This is a rush transcript of "Special Report With Brit Hume" from May 6, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) NEW YORK: People prepare. They work hard. They do their best. Life is unpredictable, the race is unpredictable, politics is unpredictable. So I am just going to wait to see what the voters say. That's the most important decision that I'm looking at.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We were shaking hands at the Ford plant until about 12:30 last night. We were in the studios by 5:00 for an interview. We're going to keep on going until we win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRIT HUME, HOST: And keep on going they have. Some thoughts on this marathon race now from Fred Barnes, Executive Editor of The Weekly Standard, Nina Easton, Washington Bureau Chief of Fortune magazine, Bill Kristol, Editor of The Weekly Standard, and Mort Kondracke, Executive Editor of Roll Call, FOX News contributors all.
Well, we know something about what the polling was showing going into today, and we know something about what the exit polling has shown about who voted for whom and why. What does it seem to be telling us, Fred?
FRED BARNES, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: That the rift in the Democratic Party is widening, or at least hardening between Obama getting the upscale type and, obviously, the African-American vote, and Hillary getting the downscale vote, including Catholics and whites, and so on.
And it is a split that we have seen earlier, particularly in Pennsylvania, and again in Indiana and North Carolina. The big difference in these races is that there is in Indiana, I think, African-Americans are 1/7 of the Democratic electorate, and in North Carolina they're a third.
And since Obama gets more than 90 percent of the African-American vote, he does better in North Carolina than Indiana. But you still see that rift where this downscale, traditional base of the Democratic Party seems to be not going for Obama, even though, as he said, he has campaigned for these people at the Ford plant.
HUME: When we mean downscale, we mean down in the economic scale?
BARNES: Downscale not just economically, but culturally and education-wise.
HUME: Why are Catholics downscale?
BARNES: Picky, picky, picky!
HUME: Well, I will not associate myself with those remarks.
MORT KONDRACKE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, ROLL CALL: That strikes me as elitism on Fred's part.
HUME: Fred's a college educated guy who lives in an upscale area.
BARNES: I never drink anything that the word latte is associated with; only black coffee.
HUME: Enough of that — Nina?
NINA EASTON, FORTUNE MAGAZINE: I will be more diplomatic. We will call them "Humphrey Democrats" versus the McGovern, egghead, latte liberal crowd — whatever you want to call them.
It is astonishing the enduring, and, in some cases, widening split, both along class lines on education and income, and so forth.
But what's more troubling, I think, to the Democratic Party heading into the fall is this racial split, with Barack Obama getting probably 90 percent of the vote, and Hillary Clinton getting probably something like 60 of the vote, which tracks so much with the previous states — Pennsylvania, Ohio, and so forth — it's really is enduring.
Hillary Clinton is going to make the case and her advisors will make the case that she has the strength among swing state voters, and that's what you need to win in the fall. But he's got a case to make — you also need the African-American vote. You can't have those folks sitting home in the fall.
So it's a conundrum for the Party right now.
BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: The obvious way to solve the conundrum is to make the ticket consist of the two people who are the leaders of the two wings of the Party. I think the longer this goes on, assuming Obama wins — the longer this goes on, the easiest way for Obama to get Clinton voters back is to put Hillary Clinton on the ticket.
I think the logic of the race is driving towards an Obama-Clinton ticket.
KONDRACKE: Bill is rooting for the weakest possible Democratic ticket. I think that that really is pushing the sociological envelope to have the first African-American and first woman on the same ticket. That's doubling up on whatever gender and racial prejudices there are in the country.
What all the demography suggests is that as the polls indicated going in, this is going to be a split decision tonight with Clinton winning Indiana and Obama probably winning North Carolina, in which case the race goes on.
But the important thing is that unless she — I don't think she can possibly win Indiana big enough to begin to overcome his delegate lead or his popular vote lead. If she were to win Indiana by ten points, she would pick up probably around 60,000 votes on him. He leads by 500,000 votes. If he wins Indiana by just five, he gets 58,000 votes, probably. So she's not catching up.
