CNN’s Jack Cafferty returned to bashing Sarah Palin, one of his favorite subjects of scorn, on Monday’s Situation Room, but also slammed President Obama and top Democrats again for their closed-door negotiations on health care “reform.” Cafferty, along with anchor Wolf Blitzer, poked fun of Palin for writing talking points on her hand prior to her Tea Party Convention speech.
The CNN commentator devoted his regular 5 pm Eastern hour segment to the former Alaska governor. Cafferty sarcastically remarked, “That’s swell,” after noting that Mrs. Palin was considering a run for president in 2012. He continued with more sarcasm: “Palin, who was woefully unprepared to be John McCain’s running mate, acknowledges that she- quote, ‘sure as heck better be more astute on these national issues,’ unquote- than she was two years ago- seriously- and maybe that’s why Palin says she’s started receiving daily political and economic briefings over e-mail from various Washington experts. That ought to do it, right?”
Before he brought up the “crib notes” on Mrs. Palin’s hand, Cafferty mocked her for one slogan she used during her Tea Party Convention address: “She used a lot of the speech to go after President Obama on his national security and spending policies, describing Obama as a- quote, ‘law professor at a lectern,’ and criticizing him for apologizing for America, and asking the Tea Partiers- quote, ‘How’s that hopey changey stuff working out for you?,’ unquote. She even has her own language.” It’s plausible that the commentator didn’t know that this throw-out line actually comes from a viral Internet meme going around conservative websites for months (as Newsweek acknowledged on February 5, the day before Palin’s speech).
Near the end of the segment, Cafferty unsurprisingly mocked Palin for her notes on her hand, and Blitzer joined in after the commentator read his ‘Question of the Hour:’
Meanwhile, it appears that Palin had written crib notes on the palm of her hand, including the words ‘energy, ‘tax,’ and ‘lift Americans’ spirits.’ Think we’re kidding? Watch this. (footage of Palin from her Tea Party Convention appearance) Now, this is the very same speech- take a look here- now watch the left hand- energy (laughs), lift Americans- you’ve got to be kidding me. This is the same speech where Palin criticized President Obama for relying too much on a Teleprompter.
So here’s the question- what would you advise Sarah Palin to do next? Go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile, post a comment on my blog . Wolf?
BLITZER: Yeah, Jack. You know, do you see these papers I have in front of me? These are all notes and stuff I’m supposed to say, but I don’t write it on my hand.
CAFFERTY: Well, you don’t have room for all of that stuff-
BLITZER: No. (laughs)
CAFFERTY: To write it on your hand.
BLITZER: Well, there’s nothing wrong. She could have taken a little three by five card up and held some notes in front of her. There’s nothing wrong with that.
CAFFERTY: Well, I suppose. But you’re- if you have aspirations of being president-
CAFFERTY: Shouldn’t you be able to-
BLITZER: You shouldn’t write it-
CAFFERTY: Talk about energy-
BLITZER: Write it- (laughs)
CAFFERTY: Without writing energy on your hand?
BLITZER: I agree with you.
CAFFERTY: I mean, come on! (laughs)
An hour later, during his 6 pm commentary, Cafferty also revisited his criticism of President Obama and his Democratic colleagues in Congress for their lack of transparency in their health care legislation negotiations. He devoted one of his commentaries on January 6, 2010 to the same subject. This time, the commentator criticized the executive’s planned bipartisan meeting at the White House on the health care issue, labeling it “more political theater.”
CAFFERTY: It was a campaign promise of President Obama’s and he is taking a lot of heat for not keeping it. Well, Mr. Obama now says he wants to hold a televised bipartisan health care meeting on February 25. This move toward transparency comes after the President got strong reviews for that televised question-and-answer session he held with the Republicans a week or so ago.
President Obama says he wants to go through all the best ideas that are out there on health care, including those the Republicans might have, and then move forward with reform. Leaders of both parties are praising this move, but Republicans say they want to start from scratch on health care reform, and that’s something the President says he won’t do. Also, some worry that this live televised half-day meeting will only prolong the process. The Democrats already have a lot of disagreements among themselves over the two versions of the bill passed in the House and the Senate.
Since the Democrats’ loss of Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts Senate seat, White House officials have been sending mixed messages on health care, saying they might break the bill into smaller parts. They might keep it all together. They might hold off on action or they- quote, ‘might just punch it through Congress.’ Meanwhile, it’s not clear how much the President’s offer to open up the health care meetings will matter this late in the game. A lot of Americans have been turned off by the secret closed-door nature of these negotiations. They expected more from the candidate who vowed to broadcast it all on C-SPAN, remember? And don’t forget, this televised meeting would probably never happen- not probably- there’s not a chance in hell it would happen if Republican Scott Brown wasn’t the newest senator from the state of Massachusetts.
So, here’s the question- is President Obama’s plan for a televised bipartisan health care meeting too little, too late? Go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile, post a comment on my blog. This is more political theater, I think, than anything else.
BLITZER: February 25- the cameras will be inside when they all get together on the White House’s turf, which should give the President an advantage, since that’s his home field.
CAFFERTY: If the Republicans show up.
BLITZER: Yes. Well, that’s- they’re going to negotiate the deal. Maybe we get the C-SPAN cameras when they negotiate the terms of the deal.
CAFFERTY: Not a chance.
BLITZER: That would be good.
CAFFERTY: That ain’t going to happen.