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'Tucker' for Nov. 9

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

Guests: Jonathan Alter, Pat Buchanan, Roger Stone, Steve McMahon


SEN. GEORGE ALLEN ®, VIRGINIA:  The people of Virginia, the owners

of the government have spoken.


ANNOUNCER:  Republicans concede defeat to the rulers of Congress.

BUSH:  The American people expect us to rise above partisan

differences, and my administration will do its part.

ANNOUNCER:  But are Democrats prepared to accept the president‘s olive


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER:  We have our differences, and

we will debate them.

ANNOUNCER:  And can this historic transfer of power resolve one of the

biggest crises now facing our nation?

PELOSI:  Nowhere was the call for a new direction more clear from the

American people than in the war in Iraq.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I don‘t know what to expect in, you know, the

months to come, or whatever.


ANNOUNCER:  Now, from Washington, Tucker Carlson.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST:  Welcome to the show, coming to you from

Washington, D.C., where the changing of the guard in Congress is under way

as we speak.  The last remaining Senate race, Webb versus Allen in

Virginia, was decided just a moment ago when the incumbent, Republican

George Allen, conceded in a close race, with candidates just one percentage

point apart. 

Here‘s what happened.


ALLEN:  I‘m aware this contest is so close that I have the legal right

to ask for a recount at the taxpayers‘ expense.  I also recognize that a

recount could drag on all the way until Christmas.  It is with deep respect

for the people of Virginia and to bind factions together for a positive

purpose that I do not wish to cause more rancor by protracted litigation

which would in my judgment not alter the results. 


CARLSON:  Here now with the latest on one of this season‘s strangest

and most toughly fought races, NBC News‘ Kevin Corke.  He‘s in Arlington,


KEVIN CORKE, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Tucker, good evening to you.

Just a few minutes from now we expect to hear from the senator-elect,

Jim Webb, at a press conference that he‘ll be having.  It‘s a combination

news conference and rally over at the courthouse here in Arlington. 

Indeed, strange, to say the least, when you consider how far back in

the polls Webb was just eight months ago, six months ago, even.  But that

dramatic turn of events, the “Macaca” comment by Allen, a number of

missteps along the way, and, of course, on election night 2.3 million

ballots cast here in the commonwealth, the two gentlemen separated by less

than 8,000 votes at the time.  We now know after checking provisional

ballots and doing a canvassing around the commonwealth that margin is now

up to about 9,000 votes. 

Obviously George Allen making the right decision, deciding that

civility should win out over rancor.  And today he conceded.

As I pointed out, we‘ll expect to hear from Jim Webb in just a few

moments.  His opportunity to not only thank his supporters after this

dramatic victory, come from behind, to say the least, and now his

opportunity to serve the country as a United States senator—Tucker.

CARLSON:  Kevin Corke in Arlington.  Amazing. 

Thanks, Kevin. 

Well, yesterday, President Bush described the election results as “a

thumping,” but today the president put a happy face for a makeup lunch with

the incoming speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. 


BUSH:  The elections are now behind us, and the congresswoman‘s party

won.  But the challenges still remain.  And therefore, we‘re going to  work

together to address those challenges in a constructive way. 

PELOSI:  I look forward to work in a confidence-building way with the

president, recognizing that we have our differences and we will debate

them.  And that is what our founders intended.  But we will do so in a way

that gets results for the American people. 


CARLSON:  Will today‘s White House lunch be the beginning of a

beautiful friendship, or is gridlock on the menu in Washington?

Here with the latest, NBC‘s Jeannie Ohm at the White House.

Jeannie, it seems like just the other day that Nancy Pelosi was

calling the president dangerous.  Now they‘re eating together.  How did it


JEANNIE OHM, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  I guess the question everyone

wants to know, Tucker, is how long will this honeymoon phase last?  It will

last probably until they start dealing with specific legislation and start

coming across the issues that the president talked about, where neither

side will abandon their principles. 

But in the meantime, the two, as you see there, future Speaker of the

House Nancy Pelosi and President Bush, they did pledge this new spirit of

cooperation and working together in a constructive way.  It is remarkable,

the scene in the Oval Office today, considering, as you point out, just a

few days ago they were trading some harsh words on the campaign trail.  But

both talked about that was then, this is now. 

And they talked briefly to reporters afterwards, and in just very

broad terms talked about the challenges ahead.  But no one in the room

specifically mentioned Iraq.  That, of course, will be the biggest

challenge between whether this White House can work with a democratically-

controlled Congress in terms of changing things around in Iraq—Tucker. 

CARLSON:  NBC‘s Jeannie Ohm at the White House, on the lawn.

Thanks a lot, Jeannie.

Over the last two days, the president‘s party has lost control of

Congress and his secretary of defense has been fired.  Not what you‘d call

good news.  But in a column entitled “Election Legacy: Why the GOP‘s Losses

May be a Blessing in Disguise for Bush,” my next guest says, “After the

sting is gone, Bush may begin to understand that the ‘thumping‘ was a

blessing in disguise, a way for him to yet salvage something of his

presidency both at home and abroad.” 

Joining me now, Jonathan Alter, “Newsweek‘s” senior editor.

Jonathan Alter, how in any sense can this be good news for President

Bush?  He just got shellacked. 

JONATHAN ALTER, “NEWSWEEK”:  Yes, obviously it hurts right now.  I‘m

trying to take the long view of history, Tucker.  But if you look at

something like Bill Clinton‘s presidency with welfare reform, he‘s

practically got a wing about it at his museum in Little Rock, and yet that

was pretty much forced on him by the Republican Congress. 

The same thing—Ronald Reagan, he had a big tax bill in 1986 pushed

on him by the Republican Congress.  Americans with Disabilities Act and

other things, George H. W. Bush‘s presidency were forced on him through

divided government.

