This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," August 16, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: In our "Political Smackdown" segment, Sen. Hillary Clinton (search) is once again reaching across the aisle and teaming up with a Republican. This time it's Sen. John McCain (search).

The pair is now working on a study of global warming. They're on a trip together to Alaska, looking at melting glaciers.

Is this going over real well with their respective parties?

Joining me now is former Congressman Martin Frost, a Democrat from Texas, and Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway.

So Kellyanne, you know, this has me scratching my head. These two are probably going to be running against each other, or the odds are at the moment, anyway, in 2008, and yet they appear to be dating, going off to Alaska to look at global warming together.

What is up with this?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, if they are dating, I'd say Mrs. Clinton has traded up big time. I guess she's in search of a bedfellow stranger or otherwise.

But look, if you're Hillary Clinton, this is a great move for you politically, because John McCain is seen as a very reasonable Republican. Some call him moderate, although he has a very conservative voting record on many issues. And John McCain is the media darling when it comes to presidential politics.

So I think for Mrs. Clinton to hitch one of her wagons to his star is smart because she has a fairly icy relationship with some in the major media who do not like the way they were treated early on in her husband's presidency when she was a self-appointed healthcare czar and when she went and attacked the media and the right-wing conspiracy. So this is great for her.

And John McCain, I mean, he never says no to a good bipartisan type of showing. And I guess he's very serious about the issue of climate change.

We saw what happened at the G-8 (search) with the world leaders. And he's doing his own thing. Nothing wrong with it.

GIBSON: So Martin, can you explain why John McCain, if Kellyanne is right — and she usually is — why John McCain would participate in this in helping raise Hillary's profile with moderates around the country?

FORMER REP. MARTIN FROST, D-TEXAS: Well, first of all, John, this isn't the only Republican that Hillary has done things with.

GIBSON: Oh, I know.

FROST: She's worked with Bill Frist (search) on healthcare issues; she's worked with Lindsey Graham (search) on a variety of issues, particularly affecting reservists and healthcare — the insurance benefits for reservists. She went to Iraq with McCain earlier in the year.

I think she's doing exactly the right thing. Hillary is a very shrewd, smart politician, and I think you'll see more bipartisanship from her. And I think that will stand to her in good stead in her re-election.


But Kellyanne, why is McCain participating in it? I mean, they may very well be on a stage together debating each other, ripping each other's throat out, you know, figuratively speaking. Why would at this point he kind of raise her profile like this and sort of give her a hand?

FROST: John, if I could add one thing. You can't raise Hillary's profile. She's got a pretty high profile already.

GIBSON: All right.

Well, Kellyanne, you want to...

CONWAY: You mean you can raise her positives, and you know that, Congressman, because you're trying to do that right here by aligning her with Republicans. If I hear your analysis correctly that Mrs. Clinton is trying to raise her positive profile across this country with voters by aligning herself with the Republicans and distancing herself from the radical extremist left wing of the party that she helped to create, by the way, I don't hear you talking about her doing an Alaskan trip with John Kerry or John Edwards or, oh, that guy Bill Clinton. Or Al Gore — Mr. Environment, I invented the Internet, I hug trees — himself.

FROST: Kelly...

CONWAY: So there she is with Republicans and you know her negatives are high. You know...


GIBSON: Martin, you better get the last word in.

FROST: If I could get a word in edgewise, John, I'd suggest that Kellyanne may be a little wrong about Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton as president, he doesn't look that bad with high gas prices and high deficits and the problems that we see in the current administration.


GIBSON: You two go at it off camera because I've got to run.

Kellyanne Conway, thanks. Martin Frost, thanks. Appreciate it.

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