This is a rush transcript of "Special Report With Brit Hume" from June 4, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She wants to do everything she can to help elect a Democrat an d defeat John McCain, and she would do whatever she could to do that. Of course, that's the choice of the nominee of our party. Senator Clinton knows that.
LANNY DAVIS, CLINTON SUPPORTER: I think Senator Obama can win without Hillary Clinton. I think it will be difficult, but I think he can, and I'll do my best to help him. With Senator Clinton, I do not believe he can lose.
BRIT HUME, HOST: So, will he take her? Some thoughts on this now from Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard; Mara Liasson, national political correspondent of National Public Radio, and Mort Kondracke, executive editor of Roll Call -- FOX News contributors all.
FOX News, by the way, is confirming tonight a report that Hillary Clinton is going to say something, like concede on Friday, and get out. But we have heard that before. We believe that we have honestly come by that information, but I think some of us here will believe it when it happens.
So what about it? Has the ball moved since last night? She did say, you know, and she seemed to reassure those people at AIPAC today that Barack Obama will be a good friend to Israel --
MORT KONDRACKE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, ROLL CALL: She said "Senator Obama." She did not say "President Obama."
MARA LIASSON, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: The most she could have said was "As a super delegate, I am voting for him."
Look, she is making his life miserable right now. She is taking the spotlight away from him. This should have been his incredible day. It is all about her.
And I have talked to a lot of Democrats who are gnashing their teeth about this. As Charlie Rangel said pretty famously, we are with her to the end but we thought the end was last night.
But if she wants to try to force herself onto the ticket, she is going to force him to make a decision fast, or to do something. This is a test for him. If he can't handle her, how is he going to handle all the dictators that he says he is going to negotiate with.
I think it is quite extraordinary. I haven't talked to a single Democrat -- and I'm talking about Clinton supporters -- who don't feel that this is weakening the nominee, and some of them even said it was a repeat of Dukakis and Jackson. This is not good for the party.
KONDRACKE: Look, the main job of a vice president is what? To be a team player and to support the president. And that's not what she's doing. She is making it all about herself, as Mara said.
And I think there's a real question -- can she really bring all her constituencies along and give them to Obama by being on the ticket? There are some feminists, some women, some of her women supporters, who probably she can bring along.
But can she bring the whole white working class that voted for her? I don't know. I think that there's going to have to be a lot of polling and a lot of focus grouping about that, and, you know, the white working class Catholics and so on, preferred her to him, yes, but her and him together, on the ticket, are they going to vote for him?
I don't know. That is yet to be determined.
BARNES: Mara said she is making Obama's life miserable. Of course she is! That's the power she has. That's the leverage. Make his life miserable and threaten to make his life miserable for the rest of the summer and at the Democratic convention in August.
BARNES: Hadn't thought about that, maybe you're right.
And certainly he knows that. Look, he can't announce this week that she's going to be his are running mate. He has just announced that he is starting this process of examining people to pick a running mate. If he's going to succumb to the Clintons, he's going to have to do it very cleverly and tell her wait a minute, we're going to go through this process and you will be the winner three weeks from now or a month from now or something. And I don't think he can carry that off. There will be so many leaks and I think he has to say no. This is a test of his manhood as a candidate. Sure, this week say no, I'm sorry.
LIASSON: But tell her privately.
HUME: Say no to her before his process is even completed in which case it can be said that she won all these votes, she won all these votes, she got all these delegates and he said she was on the short list, and now she's out of the running. Let Mara finish.
LIASSON: He can meet with her privately and he can say, look, I'm going to go through this deliberately. What you're making it harder for me and for you. You will certainly be off any short list -- and for you, and for your chances, and if she wants to even be considered, this is not the way .
HUME: What does she have to do? Say I don't want it? To shut up?
LIASSON: No. She has to concede and be gracious and do what the party expects her to do and not be out there agitating for it.
HUME: What did she do today that was agitating?
LIASSON: Yesterday she told her supporters .
KONDRACKE: Lanny Davis is conducting a petition campaign. Do you think he is doing that on his own? I don't.
BARNES: He says he hasn't been asked to do it.
Look, her power is to make his life miserable, and he's - and he can't allow that to continue. He's got to tell her no, because she's going to say, look, I'm not going to wait for some process to go through and I may be the nominee or I may won't be the nominee.
KONDRACKE: He has one thing going for him, he is the nominee of the Democratic Party for president.
LIASSON: No, he is the nominee.
HUME: But he barely made it.
