WILL: Well, Chuck Schumer, who is a legitimate representative of the mainstream of the Democratic caucus in the Senate, says his three priorities, and the Democratic Party's three priorities this year, are jobs, jobs and jobs. Rahm Emanuel, who is not always quoted accurately, is quoted, however, as saying top three priorities are jobs, deficit reduction, and financial regulation. What don't we hear? We don't hear health care.
KRUGMAN: It couldn't have been. I mean, remember, both houses of Congress have passed quite similar health care plans. There are ways to make this thing happen. We know there's a legislative strategy, but it doesn't work unless Obama gets behind it. In the 10 days after the Massachusetts election were totally disheartening. That was the moment when we needed some leadership from Obama and he just seemed to wander off.
WALTERS: Paul, dead?
KRUGMAN: You know, it's just possible, not completely dead. It could be saved if the president wakes up. If just possibly Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid can make a way for this to happen, but it's not very likely.
HUFFINGTON: The only way it can be saved is if the Democrats decide to follow Senator Harkin with his reconciliation sidecar. That's the only way this could be saved. But to George's point, they're all saying it's jobs, jobs, jobs. But when it comes to the State of the Union, the professors are not serious in terms of dealing with the jobs crisis. I mean, all this little initiatives a la Bill Clinton in the '90s are not going to work because this is not the '90s. This is a 17.5 percent real unemployment.
WALTERS: Small business hiring someone new, and the tax cuts...
KRUGMAN: ... that is a good plan, but it is a $30 billion plan and might create a couple hundred thousand jobs in the situation. We have a 8 million, 10 million job deficit. It is a very small plan. It is a micro-policy.
WILL: It's also easily gamed, as you know by people will hire people they wouldn't hire otherwise and get rid of them as soon as the tax credit is gone.
HUFFINGTON: But most important, people have not really focused on the crisis on the middle class. When Lehman Brothers collapsed, everybody focused and they did unprecedented things. The middle class is in real trouble. I mean, if you look at the latest Brookings report about the rise of poverty in the suburb, about the fact now that we have one in eight people whose mortgages are under water, who can't pay their credit card bills, this is a major, major problem that the administration is not seriously addressing it.
WALTERS: Let me ask you something, Roger, because when you worked for President Nixon, you helped to get him in the White House. You're credited for doing that.
AILES: Well, I was a television producer, not a politician, but yes. The back light was in the right place.
WALTERS: What advice would you give to Barack Obama?
AILES: I think he's in a very tough spot. He is enormously likable and I think despite what everybody says, people would like him to succeed. But he came in with the belief that the radical change he wanted or what some people say is a radical change that he wanted would be widely accepted.
WALTERS: But give him some advice, boom, boom, boom now.