So, you can—if you look at the actual record of presidential

achievements, especially on the domestic side, they often are the product

of what‘s derided as gridlock.

CARLSON:  Interesting.  So you‘re saying that when the other party

gets control of something, it forces the president to move against his own

base and therefore find compromise? 

ALTER:  That‘s right.  And they find common ground, which is what

politics is about.  You know?

So, the question here is, you know, is Bush flexible enough, supple

enough, to do this? 

I have had a bunch of liberals who have e-mailed me about this column

and said, no, he‘ll never do it, his feet are set in concrete.  The only

problem with that argument is he worked well with Democrats in Texas.


ALTER:  He worked well with Ted Kennedy on education in 2001.  He is

capable of working with Democrats.

I think he indicated yesterday he was going to sign a minimum wage

increase.  You know, so I do think you‘re going to see him putting some

points on the board in terms of accomplishment by meeting the Democrats


CARLSON:  I think I would argue that he‘s more than capable of working

with Democrats.  He enjoys it.  And, in fact, Bush is far more liberal than

people have perceived, mostly because this Republican Congress has been in

•           in the way, has stood between him and the far more liberal agenda he

would be pushing if the Republicans hadn‘t been in charge.

ALTER:  Right.  And actually, if you take—you know, the key issue

of course would be something like taxes.  And everybody assumes, well, you

know, that‘s bedrock Republican principles.  But if you read Bob Woodward‘s

first book about Bush, you know, he quotes Bush saying, “Well, why are we

giving all this money to rich people?” through these tax cuts for the rich. 

He only put through that particular tax bill as a response to Steve

Forbes in the 2000 Republican primaries.  So I think he would be open to

Democratic ideas of taking not the tax cuts for the rich and using them for

spending, but using them for the alternative minimum tax, for instance, or

to reduce taxes in other ways on the middle class.  So, shift it around,

then call it a big victory for him that he gave tax relief to the middle


You know, he‘ll have a wing in his library about that.

So there‘s a lot of opportunity for him, you know, to do some creative

policymaking, steal some of the ideas from the Democrats, as Bill Clinton

did on welfare reform, claim them as his own. 

CARLSON:  Boy, I guess the difference, though, is the Republican Party

in 1994, 1996 really was a party, in contrast to the Republican Party

today, that was brimming with new ideas.  They had all sorts of theories

about how the world ought to work and they were anxious to make them into


I don‘t see a similar situation on the left right now. 

ALTER:  Well, no.  I just don‘t agree with you. 

I mean, there‘s a whole list of different creative things.  I mean,

there‘s one that, you know, Pelosi—and when I saw Harry Reid today, he

also mentioned it.  It has to do with the interest that you pay on college


I mean, this is something where the American people want college to be

for affordable.  The Democrats have been talking about this as an idea. 

There‘s no reason Bush shouldn‘t just steal the idea.  He likes being the

education president, and if he has, you know, any political brains at all,

and I think he does, he will just pilfer a lot of the Democratic agenda

that is, you know, not nearly as left wing as he and his surrogates have

been making it out to be. 

CARLSON:  Right.  Interesting.  Intellectual theft being at the very

heart of presidential achievement most of the time.

ALTER:  Absolutely. 

CARLSON:  But is Iraq, though, the stumbling block?  I mean, can—

can the president ever get beyond Iraq no matter what he does?  Or will he

always be remembered for this war that‘s become a debacle?

ALTER:  He will always be remembered for it.  He can‘t get those

horrible mistakes involving the disbanding of the Iraq army and the other

things, he can‘t get those back.  So the idea of him looking great on Iraq

is not going to happen.  But there‘s already a path to a different exit

from Iraq, you know, through the Iraq strategy group.

They may—I think where they‘re going to end up is with something

that‘s not that different from what Joe Biden has been proposing.  And

especially if they re-deploy troops within Iraq, move them up to Kurdistan,

for instance.  Then Bush can go to the country and say, look, I‘m not

pulling the troops out of Iraq...

CARLSON:  Right.

ALTER:  ... I‘m just re-deploying them out of harm‘s way into a

different place.  And, you know, he—you know, a couple of years pass,

the place stabilizes a little bit, and, you know, he‘s not so bad off on

it.  So as long as he‘s flexible there—yesterday he indicated he will be

•           I think you can see him salvaging at least part of that policy.

CARLSON:  Yes.  I mean, to paraphrase a slogan from the Vietnam era,

you know, an exit with honor.  That‘s what everyone I think is looking for.

Finally, the news today, the Senate is now officially in Democratic

hands, at will be come January, with the victory of Jim Webb in Virginia. 

Jim Webb is a conservative.  Culturally, he‘s a streaming right-winger.

Do Democrats realize that?

ALTER:  I think they‘re going to start to realize it more and more.

Harry Reid today described him as impish.  And he said, “I don‘t know

quite what that word impish means.”  And I said, “Senator, you‘re about to

find out.”


ALTER:  You know, the thing about a lot of these more moderate or

conservative Democrats being elected is it means that the Democratic

leadership is not going to go, you know, off the cliff on the—on the

left side.

CARLSON:  Right.

ALTER:  It will perform a check on them, and they‘ve been very careful

to say, you know, they are not over-reading this as a mandate for a lot of,

you know, McGovernite policies.  They‘re going to move pretty cautiously,

find common ground. 

Sure, there‘s going to be the normal head-slapping at the line of

scrimmage.  Sure, Bush will veto some bills. 


ALTER:  But I think you‘re going to see them all working together in

the center, because the mandate of this election is, work together, be in

the center, neither San Francisco liberals nor Rush Limbaugh is where the

country is. 

CARLSON:  Boy.  If the Democratic Party can keep the caucus

still and silent, I‘ll be genuinely impressed, and happy, for that matter.

