I think what‘s happening here is events, the 24-7 coverage, the “Saturday Night Live” stuff, going on Jon Stewart; these are all front and center with people.  They are making these decisions quickly.  They are making them in the last three days.  A third of the folks in most of these states. 

CARLSON:  Here, speaking of last minute decisions, the Clinton campaign made a very smart, counter-intuitive last minute decision to send Bill Clinton onto the Rush Limbaugh show, which was being hosted by a guest host, when he went on.  Still pretty smart if you think about it, the kind of decision you make when you‘re desperate that turns out to be inspired after all. 

He went on and I thought said some really interesting things about their plans going forward.  I want to play a selection of clips from Bill Clinton. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I

think, first of all, the Democratic party has to think long and hard about disenfranchising the people who voted in Florida.  Hillary clearly followed the rules, that is she only raised funds in Florida.  She never did any advertising there.  Senator Obama did advertise in Florida for a week or ten days on television with a national cable television TV buy. 

Despite of the fact that he did and she didn‘t, she won a big victory there.  I think if those people are disenfranchised, are told they have to undertake the expense of another election, they will be very angry and they will feel that, you know, it‘s not just the Republicans that disenfranchise voters in Florida. 

Now, in Michigan it‘s a little bit different because the other candidates took their names off the ballot.  They did it because they knew Hillary was going to win.  It was a way of saying oh, look, we‘re on your side to the other early states.  Some resolution of that will have to be found. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  So much of that is false or out of context.  That‘s a torrent of BS.  That‘s a Vesuvius of BS. 

STODDARD:  He sounds so good. 

CARLSON:  Here is the truth at the center of it, which Kiki McLean reconfirmed, as if we needed it; they really are going to fight for those delegates in Florida, though that is just giving the finger to the process, the Democratic process. 

STODDARD:  Even though there are no delegates in Florida.  There are no delegates for Florida.  The DNC has not approved any.  Florida violated the rules.  Seriously, for him, he really talks a good rap. 

CARLSON:  It‘s unbelievable. 

STODDARD:  It is—there is a way—let me just put it, a technical detail.  You revote with caucuses.  It costs the tax payers nothing.  Primaries have been held in those states.  They already paid for those.  When the revote is taken in those two states, they will be caucuses, at which Senator Obama prevails, because he‘s better organized. 

FENN:  I‘m not clear on that.  I think what is going to happen -- 

STODDARD:  I‘m not saying he‘s going to win both. 

FENN:  The governor said it‘s OK to have another primary.  My guess is

I may be dead wrong about this.  I think we‘re going to see two primaries in June. 

STODDARD:  They have to get paid—

CARLSON:  The Democratic party is the most disorganized group of people in the whole world.  They want to run the country?  Holy smokes, they can‘t pull off a caucus. 

FENN:  We‘re not an organized political party, we‘re Democrats. 

(CROSS TALK)

FENN:  Look, there‘s no other way to get around this.  There is a caucus option.  I don‘t think that is going to fly.  I think we‘ll end up with this, because there‘s no way the DNC will say, well, we changed our minds.  You can have the delegates. 

STODDARD:  Everyone will obey the rules. 

FENN:  Right.  Can you imagine—we talk Pennsylvania.  This won‘t be about Pennsylvania.  This will be about these last two states. 

STODDARD:  It‘s never going to end. 

CARLSON:  The person who wants it more wins.  It‘s the will to win, the desire to win.  She‘ll take any abuse, any length. 

FENN:  Obama is tough.

CARLSON:  Is he tough?

FENN:  He is tough. 

STODDARD:  Is tonight—is now a good time, with all the questions raised about Rezko and NAFTA and everything else, is now a good time for Obama to try to convince super delegates to go to his side. 

CARLSON:  I don‘t know.  You‘ve already seen at least two super delegates come to him today.  That may be residual momentum.  Those were deals made a couple days ago.  It will be really interesting to see in the coming weeks how many shifts.

Hillary Clinton said something that people have been talking about all day.  I‘ve come to decide it was genius.  She was on Joe Scarborough‘s show this morning.  She‘s talking about what next. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON:  Both of us have been asked that question.  Obviously, it‘s premature for either of us to address it.  There is a lot of interest in that.  Many Democrats are hoping for that.  We have to sort through this nominating process to see who ends up as the nominee.  But we‘re going to put together a winning ticket.  The most important thing is to win in November. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  I should have said the question was, will you and Obama run together in some combination.  She clearly—that‘s, in some ways, maybe the best she is going to do mathematically, be the vice president to Obama.  Everybody knows she would never do that.  Or would she?

STODDARD:  I don‘t think she would ever take that job and he would never take that job.  She‘s talking to super delegates.  Everything they are doing right now is talking to super delegates.  Besides Wyoming and Mississippi, there‘s a big long stretch without elections.  They are going to get to Pennsylvania. 

