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Hillary Clinton: No Revote 'Un-American'; Who Will End the Iraq War?; National Archives Releases Clinton's Schedule

Aired March 19, 2008 - 18:00   ET

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


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: To our viewers, you are in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Happening now, Hillary Clinton says it's downright "un-American" to deprive Michigan and Florida of primary do-overs. And she's issuing a new challenge to Barack Obama.

Obama is criticizing Clinton, and John McCain for that matter, when it comes to the war in Iraq. This hour, an exclusive interview with Barack Obama marking five years since the start of the war.

And is the U.S. trying to buy peace in Iraq? We are going to examine a provocative charge that is being leveled at the Pentagon.

I'm Wolf Blitzer, along with the best political team on television. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States around the world.

Hillary Clinton is trying to prove her push for primary revotes is about more than her own campaign survival. She is suggesting that Democrats could lose the fall battle for the White House, part of an ongoing struggle over the party's decision to strip both Michigan and Florida of their delegates as punishment for moving up their primaries.

Let's bring in our own Jessica Yellin. She has been watching this story from the start.

And Senator Clinton pointing some direct and strong fingers at Obama on this whole issue of Michigan and Florida.

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: She sure is, Wolf.

And she called it, as you said, "un-American" to stand in the way of a revote. It is not just Hillary Clinton, though. A top Michigan Democrat says there is increasing frustration in that state with Barack Obama because so far he's neither supporting a current plan for a revote or proposing an alternative.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

YELLIN (voice-over): Senator Clinton, championing revotes in Michigan and Florida, issues this challenge... SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I call on Senator Obama to do the same. This is a crucial test. Does he mean what he says or not?

YELLIN: Clinton's aides are going further, accusing the Obama campaign of snubbing those delegate-rich states, even disenfranchising voters.

This was Obama last week...

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will abide by whatever rules the DNC lays out.

YELLIN: The DNC says the plan for a Michigan revote fits its rules, but now the Obama campaign is questioning the legality of a redo. They're concerned the plan would be paid for with private funds. That's a first. And anyone who voted in the Republican primary would not be allowed to revote, even though Michigan is supposed to have an open primary.

There's self-interest on both sides of this fight. Obama tends to do better in open primaries. Clinton, who is more than eager to narrow Obama's delegate lead, has reason to believe she would gain most from a redo. She won the January 29 Michigan primary. Obama was not on that ballot.

Now Michigan's Democratic leaders are warning that without a new primary, the fallout at the Democratic convention will be ugly.

SEN. CARL LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN: So now we're in a situation where unless there's a new primary in Michigan, because of a flawed primary which took place before, we are going to have a floor fight or a credentials fight.

YELLIN: And Senator Clinton says now it's all up to Barack Obama.

CLINTON: Senator Obama speaks passionately on the campaign trail about empowering the American people. Today, I'm urging him to match those words with actions to make sure the people of Michigan and Florida have a voice and a vote in this election.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

YELLIN: The Michigan state legislature has until tomorrow to approve the current revote plan if it is going to happen.

And, Wolf, I just got off the phone with a top Michigan Democrat, who says, if they don't approve it, they are going to go back to the drawing board and consider once again possibly holding a new caucus or maybe a mail-in vote. It is all up in the air.

BLITZER: Jessica Yellin, thanks for staying on top of this story. The ramifications are enormous for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. And, by the way, our own Anderson Cooper just spoke with Barack Obama and asked about Hillary Clinton's charge. What he had to say, that's coming up. You will hear it in a few moments right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

The numbers tell the story of why Michigan and Florida are so important to Senator Clinton specifically. CNN estimates that Clinton now trails Obama by 142 delegates. Right now, neither one of them is close to getting the 2,024 needed to clinch the nomination, but the math could turn dramatically in Clinton's favor if -- and it's a huge if -- if she were to win a big chunk of those 368 delegates in Michigan and Florida.

Notice that, if those states do reclaim their roles in the nominating process, the magic number to seal the nomination would go up to 2,208.

Whoever becomes the Democratic nominee will inherit the issue of Iraq. Today is the fifth anniversary of the war's beginning. And Barack Obama delivered searing rebukes of the three leaders who approved the war, authorized it to begin with, essentially lumping together President Bush, John McCain, and Hillary Clinton.

Let's go to our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley. She is in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is watching the story for us. Charlotte, North Carolina -- North Carolina has its own primary coming up.

