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Following the Campaigns; Dr. Phil Talks Politics

Aired April 4, 2008 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST, LARRY KING LIVE: Tonight, breaking news about big bucks. The Clintons' tax returns show 100 million reasons that life's been good to them. But could their bottom line hurt Hillary's oval office bid.
Plus, was Barack Obama's no show today for Martin Luther King's ceremonies a mistake.

And who has been protecting John McCain.

Then Dr. Phil will put the candidates on the couch. They say one thing, do they mean another? Next, on LARRY KING LIVE.

Our panel beginning things in the first two segments, they are in Grand Forkston, North Dakota. Ed Shultz, the talk radio host, hosts his own program. He is a supporter of Barack Obama. In Boston, Carol Simpson, former ABC news anchor and a leader in Emerson Residence College, a Hillary Clinton supporter. In New York is Congressmen Anthony Weiner, Democrat of New York, also a supporter of Senator Clinton, and in San Francisco, Kamala Harris the District Attorney of San Francisco and a supporter of Barack Obama.

Hillary and Bill released their tax information today. They earned a $109 million dollars over the years through 2007, paid $33 million in taxes, contributed over $10 million to charity, average tax earnings were $57,157,000. Ed will this have any effect on the campaign?

ED SCHULTZ, SUPPORTS OBAMA: I don't think so Larry. I think the American people know that the Clintons have done a lot for this country. I think they respect the fact that they've sacrificed a lot. They've earned it, they've written books that people have read and bought. They've given speeches and they have done a lot. I don't think it will be an issue. I think there might be some jealousy out there. I don't think the Obama camp will make it an issue at all.

KING: Mrs. Harris, what do you think?

KAMALA HARRIS, SUPPORTOR OBAMA: I agree. I think that the focus for the Obama campaign has been very much about working families, about the needs of the people in our country for a plan for our economy that considers all Americans. But in particular those most in need of support. That's going be the focus regardless of the income tax or income itself of anyone else.

KING: I imagine you agree, Carole. CAROLE SIMPSON, SUPPORTS CLINTON: I don't see any problem with them making that much money. Most of it came from the president's speeches. We know that beginning with Ronald Regan that being an ex- president; you get very good speaking fees of as much as $2 million a speech. I think it's also important to point out that they gave $10 million to charity. Almost 10 percent of their income almost likes tithing. They gave back.

KING: Congress Weiner they get a lot of support from blue collar workers that might take a little umbrage at the earnings. Possible?

REP. ANTHONY WEINER, (D) NEW YORK, SUPPORTS CLINTON: Perhaps. I know why these two are working so hard to be president, being ex- president is pretty good business. I think if Barack or Hillary Clinton went out and practiced law or worked in the private sector they make an enormous amount of money, they should be honored for devoting their lives to public service. Both these candidates have written books that people want to read. I don't think that any one holds it against them. What is important is that everyday Hillary Clinton gets up and she is thinking about who she's fighting for, the middle class and those struggling to make it in Indiana and Pennsylvania. That's what Bill Clinton devoted his entire eight years thinking about. A lot of us wish we were back in the Clinton era now. So I don't think that those folks that are in the middle class wish they had $10 million to give away to charity, are going to hold it against either candidate.

KING: All three candidates invoked the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. today on the 40th anniversary of his assassination. Let's watch.


SENATOR BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Dr. King once said that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. Here's the thing, it does not bend on its own. It bends because each of us in our own ways puts our hand on that arc and we bend it in the direction of justice.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The quality of his character, his good name will be honored for as long as the creed of America is honored. His message will be heard and understood for as long as the message of the gospels is heard and understood.

SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CNADIDATE: I remember hearing about it and feeling such despair. I walked into my dorm room, took my book bag and hurled it across the room. It felt like everything had been shattered. Like we would never be able to put the pieces together again.


KING: Ed, should Senator Obama have come to Memphis?

SCHULTZ: It's a tough call Larry. You can't be everywhere. Barack Obama is talking about Dr. Martin Luther King a lot, before today. I think the country knows that he emulates Dr. King in many ways, respects him immensely. And on many times has referenced him in his climb politically in this country. The fact that he was where Bobby Kennedy was speaks volumes. The speaks to how much healing we have to do as a country. I thought it was very symbolic in that regard. I thought the tough assignment was for John McCain that had to be a tough appearance for him. He's been on the wrong side of the issue and had to reverse on it.

