This is a rush transcript from "The Journal Editorial Report," April May 10, 2008.
PAUL GIGOT, HOST: Up next, on the "Journal Editorial Report,"
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SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, D-N.Y., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm staying in this race until there is a nominee.
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GIGOT: But do Democrats already have their nominee? If so, what is Hillary Clinton's game?
Dire warnings of a November disaster for the GOP from one of its own. We'll have the details.
Students at one college speak up after their professor's lectures get a little too strange. Parents, don't sign the tuition check until you find out why.
GIGOT: Welcome to the "Journal Editorial Report." I'm Paul Gigot.
Despite growing calls for her to quit the Democratic race Hillary Clinton vowed to fight on following her disappointing showing in Tuesday's primaries. Even some Clinton insiders agree she has almost no chance of secure the nomination. So what is Hillary's game?
Joining the panel, Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor Dan Henninger, editorial board member Steve Moore and, for some Democratic perspective, FOX News analyst Kirsten Powers.
Kirsten, welcome to the program. Good to have you here.
You have sources in the Clinton camp. Is everybody saying this is over ebbs is the maybe the candidate?
KIRSTEN POWERS, FOX NEWS ANALYST: Well, I don't know anybody in the Clinton camp who would come out and say this is over. I will sure you saw Bill Clinton is saying we will keep fight being. Terry McAuliffe is saying we will keep fighting and insisting they're going to win. I think what she is doing is she is trying to preserve her options. She clearly knows it is probably over but who knows what could happen. Something could implode, something could happen. She wants to be there. Second, I think she wants to run for president again. And she wants it...
GIGOT: You think that if Obama gets the nomination, and would lose in November, she would be viable in 2012.
POWERS: Even if these not viable she wants to preserve that option. And the best way is to do that is to stay in the fight. She shouldn't attack Obama anymore. Stay in the fight. She's going to win the states coming up for the most part, except maybe Oregon. Get as much of the popular vote as she can, win as many votes as possible so when billion Obama loses, she can say, I told you so and look how great I did and look how many votes I got. And she could still win the popular vote.
GIGOT: Go ahead, Dan?
DAN HENNINGER, COLUMNIST & DEPUTY EDITOR: I think that will happen around May 20. First, West Virginia. She will win big in West Virginia. Then Kentucky. Probably win big in Kentucky and lose Oregon. Then I think she will come forward and give a speech in which she talks about what she has accomplish, the voters, the women she brought out. She will mention Ohio, Pennsylvania and California. The implicit message will be, I will be back. Because he may not win in November. And if he doesn't win, she will be standing there ready to reappear.
GIGOT: Is Michigan and Florida, seating them in a way that helps her, is that a realistic option? You have the end of May that meeting of the Democratic Rules Committee that will make a decision on whether they should be seated. She won both of those. Can that help her?
POWERS: If she had won in Indiana in a big way she would be in a stronger position to do that. Now I don't know why people are going to expend their political capital when she won't be the nominee. Before she was in a good position to do that but I at this it is difficult for her now.
GIGOT: Steve Moore, what do you think of this idea that maybe she could get on the ticket as a vice presidential candidate. Is that plausible at all?
STEVE MOORE, EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER: That is sort of the hot rumor again. That rumor comes and goes. I almost hate to admit this, Paul and Dan, but I find myself with a grudging admiration for Hillary Clinton lately. She really has been the energizer bunny. Almost anyone else would have quit months ago.
Kirsten, I think the real problem for the Democrats is that a lot of them are saying maybe we nominated the wrong person here. If you look at the demographics of the votes Hillary is getting vs. Barack Obama, Hillary is getting those key Reagan Democrats, the kind of white hard-hat union voters that are the swing voters, whereas Barack Obama is getting the kind of core Democrat votes of blacks and Lexus liberals. Maybe Hillary might have been the better candidate in November for the D's.
GIGOT: That is — Hillary said that herself this week and used the word "white."
GIGOT: Which infuriated some in her party. Is Steve's point though a good point about the voting split within the Democratic Party?
POWERS: The people who think that are Hillary supporters. If you speak to them, they would say that. It is very possibly true.
What we don't know is — those people are probably going to vote tore Barack Obama. They are Democratic primary voters. Right now they are going with Hillary but given option between McCain and Hillary, a small percentage will go with McCain.