These were pretty harsh words today, Candy.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: He absolutely was, Wolf.

As you know, with that red phone ad in Ohio that Hillary Clinton put suggesting who do you want to go ahead and answer that crisis phone at the White House at 3:00 a.m. in the morning, the idea of a commander in chief and what the qualifications are has kind of risen again to the top even as Americans still say that the economy is their top issue.

But the fact of the matter is that the passion within the Democratic Party began a year ago last January in an anti-war mode. It continues that way now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY (voice-over): The fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq finds Democrats wrestling with a central question that began their '08 campaign: Who can best end the war, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama?

OBAMA: Ask yourself, who do you trust to end the war, someone who opposed the war from the beginning or someone who started opposing it when they started preparing a run for president?

CROWLEY: In Fayetteville, North Carolina, not far from Fort Bragg, Obama honored a central tenet of his campaign for a job with no more awesome power than that of commander in chief. He argued he had the judgment to be against the Iraq war from the beginning and Clinton did not. His argument now incorporates the presumptive Republican nominee.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We continue to be concerned about Iranian taking al Qaeda...

OBAMA: Just yesterday, we heard Senator McCain confuse Sunni and Shia, Iran and al Qaeda. Maybe that is why he voted to go to war with a country that had no al Qaeda ties.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: Maybe that is why he completely fails to understand that the war in Iraq has done more to embolden America's enemies than any strategic choice that we have made in decades.

CROWLEY: Criticized as naive by McCain, Clinton and George Bush, Obama took every opportunity to link the three together, arguing that their support of the war has made the country less safe.

OBAMA: We have a security gap when candidates say they will follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, but refuse to follow him where he actually is.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: What we need in our next commander in chief is not a stubborn refusal to acknowledge reality or empty rhetoric about 3: 00 a. m. phone calls.

CROWLEY: A Clinton campaign spokesman shot back that Obama took practically no action to end the war before he started his White House run.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY: And a McCain strategist said today that some of the projections in Barack Obama's belief of what will happen in Iraq are based on foolish assumptions -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Candy, thank you.

John McCain's campaign is marking five years since the invasion of Iraq by touting the senator's leadership on the war. The all-but- certain Republican presidential nominee continued his tour of the Middle East today. He focused in on the region's other big conflict. That would be the one between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Our chief national correspondent, John King, traveled with McCain to Jerusalem -- John.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, across most of the Middle East, when the presidential election comes up, people want to know, what will the candidates do about Iraq? But other things are more important here, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, and survival.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING (voice-over): From a helicopter above, a view of the West Bank and Gaza, and a reminder of Israel's tiny footprint in the volatile Middle East.

And on the ground in the border town of Sderot, John McCain surveyed damage caused by frequent Hamas rocket attacks and said Israel had every right to respond with force.

MCCAIN: But, hopefully, we will have a peace process that will bring all of this to an end. In the meantime, every nation has the right to defend itself against attack.

KING: The crude Kassams rarely kill.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It took the whole roof off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

KING: But the near-daily attacks leave a trail of destruction and the town on edge. On this side of the border, many want an even tougher military response.

(on-camera): On the other side, there are some what say, well, when Israel responds, it does so disproportionately. What would you do about that?

MCCAIN: Well, I would probably stop provoking a response I think is one of the big first things I would think about.

KING (voice-over): Defense Minister Ehud Barak stuck to the script when asked about McCain's presidential ambitions.

EHUD BARAK, ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER: He is now heading here a congressional delegation. And we meet on these terms.

KING: McCain spoke by phone Tuesday night with President Mahmoud Abbas. But the absence of a face-to-face meeting angered Palestinians.

GHASSAN KHATIB, BIRZEIT UNIVERSITY: Unfortunately, the competition between the different candidates to please the Jewish lobby and the right-wing lobby in the United States has been always on the expense of the ability of the United States to play a constructive role in trying to help solving the Palestinian problem.

KING (on-camera): Why not spend any time with Palestinians on this trip? They say it is proof to them you wouldn't be an honest broker or that, at least until you are president, you are pandering to the lobby back home.

MCCAIN: Well, they are free to say whatever they want to say.

