This is a partial transcript from "On the Record" with Greta Van Susteren, July 14, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Joining us Los Angeles is former Dukakis campaign manager Susan Estrich. Here in Washington, the host of "The Laura Ingraham Show" and author of "Shut Up and Sing," Laura Ingraham.
All right, Laura, it almost seems like we have dueling daughters. We have the Bush daughters and also Alex and Vanessa Kerry are slated to speak Thursday at the Democratic convention.
LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it's great to have young people out there. Everyone talks about how the fact that young people don't turn out to vote as they should. And we have interesting, attractive people on both sides of it. I thought it was interesting in "The Washington Post" today, the subtitle of a big article on Jenna and Barbara Bush coming out on the campaign trail — the subtitle is, "Profile in `Vogue` magazine shows pretty smiles, not personalities of the president's daughters." I mean, the cattiness is bound to happen on both sides, but I think the claws are already out for the Bush daughters.
VAN SUSTEREN: Susan, during the primary, I ran into Elizabeth Edwards, who is, of course, married to Senator Edwards, and she said that she was — one network was talking about the color of her hair. I mean, this is just part of the unfortunate...
SUSAN ESTRICH, FORMER DUKAKIS CAMPAIGN MANAGER, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Oh, please!
VAN SUSTEREN: ... part of knowing a candidate.
ESTRICH: Elizabeth Edwards is very gracious. She got more diet advice, I think, than she ever asked for. And I mean, how bad can it be to be married to the most boyish-looking guy on the face of the globe when you're a couple of years older and like any normal woman in her 50s, you know, fighting with your weight?
No, I think it's great for the girls to be out there. I do think, speaking politically, George Bush's problem is not the human problem. I think the one guy who benefited from having kids around, and it really was little kids, was when you saw John Kerry with John Edwards's kids. He really did lighten up. And that said to me that he was a guy who needs to have lots of kids around him at events because you saw him with kids and you saw, OK, here's a guy who really does become more human.
When I had Dukakis to deal with, I used to put his wife next to him because he would lighten up and otherwise, he would look like a guy who was very stiff, so — I think that's about it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Laura, how do you tell a good sort of shrewd political getting the young people in the debate versus a stunt?
INGRAHAM: Oh, all of it's a stunt. I mean, all of this is window dressing.
INGRAHAM: I mean, the bottom line, in the end, do you trust the guy in office now to lead the country into a dangerous future, or do you trust Kerry and Edwards? Untested, great hair, great energy, they have great electricity between the two of them now, but do you trust Bush-Cheney or do you trust Edwards and Kerry? The rest of the stuff is fun for us to talk about. It's not going to influence the way anyone votes.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is, Laura, the fact that Senator Hillary Clinton then just sort of talk and chatter and interesting but irrelevant?
INGRAHAM: Actually, I think that's interesting about the future of the Democratic Party. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why they wouldn't want their single rock star in the Democratic Party right now who's in office is Hillary Clinton. She is the celebrity of the party.
ESTRICH: Oh, please.
INGRAHAM: John Kerry and John Edwards are not a celebrity. She gets the room going like no one else does on a Democratic stump speech.
INGRAHAM: And Edwards and Kerry versus Hillary?
ESTRICH: That's the point.
INGRAHAM: Hillary deserves to be there. It's ridiculous.
ESTRICH: Oh, yes, but Laura, how many undecided voters do you think - - now, we've got Kennedy. We've got Bill Clinton. You know, we've got Ron Reagan, Jr. We do have Kennedy and Edwards. How many undecided voters out there, your listeners, OK, our viewers, would like to listen to Hillary Clinton...
INGRAHAM: I'd like — I'd like...
ESTRICH: ... and will decide after listening to her — will decide after listening her to vote Democratic?
INGRAHAM: Well, Susan...
INGRAHAM: I think a lot more would be intrigued and interested to hear what Hillary had to say, who might be the future of the Democratic Party, versus Al Gore, who last time I checked was practically losing it in front of the podium! So I mean, Al Gore versus Hillary Clinton, yesterday versus tomorrow? It's not a close call.
ESTRICH: I'll go with you on Al Gore.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. All right. So we established that. Now, Susan, who makes these choices? Is this a total John Kerry decision, who's speaking and when?
ESTRICH: Yes. Yes, 100 percent. 100 percent. They're making it. Now, there are certain protocol rules, but you can even ignore those. I mean, remember Jimmy Carter got ignored for years. Yes, you sit down and you just make them 100 percent.
INGRAHAM: Last time Bill Clinton gets excluded by Al Gore on the campaign trail. Now Hillary is getting excluded from John Kerry and John Edwards. It's the one team that actually worked for the Democrats in the last 30 or 40 years and they're not getting any play in the convention. I don't get it.
VAN SUSTEREN: And there are interesting names on the list. One that people don't know about now but probably will get to know is the mayor of Baltimore, Mayor O'Malley. He's going to be speaking because he's involved in national security. Is that going to do much for his career, Susan?
ESTRICH: You can make people. I mean, I remember back in 1988, there was this state treasurer from Texas who I was a big fan of. So I had this guy from Arkansas kept saying, I'll give the keynote. And I said, no, I want this woman from Texas. So I picked Ann Richards over Bill Clinton. And of course, she ran for governor of Texas and won. And you know, he did pretty well, as well. But yes, you can make people's careers. Mario Cuomo gave a keynote. So that's what you do, you do favors for people. Tad Devine used to say, No guts, no glory. If you didn't endorse us, we don't help you. Those are the games you play.
INGRAHAM: Mario Cuomo is held as some great speaker at the convention, and he went nowhere.
ESTRICH: And then he had to play Hamlet.
VAN SUSTEREN: And with that, I got to call an end to this. Both Susan and Laura will be in Boston for the convention...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... so that'll be exciting. Anyway, thank you to both of you.
ESTRICH: Thank you.
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