The question — that's the big question. Right now they are saying 30 percent will vote for McCain. But 50 percent of people said they would vote for Al Gore instead of George Bush after McCain dropped out. We have to wait and see what happens there.
GIGOT: Dan, how wounded is Obama by this process? On one hand the Democratic have shown they can turn out the vote. There are an enormous number of new entrants into the party in the primary process. Real enthusiasm no matter ever tense between the two candidates. But we learned something about Obama with Jeremiah Wright and so on. How much damage?
HENNINGER: Marginally damaged. I think we live in an alternative universe with the primaries. You have the period before the general election and then when the general election starts, it is almost a clean slate. Most people stand back and they want to see what this man running for president has to offer. I think he is going to offer a very potent campaign. It is going to be very competitive.
GIGOT: Do you agree with that? Probably not.
POWERS: No. I think that's exactly right. I also think when we talk later about the state of the Republican Party, that will help him as well. I think he will run a strong campaign. I do think he will face more scrutiny though than he faced in the primary and he'll certainly get more scrutiny on the Reverend Wright issue and these other little side bar issues like the IRS issue and things like that.
GIGOT: But is anything — go ahead.
MOORE: One reason, if I am Hillary I stay from this race for another two or three weeks, is who knows whether the next shoe will drop. We saw what the fallout with Reverend Wright issue — if there is another big scandal like that, Hillary can make the case, wait a minute folks we are nominating the wrong man. and superdelegates might switch back over to her.
GIGOT: All right, Steve, wishful thinking on your part there.
Still ahead, Newt's warning. Why the former House Speaker predicts disaster for the GOP come fall.
GIGOT: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich warned his old GOP colleagues this week they face, quote, "real disaster" in November unless they move now no overhaul the Republican agenda. Party leaders are already reeling from the special election losses of seats long held by Republicans in Louisiana and Illinois.
Steve, you mingle with the blue Republicans, depressed Republicans in Washington. Is Gingrich right? How bad is it?
MOORE: I think it is really looking like Armageddon right now. They're still...
GIGOT: Understated, Steve.
But there are still six months to go. I believe, Paul, the big problem for Republicans right now is Americans are going to the grocery store, the gas pumps and seeing these high prices, and my prediction is that if something isn't done in the next six months about $4 a gallon gasoline and high milk prices and so on, Americans will be so upset they will vote for the other side. That's Democrats. It is prices that's causing a big problem for Republicans.
GIGOT: One fascinating things, Kirsten, is the congressional ballot, generic ballot between Republicans and Democrats. 50-32 in one poll I saw for the Democrats. McCain is running 16 points ahead of that generic ballot. In part I guess because he is not a traditional Republican.
POWERS: Right. I think that's right. But looking at what Gingrich outlined, this lengthy list of things that need to be done, I think it is more simple than that. The Republicans are out of step with where people are to the point that was just made. People are concerned about health care, gas prices food prices things like that and Republicans keep coming back with I will give you a tax cut. I don't think that that will probably cut it, especially when you have Democrats — this is the Democratic brand. This is what the Democrats are going to give you.
GIGOT: OK, tax cuts don't work anymore, Dan? Is that it? Is that the sense? Is that the core problem of the Republicans?
HENNINGER: Wow. The last time I looked they were working. But I think you know the last thing Republicans want to do is reinvent the wheel at this late staining in the campaign. I think what they should do — one thing about Newt is at least he is trying to go on offense rather than just sit back and say we are depressed. And they ought to get out there and start making distinctions between them and the Democrats.
The thing about it is that the Democratic Party is very liberal. Nancy Pelosi's House is extremely liberal, and Barack Obama, truth to tell, is a fairly liberal candidate and they ought to make that clear. Not shrink from the fact that they represent something different.
GIGOT: Wait a minute. On that point, Dan, Gingrich said something in that article that is interesting.
Steve, I want to ask you about this. He said, "The Republican brand has been so badly damaged, if Republicans try to run an anti-Obama, anti- Reverend Wright, anti-Clinton campaign, they are simply going to fail," end quote. What he means by that is they have to go on offense and have a positive agenda. Do you agree with that?
