I think there's still a lot of fighting spirit in this campaign as we go state to state. The numbers are starting to get closer. Senator McCain is continuing and Governor Palin, to take the argument of the words that Senator Obama had given us as far back as 2001 and as lately as a few weeks ago in terms of his determination to redistribute the wealth throughout the United States.
And that was it. Just a very vague reference to that 2001 radio interview which has been all over the web but barely mentioned in the mainstream media including being spiked by the CBS Evening News. Instead Larry King Live spent the major portion of the show obsessing over Sarah Palin's clothes and presenting her as a "diva." Here is a transcript of the video (emphasis mine):
LARRY KING: Kellyanne Conway and Janine Turner remain.Of course CNN never thought to send John King to investigate Joe Biden's blowup during his interview at station WFTV in Orlando.
We're joined by Stephanie Miller, the talk radio host.
And Julie Menin, board member of The Women's Campaign Forum.
However, we're going to spend the first few moments in this segment with our own John King, CNN's chief national correspondent, who we congratulate. He broke this whole story this weekend about the tension going on between the Palin camp and the McCain camp.
What is the story -- John?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Larry, some other news organizations were involved, as well. Let me say that first and foremost.
What's happening is that you have tensions in a campaign, which are not unusual. What is remarkable is the language being used here -- words like diva.
Now, part of that is that you have the first female candidate for vice president and a male used that word to describe Sarah Palin. That is part of the controversy.
We do have, from sources very close to her, accounts saying she feels that this whole rollout of her was botched at the beginning. They essentially handed her books and said memorize these books, there's a quiz in the morning. And she did not do so well in the interviews.
And she is concerned about her own image and, of course, about her own future.
At the same time, the McCain aides are saying this isn't about your image and about your future, it's about an election now eight or almost seven days away.
So there is tension, Larry. And we've seen this since the beginning of time.
My first campaign was the Bentsen/Dukakis campaign. The Texans with Lloyd Bentsen thought the Massachusetts people were nuts, frankly. And this has gone on and on and on in every cycle.
But it is remarkable and it is hurtful that it is spilling out so close to the election. And remember what you were just talking about with the first panel. Sarah Palin is a fascinating, compelling figure who is helping McCain with the base, without a doubt; also, hurting the ticket with some constituencies, without a doubt.
And we won't know until election day, whether that is a wash or whether it's a net gain or a net minus.
KING: All right.Perhaps the MSM and their Democrat allies should hold a meeting to determine whether Sarah Palin is a diva or submissive. We return you now to the Larry King Live nonsense...
We'll be checking back with you in a couple of minutes.
John King, CNN's chief national correspondent, in San Francisco.
A new member of the panel, Julie Menin.
What do you make of this controversy?
JULIE MENIN, DNC WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP FORUM, SUPPORTS OBAMA: (INAUDIBLE) just saying that they're calling her a diva. If anything, I would say that she was actually overly submissive by allowing herself to be handled in this way.
If she would have gone out from the start and said, listen, I'm a hockey mom, I'm folksy, this is who I am. But now there are these inconsistencies, that she allowed the RNC to spend $2,500 a day on clothing or that she allowed herself to be sequestered from a lot of press interviews.
I think she's really taking a hit in terms of her overall reputation and that's something that she's thinking about. She's obviously thinking about 2012 and what she can do to get back to who she is as a person.
KING: Yes.How much schooling would be necessary to fix Obama's 2001 "redistribute the wealth" inverview? That question, of course, remains unanswered on Larry King's divah investigative show.
Stephanie, what do you make of it?
STEPHANIE MILLER, TALK RADIO HOST, SUPPORTS OBAMA: Oh, Larry, to be a fly on the wall in these "My Fair Lady" sessions, where they're putting the book on her head and going no, that's not what a vice president does...
KING: No, but does she have -- does she...
MILLER: No, that's not the Bush Doctrine.
KING: Does she have a point?
MILLER: You know what, anyone that allows themselves to be dressed in $150,000 worth of clothes to go out on the campaign trail and call Barack Obama an elitist is not very bright.
KING: Bob Dole told me that every candidate gets managed. They wouldn't let him, when he ran in '96, use humor. Don't use humor. And enough people said it to him, that you don't. So everybody has it happen to them.
MILLER: Yes, but...
KING: She really let it happen or it happened?
MILLER: You know, Larry, you got -- when you watch the Katie Couric and the Charles Gibson interviews, there is no amount of schooling that can fix that. She is -- the American people have judged her to be completely unqualified for this role and to be completely intellectually incapable of it.
(CROSSTALK)How "unusual." That puts Alaska in the same league as Nevada and Florida.
KING: So, Janine, in a sense, does the McCain camp now know this?
TURNER: No, absolutely not. First of all, she doesn't wear $150,000 clothes in one sitting. She didn't know -- she didn't know the price of those clothes. She's returning -- they're going to be given back to charity.
She is a smart, intelligent woman. She's the governor of Alaska, which -- the State of Alaska has the fifth highest ranking -- they have the most power of the top five states in Alaska. She's had executive power. She's a smart, intelligent woman. She has not proved herself (INAUDIBLE)...
