THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP
HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN
PANEL: PATRICK BUCHANAN, MSNBC; ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK; TONY BLANKLEY, THE WASHINGTON TIMES; JAY CARNEY, TIME
TAPED: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2005
BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF NOVEMBER 12-13, 2005
Copyright (c) 2005 by Federal News Service, Inc., Ste. 500 1000 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA. Federal News Service is a private firm not affiliated with the federal government. No portion of this transcript may be copied, sold or retransmitted without the written authority of Federal News Service, Inc. Copyright is not claimed as to any part of the original work prepared by a United States government officer or employee as a part of that person's official duties. For information on subscribing to the FNS Internet Service, please visit http://www.fednews.com or call(202)347-1400
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue One: Republican Meltdown.
NEW JERSEY GOV.-ELECT JON CORZINE (D): (From videotape.) As your governor, together we can change the way the public business is done in New Jersey.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Senator Jon Corzine was elected New Jersey governor on Tuesday, swamping Republican Doug Forrester by nine percentage points. So, next January Governor Corzine will assume the occupancy of the New Jersey governor's mansion, which, by the way, is called Drumthwacket. (Laughter.)
Question: What political lesson did Doug Forrester fail to learn? Pat Buchanan. MR. BUCHANAN: Several, John. Don't peak too early. Don't play too rough. Don't get -- you know, don't get in a race with a guy who, when you put $50 million on the table, can raise your $50 million. And don't run in a state as blue as New Jersey unless your opponent is under indictment.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, but one of those stands out as the real lever --
MR. BUCHANAN: Don't play too rough.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That's right. Don't play too rough. He brought Corzine's ex-wife into it. Do you agree with that, Eleanor?
MS. CLIFT: I agree with that. And I think wedge issues didn't work this past election day. And in Virginia, the Republican used Hitler in campaign ads, denigrating the Democrats' opposition to the death penalty. Never use Hitler in any campaign ad.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right. I'm glad you brought up that race. Okay. Kaine rides Warner's coattails.
VIRGINIA GOV.-ELECT TIM KAINE (D): (From videotape.) The people of Virginia have sent a message loud and clear that they like the path that we chose and they want to keep Virginia moving forward.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tim Kaine, a Democrat, was elected governor of Virginia this week, despite Virginia's rooted preference for Republicans. President Bush backed the wrong horse. Last Monday night he flew to Richmond for an election-eve rally for the Republican candidate, Jerry Kilgore.
PRESIDENT BUSH: (From videotape.) See, I know a man of character and integrity, and he's standing right next to me, and that's Jerry Kilgore. Turn out that vote and you'll be proud of the next governor of Virginia, Jerry Kilgore.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Republican Kilgore lost by 6 percent. Kilgore's gurus think that the unpopular president's 11th-hour appearance hurt their candidate.
Question: What does this election mean nationally? Tony Blankley.
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, I think that the local details were trumped by the national atmospherics. I think this was a reflection not so much of Bush's intervention at the 11th hour but the general depression of Republican vote, based on their displeasure with the president currently. And I don't think there's any way around looking at those numbers. If you look at the down ticket -- the attorney general, the lieutenant governor, who were ahead by big numbers through most of the campaign -- they squeaked by. And the early numbers I've seen, the turnout, Republican turnout, simply wasn't as good, which is what happens when a party's faithful are disappointed with the president of their party. It's not that they vote for the other guy. They just don't turn out to vote at a high enough rate. So I think this was a bad omen. It's certainly viewed as a bad omen by congressional Republicans, who are running scared.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So you think that Bush's involvement hurt Kilgore? The exit polls say that he reduced Kilgore's vote, the president did, by 2 percent. Now, most of the time they add 2 to 4 percent to the candidate. So that means it's down really 4 percent, in a sense.
MR. CARNEY: I agree with what Tony said that it's not so much the visit itself that hurt Jerry Kilgore, although it certainly didn't help. It's the association with George W. Bush, who is immensely unpopular, and unpopular even in states right now like Virginia that he carried fairly easily in 2004 and in 2000.
