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Kick ‘Em When They're Up, Kick ‘Em When They're Down - Part 2 of 3

Reported by Marie Therese - November 23, 2004

In this second installment on the Clintons and how they are covered by FOX News Channel, Bill O'Reilly interviewed Dick Morris on the Bush cabinet turnover and the Clintons. Morris, who advised former President Bill Clinton during his 1996 Presidential reelection bid, left that campaign after it was learned that he had frequently consorted with a prostitute named Sherry Rowlands. Since then, Morris has been a constant presence on the FOX News Channel. His last two books - "Rewriting History" and "Because He Could" - have bashed both Hillary and Bill Clinton. Here's my transcription of his 11/18/07 interview with Bill O'Reilly.

O'Reilly: Is there anything abnormal about the Bush transition?

MORRIS: Well, what's abnormal is that they've stayed for a year, I mean, four years. You've had almost no defections from the cabinet, except to Treasury during the first four years ... Leaving now is not [unusual]. But it's interesting how these positions are being filled. And that is unusual.

Usually what happens is that in the Presidency you have staff and you have Cabinet and they're two completely different groups. They don't particularly like each other. The Cabinet members have their own fiefdoms and their own monarchies and their own public images and the staff are sort of the hired help, who try to represent the President's point of view.

What Bush has done is, as the Cabinet moved out, he's replaced them with his staff, which didn't happen in the Clinton White House. Alexis Herman is the only one i can think of who moved from staff to Cabinet, when Reich resigned and she became the Labor Secretary. But all of the staff went off to K Street and made a lot of money as lobbyists, when the Cabinet members moved on. And then When the Cabinet members moved on and then Cabinet deputies -the assistant secretaries, the undersecretaries ...

O'Reilly (interrupts): But they say Bush is doing this for loyalty reasons, he-would-control reasons, and all that.

MORRIS: It's wonderful what he's doing because what he's doing is putting his blueprint on the administration. After four years in office the Secretary of Agriculture is the wholly owned subsidiary of the Agriculture Department. Any residual loyalty she may have had with you is long since gone. And when you appoint her deputy to that position, you're perpetuating that problem. But when you take someone from the White House staff, like Margaret Speller (sic)* and you put her in as Education Secretary, or Donna Rice (sic)** and you put her into State, or Gonzales and you put him into Justice, you're imposing your imprint on the second term agenda. Rather than basically spinning loose these departments and saying "OK, you guys are independent countries." It's a brilliant move.

O'Reilly: Now you think that this is gonna help him be more effective in getting the policies he wants out there?

MORRIS: The big problem you have is you usually can't do that because your staff quits and they want to go and make a gazillion dollars as lobbyists.

O'Reilly: Right and now he's just promoting them.

MORRIS: Bush held them and said ya' can't quit yet and you've got to become a Cabinet member.

O'Reilly: Now you heard my interview with the Professor [Antonia Handler Chayes] at Tufts. I don't have anything against Hillary Clinton. I really don't. I want her to come on this program. I want to ask her questions. If she dodges us, I want specifics.

MORRIS: Don't hold your breath, Bill.

O'Reilly: She's never gonna give specifics, is that correct, ever?

MORRIS: She'll try not to. The specifics are obviously there. The wall is the answer to Palestinian-Israeli relations and sanctions of a more aggressive nature are the answer in Iran but you'll never hear that from Hillary. The important thing about the library opening, which was your previous - is that this is not the Bill Clinton library. This is the launch of the Hillary Clinton campaign. The reason they scheduled it for three weeks after the success or failure - they didn't know which - in the election, is because it would be Hillary's kick off and she's done all of these softball shows - Larry King, Greta, a whole bunch of those.

O'Reilly: .. I don't want to say Greta's softball.

MORRIS: The interview wasn't much good. (O'Reilly chuckles.) The morning shows and they don't ask her tough questions and Hillary skates by. But the question you gotta ask is why is Hillary doing the show, not Bill?

O'Reilly: Well, Bill's not feelin' great.

MORRIS: It's Bill's library. Yeah, c'mon. If he's feelin' good enough to give speeches at Central High School and to stand on his feet for an hour giving a speech at the library, he's gonna be able to sit in a chair for 15 minutes and do the Larry King Show. This is all a launch for Hillary.

O'Reilly: Alright. So your thesis is that Hillary Clinton's gonna use this library as a research took, as a whole bunch of things to set up her Presidential run. That's your thesis.