HUME: What about — going into tonight we said that if she won both that that would be a shock to the system, as somebody put it, and the atmosphere would completely change. If we get a split, how badly are her chances?
BARNES: It's a tie. And sudden death comes in the later primaries. So it wouldn't advance anything much.
A tie goes to Obama. She's going to have to have a breakthrough in one of these states that looks like an Obama state, whether it's North Carolina or Oregon, which comes up in a couple of weeks, whether it is Montana. There are not that many left. She has to have a breakthrough state or her argument suffers.
HUME: But is she going to at the end of the day be saying "hey, you got to vote for me, I won Montana"? Montana is a great place, but it is a tough state.
HUME: That would not be her entire argument, but it would be part of it, because there are six primaries after tonight, and that would — if she wins five of them or something like that, Montana might be one of them. That would help.
EASTON: I think we're going to see a different race develop. We're going to see a rules fight. We're going to see the Clinton campaign focusing on the rules fight towards the end of the month to get Florida and Michigan seated.
Secondly, she's going to do, we're hearing on this program tonight, she's going to start this super delegate campaign for super delegates in an overt campaign to pull them —
HUME: Well, we're going to take a break. And when we come back, we're going to tell you what John McCain was up to today and about the fight he picked with both the Democratic candidates on the issue of judges.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For Senator Clinton and Senator Obama it turned out that not even John Roberts was quite good enough for them.
Senator Obama, in particular, likes to talk up his background as a lecturer on law, and also someone who can work across the aisle to get things done. But when Judge Roberts was nominated, it seemed to bring out more the lecturer in Senator Obama than it did the guy who can get things done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUME: And what did the Obama campaign have to say in response to that? Quote, from Tommy Vietor, campaign spokesman, "The 'straight talking express' took another sharp right turn today as John McCain promised his conservative base four more years of out of touch judges.
What's truly elitist is to appoint judges who will protect the powerful and leave ordinary Americans to fend for themselves."
Hillary Clinton's campaign: "We won't take lectures on the right way to approach the constitution from Senator McCain, who voted for extreme conservative judges like Justice Thomas."
So is John McCain today making this speech now using the publicity devoted to the Democrats as a cover for a pander to his base, or does this issue have more to it than that — Bill?
KRISTOL: It has a lot more to it than. A lot of moderate Democrats are unhappy that the courts make fundamental decisions on social policy. A majority of Democrats in the United States Senator voted to confirm John Roberts as Chief Justice of the United States.
It is a very good issue to point out that Obama, on many issues, has not been just a normal Democrat but the left wing of the Democratic Party.
KONDRACKE: I thought McCain threaded a needle here. He did what he needed to do to assure the Republican base that he's going to be for people like Roberts and Alito.
For the independents that he also wanted, he reminded everyone, one, that Obama and Clinton were both against Roberts, that Obama, the bringer-together, was not part of the "Gang of 14" which he was the leader of — he, McCain — and that also McCain and most Republicans voted for Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but Hillary and Obama voted against these two Republican nominees.
EASTON: It's interesting that Hillary Clinton said, that she referred to extreme conservative judges, because that "Gang of 14" was actually the language in the "Gang of 14" that he helped set up, which, by the way, he's criticized for by conservatives for not standing on conservative principles and being too quick to compromise.
But that was supposed to go into play when there were "extremist judges." Going back on this vote, Chief Justice Roberts was approved by 78, and 22 of them were Democrats.
HUME: Fred, quickly?
BARNES: What he said today was perfectly consistent with McCain's record on judicial nominations all along. So I don't think it was a pander at all. He is going to nominate conservatives if he becomes president, though.
HUME: Is this a winning issue for him for both Democrats and Republicans?
BARNES: I think it is a winning issue. He wouldn't be bringing it up and spending so much time on it if it were not a winning issue.
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