I also think there are national implications here because of the kind of race that Tim Kaine ran in Virginia. He obviously benefited immensely from Mark Warner's popularity, the current Democratic governor. But he also was an overtly religious Democrat who, in talking about his faith, did it convincingly, and very deftly defended his personal opposition to the death penalty by invoking his faith. And that attack on his opposition to the death penalty that the Republicans made backfired against the Republicans.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He bought an advertisement commercial on Christian broadcasting.
MR. CARNEY: It was a very -- I mean, I think the Democrats could learn a lot of lessons by watching how Tim Kaine ran that race. And it could help them in some other close races in the South if they pick their races --
MS. CLIFT: Well, he basically said religion isn't owned by the Republican Party or by Pat Robertson. And I can't resist pointing out Pat Robertson's latest comment that the voters in Dover, Pennsylvania who threw out the advocates of --
MR. BUCHANAN: Intelligent design.
MS. CLIFT: -- intelligent design, he said that they'd better watch out in that area, that God might --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you say Pennsylvania?
MR. CARNEY: Dover, Pennsylvania. MS. CLIFT: Dover, Pennsylvania -- that God might be wanting to punish them.
MR. BLANKLEY: Let me get back on topic for one second, because there's also a tendency to overinterpret any (bi-elections?). I mean, keep that in mind a little bit. And on the one hand, I think it's hard to make the argument this was a nationally-determined election and then isolate little local aspects of the election that you like.
I don't know that Kaine ran such an excellent campaign. I don't know if the religion played that much of a difference. He was running behind a good lot of the time. And then Bush's bad numbers, starting in August, September, October, pulled Kilgore down. That's the big story.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Let's talk about the real winner. Let's talk about the king-maker, and maybe king.
Virginia's current governor until January is also a Democrat, Mark Warner. Mr. Warner's approval rating is a stratospheric 75 percent.
VIRGINIA GOVERNOR MARK WARNER (D): (From videotape.) The other side tried all kinds of things to tear Tim down. As a matter of fact, they even said, "Let's compare how things are going in Washington versus how things are going in Virginia.
" We'll take that comparison any day of the week.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Warner was a big reason why Kaine won, because of Warner's popularity. That makes Warner a winner, too, and that status gives Warner momentum for '08, the Democratic presidential nomination. He is certainly serious about '08, even though it's three years away.
Item: Warner visits New Hampshire next week. He's unveiling his federal political action committee and a new web site. He's hired fund-raisers in cities throughout the country. He's put together a political team, a pollster, a policy wonk, a direct-mail specialist, a media adviser.
Question: Has a star been born, namely Warner, in the South?
MS. CLIFT: Well, he's a hot presidential prospect because he seems to understand how to bridge the divide with red America. He raised taxes in Virginia with the cooperation of a Republican-led legislature. He campaigned for his successor in this election, never mentioning the name of Jerry Kilgore, the Republican. And if he can bring his 75 percent approval rating into play in the presidential race in some fashion, he could change the outcome of the race.
MR. BUCHANAN: Listen, Warner is a very popular fellow. But Republican (sic/means Virginia) governors tend to be because they get one term, and toward the end of the term nobody at all attacks him and he's pretty popular.
Look, if there's going to be a Republican from -- or a candidate from Virginia on a national ticket, it's going to be George Allen. We are three years out from a presidential election. This guy is not terribly charismatic. The idea that he can put up a challenge to Hillary Clinton right now, I think, is exaggerated almost to the point of hyperbole.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you see his concentration of focus when he lost the Senate bid in '96? In '97 he began stomping around southwestern Virginia relentlessly, developing humanitarian programs. He did it for three years and he won this election four years ago.
MR. BUCHANAN: He runs as a centrist. He gets out in our state and he doesn't run around saying, "I'm going to take away your guns" or "I'm 100 percent pro-abortion" or "I'm totally against the death penalty." And so he runs as a centrist in Virginia. There's still Democratic residue there. Northern Virginia is increasingly Democratic. It is increasingly a swing state. He's popular now.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: He's smart, he's monied and he's focused, Pat. We're talking about Warner here.