ALTER:  They won‘t be able to do that.  They won‘t be able to do that,


But, I just want to a MoveOn, you know, press conference today.  And

they can pick and choose.  And that blogosphere, we don‘t have Senator Ned

Lamont now.  OK?

CARLSON:  Right.

ALTER:  They did not deliver this election for the Democrats.  And I

think most Democrats recognize that. 

They contributed.  MoveOn had a lot of people out there in the field,

they made their contribution.  They are also not as left wing as you

imagine.  A lot of these folks in the blogosphere, they just wanted to win. 

They do not have this, you know, far left agenda. 


ALTER:  Now, do they have some differences?  Yes.  But...


CARLSON:  You‘ll—we‘re going to have to end there, but you will

never convince me.  I‘m sorry we‘re out of time because I‘d love to debate

that with you. 

Jonathan Alter of “Newsweek”.

Thanks, Jonathan.

ALTER:  Great talking to you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Still to come, the president and the speaker make nice at

the White House.  But when Nancy Pelosi takes the gavel, will the gloves

come off?  Or will Congress and the White House be able to work together? 

We‘re all watching and waiting.

And the Rumsfeld fallout.  Will there be a new direction in Iraq with

a new secretary of defense?  Will he stay the course?  That story when we

come back.


CARLSON:  Immigration reform ranks among those bitterly contested

issues this new Congress is likely to take up.  With Democrats now in

charge, is amnesty for illegal aliens a sure thing?

My next guest is the author of “State of Emergency: The Third World

Invasion and Conquest of America”.

Joining me now, MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan.

Pat, thanks for coming on.


CARLSON:  As you pointed out many times, this president has been

anxious from day one to declare amnesty for illegal aliens.  The Democrats

agree with him.

Are they going to do it?

BUCHANAN:  They might, Tucker.  I mean, my patience with this

(INAUDIBLE) between the president and Ms. Pelosi has already been


CARLSON:  Well, that was fast.  What, it took about an hour?

BUCHANAN:  But let me say this: I think that‘s right.  But what we‘ve

got to realize, first, Ms. Pelosi did not win a mandate in this election. 

She‘s a San Francisco Democrat.  And the president did not win any mandate

for amnesty.

In every single contested campaign, both Democrats and Republicans

were for border security, a fence on the border, against amnesty, and

against a guest worker program.  To get his idea through, which I think the

president believes in, and he may get through, he‘s got to cut a deal.  Not

with the boll weevil or the blue dogs.  He‘s got to cut a deal with Nancy

Pelosi and the left wing of the Democratic Party, and with the Kennedy-

McCain Republicans—the Kennedy-McCain coalition in the Senate. 

I think that would be a complete betrayal of the conservative

Republicans.  I think it would be a sellout of what the voters were saying

in this election. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  I agree with you.

BUCHANAN:  They were saying border security, no amnesty.  For now, for

•           and you get a lot of media saying, wouldn‘t it wonderful if they could

get together on a comprehensive package on immigration, a comprehensive

bill?  That‘s what the American people were voting against. 

CARLSON:  But wait a second.  I mean, I agree with you completely, but

you‘re describing an alliance between the president, big-business

Republicans, and the Democratic left.  That‘s basically everybody.  I mean,

who is going to stop it? 

BUCHANAN:  Well, look, I mean, take a fellow like Heath Shuler. 

CARLSON:  Right?

BUCHANAN:  He didn‘t run on—I mean, who‘s going to stop it?  Here‘s

who‘s going to stop it, is—you‘ve got...

CARLSON:  Heath Shuler, by the way, for our viewers who aren‘t

following this, is a North Carolina Democrat elected two days ago, quite

conservative on some issues, including immigration. 

BUCHANAN:  Exactly right.  And here—look, who‘s going to stop it? 

I saw Tom Tancredo today in the paper.  He said, “We‘ll fight it but we

can‘t stop it in the House.  It will go through the Senate, and the

president will sign it.”

I think the only way to stop it is a same kind of national firestorm

that we had last year.  These things dissipate.  And to really raise cane

and force the Republicans who talked about this issue to stand up against

it and go after these Democrats who came to office. 

I mean, the country did not vote for this, Tucker. 

CARLSON:  No.  Just—in fact, just the opposite. 

And here‘s what I don‘t get.  If you look at a state like Arizona,

that had a number of ballot propositions that concern illegal immigration,

one that would deny bail to illegal immigrants, another that made the

English language the official language of the state of Arizona, these

things passed literally overwhelmingly.  It tells you a lot about where the

population is, where the electorate is.

Why aren‘t Republicans recognizing, big-business Republicans

recognizing this issue is part of the key to taking Congress back?  Why

don‘t they get that? 

BUCHANAN:  Because the big-business Republicans want illegal

immigration.  They want to be able to send their factories abroad.  They

want to be able to bring in bright, young kids from South Asia to take jobs

of American workers.

Big business has gone global.  I understand that. 

In the Senate bill, Tucker, big business has a complete pardon from

all civil and criminal liabilities for having hired illegal aliens.  They

are off the hook.

It‘s like Carter‘s pardon of the draft dodgers.  This is a pardon of

all these businesses.

I‘ll tell you, if the president goes down this road, I think this

whole community—and it is huge now, and it is national, and it includes

everybody radio talk show host who is a conservative—ought to go right

at the president of the United States. 

CARLSON:  And I hope that happens.  Though I heard someone make an

interesting argument the other day, a pro-illegal immigration argument, and

it was this: He said, “Look, if the Republicans come out against illegal

immigration, then the huge and growing Hispanic community in this country

will not vote Republican now or ever, thereby dooming Republicans to

permanent minority status.”

It seems to be one of those self-fulfilling arguments.  The longer

illegal immigration goes unchecked, the larger that community that supports

illegal immigration becomes.  And if you see what I mean, it kind of

supports itself after a while. 

