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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Ed McMahon Fights for House; What's Next for Hillary Clinton?; Clinton and Obama Meet in Washington

Aired June 5, 2008 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, mortgage meltdown exclusive -- Ed McMahon's foreclosure nightmare.
Could he lose his home and be out on the street? If a multimillionaire can't make house payments, how can the average American?

It's the story hundreds of media outlets wanted to tell and he's going to do it tonight.

Plus, the battle for president begins -- and bring it on.

Plus, what happens to Hillary Clinton? Where do her supporters go? Is there a role for her in the campaign?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESUMPTIVE NOMINEE: And everybody just needs to settle down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: It's all right now on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. We begin with two old friends, Ed and Pam McMahon, the legendary TV personality, his lovely wife. The story, you've read it and heard all about it. More than one million U.S. homes are now in foreclosure, the highest rate ever recorded. And among those homes affected are those owned by Ed McMahon and his wife.

By the way, today in Georgia, Evander Holyfield's home is under foreclosure. The former heavyweight champion. His house will be auctioned, $10 million house auctioned by July 1st.

What happened?

ED MCMAHON, TV PERSONALITY: How much time do we have?

KING: What did happen, Ed?

E. MCMAHON: It's a combination, it's like a perfect storm. Economy problems. Selling the house right now is a tremendous operation to sell a house. We've had this house on the market for two years. We've shown it, I don't know how many, 50 organizations or people. Nobody has made an offer. I mean, it's just a lovely home. I hate to leave it. I want to keep the home. I want this all to work out.

KING: And the payments, you can't make -- what's the problem?

E. MCMAHON: Well, if you spend more money than you make, you know what happens. And it can happen. You know, a couple of divorces thrown in, a few things like that. And, you know, things happen. You want everything to be perfect, but that combination of the economy, I have a little injury, I have a situation. And it all came together.

KING: Did you break your neck?

E. MCMAHON: I broke my neck. I had a fall.

KING: You fell? Where, at home?

E. MCMAHON: No, I can't -- I just -- I don't want to elaborate on that. But I just -- I fell, I broke my neck.

KING: Has that stopped you from working?

E. MCMAHON: Oh, sure. You know, you can't work with this around your neck. And I have to wear this.

KING: But, Pam, the assumption is that the McMahons are multimillionaires and multimillionaires -- how much behind are you, $644,000, right? That's what's reported?

PAM MCMAHON, ED MCMAHON'S WIFE: Yes.

KING: You can't pay -- if you're a millionaire, shouldn't you be able to pay $644,000?

P. MCMAHON: Yes, I'd like to know, I don't know where those -- where are those millions, Ed?

(LAUGHTER)

P. MCMAHON: You know, I think it's a combination -- you know, people -- I mean, people do assume that you're -- there's hundreds of millions of dollars. And I think over the years, you know, it's just a kind of a combination of maybe Ed working so hard and not kind of looking at proper management, which happens a lot. You know, I'm sure maybe Evander Holyfield -- who knows -- maybe has the same situation.

KING: So we don't have what the papers report.

P. MCMAHON: And you don't always think...

E. MCMAHON: Yes.

P. MCMAHON: ... you know, I think that -- I think because you're a celebrity, people think you have a lot more than you have. And you always want to take great care of all of your friends and your family and everybody, and you do. And you don't, and I think, you know, we didn't keep our eye on the ball. We made mistakes.

KING: And are they foreclosing?

P. MCMAHON: Yes, they are.

E. MCMAHON: Well, apparently, yes.

KING: Are they giving you a date?

E. MCMAHON: Well, we're negotiating that. That's happening right now. But...

KING: So you will lose this home?

E. MCMAHON: It's possible, yes. But now, I'll tell you what's happened, oddly enough. Today, all kinds of wonderful things have happened. New things have happened. And new interest in this house. Where the house had no interest, now there's all kinds of, tons of interest. So who knows what's going to happen. I'm optimistic.

KING: That it be sold?

P. MCMAHON: Yes.

E. MCMAHON: Yes.

P. MCMAHON: You know, I mean, we don't -- in a perfect world, you don't want to lose your house. You don't want to move...

KING: But you put it up for sale anyway?

P. MCMAHON: Yes, I mean, in a perfect world, you don't want to have to move from your house, let's put it like that.

But Ed hasn't worked in a year and a half. And so, you know, but things happen in your life, so you have to move forward.

KING: Is this the same house that had the toxic mold?

E. MCMAHON: Yes.

P. MCMAHON: Yes.

E. MCMAHON: Yes, we now have a mold-free house. Believe me, that's been checked a million ways. And we have a mold-free house, believe me.