MR. CARNEY: There's a lot to recommend Mark Warner. However, do not forget that we live in a time when foreign policy and national security are dominant issues. And while they are hurting the Republican Party at the moment, it is risky for the Democrats to nominate someone like Mark Warner, who has absolutely no national security or foreign policy experience.
MS. CLIFT: He'll be --
MR. CARNEY: Also, he would be a strong --
MS. CLIFT: He'll be on Hillary's short list for vice president. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who did he work for in the House of Representatives?
MR. CARNEY: You got me there, John.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Who did he work for?
MR. BUCHANAN: In the House?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In the House.
MR. BUCHANAN: Let me see. I can't -- it must have been for -- somebody from Virginia?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: This is a test. Four flunks. Let's move on.
MR. BUCHANAN: Four flunks? That's why he's not going to be nominated. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, no, no. The person he worked for had some foreign policy experience.
MR. CARNEY: If, for some reason, Hillary Clinton does not run, Warner becomes probably the hot item. But Hillary's running. She's insurmountable --
MR. BLANKLEY: He's too moderate for Democratic primary voters.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: That brings us to the exit question. In 2008, is it a tie between Warner and Hillary for the Democratic nomination for president? Pat Buchanan. MR. BUCHANAN: That shows real political acumen, John. No, I think Eleanor is exactly right. I think Warner should run and will run and be nice and be a real potential vice presidential candidate.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What did you say, actually?
MS. CLIFT: I said that he would be on Hillary's short list for vice president.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, I hear that too.
MS. CLIFT: Right.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But, you know, Warner has plans of his own.
MS. CLIFT: Absolutely.
MR. BLANKLEY: Anything's possible.
MS. CLIFT: They're not going to hand Hillary the nomination, obviously.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The question is, do you think Warner has a glass jaw?
MR. BLANKLEY: He hasn't been punched hard yet. But I think Eleanor is right. I think if he could deliver or have a reasonable chance of delivering Virginia to a Democratic presidential candidate, that would be a powerful attraction. That would be moving a state that is probably a safe Republican state in most presidential elections.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What about that title that I used in the beginning, "Republican meltdown"? Do you think the Republicans are in meltdown?
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, they're not -- I mean, I don't know if they're in meltdown, but they are in serious disarray. The Republicans in Congress, I think, have made the judgment that they're not going to stick with the president. It's every man for himself. That's why you're seeing him having trouble getting budget resolutions, enough votes for budget resolution.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, isn't that meltdown?
MR. BLANKLEY: Meltdown is a bigger event than this. But this is an unpleasant event for Republicans.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, you know, one of those polls says that 66 percent of the American people believe that the president does not really take an interest in them at their level. In other words, he's out of touch. You know what happens to people who are out of touch in politics? MR. BLANKLEY: No, no --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They're out of office.
MR. BLANKLEY: That statistic --
MR. BUCHANAN: He's not running again.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, he's not, but his party is. And the ones on the Hill --
MR. BLANKLEY: Let me make --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- the conservative wing, they've alienated their own moderates.
MR. BLANKLEY: No, wait. Let me just --
MR. BUCHANAN: Disarray is a better word than meltdown.
MR. BLANKLEY: That statistic is less important than the one that a majority of the public thinks that the president lied about Iraq. Now, that's one that hurts the president and the party.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How do you describe the usage of the word meltdown? Is it overstated?
MR. CARNEY: Well, but it's politics, and hyperbole is --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Welcome. (Laughs.
MR. CARNEY: -- commonplace and welcome, yes. It's a meltdown, but it's not --
MR. BLANKLEY: But it's not required. We can use language --
MR. CARNEY: -- a complete dissolution.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, I mean a meltdown is a meltdown.
