Cutting Through the Fog of the Presidential Campaign

Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.  Thank you for watching us tonight.

Cutting through the fog of the presidential campaign, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

It'll be hard to stop John Kerry.  At this point, it looks like he'll win Missouri easily next Tuesday night and show well in the six other states that evening.  Even if John Edwards (search) wins South Carolina, it's hard to see him overtaking Kerry. That's because Kerry now has money pouring in and by far the best organization now that Howard Dean (search) has self-destructed.

But here's something interesting.  As you know, the Clintons are behind the candidacy of General Wesley Clark (search).  He has not done well.  John Edwards has done much better. So it would be logical for Kerry to put Edwards on his ticket as the vice-presidential nominee.

But if Kerry does that, Edwards becomes a rival to Hillary Clinton in 2008 should the Kerry-Edwards ticket lose to President Bush. Now the Clintons don't want John Edwards to gain any power. And certainly his recognition would soar if he runs with Kerry.

So there is intrigue in the primary process here. The Clintons are still very powerful in Democratic circles.  They control DNC chief Terry McAuliffe (search), who in turn controls a lot of the money John Kerry will need to defeat President Bush.

The Clintons would love for General Clark to be Kerry's running mate, but Clark has proven to be a fumbling kind of guy.  And there's no question at this point Edwards would help Kerry much more than Clark, because Edwards is a much better speaker.

So the behind the scenes maneuvers are shaping up to be more interesting than the actual vote.  Of course, it's still possible Howard Dean will rise from the ashes, but poll numbers say he's already toast in Missouri, Arizona, and South Carolina, so don't bet the ranch.

The wildcard in all this is Senator Kerry's wife Teresa, who is a strong-willed woman and will have a say in how the senator conducts his campaign.  At this point, "Talking Points" has not been able to ascertain what Teresa thinks of Hillary.  I simply don't know.  We are working on it.

But there's no question that Bill and Hillary Clinton will have a strong behind the scenes presence in the upcoming presidential election.  And that may be bad news for John Edwards and John Kerry.

And that's The Memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."

Our pal, Dennis Miller, has a new program on CNBC, and, in his debut performance, he actually promoted "Factor" gear.


DENNIS MILLER, CNBC:  We're going to have a magic word on the show each day.  And, of course, if someone during the course of the show says the magic word, they will receive an "O'Reilly Factor" mug or some other piece of "Factor" gear.  I do this, of course, because I've always wanted to say 'Factor' gear."


O'REILLY:  We appreciate that plug from Dennis and wish him the best.

Is the magic word ridiculous?  "Factor" gear -- "Factor" gear's the best.  Everybody's got it.