KING: So a buyer need not beware?

E. MCMAHON: Not at all. No.

KING: OK. We have an e-mail question from Steve. "Reports say the McMahons have got a $7 million insurance settlement from the toxic mold situation. What happened to that money?"

E. MCMAHON: All right. That money went -- they had a lawyer, so we had a lawyer. So we had nine lawyers, they had nine lawyers. And by the time that's all over, and you rebuild the house from the outside in -- we had to go and rebuild the house. We were out -- you know, we saw you around at parties -- we were out for two and a half years. We had to move out of our house and go to other places while we were waiting. And everything's going to be over in a month. You know, and it's six months later, and it doesn't get done. And then the guy says, well, wait a minute.

They had us living in the house. A dog died. We had a dog that died. I mean, it was terrible. And had us living in the house. A lot of things went wrong.

KING: Isn't it rough to see a personal financial situation when you've been held in such esteem for so long, combined with a terrible situation in the country, to see yourself on the front page?

E. MCMAHON: Oh, absolutely. I mean, believe me, of all the times I've sat at this table with you -- and there have been many, many times...

KING: Many, many.

E. MCMAHON: I didn't want to plan to sit here.

KING: No.

E. MCMAHON: But there's a million -- you said a million, I heard that figure this morning -- and a million people that are going into foreclosure. And...

KING: That's the most ever.

E. MCMAHON: Yes. And why not speak for them?

KING: Do you want to say something, Pam?

P. MCMAHON: Well, it's, you know, it's -- I mean, needless to say, it's embarrassing to say the least, and it's sad, because you know, Ed's worked his whole entire life. And I mean, we've been married for a long time. But I think to myself of how it's affected us. And I sit there and I cry and I feel sorry and I'm sad. And, you know, you go through a million different emotions. And you know, when I'm upset, I go to the Target dollar bins, because I don't go to any of the other stores anymore.

KING: And you also have all the people calling saying how sorry they are, right? Helpful or not helpful?

P. MCMAHON: Yes, and you know, it -- it makes your heart -- it makes you -- you're so grateful and you're so humbled. And you're so -- you know, I mean -- you're -- and I think to myself, of all the millions of people out there that are going through the same thing. And, you know, I mean, it is so -- it's scary. It's scary to, you know, I never owned a home before in my entire life before I married Ed.

KING: I don't think you'll own one again. You'll rent a condo?

E. MCMAHON: Yes.

KING: Get this done and...

P. MCMAHON; We have seven dogs, so -- I don't care if I have to live in a garage, I'm not leaving the dogs.

KING: Who's the mortgage holder?

P. MCMAHON: Countrywide.

KING: Are they being cooperative?

P. MCMAHON: They're nice.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: A lot of people want to know, why did Ed go public with this very personal problem? Did someone force that hand? He'll tell us after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

E. MCMAHON: No, no, no, I'm supposed to be knocking on your door, with the money, remember, the $11 million. I'll be there.

All right, come on in.

Here's the living room that few folks get in. Here's my daughter. You asked me my favorite photo. Here's little Kathryn Mary (ph).

About time for another log. OK. There we go. We love it here. We're very happy here. It's kind of nice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Are you in danger of losing your home to foreclosure? Go to CNN's No. 1 show page, CNN.com/larryking, right now and participate in the Quick Vote.

Our guests are Ed and Pam McMahon.

You've got some interest now in the house, right?

E. MCMAHON: Yes.

KING: That's new.

We have an e-mail from Rob in Starbuck, Minnesota.

You're going to like this.

"I, for one, would like to help you keep your home. Is there a fund I can donate to? God be with you." E. MCMAHON: I'm hearing so many things like that. It's -- and I'm extremely optimistic. You know me, I want to work the rest of my life. I don't -- my hobby is my work, you know that. I'm like you, I'm just going to keep plunging.

Anyway, I've heard from more people like that that have sent messages like that, little things out of nowhere. And it's unbelievable. It's kept me -- I'm on the go, I'm going to make it work, somehow, I'm going to make this work.

KING: You don't want contributions?

P. MCMAHON: I -- I mean, I was sitting there thinking and -- I was reading -- actually, I pray constantly. It's funny, Ed's agent goes, seems OK, Pam if you've ever -- because I've known her for 25 years -- if you've ever prayed, Pam, I want you to really pray now. But -- and I was praying, and I believe somehow this is all going to work out for the good.

In terms of contributions, I think we should -- we have somehow everybody in America -- somehow -- I don't know exactly how this is going to work. But we have to figure out some way to help each other. This is such a universal --

KING: You feel it for all the people?