KING (voice-over): This a morning stop at perhaps Judaism's most sacred site, the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, where McCain was cheered by American tourists, got a glimpse of the feisty Israeli press corps, and, with his two Senate colleagues, paused for a moment of prayer and reflection.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Some Israeli officials worry a President McCain would put more pressure on Israel on the subject of settlements than President Bush has the past seven years. But on Iran and Israel's right to respond forcefully to terror attacks, officials say they very much view Senator McCain as a friend -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, John, thank you. John is in Jerusalem.

Let's go to Jack. He's in New York. He's got "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Well, on the fifth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq, the United States has lost 3,992 troops. But it turns out a lot of Americans don't know that.

A new Pew poll shows only 28 percent of those surveyed know that almost 4,000 U.S. service members have died in Iraq. Almost half think the death toll is 3,000 or less. And 23 percent think it is higher. Last August, more than half of the people surveyed knew how many Americans had died in Iraq.

The poll found public awareness of what's going on in Iraq has dropped as the news media have paid less attention to the war. For example, during the last week in January, this year, 36 percent of people surveyed said the story they were following most closely was the political campaign; 14 percent said it was the stock market; 12 percent said it was the death of actor Heath Ledger. And only 6 percent said the story they were following most closely was the war in Iraq.

And that's sad, because, if people aren't paying attention to what's going in Iraq, then maybe they are not quite so outraged about the almost 4,000 young Americans we have lost, or the almost 30,000 U.S. troops who have been badly wounded, or the more than 80,000 Iraqis who have died, or the more than $500 billion the U.S. has spend on this war, money that would have paid for this economic stimulus package, and there would have been $300 billion left over.

Here's the question: How dangerous is it if Americans are becoming less aware of U.S. losses in Iraq?

Go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Jack, thanks for that. See you in a few moments.

Hillary Clinton demanding Barack Obama put action behind his words regarding a possible primary do-over in Michigan. But Barack Obama is blasting right back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: Senator Clinton, I have to say, on this, has been completely disingenuous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Senator Obama talks to CNN exclusively. You are about to hear more of what he has to say about his rival Hillary Clinton and about the war in Iraq.

Also, Hillary Clinton tops decades of experience. So, what do more than 11,000 pages -- 11,000 pages of her schedule as the first lady really show?

And act now or later? Should the Democratic superdelegates wait until this summer to pick between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama or should they decide now? You are going to hear one superdelegate's idea for all of them.

Lots of news happening -- right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Barack Obama says the uproar over his former pastor's sermons has reminded him of the odds he faces in winning the White House. In an exclusive interview, Obama tells CNN's Anderson Cooper, the controversy over Wright's racially charged remarks actually shook him up.

Meantime, Obama is refusing to accept blame for the Democrats' primary mess in both Michigan and Florida. In the interview with Anderson, Obama responds to Hillary Clinton's charge that he is standing in the way of revotes.

Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": Is the surge working? I mean, you say it is not working politically, that, even though, militarily, they have had some success. John McCain says it's working militarily and politically.

OBAMA: But what I have said is that, tactically, General Petraeus has made significant improvement in terms of how our troops are deployed and how we are dealing with violence that was out of control in Iraq. And he deserves credit for that. And our military, which has performed brilliantly throughout, deserves enormous credit for that.

What I have said is that our strategy continues to be a failed strategy. No one has answered the question as to how this operation in Iraq that's now lasted five years will have cost us more than a trillion dollars and thousands of lives, how this has made us more safe.

And that's the question that still hasn't been answered by John McCain or the president. What they talk about is, well, the consequences of failure, and then they point to a whole parade of horribles.

But what I'm interested in is making sure that we are using our military resources as effectively as we can in a broader national security strategy that deals, for example, with Afghanistan, where al Qaeda is stronger now than at any time since 2001, that deals with the long-term threat of Iran, and gives us leverage.

COOPER: You have called for one to two combat brigades leaving each month, in consultation with commanders on the ground, 16 months total time. Senator Clinton says, essentially, you are saying one thing, but you're planning something else.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: One choice in this election is Senator McCain, who is willing to keep this war going for 100 years. You can count on him to do that.

Another choice is Senator Obama, who has promised to bring combat troops out in 16 months. But, according to his foreign policy adviser, you can't count on him to do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: She's been trying to get as much mileage out of this one comment from my former foreign policy to the BBC as she can.

Here is the bottom line. I have been consistent throughout about what my plans would be. What I have also said is that I will always listen to the commanders on the ground in terms of the pace of the withdrawal, because I care about the safety and security of our troops. I would not want to endanger them.