MR. CARNEY: Right. There is a level of chaos on Capitol Hill right now where the leadership can't control the troops. Moderates in the Republican Party, the few that exist in both the House and the Senate, are feeling emboldened. They're challenging the leadership. They're thumbing their noses at the White House. This is a big problem. And President Bush's dilemma is that he doesn't have a lot of options in the near term to bring things back into train, where people start marching in step again.
MS. CLIFT: Yeah, the only thing that can really raise his approval ratings is a change in events. Iraq's got to get better. Energy prices have to come down. The economy has got to get better, not just for oil executives.
MR. BUCHANAN: Well, but the economy --
MS. CLIFT: He's very much a captive of events.
MR. BLANKLEY: The president has some powers. He could veto, for instance, some appropriations and start bringing some discipline back to the Hill. He hasn't used that yet. He's got executive orders that he can start doing. If I were the president's man right now, I'd be looking at how I can actually govern through executive orders and vetoes, because right now he's not too persuasive.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you see the way the leadership of the Republicans had to pull back their effort to cut the budget --
MR. BLANKLEY: That's what I --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- and extend the taxes, the tax relief? MR. BLANKLEY: That's what I was talking about. The (senator on?) the taxes is Grassley, and the budget on the House side --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They grabbed that and pulled that right back.
MR. BLANKLEY: That's my example.
MR. BUCHANAN: There's a rebellion in the party, John; there's no question about that.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: There's a rebellion in the party. There's a schism there, Pat.
MR. BUCHANAN: Everybody is, as Tony says, starting to go his or her own way. And it's (sev kippur?), save yourself, because that's what they're going to have to do --
MS. CLIFT: And cutting --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is Bush the kiss of death?
MR. BUCHANAN: No, not in the red states. But I would not send him up --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'm talking about -- well, you're talking about the Republican --
MR. BUCHANAN: No, I mean, he'll --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They're facing 2006, Pat.
MR. BUCHANAN: Let me give the president credit. In 2002, 2004, he put himself on the line like no other president. He did this time, even when he's unpopular. He'll raise a lot of money. But in October and November, I would stay out of the blue states.
MS. CLIFT: When you're in the 30s in popularity, you're a drag on your party. And cutting --
MR. BUCHANAN: He can raise money, Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: Cutting -- excuse me. Cutting school lunches and student loans going into an election, where the people vote, is also not a good idea if you want to stay in office.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I don't want to personalize Bush's negatives and the impact of those. I don't want to personalize the loss of Kilgore either. And I would extend it right over to those Republicans on the Hill, who alienated their own moderates and their performance.
MR. BLANKLEY: They didn't alienate the moderates. The moderates are simply feeling their oats. And it's always a difficult trek to manage -- both parties to manage their moderates. MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, now they're in a position where they're all going their own way, including the conservatives. True or false?
MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, they are going their own way. They need to be brought back into a coherent team again.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. They need you back there, you and Newt. (Laughter.) You could pull it back together.
Issue Two: Al Qaeda strikes Jordan.
Fifty-six dead, over 100 wounded -- the ghastly toll of Wednesday's synchronized bombings in Amman, Jordan's capital. Suicide bombers struck three U.S.-based hotels -- the Radisson, the Grand Hyatt, the Days Inn. At the Radisson, a wedding reception was taking place; the fathers of both the bride and the groom killed with other relatives and friends.
Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his organization, the al Qaeda in Iraq, claimed responsibility on an Internet site, where he described Jordan as, quote, "the protective wall for the Jews, and the military base of the crusader armies and the Iraqi government are now in the line of fire of Zarqawi's mujaheddin and their aides," unquote.
Jordan trains Iraqi police and Iraqi soldiers. Jordan also shares intelligence with the U.S. and conducts joint U.S.-Jordanian military exercises in country. At week's end, the death toll rose to 57 in Jordan.
Question: Why was Jordan the target? I ask you.
MR. CARNEY: Well, clearly because any country, any government that --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is an ally of the United States.
MR. CARNEY: -- is an ally of the United States is a target.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And Jordan is an ally of the United States, so Jordan is a target.