KING: How did he do with the reversal Carole? He was against the holiday in Arizona and then changed?

SIMPSON: I give him a lot of credit for showing up at what one might think would be a hostel crowd. I want to go back to Senator Obama's not showing up there. I think the very reason he's able to run for president and getting such support from so many quarters is due to Martin Luther King and for him not to be at the official remembrance of the anniversary of his death, I think was a mistake.

KING: We're going take a break. Who do you think will be the next president? Exercise your right to vote at and stay with us.


KING: Kamala should your candidate have gone to Memphis today?

HARRIS: I think if we're going to really honor the legacy of Dr. King, Dr. King very much wanted us to not only be inspired by his words, but act inspired and build on everything that he sacrificed for all of us in this country.

Barack Obama is doing that. He is doing what is necessary to continue living the dream that Dr. King envisioned in terms of the potential of our country. In terms of achieving the unimaginable and achieving the unimaginable for Barack Obama does not just mean being a candidate but actually winning as president of the United States. And doing that by talking with everyone in this country as many people as he can about his vision, his plan for the economy, healthcare and all of that. So I think he's doing what is important in terms of the democracies that should be at play in this presidential campaign, but also doing what Dr. King would want.

KING: Congressman Weiner, President Jimmy Carter will be a guest here in a couple of weeks, is a super delegate, hinting he may support Obama. What effect would that have?

REP. WEINER: He's an important constituent but frankly no more important than the millions of folks in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and West Virginia and in other states. This is about the people like Jimmy Carter, this is about the people that get up every single day and have to stretch paychecks and find health care. That's what Hillary Clinton is working for every day. The focus on super delegates and then people who are well know house hold names. You know a lot of households around this country people are trying to figure out who will be the best president for them and who has the experience to get it done. That's why Hillary Clinton is doing so well in these states that look a lot like the United States of America, like Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio and Texas, and New York and the others. Those are the folks that are important now.

KING: This campaign can get pretty testy. Ed Schultz your fellow talk show host Randi Rhodes who has been on this program, of Air America was suspended today because of remarks she made in San Francisco. I spoke to her today. She said she was doing a paid date as a stand-up comic. A paid date as a stand-up comic. She made comments about Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferrow (ph). But so what.

SCHULTZ: Well Larry I am not well versed on this situation and I don't want to get in the middle of Randi Rhode's career and Air America. I can tell you this Larry; this is a classic example of living in the youtube generation. What we did last week may be a story tomorrow. Everything is documented, every word is stored, opinions are given, and it is just talk. And you can imagine what these candidates are going through; every move they make is documented and given new analysis in this electronic age.

KIGN: Let's watch the Rhode's incident.


RANDI RHODES: Hillary is a [muted] too. I don't know. I don't know how they vote. What the guilt is. She's a big [muted], do you know why? Read the fine print.


KING: Is this getting too testy?

HARRIS: Well I think that, I actually couldn't hear exactly what she said, I think in general, what's happening, I ran into a friend recently, a few days past her due date, she is pregnant. I think all Democrats, Hillary supporters, Barack supporters; I think we're all feeling we're past the due date. We're ready to have this baby and move forward. There's a certain fatigue that is setting in and it is manifesting itself in many ways. We're ready to unify and move forward.

KING: Well said. Thank you. You'll all be back, we have lots of time. Ed Schultz, Carole Simpson, Rep. Anthony Weiner, and Kamala Harris. More political talk with our experts, then Dr. Phil all ahead on LARRY KING LIVE.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: The judges and the host of "American Idol" Monday night on LARRY KING LIVE. We welcome now Arianna Huffington, she is here in Los Angeles, founder of the most popular poll blogs, "The Huffington Post." And in New York KellyAnne Conway the Republican strategist and pollster. A lady speaking in Memphis on today's 40th anniversary of the King assignation. John McCain admitted to a mistake.


JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENITAL CANDIDATE: We can be slow as well and give greatness its due. A mistake I myself made long ago. I myself made long ago when I voted against a federal holiday in memory of Dr. King. I was wrong. I was wrong.


KING: Take some courage Arianna?

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, FOUNDER, "THE HUFFINGTON POST:" Yes, I'm glad he did that. It was good that he went to Memphis, that he gave the speech. It's not about words. Look at why he is voting and what he is saying, he voted against taxes on wind fall profits. He says he wants to make George Bush's tax cuts permanent. Remember Martin Luther King's legacy was not just about civil rights. It was the poor people's campaign. That was really the work of his last year.

