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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Barack Obama Clinches Democratic Nomination
Aired June 03, 2008 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In living rooms, there are people on college campuses who -- and there are older African- Americans who are feeling like this -- they would never think that they could live to see a day like this.
It is an emotional experience for them. And so I think that there is that sense for many people that this was a moment, a historic moment that needed to be respected and acknowledged.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: To anyone but her supporters, did Hillary Clinton lessen herself tonight by not even acknowledging that fact?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think politically, and let me just speak about it politically, I think that in terms of some Democratic politicians who really want to win and who want to bring the party together, who think that maybe okay, they will give her another couple of days but they may be losing their patience.
DONNA BRAZILE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: She is the leader of our party and she deserves time to put her life in order, so to speak, her political life. But she must also extend her hand as Obama extends the olive branch.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: This is going to be a night when we and the press sitting up here are going to be criticized by the Clinton folks by being unfair to her not respecting her , not seeing -- I do think she deserves --
COOPER: Would that be any different than any other night?
GERGEN: It's certainly a lot like that. I think she deserves an enormous amount of credit for what she did in this campaign. She has done a lot. She did win a lot of these primaries, all of that but somehow when she came out this way I she had robbed herself of people saying what a wonderful speech she gave. And what a wonderful campaign she ran.
COOPER: Although I heard from -- just you have heard from some of her supporters tonight saying exactly that, great speech tonight.
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I have been doing a little reporting on this and she has been talking with her associates about using her leverage, and that is the reason that she was not more magnanimous. Because it might be the vice presidency she wants, it might be some other role in Obama's administration if he is president. But if you look at Obama's speech, he was not reaching out just to Hillary Clinton; he was reaching out to Bill Clinton. And several times in that speech praising Bill Clinton, his economic policies, and the more wounded Clinton right now, publicly in some ways is Bill Clinton.
We are in the midst of another Clinton family drama, among other things. And the people that I have talked to who are in touch with the Clintons say that she wants to ensure that his legacy, as well as her own, is not left where it is right now.
And therefore, you know, and also she expected to win much bigger in Puerto Rico. And you and I might think this is a little strange. She expected to win by 400,000 or 500,000 votes in Puerto Rico.
And she was really shocked and hurt that she could not claim a much bigger portion of the popular vote tonight. She had intended to be, from what I gather, even more combative than what we saw tonight. She did not want to concede or even go as far tonight as she did.
But now, you know, she is left in this position and she intends -- look, she has got something that Obama needs. It was a wonderful speech she made in many regards. But she has a real movement with women behind her, with working class people behind her, with great connections to the Jewish community.
COOPER: We got to take a short break. Our coverage is going to continue though. We will be right back.
Cnnpolitics.com, also the AC 360 blog, cnn.com/360. You can weigh in, there is an online discussion going on right now.
John Roberts will be going to be here with the magic wall, the magic map, looking at the delegate count. Looking at what lies ahead.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back to our coverage on "360." You can check out all of our coverage online at cnn.com/360; a live discussion group going on.
Bill Schneider is checking in with that group, live blogging as well throughout the hour. We are going to have more from our panel in a moment. And then we will also be bringing you some of the highlights of the various speeches in this next hour of 360.
First, let us go to Wolfe Blitzer he is at the board with John -- John, Wolfe.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Thanks very much, Anderson.
John Roberts is here. You know we're looking at all these various scenarios. It is obviously a done deal for Barack Obama. He has more than enough delegates needed to get the nomination. And he has done it in a pretty remarkable way.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He has. And here is an interesting little anomaly, Wolf, in the election map here. You see all of the plains in the Northwest are darker blue, which signifies an Obama win. With the exception of South Dakota it is lighter blue and denoting a Hillary Clinton win.
But once it -- when you take a look at the delegate map, it turns dark blue and the reason is because her superdelegates defected to him. So he actually has more delegates in the state of South Dakota.
BLITZER: Even though he won more elected delegates, she -- even though she won more elected delegates, he has more of those superdelegates in South Dakota. As a result he has more of the South Dakota delegates.
ROBERTS: Even though she beat him in the vote, he still won in terms of delegates and that is what counts.
BLITZER: Precisely, yes.
ROBERTS: That's what helped put him over the top. But you know where this is all leading is toward, of course, the November election. And the Electoral College is what matters there.
It was delegates that mattered in the nominating process. Now it is up for the Electoral College and so the Obama campaign is going to be looking at the map.
And this is the way that it ended up in 2004. We are substituting John McCain's name for George Bush and we are substituting Obama's name here for John Kerry.
We are just doing a side by side comparison here. Because a lot of people have talked about this idea of a dream team and what would it be like if Hillary Clinton were to be his running mate?