And that's all that Ms. Power was saying. And, in fact, it's the same thing that Senator Clinton has said on more than one occasion. Now, if Senator Clinton wants to suggest that she's going to make a -- initiate a plan now and will ignore whatever advice she gets, should she take office, as president, then I want her to say that, because that would be the height of foolishness. And it wouldn't lead to better security and safety for the American people.

My commitment to end the war is one that dates back to 2002. Senator Clinton's commitment to end the war dates back to her decision to run for president. And I think the American people can make a decision in terms of who they really trust to want to bring this war to an end.

COOPER: I want to play something for our viewers that Senator Clinton said about you and about Michigan today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: Senator Obama speaks passionately on the campaign trail about empowering the American people. Today, I'm urging him to match those words with actions, to make sure the people of Michigan and Florida have a voice and a vote in this election.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: She has essentially blamed you for holding up a revote in Michigan in June.

OBAMA: Yes. It is hard for me to get a sense of how we could be the blame for that situation. We have consistently said we will play by whatever rules the DNC has laid out.

I mean, Senator Clinton, I have to say on this, has been completely disingenuous. She said when she was still trying to compete with -- for votes in Iowa and New Hampshire that Michigan and Florida wouldn't count. Then, as soon as she got into trouble politically, and it looked like she would have no prospects of winning the nomination without having them count, suddenly, she's extraordinarily concerned with the voters there.

I understand the politics of it, but let's be clear that it is politics. I want the Michigan delegation and the Florida delegation to be seated. And however the Democratic National Committee determines we can get that done, I'm happy to abide by those rules.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: You are going to want to see the full interview later tonight, the Barack Obama interview with Anderson Cooper. It will air at 10:00 p.m. Eastern on "ANDERSON COOPER 360," only here on CNN.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's rivalry, it is not letting up. So, should Democratic insiders step in? Should superdelegates try to end the rivalry and do it very soon? You are going find out what one superdelegate is saying right now.

And images China does not want you to see, dramatic video of horses and people on the run. It's part of the growing turmoil over Tibet. We are going to show you what's going on -- lots more news coming up, plus the best political team on television, right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

BLITZER: Hillary Clinton is raising the stakes in her campaign to get revotes in both Michigan and Florida.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: Every voice should have the chance to be heard and every vote counted. This goes way beyond this election. And it goes way beyond who is running.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Will Senator Clinton's pressure tactics get her to the do-over she has been asking for? The best political team in television is standing by.

Plus, documents from Clinton's years as the first lady have now been released, after critics pushed for them to be made public. We are going to tell you what they show.

And we will also investigate a very provocative charge, that the Pentagon is trading cash for peace in Iraq.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: To our viewers, you are in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Happening now, as the Iraq war enters its sixth year, an important question. Should former insurgents be paid by the United States to keep the peace?

Also, should Democratic superdelegates try to end the bitter battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama before it goes on much longer?

And more than 11,000 pages of Hillary Clinton's schedule as the first lady, do they support her claims of vast experience or suggest something else? The pages are now out. We are poring over them -- all of this coming up, plus the best political team on television.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You are in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Five years after the invasion of Iraq, one independent analysis puts the total cost of the war at more than $500 billion. That may or may not account for wads of cash said to be pouring into Iraq right now, cash that may be helping the U.S. military make some progress.

Let's go to our senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre -- Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, as U.S. commanders explain progress in Iraq, they usually cite three things -- the surge, the so-called awakening and the cease-fire by Muqtada Al- Sadr. But some critics say they should add a fourth factor -- cold, hard cash.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MCINTYRE (voice-over): It's a truth many hold to be self- evident, that more American troops means less Iraqi violence.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Some may deny the surge is working, but among the terrorists there is no doubt.

MCINTYRE: Maybe. But there is doubt among some military experts, who argue there's actually a mightier force at work -- money -- hundreds of millions in hard cash given to Iraqis for everything from picking up garbage, as in this case last year in Ramadi, to taking up arms against al Qaeda. COL. DOUGLAS MACGREGOR, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Normally when you begin paying off your enemy on the scale that we are, it is seen by your enemy, as well as others, as a tacit admission of failure, not of success.

MCINTYRE: The former deputy commander for General Petraeus bristles at the suggestion the U.S. is bribing bad guys to back off.

LT. GEN. RAYMOND ODIERNO, FORMER DEPUTY IRAQ COMMANDER: It's about reconciling them with the rest of the government of Iraq. It's a confidence-building measure in reconciling them with Iraq.