MR. CARNEY: Jordan is an ally of the United States. Al Qaeda has -- and especially, you know, likes to target countries in region and punish them for cooperating with the United States.
MR. BLANKLEY: There's another element. About a month ago, King Abdullah II made a speech where he said he wanted to lead the struggle within Islam against radical Islam. And that's an added element. He stood up. He's a very courageous man, and he's making himself more vulnerable. We should admire him for it. MR. BUCHANAN: John, this is the stupidest thing al Qaeda has done since these beheadings. It's even worse. They didn't go after the Americans. They didn't go after the Israelis. They blew up a wedding party of Arabs and Muslims who were totally innocent. I think this has estranged al Qaeda, frankly, even from the insurgents. I wouldn't be surprised to see some of them denounce them. And again, this is the best political weapon, propaganda weapon, the United States has gotten against these evil guys.
MS. CLIFT: I think that's wishful thinking, because the killing --
MR. BUCHANAN: You think people approve of this?
MS. CLIFT: They don't like it, but --
MR. BUCHANAN: You think Muslims like that?
MS. CLIFT: Innocent civilians are being killed, but I thin the overall fact of this happening spreads the insurgency outside of the borders of Iraq and unsettles that whole area. It affects tourism and everything else.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: Is the war in Iraq making the Middle East more stable or less stable? Pat Buchanan.
MR. BUCHANAN: It's making the Middle East far less stable. But quite frankly, that's the objective not only of Osama bin Laden and the insurgents but of the United States, which wants to dump over all these autocratic regimes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: Less stable. We're losing the war on terror.
MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, look, Pat's got the right point. The whole reason for the war in Iraq, the whole reason for the push for democracy, is to destabilize the Middle East and then restabilize it in a more benign condition. So stability, which has been our policy for the last 50 years, has created the pathologies that have created terrorism. So stability is not the question.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Jay.
MR. CARNEY: I agree with both Pat and Tony that this is both the policy and the goal of the two sides, the enemies, the terrorists on the one side and the United States. For George W. Bush it is a vast and, critics would say, utopian project to think you can just totally destabilize this region of the world and rebuild it.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The region has been destabilized by the Iraq war.
Issue Three: First terrorists, now pirates.
CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER: (From videotape.) One chap at the front of the boat, and he had a red shirt on, pulled up this thing and held it over his shoulder like this. And I thought, "What the hell is this?" And then "boom," and there was a flash of red. And then I heard something go "crash" up above. And I thought, "Oh, bloody hell." And I said -- actually it was worse than that. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What was worse to this cruise ship passenger was an RPG, a rocket-propelled grenade, fired off the shoulder of -- get this -- a pirate; no, not peg-legs, not Captain Hook, no black flags. These pirates feature grenades, machine guns, high-powered boats.
At dawn last week, two 25-foot boats pulled alongside the Seabourn Spirit, a luxury cruise ship, 100 miles off the coast of Somalia in the Indian Ocean. At least two RPGs were fired. One smashed into a passenger cabin. The other embedded itself in the hull and failed to explode. Passengers were ordered below-deck. Seabourn captain Sven Erik Pederson directed the cruise ship to seize high-powered water hoses and turn them full force on the pirates. In addition, he ordered that a sonic weapon developed for the U.S. military, the long-range acoustic device, to be beamed at the pirates. The James Bond technology emits an ear-shattering, extremely painful and disorienting sound. Sven then maneuvered the Seabourn to create waves and to swamp the pirates' boats. Then Sven opened the Seabourn's mighty engines full-throttle and streaked away.
Question: Is there any reason to believe that this attack was terrorist-related, Pat?
MR. BUCHANAN: No, it looks like these guys were doing this for money, John.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you know there was a mother ship from which these boats came, and the mother ship was giving out signals of an SOS, meaning "Come to our rescue to get our boats or any other civilized boats" where these pirates could shoot them?
MR. BUCHANAN: John, I'll tell you, these cruise guys going out in the Indian Ocean are going to have to get on board a couple of retired Special Forces guys --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, is this a new challenge --
MR. BUCHANAN: (Inaudible.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is this a new challenge for George Bush?