KING: KellyAnne what did you think of the McCain day today?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, GOP STRATEGIST AND POLLSTER: It was very bold of him not just to be there but to say what he said Larry, it wasn't that a reporter asked him that question, gee why did the captains vote 25 years ago against Martin Luther King? He admitted that he made it an affirmative part of his speech. I have to tell you its breaking news. Remarkable when any politician stands up and says, I was wrong, I made a mistake. I think the three of us can total it up on one hand how many times you have heard that in the last ten years out of a politician's mouth.

KING: Senator McCain also told me and apparently he has been public, that he doesn't want protection. Secret service is going to have to get it. Do you agree with it that he should get it even if he doesn't want it?

HUFFINGTON: Absolutely. It would have been better to have the white man holding the umbrella. You know the white man giving the speech and the black man holding the umbrella. It's a minor thing; why not take care of those details on a day when we're celebrating Martin Luther King.

KING: Kelly in another area, what do you make of a disturbing poll today, the "New York Times"/CBS Poll 81 percent of Americans think the country is on the wrong track?

CONWAY: The number has been sliding downward for quite awhile and next month is my 20th year in the polling business Larry and this is the lowest that we have ever seen it. It's a combination of factors, kitchen table economic concerns; it is fatigue with the war. And I've got to say it's also reflected in the congressional disapproval rating. You have over 70 percent of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing. This is a Democratic Congress, a Republican president; I think it's a pox on everybody's house and anybody that has to do with Washington.

The irony this year is we are going to have a United States senator, someone from Washington, of Washington, as our president regardless of which three it ends up being. That's pretty remarkable. When the wrong track numbers are this dismal, people look beyond Washington and to a strong governor to take the helm. That's what happened when Bill Clinton came into presidency and Ronald Reagan became president.

KING: Why is it Arianna that the public may disapprove of Congress but they do re-elect the congressman?

HUFFINGTON: Well that is the problem; People love him because he's their congressman. I have to disagree with KellyAnne about this being a pox on both houses. The problem here is that we're dealing with George Bush's policies when it comes to Iraq, a war that now is going to be costing us $3 trillion and more. George Bush's policies when it comes to the economy. It's hard for John McCain to be running for change when he's endorsed everything that George Bush stands for.

KING: Kelly.

CONWAY: We know that's not true. The Citizens against Government Waste released their annual pig book. Anybody can go to their Website, and it's an amazing outlay of everybody that voted for earmarks. The top three United States senators who have shoveled the most pork back home are all Republicans ironically, even though it is a Democratic control Congress. But guess how many ear marks John McCain went for? Zero, absolutely none. That in and of itself Arianna puts him at distance with George W. Bush who really has never met a spending bill that he hasn't signed into law. McCain voted against the first George Bush's tax increases.

HUFFINGTON: This is the old John McCain. He's been completely hijacked by the right. He's voted in favor of torture. This is John McCain who said he would not vote for his own immigration bill. He said he will now go back on what he said about Bush's tax cuts and wants the war in Iraq to go on 100 years.

CONWAY: That's not what he said Arianna. In fairness, that 100 years remark that Barack Obama has been repeating has been discredited. What John McCain said was 100 years in peacetime. We have had troops around this globe in peace keeping operations in many different areas of our world. In fairness, John McCain's appeal among independents right now is what scaring many Democrats. And that is partly because he's so distanced himself from some of the less popular Republican policies.

KING: Who would you want him from your stand point Kelly to pick, if not a name, from what school of politics would you want him to pick a running mate?

CONWAY: His running mate has to be a conservative, and a well known one, it has to be someone younger, someone not of Washington Larry. It think he is going to have to go to people not necessarily in politics, but known to people who follow politics.

KING: Arianna who does Obama have to pick if it's him?

HUFFINGTON: He would have to pick someone that agrees with him on Iraq. That's critical. That's going to be the main issue running against John McCain. He's been the main cheer leader of the war and the surge. He has to pick someone that will close the divide between those that have and have not. Someone that agrees with him.

CONWAY: Someone not named Hillary Clinton.

KING: Would that be strong?

HUFFINGTON: I don't think that those two are likely to pick each other.

KING: Who will she pick?

HUFFINGTON: I think she would have to pick again, someone strong on the war in Iraq, much stronger than she has been. That's remained her Achilles heel. You know she has changed her mind and she is now very much where Obama is but she wasn't there from the beginning.