WILLIAM COHEN, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: If it's only a question of a tactical distribution of money for a short period of time, then it won't stand up and it will be reversed the moment we leave.

MCINTYRE: But U.S. commanders on the front lines insist anger, not greed, is what's behind the so-called awakening that has given rise to groups like the Concerned Local Citizens and Sons of Iraq.

COL. JOHN CHARLTON, U.S. ARMY: We didn't advertise, you know, that, hey, join the police force and we'll give you money. These guys lined up by the hundreds because they were sick and tired of what al Qaeda was doing to their communities and they knew that they had to stand up and fight.

MCINTYRE: But what happens when the money dries up? Pessimists predict a quick return to civil war.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCINTYRE: Already, some of the sheen is off the surge. As U.S. troops begin to leave, violence, though still lower, is starting to rise. And the loyalties of militias on the U.S. payroll appear very much in question -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Jamie McIntyre, thank you.

So with year six of the Iraq War now underway, President Bush insists that patience will eventually bring victory. His would-be successors have their own ideas about the war and that's leading to some serious squabbling.

Let's get to the best political team on television. Joining us now, our senior political analyst, Gloria Borger. Our senior analyst, Jeff Toobin and Jack Cafferty -- they are both joining us as well.

Jack, we'll start with you. What about the political fallout, specifically from what Jamie was just reporting, that cash is being used to try to get the support of these former insurgents?

CAFFERTY: So our battle plan is you go to Muqtada al-Sadr and say, look, if you fight with us, we're going to try to kill with you, but if you agree not to fight with us, we'll give you money. I wonder how the one million people losing their homes in this country to foreclosure or the hundreds of thousands of people that were victimized by Katrina along the Gulf Coast feel about us bribing.

And that's all this is -- it's a bribe to get some sort of, you know, political reports back from the frontlines that are politically good for George Bush -- bribing these people who would kill us in a heartbeat, in a New York second, so that we can claim success.

You had a report from Michael Ware earlier saying, you know, the second that we decide to start getting on the boats and getting out of there, they'll get that civil war going in earnest over there. Colin Powell said break it, you own it.

BLITZER: All right...

CAFFERTY: Well, we've got it, don't we?

BLITZER: Gloria, this doesn't have the political resonance, though, right now as it used to have -- namely, the war in Iraq.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I think it does, to a certain degree. Obviously, the economy is issue number one, as we've been saying. But, you know, the irony of the surge is, is that the idea was to bring in all these extra troops so that they would succeed in making peace over there and that we could then withdraw.

But what the surge has done is essentially said to us, well, this level of troops really works and we may need to supplement it because there hasn't been the political progress that was supposed to go hand in glove with the surge. And so we have a situation that we really didn't intend to be in. The surge is working. But what's the next step -- more troops?

BLITZER: Jeff?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think, we're making a mistake if we say that the Iraq War is sort of disappearing as a political issue. The point is the hot contest now is between Obama and Clinton, who have currently very similar views on the war. But one of them is going to win.

And that person will have a terrifically different view from John McCain. And I think it's going to be a major issue in the fall. True, not as big as the economy, but it will be an enormous issue. And I just think that's how it should be...

BLITZER: But Jack makes a --

TOOBIN: ...because this is a big thing .

BLITZER: -- But Jack makes a good point, that the economy and the war in Iraq are related.

BORGER: Right.

TOOBIN: Right. BLITZER: Because the U.S. is spending so much money in Iraq -- billions and billions of dollars -- money, Jeff, that presumably could be used here in the United States.

TOOBIN: Right. All the more reason why the war in Iraq is going to be a major issue in the fall between whoever the Democrat happens to be. And, as Jack pointed out, I think the Democrat is going to try as much as possible to link the war in Iraq to the economy. This is not something that will just happen. This is something the Democrats are certainly going to try to do.

BORGER: Well, presidential campaigns are about priorities. Budgets are about priorities -- how do you want to spend your money when you're president of the United States. And that's what this is -- that's what this campaign is going to be about, as soon as we figure out who the nominees are.

BLITZER: And here's a potential problem for McCain, Jack, this CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll number that we -- we asked, how should the next president handle the number of troops in Iraq?

Keep the same number, 33 percent, remove most of them within a few months, 61 percent. This war is still pretty unpopular.