So right now the Obama campaign is taking looking at this map and they are thinking -- so what states can we turn? While Virginia went for him there is a lot of professional people; demographics are changing in the Northern part of Virginia. He brought out a tremendous number of African-American voters.
So he is thinking -- well, maybe I can turn Virginia and its 13 electoral votes to me this November. Then over here in Colorado, he won Colorado as well with nine electoral votes. It was a Democratic win in New Mexico as well.
Hillary Clinton narrowly won but with Bill Richardson a Democratic governor there, they are thinking maybe they can turn New Mexico. And he did well in Iowa so perhaps he is looking at this idea of I could bring Iowa to the table. And he got a tremendous number of people voting for him in Georgia. Maybe he could just turn this perpetually red state blue come November. The John McCain campaign is looking at the Electoral College and they are saying well, you know he did not do so well in a lot of the rural areas among white working class voters in Pennsylvania. Maybe we could pull that one back and we have got a Republican governor in the state of Minnesota, very close in the last two elections, maybe we could turn that one, red.
So that is where they sit just sort of gaming it out here between John McCain and Barack Obama. So what could Hillary Clinton bring to the table?
BLITZER: Well, if she were the running mate?
ROBERTS: If she were the running mate. It has been since really Lyndon Johnson since a running mate has really been able to bring something to the table and deliver state.
BLITZER: He helped JFK.
ROBERTS: Hillary Clinton is saying I am very strong in Pennsylvania; maybe we could keep that one blue. She is denoted by lighter blue here.
Governor Strickland of Ohio, a Democrat, she did well in Ohio particularly with working class white voters. Maybe she could keep Ohio.
The battle for Florida is a difficult one, because Charlie Crist, the Republican governor down there, has got a real machine that could propel John McCain to a victory there and maybe Hillary Clinton brings in the state of Nevada as well.
Now when you take a look here, Barack Obama against John McCain, he barely gets there. Hillary Clinton barely gets there against John McCain. But watch what happens when you put the two of them together. We'll take all of the states that they could win and color them the darker blue color like this.
There you go. You have got 316 electoral votes for Barack Obama, 222 for John McCain. Together, they are a strong ticket because they could deliver a lot of states. Apart, they do not do so well.
So maybe this idea of the dream team is something that both of the campaigns will look at in terms of winning the maximum number of Electoral College votes because that is what gets you to the White House in November.
BLITZER: And that's what a lot of Democrats think will be the single best way to unify both of these branches of the Democratic Party, both of whom scored almost the same amount of 17, 18 million votes. So we will see what happens on that.
ROBERTS: This could change a lot between now and then and even on the day. But take a look at that. That is a pretty impressive win.
BLITZER: The strength of them side by side. All right John, thanks very much.
I want to go to Soledad and Bill Schneider, because they are also looking at the exit polls. We have learned something today didn't we Soledad?
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know what I learned was watching those -- a couple of those speeches, you know you have Barack Obama saying it is over, I am the nominee. You have Hillary Clinton saying write in, tell me what I should do next kind of thing.
And I guess we wanted to look at the road ahead. Barack Obama is the nominee. So what happens with those frustrated Clinton voters now? And that was one of the polling questions. When you take a look at Montana first, for Clinton voters as they look to who they vote for president come November.
BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we want to know are they going to be there for Barack Obama. We asked the Clinton voters in Montana if they are going to vote for Obama or McCain. Obama does pretty well, they are with him 59 percent of the Clinton voters said they are going to stick with the Democratic ticket even if it is led by Obama; 27 percent will vote for John McCain.
That is a problem that Obama is going to have to deal with. She gets a lot of votes from blue collar Democrats who have a history of sometimes defecting to the Republican Party. So he has to worry about that. Eight percent say they just would not vote.
O'BRIEN: What do the numbers look like in South Dakota?
SCHNEIDER: Very similar so things will pretty good also in South Dakota; 62 percent of the Clinton voters there, the state that she carried, say that they would vote for Obama; just 17 percent for McCain. Fifteen percent say they would not vote. So there are some problems there for Obama but in the end he is getting a pretty solid majority of those Clinton voters already.
O'BRIEN: How come Montana voted one way and South Dakota voted exactly the other way?
SCHNEIDER: I can answer that, Montana.
O'BRIEN: Please do.
SCHNEIDER: Montana is an open primary. Anyone could vote in a Montana primary and a third of the voters were independents and they voted extremely strongly for Barack Obama and helped him carry that state.
South Dakota was a closed primary. Only partisan Democrats could vote. That is where Hillary Clinton was very strong.
O'BRIEN: It will be interesting to see if he is able to turn those frustrated voters into people who support him, that would be key -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Bill Schneider, Soledad, he could answer any of these political questions for us because he knows this stuff.
O'BRIEN: That's why we love him.