BUCHANAN:  Well, you‘re right.  If you don‘t—look, right now, you

know, the numbers from my book are, the Hispanic vote in the—the

Hispanic population‘s 14.4 percent.  The vote, however, in 2004 was six

percent.  The vote of non-Hispanic whites was 82 percent. 

What that tells you is, by 13-1, non-Hispanic whites outnumber

Hispanic voters.  That means that if you gain just two points among white

voters, Tucker, that is equal to taking your Hispanic vote from 35 percent

to 60 percent. 

Now, you tell me what‘s tougher to do.

However, if you‘ve got 100 million Hispanics in the country by mid

century, which is anticipated, no one will be able to close the border then

because enough of them will say, you lose Arizona, New Mexico, Texas,

California, Nevada, Colorado if you stand up for a border fence.  It is

over then.

CARLSON:  Are we going to—finally, Pat, are we going to see a

border fence?  I mean, I know that some version of a border fence, the idea

has become law.  Does that mean one is actually going to be built? 

BUCHANAN:  No.  There are all kinds of stipulations in the law. 

You‘ve got to ask the Indian tribe if they want it on their land. 

You‘ve got to ask the county.  You‘ve got to ask the state.  You‘ve got to

ask the community.

Mr. Chertoff has various rights and powers.  Maybe a virtual fence

would be better.

So you have not got it really locked in that they‘re going to have to

build this.  But again, the president‘s feet got to be held to the fire

because he is a recidivist on this issue.

CARLSON:  That‘s for sure.

Pat Buchanan—thank you, Pat.

BUCHANAN:  Thank you, Tucker.

Still to come, Hillary Clinton versus Barack Obama.  Who‘s the

Democratic frontrunner in the race for the White House? 

That story when we come back.


CARLSON:  Virginia‘s new senator-elect, Jim Webb, is due to make his

first public statement since his official win in just a moment. 

Back now to talk about this scandal-plagued race that decided control

of the Senate, MSNBC political analyst, Pat Buchanan. 

Pat, welcome.

BUCHANAN:  Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Describe for me, if you would as a lifelong observer of

political philosophy, what exactly does Jim Webb believe?  And where would

you place him on the spectrum of the Democratic Party?

BUCHANAN:  Jim Webb—let me say very simply, Jim Webb is a warrior. 

I‘ve read two books about Jim Webb.  I didn‘t read “Fields of Fire.”  But

I‘ve got a book called “Born Fighting”.

Jim Webb is someone who is a deeply rooted individual.  He comes from

a clan, Scotch-Irish warrior clan, in effect.  He is enormously proud of

the battles in which his ancestors fought.  And the book goes all the way

back into this Scotch-Irish history. 

And I‘m part Scotch-Irish myself.  My father was half Scotch-Irish. 

And so—and I took that book of his after I read it—and it talks about

the role of the Scotch-Irish in American music and its battles and its

history, all the way back to—all the way back to Scotland.


BUCHANAN:  And I bought it and I gave it to members of my family. 

It‘s a terrific book.


BUCHANAN:  The second book to understand him is “The Nightingale‘s

Song” by Bob Timberg.  Have you read that, Tucker?

CARLSON:  Great—oh, twice.  Great book.  One of the great...

BUCHANAN:  And that‘s about those five fellows, McCain and Webb and

Ollie North...

CARLSON:  Ollie North.

BUCHANAN:  And it talks about the historic—historic—I guess it

is now—but the boxing match between Webb and Ollie North at the Naval

Academy that Ollie apparently won because Webb pulled back because Ollie

had been in some kind of accident and he didn‘t—you  know, he was

concerned about him. 

It is a terrific book and it tells you a great deal about him.


BUCHANAN:  Yes.  I‘ve interviewed—I interviewed Webb one of the

first times right over here at WRC on that famous article he did in “The

Washingtonian” because I read it and I was tremendously impressed with it. 

And he was talking about women in combat and his experience in combat. 

And he was someone who came back from Vietnam as a real hero, and as a

hero he came back and he got mocked and ridiculed by these idiots and jerks

in the antiwar movement and at Georgetown and in places like that.  That

has affected him.

He‘s a guy of great talent.  And if he goes out—he can write novels

•           he goes out and works in Hollywood to write. 

He is tremendously independent, he‘s curmudgeonly.  He‘s tough to get

along with. 

He‘s independent.  I think he resigned from—I worked with him.  He

was in the Navy‘s secretary‘s office when I was in Reagan‘s White House,

and I think he left in a dispute of some kind. 

CARLSON:  He did. 

BUCHANAN:  And Reagan liked him a great deal. 

CARLSON:  He is not your average Jane Fonda Democrat I guess is what

you‘re saying, Pat.

BUCHANAN:  He‘s not a student council... 

CARLSON:  No, he really isn‘t.  He‘s an interesting character. 


BUCHANAN:  A tremendously interesting guy. 


BUCHANAN:  They‘re going to have a tough time with him and that


CARLSON:  They certainly are, I can‘t wait to find out the waves he

makes.  Pat Buchanan, thank you.

We will be back in a second, as I said, we‘re awaiting that news

conference by newly elected Senator, Senator-Elect Jim Webb in Virginia. 

We‘ll bring it to you when it comes.  We‘ll be right back.


CARLSON:  Still to come, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are the

shining stars of their party, but can either one of them win the White

House? And did the Republicans get a thumping in the midterms because they

betrayed their conservative base?  All that in just a minute, but right now

here‘s a look at your headlines. 

REBECCA JARVIS, CNBC ANCHOR:  I‘m Rebecca Jarvis with your CNBC market

wrap.   Health care shares bringing down the Dow on worries over the

Democrats‘ Medicare agenda.  The Dow finishing down 73, the S&P 500 down 7,

and the NASDAQ down almost 9.  Oil Company BP has settled a civil suit

stemming from a deadly 2005 explosion at a Galveston, Texas refinery. 

