Friday Lightning Round: Cabinet reshuffle

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," November 30, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
BRET BAIER, HOST OF "SPECIAL REPORT": Every week, viewers vote for your choice online in this, our Friday lightning round poll. And this week, cabinet reshuffle won with 36 percent of the votes.
And we are back with the panel. OK, Bill, so Susan Rice hasn't been dominated for anything but we think she might be nominated for secretary of state, although it seems the White House is doing some head counting after not a great week up on Capitol Hill.
KRISTOL: It was striking. I spoke with the Republican senators privately before they were to see Susan Rice, and I would say their mood; they would have liked for her to make her case successfully enough that they could say look, I don't approve what she did on Sunday after the September 11 attacks. But you know you give the benefit of the doubt to the president. I think she was so unsatisfactory in the answers that I do think now she faces close to the united Republican opposition.
BAIER: You have, Juan, other stories coming out about the companies that invested in. Environmentalists have some problems. There’s companies that have some ties to Iran that raised some news stories that her people say are not a problem anymore. The point is, is this an issue for this White House? And do you think the president’s still going to put her forward?
WILLIAMS: I never thought he would put her forward. I think that he has been very protective of her through this whole episode and said that she was being unfairly assailed. But I think that John Kerry has been the leading candidate all along. And I think that what we've seen from the Senate, people like Susan Collins, the Republican from Maine, is that she thinks John Kerry would be a pretty good idea, although there are people, some of whom are sitting at this table, who think that John Kerry has his negatives as well. But I think John Kerry is the leading candidate.
And if you come over to the other big ticket item here is the treasury secretary. You see Geithner leaving. Geithner who's been involved in these negotiations on the hill. And there's much talk about Erskine Bowles who was part of Bowles-Simpson, or you could get someone like Jacob Lew, who is the White House chief of staff.
KRAUTHAMMER: When Susan Rice lost Susan Collins, perhaps the most mild-mannered senator in the Congress and the senator who introduced Rice when she was nominated to be the U.N. ambassador -- when you lose Collins you’ve lost the world. I don't quite understand how she went around with meetings, where she was going to present her best side to the McCain and Graham, to Collins, to Ayotte and she came out on the -- I'm talking about Susan Rice, she came out on the wrong end of this for some reason.
I think her nomination is in deep trouble. The president if he is smart not going to nominate here, because if he does, the Benghazi issue is going to rise again.
BAIER: U.N. Palestinian vote significance -- big picture?
KRAUTHAMMER: There's a great irony. The vote happened precisely and deliberately on the day on which in 1947 the general assembly voted to divide British Palestine into two states, a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jews accepted it and the Arabs rejected it because they couldn't countenance the existence of a Jewish state, and they made war. And they made war five times. Had the Arabs accepted that resolution 65 years ago, we would now have a Palestinian state that would be 65 years old. It doesn't exist but was created at the U.N. this week. It is a fictional state in a useless body, the U.N. General Assembly. I don't think it's going to helps Palestinians at all.
BAIER: Winners and losers, Juan? Winner?
WILLIAMS: I think that a big winner is whoever won that Powerball. I'm told it was you.
BAIER: No. Two people won it, two families.
WILLIAMS: That's a big winner. Of course, I hear that one of them is from Arizona. Senator McCain had to tweet out that it wasn't him.
BAIER: Loser?
WILLIAMS: I think loser who is anybody that said President Obama doesn't support Israel or that there's no such thing as a missile defense shield. Iron Dome proved very, very effective for protecting Israel during this war.
BAIER: Winner and loser Bill?
KRISTOL: I'll continue with the class warfare theme here, I like to come back to once a year or two. The winner of the week is the 19 top executives of the Hostess Brands who made enough bonuses worth up to $2 million as the company goes out of business for managing the going out of business while the workers of course pension funds haven't been filled up for a year.
The losers, the workers of America because in this budget deal that everyone’s talking about the one tax that everyone agrees should go up on the Democratic and Republican side with a couple of outliers is the payroll tax, the Social Security payroll tax. There is going to be a tax increase in January, unless someone steps up and says wait a second, we are getting everyone else a tax break and let Social Security tax go up two percent?
BAIER: Winners and losers?
KRAUTHAMMER: Kristol's turning in to a socialist.
KRISTOL: It's a family tradition, way back.
KRAUTHAMMER: It's the new secretary of the treasury sitting right over there, workers' champion.
The winner, Mahmoud Abbas locally because he outshone Hamas on this even though the victory he won in the U.N. was Pyrrhic one. The loser is Speaker of the House John Boehner. He offered the president a peace pipe and he got in return a demand that he turn over his sword, his shirt, and, at the end, his trousers. That's a rather embarrassing position for the speaker.
BAIER: He'll be asked about it on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace. That’s it for the panel.
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