BLITZER: Thanks, guys, very much.
We're going to continue our coverage from the CNN election center. Much more coming up. Historic night here at the United States; Barack Obama, the winner of the Democratic presidential nomination.
He has got more than enough delegates right now. All eyes, though are going to be focusing in on Hillary Clinton over the next day or two to see what she does next. She did not concede tonight.
Cnnpolitics.com is where you can go and get much more information; cnnpolitics.com.
We'll take a quick break.
Anderson and the best political team on television, they are coming up right after this.
COOPER: Welcome back to "360." A historic night here no matter how you look at it.
David Gergen, you have been making some calls, getting a lot of e-mails. What are you hearing?
GERGEN: Well, I've just actually been looking over the CNN blog site -- the Anderson Cooper blog site. Most of them of course are writing in and that wishing you happy birthday. Ok, so this is a historic night. One said they wanted to be your boo. I do not know what that is.
COOPER: Still trying to figure that one out. No doubt I will be seeing that on YouTube probably.
GERGEN: But there is -- it is clear that the Hillary Clinton tonight -- speech tonight was very -- there are a lot of people on her side who are saying let us go on to Denver, she should be vice president and the like. And there are others on the Obama side who are very angry about her speech. It is really very interesting how people responded to that.
And Gloria and I, are were just talking about the fact that now as she has opened this door for write to her and express their opinions, there are two petition drives now underway to ask Obama, to push Obama to make her his vice-presidential candidate.
One is by Lanny Davis whom we've had here many times. So it's going to be a live thing. And it is clear that this is opening a door and it is going to put a lot of pressure on Obama about this vice- presidential thing.
And the problem for a presidential candidate is, you may want to choose that person but if you do it under pressure, it is a sign of weakness. And that is why -- this is why it is so delicate. If you throw this open to this kind of sort of conversation --
MALVEAUX: Obama's advisers told me that this is not going to work. I mean that they -- she might be pressuring them in the days to come, but this is a decision that is going to take some time. It is going to be a formal process that we already know about, that this is going to take weeks, perhaps even months, July or August. This is not something that is necessarily going to work in her favor.
COOPER: I have heard Roland Martin, I have heard from some Obama supporters but who say look, he will look weak if he is seen to giving in to pressure to Hillary Clinton. Some people even say, well look if he cannot stand up to the Clinton pressure how can he stand up to a foreign leader pressuring the United States.
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: If that would be a 50-50 chance she got the VP nomination, her speech tonight, it is 80-20 she is not going to get it. I think she truly angered them with this write in and tell me what to do. She could have easily talked about the vote she got; the states that she won. How major it was.
But that was indeed a defiant speech. When Gloria talked about the tone; that was absolutely critical. You cannot have the person who wins the nomination and you pretty much are putting a gun to their head and say look, I am the stronger candidate.
On the night your party's nominee gets the most delegates and you still argue the stronger candidate? And beyond that, Obama has to also recognize that whether we want to admit it or not, she still has very high negative rating. She still drives the GOP base.
So the question is, how do you even merge these two campaigns together? Because there are people who are so loyal to her, if you are the presidential nominee, you need people on your team. And so they have to make a decision, do you have her as a VP nominee when it's her team, your team, her vision, your vision.
COOPER: Let's -- I want to get all the panel on this. But I just want to take a trip down memory lane for a moment and bring you back to the Kodak Theater. Wolf Blitzer was there, the moderator of this debate; the first face-to-face debate Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had. And the question was about this idea of a dream ticket. We look not only for their response but also the response of the crowd.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, MODERATOR: This will be the last question. It will go to both of you; to Senator Obama first. The more I speak to Democrats out there, not only the Democrats here at the Kodak Theater but all over the country, they take a look at the two of you and they see potentially a dream ticket.
A dream ticket for the -- there may have been some nasty words exchanged or angry words or whatever. But the question is this -- would you consider an Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama ticket going down the road?
SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, obviously there's a big difference between those two.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Jamal Simmons, as an Obama supporter tonight, after listening to these speeches, do you think the chance of this so-called dream ticket is less now after Hillary Clinton's speech?
JAMAL SIMMONS, OBAMA SUPPORTER: Yes. I think the people that I've talked to tonight are not happy about this at all.
She could have shared this night. Gloria talked about there are some people who thought this could have been her night as well. She could have shared this night and everyone could be sitting here right now and talking about what a magnanimous piece she gave. How great she will be? Something a little bit of more of a handout that maybe she's ready to be vice president. Maybe she's ready to play second fiddle.
This wasn't the speech of someone ready to play second fiddle.
COOPER: Leslie Sanchez, the thing that Roland brought up, the thing she does mobilize part of the GOP base.