The agreement comes on the eve of a potentially embarrassing trial. 

The settlement amount undisclosed but BP will donate $38 million to schools

and medical facilities.  And the FDA is recalling 11 million bottles of

acetaminophen made by the Perrigo Company.  Bits of metal were apparently

found in some of the bottles. 

The U.S. trade deficit fell 6.8 percent to $64 billion in September,

lower oil prices keeping imports down.  And Wal-Mart is putting the word

Christmas back into its holiday displays and greetings after downplaying it

last year.  From CNBC first in business worldwide, now back to MSNBC‘s

special election coverage and Tucker Carlson. 

CARLSON:  We are still awaiting a press conference by Senator-Elect

Jim Webb, you‘re looking at a live picture there from Arlington, Virginia

where he is expected to take the stage any moment.  In the center of your

screen you see Democrat Jim Moran, congressman from northern Virginia, who

has done a lot I think to help the senator-elect become a better

campaigner.  In the meantime, we want to bring our Democratic strategist

Steve McMahon, he joins us from Tampa, Florida and Republican strategist

Roger Stone who‘s in Miami.  Welcome to you both. 

Roger, I don‘t know if you heard what Pat Buchanan said a minute ago,

I asked him to describe Jim Webb.  Jim Webb obviously is a Democrat, his

election puts the Senate in favor of the Democrats.  And yet Pat Buchanan

hardly a liberal, heaved praise upon him.  And didn‘t stop, three minutes

of praise. Do you think a lot of Republicans feel that way about Jim Webb? 

ROGER STONE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Well I think it explains why Jim

Webb was able to win in a Republican state.  The man is a patriot, at a

minimum he is a centrist and a moderate, I think he has some conservative

beliefs.  He certainly believes in strong and muscular national defense. 

What was interesting, when Webb won the Democratic primary over a more

liberal candidate, which rarely happens in America today, it became clear

to me that Allen could be in for a race.  And of course then George Allen

proceeded to defeat George Allen.  I think Webb is a good man, I think he‘s

going to be a good U.S. Senator.  

CARLSON:  Steve, my favorite Jim Webb quote, possibly of all time, and

I‘m quoting now, “I wouldn‘t cross the street to watch Jane Fonda slash her

wrists.”  Now, I‘m just wondering, a man who would say something like that,

finding himself in the Democratic caucus in the U.S. Senate, a group filled

with real liberals, legendary liberals—Tom Harkin, Ted Kennedy, people

who think Jane Fonda is a serious person.  Is he going to get along with


STEVE MCMAHON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  He‘s going to get along fine

with them.  And you know he‘s a Vietnam veteran who I‘m sure had some

strong views about what was going on in the country while there were people

over fighting the war.  But at the end of the day, Roger‘s analysis is

exactly right, he‘s a patriot, he‘s a moderate, he‘s a centrist, he matches

Virginia beautifully, and he‘s going to be a great U.S. Senator.  I see

he‘s about to come on now.

CARLSON:  Do you see him moving left on anything?

MCMAHON:  I think he represents—the Democratic Party is a big tent

Tucker as you well know.  And he didn‘t need to move left on anything, he

reflects the values and the beliefs of Virginians and that‘s why he beat

George Allen.  I mean George Allen was a pretty formidable politician. 

He ran a bone-headed campaign and he made every mistake you can

imagine, but he was quite a gifted politician.  Many Republicans felt that

he might be the Republican nominee and perhaps the president, so Jim Webb

didn‘t beat anybody who wasn‘t tough and wasn‘t capable.  

CARLSON:  And not only was he a talented senator, he was an enormously

popular governor, which is harder.

MCMAHON:  Yes he was.

CARLSON:  It‘s not easy to be a popular governor, particularly in a

state like Virginia, where the northern suburbs around Washington tend to

be affluent, liberal to moderate.  The rest of the state is the south and

it‘s not liberal at all.  And to be the man who is popular throughout the

state and George Allen was, is not easy.  I mean he was not at all a

buffoon, contrary to how he has been perceived I think over the last six

months ago.  Roger, were you surprised when Webb won?

STONE:  No, I really wasn‘t.  I think that George Allen, you know, had

some success as governor but I never quite understood how a guy born in

Newport Beach, California grew up in southern California, 60‘s and 70‘s,

could have this southern drawl, these cowboy boots and these confederate

flags.  I think that for some voters that began to wear thin, began to look

like an affectation. 

But I will say this about Jim Webb, if he does move left, there‘ll be

a new senator in Virginia.  This is still fundamentally a slightly right of

center state.  If Jim Webb stays in the middle, he‘ll get reelected and I

think he‘ll provide fine service.  If he moves left, this is still


CARLSON:  We‘re looking now at pictures.  You can see Chuck Schumer,

the Democrat Senator from New York who managed the Democrats‘ successful

takeover of the Senate this year.  You see Democratic Governor of Virginia,

Tim Kaine, and there of course clapping his hands in a tweed coat, Jim

Webb.  Really kind of famous among Democratic political consultants for

being not a very talented campaigner, a guy who hated to raise money so

much he actually refused in some cases to dial donors for money. 

He raised a lot of frustration among fellow Democrats for his

unwillingness to talk about the fact that his son is now serving in Iraq. 

A kind of obvious campaign point.  He was a neophyte and it showed.  He was

defiantly uninterested in the retail part of the campaign.  I have heard

that he‘s become a better speaker over the past couple of weeks.  We‘re

about to find out if that‘s true.  Let‘s just go to it right now, here‘s

Chuck Schumer from New York.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK:  ... his integrity and his

steadfastness in the United States Senate of America.  Thank you.