CAFFERTY: Well, and if John McCain makes another mistake like he did yesterday overseas, where he got the Shia confused with the Sunni confused with al Qaeda confused with Iran, the number of people that want the troops out of Iraq will double overnight.

I mean what kind of leadership is that?

He's over there talking to foreign dignitaries and he has no idea who the players are.

BLITZER: Guys, stand by for a moment, because we're going to continue this conversation and move on.

Hillary Clinton warning Democrats of dire consequences if they ignore Michigan and Florida. Why her own White House hopes may now rest on finding some convention seats for those delegates from those two states.

And should the Democrats' powerful superdelegates hold their own primary?

The best political team on television -- they're standing by to discuss this and more.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Are the Democrats in trouble if they don't find a solution to the Florida and Michigan delegate mess?

Hillary Clinton sending up a warning flag today some Florida voters may have their own punishment in mind.

Let's discuss, first with Jack. Twenty-five percent -- according to one poll in Florida, 25 percent of the Democrats say if they don't resolve, if they don't do another primary, don't seat the Florida delegates, they're not going to vote for the Democratic nominee, whoever it is. They might even vote for McCain or simply stay home.

CAFFERTY: Well...

BLITZER: The Democrats have a huge problem out there -- Jack.

CAFFERTY: Yes. Well, did I miss the announcement? Did the Democratic Party put Hillary Clinton in charge of resolving this? I must have missed the press release. No, they didn't. And this nonsense about I'm issuing a challenge to Barack Obama to do something about Michigan and Florida is pure hypocrisy.

Hillary Clinton was fine with not counting Michigan and Florida back when she was leading in all the polls and walking around like the incumbent president of the United States. Now she's behind and she's far enough behind that she can't catch Obama. So she's not going to get the nomination unless she can somehow create this idea that it's Barack Obama's fault that the people in Florida and Michigans votes didn't count.

A professor at the Wharton Business School studied in the elections in those two states in January and here's what he found. Two million people did not go to the polls those days to vote because they knew the elections were invalid.

BLITZER: All right.

CAFFERTY: So there's no way you can just go seat the delegates based on the results from January. Obama said he'll abide by the rules set down by the DNC. And this is nonsense that Senator Clinton is pulling here.

BORGER: Look, I think -- I think each campaign is doing what it has to do. I mean it's in Hillary Clinton's interests to prolong this and to have re-votes...

CAFFERTY: Why?

BORGER: ...in each of those states. Because she feels that the longer this contest goes on, Jack, that she might pick up some momentum. If she can win in a state like Florida or win in a state like Michigan or win in a future...

CAFFERTY: Yes.

BORGER: And it's in Barack Obama's interests to not have these re-votes and to continue to count the delegates. Now, having said that, I think that the DNC is in a real pickle right now because everybody looks bad.

You don't want to get to a convention where those two delegations are not seated because it will hurt the Democratic Party. And the DNC has to figure out a way, if there aren't going to be re-votes, to divvy up those delegates with some kind of formula that the campaigns can agree on. And I think that's really, really tough right now.

TOOBIN: I really think this is unseemly whining by Hillary Clinton.

CAFFERTY: Amen.

TOOBIN: You know, the rules were the rules...

CAFFERTY: Yes.

TOOBIN: And I don't believe that the voters of Michigan and Florida, come November, eight months from now, are going to say well, you know, I don't really care about the war in Iraq or the economy. What I really care about is who voted in the primary 11 months earlier and whether their votes counted.

I mean I think this is all inside baseball and doesn't matter -- won't matter in the fall. I think Hillary Clinton is just behind and she's --

BORGER: Well, I think I think that's true. But I think she's doing what she -- her campaign believe she has to do to win, you know? That's --

BLITZER: You know, neither of these candidates can get enough pledged delegates, reach the magic number, 2,024, if you don't include Florida and Michigan...

BORGER: Right.

BLITZER: ...without the superdelegates weighing in. Now one of those super-delegates, the governor of Tennessee, wrote an op-ed piece, Jack, saying the superdelegates should meet after June 3, after the last primary, and they should then make their decisions so at least the party knows before the convention at the end of August in Denver who is going to be the nominee.

Does he have a good point?

CAFFERTY: I don't think so. I think the majority of the super- delegates have already indicated that they fully intend to make their wishes known once they see the primaries play out. Once we find out who has the lead in pledged delegates and popular vote and a number of states won, the super-delegates have said will take a look and make their decision based on, most of them say based on the popular choice.