MOORE: Partly, I do. There is no question the Republican brand is damaged. This is why they got creamed in the 2006 elections. But I do think there is an opportunity to attack the other team. Let's face it, for the last year and a half, Nancy Pelosi has been Speaker of the House and this has been one of the worse Congress's we have ever had in terms of spending going through itself roof, the deficit going through the roof. Democrats can't get their act together. Maybe reminding voters that, hey, the Democrats are the ones running Congress and they are the ones that you should be angry about.
POWERS: I hope this is what they do. I really do. Because it is funny. David Brooks' column today talks about the conservative party in Britain and what they did and they basically adjusted to the situation and they started dealing with things like making child care affordable. Something we associate with the left typically.
MOORE: You mean they adopted the Democratic platform.
POWERS: I am sure you guys don't like it. But it worked. And the point is, it is just that's what worked.
Whenever I am on TV and somebody goes on about socialized health care and Democrats I sit back and say go ahead, keep talking, that's fine because people want health care.
I talked to somebody who worked on a Republican presidential campaign and he said, when I was in Iowa, I had conservatives walking up to me and saying what are you going to do about health care and don't tell me tax cuts. I think people are more concerned about this than people are giving people credit for.
GIGOT: I agree with you that they have to talk about health care. McCain needs to get in a debate with Obama about health care and whose alternative is better, because there are real problems with what Obama proposals in terms of government expense.
HENNINGER: Yes. I think the Republican's biggest problem is going to be turnout. Republicans, by and large, have a love-hate relationship with government. Democrats love government. And they are going to get out there and vote. At the margins, Republicans don't vote it is going to be a wipe out across-the-board.
GIGOT: Steve, let me ask you what happened in Louisiana where Republicans loss at seat they held for 76 years?
MOORE: It is just a catastrophe. That was a 58 percent Republican district. I think it just shows that the Democrats, with this message of change, are really working.
But I can't let Kirsten get away with this note about taxes. What Republicans have to say is Democrats will raise your taxes. That's something, when people are strained with their pocketbook, to tell American people Obama will raise your taxes. That he will hurt the Democrats a lot in November.
GIGOT: I think we've got a debate on taxes in November whether we like it or not.
OK, up next, a professor threatens to sue her students for disagreeing with her in class. If you were a parent signing that tuition check, it is a story you don't want to miss.
GIGOT: Life in the American academy. A Dartmouth professor angered by undergraduates who disagreed with her in class has threatened to sue for discrimination. The freshman composition teacher claims her student's anti-intellectualism violated her civil rights.
Wall Street Journal editorial page writer Joe Rago, a Dartmouth grad, like me, joins us with more. Also with us, deputy taste page editor, Naomi Schaefer Riley.
Joe, you reported on this story. What upset the professor?
JOE RAGO, EDITORIAL PAGE WRITER: Well, she said her students were intolerant of her ideas. Now, what were those ideas? Professor Venkatesan taught something called science studies that says scientific facts don't describe the natural world, but exists only to oppress women and serve the patriarch and so forth.
GIGOT: Science exists for this purpose?
RAGO: Exactly. So the students disagreed with her. They openly argued with her in class. She didn't like this. Eventually, she exploded and said their dissent amounted to fascist demagoguery and it was so intolerant of ideas that it created a hostile working environment. So it is perfect natural she would sue them.
GIGOT: Everybody sues in America so why not a professor suing students.
RAGO: Why not?
GIGOT: Now, she has withdrawn the threat of a suit, correct?
RAGO: She is having trouble finding a lawyer with who will take it.
GIGOT: Is she still threatening to sue the college and superiors at the college.
RAGO: She is sort of threatening. Maybe not. She goes back and forth.
GIGOT: You are a relatively recent graduate of Dartmouth, not like me, who graduated 150 years ago. But is this very common at Dartmouth in the sense that a lot of professors, this kind of thinking.
RAGO: If professors were regularly suing their students for their anti-intellectualism, I don't think many with graduate. In terms of her ideology and political theory, you are spoiled (ph) for choice for that.
GIGOT: How do students typically react to this? Do they accept it? Do they accommodate it? In this case they fought it. That is unusual.
RAGO: I think that's unusual. Normally, you go along go with the flow. And you know, why not?
GIGOT: Get the A.
RAGO: Get the A and why bother thinking deeply about eco-feminism or other crazy theories they have.