GOV. TIM KAINE (D), VIRGINIA:  By now, you all know the news, and the

world knows the news.  About an hour-and-a-half ago Senator Allen conceded

that Jim Webb had now won this long and challenging effort that you have

played such a critical role in has come to pass, and it is Virginia that

turned the Senate blue, folks.  It‘s Virginia.

And so now, to introduce not just the man of the hour but the family

of the hour because they‘ve been through this together these last grueling

months, fighting hard, being gracious all the way.  We‘re so proud of the

positive example they set for all of us.  Give the biggest welcome you have

ever given to Jim and Hong Le Webb.  Jim Webb, our new senator.


JIM WEBB (D), VIRGINIA SENATOR-ELECT:  The campaign is over.  I want

to thank all of you for being here, and the first thing I‘d like to say is

that tomorrow is the most special day for the United States Marine Corps. 

They celebrate their birthday.  You almost have to be a Marine to

understand that.  But I want to say happy birthday to all our Marines. 

There are a lot of them in harm‘s way today.  We‘re going to remember them



WEBB:  And the day after that is Veterans Day.  And we remember all of

those who have served our country and who are serving it, wherever they

are.  We all have them in our hearts and in our prayers. 


WEBB:  I did receive a telephone call from George Allen a few hours

ago.  We had a good discussion.  I want to report to you that he was very

gracious, and that he offered to assist us in this transition period. 

I thanked him for his many years of service to the people of Virginia. 

And we actually have agreed that we‘re going to sit down and have lunch

next week. 


WEBB:  And I also asked him to help me with something I think is very

important, ladies and gentlemen.  And that is that, as we move forward with

all of these issues that concern us as Americans, I think it‘s really vital

that we all do our best to stop the politics of divisiveness, character

assassination, distraction. 


WEBB:  In fact, we know that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has decided

to move on. 


WEBB:  But I would like to also, today, call on our president to

publicly denounce the campaign tactics that have divided us, rather than

brought us together. 


WEBB:  This was a brutal campaign, and, in many ways, an unnecessarily

brutal campaign.  And I think it‘s hurting the country.

And, as you know, I made two promises to myself when I started this

campaign.  The first was that I was not going to trade anything I believed

in order to get a vote and a dollar.  And we did that. 


WEBB:  I‘m walking into the United States Senate with the independence

to represent the people who have no voice in the corridors of power.  And I

intend to do that. 


WEBB:  The second promise that I made was that, as much as humanly

possible, we were not going to run a negative campaign.

And I thank all of you for helping me to make sure that we did that. 


WEBB:  There were a lot of misperceptions about why I got into this


I was watching, on election night, some of the analysts.  And—and

one of the frequent things that was being said about this campaign was that

I came to the Democratic Party purely on issues regarding the Iraq war. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. 

I think I, and a lot of people like me, had aligned themselves with

the Republican Party on national security issues, but were always concerned

about issues of economic fairness and social justice. 

So, it was a natural...


WEBB:  This was a very natural fit for not only myself, but for a lot

of people who came forward and supported this campaign who, in the past,

may not have been inclined to. 

We have a much, much stronger Democratic Party as a result of this. 

We have a situation in Virginia where Mark Warner began a journey.  Tim

Kaine has added onto it.  We are going to add onto it even more. 


WEBB:  We‘re going to work hard to bring a sense of responsibility in

our foreign policy that will, in my view, result soon in a diplomatic

solution in Iraq. 


WEBB:  We‘re going to work very hard on issues of economic fairness in

a country that has become divided too much by class in the age of the

internationalization of corporate America, where we have a situation where

corporate profits in this country are at an all-time high, while wages and

salaries are at an all-time low.

And I, for one, look forward to joining Senator Schumer in voting very

soon to increase the minimum wage. 


WEBB:  And finally, we‘ve had a situation where, as a result of this

administration‘s policies post-9/11, we‘ve had far too much power gravitate

towards the presidency at the expense of the power of the legislature, and

I—a few nights ago, Tim Kaine, Senator Schumer and others were standing

on the stage with me, and I said, you know, I have a feeling. 

I have a feeling that on Wednesday morning, the people in the White

House and they‘re going to go look at a Democratically-controlled House of

Representatives, and with your help, a Democratically-controlled Senate. 


WEBB:  And we will begin the process of putting this country back on

the track where it needs to be.  There are many, many people—many people

out here that I see who started...

CARLSON:  Jim Webb, the senator-elect from the state of Virginia, a

Democrat who beat George Allen in the most closely fought, most bitterly

fought, narrowest race in the nation this year giving his victory speech in

Arlington, Virginia.  

Joining us now, Democratic strategist Steve McMahon, he joins us from

Tampa, Florida and Republican strategist Roger Stone, joining us from

Miami.  Steve, in his press conference today, his victory press conference,

Jim Webb made a remark about how the United States, he was certain was

going to be getting out of Iraq sooner rather than later.  Is this going to

be the focus do you think of the democratically held Congress over the next

year, getting us out of Iraq?

MCMAHON:  I do think it‘s going to be a focus of the democratically

held Congress and it‘s one of the reasons that so many people across

America, many of whom hadn‘t voted for a Democrat for a long time, chose

the Democratic Party.  They are extremely frustrated by what‘s going on in

Iraq, they‘re extremely disappointed by the president‘s lack of a clear

strategy and plan.

And I think, you know, Americans are about ready to start bringing the

troops home.  They obviously want to have success in Iraq but they want to

bring the troops home.  And they look at what‘s going on over there, they

see an endless occupation, a civil war, and that‘s not what our troops

ought to be doing. 

CARLSON:  I mean of course, everyone is unhappy about Iraq, I can‘t

imagine there‘s anybody in the United States who‘s not frustrated by what‘s

going on there.  But bringing the troops home and achieving victory may be

mutually exclusive right now.  Democrats are going to come up with a plan

that achieves both?