So I don't think it's necessary to -- I mean we've got enough elections. Florida can't figure out how do the ones they had scheduled.

(LAUGHTER)

CAFFERTY: So let's don't have anymore elections. I'm tired of elections.

BLITZER: You know what? We've got to leave it there, guys.

But from my perspective, the more elections, the better. Keep them coming.

(LAUGHTER)

TOOBIN: Absolutely.

BLITZER: We like those elections.

All right, guys, see you later.

TOOBIN: Every Tuesday until November.

BLITZER: Thanks very much.

Jack, don't leave. We've got "The Cafferty File" coming up.

Hillary Clinton often points her experience as the first lady. Now thousands of pages from her old White House schedule have been released.

What, if anything, does it show with the information? What does it tell us about her qualifications to be president?

And five years after the Iraq invasion, anti-war protesters are on the move today. We're watching this story, as well.

Lots more news coming up right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Lou is getting ready for his show. It begins in a few minutes at the top of the hour.

What are you working on -- Lou.

LOU DOBBS, HOST, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT": Wolf, thank you.

Much more on the presidential campaign tonight. Senator Clinton says that it would be un-American to stop Florida and Michigan delegates from voting in the Democratic convention. Three of the best political analysts in the country join me. We're going to be talking about that. We're going to be talking about the race and politics and the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq.

Also, new evidence in the high costs of the federal government's failure to secure our borders. California now faces a massive budget crisis. And three of the smartest economists and financial analysts and Wall Streeters will be here to assess what is happening to our economy and how to end this crisis.

Join us for all of that, all the day's news and much more, 7:00 Eastern right here on CNN -- Wolf, back to you. BLITZER: We'll see you in a few minutes, Lou. Thank you.

The National Archives now releasing thousands pages of documents detailing Hillary Clinton's schedule as the first lady from 1993 to 2001. Senator Barack Obama's campaign, among others, have been calling for the release, saying that the documents are necessary to evaluate her experience as the first lady.

CNN's Brian Todd and his team have been poring over the documents all day.

What are you learning -- Brian?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, this does give some perspective on just how deeply involved Mrs. Clinton was in her husband's presidency and the public face she tried to portray when things started to unravel.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: Publicly, she keeps herself engaged and focused, while her most painful private moments are exposed and her husband's presidency falls under its most serious threat.

January 21, 1998 -- the day the Monica Lewinsky scandal breaks in the national media. Hillary Clinton starts her schedule with a private meeting in the White House, then travels to Baltimore for events at a college until late afternoon, then back to the White House for a black tie dinner.

All part of thousands of pages of Mrs. Clinton's schedule as first lady just released by the Clinton library.

But Carl Bernstein, a biographer of Hillary Clinton, says what's not in these documents, like what he says happened on that trip to Baltimore, tell the real story.

CARL BERNSTEIN, AUTHOR, "A WOMAN IN CHARGE": She was on the telephone with her aides. She was trying to learn more about what the press was doing. She did not want to give the impression of the firestorm that was raging outside.

TODD: A Clinton spokesman wouldn't comment on that.

The schedule also shows what's already widely known as extraordinary involvement by a first lady in policy -- diving into health care reform just three days after her husband's inauguration and countless meetings day after day until that initiative died.

Also, appointments that back up her claims to have been involved in the Northern Ireland peace process, helping refugees from Kosovo. But there are also thousands of redactions -- names missing from several meetings at a time.

BERNSTEIN: This is not about someone who is eager to shine a light on her full record. That's the point. And at the same time, some of this is understandable for, you know, when you're running for office, the slightest thing can be misinterpreted.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: Critics say this document dump had to be forced out by a lawsuit from Judicial Watch, a long-time political foe of the Clintons.

A Clinton spokesman said the lawsuit had nothing to do with this release and the Clinton team had nothing to do with the redactions. He said a key aide to the Clintons actually fought to unredact some of these parts -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Brian. Thank you.

Let's go back to Jack. He's got "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.

CAFFERTY: Interesting, isn't it, all those 11,000, 12,000 pages of documents released today. What's the first thing that the press corps satisfied their curiosity about? The fact that Hillary Clinton was in the White House the day Monica Lewinsky got the stain on her dress. That moved on one of the wires that I read about at 3:00 this afternoon. Amazing.

