Brokaw Trumpets: 'Democrats Are About to Reclaim Their Power'

On Monday's "Today" show NBC's Tom Brokaw buried the McCain campaign and predicted doom for the GOP, as he declared: "It looks like we're in for a big turn of the wheel. That the Democrats are about to reclaim their power." The former anchor of NBC Nightly News and moderator of the last presidential debate was prompted by "Today" anchor Meredith Vieira to make the following prediction:

This all reminds me of 1968, when after having the Democrats in control since 1932, the Republicans then took over in 1968 and effectively, they have had a grip on this country politically since that time, for 40 years now. It looks like we're in for a big turn of the wheel. That the Democrats are about to reclaim their power, because the McCain campaign is dysfunctional, to put it bluntly, and that's, those are the words of Bill Kristol and a lot of other people. They can't quite decide who they are, whether the McCain mavericks or the Bush Republicans or the neo-cons.

The following is the complete transcript of the Brokaw segment on the October 13, edition of the "Today" show:

MEREDITH VIEIRA: So where does the presidential race go from here? NBC's Tom Brokaw is moderator of "Meet the Press" and he's the author of the newly released paperback edition of his bestseller, Boom! Talking about the Sixties. Tom good morning to you.

TOM BROKAW: Good morning, Meredith.

VIEIRA: Let's talk politics beginning with some of these recent polls. According to the Reuters/Zogby/C-Span poll, Barack Obama now has a six-point lead over John McCain and some other polls, even a greater lead including Newsweek's at 11 points.

BROKAW: Alright let's stop right there. That's not the poll that counts as much as, as how well he's doing in the internals, in every measurable test. How could he handle the economy? Is he equipped to take the country in the direction that it needs to? He's winning by a considerable margin, except is he best qualified to deal with terrorism and international issues. He's even up on Iraq in the Newsweek poll. Those are the most encouraging signs now to the Obama campaign. I suppose if I were to settle on a metaphor, at this stage, Meredith, I would say think about a horse track. We're now rounding the final curve and Obama has opened up a considerable lead, but we still have the stretch to run, and today, interestingly, Senator McCain is gonna say, "I know that I'm behind in the polls, I know that the media thinks that this is over, I know that he's measuring the drapes in the White House, I've got him just where I want him." So that's what we're in for in the next-

VIEIRA: He likes to be the underdog.

BROKAW: -in the next, in the next three weeks.

VIEIRA: Can I switch that, that, that question around, then? The, these polls. You say when you come to individual issues he scores very high, Barack Obama. But then when you look at the overall number, who's better qualified? The numbers are a little bit lower. Like in Newsweek it's 11 percent but on the individual issues, much higher. Why that difference then?

BROKAW: Well I, I, I think that people are still making up their minds. You have to remember that. But the trend line is in his direction, as Mrs. Clinton said. People are beginning to be more comfortable with Barack Obama and today he's gonna do something very important. He's gonna make a big speech on what his plan is for the middle-class in this economic freefall. He, he really has behind the curve, as has Senator McCain, given what has been happening here at warp speed and they have not been speaking out enough about what their plans are for the future and saying to the American people, "Look there's gonna be no gain without some pain. We're in a very tough situation here."

VIEIRA: Meanwhile, there are Republican leaders who have expressed, openly expressed concern about McCain and, and his campaign in general not connecting with the voters, and conservative Bill Kristol wrote in today's New York Times, "It is time for John McCain to fire his campaign. What he needs to do is junk the whole thing and start over." And he suggests that he junk all those negative ads. Is that likely to happen?

BROKAW: I'm not sure that they're gonna junk all the negative ads but I think over the weekend we saw a turn when Senator McCain push back at that rally in Minnesota. This all reminds me of 1968, when after having the Democrats in control since 1932, the Republicans then took over in 1968 and effectively, they have had a grip on this country politically since that time, for 40 years now. It looks like we're in for a big turn of the wheel. That the Democrats are about to reclaim their power, because the McCain campaign is dysfunctional, to put it bluntly, and that's, those are the words of Bill Kristol and a lot of other people. They can't quite decide who they are, whether the McCain mavericks or the Bush Republicans or the neo-cons.

VIEIRA: Alright, Tom Brokaw, thank you, as always. Boom!, now out in paperback.

BROKAW: Thanks very much, Meredith.

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.