MCMAHON:  Well I think Democrats are going to push for diplomacy. The

president has basically said this is a problem for the next president. 

Dick Cheney came out over the weekend last weekend and said, you know what,

it‘s nice that we‘re having an election but we‘re going to do exactly what

we intend to do from the beginning in Iraq, we‘re going to stay there,

we‘re going to stay the course. 

This administration has a tin ear when it comes to Iraq and I think

this Democratic Congress is going to demand that they listen to the

American people and they listen to the United States Congress.  There‘s

going to be some oversight, there‘s going to be some accountability and

ultimately there‘s going to be a plan to bring the troops home and achieve

the mission over there.

I mean, Tucker, when they first went, they were told that they were

going to rid the country of weapons of mass destruction, which of course,

there weren‘t any.  And they were going to get rid of Saddam Hussein. 

They‘ve accomplished both of those things, it‘s time now for us to figure

out a way out.

CARLSON:  It seems to me, Roger, that there is nobody who doesn‘t

acknowledge that the president screwed up, there are some who don‘t

acknowledge, most people acknowledge this war was a mistake.  But now that

we‘re there, it does strike, I think the average person as incredibly

complex a solution elusive, does this take some pressure off the White

House having a Democratic Congress?  Can‘t the White House say, you know,

OK, got a better idea?

STONE:  No I don‘t think so actually.  The real fundamental message of

this election is, is that the voters realize we are losing the war in Iraq,

they‘re not buying the idea that we‘re there to promote democracy.  Because

I think there‘s widespread feeling that with the withdrawal of our troops,

whether its tomorrow or a year from now, the country is going to go back to

its tribal warfare and everybody will stop trying to kill us and resume

trying to kill each other. 

So the American people are fed up with this war and the Congress is

going to do what they did to President Nixon and later President Ford. 

They are going to pressure us out of Iraq and you‘ll have about the same

result we had in my opinion in Vietnam, which is it will go back to the

natural order of things and unfortunately a lot of Americans will have died

and the American people are not convinced that we are there for a good


CARLSON:  But Vietnam, of course, once it was reunified under a

communist government, many, many thousands were murdered, but the country

was not a threat to us. And I think the fear is that Iraq will become, as

the president often says, home base for al Qaeda.  And as much as I

personally think the war was a tragic mistake, I buy that.  I mean that

sounds likely to me.   

STONE:  I don‘t disagree with that but I think most Americans would

rather be using our resources on the intelligence necessary to root out and

kill those in al Qaeda, including if they‘re in Iraq by the way.  And focus

solely on the terrorism threat as opposed to buying time with American

lives to prop up a government.  If we‘re so concerned about democracy in

the Middle East, when are the Saudi Arabian elections, how did I miss that? 

CARLSON:  I mean democracy obviously is not our friend in the Middle

East.  You don‘t want democracy in Egypt and you definitely don‘t want it

in Saudi Arabia, of course not.  And I hope that rhetoric has ended.  To

the presidential race Steve, I know you‘re going to say, oh, it‘s too

early, but you know if you and I were sitting in a restaurant you wouldn‘t

say that, you‘d acknowledge it‘s begun, it began yesterday. 

Barack Obama, I‘m reading one of his books right now, I plan to read

both because I think we‘re going to be spending a lot of time talking about

him over the next couple of years, he really is running for president,

isn‘t he?  And is he raising money?

MCMAHON:  It certainly looks like he is and I don‘t think he‘s raising

money yet, but it‘s not going to take him very long, all he has to do is

say, it‘s time and the money will start to pour in.  So yes, I think you‘re

right Tucker, I think it does look like he‘s running for president.  He was

against the war. 

He has pointed out that he wasn‘t in a position to have to take a

vote, but he said that he was against the war and it‘s going to be

interesting to see how if he does run how that stance plays.  I think it‘s

going to play very, very well.  He‘s a fresh face, he was right on Iraq and

he‘s articulate, he‘s passionate and I think he‘s going to be a very

formidable candidate should he decide to run. 

CARLSON:  It just seems to me unless you‘re a professional feminist,

and someone came to you with two candidates, Hillary Clinton and Barack

Obama, whether you‘re liberal, moderate, even conservative, you‘re going to

feel better about yourself voting for Barack Obama.  Can you both tell me,

first starting with you Steve, do you agree with that?

MCMAHON:  Well I think you‘re going to feel good about yourself voting

for Barack Obama, but I don‘t discount Hillary Clinton‘s ability if she

decides to run for president, both to run a strong campaign, be the nominee

and win the presidency.  

CARLSON:  No, but you would hate yourself if you actually voted for

her.  I think most normal people would.  Barack Obama, though, you could—

MCMAHON:  Absolutely false. 

CARLSON:  Don‘t you think Roger, you could say to yourself if you were

•           moderate whites, obviously the key to any election.  If you were a sort

of white swing voter, you vote for Barack Obama, you‘ll feel good about

yourself doing that.  You think it says something good about you.

STONE:  First of all, I think the country is certainly ready to elect

an African-American president but they‘re not going to elect a president

with one term in the United States Senate under his belt at a time that the

country has these deep foreign policy problems, which is why former vice

president Al Gore is the only candidate who can give Hillary Clinton a run

for this nomination.  Eight years as vice president at a time of peace and

prosperity, someone who was never for the war, who‘s been an articulate

critic of the war, someone with national name ID.  Gore is the one, it‘s

the new Gore.  

MCMAHON:  You know Tucker, I‘m going to do something—

CARLSON:  You‘re a trouble maker Roger.

MCMAHON:  I agree with everything that Roger has said so far today. 

So I‘d like to just yield my time to Roger. 