LESLIE SANCHEZ, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: There's part of that but I think there's a bigger issue that even Carl brought up. He's talking about women voters.
There're two different things. Yes, women voters are critical; yes, she's been able to mobilize them, but yes, another woman can mobilize them or another candidate. It does not have to be Hillary Clinton to mobilize women. That's a powerful issue.
You can look at those states. Women are more sophisticated when it comes to that. And also this issue -- I do agree with that. I think she minimized what could have been a historic event is now just an important event. It has an asterisk next to it because she did not concede.
COOPER: Alex, from a Republican's perspective, is a Clinton- Obama match up a dream ticket from a Republican perspective as well, just from a fundraising, getting out the base?
ALEX CASTELLANOS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think she is the bose (ph) noise canceling head phone for his message. He is the opposite of the change that he portends.
Look, Barack Obama was very gracious in his speech tonight. He accepted the concession that she did not extend. They are the -- the Clintons are the Ike and Tina Turner of politics, they don't do things nice and easy, they do them nice and rough. That's what we saw tonight.
That's why you saw two candidates reach out to Hillary Clinton voters tonight. You not only saw Barack Obama reach out, but so did John McCain. That's because Hillary Clinton kept the wound tonight.
COOPER: I should point out that Hillary Clinton actually did play Tina Turner after her speech.
SIMMONS: I hate to disagree with John and the magic board too much, but we can't buy into this notion that the Clinton campaign was so enduring in the primaries that she somehow is going to win white working class voters, independents and moderates in the general election.
I mean she did very well among those voters but they were Democratic primary voters. But they're very different voters from the ones who we got to get --
CASTELLANOS: She has not lost the election. Yes, he's got 2,400 delegates, who cares? They're not voting tomorrow. They're voting three months from now.
And so Ted Kennedy went into the convention against Carter 700 votes down. Why can't Hillary Clinton go to the convention?
SANCHEZ: I think they understand it would be a Trojan horse. It would be incredibly difficult if somebody who cannot necessarily trust. It undermines his biggest argument that he's built his campaign on and that is change which she represents the status quo.
BERNSTEIN: When I wrote about this three weeks ago on our Web site, I quoted somebody saying Obama doesn't want to take her on the ticket, but he might have to if he's forced. But he doesn't want to be forced.
Today what I'm hearing is that they've been really put off by what's happened today. Look at the Clintons. Here are two people about whom you can say the best of their public lives have been about the understanding they have of the tragedy of race in America.
And since they were young people, they have looked to the day when there could be an African-American nominee for president. This has been a dream of theirs, but what they never dreamed is it would happen on their watch.
And that's what they're confronted with now and they're not handling it very gracefully. She talked about women tonight. She never said anything, as I recall, about anything about the history of -- the historicism of this moment.
COOPER: She also didn't -- she chose not to focus attention on the John McCain and the Republican Party and showed the differences between the Democrats and the Republicans. It was very much a speech about her.
BORGER: Well, it was in one sense a valedictory -- a kind of summing up. These are the things I've done, this is why I was a better candidate. I got 18 million votes more as she pointed out than anybody else who had run. The Obama campaign would dispute that.
So it wasn't exactly an application to become vice president because it was clear that she was sort of saying, you know, I should still be at the top of the ticket; having said that she has told folks that she would clearly take it.
What Obama is going to think about not only winning, he's got to win Pennsylvania, let's think about that. The Clinton people say she can help him win Pennsylvania. But he's also going to think about governing. Let's not forget that. And would he be able to govern with Hillary Clinton as his vice president? Would that work?
What would bill Clinton's role be? This last week, with Bill Clinton exploding really didn't help much. I think there are larger issues that he's got to think about, not in the heat of the moment, but over the summer.
COOPER: What does Hillary Clinton do -- I mean, everybody wakes up tomorrow; she has encouraged her 18 million plus people to e-mail her Web site, tell her what to do. What do the next couple days hold? James Carville is saying, there are a lot of calls to make bringing people who are deep in the caves, convincing them to come out in support of Barack Obama.
MALVEAUX: One thing that certainly happens is that she launches a campaign through surrogates. She's already had conversations about seeking the vice-presidential position. I mean, that is kind of what she is holding as a possibility of establishing her legacy for her campaign, what has she accomplished?
She says she wants a Democrat to be in the White House the next time around. If she can do that by offering herself, by making this case that she is the best candidate for that, we're going to see that push in the days ahead.
You're also going to see decisions about whether or not they're going to meet together. Barack Obama has made that offer publicly and privately to meet with her, to sit down at any time and any place to discuss what it is that she wants with the party. What it is that she wants to get those voters, to get those female voters and help make the party stronger? She has not necessarily said either way whether or not she's going to do that.
COOPER: David, did she risk making it too public of a push to be vice president?