MS. CLIFT: No, no. Piracy is a booming trade around the world, particularly around Indonesia. They usually go after cargo ships. This was unusual to go after a cruise ship. But George Bush should not worry his pretty little head about this. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, we had 342 of these pirate attacks this past year.
Issue Four: Who's Girlie Man now?
CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R): (From videotape.) I want to thank those who voted for our propositions, and I also want to thank those who did not vote for our propositions. I want to thank them for being part of the process. So thank you very much. Thank you.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In California, eight ballot initiatives were all defeated, and four of the initiatives were backed by Governor Schwarzenegger.
Question: Is Arnold a spent force? Eleanor Clift. MS. CLIFT: Well, he's a wonderfully gracious loser, but he was unable to get what he wanted accomplished done through the California legislature. And so his schtick is that you go straight to the people. So he went straight to the people and they soundly rejected him.
So it's hard to see where he goes next. And the very notion of holding a special election a year before the state was scheduled to vote anyway, costing a state which is almost bankrupt, costing the state another $60 million to $80 million, just the very fact of this election was unpopular.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think, Tony, that the programs on these four ballots that he favored were overly ambitious, or was there something else at work?
MR. BLANKLEY: No --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think they were too abstract, meaning that the public didn't see the pragmatic benefits that would accrue to them by reason of the deprivations that would be incurred if those four referenda went the way Arnold wanted them to go?
MR. BLANKLEY: I mean, I don't think there's anything wrong with them. And some of them were endorsed by the LA Times. It was also just a conservative-liberal thing. Here's a mistake I think he made. He kind of had this plan to go to a special election very early on and didn't do a serious enough job of negotiating. And then he didn't do a serious enough job of preparing for the special election. He never convinced Californians they needed a special election again.
I think now what he needs to do is to go back and take a serious job of governance and work and see what kind of compromises he can get, because he's a good negotiator and he's a smart man, and he needs to put all of his energies for the next year in trying to find the compromises.
Now, after he's seriously negotiated, if he can't get them, then he can go back to the public. But he hadn't done that step first.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You've heard the phrase that politics is no place for amateurs. Do you think that Schwarzenegger was a babe in the woods here, and the wolves got at him in short order?
MR. CARNEY: Yes. I disagree with the premise that politics is not a place for amateurs in the sense that you don't have to be a career politician to be a successful executive in government.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, Ronald Reagan was a union leader. Remember that.
MR. CARNEY: Right. I mean, Ronald Reagan was not an amateur by any means. But Schwarzenegger did have some success initially, and he has the potential, or had the potential, for success. I think he made a lot of mistakes in, as Eleanor said, choosing to spend a lot of money on a special election, in choosing -- loading up on too many ballot initiatives, thinking he could sort of change California politics in one sweeping election on all these propositions. By going after the unions in a state where unions are actually growing, he antagonized a highly-organized opposition --
MR. BUCHANAN: John --
MR. CARNEY: -- when he could have, if he had stuck with measures that were sellable, like on education with the teachers and on redistricting, I think he might have had more success.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Give me a quick answer to this before I get the insights of Mr. Buchanan, and that is, is Arnold a dead duck?
MR. CARNEY: No, no. But I'm not convinced he'll run again.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You're not.
MR. CARNEY: No. But I think he can still get some things done.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, what do you think? Is he a spent force?
MR. BUCHANAN: He's not what he was a couple of years ago. And I think he could get beat, there's no doubt about it, because of where the state is. He's unpopular. But what this shows --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can he get popular again?
MR. BUCHANAN: When the other four -- John, what this showed, when the other four propositions went down, not only Schwarzenegger's, they're in a very sort of a rancid state and an angry mood out there. And it's the mood of American politics, I think, that people are generally unhappy with where things are going, so they all went out and voted no. I went out to the polls and voted no on a bond issue I didn't know anything about in Virginia, you know.
MR. BLANKLEY: It was a good school bond issue.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Out of time. Bye bye.