CBS: Myers Says Clinton Will Leave Race ‘In A Way That’s Classy’

Still Shot of Dee Dee Myers, May 13 On Tuesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith talked to radio talk show host Michael Smerconish and former Clinton Administration Press Secretary, Dee Dee Myers, about when Hillary Clinton would drop out of the presidential race and asked Myers: "Why is Hillary Clinton still running?" Myers responded by declaring that: "I don't think there's any question that she's going to get out. The only remaining question is when and how. And I think she'll do it in a way that's classy and helps the party." Smith repeated, "classy" and Myers replied "yeah."

Smith later asked Myers about the desperate situation facing the Clinton campaign: "I mean, I don't care how you crunch the numbers. Is there any way for her to win?" Smith went on to similarly ask Smerconish: "...as we watch her incredible shrinking candidacy, does it not seem to you that she's already turned the page?"

In addition to Myers prediction that Clinton would leave the race "in a way that's classy and helps the party," during an earlier news brief in the show, correspondent Jim Axelrod played a clip of Democratic strategist, Tad Devine, suggesting Obama could actually benefit from Clinton staying in the race:

AXELROD: Even if she dropped out, her name would remain on the ballot, raising the troubling scenario for Obama where he gets beaten by someone who is not even running anymore.

TAD DEVINE: And if she were to beat him by some large margin, I think it would result in a lot of negative coverage for him. So in some ways her staying in the race helps him.

So apparently it’s a win-win for the Democrats no matter when Hillary Clinton leaves the presidential race.

Here are the transcripts of both segments:

7:11AM SEGMENT:

HARRY SMITH: Let's talk more about the Democratic race for the White House. Joining us from Washington, Dee Dee Myers, former Clinton White House Press Secretary and author of "Why Women Should Rule the World." And from Philadelphia, Michael Smerconish, radio host and columnist. Good morning to you both. Dee Dee, let me start with you --

MICHAEL SMERCONISH: Good morning.

DEE DEE MYERS: Good morning, Harry.

SMITH: Dee Dee, why is Hillary Clinton still running?

DEE DEE MYERS: Well, I think she put her heart and soul into this race, and it takes a while to come down from the desire to win. She's -- obviously, she's been running to win every single day. And now she has to readjust her mind-set to the current reality. Everything changed last Tuesday, which is just a week ago. We'll see what happens today. Obviously, she's going to win West Virginia. The question is, is it going to be 20 points or 25 points. And then tomorrow she meets with her fund-raisers and some of her advisers and will discuss what the next week or two is going to look like. At what point is she going to get out. And I don't think there's any question that she's going to get out. The only remaining question is when and how. And I think she'll do it in a way that's classy and helps the party.

SMITH: Classy.

MYERS: Yeah.

SMITH: Michael Smerconish, let me ask you this, 10 points, 20 points, 30, 40 points. Does how big a win she has, does it make any difference whatsoever?

MICHAEL SMERCONISH: I don't think so. The numbers crunchers would say, Harry, that there's just no conceivable way she can make up the mathematical imbalance that now exists. I don't think she's causing herself any embarrassment by staying in the race. She may cause him some embarrassment tonight if it's truly a 35-point margin that she exercises. A lot of folks are saying to me, 'well, you know, what does West Virginia have against Barack Obama?' I think it's just tailor made from a demographics standpoint for the Clinton campaign. So why not stay in here and in Kentucky?

SMITH: But it really is about the superdelegates. And as of last Thursday night, maybe Friday morning, depending on whose count you looked at, Barack Obama started to edge ahead. Dee Dee Myers, there really is -- I mean, I don't care how you crunch the numbers. Is there any way for her to win?

MYERS: No, there isn't. I mean, he's ahead in every category now. He's ahead among -- just in raw votes, he's ahead among pledged delegates, he's ahead among superdelegates and he's ahead in the most recent polls among voters who are asked who is most likely to beat John McCain in November. So the rationale for her candidacy no longer exists. And again, the only question is how will she get out. And I think the Obama campaign has done a very good job of backing off, understanding this is difficult for her to kind of give up on the dream, but figure out, again, how she wants to end this long and very intense quest for the presidency.

SMITH: And Michael Smerconish, as we watch her incredible shrinking candidacy, does it not seem to you that she's already turned the page?

SMERCONSIH: Well, I notice a change in her tone. I mean, I don't hear her going negative relative to Senator Obama. And I think that the body language on the night of that North Carolina defeat, others would say it was her Indiana victory, but I thought that the body language not only of Senator Clinton but also President Clinton and Hillary said a great deal. They know it's over.

SMITH: Michael Smerconish, Dee Dee Myers, thank you so much. Good to see you both.

MYERS: Thanks Harry

SMERCONISH: Thank you.

 

7:06AM SEGMENT:

RUSS MITCHELL: In Campaign '08, Hillary Clinton is looking for a huge win in today's West Virginia primary. CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Jim Axelrod is live in Charleston. Jim, good morning.

JIM AXELROD: Good morning, Russ. The most recent polls here in West Virginia show Hillary Clinton with an enormous lead, as much as 36 points in one recent poll. But the big question this morning is what, if anything, would a big win here in West Virginia mean for her overall chances.

BARACK OBAMA: Thank you, West Virginia. God bless you and God bless America. Thank you.

AXELROD: Barack Obama can read the polls, which is why he won't even be in West Virginia today. Dropping by one last time Monday to lower expectations.

BARACK OBAMA: I understand that many more here in West Virginia will probably support Senator Clinton. This is true. No, no.

AXELROD: Hillary Clinton's forging ahead, but she's no longer bashing Obama, adopting a civil tone, criticizing the likely nominee only in the most subtle ways.

CLINTON: I don't need a guided tour of the White House. I know my way around.

AXELROD: She's making it less about what she sees as his liabilities and more about her assets.

CLINTON: This election we've had, this primary contest has been close and exciting, the closest one anybody can remember, but the goal is to nominate someone who can beat John McCain in November. That's what we've got to do.

AXELROD: Clinton's given no indication she'll be dropping out any time soon, but that could actually work to Obama's advantage. She has a big lead, not just here in West Virginia, but in Kentucky as well, which votes next week. Even if she dropped out, her name would remain on the ballot, raising the troubling scenario for Obama where he gets beaten by someone who is not even running anymore.

TAD DEVINE: And if she were to beat him by some large margin, I think it would result in a lot of negative coverage for him. So in some ways her staying in the race helps him.

AXELROD: Of course, Clinton may not really have a choice about staying in the race. She has a meeting tomorrow in Washington with all of her top fund-raisers. If they tell her they can no longer raise the kind of money necessary to sustain an enterprise as large as a presidential campaign, that may affect her timetable more than anything. Russ.

MITCHELL: Jim Axelrod in Charleston, West Virginia, thank you. In a few minutes we're going to get analysis from former Clinton White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers and radio host and columnist Michael Smerconish.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC