updated 7/27/2004 10:00:39 AM ET 2004-07-27T14:00:39

Guest: Debbie Stabenow, Mary Landrieu, Maria Cantwell, Ed Rendell, Jennifer Granholm

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I am honored to join you in this endeavor as a candidate for president of the United States.  I‘m pleased to announce that with your help the next vice president of the United States of America will be Senator John Edwards from North Carolina.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(APPLAUSE)

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST:  Good evening, I‘m Chris Matthews.  It‘s like Christmas morning for guys like me.  Welcome to “HARDBALL‘s” live coverage of the Democratic Convention here in Boston (UNINTELLIGIBLE) we‘ll be here all week covering the Democrats‘ big show as they gather at the FleetCenter to nominate Massachusetts Senator John Kerry for president. 

Tonight, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, all speak to the nation in support of the Democratic ticket of John Kerry and John Edwards.  The message, I know what it is because I heard it from the inside - simple, relevant, vital.  That John Kerry will defend the country, that he shares the country‘s values, that he‘s a man with whom we will be comfortable as our president. 

Our all-star panel is with us right now, but before we get to them, let‘s kick things off with the military company of Massachusetts, the oldest chartered military company in the Western hemisphere.  This Color Guard has been around since Governor...

(APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS:  ... started it in 1638 and today is commanded by Colonel William J. O‘Brien (ph).

(APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s go to our panel right now - MSNBC contributor, Ronald Reagan—Ron Reagan, let‘s move that prompter a bit.  We‘ve got Dee Dee Myers—by the way you‘re going to be speaking at the convention tomorrow and we want to hear—a little preview of that...

RON REAGAN, HARDBALL SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT:  All right.

MATTHEWS:  ... former Clinton Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers and David Gergen, who was an advisor to, count them, four U.S. presidents of different political parties. 

Ron, you interviewed Michael Moore.  Tell us about it.  Michael Moore, the filmmaker who‘s made all the noise and also made $100 million with this new movie “Fahrenheit 9/11”.

REAGAN:  That‘s right.  We caught up with Michael at the Sheraton Hotel here in Boston.  He has just passed the $100 million mark.  This movie that he did, “Fahrenheit 9/11”, cost $6 million to make.  At the same time that Disney was refusing to distribute “Fahrenheit 9/11”, they put out “Around The World In 80 Days”.  That cost $100 million to make, $30 million to promote and made $22 million.  Michael Moore, $10 million to make...

MATTHEWS:  So the message is go left old man, right?

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s take a look at your interview with the great, I guess controversial filmmaker, Michael Moore. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REAGAN:  So, Michael, Mr. $100-million man, congratulations.

MICHAEL MOORE, “FAHRENHEIT 9/11” DIRECTOR:  As you can tell. 

(LAUGHTER)

REAGAN:  Well now you‘re sort of a working class hero kind of guy.  But now that you‘re in the big money here, is this going to destroy your street cred? 

MOORE:  I think it‘s all over for me.  I‘ve already ordered the yacht, so...

(CROSSTALK)

MOORE:  ... I‘m up there now you know doing “Shrek” numbers and “Dodgeball”.  “Dodgeball” is the next one we‘re going to overtake...

REAGAN:  Yes...

MOORE:  We‘re only like three million away from “Dodgeball” right now...

REAGAN:  (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MOORE:  ... so...

REAGAN:  Well now, Disney at the same time that they refused to distribute your film put out “Around The World In 80 Days” which cost $110 million to produce, $30 million to promote and made $22 million.  Your movie cost $10 million to make. I‘m not sure how much...

MOORE:  Six million to make. 

REAGAN:  Six million to make...

MOORE:  Yes.

REAGAN:  ... and I don‘t know how much to promote. 

MOORE:  Probably around two million...

REAGAN:  Yes.

MOORE:  Sixteen million total...

REAGAN:  ... and has made over $100 million.  What do you think they‘re saying at the Disney offices right now?

MOORE:  I honestly do feel bad for them.  I really do.  I feel bad for the shareholders of Disney.  It‘s actually—worldwide this is going to end up making over a couple of hundred million dollars.  You know, Mr.  Eisner, I don‘t know, it‘s—I‘m still willing to take his call, though.  I will still—now that I‘m you know in the 100 million league, I won‘t forget the little people like Mr. Eisner that gave me the money to make this movie.

REAGAN:  Yes.

MOORE:  He did give me the money to make the movie. 

REAGAN:  True...

MOORE:  So...

REAGAN:  That‘s true.  Credit where credit is due...

MOORE:  Absolutely, yes.

REAGAN:  And 100 million to him is lunch money.  So that‘s you know really...

MOORE:  Right.  That‘s probably what he‘s thinking, too...

(CROSSTALK)

MOORE:  So he‘s got 100 million, big deal.

(LAUGHTER)

MOORE:  No, but somebody did tell me here earlier today that this movie, “Fahrenheit 9/11”” has made more money than any Disney film this year.  So...

REAGAN:  How embarrassing for them. 

MOORE:  Yes.  Yes, but let‘s not rub it in. 

REAGAN:  No...

MOORE:  It‘s...

REAGAN:  ... no we won‘t rub it in...

MOORE:  Yes...

REAGAN:  We‘ll just...

(CROSSTALK)

REAGAN:  OK, we‘ll get off that subject. 

MOORE:  Yes.

REAGAN:  What are you doing here at the Democratic National Convention? 

MOORE:  Was that what‘s going on here? 

REAGAN:  People consider you‘re crashing the convention.  I thought well he can just...

MOORE:  Oh...

REAGAN:  ... show up, can‘t he.

MOORE:  No, no, no, I‘ve been fully credentialed.  They provided me with a box tonight... 

REAGAN:  Cool. 

MOORE:  ... on the—looking over the...

REAGAN:  Fancy-smancy (ph)...

MOORE:  Yes, very nice, red carpet treatment all the way here.  I‘m a guest of the Congressional Black Caucus...

REAGAN:  (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MOORE:  ... and they‘re giving me an award for my work and also we‘re having a screening of the film tomorrow for union members. 

REAGAN:  Yes. 

MOORE:  So I‘m happy to be here. 

REAGAN:  Now you‘ve taken—of course you‘ve taken some hits, you know for doing this movie.  People have been attacking you.  Are you the kind of guy who actually revels in that, though, like the more slings and arrows flung your way, the happier you are or are you really kind of sick of that?