CARLSON:  Wait, but hold up.  Al Gore—I mean I‘ve been asking

around recently and you know I don‘t have any sort of deep insight into his

thinking but as far as I can tell, he hasn‘t decided one way or the other,

but there are people who do think that would be a good idea, since he is

famously right on everything and he called the war, he called global

warming.  Whether or not that‘s—

STONE:  He can afford to wait because in fact, you don‘t want to get

chewed up too early in the process. 

MCMAHON:  He also can afford to wait—I‘m sorry.  

STONE:  In other words, because he is nationally known and because he

is little thread worn, he‘s been around this track three times before in

essence, been on the national ticket running for president in 1988, he can

afford to wait.  The later he waits the better it is for him.  All he has

to do is go to the Iowa caucuses, beat Hillary on the war and her candidacy

will unravel.  

CARLSON:  Do you take that seriously Steve?

MCMAHON:  Absolutely.

CARLSON:  Do you think that could happen and is that your nightmare?

MCMAHON:  Well it‘s not my nightmare, I‘m not supporting any candidate

right now.  I think it would be great for the Democratic Party, but I

absolutely agree.  He can afford to wait for all the reasons that Roger

just mentioned.  And he can afford to wait for one more reason.  I

understand that Vice President Gore who joined the board of Google shortly

after the 2000 race, has enough of his own personal resources to come in at

any time and to be a formidable candidate. 

He certainly has all the credentials that Roger just outlined and he

was against the war, he‘s called the global warming thing from the

beginning.  He would be an absolutely formidable candidate and I think he

would win the White House if he ran. 

CARLSON:  Yes, just another rich liberal who lectures the rest of us

about driving Prius‘ as he jets around on a private plane.  Just an

observation.  Roger, what do you think of the firing of Rumsfeld?  Why a

day after the midterm? If you were in charge, you were a political director

of the White House, was that smart or not? 

STONE:  Extraordinary.  First of all, the president makes all of his

candidates walk the plank, makes them go through an entire congressional

campaign defending Rumsfeld, cost us seats in the House without question,

probably less impact in the Senate. 

And then sacks the guy after the election.  This is a total disregard

for the Republican Party.  It‘s a selfish act.  The president, if he was

going to get rid of Rumsfeld, he should have done it three months ago and

let the Republican candidates for the House run with a clean slate.  It‘s

really outrageous. 

CARLSON:  Do you think that would have made a difference? 

STONE:  I think it would have taken it off of the table.  A lot of

people‘s objection to the president is they don‘t feel he‘s able to

acknowledge mistakes. That he‘s not willing to say, well perhaps I made a

mistake here and it‘s time for a change of course. 

Firing Rumsfeld would have demonstrated that there was a change of

course and a change of thinking.  The Baker commission I think follows

right along with that.  But to do so after the election, after you have

cost your party and forced them to defend the Rumsfeld tenure at defense

and conduct of the war, is just incredibly selfish. 

CARLSON:  But what about Steve—you may be absolutely right.  I

think the political calculation on their part Steve was firing Rumsfeld

would be seen as weakness and you never want to display weakness in the

face of an enemy. 

MCMAHON:  Well what they were doing—the strategy that they embarked

upon which was one that most Americans objected to because of its rigidity,

was a failing and failed strategy from the beginning. 

If they had 45 days ago—had Don Rumsfeld step down and said we

recognize that there are challenges in Iraq that we haven‘t adequately

prepared for and we need to be a better job of planning, I think that

people around the country would have breathed a sigh of relief and they

would have come to the conclusion that the administration finally is

beginning to recognize reality and is reacting to it.

I think Roger‘s absolutely right about the selfishness and the

stupidity of waiting until after a congressional election and making these

candidates around the country defend this guy for the last three or four

months.  It cost them a lot of seats, it was a dumb thing to do.  

CARLSON:  Wait a second, I think clearly the war itself was the

deciding factor in this election, I don‘t care what the exit polling says,

the war is ... 

MCMAHON:  It‘s the way they‘re handling the war Tucker.  

CARLSON:  But hold on a second ...

STONE:  Rumsfeld symbolizes the war.  

MCMAHON:  That‘s right.

CARLSON:  If they had done that, if they had canned Rumsfeld 45 days

ago as you suggested, wouldn‘t voters have said, see they really don‘t know

what they‘re doing. 

MCMAHON:  No, no, I think what voters would have said is, see, they

finally are recognizing reality.  Voters are way ahead of politicians on

this.  And the voters are ready for a new plan, they‘re ready for a new

team, they‘re ready to do whatever it takes to achieve success in Iraq,

however that‘s defined now, and to get the troops home.  And the

administration basically has said, look, democracy is fine. 

We are going to have these elections but we‘re not going to respect

the will of the people, we‘re going to do whatever we want.  I think they

stuck a stick in voter‘s eyes last weekend by sending Vice President Cheney

out to deliver that message.  And I think it cost them.  It probably cost

them the race in Virginia, for one.  But it certainly cost them a number of

House seats. 

CARLSON:  Roger, in 30 seconds, is Bob Gates, the new secretary of

defense going to change our policy in ways that we‘ll notice? 

STONE:  I think there‘s no doubt about it.  Look, President Bush, the

senior and his foreign policy advisors, Bush being no friend of Rumsfeld‘s

historically, had been pushing for a change here.  Jim Baker, Mr. Fix It is

on the scene.  I think you‘re going to have to see a change of policy

because the policies now are not politically supportable.

CARLSON:  I think you‘re absolutely right.  Steve McMahon, Roger

Stone, thank you both.  

MCMAHON:  Thank you.  Hey, I like the tie Tucker.

STONE:  Thanks.  I don‘t.

CARLSON:  Thank you.  Well that‘s our show, thanks for watching.  Our

coverage continues now with Chris Matthews and “HARDBALL,” we‘ll see you

back here at 6:00 p.m. Eastern.




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