P. MCMAHON: I do.

KING: You have friends who have foreclosures?

P. MCMAHON: Yes. I do. I have -- there's so many people. Luckily we -- because I've been a single mom before I met Ed. It was the first time I have ever owned a house. I didn't come from this whole big, whatever it is. And I -- I had to girlfriend call me today, and she said in a community -- her husband's the head of the -- what is it called -- the Homeowners' Association, and in a Homeowners' Association of 43 homes, they had three foreclosures this month. These are --

KING: Wow.

P. MCMAHON: So there has to be something -- something has to be --

KING: Ed, why have you gone public?

E. MCMAHON: Well, I figured I wanted to, in a sense, speak for the million people you mentioned. I heard that figure today and I just couldn't believe it. Anyway, the million people that now have foreclosure signs on their house, or nearby. And I just want to give them hope, give them optimism, give them some kind of guidance. Get the best corrective (ph) people you need around you.

Keep working on it. Don't stop. There's a lot of people that are hard workers, did everything right, didn't do anything wrong, and all of a sudden, they're in this boat. And I speak for all of them, as far as I'm concerned.

P. MCMAHON: And I think -- you know what else it is, too? I think that you have to not give up. That is the whole thing. Whether we keep our house, we don't keep our house, whatever it is, I think that the whole financial issue could be the thing -- it ruins more marriages; it ruins more relationships.

And somehow, it's been tough, but we -- our marriage is strong. And you've got to realize that you could get through it. And you have to know every single day, somehow, that you --

KING: With Britney Spears in the neighborhood, so there's paparazzi there all the time. Now, there's paparazzi for you, right?

P. MCMAHON: Yes.

E. MCMAHON: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Tons of paparazzi going, right?

E. MCMAHON: And it's funny to look down and know that Britney Spears is down there, and I found her when she was 8-years-old on "Star Search." I look down, and there she is. You feel very sorry for her. She buys a toothpick, people think she's losing her teeth.

P. MCMAHON: I don't know how she takes it, I'm telling you.

E. MCMAHON: I don't know how she handles it.

KING: Are they coming around for you now?

P. MCMAHON: They have a two-fer in our neighborhood.

KING: Well put.

E. MCMAHON: I wave to the buses going by. I just wave to everybody.

KING: You're optimistic.

P. MCMAHON: Yes.

KING: Are you optimistic?

E. MCMAHON: Absolutely, totally.

KING: You're a proud guy.

E. MCMAHON: Yes --

KING: You're a self-made success.

E. MCMAHON: Yes.

KING: This has got to be so hard for you, Ed.

E. MCMAHON: Well I --

KING: The Ed McMahon I know, this has got to be the worst.

E. MCMAHON: I know it's tough. But, as I say, I'm optimistic. But I -- I explained it to somebody the other day. They said, you know, you're going through some tough times, but I was a fighter pilot instructor in World War II and I landed on carriers. And once you've done that a couple of times, all you have to say -- this is easy. When you land that plane on a carrier --

KING: I'll buy that.

You don't want to say how your neck was hurt?

E. MCMAHON: I just --

KING: Is it --

E. MCMAHON: It was a fall. I broke my neck -- that's all I'm going to get into.

KING: Is it getting a lot better?

E. MCMAHON: As long as I wear this brace, I'm OK. I may have to do another operation. I have had two; I need one more maybe. But as long as I wear the brace -- the only problem is it wrecks having a hot dog. You just can't have a hot dog.

KING: Why?

E. MCMAHON: You can't open your mouth.

(CROSSTALK)

P. MCMAHON: It's a little tough on the sex life too.

E. MCMAHON: Well, it does kind of yes -- there's a period of rest that you that need in-between.

KING: You take the brace off when you go to bed, right?

E. MCMAHON: Oh, yes, yes. Well, I sleep with the brace, but I can take it off.

KING: OK. So now we got two problem --

E. MCMAHON: Yes.

KING: -- the mortgage and the hot dog.

E. MCMAHON: The hot dog, that's the big problem.

KING: And the sex life may be --

P. MCMAHON: Yes, you know --

KING: Anything you want to say, Ed?

E. MCMAHON: No. Just that -- for everybody out there that's going through this and we really sympathize with you, and we tell you that -- be optimistic. It can be done. All kinds of things can happen. Let it work out great for you, OK?

P. MCMAHON: And you never know what good things can happen tomorrow, and keep the faith.

KING: God speed to both of you.

