Maher opened the panel discussion, with Tony Snow, Crier and Mark Cuban, by observing how he found it “odd” that polls showed Obama ahead in New Hampshire, yet Clinton won, and “it does bother me that a private company runs the polling machines and that only they certainly seem to know what went on.” A couple of minutes later, Maher noted that “in crime they always ask...'who profits?'” Looking at Snow, he then pondered:
Who profits from the Hillary victory? They don't want to run against Obama. Your party does not want to run against him. They want to run against Hillary Clinton and now they have a race with her in it.
A bemused Snow called Maher's reasoning “totally wacko!” and “completely wacked” as Maher contended Republicans have thrown races before: “They did it to Ed Muskie.”
Video (28 secs): Windows Media (1 MB), plus MP3 audio (170 KB). Click and play Flash video in the MRC.org posting.
From the Friday, January 11 Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO produced in Los Angeles, first aired at 11 PM EST:
BILL MAHER: I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but it does strike me odd that Barack Obama was up so much in New Hampshire one day before and that the exit polls, a lot of them say that people still voted for him as the winner. I'm not saying something was funny going on there, but it does bother me that a private company runs the polling machines and that only they certainly seem to know what went on....
I'm just saying, you know, in crime they always ask qui bono, 'who profits?' Who profits from the Hillary victory? They don't want to run against Obama. Your party does not want to run against him. They want to run against Hillary Clinton and now they have a race with her in it.
TONY SNOW, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: So, Republicans are throwing the election to Hillary Clinton?
MAHER: Well, they've done that before.
SNOW: Your hair's on fire. This is totally wacko!
MAHER: I'm not saying it's true.
SNOW: It's completely wacked!
MAHER: Woe, woe. They did it to Ed Muskie.
MARK CUBAN: Let's just say this: Nobody knows, right? Because who's in charge of the companies building the machines...
Crier, near the end of the hour after Matt Taibbi, of Rolling Stone, had joined the panel:
In this country, most politicians -- liberal and conservative, Democrat, Republican -- are in a relatively small box. I mean, you have to work really hard to find a truly liberal, and maybe not quite so hard right now to find somebody a little more adamant on the right. But Hillary Clinton and John Edwards and Barack Obama are not raging liberals.