MORRIS: It's more than that. She's using this ceremony, figuratively speaking, to move back to Arkansas. She's gonna be a red state kinda girl. She knows that she can't win the Presidency being too identified with a blue state like New York. So she says: "My husband and I want to spend more time here. It's so nice that we have an apartment here." And she's basically recasting herself as a red state kinda girl. And she's using the visibility of the library to distance herself from the leftism of Kerry, the eastern seaboard part of Kerry, and to really launch herself and reinvent herself as the successor to the moderate Bill Clinton. She's not a leftist. She's a mainstream Democrat. And that's what she realizes she has to be and that's what she's doing.

O'Reilly: But I think you might be underestimating the power of the actual operation there. $165 million, as we mentioned.

MORRIS: Right.

O'Reilly: This gives Hillary Clinton researchers, speech writers...

MORRIS: Which she used to get from the White House. Now she gets 'em ..

O'Reilly: Now she gets ‘em there. Because it's got a big staff. They've got a lot of money. They can hire a lot of people and she's got access, not only access to brain power, but access to money. Because Bill Clinton's got a checkbook that he can write off anything against that library that he wants. If that right?

MORRIS: What I just found incredible was she goes on the Larry King Show and she says "the building is transparent as proof of our commitment to openness in government." OK. Why did you keep the healthcare task force records secret?

O'Reilly: Look. Not only that....

MORRIS: Why did you fight every subpoena like it was the last (garbled).

O'Reilly: She - if Larry had been on his game last night (11/17/04), he would have said "Well, that's interesting, Mrs. Clinton. You won't give us the donors to the library."

MORRIS: That's right. The symbol, the symbol of transparency.

O'Reilly: She can say it's transparent all day long, but you won't tell us who gave you money to the library which, of course, may tie into this whole Mark Rich deal.

MORRIS: The only thing that was transparent in that interview was Hillary.

O'Reilly: Nope. C'mon, Nick (sic). They're not gonna take you. Ya' already trashed Greta. And Greta's gonna kick your butt for doin' that - I hope you know that - next time she sees you.

MORRIS: Well, that's alright. If she invites me on her show, I'll duke it out with her.

O'Reilly: Alright. You are then saying that there's no doubt in your mind that Mrs. Clinton has kicked off her campaign for President - and I think I agree with you, I do not disagree with you - by using this and then she's gonna go around like to Tufts to establish her credibility. She'll - this and that. This is what she's gonna do for the next four years.

MORRIS: And she's running for President and part of it to learn the lessons of this election. But you know what I found fascinating. I believe there are four Republicans that could defeat Hillary Clinton for President and I believe three of them won't be nominated. Giuliani could beat her - he's now ten points ahead - but he's too liberal on social issues. McCain could beat her but the Republicans don't like him. And Powell could beat [her] but the Republicans aren't gonna nominate him. But, the person who could be nominated because she's a social conservative and could take the blacks and the women away from Hillary, was just named Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

O'Reilly: Yeah, she could run. No question. But I think you could be underestimating ...

MORRIS: And the juxtaposition of these two things, Hillary moving to get her candidacy and Rice being positioned in the "on deck" circle.

O'Reilly: That would be a fascinating race but I think you're underestimating Giuliani, because Giuliani is the anti-Hillary and, I think that the - I know what you're saying, the conservative wing.

MORRIS: I love Giuliani. He'd be a fabulous President.

O'Reilly: And McCain is going to be 72 years old.

MORRIS: He'd [Giuliani would] beat her in November, but he's pro-choice and he pro-affirmative action.

O'Reilly: I got that. I got that, but the country...

MORRIS: ... and pro-gun control, all of which I am, but the Republican voters are not.

O'Reilly: Not all the Republican voters. And the country's gonna say what the Democrats said about Bush ("Anybody but Bush") "Anybody but Hillary" and the best person to beat her is probably gonna get it.

Morris ended the interview by plugging his two recent books.


* Margaret Speller should have been Margaret Spellings, the Texas woman Bush recently nominated as Secretary of Education.

** Donna Rice should have been Condoleezza Rice. Donna Rice was the woman whose affair with Gary Hart, a contender in the 1987 Democratic Presidential race, created a scandal. An interesting Freudian slip on Morris' part. (Freudian slip is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as: "A slip-up that (according to Sigmund Freud) results from the operation of unconscious wishes or conflicts and can reveal unconscious processes in normal healthy individuals.)

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