GERGEN: Yes, and I think this whole idea of having petitions and making this a big public push on him puts him in a really awkward position. Because he may need her in order to win and he may want to do that and figure out all the things Gloria is talking about governing. But if he's boxed in, it makes him a tougher option for him. He can't do it with a gun on his head.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: There's something sad about this too because this is what it has come to for Hillary Clinton; strategizing about how to be the vice-presidential nominee. One thing we know, I think, about the last two elections is that they weren't about John Edwards and Dick Cheney. And they weren't about Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman.
They were the vice-presidential candidates and they didn't mean much of anything. And I doubt they'll mean much this time either.
COOPER: We have just gotten word that Obama has actually telephoned Senator Clinton. Jessica Yellin is joining us now with whatever details she may have. Jessica, what do you know?
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson. Barack Obama put a phone call in to Senator Clinton's chief aide, one of her chief aides. Allegedly he got her voice mail but he left her a message saying that he congratulates her on her victory in South Dakota today and would like to connect with her and talk.
Earlier, I spoke with David Axlerod, one of Obama's senior advisers, who said that Obama had planned to try to connect with Senator Clinton, ideally, before he spoke tonight, but that certainly at some point and that they would like to have this line of communication open.
He also said that this is an evening when they're all having a sort of out of body experience. They're all feeling sort of having a hard time processing this is the monumental task that they undertook as he put it, so many months ago has come to fruition.
So as far as the Clinton call goes, I can tell you they are about to take off on a flight to Washington, D.C. That doesn't land for a while. So he might not be able to connect with Senator Clinton until tomorrow.
But the campaign is keenly aware of the work that the Obama campaign has to do to make sure that Clinton supporters feel cared for and attended to and included. And I know you all have been talking about Senator Clinton's speech and how that's gone over.
Apart from that, the folks here tonight were very, very receptive to the efforts Obama made to be gracious to Senator Clinton. So the loudest applause of the evening was when he extended his arm -- his hand to Senator Clinton and said, you know, congratulated her on breaking barriers.
If I can just add one thing, Anderson, I spoke with Maxine Waters earlier in this year, in February before Super Tuesday. She's one of Senator Clinton's -- had been one her most aggressive, loyal and ardent supporters and she had called Barack Obama in her own words -- to quote her -- a wonderful young man, but that senator Clinton had more experience essentially and he was about hope. Well, today she embraced Barack Obama and Barack Obama is trying to make this outreach to bring more people who have this generational difference with him, to bring them into the fold and they do know there's a lot of work ahead to do that. They think sharpening the differences with John McCain is the key way to win Clinton supporters and bring them on board -- Anderson.
COOPER: Are you hearing anything from inside the Obama camp, on the record or off the record, about their reaction to Senator Clinton's speech?
YELLIN: No, they're being very tight-lipped to be honest. The folks who were here, they were in this room, so they couldn't hear her speak. So I have not had any reaction. I'll tell you though that they are being very careful about not being critical of her at this point. They don't want to insult her.
COOPER: All right, Jessica Yellin reporting. Very quickly we are going to go into a break. But before we do, Roland and Carl?
MARTIN: I did the base as a radio show and Carolyn Kilpatrick was on there -- huge Clinton supporter. And we asked the question about her being the VP nominee, she ran away from that and frankly said she didn't think it was really a good idea. It's interesting, a major Clinton supporter who back in there says I'm not quite sure that she's the best fit for the party.
GERGEN: They're talking about other positions as well. It's not just the vice presidency. I was told by people in both campaigns tonight and also positions for Bill Clinton. It's really about the two of them.
And I even was told, it seems a little absurd to me, but somebody said it who's very well connected of making Bill Clinton a campaign chairman of Obama's campaign.
COOPER: We're going to take a short break. Our coverage continues on "360." We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome to this two-hour edition of "360." We're going to midnight at which point Larry King takes over with a two-hour edition of "Larry King Live."
Hillary Clinton in her speech tonight talked about her winning the popular vote by the metrics that she is using. Wolf Blitzer is crunching the numbers and has some different scenarios of the popular vote. We just want to check the facts. Wolf, what have you got?
BLITZER: Anderson, let's take a look at the various scenarios that we've undertaken. All the votes have basically been counted. They're still counting a few more votes in South Dakota and Montana but we've factored all of that in.
We have three scenarios to determine who actually got more of the votes over these many months of these contests in 50 states and all the territories of the U.S. Popular scenario number one we call, this includes all the primary results. The Florida votes as cast, the DNC decided last weekend to include Florida. Hillary Clinton gets the Michigan votes that were cast for her. They included Michigan as well.
Barack Obama we decided will get all the uncommitted Michigan votes, even though his name wasn't on the ballot, the DNC rules committee gave him those votes as part of the delegates. So we've included that as well.