MOORE:  No, I need the Republicans to be angry.  And the angrier I see them the more I know what they know, which is that they‘re only in power for a few more months.  I‘d be angry too if I were them, frankly.  I mean you know this movie is a small piece of what may undo them and you know so they don‘t like that.  I don‘t blame them.

REAGAN:  Do you think it‘s actually going to have an impact? 

(CROSSTALK)

MOORE:  Oh I think it already has...

REAGAN:  Yes.

MOORE:  You should see the mail.

REAGAN:  Yes.

MOORE:  We‘re getting 6,000 e-mails a day and so many of those letters begin with either I‘ve never voted before, but I‘m voting in this election or I‘m a Republican, but I‘m not voting for Bush this year.  It‘s really remarkable the impact the film has had on people on a very personal level.

REAGAN:  Yes.

MOORE:  I think when people see the film they‘re surprised because it‘s been sort of portrayed as this Bush bashing partisan film. 

REAGAN:  Yes. 

MOORE:  But when they see it, they don‘t respond so much on a political level as they do a personal level.  Because so much of the film deals with the mother of a soldier who has died in Iraq...

REAGAN:  Right.

MOORE:  I turn the camera over to the soldiers who are there in Iraq and I let them speak to the camera whatever they want to say.  And you hear from them the truth about what they‘ve witnessed in Iraq, things you haven‘t seen on the network news.  And I think people leave the theater visibly shaken by what they have encountered in this film. 

REAGAN:  (UNINTELLIGIBLE) why don‘t we see some of that stuff on the network news? 

MOORE:  Well that is an excellent question to ask your—the people who write your paycheck. 

(LAUGHTER)

MOORE:  You know I mean I‘ve asked them because you see, what‘s so important about you, the media, is that you‘re our defense, the people‘s defense.  You‘re there to ask the hard questions and demand the evidence in a way that we can‘t because we can‘t go where you can go with this camera and with your microphone.  And so we, the people depend on you when a president says, I want to take the nation to war, your job is go to go, whoa, wait a minute here, prove it...

REAGAN:  Yes.

MOORE:  ... and nobody did that.  Instead the press became cheerleaders and everybody got on board the bus and got all hyped up about the war and everything and it was like, wait a minute, that‘s not your job. 

REAGAN:  Yes.  Now as successful as your movie is, do you think that that will mean that next election cycle, people on both sides, Republican and Democrat will say we need to hire a Michael Moore, have him do an attack documentary on the other guy and see if that turn the election.  Is that a possibility?

MOORE:  It‘s impossible for the right to do that, for the Republicans to do that because they‘re not funny.  You see...

(LAUGHTER)

MOORE:  ... one thing that—again they don‘t discuss much about my movie is that it‘s also a comedy.

REAGAN:  Yes.

MOORE:  It‘s not just an attack thing.  It‘s also you know very funny and you laugh very hard while watching parts of the movie and the Republicans have lost their sense of humor.  But I know what that‘s like because for many years we saw liberals in the left lose their sense of humor and become all very serious and very you know P.C. oriented.  And now I think our side of the fence is rediscovering its sense of humor and that‘s a good thing because I think the average American likes to laugh.  You know if you have a choice between going to a comedy or something that‘s going to make you feel miserable, I think people would rather go to see the comedy.  So that‘s my advice to the Republicans, you know lighten up and start laughing a little bit.  You‘re going to need to because you‘ll have a lot of time after November.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEWS:  We‘re back with Ron Reagan, Dee Dee Myers and David Gergen, but I have to ask the audience a question. 

(APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s go to the people. 

(APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS:  Here is the question. 

(APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS:  All right.  OK, I can‘t get anywhere with these people.

(APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS:  All right, just a minute, just a minute.  OK, I want to ask you all to applaud if you like the guy‘s name I‘m about to give and then applaud later if you don‘t like him.  Don‘t boo.  If you like him applaud.  Then I‘m going to ask if you don‘t like him to applaud.  Do you like Michael Moore? 

(APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS:  I think we have some other species here besides people.  I mean weird sounds coming out of you.  Next question, do you dislike Michael Moore? 

(APPLAUSE) 

MATTHEWS:  All right. 

REAGAN:  OK...

MATTHEWS:  I tell you, Ron, you went out and did that interview, you have broken with the Democratic battle plan this week, which is to keep that guy hidden. 

REAGAN:  Yes.

MATTHEWS:  Tell me, did you get anybody to call you up and say get out, don‘t do him.

REAGAN:  No.

MATTHEWS:  We don‘t want to hear about Michael Moore. 

REAGAN:  No, we got him kind of at the last minute.  And so we just jumped on him there at the Sheraton.  He was very accommodating to us.  But I have to tell you Chris, he‘s very disappointed that he has not been on “HARDBALL” in the last couple of years. 

MATTHEWS:  Well...

REAGAN:  He brought that up to me (UNINTELLIGIBLE) he said, I haven‘t been on Chris Matthews‘ show, how is that? 

MATTHEWS:  Well at least he can‘t include me among the media, which he‘s been rapping pretty hard and raking pretty hard for not questioning the war. 

REAGAN:  That‘s...

MATTHEWS:  “HARDBALL” cannot be accused of not questioning the war.  Dee Dee Myers, they‘re trying to keep the crazy (UNINTELLIGIBLE) this weekend.  They got everybody—all the nut cases in the Democratic Party they‘re trying to hide.  Are they going to get away with it?  Are they going to put out nice speeches by John Kerry who is sort of middle of the road...

DEE DEE MYERS, MSNBC DEMOCRATIC ANALYST:  Right.

MATTHEWS:  They‘ve got Hillary being someone middle of the road...

MYERS:  Right.

MATTHEWS:  ... your old boss Bill Clinton, middle of the road.  What happened to the left?  Where is the left this week? 

MYERS:  You know the candidate always tries to hide the crazy relatives up in the attic. 

(CROSSTALK)

MYERS:  Yes, it‘s the crazy aunts and uncles...

MATTHEWS:  OK.

MYERS:  ... and whoever.  And usually you know we only do that with limited success.  This time we‘re doing a better job and not only—you can never keep—the party is a big tent party.  There actually are all kinds of people...

MATTHEWS:  How do you keep Teresa Heinz Kerry from speaking her mind? 

MYERS:  You don‘t. 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Shove it...

MYERS:  Yes, well, you don‘t...

MATTHEWS:  Shove it.  Is that OK now?

MYERS:  I don‘t think it was the Kerry campaign plan.  So I think that

·         you know there are some people that are a little disturbed by it, but that‘s who she is.  I don‘t think we‘re not going to hear that you know kind of stuff from her every day.  But we‘re going to hear things that are a little...

(CROSSTALK)

MYERS:  ... unsettling, that are a little unpredictable.

MATTHEWS:  ... everybody missed the story last night, the first lady to be perhaps, the candidate‘s wife, said to a—I guess it‘s fair to say a right wing newspaper, I think it was referred to as a rag by one of her supporters, was hounding her and she basically turned on this guy and said shove it. 

David Gergen, does that pass mustard with the middle of the road?

DAVID GERGEN, “U.S.NEWS & WORLD REPORT”:  It didn‘t yesterday. 

Today...

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  It‘s a five-letter word...

GERGEN:  Exactly.  I think today most Democrats will say it‘s OK.

MATTHEWS:  Do we agree on that...

MYERS:  Yes and I think...

MATTHEWS:  Is this a problem is or this is solution?

MYERS:  No, I don‘t think it‘s a problem.  There were sort of a lot of reporters here and not a lot of news yesterday, so it got a lot more attention than it otherwise deserved and I don‘t think people are going to vote one way or another, whether they liked Teresa Heinz Kerry‘s comment.  But I think she is un-scriptable.  She‘s a little bit unpredictable and I think we‘re going to see a lot of moments not quite like that, but things that we don‘t expect and that certainly the campaign wouldn‘t write in the next three months...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s take a look at the bite. 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s go to the bite of her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TERESA HEINZ KERRY, SEN. JOHN KERRY‘S WIFE:  We need to turn back some of the creepy, un-Pennsylvanian and sometimes un-American traits that are coming into some of our politics. 

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:  Mrs. Kerry...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:  ... un-American...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:  You mentioned un-American...

KERRY:  No, I didn‘t say that. 

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:  What did you mean?

KERRY:  I didn‘t say that. 

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:  What did you say?

KERRY:  I didn‘t say that.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:  I‘m just asking why you said it.

KERRY:  Well, why did you put those words in my mouth? 

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:  You said something about un-American...

KERRY:  No, I didn‘t say that...

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:  ... activity.

KERRY:  I did not say activity or un-American.  Those are your words.  You can record it and listen (UNINTELLIGIBLE) question is.  I called this an un-American activity.  I did not. 

(CROSSTALK)

KERRY:  Understandable.  You said something I didn‘t say.  Now shove it. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS:  Well that was rather nice.  Anyway, we‘ll come right back with more from our panel.  We‘re not going to say shove it to anybody tonight here at Faneuil Hall and when we come back, pollster Peter Hart is going to show us or look at where John Kerry actually stands in the public...

(APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS:  We‘ll be right back (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

(APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS:  You‘re looking at “HARDBALL‘s” live coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Boston and MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back...

(APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS:  I‘m joined right now by NBC pollster Peter Hart and also our panelists Ron Reagan, of course, Dee Dee Myers—David Gergen is staying with us right now. 

Let me ask you Peter Hart, I was listening to you this morning, fascinating numbers you came out with and everybody who loves politics and cares about the country wants to know what the public thinks.  You said about a third of the country right now is happy with the job done by the president and they think we‘re going in the wrong direction. 

You have very low numbers for the president.  Why, if that‘s the case, if people aren‘t satisfied with our president, George W. Bush, why haven‘t they lunged toward the possibility of a Kerry presidency? 

PETER HART, NBC POLLSTER:  Well they‘re ready to lunge.  Simply put, he‘s the challenger.  The challenger has to meet certain standards.  At this stage of the game, they‘re viewing John Kerry.  John Kerry has a very good chance of closing the sale this week.  And the whole thing is it‘s a polarized country.  And at this stage, John Kerry has gone over the threshold on the most important thing.  They think he has the ability and the experience to be president of the United States. 

MATTHEWS:  But what does he have to do this week?  If you were writing his speeches, what would he have to say? 

HART:  I think he‘s got to do two things.  Simply put, he‘s got to be able to show that he‘s going to take care of America‘s interests abroad that he‘s strong enough on national defense and number two, that he has a good set of personal values.  That means in terms of who he is and what he stands for, where he comes from, all of those things that I think they‘re doing.  That combination of things I think puts him in pretty good stead. 

MATTHEWS:  David, I think that most people believe that whatever they think of George W. Bush, he really wants to protect this country.  They believe that he‘s aggressively trying to fight the enemy wherever he can find it.  How can John Kerry match his level of passion and commitment? 

GERGEN:  Well, it seems to me that they are casting this convention among the Democrats as a way to ensure that people think he not only has enough ability and experience to be president, but enough ability and experience to be commander-in-chief.  So my question to Peter is has he crossed that threshold yet because that‘s clearly the way they‘re trying to structure much of this convention.

HART:  At this stage, no he hasn‘t crossed that threshold.  In other words, the voters don‘t know enough at this stage.  And that‘s what John Kerry has to be able to prove to them not only this week but during the campaign.

MATTHEWS:  When you‘re in trouble—they were laughing during the primaries that if you were in big trouble, I think it was Pat Buchanan said on MSNBC, you‘re not going to go running and get Howard Dean to save you.  He may be a good philosopher.  He may be a good critic of President Bush, but he‘s not going to be a great commander-in-chief.  Do you, Dee Dee, think that John Kerry has proven himself to the country already that he‘d be a great commander-in-chief? 

MYERS:  No, but I think he can prove himself.  I think his Vietnam experience certainly helped him.  He‘s got a tremendous amount of experience in foreign policy.  So I think not only can he talk about his own credentials and his own views, which I don‘t think have come across strongly enough, but he can also say—one of the things he can say about Bush to help erode this is gosh why has he spent all this money on Iraq and not enough money in al Qaeda and are we really safer at home?

So there‘s two parts to the argument.  He not only has to be good enough—he has to tear Bush down a little bit.  Because Bush might want to do the right thing and people might believe that he‘s you know well intentioned, but has he done it?  Do you still trust him?  It is about trust.  Do you still trust the president to make the right decisions, not just the ones that he feels are right in his heart, but the ones that are right for the country? 