NAOMI SCHAEFER RILEY, DEPUTY TASTE PAGE EDITOR: The professors are really holding all the cards. They decide which consulting or investment banking job you get when you graduate based on the kind of grades you get. One fact about this woman is she had an appointment through the medical school at Dartmouth. If I am looking for a doctor, from now on the women who wrote molecular biology in narrative form is teaching at the medical school of Dartmouth is not going to be...
GIGOT: The medical school at Dartmouth. They do teach medicine.
Let's broaden this out. How common is this in terms of other campuses and the modern academy. Is this kind of ideology — we read about in the humanities and social sciences where gender, class and race are the defining ideology across these disciplines. It is astonishing that you hear it in science, which is supposed to be defined by facts and provable hypotheses.
RILEY: It is the entire university environment. It seeped into the curriculum everywhere. The more unusual the subject you can get it into, the quickly you will get your tenure.
GIGOT: It is that bad?
RILEY: I think people think, oh, well. it is so old fashioned now to have post modernism stuff in French class so why don't we try to get into something new and unusual.
There is always an emphasis on how can we make this new and cutting edge.
I want to make two points. One, I think college students have gotten two contradictory messages the last couple of decades. The first is that you have absolute freedom to do what you want whenever you want. In fact, your job on campus is to rebel. The second is you should never offend anyone anywhere, and you should always be politically correct. Is it...
GIGOT: Who wins with that message?
GIGOT: I think offended people win, at least among college students. I thought college students were supposed to offend in some sense and challenge.
I that ethic still alive on campus, Joe?
RAGO: I think so to some degree but not to the extent where students are involving themselves in litigation.
GIGOT: All right, Joe. Thanks.
We have to take one more break. When we come about back, our "Hits and Misses" of the week.
GIGOT: Winners and losers, picks and pans, "Hits and Misses," it's our way of calling attention to the best and the worst of the week.
Item one, devastation in Burma — Dan?
HENNINGER: This is really an astonishing event. There are upwards of 200,000 people dead from this cyclone. You know, the Burmese junta was told 48 hours before it hit by international weather authorities and the government of India that this cyclone was coming and it was going to be intense.
There is a lot to say about this event I think. But let make one political point. We have had the idea in this country that it would be a good thing to take the idea of Democratic government — governance to other countries. This has been ridiculed. People aren't ready for democracy. History is full of examples of authoritarian governments who simply said ho hum when this sort of thing happened. In a democracy, you have pressure from the public on a government to do something and that's why governments react. I think that's one lesson that ought to be noted during the Burmese catastrophe.
GIGOT: And contrast with the way Indonesia behaved after the tsunami in 2004 (ph).
GIGOT: Next, remembering Mildred Loving — Naomi?
RILEY: Late last week, Mildred Loving, the plaintiff in the 1967 Supreme Court case Loving vs. Virginia, died. She was fighting against anti-miscegenation laws that existed in this country in 16 states at that time. She grew up in rural Virginia. Married a white man. She was black. Essentially, five weeks after their wedding, the police stored into her bedroom and arrested the two of them. She eventually went to Washington to live there because interracial marriages were legal there.
Only when she wanted to come home to Virginia did she decide it was time to fight this law. She was a reluctant plaintiff. But I think that there is a lot of talk going on now about living in a post-racial society and Mildred Loving lived in a post-racial society long before her time.
GIGOT: Thank you, Naomi.
Proof sportsmanship is alive and equal, at least in some places — Steve?
MOORE: Last week, Sarah Tucholsky, of Western Oregon University, hit a homerun in the softball game that decided the league championship. She rounded first base, tripped and tore her ACL in her knee. After ten minutes of turmoil t figure out what to do, the umpire said the players on her own team could not carry her around the bases. The girls on the Central Washington University team, her opponents, picked her up and carried her around the bases.
It is a great example of sportsmanship. We talk a lot about steroids and cheating in sports, it is nice to know sportsmanship is alive and well in America.
GIGOT: Thank you, Steve.
That's it for this week's edition of the "Journal Editorial Report." Send us your e-mails to foxnews.com and visit us an on the Web at www.foxnews.com/journal .
Thanks to my panel and to all of you.
I'm Paul Gigot. We hope to see you here next week.
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