KING: KellyAnne you're a pollster, does Hillary have a shot?

CONWAY: She's got a shot. It's getting tough for her. Some of these new arguments that the Clinton's have come out with. She could be ahead of the popular vote. She's beneath Barack Obama by 700,000 in the popular vote. Every time Barack Obama raises a dollar, it's an anti-Clinton dollar. They're giving him money to run in Indiana, Pennsylvania, against Hillary Clinton. It's an indictment on the Clinton years. I'm shocked how little the Clintons are owed by some of the Democratic big wigs. These people are exhausted with them.

KING: Quickly, Arianna is that down on them or up on Obama?

HUFFINGTON: Of course it's up on Obama. Have I an 18-year-old daughter. I talk to her and her friends. Young people are donating online. Providing the excitement of the campaign, an enormous amount of enthusiasm.

KING: Thank you. Arianna Huffington and KellyAnne Conway. Candidates on the couch, Dr. Phil is here with a little political therapy, next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: It's always great to welcome Dr. Phil to LARRY KING LIVE. Tonight wearing a different kind of hat. We're going to have him analyze what's going on politically. By the way Dr. Phil on his own show has got some great programming on his own show. "Asks the Doctors" that is on Tuesday, and "Marriage Dilemmas" that is on Thursday. Dilemmas apply for tonight. What do you make overall of this political race?

DR. PHIL: I think it's interesting and intriguing. And I think it's one of the most engaging cyclonically and emotionally energy wise, as far as the most engaging campaigns we've seen in a long, long time. We slept through the last one, right? I think everybody is really intrigued in this one. And I think particularly young people. Arianna was talking about her daughter. I have two young sons, they're both paying attention to the process.

KING: What's doing it? DR. PHIL: I think all of the energy being generated on the Democratic side. That doesn't mean it's going to pay off or not pay off for the Republicans. We see a ton of advertising the Coke Cola goes out and does tons of advertising Fourth of July weekend, Pepsi sells more, and everybody else sells more, too. The same way if Pepsi does it all. I think the fact that the Democrats are creating so much heat, so much energy. I think it has brought a lot of people back to the political process and the Republicans are going to benefit from that as well.

KING: Give us your assessment of Barack Obama?

MCGRAW: I think, obviously, he's very eloquent. I think speaks well. I think has developed throughout this campaign a presidential air. I think a lot of people looked at him in the beginning and said, this guy looks like he's 12. But I think as he has progressed, and has talked more about the issues, and let people see more of who he is, I think people are taking him much more seriously. And I think he is coming across as much more presidential.

Psychologically, -- everyone says how presidential is someone. I think psychologically, that is very important, whether or not the voter can envision this person in that role. Can they envision this person standing at the podium? Can they envision this person negotiating and dealing with world leaders? I think people are beginning to see him able to do that.

KING: The more attention was spent on him, though, the more he has to respond to things, such as the reverend and the church in Illinois. How do you think he's handled it?

MCGRAW: I think he's handled it very well. Sometimes things get legs that I just think don't really matter to anyone except the media. I think to Betty in Idaho, to Bob in Nebraska, I'm not sure that they Obama accountable for what somebody else says. The fact that Senator Obama continued to embrace the individual; there are a lot of people that I know in my life and you know in yours that we don't like everything they do or everything they say, but we still hold them in high regard. I think that's where Obama is with this man.

KING: OK, Hillary.

MCGRAW: I think the fact that we have a woman running for president has really intrigued not just the women in America, but the voters in general. I think it's a very intriguing concept. I think a lot of times you'll see folks that go, well, gee, that just doesn't seem right, even in our enlightened society. But we have had female world leaders, such as Margaret Thatcher, that have distinguished themselves in every way.

I think that Senator Clinton has shown that she's tough, that she is gritty, that she is a fighter. I think that people, again, can visualize her stepping up to the podium or standing her ground for the United States with world leaders.

KING: What about when she makes a mistake like sniper fire? MCGRAW: Get out your dance card and just mark them down, because every one of these candidates is going to make slips and gaffes along the way. The whole point when she made that statement was that she has a lot of experience overseas. She does have a lot of experience overseas. If she misspoke in that or if she over-stated her record, it doesn't undermine her experience. I think it's much ado about nothing. I was glad to see her joke about it last night on the "Tonight Show."

KING: Senator McCain, war hero, can't deny the credentials, older.