MATTHEWS:  Ron, I‘m going to ask you the question because you‘re the

son of a former president.  When we are in a battle situation for example -

·         I was talking to Peter this morning—suppose we get hit again, and it‘s a week before the election, don‘t the American people automatically rally around any president regardless of his philosophy or party? 

REAGAN:  Yes.  Well we‘ve discussed a lot a lot about what might happen if terrorism strikes again.  And I think the timing would have a lot to do with that.  Yes, I do think you‘re right.  There is a rally around the flag sort of phenomenon. 

MATTHEWS:  So if they‘re really smart, the enemy, and they want Bush reelected, which is an obscure argument to begin with...

REAGAN:  Yes.

MATTHEWS:  ... they would hit us late.

REAGAN:  Two weeks before the election and he‘d probably be in.  A month before, I‘m not so certain.

MATTHEWS:  Peter, do you think that‘s common sense when—because you said pretty much the same thing this morning in our briefing—do you think the enemy would ever try to influence our election and if so, would they get us?  We‘re not the Spanish.  We‘re a little different.  Pearl Harbor started a war.  It didn‘t end one.  Do you think they‘d get us...

(CROSSTALK)

HART:  First of all, let me not answer the question what the enemy will do but let me say how the American public will react.  I think if it was in the last five days, the public would rally around the president, we always rally around the flag, even after Beirut, you remember that.  But if it‘s two weeks out, four weeks out, I would say then we look to say why did it happen and what happened, and at that stage, we may come to a totally different conclusion. 

I think that it‘s a “what if”, very hard to figure out.  We know what John Kerry has to do this week.  The question is, how well does he do it?

MATTHEWS:  David, you and I - we‘ve just come across a lot of men out there who were sort of Pennsylvania Republicans.  They‘re not right wing Republicans. 

GERGEN:  Right.

MATTHEWS:  They‘re not ideological (UNINTELLIGIBLE) conservatives or anything like that.  Do you think John Kerry, if he gave a speech of his life and seemed like a strong leader, he‘d get some of those votes Thursday night?

GERGEN:  Absolutely.  I think if he gives a really strong speech, but that‘s the question.  I don‘t know whether—I‘ve talked to some of the Democrats around him.  I said have you reviewed the speech yet?  Have you looked at it?  I can‘t find anybody who‘s seen it.  Maybe there is somebody out there...

MATTHEWS:  Speechwriters have seen it...

GERGEN:  Well...

(CROSSTALK)

GERGEN:  ... he‘s taken...

MYERS:  ... he‘s writing it himself...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, no, no, no...

(CROSSTALK)

MYERS:  No, I mean it‘s...

MATTHEWS:  This is “HARDBALL”.  We don‘t admit those possibilities. 

Somebody writes their own speech...

MYERS:  It‘s bad news.  You know I see that as the worst possible thing that can happen.  I don‘t think candidates should sit down alone and write speeches.  They‘re not speechwriters...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  I‘m just saying to make David‘s point, then how are they keeping it secret if there‘s a bunch of people looking at it...

(CROSSTALK)

HART:  Same way they kept the Edwards thing secret.  I mean essentially you wound up in the last 45 minutes and you found out what it is.  They‘ve done a very good job of protecting what they want to protect. 

MATTHEWS:  The speechwriters are blabbermouths, aren‘t they...

(CROSSTALK)

HART:  Hey...

MATTHEWS:  I used to be one.

HART:  ... are you a former one...

MATTHEWS:  I used to be one.  Anyway, thank you Peter Hart, brilliant man. 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Up next, Kerry and the labor vote.  AFLCIO Secretary Treasurer Richard Trumka, he‘s been with us a lot.  He‘s coming back to talk...

(APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS:  ... “HARDBALL‘s” live coverage of the Democratic Convention here in Boston on MSNBC.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  How do you do ladies and gentlemen, here we are back (UNINTELLIGIBLE) NBC headquarters.  John Cameron Swayze speaking and taking this opportunity to introduce the gentleman on my left...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Politics played out in living rooms up and down the Eastern seaboard in 1948 when the Democratic National Convention made its television debut.  With so many Americans watching, the Democrats quickly became camera savvy giving each delegate in 1952 a gentle reminder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Maybe I‘d better read this because it applies to me too.  You will be on television.  A hundred and forty million eyes will watch you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to “HARDBALL”.  We‘re back with our panel.  We‘ve got Ron Reagan, Dee Dee Myers, and David Gergen.  Of course, we‘ve got a crowd of people here and we‘ll be going to go to the crowd throughout the night.  As we say, we‘re going to go to the people to hear from them because we are in a convention city loaded with Democrats and liberals and all kinds of interesting people including some booing Republicans, which is interesting too.

Let‘s go right now and talk about Bill Clinton.  Bill Clinton has sort of gone into retreat as the Democratic leader until this year.  He‘s come out with a book, which I noticed today, is number one on “The New York Times” bestseller list.  People are spending, what, 35 bucks for that book.  He‘s selling lots of books.  Is he back?  Ron Reagan, is Bill Clinton back? 

REAGAN:  Yes, he‘s back.  I think he‘s back.  He‘s got to be very careful, of course, with his speech tonight.  He can‘t go on you know...

MATTHEWS:  What would be...

REAGAN:  ... for an hour and a half. 

MATTHEWS:  ... the killer time?  If he‘s going for 35 minutes Dee Dee, has he exhausted his welcome again?  He has to go back into hiding.

GERGEN:  Back to Arsenio Hall.

MYERS:  Well he—what are the odds he‘s not going to go 35 minutes? 

MATTHEWS:  How long will he go tonight?  Because remember, the most popular line he delivered in 1988 at the convention for Dukakis was...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  ... in conclusion.  Is he going to do that again? 

MYERS:  Yes, he‘s going to go a little over.  He can‘t help himself...

MATTHEWS:  You‘re so nice. 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  David, is he going to exhaust his welcome again?

GERGEN:  He‘ll have a written speech about 15 to 20 minutes...

MYERS:  Yes.

GERGEN:  ... he‘ll talk about 40. 

MATTHEWS:  How long will the applause go?

MYERS:  As long...

GERGEN:  Long...

(CROSSTALK)

GERGEN:  ... Elvis...

(CROSSTALK)

GERGEN:  He‘s a rock star...