We've not included in this scenario any of the caucuses because in the caucuses you don't even have in many of those states hard numbers and it's very complicated. You have first ballot, second ballot, people change their minds as they go through the process.
In this scenario, Hillary Clinton did get more votes, slightly more votes, 17,600,000 to 17,300,000, or about a 250,000 difference. But Hillary Clinton winds up with more popular votes under this scenario.
In scenario number two as we call it, we include everything in the first scenario. But we do have an estimate of the caucuses. This is not a precise estimate because you don't have those precise numbers. But we've included the caucuses and he won most of the caucuses.
Barack Obama probably can thank the caucus system for his winning tonight the Democratic presidential nomination. In this scenario, he gets slightly more votes than Hillary Clinton, but slightly; 18,028,000 to 17,986,000. You see how close it is when you include our estimate of the caucuses.
In the third scenario, which we've included the caucus estimates but decided not to give Barack Obama those uncommitted votes, which occurred in Michigan. In this scenario he once again loses to Hillary Clinton. She gets 17,986,000 votes to 17,789,000 votes, about 200,000 votes difference. So the bottom line is he only wins one of those three scenarios that we've outlined tonight in the popular vote. She wins the two others.
The bottom line is the popular vote really doesn't make much of a difference. What counts are the delegates, the pledged delegates or the elected delegates and the superdelegates. And tonight he went over the top. He went beyond that so-called magic number.
Even when the DNC decided to include Michigan and Florida this past weekend, he still beats her and as a result he's going to get the Democratic presidential nomination.
But you know, it's amazing, Anderson, so many contests, 50 states plus the territories, you see how close it's been between these two candidates. He won but not by a whole lot.
COOPER: It's also just amazing the sheer number of people who actually came out to vote in these Democratic primaries; truly just record numbers. How does that reflect in terms of numbers of people that came out to vote in the Republican primaries, or at least early on when there was a real race?
BORGER: Early on, 2-1
COOPER: Yes, 2-1.
BORGER: 2-1 and it gives you a sense of the enthusiasm of the Democratic base out there. And, you know, all the metrics as we say, if you look at the issues and the enthusiasm, you know, this should be a Democratic year.
Of course, anything can happen. But heading into this campaign, anyone would say the odds have to be with the Democrats right now given the unhappiness with the war in Iraq, the unhappiness with the economy. Of course, anything can change in an election.
TOOBIN: Think what the conventions are going to be like. Think how different the conventions are going to be. Think about how are the Republicans going to deal with George Bush. Does he give a speech? He's got to give a speech. On what day? It's going to be a very awkward thing. And where is the enthusiasm going to be?
Think about what it's going to be like in Denver. They're going to have to spatula the Democrats off the ceiling. It is going to be so motivated in that group. And I think that's just reflective of the turnout in the primary.
Look at the money raised by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama; way, way more than the Republicans. That's never been the case before in a presidential campaign for decades.
COOPER: David? I see you shaking your head.
GERGEN: Well, this is a campaign the Democrats ought to win by ten points. The landscape is the most favorable to the Democrats since 1964 when Lyndon Johnson won by a huge landslide. All sorts of Democrats will be elected to the House and the Senate.
The remarkable thing is that given all the odds against them, given that all the enthusiasm is on the Democratic side, that John McCain is still running a very competitive race. National polls, places like Florida, look at the Electoral College. He's very competitive. And that says something about him and the values that he espouses and the valor that he represents.
It also says something about the price the Democrats have paid for this kind of -- the nastiness and the negative and the divisiveness of these last few weeks. So the Democrats I think are still likely to win and Barack Obama is still likely to win the nomination, but John McCain is in a much better position to beat him than any Republican thought a year ago, half a year ago.
MALVEAUX: It reflects his vulnerabilities as well with the white working class voters, with the people who he had a difficult time reaching to. He really needs to define to redefine who he is to those voters because he has been behind when it comes to the amount of time he's spent in those particular states, particularly Florida and Michigan.
BORGER: But that's where we heard McCain tonight, by the way, talk about himself as a change agent, a reformer; he's picking up the lingo. And he's the only Republican who can actually say that and be telling the truth about it.
COOPER: How general elections often turn on things that we can't anticipate, you know, at this point in the race. And I'm just wondering looking back at other elections, at this point in the race, have we known what those issues were going to be in other elections? Do we know what the issues that will turn this election are? Because often -- do we know that at this point, Michael Dukakis, it was going to be about the pledge of allegiance and about his record on crime in Massachusetts.
BORGER: Or Reverend Wright in the primaries. Who knew that Reverend Wright was going to come up?
COOPER: At this point, do we even know what the general election is going to look like?