She‘s talking super delegates, because she thinks that‘s what they want to hear.  They want to hear, we need to win.  That‘s my ultimate goal.  I‘m not going to bloody him so badly for John McCain to kick him down the street. 

CARLSON:  I‘m not a party destroyer.

STODDARD:  I‘m going to be on the ticket with him. 

FENN:  I think that‘s absolutely right.  If you saw in Los Angeles, any of these other debate, when they start to be nice to each other, that audience goes—Democrats, they want them both up there.  They like them both.  So this place—of course, she did offer the vice presidency to Joe Scarborough before that. 

CARLSON:  Can you imagine trying to govern the executive branch with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton in this kind of triad presidency.  That‘s out of a novel.  Thank you both very much.  You were excellent. 

How did Hillary do it?  Coming up, we‘ll break down the numbers.  The exit polls for a look at what exactly the factors were that led to her comeback wins last night in Texas and Ohio. 

Plus, forget the Texas two-step.  President Bush shows off his own set of happy feet while killing time at the White House.  Our cameras were there. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON:  In recent history, no one has ever been elected president who did not win their party‘s primary in Ohio.  Ohio is the bellwether state.  If you cannot win Ohio, you cannot win the presidency.  I think I proved convincingly last night that of the two of us, I‘m the one who can win Ohio and I‘m the one who can win the presidency. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  Hillary Clinton did something amazing last night.  She exceeded her poll numbers, which is another way of saying,  a lot of people changed their minds about her in the final hours before last night‘s voting ended.  The question is: who are they and why did they do that. 

Joining us now is one of the best readers of numbers in American politics.  He‘s the author of “The Neglected Voter,” white men and the Democratic dilemma, senior political reporter for “Politico,” David Paul Kuhn.  David, thanks for coming on. 

DAVID PAUL KUHN, “THE POLITICO”:  Always a pleasure, Tucker.

CARLSON:  So who is responsible for these victories. 

KUHN:  In Ohio, she did extraordinarily well with white women again.  Really, her coalition returned to her.  She won 65 percent of white women, which is even above her average.  Back in—

CARLSON:  Is that 65 overall? 

KUHN:  Sixty five percent of all white women who voted in the Democratic primary in Ohio.  That‘s five percent even higher than how she did with white women nationally on Super Tuesday.  In Ohio, as well, with white men, they came back to her.  If you look, she won 55 percent of white men in Ohio. 

If you go back to Wisconsin two weeks ago, Obama had won white men.  He had won one white man actually in the last three primary contests.  What happened to be the most crucial swing block, that has gone back and forth between the two candidates, looked to be moving permanently to Obama.  But, last night she won back these men, many of them working class. 

With the support of her coalition of women and Hispanics, which we saw unified in Texas for her as well, Clinton really had an impressive night. 

CARLSON:  So the swing demographic here were white men.  Is that correct? 

KUHN:  Absolutely.  Basically, it‘s very obvious.  We have—African-Americans have been extremely loyal to Barack Obama.  He has never lost the black vote.  So eight in ten to nine in ten African-Americans have always backed Obama since Nevada, since African Americans they were a significant portion of the population.  Now, with Hillary Clinton, white women; generally her coalition has relied upon winning about six in ten white women, and about six in ten Hispanics.  What we saw in Texas—

CARLSON:  Does that remain pretty—

KUHN:  That‘s been solid.  That‘s been pretty stable.  Obama has done very well when he‘s cut into white women and sort of brought them down to near 50 and won white men.  So what we see, without confusing your viewers, is in Texas her coalition of winning six in ten Hispanics and six in ten white women, both of which have been equally loyal to her, held.  Obama made no inroads with Hispanics last night in Texas.  That is also a problem for him because of course he‘s proven incapable of winning Hispanics in states with large Hispanic populations. 

CARLSON:  What about young people?  We keep hearing this is the year where they will make the difference.  We hear that every four years.  Is it coming true? 

KUHN:  No.  It never does come true.  Are young people excited about Obama?  absolutely.  are young people—did they turn out in immense numbers in Iowa?  Sure, 22 percent came out in Iowa.  That‘s five percent above the standard mark in American politics of 17 percent.  But after that, they really start to trail off.  At times they have fell to 12 percent.  Last night the senior vote far outweighed Obama‘s strength with youth voters.  So—

CARLSON:  Older voters vote for Hillary. 

KUHN:  Two to one.  Here‘s the thing, we don‘t have beats at entire programs and stations devoted to people 65 and older.  They are not sexy to cover.  But Hillary‘s dominance of seniors last night proved to far outweighed Obama‘s strength with those 29 and younger.  

CARLSON:  They got to turn those out.  Do you think it‘s a big enough voting block in Pennsylvania that they can get young people, people under 30 to the polls to make a difference?