P. MCMAHON: Thank you.

E. MCMAHON: Thanks, Larry.

KING: What's next for Hillary Clinton?

We'll consider the possibilities when LARRY KING LIVE returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We have an outstanding panel looking at the political picture. They're all of the female gender.

In Washington, Hilary Rosen, political director of "The Huffington Post," describes herself as a long time Hillary Clinton supporter and admirer.

In New York, Marianne Williamson, our old friend, the number one "New York Times" best-selling author, host of "A Course in Miracles" on the Oprah and Friends XM Radio network, a supporter of Barack Obama.

Here in L.A., another old friend, Carole Simpson, the former ABC News anchor and leader in residence at Emerson College, supporter of Mrs. Clinton.

And in Washington is Tara Wall, deputy editorial page editor and conservative columnist with "The Washington Times," a former Republican National Committee senior adviser and Bush administration appointee.

All right, Hilary, you're a supporter of your namesake, Hillary Clinton. But you blogged on "The Huffington Post" that she should have conceded on Tuesday.

You said you were very disappointed. Why?

HILARY ROSEN, POLITICAL DIRECTOR, "THE HUFFINGTON POST": Well, I thought it was an opportunity for her to lay something out in terms of her legacy. And mostly I just didn't want everybody to do what they ended up doing yesterday, which was trash her and question her motivation for taking the breather that, you know, frankly, she does deserve. But this is a, you know, 24-hour news cycle and I was fearful that she wasn't going to get it. And I was disappointed that she didn't take advantage of it. But today's gone very well. Yesterday, she started out at AIPAC, giving Barack Obama important props before the Jewish constituency today. You know, everybody's looking forward to a big celebration of unity on Saturday with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

I think that we're coming together and I think that Hillary Clinton is proving herself to be the class act we always knew she was.

KING: Carol?

CAROLE SIMPSON, FORMER ABC NEWS ANCHOR, SUPPORTS CLINTON: I have to agree with Hilary. I was very upset Tuesday night when I heard her speech. And I was like waiting for her concession, something to say about Obama. And it was like she was still running again. I looked at my husband and I'm going, she's still running. And I just couldn't believe it. I was very disappointed with her. And you know I'm a dyed in the wool Hillary supporter.

KING: So you think she's regrouped, though?

SIMPSON: I think she has. And thank god she has. But it's time -- it's not about her now. Now it's time about the country. Now it's time about the general election.

KING: Marianne, as a supporter of Barack Obama, are you satisfied with how Senator Clinton has handled this?

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, AUTHOR, LECTURER, SUPPORTS OBAMA: I have no interest in shaming Hillary Clinton nor with any -- you know, sometimes we get -- did she say the exact thing that she should have said on the exact day?

And I'm more interested in the big picture. You know, many people who voted for Barack Obama weren't voting against Hillary Clinton. And even if you didn't think she should be president, this woman has not only played an incredible part in this election, this woman has played an incredible part in American history. Nothing will be ever the same for women on the landscape of American politics. Whenever we have universal health care, no matter who the president is, her name is on that.

So to me, I don't feel anything but appreciation.

KING: OK.

WILLIAMSON: And if she is going through this huge thing and has to take whatever she has to take, I just feel compassion for that.

KING: We have some breaking news.

NBC News is reporting that Senators Obama and Clinton are meeting in Washington, D.C. tonight.

We'll get more details as they become available. So we'll get immediate action from Tara Wall.

What do you make of all of this?

TARA WALL, COLUMNIST, "THE WASHINGTON TIMES": Well, of course they are. That's the stealth way of doing things. There's no -- probably no big surprise there. I don't think that they would have announced when and where they were going to meet. But I think it is -- everyone knew that there was a time and a place that they had to sit down and get together and talk about next steps. And this is the time to talk about next steps.

I think that she probably has realized -- even though it was a foregone conclusion and a lot of folks are badgering her about whether she should have, you know, bowed out sooner and what have you. And I think in hindsight, she realized yesterday that her -- you know, that it was time to say what she need to say.

And, in fact, you know, I think that it almost gave us the inability to languish in a moment, if you will, of what just happened with having, you know, the first African-American black presidential nominee -- even, whether you agree with him or not, his positions, his policies, whether you're Democrat or Republican. It was a historic moment in history.

And some folks feel a little cheated that they didn't get a chance to appreciate that.

KING: All right...

WALL: So, but I do think that, obviously, they are now mending those wounds, if you will, and have to talk about how they go forward.

KING: The Clinton campaign says Hillary is not seeking the vice presidential post, although she's open to the idea if asked. Obama spoke about picking a vice president in this exchange with our own Candy Crowley.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The vice presidency is the most important decision that I'll make before I'm president. And it's something that I take very seriously. We've got a committee that's made up of some wonderful people. They are going to go through the procedure and vet and talk to people and get recommendations. I will meet with a range of people. And I'll ultimately make a decision.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Hilary, is he doing the right way?

ROSEN: Well, sure. I think he's doing it the only way he can do it. You know, he's got to spend the next several weeks looking at what the McCain/Obama match-up looks like. They've got to evaluate how the -- you know, what each candidate is bringing to the table in terms of the ticket and what else they need.

But I think for Hillary Clinton, there's no question that we believe she'd be a great vice president. I think her sort of stepping back a bit and letting this process work out is as good for her as it is for him. Obviously, he's in control of this process. But I think she's really got to decompress and go through the letdown that she's experienced and really think about whether she would even want to do this job.

KING: Carole?

SIMPSON: I don't -- you know, I think there's too much attention being placed on whether she's going to be vice president or not.

KING: Yes, but it's logical, isn't it?

SIMPSON: It's logical, but I don't think that she can serve in that position. I can't imagine her having run the campaign still thinking she's won the popular vote and having to answer to Barack Obama.

You know what John Nance Garner said about the vice presidency...

KING: Warm spit.

SIMPSON: Yes, it's not worth a warm bucket of spit. And vice presidents don't do anything. They don't have any power. I can't imagine her sitting there going to funerals being his vice president.

KING: Their only power is the power the president gives them.

SIMPSON: That's right.

KING: CNN, by the way, has now confirmed Obama and Clinton are meeting in Washington tonight.

We'll discuss -- we'll continue, right here, our discussion right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Again, our breaking news. CNN has confirmed Senators Obama and Clinton are meeting in Washington, D.C. , probably right now.

I want to remind you about our special show Saturday night. We will chronicle the official end of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. She's leaving the race that day. It's LARRY KING LIVE Saturday night 9:00 Eastern, 6:00 Pacific.

Marianne Williamson, this meeting is in Washington. It's apparent that Obama flew to Clinton. She was in the East Coast, he was in Chicago.

What -- anything to make of that?

WILLIAMSON: I mean that's just geography to me. But I think this whole idea of the vice presidency -- you know, I think we can give up this idea of the vice presidency as relatively powerless. You know, in our lifetime, nobody doubts how powerful Cheney is. Nobody doubts how powerful Al Gore was. And when I think of the vice presidency, I don't think it's about us. I think it's about Barack Obama. I want him to have a vice president that he's comfortable with, that he feels has his back. Whoever he feels right with.

I think that's what's exciting about Obama for many of us. I mean, his decision making, I have faith in it. I just want it to be somebody he feels is right for him. Not for us, for him.

KING: Well said. Tara, what do you make of the meeting?

WALL: I would say, I think the vice presidency, like the presidency, is actually about what the people want and what the people see. I think that, for all of the pros that Hillary Clinton would bring potentially to his ticket, there are some very strong cons that you can't ignore, a number of them being some of the divisions that exist in the black community still, the hurt feelings. Of course, you've got the Bill Clinton baggage. You've got some of her remarks that she's made in debates about Obama that certainly will probably be replayed over and over again by Republicans.

So there are strong cons there. These are two very strong personalities. I mean, they were both presidential candidates. Some would wonder if they essentially cancel each other out. It is a powerful position. But at the same time, you have think about what she brings to the tickets versus some of the cons that she may also bring to the ticket.

ROSEN: I think it's right that it's Barack Obama's decision. Let's clear something. I talked to a senator today who had been uncommitted through this whole race. He was very clear that when Hillary Clinton was in the Senate, she was a team player. She's loyal. She is a good Democrat. She supports her colleagues. This notion out there that somehow Barack Obama would have to watch her back I think is silly.

Tonight, I think the most important thing about this meeting with Senator Obama and Senator Clinton is that he's got to assure her that he has heard her voters, too and that he's listening to her voters the same way that she did. So that when she comes out on Saturday, she can tell her voters, we talked. I understand where he's going with this. I'm going to help him get there. And I need you to help him get there, too.

I think that kind of chemistry and that -- both on a policy level and an empathy level, is really the most important thing over the next couple of day. These are two great leaders. And I really think they're going to get there.

KING: Carole, in the latest "Time," Joe Klein characterizes Hillary Clinton as one of the very rare politicians who found her soul during the campaign rather than losing it. Thoughts? That's true. SIMPSON: I think that is true. She got better and better as the campaign went on. I remember reading that they didn't want her to be soft and fuzzy, that she had to be tough because she was going to be commander in chief. This woman has run a fabulous campaign. OK -- mistakes were made, as there are in every campaign. But she did women proud.

I think she showed grit, determination, intelligence, all of these kinds of things. So I think her legacy is complete, that she did a wonderful job as the first serious female candidate.

KING: Marianne, you're a woman. You supported Obama. Did she do you proud?

WILLIAMSON: What I was interested about Barack Obama is that he's coming out of a different conversation than Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton wants to end the war. Barack Obama wants to end the war. But Barack Obama made a comment; he said, I want to do more than end the war. I want to end the mind-set that produced it. She was talking in a way that was, for me, sort of old fashioned about solutions and solving problems. Carl Young said the biggest problems you can't solve; you have to outgrow.

So I was so fascinated with the conversation he was having with the American people, about dealing the at most causal level, really awakening something inside of us. She did me proud as a woman. As I said, she's done me proud as a woman before this, and I expect for the rest of my life I will have tremendous respect. But he did me proud in terms of what he represents, in terms of where the American mind, the American soul and American politics can go.

KING: In her most recent "New York Times" column, Maureen Dowd wrote, "for months Hillary has been trying to emasculate Obama with words and themes she has chosen, stirring up feminist anger by promoting the idea that the men were unfairly taking it away from the women and covering up her own campaign mistakes with cries of sexism." What do you make of that Tara?

WALL: I think there may be an element of truth in that. I think to come out -- She is a strong woman. You know, she didn't want to use her femininity or her woman-ness as an excuse or as a platform to push her up on. And then at the end of the day, when she did lose, inevitably said, well, sexism had a lot to do with it. You can't have it -- well, what I'm saying is, you can't on one hand say, you know, women can win and run, but women can lose, too.

Women win, women lose sometimes. And when you lose, you can't by default just simply claim -- and I'm not sayings that's the only thing she claimed, but she certainly raised that issue and did make that a point. I don't think that was the case per se.

ROSEN: I don't think Hillary Clinton ever said she lost this race because of sexism. I think Maureen Dowd is full of it. I think what women have experienced during this campaign is a level of sexism. That doesn't mean that Barack Obama is the perpetrator of it. It just means that this country has had an education on race and an education on sexism during this campaign. But it existed.

Having said that, there are a lot of reasons to believe that the empowerment of women has been completely transformed.

KING: Let me get a break, ladies. Hold it. When we come back, we hope to have a report from Clinton reporter Candy Crowley and we'll get Maya Angelou's take on tonight's breaking news, the Obama/Clinton meeting, all when LARRY KING LIVE returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Let's go Bristol, Virginia. Our own Candy Crowley has been covering this campaign from the get-go. What do you make of this, what's going on tonight?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what's going on tonight is that meeting between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton either has already finished up or is still currently taking place at her home in Washington, D.C.

As you know, both of them have talked about, well, at a time and a place, we will get together and we will talk about this. Hillary Clinton, as you know, Larry, is on Saturday going to concede the race, hold on to her delegates, but nonetheless, concede that Barack Obama will be the Democratic nominee.

Obama has said all along, I told her, I want to meet with you at your time and your place. It is indeed at her place where they are talking this evening. Obama was supposed to fly home. He'd been here in Virginia. He was supposed to fly home, out of Dulles, as you know, outside of Washington, D.C. The press corps was waiting for him on the plane.

The pilot announced that they were leaving and Barack Obama was not on the plane. That sent everyone into a tizzy. We now know, my colleagues, Suzanne Malveaux and I have been talking to our sources and they confirm, that in fact Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are meeting or have met.

KING: Candy, is a statement, to your knowledge, planned?

CROWLEY: I don't know, Larry. I don't know. All I know is that they're there and it's a small meeting. It may be just the principles. I don't think that they're accompanied at least in their session together with other people. Nonetheless, I don't know if they'll say anything. I can tell you, reporters are on their way. We'll see.

KING: Thanks, Candy.

Candy Crowley, always on top of the scene.

Let's go to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, one of my favorite people, Maya Angelou, the best selling author, educator, civil rights activist, poet. She endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

What do you make of this meeting tonight?

MAYA ANGELOU, POET: I'm very excited. I'm so happy. I'm so happy that the two most powerful people who have really excited and changed our country already are getting together. This was inevitable. Once we saw that both of them really wanted to make our country more than it is today, more than what James (INAUDIBLE) called these yet to be United States. They have together (INAUDIBLE).

I don't know how that will end up, but I know that it is wonderful that they are coming together to talk.

KING: Would you like to see her on of the ticket?

ANGELOU: I would love it. Personally, I would love it. There are those who would not. But I would love it. I think she has all -- all the qualities that I would want in a president. She is intelligent and funny and strong. And she also has enough there too with it that she would be willing to go to the very end. I like that. I want that in the president.

Now, I know that Mr. Obama has that as well. I love -- I love the idea that the two of them are talking.

KING: You wrote a poem in praise of Hillary that starts, "You may write me down in history with your bitter twisted lies. You may tread me in the very dirt, but still like dust, I'll rise."

ANGELOU: Rise, exactly. And she has risen. She has dared. And that is fabulous. You know, just think of this little, young white woman coming out, deciding she's going to be the president of the United States of America. And to see her sticking it when people laugh at her. And there were those who decided she could not stick it. She would not go on. She would fall. And she stayed.

You know, I believe in going out with whom you came in with. I believe in her and I stuck with her. When she said, this is it, then I said, now, I will support Senator Obama, but she's a tough cookie.

KING: Thank you, always great seeing you, Dr. Maya Angelou.

ANGELOU: Thank you very much, Larry King.

KING: What a lady. What are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton meeting about tonight? Why? We're going to guess when we come back.

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KING: We've held our panel over for a short segment because we want their thought. The same question for everybody. Hillary Rosen, what are they talking about?

ROSEN: Well, I think they're probably having a few minutes getting acquainted and congratulating each other. They're both sharing their war stories on how exhausted they both are. And they're anticipating a tough fight from McCain. But I think the next step happens very quickly, which is that Hillary Clinton is describing who she believes her voters are to Barack Obama and the kinds of messages and things that she thinks has worked, and what he needs to be doing and saying and thinking about in order to make sure that he unifies the party.

I think he will give him frank, direct, private, personal advice. Then I think she's going to go out there on Saturday and give it all she's got. And my guess is -- not my guess, I'm certain she's going to work extremely hard over the next several months to make sure that Barack Obama is the next president.

KING: Marianne Williamson, what do you think they're talking about?

WILLIAMSON: These are two human beings who have been through something huge. She obviously is in a traumatic moment. I think these are two heartfelt people. I think at least part of this meeting is personal and deep and really between them as people. And I hope it brings her some peace and some comfort.

KING: Carole Simpson, what do you think?

SIMPSON: I'm so excited. I think Barack Obama is really taking the extra mile.

KING: Going to her house?

SIMPSON: Going to her house and seeking her counsel. And I hope what she is telling him is that she would like to see her 18 million voters, among them me, move to Obama's side, that now it's time to focus on John McCain and November.

KING: Tara Wall, what do you think?

WALL: Yes, I think they'll be moving forward, mending some of those differences they had. And I think she'll be giving him some assurances about her support, and what she's willing to do for him. I don't think there will be anything really substantive about what role specifically she will play. Of course, she's not going to bring up anything about VP or anything like that.

I think there will be a general discussion about her willingness and her commitment to be on his side, be on his team, do what it takes to bring some of those women voters to his side that supported her. And help her to be able to address her supporters when she goes out there on Saturday.

KING: Thank you all very much. We'll close it off with an outstanding Republican and an outstanding Democrat, a liberal and a conservative, when we come back.

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KING: We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE in Washington Kevin Madden, Republican analyst and former spokesman for the Mitt Romney campaign. And in New York, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, the editor of "The Nation." Before we spend a coupled moments about Obama and McCain, I want each guest's thoughts on the events of tonight? Kevin, what do you make of this?

KEVIN MADDEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: My dad used to have a saying that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Tonight, this is the first step that the Democrats are taking towards unity. I think this sends a very powerful message that these two candidates are looking to sit down, settle their differences, do everything they can to move forward towards a general election. And I've spent a long time, the last couple of months, talking with my Republican colleagues and reminding them that one graceful exit can really repair a lot of these wounds that the Democrats have spun up over the last couple of months?

KING: Katrina, what do you make? He went to her house.

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, "THE NATION": I think it defines the campaign that he's run, one of grace, dignity and respect. He showed respect by going to talk to her. He's going to ask her to rally her voters, particularly women to his side. Larry, elections, it seems to me, are a bout people. And we have a government, last I checked, of the people, for the people, by the people. So I hope that after they made some overtures to each other that they talked about how to deal with this metasticizing foreclosure crisis you opened your program with, how to end this war, which is draining our country and undermining our security, and how to bring health care to 47 million.