MCGRAW: Tremendous pedigree. I think his age may work against him. In the voters' minds, psychologically wondering if he has the staying power. You look at how presidential candidates are before they go into office and where they are at the end of the four years; they age a lot. I think a lot of the psychology of McCain is creating in people the perception that he's vibrant enough and vital enough to withstand the demands of that job across time.

KING: Is it going to be, no matter who McCain runs again, a brutal fall, or, as he told me, it's going to be a clean race?

MCGRAW: He can tell you what he thinks. In my sense, I think we're in a completely different political arena now. You were talking earlier with some of the experts about the Youtube generation, the Internet generation. I think this could get very ugly, very fast.

Right now, people are thinking that there's been a lot of going back and forth between Obama and Clinton. Let me tell you, the gloves haven't even almost come off in this campaign, because the Democrats don't want to hurt themselves. They're trying to dance around being critical and talk about the other one not being presidential. Once a candidate is picked, I think we're going see a very tough campaign. I think because of so many people having the ability to impact the voters through the Internet, I think we'll see a lot of things out there that maybe the candidates don't endorse. But think it's going to get very ugly very fast.

KING: A huge turnout?

MCGRAW: I think it's going to be the biggest turnout we've seen in a long, long time. I hope that's true. I hope people get out and vote their conscience. The psychology of it is going to be very interesting. Before the night's over, I'll tell you what I think is going to drive what really makes people make a choice, candidate-wise.

KING: We'll have you do that when we come back. We're also going to ask about Chelsea Clinton and her role in all of this. Don't go away.


KING: Ryan Seacrest and the judges of "American Idol" all here on Monday night. Our special guest now is Dr. Phil, who is now going to telling us what drives this. MCGRAW: I see the candidates position themselves all the time about what's the issue, and they do these over night polls. They have all of these advisers telling them, you know, do we hit this issue, do we hit that issue. I'm going to tell you, even though it's not a popular thing to talk about, what drives most people psychologically in these situations is they come to the situation, asking the question, what's in this for me? What's in this for me? How is this going to impact my house, my life, where I am?

You talk about these loft, over-arching issues, but there's a human nature part of everyone, you, me, everybody, that at some point says, how is this going to affect me? It doesn't that mean we don't care about the homeless, just because we have a home, that we don't care about those that don't have insurance, just because we do. But at some level -- I predict -- I believe it's a very core level -- people are going to say, which of these candidates is going to bring something on me, my family, my house, that I thinks important in this life.

KING: Tip O'Neil said all politics is local. Is that what you're referring to?

MCGRAW: It's more than local. I've said before, we as a country grieved after 9/11. I've said many times, we talked about Ground Zero there. We all have our own personal Ground Zeros in our life, where things really go bad. I think politics is the same way. I think it's a very personal thing. It's not just local. It's personal. What's in this for me? What's my need? What am I most concerned about, about my children and their future, or myself and my old age, or me with my mortgage, or my family member that's in Iraq, or the people that I know and love and care about that are in Iraq? They have that situation.

Listen, I'm not saying that's an evil way to be. We walk up to a movie house. There's six movies up there. We look at each one. And, at some level, we say, number two, what's in that for me? I feel like laughing tonight. That's a comedy. I'll go to that.

I think, at a more serious level, people look at the political situation that way, and say what's in this for me if I vote for this candidate.

KING: Giving us new thoughts. Chelsea Clinton has been confronted by a couple of questions about Monica Lewinsky in recent days. Let's look at her reaction.


CHELSEA CLINTON, FMR. FIRST DAUGHTER: It's none of your business. I think that's something that is personal to my family. I'm sure there are things that are personal to your family as well that you don't think are anyone else's business either.


KING: Did that belong? MCGRAW: I think if you put yourself in the arena, you're going to be asked those questions. I think, under the theory, some people believe that you can't be one kind of person and another kind of president. They are going to ask personal question. They're going to say, let's see, what did she do in that situation. Did she stand up, as many women think she should?

If you're looking at Senator McCain, and you say he was a P.O.W. We know what kind of man he is. He survived that. He got through that. That bodes well for him. But there is that position a lot of people take, that you can't be one kind of person privately and a different kind of person in public office, because you bring those core values with you to that situation. I think it does make it fair game. She's certainly entitled to answer it any way she wants to.

I think she's a bright young woman and I think she's doing a terrific job on the campaign trail for her mother. All she had to say was not that that's none of your business, but I choose not to talk about that right now, which was basically the message she gave. I think she has great presence. I think we're going to hear a lot about her in the future.