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Outside the hall there are people in Indiana, Mississippi...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  I‘m thinking more of the conservative states...

GERGEN:  He‘s not a rock star in Mississippi.

MATTHEWS:  ...  Spokane, Washington going that son of a bitch, I hate that guy.  Right?  Aren‘t they yelling that...

GERGEN:  They‘re yelling shove it.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  They‘re probably yelling shove it.  Does he do more inside the hall to help the party or more outside the hall to hurt the party?  David Gergen...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  ... you‘ve worked for many presidents of both parties...

GERGEN:  I don‘t think there‘s any doubt.  There‘s no doubt that one of Al Gore‘s biggest mistakes and I think perhaps was his biggest mistake was to walk away and hide from Bill Clinton back in 2000.  I mean the Clinton economic record was a very positive one and Bill Clinton can energized people.  And I think now Kerry‘s been very wise to reach out and say I want Clinton. 

What can Clinton do?  He can make the case for Kerry better than Kerry can make it for himself.  In fact, he can make it better than any of the Democrats can.  And secondly, he can mobilize the young and African American communities to go out and vote.  This Michael Moore film, it seems to me what Ron was getting at was the Michael Moore film has a chance to really get young people to vote (UNINTELLIGIBLE) vote.  You know those are the people who are going to watch the movies...

MATTHEWS:  Yes, but what about the other half of America, the half that supports the war, that has traditional values that are pro-life on abortion.  Would you bring Bill Clinton into Missouri?  Would you bring him into southern Ohio?  Would you? 

GERGEN:  I‘d bring him into St. Louis within a second... 

MATTHEWS:  St. Louis...

GERGEN:  ... in a heartbeat I‘d bring him...

MATTHEWS:  How about the Missouri part of Missouri. 

GERGEN:  I think he‘d go after some parts of Western Missouri and be very, very effective. 

MATTHEWS:  Dee Dee, do you think he would sell in southern Ohio, evangelical Baptist southern Ohio?

MYERS:  I think that you know there‘s—you‘ve got to keep in mind that some of those people aren‘t open to voting for John Kerry anyway.  So not to write anybody off, but let‘s not blame Bill Clinton for the fact that evangelical white Christians are more likely to vote for George Bush. 

I think the other thing to keep in mind is this is not 2000.  There‘s been a re-evaluation—the beginning of a re-evaluation of the Clinton presidency and I think he‘s more popular now than he was in the aftermath of his presidency.  I think he‘s getting stronger and stronger.  I think people look back at him somewhat nostalgically because whatever his faults were, I think people think he would have led well after 9/11 and he probably wouldn‘t have led us into war.

MATTHEWS:  Well I think he would do very well in southern Florida, very well in eastern Pennsylvania and Philadelphia where I grew up.  He‘d get the vote because he‘s done it before.

MYERS:  Keep in mind, when he was on the ballot, he won not just southern Florida, all of Florida in 1996.  He won Tennessee.  He won Arkansas.  He won West Virginia.  He won a lot of places where Gore lost in 2000 and he still—you know he has a cultural connection to people in the south...

MATTHEWS:  Your dad beat Jimmy Carter for president by 10 points.  Do you think he will—do you think Jimmy Carter is going to get a nice, warm response tonight from the Democrats? 

REAGAN:  I would imagine that he‘ll get a nice respectful response. 

MATTHEWS:  Respectful.

REAGAN:  He doesn‘t light a fire under people the way Bill Clinton does.  You were talking about Bill Clinton before and the evangelical you know Christians, mostly white.  He‘s comfortable talking about faith, even those most of those people are not Clinton fans, he‘s still comfortable going into those areas, going into churches...

MATTHEWS:  Right.

REAGAN:  ... speaking from a faith-based standpoint.  So he can be useful there even in southern Ohio. 

MATTHEWS:  (UNINTELLIGIBLE) heart just beats Monica (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

REAGAN:  Well...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  I am naughty to  bring that up but I do think that that those parallels are in the back of people‘s minds even if it‘s in the subconscious, people think about Clinton in a certain way because of certain misbehavior.  They think of Carter as failing with the economy, the hostage crisis.  But they do sure like Carter‘s post presidency...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  ... and I think Clinton is coming back into perspective.  I don‘t think Clinton looks as bad as he did two, three years ago...

GERGEN:  I was going to say—yes I was going to say he looks better.  

MATTHEWS:  He‘s coming back.

GERGEN:  It‘s better.

MATTHEWS:  All ex-presidents come back.  We like our ex-presidents except for maybe a couple of them.  Your guy Nixon and maybe Hoover.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  When we return my interview with three (UNINTELLIGIBLE) senators from key battleground states, Debbie Stabenow, Michigan, Maria Cantwell of Washington State and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, another (UNINTELLIGIBLE) state.

You‘re watching “HARDBALL‘s” live coverage of the Democratic Convention here in Boston, the hub of the universe, MSNBC.

(APPLAUSE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yet one cannot help but reflect the deep sadness that we feel over the troubles and the violence, which have erupted regrettably and tragically in the streets of this great city and for the personal injuries, which have occurred.  Surely we have now learned the lesson that violence breeds counter violence and it cannot be condoned, whatever the source.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  We‘re back.  We‘re right outside Faneuil Hall where I would like to remind people (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that‘s where John Kennedy addressed the country the night before he was elected president of the United States back in 1960, an incredible 44 years ago. 

Welcome back to “HARDBALL‘s” coverage of the Democratic Convention here in Boston.  I think that‘s how you say it.

I‘m joined right now by three Democratic U.S. senators—Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Maria Cantwell of Washington.  So shove it.  Shove it.  The wife of a presidential candidate tells a reporter to shove it last night.  Is that appropriate—is that the kind of lingo you like to use Senator?

SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW (D), MICHIGAN:  Well first of all, Teresa is a refreshing change of saying what she thinks.  But I think we ought to be asking is why the vice president went to the floor of the Senate and said what he did to Senator Leahy.  I‘d like to see a little bit more attention about that.

MATTHEWS:  Oh, you want to escalate this battle.  Senator Landrieu, you grew up in a political family, daughter of the great mayor of the Big Easy.  You‘ve apparently heard language like shove it before.  Is this within the lines of propriety for her to call a reporter—it was apparently a difficult reporter.  He‘s from a very right wing newspaper, which has got a case against the Democrats I think it‘s fair to say.  What do you think of her comment? 

SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D), LOUISIANA:  Well I agree with Debbie that she used much more appropriate language than our sitting vice president, but people in America are glad to have someone that speaks the truth and sticks with their word...

MATTHEWS:  So they must like Dick Cheney then (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

LANDRIEU:  Well...

MATTHEWS:  Dick Cheney...

LANDRIEU:  ... that went over a little overboard...

MATTHEWS:  Dick Cheney...

LANDRIEU:  That went over a little overboard in the Senate, but someone that speaks their mind is going to be refreshing because there are a lot of important issues to talk about not just labels and gimmicks. 

MATTHEWS:  Senator Cantwell of Washington State, do you think the first lady to be perhaps should continue to speak in that fashion?  For example, if we get in trouble with the French at some point, should she tell the French to shove it?

SEN. MARIA CANTWELL (D), WASHINGTON:  Well I think the key thing is, it wasn‘t a four-letter word.  I think she expressed her and I think she wanted people to step back. 

MATTHEWS:  It‘s a five-letter word.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  That‘s right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  But Chris, she can speak French. 

MATTHEWS:  Well what‘s shove it in French?  Let me go on to another serious matter.  That‘s the president of the United States to be perhaps if this party convention is successful.  John Kerry from what I heard this morning from Tad Devine is probably one of the top people working with him, the goal here this week is very clear, to display the candidate of the Democratic Party for president as a person who can defend the country in time of crisis which we‘re in right now. 

Senator Landrieu, tell us your account of why you think that‘s true.  Why is he a better potential president than the one we have to defend the country? 

LANDRIEU:  Well first of all he had a record as a veteran.  He is a decorated war veteran having fought and served...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  That‘s right.

LANDRIEU:  ... in Vietnam.  In addition to his experience as serving in Vietnam in a very dangerous place during that war, he‘s come back to be an aggressive prosecutor, a senator that‘s worked on issues regarding defense, supports our military and, Chris, we not only need a strong military, we need smart military strategy. 

MATTHEWS:  Were you saying—you three Democratic senators, were you saying in 1992 that we were better off with a guy who fought in the Second World War, shot down twice by the Japanese, he was kicked out of office by a guy who made a real effort not to serve in Vietnam.  What‘s changed?  Why was it OK to elect Bill Clinton in ‘92, a man who made an effort, a serious successful effort to stay out of the military and a guy who actually fought twice, fought all through World War II.  Why did you change your tune here?

STABENOW:  Well, Chris, this is a combination of someone who has strength not only because he served, but common sense.  I mean John Kerry wants a stronger, safer, smarter America. 

MATTHEWS:  Is it important that the president of the United States, commander-in-chief be a veteran of military service? 

STABENOW:  I think...

MATTHEWS:  Is that important?

STABENOW:  I think it‘s important that the president of the United States have a sense of where we need to go in terms of our moral leadership in the country, need to understand what it means to have the respect of the world, to be able to support our troops in a real way, to be able to really keep us safe.  Hey, my concern, here we are on a city where we‘re all focused right now on whether or not we‘ll be secure for the convention and yet the president has not been willing to release funds to be able to provide what our police and firefighters need to be able to keep us safe.

MATTHEWS:  Do you feel that you‘re not safe in Boston this week because of actions taken or not taken by President Bush? 

STABENOW:  I think...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  That‘s a good question.  Can you answer it yes or no?  Do you feel less safe...

STABENOW:  I don‘t believe we‘re as safe as we should be. 

MATTHEWS:  Because of the president? 

STABENOW:  I think the president has not supported resources that we need.  We‘ve got to all work together as a team, there‘s no question about it.  But instead of closing down the COPS program, we‘re trying to, and the firefighters and moving money over to Homeland Security...

MATTHEWS:  Right.

STABENOW:  ... we need new resources. 

CANTWELL:  Chris I think this is an important issue, because of the undecided voters, 65 percent of them are women.  And when you look at the women vote on this issue, they‘re very concerned about national security as much as what‘s happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

And on this issue of national security, Kerry is a former prosecutor.  Now we haven‘t heard a lot at about this record yet.  I mean hopefully on Thursday night he‘ll talk about that.  But Debbie is bringing up a key point where are the resources and the infrastructure investment.  When you live in Washington D.C. or New York and you‘re at orange alert, it‘s a concern and women are very concerned about national security. 

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about this because Gloria Borger, who I have worked with a lot has pointed out that times have changed because of 9/11.  It used to be men as a generality of course, were focused on law and order, defense, maybe lower taxes.  Women have always been focused much more on health care because they have to worry about their parent‘s health, their kid‘s health, their husband‘s health, their own health and insurance matters are always avoided.  Is security, the security here, the security in your homes, the security in terms of foreign policy become a gender—non-gender issue.  It‘s become as important to women or more important to women.

(CROSSTALK)

LANDRIEU:  In Louisiana, let me just jump in here.  We had 75 percent of our Guard and National Reserve deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Seventy-five percent, the highest percentage in America and so when these troops ship off, not all of them are men, but many of them are.  The spouses are home.  The mothers are home...

MATTHEWS:  Right.

LANDRIEU:  ... the families are home, so you‘re absolutely right. 

That‘s why this issue...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  But what about the security issue at home...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Senator, do you think people—women are worried as much about getting blown up as they are about better schools? 

CANTWELL:  I think if you think about it specifically.  Women you know aren‘t very secure walking down the street at night.  I don‘t know that most men have to worry about that.  So when it comes to this issue of national security, I think we have an even higher importance on what somebody is going to do as president.  Sure, they want to be strong abroad, but they also want to know at home that we‘re going to be secure. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Right.

MATTHEWS:  Can I ask you all—we only have a minute or two...

STABENOW:  Chris, if I could just say there‘s more to security as well because we understand—women understand security means being able to have a good job...

MATTHEWS:  Right.

STABENOW:  ... being able to have health care, your kids being able to go to school, being able to go to college.  And so what I think is so important about John Kerry is that he not only wants to make sure that we are strong aboard but that we are strong at home as Americans.

MATTHEWS:  Would Hillary Clinton make a good president some day? 

STABENOW:  Of course.

MATTHEWS:  Would she?

STABENOW:  Of course.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Absolutely. 

MATTHEWS:  Do you think she has the patience to try to help John Kerry and John Edwards win the offices they‘re running for...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  ... even if it means she has to wait longer to get the job...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Absolutely.  She‘s a team player...