The question for the hour is: How dangerous is it if Americans are looking less aware of the losses in Iraq?

Paula writes from Virginia: "On this fifth anniversary of the Iraq War, I'm in shock of the blood and treasure squandered away and I'm in awe of the utter stupidity and callousness shown by the president and the 30 percent of the people who support him. My only question at this point is why is this man still our leader?"

Robin writes: "It's an interesting question. But I think a more appropriate one would be why aren't the news media uncovering and reporting the real news about Iraq? We're hearing exactly what the administration wants us to hear and what's there to worry about if everything is working?"

Mark writes: "The lack of awareness is not the fault of the media. The information is out there for anyone to find. It's the responsibility of people to keep themselves informed of current events. If people can find out what's happening with Miss. Hilton and Mrs. Spears, then they should be able to" -- Mrs. Spears? It's Miss. Spears, I think. "Then they ought to be able to find recent information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The sad truth is people are used to the turmoil overseas. They would rather be entertained than informed."

I think Mark has got something.

Becca writes: "I'm extremely disappointed. I'm a college student. Friends who both support and even oppose the war did not think the number of casualties was as high as it is. How can we make smart decisions about who to oppose and what to support if we don't know the facts?" Melissa in Louisiana: "Very dangerous, indeed, if Americans forget about the war. Just look at how they've forgotten about Afghanistan. This is exactly what the Bush administration wanted -- minimum coverage, no pictures of the flag-draped coffins. All serve one purpose -- if the American people disassociate themselves from this war, the Bush administration can prolong it for as long as they want."

And Sal writes: "Ignorance is always dangerous and in this case it's lethal -- lethal to our troops, lethal to our economy." -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Jack, thanks very much. See you back here tomorrow. Jack Cafferty with "The Cafferty File."

Five years after the invasion of Iraq, anti-war protesters causing some shock and awe of their own with some of their outfits and slogans.

Jeanne Moos is standing by with a Moost Unusual look.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Today marks the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. It brought out some Moost Unusual forms of protest.

Jeanne Moos takes a closer look at some of the sights and sounds.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We were shocked and awed to once again, hear...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Six years of shock and awe. Shock and awe. Shock and awe.

MOOS: Supporters of the war and critics sounded off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.

MOOS: There was a lot of dress-up among protesters. From death masks to devilish Bushes. The president was being portrayed riding a bomb, while the real George Bush was hoping not to bomb -- with his feet.

BUSH: Removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop the war! Shut it down!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go back. Go back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five years too long!

BUSH: The surge is working.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The surge is working. The surge is working.

MOOS: The surge of traffic wasn't.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go on the grass, go on the park, not in the middle of the street. Look at the traffic. It's ridiculous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have a good day.

MOOS: This bike-riding protester played chicken with a bus.

In New York, the Granny Peace Brigade protested in Times Square, challenged by a few former members of the military.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you have the audacity to come out here on the fifth anniversary of shock and awe to demoralize, to besmirch our troops.

MOOS: But what this granny besmirched was mission accomplished.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our mission is to end the mission in Iraq. End it now. Bring them back now.

MOOS: In Washington, police and protesters were occasionally lovey-dovey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The coolest cop in the country, everybody. Hell, yes.

MOOS: But earlier, the coolest cop lost his cool and slugged rather than hugged somebody.

Hey, peace, officer.

(on-camera): By the way, this year happens to be the 50th anniversary of this. Bet you don't know where the peace sign originated.

(voice-over): According to a new book called "Peace: Fifty Years of Protest," the peace comes from semaphore flags used to signal ship to ship. The vertical signal meant D, the upside down V meant N -- N.D. For nuclear disarmament and, thus, peace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You need to go home. Go take your Geritol. Go take your Geritol.

MOOS: Five years into the Iraq War and protesters are already demonstrating against what they think could be the next one.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: You've got to leave it to Jeanne Moos. She does incredible work. You've helped make our politics podcast, by the way, one of the most popular on iTunes. To get the best political team to go anytime, this is what you need to do. You can subscribe at CNNPolitics.com or you can simply go to iTunes. And remember, you can read my daily blog post at CNNPolitics.com, as well.

Thanks very much for joining us.

I'll be back in two hours tonight to host "LARRY KING LIVE". He's got the night off.

We'll talk about the anniversary of "THIS WEEK IN POLITICS," as well as the race for the White House. Lots of politics coming up later.

I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Up next, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT" -- Lou.

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