MENIN: But Janine...
TURNER: She's going to be...
TURNER: She's going to be the most popular Republican when this is all over.
MENIN: But Janine...
TURNER: People love her.
MENIN: But, Janine, let me just jump in here, because when you talk about Alaska, you have to point out the fact that Alaska is completely different than the rest of the country. First of all, there's no income tax. There's only one town over 100,000 people; two towns over 1,000 people...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So?If you've gotten a headache from all this, your humble correspondent joins you in that agony. We have audio evidence from a 2001 interview on a Chicago radio station that a presidential candidate disdains the Constitution and wants to redistribute the wealth yet Larry King wastes air time conducting a seminar on a subject of such insignificance to the nation as to amount to nothing more than staring at lint inside of Larry's wrinkled navel.
TURNER: But she has more power...
TURNER: She has more power...
MENIN: It's not about power, it's about experience. TURNER: It is! It is about power.
TURNER: It is about power. It's about power and it's about executive decisions and it's about veto power. She's had more executive power than Barack Obama.
KING: Kellyanne, do you want to...
MENIN: You just absolutely can't say that.
CONWAY: Yes, you can. I mean under...
KING: Kellyanne, do you want to get in on this disruption in the campaign?
CONWAY: But under Julie's construct, Barack Obama has been the governor of what?
The back bench of the Illinois State Senate.
MENIN: He's had 12 years of experience...
CONWAY: Now you're insulting Alaska.
KING: One at a time...
KING: Ladies, one at a time.
One at a time.
CONWAY: First we're going to insult Sarah Palin. Now we're going to insult the whole state of Alaska. I mean you guys have got to find a narrative that you want to use against this woman.
First, the intellectual snobbery was that her husband doesn't have a college degree, she went to six schools in five years, she was a successful jock, but never a scholar.
Now it's that she somehow is part of the privileged elite?
You need to make up your mind about this woman, because let me tell you something
MENIN: But, you know, Kellyanne...
CONWAY: Excuse me. You all had your chance. Excuse me, because I'll try to make a little sense here.
This woman is so popular, people are showing up at her rallies 20,000 deep -- KING: Then why...
CONWAY: ...and not to knock her...
CONWAY: ...and wait a second. You find a woman in this country who doesn't feel like she's been put upon at some level. I think people are going to push back on all this assault on this woman.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But I think women would have been...
KING: All right, Stephanie.
MILLER: Kellyanne, what are you referring to?
Every single poll shows the American people agrees with us that she's just not qualified.
CONWAY: Who are these American people?
MILLER: She is not qualified.
MILLER: She is not qualified.
MILLER: She's not intellectually capable.
MILLER: I mean, you know, who are you saying we're being -- who's being elitist?
KING: Wait a minute. Wait a minute...
MILLER: They're talking about the same thing.
CONWAY: Hey, let me tell you something...
MILLER: We are talking about the same thing Colin Powell said...
CONWAY: She certainly did (INAUDIBLE) 120 times.
MILLER: ...that she is completely incapable of this job.
KING: But Janine...
KING: Janine, if the...
KING: All right, girls, I'm going to have to take a break and come back.
TURNER: I heard my name. I heard my name.
KING: Please, when we come back -- all of you are going to come back. And we'll start with Janine when we come back. But we're going to spend a couple of minutes with John King. Back in 60 seconds. More on the Palin/McCain strain.
Don't go away.
KING: John King is back with more insight about what's really going on inside the McCain campaign.
How bad is it, John?
J. KING: Well, Larry, they understand the steepness of the hill in front of them. Heading into the last week of the election, they are behind in many of the states that George W. Bush won to become president. Those states include Florida. They include Ohio. They're tied in Missouri. McCain has to somehow try to win Pennsylvania, where he's down 10 or 12 points.
So when you are down like that, after investing so much time and so much energy in a campaign, guess what, tensions get frayed.
And the conversation you're having with the ladies reflects part of this campaign is also this remarkable woman, Sarah Palin. Love her or hate her, she is a remarkable, compelling character added to the scene, in which barriers are coming down in this election.
We may have an African-American president. Otherwise, if we don't have an African-American president, we will have the first female vice president.
It has been a fascinating election year. And the drama will go on for another week. It is not over. McCain is behind. Very hard for him to pull this up, but it is not over. And the tensions are fraying. And, yes, there are some people in the McCain campaign who say that Sarah Palin thinks it's over, or is beginning to think it's over, and she's worrying about 2012.
If McCain loses, Larry, we are going to have a fascinating drama after this election about what is the Republican Party, who leads the Republican Party, what is Sarah Palin's role in the Republican Party. There are some leading Republicans who are already thinking maybe we need a new party.
So this -- we have another week of this drama to go. And then when it is over, Larry, one way or the other, there are a lot of pieces of our political puzzle in this country that we're going to have to deal with.
KING: John King, one of the best observers, best correspondents ever.
Thank you, John.
J. KING: Thank you, Larry.
KING: We'll be calling on you, as usual.
John King, CNN's chief national correspondent. We call him on the money.
We'll be right back.