TOOBIN: Is there any scenario which the economy and Iraq are not at the center of this campaign? I can't think of one.
GERGEN: I agree. And most big change elections have come after overwhelming sense in the country, whether it's after the depression or after Vietnam and Nixon gets in or after Watergate with Ford and Nixon.
Yes, there are campaign events that are going to change this, especially in a close election. It could change at two or three points. But Jeffrey is right.
COOPER: Core issues will be kind --
GERGEN: The economy and foreign policy, especially Iraq, are going to be sort of overwhelming sweeping issues in this.
BORGER: And we don't know what's going to occur in Iraq, by the way, and McCain is trying to turn that into his advantage to say he wouldn't have mismanaged the war, he was for the surge.
COOPER: And with both of these subjects, economy and Iraq, you have huge differences between John McCain and Barack Obama.
MARTIN: We both felt that John McCain, he's spending all his time right now focusing on national security, obviously his strength. But his weakness is the economy. I really thought he should be spending June, July focusing on that, because look, I play golf. If I can hit a driver, I'm not hitting it on the driving range I'm hitting it at the sand wedge.
So he should focus on the economy now and hit Obama on national security, come the fall. I think Obama is saying, "Fine. You want to go toe to toe on this right now? I'm going to get you on the economy. I don't know what McCain is doing right now.
CASTELLANOS: The other issues I think that are going to be important in addition to the war and the economy are cultural issues, because Barack Obama has nearly been beaten by Hillary Clinton who has run against him as a populist. And he is the elite liberal wing of the Democratic Party.
And he's also a blank slate. He's a very effective leader but not because of his accomplishments; not because we know what's inside of him. He seems to be a very conflicted man in that sense.
He stands up at the top of the mountain and says follow me, we're going to go over here. He's a very visionary leader but as far as knowing who he is, there is a lot of uncertainty. He votes present. He says the surge is going to fail but now it doesn't. So we don't really know much about him as a person.
COOPER: Some of the talking points what this general election will be from the Republican side. Leslie?
SANCHEZ: A couple of interesting things about that. One, the direct side of his appeal is the authenticity. People say he's very real. If looks like he's a standard politician like usual, it's going to be the most fatal flaw.
COOPER: I got to let Jamal Simmons in then I got to go to Larry King. Jamal?
SIMMONS: Yes, what's interesting about this and what we're going to find out about John McCain is John McCain was a (inaudible) before George Bush. He's been friends with all these guys.
You want to talk about health care? Johns McCain want to do for the health care industry what the Republicans did for the credit card industry. They want to deregulate it and let people be able to choose their health care.
COOPER: Those are the Democratic talking points about what this election is going to be.
I do want to check in now with Larry King who is going to be taking over our coverage at 12:00 midnight. Larry, what have you got there for us?
LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": And that's also 9:00 Pacific. And we'll be on for two hours. And happy birthday, Anderson.
L. KING: Thank God, 19 years old and gray hair. Really have much good wishes.
We'll be with you for two hours. We'll have an outstanding line up of guests. Arianna Huffington whose "Huffington Post" broke the (inaudible) story yesterday; David Gergen who's with you is going to be with us. So will Lanny Davis and Jamal Simmons will be aboard.
Two full hours, we'll include phone calls, and lots of clips, highlights from this past and hectic primary season. That's at the top of the hour. Anderson back to you.
COOPER: All right, Larry. We'll check in and we'll be watching that. Thanks very much. Our coverage continues here. AC 360 continues right after this short break. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back to "360." Again at the top of the hour, "Larry King Live" takes over for two hours of live coverage with a whole host of special guest.
David Gergen, we were talking during the break about the fact that Hillary Clinton said what she said tonight, what this bodes for Obama. It doesn't bode well for the next couple of weeks.
GERGEN: Well, you know, I can't get over the fact that coming out of this historic night, when Barack Obama could rightly say I've got this nomination and the country could celebrate the fact that we've had these two star candidates. That even so, now as he wants to pivot and really focus on John McCain, he's going to continue to be diverted by the question of how to deal with Hillary Clinton because she's not leaving the stage.
Nor is Bill Clinton. They're both going to stay on the stage. She didn't do that tonight. She's competing still against him for attention.
BORGER: The Clintons are not known for leaving the stage.
GERGEN: But it makes his campaign much harder. He's got a harder hill to climb. He needs to move on now, and get organized. John McCain can spend 100 percent of his time --
COOPER: Do you believe she will leave the stage? James Carville seems to indicate that we're talking about a matter of two or three days before she says something.
GERGEN: I think there's now suspense about when and how she will leave and how she will leave, and whether there will be some sort of big push in the campaign to make her the vice president.
TOOBIN: This is the moment to keep an eye on people like Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, Ted Strickland of Ohio, Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, her core supporters but also serious loyal Democrats. They're the ones who are going to say -- if anyone is going to say, "Look, enough."