KING: You have to be whatever is in you, out there the same?

MCGRAW: I think that you have to understand, if people -- I've often said that I don't think crises creates heroes, I think it just displays them. I think it reveals them. I don't think a crisis makes somebody a hero. I think they are a hero, and when they get in a crisis, it comes out. I think you have to wonder about that in the political arena.

KING: Dr. Phil is our guest. Who do you think will be the next president? There's still time to vote at Don't go away.


KING: We'll be right back with Dr. Phil. Let's check in with Anderson Cooper. He will host "AC 360" at the top of the hour. What's up Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Larry, coming up on the program tonight; they promised it for weeks. Today we finally got it. Hillary Clinton released her and her husband's tax returns, nearly 110 million dollars over the past six years, big money for sure. What's got tongues wagging tonight is where some of it came from. We're going to tell you where and talk to the best political team on television about what it might mean for her campaign.

And some signs Barack Obama might be losing ground nationally to Senator Clinton. We'll tell you what that's about and tell you why Senator McCain was booed at a Martin Luther King Jr. even today. All that and a raid at a secret polygamist compound in Texas. Dozens of young girls were removed by authorities. It's happening literally as we speak. We're getting a reporter out there right now. Lot's to cover tonight, Larry, all on the program on 360. KING: That's Anderson Cooper, "AC 360" at 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. We've seen all the candidates try to use humor to diffuse problems and connect with voters. Here's a sampling.


MCCAIN: You look like the guys who the neighbors later say, he mostly kept to himself.

CLINTON: It's so great to be here. You know, I was worried I wasn't going make it. I was pinned down by sniper fire.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: At any time in this campaign, did you have a chuckle that you just couldn't get rid of, something weird that happened that was so crazy that you just went to bed laughing about?

OBAMA: I think that happens once a day. But then I stopped watching cable news.


KING: Humor is important, right?

MCGRAW: It is important, because it makes them relatable. You know, we see them so often in that official role. They're delivering what you know is a prepared speech. What you want to see is that private moment, where you get a sense of who they really are, what they think is funny, what they think is concerning. You want to see them when they're off script.

KING: Let's take a call for Dr. Phil. Sioux Falls, South Dakota, hello.

CALLER: My question is, this will be my second time voting for president. My state doesn't vote until June 3rd. I was just wondering if Dr. Phil thinks it would be fair to ask Senator Clinton to leave the race, as many Democratic elders have done, when millions of people have yet to cast their vote?

MCGRAW: I don't think that's even a close call. I think Hillary has every right to stay in the race. I think she will stay that in the race at this point. Of course, people are just saying -- you're beating up on each other, and the Republicans are getting a free ride. The truth is, I don't think this election is decided yet. I think that it's still very much in the air. I think people would be very, very disappointed right now if somebody just stepped aside before Pennsylvania and the different primaries coming up. We have six coming up in the next two months.

KING: An e-mail from Susan in Alberta, California; "psychologically speaking, what kind of qualities should Clinton and Obama look for when when one of them has to pick a vice president?"

MCGRAW: I think you don't want to necessarily choose someone in your own image. You have to choose somebody that does share your core values on important things like the war and the economy, those things that are going to be the foundational polls of your platform. You're going to have to have somebody that can go out and work for you and run your agenda on those items, because once you're elected, that -- you're going to delegate a lot of those things. If that person doesn't believe it in their heart, if they don't truly have their own passion about that, the American public is going to sniff that out in a fast, fast hurry. So I think you've got to have somebody that shares those core values, but is not necessarily your clone or carbon copy.

KING: Someone who can be president, right?

MCGRAW: They have to be president. You know, people are very concerned about John McCain's age. They're concerned about his health. He may have well be a one-term president. I think people would look very hard at who that vice presidential running mate is, because his longevity may not be what people would hope for. Listen, it's not that I know something about McCain that anybody else doesn't know. It's just that --

KING: His may be the most important choice.

MCGRAW: It may very well be, psychologically, to people. And, in truth of fact, he probably has a higher risk, mortality-wise, than any of the other two candidates.

KING: We'll be back with some more moments with Dr. Phil and presidential politics. When we come back, we'll ask what he thinks of Governor Spitzer. Then Jimmy Kimmel celebrates a big milestone. You've got to see it. Stay right there.


KING: Don't even have to ask a question, just have to say the name. Eliot Spitzer?

MCGRAW: I think one of the things that people wonder is why he was so blatant and brazen. I've had a thousand people ask me if he wanted to get caught, if he wanted to get found out, if there was something in him that was self-destructive and created that. You have to wonder. You really have to wonder whether or not he just became so enamored with his power that he thought he could fly above all of that or if he wanted to get caught.

KING: What do you think led him to be that way in the first place? Why would someone with all that wealth, with all that money, all that power need to pay for it?

MCGRAW: What was it, 5,000 dollars an hour? I strongly suspect if you call that place up, you get the same person, whether it's 5,000 or 10,000. There's probably some sizzle to paying that much. I mean, it's like the power trip. It's the elite. It's the lifestyles of the rich and famous-type attitude about look at this. It's the ultimate excess. It's the ultimate indulgence.

Maybe it gets to the point that it takes that to create excitement, to get the heart rate up. I think it just gets to the point where you've seen and done so much -- I that's why you see a lot of people race car driving and all of those things, because they get bored with their lives otherwise.

KING: Is his career over?

MCGRAW: I think at this point it would be very difficult for him to recover. Americans are great in forgiveness. I think they really do. I think we saw that with Marion Berry. A lot of times people are very forgiving about that. But I think it would take a good while. I think it would take a really good while. I think he may be old enough that it would be beyond his productive years.

KING: We will not hear from him for awhile.

MCGRAW: I suspect not, until we writes the inevitable book.

KING: Is that help-able? If what he has is an illness --

MCGRAW: I'm not saying it is an illness, as much as it's an attitude. Is that adjustable? Is that help-able? Certainly. I'm the incurable optimist. I think we make choices in our life. I think if you choose A and it doesn't work, you can choose B; you can choose C. He has choices. He made a bad one there. He can make good ones now. There's no question that people can be helped to see the impact of their actions on themselves and other people. That was a very self-destructive thing to do.

KING: We got a little over a minute. Are you looking forward to this election?

MCGRAW: I am looking forward to the election.

KING: Will you come back on other times too? In addition to guest hosting, will you come back for more political talk?

MCGRAW: Yes, I will, because I'm intrigued by it. I said that I think people are asking the question, what's in this for me; don't you think that's a good question to ask? Don't you think all of us should say, as an American, as a parent, as a citizen, as a worker, as a mother, as a father, what is this candidate going to do for me? That's not the only question they should ask. They should also ask, what are they going to do for those less fortunate than me? What are they going to do for those in a different situation than me? What are they going to do for our neighbors around the world?

I'm not saying that's the only question. It is a question. The candidates are going to have to deal with it. They're going to have to find out what it is and they're going to have to come up with answers, not rhetoric.

KING: If they deny it, it will be self-denial.

MCGRAW: I think they're doing it at their peril, because I think right now people are very negative about the direction we're headed in America. They're negative about Congress and the office of president. KING: Dr. Phil is our guest. We might have time to squeeze in one more question. But we want to take you to another place now. Our good friend Jimmy Kimmel celebrated his 1 episode last night and we were lucky enough to be a small part of it. Take a look.


JIMMY KIMMEL, TALK SHOW HOST: Here we go, my day with Richard Simmons.

RICHARD SIMMONS, FITNESS EXPERT: OK, let's continue our journey.

KING: Michael, what do you make of this political race?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look at this whole debate issue with the Democrats.

KING: What's going on?

SIMMONS: How are you. Nice to see you.

KING: You spilled everything on my pants.

SIMMONS: Wait, I'll get it.


KING: Analyze that.

MCGRAW: I think he is a sick and demented human being. That's what I think. Jimmy Kimmel is hilarious. I've done his show many times, and he's got one of the most laid back, incisive senses of humor I've ever been around.

KING: He has a brilliant outlook and anything goes.

MCGRAW: He really does. You never know what he's thinking.

KING: And he could show a clip from this.

MCGRAW: He certainly could. He might dub in some voices, but he might show it.

KING: Thanks, Phil.

MCGRAW: Very good to see you again.

KING: Check out CNN's number one show page, You can email upcoming guests, participate in our quick vote or download our latest podcast, Wrestlemania. It even includes our King of Politics section. We're always online at Our show Monday is huge, Simon, Randy, Paula and Ryan, the whole "American Idol" crew is here and they will take us inside Idol Give Back. That's LARRY KING LIVE Monday night.