(CROSSTALK)

LANDRIEU:  ... and I‘d like to say this about Hillary...

(CROSSTALK)

LANDRIEU:  ... even though the press always wants to separate her out, she‘s a team player...

MATTHEWS:  She‘s going to wait her turn.

LANDRIEU:  She is willing to do whatever it takes to win this year.

MATTHEWS:  This year.

LANDRIEU:  This year.

MATTHEWS:  You think she‘s really going to go all out for this ticket...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  ... even if it means she doesn‘t get the job.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Senator Cantwell, you‘ve been quiet here...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Do you think Hillary Clinton is willing to sacrifice her own immediate political ambitions for the Democrat‘s success?

CANTWELL:  You can never be hurt in politics by being a team player and she‘s going to demonstrate that she‘s one heck of a team player.  And no matter what the consequence are, she‘ll benefit from that.

MATTHEWS:  But when it comes to election night, will she be rooting for Kerry and Edwards even though that means she‘s got to wait...

(CROSSTALK)

CANTWELL:  If you‘ve been on the Senate floor and you have had to lose by one vote all of these issues whether it‘s on the environment or women‘s right to choose, I guarantee you she‘d like to have...

MATTHEWS:  Wouldn‘t she make a better Senate majority leader than a president?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I think she has a bright future...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  I think she‘d be better—I don‘t know.  I think she‘d be a better Senate majority leader than the other guys...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  But do you know what‘s most important right now, Chris...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  ... he‘s going to need it later.

STABENOW:  No, he‘s going to win...

MATTHEWS:  He‘s going to win against who...

STABENOW:  Absolutely. 

(CROSSTALK)

STABENOW:  But you know what?  We have never been more unified.  Everybody is together and understanding that we can do better than the last four years. 

MATTHEWS:  Are you looking forward to Bill Clinton‘s speech tonight, all of you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Of course...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  OK, here‘s a tough question.  Was Bill Clinton a good president? 

STABENOW:  Yes, absolutely. 

LANDRIEU:  A very good president. 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  He was a good president...

CANTWELL:  He was a great president for our economy and he moved the Democratic Party forward on trade, which I think was very important for us. 

MATTHEWS:  Was he good for women? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  He was good for opportunities...

MATTHEWS:  Was he good for women? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  There‘s no question...

MATTHEWS:  Can I ask a question to get an answer?  Was he good for women?

STABENOW:  He was good for women on his policies, absolutely. 

MATTHEWS:  (UNINTELLIGIBLE) was he good for women, yes or no? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Of course he was good. 

MATTHEWS:  He was good for women...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  I‘m hearing a political stutter here...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  ... 22 million new jobs...

MATTHEWS:  Senator Stabenow, you‘re a big time senator from one of the most important states...

STABENOW:  OK...MATTHEWS:  Was Bill Clinton good for women, yes or no? 

STABENOW:  He was good for women because 22 million jobs, education, health care...

MATTHEWS:  OK.  I get your point.  Well stated.  Senator Cantwell, was he good for women? 

CANTWELL:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  See, that‘s the kind of answer I like.  Washington is more liberal than women.

Anyway, thank you very much Senators Cantwell, Stabenow, and Landrieu. 

Coming up NBC News‘ Andrea Mitchell will join us from the floor.  You‘re watching “HARDBALL‘s” live coverage of the Democratic National Convention on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to “HARDBALL”.  NBC‘s Andrea Mitchell joins us right now from the convention floor itself—Andrea.

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC News CORRESPONDENT:  Hey Chris.  You know one of the problems here for some of the speakers has been that the Kerry and DNC people have been trying to keep all of the red meat out of these speeches.  They want to be kinder and gentler and that has affected some of the potential speakers. 

I‘m standing here now with the former head of the Democratic National committee, current governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell.  Governor, I gather that they have taken some of the best lines out of your speech, for the speech you‘re going to give Wednesday night. 

GOV. ED RENDELL (D), PENNSYLVANIA:  Absolutely, but I understand that and I know the reason for the message.  We want this to be about John Kerry and John Edwards, not about George Bush.

MITCHELL:  We‘re going to give you a chance right now on MSNBC to give us, tell me a line that they cut out.  What was...

(CROSSTALK)

MITCHELL:  ... what hit the...

RENDELL:  Well I will say to you that—I‘ll give you the line, but my devotion to John Kerry and how important I think it is for the American people that he wins will be tested if I don‘t extemporize on Wednesday night and I don‘t think I will.  My line was to push energy policy, was written by big oil, of big oil and for big oil.  Good line, but you know look I understand.

MITCHELL:  That line was too tough for this Democratic Party? 

RENDELL:  I understand.  Look, we don‘t want this to be critical.  The American people have made a judgment on the Bush administration; they‘ve given it an “F”.  Now they want to see whether Kerry-Edwards can do the job.  So we want all the attention focused on John Kerry and John Edwards.  And I agree with that policy and again, the big question is will I agree with it Wednesday night when I get up there and I think I will.

MITCHELL:  Well I‘m hoping you extemporize a little bit, but you know we were told earlier that Al Gore was in serious rewrite.  I know that he was up all night with some of his former speech writers and the word tonight is that he was told just to cull it for length, not to tone it down.  Do you buy that?

RENDELL:  Well again I don‘t know and I shouldn‘t speculate on that.  And again, if I wanted to and I‘m still thinking about it, I could go back and say, guys take another look at this stuff and frankly, I‘ve been too busy in the last two days...

MITCHELL:  Why the thought police?  I mean what is this, a white bread party?

RENDELL:  No, no, because it‘s the right policy.  We—again, the American people have made up their mind about George Bush. 

MITCHELL:  You‘re saying that strategy, tactics, trump ideas.

RENDELL:  No, no, we‘re saying that we want to focus—I‘m going to have a lot of ideas in my speech, Andrea, and my ideas are going to be about what John Kerry wants to do to promote alternative energy.  That‘s crucial.  And you know the Bush administration has done virtually nothing and it‘s crucial...

MITCHELL:  That‘s your take on it.  That‘s not ours, but...

RENDELL:  Well...

MITCHELL:  ... just, you know just to be down the middle here...

