FULL 'This Week' Transcript for Nov.29, 2009

s: OK, we're just about out of time. Senator Graham, before we go, I want to ask you both about chairman, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. He's got a hearing this week, his confirmation hearing to be reappointed as Fed chair, and Foreign Policy magazine has named him the world's top thinker for 2009. I know that both of you had pretty heated exchanges with the chairman over this past year. Senator Graham, you go first. Is this honor well deserved, and will you vote to confirm him to reappointment as Fed chair?

GRAHAM: I think he made some decisive decisions a couple of years ago. At the time, it kept the economy from going into a depression. But like any organization, he needs to have -- we need (ph) to have more transparency and accountability about how the books are being used. I think he's done a very good job, but the Fed needs to be looked at closely in terms of their balance sheet.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Sanders?

SANDERS: No, I absolutely will not vote for Mr. Bernanke. He is part of the problem. He's the smartest guy in the world, why didn't he do anything to prevent us from sinking into this disaster that Wall Street caused and which he was a part of? No, I will not vote for Bernanke to stay on as chairman.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, gentlemen, thank you both very much for your time this morning. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

SANDERS: Thank you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to go straight to the roundtable now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And as our panelists take their seats, take a look at the last time a president went to the country to announce a major war escalation.

It was January 2007.


PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people and it is unacceptable to me. So America will change our strategy to help the Iraqis carry out their campaign to put down sectarian violence and bring security to the people of Baghdad. This will require increasing American force levels.

America's commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Substitute Afghanistan for Iraq, you're likely to hear many of those exact same sentences on Tuesday night when the president goes to West Point. Let's talk about it here on the roundtable. I'm joined as always by George Will; Dan Senor, fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, also author of a new book called "Startup Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle" with Saul Singer. Matthew Dowd, welcome back. Paul Krugman from the New York Times and Princeton, and Cokie Roberts.

And George, we do know the outlines pretty well what President Obama is going to announce on Tuesday night. It looks like General McChrystal got most of what he wanted, probably 30,000 troops or so, some NATO troops. Clearly the president didn't take your advice. You were arguing for much more limited involvement.

WILL: Not for the first time.


WILL: For the second time in nine months, he's going to announce a new strategy for a war now in its ninth year. He says he's going to finish the job. His job on Tuesday night is to tell us what the job is that he's going to finish.

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