No, it's a serious issue because there's a lot of news about the candidates and their feelings. But it's the issues at the of the day that are about elections.

KING: Speaking of that, Kevin, will the McCain/Obama race be an issue front campaign?

MADDEN: I believe so. I think both candidates seem to be dedicated to raising the discourse to a very civil level. But make no mistake, Larry, they are going to go right at it when it comes to drawing the very stark contrast on those issues, national security, the economy, health care, education. There are very stark differences between the direction that John McCain wants to take the country, which is in the right direction, and the wrong direction, the big government solutions that Barack Obama is prescribing for the country.

So it will be an issue-based campaign. But it's going to be one that drawn -- it's going to be played on the margins and they're going to try and draw contrasts on each other?

KING: Do you agree, Katrina?

VANDEN HEUVEL: Absolutely. This is an issue of big differences. I hope the big media will cover it substantively and not get engaged in division and distraction. You opened your program, Larry, with Ed McMahon, a person who lives in Hollywood, who is facing a foreclosure crisis. A million foreclosures; ordinary working people around this country are in pain. They seek a different direction. Four of five Americans seek a different direction, Larry.

I'm sorry -- so I think that you're seeing with Obama a chance to bring back a renewed smart government. We're seeing economic policies -- we invest in this country.

KING: You think it will be an issue-driven campaign?

VANDEN HEUVEL: I do. I think these town hall forum ideas, Larry, I like it because so many of the debates the Democrats had were too media-mediated. You want to hear from people in their own communities. You don't want to hear, with all due respect, the anchors of the networks, what's on their mind. Let the candidates listen to people in their communities and have a little bit of small D democracy, which is what Obama's campaign was so exciting, from below.

KING: Kevin, who would you like your candidate to select as the running mate? My guess is it's going to be Mitt Romney?

MADDEN: You know that I'm very biased on this. I think the world of Governor Romney. I think he would also make a strong vice presidential candidate based on the merits. Look, we all know front and center in this election is going to be the issue of the economy. And Mitt Romney is somebody who has an extraordinary resume of accomplishments on economic issues.

But he also broadens the playing field as far as regional politics. He has an ability to deliver states like Michigan, like Colorado, like Nevada, which are going to be crucial battleground states in the upcoming elections. Make no doubt -- or make no mistake that there are a lot of really good Republicans that would make great vice presidential candidates for John McCain.

KING: Katrina, who would you like to see Barack select?

VANDEN HEUVEL: You know, the vice presidency is an odd position. It has been redefined by Dick Cheney, who has made this the worst presidency in modern history. I think Barack Obama's judgment has been very good in this campaign and it will come to bear on who he selects. I don't think -- I disagree with some of your panelists. I'm not sure I see a dream ticket in Hillary Clinton. I worry about the aggregation of weaknesses.

Today, there was discussion by one of her major supporters, Governor Ed Rendell, worried about a Clinton/Obama ticket. Her husband has been a liability, I believe, in this campaign. I think Jim Webb is interesting. I think Bill Richardson. I think there's some smart governors out there.

But in the end, Larry I have to say, going back to John McCain in this election, you know, John McCain is on the wrong side of history on the issues right now, the war, the economy and change. And I think we need to focus on how the Republican party, the conservative movement has become intellectually and politically bankrupt. I think that's going to define the election far more than a vice presidential pick.

MADDEN: On those issues, Barack Obama has no experience on all three. He's never had any experience in running complete an economy in an executive position. He has no experience in national security. And he doesn't have any accomplish when it comes to bipartisan change. VANDEN HEUVEL: Kevin, I might add that those who are experienced, for example Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, maybe 100 years of experience between the two of them, have done so much to damage our country, that I do think the team that Barack Obama assembles will reinvest in our country and build shared prosperity, and bring back some hope to ordinary Americans who are suffering at this time.

It's that hope and aspiration, allied with concrete direction and policies, that I think will move Obama into the White House and change this nation.

KING: We're going to hear a lot from both of you in the months ahead. Thanks again, Kevin Madden, the Republican analyst, former spokesperson for Mitt Romney, the Mitt Romney campaign, and Katrina Vanden Heuvel, the editor of "The Nation." It's been quite a night.

Don't forget to check out CNN.com/LarryKing and sign up for text alerts. Download our new podcast, aliens are they here. Or e-mail upcoming guests.

Tomorrow night, the outrageous Kathy Griffin. No one is safe. No prisoners will be -- many prisoners -- it's going to be wild. Saturday, we'll have a special live show as Hillary Clinton exits her campaign.

And next week, Steve Carell.

Time now for Anderson Cooper and "A.C. 360."