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Hannity

Is Hillary Clinton Planning to Run for President in 2008?

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," August 21, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

BOB BECKEL, GUEST CO-HOST: There are just 78 days until the 2006 midterm elections. But today the focus is on 2008 and whether or not Hillary Clinton will decide to make a run for the White House.

Joining us now is former adviser to the Clintons, Dick Morris.

DICK MORRIS, FORMER CLINTON ADVISER: I just have to ask you did you get the segments mixed up? Is this the one about tomorrow is the end of the world, or is this Hillary's candidacy?

BECKEL: No, we're going to wait two years for that. But let me ask you this just straight out. Do you think there's a chance she might not run for president?

MORRIS: No. Not at all.

BECKEL: OK. Now here's the next question I have for you. Is she better off with or without Bill Clinton campaigning for her?

MORRIS: With.

BECKEL: OK. And you're going to have to answer some of these questions with not just one word answers? A one-answer question. Let me ask you this, then. If the election...

MORRIS: I could filibuster.

BECKEL: I don't want you to filibuster. If the election in November were for president and the election were between George Bush, with that Constitution happening, with Hillary Clinton who would win?

MORRIS: Hillary. To get beyond the one-answer — one-word answers. The Karen Tumulty wrote has a sentence where she says Hillary may be unstoppable for the nomination but unelectable in the general. And both of those are wrong.

She's perfectly stoppable to the nomination by Al Gore if Gore gets into it. Because Gore will roll up the left of the Democratic Party, and Hillary has the "soft negative" of being unelectable. And just because Gore's poll numbers are not quite as good as Hillary's, now it's because he hasn't come out and run. Gore could give her a big fight. I think she'll beat Gore. But it would be very tough. But in November she could lose.

BECKEL: Right. But the way that system has lined up now for the Democratic Party, particularly with the way the system is set up now is that it's going to get down to two candidates very quickly, Hillary and somebody. Now going to the fall for a second, strongest opponent, McCain?

MORRIS: Yes, but I don't think McCain will win the Republican nomination. I think the Republicans...

BECKEL: Let me ask the questions. I'll — we get the same answers. I agree with you. The reason Hillary could win a general election — and it's really important everybody understand this — is that the lowest voter turn out in the country are single women -- white or black or Hispanic. People in their 20s or in their early 30s, single mothers. It's a dismally low voter turn out.

When Hillary runs, right now she's getting about the same percent of the vote as other candidates. But she doesn't just change the numerator, she changes the denominator. She brings into the electorate voters who would not participate. Because the idea of a woman running would be such a cataclysmic idea that would bring so many new voters out.

And white men, already voted to a 110 percent turnout, because there's no white man that George Bush didn't bring out into the election that could possibly have voted Republican. But she will change that fundamental construct. And I think that's the key thing that the anti-Hillary types, who are living within the world as it is, overlook.

BECKEL: We've seen all the Republican voters but not all the Democratic voters.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Dick — Dick Bennett, who runs the American Research Group, told the Boston Herald, "I thought there might be some negatives" when he polled on Hillary, "but I didn't know they'd be as strong as they were." He said it's stunning the similarities between Republicans and Democrats, the comments that he — Democrats calling her "evil", "power mad." I won't use some of the others, "criminal", "megalomanic", "fraud", "dangerous", "devil incarnate", "power freak." The Democrats are saying that.

MORRIS: I think we just improved your view of the Democratic Party!

HANNITY: Very good line. But with the Democrats saying that, what red state does she compete in, and what blue state could she possibly lose?

MORRIS: Oh, my goodness. She competes in every single one of the red states, because she brings in single women.

HANNITY: She also brings in people that never vote that can't stand her.

MORRIS: But look at the turnout. White men have a — in a general election have a turn out of about 70 percent. Married white women have a turn out of around 60 percent. Single women have a turnout of about 30 percent.

HANNITY: Dick, the adjectives we were using were by Democrats. This is a Democratic pollster.

MORRIS: I am saying to you that I think Gore might be able to defeat her, not Kerry, not Edwards, not Bayh.

HANNITY: All right, let's forget about 2008. Let's stick with 78 days from now. We've got a lot of very competitive Senate seats, Montana. We've got Ohio. We've got Missouri. We've got [Pennsylvania Senator] Rick Santorum coming back from a bad deficit in his particular race. What do you think happens?

MORRIS: Rhode Island.

HANNITY: Rhode Island's going to be — Tennessee.

MORRIS: Look, first of all, I want to make clear I'm not a Democrat. I'm just a pessimist. I think that if the election were held today there is no doubt in my mind that the Democratic Party would win both houses of Congress, and if the election was held today that they would win the White House whoever was the nominee.

And it is not because of George Bush's failures; it's because of his successes. We don't feel a risk of being attacked. We suddenly feel that magically the terrorists disappear.

HANNITY: Assuming you're right, and I think — I think it's in play, the House. I don't think the Senate is to the degree you do, but I think the House is. But let's assume for a second you're right here.

Is the best way to counter that to nationalize the elections and point out that Nancy Pelosi would be third in line to be president, that San Francisco extreme left-wing liberal?

BECKEL: What percentage of the people do you think know who Nancy Pelosi is?

HANNITY: That's may be a problem. But that's my point. Identify her.

MORRIS: The way to win this election for the Republican Party is for George Bush to become president again. And instead of staying with the same set of issues and the same speeches and the same ideas, uncork some new ones. Start talking about the need to get away from terror.

If he went on television tonight, and he said, "My friends, we are fighting as hard in Iraq as we can, but we all realize that to stop terrorism, we've got to get away from dependence on oil."...

BECKEL: OK, we've got to take a break.

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