RENDELL:  Well, if we injected you with sodium pentothal, but—and I‘m going to have a lot of facts in my speech about what we want to do.  And let me tell you, the nation that corners the market on alternative energy is a nation that‘s going to have a lot of economic growth in the next 30 or 40 years and I want it to be the United States of America and so does John Kerry. 

MITCHELL:  Before I let you go, let‘s just talk about the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Pennsylvania, a critical state.  In some polls Kerry was up by 10.  Is that soft? 

RENDELL:  Yes.  We won‘t win by 10 or 11 points.  It‘s going to be a very close race.  I would be overjoyed if we did as well as Al Gore did, carrying the state by four points.  I think we can do that, but I think we have our work cut out for you.  And there‘s not one person in this delegation who thinks it‘s going to be easy, not one. 

MITCHELL:  Ed Rendell.  Chris, I don‘t know if you‘re going to take the bet as to whether he‘s going to stick to the speech, stick to the program on Wednesday night.  We‘ll have to see.

MATTHEWS:  Well we‘d like to get some red meat during prime time this week.  Anyway, thank you, Andrea Mitchell.  We‘ll be back with the panel in just a moment.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Jennifer Granholm is the governor of Michigan...

(APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS:  ... How many people are here from Michigan? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Here.  Here.

(APPLAUSE)

GOV. JENNIFER GRANHOLM (D), MICHIGAN:  ... the proud Midwest...

MATTHEWS:  So where do you stand on cafe standards? 

GRANHOLM:  Well you know cafe is something that‘s perhaps a goal but we don‘t want to get there too soon because we want to make sure we save automotive jobs as well.  So it‘s a balance.

MATTHEWS:  I mean I‘ve just asked you whether if the Democratic Party is the party of the automotive industry, which you represent...

GRANHOLM:  Yes.

MATTHEWS:  ... or the party of a strong environmental regulation. 

GRANHOLM:  As you know, it has a zero sum...

MATTHEWS:  Are you grabbing me to try to make me...

GRANHOLM:  I‘m sorry...

MATTHEWS:  ... I will not—you are grabbing me to try to make me be nicer to you.  I don‘t know if I accept that. 

GRANHOLM:  Right.  Well I won‘t—I promise I won‘t touch but I can tell you that we want to have a clean environment and we want to have a robust economy and you don‘t have to have one and not have the other.  Both are possible. 

MATTHEWS:  Was Bill Clinton a good president? 

GRANHOLM:  Bill Clinton was a great president. 

MATTHEWS:  Why was he impeached? 

(APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS:  Why was he impeached if he was such a good president?

GRANHOLM:  You know what, here‘s the problem, is that we have evolved as a country into such enormous partisanship that what happens in Washington really causes the country to polarize and that‘s happened in this administration too.  That‘s why this convention is all about bringing people together...

MATTHEWS:  If this convention is representative of America, you are paying tribute, in fact you‘re going to lay down and almost adore this guy who was impeached by the United States Congress.

GRANHOLM:  This man—I‘m sorry...

MATTHEWS:  (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

GRANHOLM:  ... this man he was a tremendous president.  He left the country with a historic surplus.  We now unfortunately have a historic deficit.  Fiscal responsibility is important to the people we want to persuade in the middle... 

MATTHEWS:  Was Bill Clinton good for women? 

GRANHOLM:  I think he was good for women.

MATTHEWS:  You think he was? 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Well you just pulled back there.  Was he good for women...

GRANHOLM:  Because—if I could anticipate your follow-up question, you know we‘re not talking about his personal life...

MATTHEWS:  Not his behavior...

GRANHOLM:  What we‘re talking about...

MATTHEWS:  ... we are not talking about his behavior in the Oval Office, in other words.

GRANHOLM:  Exactly.  What we‘re talking about is the policies that he adopted were very good...

MATTHEWS:  But overall...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  ... overall...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Governor Granholm, are you willing to say on the record that Bill Clinton was good for the women of America? 

GRANHOLM:  Yes, I do think he was overall very good for the women of America. 

(APPLAUSE)

GRANHOLM:  Ask these women back here who feel...

MATTHEWS:  Well we‘ll get to...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about Al Gore.  You know they‘re talking about trying to craft his speech.  The thought police are out.  Your party is trying to hide the crazy ladies in the attic and bring it down to a very moderate un-Michael Moore kind of party.  The political party that you lead in the state of Michigan, how many people in that party are damn opposed to this war?  What percentage of Democrats think this war is terrible? 

GRANHOLM:  I think there‘s a good number...

MATTHEWS:  Why don‘t you let them speak at this convention then? 

GRANHOLM:  ... who think the war is terrible.

MATTHEWS:  Why is this convention saying things like people disagree over the war?  They can agree to disagree.  What happened to the Democratic Party that fought over issues? 

GRANHOLM:  The Democratic Party is a great big tent and we fight all the time, but we also know that people don‘t want to see partisan rancor.  They want...

(CROSSTALK)

GRANHOLM:  ... they want to get elected...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Why should a hawk...

GRANHOLM:  ... for the media because they want to...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  ... the media...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Governor, why should a hawk vote for John Kerry?  You want hawks to vote for John Kerry? 

GRANHOLM:  We want Americans all across the spectrum to vote for John Kerry. 

MATTHEWS:  Even hawks?

GRANHOLM:  We want everybody to vote for John Kerry because he‘s going to be better for America than the current administration. 

(APPLAUSE)

GRANHOLM:  We need a change at the top Chris.  We are in the wrong direction.  We are in the cellar of international esteem as a country.  We need to bring people together.  We need inside the country and out for our self-esteem...

MATTHEWS:  Were you pumped up to see John Kerry walking around with a broken shotgun the other day, carrying it just right.  Was that aimed at the John Dingles of this world, the hunters of Michigan?  It was such a pander lay down, wasn‘t it? 

GRANHOLM:  Well he‘s a hunter.

MATTHEWS:  He‘s walking around with a shotgun, knowing just how to carry it.  That was aimed at Michigan, wasn‘t it?

GRANHOLM:  You know he‘s a hunter.  He‘s an outdoorsman.  He was...

MATTHEWS:  What happened to the party of gun control...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  What happened to the party of gun control...

GRANHOLM:  I don‘t know that the Democratic Party has been the party of gun control.  I think we have been a party that is interested in safety and interested...

MATTHEWS:  Right.

GRANHOLM:  ... in reasonable use of guns and regulation of guns...

MATTHEWS:  Have you read the platform?

END   

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