KUHN:  No.  Unfortunately for Obama, Pennsylvania is one of the oldest states in the country.  Fortunate for Obama, to be crass about the coalitions, there‘s a small Hispanic population there.  His inability to make inroads with Hispanics will not be a problem for him in Pennsylvania.  He‘s got to rely on his strength with African-Americans, at least cutting into her strength with white women and winning white men.  If he can do that, he will win Pennsylvania. 

CARLSON:  David Paul Kuhn, a whiz with the numbers and great at explaining it.  I appreciate it. 

KUHN:  Thanks for having me. 

CARLSON:  Thank you. 

A dramatic scene today from one of the natural wonders of the world. 

The result has many simply flushed.  We‘ll explain, coming up. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Joining us now, a man whose poll numbers are frankly stratospheric, Bill Wolff. 

BILL WOLFF, MSNBC VICE PRESIDENT:  Flat right now; I‘m trending down. 

I‘m nervous about that.  Thanks for bringing it up. 

President Bush has a well earned reputation, as you know, for being clear and direct.  He‘s never been known as a tap dancer until today.  While awaiting the arrival of presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, Mr. Bush had some of that what do I do while I‘m standing here in front of a bunch of people with nothing to do, nothing to tell them and nowhere to go time, so tap dance.  There he was, the old soft shoe. 

If he had some plates to spin on some sticks, we would have really had a story.  The president left with a smile and shrug, and of course an endorsement of John McCain.  What can I tell you.  I‘ll tell you this, it shows the influence of his Africa trip.  He danced at nearly every stop. 

CARLSON:  He had one great piece of advice for McCain today when he said, be careful who you pick to head your search committee when you look for your vice presidential candidate. 

WOLFF:  Should we read more into that than is on the surface, Tucker? 

CARLSON:  No. 

WOLFF:  Think he‘s been satisfied?  Very careful now everybody.  Two frequent guests of this program—this is more red meat politics—two diametrically opposed true believers, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas and Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, faced stiff opposition last night in their home districts from folks who accused those failed presidential hopefuls of ignoring their constituents in favor of runs for the White House. 

They both survived.  Dr. Paul easily won his race.  He faces no Democratic opposition in the fall.  The great Dennis Kucinich faced four opponents and beat them all to qualify for the November election against a Republican opponent. 

So they are still viable politicians, which is excuse enough for me to bring either one of those fine gentlemen on the television program.  I think they are two of our best guests. 

CARLSON:  Are you kidding?  Line them up night after night, week after week.  America needs—I only agree with one out of the two, but I admire both for the sincerity of their beliefs and for the fact that they never stray from them.  Those are principled men. 

WOLFF:  And people pooh-pooh them.  I‘m not crazy about that.  I don‘t think they should be pooh-poohed.  They actually believe what they are talking about, and I‘m for it. 

News now, Tucker, of man‘s ongoing effort to control nature.  We wish man a hearty good luck with that.  Today‘s amazing picture from the Grand Canyon, where the bypass valves of the Glen Canyon Dam were open.  That‘s the result, 300,000 gallons of water per second came pouring out. 

There was a purpose to this.  It was an experiment authorized by the Department of the Interior to try, essentially, to re-muddy the Colorado River.  Since that dam was built in 1963, that river has gotten clearer and cooler, which sounds good.  But that has messed with the natural balance of things, endangering the habits of some endangered species of fish. 

The idea is to push sand and sediment and dirt down the river to reverse the change the dam caused.  For TV purposes, there are great pictures and a chance to say dam without cursing, Tucker.  Couldn‘t pass it up. 

CARLSON:  Clear and cool are two basic conditions that are good for fly fishermen.  I think I‘m against it. 

WOLFF:  That‘s a reasonable position to take.  Like reasonable people can disagree.  Finally I have matrimonial news for you, Tucker, from the nation of India, where in the western part of the country wedding bells rang for two monkeys. 

Yes, hundreds turned out for a procession to a local temple, where a three-year-old male monkey and an age appropriate female were blessed and officially married.  It was the first for both parties.  They were given a variety of gifts, no report on where they were registered.  The happy couple went off to honeymoon and spend the rest of their lives in the wild. 

Tucker, just another bachelor party I‘m sorry I missed.  Can you imagine. 

CARLSON:  They were animals at that thing.  That‘s weird, but not as weird as the rat temples in India.  That is weird.

WOLFF:  I don‘t to disrespect anyone‘s culture.  That was a religious ceremony.  I‘m all for it.  I will say, though, on a completely separate observation, monkeys crack me up.  Monkeys crack me up.  Put some chimps on some roller skates, put a porter hat on them, cigarette, instant gold. 

CARLSON:  Inherently amusing, also mildly threatening.  Interesting combination.  Bill Wolff.  Thanks, Bill. 

WOLFF:  You got it. 

CARLSON:  That does it for us.  Thanks for watching.  We‘ll be right back here tomorrow night.  Hope you will join us then.  Up next, “HARDBALL” with Chris.  Have a great night.

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