BARNES: Have you seen in sports, in baseball and you have one more run, and you win. You're the winner. And he is the winner. And he has to act like the winner. It was pathetic last night where he won and he has to call to congratulate her and doesn't even get through. That's pathetic.
HUME: Well, all right. Last question, though, suppose he did take her, bad idea?
LIASSON: I think it's a bad idea.
KONDRACKE: I think it's a bad idea, too. I mean, how can you trust her and how can he trust Bill to follow the party line?
BARNES: Trust but verify. Every day.
HUME: all right. When we come back, now that Senator Obama has clinched, he turns his full attention -- maybe not his full attention but some of his attention to John McCain. Stay tuned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are many words to describe John McCain's attempt to pass off his embrace of George Bush's policies as a bipartisan and new, but change is not one of them.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Both Senator Obama and I promise we will end Washington's stagnant, unproductive partisanship, but one of us has a record of working to do that, and one of us does not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUME: Well, John McCain said that with a smile, but he was not being nice, and Barack Obama was being pretty rough on him as well by insisting that this was Bush term III, so what about this? How does this play out? Does the Obama charge, which has been reiterated many times and now, that John McCain offers nothing more than Bush the same for four more years, stick? Fred?
BARNES: Look, I do not think McCain has killed it yet. He has got to do a lot better than he did in a speech last night. And I think he has got to really lay out a positive, reformist agenda that is very specific and has some coherence.
His speech last night did not do that. It was poorly delivered but it was also poorly constructed. He has got his work cut out for him. On the other hand, I think Obama has a problem, because what McCain is saying is, look. You have this vision, this spiel that you give about bringing everyone together and uniting us, but you have not done that. Your behavior is completely different. Your agenda and your conduct and your behavior in the senate and you're voting record are completely different from what you have been talking about.
Now, I have done that stuff, but let me add one thing about McCain. I thought he did something very smart today in challenging Obama to come in and have these 10 town hall meetings. One, it is the kind of thing for Obama who wants to bring us together and be nice, and they would fly together and do these things, it sounds like the bring us together stuff, so it is hard for him to say no. On the other hand, town hall meetings are places where John McCain's shines, he does best there.
LIASSON: But Obama did not jump at the chance. That was interesting.
HUME: Well, he said more like the Lincoln-Douglas debate.
LIASSON: You know what the Lincoln-Douglas debates work? The first guy spoke for 1.5 hours, the second guy spoke for one hour, and then there was a half an hour rebuttal. That is not a town hall meeting. That is not a town hall meeting. I am surprised he did not jump the chance. He said he wanted something more unstructured. More like Lincoln Douglas. But to go back to Fred's point.
HUME: Actually, town hall meetings are less structured.
BARNES: It was very structured.
LIASSON: Yes, it was very structured. I think that Obama has clear vulnerabilities, but John McCain makes a mistake when he assumes that everyone knows all of the scars that he has developed from bucking his party.
HUME: Isn't that what this summer needs to be about? Explaining and developing it?
LIASSON: Yes, it does, and I think that the Democrats' effort to make him into a carbon copy of Bush has a lot of potency. I do not think it is supported by the facts, but I do think that not enough people understand, you know, the McCain record and how he has been at odds with his party on issue after issue.
KONDRACKE: There are no doubt a lot of ways that Bush and McCain differ, the detainee policy, Iraq strategy, and all of the rest, but on the big things like, are you a conservative? Yes. Are you in favor of keeping the Bush tax cuts? Yes. Do you basically have this foreign policy of democratization? Yes. Were you in favor of the surge? Yes.
HUME: Whoa, whoa. The surge though represents a change. That was McCain's idea.
KONDRACKE: It was McCain's idea adopted by Bush.
There is one thing that McCain should use on the foreign policy front, and that is suppose we had followed Obama's recommendation as to the surge? What would have happened in Iraq? The Sunni awakening likely would have fallen apart. Al Qaeda would have been dominant in all of the places that they are now kicked out of, and America would have suffered a strategic defeat.
He has not made that argument quite that way yet, and I think he has got to do it.
But, also, as Fred said, I think there has to be a positive vision from McCain as to how the lives of ordinary Americans are going to improve under the recommendations that he is making, because that is all Obama talks about. Everything is going to be great, even though it is big government.
HUME: Is he really specific enough about it? Are there any new ideas to achieve that in Obama's arsenal?
KONDRACKE: It is different from what we have now. National health insurance -- it is different from what we have now.
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