BORGER: I still think she's going to -- I was told today that she will probably leave later in the week, that she needed her space. She needed the grace period. That she spent all day today on the phone calling her early supporters like Governor Rendell, Governor Strickland, Governor Corzine, state leaders and union leaders. And I was told it's quite an extensive list and she wanted to hear from them about how she ought to handle this. So her -- people are saying --
COOPER: Did they get a different e-mail address than the 18,000,000 people to e-mail her?
BORGER: I didn't know about the e-mail at the time. But I was told, "Gloria, lay off" --
GERGEN: Did you see any evidence tonight --
BORGER: Well, that's what's so interesting. So I spoke to someone who said to me, "You're going to call it a concession speech when you hear it, but it's not going to be." And it's just the opposite of that, right? I was expecting a different tone to the remarks and this notion that now he has to worry about both of them I don't think really works well for the whole ticket idea.
MALVEAUX: But she's still holding out that option. That's still the chip that she hasn't called in yet. That is something she's actively been pursuing behind the scenes. It's something that you'll see her roll out in the days ahead.
COOPER: The vice president option?
MALVEAUX: Absolutely, the dream ticket option here. And the reason why she's so strong tonight, "I'm the stronger candidate, these are the people who support me, respect my supporters," is because she's building herself up. She's talking about her own credibility and what she needs.
GERGEN: But she sounds like she's trying to create a coalition government. With two of us, we're going to run the government together.
COOPER: We have to take a short break.
Our coverage continues in just a moment. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back to "360." We're talking about what happens now for Barack Obama.
Roland martin, what's your take?
MARTIN: Look, this reminds me of the "West Wing." And the VO candidate asked the president, "Why is it you don't like me?" He says, "Because you make me beg for you to be on the ticket and I looked weak."
And they made the point earlier that that's what he can do. So there may have a petition to be trying to push him, but she should not be trying to force him to choose his VP nominee. Make it a part of the process but you can't force the person who won it to pick you.
COOPER: You're saying the more public the battle, the worse it is. MARTIN: Absolutely. That is not good.
BERNSTEIN: Hillary Clinton has a genuine movement, an army, a militant army behind her. And I think Barack Obama is trying to say to her and her people, you have a responsibility to bring your army to us.
More importantly, the leaders of the Democratic Party, remember, 17-13 for months, the Senators, those who know her best, have been against her. The party is now ready to shut her down. That's what she has to deal with. The Obama people are very upset about this. And it's going to get resolved this week.
COOPER: Jamal, how upset are you?
SIMMONS: I don't know if I'm that upset. It's a good night, he won the nomination tonight. So I think they all feel very good about that. They're not particularly thrilled about Senator Clinton's speech, but you know, them's the breaks.
But I think in general though, I want to get back to this tremendous difference between the speeches that we saw tonight. John McCain's speech was about Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton's speech was about herself. Barack Obama's speech was about America and where we all need to go together. And that's the speech that's going to help win this election.
SANCHEZ: I think the defining part is to look at the bump that he does get. I think you'll probably see five to seven points in terms of support that he's going to have over John McCain in matching those two up. I think it's going to receive though a lot of that has to do with the fact that Hillary Clinton is still in the campaign and in addition to that, I think you're going to see that they're going to line up head to head which is interesting.
There's going to be a very good ideological fight between the two. There's like a tissue paper difference between Clinton and Obama but a very stark difference between McCain and Obama.
SIMMONS: The Hillary people need to hear that more.
BERNSTEIN: Obama has never had a minute alone to confront McCain. Now he's going to get it. He's going to get it and it's going to make a big difference.
CASTELLANOS: I think he made the best speech of the evening but he may have been the winner this evening in the sense that the Democratic battle goes on.
And the other part of this is that tonight I think is a big night for the Democratic Party. A party that has stood up alone at times and at times when the Republicans didn't for the individual liberties and rights of people regardless of race or gender. I think tonight you saw that. The interesting thing to me is that in other parts of the world where those same rights are in question, those two candidates we saw tonight are not standing up for those rights. And that may be an issue coming up in this election too.
MARTIN: You know sort of like shutting down newspapers in Iraq?
CASTELLANOS: No, I mean like --
MARTIN: About this administration?
COOPER: We've got about 20 seconds.
BERNSTEIN: We didn't talk about the war as the fact that that's the central undermining factor in her candidacy and even her closest associates believe that her stand on the war was the beginning of her undoing.
COOPER: It was a fascinating evening no matter what side of the political aisle you are on, probably something and all these candidates for you to watch. These speeches are on cnnpolitics.com you can check them out.
Our coverage continues right now with "LARRY KING LIVE."